The more one learns about dogs in distress – the vast numbers being abused, neglected, fought, churned out in puppy mills, experimented on in laboratories and euthanized by the millions for lack of a home — the more one can get the feeling that the problem is too huge and intractable to ever be resolved.
“What can I do?” you may ask. “I’m just one person.”
Just how much one person can do is laid out in Cayr Ariel Wulff’s new book, “How to Change the World in 30 Seconds: A Web Warriors Guide to Animal Advocacy Online.”
Wulff, who speaks from experience, shows how something as big and untenable as the Internet can, with relative ease, be used to make life better for individual dogs, and the species as a whole.
How to navigate the Internet, with an eye towards helping dogs, is clearly and concisely explained in Wulff’s handbook, which should be required reading for animal shelters, rescue organizations and anyone else interested in doing something more about the problems than complain.
Wulff’s books shows how the Internet, in addition to its many ignoble uses, has some noble ones, and how in recent years it has become perhaps the single most valuable tool there is when it comes to saving dogs in trouble.
She covers it all – petition websites, letter writing campaigns, social media, fundraising, apps and more. She points you to websites where you can help animals with one simple click, to search engines that raise money for animal causes every time you use them, to online shopping sites where a percentage of every purchase goes to the animal cause of your choice.
She explores the power of Facebook when it comes to saving animals, including its Pet Pardons App, where users can post about dogs in shelters whose time is running out.
She doesn’t avoid the Internet’s downside when it comes to dogs, such as puppy mill breeders selling dogs online, or the use of Craigslist to buy, sell and give away dogs. As she points out, dogs offered “free to good homes” don’t always end up in such.
Wulff, an artist, author and animal advocate, is a native Ohioan who has been involved in pet rescue for more than 25 years and has five dogs of her own. She writes a pet column and an animal books column for the online publication Examiner.com, and is author of the blog “Up on the Woof.”
Her tips are clearly presented, practical and empowering, whether you want to blog on behalf of dogs, volunteer at a shelter or rescue, foster a dog, report suspected abuse, or help transport adoptable dogs to parts of the country where they are more likely to get adopted.
Combining case histories with practical tips on how to use the Internet to advocate for dogs, Wulff’s book is an inspiring, informative and highly useful volume that anyone who thinks dogs are worth fighting for should have on their shelf.
Best of all it’s a reminder that you – one person — can make a difference.
Posted by jwoestendiek February 13th, 2013 under Muttsblog.
Tags: A Web Warriors Guide to Animal Advocacy Online, advocacy, animal, animal welfare, animals, books, books on dogs, Cayr Ariel Wulff, dog books, dogs, facebook, handbook, How to Change the World in 30 Seconds, internet, pets, rescues, saving dogs, shelters
The problem with wall calendars, if you’re like me, is that you hang them on the wall and then realize, around July, that you haven’t flipped the pages since February.
The way to get around that is to buy one with artwork so irresistible you can’t help but remember to turn the page on the first of the month.
The underwater dog photography of Seth Casteel, which we told you about earlier this year — before it became a book, or calendar — fits that bill.
Casteel got intrigued with photographing dogs under water, posted some of the shots on his Facebook page and watched as they went viral. They show a side of dogs we don’t often see, and now you can give them a place of honor on your wall, or coffee table.
You can buy the calendar here.
You can buy the book here.
Posted by jwoestendiek January 3rd, 2013 under Muttsblog.
Tags: 2013, animals, book, books, calendar, calendars, dogs, pets, photographer, photography, seth casteel, underwater, underwater dogs, underwater dogs book, underwater dogs calendar
In fact, it wasn’t even a dog cartoon. It was lampooning humanity.
A doctor is examining planet Earth and gives his sad diagnosis:
“I’m afraid you’re infested with humans.”
It so well seemed to sum up our planet’s predicament — and my growing view at the time that dogs are a more trustworthy and pleasant species to be around – that I kept in pinned to my cubicle wall for several years, right up until I, after clawing about, escaped the cubicle.
