5 tricks for dogs or pet rats

5 tricks pet rats do, your dog can learn

Today, I feel like playing hooky from writing. Working on a new “Before” chapter for my Dog Leader Mysteries book, I have arrived at the challenge of revising. I wrote the first draft on Tuesday and want to keep my momentum going. But oh, the fun of finding a wonderful pet video.

Our girl trained a pet rat

My niece posted this darling fun example of positive clicker training with pet rats. Our kid had four different pet rats over about a five year span of time. Her favorite rat, Silky, learned to run across her electronic keyboard then jump on her head. Great entertainment and interaction for a seven year old who had suffered a broken arm. Within a day or two, she demonstrated cueing Silky when to run up her cast and perch on her shoulder. Of course, she trained her rat to run down from her head or shoulder, over the broken arm cast and jump off too.

Alex + Silky her pet rat
Alex & Silky, the smartest rat she ever had.
See what positive training can do?

I will never know why people use force or intimidation to train pets, when positive training works so well. Yes, I have used clicker training with my dog and rabbit. Yes, both responded super fast and eagerly to clicker training. We reinforced basic and important safety behaviors like.

  1. Come when called
  2. Wait
  3. Jump objects
  4. Shake hands
  5. Fetch a ball or toy
Portrait of Alex + Silky
Smiling girl with pet rat

Please share this post for positive and cruelty free training of pets.

Thank you for reading, Deborah Taylor-French

Blog 4 the Change 4 Animals: April 15

Tip for pet and animal bloggers

Please write a post for humane treatment of animals. Why post it tomorrow? Because four times a year, #BtC4animals happens all over the World Wide Web. You, also, can make a difference. Write on any type of blog for animals and use the hashtag above. If you do not want to blog, then write a post on Facebook, etc., sharing a petition, a need for a phone call or a letter to help wild animals, farm animals or pets.

Bloggers write for humane animal welfare

Blog the Change for animals

April 15, 2015 join me.

  • This is far simpler than you imagine.
  • Pick an animal cause.
  • Write about it.
  • Quote your sources and/or add links.
  • Go add your post link on Be the Change for Animals’ Website.
  • Add the code, if you can. (WordPress.com doesn’t let me, darn!)
  • Share the change. #BtC4animals hashtag on Facebook and all social media.

Love, Deborah Taylor-French

Go blog the change. I want my brothers and sisters adopted.
Go blog the change. I want my brothers and sisters adopted.

Be the change. Do it now.

Dog Leader Mysteries.com

Visit this page tomorrow

Featured Image -- 7933

This Dog’s Aggression Was Thought To Be Incurable, Until They Did This


Neglected pets and children tend to suffer a paralyzing fear of others. Watch and learn the absolute life changing work done by the ASPCA with a dog rescued from a hoarder. I promise a happy ending plus demonstrated methods to calm fear aggressive dogs.

Why rescue dogs?

Why I write Dog Leader Mysteries
Favorite T-Shirt from The Animal Rescue Site

Dogs raised in insolation

Second chances do not happen often for dogs that cannot tolerate human contact. But overtime with the right dog rescue, this terrified dog, learns that people do him no harm, learns to like being touched and becomes a very contented pet in his adoptive home.

A happy ending for a fearful dog

Originally posted on The Border Collie Inquisitor:

When people say aggressive dogs should be put to sleep, just show them this. Social behavior in canines is very similar to humans. A dog that’s raised in a caring environment with a family that loves him will show good behavior and will be approachable and friendly. Those dogs that have abusive owners who keep them locked up in cages or very small spaces will usually be aggressive and dangerous. Unfortunately those are the dogs that are usually euthanized when they get in trouble.

Now this case is very special, watch how the people at the The Behavioral Rehabilitation Center of the ASPCA helped a very troubled and anti-social dog transform into one of the most friendly dogs ever:

Click image to play Click image to play

View original

5 Facts: Rabbits vs Whole Foods Market

Rabbits vs. Whole Foods Market

“Whole Foods Market buys their bunny meat from a bunny killing conglomerate in the Midwest called Iowa Rabbit. These are actual images from one of the farms that supplies baby bunnies to Iowa Rabbit. Does this look HUMANE to you? The bunnies are fed water through a dirty drip system. They have NO hay and are on dirty wire cages. These bunnies want to live. PLEASE ask Whole Foods to stop selling bunny meat. Go into the store, speak with the manager, do all you can to be a voice for these bunnies. THEY NEED YOU.” Facebook Rabbit Advocacy Network  

  1. Rabbits live like egg laying chickens with no room to move.
  2. Rabbits eat, sleep and suffer in  filthy cages.
  3. Rabbits drink dirty water, fed through tubes.
  4. Rabbits are raised inside ag-gag states at factory farms.
  5. Rabbits, eight-weeks-old, get sent to slaughter houses & killed.
Please help rabbits
Yoshi at more than 8 weeks old

“Customers choose Whole Foods because of the ethical, health-conscious, charitable image it has portrayed itself to be. So how can it be that they are butchering our beloved bunnies? Last summer, Whole Foods laid out plans for a pilot campaign that would introduce bunny meat into several stores, and since then it has expanded into the following regions: Northern California, North Atlantic, Mid-Atlantic, Northeast, South, Pacific Northwest, Midwest, and the Washington, DC metro area. Whole Foods is being supplied by DeBruin Brothers, who purchase rabbits from breeders in Iowa and Missouri….” The Bunny Alliance “Whole Foods Cruelty”

Warning this may hurt. How meat pigs suffer in Ag-gag farm states

Mother Jones “Yet again undercover video documents savage abuse at factory pig farm

The Humane Society of the United State Einon,”… on the contrary—we are a big tent organization that welcomes vegetarians and meat eaters alike. Our recommendation is to follow the three R’s when it comes to eating with a conscience. We promote reducing the consumption of meat and other animal-based foods; refining the diet by eating products only from animals who have been raised, transported, and slaughtered in a system of humane, sustainable agriculture that does not abuse the animals. We support and celebrate traditional farmers and ranchers who have humane standards– for the sake of animals, the land, and local communities. We would love for you to read about our rural development and outreach program, and also our state agriculture councils…” 

Read this interesting note on how to raise meat animals without cruelty and with humane methods. My area in Northern California has many family and bio sustainable methods where animals receive respect, kindness, clean water, clean living quarters and a diet free of cast off animals. http://www.humanesociety.org/…/rural-development….

