Listen to what some people are saying about us:

I wanted to write to you tonight and tell you that Cheyenne and I just got back from the GREATEST WALK EVER!  We practiced everything that Tara taught us today.  And it worked!  She stayed on my left side.  I was the one with the well behaved dog while others were fighting to keep their’s calm when we walked by.  It was AMAZING! 
A very special thank you to Tara, for the professional service that your provide.  You are the greatest!  After only 2 sessions, I can’t even begin to tell you the difference.  I am in control.  And, Cheyenne is happy, too!  She doesn’t have to be nervous or anxious.  She knows I have it all under control.  Thanks so much.  We’ll keep practicing!  I’m ELATED!  Nice job.  You are very professional and provided exactly what we were looking for.
Sheri B 5/09
Took Montana and Sawyer for a long walk today and it’s like I have 2 new (and greatly improved) animals! No tugging. No lunging for squirrels. No barking at passers-by (not even the mail man!!!). They’re keying off of my every move!

And the same techniques you taught me for Montana (my *former* alpha) are working wo…nders on Sawyer, who until now has run from me when I’ve so much as looked at him. All of this from a one-hour session. THANKS A MILLION! And we’ll see you again soon.
Travis

Today was the first day in over a year that Hulk has been to Petsmart. I write this with tears in my eyes because I can’t even believe how amazing he was. Not only did he successfully stay with a stranger for two minutes, he was surrounded by dogs..big dogs, little dogs…Old Hulk would have been lunging and barking…not a peep. We just walked right by the dogs with no problem….The kicker was how good everyone was saying he was. I am not sure if anyone has ever told us that about Hulk in public. He was sitting for petting and just impressed Danny and I so much. He got to pick out whatever he wanted for doing such a great job….I know that you guys do this everyday and maybe you know how you change people’s lives and maybe you don’t. I hope that you know we are forever in your debt and can’t thank you girls enough for all your work with Hulk (and all of our babies). I can’t thank you enough for all that you have taught us. Hulk wanted me to also tell you thank you because now he can run errands with Mom again, which he used to love to do.
Thanks for all that you do-
Andrea, Danny, Storm, Hulk, kitties and fosters
We would love to hear from you! Thank you in advance for your testimonial and remember to give a big hug to your furbabies from me!!
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Our story about the Gatesville Rotties.

 We had been asked to take on a mom and her pup, that we named Sophia and Outlaw, in February this year. They had been part of the hoarder incident in Gatesville TX, only 2 of the over 260 dogs taken from a desperate situation.  We were happy to help in any way possible as always.

 Sophia, at 10 yrs old had a son, a beautiful little guy that brought so much to my life in the short time he was here. She had been forced to defend her son in a pack of dogs that most likely would have killed him for no other reason but the scarceness of food. True to nature, this committed mom put aside her own hunger and cared for Outlaw, protected, defended and loved even in her weakened condition.

  The day we picked her up we were expecting a neglect case, mainly because we have seen so many hoarding cases in the last 20 years; I was surprised, I was heartbroken and I was outraged. The back of the transporters truck opened up, and out popped a very thin, very nervous old girl barely able to stand, peeking out to assess the strangers in front of her. Cautiously she sniffed my hand and stiffened up- has she ever experienced any positive human interaction? This old girl so weak and frail still managed to stand over her only pup, ready to defend him if needed. It took a little time for her to approach me, but as she did I noticed Outlaw curled up on the floor board completely content. A tiny ball of fur, no bigger than his mama’s paw.     

                   

  We changed vehicles and started our journey of rehabilitating this desperate family. Immediately I convinced myself I would not be keeping them, I already have a large pack and recently lost two of my very best dogs that happened to be Rottweilers; I knew I was not ready yet.

  The drive lasted two hours, the entire time was spent comforting Outlaw and reassuring Sophia I was no threat to them. All the while, repeating to myself I did not need another male nor did I want to become attached to a breed that I had experienced such unexpected and untreatable diseases with over the last two years. No, they were not staying- I firmly argued with myself.  

