Friday, October 29

Halloween Is Almost Here!

Halloween is only a couple of days away and hopefully you know what you are going to be and if you have a dog that likes to dress up, you know what they will be.  But if not, the link below has 29 great costume ideas for your dog.  I have to warn you one last time, if Halloween is not your dog's cup of tea, leave them out of your plans.  If you have a dog that doesn't like to play dress up or gets anxious about door knocks or door bells or doesn't care for a lot of people in their home, do them a favor and put them in their crate for a little while or give them a quite room to hang out in.  They will most likely sleep.
However, if you do have a dog that gets in the spirit as much as you do, have fun with it!  As a child one of our Dachshunds really didn't mind getting dressed up, so we always put her in our doll clothes, complete with bonnet.  She would look so adorable and then would sit up and just allow us to admire her.  Sammy had very little issues and was just one of those dogs that had the patience it takes to tolerate children putting barrettes on her ears and socks on her feet and would never snap or even act like she cared.  Halloween was our favorite time just for this reason.  If you have a dog like Sammy, I hope you do include them in your plans, they will love it.  Have fun and be safe!  Bark, Bark!

If you still need some costume inspiration, bark on the link:  Bark!

Thursday, October 28

Harry Potter!

I've tried to keep this week's topics focused on Halloween, but today I am side tracking just a bit.  I am still keeping in the world of fantasy though.  If you are a fan of Harry Potter like I am, you are counting down the days until part 1 of The Deathly Hallows is released.  Well there is good news for you all, the Downtown News released a link so you can reserve your tickets now, including tickets for the midnight show on Thursday, November 18th.  The tickets are for Downtown's own Regal Theater (  Don't wait, get your tickets now.

To reserve tickets, bark on the link:  Bark!

Wednesday, October 27

Costume Ideas For Dogs

If you have a dog that likes to play dress up or that will tolerate it, then the video below might give you some ideas on what to do for your dog.  But I must warn everyone, if your dog doesn't like to have clothes on or has issues with things on their head, etc., please do not dress them up for Halloween.  This is something us as humans find to be great fun, but it can be really awful for a dog if they don't enjoy all the activity and dressing up.  For the dogs that aren't the party animals you want them to be, make sure you give them a quite place to rest and relax away from all the chaos.
The dog in this video is hilarious, talk about a dog that could care less, he just sits there so stoic.  Listen for the random bird sound and the owner's instructions for the dog.  He is such a cutie.  I hope you get some good ideas.

For more ideas on dog costumes, bark on the link:  Bark!

Tuesday, October 26

What To Do For Halloween?

If you are in the boat I am in, you are still asking yourself "what will I do for Halloween?".  Well, maybe today I can help.  There are a lot of things happening in Downtown that should keep us entertained.  My problem is I really want something for Saturday night, but it seems that most places are doing their event on Sunday, which makes sense that is the actual date of Halloween.  But it's a Sunday!
Anyway, Los Angeles Downtown News put together a list of 11 events that are happening in our amazing city for Halloween.  Good luck in your hunt to find your perfect haunted event.

For the Kids: One of the biggest scary attractions in Downtown is also one of the newest: The Downtown Center Business Improvement District is bringing back, for the third installment, the Halloween Party for Downtown L.A. Kids at FIDM’s Grand Hope Park. The free festival takes place on, naturally, Sunday, Oct. 31, from 5-8 p.m. Expect hundreds of people to show up, with every kid in a costume, and many adults too. Just don’t be the wise guy/gal who dons a suit and says you’re going as a lobbyist. The party will include a bounce house, face painting, balloon-animal making and jugglers. The nearby Ralphs Fresh Fare will provide candy.

At the southeast corner of Hope and Ninth streets, (213) 624-2146 or

Fright Night: What’s scarier than a punch in the face? Golden Boy Oscar de la Hoya gets into the Halloween spirit on Thursday, Oct. 28, with a night of boxing and costumes at Club Nokia (it’s the crowd that will be donning outfits, BTW). The first 100 fans wearing costumes to the temporarily re-named Fright Night Club will get in for free to see unbeaten Gary Russell Jr. against Guadalupe De Leon. De la Hoya of course had a great career, but he did not go undefeated. Since Halloween is all about frights, you can scare the Golden Boy by dressing up as Felix Trinidad or Shane Mosley, who both pummeled him. Or scare everyone and go as Don King.

