Monday, December 29, 2008

Storytime With Maizy

After seeing our picture in the paper on Wednesday, I admit that I was a little nervous about storytime today at the Oak Park Public Library. When we came in and asked the security guard where to go, he said "is that the dog from the pictures" and then I saw pictures of us on 11X17" paper posted all over the children's section of the library. Wow! All went well, however, as no dogs or kids were harmed and everyone had a good time. Maizy and I were sequestered in a back office where we waited while the librarian read books to the kids (a very young crowd) about "good dogs." Maizy fell asleep and let out a mighty "woof woof!" when she was startled awake by the door when the librarian came to get us. I went in and introduced myself and Maizy. I ended up keeping it short because the kids were very small. I talked about how Maizy is a good dog and that pit bulls are good dogs, I talked about how she is a rescue dog, I talked about her training requirements and what she does as a TDI therapy dog, I talked about how she doesn't get paid, I talked about the three things we always have on a therapy dog visit (her tag, her bandana, and her ID card), and most importantly (probably) I talked about the right way to approach and pet a new dog. All of the kids did a really great job with letting Maizy sniff and petting under her jaw and not on top of her head. She probably met about 30 kids and their adults, it was quite a packed house. She was a good dog and hopefully we will be invited back to the library again sometime!

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Life with Dogs

The other night, I was laying in bed on the verge of sleep. Wrigley was already snoozing between the Brown Dog Dad and me and in the darkness I hear a *fart*. "Wrrriigleyyy!" I whisper and I feel the quick wag of a tail in response before we both settle back down to sleep.

Life with a dog...

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

"The Good News Out of The Bad Newz Kennels"

There is a fantastic article in the new issue of Sports Illustrated about the Michael Vick dogs. A must-read for pit bull lovers and haters alike (click the image to read it).

Monday, December 22, 2008

Holiday-Themed Maizy Torture

Oh, and they light up, too. :)

I Rescued A Human Today


Her eyes met mine as she walked down the corridor peering apprehensively into the kennels. I felt her need instantly and knew I had to help her.

I wagged my tail, not too exuberantly, so she wouldn’t be afraid. As she stopped at my kennel I blocked her view from a little accident I had in the back of my cage. I didn’t want her to know that I hadn’t been walked today. Sometimes the overworked shelter keepers get too busy and I didn’t want her to think poorly of them.

As she read my kennel card I hoped that she wouldn’t feel sad about my past. I only have the future to look forward to and want to make a difference in someone’s life.

She got down on her knees and made little kissy sounds at me. I shoved my shoulder and side of my head up against the bars to comfort her. Gentle fingertips caressed my neck; she was desperate for companionship. A tear fell down her cheek and I raised my paw to assure her that all would be well.

Soon my kennel door opened and her smile was so bright that I instantly jumped into her arms.

I would promise to keep her safe.
I would promise to always be by her side.
I would promise to do everything I could to see that radiant smile and sparkle in her eyes.

I was so fortunate that she came down my corridor. So many more are out there who haven’t walked the corridors. So many more to be saved. At least I could save one.

I rescued a human today.
Written by Janine Allen CPDT, Rescue Me Dog's professional dog trainer. Janine's passion is working with people and their dogs. She provides demonstrations for those who have adopted shelter dogs, lends email support to adopted dog owners that need information beyond our Training Support Pages, and aids shelter staff and volunteers in understanding dog behavior to increase their adoptability. Copyright 2008 Rescue Me Dog;

Thursday, December 18, 2008


There hasn't been much new going on these days. The dogs are enjoying the snow, Probert is still occasionally escaping his crate, Maizy is therapeutic, and Wrigley is the sweetest guy on four legs.

Tomorrow I have an appointment to take Maizy to our local DIY dog wash facility. I figured that the $15 for an hour of water, shampoo, towels, brushes, etc was better than trying to do it in our own bath tub. Maizy really needs a bath before we start out at the Berwyn Public Library on Saturday where we are doing a program that the library has called "Read to Maizy." I figure if Maizy is going to be snuggled up with children, she could at least smell good. Anyway, I will let you know how it goes.

Wrigley has developed a new talent: catching snowballs. When you toss him a snowball, he will catch and eat it. It's really really cute and I will try to get a video of it one of these days when I'm home while it's still light out.

Puppy Probert will soon be the recipient of a shiny new drop-pin crate. I am hoping that he will not be able to escape this one, and for his part, he's getting an upgrade in crate size to the same size as Wrigley. Faaaan-cy.

Anway, I just wanted to share a short update. I will have pictures next time!

Monday, December 8, 2008

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Working Maizy

Maizy's new bandanna!

Things have been going very well with Maizy's therapy dog work. We've now visited at the local assisted living facility a few times, and she has been getting more comfortable and better at making herself accessable to being pet by people with limited mobility. It is true, however, that people who wouldn't bother to move for any other reason, will move to pet a dog. Great physical therapy, even if it isn't in her job description.

This week Maizy made me especially proud when she didn't bat an eye at an older man waving his cane at her threateningly. Puppy Maizy would have had a fit, but with reassurance, she remained calm and did her job.

Here are some pictures of Maizy recovering from work on Monday. Those seniors are exhausting!

On the day after Thanksgiving, Maizy was lucky enough to take a trip with me, my mom, and my stepdad up to Michigan to visit some family members. She was a great dog during the trip. Our first stop was to visit my grandma who has recently moved into an assisted living facility. Maizy was a good dog and visited nicely with all of the residents and didn't get into any trouble.

Our second stop was at my other grandparents' house where Maizy played with kids and met lots of new people. She also ate a lot of snow out of the yard.

Here is a picture of Maizy with my parents.

0 Days Without An Incident

Despite our best efforts, Probert is still finding ways to escape. I am on the hunt for a new crate for him, since his is all but destroyed (it is pretty old, so it's probably time time to replace anyway). I am looking for a non-collapsable crate, as I think that he might be less likely to escape from that.

Additionally, Probert is finding ways to create havoc from inside his crate. Last week he moved his crate up against Wrigley's and pulled Wrigley's entire twin-sized blanket into his own crate through the slats. Earlier this week Probert had barfed on his usual queen-sized comforter, which I had cleaned and set outside his crate (a few feet away) until I could wash it. I came home from work that day to find that he had pulled an entire queen sized comforter into his crate through one small slat... and then de-fluffed it. Seriously, the dog is a maniac!

The good thing is that nothing major has been distroyed in Probert's recent outings and I have also figured out that leaving the TV on for the dogs does wonders to keep them calm while we're away. Yesterday I came home and went upstairs and they weren't even waiting for me, they were all curled up sleeping without a clue that I was even in the house.

We'll see what happens today!