Now That’s a Great Black Friday Deal

It is that special time of year, the time to focus on family and to give thanks for all the blessings in our life. It is a time for giving. I can not think of a better way of giving than giving one of the million cats and dogs that are living in shelters across America a home and a place in your heart. Zappo’s and Best Friends Animal Society is making this easy for your to do.

Zappo’s is sponsoring Home for the Pawlidayz

What better way to deliver wow than with a free furry pal during the holiday season? This Black Friday through Cyber Monday, Zappos.com – the online retailer known for its customer service – will help to bring pets “Home for the Pawlidayz” by sponsoring the cost of adoption fees for dogs and cats through Best Friends Animal Society, along with more than 100 of its No More Homeless Pets Network partners. And for every adoption from November 27 through November 30, Zappos will donate an additional $150 to Best Friends to help cover the cost of food, medical care, immunizations, training and more for animals awaiting homes. Total donation amount, including adoption fees, is a maximum of $1.1 million.

Some info on Best Friends Animal Society-

Best Friends Animal Society is the only national animal welfare organization dedicated exclusively to ending the killing of dogs and cats in America’s shelters. A leader in the no-kill movement, Best Friends runs the nation’s largest no-kill sanctuary for companion animals, adoption centers and spay and neuter facilities in Los Angeles and Salt Lake City as well as lifesaving programs in partnership with more than 1,300 rescue groups and shelters across the country. Since its founding in 1984, Best Friends has helped reduce the number of animals killed in American shelters from 17 million per year to an estimated 4 million. By continuing to build effective initiatives that reduce the number of animals entering shelters and increase the number who find homes, Best Friends and its nationwide network of members and partners are working to Save Them All®.

Here’s the link for Home for the Pawlidayz.

I will be ever thankful for the way my dog’s have enriched my life. Perhaps now is the time to add a special member to your family. Before adopting a pet please make sure that this has been a researched and thoughtful decision.

How Fluent in Dog Are You?

Speaking Dog
No, really, I don’t think your crazy.

It has been said many times, often by me, that having a dog is like having a young child. One of the similarities is that often I simply do not understand what my dogs are trying to tell me. With a dog, just as with a nonverbal child, you are forced to interpret body language, often resorting to guess work or the simple process of elimination.

After having dogs for more than 14 years, I was confident that I was pretty good at interpreting my dogs body language. As such, I approached an online survey “How fluent are you in dog-speak?” presented by Mother Nature Network, with confidence. “I had this.” Living with four dogs had made me fluent. The resulting test score, 11 out of 19, was humbling. I often missed subtle clues such a softness in the eyes and facial features and the position of the head (held back or forward). Clues that would help me determine if a strange dog was fearful of me or my dogs.

If I am to take my dogs out into the world to interact with other dogs and other people I need to hear what dogs are trying to tell me. I need to become more fluent in dog-speak.

How about you? Do you dare put your dog-speak abilities to a test? If so click here.

Looking for Inspiration

Totally Gratuitous Dog Picture - But It's Cute!
Totally Gratuitous Dog Picture – But It’s Cute!

I decided today that I was going to publish a post. That difficult decision made, the next step was to decide what I would write. Being a relatively newbie to the blog world, I have always been able to find topics for my posts. Until today. I had been told it would happen. I dreaded the day. And here it is. My blank mind matched the blank screen in front of me. Now what? I needed inspiration, that’s what. I scrolled through the photo’s I have of my dogs and came up with … nothing. I read through some very interesting blog posts and … still nothing. I wandered through the house in search of my two canine companions, they always inspire me and … once again nothing.

Back at my computer I sat and then I sat some more. Finally the small idea buried deep in my brain started to take shape. First I remembered that I had read an article in a magazine that I wanted to research further. OK, great, what was the article? And then I remembered. How could I have forgotten? It was such an inspirational article. It was on … Wings of Rescue.

Wings of Rescue, is an all volunteer organization run by pilots that saves lives. According to their website (found here or linked through their name) –

Every day, amazing dogs wake up for the last time in animal shelters nationwide…

Dogs of all ages including pregnant dogs and their newborn puppies – spend their last day in a shelter and are euthanized simply due to lack of space. Too many dogs, not enough homes. We work every day to change that by providing desperately needed air transport for our rescue partners and the thousands of animals they save each year from high kill shelters in California. We fly these precious passengers in private airplanes to their new forever homes and rescue organizations up and down the west coast in Oregon, Washington, Idaho and even Canada.

