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November 2010
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January 2011

FIDO Friendly Magazine: Product Review

It was such a nice surprise when FIDO Friendly asked me to review the current winter issue of their magazine. Why? Well as a self-identified dog lover I was happy to page through this recent edition again, because besides being a magazine for dog lovers and dog guardians, the articles they publish encourage readers at every turn. In this December edition, I read stories about hope, joy, tolerance, courage and determination.

Reading about Junior, the Lab choosing a feline named Josie as his new best friend teaches us that an open heart can reach across species. There is the candid emotion behind a woman’s love for her dog and the courage that got her to leave an abusive husband. My favorite story in this issue is “Anatomy of a Grieving Dog Mom”. It is about handling grief. The message of hope Carol writes about is read loud and clear. With my first dog entering her senior years, I appreciate all that Cleo gives and stories like Carol’s remind me that a dog’s positive influence doesn’t ever have to end.

Unlike many glossy magazine covers, the pretty face on a FIDO Friendly cover is bound to be an animal activist and pet advocate. Rather than just Hollywood gossip, it is nice to read about an actress like Charlotte Ross raising money and awareness for groups like Operation Blankets of Love. Rescues and shelters are always in need of supplies.

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Influence Positively Interview - Bev VanZant

Bev and Tyler 

Bev’s obsession is no more homeless pets. Bev VanZant (aka PetCareBev) started with The Iams Company in Consumer Relations in 1995. Her “office” is Twitter, her blog, Facebook, and any other pet-oriented online community where pet people gather. From October into the New Year, Bev devotes her “office hours” to Iams Home 4 the Holidays.

There’s always been at least one dog in Bev’s life—family dogs as she was growing up (mostly Poodles), and then Bailey-the-Bichon, who crossed over the Rainbow Bridge in January of 2010. Recently, a new little fluffy soul came trotting into Bev’s life: Tyler Small Paws. Bev has a sewing machine she never has time to use and a garden that always needs weeding. She’d rather stay home then travel, and “Tosca” is her favorite opera. Anything else is subject to change without notice.

What is your idea of perfect happiness?

On a personal level, I take my happiness wherever I can find it. A nice cup of tea. A good Sookie Stackhouse novel. A sweet pooch to cuddle. And lots of free time to enjoy the day. On a more expanded level, perfect happiness would come with no more homeless pets, a cure for all cancers, world peace, and an end to world hunger. Well, I can dream can't I?

If you could come back as a dog or a cat, which one would it be & why? I would want to be a feline living in the home of Karen Nichols, who is Skeezix's Food Lady because those kitties are the best dressed cats on the interwebz. And Karen is totally dotty about her kitties.

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Holidays and Howlidays: Sharing the Spirit of the Season

We love this video that Best Friends Animal Society did so much, we wanted to share it with you here as well as our Facebook page.

I believe dogs make us human, Cleo our German Shepherd-Husky rescue dog certainly brings the best out of me. The companionship of an adopted pet is something to be treasured. 

Thank you for joining in our community building at Grouchy Puppy this year.  I'm grateful for your openness and participation. Here's to a happy and healthy new year.


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Dogs Make Holidays Fun!

Dog Stickers
Puppies!! Who doesn't love baby animals? Turn their cute faces into stickers and you've got yourself hours of fun!

At least that is what my six year old niece would declare.  My niece is really good at declarations and proclamations when it comes to how to have a good time when I babysit.

My adored niece loves stickers. And she loves puppies. This time of year and for her any chance I get, is the perfect time to head over to our local Hallmark store or neighborhood card shop. We can spend an hour hunting through the aisles for anything dog or puppy related.

We get fun stuff like bone-shaped rubber stamps, colored pens and pencils, and cute stickers like these to "dress up" gifts for family and school friends.  It always makes for a fun visit and project together.

Even when their cuteness is just two-dimensional, dogs always make the holidays more fun!


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Influence Positively Interview - Jean Donaldson

BuffyJean 7A
Jean Donaldson is the award-winning author of The Culture Clash, Mine! A Guide to Resource Guarding in Dogs, Fight! A Guide to Dog-Dog Aggression, Dogs Are From Neptune, and Oh Behave! Dogs From Pavlov to Premack to Pinker. Her latest book, Train Like a Pro, is her first written for the lay audience, and is about basic training for family dogs. A professional trainer since 1986, she holds degrees in Comparative Psychology and Music, and competed in numerous dog sports before transitioning to pet dog training.

