BarkWorld Recap

Holy cow, so much information from BarkWorld, my brain is still on overload.

Let me start by saying I was so gld to have my husband who is city savvy with me to do the driving in the city because I would have had panic attacks.

This was my second BarkWorld, so I knew what to expect, but this was the first time I’ve stayed downtown Atlanta so it was entirely new to me. The last BarkWorld I attended was in Buckhead where we found and fell in love with Zesto’s, which thankfully was about a 10 minute drive from downtown.

Atlanta seems to really love quick open fast food, as we were told by my sister-in-law to try The Varsity, so we had that on the way in, Zesto’s the next day and Henry’s Tavern as it was right across from the hotel we booked and the Loew’s where the event was.

I highly recommend all three places if you are driving there, if not definitely stop by Henry’s, they have Parmesan fries. *drools*

For those who have never been to downtown Atlanta, it is pricey to park there during the day and overnight, we paid $20/night to park. The valet parking at our hotel was $25.

Let’s get to the conference portion of it, Thursday night was a premiere party for Lucky Puppy which is a quarterly magazine by Dogster.

Friday was the first official day of the conference and the keynote speaker was Gus Kenworthy, if you’re not familiar with the name you may be familiar with the term “Sochi Dogs” from the winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia. He and his partner rescued 5 of them, unfortunately 1 of them passed while being held by the Russian government, but the rest of them are alive and happy.

Katie Capteron the Editor in Chief of HLN/CNN Digital spoke on Saturday touching on the top 10 viral animal stories, one of which was the two dogs hugging hours before being euthanized. This led to an outpouring of support and the rescue that got them, Angels Among Us was in attendance. She touched on several other stories, such as the dog whose mouth was taped shut, the vet tech who shot the feral cat with a bow & arrow, the two dogs rescued from underneath the I-5 bridge in California by Hope for Paws (who was also in attendance)  and of course the #1 story which was Cecil the Lion.

She had the room crying at the injustice, clapping at those that were rescued and reminding us that if we see something online we need to post it, state how we feel and share.

My favorite keynote speaker was Shorty Rossi from Animal Planet’s PitBoss. He warned everyone that we may laugh, cry or not like what he has to say at the beginning of his speech. He went into his background – how he was mistreated, how he got into trouble with the law, found that his love for animals helped him cope and when he got out he knew he didn’t want to go back to doing bad, he wanted to make a difference.

It was then that he found his first pit bull. In trying to get a tv show about his production company he was approached about doing a show about his pit bulls. It was there he found the platform and audience to make a difference in these wonderful dogs lives.

He encouraged everyone to educate themselves on these “bull breeds”, giving the group some surprising statistics such as: Golden Retrievers are the most likely breed to bite, 1 out of 600 pit bulls in shelters get adopted, support the rescue groups that support the dogs and most importantly you can’t change everyone’s mind but if you can change one person’s mind, then it’s worth it.

One of the questions he got from the group was how does he handle negativity on his page, his answer was simple: the first negative post, he deletes it, next negative post he deletes and blocks the user.

He stressed not to judge a breed by one dog and to use social media to make a difference.


These were the big names of some of the speakers, there were other speakers teaching how to use Periscope, SEO and more.


I did my first Periscope with Trista Polo from According to Bella after welcoming her to BarkWorld as it was her first time there and explaining some of the things to expect and look forward to.

Then I got a chance to be interviewed by Lisa Illman. I was petrified, but the chance to talk about my passion helped ease my nervousness, a little bit.

I was lucky enough to speak with Isabella Maso the owner of Isabella’s Pet Shop. She’s 10 and making bowties and flowers to help benefit shelter pets. I couldn’t resist them and picked up two for the furry children.

I spoke to the owner of SleekEz,, Tomlyn, Vetericyn, PetPages, Smitten,, Lindsi Jones of Lindsi Jones Photography who volunteers at a cat rescue not too far from my hometown, I met bloggers who were just starting, pet sitters, artists, etc.

BarkWorld was a wonderful experience and they have already announced the dates for next years – October 13-15th at the Loews in Atlanta, GA.

So if you get a chance to go, if you have an Instagram, Periscope, Facebook, blog, Etsy page, a pet related business or blog, go.

It is a whirlwind of information, but you will make friends with the 4-legged and 2-legged alike.


I will be doing reviews, interviews and trying my hand at periscoping.. I did download the app and I apologize in advance as I’m not a fan of being in front of the camera, but rather behind it.



Extra Love Needed: Meet Rufus the Cancer Pitty


Rufus the Cancer Pitty grew his angel wings and went to the Rainbow Bridge on 10/7/2013.
Fly free Rufus. Please know you will always be loved.

This article is dedicated to his memory.


 How old are you Rufus?

I just turned 12 years old on da 28th of December.

Where did your name come from?

A friend of my Mommys said I lookies likes a Rufus and Mommy instantly lubbed da name.

How did you come into your mom’s life?

A friend of one of Mommy’s friends saids dem knews of a pitty puppy dat someone was lookins to get rid of and Mommy was finkins of gettins a pup and thoughts her would go and checkies mees out. Da couple hads mees only 1 week and I was only 6 weeks old when Mommy first saws mees. I guess da finance of da lady bought mees for her, but her didn’t wants a Pitty. Mommy wents to sees mees and sat on da floor and I walked obers to hers and crawled up in hers lap and lied down. Mommy saids awwwwwww, saids I was too cutes and hers neber eber gots a doggy from anywhere but da pound but hers fell in lub wif mees and felts so bad dat someones didn’t wants mees and I was taken aways from mees mommy and littermates way too early, so hers tookes mees home.

Was it a routine vet visit where you ended up getting diagnosed with cancer?

