Fur-Ever IS a Promise
We know it's been a long time since our last post. It's been a wild ride with a number of ups and down. In October of last year(2017) our beloved Enke passed in a lovely ceremony at home.
Since Enke's Passing we have begun to move in new directions with our work and our missions.
Enke inspired me to learn about plant allies as medicine and also helped me to connect deeper with my own ancestral healing practices. We continue to do work with dogs and Enke even inspired us to start an herb garden in the back of our home also known as the dog park.
With the changes come exciting announcements. Fur-Ever is a Promise is venturing into the world of Herb Farming and Food Farming.
I am currently working with a wonderful pair of Farmers, Art Shavers and Shantae Johnson of MudBone Grown Family Farm here in Portland and am a farm intern with a number of other beginning farmers of color. We are 6 months into the program and I have learned and grown so much.
Fur-Ever Is a Promise will continue to do work with dogs but what that looks like continues to shift.
We are no longer taking new Boarding and Sitting clients and beginning January 2019 we will no longer be offering those services at all.
We are transitioning to Herbal and Holistic Remedies, Classes, Consults and Farming.
We are so grateful for this winding path called life and thankful to have had all of your support along the way. We look forward to that continued support as we move into our new journey and adventure!
For more on what we are up to check out our other website www.dogheart.org
It's been 8 months since our last blog entry and much has happened and much has changed. In March I began learning about medicinal herbs of the Pacific North West through the Arctos School of Herbal and Botanical Studies. I am still in the program until mid October but I have learned a great deal and cannot recommend them enough! Not only have I learned about what a magical place we live in but also how miraculous nature really is.
In addition to my herbal teachings I have undertaken my own decolonization and have been on a roots reclamation journey. Some of you may know this about my story. Both of my parents immigrated to the US from Mexico, both at very young ages. And though I have been so privileged to be aware of our origin much of the history of my family's ancestry is still shrouded in mystery and was lost to assimilation. The past few years I have been on this journey of connecting with Indigenous Mexika community circles in the Portland Metro Area. This connection has opened my eyes to a number of issues.
1. Mexican folks are indigenous to this land.
2. we don't own land we belong to land.
3. Because we belong to the land it is our job to protect it, care of it, and all life that is on it.
What does this have to do with dog training?
I have always been fond of dogs, and i never really understood why I felt this affinity but in the last year it has come to me. After spending time outdoors, learning about how each plant relies on the each other, and how we need the plants to feed our atmosphere and we need the atmosphere to live, all living things. ALL OF OUR RELATIONS. I realized what Kimbo has been trying to get me to understand these 7 plus years we have been together. It only took me 7 yrs to learn. We must do the work to keep the land protected and we must do the work to be in balance and harmony with the earth.
In the last 2 years I have been on a quest for my Nahuatl name, Nahuatl, the language of Indigenous Central Americans. I played with Xocoyotl (youngest child) and Yolotli (heart) and finally in a dream, my great aunt, from my mother's side, appeared to me in a dream, touched my chest with her index finger (where i have a dog skull tattooed on me) and said "your heart beats in the same rhythm of the dog. you have a dog heart. Chichitonyolotli- Dog Heart.
Dogs in toltec teachings represent Xolotl, the guardian of souls to the underworld, the guardian of the Sun through the night. Xolotl is the Black Dog diety that rules Ollin- movement.
In this new found identity that really was more of a validation of my path, I have taken on this name and with it, more that just working with people and counseling their relationships with the dogs in their lives. We are more that just our relationships to our dogs, we are complex and live in complex worlds.
Moving forward, Fur-Ever Is A Promise will be working to help people achieve balance with themselves, in their lives, and in relation to all they are connected to. We will be offering nutritional consults and herbal support consultations, we will be offering lesson in how to be more connected and have deeper relationships with your pup and yourself. We are committed to living our best lives with you as part of that.
Noxtin Nomecoyotzin~ All of our Relations~Solidarity
Letty Chichitonyolotli, Kimbo Puppy, and St. Enke
Happy New Year!
New year, new focuses = New Fur-Ever Is A Promise!
My apologies for the lack of correspondence for the past few months. We have been in some transitions over the last few months.
As many of you know in the past few months hired on Parker Martinek as our Dog Walker Extraordinaire!
And Hector Figueroa has moved on from Dog Walker Support, as he has moved back to Illinois to continue his education in Engineering. We miss Hector and wish him all the best!
