Keep Austin Dog Friendly

Through Responsible Dog Ownership.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

November 13th - An Evening with Dr. Patricia McConnell

World renowned animal behaviorist and author, Dr. Patricia McConnell, will present "Are You Thinking What I'm Thinking?" Ever wondered what's going on inside that furry little head of your pet?

Help support the Austin Humane Society and join Dr. Patricia McConnell for an inquiry about the mental lives of animals, and learn what new discoveries in neurobiology can tell us about the minds of our companion animals.

Tickets are available for $20 per person. Seating is general admission. http://www.austinhu manesociety. org/community/ events

Tuesday, November 13, 2012 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm
AT&T Executive Education & Conference Center
1900 University Ave, Austin, TX 78701

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Dog Friendly Ice Cream Social @TraceATX benefiting @SafePlace_ATX

  On Saturday, August 18th from 1:00-4:00 pm,guests are invited to kick back on the TRACE patio and enjoy some live music from the Erin Jaimes Band while sampling some of Chef O’Leary’sone-of-a-kind summer ice cream flavors.  Chef O’Leary is making a Peanut Butter Yogurt Ice Cream just for doggie guests at the event!  Trace is located at  W Austin  200 Lavaca Street.
This is a a free event for the whole family.  Guests are encouraged to “earn your spoon” by bringing a school supply donation for Safeplace’s back-to-school drive benefiting Austin area children. Learn more about the supplies needed here:

Ice cream social summer flavor tastings include:
§  Southern Belle
Peach Cobbler Ice Cream
§  Complete Breakfast
Cheerios Berry Swirl Ice Cream
§  Chocolate Heaven
Dark Chocolate & Strawberry Meringue Pudding Pop
§  After-school snack
Salted Pretzel & Chocolate Swirl Ice Cream
§  Barely Buzzed
Bourbon Dulce deLeche Ice Cream& Candied Pecans (For Adults) 

Additional scoops while be available for purchase for $2 a scoop and the SIP menu will be featured throughout the event.For more information, please visit or check out the event on Facebook

UPDATE:Twitter contest--Tweet your dream flavor to @traceatx using the hashtag #dreamflavor and Chef O’Leary will pick her favorite suggestion by Wednesday, August 15th to create for the social. The winner will also receive a $100 TRACE gift card.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Celebrate Keep Austin Dog Friendly 10th Birthday @AustinTerrier

It is hard to believe.  A decade of has flown by, and Keep Austin Dog Friendly keeps growing and growing.  This year, we're celebrating the anniversary by enjoying food, drinks, and great company at a local dog friendly businesses.  @MouseTheDog will be available for petting, as he'll be turning ten years old too!

Austin Terrier's menu boasts tasty bites and a great selection of beers.  Austin Terrier is not only dog friendly, but they are kid friendly.  5% of the proceeds will be donated to the Austin Dog Alliance.

Where: Austin Terrier, 3435 Greystone Drive
Date: Monday, June 4th, 6pm until closing.
Join the Facebook event here:

The event is come and go.  Stop by to mingle with other Austin Dog Lovers who support local dog friendly businesses!  Also, Mouse says you should pet him.  See his 9th birthday picture below. 

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Pitch and Pooch on April 28 and Perros de Mayo

Please make plans to attend the South Austin Pitch and Pooch on Saturday, April 28 from Noon to 8pm at Butler Park. It’s going to be a blast! Sign your dog up for the Jimmy Buffett-themed costume contest or tee off on the beautiful 9-hole downtown golf course with your family and friends. Enjoy live music by the spectacular Hot Club of Cowtown with Elana James in the afternoon. Then bid for some great items in the silent auction and dine on the best burgers and fries in town catered by P. Terry’s!

You can make a difference if you just show up!

Here’s an opportunity! Help the Dream Come True Foundation take resilient young people with all the odds against them to a life of dreams and possibilities.

The Canine Extravaganza costume contest starts at 4pm and the fee is $25 per dog. Participants will receive a gift bag courtesy of Tomlinson’s. Come dressed in your best tropical attire and have some fun with your canine pals!
If you can grasp a club, you can be in our “World’s Smallest Golf Tournament” at this beautiful 9-hole downtown golf course. It’s fun and fellowship with people you know. Register now to get your family, friends, and your pups involved in this exciting event!

