Hi from Baltimore

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Postby wmlengram » December 29th, 2008, 2:41 pm

Hi

My name is Mike and I'm a 25 year old male from Baltimore with a 3 year old Staffordshire Terrier (Isis), among other dogs.

I am in Baltimore mainly for school (but if you've ever been there you know there's patently no better place in the country 8) ). I am almost done with this phase of my schooling - my classwork is done and I will shortly be going to South Africa for an externship to practice whatever I'm ballsy enough to claim I've learned.

This brings me to my reason for being on this website. Isis cannot go to South Africa with me. I have no problem with her being there, but pits get such a bad rap these days that I wouldn't trust who to USA or RSA governmental handlers. She never so much as looks sideways at a human but she freaks out when she wants to chase a mouse or is mad at another dog (detailed below) and i could see something bad happen to her. I've been really upset thinking i'd have to give her away and never see her again.

So then I met a girl who works at the Humane Society and she pointed out that fostering was an option - my dog could be safe and taken care of while im not here! From looking over the forum, you guys do fostering so maybe you can help.

To introduce Isis:
About 30lbs, 3 years old, red/brown with a white left front paw. She has beautiful gold eyes. Spayed with all her shots up to date.
Her temperment towards all things 2 legged is stellar - she absolutely loves people. She is really energetic tho and bounds around - he sit/stay is not good with other people, and honestly isn't concrete with me.
She absolutely cannot be around other dogs. It simply isn't safe. In fact, her chase instinct is superstrong, so mice, guinea pigs, cats - doesn't matter - she wants to go get them (fun fact: isis is an excellent ratter).
No bite history BUT (and this is big) one of the times I realized she absolutely cannot be around other dogs was when she got upset at my Princess (yes that really is her name - no you should not make fun of me) and started to bite at her. Because I love my Princess (I'll put up pictures and you'll feel bad about considering making fun of me) I was not going to let her get hurt, so I reached my hand between Isis mouth and Princess' face - obviously I got bitten, but Isis let go ass soon as she realized it wasn't Princess she had bitten - as such I had a single fang wound not particularly deep. She shows the same (really mad but dangit can't bite the human) behavior when she gets upset at other animals as well. As an aside, I'm sure that some of you think that was very stupid of me (many people have already said as much) but I personally prefer that i get hurt as opposed to my dogs.

So, that's me and that's my dog - can anyone help? After I get approved I'll put up this same(ish) information in the appropriate forum.

Thanks!

PS: the attachment is isis herself
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Postby TheRedQueen » December 29th, 2008, 3:22 pm

Hi Mike and Isis!

Welcome to PBT... :wave2:

I can't help you with fostering...but others might be able to steer you in the right direction. :) My house is full up with all sorts of "snacks"...;)
"I don't have any idea if my dogs respect me or not, but they're greedy and I have their stuff." -- Patty Ruzzo

"Dogs don't want to control people. They want to control their own lives." --John Bradshaw
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Postby Jenn » December 29th, 2008, 3:29 pm

Hello and welcome Mike

Good luck, hopefully you'll be able to find someone you trust that could keep her, or someone responsible enough to take care of your dog in your absence. Maybe try researching some rescues in your area, but I'm sure they will all have other dogs, as does everyone here. ;)
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Postby pitbullmamaliz » December 29th, 2008, 3:33 pm

Hi Mike! Give us a bit more info so we can approve you to post gorgeous Miss Isis in the rescue section.

What made you decide to get into bullies? Is Isis your first bully? And what kind of dog is Princess (I swear I'm not laughing!) and where is she going while you're gone?

Welcome! :wave:
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Postby madremissy » December 29th, 2008, 7:23 pm

Welcome to PBT :wave2:
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Postby wmlengram » December 30th, 2008, 12:33 am

Thank you all for the welcome!

@Jenn: I am working with finding rescues in Maryland, but I frankly don't trust Baltimore too much for any dog care, and non-breed specific pitbull places are unwilling to deal with them. For example the MDSPCA will have nothing to do with pits. As for individuals who would want one, almost everyone wants a pit. The problem is three-fold.

First, she is sometimes very dismissive of other people's commands. Some people have no problem, and isis responds well to them. Other people (even ones who have had pits before) are unable to command her - perhaps different training styles.

Second, as you noted, most people who can and want to have a dog do have a dog OR people want a dog, but need the right kind of dog. As I found out, pitbulls are not for everyone. They are super-affectionate which for some reason annoys some people, and they require alot of patience which annoys other people. I've actually had a friend who wanted to keep her. He at first seemed competent (likely because I was around) and so i left her with him for the few weeks I was away. He was not able to deal with her and I had to have another friend go grab her from him. If he hadn't literally left the country I would have beaten him silly for the amount of neglect he reportedly put her through (with isis loving him the whole time I'm sure). :cuss:

Third, in line with the MDSPCA thing, Maryland attaches huge stigma to pitbulls, with alot of breed-specific legislation in the works or already there. It actually got me a little involved with animal advocacy. Baltimore and DC are huge dogfighting places, and when those things get lose people get hurt. TheRedQueen should be able to tell you about some of that. People who might otherwise be suitable are just afraid.

@Pitbullmamaliz
I'm not sure what sort of info on Isis you would like but i'll do my best.

