Quality of Life

I did not get involved in animal rescue for the heartache and tears. That much I know for a fact. I also did not get involved in animal rescue because I enjoy making hard decisions; decisions about quality of life.  I do not have the appropriate life experiences, or knowledge, or degrees, or magic powers for that. How could I possibly consider what another living creature’s quality of life is like? Yet now, for the second time, I find myself asking these impossible questions.

How much pain is too much pain?

How much happiness is not enough happiness?

How many extreme life-saving surgeries are too many surgeries?

How many days of suffering are too many days?

How much sadness is too much sadness?

How much heartbreak is too much heartbreak?

And I would just like to be honest with the world about this. I don’t know. I don’t know these answers, not for a damn second. I know though, that it’s pretty crushing to wonder.


I did not want a foster dog. I’m building a business, hosting in home boarding clients, paying off student debt, traveling to visit family and friends, helping my boyfriend foster, working 348 a few jobs. I did not have a plan, for this foster dog. Yet now I have a foster dog. I will not go too deeply into how I ended up with this dog, because now he’s mine.  What I will say though, is that no one who’s ever cared for this dog has had a plan. No one.

And because I’m human, I love him. He’s fantastic. The best. Amazing. Now I have sole responsibility for his care.

Re·spon·si·bil·i·ty. The state or fact of being accountable or to blame for something.

So here I am, being responsible. I will not fail this dog. I will not be to blame for his suffering. We will have a plan. And even if that plan involves me ripping my heart out, asking myself those impossible questions, I will do it. Because he deserves it. For once in his life, he deserves a human who puts his quality of life and care first.


So to my new dog, Arnold;

“I promise to do my very best in being responsible for you. I promise to love you- though loving you is the easy part- everyone has done that. So I will do more. I promise to come up with a plan. I promise to ask myself the most painful questions about your life and care. I promise to listen to you. I promise to make your days count, and your feelings matter. I will do my absolute best. And I apologize in advance, for not knowing all the answers. But boy will I try, because you deserve it. You deserve more than love. You deserve quality of life. Even with my heart breaking, I will make sure you get that.”❤

Puppy Update!

Holy puppy!  This has been the craziest week and a half ever.  Gosh that ball of cuteness sure is quick to piddle and chew.  Ok.  So let’s be honest, pictures of the puppy are far more exciting than me talking about the puppy.  So I’ll make this brief😉

Yesterday I showed our summer fashion shoot, aka luau party.  I certainly had fun with that.  My dad thought it was hysterical that Leroy just stayed like an angel while I tortured him with sunglasses and accessories.  If only I had some arm floaties… Hmm.  Since Marshmallow’s arrival, Leroy has grown to accept and love her, as he does with every foster pup.  Here are some of their “bonding” pictures.🙂







It’s been a whirlwind experience having a foster puppy!  We have our third meet and greet today.  Yikes!  And then I am going to make a very hard decision.  Stay tuned for more puppy excitement and pictures🙂

Things That People Don’t Like to Talk About- Progress Has Stopped

It’s not that there we’ve never made progress.  We have, and it has been excellent.  Leroy is on Prozac and he is a happier and more manageable dog.  I wrote about it here, and took a video of us working at the park.  That is an improved dog… seriously.  Maybe you didn’t know him before, but just take my word on this one.  Or take my vet’s word after she watched the video, “That is really terrific – GREAT job, and you’re using different tools (watch, leave it, look at that). You really seem to have found that door into his brain :)”.

So despite the progress, Leroy still has his moments.  That’s all fine and well.  But is that as good as it gets?  I have been participating in a weekly training walk for Pit Bull owners.  Leroy seems to do the same thing every week.  Maybe I just am too close to see what I’m doing wrong.  He freaks out but recovers quickly, then he’s happy to be next to the other dogs and enjoy the pack walk.  Freak out, walk.  Freak out, walk.  Freak out, walk.  Every single week, all summer long.


I’m gonna be honest here.  I am quite sure that I have room to improve.  I know it for a fact.  But even considering that, there is a part of me that thinks I should be happy with what we’ve accomplished and stop expecting more.

I’ve had the great pleasure of helping one of the rescue dogs, Denali, as her foster buddy and trainer.  She is a sweet three year old girl that needed some help on manners. She happens to have a very pregnant foster mom who has never had a dog before.  :)  Denali is just a little bit pushy and rude in social settings.  But she absolutely stole my heart!  And after one adoption event and training walk, she has gotten significantly better with her handler focus, sit, watch me, and down.  PROGRESS!  So much progress in just two days.  It’s overwhelming!


