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Sunday, November 28, 2010

Interview with the 2011 Bark in the Park Spokesdog

Meet Carolina Girl, a.k.a. Girlie, an 8-year-old Yorkshire terrier who was recently named the 2011 Bark in the Park Spokesdog by the Chesapeake Humane Society (CHS). The title of the Spokesdog is given to the pet who, along with his/her human companion, had the highest amount of funds raised for the CHS Bark in the Park Dog Walk. All the funds raised benefit the homeless pets and the Chesapeake Humane Care Clinic which provides low cost spay and neuter.

I met Girlie and her wonderful human mom June during a photo shoot with them last week. And after the photo shoot, I also had the privilege of knowing Girlie some more through this brief interview:

How did you become the spokesdog for 2011 Bark in the Park?
My Mom and I collected $1,300 dollars for the Chesapeake Humane Society, and won 1st place.

How does it feel being a spokesdog?
I am so excited! I get to meet new friends, walk in the Christmas parade, get my picture taken for a magazine, and hopefully help find new homes for my friends at CHS.

What’s your favorite food?
I like everything. My Dad is always giving me a taste of his food, and my Mom fusses at him.

What’s your favorite past time?
I love playing with my toys, riding in the car with my Dad , and meeting new friends.

Can you do any tricks?
I can sit, down, stay, and most fun is when I bow. People laugh. (See Girlie’s  photo on the right for a picture of her bowing.)

I understand that you’re also a therapy dog.  Could you explain what that means, and what you do as a therapy dog?  
When I was a little, I went to school with a lot of other dogs to learn how to sit, stay, and mind my Mom.  Then I had to take a test so I could visit people in hospitals to make them feel better, and go to the library and have kids read books to me (they always read the Big Red Dog). All I know is when the patients’ pet me, and I snuggle in their bed and give kisses, it makes my tail wiggle real fast.  That is so much fun!

Any advice to your fellow canines?  
Yes. Run and play with your toys, chew on your bone, enjoy every day, and at night snuggle in with your favorite friend.

See more photos of Girlie by visiting my photo blog Everywhere Photos.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Petsmart Adoption Event

My husband and I enjoy volunteering with the Chesapeake Humane Society in their monthly adoption events at Petsmart. We love seeing the dogs come to Petsmart with the hope that they might find their new forever home that day. Off-site adoption events like this are one of the best ways to increase the chances of finding homes for orphaned pets.

Two weeks ago, we had seven dogs and eight cats from the Chesapeake Animal Control for the Petsmart Adopt-a-thon. The day started out slow with people just petting the animals or only wishing they could bring them home. There were no "serious takers." Then slowly, one-by-one, the cats were getting adopted. And then the dogs, too! At the end of the day, five dogs and all eight cats found their furrever homes. What a joy! :)

The Chesapeake Humane Society van which carries the adoptable dogs and cats

A Spitz was one of the lucky dogs who found a new family at the adoption event 

Dog handler volunteers

A surprised kitty

For more behind-the-scenes photos of the November Petsmart adoption event, check out my Everywhere Photos blog.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Kitty Rides a Turtle Video

It used to be the "owl and the pussycat." Now, it's the "turtle and the pussycat!" I stumbled upon this funny video of a cute black kitten riding on the back of a turtle. For more than a minute, the turtle does not seem to mind the cute kitty who is riding on his back comfortably. Where they are going, I think only the kitty knows. But with this video, I can't help but think of them "sailing away for a year and a day to the land where the Bong-tree grows."

Enjoy the video!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Hollywood Stars Who Shine for Animals

Entertainment celebrities are often tapped to endorse a product, event or even a political candidate. That's because when they talk, many people listen. And it could be powerful when they use their influence for the greater good, like promoting animal advocacy. Here are 10 Hollywood celebrities who promote the adoption of homeless animals and battle overpopulation of pets:

1. Ellen DeGeneres
Comedian and talk show host Ellen DeGeneres has been recognized for her promotion of animal rights issues by various animal advocacy groups such as the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) and the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA). Aside from supporting several animal rescue groups, DeGeneres never fails to talk about animal adoption on her highly-rated TV show, The Ellen DeGeneres Show. DeGeneres is also a co-owner of all-natural pet food company, Halo.

2. Oprah Winfrey
Oprah Winfrey, one of the most influential women on the planet, has made “puppy mills” almost a household term. Thanks to her expose on the cruelty of puppy mills, many people have become aware of the realities behind dogs being sold in pet stores. In addition, her website,, also continues to promote animal welfare issues.

Oprah also walks the talk. Three of her dogs, a cocker spaniel and two springer spaniels, were adopted from PAWS, an animal shelter in Chicago.

Betty White 2011 Wall Calendar3. Betty White
Even with her very busy schedule, Betty White never stopped helping animals in need. And now with her new wave of popularity, the Golden Girls superstar is busier than ever doing charitable activities including posing as the pin up girl for her own Betty White 2011 calendar. Proceeds from the calendar sale will go to the Morris Animal Foundation where White serves as a trustee. Currently, White is helping promote feline health awareness through the Foundation’s “Happy, Healthy Cat Photo Contest.”