Recently, I have stepped back in walks and am focusing my efforts in the Foster Network, Training and Boarding. I am also working on gaining new skills in Herbal Support and Nutrition for pups.
What does this mean?
It means we are taking a moment to turn inward before we grow outward. This past year was full of lessons, ups and downs, and I have come out of it filled with gratitude and a renewed sense of purpose. And Fur-Ever Is A Promise is taking cutting back on some of our services.
Changes in Services and Structure
As we grow and reflect, Parker will continue to be a Dog Walker and is available or sitting, working on their own, separate from Fur-Ever Is A Promise.
Parker is a talented and compassionate Pet Care Provider and I wish them all of the luck and success in their adventures in Puppy Sitting! They are my go to referral for when I am not available.
Our rates are going up. Check out our website for the new rates. Rate change is effective February 1, 2017. *This will give you time to adjust your walking schedule needs or discuss with us directly the rates.
We continue to be the most affordable, accessible, and community oriented Pet Care Service in town.
We are raising costs because we believe in economic justice not just for our community but for our workers too.
Things to know moving forward
Successes from the past year in Fostering
Last year we assisted in fostering 5 dogs and rehomed 2. Not big numbers, but for the majority of the time it was a one human operation. I am proud of our work.
We are more and more excited as this business grows and learns and I once again must thank you all for all of your support in making this happen. You are making this a possibility when only 2 years ago it was but a line gesture sketch in my mind. Thank you to all of our patrons for entrusting us with the loving care of our fur babes! We love what we do!
Gratitude and Solidarity Fur-Ever!
Letty, Kimbo, and Enke
Happy August! Is it August Already!?!
July was busy with boarding and walks. I hope you have been having lots of summer adventures. We have been hard at work with new training clients, weekend boarding and, of course, our regular walks.
This month came with some exciting new developments. We are in the process of building a board of directors, reaching out to folks for fostering and making moves towards our big dream of having a full foster network for houseless families in need of temporary housing for their Fur-Ever pals.
The Dream Is Coming to Life!
We are hoping to begin an access fund in the coming months.
As some of you may know, we offer our services on a sliding scale basis for low income households with Furbabes. We at Fur-Ever Is A Promise believe walks, sitting/boarding, and training sessions should be accessible to all families and we want to make that service sustainable. By setting up an access fund where community members can donate we can offer that to more families and hire more walkers on for more hours.
In the past we have offered our services at a sliding scale that has slid down to ZERO for boarding, walks, and training. We want to keep doing this!
More to come on how you can donate to our access fund will be coming soon!
You Can Contribute To Your Community Too!
Do you want to foster a pup? Do you have ideas on how we might structure our Foster Network? Wanna just meet and organize with some rad social justice nerds who want to help houseless and marginally housed Portland Residents stay connected to their fur-ever pals? We want you to join the Fur-Ever Is A Promise Foster Network! Email me with the Sign Me Up! in the subject line and we will add you to our volunteer interest list and email list so that you can get in on the developments, planning, and trainings!
Services! Adventure Time!!
In other news, we still have a few spots available on the 5th and 19th for Adventure Times! check out deets on the website at on our homepage by clicking above.
Regular walk clients,
Let us know if you need changes, additional walks or boarding ASAP! We are booking up with boarding 30 plus days in advance and we want to be sure we can accommodate your needs!
***Just a reminder, we are booking most walks Mon- Thurs. We currently have limited availability for Fri-Sun due to boarding requests. It's not impossible, but it is limited. Email us if you have specific dates in mind.
Products and Tips!
We are now selling holistic remedies, dog care tip literature (illustrated by me!), custom button refrigerator magnets and doggy nutrition workshops! Check out our website at our shop for what we have. All profits from our shop go towards our Access Fund and help us to keep our sliding scale model a possibility!
Thank you for all of your support. When you let us be part of your fur-ever promise pet care services, you are helping your community too! It's not just your dog that gets cared for, a dog in need gets cared for too. It's a pretty amazing thing we are all doing together and I want to thank you for being a part of it and helping our dreams become a reality!
Letty, Kimbo, and Enke
And Happy Birthday to Fur-Ever Is a Promise, LLC!
We are officially 1 yrs old on July 1st!
My sincerest gratitude to you for your continued support of this doggie business. June has been packed and July looks to be following the same trend. Here are some updates in what's to come in July and beyond!
We will not be offering Adventure Times in the month of July do to boarding needs of our clients.
