I’m Stealing Your Dog on Friday

I’m stealing your DOG on Friday.

You know, that dog who your wife used to hold on her lap all day long. The dog that stayed glued to her side while she fought cancer. She loved that dog.

I’m stealing your dog on Friday.

That dog you leave outside in all kinds of weather. The one you said didn’t need a bath because she’d been out in the rain all day.

I’m STEALING your dog on Friday.

Because she’s spending way too many hours lying under your porch. She’s lonely.
You might be feeding her, but there’s more to having a dog than just providing food and water.

I’m stealing YOUR dog on Friday.

Because the only time you talk to her is when you are snapping at her. Because since your
wife died three years ago, she hasn’t been petted even once. She never hears a kind word.
She doesn’t wag her tail any more.

I’m stealing your dog on Friday.

Because you won’t license her or get her shots, or put her on heartworm preventative. You let her nails get so long they are growing into her pads. She is neglected.

I’M stealing your dog on Friday.

Because the way she howled the last time I drove away has been haunting me. She was crying for help.

I’m stealing your dog on FRIDAY.

Because she deserves better than the lonely life she has.
Because she deserves to be loved and valued.
Because she deserves to be happy.


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A Dog Poem. A poetic interlude, Up on the Woof.


Summer nighttime

I park the truck and let you out.

Gravel crunching underfoot

So small and fast, you fly ahead

Barking at some unseen trespasser

To protect our home that’s not our home


In low dark shapes

My fear darts across our moonlit yard

That’s not our yard

To meet you

Your angry snarls are swallowed

By a chorus of throaty others


Teeth flash, fur blurs

In the unseen engagement

heart pounding, I run

Praying I’m not too late

to save you.


Sensing my fear perhaps

you wake me from the horror

that’s not our horror

with sheepish reassurance

cold nose to my ear

you save us both



2011 C.A.Wulff

Illustration: “Black Dog Runs at Night” Akwaforta, 2005

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Super Seven Hour Sunday Sale!

TODAY ONLY, between the hours of 3 pm – 10 pm, you can get a copy of Born Without a Tail: the Making of an Animal Advocate for half off the cover price and FREE shipping! As a bonus, you’ll also get a Circling the Waggins bookmark.
Hurry, supplies are limited

bwatcoversamp_sm (2) Buy now button
“Born Without a Tail captures the real scenario of those people who simply find it impossible to turn away, or say no to, a stray or an animal in need of human intervention and love. Wulff writes with an imagery that is easily visualized by the reader. Anyone who enjoys animals in the least will appreciate Wulff’s adventures with these four-legged creatures.” — Brecksville Magazine

“If you [also] love animals, I can guarantee you will adore this gem. The love Cayr and her friend, Dalene, have for these animals is clearly portrayed in this moving yet uplifting book. They are animal lovers with big hearts for not only domestic animals but for the waifs and strays too. I couldn’t put this one down. I thought it was an absolutely brilliant book, especially as I myself share the same passions as the author and her “life mate” have for animals.

This is a tale that will appeal to animal lovers and perhaps children too.” — Bookpleasures.com

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The Truth

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Everybody Needs a Little Help Sometimes

Recently, the PetPlace blog had an article entitled “Who Deserves a Pet? The Irreverent Vet Speaks Out“. It was about the controversial subject of whether or not a person should have a pet if they can’t afford to care for it properly.

The author wrote: “My first thought is that everyone deserves to have a pet. Pets provide an unconditional source of love, companionship and loyalty that we all need in our lives. But what if you can’t afford to properly care for the pet? Is that really fair to the pet? Pets are like our children. They need love, food, medical care and a responsible person to put that all in order. The person who owns a pet must be able to meet that pet’s needs. And the sad truth is that everyone is not equipped to do that.”

