Saturday, March 19, 2016


What happens when man's best friend goes missing at sea? As reported in this week's L.A. Times, San Diego fisherman Nick Haworth was crushed when his beloved German Shepherd, Luna, disappeared on February 10, while he was working two miles from San Clemente Island, a Navy training site. At first, Nick was optimistic that Luna, a strong swimmer, would make it to shore. When weeks passed and searchers found no trace of the dog, Nick feared the worst. Imagine his joy when Luna turned up at the training facility this past Tuesday, a bit thinner but otherwise in good shape.
Nick reunited with Luna
While my human mom and dad, Eugenie and Lou, like to think they lead our pack, truth is, they sometimes forget the rules and let a certain strikingly handsome pit bull take the reins. In a recent newsletter, dog behavior guru Cesar Millan lists some of the key signs that your pack hierarchy might need fixing, among them: letting your pooch eat before you do, giving him free run of the house (like the bed and sofa), having a dog that pulls on the leash during the walk, and a dog that ignores your commands. i.e., refusing to 'come' when being asked to leave the dog park. For the full list of no-nos, and how to correct the imbalance of power, read the article
Tanner (far right) greeting his pals at the dog park
Speaking of the dog park, as many of you know, we've been regulars at the Trancas Dog Park since it opened in July of 2010. Except for super warm days and rare rainy ones, we make it a point to join the '4 o'clock gang' - Bobby, Cocoa, Rusty, Rocky, Lady, Magnus, Zoe, Alfie - as often as possible. While we dogs do the usual sniffing, running and wrestling, our humans trade gossip and local news. Yesterday brought a nice surprise when a newcomer told Lou that she had just purchased GIMME SHELTER from our soon-to-be-extinct Bank Of Books. While she didn't recognize the writer (time for a new author photo?), she did recognize the cover dog! Thanks to her and to all of the people who've made the book such a positive, fun experience .

Tuesday, March 8, 2016


As many of you know, ever since the publication of GIMME SHELTER, my humans and I have made a point to provide monetary support for numerous animal rescue charities, including Best Friends Animal Sanctuary. In addition to practical pet advice, Best Friends Magazine offers moving rescue stories, like The Champions (March/April issue), a powerful, upbeat look at Darcy Dennett's documentary of the same name. The film chronicles the fate of Little Red, Handsome Dan, Cherry, and two other dogs that were rescued from Michael Vick's dogfighting operation, and how, with the help of Best Friends and a host of dedicated volunteers, these 'Vicktory' dogs found love and redemption after being saved from their hellish plight. Their successful outcomes helped change the mistaken beliefs that dogfight survivors needed to be euthanized,and that BDLs - Breed Discriminatory Laws -  were the answer to preventing dog attacks. (download the movie here) But there's still work to be done - 12 states still demonize dogfight survivors by labeling them 'dangerous' and insisting that they be euthanized - but thanks to the work of devoted dog lovers and pit bull advocates, 19 other states have banned breed discrimination. This pit bull, for one, looks forward to the day (and may it be soon) when stories like this will seem like relics of a bygone, less evolved age. 
Handsome Dan doing what pit bulls do best
Cherry with Paul & Melissa at his new home
While most of Vick's canine fighters beat the odds and survived their nightmare, a few of the most badly damaged dogs had to be put down. As anyone who has ever faced the choice can attest,  deciding whether or when to euthanize a pet can be a truly gut-wrenching situation. In a recent Cesar's Way newsletter  the famed dog whisperer offered some very helpful and caring tips on how to cope with putting a pet to sleep, like knowing when it's time, understanding the procedure, and allowing yourself space and time to grieve. His parting advice: "Although saying good-bye is the hardest part of our relationships with our dogs, we can console ourselves by remembering that by rescuing that dog we gave it a chance at a happy life in the first place — and left us with many pleasant memories. Once you’re done with the grieving and back in a positive place, the best tribute you can pay to a dog that’s passed is to give another dog a second chance."
Tanner and his babies