Truman - Pit Bull Terrier
One Dog's Journey from Pound Puppy to Happily Ever After
And the Many Lessons Along the Way...
Truman is a very handsome boy who has plenty of kisses for everyone. He appeared to have had little to no socialization with other dogs until he came into rescue in October 2010. He has come a very long way and is doing excellent in his socialization classes. So far he's great around and loves kids, people other dogs and cats. Obviously like all dogs, he should be supervised with kids and other animals. He loves to play ball and everything else that is doggie fun. He craves human affection and would love to be your best friend. Truman would do best in a home with dogs that know how to play appropriately and aren't too pushy. Some male dogs are okay, but he's really more of a ladies man. He's small for a pit, only about 45 pounds right now. If you've always wanted a pit bull, but worried about size, Truman might be the dog for you. There's a lot of heart in his smaller frame. He loves water, hiking, dog-sledding, and fetch. He'd be a great obedience competitor, agility dog, flyball champ, weight pull contender, jogging buddy, disc dog, freestyle... or any other sport you want to give a try. He's really versatile and willing to try anything. The pictures don't do him justice. You have to see him!
TRUMAN'S TRIBUNE - scroll down and read the updates in order or click on the dated links here to find out what's new with this beautiful boy, and remember - TRUMAN was ADOPTED on September 1, 2011. It was a long journey, but he's finally found his family!
This is Truman
Update - October 12, 2010
Update - October 14, 2010
Update - October 17, 2010
Update - October 19, 2010
Update - October 25, 2010 - Truman Makes Great Progress
Sad News for Truman - November 19, 2010
Good New for Truman - November 24, 2010
Update - December 22, 2010, Let's play ball!
Update - December 24, 2010, Truman's Amazing Feat
Update - December 27, 2010, Video
Update - New Years Eve - From Death Row to Dog Park
Update - January 15, 2011 - Sleepover
Update - January 16, 2011 - Sensitive & Sweet
Update - January 17, 2011 - The Cow Ear
Update - April 15, 2011 - Leading Man
Update - June 11, 2011 - Still looking for a home
Update - July 24, 2011 - Weight-pull!
Update - August 20, 2011 - Truman is running out of time!
Update - August 26, 2011 - Truman is saved by No Dog Left Behind Rescue
Update - September 4, 2011 - Truman has a real home!
What we know about Truman is that he is a young, beautiful, muscular, male Pit Bull Terrier picked up as a stray in the northern suburbs. Several rescue groups were contacted to help this boy out, but not one would even send someone out to evaluate him. You see, he shows some signs of 'dog aggression' according to shelter workers.
Cheryl, a shelter volunteer at P.U.P.S. (Pets Under Police Security), the animal control shelter where Truman was brought in, saw the potential in this young boy and asked me to evaluate him. He was getting close to being euthanized, because it was apparent the rescues weren’t interested in even looking at him.
Truman is a very sweet and loving dog who is focused on people and is easily motivated by toys, however IF he is truly dog aggressive he is a liability to the community. BUT shouldn’t the first qualities mentioned at least buy him the courtesy of an evaluation, rather than collectively dismiss him as “dangerous“ or “untrainable” or “a pit bull?” Aren’t such generalizations exactly what we are trying to educate people against with regard to breed specific legislation? I have been involved with various rescue groups for over a decade and these are the thoughts that I struggle with.
My opinion is that if Truman can be trained and carefully adopted then we should not immediately jump to the conclusion that he should be euthanized. Isn’t that what ‘rescue’ is all about. Don’t we owe him the benefit of a little time to see if he can be worked with? If the answer is ‘maybe,’ doesn’t he deserve a stay of execution?
My observations about Truman are that he does not make eye contact with other dogs, and he always looks to a human for guidance. When he does show “aggression” toward another dog it appears he is concerned that his space is violated and/or he feels threatened. (Truman likes perhaps a five foot personal radius, not too much to ask. That’s about the same amount of personal space humans enjoy.) He shows teeth and snaps, but it appears this is more from fear than aggression. My opinion about this young pit bull is that he either was born a singleton and separated from his mother too early or was separated from his litter too early OR he may have been in a dog fighting environment (although, doubtful he saw any fighting action, he is beautiful, powerful and I have not noticed any scars on him) and he learned quickly that avoidance of other dogs kept him safe. There is no way to know for sure.
