Discover why senior dogs rule: Fall in love with Kibble!

Just one look into Kibble’s soulful eyes and you can tell he has so much love to give. This precious, delicate boy hasn’t had the best of luck lately, but he’s happy to now be safe and sound at Muttville Senior Dog Rescue.

He's a sweet little man ready to snuggle the winter blues away, or just watch Netflix and chill.


Need a hug? A snuggle buddy for the cool temperatures? Kibble @muttvillesf is your man! He's why #seniordogsrock #shihtzu

A photo posted by grouchypuppy (@grouchypuppy) on

Kibble is the type of senior boy that likes to sit back, relax and watch all the hustle and bustle happen around him.

Though he likes going for his short walks around the block, Kibble is happiest laying by your feet or right in your lap! This lovebug can’t wait to finally find his forever home.

We think Kibble is between 12-14 years young, weighing about 12 lbs.

Find him at Muttville on Rescue Row in San Francisco!

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'Pets Ride Free' promo is special treat for dog lovers

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.

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How dogs can lift our mood, help us shake off stress

Something older dogs seem to have in spades is the ability to shrug off their troubles. Have you seen a dog shake off water? For me, that is the perfect visual of what it looks like. When my dog was uncomfortable, and then wasn't, she would shake her body like she'd just had a bath or had run out of the ocean.

This physical twisting and spinning of her big fluffy body looked like she was throwing off the stress of the moment. She shook off the stress in a vigorous shrug.

Spending time with Muttville mutts every week reminds me of this lesson from my dog. I'll see a dog get into the personal space of another dog trying to sleep. The resting dog will respond by getting up and moving away, or giving a short 'get away, you're bothering me' bark at the disturbance.


Whatcha doin? #sillydog #poodlesofinstagram #sundayfunday

A photo posted by grouchypuppy (@grouchypuppy) on

The rebuffed dog will get the hint, and move over to the side while he shakes off the stress from the moment. Depending on the dog, and my body language, he may decide that I will give him the attention he is seeking. 

Notice Arnold here? He was a master at not letting the stress get to him! He slid into any open space where affection and attention was being offered. I laughed out loud watching his eyes light up when he saw an opportunity across the doggy loft!

This is what I love about dogs, and volunteering at Muttville Senior Dog Rescue. I get these little reminders of how simple it can be to move away from stress, and toward happiness. Dogs make great demonstrators of stress management, a skill we can use during the holidays and beyond.

What simple lesson has a dog taught you, or reminded you of that you'd forgotten?

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Dogs don't know what a holiday is, only that you're there with them

You know what's so great about dogs? They don't care about the holidays. Dogs don't know about Cyber Monday sales. They only see the new toy or smell the freshly opened bag of treats.

Dogs have a way of getting us emotional humans to focus more on their funny antics, and less on those door-buster commercials running on television. Sure, they'll sit next to us on the couch to watch You've Got Mail for the tenth time, but only to get the belly rubs.


A video posted by grouchypuppy (@grouchypuppy) on

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Matchmaking at Muttville Senior Dog Rescue

When I arrive for my morning shift at Muttville Senior Dog Rescue, I never really know who will be there to greet me. The older dogs that come through the doors are from many different backgrounds. They are in various stages of emotional and physical health. Some dogs pass through quickly, bunking in the doggy loft only a couple of weeks, other dogs get scooped up and placed in a foster home or adopted before I see them.

Whether a dog is there a day, or years, all of the dogs become part of the Muttville family. They are loved by everyone associated with the nonprofit. Maybe that is why I never really feel bad when a familiar dog disappears from the group? I know with certainty they are in good hands.


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30th Anniversary of SF SPCA and Macy's Union Square Adoption Windows

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.

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Discover why senior dogs rule: Fall in love with Piccolo!

Warning: cuteness overload!! Piccolo looks just like a little stuffed animal come to life! This adorable senior boy will melt your heart the second you meet him.

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He’s mellow, cuddly and gets along fabulously with dogs of all sizes. They say great things come in small packages, and we couldn’t agree more about Piccolo!

Better hurry on down to meet him, because we have a feeling this little charmer is going to get adopted in a heartbeat.

Here’s what Piccolo’s foster has to say about this special boy:

“Piccolo is doing great, he is an amazing boy. He is calm, loves to be around people. Only barks to greed us or when he wants to pee. Despite his leg condition he enjoys his short walks and likes to go from leg to leg when called cute. He is super friendly. "

We think Piccolo is between 12-14 years young, weighing less than 8 lbs.

Fall in love with him at Muttville on Rescue Row in San Francisco!

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Open the book "UNCONDITIONAL: Older Dogs, Deeper Love" and feel your heart soar!

I have been writing about dogs for awhile now, from the perspective of a passionate advocate, and as a guardian. For quite a few years, I have been talking about the many ways old dogs are important, and how they enrich our lives from first hand experiences with my own dog. This year I have been volunteering each week with Muttville Senior Dog Rescue.

You can understand why I was excited to get a chance to review the book, UNCONDITIONAL: Older Dogs, Deeper Love, by Jane Sobel Klonsky. If you haven't had the chance to have your life enriched by an older dog, the heartfelt words and images in this book could possibly send you straight to your closest rescue or shelter!

Jane_Sobel_Klonsky_author photo

If you have known the love and companionship like I have from a senior sweetheart, be prepared for a rush of warmth straight to your heart, as you go down memory lane. 

