Happy Ahhhhhtumn!


Well friend, ‘tis the season . . . for playing in the leaves, and reveling in cool, beautiful, (mostly) sunny days.  This time of year is also abundant with gala events to support animal welfare organizations.  Please take a peek at all the goings on and join the fun while supporting great causes.

This is also the time to vote for your favorite pet orgs and businesses, vying for the honor of being named Top Dogs in their fields.  Voting is open through Oct 31st at spotmagazine.net. Please take a moment to cast your ballot — it’s a great way to support our pet professionals doing such great work!

This issue was so much fun . . . getting to meet Hayley and her cat Andy, whose deep thoughts have gone viral, and exploring Jonathan Czinder’s amazing ranch where dogs not only learn but enjoy days not unlike they would know in the wild. Also meeting Shannon Priem, who formed and operates a fantastic program for pets and people in Salem.

I hope you enjoy these stories as much as we did in experiencing and sharing them with you!

In closing I want to share a few words about a little girl who brightened my life for early 18 years. Peach was said to be a mini Doxie, and she was, but looked for all the world like a little dairy cow. A tomboy at heart, her little husky voice and bouncing gait always made hearts smile. Also a bag lady, any visitors’ bags left within reach would soon be ransacked by her little head examining the contents — sometimes leaving quite a mess.

I’m grateful for the love, joy, and richness all my dogs have brought to my life — we are so lucky to share whatever time we’re given with them.

Enjoy the season, and the love and adventure of life with your animals — words aren’t enough to describe the magnitude of this gift!



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It’s a dog’s favorite word, no matter what words come after.

“…for a ride? …get coffee? …to the beach! …wander with me and do nothing at all?”

Whatever the question, their answer is “Yes!”

It’s one of my favorite things about dogs; they’re not picky planners. Whatever you’re doing, they’re happy to do it too.

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We dog lovers couldn’t live in a more accommodating place than the Northwest, where our dogs can go with us for a coffee and a bite, to a resort or a vacation rental. For me and my little pack, the cabins and yurts at state campgrounds are favorite destinations, although we’re also happy at the beach, on a forest trail, or at the neighborhood park.

This issue celebrates everything that makes this region so wonderful, caring, and a tad wacky.

This is Petlandia, and the following pages highlight the many ways we include pets in our fun around here. We also celebrate the serious work going on — to pass humane laws, feed the hungry, and care for the vulnerable.  

There are so many reasons to be proud of the playful, compassionate, activity-packed place we call home. And there are so many ways to join in the fun. We can help with that! Like Spot on Facebook, and pop in Thursday evenings at 6:30 for my roving Furry Fun Planner report. I’ll bring you a sampling of events, activities, and great causes ­— just in time for your weekend plans.

I’ll see you there!

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Let’s do this!

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We Northwest residents get slightly giddy this time of the year, and who could blame us? Sunshine, wildflowers, trails, and mountains are calling our names. We take our four-legged buddies along for these adventures — it’s just in our DNA — and we wouldn’t want it any other way.

You’re holding the issue of Spot Magazine that celebrates everything about summer with pets and people in the NW — road trips, beach days, and dining al fresco.

You’re also holding my first baby — my first issue as Managing Editor of Spot. We’re a family here at Spot, and I’ve had a chair at the family table for years as a contributing writer. I couldn’t be happier that this issue is my springboard into a new role. As I write this, I am readying the camp stove and dog bowls for our first camping getaway of the season. (We’re heading to one of the rustic dog-friendly cabins at Oregon State Parks, and you’ll see tips for excursions like here.)

Also, this summer, my best friend Willow and I will invite you along for some of our outdoor adventures as we make a renewed commitment to staying fit and active in our middle years. We’ll load up the Subaru for hiking, camping, bird-watching and exploring new places for Willow to swim — all in the unique spirit of a NW summer.

What are your summer plans? Grab some inspiration in the following pages, gear up, get out, and seize the summer! As always, feel free to share your awesome pet adventures with us on Facebook.

See you on the trails. Let’s do this!

Yours in everything pet in the NW,

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The goods are in the Guide


Life with pets is in some ways like life with small children. Our pets are precious, precocious, vulnerable, and beyond the most obvious cues, they’re unable to convey what they need or want. For this and many other reasons there are times when even the most experienced guardian — of children and pets alike — need an assist.

