Officials Hone in on Suspect in California Dog Starving Case: Courage on the Mend

California authorities have identified a suspect in the case of Courage the wonder dog, a German Shepherd tied to a stake and starved for five weeks. Officials with Southeast Area Animal Control Authority have not yet released the name of the 26 year old Bellflower resident suspected of leaving the dog to die, but have indicated that they will pursue felony charges. 

Another video has been released – it is not related to the above but this dog is so remarkable that his story bears repeating.


German Shepherd Chained and Starved for Five Weeks: Survives by Eating Dirt

This is heartbreaking – Courage was down to 37 pounds when rescued. Typical male Shepherd weight is 75-85 pounds. Veterinary x-rays showed evidence of dirt and rock ingestion. He is expected to recover fully, and a $1000 reward is being offered for details leading to an arrest.


Be The Change Video from Blogpaws 2010

This speaks for itself. Enjoy.


The 2010 Blog Paws Roundup

Blog Paws 2010 kicked off Friday in Columbus, Ohio. Three delayed flights caused me to miss the Friday night mixer, but I hit the ground running Saturday, camera in hand. Let’s get a look at some of the fun. I’ll barely scratch the surface, because this event completely exceeded my expectations.

 The weather was perfect, and the view from my hotel room was great.

We started our morning with a great breakfast and a speech by Andrea Arden from Animal Planet and Andrea Arden Dog Training.
A couple of pics from the event sessions. I have many, but you’ll get so much more from reading here.

The registration desk. The Westin was a great place to hold the event, and the service was first rate.

Some of the exhibitors. There were free goodies galore, and nobody was really trying to sell anything – a rarity these days. It was great to meet so many company reps. 

Want your pooch on Twitter? Check out the USB receiver. 

I want this. It’s perfect for mud season in Vermont, or less pleasant stains. You just fill it with water, set it on the carpet and come back in a few minutes. It does all of the scrubbing.

Kodak displayed a new system for correcting red/laser/flashy eye pics. Great for older pics you can’t correct on your computer.

The friendly folks from TPPC were covering the event. A certain dog was asked to sign their celebrity wall, so I did my best to scribble on it for him.  :)
On-site doggie daycare. There was a giant room for the pooches to play in while parents attended event sessions.
There were so many sessions throughout the day that it was impossible to attend all.

There was a raffle with really nice prizes, and a silent art auction. Pieces were scattered all over the hotel. Much of it was whimsical – my favorite.
Pet lovers everywhere!
A long shot of the ballroom. The food was terrific.
Hanging with a Havanese – Cosmo, to be specific. He’s a fun little chap. Look him up on Facebook!
The Saturday night mixer was held at a great open air bar in the arena district.

Many of you know Jaime from Thoughts Fur Paws. Say hi! And feel free to make fun of me for completely forgetting that I had a headset on.

There were anipals everywhere! Kenn Bell and I crashed the picture. 😉
Those of you connected to me on Facebook should note that Brewskie Butt is standing to my right. We’ve been picking on each other on Facebook for a year now. It was great to finally meet!

Karen Nichols, the blogger from The Cat’s Meow, and Skeezix! The Cat’s Meow is Catster’s blog.
That’s right, I hugged a cat lady and lived to tell about it!

I spent a few hours with Andrea Arden and Kenn Bell from the Dog Files at the Saturday night mixer. We discussed all things dog and I laughed until my face hurt.

It was far too late when we all managed to drag ourselves away and say goodbyes, but many of us had early Sunday morning flights to catch. I could have used another few hours to meet everyone, but there will be plenty of time for that next year. Blog Paws was an experience that I will never forget. The energy of 250+ passionate animal bloggers in one festive space is remarkable. The fact that we were fed well, the event was perfectly organized and held in such a great hotel was a big plus. The huge pile of freebies we received was impressive, and there was enough material covered to help any blogger grow. It was worth far more than the cost of admission, and I thank Blog Paws and Pedigree for making it possible for me to attend. If you are serious about pet blogging don’t miss Blog Paws 2011. I’d love to meet you there.


Life With Dogs at Blog Paws 2010

When I first heard of Blog Paws, I was curious. Anything blog related is of interest, but a conference specific to pet bloggers is something I’d never seen elsewhere. I considered attending, got caught up in the daily grind, and promptly forgot about it.

When Blog Paws was kind enough to offer me a free pass to the event, I seriously considered attending. Many of our blog pals will be there, and this seemed like the perfect way to catch up with as many of them as possible without touring the country. Life got in the way, I became distracted, and began to doubt that I would be able to make the trip due to a hectic April schedule.

When Pedigree offered to sponsor my entire trip to Blog Paws, I pooped a little with excitement. Fortunately I was carrying a bag.

Perhaps I exaggerate slightly. Only I and my shorts know.

