Looking for some really thick, snuggly, sturdy, well-made, dog-themed t-shirts and hoodies? Check out Good Deal Designs.
I'm not big on reviewing. Before I moved to Michigan, I was the pet columnist for the San Francisco Chronicle/SFGate.com for many years, as well as being a pet blogger here and for a number of other sites. As a consequence, I'm on the mailing lists of bazillions of pet product publicists, and inundated by requests for product reviews, or even just stuff showing up on my doorstep unannounced.
I almost never accept anything for review, and when I do, I have some very clear guidelines, which are posted on my blog in the upper left-hand corner (you can check them out here). One of those is that I don't keep review products, unless they're something that is destroyed during testing, like a chew toy. I offer to return them at the company's cost, or donate them to a rescue group; most companies opt for the second option.
I also don't do giveaways or promotions on the blog.
So if you see me review something here, it's either something I purchased for my own dogs' use, or something I was interested enough to request for review purposes. In other words, I want my reviews to be meaningful, and only of items I genuinely found of value to pet-owners.
Which brings us to my favorite t-shirt/hoodie purveyor, Good Deal Designs.
I spotted a t-shirt photo on my Facebook feed. The slogan on the shirt was, "I don't trust people who don't like dogs," which amused me so much I looked up the company that manufactured it. What I found was a small company producing what looked like high-quality t-shirts, sweatshirts, hoodies, and a few other items with a number of pet-centered (mostly dog, but one horse and some multi-species) sayings or images. The owners of the company compete in sports with their dogs, so agility, rally, and obedience themes play big, too.
The shirts and hoodies come in a wide variety of colors, including some that are both unusual and beautiful, like a lovely chocolate brown and a bright fuschia. The size range is huge, from small, "ladies' cut" t-shirts to 5XL classic cut ts and sweats.
I ordered one hoodie and three t-shirts. I've been wearing them for months, mostly for walking dogs and sleeping, and I love them. They're comfortable and really well-constructed. I don't put mine in the dryer, but they've held up to machine washing very well.
Is your rescue group or animal shelter wasting your time on ineffective social media activity, or worse, actually harming your cause? This is a presentation I gave at the Maddie's Fund daylong session on getting to no-kill at the Animal Care Expo in Las Vegas in May.
Find out how to avoid the three biggest animal welfare social media mistakes, including how to know what works and what doesn't for your organization.
I’ve been lost in a haze of caring for a sick dog since Sunday —
hence the silence. Sleep deprivation, worry, and anger don’t lend
themselves to a lot of time and energy to blog, although I did manage to
get off a rant or two about the craptastic experience we had at our
local vet ER/specialty practice on Facebook. I’m talking with them about
it, and hope to come to a good resolution, but either way, I’ll be
blogging about it later.
The sickala (this is a term of endearment my mom and I used to use
for our sick pets, and silly as it is, it’s stuck with me) is, for the
second time since I adopted her last fall, Val, my 9-year-old Greyhound.
Last time she had lepto, with severe liver symptoms. This time it seems
to be her urinary tract, either an infection or stones or kidney
disease of some kind.
As Gina’s written, there are so many times when being “hooked up”
with the veterinary world is worth more than the salaries we get for the
work we do. I’ve had the advantage of some of the best, most caring
advice from some of the top vets in the country. That, coupled with the
care of my regular vet, who I like more every time I talk to him, and my
own absolute determination to protect and care for Val in every way
possible, more than outweigh the bad start we got at the ER.
All that said, right now I’m sitting in my local Starbucks, taking a
little break from Val’s intense neediness. When you live alone, and
especially when you’re in a new place where you have few friends, none
really close by, and no family, caregiving can become overwhelming.
And now the part I’m leading up to: Caring for Val is triggering my
memories of caring for my mother when she was dying. (Those who think
comparing my mother to a dog is insulting can leave now; I assure you,
my mother would have welcomed it.)
Like my mom, Val has to get up to pee every couple of hours, all
night long. I’ve actually got my bed covered with my mom’s quilted,
washable incontinence blankets. And while the sleep deprivation is only a
few days old, the memories of the months of it I went through while my
mom was dying are crowding into my mind all the time.
I needed a break. I’m not good at taking breaks, not from work or
caregiving. But if my experience of losing my mother, and the hell of
workaholism I got trapped in afterward, have taught me anything, it’s
that if I don’t put myself first, I won’t be any good to anyone else.
Hence, Starbucks, where someone else made my coffee, and everything
is clean and cool and impersonal, which will hopefully give me the
serenity I need to go back home and take care of my girl.
We’re heading for Michigan State University for a comprehensive
work-up to get to the bottom of her condition on July 10. I think we can
manage until then, as long as she keeps improving or at least, doesn’t
get worse, and I remember to care for myself half as well as I care for
Wish us luck!
Note: This was originally posted at HonestDog.com. Please click below to read the original comments to the post.
No, we don’t live hip-deep in dog doo. Nor have my dogs learned to use the toilet.
As a new resident of Michigan, I had my first experience with
scooping in freezing temperatures this winter, and it will come as no
shock to my fellow Midwesterners that I didn’t like it much.
I had assumed that frozen poops would be easier, not harder, to
scoop. I was wrong. You see, for those, like me, from warmer climes,
fresh poop is warm. That means it melts the ice or snow on which it
falls, and then that slowly re-freezes into something of which I believe
the technical name is “permafrost.” Or “permapoop.” Either way, after
actually snapping my scooper in half while trying to hack at a hunk of
poopsicle, I gave up.
I went to Google, typed in “pooper scooper service in Michigan,” and discovered The Pet Butler.
I phoned them and learned that yes, they do service my town (not a done
deal, since I’ve had trouble finding just about every service you can
think of, despite what seems to me to be a pretty convenient location
less an hour or less from three major cities — Detroit, Ann Arbor, and
Flint. But I digress). I signed up.
Joel, who owns the local Pet Butler franchise, turned out to be a
dedicated small business guy and true dog lover. Rawley in particular
worships him, and while I do lock the dogs in the house when Joel gets
here, once or twice I’ve gone out with the dogs to talk to him and I
have to say, his skillz at going through a gate without letting even one
needle-nosed sighthound go with him are really quite mad.
And how many businesses can you say the following about: Never late.
Never done a bad job. Never not come, despite rain, sleet, hail, snow,
and mosquitoes, which in Michigan is the same as saying “gigantic
bloodsucking forces of pure evil.”
I really only meant to use The Pet Butler until it warmed up, but unless my personal economy collapses, I’m a customer for life.
And no, they don’t come every day. I’m on the twice-weekly plan, and
yes, I lied in the beginning of this post. I still scoop. But it’s
awesome knowing if I get sick, or it’s 4 degrees out, I don’t have to scoop.
Because of all the things I love about dogs, scooping? Not one of them.
Note: Originally posted at HonestDog.com. Click below to read the comments on the original post.
Hey, San Francisco Bay Area! It's time for Maddie's Matchmaker Adoptathon, being held at 80 different locations in San Francisco, Alameda, and Contra Costa counties. And that means loving people can adopt dogs and cats for free all weekend long!
More than 60 shelters and rescue groups will be participating, and Maddie's Fund will pick up the adoption fees. In addition, they'll donate between $500 and $2,000 for every pet adopted during the event on June 9 and 10, with the higher amounts going for the adoptions of senior pets and/or those with certain specific health issues.
This is the third year I'll have worked on this event, helping with blog outreach and social media. I'll be covering it live all weekend, both on the Maddie's Matchmaker Adoptathon Facebook page and on #maddiesmatch on Twitter.
So if you or someone you know in the Bay Area is looking for a new dog or cat, by adopting through this event you'll not only save a life but save yourself some bucks and earn a donation to the groups that work so hard to find homes for pets all year round.
And that's my feel-good story of the month!
Photo: Heidi, a deaf and blind 17-year-old who was adopted at the 2011 Adoptathon.
Decision made: I'm going to keep this as my main blog, add a category specficially for writing about social media and communications for shelters, rescue groups, and animal welfare organizations, and blog about pet issues on HonestDog while still blogging here about my own experiences with dogs, and linking to stuff I write elsewhere like I used to do before life distracted me.
Shelter reform advocates need to take a lesson from one of the most successful protest movements in the last two decades, and occupy animal control.
All over the country, bad shelters and animal control facilities are killing most or nearly all homeless pets that come in their doors. A shocking number are failing to provide even basic health care or, in many cases, food and water, to those pets.
What if those of us in those communities — Detroit, New York, Fresno, Memphis, and all the rest — stopped arguing on blogs and holding poster board picket signs and forming Facebook groups and writing ten-page impassioned pleas to reporters, and instead started occupying and mic-checking animal control board meetings, press conferences, and government agency offices, and performing civil disobedience at animal control facilities and high-kill “shelters”?
The annual PETA "shelter" death report is out again. Thanks to the Commonwealth of Virginia for requiring this transparency, and making the world aware that PETA has no commitment to animal life, just publicity and donations. Why is anyone still listening to PETA?