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28 September 2008 @ 01:06 pm
Today's visit with the pups was great. Giddy has become such a gentleman and Rocket was her adorable self. Giddy sat and kissed gently on command, took treats gently. He's such a good pup! Rocket could barely contain her excitement, so there was some jumpiness. Our first round was supposed to have been to walk Giddy, Rocket and the new dog Scout (brought from a shelter in LA where she was to have been euthanized), but Scout was nervous and acted out, so we left her behind for our first jaunt in the gorgeous woods.

After depositing Giddy and Rocket with Ava, who had already been walked, we set to cuddling the Scout doggy and making her feel more comfortable with us. She's such a sweetie - she looks so much like Joy (but with Rocket's goofy ears), and reminds me so much of how fearful Joy used to be when we first got her! Despite having it rough prior to her rescue, she wants to trust people, she's just afraid. I know once she's been given a bit of lovin' she'll be just as happy a doggy as our Joy (although, she already walks better on a leash). Seriously, she's a sweetie - you can see it in her eyes!

Next we had a very brief visit with the pack at the founder's place, visited the puppies (who are looking amazing! They're so cute! They're Blossom sized now), and chatted with L.

Overall, a gorgeous day with the dogs. For those who are curious, here's a pic of our own Joy (who has put on a few pounds since we got her.

19 September 2008 @ 01:05 pm
Alas, I left my camera at home today, so no new pics of the puppies cute antics (of which there were many). Today we stayed in and played with the pups at the shelter. We caught up with L regarding her awesome time at the event in L.A., and took the puppies in (after tricking a Giddy into the upstairs room, since he is not a big fan of the puppies). After some playing, Llama (the runt) decided she was done for, and cuddled into my jacket for warmth and sleep. It was the gosh-darned most adorable thing ever!
14 September 2008 @ 02:36 pm
The day was absolutely beautiful. We started our journey for the day by retrieving Rocket and Gideon for a walk. Despite the fact that he had already had his own walk that day, Giddy was ready and rearing to go! Rocket is entirely over her bout with heartworm and romped along the path, stopping only for the promise of a treat. Giddy was well-behaved and now takes treats like a gentleman (no more sore hands for Nick and I from an overzealous chomp!).

Upon returning, we set went with Giddy and Rocket into the middle play area and set to some attempts at playing fetch. This was mildly successful with Giddy, except when Ava came over and let us know that soft frisbees were for happy chewing.

Nick got some good cuddle time in with the Gids and Ava:

While Rocket tried to pry more treats from me by showing me just how well she sits!

We ended with the puppies, Wolfgang (the one who had pneumonia previously and who was NOT the runt as I previously wrote! Sorry!) and Llama (she's the runt), who were tired out from romping with an earlier volunteer and friends. But, oh, how cute! After a quick game of tug-a-war with my camera bag, the pups fell asleep on mine and Nick's lap. We then put them to sleep together, where they reached out for each other with their noses, made a contented noise and settled back into sleep.

28 August 2008 @ 11:11 pm
Okay, guys, it's been forever since a post from the friendly hollows of Luv-a-Bull volunteering has been seen!

News for those who enjoyed the accounts of the weekend wanderins of D, N and R with the pups from bygone days: Rikki, Uma, Sugarpuppy, Zarrio and many others have been adopted! The wonderful lady Rocket got in a fight with another dog (okay, she was on meds for heartworm, so her scent was very off, so she got ganged up on) but she is still the wonderful lady who likes to melt into peoples' laps! Her ears are just a little worse for wear!

LAB also had a visit from Cesar! (I feel this is safe to post, since it's in the Eugene Weekly - thanks Camilla!) It was an awesome visit, from all accounts, which my only regret is that I didn't get to meet the man myself!

Cesar was so impressed by the shelter, he sent one of the pitties he rescued up to us. Rakim (now Morgan) is absolutely a doll (seriously, the happy noises this dog makes will make you want to cuddle him! He's an old man, so beware of drooling)

Also, we just rescued 4 puppies from Portland who are in serious need. They were abandoned at 4 weeks, are now going on 5-6 weeks, and one of 'em has pneumonia. I'm attaching pics (sorry, I've forgotten the code to shorten everything - it really has been too long) of the new pups.

Here's a message from our Executive director re these adorable pups:
"As most of you know, “Luv-a-Bull Pit Bull Rescue” is a non-profit organization and operates with donations! If any of you are in a position to donate, I’ll be happy to send you a receipt for your taxes. Any amount would be helpful! We just took in a litter of puppies abandoned in a park in Portland. They were taken to the Multnomah County shelter up there, who contacted us. The last thing we needed was a litter of 5 week old puppies to take care of, but no other offers of help came forward, so my dear friend Annke drove all the way to the TroutDale shelter last Friday to pick up the puppies and bring them back to us!

Thankfully, they all appeared healthy, and then one of them, “Wolfgang” suddenly became very weak and was shaking and had trouble breathing. She spent the nite in the ER Vet clinic, where she was diagnosed with pneumonia. She is home now, and doing well, but that life-saving vet stay cost “Luv-a-Bull” $750. I could have done nothing, and she probably would have died with no treatment…I just could not make that choice. However, as you I’m sure know, taking GOOD care of dogs is expensive, and taking on the responsibility for any animal can come with some significant costs.

