Monthly Archives: July 2013

Operation Broken Chain: Updates

There have been a lot of updates on the Operation Broken Chain pups popping up on my newsfeed lately. I thought I’d share a few of them today, because who couldn’t use a little happy on your hump day?

Groucho has left his old life and name behind in Tennessee, and is now living the good life as Maverick in Sioux Falls, South Dakota.

Maverick is available for adoption through Sioux Empire Pit Rescue.

Norton has improved leaps and bounds, living with his new “Best Friends” in Kenab, Utah. Check out this beautifully written post about his improvement.

Photo by Best Friends Animal Sanctuary

Photo by Molly Wald/Best Friends Animal Sanctuary

And finally, Spirit…oh, my dear, sweet wonderful loving Spirit….Spirit is (drumroll please) currently in his foster-to-adopt home!


He’ll be living with his new potential family for 30 days while they have time to bond and get to know each other, sending daily updates to Big Bully Rescue in Phoenix, Arizona. Should everything go well, Spirit will have his Furever Home by the end of August!

And all that happy doesn’t even include those pups who are lucky enough to have already been adopted!  To name just a few…

Dorothy (now Tia) was a foster failure success, and is now living in her Furever Home with her mom and standard poodle brother, Sam – who she adores!

Princess Tia (formally Dorothy) with her big brother, Sam. Photo by Tia's furever family.

Princess Tia (formally Dorothy) with her big brother, Sam. Photo by Tia’s furever family.

Tia recently completed her STAR Puppy Class, and hopes to eventually be a Delta Pet Partners therapy dog like her big brother.

Dorothy (now Tia) was a foster fail, and is now living in her Furever Home with her mom and standard poodle brother, Sam.

Princess Tia (formally known as Dorothy). Photo by Amiee Stubbs Photography.

Winnie is becoming an ambassadog and Nashville PITTIE poster child, living with her dad and personal hero (and Animal Rescue Corps volunteer).

Winnie with her Dad

Winnie with her Dad

Jane, who is now “Pumpkin,” is loving life in her forever home.

Pumpkin (formally known as Jane). Photos by her Furever Family.

Pumpkin (formally known as Jane). Photos by her Furever Family.

“Her mom owns Minnesota Twisters trampoline and tumbling gym and Pumpkin is their team mascot! She goes to work (the gym) with her mom every day and is surrounded by love and affection. She is an amazing dog and will know only happiness for the rest of her days. From the bottom of my heart THANK YOU ARC AND THANK YOU SNIFFING SNOUTS PITBULL RESCUE!”

It’s been ten months since these dogs were pulled out of the only life they ever knew, and started on their journey towards the rest of their lives. The time I spent volunteering with these precious babies in the emergency shelter last year was one of the most amazing experiences of my life – I fell in love with each one of them and I am so thrilled for them now! Huge thanks go out to Animal Rescue Corps and all of the wonderful volunteers and placement partners who’ve played a part in saving these dogs’ lives.

Fred - now Pork Chop - also adopted. :-)

Fred – now Pork Chop – also adopted. 🙂

In related news, a trial date has been set for the **bleepity bleep bleeps** responsible for the pain and suffering these dogs endured. They have been charged with animal cruelty and dog fighting.

Broken Chain 08

Many other OBC dogs have also found their happy ever after. If you have updates you’d like to share, please leave them in the comments below!



Filed under Our Foster Journey

Cooper Says Relax

As we mentioned a little while back, Cooper is temporarily off the market. No, he hasn’t been adopted, but the Cooper-monster is in limbo for now while he continues “working on himself.”  We started his second round of Relaxed Rovers class this month. We first went through the class last year when Cooper started showing some reactivity towards other dogs when we’d be out and about. Cooper’s reactivity comes from a classic case of anxiety, he just doesn’t like what he doesn’t know – that includes strangers coming into the house, scary two-legged three-foot tall monsters (aka “children”), and other dogs.

