Kisses & A Poem for Gracie | Chandra (Update: In Rescue)

Gotta give my husband props. Every single week he gives these dogs his all. Whether he ends up covered in dog hair, dog saliva or mud, he's there. Plus, have you seen his play game? It is definitely on point.

Seriously though, dogs love Ron. Our two follow him around the house like he's their god, and compete to see who can snuggle up closest to him on the sofa. The shelter dogs sense something in him and quickly are put at ease.

Today's field trip dog, Gracie, was no exception to this rule. At first she was a little hesitant about the water, but with Ron's coaxing with a tennis ball, she quickly figured out that the river is fun.

And then there were the kisses...

(If you cannot see the video below, please view it HERE.)

I'm pretty sure the feeling was mutual today, given that Ron wrote Gracie a poem...

A Poem for Gracie

The river was cool, but so was she.
She romped on the banks with so much glee.

She paused and waited, while I tossed a muddy ball.
Then quickly and bravely gave it her all.

We saw right away that she's a playful pooch.
Has she gotten into a bottle of hooch?

Your white face bright and beaming, you're such a beauty, Gracie.
You're definitely cuter than Kevin Spacey.

You deserve a family who wants plenty of licks.
You will definitely have your pick.

So, there you are. She's a movie star who's receiving fan mail already!

Update: Gracie is safe in rescue but lots of other dogs are still waiting to meet you at Bradshaw.




Celebrate Your Pitbull | Chandra

I believe that people are good.

It's easy to become jaded at the shelter, to think people are irresponsible and don't value their animals, especially when you don't really get to hear the stories of how all the dogs end up there.

Certainly there are plenty of cruelty cases and folks who abandon animals for ridiculous reasons. But lots of times, dogs end up at the shelter despite peoples' best intentions. A job is lost, an elderly person dies, a family cannot afford veterinary care or find housing that will accept their pitbull. Someone asks about spaying their puppy and is told that it's best to wait until she's gone through one heat cycle, or is a year old, or even has had a litter. A young man's friends believe in conspiracy theories and tell him that a microchip will allow the government to track him by GPS. A family doesn't know anything about training or socializing dogs and brings in a cute puppy from someone giving away a litter at Walmart who in a year turns into way more than they can handle. Things happen. The dog waiting for her first heat cycle gets pregnant. Another litter is born.

I believe the key is supporting and educating owners who love their dogs, want to do right by them, and could use a little help.

The Celebrate Your Pitbull event, put on by the Sacramento County Shelter, provided microchips, vaccines, name tags and spay and neuter vouchers for Bully breed dogs...for FREE. Over thirty five shelter and veterinary volunteers spent their Saturday morning making it all happen.

A half an hour before things officially started, people were already waiting, dogs beside them. This family was first in line, happy to get shots and spay and neuter vouchers for their two gorgeous blocky headed dogs, Hades and Lily.

Hades & Lily and their people.

All morning I had the privilege of hearing peoples' stories. Almost every person got their dog either as a stray on the street or from a homeless person, neighbor, family member or friend whose dog had a litter. There were a few who purchased their puppies from Craigslist ads, and they mostly said they did it because they fell in love with a picture and couldn't stand the thought of the puppy going to an unscrupulous owner.

This couple's puppy showed up in front of their house starving, emaciated, and full of bugs. They put a bag of dog food out for her and she tore it open and gobbled up every single bit of kibble, one little piece at a time. That did it; she was home to stay. Hoping she would survive, they named her Hope. These two were old school in thinking that they had to let her have one litter so she'd be healthy and get to experience motherhood and were pretty set against having little Hope spayed. We talked for quite awhile about all the reasons spaying is so important, and about how not every little pup is lucky enough to find a family like theirs. After our talk, they filled out the paperwork to get Hope's spay voucher.

Hope and her angels.

I had this same type of conversations multiple times today. A few men thought it wasn't fair to their male dog to get him neutered. One man was worried that his baby wouldn't survive the neuter surgery; that it was dangerous. And every single time, after having a very short talk, their eyes lit up and paperwork was filled out. Every single time.

Cleo & her dad.

There were also quite a few litters of puppies at the event. One young man found a stray pregnant mama dog and took her in; he showed up today with these tiny puppies in a box thinking they could get their shots. He was overwhelmed and doing his best. I'm so glad there was a place for him to go to get help and information, and kind people to give it to him.

Box o' puppies.

A few people had bred their dogs on purpose, again mostly because they felt it was good for the mama. Hopefully we made a little bit of an impact on them too.

Boots & Autumn. Happy to say that Boots, his sibling, and their mama all got their spay/neuter vouchers.

One of many litters today.

Everyone was full of smiles and grateful for the help. The dogs were beautiful and so were their owners.

Puppies and dogs and kind hearted people and the chance to make things a little better. I cannot think of a happier way to spend a beautiful Saturday.

Yin & her brother Yang were adopted from friends. Both puppies are getting spay/neuter vouchers.

For more information on low cost or free spaying and neutering, please visit SacAnimal.org. If you'd like to help out with future events, you can reach out to the Sacramento Animal Shelter Volunteer Coordinator, Celeste Ingrid, at 916-875-5848.

Today's volunteers rocked!

We'd love to have you!




Mellow Girl Winnie | Chandra (Update: Adopted)

Today we took out our mellowest dog ever...Winnie.

This girl is chill. She walks calmly, she investigated the river calmly, she rode in the car calmly. She did get a little excited to catch a tennis ball and definitely pricked up her ears when she saw a squirrel, but overall, calm.

If you are looking for a friend who is just happy to be by your side, to take a mellow stroll around the neighborhood and then curl up with you for a nap, Winnie is your girl. She'll be happy to just slide right into your life, no major exertion on your part needed.

