Dogs and Spring Training

dog at spring training game
Want to bring your dog with you as you enjoy a day of sun, suds and spring training? Well, sad to say Cactus League ballparks aren’t as welcoming to the four-legged dogs as they are to the meat-byproduct ones.

Only one of the ten Cactus League Ballparks has a dog-day special in 2018. And that’s Peoria Sports Complex, home of the Seattle Mariners and San Diego Padres. Interestingly, the Padres play in Petco Park at home –and they were the first team in baseball to have bring-your-dog-to-the-game days.

Peoria Sports Complex more than makes up for the dearth of other Cactus League teams because it has not one – but four PawParty Days’’ on March 1, 6, 15 and 23!

On these days, you can sit on the lawn and watch a game with your favorite canine buddy. It’s up to you,though, to figure how much of your hot dogs you want to share with The Dog.

Take your dog to spring training

To get your dog into the game, purchase a “dog-admission ticket” at the Ticket Office Window.

All of the PawParty Days’ proceeds will go to the Arizona Humane Society.

The scoop on Peoria stadium

Of all of the stadiums, Peoria has the most promotions this season, including  honoring nurses, teachers and veterans.

That’s great because other stadiums just gladly take your money and then turn around charge you a bundle for beer and a hot dog. Do I sound bitter? Sorry. I just remember the old days when going to a spring-training game was a spur-of-the-moment decision, made mostly because you had nothing better to do that particular afternoon. It was more of a lark and didn’t involve so much logistics. Or parking. Or planning. Or money.

But enough nostaligia for the old days! If you are interested in making it a day with dog, may we suggest the ultra-friendly Salty Senorita, which is super dog friendly and close to the ballpark.

And play ball!




Year of the Dog –Welcome!

img class=”aligncenter size-full wp-image-2369″ src=”” alt=”year of the dog ” width=”225″ height=”225″ />Gong Hey Fat Choy! Welcome to the Year of the Dog!

I kinda think every year is the Year of the Dog (at least around our house) but according to Chinese astrology, 2018 is for all the Dogs out there (people born in 1934, 1946, 1958, 1970, 1982, 1994, 2006, 2018) to have their time.

The 2018 Chinese New Year, celebrated around the world, begins on Friday, Feb. 16 and lasts for two weeks.

What does Year of the Dog mean?

According to a number of astrology sites I looked at (one that said it was 100-percent accurate – can’t go wrong with that!) the Year of the Dog is going to favor canine traits. The Years of the Rooster (2017) and Monkey (2016), which brought more impulsiveness and disharmony into the scene, are thankfully in the past.

2018 is expected to bring prosperity, particularly to those who, like the Dog, are proactive, work hard and communicate well. Dogs are natural problem solvers so now may be a good time to try new business ventures or make lifestyle changes.

All of us will get some of the Dog’s keen sense of right and wrong and perhaps that means more equality for all.

Let’s raise the doggy water bowl to that! Power to the pups!

Not so much into astrology

You don’t think there’s a species worth of difference between a Year of the Rooster or Dog? You can always check out your birthyear and see what animal represents you. Does it ring true for your personality?

Still not going for it? Well, you can always shop instead. Turns out there is some really nifty merchandise to commemorate Year of the Dog. Who knew?

How about these very cool shoes that are supposed to be for kids but maybe you can squish your feet into them?

year of the dog merchandise

You will actually want to use snail mail with these breed-specific Year of the Dog stamps

year of the dog

Very cute little stuffed dog

year of the dog doll
Does your dog smoke? Maybe they need a lighter?

year of the dog
 And finally a onesie — for your little human Dog 

year of dog

Service-dog laws in Arizona

service dogs

Photo courtesy of Canine Companions for Independence

There’s a new bill going through the Arizona Legislature to tighten the leash on people who try to pass their dogs off as service dogs.

Which I admit, I have been greatly tempted to do.

Like most of us, I like spending time with the dog and want to take her with me to grocery stores or Starbucks (although there is a pretty extensive list of dog-friendly places in Phoenix). Most of all, I would love her comforting presence when I fly. I’d gladly pay for her to sit with me on the plane (only domestic, of course –hey, not made of money here).

