Wednesday, August 31

An Unspeakable Crime Towards A Dog



I was emailed this story last night from my sister, which hits close to home, literally.  The place this story took place was a neighboring town to where I grew up.  This really makes me sick and I hope there are steep consequences for the person that did this.

In Oliverhurst,  California a man by the name of Wayne McFee was seen by neighbors dragging his American Bulldog, Baby, behind his truck with a rope wrapped around her neck.  The rope broke when he stopped the truck and put it in reverse and ran over the dog, then fled the seen.  

The good news is that Baby was put in the helping hands of One More Dog Rescue and is on her way to recovery.  Though her badly broken leg and tail will have to be amputated.  Despite her injuries, Baby seems to be a sweet girl and is ready to find her forever home.  You can soon adopt Baby by contacting One More Dog Rescue.

As for Wayne McFee, he was arrested on animal cruelty charges and is awaiting his day in court.  In the mean time, his friend James Morrison is coming to his defense saying that McFee didn’t intentionally hurt the dog and only panicked when he realized how bad Baby’s injuries were.  “He should have went back,” Morrison said. “He doesn’t have a mean bone in his body, he really doesn’t.”

I personally can't understand why you would leave your dog in a street so badly injured if in fact it was just an accident.  You can see the full story below, but part of what Morrison is saying is that Baby jumped out of the back of the truck and McFee had no idea he was dragging her.  No explanation as to why he backed up over her.  But then once he realized what happened he panicked and left.  

It just makes no sense.  My father had this happen to him more than once on his farm in rural Missouri, our dog (not tethered) jumped out of the back of his truck trying to chase a rabbit or bird and the response was to immediately stop and get the dog back in.  No backing up or just leaving the dog.  Even if the dog is hurt, isn't that more reason to stop, secure your dog and rush to the vet?  I am not buying this defense.  I think this is a person that doesn't value the life of this sweet dog, maybe it went too far, but I think he absolutely meant to drag her.  I hope he now has to pay for this hideous crime.

To watch the full story, view the video below.

Tuesday, August 30

Courtroom Dogs



Any of you that are regular readers of my blog know that I have a certain affinity for service dogs and therapy dogs.  The reason is that it takes a very special temperament, a special quality in these dogs that literally enjoy helping humans.  As a trainer of a specific therapy dog program, I have watched individuals try to force their dog into this and it doesn't work.  If your dog doesn't have a natural inclination to want to support humans or give away free love, this is just simply not for your dog.  But for the dogs that do enjoy it, it may be one of the most incredible things to witness.

So, when I saw this story, it really spoke to me and I thought about blogging about it, then other things came up, so I never did.  Then last week a friend emailed me the story and I thought, this really needs to be discussed.

The story is about a therapy dog, named Rosie, she is the first courtroom approved therapy dog in New York.  In this particular case, the witness was a 15-year-old girl who was testifying that her father had raped and impregnated her. Rosie sat by the teenager's feet nuzzling her. At particularly bad moments, she leaned in. At the end of the trial, the girl was most grateful for Rosie and just kept hugging her.  

However, after the trial ended in June with the father's conviction, the defense lawyers are planning an appeal all based around Rosie.  The claim is that the dog sways the jury on the side of the prosecution by making it "appear" that the witness is under stress for telling the truth, when in fact they could be lying.  

This obviously is bigger than this one case, it could change the current rulings in the states that allow therapy dogs in the courtroom, to banish them once again.  

This is a wonderful article that I am only speaking on one point.  I encourage you all to read it.  For me, I think courtroom dogs should be allowed in every court where there is a need.  Especially for minor witness'.  The amount of support and reassurance the dog can provide for these children in these horrible situations is truly remarkable.

To read the article, bark on the link:  Bark!

Monday, August 29

Tisk, Tisk Downtown LA!



I am so annoyed and rather bothered about something I experienced over the weekend.  For all the dog owners in DTLA, we know how hard it is to find a good potty spot for those quick trips late at night or really early in the morning.  I was always so pleased that we had a great dog run just around the corner.  Well, that all changed for me this weekend.  This is not a spot I use that often, so I am not sure when it changed, I only noticed this weekend.

I was walking my dog home after a long day of teaching, I always potty him before we go into the apartment.  So the "dog run" was in between Main and Spring on 6th.  As I went to my old spot I was followed by a security man yelling at me.  I had no idea why he was yelling and I noticed a sign right above my head.  As I heard what he was saying, I was reading the sign at the same time.  "No Dog Pee or Poo Zone!"  

Our perfect quick potty spot is gone.  There use to be a few, but they slowly started to be taken away and this was the last one that was so close to our apartment.  What makes me angry is that the reason they took it away is because of dog owners NOT cleaning up after their dog's.  I have been saying it for a long time, if owners continue to be negligent about this, it will trickle down to the rest of us!

DTLA residents, please clean up after your dog!
For training with Bark & Clark, bark on the link:  Bark!


Friday, August 26

Puppy In The Mirror



Happy Friday!  I love sending you into the weekend on a happy and fun note, so today I have a fun video to show the silliness, innocence and playfulness of a puppy.  I grew up around Dachshunds, so I am very familiar with how fun they can be, especially as puppies.  But this little guy or girl takes the cake!  It demonstrates how cute puppies really are and how easily they can be entertained.

