Monthly Archives: January 2013

Happy (?) Anniversary, Cooper

Alright, Coop. This is getting ridiculous. One year ago today, Oscar and I sprung out from the shelter. For one full year now, you’ve taken up residence at Foster House.  Twelve months. 52 weeks. 365 days. A year, Cooper? Really?

One year ago today.

One year ago today.

I love you to bits and pieces, but really kid – ya gots ta GO! And I say that with love, I really do.  I will adore you forever, and you will always be in my heart, you know that. But seriously, you’re being a little selfish. There are other dogs out there who need us, other dogs who we haven’t been able to help because you are occupying a very valuable spot in our house – the “foster spot.” I know, we experimented a couple of times with being a three-dog household.  While I admire folks who can handle a life where the dogs outnumber the humans, quite frankly – that ain’t us.

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I blame myself, really. We’ve made it way too easy for you to settle in here and set up shop in our hearts (…and on our couch, and in our bed…) You got comfortable. We got comfortable. Oscar got comfortable. Shoot, if I were you, I wouldn’t want to leave either!

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It’s hard not to get frustrated with the lack of interest we’ve had in you. Sometimes it seems like we’ve done it all – obedience training, agility classes, campaigns and public exposure…what are we missing here??  The problem is that I know exactly what the problem is. You’re not “easily adoptable.”  We can’t honestly answer “yes” to any of the typical questions that people ask about you when they’re looking to add a dog to their family: “Is he good with kids? Is he good with other dogs? Is he good with cats?” Unfortunately the short answer to each of these questions is “no.”

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“Whatcha mean? But I’m a Good Dog…”

However, there’s so much more to you than just a short answer. I don’t like to make blanket statements about any dogs…

“Labs are good family dogs.”

“Boxers are athletic.”

“Rottweilers are loyal.”

While these statements might be true of some Labs, some Boxers, and some Rottweilers, it isn’t true of all of them. Dogs are individuals, and painting them with broad strokes does them a disservice. Just like making generalizations about you, Cooper, does you disservice.  So the problem is that if someone is interested in adopting you, unless they read back through all 95 posts I’ve written about you in the past year, all they hear is the short answer to the questions they ask.

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Cooper my boy, I am not even close to giving up on you. Someday, someone is going to fall so in love with you that they’re going to want to hear the long answers to their questions. That will be the right Person for you.  And I will not rest until I find that person…your Person.

If you are Cooper’s Person, please fill out an adoption application with Agape Animal Rescue.

~

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Cooper’s Christmas Vacation: Two Pitties in the City

I can’t think of a better title of this post than to pay homage to one of our favorite dog blogs.

Not only do bloggers and pit bull owners E and A navigate the streets of Chicago every day with their two amazing ambassadogs (and the occasional foster pooch), they share their pearls of wisdom with the rest of us to show us that owning big dogs in a city apartment isn’t impossible. Let me just tell you, after five days of daily walks with the pooches in an urban jungle, I have a whole new appreciate for our friends at Two Pitties in the City.

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Columbus, Ohio on the Scioto River

While we were traveling over holidays, we stayed in a hotel in downtown Columbus, Ohio. Now Columbus ain’t Chicago, but that it’s a city just the same. Walking a dog in a city environment is totally different from walking in our neighborhood, or in parks around Nashville. There were lots of new sounds and smells to navigate, which brought a whole new set of challenges. For example, please add “city busses” and “men wearing big puffy hooded coats” to the list of things that terrify Cooper. Oh, and when Foster Mom goes inside to get some coffee and leaves him with Foster Dad – he’s not a fan of that, either.

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“Mom? Where’d ya go?”

The best part about introducing our dogs to “city living” was that it was the week of Christmas – which meant downtown Columbus was pretty much a ghost town. This was really great because we could focus the majority of our energy on the boys and making sure they were comfortable and behaving appropriately without too much fear of bothering other pedestrians. Even though there were lots of new things to get used to, we quickly found our rhythm and the pups really enjoyed sightseeing.

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We even tried to get a family photo, like we’ve seen our city dog walking heroes do so well….we have much to learn.

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When we were getting the boys used to the hotel room, we tried to keep things consistent to the way we do things at home. We did the same on our walks in the city, keeping things as similar to our neighborhood walks at home as we could. A big one was asking the boys to sit and wait politely before crossing the street.

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We also used our new surroundings for opportunities for “fun,” like letting Cooper practice his agility.

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Of course there are some aspects of walking the pooches that never change, no matter the scenery…

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Overall, Cooper and Oscar both did great. With more time and practice, not to mention patience and consistency from his People, we think that Cooper could easily be a city dog. Thank you, Columbus, for your hospitality!

