Margarita ran a Flex It Pink 5k to benefit less-fortunate dogs.
Love our bling from this run!
Flext It Pink is a company run by two moms who are passionate about fitness and living a healthy lifestyle. They began the company in 2013 to support, encourage, educate and empower other women in their healthy lifestyle and fitness journey.
Run like there’s a treat at the finish line!
The Run for Rescues 5k benefited the Have a Heart Humane Society , whose mission is to rescue abandoned, abused and injured animals, provide low cost vaccinations and spay/neuter programs, educate the greater Tehachapi community (in CA) about responsible pet ownership, and partner with local organizations to develop and share resources for animal welfare.
Love is a 4-legged word!
This run benefited Have A Heart Humane Society
We didn’t have the best race time, but we sure did have a FUN time together, raising money for less fortunate pups!
Ok, so we are a few days late celebrating International Friendship Day (8/6), but in honor of the wonderful friends in our lives, Margarita and I ran the Virtual Run EventsFriends Forever 5k.
It certainly wasn’t our fastest race, (at least it was faster than our first 5k together!) but it was time well spent together – and for a good cause! 15% of each registration for this race is donated to Soles4Souls. Since 2006, Soles4Souls has collected and distributed 26 million pairs of shoes to those in need in 127 countries around the world and all 50 states in the U.S!!
SHAMONG — About 20 pairs of eyes widened and a few shouts of excitement rang out as two four-legged visitors took over Linda Newman’s first-grade class Tuesday at the Indian Mills Elementary School.
“I want to pet them! I love dogs!” the students said in chorus.
Robyn Klim, the district’s director of pupil services, asked the students to quiet down and gather in a circle as she led her dog, Lena, a 3-year-old Shih Tzu-Yorkie mix, to the center of the room. Following behind was Jen Beadling, a middle school teacher with her dog, Rita, a 7-year-old English pointer.
The two dogs were recently trained and certified as therapy dogs and were part of a new districtwide initiative to support student success.
“Our goal of the program is to provide students with the support, encouragement and friendship of a nonjudgmental therapy dog,” Klim said. “Research shows that a relationship with a therapy dog allows students to be more successful in school and the community.”
The goal of having the dogs in the school is to help alleviate stress and help students focus, Klim said. For example, the dogs could come into the guided reading exercises and help students who are struggling with reading stay on task. The dogs have already visited one class where students were taking a test, Klim said, and they were allowed to pet the dogs to help stay calm and chase away any nerves.
The program began at the school earlier this month as a way to build skills and confidence for the students.
Each of the classes will get an introduction lesson, just like Newman’s class received Tuesday, before the dogs will be brought back for other activities. Klim said that Rita had already made her second trip back to a middle school class who had the opportunity to pet her while taking a test.
The plan is to continue to expand into next year, to allow all classrooms to sign up for about one visit a quarter. Teachers will be able to go into the “The Bark Room,” and sign up for a visit.
As the program expands, teachers can match their lessons to incorporate the dogs.
Both Klim and Beadling were getting their dogs trained as therapy dogs for different purposes when they started discussing it with each other.
“Wouldn’t this be awesome to do for our school district?” Klim said.
From there, Klim worked with Superintendent Christine Vespe to set up a board policy allowing the animals to visit during the day as well as secured insurance.
The dogs will be accompanied by Klim and Beadling at all times that they are in the school. Students who do not want to participate or parents who do not want their children to participate will have the opportunity to opt-out of the program, Klim said.
So far, however, Vespe said not one student in the district has opted out.
Excitement filled the room Tuesday as the students got to interact with the dogs and learn about them. Beadling told the students how she rescued Rita last year, while Klim discussed how she adopted Lena about two years ago.
“I love you Lena,” Keegan O’Brien, 7, said as the dogs were walking around the circle.
Still, he said Rita was his favorite dog that he had met.
“I really like Rita cause there’s a girl named Rita in Power Rangers,” he said with a smile.
For Klim and Beadling, seeing the students smiles and positive reactions has made the program worth it.
“I think it’s very exciting for the kids to have exposure to therapy dogs (and) learn about them,” Beadling said.
Klim said teachers are starting to use the dogs as a motivation tactic for the students.
“I think that (Lena) is motivating our students,” she said. “She’s providing positive rewards for our children.”
Those of you who have been following along know that Rita became a registered Therapy Dog. My school district decided to start a Therapy Dog program, and Rita was one of the first dogs starting the program!
My students were super-excited! They made welcome signs, and we marked the calendar for her first day of school!
Students created posters and centimeter cube formations to welcome Rita to our class:
Ready for her first day of school with her Paw Patrol backpack!