Please take action for the forgotten suffering of meat animals by stopping Whole Foods selling another category of meat animals. The bunnies get shipped to a slaughter house at only eight weeks old.

Please take action and sign this petition. Share this post with friends and animal lovers. Thanks so much!

CARE2 Petition: Whole Foods stop selling rabbit meat 

On small farms when people raise meat rabbits, they know how to prevent breaking the rabbits’ bones, messing up their digestive systems with the wrong foods and keeping their teeth from growing too long.

Find and read about an international movement to stop farm animal cruelty. Compassion in World Farming (on Facebook)

To close on a happy note, some bunnies like our Tuxedo get families patient enough to earn their trust. When a bunny loves you, he or she loves you all the way. You may notice that in this photograph from my mobile phone, Tuxedo stands on a chair, stretched out under our table cover to nibble yummy fresh oregano from our garden. Life with a house rabbit never gets old. He keeps us happy. Tuxedo keeps our kid like sense of surprise alive and hoping.

CU Tux nibbles

For my top blog readers, C-Dog & Company and Learning from Dogs, we send you greetings from Tuxedo land.

Tux + tent



Tell Whole Foods: Do not sell bunnies

Tell Whole Foods, “Don’t sell bunny meat!”

Farm animals suffer greatly in the United States of America. Plus this suffering comes to us well documented. Before the U.S. Congress passes laws allowing Ag-Gag states to make it illegal for people to photograph, video or report animal abuse inside or outside their meat plants.

The disturbing truth? Pet rabbits now sold for meat at Whole Foods Market come from being raised in U.S.A. Ag-gag states. What’s wrong with that? Everything.

Big farms doing business in Ag-gag states operate free from animal welfare laws.

In fact these huge meat farms have made laws against taking photographs, video recording or any reporting of animal abuse. What have they got to hide?

Enough. All to many cruel animal farming practices already hurt farm animals, enough to make most of us sick. The Humane Society of the United States and the Animal Defense Fund continue working to legally raise farm animal welfare practices. Most Americans know that farm animals do not receive acceptable room for walking nor a humane standard of care. Before we let another category of animal become victims of Ag-gag farm cruelty, we need to improve farm animals welfare.

Freeze, before fast forward
Adopted from Rohnert Park Animal Shelter

Rabbits die of fright.

They share the species lagomorph.

There are about eighty species of lagomorph include thirty species of pika, twenty species of rabbit and cottontail, and thirty species of hare family. Wikipedia

I learned about this issue of Whole Foods Market, selling a new category of animal for meat through a volunteer at my local shelter. Kathy, along with volunteers from Save a Bunny and a Southern California group, are working to raise awareness pet rabbits should not end up as mainstream Big Farm meat products. Why?

Whole Foods Market buys meat rabbits from Ag-gag states. If Whole Foods succeeds, farm animal  suffering will fall on whole other category of animals, pet rabbits.

It comes as no secret in United States that farm animals end up being raised inhumanely.
If you have ever read about the Ag-gag states and how they are able to prosecute anyone willing to go undercover and take photographs and videos to report the truth on this ongoing unnecessary torture of farm animals. What meat animals endure in the U.S.A. is nothing less than cruelty, it’s time we changed that, before adding anymore farm animals.

9 facts hidden in Ag-gag pig farms

1. Millions of meat pigs live, eliminate and sleep in cramped spaces.

2.The environment these pigs endure smell rank. Their wastes drain into a central open sewer and their housing is so unclean many of them die.

3. Meat pigs lack all exercise to the extreme point that their legs break.

4. Pigs housed in huge warehouses with thousands of other pigs, hear others screaming day and night from pain.

5. Female pigs, sows, live horrible lives in gestation crates.

6. Gestation crates built for female pigs force them to stand up for 24-hours per day. Farmers do not allow pigs to walk or lie down. Gestation crates, notoriously painful for animals, need to be banned. Often the pigs’ legs break because their bones grow soft, due to not being allowed to walk.

7. Big meat farms build bars underneath sows to brace broken legs.

How can they call these farms? Not giving animals room to walk, sit or lie down? Meat farm animals get denied their normal and natural behaviors. They never see the light of the sun nor feel the earth nor wind.

8. The meat pig lives in constant physical pain, terror, fear and unhappiness. 4. When piglets die, often in these unsanitary conditions, their bodies get ground up and mixed into the food the sows eat. So mother pigs eat their own young.

9. Pigs do not live as cannibals. Why should they be forced to eat their own young?
What horrible animal welfare to make pigs eat their own young. It’s incomprehensible that animals must live like this so that people can eat pork barbecue, pork steak and pork ribs.

What U.S.A. meat farms won’t let us see.

Grab this badge, write on any social media and link to #BtC4Animals

After four years of hesitation and never mentioning recordings of farm animals lack of good welfare, I break my silence.

Much of the time I avoid eating meat. From now on, I will be seeking out small sustainable and local farms. We have several nearby that do not inflict senseless cruelty on pigs, chickens and cows. After study of commercially farmed pork and chicken and beef, I have returned to my original vegetarian and fish eating ways.


Featured Image -- 7812

The Monday Post: Links for Readers and Writers


Oh, what a happy find!

