Monday, October 31, 2011

See? We gotta guy!

Photographic evidence of our fab male volunteer. They exist ...They do!

Connor Cook was snapped during a training session with Star by photo-wiz Jesse Freidin. Connor does the Sunday morning shift, and while the rest of the area is just starting to yawn itself awake, he's already fed, cleaned, trained, exercised and loved on the barn dogs. Lucky dang dogs.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

boomerang puppy

Pit bull youngsters are not for the faint of heart ... They'd swing from chandeliers if they had thumbs. Sometimes the fantasy of having a wee one doesn't quite match the experience ... Or so it went with Patsy, who got bounced back on her ears to the barn when her adopter-hopeful waved a white flag. Oh dear.

It happens occasionally. So she's back in her kennel and we get to gaze upon her ears some more and marvel at her stubby little legs and big girl personalty and wait for that special someone. They'll show up. Til then, we'll just pop some more popcorn and have some more laughs with our resident rascal.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Puppy Time!!

Since little Rascal was going to his foster home Thursday, I took the opportunity Thursday morning to get my puppy fix!! And I brought along some friends to get their fix as well.

First - the resident gals, Jondi and Star practiced "sit stay" with the little guy - goooood dogs!

Then Mr. Jiggs got to make his acquaintance

Miss Atomic Betty is staying with me this week so she got to have some puppy time too!

And then Miss Betty, Mr. Jiggs and young little Rascal got to run around together...Let's face it - we are all just suckas for a puppy!

Jondi at the beach

How much do we love this dog? We're soaking her up all we can right now because (shhhh) someone has asked to adopt her.

Things need to happen. Hoops need to be jumped, fences fixed, etc, etc. But there you have it, I spilled the beans all over the floor.

Home .... Home ... Home ....

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Halloween Skeleton

What happened to you, little darlin'?

Have you been trying to find your way back home? Were you left behind to fend for yourself after a foreclosure? Stolen from a parking meter and dumped far away? Did your owner die? Or did he lose his apartment and set you loose rather than tempt fate at the animal shelter? Did he give you to the wrong friend? Sell you to the wrong person on Craigslist? Where did you sleep all these nights? Where in the world did you find your water?

... And how is it possible that you can still wag your tail?

She doesn't have a name yet, but she's here at the barn. We're just staring at her a lot right now and scratching our heads and running tiny meals in to her hungry, hungry mouth several times a day.

Friday, October 21, 2011

it's YOU!

Thanks for all the warm response to our burning curiosity about barn blog readers (Who are you?). We received so many fun and funny responses. We'll be sprinkling more into the blog over the next couple of weeks, so check back soon to see who your cyber friends are. Nice to meet you, by the way!

Lauren Woods - "Hi BAD RAP-pers, Buddha and I are from the Bay Area (and have done some Pit Ed classes, wahoo!) and have recently relocated to the East Coast. Buddha is the silliest, smartest, most fun-loving dog I’ve ever met, and he’s taught me patience, how to live in the moment, and that sometimes, all you need is a good snuggle.Thanks for all you do for pit bull type dogs. You, through your blog, Facebook Page, pit ed classes, have helped me immensely in learning how to responsibly manage my own dog, and have given me the tools to make Buddha into the Ambassadog he was born to be! Keep up the good work! We’re always rooting for you in Rhode Island!"

Aimee Gilbreath - "Hi – Its Me! I read your blogs. Obsessively. Honestly, daily, every day. I’m sad when you don’t post. I love you guys and what you are doing from way back, and now I jones for glimpses of the fabulous Star! I’m the E.D. of the Found Animals Foundation and I spend my days up to my ears in adoption, spay-neuter and microchipping programs, with a dash of advocacy and policy thrown in for good measure. All the while I’m supervised by Rufus, my 6.5 year old pit bull. He’s a classic smiley goober who loves everyone – human, canine and feline – and I can’t imagine life without him. Attached is an out take from a photo shoot that pretty much sums us up!"

Wendy McMahon - "Hello, thank for this opportunity! In the pictures is our bad rap doggie, "Tyson" who is absolutely our love and in the other picture are our talking loves! That's me the mom!! There are a couple missing which are my oldest son and our doggie Jenna, she is a Siberian Husky and our cool as a fan cat, Gus, who is a Ragdoll. Until we got Tyson 5 yrs ago I had no interest in this bully breed at all. OMGosh, since, I have done nothing but try and help these poor babies, by educating those who speak bad or make that face when I tell them we have a pit-bull. I post things on my facebook page for awareness and I rescue dogs that need my help. I can't always donate money, but I donate items that shelters may be in need of. So I really try and do my part.
So with a big thank you, I hug you all from afar, what a blessed and wonderful job you are doing. Wow just such a dream for me. I love the blogs, it makes my day to see smiling pitties! I wish Spank all the luck of love and Miss Patsy is a doll. The reds are sweet as pie!! These dogs have a spot in my heart. They are so mistreated and we are their only hope. If I'm ever in your area I would love to visit "The Barn." Many thanks! Sincerely, Wendy (Indianapolis)"

