Pup-a-Razzi Fundraiser is Filling Up Fast!

We're patiently waiting for your reservations! :)We are so thankful for the fantastic support of our Pup-a-Razzi Fundraiser so far! This will be a great event that helps support a very deserving no-kill shelter that finds homes for countless needy animals every year.

Spaces are filling up quickly so if you are interested in participating, please either head over to the official event page on Facebook to make a reservation, or email Vanessa Machado of Iris Images to schedule your spot! As of today it looks like we have only 5 spots left for Saturday and about 9 left for Sunday!

For those of you unfamiliar with the event, check out our original blog entry!

When Cooper Meets Lilly (the Hero Pit Bull)!

Every Wednesday beginning in late April and continuing into the Fall (weather permitting), Boston's Liberty Hotel hosts Yappy Hour in "The Yard", a fully enclosed space with 2 outdoor bars! This past week, Cooper and I made our first appearance. Together with a few 2- and 4-legged friends, we had a really great time!

"Yappier" Hour was a blast! Look at the Cooper look-a-like on the bottom left! He is thought to be a Schnauzer/Eskimo mix.

As if the evening needed any more excitement, look who we found! Lilly the Hero Pit Bull was also checking out the Yappy Hour scene for the first time. As you may recall, Lilly was struck by a freight train in Boston while pulling her owner off of the tracks, saving her life. Lilly now lives without her right front leg but that does not stop her from being active Pit Bull advocate -- continuously showing the world the benefits of this heroic, devoted, loving breed! 

Loved meeting Lilly! Apparently this massive Irish Wolfhound did, too ;)

 And here are just a few more action shots from the evening:

Top Left Across: 1) Cooper, Cooper, Sammy, and a few new pals! 2) Happy, handsome pup! 3) Sam serving the thirsty crowd! 4) Schnauzer!

 

dailydogblog and Iris Images to Host Pup-A-Razzi Fundraiser to Benefit Forever Paws Animal Shelter

Have you heard the news?! dailydogblog is teaming up with our favorite pet photographer, Iris Images, to host Pup-A-Razzi, a photo-op fundraiser which will benefit Forever Paws Animal Shelter. Forever Paws is a no-kill shelter who depend solely on public donations to rescue countless animals each year. Join Iris Images and your favorite dog blog girls for two days of fun photo opportunities and help raise money for this fantastic shelter.

For only $10, dog owners will have the chance to receive 5 professional digital images of their beloved four-legged friends, with numerous photo themes available and a special dog treat to bring home. Participants are also welcome to bring their own toys, outfits and props. $5 of that fee will go directly to Forever Paws Animal Shelter.

Participants are asked to meet near the Warming House in the middle of the park and to make sure their dogs remain leashed and are up-to-date with all vaccinations.

We expect the event to fill up quickly, so we're asking folks to email Vanessa to set up a time slot convenient for them.

Check out the Facebook Event to see who's going and RSVP! Hope to see you all there!

Oogy - The Dog Only a Family Could Love

I recently read the book, "Oogy - The Dog Only a Family Could Love," by Larry Levin, and I am so glad I did. The book's author, Larry, is also the main speaker in the book. He and his wife come to adopt twin boys and later decide to add another family member to the mix - Oogy - after the loss of a beloved cat leaves a void in their lives.

The course of events that lead the family to Oogy are remarkable -- enough to make you truly believe in destiny.

Oogy's life began as a sad one. One look at his photo on the cover of the book says it all. The family actually ends up calling him Oogy because most people thought of him as an "ugly" dog due to all his injuries, but "oogy" was a cute way of saying ugly with affection.

This dog had a tough life. He was raised by individuals who dabbled in the illegal "sport" of dog fighting, and as the book explains, clues suggest that he was deemed unfit to be an actual fighter, so he became what is known as a "bait dog."

Bait dogs are generally submissive and are used primarily to train the aggressive fighter dogs how to fight better. So you can imagine the horror of a life of a bait dog.

After being abandoned and left to die, the gentle giant is picked up by the local police department and brought to an animal hospital that has some very special people working there. One woman in particular, a veterinarian, believes in the dog so much that she fosters him and nurses him back to health until his journey continues with Larry and his family.

"Oogy" is a heartwarming book because it shows how dog stereotypes can be broken and shows just how much love can heal. The combination of Oogy's dominating physical characteristics and his visible injuries would make most shy away from such a dog, but everyone who comes to know Oogy is touched by how gentle and loving he is, despite what he went through.

The story also has another aspect to it. The fact that Larry's twin boys were adopted make them have a very special bond with Oogy, who was also adopted and saved.

I really enjoyed reading about Oogy and I'll continue following his story on his official Facebook page.

