November is #PetCancerAwareness Month.  Now I don’t know who made this month but for more than a few reasons, there’s a cosmic irony about it.  The first of which is Malcolm (the first dog I lost to cancer and whose death inspired our travels) – his birthday was the eve of.  

It’s been many years since his loss and I don’t reflect on it oft but his light of life emanates from me still. And recently, it was all brought back.  

I was grateful to be invited to participate at the Connecticut Shoreline Puppy Up Walk last Sunday October 30th and it was an absolutely gorgeous day – a bit balmy but cloudy at times.  Everything was going great though the proceedings seemed to be delayed until the news came down.  The Dog Cancer Hero, Medalla, whom we all had been awaiting her arrival, collapsed in the parking lot, was administered CPR by her vet, but tragically passed away en route to the clinic.  

And everyone’s crying and the microphone was given to me to keep the proceedings ongoing.  Those of you who know me I’m not usually at a loss for words but I wept, too, and publicly something I hadn’t done so since Murphy.  After a moment of silence we all soldiered on and walked the two miles at Guilford Fairgrounds.  All of us except Medalla.  

Perhaps that’s why I wept.  Some of us cross the finish line.  Some of us don’t.  And with Murphy it was close. 

And while, at least for now, we don’t know why, we should all give thanks that we’re shadowcasted by the great brilliance of those we have lost. 

This month, more so than others, give some goddamn great love to your companions, with whom your time together is transient but will walk aside you for thousands of miles until the end.  

I want to thank MariAnne for sharing Medalla with us all and nearby is a bit about her in MariAnne’s words.  


Medalla was a mixed breed rescue from Puerto Rico. While I was there on business, we found each other on a secluded beach in the small town where I was staying.  She was just a puppy, between 3-4 months old.  From that day forward, she was the most loving and faithful friend I could ever hope for.  She never left my side. If you asked anyone at Guilford Vet Hospital, they would say she was a shy, quiet dog, but like most children, at home she was very talkative and the alpha of her pack.  

At six years old, Medalla was diagnosed with Lymphoma. After Chemo, she immediately went into remission.  This summer, she came out of remission for the second time. This was her third round of treatments. She immediately went back into remission again.  She was such a little trouper and took everything so well.  Unfortunately, I lost her to a heart attack, before she could finish her Chemo.  I want to thank Guilford Vet Hospital and all canine cancer research for giving me an extra 3 years with my wonderful baby girl. 

2 Dogs 2000 Miles

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Featured Pet Sitter: Cool Dogs Petsitting, LLC

PetsitUSA’s newest featured pet sitter is Cool Dogs Petsitting in Richmond, VA!  If you are in the Richmond area, you can find their listing here.image441  Cool Dogs offers many services, including:

  • AM, Midday, PM visits and sleepovers
  • Bathing and Brushing
  • Pet Photography
  • Pet First Aid Certified

You can find more information at their website.

Thank you Cool Dogs Petsitting for being a member of PetsitUSA!

PetsitUSA Blog

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Into the wilderness

When I started down this venture in 2008, there was an active blogging community that covered dogs. I was an idiot in those days and a far worse writer.

You got hits by being a pugilist. I punched. I got punched in return.

And it was okay.

But then the major blogging networks that held this fractious community together “went corporate, and all the organic aspects of this community died.

What we were left with just competition and vitriolic bellicosity.

I kept this up for as long as I could, but then I either grew up or just got tired of all the bullshit. It’s probably the latter.

I have yet to find a community in the real dog world that isn’t petty and dogmatic. Probably the only exception to this is my own Facebook group that is associated with this blog, but that is like the Island of Misfit Toys, where they are led by the ultimate broken jack-in-the-box (me).

I am never, ever going to be a super dog trainer. I don’t have the skills, and I’m not going to pretend that I have those skills anymore. I’ve tried to learn them. I just don’t have it.

It’s the toughest thing in the world for me to admit that I cannot do something.

Not everyone can read historical documents or peer-reviewed articles either.

That’s what I tell myself.

You may have noticed that the scope of this blog has changed a lot in the past few months. I am trying to find my voice again, and I think I do better as a story teller than what my grandpa called a cross between a prostitute and an encyclopedia: “a fucking know-it-all.”

I may lose readers if they don’t see the latest story about a dog bite or something stupid that a TV dog trainer did.

That’s okay.

There still are places where you can read that stuff.

It’s just not me.

I’ve lost a lot of friends over the years. I don’t think anyone from that community still talks to me or links to me from the early days.

I have a few readers who have stayed with me for the long haul. They’ve seen my various evolutionary epochs.

And I now am the point where it I don’t think I will ever go back.

The conflict that exist because of the problems of the modern dog fancy have been solved in the grand scheme of things. In North America, the main multi-breed registries are essentially ignored. In Europe, there is just so much public pressure for reform that it will happen. It will happen as the older generations die off.

In the mean time, a lot of damage is going to be done, but because the people who are okay with the damage are so certain about their views, it is a waste of time deal with them.

