Posted: May 17th, 2013 | Author: admin | Filed under: Dog Lifestyle, Hollywood Dog, The Complete Single's Guide to Being a Dog Owner | Tags: adopt, dog, dog adoption, dog rescue stories, los angeles dog rescue, pitbull, Sophia Bush | No Comments »
Mother’s Day is a special time filled with family and gratitude. While many of us consider our dogs family– and I for one am eternally grateful to my dogs—do you ever ask yourself, what about their family? I am talking their canine family…I know you’re their family! What if they could reconnect with their biological brood? Would they recognize their mommy? Would they look like their brothers and sisters? Would they fight like sibling?
Courtesy of Wags & Walks a Los Angeles-based dog rescue group, these questions and so much more were answered this past Saturday for one very lucky litter that almost wasn’t.
Here is their story:
In March 2012, Wags and Walks founder Lesley Brog discovered Jasmine, an abandoned Blue Nose Pitbull that had been dumped at a Southern California shelter. Jasmine’s body bore the signs of neglect and of what appeared to be severe over-breeding.
Lesley Brog, Founder of Wags & Walks
“Even though her body was swollen and her coat dull, Jasmine radiated with love. “Her entire body wiggled with affection as she did her best to kiss me through the bars of the cold kennel.” said Lesley , “I had to get this one out.”
Lesley rescued Jasmine from the shelter and immediately brought her to the vet’s to be spayed where upon a closer look, Jasmine’s state was not just a sign of overbreeding but rather that Jasmine was pregnant and about to deliver at least 7 puppies!
Shocked, a little overwhelmed but mostly determined to help Jasmine – and now her babies, Lesley, with the aid of her husband Andrew, two daughters Macy (4) and Jesse (8) brought Jasmine’s family into the world with the love and care she deserved.
Jasmine and her pups 2012
Lesley had rescued over a hundred dogs at the point that Jasmine came into her life, but helping Jasmine to raise her pups, was a life-changing experience. She was deeply connected not only to Jazzy as she calls her, but also to her pups.
While difficult to let go, Lesley eventually found loving homes for each and every puppy. One even went to live with actress Sophia Bush! This was a lucky litter indeed.
Sophia Bush & Her Puppy!
But was that really going to be it? Wam, Bam Thank you Mam? Not a chance…
The special place that this litter had in her heart, inspired Lesley to pull together the first ever Rescued & Reunite Mother’s Day Reunion.
Hosted at the posh Citydog! Club Boarding and Daycare in West Los Angeles, Lesley created the ultimate Mother’s Day celebration for Jasmine and her 7 pups. And this was no small feat! Some of the dogs and their new human families came from as far away as 100 miles to do what we all do on Mother’s Day… eat, play and catch up with family.
Here is a very special video that truly captures the love and spirit of the day as well as of Wags and Walks.
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Posted: October 27th, 2012 | Author: admin | Filed under: Dog Lifestyle, Hollywood Dog, The Complete Single's Guide to Being a Dog Owner | Tags: adopt, animal charities, aspca, betsy rosenfeld, dog rescue, doggie daycare, Los Angeles Dogs, The Complete Single's Guide to Being a Dog Owner | No Comments »
I have to share about a new Doggie Daycare that just opened up in West LA called CITYDOG! Club.
Front Desk at CityDog! Club
I have to admit when I saw the signs going up I was like, are you serious? There are 4 daycares right nearby. Do we really need another… but then I went in to check it out and I have to admit… it’s kind of awesome.
It’s right behind Sports Club LA (now Equinox) and the place is amazing for the following reasons:
1 . CLEAN: It’s spotless and it smells good. While it’s new and of course it should smell good, they have invested in the latest technology including surfaces that repel bacteria to make sure it stays that way.
2. STAFF: CityDog! interviewed something like 1500 people to fill 10 spots. I was impressed with how the CPR certified staff interacted with the dogs (who are split into two Play Parks: one for big and one for little to keep everyone safe) as well as how they worked with the owners; happily fielding questions and giving tours. Transparency is a big thing at Citydog! Owners can watch their dogs virtually on webcams or up close and personal through big picture windows. Anywhere your dog might go, you can see.
