Think Match.com. Good photography can positively impact rescue and shelter adoption rates, especially for those who use a network of foster homes to house the dogs. What else makes a big difference? Love, respect and a sweet, sweet makeover. [Keep reading...]
Having and loving my own senior dog, and being a long time supporter of San Francisco-based Muttville Senior Dog Rescue, this story about the joy older dogs bring to your life makes my day! [See: Senior Dog of the Week Adoptions] Social media is again shown to be a great medium to increase awareness about senior dogs abandoned in shelters and why they deserve our loyalty instead. Read this story about a movement and campaign in New York to save older dogs[...]
A good boss knows how to set their employees up for success, and play to their strengths. In my opinion, it's the same with dogs. Meet a former military working dog whose role wasn't meant to be on the battlefield but he's still putting his heart into his work by soldier's sides [...]
Could you imagine falling ill and being hospitalized away from your family for weeks and weeks? As you mend your physical body, the toll on your emotional health is bound to be tough. You are separated from loved ones, and all the routines and familiar faces that make a house a home. Now imagine that family included a beloved dog or cat? If it was me, I would be trying to convince my husband to help my dog Cleo Skype with me. Stat.
Read about a hospital in Omaha that has a new program that is better than any Google Hangout or Skype [...]
This life I've had with my first senior dog has been the best. My gratitude for every moment runs deeper than I can say. Even now as she rests after a minor seizure, I still see our life together as a glass half-full.
Why am I a human-animal bond evangelist? Because of dogs like this little Chihuahua, China Girl. She has been doing her best to give enough love to her papa to help balance the grief he is feeling for losing his wife to a brain tumor.
Dogs like her come in a tiny package, but manage to display an enormous quantity of fierce love and compassion. How does she know he'll benefit from her expression of love? Is there a smell we give off that only they can detect? We've seen the stories of dogs sniffing out drugs, low blood sugar or even cancer cells.
Dogs make us human
Given the connection I feel with my dog Cleo, I wasn't surprised last year when I read how new research showed the bond between humans and dogs might be more ancient than previously believed, going back not 10,000 years but three times that figure.
Dog lovers know that valentines and affairs of the heart, aren't just between people. There are a number of poems out there celebrating the love between human and dog. To honor our bond, I've found this poem by Kipling that had me shedding a few tears, but also made me smile when I imagined my dog Cleo waiting impatiently for me.
Read this beautiful poem, and tell me if your heart doesn't feel a little better afterwards in the comments [...]
As an open dog lover, I sometimes wonder how that came about. Was I born that way? Is it a choice? Was it the result of my being exposed to our first puppy as a child? I had such a positive experience that I was hooked on canines? I wonder...
Bruin ponders why he's on the other side of the screen
Given that dogs can be loud, dirty and demanding, why are we continually drawn to them?
Having my own experiences with my dog Cleo, I believe in a dog's intuition. Their ability to rapidly sense changes in our behavior, and the environment around them is incredible. Read this wonderful example of therapy dogs in Oregon who are using their intuitive skills to help both hospice patients, and their grieving families[...]
It doesn't take much to see across the US how far we've come in the argument that spay and neutering of animals helps reduce the numbers of homeless animals. The ASPCA lists ten reasons here why it's a good idea for most cats or dogs. San Francisco residents can get low cost, or if you you've a pit bull or pit mix dog free, spaying or neutering.
In Fukushima, Japan, however it is still common for people to drown a litter of unwanted newborn pets, rather than spay or neuter their animals.
“Vets usually charge inflated prices for neutering and spaying. Many people don’t have the funds for it and we don’t want to force it on them,” Yamasaki says. “But, through being open with our activities at the spay clinic, we can show people it’s possible to perform the operations at a low cost. Our volunteers are working to change the attitude of the local people — even if we can’t change the authorities.”
With vets and clinics supporting this outdated notion, in a developed nation, what can people do to positively influence behaviors about spay-neuter?
As our dog progressively lost her vision, we adjusted. I adopted the habit of stepping between her head and obstacles, while trying to teach her the word "stop" means stop now, not after 5-10 more steps forward. She has always been stubborn, alpha-like and clumsy. I decided in the beginning that I would discover a balance between embracing her unique personality, while modifying her behavior if it gave her manners or added to her personal safety. Important issues for a big dog in a big city. We needed to do everything to keep her safe from being hit by a car to discarded chicken bones on the sidewalk.
Now that Cleo's vision is almost completely gone, I've learned some important lessons about caring for an elderly blind big bossy dog.[...]
Reading about dogs is something I never tire of. These amazing creatures comfort us, protect us, and make us laugh. Sometimes it seems without effort. Dogs don't hold grudges. If a dog loves you, they love you with no filters or hesitation. This year we've seen and read stories of dogs saving lives, comforting weary travelers, helping kids learn to love reading, and helping veterans live a good life. Whatever we ask of them, dogs step up again, and again.
Let's look back at some of my favorite stories from 2013 featuring dogs, being the amazing creatures that they are [...]
Having a senior dog for the first time will leave a mark, but I wasn't expecting the repeated bruising from our time together. I don't like roller coasters but I swear I have been living on one of these wild rickety machines for years now.
Giant Dipper. Don't get me wrong, I expected both happy and sad emotional bumps from having a dog in my life, but the deep love I have with my dog has been met with scary lows, the type usually experienced in an amusement park. A place I avoid.
Pets Are Wonderful Support PAWS does more good for low income seniors and the disabled than many nonprofits, in part from community support and the hundreds of amazing volunteers. People who believe in the power of the human-animal bond are the reason this privately funded nonprofit has been around for 25 years.
PAWS volunteers believe in the value of keeping people and their pets together. That an animal companion can alleviate depression. That the unconditional love an animal gives is deserved to be experienced by everyone.
After donuts and coffee, Jennifer Ronda and I team up for morning deliveries in the Inner-Richmond district, San Francisco