Click here for her 12 month update!
Click here for her 6 month update!
Click here for her 3 month update!
Well, here’s the story of Girl, formerly Isabella, who I placed in Fall 2004 as a puppy. More on her litter can be seen here.
I recently got a phone call from Mike, Girl’s adopter, saying he could no longer keep her. I honor surrenders of dogs placed through SPBR, and will try through my site and my Petfinder listing to re-home these dogs — however, I do need co-operation with surrendering parents, which usually comes in their holding-on to the pup for a reasonable time while I try and re-home the dog. Mike did just that, and for Girl’s sake, things came up roses!
Dogs are much easier placed as puppies, and are most commonly surrendered at 10 mos. to one year — when they’re overall least adoptable. At the “adolescent” stage, they have a lot of strong-energy, are no longer “puppy cute”, and are often overlooked by potential adopters. This is the heart-breaking part of rescue. In Girl’s case, she did nothing wrong, and she is a real beauty.
Okay… enough talkin’ — on to pictures! Here’s her chronology —
one day old
two weeks old
three weeks old
one year old!
Here is Mike, with Girl, on adoption day —
— she’s at eight weeks here, and sweet as can be.
Here’s Mike with Girl at the puppy party —
— as you can see, puppies are quite irresistable!
Puppies grow in to adults, though, and this too must be considered in the scheme of adopting.
Here’s Girl growing up, with her adoptive-brother, Boy…
And here she is when I got word that she needed a new home —
— beautiful and full-grown.
** Insert miracle here **
Not too soon after, we find ourselves in rural Massachusetts, in a lovely home, with a great family —
— for GIRL’S home-visit — !!
She meets up with poppa Paul and brother Alex, and passes the treat-test —
— that rawhide could be taken out of her mouth by ANYONE —
— great work, Girl — !!
Well, you can see here, that this little Lady took no time at all in warming up to Dad!
And next, Girl meets momma Valeska —
— and Girl thinks, “Am I in heaven? I love you all, and I barely even know you — !!”
She gets up close and personal with brother Alex —
— and gives him a little morning shower — !!
Alex said, “I have a new best friend now” —
— that you do, Alex — and for that, we’re thankful!
Here’s the smilin’ pit bull we like to see — !!
— and Girl lets out a little “arr-ooooo” to show her contentment — !!
She says goodbye to me…
… except those good-byes are never dry ones — !!
… and I am obliged, and assume the position for a little facial work by Girl — 😀
So, there we have it…
… a pretty Girl in a pretty house…
… with an AMAZING family!
I love home-visits like this — it’s people like these I feel like I already know when I’ve just met them, and I know they will do oh-so right by this princess.
If you’re up in rural Mass and are out leave-peeping or just looking at old houses, this lady might well greet your travels — !!
Thank you Valeska, Paul and Alex for taking this girl from a hard spot and making her loved —
— thank you so much.
3 month update!
Well, it turns out our “Girl”, now named “Ally” is doing great in Mass — so great she has even taken to writing emails — !!
She writes —
“Dear Uncle Eric,
Well, believe it or not, it’s almost been three whole months since you brought me to my new family, Paul, Alex and Valeska, here in Massachusetts!! I love it here so much and I am settling in so well!”
“In the beginning, it was a little rough. A new house, a new family, especially, my new brothers and sister – CATS! YIKES!! I’d never been around them before, and they really fascinated me! Mom and Dad worked really hard to get me used to being around them – I just wanted to play, but they didn’t see it that way.
I learned quickly that they have really sharp claws, and that they don’t like to play the way I do. Well, I’m happy to report that two months later, we have come to a truce!! I have learned to not sniff their butts so much, and that they won’t scratch me if I don’t do that.”
“Bumpy, aka sausage, aka Babu, is my closest feline brother. He actually will rub up against me sometimes!! And we even, sleep on the same bed together (see attached pix). Frankie, aka cranky, as the name implies, will never come around, my mom and dad tell me, so I’m learning to just leave him alone.
