Victory dogs film: The Champions

If the names Cherry Garcia, Handsome Dan, Little Red, Ginger Girl, Lucas, Georgia, Mel, Ray, Hector (the Inspector), Jhumpa Jones, Audie, Frodo, Leo, Red, Stella, and others (52) are familiar to you, then you know who we are talking about when we discuss the Victory dogs (the formerly abused dogs of Michael Vick’s Bad Newz Kennels) who are now either in loving homes or remain at Best Friends Animal Sanctuary in Kanab, Utah (22 of the most traumatized dogs went to Best Friends originally). Ten of the most adoptable dogs were taken care of, socialized, and trained by Donna and Tim of BadRap in Oakland, CA who helped to find them great loving homes. Some have become therapy dogs. Others are just plain happy in homes with kids, other dogs and cats. And some have passed on (Hector, Leo, Red, Lucas, Georgia and others).

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Now their story is being told in “The Champions,” a new documentary created by Darcy Dennett, which just made its world premier over the weekend at the Hamptons International Film Festival (HIFF), which for the first time ever featured a “Compassion, Justice & Animal Rights” program for filmmakers who want to share stories that will change the world and, hopefully, our relationship with animals for the better.

From the film’s synopsis:

The documentary The Champions, follows five of the dogs, from the time they are first rescued through their adoption. It is not just about the dogs themselves, but how they change and inspire the people who come into their lives.  It also follows-up with six dogs who remain at Best Friends to this day, some of them for life.  Thanks to the work of Best Friends and BADRAP, dozens of the dogs who would have summarily been killed were given a second chance to prove that even fighting dogs rescued from the most extreme circumstances can be successfully rehabilitated with love, time, and patience.  That in fact, what many of these dogs need to thrive isn’t rehabilitation at all, but time to recover.

Today, a majority of the dogs have successfully been placed into loving, adoptive homes.  Their story proves that even creatures who have suffered the most unimaginable abuse have amazing strength, spirit, and resilience. It is a story of the bonds of trust and love we have with animals and their importance in our lives, a relationship that has the potential to bring out the best in the human and animal spirit.

The film also touches on something that continues to hurt pit bulls and their families in general: breed discrimination. Hopefully it will help continue to dispel the myths that surround these dogs and open the hearts and minds of more people who will stop fearing and targeting them based on stereotypes.

The film trailer has premiered and is on the web site. Check it out!

The Champions

The Champions, which won the annual Zelda Penzel “Giving Voice to the Voiceless Award” at HIFF this year, will be screening at select locations throughout the U.S. over the coming weeks. For more info, check out The Champions.

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California is the ultimate pet friendly state

do you think it is true that you sleep better on a white bed?

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/09/22/best-hotel-beds_n_5881548.html?ncid=fcbklnkushpmg00000063

How many B&B’s, hotels, motels and inns offer you and Fido a white bed to sleep on?  I suspect not many due to paws, dirty paws, muddy paws, wet paws, and noses on the bedding. But there are a few that I can think of that do, LaQuinta Inn, Comfort Inn, and others offer white beds and a little slipcover of a different color to hide the dirt?  It does seem fresh, cleaner and fluffier to sleep in a white bed with white sheets and comforter. Pure as a puppy dog’s love.

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The last time we stayed at LaQuinta though, I rolled off the bed in the morning and onto the floor on my tush.  At least I did not hurt myself. I did have to call fire rescue guys to pick me up and they had to get passed the lock on the door.

Now, what do you think about this survey that LEAVES CALIFORNIA out of the pet friendliest places???

More than 57 percent of Americans have a dog or cat and we’re on track to spend more than $60 billion (!) on our furry family members in 2015.

https://www.thumbtack.com/blog/which-states-love-their-dogs-the-most/?

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how could they possibly leave California off a list with doggie heavenly places such as Carmel, Mendocino, and LA? There are more dog lovers in CA than probably ALL of the states  mentioned. Cici the polka dot princess and I have spoken/woofed about CA pet friendliness for 8+ years.

http://celiasue.com/top-dog-links-woof/

where else but California can dogs: eat in hotel lobbies with their owners, go surfing, ride on trains for free, kayak, tiptoe amongst the tulips and eat ice cream for free, and have Yappy hours, canine menus at restaurants, and amenities such as pooch massage, spas and bed and biscuits (Santa Cruz)? not to mention all of the pet friendly wineries, shops, banks, shopping malls, do it yourself stores (Home Depot, Orchard, Lowe’s, Ace and others), and more.

http://www.sfgate.com/travel/article/Dog-friendly-California-destinations-3723227.php

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Pet peeves while traveling with a dog

Sorry, it’s been awhile but I was just in the hospital and found out that I had blood clots in my lungs. Not fun. cici had to be taken care of by a friend who pampered her, which was great and a real relief. And the hospital stay of six nights was not fun. I am a sick puppy and we REALLY REALLY REALLY need a NEW HOME NOW.  If you are in California and would like us to visit, be your roommates, or know someone who does, then please let us know.

Cici and I put together our top list of pet peeves when traveling with a dog. She does not like it when:

1. a “pet friendly” hotel that does not offer enough green space for my Cici to do her business. And I do not like it when there is no bags or trash cans around to put the business inside and throw away. why should i have to carry it around with me? That is the hotel’s business to provide guests with what they need.

