And Here It Is – 2017

Yep, yep, yep – the new year has come. I look at all that I let fall to the wayside last year. I look at the political landscape and the world in general. My response to both is “Oh my!” and not in the cool George Takei way. But we stand tall, shoulders straight, and we step forward to do what each of us can to make this world a better place.


Lost and discarded pets fill my Facebook news feed and I turn my attention back to where my education and advocacy began – the Wake County Animal Center (WCAC). I need to get back to my roots – taking pictures of pups to replace their crazy scared intake photos. Be sure and check back to see the sweeties looking for their furever homes in 2017.


In the meantime, let’s take a look at a couple of long timers who are looking for their perfect family.

Lady Bell* (113184)

Lady Bell
Lady Bell

Yes, she’s chilling out in a great foster home, but she’s been in the system since June 2015 and she really just wants a family to call her very own. Lady Bell is no slouch and is looking for a home where she’ll get lots of training and exercise. Her foster momma says some of Lady Bell’s favorite things are “playing with other dogs, running, wrestling with other dogs, playing in the water, belly rubs, treats and chew toys.” Here are few pics of her enjoying life.



She does need a house rather than an apartment, and a good fence as she loves to jump. Also, small children and feisty cats are not a good match for her active, curious ways. So, if you’re looking for someone to do things with – agility, walks, runs, dock diving – contact Lady Bell’s foster momma at


Junior* (124955)


Being a Staffy fan, I just can’t resist this face. Junior is a 4-year-old American Staffordshire Terrier who has been in the shelter system since November 2015. He’s currently in foster care getting lots of love and heartworm treatment.

He has what I consider classic Pittie traits, loves lots of human attention and just being a couch potato until you bring out his tennis ball or dinner bowl. He can be shy, so he needs slow proper introductions with both humans and dogs and would probably do best in a quiet home.

Email the shelter to talk with her foster family and get all the great details.

Remember, when you’re looking for that new family member, check out your local rescues and shelters. The WCAC is open seven days a week from noon until 6 PM. You can start your search by checking out the gallery here

*click on a pup’s name to go straight to their page on the WCAC website

All About the Dogs

I’ve been contemplating how to mark National Dog Day today. I could tell you – or is it retell? – the story of spending the first half of my life terrified of dogs and how these days my life is all about dogs.

I thought about making a gallery of all the dogs that have graced these posts.

But that would go on and on and on and on …

Mostly I just want to share with you the dogs that have and do fill my life. These guys and gals can make me crazy, but I can’t imagine life without them. Heck, I don’t much know how I can vacation without them.

Happy National Dog Day!

So, don’t forget head down to your local animal shelter this weekend and find yourself a new best friend – preferably a dog. Wake County Animal Center is open every day from noon to 6 PM.

Training Really Is That Important

So, one of my part-time jobs is teaching classes at Teamworks Dog Training, LLC. I teach puppy class, a manners class, and a distraction proofing class. I really enjoy the dogs I meet and watching their progress over the course of the seven weeks.

I try to make sure that the humans know what an important thing they are doing for themselves, their dogs, and the bond between them. It really does make me all emotional thinking about it.


And then a friend posts a recent rescue experience on Facebook and it really drives home the importance of training. I’m posting it here, with her permission, in its entirety.

“I have been going back and forth on whether to post this or not, but I think it’s important for people to learn from the tragic as much as we take joy in the positive. Remember: owning a pet isn’t enough. Training is part of their care. [my emphasis]


“A month and a half ago I brought home a foster dog named Optimus. He was super friendly, had a huge smile and at 97 lbs was quite the hunk. At the shelter he was uncertain, didn’t appreciate people invading his space and let you know. Over the course of his stay here, I got to know a friendly, happy-go-lucky guy who ignored the other animals in the house and just wanted to be your one and only. He began to trust me and would let me in his space, but was still wary of those he didn’t know when it came to his crate.

“I also got to know a dog that wouldn’t tolerate anyone messing with his food or high value food treats. After an evaluation by a reputable rescue, it was determined that because his behavior was so ingrained it would be difficult (if not impossible) to reverse and even more difficult to manage given his lack of warning. Not to mention the sheer challenge of placing a dog like this in a responsible home. His power, size and behavior made him a high risk for becoming a future bite dog or even worse. He was deemed not safe to adopt out. While it hurts my heart, I completely agree. As a result of this determination, Optimus was euthanized this morning. I hate that it had to be this way for him.

“Why did it have to be this way? Because while his owner was happy to have a big, powerful, gorgeous dog, he didn’t think it was important enough to train, mold and shape this big, powerful, gorgeous dog into a well-behaved and safe animal.

“The result? He sentenced him to death with his lack of training and then by dumping his responsibility on someone else. I’m sorry Optimus that you were desired for your looks, but not important enough to invest time and training into. I wish I could have done more for you. Be free now. I’ll miss your huge smile and big bear hugs.” ~BK


Mister M

So you see it means the world to me to see Mister M come to class with his mom and dad. He’s just nine months old but has been bounced around to several homes and fosters – hmm, maybe that’s what makes him such a bouncy guy. He’s an adolescent who hasn’t had any structure or direction in his life. He is loveable and boisterous and real jumping bean Tigger.

M has found his furever family. They understand he’s not the perfect dog (yet!) and that training is the second best thing they can do for him. I can already see they’re giving him tons of love and a good home.

