Shelter Dogs Pose In Photo Booth Style Pics To Help Increase Adoption | Photos

What a wonderful idea!!! To help increase adoption and highlight some of their unique personalities, the Humane Society of Utah has teamed up with

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Wil and Anne Wheaton Write Touching Remembrances of Their Dog of 13 Years, Riley

It is with great sadness that we here at Dogster offer our condolences to Wil and Anne Wheaton on the recent death of their dog Riley, after she spent 13 years as a member of their family.

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Anne Wheaton and Riley (Image via Anne

As a science fiction and gaming geek, Wil Wheaton has been on my radar for years -- from his breakthrough role on Star Trek: The Next Generation to his current webseries Tabletop. To most people, this is the sort of thing he's recognized for: He is the media archetype of the white male geek -- in the good sense. To his credit, Wheaton lacks the vicious misogyny and bigotry that groups like Gamergate have made synonymous with the geek label.

But Wil and his wife Anne Wheaton are also passionate animal enthusiasts. They've put a lot of time and love and energy not only into their own dogs and cats, but into advocating for animal rescue. Anne serves on the board of the Pasadena Humane Society & SPCA, and for the last two years, she's produced a Celebrity Pet Adoption Calendar that raises money for the PHS.

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Anne and Wil Wheaton with Marlowe, Seamus, and Riley on the cover of the 2014 calendar.

Both have written very eloquently about Riley's life and death on their blogs, and I highly recommend that everyone take time out to read them. The very first line of Wil's remembrance of Riley is filled with an ache that anyone who has ever loved a pet knows very well:

Thirteen years is a long time to spend with any living thing, and losing a companion that loved unconditionally and as enthusiastically as my little white dog did is tearing holes in my heart.

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(Image via Anne

Thirteen years is a long time, and based on what Wil and Anne say, it was a good 13 years. Riley's life didn't start out that way, though. She was originally found locked in a closet in a hotel that was going to be torn down, and if not for one person's vigilance, her life could have ended right there. In an email correspondence, Anne told me about Riley's early life:

We adopted Riley because a woman who did private cat rescue was at that building after people knew it was to be torn down and reached out to her because they'd seen several cats there. She heard a scratching noise coming from a closet and opened the door to find Riley, then three months old, dirty, malnourished, and with an injured foot. She kept her for six months to get her healthy and then posted a sign at a nearby PetCo that she was up for adoption. That's how we got her.

Anne also writes in her own blog that Riley never quite got over that early experience in the closet. "[S]he was anxious as hell about everything but boy, did she love people."

That love is evident in their pictures of her. Riley's enthusiastically goofy face was a familiar sight to readers of Wil and Anne's social media feeds and their blogs. It became known as her "I'm a Dog!" face, and that practically became her nickname. She constantly looks like she has just discovered the fact that she's a dog, and is absolutely gleeful about it.

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Riley's famous "I'm a dog!" look. (Image via

Riley had been in poor health for a long time. She suffered from severe osteoarthritis, had become almost completely deaf, and had been diagnosed with growths in her abdomen and near her heart. The end came during a small fight between Riley and one of their other dogs. Riley dislocated her hip, and the veterinarian said that they could push it back, but because of her osteoarthritis she would most likely be in horrible pain and it would continue to dislocate. Wil and Anne didn't want their dog to spend her last days in excruciating pain, so they made that final choice that so many dog owners face.

For people who want to make donations in Riley's name, Anne Wheaton says, "I haven't told anyone to donate anything anywhere. People are just doing that on their own. If anything, I would just want people to support rescue animals in general, whether it's financially or by volunteering at their local shelter or adopting or fostering a rescue."

Wil Wheaton has asked that people offering condolences online not bring up the Rainbow Bridge. "I know you mean well," he writes on his blog, "but it has always made me uncomfortable."

Once again, our condolences to the Wheatons and their family, and congratulations on 13 years with a wonderful dog.

Via and 

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Blue-eyed duck

This photo gives you a good look at the blue eyes of a pekin duckling.

blue eyed duck

And close up:

blue eyed duck close up

blue eyes

Canis lupus hominis

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Celebrate National Lawn Care Month with Espoma and Create Safer Lawns for People, Pets and the Planet

(PRWEB) April 02, 2015

Today kicks off National Lawn Care month. To celebrate, The Espoma Company is helping people make the switch to organic lawns and create ?Safe Paws? environments through tips shared on the company?s Facebook page.

To show its commitment to chemical free lawns that are safe for pets, Espoma is hosting a #SafePawsChallenge. The company is donating $ 500 to the National Canine Cancer Foundation for every 5,000 new likes to its Facebook page during the month of April. The foundation funds research and raises awareness to fight cancers that affect dogs.

Since canine cancer affects one out of every three dogs, Jeremy Brunner, vice president of Espoma, said the Canine Cancer Foundation was a natural fit for its Safe Paws initiative.

?People want green grass but they also want to feel confident their yard is safe for their kids and pets, too,? says Brunner. ?The Canine Cancer Foundation is on a mission to help dogs live longer and healthier lives. That?s our goal with Safe Paws, too. Together our efforts promote awareness of healthy pets.?

To help people understand how easy it is to have a safe lawn, Espoma is sharing 30 tips in 30 days to help green up the 30 million acres of grass across the nation and drive awareness for canine cancer. Each tip will be posted daily on Facebook and Twitter using the hashtag #LawnCareMonth.

These insightful tips provide information to create lush, chemical-free lawns in just 30 days. Topics range from soil testing and seeding to fertilizing and creating Safe Paw environments.

Brunner says that feeding a lawn a healthy diet of natural ingredients offers benefits not just for your grass, but for you, your family, pets and the environment, too.

The Benefits of an Organic Lawn

An organic lawn is easier and, in the long run, less expensive than conventional lawn programs. In fact, organic lawns take less time and effort watering, fertilizing and mowing all summer.

?Getting a lush green lawn means making sure the soil is healthy,? says Kathy Connolly, lawn care and lawn alternative expert for

Healthy soil begins with a soil test, compost and the right diet of natural food. Organic plant food, full of natural ingredients, feeds the microorganisms that, in the end, feed the plants.

Lawns grown in healthy soil develop stronger, larger root systems that, in turn, grow more vigorously. Lawns become more resistant to insects and diseases. More importantly, a healthy lawn can withstand a drought.

Check Espoma?s Facebook and Twitter pages for 30 days of expert lawn care tips this April and learn how to have a lush, chemical free lawn and help fight canine cancer, too. Visit to learn more about the Safe Paws initiative or for more information, tips and resources.

The Espoma Company has been the pioneer in natural gardening solutions since 1929. Espoma provides an extensive selection of natural products that work in harmony with nature and are safe for people, pets and the planet. The company produces more than 100 products to cover the nutritional needs of plants and to grow beautiful lawns and gardens. Visit for more information and tips about organic lawn care.

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Over 43,000 Petitioning Against Leash Laws in San Francisco. Does New Policy Go Too Far?

Should dog owners be allowed to let their dogs off-leash in public parks? That question — and to what extent — is causing a huge uproar among dog owners in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Proposed changes in regulations would make almost all of the 80,000-acre Golden Gate National Recreation Area off-limits to unleashed dogs, and many dog owners are speaking up in opposition. One online petition condemning the plan now has over 43,000 signatures. A second petition by a group called Save Our Recreation has gathered almost 8,000 signatures as of this writing.

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The GGNRA isn't a single continuous area, but covers many different locations throughout San Francisco, Marin, and San Mateo counties, including well-known tourist attractions such as Alcatraz and the Marin Headlands.

The new regulations, which have been under consideration since 2011, would require dogs to be kept leashed in all but seven areas. Activist Matthew Murphy's petition claims that the rules would not only make things more difficult for dog owners, but it would make San Francisco even more unaffordable:

Playtime isn't the only thing that suffers, though, if life gets harder for San Francisco's dog walkers. Every obstacle we put in front of them makes their service more expensive, and adds to the cost of owning a pet. Pricing San Francisco families out of pet ownership with burdensome, unnecessary rules and regulations means more amazing dogs like Trooper will spend their lives in shelters without a permanent home.

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Dog on a Beach With Golden Gate Bridge by Shutterstock.

Representative Jackie Speier has been the most visible and outspoken ally of opponents of the changes. She thinks that the National Park Service has been treating the GGNRA as its own private domain without taking into consideration that it serves an urban area. "It's not Yellowstone," she told SF Gate in March. It's not Yosemite. It is an urban area. We superimposed a national recreation area on it and then started to slowly but surely exclude areas for people to recreate in it. That's just un-American."

There are people in favor of the new policy, though. The National Park Service says that it comes specifically from repeated complaints about off-leash dogs biting or harassing other people in the area. Neal Deai, the Pacific Field Director for the nonprofit National Parks Conservation Association, agrees that something needs to be done. "It's picnickers complaining that unregulated dogs are jumping on them and eating their food," he told SFGate. "It's wildlife enthusiasts trying to look at birds and seeing roving dogs harassing them. It's people on horses being bitten and attacked."

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Woman Walking Her Dog on San Francisco Beach by Shutterstock.

Even for dog lovers, the question of how much freedom for dogs in public spaces is reasonable seems legitimate. Generally speaking, I think I like dogs more than most people, and therein lies the problem: A lot of people can't be trusted to control their dogs. I often think of leash laws as being more about controlling owners who can't take responsibility than the dogs. In most parks, it's not unusual for dogs to be leashed in all but specific areas. In some ways, the policy doesn't seem that surprising at all. The National Park Service does have to balance a number of different needs: Not only dog lovers, but people who come to picnic, jog, bike ride, and play sports.

What do you think? Is this an example of the National Park Service engaging in bureaucratic overreach, or are the policy's opponents being unreasonable about unleashing their dogs? Is there someplace in the middle that the two could meet? Sound off in the comments, and tell us about strict leash laws in your area.

Via CBS Local and SFGate

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Dog treadmills are truly useful for dogs that don&…

Dog treadmills are truly useful for dogs that don't have enough exercise or can't have exercise outdoors.

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The rain didn’t look like it was going to stop pouring. Day after day, the rain was coming down, the clouds stubbornly refusing to move to let the sun shine through and the backyard becoming a pool of water. Doesn’t our circumstances sometimes feel like that? A rain storm that seem to go with no…

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Sunflower Faith

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Legacy Reading Plan-Book of Job

For the month of March, per the Legacy Reading Plan I’ve started on for this years, through the Bible, reading plan, the “assigned books” are Job, Song of Solomon and Ecclesiastes. With Ecclesiastes, I feel a bit like cheating since the pastor of our church, is currently preaching through the book of Ecclesiastes, but it…

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Sunflower Faith

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Modern Masters: Pablo Picasso, Salvador Dal

New York / Berlin (PRWEB) April 02, 2015

artnet Auctions is pleased to announce that our Modern Masters auction is now live for bidding. From expressive uses of color to the inclusion of nontraditional materials and subject matter, Modern artists found new ways to depict and interpret their rapidly changing world. The exceptional works in this auction illustrate the extensive experimentation that permeated the art world at that time. Modern Masters features works in a variety of media by the pioneers of Modern Art, including Pablo Picasso, Marc Chagall, Henri Matisse, Joan Mir

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