Category Archives: All you need is love

Walking dogs across USA

Kait & John Seyal, along with their two dogs Max & Grace, walked across the US from DE to CA. They walked to promote pet therapy and animal rescue. Along the way, they stopped at hospitals, nursing homes, veteran facilities, children’s homes and anywhere else where a dog is needed. They relied on the kindness of strangers to get through this journey with giving them a place to stay, food, company, etc.

How inspiring!

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Filed under all you need is a dog, All you need is love, animal rescue, animals, camping

Happy mamas day

to all you doggie mamas, kitty mamas and kiddie mamas, too !!!








and a special shout out to all the pit bull mamas…




I always felt like a motherless kid. I was certain that some day my REAL parents would come for me SOME DAY (they had obviously left me temporarily on the doorstep of this strange people). My blood relative mother was mentally ill, hostile, abusive and downright mean and cruel. She eventually chose meanness over kindness in her life, which is too bad and too sad. I always wanted to have a mother that other kids seemed to have. One who was kind, who listened, who comforted, who took care of me, and had my back (supported me). Instead I had someone who blamed me for things that were not my fault, made me responsible (babysitter) at the age of 2-3 years old, and focused all her energies on the negative. For a few minutes, maybe an hour or two in Florida, she did one day really seem to get that she did the same thing with me that her mother did with her, which was favor her brother as she favored my brother (who to her could do no wrong no matter what he did or did not do). He was all good and I was no good, to her. When I asked her to choose to STOP being abusive and hurting me in the 90’s, she decided, NAH. It was MORE important to her to tell the world how terrible I was, to lie about me, and eventually to turn those who wanted to be turned against me. Those who believed her lies, did. Others, chose not to believe her lies.


I mourn the lack of a relationship I now have with my nieces and nephew which is a direct result of my mother’s toxic legacy. Just because my mother was hateful and their father went along with her, her legacy to her ONLY DAUGHTER, was we shall ban you and evict you from the family because you refused to be a scapegoat any longer. No longer a doormat. No longer a victim of her rage and hostility. You dare to stand UP against her rage, OUT you go. You do not belong here.


Terrible price to pay and NO MOTHER should ask her very own daughter to pay it. A mother is supposed to be someone who is a saint of unconditional love. To me, that was my grandmother. She loved ME no matter what. And also, I have friends like that.


Therefore, I say today, that MOTHERS come in various different unique forms, not just blood relatives who bear babies thru their bodies. To the Mothers who embody all that motherhood is SUPPOSED to be, I applaud you all and I have to say that many many doggie mamas exhibit these wonderful qualities. Like the dogs we love, who offer comfort and healing and love with no end, these are the REAL MAMAS.


Thank YOU !!!!



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Filed under All you need is love, four paws up

Happy April

Happy April !  here’s a little April Fool’s Day doggie fun…


Sorry folks that I’ve not been here much but I was diagnosed with breast cancer a few weeks ago and just had surgery. Today, I find out the results of the surgery.


While I was getting surgery and recovering, Cici had fun playing with other doggies at a Bed and Biscuits place in Santa Cruz, thanks to Peace of Mind Dog Rescue.


She came back exhausted and slept, conked out and dreaming a lot. She has had two people walking her to help me. Kind people.


People have been amazing.


I thank each and every one of the folks who have stepped up to the plate for me and Cici.


Hopefully, we will have a New Home to move into very very soon.


Thank you, thank you, thank you.


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Filed under all you need is a dog, All you need is love, doggie daycare, funny

A romantic dog away

Finnegan and Blue, the 7 and 15 year old Golden Retriever and Aussie Shepherd mix greeted us at the door. They let themselves in and out of the house numerous times during our stay. And Finn opens guest room doors and lets dogs outside of their rooms upon occasion.

There is also an elusive cat. If your doggie has cat issues, like Cici, you might want to let them know in advance.

We enjoyed the lovely wine and cheese afternoon refreshment as well as the delicious breakfast of eggs benedict with country fried potatoes and fruit parfait, orange juice and our choice of hot beverage (tea or coffee).

Our room was cozy with a gas fireplace for heat as well as individually controlled heat and air conditioning unit on the wall. We had our own patio although it was too chilly to sit outside. The bed was nice and big and Cici of course joined me on it.