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen an animal in need in my Facebook feed and dozens of comments underneath the photo that say things like “You shouldn’t have a pet if you can’t afford to spay or neuter it”, or “That person shouldn’t have a pet if she can’t afford_____”(surgery, flea and tick meds, heartworm preventative, emergency treatment, or whatever the pet is in need of) If only the world were that simple. While there may be a segment of the population who gets a pet without any thought as to how they will pay for maintenance care like pet food and vaccinations, there are also those who are prepared for those things when they get a pet until…. coasterdogsThey lose a job…or their pet becomes chronically ill…or a family member becomes ill…or they have an emergency auto repair…or some other tragedy or emergency throws their world and their finances all a-kilter. The truth is that anyone can find themselves in need of help, but that doesn’t mean they don’t deserve to have their pet. Next time you see someone being crucified because they can’t afford something their pet needs, try to remember that there may be a circumstance that has sent things off the rails for them. I currently have a pack of five dogs. We do pretty well with them. Everyone is UTD on vaccinations – distemper, corona, rabies, leptospirosis, lyme disease, bordatella. The ones that need professional grooming, get it. Everyone gets a yearly wellness exam. Everyone is on heartworm preventative and on flea and tick meds. Waldo, who had double ACL surgery, takes a daily joint supplement. pet medsThey have an expensive fountain water dish so their water is always fresh. Our oldest dog, Lammy Lamb, takes an antibiotic one week every month. She has trouble with her balance and footing, so we bought her shoes. She found them so helpful she has already worn them out and we had to order her a new pair. Rocket Boy has a serious rawhide addiction that requires ridiculous quantities of rawhide for his monthly fix (to lick, not chew)…and of course, we feed them a healthy wholesome, not exactly cheap, food. Combined, this requires quite a substantial sum of money per year.  Honestly, if you ever looked at my monthly budget, you’d see all this stuff there…but what you wouldn’t see is an entry for entertainment, or clothing, or even food. So, even though we’re taking good care of our dogs, we’ve had to make certain sacrifices in order to do it. (No, we haven’t stopped eating, but it’s not something we can budget…what’s left over buys food) I won’t even discuss the expense of what’s needed to care for the hermit crabs. Well, we’ve finally hit an expense or two in dog care that has tipped the balance and is wreaking a bit of havoc on the budget. Lammy Lamb, now 17-1/2, requires certain things to get her (and me) through the day. One of these is diapers, and the other is increased PICT1799feedings.  We’ve had to switch her to soft food for her teeth and digestion. It’s way more expensive than kibble – especially since she is eating 4 times a day. And the diapers…well, she’s not so much incontinent as she is forgetful – so managing the messes is preferable to following her around with a dustpan and mop. I know, these sound like ridiculously simple things, but it’s been a hardship. 17 is a  nice long life for a dog, and some of you may be wondering why we haven’t put her down. Well, she doesn’t have any serious health concerns. She has a good, strong heart; her kidneys are functioning just fine, she has a great appetite, and she still enjoys and seeks out human interaction. She’s forgetful, but what grandma isn’t?  That’s not a dog you put down. So, I’ve been looking for paying projects and ways to earn the extra cash needed for her care. Here are my skills:

  • Graphic Design (flyers, menus, book covers, bookmarks, packaging, etc.)
  • Book formatting for print and kindle
  • Proofreading
  • Writing

If you have a project in one of those categories that you need help with, please email me. If you’ve been meaning to read one of my books for awhile, how about now? There are links where they can be purchased in the margin to the right. If you’ve been knocking around the idea of purchasing the 2nd (enhanced) edition of Born Without a Tail, you can buy it here for  1/3 off the cover price. bwatcoversamp_sm (2) Buy now button Or if you just want to be a benefactor to Lammy Lamb… PICT1439 donate buttonWish List:

  • Diapers: size 2 or 3. (we use regular baby diapers)
  • Diaper coupons.
  • Rachael Ray Nutrish coupons. (wet & dry)
  • Hills Science Diet or Evangers coupons (wet only)
  • Paper towels.
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Giveaway! “Born Without a Tail; The Making of an Animal Advocate”

I seldom write about my books here Up on the Woof. Images of the book covers just kind of lurk in the right margin of my blog, reminding you that they exist, and giving you a link where they can be purchased. As you might have guessed, I mostly write about dogs.

Dillon the "silver dog". Told me to quit complaining about his bark, because it didn't intimidate anyone.

Dillon the “silver dog”. Told me to quit complaining about his bark, because it didn’t intimidate anyone.

It was eight years ago today when I published my firsts book, Born Without a Tail.  It was a labor of love. My heart dog, Dillon, was about to turn seventeen, and it made me think about my time with him and with all the other pets in my life. I self-published that book because even though there were interested publishers, none of them were moving fast enough, and I was determined to see it in print before Dillon died. As it turned out, I didn’t need to be in such a hurry, because he still had 3 good  years in him. My subsequent books were all published by indie publisher Barking Planet Productions, and it’s been a great partnership. This year, we decided to make Born Without a Tail a Barking Planet book, too.

The 2007 & and 2015 editions.

The 2007 & and 2015 editions.

Yesterday, the second edition hit print and is available on amazon, B&N, and other online retailers. It looks a little different from the first printing,and it contains some new material, too. The new edition has a foreword by Bob Tarte, the author of Enslaved by Ducks, Fowl Weather, Kitty Cornered, and a new book he is shopping around to publishers right now. I recommend Bob’s books to all animal lovers and rescuers, because they are a lot of fun, and he’s an excellent writer. The new edition also has a prologue about my journey into advocacy, and it also contains some photos that the first printing didn’t have. Here’s what some readers have said about it: “I can’t say too much about this book, it’s more than a ‘dog book’ it’s a people, animals, life book. I was hooked from the first page and read it straight through, and have re read it since, enjoying it just as much the second time around.  Anyone who’s ever had a heart dog, a misfit cat, ever been touched by the love of an animal should enjoy this book. It’s a keeper. “ A collection of funny and heartwarming tales that shaped the life of a young animal advocate. Inspiring and written from the heart. I was touched by this account of love, friendship, responsibility and true selflessness. If you love animals you will not be able to put this book down. . In celebration of the 8th anniversary of the book and the publication of the new edition this month, I’m giving away some copies. All you have to do to enter is to “like” my Facebook author page , find the image below and comment on it, and you will be automatically entered into the drawing. Winners will be randomly selected on April 3. Good luck, and please, tell your friends! entertowin

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DOGS. Because People Suck

I thought last winter was tough, but the blast after blast of arctic air this winter gave a new meaning to “cold”. One day in February, it was -16F here, and other places in the state were even colder, -26F, -39F.

