April 6, 2011

Know Your Bully: Kids, Babies and Pitties

I'm Getting a New Puppy - I Need to Rehome the Kids!

OK, maybe that is a little extreme but for those that have raised children around dogs it makes about as much sense as rehoming your dog because you’re expecting a baby. You’ll need to make preparations but the reward is two-fold both to you and to your child. Above all, you’ll be teaching your child an important life lesson through example: the responsibility of commitment, the responsibility of caring for another life and the importance of staying true to that commitment even when things may get a little difficult.

“The Pit Bull has a special fondness for children and a pleased, relaxed look crosses its face when they approach. It can prove to be a safe*, hardy friend that can keep up and put up with the active play life of kids. For a child, no better companion can be found.” Excerpted from: http://www.pitbulllovers.com/pit-bulls-and-human-aggression.html

Growing up with a pet is beneficial to children in many ways. They learn about relationships, compassion, nurturing, loyalty, understanding and a respect for life. Studies indicate that a child who loves and has respect for animals become better adults in the area of love and compassion. They develop a sense of responsibility and connection with nature; kids with dogs spend more time outdoors running, playing, walking/exercising their dogs. Dogs can build self-esteem and social skills in children, improve impulse control and many times can calm a child that is agitated or out of control better than an adult can. Children that have pets are better at handling stress, have less anxiety and more patience in dealing with others. Dogs are non-judgmental; children will confide in their dogs, confident their secrets will not be revealed. Having a dog gives families things to do together like walk/exercise the dog and helps form a common bond – love for the dog. Growing up with pets lowers the incidence of allergies and asthma, eczema and builds stronger immune systems. Pets teach children lifes lessons – love, friendship, and sometimes, grief. Through it all, many consider their dog their best friend.

Get Ready!

If your dog has never been around babies before, imagine the stress he will be under. New smells, new schedule, new rules, etc. Start now to prepare him for the baby’s arrival.

• Obedience Training: attend a class now if you haven’t already or ‘firm-up’ skills they already know.

• Work on behavior issues now, not the day before you bring the new baby home from the hospital

• Familiarize your dog to baby sounds and smells: You can even download recordings of baby cries here. Read more: wearefamilysa.com: Preparation/SoundsSmells

• Familiarize your dog with baby “things”: like strollers and high chairs. Take him for a walk while you push the empty stroller, etc.

• Start altering your schedule now. This will minimize the risk of your dog associating the changes in his schedule with the baby, lessening the chance of resentment. http://www.wearefamilysa.com.au/WeAreFamily/Preparation/tabid/56/Default.aspx

• Follow proper introduction techniques:

• Be responsible - ALWAYS supervise your dog near a baby or young child.

Recommended Reading:
Getting You Ready
Step-By-Step Guide from "Pregnancy to Preschool"

In addition to the wealth of online information, there are lots of other resources available to prepare you such as workshops, DVD’s, in-home consultations, etc.

More Links:





*According to American Temperament Test Society the American Pit Bull Terrier has a current passing rate of 86% -- compared to only 82.4% of the all breeds on average.

April 5, 2011

Featured Adopt-a-Bull: Sponge Bob

Sponge Bob is a loving, puppy-like 1 year old lab/pit mix with a joy for life unlike any that's ever been seen! Deaf since birth, the absence of sound is of no matter to this happy boy! A tap on his butt, or using your finger or arms to motion him to you does just the trick to get him to come when you need him! He is a graduate of Basic Obedience for Bully Breeds and responds well to hand signals. He absolutely adores other dogs and running around with them, so he would be happiest in a home with another dog to play with!

Featured Happy Ending: Alli

Alli, who was originally named Onyx when I adopted her, has been nothing but amazing!

I was in the Cary Towne Center Mall doing some misc. shopping and walked past a CCB event. Being a dog lover I figured I would stop it for a quick head pat and then go about my day. Little did I know Alli would be there, looking at me with her big beautiful eyes and wiggly butt. She is strong and has well defined muscles but carries that power with grace and a gentle touch even when excited.

She meshed with my family with ease,
establishing rank with my other dog, Franco, in only a few hours. Her training went very well and took all of 20 minutes to teach her that when I say "bed bed" she goes and lays on her dog pad next to my bed. The same goes for teaching her to sit, lay down, wait for treats, etc. the only issue she has is not jumping up but thats my fault because she I like to give her hugs all the time.

Over the months and with my experience in the dog world I have concluded she is a mix of mixes. Her face says "pitty" or other Stafford breed, but her body is more in line with a hunting dog and this is obvious when she sees a squirrel or rabbit, she points better than a German Short-hair Pointer LOL.

