Where does your dog go when you have to leave him/her during the day?

08 June 2011

Watching you shine bright, I'll wave goodbye tonight

I know each and every animal cruelty story is equally as gut wrenching and unbelievable, but sometimes certain ones weigh heavier on your heart for unexplained reasons.

I've been following the story of a dog called "Star". Star was found buried alive and had been shot in the head 40 times. I first learned of her about two weeks ago and even though she was not my dog, nor did I know her personally in any way, my heart felt like it broke in two after reading the following article.

Is this the worst case of animal cruelty ever?

I watched the video of Star at the bottom of that article and saw such defeat and brokenness in her gentle eyes. Still, her rescuers remained hopeful that she would survive and it wasn't long before she gained a huge following on her Facebook page, Star: The dog who lived

However, tonight I read an update that made my heart break all over again for this undeserving little soul.

"It is with great sadness that we just discovered that beautiful Star has passed away. We had such hope after she had been found and seemed to be surviving. R.I.P. Beautiful Girl. Let us hope that she gets justice and they find who had abused her. If anyone is in Malta, please spread the word for Star."

Star was appropriately named! If only she knew how much of a bright spot she was to thousands of people whose hearts were saddened, but at the same time, inspired by her; just like mine was. If only she knew how many people were rooting for her and happy that she was "shining" even after enduring such vicious and completely unjustified treatment.

For everything that she suffered through, and for the millions of dogs that are abused in similar ways each year, Star simply has to be our dog of the month this June/July.

Well this is not your fault
And if you have to go
Well always know that you shine brighter than anyone does

(Hot Diggity does not take credit for any photos used in this post)

22 May 2011

Nameless has been named

Last month we featured a yet to be named Russell Terrier puppy as April's Dog of the Month. Well, her owner Elizabeth Bundy wrote to let us know that she now has a name..."Willow"! I just love the name and of course love any excuse to post pictures of puppies on the blog.

Willow living (and clearly loving) life at her new home...

Willow with her "big sister", Kuma (Jack Russell Terrier) and "cousin", Roxy (Pug)

Looks like she fits right in! Thanks to Elizabeth for the cute pictures of Willow! We LOVE them!

08 May 2011

Dog of the Month - Bella!

Recently, my dog Gabe had a play date with my friend Connie's dog, Bella. It was my first time meeting Bella, but she was so easy to love, I could not resist featuring her on the blog! I was struck with how mild mannered she was, even for being an active breed, (a Labradoodle), and younger than Gabe is, too. I think Bella embodies all the best traits of the breeds she is mixed with, and I am glad we get to see her sweet face around here for a while!

Thank you Connie for getting us some great pictures of Bella to share with readers. A little more about her:

Photographer's Name: I took all of these pics

Dog's Breed: Labradoodle

Where did you get her? I got her from a local Nebraska breeder called "Diamond Country Dogs."

What made you choose her? I wanted something that had a temperament similar to a golden retriever that didn't shed as much. Originally, I thought I wanted a goldendoodle and did my research on breeders. I decided on a breeder and tried to be as patient as possible to wait for the next available litter of goldendoodles, but a litter of labradoodles became available first and I fell in love. I asked for more pics of Bella and asked as many questions as possible-- I just knew she was the one!

Describe her in three words. Most friendly puppy (ever).

Anything else you'd like to add? Sometimes I call her "Bella Bear" because she always gets the comment that she resembles a stuffed animal. She's the friendliest, most easy-going dog I've ever had. She would prefer to have people pet her at the dog park than to actually play with the other dogs.

04 April 2011

Patrick's Law

I saw this posted on another blog. My heart broke for Patrick and all the other dogs who have had to go through anything similar. It's a miracle he survived!

This is Patrick, the sweet pitbull puppy from New Jersey. He beat the odds by surviving starvation and being thrown down a garbage chute in an apartment building, wrapped in a plastic bag.

This is the chute where Patrick was originally found.

This was Patrick when he was first rescued on March 16, 2011.

Patrick on one of his first few walks, since being able to stand.

Patrick's Law on Facebook
"Our mission statement is to enact stronger animal abuse legislation at the Federal and State level. We will also work toward educating the public on animal abuse!"

02 April 2011

Puppy of the Month!

We are a day late with April's dog of the month, but here she is! And she's so fresh that she doesn't even have a name yet. She is just six weeks old and is still at her breeder's house, waiting for the day when her new owners Bob and Elizabeth Bundy bring her home. Bob and Elizabeth already have a Jack Russell Terrier named "Kuma" and recently had to say goodbye to their beloved Lab/Dalmatian mix, "Eclipse". So this little gem will once again make them a two dog family. Congrats you guys, she is adorable!

