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December 2011
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February 2012

Puppy Bowl VIII Starting Line-Up | Cuddly versus Cute

It's going to be an epic match-up this year! Cuddly will go head-to-head with adorable and cute. The players come from adoption agencies all over the country. You'll find lovable male and female puppies in the ranks. Big breeds and small are represented to make the playing field even. We can't wait to watch! 


Update: We just read that there will be an exciting kitten half time show. Will you be watching this year? 

Click here for the entire cuteness known as the starting line up!

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Influence Positively Interview | Sandra Estrada


Sandra Estrada grew up with animal companions, living in the country, they were her most frequent playmates. She could ride, as soon as she could walk. Her love for animal continues throughout her life. She founded and ran a non-profit dedicated to helping zoo bound animals for over a decade. She worked with the USDA to create new and improved requirements for maintenance of primates in Zoo. She even helped teach orphaned baby orangutans how to climb trees. She opened and ran the first Holistic pet store in San Francisco for another decade, and now dedicates her time to baking organic dog treats via

Sandra also works to raise public awareness about the needs of Military Working Dogs (MWDs), and she loves every minutes of it all. Her goal for the future is a statue of a Military Working Dog in Arlington Cemetery, (can you believe our country does not have a National Monument for these courageous dogs?) and a retirement home for the MWDs. She would love to raise public awareness so that everyone knows about the plight of these dogs and help them to get bullet proof vests, and cooling vests.

What is your idea of perfect happiness?

A world awake, aware, and grateful for all the great and daily wonderful help we get from the animals who share the planet with us. I always have wondered why we spent for much time and money on exploring space and other planets when we have so much to explore and learn right here.  

Continue reading "Influence Positively Interview | Sandra Estrada" »

Subscribe to the blog here and never miss a post! | 10 ways a puppy prepares you for parenthood is an online parenting resource. They sent us this list of ten ways that a puppy might be the best idea for those thinking about becoming a parent. Pet care and vet bills will be for the life of your dog. Being prepared for medical costs, number five on the list, rings true for me. Having a budget for vet bills, and exploring pet insurance, are important considerations before having a dog. How do you think a dog, as a puppy or a senior, prepares you for being a parent?



5 of 10: There is no such thing as a free puppy.

Vaccinations and spaying/neutering add up to a number of pricey vet bills in the first few months of companionship. Spoiler alert: Puppies don't get cheaper as they grow up, and neither do kids.

Read the full article

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Answering Call to Duty | Foster Pet Families Helping Deployed Service Members

It is wonderful to see military families getting support from local animal shelters and national organizations for help with pet care.


Many military pet parents struggle with what to do with their forever friend when serving our nation away from home. It can be tough to stay focused on the mission at hand if family affairs aren’t in order.

Enter our partners in the nonprofit sector. For the past several years, many organizations have stepped up to the plate, providing foster pet services to our deploying troops.

“Military members have a hundred things to worry about when deployment or training comes up. The last thing they should have to worry about is the care of their pets while they’re away,” said Alisa Johnson, a Marine Corps officer and president of Dogs on Deployment, a nonprofit organization matching service members needing a foster pet family with volunteers who have agreed to take in their animals.

Alisa and her husband, Shawn, a Navy officer, observed the challenges military families face when it comes to pet care, which led to the creation of this service.

“We’re especially concerned with those military members that may live on one coast, while all their family lives on another, limiting those that they can rely on in their times of need,” Alisa said.

Since they launched the organization in June, more than 140 families have volunteered to be “boarders” and 20 dogs have been placed in temporary foster care.

Along with national organizations helping troops — including Dogs on Deployment and Guardian Angels for Soldier’s Pet — many local animal shelters are answering the call of duty and creating programs in their communities to help deployed service members with pet care.

The Hawaiian Humane Society’s Pets of Patriots program provides pet care assistance to military personnel deploying on short notice due to war.

Read the full article

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Giving Fearlessly | Story Behind Pooch Park Wear

Dogs are amazing creatures. Their ability to sense when we need them the most, and their innate skills at helping us heal, surely explains the growing use of pet therapy programs across the country. Love for our dogs, can not only get us to run into a burning house to save them, but also to run away from an abusive husband.

In her own words, here is the story of Shelly Poochpark*, a woman spurred to take her beloved dog and herself, away from domestic violence, and toward a new life in San Francisco.


[Beloved Baby modeling a custom shirt. She passed away in 2010.]

I met Baby, a brown Chiweenie, while I was visiting the SPCA in Southern California. She had just been surrendered by her family. It was love at first sight. Her loving eyes and beautiful face just made me want to hold her and keep her. They kept her for 48 hours to spay her and check her out, and then I fetched her. Baby changed my life from the moment she came to live with my now ex-husband and me.

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Vote for Grouchy Puppy in Bay Woof's Beast of the Bay Awards!