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If you’d like to add Cooper to your family (for zero dollars, by the way!), please fill out an adoption application with Agape Animal Rescue.

~

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Cooper’s Christmas Vacation: SNOW (part II)

I forgot to mention a couple of things in yesterday’s post, regarding our pups reaction to snow –  Cooper seeing snow for the first time, and Oscar seeing this much snow for the first time. 

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Along with learning that snow can be more fun that just about anything, Cooper also learned what a “snow brush” is….and that it is fascinating.

Also, we learned that snowmen apparently bear an uncanny resemblance to fire hydrants…

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Cooper’s adoption fee has been sponsored! If you’d like to add Cooper to your family (for zero dollars!), please fill out an adoption application with Agape Animal Rescue.

~

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Cooper’s Christmas Vacation: SNOW!

Cooper is a Southern dog. He was picked up as a stray in Nashville, Tennessee and thrown in the slammer. Foster Dad and I busted him out, and he’s been living with us in our home for the past year. Cooper has never left the state, and has certainly never seen snow.

"I dunno 'bout da snow, but I know I like da sunshine!"

“I dunno ’bout da snow, but I know I like da sunshine!”

All that changed on our Christmas trip to Ohio.  Ohio got hit with a crazy snow storm the day after Christmas, and we could not wait to get the dogs out into the snow to see how they’d like it. Oscar has seen snow before, but not to this extent. This was that miserable nice heavy, wet, big-flake snow that accumulates in inches with a quickness and sticks to every surface it touches.  Miserable to drive through, but beautiful to look at and wicked fun to play in.

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Luckily for the boys, Ohioans are used to this sort of weather event and were not impressed. Most people did what any sane normal person would do, and hunkered down inside with a bottle of bourbon. But not us, oh no sir – we had very important business to conduct. We had to introduce a Southern dog to SNOW!

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We found a deserted tennis court, and after doing a perimeter check to make sure all the gates were secure, we unclipped leashes and let ’em at it.

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They. Had. A. BLAST!

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The boys already think that Foster Dad hung the moon, but after that day their admiration for him reached new heights when he came up with a new Most Fun Game in the World Ever – catching snow balls.

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Foster Dad and I haven’t had this much fun watching the dogs play since the Mud Bowl.

The boys could have been out there all day, but remember how I mentioned that the snow was super wet and heavy? Yeaaaaaaah that means it melted as soon as it hit me and Foster Dad, leaving us soaking wet and freezing. So after about 30 minutes we called it a day, but it was plenty enough time to wear the fur-kids out substantially.

That is one tired Oscar-man.

That is one tired Oscar-man.

And what’s the best part about getting completely tuckered out in the freezing cold? Snuggling up on a cozy warm hotel bed for a nap.

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So in summary, according to the boys…SNOW = FUN!

If you’d like to add Cooper to your family, his adoption fee will be waived thanks to a generous donor! Please fill out an adoption application with Agape Animal Rescue.

~

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Adopt Cooper – for FREE!

Cooper is coming up on his one year anniversary at Foster House. He has a lot of people in his corner, following his progress and pulling for a wonderful adoption to put a happy ending on his rescue story.

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Like most rescue organizations, Agape Animal Rescue charges an adoption fee when you adopt one of their dogs.  At Agape, this fee is typically $175 – it helps cover costs of things like food, training, vaccinations, and unexpected medical procedures.

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Today an Agape supporter, a fabulous woman named Andrea Paslick, donated $175 to cover Cooper’s adoption fee! That means that you can now adopt Cooper for free – nada, nothing, zero dollars! Isn’t that amaze-balls?!?! Cooper thinks so…

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“Thank you, Miss Andrea!”

If you’d like to add Cooper to your family, you can do that with NO adoption fee! Please fill out an application with Agape Animal Rescue.

~

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Olive: ADOPTED!

On Friday afternoon, I teased that we had some “very exciting news” on our Facebook page. Some of you guessed that Cooper was adopted. Well, an adoption did take place, it just wasn’t Coop.  It’s the adorable Miss Olive who has found her Furever Home!

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Eight months ago, sweet Olive was tied to a tree in a dirt patch outside an apartment complex in my neighborhood. It was only beginning of April, but Nashville was getting an early heat wave and Olive was stuck in out in the hot sun day in and day out with no food or water, and only a dingy plastic dog house to shelter her from the elements.

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My neighbor Jen, fellow animal lover and blogger, just couldn’t turn her back on her, and invited her into her home. For the first time in her short life, Olive was part of a family, safe, loved and cared for.

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Soon after, Olive was welcomed into the Agape family. She had her glamour shots taken, and stole the show at Agape’s annual fundraiser, Glitter & Glam.

