A Pit Bull Terrier Named Gracie Dances With My Son on the Autism Spectrum

"pit bull terrier laying in grass"

One year ago almost to the day was when I first saw the six month old pit bull terrier that we would adopt and rename Gracie. She was in a down with her big, blocky head cradled between her two front paws, as far back as she could get from the front of the kennel run. It was noisy. Most animal shelters are. Everything that I knew about her came from listening to my son. He'd noticed her when she first appeared at the shelter in January. Now, almost three months later, at my son's … [Read more...]

Animal Shelters and Animal Rescue Groups Are Not For Wimps

"three exracing greyhounds running"

Animal shelters and animal rescue groups have been working together for a long time to move dogs and cats into pet homes. One rescue group, Nuts For Mutts, a relative newcomer to animal rescue in Rochester, NY, was holding an adoption event at PetSaver on Monroe Avenue yesterday. Theirs was a small event: three people with three dogs tucked behind a table at the back of the store. If you believe that any dog weighing less than 15 pounds isn't "really a dog," (my husband and every other lover … [Read more...]

Walking Other People’s Dogs

Happy Dog Tails

Walking other people's dogs happens when you least expect it.  Your neighbor's plans fall apart and, at the last minute, she needs someone to take care of the family dog. "Just for three days," she explains. And there you are. And here he is: Just one really happy pup. Wanna feed me? Go for a walk? Wanna hang out? Be my friend? How about that walk now? Gotta toy for me? I see that leash. Let's get busy - get out there - go meet my friends. Go make new friends! Isn't it just a lovely … [Read more...]

Taking Care of Other People’s Dogs: Could You Be a Pet Nanny?

Happy Dog Tails

Taking care of other people's dogs: I watched a dear friend of mine reinvent herself as a pet nanny and end up with so much referral business that she never lacked for clients, spending anywhere from a weekend to two weeks as the live-in Mary Poppins Dog Whisperer. One weekend, she camped out in a cute, Cap Cod style house within walking distance of a pristine lake. Two weeks later, she was face-booking about the million dollar, sprawling designer home where she'd be staying for two weeks, … [Read more...]

My life walking dogs

:young man and female pit bull terrier mixed breed standing in fenced yard

My life walking dogs used to start with early morning walks, me and whatever dog (or dogs) needed to get out and move. Over the years, I've walked ex-racing greyhounds and whippets: elegant walkers with such easy strides. I could ease myself into a quiet meditative state, not worrying about other people's ill-mannered dogs. I've walked Great Danes. Such mild, gentle giants guaranteed to slow cars along West Church Street. I've walked dogs that were dog aggressive that kept me on my toes, one eye … [Read more...]