Helen Woodward Animal Center Offers Stress Relief With Critter Cam!

In the wake of the COVID-19 crisis and the necessitated quarantines, the Helen Woodward Animal Center’s Humane Education department is spreading some light via on-line programming.

image from www.grouchypuppy.com
Dogs and Social Distancing

 

Helen Woodward Animal Center’s Humane Education Provides Adorable At-Home Programming for Those Who Need a Pick-Me-Up…

Rancho Santa Fe, Calif.  (Mar. 16, 2020) – In the wake of the COVID-19 crisis and the necessitated quarantines, Helen Woodward Animal Center’s Humane Education department is spreading some light via on-line programming.  The animal welfare organization dedicated to the loving and healing power of our furry friends has begun live-streaming adorable critters (sure to warm the hearts of kids and adults alike), and will soon provide humane education classes for kids stuck at home, seeking enjoyable and educational content. 

Since its founding, Helen Woodward Animal Center has offered humane education programs dedicated to showing the incredible ways in which animals give back to the world.  The Center’s Pet Encounter Therapy program flourishes thanks to the amazing way in which animals provide healing and comfort.  The enormous growth of adoptions is based on the undeniable way pets create a happier, more loving home.   With this in mind, Helen Woodward Animal Center is dedicating this time to bringing the gifts of animals into the homes of friends, supporters, and animal-lovers struggling with social distancing.   Anyone needing a pick-me-up is encouraged to access the Center live stream at: https://animalcenter.org/programs-services/education/critter-cam.  All programming is free to the public to enjoy. 

The following “animal hours” are already up and running!

Monday – Friday

Animal schedule:

9:00 – 10:00

Rabbit hour

10:00 – 11:00

Puppy/Dog hour

11:00 – 12:00

Guinea pig hour

12:00 – 1:00

Kitten/Cat hour

1:00 – 2:00

Parrot hour

2:00 – 3:00

Baby goat/Rabbit hour

*Schedule subject to change due to animal health and availability

In order to take precautions against the COVID-19 pandemic, all on-site humane education programs at Helen Woodward Animal Center are closed until April 6th, 2020.  In the meantime, check back on Helen Woodward Animal Center’s main website for more details about when to tune in to participate in virtual field trips, fun animal-focused lessons, and cool make-at-home crafts!

For more information about the education programs at Helen Woodward Animal Center, log onto www.animalcenter.org.

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About Helen Woodward Animal Center

Helen Woodward Animal Center is a private, non-profit organization where “people help animals and animals help people.” Founded in 1972 in Rancho Santa Fe, Calif., the Center provides services for more than 90,000 people and more than 10,000 animals annually through adoptions, educational and therapeutic programs both onsite and throughout the community. Helen Woodward Animal Center is also the creator of the International Home 4 the Holidays pet adoption drive, the International Remember Me Thursday® campaign and The Business of Saving Lives Workshops, teaching the business of saving lives to animal welfare leaders from around the world.  For more information, go to: www.animalcenter.org.

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Bonded Puppy Siblings Show Us Love is Blind 💞

In the dog world, we humans are often the beneficiaries of a dog’s pure love and undiluted support in all that we do. A wagging tail is one of the nicest compliments! Experiencing how the human dog bond is demonstrated is extraordinary, it can feel like a cosmic boost.

What is also incredible to witness is the pure love, support and affection between dogs. Meet Star and her brother Denver, an adorable pair showing us what it means to be a personal cheerleader for your puppy sibling.

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Adorable Bonded Puppy Siblings Star and Denver

Rancho Santa Fe, Calif.  (Feb. 24, 2020) – It has often been said that “love is blind” but at Helen Woodward Animal Center two pups are displaying that colloquialism in its truest form.  In fact, the two 3-month old terrier-blends who arrived at the Center only two weeks ago have demonstrated a bond unlike any seen at the Center before.  The female pup named Star is deaf and nearly blind, and her brother Denver has taken on the loving role of being her guide.

On February 11th, Star and Denver arrived at Helen Woodward Animal Center via transport from a new rescue partner – Heart of Louisiana. The pups were part of a litter of 8 whose mother had been dumped in a rural location.  A couple who found the mother kept her with her babies and, once weaned, asked the southern rescue facility to help find good homes for her pups.  The litter, along with 31 other rescue puppies, traveled 1,900 miles to reach sunny San Diego and nearly all of the transfers were ready for adoption in little more than a week. 

