Blue "The Blueminator" Lewis

Blue "The Blueminator" Lewis

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Blue and Boots

These are my two nurses. Blue is easy to spot. Boots is on my legs and since I'm wearing black jeans, he's a bit hard to see.

Scout, as always, is off to the side, silently observing and judging.

As soon as I lie down, I am pounced upon. I'm sure it's for my own good, right?

Animals can and do sense our feelings and perhaps our thoughts. 

This photo was taken after having been in bed for most of the evening.

I can't say that their attention and demands for pets and belly rubs helped.

But it sure didn't hurt.

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving. I know I am incredibly grateful for my friends and family.

Especially the four legged ones.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

A year ago today, Mr. Blue arrived and he's still a goober

I can't believe it's been a year since Blue came to live with me in his forever home.

I remember the day as if it were yesterday - his running around full speed in the yard with his toys, people all over the place, my cats locked in the bedroom and me sitting on the porch and wondering how I was going to do it.

When I first met Blue, he was too afraid to walk on a leash. His foster dad got him through that. Now he prances and sniffs and smiles during his walks.

It took about 9 months of living here before I saw his first true smile. You know the one. It goes from ear-to-ear and is accompanied with a happiness that radiates from within. It's not just the grin. It's the joy also.

The first night I had him, I crated him. He was wild and out of control. I had to keep him away from the cats. He cried all night. I got up a few times, but that seemed to make it worse for him. He eventually stopped early in the morning.

I never crated him again, though I've come close. He will occasionally go into his crate and sleep, but for the most part, he's my shadow when I'm home. He is currently stretched across my legs as I write this.

In the last year, he's gone from being frantic and needy to calmer and happier. He's a fearful and anxious dog, but much of it has abated. Loud noises scare him and yet the fireworks on the 4th of July didn't. 

I have blogged about a few things here and there. I follow a lot of Facebook pages about rescued pit bulls and see the amount of work that goes into posting and taking pictures. I have never wanted this to overtake my life or feel the need to keep up with it.

I have learned so much over the last year, about myself and my dog.

Blue's betterment has been a slow and gradual journey. At first I thought it would only take a few weeks to get him to be "normal" and by that I mean a well-behaved and happy guy.

But that was not to be the case. I learned that he's just like anyone else. He is who he is and has a basic and core personality. He is a sweet and gentle soul who doesn't always know how to act.

Over the last year, he has calmed down and settled in. He knows this is his home and he trusts me but he worries. I call him my "Nervous Nellie" because he is only relaxed when he is sleeping.

He's been a great comfort to me over the last year. He's made me smile when I was sick with worry on paying my bills. He wouldn't leave the bedroom when I was so sick earlier this year and was in bed for 4 days. He's licked away my tears when I felt so alone and scared. He's jumped up and down when I was happy and he is always checking in with me when we are together.

He's brought joy and companionship to a life that was afraid and alone. Through our training classes I've learned more confidence and happiness in being with him and taking care of him. Even when he misbehaves I know his heart is good and pure.

He's a simple creature that has helped this complicated creature learn an easy and relaxed life.

He's given me more than I had ever hoped for and he has no idea.

Friday, October 3, 2014

Blue started talking

I know, sounds weird, doesn't it?

But it isn't. Not for a rescue.

Blue finally started to talk to me and by this I mean, he has started to play growl/bark. That means he has something to say and says it. Tail wagging and grinning, he now lets me know he has something to say. It almost sounds like a purr.

He's never done this before. He's never really indicated what he wants, unless it's for me to get his Kong. Then he marches over to the cabinet where it is kept and looks back and forth at it and then me, rapidly.

Blue learned to accept and deal with whatever came his way. Being crated for a long time, he would just lie there and wait.

When he first did it, it startled me. I looked over at him and waited. He wagged his tail and smiled. He came over and I rubbed his face. He talked again and smiled bigger.

We had a conversation. I don't know what it was about, but we had one.

He finally felt safe enough to talk to me.

Hopefully he never shuts up.

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

To prong or not to prong?

 There has been quite a discussion going on over at Bad Rap's Facebook page about the use of e-collars (they shock the dog) and prongs. I've included a couple of links to read.