I love finding new blogs, especially blogs on writing. What a way to begin a week with a peek at juicy links for writers and readers. Do go and enjoy L.N. Holmes’ blog. I found her blog through a comment she posted on Kristin Lamb’s Blog. Visit and read Kristin Lamb’s Blog too, because she keeps up fun, witty and encouraging advice to writers. Be sure not to miss Lamb’s post “What Makes a “Real” Writer?

Laughter and poetry?

Due to luck and the pursuit of a face to face writers’ group, Monday has turned into a golden day. For about eight weeks now, I have met with a poetry critique group. What joy to find dozen other writers, who not only love poetry, read poetry and write it, but also work to understand others’  poetry and revise their own poems. Usually, I feel I am the odd duck in any room, but now I’m the ugly duckling in a room full of other youthful swans. I find the sound of original poetry read aloud, thrilling.

A huge change in my writing life

After years writing poetry in private journals, I enjoy Monday Poets profusion of language and images. We give each other workshops on poetry forms and writing methods. A riot of exotic settings and historical periods, all made from a few words results from our efforts. By studying fiction for years, both by reading and writing plus in a critique group, I find myself in a field of dreams, writing poetry with others. I learn so much each Monday that I feel inspired all week. Writing poetry offers an ultimate challenge. How to take my readers on adventures, to say the unsayable, to convey ephemeral moments of being alive….

Poetry opens an ever-expanding world made of juicy word choices, hammering fresh metaphor and images, learning about line length, attending to tiny details of grammar, noting time (while not becoming heavy-handed), plus a wide span of poetic forms.

Monday Poets, I hope we keep celebrating beyond our first eight weeks. What a joy discovering I have landed in a peer group of high spirits, high standards and a few former professors of literature! Today, we shared a great deal of laughter. Laughing loud and long, we Monday poets critiqued six poems today, not bad for a group of amateurs.

Wikipedia definition of amateur

An amateur (French amateur "lover of", from Old French and ultimately from Latin amatorem nom. amator, "lover") is generally considered a person attached to a particular pursuit, study, or science in a non-professional or unpaid manner. Amateurs often have little or no formal training in their pursuits, and many are autodidacts (self-taught).
I like poetry  that makes me laugh.
A good dog and a good book, what more do you want?

Have fun dear writer pals, while I revise my blog drafts not yet polished enough to see the light of day.

Top of the week to you, Deborah

Originally posted on A Vase of Wildflowers:

Inspired by a similar type of post found on Electric Literature‘s website, The Monday Post is a collection of articles for writers and readers as well as a sampling of interesting works and publications from across the internet. They may be old links or new links, but they’ll be ones that I find the most interesting or helpful. If there are any particular topics you’d like to read about, please feel free to suggest them in a comment on this post. In addition, each new month will feature a new and interesting quote from an established expert in the literary field.

Writers and readers may find additional links and featured writers in The Monday Post archive. Please follow my blog for writing prompts, commentary, reviews, and more!

View original 412 more words

Exercising Brains: Yours plus your dog’s


Use your dog’s head plus yours

Now this topic got me going this morning. Playing games with our dogs not only keeps our dogs’ brains active and young and most dog lovers want their dogs to live long and healthy lives.

I think each time I play a game or introduce a new game, like the one in this post am reblogging, my brain starts zooming. Fresh hope, happiness and ideas race about as new possibilities.

Working for food? Not work for me!
Treat under plastic pots for a nose work game


So read this fine blog by C-Dog & Company then go play games with your dogs.

DIY pet toys? Yes, you can

3 dog toys you can make from things around the house 

Originally posted on C-Dog & Company:

Bodies aren’t the only things that need to be exercised. Brains need some calisthenics as well.

Last night I stretched my gray matter watching the movie Birdman, which won the Academy Award for Best Picture, 2014. I have to admit, I wasn’t really prepared to like the film. But it was funny and philosophical and post-modern, and Michael Keaton, Ed Norton and Naomi Watts were simply wonderful (I thought Norton stole the film, and my only real disappointment was that his character simply disappeared at the end). Birdman reminded me of Magnolia and Synecdoche, New York, two other post-modern dramas that push the envelope in a good way. Anyway, I’m no movie critic (that’s sort of a pun), but I do highly recommend the movie (especially if you’re a Ray Carver fan, as I am — see March 20, 2015 post).

Here’s a not-so-brilliant transition to my post at hand…

View original 87 more words

3 reasons funny dogs make you crazy


Like funny photos?

Love silly dog photos? Then please follow PETanimals because their WordPress blog just keeps the dogs coming. Thought I had seen this photograph of  an underwater dog before, perhaps in a book?

Any of you know this photograph’s source? I like to credit sources.

3 reasons funny dogs drive you crazy

  1. You look at funny dog photographs.
  2. You look for more funny dog photographs.
  3. You think with the right dog and camera you could make even funnier dog photographs.

Our Saturday contribution of Sydney in a wig.

I feel something dark coming for me.
Disguise or new personality?

Originally posted on PETimals:

they call me crazy &You thinkYou’reCrazy ??? :)


View original

Learn the Secret Life of Dogs


Keep learning from dogs

Seems surprising at in the year 2015, we (humans) barely understand the abilities and innate talents of dogs. Dogs live in the present moment. They know instantly, using sensory abilities to smell and to hear, far beyond our awareness. Yet how many times to we say, “Stop barking, Go lay down.” to our dogs? Is if we (humans) know everything they smell and hear?

  • Can you smell cancer? Dogs can.
  • Can you pick out the scent of a single man from a mile over a huge city? Dogs can.
  • Can you feel an earthquake coming 4 days before it hits?

Dogs did! In the 1906 San Francisco Earthquake

Four days before the 1906 earthquake shook the city of San Fransisco, the horses and dogs knew something terrible would soon arrive. Records written at that time reported that fire truck horses and family dogs became uncontrollable, ran away or fought their caregivers. Four days before.

