7 Reasons You Should Always Let Your Dog Sleep In Your Bed

Dogs make pretty much everything better, but it’s time someone compiled a definitive list of exactly WHY you should always let your loyal pup cuddle up in bed with you, with some adorable GIFs of puppies. Oh look, we’ve done just that.

#1. It’s comforting.


Dogs are warm, soft, and cuddly, kind of like teddy bears but, you know, alive. The presence of another being nearby when you’re sleeping, and hearing them breathe, is strangely comforting. Until he does a doggy fart, of course. Nothing comforting about those.

#2. It prevents insomnia.


That soothing presence of a dog, as well as making you feel a little safer, will stop you lying awake for hours struggling to fall asleep. You might get woken up a little earlier than expected though.

#3. It relieves stress.


Therapy dogs exist for a reason — pups have been scientifically proven to reduce feelings of stress and anxiety just with a cuddle or a helping paw. Their positive outlook is contagious, and you can’t fail to be reassured by their attentive, loving nature. And they’re just so cute.

#4. It makes you feel safer.


A dog has super-hearing and having your trusty guardian keeping watch while you’re at your most vulnerable, ready to bark at any strangers, will make you feel so protected. Unlike cats, who’ll just make you think your room is haunted because they see things you can’t and go streaking out at 4am.

#5. It fights depression.


Dogs offer unconditional love, with no question asked. What could be more of a mood-booster than a fluffy fella who’s always happy to see you and thinks you’re the greatest thing ever?

#6. It’s warmer.


Okay, so maybe you don’t want an Alsation lying on you in midsummer, but come winter a warm, furry pooch is basically a little radiator for your bed.

#7. And it’s good for your dog.


These little fluffballs want to be with you all the time, and it’s comforting for them to snuggle up with their favorite person, too.


17 Tweets That Will Make You Go, “Me As A Dog Owner”

#1. When you feel like your dog came out of your womb so you treat them with utmost care.

#2. When you prefer your dog over other family members.

#3. When none of the guys you’ve dated even comes close to your dog.

#4. When you’d rather take pictures of your dog than of yourself.

#5. And you need to document your dog’s every momentous occasion.

#6. When you never forget to include your dog in the holiday celebrations.

#7. When you give in to your dog’s need to always be within hugging distance.

#8. When someone asks you what kind of dog you have, and you respond with the honest-to-god truth.

“He’s a mutt. Half amazing. Half terrific.”

#9. When you have parties to celebrate your dog’s birthday.

#10. And you get him a cake and an inflatable pool ’cause they deserve only the very best.

#11. When you leave town and have someone puppy-sit for you but you don’t trust they’ll do a good job.

#12. When you’ve perfected a technique to get the best shots of your pupper.

View post on imgur.com

#13. When you’re proud of your dog and everything they accomplish.

#14. When you need to run errands but don’t want to leave the dog home alone.

#15. When you’re obsessed with your dog and want the whole world to know.

#16. Really, though.

#17. And when you can’t imagine a future without your best friend.


Maid Of Honor Carries Dying Dog Up The Aisle To See His Human Get Married

A bride who desperately wanted her beloved dog to be a part of her wedding was heartbroken when the pup was diagnosed with a terminal illness just months before the ceremony.

33-year-old Kelly O’Connell, from Colorado, US, adopted black lab Charlie Bear when she was 19 years old. In April of this year, Charlie was found to be suffering from a brain tumor.


Kelly’s wedding to then-boyfriend James Garvin was scheduled for September 9th, and Kelly was devastated when she realized that Charlie Bear might not live to see her say her wedding vows.

But Charlie fought through and, when he was too weak to walk up the aisle with Kelly, her sister and maid of honor scooped up the exhausted pup and carried him.


“Both of us just dropped to our knees and started crying,” said Kelly, “To see him carried a few feet, it kind of solidified for me that it’s not the Charlie he liked to be. He was ageing, and it hit me knowing that he lost a lot.”

Wedding photographer and friend Jen Dziuvenis captured the touching moment, saying, “I was like, ‘I have to keep shooting even though I’m in a puddle of tears behind the camera’.”


On September 9th, just days after the ceremony, Charlie passed away peacefully aged 15.


“He was a very sweet dog,” said Kelly, “He loved everybody, but I was definitely his person.”

Photographer Jen uploaded the wedding album to Facebook and the heartbreaking story has been shared thousands of times online, which lifted Kelly’s spirits.

“It makes me so happy because I know they’re having that connection with their dog,” said Kelly, “It reminds us we wouldn’t be feeling this much pain if [our pets] didn’t give us so much joy.”


Rest in peace, Charlie.


