Former foster updates: It’s me, Lily!

Many of our long-time readers have recently asked for updates on our early fosters. And wouldn’t you know, we received a letter from Lily Fireworks (formerly Lollie Wonderdog) just last night? Her mom was kind enough to type it for her and send it off. Check out what our unforgettable, inaugural foster baby is up to these days:

Hi Foster mom and dad!

It’s me, Lily Fireworks! I just wanted to say hi and let you know what I’ve been up to…Well, my family got me a new 6 foot fence. I love it, they let me out and I run and run and run around the yard chasing birds. And weren’t they suprised when our neighbor called and said she saw me walking down the street? My mom told her it wasn’t me, that I was in the back yard. But oops, it really WAS me– out for a stroll!

I really wanted to be a hurdler, but there’s a No Pitties rule in track and field, so I had to practice another way.  My dad was NOT happy.  Something about spending my sister’s college tuition on a new fence, then he said a lot of words that I KNOW my brother and sisters are not allowed to use.  And well, then the power tools came out . . . My mom says that’s not a good sign, so we all went inside to make dinner.

me and my brother get tired, protecting against the squirrels and birds all day!

Well my dad thought he fixed it, but then I saw one of those squirrels and I hopped right over the fence.  That time my mom said the bad words! So my dad is adding TWO more feet to the fence!  We’ll see if I can make it over 8 feet!

But the good thing about the fence is now my friends can come over and play . . .

Yep! I have friends!!! When I first moved to my new ‘hood I wanted to bark at EVERY dog. My mom and dad were nervous becasue they wanted me to be an ambassa-dog for bully breeds, and show all of our friends just how good and family friendly pitties could be . . . but umm, I didn’t get the message on that one at first. I was just too excited!  Mom and dad spent a ton of time (and treats-YUM!) trying to get me to enjoy other dogs. It took a while, but now I really like to politely say hello to other dogs! It’s so nice to have friends. I’m still not a fan of the dogs that bark at me, so I just walk on by and ignore them. Their people are SO jealous of how well behaved I am!!!

Anyway, I have a new best friend.  Her name is Kipper, and she’s as little as a pipsqueak. At first I treated her like a snack, but pretty soon, we started walking together nightly and now we even wrestle a little.  Her family LOVES me too! I love to play with Kipper, except sometimes she gets really excited and pees! Oops!

When it’s really hot and we walk together Kipper likes to walk UNDERNEATH my belly. My mom thinks it’s SUPER funny, but it’s hard to walk with a 15 pund dog underneath you!

me and Kipper, out for a walk!

And guess what? I got a new man! His name is Apache and he is super cute, and he’s HUGE. You may have thought I had a big head, but check out me next to my hunky boyfriend Apache! We had the most fantastic date recently, we parallel walked, we chased each other, we wrestled a little . . . I’m so glad you got me fixed, fostermama, because I am done with the puppies thing– it’s good to be a cougar!

Me, my dad, and Apache. All our dates are supervised, since we're just kids!

Anyway, I gotta run. There are squirrels and birds to protect against!

Love, Lily Fireworks

Me with my brother and sister, snuggled in for a hurricane sleepover

Our lucky stars

Sometimes you just have to wonder — is there some magic going on, or are we just incredibly lucky? Let me explain.

I met Lady Zabora at MCHS about a month ago, when I went by to photograph all of the adoptable pit bulls. Although I met and spent time with more than 30 dogs that day, something about this girl stuck with me. I couldn’t get her out of my head.

I sent her photo to a few fellow pittie advocates / foster friends, expecting the usual “poor girl, what a sweet face” type emails. This is where the lucky stars began to appear:

1. Our friend A at Two Pitties in the City sent us an email that really made us realize that we didn’t have to stop at “poor girl, sweet face” thinking. We might be able to actually do something for this girl:

Something about the elderbull you posted today was really touching . . . would we be able to ‘sponsor’ her? Not sure how much that would cost, but I think it would also be a cool way to raise momentum and continue the positive awareness. Just a random pushy thought as I’m out to dinner.