At Club Nokia, 777 Chick Hearn Court, (800) 745-3000 or

Scary Singles Mingle: What’s scarier than being solo on Halloween? Nothing! That’s the impetus behind the Weiland Brewery’s Halloween Costume Party and Singles Mixer, taking place in the brewery’s City National Plaza location on Thursday, Oct. 29, at 8 p.m. Entrance offers the opportunity to mingle and flirt with Downtown’s most eligible bachelors and bachelorettes, with many of them in costume. While there will be plenty of monsters, zombies and vampires in the house (in the bar?), they will all be doing some good, since a portion of the proceeds will go to the Los Angeles Mission, animal-aid group Karma Rescues and One Laptop Per Child, a nonprofit that provides computers to needy kids.

At 505 S. Flower St.,
(213) 622-1125 or

Scaredison: With an old-time feel, it’s easy to imagine ghosts or demons walking around The Edison. After all, the joint is a former boiler room. So on Oct. 31, don your party mask and prepare to be surrounded by costumed revelers at the bar’s All Hallows Eve. Tickets are $20 pre-sale for costumed guests and $25 at the door. If you’re a party pooper and come without a costume it’ll be $35 at the door. There will also be prizes for Best Original, Humorous or Ghoulish costume.

At 108 W. Second St., (213) 613-0000 or

Dance to the Massacre: Last year’s event sold out, so don’t get left out at Vertigo’s Halloween Massacre. The queasily named Oct. 29 party will include a roster of all female DJs spinning ’80s, hip-hop, electro and dance tunes. There’s a midnight costume contest hosted by Rose and Natalie from Showtime’s “The Real L Word.” There are also drink specials. The party is for those 21 and older, and Vertigo’s is a small venue, so it’s likely to sell out again.

At 801 W. Temple St., (213) 977-0888 or

Classic Spooks: Saw and other films of that ilk are often frightening (and sometimes stupid). Yet all their blood, guts and body parts rely on what some consider cheap scare tactics. If you’re of that mindset, kick it really old school on Halloween when the Walt Disney Concert Hall screens the 1920 classic silent film Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. John Barrymore stars and there will be live accompaniment on the venue’s mammoth pipe organ, which will certainly add some ambience to the spooky story by Robert Louis Stevenson. The screening starts at 7:30 p.m. A word of advice: Don’t dress up as Jigsaw from Saw for this one. You’ll just look dumb.

At 111 S. Grand Ave., (323) 850-2000 or

Devilish Weekend: If one day of Halloween isn’t enough for you — and let’s be honest, with Halloween falling on a Sunday, it’s probably not — Suede Bar & Lounge is planning a weekend filled with devilish fun. On Saturday, Oct. 30, the club hosts a party with cash prizes for the scariest, sexiest and most original costumes. On Halloween itself, the bar in the Wilshire Grand hotel presents the Halloween Masquerade with DJ Yvonne Black.

At 404 S. Figueroa St., (213) 489-3590 or

Puppet Spirits: The annual Halloween Hoop-de-Do at the Bob Baker Marionette Theater is back this year. With the Purple People Eater, the Invisible Man and dancing skeletons, the show goes on through Oct. 31. Performances are at 10:30 a.m. Tuesday-Friday and 2:30 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. The theater itself is a historic landmark and is celebrating its 50th anniversary season. The Hoop-de-Do first premiered in 1963, so these puppets know what they’re doing when it comes to putting on a show. FYI: It’s for the elementary and pre-school set, so it’s not really scary.

At 1345 W. First St., (213) 250-9995 or

VaVoom Goes the Room: One of Downtown’s most entertaining Halloween traditions returns this year. Even better, it takes place early, so you can watch people in chicken outfits fly through the air, and see others take off their clothes, and still have plenty of time until Halloween. On Wednesday-Thursday, Oct. 27-28, Lucha VaVoom returns to the Mayan Theatre. The 8 p.m. events famously pair masked Mexican wrestling — acts include a guy calling himself Little Chicken — and throwback burlesque dancers. Comedians provide a running commentary.

At 1038 S. Hill St., tickets at

Bring Out Your Dead: It’s not really a Halloween celebration, but there are plenty of skeletons, masks and candy at the annual Dia de los Muertos festivities at El Pueblo de Los Angeles Historical Monument. Organized by the Olvera Street merchants, the event runs from Oct. 25-Nov. 2. During the week there will be workshops where kids can make masks and necklaces and learn about the Mexican holiday, which celebrates the memory of those who have passed away. On Oct. 30-31, from noon-6 p.m., there will be street theater, face painting, mariachi music, Aztec dancers and puppet shows.

At 125 Paseo de la Plaza, (213) 625-7074.

