Dog Blog

Friday, September 28, 2012


California, you did it!
Thanks to all of your calls and emails, SB 1221, 
the bill to eliminate the cruel practice of “hounding” 
(using hunting dogs to chase bears and bobcats to 
exhaustion in order to shoot the terrified animals out 
of trees at point-blank range) was signed by 
Governor Brown.  
This is a tremendous victory for the dogs and 
wildlife of California.

Monday, September 24, 2012


NYC tracks animal abusers in online registry.   When is California going to get with the program and make animal abusers accountable for their despicable actions?  NYC is always the first to step up to the plate by enacting laws (e.g., no cell phoning or texting while driving) that keep people, and now animals, safer.  California seems to be the last in most cases.  Does California sun melt lawmakers' spines?  It would seem so.

Thursday, September 20, 2012


Last night I had the pleasure of attending the inaugural gathering of Sacramento Bloggers, which was hosted at Le Rivage Hotel and very well attended by an interesting variety of bloggers in the River City.  I had a great time chatting with other writers and creative people of all kinds in a most ambient atmosphere beside the Sacramento River. What a treat!  Le Rivage hosted a selection of great food, good wines, and a clever drink I intended to try called The Writer's Block.  

Thanks to everyone who organized this event and to Lisa Howard from the Sacramento Bee for giving me a heads up about it.  Let me tell you, it was just what this writer needed.  I don't get to mix with other writers very often, it seems.  It's essential for me every now and then to escape my kennel for a fun night out.  


Tuesday, September 18, 2012


I receive this e-mail just now.  Please read and pass it along.

dear miss wright, on august 16 nbc 
investigative news did a report on the danger of chicken jerky 
treats for dogs. the jerky in question was marketed by wagon 
train and mylos? dog treats.  please look this up on the internet
and the fda websites.  the information is appalling.  it states 
that 362 complaints have been made about these treats resulting 
in the deaths of thousands of pets nationwide.  safeway has 
pulled these products, just the chicken jerky, which is 
manufactured in china.  i bought the duck jerky for my beloved 
westie murphy and he threw it up but not for my friend who just 
happened to call me the same day i shudder to think of what could 
have happened.  these treats are evidently lethal in three days.  
i do not usually buy either of these brands; however, it just 
happened wall mart was out of stock of what i usually buy.  
i feed murphy newmans own kibble, to which i add chicken livers, 
or chicken [i cook for him every night'].  he also gets milk bone 
and treats from his groomer who is a friend of mine.  anyway i 
am paranoid about what that dog eats so you can imagine how i 
felt when i read about all this and realized how close murphy 
had come, he only ate one piece.  the duck 
jerky was added to the fda list yesterday.  
i am hoping your access to the media will bring attention to 
this problem and you will know how to alert them. 
i have not seen anything in sacto, big surprise.  the 
nbc article was from the peninsula,  palo alto are where 
i was from, thank god for them.   thanking you in advance 
for whatever you may be 
able to do.  sincerely susan turpen.  
my email is  
sorry for the weird format, this apple  
computer and i are not in sync yet, its new to me.  
i hope you get this email.

I hope everyone who reads this tells any store they frequent that is still selling this deadly product to remove it immediately before any more dogs become ill or die.  Last time I went to Raley's Waggin' Train chicken jerky treats were still on their shelves, despite the fact I wrote to management and informed them of this problem.  Now, it appears the duck treat is also tainted.  I guess we have to avoid Chinese poultry in general for our pets.  

We used to buy Waggin' Train treats from Costco years ago, and they could have killed my Daisy and Bubba before I discovered what was making them sick.  We were just lucky because there were no health alerts about it then.  I just put two and two together and told my husband to stop buying the treats.  I'm not a big fan of big box stores because a lot of their products are cheap because they are imported from China.  If it's something I feed my dogs, I'm going to be extra cautious.  We now feed our dogs Happy Hips Lamb & Rice, and we have no worries with that.  Plus they love it!  Salmonella poisoning, the cause of illness in Waggin' Train products, is no walk in the park.  I know from personal experience, and I can tell you I'm lucky to be writing this Dog Blog!

Monday, September 17, 2012


My sweet Peaches with her rawhide chewy.  Whenever I come home, she comes to greet me with that gummy chewy in her mouth, wanting me to play tug-of-war with her.   It's her most prized possession besides her Sock Monkey.  

Actually, Sock Monkey was her toy when she was young. Nowadays she's just into rawhide.   

