Category Archives: pet rescue organizations

Caring for Seniors

There are 41.4 million people who were 65 and older in the United States on July 1, 2011, up from 40.3 million on April 1, 2010 (Census Day). In 2011, this group accounted for 13.3 percent of the total population.  This number is expected to double by 2060. There were 3.6 million seniors in poverty in 2011. $33,118 is the 2011 median income of households with householders 65 and older.

Source: Population estimates <http://www.census.gov/popest/data/national/asrh/2011/index.html

This month is Senior Pet month. Appropriately, I did an interview with Carie Broecker, co-founder of Peace of Mind Dog Rescue in Pacific Grove, CA. POMDR has a dual mission, to serve senior citizens and senior pets.  Carie has been a rock star, always there with a kind word, kind heart and resources for me with Cici so it is a pleasure for me to highlight her work. Her mission is important. I think there needs to be more senior animal rescues across the nation. I first met Carie back in 2003, in another incarnation. We stayed in touch and when I came back to this community in 2010, she was still here, the rest of the people I had known had moved on to other states or had passed on.

About Carie Broecker

She served on the Board of Directors for Animal Friends for 12 years. Carie and her husband Scott, also publish a quarterly magazine Canine Coastal magazine.

The idea for POMDR began in Oct 2009.

“I was taking care of a dog named Savannah, as a foster dog. Her owner was a senior lady named Alice who had emphysema for 5 years.  Her doctors told Alice that she should start getting her affairs in order. She was real sick in hospice and concerned about her dog. She was considering having her put down,” Carie said. “I told her that I would take care of the dog.”  Carie eventually adopted Savvy as her own. She has several 11-15 year old dogs of her own to care for besides the 65+ dogs (average number) that come through POMDR.

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POMDR was born, with the assistance of Monica Rua, the co- founder. POMDR are now approaching their 500th rescue. This year, they had a grand opening of the Patricia J. Bauer Center in Pacific Grove. The house was generously donated to POMDR by Patricia J. Bauer in September, 2011 and serves as headquarters for the dog rescue group. There is also an adoption center in the front room for potential adopters to come meet dogs for adoption.

POMDR was able to help Ms. Bauer care for her beloved dogs, Mattie and Morgan, in the last three months of her life. POMDR Helping Paw volunteers walked Mattie and Morgan every day for three months as well as fed them, brushed them, and took them to vet and grooming appointments.

http://www.peaceofminddogrescue.org/bauercenter.html

What makes a senior dog, a senior (is it age, weight, breed, size, other factors?)

Generally, a dog is considered a senior by age 7-10. The larger breeds have a shorter lifespan than smaller dogs. The quality of food, exercise and genetics play a part in aging dogs and humans.

Factors to consider when adopting a senior dog

On average, 40-60 year olds tend to want senior dogs, rather than other age groups. They usually have lost a dog and want to help another dog. They want a mature dog, housebroken, mellow, if the dogs need a lot of extra care, they might be up for taking care of it, too.

Younger people usually want mobile dogs, dogs they can take hiking with them.  Depends upon a person’s lifestyle. The more active a person is, the more active the dog they want to go along with them.

How does POMDR find senior dogs that need new homes or are up for adoption?

Shelters in Monterey county, Salinas and Santa Cruz, San Benito contact POMDR, almost daily. Famly of seniors who are dying contact POMDR.

POMDR cannot take owner surrender dogs, unless there are exceptional circumstances.  They get calls from all over the state and country. There is quite a bit of demand for homes.

If/when POMDR cannot take the dogs, they try to give resources of where and how to find homes for the dogs.

Do most dogs get cranky as they age (like humans)? 

Good question because personality is important. Some dogs who are in pain may snap. Others are really mellow. It just depends.  If a dog was cranky when they were young, they are probably going to be that way as they age, too, same as their owners.

Dogs that stand out… memorable dogs

Fox and Lucy, two chow mixes, were living in a shed. It was a horrible situation. The owner had died, and the caretaker did not take care of the dogs properly. When selling the property, the real estate person found the dogs and called POMDR. POMDR got them both healthy and adopted together into the same home.

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Zippy, a greyhound mix, is sweet friendly, untrained, jumped fences, counter surfer, lovable. He was just adopted a week ago. He is 10 years old.

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POMDR has a cadre of volunteers who assist with events, taking seniors and their senior dogs to the vet, daily care, fostering and dog training.