And get ready to shed a few tears. This is probably the longest I have taken to review a book filled mostly with pictures. I probably averaged four to six pages, or about three dog portraits, between tissues.

You can't help but shed a few happy tears witnessing the deep, heartfelt love on these pages.

Jane has done a wonderful job of illustrating why I love celebrating how the human-dog bond is demonstrated by dogs, and those who love them, across Grouchy Puppy. This poignant collection of essays and beautiful photos is a celebration of the special bond shared in each relationship.

If you want to introduce what it means to have a dog to a young person, get this magical book. If like me, you already love old dogs the most, then these portraits and essays will remind you why caring about old dogs is important. You get to write the chapter in their life!

For everyone else curious about why dogs, and older dogs are the best, let me share eight reasons, some described in this book, to open your heart to an older dog:

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Discover why senior dogs rule: Fall in love with Kimmy!

What is wonderful about older dogs is they are open books, and with Kimmy (Schmidt!) she's got an open face! Just like the sweet and fun-loving character on television, Kimmy is a happy girl!

If you’re looking for a lovable senior gal to call yours, look no further than Kimmy! She’s a true blend of breeds that turned out just right.

Can you believe a doll like her was found as a stray? Good thing she wound up at Muttville, where we’re sure she’ll find her perfect match in no time at all!

She may not be able to see too well, but that doesn’t stop her from greeting new people with a wagging tail and a big smile on her face.

Kimmy is such a special girl that deserves the very best from here on out!

We think Kimmy is 11 years young, weighing about 30 lbs.

Find Kimmy at Muttville on Rescue Row in San Francisco!

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Learn how you can help homeless pets with a photo of your dog!

Love dogs too? Want a fun way to celebrate Adopt A Shelter Dog Month with your dog, and help raise money for animals in need? Join in the ASPCA's 31 Days of Rescue Dogs Campaign!

Participants will be asked to post one photo of their favorite rescue every day, and each post will encourage their friends to donate $1 a day in exchange for 31 days of adorable photos. The featured dogs can be rescues, fosters, or shelter pups in need of homes.

Each post should contain the hashtag #31DaysofRescueDogs for the chance to win prizes and be featured on Pit Bulls and Parolees.

Visit to learn more and sign up!

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Discover why senior dogs rule: Fall in love with Bogey!

Some dogs have that personality that grabs your attention first. Then there are old dogs like this guy, whose face (that little snaggle tooth!), AND personality go straight to your heart!! Swoon.


Who’s calling Bogey a senior? We think he acts like a much younger pup!

Bogey bounces from room to room, greeting every person and dog with a wagging tail and a smile on his face.

Not too big and not too small, Bogey is the perfect size for outdoor adventures and cuddle time on the couch.

This handsome boy will make a great addition to any home! 


File Bogey under A for ADORABLE

We think Bogey is 7 years young, weighing about 20 lbs. Meet this cutie pie at Muttville on Rescue Row in San Francisco!


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Academy For Dog Trainers #HarnessTheLove Campaign

This week the Academy For Dog Trainers (ADT) launched Harness The Love, an educational campaign promoting the benefits of no-pull harnesses for our dogs. Most dogs don't instinctually walk easily by your side without some sort of instruction. Teaching a dog to walk with you rather than pull you down the street takes practice, commitment, and training. Having the proper tools can make all the difference and save you both frustration.

Many dogs need little to no training for a no-pull harness to work.

An immediate benefit from choosing a no-pull harness for any dog is that pulling decreases when they find themselves turned around toward their person away from whatever their destination was. I wish we'd discovered no-pull harnesses when we first had our big Shepherd Husky. You can see below that she wore only a regular harness.

I know that if we had started her with a no-pull harness, we could have avoided many frustrating moments on our walks.

Healthy Choice

I have seen people yank their dog by the collar sharply enough to cause them to cough and gag. No-pull harnesses do not put pressure on dogs' necks and throats. That's an important benefit because our best buddies can be harmed (their windpipe) from improper use of collars.

Watch Loose Leash Walking with Hazel and Lori!


image from

ADT are big fans of the Freedom Harness, the Easy Walk Harness and the Sense-ation Harness but there are many options to choose from. See a full list of front-clip harnesses on the Harness The Love page on their website.

Learn more about the Academy For Dog Trainers, the Harness The Love campaign!

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Thanks Muttville! Caring for old dogs helps on the anniversary of my dog's passing

Have you ever had that one dog? You know, a special dog who connected with you in a way none before them had? Thanks to the world of dog people that I occupy, I know that I am not alone in having this special experience.
My special dog got me to start a blog, and jump into social media as a dog advocate ten years ago. She showed me all the ways a dog could enrich your life, and that there is value of living in the present. Caring for and about my dog into and through her senior years, taught me patience and empathy for my aging parents.
With her passing, memories of our days together motivated me to get out of the house and down to Muttville Senior Dog Rescue this year. Each morning I'm there I get a dose of mutt magic, in exchange for doing their laundry, mopping and walks around Rescue Row. 
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"Daisy and Sharon have an understanding"
For now, I'm content to care for them and help play matchmaker, but when I look in their eyes, I know that one of these days I will be ready to open my home to another dog. For now, I'm grateful to have this wonderful place in my town that lets me in the door every week, especially as I mark today, the two year anniversary of my dog's passing.

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