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July 2011
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September 2011

Influence Positively Interview - Kellie Heckman


Dr. Heckman brings her background in research science to FiXiT Foundation. Her experience in science includes the use of genetic tools to examine the evolutionary relationships and the examination of natural populations in a variety of animal groups. During her PhD research at Northwestern University, she examined the evolutionary history of mouse lemur species, the world's smallest primates. At Yale University, her postdoctoral research focused on the population biology of North American freshwater and Mediterranean fish species.

Dr. Heckman also provides nearly a decade of animal welfare experience. She was a member of the executive committee of the Friends of the New Haven Animal Shelter and performed additional duties for the organization during her 7 year tenure, including volunteer orientation, fundraising, and feline socialization. In addition, Heckman was also involved with trap-neuter-release efforts in New Haven, CT. Dr. Heckman would then use her research background in PETA's Corporate Affairs Department, supporting the animal welfare movement with hard science.

Dr. Heckman was born in Indiana and received her Bachelor of Science in population biology from Purdue University and doctorate in evolutionary biology from Northwestern University.

What is your idea of perfect happiness? Perfect happiness is when all animals are treated humanely -- of course, starting with the end of needless euthanasia as a product of companion animal overpopulation.

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DogTime Media Awards: The Petties 2011 Arrive 5PM EST

For all those who voted for Grouchy Puppy and Cleo to win a DogTime Media Award, we thank you. Whether we win or not, your support means everything. 

If we win, Rocky Ridge Rescue will thank you for the $1000 donation they will be getting. We love the underdog and their amazing Arkansas refuge has that magic touch when it comes to helping the underdog transform into a loved dog or other critter.

Very soon, 5:00PM EST you can tune into the Petties 2011 Awards presentation.

Cleo, our dog who is also a ham, will be following from home.

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Mini-ACES Workshop at BlogPaws 2011

Socks, part of the Ryan Newman's Pup Crew distracting me during a 3-hour workshop on the business of saving lives at BlogPaws pet blogging conference in Vienna, VA.

Lots of valuable tips they've used themselves, being shared by [right to left] Angela Morris from P&G Pet Care, Mike Arms, Helen Woodward Animal Center and Krissie Newman, Ryan Newman Foundation.

image from

Give Fearlessly. Influence Positively.

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LIFE+DOG includes a Grouchy Puppy

File this one in the Not to Toot My Own Horn Too Loudly department:

Ever since I was a child, I've loved dogs. Growing up as an avid reader, I've also developed a passion for writing. Through my Grouchy Puppy blog, it has been a dream to bring together my passion for dogs with my love of writing. And being able to do this in my favorite city in the world, San Francisco, it is a dream that is actually coming true.

Now, my dream has become a little more realistic and a lot more exciting. Starting in September, I will be taking on the role of Editor-at-Large for LIFE+DOG Magazine. Based in Houston, this incredible lifestyle magazine has grown considerably in less than a year. They are now expanding out of their home state of Texas, with one of their first stops being San Francisco. With more dogs per capita than children, San Francisco is the perfect place for LIFE+DOG Magazine to expand their doggie empire.

It will be my pleasure to contribute monthly articles about modern living with man's best friend to this wonderful magazine, with a focus on life and dogs in the Bay Area.

I hope you will subscribe and follow us both.

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P.L.A.Y. Launches New Ultra-Soft Eco-Friendly Chill Pads

P.L.A.Y. (Pet Lifestyle And You) is a young San Francisco-based company that just added to its award-winning collection of pet beds and accessories. Perfect for the many hardwood floors in San Francisco homes, is the new signature line of ultra-soft and eco-friendly Chill Pads.

 Like many dog lovers, I cringe when I hear my 85lb dog Cleo thump down onto the floor. Those long Coyote looking legs of hers make her descent all the more loud. She is a senior dog now too, so we have tried even harder to find ways to soften her fall to the floor. Each time we get her a new bed, the oldest is then transferred downstairs and used for outside cushioning on the hard ground.

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Pedigree "Write a Post Help a Dog" Campaign 2011 #dogsrule

Every Dog Deserves a Loving Home. One of the reasons for our connection with the Pedigree Foundation is that we both are involved in and care a lot about dog adoption. Our life with our adopted dog Cleo has been the best! She is our first adopted dog and has changed our lives permanently. 

Last year we were involved in the PEDIGREE Adoption Drive and the “Write a Post, Help a Dog” program. Through the efforts of almost 500 blog posts, coverage by Mashable and Yahoo, and tweets from Alyssa Milano and Tori Spelling, more than 7,000 pounds of food was donated as part of the campaign. Here in San Francisco, Muttville Senior Dog Rescue was one of the shelters that received a donation thanks to your help.

Getting Involved during BlogPaws 2011

This year’s effort will help raise awareness of the Pedigree Foundation—a 501(C)(3) nonprofit organization—committed to helping dogs by providing grants to shelters and rescue groups and by encouraging dog adoption. You can donate online to the Pedigree Foundation or purchase Dogs Rule Gearwhere the proceeds go to the Foundation. 

