Why does Ziggy the senior English Bull Dog know every day is National Dog Day when she's around? Because everywhere this adopted dog goes she gets a lot of love, from her family to strangers sitting next to her on a bench.
As a confirmed dog lover, I think every day is National Dog Day too. And until we're ready to adopt again, I'm celebrating the hell out of this holiday with as many dogs, especially the older senior sweethearts, as I can!
If you don't have a dog, consider marking this day by adopting or fostering a dog in your area.
Is this a wolf in leopard-unicorn clothing rather than sheep? A treat walking in San Francisco, with or without a dog, is our many murals.
You find yourself surprised again, and again, with what people draw on buildings, or next to a window. The Mission District has many large and colorful drawings along alleys that are wonderful. Each week you can find a new piece of art, and this summer I've been seeing more organized walking tours taking visitors to the best exhibitions.
Not having my dog Cleo to take on walks, I enjoy coming across these various murals featuring canines. I feel like strangers are reminding me how much this city loves dogs. They are as fascinated by the different shapes and personalities of dogs as I am. These are often unexpected visual reminders on my walks that tell me I made the right choice all those years ago to call San Francisco home.
Though I currently don't walk or hike some of my favorite city trails as often as I did with my dog, here are four of my favorite places to take a dog in the city:
These Newfoundlands are doing serious work to save lives along the many miles of coastline in Italy, but I'd still watch if they were on a canine edition of BayWatch.
Meet the canine lifeguards of the Italian Coastguard [click here for the photo series]:
I once was friends with a Newfoundland named Chewbacca. When he sprawled on the floor, he was the size and texture of a large bathtub mat. Playing around with him one day I found he had webbed feet, no wonder the Italians created a water patrol using Newfs.
Using their duck paws, Newfs are natural swimmers, and with their immense strength and thick double coat, these giant dogs make the perfect lifeguards. Let me say that if I saw one of these guys lumbering by me on the beach, or cruising by in a boat, I'd definitely feel safer.
If you were on vacation in Italy, or anywhere boating or swimming, wouldn't seeing these canine lifeguards help you relax and enjoy yourself more?
Animal lovers Down Under have a chance to be sweet and help the RSPCA in Queensland, Australia. August 17 is Cupcake Day!
This annual fundraiser is a way for animal lovers to hold a Cupcake Day event at home or work -- with all the money going to support RSPCA Queensland.
"Cupcake Day for the RSPCA is all about baking, eating and most importantly raising funds to help us rescue, rehabilitate and rehome animals each year, and to support us continue our vital work in the community by helping us to help all creatures great and small."
Forgot your headphones in the seat pocket? I did. I'm probably also one of the few people who wishes the FDA Beagle will stop and visit me at SFO baggage.
This news from a major airline carrier out of Amsterdam is making me think hard about my next trip, and feel better about my carry-on. Watch this video from KLM Airlines:
From a teddy bear found by the cabin crew to a laptop left in the lounge. Locating the owners can sometimes be a challenge, so special forces have been hired…
KLM’s dedicated Lost & Found team at Amsterdam Airport Schiphol is on a mission to reunite lost items as soon as possible with their legitimate owner.
Seriously, this is one smart airline to employ a dog as a goodwill ambassador, and delivery method. I can think of a few airlines, starting with United, who could benefit greatly from this same service.
First therapy dog teams giving out cuddles for stressed out travelers, now passengers could have their lost cell phone or teddy bear returned to them by a cute dog? Yes, please!
What do you think? Best use of social media and dogs from a major airline?
This little dog is trying so hard to manage these stairs. I feel his frustration. Anyone who has tried to work through their pain or anxiety when trying something new, and difficult, knows what this corgi is going through. You can tell he's trying to talk himself into one more step.
Next time I climb one of the many San Francisco hills and stairways, I plan to channel this little corgi. What a little motivator...
Aug. 15, 2015 is “Clear the Shelters” Day, an initiative by NBC-owned stations to help get cats and dogs waiting for new homes successfully adopted. That Saturday, over 40 area animal shelters will take part in “#CleartheShelters” Day in the Bay Area.
NBC and Telemundo will host this national day of action, and participating animal shelters in the Bay Area will offer no-cost or reduced fee adoptions or waive pet spaying and neutering fees. Other shelter fees may apply.
Three Bay Area organizations will hold pet adoption events on August 15 as part of Clear the Shelters. Berkeley’s Humane Society will hold a family-friendly block party located at the corner of 9th and Carleton Streets featuring more than twelve pet adoption organizations.
San Francisco’s SPCA will host “Rescue Row on Alabama” where many pets will be available for on-the-spot adoptions. Muttville Senior Dog Rescue, and the SF Animal Care and Control will be participating.
Lastly, the Peninsula Humane Society will feature a carnival-style “Adopt-a-Thon” in their new state-of-the-art indoor dog park in Burlingame that will have games, pet treats and a “Green Carpet” staging area for photos for pets.
More than 150 dogs and cats will be available for adoption and adopters will be able to “name their fee” for how much they would like to contribute to adopt their forever companion.
Visit NBC Bay Area for more information about the event, and the participating shelters across the country.
Locally, the SF SPCA will be holding a special weekend Clear the Shelters on Rescue Row, and at the Pacific Heights Campus:
On August 15th, hundreds of shelters across the country are taking part in a nationwide push to find homes for pets in need. Along with many organizations across the country, the San Francisco SPCA will be waiving adoption fees* for all animals including our newest additions: bunnies! We will also be offering free adoptions on Sunday, August 16th.
*Special extended hours on Saturday, August 15th: 10am-7pm
Taking good pictures isn't easy, ask any dog person how hard it is to get a photo of their furry buddy that isn't blurred or poorly lit. And that's when the dog is sleeping. Imagine what it must be like for shelter dogs. These are dogs who lives can change overnight when a stranger falls in love with their cute mug on a shelter's website, or Facebook page.
Having a cute photo to share online and across social media can have a big impact on dog adoption successes. From MNN.com:
The study found that some of the most important traits of a photo that lead to an adoption include:
the dog making direct eye contact with the camera
the dog standing up
the dog posing in an outdoor location
the sharpness and overall quality of the image
Interestingly, the aspects that seemed like they would make a dog appear more friendly, such as a dog wearing a bandana, having a toy, or having an open mouth with a visible tongue, didn't seem to sway people who were looking to adopt.
Read more about the tricks to taking a photo that will help increase a dog's adoption chances.
Did you fall in love with your dog's photo before you met?
What I love about dogs is their resilience, and the example set by older, senior dogs is incredibly inspiring. Dogs know love and live in the now. This adoptable shepherd all the way from Iran is someone ready to show you why senior dogs rule:
“Mina is a sweet girl. She can be reserved when learning about her new world, but is also a very confident dog who knows her mind. Mina has been successfully learning new things, like how to go up and down stairs, how to jump into the car for a fun ride to Fort Funston, and how to sleep on a dog bed. She likes to snooze in the shade under the trees, but is also quick when something interesting is happening nearby. Mina has learned to play with tug toys. Mina seems to be ok as the only dog, but I think she’d prefer to have a playmate living with her.”
Mina has traveled over land and sea from Iran to be a part of Muttville and we couldn’t be happier to have her!
This gentle girl has been through a lot of transitions in her life recently, so she is still understandably a bit wary of her surroundings. But with some patience and a lot of love, we’re sure that Mina will come out of her shell to show her wiggly and goofy side!
Meet Mina at Muttville on Rescue Row in San Francisco, and you'll fall in love!
We think Mina is between 8-10 years old, weighing about 50 lbs.