A grateful heart spreads like….well, wildfire

There are many things I could be upset about today. The fact that authorities suspect arson in the vast majority of wildfires that devastated San Diego this week, for example. That’s a good place to start.

Or the trolls whose only response to the news was, “That’s what you get for living in a dry place, morons, burn” as though there were a place on Earth immune to Mother Nature in some form or another.

But I’m too grateful to worry myself with fools and psychotics at the moment. There is too much gratitude to the many to allow myself to be angry with the few right now.

I am grateful to my friend K, who texted me to see if I was OK when she saw on the news that my neighborhood was being evacuated. This was at the start of this whole mess, and when I got her text I had no idea it was even happening. Her warning came ahead of the official notification, and gave me lead time to get back to the house to evacuate Brody and Penelope before the roads were barricaded.

I am grateful I heeded my own warning and had all the pet supplies quickly accessible so I could get in and out in 5 minutes. It is an eerie feeling to be alone in an empty neighborhood with a wall of smoke bearing down. Corollary: also grateful to the cat for not hiding under the bed.

I am grateful to my childrens’ teachers and the district who evacuated them from their school before it became an emergency. When you turn on the news and see your little ones’ faces disappearing into the smoke, your heart skips a few beats for them, even when they are already out and safe by your side. They had no idea why I was crying when I found them at the 2 separate sites they were evacuated to, though they will some day. I credit the teachers with keeping them all calm in a stressful situation.

Source: 10news.com

Source: 10news.com

I am grateful to the first responders from Cal Fire, the police, and sheriffs who were on the scene quickly and efficiently. 1500 acres and not one home lost in the Bernardo Fire, despite a full head-on assault towards hundreds of home.


These crews left their families behind, from different counties and even different states, to fight for our neighborhoods as if they were their own. That’s a debt one can’t repay.

I am grateful to the many who heeded the evacuation warnings and let these men and women do their jobs, and to those who assisted with animal evacuations- especially with donating their trailers for the large animals who are disproportionately affected in these circumstances.

I am grateful to this community, who I know will help those who lost their homes. I have family here to take us in, but even had I not, so many friends offered their hospitality to us. Today, I turned on the TV and saw my friend’s dad on the news helping a member of his church hose down his property. We will pitch in, because that is what we do here in San Diego.

Pawcurious: With Pet Lifestyle Expert and Veterinarian Dr. V.

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The Pet Food Test Campaign

If you are interested in all of the pet food recalls that have happened over the years, then there is a chance for you to help!  Consumers are funding a campaign to test pet food.  The goal is to raise $ 10,000, but more money would mean more options for testing pet food.

You can learn more and make contributions here!

PetsitUSA Blog

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Nice Scabies photos

A few nice scabies images I found:

Male fox with possible mange

Image by tiny_packages
Shows the extent of the baldness of his tail and raw patches on his face.


Image by tsaiid

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Rescue Road Trips: A Man with a Big Rig Travels 4,200 Miles to Save Dogs in Kill Shelters

How far would you go to save a dog? Greg Mahle, founder of Rescue Road Trips, can tell you exactly how far he would go — and has gone. Every other week, he gets in a semi-trailer truck and leaves his home of Zanesville, Ohio, to drive a 4,200-mile route that takes him to Houston and on through nine other Southern states. The whole way, he picks up dogs who have been living in shelters. By the time he heads back north, there is an average of 80 dogs in the back of his trailer. The trip ends in New England, where the dogs go to new forever homes.

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New families with their dogs stand by the Rescue Road Trips truck.

The Newark Advocate published a great profile of Mahle this week, detailing his love for dogs and his commitment to going far, far beyond the extra mile to save the lives of dogs. It's an inspiring read, and I recommend you check it out.

One of the most depressing aspects of writing about animals is just how many get discarded and forgotten. Sometimes they linger in the system for a long time because their age, breed, or something else makes them unadoptable; if they're not lucky enough to be in a no-kill shelter, they get an early death.

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Greg Mahle proudly holding two passengers.

A lot of dogs in the Southern United States face the latter fate, hence Mahle's long journey every two weeks. He's been doing this for more than 10 years, when he started out with a single van. Using the semi, he rescues and rehomes about 2,000 dogs a year. That's a pretty significant number, but even so, there are many that get left behind and never make it out of the shelter.

"I'm not able to change the whole world, I'm not," he told the Advocate. "But for a few dogs, I can change their whole world."

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One of the reasons that Rescue Road Trips targets states in the deep South in particular is that spaying and neutering rates are very low there. Not only are people reluctant to do it themselves, but there are few laws requiring or encouraging it in those states. The shelters are overwhelmed by dogs, and sometimes dogs are killed within only a few days of arriving in order to make room for the new dogs, who are in turn killed to make room for the next batch.

The Rescue Road Trips website has very specific rules about which dogs can get space on the big rig. Most of them have to do with health issues, like spaying, neutering, and vaccinations, and are designed to comply with federal regulations on the transport of live animals. Rule No. 1 says, "We will not pick up a canine directly from a shelter/pound/animal control facility. They must be in a Foster Home/ Quarantine Facility/ Vet's Office or Kennel for at least 2 weeks to ensure the animal is not harboring any contagious illness. This also allows vaccines time to take effect." Rule No. 2 says simply, "Read rule 1 again."

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While on the road, Mahle sleeps on a mattress in the back of the truck with the dogs.

"From the time we leave, we live together, all of us," he says in the Advocate interview. "I want to be with them, I want to know what's going on with them because I don't want them to be scared."

It sounds like a hard life, but an inspiring one, and we really have to give credit to Mahle and all the people who work or volunteer with him to get this done. While he does charge a fee for families who take the dogs home, the majority of Rescue Road Trip's budget still comes from donations. If you want to give money or goods to keep the wheels going, head over to the donate page on their website.

Via Newark Advocate and Rescue Road Trips Facebook Page

Read more about rescue on Dogster:

The Scoop | The Scoop

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Spring Like

Yesterday felt almost Spring like. So does today.  Let’s hope it lasts this time. I had a pretty good day. I spent the morning doing some work, some housework and a little bit of relaxing and then headed out around noon for a walk with the pups.

When swamp water makes your dog this happy, how can you refuse?

And once she’s wet and dirty, you just gotta go with the flow.

I tried to get them to pose together but there was something interesting on the other side of the fence, so I cut my losses and moved them along before they went off in search of it.

It might have felt like Spring, but there sure wasn’t much evidence of it yet! I think the only green things in the photo below are the fence posts!


 Then we stopped to visit with puppies on the way home!!!  It was mid day, bright sun with black pups who liked to cuddle so not many photos were taken but I couldn’t not take ANY…  They are 4.5 weeks old right now.

Crazy Coulee and Little Lacey

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Meet Tara, the world’s most famous attack cat

When a home surveillance camera captured a cat body slamming and chasing off a neighbor dog who was viciously attacking her 4-year-old human, the video went super viral. Tara is a 7-year-old formerly stray cat who mostly lives the life of a tranquil house cat with the Triantafilo family in Bakersfield, CA. Erika Triantafilo, 27, a stay at home mother of three young boys, was not completely surprised by Tara’s protectiveness. ”She used to go…
The Poodle (and Dog) Blog

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Creature Feature DR. DAN MEAKIN Flea and tick infestations are common

Creature Feature DR. DAN MEAKIN Flea and tick infestations are common
During the past few years much research has centered on studying the life cycle of the species of fleas that attack dogs and cats in an effort to develop better flea control methods. There are over 2,000 species of fleas, but few actually attack dogs
Read more on The Clermont Sun

Owatonna veterinarian talks about the importance of effective flea control on pets
Tick-borne diseases are ever present and may be on the rise according to some experts. Ehrlichiosis and babesiosis are two illnesses that can cause anemia (low red count) and are carried by ticks. This article will focus primarily on Ehrlichiosis in dogs.
Read more on Southernminn.com

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Pet Food Recall: Bravo Dog and Cat Food

Bravo is recalling select dog and cat food products due to the potential contamination with Listeria monocytogenes.  The official FDA report with products and symptoms is below.  You can also find it here.  The FDA has also offered a page with the images of the products here.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – May 14, 2014 – Manchester, CT – Bravo is recalling select lots and product(s) of Bravo Pet Food because they have the potential to be contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes.

