Thursday, June 30

It may seem a little early, but the 4th of July is on Monday, so I thought I would re-post my Fireworks and Dogs blog from last year.  I will be taking a break from the blog until Tuesday, so have happy and safe July 4th Holiday.

Fireworks And Dogs

With July 4th just a few days away, I wanted to give you some information on how to ease your dogs fear when it comes to fireworks.  These techniques will also work for thunder and lightening.  I read a few different articles, but the one I liked the most was from the latest issue of  The article has a lot of great suggestions and many I suggest to my own clients.  I think it is great to try everything you can without using drugs, but if you have a highly anxious dog and you know he will go crazy with the fireworks and may hurt himself (or someone else), see your veternarian for the proper medication.  
If any of these scenarios have occurred, or if your dog shows other signs of stress, you can help your four-legged friend deal more comfortably with thunderstorms, fireworks and other loud noises. Listed below are a few suggestions that might help your pet:
Divert his attention. Sometimes, all a dog needs to overcome his fear is to have his attention diverted elsewhere. "If a dog is frightened, get him engaged in a fun game of fetch, give him a phenomenal food-stuffed toy or bone, or get a handful of treats and ask him to perform all his tricks," suggests Dr. Lisa Radosta, a veterinary behaviorist from Royal Palm Beach, Florida. "And get happy and excited yourself. It works wonders."
Offer a mother's comfort. Many fearful dogs calm down when their owner uses a product with dog appeasing pheromone (DAP). The DAP, which is similar to the pheromone released by mother dogs nursing their puppies, "comes in a variety of forms such as a diffuser, a collar and a spray," says Dr. Emily Levine, a veterinary behaviorist in Fairfield, New Jersey. More information about DAP products is available at
Find him a safe place. Some dogs try to find a place to hide away from storms --and if your dog is one, you can help him. "Provide the dog with a small, dark area such as access to a closet if the dog tends to seek those types of places during storms," recommends Dr. Lore Haug, a veterinary behaviorist who practices in Sugar Land, Texas.
Wrap him up. Some dogs may respond to a product called The Anxiety Wrap, a form-fitting fabric wrap that applies pressure to various areas of the dog's body. Use of the wrap may create "biofeedback slowing down the heart and therefore the animal feels less anxious," speculates Levine. "Or the wrap may be hitting certain pressure points that, when firmly touched, helps to calm the animal, much like wrapping a crying baby in a blanket." That being said, other experts suggest that you acclimate your dog to the wrap before using it to calm your dog during a storm. Something new to try along these same lines is the Thunder Shirt.
Introduce some competition. If you're going to be leaving the house to watch a fireworks display -- or if thunderstorms are in the weather forecast -- "play competing background noise such as a radio or TV, or use a white noisemaker," suggests Haug. Drawing the shades to hide any lightning or fireworks is a good idea, too.
Act normal. Experts agree that coddling or attempting to comfort your stressed dog is not a good idea. "The change in the owner's behavior from normal only makes the dog think there really is something to worry about," warns Haug. "The owner should interact with the dog in as normal a manner as possible."
Get help. If your efforts don't seem to reduce your dog's stress, seek help. "Reach out to your veterinarian for anti-anxiety medication," suggests Levine. For very severe or intractable noise anxiety, a veterinarian may refer dog and owner to a veterinary behaviorist -- a veterinarian who has completed post-graduate work in animal behavior. After evaluating the dog's behavior, the veterinary behaviorist can develop a comprehensive program to address the dog's thunderstorm, fireworks or noise anxiety, and any other issues he may have.

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

Wednesday, June 29

The weather is getting hotter and it is time to really think about dog safety in the heat.  Below is a blog I did last year that many found very useful, so I wanted to share it again with you all.

The temperature is on the rise, so, I want to remind you all to look out for your furry friend.  Here are the most important things to keep them safe.
1.  WATER!  If you are going for a walk 30 minutes or longer, especially in the heat of the day, make sure you are stopping every 15 minutes to give your dog water.  If the heat is not as intense you can water them every 30 minutes. 