I was able to secure him a place with Chapter 2 Rescue while I work with him and hopefully we can find him a suitable home. Chapter 2 is housed at VIP Pet Services in Waconia, MN. Because Truman will be staying at a boarding facility he will have the benefit of being worked with by dog professionals and hopefully eventually be able to be socialized with other rescue dogs. Of course, he cannot stay there forever. For one thing, living in a “shelter” or kennel environment long term is no way to live. And for every rescue dog VIP houses it takes away potential income for the owners who deserve to make a living, after all they have family to raise, too. Nonetheless, Truman is welcome there and well-cared for while he gets the help he needs to understand the societal expectations of being a dog.
I have started using a form of negative reinforcement training with him called Constructional Aggression Treatment (CAT) which he responds to well and has even let our helper pup get close enough to lick his face. I may also incorporate a bit of Behavioral Adjustment Training (BAT). I definitely think this dog is worth saving and I’m willing to put forth my time and expertise to see if we can’t get him comfortable enough around other dogs to get him adopted.
Truman has been to the vet and is up-to-date on vaccines and the doc believes him to be not more than 8-months-old.
Truman deserves a second chance. If you are interested in adopting Truman, application can be made through Chapter 2 Rescue. You can also make a financial donation to help with his care while he is in rescue. If you are interested in assisting me with his training, please call 952-226-2622 and let me know. I’m looking for experienced handlers and/or people with dogs that can help us to make Truman feel more comfortable. Safety is a top priority for everyone involved.
Much appreciation is owed to Cheryl Anderson, P.U.P.S volunteer and Danielle Conway, Animal Containment Coordinator for P.U.P.S. who saw the goodness in this dog and made an effort to keep calling and asking for help for him, even when they were continuously turned down by established rescues with the financial backing to help. A special thank you to Max & Tara of VIP Pet Services for giving this boy a place to stay and for working with him while he learns what it means to be a good canine citizen.
Contact Max by e-mail at Chapter 2 for adoption application. Also check out the other dogs available for adoption at Chapter2. We will post a way to make online donations for Truman shortly.
October 12th Update – Truman
I stayed late after my obedience class went home for the evening to play with Truman. I have never met a more sweet and loving pup. He is exuberant like a puppy and loves to play, but he also loves human interaction and is always checking in to make sure what he’s doing is okay.
We played some ball and incorporated a little training, he already knows sit and it is in his nature to drop to the ground on a clearly expressed DOWN cue. We also started working on TOUCH. Then we took a little break and rubbed him all over. He thoroughly enjoyed the touching and in true bully-dog fashion thought the ‘butt-rubbing’ was the bomb… dancing his little hips from side to side and then plopping himself right in my lap in ecstasy.
He is a well built and muscular young dog, absolutely beautiful with a heart of gold.
October 14 - Great Progress
Stopped up the VIP Pet Services to work with Truman for about 45 minutes. His main issue is that he has no idea what to do with he comes upon another dog. Mostly he avoids, and if he can get away with making no eye contact and pretending the other dog doesn’t exist, that serves him well. Unfortunately not all dogs understand this avoidance behavior and before we can adopt him out we need to help Truman to understand that if your space is invaded by another dog it’s okay to interact with the dog, not just snarl and hope they get the message to leave you alone. We are making great progress. Today Truman licked the face of Cinna-bon, a Chihuahua mix also in rescue at Chapter 2 (adoption pending). His face-licking action wasn’t born out of submission, but more of a friendly gesture, mixed with a little nervousness for being so close to her. This was a HUGE step forward and Sir Truman is well on his way to being an upstanding member of canine society. Yay, Truman! You da Dawg!
October 17, 2010 - Canicross... Can-i-cross?... Truman CAN!
My friend, Hope, came all the way over to the western ‘burbs from St. Paul to help handle Truman while I hiked with Kora today.
Our first obstacle was finding a harness for Truman. Somehow I overestimated his size! His muscular pittie body is far more compact than I anticipated. I have six various-sized skijoring harnesses, but not one was small enough for this little ‘man.’ I found one that would work for him to pull against safely and rigged it snug to his body with necklines and belly bands… and we were off!
Truman lowered his head and put his chest into the harness… he leaned and strained and pulled. He was a dog on a mission to pull Hope down the trail. It was like he was finally given permission to fully experience a sport he was born to do. Truman would make a great weight-pulling dog, and of course cani-cross, but I can also see him dressed for winter pulling a sled – either a dog-sled or a backyard sled loaded with kids! I haven’t seen him work with kids, but it’s hard not to be reminded of Petey and the Little Rascals (Our Gang).