The story I was told when I wanted to adopt her was she lived nearly all of her life in a shelter, being adopted out for 6 months then dumped back at a shelter without even a call to explain why. I have come to conclude she must have made the decision her previous owners were not right for her because she has been nothing but perfect since I adopted her. Even with her past as a "pound dog" she ate only one shoe (house slipper at that), have never once wee wee'd in the house nor any other issue so many other dogs seem to have.

I tell everyone who mentions wanting a dog to adopt a dog in need, they will love you more than life itself because they have lived a hard life and just a little love goes a long way. They do cost money, you will have problems but those will be outweighed by smiles and laughter and love 1,000,000 times over.

No matter how bad my day, how much stress I might have, I never go to bed without a smile on my face because of my two dogs, Alli and Franco.



Meet the Board: Amanda Boykin

Amanda Boykin is the Carolina Care Bullies Volunteer Coordinator and can help you with any questions in regards to volunteering. In addition, she also works to raise awareness and education further East.

Amanda B. was raised in Wilson NC most of her life and lived in Alabama for about 3 years. She had an animal-loving mother and, therefore, was lucky enough to have all kinds of animals in her life. From dogs of all kinds to horses, pigs and chickens. She followed in her mother's footsteps with her love for animals but it wasn't until 2008 that she encountered her first pitbull. She was one of the many who had believed in all the negative media hype about pitbulls! With this first encounter, she had agreed to petsit a puppy for a friend --only this "puppy" turned out to be a mature pit bull! Although she was "taken-aback" by this "scary dog" at her door, she loved animals and thought she could handle this, too!! Amanda fell in love with this dog that had, unfortunately, been mistreated. Her ears were cropped but it was clear that it was not done by a veterinarian. Amanda decided that this dog was not leaving her home! This would be the start of a new life for Amanda and the many pit bulls to come!

In 2009 she found CCB online and volunteered for the Dogtoberfest event. In January 2010 she started to foster some of the less-desirable foster doggies and helped turn them into great family pets.

Amanda is 32 years old and married to a wonderful man named Carlos who supports and helps her with her rescue endeavors. She has 2 children who sometimes reluctantly help her and the pibbles too! Olivia, her beautiful 10 year old daughter, likes the social aspect of rescue work. Antonio, her 8 year old son, will most likely follow in her footsteps because he has the strong love of animals just like his Mom. Amanda works full time as the Assistant Manager of a local finance company and has been there for 10 years now. Amanda currently has Tremenda, her female pitbull, Canela (female pit), Batman (pit/lab), Lana (chow x), Yoda (bishon frise), CCB alumni, Scooter (pit mix) and her foster doggie, Sugar.

Volunteer Spotlight: Callie Booker

My love for pit bulls began to emerge about five years ago. While in high school I worked part time at a kennel. It was during that time I determined pit bulls were my most favorite breed. I noticed that all the pit bulls in boarding were the sweetest dogs! I enjoyed their loving personalities and the fact that they felt the need to be at your side all the time. I was also won over by their appearance, especially the big heads and wide smiles.

Currently, I am a student at Alamance Community College. I also work a small part time job, as well as, volunteer for CCB (which I began doing about 6 months ago). When I first discovered CCB I had been watching a dog show on TV that was focusing on pit bulls being mistreated. Being a huge pit bull lover, I felt a determination to help make a change for the breed. So I got online and found CCB was my local pit bull rescue. Because I work most weekends, I have not been able to attend any events for CCB, yet, but I have helped with lots of transports and I am the contact for owner surrender inquiries. I also think I am going to be fostering soon since I am fortunate enough to have a landlord that is very open to pit bulls. When I am able, I even make efforts to donate a couple bucks to CCB because I know every little bit can help contribute to another pit bull saved.

I have gotten a lot of happiness, as well as some sadness, out of working with pit bulls but my love for the breed has also impacted my life in a way I never thought it would. I have recently gotten engaged and I wouldn’t have met my fiancĂ©, Lucas, if it weren’t for his pit bull, Irie. I’ll try to make a long story short: while my fiancĂ© was away at school, his mother, who lives next door to my parents, would watch Irie. I was working on a school project about pit bulls to help spread awareness and such so I asked if I could use Irie as my example to represent how great the breed truly is. His mother said yes. She then told Lucas and he ended up contacting me afterwards, interested in how everything went. Now, almost two years later, we are renting a house in Hillsborough that has a huge fenced in backyard that is perfect since we have 4 pit bulls! We also have a Chihuahua, who, ironically, intimidates our pitties. I am so lucky that our mutual love for pit bulls was what first connected us and brought us together.

From my experience with pit bulls, I have learned that the more I am around them, the more I adore them and the more I want to help out and promote this breed. What CCB does is truly amazing and I am so thankful to be even just a small part of it!