Friday, September 30

Dolly The Dog

I was sent this amazing story last week about a puppy that needed saving and the founder of Dolly's Foundation stepped in, that story I will get to in a different blog.  Today I want to focus on the name sake of the foundation, Dolly the Pit Bull.  Dolly really stole my heart when I saw the video of her story.  Maybe I am sucker for rescue stories, being a rescue mom myself.  But I really connected with the fact that this dog has no reason to trust, be kind, loving or have any sweetness about her and yet she does.  

That point is what resonates with me the most.  It reminds me of my own dog, he was dealt a bad deck the first part of his life and I wouldn't blame him if he hated all people, but he doesn't.  I watch him everyday confront his fear and try to say hello to perfect strangers, something I didn't even know would be possible.  Dolly has this same theme.  You will see her resilience, her strength and her inspiring spirit.  Her owners are lucky to have her, she is lucky to have them, but I think they all know that.

I hope this sends you into the weekend on an inspiring note.  

Have a wonderful weekend and don't forget to do something special with your pup!

Thursday, September 29

Government Regulated Training?

Dogster had a wonderful piece a couple of days ago on a law proposed earlier this year in metropolitan New York City that would require all dog owners to pass a mandatory, state-regulated “obedience course” for dogs.  The thoughts and opinions in from the guest blogger are right on with my own views and I couldn't say it better myself.  So, I won't, here is the heart of what she said.

While I believe it was a noble effort by lawmakers to reduce the number of dangerous dogs and bite incidents in NYC, this is a law I just can’t get behind. Here are just a few of the reasons I believe that similar laws should be avoided or dramatically changed before implementation in any community:
1. State regulation of approved schools/instructors — It’s very important that pet owners realize not all trainers are created equal and that no training is often preferable to bad training. What sort of screening guidelines would be in place for eligible training companies? There are a great many “professional” trainers that I would not allow to touch or train my dogs under any circumstances.
2. Such a law could make pet owners resent training. — I find that the clients who are most enthusiastic about training are the most successful. A well-trained dog never does the bulk of its learning in the classroom — for training to be effective, it must be worked on at home, throughout the dog’s life. If people resent the fact that they MUST do training, they are unlikely to follow through with it.
3. “Obedience” classes are not for all dogs. — Just because a dog may know how to sit and lie down on cue does not mean it is a safe dog who doesn’t present a bite risk. In fact, most of the aggressive dogs I work with already know sit and down. Obedience classes are not the best learning environment for dogs with real aggression issues; allowing such dogs into group classes without laying down significant layers of behavior modification puts all dogs and humans in that classroom in jeopardy.
4. Knowledge, for people and dogs, is a “use it or lose it” enterprise. — I started learning French in 6th grade and continued studying it through college. Years later, I can’t have a coherent conversation. Similarly, an obedience certificate today does not mean that your dog is necessarily less likely to bite someone three years from now!
As an alternative, I’d love to see owners given incentives and positive reinforcement for being proactive and making training a priority. Potential incentives could include:
• discounts on homeowners’ insurance policies
• discounts on pet health insurance policies
• exemptions from breed-specific legislation (an issue worthy of its own blog topic!)
About the Author: Casey Lomonaco graduated with distinction from the Karen Pryor Academy for Animal Training and Behavior, and is a member of the following professional organizations: APDT (Association of Pet Dog Trainers), CGC evaluator — AKC (American Kennel Club), TDF (Truly Dog Friendly), and the No-Shock Collar Coalition.

What do you think?  To Bark back, bark on the link:  Bark!

Wednesday, September 28

Dog From Harry Potter Movies In Rescue

If you saw all the Harry Potter movies as I did, you will remember this dog.  He played "Padfoot" or the dog that "Sirius Black" transformed into. brought us the sad news of his new situation.  The dog's real name is Berry, a black German Shepherd, and his owner has had to make a very hard decision to give him up for adoption.  Berry is now at an English dog rescue waiting to find a new home.
According to a Fox News Report, Berry was given up by his owner, stuntman Paul Thompson, after he could no longer care for the dog. Thompson went on to say that he could no longer care for Berry and another canine companion, Porridge properly due to constraints from his job.

Whoever adopts these two canines are quite lucky as both Berry and Porridge starred in TV and movie roles.