Why I don’t pass off my dog as a service dog

But I have talked with enough people who have trained dogs for people with disabilities, to realize that my poorly trained Beagle could give real service dogs a bad name. And “real’’ service dogs are true heroes – they can do everything from help people with hearing losses know if there is a knock on the door to alert people with neurological problems of potential seizures.

Apparently, there are others who are passing their dog off as a trained service dogs and now, a Fountain Hills legislator wants to rein them in.

Service-dog legislation

Sen. John Kavanagh wants judges to impose fines of up to $250 on anyone who fraudulently misrepresents an animal as a service animal or service animal in training to operators of businesses, public recreation sites, buses, taxis and ambulances.

Under SB 1040, a business owner can file a complaint if they feel someone has brought in a fake service dog. The dog owner would have to prove otherwise. Kavanagh is no stranger to dog issues – he was a guiding force behind last year’s legislation to help dogs trapped in hot cars.

“It’s amazing that you can’t get a placard to park your car in a disabled spot unless a doctor certifies that you’re disabled.

“But, pretty much, today everybody can walk around and buy vests (for their animals) on the internet and claim non-trained animals are service animals. It makes no sense to me,” he told KJZZ.

The other side of service dog

Attorneys for the Arizona Center for Disability Law, which represents people with disabilities, said Kavanagh is trying to solve a non-existent problem.

Arizona law already gives businesses the right to eject any animal — including a service animal — if it misbehaves, is not housebroken, poses an “undue burden” or “poses a direct threat to the health and safety of others,” say center attorneys.

Arizona isn’t the only state looking at this: At least 19 others have cracked down on fraudulent service dogs. Massachusetts is now considering a similar proposal to Arizona’s.

What do you think?

For dog lovers, this is interesting stuff. We love our dogs and always want them nearby. Yet, we, more than others, understand how much a dog could mean to someone who faces really tough challenges every day.

If you have any thoughts, pass them along to your legislator.


Gifts for the dog this holiday season

You know you are getting the dog a gift this holiday — a little something extra.

Why not shop local?

The metro Phoenix area is home to a lot of great entrepreneurs who love dogs as much as you do and their products/stores show it!

Plus, when you visit these local stores and vendors, they welcome your dog as well as you!

Coyotes in central Phoenix Part: 2

coyote in central Phoenix
So, last week I wrote about a problem in our central Phoenix neighborhood distressing to us dog people: coyotes.

I had one lounging on my front yard and others have seen them sauntering through the ‘hood. These coyotes are not particularly scared of us and the Arizona Game and Fish Department advice of walking tough and acting big and frightening isn’t working.

Worried about my dog, the neighbor’s small dogs and kids playing at Encanto Park, where apparently a den of them live, I called my City Councilperson Laura Pastor.

The City Council’s advice about coyotes

I talked with a very nice guy there who said he would do some research and get back to me. After a lot of missed calls, we connected. Got to give him an “A” for effort.

The advice….

First he suggested talking with neighbors who feed stray cats because the cat food and the cats themselves attract coyotes.

But we both realized that the kind-hearted people who do that may not want to stop feeding the cats and there is nothing that can be done about that.

Then, he suggested making sure all the garbage can lids were secure and not easy to open to deprive them of an easy source of food. Fair enough. I can do a quick survey of the alleys and report back to the city.

Lastly, he suggested super soakers. Apparently coyotes hate water as much as cats do. And a blast from a super soaker will annoy them enough to make them run off.


I can get a super soaker and place it by the front door and blast at any coyotes from the safety of my screened front door. But I am not walking through my neighborhood streets, armed with a super soaker. Hell no. It gets dark early this time of year and the last thing my neighbors need to see is me walking through the streets with a suspicious weapon-looking like thing.

So, there’s the advice. Take it for what it is worth. The city is not calling out the coyote SWAT team.

What I am going to do

I’m sticking with the golf-club/cane as a deterrent; also I’m trying to walk with neighbors at the same time. And I’m talking with any neighbor I can find to tell them about the situation and get them to think about what they can do to stop this.

At times, I feel like I’m “chicken little” about coyotes — “the sky is falling and it’s raining coyotes” but there have been cases of dogs being attacked and there are a lot curious kids at Encanto Park who may confuse coyotes for a different type of dog. it just seems like more could be done.

