Hurry! Voting Closes at 3 pm on May 3rd!

Sorry for the short notice, but I just received this from our friends at Pets for Patriots. They are asking that we vote for Jameson as an Emerging Hero in the 2017 American Humane Hero Dog Awards. Voting ends today at 3pm Eastern! Despite the cruelty inflicted upon him as a young pup Jameson has […]


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First Freekibble Flights to Freedom Trip Leaves Memphis with 110 Dogs and Cats

Bella waiting for her flight to freedom

On May 3rd, a flight is scheduled to leave Memphis carrying 110 loving, healthy pets from Southern states’ overcrowded shelters – to shelters in the Northwest where they’re killed to be quickly adopted! Most of these dogs and cats wouldn’t survive if they don’t make this flight.

Last month, the Freekibble community helped fly hundreds of pets to freedom – that would not have survived otherwise. The response was so great, that they created Freekibble Flights to Freedom.

In shelters across the country, highly adoptable dogs and cats are euthanized just because the shelters are overcrowded. In other areas, shelters have a shortage of adoptable pets. Freekibble is working with Wings of Rescue to save homeless pets by flying them to shelters where they’re likely to be quickly adopted! Wings of Rescue flew 10,000 pets to new homes last year alone!

Halo Pets will be donating 10,000 bowls of Halo kibble with WHOLE meat (and NO “meat meal” of ANY kind) to shelters receiving the animals — because WHOLE meat makes a whole lot of difference!

Don’t forget to play Freekibble.com to help feed hungry pets and as always, Halo will donate a bowl to a shelter every time YOU buy. Thank you for helping #HaloFeeditForward.

Halo Pets

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Feline Graffiti: Stressed-out Cat Pees on Everything!

stressed cat

I got this question from Taylor, who listens to my NPR radio show DOG TALK ®(and Kitties, Too!) as well as to CAT CHAT® on the Radio Pet Lady Network. She describes a pretty awful out-of-control, out-of-litter-box situation:

“We have two cats and three dogs in our family along with our toddler-aged daughter. It’s always crazy at our house, especially with my husband being military and having to move all the time, but I wouldn’t change it for the world. There is however one thing I would certainly change, and that’s our male cat constantly peeing on things. Cat pee is negatively impacting nearly every aspect of my life, causing anxiety, stress, and taking its toll on our patience for each other and the other animals.  

This has been going on for three years now. The cat has lulls that are sometimes a month or two long where he’s a model kitty citizen, despite the fact that he’s probably ruined a couple thousand dollars worth of our things. But in our recent move it has been out of hand. He’s peeing on everything, including the litter box occasionally if we’re lucky. I’d say that four days out of the week we wake up or find something he has urinated on, even though we’ve spent these last few years trying to keep him away from all clothes, bedding, pillows that are his “favorites” to pee on. But now he is now peeing on our kitchen counter! I woke up to it this morning and then again an hour or two later he peed there again, despite using an enzyme cleaner the first time.

It has reached the point that sometimes we cannot sleep at night, which spills over into the next day, so there are times I’m too tired to be the parent my child deserves.

We’ve reached out to so many different people, groups, and forums only to get the same answers over and over again. I think if I get another one like that I might have to be committed! We’ve tried adding litter boxes, trying different kinds of litter boxes, cleaning the litter box twice a day, moving their locations, and oh the different kinds of litter. We’ve taken him to the different vets multiple times throughout the last few years just for this issue and after getting a clean bill of health, we hear the same advice over again, things that we have already tried and handful of times and things that we’re continuously trying. My husband is military and I’m a stay-at-home parent to our daughter and the furry ones, so money is occasionally tight. This makes the situation even more frustrating for us because we have spent so much money and made so many cuts to our budget throughout this time period.

We refuse to give up on him because he’s family and we know there has to be some sort of answer that works for us, we just have to keep searching but it’s been three years of this and we are at our limit. If we don’t get some sort of help, we’re going to have to build some sort of outside enclosure. But that’s the last option, he’s overall very loving and I’d hate to separate him from us.

