two-tongue heat wave

the weather man says it was only 76, but according to our dog tongue thermometer, it was hot this weekend.

chick’s heat indicator normally only registers when it’s in the mid 80s, but perhaps after a long winter, it’s a little uncalibrated.

gonzo’s indicator seems to have two settings. a tongue drooping straight out, for weather in the mid 70s and low 80s, and tongue flopped to the side, when it’s mid-80s or warmer. we got a glimpse of the side-flop heat a few weeks back, but hope that little Ears is in his forever-home before we hit those temps again!

the power picnic

we call it a power picnic, but the only thing that made it powerful — other than the french pastries from a new bakery downtown — was gonzo’s presence. just look how well he fits in with the boys.

not surprising, but Gonzo loves picnics. he loves being the center of attention, he loves laying close to his people, he loves watching birds and trees, and he loves vacuuming up the stray pieces of food that somehow keep appearing all over blankets when people sit around and eat.

he was seriously lustful over the cheese and the sausage that some friends brought to eat, but his biggest obsession at the picnic? a ziplock bag full of deviled eggs.

it ain’t easy when it’s green

Gonzo wants everyone to know: just because the leaves are out in full force and it’s the dead-middle of springtime, there is plenty of work for a bunny-eared dog out in the yard and on the deck. Watch out, errant still-falling winter twigs and sticks from those enormous oaks out back. Gonzo is gonna get you . . .

For more info about adopting Gonzo Bunny-Ears, contact us at DCpetographer [at] gmail [dot] com or through Partnership for Animal Welfare.

rainy day blues

Neither our Chick nor fabulous (and adoptable!) foster Gonzo Bunny-Ears is crazy about the rain. And with those glistening white coats, can you blame them? Gonzo will never turn down a walk, but he does get a little scowly-faced when the big drops start to fall onto his inquisitive little face.

It stormed and rained over the weekend and again yesterday. During the breaks between showers, the pups got to go out and pitter patter around in the puddles, but in truth, it was without enthusiasm. When the weather is soppy, they’d much rather snuggle up indoors by the window where it’s nice and dry.

For more info about adopting Gonzo Bunny-Ears, contact us at DCpetographer [at] gmail [dot] com or through Partnership for Animal Welfare.

Gonzo’s Bunny-Ears: Saving Lives Since 2007*

The moment we met Gonzo, we felt that it was his ears that helped spring him out of jail at one of the most overcrowded shelters in the DC area. Having spent almost two months with him, we were all the more convinced that the magnetism of his ears is so strong that they have the capacity to save more dogs than just himself. And now? Well, now we have proof.

We first met T through her inquiry about adopting Gonzo. Her family is perfect. Two boys, one young, one older, a big fenced yard, nice flexible schedules, another dog — a lab — who loves to play. T is absolutely charming, and was equally charmed by Gonzo through his bio and his blog. Because of the young age of one of her children, her application was not a match (Gonzo is a bit nippy with toys and is not allowed to go to a family with kids under 4ish). Sad to be losing a great potential adopter, I emailed her right away, offering to suggest a few dogs at local shelters who met her general criteria (smallish pit bull type, dog- and cat-friendly, young, and cute ears — a la Gonzo — if possible). After all, spring is the season of dogs being put to sleep in huge numbers, so it’s also the best time to adopt.

Much to my delight, T responded to my offer. I rushed to get in touch with friends at our local shelter, MCHS, who immediately recommended a sweet, young, timid pit bull girl named Precious. She even has cute, perky ears! Precious had been a shelter favorite because of her dainty, gentle nature and adorable, petite features, but as many pit bulls do, she kept getting overlooked. Unfortunately, her initial shelter photo kind of made her look like a haggard old lady:

Still, at my determined insistence, T agreed to make the long haul up to MCHS (30 miles is far for the DC area!) to meet her that week. And wouldn’t you know, it was love. They loved Precious’ temperament, her sweet eyes, her gentle nature, and her fabulous bat ears. Over the next few days, another visit ensued with the rest of the family, including dog Gretzky, a home interview, and a spay surgery for Precious. She was adopted!

No glamour shots of Precious (now Luna!) are available yet, but these show off her cuteness just a tad bit better. Check out those Gonz-esque ears!

During the application process, we got a very nice note from T about her experience working with us and with MCHS on the adoption. We were thrilled to hear about T’s great experience, and wanted to pass this along as an important reminder to our friends who are on the front lines of animal welfare work– whether in shelters, at rescues, or elsewhere. A bit of kindness and a willingness to treat every person as an individual just as you would treat every animal — can make all the difference.

