Whenever I walk our dog around the block, I often get inspired by a neighbor's landscaping, more so lately because California is in a drought situation and I'm finding beautiful flower pots filled with succulents. Who says you can't marry practical with pretty?
If we let her, our dog would happily help with the composting. Here in San Francisco it's required to compost your food waste, and if there ever was an upside to having a senior dog, it's that at thirteen, our Cleo is no longer able to counter surf. We can leave a milk carton filled with food scraps in the sink without fear that she'll leap up and sneak it off to the bedroom for an afternoon snack.
Rainy and cool fall weather on the horizon has us thinking about indoor projects, and various ways we can reduce our dog's carbon footprint as well as our own. Are there ways that we can be more green in the winter? I looked around the house and saw quite a few projects, starting with making my own shampoo for Cleo! She has always had sensitive skin.
The Grouchy Puppy motto is, “Give Fearlessly Influence Positively” inspired by people like Sandy and dogs like Shiloh. Together they spent six years as a therapy dog team in Tennessee visiting nursing homes and a children’s grief camp. They positively influenced hundreds of lives over the years by fearlessly giving their time and presence. The following is a first person essay about their experiences [...]
It's no secret that we adore old dogs around here. Through my time and experience with my senior dog Cleo, I've increased my appreciation for senior citizens, in particular my aging family members and neighbors. Both have contributed a lot to my education. If you have older people or senior dogs in your life, August 21 is National Senior Citizens Day, when we all can recognize and celebrate their role in our lives.
With each passing day my dog is closer to the end of her time with us. Our time has been rich with positive experiences and lessons. It has been so good that now it feels scary to imagine my life, and my day, without her big, mouth breathing, hairy presence. I’ll confess that I encouraged her to feel a certain equality in our relationship. Yes, I’m her guardian and caregiver but also her buddy. Her trust in me is everything.
In San Francisco, we live with earthquakes. The memories of past quakes, and the knowledge of future ones. That means having enough basic supplies, first aid and water for 72 hours - for everyone in the household including pets. This type of disaster preparedness is in addition to having an exit strategy from the home in case of fire, something probably more likely to happen than an earthquake.
In other parts of the country, such as New Orleans, people prepare for hurricane season and having an evacuation plan. Wherever you live, and especially if you have both children and pets, planning ahead is key.
Christie Keith is social media manager for The Shelter Pet Project, the first public service campaign promoting an animal welfare cause in the Ad Council's 60-year history.
After reading her column on SFGate.com for years, I was excited to not only meet Christie in person at the kick-off meeting for Maddie's Pet Adoption Days but get a selfie with her. During our short chat I knew she was a perfect addition to this interview series. Christie is the kind of person who uses her wit, thoughtfulness and mad skills so that the rest of us can make a difference in the lives of animals. If you get a chance to join in one of her webinars for Maddie's Institute, do it. You'll come away feeling empowered and smarter than you were an hour ago.
She also consults on social media and communications for a number of veterinary and animal welfare organizations, including Maddie's Fund and Dr. Marty Becker, the veterinarian on "The Dr. Oz Show" and "Good Morning America."
Learn more about this social media maven, and who inspires her the most as she answers our five light-hearted questions [...]
Every morning we ask a dog-related question on the Grouchy Puppy Facebook page. Recently we asked people how would they respond to someone who didn't believe having a senior dog in their life could be fun. Given how wonderful our older dog is, and how fun she makes life, it was inspiring to read the many answers.
Widely viewed as the "dog-father" of the ‘no-kill’ movement, Rich Avanzino has had a major influence on companion animal welfare over his 38 years in the industry.
As President of Maddie’s Fund®, Rich directs the family foundation’s $300 million endowment effort to revolutionize the status and well being of companion animals. And to achieve and sustain a no-kill nation by providing solutions to the most challenging issues facing the animal welfare community through the combined efforts of Maddie's InstituteSM (research and education), Maddie's® Adoption Program (foster-based adoptions) and Maddie's® Grant Giving. Maddie’s Fund has awarded more than $150 million in grants since 1999.
Read Rich's answers to our five lighthearted questions and learn how like most of us, he's happiest when relaxing with his pets.
Many years ago I gave my heart to an adult dog. She thanked me by stealing my heart all over again when a few years later she entered her older senior dog stage.
Now you might be wondering why I don't steal my heart back, but if you do, then you probably never had a senior dog in your life before. Once you have experienced life with an older dog you learn that with age comes a bag of tricks. My dog knows how to throw puppy eyes at me until I part with more treats than I had planned. She can shrink her snout at will and turn her whole body into a cute little fluff-ball.
There is something about a grey or white muzzle that grabs my heart. I see an older dog who has lived a full life and they have an aura of calm, because they know they are surrounded by love and loyalty for their companionship and service.
This is a portrait of Bretagne, living the quiet life of a retired search dog. It's been over ten years since he was one of almost a hundred search and rescue teams on the ground trying to find those missing at the World Trade Center and the Pentagon after the attacks on September 11, 2001.
Only fifteen canine members are still with us, living with their handlers at home. See their incredibly moving portraits in a book by photographer Charlotte Dumas. Get a tissue if you fall for noble and gentle furry features like I do [...]
Last week I shared some of the back-story of Maddie's Pet Adoption Days coming up May 31 - June 1, 2014. Today the Grouchy Puppy Influence Positively Interviews return, and I want you to meet Josephine Bloomfield, Maddie’s Fund grants specialist and the person who makes Maddie’s® Pet Adoption Days, the largest free pet adoption event in the United States happen.
Influence Positively Interviews. A lot of new and amazing people involved with animal welfare, senior dog adoption, dog behavior and more have come to light since the Influence Positively Interview series began four years ago. [Revisit early interviews] It seemed like the right time to dust off those five light-hearted questions that everyone can answer -- giving readers a chance to discover and connect with other animal lovers they may or may not know.