There have been dozens of witty dog cartoons in the New Yorker over the years — more than twice as many as there have been of cats, according to this graphic presented on The Cartoon Bureau , the blog of New Yorker cartoon editor Bob Mankoff:
“The Big New Yorker Book of Dogs,” with a foreword by Malcolm Gladwell, showcases 76 of them in a volume that would be a proud addition to any coffee table.
According to Mankoff, “The earliest dog cartoons that appeared in The New Yorker, in the 1920s, searched for the shared mental space between dogs and people by projecting personhood on the dogs, who are drawn realistically, and are still obviously real dogs.”
That hasn’t changed much.
Thus, in the cartoon world, you have talking dogs, dogs in business suits, and dogs badmouthing cats, such as in the cartoon to the left.
Dogs do none of those things.
That’s what makes the cartoons funny, and dogs so darn lovable.
You can order the book from Amazon here.
Posted by jwoestendiek December 11th, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, behavior, bob mankoff, books, books on dogs, cartoonists, cartoons, dog books, dogs, funny, humans, new yorker, pets, the big new yorker book of dogs
As Pit Bull Awareness Month draws to a close, celebrations of the dogs — and books and movies about them — are popping up all over.
Events designed to increase public understanding of, and support for, pit bulls are being held across the country.
And today, author Ken Foster’s book, “I’m a Good Dog“ – a tribute to the pit bull in words and photos — hits book stores.
“I’m a Good Dog: Pit Bulls, America’s Most Beautiful (and Misunderstood) Pet,” tells the history of pit bulls, corrects many of the negative stereotypes they confront, and is filled with inspiring stories and photographs about them.
Foster, the author of ”The Dogs Who Found Me” and its sequel, “Dogs I Have Met,” is founder of the Sula Foundation in New Orleans, which promotes responsible pit bull ownership.
In “I’m a Good Dog,” he profiles pit bulls that serve as therapy dogs, athletic heroes, search-and-rescue dogs, and loving pets, and looks at a few of the famous people who have owned them, including Helen Keller and Dr. Seuss.
Foster is embarking on a national tour for the book, and will be in Oakland this weekend to take part in a fundraiser for BADRAP. October 27 is the fifth anniversary of the arrival at BADRAP of 13 dogs from NFL player Michael Vick’s Bad Newz Kennels who would go on to begin new lives with local families.
Also appearing at the fundraiser will be Jim Gorant, author of “The Lost Dogs: Michael Vick’s Dogs and Their Tale of Rescue and Redemption and a new book, “Wallace: The Underdog Who Conquered a Sport, Saved a Marriage, and Championed Pit Bulls — One Flying Disc at a Time.”
Of the former Vick dogs that ended up in California, seven hold Canine Good Citizen certificates and three are now serving as therapy dogs in hospitals and children’s literacy programs.
Foster’s tour will contine with stops at Book Soup in Los Angeles and Annabee’s in Pacifica. He plans stops in November in Portland, Seattle, Marin County, New Orleans, Boston, New York, Baltimore, Providence, Connecticut, Ann Arbor, The Twin Cities and Chicago.
Posted by jwoestendiek October 25th, 2012 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: animals, awareness, badrap, beyond the myth, books, books on dogs, breed discrimination, documentaries, dog books, dogs, events, i'm a good dog, jim gorant, ken foster, movies, myths, pets, pit bull, pit bull awareness month, pit bulls, pitbull, stereotypes, the lost dogs, tribute
Clifford, who has always been so much more than big, so much more than red, is now more than half a century old.
Clifford turned 50 Monday.
And he had a big red birthday party — many of them, in fact.
While his birthday was celebrated in schools across the country, the biggest shindig was in New York, where students sang happy birthday outside the headquarters of his publishing company and Mayor Michael Bloomberg declared it Clifford the Big Red Dog Day.
Clifford’s creator, Norman Bridwell, took questions from first- and second-graders during a webcast shown there and beamed live into more than 5,000 classrooms around the country.