No da visit was an emergencys. I lubs food berry muchies and I eats anyfings and eberyfings. Mommy says I am just likes Scooby Doos and finkins of foods 24/7. On a Sunday night I didn’t eats mees dinner and Mommy knews somefins was not rights. Next Mornins I didn’t eats mees breakfasties so Mommy called da Vet and gots mees an appointment da next day. I wents in and gots lots of tests and had to waits for da results. A day or two laters da results saids mees Kidneys was failins. Da vet saids 75% of mees kidneys was failins and I needed to gets to da hospitals to be puts on IV fluids. Mommy rushed mees to da hospitals and I had to stays a few days and dems rans bunchies of tests and Ultrasound and founds out I hads da cancers. Dere was lessions in mees spleen in da ultrasounds and now dems said its worse and wants to removes its, but Mommy doesn’t wants to puts mees fru anymore surgeries cause I had a back surgery too a couple monfs afters I got da cancers.

What medications/treatment do you need on a daily basis?

I takes chemotherapy pills 4 days a week, Prednisone 3 days a week, IV Fluids at homes 3 days a week, 1 Blood Pressures pill twice a day and beens takins an appetite stimulant pill too cause I hasn’t beens eatins too well for about 2 monfs. I has antacids, anti-nausea and diarrhea pills too whens I needs dems.

Do you have any other furry pets you live with?

I as mees sissy Sienna. Hers 5 years old. I did has 2 kittys too, Jake and Shebee but dems has gone to da rainbows.

Are you allowed to interact with other animals?

Mommy tries to keeps mees away from most ofer animals cause mees immune systems is berry low and I can gets sick berry easy, but I sees ofer doggys at da hospital whens I go for mees tests and I lubs of doggys. I ebens plays wif mees cousins doggy at Tanksgivins and Kissmas. I lubs doggys so muchies Mommy saids I has to bees able to says hi sometimes when wees sees a doggy, but her doesn’t takies really takies mees to parks or anyfings cause of all da doggys.

Is there anything you would like to share about your type of cancer?

I knows mees cancer is not commons. Its in mees bone barrow in da blood cells. I finkies dems calls it blood cancers. Its berry nastys. It can causes internal bleedins, mees bones can breaks easy. Whens Mommy reads about it, her saw Bone pains, beins tired, weight loss, kidney problems, confusion, excessive thirst and bunchies of fings so her stopped readins about its cause hers got berry scared. Da Doctor saids to watchies for bloods in mees poo (sworries) cause internal bleedins, so mommy checkies for dat all da time. Da Doctor did says and Mommy reads it too, da most times I can gets is 2 years and I hads its 11 monfs now. I doesn’t do well wif higher doses of da chemo so it might bees dat if we keeps increasins da doses that might bees what makes da decisions for mees.

What advice does you mom have for others who have pets that have been diagnosed with cancer?

Hers said da first fing, gets insurance on yous doggys, dems say 44% of doggys die from Cancers. Hers said, just lubs yous doggys and gets someones you can talkies wif cause it will drag yous down and makies yous so sad and yous doggy can senses dat. Talkies wif peoples helps and all yous can does it makes sure yous doggy is comfy and just gibes dems whatevers dem wants as if their life is short why worry about da lil fings like too many tweaties or weight, just gibes dems da best life possibles.

Do you know of any monetary assistance to help with medications or support groups?

Wees don’t know of any, mommy used hers savins and 2 credit cards to takies care of mees, which is why hers says gets insurance. It’s berry hard and stressfuls tryins to figures out how to pay for everyfings but Mommy said her has hers whole life to pays off da debt but only has mees for a short times.

Is there anything else you would like to share?

I finkies gettins da cancers is da most hear breakins fings for anyone to hears and knows it not always means we can lives wif its and fights and some cancers yous can beats. I wishies I had da kinds yous can beats but I just takies its day by day and if I eats and is happy den I hads a great day. Don’t finkies about tomorrow, just enjoy da current day. No one knows what tomorrow holds for anyones so if yous just enjoys its day by day, it doesn’t seems as bad. Whens I has a good day, Mommy is just so happy and den wees starts ober da next day and dats all yous can does. But you needs supports for yous emotional feelins and Mommy and mees is so lucky to has somes of da best support in da world by mees havins mees facebutts pagies and all da lub and support wees get has helped us so muchies.


Dis not a good picture and yous can use which ones yous wants. Dis mees when Mommy got mees


Dis is mees back surgery in march of dis year, I was diagnosed wif da cancers in Jan.

(rufus 3)


Da last ones is mees in da hosptial beins skinny back in Jan when I gots diagnosed, only 56 pounds and mees normals was 68 pounds. I gots to 77 pounds but finkies I lost some of dat in da last 2 monfs

Multiple Myeloma (Blood cell Cancer)

Author’s Note: I would like to thank Rufus and his mom for letting me interview them and sharing his story as well as pictures. Pictures were used with permission. You can find him on facebook and check out the fund raising page and here’s another article on Rufus from Chase Away K9 Cancer

This is a post is linked with other articles and pages about pets that need extra love.

Click on the badge to find more pets that need extra love.


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Meet Isis the Head of the itty bitty pittie committee

Meet Isis the Head of the Itty Bitty Pittie Committee

Author’s Note: Miss Isis was kind enough to answer with the help of her mom, but I took the liberty of translating so it’s easier to understand for those that don’t know how to read dog. 🙂 

Who is Isis?

Miss Isis is a pittie (pit bull)

How old are you ?

i iz 1 1/2 years old

I am 1 1/2 years old.

Where did the name Isis come from?

I came wit da name Isis BUT it iz da name of an egyptian goddess. mama used to play Dungens and Dragons and dat waz always da name of her character.

I came with the name Isis, but it is the name of an Egyptian Goddess. My mom used to play Dungeons and Dragons and that was always the name of her character. 

Isis and Onyx

How did you come into your mom’s life?

when mama saw my pic fur da furst time she knew she needed me, den when she saw my name herz knew it waz fate.

When my mom saw my picture for the first time she knew she needed me, and then when she saw my name she knew it was fate. 

Why are you the head of the itty bitty pittie committee and when you did become the head of it?

i became the head of the Itty Bitty Pittie Committee because everypawdy always remarked about how small i was fur a pibble, den my fwiend wilson potter was running fur prezident and asked me if i would head da small pibble committee

I became the head of the Itty Bitty Pitte Committee because everyone always remarked about how small I was for a pibble (pit bull), then when my friend Wilson Potter was running for president he asked me if I would head the small pibble (pit bull) committee.

