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Archive for the ‘Contests and Fun Stuff’ Category

Vote for Chessie, the blind therapy dog!

Thursday, April 19th, 2012

Chessie, one of the Paws on a Mission therapy dogs, has been nominated for the American Humane Association’s Hero Dog contest in the therapy dog category. You can vote for Chessie once per day until June 30th.

Chessie the blind therapy dog

Chessie is a petit basset griffon vendeen (PBGV) and cute as a button! She was born blind. Because of this disability, the local obedience club at first did not want to accept her into classes, but Pam, her owner, persisted, training Chessie with voice commands instead of hand signals. Chessie passed the therapy dog test on her very first try at the young age of two, and specializes in bringing smiles and joy to hospitalized children. The children with disabilities especially relate to her. One said, “She’s lucky because she doesn’t know when people are staring at her because she’s different.”

Chessie is a hero every day. Please join me in voting for her and spread the word about Chessie and all the wonderful dogs who’ve been nominated. Thank you!

Grey Muzzle Organization Announces Grants for Senior Dog Programs!

Saturday, March 10th, 2012

The Grey Muzzle Organization, whose mission is to improve the lives of at-risk senior dogs by providing funding to shelters, rescue groups, and sanctuaries and other animal welfare organizations nationwide for programs such as hospice, medical needs, and senior dog adoption, has opened its 2012 grant application cycle. Organizations interested in applying for funds to help senior dogs must submit a Letter of Intent by April 1.

Grey Muzzle  works tirelessly on behalf of senior dogs. They are supported entirely by individual donations, which then fund grants to approved animal welfare organizations for programs benefiting senior dogs. Grants have funded basic medical and dental care to make a senior more comfortable and adoptable. Grants also fund hospice care to ensure that a senior dog has a safe and loving end of life instead of dying alone in a shelter. Grey Muzzle grants also assist with programs to encourage senior dog adoption.

Speaking from personal experience of adopting Dixie, an 8-year old springer about to be euthanized because her ill owner couldn’t keep her, senior dogs have much love and joy to give. Please join me in spreading the word about this wonderful organization and the opportunity to improve the lives of senior dogs!

This post is part of the Saturday Pet Blog Hop hosted by Two Little Cavaliers and Life With Dogs. Please visit other participating pet bloggers!

Rainbow Bridge Bracelet Benefits Rescue Groups

Friday, January 27th, 2012

Rainbow Bridge bracelet

Earlier this week I discovered Three Scoops of Vanilla, a site offering beautiful handcrafted jewelry in dog, cat, and even horse themes. Each week a different rescue group benefits from a portion of sales and online auctions through Facebook. A custom bracelet that was offered to benefit English Springer Rescue was simply adorable and sold for over $250 in the auction. I love the multi-colored Rainbow Bridge bracelet which includes a charm personalized with your pet’s name. What a lovely way to  honor their memory and save another pet’s life! Check out the beautiful jewelry, all made in America and inspired by three beautiful yellow labs, the “Three Scoops of Vanilla.”

This post is part of the Saturday Pet Blog Hop hosted by Two Little Cavaliers and Life with Dogs. Please visit the blog hop and discover lots of fun pet blogs!

The Gingerbread Dog House Contest at Grove Park Inn

Saturday, December 10th, 2011

Adopt me!

Asheville, NC is known for several famous attractions including the Biltmore Estate and the amazing Grove Park Inn, which is especially fun to visit this time of year to enjoy its massive stone fireplaces in the lobby. The Grove Park Inn also hosts the National Gingerbread House Competition, which has become quite an attraction by itself and is featured on Good Morning America. Recently, the Grove Park Inn became pet-friendly and now welcomes four-legged guests as well.

This year, a dog-loving staff member at the Grove Park Inn dreamed up the idea of the “Grove Bark Inn” Gingerbread Dog House Competition to benefit local charities including the Asheville Humane Society and Paws On A Mission pet therapy program.

Entries had to be composed entirely of dog-edible materials. Judging from the wonderful aroma in the room, many entries contained peanut butter! Over 20 entries were received in this first year of the competition, with the theme of “a dog’s favorite things.” The panel of judges had many wonderful entries to view, including an amazing tall fire hydrant that took Best in Show. Here are my favorites – which are yours?

Log cabin dog house with swimming pool

Sweet dreams!

another swimming pool

A dog's home is his castle

Asheville Humane Society entry

Hiking Hounds!

Beach house

Best in Show winner!

The Any and All Dog Show

Saturday, October 15th, 2011

The Biggest Dog class

Last weekend on a perfect fall day, I attended the 78th annual “Any and All Dog Show,” sponsored by the Tryon, NC Riding and Hunt Club as a fundraiser for the Foothills Humane Society. We took folding chairs and sat ringside among an assortment of dogs and humans, all having a good time. The show began with a blessing of the animals, always a moving moment of gratitude for the love and devotion of our pets.

The first class was “dog with the best trick.” The kids proudly led their entry into the ring, one at a time, to perform a trick for the judges. The winner was an agile English Shepherd, who cleared a triple spread jump (the kind horses jump in competition) with ease.

Next was “dog with the best costume.” My favorite, Tucker the black cocker who had a jockey perched on his back, came in second behind a beautiful chocolate lab dressed as a gladiator.

The “so ugly it’s cute” class was won by Griswold, a brindled mastiff/basset hound mix. Imagine a mastiff body and head on short legs.

This was followed by “the dog with the most interesting tail,” which was a large class. I wished I had brought Baker to enter as I think his plume tail is quite something! The winner was a foxhound mix with a curly tail which was indeed interesting.

Pink Latte, a Borzoi and therapy dog, in the "most interesting tail" class

The “best adopted dog” class seemed to include nearly every dog present, and I wondered how the judges would ever decide. In the spirit of the day, every dog in the class received a blue ribbon!  Many of the dogs stayed in the ring for the next class, “Best tail wagger,” which after stiff competition was won by a terrier mix whose tail wagged the entire time.

Then, the “Dog who would rather be home” entries included a pair of sweet old golden retrievers, who played the part by flopping down on the grass. But the winner was a collie mix who tried to drag her owner out of the ring – perhaps she decided it was time for a hot dog at the concession stand.

The classes concluded with “Biggest and smallest,” “Best senior dog” (won by a 15 year old JRT mix), and “Family class” for dogs in the same household.

Then, the winners of each class (except for the adopted dog class) paraded in for Best in Show. The English Shepherd showed off another trick, sitting up on her haunches, and took the prize.

Kids and dogs – what could be better on a sparkling day in the country?

Celebrating Hero Dogs – Vote for your favorite!

Thursday, September 22nd, 2011

I love the American Humane Association’s Hero Dog awards, which spotlight ordinary dogs doing extraordinary things to help people. This year the competition received 453 nominations, which have been narrowed to 8 finalists, including a therapy dog, a surfing dog who helps disabled children, a military dog, a service dog, a search and rescue dog, and guide dog Roselle, who led her master to safety from the World Trade Center. Certainly all of them are deserving of the award, but the winner will be chosen by online votes. You can vote for your favorite once per day until September 30th. The winner will also receive a grant to their designated charity! Congratulations to the finalists! Their stories are uplifting and inspiring.

It’s “Tasty Tuesday”

Tuesday, September 6th, 2011

Baker and the glow-ball

Baker is encouraging everyone to hop on over to his friend Sugar the Golden Retriever’s blog for “Tasty Tuesday” recipes for paw-licious dog treats! Baker is pictured munching on his favorite toy, the glow-ball, and is wearing his cupcake collar from Upcountry. He is also wearing a bit of rain from Tropical Storm Lee which passed through our area yesterday. A good day to stay inside and dream of dog cookies!

My ball has an opening for treats!

Baker visits the tailgate market

Sunday, May 15th, 2011

Comparing prices

As part of his training for our upcoming therapy dog test, Baker is practicing walking calmly through crowds, greeting strangers politely, and ignoring other dogs and distractions. Yesterday, we made an outing to our local tailgate market. This is one of my favorite weekend activities, to shop at the market which due to our wet winter and spring, is abundant with produce and flowers. First, Baker checked out the prices. Next, we bought some orange and purple “million bells” plants and a small pot of yellow petunias, to make a hanging basket, and a head of broccoli. We finished our shopping at our favorite booth, the cupcake lady, where we practiced the “leave it!” command – well, Baker practiced it but I didn’t. By the time we strolled back to the car, my peach-ginger muffin was almost gone! Baker was a very good boy and behaved perfectly in spite of many distractions!

At the cupcake booth

Baking with Baker

Monday, January 10th, 2011

Today we are in the midst of a snow storm, so it’s a good day to bake. As his birthday is this week, Baker wanted to make dog cupcakes. We tried a new cupcake mix for dogs from High Hopes For Pets, a company that donates a percentage of each sale to shelters and rescues, to help homeless pets.

The mix is packaged in a box with fun, colorful graphics of two dogs at a table, looking at a stand of cupcakes. The box contains re-usable silicon baking cups, cupcake mix, frosting mix, and directions. The directions include suggestions for adding peanut butter, banana slices, and other decorations.

The first step is to make the frosting mix by adding a few tablespoons of milk or water, so it has a chance to harden. The frosting is sugar-free and is made from yogurt, egg whites, and natural food coloring.

Next step is to add water or milk to the cake mix.

Then, fill each silicone cup with batter and bake for 10 minutes. Alex and Baker got to lick the whisk, and they loved the batter!

Add the frosting after the cupcakes have cooled for a few minutes. This batch turned out a little crumbly as I think I should have left them in the oven a minute or two longer. They need to be pretty firm to remove them from the silicone cups without crumbling. As I was taking this picture of the finished cupcakes, Alex counter-surfed and cleaned up the crumbs. Alex and Baker give a high five to these dog cupcakes!

Bark it Furward – a fun way to help service dogs!

Saturday, November 27th, 2010

Here is an easy way to celebrate the holiday season that costs you nothing, but gives back to a wonderful organization, Canine Assistants. All you have to do is comment on this post,  and for each comment, the folks at Milk-Bone will donate $1 to Canine Assistants, a non-profit organization that trains and provides service dogs for children and adults with physical disabilities. For nearly 20 years, Canine Assistants has provided service dogs to the disabled, giving them the chance to live more independently. Bark it Furward takes place from now until January 4, 2010, and there is no limit to the number of times you can comment. During December I will be posting more information on  Canine Assistants and their work, and why it’s important to support them. Keep checking back and thanks for commenting!

Ten Ways to Make a Difference for Shelter Pets

Wednesday, October 20th, 2010

This week, on Saturday October 23, is the annual “Make a Difference” day in communities nationwide. It’s a day to volunteer your time, talent, or treasure in some way, knowing that even the smallest gifts add up and make a difference. Here are some ways to make a difference for the shelters and rescue groups in your community, any day of the week! (more…)

Dog days of Summer, pt. 4

Wednesday, September 1st, 2010

Kids and dogs. The essence of long, lazy summer days and childhood memories. This week, more vintage photos from my collection to celebrate the enduring bonds that we form with pets, which often begin with a special dog with whom we shared adventures, and who provided play, comfort, and love. Which one reminds you of your childhood dog? What kinds of things did you do with that dog?

Nevada Humane Society Adoption Dance Video

Tuesday, July 27th, 2010

If you want to view something truly uplifting, check out the Nevada Humane Society’s Adoption Dance video. At this shelter, they have a tradition of ringing a bell whenever an adoption occurs. In this fun video, the staff do a dance parody of the wedding video where everyone dances down the aisle. Must admit I had tears in my eyes at the end! Loved it and the message it conveys about lifetime commitments and forever homes. I hope Cooper has a wonderful new life!

July 4th Pet Parade – Old Fashioned Fun!

Sunday, July 4th, 2010

One of the traditions we look forward to is the annual pet and golf cart parade, part of the July 4th festivities in the community where our mountain cabin is located. The theme this year was “green,” and golf carts (and a few dogs) were decorated with recycling themes. Everyone parades past the clubhouse, and judges vote on the best designs. All the dogs, including Alex, were well-behaved and seemed to enjoy this unusual parade!

Alex watches the parade

Dozing Dogs Photo Contest!

Saturday, July 3rd, 2010

Here is a fun contest for a holiday weekend. The Bark is hosting a photo contest sponsored by West Paw Design (makers of eco-friendly dog beds, crate mats, apparel, and toys) for pictures of dozing dogs. Photos are posted on Facebook where you can vote for your favorite. Winner receives a dog bed! Napping is one of Alex’s favorite sports, so here are some pictures of him snoozing. Which one do you think I should submit?

Dozing off

Sleeping with toy

Curled up

Alex and his brothers napping