When I first saw Blue, he had his prong collar on. I was appalled. I was assured that it didn't hurt him (via a vet and a trainer) and it was used on him until I got him last year.

I continued to use it and then switched to the collar he now has. I agree that these can be used incorrectly and that the best way to go is proper non-force training.

But I also brought his prong with us on our hike yesterday.

Why? Because he pulls like crazy when he's around other dogs. Our last long hike (6 miles) just about wrecked my shoulder.

I also brought his head halter, just in case.

As with many things, abuse can occur. I have not put on his prong collar for over 6 months.  We go to training and the way to teach a dog to not pull is to stop walking when they do. It might take you 20 minutes to walk 10 feet, but MOST will eventually get it. Blue does.

But I was hiking in a group with a time schedule and did not want to be in the position of taking 3 times as long to finish the hike because I would be stopping every 10 feet.

He did well yesterday and I did not have to use it. He still pulled because he was excited. He rarely pulls me on our walks together, so the training is working.

But I keep the prong for occasions such as yesterday. I am a responsible dog owner and the collar had never hurt him. It has never left a mark, he has never cried and it takes a strong collar to manage an incredibly strong and powerful dog.

If you've not been around a pit bull, you've not seen how they were bred for a high pain tolerance and strength. The muscles on him are to be envied and respected. This does NOT justify being lazy and careless with the training of a dog.

Would I like to see these banned?

On one hand, yes because they would no longer be needed because everyone would learn a better way to train their dog.

On the other hand, some dogs need it (used correctly) as they are over-excited and bouncy and I would rather see that then having the dog euthanized.

What do you think?

Monday, August 4, 2014

Blue is coming right along

Been a while since I blogged, but mostly because I prefer Facebook and Google Plus for random updates.

Blue did very well in class yesterday. I had a long talk with the trainer and she agreed that he is an amazing dog, sweet as can be and fearful.

He doesn't have tantrums as much as they are anxiety attacks, which makes a bit more sense. For some reason, taking him out of the circle and having him walk in front of others sets him off.

I learned to not wonder why he does what he does. I'll never get the right answer. I just see what he does and work with him.

So we do small bits of sitting and staying and then walk. Then we come back to the other dogs, do a bit more and then walk some more. I have him sit and just look around, sniff things and keep it all very relaxed.

I love this dog with all my heart and soul JUST AS HE IS.

That's the biggest thing. Acceptance.

When he developed a bit of food aggression, I changed what I did. He's always been a nervous eater. He has to be coaxed and he won't eat unless I sit with him.

He either wants to play with everyone or he pins his ears, tucks his tail and cowers. No rhyme or reason and that's fine. I watch his body language and deal with it as best as possible for him.

Fear in dogs is almost impossible to get rid of, so we ignore it. I put NO attention on it and keep everything positive.

Blue is incredibly affectionate, playful, and smart. Stubborn too. I've found treats that are like crack for him, so those are working better.

When I see people approaching, I pull him off to the side, make him sit and stay and feed him treats for being a good boy. I'm trying to teach him that he does not need to react to external motion.

He's a high anxiety dog with a huge heart.

That's just fine with me.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Blue's future friend - Miss Betty Boop

Mr. Blue is coming along. Best class ever Sunday. You know what we did?

Nothing. Just walked around, up and down the street, and let him look at the dogs and people. Let him sniff the grass, wander and just relax.

Let him be a dog. No commands, very little attention on him and enjoyed the sunshine and fresh air.

We worked with 2 other dogs by just walking past them, over and over, while the foster parents helped them to stay calm and correct them when they became reactive. This was interesting to Blue. Of course, being Blue, he wanted to walk over and say hello.

Not once did he jump on me, or pull the leash or do anything but walk and smile.

Then the instructor came over. Blue was lying in the grass and chewing on a stick. She showed me how to be able to take it away and give it back to him. Blue can get a tad reactive when anything is taken away from him. It bothers him. You can see it. So he got a treat every time I took the stick and another one when I gave it back to him. Back and forth, quietly with very high praise.

Then she wanted to see how he was with another dog. This is a big thing and takes intelligence and being able to read a dog perfectly.

So nose-to-nose he went with Miss Betty Boop. Blue was ecstatic and immediately jumped and hugged her. She hugged back. I was trying to stay relaxed and trust. I held tight as he was pulling the leash with everything he had.

