Friday, May 28

Something Sweet For The Weekend

I thought since we have had a heavy week of topics I would lighten it up today and send you into the weekend on a sweeter note.  I was sent this as an email forward from my sister, it is so sweet and cute I had to share it with you.  I hope you all get to enjoy a 3 day weekend, I know I will.
This is a story about the rescue of some very lucky pets after the Greensburg, KS tornado.
The  story begins with the rescuers finding this poor little
guy they named Ralphie.  Someone had  already taken him
under their wing but they weren't equipped to adopt.

Ralphie, scared and starved, joined his rescuers...  

I wouldn't think anything could live through this.... but we were wrong.

This little lady also survived that wreckage. 

Here  she is just placed in the car - scared, but safe.

and  then..they are no longer alone! 

Instant friends, they comforted each other while in the car.

Add two more beagles found after that...  the more, the merrier! 

Oh  boy, a new traveler to add to the mix...
(Note:  the cat coming over the seat needing shelter...) 
Now just how is this going to work? (and remember they
are all strange to one  another )

It's  going to work just fine, thank you very much!

Wow! The things we learn from our animal friends... 
If  only all of mankind could learn such valuable lessons as this.
Lessons of instant friendship.
Of peace and harmony  by way of respect for one another --
no matter one's color or  creed.
These  animals tell you... "It's just good to be alive and with others." 
Yes,  it surely is. So...  Live, love, laugh.  

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

Thursday, May 27

Dog Park Coming To Arts District

The Los Angeles Downtown News reports that there will be a Dog Park coming to the Arts District of Downtown.  It is a 6,000 square foot parcel at the corner of 4th and Molino streets.  I'm sure you all think I will be excited and tell you all to go as soon as it opens, but those words will not come from me.  I do not support dog parks, the ones that exists now are not good for dogs.  There always ends up being too many dogs for the amount of space there is and owners that allow their dogs to run freely... no matter if their dogs should have that freedom or not.  Dog parks are a main source of aggression in dogs in the Los Angeles area. My belief is that it is unsafe for dogs to be in dog parks, you don't want your dog there if an aggressive dog has been turned loose to do whatever he wants... it could seriously injure or even kill your dog.  
I will wait until this is built before I officially say don't go, because maybe this one will be different.  Maybe the residents of Downtown will monitor themselves and only allow a certain number of dogs to play at one time and pay attention to their dogs not the other dog owners.  But somehow I really doubt this.  If you do want to go to this or any other dog park, I recommend going on off hours.  Go early in the morning any day of the week (weekends are best) or in the middle of the day during the week.  If you have a dog park in mind, just go without your dog and observe and see what kind of dogs are there, how many dogs, what kind of owners and how responsible are the owners.  If you observe that on Sunday at 5:30pm it is dead, take your dog then.  You will have a much better time with your dog on the off hours and you may even meet other dogs with nice temperaments and other responsible owners.  Remember, this is for the safety of your dogs that I say any of this at all.   

For the full story on the dog park, bark on the link:  Bark!

Wednesday, May 26

Film Fest 2010

LA Film Fest in Downtown will be held from June 17 - 27, it will be 10 days and 11 nights of fun and entertainment.  
Get front and center with the biggest names in the industry as they share their experience, their passion, and their love for what they do – including conversations and panels with Ben Affleck, Roger Corman, Jonathan Gold, Quincy Jones, John Lithgow, Paul Reubens, Sylvester Stallone, and more.
Individual tickets will be available starting June 1st.

For more information on the 2010 Film Fest, bark on the link:  Bark!

Tuesday, May 25

United Nations Taken Over By Wiener Dogs

This is so adorable!  In Melbourne an artist named Bennett Miller created this living art piece.  It is the United Nations composed completely of Dachshunds!  ABC News - Australia has a wonderful story on this, I hope you all read it.

For the entire story bark on the link:  Bark!