Enter The 2018 AWESOME Pet Guide, a resource filled with tips and info from expert professionals and organizations, paired with ads from pet-centric NW businesses and organizations. Take a spin through the Guide for trends, answers to FAQs and more, in everything from dining with dogs to daycare, vacays, veterinary care, and more!

We hope you enjoy and share the Guide. Copies will be available through year end, and permanently online.

Pets are among life’s greatest gifts, and it is our blessing, as their guardians, to provide the care and enrichment to ensure their very best lives.

Yours in everything pet,


Reigning cats and dogs


In almost 13 years of publishing Spot, I’ve been fortunate to witness countless instances proving that the human/animal bond is no less than miraculous. Breathtaking (and often death defying) rescues of and by pets, countless moments of joy and hilarity, and profound tales of transformation, heroism, love, and survival.


I’ve also had a bird’s-eye view of the cultural evolution of this relationship — from a time when pets were considered mere property to today’s overwhelmingly popular belief that our pets are truly members of the family, deserving of all the benefits we grant our children.

Not so long ago, the family dog was routinely relegated to an outdoor doghouse (or simply the backyard). He or she was fed whatever food was on sale, and was casually allowed to run loose (usually intact, so females often turned up pregnant). My, oh my, how times have changed.


I’ll never forget when the term “enrichment” made its way into the animal-lover’s vocabulary. Having published a family magazine years ago, I was familiar with the term, but had generally associated it with child-rearing.

The rise in our collective desire to provide pets with enrichment made me realize just how far our furry friends have come, shedding their lowly former status to become full-fledged “furkids.”


I’m sure they were cackling in their kibble at this glorious development. Who wouldn’t be?!

Pets today have got it good! And they certainly deserve it. In addition to extraordinary medical care and food products, and abundant behavior, fitness, and enrichment programs, we are now kicking it up a notch.


Who’d have imagined even a decade ago that we could enjoy yoga with cats! While Portland has enjoyed this feline-friendly opportunity for several years now, as I was preparing this issue, I saw for the first time a local studio offering yoga with dogs.


Yep! We love our animals, and we want them with us for vacation, fine dining, outdoor adventure, and now, for yoga.

I can hardly wait to see what’s ahead!


Yours in everything pet,

My golden girls


Pets have always been part of my family. Growing up we had dogs, cats, rabbits, chickens, ducks and horses. As an adult, I got my first dog immediately upon moving into a house with a fenced yard. 

In 2000, I had four dogs and two cats. Over the years, when the pack would lose a member, it wasn’t long before we’d welcome a new arrival. Then in 2015, I found myself with four seniors all at once: Scout (15), Peach (14), Roxy (15), and Lula (14).  Wanting to provide them the most comfortable, highest quality of life through their golden years, I decided to hold off on any new additions.

Scout left us that summer, defying the odds to live almost 16 years. A 6 lb mini Doxie from a puppymill, she started out medically fragile. But she quickly developed a good foundation, and apart from high dental needs and eventual blindness, was surprisingly healthy all her life. At every checkup her vet would say, “She’s such a tough lil one!”

Roxy departed the following summer, and Lula this past June. Each goodbye left me heartbroken, but so very grateful for the time we got to share. They were such a huge part of my everyday life: their quirky ways and temperaments, their body language, and how they showed and wanted love. Each has a story that would fill a book. For now, suffice it to say that they taught, loved, challenged and enriched me, and so many others.

My girls’ golden years included diapers, food games (no fun intended), mobility issues, blindness, seizures and more. How grateful I was (and am) for those who helped with tips, comfort, and guidance as needed (and boy did I need it!).

Knowing how helpful and what a difference this made, it means a lot to me to present this issue and give the same to you.

Peach will be 17 in February, and like her packmates before her, she has diminishing vision and hearing, spends most of her time sleeping or eating, and wears diapers. But! She’s still got plenty of swag, and is expressive and funny, snuggly and sweet. And I’m as crazy about her as ever.


While the “adventures” of our pets’ later years can be challenging, exhausting, and sometimes very scary, the joy, profound love, and the absolute wouldn’t-trade-it-for-the-world worthiness of this time with a beloved pet is like nothing else — magical, sacred, and a precious gift.

Gettin’ old ain’t for weenies! Thank goodness we in the Northwest have so many resources, treatments, and superlative professionals offering everything from western and alt vet care to support groups, physical therapy, and more to help with the hard parts.

Special thanks to our readers who shared photos and notes about their beloved frosted faces (meet them here), and the experts, guides, and angels who help preserve, support and celebrate this sacred time.