2. After this initial inspiration and a few more conversations with A, we were lucky to have the help of Bobbi, our tireless rescue coordinator at MCHS, who worked overtime to make sure Zabora was safe at the shelter while we were trying to coordinate a rescue strategy, and helped us arrange a low-cost spay by a kind vet who offered a very affordable price even though we had not yet secured an official rescue for Lady Z.

3. Once we had emotionally committed and launched our fundraiser hoping to raise the funds to support what we had started, we were starstruck by our incredibly generous and supportive community of dog-lovers, blog readers, and facebook fans, who pooled together to create a rescue fund that we can hardly even wrap our brains around. We had hoped for enough to cover Z’s spay, ear and eye meds, routine shots, and a modest amount to offer her future adopters toward vet care. Even with her recent complications sending her to the vet hospital for five extra days, another procedure, and some intensive monitoring, we can cover all of her costs and should still have some funds left over for future needs. Lady Z is still in the vet’s care and recovering, but she has never been more surrounded by lucky stars.

photo courtesy of temp foster mom Juliana

4. While all this was going on, Lady Z was being quietly cared for in the background by Juliana, her temporary foster mom. Juliana also works tirelessly at MCHS and has been one of our insider sources on the status of our various favorite shelter dogs. She was the first to tell us about Lady Z’s stellar evaluation and the one who volunteered to care for Z during her convalescent period. And it didn’t take long for her to become wrapped around Lady Z’s little paw:

It’s a weird feeling when you miss an animal you’ve only had for a short time and that you know isn’t even yours. It also reveals how special that animal is, and how lucky you are to have her in your life at all.

photo courtesy temp foster Juliana

In those first few days, Juliana woke up at night to take Z outside in case she needed to go out. She snuggled and played with her, dressed her in cute “adopt me” bandanas, and sent us lots of photos to keep us updated. When Lady Z suffered a very scary ruptured blood clot that sent her back to the hospital, not only did Juliana drop everything to drive her there, but she went back and visited over the weekend so little Z didn’t have to be alone at the hospital. She did this all with no public recognition. No claim to fame. What a star.

So in this quiet period before Lady Z comes home to finish her recovery, we are thanking our lucky stars. We could never have dreamed that there would be so much support and enthusiasm out there for saving one poor little elderbull, and we are truly humbled to be among such kind and giving spirits.

Have Lady Zabora, Foster Dad, Chick, and I just stumbled upon a field of lucky stars, or is there something else going on here?

And speaking of luck, please remember to email us your selections for the raffle if you have donated toward Lady Zabora’s rescue and medical care. You can look at the raffle prizes here, email us at DCpetographer [at] gmail [dot] com, and donate here if you have not yet but would like to. Deadline is Monday, September 5th.

A letter to Stevie Wonder in her new home

**Our sweet protege, Elderbull Lady Zabora is still at the vet, recovering from some complications related to her spay late last week. The vet hopes to release her to us very soon, but wants to keep her for monitoring for another couple of days just to be on the safe side. Please keep her in your thoughts. Thanks to all for your generous support of her rescue and medical care via her Chip-in and raffle, which will remain open until Labor Day (September 5).**

Dear Stevie Wonder,

We hope you realize what a lucky dog you are. We never thought we would find you your perfect home. We always thought we would have to compromise on something. Maybe the people wouldn’t really really appreciate how special you are. Or maybe they wouldn’t have a yard. Or maybe there wouldn’t be anybody to take you running. Or maybe they wouldn’t let you sleep snuggled up on the bed with them at night. Or maybe there wouldn’t be a perfect little boy for you to become best friends with, and learn with, and grow with, and share your life with, and grow old with. But Stevie, you won the lottery. You got all of these things and more.

We didn’t expect it to be this way Stevie, but you burrowed your way deeper into our hearts than any of our other foster dogs so far — even Lollie Wonderdog. It’s not that we love you more — although we sure do love you a lot — but rather something else. We feel so blessed to have witnessed an incredible transformation in you. We watched you go from a trembling, cowering, broken down, withdrawn mess of a skinny dog to a beautiful, graceful, jubilant, exuberant, bubbly teenaged puppy with an incredible zest for life. Watching you bounce around with a toy in your mouth, grinning from ear to ear, and breakdancing at every opportunity, makes our hearts sing. And to think that your life could have gone so differently.