I hope you all smile as much as I did watching. 


Have a great weekend and don't forget to do something fun with your dog!

For information on training with Bark & Clark, bark on the link:  Bark!

Thursday, August 25

Dogfriendly.com Top 10 Dog Friendly Cities


Maybe your summer vacation is over for this year, but there is always next year or Labor Day weekend for one last get away.  I put out earlier Petside.com's top 10 dog friendly cities, but this list is from our friends at Dogfriendly.com.  These are the Top 10 Dog Friendly Cities in the U.S. to visit and a brief explanation as to why it was given the rating, as well, the link on the city name will link you to a city guide page.

Portland Oregon tops DogFriendly.com’s 2011 list of the pet-friendliest vacation cities in the United States. Home to the famous and dog-friendly Rose Gardens and the Lucky Lab you and your dog would have a great time in Portland. These top cities are chosen for their pet-friendly accommodations, transportation, beaches, park, attractions, stores, dining and more. Here are the remainder of this year’s Top 10:
2. Chicago – Visit the Navy Pier, dine in elegance, cruise on a pet-friendly tour boat or walk the parks of the city.
3. San Diego – The country’s best dog beaches and trails and world class pet-friendly shopping centers.
4. Seattle – Take public transportation with your leashed dog. Many pet-friendly venues in a dog-friendly city.
5. Philadelphia – Get a famous cheese steak. See historic early American sites and stay in a downtown luxurious hotel.
6. Minneapolis – Great hiking trails and parks, pet-friendly dining. A pet-friendly atmosphere throughout.
7. Austin – Dog-Friendly parks. Outdoor cafes. Take tours and see the sites. See the Zilker Gardens and the Congress Street bats.
8. Alexandria/ Washington D.C. – See the capital’s sites, walk in charming Old Town, take a dog cruise on the Potomac.
9. New York – Luxury hotels welcome dogs, Central park beckons, off-leash parks everywhere. Shop the famous stores with your dog.
10. Indianapolis – Many historical sites, Nature preserves, trails and parks. Many of the cities tourist sites can be viewed with a dog.
Honorable Mentions: Charlotte, Dallas, Nashville, Orlando, Raleigh.
What a great list.  It really gives me the idea to do a road trip across the U.S. with my pooch.  How cool to think of being in Seattle and taking your dog on public transportation... hint, hint LA!  I hope you enjoyed this list as well and gave you an idea for a future vacation or weekend get away.

Wednesday, August 24

Hot, Hot, Hot


The weather is getting hotter and your pooches are going to feel it.  I know we are in the middle of summer so it is expected to be hot, but I like to remind you all to think of it from your pup's perspective.  Remember they are not just dealing with the heat coming down from the sun, they are also dealing with the heat coming up through the ground.  So, below please find my top tips on how to keep your dog cool and safe for the remainder of the summer.


  • If it is hot outside, your car becomes an oven! Please don't ever leave your dog in the car unattended with no air. Even if you crack your windows, your car will heat up to dangerous temperatures if you leave your dog in there for long periods of time. 15 minutes can be enough in high heat to do damage to your pup. 

  • Water, Water, Water! While out walking or hiking make sure you are stopping every 15 minutes to water your pooch.  Make sure you have a portable bowl so you can have water anywhere.
  • Cool your pooch!  If your pooch overheats easily, you have a young pup, you do a lot of outdoor activities with your dog or you just want to give your pooch a break, having a cooling pad, cooling vest or cooling collar is the way to go.
  • Paw relief!  Most of our adult dogs have pads that are weathered enough to stand the heat of living in Southern California, but for pups or dogs new to this climate covering their paws might be the way to go.  You can cover them with dog boots or slather them with paw wax to give them the protection they need.
 
  • Fun in the water!  We live in Southern California, enjoy the beach!  Take your dog to an off leash or on leash dog beach and let them play in the water.  Allowing for a little pool time is always great as well, if your dog likes to swim or let them wade around in a kiddie pool.  Lastly, you could visit the dog water park.  Any of this water time will be a great way to cool down and have fun.


There are many more ways to keep your dogs cool, like air conditioning, fans, shade and doggie ice cream, but the list above will get you started.  The whole point is to think about your dogs too, not just how to beat the heat for yourself.  Besides just beating the heat, you may end up having a fun play day with your dog!

For more information on training with Bark & Clark, bark on the link:  Bark!
 

