Thursday, September 27, 2012

Tuesday, September 25, 2012


The day after her discouraging meeting with the fireman, I took Shaka to Pit Ed with BAD RAP and she was noticeably more sullen and withdrawn during this class. She made little to no eye contact with me throughout the class and was overly concerned with everyone and everything around her. She had trouble with commands she could do in her sleep(even sit) and got worse as the hour progressed. I could only assume that she was still phased from her encounter the day before.

I can do it in mah sleep!

After class, I had a missed call from my landlord and knew it was time to have the dreaded conversation. I told him I was finding a home for Shaka, but would have to keep my 2 dogs. I said if it came down to getting rid of 1 of them, I would have to move out instead. He agreed to let us stay and was actually pretty friendly about it!

We're staying put.

Later that day, I was hopeful that Shaka would benefit from a long hike with my dogs, my brother and his new pup. But she was even sulky on the hike and not her usual goofy-self when out on the trail with her friends. What if every new home prospect resulted like this?

Luckily for us, we had our first Tahoe trip of the summer planned for the next day. The timing could not have been better. It would give us several days to unwind, enjoy lots of hiking, playing and swimming. Plus, it would give me some time away from the apartment stress to continue the search for Shaka's new home and make some important decisions about her future.

After a couple days to think things over, it was not hard to decide not to follow up on the fireman and he actually never called me which was a huge relief. I decided to call back the woman with the kitties and horses. She sounded super friendly, out-going and excited in our initial conversation. She was eager to learn all about Shaka even though I told her up front that someone else was already interested in her. It had been almost a week and I hoped she had not found another dog yet! So I called her and she was still really interested in meeting her! We agreed to meet the following week at her horse barn!

Monday, September 24, 2012


The day after I posted Shaka's ad, I got a really promising call from a local fireman who was looking for a new dog. He had his last dog, another pit bull, for 13 years and loved her dearly. He had a big house with a yard and a teenage daughter who would be happy to share her bed. He was excited to have a dog that he could take off-leash hiking because he last girl had a strong prey drive and was always on leash. He also said he would be happy to let me have Shaka when he had shifts at the fire-house which was something I put in the ad(free dog-care so I could still see her!) We set up an appointment for him to come meet her the next day!

I was so excited, I got up early to bathe her and practice her commands. As usual, everyone was distracted but Shaka.

Norman is distracted by his own tail. No wait, it's the cat.

Kaya is distracted by Marty. Norman is distracted by Kaya.


Everyone is wondering why the kitten is taking so long to eat her treat.

Yawn! 2 have had enough.

Shaka is wondering why the kitten is leaving training mid-session.

When he arrived, I decided to put my dogs inside so he could have the chance to meet her without having to fend off my 2 overbearingly friendly lovers. This was a huge mistake. I didn't realize how much it would help her trust a new person to have her buddies around. He greeted her with a soft voice and stretched out his hand for her to sniff, but she stood there with her head low and her eyes gazing up at him with not a speck of trust. She didn't retreat but she was very guarded and showed no signs of warming up.

He asked if he could take her on a walk which I found strange that he didn't want to spend a little more time letting her adjust to him first, but I agreed and went inside to get her leash. She marched up the stairs behind me and I let my dogs outside as I went in. With their presence, she did a complete 180. She lit up, tail wagging, mouth open, smiling, jumping up and down with delight at the sign of the leash. She even happily went over to the guy for pets. This is when I realized it was going to be much harder than I thought to find her the right person if this one didn't work out. What if she just needed much more time that we didn't have?

He took her on a quick walk and came back very impressed with her manners towards other dogs. I knew how great she was with other dogs, but was concerned that he was not connecting with her, but was simply impressed with her stellar temperament. Like he was checking things off his list, but not actually bonding with her. He left and said he was interested in taking her for a overnight trial, but I had a heavy heart about it. Should I let him give her a try and hope she just needed a few hours with him to warm up or should I just shut this door and wait for another call?

I did get a few other promising calls. There was one guy, who seemed very friendly and nice, but mostly clueless about dogs. "Will a couple 15 minutes walks a day be enough?" Yes, she is a low-energy dog and will not go bat-shit crazy with that much exercise, but for her well-being she should be allowed more time to run and explore, like hiking. "But I can take her to the dog park on the weekend." She loves other dogs and playing with them, but at a dog park she will most likely be found standing behind you feeling overwhelmed. "There is another dog I want to adopt also, do you think it is a bad idea to bring 2 new dogs home at once?" Yes, probably.

Another guy who called was retired and wanted a dog to spend all his time with. He would take her everywhere with him, including regular trips to Tahoe! But he lived a good hour away and I was hoping to find someone more local so I could still see her from time to time. I was also hoping to find her a home with other animals since she connected so much to mine.

Only one woman called. She had 3 cats and 2 horses. She said she was having a hard time finding a dog she was interested in who was also cat-friendly. She was really drawn to Shaka's photos because she looked a lot like her boyfriend's pittie girl, Daisy. She lived right in Oakland too and her horses are stabled right near our regular hiking spot! I noted in her ad that Shaka has seen several horses on our hikes and has been unfazed by them. She even walked up and sniffed one nose to nose. It was so sweet!

There were also several calls who I just lied to and said she had already been found a new home. When you hear a smug voice blurting out, "I'm calling about the pit bull," red lights go off in my head. One caller said they were pit bull breeders, but wouldn't breed her. Duh. I didn't even bother saying she would be fixed before going home anyways. No thanks.

 Shaka needed a family of her own. She needed someone who was happy-go-lucky to bring out her silly happy side. She needed someone's bed and couch to sleep on. She needed someone who would spend too much on her food and treats. She needed someone who wanted a frequent driving partner. She needed someone who wanted a soppy little puppy in a bulldog outfit. She needed someone who would adore her and treat her like a family member instead of a cool backyard ornament.