Monday, May 31, 2010

Honoring vets of all kinds

This Memorial Day, please take a moment to remember our four-legged veterans too.

Wags to YourDailyCute for the tip on this touching photo.  

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Pawlates will wiggle your butt into shape

Dog obesity is a real problem, and now dog pilates is a real solution too.  Or, should I say "pawlates." The Virgin Active gym chain in the U.K. has launched a new program just for pets--Animal Active.  In addition to Pawlates, classes include Pooch Paunch Buster, Puuuroebics, Wag Attack, Canine Crunch.  Dog yoga is already pretty widespread, but this variety of gym-based activities is new.

According to The Sun, "one in four dog owners admitting that they never exercise their pets," so there is definitely a need for new ways to motivate people to keep their dogs at a healthy weight.  Animal Active will provide a fun place for people to work out with their pets.  Not a bad idea, but I have a cheaper option--walking around the block.  You could pick up another exercise buddy from your local shelter to make exercise into a play date for a dog in need. 

This is still only in the U.K., but you can learn more about it on the Virgin Active website

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Woof to the wolves!

My distant cousins--wolves--sometimes have it hard out there in nature on their own.  Without the comforts of a warm bed and some prepared kibble, I bet life could be pretty hard.  The Wolf Center in Doerveden Germany is trying to help out.  They have a wolf education and conservation facility where wolves in need can get some extra care.  Pictured here is just one pup form the recent arrival of six new wolf pups--of the European grey wolf variety.  L.A. Times Unleashed has additional pictures of these new cuties getting help from the caretakers in Germany.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Fit feds and DC's shelter dogs

The Obama administration is teaming up with the Washington Humane Society to promote a fun way to get exercise while giving back to the community.  Through the "Feds Get Fit" program, the Department of Labor is encouraging employees to get some exercise while lending a hand to local homeless dogs.  But since pairing up with a four legged partner is known to increase an individual's commitment to an exercise plan, federal employees are encouraged to run or walk on the National Mall with a four legged partner that is in need of extra love.  Dogs living at the Washington Humane Society are busy looking for their forever home, but could use a little extra exercise in the meantime.   According to FIDO Friendly Magazine, WHS's PACK program "pairs volunteers with adoptable shelter dogs for regular jogs at local parks.  Currently there are more than 100 runners who participate in the bi-weekly jogs."

President Obama has declared May to be National Physical Fitness and Sports Month, and this is a great way to kick off the first year.  He and the First Lady Michelle Obama are pictured here being fit on a private hike while on vacation in Blue Ridge Parkway outside of Asheville, N.C., where they ran into one lucky dog and his people! [Photo Credit: Pete Souza]

If you live in the Washington, DC area and are interested in joining the PACK, visit WHS's website to learn how to sign up.  If you live somewhere else--remember that dogs (and people) everywhere are looking for exercise partners.  Call your local shelter to check their hours--you probably just need to sign a release, but otherwise it is easy to get a part time exercise partner if you don't have time to adopt.  These dogs need you, and they will help you out by keeping you to your exercise plan!

Thursday, May 20, 2010

You better like me cause I'm your best friend

I couldn't resist sharing this new music video by You Scream I Scream called "Dog."  The dogs in the video go to a shelter to rescue some humans, they bring them into their home, and post a video to youtube of "humans playing music."  Love it.  Plus, it is a catchy tune.

Wags to SaveThisPup for sharing this fun video!  Check out SaveThisPup's facebook page to learn about the cool stuff they do.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Diplomatic Dachshunds

With how well dogs treat humans, maybe we should participate in  a human rights commission.  Or that is what the Australian artist Bennett Miller had in mind.  As part of the Next Wave Festival, his photoghraphic display of dachshunds is a "meditation on the utopian aspirations of the Commission on Human Rights, and our capacity as humans to imagine and achieve a universal system of justice."

In coordination with the Dachsund Club of Victoria, 47 hot dogs were assembled for the photo shoot.  Miller tells Gawker, "They have their own racial diversity - black, brown, red. Also, even though they're restricted in their movement, they are quite determined and proud." Many of which have an inset of the human representative of the country named--US Ambassador Susan Rice is pictured here.

Visit Gawker to check out the full gallery--as well as some classic Gawker humor about the exhibit.

Wags to my buddy Mallory for the tip!