Citydog! Club dog house
3. BENEVOLENT: CityDog! is committed to supporting rescue. In just the last week they have donated auction items for two fundraising events; one for the ASPCA and the other for Wags and Walks…plus CityDog! give a percentage of proceeds to animal charities.
4. PARKING: This may sound sort of silly but CityDog! has its own parking lot. For a busy dog mom or dad this is somewhat essential because there is truly nothing more annoying that dealing with LA parking when dropping off your dog!
So check out CityDog! and tell them Betsy sent you!
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Posted: March 3rd, 2010 | Author: admin | Filed under: The Complete Single's Guide to Being a Dog Owner | 1 Comment »
Photo by Kristin Chalmers-www.kristinchalmersphoto.com
It’s completely weird that one year ago today I said goodbye to my Bella. Yes, weird. I mean of course it’s devastatingly sad, and I still suddenly burst into tears missing her; but the overwhelming feeling I have today is weird that I’m functioning without her. All you non-dog crazies may think hello, Bella was not a person, of course you are surviving. But to those like me, don’t you wonder how you will go on without the creature that got you up in the morning and always had a lick of love for you before you went to bed? Well if not, I certainly did. And while with a heavy heart, I am happy to say I did survive the past 365 days.
And I have found puppy love again with RANGER the yellow lab of love, and oh some of that other (human) love too, as I got engaged to be married (woo-hoo) to my beautiful fiancé Andre who also loved Bella dearly.
On this emotional day, I happen to be visiting my sister in Singapore and had dinner with Judy, the lovely woman whom I wrote about late last year (in my last blog post before I took way too long a hiatus- sorry about that) who also had to say goodbye to her beloved Golden Retriever Sydney.
Sydney wearing Louis Vuitton Sneaker
Sadly she lost another dog soon after, Sydney’s 13 year old pup. Judy and I bonded in cyberspace about the loss of a pet, so it was quite fortuitous I could be with her today.
She still has Sydney’s life partner Nikki and another of the pups, Tara who is also 13 years young. Being with her reminded me how much I encourage anyone who has lost a dog, to seriously think about getting a dog sooner rather than later. I know everyone is different, but even as I worried that I wouldn’t bond with Ranger like I did with Bella and for certain it took time, there is nothing like the presence of canine love to soothe a broken heart.
That’s not to say I didn’t have some ambivalence and didn’t compare Ranger to Bella. I absolutely did. I missed her kisses and her uncanny ability to look in my eyes and as if she was reading my mind, but in time and with help from Andre, who shared with me the essential life observation that as love is infinite, I wouldn’t be forsaking my love for Bella by embracing Ranger. So I realized that I wasn’t replacing Bella, but simply adding another member to the family.
And I’m happy to report, over the past year Ranger has become somewhat Bella-fied for better and for worse. Gratefully he doesn’t hate other dogs like Bella did, but gone is what Andre and I called his emotional unavailability-he used to squirm and avoid any affection with the exception of about 30 seconds of obsessional excitement upon first site of us. Once that was done, he’d be happy sleeping on the floor, or really just about anywhere I wasn’t.
However now after 355 days with me I am proud to say Ranger is a bed hogging, cuddle bear who isn’t happy unless he is sitting with at least part of his body touching you. I am so proud and so grateful that in my mind Bella sent dear Ranger to me and for that and for so much more, a year out I miss her and I thank her for being my doggie angel
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Posted: September 11th, 2009 | Author: admin | Filed under: Dog Lifestyle, Rescue News, The Complete Single's Guide to Being a Dog Owner, Uncategorized | Tags: adopt, dog, kids and dogs, los angeles dog rescue, pet health | 1 Comment »
I have been a dog person since I can remember. My parents had a rescued Sheltie Shepherd mix named Foxy when I was born- one of father’s fraternity brothers from PENN (who he incidentally had dinner with this week) had found the dog after the 1971 earthquake and somehow convinced my parents, neither of whom had ever had a dog, to adopt him.
Foxy was awesome- smart, playful and ever-patient as I am sure I was not exactly a gentle or delicate kid. He along with the Woody–the puppy we got when I was 3– were my constant companion as a child. From that point on I was just drawn to all things dog…particularly dog rescue.
