A Day with a Homeless Dog

A Day with a Homeless Dog

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Pretty Pittie Princesses!

It can be pretty easy for a dog to get overlooked in a high intake shelter. For a pretty Pit Bull Terrier it happens often. There are some fantastic ladies that have stolen the hearts of many volunteers, and I wanted to share their stories. They are all special in their own way, and it would be so great for them to find forever homes.

Calm, classy Cleopatra is available for adoption at our Zona Rosa location. The volunteers can’t say enough great things about her. I don’t know any volunteer who isn’t cheering her on to find her forever home. She is such a beauty, is easy going and wants nothing more than to be your best friend. Check out her profile here: http://bit.ly/1vVoQSd

 My name is Cleopatra, and you won't find a more laid back girl than me. I don't know anyone who hasn't fallen in love with me yet. I am always happy to meet new people and do my happy dance when I see you. I like to snuggle and go for walks, and would love to be your best friend. I am house trained, kennel trained, love kids, and am more than ready to find my forever home. I keep dreaming about snuggling on the couch with my wonderful family and giving them plenty of kisses to show my appreciation. I really want to have my own family to myself, so hopefully you don't have any other pets. I have a lot of love to give and if you want an easy going gal to spend your days with, come meet me.

Cleo’s dream home would include:
  • A soft bed where she can cuddle with her new parents
  • A wonderful kid to call her best forever friend
  • Never-ending snuggles
 What you need to know about Cleo:
  • 8 ½-year-old Pit Bull mix
  • House trained with a medium energy level
  • Loves to be around kids
  • Would be best as the only pet
 Why Cleopatra is a volunteer favorite:
  • Her laid back personality
  • The happy dance she does when she meets new people
  • Her perfect energy level

Dazzling Dinah is currently in foster care. She was such a patient gal trying to show off for any potential adopters at our Zona Rosa location. Lucky for Dinah, a special volunteer fell in love with her and brought Dinah into her home to foster. This wonderful volunteer has learned just how amazing Dinah is. All she wants is to be loved and have a few back scratches here and there. Dinah’s personality shines when she is in a home, and she would love to find a forever home with someone soon! Check out her profile here: http://bit.ly/1omS5wl

Do you see that dazzling smile? My name is Dinah and I am a sweet, gentle, friendly gal looking for my forever home. I have already stolen the hearts of the KCPP staff and volunteers. They are all so happy with how far I have come. I used to be shy and scared of strangers, but now I talk to everyone. I love yummy treats and stretching my legs is something I have grown to love. I consider myself a lapdog and want nothing more than to give and receive love. I am eager to please and have learned some basic commands already. I really enjoy the outdoors, and my ideal family would want to take me on daily walks or jogs. We could play some tug of war with my favorite rope toy (I never lose!), and at the end of the day I would cuddle up with you and take a nice nap on the couch while you deliver wonderful belly rubs. It would be best for me to be with older children, as the unpredictable movements of small kids sometimes frighten me. If possible, I would also really like to be your only pet. If you have another dog we can do an intro to see if it can work, but I really prefer low energy dogs that know how to give me my space. Will you come meet your new best friend and cuddle buddy today?!?

Dinah’s dream home would include:
  • A comfy couch for afternoon naps
  • A daily walk or jog to get some fresh air
  • Her favorite rope toy for some tug of war 
  •  LOTS OF LOVE and back scratches!
What you need to know about Dinah:
  • 7 ½-year-old Pit Bull mix
  • House trained with a medium energy level
  • She thinks she is a 52 lb lap dog
  • Would be best as the only pet
 Why Dinah is a volunteer favorite:
  • Beautiful smile
  • Sweet and spunky personality
  • Always has a bounce in her step
  • Smart girl who knows how to sit pretty

Cutie Pie Conley is looking for her forever home at our main shelter location. This playful girl is easy to fall in love with. She prefers long walks and iwalks better on the leash each time. Toys are her favorite, and she can entertain herself for hours with a squeaker toy. She is pretty great at fetch too! There is a lot going on at the shelter, and Conley sometimes gets distracted. However, after spending one on one time with you, she will show you her loving personality and how happy she is to have you around. I know she would be so grateful to have a home to call her own. Check out her profile here: http://bit.ly/10bJ4ve