I know it easy to say or think nasty things about Mr. Thompson for giving up these two dogs, but I think it takes a good amount of courage to understand you are not able to provide the life they deserve.  Thompson said in the Fox report "I found myself spending a lot of time away from home, the dogs needed more attention than I could give. It was a difficult decision to make but one I had to accept was best for the dogs."

Now the dogs are at the German Shepherd Dog Rescue, just bark on the link to find out more information on how you can help.

Our fingers and paws are crossed that these two find a good home quickly.

Monday, September 26

Why Do Dogs Pant?

K-9 Magazine's daily digest had a good bit on Why Dogs Pant.  It is a question I know I get a lot and also get many comments as I walk my panting dog.  Though this article doesn't cover all the reasons dogs pant, it does give you the basics.  Enjoy the quick read!

Why Do Dogs Pant?

We love to know as much about our four legged pals as possible and one of the questions we often get is 'why do dogs pant?'. After all, when we get hot and bothered yes, we might sweat and breath heavier but we don't roll our tongues out and pant away. So just exactly why do dogs pant? 
Unlike horses, dogs do not sweat through the skin; they sweat through the tongue and nose, so that when a dog is panting, he is not necessarily thirsty. He is just sweating. Naturally if exertion makes a dog pant for long, he loses fluid, which he will have to replace by drinking water. Panting does not necessarily mean thirst, but a thirsty dog will often pant.
Panting: An Early Warning Sign of Something More Serious?
Excessive panting may indicate distress, and dogs should be taken into a shady or cool place or they may get a heatstroke. It is not unknown for dogs to die at shows in hot weather from heatstroke.
If a stroke is threatened, immediately put cold compresses to the dog's head or, if the temperature is extremely high, immerse the dog in cold water until the temperature is reduced to about 103°, which is fairly safe for a dog. Of course the animal must be dried off, or chill may result.
If the animal has not lost consciousness, cool drinks are invaluable. Shutting dogs in cars with the windows closed is one cause of heatstroke. Only thoughtless owners would do such a thing.
So there you have it, dogs pant because they don't sweat in the same way we do. Panting is the dog's own unique cooling system, it allows them to cool their body by sweating via their tongues.

I hope you all find this information useful and maybe even helpful. 

Friday, September 23

Guilty Dog

I had a client forward me this video.  I know it has been around a bit and even highlighted on Good Morning America.  But it was sent to me in a fun spirit, I always talk in my classes about dog's "acting" guilty when they chew up your favorite pair of shoes or get into the trash.  My lecture is goes something along the lines of it is submissive behavior based on your tone and energy, blah, blah, blah.  Anyway, I had a client in class tell me her dog really knew what she had done wrong and that was that.  I will be the first to admit I think my dog knows exactly what he has done when he eats the cat food.  

So to prove a point, she sent me this video, which I think is just adorable.  Both of the dogs in this video just stole my heart!  Enjoy and Happy Friday!

Don't forget to do something fun with your pooch this weekend!

Thursday, September 22

Dogs Found Buried In Trash had such a disturbing story they including in their newsletter yesterday.  It is an animal cruelty story coming out of Philadelphia that will make your skin crawl.  I believe that knowledge is power, so I am sharing this with you so we can learn from other's mistakes.  Please, if you should ever see anything like this from a neighbor or a stranger, call the authorities and give the animals the best chance of survival.  Please take a moment to read...

This morning news broke of an animal cruelty story that can only be called chilling and disturbing, to say the least. According to the NBC Philadelphia affiliate, two emaciated dogs have been discovered in the backyard of a home in the Strawberry Mansion section of Philadelphia. The dogs, two pit-bull mixes, were found starving and buried in trash.
According to authorities, police originally were called to search the home for a suspect believed to be involved in an assault case. Upon arriving to the home and conducting their search, however, they found the bodies of the pit-bulls piled in the trash in the backyard.
Authorities also said they found a starving cat with numerous fleas and parasites in the home as well.
Soon after, police called the PSPCA to come and remove the animals. The dogs were taken to a veterinary hospital for care and are receiving SPCA medical treatment. They're expected to recover.
For what can only be described as their utter neglect, the entire family will face charges of animal cruelty.
 The only good thing here is that the animals are safe now and have a chance to recover and hopefully find good homes. This just makes me sick that people could be so cruel to innocent beings.  These animals depend on us for their basic needs, it is a sick and disgusting thing to do to deny them that.

What do you think?

Wednesday, September 21

Know Your Dog

The more dogs I train, the more one thing becomes more and more clear...owners must know the dog they have.  Be it that your dog doesn't like small white dogs, your dog loves all people and wants to lick them, your dog is scared of the environment, whoever they may be, you as an owner have a responsibility to really know the dog you have.

I'm sure you are all wondering where on earth I am going with this.  I am just amazed at how many dog owners don't understand the dog they own.  Training is great, but if you don't understand the proper way to support or manage your dog, you may be missing the mark.

I had a training over the weekend with a very large dog.  Owners of giant dogs have a responsibility to make sure that their dog does not jump, bite, and above all will listen.  It is no longer a matter of obedience, due to the size of the dog, it is about safety.  First, the owners were really not be honest with me or themselves about the state of the dog.  Today I am looking at my bruised body from the amount of bites I took from an over sized dog that never learned not to mouth and learned not just to jump, but to jump up and hold on.  Can I fix this?  Not completely, but I can teach them to manage it and at least reduce a lot of this behavior.

It is just sad that this dog could have been so different with the right guidance from the beginning.  Owners should learn about the breed and breed tendencies if they are getting a pure bred dog.  As well, socialize your dog, not just with other dogs, but the world.  Owners need to understand the tone that works best with their dog, it may be stern, it may be light, but not all dogs respond to the same tone.  Figure out an exercise routine that fits you and your dog's schedule.  Believe it or not, some basic problems can be reduced considerably or even disappear with the proper exercise.  And last but not least, find the equipment that is the best for your dog.  Just because you used a prong collar in the past, doesn't mean it is the right thing to use.  There are so many options out there, start with the least corrective and go up from there, in my opinion choke chains and prongs should only be used as a last resort, not a first option.

Beyond safety and training, knowing your dog will allow you to have a connection with your dog that will benefit your relationship in all aspects.  Having that connection will allow you to know when they are not themselves, due to sickness or otherwise.  It also will allow them to trust you more and that will just open the door for so many things.

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

Tuesday, September 20

Dogs Helping Autistic Children

K-9 Magazine has published an article about a new initiative in the UK.  Sheffield based Support Dogs, one of the UK’s leading charities dedicated to training assistance dogs, in February of 2008, launched a £1 million appeal to help it to introduce a unique national initiative to provide dogs specially trained to help children with Autism.  Support Dogs trained the UK’s first Autism Assistance Dog with the support of Irish Guide Dogs, which has run a successful program in Ireland for over three years.

This program is so interesting to me.  I always am amazed at service dogs, but this is very unique in the way the dogs help the children.  
Autism Assistance Dogs make a real and very positive difference to the lives of children with Autism and their families and the work by Irish Guide Dogs has already  identified a number of direct benefits:
·        Improved safety levels for children with autism through control of the child by commanding the dog which acts as an anchor.

·        Improved behaviour and socialisation skills through acting as a constant companion and forming a unique bond.
·        Creates freedom for the child and family to go out from the home, allowing full public access – shops, restaurants, hotels and schools.
·        Expands the child’s capabilities to experience more from life.
·        Calms the child thereby increasing attention span and improving aptitude for learning.
·        Reduces stress for all family members.
·        Teaches the child responsibilities.
·        Positive changes in behaviour, lower aggression level and comfort when upset.
The goals for this new initiative are ambitious, a target of £1 million to fund the first four years of the program (allowing them to provide an inclusive national service with no regional restrictions), train 40 dogs every year by 2012, this meaning that 68 dogs will be trained by the end of the first four years.  Which means an estimated 300 people will be helped and they will have four fully qualified full time Autism Assistance Dog trainers.

This is such a great program and I look forward to hearing the success stories.  

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

Friday, September 16

Dog With Expensive Taste

This dog has very expensive taste! Good thing Honeybun is okay.  Have fun viewing this funny little clip!  Happy Friday.

Thursday, September 15

Dog Rescued Then Escapes

This is an odd story all around.  A Pomeranian named Malibu, who was medically prescribed to Shalanon Brooks for emotional support, was rescued from a scorching car only to escape from the rescuers.

Shalanon Brooks went to Six Flags Magic Mountain with Malibu in tote.  Brooks claims that she made the decision to leave Malibu in the car with food and water and cracked windows when the zipper broke on the dog carrier she’d brought.  With the temperature rising over 80 degrees, security officers saw the dog in the car, which was in such distress they believed the dog to be dead.  They broke into the car and rescued Malibu, they then took her to the Six Flags kennel to revived her with water and cool air temperatures.

Once Malibu was feeling better, a staff member was replenishing her water and the little dog bolted, heading for the parking lot.  Unfortunately, she has not been seen since.

Now, Shalanon Brooks is upset and blaming Six Flags for their actions.  She claims that her actions never endangered her dogs life.  However, it is standard practice at Six Flags to rescue any animals left in cars.

I personally believe Shalanon should just thank the staff at Six Flags for saving her dog's life and should blame no one but herself for the fact that she no longer has her dog.  Why would you bring a dog to an amusement park in the first place?  Even if you thought you could bring the dog in, when you found you couldn't wouldn't you figure out a safe place for your pet?  

Below is the video with more of the story, you can decide for yourself what you think would be the proper actions and who is right in this case.

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

Wednesday, September 14

Us VS. Them!

It is a growing problem in Downtown, dog owning residents VS. antidog residents.  The antidog residents are the one's that would like to see dogs disappear in Downtown, they don't believe they belong.  They also are behind lobbying to take away our public space little by little, making Downtown less dog friendly.  It has been on my mind a lot lately and quite frankly in my face as I hear the comments being made by people on the street as I walk my dog or potty him.  I always clean up after him and ofter after people that left their dog's potty behind.  Why the comments are necessary, I don't know.  But it upsets me.  So when I read this Dogster guest blogger entry I really had to share it with all of you.  Even though this blog is about San Francisco, I promise you Downtowner's, you will feel every word she is saying and most likely agree.

It’s Us vs. Them, Again
By Robyn Hagan Cain

I am perturbed.
It’s Sunday morning, I’m slowly dying from the worst cold anyone has ever known, and my dog insists that she needs her walk. Now.
I have at least another hour before the NyQuil box claims I will be safely beyond the cold-med stupor. If I can put clothes on and walk around the block without falling into a shrub, I’ll consider the day a success.
My dog takes pity on me. Halfway down the block, she poops. Yes, it’s in someone’s driveway — too far from the curb for me to excuse, even in my NyQuil stupor.
Yes, I clean up. Yes, I get busted.
Not by the tainted driveway’s owner, mind you, but by a passive-aggressive busybody standing across the street gabbing on her phone.“  I hate stupid dog owners who let their dogs go anywhere. People’s children PLAY THERE!”
Okay, she just graduated from passive-aggressive to aggressive.
Now I’m annoyed, but I’m also halfway between a NyQuil coma and consciousness, so I just hold up a pink, waste-filled bag and wave. She’s not the only passive-aggressive gal on the block.
What nerve. I always curb my dog. Except when I’m on the brink of death and it’s 7 a.m. and my dog does me a solid by taking care of business in a driveway so I can crawl back into bed.
Let it be said that I always, always clean up after my dog. I just cleaned up in front of this woman while she talked about me to her friend! (What kind of ill-bred person talks about a neighbor standing 15 feet away?) But none of that matters. In her eyes, I am part of the problem.
It’s us against them. Again.
Here in San Francisco, co-existing with dogs is a way of life. The city is famous for having more dogs than children — around 2,500 per square mile — because the cost of living is prohibitively expensive for most families. Yet there’s a battle brewing here between the “stupid dog owners” and the “antidog busybodies.”
The issue of the hour? Off-leash rights in the Golden Gate National Recreational Area (GGNRA), a 75,000-acre park that includes three of the most popular dog-walking spots in the city: Ocean Beach, Crissy Field, and Fort Funston.
In January, the National Park Service proposed restrictive changes to current leash laws in the GGNRA; in some areas, the proposal would eliminate dog access to parks altogether. The San Francisco Board of Supervisors blasted the proposal. The SPCA condemned it as well. The antidog busybodies embraced it, and said “Good riddance, stupid dog owners.”
Need proof of the class warfare between the dog owners and the busybodies? Head over to the Dog Management Plan website and read the some of the 4,713 comments submitted in response to the plan. While some of the pro-plan commenters are concerned with protecting environmental sanctuaries in the GGNRA, more are concerned with protecting the soles of their shoes from abandoned excrement. Here’s a small sampling:
“I support the plan 100% The current situation is out of control. The park areas have been taken over by dog owners letting their dogs run wild, harassing other people and wildlife. It is impossible to enjoy these areas now. The dog waste is unbelievable, disgusting and unsanitary. I prefer banning dogs outright from all areas, but support this compromise. Please implement this plan and enforce it with stiff fines!” — Comment #65
“I support your Draft Dog Management Plan EIS. The EIS protects wildlife and protects people without dogs. Muir Beach and Rodeo Beach have become dog parks, people without dogs who just want to enjoy a quiet walk on the beach are intimidated by dogs running at yourself and at wildlife. The term ‘voice command’ means that the dog owner lets his dog run free, the dog can chase wild life and run up to people. After the dog has disrupted wildlife or people, the dog owner can call the dog back if he thinks the dog has done anything disruptive, but most often the owner will say ‘he’s a good dog, he won’t hurt anyone.’ Maybe so but just a dog running up to me scares me first, how am I to know the the dog is ‘people friendly.’ I see dogs chasing birds and ducks on both beaches constantly in full view of the owners who do nothing to stop the dogs. Please return the beaches and trails to people and wildlife. Thank you for this plan.” — Comment #169
The GGNRA restrictions are limited to the Bay Area, but the dog-owners-versus-busybodies battle is a cautionary tale from which any dog-dense community can learn. If San Francisco dog owners had been more responsible — overly responsible — in the GGNRA, we might not be fighting the combined forces of the Park Service and disgruntled parkgoers right now.
That’s not to say that San Francisco dog owners are an unusually bad breed — quite the opposite. Bay Area pooches are pampered with luxuries including posh pet hotels and bark mitzvahs. And since many San Franciscans opt for dogs in lieu of human children, pet parents lead by example to instill good manners in their pups.
There are, however, a few less-thoughtful owners who make life harder for the rest. Repairing the damage means bringing extra bags to clean up abandoned piles that did not come from our dogs, and subtly scolding perpetrators when we catch them. (“Do you need a bag? I hate when I run out midwalk.”) It means gently suggesting the correct course of action to inconsiderate or unaware owners. (“The signs aren’t well marked, but the park is cracking down on leash laws to enforce this erosion control area.”) It means defusing situations with the antidog busybodies, like my phone-toting neighbor. (“You’re right; what can I do to make it better?”)
Yes, it’s inconvenient to make amends for the bad seeds, but the greater inconvenience is the shrinking number of public places where we can take our dogs. What’s at stake is not just a relationship with someone who we do not know and will not meet again; it’s our way of life and our dogs’ happiness.
What do you think? Should dog owners roll over to ensure a peaceful existence, or should we bark back at the opposition?

Robyn Hagan Cain normally blogs about the law for legal professionals. She lives in San Francisco with her husband and Braxlee, their Cavalier King Charles Spaniel.

Sound familiar Downtowner's?  Actually, I think I can address most of Los Angeles with this.  The only solution is to continue to be involved in our community and let the dog owner's voices be heard.  Also continue to politely educate and help those that may not understand that they have to clean up after their dog!  I love the suggestion that Robyn makes to simply say something supportive like "Need a bag?  I hate it when I run out mid-walk."  I have always found when you come from a place of friendliness and support you get a lot further than coming from a place of condemning and shaming.

If you would like more information on correct dog etiquette, bark on the link:  Bark!

Tuesday, September 13

Bad Dog or Bad TV?

Since the pilot aired last year, I have heard a lot about Animal Planets' new series Bad Dog!.  I decided to record it and have a look.  Well, I must say, I am not impressed nor entertained.  

I watched the show last night, expecting to be at the very least amused.  To be honest, there were a couple that achieved that for me.  But the majority of the show was (of course) highlighting dogs with really awful behavior.  That was to be expected, but to make light of a lot of these cases was a real turn off to me.  Some of these dogs needed help!  Either they were suffering from separation anxiety and being put in danger for the sake of capturing this "funny" behavior on tape or they were running the household with no rules or guidelines whatsoever.

As a trainer, I couldn't help by diagnose each dog and come up with make believe solutions.  At the same time I had this awful feeling that the general public is watching this and finding this bad behavior funny.  I really hope this doesn't encourage any more people to just allow their pets to behave this way and think it is "cute" or "amusing". It is not!  It is one thing for an owner to test a dog and learn that they really can't be trusted home alone out of the crate, what owner doesn't do that?  But it is another to allow your dog to wake up the entire house whenever they want, potty in the house at anytime and to be a complete nuisance on the humans living in the home.

It is my strong belief as a trainer that dogs need structure to live a happy life.  I don't believe that dogs that live with no rules are really happy, I think it is a lot of weight for them to carry.  We as their human companions should take care of them, structure their life for them, and let them worry about being a good companion to us.  That is it.

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


Friday, September 9

10 Year Anniversary of 9/11 - Downtown

As we prepare to move into the weekend, many of us are thinking about Sunday the 11th specifically.  Some of us remembering what our day was like 10 years ago and others remembering how the events of that day changed their life forever.  No matter if you lost someone that day or not, the events forever made an impression in our minds and changed us as a country.  So, if you are looking for a way to commemorate 9/11 or just remember, there are a few options right here in Downtown.

1.  The Los Angeles Council of Religious Leaders will host "One Light," a civic and interfaith gathering set to commemorate the 10th anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. On Saturday, Sept. 10 at 7:15 p.m., interfaith groups will gather at City Hall's Spring Street steps.
There will be music, prayer and reflection. "Together we will welcome all faith groups, and persons of no faith, by extending the hospitality of the Abrahamic tradition shared as Jews, Muslims and Christians serving on the Religious Leaders Council," said Bishop J. Jon Bruno of the Episcopal Diocese of Los Angeles. On Sunday, Sept. 11 at 4:30 p.m. the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels at 555 W. Temple St. will host a remembrance event, with the Angeles Chorale and the OLA Choir. Both public events are free.

2.  LA Vs. War II: Art for Peace in the Hope Era returns for three days from Sept. 9 -11, 2011 commemorating the ten-year anniversary of the September 11 attacks with a massive group art exhibition in Downtown Los Angeles at The Vortex Philanthropic Space.
Artists from LA and beyond will examine the questions: After 10 years of the Global War on Terror, where do we now stand as a nation? Is the world a safer place? Where does the Peace movement go from here?

3.  All I Can Hear Are The Sirens @ Downtown Independent Theatre (251 S. Main, 213.617.1033)  Sunday, September 11, Screening at 2pm.
Artist/photographer Cheryl Younger created All I Can Hear Are the Sirens, as a primary document, a first-person reaction that sharply contrasts with the news accounts by CNN and the press of the 9/11 attack. Younger witnessed the towers crumble from the roof of her home 10 blocks away. Her documentary reflects her own response as well as that of others she encountered as she traveled through the streets of Manhattan in the months that followed.                    
The screening marks the film’s premiere.  A discussion with the filmmaker will follow the screening.

If you choose to do one of these events or something on your own, just be sure to take a moment to remember all those that lost their lives, either because it was taken from them or because they gave it to save someone else.  Remember the families of all those involved, the K-9's that helped comfort and rescue or recover people and of course the people of and the city of New York.  I think it is important to remember the events of the day and memorialize those we lost, but don't dwell on the sadness, focus on the strength we all gained and hopefully the wisdom to prevent it from happening again.

Thursday, September 8

10 Year Anniversary of 9/11

It is hard to believe that this Sunday marks the 10th anniversary of the 9/11 tragedy.  Last year I did a tribute to the dogs of 9/11 and this year I want to share with you a tribute that Yahoo News did.  It is both heart warming and astonishing to see what these dogs did.  As you go through the pictures you are reminded that they worked so hard and long many only stopped due to dehydration or for a mandatory rest (usually with their handler).  I always stand in amazement of service dogs, but search and rescue are a special sort with very special hearts.  

Below are a few of the pictures and captions from the Yahoo News slide show, but I encourage you to click on the link at the end to see the whole thing.  It is truly amazing.

 Erick Robertson, of Oakhurst, CA, pets Porkchop, a one-year-old search and rescue dog as he receives a dehydration intravenous treatment, Wednesday, September 19, 2001, at the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals mobile clinic just outside ground zero in New York.  Robertson and Porkchop have been working at the World Trade Center attack site since Sunday. (AP Photo/Suzanne Plunkett)

New York Police K-9 officer Peter Davis and his Search and Rescue dog, Apollo, attend the New York Specialty Dog Show February 9, 2002 in New York City.  Officer Davis and Apollo were the first Search and Rescue dog crew on site after the collapse of the World Trade Center September 11, 2001 in New York.  Officer Davis and Apollo received the Langden Sarter award from the American Kenel Club (AKC).  A check for $400,000 was given from the AKC to the Federal Emergency Mangement Agency (FEMA) for studies on the health affects of exposure to the site on dogs like Apollo.  (Photo by George Best/Getty Images)

Cowboy, a black-and-white Border Collie searches for victims in the rubble of the New York's World Trade Center for the Federal Emergency Management Agency, in this September 21, 2001 file photo.  Scientists have spent years studying the health of search and rescue dogs that nosed through the debris at ground zero, and to their surprise, they have found no sign of major illness in the animals.  (AP Photo/Alan Diaz, File)

Mary Flood leashes her black Labrador retriever search and rescue dog, Jake, near the World Trade Center in New York in this September 22, 2001 file photo.  Jake, who helped search the rubble following the September 11 attacks and later worked in Mississippi following Hurricane Katrina, died Wednesday, July 25, 2007.  The results of an autopsy on his cancer-riddled body are part of a University of Pennsylvania medical study of September 11th search-and-rescue dogs. (AP Photo/Alan Diaz, File)

A rescue dog is transported out of the debris of the World Trade Center, September 15, 2001.  (REUTERS/HO/U.S. Navy Photo by Journalist 1st Class Preston Keres)

Please view this entire slide show, it only takes a moment.  The images of these dogs and handlers are breathtaking and heartbreaking all at the same time.  While we take this moment to remember all those that were taken from us or gave their lives in an effort to save others, please also remember the K-9's that helped us recover in so many different ways.

To view the Yahoo New Slide Show, bark on the link:  Bark! 

Wednesday, September 7

Tattoos Commemorate Lost Pets published an article about the "new" trend to tattoo the name of or portrait of your pet to memorialize them forever.  It is something that I have seen time and time again over the years and honestly have given serious thought to doing it myself, especially after losing Robert.  But, for me, I never could decide what I would want or where it would go.  I don't know that this is really a "new" fad so much as we are now paying attention to it because of people getting them, such as movie stars, singers, sports stars, etc.

No matter if this is new or not, it is an interesting way to pay tribute to our four legged friends.  For your reading pleasure, below is the article in it's entirety, I hope you will participate and send in your photos of your tattoos to Petside, if you have any to share.

In past years, tattoos were seen on the arms of military men, hardcore bikers and regretful young men who were dared by their friends during an evening of binge drinking. Now considered hip, body art adorns the arms, legs, heads and torsos of our favorite actors, musicians and sports figures with inspirational words and characters, tribal representations, religious symbols, floral designs, fantasy figures, geometric patterns, portraits of family, friends and others, including animals.
According to tattoo artist Justin Weatherholtz of the famed Kings Avenue shops of Long Island and Manhattan, “people get tattoos for a variety of reasons including honoring a loved one, even an animal.” Over the years, Weatherholtz had captured the essence of 30 plus four-legged family members from photographs given to him by clients. He notes that they “primarily wanted to portray their dogs’ face/head or full bodies to memorialize their late pet.”
In January 2007, Alecia Moore, otherwise known as “Pink”, lost her English Bulldog, Elvis - a gift from her dear friend, Lisa Marie Presley, daughter or Elvis Presley. It was reported that the dog who liked to swim was left in the backyard of Moore’s Los Angeles home while she ran an errand. Upon her return, she found him floating in the pool. The devastated songstress inked her arm with a portrait of her beloved dog. Underneath his portrait were written the words, “A time to weep. A time to mourn. Sleep in peace."
But this is not the singer’s first tattoo to commemorate a pet. Also on Pink’s lower left arm are the words, "Sir Corky Moore 2003.” Corky was the childhood dog of the singer who passed away in 2003. Out respect, her family called  him “Sir.” Later that the year, she  had his name and date of his death inked on her arm. 
“People conduct all types of rituals to commemorate their lost pets,” says New Jersey grief counselor Claire Caines, MSW, LCSW of the Caines Center For Psychotherapy. She believes that having a tattoo is a very visible way to keep a memory alive. 
“I suspect we will see more of these in years to come.”
Most recently, Jennifer Aniston told James Lipton, the host of Inside the Actor’s Studio, that she got her first tattoo on the inside of her right foot that reads, “Norman.”
In May 2011, Norman, the beloved 15-year-old Welsh Corgi-terrier mix of the actress, passed away. Over the years, in many celebrity-focused magazines, we have seen the dog walking along side his mistress on the beaches in Malibu where she lived or on the streets of movie location cities. 
Whether you are interested in paying tribute to a deceased or living pet with a portrait or his or her name inked on your body like Pink or Aniston, you might want to check out these pawsome tattoos before you get started.
And you if do a get a tat of your beloved pet, send us a picture here at

