National Dog Day is this weekend and if you don't (gasp!) have one already positively influencing your life, now is a good time to consider the reasons why you don't have a dog.
Below is a handy (and humorous) flowchart to help you, or a friend, with this important decision. Are you ready for a dog? Should you volunteer at a shelter or become a dog sitter instead? Sure, dogs make our lives infinity better, but before you rush out the door, consider these many responsibilities, and real costs, outlined by the clever folks at The Bold Italic:
Having a dog is wonderful, but also realizing not having one in your life because you answered no to most of these questions above...is also a good thing. Read any of my posts on my volunteering at Muttville Senior Dog Rescue and you'll see what I mean.
When I think back to my childhood, I realize that after my stuffed Snoopy, my first real friend was our family dog. I think because of my young age and personality, I was willing and able to develop meaningful friendships with all of our family dogs over the years. Each of them had an important and positive influence over my development growing up in a remote area of a California county. They were my study buddies, cheerleaders, confidants, motivators, and moral compass. I know that is a lot but believe me, never underestimate the power of the human-dog bond.
The support, generosity, and kindness of strangers
This leads me to a wonder pair of books that I was given the chance to read before their official release August 29th, starting with Gobi: A Little Dog With a Big Heart. It's a picture book that offers a humane education for little ones, taking them on an adventure across the desert! They are introduced to a little stray dog whose positive influence has a remarkable impact on an ultra-marathon runner. Based on a true story, this picture book is a wonderful introduction to the idea of compassion for animals, courage and love for a little stray dog with a big heart.
Gobi: A Little Dog With a Big Heart [picture book, 4-8 years]
Both books are about teamwork and power of a dog's positive influence, but the young reader edition adds a lot more to the 'man meets dog' story...
From his beautiful, intelligent eyes to his adorable ears, it’s hard to believe so much sweetness can fit into one package.
This wonderful senior guy is Dallas, and he’s ready to be your new best friend! He’s calm, quiet, inquisitive, and gentle. While we are still getting to know him, he gets along with all the other dogs he has met at Muttville and he is already starting to build up his trust and confidence in his new human friends. Dallas deserves to be showered with affection and kindness. In return, he will light up your life with his love!
We think that Dallas is approximately 13 years old and weighs about 9 pounds.
Here’s what Dallas’ foster has to say about this sweet boy:
Dallas is an extremely sweet, gentle & soulful dog. He enjoys spending time with humans and other pups, but he also seems to enjoy hanging a bit on his own in his dog bed.
Dallas is very low-key. His favorite activities are snuggling with a human on the couch or curling up on his dog bed. He is fine going on a walk but is pretty low energy overall. Dallas is great with other dogs. No issues with big or small dogs, he’s always friendly and will wag his tail. Dallas needs some work on house-training. He loves taking naps in sun beams, and will even begin to smile once he’s been in the sun for a while.
He seems to love eating chicken or turkey. He’s very quiet and doesn’t bark or whine. He’s fine with being left alone during the daytime. He looks at you like a person would; almost like he’s trying to tell you something with his eyes. While independent at times, he always makes sure to come over to check-in to make sure you’re there and see what you’re doing.
Fall in love with Dallas at Muttville and discover why senior dogs rule.
Muttville is seeking either a permanent adoption home or a fospice (foster-hospice) home for Dallas 4759 so he can live his remaining life to its fullest in a loving home. To adopt Dallas 4759, please complete the adoption process described here.
If you are interested in joining Muttville’s Fospice Program Team as a Volunteer or a Fospice Home, please email email@example.com.
The San Francisco SPCA Hosts the Animal Film Festival during Third Annual Clear the Shelters Adoptathon Weekend
Visitors will enjoy free adoptions and award-winning films
August 7, 2017 – The San Francisco SPCA will be offering free adoptions for all animals during NBC Universal’s third annual Clear the Shelters, a national pet adoption event. The free adoption weekend takes place August 19 – 20.
“Last year we set a new record during Clear the Shelters – 167 animals were adopted over the weekend with 101 animals on the Saturday alone, the most ever in a single day!” said Dr. Jennifer Scarlett, SF SPCA President. “Hundreds of shelters across the country participate in Clear the Shelters, and since 2015 the event has helped more than 70,000 animals find new homes."
