Wednesday, December 26

Happy New Year

Today is the last blog for me for the Year, so I want to take a moment to reflect on this past year.  This year, like every year had a lot of ups and downs in pet news.  Some stories made us cry, others laugh or smile and there were those that got us mad or fired up to do something.  I'm sure the year ahead has the same to offer us.  But the one thing that remained constant for me, is that each story made me so happy to have my dog in my life.  A theme that seems to never get old.

As I prepare to go on a trip away from my beloved pup and into the cold, I can't help but think of everything Neville has given to me and my boyfriend.  Yesterday as we watched him try to open his presents and then play with his toys, we talked about how much he means to us and how rich he has made our lives.  I can't imagine my world without him. 

Neville is the one that makes us laugh in the moments we forget to with his silliness and puppy-like behavior.  He is the one to comfort us in the moments of sorrow, with a sweet lick on the cheek or just sitting there looking at us with empathy and kindness.  Neville is also the one that teaches us patience, as we walk on the street and his fear gets the best of him, we have to remember he can't help it and try to be strong to get him through it.  But most of all, Neville is the one that never lets us forget how to love.  As much as we have taught him, he has taught us.

I wish for every dog to find a forever home with people that love them unconditionally and accept them for who they are... and know who they are. 

As we travel into 2013, I hope we all can continue to work together to end dog fighting, puppy mills, and any form of cruelty to animals and I also hope we can continue to find homes for the unlucky pooches in shelters and rescues. 

Remember New Year's Eve can be a little scary for your dogs, so be sure to think about them when you make your plans.

Hold your pups tight and don't forget to do something special with them.

Happy New Year!

Tuesday, December 25

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas from Bark & Clark, may you enjoy your friends & family today, both 2 & 4 legged!  Be sure to do something special with your dog.

Peace, Love and Joy to you all.

Monday, December 24

Merry Christmas Eve

Today is your last chance to finish your shopping, wrapping and anything else you need to make your Christmas a good one.  Some of you may start your gift giving tonight, so I want to make sure to give you some last minute tips to make sure your dog has fun but stays out of trouble.

One of the cutest things I've seen is a dog tearing into a wrapped package to discover their present.  The most frustrating thing I have seen is to come home and find one of my wrapped packages for  a friend or family member unwrapped by the dog!  But to the dog, what is the difference?  There really isn't one, except that one is meant for them, the other for someone else, but how would they know that?  This is a line that gets blurred all the time, then the dog is punished for doing what on other occasions they have been rewarded for.

If you want your dog to participate in the unwrapping fun, teach them a command to go with it.  This is no guarantee that they later won't unwrap things on their own, but it is a start.  All you need to do is take a wrapped box, get your dog to start tugging on it and name the command and treat.  I would make the command simple, like "unwrap".  Each time the dog tugs at the wrapping paper to get it off the box, say "unwrap" and treat.  Then have fun during the festivities and show off a new trick!

If you think this is a bad idea for your dog, simply keep them away from the presents and do not allow them to get involved in opening them.  They can be near you, just not participating.  This might be a good time for them to be on their bed with a Christmas bone or frozen Kong.

When it comes to your dogs gifts, remember they are not human, they may not react to a new collar or leash the way we would to new clothes.  But that doesn't mean they shouldn't be allowed to smell it and investigate it a little before it goes on. 

Also, if you are getting your dog a bunch of treats and bones, you may want to slowly give these out over the next few days.  Or just have them sample one of each treat and choose one bone for the evening.  Giving them a bunch of treats and bones can cause an upset stomach and will make for a very long night.

If your dog should eat something that is toxic be sure to contact the ASPCA poison control at (888) 426-4435.  

I hope you all have a great Christmas Eve!  Do something special with your pooch today.

Friday, December 21

Last Minute Christmas Gifts for Your Pets

If your holiday season has been as busy as mine, you may have found little to no time for gift shopping, especially for your pets.  It is a good thing there are some great deals for he remainder of the shopping days.

If you are wondering what to get them, toys and treats you can never go with!  But if your dog likes clothes there is always apparel and accessories (like a bow tie).  And for your cat, they can never get enough scratching posts or pads and climbing towers.  Or a new bed is always nice.

Now for where the deals are!

Pussy & Pooch are having their 12 Days of Twinkle right now!  Today it is 15% off of all treats & toys, over the weekend it is 15% off of all apparel & accessories and on the 24th (Monday, the last shopping day) there are store wide last minute deals!  I will be there for that.

Both Petco and Petsmart are having in store and online deals throughout Christmas.  If you can't find what you need from Pussy & Pooch that is another good option.

The main thing you need to give to your pets for Christmas is a lot of love.  Remember this time of year how many dogs are at shelters or rescues with no one but volunteers to love them.  Some will never find a forever home and some will only have to spend a few days there.  So if you have time, drop off some treats or food at a local shelter or rescue or participate in one of the many food drives for homeless or shelter pets.  (I know Pussy & Pooch has a box set up and Rosemont Pet Hospital has a drive for  homeless pets).

Whatever you do this weekend, make sure to take time to do something special with your dog.

