Wednesday, November 30, 2011

opening my eyes to the wonderful and tragic world of dog rescue

this is a picture of patsy smiling and showing off how clean and white her teeth are.  she is a small american staffordshire terrier, who is very sweet, well behaved.....with all the love in the world to give. this picture doesn't do this girl justice, as she is an absolute beauty.

since adopting gus, much of my free time has been spent at the barking lot, the rescue that saved him.  owner, stacy, nursed gus through parvo, and a handful of other ailments.  the love i feel for gus has made me totally and completely indebted to stacy and her mission.  even though i am just a core volunteer and spend up to 25 hours a week there, i have an official title.  i am the barking fee supervisor. i think that translates into accounts supervisor in normal business speak.  given that it has been a long time since a real job, excluding internships, this stability and work like environment is beneficial.  ofcourse i could go back to serving at bars and restaurants, but that wouldn't help me on my path to the kind of career that i want, and it would certainly not be as fun or fulfilling as saving dogs.

sometimes at the barking lot i feel like a superhero.  when a normally balanced dog acts out, even just once.  he becomes food aggressive and bites his friend over a treat or bowl of kibble.  i insert myself into the situation, pull the dogs apart, clean up their injuries, and tell them that it is okay. that they won't be put to sleep because of one mistake, because of one bite, because they are part pitbull.  i give them a kiss, a bath, and good scratch.  sure enough, they are over the situation.  anyone who has broken up a dog fight, (and who doesn't become hysterical) will notice that the moment the fight is over, a calm comes over the dogs as they realize 1. fighting really sucks, 2. ouch now i have an owie, 3. what was i fighting for.....  dogs live in the moment, as soon as someone stops the fight and demands calm submissive behavior from the dogs, the frantic energy of the fight is gone.  it is pretty amazing, and i have seen stacy do it several times.  despite my lack of experience with dogs growing up, i think i am learning these techniques quickly.

i used to be afraid of large dogs.  i think i was bit through a fence when i was little, near my abuelita's house.  it wasn't hard, but it gave me a scare and became a lasting memory.  it has been so beneficial to work at the barking lot because i am aware of changes in my perceptions of our big dogs.  some dogs we have had since i started volunteering up to a year ago and i used to think they were so big.  just like when you return to your old elementary school, a place that once seemed so big, and is now miniature.  the fear of the big dogs has shrunk in my mind and now it takes an impressively large dog for me to notice their size. 

gus would really like a friend.  i can tell. next time pickle and i are considering getting a bigger dog.  we love labs and golden, but are also considering pittie breeds.  i would love to have a calm, sweet, pittie, that could serve as a ambassador for the breed and illustrate how good they could be with the right family.  ultimately, we will decide as a family, and gus will get his say too.  of the many great things about working at the barking lot, i love the ability to watch the dogs and see their behaviors, whose alpha, dominate, submissive, who is calm, energetic, who listens, who is distracted, who is food motivated....exc.  essentially, i get the pick of the liter. (hahha pun)

well that is all for now, have a dog gone good day!

Saturday, November 12, 2011

"The other day a woman wouldn't let me hold her baby because she said I was too drunk...."

"First of all, don't bring your baby into a bar.  Second of all, if I'm drinking malt liquor at a playground, I'm calling it a bar."  -tosh