Chix-a-Lot Friday: I LOVE a good painting . . . of myself

Yo. It’s me, Chick, here for Chix-a-Lot Friday, and I have a bunch of good newses– including some that can benefit you — so make sure to read all the way through instead of just getting stuck on the pictures!

Now. I’m no high-brow pit bull, but I love me a good piece of art, especially a good painting. That is, I love me a good painting of myself. And can you believe it’s taken me seven years to convince my mama to have one made of me? She says it’s because no custom dog art has ever inspired her before, but I know it’s obvious that she just didn’t love me as much before as she does now– after all, eight years old is her favorite number of years old for a dog to be, considering that both me and my foster sister Little Zee are eight, and we are her favorites.

Anyhow. Remember how our friend Kim from Yellow Brick Home donated a custom pet portrait to our fundraiser for Zee a few weeks back? And remember how more than fifty of you threw your lottery tickets in for that piece? (Yeah. I counted.) Well, guess what! All that time that we were collecting your lottery tickets and wondering who was going to win, my mama was pouring over a squillion pictures of me, trying to figure out which one to submit for our very own custom portrait that we commissioned.

As you can probably imagine, it took her forever to pick the right photo, but she did it! And Kim painted me! And our painting arrived! And I love it! Check it out!

Mama loved it even more than she thought she would, since it’s so hard to capture my expressive eyes, my noble ears, my perfect wrinkles, and my beautiful brindle furs. She said that Kim really “nailed it” which is confusing, since I don’t see any nails in the painting. But anyhow, we wish you could see it in person; the photo above is good, but doesn’t even close to do it justice. There is so much detail in there. Just the white on my body must be about 90 different shades. I wonder if Kim used 90 different paintbrushes just to paint my white furs? They never even taught me about 90 different shades of white in art class!

And there is even MORE fantastic-ness about my painting, Until last week, Kim was only doing paintings in a four inch square format, but my painting is a brand new whopping six inches! Me and Kim’s very own pit bull Jack were the first ones to get to be painted in this new size. Pretty rad, don’t you think?

Here’s a fuzzy photo mama took with her remote, just to give you a sense of the perfect size of these glorious, glorious six square inches of Chicken:

The original four-inch size is still available, do not fret. And just to prove it to you, here is a photo of me on six inches and my favorite foster sibling (and Kim’s!) Gonzo Bunny-Ears on four hot pink inches:

I can’t decide which one I love more. My glorious six inches, or Gonzo’s adorably compact four inches?

Here’s where we get to the good news for you, friends. Dear Kim and Scott were so generous to donate a custom portrait to our fundraiser a few weeks back, and they’re throwing in some extra generosity to thank all of you, dear lovers of Little Zee!

This weekend only — today, tomorrow, and Sunday — you can get 15 percent off any piece in Kim’s shop of mini paintings, including custom pieces of your own pets and premade pieces! Can you even believe your luck? So if you have been thinking about these sweet little portraits ever since our raffle ended, this is your chance to get one — at a discount. Here’s how:

Visit Kim’s Etsy shop here.  Select your option — four inches or six?  One pet or two? When you check out, enter discount code LITTLEZEE15 to see your discount automatically apply.  Send off your order. Relax with a nice cocktail. As soon as your portrait arrives, send us a photo of it — and your dog — so we can ooh and ahh over it also.

Go on, what are you waiting for?

My distinguishing features

Hello sweet readers, it’s your Little Zee!

All this while that foster mama has been taking my photo, snuggling me in her lap, letting me stick my tuna-flavored tongue up her nose (ok, I don’t do that very often), and writing about me, I’ve been simultaneously taking naps and tapping my fingers as if to ask: “why isn’t anybody noticing my distinguishing features?”

So I arranged a photo shoot where I could show them off. Not that I’m fishing for compliments — really I’m not — but please tell me, isn’t my coloring most unusual?

I know, I know. It’s hard to get past my perfect bone structure and my cute arching ears. But let’s take a closer look, shall we?

Most people at first think I’m simply a blue pit bull, but I’m not! My back is blue, and the top of my head and my ears, but check out what’s going on below my cheekbones– see that interesting sandy-cream brindle?

I also have that interesting sandy brindle on my chest and the insides of my legs . . .

And seriously, check out these brows:

Mama said she’s never seen a dog that looks quite like me. I thought that was pretty obvious since I’m the only Little Zee around!

Running errands? Bring Zee!

You know that dog who acts like a complete spaz out in public, needs to sniff everybody, jump into strollers, steal children’s ice cream cones, snatch merchandise at the farmer’s market, and knock over entire stacks of VHS tapes if you bring him into Video Americain to rent a movie? Nevermind art galleries or stores with small beautiful things, you wouldn’t even come close to one of those with these dogs because their antics, lack of self awareness, and waggy tails would break everything at knee-level.

Well, Little Zee is not that dog. She is instantly at home wherever she goes, and handles herself with perfect manners in all kinds of scenarios. We have a number of pet-friendly shops right in downtown Takoma Park (a video store, a hardware store, and a very cool new furniture and art store), and last weekend we took her around to run some errands. She liked everything she saw, but Trohv, our cool new furniture / arts store, was her favorite.

The combination of warm, fuzzy rugs and cool, smooth concrete floors gave her plenty of options for laying down and taking a rest — which she was very happy to do anytime we decided to stop and take a look at a neat chair or a cute glass vase. The other customers made her very happy, but not so happy that she had to bounce up and down. She greeted everybody with a polite tail wag and a little kiss if they wanted one, but didn’t go crazy jumping on people or tugging toward them if they didn’t want to say hello.

We think this is a rare asset in Zee’s corner, and speaks volumes of her personality and demeanor. Many — maybe most — dogs have to train for months or years to be able to behave nicely in public, but Zee’s calm personality really shines in this light. It makes us start having big dreams for Little Zee. Could she become a therapy dog? Or maybe she could work with kids in schools, helping them learn to read? Attending to seniors in assisted living facilities? Her fantastic temperament opens a lot of doors for her, and we hope her future forever-family will appreciate it!

Bat Ears and Raffle Results

Hello friends, Little “Bat Ears” Zee enjoyed a lovely weekend with her other foster mama, spending lots of time training her ears to do all kinds of tricks. She is working on teaching them to do a Gonzo pose — so that her bunny ears can match her bunny hopping — but hasn’t mastered it yet. Her favorite so far is the bat ears:

All the while between fun activities, she would lay around like this with her bat ears, wondering . . . who are the lucky winners of my fundraiser raffle?

Well Little Zee doesn’t have to wait any longer! We had 161 lottery entries including more than 120 unique individuals. We drew winners last night using a random number generator, and are excited to announce the results:

But wait– you had your heart set on one particular piece and didn’t win it? Chances are, you can buy one directly from the artist or donor. Just shoot us an email at DCpetographer [at] gmail [dot] com for more info, or click on the links above to get in touch directly. And stay tuned later this week for a special announcement about the mini custom pet paintings.

Congrats to all the winners, and thanks again to everyone for your support!

Chix-a-Lot Friday: Nobody’s Perfect

Well hello there, my loves. I’m flattered to know I’ve developed such a reputation around here– not only for being a hearthrob, but also for being such a well-mannered dog and a big-hearted foster brother. I believe I heard mama mentioning that somebody even referred to me as “Mr. Perfect.” Well aww, shucks.  I hate to risk you thinking less of me, but mama says I have to come clean. So here we go: even dogs who look like perfect angels have dark, dirty secrets. And I’m not just talking about my great love for the culinary pleasures of cat poo.

You see, I seem perfectly well-behaved, but I have my weaknesses. In fact, mama and dad have done A WHOLE LOT of training with me to make me into the near-perfect gentleman that I am today. When mama adopted me about 7 years ago in Austin, I was a wild man. I had no manners, couldn’t concentrate even for a squilli-second, and I was a real conspiracy-theorist when it came to other dogs. I thought they were all out to get me and my people, and I had to protect myself and my family! It was the least I could do to thank my mama and dad for springing me out of the slammer that cold November day and bringing me home to live with them in the land of soft dog beds and chew toys. That’s what a good dog does . . . right?? So as soon as I saw another dog, I would go totally bonkers. Mama would kind of freak out, act embarassed, sometimes yell at me, and drag me away. I didn’t understand why she didn’t appreciate my gallantry, and she didn’t understand why I was being so gallant. It was the perfect recipe for what I call “just being a dog” and what I think you humans call “a behavioral issue.” Big, loaded words were thrown around like “aggressive” and “hate.” She and dad just didn’t understand.

So we tried taking a basic class at the big box pet store and I learned a great “sit,” but it didn’t help so much to make me calm and friendly when other dogs came around. Mama was so overwhelmed that for a long time she thought that I would never be able to be around other dogs — ever, at all. Can you imagine? My life would be so sad without my best bud Tex the lab, good ol’ Pancho Villa the pointerish, and even young Keebler the poodle.

After a while, we discovered the greatest dog trainer that ever was, and he taught me and my people (but mostly my people) about how us dogs think, and how to explain to us what is ok in the human world and what is not ok. He taught my mama that I am not aggressive, hateful, or mean, I just feel a little helpless when a dog rushes me on my leash, and I react in the only way I know how, trying to tell him or her to go away. Lee Mannix taught us how to “set me up for success” and how to meet other dogs in a positive way. If not for Lee, I might never have been able to foster the six dogs I have fostered so far, and perhaps most tragically of all, I might never have had my love affair with Gonzo Bunny-Ears:

We have come a long way since then, but even now, I begrudgingly admit that I am still not perfect. When we bring new dogs into our house, we go S-L-O-W in letting them meet me, since that works best for me. I don’t get to sniff with other dogs on walks, and if we are ever out and about and see a dog running around off leash, we immediately turn around and start heading in the opposite direction, and mama reaches for the hot dogs. It may seem kind of persnickety, but it works for us.

