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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Thirty Days of Thanks Day 5: Couture (by Balton)

Now that the cold wind has started blowing in, my fine bones have been feeling the change of seasons and it’s been a bit ruff on my sensitive soul. Now, I know what you’re thinking… “Balton, you have your own built in winter coat , doesn’t that keep you warm enough?”

Well, perhaps it would be if I had the thick and fluffy coat of a Husky or a Great Pyrenees, but my coat is short, thin, and sheds often.  When I go outside at night, I leave my house and it’s so chilly that I forget why I ever would have wanted to go outside. That is, until I get back in where it’s warm, and then I remember and ask to go our again. Mom has been none too thrilled with my indecisive attention to business, and has started feeling like we may have a long winter ahead of us.

Two weeks ago we had our first smack of sweater weather, and Mom started rummaging through the closets to find me something to wear. But last winter, she didn’t really do much shopping for me on account of the fact she was hopeful I would be getting adopted elsewhere. While I’m pleased with the way that silly notion of hers turned out, I’m not so pleased that she didn’t buy me anything other than a fleecy coat which didn’t really fit quite right.

Mom seems to have a tough time shopping for me, since I’m a big-ish dog, but I am long and lean (like a supermodel!). So, normal dog sizes for clothes have a tendency to either be too big going around, or don’t cover my whole body to keep the part near my tailbone warm.

She pulled out the one sweater that was almost kind of sort of Balton sized. Unfortunately, it was a girl dog sweater.

Purple I can sport, but sparkles and ruffles? Are you kidding me right now?

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Thank goodness she was almost as embarrassed as I was, and took immediate action to correcting this dire situation. And thank double goodness our friends at Tiennot Knits Sweaters have been helping support fashion victims like myself all over the great United States.

Mom got to ordering me something which would would be stylish, yet functional, and Tiennot Knits asked for my exact measurements so it would cozily cover my entire Balton body. And, because I’m what you would call a DINOS (a Dog In Need of Space), and there is a global movement going around to help us DINOS called The Yellow Dog Project, Mom wanted to get me something that helped me represent and advocate for DINOS and Yellow Dogs, while still looking good.

The sweater was ordered and man, those hands moved fast to make it, because it arrived on our doorstep only one week later, not a moment too soon either because it was fa-ree-zing last night!

It came with a card that said it was made especially for me. Ollie tries to steal my stuff all the time, so this I was super happy to have documentation proving it was really and truly my sweater.

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I tried it on and it fit perfectly. Mom also had it customized with a pocket on the back so I can carry extra treats around on cold winter walks! I was so excited about it that I even agreed to a few vogue photo shots.

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I think Mom might be a little envious of my new threads. Apparently she has never owned any couture in her life, so I guess that makes me a pretty special and loved dog. Okay then, one more over the shoulder shot to show my heartfelt appreciation. And because in this moment, I’m feeling really, really, really ridiculously good looking. 

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Ode to Ollie

While I love to share moments of great success and interest from Balton, Ollie is my little ray of sunshine who always makes me laugh with his playful and bouncy enthusiasm, and love for pretty much all people and dogs. Last Thursday after class with Balton, I came home, let him settle in, and took Ollie for a walk alone and experienced a “Treat Yo Self” (credit Notes from a Dog Walker) inspired moment.

I love both my dogs, but I think Balton’s level of need tends to overshadow Ollie a little bit. Sharing love is  something I have to do more consciously when one dog demands so much more attention to achieve a sense of normalcy than the other. There’s a lot of internalized guilt in my efforts to show outward displays for both dogs in a way that is equitable.  Last Thursday’s peaceful stroll around the lake was a gentle reminder about how blessed I am to have a dog like Ollie, and how for all the love he has give to me, the many foster dogs we’ve looked after, and the world beyond is not to be taken for granted. In that walk, I discovered a new Thursday night ritual, and I am excited to start a 6 week agility class with him next Tuesday and spend some alone time with my little guy. He deserves it.

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And agility class apparently can’t begin too soon! Those of you who follow us on Facebook may have caught this video that I took of Ollie, just delightfully being Ollie. I’ve rewatched it several times and it continues to make me laugh, so in the spirit of all the joy Ollie brings us regularly, I hope that in less than two minutes he’ll do the same for you, in case you missed it.

“Jack Russell Terriers are bred to go underground, following scent to locate and bark at quarry until they are dug down to or the quarry bolts. If they do not have an outlet for their natural instincts, they will invent new and fun jobs for themselves.”
-Jack Russell Terrier Club of America


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Happy Fathers Day

We know we’re a day late on this, but photo projects are a little hard for us on account of the fact we lack opposable thumbs and all. But we just wanted to send a big puppy kiss of gratitude to all the two and four legged dads out there, especially ours.

For snuggling with us, for singing us lullabies, for tossing the old soccer ball around and taking us on hikes so we can hunt frogs, and for loving us even on days when we shred things or bark at the lawn mower. Dog parenting can be hard work, and we think our dad handles it like a champ.

So here’s to all the great dads out there! Thanks for being so pawesome!

Love,
Ollie and Balton

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Balton Discovers His Inner Pele

It’s no real secret that Balton loves to run and play with his doggy friends at the dog park. But toss an odd stray tennis ball and Balton may give you one or two rounds of fetch, if you’re lucky (though, it’s still a marked improvement over Ollie’s idea of fetch – which typically involves running after a tossed ball, checking to make sure it landed, and triumphantly returning with the good news that the ball is dead and not going anywhere on his watch).

