Monthly Archives: January 2011

fun at the beach

Seems absurd in a way to write about this, revolution in Egypt going on, snow blizzards in the east and yet here we are at the beach…

yesterday it rained after a few weeks of summer-like sunshine. It is now colder… go figure…

On Saturday, cici had a great day, of running at the beach. we have been grounded for the past month, rented a car this weekend, and she was beside herself with excitement and joy at being somewhere else but here.

We hiked along a stretch of beach, a coastal trail, and then went to Asilomar Convention Center nearby.

At the lobby of the Asilomar, we met a lady with a small child who was delighted to see my dog and wanted to say hi to Cici. All was fine until Cici swiped her a kiss and was too exuberant about it and the poor baby fell down on her keister. I was just about to warn the lady that might happen but too late. The lady kept apologizing to me, sweet woman. I felt bad but child and dog are fine.

Am in the process of writing an article for a local magazine, when it’s done and published, will link to it and tell you more. Hush hush until then. Don’t like to jinx stuff like that.

Every time I stopped the car Cici wanted to jump out and go somewhere, anywhere.  We also visited Carmel, her favorite pet food store, Pet Food Express.  I don’t know how but she actually lost one pound, after all the food and treats she’s been eating. Got her some raw food to add to her diet. It is quite expensive, but will give her two patties a day instead of the recommended 12 !  Supplement with organic kibble and people food and she will be all set.

Sunday, Cici was conked out. She enjoyed going to Del Monte Shopping Center and a few errands, but did not want to go out in the rain. After we got home in the early afternoon, she rested and slept the whole rest of the day and evening.

AAA’s magazine Via has a whole section on the Monterey area this month.  Don’t believe a word of it. 🙂



I guess I will have to start blogging more about this area… all in favor, say aye.



Jon Sullivan photographer:


Filed under beach, beach parties for dogs, California, Carmel, dog travel, exercise your dog, healthy dog food, Monterey, organic, Pacific Grove, pet travel, travel with dog, Uncategorized

only in la la land… a food truck for dogs

Update: Now there is a new canine treat truck in town, LA, dispensing doggie treats… K9’s Only

serving up a daily dose of free human-quality K9s Only Natural Nugget gourmet doggy treat samples and single-serving doggy ice cream made by Three Dog Bakery, at dog parks, events and beaches throughout the Southland.

only in los angeles… saw this on rachael ray…  yum-o for dogs…

Food trucks have become very popular nowadays but this is the first food truck for dogs.  It’s called Phydough… they offer organic dog cookies and soy and yogurt based ice cream treats. Dog owners can buy frozen cookie dough as well as baked…

Patrick Guilifoyle, the genius behind Phydough, has five dogs, no doubt the inspiration for this four paws up idea.  If he ever needs another dog taste tester, am sure that Cici would not mind volunteering.

Some Flavor combinations:


peas and yogurt and peanut butter and bacon ice cream


carob swirl and peanut butter ice cream


Sesame Agave and fois gras ice cream


peanut butter bacon and pea and carrot ice cream


red velvet and cookie dough ice cream

this would be a fun business to run your tail off all day 🙂

BlogHop hippity hoppity


Filed under dog treats, dogs, healthy dog food, organic

wild girl, you make my heart sing

Cici loves chow time, yum yum. A Taste of the Wild dog food says that our dogs crave a taste of meats that they ate on the high plains and so we should give them meats like bison and venison. Before they were domesticated, they ate what they could find. From predators to pets. And they still have the same DNA and genes of the wolf. Coveniently, the company offers various formulas to satisfy this canine craving. These formulas are grain-free which I prefer for Cici.

High Prairie Canine® Formula

A grain-free formula for all life stages with sweet potatoes and peas provides highly digestible energy for your active dog. Made with real roasted meats, this formula offers a taste sensation like no other. Supplemented with fruits and vegetables, this hearty formula delivers natural antioxidants to protect your friend’s body from the damage of everyday living, supporting a healthy immune system and overall good health.