Dog Found Alive After Being Buried Under Italy Earthquake Rubble For NINE Days Is Reunited With Owners

Romeo the golden retriever was asleep when his home was destroyed by the devastating earthquake that hit Italy recently. His owners escape the building after trying to dig him out of the wreckage, but were unable to save the pup.

Amazingly, nine days later, Romeo was pulled alive from the rubble and gracefully reunites with his tearful owners who almost gave up trying to dig him out.

And he sure is happy to be found.



25 Frugally Fun DIY Dog Toys To Pamper Your Pooch

25 Frugally Fun DIY Dog Toys To Pamper Your Pooch {Brilliant Collection}

Anyone who knows me knows how much I love my dogs; all dogs really. Dogs are the most loyal, most loving creatures in the world and those of us who have them in our families, like to treat them as the special creatures they are. To that avail, I’ve collected 25 different DIY dog toys that I think you and your furry friend are going to love.Dogs as a general rule love to pull on toys and chew on things. So, I’ve found a great collection of DIY dog chew and pull toys that will ensure your little furry family member doesn’t ruin your furniture.

You can buy dog toys all day long at any pet shop, but honestly where’s the fun in that? These DIY toys are cheaper and very easy to make, and you can ensure that there’s nothing in there that could harm your pet like chemicals or small items they could choke on. These are safe, easy to make homemade dog chew toys and playthings that will keep your dog happy and safe at the same time.

If your little pet does happen to chew the furniture before you try your hand at these DIY chew toys, be sure to check these quick and easy ways to refinish that wooden furniture. That being said, let’s get started making your dogs some great DIY dog chews and toys that they will love. Enjoy this collection of simple, homemade toys for your dogs that are so cheap you can make one for every dog on the block.

1. Toilet Paper Roll Dog Toy

Toilet Paper Roll Dog ToyOkay, so what could possibly be cheaper than an empty toilet paper roll? You already buy the toilet paper and chances are you throw those rolls out when they’re empty, right? This great DIY dog toy is made from an empty toilet paper roll. It’s full to throw and even more fun for your little dog to fetch, and best of all, it’s free to make.

Tutorial: catster

2. DIY Dog Toy From Old Glove

DIY Dog Toy From Old GloveYou know you have at least one mismatched glove in the house. You know, those leftover gloves when you lose one or when one gets a hole. Well now, you can turn that glove into a great DIY dog toy. Again, if you’ve already got the glove, this project is free and you know that little pooch would just love to chew on an old glove.

Tutorial: creativeconnectionsforkids

3. DIY Christmas Dog Chew Toy

DIY Christmas Dog Chew ToyThe holidays are definitely approaching and what better gift for your beloved pet than this great Christmas tree dog chew toy? It’s really easy to make with green felt and some pillow stuffing. Add ornaments if you want with embroidery thread and customize however you wish. Your little dog is sure to love seeing this in his stocking.

Tutorial: runningwithagluegun

4. DIY Feeder Toy

DIY Feeder ToySatisfy his thirst for adventure and his appetite with this great DIY dog feeder that doubles as a toy. You can stuff dog kibble or treats inside the pipe, which is inexpensive PVC from your local hardware store. Your dog will love that he can chew on the pipe and that he gets treats through the strategically placed holes. You’ll love that it’s easy and really inexpensive to create.

Tutorial: dogtipper

5. Patchwork Dog Pillow Toy

Patchwork Dog Pillow ToyThis little patchwork dog pillow is the perfect playmate for your dog. It’s adorable and dogs will love chewing on the softness. Plus, it’s a dog, so it’ll be like her having her very own Barbie doll of herself. I found this on Etsy, but it looks really easy to recreate.

Tutorial: etsy

6. Puppy Toy

Puppy ToyPuppies chew on everything. If you’ve got a new puppy, you simply have to train her to know that she can’t just chew on furniture and other valuables. This DIY puppy toy is the perfect way to do that. All you need is pillow stuffing and some rather durable material. Heavy duty material will ensure that your little pup gets a few good chews in before breaking through the material.

Tutorial: realhousewivesofmn

7. DIY Ball Toy

DIY Ball ToyDogs love to play with balls, and this DIY ball toy makes it even more fun. You can throw the ball for them with the long handle, and he can even chew on the handle without tearing up the entire toy. You’ll just need a tennis ball and a scrap of fabric. The best part is there’s no sewing involved.

Tutorial: ammothedachshund

8. DIY Re-Stuffable Dog Toy

DIY Re-Stuffable Dog ToyOne of my dogs always chews on her toys until the stuffing falls out. Once that happens, she just doesn’t know what to do with the toy. I mean, it’s no fun without the stuffing, right? Well, this little DIY dog toy can be stuffed over and over again, which makes it virtually indestructible. That means no matter how many times she pulls that stuffing out, she can still enjoy her favorite toy.

