11 pleasing pet posts you’ll love (unless you’re Grumpy Cat)

It’s time for another monthly roundup. Please enjoy these phenomenally pleasing posts that I loved in the month of January.   Continue reading

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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

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How can taking a photo save a life?

I happened to see that Seth Casteel, the photographer behind Underwater Dogs and the founder of Second Chance Photos, was featured on Buzzfeed last month.  Through Second Chance Photos, Seth works with shelters and rescue groups to improve the quality of their photos in order to help more animals get adopted.

The cult of personality: I Still Want More Puppies

Just a goofy, lovable “shelter dog” (now adopted)

I’ve been a big fan of Seth’s work since 2011, when I had the chance to attend one of Seth’s workshops and to interview him for this blog. Since I last featured Seth on the blog, some big things have happened. In addition to Underwater Dogs being featured everywhere (it seems), Seth has partnered with Greater Good, The Animal Rescue Site, The Petfinder Foundation and John Paul Pet to inspire others to save lives through grooming and photography. Check out the campaign at One Picture Saves a Life.

Finally, I thought I’d share a few of my favorite quotes from my interview with Seth:

There is a great picture for every dog – you just have to find a way to figure out what that picture is.

If you try to force a photo shoot on a fearful dog, the photos are going to be negative. Try to understand what the fear is – the camera? you? the world? At some point, you may just have to put on a long lens and hide in the bushes.

The work you do will save lives. It may not always be easy, but shelter pets need your help. Be patient. Be dedicated. Shelter pets do not have a voice, but you can give them one.

If you’d like to read my full interview with Seth, check out Part I and Part II. If you’re interested in finding out what I learned when I attended Seth’s workshop, click here.

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Inspiration from Hope for Paws and the Bill Foundation

Many of the sessions at BlogPaws were about the nuts and bolts of blogging. After all, it’s important to know what you have in your toolbox when you’re building a blog. One of my favorite sessions of the conference sounded like it would also be about tools – but it was really about heart.

The session had an simple enough title: “Make Some NOISE – How to Connect All Your Social Media & Create Buzz.” The speakers for this session were Eldad Hagar and Annie Hart, two rescue rock stars. Eldad works with Hope for Paws, Annie works with the Bill Foundation, and they both work together to make a difference for animals in need.

It was a very informative session, but it was also a very emotional one. Eldad and Annie showed us two videos. I’d seen the first one before, but it rained on my face anyway. (Grab a tissue and go watch it. It’s about Janie, a dog with a broken back and a wounded spirit. As you’ll see, she needed more than surgery to heal her heart. I love a happy ending.)

I thought I’d share the second video here today. We got a sneak preview at BlogPaws, but the video was posted on YouTube this past Friday. It was beautiful to see two different organizations working together to promote each other’s missions. We really can reach more people together than we can alone.

In addition to giving my tear ducts a workout, Eldad and Annie shared a number of useful tips. However, the most important thing I took away that day was inspiration.

What inspires you?

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Puppies & poppies for Memorial Day

It’s Memorial Day here in the U.S., so I thought I’d take a momentary break from the silly. (Well, mostly. I just had to share this one.)

Today, my thoughts often go to the poem In Flanders Field. It turns out that I’m not the only one – you should hop over to Tales and Tails and My Brown Newfies to learn more about this poem and the Buddy Poppy. Like Ms. Taleteller, I didn’t see anyone selling Buddy Poppies this year either, and I was surprised. I actually keep one on my desk at work – it serves as a reminder of my grandfather’s service in WWII and all that he and so many others have given to protect our country.

I also wanted to share a few other links today:

  • In addition to valiant humans, many dogs have served our country, including Military Working Dogs.
  • These photos of soldiers and animals will melt your heart.
  • You can help rescue dogs get paired with veterans with just a click.
  • I didn’t have a chance to take a patriotic photo of the pups, but this one from BZ Training should do quite nicely.

That’s all for today, folks. To those of you in the U.S., I hope you have a peaceful Memorial Day.

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Interspecies baby mama drama

Happy Friday! Let’s get to today’s linkage (which I must admit is not actually filled with baby mama drama… just several animal baby mamas).

