Tag Archives: Friends

A Toast – To You!

Holy crap, second place, you guys!!

TOMC 2nd

Sorry, I just had to get that out! Let me back up a bit…back in June, Foster Dad and I found out that our lil’ old corner of the interwebs was nominated for The Tennessean’s annual Toast of Music City Reader’s Choice Awards for Best Blog. The nomination alone blew us away. The Tennessean is the go-to print news source for Nashville and our surrounding counties. They host the TOMC awards every year, in which Nashvillians get to vote on their favorite of their favorites in every category from restaurants, home improvement providers, retailers, local celebrities – just about everything that makes living in Nashville awesome.

TOMC2

As honored as we were to be nominated in the first place, we were floored when we got the word that we’d been invited to the awards reception, meaning that Heartbeat at My Feet finished in the top three in the “Best Blog” category! Holy smokes! I seriously about fell right over. Last Thursday night we attended the reception, where I was a nervous freakin’ wreck.  Foster Dad and I made quick use of our complimentary drink tickets to take the edge off, then we grabbed some delicious grub and stood by waiting as the winners in each category scrolled across the screens. If you follow us on Facebook and/or Twitter, then you already know what happened next:

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I couldn’t believe it! Second place??  Of the dozen or so blogs that were nominated, we won second?? After less than two years in the blogosphere, second place? Second? Seriously?  Could. Not. Believe. It.

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All the winners were printed in this Sunday’s Tennessean, and posted online. As if the 2nd place win wasn’t enough of a victory for us, the super-duper part is that a lot of our friends won, too!  And now, some props for a few of our buddies:

Best Local Artist (visual): Amiee Stubbs Photography (2nd place).  Amiee is the photographic genius behind Kaylee’s adoption photos and the Impression-a-Bull project, and is also the gal behind the lense at all of Animal Rescue Corps’ large scale rescue operations. She rocks so hard.

Lauren Slatery and Amiee Stubbs, from Ammiee Stubbs Photography. Serious awesomeness, right here.

Lauren Revans and Amiee Stubbs, from Amiee Stubbs Photography. Serious awesomeness, right here!

Best Festival: Barktoberfest (3rd place). Nashville loves our festivals, that’s for sure – that is to say, we have lots of ’em! And for one of Nashvillian’s favorites to be dog-centric is pretty dang cool.  This year’s event is on October 12th and admission is free, so mark your calendars!

Barktoberfest

Best Hotel:  Loews Vanderbilt (2nd) and the Hutton Hotel (3rd place) are both dog friendly and were recent hosts to Agape Animal Rescue‘s annual fundraiser, Glitter & Glam.

A million-squillion thanks go to everyone who voted for us this year. Second place ain’t too shabby, and we are so, so honored. This award means so much to us because it means that there are real live people out there behind our blog stats who are actually reading this thing, and are totally into the antics of our foster dogs, tips and tricks of owning and caring for pets, news about large scale rescues, and whatever random stuff crosses our minds.  So, here’s to you readers! Thank you, from the bottom of our hearts for sticking with us. You are amazing!

TOMC Winner!

Oh, and a super special thanks goes out to local celebri-dog and runway model, Willie Fitzgerald, for the nomination. You are one awesome Pug!  

Willie Fiz

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Easter Chicks

Foster House had some fluffy guests over Easter weekend…

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Aren’t they cute??  These three lovely ladies are new additions to our friends Mike, Ashley & Libby’s family. While Mike and Ashley were out-of-town, Libby brought her new three chick siblings to visit us at Foster House for the weekend.

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Last year, Nashville passed an ordinance to allow keeping urban chickens.  As much as I love the idea of raising our own food, our backyard is just too tiny to hold a chicken coop. Not to mention with foster dogs coming and going, we might end up going through chickens faster than we went through eggs. (Eeesh)  But with a huge back yard and a very well behaved pooch, Mike and Ashley jumped at the chance for fresh eggs. 

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For now, these three little nuggets (see-what-i-did-there?) live in this cardboard box, but Ashley is hoping that the weather in Nashville starts cooperating soon so they can move out into their coop,* and then hurry up and start producing yummy fresh eggs.  

*coop: not to be confused with this Coop:

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Does anyone else have experience with rasing hens?  Do you have any advice for Mike and Ashley?  And, probably most importantly, what should they name their gals? Any ideas?

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Ain’t No Party Like a Pittie Posse Party!

I make it a personal quest to try as hard as I can not to think about Christmas until after Thanksgiving.  As much as I love the holiday, I find it harder and harder to love it the earlier I start seeing Christmas decorations in stores.  However, now that Thanksgiving has past, it’s go time – bring on the holiday cheer!

Kaylee visited Santa last year to ask for a family of her very own. And her Christmas wish was granted!