Animals can be adopted for free all weekend from both SF SPCA locations – in the Mission at 250 Florida Street or Pacific Heights at 2343 Fillmore Street. On Saturday both shelters will host volunteer bake sales and No Worries Cuisine food truck will be at the Mission Campus. Plan to spend the day at the SF SPCA and leave with a new family member!
With the goal of educating and entertaining, the SF SPCA will also be hosting the Animal Film Festival on Saturday, 12pm – 4pm, at its Mission Campus. The film festival, which is produced by the Center for Animal Protection and Education (CAPE), will feature award-winning animal films that are joyful, funny, and thought-provoking.
“These films explore different aspects of animal welfare, including animal rights, the human‐animal bond and programs dedicated to improving the lives of animals,” said Shelley Frost, director of the Animal Film Festival.
Tickets range from $10 – $25 and proceeds benefit the SF SPCA and CAPE. Details, tickets, and a full film line-up can be found at animalfilmfestival.org
To round out the day, those interested in learning more about estate planning are invited to join for a free seminar on August 19 at 10am. Topics will include estate planning basics, pet trusts, and creating a secure plan for your pets should they outlive you. Refreshments will be served. RSVP to this Mission Campus event by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
Both adoption centers will be open 10am – 6pm on Saturday and Sunday.
To view the SF SPCA’s adoptable animals, visit sfspca.org/adopt
About the SF SPCA
The San Francisco SPCA is an independent, community-supported non-profit animal welfare organization dedicated to saving, protecting and providing immediate care for cats and dogs who are homeless, ill or in need of an advocate. The SF SPCA also works long-term to educate the community, reduce the number of unwanted kittens and puppies through spaying and neutering, and improve the quality of life for animals and their human companions. The organization does not receive government funding and is not affiliated with any national organization.
For more information call the SF SPCA at (415) 554-3000 or visit sfspca.org.
In our hurry up, I'm always late world, spending time with an older dog can be the perfect counterbalance.
Time together may help you gain a thoughtful approach to the next hour of the day, or maybe the whole week ahead. After a few one-on-one minutes with an older dog, I have left motivated and empowered, focused more the softer side of life.
Did you know that wild violets symbolize devotion, purity, and spiritual passion? In the Victorian era, violets were carried in order to manifest wishes and keep malevolent spirits away.
This describes senior sweetheart Violet, a dog in Oakland ready to show you why senior dogs rule. Her positive influence is sure to make your life brighter.
Violet needs a home.
Miss Violet is a volunteer favorite due to her loving Zen personality. Violet is a daily reminder to stop, relax, enjoy the sunshine, and smell the roses (and violets).
She is a calm and soothing balm to this frantic and fragmented world we now live in. That is what is so special about senior dogs. They are at peace with themselves and the world, accepting of all different types of people and dogs, and they are great listeners. Violet will be a devoted companion who demands very little. She is not in need of long walks, lots of physical activity, or puppy training.
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.
Meet Angelica! This lovely girl came to Muttville because her previous owners could no longer care for her. Luckily, she is very well adjusted and is happy no matter what. She has made herself right at home and is a social and sweet girl.
Angelica is slightly vision impaired but can see about 4 feet in front of her. Despite this, she gets around very well and is very adventurous. Angelica does not startle easily and gets along perfectly well with all dogs. She is also affectionate and loves people and going for walks. We know this sweetheart will make a wonderful companion!
Angelica is about 9 years young and weighs 10 pounds.
Here is what Angelica’s foster had to say-
Angelica is a pretty quiet dog. She is very loving and will want to snuggle up against you on the couch. She has a low activity level, usually sleeps most of the day. However she loves walks, which we do 2-3 times a day. She is kind towards other dogs she passes by on the street and has no problem with other dogs in the house. She is house trained but needs to be taken out a few times a day. She has a good appetite. She loves to hang out and snuggle on the couch and will sleep in her dog bed. She also appears to be kennel trained and loves a kennel.