Enter the dog park soccer ball. Some kind soul had left it behind, and we stumbled on it during our most recent dog park excursion. Nick and I gave a few swift kicks of the ball back and forth to see how the boys would respond to it, and Balton swiftly decided he wanted in.

It took some time for Balton to figure out that soccer typically involves a bit of back and forth play, as is evidenced through our dog park video journal, which illustrates our dear boy doing little more than parading around with the ball in his mouth like a trophy he had earned.

After some effort in encouraging Balton to drop the ball (and also learning to make a point not to teach him that, no, we will not tug the soccer ball out of his mouth if he wants to keep playing), he caught on pretty quick and chased that ball over and over and over again across the dog park, until he was so tired that he couldn’t do it anymore. We also practiced a little impulse control with sits and waits. In channeling his inner Pele and discovering how much more fun fetch is with a soccer ball, it was really enjoyable to see Balton (and Nick, too) enthusiastically engaging in this game of surprise dog park fun.  He still doesn’t really get that soccer is a “hands free” game, but we’ll work on coaching his dribbling next time.

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If Balton was aiming to earn himself a new toy out of this experience, he succeeded. Thanks to Big Lots having them for $10 – Balton now has a soccer ball to call his own, which we will be happy to pass along with him to his forever family. 🙂

For more information on adopting your own canine version of David Beckham, email lynnh@luckydoganimalrescue.org or visit http://www.luckydoganimalrescue.org/adopt/adoptable-dogs


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There’s Something About Mary…

Today’s edition of Faith, Trust, & Foster Pups interrupts its own regular programming to bring your attention to one of Lucky Dog’s other pups, who I had the extreme pleasure of spending some time with yesterday afternoon. Mary is a 2 year old American Bulldog/Boxer mix (or at least that’s what we think) who is pretty much the cutest little short n’ stocky sweetie pie ever to grace this earth. If it isn’t already blatantly obvious, I fell in love with her in just a few hours, and seriously contemplated stealing her and moving her in with me…even selfishly doing a secret foster swap and sending Balton to Wagtime Too, where Mary is staying, and hoping no one would really know the difference. But, since they look and act nothing like each other, I quickly determined this plan would fail, so decided instead to make the most of our Sunday afternoon together before bringing her back to boarding. And then decided to tell you all about our time together and how absolutely wonderful she is.

Mary and I went out to represent Lucky Dog Animal Rescue yesterday while talking to an incredible group of kids (and their parents!) at Kidserve in Gaithersburg, MD. We were invited to speak to Kidserve about what Animal Rescue does and how people can show their support by fostering or volunteering. Mary was a great little Lucky Dog ambassador for this activity because she loves children, and she was happy to accompany me because she got to leave yesterday’s adoption event an hour early. She was getting a little toasty on the sidewalk trying to compete with 60 other Lucky Dogs for attention, including our new arrivals from shelter partner the Florence Area Humane Society.

ImageStaying cool in 70 degree weather and this pretty dark chocolate coat is not easy!

So, off Mary and I went to the Kentlands Clubhouse, where she and I beat the heat and got to hang into the Air Conditioning for a little while and give our presentation. Image

Mary told the kids how she gave birth to her litter of 10 puppies in a South Carolina shelter, and all her puppies had since been adopted. We talked about how Lucky Dog has boarding partners like Wagtime, the doggy daycare place where she was staying. We also talked about how people can foster full time or overnight/short-term, so it’s a volunteer commitment that can work with just about any schedule (our friend, and fellow Lucky Dog Blogger, Katie, explains the difference quite nicely in her blog Of Barks and Bones). Finally, we talked about how Mary herself would love to move from her boarding situation to a foster home while she looks for her ultimate landing pad of a forever home.

Mary was a big hit among the kids, and dutifully met her all her speaking engagement obligations by giving each of them tail waggles when they came to say hi to her, soaking up rays on the terrace, and graciously allowing each of them the opportunity to give her belly rubs.

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On our way home, we stopped for a short walk so she could get some “me time” (and I could get some “Mary and me time”). While out, we stopped to take in the afternoon sunshine and cooling breeze, sniff some flowers, sit in some grass, and so Mary could go potty. Then, I taught her how to drive a car. Or, at least sit in the drivers seat and pose adorably.

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Mary is super low key and remarkably well behaved in busy settings, and on leash. While out on our walk, she came nose to nose with a giant Newfoundland and was exceptionally polite. And, after our short walk, she was definitely ready to curl up and snooze in the car for the rest of the ride back to DC. If you’re looking for a dog who doesn’t need tons and tons of exercise, she is your girl. Mary is, well, an absolutely delightful little lamb, if you will. I would love nothing more than to see this puppy crossed with potbelly pig (I mean that with all the love in my heart!) go to a home that will allow her to be the super snuggle buddy and happy love bug that she is. And so I can stop pining over her and wishing I could adopt her myself.

For more information on adopting or fostering Mare Bear, check out her bio at http://www.petfinder.com/petdetail/25238779 or email my friend (and Mary’s Adoption Coordinator) Holly at hollyc@luckydoganimalrescue.org

Case of the Mondays

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Following a busy holiday weekend with our friends and fellow fosters Duane and Rudy, Balton was no more ready to start the work week than we were after our weekend trip to New Jersey. So to all of you still not quite woken up by the cup of coffee you had hours ago, feeling the need to pull a George Costanza and sleep under your desk, Beebop feels for you.

Adopt Balton by emailing lynnh@luckydoganimalrescue.org

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