Category Archives: keep pets safe

May the Fourth be with you & your pets

We all know that more pets end up in shelters during and after the 4th of July than any other time of year because dogs and cats are terrified when they hear all of the scary sounds of fireworks and crazy people partying.

For a Yankee Doodle Dandy of a good time for you and your pets, here are a few tips to keep your furry babies safe during the upcoming holiday. When growing up, we watched the movie about George M. Cohan, Yankee Doodle Dandy, every July fourth and sang the songs, You’re a Grand Old Flag, Yankee Doodle Dandy, and others.

 

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  1. Be prepared ahead of time.
  2. Party with your pets.
  3. Natural comfort
  4. Soothing sounds
  5. ID your pets

 

 

Being a good Girl Scout aka being prepared means getting all your ducks in a row, with your plans, organize where and how you will keep your pets safe, and gather materials you might need ahead of time.

 

Stay home and have a party with a few friends. Keep the pets in a safe room, with a closed door or baby gate to make sure that they cannot escape. Give them pet treats, bones, toys and lots of water. Take dogs for a walk ahead of time before the party. If you BBQ, do it outside, keep fire from candles and grills out there and away from your animals and obviously, do not light fireworks anywhere near your pets, even in your yard. The point is to limit the trauma not add to it. Keep alcoholic beverages away from your pets as well as inebriated friends.

July 4 pet treats: think bacon, chicken, peanut butter, cheese, beef, turkey, Pupcakes and PUPsicles

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Bach Flowers Rescue Remedy, Thundershirts, and collars doused with lavendar essential oils are natural alternative means to keeping your pets calm.

 

Soothe and comfort your pets by playing meditative music, sounds of nature such as beach sounds, and/or canine / feline music that will also help ease their anxiety and cover up the pop, boom, and scary sounds of fireworks.

 

Put your dog tags on, make recent copies of photos of your pets and keep their vet records on hand just in case. If your pet has a microchip, also put a tag on their collar with your name, address and phone number. You want to make sure that if your pet should run off and escape that they will be found and returned to you promptly.

 

 

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Filed under animals, dog panties, dog treats, dogs, holiday music, keep pets safe, Made in USA, Uncategorized, USA Today, world peace

Xmas 2015 gift guide

Well, this year has been the year that we will be glad when it is done and it is over, my year started off with breast cancer, then progressed to blood clots on lungs, bashing my head which led to a concussion, a dear friend of 40 years in hospital (serious operation), several friends dead, no home for me and cici to live in. I have been getting sicker and sicker and sicker and on and on and on and on, that has been my year…

 

so pardon me, if I am not exactly filled with a lot of holiday cheer…

 

Here are some great gifts for the pooches and pooch owners:

 

Eco Dog care

Love the fragrance (all natural essential oil ingredients), even washed my own bad self and hair with it and my hair was all soft and good. Cici does not like bathing so the goodness of this shampoo and wash was wasted on her dog self.

http://eco-dog-care.myshopify.com/pages/faqs

 

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The Total Dog Manual: Meet, Train and Care for Your New Best Friend by David Meyer, president and cofounder of Adopt-a-Pet.com, the world’s largest nonprofit homeless pet adoption website.

If you have a dog, know a dog, want a dog, you have got to get this doggie manual. It is the how-to of canines. (Do doggies come with instructions? Now they do !)  It is very easy to navigate and fun to read.

 

From understanding a dog’s anatomy and those deep-down doggie instincts to training methods and grooming tips, all the information you need to understand your dog is now at your fingertips. Broken up into three sections–behavior, training and care–and easily organized from puppy-hood to old age, you will learn tips on curbing bad habits, teaching basic commands, vacationing with your dog, communicating effectively and much, much more. The Total Dog Manual’s easy to follow format and step-by-step training methods makes this your foolproof guide to dog care.

