Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Please read the info on this pair and crosspost!

Tuesday, April 20: Our foster mom at the small rescue in Michigan who planned to take Pedro and Otto has experienced an unexpected, serious family health crisis. This will make it impossible for her to care for the boys (in the hands-on, attentive way that they deserve) for the immediate future--plus she has to find temporary caregivers for her own dogs until her situation is resolved. For this reason, the rest of the boys' rescue team is working to find an alternative foster or permanent home for them. We rescuers are a family, and when one family member has an emergency, the rest of us should step in to help. Pedro and Otto are currently safe and happy in Sarah's care in Covington, GA--they WILL NOT BE IN DANGER of becoming homeless or returned to a shelter under any circumstances. Let's work together to formulate a new plan for the boys as quickly as we can.
If you or your rescue are interested, please message me (Ellen Graben--search for furry.dogmother on FB if you're not on my friend list) or Jeanine Drost Guidry. We can help with transport planning. We're having Pedro and Otto neutered; they've now had their vaccinations and tested heartworm-negative. They will soon be totally ready for their new home or rescue. Thanks to ALL of you who've cared about Pedro and Otto. My thoughts are also with Julia as she deals with her family situation.

Monday, April 19: Pedro and Otto are with temp foster mom Sarah now, while transport is being arranged. They have been very good boys in boarding and remain fully devoted to each other. Thye have new pretty collars, fluffy beds, and lots of quality food to keep them happy. Thanks everyone!

Friday April 16: This note is plenty long enough without my adding more, but GOOD NEWS! Pedro and Otto have been rescued! A LOT of people--and 2 rescue groups--had a hand in this little miracle. You know who you are. The boys are vetted, tested heartworm-free, boarding at Happy Tails in Winterville (next door to Athens), will be temp fostered for a few days while transport is planned, then make a journey all the way to Michigan. They are together, and alive, and have a second chance. Since this is quite a trip, a ChipIn has been set up to collect a little help:
Thanks to all of you who read, shared, and cared.
4/9/2010: Pedro #30127 and his best friend Otto #31028 were found at a truck stop in Clarke County, northeast Georgia, abandoned. Poor Otto was penned inside a rusty cage. Though running loose and free to go find food and shelter, Pedro would not leave his best friend. He stuck by Otto's side and made sure he was safe until Animal Control officers picked them up. See their individual details following comments. Though abandoned, they will be given the mandatory 5-day hold period.
***"Safe" time will be up at closing time on Friday, 4/16***—Please put in your adoption or rescue app now, before they become URGENT. Also please note that these guys are not rescue-only—they are adoptable, good-natured, social dogs. Sadly they are the two types most adopters pass by in a shelter: a "Pit Bull" and a senior, large-breed "Black Dog." They need our help.
On Sunday April 11, I got to spend a bit of time petting, treating, and watching interactions between Otto and Pedro, who are sharing a run since they came in together.

Pedro, #30127

Otto, #30128

These two have the most amazing bond. After observing them together, it appears that Pedro the Lab believes he is Otto the Pibble's "mom." Pedro would've already been an older guy when his humans brought Otto home as a puppy. It looks like Pedro "raised" Otto. Otto may be the only friend Pedro has ever had, and Pedro is fully dedicated to his buddy. Otto is a great, mellow, affectionate boy who still has some pup in his behavior because Pedro has mothered him so much. Otto is a naturally outgoing guy, and Pedro is naturally submissive, gentle and amiable. There is absolutely no friction between the two, but it looks like Pedro has always protected and deferred to Otto—including making sure Otto had the lion's share of their food. Otto is in good body weight, but Pedro is very thin. When I fed the two treats, Otto was more eager to take them. Pedro would take a treat, but then would literally drop it in front of Otto, though it's evident that he's very hungry himself. I managed to get the two at opposite ends of their run, so I could encourage Pedro to eat some treats himself. Pedro seems afraid to eat in case Otto doesn't have enough. There is NO food-aggression between the two. It's just like a parent sacrificing for the sake of a child.

When visitors came by walking other dogs, both these boys were friendly and interested in meeting both dogs and humans. Otto was again more forthcoming, but Pedro would step in and insert his nose next to Otto's at the fence, just in case he needed to "protect" him. No aggression or even defensiveness, just, "Otto, I'm here if you need me"—the behavior of a gentle parent with a pup.

I've never seen a relationship like this between two intact male dogs. Otto has really benefited from Pedro's care, and has learned good social skills and a degree of mellowness you don't always see in Pits. Pedro has been so self-effacing and sacrificing that his own health and well-being have suffered. Otto, being a dog, can't realize that Pedro's given everything he has to protect and nurture him. Otto doesn't bully his submissive guardian at all, just accepts that this is the way their relationship is. Though Otto's now perfectly capable of looking after himself, Pedro can't realize this, and still views Otto as his baby.