Frightening Sounds: If seven hours of techno doesn’t frighten you, then follow the beats to Exchange L.A. The rave Sounds From the Deep will take place in the newly opened 25,000-square-foot venue Oct. 31 from 8 p.m.-3 a.m. The party will feature seven DJs spinning tunes along with a light show. Tickets are $15 before 11 p.m. and $20 thereafter.

At 618 S. Spring St., tickets at

To view a list of more to do on Halloween, bark on the link:  Bark!

Monday, October 25

Halloween Saftey Tips For Dogs

It is Halloween week and there are sure to be lots of activities, especially if you have kids.  This can be a scary time for dogs and certainly presents additional hazards for them such as open doors, door bells or knocks on the door, loud noises, scary costumes and chocolate and other candies.  To help keep your dog safe, the North Shore Animal League America came up with a few safety tips.
  • Make sure your pets have on identification at all times. With that front door continuously opening and closing for trick-or-treaters, there is a chance they could run out – especially if they're spooked.
  • Give your pets a quiet, safe place on Halloween. Scary parties, constant doorbell ringing or too many strangers in your home can be stressful to your four-legged friends and even make them physically ill.
  • Halloween candy, wrappers and decorations should be kept out of your pets' reach. Chocolate can be toxic to animals, and many sugar-free candy, gum and baked products today contain xylitol, a sweetener that is toxic to dogs. Tinfoil, cellophane, plastic candy wrappers and party supplies can be hazardous if swallowed. *If you suspect that your pet has ingested any amount of xylitol, call your veterinarian immediately. 
  • Keep lighted pumpkins out of your pet's reach. Pets can knock them over, and curious kittens especially run the risk of being burned. 
  • Keep all electrical wires out of your pet's reach. Halloween decorations are a great way to celebrate the holiday but can be harmful and even deadly to your pets should they chew on or ingest them.
  • Unfortunately, there can be tricks in addition to treats on Halloween. Keep your pets inside so that they will not be the target of pranksters who might tease, injure, steal and even seriously harm pets on this night.
  • Costumes are fun for people, but not necessarily for your pets. Don't dress up your pet unless you know they enjoy it. Make sure the costume isn't annoying or unsafe, and doesn't restrict movement, vision, hearing or ability to breathe or bark. Avoid costumes with small or dangling accessories that the pet could chew off and possibly choke on. Make sure that costumed pets are supervised at all times.
  • It's never a good idea to take your pet trick-or-treating. Dogs may become excited and uncontrollable, and if frightened may bite. For their protection, cats should be kept indoors at all times. 
I hope this is helpful to you all.

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

Friday, October 22

Pit Bulls

You guessed it!  My inspiration this week are Pit Bulls.  I know you might be thinking that is a little odd, but after you read this, you won't.  I have been feeling it for a while, but I read a story that I will share with you at the bottom of this blog, that made me realize it was time to speak up.  I walk a 10-year-old Pit Bull mix named Bailey.  To say that I love and adore Bailey is probably an understatement.  The truth is that I stand in amazement of him.  Bailey is the best dog I have ever worked with, that includes all of my past dogs, all the dogs I train and walk, he really is the epitome of what a "good" dog is.  He is perfectly behaved in public, is a complete gentleman in his house and unless a smell overwhelms him he never pulls on his leash.  Did I mention he is the sweetest dog in the world?  He greets me with kisses everyday and throughout our walk he looks up at me with those beautiful loving eyes as he automatically sits next to me every time we stop at an intersection.  According to Bailey's owner, this is how he has been the 9 years he has owned him.
Everything I just said is why it is heartbreaking to me to watch people look at him with such fear.  Literally people will jump out of our path, hide behind trees or say out loud "keep that killer away from me".  There have been days that I get so angry that I start defending him loudly to these people or start to get extremely irritated that people are so ignorant, then I have to remember what Bailey must look like to everyone else.  He is intimidating, he is solid muscle with a jaw that looks like a steal trap (though I think he has a very cute smile).  What gets to me is what would it be like to go through this world and be discriminated against around every corner.  I think we as humans would get a huge chip on our shoulder and after a while would greet each person with the expectation of this discrimination.  I know dogs don't understand everything we are saying, but they do read energy and I would think that would be enough to effect him, but I am so wrong about that.  This is what inspires me everyday.  Bailey walks down the street with his head held high and tail wagging, greeting every single person with his smiling eyes and a little sniff to say hello.  He never leaves my side and never pushes himself on anyone, but the few that do pet him, he is most grateful.  To watch him just be who he is and to be proud and happy is a daily lesson for me.  I am so thankful Bailey is in my life and I have had this experience for as long as it lasts.  I really do learn from him every single day.  So my challenge to all of you, is to take each dog as they come, don't determine their demeanor based on their breed, though it can be a good clue to how a dog is, it is not a definite.
I said at the beginning of this blog that I felt it was time to speak up because of a story I read.  The story is called The Poodle and The Pit Bull and was written by Rachel Greenspan in K9 Magazine.  It was a beautiful and moving story, except one part.  Rachel states: "While I am fully aware that her demeanor could change instantaneously, and she could demonstrate the dangerous behaviors sometimes found in Pit Bulls, I hope that she doesn’t change."  This is not true and really is a statement that typically comes from close minded people or someone has told her this that just doesn't know.  I don't think that she is close minded overall, when you read the story there is no doubt how much she loves and respects this dog, but the statement bothered me.  I don't want to endorse the story and have you all think that line is true, it is not.  All dogs if put in the wrong situation or owned by the wrong person could demonstrate dangerous behaviors, just like all dogs can bite, it doesn't mean that they will.

