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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CALL TO ACTION: Your Voice is Important.

When I think back to the times when I’ve been strongly motivated to advocate for animals, I find that they coincide with particular stories of animal abuse in the news. Stories that hit me in the gut. My current project is no different. For it to be successful, I need to make a lot of noise and to reach a lot of people. To do this, I need your help; the help of other advocates, animal rescues, and animal lovers. Today I am going to give you the opportunity and a clear path to help me and make a difference.

Jeffrey-Nally-Jr-mugshot-35765165.400x800 (1)In 2011, I covered a story out of West Virginia for Pet Pardons News. It was about a young man, Jeffrey A. Nally, who’d been arrested for obtaining animals from “Free to Good Home” ads and then torturing the animals to death. Many of the victims were puppies. Police found the remains of 29 dogs and a cat on his property. If you want to read more about the details of the case, you can do so HERE. (Be warned, it’s gruesome). The case had a prosecutor who really cared. He worked hard to be the voice for Nally’s helpless and innocent victims, and was able to have the man sentenced to 10-45 years in prison. That’s almost unheard of.

Nally comes up for parole in April of 2021. You may not know this, but psychiatric and humane professionals agree: animal abusers are five times more likely to move on to commit other violent crimes like assault and murder. In Jeff Nally’s case, he already has other violent crimes on his record, and given the fact that he’s been quoted as saying

“Killing dogs makes me feel good”

I think you’ll agree with me that the world is a safer place if he remains behind bars and serves his entire sentence.

That’s why I’m putting out this CALL TO ACTION.

  1. Sign the petition I’ve started on and then share it via your social media.
  2. Write a letter to the WV  Division of Corrections parole board asking them to deny Jeffrey Nally early parole. You should address your letter to “Honorable Members of the Parole Board“. Tell them you’d like for them to deny parole for Jeffrey A. Nally, Offender #3507601.

Ask that Nally  be given a “set-off” and be required to serve his full sentence. Tell the parole board why you think Nally is a danger to society, and how you feel about his cruel crimes. Sign your letter and mail it to:

Parole Board
WV Division of Corrections
1356 Hansford St. Suite B
Charleston, WV 25301

Neither the offender nor his attorney will see your letter — only the parole board. Personal letters carry the most weight with the parole board, but if you need help, send me an email and I will provide you with a letter you can sign and mail.

  1. Make a donation to the GoFundMe that I’ve set up for this project. Donations will be used to purchase pre-printed postcards to the parole board. The postcards will be provided to individuals and groups to share with others to sign and mail in. If there is enough in the GoFundMe, the remainder will be used for postage to mail the postcards.
  2. If you are an individual or a member of a group who wants postcards to pass out, please send me an email with your mailing address and the number of postcards you think you’d be able to get others to sign and mail.
  3. If you are an official of a rescue or humane group who updates your members with emails or a newsletter, I will provide you with an article upon request.
  4. If you are a teacher who would like me to speak to your class about this campaign and advocating for animals, contact me.
  5. Share this blog post with others via your social media.


 I used to say  “Somebody should do something about that.”
Then I realized I am somebody.”


Posted in Animal Advocacy, Random Woofs, The Woof on Animal Welfare Legislation | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

Let’s Talk Turkey About Rescue

Since becoming involved in the social media aspect of dog rescue and advocacy, my knowledge of the abuse and troubles associated with dogs has grown. I’ve learned about bait dogs, kill shelters, PETA and fake rescues, crush videos, the Yulin dog festival, sled dogs, pet theft and flipping, class B dealers, dog racing, chaining, humane legislation, commercial pet food, and more. To tell you the truth, huge.0.3313I’d rather not know about most of this stuff. Some days, the knowledge is like trying to shoulder the weight of the world.

One of the things that has repeatedly bothered me are the reports of dog abuse in other parts of the world. Most times, those posts don’t carry any useful information, such as when the abuse happened, who has the evidence, what official to contact, or even the country where it happened. Sometimes a country is mentioned, but often it’s one of those where the welfare of women, or other marginalized citizens are not respected — so how can I hope to obtain any kind of justice for animal cruelty there? Where does one even begin to vet a foreign rescue group to make sure it’s not some kind of financial scam?
Gradually, I came to hear of U.S. rescue groups that are rescuing dogs in places like Iraq and Turkey, by flying them to the states to find adoptive homes. I have not been a fan of this practice: not able to justify the cost, time, or effort involved when there are so many dogs right here in the U.S. who need help.

But then I met Dodi.

I was dropping Rocket Boy off to be groomed at Dog Days in Bath, and when I walked in a number of dogs were lined up behind the counter, standing on their hind legs, as if they were “working the counter.” This in itself was not unusual. There is always a group of friendly dogs there for grooming or day care to greet customers and new arrivals. On this morning, one of the dogs was a young golden, and as I handed Rocket over to Alyssa, I began to greet the smiling dogs at the counter. When I came to the golden, he leaned in for the attention, and I asked:
” Who’s this? ”
“That’s Dodi,” Alyssa said.
” Hello Dodi, ” I said, “you are a very sweet boy. Are you having fun here?”
” He probably doesn’t understand what you are saying, ” Alyssa said, “He’s a Golden Treasures dog from Turkey.”



So, I thought, this is one of those dogs rescued from overseas. I hadn’t known that Golden Treasures Rescue did that. Aren’t there enough goldens in need of rescuing here?
“You don’t understand English?” I said to Dodi. ” And I don’t speak Turkish.”

But then, Dodi and I made a connection. It was more than him deliberately placing his paw on my arm. It was more than the way he gazed deep into my eyes. It was more than the way he radiated love out of each and every golden hair.

I caught my breath. Gratitude was pouring out of him in a great wave. People had been kind to him. He was safe. He was fed. He wasn’t sick any more. He had a soft bed and a warm place to sleep. Life was good.

I hugged Dodi around his neck. What an extraordinary dog! Who was I to say which dogs deserved rescue and which ones did not? They are all deserving wherever they’re from. All dogs should feel safe and loved.

Golden Treasures Rescue teams up with other local rescues to each sponsor a dog. A rescue group in Istanbul provides the dogs in need, and the network transports them to America for medical treatment and adoption. As a team effort, the groups are able to keep their costs more affordable while helping multiple dogs at once. Golden Treasures places their dog in a foster home and sees to his medical needs. The foster home works with the dog to make him more adoptable, and to learn the dog’s traits and personality so he will be placed in a home that will help him thrive. Dodi was adopted shortly after I met him, and has a lovely family.


Golden Treasures Rescue (GTR) is an all-volunteer rescue, providing veterinary care, foster homes and permanent new homes for golden retrievers in the Ohio area. They rescue Golden Retrievers wherever they are found.

Their adoption fee rarely covers the cost of rescuing these wonderful dogs. They may take in a dog that is already spayed/neutered, but the next one that comes in may be heartworm positive. GT relies on donations, fundraising activities and grants for its income. They do not receive any state or federal funds. And, because GT is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization, all donations are tax deductible.

Golden Treasures Golden Retriever Rescue, Inc.
P.O. Box 434, Bath, Ohio 44210

Posted in Random Woofs, The Woof on Rescue Groups | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments