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 KRSH.com 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!

October 15, 2008

MUTTS farm animals ask for compassion

by winecountrydog

Our friend and neighbor, Ms. Mutts Hen, has an impawtant question fur humans, and she's taking it to the streets.

MUTTS Chicken strip 12 Oct 08 cartoon copyright 2008
Patrick McDonnell, the artist who draws the MUTTS comic strip, created this and other cartoons to raise awareness for farm animal protection. The cartoons carrying the anti-cruelty message are running this week in 700 newspapers where the strip appears.

If you live in California, you pawbably already know why Mr. McDonnell's on the farm: He suppawts State ballot initiative Proposition 2 to create humane standards for housing farm animals.

I hope you get to see the cartoons in this eight-day series that shows laying hens, calves, and pigs campaigning on the streets and going door-to-door.

To read about Patrick McDonnell's pawsition on the issues, see the interview by Michael Markarian, prez of the Humane Society Legislative Fund.
MUTTS Power to the Peeples cartoon copyright 2008
Hey, MUTTS is givin' new meaning to the term "chicken strip"!

October 8, 2008

Largest ever Magellanic penguin rescue!

by winecountrydog

A big parade of penguins marched back into the sea on October 4, 2008. This was a gigantic rescue effort by the International Federation of Animal Welfare (IFAW) Emergency Response Team.

The IFAW humans were assisted by colleagues from the Center for the Recovery of Marine Animals (CRAM), the Instituto Mamíferos Aquáticos (Institute for Aquatic Mammals, or IMA), and IBAMA, the environmental authority in Brazil.

Prior to their release, worried IFAW bloggers wrote the following blog (4 October). This is the kind of thing that makes me howl and put my paws together in a desperate plea for animal protection.
Every day that passes with these penguins in captivity is a huge disappointment at this point; we know the grave consequences that captivity has on wildlife. You see, penguins are sea creatures; they spend the great majority of their lives swimming and feeding at sea and consequently suffer after long periods of time ashore. They not only look awkward and innocent as they waddle from one place to the other but sure enough, land-locked life takes a physical toll on penguins, namely on their feet which quickly grow blisters, swell up and easily get infected.
There were 372 stranded Magellanic penguins who got to go home. Woof! Paws up! They made history as the largest group of Magellanic penguins ever to be released at one time in Brazil.

After their long journey from northern Brazil, where they'd been stranded, the penguins said hasta la huego at the world's longest beach: the beautiful 152-milelong (245-Km) Praia do Cassino (Cassino Beach) in the state of Rio Grande do Sul, on the southernmost coast of Brazil.

See our bird friends finding their way home in this video by IFAW's Michael Booth.

You can learn about how the penguins ended up needing rescue by going to the IFAW website and to their Animal Rescue blog.

October 6, 2008

The first 'YES on Prop 2' TV ad

by pawlitico

I watched the first TV advertisement for California Proposition 2, which is about the treatment of farm animals. This TV ad launched just today.

As a humane dog, I cringed as I watched. I think humans might have a similar reaction. This ad contains graphic images of inhumanely treated animals.

I heard that the results of a recent poll show Californians favor the passage of Proposition 2. The poll sez voters are 72 to 10 percent in favor of Prop 2. The article about the poll is at California Progress Report.

I sure hope humans are making progress.

Pawnote: I'm worrying that the TV ad is too graphic and shocking. I mean, it's gruesome! But dog-ma and Tilin Corgi said maybe we better show it so humans know what's going on. Oh howl, I hope this was the right decision.

October 4, 2008

'Off Leash: Who's a good girl?'

by pawlitico

There's a show in town called Off Leash: Who's a Good Girl? and it's about the relationship between us dogs and humans. You humans can see it at ODC Theater in San Francisco from October 8 to 12, 2008.

Presented by ODC and Litquake, the show is written and performed by JoAnn Selisker, seen here in puritan parody.

JoAnn Selisker and dogsHere's a bit about the show:
Off Leash ponders the question "Who's a good girl?" in a world where model behavior is defined by being able to sit still while being fondled by strangers.

Shot through with flat irony and sometimes satire, Off Leash combines elements of literary short fiction, theater, dance, and satirical humor to form a multi-dimensional narrative where the wires carrying the required currents of mutual trust, love and affection inevitably cross, producing sometimes giddy, and sometimes darkly poetic short circuits.

If you're the kind of person who loves animals, is fascinated by dogs, puzzled and sometimes troubled by how humans collectively use or treat them, and in general mull the canine-human continuum, then Off Leash is for you.

Ms. Selisker is said to know how to get to certain comic and arresting realities. Fur example, she sometimes refurs to humans as "dog's best frenemy." She can also give thought-provoking (or, some might say, just plain provoking) answers in interviews. When the San Francisco Bay Guardian asked "What do you think of Cesar Millan, the Dog Whisperer?", Ms. Selisker replied:

I think he makes some nice dog beds. You can get anything he thinks your dog needs with his "brand" on it. You could call him the Martha Stewart of the dog world. . . . They both give us simple how-to instructions and affordable, quality products. All we have to do is buy the videos, magazines, supplies, and accessories, follow step-by-step instructions, and . . . voilà! The perfect dinner party; the well-mannered pet.
The pawblem I have with JoAnn Selisker's show is that I can't apply the title to myself. Not that I'm not good. I am good! . . . I'm a very good boy.

Pawnote: Dog-ma sez she rather likes Martha Stewart.

October 2, 2008

It's pumpkin time!

by pawlitico

You probably think that pumpkin time means we're celebrating the "pumpkin month" of October.

Oh howl, what lovely pumpkins!
Yes, we love pumpkins. But what I mean by "pumpkin time" is our diet: My buddy Tilin Corgi and I started eating cooked pumpkin this past week 'cuz we've had a bit of . . . well, a touch of gastroenteritis — a nice big human term for the poopies.

I feel sheepish to admit that I swallowed some apricot pits. I know I warned everybuddy else not to do this in my piece "Confessions of a plum eater." But I lost track of what I was swallowing, and, oh howl, those pits carved their names all the way down my insides.

So one of our favorite veterinarians, Jona Jordan DVM, told us to eat 1/4 cup of cooked pumpkin and fast for 12 hours. Then we continued having pumpkin with our regular meals.

Before we could say "Corgis look great in Halloween costumes," our problem was solved. Now we're having pumpkin at practically every meal. Pumpkin is nutritious and has lots of fiber. Fiber helps push bad stuff out of the digestive tract and also makes a better stool.

Pumpkin is a funny word. According to "Pumpkins and More" at University of Illinois Extension, references to pumpkins go way back. The word pumpkin comes from the Greek word for "large melon," which is "pepon." The French turned it into "pompon." Then the English changed it to "pumpion." American colonists changed "pumpion" into "pumpkin." Woof? I dunno why.

If you're in our area, I hope you'll get to visit Petaluma Pumpkin Patch. There are gazillions of big and little pumpkins. There's also a giant four-acre corn maze, which is redesigned every year by Farmer Jim and then cut down right after Halloween to turn the stalks into silage for cattle.