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January 2011
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March 2011

Award Season 2011 Continues - Grouchy Puppy Style

This is turning out to be an amazing year, and February just ended.  First we got picked by Life and Dog Magazine to be their west coast online content partner, and be in the first issue!  Then MARS Pedigree considered us influential and invited us to their first canine nutrition summit.  Now - out of the blue - we just were handed a Stylish Blogger Award.  This is usually the part where Cleo is so excited that she dashes away, and starts squeaking a toy like mad...

Stylish_blogger_award We're not going to dash but sit and remember our manners and say thank you. Thank you so much Erica from Paws to Rufflect with Kahuna's K9s for surprising us with this award and because our logo alone makes you happy just to look at it!  We think Erica is pretty awesome too, and not just because we love all things Hawaiian.

Now the responsibilities that accompany this awesome award are:

  • thank the blogger who gave the award
  • share 7 things about yourself/your pets 
  • pass the award onto 15 other bloggers 

Seven Things about us at Grouchy Puppy:

  1. Cleo, the muse behind it all, is a large mix rescue from the SF-SPCA who is now considered a senior dog. 
  2. Cleo inspired us to create these blogs, with her own Cleo's Day dog blog now starting its third year.
  3. I absolutely love living in San Francisco and feel gratitude everyday for my life.
  4. My husband does 99% of the cooking while I do 99% of the cleaning.
  5. My idea of camping is bringing my own food and supplies in the car and to a hotel room.
  6. With Cleo moving into her twilight years, our goal here is to learn how to embrace our life with her while surrendering to the notion of her eventual physical departure. It isn't an easy task.
  7. Being responsible for two dog blogs is a challenge but actually helps keep life with Cleo in balance. She gets to share her experiences, things on her mind and point of view, while I get to share mine.

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Pets Are Wonderful Support (PAWS) Thanked in AIDS Documentary

This dog blog is based in San Francisco.  We love this city of St. Francis and are working hard to find creative ways to support all the wonderful pet related projects and groups here.  One amazing organization that we admire greatly is PAWS - Pets Are Wonderful Support.  They took an early and incredibly important role back in the 1980's trying to help people keep their pets

Today PAWS mission is still to make sure that illness or age never separate people from the unconditional love of their pets. 

Gratitude.  The work that this non-profit continues to do has not gone unnoticed.  PAWS is being acknowledged in the film "We Were Here" about the AIDS years in San Francisco.  The documentary was premiered at the Sundance Film Festival recently, and until Thursday, March 3rd, will be shown at the Castro Theatre here in San Francisco.

This is the trailer for a new documentary WE WERE HERE, produced and directed by David Weissman, with Bill Weber, editor and co-director.


Here are upcoming events that support the work that PAWS does:

Saturday Doggie Happy Hour - Docs Clock - April 2

Petchitecture - PAWS’ signature fundraiser - April 23

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Nashville Snow and the Canine Nutrition Summit

As a pet blogger and proud canine caregiver to a large rescue dog who is getting on in years now, and has food allergies, I appreciated being invited to attend a two-day Canine Nutrition Summit in Nashville, Tennessee recently.

Sweet Pea at MARS Petcare US - Franklin, TN Having never been to Nashville, it was a wonderful opportunity to see this famous musical city before spending many hours learning about the art and science behind pet food. 

Nashville snow.  I learned the hard way that my brief free time for exploring the city before the summit began, included a record 7th snow fall of the year for Nashville.  People I spoke with at the Grand Ole Opry giftshop were all Southern charm and hospitality, but I could tell they couldn't wait to close up so that they could start their slow trek home.

It was something to see the icy roads filled with snow covered cars creeping slowly along trying not to skid across lanes or spin their wheels in frustration. The snow was so bad for this city that doesn't normally get it, that the car service which was offered by the Hutton Hotel, where we all stayed, was turned back due to the snow and ice.  Fortunately I had Ryan from Houston Dog Blog with me, and we joined the people in their cowboy boots slipping down Music Row and got back to the hotel by foot in no time.  Talk about a boot scootin boogie!