After causing a scene of excitement in the park once Denali mastered the “down” command, I realized that I love and miss training!  I just have been stuck in a routine with Leroy.  I am enjoying the Nosework class with him very much.  But I haven’t felt that excited rush of watching him learn something in a long time.  So until I figure out what to do with my boy, I will get that clicker out and help Denali be the best girl she can be!  She will learn manners, basic obedience, tricks.. maybe she’ll even get C.L.A.S.S. certified!


*Note.  While I was in the middle of writing this and making mini strawberry pies, my brother Steven’s friend said, “I hope when I have a dog he is as well behaved as Leroy.  He’s a good boy.”

I feel like the universe just smacked me in the head!  Granted, this friend has not seen Leroy lunge after another dog or protect a bone.  He has not seen Leroy be his full-arse-self. But when Leroy is being properly managed and in a familiar location, he is a very good boy.  Sure he chases his tail, sometimes regularly jumps on strangers, begs for food, acts like a goon, ect.  But he is a wonderful dog, especially when he’s not being stressed out by any of his triggers.

To top things off, we showed off our most recent trick, “Bang” which we learned way back in Philly.  But apparently my family had not seen it yet!  They were very impressed🙂  Since it was new and we hadn’t practiced regularly, he was a little rusty.  But by attempt three he promptly rolled over, flailed up his legs, and paused for effect.  Thanks buddy!🙂  So my dog is making progress!  Or maybe I’m just making progress at managing him😉  Either way, Leroy was called well behaved today, possibly for the first time in his life.  So “Thank you”, to my brother’s friend Anthony, for unknowingly putting me in my place.


Progress Pie

Marshmallow is Adopted!

Well it was a whirlwind three weeks with Mel that ended with a hard decision, and a happy and lucky forever family.  It was worth breaking all my “no puppy” rules.  I did enjoy having that little peanut in the house!  It was amazing to watch her grow, learn, and explore the world around her.  I was able to socialize her with so many people and other dogs.  I know she has a solid foundation to build off for the rest of her life.


Leroy and Skylar

Lets go back in time, one week ago.  I was babysitting Skylar while her moms went on vacation.  Skylar was adopted through LCPO just about one year ago when she was a tiny love, right around Mel’s size.  Skylar lives a wonderful life.  She has great manners and is one of the most socially appropriate dogs I know!  Leroy loved her polite, yet friendly disposition. Some of this can be attributed to the fact that she was in good hands since she was a puppy.  But she also has the pleasure of being a “shop dog” at a local soap store.  Her mom totes her into work where she behaves like an angel and greets the costumers with a friendly wag and some kisses.  At night she goes home, happy and content from working the day away🙂

I shared this video with Skylar’s mom and posted it on facebook.  Amanda and Cheyanne watched this video together while sitting on the beach.  Amanda said they loved it!  They were smiling and laughing and crying and she said, “Is this our dog?”.  Cheyanne was looking for a dog for quite some time… But she didn’t want to rush into anything.  The right fit is important!  But after watching this video, they decided that their dog had actually found them❤



This is actually the moment that sealed the deal for me.  There were three amazing families that wanted to adopt Marshmallow.  While I knew Skylar and Amanda, I still was torn.  Each of the families were great and would love and care for Mel for the rest of her life.  But which was the best fit for Marshmallow?  Well, it’s safe to say that this picture put my heart at ease.  Marshmallow was already quite content with her new sister.  Playing or cuddling; they were a happy bonded pair.


Marshmallow, now Ryan, and Skylar with their forever mommies.


So Happy Adoption, Marshmallow.  Enjoy your new family and your sister, Skylar.  You deserve the best and they will give that to you. Grow up to be confident and happy.  Learn good manners from Skylar.  Practice training with your moms.  Give them lots of kisses.  Meet as many people ad you can.  Be proud when your moms say, “This is Ryan.  She is a pit bull, and we saved her life.”❤

Puppy Time!

The puppy is here!  After a long journey from Tennessee, two baths to remove the filth, a long collar-buying excursion, an even longer naming-the-puppy adventure; I’m finally here with pictures🙂


Get ready for cuteness overload.

First of all, we named her Marshmallow, or Mel for short.  Something about her white squishy face just called out, “Marshmallow!”🙂 When she is a lady, perhaps she’ll go by Mel.  To be professional, of course.  But for now, Marshmallow is settling in and doing wonderfully.  She already got to meet the whole human family, Blueberry, Leroy, and Major the cat.  Positive socialization is starting off  strong!


