Category Archives: Vicktory dogs

Nine years: the good, bad and ugly

Nine years ago today 51 terrified, traumatized, and unsocialized dogs, who had been forced to fight or were used as bait dogs, were rescued from Michael Vick’s Bad Newz Kennels in Surrey Virginia. Normally, these dogs would be held as evidence and eventually humanely euthanized. But in this groundbreaking case, it was decided, due to the request of Best Friends Animal Sanctuary, BADRAP, and other loud animal loving voices and the agreement of the judge, that these dogs would be individually evaluated to see if any of them could be saved and rehabilitated.

From Jacqueline Bedsaul Johnson (she and Kevin Johnson adopted Ray)

“Each dog was to be tested for dog aggression as well as human aggression. It was hoped that two or three of the 49 surviving dogs (two died while in care) would be deemed salvageable. Imagine everyone’s surprise when all but one of the dogs showed at least some degree of ability to be rehabilitated.

“One dog, who had been bred and fought repeatedly, was just too emotionally and physically damaged to try and save. She was humanely euthanized. The remaining 48 dogs were dispersed to 8 different rescue groups for adoption, rehabilitation or sanctuary. 22 of the most damaged dogs were sent to a sanctuary to begin working towards recovery and eventual adoption.

Forty of these dogs have been adopted and are now living in loving homes with kids cats, and other dogs. Dogs like Cherry Garcia, who just had one leg amputated, Handsome Dan, Little Red, Mel, Layla, Curly, Jhumpa Jones, Jonny, Oscar, Uba, Iggy, Audie, Zippy, Stella and Ginger. I was lucky to have met Red, Stella and Ginger and their guardians a few years ago at the Monterey SPCA.

Some of the dogs have become therapy dogs, agility champions and emotional support animals. Others have gone to the Rainbow Bridge including Red, Lucas, Leo, Jasmine, Georgia, Hector (and his brother Wallace, who was not a Victory dog but an unwanted shelter dog who became a world champion disc dog), Ray and others.

“These dogs were victims, not criminals. And because of their bravery and loving nature they have taught us all so much. If dogs like these – dogs who were trained, fought and abused – can become loving family members, how can anyone say that Pit Bull-type dogs are inherently dangerous? It just doesn’t make sense.

“Dogs that are seized are now routinely assessed for rehabilitation. There is no longer a belief that these dogs are somehow responsible for the life that was forced on them. That they are damaged goods, better off dead.”

“In the coming days, many of the adoptive families of the dogs rescued from Bad Newz Kennels will be traveling to Virginia to what is now known as Good Newz Rehab Center. In the field where once our dogs were chained, trees will be planted to memorialize each of the dogs. Each tree will have a plaque listing the dog’s name and their family’s name.

“This is not a media event, but a private ceremony and pilgrimage for the people who have loved these incredible dogs. Vicktory Dog Oscar‘s mom Rachel and artist/writer Levity Tomkinson of the Re51lient Project have designed a t-shirt to commemorate the event, and to help raise money for the families traveling to honor their dogs.

A movie about the dogs called The Champions” premiered in 2015 and has been screened at festivals and events around the country. It’s also available for purchase online. Directed by Darcy Dennett, the film follows six dogs from unlikely survival to adoption. The film has won awards, including People’s Choice for Best Documentary at the Denver Film Festival. Pit bulls are banned in Denver.

A word about The Re51lient Project: 51 Paintings of the Dogs Rescued from Michael Vick’s Bad Newz Kennels. The Re51lient Project is an art advocacy project that combines Levity’s signature style pop-art painting and positive, emotionally driven writing.

She aims to promote a highly positive image for pit bull and pit bull type dogs, dogs rescued from fighting rings and to show others that if these dogs can triumph, love, forgive, continue forward and just simply be happy, then we as humans have the ability to wake up every morning and do the same. These dogs shows us the potential that we all have and provide a palpable inspiration and hope that we can change our lives.

