Monday, January 30, 2012

SociaBulls: Izzy and Her Pack

I'm always amazed at the variety of reasons people chose to join SociaBulls and how different their goals are. So we've decided to highlight some of our SociaBulls members to show their varying experiences with the group.
This gorgeous brindle gal with the crazy ears is Izzy! We first met Izzy's mom through SociaBulls; she was one of the very first emails we received when we announced we were forming the group. Since then they have been very dedicated members and her mom has been instrumental to organizing and growing the group. Izzy is not only her first pitbull-type dog...but her very first dog!
Here is their story about trying to remain good pitbull ambassadors while working with an energetic dog.

 Last summer I came across Two Pitties in the City blog and immediately became enamored with Mr. B and Ms. M.  And as I spent some time reading about their daily adventures, I also realized that Mr. B and Ms. M’s parents were providing an honest insight into the challenges of being a dog owner, the quest for finding new resources and ultimately wanting to show how wonderful pit bulls and pit bull type dogs are.
 See, Izzy is my very first dog and the day she came into my life I embraced the responsibility of providing her with the best quality of life possible.  And I also recognized that I was responsible for being an ambassador for pit bulls.  Many a day I questioned (and still do) whether or not I was doing a good job.  Why can’t I get her to stop pulling when we walk?  Why must she annihilate every soft plush toy I give her?  Is she getting enough exercise?  Was it my fault her toenail split?  Is she being socialized enough?  Sometimes I felt like a lone dog owner, wondering if there were others out there that had just as many questions as I did. 
 Izzy is a very good girl.  At just over 2, her energy knows no bounds.  She is quite intelligent and a little bit wily, but is over the top generous with her affection and desire to follow me from room to room as I go about my day.  And she loves, LOVES to meet other dogs and people.  So, when Two Pitties introduced a pack walking experience, I knew Izzy and I had to join the pack.
 Chicago SociaBulls has brought a positive dimension to our lives.  Through our weekly pack walk, Izzy is learning that she can be around other dogs without screaming “HI!  FRIENDS!  LET’S PLAY!!” Now, though she does get excited when the pack gathers, she is able to remain calm, and keep focused on me and the commands I give her.  When we gather each week, Izzy greets her pack with “Hey pack!  Let’s walk!”  And so we walk.  Through pack walking Izzy has been able to walk side by side with other dogs, even creating the perfect trifecta.  Her focus is sharp and she is increasingly less distracted by the random chicken bone on the ground, or the renegade squirrel.  On our solo walks, her pulling has decreased significantly and she is more adjusted to walking at the pace I choose, rather than forcing me to move at a faster clip.  Her dog greeting manners have improved tremendously and we can now walk through the neighborhood and pass other dogs without Izzy stopping in her tracks and pulling to get over to meet the other dog.  For me, the pack has allowed me to become part of a community of like-minded dog owners.  I don’t feel alone anymore in my quest to be the best pit bull owner I can be.  Izzy has a pack, and now, so do I.  
 Since this, we have had an overwhelming response from other like-minded dogowners looking to join the group. If you contacted us previously, we are currently working on a new member enrollment system and you should hear from us soon. If you are interested in joining the group, please email us at chicagosociabulls@gmail.com.

11 comments:

Skinny Fat Kid said...

Another high energy Izzy!! I can't wait for our first pack walk here!

Claudia said...

Yeah Izzy! She's a rock-star pack member and quite the fashionista in her green sweater.

Froggy said...

grI strive for maize to be more like Izzy. She is our role model!

Emily said...

Hades was not only my first pit mix, but he was also my first dog! I identify with those same questions and insecurities, especially initially but have gained lots of confidence as an owner. I crave an outlet like this to help my dogs be more appropriate when seeing other dogs. It can be embarrassing, but I am working on the "not caring what other people think," aspect, especially after our trainer who is working with our foster mentioned it.

Two Kitties One Pittie said...

Yay Izzy! Great post. :)

Kate said...

That's so great! I love reading how dogs can benefit at home, away from the pack, after being part of the walking group. Very cool!

goosie mama said...

Awesome post! Thanks for sharing!

brooke said...

great post! Izzy sounds like she's grown a ton through her pack walks!

Two French Bulldogs said...

What a fun group
Benny & Lily

Tannia G. said...

Go Izzy's mom, thanks for sharing! Your words definitely resonated with me. I often question myself in that same way. Also I'm not sure if you're single, but caring for an animal like ours who are so high energy can be very hard for a single parent. I often feel riddled with guilt if I have to work late or have home work and can't get to the extra walk. But you're exactly right it, knowing I'm not the only one dealing with these issues does make me feel much better.

Sara Grace said...

Izzy's a beauty!!

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