Sunday, March 28, 2010

Cats and Dogs: What You Always Suspected Is True

Collecting Donations for Cat Charities and Blowing The Money on Beer
Now on Facebook.

Unique Dog Park Opens in Anderson Mill


Bone-i-fied Listener: Bow Wow Boosts Reading Among Local Elementary School Students


Good Cause Alert: Time to register for 12th Annual Mighty Texas Dog Walk April 17

Bring the Guinness World Record back to Texas – Beat the Brits!
Current record: 10,272 dogs

When: Sat., April 17, 2010 9:00 AM

Where: 1st Street Bridge

What: A three mile stroll through scenic downtown Austin

Why: To bring the Guinness World's Record for "Largest Dog Walk" back to Texas! Current record: 10,272 dogs

Admission: $30/dog day of; $25/dog pre-registration

Register Online for $5 discount

Dog Tested and Approved: Short on Time and You Want to Walk Your Dog Around The Lake?

Cyndi Hughes and Debi Martin hug their dogs yesterday after enjoying lunch al fresco at the new dog-friendly patio at Lift Cafe near Lady Bird Lake's Hike & Bike Trail

It's a problem common to Austin dog lovers. We wanted to walk our dogs around the lake but by the time we got organized -- got all our stuff and all of our dogs' stuff together -- we weren't sure we'd have time for a good long walk, especially after driving around and around looking for a place to park the car near Lady Bird Lake. On a beautiful Spring Austin day. When the weather is perfect!

And then we realized, we needed to eat first.

A logistic challenge.

Long-time colleague, friend and fellow dog Mom Cyndi Hughes came up with a solution: Park and eat at the Lift Cafe. If you've been looking at those condos that dot the Austin skyline near Lady Bird Lake, and wondered what's in it for you and your dog consider this: You can get free covered parking (2 hour limit) and you and the pooch of your life can fuel up before the big walk at Lift Cafe, one of several retailers located on the first floor of Bridges on the Park luxury condos at the corner of Riverside and Lamar. (Entrance to parking garage is off of Lamar heading south.) The cafe offers a big bowl of water for dogs and treats.

Route testers:

Consuelo, aka La Senorita Principesa!, formerly part of the New Braunsfels rescue group for King Charles Cavalier Spaniels. According to her Facebook page on Dogbook, Consuelo is "a Champion greeter." We suspect given her owner's preferences that she would consider working for Target as a greeter, never for Walmart.

The Little Prince, my "formerly more autistic dog," is a success story in progress from Austin Sheltie Rescue and also on FB for dogs.

This is what Consuelo looked like when Cyndi left the table, briefly, to throw away her trash.

And this is what she looked like when Cyndi returned.

Meanwhile, Prince huddled underneath my chair. Photo taken of Prince under chair while I was sitting in chair.

Oh, and the food at Lift? Delicious. Prince smacked his lips after he was given a piece of my banana bread, which I enjoyed along with The Fricken Schmidt, a spinach salad with feta, raisins and cranberries, tossed in fig vinaigrette. Washed it down with a bottle of Sweet Tea. Consuelo went for part of Cyndi's sandwich, the Vegtastic, made with hummus,spring mix, cucumber, sprouts, tomato and onions on whole wheat bread with herb vinaigrette.

Lift serves salads, sandwiches, soups and wraps. It also offers beer, wine, coffee, and smoothies and other "specialty drinks" named Antioxidance (pomegranate juice, blueberry, mango), Hill Country Runner (passion fruit juice, blackberry, peach,maca, flax seed oil), the Longhorn (apricot nectar, banana, cherry, strawberry), the Ladybird (blackberry caramel latte), the Riverside (coffee, dark chocolate syrup, cinnamon, steamed milk), and of course -- this IS Austin -- the Elvis (almond milk, banana, nut butter, raw cocoa powder).

If you like quality healthy food at a reasonable price at a place that welcomes dogs and is in walking distance of the hike and bike trail, this is the place. Did I mention the free parking? Free covered parking!

Ambiance? Inside the Lift,yes. Outside on dog patio. Not so much. Lot of cement and the view wasn't of the lake but of the traffic headed up and down Lamar Blvd. Kind of noisy, too.

Best idea: Lift offers "Take-Aways," food to go. Call ahead and pick yours up en route to a picnic in the park.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

A Lover not a Fighter: Bomb-sniffing dog stationed in Afghanistan prefers to cuddle

Out of the 58 bomb-sniffing dogs the Marines have in Afghanistan, only one—a brown-eyed, floppy-eared yellow Lab named Gunner—is suffering from such severe canine post-traumatic stress disorder that he had to sit out the ongoing offensive in central Helmand Province.

by Bryan Denton for The Wall Street Journal

"He's the only combat-ineffective dog out here," says his kennel chief, Cpl. Chad McCoy.

Like their human comrades, some war dogs can handle combat, and some can't. One Marine Corps explosives dog, a black Lab named Daisy, has found 13 hidden bombs since arriving in Afghanistan in October. Zoom, another Lab, refused to associate with the Marines after seeing one serviceman shoot a feral Afghan dog. Only after weeks of retraining, hours of playing with a reindeer squeaky toy and a gusher of good-boy praise was Zoom willing to go back to work.

"With some Marines, PTSD can be from one terrible event, or a cumulative effect," says Maj. Rob McLellan, 33-year-old operations officer of the 2nd Combat Engineer Battalion, who trains duck-hunting dogs back home in Green Bay, Wis. Likewise, he says, the stress sometimes "weighs a dog down to the point where the dog just snaps."

Gunner snapped.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Puppy rescued from collapsed house damaged in earthquake in Chile

People weren't the only victims of the earthquake in Chile. Rescue worker Cristian Velasquez found and comforted this puppy found alive Monday. Velasquez gave him bits of food and water after rescuing him from inside a collapsed house in Constitucion.

Henry, a King Charles Spaniel and former Austinitie, blogs about his visit to the city yesterday to visit cousin Leo, a Rhodesian Ridgeback

Traveling by car has always been my preferred method of transportation, especially since I have my own seat.

Henry tells all in his Small Dog in the Big City blog.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Deaf dog looking for owner was found near 183 and Lake Creek Parkway

please call 512.203.9802

Uncle Sam wants YOU to foster a future bomb-sniffing dog

Click here for video (with annoying puppy voice - no puppy sounds like that!!).

The Transportation Safety Administration's Puppy Program selectively breeds, raises and prepares puppies to be future explosives detection dogs within the National Explosives Detection Canine Team Program. Dogs that graduate from training are assigned to airports and mass transit systems nationwide. The program is located at Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio, Texas.

The program depends on volunteer families in San Antonio and Austin, Texas to raise puppies from age nine weeks to 12 months, when they can enter explosives detection training. During this time, families are responsible for providing their pups with a well-rounded, socialized and nurturing environment. To help the families, there is an orientation and a puppy raising guidebook, and the staff is available anytime for questions or emergencies.

The program also supplies food, equipment and medical care for the puppies while in foster care. The puppies are returned to the program for one week each month for medical and behavioral evaluation. The program provides feedback to the foster families on how the puppy is developing. At approximately one year of age, the pups are returned to the program to start their official training.

Potential puppy foster families must have a secure fenced yard, a vehicle in which the pup can be transported, and no more than two other dogs in the home.

Bo says go vote it's Primary day