2.  LEAVE THEM AT HOME!  Don't leave your dog in the car, even for "just a minute" to get something in the store.  The car heats up so fast and it becomes an oven.  If you can leave the air on and it is in a covered garage, it would be okay, but if you are in the middle of the parking lot, windows up... it won't take long for your car to get to cooking temperatures.  It would be a great idea to have a crate fan for your dog if you do travel with them a lot.

3.  KEEP IN THE SHADE!  When you are walking your dog, try to keep them in the shade, especially at stop lights.  The pavement and sidewalks get so hot and can burn your dogs pads.  There are booties you can put on your dog or paw wax.

4.  COOL THEM OFF!  If your dog has a heavy coat or you know they run hot, get a cool pad or vest, it will make them so much more comfortable. You can also give your dog an ice cube or two or get them doggie ice cream treats.

I hope these quick reminder tips help to keep your dog cool.

Tuesday, June 28

Puppy Left In Hot Car Dies

It is getting hot out there, so I wanted to share a very important story of what can happen if you leave a dog in a car with no air, cracked windows or water.  Every year we see this over and over again, with dogs and with children, people either forget or decide it is okay to leave them in a car.  I assure you, it is not!  Your dogs should not be left in a hot car without the proper set up, which would be water and air (either from your car or the windows being down with shade and a fan).  

The LA Times had a story of a 19-year-old San Bernardino County resident who clearly had no business owning a puppy.  She showed how little she knew about dog safety as she left her puppy in her car with all the windows up on a 90 degree day while she went into the mall for a little shopping.  A passerby saw the pup, called 911 and unfortunately by the time they got the pup out of the car, he was dead.  The puppy owner was arrested for animal-cruelty.   

I encourage you all to click on the link below and read the blurb from the LA Times, more than that, read what some of the people that commented wrote.  There is one suggestion to have a hammer in your car to break windows to free dogs or children if necessary.  While I cannot encourage you all to engage in such radical behavior... it is a good idea!  

Please keep it safe out there, remember your car is really an oven on wheels in this heat.  If you have a newer car, you can do what I do when I need a gallon of milk or something quick, I leave the car on, air full blast, water on the floor board and lock the car and all is fine when I return.  If you can't make it safe for your dog, wait until you can get them home and go back to the store. 

For the LA Times article, bark on the link:  Bark!

Monday, June 27

Last Remaining Seats - Part 2

Yesterday evening I had the pleasure to attend my second Last Remaining Seats Show, Sunset Boulevard at the Palace.  As well, it was the Palace's 100th birthday celebration.  What an evening and what an AMAZING theatre!

The evening began with the opening by Linda Dishman, Executive Director of the Los Angeles Conservancy and then a special presentation by Jessica Wethington McLean, Executive Director of Bringing Back Broadway.  But the evening really kicked off when Tony Valdez, Fox-11 Reporter and Host of this event, presented the centennial tribute to the Palace Theatre.  Immediately followed by an on stage interview with Nancy Olson which was a treat.  The stories she told were funny and had me on the edge of my seat learning about shooting this movie and just what Hollywood was at that time.

The Palace Theatre is both beautiful and elegant.  Her beauty was restored with such dignity, so now you can appreciate every unique detail.  My favorites were the pillars lined with roses and those amazing murals on the ceiling.  But what I can't describe is the feeling you get when you walk in.  The combination of the history and the beauty of this Downtown treasure are breathtaking.

The movie was indeed a classic.  William Holden was at his prime, Gloria Swanson was simply amazing and as over the top as you would want her to be as the great Norma Desmond and I think you could hear the whole audience smile every time Nancy Olson appeared on screen.  It was a great movie, but sad...tragic really.  Yet, a majority of the audience was laughing, which I didn't understand.  I think maybe the style is a little lost in translation.  

No matter what the audience was doing, I really enjoyed myself.  It was wonderful to watch another classic film on the big screen at an amazing Downtown Theatre.  Thank you Los Angeles Conservancy for presenting such greatness.

To become a member of the Los Angeles Conservancy, bark on the link:  Bark!

Friday, June 24

Take Your Dog To Work Day!

Happy take your dog to work day!  I hope you are all lucky enough to have your pooch by your side today.  They brighten your day all day long and sometimes even keep those co-workers you are not so fond of at bay.  Dogster had a great list of the Ten Reasons to Take Your Dog to Work Today.  I hope you enjoy them as much as I did.  Also, the bonus today is the picture above.  I saw it on The View the other day and have seen it EVERYWHERE since and I am still laughing!

10 Reasons to Take Your Dog to Work Today
10. Your dog just gets too distracted working at home, and never meets deadlines
9. Your cat will be very, very grateful
8. It’s Potluck Friday, and someone has to eat Edna’s tuna casserole
7. You need to see at least one smiling face today
6. Your dog’s mere presence will keep The Annoying Guy Who Doesn’t Much Like Dogs away from your desk
5. Your dog’s frequent leg-lift breaks = Your end-of-week sanity
4. He needs to see just how hard you work to make the money to pay for his kibble
3. He’s the perfect excuse for getting out of the same old Friday Happy Hour
2. He’s the perfect magnet for meeting someone great at Friday Happy Hour, if your coworkers find a Happy Hour that allows dogs
1. The biggest reason for bringing your dog to work today: Because your dog is way more awesome than anyone else’s dog at your office, paws down
Everyone have a happy Friday and a great weekend.  Don't forget to do something special with your dog this weekend.

To see all the cute picture that go with the list above, bark on the link:  Bark!

Thursday, June 23

The Library After Hours

Have you all heard about what is happening tonight at our Central Library after hours?  Well, for starters Huell Howser, a favorite of mine, will be there!  Tonight is the third installment of a talk show - styled event named This Is Your Library.

The event is hosted by Justin Veach (host of the Aloud series) and guests will include TV host Huell Howser, radical writer and art critic Chris Kraus, theater artist Diane Rodriguez and a performance by hipster hillbilly-folk singer Amanda Jo Williams.

The evening kicks off in the courtyard at 7:30pm with a DJ, full bar and free Pink's hotdogs. The show starts at 8pm and just a reminder the Central Library is located at 631 W. Fifth St. 

This sounds like an event not to miss!
For more information on the event, bark on the link:  Bark!

Wednesday, June 22

Skateboards Invading Downtown

How many dogs had a melt down yesterday due to all the extra skateboards?  Mine surely did!  The one thing he hates more than anything are skateboards, so yesterday was not his day when somewhere between 400 - 1,000 (depending on who is reporting the number) skateboarders skated through the streets of Downtown.

The event was Wild in the Streets, put on by Emerica, an athletic shoe and gear company that also sponsors a skateboarding team.  The event started at Hollenbeck Park in Boyle Heights at 1 p.m. The group then made its way over the 6th Street bridge and into Downtown, through the streets and  some went through Pershing Square, showing off some jumps and tricks off the steps and infrastructure.

The event wasn’t just for fun, but also had a higher cause. Mark Waters, a spokesman for Wild in the Streets, said Emerica teamed up with the group Boards for Bros yesterday to donate 127 skateboards to kids from the Salesian Boys and Girls Club, a youth center in Boyle Heights.

When I saw a large group, they all seemed to be hot and sweaty from a long day of skating, but they seemed to be having a great time too!

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

Tuesday, June 21

Drunk Man Operates On His Doberman

Responding to reports of seeing a drunk, naked man covered in blood, police arrived at Chicago apartment of Stewart Gibbs.  They found Gibbs indeed naked, very intoxicated and covered in blood.  Officers also found blood covering the walls and floor of the hallway, bathroom, kitchen and bedroom. The source of the blood was Gibbs Doberman Foley who had an open wound under his right ear.  Gibbs explained to the police that he was using a butcher knife to remove a cyst from his dog.

Gibbs was arrested for felony cruelty to an animal and bail was set for $75,000.  Foley was taken to an emergency veterinary center for treatment and Gibbs gave up custody of the dog, he is now in the care of Chicago Animal Care and Control.

This is such a sad story for the dog.  In all the reports, it said that Foley continued to have a great demeanor about him despite his injuries.  I hope a great dog finally gets a great home.  I just have no idea why someone would do this to their dog.  Drunk or not, that is no excuse.
To get the full story, bark on the link:  Bark!

Monday, June 20

2 Cabbies Arrested for Refusing Service to Blind Man and Dog

Things are not always so black and white as the media or rather the headlines would have us believe. Reading this story the first time, I was quite angered by the fact that a cab driver and his father refused to service a blind man and his dog at Bradley International Airport, in Windsor Locks, Conn.  After being told by the airport manager to leave the front of the taxi line, they refused and then called 911 to defend their spot in line.

I was then pleased to learn that they were arrested for refusing access to public transportation, interfering with a police officer and the father was also charged for misuse of the 911 system.

As I read an update to this story, I then was left feeling bad for the cab drivers.  It turns out that one of the men had an intense fear of dogs, which came from a childhood bite he endured.  The blind man didn't want to get anyone in trouble so he didn't push it and he also didn't want the man to be in his cab in fear. 

I know that some may say the guy should get over it, but I don't think so.  If you have a fear of something (dogs, spiders, bugs, etc.) those are real.  Just because we love, own or care for our dogs doesn't mean that everyone is going to.  Just as we ask people to respect our dogs, we need to respect people that have no interest in our dogs for one reason or the other.

Do I think the cabbies were right in their actions?  No.  But not for refusing the passenger.  I think it is wrong to stay at the front of the line and make the scene they did.  They had a passenger, they did not want him and his dog, they should've moved to the end of the line. That is the consequence for their choice.  

What do you think?

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

Friday, June 17

Happy Father's Day!

Don't forget your Dad this Sunday, it is Father's Day.  Every Father's Day I have this overwhelming need to BBQ, swim and drink a beer with my Dad.  I haven't been able to do that in about 11 years because we live too far apart and for some reason Father's Day just never is a good vacation time for either of us to see one another.  But the memories of past celebrations are fresh in my mind and we at least share a beer together over the phone.

Do you have plans for your Dad this Father's Day?  If not, there is a great celebration happening at First & Hope Supper Club (710 W. First St.), The Father's Day Blues Brunch!  The celebration is this Sunday, June 19th, 10:30am - 3:00pm and you must RSVP.  The Supper Club will offer a $38 prix Fixe menu for adults and $12 for kids 12 years old and under.  The meal will include whiskey BBQ lacquered ribs for the more sophisticated pops, and Pabst Blue Ribbon chicken for all the hipster dads. A live Blues band will add some tunes to the afternoon.  Sounds like the perfect way to celebrate Dad!
To RSVP bark on the link: Bark! Or call (213) 617-8555

Now for our fluff on Friday!  Below is a sweet video of a few dogs, a grandson, and daughter with Dad (and Grandpa) on a past Father's Day.  It made me miss my Dad, but smile at how simple and sweet this is.  Enjoy and don't forget to do something special with your pooches this weekend!

Thursday, June 16

Tip-A-Cop Today

Today you will have the opportunity to tip-a-top-cop!  No, not out on the street to get out of a ticket, but at the Urth Caffé to help raise money for a good cause.

Today, Thursday, June 16th, LAPD officers (including Captains and other high ranking officers) will be volunteering their time to serve the patrons of Urth Caffé (451 S. Hewitt St. or at (213) 797-4534) by pouring coffee, waiting tables and greeting customers.  All of this is to raise money for local Special Olympic athletes.

The annual fundraiser, which usually raises $1,500 to $3,000, is donated to the Special Olympics Southern California nonprofit to pay for the uniforms, equipment and training needs of local athletes.

The fundraiser is scheduled from noon to 7 p.m. Donations are tax-deductible. 

I hope you all support this important event for such a great cause.  I know I will stop in for a coffee or snack today!

For more information contact Eloise Crawford at (310) 400-3120 or bark on the link: Bark!

Wednesday, June 15

Top 10 Dog Friendly Cities has put out their Top 10 Dog Friendly Cities for 2011.  Before I run down the list, let me explain how this was determined.  Because if you are like me you were looking for certain cities that never appeared.  So this is how they determined this year's list:  Number of Dog Parks, Number of Major Pet Stores, Approximate Number of Vets, Pet Friendly Events, and Pet Policies of Note.

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

     10.  Phoenix, Arizona

       9.  Sacramento, California

       8.  Fort Worth, Texas

       7.  Charlotte, North Carolina

       6.  Tucson, Arizona

       5.  Denver, Colorado

       4.  Minneapolis, Minnesota

       3.  Seattle, Washington

       2.  Dallas, Texas

       1.  San Diego, California

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

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

Tuesday, June 14

Training Is Coming!

I am asked all the time about what I am up to and when my next training session will begin, so I wanted to share with you all what great things are coming up.  In about two weeks I will be beginning my next session of classes, Basic Obedience, Intermediate Obedience and a brand new, exciting and fun Drop-In Puppy Play/Obedience Workshop.  All will be starting June 25th in the Pasadena space that currently is hosting my group classes.

I think most people look at class names and decide what is right for their dog based on not necessarily the right things.  So I want to take a moment to explain some reasons each class might be right for you.

Basic Obedience:  This may seem straight forward, but there is more than one reason why you may want to take this class.  Besides the obvious that you would take this if your dog has no understanding of obedience, there are two other reasons that this class could make a powerful impact in you and your dog's life.  First, I concentrate on building a relationship between you and your pooch.  If there has been a fracture in the relationship or maybe you just adopted or started to foster your dog, this is the perfect class to just build your relationship.  If the dog is solid on basic obedience, that is even better, you will consistently be able to set your dog up to succeed and therefore gain so much confidence and allow you to just focus on the relationship, so obedience is a tool, not a task.  Second, if you have a dog that is completely distracted by other people and/or dogs, this is the perfect place to work on that.  We would again be setting your dog up to succeed because they already know the basics, your work with them would be in getting them to focus on you while complying with your commands.  In the course of the class, they would learn that they are to focus on you, not other people and/or dogs.  This class is 5 weeks long and $150.

Intermediate Obedience:  For this class, you must have completed Basic Obedience or Puppy Class, with me or any other trainer.  This class is more of a challenge, we continue to generalize our basic obedience by adding distractions and continue to learn a few new commands as well.  This class is great for working on distraction training with your dog, continuing to build a relationship and to have fun with your dog while still working on obedience.  This is another class you can use to work on having your dog focus on you, not the other dogs and/or people.  If your dog has a strong reaction to other people and/or dogs, it is best to ease into this with the Basic Obedience class first, but this is a great continuation.  This class becomes intense with all the movement of people and dogs, so any dogs that cannot handle that must start in Basic to build up their tolerance.  This class is 5 weeks long and $150.

Drop-In Puppy Play/Obedience Workshop:  I am most excited to launch this class.  I simply love being around puppies and adore watching them play, but not everyone understands good play vs. hazardous play.  This Drop-In session will run through the whole summer and is limited to the number of puppies allowed.  The class will of course have a play session for all the pups that is heavily monitored to make sure all the pups are playing nice.  It will also include some fun games to play with your pup to keep them engaged during training but will work the commands you badly need to teach them.  It is so much fun!  The best part is that these are drop-in classes, so you can come as often or as infrequently as you wish.  You pay $15, $20 or $25 per session depending on if you are currently in a class, an alumni or new to us.

Beyond these classes, please keep your eyes on my website for more summer fun drop-in classes in and around Downtown, focused for the people and dogs of Downtown!  This includes a Pooch Parade, we are getting all barked up about it!  I also can always do private training sessions if you need special one on one attention.

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

Monday, June 13

Pet Parents had a great little blurb about pet parents and how most of us are now calling ourselves "mommy" and "daddy" to our pets.  I know I am certainly guilty of it!  There isn't much information in this article, but it is a fun research, so I wanted to share with all of you.  Something tells me most of you are "mommy" or "daddy" to your pet.

Do you refer to yourself as a dog parent? According to the recent Pet Parent Survey, commissioned by Milo's Kitchen and conducted by Kelton Research 58% of America dog owner are content to call themselves "Mommy" and "Daddy” when referring to their beloved canines.
The dog owners sampled feel that their dogs, without question, are part of the family. In fact, 10% of dog owners just celebrated Mother’s Day with their pets, and will be including their fur-kids in any festivities planned for Father’s Day.
Eighty-one percent of Americans consider their dogs as an equal part of their family, with 35% referring to their dogs as "son" or "daughter." Two out of three pet "parents" in the survey admitted they use at least two nicknames for their pooches, much in the same way they would call their own children.
Seventy-seven percent freely admit they talk about their dogs as if they were human family members.
But what I found most interesting in the survey was 45% of the survey respondents said that they talk more about their dogs than they do about their human relationships and 57% reported that they spend more time chatting about their dogs with their partners, than they do talking about sex.
In referring to the survey, Rob Leibowitz, Del Monte Foods Senior Vice President, Pet products, said, “Dogs are integral members of the family unit, and we want to shed light on this subtle, but important change from ‘owner’ to ‘parent.’ This survey showcases how pet parents today really treat their dogs like their own children. For this reason, we created Milo’s Kitchen Brand home-style dog treats because we believe that as important and integral family members they deserve treats made with the same quality and care of our own food. The survey results reinforce our idea that pet parents want to provide their dogs with the same experiences as other family members.”
Of course, some of these statistics, while fascinating to me in my capacity as a retired social worker specializing in family relationships, at the same time they are not at all a surprise. Since our relationships with our pets are generally freer of conflict than with our human family members, being able to love unconditionally is far easier, giving us a totally different outlet in which we may express love.

Hope you enjoy your week with your "sons" or "daughters".
For information about training with Bark & Clark, bark on the link:  Bark!

Friday, June 10

Friday Fun!

Happy Friday everyone!  I have some exciting news, my website had a slight face lift over the last couple of days!  New images and a couple of ads, but it really looks fantastic! (Sorry, it's hard not to brag)  

Besides wanting to point out the new look, I want to let you all know I am accepting registration for my new classes and of course private training sessions.  All the information is on the website, so be sure to bark on the link below to check it out and sign up today for your training.  Also, keep a look out, we have some very fun classes coming up for summer!

Okay, on to your happy Friday!  I found this great video of dogs enjoying the beach.  Since this is one of my favorite activities with my dog, I thought I would post it for all of you to enjoy and maybe get some ideas on what to do with your four-legged friend this weekend.

Have a safe and happy weekend!

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

Thursday, June 9

Dogs In Crowds

Tonight is Art Walk and that always inspires me to talk about the affect the crowds have on dogs.  Every Art Walk I see the same thing, the dog owners that refuse to veer off their normal walking course to avoid the crowds and their dogs paying the price.  It makes me keep writing these blogs in hopes that the word will spread... most dogs can not handle this intense of crowds.
I think it might help to understand what your dog is seeing or experiencing.  Imagine yourself at their level no matter how big or small, then put yourself in the middle of a herd of people moving erratically, some intoxicated and stumbling, some eating their Food Truck food not paying attention to the pooch passing by and others talking, walking and sometimes dancing to the DJ's and having a good time with friends.  The focus is not on the ground where your dog is.  The perception to the dog then becomes that these people are in danger of trampling them or falling on them.  This ignites fear and anxiety.

Why do this to your dog?  I know there is a small percentage of dogs that would care less in these situations and would just get through it.  But that is a very small percentage.  Most dogs that live Downtown can deal with the normal crowds, loud sounds and other distractions, but Art Walk is not a normal amount of any of that.  

My advice is this, stay off of Spring street as much as possible and find a route to your usual or secondary potty spot that avoids the crowds as much as you can.  If you have a small dog, you may want to carry them if you have to walk through a crowded or very loud area.

I know no one at Art Walk would intentionally hurt our dogs that live here, but that doesn't mean it won't happen.  I don't think any of them intentionally trash our neighborhood, yet tomorrow morning when I walk Neville, I know the streets will be lined with trash.  It is just part of a big crowd.  You are the owners of these amazing creatures, protect them, keep them safe and do what is best for them not what is more fun for you.

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

Wednesday, June 8

Disaster Planning For Your Pet

With all the tornadoes we have been hearing about and the ever looming "big one" of an earthquake that is certain to one day strike Southern California, I thought this article put out by K9 magazine daily digest would be great information at the perfect time.  Hopefully you all have a disaster plan for you and your family should anything horrible happen, this article gives some great tips on how to include your pet in that plan.
Summertime is prime time for natural disasters like hurricanes, wildfires and tornadoes, and United Animal Nations (UAN) is encouraging all pet owners to make disaster plans that include their animals.
“When animals are left behind during disasters, they can get injured, lost, become sick, starve and pose public safety risks,” said UAN President and CEO Nicole Forsyth. “United States households have more than 171 million dogs and cats alone, so it is vital that pet owners make provisions for these members of the family.”
UAN has provided emergency animal sheltering and disaster relief services for thousands of animals since 1987. UAN offers the following disaster planning advice for pet owners:
1. Identify evacuation locations. If a disaster forces you from your home, bring your animals with you. It is the safest choice for you and your pets. Identify pet-friendly hotels, boarding kennels and loved ones outside of your immediate area that could accommodate your pets. Most human evacuation shelters do not allow animals.
2. Identify pets with tags and permanent microchips. A microchip, a tiny tracking device, is the single best way to reunite lost pets with their families. Veterinarians and many animal control agencies offer the service. Update your microchip information if you move, get a new phone number or change emergency contacts.
3. Start a buddy system. If disaster strikes while you are not home, your animals could be stranded behind disaster lines. Exchange keys and disaster plans with a trusted neighbor who can remove your animals in case of an evacuation. Make sure your buddy is familiar with your pets.
4. Assemble a disaster kit for each pet. A disaster kit contains food, water, medication and other supplies you may not be able to get if roads and business are closed. Assemble one for each animal in your household and keep it near an exit so you can easily grab it if forced to leave.
5. Take photos of you with your pets. If you are separated from your pets, photographs can prove ownership if you must reclaim them from a shelter. Keep copies in your wallet and your disaster kit.

For more information and tips on disaster planning for your pet, bark on the link: Bark! 

Tuesday, June 7

Pets Battling The Bulge

In the latest newsletter there is a great article covering pet obesity.  Much like their human counterparts, pet obesity is on the rise.  According to the latest released survey from the American Association for Pet Obesity Prevention (APOP), 53% of cats and 55% of dogs in the United States are currently struggling with being overweight or outright obese.

