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

Give a Dog a Bone
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 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 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.