July 14th, 2012 – “After hanging with all the shelter dogs at Petco today, I’m seriously thinking about becoming a foster parent for these abandoned dogs to help socialize them so families will want them and we can change these peoples minds about a lot of these dogs, especially the pits and the rottys.”
I remember posting this a few years back after meeting some people from, Priceless Pet Rescue, and like most of the content we post, we say something one day and don’t necessarily feel that strongly about it the next day. Well, after ongoing health problems with my head and other legal issues, I was forced to basically give up everything that was considered normal in my life. If not for Penny, I know I would have gone crazy. I called my lawyer and my doctor one day and told them both that I could not just sit in my house, do nothing and just wait. She advised me that I find some sort of volunteer work that I could do without overexerting myself in the process. Hmmm, what was something that I loved that would keep my mind off of my legal battles and my concussion symptoms…..DOGS!! And Priceless Pets was the first place I thought of!
I sent an email inquiring about volunteering and mentioned that I owned a pittie, myself. The volunteer coordinator asked if I may be interested in joining the , Priceless Pets Pittie Crew. This was a sub-division within Priceless Pets that focused on the bully breeds, showing the community that the media was wrong in targeting an entire breed of dog in a negative way. Of course, I said yes!
I found myself at, The Orphanage (Priceless Pets), maybe twice a week for a few hours a day (or whatever my head would allow me to do) spending time with the bullys. It’s crazy how an animal can make you forget all your problems without saying a word. It was awesome, I would go spend time with other dogs and then come home to mine. Slowly but surely, instead of drinking my problems away with a bottle of whiskey I found myself wanting to spend more time with the pups and working with Penny on some more advanced training. While my post concussion symptoms were still trying to beat me down every day, I found therapy in the dogs. It seemed like an even trade-off. I help find them homes and they help me deal with things that I had usually had to take 2 or 3 pills for.
In August of 2013, someone had posted a picture of dog named, Elvis, on our pittie crew message board. He was set to be euthanized the next day and only had so much time to save him. He was only to be released to a 501(c)3 and not to the general public which only decreased his chances of surviving. I had no idea what went into rescuing a dog at the time so this was all new to me. Mandy, the director of the pittie crew, made the decision to go ahead and pull Elvis from the pound. He was literally saved HOURS before he was set to be put down.
Upon Elvis’ arrival, he was diagnosed with ringworm and could not stay at The Orphanage. If you do not know, ringworm is extremely contagious and they could not risk infecting all the dogs at the rescue. When the directors asked if anyone could foster him, nobody was able to. I already had my dog and 2 other dogs staying with me but I said yes anyway because it was only going to be temporary, 2 weeks max!
Now if you’ve ever met Elvis, he is one of the NICEST dogs you’ll ever come across. He’s one of those dogs that makes people WANT a “pit bull”. Even though, he was isolated from everyone else, I still took him on walks every day and he’s just a rad pup. Every minute I spent with him, I got more and more attached. After 2 weeks, that ringworm went away and Elvis came down with kennel cough. As most of you know, kennel cough is pretty contagious so he was quarantined to my house for the next 2 weeks!
A few days after I got Elvis, my sister called and inquired about him. She had just got a new house and was looking at getting a dog. I told her Elvis was the PERFECT dog for her. She asked if she could adopt him and I told her to fill out an application. There was only one catch…..I had to keep him for several months until she got all settled in with moving. I told her it would all depend on whether or not he got along with Penny.
After Elvis go over his kennel cough, it was time to make the introduction. By this time, Elvis had his scent all over the place so it was like him and Penny already met. Man, talk about love at first sight. These two did the standard issue doggie butt sniff and spent the next hour chasing each other around and playing. It was a match made in heaven! After months of my sister seeing these two on Instagram, my sister did not want to be responsible for separating the two lovebirds. Elvis officially became mine and the adventures of Penny and Elvis began. Penny taught Elvis how to walk off leash and behave and Elvis taught Penny that it’s ok to trust people. To this day, I still believe that Elvis got Penny completely over her fear of strange men. She became so much more confident when he came into the picture.
The best dog trainer is another dog. Don’t get me wrong, there are people that are good at it but dogs are just better!