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August 2011
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October 2011

San Francisco Mayoral Candidates Debate Dog Issues

It's official: an upcoming mayoral debate is going to the dogs. The adorably named political action committee DogPAC is holding the first-ever, they say, forum to "endorse candidates with strong positions on pressing animal welfare issues."

Those candidates will answer a series of already-determined questions by moderator Evelyn Nieves, a local journalist who currently writes for the Associated Press.

"Candidates will be asked about their positions on access to open space and outdoor recreation areas and parks, increasing pet-friendly housing, and protecting animal welfare," says DogPAC.

For more information, visit dogpacsf.org

What: A Mayoral candidate forum dealing with issues about dogs
When: Saturday, Oct. 1 from 2-4pm
Where: Congregation Sha'ar Zahav, 290 Dolores Street at 16th in San Francisco
Cost: Absolutely free, but you might want to take notes for your pet since they only allow service animals inside

Read more at SF Appeal 

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Dogs Help Kansas City Schools Kids Lick Bullies

Dogs-Steve-Hebert-USATODAY
Via usatoday - Sweet-natured dogs lolling about classrooms are helping take a bite out of bullying — and other bad behaviors — in Kansas City schools. No More Bullies teaches, with dogs' help, responsibility, compassion, self-control and integrity.

Since its small launch five years ago, teachers and counselors have become so convinced of the positive impact on kids' behavior that it's booked into the 80-classroom max it can handle, and there's a long waiting list of requests for next year.

The curriculum, developed by ex-teacher Jo Dean Hearn, humane education director at animal rescue group Wayside Waifs, is presented an hour a day for five days by trained volunteers — accompanied by irresistible canines. "The animals are the glue that helps the children stay focused and understand the message," says Hearn. "Children can easily identify with an animal. And it's easy for them to transition when we ask them to consider how an animal feels (if ill treated) to how the kid sitting near them feels (if poorly treated)."

Adds teacher Peggy Everist: "There's a lot of specific language, like being fair, and using compassion or integrity, that plays out with the students throughout the year." A growing number of programs use animals to get kids' attention while teaching respect and conflict resolution.

Read more at USA Today

Written by - Sharon L Peters Special for USA TODAY

Image by: Steve Hebert, for USA TODAY

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Jack the sheep who thinks he's a dog

Via YouTube A sheep rescued as a lamb and brought up with a springer spaniel is now convinced he is - a SHEEP DOG. Six-month-old Jack is so sure he is a canine he fetches sticks, wears a collar and a lead, jumps up on his hind legs - and even tries to BARK.

Astonishingly, Jack doesn't even recognise his own species and tries to HERD sheep when he is put in the field with the rest of the flock. Owners Alison Sinstadt, 48, and her partner Simon Sherwin, 50, were stunned when the Lleyn sheep was befriended by their nine-year-old springer spaniel Jessie.

 

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Dogma: Live in SF, Love in SF, Made in SF

Can San Francisco handle another street fair? If it involves pets, I believe the answer is yes. People streamed into Hayes Valley this last Saturday for the entire four hours of DOGMA, a new San Francisco SPCA sponsored street fair and pet adoption event. Jennifer Scarlett, Co-President, San Francisco SPCA sums up best why San Franciscans have so much to celebrate:

"We’re truly lucky to be somewhere that’s so tolerant of the ways people choose to live and love and carry on. What we don’t tolerate is suffering, and when we see it, we take action. Those of us working for animal welfare don’t need a party to remind us to be thankful for a community devoted to companion animals and making their lives better. San Francisco is still the safest major U.S. city in which to be a cat or dog." ~ Jennifer Scarlett, Co-President SF SPCA

If you were one of the few people who didn't make it this year, here are just a few highlights of what you missed at Patricia’s Green, a little dachshund-shaped park in Hayes Valley:

Theo-Pug

Theo strutting his stuff for the talent show! Yes, costumes were considering talent, though Theo proved he could do more than trot across a stage..

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22nd Annual Franciscan Blessing of the Animals San Francisco Oct 1st

San Francisco, the city of St. Francis is pet friendly for a reason. Besides the amazing climate, there are outdoor activities galore if you have a canine companion. Personally I think St. Francis of Assisi would be pleased with what he saw in his namesake west coast city.

A wonderful tradition that has gotten larger over the years is the Annual Franciscan Blessing of the Animals. This year it will take place on Saturday October 1 at St. Boniface Church.   The event was founded in 1987 by Father Floyd Lotito, OFM as a way of celebrating the spirit of St. Francis of Assisi in the city that bears his name.

SF Blessing of the Animals

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What does it take to adopt a dog?

What does it take to adopt a dog? You go to a weekend pet adoption event or a local shelter. All around are puppies and dogs of all ages and sizes. You look at their faces hoping get a signal that says "I'm the one for you". They pull out all the stops: tilting the head, putting their paw on your lap or making a cute face while smacking their lips. You expect that from a puppy but our dog Cleo did all this when we first saw her at the San Francisco SPCA. 

Cleo-2011

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Year-round Shopping Lists: Senior Dogs

Do you have a senior dog at home? Maybe you are interested in making a donation to your local rescue or shelter? With September being Senior Dog Wellness Month, we thought it would be fun to come up with a list of items and where you can find many of them that every senior dog lover should know about.

Useful tips, gift ideas, do-it-yourself projects and what to recycle from secondhand thrift shops:

Baby slings for carrying small dogs - if they are good for a baby they are perfect for a little dog & your back

Toothbrush - when you get your teeth cleaned at the dentist, ask if you can take an extra soft brush home for your dog.

Soft toys and treats - check out Amazon for deals or consider making them! Consider this LIFE+DOG recipe for salmon dog treats. Here is a DIY project we did on Cleo's toys

Cleo-Grouchy-Puppy-Muse

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San Francisco SPCA-sponsored DOGMA Street Fair Sept 24

DOGMA Flyer2

Join the SF SPCA for a street party, San Francisco style

Saturday, September 24th

11am - 3pm on Octavia Street between Hayes and Fell

A San Francisco SPCA Event in Support of Pet Adoptions

Prizes include a special Advertorial on 7x7.com, $100 For any SF SPCA Services or adoption, 5 day ALL Day Play pass and $100 Spa Package at Wag Hotel, BBs Jet Set Pets Purrari Pet Throw, original Unround Hound Square from Novo Deco Jewelry, Happy Hounds Massage complimentary pet session, Chronicle Books pet books package, P.L.A.Y. Pet Bed, a Portrait Session from Nuena Photography and more!

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Adopting an Older Dog: 10 Reasons Why

BlogPaws-2011-AJ-Sharon Guest Post Friday is our new series sharing funny pet bloggers, and smart dog lovers, pet industry influencers and animal advocates. With lots of fascinating people involved in making a difference in the lives of animals this is our way of sharing them within the Grouchy Puppy community. Our first guest post is from A.J., a long time friend of Grouchy Puppy and someone we finally got to meet in person at BlogPaws. She shares her reasons behind why all dogs can be puppies and why she loves senior dogs - perfect timing for Less Adoptable Pet Appreciation Week.

I’m A.J. from I Still Want More Puppies – I blog about pup culture, pop culture and anything else that strikes my fancy.  My motto?  Puppies = serenity now.   The title of my blog declares that I want more puppies. However, I’m here to make a confession. I like adopting adult dogs.  (Thanks to Sharon & Cleo for letting me get this off my chest.  Whew!)  

I should clarify – all dogs are puppies to me, but when it comes to adoption, I’m not drawn to the young whippersnappers. In fact, Bella was past puppyhood when I adopted her. We think she was at least one (perhaps one and a half), and she’d already had puppies. (I know… puppies having puppies. It’s like the dog version of 16 and Pregnant.) Some crazy person kept the puppies and dropped Bella off at the pound. (By “crazy person,” I mean “idiot.”  Bella’s awesome.)

I-Still-Want-More-Puppies
Anyway, when I peruse Petfinder, I limit my search to adult pups. When the time is right to add more furry friends to our house, I guarantee we’ll be adding a dog that’s no longer in the puppy stage. Why?  Well, it just so happens I’ve put together a list of my top 10 reasons…   

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Giveaway: Pedigree Goodies for you and your dog

Cleo-BlogPaws-Toy

Did you miss out on getting to BlogPaws in Washington DC last month? We know lots of people had to cancel out at the last minute and stay home with their dogs because of Hurricane Irene. We were fortunate enough to go and return with lots of conference swag thanks to the many sponsors. Because we know how much fun it is to collect samples and try out cool new products, we are sharing some of the goodies we brought home with you!

Our giveaway of conference goodies for one lucky reader has something for you and your dog! Cleo will keep her squeaky pig from the Angry Birds toy collection but I did put together a great sampler from Pedigree. 

Our prize pack includes assorted dog food samples and dental oral care from Pedigree, along with a cool travel mug, coupons, post-its and a cute Dogs Rule sticker - plus a special surprise gift.

The gift pack is a great way to try the newest dog food formula from Pedigree and their latest in Dentastix.

How to Enter

We have several ways to enter; The giveaway is open to US mailing addresses only! This giveaway ends at 12:01am EST on September 23, 2011. Good luck!

We are trying Rafflecopter for the first time. It is a new way to conduct contests and giveaways. Let us know if you have any feedback. Thanks!

Pedigree-Swag-Bag

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Ten signs you are matched with the right dog

My dog Cleo is the best. For me, it is as if my favorite stuffed animal has come to life. She has been with us for almost six years and is so seamlessly integrated into our home and life, it feels like she has always been here.

Stuffed_Animal_Alive
How do you know when you met your match? I've thought that Petfinder.com is a bit like a pet-version of Match.com as they do a great job at finding your perfect match. Considering our success with Cleo, I thought it would be fun to share what I consider to be ten signs you are matched with the right dog: 

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Appetites, Good Smells, Senior Dog Wellness

September is Senior Wellness Month and since my dog Cleo is an older girl now, there are lots of relevant topics to cover here this month. After the Senior Dog Seminar at the San Francisco SPCA last weekend, my mind has been full of ideas about how to make these golden years the best for Cleo.

Senior dog appetites. I have written previously about our trips to the vet and a specialist to uncover Cleo's allergies. We have her on a restricted diet to remove the foods she's allergic to now. Recently her morning appetite has diminished some. She isn't interested in digging in right away, she sometimes leaves a little behind and she has even walked away once or twice.

Given how much we cater to her needs, yes we love on her a lot and she is our only dog, we weren't sure if Cleo's recent behavior was in reaction to something we were doing. She does have dental issues so I have been concerned and watchful regarding her actual consumption of food as well as her play time with squeaky toys. However nothing has really struck me as out of the ordinary yet.

Cleo_meals

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