This sponsored trip -- MARS Petcare US paid my way because they consider Grouchy Puppy dog blogs an influencer -- allowed me to catch up with many of my fellow pet media influencers, including:

Ryan Rice, Houston Dog Blog - Maria Goodavage, Dogster Dog Blog - Deborah Flick, Boulder Dog - Paris Permenter and John Bigley, Dogtipper - Debbie Jacobs, Fearful Dogs - Diane Silver, To Dog With Love - Michelle Maskaly, My Tail Hurts From Wagging So Much - Felissa Hadas, Two Little Cavaliers  and Ashley Niels, I Love Rescue Animals

We had a whole day together at the Mars Petcare US home office, but the summit really began with a nice welcome dinner at the hotel restaurant. They had grander plans for us that night but the snow cancelled them.  However it was still a great opportunity to be introduced to several people from within the huge Petcare division.

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Influence Positively Interview - Kyla Duffy

Kyla Duffy and Bill
Kyla Duffy, Founder and Co-Editor of Happy Tails Books. Kyla fell in love with dogs after becoming an emergency foster for a Boston Terrier with kennel cough. She lives in Boulder, CO with her husband, two rescue kitties, ex-puppy mill breeder Bill, and a perpetual stream of foster dogs. She enjoys rehabilitating the tough cases, and helps them build up muscle and confidence on long hikes through the beautiful Colorado Front Range.

Kyla is an entrepreneur and athlete, who retired from professional snowboarding in 2001 to pursue more “leisurely” activities, such as adult gymnastics, high-flying trapeze, and aerial fabric. She holds a BS in Marketing, a BA in Spanish Translation, and an MPS in Organizational Leadership. After years of business ownership experience, she founded Happy Tails Books to raise awareness of and funding for dog rescue efforts. She enjoys the creative and philanthropic nature of Happy Tails Books, and is always excited to share the passionate stories written by dog-lovers whose animals have clearly changed their lives.

Kyla has recently also founded Up For Pups!, a non-profit (pending) organization that promotes good pet ownership and responsible breeding practices through unforgettable community lectures. Visit the Up For Pups! website to learn more or to book Kyla to come to your organization and give a presentation.

What is your idea of perfect happiness? Anything with my dog, Bill. He spent two years sitting in a cage as a puppy mill breeding dog, and for many months he wouldn't move at all. I never thought he would be much of a dog, let alone a dog who hikes off-leash. But these days 2 1/2 years later, Bill is a mountain goat. It brings me infinite joy to watch him climb the rocks on our favorite hike or leap through the snow like a gazelle. We call him a "carabill." His story is at

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California Corgi Warms Up Sacramento

Being born and raised in California, and a dog lover, I am only too thrilled to read stories like these. After voting in Jerry Brown as our new governor, Californians also welcomed a new first dog, Sutter Brown.

Sutter, looking a little like an adorable mini looking Cleo, is a 7-year-old Pembroke Welsh corgi.  You might know what a corgi looks like, even if you don't know the name, because this dog breed has been the favorite of Queen Elizabeth II since she was 18 years old. Did you see Helen Mirren in The Queen?

Credit: Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times

The Queen has been photographed and shown over the years with her corgis as much as Oprah has with her cocker spaniels.

The difference today with Sutter, and maybe this is because he is part of Governor Brown's life and Jerry Brown marches to the beat of his own drummer, but Sutter is already on Twitter. Yes, you can follow his corgi adventures here @SutterBrown.

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Essay: Spencer and Me - My Faithful Companion

Our guest writer today is Rebecca Camarena, she writes in her own words about her new life with a dog named Spencer.

Labrador puppy When I bought a dog after buying a house, I naturally assumed that I could get a loving dog that would sit at my feet while I spent hours at my desk writing. I was unaware that a relationship with a dog required training, perseverance and patience. My childhood family dog was shared by everyone and he never graced us with his cheerful personality. So when I brought home my German Shepherd-Lab mix home, we named him Spencer and he was going to be my companion.

Spencer was as loving as he was disobedient. The disobedient part seemed to start from the minute we brought him home. I had wanted to raise Spencer as an inside dog, but he got into trouble everywhere he went. One wag of his tail and everything on a low table was all over the floor. He was incorrigible, stubborn and resistant to house training. No became my favorite word as I tried harder to train him. Often times he lost his footing on the tile floors and ended up sliding across the floor knocking over whatever he landed against. I hadn’t bought my house a fixer-upper, but it was soon to be one with this out of control dog. I thought how will I ever manage with this horse in my house?

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P.L.A.Y. Pet Beds: Product Review

Cleo_PLAY_Pet_Bed San Francisco is a city that makes the top of many lists for its natural beauty, amazing cuisine, and walkability. 

It is also home to many companies that are focused on saving the environment through green technology. Now, add residents with style and a deep love for their pets and voila, the perfect city for a new pet bed company, P.L.A.Y. Pet Lifestyle And You.

P.L.A.Y. pet beds go beyond the wicked fleece of LL Bean.  We have nothing against all things wicked good but a plaid dog bed doesn't really fit our decor. 

All of P.L.A.Y.'s pet bed styles are modern and beautiful, and especially their Artist Collection designed by San Francisco's own David Collins. This line includes unique designs like the Victorian Cameo and Chandelier.

Lofty and Feel Good.

Cushion cover is 100% cotton

Fillers are made from post-consumer recycled plastic bottles

100% machine washable

Durable construction

Recycled packaging materials

Ready. Set. Style. The covers are sold separately.  All the patterned covers can be easily zipped off for washing or if you decide to change the look of your room, you can switch covers.  An idea I had not thought of before was their suggestion of using one of their beds for the back of your car.  What a great idea especially for older dogs!


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Influence Positively Interview - Hilary Lane

hlanddoggies Hilary Lane owns Fang Shui Canines ( a canine coaching business that helps people and their dogs live harmoniously. Hilary co-founded Rocky Mountain Border Collie Rescue, where she trained rescues to be more adoptable. Currently, she volunteers with the Humane Society of Boulder Valley in their STAR programs, puppy socialization classes, and other shelter events; evaluates potential canine candidates for a Search and Rescue organization; is a co-founder of the new American Treibball Association; writes blogs and writes articles for pet publications, including Cornell and Tufts veterinary newsletters; and co-moderates Bark Out Loud Radio, a weekly, dog community oriented show that discusses specific pet issues. Her two rescue Border Collies, Frisbee and Luna, reside with her in Louisville, Colorado.

What is your idea of perfect happiness?
Living in a sunny climate with the ocean and wooded trails nearby. Immersing myself in creative endeavors. Helping others solve problems. Being with people who are open, compassionate, easygoing. Learning from those who can teach me more about animal behavior, politics, the arts, and the facets of life I don’t understand. Being in wonderful health. Hanging out alone with my dogs and thoughts when I want to. Traveling the world. Obviously, I don’t have all of this, but I treasure the parts that I do have.

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Our Valentine and Pet Theft Awareness Day

When we first adopted Cleo from the SF-SPCA more than five years ago, we knew we had scored big time. She was and has been the BEST first rescue we both have ever experienced. Now we are sold (unintended pun) on pet adoption over buying a dog.

With this amazing experience brought fear. Fear that someone might try and take her away from us. Fear that her adorable personality and incredible beauty would alert some sneaky, dastardly element the one time we left her alone for a minute, a second.

Cleo our SF-SPCA Gift

Because of this absolute adoration and fear that others would envy our good fortune enough to try and steal Cleo away, we began our life with her by incorporating habits such as: never leaving her in the car unattended; never leaving her tied up outside a coffee shop or post office while we pop in, even for a second; and never letting strangers we encounter on our walks believe that she is not without a touch of fierce protectiveness for us, her one true pack.

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SF SPCA Offering Free Spay/Neuter to Residents in February

What's a wonderful way to share your love for animals? Help Stop Dog and Cat Overpopulation

SF SPCA Spay Neuter Program Feb 2011

As part of an awareness campaign and in an effort to encourage San Francisco residents to spay or neuter their unfixed dogs or cats, the SF SPCA is offering FREE spay and neuter surgeries during the month of February 2011.

Please call the SF SPCA at 415-554-3030 to schedule an appointment.

VIsit their website for details and discounts

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