December 31, 2008

Last 2008 'Acts of Dog'

by winecountrydog

As my last paw-writin' act of the year 2008, I'm gonna give you a little corgi pun as well as endless dog photo fun.

I'm hereby introducin' you to my pick of flickr: 'Acts of Dog.' Below is a sample from the photostream to whet your appetite: what an arfully cute cardie!

Cardigan Welsh Corgi photograph copyright flickr Acts of Dog
Acts of Dog is the most awesome collection of photos of Cardigan and Pembroke Welsh Corgis and other dogs you'll ever see online.

These goshdog great pix come to us from a human who lives in the Blue Mountains of New South Wales, Australia. The fellow's a gifted and prolific photographer!

Paw-leeze, pawse and enjoy Acts of Dog on flickr. See all the doggies fur yourselves by clicking this link to the cardie photo.

A very Yappy New Year to you. Woof!

Paw-note: Headin' into 2009, let's not furget all the corgis and other dogs who still need furever homes. Woof kudos to rescue organizations like PAWS, based in Sydney, NSW, Australia, a small group of self-funded rescuers, volunteer foster carers, and walkers who help lost or abandoned animals in NSW.

December 30, 2008

"Nothing's better than beer."

by pawlitico

Here we go again. The argument about dogs drinkin' beer.

If you know my buddy Tilin "winecountrydog" Corgi, you know that he occasionally needs some kind of sedative and relaxant. Tilin has episodes of arful back muscle spasms. Other times he gets the hypers 'cuz of a nervous disorder.

The hypers make Tilin get more and more wound up. Now, we'd love to see Tilin run around like a puppy if it weren't scary. He could re-injure his back. Or he could go into a seizure. Howl, you'd never know how serious this is by lookin' at Tilin, but his history includes life-threatening spinal problems and idiopathic epilepsy.

light and dark aleWe're fortunate to know a veterinarian with uncommonly good sense. She told Tilin to drink 1/4 cup of quality beer to help sedate him. Such a marvelous solution! How much easier this is on Tilin's system than heavy-duty sedatives! And so effective that dog-ma can usually avoid giving him meds like narcotics.

Tilin says, "Fur some of my episodes, nothing's better than beer for calming me without knockin' me out."

Now, for dog health safety, you dogs shouldn't drink to drunkenness. And you shouldn't depend on this remedy for any length of time. We're talking here about a brief, conservative consumption regimen. A serving of just 1/4 cup of beer or ale is fine. (We corgis weigh between 25 and 35 pounds.) It's best to open the bottle ahead of time and let the beer go kinda flat, but the carbonation in 1/4 cup doesn't bother Tilin or lead to bloat. And the sugary malts and stuff don't bother Tilin 'cuz he's not diabetic.

Tilin gets his dog mug refilled up to every few hours. After a few days of this regimen, he goes back on the wagon. It's not difficult for him; he's a happy, busy dog who easily returns to his normal routines once he feels calm again.

Firestone Walker Union Jack IPAThis time, dog-ma gave Tilin doses of Union Jack India pale ale (IPA) for the hypers. Dog-ma let me taste Union Jack. After all, my birth name is Jack.

This IPA is doggedly aggressive but smooth. Comes from micro-brewery Firestone Walker in Paso Robles, California. Here's what the brew dogs say:

Citrus, pineapple, and a full chewy malt profile finish clean on your palate. . . . A beer true to its origins; deeply hopped and bolstered for a long voyage. . . . At the 2008 European Beer Star Award competition in Germany [in November '08] . . . Union Jack IPA took top honors in the extremely competitive India Pale Ale category with a gold medal.

The Firestone Union was inspired by the old Burton Union system, once a staple of British beermaking. The Burton Union was developed around 1840 as English tastes shifted from London porters to pale ales crafted in Burton-Upon-Trent. The Burton beers were bright and clear with a firm, satisfying bite: a taste unique in its time-and still unique today. We are the only brewery in the United States to currently employ the union brewing method. . . . Our patented Firestone Union uniquely incorporates 60-gallon oak barrels into the brewing process.
60-gallon oak barrels of aleI'm glad dog-ma's buddy Joey at the store picked this India pale ale as one his faves. We want to suppawt small regional businesses like this microbrewery, which crafts great ale and delivers it fresh.

When Tilin Corgi woke up this morning, he was back to normal! No longer all hyped up. Dog-ma's ale therapy worked in a day.

So I have to pawlitely disagree with Louise Murray, DVM, Director of Medicine, ASPCA Bergh Memorial Animal Hospital, who has been quoted as saying that humans should never give beer to dogs. What humans should do is to check with their dogs' veterinarians! May you find a veterinarian like ours, who offers a different pawspective on practical remedies fur what ails you.

We dogs are individuals, and we need healthcare and homecare to be carefully tail-ored to us as individuals. Woof.

December 29, 2008

Calendar of the year '09: Corgis on Wheels

by pawlitico

While humans are bizzy choosing their top picks fur 2008, I'm doggone far into faves fur 2009. After all, I'm a herder. I always want to git goin' on what's next.Wheelcorgis 2009 wall calendarI'm asking you to paw-leeze pawse and check out my calendar choice fur 2009: the Wheelcorgis Wall Calendar.