Monday, May 24

Dogs In Downtown

Yesterday the Los Angeles Times online ran a story about the growing dog population downtown.  I am a big fan of the L.A. Times, but I wasn't when I read this article.  I thought it was sloppy journalism.  The major point in the article is that not everyone that lives Downtown is happy about all the dogs.  Which is a very fair point, it is a main reason I started Bark & Clark, I wanted to educate Downtown dog owners, help change the negative perception of dogs Downtown and most importantly get involved with the city to create a more dog friendly community in Downtown.  The journalist only spoke to or at least reported on a few people that only represent a few blocks in the entire community.  I will say that the people were diverse, but they in no way represented the whole of Downtown, they only represent our little neighborhood around 6th and Spring.  I live in a loft on 6th and Spring and do understand the frustration of poo on the streets and urine on the sides of buildings, but my frustration is not necessarily with the dogs.  First we have to discount about half of the urine because is from humans revealing themselves, not just dogs.  Second, it is not the dog's fault if they have learned to go potty on the sidewalk, it is part of growing up in an urban area, it is the owners that are to blame for being irresponsible. 
The biggest disappointment in the article is that a large portion are comments made by a local business owner who is a dog lover, but not an expert.  Some of the things that were printed were completely false and though they were in quotes and it is only one person's opinion I felt the way the article was written it sounded like advice.  I am a certified dog trainer and studying to be a dog behaviorist, there is nothing that says a dog would prefer to play in grass and dirt or do their business there rather than a sidewalk.  To suggest that dogs will not be happy Downtown because they cannot play in grass and dirt is absurd.  What would make a dog happy is an owner that loves, exercises, feeds, waters and plays with them.
What this article did do for me is make me realize that there is a lot of work for Bark & Clark.  My first campaign is to get as many Downtown dog owners as I can to take at least some etiquette classes from me, I think we can educate the owners on the responsibility of being a dog owner, things will change.

To read the L.A. Times article, bark on the link:  Bark!

Friday, May 21

Happy Friday!

This video was in Life with Dogs Blog about a week ago and I have been watching it and laughing every time I need a little good cheer.  It is really low budget, but a lot of fun.  I hope this gets your Friday off to a great start!

Give us a Bark!

Thursday, May 20

AMGEN Tour Of California

If you are looking for something to do this weekend, why not catch Lance Armstrong pedaling his way through Downtown during the AMGEN Tour of California.  This Saturday, May 22nd, at 10:00 am the riders will leave from L.A. Live starting Stage 7 of the tour.  This is a 21 mile individual time trial, the riders will complete two laps of 10.5 miles each.  It sounds like a lot of fun and a great chance to catch a truly inspiring sports hero perform his magic.

For more details, bark on the link:  Bark!

Wednesday, May 19

Top 10 Dog-Friendly Cities In The U.S.

Happy Hump Day!  Yesterday released the top 10 dog-friendly cities in the United States.  This is just in time for you to plan a great summer get away for you and your dog.    For your viewing pleasure here they are.
1. San Diego – The best dog beaches anywhere. Boutique hotels. Many trails and parks to hike and great weather year-round for outdoor dining.
2. Portland (OR)- Enjoy the famous rose gardens and the parks. Have food and drink at the Lucky Lab. This town is dog-friendly inside and out.
3. Austin – Dine in outdoor cafes. Visit the Zilker Botanical Gardens and take a walking or carriage tour. Enjoy many off-leash parks.
4. Northern Virginia – Visit outdoor monuments in Virginia and Washington, take a cruise just for dogs and dine or go to yappy hour in dog-friendly Old Town Alexandria.
5. San Francisco – Many off-leash beaches and areas. Shop and dine in many parts of town. Ride the cable car, walk the Golden Gate.
6. Boston – Tour Boston by boat or take the subway. Follow the Freedom Trail and visit nearby historic sites. Stay at many pet-friendly hotels.
7. Orlando – Glamorous pet-friendly resorts. Boat tour, shop Winter Park or Celebration. Dine at Sam Snead’s. Attend concerts in Lake Eola Park.
8. Salt Lake City – View downtown from Ensign Peak. Ride the Temple Square Carriages and walk the downtown area. Visit an amusement park and many historical parks.
9. Charleston (SC) – Visit the beach or a number of plantations. Take a ghost tour or an eco tour.
10. New York – Great luxury hotels, famous shopping and outdoor dining. Watch a morning show, enjoy Central Park on leash and off.

 To view the entire story, bark on the link:  Bark!

Tuesday, May 18

To Vaccinate Your Puppy Or Not

We have all heard the on going debate about getting your children vaccinated.  This same debate is arising for your puppy.  Today Dogster's for the love of dog blog had a guest blogger, Nancy Kay, DVM.  It is wonderful information and a lot of tips just to get you to stop and think... is this right for MY puppy.  The entire point is just to make sure you are talking with your veterinarian about what is the right choice for your puppy, there is no reason in this day and age that we should just vaccinate without it being customized for our pooch and their needs.  Not to mention our own personal budget.  Sometimes to treat the disease or illness is more effective and less expensive than the vaccine, depending of course on your dog and which vaccine.
I hope you all read this great blog, it is full of information that is sure to help you the next time you should be deciding to vaccinate your puppy or not.