It doesn't get much cuter than this face. My name is Conley and if you are looking for some personality, I might be the dog for you! I am an outgoing girl who likes to be the center of attention. I am always happy and can entertain myself for hours with squeaky toys. I am pretty good at finding that hidden squeaker! I am an energetic, sweet and friendly girl. I have been working on my leash manners, but I am a big girl and can sometimes pull a little when I get excited. The trainers are working with me and integrating me into playgroup, and I have done pretty good with the boy dogs so far. The staff says I should meet any dogs before I get adopted just to make sure we can be friends forever. I have a lot going for me, I just need someone to take a chance on this pretty face. Come see me soon!

Conley’s dream home would include:
  • Daily adventures to keep her stimulated physically and mentally
  • Her very own toy box full of toys
  • A big back yard to play fetch in
What you need to know about Conley:
  • 3 ½-year-old Pit Bull mix
  • House trained with a medium energy level
  • Needs an intro with potential dog brothers or sisters
Why Conley is a volunteer favorite:
  • Her outgoing personality
  • That sweet face that makes you smile
  • Her curious nature and those ears!

Watch a video of Conley

Carefree, confident Carabina is a sight to see at our main shelter location. I don’t think there has ever been a time that I haven’t seen this girl happy. She has countless volunteers and staff that love her, and is attending training classes on Saturdays with a special volunteer who adores her. Carabina has proven that those pittie girls are resilient. She came in with a carabiner through her neck, hence her name. That is how she was tied up, through her neck! The thought of it just makes you hate people. When you meet Carabina, you would never know that she was treated this way. She loves everyone and her outlook on life is nothing but positive. She deserves a happily ever after, and we can’t wait to see her go to her forever home. Check out her profile here: http://bit.ly/1wvkukF

Love at first sight is guaranteed when you meet me. My name is Carabina, and there isn't a second of the day that you won't see that beautiful smile on my face. Happy, outgoing and playful are all words that best describe me. The volunteers love me, and the staff can't get enough of this adorable face. I am a total sweetheart and a love bug. I enjoy playing fetch and walk well on a leash. I think I have just the right amount of energy, and the trainers have been working me into playgroups with other dogs. I have had some success with dog friends, but I should definitely meet your dogs before you take me home. I have quite a past, but it is behind me now and I can't wait for my future forever home. I know my life is going to be awesome with whoever picks me, so what are you waiting for?! 

Carabina’s dream home would include:
  • A fun family that would give her tons of love
  • Lots of toys, especially tennis balls
  • A big cozy bed or a lap for her to sleep on
What you need to know about Carabina:
  • 2-year-old Pit Bull mix
  • Is attending training classes and should continue after she is adopted. We even offer free classes at the shelter!
  • Needs an intro with potential dog brothers or sisters
Why Carabina is a volunteer favorite:
  • She aims to please and loves to learn
  • Her happy face when she sees you
  • That playful personality and positive outlook on life
  • She is perfectly patient

Watch a video of Carabina

Darling Darla is to die for. She is in search of her forever home at the main shelter. This precious girl would make the perfect companion for some lucky person. She is totally laid back and would be an easy addition to your home. Darla is pretty anxious about finding a home because she is heart worm positive. She is ready for her treatment, and would recover best in a home rather than the stressful shelter. This girl is a piece of cake and she would cover you with kisses every day!

I am a great dog, at least that is what all the volunteers tell me =) My name is Darla, and if you are looking for a laid back lady to add to your home, I am perfect! I like to think of myself as a 50 lb couch potato. I am pretty mellow, but don’t mind a short jog here and there for some fresh air. I can hang out with you and your friends, sit on your lap and get some love and console you with lots of kisses when you’re having a bad day. I am very well behaved and promise to be a wonderful companion. I think it is important for you to know that I would really prefer to have you all to myself. If I could be your one and only that would make me the happiest pup in the world. All you really need is me in your life. I would really love a home soon so I can get my heartworm treatment. It is an easy process, and I can recover much quicker cuddling with you at home. Unconditional love is waiting for you, so come snatch me up soon!!