Hey, I'm a cool dog.
Chilling between his families feet

Time to listen to our dogs. Time to visit Paul’s constantly fascinating blog, Learning from Dogs.

Thanks Paul for your permission to reblog this post.

Originally posted on Learning from Dogs:

Dogs watch us all the time and read our body language like a sixth sense.

A fascinating, and inspiring, insight into our favourite animal companion.

Published on Jan 26, 2014

Check out BBC Earth on BBC online
Dogs watch us all the time and read our body language like a sixth sense. They also smell our bodies for changes.

Max smelt cancer in Maureen before any medical scans could pick it up. Dogs do this naturally and can be trained to pick up on tiny volatile chemicals given off by cancerous tumors. They can even be taught to alert diabetics to low blood sugar levels.

Then read this, courtesy of the EarthSky Blog.

This dog can smell cancer

This is Frankie, a German shepherd mix. He can sniff out thyroid cancer in patients’ urine samples with 88% accuracy, according to a new study.

Image via The Endocrine Society. Image via The Endocrine Society.


View original 390 more words

Why Irish greyhound dogs need our help

The first greyhounds lived esteemed and loved

Drawings and paintings of greyhounds date back 4,000 years. From the ancient Egyptians to Homer’s Odyssey to the Bible, greyhound dogs lived as companions to royalty. Laws in many societies forbid commoners from owning or breeding greyhounds. At one point, greyhound dogs, known as sight hounds and used in hunting, lived protected and valued far more than a human life. Want to know more? Visit “History of the Greyhound Dog Breed” on Golden State Greyhound Adoption.

Help Irish Greyhound race track dogs

Irish Greyhounds need our help. Puppies and dogs that prove they do not love to chase a lure or lose a race suffer being euthanized. Dogs that run in races live in filthy small crates, travel long distances without water or food. Help change the laws to match the standards in the United Kingdom.

Please sign this Care2 petition. Tell the Irish government that the world’s dog lovers CARE about the dogs who make dog racing possible in their country. Save racetrack greyhounds from suffering horrible treatment and death.

The story of this ongoing tragic abuse needs voices from people all over the world. My friend, Rosee believes that signatures from citizens in the Untied States of America, can make a difference by signing this petition and changing the laws in Ireland. Read more on my 1 Minute for Irish Greyhounds.

Meet Speedy, a lucky Irish greyhound, before and after

an Irish underfed track dog
Speedy came as a racetrack rescue from Ireland.

Photo credit: Katrin Bargheer

Please sign this petition NOW.  Please share this post and the Care2 petition on Facebook, Twitter, etc. and in emails to friends. Care2 Petition Bring Irish Greyhound Racing Regulations in line with the UK Thanks for caring, Deborah Taylor-French

Speedy now lives with Rosee. Notice Speedy’s shiny coat, clear strong gaze and well-fed muscles?

Former Irish racing greyhound, now safe & happy
Former Irish racing greyhound, now safe & happy

Photo credit: Judith Utner

3 things dogs hate

Dogs hate three things

Living with people for thousands of years, dogs have changed. They have learned much about people, in general and in specific.. Of course genetically, dogs as a species continue to change and be changed by human neglect or human intention.

Science continues to study dogs. All over the world, canine and brain researchers keep learning new things about dogs all the time.

  • Dogs have a high pain tolerance, so don’t test it.
  • Dogs have a sense of fairness, did you know that?
  • Dogs have super sensitive hearing.

Do not do these 3 things to your dog

  1. Never use a choke collar.
  2. Never give other pets treats without giving your dog treats too.
  3. Never yell at your dog.

Number 1: The delicate breathing system and swallowing, which include drinking and eating, receive permanent  damage from choke and prong collars. See my No More Death by Collar

Number 2: The research proves animals have a sense of fairness and that dogs can count, at least enough to know unfair giving of rewards.

Number 3: The top trainers, canine behaviorists and research show that yelling will make your dog afraid of you.

Lee Duncan and Rin Tin Tin
Lee Duncan and Rin Tin Tin












Thanks for reading Dog Leader Mysteries. 

Deborah Taylor-French

Please add to my list. Leave a comment for me because I’m sure dogs hate more than these three things.

Heal dog hot spots

Need to treat your dog’s hot spots?

Confused on what to use?

You are not alone. We fell into the same confusion. After searching the Internet for an effective hot spot treatment, my eyes and mind felt scrambled.

  • Why so many YouTube videos, exactly 10,100 claiming hot spot cures?
  • A Google search came back with a mind-boggling  517,000 results!
  • We needed to know what was effective and to start treatment fast.

Sometimes searching the World Wide Web turns into a big time suck. Luckily, we have several local family pet  businesses nearby. Good thing that they thrive despite big box stores. Marc drove to 49er Pet Shop. Of course, they had several product options. Marc knew that one of the most important ingredients should be something distasteful to Sydney.

The dog who ate dirt.
Sydney ready to gobble a dog treat or a piece of carrot, etc.

Does your dog lick everything?

  • Our dog licks dirt.
  • He likes and licks sunblock and lotion.
  • He enjoys licking cayenne  pepper.
  • He eats raw vegetables.
  • Our dog has an allergy to grass (which he rolls in at every opportunity).

We treated our dog, Sydney, successfully, with Aller-911™ Hot Spot Foam Spray. We took a photograph of the product so you can see the label clearly.

NaturVet – Our Story

“In the summer of 1994, my wife Traci rescued our white lab Winston, who was diagnosed with arthritis and hip dysplasia. Several veterinarians recommended putting him down, but this was never an option for us. We began researching alternative medicine while working with Dr. Pedro Rivera, a renowned holistic veterinarian. After several months, we developed a natural joint formula that gave Winston a second chance at life. Winston went on to enjoy ten long years of playing and swimming with his brothers. We soon found others who wanted only the best for their pets as well – NaturVet natural pet supplements were born.”

