Posts Tagged ‘Foster care’

If you’ve read anything else I’ve written I foster dogs for  Bullies In Need we are a pit bull rescue in Ontario. I wanted to share with everyone what an amazing experience fostering has been so far.  We got Opie at just  puppy maybe 3 or 4 months old. He is a typical story here in Ontario. Despite a BSL in place there are still a ton of pit bulls out there many unfixed and still having puppies (this is where a responsible owner law comes into play instead of just a blanket BSL). We have some dogs currently sitting on death row waiting for someone to save them (puppies too). It’s sad to think puppies like Opie are put down everyday here because of BSL. Puppies that are completely innocent never given a chance just because they look like a breed that doesn’t actually exist. Pit bulls are really a mix of many breeds. We have a few puppies right now waiting to be sprung from the shelter. They need out ASAP.  If you’re on the fence about fostering TAKE A CHANCE and do it. It will change your life for the better. I promise.

We had all the typical concerns. “What if I get too attached” or “I would never be able to give him up”. We considered our options.   We could go adopt another dog or we could foster and have the potential to help many dogs. Sure it will be sad when they leave us. We may cry. But you wont know if you don’t give it a shot and take a chance.  We liked it so much we went back for seconds and currently have Forrest a little guy out of Toronto who spent 2 months in the shelter. He was a bit timid the first few days but has really started to come out of his shell (which is certainly one way of putting it). It truly has been a life changing experience getting to foster. I’d recommend it to anyone who asks. I know when one of my guys gets a “forever home” I’ll be sad. It’s going to hurt I know it will. At that point I’ll do my best to remember why I decided to foster. Help as many dogs as I can.  Each of them has taken a small piece of my heart but I know that there are many more dogs out their just waiting for a spot on my couch to open up. Some in terrible conditions.  I ask you to open your heart open your home I promise you’ll see what I see. Here are some pics from our outdoor activates lately. We have been having a blast in the fields behind our house.

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I know I know. I just started this blog and here I am already a few days without a post. My plan has always been to be as active as I can on here. If any one missed my last post we took in a new foster this past weekend named Forrest (we were thinking of changing his name but after getting him I just didn’t have the heart to put him through anymore). We already have Opie and with my two that makes four. Everyone has been getting along well so far. Poor little Forrest  has had an upset tummy after switching his food so I’ve been sleeping downstairs with him making sure I can get him outside quickly. For the first two nights he was up almost every hour or so. Yesterday we switched him off dry food and put him on chicken, rice, and a bit of pumpkin thankfully the runs must be drying up we haven’t had diarrhea since last night. He woke me up a few times last night which is to be expected he isn’t completely potty trained (I’m assuming in the shelter he just did his business in his kennel). Here’s some phone pics from the last two days. He’s really coming along. Almost a night and day difference since saturday.

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So I just wanted to take a quick second to update everyone and say a few things. I just wanted to thank everyone for taking the time to read and share!! Second we had an a great time at BIN’s Spring Fling yesterday (Opie was pooped right out). It was a huge success and we wanted to thank everyone for coming out and helping us spread the word. Third I thought I’d welcome Forrest to the pack. He is our newest foster. It seems the poor thing has spent quite a bit of time at the shelter (right now were just adjusting to the world around us although I can tell being neglected has made him a nervous little guy). I’m not blaming the shelter I know they did the best they could there are just too many dogs and not enough people to properly care for them all each day. Well you’ve got a stable home here little guy.

Here are a few pics of his first day and a half.

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So  I’ve talked before about Bullies In Need a rescue we foster for. They are a pitbull and bully breed dog rescue here in Ottawa. Dogs are rescued from shelters, fostered, and then rehomed outside of the province due to the BSL here. Some of the dogs are ok to adopted in Ontario some are not (check out our website for a listing of adoptable dogs.) Fostering has been an amazing experience so far. I’m thankful for everyday I get to spend with Opie. He is an amazing little guy. He has been such a great introduction into the world of fostering. Like I said I totally believe you get the dog you need. I think for my first experience with fostering I could not have asked for a more positive one. He has been an amazing guide.