Angelica is a sweetie! She loves to be pet, cuddle and be with her person. She likes people and other dogs. When you’re home she’s happy napping in her bed or hanging out as a lap dog. She is low energy and likes slow walks, where she can sniff around and explore.
Angelica is friendly with other dogs. She does need a bit of extra attention on walks or navigating around new places, but is great about staying close and following your voice. She is potty trained and pee pad trained.
When I met Sarge, all I saw was a big handsome dog who had the sweetest manners. His sugar face spoke of a gentleness and thoughtful personality. I never would have guessed that this dog had been thin, filthy and unloved.
It's moments like these that get my imagination going. I think about the thousands of available adoptable dogs, each with their own unique stories. Each dog offers a new family the chance to learn something powerful about themselves. My own adopted dog positively influenced our lives from the day she arrived.
Choosing to adopt an older dog can bring you greater awareness about your own weaknesses, and strengths.
When I adopted my big old dog, she began as a reserved lady. Similar to Sarge, she was under-weight from stress but somehow maintained unbelievable table manners. I wouldn't have blamed her for gobbling food or trying take anything that might give her some comfort.
My empathy for her emotional health allowed me to approach our new life together in ways that kept us on a path of wonderful discoveries. She, like Sarge, blossomed under the steady warmth and love being offered every minute of every hour. I didn't know if she'd ever fully look to me as trusted family, but she did, and that is a feeling I will always cherish.
We shared a mutual joy discovering how to communicate with each other. When I'd introduce a word or phrase for something, maybe a food she'd never had before, both our eyes lit up when she learned. The satisfaction you get when you set a dog up for success in their new life with you, in a new forever home, is immeasurable.
Imagine the shared joy of discovery
When I look back on adopting our dog, it makes so much sense now. We discovered how much we loved giving a dog the chance of a happy final chapter in their life. We had moments of mutual joy that is special between humans and dogs. Just getting to know each other brought us both to laughter. Yes, dogs laugh!
If you're a curious person, love dogs, and enjoy discovery then consider adoption. Head to your local shelter, humane society or breed specific rescue, or find them on social media tonight!
Last week I met a new Muttville mutt named Greta. She is a german shepherd, all legs, and currently skin and bones. Given our immediate mutual affection, I have a feeling she'll be plumping up soon. I can still smell the after-breakfast chicken treats I gave her on my fingers.
Having had a large Shepherd-Husky dog, I was drawn to Greta as soon as I saw her fuzzy gangly body. She loped across the doggy loft as soon as the door opened and I wheeled in the yellow cleaning bucket. Her concerned brown eyes locked on my movements, tracking the mop to the bucket and back to the floor. I was glad to see she was not spooked by my morning cleaning of the loft.
Certain dogs have these furry faces that are look like they have a world of information waiting to share with you. Then when they're oldsters, their sweet face looks like they got into the sugar bowl. Seymour a cute blend of Terrier is like this. It’s hard not to fall in love with Seymour, he’s such a mellow and easy going fella.
We don’t know much about his past, but we can tell that all he wants is to love and be loved! Seymour is great with other dogs of all sizes and enjoys all the hustle and bustle of the Muttville loft. He’s easy to walk on leash too.
Seymour will make a great addition to any home! He's a love bug!
We think Seymour is about 16 years young, weighing about 14 lbs.
Due to Seymour’s advanced age, heart disease, and arthritis, he is available for hospice care adoption.
Here’s what Seymour’s Foster has to say about him:
Seymour is the biggest sweetheart! I would adopt him if I could – he brings so much joy with his perennial puppy smile, tolerance for wearing cute flower crowns and bow ties, and ever patient cuddles. Naps are the name of the game with Seymour. He loves following “his person” around. He perks up whenever he can go outside for a walk, and although his preferred pace is a bit slow, he really enjoys being carried in a dog carrier around. I take him in a dog backpack on a bike and on Bart for my commute (an hour each way) & I hardly hear a peep from him. Seymour is house-trained but does well when let out regularly during the day. He doesn’t have accidents overnight. Seymour is the most amazing dog for someone who wants an easy-going companion to accompany them around. He is low maintenance and full of cuddles – and it is just to cute to watch him take naps next to you on the couch or while working!