NaturVet makes healthy stuff for cats & horses too.

Not only has our dog Sydney stopped licking and biting his hot spots, both spots appear to be healing nicely. A relief for our dog and for our family members worried about our dog.

Try me. I work fast.
Try me. I work fast.

What is your favorite healthy dog product?

Please comment so we can share it.

Thanks for reading and sharing,

Deborah Taylor-French

PS. My Internet search turned up a deep, dog care site. 

On this Website I read simple explanations of hot spots and other terms Vet’s give hot spots, plus a list of common causes. The post writer thoughtfully included suggestions for keeping your dog hot spot free.

Go see what Dog Care Knowledge has to say about hot spots on dogs.


Dog Chocolate Toxicity Meter

What took me so long?

Just stumbled on this PetMD Dog Chocolate Toxicity Meter. What a helpful and important resource, just type in what type of chocolate your dog ate and the meter states how toxic it is. My mission rolls out in my blog’s tagline “saving dogs’ lives and dog lovers’ sanity.” Four years ago, I set my purpose yet I have strayed a bit from it.

Blogging goals for 2015?

My goals for 2015 include sticking to this mission statement tighter in order to write and publish e-books, relating strongly to my purpose for Dog Leader Mysteries.

The thought just struck me to call this “Mystery Monday” and begin sharing my fiction on Monday. Perhaps, I will need to wait a bit due to the need to choose between WordPress.org vs. WordPress.com. In the meantime, you will find my blog on WordPress.com, until I get this all figured out.

PetMD Dog Chocolate Toxicity Meter

Beware of what goes in my mouth.
Beware of what goes in my mouth.

Thanks for reading, sharing and caring about dogs.

Deborah Taylor-French





Lost a pet? 4 tips to search Facebook

 Search Facebook to find a lost pet

Here is an idea I did not think up. Using a hashtag to search Facebook for a lost pet. Yes. A hashtag tags any post makes it searchable by others.

Hashtag Tips

  1. Begin with the number sign # then add a top key word or words (run together like a web address or link) such as #lostdog and where you lost your pet such as this hashtag #SonomaCountyLostPets.
  2. You can then update or comment using up to three hashtage per entry.
  3. Include a photograph of your pet.
  4. Add a description and any medical needs

A new writer friend, Brigid Wasson, shared this information on Facebook. If you live in Sonoma County, this could get your pet back quickly. Also if you live in a different California County, contact your county animal control and see if they have a Facebook Page and a way to connect with you on social media.

Of course if you have lost or found a specific breed of dog, cat or rabbit in a location you can label, add those as hashtags too.

Waiting is hard to do.
Waiting is hard to do.


Lost a pet? Found a pet? Inserting the hashtag #SonomaCountyLostPets into your lost/found Facebook posts will connect them with all other posts so tagged. Click in the link in this post to check it out. Remember if you want more than your friends to see these posts you’ll need to mark them “Public.”” Brigid Wasson, Director of Animal Services at County of Sonoma.

Found a lost pet? Hashtags can help you too.

 Deborah Taylor-French

Join us. Help animals.
Blog the Change for Animals

 Thanks for caring and for helping lost pets find their way home.


Dog driving you nuts? 6 things to try

Got dog troubles?

Whether the dog in question happens to be your first rescue dog, first puppy not responding to house training or your fifth dog that loves to hear himself bark, you are not alone. We know. Why? Think of the thousands of dog lovers who have felt overwhelmed at one point or another. We have been there, a few times (or more).

Some dog lovers ask other dog parents for advice. Others consult books, dog trainers, canine behavior experts and veterinarians. The feeling of being driven nuts can bring up the fear of living out of control. Perhaps, you feel a little scared faced with a new dog’s difficult behavior or canine health problem?

You want me to do slide down, right now?
You want me to do slide down, now?

Six tips for your sanity

to retain one’s reason in unreasonable times

  1. Describe the problem.
  2. Write the problem down.
  3. How bad is this problem? Rate the problem on a scale of 1 to 10. Make 10 the most difficult or distressing.
  4. Name parts of the problem and details such as the time the problem began, describe the situation(s) where it happens, ask as many rational questions as you can.
  5. Come to your senses. Take time to observe, listen, note the cycle of behaviors or signs that signal another round of stomach trouble. Make this a lucid interval. Be curious about every observable clue.
  6. Make every effort to not respond in a manner, which might be making things worse.

Stress trumps sanity

Synonyms for sanity; a soundness of mind; sobriety, lucidity.

We need to think clearly before we take actions to help our pets.

Of course, these steps may all seem common sense. With hindsight, we have not always responded with these logical and sane questions. Stress in the form of our own or a family member’s illness clouded our logic. When time to think over our dog’s problem may have been lacking, working a high stress job or running a business was all-absorbing (if not physically and mentally exhausting) we had to reach out to others.

Yes, we have experienced how stress shrinks thinking abilities. One rather embarrassing story, that we have not shared before, goes like this.

Ideas about ideal dog behavior wrecks logic

While both running our own businesses, we moved from southern California to northern California. Due to living in an apartment, we had not had a dog in many years. So I felt an urgent need to find our perfect dog. Perfect is not a word I often use. Maybe “dreamed of dog” fits better? After visiting the Petaluma branch of the Sonoma County Library and we discussed the type of personality we wanted in a dog. Both very fit, we wanted to hike and to run on the beach with our dog. Planning our family to include children, our very top priority meant a dog that demonstrated patience with children with a calm temperament. Plus being educated we hoped our dream dog would come to us both smart and motivated to learn.

Soon, we began contacting dog experts in our area for local keeshond breeders and rescues. We wanted a female dog. Without attachment to getting a puppy, we made an attempt to contact a Marin County keeshond rescue. That effort proved unsuccessful. We visited three breeders who fit an ethical breeding profile, each raised beautiful, loving and calm dogs. Each never let a puppy or dog end up in an animal shelter.