Saturday, April 28th from Noon to 8PM

  • Noon and 3pm: Family Golf
  • 2pm: Kid’s Chip and Putt Golf Clinic
  • 4 to 6pm: Dog Costume Parade
  • 4pm: Live Music by Hot Club of Cowtown
  • 5 to 7PM: Silent Auction
  • 6PM: Dinner catered by P. Terry’s 


 Here's what you need to know:
Perros de Mayo
May 6th
12pm to 8pm
@304 West 4th (we are back in old stomping ground, the former Ginger Man/Ghost Room)

• Live Music (The Saddle, Nathan Hamilton, The Boxcar Preachers, and more)
• Food and drink
• Silent Auction and Raffle
twitter - @bluedogrescue
hashtag - #perrosdemayo

...and the release of Real Ale's Devil's Backbone Belgian Style Tripel as a year round beer!

It takes a village to pull this thing off so if you'd like to help out we will happily accept it.
If you would like to donate items or services for the silent auction or raffle please find email address here
If you would like to volunteer the day of the event please sign up here: Volunteer Hub

Thanks to all of you for your tireless support of Blue Dog Rescue.
See you at a Blue Dog event soon!

Friday, April 20, 2012

Fun weekend events: Pints for Pups @IndyBrewing and @AusDogAlliance Launch Party @Travaasa_Austin

Independence Brewing Pints For Pups
Join us at Independence Brewing for our 3rd Annual Pints For Pups fundraiser!  This event works a lot like our monthly First Saturday tour and tasting except a large portion of the proceeds will benefit local dog shelters and advocacy groups.  Last year we raised $4,445 dollars for local dog groups and we need your help to raise even more this year!
As always we will have live music, local food vendors and of course your favorite locally hand crafted Independence beer for our guests 21+.  $10 lands you a commemorative glass which we will fill 3 times and the piece of mind that you are helping our four-legged friends across our great city!

Benefiting Charities

Austin Pets Alive
Forgotten Friends
Texas Service and Hearing Dogs
Austin Animal Center (aka Hard Luck Hounds)
Austin Boxer Rescue

Food Vendors

Mom and Pops popsicle cart
Chi’lantro Korean tacos

Silent Auction Donors

Midtown Grooming
George Williams (artist)
Great OutDogs
Brown Distributing


Creek and Sway

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Austin, Texas—(April 20, 2012) Travaasa Austin, award-winning experiential hill country spa and resort, to host event for Austin Dog Alliance, nonprofit canine assisted therapy organization, as they make the formal announcement regarding their "Forever Home" building plans this Sunday, April 22 from 4pm to 6pm at Travaasa Austin’s beautiful Mesquite Patio.

This special event will feature wine tasting from Galan Private Reserve and farm to table appetizers provided by Ben E. Keith, fun outdoor games including roping, horseshoes, slacklining, door prizes and a silent auction. Event is free and open to the public.

Austin Dog Alliance provides group social skill development programs for children with autism spectrum disorder that incorporate the use of canine assisted therapy.

The nonprofit works with individuals and organizations throughout Texas with the mission of improving the health and wellbeing of individuals and families by incorporating the powerful connection between dogs and humans.

Austin Dog Alliance is the only group in Texas providing group social skill development programs for children with autism spectrum disorder that incorporate the use of canine assisted therapy.

Austin Dog Alliance also provides handler-dog teams to local hospitals, rehabilitation centers, nursing homes, as well as schools and libraries through its Bow Wow Reading Dog program.

Please RSVP via email to, call 512-258-7243 or RSVP via evite.

Travassa Austin is located at 13500 Farm to Market Road 2769Austin, TX 78726.