Tutorial: kolchakpuggle

9. No Sew Denim Dog Toy

No Sew Denim Dog ToyForget throwing out those old jeans. Use them instead to create this great no sew puppy toy. Just tie strips of the denim over and over until you have a ball. Leave strips hanging down for throwing and chewing or do it however you want. Dogs will have a blast chasing and chewing on the toy and because it’s denim, it’s pretty heavy duty so it will last for quite a while.

Tutorial: instructables

10. DIY Interactive Tennis Ball ToyDIY Interactive Tennis Ball Toy

Take an old tennis ball, cut a slit in it, and then fill it with dog treats and you’ve created Rover’s favorite toy of all time. The treats will make a sound when the ball is thrown or shaken and of course, they’re treats, so he’ll love chewing on the ball to get the treats out. This is a good toy for teaching puppies focus and strategy.

Tutorial: romprescue

11. Homemade PupSicles

Homemade PupSiclesDogs love chewing on things and they’ll love these pupsicles even more. You make all the ingredients completely from scratch, so you know they only contain things that are good for your little doggies. Once they’re frozen, you can store them in a freezer bag and just toss one out to the dogs when they’re ready to play. They make a good chew toy and an even better snack.

Tutorial: lifeinmomma-tone

12. Water Bottle Toy

This is by far one of the easiest DIY dog toys in this collection. To make it, you simply put an empty water bottle in a sock. Dogs will adore the crinkly sound that the water bottle makes when they’re chewing on it and the sock gives them grip. Just tie a string around the sock’s opening to keep the bottle in and let them have a blast with it.

Tutorial: momasaurus

13. Tennis Ball On A Rope

Tennis Ball On A RopeThis looks just like one of those rope toys that you would buy at a pet store for around $15 or more, but it’s a ball on a rope toy that you can easily make at home. Save yourself some money and take half an hour to whip this DIY dog toy up. Just cut a slit into the tennis ball to hold the rope in place and you’re all set, and about $15 richer.

Tutorial: withmycamera

14. DIY Jumping Toy

DIY Jumping ToyOkay, so the toy doesn’t jump. This DIY dog toy is great for training dogs to jump or for expending some energy so that they’ll settle down better at night. You can make it for around $15 and it’s a great outside toy to get those dogs off their haunches. If you’re training, this is a great addition to your dog’s arsenal, or just let him jump it for fun.

Tutorial: softpuppywarmhouse

15. T-Shirt Dog Rope

T-Shirt Dog RopeTake a couple of old worn out t-shirts and turn them into this great dog rope. I love these upcycling projects, not only because they save money but they help you to have something to do with those old shirts and other items. This is such a great project and one that your dog will love.

Tutorial: barkpost

16. Fleece Dog Chew

Fleece Dog ChewHere’s another great dog chew toy made from fleece. If you don’t have any fleece leftover from other projects, you can pick it up at any craft store or Wal-Mart and it’s really inexpensive. This toy is great because it’s easy to make and your little furry friend will adore chasing and chewing on your homemade toy.

Tutorial: craftedniche

17. Sweet Potato Chew Toy

Sweet Potato Chew ToySweet potatoes are good for dogs, and they love the taste. That’s what makes this sweet potato chew toy so great. Not only do they get to chew on it, they get a great taste when they do. You’ll need to dry out some sweet potatoes, and then just feed them onto a sturdy rope. It’s virtually indestructible so it’s great even for puppies who may be teething.

Tutorial: instructables

18. Chicken Flavored Chew Toy

This DIY toy is so great. You just need a chew toy, which you can make from any of the other projects in this collection. Soak the chew toy in chicken broth and then toss in the freezer for a bit. Once it’s frozen, give it to your doggie and he’ll have hours of chewable and tasty fun. This one’s even recommended by the ASPCA.

19. Another DIY Fleece Toy

Another DIY Fleece ToyThis fleece toy is a bit different from the others. For this one, you need strips of fleece material which you’ll tie together to form a ball. The strips that hang off will really thrill dogs as they’ll have them to chew on and grasp the ball with. This is a no sew project that takes very little time and makes for a very happy little pup.

Tutorial: dalmatiandiy

20. Doggie Boredom Buster

Doggie Boredom BusterI love interactive toys that keep doggies entertained and teach them at the same time. This DIY doggie toy is so very easy and so very free. You just put empty toilet paper rolls, or cut empty paper towel rolls in half, into a bowl or pan. Add a few treats to the bottom and watch your dog amuse himself trying to get to the treats.

