If you could read your dog’s diary, what would it say?

Jodi from Kol’s Notes shared this video earlier today. I may have watched it multiple times since then. I can’t stop.

Confessions:

  • I have definitely sniffed both dogs’ backsides. How else am I going to figure out what’s going on in that mysterious digestive system?
  • Last night, I found myself sniffing the grass to try to determine what exactly had gone awry in Bella’s tummy. I lead a glamorous life.
  • This video finally explains why Scotti used to hump all of those teddy bears. I blame the cat.
  • I pretty much lost it when I got to the one about shaking. If you need me, I’ll be over here giggling about it for the next few hours. Dog Lawyer (note to self: do something with that) always advises his clients to carefully review the terms of the deal first.

Did any of the dog diaries hit home for you? If your dog had a diary, what would he or she write in it?

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Does your dog sleep with a stuffed animal?

When I was a kid, my dog Scotti had two favorite teddy bears. She always carried one with her everywhere, and often slept with one of them.

Scotti

Bella’s never been one for stuffed animals. She just tends to sprawl out. Sometimes she’ll end up with her head on a toy, but not always.

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Tavish, on the other hand, likes to snuggle with his favorite toy. He has a blue stuffed dinosaur that he just adores. He puts it in his bed and snuggles up with it at night.

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So, do your dogs like to snuggle with their stuffed friends?

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I love my dead gay dog

Bonus points if you know the inspiration for this post title. If you do, we were so meant to be besties. (For double bonus points, do you know which TV show also referenced that movie recently? It’s a good show. Add it to your DVR.)

Anyway, back to the topic at hand. Today, I read a story that left my eye twitching with barely controlled rage. ¬†Prepare to experience a similar ocular fury… this story manages to hit multiple rage buttons at the same time.

(Before we dive in, I want to let you know that the story has a happy ending. That fact may keep your despair at bay, although it likely won’t dampen your anger.)

So, there’s this guy – let’s call him Moron – who thought he saw his male dog trying to hump another male dog. When confronted with this situation, what would you do? Continue reading

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Tell Petland USA to stop selling puppies!

Blog the ChangeAt one point or another, we’ve probably all been drawn to that puppy in the window of a pet store, whether by his sheer cuteness or by that sad look in her eyes.  Maybe you’ve even taken one home.  I did.

However, now that I know more about the connection between pet stores and puppy mills, I will never do so again.  Read on to learn more about this connection and what you can do to help.  Join us in telling Petland USA to stop selling pets in its stores.


When I was ten years old, I wanted a dog of my own for Christmas.  (We had dogs – plenty of them – but this one was to be “mine.”  My parents had agreed, and I was in the process of finding the perfect companion.)  I had my heart set on a Scottish Terrier.  However, while at the mall one day, I saw a Toy Fox Terrier puppy in the window of the pet store and fell in love.  I convinced my mom to let me meet her.  After some calculated begging and whining, I then convinced her to get this puppy for me.  I named her Scotti.  She became my best friend.

While I wouldn’t trade my time with Scotti for anything, it saddens me to think that she was part of the pet store/puppy mill system.  Scotti was our only pet store dog.  Most of our other dogs were rescues,
if in the non-traditional sense of the word.  (My dad would bring a dog
home that someone in town no longer wanted, or we’d take the neighbors’
dog in when they moved.)

When I walk by a pet store now, I no longer view it through the eyes of a child.  Instead, I feel an overwhelming sadness for the animals inside.  That sadness is quickly followed by anger.

It’s that mixture of sadness and anger that fuels today’s post for Blog the Change for Animals.  Although there are many pet stores out there, the most well-known is probably Petland.  According to the Humane Society of the United States, Petland is the largest retail supporter of puppy mills in the U.S.  In 2009, HSUS released more information suggesting that 95 percent of Petland’s stores were buying from puppy mills, either directly or indirectly.

Puppy mills are not idyllic places full of puppies, nor some paradise like that Daisy Hill Puppy Farm in Snoopy’s past.  The conditions are truly horrifying.

Puppy mill dogs may suffer a host of health problems.  (Scotti did have some minor health issues – due to a leaky tear duct, she
wasn’t fit to be a show dog and had ended up in the pet store instead. 
Honestly, we were very lucky that her issues were minimal.)  In addition to the impact these terrible physical conditions can have on a dog’s health, a recent study also details the severe psychological harm that being in a puppy mill can inflict. 