As you make the transition to your new home, Stevie, we hope you are able to keep that crazy wiggle-butt of yours under control. At least, under control enough that you don’t knock over your new human brother too much. He is going to grow to love you more than he ever realized was possible, but he will do it faster if you aren’t always knocking him over with your enthusiasm. We also hope that you remember that not only is your new mom Liz the boss, but that your new dad Paul is also the boss — even though he is so head over heels for you that he would let you do just about anything you want, if Liz weren’t watching. And we hope that you are able to swiftly redirect the profound amount of love you had for us toward your new family. We know you will do it, but we hope it is as easy and graceful as a swim in the lake. Even though they will always love their sweet Rosie, her absence has left a little hole in their hearts that you will fill. And the sooner the better, Stevie-girl.

Stevie, you have taught us a lot about life and love. From you, we have learned about the addictive effect that pure, unadulterated sweetness can have on a person. Your particular variety is absolutely captivating. We have been reminded of the amazing power of putting your heart right out there and making yourself totally vulnerable to those you love. It’s something that we humans are so shy to do, but you make it so plain to see that it’s the best way to love. We have also learned about the boundless joy of going for a nice long swim in a lake and then rolling around in a stinky dead fish (though we will take your word on this last one).

We will always love you, Stevie Wonder. Thank you for making such a beautiful and permanent imprint on our hearts. We are so much better because of it.

With much gratitude and tenderness,

Foster mom, foster dad, and Sir Chick (who is not ready to admit it, but he kinda did enjoy your incessant tongue baths)

Chix-a-Lot Friday: Play my lottery!

Yesterday mom made our big announcement – that we had committed to rescuing a sweet lady elderbull that caught her eye at our county shelter (and my eye once I saw her photo, hubba hubba), and were raising money for her treatment and care. If you missed her story, you can catch it here. Poor dear is going through some tough medical stuff– eye and ear infections, surgical complications from her spay, a massive blood clot that ruptured and sent her back to the emergency vet where she will be staying for observation for a couple of days — she really needs our help.

Mom was really moved by this girl because she’s the same age as me, and mom got to thinking about how different my life could have been if I’d just ended up in different hands. This girl drew the short straw (and I drew a really long, crazy, colorful, fun, curly straw), but we got our heads together and decided: we can lengthen and curl her straw if we all work together!

When mom said it was going to take a village to save this elderbull, we had no idea how many people would come together to change the path of Lady Zabora’s life. As an Elderbull myself, I’m really proud to know that you guys care so deeply about us mature adult dogs. When our friend A at Two Pitties in the City suggested the idea of raising money, mom was not sure it would be a success. A few days ago, my Eldercrush was all but doomed. Today, her forecast looks much sunnier. I can’t wait to hang out with her after she’s healed up a little more. Is she a total dreamboat or what?

But we’ve got more news: the fun’s not over yet! A bunch of my blog friends are pitching in their arts, talents, and other goodies for a little raffle to thank our donors. Think of it as donating to a good cause and getting a free raffle ticket to win something fun for yourself or your pooches! It’s like when I’m sniffing around in the grass like a good dog does and I stumble upon a delicious bit of cat poo as a bonus. Yum!

Everyone who donated already – as well as new folks – are eligible to play. Here are the rules:

  • For every $20 donation, you get one raffle ticket. Simply email my recordkeeper at DCpetographer [at] gmail [dot] com, and let her know which item you would like to be entered for. If you donated a multiple of $20, you get that many raffle tickets. So a $60 donation wins you three tickets, which you can throw in for three different items. I won mom five tickets by winning the Paco dog modeling contest, but mom says I can’t play. Pootie!
  • If you donated less than $20 already, you can add the rest to get a ticket if you wish. Same goes for those who donated an off number like $30 – you can add $10 and get two tickets, or just use your one ticket.
  • Winners will be drawn at random (by computer or by me, we’re not sure yet) after Labor Day weekend, and mom and I will announce here on the blog.
  • Times are tough, so if you are donating what you can but can’t spare $20, don’t worry! I will send you a pawtographed photo card of myself as a token of my appreciation. It’s the small acts by the big village that make magic happen for elderbulls!
  • Haven’t donated yet but want to join in on the fun? Here is Lady Zabora’s Chipin. Remember, multiples of $20 for lottery tickets!