 

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Kinn Kleanbowl–a stainless steel frame which fits over compostable refill bowls. Included was the bowl with several inserts, and a package of extra bowls.   https://kinninc.com/kleanbowl-challenge/

The Kleanbowl Challenge was created to show a pets preference to eat or drink out of the Kinn Kleanbowl when compared to their average pet bowl. The Kleanbowl reduces health risks to pets with the disposable and germ-free Nourish Pet refills which provide a healthy bowl alternative to regular pet bowls that may be unsanitary and filled with bacteria. To set up for the challenge, pet parents fill both the Kinn Kleanbowl as well as their pet’s regular bowl with the same food or water, place the two side by side and let their pet choose which to eat or drink out of! Kleanbowl Challenge pets are not incentivized or influenced to select the Kinn Kleanbowl.

 

Santa poop bags:  A nice red clip-on-the-leash (collar) carrier for dog poop bags with extra rolls of bags to fit the carrier. The brand is Boty Dogs.

 

It was a bad spring in my  neighborhood for people NOT picking up after their dog.  We all stood around complaining about how it gives a bad rap to all dog owners.

We got to talking about what we could do and who always picks up.  The
conversation got a little silly and someone suggested Santa Claus
would always pick up, as a result I created the “Picking Up In Good
Company” poop bags with Santa reaching down to a dog who is pooping.  Carla
Here is the link to the product on Amazon;
http://www.amazon.com/dp/B0147D21HA

 

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Barkworthies, yummy elk antler and 8 oz. of sweet potato chips.  “Naturally Healthy, Naturally Happy” All Natural Dog Chews. The sweet potatoes the ONLY ingredient.  The website is www.Barkworthies.com.
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Sweet potatoes are a canine favorite because of their flavor and are: 

– packed with vitamin A, B6 and C, plus minerals manganese, iron, potassium, fiber, and zinc 

– great for senior dogs (because they help fight the effects of aging) and puppies (because they’re a high source of calcium) 

– natural dental aids, since the chewy texture helps remove built-up tartar and plaque 

– vegetarian and vegan friendly

A note from the Elmakis Family: “We love our pets and know that wholesome nutrition is essential to their health and happiness. This is why we started Barkworthies.
“We wanted dog lovers like you to have access to the highest quality chews and treats without additives, preservatives or artificial ingredients.
“Today, we’re proud to offer an exciting line of products that are as nutritious as they are delicious. We source our ingredients globally, selecting only the best for your family. When you choose Barkworthies, you can feel confident you’re giving your canine companions what they need to  eat, live and love.”
Pet Safety ID Tags with Links-It
Even the most well trained pet can have a bad day. A frightening noise, natural disaster, car accident or other unexpected event can trigger a dog or cat to run for the hills leaving owners devastated and frantically searching. Unfortunately, while 80 percent of pet owners report that they believe it is either very or extremely important for animals to wear ID tags, only 33 percent report always having ID tags on their pets. While many owners have their pets chipped today, a collar and ID tags are still an important visual signal that a dog or cat is lost from home and not just a stray. Pet IDs with a new technology to help keep them safe.
Many pet owners don¹t keep tags on their animals because it can be hard to get them onto the metal ring without breaking it, pinching a finger or wasting twenty minutes of a day. A new gadget called LINKS-IT solves the problem by eliminating the need for the ring. Made from an ultra-durable polymer, LINKS-IT snaps apart so tags can be slid on and attached to a collar, then snaps and locks in place. LINKS-IT can be used with existing tags or upgraded further with Pawdentify tags which are more durable than metal, virtually silent, and can be custom printed with up to 15 lines of ID information that will never rub or scratch off. They are available in over 100 designs. 

and a wonderful holiday gift guide by our friends at Kurgo

 

http://www.kurgo.com/2015-holiday-gift-guide?utm_campaign=2015+Holiday+Gift+Guide++%28aCwm5W%29&utm_medium=email&_ke=cHJtYXRjaG1ha2VyQHlhaG9vLmNvbQ%3D%3D&utm_source=All+to+Email+%28To+Add+to+Static+List+Only%29

 

 

Happy, Merry Ho Ho Howlidays and Happy New Year to you and yours !!!!

