My friends at the shelter said I have to get into the social media scene. “C’mon Bunny”, they said, “don’t be shy, get out there & promote yourself”. So look out world, here I come. I’m ready to surf, blog, Facebook, tweet, toot & whatever else you tech-savvy folks do. Who knows, with the right contacts I just might reach my ultimate goal, a cameo on “The Bachelorette”! Wouldn’t my pretty face & beguiling eyes have men falling over each other? You betcha.
My publicist has actually done a pretty nice job lately. I now have my own Facebook page, I was Pet of the Week on 94.5 3WS radio station, where they’re still showing my YouTube video, I visited the Star 100.7 radio station & I’m a featured dog on the Pit Bull Rescue Central website (pbrc.org) with a very cute “Don’t hate me cause I’m beautiful” tag line. I’ve also taken central stage at the Humane Society when they hosted a national gathering of animal trainers & handlers. Some say I performed admirably while learning hand signals & others said I stole the show with my captivating performance. I gotta admit, I’m a bit of a diva & enjoyed strutting my stuff for the group. Everyone was impressed with my intelligence & how quickly I learned my cues. I’m very food-motivated, so throw in a few tasty treats & I’ll be juggling a half dozen bowling pins while riding a unicycle blindfolded in no time.
Please remember to speak with a Customer Service Rep if you come to meet me & I’m not in my kennel. A good friend of mine, who I’ll call Mr. T, takes me to his office several hours each workday. He’s been doing this since 3/17/10. Don’t tell him I said this, but I really have him wrapped around my little finger, I mean, little paw. He’s a volunteer dog walker who logged many miles with yours truly. Then he went on a golf trip with his buddies & a funny thing happened. He couldn’t stop thinking about me while he was in Myrtle Beach, so he decided to hire Miss Bunny as his office assistant. The pay stinks but I have to admit, it’s a pretty cushy job. Basically I spend about 5 hours a day roaming the office, sleeping, playing & meeting a lot of nice people. Ruth & Jodi spoil me with treats while Rick & Steve serve as my rowdy playmates. I get regular walks & have a mezzanine area where I run around, chase balls & generally cause a ruckus. Steve & Mr. T even gave me a shower one day in the parking lot, pampering this princess with Tropical Scent soap & a rubdown. A girl could get used to that. It’s pretty nice here, but it isn’t the same as being in a forever home with my very own family. Hopefully that day will come soon.
Speaking of those daily office visits, Mr. T is always bragging about my behavior. He says I’m extremely friendly with folks & have a very relaxed & calm demeanor. He’s so proud that I’ve never done anything destructive, that I’m totally housebroken, that I can amuse myself for long periods with chews & kongs, that I shed very little & that I’m well-behaved with everyone I meet. Except of course, for those occasional lapses when I jump to meet new visitors. Sometimes I just get so darn excited to meet people that my manners fly right out the window. I should be able to fix that issue with a little work. Mr. T also likes how I follow him everywhere he goes & dutifully sit by his side, even when the entire building is open for my roaming pleasure. He says I’ll be a loyal & loving companion to a lucky owner one of these days.
Speaking of lucky owners, two of my best friends from the shelter got adopted not long ago. I heard through the grapevine that King went on a hiking trip his very first weekend & my old friend Chili was cavorting with dogs just up the road at West Park. Okay, I’ll admit I’m a little jealous, but also so happy that they found their forever homes after six long months in the shelter. I guess a girl can dream, right?
Until then, I’ll get by with Mr. T’s occasional field trips to Riverview Park or Sheraden’s West End Park. We’ll walk the wooded trails for miles, climb a few hills & chill out in the shade with some serious people watching. If I’m lucky, I’ll also spy some pooches enjoying a day in the sun. By the way, I love car rides & sometimes think the ride to the park is more fun than the park itself. But those hot, humid days sure make for a bad hair day. Look at my formerly perfectly-coiffed hair after an hour in that dreaded heat. Ugh! This Pittsburgh weather’s so crazy. Seems like only yesterday I was hopping around Manchester, bounding through two feet of February snow. Everyone laughed & called me a snow bunny.