Then there’s Josie, aka Jabba, she’s even starting to be cool with me, she’s the black kitty in the picture, I’m working on warming her over too, so I’ll get back to you on that!”
“Other than that, I’ve started obedience school, and I really like it! I’m the oldest pup in the class, so all of the little ones look up to me, and they think they can catch me when we all run around! And so far, I’m doing really well. But I really like hanging out with my doggie friends the most!”
“Mom, Dad and brother Alex, are really great! We all have so much fun together, whether playing in the snow, or snuggling watching a movie! They spoil me, and bring me new toys all of the time! I really like ones with squeakers!
I chew’em until I get the squeaker out! We’ve found this trail near our house, where mom and dad take me on long walks, and I can run free and chase the birdies. So, it’s great!”
“I have attached some pictures of me and my feline siblings – so you can see with your own eyes, how far I’ve come!! And some solo pictures of me, cause I’m so damn cute!”
“I know you are very busy, but I just wanted to thank you for bringing me to my new family – I adore them so much already, and I look forward to a long and happy life with them in my forever home! Thank you Smilin’
Pitbull Rescue, for makin’ this little girls Christmas wish come true!
P.S. Mom and Dad say ‘hi’ too and wish you many warm wishes for Christmas and New Year’s!!”
Well, all I can say is WHAT A GREAT HOME — !!
When I did Ally’s home-visit back in October, I knew something was different with Valeska, Paul and with Alex — something accepting, patient and caring —
— and now, to see Ally flourishing so well just three months in to the game, I couldn’t be happier — !!
THANK YOU ALL, for making this girl’s life complete, and for showing everyone else how to do it — !!
Ally’s six month udpate!
Well, I opened my inbox to find yet ANOTHER update from this princess — !! She writes —
“Dear Uncle Eric, Happy Spring to you and all of your pitbull friends!!!
Well, this past weekend, it was six months since you brought me to my new family here in Central Mass. I am happy to report that things are going great and I couldn’t be any happier!!! Mama and papa socialize me with all sorts of people and other dogs. The people just adore me (cuz I am pretty cute J )!!”
“The dogs, I’m ok with – but I definitely have to be the dominant one. Mama and Papa are working on this with me, and I am learning. So, we’ll keep you posted on that front.
There was a bit of an adjustment upon my arrival, particularly with regard to my new feline siblings. If you recall, I had never been with cats before, and I didn’t like them much. Well, just as people are ignorant about me and my breed, I was ignorant about cats too, and I have now learned to love my kitty brothers and sisters!!”
“I can’t believe it myself, but they have become my best buddies!! Sometimes, I still can get a little too excited and play a little too rough with them, but they let me know right away, with a little swat (It’s great, they don’t even use their claws anymore), and I’m back in check.
On another positive note, my mama and papa have really gotten into Cesar Millan, the Dog Whisperer, and watch his show faithfully. Well, as a result they have learned the importance of several daily walks.”
“They were walking me before, but sometimes not every day, or for very long. So, mama has started doing Weight Watchers, and began walking me at LEAST twice a day, for a minimum of 45 minutes each time. It’s great for her (she’s lost 28 lbs already!! I’m so proud of her!) and it’s great for me!! We’re helping each other!! Plus, we go down these great woodsy trails, and if I’m a good girl, I get to go off leash. It’s so much fun! I love sniffing, oh, just about everything and being out in nature, and seeing all sorts of different creatures. Just this morning we saw 3 beavers!!”
“My papa just had surgery on his foot, so he’s been home all day and I can keep him company!! Although, sometimes it stinks because he can’t come with us for walks, but he is recovering well, and he’ll be back to walking with us again in no time! In the meantime, I’ll bide my time being his nurse, and taking good care of him.
As for brother Alex , he is great too! It took him a little while to learn how to handle me, as I am still technically a puppy, and I am so strong. Plus, he didn’t have much experience with dogs, never mind a pitbull!!”
