Storytime: Early Warning Izzy

Read this and other awesome rescue stories in Lost Souls: FOUND! Inspiring Stories About Pit Bulls.


Featured Rescue: Fugee’s Rescue


Early Warning Izzy

A week before Halloween I was propped up in bed with my laptop on my knees, and my adopted Pit Bull, Izzy, was stretched out at my feet. It was 10:30 at night, and I was looking forward to sleeping in the next morning. My yard and porch were completely dark, as I had turned off the outside lights before going to bed.

Izzy came into my life two months earlier from a local Pit Bull rescue organization after I saw her adorable face online. Her short, golden hair and baby-bird’s-wing ears appealed to me instantly. Izzy was skinny but very energetic for a middle-aged “woman,” with manners that needed a bit of polishing, but she was wonderfully friendly and non-aggressive toward people of all ages.

I was a divorcee living alone in a log-style house that faced a two-lane road without sidewalks or shoulders. There were no casual passersby in our neighborhood of newer luxury homes and one modest remaining rental, a small cracker box separated from my property by a line of red-tip trees. The current renter was a single man, a landscaper who worked long hours.

I was about to shut down my laptop for the evening when there was a thunderous Rap! Rap! Rap! at my front door. Alarmed, Izzy raced toward the door, barking loudly, and I picked up my cell phone from the bedside table to call 911. The police arrived within minutes and walked around the yard. Finding nothing suspicious, they did ask me if I’d seen any vehicles. One officer told me my dog had probably frightened off anyone who’d been on my porch. I might have had difficulty going to sleep that night if not for my canine early warning system.

While walking Izzy on Halloween night the next week, I noticed my landscaper neighbor through the red-tips, sitting in his yard, burning a small amount of garden debris and talking calmly to a woman on speakerphone. I returned to my house and was putting the chain on the front door when I heard a desperate person in the middle of the street, shouting, “Help me!” Again I called 911, reporting that I thought someone had been hit by a car in front of my house. Several cars stopped and a fire truck and ambulance arrived very quickly. Izzy and I sat on the porch, watching from a distance so as not to interfere with police activities.

I was stunned to hear on the news the next day that my neighbor had died at the hospital, the victim of a hit and run accident. Further stories revealed he had been struck and injured in the driveway of his home during the short time it had taken me to walk through my house after coming inside.

Several days later, a state trooper came to question me about anything I might have seen. The officer told me my neighbor had lived long enough to report seeing an unfamiliar white van in his driveway a week before he was killed. On Halloween that same white van had pulled into his driveway, so my neighbor approached the driver to ask why the two men were there. The driver responded by sharply turning the van and ramming him while racing out of the driveway. Badly hurt, my neighbor had dragged himself into the street and cried for help, which is when I heard him.

The officer told me that they had not been able to locate the white van, but they suspected that at some time in the past, drugs had been sold out of the rental house. The men in the white van may have been seeking drugs and, when they realized they were at the wrong house, ran down my neighbor before he could get a close look at them.

It was a terribly disturbing episode, especially when the dead man’s family arrived to gather his belongings. I couldn’t help wondering if the mysterious rap on my door the week before had been the same men, looking for drugs. If my Izzy had not sounded the alarm and frightened them away, would I have been a victim instead? I may never know the answer, but I know I sleep much better with my warm friend and her no-nonsense bark at the foot of my bed.

Nancy Pauline Simpson

Storytime: Bustered

Read this and other wonderful rescue stories in Lost Souls: FOUND! Inspiring Stories About Pit Bulls


Featured Rescue: It’s the Pits



Let me introduce you to Buster, a seventy-pound lapdog with the attitude and personality of Scooby Doo. He loves to eat, runs from danger, and will be your best friend for a few hugs and snacks. He was born at It’s the Pits Rescue in San Diego after his mom was pulled out of an abusive situation. He weighed a measly thirteen pounds when we met him and I wasn’t really looking to adopt that day, but Buster really picked us. My girlfriend (now wife), Lisa, and son fell in love with him instantly, so what’s a guy to do?

I have to admit Buster is a very smart dog, as most Bullies are. He has learned to sit, speak, lay down, shake, and even eat on command. I was impressed at how quickly he learned to do things, but there was one person he loved to mess with: Lisa. I swear they have this funny, love-hate relationship thing going where they tease each other like crazy.

