Monday, December 31, 2012

a new year friendship

Could it be true? Magpie seemed to make a quick friend yesterday during class. We couldn't help but notice how much they liked each other. Hmm...

Stay tuned as we check to see if Cupid's arrow has landed.

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Santa's magic - Lots of homes for 2012 barn dogs

Have you been keeping track of the dogs who moved through the barn this year? It's been a revolving door and with all the activity, we have a hard time keeping count ourselves. Here's a tally of 2012's part or full time barn residents who are in their new homes as of today. Such a good batch of memories! The (m) denotes dogs who had special medical needs beyond the basics.

Brothers Riley & Ruben (m), Rita Mae, Olive, Blink, Jibboom (m), Talullah, Gris-Gris, Catfish Jones, Congo (m), Dyna Girl, Etta, Elderbull Annie (m), Elderbull Jimmy (m), Astro (m), Diva, Tippy (m), Rosco, Addy, Clive, Danny, Mama Maggie (m), Oscar (m), Rooney (m), Hugo (m), Jondi, Patsy, Bertha, Star, Gurdy (m), Moto (m), Rascal/Clyde, Bean, Possum (m). (Right: Patsy went home with Hannah, who went on to become a valued Barn Crew team member after the adoption.)

Thanks to all of you for your support. I wanted to call out a special thanks to cyber-friend Carla Morgan. Every time we quietly pondered whether it was wise to take on another out of state cruelty case and/or dog with medical needs, a gift from Carla would magically appear in our mailbox as if to say, "Yes! Of course you should help this dog!" We think Carla must have psychic powers, not to mention the biggest of hearts. Thank you Carla!

Our year end report is posted for your review: BADRAP 2012 Year End Review

Below, 'Bean' got her Happy Ending photo taken with new dad, brother-dog Diamond and Santa at the East Bay Rats Clubhouse last weekend. Her new dad takes them everywhere he goes and they enjoy the best of times. If you live in the SF east bay, you're likely to run into this trio jetting about in Byrd's pick-up, and if you do, please wave them a hello. They're bound to wave right back at you with the biggest of smiles.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Jilly Needs You!

Please help me! The lady got a new camera and she won't stop pointing it at me.
When I'm outside looking for squirrels
When I'm inside watching for the mail man
Even while I'm trying to take a nap.
I hope I find my family soon and they whisk me away from this torture. 

Friday, December 21, 2012

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

how do you do?

YumYum, meet Sassy - your elder. Sassy, meet YumYum - the youngin.'

I see you have a lot to talk about, so I'll just get to picking up some poo and let you have yourselves a little get-to-know you wrestle.

Nurse Jilly

Today Uba had x-rays to diagnose his latest limping and soreness. When he got home Jilly gave him plenty of kisses and then snuggled next to him in the sun keeping a watchful eye out for the mail man.  Sleepy, woozy, patients shouldn't have to get up to bark at intruders when there's a friend close by to take over! What a sweet girl.
Uba, don't you worry about a thing. Nurse Jilly's got your back.

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Home for the Holidays

Etta Bull went on a very special car ride today.

Where are you taking me, lady? This is boring and making my tummy feel a little weird.
She went along to do her very own home check. A lovely family has asked to take her home for the holidays. She will have a loving mom to keep her in line, a grandma to spoil her and two teenage boys to play fetch with.
Oh, now I understand. I approve of this big green puddly yard. I also approve of the family that comes with it.
Best of all she will have a big, puddly, squirrel-y, back yard all her own.
This dressed up tree inside is kind of weird.
You say Santa Paws will leave presents for me underneath it?
Excellent! I like it.
2012 has been some kind of year for Etta Bull. From too-young, almost homeless mama caring for eight puppies to the good life in a warm, cozy, suburban home with her very own big back yard. What a lucky Bull she is!

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

furry things among us

When photo diva Lori Fusaro put word out about a Mojave-area rescuer who'd gotten in over her head, she used the magic of her photos to tell rescue friends about the dogs in crisis. Whoever didn't get placed immediately was in danger of being picked up by Kern County Animal Control, where overcrowded conditions routinely push the death toll to unspeakable numbers. Crap! What's worse than a rescue situation gone wrong, with rescued dogs facing certain death?

I perused her heart tugging photos. There was only one pit bull in need in this grouping (whew!)  ----> her --- but we noticed she had a best friend named Corndog ---> her.  It seemed they were a matching set, and it was Thanksgiving and how can you possibly break up family? So we laid out the welcome mat to both and opened our door to our first-ever furry Rescue Barn guest.