My answer to Taylor:

I’m so sorry. This sounds like a very difficult situation. My first suggestion would be to go to the veterinarian for a full checkup since urinary and kidney problems can cause out-of-litter box issues but you have already done that. You’ve also been vigilant in cleaning your litter boxes, having multiple ones, and experimenting to see what litters he accepted (I wonder if you tried Cat Attract litter, which has herbs that draw cats into the box and is often used with cats who are “litter box challenged”?)

However, I think the major problem here is pretty simple: too much change and stress! You said yourself you’re “moving all the time,” you have a toddler (a big challenge to cats) and multiple other animals (which is a ton of creatures for a naturally solitary cat to deal with). You don’t mention when you got the other cat and three dogs but I’ll bet those periods of introduction are linked to his peeing. As your first sentence says, “It’s always crazy at our house.” Some pets can roll with the crazy, some can’t.

Your frequent relocation is clearly the biggest issue. Moving over and over explains why the kitty is fine and then he isn’t. Having adjusted to a new place he is then removed from it all over again and expresses his emotional misery at the chaos and upheaval by peeing. For many cats, stress will cause them to mark territory.

Cats hate change, especially in their environment, which is why they say about cats that their comfort and security comes from where they live: they will choose a place over a person, if it comes down to it. You hear of cats who have lived happily with a family for years, but if they move he will travel a long distance to return to the original home.

You are good-hearted to say he’s part of your family and you don’t want to give up on him, but maybe the kindest thing is to recognize that loving him means giving him a stable, secure predictable environment. The kindest thing would be to find him a living situation that suits him better, unless you are not going to move again – in which case I think you should create that “catio” outside for him. And I’d also recommend that you give him his own space in the house away from all the hub-bub. It’s unlikely that is possible.

I rarely recommend re-homing a cat, and generally we all say, “Love means never giving up on an animal” but that’s not always the case. There are some things we cannot change or fix. Sometimes we need to see things for what they are, not what we wish they were. For three whole years your cat’s behavior has been a nightmare for you – but your lifestyle has been very hard on him at the same time, which you haven’t realized. Your family deserves better. And so does the cat.

Was there somewhere you lived previously that he seemed most happy and possibly the current owners would welcome him back? Or might there be someone you know who isn’t going anywhere and has a peaceful home where the cat can have peace and quiet with a loving human companion? Do you know anyone whose kind of life might be a better fit for him? I salute your devotion to him, but your whole family suffering from that dedication, and that includes the pussy cat. I’ll have my paws crossed for a solution that brings true happiness to all of you.

 

Halo Pets

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Election Day

There’s only one thing to do today … turn off the television and go love your dog!
RIVIERA DOGS

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Dogs in cars

Dogs in cars. (Emmanuelle, Guillaume, Joe (the cocker spaniel) in Patrick’s restored Renault 4. What wonderful friends I have.
RIVIERA DOGS

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What I’m Wearing Now: April

Spring Style Essentials
1. Off The Shoulder Lyocell Tunic, H&M Conscious  //  2. Silver Hoop Earrings Set, H&M  //  3. Clear Mirrored Sunnies (only $ 9.99!), H&M  //  4. Classic Date Black Watch, Lord Timepieces (take 10% off with code BEAN)  // 5.  Jersey Tee, H&M  //  6.  Magic Braid Crossbody Bag, Lucky Brand  //  7.  Pinter Wash Jean Jacket, Madewell  //  8. The Perfect Jean Short, Madewell  //  9. Black Leggings, Target  //  10. Morocco Sandals in Brown, Minnetonka  //  11. Madison Boots, Trask  //  12. Rene Sandal, Trask  //  13. Palm Pattern Dress, H&M  

You guys, this is my favorite  What I’m Wearing Now in a while. Spring is finally here, like for real (the occasional semi-warm day doesn’t count), and man is it glorious. There is nothing more freeing to me than being able to look in my closet each morning and (usually) pull out pieces suited for warmer temperatures. This month I’ve been really lucky, because not only did I spent the first week of it in Arizona, it’s been mostly beautiful outside since we returned home as well. I’ve picked up a few new dresses for the season, pulled out my cut-offs and kimonos, and have been feeling a whole lot more inspired when it comes to my clothes.