Betty was fine. She is used to work with other dogs. This is Miss Betty Boop:

We finally pulled them apart because Blue doesn't know when to stop. That's his problem - no "off" switch, which we have to find and cultivate.

So little steps based on tons of praise and fun when he's good and ignoring him completely when he misbehaves. He hates to be ignored, so it works well.

We will slowly have Blue be around Betty. She will not put up with any nonsense but Blue has no idea what that is.

That's OK. We'll get him there and my hope is he will soon have a friend to play with, to learn from and to just be a dog with.

That would make me the happiest person around.

Monday, May 5, 2014

No treats for you!

 This is Blue pouting.

Had a most interesting time with Blue yesterday in class.

Actually, saying he was in class isn't exactly correct. We stood on the sidelines and walked up and down the street for class. Marthina spent the hour with us and watched.

Yep, little Blue gets too excited and demanding in class. That's when he throws his tantrums. He is a "treat whore" and when he wants one - no, when he feels he DESERVES one - nothing will stop him.

Being in class with other dogs and people is just a bit too much for him right now.

We had all noticed that he wasn't behaving better; he was getting worse. I mean, we had to spray him with the water bottle!

Walking him up and down the street, easily and without much restraint, he began to smile. He looks at other dogs and people, but isn't particularly interested in them. We walked on the grass and then back off before he started to jump. When he gets near grass, all he wants to do is start running.

Marthina saw how great he is AS LONG AS I IGNORE HIM. The minute I lean over (to fix his leash) or say anything to him, he starts in.

He is a typical teenager AKA brat. Wants his own way NOW.

Marthina thinks he may have had some extremely strict obedience training before arriving on my doorstep. I don't know but it's possible.

So Blue needs to learn how to relax, amuse himself and not look to me all the time for attention and entertainment.

As soon as I ignore him, not even give him a command, he relaxes. If anyone comes up or gives him any attention, he acts up.

He lunged at someone when he came up because the man bent over to pet him.

Blue was all over him, wagging his tail and trying to lick the man to death.

Of course, I had him on his leash, so I get pulled right into it.

Marthina said "Nope, ignore him. Walk away," and the man did.

Blue knocked it off.

On our walk last night, Blue was fine when he saw another dog with his person. I felt him tug a bit on the leash. I stopped walking and he knocked it off.

But as soon as the other dog barked at him, Blue wanted to play.

I pulled him back and casually walked away. Blue followed. I didn't say a word.

So, no treats for him, no commands or praises. Just calmly and with some degree of boredom, walk down the street. If anyone approaches, immediately tell them to ignore him.

Operation Blue - ignore completely and help him to learn how to be a dog.

That means no treats.

Only I would have a dog that you do the opposite with.

Just like me.

Sunday, April 27, 2014


Damn it!

There we were - Blue and I walking down the street on our daily walk. He's doing great, staying by my side and marching right along.

Suddenly, 2 small dogs come charging out of a garage, barking, snarling, and running straight for us.

What does Blue do?

He tries to run away.

He's scared. His ears go back, his tail goes under him and he tried to bolt.

Big bad pit bull is afraid of 2 small dogs.

I hold tight and turn around and face the little assholes who have suddenly stopped because the human is facing them and ready to do battle.

I hear humans shouting at them, running out of the house to get their dogs. I'm holding onto Blue's leash because he's pulling on it and wanting to get the hell out of there.


I don't move and quickly figure out what I have to do to prevent these 2 dogs from hurting my dog.

Someone comes running up and picks up one of them. My heart is pounding but I remain calm. I quietly tell Blue it's OK and hope that me standing tall and relaxed will calm him down.

It does. A bit.

"I'm so sorry," she says as she makes a retreat with one dog. The other follows.

I say nothing because what I want to say will not be good.

I walk Blue a few feet away, put him in a sit-stay and reward him.

We continue our walk as if nothing happened but inside, I'm fuming.

I doubt the dogs would have bit either one of us.

But I don't know for sure and I don't want to find out.

Monday, March 24, 2014

The sprayer made its appearance.

You see this?

Do you know what it's for?

This is used to spray water in Blue's face.

Do I like doing that?

Actually, yes and no.