Eating
Isis is past the eating everything stage. When I first got her she would eat and eat and eat like it was her full time job. I worked with her to the point that she expected to eat at specific times (step 1) and then put down her bowl so she will eat when she wants to (step 2). Hence she tends to have a full bowl but doesn't overeat. She seems to have a very tough stomach. When her food has had to change for whatever reason she's made it through without indigestion. I've never seen her vomit.

People Temperament
As I said Isis is unequivocally people friendly. She doesn't bite, growl, or anything like that. She jumps up on some new people.Once she had to be dragged places she didn't want to go (now she's at like 75% loose leash - the problem is in big outside areas but I'll talk about that in a second) but she wouldn't get mad about. Just stare at you and resist. Sometimes she won't want to get into her crate (caveat: despite my best efforts it is a punishment crate) but she only needs to go into a crate for specific reasons - say when someone doesn't like dogs, or she has to be hidden (she is hiding from my landlord you see - I got her before I moved to the place).

Dog Temperament
It was simplistic to say that she's 100% dog aggressive, but since I don't understand it enough to control it, I keep it simple for the dogs' safety. If the following description of her behavior makes sense to you go ahead and draw your own conclusions. She stayed at the kennel I got her from for several weeks before they would release her for adoption, and they claimed she wasn't dog aggressive. I'll give them the benefit of the doubt. She also stays at the vet, but they take no chances with pitbulls and charge extra for walks alone. Still, she isn't insane in her cage next to other dogs so...
I own two other dogs that are kept at another property. One is princess who is a female lab/chow mix, and one is smalls who is an indiscernible male mutt. Princess tends to be very cool around dogs and people (she likes to bark tho - good watch dog). Smalls is aggressive to both (he's had a really tough life - i'll explain - and he makes an amazing guard dog for my mom). Isis is afraid of Smalls. They have never been left alone together, but Smalls won whatever fight they didn't have. Isis and Princess try to fight sometimes. Not always, but sometimes. At first I thought it was when food was around, then I thought it was when smalls was around, and now i've decided that they just shouldn't be around each other.

Outdoor/Indoor
Isis is an indoor dog. She's small enough that she's cool inside even if she runs around all the time. I don't think she'd have a problem with being an outdoor dog, but it's just not her life. Problem is that its effected her training. She'll do anything I say when she's inside. Good dog. Same when she's in the small enclosure of my Baltimore yard. She gets into a bigger yard, like the one I have in Montgomery County, and she's still pretty responsive. Its annoying that she barks, but she will come when you call which makes her quiet. Now I took her to a friend who had an acre and a half of property and she just went berserk. Even on the leash she wasn't listening to anything. Maybe after four or five calls she might acknowledge my presence or saunter over, but it was not cool. Same goes for when she is on a leash in some places - sorry haven't figured out a pattern. But she gets all pull-y.

She sleeps in my bed most nights, although she also has her own bed. She won't jump into a bed unless told to.


All in all she's a great dog, but I'll be the first to admit that she needs better training. :oops: She is my first bully and I spent alot of time with no concept of what I was doing. They don't seem to train the same as other dogs. So she will unfortunately not come to a new home the perfect pet.

I love dogs so I didn't have a problem taking in a new type of breed (like I said, I didn't know anything about them except for the horror stories, which I knew were unrealistic). I'm also pretty good with dogs, so I decided it couldn't be that hard. But the combination of having no time (i'm in law school) and having a very stubborn dog made her a bit more difficult than I would have envisioned. However with the distinct 'fail' aura of the shelter, I also thought it might be a good idea to not have her risk being grabbed up by a less scrupulous Baltimorean. I've been offered up to 600 for her before people knew she was spayed. I was not willing to have her fall into dog fighting. I have no regrets though. She's gotten to be a very good dog, and she's so very loving. That's really why I just want to foster her. First I just plain love her. And second I think I owe her some good training one way or the other - but that's more time than I have until after I get back from South Africa. Of course, I realize that's vaguely selfish as well. If there's a better place for her, I respect that.

So that's the long and short of it.
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Postby iluvk9 » December 30th, 2008, 8:27 am

Welcome to the forum, Mike. :wave2: Good luck with finding a safe place for Isis to stay.

May I ask what area you are pursuing for a career? My friend just took an 18 day trip to Africa. He had to spray his bedding to protect it from lice and icky stuff. :rolleyes2: I prefer the Marriot. :dance:
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Postby wmlengram » December 30th, 2008, 11:02 am

iluvk9 wrote:Welcome to the forum, Mike. :wave2: Good luck with finding a safe place for Isis to stay.

May I ask what area you are pursuing for a career? My friend just took an 18 day trip to Africa. He had to spray his bedding to protect it from lice and icky stuff. :rolleyes2: I prefer the Marriot. :dance:


I'm going into public health law - right now i'm in law school and my next step will be an MPH.

I'm going to South Africa in order to work in health law there for a semester. I was going to go to Switzerland to work with the World Health Organization, but for the area of public health law i want to go into (mental health law) South Africa is more illuminating. Much like our country their mental health providers have to overcome a high level of stigma and customary suspicion. Plus the beaches are supposed to be awesome :mrgreen: :soExcited:
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Postby jnreem » December 30th, 2008, 11:06 am

Hello and Welcome! I wish I could help but I have two pits here already and one is still in that stupid puppy mode, where I can hardly control him. :dance:

Goodluck!
Jenn & Buddy
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Postby Marinepits » December 30th, 2008, 11:09 am

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