Bridwell, 84, told the Associated Press, his initial plans were for Clifford to be as big as a horse; eventually, though, Clifford became bigger than a house. He ended up red because that’s the color of the jar of paint Bridwell had nearby.
“I don’t really understand it,” he said of Clifford’s enduring nature. “Whether it’s his color, or if it’s the fact that he’s clumsy, like a lot of kids are clumsy.”
Bridwell’s daughter, upon whom the character Emily in the books is based, told reporters her artist father and his wife, Norma, were struggling to earn a living in New York when Norma suggested he try his hand at illustrating children’s books. Norma came up with the name Clifford, too, based on an imaginary friend she had as a girl.
Bridwell’s daughter, now a teacher, was a one-year-old at the time.
Bridwell shopped his drawings around, meeting initially with rejection. Eventually, he and Clifford were welcomed at Scholastic, and the company provided Bridwell with “10 Big Ideas” around which to fashion the stories, including sharing, respect, believing in oneself and helping others.
Today, Clifford is part of elementary school curriculum, and more than 126 million copies of the 90 books about the big and big-hearted dog are in print in 13 languages, in addition to a TV show, plush toys, a magazine and, yes — who says old dogs can’t learn new tricks? – even a Clifford app.
(Photos: Courtesy of Scholastic)
Posted by jwoestendiek September 25th, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: 50, 50th, big, big red dog, birthday, books, books on dogs, bridwell, celebrate, children's books, clifford, curriculum, dog, dog books, elementary, good dog reads, lessons, norma, norman bridwell, red, schools, students, teachers
It’s a children’s story, centered around an aging boxer named Snort and the two children who love him.
But it’s a tale that applies to any grieving pet owner, serving to remind us, when that sad and difficult time comes, not to dwell on what you have lost but to celebrate the dog you got to have, and reflect on all he taught you.
In reasoned tones, and without relying once on that old fallback, ”The Rainbow Bridge,” it tells the story of a family that loses their dog, works through their grief and honors him in healthy and respectful ways.
The book centers on a boxer named Snort, and the two children, Savy and Sunne, who worry when he gets too sick to chase his ball.
Savy’s parents explain that Snort will need to leave their family because it’s the only way that Snort’s pain will go away.
Savy accepts that, but isn’t so sure how she will cope without her best friend.
In “Snort’s Special Gift,” Savy and her family explore different ways to grieve for and remember a beloved pet — from planting a tree in his memory to crafting tributes, like the one Savy composes in his honor.
In the end, Savy discovers that all the gifts Snort shared with her in life will, like his memory, always be there.
The author of the book, Suzann Yue, lives with her two adopted children and husband in Medina, Minnesota , where she coaches martial arts and is a photographer. She has won eight world karate championship titles, and started a karate school specializing in training children with attention deficit disorders.
The remarkable illustrations were done by Lin Wang, who received a bachelor of fine arts degree from Guangzhou Academy and a Masters degree from Savannah College of Art and Design. She lives in San Francisco with her husband and children.
(For all our news and reviews of dog books, visit our “Good Dog Reads“ page.)
Posted by jwoestendiek September 17th, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, beaver pond books, book, books, books on dogs, childrens book, death, dogs, gift, gifts, good dog reads, grief, grieving, lin wang, loss, mourning, pets, review, savy, snort, snorts special gift, sunne, suzann yue
For the one in five children who learn they need to wear glasses, and maybe aren’t feeling the best about it, Arlo can help.
Arlo’s a shaggy, free-spirited dog who loves to play catch, until one day he finds he can’t. Unable to see the ball anymore, he learns he needs glasses.
Arlo Needs Glasses (Workman Publishing) is the latest book from Barney Saltzberg, the bestselling (and bespectacled) author of Beautiful Oops!, Peekaboo Kisses, and Good Egg.
The book was inspired by Saltzberg’s own dog. Just like his character, the real-life Arlo is not very good at playing catch either, although he loves to play.
“He just couldn’t get the ball to land in his mouth,” Saltzberg says. “We tried over and over and I honestly had never seen anything like it.”