Tuesday, August 23

Child's Heartbreaking Note Attached To Dog


I can't imagine being a child in a home where the parents are getting a divorce and on top of that your best friend and pet dog are going to the pound.  What an awful situation for a family.  But this is something that happens all the time.  Dogster brought us a story with a little twist on this sad situation.  Instead of allowing their beloved pet to go to the pound a very dear child took matters into their own hands.
When a King Charles Cavalier spaniel wandered into Paul Wu’s driveway and wouldn’t leave, the Kirkland, Wash., resident got out of his car to inspect the little dog more closely.
He found a red, bone-shaped container attached to the dog’s collar. On the container was the hand-scrawled word, “OPEN.” So he did.
Inside he found a note and some money. The note, hand-written on lined yellow paper, read:
Please take care of Mr. B. He is a King Charles Cavalier Spaniel. Six years old. My parents got divorced and Mr. B was supposed to go to the pound. I think he has a better chance with you.  This is my birthday money for any of his care. He is used to kids, not other dogs.  He’s a good boy.  I know God will take care of Mr. B – Everyone loves him…especially me. Thank you.”
Wu was very touched by the note, and didn’t want to leave the dog on his own, so he brought him to work with him. There, coworker Robert Kuchcinski, who has three children, decided to lend a hand. He brought Mr. B home after work, and took him to the vet’s. The tagless dog had no microchip, but got a relatively clean bill of health. (He looks well fed.)
Kuchcinski’s family fell fast for Mr. B. They’ll be keeping him.
“I’d hate to be a kid making that choice,” Kuchcinski said. “It didn’t seem right that it would go to the pound.” (Yes, he’s calling him ‘it,’ but he’s a new dog owner, so that should improve with time.)
It’s been a few days now, and Mr. B is settling in beautifully. With three kids and two adults, there are sometimes 10 hands wanting to pet him at once. And he looks oh so comfy on the chaise lounge.
Wu appeared on a local news station in order to get word to the child/teen who dropped off Mr. B. ”
“All I want to do is let this person know that we found him a good home. That’s the whole message,” said Wu.
Though this story has a happy ending, it could've been so different if the wrong people would've ended up with Mr. B.  I hope that the child that had all the faith in the world in their fellow man now knows that Mr. B is okay and has a good home. 

For more on the story, bark on the link:  Bark!





For more information on training with Bark & Clark, bark on the link:  Bark!

Friday, August 19

The Power Of One Little Boy



A good friend sent me this amazingly sweet and inspiring story.  I thought it was the perfect sentiment to send you all into the weekend on.  I hope you all get as much out of it as I did.

Evan Moss’ seizures come quietly in the night. When they strike, the 7-year-old’s parents have to give him medicine to make them stop — or risk brain damage. But to do that, they have to know they are happening. Lisa and Rob Moss live in fear of missing one.
The seizures are so silent that even if Rob and Lisa sleep in the next room with a baby monitor to listen, they can’t hear them, so Evan sleeps with them in their bed. “We go through life pretty much not well-rested and with a strong addiction to caffeine,” says Lisa Moss.
But a service dog, specially trained to detect seizures and alert Evan’s parents could help insure that Rob and Lisa don’t miss a seizure, and also make it possible for Evan to sleep in how own bed.  The catch? A dog like that costs about $13,000.
To raise the money for a dog for Evan, who has a genetic disorder and epilepsy, the family discussed the usual options: a 5K run, a dinner with a band, a lemonade stand.
As almost an afterthought, they came up with the idea of self-publishing a short book Evan had written as part of his application for the dog. Initially, they modestly hoped maybe they could sell 150 at $10 apiece. But Evan has now sold 10 times that many copies of the 26-page “My Seizure Dog” and counting. As it turns out, none of the profits from book sales needs to go toward the cost of the dog, because donations alone have topped $26,000 — more than twice what the Alexandria, Va., boy Evan needed for his dog. The additional thousands of dollars, plus proceeds from the book, will make up the difference between what four other children’s families have raised and the cost of their service dogs.
Not a single drop of lemonade ever had to be sold.

A July 24 book-signing drew an estimated 650 people to a local coffee shop, and at one point Evan’s book ranked 125th in sales among all the millions of books on Amazon.
Evan, a rising second-grader whose favorite part of the school day, except maybe recess, was “writer’s workshop,” isn’t fazed by the attention.
“It feels pretty nice,” he said Thursday morning before his mom, Lisa, took him to day camp.
Evan’s dog will be trained by the nonprofit 4 Paws for Ability and will be ready for the family to pick up next June. It will be either a poodle or a poodle mix, Lisa Moss says, because poodles are less likely to aggravate her dog allergy.
The theory is that seizure dogs can pick up on a scent related to a chemical change in the body that precedes a seizure, says Moss who, along with her husband, runs the free website seizuretracker.com, which helps families around the world track their children’s seizures and medications.
Evan’s dog hasn’t yet been selected by 4 Paws, so the Mosses don’t know how it will alert them to an impending seizure. Some dogs bark, others nudge parents, says Karen Shirk, the nonprofit’s founder. “Each dog has their own way of getting attention,” Shirk says.
Still, Lisa Moss says, “that’s a really big task to put on an animal. At the beginning, we’re basically going to have a boy and a dog in our bed. At some point, Evan will be back in his own bed with a dog.”
Evan’s parents first recognized that he was having a seizure when he was a month old, although Rob Moss says he could have been having them since birth.

Evan Moss, who has epilepsy, signs his book at a book signing at Grounded Coffee Shop in Alexandria, Va. He wrote the book to help raise money for a dog trained to detect seizures. 
Evan was diagnosed with a rare genetic disease called tuberous sclerosis complex, which causes benign tumors to grow in the brain and other vital organs, such as the kidneys. Because of tumors in the brain, most patients also have epilepsy. By age 4, Evan was having 300 to 400 seizures a month, but after surgery to remove the brain tumors, he was seizure-free for two years before they returned.
According to the National Institutes of Health, tuberous sclerosis affects 25,000 to 40,000 people in the United States and 1 million to 2 million worldwide. With proper medical care, most can expect to have a normal life expectancy.
Most cases occur as a result of spontaneous mutation in one of the genes that cause the disease, so they’re not passed from parent to child. But children also can inherit the disease from an affected parent so “it’s possible that one of us has it,” Rob Moss says, noting that some people with mild cases aren’t diagnosed until adulthood. To be on the safe side, he added, Evan’s big sister, 9-year-old Aria, will undergo genetic testing when she’s older.
Evan won’t get his dog until next summer, but he’s already making plans to write “My Seizure Dog 2” after he gets his new companion.
It is truly amazing to me that one little boy can have such an impact and such a heart!

