A big day for bay area pit bulls: Twelve dogs earned their Canine Good Citizen (CGC) certificates today thanks to the steady dedication of coach Linda Chwistek, AKC certified evaluator Jennie Keifer and some very dedicated dog families. We're starting to lose track of the overall number of Vick dogs that've earned their CGC, but you can go ahead and add Amazing Grace to that growing list (thank you Cris Cohen!).
These certificates don't come easy. Not only is Judge Jennie very tough on the handlers, most of the participating dogs first had to survive some crappy lives way before getting the chance to prove themselves today.
But it was Stella Polari's perfect score (above) that choked me up the most. Talk about a turn-around - She was born into the wrong house (drug house) in the wrong city (Detroit) with the wrong owner who failed her in every possible way. The only thing that worked in her favor was the dumb luck of our chance meeting, and then, scoring the friendships that set her on course. I wish we could fly to Detroit every month and grab us up another Stella or three....But maybe that's not necessary. We were doing somersaults when we learned that Stella's former shelter has quietly started adopting out pit bull "mixes" - a brave new policy for an org that used to shun their best blockheads. Michigan Humane Society Pit bull Adoptions! If you live in the area and have been considering a new pet, please support them when you do your search, and share the news of their dogs with other pet owners. If you're shopping, maybe you'll even run into one of Stella's kinfolk, now in need of a home. Congrats to Team Pibble diva Elizabeth Kennedy and your best girl, Stella. We heart you both.
Shy Guy Frodo braved the exam today and although he's still too skeered to pass all ten tests, we're so proud of him for showing up with a big smile on his face, ready to give it a go. His big sista Jhumpa has some words of support for the little guy. She just passed the exam herself on the east coast! Congrats to her ever-optimistic human, Kathleen, and rescue sponsors Richmond Animal League.
We'll be uploading all 12 bay area heroes to our CGC Hall of Fame page soon. Below, Judge Jennie tests a dog's response to being examined and groomed. (This was Elvez, who passed his exam last August.)