I thought that each Friday my post would be about fostering or our foster dogs we have here in BIN. I recently had the chance to baby sit another one of our young guys Mojo he was awesome and fit right in with my pack. As I write this I’m in the process of getting everything ready to take in Forest a little guy from Toronto who is need of a place to crash and to brush up on some manners. Who knows he may end up staying if Opie finds a forever home. Which I hope he does because he really deserves one.

Opie has been amazingly easy to raise. I really credit it to his willingness to learn combined with  his eager nature to please.We have always been consistent with him, from day one he was shown what was expected of him and those expectations have never changed. He is a very smart pup and very food motivated so training with him has been a breeze. Stella helped us out a bunch with showing him the boundaries of our yard and even potty training. He knows all his basic commands sit, stay, down, give both paws, stand, and roll over. He even does a small agility course. It’s pretty impressive for a little guy.

It helps dogs especially puppies to get on some sort of a schedule. We usually get up at about 730 8 ish. I open his cage door and he waits patiently to come out.


We also wait patiently at the door to go outside. Just because the door is open does not mean we go outside.


He also knows that to come inside he needs to sit and wait patiently. Next we usually eat breakfast or go for a walk/rollerblade. He walks well on a leash rarely pulling. He loves to run beside you while you jog or rollerblade. If we run first thing then we eat when we come home. He  knows the feeding time ritual of waiting calmly for his food. Opie has been a great eater from day one ( he is a little chunky despite a good amount of exercise). He has zero food aggression towards humans or other dogs, I’ve even caught him and Stella sharing food from the same bowl.

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He is an amazingly well-behaved guy who deserves a great home. If your outside of Ontario and are interested please email and fill out an app. You can check out our webpage here.

Oh did I mention He was a snuggler.



Can you Scoot Over?

Really in my house couch overcrowding is the major issue (Stella and Opie both sleep in their crates). Fortunately on an overcrowded couch the worst that can happen is Opie may spill out onto the floor. Sadly the same cannot be said in shelters all across North America. Right now there are many dogs out there where this is their last night. No crowded couch. The shelter is full and now the workers and volunteers must choose dogs to put down.  Not an easy task or a job I envy. To be honest I couldn’t do it. Sadly an alarming number of these wonderful guys and gals are pit bulls or pit mixes. They are the most over bred and under adopted dog in the United States. Some estimates show that as many as 93% of all pit bull and pit mixes are put to sleep in shelters. Sadly one study shows that only 1 in 600 pit bulls will find their forever home.

I’m going to get right to the point. We need to put restrictions on the breeding of these dogs before things get even worse. Owners should by law have to spay and neuter their dog. With the alarming rate that these dogs are being put down there can’t be any possible reason to breed them. These dogs are first to get put down (sometimes immediately) and last to get adopted.  Pit bulls make up roughly 33% of all shelter intakes with it rising in large cities. So I ask then what possible reason could there be for not spaying and neutering your dog. There is nothing good that comes from continued breeding. Simple math shows that there are just not enough adopters out there. I mean really the same can be said for most dogs who find themselves at the shelter.

So if there are so many pit bulls out their without homes, why you might ask do people continue to breed pit bulls. Sadly some are bred to fight. The reality is they are one of the most popular fight dogs. Thankfully many states are adding dog fighting to their RICO statutes making the jail time much stiffer. No more small fines and a little slap on the wrist. I wish more states would change their animal cruelty laws period. But I digress. Why else might they be bred? $$$$. That green-eyed monster that lives inside of all of us. Thankfully people like you and I don’t act on it. Instead we invest our time into rescuing, fostering, and helping adopt out these dogs. It’s upsetting to think that people are still purposely breeding them with so many of their kind at the shelter waiting for homes, many are puppies. The sad truth about these breeders is if the pups don’t sell fast enough many will just drop them at a shelter as it is much harder to sell a juvenile dog than a small  puppy. I always wonder to myself how these people can just throw the puppies away as if they’re disposable and go on living with themselves.

