Monday, April 29, 2013

Tesla Walks for Babies

Yesterday, Tess joined thousands of others in Erie to support the 2013 March for Babies.  Tess raised a few bucks herself and joined the Paws for Preemies team.

The 6.2 mile walk took place along Presque Isle.  Although it was a rainy day, we had a really great time.

Tess's friend Stella joined us, too!  This was a great experience for her; she's a skiddish dog, too, so it was really great practice to be around so many different people, dogs, and vehicles (those ambulances are scary!)

Tess turned a lot of heads in her purple tutu (purple is the March's color!), and made quite a few friends, including the Central Tech Cheerleading Squad that met us at the halfway point.

It was a long walk and we were all pretty beat by the end, but we did it!  Our team raised $2000 to support the cause, and the event raised over $280,000 to help babies begin healthy lives.

Friday, April 26, 2013

Good Reads

We have quite a busy weekend planned, but if you have a laid back weekend or are experiencing April showers in your area, here are some of our favorite pitbull reads.
1.       Jim Gorant

Jim Gorant, a SI writer, wrote his first book, Lost Dogs – Michael Vick’s Dogs and Their Tale of Rescue and Redemption, after his stellar article in SI on the Vick Dogs.  What was so amazing about his article was that is actualy focused on the dogs instead of Vick.  


As does his book.  It shares the amazing and groundbreaking story of the 51 dogs rescued from the Bad Newz Kennels and their escape from euthanasia to loving household pets.  Part investigative, part story, Gorant shows the just why we love this “breed” so much – their amazing ability to love.


Gorant’s second book, Wallace, tells the story of a pitbull who is a little rough around the edges, but was saved from certain death due to his aggression by shelter volunteers Roo and Clara Yori who were certain that there was “a good dog in there somewhere.”  Eventually adopting him, the Yori’s discover Wallace’s frisbee skills.  Breaking new ground and dispelling stereotypes, Wallace, along with Roo and Clara, win competitions and the hearts of spectators.  My favorite quote from this book is shortly after Clara meets Wallace at the shelter.  She takes one look at him and says “Ooo, you’re naughty – I’m gonna like you.”

2.       The Photo Book Projects: Pit Bulls & Pit Bull Type Dogs – Melissa McDaniel
The 4th photo book by McDaniel features 10 Michael Vick Dogs, Oogy, and Wallace – plus many other amazing pets!  A great coffee table book to raise awareness and erase ugly stereotypes.  Caution: this book may make your friends and family fall in love with pitbulls!


3.       Ken Foster Books – The Dogs Who Found Me: What I’ve Learned from Pets Who Were Left Behind, Dogs I have Met: And the People they Found, I’m a Good Dog: Pitbulls, America’s Most Beautiful (and Misunderstood) Pet

Ken Foster has several books out regarding his interactions with dogs, particularly pitbulls.  Two of my favorites are The Dogs Who Found Me: What I’ve Learned from Pets Who Were Left Behind and Dogs I have Met: And the People they Found.  Both are quick reads that look inwardly at how are dogs affect our lives.  My new favorite by Foster is his book titled I’m a Good Dog: Pitbulls, America’s Most Beautiful (and Misunderstood) Pet.  In this book, accompanied by beautiful photographs of beautiful dogs, he brings to light the true nature of a dog that, until recently, has been loved by America for centuries.  He has stories of dogs we know well and some that we don’t know so well.  I mentioned my favorite quote about what a pitbull is in this post.


4.       Shelter Dogs – Traer Scott

Traer Scott documents through her photos the story of the shelter dog.  She shows the emotion, stoicism, even humor the dogs at shelter have.  Through these dogs that she has encountered in her work as a shelter volunteer, she raises awareness of animal rescue.


5.        Pitbull Placebo – Karen Delise

Available for free download here, The Pitbull Placebo visits the emotion and conceptions around canine agression during the past decade.  She looks  at the stigma the pitbull received based on their popularity, socioeconomic factors, ignorance, and the media.


What's on your reading list? Any recommendations?

