Dog food at your doorstep

Wouldn't it be great if you could cross just one thing off your To-Do List every month?

We've all got a million things going on in our lives, so why not make life a little easier by taking just one thing off that list for the month?

Right up front, I'm going to tell you that I didn't think that having dog food automatically sent to me on a monthly basis would be that item.

My usual routine is to wait until the bag of food gets to a certain level and then make a pet store run after work a few days before I'm going to run out. What I found out is that I'm pretty consistent when I go within a week and on top of that I'm picking up the same treats (Greenies every month, training treats every two or three months, etc.)

Enter Mr. Chewy.

They contacted me to do a review of their site, but based upon my experience, I ended up a return customer.

The site doesn't have as many categories as other sites, but that's one of it's appeals: It's easy to find the essentials for your pet. (They're focused on dogs and cats.)

First off, they're selection is better than you're going to get at your local pet store. I tested their ability to provide even the most rare dog food (at least where I live), by picking up a bag of Acana Pacifica for Dogs. Within a week of ordering, it showed up, free shipping, in a box with a variety of other goodies that I selected from among common and not so common items. Greenies, Natural Balance treats, and Flossies (twisted bully sticks) were among the other items that I picked up. All were received without a scratch on the packaged goods and no discernible settling of the contents, which was particularly impressive.

Mostly Wants Out - To An Unadoptable Dog on his Birthday

A year ago yesterday, I started a trend. It wasn't something that you'd find on the catwalks of Paris or in the sales forecast of the latest DotCom. The trend was continuing my work rescuing senior dogs. Boo Boo was the first, but when something happens once, it could just be an accident. In some ways it was. I didn't think I had it in me to care for a dog as old. Somehow it all worked out and in the end there was a promise to continue to find dogs like him and find some way to give them a bit more time in a happy home.

That's where Rusty entered the picture.

I didn't adopt him because he was "unadoptable." I did it because he had a nice face. It continues to be a face greeting me first thing in the morning and looking for some help to track down the rabbit menace. His attitude was 180 degrees different from Boo Boo. Rusty was going to be Rusty no matter what anyone else thought, whereas Boo Boo was just happy going along with anything asked of him as long as it didn't stress him out. What they both had was "the look." Just a little crinkling of the eyebrows denoting a certain anxiousness to be ready for anything.

In a day we were used to one another.
In a week and a half he had stopped being aggressive toward every other dog that we came across.
In two weeks he'd get weepy and frustrated if we couldn't meet every dog that crossed our paths.

I had been warned by his foster dad that he was a lot to handle and that if there was any problems that he'd take him back. He had already had Rusty returned twice and had been rejected by at least one rescue organization as unadoptable.

One year ago I gave a dog who some saw as friendly and many avoided due to his attitude a chance. In return I got a friend who literally has my back when I bend down to tie my shoes during our walks and when I'm a little frustrated by the world in general is ready to flop over on his back and give me that goofy upside-down grin of his that make me smile every time.

"Mostly Wants Out" refers to a comment I found in his records from one of his keepers. I don't think that Rusty can tell the future, but I do think that he always knew that there was something better out there for him and I hope in some small way I'm helping to provide that for him.

Happy Birthday Rusty!
--Your boy, 


Five Tips on Rescuing your Pet Rescue Website

... or "Don't Let Your Rescue Site Go to the Dogs." I don't need to go any further on the cliches. Do I?

It's all about making your rescue site as effective as it can be. Since older dogs are more likely to be waiting around longer, the Internet is an excellent medium for getting the word out.

I'm a technology guy by trade, but this isn't about the widgets showing slide shows or even the design of your site that matters. Instead, it's about putting your rescued dogs' best paws forward.

What do I look for when considering adopting a dog I've seen on a rescue website?

  • Rescue Stories
  • No "stale" adoption ads
  • Regular updates
  • Personality
  • Proper framing of donation information

Rescue Stories

...also frequently called "Happy Tails." These show me how effective the rescue is at finding matches that work. This includes testimonials that are done after the adoptions. An innovative rescue site manager can easily change a pet for adoption into a "Happy Tail" story by changing the Category or Label on a pet when they're adopted. This allows a site to maintain a lot of visuals about their efforts but classifies them correctly so that there are... 