Review of The Art of Racing in the Rain

In keeping with my recent book reviews, I figured I'd share my thoughts about another dog-related book that I recently read. "The Art of Racing in the Rain," was written by Garth Stein. And after being published in 2009, it remained on the New York Times bestsellers list for more than 40 weeks.

Though I do not feel as passionately about this book as I did "A Dog's Purpose" or "A Dog's Journey," I did enjoy reading it. However, for me, there was a little too much mention of racecar driving for my taste.

The book follows the life of one particular dog, Enzo, named after a famous racecar driver that is beloved by the dog's owner, Denny. Denny is also a racecar driver, instructor, and enthusiast, whose personal life suffers some pretty serious blows. Enzo is a remarkably intelligent dog who shares his point-of-view of Denny's issues and plays the role of the faithful sidekick dog throughout it all.

The book is not exactly heartwarming, since Denny's problems are quite sad and you really do feel bad for him. The humor kicks in only when Enzo's point-of-view is voiced and it's a little comical how the author describes how a dog would feel about a scenario. As with the character you follow in "A Dog's Purpose," you really do end up routing for Enzo and his master and for everything to turn out OK for them.

Overall, this was an enjoyable read and I would suggest it to any dog-lover. I just don't feel like it was as much of a page-turner as "A Dog's Purpose" or its sequel.

Sequel to "A Dog's Purpose" is Another MUST Read

I finished reading "A Dog's Journey," the highly anticipated sequel to W. Bruce Cameron's, "A Dog's Purpose," and I must insist that anyone who begins the journey must finish it by reading the sequel. Not reading "A Dog's Journey" would just be an injustice to the storyline that the author weaves.

"A Dog's Journey" follows the life and soul of the same dog who is the main character in "A Dog's Purpose," and the books have a very real ability to make the reader become fully invested and involved with this dog's journey. I couldn't wait to read what would happen next and to finally reach the end so that I could know how the journey ends for my favorite four-legged character!

I must say though that I am now sad and anxious about what book I am going to read next, as I'm confident it will never measure up to how much I enjoyed these two books. If anyone has any suggestions for my next dog-related read, please leave it in the comment section or email me directly at Beth@dailydogblog.org.

Thanks and happy reading!

"A Dog's Purpose" is a MUST Read for Any Dog Lover

I recently finished reading "A Dog's Purpose," by W. Bruce Cameron. This phenomenal book spent 49-weeks on the New York Times' bestseller list, and I highly recommend any dog or animal lover out there read this book.

I laughed out loud, I cried, but most of all I thoroughly appreciated reading a book that made me feel like I was not crazy for truly believing that my dog is like my little personal guardian angel. Clearly there are others out there who also believe their dog can understand English, and that they can just sense their real emotions without ever saying a word.

I normally do not opt to read books that I know involve doggie death, but this book is special. The book focuses on one dog, who is born, lives one particular life and learns from experiences, dies, and then is reincarnated as another dog who still remembers their past life. While it is still a tear jerker each time the pooch passes on, it is an absolutely heart-warming story about a dog's bond with their human.

And even better - there is a sequel! I am currently reading, "A Dog's Journey," which I was pleased to discover follows the life of the same dog. You will become so invested in this dog's life that you will absolutely want to pick up this second book. I actually suggest just buying both books at the same time so that once you are finishing reading "A Dog's Purpose," you can just pick up the second book and continue!

I will follow up with a review of "A Dog's Journey," as soon as I am finished. Which will probably be tomorrow :)

Check out the author's website and purchase the books here.

Pet Fest 2012 was Great Fun

Melissa and I both attended Pet Fest last weekend, hosted by the Coalition for Animals of Greater New Bedford, and it was such a great event. We were truly lucky this year, as the weather could not have been more perfect! And the warm, sunny weather certainly brought a crowd this year, which was great to see.

If you know of any other animal-related fundraisers or dog walks taking place throughout the New England area, please drop us a line and tell us about it!

Here are some photos for the event:

We found Cooper!This little guy was certainly dressed for the occasion!

Puppies, puppies, everywhere!That was the doggie fashion show ring behind us.

Hot Weather Fun, Fun, Fun!

dog licking ice cubeHere is a fantastic idea to entertain your pooch when it's hot outside (like much of South Shore and SouthCoast Massachusetts is today).

Get a large bowl or container of some sort and fill it with water and chicken stock. Then throw in toys, carrots, treats etc. and freeze the container overnight.

Slip the ice-y treat from the container and let your dog entertain themselves (and enjoy a yummy, cold snack) for hours in your backyard during warmer months!

Pet Photography at its Finest!

Iris Images logoLast weekend my fellow co-founder, Melissa, and I brought our dogs to Fort Tabor in the South End of New Bedford to meet photographer, Vanessa Machado of Iris Images. Part of Vanessa's repertoire is pet photography, so Melissa and I were very excited to experience a pet session and have some great memories of Gadget and Cooper to hold on to after.

