Keep Austin Dog Friendly

Through Responsible Dog Ownership.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

KittyPalooza Party, Austin Java Photo Contest, and Zoom Room Opening

The sun may be sweltering, but the fun with animals doesn't stop in Austin.  We've got three fun parties for the dog and cat lover in you.  First up is Kitty Palooza.

Thursday, June 24, 2010 at The Mean-Eyed Cat Bar, 1621 West 5th Street, from 5pm 'til 8pm

Come on down and help us kick-off the four day intense cat adoption event that is KittyPalooza!

This party is dedicated to the memory of Miss Kitty, the official greeter and feral cat who lived at The Mean-Eyed Cat Bar for at least 14 years - we hope to make her proud by helping 100 cats and kittens find new homes during KittyPalooza.  Stay after the party to enjoy Ray Cashman of Nashville (click here to visit his site) at The Mean-Eyed Cat Bar.  No charge for the party and no cover for Ray Cashman.  Guests will have the opportunity to sponsor a KittyKit - the bag of cat care products sent home with each new adopter. 

KittyPalooza is Town Lake Animal Center's four-day intense adoption event with the goal of getting 100 cats and kittens to new homes.  It's a high point in the summer push by TLAC and the Austin Humane Society to focus on cat adoptions.

Plenty of free parking!  Watch a slide show of all the available fabulous felines - there may be a few kittens in a crate for you to pet but they'll be outside- if you're allergic, you can still come to the party!  (since this is a bar, we must ask that all guests be at least 21 and have ID)

Austin Java's Dog Days of Summer Photo Contest

Lets celebrate summer and our dog-friendly establishment plus get some competitive spirit brewing, no pun intended!

To enter the contest, simply send us a picture of you and your dog or just your
pooch solo hanging out at any of our three Austin Java locations – be sure to
specify the location when you submit your photo(s). We will then choose the best
picture from each location and the winners will receive $30 in Austin Java money!
Submit your photos by at-replying us on Twitter (@AustinJava) or uploading
it as a fan photo to our Facebook page (
Happy summer – get creative, cute or spunky with your pup; let the picture wars

Austin Java’s three locations are located at 1206 Parkway (12th and Lamar),
1608 Barton Springs Road and 301 West Second Street. The contest will end on
July 12.
Zoom Room comes to Austin!  

Zoom Room's training facility, indoor dog park, and agility course is opening it's doors in Austin!  Come enjoy their grand opening on July 10th (details pending)!  

7739 Northcross Drive, Suite H
Austin, TX 78757
Phone/Fax: (877) 425-ZOOM

Friday, June 11, 2010

Dog Days Beer Social and Rachael Ray Nutrish

Black Star Coop'sDog Days BEER SOCIAL!

The weather is heating up and we’re hot and heavy into construction. Let’s get together and enjoy a cold one. Join us on Saturday, June 12 from 7-10 PM for an evening of good beer and good music shared with good people in a co-operative environment. Beer socials are events for member-owners to socialize and for future members to join the co-op.  Click here for more information about this dog friendly beer social!

Rachael Ray is also launching a new food lined, Nutrish, and a new website,  They are having a launch party for all canine rescue groups.  See below and don't forget to RSVP!

Friday, June 4, 2010

Social Media has gone to the dogs!

Social Media has gone to the dogs.  After training, showing, handling, and judging dogs for eight years, social media and dogs have their similarities in concepts and behaviors.  *Note: This post is mostly intended to be humorous.  Don't be too offended.  Also, Happy 8th Birthday to @Mousethedog!

1. Classical conditioning is an old dog training principle.  Classical conditioning is simply the pairing and associating of two things.  In Pavlov's case, his dog associated a bell with dog food which lead to drooling.  Eventually, the dog would begin to drool with sound of the bell even in the absence of food.  In dog training, the trainer should always be in a cheerful mood regardless of what the dog is doing (much easier said than done).  The dog will associate the trainer with cheerfulness and other good things.  If the trainer is always angry and upset, the dog will begin to associate the trainer with angry and upset feelings.  It isn't hard to figure out why some dogs avoid their owners in this case. 

