Monthly Archives: August 2009

survivor dogs


With Enough Love All Things are Possible

Survivors, we rarely think of dogs as survivors… we think of cancer survivors, concentration camp survivors, and/or abuse survivors…

But Red, Stella and Ginger are definitely abuse survivors. They are canine survivors of Michael Vick’s Bad Newz Kennels. Each is now living new lives with loving owners in multi-dog homes with staff from the Monterey SPCA…Best Friends Animal Society took in 22 of the dogs and BadRAP and other organizations received the rest of the dogs.

When Ginger first came to Stacy’s home, she was 28 pounds, would not eat and hid out a lot behind furniture. She was terrified of people and Stacy had a difficult time getting her to cross any threshold. Ginger had door issues. It didn’t matter whether it was a front or back door. Ginger just did not want to go inside. She’d hunker down on the ground. For some reason, a lot of the dogs had issues with doorways.

And it took a long time to get Ginger used to new situations and environments. She would just shake and hide. When Stacy first brought Ginger to work with her at the SPCA, Ginger would hide behind the desk. Ginger had to learn to relax around people. Occasionally, now she goes to work with Stacy and she is a different girl.

Today, Ginger came out of her crate, got treats and greeted me. She stared and there was a slight smile, she sniffed me, and no doubt smelled Cici on my clothes.

A huge photo of Ginger can be seen at the local Pet Food Express store in Carmel. She looks larger than life there, bigger than she is in person.

It is clear that Ginger has received a lot of positive attention by the staff and is totally loved by Stacy.

Ginger has gained 10 pounds and her favorite foods are treats and food from Stacy’s plate. Her favorite toys are the Jelly Ball and toys that dispense treats such as the Kong.

Stacy now has a roommate with a dog and Ginger and the Dutch Shepherd dog play together in the huge one acre yard. Ginger and the cat ignore one another.

“I wanted to foster a pit bull. I’ve always liked them and I didn’t even know that the Michael Vick dogs were here at the SPCA. I received Ginger in November 2007,” said Stacy.

Ginger was chosen for Stacy because the dog was so shy, withdrawn and needed a lot of quiet time and a safe haven that Stacy could give her.

“I hand fed her for a long time, it took a few months for Ginger to trust and eat properly and now she cannot stop eating. She’s at home while I’m at work most of the time. When I get home, it’s play time. She’s had a lot of training including the Basic Obedience course and Pit Bull 101 that is taught by Amanda at the SPCA,” continued Stacy.

Ginger was borderline meaning they were not sure if she would be able to be adopted and live in a home after all she had been through.

“It’s just great to see Ginger act like a dog. There were a lot of first times. The first time she sat on a couch. The first time she ran up to say hi. The first time she rode in the car. Now she’s been to Tahoe and Sonoma. She just got jittery in new situations. But gradually, step by step, she’s coming out of her shell,” concluded Stacy.

Thanks to Stacy and the SPCA who have given Ginger a lot of time, love, and tenderness, she is living a happy new life.

Amanda adopted Red, he’s a very handsome boy with sad eyes who had cancer, it’s in remission. Amanda trains the dogs and teaches Pit Bull 101 at the SPCA.

Jon is fostering Stella, a very exuberant, enthusiastic and friendly girl. They gave me treats to give to this beautiful black and white pit bull and she gobbled them up. Her tail was constantly wagging and she seemed anxious to meet me and the world.

For some dogs, living a dog’s life means happy days, wagging tails and lots of love and treats. Someday maybe even belly rubs. It’s a goal Stacy wishes for with Ginger and we hope it comes true. Cici the belly showoff woofs meaning every dog should have their belly rubbed. At least several times a day.