If you would like to read the original story, bark on the link:  Bark!

Thursday, August 18

Dog Thrown Out Of Car Needs Help



Dogster brought us a story yesterday that just broke my heart and infuriated me at the same time.  It was about a dog they now call Mystery.  Apparently, a vacationing couple that were driving near Colorado Springs, Colo., witnessed the car in front of them slow down and someone threw a small dog onto the busy highway.
The couple put on their brakes and got out of their car. One stopped traffic while the other approached the dog to try to help her. She wasn’t moving, so they wrapped her in a blanket and brought her to the Teller County Animal Shelter.
The 13-pound terrier mix was unable to walk, or even stand, and a veterinary evaluation revealed that she was suffering from several fractures in her pelvis. She also had a previous break in one of her legs.
The shelter is a small one that is stretched for funds, and this little doggy is causing some unexpected expenses. If you’d like to donate even a few dollars for her continued care, go to the shelter’s website. Mystery will be in foster care in a while, and then will be available for adoption, should you be looking for a forever friend. If by chance you happen to know someone who had a dog with Mystery’s unique markings and suddenly and inexplicably doesn’t have the dog, I’m sure the shelter would like to hear from you as well…
If any of you can help or provide a home for this little girl, please get in touch with the shelter.  She is going to need some major TLC, but I bet if put with the right person, she would be great.

Wednesday, August 17

Summer Strut Success!



I had such a great time last night!  We ended up with 8 dogs, which was a perfect amount.  The dogs were so good, a little jazzed up, but that is to be expected.  We had two beautiful white Huskies, a sweet Basset, an adorable French Bulldog, an energetic Cocker Spaniel pup, a happy Pit/Shepard mix, a cute and well mannered Chihuahua mix and of course my own Whippet mix.

I was so proud of all the dogs as they dealt with all the distractions that were thrown at them beautifully! 

Pussy & Pooch were such amazing hosts for our first stop!  We all did a little shopping and the dogs enjoyed their treats.  That is what Neville is eating at the top.  The treats were so cute and perfect for our summer theme.  We felt a warm welcome when we walked in the door and it lasted until our last goodbye.

The rest of the walk was filled with fun, signing to our dogs, challenging exercises and unexpected distractions provided by our amazing city.

The last stop with Portofino's!  WOW!  What a great job they did.  The food was right on, the wine flowed and the service was A+!  We had great conversation and though not all the dogs settled down for a nap, a few did and the ones that didn't were still very well behaved and allowed their owners to enjoy some human time.

Thank you all that were involved to make this night a great success!

For more information on training with Bark & Clark, bark on the link:  Bark!

Tuesday, August 16

Summer Strut Pooch Parade Excitement



Pooch Parade excitement is in the air!  The treats are picked out and waiting for us at Pussy & Pooch, the tables are reserved at Portofino's, and the pooches have all confirmed they are coming out tonight.

I am so excited to host a Pooch Parade in the summer.  Summer is know for fun and happiness and it is hard to walk around the streets of Downtown in the summer air and not feel that way.

I think tonight will be our best Pooch Parade yet!  Stay tuned tomorrow to see how it all turned out.  But for now it is back to work, lots to do before tonight.



To sign up for private training with Bark & Clark, bark on the link:  Bark!

Monday, August 15

Dog Kills Pregnant Owner



On Friday a story was released that made me so sad for many reasons.  First, a dog killed their owner and she was pregnant at that.  But the unfortunate part of this story is that the dog is a Pit Bull.  I cringe every time I see a story where a Pit Bull attacks a person or a dog because this is one breed that just doesn't need any more bad press.  I feel like I need to talk about the story, but when you read the story I ask that you read it as a dog attacked their owner, not a Pit Bull attacked their owner. 

A pregnant San Francisco area woman was killed by one of her pit bulls, her mauled body found by her husband, police said on Friday.

The 32-year-old woman was pronounced dead on Thursday afternoon at the couple's home in the seaside village of Pacifica, south of San Francisco, Pacifica Police Capt. Dave Bertini said.
Authorities withheld the names of the victim and her husband.
Bertini said the woman's husband told police he came home from work at around noon on Thursday to find one of the couple's pit bulls standing, bloodied, over his wife's mauled body.

First responders to the scene found the woman unresponsive in a front room of the home with massive trauma to her upper body, Bertini said.

