We send out this small prayer to the families, community and animals of Moore, Oklahoma…
If Wy could talk he would probably tell you that I am his Hero. In reality he is mine. Both our lives changed the day I stopped to help him as he was being abused as a puppy on a street in my neighborhood over 12 years ago. From that first encounter, I knew this was a very special fuzz face who in time became my best friend, protector and inspiration to my life.
Wy gave me the idea for Dogs for the Paws. I love animals and wanted to do more, if I could with my art and design work. Of course, as our idea for DFP grew and came together it was apparent that Wy and I could make a difference in a unique way. It was going to be a challenge but possible! That’s how I’ve always worked and strived to be a stand out designer in any project, job or event that I participate in. So Dogs for the Paws was born.
So most of you know how the story goes…I started painting the original 80 dog portraits and the dogs’ families and rescuers wrote their tales that I put together on the first DFP blog site. I set up a studio in my home to work every night and as much of my free time as I could. I also worked full time during the day so I would work on the paintings after dinner and way into the early morning hours, get a couple hours of sleep then back to day job then repeat…for 503 days!
And my best buddy, DFP Advisor, Wy was always there on his bed watching and listening as we put movies on in the background for noise and I would tell him about all the amazing DFP Dogs’ stories that came in to go with their portraits. I cried for over 8 hours painting Nico’s portrait, I couldn’t believe the pictures of Chamberlin the abandoned dog, Popo, the senior dog, Tiki, Irie, Riley who stole my heart with his rescue family’s loving pictures and story, Rocky Weezer, Sadie Jean, Sweet Henry and the list goes on. I know it was Wy who gave me the inspiration, energy and encouragement to continue this overwhelming endeavor to help animals in some way. Just think what his life would have been if I hadn’t stopped. I was sleep deprived but kept on and spent my days and nights of free time painting and not giving up this unique challenge and journey.
Wy was always there for 11 years and it has been difficult without him here. When I heard the news that DFP had been nominated for the “Best Blog Design” by the national pet blogger group, BlogPaws and Pet360, I was so proud and I feel that Wy is proud too from our “DFP Satellite Office” at the Rainbow Bridge. He left me with such a huge legacy of love and inspiration to keep moving our “little art project” forward and beyond what our expectations were. From the very first post of DFP, which we kicked off in 2009 with Wy’s tale and portrait, our lives were changed forever.
I think sometimes, what if I had just driven on by that day when I first saw that tiny puppy being abused on the street? His life would have been so different from the one he knew of love, happiness and being my best friend. He thanked me over and over again with his love and loyalty which I will cherish always. He also gave me a great strength and direction to take my gift and give back to others like him that are in need. So I dedicate this special award, our award, to my life’s inspiration my best fuzz friend, beach buddy, crusin’ pal. and DFP’s “Director of WOOFS”, Wyatt Earp Johnson!
Also want to thank all our friends, families and fans for everything! This amazing life of love, creativity and giving back is continuing on so stay tuned for all the fun…Big Thank You WOOFS to BlogPaws and Pet360 for honoring us with this prestigious award. Such an honor to be nominated with other creative bloggers doing amazing work with animals! Thank you for welcoming us and helping us share our gift through your great organization too!
Dogs for the Paws loves to share amazing fuzzy friends doing great work giving back in unique ways. Cooper the “Director of Smiles” at the Ronald McDonald House in Charleston, South Carolina ( RMH ) is one of these pawmazing pet pals! Cooper spends his days at the RMH giving love, kisses and friendship to all who visit and make RMH their home during tough times. He greets his fellow staff members with a woof or a paw, loves to visit with the many families that are currently staying at RMH or friends that stop by. He is always there to lend a snuggle, read a book or set aside some special time for those in need. He brings his own personal touch to RMH and it is a warm and inviting place that gives so much to so many.
I’m excited to share this grrreat interview with Cooper, his Mom Barbara Bond, Executive Director, CEO, CPS ( Cooper’s Pooper Scooper ) and Rachel Hubbard, Marketing and Special Events Coordinator for RMH. I caught up with Cooper, Barbara, Rachel and Ronald at the RMH in downtown Charleston and after introductions and a treat we settled into the comfy living room to chat. It’s also an honor that Dogs for the Paws is the first group to be welcomed to interview Cooper. We WOOF THAT!
