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Thanks to All Who Helped Us Celebrate VIVA LOS MUTTS

Thanks to All Who Helped Us Celebrate VIVA LOS MUTTS

Okay, at long last we’ve recovered, and we can definitively say: that was a party. Every year, our Moolah for Mutts event is bigger and better than the last, and this year – well, this year was spectacular. If we do say so ourselves. “Thanks” barely begins to express our gratitude for the hard work, generous contributions, and all-around great spirit that made the party fantastic.

The DJ was spinning, auctioneer Lenny was auctioning, our caterers were serving and our bartenders were mixing. Volunteers worked days to turn Terra Gallery into a Viva Los Mutts paraíso, and to make the night run smoothly from beginning to end.

Everybody has their own list of favorite moments, but here are a few that we’ll remember for a long time to come:
- Those potent Mutthattans
- The CRAZY bidding on a week at an incredible Lake Tahoe house
- The super cool Viva Los Mutts look that designer Marie Macaspac created with illustrator Palina Klimava
- Auctioneer Lenny Broberg offering up his house – with Donna Sachet in a French maid’s outfit – for a complete dinner for 8
– Sesame noodles, yum
- The photo booth accessories
- Spike running around like he owned the joint.

There’s lots more, of course, but a few pictures are worth more than our words.

Special thanks to photographer Holly Hickman for the great photos.

A highlight of the evening was when Muttville brought cheers and tears to the audience with its video presentation, UNADOPTABLE, shot and edited by Jane Goldman.

Again, thanks to all who contributed time, money, and energy to Moolah and made it an unequivocal success.

mariem3 | 10.15.13 | 0 comments

Adopted Mutts! September 16 - 29

Adopted Mutts! September 16 - 29

Big congrats to these very happy senior mutts who found forever homes! (S4S indicates the dog was adopted through our Seniors For Seniors Program.)

Alvin
BooBoo
Willy
Zorro
Jackson
Rosemary Clooney
Winston
Milo (S4S)
Boogie (S4S)
Dalia
Helena (S4S)
Nandi (S4S)
Maple
Pappi
Cole
Payton
Vince (S4S)
Elliot (S4S)
Hilda
Maury
Stevie Nicks
Jacques (S4S)
Harrison
Aiden
Babybaa
Clarissa
Obie
Bentley
Frosty


To see the profiles of these lucky mutts, visit the Recent Adoptions section of our Mutts page.


Every dog adopted means another life we can save.
There’s a perfect senior waiting for you!
Click here to see all of our mutts.

You can help create many more new beginnings!
Adopt. Foster. Volunteer. Donate.

mariem3 | 09.30.13 | 1 comment

Success Story "Rocky Raccoon"

Success Story "Rocky Raccoon"

We have both a happy and sad tale to share. Thank you to mutt mom Pam for sharing the story of Rocky Racoon, who recently crossed over the Rainbow Bridge earlier this month. Our hearts go out to Pam and her family. Thank you Pam for giving Rocky a wonderful life!

Rocky was one of the first dogs to be adopted in the Senior For Seniors program. He was adopted as a companion for my father who suffered from Alzheimer’s disease. My father passed away in early May 2013 and Rocky passed away one month later from congestive heart failure. Rocky was adored by many of the staff and the residents of Spring Lake Village in Santa Rosa. He was a true gift to our family and all the people who knew him.

With love,

Pam Rosell


Are you the proud parent of a Muttville dog? Send us your story! Include 3 of your favorite photos and send to success_stories@muttville.org with the subject line ‘Success Story’.


You can help create many more new beginnings!
Adopt. Foster. Volunteer. Donate.

mariem3 | 09.25.13 | 0 comments

Adopted Mutts! September 1 - 16

Adopted Mutts! September 1 - 16

Big congrats to these very happy senior mutts who found forever homes! (S4S indicates the dog was adopted through our Seniors For Seniors Program.)

Gabe (S4S)
Precious
Niner
Flora (S4S)
Mugsy (S4S)
Christy
Leo
Sweetie Pie
Buttercup
Elvis
Tito
Pepe
Rose (S4S)
Daisy (S4S)
Pappy
Edgar (S4S)
Denise (S4S)
Rambo
Lacy
Wally
Willa
Stevie Nicks
Maple
Juno


To see the profiles of these lucky mutts, visit the Recent Adoptions section of our Mutts page.


Every dog adopted means another life we can save.
There’s a perfect senior waiting for you!
Click here to see all of our mutts.