  Fast forward to March, exactly four weeks later, I have completely fallen in love with Outlaw and fought with myself that I can manage training this baby and making him my next “go-to boy” for my business. I mean I was already teaching him things other dogs learn at an older age, and he was smart- a little sponge. Completely eager to learn anything I threw his way- a real baby genius. I started making future plans, thinking about going back to competition and titling him as I did my very first Rottie.  This boy could go even further; after all it would be so easy for me now. I already have 20 years experience; I have already had the chance to learn from my past mistakes and I have the patience at my age to take things slow; teach him perfection. He had the same drive as my last Rottie, and I never had a male Rottie before! Yes, we would be a great team; showcasing the breed, how loyal and gentle they can be.

 It was not long before we received an urgent email regarding a litter of pups from the same case in need of bottle feeding. Three baby girls, three weeks old that had been taken off nursing their mom due to her sickness. We of course, said we would take them in temporarily until they found fosters.

  We now had a ten year old mom, her ten week old son- which I decided to adopt, and three bottle fed babies. Lack of sleep and formula was our life for three weeks. That may not seem like a long time, but at our age and with our schedule, a couple of hours of sleep a night for three weeks means zombie time. We faithfully set the alarms for two to three hour feedings, and still managed to run our business normally. It is amazing, looking back now, that we stayed sane.

  The puppies, our “angels” as we called them, found a foster to go to and even though we were tired, it was sad to see them leave.  We had named them after “Charlie’s Angels”, Alex, Nat, and Dillon. Perfect names for three strong little female fighters; they did survive a terrible beginning to life and they certainly brought smiles to our faces and warmth to our hearts.

  I began focusing all my time on getting Outlaw prepared for a life of endless possibilities, when I received an email from the rescue again. This time they were not looking for help, no one needed us to “rescue” them- no this time, we would need help.

  The new fosters had taken in the “Angels” and started to see them get weak. They were moved to solid food and they couldn’t eat without choking.  The veterinarian tested them and we received the bad news, they had Distemper. We were shocked, upset and in denial.  Surely I had nothing to worry about; I had stuck to my entire technician training and kept them completely separated. Isolated from Outalw and Sophia; completely. The vet explained that this strain was rare and it normally is seen when pups eat solid food- relief I thought, Outlaw has been eating solid food for weeks!  To be safe we made an appointment and had him and Sophia checked out. Yes! They were in good health- no need to test! I went back to training Outlaw in every area a pup could retain!

  One week later, Outlaw started coughing. Still in denial I convinced myself it had been from the trachea tube they used during the neuter. I kept him completely isolated from everyone in my pack- tending to him all day and comforting him with all the motherly love I had. I refused to believe it was possible, this would not happen. Our vet tested him with a wide range test to pin point his illness- it came back as the rare strain of distemper. I was devastated but I still refused to allow my new boy to be taken away from me. I contacted my best friend in hopes that her “voodoo” magic would help him- acupressure, massage, herbal meds- I didn’t care what it took. 

  Then he started showing neurologic ticks in his face. My heart felt like someone reached in my chest and physically grabbed hold to stop it. I watched this beautiful and amazingly genius pup twitch uncontrollably having difficulty even walking in just three short days. A glimmer of hope- we put him on Valium to subside the tremors.  It was short lived. Even on Valium, his tremors began to take over his entire body. As hard as it was, I made the decision to let him have peace.

  I held him in his last minutes, trying to stop his tiny body from shaking- the entire time whispering to him that he was the best pup I ever had. Assuring him he would never feel pain again, and thanking him for the few wonderful weeks he gave me. A few minutes passed and I knew he would never suffer again.  He would be cared for by my past Rotties now, loved and protected by them as they did for me.

  We arrived home and I got down on the floor to hold Sophia, in my own way, apologizing to her for not being able to protect him as she did. I sat there for what seemed like forever, comforting her and promising her I would never give up on her. The call was made that evening to the rescue that Sophia will be living her life out here with us. I did not have the heart to see her leave, the sole survivor of our efforts to help, the mother to the one pup that made me feel young and inspired again. No, I need her as much as she needs us.

   We love you Outlaw.