I can’t wait for the chance to share what I find – there are a lot of hot topics for bloggers, and if you can’t make it, I’m happy to be your eyes and ears. Watch for event coverage in future posts. If I don’t pop in for a visit this week forgive me, I have a lot crammed into a few days and not enough time to get to it all.

If you are anywhere near Columbus, Ohio I’d love to catch up. Drop me a line at [email protected]

Many thanks to Blog Paws and Pedigree for enticing me until I could not resist! See you there…or here when I return…


Maryland Dog Swallows 3 Carat, $20,000 Diamond

This reads like a scene from a romantic comedy. One of the owners of Robert Bernard Jewelers in Rockville, Maryland followed Sollie the diamond eating dog for three days until the gem “reappeared”. His response: “I can understand what it was like in the old Gold Rush. I felt like I had just hit pay dirt.”

Have a great weekend!


Let the Games Begin!

Mondays suck. Even the dogs look at me sideways when the laptop bag rears its ugly head to indicate the start of another work week. So I thought I’d find a way to make this Monday a little less painful while giving our friends a shot at wining some of the great dog products that have been sent our way for giveaways. So before the fun begins, let’s see what’s at stake with a quick review of the prize pool.

Prizes will be awarded as follows: the first place winner gets to review the pool and their pick. The second place winner gets to pick from what is left. And so on. Tenth place gets whatever has not been taken, so as you can see, it pays to be competitive – but don’t fret – at least we’re not handing out fruitcakes! And let me thank Heart U Back for making the games possible. If you did not catch the buzz surrounding our Wordless Wednesday post, Heart U Back is a great company. A certain person in this house suffers from an acute case of fashionitis, so when I saw two thumbs up after a recent purchase from them and learned that they donate piles of cash to animal charities, it only made sense to get our paws on some of the great items they make so we could share them. 

Here are the prizes!

Beautifully made. Not inexpensive, and worth every penny.

Sterling Unconditional Love bracelet from Heart U Back

 A very popular piece. Whimsical and substantial.

Purple Dog Bone Friendship Bracelet from Heart U Back

 This was a review sample and got a bit beat up in shipping. Don’t give me hell about the packaging – it’s the content you’ll enjoy!  :)

Natural Dog Training: The Fundamentals 2 DVD Set


 A lovely good luck charm.

Black Grant A Wish Bracelet from Heart U Back

 Something any of us could use. This is fun and loaded with great ideas.

The Dog Lover’s Daily Companion: 365 day of tips, tricks and techniques for living a rich life with your dog.

A tag for you, and a matching tag for your pet. Beautiful idea. 

Silver/Gold Companion necklace – Best Friends from Heart U Back

 I think I just threw up a little bit. 😉  All joking aside, there may be a cat lover or two lurking here today, so let’s make sure they have a shot at something they can use. This is a great book – if you love cats!
The Cat Lover’s Daily Companion: 365 days of insight and guidance for living a joyful life with your cat.
 Killer nom noms. The choice your dog would like you to make if you win.
One pound of Pucker Up! treats from Barkin’ Doggie Biscuits.

Another wonderful piece from the companion jewelry series.

Companion Keyring from Heart U Back.

More yummies – Wellness makes great, healthy food. Here is your chance to sample some of the goodies they offer.
Sampler pack from Wellness: Pure Rewards turkey and salmon jerky treats, and Wellbites chicken and lamb chewy treats.

The Rules: 
You must e-mail your answers and scores in one e-mail to [email protected] The deadline for submittals is midnight Tuesday, 2-23. Answers posted in the comments will be deleted and those posting answers in the comment section will not be eligible for prizes. Please mention your first name and last initial, and the state you reside in with your submission. Winners will be announced here Friday using the criteria above. This is the only prize notification – so I urge you strongly to subscribe via e-mail – look at the upper right hand side of this page to do so. Winners who do not respond to us via e-mail by Monday of next week will forfeit their prize and another winner will be substituted. In other words, don’t forget to come back and check if you have won.

Not bad! Now that you know what you are playing for, let’s get started with an easy warm-up.

Game One: Solve the picture puzzle.

That was a gimme. Let’s test your powers of deduction and judgment!

Game Two: Which does not belong?

Ok, I admit it, even I had an easy time making the call and I’m slow on the uptake. Let’s see how your visual acuity is holding up!

Game Three: Find the squirrel. (When submitting answers, give approximate location and description of at least three adjoining images.)  See you when that headache wears off. And as always, you will want to click on the picture to enlarge. 

Are you crying? Is it the pressure of competition, or that blurry loss of vision thing you’re experiencing? :p
Let’s do something that will dry those tears and make you feel a little better.

Game Four:  Do some good. You’ll notice that the picture below is permanently featured in our sidebar, and with good reason. This is the honor system folks, but don’t let me down. Click it now. Click it every day.