Marshmallow is 10 weeks old.  She is spayed and will be up to date on her shots.  We will be working on crate training, socialization, house training, and basic obedience.  Mel is curious about the world around her.  She is slightly cautious, but ready to play and explore.  She is loving all the human attention, and desperately trying to woo the adult dogs in the house into some wrestling and play time.  She will need a committed, life long, adopter who is willing to  make her the best dog that she can be.  And I will need an adopter who will fall head over heals in love with her- not just as a puppy, but as she goes through the challenging teen years, the frustrating adolescence, the slowing in adulthood, and the tender years of old age.


oh hai. iz a marshmalloz.

More exciting puppy-ness to come as she settles in!

If you have questions about Marshmallow or the adoption process, email me (Casey) at LeroyandCompany@gmail.com!         

Brother John & Blueberry

I apologize in advance for the blurry pictures.  These boys were having so much fun, I couldn’t even ask them to pose or stay still.  :)

So here is the last brother in the family, John!  And with John, comes the family dog, Blueberry.  John and Blueberry are a very special pair; bonded and in love.  I got my hair cut just today and my stylist/neighbor remarked, “They are the type of pair that we make movies about.”  Blueberry is a special pup that struggles with extreme separation anxiety.  She is lucky enough to be employed- she is my parent’s office dog!  And trust me, the place would fall apart without her there to provide some stress relief😉 When Blueberry isn’t busy working, she’s looking for John.  She loves him and protects him.  She needs him.  They are the best of friends.🙂



John and Leroy also are good buddies.  Their favorite past time is playing tug-of-war.  This was happening during my “photo shoot” of them.  Both boys were having a blast and enjoying the game so much.  I decided that I was going to deal with the blurry pictures for this one.  John does the rough housing that gets Leroy all exciting and in tail-chasing bliss.  Here they are in action:




John is an animal lover.  He’s my youngest brother checking in at 18 and 6 foot something.  Affectionately called, Baby Brother or Little John.  I am a proud older sister.  I have been blessed with a wonderful family🙂


Stay tuned for posts about my parents, or Leroy’s Grandma and Grandpa🙂  And the PUPPPYYYYY❤

Happy Fourth!


Leroy wants to make sure that everyone stays safe today!  Here are some great tips from our vet, Dr. Reisner.  We are sharing some Do’s as well as Don’ts🙂

1. Don’t assume your dog will be fine, especially if he has shown signs of fear — trembling, panting, pacing and restlessness — of booming noises in the past. Pay attention to the fear by redirecting activities, food and muffling outside noises. Reassure to your heart’s content – the Fourth can be a scary day for your dog!

2. Don’t scold or reprimand your dog for behaviors based in fear. Panicked dogs may dig, chew and scratch at barriers (whether trying to go out or to come in), urinate and defecate, or relentlessly solicit attention.

3. Don’t leave your dog outside unleashed and unattended. Frightened dogs are very adept at jumping, digging and escaping.

4. Don’t take your dog to the community party – July 4th picnics are followed by fireworks, and your dog should be nowhere near the fireworks.

5. Don’t give your dog medications without a veterinary prescription or at least a conversation; human sedatives can increase agitation in dogs, and acepromazine (a commonly used dog tranquilizer) might increase sensitivity to noise. Yes, some medications can be helpful, but they also have side effects and interactions. Please talk to your veterinarian first.

6. Unless your dog is deeply in love with his crate and goes there on his own when stressed or frightened, do not leave your dog alone in a crate during fireworks. Frightened dogs, especially those unaccustomed to being crated (or shut into a room), can severely injure themselves – or worse – trying to escape.

Five tips to Finesse Fireworks Fear: 

1. Turn on every background noise device in your home including TV, radio, fans, and sound machines. Download a free ambient sounds app such as “White Noise Lite”. Shut the windows and turn on the AC if you have it.

2. For your dog’s sake, stay home on the Fourth. Since you’ll be home anyway, watch a Harry Potter marathon (see #1).

3. Before the fireworks start, cook up an irresistible food such as chicken breast, special meat cookies, popcorn. Cut meat into tiny pieces and stock a treat bag. Feed one piece at a time to your dog throughout the fireworks to countercondition and distract. If your dog is willing, make a game of it and ask her sit, down, shake hands and other distracting cues. Freeze a Kong with kibble mixed with baby food. Feed dinner through the toy.

4. If your dog likes to nest in a corner, closet, under a table when frightened, prepare her favorite spot with blankets and make it into an inviting sanctuary.

5. If your dog is nervous, go ahead and reassure him. He is frightened – he will not feel rewarded for being terrified. He will feel reassured.



And we also found this cute graphic from our friends at OP Barks with some statistics on missing pets.  Are your dogs chipped and wearing their ID tags?!  Safety first.  We hope you have a great day and that all your pets are in their favorite spots in the house with lots of fans on.  Enjoy!🙂