Best Friends Animal Society Helps Declare Inde-Pet-Dence This 4th! Offers Fireworks Safety Tips for For Your Four-Legged Family Members (Guest Blog)


dakota 4th of july

Food. Fireworks. Fun. That’s the scenario for millions of people who celebrate US Independence Day on July 4th, one of the year’s liveliest holidays.

Unfortunately, for pets that get frightened during the festivities, it can be anything but a celebration. Driven by a fearful reaction to fireworks and other loud sights and sounds, dogs and cats that flee from their homes often end up in municipal animal shelters.

“Nationwide, July 4th weekend is the busiest shelter intake time of the year. So, while many of us are celebrating a holiday, the shelters will be flooded with pets, many of which will never find their way home,” said Gregory Castle, chief executive officer of Best Friends Animal Society. “In order to avoid this heartbreaking scenario, we encourage owners to make the holiday as safe as possible for their pets.”

Best Friends Animal Society offers the following tips to help keep your pets safe over the holiday weekend:

  • Bring all pets indoors whenever neighborhood fireworks displays are likely. Secure dogs in a room and play music or turn on the television to drown out the frightening sounds.
  • Keep pets away from lit fireworks at all times, including your own backyard, as some will chase after the bright moving objects and are at risk to be burned or blinded in the process.
  • Ensure that pets are wearing current identification tags.
  • For the ultimate identification protection, all pets should be microchipped so that they can scanned at an animal shelter or veterinary office.
  • If your pet does go missing over the holiday, check with local animal shelters immediately. Go to the shelter in person to identify your pet, rather than calling or emailing the shelter, as staff may not be able to respond in a timely enough fashion to ensure your pet’s safety.

To maximize lifesaving efforts in July, Best Friends Animal Society is hosting a national “Celebrate Freedom” adoption campaign at its facilities in LA and Salt Lake City, as well as through its more than 1,100 No More Homeless Pets Network Partners across the country. For the month of July, adoption fees will start at just $25. (For more information about  participating organizations near you, visit Best Friends Here .


Photo Courtesy of Best Friends

Photo Courtesy of Best Friends

 “There is no better time than now if you’re in the market to adopt a dog or cat. You’ll be saving two lives with every adoption, the one you take home and the one that now has space at the shelter,” Castle said.

Best Friends is also offering special hours and fees on July 4th weekend at its adoption centers, where all pets originate from municipal shelters:

  • Best Friends Pet Adoption & Spay/Neuter Center in Mission Hills, CA, which transfers dogs and cats from Los Angeles Animal Services to its no-kill facility, is hosting a special 24/7 #Freedom100 adoption marathon. From noon on Friday, July 3 through Monday, July 6 at 8 p.m., the center will offer $10 fees for the first 100 adopters.
  • The Best Friends’ NKLA Pet Adoption Center in Los Angeles, CA will offer $10 adoptions for all cats and $25 on select dogs during its daily business hours of noon to 8 p.m. on July 3, 4 and 5.
  • The Best Friends Sugar House Adoption Center in Salt Lake City, UT will be open during on July 4thfrom 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. to accommodate holiday adopters, with $25 adoptions on pets six months or older to the first 100 adopters.

Each pet at the Best Friends centers is spayed or neutered, microchipped, vaccinated and ready to go home immediately

“Adoption isn’t just the most humane option when adding a four-legged member to your family, it’s convenient and cost-effective, too,” Castle said. “Our hope is that Americans  across the country will band together to declare this 4th as Inde-Pet-Dence Day for shelter pets in their community.”



About Best Friends Animal Society

Best Friends Animal Society is the only national animal welfare organization dedicated exclusively to ending the killing of dogs and cats in America’s shelters. A leader in the no-kill movement, Best Friends runs the nation’s largest no-kill sanctuary for companion animals, as well as lifesaving programs in partnership with rescue groups and shelters across the country. Since its founding in 1984, Best Friends has helped reduce the number of animals killed in American shelters from 17 million per year to about 4 million. By continuing to build effective initiatives that reduce the number of animals entering shelters and increase the number who find homes, Best Friends and its nationwide network of members and partners are working to Save Them All®.


