Shelter Sunday (From May 31st)

Hey all! Yesterday our playgroups lasted a little longer than normal at the shelter, which threw off my schedule more that it should have. Unfortunately, we barely got the dogs inside before the rain (and thunder and lightning) began, so I didn’t get any ‘fancy pictures’ on my nice camera. So, please join me in pretending that my cell phone does half as well as my camera.

Bubba - Adoptable 4 year old American Staffordshire mix at the City of Tallahassee Animal Services Center

Bubba, an adoptable 4 year old American Staffordshire mix showed me he loved to sit for treats. Just not while posing for the camera!

Unfortunately, this also means I only got photos of a few dogs – the last dogs in the play groups. But even if they were in the calmer play group, that doesn’t mean they didn’t have fun!

Dogs at the Tallahassee Animal Services Center enjoy play groups several days a week.Again, please forgive the aiming. I was keeping an eye on the dogs while wildly hitting the camera button hoping I wasn’t taking an intense photo shoot of the very lovely red dirt.

Dogs at the Tallahassee Animal Service Center enjoying Sunday playgroups!

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Sunny’s Guest Appearance With TPA

Last weekend a local rescue called Tallahassee Pets Alive hosted an adoption event and allowed my Sunny to be their guest of honor. (Not exactly how they worded it, but I thought his title needed a little more drama.)

Tallahassee Pets Alive Adoption Event FlyerHe sat patiently in a pen for 5 hours while I awkwardly hovered like the helicopter mom I may or may not be. Okay, definitely am. He was a true gentleman, never barking, and never denying a passerby attention. Kids pet him the wrong way and he didn’t flinch. Other dogs barked and he did not respond. He ‘smiled’ for photos and gently took treats from any hand that offered. And because I brought a baggie full of cookies, there were lots of treats.

20141206_1118082While I’ll admit I was tempted to leave his side long enough to grab a cheeseburger from across the street (Burger-Fi, yum!), I’m glad I stayed because this confident side of him is something I rarely see. When Miss Lana is around her reactivity is often reflected in his actions. I’m relieved to know without her, he is fully functional. No offense to my kid.

Sunny at the adoption eventSunny shone like the star he is and I am both pleased and sad to say he has two adoption applications! I am forever grateful to Tallahassee Pets Alive for giving me to opportunity to show off my bae, and super nervous about saying goodbye. Don’t get me wrong, I have met one of the potential adopters twice, and I love the idea of her taking him home. From what I can tell, several aspects of her lifestyle are similar to mine, which makes me hope that the transition wouldn’t be too difficult for Sunny.

Sunny was chill at the eventI know he is ready to go to a real home. He has come a long way and no longer needs me to coddle him. Sunny did a great job at his first (and hopefully last) adoption event. No worries – I’ll keep you all posted with any updates!

Shooting Sundance

I have a goal this weekend to get a great picture of Sunny. So, much to his dismay, he gets to spend his days being followed by his own personal paparazzi (puparazzi?). He isn’t the most willing model (he’d much rather be cuddling or playing), but he occasionally forgets to make himself blurry and takes a pretty handsome picture. Then it’s just up to me to not ruin it!

Admittedly, a couple of these images are not my best work. They are really more of a reminder to use an actual camera and not a smart phone. But, it felt like cheating to post just one image, so we have a few that show his personality and a few that show his rugged good looks!

Sunny close up

Sunny helping with make up

Sunny helping foster mom get ready for work – which he now does daily!

 

Sunny cuddles with his foster dad

Sunny cuddling with foster dad on a cold night

Sunny close up

Sundance shows offSo yes, I have a photo-dodging dog. He’s like an adorable little big foot. But he cleans up nicely! Please feel free to share him if you think you know someone who might want to adopt him!

Challenge 1: Sunny versus Stairs

I had started writing daily updates on Sunny, but realized I just didn’t have the energy to work full time, provide Sunny with the attention he needed, and blog daily as well. If you follow me on Facebook (personally or through Dream Big, Bark Loudly’s official page) or on Instagram, then you’ve been getting daily updates anyway! Adoptable Retriever, SunnyI will, however, still share the big accomplishments, the funny stories, and the incredible changes as they happen. First: the ‘huge’ accomplishment that is going up and down stairs.

