A Day with a Homeless Dog

A Day with a Homeless Dog

Saturday, November 23, 2013

What about Ringo?

How long does it take for a dog to find their perfect match? Some dogs seem to find their forever home in a matter of hours after becoming available, those dogs are called puppies. There are some dogs that don't even last a week or two, those are our smaller breed dogs. Then there are dogs who sit at a shelter waiting and hoping and looking for months and months, those are usually are precious Pit bulls. As a volunteer it is very frustrating to see your favorite dog week after week sitting their just waiting to be adopted. For Ringo it has been 8 months! This is really shocking to lots of us since Ringo continues to become a better dog each week the staff and volunteers work with him. There are so many reasons to love this handsome boy and hopefully by the end of the blog people will be thinking of making him a part of their family...

Is Ringo good with kids?
The biggest, most important question people ask us is are our dogs good with kids. Lucky for us Ringo has been out at adoption events and has had plenty of dog days out. Ringo loves the attention, there were moments he would be mobbed by kids and Ringo just soaked it all in. What about the kids? They seemed to love Ringo just as much. He rolls over and lays to get the pets in his favorite spot - the belly =) For all those families out there, Ringo has been kid approved!

What is Ringo's energy level?
We have learned there are two sides to Ringo - the shelter, high energy level and the at home, can be relaxed energy level. Ringo, like most dogs, need daily exercise and activities to keep him from being bored. In the shelter, people can be turned off by his high energy level in his kennel. He is a rough and rowdy player with other dogs and with all the stimulation it can sometimes make it hard for him to focus. He is such a fun guy and trying to show how amazing this boy really is can be difficult. 
Lucky for Ringo, he has his buddy, Eric Gilbert who has been taking him home so you can see there is another side of Ringo when he is at home with his own people. He is relaxed, he loves to cuddle, he listens and is learning to be patient. Eric has been working with him on many basic commands. He is learning to sit and stay. He has been helping him with his leash skills, the leave it command and sharing. Eric can't say enough amazing things about this boy and is offering 3 free training sessions to anyone who adopts this handsome boy. 

Does Ringo play with other dogs?
Ringo? Other dogs? ABSOLUTELY! Ringo is a star in playgroups. He has lots and lots of friends and loves to play with other dogs. In playgroups at the shelter he hangs out with the rough and rowdy players. On his dog days out he loves hanging out and hiking with his dog friends.  He can play with the rough and rowdy or the small guys and his favorite game is to let the other dogs chase him. He has been a perfect gentleman with the smaller dogs and would really do great in a home with medium energy dogs. Ringo would love if if you had a dog friend for him to play with. Check him out in this video with a couple of his friends...


 Ringo wanted to leave you with a little note about himself...

Hello, Hello! Did you notice my amazing hazel eyes? My name is Ringo and my stunning good looks are just the beginning of my wonderful attributes. This boy absolutely loves the water. My favorite part of the day is going out for morning play groups with other dogs. There are small pools for me to jump around in and chomp at the water. My best dog friends are the rough and rowdy ones. I can sometimes be a little too much for other dogs, they can't handle all of this. The trainers say I get better and better each time and I continue to show more interest in people. They say I am one of their favorites and love to show me off to potential adopters. I have finally realized the people are the ones who are going to give me a good home and make sure I enjoy life. I am ready for adventure and fun, I am hoping there is a family out there with big area for me to play in. I have been waiting for way to long and I am pretty sure it is my turn to find a home. Come check me out so you can see how fun I am, we could be best buds for life. Ringo arrived Mar 25th. He is almost a year and a half, about 55lbs and was picked up as a stray.


Look how much Ringo has learned - Training Commands & Proficiency
Sit - 100% - upward hand
Drop it - 90% - used to drop a toy or item, 100% with treat exchange
Leave it - 90% - used to leave item on floor or table alone - treat, toy, food bowl etc
Come - recall, 100% in backyard, home, about 70% on a hike with a long lead
Stay - 70%, within 5 feet, over 10 feet away and walking behind 50%
Hup - 100% up into a car, couch etc
Off -75% down from an area or if he jumps up on a person or item
Stop - 50%, used to make stop prior to exiting a door or forward progress
Leash Training - 75%, when he pulls too much, use "Easy" and a little yank on lead and he slows up. With easy-walk harness 90%.
Down - 20% still working
Egh/Nope - No reward marker sound. If he's doing something you don't like

Ringo really is becoming an amazing dog. He is loving, friendly and just a happy boy! The ideal home for him would be an active family, people who will show him love and let him cuddle. A family who will show him off and let everyone know how amazing Pit bull mixes are. Ringo is a great dog and whoever adopts him will be a very lucky family. Let's not make him wait another 8 months!  

