The Best of Today’s Dogg

Posted on May 8, 2011. Filed under: 2. Fun Pet Stuff We're Trying | Tags: , , , , , |

The Best of Today's Dogg

Recently, I read a charming book called The Best of Today’s Dogg.  The author is award-winning cartoonist, Guy Gilchrist – who has written 48 children’s books, was the cartoonist of the comic strips “Nancy” and the “MUPPETS” and was the character designer for Tom & Jerry, Pink Panther, Looney Tunes & Disney.

The book is about 140 pages and only took me about 30 minutes to read.  Guy does a great job of capturing the wonderful personalities of dogs and cats.  The cartoons are funny, heart warming, intelligent and witty.  Any dog owner can relate to this book!  I found myself laughing out loud in my bed, as I thought of my own dog, cat and their relationship.  Some of the cartoons make you reflect, some melt your heart, some make you tear up, some make you giggle – but all make you want to hug your dog!

This book is yet another example of how dogs make the world a better place and how we are blessed to have one in our home.  I loved taking time out of my busy day to just simply enjoy a book full of spirit and remind myself just how special a friendship I have with my dog and cat.  It gives you some humorous insight of what dogs might be thinking if we could get into their heads.  Between chew toys and treats to loyalty and unbreakable bonds, and of course, getting into mischief, you will find yourself saying, “That’s so true” or “My dog does that!”

The best part of Today’s Dogg is a portion of proceeds go to pet rescue organizations.

I give this book and its mission four paws up!

For more information, please visit The Best of Today’s Dogg

– Michelle Brubaker

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Pork Chops or Tiger Cubs?

Posted on April 22, 2011. Filed under: 1. Daily Life | Tags: , , , , , , , , |

I got this in an e-mail and had to share it! Michelle Brubaker

In a zoo in California , a mother tiger gave birth to a rare set of triplet tiger cubs.

Unfortunately, due to complications in the pregnancy, the cubs were born prematurely and due to their tiny size, they died shortly after birth.

The mother tiger after recovering from the delivery, suddenly started to decline in health, although physically she was fine.

The veterinarians felt that the loss of her litter had caused the tigress to fall into a depression.

The doctors decided that if the tigress could surrogate another mother’s cubs, perhaps she would improve.

After checking with many other zoos across the country, the depressing news was that there were no tiger cubs of the right age to introduce to the mourning mother.

The veterinarians decided to try something that had never been tried in a zoo environment.

Sometimes a mother of one species will take on the care of a different species.  The only orphans’ that could be found quickly, were a litter of weaning pigs.

The zoo keepers and vets wrapped the piglets in tiger skin and placed the babies around the mother tiger – would they become cubs or pork chops?

Now, please tell me one more time why can’t the rest of the world get along?

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Amazing Photos of Baby Koala Twins!

Posted on January 24, 2011. Filed under: 1. Daily Life | Tags: , , , |

I got this in an e-mail from a family member and had to share these pictures!

– Michelle Brubaker

It is not common for a koala to have twins, and regrettably in this instance, the mom was struck and killed by a passing car. Fortunately, the driver stopped and took the mother to the local vet, hoping to save the creature, where it was discovered she had these twins in her pouch.

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Hollywood Villain Has Heart for Puppies

Posted on December 28, 2010. Filed under: 4. Guest Bloggers | Tags: , , , , , |

Hollywood Villain Has a Heart for Puppies

By day he is a Russian terrorist on NCIS, but by night, David Dayan Fisher is penning childrens’ books about puppies.

A British actor who often plays villains in TV shows like 24, Fisher reveals his softer side in the upcoming childrens’ chapter book, Puppy School (Sunnyfields Publishing).

After becoming a dog rescue advocate nine years ago, the book was literally a dream for Fisher.

“I was at dinner with friends one evening and joked that their dog should go to puppy school since he was so wild,” says Fisher. “That night, I had a dream about the story of Puppy School from start to finish and immediately wrote it down the next morning.”

Burton and Monkey are two pups from very different backgrounds. Burton is a pedigree, a perfect chocolate lab, who, as part of the canine elite, goes to Puppy School. It’s a place where pedigree dogs earn their “dogree.” Monkey, on the other hand, is a mutt, whose coat looks like an “accident in a paint factory.” Despite being told that mutts do not attend Puppy School, he sneaks in anyway.

