The Ones Who Don't Make it Out... | Chandra

It's been a tough week at PBSOC. Normally I focus on the positive and only put the good stuff out there, but this week has really hit me hard. The shelter is overflowing with dogs and more keep coming in every day. Everyone is doing all they possibly can to get dogs out...Jamie sent press releases to all the media outlets and got interviews with Insight and news stations. Laura and I made new Facebook covers and flyers and posts. Delyse is frantically fighting the toughest fight behind the scenes. The shelter is running a $25 adoption special and PBSOC is doing a Home for the Holidays promo sponsored by a generous donor so fifty dogs can be adopted for free. Social media is busy with all the sharing and posting and our rescue partner in Canada has stepped up and is going to take six dogs from us. We need to raise money to make it happen, but being able to send SIX dogs is huge.

Unfortunately, despite all the heroic efforts, some dogs still do not make it out. And lately, there have been a lot of them.

Since I started volunteering with PBSOC, I haven't really been that aware of which dogs end up getting euthanized, although I know it happens, and there are certainly a few I've known about. Right now though, I'm a little more in the loop and am hearing more of the stories. And, yes, it's tough. The shelter is looking for any reason to be able to make space and the pit bull type dogs are going first.

Partly it's numbers; there are an awful lot of our blocky headed dogs at Bradshaw. Partly it's because other dogs get adopted faster. The two German Shepherds that came in recently both got adopted almost immediately and one of them, Sigmund, had tons of people commenting and sharing when his photo was posted on Facebook. That doesn't normally happen for the other dogs. Partly, too, it's because the pit bull type dogs are judged more harshly. A shepherd was adopted and then returned for being aggressive with another dog in the new home; he went back on the adoption floor and was adopted again the same day. Mitzi, a pit bull mix, had a very similar return situation and she was walked straight back to euthanasia. It's heartbreaking.

Whatever the reasons, I want these dogs to be remembered. People at Bradshaw cared about them, loved them, showered them with attention. The dogs played in playgroups, and took walks, and got chicken treats and kissed the PBSOC volunteers. Some are dogs that we did videos on. Each one was special to someone.

We cannot save them all. I know that. I know that the problem lies in the community, in not enough dogs being spayed and neutered, in breed discrimination in housing options, in economic hardship, in some people not understanding what it really takes to be a good dog owner. I believe that almost everyone at the shelter is pouring out their soul every day trying to take good care of these dogs and get them adopted. It is just never enough for all of them.

So, today, a little tribute to some of the ones who haven't made it out, a small sample of the many dogs who are euthanized every year. Each of them was an individual. Each of them deserved better.

They were all beautiful.

Tomorrow we'll be back at the shelter making another video. Shannon will be taking pictures. Delyse will be running playgroups with the help of lots of great people. Volunteers will be walking dogs and once 12:30 arrives, adopters will come and take new blockheaded family members home for Christmas. We'll remember the ones who didn't make it out, but mostly, we'll focus on the ones who still can. And we'll smile and laugh and get hugs and slobbery dog kisses. Because every single day we get to begin again.

If you'd like to help, please consider donating to the PBSOC fund to send six dogs to Canada. It's tax deductible and every little bit helps. For each of the six dogs who get to go, it means absolutely everything.




Holiday Pet Portraits with Shannon | Chandra

What an amazing day we had yesterday.

Over eighty families came out to Bradshaw, pets in tow, in order to have portraits taken by PBSOC photographer Shannon Skalisky. I knew the day would be a big success, but even knowing how great Shannon is, it still managed to completely exceed my expectations.

The event was scheduled from noon to 4:00 and by 2:30 we had to start turning people away because of the incredible turnout. Some wonderfully patient people and animals waited nearly two hours for their turn, including one pretty miraculous cat who sat on a bench with his leash, surrounded by dogs.

It was a true group effort with so many volunteers taking part to make the day a big success. To get a little idea of what it was like, here's Chloe's Behind The Scenes video of the day. And I've gotta say, I'm pretty proud of her for this one.