Love Mama Sophia and Mama T

 

 

 

    

 

Throwing Them into the Wolves

So I heard a very disturbing piece of information last night. Apparently there is a new technique to “fix” dog aggression/reactiveness that is floating around out there. I am sickened by it and I wonder if anyone is thinking about the risks here.
Let me give a bit of background here, the dog is a confident male staffie that has reactiveness towards other dogs. His original fosters had started a program with us to reintroduce dogs in a controlled, non-threatening and calm way and had come very far with his progress. He went from lunging at other dogs to showing avoidance on walks, he went from not allowing a dog near his back end to ignoring a greet from other dogs, and he had been showing such a relaxed state that he would lie down during our reactive class. Sounds awesome right? A dog that was finally realizing he did not have to protect himself, protect his handler and that other dogs were ok to be around.
That is where it stopped. Why? During this process, he had been invited to do a free training session with another trainer. Apparently the new fad out there is to muzzle the reactive dog and put them in a pen with a couple of others. Now not only does this make me sick for all the dogs, but it makes me sick to think the “let the dogs to work it out” state of mind is still out there. I mean, really?
First of all when you muzzle a dog, you immediately put them into a defense state of mind, then to put that defenseless dog into an open pen with free roaming dogs-off leash? What are you thinking? This dog that they attempted this with is very confident that he can protect himself and that he has to handle situations himself; which is why he has such an issue. He lacks the confidence in humans to be able to control and protect him in these situations. So by doing this method, my dear fur friend was once again shown that humans will not protect him, will not control the dogs around him, and those humans will put him in a situation that may harm him.
The end result of this session- he attacked the other dogs. They removed him, allowed him to calm down, and did it again. End result- he attacked the other dogs again. Now this dog that has a natural confidence that he can and must defend himself, has gained even more confidence in his own attacks. I wonder if the trainer took a history on the dog, did they know or understand how this dog was driven? I wonder if they have done research on real life cases or if they simply believe every dog will react the same. Just because you saw it on TV, or it worked for one dog does NOT mean this method is effective or appropriate to use; especially if you do not understand aggression or drives.

Behavioral Assessments in Shelters

  For a long time now, I have performed behavioral assessments for rescue groups and shelters to help them learn more about a dog’s personality and potential issues.  Recently, I had been asked what I feel about the different tests out there. I have been researching the data on each of them and decided to put them to the test. My first test was the Sue Sternberg Test or Assess-a-pet test. You may be surprised to hear the results.

The Sue Sternberg Test: Epic Fail

  Many of you may not realize that Sue Sternberg said her own dogs would not even pass her test, but sadly, hundreds of shelters use this as their standard testing for decisions on life or death of an animal.  How can we use a test that even the founder claims to see as a death test?  Interestingly, I found another article that talked about this death test. In it, they quote  Jean Donaldson as making the comment that, “We couldn’t get Sue’s test past the reliability issue, 4 out of the five dogs tested with the Sternberg test and deemed unadoptable, did fine.” http://www.nokillbc.com/testing.php

  Of course after reading this, I tested my own pack using this method. I had an intern perform the test as to not “taint” the results. Needless to say, my pack, the dogs that help others every day and live peacefully together, would have all failed her test. My biggest surprise:

  Takoda, my 2 year old f/s husky. Takoda has no history of aggression, is highly sociable and is used every day in private sessions to help other dogs overcome their issues. Hundreds of clients can back this.  The results of Takoda’s assessment using this test declare her:

  • Unsociable
  • Unsafe to handle
  • Dominant

  Had Takoda been tested using this method, she would have been killed. I can’t even begin to imagine how many dogs are killed unnecessarily because of this test. The Assess-a –pet test indicates whether a dog is “submissive” or “dominant”. There is no room for outside variables in this test; it is simply black or white.  

  For example, one test is to hold a dog’s muzzle closed for a count of 5, and repeat it 5 times. If the dog struggles to get away it is deemed “dominant”. This is a death sentence for the dog, instead of noting the dog may have some facial sensitivity and suggesting a program, the test than goes on to say if you could not perform it to hold on longer with a little more strength. What this test does is ignore the fact that we are threatening and provoking them and immediately suggests the dog unsafe to handle. The test may end here which means the end of their life as well.