In 1999 she founded The Academy for Dog Trainers. The Academy has over five hundred graduates practicing dog training and behavior counseling in most states in the US and 25 countries world-wide.

Jean lives in the San Francisco Bay area with her dog, Buffy, adopted from The San Francisco SPCA in 2002. When she is not working, she is an ardent baseball fan and student of evolutionary biology.

What is your idea of perfect happiness?

Sunday afternoon with a good book and a sleeping Chow.

If you could come back as a dog or a cat, which one would it be & why?

Cat - they know how to live. Dogs, too busy.

What is your pets most treasured possession?

Her car and chauffeur (that would be me).

Your proudest achievement so far?

The work of my students. Changing the world for dogs.

Who are your heroes in real life?

Richard Dawkins, dog trainers on the front lines, and the New York Yankees.

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Dogs on Paper

Maggie the Doberman waits to open her gift Does your dog like gifts?  Do they open their own presents?  We didn't train our dog Cleo but she is a natural at tearing open wrapping paper!

With any gift giving, even for a beloved pet, I love to think about the paper I'm going to wrap stuff in. Who doesn't love cute dog prints on gift wrap? This year while looking for new wrapping paper I typed in "dogs on paper".

The top two results are... why dogs eat paper! Seriously, out of 54 million results the issue of dogs eating paper is apparently that important.  The third result is about making paper dogs with the rest about potty training your puppy. Before I could find paper with cute dogs printed on it, I had to add the word "wrap" to my search. 

The good news is that everyone now is selling lots of fun paper and card stock, even stickers with cute dogs on them!  My problem is deciding on which ones. 

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Influence Positively Interview - Salina Gannon

SPD_NB_BioPic Salina Gannon is Founder and President of Nip and Bones - What Pets Want Their mission is to help you make your pet happy and to have a fun filled life. Nip and Bones LLC would like to develop lifetime relationships with their customers and their pets. Visit Baby Patches' Blog at, she is their Turkish Angora calico kitten and the Chief Kit at Nip and Bones.

What is your idea of perfect happiness? My idea of perfect happiness is snuggling up with one of my cat's whenever I feel like it, which only really happens when they feel like it LOL.

If you could come back as a dog or a cat, which one would it be & why? A cat, because I am a lot like a cat very independent but still like to be loved. Besides, cats have it made!

What is your pets more treasured possession? Baby Patches' more treasured possession is her Da Bird teaser toy, it has real bird feathers and when you swing it around it flies like a bird. She will pick up and carry it to you just to play with it if you leave it out.

Your proudest achievement so far? My proudest achievement is starting my business Nip and Bones LLC and keeping it running for 2 years now. It is a lot of work and I am proud of all that I have accomplished with it.

Who are your heroes in real life? My real life heroes are those that care enough to donate their time, money, or help animals in some way. Even the people who help wildlife are heroes.

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Millan helping local pets at San Francisco Macy’s Annual Holiday Pet Adoption Windows

Cesar Millan helps local pets find a home at San Francisco Macy’s Annual Holiday Pet Adoption Windows

Swiffer® has partnered with Macy's to help local dogs and cats find loving homes just in time for the holidays!

Join in the fun as Swiffer brings special guest, Cesar Millan, renowned dog behavior specialist and host of the Emmy-nominated series Dog Whisperer with Cesar Millan, for a “Meet and Greet” and signing for his newest book, Cesar’s Rules: Your Way to Train a Well Behaved Dog.

On Saturday, December 11th, during Macy’s Family Fun Day, you will have an opportunity to adopt a lovable pet and learn Cesar’s tips on how to create a pet-friendly environment in your home this holiday season.

Macyslogo Where:
Macy’s Union Square
The Cellar
170 O’Farrell Street
San Francisco, CA 94102

1:00 p.m. on Saturday, December 11, 2010


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Dogs and Devotion: An Ancient Story

Cleo's Dog Devotion Here is an ancient story about a dog and devotion. I read this canine parable in Jeffrey Moussaieff Masson's book, "The Dog Who Couldn't Stop Loving", a book mostly about how dogs make us human. If you're interested, you can read his thoughts on how our relationship with dogs is likely to go back as far as 40,000 years rather than the commonly accepted 15,000 years.

