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January 2015
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My dog is living and sentient, not a wagon wheel coffee table

The time has come for every state to let go of defining dogs as property. Remember that scene in When Harry Met Sally, when Carrie Fisher is fighting with Bruno Kirby over a wagon wheel coffee table? That ugly table is property, the blue plate in Billy Crystal's hand is property, a dog is not.

image from blog.oup.com

Resolving pet custody disputes. Should a dog be considered property, if we are finding more court cases of people getting awarded visitation rights? 

Case law from the United States shows that two distinct tests have emerged to resolving pet custody disputes: firstly, the application of pure property law principles as discussed above; and secondly, the application of a ‘best interests of the animal’ test which has similarities to the ‘best interests of the child’ test used in many countries to determine the residency of children in disputes between parents. On the whole, the courts in the United States have used the property law test and rejected the ‘best interest of the animal’ test. However, in a growing number of cases the courts have been reluctant to rely solely on property law principles. 

Source

The pivotal scene of "that's mine, this is yours"

 

How do you feel about dogs being legally defined as property, like a toaster?

 

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Ready to love again: John Unger adopts a rescue dog

Who else remembers the beautiful photo of Schoep, the grey muzzled Shepherd and senior dog, being lovingly cradled by his person while floating in Lake Superior, hoping to alleviate some of his arthritic pain?

image from www.thedodo.com

John Unger's story touched people everywhere, including me. With my own older dog with similar coloring and features, the image of them together in 2012 had me in tears.

Their story and the images were a beautiful demonstration of the human-animal bond, and we celebrated the response it generated from dog lovers across social media. 

Time heals all wounds and heartbreak because Unger has shared on his Facebook page that he has recently adopted a rescue dog named Bear.

"It was really tough after Schoep left. I didn't know what to do with my time," Unger told news station KARE 11. "He was my life."

Source

What wonderful news for both John and Bear! It's been about five months since our dog passed on and we're slowly getting through the grief process. Stories like this one are an inspiration and a timely reminder that everyone is different when handling the loss of a pet.

 

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Why do older dogs sleep so much?

While visiting my 82 year old father recently, he said naps were his favorite thing to do these days. I thought about that and remembered my love of power napping in college. Who else loves naps besides 82 year olds? Older dogs and babies, that's who. And power napping? Beside students, I'd add shift workers and puppies.

Think about it for a minute.

image from www.grouchypuppy.com

Why do older dogs sleep so much? Probably the most likely answer is that they burn fuel fast and need to recharge. Also, like that rechargeable battery, the older they get, they stop holding their charge as long.

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Discover why senior dogs rule: Fall in love with Max

Max the Pomeranian is outrageously adorable. People always ask if Max is a puppy when we think he's eleven.

muttville.org

Max-a-million is friendly with everyone. He is always happy.

He has all the great qualities of a young dog who likes to play, bounce around, and go to the park, with the great qualities of an older dog who plays gently, lays down after some brief bouncing, and hangs out at your side or in your lap.

Max is a very gentle guy on a leash, loves other dogs, cats, and people. He is house trained and gentle on leash, too.

He has so much happiness to share and will meet anyone who wants to say hello. Max is a real charmer. 

We think Max is 11 years young. Find him at Muttville on Rescue Row in San Francisco.

 

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Sweet Senior Girl: After Our Dog’s Diabetes Diagnosis

Four years ago I heard about diabetic alert dogs from Dee Bogetti. I knew how common it was for dogs to be diagnosed with Cushing's disease, but until my dog's own diagnosis, I really had no idea dogs could many older dogs become diabetic.

The Grey Muzzle Organization asked me to share our story about what life was like with an older diabetic dog. The following is a little about how we discovered her diabetes, and how we adjusted our life to keep our sweet girl living as vibrant a life as possible.

One lesson that still remains huge for me is how much our time together mirrored my diabetic father's experiences. I will be forever grateful to my sweet senior dog for opening my eyes to the similarities between her life with diabetes and my elderly father's. Thank you Cleo.

image www.grouchypuppy.com

Read more about how we handled our dog's diabetes diagnosis [...]

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Discover why senior dogs rule: Fall in love with Gracie!

Gracie girl is a little Chihuahua full of love and personality. 

image from www.muttville.org

 

Her past may be a mystery, her present has a sweetness to it. Gracie's future will show she'll be a terrific companion to anyone!

Gracie has a bit of a funny walk, but it doesn’t stop her from greeting every person and dog that walks through our doors!

We think Gracie is between 8-10 years young, weighing less than 10 lbs.

Fall in love with Gracie at Muttville on Rescue Row in San Francisco!

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Senior dogs give love even when you don't ask

Last weekend, my husband and I were walking in Napa before breakfast. As we passed by the fairgrounds, I slowed down to watch a man slowly walking by the entrance with his pair of Shelties. They were beautiful dogs and in the distance their fluffy bodies reminded me of my beloved Cleo. I smiled at them and seeing our interest, the man made his way in our direction. Nudging my husband, I whispered to slow down. Hopeful that he was friendly and wanted to engage with us, I was thrilled when the stranger steered his dogs directly towards us.

He told us how he noticed our interested faces across the parking lot. I half-listened to him and immediately spoke directly to the dogs. They were soft and silky, playfully sniffing us and leaning in for some pets. They swirled around our legs, very happy and comfortable with our affection. The man told us the dogs were seven and nine years old but from their energy level you'd never have guessed. 

image from upload.wikimedia.org
How beautiful are Shelties?     Photo credit: Jenny2513


That pair of senior dogs knew what they were doing. These Shelties were giving us some much needed love, even though they didn't have to. You know, it's not the first time I have noticed that older dogs seem to know stuff that we don't, like when to offer affection to passersby. It happened the week prior as I walked to the store in my neighborhood.

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Discover why senior dogs rule: Fall in love with Marcel

Marcel is quite the gentleman! He loves people and is easy to handle, and also gets along very well with other dogs.

muttville.org

 

Marcel has a gentle soul and a heart of gold.

He likes to cuddle, loves to be pet and doted upon, is delicate, and his fur is soft to the touch. Marcel has the sweetest, funniest little howl that will just melt your heart.

This quiet boy will make a family very happy.

Marcel is 10 years young and weighs 9 lbs.

muttville.org

Find Marcel at Muttville on Rescue Row in San Francisco!

 

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Friendly reminder about keeping pets safe and warm in cold weather

While San Francisco may be chilly and wet, causing many dogs to hide under the blankets rather than face a wet butt and soggy feet outside, much of the country is freezing with heavy snowfall. 

The ASPCA has created an animated infographic highlighting essential tips to help keep animals safe when the temperatures drop. This graphic not only includes ways to protect your pet in chilly weather, but also has vital information on how to help dogs that may be left out in dangerously cold conditions or cats that are living outdoors. 

image from www.aspca.org

Baby it's cold outside! Here are five ways we can keep pups safe in cold weather:

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Funny dog names that could be real

We've found funny dog names that could be real. Celebrities aren't the only ones to use unorthodox names like Moon Unit Zappa, or Pilot Inspektor. 

grouchy puppy funny

 

 

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