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

April Bark Box

This month’s BarkBox was focused on entertaining a dog on a rainy day.  We get plenty of those up here in Erie and, although it’s been pretty nice lately, we were really excited to give our new stuff a go.  This rainy-day package came just in time, since we have a few days of rain in our future.

Obviously Edison went right for the Multipet dog toy.  Edison loves these things and they are pretty sturdy, and this one was no exception.  The only problem we have with them is he likes to whip them around in his mouth and then fling them across the room (think of a track and field athlete doing the hammer throw).  He's been carrying it all over.

And as usual, once Ed has it, Tess wants it too.  Brat.

There also were Etta Says! Duck Jerky in our box this month.  Boy, were these a hit!


All gone!

We also received this treat - achilles tendons!  We are saving these for a real rainy day.  These will keep the dogs well-occupied.

Unfortunately, we did not receive our Barkworthies that were supposed to be in the package, but we've contacted BarkBox and are waiting to hear back from them.
Another great BarkBox, but unfortunately the last one of our subscription.  Tess & Ed have loved their February and March BarkBoxes!  It's been fun!

Monday, April 22, 2013

Feelin' the Love

As you may have seen this morning on our facebook page, we broke 5000 page views this weekend!

Although our favorite blogs may see that kind of traffic in a day or two, we’re happy just knowing that someone is reading our stories!

We’re loving this little online community we’ve become a part of.  It’s great getting all sorts of feedback on issues, dog gear, and fun things to do with your pooch - and knowing that we're not alone!

So thanks again, and keep reading!

Friday, April 19, 2013

60 Days of Morning Walks

The pooches each had one of their major secrets aired for the whole world this week, and now it’s my turn: I have been a lazy dog owner.
When I first brought Tess home, I lived in an apartment downtown with no yard which meant I had to take her out for walks multiple times each day.  No biggie.  I even lived farther away from work than I do now!

But over the past few years, our morning walks have slowly been replaced with romps in the yard.  Sure, physically this is probably more tiring for the pooches than a morning walk, but we are missing out on primo bonding time with our buddies.  And being lazy in the mornings and sending them out into an un-cleaned yard has definitely not helped Ed’s bad habit.

Of course it’s hard getting up in the morning to a few feet of snow and sub-zero temps for both the humans and dogs of this family (although Mr B & Ms M and their humans accommodate just fine.  But as the mornings have been quite nice for the past few weeks (except for the downpour yesterday), we’re running out of excuses.

So here is my pledge to bring back morning walks!  I’m going to start realistically – I’ll cut myself a break on days where it’s snowing (it’s only April and this is Erie) or pouring.  I’ll be posting our progress on our Eriesistibull facebook page each day.  Then 60 days from now on Monday, June 17th, I’ll post how we did.

I guess I had better get a new pair of walking shoes.

Do you and your pooches have any confessions?  Have you been a lazy owner lately?

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

True Life: I am Poop Eater

Edi has always been one for routing around in the backyard.  He loves grass, sticks...and eating poop.

It's probably his favorite pastime.  I'm pretty sure that the first thing he does as soon as he's let outside is goes on a search.

Now, obviously an easy fix is keeping the yard clean.  We have to make sure to do a sweep before we let him out.  It doesn't matter if I am standing right beside him.  He still goes for it.

We also need to work on our "leave it."  He's doing really well with leaving food, toys, even other dogs.  But poop?  Not a chance.

Apparently it's quite the delicacy.

Does anyone have any tips for eliminating this nasty habit?

Monday, April 15, 2013

Little Miss Peabody

Our friends over at Pitlandia wrote this post last week about their recent trip to the vet and it reminded us that this post is long overdue.

When I first brought Tess home, she would have accidents.  All over the place.  I knew she wasn't completely housebroken when I brought her home, and unfortunately, she wasn't crate trained.  But I thought this was a little out of the ordinary.

