In Loving Memory of Lexis

lexis-at-beach full in memory

September 6, 2015 will be the second anniversary of Lexis (Lexi) leaving this earth. She is still in my heart and I think of her everyday. I miss her dearly! Love you, Lexi!

family collage

lexi parade collage

The gaggle of goldens are the San Diego Golden Retriever Meet Up Group

My original post when she left, Good-bye Lexis

Number 9

pit itp pupsNew addition to It’s the Pits. These little guys and gals are looking for love near San Diego.

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Remember Me Thursday: Pet Adoption Awareness Campaign

Official ‘Remember Me Thursday’ video featuring “I Was Here” by Kristin Chenoweth

Remember Me Thursday asks animal-lovers and animal welfare organizations across the globe to light a candle – literally or virtually – on the exact same day, September 26th, to honor the millions of pets who lost their lives without the benefit of a loving home and to shine a light on those still waiting to be adopted.

In only weeks, endorsement of the program has arrived in the form of over one hundred scheduled candle-lighting ceremonies, high-profile celebrity social media postings, and much more. The campaign was founded by Mike Arms, President of Helen Woodward Animal Center, here in Southern California.

Plan a candle-lighting ceremony with your local pet adoption organization to promote pet adoption. Please spread the word; post, tweet, or hit one of the many share buttons I have below. Help honor those lives lost without a loving family by their side and the millions of pets needing a home, waiting to be adopted.

For more information on Remember Me Thursday and a full list of participating celebrities and animal welfare organizations, go to  For more information on the US west coast candle-lighting ceremony, contact PR Manager Jessica Gercke at (858) 756-4117 x 335 or

Weekly Wag: Pudsy in Greyhound Land

I rescued a greyhound/great dane (?) mix, Pudsy, about 4 weeks ago from my local groomer. I took the little white dog, Odie, in to get groomed and came home with this small horse! Odie is a foster dog from Holly’s Garden.

Pudsy’s owner had Alzheimer and couldn’t take care of her any longer. 😦 A friend of Pudsy’s owner relinquished her to the owner of the groomers in hopes of finding her a home. The groomers owner, after weeks of searching for a home with no luck, was going to put her in a shelter. This is the day that Odie went to the groomer.

So she came home with me and Odie that day. After many calls, posting on Facebook and the help of an experienced rescuer, she was accepted at Greyhound Adoption Center on September 29th. Most of the dogs here are ex-racing dogs. GAC is a very loving, large and well taken care of facility.

Pudsy was a joy to have and I took her to dog beach several times, she loves the water. She would hop through the water like a giant bunny and chase after my golden. It was a sight to behold. She really bonded with my golden. Pudsy also loved to cuddle. You would be surprised at how a 100 lb dog can curl up into the tiniest space! Surprisingly, they make great apartment dogs. I am happy for the time I spent with her, but she needs a huge yard to run in and a lot of food!

Darren is the owner of GAC, is very nice and has an air of peacefulness and patience about him. He met with Pudsy earlier and was given a behavior test which she passed with flying colors. GAC includes a huge agility course which is also rented out to help pay the bills.

GAC is beautifully nestled in a country setting with a mountain as their backdrop making this rescue truly serene! As soon as we got there Darren gave Pudsy a bath and she ran around their huge yard. I brought my golden, Lexis, and shih tzu, Heidi to say good-bye.

Pudsy will be easy to place with her gentle and friendly disposition. She is also cat friendly, always a plus for adoption. My nickname for her was ‘gentle giant’. I miss her but know she will have a new forever home soon.

Pudsy Adapting to her New (temp) Home

Villalobos and Hurricane Isaac

I wanted to reblog this from Animal Planet’s blog about Villalobos Rescue Center. Many of you are familiar with Tia from Pit Bulls and Parolees. Villalobos (village of wolves) moved from Southern California (LA County) to New Orleans at the end of last year (2011).

Hurricane Isaac came on the seventh anniversary of Hurricane Katrina. The New Orleans location of Villalobos is fine with the exception of some flooding but it didn’t affect the dogs.

Post Isaac: The Latest From Villalobos


For the past several days the team over at the Villalobos Rescue Center has been preparing for Hurricane Isaac. We were able to catch up with Tia and members of the Villalobos team who have been gracious enough to provide us with minute-by-minute updates before, during and after Isaac.

The Villalobos Rescue Center is featured in the Animal Planet series Pit Bulls and Parolees, which returns to the network on October 6th at 10PM E/P.

August 28th – 5:28PM

So flooding is a way of life out here (beats wildfires) thus the reason why we have a couple of boats and vehicles with big huge tires.  If it floods REALLY bad then the satellite houses will have to evac also to the evac center.  I’ve already decided that we’re evacuating the Cheech and Chong house because the river is already coming up.  So you may see pics of dogs in boats that I can take 🙂

In New Orleans, we’ve simply moved all of the dogs upstairs to rooms that are up on a second level and they will stay there until the storm blows past. Things are about to get very interesting… – Tia

August 28th 10:30PM

Right now the hurricane is stalled. For whatever reason it’s kinda just sitting so New Orleans and we are not getting the major brunt of it. The New Orleans warehouse has lost power and Tania said it’s really humid so I think they’re setting up some generators to at least get some fans going.