Tuesday, September 6

Follow Up On Baby

Just a few days ago I blogged about a news story in Northern California in a town called Olivehurst where a man, Wayne McFee, was being accused of dragging a dog by the name of Baby behind his truck and seriously injuring her.  For a quick reminder, bark on the link:  Bark!  Please understand that I got all of my information from a news source and reported as they did.  Of course, there is another side of this story, Wayne McFee's side.  I was contacted by a close relative of McFee's that would like the other side of this story told.  So in an effort to give a fair account of the facts, I promised the family member I would do a follow up.

McFee's relative claims that Wayne McFee does not nor has ever owned a pet, that Baby belongs to his daughter.  He was supposedly doing his daughter a favor by removing Baby from her house after Baby attacked and killed another pet.  McFee was apparently transporting the dog to a friend's home when unknowingly to McFee Baby jumped out of his truck and was drug behind the truck.  According to the relative, McFee stopped the moment he realized that Baby had jumped out of the truck and claims that he did not reverse to run over her.  When I asked why McFee had left her if this was an accident, I was told that he thought she was dead and there was nothing he could do.  So he left her by the side of the road and went home and called his daughter to inform her of what happened to her pet dog.

I understand that this may be a case of someone getting caught in the middle of something that they didn't know how to deal with, but that doesn't make it right.  Maybe Wayne McFee is a the most kind man in the world and he made an awful mistake with Baby, but that doesn't mean it shouldn't still be considered animal cruelty.  Just because you don't intentionally do something doesn't mean you shouldn't be held accountable.  

The questions I had that didn't really ever get answered are still there... where is the general compassion for a living creature, especially a pet?  Why were Baby's vitals not checked before she was just left by the street?  Why would you not take the dog with you if it were an accident?

Again, maybe the answer is that Wayne McFee simply didn't know better.  But does that excuse his behavior?  For this blogger, I am going to let a court and/or judge decide.  What I will comment on is that I am happy for Baby that she is getting a second chance.  No matter what happened prior to this accident, I think Baby will have a happy life once she finds a forever home.  

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

Thursday, September 1

What's Up Downtown September!

Happy September!  This month is filled with a lot of good!  We start it off with a three day weekend, how great is that?  For me it will be a four day weekend and a weekend full of family and celebration.  My youngest nephew turns 5, lots of visit time with my sisters and of course my other two nephews.  But before I am off, you should know all the great things that are going on in DTLA this month!

This weekend alone has some exciting things... there is the Los Angeles Times and Food & Wine The Taste starting tomorrow through the 5th and on Saturday the 3rd you can celebrate 230 years of Los Angeles being a city down on Olvera street.  On September 11th the new Farmer's Market on Spring opens, I am so excited about that!  And don't forget about the Public Safety Appreciation BBQ on September 30th.

There a lot of new business' to check out, just to name a few, Cafe Primo, Freshii, Ground Floor Cafe and Pizzanista (Formerly Toddy G's).  I really encourage you to take a look at the full list.

So here are a few things that are happening in September in DTLA.  Please check out the whole calendar as there are some many more things to see and do.  Also, don't forget to check out Pussy & Pooch for the next Mutt Mingle, teeth cleaning or adoption event!

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

Have a happy and safe Labor Day!