Rita did very well with the kids, and the students enjoyed having Rita by their side as they practiced multiplication facts.
Rita was quite exhausted after her first day with the students, and napped her way through my Prep period.
Rita’s first day was a success – what a great program this will be for the students!
Tri-State Basset Hound Rescue is an all-volunteer non-profit group dedicated to finding forever homes for homeless Basset Hounds in the New Jersey, New York, and Eastern Pennsylvania Areas.
Each year the Tri-State Basset Hound Rescue hosts BoardWaddle in Ocean City, NJ. There is a fun “Doo Dah Parade,” with hundreds of Bassets waddling to the delight of the crowd.
After the adorable Bassets waddle down the Ocean City Boardwalk, everyone gathers at a picnic. Here owners and their dogs hang out with all the hounds, check out the arts and crafts show, other rescues, area shelters, and/or get something to eat at the food vendors. This is where Rita volunteered all day.
A highlight of the picnic is the awards. There are awards for the top-10 pledge-getters and, of course, awards to the winners of the basset games: Best Trick, Best Costume, Best Parade Float and many more.
Rita had a wonderful time volunteering as a donation dog for Pointer Rescue, Org with her fellow pointers, Lady and Mr. Spock, and friends, Grace and Jen!
On April 2, 2017, Rita attended the Wheaton Arts Paws for Arts to volunteer as a donation dog with her Fiance, the very handsome Mr. Spock, for Pointer Rescue, Org (PRO). All cash that Rita collected was donated directly to PRO.
The Paws for Arts event partnered with the Cumberland County SPCA for a free community event that brought pet owners and their dogs on site for a day of art and fun.
Highlights from the event included:
■ WheatonBarks Dog Show and Parade
■ Several Animal Rescue Groups in attendance
■ Obedience Demonstration
■ Pet Supplies, Treats, Clothing
■ Dog Activities such as Paw Prints, Bobbing for Tennis Balls, and Pumpkin Pie, Photo Booth
Rita got her paw print done and I was able to pick it up in June, after they fired it in the oven!
■ Search and Rescue Demonstrations
■ Agility Course
■ Animal Themed Glassmaking Demonstrations in the Glass Studio
Evesham Library offers a monthly “Wagging Tales” event where children come to the Library to read to Therapy Dogs. Margarita is now a part of this awesome program which aims to help children boost their confidence and increase their communication and literary skills while reading to a registered Therapy Dog.
Those of you following along may remember that Margarita and I took a Therapy Dog Workshopin preparation for taking our Therapy Dog test. I am proud to announce that Margarita and I passed the 4-part test to become a registered team with the Alliance of Therapy Dogs!
Margarita has already visited an assisted living home, a medical facility, and also participated in a local library’s children’s reading program!
Interested in becoming a registered therapy dog team with The Alliance of Therapy Dogs? Click HERE on how to become a member, find a test/observer in your area, and view a test example.
Our time was 33:01 – we managed to shave off 56 seconds from our last race!
This was a great run, as the fall colors were absolutely amazing!
20% of our registration fee was donated to Freedom Service Dogs. Freedom Service Dogs is a nonprofit organization that enhances the lives of people with disabilities by rescuing dogs, and custom training them for individual client needs. Clients include children, veterans, active duty military, and other adults. Their disabilities include autism, traumatic brain injury, cerebral palsy, spinal cord injuries, muscular dystrophy, multiple sclerosis, and post-traumatic stress disorder.
Rita added another medal to her spot on our “Wall of Fame!”
Did you know that there are more than two million children in the United States who have lost one or both of their parents? Research shows that 1 in 20 children experience the death of a parent before the age of 16. The “One Tough Mother Runner” race helped to benefit Family Lives On – an organization that provides ongoing support to these grieving children. The Foundation’s Tradition Program encourages the healthy emotional development of these children by providing annual opportunities for remembering deceased parents, and creating a safe haven for children for grief, communication and celebration. For more information about this charity or to make a direct contribution, please visit FamilyLivesOn.org.
During our first race, Rita decided several potty breaks were needed, which slowed us down quite a bit. However, this time I was the one slowing us down, as I just didn’t have the energy to keep up with her! Rita was raring to go, and ran the entire time with stamina to go even further! Rita even got to see her first deer (a baby!) on this run, as we had to stop to let the deer cross the road so it didn’t get “spooked.”
Our finish time was 33 minutes, 57 seconds for this race. We were able to shave off 7 minutes, 32 seconds off our first race!
