Monthly Archives: December 2012

Pittie Posse Secret Santa REVEALED!

You guys I am so pumped, I have been waiting months for this day and it’s finally here – it’s Pittie Posse Secret Santa reveal day! 

Secret Santa - Pittie Posse

If you recall, the Pittie Posse Secret Santa gift exchange is the brainchild of Emily at Our Waldo Bungie. This is the second year for the PPSS, but my first year in The Posse. (#finallyoneofthecoolkids) I have actually had my gift ready to go for a super long time because I was so stinkin’ excited! For the last couple weeks, I’ve been checking the mailbox obsessively every day, sometimes twice a day.  Finally one day last week, I got a super-duper special package. Drumroll please…..our Pittie Posse Secret Santa iiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiis…..Chocko from Pittieful Love!


(Fess up people, who did I fool on Facebook last night? Nope, it wasn’t Cooper wearing his Tiennot Sweater I was talking about, read on to find out what I was referring to…)

I hear that Chocko’s person, Jess, actually helped him pick out our goodies. I’m not questioning Chocko’s good taste, but our thoughtful gift definitely had some female influence. First out of the package was this pawsome magnet:

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Words cannot even express how much I love this. In this crazy world of rescue, it’s so easy to get discouraged.  Especially when you come face to face with unimaginable abuse and suffering. But then, just when you think you’ve seen just about all you can handle, you get a reminder like this that there are other amazingly wonderful like-minded people in our community, and we’re all here to support each other. Seriously, love.

What Jess and Chocko didn’t know was that last year, my amazing hilarious sister sent me this…

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…and this:

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So my new magnet fit right in with my other dog-themed paraphernalia on my fridge!

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As much as I love the magnet, I could not get over how thoughtful the second half of my gift was – a beautiful necklace from Dog Park Publishing!

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Seriously, how adorable is that? I’ve been wearing it all week to volunteer with the Operation Broken Chain pups and have gotten tons of compliments. Doesn’t it look great with my volunteer t-shirt?

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Jess and Chocko, thank you so so so much for the thoughtful gifts, I absolutely love them!  And that you Emily and the rest of the Pittie Posse for including us in this year’s gift exchange, we’ve had a total blast. Now dear readers, head over to Two Pitties in the City to see what goodies Foster House sent to E, A, M & B. And don’t forget to check out the rest of the Pittie Posse to see everyone else’s holiday swag!

We’ll be taking some time off from the blog to celebrate and enjoy the holidays with family, friends, and of course the pooches. Well, that’s the plan anyway, if anything super awesome, hilarious or exciting happens we’ll be sure to let you guys know. Everyone have a great rest of the year, and we’ll see you in 2013!

We wish you all a Joyous Christmakwanzukah, Merry Festivus, and Happy New Year from Foster House!



Filed under Our Foster Journey

Christmas Spirit

Last week, I helped load up one of my very favorite dogs from Operation Broken Chain onto a transport to start his new life. This is Spirit:

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Spirit is such a special guy. He was a shelter favorite from day one, and he was one of “my dogs,” in the enrichment pen I was assigned to. I played fetch with him, discovered his love of peanut butter Kongs, figured out he knows “sit” and of course had the honor of cleaning up his business.

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Everyone who has the pleasure of meeting Spirit falls in love with his sweet nature, his big goofy smile and that hilarious horse/velociraptor sounding growl/howl/bark/squeal. (Seriously, what IS that noise??)

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The volunteers at the shelter all talk about how far many of the dogs have come since they were rescued over Thanksgiving weekend. But we never said that about Spirit – he seemed “perfect” from the beginning.  He was named for the wonderful spirit he exhibited from day one – he loves everyone he meets, and even though he came from hell on earth, he wants nothing more than to be in your lap or curl up in the corner with a favorite toy.

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So where is Spirit now? This lucky guy is hanging out with the awesome folks at Big Bully Rescue in Phoenix, Arizona. Big Bully Rescue is “dedicated to rescuing and rehoming bully-type breeds.” They specialize in American Bulldogs, Olde English Bulldogs, Presa Canarios, Pit Bulls, Bullmastiffs, Cane Corsos, Dogo Argentinos and Dogue de Bordeauxs “French Mastiffs.” They, like so many rescue organizations across the country, are a small organization who rely on foster families, and the need in their area is far larger than their capacity. Even so, they just couldn’t turn their back on Spirit when they heard his story.

