Tag Archives: pit bulls

Riddle Master Update

Ridley does not recognize Day Light Savings time. We should be getting an extra hour sleep but instead, I’ve already had my coffee because once I’m awake, I’m awake. It’s hard to stay mad at someone so especially cute though. He’s technically correct and it’s our usual time to get up and start the workday.

So, I thought, what better time to post a Ridley update? He has made a few appearances in posts but nothing substantial.

This boy is an absolute snuggle master. I’ve never had a dog that tried their best to melt into you. He loves kisses and boops my face when I haven’t given him enough. Seriously, each check, his forehead and sides and top of his nose must be kissed before he’s satisfied. He will happily sleep on top of myself or Mr. C&M which has been something to get used to. He sometimes lays his muzzle on top of my mouth and nose while I’m sleeping. I keep telling myself he’s not trying to snuff me out, but I could be wrong. There are worse ways to go.

In the beginning of October, we had a medical emergency with Ridley. What the vet thought to be torn soft tissue from a bad jump, ended up being an abscess that ruptured 36 hours later. Of course, after the vet was closed. Luckily for us, we have a vet tech friend that I was able to call. She walked us through how to take care of him until morning. If you’ve never experienced an abscess rupture, it’s horrifying, and I will never forget that smell. By the time we saw the vet the next day, they pretty much said to keep doing what we were already doing and added painkillers and antibiotics. This meant keeping him bandaged while the wound finished draining (days) and keeping him calm until the wound healed on its own.

After the initial horror show, he was a model patient. The first night, I was the only one he allowed to bandage him. The pain brought back his association of pain with men, and he would not allow Mr. C&M to touch him the first night. Later, he sweetly apologized to his dad for being mean by sulking up to him and covering him in kisses. From then on, we had no more issues taking care of him. (In the second picture above, you can see his injured shoulder after it closed up.)

November 12th will be 3 months since we rescued him. It’s been a bit of a whirlwind but we’re making baby step progress. The injury definitely set him back socially. The pain triggered his mistrust of humans again. So, it’s like we’re starting fresh and that’s okay. Recovery can’t be rushed.

BEEFCAKE.

He is finally at a healthy weight. He hasn’t been to the vet since his injury, but I think he’s right around 47 pounds. (He was only 30 when he arrived at the shelter. Skin and bones.)

Animal rescue is a journey. He’s recovery won’t happen overnight, but I am so glad to have this boy in my life. He’s an absolute clown and love bug. I can’t wait to share the holidays with him. He’s going to love it.

Welcome, the Riddle Master

One of many of his growing collection of nicknames.

That’s right. We added to our clan. I don’t think either of us was truly ready (it is 6 months today since we lost Ozzy) but when I learned of this little boy, I just couldn’t stop thinking about him. I did not think Mr. C&M would come around and say yes, so color me surprised when this dog came up for adoption far sooner than I expected and Mr. C&M said, “Let’s do it.”

Formerly known as Wrigley, he came to the shelter we adopted Ozzy from in early July. He was clearly a bait dog. If you’re not familiar with that term, it’s dogs used as practice for fighting dogs. To avoid damage to their “champions”, his teeth were ground down to the gums, most likely without pain killers so that he couldn’t fight back. He is covered, literally, from the tip of his nose to his missing tail tip in scars. His ears are jagged from pieces being torn off. He has advanced osteoarthritis in one elbow from some unknown injury.

These are pictures from when he arrived at the shelter. Found in someone’s yard, either dumped off or escaped from Hell. He was completely shut down. He cowered in his kennel and air snapped when anyone tried to get a leash on him. He had only known terror.

I wanted to foster him however we do not live in the county, which is a requirement. Luckily, another kind lady stepped up. She lured him out of his kennel with Timbits and livers wurst and took him home. She spent 4 weeks socializing him and teaching him that humans could be kind. He came to the shelter weighing only 30 pounds. She packed 10 more on him by the time he came to us.

He has issues with strangers touching his head and neck area. Until he knows that you mean him no harm, he will bite. He doesn’t have teeth though, so no damage is done. Despite being bit and Mr. C&M getting head butted, our meet and greet went well and his foster mom felt that we would be patient enough to give him a good home. Samus didn’t object although she wasn’t in love either.

That was a little over a week ago that he came home. Day one was a little rough. He had been neutered 45 minutes before being dropped off to two people he had met once and then went on a 2-hour car ride to a new house. I was bit a few times getting him out of the vehicle. Again, no damage. I felt bad that I was causing him so much stress, but he couldn’t live in the car. Mr. C&M couldn’t do it because he’s more afraid of men.

Two days later we could both kiss his head and squeeze his cheeks. He is an utter lovebug. He gets spooked a little easy, but everything is new to him. Every day an adventure. As I write this, he is snuggled up next to my leg after exploring what the heck a laptop was.

Please welcome, Ridley.

Mr. C&M came up with his name. An easy change from Wrigley and comes from the same games that Samus’ name comes from. Of course, Samus and Ridley are not friends in the game, I was worried it might be a bad omen. However, Samus is coming around and learning that the new kid might be fun after all.

My Life Among the Underdogs: A Memoir – Book Review

Published Date: January 15, 2019

Publishing Co.: William Morrow

Pages: 245

Goodreads Synopsis.

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

My mission is to rescue. My hope is that one day I won’t have to.”

If you’ve heard that quote before, there’s a good chance that you’re a fan of Animal Planet’s Pit Bulls & Parolees. This memoir belongs to the feisty, red-headed woman who started Villabos Rescue Center, first rescuing wolves and wolf hybrids, then turning to one of the dog’s with the baddest reputations, the American Pit Bull Terrier. Currently, the rescue houses close to 400 dogs of all breeds and employs parolees to help with all of the work. It takes one tough person to hold all of that together.

In My Life Among the Underdogs, we get a peek into Tia’s life before starting the rescue. First, being raised a cowgirl by her stepmother who taught her to depend on no one else, to a drifting young adult, to an exotic animal trainer, to a dog trainer for Hollywood, then to rescuing full time. All of this while giving birth to and raising two beautiful daughters, who would become strong, independent and compassionate just like their mother.

We also learn the life stories of some of the top dogs of Tia’s life. These chapters were both uplifting and heartbreaking. You learn about these wonderful, resilient creatures and all they taught both Tia and humanity and then, you hear about their passing. How can that not tug at your heart? If you’ve had a dog, you’re probably all too familiar with that pain, so it’s impossible not to relate.

There are not too many people in this world that I truly idolize but, Tia Torres is one of the them. Life spent rescuing animals is hard, I’ve dabbled in it myself, no where near the size that Tia has. While rewarding, at times it can be absolutely soul crushing. You have to look the worst of humanity in the eye, not engage to the best of your ability and just get the poor, tortured animal the fuck out of dodge. It’s a hard thing to dedicate your life to. Animal rescue workers are more prone to depression and suicide, and it’s understandable.

I hope to see more memoirs from Tia Torres or anyone on her rescue crew. It helps bring more people into the rescue fold, even if it’s adopting instead of shopping, every changed mind is progress and we still have a long ways to go.

My one complaint, and I don’t think I’ve said this since I was little, is that there are no pictures! I mean, I want one million dog pictures, but if there could have just have been ten or so, that would have been great. I loved hearing about these amazing dogs but I would have also really liked to see their cute little faces.