Levity is the proud momma to a pit mix, Rinlee, (who incidentally is the reason that she began painting dogs in 2010). She has followed the stories of the dogs rescued from Bad Newz Kennels. Rinlee is the reason that she began painting “Dog Pawps” which twas the artistic foundation to create The Re51lient Project.

“Dogs are as close as we can get to perfection here on Earth,” says Levity. “They are these little hearts and beings and spirits that every day, they do their best. That’s all they know how to do. They love infallibly  I feel like with these dogs in particular, all of the feelings and traits are magnified even more because they have been exposed to more than any living being ever should, but look at them. They are beautiful, they are happy, they’re forgiving, they love. They’re re51lient. That have changed the world and have the ability to cause more change, simply by being them. They have certainly changed my life.

“These dogs will be remembered with love, with reverence, appreciation. They’ll be remembered with tears, both happy and sad. They will be remembered in every dog rescued from a fighting ring that has been given, is being given or will be given a chance to be evaluated and seen as an individual. They will be remembered by not only their lives, but by the lives of the other dogs that they saved.

“These dogs deserved a chance at life. People finally had the chance to see that dogs rescued from fighting rings have every right, just as any other dog, to be seen as individuals. Because of these dogs, other dogs rescued from fighting rings, both large and small, have been given the chance to be seen simply as dogs and therefore, given a chance at the lives they always should have had.

“These dogs absolutely have set a precedent in how dogs from fighting rings are evaluated. They truly changed the landscape and I am so grateful to the people who so deeply believed and worked towards helping others see that these dogs must be treated as individuals,”  Levity concluded.


The dogs in their own woofs… words …



“Today marks nine years since I was rescued from Bad Newz Kennels. Today I woke up snuggled under a pile of covers with a sweet kiss on my nose from mom…life is good.



For my dog (Uba), on this day he went from being a puppy waiting to be a victim of unimaginable cruelty to a puppy actually being mentally and emotionally tortured. This was the day that his emotional well being was sacrificed. The Vick dogs changed the conversation and so, so many dogs are alive today because of them, so I don’t begrudge the world his emotional challenges. Nine years ago today was not the first day my dog felt love. It was probably the first day he was truly terrified.”



“The time period between their seizure (April 2007) and release to rescue (October 2007) did damage to many of the dogs from the case. The now-timid Ginger scampered back and forth like a scared feral cat in the back of her kennel, Frodo pressed himself to the ground when the shelter clatter finally got to him (he’s still noise sensitive), and the energetic Uba paced in neurotic figure eights to relieve his tedium. Our stomachs were in knots during the months that this set of dogs was in lock down. While we waited anxiously for the courts to allow us to evaluate, and then, okay their release, we knew the damage done by their impossible conditions could be irreparable in some or all of the dogs.

“…We’ve learned so much from the Vick dogs, and their lessons have changed us forever. One of their biggest lessons though tends to be forgotten in the excitement of their adoption success. We’d love it if every time readers hear of a new batch of victims rounded up from a cruelty case, you would consider the Vick dogs’ long and difficult post-seizure experience and ask, “What’s being done to keep this latest set of dogs comfortable, vetted and sane while we wait for help to arrive?” The answer to that question could make all the difference in whether the cruelty they suffer ends for good the moment they’re seized by authorities — not several months later, after they’re finally released to rescue.

“NOTE: With all due respect to the incredible people who came together to seize the “Vick dogs” in April 2007, we will be celebrating the five year anniversary ‘happy style’ in October — on the date that the federal courts finally waved them out of the shelters and onto freedom. What a HAPPY day that was!”


Little Red enjoying the sunshine



Handsome Dan

“Because so many people worked to save us, went to bat for us, took a chance on us, and gave us the tools to learn how to live in the human world, the climate has now changed for dogs like me rescued from the horrific world of dogfighting. They are no longer victims, now they can be survivors. Until dogfighting is no more, we will continue to fight for the survivors.

