Tuesday, May 31

Dog Bless U.S.A.

No, I haven't gone out of my mind with dogs and patriotism, Dog Bless U.S.A. is an amazing campaign to get veterans with PTSD the service dog they so badly need.  This internet campaign is simply asking people to go to Facebook and "like" the Dog Bless U.S.A. page.  For every 5,000 "likes", a veteran will be donated a service dog from Explore.org.  The campaign is from May 30th - July 4th.

The Dog Bless USA program is funded through a grant from the Annenberg Foundation. Charlie Annenberg Weingarten, the founder of explore.org and Dog Bless You, is a Trustee for the Annenberg foundation.  “We want to raise awareness about the amazing role dogs can play in the lives of veterans and people who suffer from emotional and psychological damage, while giving everyone a chance to participate through a zero-cost contribution,” said Weingarten. “The ‘like’ button is akin to putting your name on a card to those soldiers. We’re excited to foster a discussion among vets and dog lovers during the campaign.”

This is such a good cause and will change so many lives.  This is the easiest way to make a difference, so please, get on Facebook and "like" this page. 
To click "like", bark on the link:  Bark!

Friday, May 27

Half Marathon Dog

Those of you that follow me on Facebook may have already seen this post that a friend shared with me.  But since we are going into Memorial Day weekend and I won't have a blog on Monday, I thought I would leave you with a memorable story and one of great inspiration. I don't think Dozer the dog "knew" what he was doing other than running, but what a difference his innocent escape has made.  

Dozer, a 3-year-old Golden Doodle, escaped from his home on May 15th, and seeing the more than 2,000 runners running in the Maryland Half Marathon, decided to join them.  He ran all the way to the finish line and took drinks out of cups and water spots along the way.  He finally decided to go home (one tired dog) the day after the 8-mile race.

When his family saw the coverage of the K9 runner, they notified the race organizer and Dozer was presented with his own metal.  And it doesn't stop there, Dozer also now has his own cancer research fundraising page on the race website for the next Maryland Half Marathon. 

The video below tells the story.

To donate to Dozer's fundraising page, bark on the link:  Bark!

Thursday, May 26

Last Remaining Seats Fun!

I finally got to go to The Last Remaining Seats last night.  It was opening night for the series, we were at the Orpheum to see Rear Window by Alfred Hitchcock.  I love the Orpheum anyway, but to walk in to the Mighty Wurlitzer organ playing, the anticipation of a great movie in the air and the general vibe of excitement to be using a historical theatre the way it was meant to be used was amazing.  

I know, it seems a little silly to be so excited over an old movie, but I had never seen it and to get to see Jimmy Stewart and Grace Kelly on the big screen is really a dream come true.  Who gets to do that this day and age? Leonard Maltin hosted the evening, his wit and charm was a great way to kick off the night and gave a great review of what we could expect from the movie and wonderful facts about the set, the making of the movie and the background of Hitchcock's style.

I laughed, was filled with suspense and got lost is the amazing acting skills of Jimmy Stewart and the absolute sight of perfection that is Grace Kelly.  I generally was delighted to sit in the 85 year old theatre and see a great restored classic movie.

I highly recommend two things.  One, go see one of the remaining movies during this run of The Last Remaining Seats, next on my list is Sunset Boulevard on the 100th Celebration of the Palace Theatre.  Two, join the Los Angeles Conservancy!  The work they do is amazing and what they give and preserve for our great city is both admirable and so important.

To get your tickets today, bark on the link:  Bark!

Wednesday, May 25

Abuse Or Not?

NBC New York and Dogster brought us a story yesterday about Coffee the dog.  Coffee is a dog that sits outside Citi Field for every Mets home game dressed up in a Mets uniform, bandanna, hat, glasses and a pipe and "earns" money for her owner by people paying to take pictures with her.  She apparently sits in this position for hours at a time and the fans have started to raise a concern for her well being.  

The claim is that she is wearing a shock collar and every time she starts to lay down, she is given a shock to sit upright again.  Further, fans say she sits in her own urine for up to 6 hours and is not given any food or water and doesn't have any teeth.  One fan, Jason Long, had enough and started a Facebook page, Stop Abusing Coffee.  This has caught the attention of the ASPCA and they are trying to investigate, but apparently they cannot get in touch with the owner. 