Got milk?
Hi, I’m Dawn, a keeshond dog with my very own girl.

Ethical breeder defined

Please read more about ethical breeders and their lifetime buy back contract at “Photo Friday: California Dreaming.” Then we heard of a one-year-old female that had been returned to breeder.

Dream dog trouble?

Of course we fell head over heels and signed the contract. We thought we had done all our homework. Ha!#@? A few more questions, would have saved us worry, time and money.

Mixed advice gave mixed results. Dawn, our first dog, a one year old spayed female had two problems in the first 24 hours. She refused to go potty. She happily went for walks, sniffed grass, drank water, but NO GO. Her first morning with us, she limped displaying a lame front paw. Off to the Vet we went.

I have run out of time. Tune in next Tuesday for the conclusion of our first 24 hours with our dream dog, Dawn.

Deborah Taylor-French

Neuroscience key to animal happiness

“…research in neuroscience has been showing that emotions drive behavior, and my thirty-five years of experience working with animals have shown me that this is true. Emotions come first. You have to go back to the brain to understand animal welfare.”

Animals Make Us Human : Creating the best life  for  Animals

by Temple Grandin & Catherine Johnson

Water dogs having a blast in Spring Lake Park
Water dogs having a blast in Spring Lake Park

By Deborah Taylor-French

Those of us who live and/or work with animals know…

animals have emotions.

Temple Grandin has made the understanding, care and handling of farm animals her life’s work. I refer to her book Animals Make Us Human because not only has she studied farm animals, but she also loves and lives with pets. In her books, especial this one, she insists that we must understand how animals brains work, how they see, hear and smell every sensory detail in their surroundings.

Animals emotions drive their behavior.

To make a better life for our pets, for domestic and wild animals we must understand the main emotions that drive behavior. This will help us to turn on their positive emotions and avoid turning on FEAR, RAGE and GRIEF.

Example: Rabbits and horses are prey animals.

  • Never chase either rabbits or horses.
  • Teach your pet rabbit or horse come to you.
  • Always reward them for recognizing their name and coming when called.
  • When you chase a prey animal, you make him or her fearful of you!

Emotions are the gifts of our ancestors. We have them and so do other animals. We must never forget this. When it comes to animal welfare we can always do better. Most of the time “good welfare” is not “good enough.”

The Emotional Lives of Animals by Marc Bekoff.

Dogs Depend on us for freedom from fear and safety

  • Never tied up your dog unless it is in your company in a human training session.
  • A dog needs to feel he call flee to safety.
  • Be sensitive to your dog’s fear signals and show him you will protect and calm him.
  • Increase your dogs positive emotions by interesting, but not overstimulating activities.
  • Always stop training before your dog gets tired.

Dogs are the only animals that live with us inside of their flight zone.

Dogs depend on us for positive and playful lives

When you help increase an animal’s curiosity, you turn on his or her positive emotions of SEEKING and PLAY.

Example: Dogs love to play.

  • Find a time and place when both you and your dog seem relaxed.
  • Invite your dog to play by doing a play bow or picking up his favorite toy.
  • Use an excited and happy tone of voice to call your dog.
  • Run away.
  • When your dog chases you, stop.
  • Wait for your dog to run then chase.
  • Always stop before your dog seems fearful or overexcited.

Dogs love this game, which dog lovers know dogs play every chance they get.

Temple Grandin Website and Book Orders

Blog the Change for Animals
Blog the Change for Animals

Thank you for reading.

Please share for the sake of all animals, because as

Temple Grandin says,

“Animals make us human.”

Please visit and share Blog for the Change for Animals – this October 15, 2013

Animals defy our tendency to define their lives and their limits.

For further information on brain research, emotions in animals and the primary-process emotional-affective networks of mammalian brains read US National Library of Medicine  National Institutes of Health on the work of Jaak Panksepp, Ph.D. Affective neuroscience of the emotional BrainMind: evolutionary perspectives and implications for understanding depression


Today Show: American Kennel Club Approved Puppy Mill Pups

A Distinguished Member of the Humane Society
A Distinguished Member of the Humane Society (Photo credit: Wikipedia.

Help stop puppy mill breeders from parading as American Kennel Club approved breeders.

Please share and reblog.

“New accusations that one of the country’s largest organizations dedicated to dogs, the American Kennel Club, isn’t doing enough to protect animals. TODAY National Investigative Correspondent Jeff Rossen reports.”  

Do you know that the American Kennel Club has only nine inspectors for the entire United States of America?

In my opinion, this is NOT nearly enough inspectors to do site visits at even 10% of all AKC approved breeders. AKC pedigreed puppies should be bred for healthy lives and under humane conditions. Don’t the dogs and the dog buyers deserve this?

What do you think? 

Can 9 breeder inspectors protect all AKC registered breed dogs across American from unethical and inhumane puppy mill breeders?

American Kennel Club Hounds
American Kennel Club Hounds (Photo credit: eschipul)


Video: One of the country’s largest organizations dedicated to dogs, the American Kennel Club, is facing new accusations from the Humane Society and the ASPCA saying that some AKC-registered breeders are raising dogs in filthy, inhumane conditions. NBC’s Jeff Rossen investigates.”

The Today Show

Visit NBCNews.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Please share this Today Show news and video.

AKC-registered breeders raising dogs in ‘miserable’ conditions

Help dog buyers stop buying puppy mill dogs approved by the American Kennel Club. Help dog lovers find breed rescue groups and shut puppy mills. No more animal cruelty under the AKC stamp of approval. Dogs lives and futures depend on us. Be their voice. Speak up. Write for dog rescue and adoption.

Yours most truly,

Deborah Taylor-French

No more dog fights

End dog fighting for good

Happy hanging out
We love being together, not fighting.