Tutorial: dogue

21. Interactive Pull Toy

Interactive Pull ToyDid I say I love interactive teaching toys? This one is great and one that any dog is certain to love. You’ll need a plastic sphere. Dollar Store has great plastic balls that would be perfect for this. Stuff old socks or fabric into the holes and let your dog learn to strategize as he figures out how to pull the socks out.

Tutorial: dogue

22. Three-Sided Pull Toy

Three-Sided Pull ToyIf you’ve got more than one dog, this fleece pull toy would be great. Each of them can grab a side, up to three that is, and pull away. Fleece is such an inexpensive fabric and this toy is really easy to make. You could also use old t-shirts if you prefer or denim or whatever fabric you happen to have on hand.

Tutorial: funnyfleece

23. DIY Tennis Ball Game

Here’s another great interactive game that your dogs will love. Take an old muffin tin, which you can get at any flea market or even a new one at the Dollar Tree is really cheap, and fill the holes with tennis balls. Dogs love picking out a ball and you can even teach them to put the balls back into the holes. This one will keep them busy for hours.

24. DIY Foxtail Toy

DIY Foxtail ToyDogs love tennis balls and this foxtail toy made with a tennis ball at the end will surely be a hit with your furry friend. You just take some old fabric and stitch the “tail” and then sew in the tennis ball at one end. You can wind it up and throw it far, teaching him how to fetch like a master, and he’ll love being able to chew on the ball.

Tutorial: instructables

25. DIY Chew Ring

DIY Chew RingThis DIY chew toy is made from durable rope so it will last for quite a while. You just braid and knot the rope together to form the ring. Dogs love the shape and you’ll love how easy and inexpensive it is to create. You can make this in any size and even get creative with the shape if you want.

Tutorial: instructables





Are we good girls yet? My adventures in “modern dog parenting”

My dog and I take the same walk through our neighborhood every morning. Dogs like routine, I heard when we adopted her — a young-adult Boston terrier we named Nora Charles — and I do my best. Like her namesake from “The Thin Man” films, she’s beautiful, clever and the life of every party. The part of our morning walk when Ron waves to us after his morning run, and then we stop to chat with Susan on her stoop — that’s what I imagined having a dog would be like. Finally, a reason to make occasional eye contact with the strangers around me. Look at me being a competent, trustworthy adult — some days out of bed before sunrise even.

Nora has never met a two-legged stranger, but when it comes to other dogs, she has the temper of a junkyard Rottweiler. The local small fry rarely earn a second glance — Bagel the Chiweenie with her “redrum” bark, for example. But larger, dopier dogs set her off. I think she thinks she’s protecting me. When Weimaraner Pulling a Jogging Girl approaches — eight long limbs flailing, a haunted look in both sets of eyes — Nora transforms from kissy-face social butterfly into snarling hellbeast, like an adorable pixie girlfriend who has to be dragged kicking and spitting from the bar because some guy looked at her wrong and now we’re all about to get arrested or stabbed. Walking Cocaine Katie in public every morning is not what I thought having a dog would be like.


Ten years ago I decided I would not have children. That decision destroyed an ill-advised early marriage that needed to be blown up anyway. Not long after moving out, I adopted a cat, because I finally could. A few years later, a second cat — a present for my new husband Drew, to whom I had blurted a no-kids warning early in our relationship.

I grew up with cats, and I understand them. People say cats are fickle with their affections and perhaps are incapable of loving us, while dogs love their people unconditionally. That’s not only a gross misunderstanding of cats; it’s a gross misunderstanding of love.

On your most pitiful day, your dog can make you feel like an asshole for wallowing in your failure. I trusted you, her big eyes telegraph. She will sigh as you burrow deeper under the blanket on your couch to avoid her gaze. And we did not play ball today as promised. A dog’s love does not waver. The dog still loves you — broken, undeserving mess that you are. But the dog would feel better if you got your shit together. You will vow to do better tomorrow, for her sake.

On the same day, a cat will hop up on the couch next to you or even onto your lap with no comment. If the cat could talk, he would only say, Netflix. You pick the show. The cat accepts you as you are in any given moment. The cat doesn’t care if you’re a functioning, healthy person committed to your group exercise goals. The cat sees you and does not judge. That, too, is love.

I needed that style of steady, unconditional love as I struggled to establish myself as a writer — a capricious, rejection-riddled profession — and as a woman and partner who wondered if the charges of selfish, immature, incomplete she had rejected from that previous life might on some level be true. Our cats, those ridiculous beasts steadied me as I put in the work, the one thing I know how to do. I built the career I wanted. I got better at marriage. We bought a home. The cats thrived. We were ready to add one more body into the mix.

I knew it would be a big leap from cats to dog — and not just in terms of daily care. A dog’s love is more potent than a cat’s; it packs higher highs and lower lows. A dog’s love is trickier. It is an active love. You have to prove yourself worthy of it.