Sunday, September 16, 2012


Last night's Whiskers and Wine was quite enjoyable, though I'm not sure it was as well attended as last year's event.  The price had gone up to $40 ($30 prepaid) and only covered the food. Wine was $3.00 extra per glass, though you could sample some wines.  The event seemed a little disorganized in the same way as last year's, with a hangup at Will Call for those of us who had paid in advance.  They had no tickets waiting and didn't provide any proof of payment for entrance, which means people could have entered without paying.  I was asked several times upon reentry to the wine and raffle ticket purchasing area if I had already paid the entrance fee.  They had to take my and everyone else's word for it.  A wrist band or hand stamp would have eliminated any confusion.

Anyway, I hope the shelter didn't lose any money.  I'm sure everyone who attended was on the honor system and wouldn't be there if they didn't want the shelter to prosper handsomely from the event, which was delightful in every other way.  Good food, nice wine selection, and desserts to die for (also not included with entry fee, but that's probably a good thing--makes you think about whether you really need dessert).  Kudos to all the selfless volunteers who put in all the time and effort required to host such an event and to those who are "in the trenches" every single day to help homeless animals.  

There were many dogs and cats on display for potential adopters.  I liked how the shelter had put so much information about the pets on the cages for potential adopters to read, including one-word summations of their personalities.  The dogs were putting on their best show for anyone who might take them home, and I sincerely hope that many pets found homes last night.  I loved them all, the barkers, the whiners, the shy ones and the "goofballs," but several of the dogs are especially worth mentioning.  

There was a young, beautiful blue/gray pit mix (?) that was inviting visitors to play with a favorite blue squeaky football.  He was so sweet and lively.  How could you not spend every moment in joyful belly laughs at this dog's antics?  I saw perhaps the tiniest Chihuahua I've ever seen, about the size of a rat.  It was the sweetest little thing, licking my hand so gently, and sure wouldn't cost much to feed.  It's hard for me to understand why anyone breeds an animal this small only for it still to end up abandoned in a shelter.  What's wrong with people?  The two dogs that impressed me most were two completely adorable, fuzzy, floppy-eared Schnauzer/terrier mixes housed in the same cage together.  I hope they get adopted into the same home because they must be related.  These dogs were so cute and seemed very sweet tempered.  If anyone is looking for Schnauzers, please go see these two little guys.  Those big, brown eyes spoke volumes.  If I couldn't take them home (and I can't), I'd have loved to paint their portrait.  

By the time the evening was winding down, the shelter had gone very quiet.  All the shelter dogs had shut down their entertaining Take Me Home performances for the night and were curled up on what bedding was provided, resigned to the fact they were not going home on this night or perhaps any other.  I read the anguish in all those sad eyes looking out from behind the cage bars, the hope of a second chance (or maybe a third) being slowly extinguished in them day by day.

As I left, I said a prayer for them all and that everyone who visited the county shelter last night and is able to adopt a pet will come back today and bring home a forever friend.  

PLEASE, let's empty all the shelters by spaying, neutering, and being responsible pet owners by providing every animal within our care a loving home for the duration of its life.  They give their all for us.  How can we do any less for them?

Saturday, September 15, 2012


It's not too late to buy tickets for the 3rd annual Whiskers & Wine, tonight's fun fundraiser at the Sacramento County Animal Shelter.  It was a wonderful event last year with yummy food and lots of great goodies to bid on.  Our shelters and the pets awaiting their loving forever homes need our support. 

Hope to see you there!  Maybe you might even leave with a new fur friend.  

Friday, September 14, 2012


Howl at the Moon and Whine Silent Auction and Dinner - October 6

Bidding for the Howl at the Moon online auction to raise funds for Golden Gate Basset Rescue opens today and closes on October 4.  There are some great items to bid on, including an autographed collection of my fiction and nonfiction books.  You can still donate items, too!  They don't have to be basset related.  The big event where you'll see lots of bassets howling, or whining, will be held on October 6 in Petaluma where you can pet some beautiful bassets and adopt some, too.  


Here's a new link to check out for those who love all things DOG:  The Dog Community

Wednesday, September 12, 2012


It's been very interesting to read all the comments from others on Sac Paws in response to my blog comment that was linked to theirs.  I discovered I'm not alone in my negative feelings about dog parks.  Another reason I'd rather avoid them is that they are breeding grounds for disease, with all the dogs drinking from the communal water bowl and all the uncollected feces for them to "sample." Mine are classic shnibblers. I've seen dog owners pop into the park long enough for their dog to go potty, and off they go without picking up after their pet.  That's just wrong!  