Volunteer trainers include those from From the Heart, Canine Spirit, and co-founder of POMDR Monica Rua

Do dogs pick us as parents? 

Sometimes they do, that happens a lot with fosters. The pet knows this is their home forever but it can take a little while for the parent to know that, too.

Are the best dogs senior dogs? if so, why?

The best dogs are, they are all great, if you want a dog to go hiking with, you want a younger dog. It all depends upon your lifestyle and energy, both are important to consider when adopting a dog, whether from a shelter or a rescue like POMDR.

Are seniors certain breeds ?

A lot of chis and pit bulls and mixes are in the shelters here in California. They are harder to adopt and then they age and are even more difficult to adopt to homes.  People have to be educated. No dog is a bad dog.  Different dogs for different folks.  Some people love smaller dogs, others love larger dogs. It all depends upon preferences.

Senior dogs care

It is important to consider what will happen to your pet if you become sick and/or die. Have you made plans for your dog?

None of us likes to imagine what our life would be like without our dog, or worse, what our dog’s life would be like without us. It is important to pre-arrange for the future care of your dog, just like you would your children, in case you are no longer able to care for your dog due to accident, illness, or death. Once these arrangements are made, you can have peace of mind that your dog will not end up alone and frightened in an animal shelter if something happens to you.

Unfortunately, thousands of companion animals are euthanized in the United States each year simply because their guardians died or became ill and made no arrangements for the continuous care of their pets. What will happen to your dogs if they outlive you?

500,000 dogs and cats are euthanized each year because their guardian passed away and either did not make arrangements for the future lifetime care of their dog or their wishes were not carried out as planned.

Never assume your friends or family will take care of your dog in the event of your death. The guardianship of your beloved dog is something that should be planned for in advance. The best way to know that your dog will be cared for in the event of your death is to consult with your attorney and have your wishes put into your will or estate plan and to create a pet trust.

More info to consider

http://www.peaceofminddogrescue.org/lifetimecare.html

Resources

http://www.peaceofminddogrescue.org/resources.html

Finding homes

http://www.animalfriendsrescue.org/findinghomes.html

august_seniors_info

http://autumnbluesreviews.com/blogpaws-celebrates-senior-pets-month-2013/

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Filed under adoption, animal rescue, big dogs welcome, California, dog friendly, dogs, four paws up, guest blog, interviews, K9 approved, keep pets safe, Monterey, Pacific Grove, pet rescue organizations, Uncategorized

Pit Bulls and Addicts

been enjoying the new season of Pit Bulls and Parolees…now that they have moved to New Orleans…

https://www.facebook.com/PitBullsandParolees/app_378878488848240

last night, there was an inspiring new show on afterwards, Addicts & Animals...

Addicts & Animals’ hero, Phil Aguilar, aka “Chief,” has made it his mission to help drug addicts, but he does it his way. He and his family run an in-home sobriety program that uses the responsibility and joy of pet ownership as a means for recovery. Once a heroine addict himself, Chief swoops up addicts from the doorsteps of Hell and helps them get their lives back, with the help of a few tail-wagging companions.

He rescues death row dogs/shelter dogs… which is very cool…and each addict, when ready, gets to take care of a dog.

Healing Trauma

The relationship between humans and pets has always been a close, cherished bond. Animals have a magical way of easing stress and relieving strain for individuals in need – even drug addicts. Research suggests that the hormones activated by drug abuse are also elevated by animal contact. Dopamine and serotonin levels increase with drugs like cocaine and heroin; the same feel good hormones increase from healthy activities, like taking care of a dog.

Health benefits of having a pet include:
• Lowers blood pressure
• Reduces stress
• Fights depressions

Animal-assisted therapy is being used in a wide variety of settings to help people with acute and chronic illnesses. This is based on the many physiological and psychological benefits documented in patients during interactions with animals. These include lowered blood pressure and heart rate, increased beta-endorphin levels, decreased stress levels, reduced feelings of anger, hostility, tension and anxiety, improved social functioning, and increased feelings of empowerment, trust, patience and self-esteem. Animal therapy is looked upon as both a learning and healing experience.

How can animals help with addiction? There is more than one reason for utilizing animals to help in addiction recovery.