Pacific Stream Canine® Formula

A fish protein, grain-free formula for all life stages with sweet potatoes provides highly digestible energy for your sensitive dog. Made with real smoked salmon, this formula offers a taste sensation like no other. Supplemented with fruits and vegetables, this fish and potato formula delivers natural antioxidants to protect your friend’s body from the damage of everyday living, supporting a healthy immune system and overall good health.

Cici enjoyed the food. I cannot say that I noticed any difference between her eating this food and other dry kibbles. Nor did I notice her howling in the yard but I do like grain free kibbles and the ingredients seem nutritious unlike supermarket brands.

Now, for the first time in her life, Cici actually ate sweet potato out of my hand. I remember when she would not even eat sweet potato treats. But she was clamoring for more sweet potato. Amazing. I think she got the taste from some treats and that has opened up her canine palate to eat veggies. My dog now eats her veggies, start spreading the news. Yay.

Sweet Potatoes – A power packed vegetable! Rich in dietary fiber, vitamins A and C, iron, calcium and beta carotene, this is one ideal complex carbohydrate source that provides all day energy.

Nutritional needs and issues for various breeds can be found here, from specific large dogs to individual small breeds such as Schnauzers.

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Filed under healthy dog food, wild animals, wild women

cruising with your dog?

Recently, I received a press release from a cruise line. I routinely wonder why people send me stuff I am not going to utilize. They do not bother to learn what I write about. I am listed in Cision’s Media directory (used to be Bacon’s) and a lot of lazy PR people (not all are lazy) send me stuff that goes in the trash. This time I decided to write back and asked them if they accept dogs as passengers figuring I’d never hear back. I did hear back and they are checking on their policies and will get back to me.  Did a google/yahoo search and found this. If your dog is a service dog, yes, they can come aboard, ship ahoy matey !

really useful, practical tips like:

What you will need when cruising with your service animal.

1) Vaccination Status and Rabies Vaccination Certificate or Blood Titer Test. Documentation showing your service animal is current on all vaccines, especially rabies.
2) For their protection your service dog must be on medication for heartworm and an anti-flea and tick medication.
3) Department of Food and Agriculture – Certificate for Interstate or International Movement of Small Animals form. (You can obtain this from your veterinarian)
4) Animal License from your city of residence.
5) Certificate/diploma/license, etc. that shows your dog has been trained as a service animal, if available.*
6) Copy of your Passport and Drivers License.
7) Information about your service animal’s microchip.

Fax copies to both your travel agent and the cruise lines. You will also need to produce these documents upon arrival and at every port where you disembark. Prepare 3 complete packets – one for your purse or carry on, one in your suitcase, and give one to the ship for their records when you board.

* Certification is not required in the USA, in order to allow people to train their own dogs if a program dog is not available. The International Association of Assistance Dog Partners (IAADP) has information on the minimum training standards to pass the Public Access Certification Test, which will help you determine if your dog is ready for full public access rights as an assistance dog.

Supplies to bring along for your service animal.

Don’t forget to bring along your service dog’s normal food rations. Put each day’s serving in a ziplock bag. Bring a food and a water dish for the cabin, and a collapsible water bowl to bring with you when you are on deck or away from the cabin. You can obtain them at most camping supply stores. They fold and stash easily inside a large purse or carryall. Don’t forget to bring an extra leash or harness, and collar, as well as your dog’s favorirte bed, and toys.

Seasoned travelers also recommend bringing a bag of mulch. Cruise ships have been known to place different types of filling in the potty box, and no one wants to waste time on a cruise training a dog to go in an unfamiliar situation. Just empty a layer of mulch on top of the box and your dog will have a familiar spot to do their business.

Prepare for motion sickness by obtaining your veterinarian’s advice on what medication to give your service animal.

You may not leave a service dog unattended in your stateroom. It is a good idea to bring a kennel that has a door on it, that can be closed and locked, for those times when you want to leave your service dog alone.



my goodness, I probably should not be talking Titanic and cruising but find this fascinating. Had no idea.

did you know?  There were dogs aboard the Titanic.