Also, one never knows how well other people's dogs are inoculated against diseases.  I know there was an outbreak of dog flu last year at the Glenbrook Park.  More recently, my Peaches took sick from some mysterious ailment that I later found out another dog that frequents our dog park also contracted.  Peaches' vet never was able to diagnose exactly what it was, but it apparently affected the pancreas.  Fortunately, the ailment cleared up after a week with some meds.  When I gave her the antibacterial, she was right as rain in short order.  So I can only conclude that she picked up some sort of bacteria at the dog park. 

I will say that of all the dog parks in Sacramento the nicest one has been Haggin Community Park in Rancho Cordova, with three large fenced sections for the big dogs, medium-sized dogs, and toy breeds.  Of course, you still get the same kinds of irresponsible people at this park who don't follow the rules.  The big and medium dog sections have lots of shade from mature trees.  The large dog area has rolling hills.  It's very ambient, situated beside the American River and the bike trail, unlike Glenbrook's that is right next to HWY 50.  Even with the sound wall, it's so noisy you can barely hear anyone else talk.

Sunday, September 09, 2012


I'm done with dog parks.  There are just too many people who are ignorant of the rules that apply to everyone who enters a dog park.  The rules are clearly posted at the entrance, but no one ever bothers to read them or if they do, they seem to think the rules don't apply to them and their dogs.  Of course, if you possess any common sense and are a responsible dog owner, you don't really need rules to inform you of proper behavior.  It doesn't hurt to read them, anyway.

Yesterday at Glenbrook Dog Park, Beau was attacked by two of the dogs I just wrote about in my last Pets & Their People column, Australian cattle dogs.  Beau is the friendliest, most laid-back fellow you'd ever want to meet, and whenever he visits the park, he likes to have a good belly-up roll in the grass.  Well, he should never have exposed his belly to these dogs.  They apparently perceived that as some kind of signal to attack, and attack they did.  In an instant they were on Beau, snarling and biting.  I was beside myself.  No one had any time to react before the attack.  Beau was at a disadvantage being on his back, but he managed to get back to his feet and gave good account of himself.  I tried to keep the dogs at bay with my walking stick.  Wish I'd whacked them with it, or better yet their dumb-ass owner who did nothing while all this was going on.  He was too busy reading under a tree.  He finally came over to call off the dogs, commenting that it was Beau's behavior that had caused the problem.  Excuse me, Beaus' rolling on his back is considered a sign of aggression?  In what alternate canine universe?  

Another lady I'd been talking to earlier was there with her small Maltese.  She also was very concerned about the incident since the killer cattle dogs had also gone after her dog, which could have been truly disastrous.  She noticed some blood specks on Beau's side.  I found no wound there, but it looked like Beau's ear had been torn slightly.  Either that, or the blood was from the other dogs.  Beau may have nicked one of them in the skirmish while trying to defend himself.

Either way, I was furious and told the guy park rules dictate that he should take his aggressive dogs out of the park immediately.  Dog parks are no place for vicious dogs like his, and dog fights are not what we come to dog parks for, at least I don't.  He did not leave the park after I told him he should and did not even leash his dogs after this incident.  

If there are going to be dog parks in Sacramento, then someone should be responsible for policing them and making sure everyone, and I mean everyone, follows the posted rules and is always in full control of his/her dog(s). Keeping the dog parks in good condition with working water fountains and well maintained, foxtail-free grounds would also be beneficial. That way pets and their people are safe to enter the parks.  Until then, I'll have to find safer places to exercise my basset hounds (exercise basset hounds, an oxymoron).  Apparently, scofflaw morons like the one we encountered are mostly hanging out with their attack packs at the dog parks, forcing the rest of us to avoid them so they can have the space all to themselves.  

Monday, September 03, 2012


I was amazed to learn that you can actually bake cookies in a hot car.  That's a very good reason not to leave your dog in a hot car for any reason or any period of time, unless you plan to bake him, too, that is.  And I sincerely hope you don't!  Even though it's September, we're still having triple digit weather, so please, please, please leave Fido at home when you have shop or run errands, even for a few minutes.  Those minutes too often become hours and dogs die.  Trust me, your dog is happier and safer for that hour or so in his home with the A/C, and you'll have your best friend there happy, healthy, and ALIVE to greet you when you return.