kinds of drugs and its side effects

Dogs in Need of Space

I realized, as I shared this poster on Facebook this morning, that I had meant to blog about this issue and about Notes from a Dogwalker, the site that has done so much to publicize it, months ago, when I first discovered its existence.

Dogs in Need of Space (DINOS) come in all forms. Frankie is a DINO who doesn’t bark or get aggressive; he just hides behind me. This has resulted in my legs being wrapped in a retractable leash — which I hate, but that’s another rant — on more than one occasion, with a tepid apology from the owner.

I often get the impression that the other owner thinks it’s Frankie’s fault that he’s not friendlier and more “normal.” Even owners who are polite enough to ask if their dog can play with Frankie seem irritated when I say “No, but thank you for asking.” It’s as though the act of asking in itself was enough to transform Frankie’s personality.

Great news: If your dog is a DINO (or if you’re antisocial) you can buy a Keep Back, My Dog Needs Space t-shirt  and other DINOS items over at Notes from a Dog Walker. Check it out.

Is your dog a DINO? What kind?

Also posted in Dog Training & Behavior | Tagged , | 18 Comments

Pet Adoption Videos That Don’t Make Me Want to Kill Myself, 6/23

This video was made for No-Kill Los Angeles, an initiative of Best Friends Animal Society along with a coalition of animal organizations across Los Angeles. I like Kevin Nealon, and of course I like the message, but I thought a little too much time was spent on the lead in to the money shot: A cute dog.

Do you agree?

Also posted in Animal Welfare | Tagged , , , | 8 Comments

Join the Internet Strike on 1/18 to Prevent Scary Web-Censoring Laws from Being Passed

A couple of (particularly) scary laws have been introduced in Congress that will affect all of us. The one in the House of Representatives is called the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA); the one in the Senate is called Protect IP Act (PIPA). Both are ostensibly designed to help copyright holders like musicians and filmmakers from being ripped off, but in fact they are far more likely to enable corporations and the U.S. government to censor websites they don’t like.

I’ve heard rumblings about all this but I have to admit I never really understood what was at stake until I heard about tomorrow’s internet strike and started reading up on what’s behind it.

Here’s a video explaining PIPA:

My pal Pamela of Something Wagging This Way Comes, who urged several of us to take part, explained it to me in terms that are easy to understand. I posted a video in my Pet Adoption Videos that Don’t Make Me Want to Kill Myself series with Abba music in it.  The video was pulled because the shelter didn’t have permission to use the song. Ok.  But the new law, if passed as written, would allow Abba’s publishers to sue You Tube for hosting the video to begin with and could shut down my blog for reposting it.

Like I said, scary.

Here are just a few of the participants in tomorrow’s strike:

The Stop American Censorship site is an excellent source of information about all the issues involved, providing a series of actions you can take. It also provides the code that you can use to black out your site tomorrow. I tried it. It’s very cool.

Take a break from blogging. Speak out against censorship. Be cool.

What’s not to like?

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9/11: A Moment of Silence















Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged | 2 Comments

Frankie’s Birthday & the Almost Bark-Mitzvah

My Frankie Doodle Dandy!

One of the many advantages of rescuing a pet is that you’re not restricted to celebrating an actual birth date; you can choose any one you like. In a post that I wrote in the first year of my blog, 2009, I explained that I chose the Fourth of July for Frankie’s birthday because of the name he came with, the name of the golf partner of his rescuer’s husband.

Now Frankie is not a duffer-type pup — although he has been known to pee on the greens at resort courses — but the name nevertheless suited the little guy to a tee. So I kept it.

But of course it turned out to just be the base for the riffs I play on it. Frankie soon became Frankie Doodle, a spin on Yankee Doodle, because I thought he was dandy. And, as the chorus of the George M. Cohan song goes,

I‘m a Yankee Doodle Dandy,
A Yankee Doodle, do or die;
A real live nephew of my Uncle Sam’s,
Born on the Fourth of July.