“But he has learned to become a ‘pack leader’ as Cesar would say and has learned how to keep me in control. He’s a lot of fun too, and he likes to run around with me and play ball or tug of war. He’s training for his first year in football, and he’ll come with us on walks some days, and we just have so much fun chasing each other around!!”
“So, all in all, everything is just fabulous here!! I just wanted to let you know that I am great and love my new family, it feels like I’ve always been here! And thank you so much for bringing me to them!! I know I didn’t have as rough of a start as some of my pitbull brothers and sisters around the country, but I could’ve had a worse ending if it wasn’t for you!!!
Take care, Ally
P.S. Of course, Mama, Papa and brother Alex send their best too!”
Well, I couldn’t imagine a happier ending —
— Ally was given up at a critical, and very un-adoptable time — one year old. She was full of energy and play, and she needed attention and care —
— Valeska and family did just that — and then some — they are loving her, teaching her and spoiling her.
These are my proudest moments — to see a girl like this I’ve known since a day old come this far —
— and when looking back on my life, and what was accomplished, meeting such wonderful people as these and helping such a girl as this will have made it all worth while.
After one year — success!
Well, one year down the road, I get an email from Ally and family —
“Dear Uncle Eric,
It’s hard to believe, but I’ve been with my new family now a whole year!!! What a year it’s been! I’m happy to report that everything here in Massachusetts is wonderful, and I have really fit right in out here and can’t imagine being anywhere else.”
” Since the last time I wrote, not too much has changed. Mama and papa are still walking me faithfully every morning and night for at least 45 minutes. Mama is still working on losing weight and has lost 56 lbs to date!! I’m so proud of her, and also proud to say that I was with her every step of the way. Actually, mama says she’d like lose a little more, so she starting running with me in the morning for a minimum of ½ hour.”
“It’s really great, as it gives me an opportunity to get my energy out before mama and papa go to work out – so I can just zonk out all day!
As the photos indicate, my feline siblings and I are like peas in a pod, particularly Jabba, the black kitty. We love to cuddle and hang out together, I can’t believe there was a time when I didn’t get along with them!!”
” I am sorry to report though that 2 out of 3 of my kitty brothers are currently MIA. We are all very worried about them and hope that they return home to us soon. So, please keep them in your furry thoughts and prayers!!
My summer was quite eventful, as mama and papa brought me all over the place, and I was adored everywhere I went!! They also fenced the backyard, so I have been able to zip around back there.”
” I went swimming for the first time, which was quite the adventure. I think I need to do it a couple more times to get the hang of it though. But it did make me realize how much I love to frolic in the water, be it lakes, ponds or puddles!! I also discovered that I like to be a li’l bathing beauty, and have my own chaise lounge out on the deck, when I lay out with mama and her friends.
Unfortunately, I found out the hard way that skunks are not relatives of my kitty siblings, as by sight that’s what they looked like to me!”
“Yikes, I was stinky, and needless to say mama, papa and brother Alex were not that thrilled by my encounter with it. Hey, I’m still a puppy right? I’m a work in progress and I’m learning new things every day……”
” So, I’ve sent a bunch of pictures of me and all my cuteness (good thing I’m not full of myself, huh?).”
“Oh, and by the way, I’m truly honored to be one of your calendar pups for 2007!”
“As Ms. August, I promise to be an exemplary pit pup, to be a role model for all the other pit pups out there, and to work everyday to change the perception of my breed to that of a positive one!”
Thanks again Eric for helping me find my way home, and for all the great work you do for all the fortunate pitbulls that cross your path!! May they all be as lucky as me!!
Happy Holidays to you and all of your spbr friends!!
Ally Bandana (yes, it has been incorporated into my name as of late, as it has become my trademark. You don’t even want to know how many I now have to chose from!)
The rest of the family sends you their best too!!
Well now, how perfect a home for this girl — the good energy is everywhere — THANK YOU, Valeska and family — !!