When is a Pit Bull Terrier Or an Amstaff Just a Dog?

"books about bully breeds"

It never fails: each time we add a new dog, I rethink what I've learned over the years. I thought that all we'd have to do this time, when we added Gracie, a young Pit Bull Terrier, into the mix,  was to help her get used to living in a  home after almost four months of shelter life.  She's slowly coming along. Each day, we add something new to the things that she knows for sure. What she knows for sure: 1.  There's a consistent routine to follow. Early mornings have an order to them based … [Read more...]

Benefits of the Canine Good Citizen Certificaton Stamps Out Stupid Dog People

All roads may be leading us to Gracie getting her Canine Good Citizen Certification (CGC) but nobody said we had to arrive at that destination tomorrow.  Given yesterday's trip to the vet's office for a scheduled well visit, we'll be taking the way of the turtle: s-l-o-w and steady with a part of every day set up to guarantee at least one success. We did make sure to eliminate a lot of the paperwork shuffling before we got there. Last week my son and I loaded Gracie up into his car and drove … [Read more...]

Why We Believe in Crate Training Our Dogs

"female put bull terrier in wire crate"

"Do you crate your dogs?"  The emotional content behind the question traveled through the phone lines. The woman who asked waited for my answer. I thought to myself: if that's what I need to do to adopt one of these dogs, of course I'll use a crate.   That conversation happened 16 years ago and with variations in how we crate, we have been crate training dogs ever since. Occasionally,  I write articles about it. Like this one. Each time we add a new dog to our "pack" I know that our success … [Read more...]

A Lollypop Farm Story Ends As a Shelter Dog Starts Her New Life

Lollypop Farm adoption banner

The past two days have been a series of "firsts" for Gracie, starting with that moment when we walked her out the front entrance of Lollypop Farm into her next life. A  lot of thought went into making sure that she would go to a home that would be perfect for her: could she have her own pack that included at least one dog playmate? And, in the best of all worlds? Could she keep one of her special humans as part of her forever home? Sometimes you get a part of that perfection and sometimes, … [Read more...]

Today We Bring Her Home to Join Our Human/Animal Pack

"happy birthday card with cartoon dog on front"

Today's the day we bring her home to join our human/animal pack. She's been patiently waiting for almost three months for a perfect match. You know as well as I do that perfection doesn't always get to happen. But when it does, it's magic. And wonderful things begin to fall into place.  I spent most of yesterday getting ready for her. It was a good drive day: springlike with blue skies, warm enough to slide the sun roof back, let my thoughts float out into the almost balmy air. I headed out … [Read more...]