Listeria monocytogenes is an organism which can cause serious and sometimes fatal infections in young children, frail or elderly people, and others with weakened immune systems. Although healthy individuals may suffer only short-term symptoms such as high fever, severe headache, stiffness, nausea, abdominal pain and diarrhea, Listeria infection can cause miscarriages and stillbirths among pregnant women.

However, healthy cats and dogs rarely become sick from Listeria. Animals ill with Listeria will display symptoms similar to the ones listed above for humans. People who have concerns about whether their pet has Listeria should contact their veterinarian.

The recalled product was distributed nationwide to distributors, retail stores, internet retailers and directly to consumers. The product can be identified by the batch ID code (best used by date) printed on the side of the plastic tube or on a label on the box.

The recalled products are as follows:

1) These products are being recalled because they may have the potential to be contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes.

All 2lb., 5lb., and 10lb. tubes
Product Numbers: 52-102, 52-105, 52-110
Best Used By Date: 10/10/15 or earlier

3 lb. box with (12) 4oz. burgers
Product Number: 31-401
Best Used By Dates: 1/07/16 and 2/11/16

2) These products are being recalled out of an abundance of caution because while they did not test positive for pathogens, they were manufactured in the same manufacturing facility or on the same day as products that did test positive.

All 2lb., 5lb., and 10lb. tubes
Product Numbers: 42-102, 42-105, 42-110
Best Used By Date: 10/10/15 or earlier

2lb. tubes
Product Number: 42-202
Best Used By Date: 10/10/15 or earlier

5lb. tubes
Product Number: 53-130
Best Used By Date: 10/10/15 or earlier

NET WT 2LBS (32 OZ) .91KG (Tubes)
Product Number: 72-222
Best Used By Date: 1/7/16

PRODUCT: BRAVO! TURKEY BALANCE FORMULA (Manufactured by: Bravo! Manchester, CT)
NET WT 2 LBS (32 OZ) .09KG, Chub (tube)
Product Number: 31-402
Best Used By Dates: 1/7/16 and 2/11/16

NET WT 5 LBS (80 OZ) 2.3KG, Chub (tube)
Product Number: 31-405
Best Used By Dates: 1/7/16 and 2/11/16

5 LBS (80 OZ) 2.3KG, Chub (tube)
Product Number: 42-105
Best Used By Date: 2/11/16

This voluntary recall has been issued because the FDA has reported an independent lab detected the bacteria in a sample during a recent review. The company has received a limited number of reports of dogs experiencing nausea and diarrhea that may be associated with these specific products. The company has received no reports of human illness as a result of these products.

Bravo discontinued all manufacturing in New Zealand on October 10, 2013. Bravo will immediately start working with distributors and retailers to properly dispose of any affected product left on freezer shelves. The company will also be announcing the recall to pet owners to ensure they dispose of any affected product that has been purchased.

Bravo is issuing this action out of an abundance of caution and sincerely regrets any inconvenience to pet owners as a result of this announcement.

The recalled product should not be sold or fed to pets. Pet owners who have the affected product at home should dispose of this product in a safe manner (example, a securely covered trash receptacle). They can return to the store where purchased and submit the Product Recall Claim Form available on the Bravo website www.bravopetfoods.com for a full refund or store credit. More information on the Bravo recall can also be found at www.bravopetfoods.com, or call toll free (866) 922-9222.

PetsitUSA Blog

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Contra Costa Humane Society to Receive Donation From
Freekibble.com and Ellen DeGeneres’ Pet Food Company, Halo

contra-costa-humane-society-logo-300The Contra Costa Humane Society is the recipient of a large donation of pet food from Freekibble.com, Greatergood.org and Ellen DeGeneres’ natural pet food company, Halo, Purely for Pets.

