Friday, June 29

4th Of July Safety For Your Dog

The weekend is here and so is the beginning of July.  Though the 4th is not until Wednesday, it is likely that there will be lots of pre 4th of July parties and fireworks this weekend.  Hopefully, your dog is easy going and could care less about the sound of explosions in the sky.  But if he isn't, below are some safety tips on what you can do to keep him safe and comfortable.  I also have a few just general safety tips to keep any dog safe.

For fearful or sound sensitive dogs:

1.  Create a safe place in your home.  For dogs that are crate trained, if the crate is by or close to a window, move the crate to an inner room, so the sound is not as loud and keep your dog in the crate for the duration of the fireworks.  If your dog is not crate trained, all your dog to go under the bed, in your closet, in the bathroom, or any smaller space they feel safe and protected. 

If you are home with your dog, don't forget to check on him and spend time with him throughout the night.  You being there talking to him will give comfort.

2.  I know the temperature is rising, but shut your windows and turn on the air if possible.  Keeping your house closed up will not only help keep the sound down, it will keep the smell out.  Depending on how close the fireworks are, some dogs react to the smell as well as the sound.

3.  If your dog is severely scared of the sounds or extremely sensitive to the sound, you may want to put your dog on a veterinarian prescribed sedative or herbal or natural remedy to keep him calm.   Any medication or herbal or natural treatment should be discussed with your veterinarian to make sure it is the right choice for your dog.

4.  Exercise your dog the day of the fireworks.  Make sure you do an extra long walk or run (at a safe time of day) the day or evening before the fireworks.  Depleting your dog's energy will help keep them calm.

*Note: If you use any type of treatment for fear issues such as a Thundershirt, Calming cap, Calming wrap, etc., you should use that along with keeping your dog in a safe area.

General Safety Tips For Dogs and Fireworks

1.  Never shoot the firework at your dog.  Even sparklers can cause injury, so watch out for your pooch when you are twirling them around having fun.

2.  If you are at a fireworks show or you have some at your home, dogs should be leashed and a safe distance away from the fireworks.  The best practice is to have your dog in your house if you are having fireworks at home.

3.  Keep the fireworks, both before and after use, out of the reach of your dog.  Especially for young dogs or pups, these could look like fun toys.

I hope these tips help you have a fun and safe 4th of July celebration.

Happy Weekend!  Don't forget to do something special with your dog.

Thursday, June 28

Colorado K9 Evacuees

I'm sure you have all heard about the Colorado fires at this point, the amount of land and property that have been consumed are devastating.    As of a report last night over 106,000 acres have burned and over 36,000 people have had to evacuate.  As well, their pets.  With any natural disaster comes the problem of what to do with your pets.  As we have seen in the past with our own fires in California and other disasters in other parts of the country, taking your pet may not always be an option.   During these times the shelters open their doors to receive as many as they can.  This is exactly what is happening in Colorado and the Human Society of the Pikes Peak Region (HSPPR) are in desperate need of help.

In order to accommodate the amount of pets, they have had to open a second emergency site and they are in need of some help.  Below are a couple of posts from their Facebook page.

 Yesterday Humane Society of the Pikes Peak Region (HSPPR) responded to the need to open a second temporary pet evacuation shelter. We opened the doors at Freedom Financial Services Expo Center (FFSEC) after they graciously donated the space. Staff, veterinarians, and volunteers are working 24 hours a day, helping pets being evacuated right now by the Waldo Canyon Fire, at both our permanent HSPPR shelter and our second shelter.  Donate now at

HSPPR is receiving a large number of animals at our 2nd emergency pet evacuation center located at Freedom Financial Services Expo Center located at 3650 N. Nevada Ave., Colorado Springs, CO, 80909. HSPPR IS IN NEED OF CRATES, KENNELS, TOWELS & BLANKETS (no sheets please), Please DONTATE items ASAP TO THE FREEDOM FINANCIAL SERVICES EXPO CENTER! THANK YOU!

Again, living in a state that is plagued by fires on a yearly basis, I think we can identify with what our neighbors in Colorado are going through.  If you can help at all, be it sending food, crates, blankets, or towels, please do.  Otherwise you can make a monetary donation at

I know without a doubt, the good people of Colorado will appreciate our support.

To follow their progress or to get their updated needs, bark on the link for their Facebook page:  Bark!

Tuesday, June 26

The Rescue of Rosie

The article I am posting today is from Dogster, it is one of the most moving stories of a rescue in a hoarding situation I have heard in a long time.  Rosie is the star and she is special and beautiful in her own way... you will see.  I encourage you to not only read this and watch the videos, but get involved if you can and help these poor dogs.

When I first saw photos of Rosie -– with her needle-nose snout, devastatingly misaligned jaw and teeth, severely bowed legs, and pinky-purple skin with hardly a patch of fur -- I figured someone was having fun with Photoshop, morphing a pig and a rat and a dog and some other zany stuff together. It was a startling, even a bit disturbing, but I reasoned that she couldn’t be real.

But as I’d come to find out, Rosie is very real -– a product of backyard breeding and animal hoarding. She may be shocking to look at, but inside she’s a beauty, full of love, intelligence, and an incredible will to live.
Rosie is one of 20 dogs pulled by rescuers from a house in Woodland Hills, Calif., last week. She is the worst of the group, which is saying something, because two other rescued Chihuahuas -– some form of sibling or half-sibling to Rosie -- have no front legs at all.
Dogster caught up with the woman who found the dogs and instigated the rescue, as well as Rosie’s new “mom.” We bring you their exclusive story.

Hey, Want a Cute Little Dog or Two -- or 20?

