May 7, 2009


Indigo Rescue: Comedy Relief Concert

I’m on the board of Indigo Rescue and there is a benefit concert coming up in June that I want to make sure everyone knows about! I just drafted this press release about the show — spread the word! This is a photo of the dogs Indigo rescued over the past year.

Dogs Indigo rescued

Comedians Elayne Boosler and Dennis Blair Come Together for a

Comedy Show Fundraiser to Benefit Indigo Rescue

Saturday, June 20 at the Roseland Theater

Laugh Away Recession Depression Includes a Live and Silent Auction

Sponsors include KPTV, KINK and The Westin Portland

WHEN: Roseland Theater, 8 NW Sixth Ave. Portland

WHERE: Saturday, June 20th, 2009. Pre-show Silent Auction starts at 6pm

TICKETS: $40 Reserved and $25 General Admission tickets will go on sale Friday, May 8th through Tickets West – visit: or 1-800-992-8499.

VIP Tickets: VIP tickets are $100 and include front three rows seating (center stage), private, post event soiree with Elayne Boosler and Dennis Blair, photo opportunities with the celebrities, and late night fare. Starting May 4, VIP tickets can be purchased by visiting:

WHAT: Indigo Rescue, a non-profit animal rescue organization with a goal to end pet overpopulation and abandonment in the greater Portland community, kicks off the summer with the Laugh Away Recession Depression fundraiser. Two national comedians, Elayne Boosler and Dennis Blair, will perform a benefit show for Indigo Rescue on Saturday, June 20.

Come and join us in June – it’s going to be  a great show.


May 6, 2009

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Dog Massage with Heal NW

I attended a dog massage class with Rubi from HealNW last Friday night and brought my dog Shermie. We learned basic strokes and it was fabulous – so much so, Shermie actually fell asleep. Visit HealNW if you live in Portland and are interested. I was so preoccupied with the basic strokes I didn’t get photos… but it would literally be of Shermie asleep 🙂

Rubi’s class is really comprehensive and based on Swedish massage techniques. I’m going to list the strokes below but you have to take the class for the details…

We learned the following strokes:

  • Passive touch
  • Effleuarge
  • Wringing
  • We also learned some ear work

Rubi recommended the following book: Canine Massage, A Complete Reference Manual by Jean-Pierre Hourdebaigt, LMT

I talked to a girlfriend about how cool the Northwest Animal Massage School is recently AND if I had more time in my schedule (one day) I’d love to take the distance learning program. Check out: – I get excited from just reviewing the site!! This is a great clip on KING5 in Seattle.

The major benefits of massage for animals includes: reduces stress (great before trips to the vet), relieves pain, increases range of motion, strengthens a weak immune system, enhances the health and nourishment of the skin and coat.

April 27, 2009

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Cooking for Canines

I just made a new T.O.P. of the morning (Turkey & Oat Porridge) for Bruiser, the doxie,  as I’ve been cooking for him for about a year now. His meals consist of mainly turkey, chx livers, brown rice, salmon oil, green beans or carrots and a number of other supplements like bone meal for calcium. I remembered that I took a Cooking for Canine Class about six months ago with the founder of Dog Stew . I’ve waited forever to try the recipes so this afternoon I had some time.

Rick Woodford is the chef and brilliant mind behind Dog Stew.

I want everyone to try this recipe as it’s fabulous and Bruiser ate his dinner in seconds… since I’m cooking for one of the dogs I’m very concerned about nutrition and what’s great about Rick’s recipes is he has done extensive research on  the nutritional needs of canines.  Bruiser is well — very finicky about his food and has been for years. He isn’t at all interested in the California Natural I give the other two dogs (with lots of stuff mixed in) and even the turkey meal I mention in the first sentence he’ll pick at so I try to mix things up for the little guy! It’s super easy to prepare and takes 20 minutes. Try it and let me know what you think!

