Tag Archives: back yard


WCAC ID: 91444

Roman (WCAC ID: 91444)
Roman (WCAC ID: 91444)

Roman is Charo’s favorite playmate and with him being such a handsome boy you can’t blame her. He is a brown Am Staff who is a little over two years old and has been in the shelter system since late August, 2013! I think we’ll let Roman speak for himself.

“I am a friendly, handsome boy who loves to run and play. I love playing with other dogs too, especially the ladies. My foster sister, Charo, is so much fun!! We have a blast romping around the yard together. I am okay with my foster mom’s lazy, dog-avoiding kitty while being supervised, but not sure how I’d be with cats that hiss, swat or get sassy with me.

“I know SIT and my foster mom is teaching me to walk calmly on my leash. She says I’m doing very well when it’s just us, but still need work on walking in public. (I admit I just can’t help myself. I get so happy and want to say hi to everyone.) I will do just about anything for a piece of hotdog or cheese, so that’s what she’s using to train me. After a good play session where I get all my happy out, I enjoy settling down for a good rope toy as I drape myself over my foster mom’s legs.

“I’m used to being in a crate while nobody is home and haven’t had any accidents in the house. I don’t do well in the kennel environment, so if you want to meet me or have questions, please email my foster at wcacfoster@outlook.com. I am already neutered, microchipped, UTD on vaccinations and ready for my forever home.”

Be sure to check out the video of Roman and Charo having a BLAST!


What a Wonderful Time of Year

Yes, I love the Christmas season. The lights. The decorations. All the great food. This year has been extra special as foster poppa graduated from NCSU and got a job with IBM. Woo hoo! And during all of this, Milton found his furever family. We are so tickled we can hardly stand it!

Sweet Milton
Sweet Milton

Milton had healed from his leg amputation so nicely over the weeks he was with us. The way he was running, jumping, playing, and smiling made us realize that parting with him when he got adopted was gonna make us cry. Although we loved, and still miss, all our foster dogs, we always knew that we were not their perfect furever home. Yes, there is Ruby and if we are going to continue fostering she will remain our only permanent doggy family member although Milton could have easily joined our family.

Milton's frog impression
Milton’s frog impression

We met MB at a Wake Animal Advocates Group (WAAG) adoption event in Knightdale and we knew this was Milton’s perfect match when he rolled over and asked for a belly rub from her shortly after they first met. We’re also excited for Milton about the big back yard he’ll have to run in with his new four-footed brother and sister. We can hardly wait to see all the photos from MB, but in the meantime we’ve relished the updates she has sent us.

He’s doing just great and couldn’t be happier.

Now, do we bring home a new foster immediately or let Ruby revel in being the center of attention in her first Christmas with her furever family?

Seeing the Real Sookie

Sookie is sweet, cute, healthy, a wonderful size, and previously spayed so I’m expecting her to be adopted before we have time to see her true personality shine through. I think I’ve captured a little of it as she plays on the bed.

Click here to see Sookie playing a little with Tic Tac.

What I’m really trying to say is that Sookie is going take a long time to get used to her new home and completely relax. Actually, according to her previous family she may not ever be COMPLETELY relaxed – the patio furniture was rearranged once and Sookie wouldn’t go out the back door; she had to sniff each piece of furniture before she was good with it again.

We are seeing little glimpses of playfulness. Tonight I even got her to play a little game of catch and chase with a pink bunny stuffie that I got for her at the dollar store. It was so fun to see the little prance in her step as we ran from the dining room to the living room. Up until this point I’ve only seen this when she’s in our bed first thing in the morning.

Beautiful Sookie

Sookie is the extreme case of timidity in feeling happy and relaxed in a new situation, but I think it is something that every adopter (and foster) needs to consider when bringing a new animal into his or her home. It can take more than a week or two for everyone to get comfortable. There may be “accidents” even if they’re house trained – after all, they’ve spent some time in the shelter where there isn’t as much of a choice to “go outside” AND the schedule you set for him or her is probably quite different from the schedule in their previous home. Even the sounds of your neighborhood will be strange to your new family member.

It seems like we’ve had quite a few quick returns at the Wake County Animal Center lately. I think we’re all expecting an instant bond, appreciation, and settled family routine. It will come, but it’s not going to be instant. It’s just another aspect, like the lifelong commitment, that needs to be taken under consideration when deciding to add a dog or cat to your family.