4. Linda Blair
She may be known as a young possessed girl in the movie “The Exorcist,” but Linda Blair is really possessed by her strong love for the animals.  Blair started the Linda Blair WorldHeart Foundation, an organization that helps neglected and abused animals and save those that are in “death row.” Through the Foundation, she works with several rescue groups to find foster parents and eventually forever homes who will give these animals a second chance. Blair also educates communities about the horrors of dog fighting and the need for spay/neuter of pets to stop overpopulation of pets.

5. Katherine Heigl
Katherine Heigl, who is famous for her role as Dr. Izzie Stevens on Grey’s Anatomy, is a certified animal advocate. She and her mother established The Jason Debus Heigl Foundation which assists in funding the transport of animals from high kill shelters in Los Angeles, free spay/neuter of pets, and promotion of humane education.

Angel6. Sarah Mclachlan
Who would not be touched by Sarah Mclachlan’s commercial for the ASPCA where sad abandoned pets are being shown while her song “Angel” is played in the background? It’s truly a tear jerker! Sarah’s support to the ASPCA commercial has helped the organization raise almost $30 million and brought nearly 200,000 new donors. Talk about an effective fundraising campaign!

7. Pamela Anderson
When the BP oil spill broke out, Pamela Anderson immediately thought of the animals that were affected by the crisis. When she learned about families leaving the areas hit by the oil spill and are abandoning their dogs, Anderson flew to New Orleans to save the canines. She teamed up with the People’s Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) and rescued approximately 50 abandoned dogs. The dogs were then brought to the Virginia Beach SPCA for adoption.

8. Carrie Underwood
She may be an "American idol," but Carrie Underwood is also an idol to a lot of pet lovers. Carrie is truly an animal advocate and has helped a lot of lost and stray pets. She founded the C.A.T.S. Foundation in her hometown Oklahoma which helps with community issues including responsible pet ownership. Carrie was also tapped as a spokesperson for the Pedigree Adoption Drive.

9. Mary Tyler Moore
Combining her talent and love for animals with friend and fellow actress Bernadette Peters, Mary Tyler Moore decided to do something to help the animals by launching Broadway Barks in New York City. Broadway Barks is an annual dog and cat adopt-a-thon and fundraising event that benefits local animal shelters and rescue groups in the state. It involves Broadway stars and other celebrities presenting the adoptable dogs and cats.

10. Pierce Brosnan
Former Remington Steele and James Bond heartthrob Pierce Brosnan is a philanthropist supporting many causes including animal rights. In June this year, he donated his original artwork creation for the California Spay Neuter License Plate program that will help raise awareness and funds for subsidized spay and neuter for pets. His artwork featured his family’s dog Shilo and cat Coco.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Join "Project Dog"

Combining her passion for photography and her love for dogs, Kira Stackhouse is bringing together rescue dogs and recognized dog breeds of the American Kennel Club (AKC) through an exciting project simply called, “Project Dog.” Stackhouse, who is the owner/photographer of Nuena Photography in San Francisco, launched Project Dog as a new “grassroots movement” which aims to photograph each of the AKC’s more than 150 dog breeds and their equivalent rescue dogs, and create a book that will both entertain and educate readers about man’s best friend.

A dog search is now ongoing through the Project Dog website,  If you would like your dog to be featured on the website or be possibly included in the book, simply submit some information and upload a photo of your pooch on the Project Dog website.  Although submission is welcomed across the U.S., only dogs from major cities will be featured in the book. These cities include San Francisco, Los Angeles, Seattle, Portland, Phoenix, Denver, Austin, St. Louis, New Orleans, Minneapolis, Chicago, Milwaukee, Knoxville, Atlanta, Miami, Washington DC, Philadelphia, New York and Boston. Once dogs are chosen, Stackhouse will start a cross country adventure to photograph the dogs. I really wish that the cities are not limited to the above mentioned, but I can understand the limitation if she’ll be doing a cross country road trip.

According to the website, Stackhouse has already received over 850 dog submissions, covering over half of the breed list. You can visit the website and browse the pages to check the submissions. Dogs are sorted by breed, so they’re easy to find. There is also a page dedicated to rescue organizations that are associated with each rescue dog.

A lot of people may not be aware that there are many rescue dogs that are purebred.  I think this is a good opportunity to correct the misconception that you cannot find purebreds in animal shelters. Also, it’s not often that we see purebred and rescues together in one book, so this is something worth looking forward to. And, if you were counting the number of dog breeds earlier, yes, Stackhouse will be taking photos of more than 300 dogs for this project!  I wonder if this will also go down into the Guinness Book of World Records for the most number of dogs photographed in a single book.

So, grab the best photo of your dog and participate in Project Dog now. And by the way, our adopted beagle Comet has been featured today on Project Dog. He's officially a star! :)