Now for the fun part. Grab a can of that bubbly, malty stuff mom is always drinking or some dog biscuits or something, because this is a big list of fun to get through. Here are your neat raffle items!

Your favorite Animal Farm Foundation t-shirt – this is where my hero Sarge the Elderbull worked on behalf of all pit bull type dogs. These American Apparel shirts are soft, high-quality, and made with love in the USA. They fit humans better than dogs, but I still love them. And look at those handsome dogs on those shirts! You pick your own style, color, and size. Two winners. Thank you Animal Farm Foundation!

click to go to AFF merch page, where you can see the shirts in more detail

A handmade pit bull silhouette pendant made from solid copper and treated with brown patina. Available plain or customized with a “collar” on each side. The “collar” can be colored beads of your choice or a stamped name up to 7 letters. You also choose cropped or natural ears! Doesn’t that one on the left look just like me?? Thank you Nina!

Obviously these are the coolest: a set of ten 4×5.5 inch folded photo greeting cards (of ME!!) with matching envelopes, printed on fine art watercolor paper. Blank inside. Your choice of me as the lush that I am or me as the businessman that I aspire to be, or five of each. Two winners. Awesome!

An 8×12 inch matted, ready-to-frame pawtographed print of my buddy, Vicktory dog Handsome Dan, wearing his very own Paco Collar – photographed by my mom, pawtographed by the famous, devastatingly dapper Handsome Dan himself. These are very rare, the Danimal has only pawtographed a pawful of these. Seriously, this guy is so handsome he even gives ME a run for my money. Your choice of print. Serious Danimal or smiling Danimal? So hard to choose! Thanks Handsome Dan!

Hand knitted, custom doggie turtlenecks – set of two. These are basically the cutest thing I’ve ever worn – knitted by the grandmother of Turk and Rufus and grand fostermother of lovely fostered pittie Ginger Rogers (hubba hubba) of Our Waldo Bungie. Stevie and I tried these on and we loved them so much that we didn’t want to ever give them back! They are not only fashion forward (a must for me), but also keep us warm on those slightly chilly nights. And you know what’s really cool? You can’t buy these anywhere yet — be the first to have them! Your choice of style, color, and buttons, and you get two different ones, so you can match all of your moods! Thanks Our Waldo Bungie!

Hey! Finally something not dog-specific! Gorgeous handcrafted layered copper rings with custom stamping. Can include 3 or 4 ring layers. Each layer can include up to 20 characters (commonly pet’s names, children’s names, and phrases like don’ or  This can be made as a pendant or a keyring. We’re thinking of a keyring for my mom: chick.elderbull.supreme. Thanks again Nina!

A custom, mini, modern painted portrait of your favorite pet or pets (or of me, obviously). This is an incredible, adorable, four by four inch acrylic painting on canvas and wood panel. It’s protected with a matte varnish and ready to hang. Mom and I don’t think this could be any sweeter. The artists has her own handsome pittie, but she will paint your dog, bird, chinchilla, hamster, cat, whatever. These are amazing. Enough said. Thanks to the Pet Shop at Yellow Brick Home!

For those of you who have been wanting to make your own art and have supposable thumbs (is that what they’re called?), here is a brand new, never-been-used, honest-to-goodness, film Holga camera. You know those nostalgic, vignetted, funky photos you’ve been seeing? Yep, they’re taken with this puppy. This camera takes special film, and our generous donors are throwing in your first roll. Thank you, Two Pitties in the City!

Two Pitties' Mr. B and Ms. M show off their donated Holga

Made-to-order, hand-knit doggie sweaters. Need I say more? Personally I LOVE sweaters because my gorgeous, designer furs get chilly in the wintertime! You pick the size, the colors, and your preferred style – regular or Elderbull (with buttons for easier on and off for arthritic limbs). Obviously I loves these sweaters. I would never wear unfashionable clothing! Mom says this is a really special raffle item because these have never been sold before. Our dear friend Emily and her mom plan to start using these for fundraisers, but we are the first ones to show them off. Amazing? Yes. Thank you, Our Waldo Bungie!