If you have thought it through, check out the gallery at the WCAC or stop by any day of the week between noon and 6:00 PM.

Check out Tic Tac messin’ with Sookie. http://www.flickr.com/photos/suziqred/7647992968/in/photostream

Getting comfortable

Sookie is settling into life with us well. She is a wonderfully sweet girl and we’re really enjoying her. Well, I should say foster poppa and I are enjoying her. Her foster bro, Tic Tac, not so much. And just to be clear, that is ALL Tic Tac. Sookie has been very good with him despite Tic Tac’s constant ambushes, ear biting, and muzzle gnawing.

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Sookie put Tic Tac in his place only a couple of times – once when the ear biting was getting out of hand and then again when Tic Tac didn’t take the hint from all of Sookie’s signals to leave her food alone.

On Monday we figured out the whole “potty in the yard” thing. I finally realized that not only was she not used to going on a lead, but she may have had a big yard previously and was able to get farther away from the house than what the lead was allowing. I got the 20’ training lead out and followed her around the yard at the full distance – voila, success! We used it for a day or so and now she’s using the short lead off the front porch like a pro. Next step: convincing her it is okay to go outside after dark.

Other than her timid nature, she’s a super easy dog to take care of. Please shoot me an email (afureverfamily@yahoo.com) if you’d like to meet her.

Sookie (WCAC ID: 74447)

One more thing before I post – she likes to hide/nap under our bed (a new experience for me). It’s very funny as I’ve never had a dog small enough for that and Sookie isn’t necessarily small enough to do it. Only once did it not seem like a good idea – it was 2 AM and Tic Tac decided he wanted that spot. Other than jarring us awake, their little kerfuffle knocked some electrical plugs out of their wall outlet. Is “My dog and cat unplugged my alarm clock” a valid excuse for being late to work?

Along came Sookie

The phone conversation went something like this …

Suze: “So there’s this pocket Pittie with mange and a little Shepherd mix that is good with cats. What do you think?”


Charlie: “I thought you were going to the shelter to take pictures.”

Suze: “I was. I am. But the Center is over flowing and someone needs to come home with me tonight.”

Sookie’s bio said she was housetrained and good with cats – pretty much a no-brainer for Charlie. She was sitting at the front of the kennel with a pitiful look on her hangdog face. I stepped inside to greet her and was captivated by the timid little girl as she flicked my hand with her soft tongue.

Sookie (ID: 74447)

Yep, she needed to come home with me so we could work on building up her confidence, and I have the best mentor for this: Ivy Ohana at BorderCollieBlonde.com.

I had J make a copy of Sookie’s surrender form (the sheet where the former owner answers questions to give staff and potential adopters an idea of personality and any special needs) to take with me so that I could expand on her extensive WCAC Web bio …

My name is Sookie and I am a 2 year old spayed female shepherd mix. My previous family could not longer care for me but left lots of good information so I could find a great new home. According to my previous family I am mostly HOUSETRAINED, good with KIDS, good with other DOGS, and even good with CATS. My previous family also said I have been clicker trained (please ask staff if you’re not sure what that means). I Know “SIT” and I take treats very nicely. My previous family said that I can be a little shy in new situations so a calm low key household would probably be best for me. I seem like a very sweet girl with a gentle soul. Sine I’m already spayed my adoption fee is only $45 and I can go home with you today!

Highlighting the word “housetrained” worked on me ‘cause I completely missed the word “almost”, which is why I cocked my head like a dog hearing an unfamiliar sound when I read her sheet and it said that Sookie had spent most of her time outside. Apparently she spent her days outside and came in when the family got home at night. I’m thinking she had a fenced in yard to run in, as I was having absolutely no luck getting her to go the bathroom on walks or while on the lead off the front porch.  Unfortunately she waited until we left the house (her previous family said she was afraid of crates so we let her have the run of most of the house) and relieved herself in the dining room. Fortunately we had just recently gotten rid of the last of the carpeting in the house, replacing it with hardwood flooring.

Check boxes indicated she was “very active” and a “couch potato” – more head cocking by foster mamma. The “likes to chase small animals” box was also checked – apparently she lived with lions and tigers in her previous life.