What would you like to say to people who are afraid of pitties?

i tell people dat iz afaid of pitties to just remember we iz just dogs despite how da media portrys us.

I would tell people that are afraid of pitties to just remember we are just dogs, despite how the media portrays us.

What would you like people to know about BSL?

i wood like to tell people dat BSL doesn’t work. it duz knot take into account who is at da other end of the leash. da dog iz juss a means to an end fur dem. you ban one breed dey will juss start wit anudder breed. make da hoomins accountable fur dere actions and maybe we will see a difference!!

I would like to tell people that BSL (Breed Specific Legislation) doesn’t work. It does not take into account who is at the other end of the leash. The dog is just a means to an end for them. You ban one breed they will just start with another breed. Make the humans accountable for their actions and maybe we will see a difference!

How did your mom get involved with pitties?

mama alwayz liked pit bullz but herz neber realized how bad it waz till she found da pet pages on FB. herz wanted to help by fostering. she got refered to “Its a Pittie” and da rest az dey say iz history.

My mom always liked pit bulls but she never realized how bad it was until she found the pet pages on FB (facebook). She wanted to help by fostering and she was referred to “It’s a Pittie” and the rest as they say is history.

Do you have siblings that you live with?

i live with my mama and 2 sissy’s Bella Mia is a 7 yr old husky/dalmation mix and Onyx is a 2 1/2 yr old black lab. we all gitz along gweat but Onyx iz my true best fwiend we iz alwayz together.

I live with my mom and 2 sisters; Bella Mia who is a 7 year old husky/dalmatian mix and Onyx who is a 2 1/2 year old black lab. We all get along great. Onyx is my true best friend, we are always together.

Where can people send you fan mail?

people can write to me at Isis Faith 215 David Drive Streamwood IL 60107
Is there a website where people can petition to join you in ending BSL?

dere are lotz of petitions out dere fur ending BSL but da best ting to do iz write to youz elected officialz and let them nose you tink it iz wrong.

There are lots of petitions out there for ending BSL but the best thing to do is write your elected officials and let them know you think it is wrong. 

Anything else you would like to add?

oh….i haz earned my CGC am going to start therapy dog training next month and i iz mamas Emotional Support dog and I keep herz frum suffering from panic attacks(i juss nose when herz iz going to haz one and can keep herz calm)

Oh, I have earned by CGC and I am going to start therapy dog training next month. I am my mom’s Emotional Support dog as I keep her from suffering from panic attacks ( I just know when she is going to have one and keep her calm).

it’s a pittie in peotone IL (my rescue) we iz agaist BSL we worked really hard to save Lennox and Wicca to name a few. also puppy mills. we believe in “don’t shop adopt” and “don’t breed or buy while others die” oh and it is ok fur dogs to wear dresses. i love to wear my dresses when i go out becuse it makes people smile and dat make me and mama feel gud.

We are against BSL, we worked really hard to save Lennox and Wicca to name a few. We believe in “Don’t Shop, Adopt” and “Don’t Breed while others Die” and it’s okay for dogs to wear dresses. I love to wear my dresses when I go out because it makes people smile and that makes mom and I feel good. 

What would you like to say to people who have a problem with you wearing dresses?

i wuv wearing my dresses. when mama gitz one out my butt starts to wiggle un uncontrollably. most people dat see me want to come say hi den dey ask what kinda dog i iz and juss about all of dem iz shocked when mama sayz pit bull. mama den uses dat az an excuse to tell people about da REAL personality of a pit bull. and even da onez dat duz knot approch mama most of dem smile when dey see me and dat gives me and mama da warm fuzziez. we iz berry anti bullying on my page or any page. mama was picked on horribly when herz waz a kid and it juss makes her angry.

And I canz respect dat knot all peoplez iz gunna agree wit us…..datz what makes da world go round…..if you knot like dogs in clothes juss don’t come to my page. But don’t come to my page and say mean tings or make fun of us. I knot understand wht dey knot understand dat

I love wearing my dresses. When mama gets one out my butt starts to wiggle uncontrollably. Most people that see me want to come say hi. They they ask what kind of dog I am and most of them are shocked when mama says I’m a pit bull. Mama then uses that as an excuse to tell people about the REAL personality of a pit bull. Even the ones that don’t approach mama smile when they see me and it gives mama and I warm fuzzies. We are anti-bulling on my page or any page. Mama was picked on horribly when she was a kid and it just makes her angry. 

I can respect that not all people are going to agree with us, that’s what makes the world go round, but if you don’t like dogs in clothes just don’t come to my page. But don’t come to my page and say mean things or make fun of us. I don’t understand  why they do that. 

Morgan her facebook brother and supporter would like to add these words:

Well, here’s my opinion on da wittle pibble girl who rocks in dresses, otherwise known as Isis! It iz so important fur us to be ambassadors fur our breed. I always talk about it starts with one….one mind changed, one  perception erased. What better way to start a conversation about all da positive qualities of da Pit Bull den with a bootiful doggie in an adorabull wittle outfit! Isis has her CGC and iz a medical alert doggie fur her mommy. I bet most hoomans would have no idea dat Pit Bulls could be certified as Canine Good Citizens or assistance doggies. Imagine da possibilities of da conversation dat  starts about a dress! One mind changed, one perception erased!

I say dare to be different, dare to stand out in a crowd. You neber know where it might lead!

Well, here’s my opinion on the little pibble girl who rocks in dresses, otherwise know as Isis: It is so important for us to be ambassadors for our breed. I always talk about how it starts with one, one mind changed, one perception erased.  What better way to start a conversation about all the positive qualities of the pit bull then with a beautiful dog in an adorable little outfit!Isis has her CGC (Canine Good Citizen) and is a medical alert dog for her mommy. I bet most humans would have no idea that pit bulls could be certified as Canine Good Citizens or assistance dogs. Imagine the possibilities of the conversation that starts about a dress!One mind changed, one perception erased!