If your Twitter voice and Facebook posts are always unhappy and angry, people will stop following you.  You are a debbie downer, a stick in the mud, an angry cloud on a sunshiny day.  On the other hand, if your Twitter voice and Facebook posts are always cheerful and happy, people might start to associate you with positive emotions, engage with you more, and tend to follow you.  Classically condition people to like you, not to run away from you. 

2. Everyone wants to chew on the new toys until it is broken.  Dogs love to play with new toys until they are un-stuffed and shredded.  Just give a group of dogs a fuzzy stuffed toy and check back in a few weeks to see if you can find the parts of the stuffed toy.  This is the same thing with social media tools.  Today, Twitter is big.  It is so popular that it fail whales frequently.  Everyone wants to play with Twitter, and now we've broken it.  Tweets have gone missing. Twitter search is a joke.  While the Twitter toy has lasted a couple of years so far, how much longer under social media gets a new toy?  Other examples of broken toys include the iphone.  AT&T's network (especially in San Francisco and Austin) just can't support iphone users anymore.  Looks like the HTC Evo 4G is the new toy. 

3. In dog training, like social media, there's not only one single right way to do things (many wrongs as well).  There's countless numbers of dog training methods, and there are also countless numbers of social media strategies and tactics.  Different methods for different dogs.  My big dog doesn't respond well to repetition methods.  He gets bored.  However, my little dog loves doing the same exercise over and over again, especially when she is very confident about her performance.  Different social media strategies for different audiences.  In social media, hard selling or spamming on Twitter usually get you a kick in the pants.  You'll probably also get blocked.  However, hard selling or spamming in the adult website industry probably works considering how many wind up in my spam box. 

4. In dogs, they all want to sniff the newbie's butt.  Who's that new dog at the park?  What's his story? Should I pee on him?  In social media, we all tend to google and search for dirt on new users.  Who's that new blogger?  Has anyone ever met that newbie with only 3 followers?  Before you get started in social media, be sure that you clean up your Facebook and Myspace (may it rest in peace) accounts.  No one needs to find that photo of you doing a keg stand in your sister's bikini and high heels when sniffing your online butt.

5. Dogs breeds were developed with certain innate characteristics over hundreds of years.  Border collies love to chase moving objects.  Daschunds love to dig.  Huskies love to pull.  You can try to train them to not engage in those behaviors, but the dogs like to do what they like to do.  Your audience has innate characteristics.  They like what they like, and you can try to change it, but good luck.  If psychologists knew how to consistently and reliably invoke attitude and behavior change, we would have put an end to drug abuse, unsafe sex practices, and unhealthy eating habits.  We're still working on those. 

6. Motivation.  Dogs wake up in the morning wanting to pee on things, eat cat poop, slobber on the couch, and hump stuffed animals (maybe not in that order).  They are dogs after all, and that's what they are motivated to do.  Users wake up in the morning and look for interesting news, follow new users, and play Farmville.  Face it.  They don't wake up saying, "I would LOVE to spend my time writing a blog post about your product!"  Dogs have different motivations than their handlers.  Consumers have different motivations than businesses.  While your business might have fans who like your products, they aren't as motivated as you are to stay afloat. 

7. Be genuine.  Dogs can smell a fake from a mile away.  They can read your body language much better than humans can.  Users can also smell a fake on social media as well.  You can't put up a fake front for long.  We'll call you out!

8. Dog training and social media never ends.  I get asked frequently how long it took to train my dogs.  My reply is, "It never ends."  The notion that one can take a dog through few obedience courses and get a well-behaved dog is pretty far from the truth.  Training a dog happens is a never ending process, especially if they are trained for performance activities.  Training lasts a lifetime.  Successful social media also never ends.  I've been asked "How long do we have to use Twitter? When do we are we finished with social media?"  The answer is: Unless your business or your internet presence ceases to exists, social media should not end.  Social media tools may come and go, but hopefully the social part never ends. 

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Austin Pets Alive! Pet Prom 2010

It's that time of year again - time to deck yourself and your pets out in your best prom gear and join us at Torchy's Trailer Park.

Once again we will have a costume contest for the the pets. Entrance to the event is free and the fee to enter your pet into the costume contest is 10.00.

In addition to the costume contest, there will be live music from Little Mikey and the Soda Jerks (awesome Honky Tonk if I recall correctly from Sweet Barks Honky Tonk:) Plus games, food & beer (yay St Arnolds!), and a silent auction.

We hope to see you there!