That afternoon was nice and sunny, but particularly windy, especially being so close to the water. But Vanessa was a trooper and made the experience fun and rewarding depsite the less-than-ideal conditions.dog running with Frisbee

I didn't know what to expect in terms of how we were going to pose the dogs, but Vanessa came prepared with a collection of adorable props -- including two matching mini beach chairs and some Saint Patrick's Day hats and scarves as the holiday was right around the corner.

She also prepped us prior to the appointment by suggesting we bring any toys or outfits that we wanted our dogs photographed with, so I brought a few of Gadget's favorite squeaky toys and her absolutely favorite frisbee. Melissa was brilliant because she brought along some string cheese that proved very useful in getting the dogs to remain still, and I had a few small Milk Bones for the same purpose.

dogs on jungle gymWe began the shoot on the beach using the adorable beach chairs. It was challenging getting both the dogs to sit in their matching chairs at the same time and catch a shot of it, but Vanessa managed to capture some perfect moments in those chairs.

The rest of the session was spent taking some shots in beach grass, playing with their toys and in their Saint Patrick's Day gear.

Obviously it's a little difficult to communicate to dogs that they need to remain still, look at the camera, and not go chase the unfamiliar dog that is walking by, but the images that Vanessa captured show just how unbelievably talented and patient she is.

She posted a few of the images on her business Facebook page the same day as the shoot (which allows for instant gratification and sharing on Facebook) and then posted all of the photos on Shutterfly within just a few days! Melissa and I were able to order copies of whatever images we chose in a variety of sizes offered by Shutterfly.

I'm looking forward to getting them in a couple days and showcasing my fantastic photos of Gadget proudly on my walls!

For more information on pet photography by Iris Images Photography by Vanessa Machado, view her Facebook page.

To learn a little more about Vanessa, we asked her for a short bio about herself. Here is what she had to say:

"I didn't set out to be a photographer...It kind of just happened. I suppose it's possible that it starteddogs in Saint Patrick's Day gear when I began taking photos of cars for advertising and web about six years ago. When my godson was born, my new nickname became “the paparazzi." Interestingly enough, I named my business after my first dog Iris. A loving Olde English Bulldogge. She was a special part of my life and I wanted to keep her memory alive. I figured, life’s too short, so why not do what I desire? Throughout the past few years, I’ve studied at BCC and am pursuing a degree in the Arts. I love to learn new things and apply my findings into my photography; in hopes that every moment I capture, will last someone a lifetime of happiness and memories."

 

 

Say Cheese!

underwater dog photosSeth Casteel, of Little Friends Photo of Los Angeles and Chicago, is taking the world of pet photography by storm. Recently featured on EXTRA, MSNBC, USA Today, The Today Show, ABC News and more, Seth's photos have become some of the most published pet photos in the world. His underwater dog portraits have become quite the craze!

But it gets better. Seth is a huge animal adoption advocate and has donated thousands and thousands of dollars to help save the lives of countless animals. And his pet is a mini-labradoodle named Nala that he saved from the pound! He even started his own personal project called Second Chance Photos that aims to save pets through his photography efforts.

Second Chance Photos is a great project, I think. One of the first things that is done when a new animal is brought to the shelter is that their picture is taken, and it is this picture that the world will see when they're searching PetFinder or similiar sites to find their new pet. More often than not, the animals are afraid, sometimes dirty, and the photos are not flattering. It can make it hard to imagine that the timid-looking filthy dog in that photo could be your new best friend.

So Seth and his and his crew at Second Chance Photos work to provide shelters with professional advice, education and to organize fundraisers to help shelters purchase photography equipment to improve the animals' chances of being adopted.

Nice, bright, professional-quality photos would certainly increase shelter animals chances of finding their forever home.

Check out some of his amazing work and consider supporting Second Chance Photos, or a similiar effort at your local animal shelter!


Have a Heart Cocktail Party & Auction = Success!

Best Melissa and I could tell, the Have a Heart Cocktail Party and Auction seemed to be a success for the Potter League for Animals. We had a fantastic time at their event and it definitely appeared to be well-attended.

We arrived at the Hotel Viking in beautiful Newport, RI around 6:45pm that Friday evening, and after a little confusion regarding the parking situation for the event, we checked in at the Potter League's registration table and began to mingle.

There were definitely more people there than I expected to see -- which is fantastic! The crowd appeared to be mostly professional people in their 40's and 50's, but Melissa, myself and my husband Greg had a great time despite being some of the youngest people in attendance.

There were several bars set up around the huge event space and tables of delicious finger foods filled the center area.

As we arrived, the Live Auction began and it was great to see some of the larger auctions items be so successful for the Potter League's effort. The package of 2 tickets to the Bruins, Celtic and Red Sox went for $1000!