Today I think dogs wear the label faithful companion with pride. Cleo, my rescue dog, certainly seems to enjoy this role. Sometimes we call her "Elmer" because she's glued tightly to our side, to the point of bumping into cabinets and doorjams.

In all seriousness take a moment and enjoy this Indian fable [think Aesop or Rudyard Kipling] it's my way of publicly honoring Cleo's steadfast devotion:


People in India tell their children about the faithful dog in the Indian epic the Mahabharata, the core of which was written well before the Christian era. As the story goes, the great and righteous Yudhishtira abdicated the throne in favor of a great-nephew. Then he, along with his four brothers and queen Draupadi, set off on a pilgrimage, which they knew would their final journey.
As they moved north toward the Himalayas, a dog attached himself to the royal procession. One by one, great warriors (including Krishna) and the queen perished, leaving only Yudhishtira and the faithful dog to continue on the journey alone. Suddenly, a glow of light appeared, and out of the light came the god Indra in his golden chariot.

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Season of Sharing: Our Feel Good Giveaway

We believe that the holidays are about family, friends and sharing the joy of the season. Our family includes a big Shepherd-Husky rescue named Cleo. She inspires us to be better and to give fearlessly of ourselves. We thought this is the perfect time to challenge you, our readers and FOC [Fans of Cleo] to give, in the form of a story.

FDP Crest Logo Shirt Last month the team at Freaky Dog People sent us two of their t-shirts to review. Click on this link to the FDP product review or go to our Reviews tab.

While we absolutely love their company's mission AND their shirts, we thought it would be much more fun to share the cute shirts with you! We squirreled them away, until now.

Today is the first day to enter the Grouchy Puppy Feel Good Giveaway!  We will give away two super soft, awesome shirts, to two people just in time for the holidays.  Feels good to give and the shirt will feel good once you receive it!

Here is your chance to show your love for the awesomeness of dogs and share with us some family stories!

  • To enter, leave a comment sharing with us who your four-legged (or three-legged or even two-legged) family member is and how they contribute to your holiday celebrations and family gatherings this time of year.

Don't be shy, we want specifics! Is your pup willing to dress up in Reindeer Antlers for more than a millisecond? Do they make snow angels with you? Maybe check under the tree for loose bows on presents? DO TELL!!!

For example: Cleo is our big rescue dog who diligently checks everyone's shoes and bags at the door, as closely as the TSA does at the airport.  She entertains our house guests by doing tricks for dog treats and she lets us know when family picture taking is over by giving us the stink-eye and walking away to another room.

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Influence Positively Interview - Lorie Huston

Loriehuston Lorie Huston is a veterinarian with 20+ years of experience with dogs and cats. She is also a talented free-lance author and blogger and has contributed to numerous publications, including Pet Sitter's WORLD, FIDOFriendly, Dancing Dog Blog, Dawg Business and many others. Lorie is the featured pet care writer at, a contributing writer in Dog and Cat Diseases and Conditions at and the National Pet Health Examiner at In addition, she is a co-founder and moderator of the popular twitter chat #dogtalk. Her increasingly popular blog is the Pet Health Care Gazette. More information about Lorie is available at

What is your idea of perfect happiness?
My idea of perfect happiness is knowing that all of my friends and family (four-legged and two-legged alike) are happy, health, safe and content. Knowing that my work as a veterinarian and as a writer helps to keep other people's four-legged friends healthy is important to me also.

If you could come back as a dog or a cat, which one would it be & why?
It would have to be a cat, but with a few caveats. I'd want to be one of those cats who live indoors and are pampered and spoiled, definitely not one who is left outside to fend for myself. I'd want to be a cat versus a dog because I've seen the way my cats live. They eat, they sleep, they play, and then they do it all over again. Cats don't have to go outside in rain, sleet or snow to do their duties. They can stay inside, comfy and cozy, while Fido and his human mom or dad go out for a walk in cold unpleasant weather. But that doesn't mean I don't love dogs too!

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