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Filed under dogs

her cuteness…

i was feeding her some bones the other day that I did not want her to chew up quickly, swallow too much of and choke on. she is very greedy and does not seem to want to chew them as much as I’d like her to. I thought that was what bones are good for dogs. oh well, here’s some photos from that fiasco. what do you think, she enjoyed the treat or not?  perhaps these photos show off a little bit more of her personality than previous photos?


she makes me laugh, every day.  Now she’s been sleeping in her chair bed the last few nights, guess she read all those stupid tweets about how sleeping with our dogs is bad for us humans. It is great for me to be able to stretch out and have the bed all to myself and I miss cuddling with her cuteness at night. Oh well…

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Filed under canine cuteness, dog treats, silly dog, sleeping with your dog

a musical interlude…

Talking today to the talented Lisa Spector, co-creator of music for dogs … welcome!  Lisa has generously agreed to donate some CD’s to Best Friends and BadRap, for the v-dogs as well as perform a concert to raise some funds for BadRap.  Yay, Lisa !!!

can you give us a little background about how you began playing music for dogs, why, inspiration, etc.

I’ve always had dogs and noticed from childhood that every dog always came and would lie by the piano when I was playing, and would stay there for hours. In 2003, I was a volunteer puppy raiser for Guide Dogs for the Blind. I attended a weekend seminar taught by world renowned sound researcher, Joshua Leeds. In this seminar for teachers and healers, I learned about the psychoacoustic principles of resonance (tone) and entrainment (rhythm) and started applying them when teaching piano students at my music school.

I became so adept at helping students with ADD relax and focus, as well as picking up the energy level of sluggish children, that I wondered how I ever taught without this knowledge.  I was so fascinated that I went back to another one of Joshua’s workshops to learn more. This time I was accompanied by a four month old yellow Labrador Retriever puppy in training for Guide Dogs. During that session, I started wondering if Joshua’s music that was so successful in helping autistic children in neuro-developmental centers throughout the world, could also calm dogs and relieve their anxiety issues.

I approached Joshua with this idea. He did some research and found out that a study had been done in 2002 by Deborah Wells, an Irish behaviorist, to determine the influence of five types of auditory stimulation: human conversation, classical music, heavy metal music, pop music, and a silent control (no music at all). That told us that classical music calmed dogs in shelters, compared to other sounds. And we wanted to take that research further and find out if classical music with psycho-acoustic changes would help calm them and relieve anxiety issues. Veterinary neurologist Susan Wagner led clinical research in shelters, service dog organizations, and homes to find out if classical music with psycho-acoustic changes would help calm dogs and relieve anxiety issues.

any tips for pet owners to use when playing music for their pets?

The main tip is that the music doesn’t need to be played very loud. It’s not about turning up the music loud to mask other sounds, it’s about calming the canine nervous system. If you are leaving your dog home alone while playing the music, play it at a gentle volume that you would be comfortable listening to all day.

what is the most rewarding/healing/or surprising experience you’ve ever had playing music for animals (is it just for dogs or cats and other animals?)

There have been quite a few surprises – areas that we didn’t test in research. We heard from a boarding facility in the mid-west that had a tornado and they played the Music to Calm your Canine series for their dogs. They all stayed calm and several slept through it. We certainly didn’t do any clinical testing on the music’s effects during tornadoes. Also, we’ve heard from people who live with dogs in areas where there are a lot of gun shots during hunting season and it’s helped them tremendously – both the people and the dogs!

The most rewarding has been hearing from shelters where we donate music. In general, it helps create a quieter environment, allowing visitors to stay longer, and helping increase adoption rates. Below is an email from a shelter in New Hampshire. This behavior issue is another area we did not test. This really brought tears to my eyes…..

“We recently took in an American Bulldog/Cattle Dog mix with severe separation anxiety. When alone, he would drool profusely, so much so we have to wipe him down with towels and clean his dog beds several times a day, inside as well as outside his crate. He is only crated at night but the drooling occurs any time of the day we are not present. I put the CD on last night, hit repeat, went to bed and woke up to NOT A DROP of saliva. He wasn’t panting, he wasn’t in a state of panic, just excited for the morning.”

how can playing music for dogs help them (ailments, conditions, behaviors)?