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I may or may not have cried like a baby when Spirit’s transport pulled away from the shelter – ok, I did. (Seriously, like a little girl.) I am going to miss him so much, but of course I am beyond thrilled for him that he’ll get to spend Christmas in a loving foster home. Lucky foster family!

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To find out how you can add Spirit to your family, check out Big Bully Rescue or visit their Facebook page to get lots of updates on Spirit. You can help donate to Spirit’s care here.

There are still 25 dogs at the emergency shelter in need of rescue organizations to take them in. If you’re a pit bull rescue organization in the United States or Canada and would like to help these dogs by becoming a placement partner with Animal Rescue Corps, please e-mail



Filed under Our Foster Journey

Didn’t see that one coming…

It didn’t take long for us to discover that wrapping fake presents for under the tree was a really good idea.

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Of course, we thought we knew who to blame…

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…until we turned around and the true culprit was revealed!

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Who would have thought that Oscar was the one we would have to worry about??

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Oscar my love, thank you for keeping us on our toes! Stinker.

Cooper (the innocent one) is still searching for a Furever Home of his very own! If you’d like to add Cooper to your family, please fill out an adoption application with Agape Animal Rescue.



Filed under Our Foster Journey

Cooper-proof Holiday Decorating

Foster Dad and I have never done a ton of holiday decorating, but we do enjoy a live tree and hanging our stockings with care, even though we don’t have a chimney.  Last year, we were a little Scroogey and skipped all of it.  After a year off, I decided come hell or high water destructive foster dogs, I was going to decorate for Christmas, dang it! Especially since Emily at Our Waldo Bungie got me into the holiday spirit way back in October when she invited me to be a part of this year’s Pittie Posse Secret Santa gift exchange! By the way, don’t forget to check back on December 21st for the big reveal!

We’ve already shared our tactics for introducing a live Christmas tree to Cooper. Since this will be his first Christmas at our house, and he has a certain “history,” we weren’t quite sure how he would react to a change in his environment. Since a lot of our holiday decor is sentimental, we wanted to be sure to keep it as safe from Cooper’s vicious chompers as we possibly could. Here’s how we did it…

Fake Presents

I love a tree with presents under it. But after all pounding the pavement and hitting the stores searching high and low for the perfect gifts for our loved ones, there’s no way we were going to leave them to chance under the tree.  Solution: fake presents.

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I just took some empty boxes and wrapped ’em up. This actually solves three problems: 1) Our real presents are stowed safely away until Christmas morning 2) I get to use up some of the wrapping paper I don’t like and 3) you caught me – I’m actually nowhere near done Christmas shopping. I only have two gifts in my possession, which would look pretty pathetic if they were the only things under the tree.

Raising the Bar Roof Decor

Since we are human-munchkin free, and Oscar has never given our Christmas stuff a second thought, we have always had the freedom of placing our holiday decorations wherever we wanted.  Since that’s not the case this year, we looked up – literally. Instead of hanging our stockings on our stocking hooks where we usually do, here:

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…we busted out some Command strips and hung them here:

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Again, multiple problems being solved here…1) obviously the stockings are out of reach of any curious pups and 2) I still get to use my stocking hooks, and display some of the ornaments that didn’t make it to the tree.

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Move it.

I am a creature of habit and I tend to find a “good spot” for things and not move them, ever. This includes holiday decorations – they usually end up in the same place every year.  We have a console that sits under or TV that is usually a great spot for some of our Christmas trinkets, but it also happens to be dog-nose height.

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Too tempting for the pooches. I did set our little Christmas tree music box out, but the rest of my little Christmas friends got moved down the hall this year.  This part of the house is closed off from where the dogs spend their days while we’re at work.

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These guys resemble stuffies a little too much to hang out with the pooches unattended during the day.

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There you have it, just a few simple fixes to keep our holiday decorations pooch-proof, but still make the house feel festive. What do you do to keep your holidays dog-friendly? Have you had to alter any of your traditions?

Cooper is still searching for his Furever Home! If you’d like to add Cooper to your family, please visit Agape Animal Rescue and fill out an adoption application.