Wheelcorgis 2009 wall calendar - June
You can see this calendar at the wheelcorgis store on It has the most amazing dog photos you've ever seen in your goshdog lives!

And this super-cool calendar contains an educational page on degenerative myelopathy (DM), a condition that some Pembroke Welsh Corgis, Cardigan Welsh Corgis, German Shepherds, and 40-plus other dog breeds develop.

The Wheelcorgis group and the CorgiAid Cart Program provide wonderful help and advice fur corgis who need DM testing and carting.

We learned a lot about corgi carts after Tilin Corgi's back trauma. First we had to worry that Tilin might not make it at all. It wasn't DM, but other acute problems. Then, luckily for Tilin, his lifesaving surgery enabled him to function again and eventually to get around on his own.

We're always reassured to know that corgi cart humans would help if one of us lost our mobility. Paw-leeze pass on the word about these talented wheel corgis and their dedicated humans!

Paw-note: CorgiAid supports the rescue and rehab of abandoned corgis and corgi mixes across the U.S.

December 24, 2008

A dog's Christmas in wine country

by winecountrydog

One Christmas was so much like another in those years around the near-sea-towns of wine country, out of all sound except the distant speaking of voices and rattling of wine glasses I sometimes hear a moment before sleep, that I can never remember whether it rained for six days and six nights when I was six or whether it rained for twelve days and twelve nights when I was two.

Me, Tilin Corgi, on a soggy hillside
All the Christmases roll down toward the two-tongued sea, like a cold and headlong moon bundling down the sky that was our street; and they stop at the rim of the ice-edged fish-freezing waves, and I plunge my paws in the sand and bring out whatever I can find. In goes my paw into that wool-grey bell-tongued ball of holidays resting at the rim of the carol-singing sea, and out come Sonoma County photos on a Christmas eve. . . .

Christmas eve afternoon, we wandered around on Cherry Ridge, northwest of Sebastopol, in the Russian River Valley.

Vineyard on Cherry Ridge above Sebastopol
After dark, we walked down Snowman Lane in east Santa Rosa.

Snowman Lane
Mouse, rabbit, and cat were caroling. . . .

Mouse, rabbit, and cat caroling
Wine country dog friends were stringing lights. . . .

Dogs stringing Christmas lights
And Snoopy, whose doghouse is nearby, came by to put Mr. Snowman's hat on his head.

Snoopy putting the snowman's hat on his head.
All's well that end's well.

Paw-note: Much thanks to dog-ma fur readin' to us the original story A Child's Christmas in Wales by Dylan Thomas.

December 22, 2008

Double your pleasure: a coat that's a harness!

by winecountrydog

Some goshdog good things come in two's.

It was a twosies kind of day, this nippy number-two day of winter, when the two of us, Jack Corgi and I, went out to do walkies.

Toward us pranced two irrepressible Italian Greyhounds. Five-year-old siblings. Two arfully nice furriends to encounter. Beautiful, happy dogs. And what were the duo wearin' to keep the cold at bay but fashionable yet sturdy "horse-blanket" coats. Same style, different colors. Very attractive. Very warm.

Beyond good looks is something more important, howlever: These coats double as walking harnesses! Double your pleasure. Woof!

Jack and I always walk on harness. We've never experienced the sensation of being tugged about by our necks. We wear collars to attach ID tags to 'em, not leashes.

Canine Styles reflective horse-blanket coat
I've dog-googled the brand name of the coat (pictured above) so I could tell you about them. Here you go.
The Canine Styles Horse-Blanket Reflective Coat is the ultimate cold weather protection. Available in water and snow-proof nylon, Madison Plaid wax cloth, or cozy Canine Styles signature cotton plaid — all with warm faux-shearling lining. Fully adjustable straps that criss-cross around the body (forming an "X" underneath) and adjustable fastener-and-buckle neck openings let you customize the fit. The leash can attach to a sewn-in D-ring, thus letting the coat act as a safe and comfortable harness. Machine washable.
Now, there's one possible drawback — and that's a pun, as you'll see in a second. If you're a big, strong dog who pulls back a lot on your leash, you shouldn't really depend on the coat as a harness.

detail of horse-blanket coat, showing D-ring
Can you picture the consequences of straining too hard? You'd pull yourself right out of the coat, or pop it open like Dr. Bruce Banner's alter ego. In Banner's case, I can't say that good things come in two's. The Hulk's a bit scary.

two sweet Italian Greyhounds
Paw-note: There are beautiful Italian Greyhounds at IGCA Rescue and CIG Rescue who need furever homes. Paw-leeze take two!

December 15, 2008

The Cat House on the Kings

by winecountrydog

We were given an impawtant vlog link by our furriend Daisy, a beautiful black and white fur person who lives in Sacramento.

This is a vlog about The Cat House on the Kings, a no-cage, no-kill lifetime sanctuary and adoption center in Parlier, California. This unusual 12-acre cat house, founded by an exceptional cat lover named Lynea Lattanzio, is located in the central part of the state, on the Kings River.

