One Couple + Two Dogs = Our Waldo Bungie
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We are no strangers to dressing up our pups for Halloween… but this year, I totally dropped the ball. So while I may not have any photos (yet) of the dogs in costumes for this year, enjoy this smattering of costumed cuteness from years past….

I’m trying to think of something I can throw together quickly tonight for the trick-or-treaters – any ideas?! What is your dog going as for Halloween this year?

 

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!

As any good foster parent knows, a key part of getting your fosters adopted is exposure. I make a point to take my fosters with me while I do my daily errands. I even make special trips to heavily populated, dog-friendly areas with my fosters in their Adopt Me vests (and me with a handful of fliers!) to see if a love connection can be made.

Ginger Rogers outside 5B & Co. Candlemakers – my fave candle shop (and bonus: its dog friendly)!

Polly Pocket – sitting pretty at the Rosterie Cafe while I had coffee with a friend.

But I have to be practical – not everyone comes running over when they see a pit bull-type dog walking around with an Adopt Me vest on. The big, blocky head and muscular body can be intimidating to some people, so I have to do my part to make my fosters as approachable as possible. With Ginger Rogers, that meant busting out a tutu and fairy wings


With Lucy Lou, it meant a custom St. Patricks Day dress and headband

And with Polly Pocket, we are utilizing a newfound accessory of choice: Just Dog Gone Cute decorative dog collars!


Kelly Andrews volunteered as a photographer for her local animal shelter before starting Just Dog Gone Cute. She would use feather boas, bandanas, and holiday costumes as a way to make the shelter dogs she photographed stand out from the crowd of “mug shots” that shelters typically market their dogs with. Still, she wanted to have some kind of accessory that made the adoptable dogs stand out even more than her boas and costumes could…

That’s when she started making her own decorative collars to use in her photos and before she knew it, Just Dog Gone Cute was a full-fledged business! Very reasonably priced at just $12-16 a pop, Kelly also donates a portion of the proceeds to animal rescue groups (much like a little dog sweater company that is near and dear to our hearts!). Oh, and did I mention she has a few pit bulls of her own?!

Seriously, we cannot get enough of her gorgeous decorative collars and will be using them to market Polly Pocket like crazy! The “clown collar” we purchased is sure to make Polly stand out in a crowd and will make her seem approachable to people who might otherwise be intimidated by her imposing physical features.


I have been eyeing these collars ever since Juliana at Peace, Love, and Fostering featured adoptable Joanie Rotten in an orange one back in October … and you better believe I bought Rufus and Turk matching Christmas collars to add to their collection of costumes (why should my fosters have all the fun?!). Turk was a bit camera shy but Rufus begrudgingly modeled a bit for me last week.




Seriously folks, these collars are adorable, fun, and help adoptable doggies stand out from the crowd (and help to pay for their care). What’s not to lurve here?! To order your own, contact Kelly at justdoggonecute@gmail.com for order instructions or like Just Dog Gone Cute on Facebook.

What else do YOU do to help your foster dogs stand out in a crowd?

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!