I hope you all enjoy this story as much as I did and I wish for all of you to have a special dog in your life to change you, to make you aware and to inspire you.

To read The Poodle and The Pit Bull, bark on the link:  Bark!

Thursday, October 21

Jon Stewart's Rally To Restore Sanity

I guess I have been bitten by the political bug!  I'm talking about politics again, kind of.  More on point, I'm talking about the rally that Jon Stewart is putting on next Saturday, October 30th.  For those of you that watch Jon Stewart's show or have been following this story in the news, he has decided to put on the Rally to Restore Sanity.  He will be holding the rally at the National Mall in Washington D.C., but Los Angeles is getting involved too.  At the same time he is holding the rally in D.C., we will be participating here in L.A. in MacAurthur Park.  The time has not been set yet, so watch the papers or Downtown News.  The local event organizers Amy Lee and Ashley Wright initially asked Pershing Square to hold the event there, but they rejected the idea due to the preparation to set up the annual ice skating rink to be opened November 18th.  So, today it was announced that MacAurthur Park was willing to be the site host of the rally.
The Rally to Restore Sanity is Jon Stewart's retort to the conservatives or any group that are driving fear into the American public's heads.  Rather than try to explain it, here is a clip of Jon Stewart announcing the rally:

The Daily Show With Jon StewartMon - Thurs 11p / 10c
Rally to Restore Sanity Announcement
Daily Show Full EpisodesPolitical HumorRally to Restore Sanity

For more information on the Rally to Restore Sanity, bark on the link:  Bark!

Wednesday, October 20

Obama's Visit & Local Elections

The political season is certainly among us, every time you turn on the television there is yet another political ad.  I feel that voting is not only a right but our duty, so I don't mind politics.  But I am growing very tired of all these ads, there is only so much mud slinging one can take.  With only a little over a week and a half left, you can bet the heat will only be turned up.  
This Friday President Obama will be in Los Angeles to do just that, turn up the heat for the Democratic party.  President Obama will be at USC’s Alumni Park on Friday, October 22nd at 10:00am for a rally named "Moving America Forward", this event is open to the public, but you are encouraged to RSVP (  This is the fifth of a series of rallies designed to gain momentum for the upcoming election on November 2nd and to specifically the raise the youth vote.  I'm sure this will be a wonderful event to attend, I think hearing our President speak is an amazing opportunity.  I hope as many of you as possible can attend.

Going right along with the political season, DLANC will hold a special election on Thursday, October 21st for their three open seats.  Area stakeholders will choose a representative for the positions of Social Service Provider, Alameda East Resident and Alameda East Business on the all-volunteer panel.  Nominations will be taken from the floor and then the candidates will be voted on by ballot.  Candidate and voter registration will take place from 5-5:30 p.m., and nominations, candidate’s statements, and voting will follow at the CCEA Board Room, 725 S. Crocker St. For full regulations,

To view the full story on President Obama's visit, bark on the link:  Bark!
To view the full story on DLANC election, bark on the link:   Bark!

Tuesday, October 19

Can Dogs Be Pessimistic?