After meeting the three dogs and watching Cici meet people with her happy smile, trusting, wagging tail and showoff belly floor show, I pray that all of the canine survivors will heal and be able to trust people again.



sdubuc and ginger


By the way, watching Georgia on Larry King Live, was really inspiring. She is one of the 22 dogs that Best Friends has given a new life. Here’s the video:




Filed under keep pets safe, Michael Vick dogs, pit bull

Michael Vick: the dogs…

Michael Vick was recently given his fame and fortune back… and went on TV without apologizing… meanwhile, the dogs he tortured and killed paid dearly…

for a little bit of perspective, here are some of the dogs that were rescued by the SPCA in Monterey, dogs that Michael Vick abused for the fun of it…

Some of the dogs were also taken to Best Friends Animal Society (see Vicktory dogs section on their website), BAD RAP in San Francisco, and others…

Some of the dogs have been adopted, fostered, and others will remain at Best Friends forever… The dogs paid the price, not Michael Vick.

It’s obscene that he should be allowed to play again. He should be made to pay millions to take care of the dogs that survived his kennel.

Will be writing more about the dogs in the SPCA soon…


Filed under Best Friends, Michael Vick dogs, Monterey

nothing could be finer than to visit Casa Carolina in the moooorning…

Cici met her new best friend forever Olive, a two year old black lab mix at the country home Casa Carolina. CC hah) is a lovely B&B in Sebastopol with dogitude ! The two girl dogs hit it off and away they went, tails wagging, chasing and exploring the huge grassy backyard. There is a donkey and sheep in another pasture, lots of fruit trees and a veggie and flower garden, too.

Casa Carolina is 5 minutes from wineries and 5 minutes from downtown, so you can enjoy all of the shops and restaurants, the location is in the Russian River Wine Country, too. The innkeepers, Lila, Josh and Trevor are very friendly and helpful. There is a wonderful home away from home atmosphere that is very rare.

There are three rooms and all are pet friendly. One is downstairs, the other two are upstairs. There is a hot tub outside under the stars, and the wireless network works really well, with a very strong signal.

We stayed in the Lila room, the weather was warm, so I opened up the windows for cool breezes. You could also request a fan. Our room was very comfortable, nicely furnished and our bathroom had a claw foot tub, which I enjoyed.

The setting is very quiet and private and surrounded by an oak forest. A wonderful place for a girlfriends getaway, or a dog reunion or wedding ! 🙂 Each of the rooms is pet friendly and pet amenities can be provided, upon request (pet bed, bowls, and yummy treats). There is no pet fee but pets cannot be left unattended in the rooms. Pet sitting may be available upon request for an additional fee.

The breakfast was fabulous. First, fruit, granola and yogurt. Then a kind of baked apple pancake with sausages. Quite tasty and filling. In the afternoon, there is also cheese and wine.

There were two couples staying at the Casa, one from Alaska and the other from Florida so the innkeepers truly attract guests from near and far away.

Cici and Olive had a really great time together, chasing balls, trying to get the balls away from one another, and other fun games and both of them were very sad to part company. Cici was crying in the yard when Olive was taken away.

As we drove away, Olive kept coming by to say bye-bye. We promised that the next time we are in Sebastopol area, we will stop by and reunite the dogs for another fun time.

And sometimes Tony, a gorgeous German shepherd is on the property and he acts like a host and gives a tour of the pasture to the other dogs.

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Photo 626

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Filed under dog friendly, dog travel, pet friendly lodging, pet travel

have a heart and a paw…

Heifer International is a phenomenal charity that helps mostly third world people create a livelihood, by giving them what they need such as cows, goats, chickens, and other animals…

click on the link below and please purchase a charm or a few and proceeds will be given to help Heifer International do their fine work… and feel free to pass this on to your friends and associates. Thanks !

it’s a sweet charm, makes a great gift and good karma, ta boot !


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Filed under animals, chickens, dog friendly, dogs, donations, farm animals, food, four paws up, gift giving

cici’s lst swimming lesson…

Vine hill inn, sebastopol, is a delightful inn, beautifully remodeled 1897 Victorian farmhouse located in west Sonoma County, California. Nestled between vineyards and apple orchards in rural Sebastopol, and with a lovely cool swimming pool in the back, a garden and barn with chickens (and lots of greenery all around the property for sniffy dogs to explore).