We will resume Adventure Times now on Fridays on August 5th and 19th. There are limited spots available for each day and we are asking that you pick one date for now to allow others to attend as well. If spots are still available on either date i will send out an email to see if folks want to double up.
Additionally, we wanted to inform you that we will not be offering walks on Fridays in the month of July and beyond. Walks are now only available Monday- Thursday please contact me directly should you need other days covered. We may be able to cover it but as a general rule we are ear marking those days for admin time. (boarding is not included in this we are still accepting boarding if you have booked and confirmed already with your dates, please disregard this)
Join me at the Family Dog New Life Fun Walk and Run 5K on July 31st at Mt Tabor!
I will be tabling selling zines, postcards and some holistic remedies we make in house. If you participate in the Fun Walk/Run you can enter a raffle for a gift bag put together by yours truly!
More info can be found HERE
Portland Zine Symposium!
Come to The Portland Zine Symposium July 9th at the Abridge Event Center 1333 NE MLK
and July 10th at the IPRC 1001 SE Division St
Info can be found HERE
I will be selling zines and potentially prints of puppy paintings if you order ahead.
FUN UPDATES BELOW
My Art Show Dreams Came True! (Image above)
Some of you were able to attend my art show! Thank you so much for attending! It really means a lot to have so much community support!
I wanted to share some images of what was shown. It was mostly a puppy watercolor portrait show. Your pup may have been featured and I would love to get a print to you if you like.
I am making little books about pet care and the joys of doggies. I have one zine done in a planned series of 3 books.
This month I produced a short Zine with the Independent Publication Resource Center's (IPRC)
24 hr Zine Challenge and copies are now available in color or in black and white. Color copies are $5 and black and white are $3.
Lastly, I want to share with you my dream.
I began Fur-Ever Is A Promise because while i was working in non for profit, many of my client who were facing houselessness who also had pets and were actively choosing to stay houseless due to the threat of losing their bestfriend in the process of becoming housed or entering shelter systems and treatment facilities.
I have been wanting to start a foster network for houseless, marginally housed folks to have a safe place for their beloved family members to be cared for while they get ducks in a row to be full time care givers again. And to support Queer, POC, and Low Income pet guardians to have access to Sitting, Walking and Training Services on a sliding fee basis!
We celebrating 1 year of business and are finally moving toward our first steps of making these services a reality. More to come as it develops.
Thank you again for being part of the Fur-Ever Team. Your business means the world to our community. Your community here in Portland, and together we can do more to help keep our Fur-Ever Promise, not just to our pets, but to our community.
With Gratitude and Sincere Love to you and your fur babes,
The Fur-Ever Team
It's Been 3 whole weeks since our little pup has come to stay with us and we have officially made it official and have adopted him as our own. And in his past time in the Oregon Dog Rescue, he was known as Sean, at home we have taken to calling him Enke (pronounced Inky).
We have been slowly introducing him to new human, of all gender presentations and doing lots of exercising in the form of park visits, walks and training sessions.
Little Enke has really come along, he has moved out of his scurry and hide phase and now barks at new people who enter the home. Calm redirection and rewarding desired behaviors and ignoring the undesired behaviors have helped immensely.
At the rescue where he was housed for the last year he was crate trained and that training has really come in handy! Big shout out to the amazing workers at Oregon Dog Rescue for all the work they have done with Enke (Sean). Having his safe place to go that is just for him has really made his transition easier and has helped him to find his confidence.
To anyone who hasn't tried crating, it really is a vital tool for you in your training and building trust with your dog! Having a safe place to go and feel secure and protected from outside stimuli can really improve a dogs behavior, from chewing, barking, and other unsavory behaviors. It also helps to establish healthy boundaries with your pup!
More updates to come!
Thanks for checking back in!
letty, kimbo and enke
I am super excited to share news that we have adopted a new four legged friend in our lives! We haven't settled on a name just yet but we've been calling him Puppy and Little Stinks for now. He is 5 yrs old and has some serious nervousness.
It's been nearly a week since he joined us and already he is starting to show some signs of building trust and confidence with me. With my sweetheart and my nephew, not so much just yet.
Puppy has been in a shelter for 2 yrs because of his shyness and anxiety and I have taken it as a personal challenge to take on helping this little guy become balanced and confident. It's going to take time, it's going to take patience, and love love love!
Nervous dogs are my favorite because I empathize so much with them. Being a veteran, and dealing with my own anxiety and nervousness as a result of my time in the military, and time in therapy, I have developed some skills on how to manage and how to take things sloooooowwwww.