And last but certainly not least, a beautiful, handcrafted martingdale collar made of cotton fabric, nylon webbing, and metal hardware. I have been begging mom for one of these for five squillion years, but she usually says I’m being a spoiled brat and sometimes the fosters get cooler things than me. Lame! Anyway, Sirius Republic has dozens of fabrics to choose from, and these babies are super sturdy. Stevie Wonder loves her “chirpy” style collar in a size medium. My new crush, Elderbull Zabora, is about to start rocking the “rhianna” in a size large. And not that it needs to get any better, but Sirius is a big supporter of dog rescue and regularly donates a portion of proceeds to various causes. Two winners. Thank you Sirius Republic!

So? What’s it gonna be??

It Takes a Village to Save an Elderbull!

Elderbulls have been on our mind this month, so when our Chick won a free Paco Collar (a $100 value) in a dog modeling contest, we decided to put our money where our mind is. Had we not won, we likely would have bought Chick the collar anyway. Yep, that’s right. A $100, custom, handmade collar for a dog. But since we did win, we were thinking . . . what could we do with our $100 that can really make an impact? Oh, we have an idea! We think we’ll save an Elderbull.

Turns out it’s not so easy. Saving an Elderbull takes a whole lot more than our $100, especially if our Elderbull of choice has some arthritis, conjunctivitis, and a mysterious neurological issue that gets her off balance from time to time and sends her teetering to the side while she happily and waggily trots toward us to give us a big hug. On top of that, our Elderbull needs to be spayed, vaccinated, tested for routine issues, microchipped, and have full bloodwork done. And on top of that, she is an Elderbull, which means that she will be passed over by many adopters who prefer a younger dog. And on top of that, we can only co-foster her at best, because of a crazy fall travel schedule and a looming move.

But are all those reasons going to deter us? No way!! Especially when our Elderbull has liquid almond-colored eyes, perfectly cupped ears, a stellar evaluation, and that look of wisdom that dogs acquire with age. Plus, our Elderbull otherwise has little-to-no chance of being adopted from the shelter or pulled by a rescue in the traditional way.

And so, we are pleased to introduce everyone to Lady Zabora, our Village Elderbull!

But as we mentioned before, it takes a village to save an Elderbull – we can’t do this alone. We urgently need to raise the funds for her vet care and find her a stable foster home in the greater DC/Baltimore area. We are also hoping to set aside a small “trust fund” as an incentive for her future adopter – the balance will go to her adopter’s vet as a credit against future routine medical care.

So friends, today we turn to you. Have you been wanting to donate $20 or $40 to a good cause, but were waiting for something specific and personal that you could get behind? Have you experienced first-hand the amazing things that can happen when people band together to save a dog against all odds? Has your own dog found redemption and love in your arms as a result of the kindness and generosity of others? This is your chance to pay it forward. With a lot of small contributions on top of our bigger chunk of start-up money, we can turn things around for Lady Z. There is no question that your contribution will be helping to save this worthy life.

Here’s how to help:

1) Donate toward Lady Zabora’s rescue and medical needs via PayPal on her ChipIn fundraising page here. Any amount helps.

2) Track our updates on Lady Zabora’s fundraiser and the girl’s progress on our Facebook page here.

3) Spread the word about Lady Zabora by forwarding this blog post, adding Zabora’s ChipIn widget to your own webpage, or sharing of our Facebook updates with your dog-loving friends.

4) Check among your DC/Baltimore area friends to see if you know anyone who might like to foster or adopt Zabora.

Tomorrow we will announce some fun prizes that you could win by donating. But if you donate today, you will receive an additional prize: a personally pawtographed photo card of Sir Chick, as a token of his appreciation!

Thanks for being part of our village. We are so lucky to have you.

How TO SAVE a life through dog fostering

With Stevie on her way to her new home (we will write more about her goodbyes next week) and our big exciting announcement coming tomorrow, this seemed a good time to write about an often-asked question in our world: How do we pick our foster dogs?

