It's a Dog's Life by Stephanie "Foster Mom" O'Brien en-us Come On Spring! Okay Mother Nature, we are ready for dog walking season to begin! You've teased us with a few opportunities here and there, but I think it's time to turn up the thermostat and turn off the wind. I've got pups that need to get out and stretch their legs. The few times I have had Sophie out, it's been far from enjoyable. She pulls so hard no matter what collar, gentle leader, or harness I put on her. She is literally terrified of being outside of her comfort zone, which seems to be about 3... Tue, 29 Apr 2014 20:16:38 -0500 Thinking Outside of the Box I'll admit it. I have a challenging personality. While it's not always a bad thing, there are times when it is read completely wrong. I think it is a gift, and can be quite helpful if you are open enough to hearing my rendition. I constantly challenge myself to think of solutions to current problems, ways to avoid problems, and how something can be changed to work more efficiently without losing it's integrity. I like to try and play the devil's advocate so to speak, and ask people to... Mon, 07 Apr 2014 20:30:10 -0500 If You Like It, Then You Should Put A Leash On It! It's been a long, cold winter and no one is more excited about the weather warming up than dogs and their owners! I love getting my dogs out for walks around town. It's a great way for us to get some exercise and shed some of those winter pounds. I took Sophie out on Thursday for a loop around Grand Ave. I was surprised at how many leash manners she had forgotten over the winter. She pulled and tugged even though I had her gentle leader on. It wasn't the "I just want to go, go, go", but... Fri, 21 Mar 2014 21:14:12 -0500 In The Dog House I'm continually amazed at the power of the internet and technology. I am not savvy with either one, but can tackle my blog and email fairly easy. When most people are considering moving to a new town, they usually begin researching the community via the local newspaper. They scour the real estate ads, check out the job opportunities, and possibly the school system or retail opportunities. I'm not sure what this family was looking up, but they found me via my blog. Kat, from TN, is... Tue, 04 Mar 2014 15:36:21 -0600 Mandy I received the most most beautiful gift! It is a watercolor portrait of Boomer as seen in in the above picture. It is beautifully done and is the exact likeness of his features. But the very best part is that it was created by someone that never even met Boomer. In fact, it was by fate that I ever met Mandy. If you recall, a couple of years ago I volunteered at Villalobos Rescue Center shortly after they moved to New Orleans. It was here that I met Mandy along with about a dozen other pit... Thu, 20 Feb 2014 19:07:30 -0600 Why We Ride I embraced the opportunity this week to watch the documentary Why We Ride on the big screen in Mitchell, SD. My gal pal, Laura Klock, hosted the South Dakota premier in conjunction with the kick off of another bike rebuild program. Laura, her husband Brian, and daughters Erika and Karlee were all featured in the film. Mitchell is home to the Abbott House, a residential care facility for girls ages 7-17 years of age. It is celebrating it's 75th year in existence. Laura became involved and... Sun, 02 Feb 2014 12:18:16 -0600 Dogs Behind Bars Recently, I've been doing some research on inmates of correctional facilities training dogs. Some are taught basic skills such as come, sit, stay, and walking loosely on a leash. Some go a step further and pass a Canine Good Citizen test. This is a test of a dogs ability to be placed in different situations and to remain under control of the handler. There are also programs that are training them to become service dogs for the blind, hearing impaired, post traumatic stress veterans, and... Sat, 18 Jan 2014 19:15:50 -0600 Sophie Rose Guess what? I have a new foster dog in the house. She is quite the spirited little pit bull girl with big, brown eyes. The kind of eyes that you can see the spark in everytime you look at them. There is no sadness, only joy emitting from every tail wag she has. In true dog form, her past is behind her, and she lives for the moment. She is young, around 2 years old and can be a bit pushy. I waited about 2 weeks before I allowed any contact between her and Ike. She has never shown any... Sun, 12 Jan 2014 19:50:24 -0600 Dear Neighbor Dear Neighbor - Happy New Year! As I was walking past your house the other day, as I have done numerous times before, I noticed your four legged, furry friend outside. It was great to finally be able to get out of the house after our terribly frigid weather we've had. Your dog seems to spend much of his time outside by himself. Each time we walk past him, he becomes excessively anxious and irritated. I'm not sure if your dog is more worked up by the sight of a human or another dog, but... Sun, 29 Dec 2013 15:19:39 -0600 Merry Pitmas! It has been three months since Boomer has been gone, and not many of those days do I not think of him. I truly believe that we were brought together to learn from one another. Even though he is now gone, I'm still learning and I will continue to bring awareness and hopefully educate people on animal issues. What I'm continuing to learn is that animal problems come from people problems, so in order to help our animals, we must also help people. Last week I was alerted to a Craig's List ad... Sun, 22 Dec 2013 16:56:00 -0600 Cruelty or Lack of