Monday, May 14, 2012

SociaBulls: So We've Heard....

Besides meeting all the really great people and dogs through SociaBulls, we've loved hearing all the great things the different pooches are getting from the group, some even making us a bit teary-eyed, so we thought we'd share:
"It has taken us a while to come up with an adequate thank you note to express our gratitude for being included in Chicago Sociabulls.  We adopted our dog nearly a year and a half ago and, aside from her training classes where we did not interact with anyone, human or canine, we have not had any social experiences with her.  We walk her through our neighborhood feeling like dog parent failures because of her reactivity.  While we work with her daily and are vigilant on walks, she has remained highly reactive and we have never felt comfortable introducing her to other dogs.  What is worse is that we have felt like she is reinforcing a negative stereotype for all pit bull type dogs.  We adore this "breed" and we certainly don't want our girl to bring any more scorn to an already ostracized group.  We have even read blogs and websites stating that "If you have a reactive pit bull-type dog, try not to bring it into public."  Before discovering Sociabulls, we felt like we were going to be relegated to a life of 5am long walks and quick potty breaks in the afternoons and evenings.
Since walking with you last Sunday, however, we have felt unbelievably empowered.  We know that our dog may be causing some narrow-minded individuals to continue their pittie stereotypes, but we are now hopeful that more individuals will notice that we are constantly working with her to set her up for success.  We have taken a couple of long evening walks through streets filled with dogs and people.  We have shown off our beautiful baby and even received two compliments about her excellent behavior (she has great leash skills so long as other dogs are not present).  
We are so excited to be a part of a community of non-judgmental, helpful dog owners.  We are grateful to have the opportunity to lead the pack to give our dog experience coping with other dogs.  With Maize as our inspiration, we hope that some day we, too, will be able to join the middle of the pack and give another reactive dog the opportunity to lead.  

To everyone who has worked so hard to make this amazing group a success, we cannot thank you enough.  We appreciate you giving our girl (and so many like her) a chance to be a part of the pack and we look forward to continuing to meet lots of new dogs and their awesome owners."
  "Thanks to the SociaBulls, we now feel more confident walking our dog in large crowds and around lots of dogs!"

"This was the first time my leash reactive dog was able to walk so closely with others (on leash) and have little to no reaction. It almost made me teary to see her make that kind of progress in one day. These pack walk are a fantastic thing and we look forward to doing them as often as possible!"  

"I can't do many social things with my dog, and this is one thing we can do together every weekend".
 "I wish SociaBulls could be 5 times a week".

"This is our least favorite part of SociaBulls...the end"
Special thanks to Lark at HikaBulls for the helping us create the structure, and have the confidence, to set up our group.

9 comments:

Of Pit Bulls and Patience said...

It's great to hear so many people are benefiting from your pack walks!

livinthedream-kathy said...

WOW, I could have written this first comment. It's exactly the way I feel every time I take my dog out for a walk. I feel like a failure and also feel he "is reinforcing a negative stereotype for all pit bull type dogs." He is under socialized because of his reactivity and that makes me feel guilty. We are constantly looking for a walking group, but no luck so far. I'm so happy for all the dogs (and people)in your group!

waldobungie said...

What a testament to the power of pack walks! So cool to see how your idea has made an impact in so many lives!

Froggy said...

This post almost had me in tears, tears of joy that is. Having a reactive dog can be SO isolating and Chicago SociaBulls gives people the opportunity to feel like they belong and their dog is just like everyone elses. It's a very empowering feeling to know and see your dog walk with 20 others when you've been waking up at the wee hours to avoid dogs in your neighborhood!

Emily said...

Of course this made me cry and of course I had just finished putting on my makeup for work.

Claudia said...

So wonderful. I'm so happy and proud to be a part of this group.

Kiira said...

I love Sociabulls, especially that it is an escape from the stress of constant judgement. I live in a part of the city where there aren't a lot of pitbull-type dogs. We get a lot of great comments, which is what we want, but it also makes me so aware that we have quite the audience out there. We can be as polite as can be, but we are still judged when we calmly pull to the side of a walkway or cross the street when another dog is coming. I have heard: "Oh, that's what they are told to do when their dog is aggressive". We also have the occasional bad day, and it really is so deflating. But knowing that we are not alone keeps us going.

kasia077 said...

What an amazing picture of Sophie and her boy!!!!!

Faith Shen said...

wow, I saw a lots of our paw friends out there, did you enjoy your time with them guys. I enjoy viewing your photos your all fabulous :D


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