However, Helen Woodward Animal Center staffers soon realized that Star had special needs.  Deaf and nearly completely blind, Star was learning how to make her way in the world by use of her other senses.  While the rest of her littermates frolicked without her, her brother Denver kept a protective eye on her.  Choosing Star as his main playmate, the two were rarely apart and when separated, Denver would come running back to love on Star and let her know he was there.

“It’s really extraordinary,” stated Helen Woodward Adoption Services Manager Dora Dahlke.  “We never stop learning from animals.  These two really can teach us all a thing or two about sibling love and how much we can achieve with the love of a good friend.”

Star and Denver will be adopted out as a bonded pair.  They will be available for adoption on Wednesday, February 26. As a part of their adoption, San Diego Pet Training’s Rob Kuty will be on hand to provide the new family with techniques on how to raise a special needs puppy.  One thing is certain, Denver will be right there to help show his new family how wonderful his sister really is.

Interested in Adoptions at Helen Woodward Animal Center?

To adopt Star and Denver or for more information on Helen Woodward Animal Center, please go to www.animalcenter.org, call 858-756-4117 or stop by at 6461 El Apajo Road in Rancho Santa Fe.

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About Helen Woodward Animal Center

Helen Woodward Animal Center is a private, non-profit organization where “people help animals and animals help people.” Founded in 1972 in Rancho Santa Fe, Calif., the Center provides services for more than 90,000 people and more than 10,000 animals annually through adoptions, educational and therapeutic programs both onsite and throughout the community. Helen Woodward Animal Center is also the creator of the International Home 4 the Holidays pet adoption drive, the International Remember Me Thursday® campaign and The Business of Saving Lives Workshops, teaching the business of saving lives to animal welfare leaders from around the world.  For more information, go to:  www.animalcenter.org.

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Magic of Dogs: 25 ways and counting, dogs positively influence our life

Make it your new year resolution to discover the many joys dogs bring to your life. We all face stress from our daily lives, scary headlines, and even just the winter blues. How do we handle it and not get overwhelmed?

From my decades of experience, I often feel better about something, or feel closer to a calm outlook, thanks to a dog. It’s like their secret super power is having the answers to life, but they can only communicate it when we stop and give them a belly rub, or take them for a quiet walk. We have to slow down and listen to them and their special canine communication.

Whether you adopt a dog, or volunteer, their positive influence will be felt. 

Image from grouchypuppy.com

If you are wondering what the possible positive impact a dog might have on your life, here are just a few ways (okay, 25 ways and counting!) dogs add color, purpose and dimension to our life:

  1. They think you’re the best cook
  2. They don’t care about your weight
  3. Feeling a dog lean against you in complete trust makes you feel like you can conquer anything
  4. Five minutes or fifty, they miss you
  5. They forgive quickly and completely
  6. You will learn to nap again and feel good about it
  7. They don’t care if you exercise only that you play with them
  8. When you adopt a dog you get to remind them that they are loved
  9. A dog choking is the best alarm clock
  10. They make you feel like you won the lottery
  11. They keep your secrets
  12. They lower your blood pressure
  13. You exercise more without realizing it
  14. You meet your neighbors
  15. They are good at answering the door for you
  16. They don’t care about your bad breath
  17. Regular walks with your dog burns calories
  18. When you adopt a dog you get to make their final chapter the best
  19. A dog can save you money on therapists by focusing you on what’s important
  20. They know the secret to living in the moment and will teach you
  21. Spending quiet time with a dog can heal your heart
  22. Adopting an older dog can teach you patience and show you how to age gracefully
  23. Dogs don’t judge you
  24. They don’t mind if you use them as a reason to say no to an invitation
  25. You get to know and feel pure love, without reservation.

These are some of the reasons why I believe the human animal bond, and dog human bond, is real, and it’s spectacular!

It’s a new year and a natural time to take stock of your life. If you love dogs, be assured having one increases the quality of your life exponentially.

Consider adopting from your local shelter, or volunteering with your closest animal rescue. If you can’t volunteer, find a cuddle club! It’s about having dogs in your life and letting them work their magic!