“I owe so much to my special friends Nicole Rattay (the first person I learned to trust on the other side), Rebecca Huss (my court appointed guardian), Donna Reynolds and Tim Racer (for your hard work and granting me my name), John Garcia (for so much, including advocating for my move to Best Friends and all the one-on-one time), Betsy Kidder (my first mama), Kristi Littrell (for finding my family), Crissa and Damien and all of my other caregivers, Cherry Garcia (my first playmate), Little Red (my first roommate and girlfriend), Ann Allums (for bringing me home) and countless others who helped me find my way. Thank you from the bottom of my big pittie heart, from me and my mama!”



Handsome Before when he was known as Hanover 22



After with his dear friend Cherry Garcia and mama Heather who operates an animal rescue organization named after Handsome





Cherry Garcia now



Cherry’s brother Novi when he saw CHERRY, first thing he did was count his legs ‘1, 2, 3; Cherry has 3 legs now and he is awesome!’

To watch Cherry’s recovery and all of his adventures that will follow, you can ‘like’ his Facebook page.



Filed under adoption, animal rescue, animal stars, badrap, best friends animal sanctuary, pit bull, Uncategorized, Vicktory dogs

One million pIbble march

Highlights from the One million pIbble march which was a GREAT SUCCESS:

Thousands of pit bill lovers and guardians and rescuers attended this epic event at the West Lawn of the White House in Washington, DC.


national anthem for pit bulls and caesar millan spoke


One Million Pibble March in Washington receives positive media coverage.

Below is a wonderful presentation by Rebecca Corry at the epic event in Washington, D.C.  before thousands of Pit Bull guardians and lovers:

Please watch and share.


Message from Rebecca Corry:

We made history and gave Pibbles a giant voice !!! Long overdue and just the beginning of much needed change. Abuse and discrimination will no longer be tolerated. We want our communities back, safe and humane for humans and pets. We are the majority and we are only getting louder. It was an honor to share that day with you all. Whether you watched through Instagram, Facebook, Twitter or you were there, you were all a part of something amazing. Our hope is that the PIBBLE MARCH inspires each of you to DO SOMETHING. Start petitions, create programs in your communities to end dog fighting, contact you law makers, organize rallies, marches, meet ups, foster, adopt, volunteer, create Facebook pages with information about how people can help. Get spay/neuter vouchers out to your communities. If you suspect someone is abusing a dog or fighting dogs, REPORT THEM. You have the power to educate, inspire and accomplish change. #‎endabuse #‎standupforpits#‎endbsl #‎betheirvoice #‎angel


We had a wonderful time at the One Million Pibble March on Washington DC yesterday. What a great group of people rallying together for their beloved pets and all the animals who need a voice. Roo and I spent some time walking around the capitol Friday night and reminiscing about Wallace and all the places and experiences he brought to us. I think I spy a Wallace sign in this photo! And I saw a few Wallace t-shirts, too! I was glad to meet so many people and I wish we could have met everyone. For those of you who couldn’t make it to the march, we know you were there in spirit. We returned home this afternoon to hug Hector the Pit Bull, Mindy, Scooby, and Angus ! –Clara Yori 


Note:   There were also events in Canada and Salt Lake City for pit bulls, to end BSL on Saturday, too.

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Filed under dogs, end dog racism, end dogfighting, pet adoption, pit bull, Uncategorized, Vicktory dogs, videos, Washington

RIP sweet Lucas

An anthropologist proposed a game to the kids in an African tribe. He put a basket full of fruit near a tree and told the kids that who ever got there first won the sweet fruits. When he told them to run they all took each other’s hands and ran together, then sat together enjoying their treats. When he asked them why they had run like that as one could have had all the fruits for himself they said: “UBUNTU, how can one of us be happy if all the other ones are sad?”

