Keep Austin Dog Friendly

Through Responsible Dog Ownership.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Pups Give back at Paggi House Dec. 12, Pawliday at the Driskill & Gingerbread Doghouse making at Austin TerrierDec. 11

Lucy Gives Back
Pup’s 1st birthday celebration benefitting Austin Pets Alive!

WHAT:          Paggi House General Manager, Derick Wagle, is welcoming all pet lovers to celebrate his dog Lucy’s first birthday with a pup-tastic happy hour that’s sure to make tails wag. Benefiting Austin Pets Alive, Paggi House will be unleashing happy hour food specials as well as complimentary eggnog and cider to give back to the very organization that saved Lucy’s life a few short months ago. Pups are invited too, so bring your pal and help celebrate Lucy.    

WHEN:          Monday, December 12

WHERE:        Paggi House
                   200 Lee Barton Drive
                   Austin, TX 78704

TICKETS:       $10 at the door or pre-pay online at


Annual Pawliday Party at the Driskill

When: 12/11/2011
1 p.m. - 3 p.m.Mezzanine
As winner of Animal Fair magazine's most "pet friendly hotel," the Driskill doesn't forget about your special family member during the holidays. This fundraising event for Austin Pets Alive! is presented in conjunction with Lofty Dog. Activities include a Green Carpet Dog Walk fashion show with MC Nolan Cruz from Mutts & Masters radio talk show, photos with Santa, Blessing of the Pets and special goodies for all. Austin Pets Alive! will have several foster dogs on site, all in need of a home for the holidays. For the masters, a cash bar on our famous Sixth Street balcony features Salty Dogs, Pink Poodles, Poinsetters, Greyhounds and other appropriately named cocktails.

$10 fee per pet to benefit Austin Pets Alive!
Rules of Entry

Valet Parking Information for the Annual Pawliday Party
Guests joining us will receive validated valet parking for $10


An Evening of Gingerbread Doghouse Making at Austin Terrier


Dec 11, 2011
4:00 pm until 7:00 pm

An Evening of Gingerbread Doghouse Making at Austin Terrier
Graham crackers, icing and gum drops on top, if I eat anymore I think I might pop! Join us and create a Gingerbread Doghouse to take home at the Austin Terrier Sunday, December 11th at 4PM. Supplies will be provided.
Austin Terrier
3435 Greystone Drive
Austin, TX
View map »
SponsorAustin Terrier
Contact nameAustin Terrier Team

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Why I Show Dogs in Sports

I wrote this post almost 2 years ago right after @MousetheDog earned his 22nd and 23rd titles, but I never found the right time to post it.  I truly feel that some of the more valuable lessons I've learned came from dog showing.  @MousetheDog was my first dog, and he was a spectacular and exceptionally well-tempered and forgiving creature.  I'm so lucky that he tolerated all my mistakes. 
Now that he's nearing the end of his competitive career, I'm starting this process over again with another teammate.  The goal of this post isn't to encourage others to start showing their dogs, but to remind myself of all the lessons I've learned over the last decade.  I'm going to use these lessons as I start off with my new partner in canine (I love puns), @VestaTheDog@MousetheDog's new job will be to teach her all that he knows, and Basil's new job will be to keep our new little tyke in line. 

The Roman Reign Posse, in a shark. 
I love my dogs.  It doesn't take long for someone to realize that I'm borderline-dog-show person.  The only way I get to stay on the sane side is by being equally immersed in other activities.  This blog post isn't entirely about dogs, it is most much about what I've learned through showing dogs.  I've showed, trained, handled, and judged (not in all activities) dogs in conformation, weight pull, drafting, rally, herding, water rescue, packing, and obedience.  Needless to say, I was exposed to many different breeds and many different types of dog owners.  And the politics in the dog world is tremendous.  The movie, Best in Show was a severe understatement of what really goes on at dog shows.  Dog show politics makes any other type of politics (including governmental) look like a walk in the park on a sunny day when the birds are chirping.   I heard that horse show politics are worse, but I'll avoid that for the time being.

Showing dogs has made me a more patient and understanding person.  Showing dogs can be the ultimate test of persistence, and it can frustrate you to no end.  After all, the essence of handling a dog in the show ring is that you and the dog have to work together like a team.  That's right.  That animal that would rather hump your leg is supposed to do what you ask.  Furthermore, that dog doesn't speak English.  I tend to laugh when people complain about their students or their employees.  At least human students and employees speak English (or another spoken language) and can be reasoned with in some logical fashion.  A dog cannot.  A dog does not care to learn your way of communication nor does the dog really care about what you want. 

"Mom, I don't speak English. I speak dog."

Motivating the unmotivated: Mouse wakes up in the morning with a few things on his mind: I want to pee, I want to poop, I want to eat cat poop, and I want to find something to gnaw.  While he didn't tell me that himself, I'm just going to guess that is what's on his mind.  Dogs are not motivated to do what humans want them to do in general, and it certainly is true for some activities like competitive obedience.  Some of the exercises in competitive obedience are pretty unnatural for a dog in the wild (ex. sitting perfectly still for one minute, heeling with precision, or retrieving an object with a jump in between).  Teaching a dog that doesn't speak your language to be motivated to perform unnatural exercises in unpredictable environments is a pretty big feat.  To do that requires a great deal of creativity in communication and motivation

One thing that you'll learn in showing dogs is that the handler is wrong 99.99995% of the time.  Let's just round that up to 100% of the time.  I've learned in dog shows that I'm always wrong.  Everything that doesn't go as planned is my fault.  Either I gave the wrong hand signal, or maybe I set up dog up to miss a turn, or maybe I didn't proof my dog for a certain distraction, or I got flustered and made my dog misjudge my commands - it is always my fault.  Being wrong in dog shows all the time makes taking responsibility for being wrong in other realms so much easier.  I'll say it now. I'm human, and like all humans, I'm wrong from time to time.  I try not to be wrong, and I try to fix my wrongs.  But I'm pretty sure I'll mess up here and there. 

There are more microcultures in dog shows than there are in the Center for Disease Control.  I tried to break down all the groups, but that list just got out of control.  There are at least 30 or more microcultures, and learning to navigate all these different microcultures is a challenge.  But however it makes drives home the point that in order to work with all these groups of people with completely different attitudes, one must truly understand them and their motivations.  This becomes even more important when companies try to market to these different groups. Marketing plans are not always generalizable. 

Showing dogs has taught me deal with arbitrary rules and regulations.  Dog show can be rules are pretty silly an useless.  In a particular draft dog test, a dog can fail an entire test for moving their feet during the greet a stranger exercise.  Yes, a dog could simply fail for shuffling their feet.  Seems silly, but rules are rules.  In competitive obedience, the handler is only allowed to give the dog one command.  No where in practical life would you only give a dog a single command, but again, those are the rules.  In dog shows, changing rules and regulations takes years, and by the time a rule has been changed, your dog has passed prime show time.  I typically follow rules I don't agree with, but as is life.

"I like to eat cupcakes."
There is no one way, and there's no "expert."  All dog are different, and all handlers are different.  I don't believe there's a single one and only way to train a dog as I don't believe there's only one way to market or to use social media.  Also, in dog training, I don't believe in experts.  While there are many people who are extremely knowledgeable and highly experienced that I look to for mentorship, those people are always learning and changing their techniques.  They do not claim to be experts, but they do claim to keep learning.  I hope that I'll keep learning my entire life, and if I ever call myself an expert, someone please kick me. 

Through showing dogs, it is nearly impossible to embarrass me.  Let's just say that my lovely dog, Mouse, was a character, and he had embarrassed me in the ring to no end.  From picking up a a piece of a mop and frolicking about the ring in his cart in front of the entire national club members to jumping a ring to pee on a tree, I'm not embarrassed anymore.  Mouse is a dog, and he does things that dogs do.  Life goes on, no matter how foolish your dog makes you look at a dog show.  

I wasn't dancing. Mouse and the sheep almost tripped me.  That's pretty typical. Photo by Yvonne Schoeber.
I'm accustomed to failure and criticism.  I fail because I try.  I've been asked many times how I manage to do so well in so many areas.  The answer is 1. Because I'm type A and 2. Because before there were many successes, there were many failures@Jason talks about this many times This week in Startup, and I think that it is a common motto for many people who try many ventures.  Failures are a learning experience.  Every failure leads you closer to success.  Criticism can be a hard pill to swallow, but I've found that people who give me constructive criticism do it because they care and want me to succeed.  If I wasn't given ways to improve, I'd stagnate and stay the same.  If you hadn't seen Randy Pausch's Last Lecture on criticism, do so now. 

Support is critical.  Dog people are extremely supportive.  Check out this card my trainer sent me when Mouse earned his companion dog title (below).  My trainers are pretty darn awesome.  In my group of friends in the dog community, we all treat each other like family.  Even with friends across the country, they know that I'm available anytime of the day (literally) if they need me, and they are available anytime I need them.  I remember being woken up one morning at 5 am to a phone call demanding that I evacuate to Virginia due to Hurricane Rita.  If I didn't leave now and drive up to them, them were going to come down to get me.  That's how much they cared, and that's how supportive they were.  Another friend I met through my breed club was so supportive that two days prior to his passing, he emailed to congratulate my dog and I on our recent achievements.  He never let on that his cancer had severely worsened, and even when he was the one in need of support; he thought of me first. 

