Friday, August 08, 2008


Tomorrow marks the last day of our summer Pit Ed Camp session, a quarterly breed edu-extravaganza for people interested in studying pit bull adoption issues. A small group of shelter workers from all corners gathered here for six tiring days of non-stop evaluating, training, chin tickling, video watching, info digesting, philosophizing, resource sharing discussion. Tim and I had plans to go out and have a drink tonite, but seeing as neither of us has been able to drag our butts from the sofa yet, that may not happen. It's a good kind of tired though, the kind you get from turning soil and planting a garden.

The realities we find when we pick through the shelters during camp aren't always happy.

Field notes that came with this crinkly-skinned owner surrendered senior read: "....has a severe allergy to fleas....he's had the problem for the past 5 years. If the dog is gonna be put down the family wants to pay for ashes to be returned."

He was just adorable but shaking and rattled to the core when we met him and he broke all of our hearts with his story. Above: Alison Talley - Manager of Behavior Programs, Humane Society Silicon Valley - comforts Ozzie.

More Campin'

We came home to some ear-to-ear happy news from MI today: Michigan Humane Society sent two people to Camp last February to help staff ruminate on changes in their no pit bulls adoption policy and ways to help Detroit-area pit bulls. Kids attending MHS's Summer Tails Camp program got a taste of their new & improved messaging. Kristy Graszak of MHS - who helped us get Stella home from Detroit last fall - sent us this update:

"During this camp we gave a presentation on pit bull type dogs (which is another first for us), providing general education about the breed including some general dog safety tips. We also talked about positive things pit bulls are involved in (search and rescue, law dogs etc) and we highlighted your work with the Michael Vick dogs. Friends For the Dearborn Animal Shelter partnered with us on this presentation, and brought one of their staff members dogs, Digger, along to meet the kids. The pictures say the rest."

This photo of Digger giving campers a ride is da bomb. Bravo to both orgs for giving the kids such a great experience and reason to care.

(By the way, the long search for a pit-friendly rental finally paid off and Stella's finally home (in Oakland!) for keeps. Congrats to lucky Elizabeth on your wonderful new dog.)


Many thanks to for the lovely follow up on Hector, Uba and Jonny. The photo of Hector & Clara are absolutely adorable.


Elizabeth Kennedy said...

Sooo great to hear the news from Detroit! Stella will be so happy to know that doors are opening for her kind out there.

She's living it up in her sunny new Oakland home, walking her beat three times a day, and stepping out to watch geese and other fascinating animals in her Lake Merritt hood.

We'll have to get some videos to you all soon so you can see the girl cut some zoomies into her new, huge yard. She's getting into shape!

Hands up for Detroit!

Anonymous said...

I love to hear about the camps you guys put on. It gives me great feelings of hope that things are turning around and will be set right again. Thank you.

Pip said...

This has little to do with this blog entry, but I wanted to share it anyway... The no-kill shelter where I volunteer has recently changed its policy from "Please don't pet the dogs" to "Pet as many dogs and puppies as you like!" Yay for the animals, as they'll get a lot more socialization this way, and yay for me because now I get to pet puppies (which previously were staff-only).

So of course, the first thing I do is love on this tiny brindle pit mix we have, only 2 months old. The little sweetie wiggled his butt SO HARD that he actually fell over.

Yay wiggle butts!

Anonymous said...

Just wanted to give you an update on Ozzy, the "senior" dog currently residing in the Berkeley shelter in the above picture with one of your campers (he's wearing a t-shirt and has a bad eye in the photo). Turns out Ozzy has boundless energy: we run from the moment we get out the shelter door until he (or I) tires, which is usually at about two miles or so. This boy has HEART. It's hard to believe he's eight years old, but it's not hard to believe that he's never had the opportunity to run like this before in his life. Thank you for recognizing older dogs like Ozzy. He is certainly a special little guy--

Anonymous said...

Hey, that’s my boy Ozzy. He has a home and he looks great. All his hair has grown back and his allergies are under control with a limited ingredient diet and his eyes are doing so much better.

He lives with his step sisters, Sally, Sadie and Peaddy (and Leo Cat ant Bella Cat)…I’m not sure he knows about the cats yet.