When I first wrote this Note, I speculated that it might be a good thing to get these two dogs adopted or rescued separately, thinking their codependent relationship might be impeding each from reaching his full potential. This morning, a volunteer who takes many of the terrific photos of our AC's dogs wrote that even the brief time apart needed for her to take each dog's picture caused Pedro great anxiety. Mia's comment is below. Separation anxiety is terribly hard on a senior dog. Pedro doesn't have too many years left to enjoy his life, and doesn't deserve to lose his canine "security blanket." So my plea is that an extraordinary family, individual, or rescue group step up and make sure these friends stay together. That said, Pedro needs to get enough food, care and love to be healthy. Otto needs a little bit of time one-on-one with humans so he can play and learn basic obedience skills—the intelligent, athletic bully dogs need such structure to thrive. An empathetic family could manage gradually separating them for feeding time, and teach them slowly to spend a little time apart each day, just so each could be an individual for a while.
Both are real loves, and deserve better than life has given them thus far. If you have a big heart and an understanding of the bond and sacrifice these two boys share, won't you please be their angel and give them a safe and loving home?

This from Mia, who took Pedro and Otto's photos: "When I separated them for their photo shoots Pedro was whimpering and crying as soon as Otto left his run. I felt so bad for him ... When I took him out, he missed is brother again, but I agree that they need to spend some time apart so Pedro will eat more! The pound [Athens-Clarke AC] is full right now, so I don't see this happening any time soon. Hopefully once all the [adopted dogs] leave to go to the vet and to their new homes, there will be more runs available."

Pedro is very thin and could use some good groceries, a fish oil supplement, and a cozy bed...close to his buddy Otto, of course.

PEDRO #30127 (please refer to this number when calling about Pedro)
* Age: 10 years * Breed: Lab/hound mix * Gender: Male * Weight: 51 pounds * Impound Date: 04/9/10 * Ledger #: 30127

Shelter bio: "Pedro is a dog of incredible devotion. Though he could have gone off in search of food and shelter when his people dumped the two dogs, he never left Otto’s side. He made sure to keep his caged best friend company during the scary times. Pedro is underweight and needs to pack on the pounds again. His coat is sparse and dry, indicating lack of proper nutrition. Don’t let his gray muzzle and spectacles keep you from recognizing just how awesome this dog is! He is so sweet and has the most adoring eyes. Though he's quiet, he still has energy and stamina to take walks and keep you good company. Pedro shouldn’t spend his last days stuck in the pound full of scary noises. Please consider noble Pedro as your new best friend soon."

Otto is in good body weight but has chunks of hair missing, as if he's been trough some sort of hard times. His sunny nature hasn't suffered, though.

OTTO, #30128 * Age: 3 Years * Breed: Pitbull Terrier * Gender: Male * Weight: 51 pounds * Impound Date: 04/9/10 * Ledger #: 30128

Shelter bio: "Otto has an amazing disposition…he is really calm once outside of his run and just loves hugs and kisses. He was a very gentle and sweet dog…I scared him a little with my big scary camera, but he always came back for more treats. Otto has little pocks of fur missing all over his body…it’s not big patches of fur missing, but just little spots. Just like any dog, Otto needs a proper diet and regular vetting to make sure you have a happy healthy pup. He would make a great therapy dog or loving friend for any home. Come meet Otto soon!"
Shelter and Local Volunteer Network Info:
For MORE INFORMATION about dogs (and occasionally other animals) available at Athens-Clarke County (Georgia) Animal Control please visit these sites. I am a volunteer, and while I try to keep posted info up-to-date, I may miss a detail.
The ACC site has official details on adoption, local animal ordinances, plus a listing of currently impounded animals (updated frequently, but not always daily)
Athens-Clarke County Animal Control
contact info and hours:

PHONE: 706-613-3540
FAX: 706-613-3545

Shelter address/physical location:
45 Beaverdam Road Extension
Athens, Ga 30605
(near Athens-Ben Epps Airport in east Athens)
ACCAC VOLUNTEER-RUN WEB SITE—for photos and bios of available animals at AC, plus helpful info about adoption and rescue procedures, downloadable forms, shelter policy and hold periods, needs for donated supplies, links to local rescue groups and other useful sites. Updated often, but not always daily.
ATHENS PETS NETWORK DISCUSSION FORUM—For updates and local contacts, join our DISCUSSION FORUM! You can chat about specific dogs under the "Available Dogs" topic. Please note: Forum is family-friendly and G-rated. Please keep discussion positive and courteous, so we can continue to ATTRACT ADOPTERS AND RESCUES, not scare them away!

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