First of all, I didn't do it. Blue was throwing another tantrum in class and just to be clear, let me first explain what that is.

This is when Blue decides to not behave. He begins jumping up and down and then grabs the leash, pulls on it AND WILL NOT LET GO.

Sounds cute?

Well, it isn't. It's extremely frustrating and a bit worrisome.

This isn't a case of a dog just wanting to play for a moment.

Blue does not do that. When he gets in this state, he's "gone," meaning mentally he is in a zone somewhere. His eyes dilate and his eyes and ears get red.

Have you ever had a 70 pound pit bull pull on you?

If so, then you know what I mean. You can understand where the myth came from about their locking jaws. Mammals don't have locking jaws, but a pit bulls jaws are incredibly strong.

If you haven't, then before you tell me how cute and funny it is, I'd like for you to experience the strength of this breed as he pulls on the leash and practically takes you with it. Allow yourself to feel your arm get pulled suddenly and have the leash that is wrapped around your hand get tighter and tighter and tighter. And then experience the pain in your thumb a bit later.

While this was going on, I saw the trainer quietly walk over to us. When he does this, I have to do my best to walk away and get him far from the other dogs. I do not talk to him. I just hold onto the leash and try to walk away.

I see her coming up so I hold on as best as I can. Blue is pulling as hard as he can on the leash. I'm a bit worried that he will chew through it. He tugs and pulls and has his heels dug in. The grass is wet and somewhat slippery.

Suddenly there is a shot of water hitting his face.

He stops and looks around. He looks like someone just walked up to him and slapped him across the face. His butt hits the ground and he lets go of the leash.

For a moment, all is quiet. I wish I had gotten a picture of his face. Priceless, as if to say "WHAT THE HELL WAS THAT?"

I stand there and look at him. He is staring at the trainer and unsure of what happened. We both suppress our laughs. She hands me the spray bottle and walks away.

Blue sees it. Suddenly he is now sitting in front of me, eyes up and his ears back. All thoughts of pulling on the leash are gone. His eyes dart back and forth from my face and the sprayer that I am holding.

I keep him out of the main circle and have backed him out of the group. This is where he will stay until I can get him through this.

Why is he doing this?

Well, when he is acting like that, he is being a puppy. I mean a young puppy. He is not acting like an adult because he doesn't know how. Just because he is almost 3 years old means nothing. Visualize how a little puppy plays and you'll get a good idea of how Blue plays.

So we are back to baby steps. Now when I take him to the park at night, all I have him do is sit and look around. Every time he looks at me, he gets a reward.

He has the attention span of about 1 second.

He is a wonderful, sweet and affectionate dog who doesn't know how to be a dog.

He may or may not get through this phase.

I think he will but no matter what, he'll always be with me.

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Blue's tantrums

Yes, Blue throws tantrums.

They are quite cute. Well, OK, maybe not all the time.

But once his trainer pointed out what he was doing, my first thought was:

"Payback is SUCH a bitch!"

I understand tantrums. I know what it's like to get frustrated at not getting what you want. Though it has been decades since I've thrown things around the room when someone told me "NO!" I suppose as an adult, the urge is still there.

I just cover it up better.

What are his tantrums about?

Not getting a treat when he wants it or thinks he deserves it.

Not wanting to drop his toy or bone when I tell him to.

Not wanting to stop chasing the cats around the house.

It is most apparent during his classes. He's getting much better at sitting quietly and looking at me. I've gotten him to be able to keep his attention on me longer and longer.

But when we walk past anyone who has ever given him a treat, and he doesn't get one, he begins to jump up and down on me. He starts pulling the leash and refuses to stop. He'll put his mouth over my hand and hold it.

Anything to get my attention and give him what he wants. His ears go back, his tail is going a million miles an hour and he bounces up and down.

He is a strong dog and just wants what he wants when he wants it.

It doesn't work.

I turn my back and look away. He comes around and jumps on me. I turn away. He does it again and then grabs the leash in his mouth and pulls.

This will go on for quite a while.

The trainer smiles and stands quietly and watches.

Now, he never does this at home or when we walk. He only does it in class.

Can you even imagine what that might look to someone if he was doing that while we were walking?

I don't even want to think about it.