Some kisses, some pets, a tennis ball, some treats and she's good.

Please share Winnie and let's find this girl a family of her own to relax with!

(If you cannot see the video below, please watch it HERE.)

Update 9.27.15: Winnie has been adopted! Lots of other dogs are still waiting though, so please visit SacCountyDogs.com.




Chunk a Luv Honey | Chandra (Update: Adopted)

When I first saw Honey I wasn't so sure she was the best choice for a trip to the river.

Chunk a Luv Honey
She's, well, stout. Stout in the best possible way, because she's definitely adorable. It's just that in her stoutness she looks a bit like she might...sink. Like a rock. A big rock.

But her PBSOC bio says that she loves the water and it has a pretty cute video of her in a kiddie pool, so I thought, Okay, Honey, harness up.

First off, this girl loves to ride in the car. Especially in the front seat. And preferably on the driver's lap in the front seat. Or maybe she just loves Ron. Dogs definitely love Ron. All of them. (And what's not to love?)

Secondly, she definitely does NOT sink. As soon as Honey saw the water, she ran right in. At full speed. There was a second or two of panic on her face when the ground dropped away and then she did it. She swam. And swam and swam and swam. Her bio was right, Honey absolutely LOVES the water.

She also likes taking walks, chicken treats, kisses and hanging out with you. She's a little timid of loud noises or sudden movements, and it takes her a little bit of time to get comfortable in a situation. But once she does, she's a gem.

Please share this sweet girl and let's get her in a loving home where she'll have all the treats, pets, kisses and trips to the river that she deserves.

(If you cannot see the video below, please view it HERE.)

Update 9.27.15: Honey has been adopted! Lots of other dogs are still waiting though, so please visit SacCountyDogs.com.




Aussie's Adventure | Chandra

Aussie has settled in nicely. She has her favorite places to curl up for a nap, she's made it clear to Teddy when she wants to wrestle and when to leave her be, she's claimed Ron as her own by following him everywhere he goes. She jumps with excitement when we pick up the leashes and wants to play with every dog she meets on walks. She gives us sweet little soft kisses.

Today, she got a treat. A trip back to the river. This time with Teddy. Lots of tennis ball chasing, swimming, tail wagging and zoomies. Especially zoomies.

Chloe came along with her camera and I'll just let her pics do the talking for me...

Aussie gearing up to zoom...

Full speed.

Our handsome Ted.

He always finds the big sticks.



Pretty girl.

She's not very good at catching tennis balls...this pic is after she missed it.

You can do it girl!


Biggest dorks ever.

Photos by this lovely girl.

Update: We were the fastest foster fail ever...Aussie has found her forever home...with us! When it's right, it's right.




We're Fostering Aussie! | Chandra

We did it. We took the leap and brought home our first foster dog.

I am pretty much in heaven.

Aussie - SacCountyDogs.com
Aussie & Chloe
Fostering is something I've wanted to do for a very long time, but all the pieces just weren't in place for it to be feasible. And then, suddenly, I was tired of waiting for everything to be perfect and decided to leap first and ask questions later.

We brought Aussie home over the Labor Day holiday to give her a break from the shelter. She's been there two months already, and it's been over a month since we took her out for the river trip and video. Two months too long.

The night before we got her, I couldn't sleep. It really was that childhood Christmas morning thing where your stomach is excited and jittery and your brain is full of chattering monkeys. All I could think about was Aussie and how I so much wanted it to work. I was worried about Teddy...he can be quite the handful and he typically gets jealous when we give other dogs attention. And did I mention he's 80 pounds?

My mom came with me to the shelter to pick up Aussie, and I think she wondered what the hell I was getting myself into. When I took Aussie out of her kennel, she was super excited and jumpy and all the dogs in the kennel row started barking madly. It was loud and chaotic and Aussie was pulling and spinning around. She didn't much resemble the sweet dog I had talked and talked about.

But then, once we were in the car, it all changed. She immediately settled down on the back seat with me, her head in my lap, and went to sleep! That's what she does in cars...curls up and sleeps. It's pretty funny.

Aussie's Freedom Ride!
We stopped the car down the street from our house and took Aussie on a little walk in the park and then had Ron and Teddy come meet us. The dogs sniffed briefly, and then took a walk together, then sniffed each other some more. We all walked into the house together and let them off the leash. More sniffing, some playing, all was well. I was amazed, frankly.

The last few days have been so much fun. I've had a smile on my face just knowing that this sweet dog is out of the shelter for good. Because yes, she's staying here until she finds her permanent home.

She and Teddy have worked out their boundaries, mostly because Aussie is such a brilliant girl with other dogs. Her body language and corrections are immaculate. She knows when to correct, and when to come back gently and apologize. It's great to watch and learn from her. I can see the wheels turning in Teddy's head as he figures it all out. If there is such a thing as an alpha dog, she is certainly it. But she does it in such a subtle way that he has no idea that she's in charge. She's the epitome of a smart leader.

The two of them are going for walks together, wrestling in the family room, sleeping side by side on the sofa, and staying alone in the house when we're gone. We've got two big crates in our dining room and we're working on showing Aussie that the crate isn't a scary place. Teddy's helping with that because he likes his crate and runs right in when you say "kennel."

Ah, sunshine.
We're thrilled to have Aussie here and look forward to spending lots more time with her before she finds her forever home. And believe me, it needs to be a GREAT one or she isn't going!

Aussie in her new collar & tag.

For more info on Aussie, visit her webpage at PB SOC.

And just because she's so darn cute, one last photo...

Aussie and her squirrel.
Update: We were the fastest foster fail ever...Aussie has found her forever home...with us! When it's right, it's right.