I am someone who could never – would never- even think about running without music. I actually am not a huge fan of running, and a playlist of my favorite songs usually distracted me enough to get the job done. I did not wear ear buds while running along with Margarita, as we do not have roads in this town – we have trails – and they are very narrow! I wanted to be sure that I was 100% aware of our surroundings while on the “roads” in our town in order to protect Rita from moving cars, spooked deer darting out of the woods, or loose dogs. I have to say, praising Rita and the interactions I have with her during our runs are far more motivating than ANY playlist!
Each Thursday during June through October, The Old Oar House Irish Pub hosts a “Doggie Date Night, ” where dogs are welcomed to join you as you dine in their outdoor seating area. A portion of the proceeds from your food bill goes to the Cumberland County SPCA. This particular Doggie Date Night was a very special (and rainy!) one… Margarita and her heart-throb and fellow English Pointer, Mr. Spock, helped out the Cumberland County SPCA, and got engaged!
Margarita got Mr. Spock some special engagement gifts!
And Mr. Spock had a good friend make Margarita the most perfect and beautiful engagement necklace!
There were lots of party decorations and favors!
All our 4-legged friends go dressed up for the PAWty!
And lots of people and pups came to the PAWty even though it was raining – I bet you they came for this yummy homemade cake!
Margarita showing off her new necklace:
The happy couple enjoying some of their engagement cake together:
What a fun night with good food, friends and pups! Best of all, we were able to help out the Cumberland County SPCA!
Jenny and Rita getting ready to start the first activity at the Therapy Dog Workshop:
Margarita lovers her “place” mat, and was a well-behaved, attentive student:
The instructor, Judith Azaren, focused on a variety of skills, including:
Greeting/Disengaging on cue
Working calmly around other dogs
Handler engagement techniques
Distraction work including dogs, people, wheelchair, walker, etc
We feel as though Margarita did very well for her first time being presented with the tasks that were covered in this workshop.
Margarita quickly learned to look at me to earn a reward when she discovers staged piles of treats on the floor. Therapy dogs come across many items on a floor, such as medication/pills accidentally dropped on the floor. It is imperative that the dogs look to the handler rather than ingest what they find:
Here is Margarita weaving past other dogs, and not engaging:
Rita practiced loose-leash walking:
Margarita did well working around distractions such as crutches, wheel chairs, walkers, and a vacuum cleaner:
Margarita picked up on the “touch” game very quickly! Each time she touched my hand with her snout, she earned a treat. That was a fun game for her!
Here she is working on “touch” while not engaging with other dogs as they walk by:
Working on “touch:”
We have already contacted several Therapy Pet Registering organizations in order to start the process of Margarita’s evaluation and registration. We are hoping that with some additional training and practice, we will be able to have Margarita certified as a Therapy Dog so that she can help provide affection and comfort to those in need!
Do you think your dog or pet may be a good candidate for becoming a Therapy Dog? Each organization has different requirements, so be sure to do your research. Here are some of the most well-known for therapy pets (click on the names below to be directed to the organizations’ website):
Rita and I ran our first 5K together through a site called Virtual Strides. Virtual Strides provides an opportunity to participate in a virtual race (which can be run or walked!) anytime — anywhere– with whoever your want — and even indoors on a treadmill! Once you register for one of the virtual races, you can complete the distance any time and anywhere, and upload your finish time to the website. Virtual Strides will mail you a finisher’s medal after you upload your results, or at the end of the race period, whichever comes first. The best part is that a portion of the race’s proceeds gets donated to charity!
Rita and I ran the “Run Free” race.
This race benefited the National Mill Dog Rescue. National Mill Dog Rescue has pledged to put an end to the puppy mill industry, and has saved more than 10,000 dogs since 2007. National Mill Dog Rescue hopes to educate the public to acquire their companion animals through reputable breeders, shelters, and rescue groups.
Once you register, you can download a running bib:
Rita did GREAT! This was the first time I ever ran without music (running with music has been a MUST for me). I wanted to be sure I could hear everything around us in order to protect Margarita in case there was a loose dog, etc. I have to say – talking to Rita through the run was way more motivational than any music!
Our finishing time was 40 minutes, 25 seconds. Not bad considering Margarita decided she’d stop 3 times for potty breaks, TWO of which needed to be bagged-up, if you know what I mean!
I submitted our results, and a few days later, the race medal arrived in the mail!
Rita’s first official medal! She now has a spot of her own, among her siblings, on the “Wall of Fame” in our bar room.
All Charity Wick’s candles are produced from vegan friendly, kosher certified, soy beans grown in the USA. All candles are free of any dyes or coloring, and feature lead free, self trimming cotton wicks, as well as environmentally conscious fragrance oils.
