Monday, September 29, 2014

Five Reasons Figaro Is The Best Thing Since Sliced Bread.

Okay, so we're completely stymied. We have this absolutely awesome, amaze-balls, fantastic, fun little dude sitting on our adoption floor. He's been hanging out there since May - MAY? This is like the Mona Lisa making it to yellow tag sale day at the Goodwill. A Tesla being sold on craigslist with no takers.  A free burrito day at Chipotle with no lines. These things just don't happen. How does Figaro keep getting overlooked? What's going on here? 

Let us break this down for you. Even if you're not looking for a pooch you might know someone who is and you can steer them in his direction. Undoubtedly they would spend the rest of their lives enormously grateful to you for helping them find the best dog ever. 

I'll poop outside AND give you a kiss for noticing my awesomeness. Yes, I rule. 
1) Yes indeed - he seems to be housebroken. While we can't guarantee it, this patient little fellow holds it until someone takes him out. Even overnights, which is hard. Can we underestimate how huge this is? This kid isn't going to piddle on your rugs and leave unpleasant surprises in front of your bathroom door for you to find in the middle of the night. WIN.

She was yelling at her gardener on the phone? In the office? NO!
2) He's a great listener. You know that Alice at work, the one who drives you nuts because she spends all day making loud personal calls and you know way too much about her kids soccer coach and her husband's bad laundry habits? Figaro wants to hear all about it. He's totally on your side. He hates Alice as much as you do. There is almost always a volunteer or staff member hanging out in Fig's room because he's such good company and there's so much to tell him. He'll wait all day for you to come home at the end of the day and tell him the latest installment of office life with that loudmouth. WIN. 

Is this all you got? Let's try that teeter thing. 
3) He's fearless. You see that blue board our man is standing on? That's about four feet off the ground. That's like two stories to a shorty like our Figgy. No problem-o. He couldn't care less. You have a cookie, he's willing to work it out with no drama. No shivering, retiring wallflower here. WIN.

This is my Zoolander face. 
4) You have to love a dog that will let you dress him up. And with his short, sleek coat he looks good in everything. Hawaiian shirt? Fine. Silly Halloween costume? Bring it. Not only is he going to rock it, he's going to be a super good sport about you mooshing him into it. He'll even smile. Or do that sultry, moody pose if that's what you want. Fig is a very, very active nine years old. At his age he's secure enough in who he is that he doesn't get a complex from wearing a little doggy Jackie O. outfit. WIN.

Mom's being unfair, Junior? Tell me all about it. I got you, kid. 
5) He's okay with your kids. In fact, he'll probably love them. He's such a champ about everything we throw at him. Since he loves people so much he tends to get elected to do a lot of our PR jobs. Corporate volunteer groups? He acts as our ambassador. Offsite visit to a corporate partner? Grab Figgy, he makes friends where ever he is. A kid wants to pat a dog? He's on it. With a smile and a kiss.

Obviously after reading this the first question out of your mouth is "How can I meet this furry gentleman? Because I must meet him NOW." You're an intelligent person, you know quality when you see it. Good for you. All questions are answered. He can't wait to meet you and neither can we. 

(A quick photo note: Elizabeth is always such a good sport about our oddball photo requests be it taking them or appearing in them. And about Figaro cleaning out her nostrils while she sings his praises. She's also responsible for the great videos that you see these guys in action. Amazing volunteer Martha would never, ever gossip about annoying coworkers but was great about letting Jackie Mac, the volunteer responsible for so many fantastic blog pics, photograph her daily chat with Figs. Thanks guys! And thanks for loving the little guy as much as we do. )

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Everyone Loves A Makeover Show: The Hot Mess Scale, Walking Bathmats and Making Oprah Proud

Remember this, Brad. And remember we shall never forgive them for this. 
While there's nothing quite as funny as pictures of indignant pets in bathtubs, this isn't going to be that type of blog, gratuitous initial photo aside.

What we're really here to talk about is hair. Oprah would be really, really proud of us. In addition to being your best, most favorite shelter that has all the awesome pets that you want to come in and adopt right now, we're also masters of the makeover.

Occasionally we do it just because the dog comes in looking like an enormous fur ball and we need to verify that there is, in fact, a dog in there. Like Waldo. On a Hot Mess scale of 1-10 Waldo was barely at a 5. He was just really super hairy and kind of grimy.

He looks suspiciously like what shows up under the couch if you don't vacuum for a while. 
While he wasn't scaring children and acting as an ecosystem for parasites, he certainly wasn't terribly comfortable and looking his best. So off to our groomer he went and became a brand new Waldo who was rapidly adopted. 

Look! It's a dog! And it's adorable!
The majority of our makeovers come in a lot higher on the Hot Mess scale. For long coated dogs grooming isn't an option, it's a necessity. Long coats don't shed, they just get snarly and icky. 