So far we have picked each of our dogs individually and for unique reasons, and it’s interesting how each dog has been a good representative for a different, particular ‘category’ of good foster candidates. We always look for the ones who would not have good odds without us. Here’s a quick breakdown.

A dog that doesn’t “show well” – Lollie Wonderdog

Lollie may be the most charming girl in the world but at the shelter, she was getting passed up over and over. She was there for months, and although she was a favorite among staffers, there was no real interest from adopters. We think it’s attributable to her physical appearance — Lollie came in covered in cuts, scars, bruises, and sores — the girl had obviously been through a lot. People glanced at Lollie and saw not the beautiful, perky, friendly, head-stand-doing house pet that she was with us, but rather a stray dog with a lot of scars on her face who had experienced a hard and unknown life on the streets. By taking her in, we allowed potential adopters to see past her scars. Without the foster home advantage, Lollie Wonderdog might not have had a chance.

A pit bull type in a BSL town – Gonzo Bunny-Ears

Sure, Gonzo is the world’s cutest dog, but that didn’t stop him from ending up at the county shelter in a town that does not allow pit bulls or pit bull mixes to be adopted out. Gonzo was temporarily saved by being called a french bulldog mix rather than a pit bull mix, but those labels are squishy, and it only takes one complaint to put a dog’s life in jeopardy. We were able to grab him as out-of-county fosters through a rescue, thus making him safe from potential appearance-based breed profiling that rarely leads to happy endings. Without the foster home advantage, Gonzo Bunny-Ears might not have had a chance.

A lovely dog in a rural high-kill shelter – TANK

Lots of lucky dogs end up in “no-kill” shelters or other well-run, well-funded shelters with high adoption rates. But lots of dogs don’t. TANK was scooped up in rural South Carolina and sent to county animal control — an underfunded, understaffed, underadvertised facility where the only dogs who make it out are those whose owners come for them and those who are pulled by rescue. We came to know of TANK through a DC area rescue that pulls dogs from rural shelters and adopts them out up here, and after hearing about his personality and seeing that adorable mug, we knew we had to step up. TANK was only with us a week before his perfect owner found him, but if he had stayed at the shelter in South Carolina, his week would have ended much differently. Without the foster home advantage, TANK might not have had a chance.

A dog who is undersocialized and needs further assessment – Baby Blue

Baby Blue was our sad story. She was a dog who was shy, furtive, unpredictable, and not well socialized. She was not considered imminently adoptable, but it was thought that she might bounce back in an experienced foster home. She didn’t bounce back. In the end Blue’s pain and fear were too severe for her to have a joyful life in this world, and we had to tell her goodbye — a realization that still leaves our hearts aching. But many other Baby Blues — undersocialized dogs that are too risky to adopt directly to the public but can go to an experienced foster home — shine in foster care and go on to make wonderful family pets. Blue was not one of these happy endings, but without the foster home advantage, Baby Blue might not have even had a chance.

A dog that is does not shine in a shelter environment – Stevie Wonder

Some dogs do ok in a kennel environment. They are able to remain social, interactive, and by most standards, normal. They wag their tails and get excited when people come by, are happy to go out for a walk, and eat and drink without much trouble. People walking the kennel rows notice these dogs and fall in love. Not Stevie-girl. For reasons we will never fully understand, the kennel was just too much for her. She was visibly nervous all the time, and her introversion grew more intense as time went on. After a few weeks at the shelter, she would not leave her enclosure or go back into it without being physically picked up — she would just flatten on the ground. She was barely interactive at all, preferring to go sit in a corner by herself than spend time with people who wanted to love her. In her kennel, she would huddle in the back and not even look up as people passed. Looking at a few entries on our blog, it’s plain to see how seamlessly Stevie-girl came out of her shell, thanks to being in a home with a family. But without the foster home advantage, Stevie might not have had a chance.

The next frontier: an elderbull?

Stevie doesn’t yet have all four paws out the door, and we’re already dreaming of who we will save next. There are a lot of best parts to fostering, but one of my favorite best parts is picking out a new dog. It doesn’t quite cure the heartache of saying goodbye to a dog you have grown to love with great depth and tenderness, but it certainly helps.

