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!

Sunny’s Progress (And A Foster Plea)

Sunny has come a long way since he joined our little pack. Just a couple of small issues to fix and he’ll be ready for his forever home! Unfortunately, terrible lighting in my new apartment means I don’t have very many good pictures of my handsome boy, but I assure you, a photo shoot is on the to-do list.

Adoptable Golden mix, Sunny

Adoptable Golden mix, Sunny, is ready for a forever home! Through Aussie And Me Animal Rescue.

Sundance has learned a few ‘tricks’ while he’s been here. More importantly, he has learned how to be a good indoor dog. Thankfully, he came to us potty trained. Now he noses his leash when he needs to go outside, walks very nicely on leash, and knows bed time means going into his crate (which also means a treat!).

Adoptable Golden mix, Sunny

Sunny knows his crate is where he can go to rest and stay warm in these “harsh” Florida winters.

Sunny, like Lana, now sits for his food without having to be asked. He comes when called and is learning to shake ‘hands’. I am also happy to report that he lets me brush his teeth!

Adoptable Golden mix, Sunny

Sunny is a joy to foster. Easily one of my easiest fosters to date.

Sunny is mild mannered, super sweet, and between his love of food and love of his people, he is incredibly easy to train. Though I’ve never owned a Golden Retriever before, his attitude is exactly as I imagined their trademark easy-going demeanor. He would make an excellent companion for a first time owner or a low energy household. Just give him some toys and he’ll entertain himself!

Adoptable Retriever, Sunny, is tired of waiting for a forever home

Sunny is tired of waiting for his forever home! Won’t you share him so he can find his family?

So he’s pretty much perfect, right? Basically! All he needs before he can be adopted is to be neutered (already scheduled for this Tuesday) and to be de-wormed again. Easy enough!

Adoptable Retriever, Sunny is easy going and so sweet.

When he isn’t playing or begging to be petted, he is usually found napping.

So maybe you’re thinking “I should adopt this dog“. Yes! Go for it! Just fill out an adoption application on the Aussie and Me website and tell them Sundance sounds like a long lost member of your family! Or, maybe you’re thinking “Geez, what a cool dog! I can’t adopt a dog right now, but I sure wish I could temporarily have a dog like this one”. Oh boy, do I have good news for you! Sunny’s former housemate, Joe, needs a new place to go! He’s currently in a wonderful foster home, but he needs something a little… different. Both Sunny and Joe were beat up on by other dogs in their old home. Sunny and Lana get along well, but Joe is afraid of his large foster sibling. He needs a foster home with a calm, smaller dog or no dog at all. I’ve never met him, but am told he also acts like your typical Golden.

Joe, an adoptable Golden mix needs a calm foster home and some TLC

Joe must find a new foster home where he can feel safe and loved. Please share to help him find a new foster home!

Isn’t he gorgeous?! If you’re interested in helping this handsome boy blossom into his true self, please contact me or send a message to Aussie and Me either via e-mail or Facebook. He is currently in Jacksonville but I imagine he could travel a little for a good home.

What can you do to help animals? A lot, actually!

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.

10 Reasons I Chose A Mutt Over A Purebred Dog

When I found Lana online, I made an appointment to meet her, and the next day to meet a purebred Border Collie from the same rescue. I had already started to picture my life with Ferris, the Collie. I was sure he would be the one for me. But, obviously I chose Lana. There are plenty of dog breeds I adore. But to me, nothing beats a good old fashioned mutt. And I can give you ten reasons why.

"10 Reasons I Chose A Mutt Over A Purebred" -A humorous, not preachy look at why one dog blogger chose her mixed breedMutts live longer. Continue reading

Find-A-Friend Friday

This week we feature two dogs and a cat from the Bainbridge Humane Society.

First we have this big guy. When I saw Hartman I knew I had to share him with the world. He’s such a handsome boy!

HARTMAN - Adoptable mixed breed male dog in Bainbridge, GA  HARTMAN - Adoptable mixed breed male dog in Bainbridge, GA  HARTMAN - Adoptable mixed breed male dog in Bainbridge, GA

Look at those ears! And that coloration. He’s stunning. The shelter says:

Look at those colors! Hartman is a very good looking guy that was found roaming by a good Samaritan. He is heartworm positive, but with an approved application, funds are available for treatment. Check him out today!

Male Approximate Age – 2 Yrs ID – 24337


Why two dogs? Well, there I was, thinking I’d found my share-able dog. Yet, I couldn’t stop myself from scrolling down the page. And can you guess what caught my eye? A Lana sibling! (Not really, of course, but I can see enough similarities that I feel like I owe it to this stern-looking hunk to share him, too.) So, meet Sonny!

SONNY - Adoptable mixed breed male dog in Bainbridge, GA  SONNY - Adoptable mixed breed male dog in Bainbridge, GA  SONNY - Adoptable mixed breed male dog in Bainbridge, GA

The shelter staff say:

How handsome is this guy?! He was found roaming around in the county looking for a new home. Come meet Sonny today and see if he’s just what your family has been missing! This is a very cute boy, who is very strong, will need owner who can understand his needs.  (This usually translates to: ‘this is not a dog for beginners’, but that certainly doesn’t mean he’s a bad dog!)

Male Approximate Age – 2 yrs ID – 23617


And for this week’s feline friend, I present Robin.

It was incredibly difficult for me to pick a cat to feature. Honestly they all looked so darn cute. (I mean, I’m a dog person, so a cat looks like a cat, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t adorable!) However, between her name and her special need, I just know this is the girl I’m meant to share.

ROBIN - Adoptable female cat in Bainbridge, GA. She is blind, but still deserves a home!  ROBIN - Adoptable female cat in Bainbridge, GA. She is blind, but still deserves a home!

The shelter staff say:

Robin came to us through animal control. She is a very sweet baby, but is blind. She needs an understanding home that will help her adjust to a new wonderful life with a new family.   (I honestly wish I could take this girl myself. Unfortunately I don’t trust that Lana would understand to be gentle with a blind cat. When I’ve spoken to owners of blind pets, they’ve never indicated their disability made life too difficult. This girl deserves a loving home just as much as the other cats in the shelter – please don’t let her blindness deter you!)

Female Approximate Age – 8 month ID – 24339

The Bainbridge-Decatur County Humane Society is located at 1250 Cox Avenue Bainbridge, GA 39819. It’s just a stone throw away from the Florida-Georgia line. The shelter is open Monday – Saturday 11 am – 4 pm. If you’d like to contact them, their phone number is (229) 246-0101, and if you want to go to their website, you can do so by clicking HERE.

Lana’s Big Day

Today is the third anniversary of Lana’s Adoption Day! The time has flown by since we first got her from Florida All Retriever Rescue. So what better way to celebrate than with food, gifts, and of course plenty of pictures?

Lana celebrates her Adoption Day Anniversary | DreamBigBarkLoudly.comI’ll admit, the pictures might have turned out a tad bit better if the sun had chosen to come our and celebrate with us, but nothing to be done about that!

Lana celebrates her Adoption Day Anniversary | DreamBigBarkLoudly.comSince we count her adoption day as her birthday (because we have no idea what her birthday actually was), I guess that means Lana’s 21 in human years?

Lana celebrates her Adoption Day Anniversary |

Lana celebrates her Adoption Day Anniversary | DreamBigBarkLoudly.comDesi looked like she wanted some attention too (so of course she got some). She’s a good sport. And, I suppose, how could she know it wasn’t her day? We always try to celebrate with both dogs equally.

Lana celebrates her Adoption Day Anniversary | DreamBigBarkLoudly.comShe enjoyed the balloons a lot more than I expected her to. Almost as much as I enjoyed wandering around Party City acting like I was throwing a little girl’s birthday party. I was just praying nobody actually asked about my ‘daughter’.

Lana celebrates her Adoption Day Anniversary | DreamBigBarkLoudly.comNo worries, I stopped her before the balloon popped. I’d hate to give the old girl a heart attack.Though I probably didn’t do her much of a favor by giving her a delicious (but not super healthful) Pupcake.

Lana celebrates her Adoption Day Anniversary | DreamBigBarkLoudly.comThis recipe, adapted from a Pretty Little Pastimes recipe for peanut butter carrot Pupcakes, turned out fantastic! And by “adapted”, I mean I didn’t have one of the ingredients so I did change the recipe a little, but this time I’m happy with the changes I made. I did a taste test, intended to be a small bite, and ended up eating a quarter of one! It’s no wonder the dogs loved it too.

Lana celebrates her Adoption Day Anniversary | DreamBigBarkLoudly.comI’ll post my variation of the recipe later this week. Of course, in the mean time you can always go check out the original on Pretty Little Pastimes. And, if you still need something to do, you can check out our “Dog Stuff” Pinterest board where we have this recipe and others Pinned!

ImageLana got a couple of toys for her birthday, but we’re waiting until my parents get home from work to ‘open gifts’ (which aren’t really wrapped because I am no good at wrapping).

Happy Hump Day readers, and Happy Adoption Day to Miss Lana! I’ve loved the last three years with her and I know we’ll enjoy the next years just as much.

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