There is still so much to learn about dogs and their emotions, we as humans want to put our emotions onto dogs, and we know enough about dogs to know that they don't process things as we do.  But can they be pessimistic or optimistic?  According to the research done by academics at the University of Bristol, and funded by the RSPCA (which is published in Current Biology, October 2010), they can.  Professor Mike Mendl, Head of the Animal Welfare and Behaviour research group at Bristol University’s School of Clinical Veterinary Science, who led the research, said:  “We know that people’s emotional states affect their judgments and that happy people are more likely to judge an ambiguous situation positively. What our study has shown is that this applies similarly to dogs – that a ‘glass-half-full’ dog is less likely to be anxious when left alone than one with a more ‘pessimistic’ nature.”
The academics were able to test dogs by taking dogs at two UK animal re-homing centers and teaching them that a bowl placed in an optimistic location always had food in it, then when moved to the pessimistic location there would be no food  and then it was moved to ambiguous locations in between the pessimistic and optimistic location.  The dogs that would rush to the bowls in the ambiguous locations as if there were food in it were thought to be optimistic and as it turns out also displayed little to no separation anxiety when left alone.
The study certainly makes sense and any research that helps us understand our pups a little more is great.  What I love is that there are academics hard at work to crack this code for the sole purpose to allow humans to better understand our four-legged best friends so maybe we can prevent them from being re-homed.  Think of how amazing it would be to be able to fix a dog with issues just by being able to understand what emotions they are experiencing if any.  I know nothing is that easy, but as a trainer I long to understand every thought process because it would open up a whole new world.  There are times we really have no idea why a dog is doing what they are doing and unfortunately this is often why they are given up to shelters.  So seeing studies like this really excites me and gives me so much hope for what training will be able to accomplish in the future.

To view this article in full, bark on the link:  Bark!

Monday, October 18

Dog Gives Bride A Special Wedding Gift

Weddings have been all around me lately, so when I saw this  video on Dogster this morning and it made me laugh.  For dog owners and lovers, the best thing would be to include your dog in your wedding (like the couple above), but the couple in the video may regret that decision.  I hope to give you all a good laugh on this gloomy Monday as well.  It is not just the "gift" the little dog gives the bride that is funny, the father in the background and the narration from the guy running the video recorder are hilarious.

Happy Monday!

To learn more about Bark & Clark, bark on the link:  Bark!

Friday, October 15

Justice For Jack

Today's "Inspirational Friday" has a bit of a sad twist, but it is too important of a story not to go with it.  The inspiration for me is the staff at Whitehall Dog Rescue in Wakefield, Yorkshire, United Kingdom who found a very emaciated dog wrapped in a blanket outside the gates of the rescue.  The dog was left sometime between 12am and 5am and died within that time before the staff could try heroic measures.  Based on the pictures taken of him after he died, the dog had not eaten in weeks if not months.  It is not known who did this, but they want to find out.  The staff named the dog Jack and then started a Facebook page, Justice For Jack, the point is to raise awareness about this type of abuse and to have stiffer penalties for owners that do this to their pets.  At the last report the Facebook page has over 20,000 members, that is a great start in raising awareness.  In addition the founder Brian Wheelhouse shared the heartbreaking story on his website and then was interviewed on BBC Radio, the media coverage is starting to slowly increase.  The more people that know about this story, the more that will get involved and that is one more step closer to getting answers for Jack and hopefully to preventing this from happening to any other animal.
You may be asking how is this inspirational?  Well, for me to see the determination of the staff  and founder for getting fed up with this and speaking out and raising awareness.  I don't know what kind of person would do this to an animal, the pictures are horrifying!  The worst I have ever seen and I hope never to see anything like them again.  I will include a link to pictures at the bottom of this blog, you can view if you wish, I would really encourage you not to.  I can't imagine being there in person to discover Jack, that is why my hat is off to this staff.  To be able to take the pictures knowing it is for the better good and to go on and start to raise awareness to try to make a change.  I know this is in the UK, but there is no reason we can't give our support.

Good luck Whitehall Dog Rescue in accomplishing your mission!

To learn more on this story and view pictures, bark on the link:  Bark!

To view the Facebook page, bark on the link:  Bark! 

For the Justice for Jack petition, bark on the link:  Bark!

Thursday, October 14

National Pet Obesity Awareness Day

Oops...happy belated National Pet Obesity Awareness Day, one day late!  I actually had no idea that this was yesterday.  But this morning when I saw Dogster, I thought I should make you all aware as well.  The question I get most often is "how much should I feed my dog?", because most people just go by the back of the dog food bag which of course has you feeding way too much to your dog and cat.  They are an industry that is trying to make money, so encouraging us to feed more means we use more.  Unfortunately for our dogs and cats that means they are a little more plump than they should be.  

According to the Association for Pet Obesity Prevention (APOP), some 51.5% of dogs and cats (around 89 million) in the United States are overweight or obese.  Risks of overweight in pets include:
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes
  • High blood pressure
  • Heart and respiratory disease
  • Cranial cruciate ligament injury
  • Kidney disease
  • Many forms of cancer
On National Pet Obesity Awareness Day, APOP asked dog and cat owners to perform a quick check on their pets and record some simple information. Don't worry it is not too late, you can still contact the APOP and they will send you a kit with a measuring tape, handouts, and instructions. To get these items just phone 910-579-5550 or email The data collected can help you and APOP in the mission to keep our pets at a healthy weight.

I hope you all participate and help keep our pets fit and healthy.

To learn more about Pet Obesity Awareness, bark on the link:  Bark!

Wednesday, October 13

Euthanized Dog Wakes Up

Making the decision to put your pet to sleep is one of the most difficult there is to make.  Especially when it is the family dog and there are small children in the family.  I can't imagine the hurt and anguish the Olivarez family went through after putting their 10-year-old Rottweiler Mia to sleep only to find her awake and alert the next day.  Matt Olivarez took Mia to the vet due to her severe back pain that has her in a lot of pain and has prevented her from walking.  The vet and Matt decided it was time to put her to sleep, the vet gave Mia the two shots and Matt took Mia home to decide if he wanted to bury her in the back yard or to have her cremated.  The next day Matt walked into the garage to find Mia awake and looking for her food bowl to be refilled.  Now the hard part will be to make the decision all over again, to put her to sleep or not.  The vet had no comment as they wanted to confirm it was Mia that was the dog that was brought into the office.   Apparently, the only thing that can save her is a very expensive spinal surgery that may not even work and the family is already having money issues.  

Watch the full story here:

My fingers are crossed that this family finds some peace with this situation and if they do decide to put Mia down, that it works this time.  I have had to do this for many pets in the past, everything from the family dog to my pony that was my childhood best friend.  the decision is never easy, but the peace of mind knowing that you have done the right thing for your pet is always comforting.  To have the pet wake up would be torture.  My thoughts are with this family and Mia.

Tuesday, October 12

Recall Alert: Blue Buffalo Dog Food

On October 8th Blue Buffalo issued a recall of its Wilderness Chicken-Dog, Basics Salmon-Dog and Large Breed Adult Dog products. The company states that these foods may contain a higher level of Vitamin D than is called for by its product specifications. This was announced after so many dogs were becoming ill after eating the Blue Buffalo food. The following letter, by Blue Buffalo CEO Bill Bishop, is from the company’s website:

Dear Fellow Pet Parent,

At Blue Buffalo, nothing is more important than the health and well being of our dogs and cats, so it’s consistent with this guiding principle that we are voluntarily recalling specific production runs of our Wilderness Chicken-Dog, Basics Salmon-Dog and Large Breed Adult Dog products, as we have reason to believe that the products from these runs may contain a higher level of Vitamin D than is called for in our product specifications.
We came to this conclusion after discovering that our ingredient supplier had made a scheduling error and produced a Vitamin D supplement immediately prior to preparing the ingredients for the BLUE products that are in question. We believe that some of the Vitamin D supplement may have been carried over into our products, resulting in more Vitamin D than is called for in our formulas.
While the potential of increased Vitamin D presents no serious health risk, and any negative reaction to these products has been confined to a very small segment of the canine population who appear to be sensitive to higher levels of Vitamin D, we have a zero tolerance for any product that does not meet our specifications. I think you’ll agree that our decision to withdraw these specific products is simply the right thing to do.
From a next steps standpoint, all products with the specific manufacturing dates in question will be removed from retailer’s shelves. If you have any products with the codes shown below you should stop feeding them immediately.You may call Blue Buffalo at
1-877-523-9114 to arrange for return of the product and reimbursement.
These are the ONLY code dates being recalled:

Product Bag Size Best Used By Dates
BLUE Wilderness Chicken (Dog) 4.5 lb., 11 lb., 24lb. JUL1211B, JUL1311B, JUL2611Z, JUL2711Z, JUL2811Z
BLUE Basics Salmon (Dog) 11 lb., 24 lb. AUG2111B, AUG2211B
BLUE Large Breed Adult Chicken 30 lb. SEP 22 11 P, SEP 23 11 P, OCT 26 11 P   

This Vitamin D issue does not effect any other code dates of these products or any other Blue Buffalo dog or cat foods. In addition, new bags of Wilderness Chicken, Basics Salmon and Large Breed Adult Chicken will be available on the shelves so you can continue to feed BLUE with complete confidence.
If your dog has shown any adverse reaction to the recalled products, have him checked by your veterinarian. Typical symptoms might include excessive water intake and/or excessive urination, and in some cases vomiting. Blue Buffalo will reimburse any veterinary or testing expenses related to illness caused by these products.
As Blue Buffalo is a family founded and run company, I am personally very upset about this and apologize for any discomfort or inconvenience that this situation has caused you or your pet family members. Product quality and safety have been, and always will be our top priority, and we’ve taken some serious corrective action to insure that this type of human error will never happen again.