Though the ASPCA could not find the owner, NBC New York did.  In an interview yesterday the owner, who is a dog trainer and says he rescued Coffee from the streets, claimed that there is no abuse at all.  That the "shock collar" is actually an ice collar to keep her cool and she is given water and breaks whenever she likes and has been trained to clinch the pipe in her mouth.  Lastly, she has a full set of teeth.  All of this can be seen here in a video of the interview.

This story has left me with one question, is this abuse or not?  There is certainly evidence for both cases.  I hope a full investigation is done and then it will at least have been looked into, if there is abuse, hopefully it will be found.  If not, hopefully Coffee lives a happy healthy life.

Tuesday, May 24

From Concern To Anger

When I first moved Downtown and saw how a majority of dog owners just allowed their dogs to greet every dog that passes or ended up on the same corner and every dog friendly person would just bend down and pet your dog without even asking, I became very concerned.  This was a driving force in me creating my company and my first initiative was to change this.  To make people understand that these actions could be very dangerous to you, your dog, the other dog and owner or everyone involved.  But this morning it is no longer just concern, this morning a line was crossed and now I am really angry over it all.

I am lucky, I own a dog that doesn't have dog issues, he is not fearful, aggressive, or hyper aroused by dogs at all.  As a matter of fact, he usually pays no attention to them at all unless he is friends with them already.  When a dog rushes into his face, he usually rushes to the opposite side to avoid the interaction.  The issues he does have are with people and some environments.  So when people reach down to touch him, he gets very frightened, though he has improved significantly, there are still times if a man especially reaches down to pet him, he pees.

So, this all brings me to this morning.  I was walking my dog on our morning walk, enjoying the beautiful morning when a large dog dragging his owner in the park rushed into my dog's face.  I asked the guy to get his dog back, he asked why they couldn't play, I told him we were on our walk and it is not play time, period end of story.  He said something rude and we moved on.  

Next, a few minutes later, I was on a corner and a man just walked right up and before I had a chance to say a thing he was bent over trying to pet my dog.  Of course he peed all over my foot and I told the guy to get back, he is a fearful dog and by the way, you need to ask before you just pet a dog.  The guy just laughed.  I told him he was lucky my dog's reaction is to pee and not bite.  We moved on.

Finally, we were almost home and I was irritated, my dog was upset, but we were almost home.  Then I saw the sight I most dread, this little terrier mix that lives in my building.  The owner is completely clueless and this dog is very aggressive with other dogs.  So here she comes, being walked full out on her leash, her owner barely paying attention to what is going on.  As we try to pass walking as close to the edge of the sidewalk as possible, the little dog runs straight for my dog.  I stepped in front of my dog to block the interaction and held my dog as close to my legs as I could knowing that one step back we would be in the street and in the stream of cars passing by.  I yelled for her to get her dog back, but she did nothing.  At this point the dog is jumping and biting at my dog.  So, I covered my hand with my sweatshirt and pushed the dog back, we turned and quickly walked away, the whole time the lady stood there allowing her dog to lunge, bark and have a complete fit.  I of course had many words I was yelling as I walked away.

The important thing I suppose is that we made it home in one piece and besides being a little upset, my dog was fine.  But I am so angry!  What gives you the right to let your dog do whatever they want be it rushing into my dog's face or biting them?  Further, what gives you the right to put YOUR hands on MY dog without asking?  I don't understand why people think that these are acceptable behaviors.  Do they not understand that if my dog was aggressive, I would have had two major dog fights and a possible human bite to deal with this morning.  I know that is not what happened, but I just wonder if people understand that it could.

I hope your day is much better than the way mine started.  I plan on making it a great day from here on!

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

Monday, May 23

Tornado in Joplin, MO

Yesterday I was shocked to learn of the devastating tornado that ripped through Joplin, MO.  This hit a little too close to home as my parents live on a farm about an hour away from there.  I also know a few people that live in this area, luckily they are all okay.