There are four upstairs rooms, we stayed in the Sage room with its own private patio for cici, a claw foot tub, and queen bed. we were quite hot from the weather. it was great for me to swim around and just relax and soon cici got her first swimming lesson in the pool. I dunked her bottom in the water, she was panting so much. She resisted but after fell asleep in the shade under the lawn furniture.

Later, the dog next door, a jack russell named Spot, came by with his owner and he was having so much fun playing in the pool with his toys that Cici wanted to join in but was a little afraid of the pool. Cici watched him intently and was whining wanting to go in the water but afraid at the same time. Finally, I assisted her to go onto the first step to cool off and then to paddle in the water without benefit of the step. She was willing to go only so far, but boy did she want to just jump in and get that squeaky ball away from Spot !

this was NOT cici… someday maybe though…

The Vine Hill Inn has four rooms, all are pet friendly and only one dog at a time at the Inn… no pet fee, no pet amenities other than water bowl, and lovely hospitality. Breakfast was eggs of my choice, with scrumptious chocolate zucchini bread and fresh fruit, plus orange juice and hot tea (or coffee).

This would be a great place to stay for a Girlfriends Getaway. Girls could go spa-ing at Osmosis a wonderfully relaxing Japanese Cedar Enzyme bath within 15-20 minutes and Mermaids Spa offers $125 special discounted rate for guests of the Vine Hill Inn, you receive a one hour bath and one hour massage. There is an abundance of shopping, wining and dining options in nearby Graton, Occidental, and Sebastopol.

For dog owners, Ragle dog park is nearby….

You can go biking at Bodega or Russian River, where you can also go kayaking and canoeing.

We went into town after swimming and had a turkey burger at Sequoia drive-in and got an ice cream at Whole Foods market.

Kathy, the Vine Hill innkeeper had told me to find the street Florence and visit the junque art of a guy named Patrick. I found the street and there were sculptures up and down the street. I particularly noted the dog ones and jumped out of the car to take a photo. As I was adjusting the camera, along came the artist Patrick Amiot, and he posed for a photo with one of his dog sculptures (see below).

He makes all of his art out of old junk (garbage cans, clocks, pipes, mailboxes, taillights, and watering cans) that would otherwise be discarded and end up in a landfill. There is even a map of his sculptures all around Sebastopol and beyond. On Florence Street, there are 21 sculptures on the yards of his neighbors. There’s a beautiful peace mermaid, mad hatter, Tuts the Magic Dragon, Veggie Train, various cats, numerous dogs, such as Dual Dogs, Pug Gate (in Napa), Muggs, and others. website is

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we also camped out at hendy woods for $25 a night for a tent site… it was nice, on the hwy 128, near to philo, there is also indian creek down the road for $15 a night, did not check it out… we slept really well … conked out … they also have cabins, for $35, none were available but they do allow dogs in the cabins, unlike in Oregon.

There are numerous farms in the area and for those who are herb minded, Traditional Medicinals is in Sebastopol. You can visit their medicinal herb garden at 4515 Ross Road…

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Filed under dog friendly, dog toys, dog travel, girlfriend getaways, K9 travel, pet friendly lodging, swimming dogs

heart shaped polka dot puppy…

is this the sweetest, adorable puppy or what?


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Filed under All you need is love, dogs, puppies, puppy love

oh lucky dog cuisine !

daisy, a six year old beagle in Irvine, loves the Lucky Dog cuisine food, she really loves it… it’s totally different than the other food she eats. Daisy just totally scarfs it up…says her dog owner Cheryl who loves the ingredients, such as ground angus beef, yogurt, barley, carrots, peas, beans, tomatoes, whole eggs, organic flax seed, olive oil, sea salt, and love… and it looks so good, just like people food….

Cheryl says that she definitely recommends the Lucky Dog food and she wants to become a regular customer… She feeds Daisy one package each evening and loves the variety of the different 16 ounce packages with the cute names, bugsy best beef and barley, beef and rice, perfect pooch pasta and tail wagging turkey…

the food comes frozen and you can take one package out at a time, add a little warm water and voila !


cici is anxiously awaiting her portion… meanwhile, she is wagging her tail for treats…

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Filed under healthy dog food