Will Santa Monica’s sand castles turn into dog houses? Will dogs kick sand in the faces of 98-pound weaklings on Santa Monica’s beaches? Or will the dogs end up in the pound? Those are some of the questions Santa Monica residents may be asking, after the Santa Monica City Council voted yesterday to come up with a pilot program for designating a dog beach, and to present the program to state officials in Sacramento.
If you live in Southern California and have dogs, you are probably aware of foxtails. But, in case you are new to the area, have a new pet or are walking or hiking in a different area, I’d like to share a little information. This occurred to me over the past week when I noticed the nasty weeds popping up in my own back yard. Spring has sprung, indeed.
Foxtails are a feature of many grasses that grow locally. The distribution in my yard is fairly sporadic, but it’s common to see areas along sidewalks that get overrun. I snapped the above photo on Alvarado near Sunset in Echo Park earlier this evening.
The plant becomes problematic when it dries out (see photo below) and the seeds break off.
The danger of foxtail seeds is that they are barbed, so when they get stuck in a dog’s coat, they work their way in and get stuck. Paws, ears and nostrils are particularly vulnerable. They can embed under the skin and have been known to get under eyelids, in throats, etc. The bottom line is these nasty things can cause pain, bleeding, infection and rather substantial vet bills. If you have foxtails on your property or walk your dog(s) in area where they grow, inspect the paws, ears and fur daily. They are difficult to eradicate, especially if you don’t want to use harsh chemicals. During the spring, summer and fall, I pull the plants out of the ground by hand on a daily basis. Even with my vigilance, my dogs have had a couple of instances of needing some minor vet attention due to a foxtail lodged in a paw or an ear.
P.S. I read that outdoor cats are also at risk, it is much lower due to their grooming habits.
L.A. Animal Services issued a press release today stating that they are canvassing Los Angeles City neighborhoods checking for current dog licenses. Not only is it the law, but being in the system may increase your chances of a reunion with your dog should it ever get out. I know first hand that your dog that you are sure will never get out WILL.
Since 2008, the city has required dogs, and cats, over the age of four months to be spayed or neutered. Therefore, to get your $20 dog license, your pet must be altered. There are a few exemptions and if you qualify, you pay $100 (plus a possible $235 breeder’s fee if applicable) for the license. A current rabies vaccine is also required. The various applications can be found here.
Your dog will not actually go to jail if caught without a license. You won’t be fined, but you will be asked to bring any licenses current. Little Guy, pictured above, isn’t really behind bars. He just fell asleep that way in my dining room. (Rescued from East Valley shelter over 10 year ago. Neutered and licensed).
Discovering a small neighborhood park tucked away down quiet side streets is such a joy. It’s like finding hidden treasure. The green grass, the open space, maybe a few courts with people playing and having fun. Picnickers, dogs, families, the occasional tortoise = joy.
Glen Alla Park in Marina Del Rey is just such a park.
Located at Glencoe Avenue and Alla Road (natch), the park takes up a good city block and is within walking distance to the mall nearby. There is plenty of parking on both Glencoe and Alla. Plenty of photos of the park and the facilities follow the map. (Click the map to go to the actual google map page.) (Apologies that the day I was there it was overcast.)
First and foremost, there are bathrooms. I didn’t go in, but they looked tidy and well ventilated.
Just across from the bathrooms was the jungle gym playground area. I love that big happy dolphin!
This playground area was surrounded by fencing though. A sign indicated that it would soon be under construction starting in two weeks. Turns out they are going to put in a Shane’s Inspiration, all accessible playground. This is fantastic!
The mission of Shane’s Inspiration is to create Universally Accessible Playgrounds and programs that integrate children of all abilities socially, physically and emotionally, fostering acceptance, friendship and understanding.
Read about all Shane’s Inspiration here.
Click here to find the many many Shane’s Inspration parks around LA.
If you have or you know kids with disabilities but haven’t heard of Shane’s Inspiration parks, why not go find one this weekend?
Back to Glen Alla….There is a wide grassy area with tons of room for frisbee throwing, baseball catching, picnicking, and lawn darts.
There were many dogs and their owners running around, despite the “dogs must be on a leash” signs scattered about. Everyone looked pretty mellow and under control.
