Old Dogs Deserve Better – Amazing Ideas for #GivingTuesday


Idea: Give Compassion to Homeless Senior Dogs

The Grey Muzzle Foundation is working hard to create more happy tails for homeless senior dogs this #GivingTuesday. Here are a few ways you can help.

Dogs of Every Age Deserve Loving Care

I’m supporting their “Hospice Care for Homeless Senior Dogs” fund to help dogs that are too sick or fragile to be adopted get out of shelters to live their final days with dignity and love.

Sadly, senior dogs are often abandoned in shelters at this stage of their life, left to die alone and afraid.

Soft Beds for Sweet Faces

Senior bones can be achy and resting on the hard, concrete shelter floor helps seniors sleep better — and can give them a better chance at finding a forever family by helping their mobility.

You can provide a bed here.

Safe, Warm, Home

Senior dogs are less likely to be adopted, yet they deserve the chance to live out their golden years, months or weeks in a place of love, security and peace. Grey Muzzle provides funding and resources to nonprofit shelters, rescues and sanctuaries nationwide to make sure no no old dog dies alone and afraid.

Donations made today through this donation page are eligible for matching funds from Network for Good.

Be a Senior Dog Superhero Today

You can help even more by spreading the word. Get shareable graphics, “copy and paste” tweets, Facebook updates and more with the Grey Muzzle #GivingTuesday Toolkit.

We believe old dogs contribute positively to our quality of life and have much to teach us about patience, respect, responsibility, loyalty and unconditional love.”
— Grey Muzzle

Follow The Grey Muzzle Organization on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and YouTube.

Image via Grey Muzzle

The Soul of a Senior Dog: How One Rescue is Changing Lives


Spotlight on a Caring and Compassionate Large Breed Senior Dog Sanctuary

It’s Adopt-A-Senior-Pet Month!

There are a lot of reasons to adopt a senior; most adopters will like that they’re usually housebroken and trained and, for the most part, what you see is what you get.

If you’re looking for a large breed senior dog, Lily’s Legacy Senior Dog Sanctuary in northern California may have your perfect pup!

Though Lily, rescued at age 12, was only with her loving adopters for the last four months of her life, she inspired the start of this unique nonprofit.

[Lily’s] mission in coming into our lives: To have this sanctuary established. A place where many of the senior dogs who are lost, abandoned, or otherwise find themselves homeless, will have a safe haven in which to live out their days, or stay until a loving adoptive home is found, and where they will receive the love and care they so richly deserve.”
— Alice Mayn, founder and executive director of Lily’s Legacy

8 ways to be helpful to this organization:

Lily’s Legacy also has a permanent sanctuary in Petaluma, California.  The organization is a 501(c)3 nonprofit.

Follow Lily’s Legacy on Facebook, Pinterest and Twitter.

Image by Lily’s Legacy

Last Minute, Zero Stress, No-Sew Dog Costume


Idea: The Best Dog Costume This Halloween is Right in Your Hands

Canine behavior experts agree that dog costumes are a bust and I’m guessing that most pups would prefer a little less stress on this crazy, energy-filled day, so instead of reaching for a physical costume, go digital!

Here are my top three photo apps to dress-up your pup! And you’ll still get to share the pics on Facebook!

  1. Line Camera – Halloween stamps available for in-app purchase include favorites like Snoopy and Hello Kitty. The app has plenty of cute decorations from independent artists, too. Free on iPhone/Android.
  2. Rhonna Designs – Spooky Junque, festive stickers and even Halloween Washi tape! $1.99 on iPhone.
  3. Photo Editor by Aviary – Make your mutt moustachioed! Top with glasses and brows and they’re Groucho Marx! Effects and frames, too. (Or explore today’s deeper cultural significance like Harper here who’s modeling the Muertitos stickers, $0.99). Free on iPhone/Android.

Here’s to Happy Haunting with your hound!

Positive Pit Bulls


Story: A Friendly Dog Shouldn’t Have to Wear a Friendly Collar

It’s National Pit Bull Awareness Day!

I was with my golden retriever today at the car wash and I met a darling pit bull  wearing a collar with the word “FRIENDLY” embroidered on it.

Ironically enough, my dog, a “friendly-looking” pup is actually mildly reactive.

This pit bull couldn’t have been more neutral, yet his caregiver took the extra step to make sure folks know that he is. I don’t think that’s fair.

Let’s give this negative hype a remix. Here are positive stories to read and share.

10 Uplifting Pit Bull Tales
How to Help

Pit bulls and pit bull mixes are the dogs most at risk of being killed in animal shelters around the country because of the sheer number of them and the negative stigma surrounding them.”

— Best Friends Animal Society

Image credits from top: Lynn Terry; American Humane; zaemeetsworld; The Independent; The Huffington Post; Wimp.com; TexasGirly1979; Modern Dog; KPTV-KPDX Broadcasting Corporation; Cable News Network; Pit Bull and Bully Breeds Lovers

A Two-Legged Legacy: Wheelchairs for Rescue Dogs


Idea: Help Disabled Homeless Pets with Good Reads

Faith, a two-legged doggie hero, was featured on the cover of Animal Wellness Magazine in 2007.