Darla’s dream home would include:
  • Lots of laps for her to snuggle in
  • Some wonderful doggie attire for her to model in
  • A nice  bed by the window for her to nap in

What you need to know about Darla:

  • 6-year-old Pit Bull mix
  • Heartworm positive, and can receive treatment through the shelter
  • Needs to be the only pet 

Why Darla is a volunteer favorite:

  • Her calm and gentle personality
  • The wonderful kisses she gives
  • She is so well behaved and easy to handle

  Please visit KC Pet Project and meet all the wonderful pitties we have available. They all deserve homes!

Monday, September 22, 2014

Long Time, No Blog...

It has been way too long! Without making too many excuses, I did move into a new house, I got married and I enjoyed an amazing honeymoon. Not to mention work has been busy and I recently took on the role as President of our Kansas City media organization, Media Mix. With all this craziness going on, it's no wonder that I skipped right past my first trimester and didn't realize I was pregnant until I reached 15 weeks...SURPRISE!!

Initially I was completely shocked, then terrified and finally excited. While I am figuring out what I am supposed to be doing, not doing and preparing for a huge life change, I am very concerned about my passion for volunteering with KC Pet Project. Honestly I have already had a couple of meltdowns, darn hormones! I have been consistently volunteering at the KCMO shelter for over 6yrs. I have seen it at its worse and now at its best. Being involved with Kansas City's homeless pets has had a huge impact on my life. My favorite day of the week is Sunday. It's the day I've dedicated to spend time with the homeless dogs that need some love and attention. I rarely miss a Sunday and feel guilty when I can't make it. I am constantly sharing their stories on social media, helping friends with their pet issues and connecting friends with their new best friend. I might be a little extreme, but it is what I love to do.

Today was a huge reality check for me. I was again reminded how important it is that I come volunteer. Way back in the day, dogs didn't get outside unless volunteers came to walk them, playgroups were not even a thought. There were many Sundays I would leave the shelter crying because all the dogs didn't get out for just a short walk. It was horrible walking past dogs that were barking at me to get them out, but I couldn't get to them all. These days, having playgroups has totally changed the life of a shelter dog at KCMO. Dogs get out and interact with other dogs. We get to learn so much about them and their personalities. This is why it is so important for there to be runners for playgroups to help ensure all the dogs get some outside time. Today I was the only runner :( What if I hadn't gone early today to help out? To think about all those dogs that might not have gotten out for some fresh air. It took us from about 830am to 11am to get the available dogs out for some playtime. If we would have had a couple more volunteers we could have finished up sooner and gotten out some dogs that needed more one on one time. I really want to encourage volunteers to try out playgroups. It's an early morning activity so you can be back home and still enjoy most of your day. It's really pretty easy and knowing you helped those dogs get some fun time with friends is priceless. Check out this short video to see just how fantastic playgroups are and I am sure you will want to help...

I also make sure that all new dogs get photos taken on Sunday. I have been lucky enough to have a backup here when I can't make it. I do make it my goal to be there and not miss any new dogs. I mark the boards so the volunteers know which dogs to take out, I check with staff if I can't find a dog and I try my best to get bio sheets filled out on each of the new dogs. Again this is another easy way to volunteer. You really just have to run the dogs to the photographers and they do all the hard work. Then you get some one on one time with them and can enjoy their company. I do love photographs and being able to meet the new dogs and learn their story. I try to share them on social media when I meet them in hopes someone will fall in love like I usually do :-) Again this is an important part of my weekly volunteer work and the thought of not being there makes me sad.

When I left today all dogs hadn't gotten out for a walk. I put in almost 6 hours of volunteering and still wished I could have done more. I know this is just volunteer work, but it would be so great to see more faces at the shelter pitching in. Life can get busy, but the animals, staff and fellow volunteers would love to have some more help on site at the shelter.