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

A good dog is a good dog, regardless of breed

Did you know that in some places it is illegal to have a pug?!  No, not really, but isn't banning any other breed just a crazy?  Bully breeds like pit bulls get a bad rap because of the criminals that abuse them and force them to fight.  Those dogs make up such a small proportion of pit bulls out there and many are even rehabilitated once they get proper loving homes.  In fact, the American Temperament Testing Society says that spayed and neutered pit bulls pass at much higher rates than most other breeds.  But that doesn't stop politicians from seeking to address the problem with blind bans on entire breeds.  We should be focusing on stopping these criminals, not banning their targeted victims.

Breed specific legislation, or BSL, is most often targeted at American Pit Bulls, American Staffordshire Terriers, and Staffordshire Bull Terriers.  Some of the laws just refer to dogs that have characteristics common to those breeds--but there are over 25 breeds and mixes that are commonly mistaken for pit bulls.  All of that aside, BSL distracts from more effective dangerous dog laws that target behavior instead of appearance.  Over 200 counties and cities have outright bans on these breeds, but banning a certain breed of dog will not stop criminals from finding dogs to abuse. Instead of focusing on good training and socialization, this gives the public a false sense of security that maybe just because their dog is not a banned breed it is 100% safe regardless of training or socialization.

My good friend over at OhMyDogBlog would have liked to bring her pit bull service dog to the next BlogPaws conference in Denver.  Despite the fact that her bully, Emmett is a trained service dog dog that serves in a residential treatment facility for children, he is banned from coming to Denver because of his breed alone.  Denver has a ban on pit bulls, though few are even willing to admit that it makes a difference.  OhMyDogBlog is now planning a campaign to educate folks about misguided BSL laws, and hopes to change some minds along the way--starting with Denver's Mayor!  Check out all the details over on her blog--helping us is as easy as sending (or emailing) a post card.  Check her blog out every Tuesday for updates on the campaign and educational posts about BSL.  Follow the conversation on Twitter with the following hashtag: #endBSL

The picture posted here of a typical-smiling-butt-wiggling pit bull was found on Doggie Stylish's post about happy dogs.

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Monday, May 17, 2010

Dog, meet baby

Having a baby is time for big changes.  If you already have a furkid in your life and are soon brining home a human, it is important to think through the impact on everyone.  Think about it from a dog's perspective--suddenly there is a ton of new furniture, toys that are off limits, lots of visitors in the house, a new sleep schedule, not to mention the new squirmy, noisy, smelly creature you are carrying everywhere!

Maggie Marton from EcoSalon has some great suggestions in her recent column Bow Wow and Baby.  Marton suggest some important things to do before the baby comes home to get your dog ready: set out some baby toys, run the mechanical swing, and maybe even play a tape with some baby sounds.  The key is to desensitize your pup to as many new things as you can using positive reinforcement.  When the human baby does come home from the hospital, the first introduction might be a little overwhelming to your dog.  Marton has some tips for making sure that goes smoothly too.

Human babies can take up a lot of time and energy, but it is important to not forget that your dog still has needs too.  Make sure you find time to still give him proper exercise and steal away some play time with your old buddy too.  Marton has some good ideas for finding time and making it all positive.  Planning and patience will keep the whole pack happy.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Running for TX Governor to save pets' lives

A few weeks ago, I told you about Genny, who was a dog running for mayor of a small town in Canada.  Well, Texans sure know how to kick it up a notch: They have a dog running for governor!  Woodrow is a rescue pup with a diverse background: he is a hound mix of some sort, "with just a little touch of pit bull."  He has a diverse base: his volunteer coordinator is Orangie, the neighborhood cat. His campaign slogan is "How ruff could it be?"

Lorri told PeoplePets how she got the idea at the dog park: “He would go up to every dog, child and adult, and it was as if he was saying, 'Hi, how are you? Don’t you look so nice today?'” Michel says. “And then he would just move on.” One day, a fellow dog park person said to Lorri, “Oh, my God, Woodrow is mayor.” A candidate was born.

Woodrow is hoping he can use his platform to raise awareness and money for Austin Pets Alive.  This rescue group swoops in and saves animals at the last moment when shelters no longer have room for them, and places them in forever homes--they saved nearly 4,000 pets from the city shelter in the past two years! Now, thats a platform I can get behind.