It wasn’t long before we could walk Kora and Truman side-by-side. And even in the few instances where Kora was a little too rambunctious and got in Truman’s face, Truman always opted to avoid conflict. We still have some work to do with his training around other dogs, but today he showed what I’d seen early on, that he can be taught appropriate ways to interact with other dogs and will follow the encouragement of his handler.
And then there was the water! Truman loved going for a dip in the lake.
Check out these videos of him playing happily in the water. I know he can jump too… perhaps dock dog competitions are in his future!
Truman after class. October 19, 2010
I teach dog classes on Tuesday nights. I always try to spend some time with Truman before or after the classes. I have excellent intentions of teaching him some things every good doggie-citizen must know to be able to get along in the world run by people, but after class on Tuesday I couldn’t do it. I couldn’t try to ‘train’ him. It wasn’t Truman, it was me. I’m certain he would have been up for learning a few new things. He’s always so engaging and eager to please. I’m certain if I’d asked him to concentrate, he’d have done his best to oblige me. But I couldn’t ask him to focus and learn. I took him outside and sat with him for a while. All he wanted to do was snuggle into me. It’s almost as if he wanted to crawl inside me and be part of me. He’s got a lot of energy and his wiggly cuddles can be a little like a wrestling match. And he is still a puppy so every chance he gets to be around people he tries to make the most of it. He lives each moment like it’s his last. This Tuesday I just sat with him and enjoyed his joie de vivre. I couldn’t ask him to work, I selfishly wanted to vicariously experience his puppy-ness! I think we both benefited from just being together.
Truman Makes Huge Progress!
This week I had very little time to work with Truman. The last time I saw him was last Tuesday, October 19th, but I can hardly wait to see him when I go to VIP to teach more classes tomorrow. But really Truman doesn’t need me, he’s got Max! Max, owner of VIP and co-founder of Chapter 2 rescue has been working with Truman everyday and has made excellent progress! It was only a month ago that Truman faced certain death because he had a reaction to other dogs. As I described in Truman’s introduction, he avoided eye-contact with other dogs and when put in a position where he was practically forced to engage another dog he snarled and growled. The snarling and growling was mean enough, but there was no heart in it. Not a surprise really, Truman is a lover, not a fighter. I believe he just didn’t know what proper interaction between dogs looked like, so his choice was avoidance whenever possible.
Take a look at these pictures Max sent me this week. What a happy, wonderful boy. His tail is wagging so fast and happy in the first picture it looks like he only has half a tail!
Now all we need is a good home for him. Pass the word!
Sad news for Truman
I haven’t posted much on Truman lately; partially because I haven’t had time to work with him and partially because I haven’t had time to write. I can tell you that Max, at VIP Pet Services where Truman is being housed, works with him daily. Truman is making great progress on getting along with other dogs. He can play with selected dogs without issue, he just has trouble with the more obnoxious dogs he comes in contact with. But this is excellent progress for a pup who originally wouldn’t make eye contact with other dogs.
Tonight Tara, VIP co-owner and head groomer, was telling me about Truman’s progress with some of the other dogs. She was excited to relate that Truman was exhibiting all the behaviors of a well adjusted puppy … full body wiggles and play bows! He was trying everything to solicit play from some of the other dogs! This is just what we’ve been hoping for.
And Truman has made all this progress with some pretty tough health issues. When he was admitted to Chapter 2 he appeared to be in excellent health. He was seen by a vet and vaccinated (including bordetella), yet within the last month he managed to contract a strain of kennel cough not covered by the bordatella vaccine. The kennel cough cleared up, but he started losing weight, despite an excellent appetite. A fecal float revealed round worms. Truman was treated and as of today he is worm free!
Yet, he is still losing weight – 8 pounds since the vet saw him just a few weeks ago. That’s a lot of weight for a 45 lb dog to lose! When I saw him this evening he looks very thin. The vet ran blood work today and we will have the results on Monday. Here’s the thing… Truman has no testicles, yet a neutering scar is not detectable. We all assumed he was neutered, but with his recent health crisis the vet now suspects his testicles may not have dropped and he may have some tumors developing around that. He’s strong and handsome and full of spunk. If it wasn’t for his dramatic weight-loss you wouldn’t even suspect he’s sick.
Please keep Truman in your thoughts. This boy is a lover, not a fighter - and he deserves a chance! If you would like to donate to Truman’s vet care, you can send donations to Chapter 2 Rescue at VIP Pet Services, 200 Highway 5 West, Waconia, MN 55387.
Good News for Truman - He still needs a home!
Good news for Truman! After $700 in test, the vet can find no reason for his weight loss! He is a healthy puppy, and he is definitely neutered, up to date on shots and ready to go to his forever home. His dramatic weight-loss is likely due to him living in a kennel environment where he doesn’t really take the time to relax, therefore even in his kennel he’s still burning calories. The best thing we can do for him, short of finding him the perfect forever home, is to get him into a foster home and out of the kennel environment. If you or any one you know is able to foster this wonderful intelligent boy, please call Max at (952) 442-5155. Pure Spirit will also support Truman with training help. If you can’t foster or adopt him, perhaps you can donate to his medical fund? Send donations to Chapter 2 Rescue at VIP, 200 Highway 5 West, Waconia, MN 55387.
December 22, 2010 - Let's Play Ball!
It’s such a privilege to hang out with Truman. Last night we played ball for about 30 minutes. If I didn’t have to teach class he would have been happy to keep on playing. He has such joie de vivre and is always so happy to be with people! He is such a sweet dog and so willing to work and please. I can’t believe he hasn’t found a home yet! Please keep him in your thoughts this week. And mention this boy to anyone you know that’s looking for a great young dog, especially active folks who are really looking for that dog to go everywhere and do everything with.
If you are looking for a good organization for your charitable donations – remember Truman had some hefty vet bills last month and Chapter 2 could use some funds to offset those costs… they were worth every penny! Send donations to Chapter 2 Rescue, TRUMAN at VIP Pet Services, 200 Highway 5 West, Waconia, MN 55387.
December 24, 2010 - Truman's Amazing Feat
I went to walk with Truman this evening. He is still living at VIP boarding kennel where he gets excellent care, but doesn’t have a family or house to call his own. I meant to take my camera to get some new pictures of him. Max has reported how Truman loves the snow and I had hoped to get there to take some great pictures and maybe some new video of the boy playing.
I forgot the camera, and I’m so sorry I did! I could not believe my eyes! Truman can balance himself on his front two feet! I’ve seen dogs do this after months of training, but Truman hasn’t had training on this. He stopped to do his business, and in the process must’ve decided it was too cold to put his back feet on the ground, so he pulled them up and balanced steadily on his front two feet. I was awed to see his muscles working and the concentration it took for him to hold this position. It was like watching an Olympic gymnast pull themselves muscle by muscle into a slow handstand.
All the way back to VIP all I could think about was what an amazing dog this is! The tricks he’s capable of learning with the right teacher, the right training methods and a little patience! When we got back to the kennel I sat with him for a while, giving him some love and worked with him on waiting for his dinner. He’s a very smart boy, and he loves people, but I can see the longing he has of wanting someone to call his own.
As I was leaving I mentioned Truman’s amazing feat to Max, but Max wasn’t surprised, he’d seen Truman’s handstand before! Max went on to tell me that Truman can also balance on the front and back leg on a single side. So he can balance on his right legs or his left legs. As a trainer these are tricks that I would love to encourage and incorporate into a sport or entertainment tricks for a therapy program, but with three aging dogs at home, I can’t give Truman the home he needs and deserves. I also can’t believe more people haven’t tried to meet him.
December 27, 2010 - Who Wears a Red Coat and Black Boots?
Truman, like most Minnesotans, is learning that cold is relative. If you have the right extreme weather gear, the temperature outside is not really that important. Today Truman allowed me to put some booties on his feet and a jacket on his body and off we went romping down the street in temps of 11°F with wind gusts up to 14 mph. Once he realized that walking in the booties was actually pretty nice and he didn’t have to try to walk on only 2 or 3 legs while alternating the foot that couldn’t touch-the-ground, he seemed to really enjoy the walk. He didn’t even mind that he was dressed like his favorite Christmas hero. Truman did mention that he kind of wished Santa had brought him a hat or at least earmuffs, but he’ll settle for a nice cozy home to start off 2011.
From Death Row To Dog Park
Only 2 ½ months ago Truman was pulled from an animal shelter where he was close to being put down. Today he took his first trip to the dog park!
Dog parks are a double-edged sword. They are a great way for dogs to run, play and be a dog, but for some dogs they are a terrifying experience. I think in human terms a dog park is not unlike a night club. Some people love the environment, the music, the dancing, the merry-making. Other people, especially introverts, can feel lost if their companions leave them to fend for themselves while they’re off talking to other people. Sometimes the music and energy is overwhelming. And some people push the limits of polite society by groping, pushing and bullying other party-goers physically and verbally.
In any case the decision to take Truman to the dog park was not made lightly and we didn’t go to just any dog park. We went to a BIG one where the terrain and trees gave enough cover that we wouldn’t see many other dogs all at once. We arrived when it was unlikely the park would be packed with animals. And I’d scoped the park out for a few days prior to get a feel for the kind of people that bring their dogs to this park. I was looking for the kind of folks that stayed with their dogs, had reliable recalls and really paid attention to what the dogs were doing (picking up after their dogs is always a huge plus!).
It was important that Truman have a successful outing - and there was a lot at stake. Most glaring – he’s a pit bull, meaning if there was a scuffle, it wouldn’t matter who started it, likely Truman would be blamed simply based on his breed. And because Truman is a rescue, a bad scuffle could make it hard or impossible to adopt him out, resulting in him losing his life over one fateful moment at a dog park. There is also risk of Truman being traumatized if a bad situation occurs - all his hard work to be trusting of other dogs could be reversed in the blink of an eye.
There was a lot to gain, too. Truman would get a chance to be outside, run and have some fun. He would have an opportunity to encounter other dogs in a setting different than all his training has taken place in to date. I had a chance to witness his skill in understanding his environment and his ability to control his actions. He did awesome! It’s amazing how far he’s come.
Truman was on a check-line the entire time we were at the park. I haven’t built up a relationship with him where we have a reliable recall, and we had to have success every step along the way. Also my work with him around other dogs has been more controlled than Truman’s work with Max (I work with hims more on leash, Max has worked with him off leash in play groups), so I didn’t have enough of a baseline to be comfortable without having leash-control if needed. Failure was not an option on this outing.
Being on a line didn’t seem to bother Truman at all. He was still able to play with other dogs, but he wasn’t able to get himself into any trouble too far away from me to give him a hand. Also, it gave him some controlled ‘down time’ between dogs. While Duke, my other charge at the park, was running off ahead, Truman could stay back and regroup. Remember that Truman is a dog that didn’t have good doggy social skills when I met him and it’s still apparent that he is figuring out the proper protocol for interacting with his own species. He makes very good decisions, but he seems to be cautious with every move. He’ll offer a behavior, then wait, ever so patiently, for a response from the other dog. It’s as if he’s saying, “Hi, I’m Truman, do you want to play with me?...? …um, did I formulate my question properly?”
Truman was wonderful to watch play and romp! He has such courage to put himself out there in a new and strange environment with dogs and people he doesn’t know and just go with the flow.
Truly a wonderful dog. And a handsome one at that.
January 15, 2011 - Sleepover at Marilyn's
Truman came to my house for a sleepover this weekend. He is the perfect gentleman. Mostly he’s been lounging around, napping and occasionally passing gas (that’s the difference between men and dogs, women are offended when men get gassy, but dog sounds make us giggle – or maybe that’s just me). I attribute rear rumble to perhaps a few too many treats. Anyway he’s been very sweet. We haven’t gone out much because it’s been a little cold and I’ve been a little lazy. I was a little concerned that Truman would have too much energy if I didn’t get him out for long walks or serious run time, but he seems pretty content to lie around the office and watch me work.
I’ve been having a great time dressing him up to go outside. I’ll have to post a picture. He looks so dapper in his coat and booties. I put a neck warmer on him, too and pull it up over his ears to keep them warm. He doesn’t mind being outside in the cold weather if he’s dressed appropriately.
He’s a hoot to watch navigate the stairs. And he’s cautiously curious about his world. A completely trainable dog always looking to his person for advice and encouragement!
January 16, 2011 - Sweet & Sensitive
Truman is a powerful, but sensitive dog. This evening he was playing, as an adolescent dog will, and as he was jumping and goofing off in a fairly controlled manner. He accidently nipped my arm, catching just a tiny bit of skin. The kind of pinch that when your ‘friends’ did it to you in junior high made you wince with pain. I didn’t wince, I yelled. “OUCH! That hurt!” My face and my tone told Truman all he needed to know. He moved away quickly and dropped to a more submissive body position. Play time was over, he understood that clearly. Since I was on the phone I ushered him to his kennel and continued my conversation, noticing to my dismay that he had expressed his anal glands.
I think his reaction was a bit dramatic for my response, but what I think isn’t important. His reaction is what it is. He is entitled to feel the way he feels and react that way he thinks is appropriate. In this case, his reaction gave me some real insight into his psyche. I received even more information when I let him out of his kennel about 10 minutes later. He was still submissive and reluctant to play. Poor guy. He’ll be okay, he got a lot of lovin’ and we got a little play going. What I now know is that even the slightest disappointment from his person and he will crumble. I don’t think he was abused, not all rescue dogs are. I just think that he’s really sensitive and he works so hard to please, it breaks his heart when he thinks you’re mad at him.
He’ll be so easy to train and the person that does come forward to adopt him is going to have one heck of a best friend!
January 17, 2011 - The Cow Ear
Truman the is happily gnawing on a cow ear dog chew. I think it's his first ever. At first he didn't know what to do with it, but he seems to have it figured out now. The great thing about Truman is that he's still learning how to be a dog, but without a lot of the maddening habits and razor-sharp teeth of a puppy!
April 15, 2011 - Truman Wants to be Your "Leading Man"
Truman Wants To Be Your “Leading Man”
My name is Truman. I auditioned for the role of Sandy in the Children’s Theatre Company’s production of ANNIE, but didn’t get the part. They said I wasn’t ‘scruffy’ enough. Well, that’s true. I’m a sleek, well-muscled guy. But you can’t say I’m not handsome. And I was a street dog, so I know the part well.
I’m tired of being homeless! I’ve been in rescue at Chapter2 for about 6 months now and I think it’s time I found my Daddy (or Mama) Warbucks. My idea of a life of luxury would include a nice dog bed, someone to love me, rub my belly and play ball with … and a nice bone to chew on every now and again. I’m an active fellow, but I’m an excellent snuggler and bed-warmer, too. I like everyone! Dogs, kids and dog-savvy cats, included.
Can I audition for your family?
June 11, 2022 - Truman is still looking for a home
Truman was in foster care for a while, but the foster home can no longer keep him, because of time commitments over the next several months. So he is back at the boarding kennel which is a great facility, but no place for a young pit bull to call home! If you know anyone who is looking for a great dog please bring Truman to their attention. He deserves a good home and he is everything most people want in a dog... loyal, lovable, trainable, happy!
Here's what Truman has to say...
"Hi, my name is Truman, but you can call me anything you want if you take me home with you. I’m about 1.5 years old. I was rescued from death row a while back, but haven’t had much luck finding my forever home. Kinda weird, because I’m a good guy! They take good care of me here at the boarding kennel, but I really, REALLY want a home of my own. I can share. I’m good with dogs and cats and kids and grown ups. I think I might like a home with older kids – say age 10 and up, because I really like to play. I’m game for just about anything. I like to run, and fetch. I like to play in the water – so if you have a lake place I could splash around. I’d be good for a single person, young couple or empty nester, too. I have a good amount of energy, so if you like to run or ride a bike I could keep you company. I like hiking. I can pull a sled. Oh, I bet if you entered me in one of those weight-pulling competitions I could win enough dog food to feed myself! I don’t mind working for a living. I’m very muscular and handsome, you know. Oh, yeah, I’m trainable, too. I would like to take some classes with you so we could learn teamwork, but I promise to do my best and learn everything it takes to be a good dog for you. I know to go potty outside, of course. And I’m a super good snuggler. Come on, call Chapter 2 and come out to see me. You won’t be disappointed."
July 24, 2011 - Weight Pull – a new sport for Truman?
Truman came back to my house for a sleep-over this weekend. He’s been back living at the boarding kennel for a few months and this is the first chance I’ve had to have him visit. Mostly he’s been lounging around in the office. I think he appreciated being in a more relaxed environment and away from the chaos of so many other dogs.
Today I took him to a weight-pull practice, because I think this would be a good sport for him. It lets him expend some energy and in a focused way without him having to run all over the place.
Here are a few videos of Truman’s introduction to this new sport. At first we let him sniff the cart so he could get to know what it was that seemed to be following him. Then we let him pull!!!