One last thing, please be thorough in researching your dog trainer. Punishment based training is not a solution. I truly believe in Teamworks dog training philosophy …

At Teamworks, our goal is to help you create a successful relationship with your dog by building trust and mutual understanding.  We believe in and use family-friendly, humane training methods that enable effective communication between people and dogs.  We teach our classes using positive-reinforcement based training and encourage the use of humane “people empowering” techniques.  We do not use or tolerate harsh physical punishment-based methods, as that outdated style of training has been shown to damage the bond between dog and person, and often escalates aggression.



I’m done with why. Why did this animal end up at the Wake County Animal Center (WCAC)? Why did their owner surrender this sweetheart? I’m done with it because the stories/reasons/excuses are either going to tear out my heart or make me want to punch someone in the throat.

Monday night I spent a little time with each of these darlings – falling in love with each.

Gladys (136850) – she gave me the Ruby look so I had to take her picture. She’s got a deposit – woo hoo! She’s super skinny and despite having just arrived that day she was all wiggles. She wasn’t looking for pets, just someone to be with her – and get a bite – and sit next to you – and get a drink – and come back to sit next to me.

Socks (136504) – a distinguished gentleman of 13 years looking to be your one and only fur baby.

Nesquick (136588) – a cute little girl just two years old looking for fun in all the best places.

Oh, my, gosh, Scrappy (136601) broke my heart when she pressed herself in the corner and would not come out. She’d gone from living in a back yard with her doggy sister to being alone in this weird smelling, loud place. She’s become a volunteer fav and is coming out of her shell.

UPDATE: Scrappy has gone to rescue!

Dusty (136527) – a lady of 13 years. Won’t you make her life whole again with a fureverfamily?

Sebastian (136855) – too much of a gorgeous boy to be a stray.

And Clinton (136390) is just your typical happy gentle-treat-taking Pittie. And such a handsome boy!

Okay, I will ask “Why?” Why are you still looking at these pics and not on your way to the WCAC to meet your new best friend?

To Be or Not To Be Kissed

Happy International Kissing Day!

Random Stranger on Fayetteville Street 2013

Although I get many a nice kiss from my husband, my Khayla is one obsessed kissing Pibble. Now, I’ve never minded it. In fact my first dog, Sugar, had a very rough Chow Chow tongue that gave a wonderful massage on the bottom of your feet. So you can imagine my fear when this headline came across my Facebook feed the other day: “Kissing Your Dog Isn’t Just Gross, It Can Potentially Make You Very Sick” ( I really didn’t want to read it, but today – International Kissing Day – I did.

The blog post told the story of a poor woman in the United Kingdom who ended up spending several days in intensive care after getting a serious infection. Doctors could only figure it came from being licked by her dog. Whoa.

Digging a little deeper, I found the “No Kissing Please!” post on The Hippocratic Post to be very interesting. The post talked about not only what diseases our doggy’s saliva can carry and what can potentially be transferred from dog to human, but also what we can transfer to our dogs, for example, e coli. Professor John Oxford, emeritus professor of virology and bacteriology at Queen Mary, University of London, made a point that struck home with me about how it’s not just what’s in their saliva but the fact that they always have their noses to the ground in “nasty corners”. Hmmm, good point.

The post was also good in that it talked about the benefits of having a dog in your life. In the end it comes down to remaining calm and not being an alarmist about being licked by a dog.

So although I will now give Miss KK  fewer opportunities for a compete kissfest, I will not deny her or myself that gesture of affection and deep friendship.


Big Bada Boom Bada Bang!

So, here we are, July 4th weekend, the bane of many a dog, cat, ferret, or other non-human. For those of you who do not know what I speak of, just make sure that your pet is wearing an ID collar, has up-to-date microchip information, and is safely inside during the festivities.

We’ve been lucky this year and there were only a couple of pre-revelers setting off fireworks in the neighborhood the last couple of weeks. We played our “thunderstorm game” which I call Boom-Boom Treats. Yep, it’s simple – we hear the first distant boom, I excitedly ask them if they want boom-boom treats, and we run off to find the highest value tastiest treats in the house. It works pretty well for us at this point.

I thought I might add this reminder about all the foods, lots of which we’ll see at parties, picnics, and BBQs this summer, that are not good for our dogs. Pass it around ’cause our friends need to be educated about what is best for our kids too.



Cats, Cats, Cats, We Need Cats

No, no, wait ­ that’s wrong ­ the Wake County Animal Center doesn’t need any cats. We have lots and lots of cats at the shelter and in foster homes.

We have big cats…

Zia (ID: 133559)
Zia (ID: 133559)


We have little cats…

Abby (ID: 133459)


We have girl cats…

Pixie (ID: 131944)


We have boy cats…

Henry (ID: 124534)


We have old cats…

Shtanley Cavendish (ID: 131669)


We have kittens…

Olive (ID: 133183) & Harry (ID: 133048)


We have itty-bitty hissy-spitty kittens…

Gabriella, along with her brothers Gus & Gentry,  are in foster until they get a little older.


We have bonded sisters that must always be adopted together…

Saffie  & Maggie have been rescued.
Saffie & Maggie have been rescued.

Why do I bring this up, you ask? It’s because June is Adopt-­a-­Shelter Cat and you need a cat.

Why do you need a cat?

Cats are cute.

Dominic James (ID: 132595)


Cats are cool.

Justice (ID: 132579)


Cats are evil aliens from outer space.

My Tic Tac #wcacalum
My Tic Tac #wcacalum


Cats provide a focus for a meditative state.

Star (ID: 132357)


Cats are cuddly… with pointy edges.

Asiago (ID: 120848)
Asiago (ID: 120848)


Cats are just particularly peculiar dogs.

Bagel (ID: 132365)

Please check out all the cats and kittens looking for their furever homes at click on WCAC and filter for cats.