‘UBUNTU’ in the Xhosa culture means: “I am because we are”


The Vicktory dogs family, Best Friends Animal Sanctuary, Badrap, Our Pack exemplify this kind of attitude towards the dogs and people… imagine the world we live in today especially in America being this way… a dream… a hope… a wish…this is how life is… when we ALL thrive…life is at it should be…

Sweet Lucas was one of the dogs who was court ordered to stay at Best Friends for life and so he did not experience having a family home of his own… but from all reports, he was MUCH LOVED by all the caregivers he had…visitors to Best Friends, all who met and knew him… all the people who’s lives he touched…

From Best Friends:

We’re deeply saddened to announce that our dear Lucas crossed over the Rainbow Bridge earlier this evening, ending his suffering from a host of health complications. We knew those of you who love him most would want to know. Please keep Lucas and those closest to him in your thoughts. We’ll have more details to share later.

more from Best Friends


Lucas wore the Michael Vick dog fighting scars of his past on his face, but his heart and soul exuded nothing but happiness, excitement, love, and forgiveness up to the end. -jessie


In Memory of Lucas 

“Garcia doesn’t seem to mind the interruption, and we’re ushered through the door. The first dog we see is a large, dirty blond Pit Bull with a huge head and knowing, resigned eyes. His face, torso, and legs bear the unmistakable scars of fierce battle. Clearly, this dog hasn’t been in just a scrape or two, he’s had to fight for his life. Yet, as we step closer, his whole body wiggles and wags.

“This is Lucas,” says Garcia. “He’s a grand champion. He’s probably been fought more than 25 times.”

Lucas nuzzles his head into the crook of my elbow. He darts over to greet my husband, all kisses and play bows. It’s hard to imagine a dog being any friendlier, and we fall all over him in return. He’s irresistible.”

“To Judah Battista, Lucas is Exhibit A in the argument that all dogs are good dogs if they’re treated well.”

“Of all the pit bulls in Michael Vick’s Bad Newz Kennels, Lucas was the baddest of them all — Mike Tyson, Hulk Hogan and a little Ray Lewis rolled into one, the grand champion, the most vicious of the vicious Vick dogs.

“When his dog-fighting operation was busted, Vick was sent to prison and so, in a sense, was Lucas. The court shipped him and 21 of his fighting mates from Virginia to this sprawling, 3,800-acre animal sanctuary outside Kanab, with the stipulation that Lucas spend the rest of his days here. It was your basic life sentence.

“That was in January 2008.

“Nearly four years later, or 28 by his reckoning, Lucas is running the place.

“Open the door to the executive offices, and there he is, a smile on his face, a lick on his lips, and eager anticipation of either a pet or a treat written all over his eyes.

“Only the fading scars on his neck and face suggest that he was once the toughest, scariest and most-abused dog in Virginia.

“…we knew that meanness wasn’t the summary of their nature,” he continues. “Using stereotypes doesn’t help anyone. They can all be rehabilitated. It just takes time and affection and attention.

“What we needed to prove was that man could be dog’s best friend as much as dogs could be man’s best friend.”

“After that speech, Judah gave Lucas a treat.

“And Lucas? He jumped in Judah’s lap and gobbled it down.”

“When some visitors come
into the office and sit down,
he welcomes them by
jumping onto their laps and
lavishing kisses on them,”
Brenda says. “That tells
me that he’s not the menacing,
dangerous dog that far too
many people feel his breed
might be. He only wants to
be loved. We all are better
people for having had the
experience of having him in our lives.”

“For Dr. Patti, his easy nature is also what has
touched her: “The thing that stands out most
to me about Lucas is his overflowing love of
people. He is so kind and gentle despite what
humans in the past have put him through. It
really teaches a lesson in forgiveness and
understanding that we humans should strive to equal.”

“Michelle agrees: “We can learn a lot from him.
He has been a very happy dog despite his
background and despite all of the ups and
downs he has had medically.”

“…The gentle side of Lucas, despite his past, continues
to inspire those who know and love him. “His joy
for life and a can-do attitude are something we
can all strive for,” says John. “Lucas really
does symbolize the American dog Despite a
very difficult past, he is affectionate and forgiving.
We are all pulling for him to get better.”

