When puppies make puppies…

Blog the ChangeThis post is part of Blog the Change for Animals, a quarterly blog event dedicated to shining a spotlight on animal causes. I originally had another post planned for today, but it’s still in limbo due to a nasty case of writer’s block. So, I decided to share a post I did last year (with a few tweaks) about a topic that never seems to go out of style.  (Just ask Bob Barker.) 

From time to time, I write about some of the more interesting search terms that bring people to this humble blog. One of these search terms inspired today’s post. Those fateful words? “I want a puppy that makes puppies.” Well, dear searcher… what exactly do you mean by that? I kind of hope you’re looking for some sort of child’s toy that I haven’t heard of yet. Or a puppy prodigy that spends his spare time building Lego replicas of other puppies. Continue reading


#BtC4A: Dogs aren’t perfect… but neither are you

Blog the ChangeI’d be lying to you if I said that I knew what I wanted to write about for this edition of Blog the Change for Animals. However, I recently read a story that supplied the thesis* for today’s post. That thesis?

Don’t be an idiot.

(A secondary thesis? Don’t do things that make me roll my eyes. It makes my eyes hurt. I don’t like it when my eyes hurt.)

So, let’s get to it. The story that inspired today’s post sounds too stupid to be true. Our tale begins with the return of a dog named Misty to a high-kill shelter. Want to guess the reason? I bet you can’t.

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Nic Cage’s Easter advice: Put the bunny idea back in the box

Blog the Change

Okay, users of the Internet… it’s time for some real talk. I know that Easter is right around the corner. Your head is filled with visions of adorable bunnies (or chicks and ducks, depending on what your particular brand of cute catnip is – the post below is applicable to all categories). You’re tempted to bring one home.

I get it. They’re cute. They’re cuddly. They win first prize every single year in the Cutest Way to Eat Lettuce Contest.

via giphy.com

As the proud aunt to several bunny nieces and nephews, I’m not immune to their charms. However, I’m going to give it to you straight. If you’re thinking of bringing home a baby bunny for Easter, stop.

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Shelters you should know: Meet FOHA in northern Virginia

Blog the ChangeFor this round of Blog the Change for Animals, I wanted to (once again) highlight an organization that has been helping animals since before I was a twinkle in my parents’ eyes.

Friends of Homeless Animals (FOHA) in northern Virginia has been serving the DC area since 1973. In 2012, FOHA gave me a wonderful place to volunteer and a new pup in the form of Tavish. In 2013, FOHA celebrated its 40th anniversary. This year, the fantastic folks at FOHA are continuing this important work into year forty-one. Continue reading


#BtC4A: Turning shelter dogs into social butterflies?

Blog the ChangeIt’s time for yet another edition of Blog the Change for Animals. This time around, I thought I’d talk about dog socialization and the ways in which shelter dogs can benefit from being socialized. Sometimes, socialization at the shelter can make a huge difference in the life of a dog.

I was inspired to write about this topic today because of a program that’s currently going on at Friends of Homeless Animals (FOHA), a local no-kill shelter (and the reason I have a Tavish snoring by my side). FOHA has started play groups for some of the dogs – they get together weekly to work on socialization.  The play groups often result in fun videos like this one:

I love that FOHA focuses on dog socialization. It’s a great way to get the dogs out of their runs and to let them learn how to interact with people and other dogs in a relaxed setting. While this type of group might not work for every dog, it can help prepare some dogs for their future adoptive families. Structured play groups can enrich the lives of dogs while they are in the shelter. In addition, these type of groups can be useful for training and assessment. Finally, they can give shelters a chance to show off some of their adoptable pups having fun and being adorable (like the dogs in the video above).

I’m far from an expert on this issue, but I’d love to hear your thoughts. Do you have any experience with shelter play groups? Would you be interested in implementing this sort of program at your local shelter? For more information about play groups, check out Playing for Life!, a training and behavior program focused on this issue.

I’m not the only one blogging the change for animals today. Check out these other great posts:


#BtC4A: Great Balls of Fire Safety

Blog the ChangeIt’s Blog the Change Day yet again… a day when pet bloggers and pet lovers come together to blog, read, share, and Be the Change for Animals! Today also happens to be National Pet Fire Safety Day, so that’s the topic of today’s post. I love it when a plan comes together.

There are many ways you can make your home safer for your pets. The first thing to do is to take the time to identify potential hazards in your home and take steps to minimize them. You may want to keep your pets separated from potential hazards. For example, if you like to burn candles, remember to keep them where your pets can’t knock them over. You might also want to extinguish candles when you leave the room – after all, you should never leave your pets unattended with an open flame.

Even if you take every precaution, there’s always the chance that something unexpected will happen. If a fire does break out, make sure you have an evacuation plan that includes your pets – how will you make sure you can get them out safely? You’ll also need to take precautions for when you aren’t home – for example, I have a decal in my front window to alert emergency responders that I have two pups inside in case something happens.

That’s just the tip of the iceberg… of tips. Go here for more.

How do you practice fire safety?


The Rhino Force is strong with this one…

I have no words.

The cute is almost too much to handle.

Speaking of rhinos (as one does), you should head over to Tiny n Fit to read her recent post about visiting South Africa. She shares some sobering facts about rhino poaching, as well as some ways that you can help. (Spoiler: you don’t even have to leave your house, although you can if you want.) Finally, you can enter to win a cool Rhino Force bracelet (ends Monday).

What are you waiting for?


So you want a puppy that makes puppies?

Last week, I wrote about some of the more interesting search terms that had brought people to this humble blog. I happened to glance at the search terms again yesterday, and saw a new one: “I want a puppy that makes puppies.”

Well, dear searcher… what exactly do you mean by that? I kind of hope you’re looking for some sort of child’s toy that I haven’t heard of yet. Or… do you want a real puppy that makes other puppies? Technically, most puppies – female and male – can play some role in the creation of other puppies. That being said, just because they can do something doesn’t always mean that they should.

Your search was actually pretty timely. Let me take a minute to tell you about World Spay Day, which just so happens to be today. (February is Spay/Neuter Awareness Month, my friend.) Did you ever watch The Price is Right? Remember when Bob Barker would tell you to help control the pet population?

That’s what we’re talking about today. I struggled with what to say in this post – spay and neuter is occasionally controversial, but I am in support of it. I’m not looking to court controversy today, however – I believe in encouraging people to do their homework and really consider their options.

I’ve shared this video (and others in the same campaign) before, but I think today is a good time to share it yet again:

It’s something to think about, right?

Be the Change for Animals is hosting a blog hop for World Spay Day. I encourage you to swing by BtC4A and then check out the posts below to learn more about spay and neuter. Before you follow through on that goal to let your puppy make other puppies, you might want to consider all of your options and the impact your choices can have on other cute pups out there.


Through Oct. 27, help rescue pets without leaving your chair! #BtC4A

As you know, I think rescue rocks. (Bella and Tavish are both rescue pups, after all.)

Today, I’ve got an exciting opportunity to share with you – through October 27, you can help rescue pets just by clicking your mouse. Sounds great, right? Read on, dear friend… Continue reading