One of the other areas we didn’t test, where it’s shown to be very helpful, is in working with dogs with aggression issues. Even I was doubtful the music would have any effect. But, in speaking with trainers, I’ve learned that all aggression comes from stress. So, if you can help calm the canine nervous system first, it’s easier to work with the underlying issues.

how do people respond to the music?

Research shows that the same music that calms people, calms dogs. We all live in a world of sensory overload. We now call Through a Dog’s Ear music “Simple Sounds.” It helps create a peaceful, refreshing soundscape in an overly stimulated world.

do you have plans for other concerts for 2011?

The fundraiser Canine Concert at Cypress Inn for the Doris Day Animal Fund was so successful, that we are planning on repeating that regularly. I’d like to also do the same for other non-profits.

any tips for pet owners traveling with their dogs, best times, circumstances, to play the music? (ie, is it ok/beneficial to play music while driving)

When introducing your dog to the music, it’s best to play it first when everything is already calm in the house. I often recommend bedtime – especially because it will help the humans fall asleep also. Do this for a few nights. Then gradually introduce it before predictable anxiety issues are approaching – such as separation anxiety. But, also remember to play it at other times when your dog is already calm. Driving Edition: Music to Calm your Dog in the Car is designed for Driver Alert/ Dog Relaxed. Although the Music to Calm your Canine series is helpful for dogs with auto anxiety, it will make drivers sleepy and Driving Edition won’t. Also, there is protocol written by a behaviorist in the CD’s liner notes that will be very helpful in working with dogs with automobile anxiety. Some of it starts actually in the house and also then in the car before you even turn on the engine. It’s about changing your dog’s association to the car.

anything else you’d like to share?

We have a wonderful referral program called Get Paid with TaDE(Through a Dog’s Ear). It’s such a simple way to raise extra cash for yourself or for your favorite animal organization. Simply refer your favorite pet businesses to TaDE’s Introductory Pre-Paks, and receive $10 from the first order and 10% of subsequent orders for the following year. This $10/10% applies to 1-100 venues.

sample the music


Filed under dog travel

dessert for dogs

Cici is a certified chow hound and piglet.  And boy does she enjoy her treats, bones and cookies.

She has been sampling some great dessert treats and cookies for dogs handmade by Puptrition and wolfing them down. The nice thing is that they are all wheat-free treats and have some veggies hidden inside for my veg-free dog. The treats are made with non wheat flours, too. Wheat, corn and soy are common allergens for dogs. Fresh eggs, banana, sweet potatoes and carrots are used in the recipes along with unsweetened applesauce. Dogs digestive systems are very different from ours so all of that is taken into consideration in the making of these treats.

Cici just loves the different items from carob brownies for dogs, carob chip cookies, and these yummy bone shaped crackerlike peanut butter bones.  Carob unlike chocolate is safe for dogs to eat.

Ingredients:  Oat Flour, Brown Rice and/or Rye Flour, Flaxseed Meal, Applesauce, Peanut butter, Egg, Olive Oil

Sheri Felten also makes dog meals with fresh meat, chicken and turkey.

Check out the website at:, or email:


Filed under healthy dog food, homemade dog food

send oprah an audio book for her birthday

Is America tired of Oprah, asked Jimmy Kimmel?  funny… be sure to watch the video…


an article I just posted online:


Some of the lost dogs were featured Friday, Jan. 21 on PBS:  (click link below for the video)


a release I sent out to the media:, who are the real heroes?


There are 77.5 million dogs in America.  Piers Morgan wagered Oprah on who would be first to interview Michael Vick. Some twittered that the winner of the 200 pound bet should donate the sum to worthy pit bull rescue groups Best Friends and BadRap who have and are taking care of a majority of the dogs rescued from the Bad Newz Kennels.