May ALL dogs experience the love, understanding, a home of their own, lots of food and treats and belly rubs that Lucas did… may he run free over the Rainbow Bridge… RIP …

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Filed under animal rescue, best friends animal sanctuary, dog prayers, dogs, pit bull, Uncategorized, Vicktory dogs

V-dogs magical reunion at Best Friends

If this doesn’t make you cry with joy, I don’t know what will… bring tissues with you…

Six of the 22 dogs taken in by Best Friends Animal Society … Mel, Cherry Garcia, Little Red, Handsome Dan, Oscar, and Halle had a ball at their 2013 five year reunion. About 150 to 200 people came to the event’s meet and greet to celebrate with the families and dogs. All the dogs were very well behaved and enjoyed being with one another.

Cherry Garcia and his dad on CNN

Years ago at Bad Newz Kennels, Michael Vick and his cohorts terrorized, traumatized and abused these dogs, made them fight or used them as bait and left them unsocialized and afraid on chains. Their loving caretakers at Best Friends and adopted families have helped them recover and heal with lots of TLC and the difference between how the criminals and humans treated them shows and speaks volumes. The dogs were NEVER the problem. The dogs were NEVER mean nor vicious nor aggressive. The dogs were NEVER violent.


Group shot from left to right: : Mel, Halle, Cherry, Handsome Dan and Little
Red (Oscar is in the back!). Photo by Molly Wald

“47 dogs, according to the federal grand master’s count, were taken in the 2007 raid, from which the 22 toughest cases were brought to the Best Friends sanctuary. Best Friends proposed that the dogs could be rehabilitated or, at the least, deserved care and feeding for life… this was the first time the courts ever allowed dogs confiscated from a fight ring to not only be individually evaluated and rehabilitated, but also to be eligible for adoption. Until then, the protocol for fighting dogs seized was destruction, it was considered that you couldn’t take the fight out of the dog once it was bred or instilled.”

“Five years ago … these same six dogs were brought together in a very different circumstance,” Hunter said, “they were brought together by criminals who had very bad intentions for them – the same dogs, but a different set of people. Today … these same exact six dogs are brought here together by six loving families who want the best for them, and the circumstances are very very different. The dogs are exactly the same and as you look around you can see the results.”


Little gets held like a baby by McKenzie Garcia who helped to rescue her and bring her to safety at Best Friends.


It was also announced that Little’s mom Susan is adopting one of the Handsome Dan foster dogs Jewels, who got along famously with Little at the reunion.  Jewels and Little are now sisters!

During the presentation at the meet and greet, the adopters shared about how magical their experiences with the dogs has been helping the dogs heal on a day to day basis… how the dogs have learned how to live life as part of a loving family.

At the same time, their former owner was going to do book signings at Barnes and Noble but they were canceled due to protests by animal lovers.

Love, light and hope prevail.

“Their photos could be from any pet-loving family’s album. They show dogs doing what dogs do: helping toddlers learn to stand, flopping out on the couch next to the cat, enjoying time with the family in front of a Christmas tree, running on the beach, stretching out in the grass on a sunny day, and sleeping in their person’s bed under the covers. To look at their lives now, it’s unimaginable that five years ago these dogs were the topic of national news and debate. Many thought they were dangerous fighting pit bulls that should be put to death for everyone’s safety. Others looked at them and saw hope. Luckily for the dogs and the many lives they have touched, hope won.”