My life is so flexible now and this whole having a baby thing will make it a lot harder. I am almost 18 weeks pregnant and plan to continue my volunteer routine as long as I can. I really want to encourage volunteers to try and make some time for the shelter animals. I know that will be my goal once this life changing baby comes along. Until then...

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Leo: Shelter Life vs Foster Home

Dogs are amazing, especially my man Leo. Yes it is another blog about Leo and he continues to prove to me why I will never give up on him. Maybe you have read my previous blog about him and maybe you haven't. What you need to know is that all dogs deserve a chance and Leo most of all.

To make a long story short, Leo became a resident of the Kansas City Animal Shelter back on February 13th, 2013. He was just a young guy at 9 months old. All we knew is that he was abandoned and he would become a KC Pet Project dog. He grew up in the shelter environment for over a year. 

What we learned from Leo while he was a KC Pet Project dog:
  • His stress levels where high early on and he was easily aroused.
  • He didn't have any basic obedience training.
  • He did enjoy playing with other dogs, but his high energy and rowdy play style did overwhelm some dogs.
  • Leashing him and getting him out of the kennel was a task that was difficult for some volunteers.
  • He did not walk well on the leash, pulled hard and had to be harnessed.
  • He was very mouthy both when playing with other dogs and biting on the leash during walks.
  • He was jumpy and did not know how to greet people properly.
  • He showed signs of resource guarding.

I had experienced most of those behaviors with Leo. Yes leashing him up was often difficult. He wanted to be outside so bad. I always had to harness him during walks and would bring a rope toy sometimes so he could hold on to a toy while we walked. I did get him to sit, but he does like to jump up when he gets excited. He does love playing with other dogs and that is probably his favorite part of the day. He is great at fetch as long as you have two tennis balls. He did get a little mouthy once or twice when I had the ball.

Shelter life will make a dog crazy. Leo needed one on one attention, someone to work with him and who could be patient. Adopters constantly passed by his kennel. He wasn't a good fit for someone with small children and he really needed someone who was dedicated to training him and giving him the physical and mental stimulation he needed.

Fast forward to Apri1 1, 2014. Leo finds his angel! Audrey, a KC Pet Project volunteer, took on the task of bringing Leo into her home. We needed someone to find out how much his behavior could improve if he was in a home environment. I don't know if she knew what she was getting herself into, but I am so glad she said yes to Leo. I have been getting updates and I know the first couple of days Audrey second guessed her decision, but the many volunteers supporting #TeamLeo encouraged her to stick with it and I know she is glad she did.

What we have learned from Leo while in his foster home:
  • He has shown no signs of food aggression. Audrey can take away the kong, his food and doesn't have a problem.
  • He has improved leaps and bounds with his leash manners. He has is moments, but for the most part it is a loose leash.
  • He has become far more patient. He will sit and stay and has learned to lay down. He doesn't jump to take the treat or toy from your hand. He is getting better with this every day.
  • He can actually be calm and lay down and just relax. He is not so aroused and stressed.
  • He sleeps with his foster mom in the bed at night and he is a big cuddle bug.
  • He pretty much hates being kenneled and it takes some effort, but he will go in with some work.
  • There is still work to be done with his jumping and mouthing. She is working with him so he can learn how to greet properly.

Audrey has become dedicated to helping Leo become a more adoptable dog. She has fallen in love with his cute face and wrinkly forehead. She wants him to succeed just as I do. We are both very determined to find him a place where he can continue his training. Maybe it is a rescue group who can help him even more with the one on one training. Maybe there is an adopter out there who can continue improving his behavior and work with him. We both want what is best for Leo. He has waited far too long and now that he has began to show improvements in a foster home, we want to see it through.

I write these blogs because I care about every dog I meet. Leo has a piece of my heart and I can't say thank you enough to all the staff and volunteers who WILL NOT give up on him. He has what it takes to be an awesome dog, who will give him the life he deserves?

Friday, March 21, 2014

One on One Doggie Time!