The first reason is that animals like dogs and horses exhibit total emotional honesty, something that addicts need to learn themselves. A horse, for example, will show signs of fear when afraid, aggression when angry, exploration when curious, rather than trying to conceal these emotions in any way.

In addition, animals like horses reflect our emotions. If we are anxious near them, they will be anxious also. If we are relaxed, they will relax as well. This kind of feedback is especially helpful for addicts who are working on getting more in tune with what they feel. An addict may not be aware that he is feeling particularly tense, for example, when working with a horse. But the horse’s unease may alert him to that fact. The addict can then respond by concentrating on relaxing.

Horses are large and somewhat intimidating animals. How an addict responds to and behaves around the horse can tell an addictions therapist a lot about how this person interacts in other relationships. For example, someone who is aggressive, in personal relationships, will generally demonstrate the same behavior when working with a horse.

Another addict who is shy, reserved, or afraid to speak her mind will usually have a very difficult time setting boundaries with a horse. The horse will learn to respect those who earn it, and weak requests will not get that respect from a horse.

The horse is therefore a great teacher of assertiveness, the midpoint between aggression and passivity. A horse will often respond in fear or refused cooperation to aggression. They will generally ignore passive requests. Somewhere in the middle is assertiveness, the ability of the addict to be clear and honest about what he needs, without being overbearing.

Outside of therapy, animals can help a person in recovery cope with stress. Animal studies regularly demonstrate that the mere presence in the home of a dog or cat can lower a person’s blood pressure. Just petting a dog or cat can decrease heart rate, respiratory rate, and other symptoms of stress.

With stress being so imperative for addicts in recovery to manage, having a pet can be a big help in the recovery process. Pets can also help addicts work on service and compassion, as they learn to care for and love an animal that is dependent upon them for support. All of these benefits make animals an important addition to recovery.

As an adjunct to more traditional types of addiction treatment, animal-assisting therapy works by helping those who have been battling the demons of substance abuse find a way to step outside of themselves and discover deeper meaning and purpose by providing vital assistance to other living creatures who desperately need love and companionship. For animals and recovering addicts alike, animal-assisting therapy is a win-win situation.
Acts of kindness and selflessness by their very nature put us in contact with the best of ourselves, and this can make them incredibly valuable for recovering addicts who spent so many years selfishly putting their own needs above those of everyone else. Addicts and alcoholics repeatedly use and manipulate people in order to satisfy their desire for relief from the symptoms of addiction, and besides their need to detoxify their bodies they also need to cleanse their wounded spirits to remove the contamination left behind by their self-centered and abusive past behaviors.
Animal-assisting therapy can help even the most broken and jaded person rediscover his or her deepest inner sources of compassion, which is an essential step for any addict who hopes to finally ascend from the pit of despair and shame that dominated his or her existence for so long. Before those with a history of substance abuse can hope to find lasting sobriety, they must first rebuild their self-esteem to the point where they actually feel strong enough to accomplish difficult things and worthy enough to deserve the happiness and peace that was denied them during their years of battling against alcoholism or drug addiction.
Animal-assisting therapy is all about fixing bodies, minds, and souls that have been damaged by abuse and neglect. Above all else, recovering addicts and alcoholics need something new and worthwhile to live for, and a commitment to caring for animals who have been cast aside can provide vital meaning and purpose where before there was only dependency and hopelessness.

Therapy dogs, like Peaches the pit bull pictured above, typically work with their owners in hospitals, nursing homes, schools and rehabilitation centers. They play with abused children, give affection to the elderly, help the critically ill to laugh and forget their pain for a while, and sometimes provide a warm lick to wipe the tears away.  The presence of dogs provides a sense of normalcy and reassurance to troubled individuals. Acceptance and non-judgment are perhaps the two most important gifts that these animals can offer. To dogs, humans are “perfect” just the way we are.

Shame, guilt, secrecy and hopelessness create a fertile ground for self-loathing, despair and an abnormal fear response. In an environment where people have proven to not be trustworthy – or, in the addict’s case if they cannot trust themselves – trained therapy dogs can potentially bridge the gap and make a difference in one’s recovery.