The donation of 10,000 meals of Halo Spot’s Stew is being made to CCHS in honor of the Rodie’s Feed and Pet Supply at 8863 Marsh Creek Road, Clayton on their Customer Appreciation & Pet Adoption Day, May 17 from 9 am – 2 pm.

Halo and Freekibble.com, in conjunction with Greatergood.org, partner to feed more than 1.5 million meals per year to shelters and rescues across the nation. This partnership provides homeless pets the highest quality food possible, helping shelter pets look and feel their best, sometimes helping them find their forever homes. In fact, in a survey of 85 shelter professionals, 71% said that better food quality “definitely helps” dogs and cats to get adopted.

Sarah Rodenburg, Owner of Rodies, was thrilled to be the winner of the drawing at the World Pet Association’s Super Zoo in Las Vegas commenting, “We carry Halo because of its high quality and now together we can make a huge impact to a rescue and to shelter animals. We are so thankful and appreciative of Halo’s and FreeKibble.com’s generous donation. It’s exciting to be a part of it.”

Leeann Lorono, Executive Director for CCHS, exclaimed, “Receiving a donation of such holistic pet products means that we can feed it safely and confidently to our animals who have varying needs. That impacts not only the quality of life of each animal but also shelter operations. We are honored to be selected by Rodie’s Feed and Pet Supply and appreciate what the donation will do for our program.”

Success stories like this where good food can help homeless pets find their forever homes is a cause close to Halo co-owner Ellen DeGeneres’ heart. “Pet adoption is something I’m extremely passionate about. I believe that by working together, we can find good homes for the millions of homeless and abandoned pets out there,” she says.

Come see the presentation and enjoy customer appreciation day at Rodies. Enjoy a free lunch, you’re your propane tank for free with a qualified purchase, have fun on the pony rides, and adopt an animal. Contra Costa Animal Service mobile van will be on hand from 10-2, and VIP Discounts Shot Clinic will be there from 10-11:30 am.


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Staying Positive

Staying Positive // Bubby and Bean

I’ve been feeling positive lately you guys.  I really have.  This isn’t always the case with me.  This was a rough winter weather-wise, something by which I’m always emotionally affected.  It was also quite difficult to learn how to juggle my work schedule with a newborn baby while my husband was gone for the majority of the first few months of her life.  I caught myself feeling pretty down a lot of the time.  But things turned around, and they’re feeling better than ever right now.  I am completely smitten with the warmer weather, sunshine, and flowers of spring.  Essley is becoming more and more fun as her little personality develops, and I’m feeling less stressed as I continue to learn ways to balance motherhood with a full-time job.  I’ve made the time to spend with friends and family, and I’ve been finding so much joy in the everyday.  Oh, and I’m getting sleep!  Hallelujah dudes!  For real though, Ess slept 6.5 hours straight the other night and I don’t think I’ve ever felt quite so refreshed upon waking.

Whether it’s times like now where positivity comes easily, or times like this winter where I seriously have to work at it, I make a habit of reading positive quotes, sayings, song lyrics, etc. on a regular basis.  Sometimes they’re incredibly smart; sometimes they’re funny; sometimes they’re super cheesy.  Regardless, there is some something powerful in focusing on them and repeating them to help you feel happy.  In this spirit, a few of my May sponsors and I joined together to share our favorite positive sayings with you guys.  I hope that when you read them, no matter what kind of day you’re having, they help make it a little brighter.  

“Happiness is an attitude. We either make ourselves miserable, or happy and strong. The amount of work is the same.” -Francesca Reigler

“When nothing goes right, go left!” 

“The more you praise and celebrate your life, the more there is in life to celebrate.” -Oprah Winfrey

“Happiness is not ready made.  It comes from your own actions.” -His Holiness the Dalai Lama

Your turn!  What is your favorite positive quote or saying?  Please share in the comments!

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