Dec 22, 2008

OUR CHRISTMAS STORY

AN ANIMAL HERO EMERGES

Is there a rule somewhere that says before one is twice blessed, one must endure pain and suffering? For our newly named little Pippin, a puppy somewhere between three and four months old, one wonders if maybe such a rule did exist. But on October 12, 2008, her life and luck changed.


A thirteen year old young man celebrating his birthday became a Hero that day. He was on a San Francisco city bus, on his way to church to meet his grandmother, and saw something that suddenly made him pull the string and request a stop. A group of young males were beating a puppy. The puppy was Pippin and our young Hero stepped in and rescued her. He took her to his grandmother at church and together they brought her home to call San Francisco Animal Care and Control. The responding officer took the young pup to the emergency for a complete examination, treating not only the possible injuries inflicted by the beating, but also a severe case of long neglected non-contagious mange.

After being temporarily ensconced in a kennel at Give a Dog a Bone with toys, soft blankets, and chews, our lucky little lassie now lives with her foster mom, a foster brother, and a big sister who maintains a semblance of order in the household. She is learning proper doggie house rules, play skills, and most of all, is well loved and well cared for. Lively, active, and still a lover of people, we’re hoping that that this little pittie will be twice blessed with a loving, breed-savvy home.

For those of us who witness instances of animal abuse, neglect and brutality every day, it is truly inspiring to encounter a young man in our community with such heart, strength and compassion. With barely any time to think about doing the right thing, he did. Decisions that can make a difference and lead to such lasting change in our community can be quite simple. Give A Dog A Bone’s mission is to foster just that.


Together, we can help encourage more Heroes and make San Francisco an even better place for us all to call home.

May all of us be as blessed as Miss Pippin during this season and the forthcoming year.

Dec 1, 2008

Underbites and Puppy Love

I've recently returned to volunteering Sunday mornings for Give a Dog a Bone. Boy, did I miss these pups. It's so great to be back. First thing I did: Belly rubs, massages, treats, and genuine affection for Chiqi, the dachshund with an *award winning underbite*. One look at this little man and he will steal your heart for good. THEN...puppy shuttle tour! Yada and Dollar are 3-month-old white pitbull puppies..(yep, puppy smell!).
Give a Dog a Bone works to socialize puppies that are in the custody dog program as much as possible. We tour the shelter with the Puppy Shuttle by introducing them to all kinds of people, environments, sounds, and smells. I was so impressed with how fast these two little ones learn - they aleady know that when they sit, good things happen. Even little Yada who is deaf!

Take a look at this cute overload!
video

Nov 18, 2008

READ ALL ABOUT US !!!!!

We had a wonderful article written about us. It's been a while since we've received any serious publicity, and of course, I am hoping that it generates interest in Give a Dog a Bone. I feel that the author, Eileen Mitchell, speaks well about who we are and what we do . . . she also writes frequently about her rescue Greyhound, Elvis - he's quite a character!

Enjoy and please leave a comment at the end of the article if you feel like doing so!

http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2008/11/14/HO2F13S3MH.DTL

arf!

Nov 12, 2008

The Nothing-in-Life-is-Free Club

is not, by any means, exclusive. Not at all. Any ill-mannered dog should join, if they don't, they're headed for trouble.

If a pup is not taught manners, it may mean that her life will be spent in a back yard with no understanding of why she is not in her home with her people pack because, after all, when she was a puppy, her people family thought all of that nipping and jumping up was cute. A cute puppy jumping up on your child means an adult dog jumping up on your child. If dogs are not taught manners, it can mean the difference between a good life, a lonely, distressed life, or death. We are all social creatures.

What NILF does is let our pups, and some adults, know that impulse control is a good thing. It's part of our quality of life practices. It's absolutely a given that quality of life directly impacts adoptability. The bond between our two species is only enhanced when both species understand how to live with each other.

I'm not sure why C.K. looks worried here, could it be that he's looking at his treasured squeaky stuffed toy while Christine is taking his photo and wondering why he can't have it RIGHT NOW? Our little redhead is learning that he can't grab toys from our hands, that by being mannerly at doors will get him through that door, and that jumping up gets him - nothing. Nothing. We just ignore that behavior. We know that he knows better and we have a lot of patience. Dogs like little C.K. have taught us lots of patience.

Both he and our little Pippin are reminded over and over again that rewards for good behavior are many and varied. They've learned to sit, to watch (making eye contact with people is huge), C.K. has learned down and roll-over, and done some "agility jumping". Miss Pippin, being newer to GADAB, is still learning down, learning to use her mouth on objects, and has a good watch working. She loves to chase stuffies - it is her main joy in life. She is also a very funny dog - just look at her little froggie imitation, and that's only one of the many ways in which she makes us laugh.

Pippin's ugly destiny was changed forever when she was rescued by an unlikely hero. Like too many of the dogs whom we see, she has a hideous case of demodex (non-contagious mange), but our little froggie love bunny's skin is slowly getting better, with both traditional and alternative medical treatments. Our shelter vet does the traditional; we do the alternative. She's going to be a big girl - she's only 3 1/2 months old in this photo!

Both of these confident, fearless tykes, who came in as cruelty cases, love other dogs and will learn proper play skills in their new foster homes. Yes, they're outta here! They have been adopted by Grateful Dogs Rescue, and their fosters, carefully selected, will continue to socialize, train, and love them until they find their forever homes.

Stay well, little treasures!

Nov 11, 2008

Just Dandy.


Sometimes a dog gets under your skin, and you hold a piece of them in your mind all day. Dandelion is one of those dogs.

She came into the shelter with a different name. And, I won't go into her whole story, but just know that it isn't the happiest story. The first time I went into her kennel, she crawled into my lap, laid her neck on mine, and let me hug her for a long time. I was hooked.

When I found out that Dandy (I call her Dandy. And Princess Dandelion) was not going back to her owner, and was going to foster care, and was going to foster care with friends of mine (!!)...well, let's just say I was ecstatic.

Last week, I went to my friends' house to see Dandy. She had been out of the shelter for a few days. When I walked into their house, she ran up to me, and I swear I could hear her say, "LOOK AT ME. How cool is this? I am SO happy! Thank you!"
In her foster home she is surrounded by two humans, two dogs, a hairless cat, two hairless rats, and a gecko. She likes to lay on the couch, and I hear she likes to sleep under the covers. I can't tell you how much this warms my heart.

Today, my dogs got to meet Dandy. We all took a walk together at McClaren Park. I was a little worried that my big girl would try to boss little Dandy around, but it went really well. From kennel to wooded trails, this little girl has come a long way.

I can't wait to see how happy she will make a very lucky adoptee. I just hope she'll keep in touch with me. I consider her a friend, and I think she might kind of like me too.



Pictures of the Week





Sometimes

photos just tell it how it is -




and you're reminded


of that oh-so-sweet

puppy breath
and your heart gets to melt

all over again.

Oct 5, 2008

Who's a ham?

Sunday mornings at the shelter can sometimes be a little quiet...a little morose, even. But, for the last few weeks, there has been a big boy named Bopper waiting for me, and he is all sunshine and joy. And I'm going to admit it...he's my favorite. Could it be the resemblance he has to my girl dog at home? Maybe that's part of it. But, the guy is a clown, and he has me laughing at all of his jokes. Today we had a little impromptu photo session as we played games in the park. Isn't he just a natural?





Sep 26, 2008

For all the dogs we've ever loved . . .

and for all of those whom we haven't met yet . . . .
come help us celebrate and honor their lives.

Yes, a fundraising party at:

the one and only

El Rio




ALL PROCEEDS BENEFIT
Give a Dog a Bone
Muttville
Grateful Dogs Rescue
Wonder Dog Rescue

We're all small, we all work together,
we all need each other, and we need you!

Enjoy fabulous food, great company, check out our fun raffle prizes and then bid on marvelous items at our live auction. To take a look at some items, please go to www.raiseyourpaws-sf.org. We've got dinners, hotel stays, gift baskets, art, photography sessions, dog training sessions . . .


When was the last time you were at a live auction raising your paws, er, paddles?

Save the date!!!!!

Date: October 11, Saturday
Time: 4-8 p.m.

Sep 25, 2008

It's a good thing this shot is grainy.


I don't even know how to start this post. I'm not sure I should. It's not all happy endings here.

When one sees a dog and just seeing her feels like a gut punch, what do you say?