Petland Canada saw the light and stopped selling pets.  (Update 10/16:  perhaps in theory, but not always in practice.)  When will Petland USA follow?  Perhaps we can help spur them to action…

Mary Haight from the Dancing Dog Blog created a petition on Change.org for just that purpose.  Today, as part of Blog the Change for Animals, several bloggers (including me) are standing with her and promoting this cause.

Want to know how you can help? Take two minutes to sign and share the petition.  Take a few more minutes to write a
short post on your blog or on Facebook.  Share this post and the link to the petition on Twitter.

I know it can be hard to resist those furry faces when you walk by a pet store – and, if my own experience is any guide, resisting a child who desperately wants that puppy in the window is no easy task.  You may think that by “rescuing” the dog in the pet store, you’re doing a good deed.  However, I recommend you check out this excellent piece at Dogster and think long and hard before you unintentionally perpetuate the puppy mill-pet store cycle.   

Be strong.  Look into rescue, and adopt a dog.  Don’t patronize stores that sell pets.  It’s not the only business model that works – both PetSmart and Petco encourage adoption.  I’d rather support a business like that, wouldn’t you?

Let’s raise awareness of this issue and take a stand against puppy mills!

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Does your dog "help" you rake leaves?

It’s almost that time again… soon the leaves will change and start to fall from the trees, which means lots of raking in my future.  Last year, I think we ended up raking enough leaves to fill 75 bags.  Yes, we have a lot of trees…

Raking leaves always makes me think of my childhood dog Scotti.  She loved to chase leaves.  We’d rake up a pile, and then Scotti, my sister and I would jump into the pile and play for hours.  Those are some of my favorite memories.

Last year was our first autumn in the new house.  We were no longer in an apartment, so Bella got her first exposure to this whole raking thing.  We tried to convince her to play in the leaves, but she wasn’t very interested.  We even (gently) tossed her into a pile of leaves, but she didn’t see the fun in that.  I’ll just have to live vicariously through videos of dogs playing in leaves instead:

Tell me… does your dog play in the leaves or “help” you with the raking?

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Lend me your eyes, and I’ll write you a blog…

Earlier this week, I advised you to stay tuned (I kill me) for a post that was somehow related to that overly cute kitten playing an invisible piano in his sleep.  This is that post.  Be prepared for some serious rambling ahead… both serious in nature, and seriously rambling.  After all, you know I love Memory Lane like I grew up there.

Do you ever get the feeling that the universe is conspiring to make you slow down and indulge your nostalgic side?  Recently, I found myself commenting on two different blog posts that reminded me of a very special show from my childhood.  Does anyone else remember Garfield’s Nine Lives?  (If you do, you may be my pop culture soul mate.)

If you haven’t heard of it, Garfield’s Nine Lives began as a 1984 book containing a group of short stories illustrating the various “lives” of Garfield the cat.  (I own this book.  Fun fact about me: as a child, I was obsessed with Garfield and began collecting Garfield books – including the daily strips, the Sunday Treasuries, and the specials.  I couldn’t get enough.  I’ll always have a soft spot for that cat.)

The book was adapted into a TV special in 1988.  My mom taped it for me when it aired.  (Ah, the days of VHS.)  I watched that special countless times – I could probably still quote most of it on request (such is the case with many Garfield specials, actually, but this one was by far my favorite).  The book is a bit darker than the TV special, and some of the lives differ between the two formats.

Anyway, you may be wondering what this has to do with… anything. While reading this post from Brian’s Home, I made a comment about Cave Cats (you know, a distant relative of the elusive Cave Dog).  This reminded me of Garfield’s first life, in which he was… a Cave Cat.  In addition, while reading this post from The Chronicles of Cardigan I was reminded of another life from the TV special – my favorite one, in fact.  It’s called Diana’s Piano.

Garfield describes this life as the one where he fell in love with music and when he “fell in love with a girl who played the piano just for me.”  As a child who took years of piano lessons and had a white cat (like Diana, the feline incarnation of Garfield in Life No. 6), this cartoon was catnip.  