There are so many ways to volunteer with KC Pet Project. One of the most important of course is just walking the dogs and working with them one on one. It isn't very often that I really get to focus on one dog and really get to know them. Most Sundays I am there organizing photos to make sure all the new dogs get photographed by a professional. In between I might be helping other volunteers or potential adopters. I am always running around trying to get as much done as possible. I have also been trying to get to the shelter early so I can help with playgroups. It is such an important part of volunteering. I love making sure as many dogs as possible get outside to play in the morning so they are more relaxed in their kennels when potential adopters come through. It is a race to get them all out, and honestly I meet them I know their names, but I don't get that one on one time to really understand their personality. Today was a little different.

It was so great to see four ladies helping run dogs to Leslie during Sunday morning playgroups. I decided to get some one on one time with the dogs that don't do so well with playgroups. These dogs might be best as the only pet, or they may do much better with dogs once they're out of the shelter environment. Either way, I wanted to spend the day getting to know these dogs and let them have a good time outside with me. If you click their picture you can see a video of our time together.

Fresca is SO SWEET and so adorable. She actually arrived at the shelter back in December, and I am sad that I didn't get to know her until now. Looking back at her photos she looks shy and scared, but this girl is far from that. She also seems to have gained some weight (she could still use a few extra pounds). We went outside to play and she had fun. She would take laps around the yard and then come back to check in. She sat for treats and was so gentle. Fresca took in all the attention I gave her and leaned in for more loving. She is a great dog and I hope someone sees how wonderful she is.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IAeJySNBbxY&list=UUC0_xTL7sgVRniPAfeALGwAKona! What a handsome little boy. He has spunk, personality, and energy. I could tell while watching him in his kennel that he might be a handful. He was ready to jump out from the top kennel =) Good thing he is only 35lbs! He is totally fun. I think the kennel is just stressing this boy out and he wants to be with people. He came right up for more attention, and loves to run around and play with the toys. I couldn't get him to sit because he was a little distracted, but I know he wants to learn. I hated putting him back in his kennel, he's such a sweet little guy. I hope that adopters take some time with him outside of the shelter to see how cool this dude really is.  

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aH1IsdCk1tc&list=UUC0_xTL7sgVRniPAfeALGwATango looks tough, but this guy is a cool dog. His athletic build and cropped ears might make him look a little intimidating, but he is a sweet boy. He listened really well and did great at ignoring the rowdy dog in the play yard next to him. Tango wanted my treats and sat for me. He ran for the tennis ball and then played with every other toy he could find. He has a lot of good things going for him, and although he might be best as the only pet it would be totally worth it. I am pulling for him.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kKJJ5UM6jeU&list=UUC0_xTL7sgVRniPAfeALGwAFaster than a speeding Bullet? That is not how this guy got his name. Bullet actually came to the shelter with a bullet lodged in his neck, close to his ear. He is pretty amazing and so is the vet staff at KCPP. They were able to remove it and Bullet didn't seem to be fazed by it all. He is a pretty awesome boy and funny too. He LOVES any and all toys. He goes straight for the toy box and picks out every toy to play with. He loves to see how fast he can shred the stuffed toys. He loves to roll down the turf and scratch his back too. If you are looking for entertainment, Bullet is your man. He is strong and beefy, but is easy peasy when it comes to play time. He can entertain himself with all the toys. I really hope someone will consider this big guy. The volunteers love his personality and can't wait to see him in a happy home.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BjcwW_EO9Lw&list=UUC0_xTL7sgVRniPAfeALGwAI fell IN LOVE with Kennedy. This precious girl will melt your heart. Her gentle eyes and sweet face are just too much. She prefers to be close to you and getting loved on as much as possible. Her sweet spot is under her neck, you could scratch and massage her for hours and she is one happy girl. She sits and I heard she is an angel in the car. Kennedy would be perfect for someone that is looking for a best friend that she can spend her days with. Naps on the couch, cuddle time while watching TV, car rides on a nice summer day. This girl is too great to pass up!

It was really a great day on Sunday. Being able to focus on one dog and giving them that attention they need. Dogs just want to be loved and I am so glad I spent the extra time getting to know these dogs. I will share their videos and pictures in hopes that someone will see them and adopt these special pups.