Along one side of the park were the courts — Basketball:
And next to that, two tennis courts:
Then there was a stretch of space with picnic tables (under those trees to the right of the tennis courst), but it also looked like it was becoming the staging area for building supplies with two large shipping containers. But then past THAT, were three, count them three, paddle tennis courts! Both the Paddle Tennis and regular tennis courts have brand spanking new nets.
There were a couple of excellent trees for climbing.
But alas, no golf. Just don’t do it!
All in all it is a lovely, well kept park in the Marina, slightly off the beaten path, away from any hustle and bustle. I know if I lived nearby, I’d mosey down there a lot to play tennis and paddle tennis.
Stay tuned for more posts about pocket parks. If you have a small park you love and want to share, please do so in the comments.
I never thought I would be one of those people, but here I am: I went to a dog show yesterday. The 2009 AKC/Eukanuba National Championship started Saturday at the Long Beach Convention Center and finishes today, Sunday, with the Best in Show being crowned at some point tonight. There also is a highly entertaining agility contest – disproportionately attended by lesbians (not that there is anything wrong with that; I was there too) – in which big and small dogs race their way through an obstacle course. If you have no plans on a lazy (and hopefully dry) Sunday and have a spare Andrew Jackson in your wallet, tickets at the box office are $20 and free for kiddies.
I know what you’re thinking: Best in Show and one of Jane Lynch’s finest performances outside of Glee. And, really, it is hard not to mock the entire event, or any event in which a group of obsessed people congregate to out-obsess the other. But, for dog lovers, it’s also a nice chance to see all sorts of different dogs like the Xoloitzcuintli, learn about different breeds, and see how they fluff the bichon frisee’s fur. It’s electric.
If you can’t make it, no fear: a full recap will be up next week for those who live vicariously through their computers. The pictures might be the best photos I have ever taken.
If you follow Cesar Millan’s tweets, you know that his maxims are like the Tao of Pooch: easier said than done. Southern California dog owners who are struggling to establish themselves as pack leaders, and agree with Cesar’s methods and theories of dog rehabilitation, are invited to head out to Doggie Avenue in Burbank between 1 and 2 on TUESDAY to audition themselves for Cesar’s National Geographic show, The Dog Whisperer. The producers seem to be looking for pretty much any problem behavior that needs rectifying: unusual phobias; obsessions, fearful behavior; and aggression. For their extra-special Valentine’s Day episode, the producers also are looking for couples on the brink of breaking up because of the dog, so be sure to act extra catty during the audition.
Check out the guidelines for full details on what you will need to bring, and legal forms you will have to sign, for the audition. Basically, you’ll need to bring a videotape of your dog behaving badly, with the caveat that you don’t put yourself, the dog, or other innocents in harm’s way while you do it. For example, if you would like to show Cesar just how aggressive Pookie is when s/he sees another dog, you better not have Pookie off-leash when I’m in your ‘hood walking my dog. Actually, you better not have Pookie off-leash ever. Good luck!!
Photo courtesy of East of West LA via the Metblogs Flickr pool.
This week’s featured rescue dog is a three year old Vizla/Pit mix who was minutes away from being euthanized at the West Valley Pound before the nice people at Karma Rescue stepped in to help.
Che is a very playful, energetic guy who needs someone who can give him plenty of exercise. He is housebroken, great with other dogs and apparently even friendly with cats too! Che is currently living in a temporary boarding facility where he isn’t getting a lot of attention. He could really use a structured home environment until Karma Rescue finds him a permanent home, so if you can volunteer as a “foster parent,” please e-mail [email protected] for more information.
You can also stop by Karma Rescue’s regular pet adoption events held at Kirby’s Pet Depot located at 12112 Venice Blvd in Mar Vista (one block east of Centinela). Check Karma Rescue’s web site for more information.Karma Rescue www.karmarescue.org
This week’s featured rescue dog comes to us from Karma Rescue. Kit is a stunning and rare, one-year old Dogue de Bordeaux (French Mastiff) mix. He’s a lover, not a fighter for sure. Kit was found walking the streets of Las Vegas, feeling down on his luck, presumably after losing a bad bet. We can only assume that’s how this poor guy lost two of his toes – but that doesn’t seem to bother him at all.
Kit is learning proper puppy manners from his big foster sister. He also gets along with all the dogs at the park and beach and walks nicely on a leash.
This week’s Metblogs rescue dog is brought to you by Karma Rescue. Maddie and her tiny litter mates were dropped off at the shelter shivering in their little fur coats. When you say “Maaaadddddie,” this sweet puppy pokes her little head up like a meerkat at full attention. Maddie currently lives with two other foster dogs and they are all getting along just great. She is also doing very well with her crate training and house manners. She can even sit and lay down on command!
I am so excited to announce that two of the rescued dogs recently featured on LA Metblogs have been adopted!
Congratulations to Blue Bell, who was nearly dragged to death behind a truck back in December, and also to Chuck, who is actually my former foster dog! Both of these lucky dogs are finally out of the shelter and have been adopted into permanent homes – hopefully forever.
Infinite thanks to all the readers who helped spread the word about these awesome animals.
This week I’d like to introduce Darcy Kelly. Darcy is a young, beautifully brindled pointer/whippet mix, currently living in a foster home with other dogs (big and small) and even cats.
This gal is a serious cuddler who likes to spend the night getting cozy with her foster mom, foster brother (a big pit!), and even the cat.
During the day, Darcy plays with the other Karma Rescue dogs living in her foster home, but she will immediately calm down if you ask her to. She is up-to-date with routine shots, house trained and spayed.
Darcy is not a big gal. She’s about the same size as the 8 month old pit puppy she lives with, weighing around 35 lbs. She basically looks like a puppy even though she is full grown.
There’s still time to register your dog for the 8th Annual Nuts for Mutts Dog Show, which takes place on Sunday, May 17 at Pierce College in Woodland Hills.
The event raises money for New Leash On Life, a local non-profit organization that rescues and rehabilitates homeless pets. The funds raised during the event will help NLOL reach their goal of making Los Angeles a no-kill city. All vendor fees, ticket sales, show registrations and additional proceeds directly benefit homeless animals.
My ex and I entered his pit mix, Seamus into this competition back in 2007. He made it to the semi-finals, only to lose the title of “Best Pit Bull” to a three-legged scamp. He is still licking his wounds from that upset (by him I mean the dog, not the ex). This year might be his big come back (again, the dog, not the ex)!
Nuts for Mutts is an annual dog show and pet fair celebrating the best of the mutt – it’s like the Westminster Dog Show with a sense of humor. In this show, mixed breed dogs compete in categories such as “Best Kisser,” “Fastest Eater,” “Most Vocal,” “Mystery Mutt” and more. It’s a day of fun and a way for people to show off their mutts, so nothing is taken too seriously.
Spaces are filling fast, so don’t miss your chance to strut your mutt in the dog show this year.
Help support New Leash On Life Animal Rescue in their mission to rescue homeless animals and find them permanent, loving homes.
For additional show information, tickets or to register your dog for the show, please visit the official Nuts For Mutts website here.
The people who run Karma Rescue are true heroes. I have fostered three dogs through Karma Rescue and am constantly amazed at the effort the Karma people go through to make a better life for these dogs. Karma Rescue is run by people who have full time jobs and busy lives (like most of us), but somehow manage to dedicate an enormous amount of time and often their own financial resources to rescue at-risk dogs from high kill shelters in Los Angeles.
Unfortunately, Karma Rescue does not have its own facility so they rely heavily on fostering programs and non-kill shelters to help transition rescued dogs into permanent homes.
Karma Rescue recently sprang the following dogs and needs someone to show them a great home until they find a permanent one:
When you foster a dog through Karma Rescue, they provide you with dog food, a crate, leash, collar and regular guidance & training. All you need to do is provide a safe and nurturing home environment. Continue reading These Dogs Need Foster Homes
Hello, friends. This is a rough time for pets. Whenever the economy takes a dip, dogs and cats get treated as ballast on the sinking ship of a family on the brink of financial ruin. L.A. shelters are overfull and the list of innocent animals marked for the big sleep is getting bigger and bigger.
July 4th is another factor, fireworks go off, dogs get scared, run off and wind up in a shelter.
L.A. Animal Services is having a huge, super-reduced fee, Adopt-A-Thon this weekend:
Saturday July 19th, 8am-5pm & Sunday July 20th, 11am-5pm
Cats & Kittens will be $28 (usually $68)
Dogs & Puppies will be $43 (usually $91)
includes: microchip, spay/neuter, vaccines, license (when applicable)
All six La City Animal Service Centers will be participating in this Adoption event. There are over 1000 dogs and 700 adoptable cats that need homes.
Click here to check out the animals and find out where to pick them up!