  • 5 cups of water – bring water to a simmer
  • 2 lbs of ground turkey and 1/4 lb of chicken liver, chopped – add ground turkey and liver to simmering water and simmer for ten minutes
  • 1 lb frozen green beans, 1 tsp fresh sage, 5 tsp bonemeal powder, 5 tbs nutritional yeast – add all these ingredients and simmer for 5 minutes
  • 2 1/2 cups of oatmeal, 2 tbs safflower oil – add oatmeal and oil, remove from heat and allow oatmeal to absorb water!

It will take on a consistency of porridge — this makes 3600 calories and Bruiser gets about 600 a day so I made six portions for the next three days!  Please refer to nutrition books on how many calories are appropriate for your dog each day.

More later this week as I’m taking a dog massage class with Rubi from Heal NW!

April 24, 2009

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Nina Ottosson Puzzle Games: brilliant

I promised I would post about the Nina Ottosson games I bought for my senior dog (but for all three dogs of course) and I’m a HUGE FAN. I bought the cheaper plastic versions off of Amazon. The first game is simply – a round circle with places for you to hide treats under plastic pieces that look like *bones* with small holes that the dog has to remove in order to find the treat… we had SO much fun. Attached is a photo.

Mystery game - my favorite Nina Ottosson game

Mystery game - my favorite Nina Ottosson game

There are a lot of cool things about these games but I’ve read many articles over the past year that say these interactive games are great for senior dogs… you really should only play for about 15 minutes but the challenge in finding the treats is a great way for them to interact with you if a walk or exercise just isn’t an option. Nina calls her games *brain gymnastics* which I would totally agree with. It’s SO fun to watch your dog try and find the treats and then remove the plastic bones. IF they get frustrated you can move the plastic bone horizontally over the hole to help them out at first. Our Beagle/Bassett mix Shermie needed a little help at first 🙂  but the other two nailed it.  It was a great way to spend an hour  last night with the furry kids while the rain started up again. – this is the article I’m referring to if you haven’t seen it. Enjoy!

“Observations of her own and other dogs and reading scientific investigations into canine cognitive behavior helped Ottosson identify the benefits of toys that require the dog to use his or her capacity to solve problems.” – this is unreal if you haven’t read about it…

April 21, 2009

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“A Place To Bark” – best practice for rescues

A friend of mine sent me a link to A Place to Bark and after reading Bernie’s blog and what she does in TN I had to share more about her. I recently befriended her on facebook and follow her posts as well -she’s doing a really good thing for all dogs… A Place to Bark was established in 2001, and they mainly work with Animal Control Agencies, rescuing animals from high kill shelters and fostering them until they are healthy. This provides an ideal situation for the animals. They are then placed for adoption through Humane Societies in various parts of the country.

My three dogs are all adopted and come from three separate rescue groups.  One is from Indigo Rescue which actually has a  similar mission to A Place to Bark.  The other is from Animal Aid, another rescue group and the third sweet four legged friend is from the Oregon Humane Society – a no kill shelter. I want to spend some time talking about organizations like Indigo Rescue and  A Place to Bark because they are unique when it comes to rescue groups… they are truly saving the unnecessary killing of dogs.

Bruiser, the doxie I’m so lucky to share my life with – he was at the Washington County shelter before Indigo rescued him from euthanasia… he was difficult with other dogs and supposedly hated women so on the short list. He has a scar on his forehead from we think a frying pan. He trembles when around children and guards his toys. So – I’m so lucky an organization like Indigo picked him up, found a foster and months later we adopted him. He needed a forever home and a family that would help him work through his issues.

Have you ever watched Dog Town on Animal Planet? Another GREAT rescue organization in Utah profiled – they took in all of Michael Vick’s dogs after he was arrested. This is yet another example and the list is really growing.

All dogs should have a second chance.  The chances the dogs will find new homes is very very likely. We need more of all of these organizations!

I will start talking a lot about Indigo Rescue’s upcoming benefit concert – the Laugh Away Recession Depression with comedians Elayne Boosler and Dennis Blair June 20 at the Roseland Theater in Portland. There will be a silent auction and we’re in need of sponsors as well.  If you’re interested in getting tickets to the show or would like to contribute an item for the auction please post a comment or send me an email at:

FYI: I just ordered the Nina Ottosson puzzle toys for our dogs so will give a full review in a later post… I have three and they look like a lot of fun…

Game reviews later this week!!

March 30, 2009

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Senior Dogs: BARK’s current issue

My favorite publication is BARK and the current issue is totally dedicated to senior dogs – the articles range from helpful tips, senior massage therapy to delightful editorial and stories about living with senior dogs – first some personal thoughts on the topic:

Every lump and bump and I’m off to the vet to make sure Sandola is ok and every time she has been – this and that has been benign and a fatty cell. I’ve been really lucky – wouldn’t it be fabulous to live with your four legged friend until old age? I know this will be the case with Sandy.

The only thing that has truly changed is her early osteoarthritis which I’ve blogged about. She receives massage and underwater hydro-therapy which seems to help a lot. But what about other things my friends have noticed with their dogs: loss of eye sight, circling awkwardly in an effort to lie down in a circle, and so on. These are the things I’m on the look out for in the coming years. I know they need just as much mental stimulation even if physically they’re slowing down. I’m planning to order one of those puzzle toys this week. Do you know about these? If no – please check them out.

I already have pet ramps and pet stairs throughout the house for the doxie and sometimes Sandy will use them — so I feel good about that… AND I must say that Sandola plays with the two year old Shermie often and nuzzles with the doxie too so the pack is a really positive thing when Sandy may otherwise just be laying around. I encourage the play whenever it’s initiated.

Ok  — now that I’ve painted a picture about my *almost* senior dog: I’m referencing all the resources I found in one of their articles:

  • T-Touch Massage:
  • – super cool, The Senior Dogs Project
  • – gives grants to those having financial difficulty with their aging pets

Ever heard of Old Dog Haven outside of Seattle? – read Lisa Wogan’s article about this home for senior dogs! is where you can find more information about someone that truly matters in the animal world. Enjoy the entire current issue -I’m continuing to find nuggets and ripping many of the pages out as I write this!!

March 3, 2009

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Oppose the Pit Bull Breed Ban in Oregon or Anywhere – Those opposed to the Pit Bull Ban in Oregon should visit and join this facebook group.

My sister lives in Denver where a Pit Bull Ban was passed in the last five years. Her hairdresser has two Pit Bull mixes and had to move outside of Denver. This is really horrifying – especially when the housing market is at an all time low and jobs are threatened. If I own this specific breed do I have to move? Am I supposed to give up my family member?

There are so many more implications that the Exec Director of Indigo Rescue posted in a note to her volunteers. Here’s some of the implications:

  • Breed Bans are dangerous because they cause people to go underground with their dogs so they will become less socialized and more dangerous in public.
  • Breed Bans cause undue suffering or death because people will stop going to vets with injured or sick dogs, who will then be considered illegal “contraband”.
  • Breed Bans are virtually impossible to enforce and the expense of euthanasia and disposal of the dogs will be a staggering cost to taxpayers.
  • The community members who are most likely to comply are the responsible owners of well trained and socialized Pit bulls who would lose their family pets, leaving only the irresponsible owners who are more likely to have untrained, unsocialized, potentially “dangerous” dogs.

I’m concerned for all the friends I have that own Pit Bulls and are great four legged parents. Their dogs are well behaved and are not a threat to anyone. This applies to everyone I know and I’m hoping everyone will write letters to their senator. The information is posted on the facebook group page I mentioned earlier. Back to wellness in my next post.

Theme for the week: I learned something else from my dogs today which came up during a call with Lynn Kindler, my life coach. Dogs keep each other in check, right? We’ve all seen this happen. I just watched it occur between by older girl and the 2+ year old Beagle/Basset. Playing got rough and Sandy showed her teeth and Shermie backed up and whimpered. Doesn’t this happen all the time? We *play* too rough – and someone quickly growls and we back down even if for a moment. That’s my observation for the day… except I think the dogs were smoother at this today then I was and they got over it as soon as it happened. 🙂