Benefits:

  • Stabilized and Improve social skills by learning gentle ways to communicate and handle the animal, such as feeding and grooming.
  • Brighten affect, mood, pleasure and affection while playing with the animal.
  • Reduce abusive behavior and learn appropriate touch.
  • Improve ability to express feelings by identifying how an animal might feel in a certain situation and/or recalling a client’s history with pets (sharing stories of grief or funny events).
  • Reduce anxiety and fear by forming a bond of love and comfort with the animal.
  • Learn how to better communicate with people by talking to the animal.
  • Develop a cooperative plan to accomplish something with the animal.

Cynthia Chandler, author of Animal Assisted Therapy in Counseling, points out that the positive benefits to be gained from therapy can be more immediate when a therapy pet is involved, especially when working with a resistant client. The desire to be with the therapy pet can sometimes override the client’s initial defenses (Chandler, 2005). She further points to the natural relationship that occurs between dogs and humans which can result in quick bonding and trust between the client and dog in a therapeutic setting. According to Chandler, this bond between the pet and the client also helps to facilitate a bond with the therapist, as the feelings of affection and trust for the pet are eventually transferred to the pet’s therapist. Screening is required for clients in recovery who have a history of violence, animal abuse, animal phobias or allergies. However, most clients and pets will benefit from this type of therapy (Chandler, 2005).

According to Dr. Joseph Volpicelli and the U.S. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), “20 million Americans suffer from alcohol abuse disorders, yet only about 2 million are in any kind of treatment program.”

Stories of getting sober and being aided in staying sober fill the halls of AA and other recovery centers, and now, with the expansion of the field of AAT, perhaps the use of animals at treatment centers will one day become commonplace.

Love is considered by many to be the universal healer. Is it any less comforting if the source is not human? According to a study done at the Waltham Center for Pet Nutrition in Leicestershire, England, a pet’s love can help reduce anxiety, lower blood pressure and triglyceride levels, moderate the effects of stress, and build a sense of empathy. Love creates a bond that undeniably aids in the health, happiness and a sense of belonging that makes life worth living (Meunier, 2003). These nurturing qualities can easily be translated into a treatment plan for a recovering addict.

Imagine all of the shelter animals that can be saved and given new life/loving homes when more animals are utilized to help people recover from addiction, illnesses, war, trauma and injuries, PTSD and more…

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/21134540/vp/40471379#40471379

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Filed under adoption, all you need is a dog, All you need is love, animal planet, animal rescue, belly rubs, cats, dog training, doggie healing center, dogs, horses, K9 approved, K9 travel, keep pets safe, love, pet adoption, pet rescue organizations, pit bull, self help, true love, Uncategorized

tell Gov. Brown NO to Hayden repeal

Legislators to determine the fate of California’s pets on April 11. Please call today!

Pets in California animal shelters are dangerously close to being cast back into the dark ages. Right now, the Hayden Bill (SB 1785), a groundbreaking law passed in 1998 to protect shelter animals and give them more chances to find homes, is in danger of being partially repealed by Governor Jerry Brown.

The Assembly Budget Subcommittee has already rejected Governor Brown’s proposed repeal of the Hayden Bill.  Now, the fate of thousands of animals across the state is in the hands of the Senate Budget Subcommittee, who will hold their own hearing on Wednesday, April 11. You can help by contacting the committee members today (calls are most effective), and asking them not to repeal any parts of the Hayden Bill.

Senator Joe Simitian, Chair: (916) 651-4011
Senator Jean Fuller: (916) 651-4018
Senator Alan Lowenthal: (916) 651-4027

http://blogs.bestfriends.org/index.php/2012/02/06/gov-jerry-browns-budget-seeks-to-tighten-noose-around-neck-of-shelter-animals/

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Filed under animal rescue, best friends animal sanctuary, CA, California, dog rescue, dogs, news, pet adoption, pet rescue organizations, Uncategorized

jail dogs rock

would have liked to have seen more about the move on Pit Bulls and Parolees but was very happy to learn about the jail dogs program in Georgia. Now why aren’t there more programs like this across the country, in all the jails????

With the support of Tia Torres, perhaps she will go national with this type of program that could save the lives of Pit Bulls, in particular, all across this country… Takes the whole idea of Pit Bulls and Parolees to a whole new level… Step it up !!!!

This program is designed to save the lives of dogs destined for death in our local shelter. Once here, the dogs reside with the inmates chosen to work with them and those inmates will train them in basic obedience. The inmates will also learn to groom and care for the animals. Not only is the dog getting a second chance, but the inmates are learning valuable social and vocational skills that will help them become more productive citizens once they are released from jail. Hopefully, those inmates involved in the program will not return to jail again once they are released.