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3XfJ5zksF4M&feature=youtu.be

 

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xam01uaj6Vg&list=RD3XfJ5zksF4M&index=2

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Filed under au natural dog, dog health, dog training, dog travel, dog treats, four paws up, gifts for your dog, happy holidays, K9 approved, K9 travel, keep pets safe, Uncategorized

6 Tips for a safe 4th of July

6 Tips to ensure that your pet enjoys the 4th of July festivities 

More pets go missing on the Fourth of July than any other time of the year. Pets and loud noises are not a winning combination. Dr. Carol Osborne, DVM has compiled a list of tips to help take some of the stress out of what is supposed to be a joyous celebration.

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6 Tips for a fun and fearless 4th of July:

  • Be sure your pets have well-fitting collars with up to date tags.
  • Don’t give in to offering your pet a plethora of BBQ treats. Keeping as close to their regular diet as possible will help avoid upset stomachs, vomiting, diarrhea and emergency room issues like pancreatitis.
  • Life jackets help keep water bound canines afloat, as not all dogs are strong swimmers. Never leave your dog alone at the beach and/or on a boat, as they can easily become overpowered by waves, tides and currents.
  • Most dogs and cats DO NOT enjoy fireworks. Pet ears are far more sensitive to loud noises than ours. Classical music has been shown to reduce canine anxiety. Pet thunder shirts are also an option to help comfort stressed dogs.
  • Homeopathic calming remedies including Bach’s Rescue Remedy and Tranquility Blends containing the herb Skull Cap help to safely reduce stress levels for dogs and cats with no adverse effects. Both products may be applied to the inner (hairless) ears, which act as acupressure points in dogs and cats. Both may also be given by mouth.
  • Don’t put human sunscreen on your pet. Pet sunscreen is fine for dogs and cats, but avoid zinc oxide, which is toxic to pets. DEET, a common insecticide, is also poisonous to pets and may cause neurological signs, including drooling, vomiting, diarrhea, excessive thirst and lethargy.

Dr. Carol Osborne, DVM.

Integrative Veterinarian

Dr. Carol Osborne is an author and world-renowned integrative veterinarian of twenty plus years. A pioneer in anti-aging medicine and longevity research for pets, she created and patented the original PAAWS: Pet Anti-Aging Wellness System for dogs and cats. Dr. Carol holds both the dog and cat scientific patents.


After graduating from the Ohio State College of Veterinary Medicine, Dr. Carol completed a prestigious internship at the Columbus Zoo.  Shortly afterwards, she launched a very successful private practice and became founder and director of the non-profit organization, the American Pet Institute. Dr. Carol offers traditional veterinary care for dogs and cats with a softer, natural touch. Her approach highlights the importance of nutrition and utilizing holistic avenues in combination with traditional treatments.

Official web site: http://chagrinfallspetclinic.com

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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.

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Michael and Finn

 

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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

Relaxing Spa in the Desert

If your dog could speak s/he would tell you to Leave the hustle, bustle, traffic, noise and smog behind and bring them to The Dog Spa Resort and Wellness Center for a fun time together. The DogSpa is the pet friendliest place on the planet, never mind Palm Springs and it is for both humans and canines. Talk about dogitude. The place oozes dog friendly vibes. For one thing, dogs go unleash everywhere, there are no pet fees, no restrictions in terms of size, weight and breed, and you can leave the dog in the room if the dog will behave.

That does not mean there are no rules. Guests are reminded not to feed their dogs in public, no treats in common areas, to pick up after their dogs, and to supervise their dogs at all times. The DogSpa is the brainchild of Paula Terifaj, a holistic vet, who knows dogs, knows dog body language and she watches out for any problem dogs. She wants the DogSpa to be a really fun relaxing place for everyone. She also rescues dogs and wants to get the many dogs in shelters adopted into forever homes.

“I wanted to create some place unique, different, a really dog friendly place for people and their four legged family members, to unwind, unplug and relax with fresh air, sunshine and mineral water pools,” she explained. The soothing mineral water is what really attracts people to this area. Year round swimming in a hot springs pool and getting a stress-releasing massage, who could ask for anything more?