Last year, Emily over at Our Waldo Bungie put together a Secret Santa gift exchange with a handful of friends from the blogosphere who also foster dogs and have a love for pit bulls. They called themselves the Pittie Posse, and I had such a blast last year reading about all of the thoughtful gifts they exchanged.

Two Pitties in the City
Love and a Six-Foot Leash
That Touch of Pit
Two Grad Students & a Pittie
Twenty-Six to Life (which is actually now Kate with a Camera)
Pittieful Love
Our Waldo Bungie

Guess what? This year they’ve expanded – I’m so honored to have been invited to participate in the 2012 Pittie Posse Secret Santa gift exchange!

Also joining the Pittie Posse this year are Peace, Love & Fostering and Two Kitties One Pittie.  Man oh man, am I excited….I. Freakin’. Love. Secret Santas! I don’t know how I am going to wait until reveal day…which, by the way, will be Friday, December 21st.

In the meantime, we’ve been preparing Foster House for Cooper’s first Christmas. Since he has a certain, um, shall we say “destructive history,” we’re not sure how he’s going to react to all the decorations, not to mention a giant tree right in the middle of the room.  So we’ve been slowly trying to introduce the idea to him, by bringing in a bunch of tree trimmings we scavenged from our local Christmas tree shop and placing them on the floor where the tree will go. So far, so good – he doesn’t seem to care much about them.

Just to be safe though, I spent the last day of my Thanksgiving break sorting through our holiday decor, picking out the “Cooper-proof” ones. In other words, the ones that I won’t be heartbroken if they get eaten, broken, or otherwise destroyed.  We’ll let you know how it goes!

Cooper would love a furever home of his very own for the holidays! If you’re interested in adding Cooper to your family, please fill out an adoption application with Agape Animal Rescue.

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Dexter the Big Brother

Oscar’s buddy Dexter recently became a big brother!

“WHAT?!?! Imma be a big brudder?!?! OMG!!!”

You might recognize Dexter from this recent post.  We often crash their backyard because it is such a fun playground for the boys.   When Dexter’s parents were in the hospital this summer welcoming their little sweet pea into the world, I stopped by their house on my lunch break to give Dex a break from the solitude and let him romp around his backyard.   Rather than romp, he preferred to sunbathe – and did not care to go back inside:

(I finally had to stop the video so I could literally pick him up and carry him back in the house…Dexter’s mom fully admits that he is S-P-O-I-L-E-D, and it is true!) 

Once they brought their little baby girl home, Mom reports that Dexter has been very protective.  Every time she cries, Dexter runs to Mom and back to the baby, as if letting her know, “Momma, she’s crying!  Hurry!”  Welcome to the world, little lady! Your parents can watch you grow up not having to worry about a thing, because you have a very attentive big brother watching over you.

Oh hey, don’t forget to VOTE for COOPER!  What, you want to adopt him?  You can do that by starting here!

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Fun at Dexter’s

What is about someone else’s backyard that is sooooo much more fun than your own?  All Oscar and Cooper do in their own backyard is conduct their business then hang out on the porch gossiping like two grumpy old men.

But last night, we took the boys over to their friend Dexter’s house last night for some play time, and…well, this happened:

Granted, Dexter’s yard is a heck of a lot bigger than our, and more level, too, so I certainly understand the appeal.  And, play time had the desired effect…

Cooper is still searching for his furever home!  If you’ve got enough love to share with Cooper, please fill out an adoption application with Agape Animal Rescue.

…and don’t forget to VOTE FOR COOPER!

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A Play Date with Olive

Guess who’s still up for adoption?

Sweet little Olive, rescued and fostered by my good friend and neighbor (and fellow blogger), Jen.  Jen and her husband Jason are first time foster parents who just couldn’t look the other way when they saw Olive suffering at the end of a short chain, tied out in the heat with no food or water.

     

The other day I bribed Jen with cocktails Jen was kind enough to lend us Olive’s services, so we could practice “Look at That” with Cooper.  We met at a nearby park where Jen and Olive hung out and practiced Sit’s and Down’s and leash skills, while across the way Cooper worked on not going bananas while Olive was in view.  I gotta say, he did amazingly well.

As a reward for their hard work, we brought Olive back to Foster House for a play date.  Cooper was ecstatic to have a puppy to play with again, and Olive was totally jazzed to make some new friends. 

This is the weird thing about Cooper’s nerves – they completely disappear with his leash.  As soon as we unclipped his leash and turned him loose with Olive (under strict supervision, of course) his fears evaporated and he pounced on her with a play bow, wiggly waggy tail, and classic Cooper smile. 


I’m sure the fact that we were “on his own turf” may have had something to do with it, but it does give me hope that, with time and continued practice, we’ll be able to overcome his fears completely.

Do you need some puppy love in your life?  If you’d like to add Olive (or Cooper!) to your family, please fill out an application with Agape Animal Rescue.

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We Like to Party

Last weekend, about a dozen Agape Animal Rescue foster parents gathered at Foster House to share food and war dog stories.  Agape holds these Foster Socials every few months, and it’s a great time to get together to share training tips, adoption stories, and everything in between with like-minded dog lovers. Oscar was, as predicted, a gracious host, and Cooper even dressed up for the occasion.

We’ve talked about Cooper’s anxiety around other dogs, but it hadn’t occurred to us that this would be Cooper’s first time in a house full of people. Not just people, but strangers who he hadn’t met before.  We weren’t quite sure how he would react.  Fortunately, after some initial nervousness, he calmed down and realized that more people in the house = more attention!

Unfortunately for him though, it did not mean People Food for Cooper.  This was a great thing about having a bunch of dog people in our home, who all understand how important it is to respect House Rules – no matter how heartbreakingly adorable Cooper’s “please feed me” face is! 

If you’re interested in adding Cooper to your family, please fill out an application with Agape Animal Rescue.

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Special Paws Camp

Wassup, friends?  Momma left her computer laying around so I thought take this opportunity to hijack the blog again and tell you guys the real story of what happened when she and Dad had the nerve to go on vacation, and leave me to fend for myself!

So here’s what happened…

I was getting pretty used to our new routine.  First Mom & Dad started bringing home all these strange dogs.  They’d live with us for awhile, and then they’d load them up into the car and drive away and come home without them! I’ll be honest – at first, I was freakin’ out!  What if they decided to take me away and come home without me??  Ohmigosh I can’t even think about it.

But after awhile, I started to realize that all the dogs who were coming into our house needed my help.   That’s why Mom & Dad kept bringing them home, so I could help them!   I helped Tucker understand how not to be nervous all the time.  I helped Kaylee learn how to live in a house and that there’s more to life then living on a chain.  I helped Roxie learn important things every puppy should know.  Once I taught them all I could and they were Ready, Mom & Dad would take them off to live with their very own People.  I finally understood that they would never take me away, because they needed me too much!

Well, that was a relief!

So there you have it, I am the Furever Dog, and I am the Helper Dog.  I am totally cool with that Job! So anyway, now that I had that figured out, there I was, mindin’ my own business, hanging out with Foster Bro & Foster Sis…just, you know, doing my Job.  Teachin’ them stuff. 

When all of a sudden, I was whisked off to vet and before I knew it, I was rockin’ the Cone of Shame again!  Arrrrrrrg, woe is me!

The Cone itself would have been bad enough, but you would not believe what happened next.  Mom & Dad took both Cooper and  Molly Tamale away in the car, and came back without them!  WAIT!  They have more to learn, I’m not done with them yet – they’re not Ready!  I was very confused, but then again I was feeling all foggy from the vet so maybe I was just getting some time off from my Job so I could recover from whatever the heck that super nice Dr. Brown did to me.

Then things got really weird.  The next morning, Mom & Dad left without me.  That’s not the weird part, they do that every day.  The weird part is that they didn’t come back home to hang out with me that night.  Instead, Aunt Kari came over and took me to her house to hang out with my buddy Dexter.  This is still not the weird part, because I’m always going over to Dexter’s house to hang out, ever since I was itty bitty.

It got super duper weird when after a few days, I got loaded up into the car and taken to another different house!  I wasn’t sure where I was at first, but I recognized one smell right away: Bandit!

As you may recall, me and Bandit – well, we are besties.  He is my most favoritest friend in the whole wide world!  I knew nothing too bad would happen as long as I was with Bandit.  Even though I tried out my very best “sad and pathetic” impression on Bandit’s People (hey, I can work that Cone), they were not fooled.  They even brought some kids over to their house to draw a picture for me and Bandit to pose on.

We sat there and posed very nicely, and we must have pleased the People because they kept smiling and laughing.  They said they were running a Special Paws Camp.  Well I don’t know why Bandit’s so special, but I know that I am special because I have a very important Job.  I had tons of fun hanging out with Bandit, but I was super duper excited when his People took me back to my own house.  I was ready to get back to work!

Then just a few short hours later, guess who walked through the door?  Mom and Dad!  Oh man oh man, was I happy to see them.  Then, Cooper and Molly Tamale came back home, too, so I resumed my Job (see, I knew I wasn’t done with them yet).  Then, I ditched that stupid Cone.  All is right with the world again.

What a weird week it was….I think I deserve a raise.

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An Unexpected Guest

I got a little bit distracted from writing my post for today, by an unexpected guest who followed Cooper and me home from our walk this morning.

