Thursday, May 31, 2012

pimping the kid (Oscar)

Oscar had to play some catch up while he learned that dogs ain't so scary. While he attended Dogs-R-Good school, he watched his mom and his brother go home and now it's his time, too. He'll be at our Open House in Berkeley on June 10 from 11am to 1pm. Please join us and give this kid a cuddle! We'll be at our regular training grounds at 2nd and Addison, one block south of the Berkeley City Shelter.

Go Oscar!

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Annie's Pedicure

New girl Annie here getting her daggers trimmed.

This senior beastie is fab-u-loso.
When she's not napping away like a happy house cat, she's strutting around and announcing "Woo Woo! Woo Woo!" ... Which roughly translated means: "I'm so dang happy I can barely contain it!"

Annie will be headed out for foster care this weekend. Lucky dog, lucky foster mom.

"We wuv you too, Annie!"

Friday, May 25, 2012

newest addition

New additions at the barn always bring a lot of excitement. This one was extry special. It all started when the dogs started broadcasting super sad face whenever we left the barn at the end of our shifts.

"Don't goooooooo," they'd plead. "What if we could make a place for the people to stay with us?"

You mean? Like a home space where vistors could - gasp! - sleep overnight?

"Yes, yes YEEEES!" howled the dogs. "Like that, Like THAT!"

Hmm. And campers and interns and adopters and friends could wake up to next to the barn and help us take care of you? And best yet, you dogs could pretend to have a person for keeps?

The dogs spun in circles. It was just too much excitement for one brain to manage, so we kept thinking about it because sometimes big wishes can become real. If we had a special place for guest friends to stay, it could look sorta like this ...

So we started calling on the bully gods to help us make it real, and the fine folks from the Unexpected Pit Bull Calendar and HeARTSpeak overheard and said, "For sure, we can help here." So they took gorgeous photos of dogs and turned them into a calendar that would charm the country. And then they gave every penny of that calendar to groups like ours so we can all find more ways to help the dogs. 

And VOILA! The imaginings became real. As soon as the rain stopped, a tiny used cabin with a fresh new purpose was flying down the freeway on its way towards the Rescue Barn. It snuggled up next to the barn, under some old oaks and just steps away from the dogs who first asked for it.

Rooney said, "This is good." And with a wag and a snort, she declared, "When the guest friends come to stay, I will sit with them in the morning when they have their coffee and I will make them feel at home."

And Elliot said, "I will show our guest friends where they can serve me banana pancakes in the morning, and I will listen very carefully as they plan new ways to help my pit bull friends."

Diva said, "I will surf on the counters so our guest friends can feel useful when
they teach me about rules."
(All the other barn dogs agreed that this was a great idea!)

Inspired by everybody's approval, Diva wagged and added, 
"I will help our guest friends decide which bunk to use and teach them how to 
give me lots of room so I can have the best sleep ever."

And Rooney said, "I will show them how to get up to the loft where 
we can listen to the coyotes at night together. 

And it was good.

And now we just wait for our next friends to come by!

Keep watching. They'll be here soon.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

A Crash Course in Dog Manners

This has been one of the most gratifying uses of the barn space AND - of all things - of facebook ... Helping a young woman with a newly adopted dog that was once labeled by her shelter as Dog Aggressive due to reactivity issues.

Kizzy is a wonderful little girl, but the real hero here is her owner Kelley who responded to our plea and said 'Yes' to her sight unseen, then committed to making her the best dog she can be. The video crams two days worth of lessons into 12 minutes so it's a bit long, but I think it hits the main points. I hope you enjoy.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

training cadence

Since there's always a rotating roster of dogs in the barn, it's good to practice the basics....regularly. So on my last shift, the barn pooches did their drills.
And in my head, I could almost hear the dogs chanting something like this.....

I don't know but its been said
Bad Rap loves a big block head
I don't know but I've been told
The Rescue Barn is better than gold
He-ey Barn Dogs
Lucky Rescue Barn Dogs
Get on your paws and follow me
Sound off! 1, 2
Sound off! 3, 4
1, 2, 3, 4, 1, 2......3, 4!

Here, the barn dogs show some of their training moves.

Cadet Oscar, Private Diva.....A-tten-Shun! (dog speak: sit pretty)

At Ease! (dog speak: down)

Cadets Oscar & Rooney - into formation, fall-in!
(dog speak: go to place); At......Ease!

Private Tallulah, March it Out, hup 2, 3, 4!!
(dog speak: loose leash walking)

Private Tallulah, Eyes Front!
.....Eyes Front, Private!! (dog speak: leave it)

Cadet Rooney, Halt!
(dog speak: stay)

Well done Barn Dogs, well done! Cadet Rooney, enough of the Rocky Balboa posturing and the "Gonna Fly Now" music - go on back to the barn, it's Chow Time!

Monday, May 21, 2012

Flirty Boy

 Oscar helped barn crew trainee Allie learn the joys of the flirt pole.
Woo hoo!
Got it!
Good job, Oscar!

Saturday, May 19, 2012

cone head

Tomboy Rooney and her signature fashion statement - the cone. She's like the kid in school with the big scab on his knee who can't leave well enough alone - except her scab in on the top of her head. After too many premature cone removals that resulted in a puppy style scratch fest, we're leaving this sucker on until she's better than healed - dammit! In the meantime, she runs full tilt into everything - dogs, furniture, our shins - with that plastic edge pointed like a finely tuned battering ram. Good grief Rooney!

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

waiting to exhale

Just in case you want to say good bye before she stretches her wings and takes flight, Birdy is getting ready to fly home after seven months of love, love and more love.

Here's the tiny little window into her Now...


Monday, May 14, 2012


"Hello lady, did you bring the fun little black dog to visit today?"
 "Yes, you did! Uba, can I chase you?"
  "Woo Hoo!"

"Thank you, lady, for bringing my friend to visit."
Any time, beautiful Tallulah.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Hard Work on a Hot Afternoon

"Hey, how long are we going to have to stay in this down?"

"We know that you have treats, so it's kind of hard to stay this far away from you."

"Have you noticed that we're being really good dogs?"

Can you spot the barn crew volunteer?

Nap time. :)

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Barn Dogs Help with School Work...

         Remember the days when you were assigned the school project of Community Outreach? Last Saturday, I had the pleasure of working with two local 7th graders, Kate and Yassamin,  who were completing a school assignment in which they had to choose a cause to help with. Their choice? Advocating for pit bulls! This project required that they work directly with an organization that is associated with their cause. These ladies had the right idea when they contacted Badrap. I can't think of a better place to learn about  pit bulls than the Rescue Barn!

Hard at work getting to know Rooney....

Leash lessons and how to walk puppies...  (They made it look easy!)

Choosing a going home outfit for Gris Gris... Turquoise? Pink? Print?

  (They went with turquoise)                                                    

Couch time is always a must! 

All of this and they also did a bake sale, raising $241.00 for Badrap! We may have future volunteers in training..... 

Tuesday, May 8, 2012


Yesterday at the barn, Lawn Mower Man (aka Tim) got busy mowing the tall grass in the yard - quite a chore in itself - so after Tallulah and Rooney went on their neighborhood walks, the two ladies got to hang out inside the barn and be my chore-dogs.

As some of you will recall, little Roo has been learning about walking on a leash so here she is on our walk, showing her 'are we there yet??' face.

But I digress. Back at the barn, it was time to vacuum, sweep, wash, do laundry - here are my assistants hard at work..........

Sigh - ahhhhhh, the excrutiating boredom of it all!

Saturday, May 5, 2012

The Southern Belle on Vacation

Tallulah had a mini vacation today at Uba and Lulu's house.

First a little get-acquainted training.
Woo hoo! This is going to be a fun sleep over!
"chase me, chase me" says Uba.
Checking in on Dyna-Girl's birdies.  They look happy and squirrel-free.
Off on another adventure with the chauffeur. How exciting.
Where are we going, Lulu?
This is a great adventure! What a fun place to walk and see squirrels. What's ahead, Uba?
More relaxing in Lulu and Uba's back yard. All this fun makes a girl sleepy.
Sleeping beauty.
I think Tallulah enjoyed being the youngest dog in the house for a little while.  It was nice to give her a little break from the barn and the puppies. She is a wonderful house guest.