I say dare to be different, dare to stand out in a crowd. You never know where it might lead!

Links:  – Isis’ Facebook page – Rescue a Pittie

Author’s Note:
I would like to than Isis and her mom for letting me interview them. Photos were used with permission. 

Meet Gracie the Pittie

Meet Gracie the Pittie

Who is Gracie?

She is a dog, a pit bull mix.

Where did the name Gracie come from?

Actually, the rescue chose her name. Since it was probably the only name she’d ever been given, we kept it. She had gotten to know her name as “Gracie” and it really seemed to fit her.

Is Gracie a full pit bull or is she mixed with another breed?

Gracie is likely a pittie mix. No idea if she’s a full pit bull, but she sure is adorable!

How did Gracie come into your life?

Gracie was called in to Animal Control as a dead dog on the side of the road. When Animal Control showed up, they found her very much alive, but unable to stand on her own. She was taken to BARC in Houston. Her intake photo made its way to Treat ‘Em Right Rescue & they sent out a plea for an immediate foster, as she was set to be euthanized within the hour. Her picture tore at my heart & I emailed to see about fostering her. Every bone was showing, hardly any fur… We are currently undergoing heartworm treatment right now. She weighed 31 lbs at intake. Less than a year later, she currently weighs 76 lbs!

Does Gracie have any training?

Gracie has not been formally trained. Luckily, her rescue group offers basic training with with CGCC at the end of the 6 week course. We plan on signing her up.

Does she have other furry siblings, if so how do they get along?

She has 2 sisters that are both Dachshunds. Gracie is bossed around by our mini Dachshund. Overall, they all get along very well with each other. They snuggle together on the couch.

How is she with people?

Gracie LOVES people! If we are walking and we pass someone who doesn’t stop to acknowledge her, she will stop and stare, almost willing them to turn around and pet her. She loves the dog park; she loves meeting other dogs.

When did you get involved with animals ?

I grew up with dogs and cats, so I’ve always had a love for animals. I honestly had never been around a pit bull before Gracie. We had our Dachshunds and that was it. Gracie totally changed our perceptions. Not just mine and my husbands; but both of our families and friends.

What research would you recommend someone to do who is looking to adopt a pit bull from a shelter?

If someone is looking to adopt a pit bull, do the research. Make sure that if you live in an apartment, that they are ok with it. You don’t need a large yard, but you need to be mindful that any dog regardless of breed and size need space to run & to play. Training is also important. Many that own pit bull  try to be great examples of responsible owners and ambassadors of the breed. Treat ‘Em Right Rescue in Houston loves volunteers! (

Almost any and all rescue groups appreciate any aspect of volunteering. From adoption events, fundraisers, helping walk the dogs, cross-posting information… If you fall in love with a pit bull online, meet your love first. Sometimes, it may not be a match. Keep looking. There’s a pit bull out there for everyone.


Anything else you would like to share about Gracie?

Gracie was also fostered by Kathy Smith & her awesome family. Treat ‘Em Right Rescue is amazing. We are truly lucky that everyone stepped up to save her. She’s wonderful!

What are your thoughts on BSL and why do you believe it should end and what would you say to those who are scared of pit bulls?

Pit Bulls are not evil, bad dogs. Quite the opposite! BSL serves to only punish innocent animals, rather than dealing with irresponsible owners. If someone is scared of pit bulls, try volunteering with a local pit bull rescue. They deserve a chance, home, love… They just may change your mind.

What is BSL ?

Breed-specific legislation (BSL) is a law that bans OR restricts certain types of dogs based on their appearance, usually because they are perceived as “dangerous” breeds or types of dogs.

**It is a common misconception that BSL refers only to breed bans. BSL is seen in two forms: bans and restrictions.**

(Taken from

What dog breeds are affected by BSL?

  • American Pit Bull Terrier (Note: Laws dealing with “pit bulls” also state any mix of the 3 breeds AND the MOST important line, anything that has the characteristics or appearance of these breeds. There are 20+ breeds that are commonly mistakenly identified as “pit bull” dogs. ) (Denver, CO)
  • American Staffordshire Terrier (Note: Laws dealing with “pit bulls” also state any mix of the 3 breeds AND the MOST important line, anything that has the characteristics or appearance of these breeds. There are 20+ breeds that are commonly mistakenly identified as “pit bull” dogs. ) (Denver, CO)
  • Staffordshire Bull Terrier (Note: Laws dealing with “pit bulls” also state any mix of the 3 breeds AND the MOST important line, anything that has the characteristics or appearance of these breeds. There are 20+ breeds that are commonly mistakenly identified as “pit bull” dogs. ) (Denver, CO)
  • Rottweiler
  • Doberman Pincher (Fairfield, IA) (Sisston, SD), (Westfield, IL), (Travelers Rest, SC)
  • Shar Pei’s (Smithfield, UT)
  • German Shepard (Fairfield, IA)
  • Belgian Malanois (Fairfield, IA)
  • Siberian Huskies (Fairfield, IA)
  • Alaskan Malamutes (Fairfield, IA)
  • Great Danes (Fairfield, IA)
  • Irish Wolf Hounds (Fairfield, IA)
  • Scottish Deerhounds (Fairfield, IA)
  • Mastiffs (Fairfield, IA)
  • Boerboels (Fairfield, IA)
  • American Bull Dog (Other dogs in excess of 100 lbs – Fairfield, IA), (North Little Rock, AR)
  • Akita (Ulyssas, KS)
  • Chow Chow (Travelers Rest, SC), (New Port, RI)
  • English Mastiffs, (Yale, IA)
  • Tosa Inu (Aurora, CO)
  • Presa Canario (Aurora, CO)
  • Dogo Argentino (Aurora, CO)
  • Cane Corso (Aurora, CO)
  • American Bulldog (Aurora, CO / North Little Rock, AR)
  • Bull Terrier (Grandview, MO – Akron, OH, Arkansas City, KS)
  • American Bull Dog, (North Little Rock, AR)
  • Presa Canario (Lanett, AL, Arkansas city, KS)
  • Wolf Hybrid (Huntington WV)
  • Canary Dog ( Akron, OH)
  • Perro De Presa (Akron, OH)
  • Old Country Bull Dog (Akron, OH)
  • Bull Mastiff (Arkansas City, KS)
  • Alapaha Blue Blood Bulldog (Arkansas City, KS)
  • Perro De Presa Mallorquin (Malheur County, OR)
  • Fila Brasileiro aka Brazilian mastiff (Malheur County, OR)
  • Neopolitian Mastiff (Fort Knox Army Base,KY)

NOTE: These are breeds that are typically over 100lbs. If your dog is less than 100lbs than they are safe in Fairfield.