With that said, showing dogs makes you really reprioritize your life.  For the most part, many of my mentors in the dog show world are older, and when working with an older population, death is inevitable.  I would hazard to guess that I've lost at least 25 friends in the dog show world in the last seven years.  When some of your strongest supporters and wisest mentors pass, it makes you really rethink your life and how you spend your time.  One of my biggest influencers passed away from a heart attack on the day I gave a lecture about finding your mentor.  That was kind of rough, but it makes me care a whole bunch less about little things and more about people. 

Also, dogs are earnest. You can't fool a dog.  They can tell when you are nervous, upset, or tired as they can read body language much better than humans can.  You're better off being honest because your dog will be. 

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Religious Services for Pets in Austin

About a year ago (Dec. 2010), someone called me on Christmas Day.  Their beloved pet was near the end of life, and the person wanted to take their pet somewhere for spiritual services.  I researched a few places, and I came up with this list of places/people who may be open to providing those services for pets.  This list may change as church policies change.  I'm happy to edit this list.  Just email me the changes at Jennie@ roman

Monday, October 31, 2011

PAWS Shelter and Humane Society Announces Fall Harvest Feast and Art Auction - Nov. 6th

PAWS Shelter and Humane Society Announces Fall Harvest Feast and Art Auction
Enjoy a magnificent Mediterranean menu paired with locally crafted wine and beer, plus have an opportunity to bid on enchanting art from local artists, while helping local homeless and abandoned animals

Dripping Springs, Texas – October 18, 2011 – Enjoy a magnificent Mediterranean feast, and have an opportunity to bid on enchanting art from local artists, at the Fall Harvest Feast on Sunday, November 6, 2011, from 3pm – 6-pm at Onion Creek Kitchens at Juniper Hills Farm. All proceeds benefit PAWS Shelter and Humane Society, a no kill animal shelter. PAWS has been able to serve our local communities since 1986 thanks to funds raised at events like this.

The Fall Harvest Feast will feature a mouth-watering menu prepared by Sibby Barrett at her Onion Creek Kitchens at Juniper Hills Farm, located between Dripping Springs and Blanco. The exclusive Hill Country retreat is lauded nationally for its culinary creations and stunning setting. Sibby, who is currently featured in the October issue of "Edible Austin," will be using local and seasonal ingredients to pair perfectly with locally crafted beer and wine from Real Ale Brewing and Bell Springs Winery. The art auction will feature a stellar line-up of original art and limited editions.

For more information and to purchase tickets, please visit, email, or call Beverly Cambron at (512) 673-0072.

The Fall Harvest Feast MenuTapas and Prosecco Pairings
House Made Focaccia with Harvest Grapes, Rosemary and Sea Salt
Sumptuous Antipasto and Salad Board
Gorgonzola Pasta
Pork and Chicken Braciole with Prosciutto and Provolone
Shrimp Limoncello
Pomegranate Fig Olive Tapenade Crostini
Italian Dessert Display
Cookies ~ Gelatos ~ Fresh Fruit Tarts

About PAWS Shelter and Humane SocietyThis year, PAWS Shelter and Humane Society, Hays County's only no-kill shelter for dogs and cats, celebrates its 25th Anniversary. PAWS is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization devoted to caring for, protecting, and finding quality homes for abandoned and neglected animals. PAWS initiatives include aiding in the reduction of pet overpopulation, providing community education for the mutual benefit of animals and people, and the life-changing “Cell Dog” and “Visiting Pets” programs. For more information visit

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Dogtoberfest. Oct. 22, 10 am - 4pm

Dogtoberfest is an Austin based, non-profit organization, created for the purpose of instilling awareness about Dog rescue, as well as raising much needed moneys for local dog rescue organizations.  We have an annual event at The Domain, which includes a silent auction, Canine Costume Contest, pet related demonstrations and fun for all!  Last year approximately 2,500 people and their canine companions attended this one day event and we expect many more in 2011!!

 Mark your calendars now for Saturday, October 22, 10 am 'til 4 pm at the Domain in North Austin.

The following 8 local rescue groups will benefit from Dogtoberfest 2011:

Austin Boxer Rescue    -    Austin Dog Rescue  -  Austin Sheltie Rescue

Central Texas Dachshund Rescue     -     Heart of Texas Lab Rescue

Hound Rescue  -   Lifelong Friends Pet Adoptions   -   WeeRescue

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Green Gala for Austin Animal Center and the Corgi Celebration in Buda,

We've got two great events coming up: The Green Gala for the Austin Animal Center and the Corgi Celebration in Buda, TX.