We saved this puppy, but we do have limited resources, so we may not be able to help the next one that comes along.

It is so difficult to have to make these choices about who we can help and who we can’t!!!!
So…what I’m getting at here, is that donations give us the opportunity to help more animals!!!
I also wanted to let you all know that donations do go DIRECTLY to vet care and food. All labor is donated from volunteers, I am not paid either, and our beautiful kennel facility is 100% paid for – So any money we get can be used directly to help the dogs themselves…food and vet care…!!!!!!!!!!!!

Our mailing address is:
PO Box 50367 Eugene Oregon 97405

They have been posted on www.petfinder.com We are taking applications. I know times are tight for everyone right now, but if you can make any kind of donation, it will go to a very good cause! Thank you!"

09 February 2008 @ 11:06 am
Nick and I set out for our first Luv-a-Bull venture without the Deb in tow. Due to our inability to dig up our camera in time, there are sadly no pictures!

The day was absolutely gorgeous. The sun was out with no chill or hint of a cold rain to come. And, oh, how green and beautiful the trails looked. When we arrived at the shelter, we could tell the dogs also felt that Spring was in the air! We let them all into the main area (save for Rocket who hasn't been introduced to Uma yet) for cuddles until we got the go-ahead from Liesl, who already had dogs out on the trail.

When we got the go ahead, it was SugarPuppy (who is sooooo cute), Rikki, Ava and Rocket. Sugar and Rikki were both offleash, and I can only coo over how cute Sugar was on the trail. She loved romping awkwardly after Rikki. She doesn't quite have recognition for her name yet, but when we called Rikki, she would come happily loping back. Next week, we will have our camera and will snap a few pictures, provided she hasn't been adopted already. Adorable!

The walk is how we could truly tell that it was Spring - the pups were all so lively and bouncy. Rocket literally sprung around at times like she thought she was a deer. At one point, Rocket found what was apparently THE best stick ever, and settled down for a good chew, taunting the others with it while saying, "Uh-uh, this is MY stick". Rikki then ran off to find the biggest stick he could, and brought it back, whereupon Ava and Sugar engaged in three-way tug-o-war while Rocket gnawed her stick very happily. This was a moment I really could have had a picture. There was Rocket laying down, and slightly elevated above her, those three sweeties. It was really cute.

When we got back to the kennel, we fed the pups (although Gideon was too excited, and obviously ready for a walk, thus uncharacteristically, he ignored food). So, we took him and Uma on a different trail, Uma offleash and romping ahead, while Giddy walked onleash. This walk felt a bit shorter, since we kept a much faster pace. There were many points of interest on the side of the trail that enthralled Giddy and Uma, who would just stare down at stumps for no obvious reason we could see. Nick's theory was that there were little dead animals that had dethawed... Eeew! Uma was such a sweetie, she kept running ahead and coming back to lick my hand before continuing with her happy romping. Cute!

Upon our return, we separated the doggies out with the help of Liesl, and then set off to pick up an 11-week old puppy pit from the local animal control shelter, which is currently overrun with pit bulls. We got there right when the office was closing for lunch, so after tagging home for a bit, we went back and met the pup to cart him back to Luv-a-Bull. What a CUTIE! The lil' guy is caught in the middle of teething, so after attempting to chew on my fingers, then my seatbelt, then my buckle, I found a toy he could gnaw on which took some of his franticness away. I had forgotten how cute and awkward young puppies can be! When we got him to LAB, we handed him over to Liesl who was also flabbergasted by this adorable black and white pup, with his black spotted pink nose. Inside LAB, he met Uma and Ava (Ava made it clear she didn't want any puppy bites or playfullness), but Uma took to him right away. Oh, the awkward playing that ensued! The pup was SO ridiculous! Romping playfully then, WHAM, faceplanting. He doesn't seem to have control of his back legs yet (they're pretty under-developed actually). He tried to run and jump up onto the couch, which sent us all into giggles since it entailed a face plant into the side of the couch... He will be adopted shortly, we're very certain, with his cute puppy antics.

And that is that, for this Saturday's Luv-a-Bull Adventure! Tune in next week for pics!
03 February 2008 @ 03:43 pm
These dogs disappeared from their backyard in Pleasant Hill - they have been missing for a while. Please contact Liesl at 541-520-0295 or 541-345-7511 if you have seen them:

Taji is the pup that looks like a mini-rottie and Axel is the large orange pit. Both are microchipped and neutered.

02 February 2008 @ 12:59 pm
Today was the last day that Deb would accompany us and the sweet LAB pups, but in spite of that sad fact, we still had a wonderful time with the dogs. We arrived bearing 6 pounds of meat to be given to a very sweet, emaciated newcomer - we are dubbing her "Sugar" or "SugarPuppy" until a more suiting name emerges. She is such a sweetie, curling into our laps with the awkwardness and eagerness only a puppy could exhibit.