Kate Hannah (name changed at her request) was walking her dogs around her neighborhood when she saw a sign reading “Chihuahuas for Free.”
She came back to tell the residents -- a woman in her sixties and her thirtysomething daughter -- why that was a bad idea. She explained to them about dogfighters who pounce on free or cheap dogs to use as bait dogs, and how dangerous it can be for animals to go to unscreened new homes and owners.

The women told her they had a menagerie of 20 or so tiny pooches they were trying to get rid of. They said the woman's grandmother started breeding them a few years back, and they “sort of kept things going” when she died a couple of years ago. They said it was more that they let it get out of control, since none of the dogs were spayed or neutered because they couldn’t afford it. So things happened, sometimes on purpose, sometimes by accident -– sometimes probably between canine brother and sister, father and daughter or granddaughter, mother and son; you name it.
The hoarders told Hannah that local authorities were pushing them to leave the house before they were forced out through foreclosure. In desperation, they’d found homes for more than 20 dogs the previous week. They were delighted to report that one man had taken a whole litter of young pups -- but Hannah felt sick when she thought about their possible fate.

It may seem preposterous, but Hannah says the women seemed to genuinely care about the dogs, giving their names, telling about their personalities, and snuggling them like babies. She said that it isn't uncommon that hoarders love their animals, albeit in a highly irresponsible way.
The women said they wanted to make sure the dogs didn’t wind up in cages at shelters, because they were used to running free at home. They couldn’t bear thinking of the dogs perishing in cages, or, worse yet, being euthanized if no homes could be found.
The dogs were mostly Chihuahuas, and most had terrible flea problems. Some were underweight, but they seemed generally in good health.

But there was Conner, a 13-year-old Bichon mix who was so badly matted that even his eyes were covered with fur. Hannah took him to a groomer later and had him shaved down. She later learned that he was both blind and deaf.
Two of the dogs the women showed her had been born without front legs -- not an uncommon trait in bad breeding practices. Still, they managed to move pretty well, even scooting quickly at times, and seemed in good spirits.
There was still one dog the women didn’t want to show Hannah. “You don’t want to see her,” she says they told her. But she insisted. “Prepare yourself,” they told her as they went inside to get the last dog.

The Shock of Rosie

Despite Hannah's long history of animal rescue, nothing could have prepared her for Rosie. “I was in a complete state of shock,” she says. “But I didn’t show it. I needed to get her out of there and didn’t want anything to prevent this.”
In addition to all the deformities described at the start of this article, Rosie’s bulging light-blue eyes have permanently dilated pupils, adding to her strange appearance, and probably causing her a great deal of discomfort in bright light. If you ever got your pupils dilated for an eye exam and left the doctor’s office without sunglasses, you’ll know the blinding, distorted sensation.
The hoarders said Rosie was in no pain and was able to get around pretty well, getting herself outside to go to the bathroom. Hannah didn’t see how this was possible, but she continued the pleasantries. The hoarders seemed very fond of Rosie, showering her with affection as they held her close for photographs. The older woman called her “Little Valentine,” since she was born on Feb 14, 2010.
Hannah learned that two other deformed dogs had been adopted out during the previous week, when the women were giving dogs to any taker. Some people prize odd-looking dogs. In fact, in Japan, dogs have routinely been inbred to create startling results. A New York Times article from 2006 stated that highly unusual small dogs can fetch as much as $8,600.
The blue merle coloring Rosie’s (in)breeders may or may not have been trying to get often comes with a slew of genetic defects. Puppies in these genetic experiments are often born so horribly deformed that they die right away or have to be killed by the breeder.
Hannah says the hoarders were proud to tell her that in their years of dealing with these dogs, not a single one –- old or young -- had died. If true, that’s a real odds-beater, since at least some dogs had genetic issues -- and as she found out, they all ate cheap kibble, never saw the vet, and didn’t really go outside the house.

The Long Road Home

Hannah went home and hastily posted photos and descriptions online for her friends. She was heartened at how quickly rescues came forward to help. She had already decided not to get animal control involved, because of the high chance that many of these dogs would not be seen as adoptable and thus euthanized.
Over the next couple of days, her rescue friends visited the women's home as if they were just people, not rescue group representatives. And one by one, two by two -- and in one case, six by six -- the dogs started on the long road to forever homes. Every time the dogs were adopted out, the hoarders cried. “They were deeply grateful they were going to good people,” Hannah says.
Hannah was especially worried about Rosie and her deformed siblings and half-siblings. She lost sleep over them. But her co-rescuers knew event planner and animal rescuer Cinnamon Muhlbauer was a woman with a special place in her heart for the dogs many would consider unadoptable. They contacted her and held their breath.
When Muhlbauer saw the photos, she melted. She has a pig and two “wheelie” dogs (missing front legs but getting along well with carts), among other creatures, but had room in her heart and home for Rosie. She and her husband live in the Santa Monica Mountains on a 100-acre horse-rescue ranch in the Malibu area. She asked the ranch owners if they could temporarily take in Rosie’s two sibs, and brought Rosie home to live with her.
It’s only been a few days, but Rosie is already doing better. She's gaining weight, and coping with treatment for her terrible demodectic mange. She follows Muhlbauer everywhere with her eyes, even if her little body can’t take her where she needs to go.
As for being able to go to the bathroom outside, “It was an outright lie,” says Muhlbauer. “She can’t move more than a couple of feet on her own. She’s very clean, and will manage to get away from her bed to go to the bathroom, but it is so hard.” 

Rosie has a long, hard road ahead. She has so far received only a preliminary veterinary check and one shot, since doing too much at once could make her already-stressed immune system falter more. She’ll need X-rays, ongoing evaluation, possible physical therapy, more mange treatment, and lifelong help for her deformed jaw and teeth. She may need monthly non-anesthetic cleanings, since many of her lower teeth are loose, and it may be the only way for her to keep them.
Rosie has taught Muhlbauer a good trick: feeding her. Somehow the dog had survived on hard kibble, and she arrived with super-caked-in kibble cementing the roof of her mouth, back of her throat, and around her gums. Once that was cleaned up, it was easier for her to eat.

At first, Rosie ate by grazing high-quality soft food Muhlbauer gave her, kind of scooping it up. But while taking a video for Rosie’s Facebook page to show people how Rosie eats (“It’s one of the top questions I’ve been asked,” she says), Rosie didn’t like the camera so close, so Muhlbauer held up some food for her and Rosie snarfed it. Muhlbauer did it again, and the same thing happened.

Since then, Rosie has held out for hand feedings. The Facebook fans concerned that Rosie may be brain-damaged can rest easily now: She has trained her human in record time! Muhlbauer says when Rosie has gained weight (she is four-ish pounds and should be around six), she’ll wean her back to eating more independently.
Muhlbauer is livid about the condition of the dogs. “I don’t know how anyone could let her suffer and say that they love Rosie and she was their baby. How in your mind do see how that’s love? It’s like men who say, 'I love my wife but sometimes I have to hit her.'”
Even though she is in close contact with the hoarders –- they call frequently to check on Rosie -– she says part of her feels like “hauling off and slapping them.”
Most of the dogs from this covert rescue operation are in desperate need of foster or adoptive families, and all the rescue groups need funds to help defray medical expenses. The needs are piling up: One dog had puppies on Sunday. Another is nursing two-week-old pups. Your assistance can make a tremendous difference.

You can find information on all the dogs, the rescue groups, and their needs, at Help Still Needed CA Hoarder. Rosie’s Facebook page also has links. Rosie has received about $3,600 in donations, which go straight to the veterinarian for her medical fund. She and another rescuer, Shannon Keith, have a dream that songwriter and heavy-metal musician Glenn Danzig will somehow hear about what huge fans they are and what plights these dogs are in, and volunteer to do a fundraiser for all the dogs. If Danzig or any of his friends reads Dogster, who knows what may happen?
Muhlbauer says people who can’t afford to donate often ask what they can do. She urges them to check out their local backyard breeder laws, and to lobby for strong ones. “If Rosie’s suffering has one good side, it could be creating awareness of the dangers of this kind of breeding,” she says. “She is the poster child for this.”
Sarah Sypniewski, who created the CA Hoarder Facebook page, urges everyone to get involved. “Even though [these dogs] are now out of harm's way, we really need people's help to network, fundraise, foster, and adopt. These animals have survived hell. They have a chance at a new beginning. And now it's up to the rest of us to see them home -- literally.”

Monday, June 25

More Tips To Beat The Heat!

As the marine layer burns off quicker and quicker, the temperature outside will rise more and more and this is when we need to be vigilant with our dogs and how we take care of them in the heat.  Many people think this means to keep them inside out of the heat all together, and where there are dogs that may require that do to illness or age, for the most part that is not necessary.  Below are a few more quick tips that can make your average day out with your pooch safe and enjoyable.

1.  Walks!  Just because it is hot outside doesn't mean your dog shouldn't go for their normal walks, but it may be a good idea to adjust when and how your go.  Try to make the longer walks in the morning before it gets too warm and in the evening as it starts to cool.  If you do need to break your dog in the afternoon (which most of us do), make the walk about pottying, not intense exercise and be sure to try to keep your dog in the shady side of the sidewalk.

If you have a puppy, senior dog or a dog that is sensitive to the heat for other reasons, you may consider playing with your dog inside and only going outside in the heat of the day for a potty break.

2.  Water!  In intense heat and especially on the concrete of the city, it is good to stop about every 15 minutes to offer water.  Adult dogs and dogs that are accustom to this weather are usually good for about the first 25 - 30 minutes of normal walking before they need water.  However, if it is really hot or you are doing rigorous activity, make sure to offer water every 15 minutes or more based on your individual dog.  Remember, as the heat rises your dog will need more water.

3.  Paws!  Watch out for your dogs paw pads.  This hot concrete and blacktop can burn your dog's pads.  Typically you do not see this in adult dogs, but if they are new to this environment or young (puppy or young adult) their pads may be sensitive to the ground.  Try to keep your dog in the shade, especially as you stop at lights. 

If your dog or pup is sensitive to the heated sidewalks and appears to have problems walking on it or is in pain walking on it, you should get doggie booties or pad wax to help protect their pads.

I hope these tips and all that have come before them help you have a fun and safe summer.

If you have a specific question or comment, give us a bark!  BARK!   

Friday, June 22

Happy Take Your Dog To Work Day!

I hope you all have jobs that are participating in Take Your Dog To Work Day!  If you are lucky enough to get to bring your 4-legged companion to work today or any other day for that matter, I am sure your stress will be much lower.

To help you have a great day with your dog here is a little blurb from with a link to one of their earlier articles outlining how to have a dog friendly work environment.  I hope this helps you!
Dogs in the workplace are a growing phenomenon, and it’s not surprising — we know firsthand the many benefits of allowing our trusted companions on the job. According to studies, dogs lower stress levels, build morale and act as a social bridge among both staff and customers. It’s a incalculable benefit to employees, and costs companies nothing. And who doesn’t enjoy a belly rub or game of fetch after a long meeting … In preparation for “Take Your Dog to Work Day” on June 22, see these tips in introducing dogs to your workplace. Plus, find out our picks for the most dog-friendly companies in the land.
 I hope these are helpful tips for you today and maybe ongoing into the future.  I know first hand, working with your dog at your side keeps you in a positive and happy mind set.  Even in the most stressful of moments, having my dog at my side reminds me that life isn't that serious, sometimes you have to chase a fly or run for a Frisbee, but it will all be okay.

I hope you have a great Friday and weekend.  Don't forget to do something special with your dog!

Thursday, June 21

Hideous Act Of Violence Against A Toy Poodle!

I was not just shocked when I read this story, I was disgusted at this hideous act!  Ted Shuttleworth, former screen writer for NYPD Blue, was arrested on Saturday on suspicion of delivering a fatal punch to his toy poodle, Lola.

The story was on Dogster this morning and I have been sick to my stomach since I read it.  I can't imagine punching an animal, certainly not a 4lb toy poodle!  The story in it's entirety it below, I will warn you, it will outrage you and make you a little sick to read how this poor little dog met her end.
Among my circle of friends back on the grade-school playground, the way to characterize any bad person was to say that he or she probably kicked dogs. 
"That new music teacher is so mean -- she probably kicks dogs."
"My Little League coach! What a jerk -- I bet he kicks dogs."
In our imaginations, kicking dogs was the ultimate cruel act. But even kicking has a somewhat detached aspect about it. Feet, after all, are way down there at the far end of the body and usually clad in shoes. Our young minds could not have even imagined the otherworldly horror of people punching dogs with their bare fists.
Yet a former Hollywood scriptwriter was arrested last weekend on suspicion of doing exactly that.
Ted Shuttleworth, a former scriptwriter for the TV series NYPD Blue, was arrested in New York City on Saturday. Authorities believe Shuttleworth killed his Toy Poodle, Lola, by punching her in the face.
Shuttleworth is accused of punching the tiny 5-year-old dog "after being annoyed by her while at his home in Queens," according to CelebrityCafe.
As the New York Post put it:
"A 230-pound, washed-up TV screenwriter took out his anger on his four-and-a-half-pound poodle — punching the pooch in the face so hard that it died from a brain injury, police said."
The alleged assault took place on May 29. 
Shuttleworth, 51, formerly worked for Steven Spielberg. His NYPD Blue gig was the type that any writer would envy, and he also wrote an episode of the series Cover Me: Based on the True Life of an FBI Family, according to IMDb. But Shuttleworth had fallen far down the status ladder lately, working as an administrative assistant at New York University and not writing scripts but reading other writers' scripts "for $300 a pop," according to the Post
After growing angry at the tiny dog that day, he is believe to have punched her in the face, sources say -- and then took her to a local veterinarian, "where her death raised suspicions. The hospital called the ASPCA, which took Lola’s remains for a necropsy."
Oddly, the former celebrity hobnobber who envisioned fictional scenarios involving New York City police was arrested a few days ago by the real NYPD.
He could face a year behind bars for the crime. 
“Lola sustained a traumatic brain injury secondary to the application of blunt force to the right side of her head at the hands of the suspect, her owner,” said ASPCA spokesman Joseph Pentangelo, as reported by the Post.
The alleged puncher's wife, Isadora Monk Shuttleworth, called it “a horrible accident," also according to the Post.
Hmm. An accident is when your hand knocks a pitcher off the shelf while you were trying to swat a mosquito. And conceivably you could punch someone in the face by accident -- say, if it was dark and you mistook the person for a burglar, or if the person leaped in front of your punching bag. But punching a dog square in the face by accident seems nearly impossible to do by accident.
Poor little Lola can't tell us her side of the story.

Wednesday, June 20

What Happened To Common Courtesy?

I am usually the first one to talk about our dog community and how it is growing and all the wonderful things that brings.  But there is a flip side of our dog community that is not so positive and really irritating to not just me, but many of us!  Where is the common courtesy for your fellow dog owners?

I am amazed at how either pushy or clueless some dog owners are with their dogs.  Not all dogs are friendly with other dogs.  And sometimes they are fine to walk by other dogs, but they just can't deal with other dogs coming into their face.  Why is it so hard for us to respect the boundaries our dogs are trying to set to protect themselves?

As a trainer, I instruct all of my clients, no matter what the temperament of their dog may be, to not allow your dog to say "hi" to each dog they pass or rush into every dog's face.  Rather, teach them to stick by you until you indicate they can say hi.  It will help with their overall obedience and manners and keep them out of trouble.

As you pass other dogs, please think of this, your dog may be the friendliest and most well socialized dog in the world and nothing may bother him, but that is likely not true of the dog you are about to pass.  At least ask the owner if your dog can meet theirs before assuming they can.  Many horrible situations can be avoided with just a simple question.

Please be safe and respect each other and the choices we make for our dogs.

Tuesday, June 19

Dogs Feel Our Pain

According to a study done by the University of London, dogs feel human's pain.  Not just their owners, but all humans.  Does this come as a surprise to you?  I have to say, it doesn't to me at all.  My entire life I have been around dogs and throughout this time I cried to them, sighed, listened to the saddest music and moped and if there was a dog around (not necessarily my dog) they would find their way to me to snuggle or lick my face or some other comforting move. 

When I read this story about the research done in London on Dogster this morning, I couldn't help but smile.  The more we research the more we find that dogs ARE able to do many things that were always said they couldn't.  I hope you enjoy this article and you find it as interesting and pleasing as I did.

Study Says: Dogs Feel Our Pain

Has your dog given you a furry shoulder to cry on? Turns out many are conditioned to comfort humans, even when they are complete strangers.
Sniffle or sigh within earshot of your dog. Nine times out of 10, the ears flick and a worried glance comes your way. Sob, and within seconds comes a nuzzle, a snuggle, a caring gaze, a comforting paw on your shoulder or knee.
Our dogs feel our pain. But according to a new study released last week, dogs feel the pain not merely of their owners but of all human beings -- because thousands of years of domestication have wired them to do so.
University of London psychology researchers Deborah Custance and Jennifer Mayer created an experiment in which 18 pet dogs, spanning a range of ages and breeds, were exposed to four separate situations in which for 20 continuous seconds "either the dog's owner or an unfamiliar person pretended to cry, hummed in an odd manner, or carried out a casual conversation," according to a University of London press release
 These sessions were filmed, and the footage was studied by the research team.
Many more of the dogs looked at, approached, and touched the humans who cried than did so to the humans who hummed. None of the dogs responded when the humans carried out casual conversations.
"The humming was designed to be a relatively novel behavior, which might be likely to pique the dogs' curiosity. The fact that the dogs differentiated between crying and humming indicates that their response to crying was not purely driven by curiosity," Custance explained. "Rather, the crying carried greater emotional meaning for the dogs and provoked a stronger overall response than either humming or talking."
The researchers found it particularly significant that the dogs responded to crying people regardless of whether those people were their owners or strangers. According to the Daily Mail"the youngest dog in the experiment was an 8-month-old yellow Labrador which was absorbed in chasing its tail until someone pretended to cry, and then it rushed up and put its paws on her shoulder."
"If the dogs' approaches during the crying condition were motivated by self-oriented comfort-seeking, they would be more likely to approach their usual source of comfort, their owner, rather than the stranger," Mayer said. "No such preference was found. The dogs approached whoever was crying regardless of their identity. Thus they were responding to the person's emotion, not their own needs, which is suggestive of empathic-like comfort-offering behavior."
According to the Daily Mail, Mayer described this as "relatively sophisticated behavior which puts dogs on a par with toddlers, who will try to comfort someone in distress by hugging them or giving them a toy." 
Upon hearing strangers cry, the dogs were given the option of approaching their owners or the crying strangers. They approached the crying strangers -- sniffing, nuzzling, and licking the strangers, according to Mayer and Custance. While this behavior gives every appearance of empathy and concern, the researchers warn that it could also be "interpreted as emotional contagion coupled with a previous learning history in which they have been rewarded for approaching distressed human companions."
In other words: It's possible that on past occasions when you wept, your dog soothed you. Grateful for this comfort, you patted your dog and offered up some cookies and a walk. Henceforth, to your dog, the sound of sorrow signifies cookies and a walk. 
But it feels so much better to us to believe that they care, yes?
No matter if you believe this study shows that dogs are capable of caring and showing empathy or if it is just as simple as a Pavlovian response... they are intelligent beings none the less! 

Monday, June 18

Dog Days!

Have you registered for the 6th annual Dog Days yet?  It is July 11th, 6pm - 9pm at The Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels and it is going to be bigger and better than ever!  

If you don't know what Dog Days is, let me tell you a little about it.  Dog Days is totally free and is dedicated solely to dogs and their owners.  It is a place that all the dogs of downtown can gather with their owners once a year to socialize, get great take aways from the booths and get new information on everything from health to training.

However, if you have a dog that is not socialized with other dogs, people or loud music, this may not be the best place for you.  Certainly, if you have an aggressive dog or fearful dog (depending on the severity of fear) this will not be the event for you.  We want only dogs that can interact with all other dogs and people.  This should be a fun event for you and your dog, not one that stresses you both out.

It is a great event and one that I am happy to be a vendor at for the 3rd year in a row.  You must register so we all know how many of you will be there.  To do that, just bark on the link:  BARK!

Friday, June 15

Happy Father's Day!

Don't forget that this Sunday is Father's Day!  No matter if you are a father of a two legged or four legged "child", Sunday is to celebrate you! 

I have such found memories of Father's Day with my dad.  Not just with me and my two sisters, but also all the dogs!  The day always started with us girls and the dogs giving our presents to my dad with our cards... and yes the dogs had their own card complete with doggie paw print!  Then by the afternoon the grill was going, my dad had his beer and we were all swimming.  Such a great family and summer day.

I hope for all of you father's you get to relax with your child or children no matter if they are the human kind or furry kind!  And for all you children and mom's out there, make sure dad has a great day!

Happy Father's Day!

Thursday, June 14


Okay, get your tissues ready!  This is just a sad and disturbing story about a dog named Lennox that was taken from his family for no other reason than looking like a Pit Bull.  Remember this is in Northern Ireland and the laws and rules are different than here.  However, I still disagree with what happened and I am very disturbed!

Dogster had the entire story on their blog this morning, so I am re-posting for you to read and watch the video.

Lennox has lost his last chance to escape a death sentence -- just because he looks like a Pit Bull.
A valiant worldwide campaign to save this dog's life has apparently failed, thanks to a court decision this week in Belfast, Northern Ireland. 
Because of breed-specific legislation, Pit Bulls are illegal in Northern Ireland. In May 2010, a 5-year-old American Bulldog-Labrador cross named Lennox was taken from his owners by the Belfast City Council and declared a "danger to the public" simply because he was a "Pit Bull-type dog." Lennox was then placed in a kennel, waiting to be euthanized.
His distraught owners mounted a campaign to save his life. Word spread around the world that Lennox had been microchipped, Safe Pet registered, and DNA registered, and that he was a protective companion to the family's disabled preteen daughter. Even though the DNA registry evinced no trace of Pit Bull in Lennox's ancestry, the death sentence was not removed.
Striving to save Lennox's life, owner Caroline Barnes said in court that the dog had never bitten anyone or misbehaved since being impounded, according to Irish Central.
"She says her dog was never given a chance."
On Tuesday, Barnes' legal team went before the Court of Appeal and three judges to make a final plea. But the judges remained firm, confirming yet again that Lennox will be put down.
"An expert dog handler, retained by the City Council, said Lennox had a severe personality defect, including having a problem with strangers. They added it would be impossible to tell what the dog might do under stress," Irish Central reports.

The court’s statement reads:
“The judge had heard evidence on the issues relating to this dog over a protracted two-day hearing, carefully considered the evidence and the issues, and he reached conclusions of fact which have not been vitiated by any error of law on his part.”
No date for Lennox's destruction has been released, nor will the Barnes family get a chance to see him again before his death, Irish Central reports. We at Dogster HQ think that's just plain cold considering all they have done to rally support around their dog over the past two years.
The following message was posted at the "Lennox Campaign" Facebook page:
"Lennox's family will release a statement in due course once they have had time to absorb today's ruling by Chief Justice Girvan. The family kindly ask all supporters to remain calm and dignified as always in their response to today's sad and very wrong decision by the Northern Ireland Chief Justice. Thank you."

Advocates for Lennox launched a petition on Tuesday. Titled "Boycott Belfast," the petition reads:
"This page is to let Belfast know that animal lovers all over the world are angry and that we will not support them in any way -– EVER. We will never travel to their city –- some will even not come to the country, we will not endorse you in any way. Unless something is done to make this injustice right."
Editor's Note: When we first heard this story, we were hoping against hope for a happy ending for this dog who had done NOTHING wrong. He wasn't even the "breed" they were discriminating against! This is disappointing and disgusting, Northern Ireland, and we're crossing you off our places-to-see list.
Lennox, sweet boy, you won't be forgotten by many of us around the world soon.
Again, I am left with just a sad feeling.  If you think your actions don't matter, they do, get involved to stop this type of discrimination.  It makes me sick that a dog is being put to death because of the way he looks.  I think any dog that has been kept in the kind of conditions Lennox has and has been separated from his family without a kind, loving face for 2 years may be a little off with strangers.  I don't think the test was fair and certainly do not think it was right for this family to be kept from even visiting their dog.

As Dogster already said, Lennox, you will not be forgotten!

Wednesday, June 13

Elicia Calhoun and Her Dogs

Yesterday a friend asked me if I had heard about the dog training woman and her dogs.  At the time I had no idea what she was talking about.  With a couple of searches on Facebook, my eyes were opened to the tragedy that occurred on I-10 near Wilcox, AZ in the early morning hours of Monday, June 11th.  Below is the story.

A well-known Valley dog trainer has found her missing dog after a crash in southeastern Arizona killed two others.

Elicia Calhoun's show dog, Tobie, was thrown from her car Monday during a car accident and wasn't seen since. 
According to Amber Abbott in a Facebook group created to help find Tobie, she was found alive around 9 a.m. Tuesday.
"She looks good! She has had a bottle of water and is in Elicia's arm," Abbott wrote. "They are on the way to the vet."
Calhoun said she checked out of the hospital and slept in the desert Monday. Her search started again Tuesday morning with the help of volunteers.
Calhoun fell asleep at the wheel Monday resulting in a crash.
The accident happened early Monday morning near Willcox, roughly 80 miles east of Tucson. 
Calhoun is a nationally known agility trainer based in the Valley.
As of Tuesday morning, roughly 4,600 people had joined the Facebook group. Volunteers said they collected $15,000 to help with the search.
Calhoun said airplanes are flying over the desert to search for Tobie. 

This past weekend she and her dogs were at a competition in Odessa, Texas.

Calhoun was driving home early Monday morning along I-10 near Willcox. 

Her 2007 Hyundai crossover hit an 18-wheeler semi truck and rolled over several times. All six of Calhoun's dogs were ejected upon impact.

Three dogs suffered serious injuries but are expected to survive.

However, a 13-week-old puppy died instantly and two others went missing.

Calhoun checked herself out of the hospital with a punctured lung to go looking for her missing dogs.

Nika, a border collie, was found dead around 7 p.m. Monday. Calhoun says Nika was hit by a car.

Calhoun and her volunteers set up camp on the I-10 until Tobie was found.

"Right now they are my life," said Calhoun on Monday. "I would do anything to get them back. I would trade my life for theirs. I will not leave this area until I know where my dogs are."
You can check out the Facebook group established to help Calhoun find her dogs, or the fundraiser to assist in her recovery. 

Finding Tobie

So, to bring you up to date, all the dogs have been accounted for and besides the two that were lost, they are all recovering well.  As well, Elicia has checked back into the hospital and is resting and recovering.

This entire thing has me thinking, what would I do if this happened to me and my dog.  I totally understand her checking herself out of the hospital and going to find her dogs.  I would do the same thing!  But it also has me thinking about what I need to do in case something like this happens.  For instance, keeping all of Neville's info (including vet records) in my glove compartment and having an emergency kit in my car.  Things I have been say "I need to do", but have yet to do it.

We get comfortable in our routines, but you really never know when something is going to happen.  I am so happy for Elicia that she found all of her dogs, yet I am so sad for her that she lost two.  I can't imagine the pain she is in, but I hope her and her remaining dogs find strength and love together and have a speedy recovery.

Monday, June 11

3 Hot Tips To Beat The Heat

Though it is June Gloom, the temperature is continuing to rise and the summer heat will be here full time before you know it.  Are you ready to keep your dog cool?  Below are some quick tips on how to keep your pooch cool while you enjoy the heat.

1.  Cooling Accessories!  Not only will your dog look hot, they will be cool!  A cooling vest or bandana are always helpful ways to keep your dog cool while going on hikes or even a day in the park.  The sun and the heated path or park will warm your pooch up quickly along with the physical activity, the vest or bandana will help them beat the heat.  Don't forget to give water and resting breaks in the shade as well.

Cooling Vest

Cooling Bandana     

2.  Pool Time!  On a hot day there is nothing better than getting into some refreshing water, so make your dogs dream come true and get them there very own kiddie pool!  No matter if you have a back yard or you drag it to a park, this is the perfect lounge for your dog.  You only need put about 3-6 inches for your dog to have fun... make sure you supervise them!

This can be a solution for those of you that leave your dog in the back yard for the day.  Make sure the pool only has 2-3 inches, it doesn't take much to cool them off and you don't want your pooch to drown.  The pool should also be set up in the shade and your dog should have a dry place in the shade as well and separate drinking water. 

3.  ICE CREAM!!!  This is my favorite way to beat the heat on any day and my dog's!  I am not talking about any ice cream... DOGGIE ICE CREAM!  It is a chance for you and your dog to enjoy almost the same treat and cool down at the same time.  Frosty Paws is the most well known doggie ice cream, but there are all kinds out there and even a doggie ice cream truck!  With any treat this should be served in moderation. 

These are just 3 of many tips I will be giving out as it heats up.  The most important thing you can do is keep your pooch HYDRATED.  Also remember that if you are doing any activity with your dog, give them breaks regularly in the shade and NO DOG SHOULD BE FORCED TO STAY IN DIRECT SUN for extended amounts of time.

Have a question, concern or comment?  Give me a bark!  BARK!

Friday, June 8

Dogs Saved Los Angeles

Though the debate over dogs living Downtown is still ongoing, about 40% of our residents opt to own a dog.  That's right, 40%!  This article posted on The Atlantic and sent to me by a client, outlines the progressive dog movement Downtown and how dogs may have saved this city.  It is a great read and a little bit of feel good news for this Friday.

We know Lassie can save Timmy from the well, but can she also save a neighborhood? In downtown Los Angeles, the answer seems to be yes.
Take a walk through the Historic Core district almost any time of the day and formerly deserted sidewalks are now awash with dogs and their owners. While this may seem like a natural outcome for a hotspot with an influx of residents, it’s actually by design, the result of a planned initiative by landlords to attract new renters.
In 1999, Los Angeles passed its Adaptive Reuse Ordinance, making it easier and cheaper for real estate developers to convert old offices to new housing. While the ordinance arguably jump-started the revitalization of downtown L.A., a key (though overlooked) element was pet-friendly policies in these newly converted lofts.
Walking dogs drove residents out of their homes and into the street at least twice each day. Elsewhere in Los Angeles, where single-family homes predominate, dog owners often have the luxury of sending Fido out to the yard to do his business. But downtown, dogs and their owners have become a crucial component of the rebounding neighborhood's culture.
Real estate developer Tom Gilmore was an early champion of Los Angeles’ downtown revitalization, converting historic buildings such as the San Fernando and Hellman Buildings in the Old Bank District to lofts more than a decade ago. Part of Gilmore’s plan for the neighborhood included an aggressive campaign to attract dog owners, welcoming dogs of all sizes and forgoing a pet deposit.
It was a decision made easier by the concrete floors and thick walls in these buildings, making pet damage less likely to occur. It’s also one that worked: about 40 percent of downtown residents now own a dog, according to the Downtown Center Business Improvement District.
"Random interaction is a key component of a vital urban environment," says Gilmore. Dogs, he reasons, are the "lubricant" that helps residents interact with their neighbors and local shop owners. "Walking out of your door every day should bring a series of unintended events."
Tomoki Echigo, who lives in the Arts District and owns a lab/pitbull mix named Gumbo, finds the influx of four-legged friends has helped build a sense of community. “It helps us get to know our neighbors,” says Echigo, who walks Gumbo four times a day. “It brings the community closer."
Of course, the question of which came first, the dogs or the neighborhood renewal, is debatable. USC Associate Professor in Public Policy Elizabeth Currid-Halkett sees the growth of the canine community downtown as a symptom rather than a cause of revitalization. “Other types of economic development efforts, such as attracting amenities and businesses, revitalizing old lofts, and cleaning up the streets will attract downtown denizens, who will bring their dogs with them," she says. "The accidental spillover effect of these inhabitants, including the small furry ones, does help increase safety just by virtue of the fact that more people increases density and more use of the sidewalk."
Despite the chicken-and-egg conundrum, the influx of dog owners has resulted in grassroots efforts to reclaim public space. In one example, residents converted an empty lot into the Arts District’s Saslow Dog Park.
Likewise, local businesses have embraced canine customers and their owners. One downtown restaurant, Los Angeles Brewing Company, even offers a "dog valet" with free dog sitting services while patrons dine. Gilmore and other downtown developers welcome a dog-friendly downtown. According to Gilmore, the calculus is simple: "happy animals mean happy humans."

For the original article, bark on the link:  BARK!

Thursday, June 7

Family Dog Mistakenly Killed By Officer

I hate to do these types of stories because they are so sad and disturbing, but I also think they are very important to share and allow all of us to know what is happening.  This is not a bashing on police officers, but it is certainly a call for education!  This sad story of how Lillie, the Border Collie mix was shot and killed being mistaken for a Pit Bull by a Fort Worth, TX police officer is below.  Thank you for bringing us this story.