Austin Dog Alliance has a mission to improve the health and well-being of individuals and families through programs incorporating the powerful connection between dogs and humans. Located in Austin, Texas, Austin Dog Alliance, a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization, is the only organization in Texas providing group social skill development programs for children with autism spectrum disorder that incorporate the use of canine assisted therapy. Austin Dog Alliance also provides handler-dog teams to local hospitals, rehabilitation centers, nursing homes, as well as schools and libraries through its Bow Wow Reading Dog program. For more information go to

Located in Hill Country only 25 minutes from one of Texas’s most iconic cities, Traavasa Austin is nestled against 210 acres of the Balcones Canyonlands Preserve, overlooking beautiful Lake Travis. TRAVAASA® Austin boasts 70 guestrooms tucked into a low-key campus-style layout, allowing resort guests to soak in the natural habitat in an unobtrusive setting. The property offers extensive programming based on five pillars: adventure, culinary, culture, fitness and wellness; and includes horse stables, a challenge course designed in partnership with Outward Bound, a fitness center and yoga studio, an infinity-edge pool, a beautifully appointed dining area with outdoor patio and exhibition kitchen, a tranquil 11-room spa and gracious accommodations.  TRAVAASA® Austin opened April 14, 2011.For more information go to

Friday, April 6, 2012

Kick Off Easter Weekend this Saturday at the 13th Annual Easter Pet Parade



WHAT: Join Jo’s Coffee & Hotel San Jose on South Congress this Saturday, April 7 at noon for the 13th Annual Easter Pet Parade Benefit. This parade’s theme “Pets In Drag” pays tribute to the late Austin icon and South Congress regular Leslie Cochran (1951-2012). The judging will begin promptly after the parade and top awards for the best-dressed pets include a night at the Hotel San Jose, Jo’s gift cards, trophies and more. The event also features booths by local animal rescue and pet-related organizations as well as a bouncy castle and the Easter bunny for the kids. Concessions available.

Hotel San Jose & Jo’s Coffee present this annual event.

WHEN: Saturday, April 7, 2012, parade starts at noon (day-of registration 10am to 12pm)

WHERE: The parade will kick-off at the corner of Congress and Annie Street and conclude at Jo’s Coffee on 1300 South Congress.

HOW: Pets can be pre-registered at Jo’s Coffee on South Congress until end of day April 6th. Registration is $10 in advance and $20 the day of the parade between 10 am and the parade start at noon.

Austin Pets Alive! is a 501c3 non-profit organization dedicated to promoting and providing the resources, education and programs needed to eliminate the killing of companion animals. Thanks in large part to the hard work of APA!, Austin has become the largest no-kill city in the country.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Surviving the new Strain of Parvovirus - Vesta's Story

I had always trusted that vaccine protocols combined with my dogs' lifestyle would make it nearly impossible for my dogs to contract parvovirus.  But it happened.  One of my dogs contracted parvo at 30 weeks of age, which is even more uncommon as it had been quite a while after her final vaccination.  Here's our story and some tips we've picked up.

1. Take care of the vet staff.  Caring for an extremely sick dog isn't luxurious work.  Cleaning up diarrhea, vomit, and blood doesn't rank highly on the list of fun things to do.  Make things easier for the vet staff or bring them something to show your appreciation.  My vet clinic doesn't usually allow visitors in the isolation unit. To thank the staff for accommodating me, I brought them some treats: banana nut muffins, cookies, and breakfast tacos.

2. This can happen to anyone no matter how careful you are.  Someone in the neighborhood could have tracked into onto my driveway while walking their dog, and Vesta could have ingested it by picking up a toy that landed on it.  The parvo could have come from anywhere, so take precautions where it makes sense.  I'm not going to keep my dogs in a bubble for the rest of their lives because of this, but I will be more keen the symptoms of parvo even if my dogs are already vaccinated.

3. There's always a risk of parvo, and you'll have to make your own decisions on how you're going to handle it.  I'll still keep socializing puppies with humans and other clean dogs, and I'll probably get a parvo titer on my puppies two weeks after the final vaccination.  Vesta's case was a very, very rare occurrence, and I'm not going to let it stop me from training and socializing my dogs in a fashion that I deem safe.