Here's the sweetie upon arrival at LAB:

After some cuddle times, we set out on a walk with Rikki, Rocket and "Sugar" - although Rikki soon left our company to howl at the kennel - it was too cold for his taste! Rocket and Sugar walked wonderfully together. Sugar seemed to think Rocket was her mommy, and didn't want to walk ahead or behind her - only walking by Rocket would do!

Here's just a cute one of Sugar on the walk:

Next up, it was time for Giddy, Uma and Ava! Griffin, Liesl's dog was out, however, and had never returned from their morning walk, so we set out on a different route, sans Giddy, shouting for Griffin - momentarily, we all heard his bark and he came running to his Mommy with all the marks of a happy doggy who had found something really nasty to play with(including a chafed nose which meant happy digging). So, Nick jogged back and picked up the excited Giddy, and we set out on a shortish walk. At one point, all the pups found something of incredible interest and huddled around to investigate...

Winding down, it was the end of our walk, and the end of Deb's last Saturday (save for her many visits she plans to make to LAB!)

After tucking the pups away into their respective places, we said our goodbyes - Uma, for once, did not stand at the window to peer out and watch us leave. Maybe she didn't want to say goodbye?
26 January 2008 @ 03:31 pm
Today I volunteered solo; Rache was en route to New York, and Nick already there.

Because I have a horrible tendency to live behind the camera when a camera is at hand, I intentionally left my camera at home today. It's hard to take pictures and wrassle a few puppies at the same time. Still more importantly, it's hard for me to feel fully in a moment experienced through a lens. Since this is my last week with the puppies, apart from occasional forays back up to Eugene, it was important to me to just be with the dogs.

Liesl was walking Ava and Rikki when I came up. Ava was wearing a ruffly jacket, and tugged at the leash to reach me. I reached down to pet her, and when I pulled away, she put her paw up on my leg as if imploring me to reconsider. In my opinion, Ava's gentle pawing is the sweetest of her many endearing traits.

Rikki, on the other hand, was anything but gentle. He was launching himself literally up to my elbows for attention. There is no walk that equal to that boy's energy!

First up I walked Rocket and Rikki. Rikki, who as always is no fan of the rain, got up to the trailhead and hightailed it back to the shelter. I let him back in and took Rocket on a solo walk. It felt strange to be there just the two of us again. Rocket walked perfectly at my side while I listened to Pimsleur Spanish lessons on my iPod and let my mind wander a little.

This walk was especially neat because of the last few days of frost. The trail wasn't muddy for once, and occasionally I'd step to feel the fir needles and frozen mud give way beneath me. Rocket appeared startled more than once as she stepped, and incredibly cute through it all.

Second up was a walk with Gideon and Uma. Uma started the walk with high energy, trying to get Gideon into play, but her attention wandered the further we got into our walk. Gideon heeled remarkably well, except for the 2,418 times he stopped to mark a fern, branch or leaf along the way.

Back at the shelter, I warmed up the food for the dogs and carried two dishes into the main room for Uma, Giddy and Ava, with a third dish to Rikki and Rocket. Neither Rikki nor Rocket was eating, so I removed Rikki to the main room, where he began harassing Uma. Uma and Rikki kept at their play till I left, with Ava laying on the top bunk and watching sadly. Apparently her hips have been hurting her. :(

After getting the dogs back into their right spaces, I threw my bag over my shoulder and said farewell. Only when I actually spoke it aloud did I really understand that it is farewell... and how much I'm going to miss these fabulous canines...
20 January 2008 @ 06:50 pm

Rocket wants you to click this!Collapse )

Uma and Gideon stood in the window and watched as we drove away. Knowing the number of weekends they'll watch me arrive and depart is dwindling, this week the farewell serenade felt a little more bitter than sweet. Still, it has been a gift to grow to know these dogs over the last four months, and as often as I am in Eugene, I will be back to see them... or whichever among them remain! Much as I love seeing each of them, my hope, as always, is that I might next return to discover that they've found their forever homes, where every day is full of human warmth, love, and the bustle of day-to-day life.
12 January 2008 @ 10:13 am
The doggies were wonderful on this gorgeous, wet morning. Today's account will be brief, however, as one moment stood out in both Deb and my mind on both our walks and time spent with the dogs:

The dogs were so happy, romping along the trail as Deb, Nick and I discussed the crazy journey of life and the different paths we might take to get us through it. When we turned our heads back to the trail ahead we saw Uma standing up on the path with the sun shining right behind her. She wore such a patient, kindly expression on her face that seemed to say "It's okay. I'm here. I'll wait for you." Deb and I instantly became teary-eyed. She seemed so otherworldly - as if an angel had stepped into her skin and given us a glimpse of the path leading into Heaven. The moment was indescribable in many ways, but the symbol will stay with me forever. At the end of my days, if I arrive at a path and have an Uma (or a Vash or Joy) waiting for me, I would follow her with great gladness.

Deb tells me that upon seeing the picture, L summed it up perfectly: "This is what I imagine heaven would look like." Me too.
Current Mood: contemplativecontemplative