Training Tips for Pup Parents

Most everyone knows that I am a dog nut: that I’ve had a lot of dogs, that I’ve read a lot of books about dogs, that dogs are always on my brain. So, people tend to ask me a lot of questions about things related to having dogs, especially when they are having a problem with behavior. I recently consulted an expert, and decided to just record her tips for you. Here you go. . .you’re welcome.

While you’re surfing the web, why not stop on by my Etsy Yelodoggie Art store and Zazzle items for some fun dog related swag!

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Books: Denali: A Man, A Dog, and the Friendship of a Lifetime & Bark Until Heard


by Ben Moon

Rating: 4 paws & a tail wag

(Contains spoilers)

Ben Moon’s memoir, Denali, is a captivating and inspiring tale. Moon, an outdoor adventurer, athlete and photographer, is diagnosed with colorectal cancer before the age of thirty, and must overcome the physical, emotional and spiritual challenges the diagnosis will have on his active and nomadic lifestyle. Through it all, Ben’s dog, Denali, is his constant companion. Denali’s unconditional love and support help him adjust to his new reality.

Authentic and full of honest, raw emotion, Moon does a great job of guiding us through his odyssey. His story is relatable on multiple levels: to athletes, dog lovers, and anyone who has had cancer touch their lives.

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Books (January 14, 2020)
  • ISBN-10: 0143133616

Ben Moon is an adventure and lifestyle photographer turned director and filmmaker who uses his intuitive sensibilities to bring individuals and their stories to life: from climbing and surfing images, to music videos, to behind-the-scenes moments and narratives. For more than seventeen years his work has been featured in the esteemed Patagonia catalogs, where he seeks to capture the beauty and authenticity of people challenging themselves everywhere, from the sheer rock walls of Yosemite to fifty-foot waves in the Pacific Northwest.


BARK UNTIL HEARD: Among the Silenced Dogs, I Found My Voice

by Becky Monroe

4 paws

Bark Until Heard is a true story about an animal welfare activist and writer from suburban Illinois, who discovers a passion and a purpose while on assignment. Monroe finds herself in an Amish barn at a puppy mill auction, where overcome with the brutal reality of mill dogs, she purchases Thorp, a dirty, frightened and withdrawn dog. Faced with his sad reality and the horrific circumstances of a hundred others, Monroe is unable to erase the memory of that fateful day. She stands up to fight for the dogs forced to live lives of neglect and confinement.

While the beginning of the book seems repetitive, (Monroe can’t stop telling us how traumatic the auction was for her), by the second half she has settled into a clarity of mind where she is able to recount her rescue efforts and those of other Mill Activists, spreading a message of urgency and compassion.

  • Paperback: 310 pages
  • Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (April 24, 2015)
  • ISBN-10: 1507841248

Becky Monroe is a writer and animal-welfare advocate. She has been published in numerous animal-welfare publications and seeks to expose the truth to improve the lives of domestic animals. She lives in Woodstock, IL with her husband and daughter and a changing array of homeless animals.

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Can you care too much for your dog?

The other night, I lay awake in bed thinking about all the dogs I’ve had in my life, and the various ways in which I’d failed each of them. My crimes ranged from leaving Pluto and Gypsy in the yard too much of the time, to failing to explain to Waldo that I was putting him down because  I loved him and wouldn’t have him suffer for one minute even though losing him would crush me. I mentally apologized to each of them for my failures, and asked them all to forgive me.

“Still alive” so they “must be doing something right.”

Being a dog guardian has been a learning process. I’m astounded by people who think they know it all because they have a dog. By people who say things like: “He’s still alive, I must be doing something right.” I’m equally astounded by the people who have had a dog, or two dogs, or half a dozen dogs during their life , and still think of them as “just animals.” People who ridicule others for “Treating their pets like children.”

What does that mean?

Wellbeing is more than having one’s physical needs met.

Next time someone says that to you, (and they will), ask them what they are objecting to.
Do they mean there should be a limit to how much care you give your dog? We know these days that physical care by itself isn’t enough. Wellbeing is more than just having one’s physical needs met. Do they mean that we should limit how much we love our dog? Is it even possible to limit the amount of love you feel? And anyway, we know that love by itself isn’t enough. Wellbeing is more than just knowing one is loved.

Which animal doesn’t have a soul?

I think that at the root of it, those people think that dogs are “less than.” That one life form is somehow less than another ( them ).
I wonder how they arrive at that belief? Because humans have speech? Jobs? Souls? Purpose? That, my friends, is why this world is in the mess that it’s in, because humans believe they are more important: more important than the environment, more important than other animals, more important than the oceans, the forests, their neighbor. Because humans are egoists. But this imagined separation between humans and animals is a lie.