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

Monday, May 17

Results From The Nosework Trial

Me and Bella had a great day together!  We didn't title, but we had so much fun.  Bella is still a little green to the sport, but she passed 3 out of 4 elements and remember I am not her owner so she did that well even being separated from her mommy.  I honestly couldn't be more proud of her.  I am a little disappointed in myself that I didn't give her a little more support in the one element that she didn't pass, but hindsight is always 20/20.  The most important thing was that we had a great time with each other and Bella had an absolute ball!

For more information on Nosework, bark on the link:  Bark!

Friday, May 14

Fun Nosework

I have mentioned before in my blog that I am fascinated by Fun Nosework for dogs!  I have been helping on Sunday's for the past year plus, to teach this sport.  It is the most incredible thing to watch the dogs do what comes natural to them, the fun part is getting to work so closely with them in an arena that is all theirs.  You have to completely trust your dog and let them take the lead.  It is so different than other dog sports.
Tomorrow is the NW1 trial which I am competing in with a very cute little Puggle named Bella.  We are competing against 38 other human and K9 teams for our level 1 title.  I wouldn't be being very honest if I said I had no nerves, but they are good nerves.  I am so excited to compete with Bella, she is really good at this and has such a good time and that makes me have a good time.  She has this way of looking at me and it is as if she is saying forget all the rest, lets have fun... and that is what we do.  I know she will do great tomorrow and because she is so amazing, I have no choice but to follow her lead.
I will let you all know how we do on Monday.  Until then, have a great weekend, I know I will!

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

Thursday, May 13

Los Angeles Magazine Pet Guide

That's right, Los Angeles Magazine has put out their Ultimate Pet Guide edition.  I of course had to pick it up and take a look.  It is a good issue and there are quite a few useful things.  There are a few fun and silly things as well.  Some local names you will see appear in the magazine are our friends at Pussy and Pooch, there is extensive talk of their Pawbar, also, Bark Avenue was mentioned for both their grooming and boarding.  Other than that, not a lot of downtown focus.  But there is a lot in the magazine about not just dogs, but all pets in general.  
I hope you all go pick up a copy, it is a fun read.

For more information about dog training, give us a bark:  Bark!

Wednesday, May 12

Animal Abusers

I do not typically watch Dr. Phil, but I heard about yesterday's show and decided I had to watch.  The entire show was dedicated to animal abusers and rescuers.  
The show opened with a convicted dog fighter named Rob, he actually said he believed that dog fighting was just a sport and not abuse and that though he broke a law and that was wrong,  he believed the law was wrong.  Dr. Phil spoke up at this point and said what was on my mind, which was that this behavior is disgusting and dog fighting is abuse and to claim otherwise is just ridiculous.  After this they showed surveillance video of Rob's dog fighting facility.  I thought about including this video in the blog, but I could not bring myself to post this brutal and disturbing video.  It showed an experienced fighting dog brutally attacking a dog that had never fought before and all you can hear is that dog screaming.  I sat on my couch shaking at this point because I was so mad.  How could stand by and listen to that and watch that and choose to enjoy it.  I have no idea how anyone can inflict pain on a dog (or any animal for that matter) and be think they are in the right.  Completely disgusting!  I almost turned off  the show at this point, but I am glad I did not.  
The next guests were 10 fantastic and very interesting guys, Rescue Ink.  They have written a book, have a rescue foundation and have an upcoming TV show.  They are tattooed, "biker" looking dudes that have attitudes as big as their bodies.  They also have enormous hearts where animals are concerned.  They have taken animal rescue in their own hands and do whatever is necessary within the confines of the law. They have investigated and recorded surveillance to bring down major dog fighting rings and helped expose animal abusers and rescued their animals.  As soon as I find out about their TV show I will post the details, I'm sure to watch these guys work would be entertaining and quite interesting.  Rescue Ink believes in giving a second chance to everyone (that deserve it anyway) and since they have all had a checkered past they believe you can't just give up on these dogs.  That is why they kept Rebel as their mascot.  Rebel was rescued from one of the dog fighting busts they did and he was severely injured, his ears had been mostly ripped off and his face was completely covered with bites and scratches.  Now he is happy and healthy, with the exception of the scars on his face and missing ears, you would never know he was a fighting dog.
At the end of the show Dr. Phil brought out a bunch of dogs that are up for adoption at SPCA-LA, along with a message that I strongly support... Don't Shop, ADOPT!  If you want a dog, please do not go to a pet store, adopt from your local shelter or rescue.  To see some of the dogs that were featured on the show, bark on the link:  Bark!

If you should see abuse happening or suspect it at all, this includes dog fighting, please report it by calling the tip hotline at 1.877.215.2250.

For more information about Rescue Ink, bark on the link:  Bark!