He behaved pretty well at the warehouse where the weight pull practice was held, even though he was a little uncertain about what we were doing there. Next time I take him I’ll try to get him feeling more comfortable with unusual surroundings. The truth is Truman needs to get out more and do more things. He lives in a very small crate at the boarding kennel where he currently calls home. While he gets out for walks and gets to play with the other dogs during the day, he’s not had much benefit of getting out to new and different places. The more he gets out to new places the more comfortable he’ll be. I try to get him out to work him around town, but his exposure has been limited to the few outings I’ve been able to take him on. He needs a family that will enjoy introducing him to many new environments!
August 20, 2011 - Truman is Running out of TIME!
RUNNING OUT OF TIME! Truman STILL needs a home! The facility he's called home for the last several months in closing - this is the last week he'll have a place to stay. He needs a home or a foster home NOW!
Truman is about a 1.5 YO neutered pit bull boy. He is sweet, eager to please, happy. He comes with food, kennel, training support, a leash and collar. He is fully vetted, UTD on vaccinations, neutered, house-trained and socialized. What else can possibly be done to get this boy into a home? He is a good boy, but living in the kennel is taking its toll on him and he is VERY thin. Muscular, but thin... it seems he can not relax in the kennel environment. Please share this with your friends.
Truman was pulled out of Maple Grove Impound several months ago and admitted to Chapter 2 Rescue. Chapter 2 was the only Rescue that was willing to work with Truman at the time, he had minor issues that have been resolved with effective training and living in boarding/day care environment. Although this environment was an excellent place for socialization, it is not a good place for a bully-boy to live long term. Bully breeds get a little crazy in kennel environments. He went to a foster home for a while, but could not stay there due to family obligations (it was never supposed to be a long term foster and we'd hope to have found Truman a home by now). So he came back to the boarding facility.
Now, the facility that houses Chapter 2 Rescue is closing and he has nowhere to go. He is at my house for the weekend, but due to my living situation, he cannot stay here long. Chapter 2 will release him to another Rescue if one will come forward and take him. I'm having trouble believing that there is not one foster home or family in the twin cities or surrounding areas (or even surrounding states) that will not take this boy in. We have called other rescues to see if they can help, but the folks we've talked to can't seem to make room. If you are affiliated with a rescue, please ask if they would like to give this guy a leg up - he is fully vetted, UTD on vaccinations, neutered, house-trained and socialized (he should be easy to place--- and perhaps we could have done a better job of marketing him--- but this is the situation he's in right now). If you are not affiliated with a rescue, but would like to foster him, Chapter 2 Rescue will continue to sponsor and market him. We just need to find a place for him to stay or a loving forever home to take him. Of course, he's available for ADOPTION, too!
More on his story is at http://www.pure-spirit.com/adopt/truman-pit-bull-terrier
He has been good with people, kids, other dogs and cats, but as with all animals he needs to be supervised and given good leadership. He will try just about any sport you can think of, you just have to be in tune to his needs and comfort level. We have had him do weight-pull, cani-cross & dog sledding. He would excel at obedience and agility. I bet he'd love dock dog, disk dog, freestyle or just be a great running partner. He's a great worker, but is good at napping and snuggling, too.
August 26, 2011 - SAVED by NO DOG LEFT BEHIND Rescue
Great news. Max is on his way to Princeton, MN with Truman right now - No Dog Left Behind Rescue is taking him into their program. Max and I (and Truman) are truly grateful for all of your help in marketing him and trying to help him find a home. He is going to be in their foster program, so he still is in need of a forever home.
If you put out an email blast to people to let them know Truman is safe, please remember that he still needs a 'real' home, so if there is someone out there looking for a pittie, he's still available through NDLB. Also they will need funding to feed him and such, so donations are being accepted through Chip In, listed on their Petfinder page. (http://members.petfinder.com/~MN330/index.html)
Thank you all for your help in finding him a place to go. It's a bittersweet day for me. I'm so, so grateful that he is safe and out of the boarding kennel, but sad because I didn't get a chance to say good-bye one last time - I love that little boy.
September 4, 2011 - Truman Finds a Family - He Has a Home AT LAST!
Truman was adopted on September 1st by a wonderful family! I spoke to his new dad today and Truman is settling in great! Truman especially enjoys romping and playing with the 5-year-old female pit bull at his new forever home. I hope to visit them later this week and say a final good-bye to the boy who has kept me on such an emotional ride this past year. He taught me so much.
