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August 2013
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October 2013

Adoptable Senior Dog of the Week: Shirley

Shirley is approximately 6 pounds and 10 years old. Little Shirley is coming back to Muttville, because her Mom is going into nursing facility and can no longer care for her.

Shirley is a very sweet Chihuahua who loves to cuddle. She is happiest when she is in someone’s lap or next to you on the couch. Now she is in a home with a toddler and is doing fine. She can be a little nervous with loud noises, but is calmed by petting.

This little girl is a love and sweetness exudes from her. She would love another lap to warm and someone to give her a chance to love them back…

Come meet her at Muttville

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Bay Area Pet Fair and Adoptathon Returns Next Weekend

Next weekend, October 5th and 6th the Bay Area Pet Fair and Adoptathon returns to Marin Center in San Rafael, California. There will be lots of adoptable dogs and cats, fun games for kids indoors and out, cool demonstrations and more. Last year was fun, especially seeing the K-9 units!

This FREE FAMILY & PET event returns to the Marin Center on October 5 & 6, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. both days:

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Dispelling myths about deaf dogs

My elderly and senior dog is teaching me how to age gracefully. She has slowly lost her vision but she remains the cutest, loving dog ever. She accepts her blindness, using her other senses to navigate day-to-day life. Watching her, I'm appreciative of how intuitive dogs are, and how much the human-animal bond comes into play in the quality of life we have together.

My brother's dog Kona is a little older than Cleo, and she's become deaf with age. She too, is still so very cute and happy. She's got white butt hairs that make me laugh, because she wiggles her butt in front of you until you scratch it. She grunts and snores on "her couch" most of the day now. Kona, without trying, shows us that a happy dog, in a loving family, doesn't need to hear to be content or feel loved.

Kona the deaf black Lab napping on her couch

Did you know that many rescues and shelters assume deaf dogs are unadoptable. Really? Kona gets around just fine at home. She's 15 years old and somewhat arthritic. Her family keeps her routine simple and they use simple hand gestures to guide her behavior. 

This week is National Deaf Dog Awareness Week. Whether they can hear or see, or even walk, we know from experience today that dogs just want to be loved by their family. They want to feel your love, your commitment and loyalty. Having a hearing-impaired dog only means an adjustment on how you work together, not how you love each other.

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5 Autumn Dog Safety Tips including a LED collar

Whether you live in the city or country, taking your dog out for a spin is fun. Daily exercise is a good habit for all ages, and a great way to keep those pounds off. I love walking my elderly dog in our San Francisco neighborhood. During the day we often have friendly encounters with local kids and strangers who want to pet a big fluffy dog. Our nightly walks are usually shorter and meant for Cleo's last pee stop before bedtime. 

Daylight Savings ends soon and that means longer shadows during our afternoon walks. This time of year also means that to make sure our dog walks are safe I start packing a flashlight for me, and now a LED collar for my dog Cleo.


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Weekly Adoptable Senior Dog: Spike

This week Grouchy Puppy is sharing an extra special adoptable senior dog. Spike, was a Mutt of Honor at last night's big fundraiser for Muttville Senior Dog Rescue in San Francisco. Did you see him there being cute and fabulous?

Great news! I want to thank everyone who sees these weekly adoptable dogs and shares them among your own networks. Because of you, Muttville tells me that their adoption rate for dogs interviewed by Calvin from Small Club, is one hundred percent! Thank you!!

Now, on to Calvin's interview with SPIKE, a soulful little senior shepherd ready for adoption… a grouchypuppy online exclusive!

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Sept 26 Join Animal Lovers Globally for 'Remember Me Thursday'

On September 26, 2013 animal lovers and animal welfare groups globally, are joining together to shine a light on pet adoption, and the millions of healthy dogs and cats waiting adoption. By lighting real or virtual candles on the exact same day we honor the millions of pets who lost their lives without the benefit of a loving home. Learn more about this campaign and how you and your friends can join in, and shine your light.

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What our dogs put up with and other indignities

I love my dog but..I admit to occasionally taking advantage of her cool personality. She is so tolerant of our shenanigans that the urge to give her "bunny ears" or "antlers" can be overwhelming. I give in to the dark side for a few chuckles at her expense.


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Adoptable Senior Dog of the Week: Tulip

Photo Aug 27, 2013, 1:49 PM
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Awwwww, little Miss Tulip.

When we had a chat with Miss Tulip upon her arrival, here's what she said, "Hi my name is Tulip. I'm very happy to be here at Muttville because now I know my family will soon arrive and swoop me off my tiny feet, and I promise there will be no regrets."

Well, as you heard it yourself, spoken like a true Yorkie. Remember this little girl only weighs around 4 -5 lbs, and is around 7-8 years young, so she is super delicate given her size. She may be small but she will bring big smiles and bright light into your life!

Come meet Miss Tulip yourself at Muttville!



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I think my dog's personality is due more to nurture than nature

"Psychologists use the word “personality” to mean those characteristics a person displays that allow us to predict how they will behave, react and feel in various situations. Some scientists, however, are uncomfortable about using the word personality when talking about non-human animals. They use the word “temperament” instead. Although the average person will see little difference between the two terms, using a different label allows the scientist to suggest that there are still significant qualitative differences between the behaviours of people and animals.

But what is personality? What leads to personality differences among breeds? What leads to differences in personality even among individuals within the same breed? Biology teaches us that there are two main ingredients that contribute to making all of us what we are: genetics (“nature”) and the environment (“nurture”). In dogs a large proportion of their personality is due to their inherited genes."

This is the start of a fascinating article titled, "Does Genetics Determine Dog's Personality?" on Psychology Today. I believe in the human-animal bond and often wonder how much of my dog's personality is due to nature rather than nurture. We spend so much time together each day that I believe much of how she is today comes from her environment, more than the average dog in the average American household.  

Do you think you can influence your dog's personality significantly? Does nature always win out over nurture when it comes to dogs? Share your experiences and thoughts in the comments!

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Adoptable Senior Dog of the Week: Milo
Milo’s a sweet little man, very engaged and oh-so-happy to take a walk. He'd be perfect for a senior person who likes slow strolls together. When he sees the leash, that tail starts waggin’ and he grabs the leash with his mouth and says, “let’s go!” He’s quite the looker, too. A cutie Cockapoo!

Milo gets along just fine with other dogs, he’s pretty smart, and he’s house-trained, too. His hearing is so-so but his eyes are superb. If you look into his soulful eyes, you’ll fall in love as he looks right back at you saying “thanks for being my new person!”

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Adoptable Senior Dog of the Week: Maple

Oh yes, sweet little Maple. This adorable Spaniel, Poodle mix is waiting for someone to say “here she is, this is our dog!” You will find Maple to be a delight, with her long curly locks that flow with the wind.

Maple seems to a little shy at first, but hold on to your heart because in no time will she be snuggled up with you. She'll steal your heart. Find this medium-sized fluffy bundle of love at Muttville.

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Pet Obesity Prevention: Is your dog overweight? Carrying extra fur?

You may think your chubby pooch is cute, but there are health risks that come with an overweight pet. Where is the line between healthy and overweight? What is the difference between breeds and species? How can I keep my dog at a healthy weight? What signs indicate health problems? Asking these questions can help you understand your dog or cat's body.
Watch your dog's weight at every stage, even when they become a senior dog like Cleo


A healthy pet will live a longer, happier and more energetic life. This helpful infographic breaks down the basics of ideal pet weight.

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