Since I’ve been here so long, a lot of people ask what it’s like living in the shelter. You’ve probably heard the old adage, “it’s a nice place to visit but you wouldn’t want to live there”. That sums up the shelter. Although we’re safe & sound with a decent mess hall & free medical, this ain’t exactly the Hyatt. The staff & volunteers are wonderful & really do their best to care for us, but life on the inside is stressful. The noise is so loud at times that you can’t hear yourself think, sleep deprivation is a way of life, hygiene & disease control is a challenge, there’s often a barrage of visitors, boredom is a steady companion & new dogs join the clan everyday. The food’s not bad, but it’s certainly not the gourmet stuff this palate is craving. Too many well-intentioned treats have broadened my slender little tummy & I know I’ve developed a few bad habits during my stay. But, hey, this will be a distant memory once I’ve settled into my forever home filled with love & adventure.
Because I’m such a favorite at the shelter, a LOT of people can’t understand why I haven’t been adopted. Psst, come a little closer & I’ll tell you a secret. There are probably two big reasons. Number one is that I’m very strong. At times I forget how strong I am which can cause problems on our walks. The staff fitted me with an Easy Walk Harness that I’ve used for months with great success, & I’ve also used the Gentle Leader muzzle with amazing results. Once I settle down, I walk nicely for all but 10-15% of the time, when I might get distracted by my nemesis (the cat), another mischievous little critter or some equally excitable event. The second reason I may not have been adopted is that I don’t get along with all dogs. This one has me quite perplexed, since I wasn’t like that when I first arrived at the shelter. Many believe it’s a stress-induced behavior developed from being a long-term resident of the shelter. I’d compare it to you being at a large family gathering for the holidays. It’s fun for a while, but after sharing loud, cramped quarters with dozens of your goofy relatives, it gets a bit stressful doesn’t it? I’d like to think that once I’m settled into a real home, with a loving family that provides adequate rest & exercise, this behavior would disappear. After all, I was an exceptional mother who nursed numerous puppies, including some who weren’t mine, I shared a kennel with young dogs throughout my stay here & was not the least bit contentious “back in the day” when I shared a foster home with several dogs. With the help of Sheri the trainer, Mr. T & other volunteers have worked long & hard to minimize this behavior & have had remarkable success. I’m certainly much more tolerant now & am working to lessen those excitable moments.
Anybody been to the Rivers Casino yet? Mr. T thought it would be a grand idea to hit the riverfront walk for a long hike & then try a date with Lady Luck. Armed with a supply of poop bags, treats & a roll of pennies (big spender, that Mr. T), we began our trek. The walk along the water was great. We strolled past bikers & noontime walkers, cruised around marinas with cool boats & chased a few pesky geese. But then it rained on our parade, so to speak. A snooty manager insisted that I show I.D. before entering the casino. Something about being 21 years old. Well, I flashed my winsome smile, told him I was almost 3, which is basically 21 in people-years & proceeded forward. Mr. Snooty wasn’t buying my little shtick however. When I told him that my only I.D. was an AVID microchip implanted in my neck he suggested I produce a driver’s license. When I suggested he shove that license where the sun don’t shine, Mr. T quickly intervened to diffuse a volatile situation. AWKWARD! We quickly made our way to the riverfront amphitheater where I cooled off along the water, posed for a few pictures & gave thanks that we still had our full roll of pennies. Yoi, what a day.
Made a new friend from the shelter the other night! I was walking down my favorite street when another walker strolled past with little Sam, who caught my eye. We decided to walk along at a distance, then gradually move closer & finally approach for a meet ‘n greet when everyone was calm & relaxed. Before you knew it, Sammy & me were rolling around the grass, wrestling like old buddies. Sure was a lot of fun playing with another dog again. Some people at the shelter say I’m dog selective. All I know is that I like little Sammy.
Someone asked the other day what my dream adopter would be like. I hadn’t given it much thought & said I’d be happy with just about anyone who provides a loving home. If I had to pick my favorite adopter however, I guess it would be someone who’s fairly active, who enjoys outdoor activities like walking, running, bicycling or roller blading. I’m happiest & most content after I’ve received daily exercise since I can go like the energizer bunny from those silly battery commercials. Then I’ll happily relax, snooze & provide lots of love & affection to my family. You’ll always know where I’ll be, because I’ll be wherever you are, right by your side. I’d like someone who could firmly but gently handle my size & strength, who could continue my training & socialization & who could patiently help me adjust to life outside the shelter. After all, I’ve been there a long time. Mr. T says that’s a very important testament to my personality. There aren’t many dogs that could withstand months of kennel stress & maintain such a pleasant, affectionate demeanor. I also love children of all ages, but because of my strength, might be best in a family with older kids that could handle my potentially exuberant play. If you think I’m your girl, come on down & say hi. I’d love to meet you.