No "stale" adoption ads 

I've heard recently that many of our readers have gone to adopt a dog only to find out that the dog is unavailable. Unfortunately, a lack of resources may prevent many organizations from staying on top of their website updates. Still, I'd like to push rescue coordinators to keep on top of their online packs to ensure their sites reflect dogs actively being adopted. The purpose is to not lose these unadopted dogs amidst a pack of dogs already in their forever homes.

Regular updates 

When you adopt a rescue or shelter dog, it's unclear what you're getting sometimes and how they'll adapt. Hearing about the progress that a dog is making in a foster home gives people hope that if the dog can adapt to living there, maybe they can give that dog a shot in their own home. Showing a dog's progress through some medical challenge is also a nice touch to show their resilience.


Let's be clear. I'm talking about the personality of the site here. The dog's personality should already be shining through in the pictures, videos, and descriptions of their adoption ad. The nature of the people rescuing the dogs should shine through in the content that they provide. This means a fun "About Us" page and referencing how the volunteers are each contributing their time for the dogs. I want to know that I'm doing right by the adopted pet and the exceptional people standing behind them.

Proper framing of donation information 

Rescuing dogs can be expensive. Food, treats, vet bills, shelter fees, and boarding expenses can add up. However, it's understood that rescues are looking for funds, so make sure that you've clarified how individuals can be part of your mission financially by donating food, treats, and gently used bedding.
Ultimately, it's about getting more dogs into forever homes, so if you need more time to do it the right way on the Web, call for web-savvy volunteers who can drive that part of your online adoption efforts.

Cooking Salmon and Sweet Potato Treats - SeniorPooch-Style

This is the first, I hope of many, cooking show-style videos from  

If you've had old dogs (and even many younger dogs), you know that sometimes they're going to eat pretty much anything that smells and tastes good, even if it doesn't agree with them. Now your mileage may vary, but given the all natural ingredients your chances are this is going to be a big hit with your pooch, so without further adieu I give you, Salmon and Sweet Potato Treats for Dogs:  

I'd like to thank, Jodi (Mama of Kolchak Puggle whose home on the web is for putting together such an awesome homemade recipe. I can confirm without a doubt that it's foolproof, because try as I might, even I couldn't mess this one up.  Give it a try. You won't be sorry.

Here's the recipe:

Even Big Dogs Need a Break Sometimes

It's tough being the big dog. Once you're out that door everyone expects something from you:

  • The little dogs want to play.
  • People who need to be greeted.
  • Crows to argue with.
  • Rabbits to chase.
  • ...and the other big dogs want to try and show how much bigger they are than you.
This post is dedicated to all of those big old dogs out there and hoping that no matter where they are that they always have a warm safe place that they can call home.

San Diego Shelters Showing Some Senior Dog Love

Here's a picture taken at the North County Animal Shelter in San Diego, California that speaks volumes about the thoughtfulness that they show towards our elder canine companions:

If you're in San Diego and are looking for a great dog, the North County Shelter is your best bet. You can check out their dogs (and dogs from all of the San Diego shelters) online at: Keep in mind that not all dogs have pictures yet, so if you see a breed that meets your needs, it's always best to come on down.

Thanks to our friend, Larry Abgarian, who is volunteering at the shelter and provided this picture.

"Is it Time to Say Goodbye?" - A thoughtful discourse on a difficult topic for pet owners

As precious as our senior dogs are to us, there comes a time when we need to consider euthanasia as a means to respect the quality of life that we've provided them throughout their lives. It's not an easy topic to broach, especially when you're in the midst of the process.

Timothy J. O'Brien, M.S. has put together a very thoughtful book, "Is It Time to Say Goodbye?: A Guide for Considering a Difficult Decision for your Pet" which covers the process from your first inclinations that you might be reaching the end of your dog's life through determining how to best handle what happens after it is over. The book is effective for all pets, although the author does call out that some of the medical procedures might be different for species other than dogs and cats. There are several mentions of older pets and how to best consider their needs.

This book brought up a lot of emotions about my last senior dog, Boo Boo, and I found myself going through the same reactions that I had while reading through this short (80 pages), but powerful tome.

Mr. O'Brien has obviously thought about the emotions involved, as he writes without judgement about the different emotions that come up during this difficult time. His use of a workbook-like format at key points proves an effective means for individuals going through the grieving process (including anticipatory grief) to recall how and why they're coming to the answers that they are. The most prevalent example of this is the Quality of Life Assessment Graph (QOLAG) which helps pet owners understand how their pet's quality of life is trending by asking six simple questions on a regular basis, followed up by a final question about how accurate the pet owner feels they were.