1. Cooper tell us about yourself. Where were you born and how old are you?
First off let me send a big BARK to all the fans and new friends of Dogs for the Paws! I am so excited to WOOF with you and share my happy life and work here at the Ronald McDonald House!
Baby Cooper Photo Courtesy of Barbara Bond
I was born two years ago at Lonestar Labradoodles, located in Woodlands, Texas. I was the only cream colored puppy from my litter. Did you know that my Lonestar family is one the top breeders of Labradoodles and they have donated 3 others like me to RMH in other states! Tiger Woods, the golfer was a Lonestar Labradoodle Daddy at one time too. So as you can see, I come from a great Labradoodle family! Since RMH had worked with Lonestar before, they were contacted about me coming to live and work in Charleston. Pretty cool job for a happy guy like me! Who wouldn’t want to come and live in Charleston? It’s a puppy’s paradise!
My full name is Cooper Jamie McDonald. I was named after a special friend, Jamie who also stayed at the House for a time. What an honor to be able to carry on his legacy of love and his name! Jamie’s family paid for my plane ride to Charleston. The first year I was in Charleston the nice staff at All Creatures Vet provided me with all my puppy care and vaccinations. My friends at Bark Busters here in Charleston also trained my RMH Staff Family on how to be good puppy parents. Our buddy James is always around in case they forget! BOL ( Bark Out Loud)! It’s so cool how everyone welcomed me with open paws to this new home and life with RMH. I’m am one lucky puppy!
My RMH Mom, is Barbara Bond and when I am not working at the House I spend the rest of my time with her at our home. Yep, I have two homes. It’s a fun life we have and I love every minute of it!
The Director of Smiles…Photo Courtesy of RMH Charleston
The Snappy Red Shoes…Photo Courtesy of RMH Charleston
Bark Busters- www.facebook.com/barkbustersofcharleston
Lone Star Labradoodles- http://www.lonestarlabradoodles.com/
Sky Dogs - http://www.skydogsfamilydogpark.com/
All Creatures- http://allcreatureschs.com/
Wag and Splash- https://www.facebook.com/WagnSplash
To find out more info about the dedicated and giving work of the Ronald McDonald House Charleston, become a RMH Facebook Fan, the Wear Red Shoes Campaign and all the festivities of the RMH 30th Anniversary Celebration…
I am Mom to three pretty active Basset Hounds, Schooner, Gun and Lake. We enjoy hitting our local beaches, parks, and rescue events so need to always look fresh and clean since we meet a lot of people wherever we go. Being “low riders”, my boys are always getting dirty so baths are a must do activity every couple of weeks.
Bassets tend to have an odor about them anyway, so I am always searching for a pet shampoo that deodorizes, cleans and makes them smell good. We recently did a treat review for Cloud Star pet treats and they mentioned they have a pet shampoo, called “Buddy Wash” with Lavendar and Mint as well as two “Buddy Splash” spritzer/conditioner sprays and would we like to try them out. Well, yes we would!
I took the Boys for a good walk and we came home ready to put the “Buddy Wash” to the challenge of getting us really clean! Gun has a funny, flabby neck that is always dirty so I started with him first. The “Buddy Wash” has a great lather and when I soaked Gun down during his bath, the shampoo didn’t fizzle out like some do. I kept scrubbing and the lather stayed bubbly and foamy until I rinsed him.
I finished Gun’s bath and found it very easy to make sure there was no shampoo on him and he was rinsed clean. I have found it difficult to rinse some shampoos off they seem to leave a residue on the coat that just doesn’t want to rinse away. And I have to tell you how amazing the Lavender and Mint aroma is! It really made Gun smell so fresh and clean. We’ve jokingly been calling him “Flower” since he smells so good!
I repeated the scrub and rinse on Lake and Schooner til they were almost sparkling in the sun! Schooner has terrible skin issues and that was another great reason for us to try “Buddy Wash” because it is an all natural product that doesn’t irritate skin. Schooner has a longer coat so it was nice to know he was rinsed clean with no soap residue left on him. Just look at them all shiny and sparkly!
And of course to thank them for being so good and letting me do this review we hit the “Buddy Biscuits” box for a little something yummy!
