Friday, January 7, 2011

Update on Ziggy

It's been three weeks since I wrote a post specifically about Ziggy. So for any new readers out there, let me give you a quick summary. Ziggy is an overzealous, highly intelligent, extremely food motivated, deaf American Pit Bull Terrier. I started fostering him over a year ago, and in spite of being listed for adoption on several websites and attending weekly adoption events, he has never been adopted. In fact, he has only received two applications in the past year - one of whom lived in a city with breed bans, and the other of whom changed their mind after filling out the application.  I have tried everything - hired a trainer, taught him tricks, changed his adoption listings/pictures/videos numerous times, made him wear adopt-me vests and bandanas everywhere we go, and even tried shrinking him in the dryer when someone liked him but wanted a smaller dog! Okay, fine, I didn't really put him in the dryer. I did consider the use of a hair dryer though.

Suffice it to say that I refuse to give up. I continue to hope that someday he will get a real home of his own. And that home is definitely not mine. Some foster dogs just "fit" into a household very easily, and those are the hardest ones to adopt out. Ziggy is not one of those foster dogs. I love him, but life will be easier for everyone, including him, if he can go to a home that is a better fit for him. So we'll keep trying.

Now for those of you who don't know Ziggy well, you may be curious why he hasn't been adopted yet.  I'm curious too.  But I think it might have something to do with the fact that he's a pit bull, he's deaf, he has food allergies, he has way too much puppy exuberance, he chews on everything and everyone, and oh yeah, he will only "listen to" roughly 1 of every 100 people that he meets... unless they have food - then he'll listen to anyone.  Until they run out of food.  He's fickle that way. 
Here is how Ziggy has spent his last few weeks:

Chewing the vaccum cleaner cord into two:
Signing "no" to a deaf dog while taking his picture is not an easy task!

Waiting outside my visiting stepdaughter's bedroom for her to come out.
Rachael has become Ziggy's favorite chew toy. Suffice it to say that Rachael is NOT in the 1% of the population that Ziggy obeys. He does not mean to hurt her - he just likes to play with her just like puppies play with toys... by chewing them! This is the reason that Ziggy needs a home without children. Sigh...

Ziggy has also been busy teaching Noelle how to circumvent the ex-pen that was being used a fence between the kitchen and the living room for the safety of Peanut and Cricket. 

Ziggy figured out if he jumped up onto the glass-topped end table, then pushed aside the wire ex-pen with his nose, then stepped onto the kitchen trashcan, he could then jump down onto the kitchen floor.  And not only did he figure this out, he did it often enough that Noelle eventually figured it out by watching him.  This picture is of Noelle trying out Ziggy's new route for the first time. 

In other words, Ziggy has been up to his usual tricks - nothing new - just general Ziggyness. 


giantspeckledchihuahua said...

I know the Ziggy's forever family is searching for him! I can't believe he hasn't stolen any hearts! Anyone one looking to save money could totally wipe out their entire entertainment fund by bringing Ziggy home.

Cupcake said...

Ziggy, Ziggy, Ziggy, what in the world are we going to do with you? I know one of these old days the right person will come along. Maybe he could go to Hollywood because he is very talented and photogenic.

Anonymous said...

I agree with Cupcake. Maybe your mom could start sending your headshot and resume out to Hollywood dog trainers. You're most definitely cuter than most of those humans out there and you also have star quality, for sure. Plus, you're really smart and everybuddy luvs a story of somebuddy with a handicap who overcame it to become a star. You could be like the Marlee Matlin of the doggie world!

Can I have your paw-toe-graph?

Wiggles & Wags,

Frankie Furter said...

I thought that Santa Paws would be able to find a home fur Ziggy. Maybe he is still lookin though. I hope so.

sp said...

after i watched the video youtube popped up a list of related clips - all featuring david bowie! maybe you can work the rock & roll angle for ziggy's adoption ads - get him one of those terrifying ziggy stardust wigs and a shiny leotard??

Sue said...