It takes nothing from anyone if you are kind to your dog, so why is it so objectionable? Is it because others think that they are rational and you are not? I believe that I, and others like me, will be on the right side of history. Every day, science discovers more and expands our knowledge about the sentience of animals: that they have an emotional life, that they think and communicate, that they form relationships with others, that they are self aware, that they understand us when we speak to them.

What makes humans so great? We’re the ones who are destroying the planet. We’re the ones who cause all the pain and suffering.

Like children, dogs need us to be responsible and take care of them. . . in a way that ensures they are living their best life. And, like children, they are at our mercy.
UPDATE on the No Parole Project: there are still postcards left it you want some to pass out for signatures. Contact me at thewoof7@gmail.comwith your mailing address and quantity. Meanwhile, I am still accepting donations for postage. The current group of mailings will require $45 in postage. Donations of any size can be made through PayPal or in any quantity of actual 35 cent stamps. Contact me at the email address above for more info.

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Insisting on Proper Prosecution for WV Animal Abuser

I can’t believe I haven’t posted here since April, though I don’t suppose it’s hurt anything to keep the parole post up for an extra long time. Things have been pretty busy here Up on the Woof. In the “Good” column, I finished illustrating the children’s book, Raffy Calfy’s Rescue, which is part of the Animal Protector Series from Who Chains You books. The Animal Protector books are written by Tamira Ci Thayne. This is the second book I’ve illustrated for the series, and I’m working on a third, which is about hermit crabs. In the “Bad” column, our precious Rocket Boy left us on August 29, and that sucked. It was all very sudden. He died at home in our arms, and life just isn’t the same without our boys. But, that’s a conversation for a day when I am less consumed with soul-crushing sorrow.

Back to my previous blog post, about keeping Jeff Nally in jail to serve his entire sentence, which is where he belongs. I hope you’ve written a letter to the WV parole board asking that they set off Nally’s parole. If you haven’t (Why not??),  and if you just can’t get motivated to take pen to paper, or put ink in your printer, there may be another option (see below). . . But I’ve read that personal letters carry the most weight with the parole board. There’s still time, you know. (Hint hint) IMG_20190817_005244Meanwhile, the project continues. Did you sign the petition? This is what a petition with nearly 11,000 signatures looks like. I downloaded it, printed it out, and attached a cover letter. The petition is still active and accepting new signatures if you haven’t already signed. My cover letter informs the WV Parole Board that the petition is still active, and points them to it so they can note new signatures.

dennyThis is our cute young mail carrier, Denny. Today he picked up the packaged petition, and it is now headed to the parole board in WV. I hope they will be swayed by our request to have Nally serve his entire sentence. Thank you, to those of you who signed.

At the beginning of this blog post, I mentioned that if you were having a hard time getting motivated to write a personal letter to the parole board, there might be another option. Part of my plan for the project is to supply pre-printed postcards. I am currently in the design phase of the postcards, and foresee having them printed in October. I am taking requests for them. I don’t want to mail out single postcards, (The GoFundMe I set up to pay for the postcards hasn’t brought in very many donations, and my disposable income is negligible,) but if you think you can get five people to each sign one, I will happily send you five (or more, depending on how many you think you can get people to sign). I would love for the parole board to be flooded with letters and postcards!

postcard imgHere are some ideas: Do you work or volunteer at an animal facility or rescue? Would your vet let you put some postcards on their counter? Would your favorite pet supply store? Do you belong to an agility group, or attend obedience classes where you could pass them out to other animal lovers? Send me a note with your postcard request, and I will keep your info on file for when the cards are ready. The cards will only need a signature and a stamp, but I am designing them with some blank lines where you can write in your comments if you choose.

Please help however you can, and get your requests in now.

If you would like to offer us a helping hand here Up on the Woof, we have vet bills up the yin yang from our recent testing/imaging/medication & cremation of Rocket. We are always looking for coupons for certain items we purchase for our dogs on a regular basis.  Bil Jac Frozen coupons,  milkbone coupons,  or Lysol coupons that you will not be using, please save them for us. Contact me if you have some to send. Donations can also be sent via Paypal to

We also have a wishlist of items that snoopy thankshas recently been updated. Click the link below to view.

Things we need Up on the Woof


I also attempt to earn money for the pups with my Etsy Yelodoggie Art store and Zazzle items.




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