A heartwarming story of determination and equality, the two dogs go on to forge an unlikely friendship. Burton takes Monkey under his wing, and after several mishaps, including a terrifying stay in the puppy prison, Muttly Manor, both pups end up earning their dogrees and learn they are not so different afterall.

About Puppy School, director/producer, Jon Turteltaub says, “David’s massive heart is all over this beautiful and bold story.”

Burton and Monkey are the names of Fisher’s real-life rescue dogs, who he says actually rescued him from a not-so-glamorous life in Hollywood that resulted in drinking and depression. Supporting rescue dogs has become Fisher’s passion and he will donate 50 percent of the proceeds from Puppy School to In Defense of Animals (IDA).

For more information, please visit

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European Pet Love

Posted on November 10, 2010. Filed under: 1. Daily Life | Tags: , , , , , , , , , |

My Furry Buddy in Venice

My husband and I just got back from a 17 day Europe trip, and it was incredible! It was truly trains, planes and automobiles – a wonderful adventure! We went to Italy, Hungary and France. That was the longest we’ve been away from our pets, and I must say after a few days, I needed a pet fix! Thank goodness in Murano (an island off of Venice) I met such a cute dog. I never found out his name, but he greeted tourists who came to the glass blowing demonstration. His owners make a living by blowing glass into the most beautiful vases, statues and chandeliers.

Glass Blowing in Murano

The dog was friendly and well behaved. I loved petting him! It made me miss my dog and cat.

Germie and Caesar

In Ajka, Hungary while visiting my relatives for the first time, I got to meet Germie (dog) and  Caesar (cat). Although Germie had owners who take good care of him, he loves my aunt and uncle, who spoil him with belly rubs and food over the fence. Germie and Caesar get along really well – it’s very sweet!

We noticed that the pets in Europe, even the few strays we saw, were healthy and happy. We learned that the people in the areas we visited are big animal advocates, and this made my heart sing! I did notice that there were quite a few homeless people with pets in Paris. Although the pets looked healthy, and I’m sure they are great companions to the men and women who live on the streets, I don’t believe that is the ideal lifestyle for those animals. In some cases, it was obvious that the pets were used as a means to get money from those passing by. We saw one homeless man with kittens and puppies.

However, for the most part, Europe seemed extremely pet friendly, which made my experience there that much better!

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My Heart is with Shelter Pets

Posted on October 31, 2010. Filed under: 1. Daily Life | Tags: , , , , , , , , , |

Today I went to the shelter with my sister to help her find the perfect little dog.  I volunteer at the San Diego Humane Society and absolutely love it, but as I walked through the halls today and looked at all those beautiful faces with soulful eyes looking back at me, it just broke my heart to know they were all waiting for homes. I wish I could adopt them all. It makes me sad to know that for whatever reason, these innocent pets were given up. I don’t want to judge anyone who had to make that difficult decision, and I respect the fact that they took their pet to a shelter, which is the responsible thing to do. However, it still tugs at my heart strings when I see these homeless pets. I wonder what their past life was like – What was their home like? What have they experienced before they arrived at the shelter? What are they thinking now? When I see them in their habitats, I envision them in a loving, warm home, wagging their tails with a smiling family. Pets are my passion. I want every one to be happy and healthy and experience a full life. Our shelters do the best they can, but it’s not the same as a home. I will continue to volunteer at the shelter – one of my favorite things to do – and encourage anyone looking for a furry family member to adopt a rescue. This is my way of doing what I can to make a difference in an effort that means the world to me.

Both my dog and cat are rescue pets, and I’m proud to say that! Rescue pets are the best – all they want is to be loved, and they love you unconditionally. I truly believe that they know they were rescued. If you are thinking about getting a pet, please consider rescuing one. BTW, the two dogs my sister loved have already found homes, which is wonderful, so she is going back this week to look again. Stay tuned!

– Michelle Brubaker

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Catch a Wave of Fresh Air, Be Part of a Good Cause

Posted on October 3, 2010. Filed under: 2. Fun Pet Stuff We're Trying | Tags: , , , , , , , , |

I should have potty trained my cat, Cody, when he was a kitten, but I didn’t, so now I have to clean a litter box every day. It’s definitely not on the top of my list of favorite things to do, but it’s part of cat ownership, and I will do anything for my feline buddy.