Photographer's Name: Janice Whitfield

Puppy's Breed: Russell Terrier (one of the foundation breeds of the Jack Russell Terrier)

Puppy's Breeder: Janice Whitfield, Valley View Farms

What made you choose her? Approximately 2 years ago in looking on-line at Jack Russell Terrier puppies (because we love Kuma soooo much - and we are Jack Russell Terrier people) I found Valley View Farms website & began to research the breed. We were in Spokane about that time and my sister & I needed something to do with her granddaughter for the day so we made an appointment and took her to the farm. When I met her dogs I immediately fell in love with this breed. They are smaller then the Jacks, have as much energy but are calmer. This puppy was reserved by someone else who decided the timing wasn't right - so Janice called and asked if we wanted her - The timing was right for us so I said "of course" - So maybe she was chosen for us?

Anything else you'd like to add? I am so excited and look forward to this new little puppy (yet to be named) and Kuma becoming fast friends

Thanks to Elizabeth and Janice for letting us showcase her! She is irresistible!

Readers: feel free to post your name suggestions for Elizabeth :)

23 March 2011

The Job They Do

Perhaps one of the greatest injustices in life is that our dogs live far fewer years than we do. Unconditional love, undying loyalty, and an unspoken bond all top the endless list of things that dogs offer to us as the broken people we are. Dogs become an integral part of the lives of families and individuals in one of the most fervently unique alliances to emerge on this Earth.

This profound documentary captures the beauty of that bond, and reminds us of everything that dogs do to enhance our lives from day to day.

Not the least hard thing to bear when they go from us, these quiet friends, is that they carry away with them so many years of our own lives.

-John Galsworthy

20 March 2011

Satellite Heart

Dogs are born with the desire to revolve around us. More than any other animal, dogs naturally want to please, protect, and be loved by humans. If you've ever walked into a room full of 8 week old puppies, you know what I mean. All of them (except maybe the shy one in the corner) will drop what they're doing and push and shove each other just for a chance to get close to you. As wonderful and interesting as other domesticated pets are, you probably aren't going to see this same ecstatic behavior with a group of baby horses, a litter of kittens or a bunch of baby birds.
Dogs want to belong to someone. They don't choose us; we choose them. We buy them and bring them home, and they adore us as if we were their number one choice for an owner. They quickly learn to anticipate fun with us, and how to adapt to our moods. It's always fascinating to me when I go to dog parks and each and every off leash dog there knows who they came with. They keep tabs on their person. They listen for their owner's voice. A dog's desire for us is uncomplicated and unconditional. Dogs want us.

Last night I was reading an article in Cesar's Way magazine about rescue organizations and shelter dogs. If anyone knows about giving dogs second chances, it's Cesar (also known as The Dog Whisperer) and a few main points and quotes in his recent articles really stood out to me. So I wanted to share them with our blog readers.

-This year alone, 4 to 5 million abandoned dogs and cats will be put down in Shelters across America.

- After three decades of declining numbers, experts say that the totals have begun rising in the past two years, largely because of the economic crisis.

- People have been leaving their dogs behind in their foreclosed homes. Many dogs have been found weeks after their owners left, tied to trees, or locked in garage or houses, starving and traumatized.

- Some cities are doing a better job at taking care of their strays. Austin, TX for example saves up to 90% of its strays, whereas Dallas and San Antonio euthanize 70 to 80%.

- The tight economy means fewer people are stepping up to adopt dogs.

Even though a great deal of dogs could be saved if more people would consider rescue, I believe it's equally a shelter's responsibility to make it as hassle free as possible for people to adopt. While it's good to do their best to ensure a dog will find a forever home, it's also important that potential adopters don't get turned away because they couldn't fill out a Q&A sheet exactly right. Too often it seems as though shelters lose their common sense and develop a counter productive system and even a cynical attitude toward would-be adopters. Of course, not all are this way by any means. But still, it's something to think about and it's why I couldn't agree more with the following quote, taken directly from Cesar's Way magazine:

"The municipalities that save the most dogs are the ones that allow the public to do the right thing", says Natahn Winograd. "They make adoption convenient, fun, exciting. The ones that fail have shelters that aren't clean, and customer service isn't great. They give people the third degree. Shelters have to understand that people looking to adopt have many other options"

Aside from the current economic state being a contributing factor to so many homeless dogs, I think another one is that sometimes people give up on their dogs a little too soon. Don't be afraid to ask for help. More often than not, there is a solution out there. If you're having trouble living with your dog, contact a trainer or experienced owner before you throw in the towel. Some things just take a little extra work and patience, but can pay off big time in the end. If you stick it out with your current dog, you may look back in a few years and wonder how you ever thought of giving him away. Taking responsibility for the pets already in our care can help greatly reduce the growing numbers of perfectly healthy ones being put down.

