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Smokey hangs out in the East Bay

Smokey hangs out in the East Bay

A few days after picking up Smokey and posting him all over my facebook, I received a mesasge from one of our grant writers saying that she, her lovely wife, breathtaking pit bull and kitty-kat would like to meet Smokey.

Oooh my Smoke, so soon? Sometimes it happens this way. Sometimes the dance lasts months – sometimes it lasts days.

We met at my local dog park, me and the girls and the pit bull (not the cat). Everyone was on their best behavior, no problems, easy peasy, lemon squeezy. They picked up Smokey the next day and have had him for a few days. Now they’re on their 2 week trial.

Did you know that Muttville offers a 2 week trial period? This is where you take home a dog that you’re interested in for 2 weeks, and if at any point during that period you realize that the pup is not a match for your lifestyle or household, you can return him. We want to work together with you to find your perfect match. We know you’ve come to Muttville to find your companion, and we want to play matchmaker.

Often this trial period is the most important for other animals in the house. In Smokey’s case, we just want to make sure that mutt, pit bull and cat all get along.

So far so good! Here’s Smokey, who now goes by “Smoke$” (because he lives in Oakland) practicing his model pose. Check out how attractive his legs look in this one! I need a picture of me like that.

AliG | 04.30.10 | 1 comment

He's not sensitive - he's an artist

He's not sensitive - he's an artist

I picked up Smokey from Sherri’s house this past Tuesday.

I had read his profile on the Muttville website before meeting him, which described him as senstive. I was prepared for whatever that meant.

In practice, it meant he sat obediently but nervously in the car on the ride back to my house, and avoided eye contact at all costs. It meant he didn’t eat for almost 2 days. It meant that he clung to everything – me, the walls, the couch.

After a few days of my routine, which involves a walk in the morning, me going to work from 9-5, coming home and going to my local dog park for a real romp, Smokey and I were a pretty bonded pair. He stayed tightly at my heel off-leash. He came to me when I called him at the dog park (ah, the benefits of a senior dog, they know some manners!). He still seemed “sensitive”... shy, subdued, introverted. But every day he was better, less tense, more sure that I was there to help, more confident to spread out on the couch rather than curl up tightly in a ball.

A friend of mine had the opportunity to meet Smokey on Tuesday night when he first came to live with me, and then came over again today, 5 days later, for a walk to the ice cream store.

“Does he seem better?” I asked. “I feel he is better. But he is very sensitive.”

And my friend laughed, “He’s not sensitive – he’s an artist!”

Oh… how right he was. And how perfectly this fits into what I’ve been trying to share with you.

Smokey is an artist. The way in which he engages with life is art. Smokey is like an art gallery – he changes, he grows, he adapts to what his audience needs, he blossoms, he flowers.

This is true for all Muttville dogs. They are little walking art projects, and while we can mold some behaviors, each of them is a living, breathing artwork to be cherished and admired. Some of us are art collectors – some of us have just one piece.

Adopt a dog today – because you are an artist as well. The medium here is love.

AliG | 04.26.10 | 4 comments

The ripple effect

The ripple effect

Most days, we continue on with our lives as if nothing astounding is happening, and yet there is complete and utter magic occuring all around us.

Every day at Muttville I am humbled to watch the gifts that people bring to the table – the gift of shelter, the gift of food, the gift of time, the gift of gab! I am honored to be present to people who open their homes, wallets, calendars and efforts to make Muttville work.

In the past month, I’ve watched more than one volunteer who, having opened heart, soul and home to a old dog, had to help that dog go to sleep forever. I’ve gratefully accepted food donations, which enable me to open my home to a dog I wouldn’t otherwise be able to feed. I’ve connected new friends with our hard-working fundraising committee, helping to build a reserve of funds for food, veterinary care and outreach efforts.

I’m still stuck on the idea of Muttville as an ongoing art project, and life as art. What we do is part of the circle of life – every action you take to assist Muttville in its growth has a ripple effect. I am personally affected by everything everyone does.