4. Call your friends for support.  Vesta's breeder and my friends have been an immense source of support.  I had no idea that there could be so many people willing to help me.  I can help others by sharing our story, giving my support, and offering up Vesta has a CPV donor.  I'm more than happy to pay forward the support I received during this hellacious week.

5. After being confined in a small isolation unit with vomiting, Vesta wasn't as pretty as she could be.  She had vomit on her ears and all over her cone of shame.  I brought some listerine, a small disposable container, and washcloths to give her a  Listerine bath.  I mix a ratio of 1:5 Listerine to warm water.  I use a wet a washcloth with the solution and rub it all over the dog.  Throw away everything that you use for the bath.

6. Your parvo recovered dog might seem just fine, but your dog might still be shedding the virus for up to four weeks afterwards.  The virus can still be passed on in the vomit and in the feces.  I'm going to be managing the problem for the next four weeks by following these steps. 
  • Vesta will not have any contact with any other dog until Feb. 25th.  That means that my dogs will have separate potty schedules and no play time with other dogs until Feb. 25th.  I'm not opposed to this as the isolation will probably reinforce my relationship with Vesta.  I'll be spending more undivided time with her in training and exercising. 
  • Separate drinking and eating containers.  I will be taking away communal water buckets for the time being. 
  • Separate training equipment.  Vetsa's training equipment will be kept in a bucket and disinfected separately. 
  • I'll be spraying down poop piles with disinfectant, picking them up with a bag, and spray down the area again.  
  • I'll keep disinfecting our home and yard several times a week. 
7. There are many options you could use for disinfecting, but you'll want to make sure that it does kill parvovirus.  I use Wintergreen 256. Parvosol or bleach (1:30 dilution) will work as well.  Wintergreen 256 and Parvosol are both available on  Wintergreen 256 is also available on 
8. I didn't bring anything into the isolation area unless I needed it.  The fewer things you bring in, the fewer things you'll need to disinfect.  When I did bring in my camera or phone, I kept it in a clean plastic ziplock bag that I disinfected several times before getting back to my car.  I would then disinfect the bag again before I opened it with clean hands.

9. A crate trained dog makes life easier.  Many of the vet techs and staff exclaimed that Vesta was such a good dog.  She crated easily; she didn't fuss when being handled; and she sat perfectly still for minutes while a needle was being manipulated in her neck.   I don't mean to brag; however, my dogs are very easy dogs because they are all crate trained and obedience trained.  I also teach them to tolerate a large amount of physical handling.  I didn't really think that crate training was such a huge deal, until I had to listen to the screaming dogs in the other rooms.

Tuesday, Jan. 24, 2012 - Day 2
Our vets are at Sunset Canyon Veterinary Clinic in Dripping Springs.  Dr. Erin Menigo treated Vesta. 
This isn't an easy topic to write about.  I'm frustrated, and I feel like I've been caught off guard.  Most of all, I still don't know how my little Vesta is doing.  I'm living one of the possible dog owner nightmares right now.  Despite all odds, my Vesta (30 weeks, just shy of 7 months) was diagnosed with parvo on Monday.  I had always thought of parvo as one of those diseases that was easily avoided.  Vesta had been vaccinated with the Jean Dodd's vaccination protocol, with her last DHLPP at 16 weeks old.  Prior to 16 weeks, I was careful with her socialization.  She was not exposed to dogs or dog owners I didn't already know.  She was taken to very clean dog friendly patios.  She was held by people I already knew to be clean (good hygiene). We trained in places were there were not many other dogs.

Her socialization period passed without incident, and two weeks after her last vaccination, I allowed her to go to a quiet and clean park.  I don't allow any of my dogs to run wild and free at any of the popular and more poop-y dog parks.  If we went to dog shows or a dog training facility, she was washed and all our equipment was disinfected before entering the house.  I do this with all my dogs regardless of age.  Needless to say, I felt that she was well past the stage where any puppy diseases would rear their ugly heads.