Also, doing research before getting a dog can literally mean the difference between life or death for him. Your neighbor's perfectly trained German Shepherd probably has more to do with the owner and the owner/dog chemistry than it does the breed, for example. In other words, just because a dog of a particular breed you know is wonderful doesn't mean that it's the breed for you. It just means it was a good match.

There are certainly circumstances where giving your dog away may be the best thing you can do for him and your family. And sometimes even after hard work people find that the dog they chose turned out to be a bad match. Even Cesar, who can fix almost any behavior problem and encourages people not to give up, will occasionally suggest that a particular dog be re-homed with a different type of person.

We are definitely lucky that there are so many no-kill rescues out there today, so if you find that you absolutely can no longer keep your dog, take advantage of these organizations.

"If you really feel you have to give up your dog because of foreclosure, don't wait until you're about to leave your home. Try to find a family to adopt him, or seek out a no-kill shelter. His chances of adoption will be much greater than if he's abandoned"

On that note, here are four dogs that are currently waiting for a new person or family to belong to. Each one really stood out to me and pulled on my heart strings, so I wanted to help spread the word!

Molly and Stella

(This beautiful photo was taken by Julie Austin Photography Also, check out Julie's blog, facebook, and twitter pages. She is wonderful!)

I saw Molly and Stella while casually looking on Petfinder.com. I can't explain why I was particularly touched by them, but I was! Stella is a Rat Terrier/Beagle mix and Molly is a Rat Terrier. They are looking to be adopted together and the description of them melted my heart for some reason, in fact, I could easily get teary eyed just looking at their pictures and video (which I watched several times!) I can just tell they are very special, loving little things who deserve a great home. You can find them at Motley Zoo Animal Rescue in Redmond, Wa.

Check out Stella and Molly's Petfinder pages for more information:


Tiger and Whitie

The other two are these guys, Whitie and Tiger; male Husky/Retriever mixes. I live a block away from Homeward Pet Adoption Center in Woodinville, and I see their volunteers walking adoptable dogs every day, rain or shine. For the past couple weeks I have noticed these two dogs were always being walked together, and they make such a striking pair. They look almost identical except for color and they are always walking so calmly side by side with whoever their volunteer walker is that day. I can't help but smile every time I see them. They have such a wise look to them, and it breaks my heart that they lost their home. Today I decided to look them up online and found out that like Stella and Molly, they are looking for a home together. They seem inseparable. I have a feeling they will make an excellent pair for the right family!

Check out their Petfinder pages for more details!


We would love to hear your rescue stories! Email them to TheHotDiggity@Hotmail.Com or post them here :)

I'm a satellite heart
Lost in the dark.
But no matter what you do
I'll be true to you.
-Anya Marina

01 March 2011

Charlie Charlie Charlie

Well, we've kinda been slacking on dog of the month lately, but hopefully the dog of March will help get us back on track...

This is Charlie, owned by Dan and MaryJane Young! Well, actually his full name is "Charlie Peter-Ninkumpoop Young" and he is a 2 year old Boston Terrier who already has his fair share of internet popularity. His human dad is the lead singer of This Providence and he often tweets photos of Charlie to his nearly 12,000 followers. He's also popular on MaryJane's facebook, but it's clear that his parents are his biggest fans ;)

I've known Dan and MaryJane for many years, and was pretty excited for them when they got their first dog together. I've been wanting to feature Charlie on the blog for quite some time and am happy that it worked out this month!

It has been been exactly 1 year since we featured a Boston Terrier. Her name was Penny Lane, owned by Sarah Orzechowski and her boyfriend Brendon Urie (lead singer of Panic at the Disco). I guess Boston Terriers are a popular choice for musicians and their gorgeous wives/girlfriends! Not that I can blame them; as fashionable, comical, and loyal as Boston Terriers are.

Now, for a little interview with MJ about this special little guy...

Photographer's Name: Dan Young

Where did you get Charlie? From a breeder from St. Helens

What made you choose him? Dan wanted a pug; he loves the smooshed-face look, but I wasn't a fan of them, so we did some research using Animal Planet's Dogs 101 and thought a Boston was a good compromise. We looked online through breeders and saw Charlie. It was instant love!

How did you pick his name? When we picked him up from the breeder (in the parking-lot of a JC Penny in Kelso; very classy), we hadn't chosen a name yet. When we were driving away, Dan asked "what are we going to name him?" I just said "Charlie?" I still don't know where it came from. Over time, we became fans of the TV show It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia, and decided to honor Charlie Day's character by making Charlie's middle-name the name of Charlie Day's horse, Peter-Ninkumpoop.

Describe Charlie in 3 words
: Charming, chill, sweet

Ok, this picture is unbelievable. Is he edible?

I'm not entirely convinced that this isn't a beanie baby...and the cutest one I've ever seen for that matter

Such a dapper young dude!

Thanks so much to Dan and MaryJane for sharing Charlie with us! I've always loved this picture of him in the sun.