Yours in loving the oldsters,


Dog Days of Summer? Bring em on!

I’m so excited for you to get this issue!  It’s packed with summer fun, including great vacay options, tips on safe and enjoyable road travels with pets, and — for those who love taking the train — news from Amtrak that’s great for pets and gives new meaning to “all aboard!”

A shout-out to Bennington Properties in Sunriver, our official Issue Sponsor and a fantastic vacay option!  Click here to check out how this dog-loving family provides memorable getaways for pets and their peeps.

For miles of smiles, check out our 2017 Willamette Valley Cover Model contenders.  Our winner Smiggy had a great time with Walt during his photo shoot, and got a special treat for a job well done!

On the Rescue front, transport group Rescue Express is adding rigs and opening a new route, and local animal rescues are saving dogs from Korean dog meat farms.  Read all about it by clicking here, and learn how unique and rewarding it can be to foster or adopt a “trauma dog" at this link.

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Here at HQ things are quiet these days.  Our foster Harley, a 13-year-old blind teddy bear of a Cocker, found the perfect home after months of waiting.  He now has two little girls he loves following around, and a family who adores him.  His new mom sent word just a day after he left that he’d quickly figured out that “under the highchair was the best seat in the house.”  We’re so thankful for all who foster, and to those who open their hearts and homes to pets in need.  You make happy endings possible, and Harley’s happy ever after is a perfect example!

Shortly before joyfully saying goodbye to Harley, we were heartbroken to lose Lula.  While each of my dogs has been “the dog of my heart,” Lu truly held a special place.  Both of us were injured when she arrived in 2007, and Lula’s recovery took about four years and a ton of work.  Early on I called her my “wretched red-headed rescue.” She bit at the slightest perceived provocation, had high guarding behavior, and was fearful of nearly everything in a way that presented as aggression.  In the decade we shared, however, she became an incredibly loving, chill, happy and curious girl.  Her departure was abrupt, which made it so much harder.  Still, I will always be so thankful for the years we got to share.  Watching her overcome abuse and trauma, and then absolutely blossom was something I’ll treasure forever.  And forever she’ll reside in my heart.  Love you, Lu!

~  ~  ~

This time of year is paradise in the Northwest!  Happily, many destinations and venues not only make it easy to take along our best friends — they welcome and serve them with open arms and happy hearts.  Get out there and enjoy every minute!

Yours in everything pet,

Oh, babies!

Ah, the irresistible charm of tiny mewls and squeaks and howls, wobbling heads, and glistening wide-eyed gazes.  Puppy breath? Intoxicating.  For most of us, holding and playing with puppies or kittens — or simply watching them tumble and fumble — strips us down, revealing our best selves.  We fairly glow with happiness and love, our faces alight with sweet, dopey smiles, our touch gentle and tender.

They’re so soft!  So sweet! 

And so busy!

Perhaps it is the magic, wonder, and sheer wonderfulness of babies that sustains us in providing for their every need and negotiating the challenges — which can be many. 

From day one we are called into 24/7 service in protecting, teaching, and nurturing them.  Our lives become filled with constant feedings and cleanups (and not just from meals!), and the nonstop balls of remarkable energy that go-go-go . . . until >poof!< they drop and sleep like the babies they are.

We work to learn about best care, and wholeheartedly strive to give it.  Here, we begin to lay the foundation for the awesome companions they will soon grow up to be.

In recent years we have culturally evolved to where our pets are treated very much like children. We not only research and strive to provide the best nutrition, environment, and learning opportunities, pet parents today are concerned about enrichment.  This singular development some years ago, for me, marked a significant shift in the status pets now hold in our lives.  Happily, businesses and organizations have kept pace with the changes, and offerings in all areas of pet health, behavior — and yes, enrichment — are abundant.

If you’re a new pet parent this season, congratulations!  Inside you’ll find information, tips and resources for every aspect of caring for your new little one — helping you make the most of this magical time, and setting the stage for your lovebug’s lifelong health and happiness.

Here’s to the babies!  And to those who give them the very best, from beginning to end.

Also inside please take a peek at two important seasonal concerns — hot cars and fireworks. 

If it seems these topics come up year after year, it’s because they do.  And they will continue to until we see a day when no pet is left to suffer in a hot car, and when the days before and after July 4th are no longer the highest of the year for intake of lost and stray animals at areas shelters.