Winter night time.

Winter night time.

We live in a log cabin in the National Forest, and we heat with a wood stove. Mornings can be pretty nippy, when the embers have burned down to nothing. If we can keep the cabin in the 60’s, we are doing well. Sometimes I feel the cold deep down inside me, like my ribs have ice cubes packed around them, and I just can’t get warm.

My normal day usually includes three, 1 mile walks with Waldo, our boxer/golden mix. When it gets down below zero though, we don’t walk. We barely let him peek his nose outdoors. For a dog that loves to be outside playing in the snow, this is very hard for him.

That -16 day here, I slathered the pads of his feet with Bag Balm, and I let him run up into the meadow to do his morning business. After only a couple of minutes, he was in distress. He had to do more than just pee, but it was too cold. He picked up one foot, then the other, and I could see how his legs were frosted with the crystalline snow. I called him, and he limped to me. When I brought him in and dried him off, there was blood on the towel after I’d wiped one of his feet. Only three minutes outdoors and his foot was bleeding…and that was after I had covered his pads with a protective coating!

Waldo was very upset. Not about his bleeding foot, but because it had been so uncomfor- table outside. Because it had been too cold for him to do the pacing and circling he needs to do before he poops. He buried his head in my lap asking for sympathy. After I had coddled him, I put a clean pee pad on the floor and instructed our little dogs to use it. Their tiny paws would have frozen before they were even off the front porch, so I would not subject them to even a minute outside.

Other dogs are not so lucky.

Chained in the snow in Warren Twp., Ohio.

Chained in the snow in Warren Twp., Ohio.

The month of February, I worked for the group Dogs Deserve Better. I fielded complaints about chained dogs around the country. I reported the cases to officials in the communities where those dogs were being forced to endure arctic temperatures outdoors, on chains,  without proper shelter.

I loved the job. Taking action made me feel like I was doing something to help those dogs.  Case after case, officials told me they checked on the dogs and that they were “fine”. I wondered how that could be possible; how a dog could survive an entire night outdoors in the cold, when my dog was clearly distressed, suffering, and hurt after just a few minutes.

It’s not possible. Those officials must have a really messed up idea of what “fine” is. And the owners of those dogs…well, there just aren’t enough profane words in the world to express how I feel about them.

Dogs Deserve Better CEO, Tamira Thayne, blogged about more than a decade of struggle with this same issue: I Care, and It Hurts. That Dogs are Dying Outside RIGHT NOW.DDB is a great group, and deserves your support. Like any 501c3, they are always in need of donations. You can even commit to a small monthly donation to sponsor one of the dogs at the center.

Stephen Wells from the Animal Legal Defense Fund says that

“The fundamental problem for animals is that the law considers them things.”

But it’s not just the laws…because the people breaking them have that same mindset. Take my sister-in-law’s husband, Glen, (please!) who thinks he knows how you should treat dogs



because he watches Cesar Millan. Since my sister-in-law’s death three years ago, it’s fallen to Glen to take care of her dog, Chloe. Chloe is a rat terrier, who was very attached to her human mama. Chloe spent 9 out of every ten hours on her mama’s lap…but since she’s been gone, Chloe hardly gets any attention at all, and she spends way too many hours outdoors, alone. To Glen, a dog is “just an animal”.  The only reason Chloe stays vetted, is because I take her in and pay for her shots myself.

When Glen texted me to see how we were holding out in the brutal weather, I responded, then added that I hoped Chloe wasn’t spending any time outdoors. He texted back that she’d been out for an hour, and had another hour to go. This prompted a flurry of feverish texts, wherein I stated some facts, expressed my opinion, and asked if I should come and get her.  After the texts, I decided that I would be calling the local humane society to go out and check on her, just the way I had spent the past week calling officials in other states for other dogs – dogs I didn’t know. And along with that decision came the realization that deep down at the core of things, I didn’t care if calling the authorities would destroy my relationship with Glen. I’m not about to give a pass to somebody just because I know them.

My partner, D,  convinced me to call and talk to Glen before I called the police or HS, so I did; and he was angry – angry that I hadn’t known that he was just messing with me.

I need an entire wardrobe of these tshirts.

I need an entire wardrobe of these tshirts.

As if it isn’t obvious to everyone, even people I barely know, how seriously I take this stuff.

I’m not sure that even I was aware of how passionate I am about dogs, until I realized that I cared more about Chloe’s life and safety than I cared about maintaining a human relationship.




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