One night, she had an accident while laying on the couch.  At first, I was furious.  What was she thinking?  I was right there! As I thought about it, though, it began to seem odd.  The reason why dogs crate train so easily is because they instinctively do not go where they sleep.  So, I contacted our vet and went in for an appointment.

After a blood test and verifying that her kidneys were okay, it turned out that Tess was incontinent.  As a first-time dog owner, I was totally freaked out.  Apparently, as our vet explained, this affects many spayed females (even his!).  With a daily pill, it's easily remedied.

It hasn't been difficult to manage either -- once you figure out the right dosage and the trick to getting her to take her pill (it's pepperoni!).  Tess takes Proin (or Uriflex) as prescribed by our veterinarian.  We started at a high dose (2 pills per day) and have decreased as we are able (to 1 pill every other day).  While any long-term drug usage can have adverse effects, we have Tess's blood work done once a year to be sure all her levels are good.  So far, no issues.

We have noticed that when she is particularly stressed, her usual dosage just doesn't cut it.  So if we know she'll be extra-stressed (like having a foster or traveling), we might up her dosage.  Or, we just go with some good old fashioned doggy-diapers.  Doesn't she look so cute?!

Although her pill works great, we've always been interested in trying some natural remedies.  Does anyone have any experience with these?

Friday, April 12, 2013

Knowing He was The One

After Sam and I had been dating for awhile, he decided that he wanted a dog.  He loves Tess and all that makes her a pitbull, so he knew he wanted a bully.

So we began looking.  He didn’t have as much criteria as I did, but he was leaning toward a puppy that would grow up on the bigger side.  The thought process was that since he lived with his sister at the time and her two small children, the puppy could grow up with the kids and we could start training from the start to ensure peaceful co-habitation.

We looked (mostly online) for a match for several months.  We put applications in at rescues, but his un-fenced backyard kept us from being considered.

Then we found a familiar face.  A 6-month old American Bulldog mix.  At 50 pounds, he was hardly the small puppy we were looking for.  He was a stray located at a small, rural county pound in Trumbull County – meaning he was probably unneutered and most-likely not up-to-date on his vaccinations.  Basically, the exact opposite of what we were looking for.  

We were headed down to Pittsburgh that weekend and figured out that the pound was only 30 minutes out of our way into Ohio.  We could stop on our way home and “just check him out.”  Famous last words.

When they brought him out, we realized he was bigger than 50 pounds.  Turns out he was 9 months (and 60 pounds!) having been at the shelter since he was 6 months!  Our hearts broke - bullies don't fare so well in Ohio.  As soon as he saw us he fell on his back for a belly rub.  Before we knew it, we were taking him.

The meet-and-greet between him and Tess was uneventful: they each gave the other a sniff and went their own ways.  So, we paid our 20 bucks and loaded him up.

The ride home and the next year was interesting to say the least...but that’s a post in itself!

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Knowing She was The One

When I was finishing up my senior year of college, I began my search for a pooch.  I don't know what made me want a dog - I never wanted one before.

So I began the search for the perfect dog to live with in my apartment: medium-sized, short hair & low-shed, non-barker, good with people, non-pitbull.  Not that I totally bought in to the pit bull-hype (okay, maybe a little), but I was a renter and knew that at the very least a pitbull would make renting more difficult.

I looked at dogs at least once a week in person and nearly everyday online for almost three months.  There was always something not quite right.  Too timid. Too hyper. Too small. Too big.

One day while looking at a beagle-mix named Coleman at the Humane Society, a small pitbull on medical hold barked and barked at me.  I thought she was cute, but she had two strikes on my list!

Coleman didn't turn out to be the one for me and I found myself back at the Humane Society the next week.  The little pitbull was of medical hold and still barking at me.  I decided to take her out and visit with her even though she didn't fit my requirements.

Oh, how wrong I was!  As soon as I got her in the visiting room, she climbed into my lap and licked my face.  I was immediately in love.

As it turns out, she was everything on my list: she's a medium-sized dog that doesn't shed; she's barked a dozen times in 3 years; she loves people; and most importantly she is a pitbull.

How did you know your pooch was The One?