It’s been a long winter in the Northwest, but sunny days are finally here!  Just like with kitten- and puppyhood, the season will pass quickly, so revel in every moment!  Here’s to a safe, joy-filled summer!

Yours in everything pet,

Life with pets - always an adventure

Ask any pet parent about their lovebug’s morning or bedtime routines, favorite treat, toy, etc, and guaranteed:  the stories will flow — with smiles, shining eyes, and laughter. 

It’s often said that “pets are the new kids,” and it’s true: we are wholeheartedly, unashamedly, crazy about our animals. 

And when it seems they may be hurt, ill, or “just not right,” we jump to find the problem, and most importantly, the solution.  We live for their happiness and wellbeing.

Sometimes it’s hard to know whether something like vomiting is a garden-variety tummy ache, or something serious.  Whether a sudden lack of spark is simple fatigue, or something more.  Whether a limp is from a minor misstep we didn’t witness, or a real injury.

And then there are odd little crises. 

While out for a while years ago, my Beagle puppy Luka found several glow sticks. Greeting me with a glowing snout, I freaked.  Later, leaving the vet (she was fine), she proceeded to poop what looked uncannily like sticks of chalk — pink … yellow … blue. 

Years later, I was varnishing marzipan musicians from my father's retirement cake to make tree ornaments.  The cake topper was an 8” conductor. The collection sat on a table in the garage, door open, the summer sun helping dry each coat. Someone stopped by, and I briefly closed my dog Broadway in the garage. 

WHAT was I thinking!  As a puppy, Broadway had eaten part of a kitchen floor … a set of blinds … an entire batch of bananas perfectly blackened for bread. 

The table was no match for my counter-surfer. In just minutes she’d eaten a handful of the 3” musicians AND the conductor. Faint with fear, I mentally tallied the coats I’d applied.  

The vet felt she would be fine, and she was — although that evening she was very busy, producing volumes of yuck worthy of a dog three times her size.  

These are just a few examples of everyday happenings in life with our pets. No more or less scary (and happily, in these cases, ultimately hilarious) than the adventures every pet parent experiences.

Thankfully, we don’t have to know what to do beyond making that call. Our trusted family vet asks the right questions, and reliably provides an informed course of action. I can’t imagine life without my animals — or my trusted veterinarians. 

To help know what might be a crisis (or not), check out “When it’s time to call the vet” . We hope this helps with some of the everyday happenings that can be really scary. Also this issue, meet Top Dog Award-winning veterinarians at Heartfelt Veterinary Hospital and Bethany Family Clinic, and explore the alternative practice of Pranic Healing. 

I hope you’ll also take a moment to meet our featured adoptables. One, a sweet boy named Tank, is a beloved ambassador at Greenhill who, while loved by so many, has yet to find his forever family, which he so richly deserves — they all do.

Finally, we celebrate one of many beloved local merchants. If you have a great story about your neighborhood pet merchant, please let us know!  We’d love to share their stories too.

Yours in everything pet,

Meet Your 2017 Top Dogs!

More than 2000 pet lovers participated in these 8th annual Top Dog Awards, voting for their favorite pet and pet-friendly businesses in 38 categories.

The results are compiled in the pull-out BEST in the BIZ Directory inside, which I hope you’ll use and share whenever you or pet-loving friends or family are seeking the best services and products for your beloved pets this year.

These outer pages of Spot give you the Good Neighbor Vet Furry FunPlanner, your go-to for pet and pet-friendly events in February and March.  There’s always so much going on — so many ways to play, connect, learn and grow with your pet and fellow pet parents. New events are added continuously; for the latest, click here.  To get events for upcoming weekends on the fly, tune into the GNV Furry FunPlanner report on KPSU Radio Thursday evenings at 6:10 on 98.1 fm radio.

Copies of the Directory will be available all year at pet events and select businesses. Need more copies?  email info@spotmagazine.net.

Thank you so much for voting this year! Your endorsement of these businesses gives them a real boost, including sweet bragging rights for being named your favorite!

Our thanks also go to the wonderful businesses who made this possible by supporting the Directory through advertising. Check out their ads, and please support them!

* * *

This winter has been challenging for many, and certainly for our local businesses. Demonstrations and crazy winter conditions caused expensive closures, and in some cases, costly damage. 

It’s more important than ever now to support our local businesses.  They are the heart, soul and backbone of our community, and they are devoted to us — their customers — working tirelessly to maintain the highest levels of knowledge, expertise, and customer care. Please love them back!