2. when a pet friendly hotel charges ridiculous fees and nickels and dimes you for your pet, (a small refundable pet deposit is ok but a nonrefundable fee for $50 or more? Nope). And these types of hotels usually discriminate on the dogs they will accept such as only dogs under 10 pounds, few breeds, as if they are saying, we will deign to allow you to bring your pet but only if it is not going to be a real dog who will do doggie things. If you have pet restrictions based upon weight, height, breed, we will breeze right by you. We do not like places that discriminate against our dogs based upon the color of their fur, the shape of their heads or their canine qualities that make them lovable to us.

3. dogs like to roll around in the dirt but pet owners do not. We cannot stand “pet friendly” hotels that put you in a dirty, worn carpet, overused room with smelly bedding just because you are traveling with Fido. This is hardly a pet friendly attitude. We do not have to paws up with it either.

4. Pet rules that say that your pet cannot be in the lobby (how are you supposed to enter and exit the place)?, pool, golf course and other areas. If there is no place for the dog to go to the bathroom, are they supposed to hold it in for three days? Maybe you should list where dogs are ALLOWED to be instead of all of the no no’s of where they cannot be. Makes a dog feel kinda unwelcome and does not seem exactly pet friendly to us.

5. Many places tell that you cannot leave the dog in the room unattended even when your dog is quiet, gonna go to sleep, is crated. Are you supposed to pet sit or hire a pet sitter while you are traveling? On some occasions, maybe but if you are just going out for some fresh air, to move the car, or get something from the gift shop, and if it is very hot outside, you are not going to bring your dog with you.

6. When we look at websites of some hotels and B&B’s it is not clear whether they are pet friendly or not. Why make it so difficult for travelers to figure out whether you allow dogs or not? If you have nothing on your website that indicates pet friendly (photos of dogs, pet policies and such), we will whiz right by you and assume you are not the place for us to stay since you did not bother to say.

7. Did your staff miss the memo or staff meeting that told them how to interact with guests with pets? If we ask about your fur friendly amenities, local pet stores, dog parks, vets, and/or activities then we expect your staff to respond with knowledgable answers not treat us as if we asked a terribly embarrassing question or present them with smelly burden of a task. Or tell us to google it ourselves. Hospitality is supposed to be YOUR business. Catlike it. And if you are a person at a Travel WELCOME center, visitors center or some such, then it is YOUR JOB not ours to tell us what the local activities and places are.

Any hotel that offers a pet welcoming committee, no fees, restrictions on weight or breed, has afternoon Yappy Hours, a “dining with pooch” option with room service menu for Fido and some pet amenities like treats, bowls of water, and toys is a really pet friendly place and just the kind of dogitude we LOVE to stay at.

What are YOUR pet peeves about “pet friendly” places???

Cici at the park with my friend Angela while I was in the hospital. Cute as a love bug, huh.  Thank you, Angela, for taking care of my polka dot princess!!!! (She fed her grass fed beef and turkey burgers and more).

Cici 1

Cici 2

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Heroes of 9-11

a tribute to the dogs who searched and rescued and also much healing and comfort and blessings going out to All of the families, friends, and loved ones of all of the people and dogs who lost their lives (including the first responders and others) during that horrific day, September 11, 2011 aka 9-11.  Also, for ALL of us Americans whose lives changed forever that day.  May we be healed, comforted and blessed, too.

 

To my hometown, New York city. That morning as I watched the horror on TV, all I kept wondering as I cried was did I know anyone in those towers? were there people I loved there? Thankfully, not that I know of. Close call was my best friend’s husband who stopped off for bakery goods that morning and did not make it to work that day. He was forever changed as were we all.

 

 

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These are our heroes.
http://gothamist.com/2015/09/11/911_rescue_dog.php

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my dog training tips

here is our contribution to dog training tips:   sit, stay, fetch, move, lie down…

http://animal-health.co.uk/news/dog-training-tips-uk.html

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Labor Day Doggie Travel Fun

MILO’S KITCHEN TOP 50 LABOR DAY DOGGY DESTINATIONS

35 million Americans are expected to hit the road this Labor Day weekend,

By cross referencing online review sites with data on dog-friendly restaurants and hotels, Milo’s Kitchen has compiled its ultimate list of pup-approved parks and landmarks for Labor Day travel:

#1: The Original Dog Beach (San Diego, California) (50 points)
#2: SF Golden Gate Park (San Francisco, California) (49)
#3: Fort Tryon Park (New York City, New York) (48.5)
#4: Runyon Canyon (Los Angeles, California) (47)
#5: Acadia National Park (Mt. Desert Island, Maine) (46)
#6: Pike Place Market (Seattle, Washington) (45)
#7: Carmel (Carmel-by-the-Sea, California) (44.5)
#8: The Biltmore Estate (Asheville, North Carolina) (44)

#9: Central Park (New York City, New York) (43)
#10: Cherry Creek Farmer’s Market (Denver, Colorado) (43)

To see all 50 Labor Day doggy destinations (including those near you), please visit:
http://mktreattruck.com/2015/08/21/milos-kitchen-labor-day-doggy-destinations/

This Thank You, Doggy” Video Reminds Us Why We Should Bring Fido:

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Happy National Dog Day

this video is so beautiful and sums up how great dogs are… So God Made a Dog

Appreciate your best friend today and every day. They deserve so much love and care from us for all they do and who they are.

Took Cici into a supermarket because there is a bank branch there and it was too too hot outside in the car. 107 degrees today supposed to be. Well, everyone loved her and she had to kiss everyone. She also was slipping and sliding on the floor next to me in the scooter cart. Funny to watch her as always.  Love that dog so much.  My polka dot princess is so silly.

Appreciate your dog !  (Lots of treats and belly rubs)!

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