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Posts Tagged ‘2 Million Dogs Puppy Up! Walk’

This afternoon, while taking a work break to toss a ball with Riley and his sister-in-law Bailey (who, by the way, took second place at COLA’s Dog-O-Ween this past Saturday!), I realized that I hadn’t been down to the lower yard in a few days. This is the part of our property that became known as “New Poolandia” when we decided to fence it in, and give Riley and his pals a little more room to run around (and poop) in. There were so many gifts left in the yard that hadn’t been picked up, it had gone way beyond ScooPup Pocket time. I’m talking backhoe here. Don’t want to get too graphic, but maybe you’ll remember this blog while tossing a 10 lb sack of rice into your cart, the next time you are at Costco.

Why so busy you might ask? I’ve been spending the better part of the past few weeks organizing Seattle’s 2 Million Dogs Puppy Up! Walk. It’s hard work, and while there are 10 ten days to go until November 7th, I’m proud to say that as of this minute, greater Seattle has managed to raise close to $9,500.

I promise the blogs will be a bit longer and back to my old frequency, after November 7th. (I might even have a surprise or two.) At the moment, I’ve got to get back to work. (Don’t even want to think about reality of picking up after 2 million dogs!) In the meantime, please help me spread the word about Luke Robinson’s mission to find a cure for canine cancer, by funding cutting-edge research in comparative oncology studies – which, by the way, benefit people as well as dogs. Please visit 2 MillionDogs.org to learn how you can get involved. Thanks, and Puppy Up!

in Dragon Slayer Sydney sneaks up on Bailey the Dragon

Normally, I'm a flying cow. Today I'm a dragon.

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Yesterday, Riley and I spent a few hours driving to those parts of Seattle that still hadn’t been covered with posters for the November 7th, 2 Million Dogs Puppy Up! Walk .  I’m not crazy about taking him with me when he’s not really getting any exercise as I drive from pet store to vet to pet store, but at least he’s not home alone and bored.

When we hit the road for long trips, I stuff a couple of pillows behind the front seats and put his blanket on top, which creates a nice little nest for him in the back seat. Of course, he’s also securely seat belted. I’m sure some people would look at us and think that he was pretty spoiled, or that I was a little over-protective, but I could care less what they think. He’s my boy, and I’m all about keeping him safe, comfortable and happy.

As we drove onto the West Seattle Bridge, I noticed a dog in the back of a pickup truck. He was excitedly moving all over the back of the truck bed, obviously not restrained in any way.

In my opinion not safe, but better than nothing.

The truck was going about 50 MPH. You can imagine how angry that made me. If they hadn’t headed toward the exit for the Alaskan Way Viaduct (a safety risk in its own right), I swear I was thinking about trying to pull them over to give them a piece of my mind.

I just don’t understand how some people can be so stupid. If this is so safe, why don’t we transport our children this way? I’ve blogged about this before, but I think this issue bears repeating. Currently, only California has legislation on this practice, but I would like to see the day when every state has a law in place that would subject anyone caught doing this to a hefty fine.

Once again, to me this practice only confirms the fact that while some of us treat our dogs like spoiled rotten kids, far too many people with dogs are truly “owners” who still consider their pets to be their property, rather than creatures to love, protect and care for.

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If you’ve ever wanted to find out what you were made of, try organizing a charity event. For the past few weeks, I have been working pretty much non-stop on the 2 Million Dogs Puppy Up! Walk, since  I volunteered to be the Seattle City Leader. My little company, Tiny Growl*, has been pretty much put on hold for the cause.  In case you hadn’t heard, 2 Million Dogs was formed with the singular aim of eradicating cancer in pets and people and it will work towards that end by educating people about and investing in comparative oncology studies.”


Even though everyone agrees that this is a wonderful cause and have expressed interest in joining the walk on November 7th, I’ve not been too lucky finding volunteers to help me organize the event.  I realized that if this walk was going to happen in Seattle, it was going to be up to me to put in the hours sending emails, making phone calls and hitting the bricks. It’s hard work, but considering that this organization sprang from Luke Robinson’s 2300 mile, two year walk from Austin to Boston, this is a piece of cake. Quite frankly, distributing the posters these past two days forced to take a much-needed break from my “home office”.  While I was happy to get away from the computer, I really had no idea what an undertaking this task was going to be in a city the size of Seattle.