A second pit bull was found cowering in the corner.
Bertini said the man told authorities that the attacking dog, a two-year-old male named Gunner, was confined in a back room.
But when the dog managed to escape and enter the front yard, officers shot it three times, Bertini said.
Both pets were taken to Peninsula Humane Society, which performs animal control services for San Mateo County under contract.
The society's spokesperson Scott Delucchi said a necropsy scheduled for Friday would seek to retrieve the bullets as well as examine stomach contents and tissue samples to establish whether the dog was correctly implicated in the attack.
Tissue samples will be taken from the second dog to determine if it could be returned to the victim's husband.
"This person has lost everything; this dog is all he has left," Delucchi said.
"Right now we are assuming that one dog was involved and one was not. We investigate hundreds of dog attacks every year but I've never seen anything like this in 13 years," Delucchi said.
 To me it seems like there is so much more to this story.  The cowering dog in the corner would suggest that maybe the two dogs got into a fight and maybe the owner got in between them and the male redirected onto her. 

I suppose no matter what the "real" story is, it does not excuse the action of the dog.  Our hearts go out to the husband and family of this woman. 

Below is the news video for the full story:

Friday, August 12

Summer Strut Pooch Parade- Last Day To RSVP



Today is the final day to RSVP for the Summer Strut Pooch Parade, there are only a couple of spaces left, so sign up fast!  This is your last chance to join the fun that is sure to be had!

Summer time is here, so grab your dog and come celebrate in Downtown! 

Please join us for Summer Strut Pooch Parade on August 16th @ 7pm.  This parade will be back in the Historical Core, strutting through our tree-lined streets, practicing good manners and stopping in at Pussy & Pooch for a break and fabulous & tasty snack.  After our stroll and lesson, it's our turn for adult refreshments and treats at the fantastic Portofino's on Main.


Aside from the obvious we'll all have, this is a great opportunity to learn about how to handle your dog downtown and in general with other dogs and humans.  This workshop's focus is on basic obedience to help your dog focus on you - not the innumerable distractions around. We'll also work  on manners specific to the city, such as sitting at all intersections before crossing; sitting for introductions and the proper way to greet other dogs.  Last but certainly not least, we address the ongoing battle of teaching owners the proper places to potty their dog and how to clean it up!

We teach Uptown manners for Downtown dogs! This class is so fun, it's more like an outing... So let's take a stroll through the city and focus on doggy's ability to deal with the public, the lively city and all the other pooches out and about.

I am so excited about this Pooch Parade, I hope I will see you all there!  Be sure to RSVP by August 12th because space is limited. $40


To sign up for our next Pooch Parade, give us a bark:  Bark!

Thursday, August 11

Family Dog Accidentally Euthanized



Well, I am back from Rochester, NY where I was visiting family and since I got in so late last night I really had no idea what I was going to talk about today.  But in the airport yesterday I saw this sad story and thought I would bring a little Rochester news back with me.  Not a happy story by any means and sadly not one that we haven't seen before.  A family dog that was in quarantine for 10 days after biting a phone technician who entered the family property unannounced, was euthanized by Rochester Animal Control accidentally.
The Director of Animal Services for the City of Rochester said Wednesday it was an unfortunate mistake which led an innocent family dog to be accidentally euthanized over the weekend.

Chris Fitzgerald said an internal investigation is underway to determine what went wrong, but for the dog's family, no explanation will bring him back.  "He was pretty much a member of the family," said owner Quinton Woody of his two year old pit bull named Oscar.
Fitzgerald could not say if there was a mix up with cages or paperwork which led to the dog's euthanization.  The Woody's told their three children Oscar went to a farm.  They said Fitzgerald offered to make the process of adopting a new dog easier, but there is no way to ease their sense of loss.  "They caused this and now you can't smooth it over and say, hey, I'll make it easy for you to get another dog," said Woody.  "He cannot be replaced, I know he won't ever be replaced no matter what other dog I get he won't be replaced."
Such a sad story and even more devastating that there is no explanation for this horrendous accident.  We wish the family well and hope the children recover from this awful loss.

To read the whole story, bark on the link:  Bark!



** It's still not too late to sign up for the Pooch Parade, bark on the link to join:  Bark!

Wednesday, August 10

Best Of: Neville's Notes

Neville's Notes


 
Of Course I could not do a "Best Of" and not include Neville's Notes.  This is a blog segment I have been constantly reminded about, mainly by Neville.  He has been quite since his first segment debuted in April.  But I promise, he is getting ready to talk again, he is just saving up his material.  This was a fun segment for me (and my brave guy).  When I re-read it, I couldn't help but laugh, smile and cry a little.  My Neville has come so far and he gives me far more than I will ever be able to give him.  Some may call him broken, I just call him perfect.  Enjoy... 
 
 
I promised you all a new segment would be debuting this week, Neville's Notes.  A blog about dogs, downtown and everything around from one dog's perspective.  I have asked Neville to basically be my guest blogger from time to time so that you all can track his progress, but you can hear it from him.  It is with great pleasure that I present the very first Neville's Notes to you today.  Take it away my sweet boy!


