Trixie, a.k.a. Giveaway Dog here at Suburban Style Challenge, is often only seen over on Facebook, where her cute face helps share great giveaways hosted by other bloggers. And she’s a very good dog. But today, I’d like to take a minute to pause the style stuff and talk to you about doing something good.
Giveaway Dog was given away…
I found Trixie online at a site called 1-800-SaveAPet, which is now Adopt-A-Pet. Back in 2005, when we were looking for a dog, the site showed you other pets that matched some but not all of your search criteria, which is something Petfinder doesn’t do. That doesn’t seem to be a site feature now, but back then, it was. And this cute little face was looking back at me, with huge ears, and I clicked. She was listed on the site as a baby, and I had been searching for young dogs because hubs and I didn’t want a puppy. Her name, then, was Pixie, and she was between 6 and 9 months old. She was at a shelter not too far from us, and I emailed them right away to make an appointment to see her. I knew she was going to be our dog from the second I saw her picture, and when hubs and I went to see her, it was confirmed. We were bringing the energetic little Pixie home with us. I made a deal with the shelter, 4 Paws 4 You 4 Ever, that I could get her the following Saturday. It wasn’t something they normally did, but I was a huge advocate for adoption and she made an exception for us so that we could get our home prepared for a pup.
When I went to pick up Pixie, she was set aside in a crate, and I walked up to her and stuck my fingers through. A little girl who was there told me, “that one is there because she’s going home today” and I was so excited I practically sang that she was coming home with me. As I filled out the paperwork, Sherry from the shelter told me that Pixie was a lucky dog. Turns out, she had been transported to them 2 weeks before I got her, and they had been fortunate enough to be able to pull her from a shelter somewhere in Indiana. When she was pulled, she was just 3 days shy of being euthanized. Three days. Our vet estimated her age at about 8 months old, meaning she spent the vast majority of her puppyhood in that shelter in Indiana. I still shake my head at it.
The dog’s behavior at home confirmed that she hadn’t been socialized very well as a puppy. She was very bitey, very energetic, and while incredibly smart, not the most graceful. We quickly decided that “Pixie” didn’t suit her personality–she wasn’t a dainty little girly-girl dog–and changed her name to Trixie. She was a ball of energy, and everything was new to her. The sliding glass door was something she had definitely never seen before, and she took the screen door off the hinges when I opened our balcony door to prevent her from bonking against it again. She hated eating alone, and always brought her food from the kitchen into the room with us, usually leaving a trail of kibble as she carried her bowl. She belched after every meal, and sniffed her own farts. And at the same time, Trixie let me put my fingers in her bowl while she ate, didn’t care if I pulled her tail, and was house-trained in 3 days, and bell-trained within a week of us figuring out she wasn’t going to bark to let us know she had to pee. Trixie was smart, lovable, silly, and… needed a lot of work.
We did training classes with her at Petco, where our trainer likened her to Cyndi Lauper. We frequented the dog park with her, so she could meet other dogs, other people, and burn off some of that energy. We worked tirelessly with her, for hours each day, on basics like “sit” and “stay”, and “no bite” and “heel”. We made training fun, did a lot of positive reinforcement, with praise and treating when she was good, and time outs when she needed a break (often during playtime). Early on I lost a matching bra and panty set, one pair of shoes, and we have a chair leg that looks a bit like it had a run in with a beaver. My husband came home to find over 100 of his new businesscards turned into confetti. We dealt with a broken toe (that I didn’t even fathom was possible) and various other things, including a missing earring that wasn’t actually swallowed. Owning a dog, for us, was a learning experience. We had to be trained as much as Trixie did! We both grew up with dogs, but as kids, never had to deal with the emergencies that come with being a dog parent.
Eight years later, and Trixie is still smart as a whip. But she’s much calmer, thankfully. She’s still very youthful, but anyone who knew her the first year we had her is astonished she’s the same dog. She listens incredibly well (even understanding sarcasm), and doesn’t just “sit” and “stay”, but speaks on command, gives high-10s, and has even started sneezing on command (though we’re still perfecting it). She’s a snugglebeast who still belches after she eats, and she smiles, seriously, constantly. She loves the vet, and cheese curds. Trixie adores going in the car, is a rawhide stick feind, and can’t get enough of the beach. She answers to “Poopy” and “Princess”, gets hangry, and then falls into a food coma after her post-mealtime burp.
For us, she’s the perfect dog, and we’re so thankful whoever it was that had her first gave her up. If they hadn’t, she never would have filled our hearts and our lives the way she has. Nor would she be a wonderful advocate for both shelter animals and proper training. Trixie has made my husband and I better people, and has touched the lives of many with her pretty face, goofy antics, and snuggle powers.
Control+Click each gallery image to view a larger image of Trixie, the dog formerly known as Pixie, in a new tab.
Doing something good.
Thanks to Two Little Cavaliers, I discovered that sharing Trixie’s story with you can not only help educate you about the positives of pet adoption (and, let’s face it, good training), but that I can also do something good for other shelter animals. For every post and every tweet Petco will donate $1.00 to selected shelters or rescues. The big announcement about who gets the money, and what the totals are, will be made this weekend at BarkWorld during the Petco session on Saturday, October 27. If you’re attending BarkWorld you can place your shelter/rescue nomination at the Petco booth. But you don’t have to be attending BarkWorld to participate in this incredible fundraising event!
The ultimate goal is to raise $5,000.
What can you do?
If you have a twitter account, you can start by tweeting this… just copy and paste!
If you’re a blogger, you can blog about the campaign by joining the blog hop and using hashtag #btc4a (short for Be The Change for Animals) in your blog title. Share your own shelter animal story, or just post about the event to help raise awareness (and money) about shelters, rescues, and pet adoption. You can link up at the blog hop by adding your link below.
On behalf of shelter pets, and their new owners, thank you for tweeting, blogging, and otherwise helping raise money for this great event! Let’s make it huge!
Link up here!
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