Today I picked up a new foster dog (I do still want to tell you about Cuddles, my last foster dog, so stay tuned). The volunteer who had driven to Santa Cruz to collect my new foster Smokey was still at Sherri’s house, cleaning and doing dishes. Her effort, which she insisted was so small, brought a sweet, loving dog into my home. And my relationship with him, 5 hours later, is art. We are making eye contact, we’re sitting close, we are connecting, and connection is the meaning of life. We are connected to each other, to dogs, to food, to the couch, to the world around us.

This week I feel connected to everyone who does something at Muttville. I appreciate it.

This week is National Volunteer Appreciation Week. Please know that everything you have volunteered has benefitted Muttville, and we appreciate it.

Photo courtesy of Mark Rogers Photography

AliG | 04.20.10 | 1 comment

On the road again!!

On the road again!!

What a weekend! Saturday Duboce Park and Sunday Mill Valley. These pups are pooped! Our volunteers are pretty tired, too. But what a job they did, with big smiles.

We had so much excitement in Mill Valley today, as you can see from the photo, the little ones can barely keep their eyes open.

Very possible that we have 2 new adoptions in the works from today’s event. Mill Valley is a very dog-friendly place, we look forward to the 3rd Sunday of the month there! Our big dogs get lots of attention there, they love big happy dogs. And little lap warmers, too.

sherri | 04.18.10 | 2 comments

Enjoying the sun at Dogfest in Duboce Park

Enjoying the sun at Dogfest in Duboce Park

Tonton, Beegee and Smokey enjoying a snooze in the sunshine today.

Muttville had loads of visitors, our dogs were admired by many, we are hoping for great adoptions!

Perfect weather, great dogs and friendly people, an all-around wonderful day!

sherri | 04.17.10 | 0 comments

Howie and Rafie Rafelson met at Muttville

Howie and Rafie Rafelson met at Muttville

Howie (left in photo) arrived at Muttville last week and needed a foster home pronto.

This sweet, neglected boy has been diagnosed with heartworm – which we will treat – but this hasn’t stopped him from making a new friend.

Rafie, the resident dog at the foster home, can be very picky about making friends and doesn’t care for his own kind too much, but he fell in love with Howie. Check them out. After 3 days together, they are inseparable!

Howie is looking for a home to call his own. He is an adorable muppet german shep mix, about 10 yrs old. He is very easy and gentle and would like to live in a calm environment.

sherri | 04.14.10 | 0 comments

A true animal lover, Trudy Mohr will be missed

A true animal lover, Trudy Mohr will be missed

Rachel Macias’s grandmother was a real friend to animals. Her family also share their love and help out at Muttville everyday. What a lovely human she was. Here is her obit.

Gertrude M. Mohr

Born in Brooklyn, New York on June 13, 1913, Gertrude “Trudy” Mohr died on April 8, 2010, at her home in Half Moon Bay after an illness.

Trudy grew up on Long Island and had a long and successful career with the New York Telephone Company. After retiring in 1973, Trudy moved to Half Moon Bay with her mother, Helen McCormack Bowe (deceased 1988), to be closer to her daughters and their families: Barbara Perea (Jake) of San Francisco, Judy Macias (Mois) of Moss Beach and loving grandchildren John Perea (Jessica), Daniel Macias and Rachel Macias. Also survived by her brother Ralph McCormack (Jane) of Hereford, Arizona, and many nieces and nephews. Her father and mother, James and Helen, sister Helen Arata and brother James McCormack preceded her in death. She will be greatly missed by her friends and neighbors Joan, Mary, Augie, Bev and Katie.

Throughout her life Trudy retained a lively personality, a keen wit and an interest in contemporary issues. Always open to new experiences, in 1931 she and three friends flew over the just-completed Empire State Building in a bi-plane. In her 80s she went white water rafting on the Snake River. At 90, she learned to use the computer and surf the Web. She held positions at the Cabrillo Adult School and the San Mateo County Harbor District, was a member of the Young Ladies Institute of Our Lady of the Pillar Church, a long-time volunteer at Seton Medical Center Coastside as well as the RotaCare Clinic and Sonrisas Community Dental Center. She was interested in history, politics and literature, loved to travel and listen to music, and go to Dixieland concerts. She was a special friend to animals and loved her cats Sam and Frankie, and canine companions Picket, Charlie and Max.

