Brother Robert

Introducing, Brother Robert! Robert is the middle brother, in his prime college years. ¬†He is the type of guy who can use the phrase, “lovin’ life”, and mean it to the full extent. ūüôā ¬†He is certainly animal friendly and always gives the dogs a nice pat on the head before he is out the door. ¬†He will cuddle on occasion or nap with Blueberry. ¬†But he has assigned the family cat, Lucky, as his animal. ¬†(Though somehow I am the one that took Lucky to the vet for his yearly…) ¬†Regardless, Robert is a good sport and is excited for the puppy. ¬†He also came out and ran the LCPO 5k with Steven.

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“Nice to meet you” with Robert

Robert is a great brother who does his best to participate in the dog-crazy that is our home. ¬†He tries to help out when he can and he likes hanging with the big Lee. ¬†I am especially excited to bring the puppy home, because I know Robert is excited and will love that puppy to pieces ūüôā

Thanks Brother Robert, for being part of this crazy family!

 

Brother Steven

I decided that it’s finally time to introduce the human family members that Leroy and I have adopted. ¬†Ok. ¬†They were all here before Leroy. ¬†But still, they’ve grown to love and accept him as part of the pack. ¬†It wasn’t all happiness and cuddles from the first moment he came home though. ¬†It took love, and time, and kisses… lots of kisses. ¬†But Leroy was eventually able to win over their hearts. ¬†And I am very thankful for that. ūüôā

So here he is! ¬†Brother Steven ūüôā ¬†Steven was my roommate during this past year in Philly. ¬†He helps with Leroy when I am in a bind, meets all the foster dogs, tolerates the occasional kiss on the mouth, and is happy to help me with training. ¬†He is great at making friends with shy or fearful dogs, and his patience and understanding are always appreciated! ¬†While he happens to be the father of a fine feline creature, I would say he is one of the more dog savvy people in my family.

(I apologize for all the terribly quality/ flashy iphone pictures)

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“Sit” hand signal with Tofu

If I was being honest with myself, I might say that Steven is Leroy’s favorite person in this world. ¬†But I’m going to lie and say that Leroy loves me the most. ¬†However, this dog is joyful¬†when he gets to hang out with Steven. ¬†He wants so badly to curl up with Steven and bask in all the man glory that they share. ¬†Leroy has a strange relationship with males. ¬†To be honest, I haven’t done much research or exploration of it. ¬†I know that he actively wants their love and affection. ¬†He wants to be around them, to make friends, to cuddle and play, to please them. ¬†But he is more fearful around them. ¬†He has been hand shy around Steven; cowering at the floor when he waved his hand too quickly. ¬†He can become over aroused; constantly jumping up on Steven even though he knows he should not do this. ¬†Leroy is very uncomfortable around new men. ¬†But once he has build some trust, they are the best of friends.

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All the dogs love Steven

I do not like to think about Leroy’s paradoxical struggle of love and fear towards men. ¬†I imagine him as a puppy, desperately trying to please his owner. ¬†He was likely a big man who would visit him occasionally in the yard, only to bring more food or yell at him for doing something playful. ¬†I know that Leroy loved this man. ¬†But I hate him. ¬†I hate him for all the irreversible damage that he has done to my dog. ¬†But somehow, Leroy still tries to trust and love. ¬†He wants to cuddle with Steven and play tug of war. ¬†He wants to be friends. ¬†He wants to be loved. ¬†So I am thankful for my brother Steven for being a loving and patient male figure in Leroy’s life. ¬†He needs to have this. ¬†He is still so eager to please. ¬†But he needs an understanding friend to help him practice trust. ¬†And Steven is that person.

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Evening cuddles ūüôā

Thank you Steven, for being part of our crazy family ūüôā

Club Pit

I am lucky enough to volunteer with an amazing pit bull organization.  If you are remotely near PA, you should volunteer with us too.  We have a program called Club Pit.  From the website:

“Looking for a way to meet other pit bull owners or socialize your dog responsibly? New adopter from a shelter or rescue looking for support? Have a pit bull and want in on the fun? Check out LCPO’s Club Pit!¬†It is our mission to have responsible pit bull owners in our communities. Club Pit is a way for us to lend pit bull owners the support they often need through information, socialization and a low cost spay & neuter program.”

Wow. ¬†Is that awesome, or what? ¬†Well I am a pit bull owner and I need support! ¬†So yesterday I join Club Pit for their first weekly training walk. ¬†It is a controlled environment that we can work on training, where I am supported and understood by fellow dog owners. ¬†Less judgement; more nodding and compassionate smiles. ¬†I love it, obviously. ¬†Anyone who knows Leroy by now, knows he was bound to throw a few fits. ¬†My friend and rescue champion Christine remarked, “Is that all he does? ¬†That’s not so bad. ¬†I’ve seen worse.” ¬†She was perhaps being nice, or slightly delusional ūüėČ ¬†However, her unwavering support means a lot. ¬†And Leroy adores her. ¬†I did not remind her that, yes, this is all he does after two years of training and 20mg of Prozac! ¬†But all in all, he was slightly improved from his pre-Prozac, pre-Reactive Rover days. ¬†He was vocal.. he really loves to let everyone know how stressed out he is. ¬†And I was a neglectful mom and couldn’t find his Halti, so he pulled like a demon. ¬†But otherwise, he did just fine.