We don’t have generators out here by the river so we have all cranked up our A/C’s to like 60 degrees in order to freeze the houses out so if the power goes out at least it will stay cool inside for awhile.  Meanwhile, I’m shivering 🙂 – Tia

August 29th 8:23AM

We are getting the beginning of it now and the Cheech and Chong house just took a hit. The neighbor’s tree just took out our new fence so it looks like we’ll be busy in the next couple of weeks (damn and we just built that thing!). Our power is fading off and on but I don’t think its as hot as it is in New Orleans.  Right now we’re keeping on eye on the river but according to the news this is just the start and its a VERY VERY slow storm so it will take all day and into the night to leave us. *ugh* – Tia  

August 30th – 10:06AM

A member of Tia’s crew ‘swims’ over to Tia’s jeep ready to start the day’s rescue efforts.


August 30th 10:30AM 

The morning’s first rescue: Tia and her crew find a blind border collie wandering in the water. Up into the jeep he goes!


August 30th, 2:07PM 

Found this cutie trying to swim down the road. Her name…Katrina the pot belly pig. – Tia


August 30th, 2:13PM

Mariah and a small team arrive via rowboat to help rescue animals.


The extent of the damage to Villalobos Rescue Center is unknown. However, the entire family remains safe. Wet, frustrated, but safe. Tia is out there doing what she does best – helping others. Not even a hurricane could stop her! For the latest on the Villalobos recovery effort LIKE the Villalobos Rescue Center Facebook page.

If you would like to make a general donation please visit

Dog Chapel: Welcome All Creeds, All Breeds, No Dogmas Allowed

I wanted to share my newsletter from Margarat Nee of Encinitas, CA. Margarat is the owner of The Art of Dog. The Art of Dog philosophy is a holistic approach to K9 wellness. She treated one of my dogs, very caring and knowledgeable. She wrote about her visit to Dog Chapel in VA, a truly spiritual experience.
Visiting the Dog Chapel
August brought a highlight to my year when I visited the Dog Chapel at Dog Mountain in St. Johnsbury, Vermont.

The chapel was created by the artist Stephan Huneck, and from the Dog Chapel outside looks like a tiny version of a 19th century New England chapel one might find in the area. He wanted to create a space “that celebrated the spiritual bond we have with our dogs, and that would be open to dogs and people, people of any faith or belief system.” The sign outside the chapel says “All Creeds, All Breeds, No Dogmas Allowed.”

Inside your attention is drawn to the architectural elements as well as the personal elements within it. The stained glass windows have whimsical dog images, the benches are supported by lifesize dog sculptures, even details in the molding around the arch contain dog portraits. But quickly your attention goes to the thousands of pieces of paper tacked to the walls. These are notes, photos, sketches – all in remembrance of dogs that have passed on. They have been added in person by visitors, and mailed in from around the world. They are layers deep, and perusing them brings smiles and a few tears as one connects to the stories.

 Dog Chapel interior

Outside the chapel is the 150 acre Dog Mountain, designed to be open for exploring by dogs and their owners. There is also a gallery with an amazing array of artwork by Stephan (who passed away a few years ago) in the form of books, prints, sculptures, and more, all in his signature charming style and all displaying the love he had for dogs and their ability to “make us human.”

The whole site is free and open to dogs, they are welcome in the chapel, in the gallery, on the grounds, all off-leash. Vida had a great time greeting people in the gallery! We went on a beautiful sunny day, and ate lunch overlooking a bucolic valley under the gaze of a dog angel weather vane and sculpted dog portraits atop Greek pedestals. Visiting dogs wandered at will, met each other, rested near their owners, and partook of their privileges with ease.

 dog pillars at Dog Mountain

If you are a dog lover it is well worth a road trip to visit it in person.
They struggle financially, so even if you can’t visit you can help support this wonderful place through donating or purchasing items from their website,

Dog Angel vane at Dog Mountain

It provides a place of renewal, something I found in abundance as I stood within the chapel and felt the love people shared with their pets. It is this love that drives my work to help dogs. It is the same love that propels me to learn how to be a better guardian and companion to my own dog. It’s the love we all share that guides us to care as best we can for our canine family members for as long as they’re with us, and to continue to improve over the lifetimes of all the dogs that come into our lives, to do better by each one. In return we learn to do better by ourselves, and to care more for the other humans, animals, and plants on this planet that we share.

This coming weekend will bring the first of two herbal conferences I’ll be attending within a month – a busy time of learning and inspiration that can only multiply when combined with the inspiration of the Dog Chapel. Visiting Dog Mountain and the Dog Chapel  was a joyful, heart-full, beautiful way to spend a summer afternoon. I highly recommend it for all the dog lovers of the world!

Mom and Ten Pups Found a Foster

A mother dog, now named Spirit, and her ten pups were found on a reservation in Southern California. They were taken to a shelter in Carlsbad. The shelter called It’s the Pits rescue to find a home for all these homeless dogs. We put out the word for a foster to take in the dogs. A great task, to say the least.

I am happy to announce a gracious and kind soul has stepped up and taken all these dogs in. The pups are two weeks old and will be ready to adopt in six more weeks. There are six boys and four girls. It’s the Pits can always use a foster if you would like to open your heart and home to help a dog until she or he finds a forever home.