It used to take me several minutes to get his leash on him. As soon as he would see me pull it out, down goes his front legs and up goes his butt. I step near him and he begins to bounce and then run around the yard.

I would stand up straight, turn my back to him and wait.

This would go on for quite some time.

He finally got it through his head that I ignore his bad behavior and he only gets my attention when he is calm.

He rarely does this now but his new thing is to act up in class.

Well, that's what class is for. Find out what he needs help with and work with him on that.

Our homework for this week?

Get Blue to be bored for longer and longer periods of time.

I say "OK, we will do that this week."

So how do you train a dog to behave when what you're training them on drives YOU up the wall?

Who is learning now?

So I try. I try really hard and what I am overcoming is my own boredom. I am learning to ignore the bad behavior of PEOPLE around me. I stand there after I have gotten him to sit and wait. I can do this for about 5 seconds before I want him to come to me BECAUSE I AM BORED!

I want to throw my own damn tantrums in life too! Damn it! I want to jump up and down and body slam people who are being assholes and bitches and who refuse to listen to me.

So this week, I am practicing holding my own space for as long as necessary and not reacting to the jabs and barbs I get from people. I am learning to remain calm and wait things out. I am learning to not respond when someone uses their words to poke me on the chest and then blame me for getting angry or annoyed.

I am learning to just BE. To only pay attention to the rightness and goodness of people and my surroundings. I am learning to be aware of and ignore the tempers tantrums of others. I am learning to ignore those that want to blame me for their own emotions.

It has been said many times that dogs are a reflection of us.

I am finding that this may very well be true and one of the hardest things I have had to learn about Blue and therefore, myself.

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Time to make some changes around here.

Blue with his Dad and I at an open house last week for a rescue shelter.
Sometimes. you hit these crossroads in life that you don't even know you're standing at.

What I mean is, it is easy for a life to go on auto-pilot. Just day in and day out, going through the motions that you've done hundreds or thousands of times.

It's easy to do because everyone else is doing it, so you go along with the motion. After all, you're the one that put it into play. You're the one that makes every decision of every moment about your life and the lives of others. Sometimes it's on a large scale, but most of the time it's these minute decisions that you no longer are aware of doing.

Some of us don't like doing that. Others wouldn't have it any other way.

I listen to the rain falling and I feel Blue's blockhead on my shoulder and hear his deep snoring. Scout and Boots are curled up along my side. Boots begins to purr as I stir and look at the clock.

It's 5:00 in the morning and I am wide awake. I glance over at the pile of incomplete projects on my nightstand and I sigh.

I log on this morning and see good things and bad things, as always. I see some funny shit, some angry crap and general run-of-the-mill posts that bore me to tears.

I watch the humans rushing to work. I look at my checking account and want to cry.

I see that the United Nations chose a pit bull for their stamps for the "International Day of Happiness."

And for a brief moment, I smile. I am happy and I knew this day was coming.

The day when I decide to go in another direction.


I thought I was all done with this nonsense of shaking things up in my life. I'm getting too old for this shit.

But, no. Not me. I lie to myself just as well as everyone else does.

But I have a low tolerance for it and I know it's always just a matter of time before I stop doing it.


Because that smile that I had for a brief moment was the first one in a very long time that I actually felt. I mean, it came from my heart and soul and was a reflection of true happiness for a second.

These animals, these pets that I have, make me smile like that. They make me feel it from the inside out.

Humans often make me shake my head, rub my forehead and want to slap them. The guy who looks right at you and still cuts you off in traffic, knowing you had to slam on your breaks to avoid hitting him.

The woman that sneers at you as you hold the door open for her and doesn't have enough manners to thank you.

And then I read about the wonderful people working so hard without enough time or money to make a difference in an animal's world, but they are getting it done.

The look of gratitude in the dog or cats face when they have been saved will forever be part of my soul. Along with it comes the horror of what some humans are capable of. The part of life that I cannot deal with and yet cannot walk away.

What does this mean?

I have no idea except that I have lost all patience with the those that do nothing to help themselves, let alone extend a helpful hand to the lives around them. I know that my time on this planet is limited and I have no intention of wasting a moment of it on those that do not help to make this world a better place.

My time will be better spent on supporting those that are making a difference.