Paula bought the intimate hotel in 2009 and spent two years renovating it to her specifications. There is a dog park that is fenced that dogs can enjoy. Dogs Vacation Free here. And if your dog happens to fall into a pool with you, well then, whoopsie. This resort takes dog friendly into a whole other realm.

The point is for you and your dog to share the experience. You do not want to have your dog stuck in some kennel or room while you are away having fun. People benefit from the whole experience and their dogs get to be part of it, too.  Imagine lazy days lying in the sun, swimming in the pool, enjoying the hot tub, and your dog is lying on a towel next to you relaxing, too.

A dog named black lab mix named Jake greeted Cici and I. He was running around the pool with a ball in his mouth that he would not let go of come heck or mineral water. Cici also met one of Paula’s dogs, Brad Pit, a brown beagle and pit bull mix. He was guarding the area between the kitchen and the dog park (a relaxation area). We did not get to meet her other dog, Black Beauty.

 

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We stayed in a luxury Suite 4 (with café kitchen).Cafe Kitchens feature a full sized refrigerator, ice, coffeemaker, microwave, toaster, sink, and dinnerware. There are only six unique rooms including Wellness rooms with purified water, air, magnet beds and so much more.

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Ahhhhhhh….

  • Two hot mineral pools kept at the perfect temperature year around. Large swimming pool at a comfortable 88° F and Jacuzzi at a therapeutic 102° F. Both heated without gas by an underground hot water well.
  • Complimentary health conscious buffet breakfast from 8am until 10am.

If you live in LA or San Diego and want to spend a weekend or vacation and enjoy the mineral hot springs pool in Desert Hot Springs (a few minutes from Palm Springs), then this IS the place to visit. It is only two hours from LA and San Diego and you can bring your pooch(es).

 

Speaking of dog parks, Paula suggests:

l. Be prepared and be vigilant.

2. Bring a spray bottle of water, know where there is a hose, or bring an air horn or a whistle to use if dogs are not getting along.

3. Be mindful

4. Keep your eyes and ears on your dog at all times.

5. Be aware of the weather. Dogs should NEVER be left along in a hot car and in the summer, the pavement may be too hot for their paws and can burn their pads.

If you are seeking a small intimate healthy environment to do workshops or seminars or retreats, you may be able to rent the entire property for a yoga workshop, a cooking, meditation, or healthy retreat.

Ask for the Double the Fun special as well as a dog spa gift certificate. You and your dog deserve stress-free pampering time!   Click on the link below to find out more.

http://www.dogsparesort.com/

You can also go shopping with your dog at The River (a dog friendly shopping mall in nearby Palm Desert, yes indeed)…

and there are hiking trails. Click the link below to find out all about the trails, dog park and where to eat with your pooch, too.

http://www.dogsparesort.com/dogs-welcome

 

There are some other dog parks in the area in case you want to visit (but you will enjoy the one at the Dog Spa Resort more than any of the others, we betcha plus who wants to drive all the way to Palm Desert or Indio when you and your pooch came here to stretch your paws and woof it up !

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Filed under CA, California, dog friendly, dog rescue, dog spa, dog travel, dog treats, dogs, four paws up, holistic vet, K9 approved, K9 travel, keep pets safe, Palm Springs, pet adoption, pet care, pet friendly dining, pet friendly lodging, Uncategorized

Doggie Day books

This week was National Dog Day, ok, we missed it by a day or two… well, here are three VERY different doggie books that you just HAVE TO READ if you love doggies… and you might just pick up a few for your fellow doggie friends for the holidays (which are going to be here sooner than your dog can chew up a dog bone).

 

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The exciting and funny / hilarious new Chet and Bernie book, Paw and Order, which you’ve all been waiting with doggie breath to come out so you can read it. Now you can.

Harry Truman once said “If you want a friend in Washington, get a dog.”

Cici and I were very happy to get our paws on the latest (7th in the series) Chet and BernieL book, Paw and Order because we are always up for another hilarious adventure seen thru Chet’s canine eyeballs. The story begins in New Orleans. And Bernie’s Porsche and a trip to a BBQ joint turns into a fiasco with some motorcycle dudes who have big necks.  But no matter, Chet and Bernie are on the case and a team not to be messed with.

