Wordless Wednesday


The Piss as a kitten, on top of the fishtank.  Where else?
The Piss as a kitten, on top of the fishtank. Where else?

 This one’s for you, J!


Inara goes to school

Today we started a handling class that is put on by a local rescue.  It is specifically for pit bulls, which is awesome.  There are only 3 other dogs, so it’s not too overwhelming.  It’ll be nice to have a safe place to work on Inara’s reactivity issues.

Today we just worked on loose leash walking.  Always easier said than done, especially when there are other dogs around.  Inara did really well though.  She had one minor meltdown before class started when a super-reactive dog immediately started barking and screaming as soon as she (the other dog, not Inara) entered the room.  Inara got pretty worked up but as soon as the dog left she settled down pretty quickly.  

We took turns walking across the room and back, focusing a lot on eye contact.  Inara really made me proud, bouncing along beside me, glancing up at me frequently.  Near the end of the hour though she was starting to get antsy.  She was tired of the treats I had brought so they weren’t keeping her attention any more.  Next week I’m planning on taking 2 or 3 different kinds of treats.  I’m also going to try to keep her moving more next week, even when it’s not our turn.  That way she doesn’t have time to get bored and start obsessing over her Halti and being dramatic.

On a side note, they are selling hand-made leashes with these phenomenal clasps on them:


These are neat – they actually “lock” by sliding a toggle so there isn’t any possible way for it to come detached from the collar.  They’re very strong but still lightweight.  I’m pretty excited – I never trust “regular” leash snaps.

Inara’s already smart, but hopefully she’ll get even smarter as we attend dog school.  I think it’s 6 weeks long, and I’ll probably sign up for it again, just for the experience.

“Why pit bulls?”

I usually get asked that with a sneer.  There’s no short answer for it, but I’m always intrigued about what got people interested in this fantastic breed.  

Here’s my story.

In the early fall of 2005 I was out with the fugitive taskforce (I’m in law enforcement) searching for fugitives.  At one house I was in the back, making sure nobody escaped through a window.  We had crappy equipment and my radio ended up falling off my belt.  I leaned over to pick it up and the guy out back with me said, “Don’t move, there’s a pit bull right by your head.”

Well, crap.  I’d never met a real pit bull.  I had never even really thought about them.  But I didn’t relish the thought of being scalped by a dog, regardless of breed.  So I moved one hand slowly to my weapon and then lifted my head a bit to see the dog.  The guy with me laughed and said, “never mind, it’s fine.”  I stood up and saw a ball of wiggling mush.  She was white, and chained to a concrete porch.  No shade, no food, no water.  She was malnourished, every rib visible.  She didn’t have a collar on, just a large chain wrapped very tightly around her neck (I couldn’t fit a finger underneath it).  She only had about 2 feet to move, and that was all on concrete with nowhere soft to sit or lie down.  

I stood there giving her lovings until the guys inside were done.  She was so starved for attention.  The guys offered to help me steal her, but I couldn’t.  As I walked back down the driveway she whined and stuck her head through the porch railing, watching me go.  Her eyes broke my heart.  I still regret not taking her.

I called the humane investigators as soon as I got in the car, and told them that if they confiscated her I would take her.  Unfortunately I was never able to get a follow-up from them.  I hope with all my heart that they took her.  Even if they euthed her it would have been more humane than the life she was living.  

I’ll never be able to forget her.  I couldn’t get over how sweet she was even though she was so obviously neglected.  She was “my first.”  After meeting her, I did weeks worth of research online, reading everything I could find about the breed.  It was eye-opening and I decided I had to have one.  The rest is history.

So what’s your story?


There's nothing like the love of a pit bull.
There's nothing like the love of a pit bull.

Puppy Love

I wanted to share some pics of Inara when she was younger.  I know I’m biased, but I thought she was damned cute!   Inara and her brother were born at a shelter.  Their pregnant mother had been confiscated from a pit fighting ring in Akron, so the pups were at least born in safety.  They were born October 22, 2005.  I don’t know how many there were originally – by the time I arrived only Inara and her brother were alive.  I adopted them on December 26, 2005.  Here they are on the drive home, sharing a cardboard box:  

Inara and Atlas, 12/26/05
Inara and Atlas, 12/26/05

Inara was a holy terror from day one, but Atlas was very sedate.  Unfortunately, on January 6, ’06, Atlas woke up at about 6am having seizures, stumbling around in a circle and foaming at the mouth.  I rushed him to the e-vet where they kept him for a couple hours then said his bloodwork was perfect and I should take him to my vet.  My vet kept him over the weekend, heavily sedated.  Sadly, on January 9, they told me that even if they could get the seizures under control there was a good possibility that he would be brain-damaged.  So he was euthanized that morning as I held him.


The kids, a few days before Atlas died
The kids, a few days before Atlas died

Inara quickly grew into a gangly adolescent, all legs.  For the longest time she had this fantastic puppy fat on her neck:


A turtleneck of puppy fat
A turtleneck of puppy fat

She was such a playful puppy, always ready for a game of tug or chase, but then also perfectly content to curl up on the couch and cuddle.



Legs McGee!
Legs McGee!

Time flew, and pretty soon it was her first birthday:


Happy 1st, my love!
Happy 1st, my love!

I could post billions of pictures, but she really didn’t change too much, appearance-wise, after her first birthday.  She got a smidgeon taller and filled out a bit, but she’s still my little girl.  I love her and cherish every day I have with her.


Me & my girl
Me & my girl

How is Inara strange?

Let me count the ways…

  1. I gave her a marrow bone this evening and she’s eating it standing up, with her tail tucked all the way under her body.  Weirdo.
  2. She flirts with new toys and treats – she’ll jump around it, play bow and talk to it.
  3. I have to keep a baby gate up to keep her away from the cat box.
  4. She enjoys flinging toys around so they beat her in the ribs.
  5. She flirts with dogs that are big enough to knock her down with one paw.
  6. She’ll sit with her back to me and then lean back so I have to prop her up, then she stares up at me upside down.
  7. If I do raspberries on her body she gets all playful and growls and jumps around.
  8. She’s scared of the noise that clickers make.
  9. Even though she’s heard my doorbell only a few times, if she hears one on TV she jumps up and runs to the door.
  10. She likes to squirm around on her back, growling at toys that may be near her.
  11. She can’t swim to save her life.
  12. She has the perfect state of Ohio on her right side.
  13. She tries to attack the vacuum.
  14. She looks abused in 99% of the pictures I take of her.
  15. She thinks she’s a lapdog.

I could go on and on, but that’s enough for now.  She’s special, and I adore her. 


Mmmmm...peanut butter!
Mmmmm...peanut butter!