Born with a deformity, she learned how to walk upright and soon became an inspiration for overcoming the odds – Oprah even called her “one of her favorite guests.”

Faith gained celebrity status for her work with U.S. soldiers, and she and Jude [her mom] often traveled to airports, USOs and other places where they would find injured or returning soldiers.

Her positive attitude, even in the face of her disability, made a huge impression on the troops and earned her the title of honorary E5 Sergeant, out of Fort Lewis. Four thousands troops attended the ceremony.”

— “Faith, the Two-Legged Dog” by Ann Brightman

She also visited schools to help kids learn to read.

In honor of her recent passing, Animal Wellness, one of my favorite resources for my blog about canine cancer wellness, will “pay this love forward and help other dogs like Faith the Dog who have mobility issues,” by donating 25% of subscription sales toward purchasing Walkin’ Wheels dog wheelchairs for rescue pups.

A 1-year subscription is $24 and includes six issues (print and digital versions), 12 natural health reports and a coupon book. Use promo code FAITH.

Follow Animal Wellness Magazine on Facebook and Twitter.

Image from Animal Wellness Magazine

Pups on a Plane: Saving Desperate Dogs


Idea: Help Pups Make the Long Road Home Shorter

FlyPups, a nonprofit based in New Jersey, is a dog rescue air transport service. They relocate dogs in desperate situations (like hoarding) or from kill shelters to organizations that will get them ready for adoption. Because some dogs are in a fragile state of health (emotionally and physically), transporting them via the friendly skies is a more efficient, humane option.

Their volunteer pilots use their personal aircraft for the missions to save pups that would have been euthanized.

These flights are nothing short of amazing and filled with wonderment. We’d be hard pressed to say these dogs aren’t completely aware of the fate they’re narrowly escaping and the new life that’s just a short flight away. Without fail, the dogs bestow copious amounts of affection upon the pilot and helper as they board the plane, as if to say thanks for the lift and the hope we’ve provided.
— FlyPups

View their completed missions here.

The average cost of fuel is $800 and is supported by donations. If you give $500 or more, you will receive an original painting inspired by one of the rescued dogs.

Learn more and donate here.

Follow the organization on Facebook and Twitter.

Image by FlyPups

Kids and Dogs: 5 Smart Tips to Savvy Supervision


Idea: Train Yourself, Teach Your Children

Watching kids while they play with a pup is great, but do you know what to look for?

A bite is one of the top 10 list of reasons dogs are given up. Learning a dog’s language is our responsibility so we can keep everyone safe and in the home.

Robin Bennett, a positive reinforcement dog trainer with 17 years of experience, observes that the problem is not that parents aren’t supervising their children, it’s that they don’t know what to look for. She says:

Parents generally have not received any education on what constitutes good dog body language and what constitutes an emergency between the dog and the child.  Parents generally have no understanding of the predictable series of canine body cues that would indicate a dog might bite.  And complicating matters further, most parents get confused by the good intentions of the child and fail to see when a dog is exhibiting signs of stress.

Here is her advice:

  • Watch for loose canine body language. Good dog body language is loose, relaxed, and wiggly.  Look for curves in your dog’s body when he is around a child.  Stiffening and freezing in a dog are not good. If you see your dog tighten his body, or if he moves from panting to holding his breath (he stops panting), you should intervene.  
  • Watch for inappropriate human behavior. Intervene if your child climbs on or attempts to ride your dog…pulls the ears, yanks the tail, lifts the jowls or otherwise pokes and prods the dog. Don’t marvel that your dog has the patience of Job if he is willing to tolerate these antics.  And please don’t videotape it for YouTube! Be thankful your dog has good bite inhibition and intervene before it’s too late.
  • Watch for these three really easy to see stress signals in your dog.  All of them indicate you should intervene and separate the child and dog:
    • Yawning outside the context of waking up
    • Half-moon eye – this means you can see the whites on the outer edges of your dog’s eyes.
    • Lip licking outside the context of eating food
  • Watch for avoidance behaviors. If your dog moves away from a child, intervene to prevent the child from following the dog.  A dog that chooses to move away is making a great choice.  He’s saying, “I don’t really want to be bothered, so I’ll go away.”  However, when you fail to support his great choice and allow your child to continue to follow him, it’s likely the dog’s next choice will be, “Since I can’t get away, I’ll growl or snap at this kid to get the child to move away.”  Please don’t cause your dog to make that choice.
  • Listen for growling. I can’t believe how many times I’ve heard parents say, “Oh, he growled all the time but we never thought he would bite.”  Dog behavior, including aggression, is on a continuum. For dogs, growling is an early warning sign of aggression. Heed it.  If growling doesn’t work, the dog may escalate to snapping or biting. Growling is a clue that you should intervene between the dog and the child.

Read the full article here.