Monday, January 30, 2012


Lou took me to Dr. Lisa today to update my shots.  I can't believe it's been almost 3 years since he and Eugenie brought me home from the shelter.  Seems like only yesterday, I was a scared, skinny (okay, not really skinny, I'm a Pit Bull, but underweight for sure) boy and now look at me, 63 pounds of solid muscle and no shaking, unless the winds are up or fireworks are booming.

While we were waiting to go in, I heard Lou talking with a nice lady about her dog.  Starr is a Rottweiler rescue who lives at the Agoura Shelter and Craig was there to have her examined.  One thing led to another (it always does with Lou) and he mentioned that I used to live there, too.  She got the strangest look on her face, then she blurted out, "I remember Tanner from the shelter; he was the best!"  I loved hearing that even back then, people could see how hard I tried to be a good dog.  She took our picture and promised to tell all the staff how well I'm doing.  Dr. Lisa and the gang at Malibu Coast Animal Hospital are really, really sweet, but this mini-reunion made the visit even better. 
Kickin' it at the crib

Before I forget, Cesar Millan had dedicated February to helping Pit Bulls beat the bad rap they've gotten in the press.  You can read all about it online at Cesar's Way

Thursday, January 26, 2012

'THANKS' for dropping by

Just wanted to send a quick 'grazie' to all of our friends, 2 and 4-legged, that checked out our first blog entries.  There will be more to follow, and a FaceBook page, too, but Lou needs to get busy.  In the meantime, I'll be posting photos of some of my dog pals who appear in the book, and some who joined the gang later on.  Hope you dig them as much as I do.

LUNA ' The Girl Next Door' (really)
Had a really crazy time at the dog park the other day, just five of us - me, a young gray Pit, a crazy brown Poodle, our friend's beautiful Husky and some little dog that looked happy just watching us crash around. The Poodle was an ear-chewer, and found mine particularly yummy, until I gently told her to knock it off.  The Pit boy was interested in the other end, but I made it clear I don't roll that way.  Not that there's anything wrong with it (for you Seinfeld fans).

Sunday, January 22, 2012

VENI, VIDI, VINCI: We came, we saw, we didn't barf!

For those of you new to our story, Tanner doesn't like the car.  'Doesn't like' as in used to puke every time he set foot in it.  That soggy stage lasted about a year, then he calmed down (a relative thing) to only profuse drooling and shaking.  It's all chronicled in GIMME SHELTER: a Damaged Pit Bull, and Angry Man and How They Saved Each Other, which we hope will be available soon.

The past six months or so, however, he's made a quantum leap.  I used to sit in back with him whenever we went out but he now rides 'up front', with his butt resting on the rear seat, his back paws on the floor, and the bulk of his muscular torso stretched out on the console of our Prius.  He still looks miserable but the barfing as stopped and the drooling has slowed to a mere trickle.  This past Wednesday, we took a last minute trip to Palm Springs to visit Eugenie's mom.  Her 14-year-old Pug, Dudley, is failing and we thought it only right to say 'goodbye', especially since Dud spent a good portion of his first ten years living at our house.

Tanner & Dudley 1/18/12 (Palm Springs, CA)
Tanner made it all the way to the Desert huddled in his new car pose, with me cupping his massive head in my free hand (I was driving!) and Eugenie cuddling him from the passenger seat.  Eugenie's mom was thrilled to have us and Dud greeted us like long lost pals.  He looked like Methuselah - limp, gray all over, missing teeth - but much better than we'd feared.  He took three walks with us, doing his best to set the pace like the old days, and he made sure to chase Tanner away from any and all treats.  He's on all sorts of meds that might be propping him up but, for the time being, he's still here.   

Tanner spent the night on his travel bed, sandwiched between Eugenie (sofa) and me (inflatable bed).  At home, our mattress is two-plus feet off the ground which requires some effort on his part (and an invitation from us) to reach.  But my inflatable bed was on the floor and he took full advantage of the situation to crawl in next to me for morning cuddles.  Boy, was Eugenie jealous. 

Tanner gave an encore performance on the ride home.  He yawned and fussed a bit but he kept his food down.  Eugenie drove this time and somewhere around El Monte, he began inching forward until he was curled in my lap, where he fell asleep until we reached  our complex.  It was a far cry from the days when a ten-minute run to the store left him wrung out and car reeking of vomit.  Even with his new attitude, the journey left him gassed and he spent the evening at home, snoring away.    

Friday, January 13, 2012


My name is Tanner, and I'm a Pit Bull.  I was what they call a stray, a homeless dog, or, as I like to think of it, a free spirit, living with other dogs on the street.  

I had an owner once, but that was a rough situation.  Let's just say I was better off  going hungry and sleeping outside in the cold and rain.  Then one day, some lady lured me into her car, and took me to the shelter in Agoura Hills.  The food was better, my bed was warm, and there were lots of other dogs, including dozens of Pit Bulls, but I was no longer free to roam about as I pleased.   I was in doggie jail.

Unlike street dogs, the jail dogs were anxious and scared all the time.  Like me, some of them once had owners who'd either died, or moved, or sent them away.  The lucky ones got new owners.  But the other ones, the shelter people took them to a place where they went to sleep.  Those dogs never came back.  The people who fed and walked me said I'd probably go to sleep, too.  But then this man and woman brought me to live with them.  

I'd tell you all about it, but my paws aren't suited for typing, so I'll let Lou (that's the man's name), help me.  We'll discuss our friends (two and four-legged), my toys, the dog park, the cute tricks I've learned and other details of our life together.  If he gets off track (he's a writer and really likes to talk) I'll step in to set the record straight.  

Along the way, you'll also hear about our first year together - how my people found me, how I helped Lou deal with his 'issues', and how he and Eugenie helped me overcome mine.  It wasn't easy, and it wasn't always pretty but things worked out just fine.  We've written a book about it, GIMME SHELTER. If you want the full scoop, you'll just have to wait until it's published.  Until then, drop by from time to time and we'll keep you posted on what's new with us.