Even more reasons to buy a Cello candle:
Lasts up to 50% longer
Burns slower and cooler which helps to better distribute the fragrance of the candle
Melted soy wax will not cause severe burns
Less likely to trigger allergies
Clean up off of fabric and carpet with soap and water
Produces very little soot compared to paraffin wax based candles.
Made from American-grown soybeans, so it supports the U.S. economy instead of foreign oil conglomerates
Manufactured here in the USA!
The positive attributes of Charity Wicks soy candles, combined with the fact that your purchase benefits the GSP Rescue of NJ, makes any
Shorthair Candle the best choice for any candle friendly household!
Yesterday Brian, Cello, Hooch, and I volunteered for the GSP Rescue of NJ at Doggie Appreciation Day, held on the grounds of L’Oreal in Cranbury, NJ. This was a free, dog-friendly event.
Just some of the great activities going on were:
Puppy stadium races
10th annual NJ State Puppy Limbo Championship
NJ State Dog Bone Stacking Contest
Rescue Bingo all day (great prizes to benefit our Rescue friends)
Doggie Swimming Pools
Over 75 Rescue Groups and Pet Vendors
This event was an opportunity to talk to people about German Shorthaired Pointers and rescue/adoption. It’s important as a rescue to “get the word out” of animal-related events happening in the area, and spread the word about the work rescues do. Brochures and other materials were available to help publicize our organization, rescued GSPs were present, and adoptable GSPs were displayed on a information board.
Hooch won over the heart of fellow rescue friend, Jen:
And Rescued GSP Eve welcomed Hooch to the event:
Overall, it was a great day spent education people about the breed and rescue!
Proceeds from the 5k race benefit local animal rescues. The Chesterfest Wine Festival immediately followed the race. $10 got us entrance to the festival, and a souvenir wine glass. Award winning wines from Working Dog Winery were available to buy by the glass or bottle. Flying Fish Beer had a tent set up to purchase their beer as well. Food carts from Nomad Pizza, and Zinna’s Bistro provided yummy food choices. Live music was also provided by Vic Della Pello.
Everyone brings blankets and chairs, and spends the day enjoying delicious wine and good music…all while supporting local shelters!
Located in Mercer County, NJ, and formerly known as Silver Decoy Winery, Working Dog Winery recently changed their name in honor of their hard-working good-natured dogs!
Originally our schedule did not allow us to make this event, but when plans changed, we jumped in the car and headed to the Festival! We missed the 5k by the time we got there, but Cello was able to volunteer as a donation dog to help raise funds for the GSP Rescue of NJ.
The owners of the winery have a German Shorthaired Pointer as well. We just love the winery’s name – and the wine labels!
It was a beautiful day, and we got to meet some fellow volunteers of the GSP Rescue of NJ that we have only known at this point through email. It was great to meet the other volunteers in person…and to meet their rescued GSPs.
While we were at the festival, Brian noticed that there was a woman selling some jewelry. I am not a big jewelry person, so I hadn’t even noticed the table of jewelry – but Brian told me that I “HAD” to go look at this woman’s jewelry. What I didn’t realize, is that this lady was selling jewelry made from sea glass. Brian knew that as a child, I would collect sea glass at the beach each year my family stayed at the Jersey Shore. Brian spotted this, and knew I would just love it! He bought me a necklace made from sea glass, with a charm attached that was shaped like a heart with paw prints on it. Brian is such a thoughtful husband…and I’m a lucky gal. 🙂
Visit Phyllis at PK’s Kreations to see some of her really cool jewelry made from sea glass!
If you can’t volunteer…donate or transport an animal to safety.
If you can’t donate or transport…educate, network, and cross-post.
Everyone can do something, large or small, to help save a life.
~Pit Crew, IL
I often hear people say they can’t help because “It’s too upsetting,” “I don’t have the money,” “I don’t have the time,” …etc, etc, etc…. well – you CAN help – in many different ways, regardless of your time, level of involvement, or financial situation. The purpose of this post is to show you that there are many different ways, and numerous levels of participation you can involve yourself in to help save an animal’s life – both with little time, or little/no money!
There are also many people out there who really want to help, but not sure what they can do to assist. There are plenty of different ways to help either at a local shelter – or a rescue organization. Remember…Just a few hours can make such a difference for an animal in need!
Contact a local shelter or rescue organization today, and ask how YOU can contribute…there are MANY ways to assist! Here are just some ways how you volunteer to help change the life of a homeless animal:
Walking and exercising the dogs: Get some exercise yourself while giving a shelter dog a break from the kennel! Walking and playing with shelter dogs can be very rewarding, and provide much-needed exercise and stress-relief for shelter animals.
