Category Archives: Better world

How to Choose the Perfect Shelter Dog for You


1. Lay aside all prejudices – shelters have great dogs, of all types. They even have purebreeds if that’s what you prefer. The mixed breeds you will see are often mainly defined as a particular breed – despite the dachunds with long legs you’ll come across – so it’s possible to generalise a little about the dogs you will see. Remember also that mixed breeds often lack the genetic problems associated with pure breeds.

2. Another point about shelters: you can trust that dogs in the shelters are well treated: the dog you buy from a non-reputable breeder or even from a big pet shop may have come from a puppy mill, and the conditions in a puppy mill are often similar to those on a battery chicken farm. So that’s another good reason to choose a shelter dog.

3. Look around. There are loads of good shelters near you – or further away. Have a look at the many dogs online – is there one that sounds like it might be good for you? But don’t forget there will be lots of dogs at the shelters not online – they might be in intake, waiting for spay neuter, or foster or even sick at the moment.

4. Go through the shelter and have a quick look round. Do look at the dogs who don’t immediately run up to you and wag their tail. stock-photo-11035054-old-sad-dog

Your perfect dog may not like being in a shelter: it changes their personality. Even the dog who is barking at you or running to the back of the cage may be the one who will be your perfect match once he or she gets home.

5.  Have a good look at a few dogs. Ask to get to know your favorites – and don’t be hurt if one of your favorites clearly prefers the staffmember who is with you. They may have known them a lot longer and been bribed with donuts on a daily basis.

Let your dog smell your hand, don’t stare into its eyes, and if he or she responds try gently stroking him. Ask the adoption counselor if you can give them a piece of the good treats (chicken?) you brought with you.

6.  Ask for their past history. Do you need a dog that will get along with children, other dogs, cats? Are they good with all types of people? Will you be home all day? Do you need a quiet dog that will sleep when you are out – a senior will be good. Aim to abandon your stereotypes again: pitbulls can be sweet dogs and greyhounds are usually couch potatoes. A fragile puppy or toy dog may not be the best bet if you have a large active family, but that large Alsatian? Perfect.



7. Take them for a little walk. Don’t worry if they pull if you have the patience to train that out of them, If you want a dog that walks well on a leash a puppy or a high energy dog like a Collie is probably a bad idea. If you don’t have a lot of time, a big strong dog is not for you – and if you don’t have a yard a smaller dog like a Chihuahua or a terrier might be a good idea.

So – what do you think? Remember for every dog someone adopts another dog is saved, as you’ve freed up a place. Somewhere, the perfect shelter dog – and your best friend – is waiting for you.



5 Ways to Talk About Animal Shelters


Maddie’s Fund – What is No-Kill?

The big debate in the animal shelter world is about the right words to use: do we “kill” or “euthanise”?  Well, actually it’s no, it’s not the big debate, although we do talk about the words: in animal shelters in America we don’t manage to save the lives of millions of healthy adoptable animals each year” and call it “euthanasia”.

The most popular ways to describe animal shelters are

1. Lifesaving Centered – saves all healthy animals

2.  Lifesaving Community – subtle difference here! Saves all healthy animals

3. No-Kill – blunt, to the point – saves all healthy animals

4. Save All Lives – saves all lives!

5. None of the above – more than 50% of the animals which come in the door won’t leave alive…..

So you might like to get behind “lifesaving” – check out Maddie’s Fund if you want to know more!  My favorite phrase is “Save All Lives” – and if you like it too,  you might like to show your support and adopt from your local shelter.


This is my girl, Daisy: she was lucky enough to be brought to my local no-kill shelter as she was in the local pound and schedule for euthanasia with her puppies.   Thank you to Operation Kindness in Dallas for all their wonderful efforts to save lifes.

Check out the link too: your new best friend could be waiting for you ❤


How a craft beer helped me change the world!

Just starting out on this journey – to explore beer, books and animal rescue – not necessarily all at once but…..

We all know that Colorado brews great beer – but did you know the breweries have great hearts too?

Me neither – until I discovered The Brew Dogs of Colorado

BrewDogsBookThe Brew Dogs of Colarado must be the greatest book ever – and I’ve read many of the greats on beer –

“The best beer is where priests go to drink. For a quart of Ale is a dish for a king.” — William Shakespeare, The Winter’s Tale

“I tell you, Mr. Okada, a cold beer at the end of the day is the best thing life has to offer. Some choosy people say that a too cold beer doesn’t taste good, but I couldn’t disagree more. The first beer should be so cold you can’t even taste it. The second one should be a little less chilled, but I want that first one to be like ice. I want it to be so cold my temples throb with pain. This is my own personal preference of course.” — Haruki Murakami, The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle

“Terence O’Ryan heard him and straightway brought him a crystal cup full of the foaming ebon ale which the noble twin brothers Bungiveagh and Bungardilaun brew ever in their divine alevats, cunning as the sons of deathless Leda. For they garner the succulent berries of the hop and mass and sift and bruise and brew them and they mix therewith sour juices and bring the must to the sacred fire and cease not night or day from their toil, those cunning brothers, lords of the vat.” — James Joyce, Ulysses

Glad they like their beer – but this is better.  It’s a big beautiful “coffee table” book (beer table?) with big beautiful pictures.

The breweries and Colorado have the best people.  These breweries both rescue dogs and donate to animal causes: the proceeds from this book go to DreamPower Animal rescue in Colorado Springs.  And the books are beautiful.  The photography is superb – and you get information about each brewery, their eco credentials, awards they’ve won and a peep at the wonders of Colorado’s landscape at times. But most importantly you meet the dogs.


Come, join me in raising a glass (buying a book?) to Colorado’s brewers and their work towards a better world for dogs.