It was New Year’s Eve and we had friends over at our house celebrating, so we crated Buster in the bedroom. As midnight approached we decided to go out to get coffee before counting down the New Year. Lisa stopped in the bedroom to check on Buster and say goodbye. She gently teased and laughed at him, since he is rarely crated in the house. He just smiled back, looking content.

Several hours passed, and with coffee cups emptied, we headed back home. As we arrived, Lisa noticed the blinds moving in our bedroom window and, of course, we were curious to see what the commotion was. We opened the front door and made our way into the bedroom to see Buster, innocently sitting inside his crate…with the room a total mess! Lisa had forgotten to lock the crate and Buster had wreaked havoc, now pretending that it had nothing to do with him. We were amazed at the chaos, but what caught our attention most was that he only destroyed Lisa’s shoes. He ate two pairs of tennis shoes, one pair of heels, and one pair of flip-flops. In the end, Buster got the last laugh, and Lisa got new shoes.

What can I say, about these dogs? They are awesome when treated with love and respect. Despite his mischievousness, Buster is a great addition to our family and still messes with Lisa to this day. He always manages to find the one thing that drives her crazy, but in the end they look out for each other. Buster is part of our family: when times are tough he is always there, when you want someone to listen he won’t talk back, and he is the first to lay in the middle of the kitchen floor so you can trip and drop your food for his enjoyment.

Ahren Nunag

Help for Pit Bulls

This just in from some animal-loving friends:

Bark Out Loud Weekly and Be the Change for Animals support the “Double BAD RAP Donation Challenge” from The Honest Kitchen

Who is Bad Rap? BAD RAP (Bay Area Doglovers Responsible About Pitbulls), co-founded by Donna Reynolds and Tim Racer, has been instrumental in the evaluation, rescue and  rehabilitation of the dogs in the Michael Vick case, providing vision and hope for these dogs as well as many other dogs from high-profile federal dog fighting arrests. They also rescue pit bulls, teach award-winning classes in the San Francisco Bay Area and support rescues nationwide.

“Double BAD RAP Donation Challenge” from The Honest Kitchen

BAD RAP is March 2010’s charity of choice at The Honest Kitchen, makers of dehydrated, human-grade whole foods for dogs and cats. THK donates a percentage of online store profits monthly to various causes. BAD RAP’s donation will double if THK reaches 40,000 Facebook fans this month.

Head on over and like The Honest Kitchen’s Facebook Page to support BAD RAP!

Chat Live with BAD RAP on Bark Out Loud Weekly, March 14, 9:15 PM EST!

Learn more about the work Donna Reynolds and Tim Racer do in the Bark Out Loud Weekly BAD RAP podcast “After Vick: What Have We Learned?” . This breaking interview has just been released along with promotion of the “Double BAD RAP Donation Challenge” from The Honest Kitchen. Listen up and chat live with Donna Reynolds and Tim Racer on Monday at 9:15 PM EST. Get there early! Space is limited to the first 100 people.

BAD RAP, Featured Cause at Be the Change for Animals on March 14th

Be the Change for Animals ( will feature the “Double BAD RAP Donation Challenge” from The Honest Kitchen on Monday, March 14th. Through social media, Be the Change for Animals asks a dedicated and growing community of online animal advocates to spend just a few moments and never a cent to improve the lives of animals in need. On this date, Be the Change for Animals will also kick off a $1000 dollar Facebook ad campaign, drawing additional attention to this terrific cause.

Special announcement: Bark Out Loud Weekly and Be the Change for Animals have officially joined forces. As sister sites, each will cross promote the other with a strong focus on improving the lives of animals.

You Can Help!

Like The Honest Kitchen’s Facebook Page.
Share this link (
Cover the story on your website.
Participate in Bark Out Loud Weekly’s BAD RAP podcast and chat.
Visit Be the Change for Animals on Monday to spread the word.

Participating Blogs and Websites

The following  have committed to covering events surrounding “Double BAD RAP Donation Challenge” on Monday, March 14th:

We sincerely thank you for all YOU do for animals!