Flying Chihuahuas

If I told you that over 300 Chihuahuas have flown Delta from SFO to MSP to find loving homes, would you believe me? 

It's true! Thanks to a partnership between California based non-profit Compassion Without Borders (CWOB) and Animal Humane Society, dogs who likely would have been euthanized or remained homeless are now in loving homes. 

In California, there is an overpopulation of Chihuahua mixes – a dog made popular by Hollywood and therefore overbred. Most shelters are full of small dogs and people tend to pass them over. That’s where CWOB steps in by transporting these dogs to MN, where there is more opportunity for them to be adopted.

Compassion without Borders assists the animals of Mexico and other underserved communities in California, through access to free veterinary care & spay and neuter, humane education and outreach programs as well as international and local rescue efforts.

The “Chihuahua Chase Crew” picks up these sweet pups at the Delta cargo and transports them to AHS where they receive baths and a lot of love. After a day of rest and medical exams, it’s off to the adoption floor they go! 

Two members of the Chihuahua Chase Crew meet the dogs at the Delta cargo. 

Another member of the Chihuahua Chase Crew transports a dog to the warm car. 

Lefty says hello upon arriving at Animal Humane Society.

Lefty says hello upon arriving at Animal Humane Society.

Owen greets a volunteer at AHS with a big Chihuahua kiss.

In mid-April, AHS hosted a California Chihuahua reunion where seventy five Chihuahuas and their new families gathered to connect, celebrate, gawk over their sweet little Chis and meet the people who rescued them. Board members, volunteers and former foster parents of some of these dogs flew from California to attend the event and share their story with the adopters.

Sophie, Jake and Fresno (and their humans) connect at the reunion!

Dr. Cindy Karsten of CWOB (pictured on right)  welcomes Roberta, a Chihuahua she rescued.

It is truly amazing what can happen when animal welfare organizations work together to create happy beginnings for animals and people alike.

Stay tuned - I’m joining the “Chihuahua Chase Crew” on Mother’s Day to meet 40 dogs who are heading to Animal Humane Society. Perhaps I should celebrate by becoming a Chihuahua mom? ;)

Learn more about CWOB here and be sure to like them on Facebook!


PS: Below is the invitation that was sent to adopters to attend the reunion. 


The 28th Annual James J. Hill Days Dachshund Races

My last official event of the summer was one of my all-time favorites! The Dachshund Races, held a few weeks ago during James J. Hill Days, brought out some very competitive and equally cute Dachshunds!

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The classic Dachshund ears blowing in the wind...

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The starting line-up...

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And they're off!

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Some made it over..

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While others found a better way..


But everyone was a winner (of course they were - they're Dachshunds!)

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And as a bonus, Chuck and Don's also featured some AMAZING doggie athletes during their flyball demonstrations. This may be my new favorite thing.

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Sushi with your Poochie

On one of the last hot, sunny days of August I had the pleasure of photographing the final "Sushi with your Poochie" hosted by Sidewalk Dog - the go to place for all things dog-friendly in the Twin Cities. If you haven't heard of them, visit their website this instant (well, then come back to see some fun photos ;-). This event, held at Loring Kitchen and Bar brought together yummy food, wonderful dog-loving Minnesotans, and best of all, the cutest group of patio-savvy pups you'll ever meet!

Here are a few of the highlights:


Steve would like more Sushi please!


I love this image of "Toast" just taking it all in...


seward garden tour

“Might I," quavered Mary, "might I have a bit of earth?” 
― Frances Hodgson Burnett, The Secret Garden

A friend once gave me some advice about gardening. She said, "Be fearless. The plants love you. When you plant them, tell them how great they'll be!" Well, I only recently learned the difference between an annual and perennial, but have come to love digging up the earth and giving plants a place to call home. When I step into the garden each day, I am thrilled by the smallest developments - a new pink bloom on the Coneflowers, a tomato turning from green to red. And so, the "garden bug" was planted in me. Now, I sometimes drive past gardens that aren't on the way home... 