Woodrow has his own he sells campaign t-shirt to raise money for Austin Pets Alive--they have raised several thousand dollars so far!  The Statesman interviewed Woodrow and Lorri about their unconventional campaign--check out the article, or watch the video below:

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

A cat and her...puppies?

Beatrix the CAT is the latest inter-species mom in the news.  In the process of birthing her pups, the mother of four miniature dachshunds died.  Immediately, those puppies needed some love, and and more importantly, some nursing. Their owner called  Pam Peacock with "Pam's D.O.G. House" in central Texas for some help.  There were no new mama dogs that were available to help, but Beatrix the cat had just had kittens that were still nursing.  One catch: Beatrix was not too fond of dogs!  They tested the waters by putting just one of the pups in with the mama cat, and you know what? She mothered that pup just like her own kittens!  The four pups, five kittens and the mother are all getting along perfectly well these days.  To thank her for her generosity, the owner of the pups even plans to adopt Beatrix when she is ready.

WCSH6 shared this adorable video:

Monday, May 10, 2010

Inter-species parenting

Yesterday was Mother's Day, and took the opportunity to remind us how caring animals can be--sometimes even becoming the mama to orphaned animals of a different species.  They have great slideshow of some of the great inter-species moms in the news--including this hen sitting on top of her puppies!

A few of my past mom stories include:
-The pup that played mama to panda cubs
-Piglets as puppies
-Lion cub finds mutt mama
-Poodle nurses baby squirrels

I think that humans top the list when it comes to inter-species parenting though!  Do you have a furkid? If so, post a pic to my facebook wall to share with other fans!

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Thursday, May 6, 2010

Listen up! Dogs are good listeners

Just eight percent of all pet owners say they talk to their pets about their personal problems.  That seems low--It is a shame more don't know that we understand and like to listen. Sometimes us dogs just *know* when someone needs a pick me up. has a heartwarming story about how a dogs' wiggle can cheer up someone who really needs it--even if they don't really know that person.

According to a recent poll by and the Associated Press, a third of married women who have pets say that their pets are better listeners than their husbands. Some men still chat it up with their dogs.  According to Ron Farber, it's easier to talk to his dog Buddy than his wife because "the dog doesn't have an opinion."

He is onto something according to Karen Sueda, one of the just 50 certified veterinary animal behaviorists in the country.  She told the Associated Press,
"Pets are great because they provide us with unconditional support. They never talk back, never give us the wrong opinion and they are always there for us," she said. "As much as we love our spouses or significant others, sometimes they are not there, sometimes they have their own thoughts about how we should deal with situations. And sometimes, especially when it's a husband or male significant other, they want to solve the problem rather than just listening to the problem."  Seems like the other 92 percent of pet owners need to get on board and start talking with their dogs!  

Petside has some more numbers from the poll--including how well people think their cats listen (hint--not as well as dogs!). Image courtesy of 

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

How you and your dog can help with the Gulf oil spill

I recently wrote about eco-friendly ways to recycle your dogs hair, and one option seems all too newsworthy these days: you can donate your dog's hair to help clean up oil spills.  When dogs like me get dirty, we get  regular old bath, like this guy pictured here.  But there is a ton of wildlife down in the gulf that can't avoid the oil, and have no way to clean off the toxic gunk once they get dirty. The best thing for those animals is to help prevent them from getting dirty in the first place, but that means cleaning up a huge mess of an oil slick.

You and your dog can help the effort by donating both of your hair to sop up the spill. The hair is collected into pantyhose, as "hairbooms" which soak up the oil floating on the surface of the water. This technique is not new--it was used effectively in the Exxon Valdez spill in 1989.  GOOD has an article about the collection and Matter of Trust is collecting dog and human hair and pantyhose to use.  There are over 2,600 smaller oil spills every year, so they would like to create an ongoing project to collect hair so that clean-up crews can be more prepared. They are even working on eco-friendly ways to compost the oil-soaked hairbooms after the cleanup.  Looks like spring shedding season came just in time for us dogs to help out.

Visit Matter of Trust to find out how to donate.

Wags to my super furry friend Stella for the tip--I know she has plenty of hair to spare for a good cause!  [Image from Photobucket]

UPDATE: Matter of Trust has this very interesting video about how this project works: