Full-Assed Friday: Best In Shelter

Hey. It’s Full-Assed Friday. And I have a guest post. Sweet!

When Julie Davidoski from Go Guilty Pleasures first contacted me about doing a guest post I was pretty psyched. Her timing is so good she oughtta be a drummer. I’m working a second gig this week and have clashing show tunes duking it out for my last remaining brain cells. It’s not pretty. I’ve spent the past hour trying to write a coherent introduction for her post.

Julie claims that she doesn’t do much that’s full-assed, but I beg to differ. She certainly saved my ass this week. Here, she interviews her friend who works with an excellent pet rescue shelter in our state.

Best in Shelter

by Julie Davidoski

 Unlike our beloved Accidental Stepmom, I don’t do a whole lotta things full-assed. Don’t believe me? Examine the 4-foot tall weeds in my backyard, or, if you dare, my spice cupboard. When it comes to raising my dog, Uncle Jesse, however, my derriere is unequivocally rotund.

Uncle Jesse is a multi-generational Australian labradoodle I purchased in 2010 from a well-respected breeder, after hours (days, weeks) of research to find a dog compatible with my husband’s allergies. I wouldn’t trade Uncle Jesse for anything (not even a lifetime supply of champagne and E.L. Fudge cookies), but I often question my decision not to adopt.

Recently, I interviewed friend and animal advocate, Jennifer Brewer. I’m excited to share our conversation, with the sincere hope that you might spread the word.


J. Davidoski: Tell us about your organization. Also why that does or does not make you a better person than me.

J. Brewer: 1. No way I’m a better person than you. 1a. Actually, there’s no way I’d admit to being a better person while you’re blogging about me. 2. I’m involved with 11th Hour Rescue in Rockaway, NJ. They pull high risk animals from shelters, and find them homes. They do not euthanize;  even difficult to place dogs are kept until they are adopted.

J. Davidoski: How did you get involved?

J. Brewer: My husband and I are supreme dog lovers. During the five years we lived in an apartment that didn’t allow pets, he converted me from a “pedigree” dog person to a “shelter” dog person. He told me about the feeling of rescuing a dog’s life. He’s persuasive.

When we bought a home, I went online to find a rescue, and I found 11th Hour. I decided we would adopt from them.

J. Davidoski: So you were always an animal lover? Remember our Janis Joplin jackets with the fake fur trim? Could we have gotten more attention with real fur?

J. Brewer: We couldn’t have gotten more attention no matter what we tried.

J. Davidoski: What should you be wary of before adopting a dog, and specifically a shelter dog?

J. Brewer: Spend time with the animal BEFORE you commit. #2 – if a shelter doesn’t ask for references, walk away. They don’t tell you the truth about the animal’s history.

J. Davidoski: Like that unpaid parking ticket [your dog] Shunderson had. What about parents? Are there other considerations?

J. Brewer: Parents should adopt animals. Teach your kids about generosity and compassion. Like every activity with your kids, be involved – make sure you’re getting the right animal. Many people just want a puppy…now. They have no plan for after Christmas, when their kids won’t pick up the poop in the blizzard.

J. Davidoski: Related question: If you could send one message to potential pet owners, what would it be? (Besides picking an awesome name, like, I don’t know, Uncle Jesse.)

J. Brewer: Shelters are never fuller than at the beginning of the year – when the holiday glow has worn off and people have abandoned their now unwanted presents.

J. Davidoski: So if I have a Slap-Chop, will they take that, too?

J. Brewer: You’re on your own with that shitty gift. And, let me just say, that pitbulls are FABULOUS. They were bred to be nanny dogs, to watch children and love their families.

J. Davidoski: Hey. That reminds me. Though I don’t know why. What kind of dog do you have?

J. Brewer: Well… I… er… have a pit.

Editor’s Note: Brewer owns a gorgeous pitbull-mix, Shunderson, a former shelter dog. He’s one of the sweetest pooches I’ve ever met. He’s twice the size of my boy, and puts up with Uncle Jesse’s sassiness like a saint.

Jennifer and Shunderson


J. Davidoski: Do you get dirty looks at the dog park?

J. Brewer: I wish that was all we got. People ask us to leave, to leash Shunderson until they can take their dog out. Ridiculous. Do I have enough money to let my dog maul someone????

J. Davidoski: Very similar to what happens when I go outside without make-up.

J. Brewer: You go outside without make-up????

J. Davidoski. Well. No. But imagine! What’s the biggest obstacle in overcoming the number of unwanted pets?

J. Brewer: People think shelter dogs are bad. They’re far less damaged than most people I know. Besides, TONS of shelter dogs are surrendered by breeders and pet stores who couldn’t unload them. If you want a certain breed or age, the right dog can be rescued. Purebred puppies are stuck in shelters, too. And they’re euthanized.

J. Davidoski: After reading this article, people will be dying to know how they can get involved.

J. Brewer: Donations. $10 matters. Dropping off old towels and blankets. Bleach and paper towels are the biggest request of every shelter. But the best way is to go on Petfinder.com and find the rescue nearest you. If you want a dog, ADOPT. The average cost of basic food, supplies, care and training for a shelter dog or cat is $700 to $875 annually. I hope people donate… and to local shelters. I love the ASPCA, but they have LOTS of donations.

J. Davidoski: Yes, that’s why I asked – people think their donations get lost in the sauce.

J. Brewer: For pet owners, when you go to Petsmart, give the buck at checkout to help homeless animals. They can’t get jobs. They can’t collect unemployment. There’s no bailout for pitbulls.