All the happy cats are roaming free and hangin' out at one of the 10 or so feeding and bedding facilities on the property.

If this isn't one of the most amazing things you've ever seen, I'll refund your money in full. . . . Just kiddin'. You know I paw-write for the kicks, not the pawket change.

I heard Ms. Lattanzio tell youtube viewers, "I've always felt that, if they don't have a home, at least they have a life." I thought to myself that I don't know many cats who have a better home or a better life than those at The Cat House!

The Cat House rescues cats from local animal shelters where they would otherwise be euthanized, and from individuals and rescue groups who surrender unadoptable or otherwise unwanted cats.

An average of 700 adult cats reside at the sanctuary at any given time. Dogs live there in harmony with the cats. The number of kittens varies according to the season. Of course, all of the cats are welcome in the 4,200 square-foot house.

And where do 700 cats sleep? . . . Anywhere they want!

If you're drivin' up Highway 99 out of Los Angeles, go ahead, call The Cat House on the Kings (559-638-8696) and make an appointment to swing by and say hi.

Paw-note: You can see other Jack Perez youtubes if you look up the whospuss channel.

December 13, 2008

Corgi Winner in Dogster Coolest Dog & Cat Show

by pawlitico

Tilin Corgi and I want you to know that we love all dog breeds. This having been said, we admit that we find certain Pembroke and Cardigan Welsh Corgis arfully cute.

Take Lola the Pembroke, fur example. She has the 2008 winning "sleeper" photo in the Dogster & Catster 4th Annual World’s Coolest Dog & Cat Show.

Lola CGC is a World's Coolest Winner! at!

Photos don't get any cuter than this one of Lola asleep in her dog bowl. I guess Lola gets tired from doin' a lot of exercise with her human.

A lot of dogs don't get as much exercise as Lola. But they still eat an arful lot of food — pawbably lots of commercial kibble and other stuff that makes 'em obese.

I've grown up to be a dog who speaks my mind. I mean, when I have somethin' to howl about, I find it hard to hold back. So I'm gonna growl now:

Wassup with all the obese dogs!? I've seen so many of them lately: overweight dogs gobblin' down junky treats at howliday parties, super-obese dogs who can't jump up onto Santa's lap to get their photos taken, and so many obese Corgis and Basset Hounds — two breeds who are prone to back problems and injuries. We should never ever be allowed to carry extra weight.

C'mon, humans, do you love us dogs, or what!? If you love dogs, pawleeze quit overfeeding 'em!

Tilin Corgi and I stay slim. We learned to paw attention to proper weight 'cuz Tilin was prone to back problems. You know that Tilin's being trim and strong saved his life! . . . Need I howl more?

Paw-note: See all the super-cute photos of Lola CGC, including her runnin' around agilely, on her page. I hope I wasn't too howly and growly about the subject of overweight dogs. . . .

December 2, 2008

Over my head

by winecountrydog

I've been putting my nose in the air a lot lately to check out what's going on over my head. Outside, that is. I started hearing honking on Thanksgiving. Lots of different honking. This has been going on at different times of the day and evening.

Finally I saw them: birds who honk as they fly! I ran right back inside to dog-google this phenonomen.

flock of Canadian Geese flying in formation
It turns out that my doghaus is right under the Pacific Flyway, a major north-south route of travel for migratory birds. The honkers I hear are Canadian geese making their way from the nearby Laguna de Santa Rosa to points south!

Methinks this is arfully interesting. The Canadian goose species is called Branta canadensis. Baby geese are called goslings. See the cute gosling in photo below.

Baby gosling
Bird lovers say that migratory birds travel some or all of the same route every year, at around the same time. (Howl do they know? I wonder.)

The geese like to stop at Laguna de Santa Rosa because it's an impawtant food source.

The Laguna is a 14-milelong (22.5 kilometer) wetlands area in Sonoma County, California, and the largest tributary of Mark West Creek. The Laguna's main tributary streams rise on southern slopes of the Mayacamas and Sonoma Mountains.

The Laguna has different habitat types, including freshwater riparian forest and freshwater seasonal wetlands and vernal pools, and a tule marsh. Some rare and endangered species, like the California freshwater shrimp, are found there. . . . Or maybe I should say, are rarely found there. Still, the Laguna de Santa Rosa is the area's most abundant and biologically diverse wildlife habitat. Humans call it an ecological "national treasure."

More than 200 species of birds besides my honking furriends either reside in the Laguna or stop to feed and rest there when they're migrating.

Now, my story gets more interesting: There's a question in my dogmind and ear about what the honkers are really up to this time of year. Are they flying south, or are they circling back to the Laguna?

According to ornithologists, bird migration routes have changed in some areas due to changes in habitat and food sources. In mild climates, such as in my area and up into parts of the Pacific Northwest, it is known that some of the bird populations have become non-migratory because they don't have to deal with former predators. Methinks my local honkers might have joined the non-migrators' club.