Michael and Finn




From the beginning, in 1996, the McCaffrey House B&B in Twain Hart (about 10 miles north of Sonora) was pet friendly. Husband and wife Michael and Stephanie moved to Twain Harte from San Jose. He was a graphic designer seeking to retire and paint watercolors and Stephanie was an event planner. They often spent time in Twain Harte during the summers at Stephanie’s family cabin. When they moved onto the property, they tore the cabin down and designed the house that “we’d love to be a guest in.” There are eight guest rooms, three downstairs are pet friendly.

Some secrets to their success as innkeepers are to always take time off, make your home a sanctuary for your family and hire a housekeeper and innsitter. The best part of having an inn, Michael explained, is that they get to meet a lot of interesting people from all over the world and it’s a great place to live. Living in a tourist area is fun. There are no traffic jams. It is stress free, A slow leisurely pace of life.

People from all over the world have stayed at this B&B (countries: England, Germany, Asian countries, people who want to visit Yosemite, go hiking, biking, camping, horseback riding, wilderness adventures, repel down the rocks, go fishing and enjoy the outdoors at nearby Pinecrest Lake). Yosemite is about an hour away.

According to Michael, every season is different in this rural community and there are many pet friendly hiking trails, lakes and dining options including the Ephernson House, The Rock (a tavern) and Cafe Blossom that allow dogs on their patios.

The Sugar Shack is a yummy bakery about three miles up the road. In Pinecrest, Cold Spa Village and Mia’s restaurant are pet friendly. About 45 miles away, Kennedy Meadows (5,000 feet elevation) provides cabins, camping and a restaurant, (known for its Sunday night prime rib dinner), all are pet friendly.

The sugar Pine Trail is a good flat trail walk on with dogs.

McCaffrey House: 23251 Highway 108 – Twain Harte, CA 95383
The Inn is located 11 miles east of Sonora and one-half mile above the East Twain Harte exit on Highway 108. Do not turn into the town of Twain Harte) Turn right off of Highway 108 just beyond the 4,000 elevation marker sign. The McCaffrey House is approximately three hours from the Bay Area, four hours from the Monterey Peninsula, and one hour from the Central Valley

TUESDAYS ARE FREEStay any three nights that include a Tuesday and pay 1/2 price for Tuesday. Stay any four nights that include a Tuesday and it is FREE.Must call to book. Request at time of reservation. Holiday periods excluded. Subject to availability.

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Filed under All you need is love, B&B's, big dogs welcome, California, camping, dog friendly, dogs, Gold country, K9 travel, keep pets safe, pet friendly dining, pet friendly lodging, pet travel, travel with dog, travelwriting, Uncategorized, Valentine's Day

Love, Hope and Forgiveness

Heroes Come in Different Species


An Abused Pit Bull and Human Survivor Share Hope and Healing

Some people see a pit bull and go running for the hills fearing that they will be maimed due to the sensationalizing of (and often untrue) pit bull attack stories overreported by the media. Then there are dog lovers and advocates who see a dog just like any other dog. Donna Lawrence is one of the latter. Yes, even after she WAS attacked by a pit bull.


A recent survey of people who admitted to having negative opinions of pit bulls, 60 percent of the participants cited media reports as the basis of their negative opinions.


“One person and one animal can make a powerful difference in the world,” said Donna. She survived an attack and later adopted an abused pit bull puppy who was set on fire. Her courage and commitment to dogs inspires people around the world.


Donna and Susie’s story of Love, Hope, Courage and Forgiveness has been made into a movie called Susie’s Hope which recently aired on UPTV.


The DVD will be released this fall, but you can preorder through Best Buy now!


Movie trailer:



Donna thought Susie was dead when she found her in a park. “My heart melted the instant I saw her. I had so much compassion for her. I saw this six week old puppy with third degree burns all over her body and I couldn’t understand how someone could do this to her. I had never seen abuse like this before. She was so little and frail with scars all over her body. Her ears were burned off. She had broken bones. Susie needed a lot of love and protection,” Donna explained.



“As I held her, covered in bandages, she kissed my face.  She was so loving and just wanted me to hold her. I was captivated. We were kindred spirits. I could relate to her pain and suffering. She was wrongfully attacked. We both had a lot of physical and emotional scars and fears to conquer.”

A few weeks before she met Susie, Donna had been feeding her neighbor’s abandoned and abused pit bull who was chained up 24/7. One day the dog became aggressive and attacked Donna’s legs. She thought she was going to die.

It is important to note that the attack on Donna was not because the dog was a pit bull. The attack fit the profile cited in a recent report published in the Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association (JAVMA)/  The report discusses dog bite prevention and cites factors involved in attacks. Breed is not a factor. The dog that attacked Donna was chained up (a resident dog not a pet), abused, neglected, not neutered and no able bodied person was there to intervene.