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Filed under adoption, Adventure, All you need is love, animal stars, best friends animal sanctuary, dogs, family friendly, four paws up, K9 approved, K9 travel, keep pets safe, Michael Vick dogs, pet adoption, pit bull, Uncategorized, Utah, Vicktory dogs

Vicktory Dogs reunion

The long awaited date and time of the Victory Dogs reunion meet and greet at Best Friends Animal Society is here, ta da…spring break may be just the best time to visit since the weather is not too hot yet…

Monday March 11 at 1:15 pm at Best Friends Animal Society in Kanab, Utah…

Meet Handsome Dan, Cherry Garcia, Little Red, Halle, Oscar, and Mel up close and personal with their families…


For more info about visiting Best Friends,

Best Friends Animal Society
5001 Angel Canyon Road
Kanab, Utah 84741-5000
Phone: (435) 644-2001

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Filed under animal abuse, animal stars, best friends animal sanctuary, Michael Vick dogs, pit bull, Spring Break, Uncategorized, Utah, Vicktory dogs

Home for the holidays

An interview with Little Red’s mom Susan…

Little Red is one of the former Vick(tory) dogs…

last Christmas Little Red had some challenges with the Christmas tree and decorations

2-6-11 We’ve had a rough few days. I decorated my Christmas tree and put up my house decorations over the weekend. When I turned on the lights, Little freaked. She ran to my bedroom where she usually is too afraid to go and didn’t leave for two days (except for potty breaks). I tried to comfort her and help her see that the lights wouldn’t hurt her. She was too terrified to respond to anything — even treats. I’ve never seen her so frightened –not even her first days here. I stayed home from work on Monday (I was sick and sick at heart). I stopped lighting any of the inside Christmas lights to see if would help her. It has, but even unlit — the tree seems like a scary monster to Little. She finally came back into the living room last night and slept in her usual spot. She let me cover her with her blanket. But tonight, she is back in my bedroom curled up on a dog bed. If she hears me get treats for the other dogs, she comes out to investigate but as soon as the treats are gone, she hurries back to the bedroom. It doesn’t help that it’s been sub-zero for days (yesterday 27 below without wind chill). Little’s feet are so cold that she doesn’t want to do her usual running. Exercise helps relieve her stress but it’s just too cold. All of my dogs are scurrying out and right back inside. Maybe tomorrow will be warmer and Little will be able to go for a good run. We’ll see.
and the good news… a gift for Little
12-11-11 What a difference a week makes. This is a picture I just took of Little sleeping on her easy chair with a fully lit Christmas tree! This past week has been about helping Little overcome her fear of the inside Christmas lights. I took the advice of so many of Little’s Facebook friends. I used lots of treats, the Chill Out spray, melatonin, and very small steps every day. Now the lights are on and Little is comfortable enough to fall asleep in the Christmas glow. Yesterday when we went to her CGC class, she stood between the seats and pressed her cheek against mine like she always does. But she stayed close the entire drive and put one paw on my shoulder. If she could have climbed into my lap, she would have. Little really wanted to be close to me and I like to think she was thanking me for all of the treats and love. I know I was thanking her for all of the bravery and trust.
1-14-12 Can you say relaxed!!!  Little loves listening to her new CD — “Through a Dog’s Ear”. She got this wonderful gift from her good friends CeilaSue and CiCi. We love it! All 5 dogs respond to this music in the most amazing way. After breakfast (which is at 5 am in my household), the dogs are up and down and in and out and have a hard time settling. Now I put on the CD and the dogs all take extended naps while I have time to sink into a novel before the day really gets going. The music is classical piano pieces and the cadences are designed to calm dogs. It’s been clinically tested with shelter dogs and I can say unequivocally that it works!!! We’ve been listening to the music every morning in preparation for Little’s 1st acupuncture session. I played the CD for her to keep her calm. It was really a special time. I’ll write about it later this weekend. Right now we’ve got some more listening and napping to do.
Little Red in her fall coat 9-30-11

“no matter what she did, Susan never felt the diminutive pit bull truly relax. Little Red slept with her eyes open, her body curled up tight, on guard through the night. Her muscles were always tense, almost as if anticipating a kick or blow. Susan was desperate to help her dog feel safe.

Then one night, she put on a CD of specially arranged classical music designed to calm dogs. “She heard that music, and she just sprawled out on her bed and sighed. She went to sleep with her eyes closed, like her whole body was breathing a sigh of relief.”