11 February 2011

Dental Health

Anyone who has a dog or has even been around a dog can probably agree that dog breath is a force to be reckoned with. In extreme cases, a dog's bad breath can serve as a red flag for more serious issues - infection, pain, and even possible organ damage. The good news is that a dog's dental health can be greatly impacted with preventative care and maintenance! February is National Pet Dental Health month, so at the suggestion of a friend, Tory and I thought it would be a good idea to feature this topic. Your dog's teeth (and possibly your nostrils) just may thank us for it.

Just like your own teeth, a dog's teeth are going to suffer decay without the regular removal of tartar build up. It is not necessarily natural for a dog to enjoy having someone poking around in his or her mouth. This is why it is extremely advantageous to teach your dog to have his or her mouth examined and worked with from day one. You may have to start simply by getting your dog used to having his or her mouth touched. Then, introduce the taste of the paste. Finally, introduce a soft bristled brush with the paste on it.

Just so we're all on the same page here - you must buy special toothpaste for your pet. Using regular human toothpaste is dangerous for your dog. One highly veterinarian-recommended brand of toothpaste for dogs is CET. The pastes come in several appealing flavors that are safe for your dog to ingest.

Brushing your dog's teeth is not the only way to enhance dental health, though. Providing toys and bones for your dog to chew on can also aid in the prevention of tartar build up.

Rag bones can serve as a sort of floss for your dog. (Just be sure to supervise while in use, as dogs can swallow string and this is often hazardous.)

Toys with texture and ridges, such as this one, stimulate gums and help break down tartar on the teeth.

Real animal bones such as these femur bones provide hours of chewing time for dogs. (They do pose a risk for wear and tear on dog teeth, however; so use with discretion.)

Using an additive to your pet's drinking water like this one can is an easy way to further promote oral health.

Having a periodic dental done by your veterinarian for your dog is also a crucial part of preserving your dog's healthy teeth. This is done while your dog is under anesthesia, and while it can be pricey, I can personally attest to the value of having this done. Gabe is a three-year-old healthy dog, but when I had a dental done on him several months ago, they discovered he had not just one, but two broken teeth! Thankfully, neither of the teeth were in need of a root canal because we caught it in time. They were able to seal each of them and prevent any worse pain in his mouth. I would much rather provide preventative care for my dog than needing a painful emergency procedure done later on down the road.

Many veterinarians offer discounts on pet dentals during the month of February, so now is an ideal time to have your pet's mouth checked out! We highly encourage you to help preserve your dog's 'smile'.

08 February 2011

Gabe's First Trial! (and Error...?)

This past weekend, Gabe and I competed for the first time in agility. It was a milestone for us because it's something I have wanted to work towards for several years now. However, due to moving around a lot, not having money to pay for classes, and my own lack of confidence, it took us longer than it should have to accomplish this.

The trial we entered was a NADAC (North American Dog Agility Council) trial. They allow both mixed breeds and purebred dogs to compete (as does the American Kennel Club now), and we only entered two classes, since I wasn't sure what I was getting myself into exactly. I decided on two 'Touch-N-Go' events, which focused on contact obstacles. These courses mainly consisted of the A-frame, the Dogwalk, hoops, and tunnels.

I didn't set unrealistically high goals for Gabe and myself; mainly, my objective was just to get through each course, and hoped that he would do more than just sniff the ground or run out of the ring completely. I had no idea what he would think of the trial environment (a horse barn - are you kidding me?), equipment different than what he was accustomed to using, and of course an audience.

The things I learned that day were:
1. Everyone makes mistakes. Especially Novice handlers.
2. If I ever reach the higher competition level classes, I never want to become condescending or arrogant (like some of the elite handlers unfortunately were.)
3. Gabe really needs some sort of a warm up run, to get rid of the squirrely tendencies he has.
4. Laughing at Gabe and myself is helpful.

I will post the footage from both of our runs. Please watch both, as he improved greatly from the first run to the second! (It is ok if you laugh while watching, too - he is slightly over-enthusiastic and had the time of his life. It is what I adore about him. :))

Run 1

Run 2

More trials to come, hopefully!

02 February 2011

I love you more than I could ever promise

Saw this video today and felt it was definitely worth posting. Of course, anything with a Dachshund melts me. But that's beside the point. This is just sweet.

01 January 2011


I took a few pictures of my dogs (Mud & Cinderella) playing in the snow the other day. Unfortunately, Mud ran outside before I could get his matching blue sweater on him. He was like a little boy overly excited about the snow with his mom calling after him "don't forget your jacket!"
But in the end I couldn't interrupt his fun to dress him up. So just imagine he is wearing a wintry outfit to match Cinderella's. (And at least he had his Harley Davidson collar on that he got for Christmas from my mom!)

(click pix to enlarge)