“I was working through some serious emotional turmoil, and one weekend when I had Susie in my care, I got the tragic news that I would never be able to have children—as a result of the attack. I cried all the way home from the doctor’s office.  When we got home, it was like God spoke to me,” Donna recalled. “You see that puppy, she has been abused, set on fire, and left for dead. Yet she is forgiving. She is not living in the past. She is happy and thankful to be alive.  She is moving on with her life and so can you. I want you to adopt her. I have big plans for you–bigger than you can imagine. And you will never fear dogs again.”  So, I listened to God. I let go of my hurt and anger and trusted in God that together we would bring healing to people and animals.”

Pit bulls and their bad reputation never bothered Donna. She considers pit bulls “loyal and affectionate dogs with loving hearts.”  Before the pit bull that attacked her and adopting Susie, Donna rescued another pit bull named Samson. “He was so sweet; I’d take him to the salon with me every day and he’d sit by the dryers while the gals got their hair done.  He’d look over their shoulders as if he was reading the magazines with them!”

Wanting justice (a punishment to fit the crime) for what happened to Susie, Donna was concerned that Susie’s abuser would go free. Animal cruelty laws were very lenient in North Carolina at the time and had not been changed in a very long time. The person who abused Susie was only given jail time because the court could charge him with destroying someone else’s property. Susie was treated as property rather than a living being. So, Donna helped to pass Susie’s Law with stiffer fines and jail time for animal abusers.

It  was a team effort. “In March 2010, we canvassed the state of North Carolina, sharing Susie’s story. We sent out emails, postcards and letters with our “request for change.”  We took Susie before the city council and county commissioners Votes were unanimous in the House and Senate (after taking one look at Susie).  The Bill was signed by Governor Perdue in June 2010, with Susie’s paw of approval. The law was put into effect in December 2010.”

“Remember, serial killers practice abusing animals first and then move on to innocent children and adults,” Donna declared.

Now, Donna has high hopes for the impact of the movie. “We hope that Susie’s Hope will start a nationwide movement, to bring national public and legislative awareness, to change laws in every state. Maybe even a national law to protect all animals. Some states have great animal cruelty laws, and then, some don’t. I hope the movie will motivate others to make a difference and change in their own state, or hometown, for the sake of the animals. I also hope the movie will motivate people to never give up on the things they are passionate about.”

Through Susie’s Hope™ the non-profit organization, Donna and Susie teach people how to treat animals properly.



“Susie and I are on a mission to do all we can to stand up for the rights of animals. It is time for a change in our society. We need to stop turning the other cheek to abuse and start reporting abuse whenever we see it. We need to crack down on puppy mills and backyard breeding. Fight for changes in your own state. Let’s get animals off of chains and make them a part of the family. We hope people will take care of their pets, and learn how to be safe around them, to love and respect them.”

When Susie and Donna visit schools, “I usually ask the children to offer Susie a treat. I teach kids in the schools how to approach animals,and to always ask permission. Not all animals enjoy kids running up to them and getting in their face, or riding them like a horse. Children need to learn at an early age to respect an animal’s space and how to gently approach them.

“People need to understand animals have feelings and emotions just like we do. They feel pain, loneliness and rejection, and they know when they are loved–and when they are not.”

Susie turned five years old in June (2014). “Susie loves chasing her brother and sister dogs around in the yard. She loves going to work with me at the salon.  (She gives the clients kisses and shows off with her favorite tricks–riding a skateboard, jumping through a hula hoop, playing dead, counting, reading, pointing to colors, and more). She loves to eat peanut butter. She loves riding in the car and traveling.  I think she likes being my friend. Susie does like other doggies, but it takes her a bit to warm up to them–she has to make sure she can trust them.

“Susie and I are on a mission to do all we can to stand up for the rights of animals. It is time for a change in our society. We need to stop turning the other cheek to abuse and start reporting abuse whenever we see it in our neighborhoods, communities or our workplace. We need to crack down on puppy mills and backyard breeding. We want to encourage everyone to fight for changes in your own state and communities. Let’s get animals off of chains and make them a part of the family. We hope people will continue to educate children as well as adults in their own communities how to take care of their pets, and how to be safe around them, to love them and respect them,” she concluded.

Susie is a nominee in the American Human Association Hero Dog Awards contest. As the 2014 AHA Therapy Dog, please consider voting for her.  (Visit for more information).