I can't yet prove that my flying furriends are faking migration. Right now, it's all over my head. I'm just a clueless corgi who watches the sky and wonders.

November 27, 2008

Woof thanks

by pawlitico

Here in our wine country doghaus, it's Thanksgiving eve — time fur me to put paws up in woof thanks and gratitude.

First, I give thanks that Tilin Corgi, my best buddy in the whole world, made it through all his ordeals this past year. I don't know what I would do without his dog-mentorship.

Tilin, you're really top paw!

Tilin winecountrydog Corgi
Second, I give thanks that our Ani Siamese is part of our lives. In early December, it'll be a year that she has been with us. Our little pussin sure has grown up! She still likes to ambush me, but that's okay. I have fun ambushin' her back.

Ani Siamese
Third, I give thanks that dog-ma made us a nice dinner of free-range chicken and vegan treats fur dessert. Actually, she always makes us a dogalicious dinner. But today was special 'cuz we took turns barkin' and meowin' about what we're thankful fur.

We feel blessed to have full stomachs and to be safe and warm at home together. Pawleeze remember that there are lots of rescue corgis and cats who need homes.

It'd be arfully nice fur everybuddy to have a furever home, or to at least have sanctuary in a place like Happy Tails, in Sacramento, California.

As Daisy the pussin says,
"No-kill, cage-free sanctuaries are few and far between, but more and more shelters are converting to no-kill. Our hope is one day ALL shelters will be no-kill and cage-free. Or better yet, maybe one day we won't have the need for animal shelters. *sigh*"

November 19, 2008

Ask California Governor not to tax veterinary care!

by pawlitico

Read it and howl: The State of California wants to impose a 9% sales tax on veterinary care!

Remember when my buddy Tilin "winecountrydog" Corgi had major emergency veterinary surgery and looked like he did in this photo?

Tilin Corgi, with shaved back, not long after veterinary orthopedic surgery
Do you think we corgis had lotsa cash to pay for all that wonderful surgery and after-care? . . . Imagine what adding an extra 9% to our vet bills would've done to us!

We're not the only ones who can't afford a tax on vet care.

I want to bark to Governor Schwarzenegger on behalf of humane "food animal" farmers and California consumers: A 9% increase in the cost of farm animal vet care will not only cause food prices to rise but also cause some farmers to go under.

The cost of biz for farmers has gone up, as feed costs and other prices have soared. The implementation of State Proposition 2 to set standards for confining farm animals will also increase the cost of doing business for "food animal" farmers, albeit it for the right reason. Howl, we're trying to suppawt humane farmers who raise free-range "food animals" and produce cage-free eggs, and here the State comes along with an idea that'll hurt these good guys.

All farm animals require veterinary care — and deserve good healthcare — just as we dogs do, but farmers can't afford higher medical costs.

This is the California Veterinary Medical Association (CVMA) Action Alert:
Governor Schwarzenegger recently announced his plans to add a sales tax on veterinary services as part of his budget plan to stimulate the California economy. This was part of a larger combination of program cuts and revenue increases to solve the multi-billion dollar budget shortfall. It is particularly disturbing that veterinary services were included with "appliance and furniture repair, vehicle repair and golf." All of the other healing arts professions were excluded from the sales tax proposal.

A special session of the Legislature must be convened to approve the Governor’s plan. The proposal would need to be approved by the Legislature with a two-thirds majority of both the Assembly and the Senate.
The CVMA is strongly opposed to this proposal.

Our legislative team has been working hard to get sales tax on veterinary services removed from the Governor’s proposal. We know you are concerned for the welfare of your patients, the difficult choices your clients may need to make if the cost of veterinary care increases, more animals being abandoned to shelters, increased euthanasia, and the overall strain placed on small businesses.

It is imperative that the voice of the veterinary profession is heard with respect to this important issue. We urge you to write personal letters to the Governor, your state representatives and their leadership expressing your concerns. We also encourage you to get your clients involved and ask them to write letters as well. It is easy to do. View the CVMA Fact Sheet and contact information. Visit the Legislative Action Center for contact information for your state representatives.

Your letter should be mailed directly to the Governor with copies forwarded to key members of the Legislature, including your local representatives. The letter should be on your practice letterhead, and if possible we would appreciate it if you would fax the CVMA a copy of your letter as well at (916) 646-9156.
If you have any questions, please call the CVMA office at 1(800) 655-2862.

Thank you for your assistance,
William Grant II, DVM
CVMA President
Paw-leeze, veterinarians and everybuddy everywhere, growl to the Governor and State pawliticans to stop this doggone crazy tax proposal — even if you don't live in California!

Tell the State to spread out a sales tax increase across the board, or add it to some high-demand consumer items like electronics and booze. Human medical care isn't taxed. Veterinary care should NOT be taxed either!

The CVMA is asking its membership of more than 6,000 veterinarians to write letters to the Governor about the hardship this proposed vet sales tax would create. Read more at and at Veterinary Newsmagazine's

I'm hoping you pets and people out there will write your own letters. Woof!
The Honorable Arnold Schwarzenegger
Governor of California
State Capitol Building Sacramento, CA 95814
916.558.3160 Fax
The Honorable Karen Bass
Speaker of the Assembly
State Capitol, Room 319 Sacramento, CA 95814
916.319.2147 Fax
The Honorable Don Perata, Senate President pro Tempore State Capitol, Room 205 Sacramento, CA 95814 916.327.1997 Fax
The Honorable Darrell Steinberg
Senate President pro Tempore
State Capitol, Room 4035 Sacramento, CA 95815
916.323.2263 Fax
The Honorable Mike Villines
Assembly Republican Leader
State Capitol, Room 3104 Sacramento, CA 95814
916.319.2129 Fax
The Honorable Dave Cogdill
Senate Republican Leader
State Capitol, Room 3048 Sacramento, CA 95814
916.327.3523 Fax
When you write to the Governor and legislative leaders, ask them to remove the proposed sales tax on veterinary services in the 2008-09 Special Session proposal.

November 15, 2008

They say it's my birthday

by winecountrydog

They say it's my birthday!. . . I checked my doghaus calendar, and, sure enuff, the date November 15th was circled as my 11th birthday. Nobuddy knows exactly which day I was born on, 'cuz as a puppy, I was a GGPWC rescue. But dog-ma brought me home when I was six or seven weeks old, so she knows how many years I have.

We started pawtying on the 13th.

Tilin, shocked that it's his 11th birthday
I wanted to celebrate the occasion inside Russian River Brewing Co. with friends Katie da KRSH DJ and Justin of 1/4 Mile Combo. You recall that I enjoy the occasional 1/4-cuppa ale for my back spasms?

Katie and Justin at RRB Co.
But, oh howl, dogs aren't allowed in Calif. eatin' places. So I ended up not havin' ale for what was ailing me.

Instead, I got to got to Dr. Jordan's clinic. I had a lovely laser therapy session. Woof! K-class laser therapy is fur healing, and I'll be paw-writing about it soon.

At Dr Jordan's, I made a new furriend — a sweet little rescue guy named Mo. He was with his nice human, Ali.

Mo doggie, darling little rescue guy, with Ali in background
At home, I've been enjoying meals even more delicious than usual. I've received some gifts, too. My favorite gift is the yummy, healthy organic dog treats that Ani made for me.

Tilin's healthy organic birthday treats
'Tis still shocking that I'm as old as they say. I play like a puppy. Kind of.

Tilin Corgi is tired from pawtying.
Oh my paws, I'm so tired from pawtying.

November 9, 2008

Dog and cat furever love

by winecountrydog

I always tell Ani Siamese, my young shelter rescue, how much I appreciate her company. Here you see Ani sitting with me last week when my back wasn't feelin' great 'cuz of my surgery adhesions.

Me, Tilin winecountrydog Corgi, sitting with my Ani Siamese cat
Ani Siamese just loves me. She loves Jack Corgi, too, but she seems happiest when she's sleeping next to me — especially at night.

Me, Tilin Corgi, and my Ani Siamese sleeping together
Whoever said that dogs and cats don't get along never knew Welsh Corgis or Siamese cats well. Humans who believe in the animosity myth must like to keep it goin' to have somethin' to talk about.

My Siamese so enjoys being with us dogs that she often follows us and mimics our behavior. Ani does everything but bark.

Ani will learn to bark soon, we think. She's still purrfectin' her vocalizations. As the ASPCA explains, "By changing volume, intensity and number of repetitions of the vocalizations, and backing them up with expressive body language and olfactory signaling, cats ensure their messages are received and that their needs are met."

In our next photo, you see Ani scratching her head with her left hind foot. Believe it or not, Ani lifted her foot up to scratch as soon as she saw me lift mine!

My Ani Siamese scratching her head to imitate me, Tilin Corgi
After dog-ma turned off the light, Ani and I went back to sleep together. Snug as two furry bugs in rug. A furever love. Woof!

Paw-note: I hope every dog who loves meezers will consider rescuing a Siamese like mine.

November 5, 2008

California farm animal victory!

by winecountrydog

You've never seen more smilin' people in Sonoma County than there were on Election Night 2008 at the Flamingo ballroom after California polls closed.

Election Night '08 at the Flamingo ballroom
People ordered drinks while they were waitin' fur ballots to be counted. Some folks checked the numbers on cell phones.

Election Night '08 at the Flamingo ballroom
Then the big screen flashed the news that Barack Obama had won. Cheers went up. Tears fell. People hugged. Dogs howled woo woo woo.

Anxious Proposition 2 campaign volunteers continued to keep their eyes glued to the big screen, waiting fur confirmation of a YES vote.

Prop 2 campaign volunteer Lisa waiting fur poll results
Finally the Prop 2 results flashed on-screen. YES! A victory fur farm animal welfare! Cheers went up. Tears fell. People hugged. Dogs howled woo woo woo.

Woof, we won! 6.1 million voters said YES! The Farm Sanctuary folks said
"The YES! on Prop 2 campaign has been the greatest undertaking on behalf of farm animals in U.S. history, raising enough public awareness and support to end three of the cruelest confinement systems with one ballot measure. . . ."
People danced and drank and smiled. The Thugz Cosmic Americana band played on into the night. Dog-ma went around through the crowd passin' out Prop 2 stickers.

