Written with LA songwriter/producer Rich Jacques, the song represents a departure for her. Most of her songs, she says, are “thematically intense.”
“I wanted to create something light, fun, and feel-good for the holidays,” she said.
For the video, Foster, who has a dog named Bug, invited submissions of photos of pets celebrating the holidays.
“Mom always told me I should write a Christmas song,” she notes on her website (where the song can be purchased and downloaded). “At the time, being a little younger, I thought that seemed cheesy … like something Barbra Streisand or Kenny Rogers would do.
“But as I get a little older, and hopefully wiser, I am very clear that ‘cheese’ is good. It’s endearing, in fact, and it makes people FEEL good. I love cheese!!!”
Foster says she and Jacques worked on the song at her home, finishing up at 2 a.m. on Dec. 5, which, she notes, was her mother’s birthday.
“It would have been Mom’s 74th birthday. I hadn’t planned that out or even thought about it. Pretty sweet… ”
Posted by jwoestendiek December 28th, 2012 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: christmas, christmas time is here, donation, downloads, fundraising, funds, hope for paws, jen foster, profits, rescue, singer, song, songwriter
Which is surprising, considering how loud, garish, and exclamation point-filled it is.
Likely, there are two reasons I’ve been taken by surprise: First, I don’t have a proper wall calendar, on which I can write down important dates. Second, up until the last couple of days — even though it has been around since at least 2005 — I’d never heard of it.
In case you’re as uninformed as I was, Cyber Monday is basically Black Friday online, with Internet retailers offering alleged discounts on purchases made through their websites.
After three days of shopping ’til you drop (apparently Black Friday also includes Saturday and Sunday), yet another day is set aside for you to spend some more in the comfort of your home.
Normally, I couldn’t care less about Cyber Monday. But with the announcement of our new 2012 (and half of 2013) “Travels with Ace” calendar — now available at a website near you — I would like to hop aboard the bandwagon and take advantage of any spending frenzy that’s out there.
So, for one day only — what the heck, let’s make it a week; no, let’s go crazy and say a full month (while supplies last) — our sister website (TravelswithAce.com) will be taking orders for the calendar at full price. That’s right, full price, allowing you to spend the money that you, thanks to Black Friday and Cyber Monday, have saved elsewhere.
What, you were expecting a bargain? Alas, we shant be slashing prices — for several reasons.
First off, the calendar is raising money for Rolling Dog Farm, with 50 percent of all profits going to the non-profit organization that cares for blind, deaf and disabled animals in New Hampshire.
Second, I put it together through a website that will remain nameless – unless you order a calendar, in which case it will have their name plastered on it somewere — and as I was doing so, the price kept going up. When I called to see if I could get an additional discount given my volume purchase, and given it was a partly philanthropic effort, I was told no — that the current “sale” price was the best they could offer. Because the website pointed out the sale price was expiring that day, I placed my order. Guess what happened the next day? The price went down, a little. In other words, I paid too much for them.
Third, it’s an 18-month calendar. That’s six, SIX! extra bonus months. It’s also a limited edition, and each copy will be hand signed. My first real foray into Internet marketing ( if you haven’t already figured that out), the ”Travels with Ace” Calendar features some of the more memorable moments from the year Ace and I spent traveling the U.S. It also features 30 or so of our old dog friends back in Baltimore.
For every purchase of a “Travels with Ace” calendar, customers can buy as many additional copies as they want at FULL price.
(Normally, this is where the small print would go, but I don’t know how to make small print. Besides, it hurts my eyes.)
Posted by jwoestendiek November 28th, 2011 under Muttsblog.
Tags: ace, america, animals, calendar, click til you're sick, cyber monday, dogs, fundraiser, gifts, internet, marketing, online, pets, profits, road trip, rolling dog farm, sales, shop til you drop, travels with ace, travels with ace calendar
If in your house you have a wall
In a kitchen, bedroom or a hall
And if sometimes you can’t recall
What day it is — no, not at all
Here’s a gift that will enthrall
Almost each and every one of y’all
It’s about a dog quite tall
Who crossed a country far from small
But here’s the best part of it all
You can skip the shopping mall
Happy Black Friday. I — in exchange for forcing you to ready my hasty poetry — am about to make your life easier. No need to thank me.
The calendar recaptures some of the more memorable moments from our one year and 27,000 miles of travels across the country, about half of that spent retracing the route John Steinbeck, 50 years ago, took with his poodle in “Travels with Charley.”
The way I figure it, if you buy enough copies, you might be able to avoid the mall altogether, and you’ll be contributing to a good cause.
Half of all profits will go to Rolling Dog Farm in New Hampshire, formerly Rolling Dog Ranch in Montana. The sanctuary for blind, deaf and disabled animals relocated last year, and it was one of the stops on our journey across America.
Inside our calendar, you’ll find 18 unusual slices of American life – from our visit to John Steinbeck’s grave in Salinas, California, to dropping in at a gentlemen’s club in Dallas, where Ace spent time with Mel, a former Michael Vick dog.
From Dog Mountain in Vermont (one artist’s tribute to dog) to Salvation Mountain in California (one artist’s tribute to God). From Maine’s magnificent coast to Niagara’s roaring falls. From standing on a corner in Winslow, Arizona to spotting dogs in the kudzu in Mississippi.
The calendar allows you to relive our journey, without spending a penny on gas; to see the places we went, the people we met and the dogs we bumped into.One month also features some of our old dog friends back in Baltimore.
It’s $25, plus $3 for shipping and handling, and each copy is hand signed by me – not Ace, though, as he has declared a moratorium on pawtographs.
It’s an 18-month calendar, which will carry you all the way to June, 2013.
And, or so we hope, it will raise a few bucks for Rolling Dog Farm, which you can learn more about here.
To place your orders, visit this page.
Posted by jwoestendiek November 25th, 2011 under Muttsblog.
Tags: 18-month, 2012, ace, america, animals, arizona, baltimore, blind, calendar, california, deaf, disabled, dog mountain, dogs, donate, gift, holiday, john steinbeck, john woestendiek, kudzu dogs, maine, mel, michael vick, niagara falls, ohmidog!, pets, photography, photos, proceeds, profits, riverside park, road trip, rolling dog farm, salvation mountain, sanctuary, travels with ace, vick dog
In her soap opera persona, Julie Marie Berman — or Lulu on General Hospital — has engaged in some shameful behavior.
The daughter of Luke and Laura, she has stolen, lied, manipulated and, more than once, let her heart lead her astray, such as when, while still a “feisty teen,” she masterminded the break up of her stepbrother Dillon Quartermaine’s relationship, then proceeded to offer him her virginity, but the condom broke and things got even more compilcated.
I don’t think, though I don’t watch the show, she’s a bad person; but more of a good person who bad things happen, to — over and over and over. She’s had bombs strapped to her body, been a waitress in a brothel, been stuck under a beam in freezing water, and been abducted and held hostage repeatedly. I don’t think she has been in a coma yet — though her mother has — but give her time.
In real life, Julie admits to making at least one mistake, too — buying a dog online.
While dating her future husband, Mike Grady, they decided they wanted a dog. She ended up on “a huge web site that had, literally, every color imaginable of the breed I was interested in. I thought, ‘Great!’ So I ordered my dog online … then I got another one. The first one came with a lot of issues that we’re still dealing with today.
“I thought I was doing the right thing by not going to the pet store. But I think it is safe to say that I ordered our dogs right from the puppymill. I had no idea that I was doing that. I thought that because they were AKC registered, and I talked to the breeders on the phone, that everything was normal. But after receiving our dog, I started to question the validity of the breeder and the care that they give their animals.”
Julie and Mike educated themselves on the horrors of puppy mills, became proponents of adoption and are now pushing that cause in their newly formed company, Better Buddies.
Along with a third partner, they reached out to Best Friends Animal Society to join forces on ending the homeless pet problem and push adoption as the best choice when searching for a pet. The company has pledged 10 percent of its profits to the organization.
With its current merchandising limited to hemp dog beds, Better Buddies, Julie says, plans to expand — all while bringing together the worlds of design, quality, eco-awareness and social change.
“While rummaging through an endless stock of uninspired, low-quality pet toys, we found ourselves asking, ‘Why aren’t there more eco-friendly options out there?’ … Even more of a challenge, a pet-adoption in the store was begging us not to leave without adding another adorable, yet needy pet to our clan.
“And then it hit us…why not … make high-quality ‘green’ products that are actually thoughtful in design and style, while simultaneously giving back to animals in need. And right there, in that mess of pet store mania, Better Buddies, Inc. was born.”
Posted by jwoestendiek August 11th, 2011 under Muttsblog.
Tags: actress, adoption, animals, best friends, best friends animal society, better buddies, clean, dog, dog beds, dogs, donation, eco-friendly, environment, general hospital, green, hemp, homeless pets, internet, julie grady, julie marie berman, luke and laura, lulu, mike grady, online, pets, philanthropy, profits, puppy mills, purchase, remorse, shame, soap opera, social responsibility, star
Ex-Boyfriend, the Baltimore-based apparel and accessory company that regularly donates 5 percent of its profits to area animal welfare groups, is hoping to pour more money into the cause in the month ahead.
Until April 17, the company will be donating 100 percent of proceeds from the sale of its line of keychain/bottle openers to local shelters and rescue organizations.
Ex-Boyfriend established the Sadie Fund after the death of company owner Matt Snow’s cat in 2008, donating 5 percent of net profits to animal advocacy groups.
In honor of April being Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Month, Snow says, the company will donate 100% of the profits generated by the sale of its new keychain bottle openers. The openers feature a selection of our designs, cost $6.50 and will be shipped for free through April 17th.
Posted by jwoestendiek March 20th, 2010 under Muttsblog.
Tags: accessories, animal welfare, apparel, baltimore, chow guevera, cute critters, dj kitty, ex-boyfriend, fuzz aldrin, groucho barks, keychain bottle openers, matt snow, neil arfstrong, news, pirate kitty, profits, rescue, sadie fund, shelters
The leaders of New Jersey dogfighting rings could be charged under the same anti-racketeering laws used to prosecute mobsters and face sentences of up to 20 years under a bill proposed by two state senators.
Under the bill, organizers of dogfighting networks could be prosecuted under the state’s anti-racketeering (RICO) statute, and profits or property gained from dogfighting could be seized, the Philadelphia Inquirer reports.
Oregon, Utah and Virginia have similar laws. If the legislation pases, New Jersey would be the fourth state in the country to use RICO statutes, commonly used in organized crime cases, to prosecute dogfighters.
“You can judge a society by the way it treats its most vulnerable,” said Sen. Jeff Van Drew, who sponsored the bill with Sen. Thomas Kean Jr. “Those that abuse animals in this way, in this severe way, are often individuals that go on to commit heinous acts against adults and children.”
Under current New Jersey law, dogfighting carries a penalty of three to five years in prison, a fine of up to $15,000, or both.
While penalties would remain the same for people who own or train fighting dogs, or host dog fights, those who finance and organize them would face five to 10 years in prison, or even twice that if the organizer was convicted of a violent offense or gun crime in connection with dogfighting.
Posted by jwoestendiek December 29th, 2009 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, anti-racketeering, bill, dog fighters, dog fighting, dogfighters, dogfighting, dogs, jeff van drew, law, legislation, new jersey, organized crime, pets, profits, property, proposed, rico, seize, seizure
Sometimes the news media is just soooo cynical.
Case in point: Pfizer, the drug company, is extolling the benefits of taking the family dog along when traveling for the holidays. The holidays are stressful times, Pfizer notes. Dogs can help relieve stress. Why leave a beloved member of the family behind?
In an email worthy of Hallmark that was sent to various news media outlets, Pfizer makes note as well of the “tough economic times” and how “the unconditional love from your dog can go a long way toward helping your family manage that extra stress.”
How thoughtful. Imagine, a multi-national corporate giant like that being so full of holiday spirit that they are thinking about us little people/dog owners when they could be obsessing, Scrooge-like, about profits.
Pfizer even launched a Twitter feed called “Dog On Board” to “help families talk about including their dog in their family holiday.”
Leave it to the Wall Street Journal, in the newspaper’s ”Health Blog,” to suggest Pfizer might have an ulterior motive when it suggests you pack your dog along in the car or airplane when you make your holiday trip.
Pfizer sells Cerenia, a drug that prevents motion sickness and vomiting in dogs.
But is that so terrible? So what if Pfizer stands to profit more if more dogs are going over the river and through the woods to grandmother’s house, preferably by winding roads?
Lest that make you — like all the cynical news media and bloggers — question Pfizer’s sincerity and compassion, allow me to remind you that Pfizer is the same company that offered this summer to give away more than 70 of its most widely prescribed human drugs, including Lipitor, Zoloft and Viagra, for up to a year to people who have lost jobs since Jan. 1 and have been taking the drug for three months or more.
Of course, there were cynics when they did that, too — those who speculated the company was doing it for a tax write-off, to gain favor in Washington, or to ensure that those who are hooked on Pfizer’s fine products, maintain their, shall we say, allegiance.
While the news media and bloggers are having a field day with what they see as Pfizer’s awkwardly see-through attempt to drum up business, I, for one, salute the drug company – not just for bringing relief to the estimated one in seven dogs who get carsick, and not just for ensuring that an unemployed man can get, if not a job or health care, at least a boner, but for being able to fool so many of the people so much of the time.