PEDIGREE "Write a Post Help a Dog!" 2011 #DogsRule

Pedigree_BlogPawsPostcard FINAL pg1

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Get Your Fix T-Shirt Giveaway

Many believe that spay/neuter is the key for ending pet overpopulation. Cloris Leachman recorded a great spay/neuter ad for PETA. Over 60% of the dogs euthanized in the City of San Francisco are at least part pit bull, and in March the San Francisco SPCA began offering free spay and neuter surgeries for pit bulls and pit mixes, as part of an awareness campaign.

People everywhere are focused on ending the homeless pet population in creative ways. How would you encourage someone to spay or neuter their pet?

Launched earlier this year, the FiXiT Foundation seeks to find why populations are not spaying or neutering their companion animals. They initiated a case study in St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands, named “The Island Project,” to test out various incentive programs to entice pet owners to spay or neuter their pets. In March the foundation received a $100,000 grant from PetSmart Charities® to support this creative initiative.

FiXiT Foundation T-shirt

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Influence Positively Interview - Lizzie Mead

Lizzie Mead was born in 1973 and raised in Tucson, AZ. She has quirky parents (Lloyd and Alicia Mead) who own a motel on the wrong side of the tracks where there are many at-risk animals..and they pretty much run a cat rescue on the property. Her mom raised her with a love for all critters and instilled in her a desire to help animals in need. Her dad is the voice of reason and taught her to not have 20 foster animals at a time.

Silver Sea Jewelry has been open since 1993 in Tucson, AZ Lizzie takes great joy in being self-employed, even if she'll never be rich. She volunteers with assorted animal rescue groups, and is a "Beading Diva" a group which raises money for animal rescue groups with beautiful handcrafted bracelets. Lizzie is an animal welfare advocate for dogs, and her life goal is to see the end of racing in the state of Arizona and one day, across the country. She also works with homeless and at risk youth in her area, helps them with their dogs, and mentors kids transitioning off the streets into homelife. For Lizzie, life got much sweeter once that life went to the dogs.

What is your idea of perfect happiness? My perfect idea of happiness is a balanced life in which I get to spend much time with my furry children, have awesome relationships with family and friends, help others and the animal kingdom, and successfully run my little jewelry business that I love. A bonus is a little quality time lounging on my porch in front of my orange house. Most of this I already get to do! That's fun!

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Would you treat a dog like a time share?

After reading this Maryland story about Ginger, a dog that was shared between two families, my immediate reaction was - what a great idea! Many folks with pets are struggling financially. Wouldn't it be kinder to the dog if you shared responsibility and costs, rather than giving them up to a shelter or neglecting their care? The rewards could be a happy dog with two loving families! It sure seems to me that dogs have a deep well of love to draw from, with plenty to share between two welcoming homes.

My two families. We asked others on the Grouchy Puppy Facebook wall and we heard, "Yes, we fostered a friends while they were gone and now he goes back and forth between us. It is like a vacation to him when he gets bored.."


We share our dog Cleo in the form of a sitter when we need to go out of town. Three households make up Team Cleo and we're grateful for the mutual love between them and Cleo. They enjoy her company as much as they are helping us out. We learned long ago that as nice as a kennel can be, there is no substitute to being in a loving home.

"I wish! That would be so great--first to one place to eat, play, snuggle, nap...then to the other place to eat, play, snuggle, nap...!" - Grouchy Puppy Facebook comment

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Better Buddies Eco-friendly Pet Beds on a Mission to Help Special Needs Homeless Pets

San Franciscans care about sustainability and having access to eco-friendly products. We look for natural pet food, alternative pet medicine, holistic vets and we buy from businesses that give back to the community. One of the reasons I support local businesses like Pawtrero Hill Bathhouse & Feed Co. is they share with dog lovers like me, the extensive research that they've done on natural foods, besides offering a great selection of pet products. Pawtrero also regularly hosts adoption events at their locations.

Donut-Stack-dog-bed A new eco-friendly pet bed business in Los Angeles with a similar mission to giving back to the community and helping homeless pets, is Better Buddies, Inc.

This socially conscious company is made up of a trio of pet lovers and animal advocates, including Michael Grady, William Busch and two-time Emmy winning Actress Julie Berman, who currently stars in ABC's "General Hospital", and is an ambassador for the Best Friends Animal Society, a non-profit in animal rescue and adoption.

Better Buddies’ brand of pet beds, which include donut beds, pillow beds and bed rolls, are made of 100% organic cotton and hemp, with recycled PET fiber filling (made from recycled plastic bottles) for both the donut and pillow beds. Ever since my first trip to Hawaii fifteen years ago where I discovered hemp, I've been a huge fan of the fabric. 

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Dogs Get Us Moving! Mars Petcare Sponsors "Woof Walks" with YMCAs

Walking our dog in San Francisco gets us both out of the house and enjoying our mild summer climate. The city with its famous hills is a perfect outdoor gym for people and dogs. Cleo and I love to power walk together while she picks up the local canine news. It is a daily routine we both enjoy though probably for different reasons.

A new study now proves that Cleo is not alone in her skill at bumping my keyboard, or getting my attention by methodically stretching near my desk each day at exactly the same time. Wow! Maybe she really CAN tell time!

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