Filed under Our Foster Journey

Cooper’s Holiday Portraits

When my photography skills came up a little short, Cooper took advantage of this beautiful Nashville weather we’ve been having to get some new portraits taken for the holidays. Doesn’t our boy look handsome?

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…and by “our boy,” of course I mean “he could be your boy,” because can you believe that Cooper’s People STILL haven’t found him??

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Cooper thought that perhaps his beautifl brindle face paired with a festive holiday sweater would be the perfect thing to atract potential adopters.

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Just in case there was any doubt, Coop wanted to make sure folks got a good close-up gander at his best feature – that million dollar grin.

I'm ready for my close-up!

I’m ready for my close-up!

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Once again, thank you April Hollingsworth at Harmony Designs Photography for these beautiful photos! Now about that Furever Family…is it YOU???

Cooper is still looking for his furever home! If you’d like to add Cooper to your family, please visit Agape Animal Rescue and fill out an adoption application.



Filed under Our Foster Journey

Christmas photo outtakes? Well, if you insist…

After we put up our Christmas tree last weekend, I naturally turned to my favorite models and insisted on a photo session. I armed myself with my camera and a bag of frozen peas (a favorite at Foster House) and confidently settled in for the task. Well, I underestimated two things: a) taking a quality picture of a lit Christmas tree in dim light is hard and b) my models are dogs.  

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“So boys, here’s what we’re gonna do, I am going to bribe you with frozen peas and you are going to sit and pose nicely in front of this big glowing tree like the sweet little angels you are, while I point and click this black box at you. ‘Kay?”

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Cooper: “Ohmigosh-peas-did-you-say-peas-I want-peas-please!”
Oscar: *sigh* “Rookie.”

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I actually kinda love this picture!

So close! They were even laying the same way, it would have been C-U-T-E.

So close! They were even laying the same way, it would have been C-U-T-E.

What can I say? We keep it real. Perhaps I as a little ambitions attempting both dogs at once…

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Our model Cooper is searching for his Furever Home! If you’d like to add Cooper to your family, please visit Agape Animal Rescue and fill out an adoption application.

Remember that there are still Operation Broken Chain pups waiting to be placed with rescue groups. If you are a pit bull rescue in the United States or Canada and would like to become a placement partner with Animal Rescue Corps, please e-mail



Filed under Our Foster Journey

It’s Christmas-time at Foster House!

Deck the halls and trim the tree, December is here and that means Christmas decorations!

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This will be our third Christmas with Oscar as a member of our family.  That dog takes after his Momma, he loves Christmas – especially the “opening presents” part.

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Oscar’s First Christmas (2010)

I mentioned last week that we are being a little cautious this year, since this is Cooper’s first (hopefully only!) Christmas season at Foster House. Although he’s been doing amazingly better recently, he does have a bit of a checkered past in the destruction department.

So first, I went through all our Christmas ornaments and pulled out all my favorites and breakables, and set them aside – they’re taking the year off. Thankfully, I have a bit of what I like to call an “after Christmas shopping problem,” which means I hit up Pier 1 and World Market on December 26th like it’s my job and snatch up all their adorable ornaments for a steal.  This means I have plenty to choose from. 


Then we hit up a local Christmas tree lot and scavenged some scrap tree trimmings.  Foster Dad fashioned them into a little make-shift wreath (just for fun) and we brought it into the house and left it on the floor for a few days, where we would eventually put the tree.  We wanted to see how Cooper would react to “nature” inside the house.  Would he chew on it? Pee on it? Attack it? Who knows.


Thankfully, he did none of the above – he gave it a little sniff, decided it wasn’t worth his time and didn’t give it a second thought.  So the next step was bringing in the tree.  We got a lovely tree this year through a fundraiser that donated all their proceeds from tree sales to single moms in the Nashville area to help them buy Christmas presents for their kids.  Much better than “donating” my hard-earned cash to the nearest big box hardware store with trees out front, amIright?

So, a little wreath was one thing, but a big ol’ tree right in the middle of the living room – what would Cooper make of this?

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Not a thing – didn’t phase him a bit!  After he didn’t react at all to Frasier (the Fraser, of course) invading his space, we commenced with the decking of the halls.

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Oscar approves, and Cooper couldn’t care less. I’ll take it! Now, to hang our stockings with care someplace they won’t be bothered…

Hmm, we're probably going to have to get a "foster stocking," huh?