  Another part of the test tells the assessor to ignore the dog and just hold the leash. If the dog does not acknowledge the assessor within 60 seconds, the note says the dog will unlikely tolerate handling, touching or unwanted affection. Really? Most of our pack members walked around for 2 minutes and did not acknowledge the assessor. Why? Because they were not being invited to. How many dogs that have received proper training, got loose from a yard and picked up by animal control, were tested and killed for not having the “social ability” within 60 seconds? I know many owners work hard at teaching their dogs to be calm around strangers, isn’t that what we want?  I think people need to be forewarned about this test and ask their local shelters what test they use. If your well trained calm dog is ever tested they may be killed for being polite.

  I will be testing other dogs with the other tests over the next few months, please stay tuned.

Tara and the “pack”

The latest slam to our bullies

A friend of mine, Lori Hilton Brizius, used to be the director of Laredo Animal Protective Society until five days ago. She was a tremendous bully breed advocate and now in just 5 short days of her not being in charge, they have already made a directive to not adopt out any bully breeds. This is devastating for her, and for all of us bully breed advocates.

As so many of us have seen, more and more shelters are closing their adoption doors to our “Nanny Dogs”.  That is what they were considered afterall, if you look back in history the bullies were all pictured with their little humans, standing proudly and lovingly next to them.

One of my favorite new articles :  “For over one hundred years, Americans knew “pit bulls” for what they did best. Babysitting.” – Yonah Ward Grossman; has fantastic pictures and says it best by saying, “The most tolerant, patient, gentle breed of dogs is now embarrassingly portrayed as the most dangerous. It would be funny if the new reputation did not mean 6,000 are put to death every day, by far the highest number of any other breed euthanized.
That’s a lot of babysitters.”

I find it disheartening to know that a shelter that had success adopting out our bullies, has now shut the door completely to them. One by one, shelters are quickly becoming mass murder arenas for one of the most misunderstood dogs out there. We are seeing pure hatred at its best here, the cruel reality of how badly our shelter systems need to change. Breed prejudice, cold-hearted, malevolent employees paid to show compassion and care to helpless animals who cannot speak for themselves; instead taking the front line on the slaughtering of an entire breed (s).

Did we not learn anything from the past? Our ancestors targeted Bloodhounds, German Shepards, Dobermans, even St. Bernards at one time. They learned it was the human not the breed, but not this generation of shelters. Bull breeds have been the victim of the media for years, sadly humans fall for eye catching morbid headlines. This leaves room for the malicious shelter staff members to continue their annihilation of a breed so many of us love and try so hard to protect.
I too, like many of my bully fans, stand on the front line; but we stand on the Bully side of the war. < The compassionate, caring and determined side.>

Join me in my persistence. I will be writing Laredo about this ridiculous act, will you?

for the address: 2500 Gonzaelz St, Laredo,Tx 78040

The email: laredoaps@sbcglobal.net

the board presidents email is: ali2003_xx@hotmail.com

another board member is: jodie_valls@hotmail.com  

The city manager is: laredocarlos@yahoo.com

Born to Run, but NOT Invincible!

I moved to Austin in 2007, best move I ever made for my dogs and myself!  In NY, Mother Nature limited time we could spend outside by blasting us with freezing temperatures and icy roadways.  Within the first week of moving here I was completely inspired to get outside and enjoy the sunshine with my pack. Like most people here, I have become more active and I spend most of my free time outdoors with them all year long.

Now I am not the running type, as you all know <insert smokers cough here> but I have a great piece of land that allows me to be active with my dogs in other ways; agility, search work, herding, cart pulling and hard core chase games.  As many of my clients have witnessed, every dog in my pack works in some way or another. So it is important to keep them healthy and remember that they are not invincible.

A large majority of clients I work with run with their dogs or go on very long hikes to wear them out. One of my frequent recommendations is to make your dog work, but we all need to remember that they also need proper maintenance to avoid injuries and health problems too. Rest and massage are a great way to keep your dog running for a long time, as well as a great way to build a better bond between you both.