Cleaning kennels: Help keep kennel, walking areas, and play spaces tidy, and help wash kennel bedding to help shelter animals’ stay a more enjoyable one.
Donating food, toys, newspapers, old towels and sheets: Have you ever heard the saying “One man’s trash is another man’s treasure?” Many items you may normally throw out could be used by shelter pets to provide stimulation, reduce stress, or provide bedding. There are MANY toys, household items, pet care supplies, medical supplies, and even office supplies that shelters could use. Contact the specific shelter to find out what items they could use most.
Donating money to the shelter: Most shelters even have an online donation option.
Planned Giving: Remember a favorite local shelter in your will. Making a lifetime gift by bequest is easy. Simply direct your attorney to include the shelter in your will when it is drafted. You can designate a specific dollar amount, or percentage of your estate. You can also bequeath specific assets to the shelter or organization.
Sponsoring a shelter animal: You can sponsor a specific shelter animal by donating monthly to that animal until they find their forever home. You can decide on the level of support to which you would like to commit, select a shelter pet to designate that support to, and receive updates on that supported shelter animal.
Memorial and tribute gifts: Honor a loved one – human or pet – by making a memorial or tribute donation. Most shelters and organizations will send a card to whomever you wish to honor with your donation.
Get involved at shelter events: Volunteer to help set up, break down, or run a table (sell merchandise, educate people who stop at the table by telling them about the organization, accept donations, etc) for the rescue at events.
Foster a pet to free up space at the shelter: Fostering a shelter pet frees up space in the shelter for other incoming animals. It is also a very rewarding experience, and a personal way to get involved in saving an animal’s life. Fostering increases the number of animals a shelter can save, and plays a huge part in the shelter’s ability to find homes for homeless animals. Most shelters will provide veterinary care, supplies, advice, and more while the animal is in your care. Contact a local shelter for specific details.
Become a foster: Fostering is a critical part of an organization’s success. Fostering provides a loving a stable environment for an animal until they can be adopted into their forever home.
Transport animals to their foster or adoptive homes: Drive a “leg” or two of a transport! Most legs are only an hour or so long, and just an hour’s drive can help get a homeless animal closer to their foster or adoptive family.
Be a coordinator: Help coordinate or monitor transports, or help by working with shelters and other groups who need assistance with animals in need. Coordinators receive information about dogs in need, and work with the shelter and rescue to place dogs in foster homes.
Perform home visits/inspections for potential adopters: Visit homes of nearby potential adopters and evaluate the home, property, and family for rescues in order for decisions to be made for adoption approvals.
Make phone calls: Call potential adopters to review applications, and applicants’ veterinarians for background checks in order for decisions to be made for adoption approvals.
Evaluate a animal in a shelter: Visit a specific animal in a shelter to analyze it’s temperament, overall health, etc.
Get involved in a fundraising event for the organization: Volunteer to help set up, break down, or run a table (sell merchandise, educate people who stop at the table by telling them about the organization, accept donations) for the rescue at events. There are even more opportunities for fundraising, or participating in the event itself. Some events you can even bring your dog – have them participate as a donation dog!
Donate: Rescue organizations depend greatly on donations from supporters. Most rescues are all-volunteer non-profit organizations. Monies donated go directly to the care (spay, neuter/vaccines/heartworm testing, treatment, and preventative/and other general vetting of the animals in the program)… there are no offices, shelter, or paid staff to support.
Shop Online and at Sites that Support the Organization: Many rescues now have sites that will donate a portion of sales to the rescue. It does not cost you any additional money, and really adds up for the rescue organization.
Buy rescue merchandise: Show off your love of animals and your passion of saving animals lives by buying merchandise from a rescue. Rescues often sell hats, shirts, magnets, and more. Proceeds will help fund your favorite rescue or organization.
Educate: Get the word out of animal-related events happening in your area. Rescues always need volunteers to help spread the word about the work they do. Often rescues have brochures and other materials available to help publicize their organization and the work they do.
I’m sure there are even more ways to assist a local shelter or a rescue organization – contact one today to see how YOU can help save the lives of animals!
“Saving one dog will not change the world, but surely for that one dog, the world will change forever”
While at WoofStock, Cello got to meet Oogy, a dog that was used for bait for a pit bull in dog fighting. His story is amazing. His owner wrote a book, which we purchased while we were there. Oogy’s owner signed the book, and Cello got her picture with Oogy. I still cannot bring myself to read the book – although a happy ending, it is such an upsetting thought that anyone could do this to a dog.