• Ideas

    Moxie’s Big Adventure

    July is national Lost Pet Prevention month, which makes sense since July 4 is arguably the loudest day of the year, and July 5 is definitely the busiest day of the year for rescues and shelters. My two best friends have three cats: a derpy baby named Shuri, and a bonded set of sisters, Josie and Moxie. They could not be more different. Moxie, ironically, is the timid one, so sightings are rare. She’s the epitome of a scaredy cat and hightails it into the bedroom at the slightest disturbance, so when she went missing, we were as surprised as we were worried. It was nearly 24 hours before her…

  • Rescue & Adoption

    What’s the best nation in the world? Donation

    Several years ago I was a teenager hanging out in Georgetown when some guy on the street asked me “What’s the best nation in the world?” and followed it up with “Donation!” I gave him a couple bucks and a smile. It was the best thing I’d heard all day, and it’s stayed with me ever since. In fact, I cracked that joke the other day when discussing how to distribute the generous donations we’d received from Optimeal Pet Food. The Big Bad Woof regularly receives and distributes donations to various pet pantries and other entities, but Optimeal generously sent us an entire pallet of dry food for dogs and…

  • Ideas

    Rich with Enrichment

    I watch animal videos online more than I care to admit. I spend pretty much every morning watching and sharing goofy, heartwarming clips of cats and dogs and their humans. (I especially enjoy dogs in drag and cats in breweries or bodegas.) We can’t imagine life without them, but dogs and cats weren’t always indoor pets. They lived in the wild and had to work hard to get their nourishment; they were hunters and scavengers.  Nowadays things are quite different for them; over time we have domesticated these beasts and, though we love and celebrate our pet companions, in some ways we’ve made their world quite small. They can suffer from malaise…

  • Behavior,  Safety

    The Do’s and Do-Not-Do’s of the Dog Park

    A fruitful visit to the dog park requires preparation and vigilance. Ensure your dog is well-exercised, trained, and sociable. Observe park rules, assess the environment without your pet first, and understand your dog's body language to prevent conflicts. Always be attentive, pick up after your dog, and use positive reinforcement. Avoid bringing treats, retractable leashes, and ensure your dog isn't overwhelmed by long stays.

  • Health & Wellness

    The skinny on green tripe

    I first learned the word “tripe” from that episode of The Simpsons where Lisa becomes vegetarian. People usually quote “you don’t win friends with salad,” but what stuck with me is “you can’t seriously expect us to swallow that tripe?!” and then the kids are served tripe. That joke went over my head back then as I hadn’t yet experienced Vietnamese Pho, and so didn’t recognize tripe as a legitimate ingredient, nor understand what exactly it is. Now I know better. Tripe is considered “offal,” which is the viscera or trimmings of a butchered animal.  Specifically, tripe is the stomach lining from cows and other ruminant or grazing animals. This trait…

  • Rescue & Adoption

    Rehoming pets

    It’s a devastating decision to have to give up a pet, but sometimes it’s necessary; life and circumstances have a way of keeping us on our toes. The pandemic is a perfect example; many people who had plenty of time and money for pets during the quarantine period of the Covid-19 pandemic now have little to none of either. Perhaps you’re moving abroad and lengthy quarantine mandates would be cruel to your companion, or you’re moving to an area that has breed-specific legislation in place and you cannot bring your pet with you. Some buildings and landlords just won’t allow pets.  The list of why re-homing is necessary can be…

  • Feral Colonies,  Health & Wellness,  Safety

    Gimme Shelter

    I’m not a big fan of the Rolling Stones song “Gimme Shelter,” but it’s a good notion. We all need it, right? The safety of a roof, or a tent, or a cave. A warm radiator or open (and controlled!) fire. My version of shelter includes plumbing and snacks, but the more primal and necessary need that shelter affords us is safety. Safety from the elements. Safety from predators. A kind of sanctuary. This is the time of year when we need to think about the strays and feral colonies out there, of which there are plenty. People often feed strays but they can’t welcome every stray cat into their…

  • Ideas

    Safety is No Accident

    It’s the most wonderful time of the year! Sure, it’s a little warm and it probably won’t be a white Christmas, but the spirit remains the same; we celebrate one another and the spirit of togetherness regardless of which holidays we observe. Some of the most fun we’ll have this holiday season is with our pet companions. Who doesn’t like filling their stockings with treats and spoiling them with new toys and outfits?! But it’s important to exercise good judgment when doting on our fur babies. First and foremost, it’s imperative that they be collared and tagged in the event of an escape. There’s lots of ins and outs, deliveries,…

  • Health & Wellness,  Rescue & Adoption

    November is National Senior Pet Month

    November is National Senior Pet Month. This is the first I’ve heard of it, which makes sense because it’s a very new thing, but it’s a great idea. Just like our human elders, our longtime fur buddies deserve celebration and comfort in their old age.  Pets can develop a lot of chronic issues like dementia, cancer, diabetes, arthritis, and so many other conditions that require specialized care and broader awareness. Very often good diet and supplementation can alleviate or delay the onset of many of these issues. Basic things like using the proper amounts of fish oil can combat joint and cardiac issues, and goat’s milk is great for kidney…

  • Health & Wellness,  Musings

    Chonk v. Obesity

    I have five roommates. The married couple from whom I rent, and I’ve been close with for decades, and their three rescue cats: Shuri is our new bleppy baby, and the sister act of Moxie and Josie. Josie is a pistol. She is also a tripod. She needed her front right leg amputated as a kitten due to an injury while living on the streets of Baltimore, MD. She gives me lots of belly and is very vocal when she feels she is owed treats, which is often. Moxie is the epitome of a scaredy cat, and that’s probably why she still has all her limbs. She has these dainty…