I said, "ohhhh, baby. Oh, you poor, poor baby", and bent down sideways towards her with my head lowered to show her that I meant her no harm. I think that's all she had ever known. I began massaging her spine gently and then I named her, as she went from person to person in the lobby that first night seeking affection. How could she be so sweet? She just was.

Persimmon's time with us was short, but likely the most loved and well treated that she had ever been in her three years of life. Fearful, submissive, undersocialized, in horrible pain due to long neglected demodex, she was still a love, with the cutest face ever. We've all been dumped, rejected, left in tears, but the meaning of the word "dumped" has changed for me. Persimmon was dumped from a truck, with a brand new choke chain (ugh) and a bright new red leash. What's that about? Don't even try to tell me, because no matter what anyone might say, I feel sad and angry. And I feel empty right now.

Farewell, sweetness. May moo-tubes and mounds of soft quilts follow you wherever you go.

And remember, you were loved and honored in this life. And you are no longer invisible.

Sep 23, 2008

Meet Berkeley,

our Saturday mascot. Not that we have one for every day of the week, mind you, we should be so rich, but this lad comes in every week to help his mommy, our fabulous and revered volunteer office administrator.












As you can see, he is back home and WIPED OUT from his chores - greeting folks who come to the gate, locating any extra treats that may have hidden themselves during the week - like most dogs, Berkeley cannot abide a dirty floor - and helping GADAB dog handlers who are taking our puppies out for a Puppy Socialization Shelter Tour (he loooooves puppies and no puppy is safe from Berkeley's copious kisses). Berkeley actually loves all species and is non-discriminate in his affections. Among his many talents, Berkeley knows how to say "please", and does it several times a day, since everyone gets such a kick out of it.

Berkeley is also in training for an Animal Assisted Therapy dog, along with his two pittie in-laws, and Aschley says that their training is coming along great, so it looks like this lad will soon have another job.

Does this guy just do it all or what?

Sep 4, 2008

Congratulations, Community Heros !!

Dear Corinne,

Congratulations! The local Chapter of the American Red Cross would like to congratulate you for being selected as the

2008 Animal Rescue Hero!

The Heroes Breakfast will be on Thursday, September 25 at the Marines' Memorial Hotel on Sutter Street (starts at about 8 a.m.).

The American Red Cross joins with San Francisco County civic leaders to recognize those in our community who have shown courage, dedication and character through acts of heroism and kindness.

Join us in saluting our 2008 Community Heroes:

Life Saving Hero, Youth: Daniel Bateman
Life Saving Hero, Adult: Jocelyn Rollins and Greg Lawrence
Act of Courage Heroes: Bill Mutch and Michael Waring
Community Service Hero, Individual: Sue Parcell
Community Service Hero, Organization: Champions Youth Ministry
Animal Rescue Hero: Give a Dog a Bone, Corinne Dowling, Founder

You may purchase tickets at http://www.redcrossbayarea.org/ or by calling (415) 427-8170 for $50 each. Proceeds benefit disaster preparedness and relief efforts throughout the Bay Area.

We are deeply honored not only to receive this award, but also proud to be part of this community. Thanks to all our special volunteers, past and present, you are all special and give so much, and thanks to those whose generosity continues to make our work possible.

Kudos to all of you who better the lives of shelter dogs.

Thank you for recognizing and contributing to the importance of the animal/human bond.

Not just our own beloved companions and for what they give us day after day after day, their unconditional trust in us; but those who do more: Disaster rescue dogs, animal assisted therapy dogs for seniors, for sick children, for vets - those people who find themselves unable to respond to other human beings but can give a soft smile to a four legged being, those who suffer from mental health issues, the homeless - the disenfranchised.

We make a difference and you can too: donate to our small cause and count yourself as a hero.

Because you are.

Sep 3, 2008

Thanks again, Leslie Smith!!


for writing about Give a Dog a Bone in the current issue (Sept - Oct 08) of Animal Sheltering magazine, published bimonthly by the Humane Society of the United States.
This is huge for us!!!


You can find us in the Field Trip section on page 17 of this issue.
Read all about us . . .


Four paws up for Leslie, volunteer supreme!

Sep 2, 2008

The Captain

Another sweetheart needing a home, can you believe that Captain
is only 4 years old? He gets the full Spa Treatment, of course. His skin will be better in time.

I call him "Cappy". He is just a lover boy. If you rub his back, he will be your friend forever.