Thursday, December 20

Tragedy for Miley Cyrus' Family of Dogs

No matter if you like her or not, this is something as dog lovers and owners we can at least sympathize with the pop star on, Miley Cyrus' Yorkie was killed by her English Bulldog.  Absolutely sad.  The story is below, brought to us by Dogster.

When Miley Cyrus' dog died last Tuesday, she was devastated. Lila, a 2-year-old Maltese and Yorkshire Terrier cross, was one of the singer's many dogs. She tweeted, "Can't think of one good reason to get out of bed today ... For everyone asking ... I have never been so hurt in my life. My heart has never been so broken ... Lila my sweet baby girl has passed away."
She took solace in her other dogs: Ziggy, Floyd, Happy, and Mary Jane. She also often cares for her sister's Yorkie, Penny Lane.
On Sunday, she dedicated her spot on VH1's Diva concert series to Lila, according to the Daily Mail. She tweeted after the show, "Feeling connected to my baby girl Lila after tonight. I know she's up in doggy heaven proud of her mommy for staying strong." For the record, she performed Billy Idol's "Rebel Yell."

(Miley and Lila.) 
But one question remained: How did the dog die? An answer finally arrived via Miley's mother's blog Off the Record, in which Tish Cyrus keeps fans abreast of her famous family's doings.
She writes, "The way that Lila was taken from her was beyond terrible. Sometimes things happen that we just can't understand. Miley still isn't ready to talk about it, but I thought you guys should know what happened."
"For some unknown reason, Ziggy ... grabbed Lila. Not really sure if she was playing or what? She grabbed her in just the wrong spot and Lila didn't survive." 
It appears that Ziggy, Miley's English Bulldog, fatally attacked the much smaller dog. We don't have details, but it seems to be another sad case of a "big dog-little dog" altercation, which are very common, according to our resident vet, Dr. Eric Barchas. 
"A 'dustup' between a very large dog and a very small dog never ends well for the small dog," he writes in a recent Ask a Vet column. "These fights are common enough that they have their own veterinary acronym: BDLD (short for 'big dog-little dog')." 
"Most injuries to the little dog in a BDLD fall into two groups -- those sustained during the bite, and those sustained during the shake."
Tish stresses in her blog post that nobody thought Ziggy was a mean dog. After the attack, Miley took the dog to Spot rescue, Tish continues, where staffers were able to rehome the dog with someone who had no children or other pets, just in case the attack wasn't "a fluke."
In relaying the news, Tish ends up writing a fitting tribute to the bond between a dog and her human: 
"Miley loved Lila more than anyone can imagine. I know some people were saying it's JUST a dog, but to Miley she was so much more. In Miley's life, as you can imagine, its hard to let many people into your tight circle of family and friends. Any time that Miley is sad or having a hard day, Lila was her angel, the one that always loved her unconditionally no matter what was going on in her life at that time. She would always just curl up in bed with Lila for a few hours and then everything would always feel better! She always made me feel better, too."
As for Miley, she's spending quality time with her other dogs. On Monday, she tweeted a photo of herself and Floyd, an Alaskan Klee Kai. 

(Miley and Floyd)

Wednesday, December 19

Holiday Time With Your Dog

Last night I was at the Pussy & Pooch Holiday Mutt Mingle and 5 year anniversary party.  As I watched all the dogs spin around the store, take pictures with Santa and get treats every chance they could, I started thinking how great this is for them.  But usually our holiday parties are not this dog friendly.   Which leads me to what I want to talk about today, making the holidays safe for your pet.

By now you probably already have your tree up if you are going to do one.  There are some important things to remember about the tree, first and foremost, it smells like the wild!  This is going to peak the interest of both dogs and cats, so be sure it is as secure as possible so it is not easily tipped over.  Also, if you know your cat will try to climb in, wrap the tree skirt up the trunk as high as possible.

The decorations on the tree as well as all around the house look a lot like toys to dogs and cats.  Especially cats for the tree decorations, just hanging there waiting to be slapped by a paw.  Try to make sure anything that is at your pet's level are shatter-proof or simply not glass.  Also, keep all of the small figurines and other small decorations or choking hazards up high so there is no chance of your dog getting them.  Your cat has the ability to jump, so be sure to find places they are not likely to go.  If you think your dog or cat has eaten a decoration you believe to be harmful, call your vet or emergency vet ASAP.

Having guests in our house can do the most damage to our pets.  No matter if you are having parties or having family or friends from out of town stay with you, make sure your everyone understands your rules for your pets.  This applies more to dogs that cats.  Many people do not understand how important your dog's diet can be, they may think they are being nice by giving your pooch some table scraps or nibbles from the appetizer tray.  The truth is, besides the obvious that there are certain foods your dog should not or can not eat, this may upset their stomach.

Beyond feeding your dog things they should not have, guests sometimes do not know the basic rules of the house.  So not to confuse your dog, make sure your guests know that you don't allow your dog on the couch or in the bed and they don't know shake, so please stop asking.  Or whatever the rules are.   You want your dog to be happy, and having the rules change suddenly, will not make them happy.

With Christmas around the corner and New Year's too, you may be hosting a large get together.  Make sure you think about your dog and what they are comfortable with.  If they are not good with a lot of people, be sure to create a safe space for them to hang out away from all the people.  If you think it will be crowded and you have a small dog, attach a bell or something that will be noted, you wouldn't want your K-9 friend to be stepped on.

You may be out for the holidays.  So if you won't be home, keep track of the time, your dog still has needs and will need to get out to do their business.  If you can't, hire a dog walker for the day or night.  Or if you are taking your dog to a friend or family member's house, make sure they get along with any other pets in the house and bring a bed, towel or blanket so your dog has their own spot and will feel more comfortable.

These simple tips can make your pets very happy over the holidays.

Tuesday, December 18

Therapy Comfort Dogs Sent to Newtown

Just yesterday I was talking about the comfort a dog provides, little did I know a group was one step ahead and putting a plan into action.  Yesterday the Lutheran Church Charities group brought in 9 Therapeutic Comfort dogs.  These are trained service dogs, but rather being trained to assist with disabilities, they are trained to comfort those in need in a time of crisis.  The full story is below.

This is truly beautiful!  Amazing what a dog can do.

Monday, December 17

Comfort of a Dog

The tragic events in CT on Friday had me beside myself.  I sat for over an hour unable to do anything but watch the events unfold, with tears streaming down my face hearing the absolutely disturbing news and seeing the the horrifying images.  As I sat there upset asking the universe why this would happen, there was my Neville.

Neville had no idea what was wrong, just that I needed comfort and that is what he did.  He licked my face where the tears were, climbed up my legs and stood tall in front of me to give me a hug and then he just sat, leaning into me, almost as if to say "I am here".

The best part is that it worked, I did feel better.  One lick on the face or quick hug and I always feel better.  That is the special thing about dogs, they understand emotion and energy.  Maybe not where it comes from or why we feel that, but they certainly respond to it.

I even felt some comfort seeing the police dogs on the t.v. coverage.  With all the police officers around with their weapons, the thing that made me feel like the remaining children and teachers would be safe were those dogs.  If you took note to how they acted, they were anxious to perform their work.  Hyped up and ready to go.  For me, I will always stand in amazement of these working or police dogs.  In the face of the most horrific tragedies, they do not go into any type of comforting mode that our pets dogs do, they just become determined to do their job.  But of course, that is what they are trained to do.

So, today everyone is trying to get their head around what happened as we all go back to our routines.  The people in Newtown are beginning to lay to rest the ones they lost and life has to move forward.   That notion is one that dogs are very good at, moving forward.  They can shed their skin so to speak, to move forward and live in the now.

Hold your dogs a little closer and taken in their good energy.

Friday, December 14

Winterizing Your Dog

I know it doesn't get that cold in L.A., but around this time of year, you may be going to colder places with your dog.  The Bark had a great article on how to winterize your pets, I hope you find Ten Tips for Winterizing Your Pets helpful and fun!

Oh, the weather outside is frightful! Winter weather is rapidly approaching and you’ve likely begun layering your clothing and weatherproofing your car. When organizing for winter, don’t forget to think about your pets. They too are deserving of special treatment this time of year. Here are ten tips for keeping your pets cozy, comfortable, and healthy this winter:
1.  Just as arthritis can be more problematic for us when the temperature drops, so too does this apply to our animals. If your best buddy appears stiff first thing in the morning or is more tentative when navigating stairs or jumping up and down off the furniture, I encourage you to contact your veterinarian. These days, there are so many beneficial treatment options for soothing arthritis discomfort. For your pet’s sake, make the effort to learn more about them.
2.  When the temperature drops, outdoor kitties like to snuggle up against car engines for extra warmth. Be sure to provide plenty of notice before you start up your engine lest a “kitty squatter” sustain serious injury as a result of moving auto parts. Vocalize and tap the hood a few times. Better yet, lift the hood to alert any slumbering guests of your intentions.
3.  Antifreeze is terribly toxic for dogs and cats. Even a few licks of the stuff can cause kidney failure and severe neurological symptoms, usually resulting in death. Unfortunately, most antifreeze products have a sweet flavor making them appealing to dogs. Cats are too discriminating to voluntarily taste the stuff, but should they step in antifreeze, they will ingest enough to be toxic during their grooming process. Please prevent your pets from having any access to antifreeze by checking under your vehicles for leaks and storing antifreeze containers in a safe place.
4.  Wintertime is definitely dress-up time for dogs, when the clothing is functional rather than just adorable. Just like us, many dogs are more comfortable outside when wearing an extra layer. Smaller dogs in particular have difficulty maintaining a normal body temperature when exposed to freezing conditions. If the love of your canine life happens to be an Arctic breed (Malamute, Husky, Samoyed), no need for canine clothing!
5.  Regardless of season, all animals need access to water round-the-clock. If your pet is reliant on an outdoor water bowl, strategize a way to prevent the water from freezing. Water bowl heaters work well. Additionally moving water is more resistant to freezing- consider creating a little “drinking fountain” for your pets.
6.  Sure the weather is cold, but your dogs still need plenty of exercise for their physical as well as their psychological well-being. Besides, there’s nothing quite like the feeling of relaxing by the fire with a content and tired dog at your side! If the weather is truly too inclement for both of you to be outdoors, look for an indoor dog park or consider doggie day care, assuming your dog enjoys such venues.
7.  I’m all for hiking with dogs off leash, but in winter be extra cautious around ponds and lakes for fear of thin ice. Not only is falling through the ice life threatening for dogs, it creates a situation that often becomes life threatening for the humans involved in the rescue operation.
8.  Salt on sidewalks and roads and even ice that adheres to all of that fuzzy hair between your dog’s toes can create irritation and sores. Inspect and rinse your dog’s tootsies as needed.
9.  I strongly encourage having dogs and cats live indoors. If your living situation absolutely prevents this, and there are no other viable alternatives, please provide your pet with an enclosed shelter that is warmed by a heating device and contains plenty of clean, dry bedding. Also, remember that your pet needs just as much attention from you in frigid temperatures as during the warmer seasons.
10.  ‘Tis the time of year when we humans tend to overindulge, eating all kinds of things we shouldn’t. Don’t allow your pets to become a victim of this holiday spirit. In addition to adding unwanted and unhealthy pounds, eating rich and fatty foods predisposes them to gastrointestinal upset and pancreatitis either of which could land your four-legged family member in the hospital for several days (not to mention create some significant rug-cleaning expenses for you).

I hope this has helped you prepare your dog and/or cat for the winter and the holidays!

Have a happy and safe weekend and don't forget to do something special with your dog.

Thursday, December 13

Dogs Driving!

Last week you probably saw all over the news that dogs in New Zealand were being taught how to drive.  Not just dogs, shelter dogs.  It was to raise awareness about how smart shelter dogs are.  Below is the story from Dogster.  This is pretty amazing, especially the video at the end!

Last week we wrote about the shelter dogs who were learning to drive in New Zealand, thanks to the efforts of Auckland's SPCA. Why were they learning to drive? The official reason was to increase awareness about how smart shelter dogs are, in the hopes to increase adoptions. 
The unofficial reason was OMG dogs driving.
Those three dogs -- Porter, Monty, and Ginny -- did in fact learn how to drive. But the true test came on Monday, when the dogs were tasked with driving the modified Mini around a racetrack on live television. Specifically, the Campbell Live show. We salute New Zealand for bringing some much-needed drama back to live television. 

("Hello! Can I merge?")
Well, good news. Porter, the 18-month-old Schnauzer, passed the test, driving his Mini around the track and looking like an absolute champ doing it. With one foot on the brake and one on the gas, and one paw on the wheel and another on the stick shift (!!!), he flew around the track ... at around 2 mph, but still. 

("Let's see what this baby can do.")
Asked for comment, Porter said, "When I drive that slow, you know it's hard to steer. And I can't get get my car out of second gear. What used to take two hours now takes all day. Huh! It took me 16 hours to get to L.A."
Actually, he just wiggled a lot, very happy. 
Two of the three dogs drove on live TV, and adoption offers have been pouring in, according to said Auckland SPCA CEO Christine Kalin, via the New Zealand Herald. There's been less interest in Ginny, because she did not drive on the show -- but make no mistake, she can drive. 
"We've had people offer to adopt Monty and Porter. We've had less interest in Ginny, so she's the one we'd really love not to have in the shelter too long," Kalin said. "The whole purpose of this campaign was to find homes for our smart and intelligent dogs. It was always our dream that SPCA dogs would be seen as the dogs of choice in Auckland and throughout the country."
If you happen to be in Auckland this weekend, you can see the dogs drive at the SPCA Auckland Animal Village
Watch the video: 

Wednesday, December 12

Claudia's Canine Cuisine and Natures Deli Recall

Dogster posted a recall announcement for Claudia's Canine and  Natures Deli products, all the information is below.  Please be sure to check your products if these are brands you use for your dogs.

Claudia’s Canine Cuisine has issued a recall on two products due to "to the potential to contain mold," according to a tweet by Petsmart. The products are Dog Candy Fruit Hound Cake (7.5 ounce) and Dog Candy Blueberry Hound Cake (7.5 ounce). 
These are products are sold at Petsmart. If you have any questions about this voluntary withdrawal, please call Claudia’s customer service line at (501) 851-0002 or email
Claudia's Canine Cuisine does not actively maintain a website, so Petsmart's Twitter account was the companies' chosen route of communication. It is unusual; we've never heard of a Twitter-only announcement of a recall, and we're not huge fans of it. Claudia's Canine Cuisine does have a static web site, which presumably could be updated with the info. 
In another matter related to dog food, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration is warning people not to feed their dogs Nature’s Deli Chicken Jerky Dog Treats with a lot code of BESTBY061913DEN, because they might be contaminated with Salmonella. The treats are made by Kasel Associates Industries Inc. and were sold at Costco stores in the Denver area. The treats come in three-pound bags. 

Kasel is not doing a voluntary recall on this particular lot -- rather, the FDA is warning people not to eat any bags from it. Kasel did do a voluntary recall on another lot of Nature’s Deli Chicken Jerky Dog Treats in October, but it refused to voluntarily recall this latest lot for reasons that are unspecific.  
Kasel's actions are unusual, because last month the FDA tested a retail sample from this lot, which tested positive for Salmonella. Whether Kasel is disputing these findings or simply ignoring them remains to be seen.

Tuesday, December 11

7 Gifts That Give Back

It is always nice to buy that gifts that make the person or animal happy and give to a good cause.  Below is a list of 7 gifts that do just that from
Dog Bed

Dog Bed

A dog bed with elevated sides is the ideal resting place for your pup’s head and create the ultimate pooch retreat. Inner cushion and exterior can be flipped a allowing you to enjoy 4 different looks in one bed!  Made with furniture-grade ultra-soft velvet material with custom-made P.L.A.Y. zipper and eco-friendly PlanetFill® filler manufactured from 100% post-consumer certified-safe recycled plastic bottles. Starting at $108 at P.L.A.Y

Dog Collar and Leash

Dog Collars and Leashes

Gallo En Fuego dog collars and leashes are made from the super-durable fire hose material, reinforced with the hoses' actual rubber lining for extra strength and the colored piping which adds increased visibility. Each one-of-kind piece has distress marks that come from its former life of dedicated service. Made in the USA. Collar: Medium ( 14"-18";  Large: 18" -26") at $26  and  Leash: (6' L) at $28.



Frangelico, in conjunction with Celebrity Chocolatier MarieBelle has created a limited edition truffle for the holiday season. The indulgent truffle, made with Frangelico Hazelnut Liqueur, will feature a special design of puppy and kitten faces. Available in 4 piece, 9 piece, 16 piece and 25 piece gift boxes with prices starting at $15.00 at Mariebelle

Cat Toy

Cat and Dog Toys

Your kitty will be enthralled with the wavy long fur and sounds of the bell and crinkly plastic hidden inside the body of this spider. This Critter Project toy is 2 to 3 inches in diameter, overall approximately 7.5 inches, 2.5 inches tall and its legs are  re-shapeable legs. $12.00 Critter Project.

Beverage Insulator

Beverage Insulator

A Joe Jacket is reusable, eco-friendly, beverage insulator which feature bright and fun fabrics with dogs of all breeds and paw prints. The product allow pet lovers to show off their best friend while keeping traditional, throw-away, paper coffee sleeves out of our landfills. $6.99 at Joe Jacket.

Collection of Poetry for Kids

Collection of Poetry for Kids

This collection of poems is an exuberant celebration of the animal kingdom and a beautiful introduction to this genre of literature. Designed for family sharing but targeted to ages 4-8, this dynamic, fresh, yet still classic collection of animal poems is a must-have for the family bookshelf. $24.95 at the National Geographic Store.

Ladies Yoga Tee

Ladies Yoga T-Shirt

Downward facing dog never looked so good! Get in shape, or just be fashionable with this comfy ladies yoga tee. 100-percent cotton, featuring a stretching dog front and center. $17.00 at Dogs Rule Gear.

Monday, December 10

Pit Bull "Round-Up" in Missouri

A small town in Missouri, Sikeston, is outraged over the most recent round-up of all the Pit Bulls in the community.  This story makes me sick!  I can't believe that communities go to this extent to get rid of the breed.  Dogster broke this story on Saturday, it is important and there is a way we can help.  Please read below and help send the alert, especially if you live in Missouri.
The small southern Missouri town of Sikeston is outraged over a Pit Bull roundup that took place there earlier this week, according to Fox 2
Under Sikeston's current breed-discriminatory ordinance, the city can seize dogs that have no reports against them -- or might not even be Pit Bulls, but just look like them. 
Sikeston even seized dogs from families, including Yulonda Mitchell’s. She said officers took her brother's dogs, which she believed were Bulldogs. 
"We did everything, you know, complied with the city ordinance, but they still wanted to remove the dogs,” she said. 

(Yulonda Mitchell.) 
Mitchell then told reporters that officers weren't doing anything about all the stray dogs running around -- which, indeed, were running around during her news segment -- because they don't fall under the breed-discriminatory ordinance. And officers can't catch them. 
“I said, 'why don't you guys get those dogs?' They say, 'Well, those dogs are just too smart for us. We can't catch 'em.'”
One woman, Holly Job, stopped officers from taking her Pit Bull, but only after a fight.
According to Fox 2, "she complied with a long list of regulations that only apply to Pit Bulls in Sikeston: put up a ‘beware of dog’ sign, get insurance, put a hard collar on the dog, take multiple pictures, and so on."

(Holly Job with two of her dogs.)
Because the seized Pit Bulls faced immediate euthanasia, a local shelter swung into action, shipping 35 shelter dogs away from Sikeston to make room for the influx of Pit Bulls, allowing them to live, for now.
SEMO Animal Rescue Alliance and Paws New England took in dogs, as did other private rescue groups. A day before the roundup, Five Acres Animal Shelter in St. Charles went up to Sikeston and took in a "bunch" of dogs, which will soon be available for adoption, according to its Facebook page.  

(One of the shelter dogs sent up to Five Acres to make room for the influx.) 
In response to the roundup, Best Friends Animal Society created an action alert to allow people to easily send letters to Sikeston City Council members and the mayor asking them to repeal the ordinance. 
The alert reads: 
I urge you to repeal your breed-discriminatory ordinance, as Wentzville, Chesterfield, Town and Country and Manchester have recently done. 
We all want safe and humane communities. People should be protected against all dangerous dogs, but seizure of a dog should be based on the dog’s behavior, not its appearance. Reckless owners should be prohibited from owning any dog.
I hope you will reunite the seized pets with their families. 
The current policy is a waste of tax dollars and infringes on citizens’ property rights.
If you'd like to send this alert, please visit the page. Include your personal information and hit send.

Friday, December 7

Happy Early Hanukkah!

Saturday is the beginning of Hanukkah, so to all my friends and clients that will be celebrating, Happy Hanukkah!

Many people discount the fact that just as those of us that celebrate Christmas include our dogs and cats, those of us that celebrate Hanukkah also include our dogs and cats... but for much longer.  I have a few clients that are stocked up and ready to give their "kids" presents for 8 nights.  Sometimes the present is really a treat of some sort or special dinner.

If you didn't know, there are a lot of toys and treats specifically for Hanukkah.  

This is a special time of year for all to celebrate with friends and family, so don't forget about your furry friends too.  I wish all of you that will be celebrating on Saturday, a Happy Hanukkah.  Also, be sure your dog or puppy doesn't eat the real driedel!

Have a great weekend and don't forget to do something special with your dog!

Thursday, December 6

Family Dog Protects Lost Boy

What can I say?  I love these type of stories and it is perfect for the holiday story.  This is one that will warm your heart and it has a happy ending!  Enjoy the read, thank Dogster for bringing it to us.

Peyton Myrick, 2 years old, was in the care of his grandfather at his home in South Carolina when he got an idea. As his grandfather was putting air in his tractor's tires -- in preparation to go looking for a Christmas tree no less -- Peyton wandered away with the family dog, an Australian Shepherd named Ashepoo. 
It wasn't the best idea. His grandfather lives on the edge of the woods, and Peyton went into those woods. He was gone four hours. Ashepoo, however, stayed right by his side. 

(Peyton and Ashepoo, inseparable as usual.)
During their time away, all hell had predictably broken loose at the Myrick residence. Peyton's father, Richard Myrick, a history teacher who'd been at the doctor with his other child, raced over. Sheriff's deputies were called in, and they scoured the grounds with police dogs and helicopters; a message was posted on Facebook, and people from two towns joined the search -- nearly 400 of them. 

(Here a look at what rescuers had to contend with.)
“You never think it’s going to happen to you,” Peyton's mom, Carmen Myrick, a radiology technician, told the Herald. “You see it on TV. As a parent, you try to do everything in your power to protect your kids.”
“It’s something that happens to other people, not you,” said Richard.

(Peyton's parents, Richard and Carmen Myrick.) 
The sun set. Four hours had passed, with no sign of young Peyton. Then someone searching noticed a dog walking back and forth in front of a barn in the distance, nearly a mile from the home, on the edge of the woods. Is that Ashepoo? 
It was. Searchers ran over and Ashepoo led them into the woods to Peyton -- who was asleep on his coat. Peyton's idea, evidently, had been to find a quiet place for a nap. Ashepoo had never left him. 
“She stayed with him the entire time,” Richard Myrick said. “It sounds Hollywood-esque. It sounds like a movie script.”
The details are hazy -- Peyton simply called his four hours alone with Ashepoo an "adventure" -- but it's quite possible that Ashepoo had waited patiently until the boy had fallen asleep before venturing for help. 
“She’s the smartest,” Peyton's grandfather said. “She’s always mothered the grandchildren. She treats them like they’re her babies.”

Wednesday, December 5

What's Up Downtown December

Here we are in the last month of the year.  I love the holidays in Downtown!  From ice skating in Pershing Square to admiring the beautiful lights and decorations as I walk through the streets, it always feels so special this time of year.  There is a lot to do to celebrate in December, here are a few of the things I am excited about.

You can get yourself in the holiday spirit by going to the Annual Winter Holiday Festival in Pershing Square on December 8th, attend The Music Centers Holiday Sing-Along December 21st, or catch one of the LA Master Chorale Holiday Concerts December 8-22.  To enjoy the crisp Downtown winter air and a favorite attraction of mine for the season, get in a session or two of Downtown on Ice in Pershing Square.

When looking for the perfect gift for your dog or cat, there is just one place to go... Pussy & Pooch for their 12 Days of Twinkle event December 13 - 24!  Don't miss out on these deals and events!

There are a few great new places to check out, for great eats I am excited to try Coco Laurent French Bistro on Grand & 7th.  There is a new home decor store that I absolutely adore and will be picking up a few gifts at, angeloHOME on Broadway & 9th.  Lastly, I always love to see new markets come in, especially when they are organic so I am looking forward to trying out Om Nom Organics on 9th between Hill & Broadway.

There is way more than this to do Downtown for the holidays, for a more complete list and all the holiday deals, just bark on the link:  BARK!

Tuesday, December 4

Small Dogs vs. Large Dogs

Is it really a competition between small dogs and large dogs?  No.  But are there different rules for each?  YES! 

For true dog friendly places, there is no difference at all.  But for the places that are dog tolerant or maybe do not have an official policy, but tend to turn their head, there is a difference in rules if you have a large dog vs. a small dog.  For instance, if you walk into a store with a small dog, most likely carrying them, most places will not say a word.  But if a person with a large dog walks in with their dog on leash, they are immediately told they cannot have them there.

Just the other day I went to our local Big Lots to pick up a quick box of lights.  I have never taken my dog in there, but the last handful of times I was there I noticed one or more dogs in the store.  Granted, they were small dogs either being carried or riding in the basket.  But in my head, it meant that dogs were allowed in the store.  So, when I walked down the stairs to the entrance and was greeted by the security guard yelling at me to get my dog out of the store because no dogs were allowed, I was shocked.  I asked the security guard if this was new, he said no.  Then I asked if I had a small dog could I bring them in and he said YES!  I was stunned to hear it actually said out loud.  I paused and repeated the question, this time he backpedaled a little by saying something about only guide dogs or service dogs and I made the point that most of those dogs are large, not small.  I then asked about the fact that I had seen on a regular bases dogs in the store and that is when he said if they can fit in a basket or be carried in your arms, that is fine.

Needless to say, I was extremely angry.  I don't like my dog being discriminated against because of his size, especially since he has better manners than some of the dogs I have seen in there.

But this is just one example.  This happens all the time.  The post office, department stores, local convenience stores or drug stores and even the grocery store. 

I understand perfectly that my dog cannot come everywhere with me.  That is not what I want to change.  What I want to change is that if the rule is no dogs, then it should mean no dogs large or small.  Why should small dog owners get a privilege that large dog owners do not have based on size.  If businesses want to put a behavior contingency on dogs being allowed, I would support that.  Meaning, dogs cannot bark, potty or be out of control while in the store.  Half of the small dogs I've seen in stores would not be allowed based on those rules.

I think that is what upsets me.  I have a very well behaved dog, if I went into a store, he would just stick to my side.  I have been shopping in a clothing store being barked at by a small dog in the basket next to me.  But that person was never asked to take her dog out of the store.

Don't get me wrong, I love all dogs, large or small.  If I had a small dog I would be enjoying these privileges  right along with everyone else.  I am bothered by this imbalance because I am missing out, or rather, my dog is missing out.  It would be so nice to walk him and run some errands at the same time, that is what small dog owners get to do.  But I don't get to enjoy that.  I will say, there are a lot of truly dog friendly places in Downtown, so I am lucky that I do not run into this that often.  It is also a great community here, so those shop owners that know Neville invite him in no matter what the policy.

If you feel the same way, or oppose my view, I want to hear from you.  

Do you feel like your dog is being discriminated against in a different way?  I would love to hear from you too!  

Give us Bark!

Monday, December 3

Dog Fighting Bust in Florida

I read this story on Dogster on Friday and have been discussed with it ever since.  I initially was not going to post this, but then re-thought my decision.  As unpleasant as this is, it is important for me to help spread the word about these types of horrific stories because dog fighting and torturing and killing dogs is wrong.  The more we say it and stand together against it, the better chance we have to stop it.

Below is the full story about the dog fighting bust in Florida where they also discovered a graveyard of dogs.  The conditions that are described are disgusting and horrifying to think about.  These poor dogs.  It literally makes me sick to think that there are people in the world that can do this and have no remorse for it.

Early this week, a tipster finally put a stop to a dog-fighting operation in Seffner, FL, that is almost unbelievable in its scope, with hundreds of dogs believed to have been killed over a 20-year period. The dogs were then buried right on the property, according to Tampa Bay Online
What's more, the two property owners, 55-year-old Vannie Franklin and his nephew, 41-year-old Russell Franklin, showed no remorse when confronted by investigators. Instead, authorities say they laughed and joked about their operation. 
"While we were at the property, the individual there admitted to us he'd been fighting dogs out there for 20 years and jokingly said we were walking on a graveyard," said Sgt. Pam Perry of Hillsborough County Animal Services.
Investigators are still searching the property, but they've described a "graveyard of dead dogs all over the property, including a mound of dog bodies." They said they also found tools for fighting and a blood-stained pit where the events took place, according to Tampa Bay Online. 
"A lot of chains with no dogs on them,” said Perry, according to Bay News 9. “So I don't know where they are. Probably deceased."
In a press conference, Perry went into graphic detail: "The stench out there is of feces, and it smelled like dead bodies."
"There was also a chain with a collar, and as you reached the end of that chain with the collar and looked up to a mound, there was a jaw and a skull of a dog. There was also a pit out there with blood on the carpeting and blood on the carpeting around the pit," she said.
The one bright light in this horrific situation is that investigators found seven dogs still alive, though some with severe injuries. One had fresh wounds across his body -- rescuers lovingly named him Rudolph, after his still-bleeding, red nose. All the dogs were infested with fleas and parasites, but Perry said they're all nice dogs who are good with people, despite the horrors they encountered. 
"They deserve to live the rest of their life in luxury," she said, "because they were living in a kill zone."
As for the Franklins, both of whom are convicted felons, they're facing a slew of charges and are being held. The investigation is ongoing, however, and more arrests are expected.

Friday, November 30

Fun Friday

My content this week has been on the heavy side, so I wanted to lighten things up and get you in the holiday spirit.  These are two videos that I was sent from multiple people.  They both make me smile and even giggle a little. 

The first is our First Dog, Bo Obama, taking us through the white house.  Amazing how we have seen him grow up in front of our eyes.

The second is a cute video of a dog and baby, the dog might be imitating the baby or vice versa or they may be having their own conversation!

Have a great weekend and don't forget to do something special with your dog!

Thursday, November 29

The Movie "Shadow Trade"

This morning Dogster had a post I am re-posting here about the movie "Shadow Trade".  It is a documentary on the Soi Dog Foundation in Thailand, the foundation is working hard to stop the illegal dog-meat trade.  I will warn you that the video included in this blog has some images that are hard to see, but they are the reality of what is happening.  I also want to point out that Thailand is a third world country and many people have no choice but to take whatever job they can to support their family.  I hope you can help this film by helping back it, but if you can't, please forward this to anyone that is a dog lover, like it on Facebook and re-post on Facebook.  We can raise awareness and that is as much of the goal as raising money.

One of our favorite charities, Soi Dog Foundation, is working hard to end the illegal dog-meat trade in Thailand. But accomplishing heroic rescues is simply not enough -- to spare stolen pets from the butcher's knife, there's an urgent need to raise global awareness of the terrible fate of Thai dogs who fall into criminal hands.

(A truck loaded with dogs intended for the meat trade was intercepted by the Soi Dog Foundation.)
An efficient way to do that is through the powerful medium of film. London-based Environment Films is producing a documentary for Soi Dog Foundation called Shadow Trade: The Price of Loyalty. To complete the project, the filmmakers have created a crowdfunding campaign on IndieGogo, which ends in a few days.

Backing a film made possible through crowdfunding is a uniquely rewarding experience -- but it's doubly rewarding when the movie's mission is to help dogs in desperate need and dire circumstances. "The dog meat trade must end," is this film's to-the-point slogan. We couldn't agree more. And the filmmakers promise that any extra funds that are raised will go toward helping the dogs themselves.

(Soi Dog Foundation suspects many of the dogs were family pets who were stolen and rounded up into cages.)
As the Shadow Trade IndieGogo campaign winds down, show you care by becoming a backer. If that's not in your budget, please help spread the word by giving Trade of Shame a "Like" on Facebook. The dogs of Thailand will thank you.

Wednesday, November 28

Help Little Ted Find A Home

Here is another great dog looking for a home.  I met Ted on Monday night, his current guardians took him in after he was found tethered to a cinder block in the middle of North Hollywood.  He was chipped and when the service contacted his listed owners, the man said that he and his girlfriend had adopted Ted when he was 4 months old and now they are broken up, the girl moved and he didn't want the dog any longer so he tied him to a cinder block where someone could find him.  Sad and cruel!

So now Ted is with a kind couple that are giving him food & water, shelter, and love, but they already have a dog.  Unfortunately, this situation will not work for them for many reasons, so they are desperately trying to find a forever home for Ted.

We know a little bit about Ted, he is about 1 1/2 yrs., knows sit, down, stay, roll-over, and shake, is extremely food motivated and is a very affectionate dog.  We do not know how he is with kids or cats.  Based on what he has shown his current guardians it appears that he has a little separation issues, so he will chew things when you are gone if not set up correctly and he has some dog issues, he is showing some aggression.

I believe the best situation for him is to be in a home as an only dog with a person or couple that is willing to put the time and effort in for training and exercise.

Ted was a true delight to work with, he is so smart and eager to please and just a cute little guy!

If you are interested in Ted or know someone that is, please give us a bark or call 213.321.6319

Though I am happy to do my part, it is so sad that in a matter of a couple of weeks I met two dogs that have been abandoned by their humans.  At the same time, I am so moved at the compassion and love that strangers have found in their hearts for these two amazing dogs.

Please help me spread the word.

Tuesday, November 27

Help Tricky Find A Home

I had the pleasure of meeting this amazing dog named Tricky.  Believe it or not, Tricky lives on the street in an industrial area of Downtown.  The equally amazing people that found him and have continued to take care of him have been forced to keep him on the streets as they cannot get him into a car and he gets scared when walking too far away from his "home".  We are hopeful to get him indoors soon, but the trust had to be built slowly.  Also, there is another issue, we know so little about Tricky, we have no idea how he will behave indoors or with cats.

The couple that found him would like nothing more than to keep him, however, they have a few cats and very small apartment.  Tricky is a large Shepherd mix, so they are doing what they feel is best for Tricky, and trying to find a good home.

Tricky is a beautiful, friendly and smart dog.  I believe he belonged to someone at some point and was trained.  He knows a few of the basics, sit, down, heel, and shake.  In the hour that I worked with him, he was so willing to work and learn.  It took a few moments for him to warm up to me, but for a street dog that is pretty amazing.

His size and beauty are something to admire, especially when he runs.  He would be an excellent dog for a hiker or runner.  He is going to need a home where he can get the proper physical exercise and mental stimulation.

If you are interested in Tricky or know someone that is, please give us a bark or call 213.321.6319.