Allow the attrition of the generations to take care of this problem.

I find myself falling into an anhedonic state when it comes to these issues.

But I also know the rightful place for me is in the wilderness.

The battles of dog people will go on.

I’m checking out.







Natural History

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Madonna Leaves the Dog Film Festival in New York City to go… Home!

Madonna - Mayor's Alliance

The 2nd Annual Dog Film Festival, held at Symphony Space in New York City on October 15, was a howling success in many ways.

I returned home happy, but exhausted, and then I received the fantastic news that Madonna, a 22-month-old rescued Pit Bull, found her new forever home at the Festival.

Our beneficiary partner, the Mayor’s Alliance for NYC’s Animals, a nonprofit group that works with more than 150 rescue groups and shelters, invited Posh Pets Rescue to bring adoptable dogs in the Petco Foundation adoption van.

The dogs greeted patrons on the sidewalk outside of the theater all day long, wagging their tails hopefully and longing to be adopted. That’s where Tina and her family met Madonna, the gray and white stray who melted their hearts.

Tina emailed me to say, “My family and I had an amazing experience at the Dog Film Festival. Thank you for being such a great host. After going through the proper adoption process, Madonna has been ours since Friday!

Thank you, Tina and family for sharing this news. Moments like this make all of the hard work worth it.

As you can see in the photo, Madonna’s new people got to enjoy the fun Dog Person t-shirts that Bayer and K9 Advantix II gave out to attendees at all four film programs.

And thank you Halo Pets, the Dog Film Festival Founding Sponsor that has been giving 10,000 bowls of pet food to our beneficiary partners in different locations. In New York, it was the Posh Pets hospice sanctuary that will be enjoying 2,000 lbs. Of Halo’s premium pet food. The Dog Film Festival and Tina and her family affirm my faith in all of the animal welfare organizations that work together to help homeless animals together with the people whose lives they complete, guiding us all toward a better world.



Tracie began her career as a radio personality with a live show – DOG TALK® (and Kitties, Too!) – on the local NPR station in the Hamptons, Peconic Public Broadcasting (WPPB) from Southampton, New York (the show is now also carried on the NPR station Robinhood Radio in Connecticut and the Berkshires). DOG TALK® won a Gracie® Award (the radio equivalent of an Oscar) in 2010 as the “Best entertainment and information program on local public radio” and continues weekly after more than 450 continuous shows and 9 years on the air. Tracie’s live weekly call-in show CAT CHAT® was on SiriusXM satellite radio for seven years until the Martha Stewart channel was canceled in 2013.

Tracie lives in Vermont where the Radio Pet Lady Network studio is based, on 13 acres well-used by her all-girl pack – two lovely, lively Weimaraners, Maisie and Wanda, and a Collie-mix, Jazzy.

Halo Pets

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Links I Love, Right Now

I just realized I haven’t done a Links I Love post since the beginning of July. Most of the “free time” (because we all have so much of that, right?) I spent online in the months that followed was admittedly researching Emmett’s illness, and those late night nursing sessions I used to spend aimlessly perusing the internet have become shorter and less frequent as little dude has gotten older. The time change this week though, while creating a darkness that begins at 4:30 which is basically this summer girl’s own personal hell, has messed with the kids enough that they’re falling asleep earlier at night. That also means that Emmett now wakes up ready for the day at 5:30 AM, but it allows me a little more down time at night to cram in Netflix with Robbie and (finally getting to the point here) come across pieces of awesomeness like you will see below. Here are these week’s favorites links and finds:

IKEA can basically do no wrong in my book, but their Winter Holiday collection (seen in image above) is above and beyond. I want it all.

Destiny’s Child reunited for the Mannequin Challenge and it was glorious.

For those who, like me, are having a hard time emotionally with the election results, this post on how to take action, donate, and help from Man Repeller made me feel like I could actually do something positive rather than just sit here in a pile of doughnuts ugly crying.

While there are times that I feel like Essley’s behavior is borderline teenager (so. much. attitude.), my kids technically have a while to go before they get there. So I guess that gives me some time to prepare (and cross my fingers that they aren’t as rebellious as their parents were). I found this article on what’s going on inside the teen brain incredibly interesting.

This pullover. Need.

We’ve been doing a Friendsgiving celebration with a big group of pals for 4 years now, and I’m so looking forward to this year (coming up on Thursday!). Ours aren’t quite as pretty as Elsie and Emma’s, but I still love looking at theirs each year for inspiration.

15 hilarious examples that show why letter spacing is important.

Any of you who have children (or know a child) who suffers from or has suffered from seizures will be able to relate on some level to this beautiful piece written by my friend Lauren about her daughter Nora’s seizure journey. One of the seizure types Nora has had to face is the same one with which Emmett was diagnosed (and also one of the most, if not the most, damaging and catastrophic), Infantile Spasms. Awareness and understanding are so important. Please read if you can.

These luxurious red velvet jeans from Madewell are EVERYTHING.