After they dried a little more we finished their clean up with a few spritz from the “Buddy Splash” Spritzer/Conditioners…Refreshing Rosemary and Mint and the original Lavender and Mint. WOW! We’ve been calling the three of them “The Bouquet” since they all smell so good! I wish WordPress had a “Scratch and Sniff” widget so you could experience how great the Boys smell! We can’t decide which one we like better. They both make our dogs smell so good and they are a great size bottle to take with you everywhere you might want to freshen up your dog’s coat. I put a bottle in my purse for the dog park. They never meet a stranger and wander up to everyone at the park so it was a relief to know they weren’t stinky. In fact a few people commented on how clean and fresh they smelled. Woof That!
So I wanted to finish our review with an update after a week or so since we had our “Buddy Wash”. The Boys are still pretty clean and they still smell good! I have been giving them a few spritz of the “Buddy Splash” here and there. Just amazes me! I am not proud to share this but my dogs are everywhere in our house…on the furniture, in the car, sleeping in the bed so to not have a stinky dog on your lap or laying next to you while you try to sleep is a huge relief! Since I take my Boys everywhere I want them to always look handsome and not have an odor and thanks to Cloud Star and their “Buddy” products they are definitely our best “Buddy”!
And remember with every purchase of any Cloud Star product, they donate 10% of their net profits to organizations that benefit animals, women, children and the environment! GREAT products and GREAT company who GIVES BACK!
To check out all the great treats as well as the “Buddy Wash” products give Cloud Star a WOOF here…
I had a great time attending the Global Pet Expo and met so many companies and groups promoting healthy alternatives to treats and food for pets. One of my stand out favorites is a company named Cloud Star. Well, besides having a cool name, which caught my eye instantly, they also have a very creative , colorful and simple approach to feeding your pet treats.
Their new, healthy, all natural, made in the USA, grain and gluten free brand of treats called, Dynamo Dog has to be one of the best I have seen. Besides the very creatively designed packaging, the product bags also feature simple logos that designate which vitamins, fruits, and herbs are featured in order for pet parents to clearly understand what to feed their dogs.
I was excited when they asked if we would like to try out some samples and write a review! When the box arrived, the noses were already going into overdrive as I opened the package. My boys, Lake, Gun and Schooner, many of you know them on Facebook as Ruff Dog Play are at times finicky about food and treats so I was anxious to try the Dynamo Dog products to see if they would like them. We do try to give our boys healthy treats since they are Basset Hounds and could suffer from joint and hip issues later in life. Schooner has some allergy and skin issues so to have a product that is gluten and grain free helps a lot with giving him the right kinds of treats that won’t cause him to have break outs, etc…
Well, we couldn’t decide which one was our favorite because the Boys seemed to like each and every one! Schooner and Lake tend to have tummy issues, so I was interested to see how they would do with the Tummy treat. The treat did not to seem to bother them as some products have in the past. I really love how easy it is to know exactly what each treat is specifically for and the variety of flavors available from Chicken to Pumpkin & Ginger. The easy to read Feeding Table located on the packages is handy so you can always know how much to give. So if your dog suffers from allergies, hip or joint issues, etc…Cloud Star is the brand for you and your pets.
Along with great functionality and taste they are the perfect treat for on the go dogs too. Their small size is great to have on hand at the dog park, beach, etc…they also make great training treats too!
Cloud Star was so nice to send all the treats and it was fun that they also included their grain and gluten free oven baked and soft chew Buddy Biscuits. These are the biscuits that started Cloud Star’s venture and it was fun being able to sample them as well. No question how much the Boys enjoyed these! It is wonderful to finally have a healthy cookie that my dogs will eat! As I mentioned earlier, I love the packaging and simple approach they give each product. I also love the cute gingerbread shape of the oven baked cookie. I passed a few cookie and treat samples along to some family members with finicky fuzzy kids and they were a hit with them too!
So next time you go to the store to purchase treats I recommend the healthy products of Cloud Star. The colorful and easy to find products along with the the simple to read icons on the packages are a great reference if you aren’t sure which treat to buy for your pet’s specific needs. Along with this stellar, made in the USA brand comes their commitment to give back. They pledge to donate at least 10% of their net profits to non-profit organizations that benefit animals, women, children and the environment. We think Cloud Star, Buddy Biscuits and Dynamo Dog are pretty Dynoriffic!!!
For info, questions and to see the whole Cloud Star line up…
Great design can inspire and influence, speak out to many thru color, text, layout and spark emotion that draws people to it. Art has been explained to be an individual’s personal choice. But “Great” design speaks out to the masses and unites all who share and enjoy it.
