Thursday, December 10, 2009

Fur-Filled Holiday Video: December 10

And the fun just keeps on comin'! Check out Zsa Zsa the talking dog's holiday greeting. Hey, anything's possible at this magical time of the year!

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Fur Filled Holiday Video: December 9

This naughty dog obviously knew Santa was not going to bring him anything this year, so he took selection of his Christmas gift into his own paws!

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Fur-Filled Holiday Video: December 8

For our friends who celebrate the Festival of Lights... not easy to find a good doggy Hanukah video, believe me, but Mazel Tov, I did it! ENJOY!

Monday, December 7, 2009

Fur-Filled Holiday Video: December 7

This one's in honor of my new friend Lesly and her Boston baby Pippy... altho he's not the one doing the crooning! You all know the words, so sing along!

Sunday, December 6, 2009

BONUS Fur-Filled Holiday Video: December 6

WOW! I was able to catch up with the big man himself, Santa Claus, and snag this exclusive interview... find out where he gets all those puppies and kittens the kids are asking for!

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Fur-Filled Holiday Video: December 3

Dreams can come true, they can happen to you... or your dog!

In this video, Mariah Carey helps one doggy's Christmas wish come true!

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Fur-Filled Holiday Video: December 1

Team Tailwag starts my month of fur-filled holiday videos for your viewing pleasure! One a day through Christmas Day, so visit daily!
To the tune of "Rockin' Around The Christmas Tree" by Brenda Lee. ENJOY!

P.S. I hope their owners have the boys neutered so the only things dangling next year will be on the tree!

Thursday, October 29, 2009

HOWL-A-WEEN Pumpkin Treats

Here's an easy-to-prepare treat
you can prepare for your precious pooch
so he or she can join in the howliday festivities!

· 2 eggs
· 1/2 cup canned pumpkin
· 1/2 teaspoon salt
· 2 tablespoons dry milk
· 2 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
, as needed

1. Preheat oven to 350F
2. Blend eggs and pumpkin; add salt, dry milk, and flour
NOTE:you will need to mix dough with your hands… it is too stiff for an electric mixer- add water as needed to make the dough somewhat workable- the dough should be dry and stiff (don't be concerned with crumbs being left in the bowl)
3. Roll dough to ½” thick
4. Cut dough into shapes
5. Place 1" apart on an ungreased cookie sheet
6. Bake for 20 minutes on one side, then turn over and bake another 20 minutes
7. Allow cookies to cool before serving

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

HOWL-A-WEEN Safety Tip #3

Keep holiday confections… especially those that are high in sugar or contain chocolate… out of the paws of your pooch. Ingesting even small quantities can cause gastric upset, pancreatic distress, and even more dire results. Ditto for those pesky wrappers which can get caught in their throats or intestines.

Don’t want your beloved bow-wow to feel left out? Splurge on a supply of seasonally prepared treats available from local dog bakeries and boutiques. OR… check out the fast & easy recipe that will be posted on October 29 and bake up a batch of your own!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

HOWL-A-WEEN Safety Tip #2

You may think the constant stream of neighborhood children dressed as superheroes and aliens arriving at your door is cute, but your fur friends will most probably be in a heightened and perpetual state of arousal as the result of unremitting doorbell ringing and strange voices. Such unfamiliar commotion can easily cause extreme anxiety, door dashing, and perhaps an uncharacteristic nip or bite from even the most even tempered of dogs.

Do Fido or Fluffy a favor by safely secluding them in a room far removed from the hubbub of the holiday. Soothing music, a favorite chew toy, and periodic reassuring visits from their beloved family will make this year’s Halloween a REAL treat!

Monday, October 26, 2009

HOWL-A-WEEN Safety Tip #1

If you’re planning to costume your canine (oh come on, you KNOW you want to!), be sure to strike that all important balance between “adorable” and “appropriate”. Beware of those parts of the outfit that may obstruct movement, hinder breathing, or entice chewing. Ease him into the idea by practicing the dressing process and ensuing activity over the course of the days prior to Halloween; some encouraging words and extra treats might help make the process more tolerable for them.

But the bottom line is, if Fido or Fluffy look or act miserable in their holiday attire, they probably are. ‘Nuff said?

Friday, September 11, 2009

Dog Heroes of 9/11

An incredible tribute to the dog heroes of 9/11.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Beauty Is Only Fur Deep!