I was excited to see that she had been “clicker trained” because I’ve started assisting a fabulous new trainer, Robin Barrows, at Teamworks Dog Training. I decided to go ahead and “charge the clicker” since that was everyone’s homework for class on Saturday. I got her food and the clicker. She sat politely in front of me. I clicked – she about jumped out of her skin. I fed her a piece of food. I clicked – she jumped again. We did this for a dozen or so bites of food. She did eventually not jump as much.

She does know “sit” and is very good about doing it for treats and the like. She is extremely skittish and jumps at strange noises. After three days with us she is getting less so – she just needed to gain trust in her new surroundings.

Tic Tac and she are working out their relationship – working on it might be a better way to put it, but they’re getting there. Tic Tac keeps “attacking” Sookie and has even started biting her ears. Sookie finally had enough this afternoon and snapped at him. I think Tic Tac has gained just a touch of respect for Sookie’s personal space.

Or not …

If this sweet girl sounds like she would fit in your family, click here and send me an email (afureverfamily@yahoo.com). We’ll arrange a meet and greet date.

Princess Smushy Face

Yes, it’s true. We’ve had a house guest since July 4th and all of us, including Tic Tac, have fallen in love with her.


My friend J is fostering Princess through the American Bulldog Rescue. She was a junkyard dog who learned to fend for herself. In fact, now that she’s being fed lots of good food on a regular basis she’s being re-trained to give up some of her “recycling” habits. Not only did this poor girl come in severely underweight but she has skin allergies that made her lose all her fur.

She’s looking so much better from when I first met her in mid-June. Getting Princess on special grain-free food has helped her look gorgeous and feel less itchy – unless of course she eats a loaf of bread while visiting her Auntie Suze. I couldn’t blame her; after all, she slept on the living room floor her first night with us and there was a laundry basket full of bread, cereal, crackers, etc. right next to her. And she left it alone until sometime after 2 AM. Poor thing, by that evening her skin was pink and she had the itchies bad.

We’ve been impressed with her interactions with our cat, Tic Tac. Actually we’ve had lots of hoots watching the two of them over the last several days. As you know Tic Tac is a cat-dog and he was determined to show Princess that this was his home and his pack. Tic Tac began almost immediately to “attack” Princess at every turn – no claws but he would pummel her butt (or face) every chance he got. He also kept using the door frames to stand on his hind legs and be “bigger”. The funniest scene that first evening was Princess lying on the floor with her head between her paws facing the hallway. Tic Tac got all wound up – he had the bottle brush tail going on – arched his back, turned sideways and came at Princess like a Halloween cat cartoon. He did it several times in a row – even after he wiped out in front of Princess on the slick wood floors. It’s day five and Tic Tac is still ambushing her – tonight Princess even seemed to be playing along with a little pounce and chase. We can definitely check that box that says “good with cats.”

Evening nap buddies

We haven’t been on any walks, really. It’s just been too dang hot here, and we don’t have a fenced in yard like J but Princess hasn’t had any accidents in the house and has learned to go on the lead off the front porch. I still sit on the porch and give her encouragement – the last couple of times I haven’t even had to correct her little “recycling” habit. And check mark for “housetrained.”

I’m also thinking she would be a good Therapy Dog. She made friends with everyone in our neighborhood that she’s met. She has a great looking mug with her adorable little underbite. She also does a wonderful little dance when she excited and happy.

What in the world?

I just got a text from her foster momma, J, and she’s going to swing by on her way home from the airport to pick her up. It’s making me a little sad. I really like this sweet girl and she fits so nicely into our house. I know, I know. I really want to continue fostering and there was a big influx of dogs this weekend and they need me.

If you’ve ever thought about fostering check out what it takes by clicking here on the WCAC shelter site or send me an email at afureverfamily@yahoo.com and I’ll make sure it gets to the right person. And if you feel like Princess just might be the perfect dog for you and your family send me an email and I’ll put you in touch with J.

You can’t resist this face

Living with Ghosts

So, our first week back home from vacation and with Bubba Rex having gone to his new home it has been – well – different. I especially miss coming home to a wagging tail and a furry face. Mostly it’s been a time of finding toys in odd places and remembering that we don’t have to close every door or rush home after work.