Neville's Notes
Hello and welcome to Neville's Notes.  Mommy (Tamara) told me that you all know who I am and that she use to write about me, so you know a little about my history and how I came to live with her and Daddy (Adam).  Well, I will pick up where I know she left off and also where everything changed for me.  Daddy had went away for a long time, I remember having lots of time alone with mommy, except for Cowboy of course.   I really liked that, but I missed Daddy a lot and didn't know if he would come back. Then one night, mommy loaded me in her car and we went to that weird place with all the people, cars and things in the sky and her car stopped and suddenly Daddy opened the back of the car.  I was so excited I tried to jump out the back to get to him.  He got in the car and I licked him and smelled him and told him how much I loved him.  In that moment I felt it all change... this was my home, these were my people.
From there life continued as it was before Daddy went on his trip.  I was given lots of love, but we also did a lot of work.  Daddy continued to take me to classes, the instructor said I was the brightest in class.  Mommy continued working on helping me with the scary things on the streets and all the people.  For some reason people like to look at me and try to touch me, but Mommy always keeps me safe and tells me what a brave boy I am.  I love it when I touch something with my nose and she tells me I am brave!  I always look up at her to make sure it was the right thing, she is always smiling, so I must be doing it right.
Mommy and I are still doing Nosework, which I really like!  It is so much fun to sniff for the odor and get all the yummy treats.  I just got a new collar too, so now I look really good.  I like to show it off to everyone in class, they are nice people like Mommy, so I try to say hello to them and let them pet me.  
I also have made good friends, both human and K-9.  It is hard with the humans, I am not always sure I should trust them.  They seem nice, but I really prefer them to have a dog with them so I can talk to the dog and make sure they are okay.  Once I get a confirmation from their K-9 companion, I am usually okay.  I also am starting to understand, Mommy and Daddy protect me, they only let nice people around me.
Last Monday was the greatest day of all, Mommy signed adoption papers for me. Then I got a new leather collar and tags with my name on it.  I am so happy!  I finally belong somewhere.  I am in a home with a family that loves me how I am.  The best part is that I think I really make them happy too.  I just wish Mommy wouldn't kiss and hug me all the time, it is embarrassing in front of my friends, but I like it when it is just us
The best part of my new home is all the new and exciting things I get to do.  Mommy and Daddy work really hard with me, I work really hard too, but I like the work.  I keep doing new things that I never thought I could do before or sometimes even knew existedNext time I will tell you about some of these.
Thank you for reading, I hope you enjoyed my first Neville's Notes!

For more information on training with Bark & Clark, bark on the link:  Bark!

Tuesday, August 9

Best Of: Pet Heat Stroke Guide

 
Keeping with the "Beat the Heat" theme, I received such great feedback on this blog.  So many people wrote to me thanking me for the information and explained how they didn't know a lot of it.  Once again, I hope this information is as helpful the second time around.
 
Petside Newsletter published an article a couple of days ago addressing pet heat strokes during the summer heat.  As the temperature continues to rise I will continue to address the issue of how to keep your pet cool.  There is some great information in here, I hope you all take a moment to read it.
 
Summer delivers myriad opportunities for Frisbee, pool, and vacation fun with your pet. But along with temperatures, the risk of pet heat stroke spikes during the summer.
Heat stroke, the medical name for a pet's inability to regulate her own temperature, is not just uncomfortable for your dog or cat; it can cause both temporary and permanent organ damage.
 
With the help of Nancy Peterson, cat programs manager at The Humane Society of the United States, we've compiled a guide to pet heat stroke.
 
Cool Cats and Damp Dogs
Keeping your pets cool and hydrated is the cornerstone of keeping them healthy during hot weather. Always be sure plenty of fresh water is available to your pet, both indoors and out. Place water bowls in a cool, shady place when you play with your pet outside, and don't tie up or confine your dog outdoors, since it can prevent him from finding the coolest spots in the yard.
 
Peterson also suggests putting ice cubes in your dog or cat's water bowl. The cubes can excite your pet's curiosity - and, of course, keep the water cool and inviting.
If you jog with your dog, do so only during the coolest part of the day and on the shadier side of the street. "Check the temperature of the asphalt, which can be hot on your dog's paws," Peterson reminds runners.
 
Pets and Parked Cars: A Dangerous Combination
Pets left in a parked car on a hot day face great risk of heat stroke. Our best advice: do not leave your pet in a parked vehicle, even for a short time.
"Even if you think you'll be back to the car in a minute," warns Peterson, "even if you've cooled the car down with the A/C, the car can heat up very rapidly when you turn the engine off."
Cracking open the window is inadequate to keep the car cool--plus it exposes your car and your pet to risk of theft.
"If you see a pet in distress in a parked car and can't find the owner, contact a local animal care agency or the police," Peterson adds.
 
When to Worry and What to Do
Obese pets, pets who have suffered heat stroke in the past, pets with respiratory or heart problems, very young and old pets, and pets with short muzzles have an increased chance of heat stroke.
However, all pets experience higher risk when they are dehydrated, overexerted, or in poorly ventilated spaces.
Excessive heavy panting in either cats or dogs can be a symptom of heat stroke.
Your pet may be suffering from heat stroke if her gums change color from bright pink to a brownish pink, or if her tongue becomes deep red or purple. Pets suffering heat stroke often act confused, weak, or disoriented, "almost like they're drunk," as Peterson puts it. Their eyes often glaze over, and their heart rate is more rapid than usual. They may vomit or pass out.
 
If you suspect your pet is suffering heat stroke, bring the pet to a cooler place, if possible.
Apply cool water (but not ice) to the pet's body, put cool towels on the head, neck and chest, and offer the pet cool water. Don't force your pet to drink if he is unable or unwilling, and don't let him drink an excessive amount of water, but only a little.
"Remember," Peterson advises, "you are trying to lower your pet's body temperature gradually, not all at once. You can have your pet lick ice cubes to cool off slowly."
Finally, bring your pet to a veterinarian as soon as possible. "Even if your pet seemed to respond well to the cool water and towels," says Peterson, "don't take any chances. Make sure she is thoroughly checked over by a vet." 

To view the original article, bark on the link:  Bark!

Monday, August 8

Best Of: How To Help Your Dog Beat The Heat

 
The temperature continues to rise, so I had to include cool solutions in the Best Of week.  This was another blog that got a lot of hits and great feedback.  I hope that it can once again get important information to you and provide your pet some relief from the heat.
 
 
Summer is here and that means so is the heat.  I promised a few months ago in a blog titled It's Warming Up Outside, to give additional helpful hints on how to help your dog beat the heat.  There were several things mentioned in this original blog, but there is a lot more you can do, especially if you are going to be out on long walks or hikes.

1.  Water!  Water is absolutely key.  Make sure if you are going for a long walk (greater than 30 minutes), especially if it is in the heat of the day, you are stopping every 10 - 15 minutes to give your dog water.  If you are out on a hike, you should be stopping in shade to water your dog and check that they are not overheating.  If your dog has diarrhea or keeps wanting to stop and lie down, turn around and go home or back to the car, the hike is over and your dog is already dehydrated.  There are a few different types of portable and collapsible water bowls, it is really up to you which one you use.  They are very handy to keep in your car, backpack or even in your back pocket.

2.  Protect the paws!  The pads on your dogs paws are very sensitive, though some dogs will develop a natural resistance to hot pavement, gravel or grass, most will have a hard time walking on hot surfaces, especially hot pavement.  You can get dog boots or dog paw protectors to put on your dog and they work well.  However, if you have a dog that doesn't like things going over their feet, you can slather on paw wax before your walk or hike.  If you opt for the wax, beware that you will need to wipe your dogs feet before coming back into the house as it makes a bit of a mess.
















3.  Cool your dog's core heat!  I can't stress the importance of cooling your dog after a walk or hike.  Dogs with a heavy coat are going to need a little extra help cooling their core so they don't over heat, the same goes for dogs with a high drive and dogs that are just heat sensitive.  The best way to cool their core is to put on a cooling vest or have your dog lie on a cooling bed.  This will cool them slowly rather than rapidly and run the risk of cooling them down too fast.
4.  Cool, fun and sweet treat!  Give your dog some doggy ice cream, they will love it (and you).  If your dog doesn't take to the ice cream, you can just give them ice, most dogs find it fun to crunch on the ice and it will help with the cooling.

5.  Pace yourself!  It is really important to set a pace that is appropriate for your dog.  In cooler weather your dog may have a fast pace, in the heat you should slow down a little so they don't tire so quickly or overheat.

I hope these tips will make your summer a little better.  Just remember to think about your dog before you decide to take them with you on your day out.  It is always nice to have them with you during hikes or beach days, but the weather may not make it so nice for them.

For more information about Bark & Clark, bark on the link:  Bark!

Friday, August 5

Best Of: Fun Friday



This is a personal favorite of mine!  For one, I was in such a bad mood and thought about doing this big rant instead of "Fun Friday".  But instead, my dog did something silly and it made me think of this video that I had recently become obsessed with, so I watched it and realized that had to be the blog that day.  So, I hope this brings you a joyful day as it continues to lift my mood often or just make me laugh. 

As I walked around my neighborhood this morning I was angered by all the fliers, food and other miscellanous trash that was scattered throughout all the sidewalks from last night's Art Walk.  I love that the event brings so many to Downtown, I just wish they would respect our neighborhood, afterall, we live here!

So in an effort to put myself in a better mood and to share something that has had me laughing for the past two weeks since a friend forwarded it to me, I decided to keep today light and fun.  There is a Youtube video that is viral that I just have to share.  I am sure you have all seen it by now since I have seen it on Facebook, GMA, and so many people have emailed it to me.  But I just can't get enough!  It is the Ultimate Dog Tease.

The dog's face is just so adorable and the voice over matches perfectly.  I hope this sends you into the weekend on a happy and fun note.





Happy Friday!  Have a fun and safe weekend and don't forget to do something fun with your dog.

Thursday, August 4

Best Of: Pets Battling The Bulge



With summer here and everyone wanting to strut their bikini ready bodies around (pets included), I wanted to revisit one of our highest rated blogs.  This blog received the second highest amount of hits of all the blogs I've ever done.  With such a high interest, I had no choice but to include it in the best of week.  If your pooch has some extra pounds to shed, join us for the Summer Strut Pooch Parade, it is great way to get some exercise.
 
In the latest Petside.com newsletter there is a great article covering pet obesity.  Much like their human counterparts, pet obesity is on the rise.  According to the latest released survey from the American Association for Pet Obesity Prevention (APOP), 53% of cats and 55% of dogs in the United States are currently struggling with being overweight or outright obese.

The veterinarians consulted in the article speculate that the reason is simply lack of education on the owner's part.  That due to the economy many middle class pet owners are not going to the vet as often and therefore their vets are not getting the opportunity to educate them on the dangers of obesity, proper diet, or advise on weight loss.

I personally believe that another contributing factor is people giving too many treats and not understanding to balance that with food.  I see this all the time in training sessions.  Owners have the best intentions, they just don't understand that if you are feeding a lot of treats, that should be considered when determining their food allowance for the day.  Another contributing factor is table scraps.  I am not opposed to feeding dogs "human" food, but if you give your dog chicken, for instance, as a treat, it should be prepared in a way that is healthy for them.  Remember, dogs can't have certain things that we can.  