Last Saturday when I brought Sunny home, he was what we rescue folks call ‘terrified’. He had to be carried from the back seat of my car, up stairs, and over to my front door. If I hadn’t had to unlock the door and open it, I would have carried him straight into the living room.

Adoptable Sunny's First Day in FosterSunny had a few hours to settle in and sniff around before Michael got home from the football game. At that point, we decided it was time to take the dogs out and feed them. Sunny wore a martingale collar so he could get used to the feeling of something around his neck, and I hooked the leash to his harness.

As always, Lana ran out the door first with Michael, and Sunny and I brought up the rear. About 5 feet from the stairs, our little foster boy dropped to the ground and refused to move. I didn’t think too much about it, just picked him up and carried him down stairs. However, after several more walks where that 48 pound little mess had to be carried up and down stairs, my thighs and back were killing me. No more!

Adoptable Retriever, Sunny, is looking for a forever home in Florida.

But I cannot say enough good things about Sunny and his desire to please. We spent about 15-20 minutes, treats in hand, going up one stair at a time. And, by Sunday night, Sunny could slowly traverse the stairwell on his own. A week later, he can keep up with the rest of the family! With him, the most important part of training is the praise.

Adoptable Retriever, Sunny, is looking for a forever home in Florida.

If you had asked me then, I would have said it would take Sunny a good week to figure out the stairs. I am beyond thrilled that with just one training session he picked it up. Sunny is treat motivated and smart. And like so many retrievers, he lives to please his handler. With lots of praise and positive training, Sunny is a joy to train. This little boy is amazing and will be ready for a home in no time. Even if his future family lives upstairs.

Adoptable Retriever, Sunny, is looking for a forever home in Florida.

We need to focus on confidence building before we tackle tricks, but this experience has me convinced he’ll be ready for a home in no time. Sunny came to us with so much to learn, and in just one week he has already come so far. I cannot wait to see this boy reach his potential.

It’s just a Retriever kinda day

So my internet is being weird lately. Everything has been a bit odd, to be honest. Yesterday was a bit of a roller coaster (under exaggerating) and this weekend might not be much better. But, that’s not the point of this post. Actually, I have a few dogs I’ve been keeping an eye on lately and wanted to share them here.

This is what RESCUE looks like | Dream Big, Bark Loudly

This handsome boy comes from a home but doesn’t seem to have a name. His owner gave him to the shelter because he acted too much like a Golden! His owner said he was ‘tired of the dog digging and bringing sticks and such into the yard’. (Clearly someone hasn’t read my post about daycare for destructive dogs!) So now this young (just 2 years old!) Golden mix is stuck in a shelter for the second time in his life, and he is on the urgent list.

This is what RESCUE looks like | Dream Big, Bark Loudly

This unnamed hero is located in Suwannee County Animal Control in McAlpin, FL. Frankly I’m not sure where that is, but someone said North Fl, so we’ll go with that. Aussie and Me rescue is actually asking for fosters for this boy, and I did offer my name as a temp foster, but if they want something long term he may still need help. We typically don’t consider an animal safe until it has physically left the shelter!

This is what RESCUE looks like | Dream Big, Bark Loudly

It’s all about Retrievers today, and aren’t they lovely! This girl’s shelter says: “Lola is a 7 month old female Retriever. She can’t understand why someone would abandon her at the shelter. Lola loves to play, and she is a very smart young girl. Located in Crawfordville, Florida. Contact FriendsOfWCAC@gmail.com.”

When I was a little girl, we had a Black Lab like Lola. Ours was dumb as dirt, but she was still a fantastic dog.  =)

If you are interested in either dog, you are welcome to contact their shelter directly!

And in case you were wondering, adorable Amstel has been rescued!

This is what RESCUE looks like | Dream Big, Bark Loudly

I will be sure to update you if I take the unnamed Golden! Cross your fingers he gets out, no matter who rescues him!