Education? It's been awhile since I've posted. Sometimes I have to wait for something to inspire me. This week, I had the opportunity to be on the Mediacom Newsleaders segment with Jeff Thee in Spirit Lake. We discussed winter pet care tips. I think we could safely say that most pet owners know the importance of keeping your pet indoors and out of the bitter cold that we have been experiencing, but I also know that others don't or choose to have an outdoor only pet. For those folks we talked about... Sun, 15 Dec 2013 18:34:44 -0600 Are You Up For The Challenge? I've been told I have a challenging personality. I take that as a compliment even though I don't think it's always meant to be one. I try to look outside of the box on many things. I'm always trying to find ways to make things better, work more efficiently, and what will have the best impact. So when I say, ''what about doing it this way, or how about we try doing this?'' I'm not saying your way is wrong, nor do I think my way is right. I'm simply asking you to try and step out of the box... Mon, 25 Nov 2013 20:18:15 -0600 No Breed Ban in Ringsted! The vote was close (3-2), but the nays took it. No breed ban in Ringsted, IA. This little bedroom community of 422 has decided that they have all of the animal ordinances they need already. They require people to license their pets, show proof of rabies vaccination, and have a leash law that states all animals, when not on the owners property, must be on a leash. Pretty simple, straightforward laws that would be difficult to dispute. No one has to argue over what breed of dog this one is,... Thu, 14 Nov 2013 19:35:27 -0600 Re-Homing Your Pet Most people consider their pets to be family. We take pictures of our pets, give them special treats and buy them the most comfortable doggy bed we can find. Some people consider their pet a best friend, confidante, or exercise buddy. Some people have pets that are used for working or hunting. Whatever your reason for having a pet, there may come a time when you are no longer able to keep your furry friend. ''Stuff'' happens in our lives and we may feel as though we can no longer keep Fido... Wed, 06 Nov 2013 09:19:06 -0600 Shocked, I'm Sure My house just seems empty without the clicking of numerous toenails running across the hardwood floor. No, I'm not completely petless, but for some reason I always feel like I need to be taking one in that needs a little human compassion. While I love fostering, it can be a huge commitment of time. Let's face it, they depend on you for care and if you are not there, they have no one to feed, exercise, and bond with. I decided that I wanted to become a little getaway place for dogs in... Tue, 29 Oct 2013 18:11:50 -0500 Take Out The Human in the Equation My first edition of Boomer's Voice. I've been searching for a topic to get this whole thing started again, and today I heard it. Literally, my phone rang and the topic was brought to my attention. This is something that lights my fire everytime it is brought to my attention. A female voice on the other end said she needed my help. She had acquired a dog (pit bull mix) from a dying friend. He is dog aggressive and she has a yorkie that has been the target one too many times for her liking.... Fri, 04 Oct 2013 18:50:16 -0500 It's Been A Long, Strange Trip I had the opportunity to head to Rogers, AR with my motorcycle family last week to introduce that region to Klock Werks parts. I've told myself to always take opportunities as you never know if you will ever have them again. Of course part of my preparation is to find someone to care for my pets while I'm gone. Now that my son is old enough to drive, he is a great help to let them out, feed them and make sure they have fresh water and clean litter boxes. That last one is not his favorite. ... Tue, 24 Sep 2013 21:17:28 -0500 Never Come Between A Boy And His Breakfast! My fur kids and I have had a busy week. The Clay County Fair always gives me the opportunity to earn a little extra cash while making some sacrifices. I rent my house to some awesome vendors I've known from way back in The Fireside Lounge days. I pack up, and the dogs and I head for the lake to set up camp at a lake home (or two). It's a little inconvenient, but we suck it up for 9 days in order to have some Christmas cash. Okoboji is a beautiful place to be at this time of the year. It's... Mon, 16 Sep 2013 11:30:32 -0500 Emotion Overload Sunday, I took Boomer to Sioux Falls, SD to meet a potential adopter. The gal had checked out all of the dogs available from Sioux Empire Pit Rescue via the website (, completed the application and the rescue had followed up with their normal reference and home checks. She had specifically asked to meet some of the dogs that were a little more difficult to place. She was single, had no children, and no other pets. Her goal was to find a great companion in a dog. ... Mon, 02 Sep 2013 20:54:44 -0500 White House Administration Does NOT Like Bullies Last week President Obama and his administration made a bold statement. In my opinion, it's the best one that has been made thus far. Mr. President has stated he is against breed specific legislation. To clarify for those of you not familiar with that term, basically he is saying that no dog should be banned from living in a community because of its breed of appearance. This was brought about due to a petition that circulated fighting against breed specific legislation. The number of... Sat, 24 Aug 2013 16:42:10 -0500