Gena Connelly - "Hi Donna and the BAD RAP crew! I'm Gena. I don't have any dogs (still trying to get the hubby on board), but I love other people's dogs in the extreme. I emailed you a while back about giving Chunk a Forever Home, and while that didn't work out on my end, I'm happy to keep supporting BAD RAP. As a former animal control officer, I know that behind almost every "bad dog" is a dog who just doesn't get the house rules. Keep up the amazing work y'all do! Gena"

Paul Black. "Follow you guys from back in Essex in England. We got a rescue dog way back when that was described as a staffy mix, but was eventually discovered to be a sharpei/lab mix. I was used to Springer Spaniels and Jack Russells, and a bossy, boisterous, PREY DRIVEN Rocco (as she was soon known) was well outside my experience. Found you guys from a Vick Dog storey, Found your advice super useful, pop in every once in a while to see whats up, would love to donate but am usually too poor keeping Rocco in Chicken wings and Brocolli stalks."

The Verlander Family - "I’m Stella, and I’m almost five years old. Here I am walking by dog, Rosalind. My mom rescued her when she was 6 months old. Roz is almost 9 years old now! She has a funny bunny hop because she has a birth defect, but it has never slowed her down. Everybody she meets thinks she’s just a pup! She is also a CGC, although she does not always have good manners with other dogs, especially as she gets older. I think that she is afraid they’ll hurt her back end where her spine is a little crooked. I like to dress her in pretty scarves, my cat ears headband and in sparkly beads. But I never put anything too tight around her neck. We also have a grey cat named Adelina and she likes to steal Rosalind’s bed when Roz gets up to beg for treats. My mom has read me Saving Audi, Demo the Junkyard Dog and just got me the new book, Shelter Dogs. I think I will get a Chihuahua someday, when I’m older, but I want to keep Rosalind too. My mom loves BadRap. And so do I. We live in western Massachusetts, but my Dad is from Lafayette CA. When we visit family, maybe we can come watch your PitBull Ed class and bring you some dog goodies and people goodies? Maybe some wine from my grandpa’s winery in Santa Rosa."

Note to Stella - We would love to meet you the next time you're visiting grandpa. Please tell us when you are!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

camp at the barn

There's no way you can't have a good time when hanging out with a group of dog lovers for four days straight. We just finished our October Pit Ed Camp with some of the nicest shelter workers you'll want to meet. These are highlights of our time at the barn and around town.

Below, Lisa from Pet Project Foundation had herself a party with Star and the flirtpole. YeeHaw!

Star and Honky showed us how much fun treadmills can be.

Duran from Philly's PSPCA learned about nosework, thanks to lessons from Catherine Godlewski and helpers.

Nancy from Pet Project Foundation worked a long day to help dozens of low income pit bull owners in Pittsburg (pitts-burg, get it? haha)

Amy from the Animal Welfare League of Arlington had fun messing with Patsy the Pup and Elliot.

Hm. For some reason, dog people always seem to get either other's jokes, no matter how silly.

Brian George from Baltimore's BARCS has a true talent for photography and put some fantastic dog images together in an album for us. Good stuff: Camp Photos

What a great group. We miss everybody already! Many thanks to the good folks from Arlington VA (Animal Welfare League), Philly PA (PSPCA), Baltimore MD (BARCS), San Clemente/Dana Pt. CA (Pet Project Foundation) for joining us and for being such gracious guests. We're honored to know you and look forward to watching your good work from afar!

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Sunday Afternoon At Uba's

As if it isn't enough that Star is borrowing Uba's most beloved treadmill while he heals from knee surgery, this afternoon she got to play with his flirt pole
She also enjoyed the view of the neighborhood from Uba's back porchand met a new kitty friend.
Uba welcomed the newcomer to his house by settling down next to her crate for a good chew session.
Star's short visit to Uba's house was full of new and interesting things, not to mention the torment of watching a little black dog enjoy a chew toy right in front of her while she was trying to take a nap. I'm sure she will sleep well back in her familiar kennel at the barn on her beloved naugahyde chair.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Ayse has left the building

In case you missed the news, Little Miss Cleveland (Ayse) is home. To be honest, we've never seen such happy faces as Rudy and Jarvia's last night as they drove off with their new love. Bringing a new baby home from the hospital can only come close! Getting this note today will keep us all floating a foot off the ground for a good long while.

We had a fun first night with Ayse! She explored the house and yard in high speed mode. But, she covered every nook and cranny about 100 times!

She is such a happy dog. Anyway, we decided to "camp out" on the floor. We put down our bedding and Ayse immediately decided it was for her. She decided the best pillow was Jarvia's and promptly laid her head on it.