My little Lucy used to escape from the kitchen in the same way. She climbed up on a bucket of bird seed, then onto the trash can and over the gate. You guys are just too smart.

brooke said...

Oh Ziggy. I hope you find your forever home soon, but we'll miss your crazy antics!

Kristine said...

Oh Ziggy! I know he is right for someone, his forever family is obviously just taking the scenic route. Ziggy is the kind of dog I would have loved to adopt before I found Shiva. It makes me sad that so few people see his potential. If you ask me, he is one awesome agility star in the making!

Pauley James Foster Baby said...

I am rooting for you Ziggy! Your perfect home is out there!

Mollie Jo and Bobo said...

Thanks we all needing a bit of Ziggy today!

Wags and Licks,
Mollie Jo & Bobo

Susan Blatz said...

Wow, he is a busy boy!
What signs does he know?

Dog Foster Mom said...

Ziggy knows the basics - sit, down, come, stay, no, and good. He knows a few tricks - shake, spin, beg, and high five. He learns very quickly and he'd know a lot more if I spent more time training him. :-)

Macho (And Nicole!) said...

Ziggy must be very smart to know all of those signs! I am also surprised he hasn't found a home yet. We are hoping that everything will work out for him, he deserves a good home as much as any other dog :)

Nicole and Macho

Two Pitties in the City said...

We still keep thinking of Ziggy and hoping his forever family will finally figure out he's out there. He does seem like a good teacher.

Oskar said...

Ziggy looks like a great dog!

Nubbin wiggles,

havetailwillwag said...

ziggy is adorable. i still think he's the cutest thing ever. he reminds me of my dog spike when he was a youngster too :) the puppy enthusiasm is a good thing! i love it!

Susan Blatz said...

If Ziggy doesn't know the "LOOK" command, start working on that.
I put it on my All Dogs All Day blog, because it has come up several times this week.
Also, you may want to teach him a "LAP" command teaching him to climb up on and relax on someones lap.
I think the key for adoption may be tapping into his affectionate side.
Are you crating him?

Dog Foster Mom said...

Thanks Susan - Ziggy does know "target" and we used to use "watch me" but haven't been using that much lately. I was planning on teaching him to "wave" and using a cue when I wave at him... I'll make sure to include solid eye contact in that and then if people wave to him at adoption events he will look at them and wave back... maybe that will help! He is crated while I'm at work and during the night.

Sara said...

I LOVE reading about Ziggy and his antics! He's so adorable and every time you post something new, I wish that I had room in my life for another dog :) Good luck with him and good luck finding his forever home!

Anonymous said...

gosh, a smart, handsome dog like ziggy hasn't been adotped after a year? where are the good adopters? his situation makes me worried for our fabulous foster (also white, also pit type), who has been with us for about 10 weeks now.
good luck ziggy!

follow our foster:

Susan Blatz said...

Ziggy is a cutie. Sometimes the deaf dogs are hesitant with strangers. I would suggest working on this to start;
Get some "Natural Balance Potato and Duck" food roll and cut into very small pieces, use your "watch" command, hold the treat up by your eyes, and when he makes eye contact toss the treat to him. As you wait for him to catch your eye, you should be smiling. Smiling and waiting.
Work this until he gets that 1. he has to make the eye contact, and 2. he can catch (if he doesn't get the catch part,no big deal)or at least know a treat is coming his way.
Once he gets that, you can upgrade to where you hold the treat out to your side {shoulder height}, and wait for him to offer eye contact before tossing it to him. He will have to take his eye off the treat to look at the treat holder person, a good thing.
He gets a bonus toss if at any time he tilts his head.
Then, weather permitting, stand outside someplace like, Home Depot or Starbucks (where ever his comfort zone is}, and if anyone admires him, ask if they would help you practice his trick.
Make sure they give him enough personal space so he is at ease.
Ziggy does not need to make eye contact with the stanger, but it would be nice.
This will not only get him looking at faces but help him become more comfortable with unpredictable strangers.

Kari in WeHo said...

All dogs know vacuums are evil so you can't hold that against him!