Speaking of love . . .  In these changing times, let’s let love be the fuel, the engine and the heart of all we do, for the animals, and for each other. 

Thank goodness for pets!

Whatever is happening in the greater world, as a friend said recently, it keeps on turning.

Exactly right! And thanks to our pets, it turns with laughter, joy and boundless love.

And OUR little world — this treasured place we call the Northwest — keeps turning out so much to celebrate!

Our friends at Dignified Pet Services, who provide loving care when it means the most and host the sacred annual Service of Remembrance (Dec. 1st this year), have begun providing at-home euthanasia, an option that can help make goodbye a blessed, grace-filled time. They are also opening a new location in Milwaukie, in addition to their longtime facility in Tualatin.

Nancy Fedelem, beloved proprietor of Salty’s Pet Supply on Mississippi and Fang & Feather — which moved into larger digs on Lombard last month — opens South Paw Pet Supply on the South Waterfront in late December. And while she’s got her hands full with her beloved businesses, Nancy still manages to find time to host events supporting great causes — like recent Photos with Santa events in which she herself served as the jolly old elf!

New projects at Spot include Golden Ears, a social network and resource hub for people with aging pets. Stay tuned for details, and watch for Golden-Ears.Love this spring.

I hope you’ll join me in celebrating this community fueled by love, and in standing steadfast in knowing that, in our little corner of the world, the soil is rich, and our backs and hearts are strong. We work knowing things can and will get better — not only because we believe, but because we do.

The ASAP story is a great example of the power of collaboration — which in this case dramatically increased live release rates at area shelters, and more. It is this spirit of collaboration — continued, communal effort — that will continue to make positive changes in pet health, happiness and safety in the months and years ahead.

Thank you for being a part of it all!  We wish you a holiday season filled with family, friends, joy and love . . . cold noses and warm hearts,

Life in the village

Working and collaborating in animal rescue with countless organizations and individuals throughout the region, we at Spot have learned firsthand of the frustrations experienced by those serving animals in need, and those looking to adopt.

This issue explores and celebrates various aspects of rescue and adoption — including trends and realities, and the profound depth and meaning of the human/animal bond.

The rescue landscape has changed dramatically in the last decade, and continues to evolve. Where once the most urgent need was to home animals to prevent needless killing due to pet over-population and lack of space and resources to properly care for homeless animals, today the primary focus is on making successful matches that last for life.

Which brings us to where our investigation began. Whatever the realities today, pain-points for those working in adoption and prospective adopters are real.  It is with that we hope to help, shedding light on why adoption requirements are so important. Potential adopters can feel so offended by certain requirements — for a certain lifestyle, a 6’ fence, financial ability, no kids or other pets in the home — that they abandon the process.

We hope to clarify that while an adoption worker might seem unnecessarily “tough” on requirements, their rigorous protection of the pet and the match is thanks to years of experience that’s shown them,  time and again, what makes a successful lifelong match — and what doesn’t. Please trust that, and that the ultimate goal is happy ever after — for the pets and their families.

Serendipitously — and fittingly — our friend Patrick McDonnell of Mutts and Shelter Stories fame, recently published a wonderful “Mutts Manifesto.” We asked permission to share it with you, and Patrick and his team happily said yes. See it here. Words to live by .

This issue also features ‘Who Rescued Who’ stories from folks whose pets participated in Spot’s Cover Model Search at the 2016 Pet Fair. Our winner Sassy, a rescue herself, graces the cover. Watch future issues for more participating Cover Models, all photographed by the amazing Teran Buckner of Phido Photography.

We hope you find this issue informative and heart-filled. We love our rock stars working and volunteering for the animals, and we never forget:  those who support these organizations — and welcome rescued pets into their families — are a vital part of the equation. Thank you!

Yours in everything pet,

ABC . . . easy as 1-2-3!

The “back-to-school” season is one of those times of shared experience that, like any major holiday, has its own vibe, attitude, and feeling — flavored by the passing of summer and the onset of fall, the energy of a new year, and for many, fond memories of reconnecting with friends, school supplies and new duds!

We thought it would be fun to riff on the theme, and we hope you like the result! We all could use an occasional primer, or refresher on the basics, and it’s so great when we can learn from stellar experts!

Enjoy these last weeks of summer, and kicking off a beautiful fall. There are countless festivals, fun fundraisers, and beautiful days to enjoy the glorious lakes, rivers, hiking and recreational ops in the Northwest.

