Saturday, February 28, 2009

Cute as hell

There is nothing cuter than seeing someone out walking their dog as it carries around it's stuffed baby. Okay, the second cutest thing is your toddler pointing it out to you while you are driving... "momma, walk dog, stuffed animal". Freaking adorable people.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Is Mack a dog or a goat?

Mack is my special child. He's the life of the party, the goofy bull in a china shop, the kind of dog everyone says they would take home in a heart beat... but he has a dirty little secret. He likes to eat things that he should not. He turned 7 last month and I have to admit I have quit keeping a tally of the oddities that find their way into his mouth, but for fun here are some of the highlights. If anything, this goes to show you how well prepared he made me for baby. I had a running start on toddler proofing long before Becks was even born! If anything, let this be a lesson in picking up afer yourself.

1. He ate a silicone rubber toy frog... that I watched him give birth to out his back side. Whole. I have pics if you want to see them.
2. In the span of a few days, he ate about 3 pairs of all leather Robeez baby shoes. Those suckers were the most expensive rawhide chew treats ever. That's what I get for not putting him up while sorting and storing old baby ephemera.
3. I cannot count the number of pairs of my underwear he has eaten and pooped out. Nothing like seeing a rainbow of color in your dog's poop out in the yard.
4. Once, when my mother in law was visiting, she did not heed our warnings of keeping the bedroom door closed and dirty clothes put away. Mack gave her a goodbye present of puking her own undewear back up at her feet. Sweet.
5. He once ate a clean diaper, whole. I induced vomitting for fear the absorbent gels would make the diaper bloat and result in an obstruction surgery.
6. Most embarassing ever- the g string he semi sort of ate. He was hacking and we thought he had kennel cough. Turns out, when he was ingesting them the string got caught under his tongue leaving the panties dangling down his throat but out of sight. We left him at the vet for observation that day and our vet was thoughtful enough to save them for me.
7. I buy Beck's socks in bulk, all in white, and all in the same style. As Becks likes to remove his socks all over my house Max has taken to hiding the evidence. Which then promptly shows up in the yard during bomb duty.
8. 18 wooden letters of the alphabet from a toy. Poor dude was pooping out whole letters and splinters for over a week. It resulted in impacted and infected anal glands and required medical care. Wood toys are not my friend.

Learn from me- hampers, closed doors, toy baskets, and Simple Human trash cans are your friend. In the event you know your dog ate something it shouldn't, call your vet and ask if inducing is the right decision; some items could do more damage coming back up versus working their way out, for example poisons, glass, wood, etc...

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

My morning, your death.

She was a pittie pretty girl, a fawn with a smoky mask. I almost didn’t see her in the tall grass, but something told me to look. It was too late to stop, so I drove around the block to get to her. That whole block I gave myself a pep talk willing myself to find the strength I so very often feel depleted of.

She had tires marks across her back, smudged black with some of the tread still visible. No one stopped to help and I wonder how they are at peace with that. Her red collar was on, no tags, and was tight against her neck. I had to struggle to take it off of her but it’s my only way of maybe finding you to break you the news… not that I think you really care. I don’t see any lost dogs signs and she’s obviously been here for days. She is cold to the touch, bloated, but still soft under my fingertips. What a different life she would have had if she had been mine. I gave her a small eulogy as I think she deserved at least that. A stranger stopped to help and in that moment I felt relief in knowing I am not alone.

I took your collar to the warehouses I work near. I walked, smelling of death, amongst the dogs I have memorized by face to keep track of who is new, who needs help, and who is missing. They were upset and agitated as I walked among them. No one is at work yet so I will have to wait and see if anyone will claim you.

I’ve washed my hands 100 times and I still smell of your death. I’ve got your collar in a bag on my desk and I wish this was all a bad dream. The sadness sinks in that this is the reality of the world I live in; selfish people with little regard for the lives around them both great and small. Sweet baby, you were loved without measure, even if it was for a brief moment with strangers presiding over your lifeless body on the side of the road.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Bringing home baby

If you think your first day home from the hospital is your first opportunity to prepare your beasts for baby you are seven kinds of wrong. Sure, some might get lucky and have no issues at all, but most parents of babies and beasts have growing pains. It's normal so don't let anyone convince you otherwise especially while your hormones are off the charts wacky. Just so you know more about me, I am a planner by nature when it comes to overwhelming life changes. It's a coping mechanism for me. Here is my strategic plan to prepare the dogs for baby aka PittieBoo's so freaked out at becoming a parent and pushing a human out her hoo ha that she's going to focus on the things she can control.

