Thanks for visiting! This is a blog about our adventure of Fostering and Loving America’s Dog, in the heart of Charm City (Baltimore). Our adventure started when we adopted our Heart dog, Knox, back in May of 2010 from our local animal shelter, BARCS. We didn’t know much about pitbulls before adopting him but made it our mission to learn as much as possible and be the best owners we could be. He was just about a year old.
Though we originally started blogging to document this adventure of ours (and will continue to do so), I’m so very thankful it turned into documenting the 20 amazing months that Knox was with us. He changed our lives, literally, and it’s quite a wonderful gift I have so many wonderful stories and pictures to look back on and smile at.
I encourage you to read more about Knox’s journey with us in the three Dear Knox posts: Dear Knox: The beginning, Dear Knox: The Journey and Dear Knox: The Legacy.
He became very sick, very quickly, with Autoimmune disease and lost his battle shortly after he started it, in February 2012. We fostered when we adopted Knox because he loved it so much and because it was our little way of giving back since he truly was our gift. We continued to foster shortly after we lost him because it was distracting and enjoyable, and basically it was our normal.
Then Mr. Chocko came along, and we let Knox know he was the next boy of the house. Since officially adopting the Chockster (from BARCS by way of MABB) in July 2012, we haven’t fostered anyone new yet, but it’s a matter of time (he gets some adjustment period first!) Chocko is four years old, and a product of the court ruling in Maryland regarding pitbulls.
Isn’t he such a cutie pie?!
It took me 5 months, 3 foster dogs, and 1 adoption (of our own) to update the About Us section, but just because it was too hard to delete, below was the “About Us” from before. Most of it still holds true.
But now I’ll sign off with Pittieful love,
Jess, Brian (the partner in crime and husband and foster dad) and Chocko
Looking back, I wish I started blogging those first few months. We had so many issues (demodex mange, serious separation anxiety, allergies, stomach problems, leash pulling…etc) that we had no idea where to turn. Luckily for us, Knox had his own Pitbull Guardian…a lady who taught us most of what we know now. She helps run an awesome pitbull rescue here in Baltimore, called Mid Atlantic Bully Buddies. So any good advice you find on this blog probably came from her, in one form or another. So we promised, after all of her help (trust me it was A LOT) that we would foster dogs through her rescue when the time was right. And that is how, in a nutshell, we started fostering.
A little bit on Knox: We adopted him around a year old (so he’s close to two right now). His name at the shelter was ‘Oil Change’…yes that’s right. No typo. And he came into the shelter with his brother, known as ‘Dipstick’. Apparently they were picked up at a gas station in a not-so-hot area of Baltimore. That’s all I know. Oh, and he was pretty neglected. He is a ball full of energy and only goes one speed… FAST. He’s one of those dogs that may or may not have made it out of the shelter due to his size and high energy level coupled with his originally poor manners (but thanks to his good looks and charm, he won us over!) We have been through training, and make it a point to practice every day (okay thats a lie… but most days!).
Another thing Knox has going for him? He’s an awesome dog! (ok I’m biased, but seriously, he is!) He loves people and other dogs. He could play play play all day (and often does, with our fosters… more about that later– check out the bios on our previous fosters).
I think that’s it about us! I hope you enjoy the blog. By no means am I any sort of expert (quite the contrary). I started this blog because I didn’t want to overload my facebook page with nothing but dog stuff (yes, in a year my friends now say I’ve turned into ‘that’ dog lady)… and because despite all the learning I have to do, I have been told that we’ve done a good job with Knox so far. I often still have questions and learn something new from each new foster. I wanted a place to share this with whoever was interested, as well as a place to document this adventure of fostering. And if someone can benefit from something I have to say, then all the better, right?
With Pittieful Love,
Jess & Knox (and Brian too!)
As one more aside: I may talk about stuff that people may have mixed feelings about. Different types of training techniques, dog parks, BSL, pitbull advocacy etc. Please feel free to make comments and express your own opinions, but please be respectful, because I promise to be respectful of you…and after all this is a blog about giving love where love is most deserved and learning along the way about these beautiful, misunderstood and incredibly forgiving creatures.
Thanks Jess for creating this blog. Before I met Knox I was terrified of pit bulls. It seemed there were always gruesome stories in the news about how they had attacked people. From the press it seemed that they had an innate predisposition to suddenly turn vicious. When we heard you were adopting a Pit Bull I thought “Oh Lord, what in the world are they thinking?!” I was nervous about meeting Knox. Well, you know the rest of the story. I have never met a more gentle, kind, fun loving, sweet and personable dog. I love him to pieces. He has changed my opinion of Pit Bulls forever. It makes me sad that it is humans who have turned a normally loving, loyal breed of dog into violent tools for their own sick amusement. Knox has totally changed us. He is so sweet and I have turned into a bit of a Pit Bull advocate (“Hey, give them a chance – meet the dog first before you create an opinion….”). Looking forward to meeting lots of Knox clones in your blog.
Aw Carol. I’m so happy he was able to squeeze his big head into your heart…he has a tendency to do that to even the most resistant! Thank you for loving him so much, and for letting him be a wilderness dog all weekend at the Lake. He’s still recovering!
Love your blog! Is there anyway to subscribe via RSS?
I’m so glad you enjoy the blog! Did you figure out how to subscribe? Sorry I’m just getting back to you. Let me know! And hope you continue to enjoy it. If there’s anything you’d like to hear more about please request! : )
Just started following today, we have such similar lives! My BF and I knew nothing about pitties and adopted Havi outta nowhere..off to read your posts!
New to the blog! Nice to meet you guys. I’m a pet photographer in Kansas. Knox sounds like a sweetie and I’m excited to read about your adventures =)
Do you have any tips on leash-training? I have a two year old pitbull and she’s the sweetest thing, but we are STILL struggling with walks!
Well, a basic obedience class is a great way to teach an old dog new tricks 😉 The focus is on leash skills– are you in the baltimore/MD area?
If your using a collar you mite want to try a good body harness. It takes a lot of there pulling power away. It made a big deference with our pit..
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Baby steps only sound small, usually they are very big. Love the new ‘about us’ and celebrate wholeheartedly the original!
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I have nominated you for the Liebster Award! I’m not sure how to tell if you have more than 200 followers, but if you don’t check out my blog for instructions on accepting this award.
Hi there! You probably have more than 200 followers, but I too have nominated you for the Liebster award!