Become a fan of Best Friends Animal Society on Facebook


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Dog Horoscopes:Scorpio and Sagittarius 2014

We can breathe a collective sigh of relief after getting through October. Mercury is no longer in retrograde in November, so we can expect a far less trying month than last. Not only does this bode well for us, but it also provides some relief for our furry canine friends. (Dakota and I sure are happy to read this! October was one BRUTAL month!)

dakota fortune teller


Psychic Source contacted some talented pet psychics to provide plenty of astrological insights that can help piece together what is in store for our furry housemates. November is the month of Scorpio and Sagittarius, so we will focus on these two sun signs today.

Zodiac Comments

~Magickal Graphics~

Scorpio Dogs

If you have a Scorpio dog by your side, you have a companion for life. These pups may appear to be distant at first, but as they grow more comfortable in your home, their devotion will surpass that of many. Deep down, all they want is a steady place to call home with a family unit that loves them.

Once you’ve gained their trust, you will often be surprised at how well they can read you. If you’re feeling off after a long day at work, these pups are most likely to sense it and be there ready to cuddle while you decompress. They know how you’re feeling because of their natural curiosity and need to know what’s going on; don’t be shocked if they wander off on their own investigative adventure, only to show back up hours later as if nothing happened.

What’s in store for Scorpio Dogs in November?

Venus will treat these pups well in November. The planet well be positioned to provide positive and affectionate energy to these typically more passive creatures – you won’t be seeing much of the loner tendencies they often exhibit. They’ll be very interested in anything that comes their way. If we see our first snowfall this month, they will be the first to rush out and run through all of the white powder.

As the month goes on, the positive energy will continue. However, Venus will eventually situate with Jupiter and Uranus – this alignment will focus the joyful energy on more earthly pleasures rather than just an overall feeling of harmony. It would be a good time to stock up on their favorite treats, favorite type of toy, or their favorite type of dog food; this is the time they’ll appreciate it most.

Zodiac Comments

~Magickal Graphics~


Sagittarius Dogs

The happy-go-lucky energy displayed by Scorpio dogs this month is the norm for Sagittarius pooches. They have boundless energy and are always ready to play or go on an outdoor adventure. Whether it’s chasing their tail, playing a game of fetch, or just running around outside – this pup has plenty of pent-up energy to burn.

With that being said, Sagittarius dogs need to feel like they are “free” at times. Going to a fenced in area (or not fenced in if your dog is trained and you’re confident he/she won’t run away) and just letting them run around is a liberating and positive experience for this pooch. Just be careful; while they’re off running around, they’re far more prone to accidents and tend to get injured more frequently. Just keep extra close watch on them to help prevent your Sagittarius dog’s abundance of energy from getting the best of him.

What’s in store for Sagittarius Dogs in November?

Unfortunately, Sagittarius dogs aren’t getting as much love from the planets as Scorpio canines – at least in the first part of November. Mercury and Venus will be positioned so that their ability to express sentiment will be hindered. Many signals will get misconstrued and it will leave them frustrated, sad, and lonely. It’s important to be patient with these pups during this time, and be sure to carve out extra time to spend time with them. Whether it be walks in the park, cuddles on the couch, or simply just hanging outside with them – the extra effort won’t go unnoticed.

Fortunately, the tension will be lifted in the second part of November and these pooches will be more able to embrace their normal happy, exuberant feelings. If you can get through the first part of the month, the rest will go very smoothly.

While the cloud of the Mercury retrograde has lifted, there are still always some uncertainties from the planets’ influences. Luckily, you can gain additional insights into what is in store for your furry friend and call a phone psychic or chat with an online psychic from Psychic Source!

From Dakota’s Den:This is a sponsored post. I received compensation to feature it.  I LOVE Psychic Source anyway, (I  have always been interested in psychics and astrology for entertainment 


Dog Horoscopes For Libra and Scorpio-October 2014

dakota fortune teller

Like their human counterparts, dogs’ behaviors and experiences are influenced by the stars and can be analyzed with a proper astrology forecast; and October is looking to be quite the month for all signs of the zodiac. Mercury is in retrograde, a sun and moon eclipse will occur, and a lot of other planetary movements will make this one for the books.

Fortunately, Psychic Source consulted top pet psychics to help provide more insight with what is to come. Seeing as October is the month of Libra and Scorpio, we will focus on pups born under these signs.

Zodiac Comments

~Magickal Graphics~


Libra Dogs

The most important thing to a Libra dog is to be around others – human or animal. They want to relate and make friends with everyone, partially because they desperately crave attention. None of this typically comes from a bad place, however. These pups want nothing more than for everyone to be happy and harmonious. (That is the air sign in them!) Yet, some of this desire can lead to a nervous nature. If their usual routine is upset and they don’t get what they need, it can lead to misbehavior. (From Dakota’:Hmmm…my Mom is a Libra, does this count for HUMANS too!? BOL!)

Libra dogs would do best in a household with other animals and/or when at least one person is always around. Be sure to socialize these pooches because a walk in the dog park is a dream date for them. If you do everything right, you have a loyal and very loving companion by your side for life.

What’s in store for Libra Dogs in October?

The dramatic planetary alignments of October provide a very uncertain month for these pooches. Venus will be in Libra, and it will make these attention seeking pups even more in need of love and affection; the energy of Venus will also make them much better at getting what they want. However, the Moon eclipse and the Great Trine formed between Mars, Jupiter, and Uranus provide a variety of possibilities for what could be.

Luckily, the latter formation has a better chance to be a positive influence. Nonetheless, this influx of contradicting energy can cause stress for these poor pups. Be sure to give them the attention they desire and provide as much love as possible. With your help, the tides could turn in their favor!

Zodiac Comments

~Magickal Graphics~

Scorpio Dogs

Unlike the Libra dog, Scorpios are much more of the loner of the pack. They are very independent and like to do things their way – which often makes them very stubborn and difficult to train. Their personal world is where they like to stay and trying to force them to adhere to our requirements might make them upset.

On the contrary, once a Scorpio dog learns to trust you, it is a loyal bond for life. Deep down all they want is a home, however that doesn’t mean they still won’t retreat into their own personal world from time to time. Owners of Scorpio dogs should take care to keep a close eye in outdoor adventures otherwise you might find your pup running off.

What’s in store for Scorpio Dogs in October?

Venus will have quite the opposite effect on Scorpio dogs in October. It will be in their 12th house, which means it suggests isolation and misinterpretations of situations at the worst — or nothing positive nor negative at best. Your loner pup may pull away from you more, even if his or her place in your house has been established. It’s important you do everything you can to show your pooch that you care – get their favorite treats, play with their favorite toy, or ideally bring them on a hike or other long adventure.

Fortunately, closer to the end of the month, a Sun eclipse will occur and will brighten the effect Venus is providing. This will lead to a burst in energy and attitude.

The theme for both signs this month is a lot of uncertainty, as well as both positive and negative extremes. If you’d like to get a bit more in-depth with your dog, you can also always can call a phone psychic or chat with an online psychic from Psychic Source!


From Dakota’s Den:This is a sponsored post. I received compensation to feature it.  I LOVE Psychic Source anyway, (I  have always been interested in psychics and astrology for entertainment 








Dog Treats & Jingle Toys Encourages Pet Adoption-A Guest Blog By Aubree Sweeney



Adopting a pet is one of the most rewarding things you can do, not only for the pet but, for yourself. I can speak from experience when I say rescue pets positively impact our lives, in not only a physical, but also an emotional way.  I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again, if it wasn’t for Jake and She-Ra, my two rescue pets, I simply wouldn’t be me.

I'm A Rescue

When you adopt, you’re not just saving one pet. You’re making room for another at the shelter or rescue. That’s two lives and you have a new best friend.  Sounds like a great deal to me! For me, and many out there, adoption is and will always be the only choice.  Sadly, according to Best Friends Animal Society, less than 20% of pets in homes are rescues.  It’s high time for that to change.  The worst part is, despite countless campaigns, the general public is often times still misinformed about homeless pets.


The Top Two Reasons Why People Don’t Adopt


1. I’m only interested in a specific breed/purebred.

2. If the pet’s in a shelter there’s surely some sort of behavioral issue.


First, 10-15% of shelter pets are purebreds and to top that off, there are countless breed specific rescues. Northern Plains Boxer Rescue is one of my favorites. My boxer brother Cappy was adopted through them about two years ago.


As for number two: Really? It’s the homeless pets fault he or she is homeless? Pets in shelters, more often than not, are there because of circumstances out of their control; the family moves, owner health issues, divorce. In short, people problems.