J. Davidoski: They can’t even play guitars and write signs asking for money.

J. Brewer: Exactly. If you can’t donate or volunteer, spay or neuter your pet. The world needs animals, just not anymore than it already has.

J.Davidoski: Okay. I am so keeping you from [more] booze. Is there anything else you would like to share?

J. Brewer. More than FIVE MILLION animals are killed in U.S. shelters EVERY YEAR.


J. Davidoski: I am picking up what you are putting down. Thank you!!!

J. Brewer: Crazy dog lady, over and out.


I hope you’ll take a minute to check out Julie’s blog and the shelter site:

Julie Davidoski: Go Guilty Pleasures

The Shelter: 11th Hour Rescue




22 thoughts on “Full-Assed Friday: Best In Shelter

  1. Like like likelikelike to infinity!! Thank you SO much for allowing me to write a guest post for your stellar feature, JM! Now my head is as big and full as my toosh.

  2. My wife is a ferocious shelter-advocate. It’ almost entertaining to watch her when someone mentions they got their dog from a breeder. Muscles tighten. Voice goes up a half-octave. Pained smile. “Really? And what made you choose to go to a breeder instead of, say, rescuing an animal from a shelter for a fraction of the price?”

    1. Ha! I know, some conversations on this topic can go south FAST. I have trouble keeping a smile on my face when people say they got a dog that was clearly a puppy mill puppy or just saw a puppy in a pet store and bought him on the spot. Aside from perpetuating the problem, it’s a HUGE commitment to get a dog!!

  3. My son would love to have a pit. According to him, they have an awful reputation, but a very sweet personality! Our neighbor has a mix,predominantly with a pit bull, and that dog is sweet and cuddly as well.
    There is more correlation with the breed popularity and attacks by that specific breed, that between a specific breed and attacks by that breed (does this sentence make any sense?). What I mean is, there used to be a scare of Doberman,then Rottweiler became the most dangerous dog ever (my sister had one, and he was the sweet baby as well, of course his bark would make you want to run fast and away!), now it is about Pit Bulls.
    They are strong dogs, and absolutely have to be trained well (I can get by with a badly trained 40 pound border collie or a 25 pound rat terrier),because of their strength.
    One more thing, I tend to blame owners, not dogs.Unfortunately, some people prefer strong,muscular, heavy dogs, that were used to be bred to fight as a statement. This is not dogs’ fault!
    I hope your campaign will be successful!

    JMPandolph, your blog is always surprising and fun.

    1. Jenn actually said the same thing about pit bulls/Dobermans/Rottweilers during our interview! Shuderson really might be one of the sweetest dogs I’ve ever met. I can’t tell you how much I love that dog! Thanks so much for reading – and I totally agree the onus falls on the owners.

  4. Great interview, Julie! Growing up, all of our dogs were from a shelter. My most beloved dog was a mixed breed that was found wandering the streets as a puppy. She turned out to be my best friend growing up, a member of the family. Pound puppies/dogs are the best!

    1. Thank you so much, Darla! My dog growing up was a shelter dog, and he was a little aggressive towards non-family members, but I loved him to death! When I get another dog, I’ll definitely try to find a shelter dog that doesn’t upset Peppermeister’s allergies. Thanks so much for reading the interview – do you have any pictures of your dogs online??

  5. I’m glad you found a labradoodle to deal with the allergies.

    As a past breeder of pedigree German Shepherds, I can see Bryon’s wife’s muscles tightening already! 🙂 I do support pets being sourced from shelters, it is the indiscriminant breeding and “puppy farms” we need to stop!

    Great interview!

    1. Thank you so much! We are obsessed with Uncle Jesse, LOL I definitely think there’s a place in the world for reputable breeders like yourself, so I couldn’t agree more about the problem being puppy farms and indiscriminate breeding.

  6. Great post! Both our dogs are rescues – Dillon (13-ish) came from our local Humane Society and Jackie (12) was rescued by a friend from a family who bought her from a breeder and then decided they didn’t like her after all. Rescue doggies are pawesome! 🙂

    1. Thank you! I’d love to see pictures of Dillon and Jackie if you have any online! “Pawesome” made me laugh out loud – and you are so right about that! 🙂

  7. My dog is (best guess) half-pit bull, half Collie. People will occasionally say, “Isn’t that scary?”

    My reply? “Yeah, the Collie part’s a mess.”

    It’s a true story. Anxious, twitchy, eats of his fur. (He had mange when I adopted him. Also the sweetest disposition ever, which is I ended up with him instead of the Malamute I wanted.)

    But he’s also the guy who lets my son take “pony rides” or put “tail rings” (toilet paper tubes) on him. He is so freakin’ sweet with my son, I wish more folks saw things like that instead of sensationalized stories of woe often misattributed to pit bulls because it grabs more attention that way.

    I used to volunteer at a rescue called Luv-A-Bull. Loved those dogs. Loved them to pieces. I think of them when someone starts a sentence, “Those pit bulls.” I try to make my reply loving and gentle, like the dogs I worked with, instead of aggro and rage-y, like many people seem (sadly) to picture.

    1. Your dog is beautiful and I love your response about the Collie part being a mess, ha! I am picturing Li’l D dog-back riding and putting tail rings on him. Also, the name of that shelter is fantastic. I worked for a while at a non-specific-breed shelter a few years back, but I’m too much of a wimp to handle seeing the dogs in bad shape and without a home. So I have to find other ways to help! (I am excited about contributing to 11th Hour Rescue’s bake sale in Dec.)

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