To begin, I had to find every pet-related business in the area, this included: pet supply shops, pet groomers, veterinarians and veterinary hospitals, dog groomers, dog walkers, dog trainers, doggie day care, dog kennels, dog parks and dog-friendly restaurants and bars.  List in hand, it was time to plot the best way to efficiently drive from one part of town to the next, figuring in all of the road closures, one-way streets, rush hour traffic and the rest.

Fortunately, I had the luxury of having my significant other chauffeur me on Friday, so at least I didn’t have to worry about wasting time looking for parking spaces. I’d like to say that things went smoothly, but aside from a few customary fights between pilot and co-pilot, I was completely taken aback by the number of stores that weren’t willing to put our poster in their window! I’m not so much talking about the owner-operated shops, I’m talking about the major chains.  These days, it seems it’s all about image.  God forbid their “brand” might be muddied by hanging a poster in their window or at the counter with a dissimilar font or color scheme.  (Whatever Barnes & Noble.)

With three weeks to go and plenty of posters and postcards left to distribute, I will have the help of a couple of people this coming week.  November 7th is looming, and there’s still a lot that I need to focus on, not to mention figuring out what costume Riley should wear for Dog-O-Ween this year.  Hmmm, maybe he wouldn’t mind wearing a 2 Million Dogs Puppy Up! Walk sandwich board?

*From now through November 7th, Tiny Growl will donate $3 from every ScooPup Pocket sold to 2  Million Dogs.

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When your dog is young – full of boundless energy, no sign of grey in the muzzle – you probably don’t spend too much time worrying about the inevitable. I clearly remember the day a few years back, when Riley was snoozing on the couch as I scratched him behind the ears. I was wondering how it could be possible to love that sweet creature any more than I already did, when it suddenly struck me that even if he lived to a ripe old age, our time together was limited and precious. It was then that I began to think that living with a dog that you loved so much was comparable to having a child with a terminal illness, especially for those of us with no children of our own.

But what if your dog really did have a terminal illness? Luke Robinson is one of among the thousands of dog guardians who has had the misfortune of knowing what that feels like.

Luke with Hudson and Murphy

In 2006, his boy Malcolm, a beautiful big Great Pyrenees, was diagnosed with metastatic bone cancer, a horribly aggressive disease which generally involves amputation as a treatment, but not a cure.

Larger breeds seem to be most susceptible, and since Great Pyrenees are one of the breeds effected, Malcolm was at risk from the day he was born. After losing Malcolm, Luke set out on a quest to raise awareness about canine cancer and walked from Austin, Texas to Boston Massachusetts with his two dogs Hudson and Murphy. It took him 2 years and over 2000 miles, but they arrived in June to much fanfare and certainly brought a lot of attention to his cause. In an incredibly cruel twist of fate, after reaching Boston, Murphy was diagnosed with Adenocarcinoma, and he is currently showing the outward signs of the radiation treatments he finished in August.

My Boy Riley

The motto here at Tiny Growl is “Quietly Making A Difference”. My muse and the originator of the tiny growl is my dog Riley. His face is the face on my logo and his funny little trick, his incredibly quiet “tiny growl”, became the name of my company, and the inspiration behind my slogan “Quietly Making a Difference”.

When I launched my business, I wanted to make a positive difference – quietly or otherwise – and since I’m a very small company, I felt that I could make a tiny bit of difference to the lives of dogs in need by donating a portion from every sale of my ScooPup Pockets to  charities that I support.*

For the next few weeks, I’m going to put my day-to-day activities here in the tinyTiny Growl office on the back burner, but not my mission. From now until November 7th, I’m putting all of my energy behind Luke’s cause, 2 Million Dogs, and will be spending most of my time organizing the Seattle 2 Million Dogs Puppy Up! Walk. Walks will be taking place in cities all across the country and funds raised by the walkers will be used for canine comparative oncology research. This important work will not only benefits dogs, but people as well.

Luke, Hudson and Murphy on the road to Boston

We are asking people to pledge to walk 2 miles with their dogs on November 7th. Visit www.2milliondogs.org to see if your city will be participating. (If not this year, think about joining us by organizing a walk in your town next year.)

So please spread the word and help us to make a difference, quietly or otherwise, all across the country.

*From now through the end of our 1-Year Anniversary Sale, Tiny Growl will donate $1 from every ScooPup Pocket sold to 2  Million Dogs.

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