The program is at no cost to the taxpayers of Gwinnett County. The care, food, training and vet services for the dogs are all being provided through volunteers and the Society of Humane Friends.

http://www.gwinnettcountysheriff.com/jaildogs/

It would seem to be a great place for the No Kill Coalition to save dogs lives, working with the jails… come on animal advocates, Patrick movement folks, how about instigating, activating programs like this across the country?

go like their Facebook page…

https://www.facebook.com/jaildogs

the emaciated dog, Brauny Brooks, that looked like Patrick did last year is now thriving…

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Filed under adoption, dogs, pet adoption, pet rescue organizations, pit bull, prison dog program, Uncategorized

Tornado survivor dogs in Alabama

Friends, on the show Pit Bulls and Parolees last night, they showed how tornadoes devastated and killed people and dogs in Tuscaloosa, AL… A dog rescue there, K9 Camp, lost 22 dogs (out of 50+)…  they are in the process of rebuilding the buildings they had, and dogs and humans are now living out of tents…

for me personally, watching the episode, it was intense. One family lost EVERYTHING except each other and they had already been through a lot personally.

They need a lot of assistance… donations of food, treats, leashes, dog bones, crates, kennels, building supplies and cash are welcome and volunteers to help them rebuild.  Please do what you can to help, and please let others in your network know too.  here’s info.
Tuscaloos K9 Camp
366 Willcutt Rd.
Berry, AL. 35546
205-998-3342
or/Sophia (volunteer coordinator) 425-985-3689

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Filed under adoption, camping, dog prayers, dog rescue, dog toys, dog treats, doggie camp, dogs, grief, keep pets safe, kennels, pay it forward, pet adoption, pet care, pet food, pet rescue organizations, pit bull, Rainbow Bridge, toys and treats

Lucky dogs

am now blogging with Pet Pardons, too… check it out… They have 400,000+ Facebook fans… and I just reached 300,000 views right here at Have Dog Blog Will Travel… milestones…

Pet Pardons is a group of folks from Canada that help in the rescue of pets in shelters. They want to give pets in shelters a better chance at being Adopted. And they want there to be No More Homeless Pets by 2015. They want to educate people about the plight of America’s pets.

They created a Facebook app which enables anyone to post pets from shelters, and then enables others to share them on their walls with the click of a button, the Advocate button. You can install & view the app at http://apps.facebook.com/petpardons/

Pet Pardons Co-Founder Ashley Owen Hill takes in the pups of Mississippi that nobody else wants, including pit bulls through Lucky Dogs Rescue. Chris Hoar is Co-Founder of Pet Pardons and lives in San Diego.

http://www.luckydogrescueblog.com/

Ashley and her dog Rudy.  Read Rudy’s story at her blog. Bring the tissues.

here are three of my blog posts at Pet Pardons, there will be more to come…

a funny look at dog breeds, tiptoe thru the breeds,http://blog.petpardons.com/dogs/tip-toe-through-the-dog-breeds/

http://blog.petpardons.com/uncategorized/doggies-home-alone/ Doggies Home Alone… another article by yours truly

http://blog.petpardons.com/dogs/home-sweet-new-home-2/  Home Sweet New Home…

Cici’s happy as a polka dot princess can be at becoming an international star… LOL…

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Filed under adoption, blogging, dogs, four paws up, pet adoption, pet press, pet rescue organizations, pit bull, Uncategorized, women with dogs, writing

New Orleans has gone to the pit bulls

if you plan to visit New Orleans, perhaps to visit Villalobos new pit bull rescue, help Sula Foundation (pit bull rescue) for Mardi Gras or Valentine’s Day, here are some places to stay, visit and explore and maybe even adopt some pibbles… You could even bring your dog to a parade for Dogs…

http://www.neworleanscvb.com/visit/

http://www.sulafoundation.blogspot.com/

http://www.bestofneworleans.com/gambit/the-pits-and-the-pendulum/Content?oid=1940426


Grand Opening of New Orleans location for Villalobos is March 2012

Our new rescue/adoption facility is being set up in the exciting city of New Orleans, LA. At this time we are only open to the public on a very limited basis and by appointment only (for adoptions and to drop of donated items)  Located in the 9th Ward, we hope to bring the much needed assistance to the overwhelming Pit Bull population as well as canine education and care to the residents of the area. As for volunteering, we could use assistance in transporting dogs (talk about an exciting road trip) and donations of crates and fold down cages.