Shameless promotion in the name of birthday wishes. Grouchy Puppy has been nominated for a Beast of the Bay Award by Bay Woof readers. In case you are from out of town, Bay Woof is the San Francisco Bay Area’s monthly newspaper for people and their dogs. We’re nominated in the Best Dog Blog category.

My birthday is this week, and I would love it if you’d consider voting for Grouchy Puppy in the fourth annual Beast of the Bay Awards. And for our (mine and Cleo's) global and national friends — after the first page, if you want, go ahead and go straight to #43 Best Dog Blog and choose Grouchy Puppy.

The final ballot is available online until midnight on Friday, February 10, but please don't wait until the last minute to vote. Besides, voting is really easy, something you can do during American Idol commercials, or before bed.



Thank you!! 

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Special Bailey Chair Saves Life of German Shepherd Puppy

This story of Nala, the German Shepherd, made me cry happy tears. With our own Shepherd/Husky dog, experiencing dietary issues and diabetes, I couldn't imagine the emotional roller coaster of having a six-month old puppy, who suddenly couldn't keep their food or water down.


Read the McDonald's story, and learn how they save the life of their newest family member, Nala. You too will likely shed a few tears of joy, and be inspired. 

Learn more about canine megaesophagus.

Source: Full story at

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Therapy dog who helped heal thousands at Ground Zero passes away

Our condolences to the family of Timmy, the sweet Labrador-basset-springer mix who as a therapy dog helped heal thousands at the World Trade Center, after the September 11, 2001 attacks.

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Saving Dogs with Spinal Cord Injuries


When we help dogs, we help ourselves. This is an inspiring story brought to you in part, from our own University of California San Francisco.

Story highlights:

“It would be phenomenal if it works,” said Linda J. Noble-Haeusslein, PhD, a professor in the UCSF departments of Neurological Surgery and Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation Science who designed the intervention. “We are in a unique position of being able to treat a dog population where there are simply no current therapies that could effectively improve their hind limb function.”

If successful, the trials in injured dogs may lead to the development of similar treatments for people who suffer spinal cord injuries, Noble said. These are among the most expensive injuries: every person with an injured spinal cord costs the health care system millions of dollars over his or her lifetime.

Source: Saving Dogs with Spinal Cord Injuries

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Influence Positively Interview | Missy Johnson

Missy Johnson is a graphic designer and illustrator as well as the creative genius behind Dogs for the PAWS, a national pet rescue awareness site that is inspiring pet lovers to rescue, foster, adopt, volunteer and love pets in need. Dogs for the PAWS is an art and education project that started with 80 rescue dogs from all around the country. Missy paints the dogs' portraits and includes their touching stories of rescue and rehabilitation written by their companions and rescuers. She offers affordable design and illustration that rescues and other pet organizations can use for their events, fundraising and social media promotion of animals up for adoption.

Dogs for the PAWS and Missy's stunning artwork have been featured in numerous printed and online publications From FIDO Friendly, DogTipper, Lowcountry Dog Magazine, Indy Tails, Wadsworth News, and PeoplePets Online. She is a contributing writer for Life+Dog Magazine. Missy lives in Charleston, South Carolina with her husband, Jim and their 5 dogs, (4 of which are rescues) Lake, Gun, London, Schooner and Wyatt Earp. They volunteer with the Carolina Basset Hound Rescue.

What is your idea of perfect happiness?  My perfect happiness would be to see a solution to the flood of unwanted animals across our country and beyond . The ultimate happiness along with the perfect one, would be to have my art used as a resource for pet groups and organizations to promote their adoptable pets, promote  their dedicated work helping animals in need and raise funds using my designs on their event items, promotional materials and fundraising. Also having the opportunity to work with groups all across the country and travel to the different cities with a fun and unique exhibition to show the pet groups how to use my work as a resource would be a dream come true!

Continue reading "Influence Positively Interview | Missy Johnson" »

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Celebrating lifetime of service: Guide and therapy dogs honor their own


This has to be the sweetest tale of finding the perfect role for a dog to have in their life. We wish Tag-a-long the happiest 12th birthday.

Click on the link above, or here for the whole story of this retired service dog.

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Happy Birthday Betty White!

You make animal activists look good. What you must have seen and lived through over the decades. To many of us, it's history, but you were involved, it was your life. We salute you.

P. S. As a sharp & savvy nonagenarian, I bet you'd be wicked good at Words With Friends. I've seen you on talk shows.

image from

"Give Fearlessly. Influence Positively.(tm)"

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Tails of Seattle | Pets in the snow


Sometimes I really wish San Francisco was closer to snow for my dog Cleo to experience it.

Tails of Seattle readers shared photos of their pets in the snow. If you have a picture of your dog or cat enjoying or otherwise encountering the weather this weekend in the Seattle area, click here for instructions on how your photo can be included in their gallery.

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