Kids & Dogs
But for normal kids how do they find out about rescue… what happens at a shelter… how to treat and properly care for dogs?
Today the answer is most likely an amazing show on PBS called Martha Speaks. The series and the books follow a family dog who eats alphabet soup and gains the ability of human speech. In addition to its mission of vocabulary development–always a good thing– the series aims to educate children 4-to-7 about shelter animals, and inform families on pet ownership and responsibility.
I love this show, and I’m particularly excited about its new season premieres on September 14th. Over the course of the new episodes, viewers will see a two-part episode that further explores Martha, the title character’s days as a shelter dog and other new episodes that present strong anti-littering/pet safety messages in a way that is accessible to kids. Here is a preview of the episode airing today
A woman named Susan Medaugh created Martha Speaks. The idea behind came one day over lunch with her then-seven-year-old son when he asked what would happen if he fed their family dog his alphabet soup. From there Meddaugh has educated and inspired so many kids and families about dogs. She is truly a role model for me. I hope the work I do with my book (The Complete Single’s Guide To Being A Dog Owner, Adams Media 2009) and this blog might make even a fraction if the impact she has had on helping to protect and cherish the dogs of this world!
Be sure to tune to your local PBS affiliate (even if you don’t have kids) today, September 14th!
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Posted: July 31st, 2009 | Author: admin | Filed under: The Complete Single's Guide to Being a Dog Owner | Tags: betsy rosenfeld, dog, The Complete Single's Guide to Being a Dog Owner | No Comments »
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Single dog owners: Finding the best pet for you
by Joan Lowell Smith/For The Star-Ledger
Friday July 24, 2009, 8:06 AM
What’s the best dog for a single pet owner? This book gives some good advice.
Remember the ’60s hit, “One is the loneliest number”?
Take heart. Being single doesn’t have to be a lonely existence if you have a pet.
Other than finding the perfect human mate, what could be better than sharing life with a lovable dog or cat? I’m stumped for an answer. But like any serious romance, if it’s going to succeed, think first of the big “C”: Commitment.
Whether you’ve always been single or if you’re divorced or widowed, before taking on a pet Betsy Rosenfeld, author of “The Complete Single’s Guide to Being a Dog Owner” (Adams Media, $12.95) suggests first asking yourself why you want a dog.
Compare your answer to the following:
A. Dogs are so cute, I’ve always wanted a (insert breed)
B. All my friends have dogs and I can’t wait to take mine everywhere.
C. I’ve been really stressed and I’m told a dog would be good for me.
D. I’m looking forward to caring for a dog and making it a part of my life.
Obviously, D is the “right” answer, but if your reply most resembles A or B, then the author states: “We may have a problem.”
This is the best book I’ve read to help singles deal with having a dog, although she surprised me a bit when she advised that working people “commit at least an hour a day to your four-footed friend.”
An hour? That sure doesn’t sound like much. But when she spreads it out with 15- to 30-minute intervals of quality pet time, my guess is that most pet owners don’t have much more time on work days. Still, anything less is asking for trouble since a neglected pet can become destructive out of boredom.
But how can you leave a dog alone for at least 8 hours while you work? It’s not fair. Sure, Felix the cat can survive hours alone, thanks to litter boxes, but that doesn’t mean he likes it.
Nancy Scharfenaker of Denver, formerly of Millington, is newly divorced with a teenage daughter and a pair of cockapoos. “Right now it’s no problem,” said Scharfenaker, a grammar school teacher. She found a small house to rent with a fenced yard for the pooches. “Fortunately, my ex doesn’t care about them,” she volunteered. But what happens when she and Ana return to school in September? No problem.
She’s already found a neighbor who volunteers to let the dogs out in the middle of the day. “And we’re both home by 3:30 most days,” she adds. Theirs is a workable situation giving Buster and April much more than an hour of quality time.
If you don’t have that ideal neighbor, dog walkers seldom charge more than $15 per visit, usually lasting at least half an hour.
If you can afford it, a possible solution to keeping your dog happy while you’re nine-to-fiving is to opt for a second dog. They will still need to get out of the house, however. Most dog walkers give a break for multiple dogs.