The human death toll for this tornado is currently at 89, hopefully it will not continue to rise.  I have yet to hear how the animals in that area made it through.

In the coming days there will surely be a call to action to help the people of Joplin recover.  I hope that you all will be able to reach out and help in any way you can.  With devastating damage to their main hospital and residences torn up they will need all the help they can get.

Our thoughts go out to everyone and every animal in Joplin.

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

Friday, May 20

Fun Friday

I love sending you all into the weekend on a light and fun note, so this week is for all of you that have worked so hard to get a perfect fetch on your dog.  And for those of you that have never achieved it.  I think we would all love to have a dog that would just do anything to fetch a ball or stick, but this dog takes the cake.  The dog has chosen an interesting subject to toss the stick.  I certainly had a good laugh when my friend sent it to me for my viewing pleasure.


To vote for Bark & Clark in the Best of Downtown, bark on the link:  Bark!

Thursday, May 19

Remarkable Journey Home

When a massive tornado hit Alabama in late April, Mason a Terrier mix was carried away.  His owners thought he was gone forever, but to their surprise, Mason crawled home with two broken front legs two weeks later.  The couple had returned to go through the debris that was left of their home and they were greeted with an unexpected sight of Mason laying in front of their front door.

The couple who is now struggling to get back on their feet after the horrible tornado demolished all they had, could not afford to care for Mason or get him the much needed surgery.  So they did the only thing they could and turned him over to the Birmingham-Jefferson County Animal Control shelter.  The shelter then was able to get in touch with the very generous Vulcan Park Animal Care Clinic, which is donating the surgery to Mason. 

The video below tells the story (give it a minute to load, it is a little slow).
We wish Mason the best and all the surviving animals of this tragic tornado.

Wednesday, May 18

Absolutely The BEST!

Is the political season here already?  Well, for the Downtown News Best of Downtown LA awards it is and guess who was nominated?  BARK & CLARK!  We were nominated for Best of Pet Boarding/Sitting/Walking.  Glad to know all those pooches we walk love us that much!

I feel like I should say it is an honor just to be nominated, but I think you all are cued in to me enough to know... I want to win!  Well, it's true, but not in the way it sounds.  I think you are immediately thought to be overly competitive and mean spirited if you say you want to win.  But that is not the case.  I want to win because I feel like I could reach more people and spread the word faster about my ideas and philosophies on how to create a better dog culture Downtown.  Not just for the dogs, but for the people too.

So all that being said, I am turning to you my loyal readers and followers asking for your vote.  Please vote for Bark & Clark by simply barking on the link:  Bark! 

I know it is a bit of a process, but there is a great prize that could be won just for voting.  But if you don't want to mess with the whole thing, you can just forward to my category, it is #88 on the ballot.  Please hurry, voting ends on June 3, 2011.

A big BARK! BARK! BARK! of thanks and love.


Monday, May 16

Woman Credits Dog With Saving Her Life

At a little past 10:30PM on this past Tuesday night in Compton a man driving an SUV was under the influence of alcohol and lost control of the vehicle and slammed into a woman's home. 

The woman was Felicia Cordoba, who was in the kitchen on the phone with her sister when suddenly her dog Cobra ran out of the room and she quickly followed.  Right after that, the SUV slammed into the home.  Cordoba now credits Cobra with saving her life.

Luckily, no one was hurt in the accident, however 5 people were displaced due to the damage of the accident.
What do you think?  Did Cobra hear the SUV and knew to get out of the way?  Or was this just a very lucky coincidence?  

No matter if Cobra sensed the danger and reacted or just has amazing luck.... I would hold on to that little guy!

Thank you Dogster for bringing us the full story, bark on link to see it yourself:  Bark!

Friday, May 13

Fun Friday

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, May 12

Art Walk

Tonight is another Art Walk.  By this afternoon you will be able to feel it in the air and the festivities will begin.  By this evening the trucks will be out, the studios will be open and the sidewalks will start to fill.  This is a perfect place to meet up with your friends for a fun night out in Downtown.