"Go 'way go 'way!!"

“Go ‘way go ‘way!! Look, I’m ferocious, RAWR!!”

Kat Martin of Dogs & Kat teaches our Relaxed Rovers class.  We worked with Kat for Cooper’s Basic Obedience Class, as well as Agility. In Relaxed Rovers, “we work on helping dogs learn to be calm and focused on their people in distracting environments. This class if for dogs who have a hard time being calm, whether due to excitement, reactivity with other dogs or people  (especially when on leash), anxiety, or just plain lack of focus. This class is also very beneficial for dogs who compete in sports like agility.”In other words, this class is right up Cooper’s alley.

"Yes, I simply must learn how to relax."

“Yes, I simply must learn how to relax.”

When Cooper encounters a strange pooch on a walk, or at the vet, or anywhere in public, he puts on his big boy bark and puffs up his little chest and starts yelling at the offending canine: “HEY! YOU’RE TOO CLOSE! I DON’T KNOW YOU AND YOU’RE FREAKING ME OUT! GO ‘WAY PLEASE!!”  He’s not misbehaving, he just doesn’t know any other way to communicate to us that he’s uncomfortable. Unfortunately, when a Cooper freak-out happens, our first instinct is to pull Cooper out of the situation STAT – which unintentionally reinforces his “bad” behavior. Cooper learns that if he tells us with his words that he’s scared, we’ll take him out of the situation. And so the cycle continues.

What we need to do is teach Cooper that he can trust his People to take care of him if he gets nervous. When a strange dog or scary monster appears out of nowhere, Cooper needs to know that his People will take care of the situation, and he doesn’t need to worry. Part of this learning experience is on us, as Cooper’s handlers, learning how to read his cues so we’ll know when he’s starting to get nervous, before we enter full on freak-out mode. Us learning how to read Cooper, and managing the situation to keep it below his “threshold” helps build trust, and ultimately let’s Cooper know that there’s nothing to be afraid of.

Cooper practicing "Look at That" like a bawse.

Cooper practicing “Look at That” like a bawse.

Cooper is crazy-smart, like freakin’ Mensa level smart. He gets it, he really does. The hardest part of this class will be training foster mom and foster dad (OK, mostly foster mom) to keep their cool in “scary” situations – easier said than done at times!

Cooper is off the market for now, but Agape Animal Rescue has lots of other wonderful, adorable, adoptable pooches searching for their furever families! Check ’em out, here.

For any of our Nashville readers who are interested in Relaxed Rovers or other training classes with Dogs & Kat: Dog Training & Behavior Counseling, visit their website for class descriptions  and schedules.

….oh, and don’t forget to mark your calendars for Glitter and Glam this weekend!



Filed under Our Foster Journey

It’s Glitter & Glam Time!

It’s that time of year again! Agape Animal Rescue is gearing up for their annual fundraiser, Glitter & Glam.


Guys, I attended this event for the first time last year and let me tell you – it was a freakin’ BLAST. We’ve got silent & live auctions with over $15,000 worth of amazing items up for bid.



We’ve got a fasion show featuring designs by Corello on the two legged models and couture by Baxter Bailey & Company on the four legged models.



Oh, and food. And wine. And dogs everywhere! I mean, what else do you need?

Glitter & Glam 2012

Glitter & Glam 2012


Glitter & Glam 2012


Glitter & Glam 2012


Glitter & Glam 2012

This year’s event is taking place on July 28th at the Hutton Hotel with views of the Nashville skyline. Swanky, no?


Our hosts are Kimberley Locke of American Idol fame, and rising country star Phoenix Stone – this is Music City, after all.

The best part? All proceeds from ticket sales and auction items go directly to Agape Animal Rescue. Every penny raised is dedicated to helping dogs in need find their happy ending. So you get all of that awesome AND help dogs at at the same time!

Intrigued? I betcha are. Tickets? Right here!



Filed under Our Foster Journey