It’s a touching story.  I just watched it again before writing this post, and needed several tissues.  Several.  Gets me every time.  I highly recommend it, but if you don’t find yourself sobbing or at least getting a little weepy… well, I just don’t know what to think about you.

My cat Buttercup wasn’t as much of a music fan as Diana (she was downright antisocial at times),  but I loved her dearly.  She was my first pet, joining our family when I was only three years old.  In my young mind, this cartoon was us.  (In fact, when Diana decides to scratch a visitor and has a look of smug satisfaction on her face, it was like they’d based the character on Buttercup.  Seriously.)

When I watched Diana’s Piano again as an adult, I realized that it also touched upon my relationship with another significant animal in my life – my dog Scotti.  She entered my life when I was ten years old

Scotti used to hang out by the piano while I’d play (she was much more of a music fan than Buttercup).  We were inseparable… and just like the woman in the cartoon, one day I had to leave for college.  (As she narrates: “That was a sad day.”)  When I called home, I’d ask to talk to Scotti on the phone, and I would ask my mom if Scotti seemed to recognize my voice.  I was always elated when my mom said yes.  I missed Scotti terribly, and I couldn’t wait to see her again.

Time passed.  I graduated and finally moved into an apartment off campus.  (One that allowed pets, of course.  That was an essential requirement.)  However, by the time I graduated college, Scotti was twelve years old – really too old to leave the comfort of my parents’ house.  It just wouldn’t have been fair to her to uproot her, move her to an apartment hundreds of miles away, and expect her to adjust to my hectic schedule.  I felt guilty that we wouldn’t be together, but I think it was the right decision.  Luckily, she didn’t hold it against me – every time I saw her it was like we had never been apart.  (She did – slightly – hold it against me when I adopted Bella and would bring her home with me for visits.  Although they only met a few times, I am sure Scotti was wondering who this interloper was and why I kept bringing her home.)

Scotti is gone now.  It’s been several years since I lost her, but I find myself thinking of her often.  She was truly my dog in a way that I’d never imagined could happen.  We had other pets when I was a kid, but the two of us were like peas and carrots.  A true team.  I can’t imagine my childhood without her by my side – she features prominently in the majority of my memories.

I realize that I’ve come to define the different phases of my life based on the cats and/or dogs that were with me during each time.  (Does anyone else do that?)  Each “era” is different, but they’re all special.  Just like the wonderful creatures I’ve been lucky to know – to paraphrase the song that inspired this blog title, I always got by with a little help from my (furry) friends.

Thanks for indulging my sentimental side… it’s funny what will inspire a trip down Memory Lane, isn’t it?

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Flashback: To all the dogs (and cats) I’ve loved before

It’s almost the first anniversary of I Still Want More Puppies, so
I’m sharing some of my favorite posts with you this week.  The post
below originally appeared on November 15, 2010.  Hope you enjoy!

With this post, I reach a bit of a milestone – 100 posts!  For a while, I was stumped regarding what to blog about for number 100.  (I then went on vacation, which resulted in a total post hiatus… more to come on that later.)

While driving earlier, it hit me – the perfect way to commemorate my 100th post.  I’ve decided to dedicate this post to all the pets I’ve loved before.  (Yes, that’s a nod to the Red Headed Stranger – bonus points if you figure it out without clicking on either of the links.)

Anyway, you obviously know lots about Bella, my current fur child.  I’ve also introduced you to some of my past loves – Shadow, Sparkle, Bourbon & Pedro.  Today, I’d like you to meet the rest of the pups and cats I shared my house with growing up…

Each of these wonderful animals (as well as the ones above) really deserves their own post.  So many stories to share – definitely a topic for future discussion.  For now, I’ll just stick with the basics…

I should start at the beginning (a very good place to start).  My first pet was – believe it or not – a cat.  A white cat that I named Buttercup.  (Don’t ask me why… I’d love to ask my three-year-old self the same thing.)

She wasn’t the friendliest of cats to start with, but that’s a story for another day.  She was my first love.

Next, I’d like to introduce you to Kandi, a chihuahua that my dad adopted and brought home one day.  Note – when she got older, her tongue began to stick out all the time.  We used to say that her spring was broken.

Quite the character, that one.

We also had a Norwegian Elkhound named Lady – one of the many dogs that found us over the years.

I loved to cuddle with that gal.

My sister also had a cat – though Tiger joined us when I was much older.  She was once our neighbor’s cat, but decided to adopt my sister instead.  She even decided to have her kittens in my sister’s lap – I believe my sister was around three at the time.  Talk about a surprise!

Last, but by no means least, I must introduce you to the source of my terrier love.  When I was ten years old, I met the most wonderful dog.  My parents had promised me I could get a new dog that would be officially “my” dog.  I considered many breeds, and had my heart set on a Scottish Terrier.  However, when I met this girl, that plan went out the window.  I’d already settled on the most creative name (sarcasm intentional) for the Scottish Terrier I had convinced myself I was getting.  Thus, Scotti the Toy Fox Terrier joined our family.


Take note of the teddy bear in the photo to the right… this is one of the two teddy bears that Scotti adopted and carried everywhere.

Long story short, Scotti was by my side every minute from the time I was 10 until I left for college (as well as every moment I returned home during college and beyond).  Definitely a girl’s best friend.

I have tons of wonderful stories about each of these special animals (as well as several other animals who didn’t live in my house but were responsible for some great memories).  I’m sure I’ll be sharing them over many nostalgic nights in the future.

For now, I just want to say thanks for reading my blog – the first 100 posts have been fun, and I look forward to many more.

In closing, say hi to your puppy for me… and then give him or her a big hug.

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To all the dogs (and cats) I’ve loved before

With this post, I reach a bit of a milestone – 100 posts!  For a while, I was stumped regarding what to blog about for number 100.  (I then went on vacation, which resulted in a total post hiatus… more to come on that later.)

While driving earlier, it hit me – the perfect way to commemorate my 100th post.  I’ve decided to dedicate this post to all the pets I’ve loved before.  (Yes, that’s a nod to the Red Headed Stranger – bonus points if you figure it out without clicking on either of the links.)

Anyway, you obviously know lots about Bella, my current fur child.  I’ve also introduced you to some of my past loves – Shadow, Sparkle, Bourbon & Pedro.  Today, I’d like you to meet the rest of the pups and cats I shared my house with growing up…

Each of these wonderful animals (as well as the ones above) really deserves their own post.  So many stories to share – definitely a topic for future discussion.  For now, I’ll just stick with the basics…

I should start at the beginning (a very good place to start).  My first pet was – believe it or not – a cat.  A white cat that I named Buttercup.  (Don’t ask me why… I’d love to ask my three-year-old self the same thing.)

She wasn’t the friendliest of cats to start with, but that’s a story for another day.  She was my first love.

Next, I’d like to introduce you to Kandi, a chihuahua that my dad adopted and brought home one day.  Note – when she got older, her tongue began to stick out all the time.  We used to say that her spring was broken.

Quite the character, that one.

We also had a Norwegian Elkhound named Lady – one of the many dogs that found us over the years.

I loved to cuddle with that gal.

My sister also had a cat – though Tiger joined us when I was much older.  She was once our neighbor’s cat, but decided to adopt my sister instead.  She even decided to have her kittens in my sister’s lap – I believe my sister was around three at the time.  Talk about a surprise!

Last, but by no means least, I must introduce you to the source of my terrier love.  When I was ten years old, I met the most wonderful dog.  My parents had promised me I could get a new dog that would be officially “my” dog.  I considered many breeds, and had my heart set on a Scottish Terrier.  However, when I met this girl, that plan went out the window.  I’d already settled on the most creative name (sarcasm intentional) for the Scottish Terrier I had convinced myself I was getting.  Thus, Scotti the Toy Fox Terrier joined our family.


Take note of the teddy bear in the photo to the right… this is one of the two teddy bears that Scotti adopted and carried everywhere.

Long story short, Scotti was by my side every minute from the time I was 10 until I left for college (as well as every moment I returned home during college and beyond).  Definitely a girl’s best friend.

I have tons of wonderful stories about each of these special animals (as well as several other animals who didn’t live in my house but were responsible for some great memories).  I’m sure I’ll be sharing them over many nostalgic nights in the future.

For now, I just want to say thanks for reading my blog – the first 100 posts have been fun, and I look forward to many more.

In closing, say hi to your puppy for me… and then give him or her a big hug.

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