It's time to turn off the auto-pilot and kick some ass. It's time to turn my back on the negative, roll up my sleeves and immerse myself back into the world of non-profits for humans and animals.

It's time to stop worrying about my own survival and go where this road leads me.

I have no idea where that is, but I'm on my way.

Am I scared?

Hell yes.

But I'm going to do it anyway.

Living a conventional life has never been my style and I've been too comfortable for too long.

Yes, it's time to make some changes around here and as soon as I know what they are, I'll let you know.

Waves and logs off...

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Alpha? Dominant? Pack Leader? Please make it stop.

"Alpha? Who cares as long as I have you Mom." 

I can't take it anymore and I finally found the training program that told me I'm right.

Blue is an amazing dog. Sweet, shy with strangers, a huge heart and all he wants to do is be loved and play.

Finally, someone told me today what a wonderful quality that is in him.

It doesn't mean he's dominant.

It doesn't mean he's trying to control me.

It doesn't mean I don't have my dog under control.

It doesn't mean he's aggressive.

It means just that: he just wants to play and have fun.


I don't want the perfect dog. I don't want a dog that isn't happy. I don't want a dog that is afraid to be himself.

I want a dog that is secure, well mannered and a good friend.

I started a new class with Blue 2 weeks ago. Today, we did an exercise. We were told to forget about controlling the dog with the leash and voice. Instead control (and therefore teach) the dog with our body language and energy. We each took turns to hold the leash loosely, walk with our dog to the center of the circle, stop and turn around and walk back.

We all agreed to be critiqued by the others. What happened was amazing.

Each dog is an individual, just as each person is. Each dog in class has their own shit to deal with. Some dogs pulled and tried to run around and each time the human was advised to stop and ignore the behavior.

Each time it worked.

Our turn came. I stood up tall, relaxed the leash and marched to the center of the circle. Blue followed. As soon as he would pull away, I stopped and ignored him. I turned around and he followed.

Suddenly, Blue is all over me, jumping and wanting to play. I stop, turn around and ignore him. I said nothing. I did nothing and waited.

Of course, he has NEVER done that on our walks.

The trainer smiled as we got back to our spot and I waited to hear what everyone had to say.

She said "What did you all see? Did you see aggression? Domination? What?"

All said "He wanted to play!"

"Yes! That's right!" the trainer said as she walked over to Blue. "And I love that about this dog! He's beautiful and amazing and a wonderful dog!"

I was stunned. I expected to hear "Get your dog under control! Don't let him push you around! Show him who is in charge. Now!"

We were then told how the "Alpha" theory and "Pack Leader" theory has been debunked for many years now. We were told to Google it and I did.

Here is a link that I found that made me smile:

I know my dog doesn't think of me as another dog. Come to find out, the man that originally came up with this research has asked everyone to stop publishing his work as it has been altered and the study done of wolves was not done in the wild. It was done in captivity. :,8599,2007250,00.html

Now don't get me wrong; I love the work that Cesar Millan does and I am in agreement with most of his philosophy and tools. This isn't about him or his work.

It's about what works for me. And if it works for me, then it will work for Blue.

I have no interest in trying to convince Blue that I am an Alpha. I'm not a wolf nor a dog and he is not a human.

All he wants to know is what is right and what is wrong.

And my job is to teach him that and help him be the best FAMILY member he can be.

Yes, he's my family and to think anything other than that does not work of either of us.

Saturday, January 25, 2014

"Oh, does your dog bite?"

Anytime I take Blue out, it's training. It's always training when we are together. I don't put a leash on him and let him do what he wants. If he and I are together, we are working. There's nothing leisurely about it.

Every moment is a moment he can learn.

We went to Petco today to get some supplies for our hiking and a new collar for him. He starts more classes tomorrow and the trainer told me the best one to get. We wandered around, looking for what I needed and of course, he wanted to sniff everything, go over there, say hello to everyone and basically just have a good time.

Well, Blue doesn't get to do that. He stays by my side and anytime he wants to wander away, he gets a quick correct and made to sit. It's the repetition that teaches him.

When I stop, he sits. When I walk, he walks.

He did quite well. Several people came up to him and petted him. His ears went back, he lowered his head and let them. Fortunately, no one walked straight up to him and started petting him. He would have been fine, but it's not the proper way to greet a dog.