In addition to the pieces you see above, I’ve been wearing a whole lot of affordable Target finds – like this dress and this dress (both under $ 30!) – which I couldn’t include in the collage simply because the only images I could find were of people wearing them. (You may recognize this one from Monday’s outfit post, and you’ll see me sporting this one in an upcoming post as well.) I’ve also been wearing these sandals nonstop and even got a matching pair for Essley (also coming in an outfit post soon). And like last month, I’ve been rocking hoop earrings almost everyday, along with this gorgeous set of 7 pairs of earrings I snagged at Free People for only $ 18. My favorite denim jacket has been on steady rotation as well. Style life is good in springtime.

I’m looking to pick up some new lightweight tops to wear with cut-offs at the weather gets even warmer in the coming weeks, and would love to hear any suggestions you have for your favorites!

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Bubby and Bean ::: Living Creatively

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Midnight with Murphy

I should’ve been fasting these past 10 days out in the hinterlands of Tennessee.  All alone in my trusty tent starving myself of sustenance in order to achieve some greater clarity, understanding and context that occasionally is lost to me.  Heck I was packed up and ready to head out and then something stopped me.  Can’t say what for sure – but the cascade of events set in motion since have been nothing short of metamorphic.   
Recently, I met a man who showed me another way and for the past two weeks I’ve been doing some serious transcendental shit; acupuncture, chanting, Reiki and sensory deprivation (not like Altered States – I’m already a beast of a man but more internal, intrinsic).    If I didn’t know better I’d think I’d been smoking some serious Humboldt county style Boo-Ya.  Yes, yes I got a PhD in weed on the west coast.  
Sure, I’ve acknowledged the possibility and potential of and even dabbled in these Eastern type practices but never personally, truly, and profoundly have I explored them.  And now I’m down in it.  
So where is it going to take me?  What’s the endpoint of it all?  To this, I am as yet uncertain.  But here’s what I have learned thus far on this new path.
The Fallacy of ‘What Should Happen Should Happen’
I was never any good at Logic – not the concept or application of it – but in the scholastic sense and  as a subset of philosophy.  So in attempting to make sense of the sequence of events that led me here to this time and place – I made up this fallacy which is basically the basis of flawed logic. 
People often ask me why did you walk those thousands of miles.  Oh sure, I’ve got a pocket full of reasons.  The fun, flippant one – everything is bigger in Texas and when we lose a dog to cancer down there we don’t walk around a park, we walk cross country.  Then I’ve got the media sound bite version – sharing Malcolm and Murphy’s story from town to town to raise awareness of the epidemic of canine cancer. I’ve got many more but you get the point.  
Perhaps they are all truths or variations of the same one but for me it’s because I believed walking from Austin to Boston would help heal my loss of Malcolm, to soothe my savage heart. And then within weeks of the final mile, Murphy was diagnosed and, well, most of you know the rest of that story.   
And so I walked another 1,700 miles doubling down on the belief that THAT would heal me.   
You see the fallacy in this logic?  That because I believed it should, it should’ve.  But it didn’t.  
Luke 4:23
You know, it’s commonly thought that the origin of my name is ‘light giving’ and the best known example of it is the apostle Paul’s traveling companion and doctor.  This proverb – I had to look that up since, um, well I usually skipped Bible study in search of less pious pursuits shall we say – in Latin reads cura te ipsum  - ‘Physician heal thyself’ something that’s been a bit of an impossibility for me it seems.  
I suppose my post-facto rationalization has always been – I never spare myself any emotion for Malcolm and Murphy no matter how painful.  I can endure it.  Just like so many nights on the road and asea, I can weather this storm.  But I have suffered so.  
Self-imposed or not.  
Disconnection
Back to this newfound friend of mine, whom I barely even know. He showed me that pain can be a way to separate yourself from others.  To disconnect from them.  Furthermore, he said that people like me unknowingly use tragedy to spare themselves from the need and necessity of love and letting others in.  
I’m not sure if I believe all of his bullshit yet – but hey, I’m listening.    You see, it’s one thing to turn tragedy into action – oh, I’ve done that and then some.  It’s quite another thing to allow that experience to truly transform you.  And it’s here I find myself at this intersection.   
Life Off Road
Not to put too fine a point on it but I’ve become a bit of an expert on backpacking the byways, highways, back roads and farm roads of this incredible land of ours.  But take me off and away from it and I tend to fall apart.  Perhaps it’s because I’m always in pursuit of an idea, a belief, a cause – our cause – that remains elusive to me.  Or maybe it’s as simple as finding sedentary existence unsettling and like Carthamus I’m damned to a life of wandering and wondering.   
And while I have been pretty good at chronicling and sharing my journeys on the road with you, I’ve been decidedly deficit in talking about it off, especially post west coast.  From now on, that will change.  I won’t let fear, doubt, uncertainty, darkness or utter despair disconnect me from you again.  
In part because some of you have said to me you find the latter much more inspiring and relatable if not essential than the former.  And in part because my new friend tells me to.  
That and I need a simpler formula for existence.  I live.  I learn.  I write.  Something like that… just less cheesy and Julia Roberts sounding.  
Postscripts
Two blogs in draft right now (1) On Turning 36 – My travels and adventurin’ have taken their toll on Yer Big Dog so I lick my wounds and tell tales about it; (2) The Theory of Cancer – lately my thinking has gotten so abstract and theoretical about the evolution of cancer. Where is it going and how can that affect our thinking about the future of therapeutics? On societal and civil re-engineering?  Reflections on my conversations with thought leaders and a whole host of other ideas – this will definitely be a multi-part project. 
There are more… lots more but I’m attempting to do a better job of prioritizing my crazy.
——–