Mistaking a black and white Border collie mix breed dog named Lillie for a pit bull and feeling threatened by an oncoming canine attack, a Fort Worth, Texas police officer responding to a call to assist in an investigation of a copper theft shot and killed Lillie. The tragedy occurred right before the disbelieving eyes of Lillie’s owners, Cindy and Mark Boling.
According to a recent article on, the couple had just returned home from shopping and was unloading their truck. In their driveway with them were their family dogs, Lillie and Gracie. As they were standing in the driveway, they noticed a police officer walking toward them. Being friendly and trusting dogs, both of them started heading their way to greet the officer.
Mark called out the officer, to let him know that the dogs didn’t bite and were friendly, and he was on his way to get them to put them in the yard. He asked him not to hurt the dogs. Mark was able to catch up with Gracie and grab her collar, however Lillie ran up to the porch where the officer was standing.
In a matter of seconds, before Mark had time to intervene, the police officer drew his pistol and shot Lillie in the back. The critically injured dog ran into the back yard where, sadly, she died within minutes of being shot.
You may be asking what led up to this lamentable event occurring? This tragedy never should have taken place at all.
Due to a horrendous mistake, the police officer arrived at the wrong house. He was given the address 4917 Norma Street, to help in the investigation of the copper theft report. However, in error, he went to the Boling's house instead. Their house number is 4717 which is two blocks away from the house to which he was sent.
A neighbor who overheard the officer talking to another policeman who was at the scene allegedly said he admitted that he was at the wrong house and, fearing that he was about to be attacked by a pit bull, he shot the dog.
No apology was made to the Bolings, who are devastated by their loss. Mark said, "My main concern is if he's going to shoot an animal like that how he is going to react then in a real situation with a weapon.” His wife, Cindy added, "We did everything in the world always to protect our girls. We never accounted for a man walking up our driveway with a gun and killing our little girl, our little Lillie.”
An officer with the Fort Worth Police Department, Daniel Segura’s side of the story, makes matters even more disturbing. His report states that the police officer investigating the copper theft report was on the 4900 Block on Norma, searching for suspects. Seeing Boling, he waited in the driveway, but two dogs suddenly began charging at him, barking aggressively. Although the officer asked the man several times to call off his dogs, (pleading with him to do so), the owner appeared not to be complying. As a result, he had no choice but to fire his “duty weapon”, striking the dog closest to him.
What I can’t get my head wrapped around is how it is possible for anyone to mistake a Border Collie mix with a pit bull, and why this officer just fired at a dog who was only running toward him to greet him.  Why was no apology offered to the Bolings?
This writer feels strongly that in order to prevent a similar tragedy from ever happening again, there is an urgent need for specialized training in handling canines for law enforcement personnel nationwide.

Tuesday, June 5

What's Up Downtown June!

Happy June!   This year continues to plow forward on high!  Or at least it feels that way.  Don't forget today is Election Day, don't forget to vote!

Summer has started and there is a lot to do in Downtown!  A few things I look forward to every year are on their way, so don't forget to check out Hope For Firefighters June 7th 11:30 am - 2:30pm, LA Film Fest June  14th -24th, and The X Games June 28th - July 1st.

There are also some fun new business' in the neighborhood, Famima!! on 6th and Broadway, Two Boots Pizza on Broadway and 8th and Industriel French Restaurant on 6th and Grand.  All are great adds!

There are also so many great shows, concerts and fun activities coming, check out the whole calendar by barking on the link:  BARK!

Monday, June 4

Help A Soldier Get A Service Dog

Dogster posted a blog about a charity to help wounded soldiers get service dogs they badly need.  This is a great cause and it doesn't cost a thing, just a click of your mouse.  I hope you all get involved, the blog is below.

Help a Soldier Get a Service Dog with a Click of Your Mouse

For every 1,000 Facebook, Tumblr, and Pinterest followers Dog Bless You gets before July 4, the nonprofit will donate a service dog to a wounded warrior.
Imagine you're a war veteran who needs help getting around because of a combat injury. You know a service dog could make your life easier, restoring much-needed independence and normalcy, but most service dogs are out of reach for you financially.
Or imagine you're a veteran with PTSD, and you can't function in crowds or when you can't see clearly around you. So you stay home, so you don't have to face the panic attacks at the store or the movies. You've heard about the tremendous help a service dog can be, but you don't have the resources to get one.  
Now imagine you can help these veterans, and not by donating money. All you have to do is click, and a deserving war veteran is one step closer to a life-changing companion. For every 1,000 new Likes on the wonderful Facebook page of organization Dog Bless You gets between Memorial Day and July 4, the nonprofit will donate a service dog to a war veteran.
I've spoken with veterans whose service dogs have given them their lives back. It's so easy to make a huge difference in the lives of these wounded warriors. All it takes from you is one tap of the mouse on the "Like" button of Dog Bless You's Facebook page during its Dog Bless USA Spirit of '76 campaign. (The group will donate up to 76 dogs!) 
I wish I could participate in this social media challenge grant, but I Liked them long ago. This almost makes me want to have many Facebook alter egos so I can Like them all over the place.
The campaign also applies to Dog Bless You's Pinterest and Tumblr pages. For every 1,000 followers on each site, Dog Bless You will donate a dog. 
As of last night, there were enough Likes for five dogs to be trained by excellent nonprofits that specialize in this kind of training. How many lives of wounded warriors will Dogster readers help change? Let's get clicking now! We can make a real difference here.