“Susan uses the music every day for Little Red, in addition to acupuncture and lots of tender loving care. “It was like a miracle. There’s something intoxicating about that music,” she says.

now onto the interview…

please tell a little bit about your background with dogs/pit bulls... and general background…  I’ve been involved with rescue dogs for many years although I’ve never had a pit bull and didn’t know much about them. When I heard about the Vick bust, I became interested in learning more about the dogs who were rescued.   It wasn’t so much that they were pit bulls as much as the fact that the Vick dogs had suffered such abuse and they were surviving and thriving with love and attention.  It seemed like a miracle that such traumatized dogs could learn to trust people again.

when / why / how did you meet little red and decide to adopt her?  I was volunteering at Best Friends in February 2009 and had heard that 22 of the Vick dogs went to BF.  One particular dog broke my heart – her picture seemed so sad and poignant.  It was Little.  I sponsored her and read everything about her through BF.   I had her picture in my office and I looked at her face every day.  I volunteer once a year for a week at BF and in 2010, I asked if I could meet her.  The staff took me to where she lived (Beefcake was her companion) and I got to watch her in the yard.  She was the “out” dog  so she was right in front of her unit and I asked some of the staff to take her picture with my camera.  The next Feb. (2011) when I went on my annual visit, I asked if I could volunteer in her unit.  I had no idea I could volunteer where she lived.  That year, I spend 6 days watching her and I got to observe her shy dog class.  I was already in love with her but never dreamed I could adopt her.  I was sure so many people with experience with pit bulls would have already applied and I’d never have a chance.   On the last day at BF, I screwed up my courage and went to the adoption office to inquire about her status.  I was shocked when Kristi Littrell told me that several people were interested in adopting her but no one had put in a formal application.  That was it for me.  I completed the application and did all the things necessary to be qualified.  Little passed her canine citizenship test in August and a few weeks later I brought all of my dogs to  Best Friends to meet her.  The meeting went very well and in Sept. 2011 she came to live with me.

what is the hardest thing about adopting little red (the process, problems you’ve had with her health, emotional trauma, or?)  Little’s emotional trauma was very difficult and enormously sad.  She was very frightened and nervous for the first few weeks and months.  She was afraid of coming inside the house and I had to carry her through every doorway.  The normal sounds of a household (washer/dryer/dishwasher) frightened her and she wasn’t sure if she could trust me.  It took many weeks for her to feel comfortable at home.  I believe she also missed her caregivers very much, especially Betsy Kidder who had been with her since she was rescued.  She was very lonely and sad about losing all of her canine and human friends.

progress you’ve had with little red … examples  

She smiles every day and she loves to run and prance around her pasture. She also jumps on my lap for her special treats.

why did you want to adopt a pit bull ?

I didn’t necessarily want to adopt a pit bull.  I wanted to adopt Little Red.  Something in her eyes made me want to help her regain the joy in life that every dog should feel.

how many dogs do you have?  5 dogs counting Little:    Cheeto, a heeler cross from Old Friends at BF; Daisy a beagle from my local shelter, PomPom, a 3-legged Pomeranian with 3 teeth who was abandoned; and Ella a mini-dach rescued from a puppy mill.

does little have a favorite best friend?   She and Cheeto are good friends.  She also likes my PomPom very much.  The little 3 lb dog bosses her around and she is so happy to obey.  Little  really  likes other dogs and is very comfortable with them.   In September, we visited with Halle (another Vick dog) and her 2 pit bull brothers.  Little was in heaven. She adored them all and fell in love with Jagger, a small pit bull pup with a spinal abnormality. Little was totally smitten with Jagger  and followed him everywhere.  She loves pittie play. None of my other dogs play like pit bulls do and Little misses that..

little’s favorite toy, food, treat, place?