We all know dogs will run themselves in to the ground for their owners. My border collie Maverick has to literally be stopped during herding, otherwise I am sure she would pass out from exhaustion. Axel, my powerhouse Staffie, would most definitely pull a cart until he couldn’t walk anymore, and my Chihuahua Capone, well I believe could run around the world at least 4 times before he dropped. Yes they have a high pain tolerance, which is why when they are showing signs of an injury; it is typically a major injury.  The problem is, they want to please you and our loving fur-babies are over achievers by nature.

My best friend, Christina Hardinger, is a certified canine massage/acupressure practitioner, so I asked her to help me write a informational blog to help my athletic clients avoid potential exercise ending, injuries in their dogs.

The importance of massage for the active dog.

  When we engage our dogs in “heavier” exercise, such as running, there are some basic things to take into consideration. If your dog is overweight, you would want to consult with the vet before starting any type of running. Too much extra weight causes extra strain on the joints and a brisk walk is often the better alternative to running until your dog has slimmed down.      Great Tip: You can also make your dog swim instead to help shed the extra pounds; it is a non-weight baring exercise that is also great for dogs with arthritis.  A dog with joint issues such as arthritis and dysplasia shouldn’t be running, but moderate exercise is great to help prevent muscle atrophy.

Running is best to engage in if your dog is in decent shape before you start. You want to gradually increase the distance you run with your four legged friend, don’t cold start them by walking one day, and then doing 3 miles the next. It takes time for them to get in shape, just as it does for humans. Exercise is great for an active pup and we all know the saying “a tired dog is a good dog”, but a dog with muscle problems from running is just that – a dog with muscle tension.

Here is the short version of what happens when we, or our dogs, exercise. By working out we create small tears in the muscle fibers causing a light inflammation in the muscle. That is actually how we build our muscles stronger, with the proper rest, that is. Make sure your dog gets rest between activities and a good way to do that is to run one day, and walk the next. It gives the muscles time to regain strength and minimize the inflammation. Overworked muscles become tense, and a tense muscle has a restricted blood flow. The lowered circulation doesn’t allow the muscle to get rid of lactic acid, and toxins, which causes swelling. A swollen muscle is painful, pain causes muscle tension, and soon you have a vicious circle… That is when you start to see trigger points form (small knots caused by lactic acid build-up). Tense muscles means the muscles get “shorter” and less flexible, which again pulls on the tendons and ligaments, causing them to tighten up. It is one of the reasons why you often see really active dogs get torn ligaments. The joints end up having less range of movement when the muscles are tight and at it makes the ligaments and tendons more vulnerable.

If you are all set out to have your dog be your running buddy, then treat him or her to a massage session on a regular basis. Massage helps keep the inflammation in the muscle fibers under control, prevents trigger points, and keeps the muscles flexible. And on a different note.. We are already seeing summer like temperatures in Austin and the pavement gets hot really fast. Do the barefoot test before walking or running your dog. If you can comfortably keep your bare foot on the cement for a minute, then you are fine to walk the dog. If it feels really hot to stand on, then your dog will not enjoy it either. Remember that their paw pads are where they, besides panting, get rid of the excess body heat. Don’t run your dog in the middle of the day when it is 90 F, and please take humidity into consideration. I see them at the park every spring/ summer. Dogs with their tongues dragging on the ground, looking like they are going to collapse any minute trying to keep up with an owner on a mission. Super hot days are made for walking early in the morning or late in the evening. And the same goes for running. – Christina Hardinger, Skillful Paws, LLC; 512-922-1664

So lets break it down and remember:

  • Prepare your dog properly before you run long durations with them
  • Check the surface temps so they don’t burn their paws
  • Keep them hydrated and cool
  • Make them rest, <they won’t on their own>
  • Schedule regular preventative massages to keep them running for a long time without injury!
  • If your dog already has an injury, call a certified massage practitioner to help get them back on the road to recovery and enjoying the great outdoors!

 

Thank you Christina for sharing this valuable information with us!

 

Stay calm and confident!

Tara, Brandie and “the pack”

Deaf, Blind & Deaf and Blind dogs. They deserve a chance.

Deaf, blind and deaf & blind dogs. They deserve a chance.

  For the last 23 years, I have been working with all types of issues in the canine world. I use the tag line, “specializing in misunderstood dogs” because so many people truly do not know how to communicate with our canine family members. Through the years, I have been asked to take on dogs that range from “rage” point, to rude dogs, to disabled dogs. They all have a special place in my heart, but my disabled dogs hold the record for most “misunderstood” dogs out there.

  I am continuously called by shelters about dogs that will be killed simply because they have a disability.  This hits a very hard nerve in me, because I have heard so many people tell me the human species is by far the most compassionate, caring species out there. Really?  How can we claim to be compassionate when we will kill an innocent animal because they cannot hear, or possibly cannot see? Dogs are amazing creatures, we all know this. They do not hold on to their “disability”, they simply adjust and carry on just as any other dog will.

  I had been asked to write an article about deaf dogs and aggression for the AKC delegates when they were fighting to get deaf dogs in agility competition. I did so last year, but still today I receive calls about dogs that will be killed in our shelters, for no other reason than loss of hearing. These dogs are friendly towards people and dogs, have a zest for life just as their hearing brothers and sisters, but yet they are the first to be killed because of a disability we believe can make them “unpredictable”.

  I have dealt with thousands of dogs for aggression issues; they come in all shapes and sizes. No specific breed, no specific sex, and certainly not all of them are disabled. ANY dog can and will show aggression if not trained properly, even a Golden Retriever.  To simply use a disability as an excuse to kill, is quite frankly, ridiculous.  The big issue people have with disabled dogs, the dreaded “startle aggression” that they say, “all disabled dogs have”.  This type of aggression is not just seen in disabled dogs as so many people want you to believe. How many of you have older dogs that sleep soundly or have lost their hearing and have snapped or growled at you for moving too closely.  Some of my clients have young healthy dogs that will do the same thing. Why? Simple, they have not been conditioned properly to expect the unexpected.  We never think about this until a problem erupts.

  I assess many rescue and shelter dogs for adoptability and on my assessment test I include a series of “startle” items, as most behaviorists will. Why, because ANY dog can have “startle” aggression. It is not limited to disabled dogs. If one of these dogs, mostly healthy, hearing and seeing dogs, shows startle aggression, we start them on a behavior modification program. So why would you not offer the same options and opportunity to a disabled dog?  

 Maybe it is because you are nervous they will “runaway” and not come back. So I ask you,  how many shelters are full of hearing dogs that have strayed from their owners? How many dogs are constantly being chased around dog parks because they won’t come back to their owners once off leash? This is not an excuse to kill. Just as their hearing and seeing relatives, disabled dogs can and should learn a solid recall before being allowed off leash.

  Our deaf dogs are taught how to recall to us by using a flashing light. In the daytime we use a laser light to get their focus and draw them to us. This is taught similarly to using a clicker or a verbal cue.  No dog is born with the knowledge of the recall command, it has to be taught; whether they are deaf, blind or healthy. Some dogs, deaf or not, can never achieve off leash privileges due to how they are driven.

   In my experience working with ALL dogs, I can honestly say that disabled dogs have more focus and trust in their humans, than the majority of other dogs.  

 A good friend of mine recently shot a video of our disabled fosters to show the world how EVERY dog deserves a chance at loving home, I hope you enjoy it.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TxAIKPFvMmo&NR=1

Dogs available for adoption

Please click here to see a list of dogs we have ready for adoption. All the dogs we adopt out come with a free training session and our basic obedience course at half the price. All of them have been through our foundation program (food, door and leash control). Any questions or for an adoption application, please email thepacktrack@gmail.com Our policy is a “foster to adopt” program, to make sure both you and the dog are happy 🙂

https://docs.google.com/document/d/1b2Xf6PAtzH2XBaGzfft2oRh5ALi5dhPAu4HYKUQcbUQ/edit?hl=en&authkey=CL_z87IJ

Stray Dog Encounter Survey

Stray Dog Encounter Research Survey

 As you all know, we do a community education program. We also are on the City Of Austin’s “Pit Bull” Task force to try and help our beloved breeds. In order to help the communities, we stand strongly that education is the key to help keep dogs out of the shelter system. Along with our aggression research it is vital for us to get the publics opinion on stray dog encounters. This is not limited to our great state of Texas. Even if you live in other states please take the time to fill this out. Your answers could potentially help your neighborhood, community and spread much needed education to the public.  None of the information gathered will be reported to the authorites, this is strictly a research study intended to help us lower shelter surrenders.

Please click here 

Please forward this to anyone you know. The more results, the more accurate our research is.

Thank you for your time and compassion to help us.

Sincerely

Tara, Brandie & “the pack”

The Healing Process of Two Very Misunderstood Dogs

 

 

  September 28, 2010. Papa, the dog that brought out an emotion in me I have been successful in keeping at bay; came to us by way of the dedicated and caring staff at Town Lake Animal Shelter. As you may have read in his first blog, Papa’s situation, like many others I have worked with in the last 23 years was that of severe abuse and neglect. Judging by the wounds he suffered, it is likely Papa was used as a “bait” dog. Papa received an out-pouring of support from our clients and the public that read his story. As a thank you to all of you, I wanted to update everyone on his progress four months later.

  Today, Papa, my special little man, is happily living with our pack. He still makes me melt when he comes up and places his head on my lap. He helps clients, kids and other dogs everyday by working sessions with me and going to communities to talk about the cruelty of dog fighting. He sits in on our Seminars to educate the public on the real truth behind this breed, stealing affection by anyone willing to give it to him. Best of all, he fills me with the answer as to why I work so hard to help in this field when it feels impossible to make a difference. I just need to look at how much love and thankfulness he has in his eyes, as he curls up next to me while at my desk or in my recliner. The eagerness to do anything I ask of him, the concerned look he gets if I am feeling stressed. Papa reminds me every minute of the day that as bad as it gets I have to keep fighting for them.

This is a photo of how much Papa has changed in the last four months.

progression of papas scar healing

  December 30, 2010. Captain, an emaciated badly injured American Bulldog was brought to us to avoid being killed in a Texas shelter. You may remember his story; he had been the victim of a dog fight. Forced to put his life in danger for money or status of his owners, but he lost. To show their gratitude, his old owners left him abandoned to die from starvation or his injuries, which ever happened first? Thankfully Captain had been picked up by Animal Control and brought to the shelter, where many people came together to help this guy have a chance to live the life he like so many, deserve.

  It has only been four weeks since Captain came to us, his paw half missing, completely starved. He has, just like Papa, made leaps and bounds in his recovery. He has shown nothing but a tremendous amount of love and affection to any human willing to give it to him. He patiently stands for his paw to be covered with a plastic bag before each of his 4-5 walks and then continues to stand afterwards for it to be soaked and have the “Healing Gel” applied. He walks with other dogs every day showing no aggression, he quietly waits in his kennel during classes or sessions and wags his tail every time a client approaches. At his last vet visit, a child came up to him and he immediately placed himself into a surrendering position (on his side) so she could pet him. He did manage to sneak some gentle kisses in to thank her for petting him.

   Originally it was thought he would lose his leg due to the injuries he suffered, but with the “Healing Gel” and constant treatments, he gets to keep his leg. Here is the progression in just four short weeks: progression of healing in paw

  Both of these truly amazing dogs were almost killed after human’s forced them to a life of torture. I personally would ask that everyone involved or not with Papa and Captain’s rehabilitation, thank your local shelter staff for the endless love and compassion they have for the massive amounts of animals in their care.

  Papa, Captain and I would like to thank Frances, at “Frogworks” for her amazing healing gel, Christina with “Skillful Paws” for her amazing talent with massage and acupressure, the staff at Town Lake Animal Center, Waco Humane, and all of the dedicated clients, volunteers and friends that have helped us in our successful journey to the healing process of two very “misunderstood” dogs. We can never thank you enough!

If you would like to help us in their medical care, please click on thier names below for their Chip in funds. Thank you again.

PAPA                      

CAPTAIN