  • Bull Mastiff (Other dogs in excess of 100 lbs – Fairfield, IA)
  • Neopolitian Mastiff (Other dogs in excess of 100 lbs – Fairfield, IA)
  • Tibetan Mastiff (Other dogs in excess of 100 lbs – Fairfield, IA)
  • New Foundland (Other dogs in excess of 100 lbs – Fairfield, IA)
  • Anatolian Shepherd (Other dogs in excess of 100 lbs – Fairfield, IA)
  • Greater Swiss Mountain Dog (Other dogs in excess of 100 lbs – Fairfield, IA)
  • Great Pyrenees (Other dogs in excess of 100 lbs – Fairfield, IA)
  • Komondor (Other dogs in excess of 100 lbs – Fairfield, IA)
  • Kuvaz (Other dogs in excess of 100 lbs – Fairfield, IA)
  • St. Bernard (Other dogs in excess of 100 lbs – Fairfield, IA)
  • Tosa Inu (Other dogs in excess of 100 lbs – Fairfield, IA)
  • Dogo Argentino (Other dogs in excess of 100 lbs – Fairfield, IA)
  • Cane Corso (Other dogs in excess of 100 lbs – Fairfield, IA)
  • Fila Brasileiro (Other dogs in excess of 100 lbs – Fairfield, IA)
  • Spanish Mastiff (Other dogs in excess of 100 lbs – Fairfield, IA)
  • Italian Mastiff (Other dogs in excess of 100 lbs – Fairfield, IA)
  • Dogue De Bordeauxs (Other dogs in excess of 100 lbs – Fairfield, IA)
  • Alapaha Blue Blood Bulldog (Other dogs in excess of 100 lbs – Fairfield, IA)
  • Akbash (Other dogs in excess of 100 lbs – Fairfield, IA)
  • Leonberger (Other dogs in excess of 100 lbs – Fairfield, IA)

(taken from

That’s a lot of dog breeds, but why is BSL bad?

Breed specific ordinances are quick fixes and not a sufficient long term solution for the following reasons:

1. Dog problems are generally problems with owner responsibility and are not limited to breeds. When breeds are singled out as dangerous or vicious, responsibility is removed from the dog owner which is where it belongs. Irresponsible people are also less likely to follow the law – and as a result, everyone has to suffer.

2. By limiting the ability of citizens to own certain breeds, responsible law abiding citizens will shy away from those breeds. These are the types of owners that communities need to encourage, not drive away.

3. Communities that have instituted such bans often find that the irresponsible owners and the criminals who use dogs for illegal purposes simply switch to another breed.

4. Breeds and mixes are hard to identify and often dogs are mis labeled and destroyed based on paranoia and prejudice and also punishes those that are good canine citizens. Many breeds function as assistance dogs for handicapped owners, search and rescue dogs, drug-sniffing dogs, police dogs, etc. and drives them out of the community.

The American Veterinary Medical Association and several state veterinary medical associations oppose breed-specific legislation for just this reason.

5. The dog most restricted is the “pit bull.” A pit bull is a type of dog, not a recognized breed. See the breed information page for more detail.

6. Passage of laws that are only enforced through complaints cause two problems: 1) they create disrespect for the law if authorities require compliance only upon complaint, and 2) they provide ammunition for neighborhood feuds.

(taken from

More reasons why BSL is bad:

  • BSL does not improve public safety or prevent dog bites .
  • BSL ignores the plight of victims and potential victims of non-targeted breeds.
  • BSL is costly .
  • BSL requires each and every dog to be identified as a breed —something that has proven impossible to do accurately and objectively.
  • BSL makes targeted breeds more desirable to irresponsible and criminal owners .
  • BSL does nothing to make irresponsible dog owners accountable .
  • BSL punishes responsible dog owners .
  • Not a single canine welfare organization supports BSL.

(taken from

Lennox was a victim of BSL.

Despite his owners stating that he was not a pit bull nor related to a pit bull,  he was taken from his family in 2010 for simply looking like a pit bull and was subsequently killed because of BSL.

Here are links related to Lennox:

Further Pit Bull Related Reading : – a website dedicated to undoing the public perception of pit bulls – Two Pitties in the city – a Website, Blog & Facebook about two  adopted pit bulls and their life in Chicago – a book

Here are some links to petitions related to BSL and pit bulls:

This is to get a pit bull named Piggy released in California (she did not attack anyone, just scared a jogger) –

This is to end the discrimination of pit bulls

This is to save Dre a pit bull who escaped his guardian’s house thanks to a kid-


To the loving memory of Lennox and other pit bulls that have been wrongfully killed thanks to BSL.

Author’s Note:
The author would like to thank Gracie & her guardian for answering my questions as I was writing this article and for providing me with lots and lots of links about BSL, petitions and educating me further about pit bulls. Photos were used with permission. 
On a more personal note,  for those that don’t know, as a child I was petrified of dogs, little ones, big ones, medium ones, didn’t matter. I was able to get over my fear thanks to some wonderful dog owner friends of mine. Not only do I love dogs, but I’ve had the chance of being the guardian to several, I currently have cats now as I don’t have the yard for a dog, but I am a strong believer in educating people it’s not the animals that are a problem, it’s the owners. 
This article is a part of the Pittie Love Theme, please click on the badge for more pittie interviews and information.

Meet Duke Lloyd

Meet Duke Lloyd

Who is Duke?

Duke is a dog. To be specific he is a Pit/Lab/Mastiff mix.

How old is Duke now?