“And any lingering twinge over the “Gonzo app” is negated by all the positives that came out of the situation. (Hopefully) A sweet angel of a dog is getting a forever home she might not have gotten otherwise, and in the process ya’ll (You, Bobbi and Dave)  may help a couple OTHER dogs find their forever homes as a result.
I know a few people who want to adopt a dog, but who’ve found the online adoption process to be rather daunting and overwhelming (all those dogs, and they all sound/look equally as adorable, but it’s not the same as meeting the dog in person)  and I’ve shared with them my experiences this far, and how helpful and supportive you all have been and they’re looking into adoption via MCHS and other local shelters in the coming weeks.
So if it all works out maybe a few more doggies with find forever homes that wouldn’t have if everything had gone perfectly and smoothly with the Gonzo adoption. Win!”

So Precious/Luna: congratulations on your beautiful new life, and Gonzo: your ears’ altruism clearly knows no bounds!

*Gonzo has technically been saving lives only since 2010, when he saved his own life, via his ears, at the shelter. But six months ago in human years is four years ago in dog years . . . right?

gonzo bobblehead

A couple weeks ago we wrote about the magic of kongs and other dog puzzles for keeping a dog’s mental game sharp, tempering anxiety, and just creating good fun.

Gonzo thought it was high time you learned about another favorite treat-dispensing toy of his:

This one is the StarMark Bob A Lot, but it’s very similar to the Kong Wobbler. Essentially, it’s a bottom-weighted, pear-shaped toy.  You pour food into an opening, screw the top on, and watch.

The dog has to paw the toy to make it bobble, and treats are dispensed through a hole near the bottom.

We like the Bob A Lot because the treat dispensing hole is adjustable, so it can get bigger or smaller depending on the type of treats and the skill level of the dog.  Mr. Ears loves it!

lip smackin’ allergies?

Mr. Ears has a real affinity for licking his paws. We noticed a few weeks ago that everywhere he lays, he leaves a suspicious little wet puddle. Fearing the worst, we dutifully put our noses to the wetness, cringing, only to find that it smelled like nothing. Whew.

But the longer he lives with us, the more we notice that when he lays down he is often not laying down just to hang out, but rather, he is hunkering down to diligently lick at his paw. He doesn’t seem to have any cuts, any irritation, any peanut butter stuck between his toes . . . what could it be?

I thought I remembered reading somewhere that paw licking may be a sign of itching, which can be caused by allergies. On the other hand, it seems like it could just be one of his little behaviors. Any thoughts? Anybody have experience with compulsive paw-licking?

For more info about adopting Gonzo Bunny-Ears, contact us at DCpetographer [at] gmail [dot] com or through Partnership for Animal Welfare.

Gonzo’s favorite things: romancing the kong

Gonzo loves playing tug, hanging out with other dogs, and helping out in the kitchen, but possibly more than all of these things, Gonzo loves romancing a kong. His tenacious terrier nature really goes on display when you give him a food-stuffed kong to chew on. You can almost hear his little heart sing in happiness. Even his ears are cocked in concentration:

Gonzo’s favorite things: helping

Mr. Gonzo Bunny-Ears is ever so helpful in the kitchen. He has picked this skill up from his big foster brother Chick, who is always willing to help clean up– whether the excess be on the floor, in a bowl, stuck to the back of a spoon, or dripping down mom’s leg.

Gonzo was not a natural kitchen-dweller when he first came to us, but he sure did learn fast. As long as there is a dog bed nearby from which both wonderdogs can watch all the action, both Gonzo and brother Chick will lay obediently in their assigned spot instead of getting underfoot. With one exception:

Something about the sound of the hand mixer sends a signal to their brains — and a pavlovian response kicks in, forcing them to leap out of their spot and bound over to where I am standing, butts wiggling out of control.

For more info about adopting Gonzo Bunny-Ears, contact us at DCpetographer [at] gmail [dot] com or through Partnership for Animal Welfare.

Gonzo’s favorite things: big brothers

In case it hasn’t been totally clear from reading our blog over the past few weeks, Gonzo absolutely adores his big brother. He follows Chick around everywhere and is always trying to play with him and snuggle on him. He hits Chick over the head with toys trying to entice him to play chase, and regularly sits down directly on top of a sleeping Chick as though it were the only seat in the house, even when it’s super hot and snuggling makes no sense. Lately, he has taken to imitation as his favorite way to flatter his big foster brother. Sometimes we come into a room to find them sleeping in the exact same pose, like this.

The way in which little Mr. Ears has bonded with Chick has made us pretty sure that whoever adopts him will have to have another dog to keep him company, or at least a few kids in the 6+ age range. He really thrives off company more than your average dog.

For more info about adopting Gonzo Bunny-Ears, contact us at DCpetographer [at] gmail [dot] com or through Partnership for Animal Welfare.

%d bloggers like this: