Are you a dog person or know someone in your life who loves dogs the most? This year I’m sharing my personal favorite gift giving ideas for dog people!
Below are five very different and special gifts for dog lovers of all ages. There is a website where you can use your own photos or original artwork to create cute gifts for your dog loving friends and family, ranging from everything from pillows to note cards. There are also three new gift ideas just discovered this year!
Whether for the holidays, a birthday or a housewarming gift, you’re bound to find the perfect gift for the dog lovers in your life.
Rain or shine expect a line when it comes to adorable adoptable pets! Celebrate the season by joining the San Francisco SPCA and Macy’s Union Square for the 31st unveiling of the iconic Holiday Windows on Friday, November 17, at 5:00 p.m. The window displays, which have become one of the most beloved symbols of the holiday spirit in San Francisco, will once again feature adorable – and adoptable – cats and dogs who need loving homes. San Francisco pastry chef Yigit Pura will partner with Snoopy to unveil the windows, and children from the De Marillac Academy Choir will provide the holiday soundtrack.
This year’s windows celebrate the bonds between family and friends. Titled “The Perfect Gift Brings People Together,” the theme centers on the joy of sharing holiday season festivities with those we love. Generations of visitors will delight once again, seeing the cuddly adoptable faces ready to share the holiday in a new home.
In 2016, 257 animals found homes during Holiday Windows and nearly $100,000 was raised to provide year-round support for the SF SPCA’s lifesaving programs. Over the last 30 years, Holiday Windows has made it possible for more than 9,000 animals to find loving, permanent homes.
“Combining the magic of holiday giving and finding these animals new homes, along with the importance of being with those we love throughout the season, makes these windows one of our favorite projects all year,” said Macy’s Visual Manager, Rise Hixson. “Guests from all over the Bay Area and the United States love watching the adorable animals in these windows. Spreading that cheer at this time of year is magical.”
This year, the magic will expand beyond the windows with a special space on the 6th floor where visitors will be able to see more adoptable animals and even schedule time in the wildly popular SF SPCA Cuddle Experience. Cuddle sessions will be available from 11am – 1pm and 5pm – 7pm on weekdays and 10am – noon and 4pm – 6pm on weekends.
WANT TO HELP?
Holiday Windows relies on volunteer support. The short two-hour shifts involve greeting the public, collecting donations, and directing people to the SF SPCA adoption center inside Macy’s. No prior training is required, and groups are welcome to volunteer together. Learn more at sfspca.org/holiday
“Thousands of lives have been saved through the Holiday Windows event, thanks to our partnership with Macy’s,” explained Dr. Jennifer Scarlett, SF SPCA President. “Every holiday season the San Francisco community comes together to help our animals find new homes. This is our biggest event of the year, and the tradition truly brings out the magic of the holiday spirit.”
In honor of the International Comic-Con Convention, orphan cats and dogs will be staging Helen Woodward Animal Center’s 5th Annual PAWmicon Convention at Hazard Center in Mission Valley.
The highlight? Comical critters styled in PAWSplay apparel celebrating the superheroes who adopt orphan pets!
Attendees are invited to bring the whole family – including, and especially, canines – to the free event and dress-to-impress to compete in the costume contest. Due to fan requests, the 2017 PAWmicon will be held the weekend prior to Comic-Con to allow attendees to take in both types of animated characters.
The 2017 PAWmicon Convention will be held on Saturday, July 15, 10 a.m. to 12 p.m., at Hazard Center located at 7610 Hazard Center Drive, San Diego, CA 92108.
Does your dog love going to the beach? Ever wanted to take your dog out on a paddle board while on vacation? If you live in or are planning to visit Southern California, you're in luck!! Not only can you sign up for dog surfing classes or paddle board lessons with your dog, but all the proceeds support a great animal nonprofit.
Get ready to travel to old Havana, Cuba as you raise money for the amazing Helen Woodward Animal Center!!
This Saturday is the 29th Annual Spring Fling Gala, presented by Ed and Sandy Burr of EDCO. The highly anticipated black-tie evening, designed to transport guests to the vibrant capital city south of the Florida Keys during “A Night in Old Havana,” benefits the Center’s programs for animals and people in need.
The event will be hosted by on-air celebrities KFM-BFM’s Shelly Dunn and KUSI’s Mark Mathis and provide attendees a 5-star dining experience with delectable tastings from top San Diego restaurants.
The event, which received Ranch & Coast Magazine’s San Diego’s Best Annual Gala Award for 2016, also features hosted bars; dancing all night; live musical performances; and an opportunity drawing to win two first-class round-trip tickets on United Airlines for travel throughout the U.S.; and to Alaska, Canada, Mexico, the Caribbean and Central America.
For more information or to purchase tickets: contact Elisabeth Baker at 858-756-4117 x350 or ElisabethB@animalcenter.org.
After the year I've spent volunteering at Muttville Senior Dog Rescue, and experiencing the amazing personalities of small older dogs for the first time, I know what my future is going to include.
If my bones are shaky, we'll walk slow. Whether on my lap, or next to me on the couch, we can gossip and debate whenever the mood strikes. We can be each other's alarm clock, and reminder to get up. I might even call my little senior dog Siri.
Yes, like Sarah Lilly, my future self plans to grow old and cranky with a little dog always by my side:
Sarah Lilly, who just turned 90, and her 12-year-old Lhasa apso-poodle mix, Katy, have been inseparable for nearly two years. They wake up by 7 each morning, eat breakfast, take a walk and spend much of the day lavishly doting on the other. When in their favorite recliner, for example, Lilly strokes Katy’s soft, tan, loosely curled fur, and the cuddly 12-pound dog expresses her appreciation with wet kisses.
“She’s such a blessing,” said Lilly, adding that before Katy came into her life she had become a homebody after being scared by several falls. Now, she takes Katy for at least two walks a day and to visit a neighbor caring for his ailing mother.
Read all the ways older pets can improve your health, or your parents health, in this wonderful story about Sarah from Ohio and The Dispatch.
I bet now you understand why I believe senior dogs rule.
The San Francisco SPCA is celebrating its 149th birthday and inviting partygoers to join in the fun. On Friday, April 21, visit the SF SPCA’s Mission Campus Adoption Center from 6pm – 9pm for wine, nibbles from Et Volià, and treats from Smitten Ice Cream. Watch the shelter dogs celebrate with a special doggie birthday cake! Tickets are required and available with a donation.
Attendees can bring home their very own SF SPCA birthday present – rabbits and adult cats will be free to adopt all day on April 21! This adoption special includes animals at both the Mission and Pacific Heights Campuses.
“For 149 years the SF SPCA has been committed to helping animals, people, and the San Francisco community,” explained Dr. Jennifer Scarlett, SF SPCA President. “We were the fourth humane organization to be established in America, and the first west of the Mississippi.”
The SF SPCA was founded on April 18, 1868, by James Sloan Hutchinson, who caught sight of two men dragging a terrified hog along the rough cobblestone street. Hutchinson was appalled and stepped in to stop the abuse. The rescue served as a catalyst for Hutchinson and 15 others to fight animal cruelty by establishing the SF SPCA.
Many urbanites use prepared-meal delivery services these days, so it’s no surprise that the trend has spread to the furry set. Ollie, a 4-month-old company based in the city, delivers fresh food made with fit-for-humans-grade ingredients, such as beef, blueberries, spinach and chia seeds. Delivery costs $20 to $50 per week. “It mirrors the way [New York humans] want to eat,’’ said co-founder Gabby Slome, 30.
According the American Pet Products Association, billions are spent on pet food, the most of any category they track. I expect that given how more young people are growing up with dogs treated, and seen, as beloved members of their family, they will continue that vision when they start their own household.
Treating our companion animals with compassion is never a bad thing, but it's important to try as hard as you can to embrace a dog's essential "doggieness" rather than treating them like miniature humans with human diets or desires. By all means, give your dog the healthiest food you can afford but remember, meals don't need to be complicated to be well-balanced and healthy.