Guessing his breed is a tough one. Maybe the famous Snuggle Terrier, from the ancient Isles of Rivatelah. Although the people of Rivatelah are long gone, the breed has always been admired for their prowess in the art of lap snuggling and their outstanding ability to capture hearts .

Scamp and Zeus's ball tips

These fellas will chase a ball ANYWHERE. We have over ten ways to throw a ball and teach a dog manners and impulse control while we're at it. Scamp and Zeus came from the same home, have the same ball drive, are quick to learn new ways to get the ball, and will show some manners in order to achieve their respective goals. We introduced the hula hoop to them, and made an agility jump out of a broom pole and two plastic chairs. Doesn't get more inexpensive than that, and these guys have learned some new skills.


Here Scamp is being asked for a sit prior to getting the ball thrown for him. Fortunately, he's not a grabby kind of guy, something we always have to be aware of. If Scamp won't sit after being asked the first time, well, we'll just move a foot or so away, and repeat the command as if it's being asked for the first time. Not quite the same as saying, "Scamp, sit, sit, sit, sit etc" which is likely to produce a sit on the 4th or 5th "sit". We appreciate the bum being firmly on the ground after saying it once. The dog gets clear on what's being asked of him also, making for good communication between our two species. We'll also combine the verbal cue with a hand signal. Ultimately, with consistency, you'll have a dog who is likely to sit every time he sees a ball in your hand. He's gotten the message that it's the fastest way to get the game going. Scamp has.
Zeus flies over our makeshift agility jump, completely focused on the yellow round prize that I've tossed over the pole. I ask first for a sit, making sure that he is facing the jump and is far enough away from it to achieve good clearance. Yes! Great jump, Zeus!

If Zeus would have shown fear of this odd looking contraption, we would have slowly introduced him to it. We want Zeus to succeed. We might do this by starting out with Zeus stepping over the pole, no chairs nearby, on the ground, or even letting him approach the pole on his own, placing treats by it to encourage him, or whatever motivates him to approach. We're cheerful and praise a lot for each step of the way. If Zeus is just a bit cautious, we might lower the pole between the chairs and encourage him, watching for cues from him if he is comfortable with each new step. To paraphrase what some wise man said about us humans, and this applies so well with dogs, "it's not just about the destination, it's also about the journey."

Scamp flops into the pool on a hot day after some enthusiastic ball play. We play "long" ball, as I point to the far end of the park and say "long", "wall" ball, as I point to the shelter building that the ball is going to bounce off of and say"wall", "air" ball, as I point in the air, "sit/stay" ball, as he learns to gradually sit and stay for longer periods of time as he gets more familiar with what will get him the ball the longer that we play this game. I vary all of these as we play; for each game, I have a verbal cue and hand signal, and he has to sit prior to me throwing the ball - every time. Now Scamp is offering sits, sometimes quickly, sometimes I'll wait, just holding the ball, until he sits. I also ask him to "out" or "drop" the ball, showing him that I have a ball in my hand ready to throw as soon as he outs and sits.
Of course, this doesn't go the way I'd like it to every time. It's very reciprocal. The dogs teach me patience and they get to learn impulse control and manners, which will go a long way in every aspect of their lives. As will my patience training - dogs are really good at teaching patience. Thanks, guys.
And thanks to Sylvia Spiro, who captures the spirit of our buddies so well.


I want to be Bobbie's girl, I want to be . . .

Oh, I mean I am Bobbie . . . wait a minute, I've been adopted by Grateful Dogs Rescue, and my new name is Willa, gee, didn't mean to mislead you.
I am in my foster home now, learning more manners, and an older dog lives there too, goes by Abner, who lets me know when I get out of line. Which isn't often, of course. ; -)))). Always good to have a big brother to show you the ropes.