YBD’s Notes 1: The name of this blog has a special meaning to me.  Back when I was a businessman in Texas I would often take Malcolm up to my office in the evenings and that inspired a series of writings I entitled Midnight with Malcolm.  Dunno what the change denotes quite yet…

YBD’s Notes 2: I stuff hyperlinks in my blogs if’n anyone wants to learn more about things that fascinate me but be forewarned – logic will make yer eyes water.  

YBD’s Notes 3: Upon further reflection ‘What Should Happen Should Happen’ SHOULD be a fallacy. Oh boy.

YBD’s Notes 4: Coincidentally, whilst recently consolidating all of my scant worldly possessions from around the country, I found this photo of me taken at the blessing of my childhood home.  I’ve seen too much of this world in this life to believe in coincidences.  Thanks to my sister-in-law Linda for preserving it.  Nice bowl cut, Mom
YBD’s Notes 5:  I should choose a name for my new friend – he’s not imaginary.  I Promise.  At least in my mind.  In this room.  That’s white.  And padded.  

YBD’s Notes 6: Perhaps it’s still too early for me to write – no, I’m always doing that – to publish about these transcendental, metaphysical experiences and experiments.  But hey, at least I’m rounding again.  

2 Dogs 2000 Miles

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Maine Coon Alerts Couple to Lethal Levels of Carbon Monoxide

Gracie the cat from Wisconsin“We were definitely saved by Grace. Saved by Gracie,” says Annette Shanahan about their cat. Annette and her husband owe their lives to their eight-year-old Maine Coon mix and aren’t afraid to admit it.

One night this past February, Annette and her husband, Kevin, were sleeping in their home in Reedsburg, Wisconsin while a silent killer filled their bedroom. According to ABC News, Annette woke up and thought she was having a heart attack. She felt confused and told reporters, “I wasn’t in the presence of mind to even tell my husband.”

Although Annette got out of bed, she unfortunately then fell asleep in a nearby chair. Thankfully, one of their three cats, Grace (or Gracie as they often call her) knew something was wrong. “Gracie started pounding at the door. Pounding loud. She was really pounding. Our house is 120 years old so the door rattles,” shared Annette.

Read more about Gracie the Main Coon mix.

Halo Pets

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I live in a low-income building at 618 S. Wabash. …

I live in a low-income building at 618 S. Wabash. When signing HUD re-certification papers I had to sign a document stating that I was aware that as a HUD rent subsidy client with a disability I had a right to a service animal with a doctor's note. My landlord did not want any animals in the building. There had never been one before in the 11 years or so of it's existence. I had to get a lawyer but next week I will adopt my dog.
-James
BAD RAP Blog

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Saturday is Chore Day

My friend’s dog, Mr. B. (for Business), helping out with the laundry. I’m told he doesn’t even care if you shut the door on him, and they had to lure him out with a piece of ham just to get their clothes done. Until next time, Good day, and good dog!


Doggies.com Dog Blog

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