We had a really good nights sleep, and then we went for a walk. She made us real happy when she pee'd and pooped. Ahhh, the joys in life! :)

Anyway, thank you very much for allowing us to have Ayse. We love her!

Rudy and Jarvia

Oh yeah! The happiest dog in the world just found the happiest people in the world. We can hear the angels singin'!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Adventures in Babysitting Continued.... Star's Second Visit

It takes a special dog to spend a weekend in our home. Star is just that kind of dog! She enjoyed her second weekend with our two dogs, two cats, a rabbit, and some koi. Star's easy mannerism makes her a good fit for our "zoo." She remembered the house rules quickly and fell right back into her routine of hanging out in the kitchen (just waiting for scraps!) and long walks with her new buddies!

Hope these make you smile!

"Hmmmm.... this fits well! Is pink my color?""

Taking a little break for a photo op! The little guy in the middle is thinking "I wish I were a REAL pit bull so my shirt would fit like Stars... "

"WOW! How many kongs can this thing wash at once?"

Doggie Butts.. (Couldn't Resist!)

We really enjoyed our time with you Star... Your forever family is out there, and how lucky they will be when they find you!

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Farewell, Friends

So, Spanky is getting his very own home and family. And The Captain might not be the only barn resident who might be moving on soon, starting their real lives as the family companions they were meant to be.

Good news, certainly. So why then do I also consider this news not completely joyful? As we all know, it truly is hard to say "Goodbye."

Inevitably, whenever a barn resident leaves to start his new life, I'm both happy and sad. Do I wish that perhaps he could stay just a little longer at the barn, so we could get to know one another even a little better, have a little more time for fun games, take at least one more walk around the neighborhood, so I could watch him and his friends race around the yard a couple more laps? I sure do. Do I still hope to see that familiar face when I arrive for future shifts? You bet.

Do I also realize this is a rather selfish way of thinking? Yup. It's futile though trying to get control of how attached you'll become to these guys that you help prepare for their lives after the barn. That's the whole point. Help bring out the best in them, so that not only you recognize the wonderful dog this is, but that others will see it as well and want to bring that wonderfulness into their lives.

No use trying to control matters of the heart. I'll mope and feel bad for a time, miss seeing those beautiful faces when I'm at the barn, feel frustrated because I can't make them understand how I really feel about not seeing them again and how much I'll miss them. Then I'll finally realize for good that this is the way it's supposed to be. Know when you have to let go and take comfort that they are now living with someone who loves them just as much or more.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011


Oh Spanky! We're getting psyched up to share our last morning at the barn with the Spankster, Spank-Man, Spank-o-Rama tomorrow. Our joy boy has been matched with a new home and his big drive into the sunset will be here in a flash. Sigh. We'll have to get up early and follow him around with our camera paparazzi style, and capture as many "lasts" as we can until he shoves his fat head into our shins and begs up a different game.

We can say we knew you when you were just a horny, confused and truly obnoxious teen in the Berkeley city kennels. What a difference a semester in 'barn school' makes. Sigh.

who are you?

Our team has become curious about you, dear reader. You peek in here every few days and before you leave, you send good vibes, you cheer on the dogs and offer your own seasoned advice and bits of wisdom. Some of you even send toys and treats to dogs you'll never meet. We're constantly warmed by your encouragement and kind attention to this project.

So our question is this: Who are you?

We've posted photos of our team, so it's only fair that we know who our cyber friends are. If you're willing to come out from behind your most awesome dark sunglasses, please email us a photo - preferably of you and your dog(s) so we can include it in one big post. Tell us in a line or three about yourself. Where you're from, what you're up to and why the dogs have earned your friendship.
----> It's Me!

Thank you. We're all looking forward to learning who you are!

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

lunch with Jiggs

Sunday was a great day for Jiggs. He met some big admirers at class and then went to lunch to celebrate his happy day. I think we might've had more fun than he did, but once he threw up under the table, all was well. Yay DOGS!

foster mom Nancy makes it all better

Saturday, October 1, 2011

the smallest pit bull wannabe

Not quite our breed type but discrimination is wrong, right? This little gremlin was in the right place at the right time when she dragged herself near the barn last month. Team handler Caroline Davis grabbed the near-dead thing right up and Project Gremlin was launched. She was in bad, bad shape but somehow powered on despite being blind/starving/dehydrated/lame, full of foxtails and crawling maggots in her ears (I know - nasty!) No job's too small for the pit bull crew, though...

Long story short, two weeks of shuffling and triage care and a flurry of emails and she's not only safe, but thriving. Enormous thanks to Caroline for saving her, to Carolyn Pettigrew for the intense TLC work and Katie Moyer for hooking her up with a fab foster home. You know a pit bull-in-need when you see one and we just love you for it.