People kept smiling as they ate Obama cake.

Obama '08 cake ~ Election Night at the Flamingo Hotel Ballroom, Santa Rosa, California
But, oh howl, there wasn't any Prop 2 cake.

That's okay. My Ani Siamese, always creative, will whip up some vegan cookies and a sign: Hurray fur California farm animals!

Paw-note: Farm Sanctuary has a statement about the passage of California Proposition 2 at MarketWatch. "Monumental Victory for Farm Animals: Nation's Leading Farm Animal Protection Organization Celebrates Precedent-setting Phase-out of Factory Farming Confinement Systems in Largest Agricultural State."

November 4, 2008

Today's the day U.S. humans vote fur humane change!

by winecountrydog and pawlitico

Today's the day that U.S. humans elect a new president. California humans also vote on State Proposition 2 today.

A YES vote will create some humane farming standards that alleviate the suffering of pigs, calves, and laying hens.

A YES vote will also create the opportunity fur humane consumers like us to support strong growth of a humane farm economy.

The following video shows what some Bel Air celebrities had to say about farm animal welfare at a big gala benefits fur YES on Prop 2. Be fur-warned: Watch this video only if you can handle some disturbing images of animals on factory farms.

Did you know that our pro-Prop 2 pawsition isn't 'cuz we want to make everyone vegan or vegetarian? What we hope to see is California farmers becoming leaders of the HUMANE Future Farmers of America (FFA).

Woof thanks to all humane farmers! You're the humane change we need in the world.

And woof thanks to orgs like HSUS and Farm Sanctuary, and to consumers everywhere who vote YES every day with their forks for the humane treatment of farm animals.

November 2, 2008

Wolfgang Puck on Prop 2 & humane farming

by pawlitico

You pawbably know celebrity chef Wolfgang Puck as the Los Angeles-based restaureteur, businessman, and owner of Spago Beverly Hills -- where Puck put Cal-Pan-Asian fusion on the world food map.

Back in 2007, when I was a young, carefree corgi, I wasn't following the news the day Chef Puck said he was rejecting the use of crated veal and foie gras. He then announced he was going to use eggs, meat, and poultry only from animals raised under strict humane care standards.

The other day, I pawed across a Humane California video in which Chef Puck told the world about this humane commitment. He also urged Californians to vote for Prop 2 -- the State ballot initiative to set humane standards for confining farm animals.

When a successful businessperson with a company the size of Wolfgang Puck Companies -- which includes 15 fine-dining places for humans, fancy catering services, express-food operations, canned foods, and much more -- announces he's limiting meat, poultry, and egg buying to only humanely-farmed sources, you've got to sit-stay and listen!

Chef Puck's humane pawsition negates doomsdayers' fears that implementing State Proposition 2 standards will put California farmers out of business. What his decision tells us is that huge consumer demand for humane food products is in the wings.

A word to the paw-wise: Farmers and food purveyors had better get ready now to supply humanely-farmed foods!

October 31, 2008

Best Halloween costume

by winecountrydog

I hope all you four-legged and two-legged and finned and scaley creatures got your spook on tonight.

I saw a few great Halloween costumes. The best costume was one I pawed upon when I was doggoogling.

I call it the pugator.

The Pugator -- Pug Dog in gator costume
Like Pugs aren't cute enuff without costumes.

I've known a few Pug Dogs. I really liked meeting Toaster, the Pug who accompanies wine country artist Mylette Welch. Ms. Welch does great paintings of Toaster and other dogs.

Me and My Monkey by Mylette Welch
Toaster has a new Pug buddy named Lola. Sweet Lola came from Pug Rescue of Sacramento.

Did everybuddy get lots of nice treats today? I know I did. Halloween is fun. Woof!

October 29, 2008

Brave Leo the terrier saves litter of kittens

by winecountrydog

I'm hopin' that Leo, the brave terrier and hero dog, is feelin' okay now. Leo risked his life to protect four tiny, newborn kittens trapped in a fire that almost destroyed his family's house in in Melbourne, Australia. I so admire Leo's loyalty and courage.

I watched the interviews with firefighters who uncovered Leo when they went inside to fight the blaze.

Fortunately, the family of four humans and Barney, their other dog, had managed to escape.

But Leo stayed behind. By the time firefighters found Leo in a bedroom, guarding the kittens in a cardboard box, he was unconscious from lack of oxygen.

Commander Ken Brown of the Metropolitan Fire Brigade said, "Barney, the older dog, came out with the family, but Leo wouldn't leave the kittens and it nearly cost him his life. But luckily the fire fighters found him very early, applied oxygen, and got Leo back around. And we've had him checked out and he's got a clean bill of health. He looks really well."

The firefighters had to rush Leo to safety and revive him with heart massage and oxygen till he came 'round. Woof thanks to the wonderful firefighters!