PLEASE, NO PUPS
Please don’t get a puppy whether you’re single or not if you’re gone all day. The normal high-charged energy of a puppy requires more attention than a nine-to-fiver can give. Instead, adopt an adult dog or cat.
“An older dog is a mellow dog, especially for a first-time owner,” says Rosenfeld, who always recommends considering older dogs.
Speaking of age, elderly singles make perfect pet owners because they have more time to spend with pets.
As long as another home is lined up should they outlive their pets, what could be better?
Millions of dogs have found homes through Petfinder.com, the national site established by Betsy Saul in New Jersey 13 years ago. The website lists 250,000 dogs by breed, and by the zip code of the nearest shelter or rescue group. For mixed breeds, choose the most prevalent breed.
Earlier this year, Petfinder devised a segment that capitalizes on the craze for online mate-finding. The site lists compatible traits for human matches as well as pet matches (you’ll have to go to Match.com or similar sites for specific singles matching their descriptions).
Here’s a sample:
Human: Rock climber, runner, exercise enthusiast, road tripper, hardly ever home
Best mate: Someone adventurous and spontaneous who joins with you or understands when you’re off on your own adventure.
Best dog: Border collie, terrier, Labrador and German shepherd
Human: Happy-go-lucky, not overly concerned with appearances, doesn’t like rules and restrictions, chooses the road less traveled
Best mate: The unconventional person who’ll go with the flow
Best dog: Tough, low maintenance, resilient loyal dogs — airedale, fox terrier, Australian cattle dog, boxer, pug, beagle or mix thereof
And what happens if you make a match and your date doesn’t like your dog or cat?
“Dump ‘em,” Rosenfeld urges, referring to the date, most definitely NOT the pet.
Instead, strive for a relationship like that of Marcie Hall in Basking Ridge.
Hall estimates that her 10-year-old adopted Maltese named Happy is only alone about eight hours a week.
“Between my boyfriend and me, Happy gets tons of attention,” says Hall, who is on disability with multiple sclerosis. When she goes out, she plops Happy in a tote bag specially designed for little doggies. “I take him everywhere.”
Contact Joan Lowell Smith at P.O. Box 302, Garwood, N.J 07027 or e-mail her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Posted: July 29th, 2009 | Author: admin | Filed under: The Complete Single's Guide to Being a Dog Owner | Tags: adopt, adoption, dog, dogs, Internet Dog, puppy, rescue | 1 Comment »
Dogs and The Internet, The Good and The Bad
The internet is an amazing tool for so many things, not least among them is saving dogs!
Recently my friend Amy found a dog at noon on Friday in Griffith Park in LA, and by 5pm after posting him on Facebook we had a home for him in Sacramento. By 7 a ride had been arranged for him through Twitter. It’s a pretty amazing story as told in this article by Jennifer Fearing on the fabulous dog blog/ pet site PetConnection.com (click here for the article.)
That all happened on Friday and I was feeling pretty good and energized about my rescue/dog networking. Unfortunately those feelings were pretty much dashed by Saturday morning upon receipt of a nasty, borderline threatening email. It was from a woman who I had talked about on a blog post about my disdain for the current trend of designer dogs.
I didn’t mention her name, nor did I know it until I received her email. And while my post wasn’t personal, she chose to make it so. Truth be told it freaked me out. I could pretend it didn’t but it did. I basically haven’t been much inclined to blog since then.
I just really prefer to avoid conflict and I was so taken aback when my blog, which I write as a way to give a voice to the plight of rescued dogs, turned so confrontational. It was a quite an eye opening experience. I mean not only was I upset about the interaction, but I had a new sense of the vulnerability of making my opinions and my experiences available for public consumption. It bothered me that this woman, who now hates me, and anyone else for that matter, could read extremely personal stories that I had written my blog.
This internal struggle, and the fact that I’ve been slammed with work, has made me shy away from the blog for the past couple of weeks.
But enough of that. Aside from starting this post a few times, I ended up getting the motivation I needed to blog when I received this thoughtful email:
I’m recently enrolled in a college speech class, I am currently doing a persuasive speech. I want to thank you for your site and your passion to stop puppy mills. I am doing my speech on stopping puppy mills to encourage people not to buy from private breeders, but rather adopt a doggy from a shelter. Thank you again for your website and your information. It was really helpful.