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Watch Me!

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Please ignore how attractive I am. It was a great hair day.

 

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Leroy was trying to woo Sage, who was training for her Therapy Dog test

 

Despite how well I know Leroy and how I am always preaching about standing up for your dogs, I found myself climbing up a slippery mountain to get away from a ditsy, inconsiderate¬†¬†normal dog owner who thought it was funny that her two dogs¬†totaling 35 pounds were pulling her towards our pack. ¬†Instead of just yelling out, “Stop, he needs his space!”, I decided to run off the path, risking my life¬† twisting an ankle to get out of her reach. ¬†I need to start taking my own advice! ¬†So in case you haven’t read it yet, or if you need a pep talk like I did, check out this blog. ¬†¬† ¬†¬†

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Leroy and I prepared for the walk by decorating ourselves with yellow ribbon. ¬†Of course, not all dog owners know what this means. ¬†So I’m here to tell you! ūüôā ¬†It means Leroy needs his space. ¬†Here is the website for the Yellow Dog Project. ¬†Check it out and if you see a dog sporting yellow, (or an owner running up a mountain) give them some space!

What To Do This Summer

So for the foreseeable future, I have taken up residents with my parents in Scranton, PA. ¬†I am job hunting and looking to move back to Philadelphia around August. ¬†Until then, I’m having a training dilemma. ¬†I’ll start by saying that I am only open to using force free trainers. ¬†Anything other than that is out of the question. ¬†So anyone I will mention is going to fall under that category. ¬†I am hoping that I can get some advice or suggestions. ¬†Keep in mind that I would like to be less broke with a better trained dog ūüėČ Here are my options while I’m here:

I can choose to travel approximately 1 hour & 15 minutes to a reputable, force free trainer.  I can do private sessions or wait for a potential weekday Reactive training class to start up.  

I can travel 1 hour & 45 minutes to a reputable, trusted, and force free trainer.  I can do private sessions or group lessons.

I can use a local trainer who is less experienced but force free. ¬†I can do a private session where she will evaluate Leroy and see if he can be placed in any of her group training class (which I suspect he can’t). ¬†Or I can continue to do private sessions with her.

I can work by myself on practicing what I know in controlled and respectful environments. ¬†I can do “pack walks” with trusted friends.

I have been struggling with this decision and am looking for some help. ¬†I may give the local trainer a try. ¬†But I don’t want to waste my time and money when I have heard she may not be the best for my situation. ¬†I also can’t afford to be driving all summer, paying tolls, and racking up more debt… Leroy doesn’t even have a job ūüėČ ¬†(and I am barely employed!) ¬†But I also want to keep working with him and seeing progress. ¬†With the lack of bicycles in my neighborhood, Leroy has decided to recently lunge after two cars, actively trying to attack them. ¬†This type of “unexpected” behavior is what brought me crying into Dr. Reisner’s¬†office in the first place. ¬†We must not regress! ¬†Ok, I’m trying not to fall apart completely. ¬†I understand I changed his environment. ¬†But common Leroy, you’ve already been beaten by a car once. ¬†Let’s be logical here. ¬†Your mom can only handle so much crazy out of you!

Until Leroy understands my English; help, suggestions, opinions, local trainer recommendations, advice?? ¬†It’s all much appreciated!

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More Happy Tail Updates!

Adele, my very first foster dog, has been in her forever home for almost two years now! ¬†She found a¬†wonderful forever mom who adores her and puts up with all her crazy issues! ¬†Adele has also gone on to be a foster sister to other puppies in need. ¬†She has grown into a beautiful dog. ¬†I love seeing how much she’s beefed up since I pulled her out of ACCT, a scrawny mess of a dog. ¬†So here she is, Adelle-

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Date Night

I spent my last month in Philly exploring some great restaurants and fully enjoying the night life with my friends. ¬†But there’s nothing like a night in with your man ūüėČ ¬†If you read my post a few days ago, you know that Leroy and I were having a stressful time transitioning to living at my parents house again. ¬†There are new, overwhelming things that we run into here that we didn’t deal with in Philly. ¬†Overall, it’s a more peaceful atmosphere. ¬†But there is still some adjusting required.

So I checked Leroy’s schedule and we set a date night! ¬†Just some one on one bonding time for my pooch ūüôā We watched a movie and cuddled, the perfect night in!

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Sometimes I wish for the days when I can have a house of my own, complete with a handful of happy coexisting pit bulls. ¬†I think it’s amazing that so many of my friends have three, four, five, or more rescued dogs! ¬†But for me and Leroy, we’re a team. ¬†And the two of us, plus the occasional foster, is just enough. ¬†Sure, someday the perfect dog might come along. ¬†And I know we would be able to expand our duo. ¬†But for right now, it’s me and my man ūüôā

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How many dogs are in your pack? ¬†Or are you a solo dog owner like me? What shaped those decisions? I’d love to know!

Happy Tails Update!

Every time I see a picture of Jora *now to be referred to as Bella* in her forever home, my heart grows 10x it’s original size. ¬†So I wanted to share some of them with you ūüôā ¬†Not only did Bella get exactly the forever home that I wanted for her, but her mom came out to volunteer at LCPO’s 5k! ¬†I’m hoping to see both of them soon at another event and catch up more. ¬†So here she is: happy, gorgeous, loving Bella.

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