Happy Halloween!

halloween and dogs

Have you got your little “boos” ready for Halloween? There a lot Halloween-events for dogs in metro Phoenix area this year. Here’s a rundown of terrific spots for you and the dog that offer canines and their humans costume contests and parties

And  for the first time ever, Happy Dog Phoenix is staging a virtual costume contest! Just post a photo of your dog on our Facebook page and get the most likes and get a $100 gift card for your favorite animal rescue. Deadline Monday at midnight!!

Halloween events for dogs in metro Phoenix

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Flagstaff road trip!

Attention: residents of Phoenix. It is hot, still hot. You’ve still got time this Labor Day weekend to head up to Flagstaff, which may be Arizona’s most dog-friendly town.

In fact, it may be easier to list the places that aren’t dog friendly in Flagstaff than those that area — especially in downtown, historic Flag, where there dogs in all the best places.
dog friendly flagstaff

Shopping in Flagstaff with your dog

You know how sometimes stores say they are dog friendly but you get a way-different vibe once you and poochie get inside? In Flagstaff, they offer genuine hospitality for dogs. There’s water bowls, dog treats and even resident dogs in the stores. Check out the art galleries along San Francisco street for a lot of love for dogs as well as dog-related art.

biffs bagels flagstaff

Dining with the dog

For breakfast, hit Biff’s Bagels, which is named after a beloved pet and has photos of everyone else’s dog on the wall. For lunch, wow — so many choices. Charley’s on Aspen and Leroux has a great dog-friendly patio. Or Mix.  Or Macy’s. Or Mother Road Brewery. Or any others from our fine list.

roxy at tuthill fairgrounds

Hiking with the dog

You don’t have to be a super wilderness person to enjoy a hike with your dog. There are a lot of mild trails out there — which is especially nice since you and the dog may not have been as active during this hot summer season. Altitude change can also affect breathing for you and the dog.

There are several dog-friendly park trails throughout Flagstaff. Just have a leash and plenty of water.


  • Wilson Meadow at Hart Prairie:  A hike that can go as short as you want it to go. Wilson Meadow offers plenty of romping room and a pond to swim in (That’s for the dog; not you).
  • Griffith Spring Trail: Another short hike that allows your dog to wade in a creek.

Drinking with the dog

After a hard day of shopping, dining and hiking, it’s great to kick back with an adult beverage. Your best friend can come into the bar with you as long as the fine establishment doesn’t serve food. And that’s why we can get great scenes like this one at Hops on Birch:

dog in bar, Flagstaff AZ

Helping dogs hurt by Texas floods

dogs hurt by Texas floods
It’s stinkin’ hot now in Phoenix but I’m not complaining. Our heat is nothing compared to the floods and resulting anguish that people and animals in Texas.

Have you seen the video of the folks who are cradling and carrying other peoples’ animals to get to safety? I tear up every time I think of it.

What can people in Phoenix do to help our fellow dog lovers and their dogs displaced and harmed by the floods?

Donate money to flood animal victims

Phoenix’s own PetSmart Charities has already made an initial commitment of $1 million that will go to pet food and other supplies for shelters and other organizations. You can help support their work by donating here.

The Humane Society of the United States Animal Rescue Team has volunteers, equipment, and rescue vehicles currently working from Corpus Christi to Texas City to San Antonio.

The ASPCA is on the ground with search-and-rescue, sheltering and relocation teams in Houston and much of Harvey’s path. They are asking for monetary donations or membership within the organization to support ongoing rescue efforts.

No matter what organization you select, donating money is key. You may want to just drive over to Texas with a truck full of dog food. It’s a great idea but it is still flooding theree, the roads are a mess and you can donate safely and effectively with just a couple clicks of a mouse.

Keep it local

Want to keep your donations more local?

Go online and donate to:

Beware of flood scams

Vultures who prey upon these types of situations are already setting up phony relief efforts and telemarketing efforts. Don’t be fooled! Check out any organization you give money by looking them up at Charity Navigator which already has a Hurricane Harvey specific section.

Gimme shelter

Already shelters as far as New Jersey are flying dogs to their facilities to be fostered. No word yet if any Harvey dogs are coming to Phoenix. If we hear, we will let you know. And if your foster group is taking any in, please let us know – we would love to get the word out.