Wings of Rescue has saved 15,102 lives to date.

This is a truly inspirational story, how could I have forgotten it. With the holiday gift giving season coming, I hope you don’t forget Wings of Rescue or any of organization that helps find forever homes for the millions of dogs and cats in need.

Is your next pet here?

Pet Adoption

What’s in a name?

What’s in a name? that which we call a rose
By any other name would smell as sweet;

from Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare

I read an article on BuzzFeed that asked “What’s The Story Behind Your Dog’s Name?” There were some interesting answers, click the tittle to see the original post. It made me think about the names of my dogs, past and present.

One of the negatives about adopting a dog from a shelter is that they usually come complete with names. When I adopted my first dog, a black Lab cross, he was seven months old, with the unfortunate name of Taco. For some reason, this name just grated on me. By the time I had driven home from the shelter, his name had been changed to Paco. A much nobler name for the sleek dog he became.

Our dog Moe was named by the family that rescued him, his mother and two brothers from a field. At the Moe at the Hoteltime, the puppies were tiny bundles of fur just weeks old. The three stumbling puppies were named Larry, Curly and Moe after the comedy team the Three Stooges. Although I had never been a fan of giving dogs people names, we agree to keep Moe’s name. If we were going to name him now the only appropriate names I can think of would be Hurricane or Trouble. During his mischievous times he often leaves a trail of destruction behind him. Even now, a sage eight years old,  he elicits the utterance “Oh no Moe!” from us on a daily basis. His ability to escape enclosures has also lead to the nickname Moe-dini.

Taz RenoTaz was the last dog we adopted. We don’t know the history of his name but we didn’t even think about changing it. Taz more than any of our other dogs became the dog with 1,000 names. A few of his nicknames were Razz-a-ma-taz and all that Jaz, Tazman, Kilroy because he would lay his head over the back of the couch looking like the WWII symbol Kilroy was Here, Tator because when in the house he was a couch potato, Bumper because he would bump into you and almost knock you off your feet, Watchman and Sargent because he would make rounds of the yard keeping an eye on everything and finally Barkley Barkster because any movement in the yard would set off a long, loud series of barks.

Tri-Color CollieWhen I married my husband, he already had Tasha and Willa. He named the cute bundle of fur Tasha when she was a puppy, a name foreshadowing the elegant looking grande dame she became. She also was known as our Diva Dog and our Dancing Girl.

Tasha in Her Younger Days

Willa was adopted when she was seven months old and came with her name. I don’t think Willa really suits her, she is a stronger and more feisty dog than her name suggests.However, Willa she is and will always be.Willa Tracking resized

Calling our dogs by another name, other than their nicknames, would be like suddenly calling a chair Table or calling the sky Rock. Your dogs do not become their name, their name becomes them. Hearing the name Tasha leads to vivid images of the Diva Dog that occupied a huge space in my life before her passing in 2014. Just as hearing the names Paco, Taz, Willa and Moe bring many wonderful images to my mind, and a smile to my face.

Have an interesting story behind your dog’s name? I’d love to hear it!

A Symbol of Strength – Monday’s Finish the Story for Nov. 2nd

The  Mondays Finish the Story challenge is to write a short story (100-150) words that contain the first line provided and is related to the photo provided. Here’s mine for this week. Enjoy!

Buffalo Nickel“She lived a life that some would describe as being on edge.” Unexpected noise and sudden movements made her jump. Her posture was slumped, her nails chewed until they bled.

She could not forget the night he had slipped through the unlocked window. Nothing could replace the things, both physical and emotional, that he had ripped from her. Testifying in court was to bring her closure and free her from her constant fears.

Avoiding eye contact with the monster that sat confidently across from her, she concentrated instead on the small coin clutched in her hand. The childhood gift from her Arapaho grandmother was a symbol of strength. As she testified she rubbed its worn surface.

Not Guilty.

The words reverberated through her. She stumbled out of the courthouse to where Max was waiting. The meticulously trained Shepherd, her constant companion, was the reason she was able to survive the terrifying nights and navigate what she knew was a very dangerous world.

German Shepherd

Thanks Barbara for another great picture and starting line.