A funeral mass will be held at Our Lady of the Pillar Church, Half Moon Bay on Monday, April 19, at 11 a.m. In lieu of flowers donations in Trudy’s memory may be made to Muttville senior dog rescue: www.muttville.org or P.O. Box 410207, San Francisco, CA 94141

sherri | 04.14.10 | 0 comments

Family Circle

Family Circle

Muttville is featured in the May issue of Family Circle Magazine! Pages 80-86 Pick up your copy today, write in to the magazine and tell them how much you love the article!

This is a huge success for us, please tell your friends and family, and write to Family Circle, too.

Next stop Oprah, let’s get our mission out there, senior dogs rock!

AliG | 04.13.10 | 3 comments

Happy Easter

Happy Easter

When the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence (http://thesisters.org/) set out to have an Easter party, even the nastiest April showers can’t keep the crowds away.

This year’s Easter Anniversary party was held at the Eureka Valley Community Center instead of Dolores Park due to rain, but hundreds of the faithful and the observant showed up in their finest Easter frippery just the same. Easter bonnets and Hunky Jesuses galore-those nuns sure know how to party!!

One of the Sisters’ key missions is to raise money and to administer grants to scores of nonprofits throughout the Bay Area. This spring, the Sisters awarded Muttville a grant of $300. We are so proud and grateful to be supported by such a fabulous organization!

Muttville was represented by Lily, a recent Muttville adoptee, dressed in her Sunday best. She was there with her mom, Rita Long, Muttville board member. They are flanked in this photo by Sister Bambi Dextrous on the left and Sister Merry Peter on the right, with our incredible volunteer and foster mom Kay Hoskins on the far right.

Happy Easter to all!

AliG | 04.04.10 | 1 comment

Dogs in a basket

Dogs in a basket

Today I had a long day of art! Did you see the event we’re having at CCA on Easter Sunday? So cool. I prepped for it today… Adoption as Art. I love it! “Dogs are available for adoption, for the creation of an artful relationship.” Love. http://www.muttville.org/news_and_events#20100404-adoption-as-art-at-cca

I came home to this CUTE picture from one of our foster parents. This is Jolie, and the other little dog is Spidey (the foster mom’s personal dog). http://www.muttville.org/mutt/jolie

This picture is art, isn’t it? It is like a painting. It reminds me of “A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte” by Georges Seurat. Tonight I’m feeling interested in the art that is our relationship with dogs.

There is an artful dance we create with our foster dogs, a careful, heartfelt but distanced fox-trot that ends by letting in another dancer and watching your dog and their new partner float away.

I need this in my life as much as artists need art. This is my art. My relationship with dogs is art.

AliG | 04.03.10 | 0 comments

Every girl needs a white poodle

Every girl needs a white poodle

If you’ve volunteered or visited recently at Muttville Manor you may have noticed a quiet little lump of white curls. Cheyenne (http://www.muttville.org/mutt/cheyenne) is a dog that came to us with an autoimmune disorder and hasn’t been feeling like doing much but being a pretty puddle with long dancer’s legs. She hasn’t moved from her bed at all since she came to be with us. Oh little girl!

I was at Muttville earlier this week and passed by Sherri as she stroked this gorgeous, sad little dog and muttered to herself and to the dog “Every girl needs a white poodle… Every girl needs a white poodle…”

Is it true? Does every girl need a white poodle?

I went home and thought about it. And while considering it, I received an email from one of our volunteers, stating excitedly, “Hey Ali. I’ve just completed a foster application for Cheyenne. Is it too soon to start buying supplies?”

48 hours later, I received the picture you see here of Cheyenne in that new foster home, after a couple of days of receiving the love, attention and relaxation she needed.

And what I realized is that every white poodle needs a GIRL as much as a girl needs a white poodle. This dog, truly, had not sat up or smiled since she arrived at Muttville. And now look at her!

AliG | 04.01.10 | 3 comments