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November 2011
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January 2012

After another year, does anyone know this dog's secret?

Crimes against dog lovers. It should be a crime that my dog looks this happy in the photo. She seems to have a secret ability to positively shine at will. 

This very morning, I was on a plane flying above her head toward Utah. They dropped me off at the airport, and because it was a beautiful early morning, went straight to the beach. Moments after getting out of the car, and producing a "double-bagger" for my husband to pick up, you get this perfectly snapped image.

The image is so perfect, when he emailed it to me in Utah, I thought it was a fake.

Cleo-Ocean-Beach

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Baywoof's Beast of the Bay Awards 2012 - Nominations until Dec 31

Baywoof's 4th Annual Beast of the Bay Awards - Nominations are here! This is a contest to vote on everything dog and dog-centric in the San Francisco Bay Area! Over forty categories such as: Best View with a Dog, Best Online Web Advice, Best Yappy Hour, Best Canine Cause.

Grouchy-Puppy-Muse
Grouchy Puppy would love to get your vote and be nominated for #43 Best Dog Blog on the ballot entry form. The four most-mentioned nominees will appear on the final ballot. The deadline for nominations is 12am on December 31st! Thank you for your support!

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Stars discuss "No Animals Were Harmed" program

We've come a long way since the days of the famous dog hero and star, RIN TIN TIN. A few months ago, I saw a screening of his silent film "Clash of the Wolves", during the Susan Orlean book tour. It was tough to watch, knowing this film pre-dated the "No Animals Were Harmed" program and disclaimer.

I could only imagine how hard this German Shepherd dog worked each day on his many films, and how he was treated. Unlike Hollywood actors today, there were no list of demands (i.e. wild salmon treats, imported bottled-water in a white ceramic bowl exactly 14 inches from the ground) in his contract rider.

We've come a long way in our treatment of animals, but I'm still glad organizations like the American Humane Association are around. 

 

Cameron Crowe & stars Matt Damon, Scarlett Johansson, and Elle Fanning the stars of the movie "We Bought A Zoo" discuss American Humane Association's "No Animals Were Harmed" program.

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Merry Christmas from our pack to yours

Happy Holidays!

We love the holidays, and baking cookies for friends, family & neighbors. This year our dog helped deliver the goodies in our neighborhood. She sprinkled fur along with her personality to all.

Along the way we had a few "is he a reindog?", a couple of "is it okay if I pet him, I love Shepherds" and just lots of smiles. Cleo had a grand time sharing her holiday cheer for everyone, especially those who stopped to pet her.

image from www.grouchypuppy.com

Guess who we saw along the way?!

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PAWS and serve your community

Do you know our Grouchy Puppy motto? It is "Give Fearlessly. Influence Positively." Recently, I had the great pleasure of positively influencing a wonderful nonprofit here in San Francisco, PAWS.

Last month, the folks at GREENIES asked me to suggest my favorite local animal charity that could benefit from an in-kind donation. They were reaching out to a few pet bloggers with this kind offer, and Grouchy Puppy was on that list. The offer was for any kind of items, from office supplies to toys. You'll never guess what PAWS needed the most.

Having supported Muttville actively, as well as the San Francisco SPCAPAWS was another local group that meant a lot to me. Pets are wonderful support (PAWS) is a San Francisco nonprofit that has been giving fearlessly to people and their pets for more than two decades. They are a volunteer-based organization that provides for the comprehensive needs of companion animals for low-income persons with disabling HIV/AIDS and other disabling illnesses, as well as senior citizens. They also educate the larger community on the benefits of the human-animal bond, and advocate for the rights of disabled individuals to keep service animals. I wrote about them in July for the Blog the Change Campaign, regarding their unique and valuable Extern Programs. 

PAWS-Food-Bank-Inventory-System
[PAWS paper inventory system. Photo credit: Brett Chisholm]

PAWS and all the volunteers do so much year round, but during the holidays, their pet food bank and Holiday Stocking Delivery can mean a whole lot more to the low-income community they serve. This is their reach: in 2010 the PAWS Food Bank distributed more than 55,000 cans of wet pet food, more than 29,000 pounds of dry pet food and more than 18,000 pounds of cat litter!!! This work was done by more than 500 volunteers who gave more than 14,000 hours of their time in 2010. Now that is giving fearlessly!

When I reached out to Cheryl Shiflett, Marketing and Events Manager for PAWS about their needs, she asked if GREENIES would consider getting them an electronic inventory scanner for their Food Bank. They were managing to run it using an old paper inventory system, but an inventory scanner would help them more effectively distribute and track the food in their animal food bank. We all did a happy dance when GREENIES agreed to buy the inventory scanner.[...]

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How a rambunctious Border Collie becomes a Therapy Dog!

Allow me to introduce myself....my name is Rosalynn Lily, I'm a five year old wild and crazy Border Collie.

When I was adopted by my fur-mom at 7 weeks old from a local Livermore rancher, she kept saying that she needed to find a job for me as she hadn't been able to do that with her previous border collie.

We tried agility when I was old enough but unfortunately, due to an injury I sustained during my training, I never had the opportunity to compete in a single agility competition. That injury also kept me out of other high intensity activities such as flyball or what I was bred for, competive sheep-herding.

So what was left for me to do as a job?  Mom decided that she would try to get me certified as a therapy dog. She contacted the local animal shelters for any therapy dog training programs they might have in place. We ended up training and getting our certification via the East Bay SPCA in Dublin.[...]

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Pet therapy dogs bring comfort and joy

By now if you follow Grouchy Puppy on Facebook or Twitter, you will have seen we have a soft spot for therapy dogs, and would love to have our dog perform this role officially. Currently, Cleo hands out love and affection on the streets of our city to whomever slows down.

cleo-grouchy-puppy-love
We're hoping to get a new guest post series started soon that shares first person accounts of therapy dogs in action. Stay posted, but in the meantime enjoy this CBS News story on what a therapy dog can do:

 

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Guest Post Friday SF SPCA Senior Scholars Class

A few months ago, I attended the first Senior Dog Seminar at the San Francisco SPCA. For anyone with an older dog, the class gave you valuable information on caring for your beloved, ensuring their golden years are as happy and healthy as they can be. One of the speakers at the seminar was Lisa Dossey, an instructor at the San Francisco SPCA. Today Lisa has contributed a guest post detailing her new Senior Scholars class, inspired by her dog Bonesy.

Senior Scholars is the first public class to be offered at the San Francisco SPCA catering to people (of any age) and their Senior Best Fur Friends (ages 7 and up)

We had a full group comprised of eager wise canines and people gather for our first set of classes starting October 29th, 2011. The class is designed for Senior Dogs and our first and foremost priority is your Senior Dog’s comfort and happiness. This is a four (4) week class - the first class is an orientation for humans only - and the following three (3) weeks are for you and your Senior Best Friend!

Delilah[Precious Delilah taking a rest on her plush cozy bed in her beautiful graduation necklace!]

The first week’s orientation includes an eye-opening (and surprise!) team exercise as well as a “Sharing circle” when we share our dog’s name, breed, age, and any medical and behavioral issues we should be aware of in order to make the class safe and fun for all attendees.

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Photographs of Elderly Animals

Can you guess I love photography? With the hundreds of photos on Grouchy Puppy, of my dog Cleo, and the thousands more I have stored on an external hard drive, you might say that dogs and photography are important to me. A passion of mine.

Grouchy-Puppy-Cleo
Besides wanting to capture my beloved while she is with us, my reason for loving and appreciating photography in general, is the beauty. In a moment, an expression, the light, we all have a chance to share an extraordinary emotional experience together.

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When a baby plays in or drinks from a water bowl

Having grown up with dogs, I admit to my share of not so hygienic moments with them. For a few months there, you could find my 7 year old self, regularly napping in either Tasha's or Scooter's crate in the family room. However, never do I recall playing or drinking from their water bowls - unlike baby Patrick in the video below.

Could you imagine if I tried sharing water with my dog Cleo?

Cleo-Dog-Water-Dish

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Have you seen that doggie in the window?

Irresistible dogs. Holiday pet adoption drives. This time of year it is tempting to adopt a dog to give as a gift. Please don't if you have any, any, question about what to expect from the experience. We adopted our dog the two weeks before Thanksgiving, and even with our preparation, it made for a pretty stressful holiday.

Cleo-Xmas-2006

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Ten Things I love about the Holidays and Dogs

This time of year, the sights and smells attract me as much as they do my dog Cleo. We both noticeable pause, when we encounter the delicious food smells coming out of kitchen windows and bakeries.

Cleo-Grouchy-Puppy
While we both might like the smell of rosemary and a nice fir tree, on our neighborhood walk, my dog definitely prefers the smell of newsprint - because it means we're at Sammy's Newstand, where he has a container of special holiday treats waiting for Cleo.

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