Here's a couple of great photos of me (no, I'm not shy at all). Annnnyway, about this big tennis ball, you can see I just love it to pieces, I chase it when the GADAB folks throw it for me, I wrestle with it, and carry it to important places in the shelter park. It's a bit flat, but all the better for me, I say. You might notice that my skin looks a little, well, sparse and crinkly. I have a pretty bad case of demodex, which if you don't know, is a non-contagious form of mange. It feels funky, so I'm on meds, plus while I was under the care of GADAB, I got what they call the full Spa Treatment, which I had no problem with, let me tell you. Orally, I got Ester C. and Omega 3's - only from the health food store, of course. (We don't get the drug store kind - too many fillers, and who the heck knows what is in them). They just put the vitamins in some canned dog food and I gulp it right down. And then, icing on the cake for me, I get Aloe Vera/Comfrey gel rubbed all over my body, all the bare spots, all the sore spots (you can see how swollen my feet are), and then a fabulous back rub while all the gel gets rubbed into my back. Oh, oh, ohhhh. That feels sooooo good.

And then this other photo of me is in the pool. Corinne had to use lots of treats to lure me into that pool, I must say. And even though in the photo, I'm giving her the fish eye, actually I learned to love going into the pool, it's been so hot lately. You can see the clicker in her hand - yes! I'm getting clicker savvy!!! And we, well, I, went through the hula hoop, over the broom jump, and walked on all kinds of surfaces. I understand that at GADAB, they want to get us used to as much "real world" things as they can, so what the heck, I went for it. Almost everytime I got a treat, and, everytime, they told me what a good, clever, beautiful girl I am.

I am still just a pup, so they did a lot of extra stuff with me, "cradling" - I hadn't heard of that one, and really was not too fond of it, but I did get used to it and accepted it. They handled me all over, to get me used to being handled by various people. You know, all that stuff that's going to make me a good solid, adult blue pittie. That's what color I'll be when all my hair grows back. I'm so excited, I love my new foster mom, my new big brother, and my forever home awaits. And blue is such a breathtaking color. Need I say more??

Thanks, Sylvia, for taking these fabu shots of me. I'll need some good head shots for when I begin my career and will be in touch.

Willa

Aug 8, 2008

Happiness is....

...watching Isis frolic in the park.


Let me tell you: This girl LOVES getting her picture taken. Honestly, don't you think she's in the running to be: America's Next Top Pitbull Terrier Model?
  Tyra? Are you accepting applicants?


Or wait maybe America's Pitbull Terriers Have Got Talent! is more appropriate...


...wherever you go, Isis: you've won our votes!!!

Jul 30, 2008

Almost 300 Days


That’s how long Pepper was at the shelter, in the Give a Dog a Bone program. Her owner took her home yesterday. And, yet, this is not a happy ending.

Pepper came into the shelter as a cruelty case. The four-year old female pit bull had come in looking like a skeleton. She was seized by Animal Care & Control due to her awful physical condition. Pepper had been starved, that was obvious. Who knew what seemed like a cut-and-dried case of animal cruelty would be anything but.

As a GADAB volunteer, I don’t know the details of every dog’s story. That is on purpose. But, I hear bits and pieces, and what I don’t hear, I can guess. I can fill in the blanks. A starving dog. An owner charged. The dog is taken away from the owner.

Yet, the last part never happened. This story didn’t end that way. And I still don’t understand why.

The owner fought the charge. While Pepper stayed in the shelter, in a kennel, her owner walked free for 10 months. She had to appear at court a few times, while Pepper served the entire sentence behind bars. Why? Why would someone who had starved their dog fight to get her back? And why would ANY judge who saw the photographic evidence ever let them succeed?

I saw the photo. I wouldn’t give the owner a goldfish. If it were up to me, the owner would never, ever be allowed to have an animal again. What is wrong with our legal system? A story was laid out for them, with photos and testimony. A living creature was mistreated. Starved. And the person responsible was not held accountable. For 10 months, Animal Care & Control fed, loved, trained, and took care of Pepper. And now the owner was getting her back, healthy. With even a little extra weight on her. How could it be that this person gets back the dog they starved? How can that be right?

The case was never heard. ACC lost the motion to suppress due to illegal entry. Apparently a starving dog is not an "emergency"... So, tell me, judge, what would be an emergency? A dead dog? Explain that to me.

The only good side I can think of in this case is that we all got to be friends with Pepper. Smart and funny Pepper. We took her out to the park, and Corinne was able to spend time with her in the GADAB office. We did so much to keep Pepper sane and sound. She was first to go out. She had a special place in the office where she could enjoy a kong on a cushioned bed. She learned so many things, and made so many friends. The perfect girl, we called her. I especially loved the way she trotted when out for a walk. She always trotted, like she had somewhere to go.