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

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

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

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

Monday, June 6

Dog Training and Child Rearing

I spent the weekend baby sitting my 4-year-old nephew, I never realized the similarity in techniques between dog training and child rearing.  Time outs, rewarding the good behavior, consequences for bad behavior, ignoring attention seeking behavior and not making a big deal over getting scared or hurt.  
I had such a great time and really enjoyed myself, but never knew I would walk away learning something about my profession.  Not having kids, I never saw the parallels before.  I'm sure those of you that have dogs and kids are reading this thinking... DUH!  But it was a huge moment for me to understand that even though I didn't have to have a huge amount of experience with kids, I had all the tools I needed.

There are of course differences in the application of the techniques, for instance, I didn't squirt my nephew with a water bottle for touching something he shouldn't, that to me is when it was easier because I could actually tell him no and he understood the word!  Having the ability to talk to my nephew and explain this is wrong or that was good was something out of the usual for me.  Even though I talk to my dog all the time, I know he doesn't understand.  So, it was nice to be understood!:)

So to all you parents and dog owners, my hat is off to you.  I have no idea how you can handle training dogs AND raising children at the same time.  And thank you to my nephew for being such a cute and amazing teacher of life to me.  

Happy Monday!

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

Friday, June 3

Happy Friday!

This is a very happy Friday for me and a bit of anxious one as well.  I am leaving today to go spend the entire weekend with my 4-year-old nephew, leaving my dog in the hands of my boyfriend.  Now Neville regards my boyfriend as his "Daddy", but I can't help but worry.  This isn't the first time I've left him, me and my boyfriend went away for a weekend a couple of months ago and he did great with his dog cousin and my two best friends... but I am still worried.  I 100% know that nothing bad will happen and that he will continue to be spoiled as I do when I am here... maybe that is the worry, he will be spoiled a little too much.

Will he sleep in the bed?  Eat way too many treats?  Be fed from the table?  Will bad habits be set all in one weekend?  I suppose if all or any of those is the worst that happens and that is all I have to worry about, Neville is in good hands!  I am certain that they will have a very good time while "Mommy" is away.

Today also is the last day to vote for Bark & Clark for Best of Downtown LA, the polls close at the end of today.  If you haven't voted yet, please be sure to today.  Don't forget, just for voting you are entered to win some amazing gifts!

To vote today, bark on the link:  Bark!

Thursday, June 2

Animals Mysteriously Disappearing From LA Shelters

I had no idea this was going on until yesterday a good friend of mine forwarded this story to me.  Apparently over the last year 64 small animals have gone missing from L.A. Shelters, 39 of them from the North Central shelter.  All the animals were small dogs and cats, most of the dogs were actually pups and they were all ready to be adopted.  No one knows where these animals have gone or how they disappeared, but it is thought that people are stealing them to avoid the cost of adoption. 

I understand that adoptions are expensive, but if you cannot afford to adopt the pet, how do you plan to take care of it? Additionally, this means people are getting animals with absolutely no screening process.  I just hope the people that have these animals are caring and providing a good, safe home.

Below is the video with the whole story, take a look and tell me your thoughts on where these animals might be going.

The polls close tomorrow, to cast your vote for Bark & Clark, bark on the link:  Bark! 

Wednesday, June 1

What's Up Downtown June!

Happy June everyone!  The summer months are upon us and the outdoor events are beginning.  There is a lot to do Downtown in June.  I of course can't go over the whole calendar, but here are my highlights of things to look out for or go and try.

There is a very cool Outdoor Cinema Food Fest happening in the parks of Los Angeles from now until September 3rd, check out the website to follow it around.  Les Misérables is coming to the Ahmanson Theatre starting June 14th, that is a don't miss show! 25th Annual Last Remaining Seats is playing all through June, there are still a few tickets left, so get them now it is too cool of an experience to miss. There are so many new businesses to check out, to name a few, Clark's Gallery, Common Room, Green Hut Cafe, and Indie Desk. Last but not least, don't forget about the Los Angeles Film Festival starting June 16th.

Again, that is just my highlights, there is a lot more to do.  Also, don't forget to check out the Bark & Clark website to follow what we are up to this summer and our friends Pussy & Pooch, they always have summer specials and great events.

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