Archives for Stray Dog category

Happy 14th Birthday to Gypsy!

Hello to All from San Antonio,

As Roxie did in August, now it is Gypsy’s turn to celebrate her 14th birthday! As she was a stray, we don’t know Gypsy’s actual birthday, so we’ve guessed it to be this time of year.

Gypsy definitely has some graying about her muzzle, but all in all, gets around really well for a 14 year old. She loves to hunt in the back yard, and takes her job of home security quite seriously. I wrote about one the examples of her guard duties in the post: Our GPS – Gypsy’s Possum Surveillance.

Gypsy is camera shy, but we persevered and managed to get a decent shot of her in a party hat:

Gypsy with hat

And here is Gypsy protesting the wearing of a tiara:

Gypsy with tiara

Roxie, on the other hand, is a little ham:


Please give your dogs a hug for me,


Nov 07, 2013 | Comments are off | Animal Communication, animal welfare, Dog Behavior, Stray Dog

A Pet Parent’s Worst Nightmare: What To Do If Your Pet Goes Missing

Happy 4th of July everyone,

Here is some excellent information from Amber Keiper of

A Pet Parent’s Worst Nightmare: What To Do If Your Pet Goes Missing
By Amber Keiper

For those of us who treat our pets like our own kids, we simply can’t imagine the thought of losing them. So when a cherished pet goes missing, our entire life stops.

The 4th of July is tomorrow, and that means fireworks explosions, and many scared and lost pets. Intelligent pet parents need to know what proper steps to take in order to be successfully reunited with their pet as quickly as possible.

The first step is prevention. If your pet is allowed outdoors make sure to keep an eye on him and use a leash. Proper dog training is especially important so that you have control of your dogs in case they get startled or distracted while out and about. If you have a backyard for your pet to play in, make sure to check the perimeter of your fence or enclosure regularly for any places where your pet can get out.

Keep current identification tags on your pet’s collar at all times. Some pet parents prefer to have their pet microchipped. It’s important to be aware of the risks associated with microchipping your pet. (Check out our article on microchipping your dog here: – DogsTalk).

The First 24 Hours
If you discover your pet has gone missing, don’t delay! Time is of the essence. Start by looking around the nearby area, searching areas that are familiar to your pet. Don’t hesitate to ask your neighbors or people in the area if they’ve seen your pet.

Call a few good friends to come and join you in your search. Make sure you have plenty of high-value treats and a leash on hand to help lure your pet out from hiding. A flashlight may also come in handy during your search to help look under cars, in dark corners, or for evening searches.

Does your furry friend have a favorite squeaky toy? Bring it along while you’re canvassing the neighborhood. Call out your pet’s name and squeak their toy to try and get their attention.

Day 2 Of Your Search
Make up some lost pet posters and put them up around your neighborhood and the area where your pet was last seen. Make sure to include:

A current picture of your pet
Their name
Color and markings
Any medical issues
Where they were last seen
A contact phone number in case they’re found

If you plan on offering a reward, make sure not to be too specific about how much you are offering or you may attract scammers who may try to swindle you for the reward. If someone who claims to have found your pet contacts you, make sure to meet them in a public place and don’t go alone.

Contact your local animal shelters, animal control facility, police department, and veterinary hospitals in case they may have your pet. Leave a copy of your lost pet poster with them in case someone ends up turning your pet in to them. There are even some online lost pet resources you can use such as:

You can also try social media resources such as Facebook and Twitter to spread the word about your lost dog or cat. Actually, some pets have been found because of the use of social media, so don’t rule this method out. If you don’t have a Facebook or Twitter account, you can sign up free…or ask a friend or family member to do it for you.

Day 3 And Beyond
Check your local newspaper’s lost and found section daily. Visit your local animal shelter every few days in case your pet shows up. Finally, don’t give up! 93% of dogs and 75% of cats that are reported lost are safely returned back to their owners so stay positive and keep searching.


Amber Keiper is the Marketing Assistant and Raw Diet Educator for BARF World Inc.. She and her husband have two former rescue animals that are now healthy and proud “BARF brats” – a terrier mix named Chewbacca (“Chewy”) and a tabby mix named Chiquita (“Chiqui”). For more articles like these and to learn more about the benefits of raw food for your pets, sign up for The Intelligent Pet monthly e-zine at


The best to you and your pets,


Jul 04, 2013 | Comments are off | Animal Communication, animal welfare, Dog Behavior, Stray Dog

How Kids SHOULD Interact with Dogs, by Dr. Sophia Yin

Hello again,

Here is the companion to my previous post. This visual is all about what are some things to teach kids about the correct way to interact with dogs.

Once again, here is the link to her website: Dr. Sophia Yin, DVM, MS.

Take Care,


Mar 08, 2013 | Comments are off | Animal Communication, animal welfare, Dog Behavior, Stray Dog

How Kids SHOULD NOT Interact with Dogs, by Dr. Sophia Yin

Hello to All,

I thought this was a great visual to sum up some common sense tips on teaching kids what NOT to do when interacting with a dog.