So if I have to make a choice to listen to one of these voices, it’s going to be the latter. Sorry for the lack of blog update! Hope you understand!
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Posted: July 7th, 2009 | Author: admin | Filed under: The Complete Single's Guide to Being a Dog Owner, Uncategorized | Tags: dog, dog adoption, dogs, rescue, Seattle | No Comments »
It’s been about 4 months since Bella died, and I miss her terribly. But she is everywhere in my life, particularly with the book, and for that I am so grateful.
I actually wrote so much about her, that some material didn’t ultimately make it in the final manuscript. In cleaning up my computer today, I found a few pages about Me & Bella–The Beginning…
Bella & Me
Finding Bella was absolutely, hands and paws down, the best thing that ever happened to me. But I almost gave her up, a thought which makes me ill to even think about. But six weeks after I found her I was moving to Seattle to be with a boyfriend and into apartment that didn’t take dogs. Moving cities seemed like enough of a challenge and I knew how much it took to care for a dog. I had been a failure of a dog mom to my college dog Tucker, and I didn’t know if I could handle the responsibility of bringing Bella with me to a new city and a new life.
Ambivalent but looking out for her best interest, I decided I would try to find a great home for Bella through a rescue group I worked with in Los Angeles called Much Love. As I handed her off to a volunteer and walked towards my car (they felt my bond with Bella was already too strong and she would show better at the adoption event if I wasn’t there), Bella got away from the volunteer, ran after me and tightly wrapped her two front paws around my waist in a hug. She clung to me like a child clings to her mom on her first day of school. Something inside me clicked. It felt like she was asking me not to let go, and to this day I never have.
I like to say the stars aligned when I found Bella. Although I had been hesitant to bring a dog with me to Seattle, the timing was actually perfect. I had a built-in best friend and more importantly, with no job, and no friends, I had a ton of time to devote to her and to being a stand-up dog mommy. Good thing too; I needed every I had to take care of Bella.
Seattle Public Market
When getting a dog, people often idealize what life with that dog will be like. And for everyone those dreams are different. For some it could be dressing their Chihuahua in cashmere sweaters and rhinestone tiaras as they tote their baby around the world in a Louis Vuitton caring case? For others it could be images of snuggling with a big mutt beside a cozy fire while sipping tea.
Before I left LA for the northwest, I dreamed of taking leisurely walks with Bella on the gorgeous walking trails around Seattle. I would be holding hands with hot my boyfriend who would then of course become my husband, who would also give me a big diamond ring, not too ostentatious of course, and that I would make lots of new friends in Seattle and it would all be awesome!
For better and for worse, things didn’t exactly turn out as I envisioned. Bella immediately put me through my paces as a mom. Within the first three months in Seattle she got thrown out of a daycare after 45 minutes (supposedly she jumped over a wrought iron gate then broke down a metal fence in an attempt to find me after I dropped her off).
daycare that Bella got thrown out of
Bella then attended a training camp for three weeks in which she learned exactly one thing-being at home with mommy was much better being at camp. Bella then had an adverse reaction to calming herbs given to her by the training camp herbalist, and her peristalsis shut down. Food was no longer moving through her digestive track and they performed emergency surgery.
I spent thousands of dollars and weeks in and out of emergency rooms. Dog mommy-hood, like Seattle (my own personal Seattle McDreamy and I broke up) didn’t quite turn out to be the rah-rah good time I was expecting. But even with all of this, I feel blessed. Bella turned out to be the best dog one could ask for.
Me & B
There are many wonderful dogs out there waiting to love you like Bella loved me. If you need help finding the right one for you, email me at email@example.com!
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Posted: June 17th, 2009 | Author: admin | Filed under: The Complete Single's Guide to Being a Dog Owner | Tags: book, dog, Dog Fancy, dogs, inspiration, Labradors, rescue | 1 Comment »
I couldn’t be happier! Read this great article from dogchannel.com; it’s the website for Dog Fancy Magazine!
Advice for the Single Dog Owner
Author Betsy Rosenfeld offers a guide to living and dating with a dog.