On Saturday, October 22, 2011, Friends of Town Lake Animal Center will celebrate the new Austin Animal Center with Green Gala 2011. Friends of Town Lake Animal Center is hosting the Green Gala to help raise funds to purchase veterinary equipment, and to support future shelter needs such as spay/neuter vouchers, vaccination clinics, adoption drives – even dog treats!

After 50 years at the Town Lake location, the animal center will move this fall to a new, LEED Silver-certified facility. The theme for the gala emphasizes all the green aspects of the new animal shelter – keeping it local and uniquely Austin.

·         Music will be supplied by The Hot Club of Cowtown, whose members not only live here in Austin but also adopted their dog Eva from Town Lake Animal Center (she might even make an appearance at the party!).
·         Food, locally sourced and locally grown,will be served by Catering with a Twist, on biodegradable and recyclable dishes. Desserts by Whole Foods and Walton’s Fancy and Staple.
·         Beverages are local, too, with Republic Tequila, Enchanted Rock Vodka, Live Oak Brewing Company, Paula’s Texas Spirits, Aliseoand Texas Tea all pitching in.
·         The silent auction will feature special items from locally owned businesses and local artisans.

The Gala will be held on the grounds of the new Animal Center at 7201 Levander Loop.Tickets are on sale now.  The cost is $75(Gala only)/$125(Gala and Sponsor Cocktail Hour) per person.  Tickets may be purchased online at


What:                    The Green Gala 2011 Benefiting the New Austin Animal Center

Who:                     Sponsored by Friends of Town Lake Animal Center

 When:                 Saturday, October 22, 2011

             6– 7 pm:  Sponsor Cocktail Hour
             7– 10 pm:  Gala

 Where:            The New Austin Animal Center on The Betty Dunkerley Campus
7201 Levander Loop
Austin, TX 78721
Websites:          Green Gala –
 Friends of TLAC -


The 2011 Corgi Celebration will treat its visitors – human and canine – to a royal celebration of the breed. In its 9th year, the October 29 event includes entertainment such as a rescue parade, silent auction, and costume contest. Public performance demonstrations offer education and information about dog sports and activities such as agility, herding, obedience, pet therapy, rally and tracking. In addition, the event offers Herding Instinct Testing (sanctioned by PWCCA) and AKC Canine Good Citizen (CGC) testing.

The focus of Corgi Celebration is education and support for future Corgi owners and fanciers. We champion this wonderful dog breed, and actively support rescue efforts for Corgis and other dogs.
Since 2003, Corgi Celebration participants have raised over $27,000 to celebrate the breed and support Texas-based Corgi rescue programs. Proceeds from this year’s event will be donated to Corgis and Critters N.E.T. Rescue, Inc., which is committed to helping Pembroke Welsh Corgis, Cardigan Welsh Corgis, and their mixes. 

By royal proclamation, all Corgi fanciers and Corgis – with or without tails – are invited to attend! The Celebration takes place at 902 Canyon Wren Drive, Buda, Texas, 78610. Volunteers are welcome.
For more information about the event, visit:

Jaime Bragg, Event Chair

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Teeny’s Friends End of Summer Pawty - Sept. 24

Teeny’s Friends End of Summer Pawty

Date: Saturday, September 24

Time: 1 pm to 5 pm

Location: Southpaws Playschool, 2324B South Lamar, 78704

All small breed dogs welcome! All activities are indoors and air-conditioned.

Goody bags—door prizes—dog cookies—chillin’ station—treasure dig—

Beauty Pawlor by Dirty Dog—demonstrations by Austin Doga and Wright Vibes Animal Massage

Admission: one dog toy or $5.

All proceeds will benefit Teeny’s Friends, a non-profit group that collects toys for shelter dogs. Keeping shelter dogs mentally stimulated and soothed helps the dogs to be more adoptable.

The group that has the most dogs in attendance wins a free party from Southpaws Playschool!

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Zoom Room® Austin Rings in One-Year Anniversary

Austin, TX – July 18, 2011 – Zoom Room®, the indoor agility training center and canine social club, is celebrating one year of success in Austin this month. The local business plans to commemorate their first year by hosting an all-day event on Friday, July 29, which will feature a tricks contest for the talented four-legged family members to strut their stuff, a Doggy Disco® party from 7 p.m. – 9 p.m., including food, drinks, disco lights and music, and free agility lessons and promotions on top-of-the-line dog retail products and training classes.

Zoom Room Austin is located at 7739 Northcross Drive, Suite H, Austin, Texas. All donations received during the day’s event will benefit Austin Dog Alliance, a non-profit organization focused on improving the health and well being of individuals and families through programs that incorporate the powerful connection between dogs and humans. Those planning to attend the event are encouraged to RSVP in advance for the free agility classes and the Doggy Disco in order to secure a spot.