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Filed under adoption, all you need is a dog, All you need is love, animal abuse, animal rescue, bigotry against dogs, breed specific laws, dog movies, dog movies/TV, dog rescue, dogs, keep pets safe, pit bull, saved from fire, Uncategorized

how to talk to media about pit bulls

great discussion on pit bulletin legal news radio with Cathy Rosenthal

we have to not be emotional about these issues, just provide the info so people can feel that they are part of solving the problem (in the letter below I used her techniques for always associating pit bulls with positive, and reframing the question to educating people about dog bites, how media overreports on pit bulls and more.


letter to respond to:

Councilmember Madison Says City Can’t Wait, Pit Bulls Must Be Controlled Now

Published: Wednesday, January 29, 2014 | 11:51 AM

Councilmember Steve Madison points to a pit bull attack this morning as further evidence that the City Council needs to pass his ordinance mandating all pit bulls be spayed or neutered.

Madison spoke this morning after a cyclist was forced to the roof of a car along Fair Oaks Avenue to escape the attack of three pit bull or pit bull mix dogs earlier today. Police officers shot all three dogs with a shotgun, killing one and injuring the other two.

“[Councilmember] Terry Tornek said the evidence doesn’t support it. I don’t know how someone could make that statement, it’s just so clearly false,” Madison said. “To me it’s a case where we should exercise our police power as a city, as a government to impose at least some modest regulation so that we address this.”

This attack comes on the heels of a similar report on Jan. 11 in which a growling pit bull trapped a man inside his car in Northwest Pasadena until the police arrived with a tazer gun. That dog shook off the tazer’s effect and ran away at that time, only to be captured days later.

“This is not something I’m making up. I don’t have anything against pit bulls per se, it’s just [that] no social scientist who looks at this data could draw any conclusion other than these dogs are very dangerous,” Madison said.

Madison pointed out that this attack comes just 36 hours before his colleagues had rejected a “modest” ordinance that did not impose a ban of pit bulls, but required them to be spayed and neutered. He noted that most of the “passionate pit bull lovers” were probably responsible and loving dog owners who already had their dogs spay and neutered.

“When you have a room packed full of passionate pit bull lovers and they’re telling you please don’t do this my dog is great, it’s easy just to put your finger in the wind and not act,” Madison said.

However, he said the conversation should be about the data and not each pit bull owner’s experience. He noted that last year 31 deaths in the country were caused by pit bulls. He also said five of five dog related deaths were caused by pit bulls last year in California, with three of those five being the family pet attacking a family member.

Madison says the City can’t wait six months to discuss a mandatory spay and neuter of all dogs because the problem right now is pit bulls.

“I’ve been working on pit bulls for years, everybody says ‘lets just study the issue.’ We don’t need to study this anymore. This is a clear and present danger and we need to act now. I’ll be happy to discus spay and neutering parakeets and lizards and goldfish and all the rest, but right now those aren’t the threats. The threats are pit bulls,” Madison said.

paw heart

Dear Editor,

re: Councilmember Madison mandatory spay and neuter

Everyone in the community is concerned about aggressive dogs and stopping dog bites. No one wants their dog to be killed or shot by police who are trying to deal with the problem of dogs roaming the streets. The mandatory spaying and neutering proposal will NOT solve the problem since breed is NOT a factor when it comes to dog bites and attacks. Councilmember Madison says that breed is the problem but bites by pit bulls are overeported by the media. He is focusing on breeds instead of focusing on the real reasons for dog bites.

It is important to know the factors that lead to dog bites so that REAL solutions can be implemented.

My next door neighbor’s dog is the perfect example of a dog who is potentially dangerous because of all of the red flag factors. Red flags: He is not neutered. He is left alone and isolated in the yard 24/7 rain, cold, sunshine/heat, and he is not socialized, not trained on how to act towards people and other dogs. This is a powerful dog with a lot of energy who is never walked nor exercised. He is frustrated, crying, whining and often heard howling. He is miserable. And if and when he ever escapes his captors yard, he may hurt someone since he does NOT know how to behave. This is not his fault. It is the fault of his guardians who refuse to neuter him, train, exercise and/or take him inside. Their dog is a powerful Siberian Husky who weighs about 150 pounds. It is not how this dog looks that will cause him to hurt someone, it is how he is being mistreated.