Posted by jwoestendiek November 20th, 2009 under Muttsblog.
Tags: advertising, animals, campaign, carsick, carsickness, cerenia, companies, company, dog on board, dogs, drug, drugs, holidays, humor, marketing, motion sickness, pets, pfizer, profits, public relations, satire, stress, thanksgiving, travel, twitter, vacation, viagra, vomiting
In February, for instance, the state negotiated a settlement with a Verona breeder who didn’t meet state standards. She was instructed to close her kennel. The state then arranged for her dogs to be sold by Southwest Auction Service in Wheaton. All the proceeds, minus state licensing fees, went to the kennel owner.
The state claims that since January, it has transferred more than 1,300 abused and neglected dogs from unlicensed breeders to shelters such as the Humane Society of Missouri in St. Louis. But other dogs are sold at auction to other breeders — a practice critics say is unhealthy and allows bad breeders to profit from the sale of their own confiscated or surrendered dogs.
Missouri Agriculture Director Jon Hagler said the policy is under review, according to an Associated Press article.
Missouri, which has come under fire for being the “puppy mill” capital of America, recently initiated Operation Bark Alert, allowing people to report unlicensed breeders directly to Hagler by e-mail. So far, he has received 100 reports of suspicious breeders that include licensed facilities, he said.
(Photo: Courtesy of The Humane Society of the United States)
Posted by jwoestendiek April 11th, 2009 under Muttsblog.
Tags: abuse, animal welfare, animals, auction, auctioned, auctions, breeders, confiscated, dog, dogs, humane society, missouri, neglect, operation bark alert, pets, policy, profits, puppy mills, rescue, review, sales, seized, selling, shelters, sold, surrendered
The maker of the Michael Vick chew toy for dogs — or one of them, anyway — has been sued by the state attorney general’s office, which alleges the company claimed animal charities would benefit from the toy’s sale, but never donated a cent.
Attorney General Bill McCollum filed a lawsuit alleging toy seller Jaime Salcedo and his Jacksonville, Florida, company, Showbiz Promotions LLC, misled consumers with claims that proceeds from the dog toys would go to animal shelters
The company also produced a doll modeled after Caylee Anthony, a 2-year-old Florida girl whose mother is awaiting trial on charges of murdering her and hiding her body in the woods. The company said profits from the sale of the dolls would benefit the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.
McCollum said the company donated only $10 to the children’s group and none to animal shelters, according to a Reuters report.
“Any company that intentionally misleads innocent consumers to believe they are contributing to worthy charitable causes is absolutely reprehensible,” McCollum said in a news release. “It is disgusting that a company would exploit a tragic situation for personal gain.”
He said the state began investigating the Internet sales company last year after receiving more than 200 complaints about the dog chew toys.
Showbiz Promotions suspended sales of the Caylee doll in January because of public outrage.
When I last wrote about the toy, two companies were making them — the guys who came up with the idea had split up and gone their separate, but similar ways. Darren Usher was producing what he called The Official Michael Vick Dog Chew Toy, while Salcedo operated Vickdogchewtoy.com.
Here’s the ad still running on the latter website:
Posted by jwoestendiek April 10th, 2009 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animal, attorney general, causes, caylee anthony, chew toy, deception, dog, florida, jaime salcedo, lawsuit, michael vick, proceeds, profits, showbiz promotions, toy
The New York Daily News reports that jailed dog-fighter Michael Vick is looking for a book deal.
According to the newspaper, the former Atlanta Falcons star has a literary agent, Scott Waxman, founder of the Waxman Literary Agency, who is shopping a proposal for a Vick memoir.
Waxman didn’t return the newspaper’s calls, but the article raises the possibility that Vick could use the book as an opportunity to “demonstrate sufficient remorse” for his actions, which NFL commissioner Roger Goodell has said would be required before allowing Vick to return to professional football would even be considered.
Too, if it were to sell well, a book could help Vick, who is now in bankruptcy proceedings, crawl out of the financial hole his conviction left him in .
The Daily News article says that, since his victims were dogs, it is ”unlikely” that Vick’s book would be subject to the “Son of Sam Law” — though I don’t see why not. The law, designed to keep criminals from profiting from their crimes through book deals, authorizes the state to seize profits and use it to compensate the criminal’s victims. Seizing any profits from a Vick book, and passing them along to animal welfare organizations, strikes me as a perfect exercise of the law.
Posted by jwoestendiek March 29th, 2009 under Muttsblog.
Tags: book, book deal, daily news, dogfighting, law, literary agency, michael vick, profits, publisher, publishing, son of sam, vick, victims, waxman