National Dog Fighting Awareness Day

“April 8th is recognized as National Dog Fighting Awareness Day. In conjunction with the ASPCA, BlogPaws is utilizing our “Wordless Wednesday” blog hop to give a voice to the innocent victims of this horrific activity. We are speechless at the brutality but we must continue to speak up.” Blog Paws “National Dog Fighting Awareness Day”

Wordless Wednesday

pet welfare = humane welfare
Get tough on dog fighting

This is a Blog Paws blog hop so click on the link above to see the other blogs or to join the blog hop. Thanks for stopping by Dog Leader Mysteries.

Blog Paws Blog Hop
Blog Paws Blog Hop







Write 4 animal rights

Free captive animals BtC4A

Yes, YOU, can spring captive animals

Despite laws that make cruelty to animals a crime, cruelty continues in a thousand ways for millions of animals. That’s the bad news. The good news is that you can do something about these crimes. You can write for the change without a blog, write on Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus, write emails, write letters and all this adds up to changing public opinion, changing laws and changing cruel treatment.

Be the change for animals

Grab this badge, write on any social media and link to #BtC4Animals
Grab this badge, write on any social media and link to #BtC4Animals

Write 4 the Change for Animals

Be a hero 4 free.

Write for Be the Change for Animals or Be the Change for Pets. Four times a year, you can join Be the Change by writing, signing petitions and raising awareness through emails, letters to newspapers, letters to government officials, blogging and sharing on social media.

Write 4 rescued bunnies: Alabama State law ruled to send back into factory farms

Now this story hurts. Factory farm rabbits, stressed and abused get rescued, only to be returned to other meat farms? Bizarre. The only word a friend of mine liked to stretch-out like it meant a secret nasty thing only he knew of.

Rabbits' health suffers when neglected.
Rabbits’ health suffers when neglected.

“Over 200 neglected and malnourished rabbits and other animals were seized on January 29 in Lauderdale County, Alabama as a result of a cruelty complaint. While this should be good news, and was for the animals of other species that were seized, the rabbits’ situation became tragically worse, as if that were possible! The district attorney decided to send the rabbits to commercial rabbit breeders both inside and outside the state, to spend their lives breeding and in miserable conditions until death.” Be the Change for Animals “Let’s Spring the Animals that Need Release!-#BtC4A”

No kidding! I just called the government official responsible for this meat rabbit mess-up, the D.A. in Florence, Alabama. I left a respectful message, requesting that he change his directive and send those 200 rescued abused and neglicted rabbits to a humane society or bunny refuge that will help them regain their health and get adoptive homes. Call or write Chris Connolly. He works as county district attorney in Lauderdale.

Lauderdale County District Attorney
200 South Court Street
PO Box 914
Florence, AL 35631-0914

Phone number for Mr. Connolly:  256-764-6351. My thanks go with you.

Sign petition here. Demand Sanctuary for 161 Rabbits Confiscated and Condemned to Die in Alabama

Blog the Change for Animals

April 15, 2015

I'm a happy dog now.
I’m a happy dog now.

Yes, you can. Write a blog post for animals. Write to save shelter pets lives or to stop puppy mills from selling pups at pet stores. Whatever your topic be sure to go to copy your blog post link and visit Blog the Change for Animals then add your link tomorrow. Don’t stop there, share on social media adding the hashtag #BtC4A or #BtC4animals.

Blog the Change for Animals

I do hope you will pick a topic that needs attention or share animal welfare topics on social media. Do remember you can share the old fashion and preferred way, by word of mouth. For connecting on Facebook with #BtC4A click the following link: Be the Change for Animals Facebook

Let me out, I need to move.
Never neglect animals.

Easter in black and white

Happy Easter: Sydney and Paris

Peaceful pets dog + house rabbit
Sydney & Paris guess who’s the boss?

Hearts fill with love for children everywhere, no matter the color of their skin, they deserve love.

Holding a pet rabbit safely.
Every pet wants to feel safe and protected by you

___This is a blog hop. Too bad WordPress does not accept the script to show you all the black and white pet Easter fun.

Are we done yet?
We love the beach.

Pets love all who gently love.

Happy Easter in black and white
Nola & Sugar

Thanks to Dachshund Nola and Sugar the Golden Retriever for hosting this blog hop. You can join the hop by clicking here.


Flemish Tapestry: Landscape with rabbit

Rabbits in Art

:  Verdure: Landscape, 17th century
Landscape with heron, rabbits, swan, Image

Digital images courtesy of the Getty’s Open Content Program.- See more at: Getty Search Gateway Image source: Digital images courtesy of the Getty’s Open Content Program.

Such a verdant, complex and vibrant landscape depicted in this Flemish tapastry created in the years c. 1660-1700. I love it. So on a day when I should be working on my book, but am gardening instead I send you rabbit kisses and this short post. 

Dear readers and blogger friends,

What a great resource for art lovers. Now you can share images of historical, cultural and artistic merit for free. Just click on the links above and search to your heart’s content. (or should that be for your blog’s content)?

Warmly, Deborah Taylor-French


House Rabbits Rock

Ten things to know on pet rabbits

“For April, BlogPaws celebrates Small Pet Appreciation Month. So all you bunny, chicks, hamster, rabbit, gerbil, ferret, fish, gecko, bird, and other small pet parents: This one’s for you!”

As a family we adopted our first rabbit, after both of our beloved dogs died within six months of each other. No way could we replace 16 years of loving attachment, fun, care-taking and adventure with Dawn and Nabisco.

Meet my best friends

Nabisco, Alex & Dawn siblings three

As a mom, I knew our child needed an animal to love. I needed an animal to love too. Something about waking up to give care, feeding, giving fresh water and love to an animal remains essential to my peace and happiness.

