Faith, Trust, & Foster Pups

Helping dogs on the road to forever, forever finding ourselves as we walk that road with them.


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Strut Your Mutt, Save Them All

This coming weekend, I will be trekking up to Blob’s Park in Jessup, MD to take a walk in the park with a lot of dogs, for a lot more dogs than we could begin to fit in a park.

For the second year running, I’m captaining a team of volunteers from Lucky Dog Animal Rescue to take part in the Best Friends Animal Society’s Strut Your Mutt walk. Best Friends holds this event in walk sites all across the country, and last year they decided to bring the event to the Baltimore/DC area for the first time. When we received an email from Best Friends encouraging rescue groups to sign up, and telling us funds we raise as a team come right back to our rescue, I was skeptical and looking for the catch. Surely, even some part of the registration fee would go to Best Friends, and then we get some portion of funds raised after that?

Nope – 100% of every registration fee and every dollar raised by rescue partners goes straight back to the rescue, and the local community they serve. Pretty cool right?

Last year Team Lucky Dog set out to see how we would do forming our first actual walk team, and I think we surpassed our own expectations by raising over $6,500 in our first year. We were able to put these funds partly toward critical care needs, partly towards the purchase of a Lucky Dog van to assist in transports and adoption events, and partly to cover the regular expenses that come with being a rescue – vetting, transport, shelter pull fees, preventative meds, etc.. We were also the top fundraising team for our walk site and proud recipients of the Golden Bone Award for our efforts.

Our efforts as a local rescue are ultimately a small piece of Best Friends’ goal with the Strut Your Mutt Walk: to put a stop to the homeless pet epidemic, and to keep 9,000 pets from dying in shelters on a daily basis.

9,000. Daily. It feels like an unreal statistic. Sadly it’s very real, and it needs to not be, which is why we do what we do.

lucky dog pack
But just as important as the funds we raised, our Lucky Dog team had FUN! Strut Your Mutt is an awesome way to give back and enjoy some dog-centric activities with your pup. This year, the activities will include:

  • PAWS & PALS: Painting Activity for Kids of All Ages and Their Pups, sponsored by Petfinder
  • Ruff & Relax
  • Montgomery County Police K-9 Unit
  • Jessup Volunteer Fire Dept and Truck – Pet Safety
  • Smooch Your Pooch Kissing/Photo Booth
  • TTouch and Competitive Obedience Demos with Your Dog’s Friend
  • Freestyle Dance Demo
  • Simon Says Audience Participation Game
  • Belly Rub Hub
  • Barks and Beers
  • Best Friends Save Them All™ tent

Lucky Dog Adoptable Bernie and I got to talk about this year’s strut on the September 14th edition of The Pet Show with Dr. Katy (Dr. Katy will be one of this year’s judges for the pet contests).  So you can see me being super awkward on the news – and see more about the event, which takes place this Saturday- by clicking above for the video clip…you’ll see us around 7 minutes in.

Team Lucky Dog set out this year with an ambitious goal to raise $10,000 for our pups, and I am incredibly proud and excited to say we reached that goal halfway through last week. Striving to do more, we set a new “stretch goal” of $12,000 and I am doubly proud and excited to say we are only $109 from reaching it, and only two strutters away from reaching our team goal of 50 strutters strong!

You can help us get there one of three ways:

  1. Strut with us in person (registration includes a t-shirt and access to the day’s activities)
  2. Strut with us virtually (if you can’t come to the actual strut but want to set up a fundraising page and be part of the team from the comfort of home)
  3. Donate to a strutter on the team

 

All three of these can be done through our team website – http://www.strutyourmutt.org/team/luckydog2013 (but pre-registration closes Friday to anyone who plans to join us for the live strut!)

Please join us in some fashion this Saturday at 9am when we strut our stuff in order to save lives, or get more information about a strut site near you, at http://www.strutyourmutt.org

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Ups and Downs of the Last Ten Days

All’s been quiet on the WordPress front – it’s been a busy, exhausting, and emotional week and a half, so I haven’t had a lot of time to process and write as I would like – I started and stopped a few times. Much of our animal experiences will require their own page, so, more to come I guess.

Here’s what’s happened this past week and a half:

  • We traveled out to Ohio to visit family (and friends along the way at Penn State) – another experience in our travels with dogs with more learned along the way, and a feeling that while not always perfect, it gets a little better each time as Balton becomes more worldly.
  • We experienced the sudden and heartwrenching lesson in what Feline Aortic Thromboembolism (Saddle Thrombus) was, which quickly took the life of our 11 year old cat. My body hadn’t been so utterly exhausted from tears shed in I can’t remember how long before she crossed to the rainbow bridge.
  • We started up week two of agility class with Ollie – where he continues to excel and seems to have fun, whereas I continue to develop my own coordination skills…but I also do have fun.
  • I attended a weekend seminar with Dr. Sophia Yin, who provided an excellent presentation on fear and aggression in dogs, and gave me a lot of great knowledge that I am currently working on processing and presenting to Lucky Dog Volunteers.
  • We are embarking on our first petsitting experience through Rover.com as part of their “Sit a Pet, Save a Life” program – it’s like fostering except we know exactly when the dogs will leave and they already have a forever home, which makes it more workable with our current household dynamic (though, I’m not sure if watching someone else’s dogs is more or less pressure  than the act of fostering!). The “save a life” piece comes into play because 10% of our petsitting fees will be donated back to Lucky Dog Animal Rescue, which is pretty neat.
  • Finally, we celebrated one year of life with Balton this past week – and I took some time to reflect on all the smiles, tears, stress, love, and learnings he’s brought into our lives.

Each of these points have a story in themselves, and I’ll get to sharing them in the coming weeks. In the mean time, I encourage you to do a little blog hopping while I work on getting myself, and with that, original content, together. Here’s a few things I read this past week and affected me in some way, so wanted to share them with you too.

  • Like this very wise and relatively short piece on all-to-important lessons from dogs and grandpa, by Oh Melvin.
  • Or this not-so-short, but very powerful piece on how Self Care is Not Optional, and the effects of Compassion Fatigue, by Notes from a Dog Walker.
  • Or get your foster fix with an update from our friend Katie at Maryland-based Of Barks and Bones, who is caring for her first full time foster, an adorable beagle named BJ (sharing his story and helping him get adopted would also be pretty awesome).
  • Or, finally, break out the tissues and read this beautiful tribute from Reactive Champion about a beautiful dog named Dobby, who was given a gift of love and kindness without compare by his mom of Paws Abilities. I don’t know Dobby, or the people in his life, but I do love both of their blogs – and his story is one of great beauty.

More to come soon, but please hang with us until the next post at Facebook or on Instagram. It’s really the best way to catch us in “realtime” and play virtual soccer with Balton. Because, really, who doesn’t want that?

baltonball