After a short stint of feeling helpless over the plight of homeless pets, I decided I was going to do something about it.  Armed with a pen, She-Ra swatting at it, and Jake sleeping on my feet, I began writing about our day to day, silly memories and what not.  Swiftly, those scribblings turned into Dog Treats & Jingle Toys.

E1 Everyone

Dog Treats & Jingle Toys is a comedy web-series, which we believe will encourage pet adoption. The story follows a young woman who has recently adopted her first pet, a senior lab-mix from a shelter.  The show is not just amusing. It also introduces viewers to an adoptable pet at the end of each episode. Our mentality about the project is, if we can get one pet adopted we’ve succeeded.  As of today, the pets featured in episode one and two have both found their forever homes!

E2 Shelter


Enjoy Our First Episode!


Our third episode airs this Tuesday! 

In addition, we’re also running  “Share Your Pet’s Adoption Story” through our website.  We believe through sharing stories of the pawsitive inspiration pets bring to our world, we can encourage pet adoption and save lives. If you’re interested in sharing your pet’s story, you can submit via our Facebook Page, the contact form on our website, or email us directly.




Travel Tips for Your Dog-Guest Blog By Paris Permenter and John Bigley



If the winter weather has you daydreaming about planning a getaway, don’t feel that your fun can’t include Fido! Traveling with your dog can fetch a lifetime of memories without unleashing potential travel problems. The key to successful travel with your dog, like any kind of travel, is to plan and prepare.

Tiki in Car

Tiki in Car

We frequently travel with our large mixed breed dogs, Irie and Tiki. This past year, we put in thousands of miles traveling Texas to research and write our new guidebook on Lone Star State dog travel. Although we had spent 20 years on the road as guidebook writers, this was our first guidebook with our dogs along for the ride. We quickly learned some important lessons:


paris-tiki-irie-beach (1)

Research Your Stops. With two dogs each weighing over 60 pounds, we learned that “dog friendly” doesn’t always translate into “big dog friendly”! We learned to check the weight restrictions as well as breed restrictions. Our Tiki is part American Bulldog; although most hotels would never guess her lineage, we don’t want to support properties that have breed restrictions. If you have a pit bull-type dog, also research breed-specific legislation (BSL) as you plan your journey to make sure your dog’s breed isn’t prohibited at any destinations along the route.




Prepare for Cleanup. Let’s face it: messes happen. We’re always ready with our cleanup kit of paper towels, plenty of poop bags, and a cleaning product like Rug Doctor Spot & Stain Remover. We’re happy to say we’ve never lost a hotel deposit. (And, yes, this included the time Tiki returned to the hotel to vomit after eating a live crab on the beach.) Although your dog’s housetraining may be flawless at home, the scent of previous four-legged guests and other factors may lead to a dog mess.


Travel with Food and Water. Your dog’s food may take up some additional room in the luggage but the trade-off is well worth the space. Traveler’s diarrhea isn’t just a human ailment! If you have an extended trip in one location, consider a food delivery to your hotel or vacation house.


Buckle up. Just as with children, always buckle up furry family members in the car. Both of our dogs wear Kurgo harnesses and are buckled in during our journeys. With the safety harness, we know that they are secure in case of an accident. Also, they’re not distracting us by trying to come up into the front seat during the trip, and, once we stop, we can open the car without worrying about an excited dog jumping out before we’re ready.


Make a Pre-Trip Vet Visit. If you’ll be crossing state lines or flying with your dog, talk with your veterinarian about the Certificate of Veterinary Inspection and any other paperwork required by your destination. If your dog isn’t already microchipped, your veterinarian can chip your dog (a quick and easy process) and you can register the microchip number to identify your dog if he should become lost. Not only do we carry our dogs’ microchip numbers but we also carry an extra copy of our dogs’ immunization records.


Play Tag. Even if your dog wears a dog tag, now’s the time to create a second tag with your cell phone number. If you have a high-tech QR tag, you can go into your record to add additional numbers like your hotel, veterinarian, or a family member back home. We also have a Tagg unit, a GPS tag, on our dogs so, in case a dog is ever lost, we can track her on our smartphones.


Plan for Dog Fun. Don’t just bring along your dog on vacation; make your dog a participant in the fun with stops at dog parks, beaches, and lakes along the way. On the road, we plan a quick stop every two hours; not only does it help our dogs burn off energy but it also makes us safer drivers!




Carry the Scent of Home. Whether a blanket, a doggie duvet, or just a plush toy, bring along the scent of home for time on the road and for your hotel stay.


Plan for the Unplanned. Although we always hope we won’t need an emergency veterinarian on a trip, we make a quick online search to compile a list not only of veterinarians but also of boarding facilities at our destination in case we should become ill and need help. Packing a simple dog first aid kit also helps with minor issues along the way.


A little bit of pre-trip planning can help you and your dog have fun on your getaway, enjoying time together in a new environment and bringing home precious memories. After all, that’s what a family vacation is all about, right?




About the Authors: Paris Permenter and John Bigley are professional travel writers and the authors of over 30 travel guidebooks. The husband-wife team recently authored DogTipper’s Texas with Dogs, a full-color guidebook on the most dog-friendly destinations in the Lone Star State. Paris and John publish; Paris also hosts the weekly Dog Travel Experts radio show on Radio Pet Lady Network.



#Astrology Reading-Pisces #Dog and #Libra Mom

FROM DAKOTA’S DEN: I have always enjoyed reading about Astrology and I view it as being entertaining and fun, and by no means use it to predict the future. I just love reading about characteristics of signs and about how compatible they are with other signs, so I was delighted when I was contacted by my new friend Sunny, asking if she could do an astrological reading for Dakota and I.

 You will find her guest post below, enjoy!

Dakota and I march 2011

There is nothing quite like the bond between a pet parent and their pooch! Sometimes, it’s just meant to be when two souls meet — whether they walk on two legs or four. Some beautiful “fur”riendships seem to be written in the stars.

Sometimes it’s fate. Others, it’s just a happy coincidence when a pet parent meets their fur baby. However, once they’re in each other’s lives, there is an unbreakable bond between the two — no matter how many pairs of shoes are chewed up in the process.

Today, we’re going to take a look at how well Caren and her BFF (Best Furiend Forever) Dakota match up in terms of their astrological signs. We’ll take a look at both Caren and Dakota’s individual sun signs, as well as how well they mesh together on the astrological wheel. Let’s dive in, shall we?

Libra: A Lover Not a Fighter

Born on October 20, Caren is a Libra. By nature, Libras are lovers and not fighters — which may have something to do with the fact that the sign’s ruling planet is Venus. Represented in the cosmos by the constellation of The Scales, Libra is able to balance a great many things — home, family, career … or a multi-pet household!  In addition to having a strong sense of fairness, justice, and diplomacy, Libras have the uncanny ability to charm the pants off of anybody — man, woman or (not-so-beastly) beast.

On the flip side, Libras do have some issues with making decisions. Their love of beauty and general joie de vivre can sometimes distract them from the tasks at hand and make coming to a decision  (Hey! Look! A Squirrel!!) difficult. Their relaxed, go-with-the-flow nature — all part of the Libra charm — also makes Libra a bit of a procrastinator.

dakota astrology

Pisces: Sensitive Souls

Dakota was born on February 28, under the astrological sign of Pisces. Pisces are one of the most sensitive signs of the zodiac and have an almost preternatural sense of knowing when something is wrong. They’re good-hearted dreamers who are loyal to a fault. Once a Pisces takes a liking to you, they will go to great lengths to give of themselves for your benefit. (Yes. They may even want to share their favorite squeaky toy with you.)

While thoughtful Pisces can be a great friend, they do get a little lazy and can be a bit of a Debbie Downer  at times. They look for the best in others, but when things go sour, their sensitive nature makes them take any (perceived or real) slight very personally and it can be hard to pull them up out of the dumps afterward.

Dakota kissing me!

Libra / Pisces Compatibility

Libra and Pisces make for a magical pairing. They do have a lot in common. They’re both laid-back individuals who love to take — and enjoy! — life at an even keel. Due to the slightly indecisive nature of both signs, in order for things to get done, one half of the dynamic duo will need to take the lead and call the shots. Libra’s balanced nature can help pull Pisces back from the brink when they get too down-in-the-mouth and Pisces’ strong imaginative streak can add an element of whimsy, play and joy to Libra’s life.

In short: These two signs are made for each other! If you’re wondering how you and your pet match up, feel free to reach out to Psychic Source and find out if the stars are aligned for your furry pals.