Little doesn’t play with toys.  She loves boiled chicken which is the treat all my dogs love.  I cook it for them every week. .  She also found an antelope horn in the pasture and she carried it around and chewed it for several months until it was gone.  Santa is bringing her a new one for Christmas.  I’m going to let her “find” it in the pasture.

does little like to travel ?  No she doesn’t.  She is a homebody who likes to run in her pasture and snuggle in her bed.

fears/phobias still to overcome?  Loud noises, changes in her routine, new people. Sometimes she dreams and I can tell that she is upset.  When that happens, I sit with her and play special music that is bio-acoustically engineered to calm her (Through a Dog’s Ear  cd’s).  I also use an herbal spray (Chill Out) that helps her regain her emotional composure.

biggest reward from adopting little?  How happy she is to be in a home.  We are very bonded to each other and I love to hear her snore lightly each evening as she drifts peacefully off to sleep.

unexpected joys?  challenges? Watching her run with abandon across the pasture.  She has a 6-acre fenced yard so she never has to be leashed.  She loves to explore and when I whistle for her, she comes racing to me at top speed, circles around and stops at my side.  She looks up at me and smiles her funny, squinty smile and it makes me laugh.

The biggest challenge is her health.  She has allergies that flare quite frequently.  Because she is Babasia positive, my Vet does not want to keep giving her antibiotics for fear that she will develop an immunity.  When her feet flare, they can get infected very quickly.   We’ve tried so many things to help her and have had the best results with acupuncture and laser treatments for her feet.  She is also on a grain free diet. She has new boots for the snow and that will help to keep her feet dry.

anything else you would like to share?  Little is a constant joy.  She has started to smile more and more and she now comes to me to seek attention and affection.  She’s home and she knows this is a safe place where she will always be loved.  She has blossomed.


Blog Hop time…thanks to Life with DogsTwo Little Cavaliers and Confessions of the Plume…  grab the blog hop  link


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Wallace and Hector’s cross country trip

Wallace is checking off his bucket list…and more !!!!

Great Salt Lake, Wallace Was Here

Wallace hits the beach


Wallace at the dog park

Wallace met Betty White

She was so nice and so sweet! She loved on both me and my bro Hector the Pit Bull! She met us on a break during rehearsal, and when it was mentioned that she really needed to get some lunch before she was due back on stage, her response was “I can eat lunch anytime”, and stayed just a bit longer to give us some more love! Thanks Betty for being so gracious with your time, and for loving dogs of all shapes and sizes!

Here’s a disc used by me and signed by the beautiful Wendie Malick from Hot In Cleveland. She thought I was so gorgeous, she even put it in writing!

BadRap Reunion

Roo and Clara drove 35 hours from Minnesota with Hector and Wallace.  Seven of the V-dogs who touched down in California five years ago were reunited for this photo at the recent Hoedown.

It looks easy – but check out the video of photographer Mark wrangling these squirmy dogs and giggling cowboys and cowgirls to get this fantastic shot:

Wallace was kind enough to grant a photo session with his new book when he was here for the big hoedown slumber party. Although what he REALLY wants in this moment is a break so he can “Please pretty please get back to that awesome toy box pleeease?”

Wallace and Roo in 2008

One of the greatest pleasures we’ve had this year was to see Hector the Pit Bull again at our reunion. It’s been over four years since we put him on a plane to his wonderful new life with Roo and Clara. He’s still the same floppy guy, only with a little gray now around his muzzle. And those EYES!

and that Hector famous flop…


Blog Hop time…thanks to Life with DogsTwo Little Cavaliers and Confessions of the Plume…  grab the blog hop code

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Filed under Adventure, All you need is love, animal books, animal communication, animal rescue, animal stars, badrap, Bay area, beach, beach parties for dogs, best friends animal sanctuary, California, dog parks, dog rescue, dog travel, dogs, exercise your dog, four paws up, K9 approved, K9 travel, keep pets safe, lost dogs book, love, Michael Vick dogs, pet blog hop, pet care, pet travel, pit bull, publicity, travel with dog, Uncategorized, Vicktory dogs