With Elderbull month at StubbyDog and the passing of our doggie hero Sarge the Elderbull a few weeks ago, we have been swept up in elderbull fever and are dreaming of saving an older pit bull next. Just like dogs with physical and emotional scars, dogs discriminated against by appearance, and dogs who wind up at a high-kill shelter, Elderbulls and other older dogs have the odds stacked against them.

We have our eye on one in particular — a fetching, eight-year-old blue pittie with a white stripe down her nose who reminds us of Mr. B from Two Pitties in the City. She is cute as a button, sweet as can be, and despite that, she is all but doomed at our local shelter. Between her age, the rugged condition of her body after a hard life, and some kind of mild neurological condition that affects her balance now and then, her chances of getting out are very slim. But at the same time, our area rescues are full and totally cash-strapped, so pulling an elderbull– who is likely to take longer to adopt out and may cost more to care for — is too risky.

We have some ideas brewing, but nothing is certain yet. But we do know one thing: if our sweet girl’s life is going to be saved, it’s going to take a village.

Once upon a time, in A VILLAGE called Petworth

Well friends, it’s official. Our Stevie-girl is adopted!! Very soon, she will be going home.

home? i thought home was under this couch with the lost kibble?

The sweet family we met two weeks ago fell in love with Stevie instantly when they read her blog, and even more deeply when they came over in person to hang out with our little girl. And why shouldn’t they? She was showing off her most spastic enthusiastic behavior during their visit, complete with barking, mouthiness, and crazy zoomies — three behaviors that almost never show up in regular life with Stevie. Luckily Paul and Liz are very experienced dog people and were able to see through Stevie’s crazy and impolite antics to the sweet, gentle lady hiding inside.

You see, Paul and Liz love another dog — a sweet Boxer / Pit mix named Rosie, who left this world earlier in the year after falling prey to a brain tumor. Rosie was their first child and their first dog love. They will always love Rosie, but in Stevie they saw something of Rosie. In Stevie’s sensitive brown eyes they caught a glimpse of the same sweetness, tenderness, and the big, jubilant personality that Rosie had.

Rosie's beautiful smile

Paul, Liz, and their two-year-old son Henry live just a couple miles away from us in a DC neighborhood called Petworth. It’s a diverse, developing community with a little bit of excitement going on, and a nice, neighborly, quiet feel to it that Stevie will love. At her new home’s doorstep she has plenty of neighbors to turn into friends, lots of fun festivals, markets, and dog-friendly establishments to visit, and a huge network of parks and trails where she will enjoy runs, hikes, and adventures with her new family.

Petworth is also home to one of DC’s most popular blogs, Prince of Petworth. Every year, PoP runs the “Coolest Pet in Petworth” contest. We sure hope that Liz and Paul enter Stevie in the contest this year. Knowing all we know about her, we think there’s a pretty good chance she could win!

**We will have a big non-Stevie announcement on Thursday and hope everyone will be as excited as we are. Check out our Facebook page for little hints and previews all week long!**

what IT TAKES to make us weepy

Hello Montgomery County Humane Society folks,

We’re sending this note attached to our application because we just weren’t sure that it was clear enough in our short answers that Stevie is supposed to be our little girl. We met her over the weekend with her foster family and really connected with her. We love her sweetness, her energy, her goofiness. We are excited to take her for runs (Paul), to play fetch with her on end (Liz), and to see if she’ll play in the sprinkler or the baby pool (Henry).

We know, from experience, that there is always a transition period – sometimes a few iterations – when someone new joins the family. We know that it is our responsibility to make that transition as smooth as possible for Stevie – by giving her love and calm and warmth (and a basic obedience class). We will do that. We know, from experience, that sometimes dogs bark, and jump around, and knock you over (especially if you are a toddler). We think all of that is fine – and believe that when someone is in your family, there are moments when everyone has to adjust a little. While it could mean bringing in a trainer, it might also mean adjusting our own behavior and routine so that it works for everyone. That’s just what families do for each other.