The interactive picture book is intended to helps kids see the fun in wearing glasses. Children get to do just what Arlo does to solve his problem: They read an eye chart, look through a fold-out phoropter (that big machine optometrists use), and try on different pairs of glasses — from movies star glasses to superhero glasses to mad scientist glasses.
Arlo, though we hate to give away the ending, becomes the best ball-catcher in the neighborhood, and picks up a new hobby along the way — reading.
In connection with the book’s release in July, the publisher sponsored a “My Dog Needs Glasses” contest, inviting pet owners to submit photos of their dogs in glasses. That’s one of them, Wilson, to the left.
Five winners will be chosen to win signed copies of the book. The deadline to enter has passed, but you can see some of the contenders here.
Saltzberg is the award-winning author-illustrator of Beautiful Oops!, the successful Kisses series, Peekaboo, Crazy Hair Day, and Good Egg, as well as many other beloved children’s books. Also a singer-songwriter, he has written tunes for the PBS show “Arthur” and continues to perform music for children.
(For more news and reviews about dog books, visit our Good Dog Reads page.)
Posted by jwoestendiek August 2nd, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: arlo, arlo needs glasses, ball, barney saltzberg, books, books on dogs, catch, children, children's books, contest, dog books, glasses, good dog reads, need, photo, play, spectacles, wearing, workman, workman publishing
With nearly a year having passed since Ace and I rolled to a stop, after 27,000 miles and one year spent rambling, he seemed more than ready for a quick road trip.
When the time did come to leave, he jumped in the back before I could set up his ramp.
Two and a half hours later, we were in Spindale, N.C., where both spring and pollen were in the air, and where I gave a talk about my book, with Ace laying down at my side, doing absolutely nothing, but upstaging me all the same.
Our friend Kim had helped set up our appearance at Isothermal Community College, and when the talk was over, after everyone came up and petted Ace, I followed her to her house.
There, Ace again didn’t want to wait for the ramp. He jumped out and, sensing a cat, ran into her open garage.
I turned to look and got a fleeting glance of a white cat who seemed to jump six feet, straight up, into the air, landing on a heating duct. That was the first, and last, Ace would see of Lily, though he never gave up hope.
Even after Kim got Ace out and closed the garage door, he spent about 15 minutes sitting in front of the the cat door, and, for the next two days — despite having 10 acres at his disposal — he chose to mostly sit in front of one cat door or the other, in hopes Lily would appear. She never did.
Ace, who turned seven in March, had a pretty busy schedule.
And that’s not even counting all the time he put in searching for the cat and monitoring any activity in Kim’s kitchen.
After the appearance at the college, we met with a book club at Fireside Books and Gifts in Forest City.
Again he behaved well, though he did stare down one of the club members until she forfeited the last bite of her sandwich.
Maybe I should go to bookstores and stare at people until they buy my book.
On Friday we appeared in a huge auditorium at Rutherfordton-Spindale Central High School, speaking to about 350 students, most of whom came up to meet him at the end of my talk, which was halfway about Ace and our travels and halfway about DOG, INC.
Once again, it seemed I was doing all the work, and he, effortlessly, was getting all the attention.
He all but ignored a cute little pup in the store named Gretchen, and got growly with her when she tried to jump up on him.
Back at my friend Kim’s house, once all the pizza was gone, he conked out — too tired to even think about Lily.
Our apologies to Lily, for forcing her to lay low for two days.
Our thanks to Kim and family for putting us up, arranging all the appearances, and spoiling Ace rotten.
Between her, the students and me, he consumed three bags of treats over the two-day period.
He has three days to recover before our next trip, to Wilmington, N.C., for a Lunch with an Author event at Cape Fear Community College. It raises funds for creative writing scholarships. Attendees, for $40, get to have lunch with one of about a dozen authors, get a signed copy of that author’s book, and get to listen to that author talk about their book with their mouth full. I imagine it will be like a job interview lunch, where, for fear of getting caught with your mouth full, you don’t really eat.