It’s also brought up long buried memories of Tippi and Snips and the quirks of our life with them that are just ghosts in this old house.

I thought I’d leave you with a few photos of Rex in his new home. Last we heard he had graduated to spending about three minutes in the backyard by himself before coming back to the back door looking for his pack.

And this little video of Rex with a new toy is too cute.

The Good Stuff

I did promise to write some of the wonderful stuff about our little foster Bubba Rex – although at 62 pounds I’m not sure I’m allowed to call him little anymore. We are excited about this as he’s put on some much needed weight.

But I digress, on to the good stuff …

His Breed

I find his breed adorable. I know that sounds funny, but it’s how I think about it. I call him an All-American Mix breed. He’s definitely got some Boxer in him with the way he looks, the point on the top of his head and the way he throws those paws all around when he’s playing. Those massive paws and the way he looks when he’s sitting proud on the couch shows off his Mastiff side. And the way in which he keys in on birds during our walks makes me wonder if there is some Pointer in there somewhere. With recent warmer temps Rex’s panting has brought out a beautiful Pittie smile – a big pink tongue and all.

Dinner Manners

He is near perfect about waiting for his breakfast and dinner. He doesn’t crowd me while I’m fixing it and he’s usually sitting politely as I turn to put it down – I rarely have to tell him to sit. He watches me carefully waiting for the nod of my head as I say “okay” before he races over and wolfs it down – which of course leads to post meal burping, which is always a hoot!

Couch Cuddling

Although he’s become more confident, he’ll still curl up next to me or in my lap on the couch – sometimes to take a little nap and sometimes just to chew on a toy. I also love it when he curls up at my feet at night. He makes a great foot warmer when the temps make those weird drastic drops we’ve had lately.

Velvety Fur

He has a wonderful soft head. His skin is loose and he’s got some big jowls. Now that the fur has grown back it’s just so soft and cuddly. And then he drops those ears and gives you a look with those big soulful eyes – man, it’s hard not to give in to the boy.

Dining Room Fetch

He loves playing catch and we have great fun having our game time in the dining room. And the pink, spikey ball has been perfect as it’s got great bounce and is soft enough that it doesn’t break things when foster momma messes up her throw, which surprisingly happens more often than one might think.

How cute is this?

Floppy Ears

And it’s downright adorable the way his ears flop as he runs back to you bringing the ball. Of course it’s even funnier when that run turns into a canter as his energy lags.

Wheeee ... playing fetch in the neighbor's yard is fun!

Crate Trained

He’s learned to like his crate, at least when we’re out of the house, so when you make him up a peanut butter and banana Kong he trots right in with a nary a word. Now if we’re still in the house and have put him up for his own safety or in time-out, then he has plenty of words for us … although he’s getting better about it with each instance.

Leash Manners

Day by day he is getting better about walking nicely on a leash. He’s always done pretty well on walks, but along the way he decided that he was leader of the pack and that I needed to be protected. We’ve switched to the Halti, which has been great, and when I project confidence and leadership he is an absolute dream to walk.

Bubba Rex (a.k.a. Dexter #66007)

All in all, he’s a good dog. He’s more beautiful and magnificent with each passing day as his fur grows back and he gains weight. With proper leadership and training he’ll be a wonderful addition to someone’s family.

If you are interested, he is available for adoption through the Wake County Animal Center. For more information, or to arrange a meet and greet, email Foster Momma Suze at afureverfamily@yahoo.com. 

He’s Not Just Running – He’s Zooming

Rex is feeling more confident and comfortable every day.

He likes to chase around the dining room when we get home and after dinner. Ball chasing and boxing are two of his favorite activities. So, last weekend we asked our neighbor if he’d let us play ball with Rex in his back yard – see, we have a corner lot and I have yet to figure out how to effectively fence the yard in a cost effective manner. Well, we grabbed a tube of old tennis balls my camera and headed across the street.


Please throw it
Throw it, throw it, throw it ...

Rex had a good time chasing after the ball as Charlie threw it for him, but I especially enjoyed Rex getting a case of the zoomies. I’d heard about it and have tried to watch a few videos on different Pittie blogs. I think these stills give you a little taste, but nothing beats being there.

Rex is definitely going to need a family that will keep him busy with long walks and lots of activities. He gets to be just a little too much when he’s bored.