09:13 PM, Thursday, March 24
Surf Dog contest winner carves new waves

”Rip Curl Ricki,” a local golden retriever surf contest winner, took to the waves to learn a new skill: surfing tandem with Patrick Ivison, a 15-year-old spinal-cord-injured adaptive surfer. “Ricochet” (as she is known on land) has been surfing since she was a puppy and has always been part of surfing fundraising efforts for great causes. The newest project for Ricochet, however, presents a unique and exciting challenge: training to surf tandem with Patrick Ivison, who suffered a spinal cord injury as a result of an accident when he was only 14 months old. Patrick was diagnosed a quadriplegic, but he is able to surf using an adaptive surfboard.

In addition to accomplishing a tandem surf ride with a person with limited physical abilities (rarely if ever done), Ricochet will use her surf training next week to prepare for upcoming surf competitions/fundraisers for Patrick.

Although Patrick has excelled through the years in both school and adaptive sports (adaptive surfing is his specialty), he recently decided that having a service dog would help him achieve greater independence as he approaches his college years. Paws’itive Teams, a local non-profit organization that places service dogs with persons with disabilities, caught wind of Patrick’s story and matched him with a golden retriever named Kona.

The costs of training a service dog and specialized physical therapy are steep, however – that’s where Ricochet’s knack for surfing and fundraising comes in.

Ricochet will be carving waves in San Diego for the next several weeks to prepare for the Helen Woodward Surf Dog Surf-a-thon in Del Mar on Sept. 13 as well as the Surf City Surf Dog event in Huntington Beach on Oct. 11, where she hopes to share a wave with Patrick. Patrick is an official beneficiary of the Surf City Surf Dog contest, and the proceeds donated to Ricochet through her fundraising efforts will go directly to Paws’itive Teams, and Help Patrick Walk, for the sole purpose of easing the financial burden on Patrick and his family.

More information can be found at,, and

Volunteers needed for worthy cause

Therapy Dogs International chapter 206 of San Diego County invites you and your dog to join our chapter. Our goal is to provide a network to connect hospitals, assisted living facilities, libraries and the many other people and places that would benefit from our volunteer teams. Details and inquiries at

Dog Day Afternoon a huge success

They say every dog has his day, and that was certainly true on Aug. 22 at the Beachwalk shopping center in Solana Beach. The center was the site of the inaugural Dog Day Afternoon, a fundraiser benefiting the Foundation for Animal Care and Education.

FACE, as it is commonly called, provides financial grants to pet owners who cannot cover the cost of their pet’s critical veterinary care. As awareness of the foundation rises, so do requests for assistance. In an effort to raise money, Dog Day Afternoon was born.

“We wanted to throw a big dog party,” said Stacy Steel, executive director of FACE. “Dog Day Afternoon brings together fun activities for the entire family, especially the four-legged variety.”

Their plan worked. Over 300 people attended the outdoor event, the majority with their dogs. One of the many highlights of Dog Day Afternoon was A Taste of Beachwwalk. For a small donation, guests sampled food from the center’s many restaurants and eateries. The event also featured live music by Stratos, pet-friendly vendors, kids’ games, face painting, professional pet photos, dog adoptions and a raffle.

While good may describe the cupcakes, great is sure to describe the day’s outcome. In just four hours FACE raised nearly $3,500, all of which will directly fund the treatment of sick dogs and cats.

To find out about the FACE Foundation’s upcoming events or make a tax-deductible donation so they may continue to save the lives of beloved family pets, call (858) 450-FACE (3223) or visit

It’s easy for dogs to “go green” at Loews Hotels

As part of its commitment to the environment, Loews Hotels encourages even its furriest guests to do their part in promoting responsible, sustainable consumption (literally). The new Loews “Grrreen Dog” package features a specially created “Dog Gone Green” room service meal, a veterinarian-approved healthful feast which mixes locally grown ingredients from neighborhood farms with a lot of love. “Grrreen Dog” package rates vary by hotel, starting at $119 per night.

As part of the Loews Loves Pets program, each visiting VIP can travel in first-class comfort with gourmet room service, specialized bedding, a pet amenity and guest services designed to make pets and their owners feel right at home.

For more information or to book, call 1(800) 23-LOEWS or visit

Barona Resort & Casino offers doggie concierge’

Barona Resort & Casino has long been a top destination for humans who want to enjoy San Diego’s most exciting gaming action.

Now, it’s getting even better for the guests who want to treat their dog to a getaway that they’ll drool over.

Barona has just declared Plush Puppies Kennel and Daycare Center in El Cajon the resort’s “official doggie concierge,” which means guests who are traveling with their dogs can give their best friends a relaxing vacation on their own.

Located a short distance away from Barona in a beautifully tranquil spot in eastern San Diego, Plush Puppies has many amenities that are the cat’s meow for dogs, including a “doggie limo service” from the resort and a 5,000-square-foot area where dogs can run free with their fellow canines.