Love your dog, spend time with your dog playing, and engaging with them in meaningful ways. They are with us for such a brief amount of time. Worry less about trends and more about the quality of your time together. Your memories together of hanging out, going on walks, naps on the couch, even making breakfast or dinner together will be what you care about most when they are gone.
Trying to embrace my dog in all her glory is what I am grateful for when I think back to my fluffy girl. I'm so glad I realized somewhat early in our relationship to stop worrying about making any mistakes with my caregiving, and to focus more on being in the moment with her.
Do you have advice for millennials getting their first dogs?
Sometimes it's a simple gesture to help an animal rescue, or animal welfare organization that makes the biggest difference. In this case, it was a donation by famous footballer, Cristiano Ronaldo.
The Cantinho da Lili shelter in Gouveia in northern Portugal was set for closure but the Madeira native stepped in to help raise funds to keep it open.
Ronaldo donated an autographed jersey which will be auctioned to keep the kennels in business, with it currently finding it difficult to stay afloat due to the expensive treatments undertaken at the centre.
There is something special about older dogs. Is it that having lived beyond the spazzy puppy period, their calm demeanor can lower our blood pressure? When I volunteer at my local senior dog rescue in San Francisco, the adoptable pups there are cuddle bugs and it's a joy spending time with them every week.
Experiencing the warmth and affection these old dogs offer is why I am so happy to shine a light on a new rescue focused on giving older dogs a second chance. City of Elderly Love Rescue in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania is "dedicated to saving Philly's vintage pets" and in a few years have re-homed over 400 animals.
Since they co-founded the rescue in 2014, Erin Lewis and Samantha Holbrook have saved more than 400 animals.
Erin adds, "We always say that quality is greater than quantity we don't really care how long they'll be with us as long as they have amazing lives and they can make some families really happy during that time."
Erin's own senior dog, Gemma, was the inspiration.
"I call her my soul dog because she was just that amazing and I like to think that every senior pet we rescue could be someone else's Gemma," said Erin.
Need a quick snuggle during an afternoon coffee run? Thinking about adding to your family with an adopted dog or cat? Maybe a bunny? If you live or work downtown the San Francisco SPCA has a pop-up adoption center in Two Embarcadero for the month of February!
They had me at "coffee cuddles"
February 1, 2017 – The San Francisco SPCA, in partnership with Embarcadero Center, has launched a Pop-Up Adoption Center at Two Embarcadero Center. Visitors will meet adorable, adoptable animals and participate in fun events designed to introduce potential adopters to their new best friend. The Pop-Up Adoption Center will be open weekdays February 1 – 28, 2017 from 11am to 7pm, with the exception of Presidents’ Day on February 20.
If you love traveling with your dog, and that means taking the train, you're in luck! To celebrate the new release of The Secret Lives of Pets, tickets booked on Amtrak December 6 - 11th will allow your best buddy to ride for free. Woo woooooooo!
Universal City, California, November 29, 2016 – Riding the rails with a beloved four-legged friend will come with an extra special treat during this holiday season, in which “Pets Ride Free.” Universal Pictures Home Entertainment (UPHE) and Amtrak are teaming up for a first of its kind promotion in celebration of the December 6 home entertainment release of Illumination’s blockbuster film, The Secret Life of Pets. The “Pets Ride Free” offer, available for trips booked December 6 through December 11, 2016 or while supplies last, allows pets to ride at no additional cost on participating Amtrak routes from December 9 through March 31, 2017.
It's the most wonderful time of the year! 'Tis the season for believing in the power of our love for dogs and cats to overwhelm passers by in downtown San Francisco so that they opt to adopt.
SAN FRANCISCO, CALIF., November 11, 2016 – The San Francisco SPCA and Macy’s Union Square are teaming up to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the Holiday Windows. This holiday season adoptable animals will once again be showcased in the effort to find them loving homes.
Last year alone, 261 cats and dogs found new homes in time for the holidays, and more than $88,000 was raised to support the SF SPCA’s life-saving programs. Since the beginning of Holiday Windows, more than 8,800 dogs and cats have been adopted at the event.