Tuesday, January 26, 2010

RIP Demo - a dog that inspired

HugABullers both big and small fell in love with Demo last year, when we discovered Demo: The Story of a Junkyard Dog. Sweet little Demo has the big muscles but not the bad attitude to be a junkyard dog and is abandoned by his misanthropic, junk-spewing owner. He ultimately finds a home with a boy who loves him for the gentle companion he's meant to be, and even manages to be part of the solution to the city's gigantic waste problem. A pit bull hero!

This beautifully-illustrated book manges to link themes of animal rescue, stereotypes and environmentalism in a great little read. It was found under the Christmas trees of many kids in our community last year, and is on the reading list in classrooms frequented by our members.

So it was with great sadness we heard that the real Demo, the dog who inspired it all, passed away recently. However, judging from this blog post by his human, he lived a good, long life with someone who obviously cared a great deal for him. To love and be loved; to inspire a book that changes minds every day; and to live to the ripe old age of 16 sounds like everything a humble little dog could ask for.

RIP Demo. You will not be forgotten.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Calling all artists!

Can you draw, paint or create? Do you love pit bulls?

HugABull is looking for artists who can provide a creative take on the dogs featured in our 2011 calendar. This could be a drawing, painting, print, digital art, collage – anything that captures the spirit of our fun and fabulous dogs.

We’ll assign you a calendar dog and provide photos and any other inspiration... you’ll provide us with a copy of your artwork we can show off in our calendar!

Interested in supporting HugABull and saluting a beautiful bullie? Contact us at info@hugabull.com.

Our 2010 calendar...currently available for sale at http://hugabull.biz

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Athletic Jake seeks soulmate (or foster)

Jake is a very good boy who will be a fabulous addition to an active and structured home. Unfortunately, he's having trouble finding that perfect fit.

He was originally surrendered to the shelter with glowing comments from his original owners, who gave him up after his young caretaker left for college. We tested him and found him to be a bright, energetic friendly boy with a ton of potential, so we accepted him into our program.

From the shelter he went into a foster home, where he displayed some anxious behaviour at first - biting his leash, excitability, and running away with his toys - but quickly showed himself to be a perfect gentleman with the right handling. His foster family considered adopting him, but realized that his training and activity needs were too much for their home. And since we are committed to finding a perfect match, we are still looking!

We need either a foster or adoptive home that is committed to a few more professional training sessions (provided free of charge through HugABull), lots of exercise, and firm but kind leadership. In that sort of environment, where Jake has the structure and certainty he's lacked all his life, he will blossom!

A little more about Jake...
Athletic Jake loves, loves, loves to run - but once he’s had his daily exercise he has a definite "off" switch. Whether on the carpet, on the floor, or upside-down against the mini-bar, this five-year-old spends the majority of his day happily snoozing away.Separation anxiety and destructiveness is not be a problem with this boy.

When outside, Jake will trot along at a good, even clip for many kilometres without breaking a sweat. Jake also loves a game of fetch and some sprinting around a tennis court, yard, or lacrosse box.

Car rides are a big hit, and Jake gets super excited as soon as he lays eyes on the vehicle. Once inside he will either sleep soundly during the trip or make what his foster mom calls happy donkey (braying) noises.

Jake is very interested in other dogs and will often pull or whine to go see them, but he has no problem being around them or hanging around the local pet store. Jake doesn't have a lot of experience interacting directly with other dogs, but is generally curious and friendly. New introductions should be slow, controlled and polite to keep things positive.

Jake needs an experienced handler and a very active lifestyle. He bonds closely with his owner and is a sensitive boy: he will do best with a strong and kind leader who can set up clear ground rules, provide a regular outlet for physical energy, and has a calm and confident demeanour. Jake will respond wonderfully after so much uncertainty in his short life, and be the stellar companion he was meant to be!

If you think you may be able to foster and/or adopt Jake, please get in touch.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

2009 dogs in review - MASON

Early in January 2009, Vancouver Animal Control alerted us to a sick senior AmStaff who had been seized. He was in bad shape, with a scabbed and puffy face - so swollen he could barely see. He was also mostly deaf, but if he smelled or sensed a person around he'd approach without hesitation, wagging and smiling.

Poor Mason was an itchy mess. His face was the worst problem, but the bald, scaly patches covered his entire body and he scratched constantly. No one knew if it was mange, infection, or something worse, but HugABull director Shelagh knew he needed out of the shelter ASAP. She took him home and started him on a regimen of testing, medication and an allergy-controlled diet - treatments that wouldn't be available at the shelter, but made possible in foster care through the Lovely Fund.

Mason's skin problems turned out to be allergies run amok, and after a few weeks of treatments he was recognizable as a dog once more. His sweet, mellow and loving personality never changed. Mason has an easy smile and wag for humans and dogs alike, and is so dog-social that Shelagh often uses him for shelter dog assessments and socialization training with reactive dogs.

At 9-10 years of age with health problems, Mason is going to be a long-term compassion foster through Shelagh and HugABull. With his puffy little face and soft temperament, he has become somewhat of a HugABull mascot. He's also an example of a dog that has every strike against him: he's a senior, he's dark in colour and not traditionally attractive, and he has health problems. He'd have very low adoption potential in a shelter, but is one of the sweetest, most affectionate, and easygoing companions one could ask for.