By Katy French
Posted: June 17, 2009, 5 a.m. EDT
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Betsy Rosenfeld knows a thing or two about being a single dog owner. Her Labrador Retriever mix Bella lived with her in four cities, through five boyfriends and plenty of adventures. So when it came time for Rosenfeld to give advice to all the single ladies – and men – in her new book, “The Complete Single’s Guide to Being a Dog Owner,” she had plenty of inspiration.
“I wanted to write something to help others learn from my mistakes,” Rosenfeld says.
Rosenfeld found Bella as a stray and knew that though living with a dog can be challenging, taking care of a dog alone is especially difficult. Rushing home after work and forking over cash for vaccinations instead of a new pair of shoes is a major lifestyle change. Rosenfeld says singles seeking the companionship of a dog often underestimate the commitment required.
“If I can prevent one dog from ending up in a shelter, it’s all worth it,” she says.
In the book, Rosenfeld draws from her experiences both as a single owner and an active member of the animal-rescue community to create a comprehensive guide to getting, caring for, living and even dating with a dog. A longtime animal lover, Rosenfeld has rescued more than 200 dogs and seen many dogs given up because of the owner’s poor decisions.
“I don’t want to discourage people from getting a dog,” Rosenfeld says. “But I want people to realistic about what that entails.”
Singles have a particularly unique challenge as the sole caretakers of their pets. Therefore, she encourages potential owners to seriously think about what they will be getting themselves into by thoroughly researching a breed and considering the financial obligations and the emotional energy they are willing to extend. The book covers everything from finding a dog, training and vet visits to diet and exercise, building a bond and traveling.
But while much of that may seem overwhelming, Rosenfeld feels that having a dog can greatly benefit a single’s life. “We live in a tough world: The economy is tough, work is tough, but dogs are a source of unending, unconditional love in a world that isn’t always so nice.”
A dog can also complement a single’s lifestyle, and even help their personal life. “It’s a great booster for your self-esteem, a great way to get out in the world, walk, exercise, and be social,” she says.
Even when it comes to the inevitable issue of dating with a dog, a difficulty singles may face, Rosenfeld says they can actually help. The way a date treats your dog – or your dog reacts to them – can be an excellent indication of their character. And when it comes to the more technical details, Rosenfeld’s book offers useful tips like purchasing a pattern of sheets that will help you disguise your best friend’s hair from your new bedmate.
But most of all, Rosenfeld believes that being a single dog owner encourages personal growth. Her own dog taught her a lot about being responsible.
“I learned how to take care of myself by taking care of her,” she says.
Raising Bella also gave her confidence in her ability to have a meaningful relationship. “There’s nothing better than being your dog’s only owner,” Rosenfeld says. “I think the bond that develops between one person and one dog is so strong.”
Though Bella has since passed, Rosenfeld now enjoys spending time with her rescued Labrador Retriever Ranger. You can read more about her rescue efforts at her blog, LoveThyDog.com
“The Complete Single’s Guide to Being a Dog Owner” is on sale now.
Katy French is the assistant editor of DOG FANCY.
Posted: May 26th, 2009 | Author: admin | Filed under: The Complete Single's Guide to Being a Dog Owner | Tags: betsy rosenfeld, book, book trailer, dog, dog rescue stories, Hollywood Dog, IFAW, rescue | 2 Comments »
I am so happy to present this amazing book trailer! Check it out and take a walk down memory lane with me…
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Posted: May 20th, 2009 | Author: admin | Filed under: The Complete Single's Guide to Being a Dog Owner | Tags: dogs, KTLA morning news, Mark Kriski | 1 Comment »
My book is now officially on sale! Woo-woo! So run don’t walk to your neighborhood book store and ask for it by name, The Complete Single’s Guide To Being a Dog Owner.
Otherwise go to your favorite online retailer (Border’s, Barnes & Noble, Amazon, Tower Books) and buy, buy, buy!
I will be appearing on the KTLA morning news (my favorite) on Friday morning in the 9 o’clock hour! I will be interviewed by Mark Kriski who is a single dog owner himself. He will be asking me questions about how to handle the inns and outs of how being single while still making time to be a great dog owner !
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