This new puppy has presented me with new challenges that have lead me to researching massage, acupressure and aroma therapy for dogs. I'm excited for what lessons it will bring and for what growth he and I can do together!
We are doing all of the other recommended things for introducing a new buddy to the family and to our lives too; keeping calm energy, lots of positive reinforcement with treats and praise, and plenty of exercise!
I wanted to share that with you and would love for you to keep checking in as we update you on Little Stinks' progress as time passes.
And as I continue my studies our services will broaden!
That's all for now.
Check back soon!
xoxo letty, Kimbo and Little Puppy Stinks!
Sometimes, we encounter a dog who is hard to hang out with. Maybe they are a little grumbly or jumpy and nippy. Maybe they can't quite get the socializing etiquette that the other dogs seem to grasp. Sometimes, they are just plane unpleasant. It's not the dog's fault!
Human caretaker, you have some culpability in this.
When we take on the care of an animal we take on the commitment of building a trusting relationship with our buddies. They need us to help them feel confident in the world and to have enriching experiences. When we don't build the bonds of trust with our pets, they act out and it makes it harder for us to bond.
It's not a lost cause though. Recognizing that you have taken some missteps in the rearing of your pup is the first step to helping your pal be the best they can be. Next is identifying the behaviors that are problematic.
Dogs need attention, affection, exercise, boundaries and good nutrition to keep them feeling balanced. Like us humans, they are social!
In this entry I want to talk specifically about nipping and barking behaviors. Nipping and barking can be playful but can quickly turn into aggression and injuries. Not only is it dangerous for playmates but can be very dangerous for the aggressor in the end. Some dogs are good about communicating boundaries with nippy barkers and others have zero tolerance policies that can lead to fights and bites that bleed.
~My dog barks at guests and nips at me when I try to get her to calm down.
This is super common and one thing I always suggest is get your dog calm before inviting your guest in. This starts well before guests arrive. Regular exercise and stimulation are important as well as working on basic obedience regularly to get your dog to understand what you want them to do.
Sit, Wait, and Leave it, are important commands to master with your pup and, to add a little flair, try working on Got To Bed.
Next, communicate with your house guests and house mates the rules of engagement. Do not address the dog until the dog is calm. No physical contact, no eye contact, not verbal queues outside of Sit, Wait or Leave it. If your dog jumps, ask your guest to give the dog their back, look away and say Eh, eh. or Nope.
When the dog is finally calm, they you may greet and treat. Four paw on the ground or a full sit and pup can get treats and attention. Barky nippers get the cold shoulder.
Fur-Ever Is A Promise offers training sessions and walking services to help with these sorts of issue and we would love to work with you and your fur buddy to help you strenghten your bond and trust!
Until next time!
letty and Kimbo Puppy
Thank you so much for visiting our site and for your interest in our services. Fur-Ever Is a Promise is my dream come true to work with humans to strengthen the bonds of trust with their furever friends. One day we would love to start a foster network to support houseless folks with pets to have a safe place for their fur family members to stay while they work on finding stable housing.
For now, we offer sitting, walking and training services, and what my sweetheart lovingly refers to as, Doggy Social Work.
I have always loved dogs and it wasn't until 6 years ago that I really understood the depth of that doggy love; that was 4 years after leaving the military, when I adopted Kimbo, my Furever friend. Civilian life can be difficult to readjust to and when I met Kimbo suddenly it seemed much more bearable. He and I are close. I have trained him to be my service animal and our bond is strong. But this doesn't just happen. We worked really hard together, and sometimes we had hard times when he and I just weren't getting what the other was trying to say. So I read, I watched YouTube video, I asked questions and we spent a lot of time together. Time really was the key.
During our time together I discovered that Kimbo is really great at making friends with every dog he has ever met. Even the grumpy ones, the nippy ones, the scaredy ones. He just has a knack for being patient, calm, and present.
Last year Kimbo began coming to work with me when I was still working in an office. My anxiety was sky rocketing and he just made things better and my clients and community members began asking me about how I got Kimbo trained to be such a great companion.
"We spend a lot of time together. We put a lot of work into this relationship."
And it shows.
I wanted to help others to achieve that kind of bond with their dogs too. When our dogs feel confident in their relationships with their humans they are balanced, calm and happy.
So was born Fur-Ever Is A Promise because, Fur-Ever IS a promise and we (Kimbo and I) want to help you keep that promise to your fur buddy for however long they live.
Thank you for your support and I look forward to working with you!
letty and Kimbo Puppy