You can help create many more new beginnings!
Adopt. Foster. Volunteer. Donate.

mariem3 | 09.16.13 | 3 comments

The Laying on of Paws: How Animals Heal Us, Installment I

The Laying on of Paws: How Animals Heal Us, Installment I

contributed by Licensed Therapist and Mutt mom, Laura Goodspeed, MFT

You’ve had a long and horrific day at work: you screwed up a major assignment, the boss was an even bigger jerk than usual, and some creep – probably Drew from marketing, who you hate anyway – stole your lunch from the fridge, and then traffic on the Bay Bridge was horrendous for no discernible reason, making the trip home absolutely interminable. Just as you are parking your car, you get an angry phone call summoning you to your child’s school at the crack of dawn tomorrow morning, regarding some less than wholesome activity your darling spawn was careless enough to get recorded on the school’s video surveillance system. It’s just too much… it’s far too much. The mailbox contains a past due notice, and as you attempt to open the door to your apartment, the lock sticks horribly, because the landlord still hasn’t replaced it after the attempted break-in last month. Tears are forming in your eyes, and you are suppressing ten thousand screams. You’re ready to call into work permanently sick, send the kid to military school, and crawl under the covers indefinitely.

And then she comes running. Her tail a yellow blur, streaking like a shooting star, a goofy doggie smile exposing her soggy pink tongue, her big brown eyes bulging with unmitigated merriment. Completely unable to contain her elation, she embarks on a lap around the living room, dancing and yelping, clearing a Herculean leap over the cat, who is yawning and stretching lazily atop the ottoman. As you set down your bags, the pup hurls herself into your arms and licks the tears as they pour freely down your face. You begin to laugh in spite of everything that is awful and terrible and unfair. Just as the canine storm is breaking, you feel a luxurious, silky warmth rubbing against both your ankles, and as you flop onto the sofa, your feel pointy little kitty paws climb onto your lap, accompanied by a fervent purring sound, like the rotor on an approaching rescue helicopter.

While Fido hasn’t made your boss into a decent human being, and all of Fluffy’s charm cannot keep your ill-behaved offspring from serving a lengthy sentence in detention, something has most definitely shifted. Suddenly, nothing is really that bad, none of this unpleasantness is actually going to destroy you. You know, once again, that you are loved, adored, needed and wanted; that you are valued, infinitely, and exactly as you are. These two (or six, in my case) small beings have restored your faith, reminded you of what really matters in your life, and placed into perspective all the mundane tribulations of daily living.

Although an anecdotal interaction, this type of equation – “lousy day + affirming presence of companion animals = shift in perspective and a vastly improved outlook on life” – so familiar to pet lovers, actually represents something of an intra-cranial micro-healing. In recent decades, neurologists and other researchers have identified many of the biologic processes that are behind this beneficial phenomenon many of us know better as “Pet Therapy.” Using magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) studies and positron emission tomography scans (“PET” scans, aptly named for this particular line of study), researchers have been able to pinpoint multiple observable changes in neurotransmission in the brain, which is the source of all our emotional states. What is actually happening inside our brains and bodies to bring about such a profound alteration in mental state? (Warning: NERD ALERT!)

To begin with, an interaction with a friendly animal causes a decrease in epinephrine (also known as adrenaline) and norepinephrine, both of which are “activating” chemicals, produced by the adrenal gland, part of the human endocrine system that controls hormone production and distribution. The decrease in these two hormones causes diminished feelings of anxiety and agitation. (Poof! There goes the boss’s tirade.) Contrarily, an interaction with a non-friendly animal, such as a snarling mother bear protecting her cubs, would create a sharp increase in these same chemicals, initiating the “fight or flight” response we experience in the face of danger. (Hence, your desire to hide under your desk during your boss’s verbal onslaught.) The pituitary gland, also part of the endocrine system, comes to the feel-good party as well. This gland releases endorphins, which are naturally-occurring peptides, similar in chemical structure to opiate painkillers, like morphine, which have the known side effect of creating feelings of euphoria. (What traffic?!) Pituitary functioning is also responsible for the presence of the hormone oxytocin, which is widely known for its role in augmenting feelings of love and closeness during the bonding process between infants and their caretakers, as well as between new lovers. (Aww, your son is really a good kid most of the time… and Drew was probably just really hungry.) Similarly, the pineal gland jumps in to the joyful fray to contribute serotonin, which is the mood enhancing neurotransmitter that is acted upon by the class of anti-depressant medications known as SSRIs (Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors), such as Prozac, Paxil and Lexapro, which have been increasingly used in the treatment of mood disturbances such as depression and bi-polar disorder since the mid-1980s.

This is just some of what is happening inside your brain and body, when you come home from that very bad day, and your four-legged friends greet you at the door, making it all so much better. This innate ability to ease our emotional distress is but one of the many life-changing gifts dogs and cats (as well as birds, bunnies, reptiles and rodents) bring to our existence. And this is part of why Pet Therapy is gaining in popularity all over the world, as a means to promote both emotional and physical well being in human communities. In future blog entries, I will explore additional aspects of the healing power of life with our animal companions. Stay tuned.