Leo was said to be recovering well from his ordeal. I sure hope so. He is rightfully being hailed as a hero.

Leo is a Jack Russell Terrier cross. As a Welsh Corgi, I've always liked Jack Russells and Jack Russell crosses. The breed was originally developed back in 19th century England by a clergyman named Jack Russell, and they are good at hunting small game. Other talents of the Jack Russells include tracking, agility, and performing tricks.

These wonderful dogs make really fun, feisty, high-energy furriends! And lots of them need to be rescued.

Pawnote: Humans, paw-leeze make sure your smoke detectors are working! And make evacuation plans that include your dogs and other pets!

October 25, 2008

Our Siamese cat's latest mischief

by Jackie Nippers aka pawlitico

"What's that you're chewing on, Ani?" demanded my dog-ma. Our Ani Siamese continued chomping away.

Ani Siamese enjoyed chomping on the earbuds.
"Hey, those are my new Sony earbuds you just destroyed!" exclaimed dog-ma. "Good thing they were really cheap ones."

Ani Siamese thought the earbuds were Halloween treats left on the kitchen counter just for her.
Ani Siamese pretended to ignore dog-ma. "Oh, what a fun Halloween treat!" said Ani. "Let me bat the thing again!"

Ani really enjoyed the earbud game.
Ferocious Siamese kitty that Ani is, she decided to have another go at it.

"I can bite it too!" Ani purred.

Ani gave the earbuds her most ferocious bite!
Do kitties get bored easily? Ani finished chewing the earbuds awfully fast. Then she got distracted.

Ani got bored chewing the earbuds and was distracted by something else.
Later, Ani told me that dog-ma was awfully nice about her Halloween mischief.

Ani Siamese talks to Jack Corgi
I reminded Ani that we're lucky to have a furever home with someone who loves us unconditionally.

Paw-note: I'm pawing in fur Tilin Corgi, who's down and out with awful back muscle spasms again. We hope he gets well soon! We sure don't want him to miss trick-or-treatin' at Occidental Harvest Market Festival on Halloween.

October 22, 2008

Cage-free eggs: cheap & eat 'em too?

by pawlitico

Dog-ma came home in a wee tizzy from last night's Great Egg debate about California Proposition 2, which was held on the campus of Santa Rosa Junior College. She said that the wonderful Paul Shapiro of the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) debated the wonderful cage-free egg farmer, Steve Mahrt, of Petaluma.

Proposition 2 Debate between HSUS's Paul Shapiro (left) and Petaluma egg farmer Steve Mahrt (right) at SRJC, 21 Oct 08
Dog-ma sez it just isn't fair to have to argue about egg price over egg quality and nutrition. Besides, we wouldn't eat the eggs of cruelly-caged chickens even if they were givin' 'em away!

Our concern that laying hens be treated compassionately isn't compromised by caring about egg farmers like Steve Mahrt. After all, he and his family have been in the cage-free egg biz fur years, and he's now afraid that changes in regulations are gonna put him out of business.

Okay, so, what are we gonna do in order to see to it that laying hens are treated well and that the 'Steve Mahrts' of the Pacific region stay strong? . . . How are we dogs, who need animal protein in our diets, gonna help get rid of all inhumane farming of eggs, poultry, meat, and dairy!?

The answer from us Humane California Dogs: We're followin' the rule of fair prey! We companion animals have got to be humane consumers!

Look, my dog-ma had previously sat down and bellyached to me and Tilin Corgi and our Ani Siamese about declining terms of trade and other political-economic realities. Then she got into that thing about how either you're a leader, a change agent, or you're not.

So, all you doggehs, kittehs, and animal lovers: Is you is on the lead team or is you ain't? Either you're gonna lead the way in this period of economic change toward humane food production, or else you ain't! In other words, either you're gonna study up fast on the benefits of eatin' humanely-farmed animal protein, and then take that studyin' to the streets, or you're just not in the game.

And, in a sense, it is a game. It's the game of how humans whine about food prices while blowin' dollars on lotsa other stuff. C'mon, folks! You can't have your eggs cheap and have 'em tasty and cage-free, too.

But this is of course not a game to the "food animals" whose lives end when they become someone's prey.

Paw-leeze, humans everywhere, join us in investing in the humane food ethic and in a humane farming future. Be a humane food consumer!

And Californians, we'd better put paws up in favor of YES! on Prop 2. Otherwise the California farm economy and the regional farm economy ain't gonna stay ahead and be strong in the future.

Jack Corgi out puttin' paws up fur Prop 2 with wine country dog Tilin Corgi
We support a YES! on Prop 2 vote for ethical and economic reasons. The economic reason is to promote California's humane farmers as leaders in the New Egg economy. The ethical reason is self-explanatory. . . . Oh howl, I don't have to explain compassion, do I?

October 20, 2008

'Humane Dog' not waiting fur the world to change!

by winecountrydog

I was out this past weekend puttin' paws up for the humane treatment of farm animals. I, Tilin Corgi, was hangin' out with Jack Corgi and one of our dog buddies, in Petaluma — northern California's once-upon-a-time egg capital, still strong in egg and dairy farming.