Things I learned from Truman:
1. WHEN YOU'RE NOT SURE WHAT TO DO, LOOK FOR HELP FROM A FRIENDLY STRANGER.
It’s not likely that there is any situation that you will encounter that hasn’t been faced or dealt with by someone else already. When you’re not sure what to do, you only need to look around and guidance will come. When Truman was first brought into impound he didn’t know how to interact with other dogs, but he ALWAYS looked to a nearby person for guidance.
2. PLAY WHENEVER YOU GET THE CHANCE.
It took Truman a while to learn how to interact and play with other dogs. Once he figured it out, though, it was fruitless to try to keep him from playing. He is a young dog and he really just wants to have fun and party all the time. Truman says, “There is nothing wrong with enjoying yourself and bringing joy to others, too.”
3. MAKE THE MOST OF YOUR LIVING ARRANGEMENTS.
Truman had to adjust to several different places while he was in rescue. Whenever he was in a foster home or out of the kennel for a sleep over, he took full advantage of his surroundings and thoroughly enjoyed whatever hospitality he was given. He made himself at home wherever he laid his head.
The boarding kennel was never supposed to be a long-term housing solution for him… after a few months it can be stressful to see other dogs come and go while you get left behind. Yet Truman endured, as if he knew that patience would eventually pay off. He made the most of his time in the play room. Truman especially thanks Max Downs with Chapter 2 for keeping his environment as engaging and enriching as possible.
4 . MAKE NEW FRIENDS.
After Truman learned how to engage other dogs he was always quick to solicit play. Because new dogs were always arriving for day care and boarding, Truman learned to play with other dogs of all shapes and sizes. It didn’t matter to him if they were a purebred of perfect lineage with a loving home from a young age, or if they were a rescue (like him) of questionable formative experience. Young or old, thin or heavy, sleek or scruffy, hard worker or slacker lap-dog, he would befriend them all.
5. TRY NEW THINGS, YOU NEVER KNOW WHAT YOU MIGHT LIKE.
This was Truman’s philosophy about food and fun. He was happy to try all sorts of tasty treats and was very food-motivated, making it easy to train him. He would try new sports and games, too. As long as you took the time to show him what needed to be done, he was happy to try most anything. Truman says, “If you don’t try it, how do you know you don’t like it?”
6. ENJOY THE SUNSHINE AND GET OUTSIDE WHENEVER YOU CAN.
Truman has a joie de vivre about him that is absolutely contagious! And he made the most of his outings! If there was a place to run full speed, oh, how he would run! A lake for splashing? He’s in! A car ride? Wow! Look at the world whizzing by! He really appreciated the outdoors and was happy to get out in any kind of weather. Truman taught me to use all my senses to explore the world around me and be right there in the moment.
7. ALWAYS LET OTHERS KNOW HOW YOU FEEL.
Truman is great with people, but if he was tired, uncomfortable or annoyed he’d let you know. He’d walk away from things he wasn’t sure about, avoid dogs he wasn’t comfortable with and growl if he didn’t feel good about something. But he always had reasons, and he was always clear about sharing his feelings. Mostly he was happy, though, and there was never any question with his full body wiggle and happy face that he thinks life is grand!
8. TAKE LOTS OF NAPS AND CUDDLE WHENEVER POSSIBLE.
Sleeping rejuvenates and you need a lot of energy to get the most out of all the doggie fun. When there was no playing or antler-chewing to be had, Truman curled himself up on a big cushy dog bed and napped. Napping with his favorite people is even better. He would snuggle in right next to you and not move just enjoying the closeness and the cuddling. If only we all could feel so at peace.
9. FETCH ALL THE BALLS. PLAY TUG TO EXHAUSTION.
When you find a game, sport or favorite past-time you like, indulge yourself often. You don’t have to be good at it, and practice makes perfect. Just get started and enjoy the experience. Learn the rules and play by them, but don’t be afraid to add your own choreography to your dance of life. Truman usually added amazing jumps and spins to his games, and there was to be no stopping until ALL the balls were collected.
10. DON'T GIVE UP. NEVER, EVER, EVER GIVE UP!
Even when it seems like your time is running out and you have no options, don’t give up hope. Just one more step, one more connection, one more pull will be all it takes to get you to your desired goal. Then you can live happily ever after as you embark on your next great adventure!
As Truman embarks on the greatest adventure of all – a forever home full of new experiences, enjoyment and love with a new family – I hope I never forget these things he taught me. I wish him the best and am so grateful to his new family for making room for him.