Here's Vesta just a little over a week prior to falling ill. 
Over this past weekend, I noticed just a slight change in her energy levels.  She wasn't running as fast; and she wasn't playing tug as feverishly as she typically did.  I thought it was just me who had slowed down during training because I had a pinched shoulder nerve.  On Monday morning, I woke up to two vomit puddles in her crate.  I cleaned it up and attributed it to a stomach bug.  I gave her two ounces of plain yogurt to settle her stomach, and it promptly came back up.  I called the vet to set her an appointment for that afternoon.  Before we got to the afternoon, she had managed to vomit five times.  Instead of her usual bouncy self, she was lethargic.  She sat quietly resting her head on my lap.

The vet tech said that the parvo test was just to rule it out. I thought Dr. Menigo was joking when she said the parvo test was positive.  Parvo?  Parvo on one of my vaccinated dogs?  She vet was calm but insistent that the vaccine manufacturer (name withheld for the time being) be held responsible for the vaccine failure.  We had followed protocol, and I took precautions.  My Vesta was what I considered to be extremely low risk given her vet care and lifestyle.  I left her at the vet for intensive isolation care of an IV and antibiotics. 
I started some phone calls, and as expected, my dog community started turning the wheels.  As a part of an aggressive treatment routine, plasma from previous canine parvo survivors can be used to the on dogs that have severe symptoms.  Within a several hours, I already had three dog owners offer to let me use their adult dogs to treat Vesta.  She was looking better today, so there was no need for the plasma yet.  The plasma treatment is for dogs that are not improving.

Vesta in the cone of shame.  She showed the IV bag who was the boss of her.  
I think it goes without saying that I'm pretty upset.  While Vesta is a pet first, she's also a fantastic team partner.  I waited years and years getting her, and she's exactly what I wanted.  Fast. Excited. Enthusiastic. Confident. She was always tuned into me and so eager to please.  And she was a ball of fire.  It is sad to see my ball of fire barely flickering.

Wednesday, Jan. 25th, 2012 - Day 3
I got off the phone this morning with Dr. Menigo.  And I was delighted to send this email to our friends who were aware of Vesta's condition.
Hi Everyone,

I just got off the phone with the vet with a Vesta update.  The vet is amazed with Vesta's progress, and she says she has not seen a dog recover so quickly from parvo.  We're on day three (Monday was the first day of symptoms), and she's already eating.  Her only symptoms so far were runny stool on Sunday night, vomiting on Monday, and lethargic/low energy levels.  She has not thrown up since Monday, and she has not had any bowels movements.  If she keeps progressing at this rate, it is likely that she will be home by this weekend. 

The vet reports that Vesta is hungry, bouncy, and ready to be a puppy again.  Vesta also dislikes being attached to an IV bag, and would prefer freedom over an IV bag.  Her blood work yesterday morning came back as fantastic.  Not just normal, but fantastic aside from being slightly anemic (normal given the IV and lack of food).  The IV bag will probably be removed tonight to Vesta's pleasure. 

The vaccine company also seems to be responsive to my vet's claim, and it seems highly likely that they will be making some reparation for Vesta.  My vet has already started a case with them and sent them Vesta's information and blood work results. 

I'm going to visit my little munchkin this afternoon.  Thank you everyone for support. 

Much Love,


Thursday, Jan. 26th, 2012 - Day 4
Vesta had a little setback today.  My morning coffee meeting was cancelled, so I had a little time to visit Vesta.  After disinfecting the front yard, driveway, garage, and backyard, I drove down to the clinic.  Vesta had a bout of diarrhea last night as well as vomiting.  She is now on her IV fluids, Tamiflu, antibiotics, glucose, and anti-nausea medication.   I brought my camera to take photos as I thought she was doing better.  Unfortunately, she was looking worse to me.  See video below.

I've also become some what of a compulsive disinfector.  I used Wintergreen 256 out of the PetEdge catalog for some time now, and I had quite a bit left over.  It is advertised as killing many dirty germs, including parvovirus.  Armed with a hand held spray bottle and a 2 gallon pressure sprayer, I've been going over anything and everything I owned.  I sprayed down the inside of my car, the yards, sidewalk, and anything Vesta might have touched.  I even sprayed down the carpet and couches.  To clean poop piles in the yard, I spray the poop, pick it up with a bag, and spray the poop pile area again.  I plan on going over the yard several more times before Vesta comes home.