Given my recent obsession, I was intrigued by the idea of getting a glimpse into how other people's gardens grow during the Seward Neighborhood Garden Tour. I found out quickly, you can easily get to know your neighbors just by visiting their garden. And, of course, I had the pleasure of meeting a few critters along the way...

 ps I would love to be a cat in a garden. It's right up there with being a cat in a bookstore.

threedog road trip

I recently visited Iowa City, home to many of my favorite places including The Haunted Bookshop, Home Ec. Workshop and the Iowa City Animal Shelter, a place near and dear to my heart, where I was once employed.

Take a quick tour with me and you just might want to visit! Not surprisingly, it involves many animal friends.

I. My old haunts

Let's start with Home Ec. Besides serving homemade baked goods and coffee, Home Ec. offers workshops and classes for crafters and even a Saturday morning knitting breakfast. The employees also happen to be amazingly talented.

I couldn't get over these adorable embroidered pet portraits by shop owners Codi Josephson & Alisa Weinstein. Something tells me I will be ordering a few soon...


And these AMAZING, jumbo knitting needles (size 50) handcrafted from pine by Amy Nichols....

Who wouldn't want to relax, sip coffee and create wonderful handmade projects here?

Next I wandered into another favorite place, The Haunted Bookshop. I wonder if bookshops have the same laws about loitering as other establishments? I certainly hope not. The staff are so knowledgable and apparently were previous loiterers themselves until they were finally hired - including Nierme and Logan the resident bookshop cats. Nierme was a bit more elusive but Logan was more than willing to strike a pose.

II. The Iowa City Animal Care and Adoption Center

About five miles south of the heart of Iowa City, the Iowa City Animal Care and Adoption Center helps thousands of animals in need in Iowa City and surrounding areas. My own adopted Rat Terrier, Fern, was taken in as a stray there. 

During my recent visit, I noticed another terrier occupying the very same kennel Fern was once in. Her name is Lil' Debbie and she is an 8 year old Jack Russell/Rat Terrier mix who was rescued from a less than ideal living situation. When she first arrived, she was covered in fleas and so very nervous. Now she has a warm bed and the opportunity to find a good home, along with getting lots of love from staff and volunteers. They are even teaching her new tricks like agility!

Of course, she adores them. 

On average, dogs stay at the shelter around 2-3 weeks before finding a home. For cats, it is closer to 2-3 months. Gabby, pictured on the left below, is a beautiful 2 year old grey tabby who has been at the Iowa City Animal Shelter since May of last year. Fortunately, wonderful volunteers such as Larry (pictured on the right) give them plenty of love during their stay.

Lastly, here is a wonderful video of Lil Debbie, created by Stephen Schmidt of the Iowa City Patch. Every week they highlight a different animal in need of a home.

In case it's not already apparent, I highly recommend visiting Iowa City. There are many more unique places to discover. And why not find your next animal companion there too? I did!


The famous Mr. Ed

Meet Ed. Ed (formerly known as "Mr. Ed Blanco") arrived at Animal Humane Society as a stray. Playful yet gentle, with a big heart and equally big head, he quickly became a favorite of staff and volunteers. Yet for whatever reason, potential adopters passed him by and he was with AHS for over thirty days. Personally, I think it was because he was waiting for just the right place to call home.

Ed now happily lives with his new family which includes his sister, a Kishu named "Luna." These two can't get enough of each other (or, perhaps Luna can't get enough of Ed's face in her mouth). Ed's dad says he doesn't think he's ever seen Luna as dirty as after she has played with her new brother. And I'm pretty sure dad is happy to give her a bath if it means they get to have this beautiful boy in their family...






Charlie & Fletch

Last summer I was lucky enough to spend time with Charlie and his dog Fletch. Charlie was waiting for me on the front steps when I arrived, as we had much exploring to do! Here are a few of my favorite moments to remind us that summer is right around the corner and there are many new things to be discovered, even in our own backyards... 

Fletch sure is a good sport. Can you find him?

I hear Charlie and Fletch have a new baby sister...stay tuned!