Like Corinne says--"it's pretty amazing to shelter a dog for 10 months and see her leave as temperamentally sound as when she came in, if not better socialized, more mentally stimulated, very playful, and with some new and fun tricks up her sleeve."

Oh, Pepper, big girl, you will be missed.

And, because we are helpless at this point, I am trying to think positive thoughts for Pepper. Maybe her owner learned something. Maybe her owner will realize she can’t handle the responsibility and we can help Pepper find another home. Maybe…

Yesterday I did a google search for “animal law.” Am I too old to go to law school? Because, if the case of Pepper came across my desk, you better believe I wouldn’t sleep until the roles were reversed. The human behind bars. The dog, free to go.





Jul 21, 2008

Sweetie-Angel-Heart-Baby-Cakes-Doll Face

Hello my name is Sweetie-Angel-Heart-Baby-Cakes-Doll Face. Okay, well it’s my new unofficial name given to me by SJ, a GADAB volunteer. Yesterday, we played fetch for what seemed like hours – it tired me out so much.

One time, she threw the ball up and it got stuck in the tree. Silly, volunteer—I can’t climb trees! Although I wanted to, and I thought about trying…you see, I’ll do anything to retrieve a tennis ball! After many attempts, SJ finally got my ball back down from the treetop and our tennis match resumed. I’m so good that I’ll drop it right in your hand and wait for you to throw it for me again. AND if you should drop it, or if I should place the ball in an inconvenient place for you to pick it up, I’ll re-place the ball near your feet, so it’s easier for you to throw it for me!!

I know what your thinking – this feathery Farah Fawcett-like fur may not make me look like a champion retriever –but I’m telling you – I’m ready for the Olympics. I just need an agent.

Jul 18, 2008

Formerly Cui, now a happy Henri, on his way to his new home.

Henri spots his stuffie in the air and readies himself to catch it.

Although still a little skittish,
his socialization is coming along mahvelously, and his new parents couldn't be more ready for him. He's met his new siblings, also poodles, he'll be seeing a vet regularly, groomed regularly, and tons of exercise with his new family.

"They're working dogs, you know", his new mom said proudly.

Au revoir, Monsieur Henri!

One great ball, three great dogs

Hennessey thinks that keep-away is the best game EVER and is really, really, realllllly good at it. When he absolutely has to, meaning that I've managed to either do a treat exchange for the ball, or waited him out as he gaily prances by me over and over with The Ball of the Day in his mouth as he gets closer and closer to me, knowing perfectly well that I won't grab for it, he finally drops it in front of me, then sit as he's been taught, and wait for me to throw it for him again. A real prankster, but if you don't know his game, he'll pass by you just close enough so you think you can grab it from him. You can't. Just try. Or he'll drop it and pretend he's interested in something else to tempt you to believe that he's lost interest and you can walk over casually to him to pick up the ball. Oh, no. He'll wait until you get just soooo close and then grab it and dash away. One has to laugh. Funny, delightful boy.


Who else loves this ball? Roxie, that's who.
She actually retreives for a treat exchange. Nice - she learned that one pretty quickly as she swerved on a dime, ball in mouth, to see what my outstretched hand held for her. Beautifully built, lavish with affection, and a glutton for belly rubs, Roxie is truly poetry in motion. She had a particularly hard time being kenneled, so we hope it's a good thing that she was redeemed yesterday by her owner. Have a great life, Roxie girl.

Then what about Cui? What is a Cui? Hard to tell, but when a standard Poodle has not been groomed for eight months, this is a horrific look at neglect. When he arrived at GADAB, he was frightened, undersocialized, and young - he is eight months old. We do know that he was kept in a small space, not walked or exercised. Was he ever groomed? We don't know. It was hard to feel anything but mats on this guy. But, the amazing resilience we see over and over again with our dogs has surfaced in Cui, and he is absolutely delighted to be in a world that he had no idea existed.

Still head shy, we are playing Treats Rain from the Sky with him so he'll learn that hands mean good things are coming to him, and I've tossed the favored ball up in the air and he actually lifted his head UP to try to grab the ball. I playbow, he play bows - he loves to run with me, his docked tail is now waving happily as we play and it seems that he wants to do everything that I show him. We're going as slow as we need to with him; he still startles easily, but with time, it looks like this special guy will enjoy life to its absolute fullest. And oh, yeah, he had to be pretty much completely shaved and underneath that rug of hair is an obviously unused body - no muscle tone. But how much better must he feel.

