Sunday, March 25, 2012

Adoptable Pittie: Rajah

This is a heart-breaking story that we can hopefully spin into a happy ending:

Basically, this gorgeous tiger-coated pup was originally adopted by a young woman a few years back, who, when her relationship ended, left the dog with her ex-boyfriend. The boyfriend wasn't able to keep Rajah, so he and his sister (my co-worker) worked tirelessly to get this prettie young lady adopted by a middle aged man. 

Shortly after the adoption, the new owner was evicted from his apartment and, instead of trying to explain his circumstances or contact the rescue, literally left Rajah in the apartment to fend for herself.

When Rajah's picture popped up in the newspaper, my co-worker was stunned and devastated - quickly going into overdrive to try and get this girl a home (as you can see by the pictures, she's a doll!). 

She is currently at Hi Tor Animal Shelter (low kill, not no kill) and has to be adopted through them. This is the contact info for the shelter and a link to her on Petfinder:
Hi Tor Animal Shelter
65 Firemen's Memorial Drive
Pomona, NY 10970

Any interest we can generate for her at this point would be great, as we all want to see her end up in a good home - she's had too many disappointments!

Saturday, March 24, 2012

A Disappointing, Frightening Experience

I was debating whether to share this experience with everyone, but I am simply so shaken and upset, I am interested to know how others would and/or have handled experiences like this.

Last night, I came home from dinner around 9:45pm and got G ready to go outside for the last potty break of the evening. I made it halfway down the stairs from our apartment and a man, who I had never seen before, was coming up the stairs. I stepped aside to let him passed, but he immediately stopped and started saying, "Is that a pit bull? You have a pit bull in this building?! Does the Board know about this?? Who are you? Where do you live? What's your name?"

As a single, twenty-something female in a new neighborhood and building, I was very, very uncomfortable. His words were aggressive and frightening and I just pulled G along and went down the rest of the stairs without answering his demands.

At that point he threatened me again, saying "I am just going to find out who are you through the Board anyway!" but I was already down the stairs and toward the lobby. I stopped by the doorman and asked him if he knew who this person was as I was worried for my safety. Would he wait for me by my apartment? Would he try and provoke me (or G) again?

As I was talking to the doorman, the man came running down the stairs and started yelling through the lobby. I took G outside to avoid the situation (and, you know, to let her go to the bathroom) and he again followed me out. He started claiming that, "We need to have a conversation about this. We have to be neighbors. I have young children and dog bites are the number one injury to small children. Why don't you want to have a conversation with me right now - we need to have a conversation!!"

I was so taken aback, so flustered that I simply said I did not want to have a conversation at that time and his actions did not exactly read as neighborly to me.

At that point, the Board president walked down the street and passed us, at which point the individual brought him into the conversation as follows, "[Board President], did you know this person brought a pit bull into the building?? Do you know about this? She won't speak to me! I want a witness to the conversation as I have concerns. You [to me] need to be extremely careful with that dog. There are children and families in this building."

I was so overwhelmed with the situation, I stayed quiet and simply stared at the President, who looked somewhat surprised at this interaction as well. The President asked if he could speak to the person separately and I gladly excused myself.

Luckily, the Board did know I had a dog, did know her breed and never raised it as an issue. There are no breed restrictions in the building and I was always forthcoming when asked about it.

So now, the morning after, I'm still feeling very upset. I have a note in to the Board President to discuss the incident and understand what exactly he said to this person to ensure it never happens again. Further, if I am harassed/chased again, I may need to involve the authorities as it is simply unacceptable for someone (especially a neighbor) to do this.

I am blogging about this so as to help anyone who has gone through something like this and also get some feedback on the situation. How would you have handled it? Is there anything I should  be doing to protect both G and I?

All in all, I just feel sad that a situation that should be so positive (moving to a new home - our first!) is tainted by the ignorance and aggression of a ill-informed individual.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Still Recovering

First, we just wanted to say thank you to our blogger friends for all the positive messages and vibes sent  regarding our move - it really meant a lot. Thanks!! :)

2012 has been a busy year for G and I. With moving and our new pittie pack group, friends and family, there is never a shortage of "going ons,"for us to attend to. That being said, G and I (well maybe a little bit more of the I part) are still recovering from our move. As exciting as a new place is, it's also pretty overwhelming - especially when you're going from renting to owning (for your first time).

Although we've completed the toughest part of the whole process (the move), I still feel like this, physically and mentally:

So bear with us a little bit longer, as we get ourselves situated in our new space and settle in to a routine. We'll post more frequently, we promise!!

Friday, March 16, 2012

We've Moved!

And, boy, are we pooped (yes, that is G's tongue, not her toe):

We'll go back to blogging as usual next week, but tonight we're gearing up for the next Big Apple Pittie Pack walk tomorrow. Stay tuned and sorry for the extended absence! :)

Friday, March 9, 2012

Gentle Leader It Is!

In a recent post, I discussed the issues I have been experiencing as G's limp has returned and we've needed to try out alternative collars. As noted, we had been using the standard martingale collar, but G's sheer strength and determination (if that's what you want to call it!) left me feeling less than secure while navigating in the streets. Basically, she would just lean her body weight into a direction she wanted to go and that was that!

I caved and finally pulled out her Gentle Leader head collar. We have stopped using it for some time as it had left a mark on G's snout, people thought it was a muzzle and G had general discomfort (ie she was always trying to take it off - sometimes successfully).

Well, let me tell you, I'd forgotten how great this tool was! For G, it has curbed not only her pulling and random sniffing, but she's now walking easily and sans limp on a slack leash. Her barking on leash, especially in our apartment lobby has decreased ten fold, as well.

I don't know that I will ever not use this collar based on the confidence it's given both me and G in our walks - a success story!

Monday, March 5, 2012

A Little (Shameless) Self-promotion

G and I were unable to attend the Big Apple Pittie Pack walk this weekend as we were out of town, but it looks like everything went swimmingly based on Two Grad Students' post today! Attendance has begun to shoot up and we learn something new about how to run the walks each time we meet up.

One of the B.A.P.P. co-founders is an amazing PR prodigy and got our group in front of Amy Sacks, a columnist over at The Daily News. Jennifer took the time to explain our group, our mission and provide some of the amazing photography. The outcome? An inspiring write-up in Saturday's paper, the digital version of which can be found by clicking here.

And although the photo of Pinky (green jacket), G (tan jacket) and Havi (pink sweatshirt) on the walk didn't make it to the digital version, see image below!

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Pitties in (Family) History

This one really blew my mind.

After spending the weekend in Syracuse getting my grandmother's house cleaned up and ready to put on the market, we spent last night sifting through old family photos.

Pictures began to surface of family members that I had never seen before and the excitement was intoxicating. What started with just a few photos turned into almost 3 hours of little known family history.

My maternal grandfather passed away about a decade before I was born, meaning family pictures are really the only way for me to "know" him and try to understand his personality or feel some connection. At the back of the box of photos, rare photos of my grandfather as a child began to surface. The earliest photo - an image of my grandfather as a 6-7 months old baby in 1910 (!!) - caught my eye.

Not only was he a real cutie face (he actually looked like himself as a baby!), he had himself a Nanny Dog:

How amazing is that? A white, red-nosed pittie from over a hundred years ago, sitting there with baby Mert. The sheer resemblance to my prettie pittie is uncanny! Amazing!