Ok, we’ve done some good, wasted a bunch of time, and learned nothing useful at all. It’s time to hone your skills in our final challenge. This one is a little unique – you’ll have to submit your high score with a screen shot. If you do not know what a screen shot is it’s time to give it a try. There is a video tutorial here. If you didn’t know how to do this before today, you’ll be glad to have that new trick up your sleeve. And you’re going to need it, because it’s time to see who’s got the right stuff. That’s right, it’s time for….

Game Five: Video Challenge

You’ll recall that we mentioned one day only for the games. But here is your workaround. You have until midnight Tuesday to submit your high score. PLEASE only submit your score once. Please do not play daily and send updated high scores or I’ll be buried in e-mail. Ok, enough with the rules, it’s time to flex your keyboard and show us what’s you’re made of. This one will put a little spring in your step! And note that it is a half luck/half skill proposition – chosen by design to give everyone a chance.  :)


No cats were harmed in the making of this video game – and hopefully you didn’t hurt yourself playing.  Those repetitive motion injuries can be hard on an index finger! Play all you want and send us your best score!

This concludes our 2010 Winter Game challenge. I hope you have enjoyed reduced work productivity, found fun in our antics, and have forgotten – however briefly, that it’s still just another Monday. Hey, at least your dog will be there to greet you when you get home!   ♥

Good luck!


UK study released: finds dog owners less educated than cat owners.

It’s the article your dog doesn’t want you to read. 

According to a study conducted at the University of Bristol, cat owners are more likely to hold higher degrees, and often have more demanding jobs than dog owners. Researchers surmised that lifestyle was an important factor in the study, because cats are easier to care for with a busy schedule. The Telegraph reports that income was not an influential factor, and goes on to mention that degree-holders were 1.36 times more likely to be cat (as opposed to dog) owners.

Fortunately, the article ends on a very high note, making mention of the findings from another study published by New Scientist last year that highlights superior problem solving skills, tractability, and understanding in dogs (as compared to cats). video here

Do the findings of this study align with your experience?


The Who Dat? Dog Video

Facebook has been cranky this Friday and the new layout change is making some posts disappear. If you missed this on our fan page this morning, it’s well worth a watch!

Who are you pulling for this weekend?

Hug your hounds, enjoy the game and have a great weekend!


Vermont dog artist Stephen Huneck passes away at 60: dog lovers mourn.

A great light was extinguished with the passing of dog folk artist Stephen Huneck of Saint Johnsbury, Vermont. After suffering losses from the downturn in the economy, Huneck was forced to lay off most of the employees of his Dog Mountain farm and chapel – a destination for dog lovers, built from the proceeds of his artwork.

Described as despondent, Huneck felt responsible for the welfare of his employees and was fearful about losing the property his artwork had paid for. He died in his car of a self-inflicted gunshot wound while parked outside the office of his psychiatrist on Thursday. Huneck’s artwork is featured in New York’s Museum of American Folk Art and the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C.

Find his work if you are not familiar with it. It’s whimsical and will put a smile on your face. Stephen was kind enough to autograph a copy of his book for us when our Dalmatian passed away many years ago, and we treasure it. We have been big fans for over a decade, and the love this man had for dogs pours out of his pieces. He will be sorely missed by many.


Michael Vick: "I wish I could have a dog right now more than anything in the world."

A bonus Wednesday post. I happened upon this story and thought it was worthy of discussion. I would love to hear your thoughts.

Michael Vick spoke to a group of children at a Boys and Girls club engagement in Newark, New Jersey on Tuesday. Vick stated “I wish I could have a dog right now more than anything in the world.” He went on to admit that most of the charges he was found guilty of were correct, but denied any involvement in the  electrocution of dogs.

An interesting side note: According to NBC, Vick had an opportunity to meet ten of his former dogs rehabilitated by BAD RAP, but declined the offer.

Dairyland: The Real Story

Those who run in Greyhound circles have likely heard about the closing of the Dairyland Greyhound Park in Kenosha, Wisconsin. Many posts are to be found on discussion forums and Facebook, and I have received twenty three messages regarding the shutdown. A moron put a bogus post on Craigslist about 900 dogs in danger of being put down.

There are a few versions of the story, but the most accurate information available thus far is as follows:

•The track is indeed closing December 31st 2009.
•The exact number of dogs is not yet known, but is likely to be well below 900. Some will be moved to other tracks to continue to race. Exact numbers will be known in mid December.
•Relocation planning is already taking place. I would encourage anyone who wants to assist to contact the track directly (as I did) or to contact Greyhound adoption groups in Wisconsin and surrounding states.
•The facility will stay open until all dogs are relocated. They will not euthanize.


Link to groups who are already arranging for adoption of these dogs:

If you are not affiliated with rescue groups, but have at some point considered adopting a Greyhound, this is a great time to do so. There are going to be a lot of newbies flooding the market.

Happy Friday dog lovers.


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