Thursday, May 31, 2012


I got Kaya & Norman an awesome new pair of Halloween skull collars from Etsy. I was going to wait to buy them but feared the fabric would sell-out. Of course we had to go out for a modeling session once they arrived!

These collars are going to be Fall favorites for sure. They are super well-made and the seller even custom made the style I wanted(no buckle adjustable slide on). Kaya & Norman are now featured as model dogs for the collar on the Etsy listing page! Here's the link:

There are a bunch of other collars I want to order right now too. I wish they were all water and dirt-proof but oh well!

Hot puppies!'s not a prison in the background, it's Costco!

Happy Halloween!

Related Posts:
Our Pit Bull Awareness Day!
The Walking Dog
New Custom Tags!

Tuesday, May 29, 2012


Since I was at my first big family event since adopting my pit bulls, many of my family members asked what was new in my life so I of course told them about my dogs. There was a mixed bag of reactions. Some thought it was great, with some the breed did not even come up, some seemed wide-eyed until I showed them pictures, and a couple just refused to believe they could be good, safe dogs. But all of them seemed shocked when I showed them pictures of my dogs cuddling with the cat.

My uncle and I had the most interesting/strange conversation. He lives in Ft. Lauderdale and says there is a huge problem with pit bull attacks. That may be true, but it also may just be the case that he is hearing a bunch of hoopla from the media. Pit Bulls are banned in Miami and there are a lot of lower-income areas in Florida where these great dogs may not be raised or treated right. So our conversation went something like this:

Uncle: How do you walk 2 large dogs at once?

Me: It's not very hard but I mostly have them off leash.

Uncle: How can you do that? (Flabbergasted)

Me: Well, I just take them to places they are allowed off-leash like parks, hikes, lakes and beaches.

Uncle: But what if there are other people and dogs around?

Me: Then my dogs will probably say hi to them. They have many friends.

Uncle: And they don't fight?

Me: No, they play.

Uncle: (Moving on in disbelief.) How do you keep the dogs separated from the cat?

Me: I don't.

Uncle: But don't they try to kill the cat?

Me: No, they love the cat.

That was pretty much it. The ironic thing is that my Uncle has one very angry and evil Jack Russel Terrier who has bitten and attacked many people. But hey, that's just who he is.

Unfortunately all of my family are east-coasters and the odds of them coming west to meet my k9/feline family are slim to none. Oh well.

Related Posts:
"Mom, I'm getting a Pit Bull."
Norman: The Perfect Advocate
Norman is Now a Certified Therapy Dog!

Thursday, May 24, 2012


I just got back from leaving my puppies for the first time. I didn't know anyone personally who could take care of them so I had to find someone on Craigslist. She had good references and experience in animal rescue and pit bulls so it seemed like a great fit. She also agreed to stay here and keep an eye on the cat too. My biggest fear in leaving them is that they wouldn't listen to a word she said. Since they've only ever been in my care since they were 3 months old I had no idea if they would respect another authority. Even commands like off and drop they completely ignore to friends and family.

So upon my return I learned they they had indeed tested some new behaviors which they never once did with me. They ripped up their bed(I have never had either of them destroy something they shouldn't - and this was when she was home!) But later I saw that she didn't give them any of their knuckle bones I left. They woke her up at 5:30 in the morning whining for no reason (I have to convince them to get up in the mornings - around 10). They licked her feet uncontrollably (why not just tell them to stop it?) Kaya was begging her for her food (I have never given my dogs people food and they completely ignore me or anyone else while eating). Norman was eating his poop (he hasn't done this in months) but I came to see that my very small yard was filled with poop:( And Kaya was peeing on the deck (she maybe did this once when I was potty training her...WTF?) She also said Norman peed on the bed while she was right there (he has never done this with me - so weird.) And she said Norman was barking at people in the front and the back. I have never heard him bark at someone in my life and I he doesn't even know I have a back door. But did she even correct him?

Even as I was standing there talking to her they began wrestling and I decided it was enough and said "hey" to them. The immediately came over to me and sat down. I looked at them and they lied down at me feet. Her response..."Whoah, they never did that for me." Hmmm.

On the flip side…when she took them swimming and told them to come they came running over and sat at her feet while her own dog blissfully ignored her - good puppies:)

So all this stuff was pretty insignificant compared to the big ordeal. When I was on my way back to the airport on the last day, I got a call from her saying that the dogs were in the pound because someone had opened the gate and picked them up on purpose. She said Norman barked at someone walking by and she believes the person returned shortly to let them out once she had gone inside. She said she immediately called animal control and it took 20 minutes for her to get through…by then the dogs where there. I tried to piece the details together but without being there I didn't really know what happened. 1) It was the total truth and that would be really upsetting to think someone in my neighborhood would do that. 2) She left the gate open by accident and didn't want to tell me. 3) She didn't realize she left the gate open and she thought this happened. 4) There the meter reader or postman comes into the yard maybe he didn't close the gate right.

In any case, my dogs where stuck at the pound and I was stuck in New York with weather delays on my flight. She had to wait until 4pm to pick them up and it was only noon there. I kept picturing them on a cold concrete floor and it got me all upset. Plus the shelter wouldn't give me any info on the person who dropped them off except they had them in their car and brought them in because they were roaming the streets, but they were found on the street that I live on. Also, you have to physically pick up and put my dogs in a car because they won't just jump in on their own.