It surprises us a little that we feel the way we do about Stevie – we lost our sweet Rosie-girl this Spring to a brain tumor and it absolutely broke our hearts. We thought for sure that we wouldn’t be ready this soon. But then we looked up, and Stevie was there. We realized that, while Rosie will always have a place in our hearts, our love for her also created the space in our family for another dog, for Stevie – and the knowledge and ability to be the kind of home that she deserves.

We want to be Stevie’s forever family and hope that you’ll consider our application.

Thank you,

Liz, Paul, and Henry

Stay tuned . . .


**We will have a big non-Stevie announcement on Thursday and hope everyone will be as excited as we are about it!**



Chix-a-Lot Friday: My Best Buddies

I guess you know by now that foster sister Stevie Wonder is NOT on my BFF-list. Sure, we get along fine. Sure, I let her sneak up on me when I’m sleeping and get a little snuggle in, and sure, I took her to the prom, and sure, I tried to teach her The Look. But that’s where it ends. She licks me too much, always wants to play, and is always stealing my bed.

So let’s have a look at my REAL friends, shall we? Of course you all remember my buddy Gonzo Bunny-Ears. He was like a mini-me, plus those crazy bunny ears. He is a good pillow, tons of fun, and I love him.

But he’s only my third-best friend. My second-best friend is Pancho Villa Harriger. He and I used to work together at Casa Marianella back in the day, and lucky for me, his people are my parents’ best friends. He has some great droopy ears and a crazy curly tail, and I always make fun of him for the way he waddles his butt like a duck when he walks. You know the funniest thing about Pancho? Everybody thinks he’s a pointer mix, but you know what? We did a DNA test on him, and he’s half Staffie, and NO pointer! Just goes to show how guessing a dog’s breed by the way he looks is so silly. Anyhow, Pancho and I used to party together a lot when our parents were in grad school. They would get drunk together on beers and whiskey, and we would get drunk together on fun. Here we are being drunk together:

And here we are being more serious. We were campaigning for Obama. You may not be able to tell, but my collar says “Chicks 4 Change.”

And finally, my bestest bestest bestest friend of all is my uncle Tex. He is a most wonderful black lab and I love him to bits and pieces, even if he does bark an awful lot and has lots of neat ninja moves that are cooler than mine. He lives here in DC near my mama and dad, and my best days of all are the days I get to go over and visit him and his people (my grandma and grandpa). They have a big yard for us to run around in and when Tex barks up a storm, grandma gives us treats. It’s like magic! Mama says it’s a good thing he never did teach me to bark, because she would be none too happy. I guess she doesn’t like us dogs getting treats all the time?

And us with my second-uncle Marcel:

I hope you liked meeting my friends! Who are YOUR best buddies?

Swimming in Solidarity

Hi guys, it’s me! Stevie Wonder!

Do you want to know the absolute silliest thing about my foster brother Chick? He does not even like to go swimming in the doggie pool, and he does not even like to do gymnastics in there!  Can you believe it? He says it’s because he’s from Texas and dogs from Texas aren’t wusses like dogs from Merryland and that he don’t need no stinkin’ baby pool, but I know he’s just as hot as I am when it’s summertime and we’re outside.

As you may recall from a couple weeks ago, I am a most excellent swimmer, both in big waters like lakes and in little waters like my doggie pool. Sometimes when my foster mama takes me running on the trail near her house, she lets me take a quick swim in Sligo Creek when we stop to rest, too. She says it’s a good way for me to cool off. I say it’s a good way for me to do my Stevie-thing.

Anyhow. Remember a little while back when my mama showed you me and Chick both wading in my pool together? Here we are, just so you remember:

Well what mama didn’t show you is what a spectacle it was, getting Sir Chick to get in the pool with me! He hemmed and hawed and made excuses until finally, I came up with a brilliant plan. I would get in the pool v e r y   s l o w l y, one foot at a time, pausing between each one to show him how non-scary it was. I spent an extra specially long amount of time on step three-feet-in just so I could show him that although I love the swimming best of all, I still stand in solidarity with my brother sometimes by leaving one foot out of the pool with him. Aren’t I such a nice sister?

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