Duke will be 2 on November 1st

How did he come to be with you?

Duke was under a year we got him October 28 2011

What was the situation he was in?

Duke was under weight at weighing in at 58 pounds, he was loaded with fleas, had many ticks, and all kinds of worms and other parasites. You could see the points of his hips and count every rib going down his side. He has a scar around his mouth at the end of his nose from a muzzle, scars on his leg and various places on his body. His nails were over grown so that he was walking on his nails and the pad of his feet not his toes. The tendons in his hips were flipped over themselves from being in a crate for long periods of time without being able to exercise (In order for this to happen we are talking about at least 20 hours a day in a crate that is too small for him). His testicles were so infected that they there 3 times their normal size. He is scars around his neck because they didn’t have a collar on Duke they used a heavy chain that was too tight around his neck (It looked like a chain that you would use to chain a gate close).

What kind of care did he undergo when you became his guardian?

Duke went through the normal vetting when we first got him, then he had to be treated for fleas, ticks, worms, and the bugs he had. He never had a single vaccination in his life so he had to have them all, he was micro-chipped, he had to be neutered (not only because it is the right thing to do, but to treat his infection), he was put on special shampoos, his stomach was a little outta sorts because he wasnt fed like he should have been so he was put on Kaopectolin to stop him from being sick and throwing up while we were trying to find food that he could and would eat. Duke was also put on a special vet only diet for a litte while. Then on Feb. 3rd 2012 we found out he had allergies on top of everything. He is allergic to mold, dust-mites, and storage-mites. Which he is still being treated for.

The therapy for his hips is just play play they will straighten out by themselves and so far he has done AMAZING with that. They are almost turned back 100% around so he can lift his rear legs now.

Duke went to obedience classes and got his Canine Good Citizen award through Out of the Pits, INC. in Albany, NY. He also went to see a behaviorist in Albany called Empire K9s with an ex Marine.

Dukes first dog on dog experience was the night we picked him up. I took him to a friend’s house that had a 250 pound St. Bernard. He also was around other dogs at Empire K9s and the 2 other dogs we have at home. Plus I try to take him everywhere I can with me.

Where did the name Duke come from?

Duke got his name because I thought he looked like Marmaduke and my fiance didn’t like the name so we just went with Duke.

Does Duke have any siblings?

Duke lives with 2 other dogs. A husky who is a shelter rescue about 10 years old, a 2 year old mutt, and 7 cats all ranging in ages.

Are there any plans for Duke?

Duke is just being Duke , but I am hoping that once he is older and has calmed down A LOT being he is so hyper because he is finally being able to be THE DOG that I can start him in therapy dog classes so everyone can see what a great dog he is and he can go everywhere with me.

How is he doing now?

Duke is doing awesome! He has come so far in such a little time. His hips are almost healed and he has become a well-behaved socialized dog. The only ill effects from his former home that we are dealing with is still his allergies and in June he become ill with an infection which was treated and he is back to normal happy Duke.

Where can people go to keep up on Duke and what he’s up to?

He has a facebook page filled with pictures and his adventures:

Were you always a dog lover and/or animal lover?

I have always had animals, dogs, cats, rabbits, chinchillas, gerbils, guinea pigs, fish, turtles, and frogs, When I was little we had White German Shepherds. We have had many purebreds and many mutts.

What is the one thing you wish people would know about pit bulls?

Duke is our first Pit Bull even through he is a mix, but my mom is terrified of Pits because of all the hype they get in the media. I use to work at an animal shelter the ones that always took me was the Pit Bulls. They were the first ones I went to. With Duke he showed just how loving they really can be if they are brought up right. Its NOT the dog that is mean it is how they are raised and treated. Duke is the most loving dog. He really loves kids and will even take his time for them to come to him and he will do everything in his power to look cute so people will play with him.


This post is dedicated to the loving memory of Lennox, the dog who was taken from his family and brutally murdered in  Belfast northern Ireland simply for the fact that he “looked” like a pit bull and according to their laws had to be put down.

To read more about Lennox and his story please see the following articles:

Be somebody!

For the many who are outraged by the killing of Lennox, Duke’s guardian and many many others encourage people to get involved with their local animal shelters and prevent the killing and/or banning of dogs across the world and in many cities in the U.S. Please take a moment to look at the petition that is asking to change the law that killed Lennox as well as the facebook dedicated to the updates on changes made.

For those interested here is a list of U.S. states that have breed specific laws (BSL) (bans on specific dog breeds), there is an international list at the bottom of the page as well for those outside of the U.S.

Author’s Notes:

I wanted to thank Duke and his guardian Kryssy for answering my questions and letting me Duke’s story. It was a pleasure doing the interview and learning about Duke and how love and kindness can really make a world of difference to an abused animal. 
This article is a part of the Pittie Love Theme, please click on the badge for more pittie interviews and information.

Cynophobia (abnormal fear of dogs)

What is Cynophobia?

Noun 1. cynophobia – a morbid fear of dogs

(taken from

I wanted to share my experience as someone who had it and how I overcame it .. along with some useful tips on overcoming the fear and general tips on approaching strange dogs.

When someone said dog.. this is what I pictured.

some snarling rabies infected animal foaming at the mouth trying to bite me and maim me to bits & pieces.

I was petrified of dogs.

I would look the other way as I had heard dogs can sense fear and will go running after you if you try to run away.

I would walk on the other side of the side walk.

I was simply pee in my pants petrified of dogs.

It all changed years ago on a walk with my mom in Germany a man had a German Shepard on a leash on the same side of the sidewalk. I tried my best to make myself small and I am pretty sure they both could sense how uncomfortable I was being so close to the dog.

He stopped and asked me if I would like to feed the dog a treat.

I shied away at first.

The guy insisted saying the dog was gentle and would not hurt and I caved.

He handed me a treat for the dog and I held it up just above the dog’s nose so he could sniff it.

The dog opened it’s mouth slightly.. I saw teeth and wanted to run away and the dog gently pulled the treat out of my mittened hand.