I also expounded quite a bit more in the post about other dog names and, if I say so myself, it’s pretty funny. You can check it out here. Read More »

Also posted in Pet-cetera | Tagged , , , | 13 Comments

Pet Adoption Videos That Don’t Make Me Want to Kill Myself, #10

This video, one in the generally awesome series by the Mayor’s Alliance for NYC’s Animals, doesn’t make me want to kill myself, but it makes me a bit sad.

Is this couple only staying together for the sake of the cat? And who will get custody when they decide to call it quits? Here’s what I fear could be the outcome, though not in as dramatic a fashion.

Posted in Uncategorized | 13 Comments

Interview with Mary-Alice Pomputius of Dog Jaunt

Mary Alice and Chloe

I’ve known Mary-Alice Pomputius and her blog, Dog Jaunt, for quite a while…well, quite a while in blog years, which are similar to dog years for telescoping time. Looking back through my email files to see just how long, I saw that I asked her to write a guest post for me in November 2009, which appeared as Five Training Tips for Traveling with Your Dog. That’s a year and a half ago, the equivalent of at least six years OMT (Old Media Time), don’t you think?

I didn’t have many guest bloggers then — Mary Alice was my second — because I didn’t dare ask anyone to appear on a blog that few people read (now that I have a little more traffic, I’m shameless in trying to enlist other bloggers I like to help me out).  But I was so impressed by Mary-Alice’s attention to detail in discussing her journeys with her small dog, Chloe, and with her ability to impart that information clearly that I really wanted her to write something for me.  Mary-Alice also had an engaging persona, so I decided that I had nothing to lose by asking her.

I was correct.

But you know how someone can have an engaging persona and then turn out to be a complete phony?  I’m happy to report that, after meeting Mary-Alice at both 2010 BlogPaws conferences, she is as charming in person as she is in print.

I’m therefore doubly pleased to be able to present this interview with her, and hope you will listen to it and then come by and chat with us at Animal on Wednesday, 9pm EST.

By the way, speaking of new vs old technology, I apologize for the quality of the podcast, which I recorded over the phone with a digital recorder. I was hoping it could be fixed, but Walter, Mary-Alice’s computer geek husband, said:

I probably couldn’t do much with it…the phone actively removes high and low frequencies and you can’t magically restore them.

It just sounds like old school Larry King. Perfectly respectable. 🙂

My lack of technical skill is also the source of the interview’s abrupt ending. On the phone, I thanked Mary-Alice for talking with me, and she and I bid each other cordial good-byes, but somehow I spliced that part off the tape and couldn’t make it come back.

How’s that for enticing you to listen to the entire interview to the end to see what I mean?

Also posted in Pet Travel | Tagged , , | 2 Comments

Pet adoption videos that won’t make you want to kill yourself, 1

If there’s a common theme to all the animal welfare pieces I’ve been posting recently, it’s the need to stay positive and not to rely on old stereotypes, whether of dogs or of models for shelters. I cited the ASPCA’s Sarah Mclachlan video not only as a waste of money but as a tear jerker — and not in a good way.

So to counter those type of downer messages, I’ve decided to post a series of videos with a more upbeat message about adoption. This first one, made for the Charlottesville Albemarle SPCA, has famous people in it too! Two of them! Sissy Spacek and — in the background, singing — her daughter Schuyler Fisk.

This did make me cry too, but not in a bad way. It also cracked me up that Sissy Spacek’s hairdo was the same as the dog’s. I guess that’s a stereotype too, people looking like their dogs. But not a bad one.

I’m heading out to Atlanta for the Association of Pet Dog Trainer’s conference — if I ever get off the computer to pack, that is. Talk about upbeat: Lots of people discussing dogs and positive training methods.

I’ll try to post more videos — I have two in mind — while I’m away but in the meantime I’d love your suggestions for more. Which videos made you want to adopt rather than drink heavily?

Also posted in Animal Welfare | Tagged , , , | 11 Comments