Friday, July 24, 2009

A camp for special, dog-lovin' kids

A group from Super Kids Summer Camp came out to meet our homeless pit bulls at the Oakland Animal Shelter today. They came out last year too, after camp director Andrea Vu Nguyen adopted one of BR's pit bulls, Bailey - a hurricane Katrina dog. Bailey serves as an important mascot for this unique program, which is designed for kids with autism. The kids take turns caring for their dog friend during their weeks together - which includes a five day camping trip, away from mom & dad!

The difference in the kids' comfort level with dogs since last year's visit was unmistakable. They were so much more willing to touch and connect. I love that a dog can have such a positive effect. The girl that would barely talk last year was a chatterbox today and told me all about dogs and how to touch them and what colors they are.

She did end up telling me that she wanted to adopt a dachshund someday, though. Ha! Sorry, Phatman.

I'm so proud of our big bubba head. He settled right down for those kids and he even took a few excitable pinches in stride. What a Love Man.

Kids & Dogs Pit bulls - They rock good vibes.

Photos: Andrea Vu Nguyen


TP said...

What a great story. The pitties never cease to amaze, and change minds in the process. We find the same just walking around the neighborhood, or anytime we take Trinity out in public. People stop and look, usually asking questions later. I give them credit for asking though, much better than those who walk by, shake their heads, and judge without even an introduction. Great story!


Boris said...

Andrea - You Go Girl!
Another great 'BE IN THE MOMENT' life lesson.
I can relate to not wanting to look into peoples eyes (they might ask you to behave).

Phatman You're a ROCK STAR!
And, who wouldn't want to pinch all your 'belly-rolls'.
And don't worry about that dog preferance remark, my lady told folks she wanted a Great Dane.

Therapy Want-a-Be, Boris

Anonymous said...

What a great story. I love seeing kids with challenges opening up to a dog -- especially a pit bull.

When I first adopted Bunny, she was fairly hyper/high strung/a hand-full. I'd take her for walks around my office and once in a while we'd run into a work crew of mentally challenged adults from the local rehab center. The work crews clean up the streets and sidewalks, maintain city plants, parks, etc.

The members of the crew would line up to pet Bunny and she would sit politely for each pat on the head, scratch behind the ear and chin rub (regardless how hard they would pat her or how awkward their motions). To see their faces light up when Bunny would lick them was amazing. I'd time her "walk breaks" to whenever I'd see the crew on the streets.

I've since changed jobs, and the center closed, but the great memories of Bunny and her friends will last a lifetime.


Anonymous said...

In that little girls defense, I thought that I only wanted Labs. Then Osa came into my life, and I will never NOT own at least one Pit!

One dog can change your mind....


Susan F said...

Nice body language on both the kids and pooch!

Lynn said...

You know how sometimes you read something and/or look at a picture and all of a sudden your heart seems to begin beating harder and your chest feels like it's growing from the inside out and you realize you're sitting there with a huge smile on your face? That's what happened to me just now when I read this blog entry.


Donna said...

And that descriptive comment put a huge smile on my face, Lynn. Thanks.

Kari in Alaska said...

This is so cute! Nothing better then some pittie love for the kids. May they be our next generation of Pit Bull advocates!

Martine said...

What an awesome program!!!

PBs are such good doggies!!!


Kembree said...

That's just awesome! Such a good thing to do..start them as young as you can to love the breed :)

Anonymous said...

Funny, Natalie - DH has Labs AND Pibbles on his 'no go' list because he believes that neither has any regard for personal space: Labs are just clueless about it and Pibbles are always in it 'cause that's where the best pettings and rubbings are.

Guess he'd rather have a cat.

leigha said...

beautiful! look at his sweet face. i can feel the good vibes all the way in richmond va.

Jess said...

That 2nd photo makes me want to squeeze some cheeks - the kid and PhatMan are equally hug-a-bull!