Saturday, August 1, 2009

Extreme Mutt Makeover: Part I

Well today I got my dog. My wonderful trainer, Misty, came to the house around 9am and we headed out. It was pouring down rain as we launched the seats in my Honda Element to the sides of the car (they fold upward in my car to leave cargo space); we toweled off and headed to the Humane Society of North Texas in Fort Worth to see what dog I was going to be paired with for my Extreme Mutt Makeover.

We arrived and all 10 other trainers were there and we all gathered in a garage-type area in the back of the shelter, dripping down sweat as the clouds rolled by and the sun came out to play. This event is going to be one whopper and I'm more excited than a kid in a candy store! We have our dogs for 6 weeks and we have to train them for obedience and then anything else we want to show off at the final competition. They said last year they sold 4,000 tickets and we'll be in a 50 x 50 arena for our judging and competitions--yipes! I'm a little nervous . . . .

Apparently since 2007 they have been doing this Mustang Makeover (more on that here) where they literally take wild mustangs from goverment land and train them over 100 days and then have a huge competition with the winner receivng $25K. The horses are then adoptable. If they were not trained they would spend their lives in a pen and as a woman said to me today, "A wild mustang is better off dead than trapped in a pen." I'm not a horse person, while I'd love to be one I'm just not educated on the magnificent animals because I've never had the honor of being around them to be able to learn more or even know how to train them. I'd love that, I think it'd be great. Here is the video of the winner of 2008's Mustang Makeover. Just remember this was a wild mustang running free on open-land with no human contact just 100 days before this . . .

The group of dogs we were paired with were all evaluated by the staff and tested for being good with humans, other dogs and not aggressive in any way. The dogs simply are homeless and need training. They don't have what a trainer would label as a "problem" other than owners that didn't take the time to train them and give them what they deserve. We are going to do that for these dogs and I'm very happy to be part of it!

We had a lottery drawing and picked a number and 10 dogs were already pre-numbered. I picked #3 and got this darling fuzzy mutt of a dog. We really have no clue what he is but I think he's one of the youngest of the bunch. I'm guessing he's no more than 6 months old but his paperwork says 8 months. Here is a slideshow of the morning.

He was named by the shelter ("Pancho") but they said we could name the dogs something else if we wanted so I'm going to have a fun little contest to let people jump in to see if we can't come up with a cute name for this guy! So email me here and tell me one name or a hundred that you have thought of to name this guy, the sky is the limit. The person whose name we choose will get $15 off their next dog training service (sorry won't apply to aggression cases). Here are some photos of him and he's about 45-lbs, spunky, mouthy, jumpy and vocal. He barks to let you know he's ready to play and to get your attention. So based off of that you can use your creativity! Thanks and have fun!


  1. This sounds like an amazing program! How exciting. I can't wait to see what you teach this adorable dog.

  2. I want him, too!! He looks like a Norman to me.