http://www.vrcpitbull.net/dog/news/villalobos-has-found-a-new-home/

Creole Gardens B&B  1.866.569.8700

http://www.creolegardens.com/pet_friendly.html

just minutes to the French Quarter, walking distance to the Convention Center, 3 blocks from the WWII Museum and art galleries, one block from the St Charles Ave streetcars (and the Mardi Gras parades too!) and standing at the gateway to the mansions of the Garden District and such uptown attractions as Tulane & Loyola Universities, the Zoo and Audubon Park.  Pet friendly dining is available on St. Charles and also Magazine.

All of the 24, pet & kid friendly, bed & breakfast guest rooms are individually decorated.

No weight restriction
No arbitrary limits
No massive charges – just $15 per stay for one pet, $25 per stay for two

There’s a wonderful pet friendly park right around the corner. Well behaved dogs are allowed off the leash and there are “pooper scooper” bags for your use. Walk your canine pal over to Coliseum Square Park, just one block away and enjoy the fresh air, a large fountain, live oak trees and lots of fun folks and pooches. It’s 3 blocks long and 1 block wide and surrounded by a wonderful assortment of 1880’s era rambling mansions. Meet the locals (writers, politicians, movie stars, artists) and give your pooch some good exercise.

The world famous New Orleans levee is just a 10 minute drive uptown (south, near Tulane University) from us. And by “world famous” we mean famous amongst dogs in the know, because every savvy New Orleans pooch knows that the levee, at the end of Magazine Street, is simply the best place to run, sniff, play, romp and even swim in the Mississippi River! Park your Chevy by the Levee and enjoy acres and acres of grass along the Mississippi River and even a little pebble beach.

http://www.thegreenhouseinn.com/pet.html

conveniently located in a beautiful setting in the Lower Garden District, heart of New Orleans.

We allow pets (dogs and cats only) with advanced reservations. We limit the number of pets at the Inn at any one time. There is a $25 fee for each pet staying in the room.

Reservations for guests traveling with pets must be made directly with the Inn over the phone.

The care, feeding, walking and behavior of your pet is your responsibility. A maximum of 2 pets per room  at any one time. Pets are not allowed to run free and must be on a leash at all times outside the guest room. Pets must be walked off premises. A tranquil dog walking park, Coliseum Square, is one block away.

http://www.bananacourtyard.com/

one room only is pet friendly in this B&B in the heart of the French Quarter, easy walking distance to all clubs, restaurants, etc.

This New Orleans bed and breakfast home was a bordello catering to society’s elite. Is it haunted?  

 http://www.elysianfieldsinn.com/

Pet friendly. Please call for details. Phone: 504-948-9420
Toll-Free: 866-948-9420

Elysian Fields Inn is located in the Historic Faubourg Marigny section of New Orleans, three blocks from the French Quarter.

Links to bars, music and restaurants

http://goneworleans.about.com/od/restaurants/a/petbars.htm

http://www.nola.com/pets/index.ssf/2011/08/new_orleans_dogs_can_sample_th.html

http://www.gonola.com/2011/09/06/gonola-top-5-dog-friendly-travel-features-in-new-orleans.html

Barkus parade for DOGS

http://www.barkus.org/store/

Parade, Sunday, February 12, 2012

You may want to visit New Orleans for Valentine’s Day with Fido and join the Parade !

Membership in the parade krewe is open to all dogs – regardless of their past. Pre-registration (membership dues & parade pass) is $30 until Jan.28, $40 until Feb. 10 (PLEASE NOTE: Online registration ends at midnight CST, Friday February 10!). Day-of-parade registration (Feb. 12) at Armstrong Park is $50. Registration includes one dog and one human escort.

Time for our weekly Pet Blog Hop thanks to Life with Dogs,Two Little Cavaliers and Confessions of the Plume…  Grab the code and hop away…

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Filed under adoption, all you need is a dog, big dogs welcome, dog travel, family friendly, four paws up, K9 approved, K9 travel, keep pets safe, pet blog hop, pet care, pet friendly dining, pet friendly lodging, pet rescue organizations, pet travel, pit bull, travel with dog, Uncategorized, Valentine's Day