I have to say, my first thought after I sent word of our commitment was, "I hope she (the furry one) doesn't bite me." Isn't that terrible? We've been so spoiled by our brave, stoic pit bulls all these years, that it seemed plausible that a deserted desert NON-pit dog would be somewhat scared and nippy. My bad.

Below, Elliot inspects the furry one - a girl named Corndog.

So, just to make me happy, Corndog growled at me the first minute I met her in her crate. "Go away! Quit staring at me! I'm scared!" But that lasted 15 seconds. It was dark, she'd just been trucked up the coast in a loud prop plane and delivered to a strange barn full of dogs in the middle of --- where? It was such a bluff growl that my heart just melted.

"Aw knock it off, little thing. It's all good here." She studied me and we started over with a treat and a butt scratch. All good. (Click photos to enlarge them. Do it - it's worth it!)

What a pair. They're both so lovely and hopeful. At eight years old, they've seen a good chunk of the world and they're like little kids in line at an amusement park - waiting patiently for the next fun ride to pull up so they can hop in. We'll call it the 'Adopted' ride.

Confession: While getting these photos, the girls were SO excited about the Nature's Balance bribe that I was waving in front of them that Sassy - the pit bull - nipped the end of my finger. It was one of those overly enthusiastic, but accidental nips. OW. I yiped then I laughed, really hard. I've been bit!

Sassy studied my face, then put her ears back. "Oops. Sorry."

"S'okay. You've been in the desert for awhile, and I was being dumb." I marked a note on her kennel card for the Barn Crew, "Work on 'Wait' and 'Easy' with treats."

If you're tempted to love on these girls, we would be thrilled to see them get out of the kennel into a foster home. Or better yet, if you are the real home that they've been waiting for, please holler loud. We can't wait to get your holiday cards with these lovelies lounging in silly dog clothes on your very best chair.

Open House Adoption Event THIS Sunday, in case you'd like to meet the girls. DETAILS

Monday, December 10, 2012

Family Reunion

Etta Bull got to spend a little time catching up with two of her babies this weekend. Her daughters Addy and Magpie were so thrilled to see their mama it was impossible to get a proper family portrait. This little family was struggling through some tough times when we met them at our West Oakland community outreach event back in August, but now the family is living the good life and Etta's girls are growing into lovely dogs.
Thats mama Etta Bull with Addy on her head and Magpie giving sweet kisses.
The family was celebrating Addy's big day. She's home for keeps with an older terrier mix brother, a pack of cats, a vet student mom and a dotting papa.

Pretty little Magpie is still waiting for her happy ending. Lets all hope she wows a new family with her impressive repertoire of tricks at the open house next Sunday.

Friday, December 7, 2012

willy and the princess

Today at the office, Willy learned that little 4 year old girls are princesses if they believe it to be so.  And more importantly, he made a new friend, the sweet little princess Megan.  Good thing he was wearing his best holiday coat when the princess stopped by to visit! 

The little princess was smitten with Big Willy's gentle behavior and good manners.

Willy was equally impressed with her and went to visit the little princess as she perched on her napping throne.  They chatted and then wondered for just a moment what the big jolly guy in the red suit might be bringing each of them each this holiday.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

a well earned shake

a muddy Oscar gives his jolly ball a good rascally shake to reward himself for something very special.

he worked hard today to help a little fluffy girlfriend decide that he was 'safe.'

why such a big deal? 'cause darnit! if she likes him, she's going to take him home!

see the moment: "good boy Oscar"

Sunday, December 2, 2012

A Ladylike Approach to Rainy Days

We all know that Etta Bull LOVES the rain. Jilly, however, is not a fan of rainy days. She may love playing the hose game on sunny days, but water falling from the sky is an entirely different matter. She spent most of this long rainy weekend staying dry and napping on the couch.
When there was finally a break in the rain she and her buddy Uba put on their rain coats and went for a peaceful misty walk, like civilized dogs.
Uba showed Jilly his favorite walking route and they carefully avoided puddles and the wet grass.

 Back home the rain started up again, much to Jilly's horror.
I'm doing my down-stay, now please turn the rain off so I can go outside.
Poor Princess Jilly.

sweet dreamin'

Those pesky blockheads ask a lot of Elliot. After a good rowdy play session, he's out. The demands of the job require good, deep naps to recharge and refuel for the next shift. Zzzz.

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Take that, Tim

Tim complains that I take his photo too often, so we battle over getting shots of the dogs in his lap, held over his shoulder, etc, without getting his face in there. Occupational hazard, I tell him.

I had to share this lovely shot taken by photo-pro Lori Fusaro some time ago during a lovely spring day. She was visiting to photograph our dogs, but how can you not shoot the Top Dawg, himself?

Take that, Tim.

Friday, November 30, 2012

"I'm dreaming of a .... "

Diva's first Christmas at home photo begs the question:

Is she waiting for presents ... or squirrels?

Tuesday, November 27, 2012


the best dog jammas give easy-access to the belly.

Farnam thinks these are A-Okay.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

playing dress-up

The nights are finally getting cooler here in Northern California as the holiday season rushes up on us.  Once its dark, the three barn pooches prefer to romp and play in the warmth and comfort of the barn rather than out in the cold air.  So last night, after the trio were done with dinner, their post-dinner potty breaks and playtime, we decided to rifle through the doggy-coat closet to find warm holiday coats for each of them. 

Like a true girly girl, Etta got into the spirit of the activity and tried on over a dozen outfits before we settled on just the right one.  Loni and Farnham indulgently tolerated Etta and my enthusiasm and finally each of them was dressed up and ready (somewhat) for a photo shoot.  So without further ado, here's the result of our little dress-up session.

Here's Etta wearing a warm pink fleece coat featuring pretty colored snowflakes.

She's looking a bit baffled though as she's wondering what snowflakes are.  She is a California girl after all.

Big chested sporty girl Loni wasn't sure what to make of this 'dress-up' stuff though she liked the warmth of her bold red and green 'boughs of holly' coat. 

I think right now she prefers to be naked, but once the temperature drops some more, she'll be happy we found her this lovely coat.

 Farnham's a big boy now so we found a coat with a more sophisticated winter forest scene on the exterior and a nice warm fleece interior. 

He doesn't care whether he's wearing a coat or not as long as he can go play afterwards.

Now each of the dogs has a nice warm holiday coat to wear when it gets cold at night, and they look festive as well - don't you think??

Sunday, November 18, 2012


Behold! Jimmy with his new dad, strutting through class. Two tall drinks of water, aren't they?

After a surgery to remove some irritating tumors from his eye, Jimmy went off to live with Dave and Clare. He's been at home for a week, and while he was initially distressed (pacing, pacing, pacing), he's finally settling down, de-stuffing toys, claiming sleep spots, enjoying morning runs with Clare, and going to work everyday with Dave.

It was great to see both smiling today. No, more than great -- It was fantastic. Go Jimmy, Go Jimmy, Go Jimmy! Have yourself a LIFE now, ya'hear?

Monday, November 12, 2012

A Job for Jilly

 Jilly is the new guardian of the fig tree. Uba is an easily distracted squirrel watcher, and Lulu really doesn't care, so Jilly is proud to lead squirrel patrol.
The pesky squirrels launch themselves off the fence into the fig tree and Jilly is there to watch.

The squirrels sit in the tree eating figs, chatting and throwing their leftovers down at Jilly. 
She dreams of the day she figures out how to climb the tree.

willy's "ready for school" look

Willy went to Pit Ed Class today and as I went to let him out of the car, here's what I saw.  This boy's too cool for school!  (Giggle, snort, giggle)

Saturday, November 10, 2012

day dreamin' Willy

I see trees of green..... red roses too

 I see em bloom..... for me and for you

And I think to myself.... what a wonderful world

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Oh Modo!

One of life's bigger challenges: Enjoying a meal in peace when a determined puppy is on the scene.

'Modo' spent a few days at the barn on his way to foster care and - next! - a real live home. We're just fine to leave the housetraining work to the new suckers wonderful people who'll be bringing him home this weekend.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

the photo of photos

We're moving a little slow it seems on sorting through the many wonderful photos snapped at the hoedown last Saturday night. But let's just cut to the chase. This video shows the making of the photo of photos. It includes seven the CA-transferred V-dogs with their parents, exactly five years after landing in California.

The evening weather was perfect, our photographer Mark Rogers was the best kind of job boss, the dog families were looking gorgeous and the dogs all seemed to know this day was all about them. More to come later as we pick apart the highlights of the event, but for you non-facebookers especially, here is the memory we will all carry forward.

Monday, October 29, 2012

dance floor

Elliot and Oscar try out the dance floor the morning after the Home Sweet Home Anniversary Hoedown. A grand time was had by all. Photos to come!

Saturday, October 27, 2012

chill will's siesta

Willy enjoys spending lots of quality time with girlfriend Nina...

though he's finding it all very exhausting (chortle!)

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

story time

the other day at the barn........

me: and blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah

Farnham: you don't say? really? Hmmm - wow!

Oscar:  good grief, how loong is this story gonna be? there's a stick over there begging to be chewed!