Day of the Dead or Dia de los Muertos is about celebrating family and loved ones. Each November we take time to remember our dear departed. Each year the festivities fall near Halloween but this day isn't meant to be scary. We are meant to honor family members who have preceded us in death, and for me that means someday in the future my celebration will include my dog Cleo.
Do you have a guide for taking care of your dog? My gut is my compass. Women are known for their intuition, and my intuition and internal compass steered me away from many choices that were based on old fears. I wanted to have a happy, healthy dog. Over the months and years together, I've learned many lessons but that the key to a good life is relying on my gut.
Meet Blake, this week's adorable older dog ready for his forever family. He's a sweet blend of Corgi and Pomeranian.
No Halloween mask can hide the love our dog is feeling right now for her papa. How can people deny themselves this amount of unadultered affection? Why wouldn't you take a chance to experience true love that is profound, and with few filters and less restrictive criteria than Match.com or ChristianMingle.com?
We were taking our dog for a walk. Every day we walk through the city. Every day our dog surprises us by her impact on others. One day a child will be over the moon from their encounter, another day, like today, a man at a bus stop will have a look that causes us to stop. He clearly was thrilled to have a moment with Cleo, then he shared with us the reason for his joy. He was recovering from cancer & had returned from a stay with family up north, where he had discovered the healing power of dogs.
His encounter with Cleo today, in the moment before his bus arrived, made him very happy. His sharing made us happy & again amazed at dogs, and the power of Cleo. It's 2013 and..[...]
In case you missed it, we're throwing an online party for the beautiful Grouchy Puppy muse, Cleo. This November marks eight incredible years together. Since the number eight is significant in many cultures and religions, we thought this is the year to do it up right. She is a living legend to many so we're planning to give our dog the equivalent of an Honorary Oscar.
What's a party without guests? This is a virtual party so we're welcoming friends from all over, including New Zealand, Hawaii, Texas, Pennsylvania, Canada, South Carolina, Japan and of course the San Francisco Bay Area. Haven't seen the event on our Facebook page yet? Consider this is YOUR personal invitation to join the party!! It's going to be epic..[...]
When I saw these cute Australian Cattle dogs playing tether-ball together, and separately, the first thing I thought of was that scene from the movie Napoleon Dynamite. Only the boy dog here seemed to be enjoying himself more.
Don't you think this dog showed more expression on his face than the actor? Watch and tell me what you see in the comments. Enjoy!
This week our available adoptable dog is a happy senior Chihuahua blend. Her name is Freckles or as everyone around here calls her the totally adorkable Freckles! Look at her face! She's a funny girl who is ready to be your nap buddy, kitchen assistant and welcome home kisser. Her foster family says she'll be a joy to have in your life!
Come read another special Q&A with Calvin, the terrier from Small Club here in San Francisco, as he interviews sweet funny Freckles… a grouchypuppy.com exclusive! Fall in love with this amazing girl and find out how you can bring her home.
Last fall, Pets Are Wonderful Support (PAWS) celebrated 25 years with a big party. This weekend, PAWS rolled out the welcome mat to their new permanent home in the Mission District of San Francisco and had a new annual fall fundraiser, PAWS After Dark.
PAWS began as a grassroots compassionate response to the AIDS epidemic, helping care for the pets of so many souls struck by the disease. Today this nonprofit still carries the same mission of supporting and nurturing the human animal bond for those most needy in the community, only now their clients include many more low income seniors and disabled.
Until my father was diagnosed with diabetes many years, I did not know any of the signs. Almost exactly two years ago today, I saw a change in my dog's behavior that mirrored something my father did before his diagnosis. [Read: Cleo's Diabetes Diagnosis] My dog began drinking copious amounts of water. She also began to pee a lot. When this change in behavior went on for many days, we became worried and called our veterinarian.
My husband managed to capture our dog's first pee of the morning inside a recycled clean jar. We took that straight into the vet for testing. On a side note, I have to thank San Francisco's recyling program. If not for our habit of recyling everything we can, getting this pee sample would have been a lot more complicated.
Senior dogs like Sparky are charmers! As you can see from his photo, he'll do anything to win your heart, even be dressed up. What a handsome little guy.
Charming Sparky is so thankful to be a part of the Muttville group of rescued dogs! His foster Mom reports that he loves to follow his people around, enjoys laying in the sun and burrowing in blankets.
This Chihuahua-Corgi guy is a true gentleman, getting along with cats and dogs, but he also loves his one-on-one time with his human. Sparky is great on the leash and likes a senior stroll while smelling the smells of the great outdoors. He enjoys the yard very much and car rides too!
Greek yogurt and a few bits of watermelon is one of his favorite snacks, and along with a few gastro-intestinal meds and supplements. His insides are looking a lot better than when he first arrived, though he will always have a sensitive stomach. Sparky had a bit of a rough past, suffering from some neglect so his new people will need to be gentle and patient with him.http://www.muttville.org/mutt/sparky-1660
When your dog moves into their mature phase of life, or senior stage, it's important to be prepared. Since I started managing my dog's golden years three years ago, I've learned a lot and I want to pass those experiences on. She is my first old dog and we've had to handle a few common changes in behavior and a few not so common events.
I hope my lessons help you create a happier and fearless time with your buddy. It can be easy to fall into the trap of worrying over them and this final stage of your life together. I'm here to say that it's okay to worry as long as you try to focus on the positive as well. I know my dog can tell when I'm not letting my anticipatory grief get the best of me.
I've shared a few of my experiences with Cleo in earlier posts, but here are my five best tips for navigating life with your older dog.
New research has come out on how human and canine brains work. For me, I am not surprised that it seems to prove that when it comes to emotion and perception, the human and dog brain is crazy similar in its wiring. When I read the piece, honestly I got distracted a little by the relief I felt when reading about the dogs used in the study. They trained the dogs to hold still so an MRI could be done without anesthesia. Since I don't like when people try to get a dog to let them put a paper hat on their head, when the dog clearly isn't okay with it, you can imagine how I felt here.
"The ability to experience positive emotions, like love and attachment, would mean that dogs have a level of sentience comparable to that of a human child. And this ability suggests a rethinking of how we treat dogs."