Saturday, November 2, 2013

What a difference a photo makes...

A good photo documents, explains, entices, inspires, and even has the power to save lives. I can't say enough amazing things about the professional photographers that come to KC Pet Project every weekend to take pictures of our homeless pets.  Each of them are able to capture the personalities of each animal and that ultimately connects them with adopters.  

Volunteering with the photographers is one of my favorite things to do at the shelter. Each weekend I am meeting the new faces and getting learn a little about them, their personality and their past. Just by reading their kennel cards I can find out how the ended up becoming homeless; were they abandoned, found as a stray, surrendered by their owners? The minute I meet them I get a sense of their personality.  For some of them it will be their first day outside since their 5 day stray hold and they are excited about the fresh air and grass on their feet. Other dogs are completely confused with the new environment and look to me for guidance.  There are some dogs that are completely shut down because they are used to their home and their owners; the only way I can get them outside is by carrying them.  Every weekend it is new dogs with new stories and I get to help tell their story with the photographer.

Wild Wendall doing his best to not get photographed!
I have to say that sometimes these dogs make it incredibly difficult for us. We have squeakers, treats, we clap our hands and jump up and down. Sometimes we have another dog right behind the photographer to get their attention. Kasi Orr with Reames Photography, is a master with those high energy pups that don't sit still. She doesn't mess around and isn't afraid to get dirty or move around for the right shot. She is always willing to help me update photos for dogs who have been at the shelter for so long.  Wild Wendall has such a spunky attitude and Kasi helped get that across in a variety of pictures. She has been an amazing asset to the KCMO animal shelter and I can't imagine not having her as a volunteer photographer. She knows how to have a good time and is patient with every volunteer and dog she photographs - we are so lucky to have her.

Kokomo confused and nervous, looking for love.
Their are those dogs that are the complete opposite of Wendall. I have literally fought back tears trying to hold these babies to stop them from shaking. I will never forget one of Kaye Ness' first sessions at the shelter. She is an amazing lady with a heart of gold. I knew after I met her that day that she was a keeper and would help us get these dogs the photographs they need. She met Kokomo, a Lab/Shepherd mix that was so nervous and scared. It was almost impossible to get her to relax and stop shaking. As soon as the pictures were edited, Kaye spread the word about Kokomo and how she needed a loving home. It didn't take long when Kaye finally decided to take her into her home to help her gain the confidence she needed along with providing lots of love. The best ending to this story is that Kokomo, now Princess, was adopted by our other photographer, Kasi Orr. She has made her a permanent part of the family and Princess is living happily ever after.

Grady showing off his sophisticated side.
The most fun we have with our photographers is dressing up the dogs. Nothing too crazy, just a little bow for the girls or maybe a tie for the boys. The most memorable would have to be Grady. Chad Ackerman saw this boys personality the second he met him. Grady was an older boy and quite the gentleman. He was mature and so debonair as you can see in his picture. The hat and tie was seen around the area on a promo flyer for an adoption special. I don't think it took a day and someone came to adopt this handsome man. Chad really gives the dogs personality by adding small little touches. A recent Halloween photo shoot proved to be a success for lots of our favorite longtimers. We are lucky to have him and the volunteer support to get these photos.

Along with the three photographers above, we have a few others that dedicate their time to both the dogs and cats. I have spent the majority of my time with Kasi, Kaye and Chad. I encourage all the volunteers to take a weekend day and help out with the photographs. It is an easy thing to do with kiddos as well. They can participate with helping get the dogs attention and even being a part of the photo to show how great the dog might be with kids. The photo sessions don't take long when we have the help, 2 hours tops. It is a way to meet the new pups and help share their stories.  Photography is a powerful tool. The photos are literally life saving for many of our animals. The sharing of these photos has helped multiple dogs and cats find forever homes. 

I will leave you with a few of my favorite photos of me and dogs that have melted my heart. Please consider volunteering and helping with photos, again it is literally LIFE SAVING!