 Bill Bishop

 To learn more about Blue Buffalo, bark on the link:  Bark!

Monday, October 11


If you live in Downtown, you know the normal sounds of the city, so waking up and drinking my morning coffee yesterday with no sirens, buses and usual car noises was an unexpected bonus cicLAvia gave to me.  Once I got out of my loft and started walking around, I couldn't believe how cool it was.  Just to see the major streets closed to cars and taken over by bikes, skateboards, runners, walkers, skates and even scooters mixed with the sound of live music was really amazing.  I didn't walk the whole 7.5 miles, but I did walk around Downtown to check out the scene.  I ate lunch at a food truck parked at city hall where there was also a protest against coal in Los Angeles and a few fun activities for people that wanted to break, have a bite to eat and relax a bit in the shade.  There were even dogs on the route, some in baskets on the front of bikes, others trotting along side their owner's bike.  I really enjoyed the creative bikes I saw, a few were probably 7 feet tall, a few others were decorated like a float and then there were double bikes, and a bike that had what looked like a wheel barrel attached to the front of it.
Overall, I would say it was a great day.  I really enjoyed this event and there is talk of it happening more often.

To see more on CicLAvia, bark on the link:  Bark!

Friday, October 8

Sweet Mila

In keeping with Inspirational Friday, I want to share a story I was sent yesterday.   The story is about a sweet little dog named Mila that was found in April under a car by passers-by in Belgrade.  Mila was a stray and had been monstrously abused by having all four of her paws cut off and she was left under the car to die.  But these random people found her and rushed her to a veterinarian who saved her life!  The vet believed that Mila was attacked and mutilated by more than one person and that she also suffered a heart attack and had pneumonia.
But after all of that, Mila is now well on her way to a full recovery and is walking around on her bandaged stumps.  The best case scenario would be that Mila is fitted for prosthetic limbs which are not available in Serbia, but a Spanish company has offered to make them.  Mila's next challenge is finding a loving home.  I don't think this will be half the challenge she just faced, especially since after all she went through she is still a sweet and loving dog.  I know if a human went through this type of trauma, it would change us to the core and we would probably never trust anyone again and go around with this chip on our shoulder.  But Mila has come through this with a great disposition.  Maybe this should be attributed to the veterinarian and his staff that saved her, they obviously showered her with love and affection as well.  
I hope Mila can give you some inspiration, if that little dog can make it through a trauma like this, we can make it through our stuff too.

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

Thursday, October 7

Dogs Make Us Healthy released an article today about a study George Washington University School's of Public Health and Health Services conducted on the positive effects of having a dog in your life.  They followed 916 people in three groups, one that owned a dog and exercised with them regularly, one that owned a dog and did not exercise regularly and one that did not own a dog.  The study concluded of course the healthiest of the group was the first, they had the lowest Body Mass Index.  The article goes on to explain that people that own dogs are found to generally be healthier and happier both physically and mentally.  There is research showing that people that are hospitalized or have physical ailments recover quicker when there is a dog at home.  
The important thing to figure out is what routine will work for your dog.  This all depends on the age, physical condition, breed and health of your dog.  For instance, if you have a Basset, you may not want to run 5 miles a day, I doubt they would keep up.  But if you have a Lab with no back or hip problems, running is a great option.  The article also points out that training in intervals is a wonderful way to train with your dog and it closer to their natural behavior of running and then stopping to sniff, this is very important to a dog.  
Lastly, there are games you can play with your dog inside your home or apartment that will add exercise to both of your lives and tire your dog out.  One is hide and go seek, one person holds the dog the other goes and hides, you call your dog over and over and they find you and as a reward you play with their favorite toy.  You can play tug with your dog, so long as you win or play fetch.  All of these will get you off the couch and get your dog exercise.
If you notice your dog limping, dragging behind, or generally not acting right while exercising, they might be in pain.  A dog typically will not tell you they are hurt, you have to notice it yourself.  If they are having fun with you and playing or exercising, they will push through the pain to please you, so make sure you are watching your dog carefully.
There are so many benefits to having a dog that is properly stimulated both physically and mentally.  Their health is an obvious benefit, but you will also have a well behaved dog.  The more tired a dog is, the less likely they are to get into trouble.