It being a lunch, Ace won’t be attending that. That would probably be his idea of heaven — a dozen food-filled tables to mooch from — but it wouldn’t be a good idea at all. He will get to see his friends Steve, Louise and Earl again, and we’ll do our best to squeeze in some beach time.
Unless, of course, he sees a cat, in which case we’ll spend all our time waiting for that cat to reappear, even though it won’t.
His cat love has only intensified in recent months — ever since our neighbor got a kitty named Tom, and they began bonding daily through a window, as if on a prison visit.
He definitely seems to be ever-hopeful, and under the impression that good things come to those who wait — whether what he’s waiting for is the next road trip, a hunk of pizza crust flung in his direction, or, best of all, a cat.
Posted by jwoestendiek April 2nd, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: ace, america, appearances, auditorium, book, books, cloning, dog books, dog cloning, dog inc., fireside books, fireside books and gifts, forest city, isothermal community college, john woestendiek, north carolina, r-s central high school, road trip, rutherfordton, spindale, stage, steinbeck, talks, travel, traveling with dogs, travels with ace, travels with charley
The end of this week got a little frantic — as things generally do when air travel is involved — but I managed to make it to my New York hotel room just in time for a live phone interview on Atomic Dog Radio.
But I was trying to keep an earlier promise to Atomic Dog to be on the show, by phone, Thursday night, to talk about my book, “DOG, INC.: How a collection of Visionaries, Rebels, Eccentrics and Their Pets Launched the Commercial Dog Cloning Industry.”
My flight to Newark was delayed, and re-delayed, but I managed — by skipping the large cup of coffee I required by then to be semi-articulate — to check in at the hotel and make it to the room in time, at what was 8 p.m. for them, but was 11 p.m. for me. Or, as I informed them at the beginning of the interview, bedtime.
Still, I mostly managed to speak in complete sentences, and hosts Jillian Boyd and and Russ Avison were great to talk with. In addition to having actually read the book, they both, being dog trainers, know their dogs, and both have senses of humor to boot.
The next morning, Dan Harris at ABC interviewed me for his report about one of the latest customers of dog cloning — a New York woman named Danielle Tarantola who cloned her dog Trouble, producing Double Trouble, and, soon to arrive, Triple Trouble.
Purchased from a pet store, Trouble died at age 18, and Tarantola’s home is all but a shrine to him.
“He was bascially my son,” she said.
Tarantola contacted Sooam Institute in South Korea, agreeing to pay $100,000 initially for the cloning, an amount later discounted in exchange for sharing her story with TLC, which is doing a report on pet cloning next week.
Posted by jwoestendiek January 7th, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, atomic dog radio, book, books, books on dogs, cloned, clones, cloning, dog books, dog inc., dogs, interviews, jillian boyd, john woestendiek, la talk radio, nightline, pets, russ avison
As mentioned in our previous post about a cloned dog arriving home in Albuquerque, my book on dog cloning is coming out in paperback soon.
So it seems as good a time as any to unveil its new look, namely, a new cover and subtitle — proving that books resurrected as paperbacks, like dogs resurrected as clones, don’t always look exactly like the original.
“DOG, INC.: The Uncanny Inside Story of Cloning Man’s Best Friend” will be coming back to life as “DOG, INC.: How a Collection of Visionaries, Rebels, Eccentrics and Their Pets Launched the Commercial Dog Cloning Industry.”
The book looks at the history and ethics of dog cloning, and the marketing of the service — before dog cloning was even achieved — to bereaved pet owners.
In the paperback version, the cute little beagle with a bar code on its butt is gone from the cover, replaced by six framed images of the same dog — is it a Jack Russell terrier? In any case, it’s a generic pooch, I should point out, and not one of the hundreds of cloned dogs that have been produced in South Korea.
You can learn more about the book here.
You can read an excerpt here.
You can read some customer reviews — thanks, customers — here.
Posted by jwoestendiek October 31st, 2011 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, author, avery, books, books on dogs, clone, cloned, clones, cloning, cover, dog, dog books, dog cloning, dog inc., dogs, genetics, john woestendiek, paperback, penguin, pets, resurrection, science, subtitle