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

One of my favorite moments of the day was seeing Birdie, now Dory, the very first dog we walked with PB SOC. Lysa used her as our demo dog on our first time out, and I cannot believe I recognized her. I actually said, "that dog looks like Birdie," and her owners said, "It is Birdie!" The best part is that Dory's family is just adorable and she has a dog sibling that looks just like her. Doesn't this group just make you smile? (Dory's on the right.)

We brought Aussie and Teddy early to get their pictures done, and honestly, Aussie was the craziest dog of the day. She was so excited to see everyone and jumped around and vocalized like a banshee. Teddy took one look at Sabrina in her floral headdress and started barking at her like she was going to attack him. I was a little dubious that we were going to be able to get anything at all.

But then I remembered, Shannon. And sure enough, she pulled it off. The photos are just beautiful and I cannot believe the huge grin on Aussie's face. And yes, Teddy chilled out as soon as Sabrina took her headdress off!

Here are just a few of my favorite photos from the day. To view the whole gorgeous album, visit HERE. Shannon truly outdid herself.

Because, this face!
This beauty fell in love with the candy cane.
Just looks like a wise soul.


Walks beautifully on leash!

This guy's name is Papas.

And for a little more good news, Raisin just went to a new foster home where she'll get lots of attention, and Dottie got adopted today! Happy Holidays!




Raisin's Sleepover | Chandra

I've been watching little Raisin on Lysa Blackketter's FB feed ever since she scooped the abandoned demodex puppy up and took her home. Raisin is aptly named...she is wrinkly and kind of blackish brown, where she isn't pink. Her demodex is getting better but she's still a patchy haired fuzzy girl with a few scabs.

Don't tell Raisin that though. She thinks she is just fine, and beautiful. (Which she is.)

Yesterday, we got to bring Raisin home for a sleepover and while I'm writing, she's sleeping beside me on the sofa, in her little polka dot sweater, with her tongue sticking out. Dreaming.


It's been a bit of a whirlwind with her here. Aussie has been great, willing to play and teach Raisin a little bit about being a polite dog. Teddy, however, will have none of it. He stands a few feet away from Raisin and barks at her and absolutely does not want her anywhere near him or Aussie. He's not too thrilled when I play with her either, but he just resorts to the stink eye for that. Mostly he's sulking on the stairs, staring at her with disgust. He has deigned to let her sniff him a few times but that's as far as he's taken it.

Having her here has made me realize just what a perfect match Aussie and Teddy are, and how lucky we got with bringing her home. She played Teddy perfectly...when they met she pretty much ignored him and made him come to her. Then when he sought her out, she quickly set up boundaries with him so that he knew exactly how she expected to be treated. She was sweet about it mostly, but very, very clear. Now he completely trusts her...they wrestle several times a day, with much gnashing of teeth and grabbing of necks, and they know exactly when to pull back and give it a break. They sleep next to each other in front of the fireplace, and she gets to choose which bed she wants first. He gives her little kisses on her ears and her nose. They walk side by side on leash and he doesn't get jealous when we give her attention. It's worked out really, really, well.

Raisin hasn't done anything wrong to deserve Teddy's disdain, she's just a puppy, and that's enough.

But what a delightful puppy she is. Lysa has taught her to sit for everything and the sight of tiny Raisin jumping around like a pink-clad bunny and then quickly sitting is enough to make you melt. The sit and then the sweet gaze into your eyes; she's so proud of herself for that quick sit. She loves her belly rubbed, follows you everywhere, and adores snuggling. She also sleeps all night long in her crate without so much as a whimper. She's going to make someone very, very happy.

Right now, Lysa's got her, but everyone is hoping for someone else to be able to step in and foster little Raisin, or foster-to-adopt (which means all of her medical expenses will be paid by PBSOC) or just adopt her right now. Lysa works full time and that's not the best situation for such a little one. In the meantime, I have a feeling she's going to have several sleepovers with the PBSOC crew in her future. She's just that adorable.

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

Let's get this girl home for Christmas. She'll look pretty cute in an ugly Christmas sweater! And when that hair grows in, watch out, she'll be an absolute beauty.

Update: Raisin found a new foster family very quickly, and they've since become her forever family.