I don’t want a Father’s Day card from my dog.
While I may — colloquially — refer to myself, or permit others refer to me, as “Ace’s dad,” I don’t see myself as exactly that, especially if he ever decides he wants to go to college, in which case the best I could do would be to buy him a handbook on how to apply for doggie student loans.
I don’t like to call myself Ace’s father (for that either humanizes him or dogizes me). I don’t like the term “owner” (too reminiscent of slavery), or “caretaker” (for that is something mutual that we do for each other). “Partner” doesn’t work either. (Though it comes closest, the word has come to have extra connotations in modern society.)
Friend will suffice nicely.
And no card — Hallmark or otherwise — is necessary.
Father’s Day cards from the dog — and this is no big surprise — are becoming more popular, which is just fine with greeting card companies.
The Washington Post’s John Kelly commented on the phenomenon in a column this week:
“When I was at CVS, I saw Father’s Day cards for your dog. Not for you to give to your dog, but for the dog to give to the man of the house …
“Hallmark is brilliant. They don’t let a little thing like our traditional notion of Father’s Day — that it’s a day for [human] children to give cards to their [human] paternal units — stand in the way of sales. They know that they can add millions in revenue to their bottom line if they can just expand the boundaries of Father’s Day.”
One of the things I most like about dogs is that, unlike us, they don’t fall prey to such marketing and gimmickry. Dogs don’t buy Father’s Day cards. Dogs dont get on the computer and invest in stocks or sign up for matchmaking services. Dogs don’t try to buy one and get one free, or enter contests. (You may already be a weiner dog.)
To be clear, we’re not talking here about Father’s Day cards that merely have images of dogs — but personalized cards, meant to be from the dog.
Here’s one I found on Squidoo, the inside of which reads:
“I’m all wags for my woof-woof-woofunderful Dad!”
The one at the top of this post is from Zazzle.com, which has a wide selection.
Petside.com offers several you can print out, and they appeared to be free.
A more philanthropic option is to order dad an ecard through the Maryland SPCA – and a portion of profits goes to benefit homeless animals in the shelter.
I’m not telling you how to live your life. Feel free to buy a card for Dad and pretend it’s from the dog. (Feel free, too, to purchase Dad a far more useful Travels with Ace calendar, half of the profts from which go to Rolling Dog Farm, a sanctuary for deaf, blind and disabled animals in New Hampshire.)
I’m just saying that — even though cards with dogs on them are my favorite — I don’t need a card from Ace, or even a card from my human son, who’s now visiting with me.
Every day with them is a gift already (sorry, greeting card companies). If you feel the need to spend money, make a donation to an animal shelter in honor of dad.
I think that would be much more woof-woof-woofunderful.
Posted by jwoestendiek June 14th, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: ace, animals, calendar, cards, cards from the dog, dog, dog cards, dog father's day cards, dogs, fathers day, gimmickry, greeting cards, gullible, hallmark, humans, marketing, pets, petside, rolling dog farm, squidoo, travels with ace, zazzle
About four months ago, I gave Petside.com a hard time for choosing Dallas as the second-most dog friendly city in America — this just after the Big D bestowed the key to the city on Michael Vick.
My point — and I did have one — was that a city’s dog friendliness is, or should be, based on more than mathematical formulas that tally how many groomers, pet boutiques, veterinarians, etc., it has per capita.
Now, along comes Dog Fancy magazine with its picks — based on similar criteria — for the five dog-friendliest cities in 2011.
Among them: Santa Cruz, Calif., which for 33 years has banned dogs from part of its downtown area.
True, the ban — finally — has been lifted, conditionally, effective this week. And true, there are other very dog-friendly parts of Santa Cruz, including some beaches, and plenty of fine services as well. But a city that has banned dogs from its main drag for three decades being chosen as among the dog-friendliest in the nation?
Were I one of the other cities vying for the honor, I’d have a bone to pick with that.
The world’s most widely read dog magazine, as Dog Fancy calls itself, named Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, the winner of the 2011 DogTown USA competition, saluting it as America’s most dog-friendly city.
While we couldn’t agree more with Dog Fancy’s top choice last year — Provincetown, Mass., as we showed you during our travels, is indeed highly dog friendly — we have some trouble with this year’s selections.
The other three cities in the top five were Bend, Oregon; Knoxville, Tenn.; and Doylestown, Pa., where, earlier this month, a dog was found to have been given poisoned hot dogs and shot 32 times — allegedly by his owner, the golf course superintendent — while tied to fence of the Doylestown Country Club.
The acts of one deranged person shouldn’t blow a city’s chance at being proclaimed “dog-friendliest,” but we do think the number of animal cruelty cases that surface in a city should be a small part of any formula assessing dog friendliness.
The criteria used to select winners in the Dog Fancy contest — sponsored by Natural Balance Pet Foods and Wahl Clipper – include the amount of dog-friendly open spaces and dog parks, veterinarians, pet supply stores and other services, events celebrating dogs and their owners, and municipal laws that support and protect pets.
“Journalist Barbara Walters has saluted Coeur d’Alene as one of her favorite cities, calling it a little slice of heaven,” Dog Fancy Editor Ernie Slone said in announcing the results — though, Barbara being human, what the heck that has to do with anything I don’t know.
“What we discovered is that whether a dog likes a place to run and hike, loves to mingle downtown, or needs a new home, dogs and their owners have it made in Coeur d’Alene, a little slice of dog heaven.”
Slone traveled to Coeur d’Alene to present $5,000 to the Kootenai County Dog Park Association. Additionally, Natural Balance Pet Foods will donate 1,000 pet food meals to Kootenai Humane Society on behalf of Coeur d’Alene, and 500 pet food meals to each of the regional winners.
Given all that, I don’t want to totally disrespect these lists and the organizations that put them together, but I will suggest that they are not as much about truth or reality as they are about politics, public relations and sales.
Posted by jwoestendiek August 24th, 2011 under Muttsblog.
Tags: bend, cities, coeur dalene, contest, dallas, dog fancy, dog fancy magazine, dog friendliest, dog friendly, doylestown, formula, idaho, key to the city, knoxville, kootenai county dog park, list, lists, michael vick, natural balance, petside, picks, politics, provincetown, public relations, reality, sales, santa cruz, wahl clippers
The problem with using a mathematical formula to pick the dog-friendliest U.S cities is that math is cold and calculating and fails to take into account life’s little nuances, or sometimes its big ones, or sometimes humanity at all.
I’d guess that explains how Petside.com picked Dallas — where the mayor recently gave Michael Vick a key to the city — as the second dog friendliest in America.
Petside reported last week that “after scouring the country” and compiling statistics, it has chosen San Diego as America’s dog friendliest city, with Dallas in second place and Seattle third.
Petside, a website for pet owners and pet enthusiasts, released its list of “Top 10 Pet-Friendly U.S. Cities” last Thursday. The rankings take into consideration the number of dog parks and major pet stores, vets per population and pet-friendly establishments and events.
How Dallas snuck in between two truly dog friendly cities, I don’t know. It has two parks where dogs can romp unleashed. Beyond that, Petside cites only the fact that Dallas has lots of dog-related official activities.
San Diego, on the other hand, has more than a dozen dog-friendly beaches and parks, eight major pet stores, more than 800 veterinarians and more than 50 restaurants that allow pets on their patios.
Rounding out Petside’s top 10 were Minneapolis, Denver, Tuscon, Charlotte, Fort Worth, Sacramento and Phoenix.
Petside also announced a new app, called Pet Places, that allows dog owners to look up vets, kennels and other pet-related businesses in cities around the country.
If you don’t like Petside’s list of dog-friendly cities, you can always find another one, some better researched than others.
Dogfriendly.com, though it provides little information on how they arrive at their choices, puts out an annual list. (Earlier this month, it also picked San Diego first, with Portland, Oregon second and Austin third.) Dog Fancy, which last year named Provincetown, Mass., the dog-friendliest city will be coming out with its annual listing soon. Foodandwine.com puts out a dog-friendliest city list too, but, given they are also busy with matters of food and wine, I guess, only takes time to choose five.
My advice? Taken any list of dog-friendly cities, if not with a glass of wine, with a grain of salt.
Posted by jwoestendiek May 30th, 2011 under Muttsblog.
Tags: america, charlotte, cities, dallas, denver, dog friendliest, dog friendly, florida, fort worth, friendliest, key to the city, list, lists, math, measure, measuring, michael vick, minneapolis, money, perceptions, petside, provincetown, sacramento, san diego, seattle, statistics, top ten, tucson, u.s.
Quiet Waters Park in Annapolis has been named the No. 2 dog-friendly beach in the nation in a listing released by the pet website, Petside.com.
The “Top 10 Dog-Friendly Beaches” were selected for their “outstanding features and promise of fun for dogs and their owners alike.”
The folks at Petside chose Cape San Blas, in Port St. Joe, Florida, as the No.1 dog-friendliest beach, due to its “year-round, leash-free policies and plethora of dog-friendly activities,” including a sailing program that welcomes dogs aboard.
As for Quiet Waters, Petside didn’t go into much detail, praising only that it was a “fenced off area” and sponsors the annual Howl-O-Ween Barkin Bash costume parade for dogs and their owners.
Here’s the rest of the top 5, which, strangely, include one where leashes are required.
3. Block Island (Rhode Island) is a small dog-friendly island open year-round. The beach has a relaxed leash policy, and bans all motor vehicles, making it a safe haven for your furry friend to roam around.
4. Cannon Beach (Cannon Beach, Oregon) is a four mile stretch of beach along the Pacific conveniently located near a town filled with dog-friendly hotels, restaurants and shops. Dogs must stay on-leash, but the view is worth it.
5. Fort De Soto Park (St. Petersburg, Florida) has the unique Paw Playground, consisting of fenced-in areas for both big dogs and small dogs. The park provides dog showers, a dog beach and fresh drinking water.
Posted by jwoestendiek July 21st, 2009 under Muttsblog.
Tags: annapolis, beaches, block island, cannon beach, cape san blas, dog, dog friendly, dog friendly beaches, dogs, fort de soto, leisure, list, pets, petside, petside.com, quiet waters, recreation, top ten, travel
Unlike last year’s list — entirely made up of places in which Ace and I lack the bucks to bunk (The James Hotel in Chicago, The W Tuscany in New York, The Hotel Monaco in Denver, Bowen’s By The Bays in Hampton Bays, New York and the Hyatt Regency Century Plaza in Los Angeles) — this year’s is aimed at the “cost-conscious” traveler.
The top honors went to Motel 6, where all 900 franchises allow one pet per room with no extra fees or deposits.
La Quinta Inns & Suites came in second. It allow pets at 99 percent of its 650 properties, according to spokesperson Teresa Ferguson. “People who travel with their pets generally have very well-behaved and well-groomed animals,” she says. Accordingly, LaQuinta does not require deposits, or fees for pets, although they do request a weight limit of 45 pounds. (My dog Ace, at 130 pounds, has yet to be turned away from a La Quinta, and if he ever is subjected to that arbitrary and discriminatory rule, our business will go to Motel 6.)
Also making the top five were Red Roof Inn, with 340 locations welcoming pets; Best Western, with more than1,900 pet-friendly locations, 1000 of which are in the U.S. & Canada; and Candlewood Suites, where pets under 80 pounds are always welcome — provided you pay an extra fee and have you vaccination records available.
Petside.com is a pet website created by NBC Digital Networks, in partnership with Procter & Gamble Productions, Inc.
Posted by jwoestendiek May 20th, 2009 under Muttsblog.
Tags: allowed, best western, budget, candlewood suites, chains, deposit, discount, dog friendly, dogs, fee, hotel, hotels, la quinta, list, motel, motel 6, pets, petside, petside.com, policies, red roof inn, rules, summer, top five, travel, weight limit
A poll conducted for Petside.com and the Associated Press shows that pet owners favor a mutt in the White House.
By more than a 2-1 margin, pet owners say the Obamas should choose a mutt for their first dog over a purebred. The poll showed people who don’t have pets don’t really care either way.
The survey, conducted by GfK, also found more than half of pet owners and 43 percent of all Americans said it was important to them that the Obamas adopt their dog from an animal shelter.
Obama said over the weekend that his family had narrowed their choice down to two breeds: a Labradoodle (a cross between a poodle and a Labrador) and a Portuguese water dog, the kind owned by Sen. Edward Kennedy. (Although the Labradoodle is frequently called a “hybrid,” there’s really no difference between that and a mutt, other than the price tag.)
Democrats felt more strongly about a mutt in the White House than Republicans. Among all Democrats, 38 percent say the dog should be a mutt, compared with 32 percent of all Republicans. Republicans were more likely to say they don’t care about the question, 42 percent, than Democrats, 33 percent.
Among those quoted in an Associated Press story about the survey was Baltimore resident and miniature pinscher owner Pat Schoff, 55, who pointed out that, all in all, what breed a dog is doesn’t really matter.
“I guess in all reality, a dog’s a dog,” she said.
Posted by jwoestendiek January 15th, 2009 under Muttsblog.
Tags: adopt, breed, children, democrats, dog, family, first family, labradoodle, mixed breed, mutt, obama, pet owners, petside, portugese water dog, republicans, rescue, shelter, survey, white house