Luckily by the time I landed in Chicago(layover) I had a message from her that they were home safe. Kaya was very hungry because she is way too fussy to eat "prison" food. But Norman was very bloated and farty because he had obviously eaten it. When she picked them up, the staff were disappointed that they were leaving already because they had become shelter favorites already. Sadly, they were just 2 dogs in a sea of homeless pit bulls left behind. She said most of them were barking and lunging at their kennels while Norman and Kaya sat there wagging their tails. Norman did not want to leave due to the large amount of attention he was receiving. Everyone there repeated "bye Norman, bye" as he left. Sorry Kaya:( I was very frustrated because they went ahead and fully vaccinated them due to shelter policy. How is that even legal when the dogs did not even belong to them? And if they even bothered to scan their microchips they would have seen their records. They didn't even look to see that Norman was neutered.

I was pretty pissed at the whole situation. I don't know who to blame or how to find out what really happened. I probably never will. I am trying to remind myself that it could have been worse. They could have been injured, lost or really stolen so there is a bright side. I took them to play and swim when I got home and watching them running in the sunlight I thought about what their lives would have been like if I didn't adopt them or if they were still stuck in that kennel. And I thought about all the other pitties who didn't have a ticket out of there that day. So sad.

I don't know what I'll do next time I have to leave town. Maybe I'll never leave them again!

UPDATE [MAY 31, 2012]:

So I was walking the dogs yesterday evening and a family pulls over in their van with kids and their brindle pit mix in tow. They said they were so glad I got my dogs back because they were the ones who found them and brought them to the pound. I told them I was so relieved to run into them because I was fretting that someone had a vendetta against my dogs and let them out on purpose(though this was a dwindling reality in my mind by now). I explained that they were being watched for the first time by a new pet-sitter. They live almost right across the street from me and said the dogs turned up in the morning greeting their dog through the fence. They noticed my dogs had no collars on and so they brought them in and they spent a couple hours in their yard playing with their dog(their new best friend). When no one came looking for them, they brought them to the shelter the even waited to make sure they were microchipped. I thanked them for helping my dogs and they even said we should get together for a doggy play date! I least I have my answer now, but I'm still fretting looking for a new pet-sitter:/ Maybe I'll ask those people...

Friday, May 11, 2012


About a month after I got Kaya as a rambunctious 3-month-old puppy, I had my fill of dog in my life. However, one day we went to the pet store and I saw an adorable young kitty in the adoption center. Then I got the cat itch. I wasn't sure if I was ready for the lifetime commitment of a cat so I decided to foster a kitty or 2 in the meantime. I also wanted Kaya to be raised as a cat-lover so it seemed like as good a time as any. I wanted to make sure the first cat would be somewhat brave since Kaya was a sometimes-hyper puppy and new to kitties so we brought home Jack, a 7-month-old tabby with lots of energy and a bold personality. Kaya wanted to chase him a little bit at first and his idea of fun was crouching down and pouncing on her, then wrapping his whole body around her head, kicking and biting at the same time. The good news was, in Kaya's book...any attention is good attention. The first day or so I kept her on a leash to teach her some kitty manners and from there on out, Kaya was the best foster-mom a kitty could ask for.

Jack in the box...yum;)

Jack turned out to be such a maniac that I decided he needed another kitty friend to help settle some of his feline needs. So I brought home Huey, a 5-month-old tuxedo kitten who was a little on the shy side.

Jack & Huey

Huey thought Kaya was pretty much terrifying, but after only a couple weeks with Jack, Kaya didn't even bat an eye at the new kitty. So I regularly lured Huey near Kaya with lunchmeat and before long they looked like this...

Then I thought I had found the perfect adopters for Jack and so I brought home a new kitten, 6-week-old Marty. But the adoption fell through and so there were 3 kitties and 1 pittie, but Kaya loved it! She was happy to share her bed, her food, her treats and toys. Pretty much from day one, Marty decided Kaya was his new mommy. He connected with her even more than the other cats and it took him months to even acknowledge my presence. It was quickly apparent that Marty would be here to stay.

Marty...a little too small for his Halloween collar.

And this was Kaya's life...for a while anyways.

Someone to keep an eye on us.

Someone to torture while she's sleeping.

And while she's sunbathing.

Someone to eat with.

Someone to sleep with.

And someone to sleep on.

Someone to play with.

Someone to play with some more.

Someone to cuddle with.

Someone to love.

And someone to love us back.

But before long Huey found a home of his own. His new family have a small dog of their own and they still send me pictures and videos of them having a great time together! Soon Jack found a forever home of his own too. And then it was back to two...

We had one more foster cat after that. Simon was a 2-year-old cool, calm, collected(maybe a little too collected?) and oh-so-handsome lynx-point siamese and tabby mix.



Simon had lived with a dog before but that dog wasn't very nice to him and actually drove him to be an outdoor kitty where he was badly injured. And so his people returned him to the rescue even though they had him long before the dog:( Simon spent several days hiding from Kaya in the closet, but with her tried and tested kitty-mommy nature, he found himself a believer.

Eventually Simon found his own home as well and I get to receive regular texts from his new momma, raving about his brave new look on life. Although Kaya had her puppy pitfalls...this was definitely one of her strengths. We hope to foster some kitties again when we have more space.

Also check out Kaya: The Cat Whisperer & Her Sidekick Norman
And Gina: aka Sweet Baby G, Squeaker, G Kitty...