Was it Billy Crystal in his Fernando Lamas persona who said something like, "Dahling', listen to me, in order to feel mahvelous, one must look mahvelous". Cui is both now - devilishly handsome and feelin' mahvelous!

Written by Corinne Dowling

Wally invites someone, anyone to play with him.


Hey! You, over here, it's me, Wally.
Ready to toss the ball for me? I will drop this one if you show me that one in your hand - isn't that the game? Then you throw the slobbery ball for me while I run to get the clean one and bring it back to you?
Yeah, that's it. Then both balls get slobbery and I don't know why you have issues with that.
No, please - not the ballchucker! I have to run too far and as you can see, I'm not built for that. Handsome, yes, built like a Mack truck, yes again, but, run-very-far, no, run-very-fast, no way. Long periods of ball play, no, not for me, Sir.
So now that you know how I like to play, are 'ya ready?
Let's play!

A little more to the left, please.

" Oh, gosh. Oh, golly. Oh my.
Oh, my, my, my. My"

"Thanks, gosh, that feels good - nothing like a good massage, up, down, and around my spine - ooh, hit that spot, girl, thanks. I think you may have done this before."

Little Sandy is a guy who knows how to receive.

Many of the dogs with whom we work do not - for many reasons - and if we can get them to trust us enough to touch them, that's big. For all of us - the givers and the recipients. If we get to the belly rub stage for a dog who's afraid of people, it's a marvelous thing. For a dog to position himself in a position of such vulnerability, exposing his belly, that's a dog who's come a long way.

We'd like to thank YOU for showing us trust.

Now how about a little kiss, riiiight here? Thanks, darling man.

Jul 4, 2008

Baloo smiles.

Yeah, I guess you could say I'm kind of a big guy, actually I AM a big guy.
Newfoundlund/Tibetan Mastiff mix, my former guy said. I just moved to the city - I've been a country boy all my life and these city noises, well, I tell you, they just make me nervous.

Right now, I'm over at the SF/SPCA. I either still have the country blues or has all this city stress gotten to my stomach?


The folks at SF/ACC treated me like a prince and I do feel like one sometimes with all the attention that folks give me. Corinne even sings to me and my, I sure love that. My favorite is "Til I met you" - anyone remember that beautiful song? My favorite part, the part that makes me feel so special, goes like this, "there was love all around, but I never felt it at all, no, I never felt it at all til I met you . . . " Corinne remembers her mom singing it and she says her mom's voice is really something.


I also love TTouch, especially along the sides of my body. When I'm being sung to and getting TTouch at the same time, I can just lay right down, close my eyes, and relax. Right now, that's what I want to learn how to do more of - just reeeelllllaaaaaxxxxxxxx . . . . .

Kelsey celebrates the Fourth of July a day early . . . .


Hugalicious ???





Hugalicious !!!!!














Excuse me, miss,

but I can't find your nose.






Come to mama, baby


Hey, this Find the Treats on the Fire Hydant is sure a fun game.
I didn't know my hind feet
worked by themselves!



















Thanks to Sylvia Spiro for capturing this glorious day!


xxx Kelsey

May 23, 2008

ANYBODY OUT THERE?


As we struggle to grow,
if you'll just let us know
what you think,
'cause if you don't,
when next your eyes blink,
I might be gone, without a bone,
no caresses, all alone, and no toys.

I remember, as I waited with joy
when I heard those vols,
and wagged as they called,
no trouble with a good snuggle

as they sang my name.

I bless them all.

Never ending pups like us,
Yes, there's muss and of course fuss,
at times a good cuss -
But behind it all, just give us a call,
offer what you will, for we'll be here still.

. . . Dante

Hey, Bill, I'm next! I do many interesting things! Heyyyyy, Bill, me next!

Bill makes
adjustments to his camera
as Slim, helpful as he can be,
does his best to make his claim
to fame. Slim does not
suffer from a lack of confidence.

Bill is our, well, not exclusively, of course, videographer. With an remarkable eye for capturing what it is we do on film, along with a remarkable patience for dog and people foibles, he will be the not unsung hero behind our forthcoming DVD.

We're getting there, folks.