Here is the link to her website if you would like to learn more the creator of this poster: Dr. Sophia Yin, DVM, MS.

Of course, there is a companion to this about how to interact correctly, which I will have in a separate post.

Until then,


Mar 07, 2013 | Comments are off | Animal Communication, animal welfare, Dog Behavior, Stray Dog

Following Atticus – book review

Hi Everyone,

I am a big fan of Best Friends Animal Society as I think they do exceptional work on behalf of abandoned and abused animals. One of their newsletters reviewed the book Following Atticus: Forty-Eight High Peaks, One Little Dog, and an Extraordinary Friendship by Tom Ryan.

Simply put, I loved this book. It is the true story of Tom Ryan, a writer and reporter living in Newburyport, Massachusetts, who, on an inexplicable whim, adopts a miniature schnauzer he named Maxwell Garrison Gillis. He and Max became inseparable, and Max soon was a well-known and well-loved resident of Newburyport. Max was an older dog when he came into Tom’s life, and after about a year together, Max began having seizures. Tom made the painful decision to have Max put down. Tom was stunned by the outpouring of support and sympathy of the townspeople over Max’s passing, and he also recognized the door that had been opened in his own heart.

So, in walked a puppy into Tom’s life. As Tom had been profoundly taken with Max, he decided upon another miniature schnauzer, whom he named Atticus Maxwell Finch. He and Atticus set about an adventure to climb all forty-eight of New Hampshire’s four-thousand-foot mountain peaks. It doesn’t sound like much of a challenge, until you add in the factors of climbing them all twice in one winter, plus Tom was overweight and out of shape, plus Atticus is a small, 20-pound dog of a breed not known for climbing mountains.

This book is more than just the recording of their journey. Tom Ryan portrays the physical demands and the financial consequences of this undertaking, but also the emotional and spiritual evolution he experienced along the way. The book is titled Following Atticus for a reason: Tom trusts and allows Atticus to be Atticus, and literally follows Atticus up and down the mountains, and gains such a respect, love, and devotion for the little dog that touched my heart immensely.

Sending my love to you and your dogs,


In full disclosure, if you choose to purchase Following Atticus through any of the links I have provided, I will receive an affiliate commission from

Feb 11, 2013 | Comments are off | Animal Communication, animal welfare, Dog Behavior, Home Health Care for Dogs, Stray Dog

Puppies Are Not Toys – ASPCA video

Hello to All,

I saw this new ASPCA video recently and I thought it was an incredibly impactful reminder that most pet store puppies come from puppy mills, and we can help stop the cycle of cruelty by not supporting stores that sell puppies. I think it is especially important this time of the year when it is so tempting to succumb to that sweet little face you see at the pet store. All of our dogs have come from either a shelter or a rescue operation and they have all been wonderful members of our family.


Dec 17, 2012 | Comments are off | Animal Communication, animal welfare, Dog Behavior, Stray Dog

The Dog Who Danced – book review

Hi Everybody,

It is a rainy Monday here in San Antonio.

I recently finished reading a fantastic novel The Dog Who Danced, by Susan Wilson, who is also the author of One Good Dog.

The story centers around Justine, and her gray and black Sheltie, Mack. Justine has endured some rough times, and Mack is the bright spot in her life. She and Mack are partners in canine freestyle events, and Mack, being a quick study, has excelled in the sport.

Justine is summoned to Boston to see her dying father, and hitches a ride with a cross-country truck driver named Artie. On the journey, she loses Mack, but will not give up on finding him and exhausts every resource to get him back.

Mack, in the meantime, never gives up on Justine. While continuing to wait for her, he adopts an older couple, Ed and Alice Parmalee, who have lost their way with each other.

Told from the perspective of both Justine and Mack, this was for me a real page-turner. Although it has a predictable ending, it illustrates the power of an animal companion to heal wounded hearts and bring people back together. I loved how the author, when telling the story from Mack’s point of view, understands what is important to a dog, e.g. treats, food, exercise, and loyalty.

If you enjoy animal stories, and especially if you are a dog-lover, both of these books will captivate you.

In full disclosure, if you choose to purchase either The Dog Who Danced or One Good Dog through any of the links I have provided, I will receive an affiliate commission from


Oct 01, 2012 | Comments are off | Animal Communication, animal welfare, Dog Behavior, Holistic, Stray Dog

A Dog’s Journey – book review

Hello Everyone,

I just finished reading a wonderful novel A Dog’s Journey which is the sequel to A Dog’s Purpose by W. Bruce Cameron.

I loved both of these books, and I highly recommend them both to anyone who is a sucker for a great animal story. A Dog’s Journey picks up the story of Buddy, who has devoted his life to looking after Ethan, now a man in his later years. Buddy encounters Ethan’s toddler granddaughter Clarity June, or CJ as she is called later on. Buddy is intrigued by her, and intervenes in what could have been a tragic situation regarding CJ. She promptly falls in love with “Bubby” much to the displeasure of her mother Gloria.

When Buddy comes to the end of his lifetime, he is reborn as Molly, a poodle mix. Close to being euthanized, Molly is rescued and ultimately adopted by CJ, now a teenager. CJ attempts to hide Molly from Gloria, who has no tolerance for dogs. Molly takes on the mission of protecting and watching over CJ. This mission is a difficult one, as CJ suffers from bulimia and other behavioral troubles. CJ is sentenced with community service, and she carries out her duties at an animal rescue organization. One function of the organization is training dogs to sniff out cancer. Molly observes Luke receiving treats for dropping and crossing his paws upon detecting a certain smell. Molly figures out the smell is a metallic one, and since she wants treats also, she begins the signaling as well. Molly’s life ends early, as the result of a car accident.

Then comes Max. Max is a chihuahua/yorkie mix and at first can’t figure out why everyone and everything is so big! Then he realizes this is the first time he is living as a very small dog. Max is waiting for CJ to find him, so he is aggressive towards everyone else who tries to touch him. CJ does ultimately come back into his life, and Max picks up the duties of looking after her. Max remembers how to detect cancer, and finds it in CJ’s friend Trent, saving his life. Max lives with CJ and Trent until his final days.

The final life is Toby, a beagle. Toby has the job of comforting hospice patients, and learns the “be still” command. He encounters CJ once again, as she reenters his life as a patient of the hospice facility. Toby serves the hospice patients for many years, until he comes to the end of his journey, where he meets once again all of the humans who have gone before him that he has loved and served.

This was such a sweet story, and I loved how W. Bruce Cameron picked up the thread from A Dog’s Purpose. The author wonderfully includes the lessons learned from the previous lifetimes, and once again, the story is told entirely from the dog’s viewpoint.

You can read my review of A Dog’s Purpose by clicking here.

In full disclosure, if you choose to purchase either A Dog’s Journey or A Dog’s Purpose through any of the links I have provided, I will receive an affiliate commission from


May 29, 2012 | Comments are off | Animal Communication, animal welfare, Dog Behavior, Home Health Care for Dogs, Stray Dog

Unlocking the Animal Mind

Hi Everyone,

I recently finished reading Unlocking the Animal Mind: How Your Pet’s Feelings Hold the Key to His Health and Happiness by Franklin McMillan, D.V.M.

Dr. McMillan explores the connection between an animal’s emotions and their behavior. In other words, why our pets do what they do. He includes lots of examples from his practice, and I very much enjoyed reading them all. In one story, he talks about a 9 week old puppy named Bogie, whose pet parent was trying to house break him. She would scoop him up as soon as she caught him in the act, immediately take him outside, where he would proceed to play, nip at her ankles, anything but his business. The author explains that from Bogie’s point of view, this is wonderful! Everytime he squats in the house, his favorite person gives him lots of attention and takes him outside to play!

In the chapter “The Mind/Body Connection” he tells the story of Rico and Pablo, two cats who had lived together for 16 years. When Pablo became ill and was euthanized, Rico never was the same. A once robust kitty was now extremely ill.

The chapter “A Peaceful End” really got me as the author discusses the anxiety we pet parents have when making a decision about euthansia. From personal experience, Rick and I have been in that situation twice. One time with Cubby, a poodle/terrier mix who was suffering from liver disease. We felt we waited too long in her case. Then with Skittles, a corgi/terrier mix with throat cancer, where perhaps we were too hasty in having Skittles put down.

In full disclosure, if you choose to purchase Unlocking the Animal Mind: How Your Pet’s Feelings Hold the Key to His Health and Happiness through any of the links I have provided, I will receive an affiliate commission from



Mar 24, 2012 | Comments are off | Animal Communication, animal welfare, Dog Behavior, Holistic, Home Health Care for Dogs, Stray Dog

March Madness Has Arrived at The Animal Defense League

For everyone in the San Antonio area,

I am passing along this notice from the The Animal Defense League:



During the entire month of March, ADL will be hosting its version of March Madness with a BIG adoption special involving the shelter’s BIG LOVABLE dogs. Dogs over 40 pounds can be adopted all month for just $40! We have large dogs for runners, walkers & yes, even large couch potato dogs. Our staff will match you with a dog to fit your lifestyle.

During the St. Patrick’s Day Holiday weekend, ADL will host a special “Lucky Dog” adoption event. On March 16 – 18, all dogs, four months of age and older will be available to adopt for just $25! Be sure to visit ADL during the St. Patrick’s Holiday weekend and find your pot of gold. Come & save the life of a shelter pet from San Antonio’s oldest true no-kill shelter. ADL’s pets will reward you with love. Your four leaf clover is at ADL! All ADL pets are sterilized, vaccinated and micro chipped.

The ADL is one of my favorite animal organizations, as they are a no-kill shelter, they are right here in the San Antonio area, and they survive on no government funds but solely on donations. If you are looking to adopt a pet, or know someone who is, the ADL is a great place to start.


For more info, check out their website

Take Care,


Mar 09, 2012 | Comments are off | Animal Communication, animal welfare, Dog Behavior, Stray Dog