The friends that should be left at home are your four-legged ones.  Though Art Walk is a lot of fun for many, many people, it is a nightmare and can be extremely scary for dogs.  The sidewalks become so crowded by 9pm, that even for an adult human it is hard to walk anywhere and not get your feet stepped on.  Don't expose your dog to this.  Unless of course you have a dog you can carry, and then I think you could keep them safe.

The later it gets, the more the bars are the focus rather than the art studios and that is when it is most dangerous for your dogs.  So if you go and enjoy Art Walk tonight, leave your pooch at home.  When it is time for their night walk, do yourself and your dog a favor and don't go down Spring from 7th - 4th.  Find a different place to walk to keep them happy and safe.

Enjoy Art Walk tonight, especially the trucks... I know I will!

For some ideas on where to walk your dog, bark on the link:  Bark!

Wednesday, May 11

Private vs. Group Training

It may be the question that I am asked most frequently... should I do group or private training for my dog?  My answer is, it is entirely up to you based on what you are wishing to accomplish.   Let me explain this a little further.

If you are looking to do some basic training and your dog has minimal experience being around other dogs, maybe even has some issues (such as fear or aggression) towards other dogs or people, or has no issues at all with other dogs or people but you want to work on your relationship, I would recommend doing a group class first and if additional training is needed to address the specific behavior issues, we could do follow-up private lessons.

Whereas if you are a person that needs a lot of one on one instruction or your dog has purely behavior or environmental issues and their obedience is fine, a private lesson plan is probably a better way to go.

Neither way is the "right" or "wrong" way, despite what some may say.  You have to pick the training that is going to suite you and your dog the best in order for you to get the most out of it.

For me, I love both.  There is nothing better than watching a class grow together, help one another and even learn from each others dogs.  At the same time, little beats meeting a dog and owner pair and assessing the issues and creating a customized training plan just for them.  When you work that closely, you get to see the relationship take shape much more intensely and that is a huge reward as well.

If you are interested in group or private trainings, give us a bark!  Bark! 

Tuesday, May 10

Dog's Dying in Japan

It seems like with all the current news stories taking the for front in everyone's mind the tragedy in Japan has fallen to the back.  But unfortunately, that tragedy is far from over especially for the pets that had to be left behind in the the 20-km exclusion zone near the Fukushima nuclear power plant.  On April 22nd the Japanese government  cut off people going back into the No-Go Zone with little to no warning.  Many people that were living in the evacuation centers (where pets are not allowed) continued to return to their homes to feed and care for their pets, but for the past weeks those pets have been left to fend for themselves.

According to Japan Animal Earthquake Rescue and Support (JEARS), there are 5,000 to 10,000 domestic animals in the exclusion zone.  The conditions are continuing to get worse and some animals are dying of starvation.  Please watch this short video to see a first hand account of what is happening.

These brave rescuers are going into the No-Go Zone despite the ban to try to save these pets.  It is a huge battle they have on their hands. 

For information on how to help, bark on the link:  Bark!

Monday, May 9

Devoted Guide Dog

When I read this story for the first time, it touched my heart in a such a big way.  I have such a soft spot for working dogs, but service or guide dogs especially.  Partly because of the absolute devotion and this story is a perfect example of this devotion.

In 2008 in South Wales Sarah Craig-Hancock said she heard her 5-year-old Labrador retriever and guide dog, Piper, yelp during an off-leash break in a park.  The owner of the other dog said Piper was not hurt. Not realizing anything was wrong, Craig-Hancock put Piper’s harness back on and he guided her home. It was only after she got home that she realized he had injuries that included a flap of skin hanging down one of his legs.  

Piper needed stitches, but was back to work in two weeks.

Do to the bravery Piper displayed, he earned the UK certificate for animal bravery. He’s the first animal in Wales to win the PDSA (People’s Dispensary for Sick Animals) certificate for bravery. Only a dozen UK animals have received this award since its inception in 2002.

Unfortunately, Piper's bad luck did not stop at the dog attack.  Since the park incident, Piper’s tail has been run over by a mobility scooter, he’s been knocked down by a car, and he’s now hearing impaired because of suffering two perforated eardrums.

But despite his unlucky charm Craig-Hancock says “I am very proud that he wants to carry on working no matter what happens to him.  He is a phenomenal dog.”

Piper sounds like a phenomenal dog indeed.

For more about Piper's story, bark on the link:  Bark!

Friday, May 6

Don't Forget Mother's Day

If you are like me and your mom lives thousands of miles away from you, your card and/or present is in the mail, the flowers are ordered and all you have to do is remember to call your mom this Sunday, May 8th on her special day.  But if you are lucky enough to live near your mom (or grandma, aunt,God mother, etc.) there are some great brunches to be had to celebrate the special woman in your life.

Here are a list of the deals, just click on the link to see all the details.  There are so many to choose from so just figure out what view of the city you would like, roof-top or ground level, outside or in and of course, which cuisine!  No matter what your preference, they all look so yummy!

  1. Blue Ribbon Garden
  2. Border Grill
  3. Café Pinot
  4. Chaya Downtown
  5. First & Hope
  6. Fleming's Prime Steakhouse
  7. Grand Café at the Omni
  8. J Restaurant
  9. Kendall's Brasserie
  10. Kyoto Grand – Azalea
  11. McCormick & Schmick's
  12. Millennium Biltmore Hotel
  13. Restaurant at The Standard
  14. WP24 by Wolfgang Puck

Don't forget to do something special for the pet mommies out there too.  Have a great weekend and Happy Mother's Day to all the mother's of human and animal children.


Thursday, May 5

Happy Cinco de Mayo!

Today is Cinco de Mayo and there are all kinds of ways to celebrate.  The most notable is to drink way too much tequila, but the day can be much more than that.  Thank you to Richard Guzman of the Downtown News for putting together such an amazing list of things to do today to celebrate and also giving us a little history lesson for those of us they may not understand what Cinco de Mayo is really all about.

Many people think the holiday is Mexico’s Independence Day. It’s not. Rather, it commemorates the unlikely Mexican victory against the French army at the Battle of Puebla on May 5, 1862. In that fight, 4,000 Mexican soldiers defeated a better-armed, 8,000-strong French army.

If you didn’t know the reason behind the holiday, there are several ways to learn a little more about the culture in Downtown Los Angeles. Below is a list of things to do and places to visit on and around Thursday, May 5. There are plenty of opportunities to get a cultural education and eat some good food. Of course, the area also has a few places to grab a shot of tequila.

Cultured Party: One of the best places to celebrate Cinco de Mayo in Southern California is the place where Los Angeles was born. El Pueblo de Los Angeles Historical Monument is producing two Cinco de Mayo events this year. On May 5, from noon-8 p.m., the plaza at the top of Olvera Street, just off Main Street, will host a party with live music from Mexican regional bands and traditional folklorico dancers. Then on Sunday, May 8, from 10 a.m.-9 p.m. you’ll get to experience the Battle of Puebla without any of the dangers of an actual war, with re-enactments taking place in the monument’s South Plaza. There will also be mariachi music, folklorico dancers, food booths and artisans on hand for the free celebration. While there, be sure to stroll down Olvera Street, which houses more than 70 merchants who sell Mexican-themed souvenirs. There are also museums at the site, among them the Sepulveda House, built in 1887, and the Avila Adobe, the city’s oldest building, erected in 1818.

At 125 Paseo del la Plaza, (213) 485-8372 or elpueblo.lacity.org.

Party for the People: It’s being billed as the largest Cinco de Mayo celebration in the world: Hundreds of thousands of people (yes, hundreds of thousands) are expected to pack a 12-block area on and around Broadway from Fifth to Temple streets for Fiesta Broadway on Sunday, May 8. The gathering has been going on for 22 years, and while it regularly rankles areas businesses and residents (forget about driving anywhere near the event that day), there are plenty of cultural opportunities: This year’s line-up features L.A. favorites Ozomatli, the lauded and original Mexican Institute of Sound and traditional regional artists Diana Reyes and Carmen Jara. The 11 a.m.-6 p.m. event is free and includes traditional dancers, food and vendor booths. The street is usually packed shoulder to shoulder with people, so get there early.

On Broadway between Temple and Fifth streets, fiestabroadway.la.

Cinco Is a-Live: Since it opened a few years ago, L.A. Live has gotten into the holiday spirit, with a gigantic metal Christmas tree and a large St. Patrick’s Day concert and celebration. Now, the South Park space programmed by Anschutz Entertainment Group gets in on the Cinco de Mayo action, with a free May 5 fiesta that is open to the public. The festivities start on Nokia Plaza at 5:30 p.m. and feature salsa dancers, live music, a beer and margarita garden and, best of all, a battle of the mariachi bands. Later in the evening, the action moves to the Conga Room, where Maria Daniela performs.

At 800 W. Olympic Blvd., lalive.com.

Center for Cinco: The city’s newest cultural center is all about the contributions Mexicans and Mexican Americans have made to Los Angeles. So it makes sense to spend at least part of Cinco de Mayo by learning a little bit more about the culture at LA Plaza de Cultura y Artes. Inside the 2.2-acre facility you’ll see exhibits about the founding of the city, as well as displays on more contemporary subjects. A highlight of the $27 million attraction is a re-creation of Main Street in the 1920s, complete with some serious old-school shops. Of course, the facility adjacent to El Pueblo offers information about the contributions of Mexican Americans such as Cesar Chavez, Lalo Guerrero and Anthony Quinn.

At 501 N. Main St., (888) 488-8033 or lapca.org.

Find the Pearl: Why not take an extended lunch hour on Thursday and have a few drinks at Las Perlas. The tequila and mescal bar in the Historic Core is not just offering fine liquor for Cinco de Mayo, it is also throwing in some cold brews, mixed drinks and Southern Mexican cuisine. The Sixth Street spot is offering drink specials from noon-8 p.m. on May 5. They include $3 Tecates, $5 Herradura shots and $5 margaritas. They will also offer Oaxacan food, a region in Southern Mexico known for excellent cuisine. DJs will be spinning tunes all day.

At 107 E. Sixth St., (213) 988-8355 or lasperlas.la.

Mas Bueno: Located in a cavernous 1920s space that once housed a jewelry store, Mas Malo, Downtown’s newest Mexican restaurant, opened in January with an emphasis on East L.A. food. Since Cinco de Mayo is a bigger holiday here than it is in Mexico, this is a fitting spot in which to mark the occasion. Try the Ensenada bacon-wrapped shrimp or the hard shell ground beef and pickle taco for a unique twist on Mexican food. Of course, if you want to celebrate properly, you’ll sample the vast drink menu that includes tequila, mescal and house mixes like the Rooster, with Gusano Mezcal, bourbon and lime juice, and the Backyard Wedding, with Corralejo Blanco, Kahlua and horchata. Then again, you won’t go wrong with a simple house margarita.

At 515 W. Seventh St., (213) 985-4332 or masmalorestaurant.com.

Cinco de Mayan: In this corner, the most authentic Mexican wrestling in town! In the other corner, Ciiiiiiiiiiinco de Mayooooooooooo! Watch what happens when Lucha VaVoom, the Mexican masked wrestling/burlesque/comedy extravaganza takes on the party-friendly holiday at this year’s celebration, appropriately dubbed Cinco de Mayan. The action overwhelms the gorgeous Mayan Theatre on, you guessed it, May 5. Wrestlers will tear each other up in dramatic acrobatic battles, and there will be roaming mariachis, Aztec dancers, tamale and tequila specials. Best of all, the $45 event features a donkey photo booth where you can get your picture with a donkey. Everyone loves donkeys!

At 1038 S. Hill St. or luchavavoom.com.

Margarita Party: You can get a little taste of Mexico with a few margaritas at El Cholo for Cinco de Mayo. The South Park restaurant is the latest in the small family-owned chain to open; it arrived Downtown last June in the old Liberty Grill spot. Yeah, the place can be a bit gimmicky, with the waitresses in colorful Mexican outfits and the waiters clad in traditional guayaberas, but the margaritas are nothing to laugh at. If you want to make it a high-end celebration try the 24 karat margarita. There’s no actual gold in it, but it does have upscale ingredients and is priced like gold, at $24 a glass. Or go a more traditional route and celebrate with the Julio’s Cosmopolitan for $9.95.