At Plush Puppies, dogs receive the same excellent handling, attention and loving care their owners receive at Barona. After a brief on-site pre-screening, all the dogs play together in a fenced area, unless they are busy eating or relaxing in the sun.

It’s a perfect way for a dog to spend the dog days of summer – or any other time of the year.

For more information go to

Helen Woodward Center breaking ground

The future of Helen Woodward Animal Center began to unfold when the center broke ground in August to begin a five-year construction project. HWAC President Mike Arms says, “When Helen started this facility 37 years ago the shelter met the needs of a very rural area with a gravel road that went past the entrance. Across the street, Fairbanks Ranch was where Douglas Fairbanks Jr. lived. Now Helen Woodward Animal Center is a landmark. It’s a destination for families in search of pets and a template for humane education programs that are used worldwide.”

Arms says San Diegans don’t realize the reach their local animal center has worldwide.

“Helen Woodward Animal Center is regarded worldwide as ‘The Animal Center of the Future.’ Animal welfare leaders from more than 25 countries around the world have traveled to Helen Woodward Animal Center to learn ‘the business of saving lives’ from our staff. Now is the time for us to update our facility to accommodate a growing San Diego County, the large number of animals that we care for and the children who come here as they prepare to lead our world in the future.”

For more information visit Helen Woodward Animal Center at 6461 El Apajo Road in Rancho Santa Fe, call 858-756-4117, or log on to

Housing discrimination can be a death sentence for some dogs

Thankfully, housing discrimination is illegal for humans, but for dogs like Balin and Boston, it can be a death sentence. Balin was left at the shelter, complete with obedience certificates, after his lifelong owner had to move and couldn’t find housing that would accept a pit bull mix. Boston, like so many other dogs, is a victim of the recent foreclosure crisis and was taken to the shelter after his owner’s home was foreclosed. Pit Bull Rescue San Diego stepped in to save them, and now these two gentlemen await new homes. However, others aren’t so lucky. The continued housing crisis and difficulties finding pit-friendly rentals mean the end of the road for many pit bulls and pit bull mixes, who make up about half the dogs currently in San Diego County shelters.

According to the American Temperament Test Society, a national organization for the promotion of uniform temperament evaluation of purebred and mixed-breed dogs, pit bulls scored higher than golden retrievers and many other common family dogs. Despite an 85% pass rate of 567 American pit bull terriers evaluated, the breed continues to be unjustly vilified by society at the hands of sensational media reports, sparked mostly by a small group of irresponsible pet owners.

Pet owners are encouraged to visit or call (858) 361-3592 for more information.

Dogs advance at semifinal Wienerschnitzel Wiener 2009 nationals

Qualifying rounds for the 2009 Wienerschnitzel Weiner Nationals were held Saturday, August 29th on the rugby fields at Qualcomm Stadium. A field of 363 dachshunds participated in the event, each vying for one of sixteen sport in the San Diego Padres vs. Washington Nationals game at Petco Park. This Pacific Life Holiday Bowl event beneftied the Rancho Coastal Humane Society.

The fastest qualifier was Heidi-Roo Smith of Orange. The 101/2 year-old, 13 poind dachshund set a track record by completing the 53-foot course in 2.37 seconds.

The fastest eight dogs from the simifinals will advance to the championship race in San Diego on December 30th before the nationally televised Port of San Diego Big Bay Balloon Parade presented by the San Diego County Credit Union, also a Pacific Life Holiday Bowl production.

Pet Memorial Park

introduces new services

San Diego Pet Memorial Park, the largest pet cremation and memorial park in San Diego, offers a full range of services such as Burials, Cremations, Memorial Chapel Viewings, Cremation Viewing Services. August 1, 2009, they announced a 24-hour pick-up service to accommodate those clients burdened with the sudden loss of their pet. Along with the traditional after care services, they offer have grievance counseling, pet loss support groups and many ways to help in times of need.

New to the service is an online Interactive website, Their goal in creating the site is to share the beautiful ten acre memorial park with pet lovers and to answer questions people may have about our services, and personal questions they may have about the loss of their beloved pet. We care and we want you to know and be comforted at the fact we exist for the client alone! We know how to care for their needs when their beloved family pet passes away. We offer pre-need services so you, the client do not have to think about all the details at a most difficult time.

They are proud of their caring approach to the needs of grieving pet parents and to give them many options available they may not have known possible when considering after care of their beloved pet.

For more information, call (888) 483-5257 or visit the website at

Anesthesia-free teeth cleaning now available at Pet Me Please

Pet Me Please offers anesthesia-free teeth cleaning every 3rd Thursday of the month! They also offer a wide selection of products for dogs and cats and a huge variety of raw hide treats for your best friend, including wheat and gluten free specialty foods. Look for our Rescue Adoptions coming soon! Pet Me Please is open Mondays through Fridays 10 AM to 6 PM and Saturdays 10 AM to 4 PM. Pet Me Please is located at 3401 Adams Ave., Ste. C, 92116. For more information call (619) 283-5020.

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