In closing, I want to share a little about my big girl, who left us this month. Roxy was a beautiful old girl who joined our family about 6 years ago. She was fun, funny, and full of spirit, and she brought joy and smiles to all who met her. I will miss our one-on-one burger runs (plain patty with LOTS of extra napkins to soak up the grease). Roxy’s shivering eagerness and intent gaze on the drive-up window never failed to crack up the person serving her.

Roxy 2000 - 2016

Roxy 2000 - 2016

Much thanks to the many friends who shared our joy, and supported me in caring for Rox during her last weeks. Dr. Stephens of Dignified Home Euthanasia was so wonderful, arriving heart-first, and coming in with a gentle sweetness that helped ensure Roxy’s departure was graceful, calm, and filled with love. Thanks also to Ute of Pets Point of View, who helped me meet Roxy’s needs during her final weeks with us, and to Jill Saban, godmother to all my pups, who is one of the most loving dog-moms and caregivers on the planet.

Roxy might say:  Thanks for the happy years, for healing me and keeping me healthy and strong. For the walks that always matched my energy and strength. For good food, great toys, big comfy beds, lots of friends, and tons of love.

Godspeed, dear one. Thank you for the love and sunshine you brought to our world!

Love your babies. Revel in the time shared, and give thanks for the blessing that is life with dogs,



Summer Blasts and other warm weather worries

I’ve had pets most of my life, but it wasn’t until Lula and Roxy arrived that I came to understand just how miserable the 4th can be for some.

The first year I was unprepared to offer anything more than soothing words and pets, and a quiet room where they could burrow under blankets for a sense of peace and safety. The evening dragged for these two very unhappy campers.

The following year we tried meds. Our vet prescribed valium (yep, the same drug humans use), and while Roxy spent the evening in relative comfort, Lula FUH-REAKED! In fact she was still pinballing the following morning — bouncing off of cupboards, walls and my legs, and getting after anyone who crossed her path like an angry little (15-lb) bull.

Trying alternate meds the following year proved effective. Since then, they are served a late afternoon 4th of July “cocktail” (we kind of tiptoe through walks the preceding early evenings, as small celebrations begin), snuggle in, and ride it out. Not an eventful holiday, but much preferred to the alternative.

Take a look at the tips for 4th of July safety and sanity at this link. From our family to yours, we wish you a fun and comfortable holiday.

Perhaps even more pressing this time of year, and certainly more enduring, is the risk to pets in parked cars. Every year we see pets and children harmed and killed. If we could only educate everyone just how fast a vehicle becomes a lethal oven, we might see an end to these avoidable tragedies.

Thankfully, things are beginning to change. What began with color-changing cards that signaled dangerous temperatures has progressed to include social and broadcast media campaigns and, best of all, new laws dealing with those who respond to, and those responsible for, pets suffering in hot cars. Read all about it at this link.

One last seasonal word of caution. Warm months bring toxic algae blooms, which are not always readily apparent. If you’ll be heading near water, please search “harmful algae blooms oregon” for alerts and information to help protect your water lover — even s/he’s just a fan of puddles. Might sound silly, but the threat is truly that grave.

This summer, please take good care of you and yours, and let’s make it one to remember — for all the right reasons! 

Yours in everything pet,

The joy of the Assist

Anyone who knows me knows that I’m crazy for Blazers basketball. And while once upon a time I was a fair shot, I’ve never been much at ball handling. But assist? That I can do! And I do, along with my team, routinely and with great pleasure.

Sometimes an assist comes and goes with little or no notice. And that’s okay! The joy is in the doing. Now and then, though, the outcome of an assist is known, and cause for real celebration.

Such was the case with Mr. B. While putting together the Feb/Mar AWESOME Pet Guide, we heard from Susan at St. Martin’s Rescue in Sheridan. She asked if we could spread the word about sweet Mr. B, who’d been in a kennel for over 2 years, awaiting a loving family.

Mr. B’s backstory was painful to learn. He’d been rescued from a chain, where he’d spent 24/7 with little or no food or shelter, moving within a limited space covered in his own feces. After his rescue, doctors determined among his various injuries were some indicating he’d been raped.

St. Martins was paying for Mr. B’s boarding, and at the kennel he was enjoying something for the first time: warmth, comfort, regular meals, and lots of love. He was also learning manners, thanks to these good folks spending time teaching him. What a wonderful change! But . . . he was still living in a kennel, still awaiting a real home and family of his own.