The proper way is to ignore them, stand tall and let them be. If they want to come up to you, they will. If they don't, then they don't. No harm, no foul.

As we were standing in line, lots of people were going by with their dogs. I had my purse over my shoulder, Blue's leash in one hand and the items I was purchasing in the other. He sat, looked around and was quite calm.

Then a woman came in with her dog. It was a little dog on a long leash that she was allowing to run up to all the other dogs. She had no clue what her dog was doing as she stood there and looked around. It was about 8 pounds of fur, bouncing all over the place.

Blue saw him and I had my eye on Blue. He got up to see the dog. I told him to sit and he did. His ears were up. He wanted to play.

Blue does not know how to play yet. He's rough and is all legs and mouth.

Blue lunges very fast when he wants to play. One moment he's sitting quietly and the next moment a 70 pound pit bull is flying through the air to pounce and smother you with kisses.

This can be quite scary to anyone. 

The little dog came running up to Blue. The owner was oblivious. I told Blue sit and he did. The little dog got closer. Blue jumped up. His tail was wagging. This was fun!

I told him to sit again and he did. The little dog ran around and wrapped his leash around the woman's legs.

She paid no attention.

Then he ran back to Blue and began barking at him. Blue shot up and I told him to sit and corrected him.

I asked the woman to reign her dog in.

She looked over at me, blankly, as her dog began barking at Blue and getting in his face.

"Reign your dog in, please," I said.

"Huh?" she said.

She had no clue.

"Get your dog under control now!" I said firmly.

She looked around, down at Blue and then at her dog.


She was serious. She had no idea what I was talking about.

"Would you please get your dog away from my dog?"  I said.

"Oh! Does your dog bite?" she asked.

"No, but I do. Plus I have a mean drop-kick," I said and stared back.

"Humph," she said and walked away, dragging her dog who was still talking smack.

If anything had gone wrong, one guess on who would have been blamed.

You got it. The pit bull.


Thursday, January 9, 2014

Good morning.

New Year arrived quietly and with great expectations.

The morning is too dark, dreary and drizzly to walk, so we are staying in bed until the last minute before getting ready for the day.

I was able to sign Blue and I up for a pit bull hiking group, called "Hike-A-Bull" and I am excited about it. They work with the non-profit pit bull rescue called "Our Pack" and I think this is just what Blue needs.

This is a group for owners that have dogs that are learning and a work in progress to those dogs who are fine. It is well supervised and the dogs do not interact, which is a huge relief to me.

Blue just needs to learn to be a dog with other dogs without any pressure to do anything.

As sweet and goofy as he is, his lack of proper socialization shows.

Walking him is always a challenge because of what we may or may not run into.

Blue wanting to play with every dog he sees shows in his lunging towards other dogs. Tail wagging, nothing but legs and mouth heading towards the unsuspecting dog needs to be corrected.

He is strong but I am stronger, smarter and more aware. Snap goes the leash as I quickly and firmly pull him back, over and over, until he realizes that we don't play that game.

Plus I am also seeing how nervous/scared he gets when he suddenly tries to bolt whenever anything or anyone comes up suddenly behind us.

I maintain my composure and don't react and continue to walk tall and pull him along. I ignore it, even when he looks up at me to see if I'm scared.

We only pay attention to positive things and ignore the negative.

Just as I do in life. I will grant life and love to all the positive and refuse to be baited into the negative. I hold my head high, stand tall and continue to walk forward.

If I flinch, I hope no one sees it.

My connection with animals has always been there and grows stronger as I grow older. I have no understanding of those that do not have this. I dismiss them as unimportant and stupid and keep walking.

I hear animals and I understand them. One needs to be quiet in one's heart and mind to hear them and listen. Just like humans, they just want to be heard and understood. Their simplicity is something I admire greatly and at times, envy.

I works towards a simpler life and Blue teaches me that it's the little things that matter.

A warm and soft place to sleep.

Enough food to not be hungry.

Acceptance of who one is at face value.

There's always time to play and having fun is the most important thing in the world.

No matter what happens, the moment will pass and another will arrive.

The past has no value and all we need are belly rubs, a kiss on the forehead and a smile.

Anything else is unimportant.