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10 uplifting words you will surely find in your vocabulary thanks to 🐶 dogs

Celebrating our Grouchy Puppy ten year anniversary has gotten us to stop and take a look at how dogs have positively influenced us over the past decade. When I look around at the dog books I have read, and the different dogs I have met, what came to me were the many words that have entered my vocabulary because of them. Between the dog books and the actual dogs, there are words that I find myself using every single day.

Have you ever stopped and thought about how a dog (or dogs) can influence you? It was only when I was considering how dogs have influenced me over the last ten years did I pick up on this vocabulary theme. I looked over old blog posts and other pieces, and saw certain words used over and over.

Image from grouchypuppy.com

When I look at the thousands of photos from the oldsters at Muttville Senior Dog Rescue that are still on my phone, these same words come to mind. Our encounters in the doggy loft inspire a word cloud in my head that I hadn’t recognized until now.

What stands out to me, that was a pleasant surprise, was how uplifting the words were. It is pretty wonderful to see how ten years focused on writing about dogs and volunteering with old dogs, had caused this set of uplifting words to become a part of my vocabulary.

Since we are closing out the year, and the decade, I thought it would be fun to share a top ten list. In no particular order, below are ten words regularly found in my vocabulary thanks to dogs. Do they look familiar to you? How have dogs influenced you over the years? Are there words you find yourself using more frequently that may have been introduced because of a dog?

10 words that you will surely find in your vocabulary (I hope!) thanks to a dog (in no particular order)

Inspiration

Love

Gratitude

Hope

Warmth

Optimism

Motivation

Smile

Goodness

Joy

What do you think? How many of these words do you use daily? What other words come to mind that we missed?

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Rediscover the meaning of Thanksgiving with an older dog

It’s Thanksgiving week, a perfect time to share a series of adorable adoptable older dogs from our local San Francisco favorite, Muttville Senior Dog Rescue!

If you’re thinking about adding to your family, these sweet sugar faces are wonderful choices to consider. It is all about making the perfect match and that is something the folks at Muttville have perfected over ten years now.

 

 

Take it from me, after volunteering on a weekly basis with Muttville for about four years, older dogs are perfect companions in a million different ways! Every week there is one or more encounters with a resident of the doggy loft that leaves me encouraged, inspired and always feeling loved.

Visit your local rescue, or come by and visit Muttville Senior Dog Rescue and discover why senior dogs really do rule!

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Wow 😳 It’s been ten years since an adopted dog inspired the launch of Grouchy Puppy

A walk in nature, an art exhibit, the autobiography of an inventive person? Where do you draw inspiration? Have you ever been inspired by a dog?

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Ten years ago, a big, older dog, who found her way from the country and into our hearts, inspired the creation of Grouchy Puppy. To many, this may not come as a surprise given how popular dog pages are on Facebook, in Twitter feeds, and how many dog Instagram stars and influencers there are today. However, ten years is a long time ago in dog years and definitely in social media years!

November 9 is Grouchy Puppy Day

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Do you know the face a dog makes when love overtakes worry?

There is a special look and expression, even a sound, dogs make when they feel their own rush of oxytocin inside and under the skin. I have witnessed this firsthand many times.

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With my own older adopted dog, there are many memories of her contented noises and sometimes boisterous body language. I will always remember the day we both knew she was home, permanently home.

The face she made spoke all the words we needed to know that she was unpacking, and letting go of any lingering doubt, fear or worry about us. We knew that our love, compassion and trust had filled every corner of her being, and squeezed out the tiniest bit of residual uneasiness she may have carried.

She knew she was home. She knew we were her home. That meeting of hearts, rather than minds, is a feeling you never forget. 

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At every age, every stage: How dogs help us

Whenever I hear someone talk about how they are not ready for a dog and want to wait for just the right time, I wonder aloud, “when has a dog not made life better?”

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When you stop and think about how dogs fit in our lives, it feels to me like they fit into every stage and moment of my existence. When I was a child, dogs were my best friend and teacher. Later on they became my helper, and co-worker. Ten years after I adopted my first dog, and launched Grouchy Puppy, there has been a steady stream of dogs positively influencing my life. Their ability to give fearlessly to us continues to entertain, inspire, and console.