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Foster Mom Jen has actually known Olive’s new dad for years…through the magic of social media, B has been following Olive on Facebook for months. When he was in town on business before Christmas, he met the wiggly little squish face, and fell in love.

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After conferring with his partner in crime, they agreed that they just couldn’t live without her. They hopped on a plane in Washington DC this past weekend and flew all they way to Nashville just to pick her up.  Even though she was meeting her for the first time, Olive’s new mom H was instantly smitten.  

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Even though she’s crossing the Mason Dixon line for the first time, this southern dog won’t have to worry about the blustery winter weather of the east cost biting through her short furs – thanks to a little going away present from her buddy Cooper.

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First time foster parents Jen & Jason had a tough time saying goodbye to their girl. Understandably so…those of us who have had the honor of loving a dog like our own only to send her on her way to a happy, loving forever home, know how difficult the first time can be (who am I kidding, like it gets any easier??). But, just like all foster parents, they know that Olive is on her way to the best life she can have, spoiled rotten just like she deserves.

Saying goodbye to Foster Dad

Saying goodbye to Foster Dad

Thank you for taking such good care of me, Foster Mom!

Thank you for taking such good care of me, Foster Mom!

…and “spoiled rotten” is right. Olive is going to be an only dog in her new house.  Her new parents even brought Olive a new leash, collar, a dog bed of her very own (all of them with her new full name, Olive Olivia, embroidered on them) and some yummy vegan dog treats for the long ride home in their rental car. They bonded to Journey’s “Don’t Stop Believin” as they crossed the state line, driving off towards what Olive has been yearning for her entire life…Furever.

Congratulations Olive!

~

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Cooper’s Christmas Vacation: Hotel Dog

Foster Dad and I are both originally from the great state of Ohio. Though we don’t make it every year, we love being able to go back up there around the holidays to visit family and friends, and possibly get to see some of that horrible wonderful winter weather that we moved down here to avoid.

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This year, for a variety of reasons, we thought it would be easiest for all parties involved if we stayed in a dog-friendly hotel during our trip. And thanks to a friend who works there, we got a great room for only a couple bucks more per night than it would have cost us to board Oscar. Shout out to the Capitol Square Holiday Inn, you guys rock!

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It was never in the original plan for us to bring Cooper with us on this trip. Since Coop is a foster dog, Agape Animal Rescue makes arrangements for him whenever we go out-of-town. However, the best laid plans of mice and dog owners…. anyway, there were several things that contributed to our decision to travel with Cooper. First of all, it was the holidays, and of course all the boarding places were pretty booked up. Though they would have pulled it off, it would have been tougher than usual for Agape to find somewhere for Cooper.

Oscar investigates the Christmas decorations in the hotel lobby.

Oscar investigates the Christmas decorations in the hotel lobby.

Secondly, Cooper had his tooth pulled just a couple of days before we planned to leave.  He was going to be on a slew of medications and have his food softened while he recovered. We would have felt horrible dumping that situation on someone else, plus, we’re parents! We worry about our fur-kids. So, since we had the hotel room booked anyway, we thought heck – bring him along!

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Just like with human kids, they key to keeping travel with pets stress-free less stressful is preparation. We pre-measured out enough food for each meal, packed up all of Cooper’s medications as well as a doggie first aid kit, we even brought strategic cleaning supplies and towels just in case there were any, uh…”accidents.” We made sure each of the boys got brand new toys to keep them occupied in the room.  They each got new stuffies, and Oscar got an antler too.

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Unfortunately, Cooper was on a strict “no antler” regimen while his mouth healed, but he didn’t seem to mind. He loved his new stuffed fox so much that he slept with it.

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We also made sure to bring some familiar pieces of “home” with us. That meant they got to snuggle up in their own blankets.

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Finally, we kept the rules consistent to when we were at home. They eat their meals in separate rooms at home, and thankfully we had a suite so we were able to feed them in different rooms at the hotel as well. At home, they have to sit and wait politely before they are allowed to eat – ditto for the hotel. We allow the pups on the furniture at our house, so we let them have the run of the hotel room too (sorry if that’s not cool, Holiday Inn).

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At home, the pups sleep in our bed with us. So, naturally….

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…again, sorry Holiday Inn.  They don’t shed! (much)

Oscar has stayed in a hotel with us before, but this was a “first” for Cooper. We honestly had no idea what to prepare for, or how he would act.  Fortunately, overall I’d say we did pretty well. Cooper had a great time with all the new experiences of the week (check back later to see how Cooper did city-walking, and how he feels about snow!) Let’s be honest, as long as he’s with His Pack, Cooper is happy and having a great time. So would we do it again?  Well, hopefully Cooper will be adopted before we get the chance!  

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If you’d like to add Cooper to your family, please fill out an adoption application with Agape Animal Rescue.

~

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