Monday, May 25, 2009

The Story of Lulu

Lulu has been at the shelter since the beginning of January. She is my best girl. I keep hoping the right forever-home will come along so Lulu will get the loving she dearly deserves. So far, she has not been lucky in that regard, although with every new day there is hope.

Lulu is a strong, confident dog, who walks down the kennel gauntlet ignoring all the barking dogs around her. Outside, she is intensely interested in all that is going on around her. Unfortunately, she has a high prey drive, which makes her a girl you need to keep a close eye on when out and about. She can get along with other dogs her size, though-- she met my Monkey and they did very well together walking in tandem with another walker.

We've also discovered the play area is one of the most fun places to be together. She will run and fetch the tennis ball for as many times as I throw it for her-- this girl never tires! When I do, we stop and she drinks some water and comes over to me for some loving, which I am happy to give her. Belly rubs are the best, according to Lulu.

I first saw Lulu late one Sunday afternoon driving home from the shelter. She was running through traffic on Dwight, just off San Pablo. Another car and I followed her and tried to catch her, but she kept running. At one point, she ran into a backyard. We knew she was in there somewhere. We blocked what we thought were all the exits and before you know it, she scooted out of there so fast!! We got back into our cars and continued to follow her (stupid move-- if you want to catch a dog, you don't chase it-- basic rule #1 for dog tracking). I called the shelter and ACO Melvin told me ACO Karen was out in the field and that he'd let her know where Lulu and I were. Melvin put Karen and I in contact with one another and it turns out she had been tracking Lulu all day, having first seen her early in the morning of that day. I continued to follow Lulu, but got stopped at a traffic light on Shattuck, and she disappeared into the traffic.

The following Saturday, I walked in the shelter just as a call came in about a pregnant pit bull giving birth. Karen was running out on the call and I hopped in the cab of the truck, for this was a job that was going to require several sets of hands. It turns out that the initial call was a miscommunication from the caller who had received the transmission over a hand-radio (the neighborhood was conducting a disaster preparedness exercise), and that it was actually for a blue-nosed pittie with cropped ears and a white "collar" running-at-large on Ashby and Adeline. It was Lulu! She had survived the whole week, staying under the radar, managing to preserve her strength, even in the bitter cold of January. After a lengthy pursuit, Karen was able to catch Lulu with her Snappy Snare. This girl could finally relax and stop running.

Her feet were bruised and her legs had some scabs, but she was otherwise in good health. We gave her a kennel with afternoon sun, some food, a Kuranda, and a blanket. She leaned up closely against Karen who went to sit with her in the kennel, as though breathing a sigh of relief and gratitude.

I love Lulu for her independent streak, for her utter confidence, for her willingness to make herself just a little bit vulnerable when I hold her and give her hugs. Eliciting a kiss from Lulu is not easy, and when she bestows one on my cheek, I feel very fortunate, as though I have passed the test of being trustworthy and allowing her to have her dignity. Over time, she has come to respect me, too. She no longer pulls me down the park pathways, but responds to my lead instead. We have taught each other much these past four months-- she has helped me to become a better, more patient handler, and I have let her know that the world can be a good place, where people will love you and treat you well, show you tenderness and keep you safe.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Duffy & Coco Go Hiking

My friend and I took advantage of the beautiful weather today to take Duffy & Coco out on a lovely hike. They really earned their "adopt me" vests today! I couldn't be more proud of the pair of them. We hiked across creeks, through meadows covered in blooming wildflowers, over rocks, and through forests. Duffy's a natural hiking dog and Coco quickly became one once we taught her to pace herself. They even got commended by passersby on their good trail etiquette! Sorry there aren't better pictures...I guess we were having too much fun watching the dogs and the scenery....

If you look carefully in the meadow picture below, you can just make out Duffy following Beth, the grass was pretty tall!

They were both still ready to sneak in some wrestling during our requisite breaks

Job well done! Duffy and Coco had a rest in the shade chewing on well deserved treats, while we had lunch.

Angelina is now Sophie - her first week HOME

After spending 3 months at BACS, Angelina (now Sophie) got to celebrate Mother's Day by going home with her new mommy! I sent an e-mail to check in how things were going.

This is her glowing first week report:

She's been great! She was super hyper for the first couple hours we got her back, but she's settling down a lot. She looooves cuddling. Sometimes she'll sleep on my bed but sometimes she will go into the crate to sleep, she actually seems to like it in there sometimes...i slept with the blankets i put in there the night before so maybe that's why? And she can stand and turn around in there and everything, she doesn't take up as much of that thing as you'd think haha, although when you tell her to go in there and she doesn't do it on her own she will complain at you for a little bit before she shuffles the blankets around and pouts. Then she usually takes a nap or somethin though :]
Her name is Sophie now...she's really REALLY smart, she already knows a lot of commands [although she doesn't always listen right away :p] She's actually doing fine with the cats, she seems to think they're really boring. If she even notices them she'll almost always just sniff at them and move on to more interesting things...
She's really silly, it's so cute haha, she snores, and when she's displeased with something she'll snort at it. hmmm what else...she likes music! but she does NOT like when my brother plays his drums haha, she'll bark at them [she almost NEVER barks at all otherwise] and gets all antsy afterwards. and she doesn't chew on things, except when they're hers, and then she is totally happy to rip them apart [she took the fuzzy crate pad out of her crate and uses it as a bed/chew toy]. And she seems completely housebroken which is great!
I also introduced her to our neighbor's shih tzu Potter and they did just fine, although she was more interested in whatever she's convinced is in the bushes between our houses [I looked, there's nothing haha] she also tricked me into taking her outside last night at about midnight under the ruse of having to go potty, and when we got out there discovered she just wanted to play fetch for the third time that day. i told her this was not going to happen, haha.
She is a very very sweet girl, she loves following me around and gets very excited to meet new people. also very curious, if anything is new she just HAS to go over and sniffle at it.

Anyway thank you!!
Ariel :]

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Recognize This Dog?

This is Deja, otherwise known to us as long time resident Athena, enjoying her new digs!