Pits on Parade

I've really been enjoying my volunteer time at the animal shelter and have gone there three times in less than a week. In fact, I hope Cabana's blog doesn't get too overrun by photos from my visits there. So I will post these and then, it will be back to the regularly scheduled labby programming!!

5 women each with a leashed pit bull spread out across a gravelly road
On Saturday, six volunteers (all happened to be women) took six pitbulls for a pack walk. I don't know if you can really call it a pack walk, because we had to walk them all kind of far apart to keep them from getting overly excited. Most of the dogs are actually very friendly with other dogs, but there's no fenced area (a huge deficit for the shelter) to let them off leash. (Only five are pictured because I'm out in front, taking the photo.)

line of pit bulls in various stances along the side of a roadI was walking Paco, whose big ol' head you can see in the foreground of this photo. In front of Paco is a sweet dog who recently had a litter of puppies. The people kept the puppies, presumably to sell, and dumped the mama. Nice.

pure white pit bull with pinkish tinge around eyes and nose and ears, with a spring green collar, laying on the groundToday, I spent a couple hours with this adorable white pitbull, Francie. When I first walked into her kennel, she grabbed the leash I was holding in her mouth and tried to play tug with me. So I dropped the leash to let her know I didn't want to engage her in that game. She then dropped her end of the leash and starting jumping wildly all over me instead.

close up of white pit bull's face, mouth open in a big smile with tongue hanging out to the side, one ear up and one down, so cuteI thought, hmmm, do I really want to pick this dog to take for a walk? But I ended up falling in love with her. After getting her out of the noisy kennels (where all the dogs are barking like crazy), she calmed down and was the sweetest thing ever.

We walked for about 30 minutes, and whenever Francie would pull, I'd just stop walking. She'd circle back to stand closer to me, and then she'd walk with a beautifully loose j-shaped leash! That's certainly not something I can take credit for--someone else had obviously worked with her a lot (Francie was a stray). But one thing I noticed is that she kept veering into my walking lane. I was walking her on my left side because that's how I always walk Cabana. Finally, duh, I tried walking her on my right side, and voila--no more veering! I guess Francie had been taught to walk on the right! It's amazing how you can tell what a dog knows and doesn't know. Hopefully, next time, I'll be a bit quicker on picking up those subtle (and not so subtle) cues.

Update: Kelti, the yellow lab from my previous post, was adopted on Saturday. Hooray!

Kari in WeHo  – (April 4, 2011 at 5:16 PM)  

Hooray for Kelti! Aren't pitties just amazing? ;)


Becky  – (April 4, 2011 at 6:45 PM)  

What an incredible thing to do and how happy for the adoption on saturday.

JackDaddy  – (April 4, 2011 at 6:55 PM)  

Volunteering is such a great thing you are doing. (That sentence sounded better in my head!!) But, you hit on the one reason I would find it so hard to do: I would end up with 20 dogs living at my house! :)

Tessa99999  – (April 4, 2011 at 8:18 PM)  

Hurray!! Kelti got a new home! =) I'm so happy for her. She looks like an adorable and awesome puppy dog! Keep up the awesome work volunteering. I love reading the stories and feel very inspired by it!


Sierra Rose  – (April 4, 2011 at 8:29 PM)  

This is great!!!!! Love this post!
Yes, we watch DogTown too...and dad's co-workers (pet product company) have visited DogTown to volunteer. Said it was amazing. If we could only make a ROADTRIP!!
What a great walk, and fantastic volunteers! Mom might like to talk with you about this, as she does more and more work in your town....

Sweet hugs,
Sierra Rose

Samantha  – (April 5, 2011 at 8:07 AM)  

You are totally awesome to volunteer there - I know how MUCH those doggehs appreciate getting out! I'm just amazed that all the dogs seem to have flat collars instead of pinch or something! Even Avalon, with all her (maybe bad!) training, needs a pinch collar on walks! (Not Sammie tho!) Give Cabana hugs for us - TIME to come up there to see you!
Sammie, AValon, Oz and Miche

Sugar the Golden Retriever  – (April 5, 2011 at 9:12 AM)  

Woof! Woof! Great Indeed ... volunteering is the best. Lots of Golden Woofs, Sugar

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