What happens when you are NOT rich and famous
Carlos Olivero was convicted of dog fighting in 2009 in Florida; he was sentenced to 10 years in prison.  Recently, two men were sentenced after Georgia dog fighting raid and were sentenced to five years in state prison and five years of probation.

What happens when you are rich, famous and play football

Now ickVick will be interviewed by Oprah … BUT you can have impact…  the link below, read and do something !

Oprah’s birthday is coming up:

Date of birth: 29/January/1954

so how about sending her the New York Times best-selling The Lost Dogs book as gifts, email messages, twitters, etc. to read or listen to the book before she does the interview.  don’t know the best address, this is what I found online…  She just launched OWN, her new network, so is she still in Chicago???

you can send her an audio version, and/or this sample about Little Red, the cover girl of the audiobook… it is powerful to listen to this…

more about Little Red (not the little red dog)…

Vicktory Dog, Little Red, has come a long way since arriving at BF 3yrs ago:

I created this poochecard for you all to send to Oprah, too, if you want…

I would urge her to play the sample of the New York Times best-selling audiotaped book to the audience. (someone also suggested she make it one of her books for the book club). And tell Vick to CONFESS his crimes (for REAL) to author Jim Gorant, Donna Reynolds from BADRAP and Francis Battista from Best Friends Animal Society. Have Vick admit what he did on national TV directly to the people who have been taking care of the dogs and to America.  No more dog and pony show.  Tell Oprah that Vick should have gotten 65 years in prison !   (warning the link below does contain a gory photo and graphic language, but he goes step by step from court documents, how he came up with th 65 years, powerful !!!

Mail Address:

Oprah Winfrey
Harpo Studios, Inc.
1058 West Washington Blvd.
Chicago, IL 60607

Address Information:

Harpo Studios, Inc.
(Production Company)
1058 West Washington Blvd.
Chicago, IL 60607
Phone: (312) 633-1000

Oprah’s Mansion In California? 1633 East Valley Rd, Montecoto, CA, 93108.

O, The Oprah Magazine 300 W 57th St Fl 36. New York, NY 10019-3741

there is another twitter for the O magazine…

Let me know if you do send Oprah an audiobook, a book or a message and I will enter you in a new contest, the O contest…

fyi, Vick is just one in the 20,000 to 40,000 people that are estimated to be involved in America’s multi-billion dollar illegal dog fighting industry. The operation Vick sponsored was so cruel that many of the losing dogs either died in the pit, or they were electrocuted, hanged, drowned, or shot. Vick and three others (Taylor, Peace, and Phillips) were charged with competitive dog fighting, procuring and training pit bulls for fighting and conducting the enterprise across state lines. Vick was not charged with animal cruelty, a felony in all states.  He got a plea deal.

you would think I’d know how to do this by now (this being my third or 4th time), oh gosh…

Saturday Blog Hop code


Filed under end dogfighting, lost dogs book, Michael Vick dogs, Oprah

winners of the lost dog book contest

It is time to announce the winners of the Lost Dogs book contest (even though it was not supposed to end until January 23), there has been a lull in sending books activity so it seems an auspicious time to announce the winners and some good news for a change.

Thank you to the 200+ folks who participated in sending the Lost Dogs books to the White House.  You did good.


Katie Moyer
Visit Nature’s Logic and select the food, and flavor of the food, you’d like to receive for your dog. You may choose one of the following:
•    one 4.4-lb bag dry kibble or
•    one 3-lb bag raw frozen or
•    five 13.2-oz cans

Catherine Howe Bryant

Loving Pets will be sending you a doggie bowl and treats (Cici barks for these yummy in the tummy treats and I love the slobber-proof bowls)

Anna Bougas
Head on over to Earth Naturals:
and pick out your choice of a 7.25lb bucket of food

Honorable Mention

Dawn Stark Brunell will receive a leather dog collar of her choice over at

for her tile glass of the book…

Two More Honorable Mentions

Please contact me with your addresses, email info so you can collect your prizes (Treats from Clear Conscience).   Thanks!

Gina Spadafori

Jacki Richards

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Filed under contest, lost dog, Michael Vick dogs, obama