One Couple + Two Dogs = Our Waldo Bungie
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Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.

I remember hearing this quote when I was in college and it really resonated with me. It has also been kind of a motto for me in fostering. Each dog we have fostered so far has faced/is facing some sort of “battle.”

Ginger Rogers has chronic medical issues, Ginger Jr. was a “cage painter” (dog who poops in her crate and then smears it around her crate) in the shelter, Lucy Lou is a fence jumper, and Polly Pocket suffers from separation anxiety. And then our latest foster, Moby Wonderdog, is fear reactive.

 Coupled with the label of “pit bull,” my fosters have all come to me with some sort of strike against them. My bestie Jo and I were chatting last night and she asked me, “with so many dogs in the shelter who don’t have (fill in the blank with an issue), how would you convince someone to adopt one of your fosters when they do have issues?”

And without thinking, I replied, “I wouldn’t.”

You see, I know that each foster isn’t the perfect dog for everybody. But I do know that each foster is the perfect dog for somebody. So I make it my job to find the perfect adopter for each foster.


I’ve been pretty lucky so far to find the absolute perfect home for each of my fosters…Ginger Rogers was adopted by an amazing couple who have past experience with medical issues similar to Ginger’s. How did I know they were perfect? When I rattled off the list of meds Ginger was on and Jenny replied “Oh, our last dog was on that too!” Polly Pocket’s new mom had a dog with similar issues to Polly that past away a few years ago. When I told her about Polly’s issues, she replied, “well, I know how to do with that because I’ve already dealt with it.” Lucy Lou and Ginger Jr. are both thriving with their families too!

While it does take longer sometimes to find the perfect adopter (the average stay at foster home is 5 months), I believe that the wait pays off. Daniel often jokes that I like to foster the “broken” dogs, but I prefer to think of them as “diamonds in the rough.” Ginger Rogers was passed over at the shelter for weeks before narrowly escaping the euthanasia list… but after just a few weeks in foster care, her personality came shining through and she endeared herself to so many people.

I believe that Moby’s perfect adopter is out there, too. He may not be the perfect dog for everybody, but he is the perfect dog for somebody. Now the hunt is on to find out who that somebody is…

* Moby Wonderdog is available for adoption through Unleashed Pet Rescue. If you are interested in finding out more about him, please contact me at {ourwaldobungie@gmail.com} *

 

Is 2012 seriously over already?! I can’t believe how much has happened in the last year… fosters have come to stay and moved on to adoptive families… I finished school… I started a new job… craziness. Well, before we officially embark on our 2013 journey, let’s take a quick look back on 2012 and all of the fun we had!

Blog:
Number of posts: 169
Number of hits: 62,000 (up from 21,604 last year)
Most comments on a post: 58 (on our third blogiversary!)
Most hits in one day: 1,311 (the day we shared the story of Kimba)
Giveaways: 9
Blog friends met in real life: 5 (Amber from Mayzie’s Dog Blog, Sarah from Married with Dawgs, and A from Pitlandia, and Nigel & Alzbeta from Sharing a Life)
Blog dogs met in real life: 9 (Mayzie & Ranger – Mayzie’s Dog Blog) (Hurley, Maggie, & Sadie – Married with Dawgs) (Athena – Pitlandia) (Abbey, Jake, & Petey – Sharing a Life)


Blog friends I haven’t met in person yet but want to: Just like last year – too many to count!

Dogs:
Forever dogs: 2 (just Turk and Rufus)


Hikeabull hikes attended: 3 (and blogged about two hikes here and here)
KC Pittie Pack walks held: 27
Times Turk has “taken over” the blog: 5 (here, here, here, here, and here)
Foster dogs adopted: 4! (Ginger Rogers, Ginger Jr, Lucy Lou, and Polly Pocket)
Scariest foster moment: Ginger’s sudden liver illness (luckily she fully recovered – although she took about 5 years off my life from all the worrying)
Longest 2012 foster resident: Polly Pocket (6 months)
Sirius Republic collars: 6
Custom Sweaters my mom has knitted since her shop opened: 83
Yetis found and lost: 1

Goals:
Goals completed: 7
Proudest accomplishment: Completing my Masters program


Overall GPA at graduation: 4.0!
Favorite home improvement goal completed: Tie between Daniel’s adirondack chair and the pallet mirror


Favorite travel goal completed: Girls trip (blogged about here and here)

2012 was a blast… but I have a feeling 2013 is going to be even better! Here’s to more fosters, more goals completed, and more traveling in 2013! Thanks for joining us on this crazy journey!

When I started this blog in 2009, I had no idea if anyone would read it. I started out writing about our first house (the “bungie” in our name is short for bungalow, which is the style of house we live in) and I occasionally received comments from my mom or one of my friends, but I didn’t really think anyone really cared about what I had to say. Then one day I wrote about the book The Lost Dogs and how owning Turk, a pit bull mix, had changed my life. I received just a couple of comments, one of which was from Aleksandra, who wrote, “this is beautiful.” I am pretty sure that up until that point, no one had said anything that I wrote was “beautiful.” I was floored.

I wrote a few more posts about my dogs and began to receive more positive feedback from readers. When I began volunteering with an animal rescue organization (a lifelong goal of mine) and took in my first foster dog, Ginger Rogers, my passion was realized.


Since I began my foray into the animal rescue and dog blogging world, I have been lucky enough to get involved in so many different ways. I’ve fostered four beautiful pit bull-type dogs: Ginger Rogers, Ginger Jr, Lucy Lou, and our current foster, Polly Pocket.

I co-founded a structured pack walking group, KC Pittie Pack & Friends, with fellow blogger Crystal of Wayward Dogs after seeing the benefits of pack walks from groups like Chicago Sociabulls and HikeaBull. Since January we’ve hosted almost 20 walks!

I have been able to help raise awareness (and money) for pit bulls in need, like Kimba, who touched so many hearts that our amazing community was able to raise nearly $1,500.00 for her care in 72 hours!


Most certainly my proudest moments have been when I’ve heard from a blog reader that they have started volunteering with an animal rescue. Most recently, my next door neighbors took the plunge into fostering with Lucy-Carolina, and I relish every moment I see that pup playing happily in their backyard. I feel lucky to have played a small part in Lucy-Carolina’s rescue – and love that my neighbors are now spreading the word to their friends about fostering too.

If anything I write can help to inspire one person to volunteer at a shelter, do a leg of a transport, or foster a dog, then I feel like I have done something of value. I have given back some of the good I’ve received from this world. I hope to continue writing about volunteering, fostering, responsible dog ownership, and pit bull advocacy for years to come. I feel like I have a lot more work I can do and a lot more to say – if you all will continue to indulge me by reading this blog.

In an effort to continue the work I’ve been doing on the blog, I recently entered the Bloggers for Good contest.

The grand prize is $1,000.00 for the blogger’s favorite charity and $500 for the blogger to continue his/her advocacy work. The charity I will contribute to if I win is Unleashed Pet Rescue – a Kansas City rescue group that focuses on rescuing dogs who have run out of time at local shelters (especially pit bulls) and reaching out to neglected dogs and their owners in the city by providing lightweight tie-outs instead of heavy chains, medication, food, and dog houses. This rescue is dear to my heart because I fostered Lucy Lou through them and because they pulled Kimba when she was running out of time at the local shelter. As for the $500 – I would use it to further my pit bull advocacy efforts. I want to leave my options open so I can put that money where it is needed the most – helping a pit bull get vetted before going to rescue, purchasing supplies for a shelter, etc. So, if you have a moment today and you believe in the work I’m doing, please vote for me in the Bloggers for Good contest and share the link with your friends. Oh, and while you’re at it, vote for That Touch of Pit too, who also entered the contest and is doing amazing work with The Bully Project in New York City.

Thank you for letting me share my life with you… I truly appreciate each and every one of you for letting me blog about my life’s passion day after day!

Several of you have made comments about my affinity for redheaded foster dogs.


I never really thought much of it. I mean, it’s not like I really sought out redheaded dogs to foster. They just happen to be the ones who need my help when I am available to foster… right? Well… maybe there is more to it than I had originally thought. The other day Daniel emailed me at work to tell me about a really cool thing he’d found online called Doggelganger – “Human to Canine Pairing Software.” Basically, this software is utilized by the animal shelter system in New Zealand to to help humans find their Bowser, which is slang for a dog that looks just like them. He sent me a screen shot of the dog he was paired with…

A redhead with a black mouth and eyes…just like Polly Pocket. Daniel remarked, “I used to think you just liked to bring home the saddest cases…now I think you’re bringing home dogs that look like me!” Well, it certainly would explain why I love each of those dogs so fiercely – they look like Daniel, right? Because I was curious, I decided to see what kind of dog I’d be paired with…

Coincidence?! I think not. Apparently there is more of a science to picking your dog than I once thought! Go to Doggelganger to see which dog you are paired with, then let me know if you think it’s right.

* In actuality, there is a lot more factors that go into picking which foster dog will be the best fit for our lifestyle than just if they are our “Bowsers.” I’ll share the formula we actually use later on this week! *

After a two month hiatus, we’ve finally brought home a new foster! Meet Polly Pocket (Pittie)…

This sweet girl was set to be euthanized at the shelter after just two weeks due to an injury to her back leg. I have a thing for redheads (see Ginger Rogers and Ginger Jr), so I couldn’t let Miss Polly meet that fate. I brought her home on Thursday after her spay surgery, and lucky for her, the very next day was National Take Your Dog to Work Day! She was a doll at the office I’ve been working at part-time since finishing grad school – just curling up on her Molly Mutt bed and napping overseeing my work. She even assisted my boss with finishing his breakfast sandwich answering his emails. One thing Polly Pocket would not do though? Helping me do paperwork. Polly Pocket does not collate.

We are still learning about her, but so far we have figured out a few of her likes and dislikes…

LIKES:

  1. Pretending to be your shadow (“oh, don’t mind me – just following you into the bathroom!”).
  2. Staring at you with her gigantic eyes that bore right into your soul.
  3. Giving you a big, pittie smile when you call her “Polly wanna cracker” or “Pockets.”

DISLIKES:

  1. You leaving her sight – even if it’s just to run to another room for just a second.
  2. You watching her as she enters the house from the backyard. She will wait on the deck until we turn around before she comes inside.
  3. Being left alone. Ever. This girl has some crazy separation anxiety. To give you an idea of how bad it is, check out the damage she did to her crate after being left alone for a few hours on Saturday. And no, the crate’s wires are not supposed to bend like that.

We’ve dealt with separation anxiety before with Ginger Rogers, but Polly’s case appears to be way more severe than that. We’ll do a post soon about the different things we’re doing to help ease Polly’s anxiety and prepare her for her future forever home. We’re very excited to show her what it’s like to feel safe and be a beloved family member. It’s feels good to be back in the (fostering) saddle!

Polly Pocket will be available in the next few weeks through Heart of America Humane Society – stay tuned!