The dog-eat-dog world of Washington DC will never be the same after Chet and Bernie’s Little adventure. They could have gone straight home from New Orleans but what fun would that have been? They instead detoured because well, Bernie’s sometime girlfriend Suzie the newspaper reporter is now working at the Washington Post and she is on a BIG story that she cannot talk about. So of course,  Chet sniffs around the capital city and Bernie ends up arrested. An international conspiracy unfolds and Chet encounters a strange new animal, a guinea pig, who holds the fate of the nation in his paws.

Chet and Bernie are always a winning combination. With Chet’s sharp eyes and cool nose and Bernie’s talents, they cannot lose, although it is always suspenseful along the way. Another great read for dog lovers, guinea pig aficionados, and Washington DC insiders and outsiders.

http://www.chetthedog.com/tag/paw-and-order

Off the Leash: A Year at the Dog Park  by Matthew Gilbert

If you have ever visited a dog park and met some strange, weird, quirky, bizarre dog people, then you will relate to this book. It is about an array of dogs and their people who gather at Amory Park, overlooking Boston near Fenway Park.

Matthew Gilbert, a longtime TV critic at The Boston Globe, describes his reluctant trip into the dog park subculture, as the first-time owner of a stubbornly social Yellow Lab puppy named Toby. Like many Americans, he was happily accustomed to the safe distance of TV viewing and cell-phone web surfing, tethered to the digital leash. But the headstrong, play-obsessed Toby pulls him to Amory, and Amory becomes an exhilarating dose of presence for him. The joyous chaos of wrestling dogs and the park’s cast of offbeat dog owners – the “pack of freaks” – gradually draw him into the here and now. At the dog park, the dog owners go off the leash, too.

Meetings at the dog park can be mayhem, chaotic and fun, depending upon  the day. Sort of a daily or weekly canine soap opera. Dogs love/hate one another as do their owners.  When the dogs have disagreements, so do their human companions. And sometimes the human beans are even worse than the dogs when they are off the leash.

This is a very funny, sunny, very right on, portrait of life at the dog park and relationships and encounters between dogs and the dog owners. Dog Parks: Enter at Your Own Risk. Dog parks are not for the faint of heart or skittish. And Gilbert knows right where the fun begins and ends.  His honest and enthusiastic memoir will make you rethink going to the dog park or yearning to find doggie friends and a pack to belong to.

 

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Dogs Rule, Nonchalantly by Mark Ulriksen is just plain silly. EVERYONE who is ANYONE with a DOG that is KNOWS that Dogs Rule. Of course, my Polka Dot Princess agrees with me on that one. She Rules this household. Of course.  Ulriken has been working for a little publication called The New Yorker, where he has been a regular contributor since 1993. He has achieved more than 40 magazine covers to his credit.   This book offers great illustrations of doggies, and funny lines to go with the images. We were offput by one illustration of what seemed to be a bad stereotype of a bully breed dog. We do not like those stereotypes as you know. Other than that, numerous breeds were represented in hilarious detail. And some of the jokes were VERY funny.  If you live or love a dog, you know how amusing they can be. And this book capitalizes upon canines and their goofyness with refreshing charm and a breath of doggie sunshine. Dogs penchant for stinky things. Dogs and their always sunny disposition (until you are leaving the house).  And you know the rest of their quirks.

http://dogsruleproject.com/

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Filed under animal books, animal stars, Best Friends, breeds, dog crazy, dog friendly, dog parks, dog speak, dogs, four paws up, K9 approved, keep pets safe, pet care, pet press, pit bull, shaggy dog story, silly dog, Uncategorized

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!

 

http://www.bestbuy.com/site/susies-hope-dvd/25346296.p?id=3251052&skuId=25346296&st=Susie%27s%20Hope&lp=1&cp=1

 

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.

 

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“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.

 

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“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 www.susieshope.com orwww.susieshope-nc.org for more information).

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