Dogs and dog lovers everywhere, take care!

Monsoons and your dog

help your dog during storm
It’s that time in Phoenix, when the monsoon storm clouds roll in and dogs sneak under beds to escape the booming sounds. Does your dog suffer during this rainy, noisy season?

Happy to report that in this house the Beagle is can hear a cheese bag rustle from three doors down but she seems tone deaf to thunder and lightening.

We asked Alexis Siler, clinical assistant professor, Midwestern University College of Veterinary Medicine and the Midwestern University Companion Animal Clinic for her suggestions on helping dogs during monsoon season:

How can I calm my dog when it thunders outside during monsoons?

ThunderShirts can be helpful if your dog is fearful or anxious during storms. They hug your dog’s body to apply gentle pressure to hopefully make them feel more secure.

Often dogs will try to hide to avoid thunderstorms. If your dog seems anxious or restless, you may want to try providing a safe place for him to go. This secure space should be readily available, especially if nobody is home. You can also try closing doors and windows. Or you can use white noise or music to block out the sounds.

If your dog is food motivated, you can engage them in fun exercises like food puzzle toys, etc.

You might try playing recordings of thunderstorm sounds and pairing that with pleasant outcomes, such as treats or a new toy, to desensitize your dog to storms.

If your dog exhibits extreme or persistent anxiety, consult with your veterinarian since these animals may need rapidly-acting anti-anxiety medications.

Are there things I shouldn’t do during the monsoon?

It’s also important not to panic or show your dog your own anxiety to avoid making it worse for them.  Any change in your behavior (holding, cuddling, consoling, etc.) can easily condition a fear response and exacerbate the anxious behavior.

If your dog’s anxiety is minimal and recovers quickly, ignore the behavior so he may adapt to storms.

Why does my dog freak out during thunderstorms?

Fear of thunderstorms is a common concern. One thought is that loud noises from overhead are difficult for dogs to orient to, which makes them anxious.  Many dogs adjust to the sounds of a thunderstorm, but some are more sensitive and the fear can become worse with each exposure. The degree of anxiety a dog feels is based on the dog’s perception of the noise as a threat.

Are certain breeds more affected than others?

Thunderstorm phobias can occur in any breed, but some believe herding breeds and cross-breeds are at an increased risk.

Summer exercising for your dog

Vida on treadmills -- shes available for adoption

It still is hot out there and the dog is getting antsy with no exercise. What’s a good way to get her moving during the brutal Phoenix summer?

Try a treadmill. You know, that machine stationed in your bedroom that you use as a clothing rack.

Your dog can get a chance at some real activity by logging some time on the treadmill.

Dogs love their time on the treadmill, says Lost our Home Foundation, a Tempe-based animal rescue group. LOH uses their treadmill to give their adoptable dogs a chance to burn off some energy, keep trim and remain in better spirits while they wait to be adopted.

How to get the dog used to treadmill exercise

Gina Page, who oversees LOH’s treadmill program, says hundreds of dogs have stepped on the treadmill and gotten the hang of it immediately.

LOH uses a regular human treadmill — in fact, Gina loves the program so much that she donated a used treadmill to the foundation. Some dogs immediately take to the machine. Others need “treat motivation” to get on the machine, she says.

“Once they get going (whether they needed a treat or not)  it is like an epiphany.

LOH always starts dogs off with a slow pace, like half a mile an hour. Once the dogs become proficient, they get them going on a  faster clip, usually around two miles an hour.

Once dogs get used to this summer exercise

After a few weeks of consistent training, LOH’s dogs log 10 to 20 minutes.

Specially trained volunteers watch the dogs on the treadmill to make sure they moving at a comfortable speed.

LOH always has a person around to supervise the dogs and make sure they are not left unattended. They never tether dogs to the treadmill. And they leave water close by so dogs can get a big drink after their workout

Longtime LOH shelter dog Vida, a seven-year Boxer mix who is all sweetie, loves her time on the treadmill. Vida is LOH’s longest resident and she just needs a house with no other animals and a family who likes to walk.


Would you like to volunteer? LOH always is looking people to help “walk” the dog on the treadmill.