For more information about adopting a pet at SPCA-LA, bark on the link:  Bark!

For the full Dr. Phil show, bark on the link:  Bark!

Tuesday, May 11

Another Amazing Dog Story

I hear remarkable stories about dogs all the time, in the news, from clients and from friends and family.  But I never stop being amazed by them.  Our four legged furry friends are truly extraordinary in how they will act out of pure love, instinct, and compassion.
I am sure you have all seen this video by now, the story is a little over a year old, but I couldn't help myself I had to share it with you anyway.  It is yet another example of how special dogs really are.

Give us a bark:  Bark!

Monday, May 10

Downtown Dog Etiquette

As the dog population grows in Downtown, so does the problem of keeping our streets clean from doggie urine and excrement.  The Downtown Center Business Improvement District has launched a campaign to encourage dog owners to potty their dogs in appropriate areas and most importantly pick up after your dog.  They have been handing out postcards with a list of do's and don'ts on them that mainly points out the appropriate places to potty, which are not the sidewalks, planters, sides of buildings, trash receptacle, or fire hydrants.  I know a lot of dogs that do go on the sidewalk, because they are city dogs, this is where they learned to go.  A great practice for picking up their poo is to carry baby wipes with you, after you pick up with the bag give the sidewalk a wipe with a baby wipe.  It is easy and it keeps it clean.  I think it would be easy to see the campaign and feel like the city is not supporting our dogs.  This is not the case at all, they want to make sure that the city continues to grow and stays in a condition that welcomes all of us, dogs included.
We should all do our part to keep the streets clean and to be responsible dog owners, make sure to pick up after your dog.

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

Friday, May 7

Mother's Day Reminder

Don't forget, this Sunday (May 9th) is Mother's Day.  If you are still looking for something fun to do, you should check out Moms & Mimosas: Mother's Day Brunches In Downtown LA.  There are some fabulous restaurants listed and the menus look yummy for each one.  The prices range from "Moms Eat For Free" to $50.00 per adult.  It would be a great way to experience a slice of Downtown with your mom or to treat a Downtown mom to something special in her neighborhood.

Happy Friday and to all the moms... Happy Mother's Day!

To view the complete Moms & Mimosas list, bark on the link:  Bark!

Thursday, May 6

Vaux's Swifts

Vaux's Swifts is all I have been hearing about for the last week or so, from my clients, my friends, and people on the street.  So, I had no choice but to go check it out.  Truly a beautiful sight.  It is always an amazing feeling to stand in awe of nature, who knew a simple task such as roosting could be such a beautiful performance.  
I encourage everyone to see them before they are gone.  They say the peak viewing time is 6:30pm - 8:00pm, but as of last night, they didn't start the roost process until about 7:15pm.  The Vaux's Swifts can be viewed from the top level of the parking structure at 440 Broadway, LA 90013.
Here is a little preview of what you could see...

For the full story bark on the link:  Bark!

Wednesday, May 5

Basset Retreat

I want to send a big Thank You to my two favorite Bassets, Bomber and Skarlett.  I had a wonderful time at my personal 5 day retreat with you.  My stomach still hurts from all the laughing and my heart is still full from all the love.  Can't wait until next time.  
Here are a few pictures from my time with them...

Give us a Bark!

Tuesday, May 4

Yield To Pedestrians

Each day I walk through dozens of intersections during my dog walks and each day I am amazed at how close people come to hitting me and the dog I am walking or a pedestrian in front of me.  The worst happened last week when a truck actually drove through the crosswalk at me to keep me from walking, the entire time yelling at me.  I had started to step off the curb with the dog I was walking, the crosswalk sign had just started to flash with a count down starting at 10.  If I have a dog with me, I will walk across the crosswalk with a flashing hand if it has just started flashing on a smaller street, once the countdown is past 7 I wait on the curb.  On wider streets, I don't cross once the countdown has started.  The main thing the man was yelling was that I was in the wrong and crossing the street illegally.  Knowing that I am not always right, I wanted to look up the law to find out if in fact I was breaking it.  As it turns out, I am not!  The law in all cases, regardless if the crosswalk sign says walk or do not walk, the pedestrian in the crosswalk has the right of way.  I am not suggesting that pedestrians can walk where ever and whenever they like, but I am saying that cars are much bigger and more powerful than people or dogs and if you are behind the wheel, you should think about this before racing into an intersection or simply not looking both ways before proceeding ahead.  For pedestrians, make sure to look both ways and don't walk if the sign say not to, we are no match for a car and the risk is never worth it, especially if you have a dog with you.

For more information on pedestrian laws bark on the link:  Bark!