Other factors that lead to dog bites include dogs that roam the streets in packs, dogs who are chained up in a yard who can become territorial, leaving a dog outside 24/7, female dogs with babies who protect their offspring, dogs who have been abused, neglected and/or terrorized by humans, sick dogs, starved dogs and dogs who are trained to attack humans and/or other dogs.

In a 2008 study published in Applied Animal Behavior Science, dog breeds were ranked based on their propensity for aggression toward owners, strangers and other dogs. The breeds with the highest likelihood of directing aggression toward strangers were dachshunds and Chihuahuas, with 20 percent of the sample attempting to bite or biting humans, compared with 7 percent for pit bulls.

Other breeds rated highest for aggression toward strangers included Doberman pinschers, rottweilers, Yorkshire terriers and poodles. The study states that “scores for stranger-directed aggression found among pit bull terriers were inconsistent with their universal reputation as a ‘dangerous breed’ and their reported involvement in dog bite-related fatalities.” The high aggression breeds identified in the study send people to the emergency room and, even when they don’t, they can instill a lifelong paralyzing fear of dogs in children who constitute the majority of dog bite victims.

It is also important to learn canine body language. Dogs exhibit body postures that forecast how they are responding. In other words, dog give warning signals before they bite. If a dog is staring intently, tail stiff up, and /or growling, it is best to back away slowly from the dog.

And just because a dog (like my neighbor’s) has red flags does not necessarily mean that they WILL bite, only that the likelihood goes up for each factor. And even then, some dogs will NOT bite. Take, for example, the former Michael Vick dogs. Despite the fact that they were chained 24/7, were unsocialized, untrained and had been terrorized, abused and traumatized at Bad Newz Kennels, none of these pit bulls showed any aggression. Eight of them have become therapy dogs. Many are living in homes with children, other dogs, cats and other pets.

History and statistics tells us that solving the wrong problem will not bring an end to dog bites. Breed is not a factor when it comes to dog bites so to demand mandatory spaying and neutering of any particular breed of dog will not end the problem.

Thank you.


(they published my letter)


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Filed under All you need is love, keep pets safe, media madness, pit bull, prejudice against dogs

Do NOT kill these dogs!

Please share, lend your voice and tell Santa Ana supervisors in Orange County, California not to destroy ANY dog fighting dogs. They are having a meeting in a few days, January 28, and want to just kill all the dogs that have been seized from dog fighting rings. Write them off as dangerous, vicious and be done with the dogs. THIS IS NOT OK.

All of the former Michael Vick dogs are living role models and testimony to the idea that ALL of these dogs deserve a Second Chance at LIFE. It is not the dogs fault that they have been forced to fight other dogs. Penalize the dog fighters not the dogs.

Eight of the former MV dogs are therapy dogs. Many are living in happy, loving homes with kids, other dogs and cats, too thanks to BadRap, Best Friends, Monterey SPCA and all the others that saved their lives and gave them a second chance.
Dog fighting is a CRIME. Punish the dog fighters not their victims…

 from Best Friends:

from BadRap: 



Dear Friends of Jonny Justice, Audie, Hector, Handsome Dan & Company. Remember when you helped us send hundreds of copies of ‘The Lost Dogs’ to the Obamas in 2011 to help educate our President about the plight of pit bulls? You can bet you helped seed the anti-BSL statement that came out of the White House during Obama’s second term, and we LOVE you for that. Creative, positive, political action WORKS.

Now we need you again. Do you have eight dollars to spare? The Orange County (CA) Board of Supervisors would like to destroy dogs that come from cruelty (dog fighting) cases in their county. We don’t know why. It could be that they aren’t aware that all dogs are individuals and survivors of terrible backgrounds defy the odds every single day. Please consider sending one or more of the board members a softcover copy of ‘Saving Audie’ – as a way to demonstrate what may be lost if they move forward with their no-mercy policy. If you order from Amazon today or tomorrow, they will get rec’v it in time for their meeting & vote on Jan 28. If you live in Orange County – please speak up. The dogs need you now! Thank you!

Hall of Administration

333 W. Santa Ana Blvd.

Santa Ana, CA 92701

Chairman Shawn Nelson (Fourth District)

Supervisor Janet Nguyen (First District)

Supervisor John Moorlach (Second District)

Supervisor Todd Spitzer (Third District)

Supervisor Pat Bates (Fifth District)




Filed under All you need is love, animal abuse, animal rescue, animal stars, badrap, best friends animal sanctuary, dog fights, dog rescue, dogs, Dogs Deserve Better, end dog racism, end dogfighting, keep pets safe, Michael Vick dogs, pit bull, politics