  1. First up, your punny pet names: Furman Bates and Bone Crawford.
  2. That’s right. Those are my holiday-themed puns for this week. Okay, fine. Enjoy these photos of cute animal moms. Happy now?
  3. Moving on… this guy gives new meaning to the word sheepdog.
  4. Speaking of interspecies pals (as I almost always am), sometimes an animal adopts a different kind of animal. When that happens, cuteness is the guaranteed result.
  5. No, really. It’s absolutely guaranteed. Adorbs.
  6. Apple Moonbeam is an awesome name. That’s just a fact. (Also a fact? I could never adopt a squirrel in need, as Tavish would simply think I’d finally brought the appetizers inside instead of letting them taunt him from afar.)
  7. Um, guys? I think I’m melting over here.

Finally, we end with a video. I think I could watch this all day:

Still need more? Enjoy:

Obviously, today’s theme was partially inspired by Mother’s Day. This weekend, I’ll be remembering the wonderful lady who made me into the woman I am today. To those of you also making due with a memory, I’m sending you a giant hug.  

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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?

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You put the lime on the pup-o-nut…

No Frown Friday is back, baby!

  1. First up, your punny pet name: John Stamouse. (Bonus: I love a punny dog business.) (Double bonus: Colonel Meow!)
  2. The specials at this pizza place are a work of genius. I want to go to there… although then I might never want to leave. I am in awe. I mean, I almost didn’t finish writing this post because I wanted to read them all. (It’s hard to pick a favorite, but here’s a dog-related one for your enjoyment.)
  3. I’m not too proud to admit that this next link cracked me up. It’s a list of celebrity names that are also sentences. I think I just found a new party game.
  4. Have you seen the new someecards for pet lovers? I think that this one might be my favorite.
  5. Well, my dogs are often hungry like the wolf, so I guess this all adds up. (Wondering if that Duran Duran reference was intentional? Stop wondering.)
  6. I loved this video about an adorable therapy dog. You go, dog Koko.

Finally, here’s this week’s video:

Have a fantastic weekend!

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7 easy ways to reuse your dog

It’s Earth Day, which means that we should be thinking of ways to reduce, reuse, and recycle. Today, I thought I’d focus on that middle one.

(Why? Well, Tavish is currently on a diet, so he’s got that whole reduce thing covered. With regard to recycling, I had to talk myself out of just posting this video again.)

The EPA has noted that the best way to reduce waste is to not create it in the first place. One way to create less waste is to reuse what we already have. When I was thinking about things I could reuse, it hit me. I have a dog. (Two, in fact.) Obviously, my dogs provide me with love, companionship, entertainment, and blog fodder. But… can they do more? I bet they can – and I bet your dogs can too.

Without further ado, here are five alternate uses for your dog:

  1. Foot warmer – Are your toes cold? Don’t invest in a space heater. Just ask your canine companion to curl up on your feet.

    Foot warmer

  2. Footrest – Why should you spend a pretty penny on a designer ottoman? The perfect footrest may already be under your nose… er, feet. (Obviously, please take the size and temperament of your dog into account. Not all dogs will be willing to put up with your nonsense.)
  3. Bookmark – If you saw it, then you should have put a paw on it.Daily Dog Challenge #82
  4. Shredder – If you simply must shred some documents (before you recycle the paper, of course), don’t invest in a pricey machine. Save your money and conserve electricity by giving your paper to the dog, nature’s shredder.
  5. Doorstop – Pesky door won’t stay open? Perhaps your dog can help. They’re probably going to curl up and take a nap anyway – why not hold that door open while they snooze away? If your dogs, like mine, would never agree to sit still for that long, try using a dog toy instead:Dog toys have many uses
  6. Exercise equipment - Don’t buy a treadmill or an elliptical machine. Just clip a leash onto your furry beast and get moving.
  7. Alarm clock – Don’t buy a new clock. Your dogs can wake you up each morning. Unfortunately, the canine alarm clock does not allow you to choose what time you’d like to wake up. It’s also missing a snooze button.After-market snooze button for your dog

There you have it – seven easy ways you can reuse your dog. Have some ideas to add to the list? Thought of some new ways to go green? Share them in the comments!

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