Three years into our relationship Nora’s coping skills with other dogs are improved but not perfect. Maybe she was taken from her mother and litter-mates as soon as she was old enough to be sold and never learned how to be around other dogs. We all have childhood traumas. So we take it slow. We have yet to visit a dog park, but she can do overnights with my mother-in-law’s impressively well-mannered Shelties. They earn ribbons in obedience and agility competitions. Nora figured out how to exploit their eagerness to follow directions and made them her minions, her own little girl gang. You say bossy; I say leadership skills.

In the neighborhood while other dogs pass us on the sidewalk, I work on teaching her to sit, stuffing her face full of training treats until they are a safe distance away. It works about half the time — she has a Gwyneth Paltrow-like ability to resist snacks — but everyone’s in a hurry in the morning so the snarling hellbeast outbursts pass quickly, with an occasional side-eye thrown our way. “We’re working on it!” I offer, with an unconvincing smile. I have no plan, no answers. Every encounter is an improvisation.

Things got rougher when the Mean Girls started showing up every Tuesday — two ladies of retirement age who walk their dogs together so they can chat. One has a Lhasa apso with an expensive haircut, a walking wig of no consequence to Nora. But the sidekick has a big dumb-looking golden retriever, a real Mr. Peanutbutter of a dog, just the kind of dog that Nora despises. What’s more, the lady lets her dog run off-leash through the small park we pass through on our route. Which makes her not only a petty criminal but quite dumb herself.

The first time Nora freaked out at them, I tried explaining because most dog owners are sympathetic. Not these two. They think it’s hilarious that I have to pick up my little Cocaine Katie and carry her as she abuses their dogs from the safety of my arms.

“I see you’re walking the dog today!” the matron of the walking wig trills, and boy do they bust a gut. “She doesn’t like other doggies!” they singsong to their doggies, and one howls in response.

I have a pretty thick skin — I work on the internet — but these women who are older than my mother are mocking my clever, adorable, loyal little girl, and I am filled with impotent anger. They suck. But don’t I suck, too, for not working harder to teach her how not to flip her lid at strange dogs? Even the ones whose owners obviously deserve it?


I get a lot of packages. I know this because the postal carrier once caught me outside and told me, “You get a lot of packages.” UPS stops by so frequently I’m starting to think that one of the drivers has his own packages delivered here, too. And I hear every delivery, because Nora Charles goes apeshit bonkers, barking like she’s stopping a home invasion. I’ve tried shush-ing, I’ve tried the command “quiet.” She barks over me. I’ve learned to tune it out and wait it out, which I realize is not good, but I am busy and distracted.

Many of these packages contain books from publishing houses. When I opened Sarah Hodgson’s “Modern Dog Parenting: Raising Your Dog or Puppy to Be a Loving Member of Your Family,” I laughed — modern dog parenting? — and then I tore into it.

Hodgson’s first page drops a bombshell on me. “Dogs, as researchers now insist, act more like young, preverbal kids than they do wolves.” The better we understand their signals, she claims, the better we can communicate with them. “To transform your relationship into something beautiful and long lasting, you’ll need to set aside the myth that your dog is closely related to the wolf and thus needs to be controlled, manhandled, or dominated.”

Oh, thank God: Commands and control are a real drag. But since when am I parenting a preverbal child? You can’t leave a toddler in a crate while you go out to dinner if you want your relationship to be “something beautiful and long lasting,” so obviously there are differences. But I’d be lying if I didn’t find some of these comparisons to kids at least a little comforting. I prefer kindness to domination, understanding to control. With actual kids, those ideals would be tested daily. For a little dog utterly lacking in guile, I have an infinite capacity for tenderness. As a result I’ve been accused of “spoiling” Nora. From parent friends, I’ve learned a polite rejoinder to comments like that: “This is what works for our family.” I think it means go fuck yourself.

Overall, Hodgson’s methods, which are rooted in communication, empathy and fun, seem to be aligned with my instincts. This line jumps out at me: “All dogs (and puppies) need to know two things in life: where they should go and what they should do when stuff happens.”

I look at Nora, who’s sitting next to me on the couch, blissfully shredding her stuffed chicken. Oh, little girl. Me, too.


I take a quiz to learn my dog’s personality type. Apparently, Nora is equal parts Type A and Party Animal. I feel closer to her than ever.

Then I take a self-assessment. I am a “comic person.” People like this are “generally uncomfortable in the control seat,” according to Hodgson. “They recognize good habits but don’t always reinforce them.” It’s true; in my downtime, I can be lazy. And Nora’s seriously adorable, so I can’t help laughing at her antics, “even when [the] dog’s behavior demonstrates emotional stress.”