We took care to prominently feature Mr. B in that issue, sharing his story and photos of his beautiful smile.

And what do you know: someone saw him, and boarded a train to meet him the next morning. See this boy’s very happy ever after, page 11. Fittingly, he’s begun his new life with a new name: Boomer.

This issue we introduce another very special boy who’s waiting for you: Tank. Please meet him at this link..

In other news from the Assists Dept, we’re excited to support West Columbia Gorge Humane Society’s NW Pet Fair, presented by Bi-Mart.

This is a weekend not to be missed! Fashion Shows, ongoing Yappy Hour, amazing demos, adoptables, local celebrities and more. Spot is conducting a Cover Model Search, so bring your best friend and enter to get him or her on the cover of Spot! All participants’ photos will appear in the magazine, and the winner will have a professional photo shoot for his or her very own cover.

Best of all? The NW Pet Fair is all for the animals. What better cause to provide an Assist.

Yours in everything pet, 

We love our pets!

And we love being able to give them the best possible care to ensure they live long and happy.

Ours in among the most pet-centric cultures in the nation, and in response to that, businesses of all kinds are evolving in ways that cater to our pet-loving ways and lifestyles.

In so many ways our pets have become akin to children, and today’s products and services support that status — not only allowing them, but welcoming and indeed serving them with 5-star attention to detail.

This special edition of Spot contains how-to’s, answers to FAQs, and what’s trending in the services and products pet parents use most.

I hope you find this information helpful, and that you’ll refer to it as needed and share it with others. If you’re seeking resources or information you don’t find here, email info@spotmagazine.net — we’re here to help, and will do our best to get you the answers you need.

Not only do we love OUR PETS, we also love helping pets in need — through rescue, foster care, providing medical care and food, and helping find forever loving homes. Spot will present a guide on all things animal welfare later this year. In the meantime, if you need help with any pet-related matter and don’t know where to turn, call or shoot us an email — we’ll do our best to help.

We thank all of you for helping whenever and however you can, and for being the best pet parents on the planet!  Go, you!

We also thank our many friends in the NW pet community.  Many have offered their expertise in these pages, and our advertisers made this edition possible — please support them.

Here’s to a great year, with paws up, tails wagging and eyes shining!

Woof!  Meow!  

Yours in everything pet,

Keep Calm and Love

While working on this issue, the world as we knew it blew up. As more people became aware of the crises that had happened and continued to unfold, social media newsfeeds were flooded with posts of equal parts hope and solidarity, impending doom and arguments.

Meanwhile . . . as we at Spot continued making this edition, we were called for an assist with an animal in need, a common occurrence. We reached out to a few of the many rock stars in our lil world. Soon the way was paved to move the hurting animal to safe harbor, and hopefully before long to a warm, loving home. Thanks to those of you who responded so quickly — you know who you are.

It does my heart so much good when these cases arise that, with a few calls and emails, things begin to move. Hope that sometimes barely flickers in the first moments of an alert grows to shine brightly as hands and hearts join in, obstacles are flattened, and change begins.

While we can’t stop the madness currently raging in our world, we CAN attend to the things in our own little corner of it. Lending a hand, giving a dollar, sharing a smile, a kind word. That’s what we CAN do, and should.

This is the season of celebration and thanks, and indeed, there is much to be thankful for, and to celebrate. You’ll find little bits here. 

Spot asked friends to share photos of their little “elves,” naughty or nice, and to take a shot at winning a holiday prize.  Check out the entries here — they’ll lighten your heart and brighten your day.

“‘Tis the Season,” lists holiday drives and fundraisers by generous local businesses in support of deserving area nonprofits. Please take a peek! In featuring these events I hope to not only heighten awareness of the events taking place, but to inspire more of you to support them.

We are blessed in this community, with great friends, organizations, and a spirit of fun, giving and love. Jump in and see!  You’ll find when you give even a little, you get back a lot.

From our family to yours, Keep Calm and Love. We have each other. We have today. And we have the blessing of purpose — work to do.

Happy Holidays. Here’s to a new year filled with Peace and Love. 

Simple Joys

Many of you know that my girls are all in their mid-teens.  Days in the lives of older pets can be fun, funny, edifying, and . . . scary as hell. Two are blind and one has occasional seizures (mostly controlled with meds), but for the most part they all remain strong, vibrant, and happy. But, oh boy is it true: getting old ain’t for weenies! 