The same fundamentals of great design can be found in the art of Dogs for the Paws. The original 80 fine art dog portraits that began DFP spoke to the emotions of the many who joined the fan pages, posted and shared the art. The numerous multimedia illustrations and graphics, with their bright colors, bold text and simple layouts can be found across many social sites from Facebook to Pinterest.
Of course, the next direction great design can take is the ability to be reproduced on a variety of media from tshirts to billboards. Design can be enjoyed by all who wear it, like it, click about it and share it! Dogs for the Paws designs are attention getters and proven sellers over and over again through it’s purpose of giving back and helping clients in a unique creative way. Great text, great layout, great design…Dogs for the Paws!
I always knew I wanted to be an artist. In elementary school it really started with a paper doll project and scribbling in the margins of my notebook pages. In high school, I had a very supportive Art teacher who said “you can do whatever you want when you are creative, you create your own World”. Those simple words have stayed with me all my professional life and I have been so lucky to experience a busy art career. Now, taking the next step to begin my own art company and new journey with Dogs for the Paws, I am working hard to create my own “World” thru my work and to always follow the mission of giving back.
I am so happy that people continue to join the Dogs for the Paws fan pages and message me how I am inspiring them to step up for animals too. Wow, it’s humbling to think all this great mojo really gets others inspired to make a difference for animals across our nation and beyond. People have asked , what drives me to do all of this for the animals? I grew up loving animals, saving baby birds that fell out of their nests, picking up stray dogs, so life continues to inspire my work to be unique and purposeful in use. Working with groups, individuals and companies across the country has given my work and Dogs for the PAWS amazing exposure and a fan following I never could have imagined!
Whether or not you are creative or crafty, don’t stop thinking that you have nothing to give to help animals. Join groups like Dogs for the Paws, get involved with your local shelters/rescues, and if you are active on social media, always post, click and share for the animals. That is the best gift you can give! So get your “creative” self going to make a difference and give back too!
Last Year I entered a pet bed design contest that was sponsored by P.L.A.Y. Beds and Dog Milk. My design was the grand prize winner and was made into an actual bed. The design, Chamberlin’s Dream”, was inspired by DFP’s friend Chamberlin. P.L.A.Y. was very nice to let me write a post about the contest and bed. Since Chamberlin inspired the bed, my friend Gina and I took a road trip to North Carolina and delivered the bed to him. This is one of the best “gifts” I have ever given so it will always make me proud to see Chamberlin enjoying his bed and doing his great work helping other animals in need through his shelter, The Guilford County Animal Shelter. Enjoy and please feel free to share…
I have a friend. He’s short, fuzzy, gives the best kisses and has inspired my life in so many ways. His name is Chamberlin and he’s a sweet, black dog that was tied to a tree and left in the yard of his family’s home. His family moved away and left Chamberlin and another pet friend in the backyard for over 2 months. When the dogs were found Chamberlin’s fuzzy friend had passed away but the shelter rescuers saw a spark to live in Chamberlin, this special dog I call my friend.
My rescue awareness group, Dogs for the Paws recognizes amazing pet stories and Chamberlin’s has been one of the most inspirational! I use my pet themed art to celebrate rescue pets and Chamberlin is a huge success story! Over the last 2 years, he has come back from extreme starvation and neglect. Because of complications during his recovery, his front legs won’t work but that doesn’t stop him. He’s got a cool wheelchair and a cart that gives him the freedom to attend rescue events and meet the hundreds of fans he has in his local community. Through hisFacebook page he has captured the hearts of the World, from Canada to Australia.
I have donated art to Chamberlin and his shelter team at theGuilford County Animal Shelter and always look for new opportunities to help raise awareness for this special fuzzy boy who brings such happiness to my life and inspires my art. When I heard about the design contest hosted by P.L.A.Y. And Dog Milk I jumped at the chance to win a special gift for Chamberlin. Over the years I have given Chamberlin numerous blankets and such for him to use but to have a design of him, made into a bed would be the ultimate gift I could give!
Winning the contest, and being able to go visit Chamberlin and present him with his new bed was so much fun. To see him enjoying his gift and taking pictures with him made my whole year! My friend, Gina came with me to meet this special fuzzy soul that has captured my heart. She was surprised how active he is and loved spending time with his “Team Chamberlin” family at the shelter. This dedicated “family” is so proud of their boy and his progress. There is just something about this black dog that speaks to so many without saying a word. When he looks at me, my heart melts and I am so proud that he is enjoying the bed which he inspired. It is called “Chamberlin’s Dream”. Honestly, Chamberlin has no idea he is different or special…and in my World he is perfect.