Like Odin, who was off the charts on the Hot Mess scale:

We would look miserable like that too, buddy. Don't worry, we've got you. 
Odin resembled a smelly walking bathmat. Found living at a construction site, his coat was a time capsule of nasty things found at construction sites. Hay, dirt, poo, cement dust, burrito bits - it had all found it's way into his fur. Like most badly matted dogs he had skin infections under those mats. He was so bad we were blown away to find this under there:

I'm so handsome I almost can't stand myself. You should give me a cookie. 
Ermaghawd! Once we shaved off the contruction site, adorableness emerged! Of course with a face like that Odin got adopted pretty quickly. 

As did Marleigh, who came in looking suspiciously like a used Swiffer product but with super extra bonus fleas:

Not only am I sporting the dirt-ombre look, I've also brought several  hundred tiny, hungry backpackers with me.
And wound up turning into the sweetest little schnauzer-poo pooch we had ever seen. And she could rock a sweater like nobody's business.

It might be pink but it's way more comfortable than the fleas.
Of course there's also our star of newsletter fame, Tee The Snarling Shih Tzu mix. Blinded by her large face mats, she had adopted a 'bite first, ask questions later' policy. Had she not been growling constantly it's doubtful she would have been recognizable as a dog.

Hello? Is there anyone in there? 
After a salon day and some TLC, she morphed into a supermodel with a much, much better attitude. She and her adopted mom later went on to be cover-models for a feature story in our newsletter. 

Why yes, I am the most adorable creature ever. Next question?
Getting this beautiful doesn't happen overnight. Particularly when you're rebounding from A Bad Hair Lifetime. Dogs, like us, go through that awkward growing-in phase sometimes. Remember that time in grade school your mom decided to save money by cutting your hair herself right before school pictures? Sometimes we have dogs on the floor that look a bit like that, like Willie.

I'm the only dog in this blog available for adoption. Just so you know.  
When they do, it's not because our groomer is having an off day. Rachel, our groomer, is a miracle worker*. It's because they had to be shaved or cut in such a way that there wasn't much left to work with. Sometimes they even have to wear sweaters because they're a little bald.

But that's all good because it's better to be bald, dressed and healthy than matted and not. 

Right, Fiona? 

Throw your toy in the air if life is better without mats....

Yeah, that's what we thought. 

We know, Oprah. We're proud of ourselves, too. 

Pretty much all of our makeover stories have since been adopted (YAY!) but we do have a few that are in the works, like bathing beauties Brad and Angelina. They'll be showing up on the website when they're available to adopt. Willie, the world's sweetest Cocker Spaniel, is already ready to adopt and he'd really like you to come down and meet him. Like now. 

*True fact: In addition to working her miracles with the gentlest hands on scared shelter dogs, we also offer grooming to the public as well. If you don't believe us about how awesome Rachel is, check our Yelp. People and dogs love Rachel. 

Sunday, September 14, 2014

A Big, Hairy Announcement!

Big News!

We are opening a third adoption center in PetSmart Mountain View TOMORROW!  

It's true!  We have added another location so we can save even MORE lives in our community.

We're not kidding, sarcastic cat.  That means we will have more room to bring in even more homeless kitties out there and help them find perfect forever homes.  You can't say that doesn't put a smile on your face, right adorable kitten?

Thought so.  We will have available cats and kittens living at our PetSmart center every day for you to meet starting Monday, September 15th, each of them eager to find a home of their own.  

 PetSmart is located at 2400 E. Charleston Road in Mountain View and Adoption hours will be:
Monday-Friday 12pm-7pm, Saturday 10am-7pm, Sunday 10am-6pm.

What about our other locations, worried cat asks?  Don't fret, you unfortunate-browed feline, they are still up and running, full of pets for you to meet.  Check out their info here.  

Now all you Mountain View-ers get your party hats on and get ready to boogie on down to find the kitty of your dreams!

  See you all tomorrow!


Thursday, September 11, 2014

Make Mine A California Brown Kevin Bacon Dog!

Abundance does not automatically devalue something.

When was the last time you heard someone say 'I have too much money' or 'my kids just love me too much'?

'That's just way too many cupcakes' said no one, ever. 
Never, right? So let's start from there.  There are lots of things that are abundant and awesome.

Stuffies! The world is full of stuffies! So many stuffies! And they're AWESOME!
Nice beaches. Toyota Priuses on the 680. Taco trucks. These are things that we, as Bay Area residents, have in abundance.

Do you know something else we have a lot of? Tan dogs.