Still, each in her own way is forever young. Roxy’s happy dance is a one-dog circus in which she RACES to the toy basket, grabs a victim, and maniacally tosses, squeaks and bounds around with it hanging from her huge smiling mug.

Peach’s happy moves involve hopping up the few stairs to the landing, where she digs at the carpeting rapid-fire, her head dipping rhythmically, like a little cartoon excavator.

One “happy” for everyone is walks — this is when Lula’s happy shows, prancing like a feisty colt.

Anywhere between 5 and 8pm, if they haven’t seen me signal that “it’s time” — usually getting my tennies — it starts:  initial heavy sighs and restless movements quickly escalate into Roxy moaning dramatically, Peach pacing impatiently, and Lula winding herself up into a barking frenzy. The minute they realize indeed it IS time, >boom!< they’re off like rockets to the front door. There they suddenly calm, standing like good little soldiers ready to gear up.

Ours is a friendly, tree-lined neighborhood that’s just perfect for our jaunts. And as so often happens when you meet people while walking your best friends, new acquaintances are made.

One distant neighbor, Bob, whose red-haired Golden Charlie is the toast of this little bit of town, has known my pack for years. But it’s only been recently that he’s come out to give the girls small treats. The very next time after he started this, as we neared his place, the girls stopped, sat, and gazed at his house, expecting him to come. He didn’t that day, but the next time we saw him he laughed out loud saying he’d actually seen that the girls had made his address a required stop on their route.

They’ve begun a similar thing with passersby.  Many people we see have questions about the girls — who weigh 10, 17 and 70 pounds, are clearly aged but happy and vibrant, and (by accident) are color-coordinated in various shades and patterns of brown, white and red. Many also pet and coo at them. Lately when others approach, the girls set their “crosshairs” (even blind Lula’s nose points straight at them), they noticeably slow, and then actually stop and turn as we come abreast. It’s hilarious when some passersby take no notice. If dogs could huff, suck their teeth and flounce off, mine sure would! Clearly they’ve come to believe that everyone we meet must touch, treat or talk to them.

It’s all small stuff to be sure, but the simple joys of life with dogs are huge.

Yours in everything pet,










Everything’s coming up [wet] noses!

Spring has sprung in the Northwest, and summer daze will soon be here — YAY!

While most of us welcome each new season with pleasure, parents of any kind — those with children, those with pets — know that in addition to the happy aspects, each season also brings hazards you can set your calendar to.

For me this conjures the the old Smokey the Bear campaign (yes I’m dating myself — I’m okay with it):  “Only YOU can prevent . . . “

Ol’ Smokey was talking about forest fires, but live long enough and we realize the power of our role in preventable mishaps – from nuisance to nightmare.  All we need is a little knowledge and a dash of mindfulness. The first is available with a few keystrokes — the rest is up to us.

Gardening and yardscaping is a hot topic this time of year, and for good reason: some plants, mulches and gardening products are toxic to pets. Take the time to do your homework so both you and your pet will be delighted with your yardscaping heroics this year.

Toxic algae typically hits the headlines as early as May and as late as July, and every year there are tragedies. Toxic algae blooms result from certain seasonal water conditions including temperature, and something as minor as licking a paw can harm your best friend. If yours is a water lover, or just your happy co-pilot, check Metro’s real-time tracking of toxic algae alerts and affected areas before you go:  public.health.oregon.gov/HealthyEnvironments/Recreation/HarmfulAlgaeBlooms.

While some pets are unfazed by the crashing cacophony that begins days before and continues days after the 4th of July, others are absolutely wrecked. Two of my four-pack are in the latter category, so we prepare not only with a little medicinal assist, but with soft blankets, closed windows, and time reserved for reassuring snuggling. Local experts offered up more great tips and helpful info for the 4th in this issue, click here to read.

Back to how easy, given a little homework and mindfulness, it really is to have an impact on the safety and comfort of our best friends’ lives, I’ve been thinking lately how blessed we are — we have infinite resources!

Spot Magazine’s archives discuss everything above, and countless other topics dealing with the health, happiness and safety of our best friends. Whatever you need help with, you'll find it at SpotMagazine.net. And wait, there’s more! 

Spot recently adopted pdxdog.com and friends, a community of people who are passionate about pets. These folks are another great way to connect and have fun, and get even more tips from the pros . . . in this case loving pet parents just like you, who’ve learned through their own adventures.

If you haven’t already, come join the pack! Here’s to a safe, fun season in the sun, together with our precious ones!

Yours in everything pet,