Lee Mannix taught us a lot of valuable lessons, but looking back on it all, I think I have taught my mama some valuable lessons too. From me, she learned never to think the worst of a dog, but instead to try to understand its perspective and find a positive way to communicate with it. She learned that the dogs who some people consider to be a “problem” can actually be a real treasure. And she learned that judging a dog based on its current behavior — rather than thinking about its potential and how we might work together as a team — can be a real mistake.

Without all of those valuable lessons, mama might have given up on me. And wouldn’t that have been such a loss?

Little Zee, country mouse

Yesterday Little Zee told you about her love for riding in cars and the fun adventures that brings, but today, she wanted us to show you.

Our good friends recently bought a house on a beautiful 16+ acres out in the rolling countryside, and invited us up for the weekend to visit. So we did. And Zee did. And she loved it!

Naturally, the first thing Zee wanted to do when we got there was inspect the farm equipment. She took a good mosey all around it to check it out, had a great romp and roll around in the nice tall grass, got to let loose her inner tiger roaming the prairie, inspected the tractors, and reported back to us that she approves:

The next thing that any good little Zee does is charm all of the people by making eyes at them (single eyes and double eyes) until they fall desperately in love with her:

Later, while the boys were outside tending the fire and grilling our dinner, we got to spend some good quality girl time together:

We had a nice slumber party, and Zee got to experience the rare privilege of sleeping in the human bed with foster mom and dad, which she enjoyed thoroughly, softly snoring and dreaming of tractors and fields and hopping like a little bunny rabbit. In the morning, she was well-rested and ready to receive additional loving from everybody at the party:

Thanks for the fun, B & M! Little Zee loved your place and slept like a tired little bunny for days after we came home!

Who likes car rides?

Who likes car rides? I do! I do!

I don’t know why everybuddy doesn’t love car rides. For me they mean fun trips to my friends’ houses, visits to the vet (which means more people to charm and kiss), visits to the dog-friendly shops in town (which ALSO means more people to charm and kiss!), and rides out to the country to smell the fresh mountain air.

Stay tuned tomorrow when I’ll tell you all about my big weekend car riding trip!

XOXO, Little Zee

PS- Oh, why thank you for asking! I am feeling much better after my spay and all the icky complications afterward. Mama says she’s never seen a spay scar disappear so fast, and I’m feeling back to my hip-hoppity bunny rabbit self (umm . . . bunny rabbits like to take many many naps, right?)

For more info on adopting Lady Zabora, click here or contact us at DCpetographer [at] gmail [dot] com.

Lady Z’s fundraiser wrap-up

Wow! Lady Zabora’s fundraiser wrapped up yesterday, and we are amazed and proud to report that we raised $4,130 for her rescue and care — a sum greater than we ever could have dreamed. Given that we are just beginning to explore her medical needs, we feel so thankful to have the funds we need to tackle anything that might come up. Here’s where we plan to start:

  • A thorough well-visit to check out her overall health, her joints, her bones
  • A consultation on her neurological issue that is causing her some slight balance problems (it is most likely that her balance issues are stable, permanent, and do not cause her any suffering, but we would like to talk it through just the same)
  • Arthritis meds for life — either preventive or treatment-oriented
  • A high-quality, grain-free food for senior dogs with mild allergies

Our goal is to make sure that Little Zee is happy, comfy, and healthy, and that whoever adopts her has a complete picture of our girl’s preferences, habits, needs, and health. We also plan to transfer a “trust fund” to her future adopter’s vet to cover the cost of future medical care. We don’t anticipate any big expenses in Zee’s future, but we also don’t want the fear of costs associated with adopting an eight-year-old dog to stand between her and her perfect forever-home.

Leftover funds — if any — will be donated to help other older or special-needs pit bulls, and we will poll our generous community of friends and donors on the best way to pass any extra funds along.

We will be working through our lottery entries over the next few days and plan to announce winners for Lady Z’s fundraiser raffle within the next week. If you donated $20 or more and have not emailed us your lottery selections, please do so at DCpetographer [at] gmail [dot] com. The deadline is Wednesday!

Little Z can’t wait to see who wins the two Sirius Collars. She just loves her Rhianna collar!

For more info on adopting Lady Zabora, click here or contact us at DCpetographer [at] gmail [dot] com.

Happy Labor Day from Lady Z

Little Z wishes everybody a happy Labor Day. She is taking the day off from her busy job wrapping herself in blankets and taking naps and walks all day to just sit around looking cute. She hopes each of you has a lovely day off too!

**Our Lady Zabora Chip-in fundraiser wraps up today. We have been so overwhelmed with everyone’s generosity. Thanks to your help, we will be able to help our Little Z with any medical needs she might have. Stay tuned later this week for our lottery results and an update on Z’s story!**

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