You guys, there is a Ned Flanders-inspired heavy metal band called Okilly Dokilly and they just released their first music video. Brilliant.

I need to make this pumpkin pie green smoothie immediately.

I hope you enjoy the rest of your Friday and your weekend, friends! See you Monday.


Bubby and Bean ::: Living Creatively

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This is Shar-pei looking at the camera very intently at the recent Fete de la Branda in Gorbio village.

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Prosperous Pet Business Online Conference

Ready to take your pet business to the next level?

PetsitUSA is sponsoring the upcoming online pet business conference!

It’s a virtual event and you can attend from wherever you are in the world…and it’s at no cost to you.

Many top pet business experts will be speaking including Victoria Stilwell, Ian Dunbar, Beth Stultz from Pet Sitters International and many more speakers at the upcoming Prosperous Pet Business Online Conference hosted by Kristin Morrison.

The goal of the conference is to inspire pet business owners to break through problems, get unstuck, and move forward on business goals. In short, to empower you to fulfill your dream of working with pets for a living.

Kristin’s conference has a unique format. It’s no charge (woo-hoo!), international (cool!), and comprised of a series of informative interviews with all sorts of experts in the business and pet field. And the conference is online so you can attend regardless of where you are in the world.

You’re sure to take a gem away from each of these informal chats, each one built around the theme of making more money while experiencing more ease and more freedom (nice!).

All the details you need are here: Prosperous Pet Business Online Conference.

Hope to see you there!

PetsitUSA Blog

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Warren Eckstein’s Holiday Food Alert

Holiday Dangers for Pet

Would you know what to do if you walked into the room and found your dog or cat choking? If you are like the majority of pet owners, you’d probably panic and perhaps scramble to locate your vet’s phone number.

While you should always keep your vet’s number (and the number of the nearest 24-hour emergency clinic) prominently displayed by your phone, a choking pet needs your immediate attention. Minutes can actually make the difference as to whether your pet lives or dies.

So if your pet is choking, remain calm, open your pet’s mouth and check for any foreign objects. Remember, a frightened.or distressed pet may bite or scratch. Personally, when one of my pets is in trouble, I really don’t care about a bite or a scratch! To minimize the risk, place your fingers on your pet’s palate – this will prevent him from biting down.

Once you’ve removed any foreign objects and your pet still appears to be in distress, use the Heimlich Maneuver. This same “hug of life” which works for humans by forcing air to dislodge obstructions in the throat or larynx can be used on dogs and cats.

If your pet is small or has collapsed:

  1. Place your pet on his side on a hard surface (i.e. the floor or a table).
  2. Place both hands just behind the last rib and press down quickly and firmly.* Release immediately and repeat rapidly several times. Try to direct the force of your hands slightly forward – this will make your efforts more effective.
  3. Have someone open your pet’s mouth wide and attempt to retrieve the foreign object as it is forced out of your pet’s throat.

If your pet is large and is able to stand:

  1. Straddle your pet, placing him between your legs.
  2. If someone is with you, have them help keep your pet’s mouth open.
  3. Place both hands under your pet, again below the last rib, and lift with quick thrusts upward and forward several times. Continue until the airway is clear.

THE FINAL STEP – Once your pet is breathing normally, even if he seems fine, get him to the vet. Remember, the Heimlich Maneuver is a form of first aid – the immediate care given to a pet until proper medical care arrives.

Ideally, prevention is preferable to having to employ the Heimlich Maneuver. That’s why I do not advocate giving our cats and dogs turkey, chicken, beef, pork or lamb bones – they can splinter and get caught in our pets’ tiny throats. The same warning goes for decorating holiday trees with tinsel. However, we can’t forsee every danger to our pets, so it’s important you take the time now to review the steps I’ve outlined. By doing so, you just may save yourpet’s life!

*Obviously, you would not use the same amount of pressure on a cat or Yorkshire Terrier as you would for a Great Dane. If you are unsure how much pressure to apply, check with your vet and review the procedure with him before an emergency arises.

How to perform pet cpr

Warren-Eckstein-cats-fbWarren Eckstein, host of The Pet Show, is an internationally known pet and animal expert. Warren has devoted over thirty years to teaching both pets and their people to live happily together through his unique “Hugs and Kisses” approach to animal behavior, care and training. 

Warren has worked with more than 40,000 pets including those of many well-known celebrities. David Letterman, Cheryl Tiegs, Lily Tomlin, Geraldine Ferraro, Al Pacino, Rodney Dangerfield, and Phylicia Rashad are just a few of many whom Warren has helped with pet problems.

Halo Pets

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I hope this just does not push through. As it is,…

I hope this just does not push through. As it is, there is enough violence against animals that must first be addressed rather than this ridiculous breed ban.

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Get Ready for Holiday Baking: Save 40% on Cookie Cutters!

As we count down to the holidays, don’t forget dog-shaped cookies (and ornaments) made with cookie cutters! This week only, ALL our cookie cutters on our PawZaar Cookie Cutter Collection page…

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