“Someone needs to play the grown-up!” The assessment warns. Ouch.


OK, but one thing first. My husband and I are not “dog parents.” We’re more like . . . legal guardians. (I have learned that if you want to start a real ruckus, you should tell people who do feel like parents to their, um, fur babies that they are not. So far be it from me to speak for anyone but myself.)

When my mother, perhaps worried that I would feel left out as the sole sibling without kids, called to wish me a straight-faced “happy Mother’s Day” on behalf of the cats and the dog, I appreciated the sentiment. But you know, it’s a little silly.

And yet I have researched the perfect diets for our picky eaters. We co-sleep. I shell out for American Apparel dog hoodies: Its cropped cut just fits her barrel chest better than the generics do, OK? And once, to keep the peace between my dog and my sister’s dachshund, I wore Nora in an actual baby sling for an entire afternoon to keep her from getting in a fight.

But I am not her mother. Drew is Daddy, I regret to report. Once, I cheered “Daddy’s home!” — ironically — when I saw him walking up to the house, and Nora went into full celebration mode before she even saw him. Shit. I suppose in her former life, that’s what He was called, and she remembered the association. It stuck.

We all bring baggage into a new home.

Nora’s behavior reflects on us, though — both the good and the bad. It can be embarrassing, like when UPS delivers during a phone meeting or when a friend wants us to have a playdate. But before I started reading Hodgson’s book, I hadn’t much considered how our behavior affects her.


“Dogs taught with encouragement show greater long-term memory and express creativity in their thinking and problem-solving skills,” Hodgson advises.

“Encourage more than you discourage,” she writes. “If your dog’s a barker, encourage quiet.”

Encouragement, I can do. I spend most days working on a laptop with Nora snoring, sometimes sleep barking, next to me. Several times a day I look over at her little body and coo, You’re a good girl; you’re such a good girl! — as if I am trying to convince her subliminally as she sleeps. It strikes me one day that maybe, depending on how my week has been going, those affirmations are really directed at myself.

Hodgson’s process for training includes five steps to teach your dog a variety of common lessons. She also advises, instead of dwelling on bad behavior, to “obsess” over the opposite behavior instead: “Obsessively reward silence, obsessively reward not digging or digging in the right place.”

I am reminded of an obnoxious meme I have seen online: Don’t reward yourself with food; you’re not a dog. Like most fitness memes, it is astoundingly rude with an undercurrent of uncomfortable truth. But unlike me, my dog will actually turn down food when she’s stressed. She has probably internalized a parallel dog meme: You are not a human; don’t eat your feelings. Persuading Nora with training treats to be quiet while the postal carrier is dropping off packages has not worked, historically. The barking, it seems, is its own reward.

Hodgson suggests for those with hardwired barkers to turn it into a game of “Speak and Hush.” When Nora starts barking, say, “speak” and bark along with her for about five seconds. Then say “hush” and proffer the treat. Reward when she stops. Rinse and repeat.

The UPS guy is not impressed with our new routine.


Two weeks into my adopting the book’s suggestions, I think it’s going well. She’s getting faster at responding to requests. I lavish praise; I reward with treats. She’s Type A, after all. She wants to do a good job.

And then it’s Tuesday morning, and we steel ourselves for the Mean Lady gauntlet.

There they are: One smug little wig on the ground, one Mr. Peanutbutter running in circles like a big fat show-off, their ladies’ heads swiveling in our direction.

I hear Hodgson’s words in my brain: Where should I go now? What should I do when stuff happens?

I can’t have Nora sit still because it’ll turn into a standoff. The ladies and their dogs are dawdling over their spot, not interested in diffusing the tension. I can’t turn around because that would teach Nora that when scary stuff happens, running is the right option.

I make a decision. I take a deep breath, and I walk Nora straight toward them. The Lhasa apso’s lady starts talking to me — it’s obvious to me now that we are part of the day’s entertainment — but I am not reacting. I am not even looking at her. I am acting like she and her walking wig and her sidekick and Mr. Peanutbutter aren’t even there, much less trash-talking me and my dog. No hesitation. Head high, eyes forward, steps brisk and regular, with Nora on the leash at my side. And she’s not pulling. She’s not snarling and barking. She’s not reacting at all because with my entire body, I am telling Nora that where she should go is straight ahead with me through our neighborhood where we will accomplish everything we need to do this morning at our own pace, and what she should do is disregard the undermining distractions and ugly voices around her telling her to feel inadequate, unprepared, ashamed of herself because they don’t count.