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Reasons why we should love old dogs

Why do I love old dogs so much? This is a fair question given how popular puppies always are. While I have nothing against puppies they are just not for me. Their high energy and constant need for education and monitoring is exhausting. I love all dogs very much which is why puppies keep me in a constant state of worry over their development and care. By the very fact they are in this stage of growth, any mistakes or bad habits they develop thanks to me, are mine to deal with at a later date.

Given all that described potential stress, you might guess that I have never had children or been a school teacher. I’m also the youngest amongst my siblings so my supervision skills are strictly based on managing a few people, or the occasional project at work, not the best skill set for taking on the responsibility of a puppy. However, older dogs are a whole different beast. To begin with, there is my absolute love for the oldsters.

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Having experienced my own dog going through her golden years, the affection I feel for seniors is deep. Spending weekly volunteer shifts at Muttville Senior Dog Rescue has confirmed my love for the sugar faces is not limited to my own dog. Big ones, little ones, blind ones, deaf ones, three-legged ones, terminal ones, I absolutely love all these old dogs, and I am here to tell you why!

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Senior dogs inspire: Meet Samba the Tripawd

Meet Samba. We ran into her on the streets of San Francisco where she was showing two young boys how to sit and wait for a treat. I love seeing dogs out on walks. Often I exchange a smile and a knowing “dog lover club” look with the person, or sometimes just with the dog. I wave at the dogs if they look at me, otherwise I gauge my reaction based on them. When a dog is on a mission to poop or pee in a particular place, or get to the dog park, it would be criminal to get in the way.

 

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Why We Love Older Dogs and What’s so Wonderful About Senior Dog Adoption

Do you ever see yourself in a dog’s face? Does a dog’s adoption story ever resonate with you? I’ve noticed that the older I get the more I see myself and even my daily life in the life of older dogs.

When my own dog entered her golden years I saw my parents in her daily struggles, and aging process. She showed me a lot about what they were going through with their aches and pains, slower pace, greater need for naps, and dietary changes.

I swear both my parents and my old dog shared a love for snorting at me in disbelief when I would ask them something. (In my dog’s case, it was my asking her the rhetorical question, “do you want to go for a walk.”)

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5 Great Reasons Why Senior Dogs Rule and Puppies Drool

November has turned into a favorite month thanks to the older dogs in my life. I love senior dogs more than Thanksgiving turkey and cranberry sauce!

My excitement for this month began after we adopted my own amazing Shepherd Husky from the San Francisco SPCA in November. After we shared every “Gotcha Day” and adoptaversary each November, I loved this month a little bit more.

image from www.grouchypuppy.com

Since my big fluffy girl had to move on three years ago, I’ve been spending time every week at Muttville Senior Dog Rescue among an ever changing tide of sweet oldsters. They show me how much more fun being around well-seasoned dogs are compared to puppies! 

Curious about what makes these sugar faces so great? Read on and see for yourself  Adorable adoptable dogs ahead!!

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Older dogs teach us patience and how to fill up your love tank!

In our hurry up, I'm always late world, spending time with an older dog can be the perfect counterbalance.

Time together may help you gain a thoughtful approach to the next hour of the day, or maybe the whole week ahead. After a few one-on-one minutes with an older dog, I have left motivated and empowered, focused more the softer side of life.

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More life lessons from dogs. This time forgiveness.

Volunteering at a senior dog rescue has exposed me to all sorts of dogs arriving for different reasons. Some dogs are strays, others have the misfortune of having their person pass away unexpectedly. Everyone agrees that all the dogs are loved no matter where they come from, or why they are with us at this advanced age.

Something that gets people to dance around is the subject of dogs who get surrendered by a family. I've heard people take absolute positions on this. They feel that if you decide to have a dog then you better keep that dog no matter what. These people have little empathy or compassion for anyone giving up a dog.

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I have a more nuanced response thanks to dogs like Otis.

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Dogs don't know what a holiday is, only that you're there with them

You know what's so great about dogs? They don't care about the holidays. Dogs don't know about Cyber Monday sales. They only see the new toy or smell the freshly opened bag of treats.

Dogs have a way of getting us emotional humans to focus more on their funny antics, and less on those door-buster commercials running on television. Sure, they'll sit next to us on the couch to watch You've Got Mail for the tenth time, but only to get the belly rubs.

 

A video posted by grouchypuppy (@grouchypuppy) on

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