For the article, bark on the link:  Bark!

Wednesday, October 6

Police Kill Arthritic 11-Year-Old Yellow Lab

Dogster brought us a very sad story on Monday that really affected me.  The story was about an arthritic 11-year-old yellow lab named Gloria that was shot and killed by an Oakland, CA police officer in her own back yard.  The Hallock family had Gloria as a part of their family since she was a pup, as a matter of fact, their now 15-year-old son had picked her out when he was only 3, he picked her because she looked like his favorite stuffed animal.  She meant everything to the family.  
The family was away from the house and their burglar alarm went off, the police arrived to investigate the alarm and while officer Victor Garcia was in the back yard, Gloria came out to investigate why there were strangers in her back yard.  The officer said she was growling and continuing to approach him and since she was continuing to advance on him, he fired his gun three times, shooting and killing Gloria.  Mrs. Hallock arrived home to find a note left by the officer explaining what had happened.  The entire family is devastated. They can't imagine that this force was necessary, though she did get territorial about her back yard and had a loud bark, they believed she could have easily been stopped in another way.  Though the shooting is under investigation Mr. Hallock has said that he and his family does not want to file charges, he would like to prevent this from happening to anyone else and work with police on changing policy.

I really don't understand why a firearm was used, why was pepper spray or a taser not used first or instead?  Dogster went on to tell two more incidents of police shooting and killing dogs in situations that it would seem other force could have been used.  This is not a police bashing by any means, but I really do have to wonder, how are police being trained to deal with these situations.  I hope the media coverage will encourage police departments everywhere to take another look at their policies, because shooting and killing the family dog can't be a good solution.

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

Tuesday, October 5

What's Up Downtown - October

Downtown News released What's Up Downtown for October this morning.  There is quite a bit going on in October, everything from the the Public Safety BBQ to a Halloween party for kids and don't forget the return of Dine LA.  Bark & Clark may have a special event coming up in October as well, so watch this blog for more information.  When you bark on the link to see all the goings on for October, check out the side panel as well, it lists who is "new in town" as far as business and restaurants.  One that is listed is Portofino Cucina Italiana, please check this out, I have heard such wonderful things about this new restaurant and have been trying to go, but they are still getting the kinks worked out, so they have been closed every time I have tried to go.  I am hoping this week or weekend will change this and I will actually get to go check it out.
I wish you all a happy and fun October!

To view What's Up Downtown October, bark on the link:  Bark!

Monday, October 4

The Art Walk Saga Finally Over?

On Friday, Downtown News released yet another story about Art Walk being canceled (bark on the link for the full story, Bark!).  The story basically said it was up in the air and the cost may really be to much to maintain the event.  It brought up all this doubt and confusion as to where the event stood, this is after releasing a story just a few days before with the board clearly stating it will go on.  I was so confused, maybe it was meant to just update everyone that had missed the week long discussion.  I was obsessively checking my email waiting for the next story which didn't come until Sunday.  In this article it is confirmed that Art Walk will go on October 14th!  Some of the local business owners donated $200,000 to the Art Walk organization and they are hoping a few more will follow suite and they will end up with $250,000 as an annual donation.  The owners who will contribute initially are Tom Gilmore, Izek and Eric Shomof, Alex Moradi, Barry and Rommy Shy, Cedd Moses, Ruben Islas, Saeed Farkhondepour, and The Hellen Group.  The donation will bring the annual budget up from $18,000 and thus allowing the board to hire a new full-time Executive Director and Administrative Assistant.  They are also going to focus the event more towards the galleries and on the art in Downtown.
I think these changes could be really good.  I am really happy to see our local business owners stepping up and taking care of this local event that brings so much business to Downtown.  This is the way to get the economy flowing around here, and that is exactly what Downtown needs.

For the latest story on Art Walk, bark on the link:  Bark!

Friday, October 1

Inspirational Dog Portraits

Since Friday is the end of the work week for most people, I am going to start making Friday's a fun day for the blog.  I will bring you fun stories, email forwards, pictures and anything else I can find that will inspire you as readers to have a fun and fulfilling weekend.  In my search for this week's material, I found this amazing compilation of dog portraits on the Digital Photography School website.  They capture some amazing moments with these dogs, just absolute beauty.  I hope they inspire you to do something special with your dog this weekend or have an amazing photo shoot with your own dog.

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