She’s a good girl, such a good girl, such a very good girl, I tell her after we’ve crossed the park and are safely on the other side and I pass her treats without breaking our stride to reward her, so yeah, maybe she’s eating her feelings on this one, but she’s earned it, and don’t let anyone, ever, make you feel otherwise.

I will never be Modern Dog Parent of the Year — nor, truthfully, do I want to be, although I would accept a ribbon for Most Improved Legal Guardian — but I think we won this round.

One neighborhood victory notwithstanding, I know we have long-term work ahead of us. We’re both caught between a drive to get it right and a willingness to indulge ourselves when the work feels too daunting. But I am learning slowly how to play the grown-up — for her, if not for myself. And I am getting very, very good at barking along with her for exactly five seconds. Nora, for her part, remains shaky on the “hush.” We are both works in progress.






This Video Tribute For The Heroic Dogs Of 9/11 Will Bring You To Tears

Year after year since the World Trade Centre attack, the working dog community comes together to honour the dog teams that worked at Ground Zero.

The hard work, dedication, and strength of the men, women, and dogs that were part of the search and rescue teams was nothing short of heroic and selfless at a time where it was needed the most.

This video honors all the dogs that helped during that tragedy. Their selfless sacrifice should never be forgotten.



The last 9/11 survivor: What my dog remembers about that day 15 years ago

It seemed like he knew before the rest of us did. Around 8:45 that morning, he was pacing the living room, sticking his nose out the window, sniffing the air. Maybe he recognized that smell of dust, ash, burning metal and melting plastic. Maybe he heard the planes and recognized something different about them — too close. He’d already been out that morning, but he wanted to go again. He kept checking in with us; he paced and whined until we leashed him and took him downstairs and, after we did, he wanted to go a different direction than usual — not east to Central Park, not west to Riverside Drive, but south.

We didn’t get that far: His human caretakers had jobs, responsibilities and soon, when we heard what was happening from one of our neighbors down the block, an unbelievably horrific reality to grapple with. And even if we had made it all the way downtown, the police would have stopped us long before we got to the site. Still, as he rests beside me, I wonder how much he understood. And even now 15 years later, when he shivers at the sound of fire alarms, when his ears twitch at sirens, I wonder how much he remembers.

Let’s be clear: I don’t think his senses are more acute than those of any other dog. He’s not an unusual animal — perhaps a bit more strong-willed than most, perhaps a bit more tolerant of people and a bit less tolerant of other dogs. Perhaps his sense of separation anxiety is more extreme. But really, he’s just a 60-pound mutt — a mix of black Lab and chow, according to the East Harlem city shelter where we rescued him, a “Liverpool Mongrel” according to the British exchange student who met him on 106th Street while she was stranded in New York during that second week of September.

I’m sure just about every one of those dogs that he used to fight, play with or avoid sensed something different in the air on those days — not just the smell or the sounds, the conversations their owners would have on the sidewalk, in the park and in the dog run: about a friend who was still missing, about a neighbor who’d somehow made it down 102 flights of stairs in Tower 2. I’m sure they grasped some of the meaning behind the sensitive but probing questions that people sitting on park benches would ask as we walked by: “I haven’t seen your wife in a few days. Is she all right?”

Probably most dog owners who were in New York during 9/11 would tell a similar story of how their pets behaved, how their dogs seemed more attentive and alert. And if those animals could talk, who knows? Maybe they would say so, too: Prince, the proud yellow Lab who could be heard throughout the neighborhood barking for his tennis ball; Maddie, the sweet springer spaniel who never met a person she didn’t like; Lucy, the greyhound mix fond of opening up purses and eating lip balm; Jackson, who liked to wrestle on the Great Hill in Central Park; Buber and Fig, the best Frisbee-catching dogs I’ve ever seen; Train, the German shepherd who’d grab onto my dog’s collar and refuse to let it go until the two animals were pulled apart.

There are only a couple of differences between those dogs and this one — what they saw, what they remembered and the fact that he’s the only one still here: 80 years old, 87 or 112 and counting, depending on the online dog age calculator you use. In dog years, he was only 7 in 2001. Today he can’t walk anywhere near as far as he used to; his breathing becomes labored on the way to the park, especially when it’s hot outside. But still, he’s here.

In April he couldn’t make it around the block and fell when I tried to get him up the stairs. The throat surgery helped, but he’s still not spry. He likes to go for drives, but it’s tough to get him in the car. I don’t know if he can’t swim anymore or if he’s scared to, but when he gets to the water, he just steps around a bit, then stands and stares. He can see all right and his appetite’s still big, but there are fewer foods he tolerates. But he’s still here.

I don’t know what to attribute his survival to — good genes? The raw food diet? The fact that he seldom goes off-leash? Just plain luck?