I was recently introduced to JulAir – an air freshener that has a hint of jasmine and is made out of Australian tea tree oil. I have used it several times after cleaning Cody’s litter and have also used it on my dog, Dezi’s, bed and our kitchen trash can. It’s a light spray that smells great! I love the Australian branding with a Koala as the mascot and the tagline – catch a wave of fresh air. I studied aboard in Australia in college, so I have a soft spot for anything related to down under.

The JulAir Company is based in Santa Barbara, California. Bob and Julia Zeman, founders of JulAir were inspired to create their all-natural air freshener while walking on the beach and the woods near their home.

It’s about $9 for a 4 oz bottle – more than a bottle of Lysol, but in my opinion, JulAir is more effective. Also, JulAir donates a portion of each bottle to develop treatments and eventually a cure for Parkinson’s Disease and arthritis.

Cody gives this product a meow and two paws up!

Learn more about JulAir and try it for yourself.

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Dezi Puts DERMagic to the Test

Posted on September 23, 2010. Filed under: 2. Fun Pet Stuff We're Trying | Tags: , , , , , , , , |

After the Heart Walk, a long game of fetch in the park and rolling around in the yard, it was time for Dezi to get a much needed bath.

Dezi has skin allergies, which means she is always licking her paws.  Her condition has actually gotten much better since we adopted her in July, but when I was contacted by a company called DERMagic about their new shampoo bar for dogs with stubborn skin conditions, I knew I had to try it.  The shampoo bar is all natural and made from organic products.

I could smell the bar of soap before I even opened up the box.  I love the lemongrass spearmint scent – our bathroom smelled like a spa! I lathered Dezi up and rubbed her down with the bar of shampoo.  I washed her paws really well, in between her toes and all the raw spots that she licks.

A few minutes after her bath, I noticed how soft her fur was, and she smelled fresh. My girl was clean and beautiful!

Today (two days after her bath), I notice she isn’t licking her paws as much, and the raw spots are no longer bright pink.  I have only used the bar of shampoo once and saw results. The company claims “the healing powers” in the bar are sulfur and neem oil – just in case you don’t know what neem oil is (I know I didn’t) it’s a vegetable oil pressed from the fruits and seeds of neem – an evergreen tree native to India.

I originally was going to put the shampoo bar in a plastic soap container, but the owner of the company suggests letting it air dry, so it will stay hard and last longer, or using the cardboard box it comes in as a container, preventing it from getting soft and dissolving quickly.

Dezi gives this pet product four paws up!

Learn more about DERMagic and its products.

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Heart Walk with Dezi

Posted on September 23, 2010. Filed under: 1. Daily Life | Tags: , , , , , |

Our family photo at the Heart Walk

My husband and I did the Heart Walk on Sunday to support the American Heart Association. UC San Diego’s Sulpizio Cardiovascular Center was a sponsor. I work in the marketing and communications department at UC San Diego – it’s my “other job” that pays the bills while is a labor of love.

Unfortunately, we weren’t able to take Bogart to events like this, but Dezi fit right in. Although at first she was over stimulated with all the sights, smells and sounds, she eventually calmed down and did the whole three mile walk! She sniffed some furry butts along the way and made a lot of human friends.

BTW, we have been using the gentle leader, as you can see in the pictures, and it makes a huge difference when walking her.

It was a wonderful way to kick off our Sunday. We did realize throughout the walk that Dezi the Diva liked drinking out of a water bottle and not the bowls provided, but with all the dog slobber from all sorts of four legged walkers in the bowls, I can’t blame her for taking a pass!

Dezi the Diva drinking out of a friend's water bottle

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Animal Planet’s Pit Boss

Posted on September 15, 2010. Filed under: 1. Daily Life | Tags: , , , , , , , |

Nina and I went to the HWAC Surf Dog Contest on Sunday and had so much fun!  We saw dogs surfing backwards, holding the surf leash in their mouth and body boarding – only in California!  The crowd was huge with a variety of vendors and celebrity guests – like Animal Planet’s Pit Boss – Shorty.  He seemed very cool and took the time to take pictures with everyone in line.  I was excited to meet him and take a pic – his pit bull is beautiful and so well behaved!  Learn more about Pit Boss

– Michelle Brubaker

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