I think these are very sad statistics, I wish people understood just how dangerous and unhealthy it is for your pet to be overweight.  It is not just their heart and other organs you have to worry about, their joints and hips especially become a big concern.

I encourage you all to read this article yourself, just bark on the link:  Bark!

Wednesday, August 3

Best Of: Top Ten Dog Friendly Cities

 
Every year Petside.com puts out their Top 10 dog friendly cities and I always look forward to seeing which cities are chosen and why.  I thought since we are entering August and last minute vacations are still being planned, why not include this as one of our "best of's".  Maybe you will see a place that inspires a vacation with the pooch!  Enjoy.
 
Petside.com has put out their Top 10 Dog Friendly Cities for 2011.  Before I run down the list, let me explain how this was determined.  Because if you are like me you were looking for certain cities that never appeared.  So this is how they determined this year's list:  Number of Dog Parks, Number of Major Pet Stores, Approximate Number of Vets, Pet Friendly Events, and Pet Policies of Note.

Based on the criteria listed above, here are Petside.com's Top 10 Dog Friendly Cities:

     10.  Phoenix, Arizona

       9.  Sacramento, California

       8.  Fort Worth, Texas

       7.  Charlotte, North Carolina

       6.  Tucson, Arizona

       5.  Denver, Colorado

       4.  Minneapolis, Minnesota

       3.  Seattle, Washington

       2.  Dallas, Texas

       1.  San Diego, California

So, if you are planning a vacation with your pooch in the US for this summer, here are the cities that (based on the above criteria) would be the friendliest to visit.

To see the details of each city chosen, bark on the link:  Bark!

Tuesday, August 2

Best Of: Summer Strut Pooch Parade



Today is the beginning of my "vacation", so I have decided that I will do a best of for my blog.  So be sure to stay tuned to see all the amazing topics we have covered and fun we have had.

I am going to start out with the Pooch Parade announcement.  Even though the event hasn't happened yet, I have a feeling this will be the best one yet!  I launched the Summer Strut Pooch Parade one week ago today at the 5th Annual Dog Day Afternoon and officially announced it on this blog the next morning and spots are filling up fast!   So make sure you RSVP today!

Summer time is here, so grab your dog and come celebrate in Downtown!  It brings me great pleasure to announce Bark & Clark's Summer Pooch Parade!

Please join us for Summer Strut Pooch Parade on August 16th @ 7pm.  This parade will be back in the Historical Core, strutting through our tree-lined streets, practicing good manners and stopping in at Pussy & Pooch for a break and fabulous & tasty snack.  After our stroll and lesson, it's our turn for adult refreshments and treats at the fantastic Portofino's on Main.

Aside from the obvious we'll all have, this is a great opportunity to learn about how to handle your dog downtown and in general with other dogs and humans.  This workshop's focus is on basic obedience to help your dog focus on you - not the innumerable distractions around. We'll also work  on manners specific to the city, such as sitting at all intersections before crossing; sitting for introductions and the proper way to greet other dogs.  Last but certainly not least, we address the ongoing battle of teaching owners the proper places to potty their dog and how to clean it up!


We teach Uptown manners for Downtown dogs! This class is so fun, it's more like an outing... So let's take a stroll through the city and focus on doggy's ability to deal with the public, the lively city and all the other pooches out and about.

I am so excited about this Pooch Parade, I hope I will see you all there!  Be sure to RSVP by August 12th because space is limited. $40


To sign up for our next Pooch Parade, give us a bark:  Bark!

Monday, August 1

How Much Is That Doggy In The Window...


The cute puppy in the window costs quite a lot.... and not just money!  Dogster Blog had a great blog Friday, it is a call to action for all of us dog lovers.  The blog was to make us aware of a new campaign the ASPCA has started to discourage people from buying puppy mill puppies at pet stores.  Below is the heart of the blog, read it and decide if it is time for you to get involved.

...apparently there is a huge disconnect in a staggering number of people’s heads when it comes to puppy mills and pet stores. Many are aware of the harsh conditions at the puppy plants but don’t realize they wind up turning into the cogs in the mill machine when they pay for that cute puppy in the window. It’s only later, when they run into the typical genetic or behavioral/socialization problems that they realize their mistake. (Please note: I am aware that not ALL mill dogs display these issues, but that does not excuse the conditions under which they were born and raised, etc.)
A few days ago, the ASPCA released the results of a poll they’d commissioned Lake Research Partners to conduct on their behalf. From it, these two eye-widening numbers emerged: apparently 78% of consumers don’t know that most pet store puppies come from puppy mills. The poll also found that 80 percent of consumers would not purchase a puppy if they knew the animal came from a mill.
Putting two and two together, the ASPCA has launched the No Pet Store Puppies campaign. At the heart of it is a pledge — and whether you’re a dog, cat, chinchilla or iguana parent, I urge you to take it along with me and encourage friends and family to do the same. The pledge is simple, here’s what mine looked like:

I hope you all take the pledge!  My goal is not to put pet stores out of business, it is to only allow the safe and humane treatment of animals.

To give me a bark, bark on the link:  Bark!