My name is Cupcake, I'm tan and you can never have too much of me. 
Tan is the most common color of shelter dogs in this area. While other cities have blizzards of black bowzers*, we are tan-tastic to the core of our Californian taco-truck loving, Prius driving, beach going little hearts. The Bay Area is full to the brim of brown/tan dogs, in every possible shade from Dockers khaki to rusty russets. Why? It could be attributed to dominant genes, popular breeds in the area and a whole host of other reason but we're pretty sure there's another underlying cause:

Behold the awesome. 
The Kevin Bacon Effect.

Since 1978, the enormously prolific actor Kevin Bacon has acted in over 80 movies and TV shows. He has been in so many things that, like the brown dogs all around you, people tend not to notice him any more. Why does Hollywood keep hiring Kevin Bacon? Because despite the fact he's nondescript, he's fantastic and ridiculously talented.

So why do we have so many tan dogs?

Because, like Kevin Bacon, they're perfect. And diverse. Sure, brown isn't the most eye catching color. Not like the flashy white dogs or the dazzling dapples and beautiful brindles that draw the eye. As a result tan dogs tend to be the most often overlooked.

This is a shame for many reasons, one of them being that our population of brown dogs is so varied that we even have some who can dance like Mr. Bacon.

Riva would have been awesome in that prom scene.
There's only one obvious solution here. 

We need to embrace our tan and brown canines with the same zeal as we have embraced California flag t-shirts, Santa Cruz bumper stickers and those Tom's shoes that don't have laces. 

I am a California Brown Scruffnugget and I would like you to embrace me. 
Forget the state bear, we all need to fly the flag of the California Brown/Tan Dog. If you're looking for a new pet, seek out a Cali Tan. If you already have a brown dog, good for you. Next time someone asks what kind of dog you have, tell them proudly it's a Golden State Brown Dog and it's the Kevin Bacon of Dogs.

And if they look at you like you're crazy, well, we can't be held responsible for that. 

Ermaghawd - did someone say bacon? 
Want to meet our cast of California Brown Kevin Bacon dogs? Toy carrying Franz and adorable Cupcake are at our Milpitas Animal Community Center.  So is footloose Riva. Scruffnugget Molly is in foster care.  Delightful Figaro, our bacon-hound, is also at the Milpitas Animal Community Center. 

*When informed of the bounty of black dogs stuffing shelters in other parts of the country, Prissy Paws made a face not unlike that of a certain actor in a certain B Movie about giant worms. 

Thursday, September 4, 2014

No Cheese But Possibly Dogs In Viking Hats: A Silly Request For Some Very Serious Assistance.

Mirchi is giving you that 'we need to chat' look.

Use your words, Mirchi.
He's giving you that look because we need your help. It won't cost you a dime and it's super-duper uber mondo important.

Right now the bulk of dogs in our county shelters are Chihuahuas.

Fritz, we couldn't agree more. And we like your little ram.
Chihuahua blogs never do particularly well but because this is sooooo important and soooo easy for you to help with, we're going to put sunglasses and mustaches on them to encourage you to share this.

Mikey, we completely respect you taking one for the team here 
Most of these pooches come from specific zip codes. Which actually is very, very, very good because it allows us an opportunity to really target pet overpopulation and make a huge difference while providing services to folks and pooches that really need them. 

Shai, even after this blog you might want to keep the glasses. Snazzy.

Chi, not cheese. Very important distinction.

That said, we do use cheese here. But that's a whole other blog.*
The Chi Project is a first-of-it's-kind program that aims to reduce pet overpopulation with very specific targeting of free spay/neuter services.

Through The Chi Project, Chihuahuas and Chihuahua mixes from certain zip codes get fixed for free. The zip codes are 95111, 95112, 95116, 95122 and 95127. 

Legit..... and flippin' adorable. 
Dogs who get fixed also get free vaccines, free nail trims and a super-discounted microchip iffen they want one. No obligation, no pressure, no judgement. 

Prissy, we hope your enthusiasm is contagious.
So here's where we need you!

1) Read about the program! It's right here!

2) Spread the word about the program! Share the link, share this post, tell a friend!

3) If you can, stop in and pick up some fliers to put up. We have them in English, Spanish and Vietnamese.

With a grant from Petsmart Charities, shelters in this county been doing the Chi Project since 2011. Since it's inception, chihuahua and chihuahua mix intakes have dropped by 12.5% in our county. 

That. Is. Huge.

Beyond huge. Mammoth. Massive. Monumental. Stupendous. Tremendous. Humongous. And many, many other three syllable words indicating something very large.

That's a ton of lives saved. 

Really, really, really takin' one for the team Charlie. 
And we can save more.

We're not asking you to wear the Viking Hat of Shame or even a silly mustache and Kanye West shades. We're just asking you to spread the word

So please do.

Thank you.

*The answer is no.