Tilin Corgi, Jack Corgi, and friend at PET Out the Vote in Petaluma, CaliforniaHere are some of my other cool buddies at PET Out the Vote for YES! on Prop 2 in Petaluma.

Friends on Petaluma Blvd. at PET Out the VoteOn Sunday, I went to Sebastopol. Dog-ma and I walked around outside the wonderful farmers' market in the heart of town.

Farmers' market in Sebastopol, West Sonoma County, California
Walking back past Brown St., I spotted the message "PLEASE DO NOT BLOCK THIS DOOR." I took this as a metaphor for my humane campaign.

Sign on roll-up door: Please do not block this door
Pawleeze don't block the door to the humane future 'cuz we need to change!

Here's my open paw-letter explaining my humane pawsition.
I'm an 11-year-old Corgi who had a history of spinal disc pawblems. Last year, my holistic veterinarian got me to change my diet. I and my pet buddies started eating fresh organic animal, egg, and dairy protein from ONLY humanely-treated farm animals. Geez, good riddance to kibble and horrible factory-farmed food.

Long story short: The tremendous increase in my strength and vitality literally saved my life when I later needed emergency surgery!

How did this amazing experience change my family? Not hard fur you to guess! It raised our food-consumer consciousness to the max.

Out of gratitude for my life being saved, I started paw-writing about different stuff. Then I got involved in helping to pass California Proposition 2, the ballot initiative for setting standards for confining farm animals.

Can you imagine my going back to eating the flesh of animals or the eggs of hens who've suffered unnatural lives in tiny indoor cages? Oh howl, how ungrateful would I have to be to continue to stay on the old petfood animal-torture trail?

But this dialog about humane eating habits doesn't end at the polls in November 2008. As a dog, a companion animal, I'm not vegetarian or vegan. I've got to continue to have humanely-farmed animal-protein sources for myself and my furry friends.

My dog-ma and I hold a vision of the future. It's a future in which pets join humans as humane consumers. And it's a future in which consumers support humane farmers in their region. Everywhere in the world, we all need our regional humane farm economies to be strong.

Change starts with consumers refusing to buy or eat inhumanely-farmed poultry, meat, eggs, and dairy products!
Tilin Corgi sez pawleeze don't block humane change!
I'm not waitin' fur the world to change. I'm going forth as Humane Dog.

Pawnote: Woof thanks to everybuddy who came out to PETaluma to put paws up fur YES on Prop 2! And woof thanks to Katie at fur being a super-compassionate purrson.

October 18, 2008

Corgi love: my buddy Emma

by winecountrydog

I've got a beautiful new Welsh Corgi friend!

Beautiful Pembroke Welsh Corgi Emma Marie
Her name is Emma Marie. She lives in Ojai, California, and she's such a love.

Emma Marie CorgiEmma paw-wrote me a purrfectly wonderful letter after I asked her to tell me some impawtant things about herself.

Dear Tilin: Thank you for expressing so much interest in ME.

I was found wandering the streets in Tulare, California and brought to a high-kill shelter. Luckily, a kind group of humans came in and rescued me and a bunch of other down-on-their-luck dogs and brought us down to a nice rescue group in Fillmore. It sure was hot there. Being Welsh and double-coated (as are you), it was a little uncomfortable, but I was so grateful to be out of that nasty shelter, it almost felt like a doggy spa.

Anyway, one day a chubby red-haired female human came to shelter and took a liking for me (how could she not?). The next day she returned and took me home with her. I was a bit dismayed to see that I would have to share my new home with three felines, since I really prefer to get all the attention within a 5-mile radius, but after a while I realized they aren't THAT bad. I have attached a photo of the three of them to illustrate this story. I quickly discovered they do not like to be herded. Bummer.

My human used to be a filmmaker and wanted to make a film about me and my boyfriend, a handsome Pit Bull named Sailor Bill. But then my human stopped hanging out with Bill's human, so that project was abandoned. Too bad. . . . I would have loved to share my amazing brains and beauty with the world.

I am very smart (I figure you must be too, since you're a Corgi) and need lots of exercise. I hate it when my human goes to work, but she says she has to do it to earn money to buy all of my food and organic dog treats so I guess it just has to be done. My human's dream is to one day have an animal sanctuary and I'm very excited about helping her run the place.

There is so much more to tell you, Tilin, and of course, I want to hear more about your life. You are lucky to live in such a beautiful part of the world and to roam through the vineyards sharing your Corgi-ness with the world. ~ Until later, much love, Emma Marie.
Now, here's a photo of Emma's cats — who're nicely colored coordinated with her Corgi-ness!

Emma Corgi's three cats
Here's Emma waiting expectantly fur a treat from her human.

Emma Corgi waits expectantly for her human to give her a treat.Sometimes Emma's out putting paws up fur YES! on Prop 2. Here we see her relaxin' and hangin' out in her garden, chewin' on a treat.

Corgi Emma chews her treat in garden
Emma's lucky. She has a furever home with a human who's smart enough to recognize what a magnificent Pembroke Welsh Corgi she is!