Making the most of life with your dog here in Palo Alto

Lady’s five minutes of fame

Posted on September 13, 2014

I have another blog called Love That Pup about dogs and animals over  at Palo Alto Online, where I recently posted “Try the Moonlight Dog Walk,” about walking your dog at the annual Moonlight Run for charity.  Since the event is sponsored by the Palo Alto Weekly and the City of Palo Alto, the Weekly thought fit to feature the post on the news slider of their home page.  So here’s the screen grab from my dog Lady’s five minutes of fame.  She is a Redbone Coonhound, although I am well-versed in explaining how she is not a Vizsla (they have light nose, light eyes, sporting group) or Rhodesian Ridgeback (lighter coat, ridge on back, more powerful build, although technically the better guess because they are also in the hound group).  The Moonlight Run event is over for this year, but do think about going out and supporting it next year, whether as a runner, walker or dog walker!

 

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Some of our pet portraits

Posted on June 26, 2014

We take a lot of photos of the dogs we’re taking care of, as we communicate with owners throughout the day with photos and text messages to stay in touch.  As a result, we end up with a lot of fun shots to play around with.  Once you know the dog’s personality, and experiment with the image, you can make a really cool portrait.   Let’s be honest, people like picture of their dogs and other pets, or of themselves with them (we do too).  That’s how we started doing pet portraits for people.  We manipulate an image to give it a unique effect, and then have it infused in metal for a modern, durable presentation.

The work is reproduced on metal in a high-gloss finish at a size of 8″x 8″ for a modern, intimate miniature, great for the office or bedside table, or as a gift. The image is infused into an aluminum surface, not over it, and achieves a breath-taking luminescence from reproduction in this medium; the high-gloss finish provides a brilliant surface that maximizes the image details.  We either work with your images, or create new ones to play with.  We charge $98 for the finished product, plus $20 for an optional lucite stand to enhance the display.   Here are some examples!

 

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Photos of the new dog park on San Antonio

Posted on January 17, 2014

Thoughts for the new year: follow your dog

Posted on December 29, 2012

As we look to the new year, and reflect on how we would like to approach it, let us consider our dogs as our guide this year.  Dogs are all about love, loyalty, service, perseverance, and courage, namely your dog has the nobility that we seem to lack in ourselves. Your dog doesn’t care about money, status, or appearances, and your dog lives in the moment and doesn’t bear a grudge. His only frustration is when he can’t be with you and serve you. This sentiment is expressed so well in Ralph Waldo Emerson‘s poem below, as our dogs know how to give all to love, and nothing refuse:

Give all to love;

Obey thy heart;

Friends, kindred, days,

Estate, good-frame,

Plans, credit and the Muse,—

Nothing refuse.

’T is a brave master;

Let it have scope:

Follow it utterly,

Hope beyond hope:

High and more high

It dives into noon,

With wing unspent,

Untold intent:

But it is a god,

Knows its own path

And the outlets of the sky.

It was never for the mean;

It requireth courage stout.

Souls above doubt,

Valor unbending,

It will reward,—

They shall return

More than they were,

And ever ascending.

Leave all for love;

Yet, hear me, yet,

One word more thy heart behoved,

One pulse more of firm endeavor,—

Keep thee to-day,

To-morrow, forever,

Free as an Arab

Of thy beloved.

Cling with life to the maid;

But when the surprise,

First vague shadow of surmise

Flits across her bosom young,

Of a joy apart from thee,

Free be she, fancy-free;

Nor thou detain her vesture’s hem,

Nor the palest rose she flung

From her summer diadem.

Though thou loved her as thyself,

As a self of purer clay,

Though her parting dims the day,

Stealing grace from all alive;

Heartily know,

When half-gods go,

The gods arrive.

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12/15 is “dog lovers day” at Stanford basketball with discount tickets

Posted on December 12, 2012

Stanford Athletics reached out to let us know about DOG LOVERS DAY  at Stanford Women’s Basketball, this Saturday, December 15th, as the Cardinal take on the University of Pacific at 7pm at Maples Pavilion.  Visit www.gostanford.com/dogs to purchase discount tickets for just $5.  Besides the fact that Stanford Women’s Basketball is ranked #1 in the nation, you can enjoy special dog-related entertainment at this event.

Halftime will feature an agility dog demonstration by the Bay Team.  The Bay Team is a non-profit Bay Area club devoted to canine agility training and trials (competition).  Enjoy entertainment throughout the game with various canine-related activities, videos and more.   While they haven’t opened Maples Pavilion to dogs, you can bring a dog toy to donate to the Humane Society of Silicon Valley, participate in contests, and watch the agility show at half-time.  If you’re not familiar with agility, it’s a terrific option if you have a high-energy, high-drive dog that you would like to find a fun way to work, without getting into something more specific like scent work.

Training tip: don’t ask your dog to be less than he is

Posted on December 4, 2012

Now that it’s the holiday season we are reminded of a wonderful line from The Sound of Music in which Julie Andrews, Maria, says about Christopher Plummer, Captain von Trapp: “I can’t ask him to be less than he is.”  First, if you haven’t seen the movie, or not in a while, it’s fabulous and full of beautiful sentiment that will fill you with the holiday spirit, even though it’s not a Christmas movie per se.  Second, it’s worth thinking about this quotation with respect to our dogs.

If we reflect a moment on what noble and loyal creatures they are, and how they were bred for hunting, herding, ratting (yes that’s what terriers do) or whatever, we should credit them for their willingness to adapt to the town lifestyle we lead here in Palo Alto in order to serve as our companions and please us.  Yes our dogs may have foibles, like jumping up on people, getting in the garbage, and other issues we may need to address.  But we need to approach these challenges in the spirit of appreciating how much our dogs are already giving us by adapting rather well actually to the extreme environments that we put them in — such as living in an apartment, or having us gone most of the day at work or at school, etc.  Our point is that when you are dealing with a behavior issue with your dog, don’t lose sight of the forest for the trees.

Approach dog training with a spirit of respect and compassion for your dog, in terms of appreciating how much they are already giving you that is positive.  And realize that usually the behavior issue that frustrates you is a symptom of larger issues, in which we are asking our dog to be less than who he really is, by not fully utilizing his capabilities and not giving him the opportunity to actualize his genetic makeup in the world.  So next time your dog does something naughty, have some perspective.  Your dog is not the problem — it’s a sign that you need to work on enabling his proper place in the world, and these issues will tend to resolve themselves with a little work once there’s a larger vision and leadership tone coming from you.  That’s why we ask, what is your wish list for you and your dog?  Form a positive vision and work towards it together, patiently.

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