Now fast forward to me being in my 20s and having a roommate whose family lives on a small farm and has australian cattle dogs (blue tick heelers or austrialian heelers) and I end up having to confront my fears with her as well as her sister a half heeler who was extremely sweet.

and meeting a true blooded rottwieler and giving him the gift of an empty cardboard box (per his owner’s request) watching him tear that thing to pieces was frightening but he adored me because he got a box.

I’ve had dogs since then… met a few more and have grown to love and adore dogs and puppies alike. Especially puppy breath and their cute whining as they are practicing how to growl, bark and howl.

The way I got over my fear may not be the way everyone else can get over their fear, so here’s some help for those who are still petrified of dogs.
How To Overcome Fear Of Dogs

  • Dogs are lovable animals and loyal to their masters. They can have a fierce side but remember that they attack only when provoked.
  • To get rid of your fear, you have to be sensitive, knowledgeable, positive, careful, and responsible towards the animal.
  • Find out why you are scared of dogs. Remind yourself that dogs are the best friends of man, and repeat this in your mind every day.
  • Visit your local dog park. Watch the dogs and their activities from a distance for at least a few minutes. Do this activity for about a month.
  • Try to befriend a dog. You don’t have to hug or touch them instantly. A slow gradual process will help you. Choose a dog that you are familiar with like a friends pet or one that a family member owns.
  • You can watch a film on dogs, or look for cute pictures and images of puppies or dogs cuddling with humans, and indulging in playful activities. It really can have a positive impact on you, and your approach towards the dogs.
  • There are some people who like dogs but are afraid to touch or go near them. If you like dogs but the fear puts a barrier between you and the dog then you should collect information on dogs, and you will be surprised to learn a lot of positive qualities about them. Try to understand the nature, and behavior of the dogs, and you will learn to admire them.
  • Do not harbor any wrong impression about the size or the appearance of the dog. Dogs like Labrador may be large in size but they are one of the gentlest creatures. On the other hand, a Pekinese which is smaller in size can be very aggressive.
  • Start playing with puppies. They are harmless, small, with no sharp teeth, no growling, and no snarling. You will be surprised to find those puppies recognizing you within a few days of your friendship.

(Taken from

I have learned since then to appreciate the companionship a dog brings and have been a strong advocate of leash laws (Florida has a statue for it and occasionally you will see the sign posted about it).

For those that actually want to read the Florida statues that cover dog bite and dangerous dogs.. (just a fair warning the summary at the beginning is better than the lawyerize actual statues)

I do believe that either people who are walking their dogs do the following:

1 -they forget that not everyone shares their doggy loving enthusiasm (example people who are scare of dogs or just don’t like them int their yards)

2-they are too lazy to put their dog on leash

Please dog lovers & dog parents remember that though your dog is your loving companion it may be someone’s worst nightmare to come up on the street with you and your unleashed dog.

Or if your dog decides to run into the street with a leash and a car comes by, it’s a driver’s worst nightmare to be the one that hits that dog.

Please please be a responsible dog owner and get your dog on a leash. It’s a lot safer for them and for you. I’ve lost a dog to a vehicle before, not for being on a leash but because she escaped her kennel. Not a fun thing to have to go through and I would never wish that on anyone. I certainly don’t want to be the one to hit someone’s dog or cat either.

I have also learned that some dogs just get a bad rap due to the media and well.. mainly the media.

Take pit bulls for instance:

Yes they are mainly the ones used for dog fighting (which is cruel treatment of an animal) and they are often the ones who are mentioned in attacks against people, but they are not all bad dogs.

Some of them are big sissies and will pee themselves if a stranger approaches.

Rottweilers also have a bad reputation for attacking people along with Akitas, German Shepards and other big dogs.

So before getting a dog check to make sure where you live doesn’t have a ban on a specific breed.

Home owner’s associations, landlords, rental management companies and even the US Army.. it’s best to ask first and there are some states and certain areas that have bans on certain breeds period.

Check out a general  list of what breeds are banned in the United States by State and locality here:

In looking at the list the pit bull comes up a lot, it’s actually the most banned dog breed.


Mainly because of overpopulation and a few bad owners that use them for fighting, dogs need exercise and stimulation. Like children they need to have something to do or they will go a bit crazy and start chewing on furniture and ripping through things. Before getting a dog here are some things to consider.

There are four important things ( T-I-M-E ) to consider before you decide to get a dog home.

1 ) Time Commitment

2 ) Iintention and reason of getting a dog

3 ) Money; financial Commitment

4 ) Enviroment

TIME COMMITMENT :-Getting a dog is exciting but owing a dog is a long-term commitment as most dogs have a life-span of 8 to 16 years. So before you take the plunge, ask yourself if you have enough time in bringing up and training your dog. You will need to devote a lot of time and patience day by day, 7 days a week commitment. Will your lifestyle accommodate your dog? Do you always have busy schedule or travelling very frequent? More time and medical attention will be needed especially when your dog is older, are you willing to sacrify your time?

INTENTION AND REASON :-Many people getting dogs simply because they are cute and adorable, a nice present for their children and love ones and they always let their hearts rule their heads, they forgot the puppies will grow into bigger sizes and health problems that might arise when the dogs are older, some dog owners would then decide to sell away their dogs when this happens which I strongly discourage as this is an act of irresponsible. Ask yourself what is the intention of you getting a dog or more than one dog? Companion dogs for companion? For emotional support? To overcome your irrational fear such as fear in the dark or anxiety when being alone? Large dogs or Working dogs for protection and house watching? Top breeds for show purpose and enjoy the glory? Please refer to Dog Breeds where you can see all the different dog breeds from a-z. Whatever the reasons maybe I do believe having a good human-dog relationship can bring you therapeutic value.

MONEY AND FINANCIAL COMMITMENT :-Next important thing you need to consider is about the ongoing costs for food, nutrition, grooming, medical care, accessaries, agility training fees and kennelling fees for your dog while you are away. Can you afford it?