In my eyes, all dogs are beautiful... both inside and out. That's why I was particularly taken aback when I opened my newspaper this morning to read and see that there is actually an annual World's Ugliest Dog contest held at the Sonoma-Marin Fair in Northern California... and hoards of pet owners bring their offbeat looking canines to compete for that dubious title.

I personally would never subject my furbabies to such indignity. But then again, they are far from viable candidates! Now if there's ever a World's Most Irresistable Fur Face contest, I've got the winner, first and second runners up laying at my feet even as I type!

Well, a contest's a contest, and that means the winners have been named. Let's put our paws together for this year's World's Ugliest Mixed Breed, four year old BoxerX Pabst who's rather prominent underbite and distinctively scrunched up face was a real judge pleaser. Miss Ellie, a blind geriatric Chinese Crested Hairless earned top honors in the pedigree category.

Think YOUR dog deserves first place in a contest of any kind? Send me a picture and the title he or she should have and I'll see what I can do!

Friday, June 26, 2009


Lots of fun today when The Top Dog and Phoenix FOX10's Corey McCloskey visited one of the Phoenix companies celebrating "Take Your Dog To Work" Day! Really gave the phrase 'working your tail off' a whole new meaning!

Andrea Norman, president of marketing company Mind The Gap, had her 2-legged team members bring their 4-legged friends Lacey, Chalupa, Angel and Tracey. She acknowledged that having the furry ones at the office created a more congenial and creative environment (ideal for a marketing company... or ANY company for that matter!).

Just a reminder that one of the main reasons that Petsitters International created "Take Your Dog To Work" Day was to encourage pet adoptions. Please considering opening your heart and home to an animal (or two or three!) who needs a "woof" over its head through one of the rescue organizations in your community. There are over a hundred such groups in the Phoenix area alone; visit PACC911 for a listing of their purebred and mixed breed welfare partners. For those of you outside this area, Google the terms
  • 'adoption' or 'rescue'
  • 'dog' or 'Golden Retriever', 'Jack Russell', 'Poodle', etc.
  • and your city
Petfinder is another great online resource, as is a trip to your local shelter.

Okay, closing thought... you don't have to wait until next June's "Take Your Dog To Work" Day to enjoy all the benefits that this annual event brings. Get the tennis ball rolling by planting the seeds now for quarterly, monthly, or even weekly opportunities to spread the word about the joys of pet ownership throughout your company!

Monday, June 22, 2009

Business Goes To The Dogs... WOO HOO!

As discussed on today's Pat McMahon Show on AZ-TV Channel 13, Friday marks the nation's 11th Annual "Take Your Dog To Work" Day. For pet lovers who are chomping at the bit to participate (that would be all of you!), here are Top Dog's Top Tips to making it the funnest... and certainly furriest... work day of the year for you, your co-workers AND your canine cubicle-mate!
  1. Check with your company big dogs and pack members for pre-approval, and to see if anyone is allergic, afraid of, or opposed to you bringing your dog to work for this one special day.
  2. Pet-proof your work space: hide electrical cords & wires and secure toxic items such as correction fluid, permanent markers, etc.
  3. Dress to impress: bathe and groom your dog before its office debut.
    (In Phoenix, Villa La PAWS is offering a special deal just for this occassion; call them at 602-442-7833 or 602-588-7833)
  4. Bright eyed and bushy tailed: Be sure your dog's shots are up-to-date. If he or she appears under the weather, it's time for one of those handy dandy sick days! (Hmmm... maybe you want to follow suit?!)
  5. Canine Cumbaya: Dogs that are aggressive or overly shy should not accompany you to work. Instead, consider bringing a favorite picture of your pooch.
  6. Pack a doggie bag: include food, treats, bowls, toys, leash, paper towels, clean-up bags and pet-safe disinfectant (just in case). A portable kennel will provide your dog with privacy, comfort and your peace of mind.
  7. Is it lunch time yet? Plan your pet’s feeding times carefully.
  8. Third bush to the left: be sure to choose an appropriate area for your dog to relieve himself afterward.
  9. No K-9 kidding... not everybody flips for fur! Don't force co-workers to interact with your dog.
  10. Bye-bye bow-wow... have an early exit strategy just in case things don't work out as planned.

For additional information about "Take Your Dog To Work" Day, visit the official website or shoot me an e-mail. And I'd love to hear from those two leggeds AND four leggeds across the country who do participate.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Take Your Dog To Work... REALLY!

For any of you who have ever used the "my dog ate my report" excuse with your boss... it's time to bring the canine culprit in to face the music! Friday June 26 marks the nation's 11th Annual "Take Your Dog To Work" Day.