At 1037 S. Flower St., (213) 746-7750 or elcholo.com.

Villains Party: Outlaws always have more fun, and on Cinco de Mayo, Downtown’s best known villains will get into an even more celebratory mood. Villains Tavern in the Arts District will offer some tequila-based cocktail specials for the occasion. Look for adult beverages such as the Tijuana Trick, La Barbie and Iñigo Montoya. Cans of Tecate go for $2 on May 5.

At 1356 Palmetto St., (213) 613-0766 or villainstavern.com

 In addition to all the celebrations listed above, many local bars and restaurants have specials for today or just a celebratory vibe... don't be afraid to check out your favorite local hang out.

Wednesday, May 4


I get calls all the time inquiring about how to bond with a new dog or how to correct a specific behavior and I think the one thing I tell people that always seems to take them by surprise is to go back to the basics.  If you have never gone through a basic training class with me, let me explain why this would be my suggestion.

In my basic obedience class I focus on building a relationship between you and your dog, the first step to this is feeding your dog by hand and their food becomes the rewards they will work for.  The commands you learn are sit, down, stay, recall and loose leash walking.  Again, all the basics, but if your dog can focus on you for all of these, they will be able to focus on you for so much more.  

Basic obedience is important to have basic control of your dog, it also allows you to communicate effectively with your dog and have special one on one work time together.  I tell all my clients that they should look at training time as their quality time with their dog.  This doesn't have to be work, it should be fun and your dog should have fun too.

If you are interested in enrolling in my next basic obedience class that starts Saturday, May 14th @ 11am, bark on the link:  Bark!

Tuesday, May 3

What's Up Downtown May!

For me, when I think of the month of May, two things come to mind... Mother's Day and Memorial Day!  But there is so much more, especially in Downtown.  Yes, it is that time again, DowntownLA.com has released their What's Up Downtown in May.

There is a lot to check out in May, starting with Mother's Day.  Moms & Mimosas: Mother's Day Brunch is making another return with great brunch specials at some of the most fabulous restaurants in Downtown.  It really just comes to what you want to spend and what view of the city do you want because all restaurants involved will have great food.  Check out all the details by barking on the link:  Bark!

The Motorexpo will return to Bank of America Plaza within the heart of LA’s business district for their 2nd annual event from Monday, May 9 to Friday, May 13.  For more details, bark on the link:  Bark!

In the area of entertainment there is a lot going on in May, wonderful theatre, exhibits, concerts and more.  Some events not to miss are (bark on the link to get more information) God of Carnage and Rent, the Bob Marley exhibit at the Grammy Museum, Ricky Martin at the Nokia, the City of Angel's Wine Fest and let's not forget the annual Red Bull Box Car Race!

While you are out and about, don't forget to try some of the places that are new in town:  Cafe Ducle 134 Japanese Village Plaza, Chipotle Mexican Grill 601 W. 7th St., Eco-Asian 521 W. 7th St., LA Plaza de Cultura y Artes  501 N. Main St., Night Toast Café  653 S. Spring St.

For more the full What's Up Downtown, bark on the link:  Bark!

Monday, May 2

Dogs Using Their Noses

I have been involved with a sport called Fun Nosework for about 3 + years now.  I fell in love with it from the first time I saw how it worked.  Watching a dog use their nose in the way that only they can is a pretty amazing thing.  As I have told you all before, the sport really encourages shy or fearful dogs to come out of their shell and aggressive dogs to focus and be able to deal with the trigger that provokes the aggression.  It is a wonderful sport.  But the principals of the sport and how to teach it were based on bomb detection dogs.  So, knowing this, every time I see a working dog doing their thing, in an airport or on the subway, I tend to watch in awe.

A friend of mine that knows this fascination and shares it, sent me this video.  I think it is amazing to  see the dedication of not just the dogs but the men and women that work with these amazing 4-legged soldiers. This video is specifically about our military working dogs and work they do.  Enjoy.

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