Aside from the Live Auction, there were hundreds of items on display around the perimeter of the room that were part of their Silent Auction. Everything from gift certificates for pet portait sessions to baskets of wines and overnight stays at local hotels, the Silent Auction had something for everyone and every budget.

Melissa walked away with a great little basket of grooming products for her dog, Cooper, as well as a hand-knit sweater which Cooper loves! Gregory and I also won a set of pet grooming products as well as a pet backback/carrier that Gregory has already put our cats in and walked them around our apartment building in.

All in all, we had a great time and were happy we could attend!

Wisdom from a 6-Year Old

The following is a story that is circulating the internet about a young boy and his infinite wisdom about Shane with Belker the dogwhy dogs leave our lives far too early.

"Being a veterinarian, I had been called to examine a ten-year-old Irish wolfhound named Belker. The dog’s owners, Ron, his wife, Lisa, and their little boy, Shane, were all very attached to Belker, and they were hoping for a miracle. I examined Belker and found he was dying of cancer. I told the family we couldn’t do anything for Belker, and offered to perform the euthanasia procedure for the old dog in their home.

As we made arrangements, Ron and Lisa told me they thought it would be good for six-year-old Shane to observe the procedure. They felt as though Shane might learn something from the experience. The next day, I felt the familiar catch in my throat as Belker’s family surrounded him. Shane seemed so calm, petting the old dog for the last time, that I wondered if he understood what was going on.

Within a few minutes, Belker slipped peacefully away. The little boy seemed to accept Belker’s transition without any difficulty or confusion. We sat together for a while after Belker’s death, wondering aloud about the sad fact that animal lives are shorter than human lives. Shane, who had been listening quietly, piped up, “I know why.” Startled, we all turned to him.

What came out of his mouth next stunned me. I’d never heard a more comforting explanation.

He said, “People are born so that they can learn how to live a good life – like loving everybody all the time and being nice, right?” The six-year-old continued, “Well, dogs already know how to do that, so they don’t have to stay as long.”"

Why Carrying a Spare Leash, Dog Biscuits and Sandwich Meat is a Good Idea

homeless stray dog lying downIf you see a stray dog, at least call your local Animal Control and report it. If your pet got lose, you'd want someone to do the same for your pet, right? And ALWAYS make sure your pet has a collar with an accurate ID tag, including your home phone number and address on it! It makes life a lot easier for us stray dog chasers!A few years ago when I was still living at home with my parents, I noticed this really raggedy-looking mutt sauntering up and down our street. With all his dirty, scruffy fur I was unable to determine whether he was emaciated or not, so I tried approaching him.

Normally, animals come right to me. I think that they sense I am “an animal person.” But this dog wanted no part of me. He ran right down the street and turned the corner. I was bewildered. I saw him again and again over the course of two weeks, and each time he managed to outmaneuver me.

I called our local Animal Control, but they were either too busy or unable to find the mysterious dog. It reached a point where I was walking and driving around doing my normal daily activities with a leash, dog biscuits and sandwich meat with me.

Finally one day, I saw him at the bottom of my street and I said to myself, “Today is the day when I catch you.” My dad happened to be outside with me so I yelled to him to follow me in his Jeep. Luckily, I had my sneakers on that day.

I chased that dog for a good 20 minutes; down our street, into the park next to our street, 4 blocks over to a neighboring street. Finally, I had him cornered in a backyard! I took the biscuits and sandwich meat out of my bag and lured him into a large outdoor tent that happened to be set up in that person’s backyard.

I didn’t care that I was in some person’s yard that I didn’t know and that I was trapping a stray dog in their tent. This dog was mine.

Success! I got him inside the tent and zipped it up real quick while I yelled to my dad to please go to the front door of the home we were at and explain to them that we needed to keep the dog there until Animal Control arrived and helped us.

You’ll never believe what happened.

My dad came back around to the yard and said, “An elderly woman lives here, and she says that’s her dog…”

WHAT? HER DOG? You mean to tell me that I’ve been chasing this hairy dog around for two weeks now only to trap him in his own backyard?! No wonder why this dog thinks I’m a psycho!

Long story short, Animal Control did arrive and they were pretty anxious to know why the dog had been roaming the neighborhood for weeks too. Apparently the woman was elderly and ill, and she would let the dog outside thinking he was just remaining in the yard, but the stinker found a way out of the yard and would go off gallivanting for a few hours before returning to his yard.

Animal Control filed a report and warned the owner to please keep a better eye on Mo (that turned out to be his name) and asked her to have someone repair the hole in the fence that Mo was using to escape. Thankfully, I never saw Mo running around again. But I still have the urge to carry a supply of spare leashes, biscuits and sandwich meat with me...