And if you are in need of some human to human healing, please join us at Muttville headquarters at 225 Alabama St. in San Francisco, for our Mutt Guardians Support Group, which occurs on the first Friday and third Sunday of each month. This is a therapist-led, community-based support group in which we discuss the painful (as well as joyful!) aspects of doing animal rescue work and fostering, as well as the vicissitudes of life with companion animals, including illness and bereavement. There is no cost to participate, no registration necessary (drop-ins welcome!) and all members of the Muttville community are welcome. Please call Laura Goodspeed, MFT, at 415-948-6444 or email info@muttville.org for more information.

Laura Goodspeed is a licensed psychotherapist with a private practice in San Francisco, working with adults, adolescents and couples. In addition to trauma-related disorders and recovery from substance abuse, Laura specializes in grief and loss issues, including bereavement of human and non-human family members. Her life and her therapeutic work are immeasurably enriched by the healing presence of Dexter, an elder Pomeranian originally adopted from Muttville.

Contact Laura at 415-948-6444 or visit Laura’s website for more information.

mariem3 | 09.12.13 | 0 comments

September is Muttville's Young Heroes Month - Meet Harmonee Ross

September is Muttville's Young Heroes Month - Meet Harmonee Ross

Every week in September, we are featuring our youngest animal advocates. We call them Muttville’s Young Heroes. They have gone above and beyond to support Muttville’s mission. We are very proud to share their stories. We hope you enjoy them!

This week’s Young Hero: Harmonee Ross!

Harmonee’s introduction to Muttville started with her teacher, Kate Klaire. Kate is a Muttville volunteer and mom to Muttville Success Story Hendrick. She first introduced her class at The Berkeley School to Muttville when she brought to class her foster dog named Willa.

Willa’s visit to Muttville made a tremendous impact on Harmonee. She researched all she could to learn more about Muttville and decided she wanted to do more to be a part of Muttville’s senior dog cause.

Enjoy this video to learn about the story of this week’s Muttville Young Hero, Harmonee Ross – and be inspired!

mariem3 | 09.10.13 | 4 comments

September is Muttville's Young Heroes Month - Meet Ellie and Maddie

September is Muttville's Young Heroes Month - Meet Ellie and Maddie

Every week in September, we are featuring our youngest animal advocates. We call them Muttville’s Young Heroes. They have gone above and beyond to support Muttville’s mission. Each featured story is written by the young heroes themselves. We are very proud to share their stories. We hope you enjoy them!

This week’s Young Heroes: Ellie & Maddie!

Happily Ever After:…because it’s never too late for a new beginning

by Maddie Wall and Ellie Nelson

Ding dong. “Hello, we’re raising money for Muttville, a senior dog rescue that finds homes for dogs seven years or older, would you like to donate any money or take a flyer?” This is usually the first thing we say when people open the door during our fundraising for Muttville.

Hi, our names are Maddie Wall and Ellie Nelson. After Ellie’s grandma, Suzanne, adopted Ginger- a sweet, small, and ginger colored twelve year old dog from Muttville- we began to become interested in what we could do to find homes for other helpless dogs. We knew that raising money would be helpful because it is impossible to run anything without money, and Muttville, being a non-profit organisation, especially needed people to lend a hand. The first time we went fundraising we only made about eleven dollars,and five of it was money we put in ourselves. It was slightly discouraging, but we had a great time. The next time we went fundraising was around Maddie’s house, but this time we raised around fifty dollars! We were so happy that we were able to donate the money and we even met some people with dogs from Muttville while we were going door to door, and after sending the money back to Muttville, we were surprised to receive a letter from Sherri Franklin, the person behind the whole organization, thanking us for our help.

Muttville has changed our lives, and has made us realize that if you give people a little push, they will be generous and donate, but they won’t just magically know about something if they aren’t told about it. This is an amazing organisation that helps those old dogs that would never find a home get a loving family. We were able to be part of this process of finding people to take care of these dogs at a shop that was rented around Christmas time in San Francisco. At the shop we were able to show off the Muttville dogs to the people walking by, which was really interesting because it was during the annual San Francisco Santa convention. While there, we met many of the people and dogs who make Muttville possible. What we do doesn’t just help the dogs, we also feel very privileged to be part of such a great thing, and how many other children get to save dogs from high-kill shelters? Not many.

We have helped Muttville for about three years now, and continue to do so. Many dogs have come and gone, a lot have been adopted, and more are being saved. Muttville has saved over 1000 dogs so far and will not be stopping anytime soon. Thanks to Muttville, many dogs who were sentenced to death at the pound now live happily in homes around the bay area. Muttville has recently opened a headquarters in San Francisco, that we, and hopefully everybody, will be visiting soon.

mariem3 | 09.04.13 | 1 comment