My routine after visiting Vesta was to spray down myself (plus shoes, Crocs garden boots) and wash my hands with parvasol at the clinic.  I would then spray down the seat and steering wheel of my car prior to getting in with Wintergreen 256.  Then I would lay down a towel between the seat and myself before I got in, spraying the bottom of my shoes as I got in the car.  Once home, I would spray my shoes again before stepping into the garage, and I would leave them in the garage to dry.  I would immediately shower, and undress by turning my clothes inside out and rolling them together into a large ball with none of the garment exterior showing.  Prior to washing my clothes in hot water, I would give them a good dousing with Wintergreen 256.

Friday, Jan. 27th, 2012 - Day 5
@WindAddict and I went to visit Vesta this morning, and we braced ourselves for the worst.  Surprisingly, she was looking perky.  She wagged her tail when we came in.  I washed the vomit off her e-collar, and I gave her a washcloth bath of Listerine and water.  While she got some loving, I washed the floor and her cage with bleach.  Some of the vet techs came in to take her blood for the vaccine manufacturer, but her veins weren't really cooperating.  So they decided to feed and water her instead.  Little Vesta gobbled up her food and finished the water quickly, and we concluded our visit. 

Dr. Menigo called around 6 pm to report that Vesta was recovering quite quickly.  Vesta had eaten about 8 ounces of canned dog food throughout the day along with some water without a problem.  If all keeps going well, she'll come home on Monday.  I think the idea that my sweet baby contracted parvo still hasn't sunk in.  I've been pretty unproductive this week.  Most of my days are spent sitting on the couch, watching terrible movies on NetFlix, baking treats for the vet clinic, keeping up with some work here and there, and otherwise trying to keep myself occupied.  I haven't had much motivation to work out or to give Mouse and Basil good training sessions.  I just couldn't find the emotional energy. 
One philosophy I try to do all the time with all my dogs is that they will never have a bad experience.  Even if they are given a correction, a "stop behavior marker," or try again signal, it is not painful or negatively emotionally charged.  I put great effort into making all experiences for my dogs a positive experience.  Unfortunately, I have no control over Vesta's experience right now.  She is in physical pain and discomfort, and I can't stop it.  I hate feeling helpless in this situation, and it makes me frustrated that she has to feel this way. 

Saturday, Jan. 28th, 2012 - Day 6
Our visit this morning started off with Vesta flying out the door and ramming into us.  It seems that someone is feeling much better!  It is very likely that Vesta will be on her way home on Monday.  After her listerine bath, I took some photos and videos.  She was starving, and she kept running into her crate or fronting (recall where dog sits in front position) to see if we would feed her.  Our vet exclaimed that Vesta was so delightful, that she wanted a Swissy too. 

Getting a rub down after her bath. 

Monday, Jan.30, 2012 - Day 8
One would not have guessed that Vesta had been ill at all.  In the grand scheme of things, she faired pretty well.  She had very little diarrhea and vomiting, and never blood in either.  She is back to her normal spring loaded self.  I picked her up this morning, and I washed her three times (very thoroughly) before I let her touch anything in the yard or house.  Dr. Menigo and one of the other vets has been in contact with the vaccine company (name withheld for the time being).  Vesta's blood sample was at Cornell awaiting results (not sure what kind), and it was very likely that the vaccine company was going to pay for the $765.00 bill.  She said we should know in a week or so whether or not they would pay for the amount.  Today is a good day. 
Wednesday, Feb. 1, 2012 - Day 10
This video was two days after she came home, 9 days after initial diagnosis. As you can see, Vesta bounced back quickly. I think she bottled up an entire week's worth of energy, and she's letting that surplus out through bouncing!

Thursday, March 15, 2012
Dr. Menigo called to say that Merck had covered the costs of Vesta's treatment, and that I had no financial responsibility for the case.  The strain that Vesta had was one that wasn't covered, but dogs are supposed to have cross-strain protection.  While the message wasn't explicit, I think it was CPV2c.  All dog owners regardless of age, should watch out for signs of parvovirus.