My excessive methods for preparing dogs for baby (even works on cats):

1. Find a really good trainer and behaviorist if anything just to keep on file just in case you need more help. They will be invaluable to help troubleshoot and correct any bad behaviors that you don’t know how to handle or how to interpret.

2. Read the following books: There’s a Baby in the House and Childproofing Your Dog. If your local store does not have them, you can get them through in addition to the body language book above.

3. Get and start desensitizing the beasts to the many sounds a baby makes. Start with them on low volume, and work your way up. I played mine on random repeat every time we left the house. When the baby cries come on, tend to a baby doll or to a diaper filled sling you are wearing so they can start making the association that you will make the bad sounds stop. It will make for a less anxious dog.

4. Line up a doggie daycare and or a dog walker, even if you have never used one before. There will come a day when there are not enough hours in it and you will know your dog needs to burn off some energy and you won’t be able to do it. I knew when Mack consumed 3 pairs of baby shoes and part of a fitted sheet all within a 2 week time frame. Let’s just say that I am the unfortunate resident expert on inducing vomit on the Pets board (well, that and TPLO surgery).

5. Be sure to stock up on food and monthly heartworm meds since it will be near impossible to run those little errands. If you can find a local pet food delivery service and or order direct from it might be worth it. Pet food direct often has online coupons that will offset any freight charges thus saving you time and energy. You are going to need every spare second and every drop of energy you can cling to some days.

6. If your dog needs frequent grooming, or even the occasional bath, find a mobile groomer to come to you. Some days it was all I could do to bathe myself, so you can imagine the dogs were missing out too. Also, by feeding higher quality foods, your dog can go months without needing a bath. Junk food brands (Iams, Eukanuba, Purina etc…) are full of nasty crap that will make your dog’s coat gunk up and smell. My dogs are fed a high quality food and can go months without a bath and still not smell doggy. See and for more info.

7. Set up everything way ahead of time, especially the nursery. I’m talking cribs, swings, strollers, changing tables etc… everything will be new and interesting to the dog so it’s best to have them be normal by the time the baby arrives. Also, it will give everything time to lose its chemically new smell that always grosses me out.

8. Put batteries into everything that lights up, plays music, moves, etc… and desensitize your dog to them. Let me tell you, it took weeks before Mack quit freaking out over the swing moving, lighting up, and playing music. Use some clicker/reward training and reward and praise your pooch for not attacking the swing, not barking, etc… Acknowledge the behaviors you want and ignore the ones you don’t. Use some redirection if necessary. For example, when Mack would lunge and bark at the swing, I’d ask him to go get his ball. He is simple minded like that. Some nice clicker training sites are and

9. Use baby lotion, wipes, and diaper cream on yourself so the smells aren’t foreign to them. Wipe them down on occasion with some wipes even.

10. The minute you get a stroller, practice walking them with it. Trust me, it’s tricky at first and the last thing you want is your dog knocking over the stroller with a baby in it. I guess that applies mostly to people like me who have dogs the size of livestock, but I digress. If your dog doesn’t already have proper leash manners, you had better make that a top priority. When you are cooped up on maternity leave and bored out of your mind, walking the dogs is like a little slice of heaven.

11. If you plan on wearing a sling or Baby Bjorn around the house, stuff it full of diapers and practice wearing it while you are at home. The smell and sight might cause some jumping out of curiosity, so best to tackle that before you are lugging precious cargo. Again, lots of treats should be doled out when poochie has all fours on the floor.

12. Think about what commands your dog knows really well and which one he/she should. Some of the more often used commands in my house are sit, down, gentle, go to your place, zip it, leave it, off, etc… Practice them daily. Start using NILIF for those dogs that are currently the center of the universe and or dominant/stubborn dogs. NILIF is nothing in life is free. Read more about it here: and here:

13. Give the dogs a baby free zone and teach them to go to it. It could be a crate, a bed, something that will give them a place to escape too when they have had enough with the crying, the poking, the pulling etc…

14. If the pooches sleep with you on the bed and you plan on co sleeping, or you don’t plan on it but end up doing it just so you can get some sleep, they are going to need a new yet familiar place to sleep. Maybe train them to sleep on dog beds on the floor. If they already sleep on the floor, but it is the only place the bassinet or co-sleeper will fit, move their bed and help them adjust to the new locale now. Remember, dogs are pack animals and sleeping in the same bedroom as you and baby is a great way to reconnect and establish harmony in the house.

15. Quit adhering to any set schedule as the baby’s due date approaches. That means no more dinner promptly at 5:30, make feed times erratic. Cut back on any daily regimen of walks or trips to the dog park. Mix up their schedule, keep them guessing, and try to not dote on them constantly. This is crucial so that when the baby comes, the dog is already used to being lower on the priority list. So, it will lessen the effects of accidentally forgetting to feed them one night, they will not be so demanding of attention at inappropriate times, and they will bask in the glow of any walks/belly rubs they will get. It sounds mean, but it’s in the best interest of everyone. Trust me, for as much as you are turning your dog’s life upside down, it will in no way compare to the havoc the baby will have on your sense of normalcy!

Lastly, words cannot express the love I feel for my child and my beasts. He literally lights up at the sight of them, he loves to give them treats, and he relishes in their kisses. I do not doubt for a minute that they are making his heart infinitely larger, teaching him the credence of treating all living things with kindness, and molding him into a remarkable person. So it’s not always flowers and rainbows, but what in life worth having ever is?

Thursday, February 12, 2009

It's been a hard day at work...

So here is a precious picture of Becks and I walking one of overnight fosters / transports. Our beasts are much, much, larger.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Pit bulls make nice pillows

Oh memories. Here is Becks just a few days old with Princess, my former foster. When I say foster, the back story is much more than that. I met her in my work parking lot one day and she came running up to me butt wagging and rooing. She was a new addition to the dog community near my place of work, a place where shop owners have junk yard dogs. I made a point of knowing every dog, who they belonged to, and encouraged everyone to put collars and tags on them as well as spay and neuter (didn't go over well with the machismo mindset.)Turns out, she belonged to the dirt lot across the street. How did she become a junk yard dog you might ask, I know I did. Her family decided after having her for about 1 year and forcing her to birth a few litters for cash (makes me puke in my own mouth) they decided she could no longer be trusted around their small kids through no fault of her own. Who does that? Far too many pet owners as I have learned in my subsequent years of being involved in animal rescue.

Princess and I have a very long story and it is quite a miracle if you believe in those sorts of things. Maybe I'll tell the tale in another post if I think I can find the words to do it justice. She was not the first dog I saved, nor will she be the last, but she is the most important. Without a doubt, Princess chose me to save her. Some might call it chance or circumstance, but I call it fate. I love that dog with my heart and soul and I trust her just as she trusted me to keep her safe. Here she is meeting Becks for the very first time. Whoever thinks pit bulls are baby eaters can suck it. Let me introduce you to Princess and you will change your mind. Maybe if you take me up on it pit bulls will have a better shot at getting adopted in our national shelters where their survival rate is only 1 out of 600.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Yes, I might very well be a little crazy.

Who takes off of work early on a Friday to pick up their toddler to drive 3 dogs to another state as part of a dog rescue transport? I do. Hi, I'm PittieBoo, mom to Becks my 2 year old son and slave to my 2 hair beasts Mack and Bell. I work full time but try my hardest to support animal rescue when the opportuntiy arises. After some ecouragement from some truly great friends I know only online via the amazing network of animal rescue, I am starting this blog to chronicle the challenges and triumphs of raising a baby amongst beasts. My hope is that no mom ever feels they need to dump their dog (or cat) after baby arrives. Hopefully my real life experiences will hold some value to you. I also welcome any questions you might have. My disclaimer is simply, I have no professional training or degrees related to animals or babies. I only have my personal experiences as a mom and former shelter volunteer to share, a decent amount of common sense, and a vast array of people involved with animals to bounce ideas off of.

By the way, Becks adored our 5 hour adventure to Oklahoma and back. He was thrilled to meet Sophia (the black and white American Bulldog), Keyley (the all white American Bulldog) and Sawyer (black puppy) all of whom were some of the most baby friendly pups I have ever met thanks to their wonderful foster home. We were the first leg of a transport that delivered them safely to their rescue group in Minnesota ( This was officially my 3rd transport, and Beckett's 2nd. I know he is too young to understand it now, but I hope one day he will recognize the importance of treating every living thing with kindness, and that includes driving dogs to Oklahoma and back.