This beloved, non-Hallmark national howliday was created by Petsitters International in 1999 to celebrate the fabulous companions that dogs make for us two leggeds... and to encourage adoption from local animal rescue & welfare organizations. It's a once-a-year excuse to stop working like a dog, but rather to work along side one!

Of course, before you place your pooch in the passenger seat and cruise to work in the HOV lane, you'll need to get permission from your HR department. And when they shoot back a "you gotta be kidding me" stare to your sincere request, clue them in to results of the most recent APPMA survey which definitively shows that Americans believe having pets in the workplace:
  • leads to a more productive & creative environment
  • decreases absenteeism
  • helps co-workers get along better
  • improves the relationship between managers and their employees

And, something that will really get their tails waggin'...employees who bring their pets to the workplace are known to watch the clock less and work longer hours

TOMORROW: "Take Your Dog To Work" Day Etiquette

Friday, May 15, 2009

Mother's Day... Doggy Style

I just got back from my annual Mother's Day visit with Mom in Florida which, as always, separates me from my own K-9 Kids (they are so sweet... thanks to Hallmark, they sent me an e-card to remind me of how much they love me!).

And speaking of Mother's Day, I just saw a video that clearly shows a fur baby's devotion to his four legged Mom that I feel compelled to share with you... and as the commentator, Anderson Cooper, says toward the end of the piece: "How cool are dogs... dogs truly are the best!".

Anderson, I may not always agree with what you say, but this time you're preaching to the choir! Happy viewing!

Tuesday, May 5, 2009


Four Simple Steps for Being KIND To Animals:

K = Karmic:
what goes around comes around, what you give is what you'll get... studies show that those who treat animals inhumanely are more likely to ultimately abuse people!

I = Interactive:
find and pursue activities that bond and delight both you and your pets... it doesn't have to be strenuous, just fun and consistent! And remember, if your pet is overweight, YOU'RE not getting enough exercise!

N = Nutrition:
there is no one "right" food... take your pet's breed, age, and health conditions into account at all times... keep in mind that all of the above are subject to change, so keep your eyes open

D = Devotion:
pets are a lifelong commitment, they are NOT disposable! Take the time to determine what species, breed, age, and activity levels you can realistically handle (both now and in the future). And when you've got it narrowed down, remember that adoption is the best option!

Monday, May 4, 2009


Monday, 5/4

What a blast this morning on FOX10 with Corey McCloskey was! An animal lover and pet partent himself, Corey definitely had as much fun with the four-leggeds as they had with him! I tried to cram a lot of different Be Kind To Animals topics in our three brief segments but to do them justice, each should be covered in more depth. And that's just what I'll be doing through TheTopDogsBlog over the course of this week! So be sure to visit daily!

I've already had LOTS of contacts from FOX10 viewers about the fabulous summer safety products I showed & told in this morning's last segment. All of them... and a whole lot of others... are available at Travel Hounds USA at 3375 E. Shea Blvd. in Phoenix. Be sure to stop in between May 4 - May 9 for their week long Be Kind To Animals event which features lots of different fun & fur-filled activites and products. PLUS every day, a percentage of all proceeds will be donated to a different animal welfare organization!

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Bark Park Etiquette

Picture it: dozens of adorable kids joyously interacting in a beautifully landscaped fenced park with their beaming parents standing by to proudly point out their little darlings. Listen carefully: You’re bound to hear statements like “My Maggie… isn’t she just the social butterfly?” Then there’s “since he’s turned two, Petie loves playing with the other big boys”. And “Emma & Tess… play nicely and share your toys!”. Look closer: More and more, these scenes involve kids of the canine persuasion. Maggie, Petie, Emma and Tess? They’re the names of typical patrons that strain at the leash to visit the increasingly popular socialization arenas known as Bark Parks!