Oh, what's happening?
Rohnert Park Shelter Bunny Day volunteer
We learned a great deal about house rabbits.
  1. House rabbits often live 10 years or more.
  2. Rabbit healthy diet requires feeding  90% Timothy hay or Orchard grass.
  3. Feed daily,  limited herbs and bites of vegetables.
  4. Rabbits take to litter box training fast.
  5. Rabbits can die of fright.
  6. Rabbits bones tend to be easily broken.
  7. Rabbits love to play and to interact with people.
  8. Rabbits to protect against cancer spayed or neutered.
  9. Not related to rats, rabbits are Lagomorphs.
  10. Rabbits teeth grow, therefore must cut hay and wood daily.
_____________Come on, hop to Blog Paws with us!

It’s Wordless Wednesday. You’ll see many cute little pets, pocket pets, rabbits and more.


Save Easter Bunnies: adopt, don’t shop

 Wrong time to buy a bunny?

Where do 80% of Easter bunnies bought from pet shops go?

Answer: Into animal shelters

Friends of Alex rescued a little injured rabbit, abandoned in a cage at a construction site. Her friends lacked room for an inside pet. Alex examined the rabbit’s bloody front paw, then she took the little white rabbit to a veterinarian clinic. She paid Vet bills Alex could barely afford. She nursed the little rabbit to health, giving liquid antibiotics every four hours and cleaning his wound. We all visited the rabbit and celebrated when the Vet pronounced Alex had saved his crushed left front paw.

Alex named the little rabbit, Yoshi. Yoshi means lucky in Japanese. You can read Yoshi rabbit heals hearts and leg on this blog.

Alex holds Yoshi the rabbit she rescued.
Alex holds Yoshi the rabbit she rescued.
What a joy that our daughter loves animals.

We both learned so much from adopting our first house rabbit together. After we had lost both of our long-lived dogs, a bunny mirrored Alex’s seven-year-old moves. He lived in a bottom cage at the Rohnert Park Shelter. Alex said, “Hey mom. There’s a bunny looking at me.” When we met with that bunny, we felt impressed with his curiosity and confidence. He hopped over to her then to me on the visiting room sofa. Paris helped us recover from the empty place in our lives and helped us heal our grieving hearts.  Paris turned out to have an outgoing personality, loved to leap and explore. In the photograph below, I think you can see how much Alex loved him, right off.

Alex rarely carried him. Bunnies don’t like that.
Holding a pet rabbit safely.
Every pet wants to feel safe
Rental troubles in keeping Yoshi

Alex asked her landlord if she could kept Yoshi. The landlord chose a spot the garage for the rabbit. Although this began as a mutual interest, the rescued little Yoshi became a source of argument. Because Alex lives a busy life, working a job and taking college courses, she did not have all time Yoshi needed for company. Marc brought little Yoshi home for foster care. I gave him an Ex-Pen and little litter box tray. We bought hay and cut apple branches for him to chew.

We give Yoshi foster-care.
Hi, can we play now?
Me holding Yoshi.


Alex rescued Yoshi and saved his paw. We wanted to keep Yoshi as a pet. So we crated Yoshi and Tuxedo and drove to Rohnert Park Animal Shelter. We love their knowledgeable and friendly bunny volunteers and staff. We asked them to help us with a bunny date.

Whoa, this is a squeeze.
Rescued little Yoshi
Our bunny date went wrong!

After Yoshi’s first nail trim, we put her in an Ex-pen. But when we added our recently adopted pet rabbit,  Tuxedo, he took off like a bullet train, making tracks over to poor little Yoshi. Clearly, we could not keep Yoshi as a companion to Tuxedo. No room in our home to keep them separately either.

We must give up Yoshi to get a home

Marc, Alex and I asked people who had indoor rabbits if they wanted Yoshi. No one followed through. We turned down offers of people who kept their rabbits outside. Indoor rabbits live longer, healthier lives. Mosquitos and fleas infect USA pet rabbits with an incurable disease. Our USDA has not approved the vaccine so all we can do is keep the insect carriers away from pet rabbits in the USA.

All the rescues and local animal shelters rabbit space was FULL! Mickey Zeldes, Director of Rohnert Park Animal Shelter, shared the distressing news network. The majority of local animal shelters suddenly filled with abandoned rabbits.

Because Yoshi was found outside all city limits, the only option turned out to  surrender at our county animal shelter. They have a small, outdoor rabbit section. Finally, I called and spoke with staff and management at our county animal shelter. They  promised they would keep Yoshi or send him on to Save a Bunny in Marin. Yoshi would be put up for adoption immediately after I paid the surrender fee.

Marc and I did the surrender together. We questioned the staff and visited their rabbit pens. Although winter had turned the weather cold, we knew Yoshi needed a forever home. When we completed Yoshi’s surrender, I felt terrible. So terrible, that we drove back the next day to visit Yoshi. Every few days, we visited. Yoshi acted lively. He recognized us. Yoshi was now on a special diet. All the while, I kept blogging, posting to Facebook and Twitter trying to get Yoshi adopted.

Waiting. Waiting. Waiting.

Sonoma County Animal Care and Control posted Yoshi’s photograph on Facebook. But it took two long months for Yoshi’s forever home to happen.

Yoshi got adopted! Yoshi’s new mom knew all about house rabbits and put him on a special diet.

Surprise! Yoshi lost the gray smudges on his nose and ears. Yoshi now looks whiter than fresh snow. Plus, Yoshi got picked as an animal shelter calendar pet, the only rabbit!

Most Easter Bunnies have bad luck

Before you buy or adopt an Easter Bunny, please visit the Huffington Post on the growing problem of homeless pet rabbits. Easter Bunny Adoptions: 80 Percent Of Bunnies Purchased On Easter Are Abandoned (What You Can Do)

American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) has a tidy post on General Rabbit Care.

  1. Please share on Facebook, etc. & reblog.
  2. Help pet rabbits find homes.
  3. Educate families about pet rabbits and why adoption keeps being the best option for all.