Charleston SC artist, Missy Johnson is always ready to put brush to canvas or pen to paper to help raise awareness for animals in need. Founder of the pet rescue awareness movement, dogs4thepaws.com Missy, dubbed the “Rembrandt for Rovers,” keeps busy woofing and blogging to help rescues/ shelters across our nation and beyond.
Posted in Wag Worthy by P.L.A.Y
Back in November we posted about one of the amazing volunteers of the Carolina Basset Hound Rescue, Pauline Grimball and her 12 fuzzy “gifts” that keeping on giving to her life daily. She is such an inspiration to others that foster and consider fostering for shelters and rescue groups. She and her merry pack of 12 dogs, 6 her own and 6 fosters make for the happiest and most interesting family around. Pauline has a special affection for the senior Bassets and the ones in need of long term medical care. One such special “gift” is Will. Pauline nicknamed him “Will to Live” since Will was not in the best of shape when he was rescued by CBHR. With a long list of medical issues, from a mouthful of bad teeth to heartworms Will seems to have a will to live. Will had been surrendered by his owners to their local shelter and this poor soul who’s emaciated body, due to long term neglect was just skin and bones. Yes, Will’s own family did this to him and without any regard for what might happen to this sweet natured dog, they abandoned .
Lucky for Will, Pauline and the CBHR Team were there for him and quickly went to work getting him transported and settled into his foster family. Now, when we first met him, it was so difficult to grasp the concept that his former owners could do this to such a sweet boy. He just tugs at your heart with his sparkling eyes, bowed front legs and wagging tail. Pauline has the magic touch and with lots of encouragement Will is coming out of his shell, getting healthy and learning what it’s like to be part of a family and loved. It’s only been a couple of months but Will has gained 10lbs, had a major dental treatment and neutered. His next big step is the heartworm treatment. But with the love and family support of his foster Mom, Facebook Fans and CBHR, there’s no mountain or hurdle that Will can’t overcome!
When we last saw Will, he was a little shy and didn’t really know how to play or hang with other dogs. He does like to sit by you and be petted. With days of encouragement and love, Will is learning how to play and be a happy dog. He adores his foster Mom and seemed to like us while we visited. He runs and romps around the yard, loves belly rubs, exploring and just having fun. Pauline taught Will how to sit and be still to receive a treat. He loves to be with his foster Mom, who hugs and talks to him constantly and he has even picked up a little culinary interest in the kitchen, helping oversee the preparation of his meals. Lucky guy, eats 3 meals with snacks daily and is looking good! He did lose a large number of his teeth during the dental treatment but he eats his food softened with water and gobbles it right up!
Watching him try to play with the other dogs is heartwarming. He wants to play in his own way and will flop down on the ground and roll onto his back and wait for one of the other dogs to acknowledge that he’s there. If Will doesn’t get his way he lets loose the biggest, deepest bark that can probably be heard across galaxies!!! But above and beyond, Will is a survivor and an inspiration to all he meets. So we send you love, woofs and wags Will to Live and are so excited being part of your new life and road to recovery! As he was barking at his foster brudders and sisters today, it made us think Will was trying to tell everyone far and wide…”I am Will…Hear Me Roar!”
Once again an amazing example of the important work and dedication to helping animals that so many rescues and shelters do everyday. If you can, please make a donation and encourage all you know to help this amazing group of volunteers that work so tirelessly to be the change for Bassets in need across the Carolinas. Also please feel free to post and share this sweet boy who is coming back to life because someone did care to step up and help.
If you are interested in more information about Will and his dedicated rescue family at the Carolina Basset Hound Rescue click below…
With the sad passing of Lennox the dog, our DFP boy Nico and his family wanted to do something to speak out against the Breed Specific Legislation. So in honor of Lennox, Nico and all the amazing bully breed friends across our nation and beyond we present an October promo to WOOF OUT and share that it’s time to make a change and stop BSL! You are free to post and share this image. We hope to add more and more friends to our cause that will join us and help spread this message of change and hope for those that are and could be affected by BSL. So even from Heaven, Lennox speaks thru all of us!
Here is a link for information on Breed Specific Legislation