He’s fragile now, but he’s a survivor. He has his chin on a paw and licks the air while I consider how many dogs were in New York on that day and are still here. Earlier this year, the last of the 9/11 search and rescue dogs died at the age of 16. This dog is in his 17th year now; maybe he’s one of the very last ones.

But then again, I suppose there’s nothing unusual about that. Every year, it seems, there’s a story of some last survivor remembering, some last survivor passing away. In 2011 Frank Buckles, the last American to fight in World War I, died at 110. “Longevity has never bothered me at all,” he once joked to a reporter in Knoxville, Tennessee. “I have studied longevity for years.”

On Feb. 28 of this year, Delmer Berg, the last surviving American volunteer in the Spanish Civil War, died at 101. “It bothers me a little that at 99 you’re going to die any minute because I have a lot of other things I want to do,” he told a New York Times Magazine interviewer in 2015.

Someday there will be more last survivors — of World War II, the Holocaust, Korea, Vietnam and, yes, 9/11.

I leash up the dog to take him down to the pond. It takes us a while to get there, and when we do, he stands there watching mayflies dart about on the surface of the water. Those mayflies rarely live longer than one day; in all likelihood, none of them will be here tomorrow. In Alley Pond Park in Queens, there is a tulip tree estimated to be older than the United States of America itself. It was there during the American Revolution and on the morning of the second Tuesday of September when American Airlines Flight 11 and United Flight 175 flew overhead.

My dog is still standing in the water, watching mayflies: Every one of us is the last witness of something.






These Pups Are What Happen When You Cross Pugs With Other Dog Breeds

Apparently, you can cross a pug with just about any other fluffy puppy and create a whole new level of cuteness (and they have great names, too!).

Pomeranian + Pug = Pompug.

Chihuahua + Pug = Chug.

Perching. . . . #dogs #dogsofinstagram #chug #chugsofinstagram #pugmix #chihuahuamix #doxiemix

A photo posted by Weasley (@sir_weasley) on

Husky + Pug = Pugsky.

Good morning ☀️Ever see a husky and a pug? #pugsky 🐶 #rare

A photo posted by Nathaly Buruca (@nathalybee) on

Dachsund + Pug = Daug.

Pug + Shih Tzu = Pugtzu.

Boxer + Pug = Poxer.

Beagle + Pug = Puggle.

French Bulldog + Pug = Bullpug.

Jack Russell terrier + Pug = Jug (we’re not making this up).

Shiba Inu + Pug = Shug.

Shiba inu pug #shibainu #pug #shibainupug #mixedbreeddog #dogsofinstagram

A photo posted by @mixedbreeddogs on

Schnauzer + Pug = Schnug.

Wearing my summer jammies! #schnug

A photo posted by stiggy (@ratrodstigdog) on

Pekingese + Pug = Puginese.

Best looking Dog award goes to…;

A photo posted by Walteragram (@walteragram) on

Cavalier King Charles Spaniel + Pug = Pugalier.

Corgi + Pug = Porgi.

Bassett Hound + Pug = Bassugg.

Morning sunshine 💕 #mylittlepuggy #pug #pughound #bassugg #pugaroo

A photo posted by Mimi Council (Kurz) (@mimibakescookies) on

Brussels Griffon + Pug = Brug.

Yorkshire Terrier + Pug = Pugshire.

Lovely hyper Daphne #pug #pugshire #yorkshireterrier #love

A photo posted by richardbrant (@richardbrant) on

And now for the hard part: deciding where to keep them all.


Tom Hardy Raised Money For Battersea Dogs Home And Now We Love Him Even More

As if we couldn’t love Tom Hardy more – his incredible acting performances and his not too shabby physique make up for one hell of a popular man in Hollywood.

But, even though he might be jetting off here, there and everywhere to shoot blockbusters, he always has time for those less fortunate – particularly animals!

It’s no secret that Tom is a massive dog lover; he is always seen on social media cozying up to pooches and he even took his own adorable labrador to the London Premiere of Legend.

This time, however – Tom didn’t want any of the glitz and glamour; he actually joined up with the likes of Davina McCall, Sadiq Khan and Jack Laugher to help raise money for Battersea Dogs And Cats Home by being a stock broker for the day.

image source

image source: Facebook

Take a look at the kind actor in action – and no, we’re not talking Hollywood style action; just low-key fundraising for an incredible cause! He even brought along some puppy helpers to get the job done.

image source

image source: Facebook

Although its unknown just how much money the celebrities raised – just the effort that was put into into making some less fortunate pooches and kitties lives better is enough to make us swoon over Tom even more.

If you’re located in London and are looking for a new fluffy friend, check out Battersea Dogs And Cats Home where you could really make a difference to an animal’s life – and they’ll do the same to yours.