Bottom line there is no reason not to spay or neuter your pit bull. This simple act alone will help decrease the amount of pit bulls in shelters and being put to sleep. If you love this breed like I do then I implore you to get your guy or gal fixed. Check around many local humane societys and SPCA’s will often have a discounted rate for your pitty (guess this is one time where prejudice may be on your side). Either way you will be helping solve the over population of pit bulls in North America by ensuring your dog won’t have puppies.

Have room in your place for one more? If you made it here you know where to look. Google some local rescues and animal shelters. Make an appointment to fill out an application and meet some potential dogs. Explaining your life style to the rescue or shelter worker will help him to match you with a suitable dog. Even if you are dead set on a puppy they are sadly in abundance as well in rescues and shelters. Bullies in Need have a large amount of puppies filling up foster homes right now. Not that we don’t love our little fur balls it’s just sad to think their parents were more than likely breed on purpose and then the puppies dumped when “things just didn’t work out” or “it was more than we could handle”. End note be responsible if you love the breed you’ll do the right thing and spay or neuter your pit bull.

I got up at 9:30 this morning with the full intention of letting the dogs out and writing something for this blog. It’s my goal for the first 30 days to write something everyday. I let everyone out for their morning pee and poop and sat down to read a few articles look over some topic ideas and write something. Pretty much from the get go our little guy Opie (we foster him for Bullies In Need a great rescue who is always looking for volunteers and foster homes contact me for more info) had a bunch of spunk and so did his older sister Stella who is normally lazy in the morning. I immediately knew I was going to be getting very little done this morning until I drained some energy. So I put on my warm clothes strapped on my roller blades and off we went. Thankfully they are all asleep now which frees me up to write this.

I know in the title of my article I said training and you could certainly look at it that way. I prefer to think of them as behavior expectations. I find when people hear the word train they think of treats and dogs sitting as their owner wags a biscuit over their head. What people don’t understand is puppies from day one are formulating exactly what is expected of them and exactly what you allow them to do. I touch on this concept in a previous post . A lot of people think that for a dog learn he needs to be a certain age or you can’t teach him anything. I find just the opposite. The earlier you start the easier your making your life. An amazing example of this would be our foster dog Opie.

By the time we got Opie from Bullies in Need we were well aware of the fact that it is never too early to start showing your dog acceptable behavior. When he came to us he was just a bit more than 8 weeks old. One key thing with dogs is patience for both of you. You need to have patience in showing them what you want and they show patience by waiting for your command before doing anything. Your dog should be looking to for leadership at all times. For instance when you are letting your dog out of its cage it should not just burst out the second you unlatch the door like a charging bull. Instead you should be able to unlatch the door open it and walk away ( I can turn my back even round the corner). Repition is key. It took Opie about a week to pick up on what the proper way to exit you cage was. None the less at 8 weeks he was already learning what was expected from him at home. Another prime example involving doors would be letting them out. Your dog should not be crowding you at the door. Opie was taught just like the rest of our dogs that an open door is just that an open door. It’s that simple nothing more nothing less. Just because a door is open does not mean you may go out of it without my permission. Same with entering some where the human always goes in first and the dog once he is calm and submissive. Never should your dog be allowed to bound into the house ahead of you. This is your home you let him live here not the other way around and by letting him just run in ahead of he is affective saying this is HIS home.

The best part about this is each time you make them wait and return to a calm submissive state it drains energy. Not physically but mentally. Sometimes mental work is just as hard for them as running or physical exercise. Conditioning is the key. A prime example is Opie and our kitchen. When we cook in the kitchen we don’t allow our dogs in there. For Lilly and Stella this  wasnt always a rule so they will occasionally drift into the kitchen where as Opie has learned that by quickly exiting the kitchen and lying down gets him a food reward. Let me explain the reward. It is my expectation that you remain outside the kitchen but laying down calmly is above and beyond so in our house we choose to reward such behavior ( I would strongly recommend that you try this at home.)

My point is showing them first what you expect is a much better way than letting them do whatever they want and then begin at 4 months to place expectations on their behavior. I’m not saying at all that it wouldn’t be possible for the 4 month old to learn (you can teach all dogs new behavior and place new expectations on them) but it is much easier to never let your dog form behaviors that you don’t agree with. Even as a puppy correcting undesirable behavior is a must and creating new desirable behaviors is possible.

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