ENVIROMENT :-Giving your dog a comfortable space to live is equally important. Due to the size, activity level and temperament, some breeds need more space and fenced yard to run. Some breeds are smaller in size and more sociable maybe live indoor. Some working dogs are protective, powerful and aggresive may need to live outdoor with fenced to avoid possible of attacking stranger. So do you have a suitable place for your dog to live as part of your family? Do prepare a proper space well before getting a dog home and remember, it’s going to be your dog’s permenant place for him to sleep, rest, cuddle and hideout.

(Taken from

In speaking of the Money Commitment (see above) here’s a great breakdown of what it costs to own a dog or cat.

Lifetime Expenses Dog or Cat
Adoption fee (at a shelter this includes spay or neuter fee)[Dog] $100[Cat] $85
Vaccines (two per year at $15/each) [Dog]$450[Cat]  $450
Heartworm test (one per year) [Dog]$25 [Cat] $30
Heartworm prevention pills (varies depending on size of animal)[Dog] $900 [Cat] $600
Leukemia test[Dog] n/a [Cat] $40
Leukemia prevention shot -one per year at $17/each[Dog] n/a [Cat] $255
Basic health exam (one per year at $30 per visit)[Dog] $450[Cat]  $450
Microchipping (implanted ID) [Dog]$30[Cat]  $30
Flea control (varies depending on size of animal)[Dog] $1,800 [Cat] $1,440
License ($10 per year if animal is altered) [Dog]$150 [Cat] $150
Food (dry – $182 per year) [Dog]$2,730 [Cat] $2,730
Grooming (brushes, combs, shampoo, nail trimmers, etc.) [Dog]$100[Cat]  $100
Cat litter ($60 per year) [Dog]n/a [Cat] $900
Litter box and scoop (1 per year at $10/each) [Dog]n/a [Cat] $150
Collars and leashes[Dog]$225 [Cat] $50

Total cost per year [Dog]$6,960[Cat]  $7,460

(Taken from note that this list is based on a 15-year life expectancy and does not include all of the expenses you will incur. Don’t forget training, illness, toys, treats, bowls, bed, carrier, kennel fees, etc. It is estimated that the average cost per year of owning a cat or dog is about $1,000.

Author’s Note: I’ve got three cats, one who has a medical condition and requires a prescription which is $30 per refill and needs to see the vet on a follow-up. They are costly but the companionship an animal brings is priceless.

Here are some good tips on how to approach dogs:

The following tips on human body language are applicable when interacting with any dog, but are especially important when dealing with a fearful dog. Adopt these mannerisms and teach others who interact with your dog to do so as well:

1  Let the dog come to you. If your dog is frightened, she must be allowed to decide whether or not to approach. Don’t restrain your dog and force her to accept contact from others. Remember the “fight or flight” response; if you take away the opportunity for flight, your dog’s choices are limited.

2  Turn to the side. Facing a dog directly is more confrontational than keeping your body turned partially or completely to the side; even turning your head to the side will make a frightened dog feel less anxious.

3  No staring, please ! A direct stare is a threat in the animal kingdom (and on New York City subways!). It is perfectly fine to look at your dog; just soften your expression and don’t “hard stare” directly into her eyes. Do not allow children to put their faces near your dog’s face or to stare into her eyes.

4  Don’t hover. Leaning over a dog can cause the dog to become afraid and possibly defensive. The one time I was bitten while working in a Los Angeles city animal shelter happened when I went to return an adorable, fluffy white dog to her pen. While placing her on the ground, I inadvertently reached over her equally adorable little pen mateãwho jumped up and bit me in the face.

5 Pet appropriately. Approaching dogs by patting them on the head is ill-advised. Envision the interaction from the dog’s point of view; a palm approaching from above can be alarming. I do a demonstration with kids to teach them how to pet dogs properly. The child plays the role of the dog; I tell the child that I will pet him in two different ways, and he is to tell me which is nicer. First, I reach my hand slowly toward the child’s cheek and stroke it, smiling and softly saying, “Good dog!” Next, I bring my hand brusquely palm-down over the child’s head repeatedly, while loudly saying, “Good dog, good dog!” Kids almost invariably like the first method better. If dogs could answer for themselves, nine out of ten dogs would vote for the first method as well! It’s not that dogs should never be petted on top of the head, but that head-patting (or petting over the dog’s shoulders, back, or rump) should not be used as an initial approach. It is wiser to make a fist, hold it under the dog’s nose to allow her to sniff, then pet the dog on the chest, moving gradually to the sides of the face and other body parts, assuming the dog is comfortable. Likewise, a hand moving in quickly to grab for a dog’s collar is more potentially fear-inducing than a hand moving slowly to a dog’s chest, scratching it, then moving up to take hold of the collar.

6  Stoop, don’t swoop. Small dogs in particular are often swooped down upon when people want to pick them up. Fast, direct, overhead movements are much more frightening than slow, indirect ones. To lift a small dog, crouch down, pet the dog for a moment, then gently slip your hands under her belly and chest, and lift.

7  Watch your smile. While humans interpret a smile as friendly, a dog might not be as fond of seeing your pearly whites. A show of teeth is, after all, a threat in the animal kingdom. A friend of mine once accompanied me to visit the wolves at the rescue center. She patiently sat on the ground, motionless. Finally, a large, black wolf approached to investigate. Unable to contain herself, she broke out in a huge, toothy grin. The wolf darted away as though she had raised a hand to hit him. The lesson? Save the dazzling toothpaste smile for charming your dates and accepting awards. Smile at canines with a closed mouth.

(taken from

When I approach dog or cat I always let them sniff me my hand first, it gives them a chance to interact with me on their terms. Cats especially will decide whether or not they want to be touched by you, I do this with my own cats constantly to keep in practice. But this helps the animal decide whether or not they want to be touched and animals can decide whether or not they like you just by smell.

Also if the owner is nearby ask if the dog is friendly and if its okay to approach and pet. Some dogs don’t like to be petted just as some people don’t like to be touched.

Don’t let stereotypes and your fear  get in the way of missing out on a great friendship. But be a responsible owner and look into any restrictions on breeds make sure you have the time and commitment for your new family member.

funny dog pictures - Sorry my Pit Bull went against your stereotypes