Hmm, we’re probably going to have to get a “foster stocking,” huh?

Do you deck the halls at your house? How do you and your pups get ready for the holidays?

Cooper is still searching for his Furever Home! If you’d like to add Cooper to your family, please fill out an adoption application with Agape Animal Rescue.



Filed under Our Foster Journey

My New Friends

I had the honor and pleasure of visiting the Operation Broken Chain dogs this morning at the emergency shelter.  A handful of the pit bulls and all the non-pit bull type dogs have been placed with rescue organizations and will soon be up for adoption – including Ellie Mae, placed with Agape Animal Rescue who just gave birth to her 7 puppies over the weekend. Congratulations, momma – your breeding days are over!

Ellie May and Pups

Five boys, two girls. Adorbs, much?
Photo courtesy of Ellie Mae’s foster dad.

Today was an awesome day for me to head back out to the shelter. Up until now, the volunteers focus has been attending to medical needs, providing food and water, and keeping the cages clean.  Now that a good number of the dogs have been placed, with a little extra time and manpower Animal Rescue Corps added “enrichment” time to  the dogs’ schedules.  “Enrichment” is a 10 – 20 minute period of time in which the dogs are let of out their crates in a confined area for supervised interaction with toys, treats, and play. This time is used to evaluate the dogs and take notes on their mental state, so ARC can determine the best situation for them to be placed in, once they leave the emergency shelter.

So guess what I got to do today? That’s right, I was lucky enough to be assigned to one of the enrichment areas. Now, technically, I was still on poop-scoop and cage-cleaning duty, but still – I had the absolute best morning. I can’t wait to introduce you to my new friends…



Fred is a love-and-a-half. He is so happy, and just loves being a dog! He ran around the enclosure for his entire time period, chasing after and playing with a rubber Kong bone. He loved being loved on, and had the most wonderful “plop-down” when he got tired – he just threw his body to the ground. Such a character!



Wow, Elsie…this girl has some energy!  She was so much fun to watch run around. Whoever is lucky enough to be Elsie’s foster family is going to have a blast watching her learn and grow. And this one has some serious webbed paws going on, she’s gonna be a swimmer, for sure!



Poor little cautious Shay, with sores on her behind.  After Fred and Elsie spend their “recess” bounding around the enclosure and romping in the hay, Shay was a reminder that every dog is different, and recovers from trauma differently. Even though she’s now had nine days of eating regularly, Shay is still very underweight.  She padded around the room cautiously, exploring the play tunnel and sniffing the toys. She wasn’t too enthusiastic about being touched, but after what she’s been through, who could blame her?



My little precious Bosco was the one that just broke my heart today. Even though we’re brindle lovers at Foster House, I am a huge sucker for the black and white pitties.  Poor little Bosco just didn’t feel like venturing out from the safety of his crate today. He’d take a few tentative steps but never ventured more than a few inches from the door before he would dart back inside. In all fairness to Bosco, there’s a lot of noise and activity at the shelter, so again – who can blame him for being cautious?



After Bosco came a complete 180 with the arrival of Hurricane Geiger! Oh my lord, I fell in love with this little sweetie instantly. Geiger is a classic case of a dog who realizes that the worst is behind her, and she’s not going to waste any time wallowing in her past, no sir. What a ball of fun! Tearing around the room, slipping and sliding in the hay, and discovering the Most Wonderful Thing Ever: a squeak toy!



Darling Winnie, oh I just love her! Alert and curious, tentative yet trusting. I’m no professional, but I just have a feeling that Winnie will absolutely flourish in a loving foster home. Just like I’m sure all of these dogs will!

And as always, HUGE thank you to Amiee Stubbs Photography for such beautiful photographs of these darling pups! Can she capture an animal’s spirit or what?

While these dogs will eventually be available for adoption, I should note that Animal Rescue Corps does not adopt out the dogs they rescue directly. They rely on a network of placement partners to take custody of the dogs, and place them in loving foster homes until they can be adopted.  Animal Rescue Corps is still in need of placement partners for many of these wonderful dogs. If you are a pit bull rescue group in the U.S. or Canada and you are interested in partnering with Animal Rescue Corps to help our bully breed friends from Operation Broken Chain, or future operations, this is a great time to begin that relationship. Please email to start that process.



Filed under Our Foster Journey