These manifestations of our changing society are increasing in number throughout the country. They are usually well lit to accommodate early morning and evening visits, segmented into areas for dogs of different sizes, and offer both poop pickup and water stations. While the concept seems idyllic, there are frequently issues that arise which can turn fur-filled frolic into a doggone bad experience for four-legged and two-legged alike. Bark Park visitors can help keep it happy, safe and sane by following --- and reminding others about --- these simple but important “rules” of Bark Park etiquette:

  • Be realistic about your dog’s personality and behavior. Bark Parks are not testing grounds to see IF your dog is social, or for him to “get over” a bad experience. Aggressive, anti-social, and toy-possessive dogs are not appropriate visitors; neither are unsprayed females in season.
  • All playing pooches should understand and respond to basic verbal obedience commands, especially “come”, “stay” and “no”.
  • No doubt that Bark Parks have become enjoyable social opportunities for humankind as well, but an owner’s primary responsibility is to make sure that his or her dog is behaving appropriately. Keep an eye on, and control the actions of, your dog. Excessively rough play, overt dominance posturing or deep-throated growling is not acceptable even if you are convinced that your dog “doesn’t mean anything by it”. And, just as importantly, only bring as many dogs as you can realistically handle.
  • It is inappropriate and unacceptable for anyone to leave a dog at the Park and come back for him later (for those of you squinting in disbelief, this really does happen… far too often).
  • Make sure your dog is healthy and up-to-date on vaccinations. While fun for fur kids, nose-to-nose contact, nose-to-butt introductions, and the sharing of water bowls and toys are potential breeding grounds for upper respiratory infections, viral mouth warts, and parasites.
  • If a particular dog is causing a problem, politely ask the owner to leave; if he or she won’t comply, don’t stand on ceremony… have your dog say good-bye to his poochy playmates and end that day’s visit.
  • Leave the park the way you found it. Most Bark Parks are not supervised or maintained by their city or municipality, so it is up to visitors to keep them clean and desirable to visit. All too often, visitors go home with a souvenir or two on the bottom of their shoes… or paws. Bring your own poop bags just in case the park has run out. Pick up all solid wastes and dispose of them in designated containers. And if you managed to dodge a land mine or two, be courteous and pick them up too!
The bottom line? Use common sense and respect whenever socializing your dogs. Here’s wishing you and your dogs a great day… and a Ruff Life!

Friday, January 9, 2009

Getting 2009 Off On The Right Paw

In Western culture, annual New Year’s celebrations are traditionally accompanied by well intentioned resolutions. As humans, we historically vow to lose weight, stop smoking or spend quality time with the family.

Did you ever wonder what your dog’s resolutions would be? Perhaps “I’ll stay out of the cat box”. Maybe “I’ll beg at the table less”. Or the difficult but ever popular “I’ll put paw in hand, not snout in crotch, when meeting new humans”.

My doggy daughters? Well, Cassie might very well affirm “I’ll refrain from barking at the mailman”, although this would be particularly difficult to keep since her self-esteem gets a hefty boost each time she initiates his hasty retreat (shhhh… don’t tell her he was about to leave anyway!). Dizney’s could rightly be “I’ll share my toys with my sisters” but that one would go quickly by the wayside as soon as her treasured green binky ball was involved. And Tracey's? "I'll finish one nylabone before starting another... and another... and another!" (My "the world is my oyster girl... she wants it all!).

Regardless of what our canine companion’s intentions are, there are some simple but important New Year resolutions that YOU can make on their behalf to help your four-legged family members live happy and healthy all year long.

  • Resolve to feed your dog a healthy diet. Not all pet foods are created equal, nor are they all suitable for all dogs. Puppy formulations typically have higher levels of protein than would be needed or desired for senior dogs. Some dogs are allergic to chicken or beef, hence the increase in alternative protein sources such as lamb or fish. Be sure your precious pet gets an appropriate blend of high quality protein, vegetables, fats and vitamins. Diets rich in antioxidants can reduce disease, inflammation, premature aging, and degeneration. “Human” food is often too rich in fats or sugars; emotionally difficult as it may be, deposit table scraps into the garbage pail, NOT your doggy disposal.

  • Resolve to reduce your pet's exposure to harmful substances. The toxins found in common fertilizers, pesticides and household cleaning agents have been linked with increased incidences of pet cancers. Rather than using products with warning labels stating they are unsafe for animals, seek out the increasing number of available "green" --- environmentally-friendly --- products.

  • Resolve to schedule regular visits to the veterinarian. Since illnesses that are caught early are often treatable, regular exams and immunizations to protect your fur kids from doggy diseases and maladies are your best weapon. Regular professional teeth cleaning will keep germs and bacteria in check, while giving your Poochy Pal consistently kissable breath and a pearly white smile.

  • Resolve to give your pet lots of exercise. Insufficient exercise can contribute to behavioral problems including chewing, digging, hyperactivity and unruliness. A regular schedule of exercise can help prevent obesity and illness for both you AND your dog!

Last but not least, if you have not already done so…

  • Resolve to spay or neuter AND microchip your dog!