So there Coop and I were, minding our own business, when this cutie patootie came strolling around the corner, headed right for us.  Now unfortunately, there is no shortage of stray dogs in my neighborhood.  There is also a fair share of folks who let their dogs roam free.  So as with anytime I’m approached by an unleashed dog, my guard went up – I didn’t know what I’d be dealing with. 

Here are the things I immediately noticed, in this order: 1) Dog is not wearing a collar.  Crap, how am I going to grab him if things start going badly?  2)  He’s intact – that is to say, he still has his dangly bits.  Double crap, dogs who are not neutered can be very unpredictable.  3)  He’s a pit bull, and sooo cute!  Triple crap, now I’m going to have to help this dog! 

First things first – are we going to have a problem here?  I did my best to ignore Dog and keep Cooper focused on me, as continued along our route.  I became increasingly aware that Dog was behind us, following at a distance, keeping pace with us.  Cooper did amazing – he’s such a great leash walker, and faced with this distraction he stuck right by my side, only glancing towards our newly acquired third wheel once Dog quickened his pace and got right up next to us.  I allowed a little sniffing because – well, what other choice did I have, really?  I thought it better they figure each other out than try to get in between them, before I even knew what Dog’s intentions were. I did my very best to send calm energy down the leash to Cooper.

After a quick sniff it was clear that all Dog wanted to do was play.  I relaxed a little.  Still, this was not an ideal situation.  I’ve got a foster dog on a leash, and an unaltered dog who I don’t know without a collar acting very interested in us.  I made up my mind that the only thing I could do at this point would be to head for home.  If I could make it to the house and get Cooper inside, then I could figure out what to do about Dog. 

Let me tell you, that walk home was l-o-n-g.  Longer than that route had ever been before.  I had horrible thoughts flashing through my mind – I was so afraid that Dog would spook Cooper and Coop would spin out of his collar and away from me.  Or worse, that Cooper would look at Dog funny and Dog would attack us both.  I pictured yet another unleashed dog approaching us – what the heck would I do then?? 

But none of those things happened.  Dog just pranced along side of us, wagging his tail the whole way home.  We made it home without incident, and as I took Cooper up the porch steps to put him inside, Dog followed along like he wanted to go inside too!  Silly Dog, this isn’t your house!

I put Cooper inside and grabbed a leash and collar, thinking for sure Dog would have run off by the time I got back outside.  Nope!  He was sitting at the bottom of the steps just waiting for me, panting happily.  He allowed me to clip the collar and leash on him without so much as flinching. It was then that I got a good look at him – Skinny.  Filthy dirty.   And absolutely adorable.

I took him into the backyard and brought him out a big bowl of food and some fresh clean water.  He enjoyed both a great deal.  I started sending out e-mails to every rescue I could think of, and posting him all over Facebook, and getting him an ad up on Petfinder.  I mean, with Oscar and Cooper, Foster House is at capacity.  And as I’ve mentioned before, our local animal control facility has a less-than-friendly attitude towards any dogs resembling pit bulls.  I knew what his fate would be if I took him there – that option was clearly off the table.  For now, he’s safe in my backyard, but that’s no place for this guy.  He deserved a warm bed and someone to love all over him!

A friend of mine saw his photo and proclaimed that he has “a sweet little Muppet face,” so I am calling him Fozzie for now.  I’ll keep everyone posted on this saga, so stay tuned to our Facebook page for updates on this guy.  And of course, if you know of anyone who could help me find a place for this awesome dude, let me know!

**UPDATE** Less than 12 hours after Fozzie followed us home, we discovered that he does in fact have People of his own!  His name is Chino, and his family was frantic with worry, missing their lovely boy.  He was reunited with them before that evening was over, and you should have seen the reunion – it was beautiful.  I do love a happy ending! 

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To Knox

Today we’re dedicating the blog to Knox – a loyal foster brother, a devoted friend, and an amazing ambassadog for all pit bulls.  On Friday, our friends over at Pittieful Love made the heartbreakingly impossible decision to end Knox’s suffering, after an unexpected illness took over his body in a matter of weeks. 

We never had the honor of meeting Knox in person, but his People’s beautifully written stories about him and his foster siblings made Knox a popular guy in the foster blogosphere.  His stunning good looks may have been a factor, as well.

To Jess and Brian – I know that there are no words that can take away the pain you’re feeling right now.  But I know that Knox will be waiting at the door for you on the Other Side when you’re ready to greet him again.  And boy will his tail be waggin’ when he sees you!

And to Knox…Thank you for making the world a better place while you were here.  In your memory, we’ll all continue to carry on your message of love and acceptance.  You will be missed, and forever in our hearts.

 
“What we have once enjoyed, we can never lose;
All that we love deeply becomes a part of us.”
Helen Keller (pit bull owner)

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In lieu of comments here, please consider stopping by and leaving some encouraging words for Pittieful Love.  All these beautiful photos are from their blog.

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