Imagine the following scenario if you will: You (and or your kids/partner) are walking past a pet store and you pass a dog or a cat in the window. It has the largest, brightest brown eyes that you’ve ever seen. From behind the glass, it is begging, pleading with you to take it home.

Let’s add another twist to this scenario: Your partner/kids have been dropping hints that all they want for the holidays is a pet. They try to convince you every which way to agree and they promise to help take care of it.

For every dog and/or cat that is given as a gift during the Christmas holidays, many more are taken to shelters by the time New Years rolls around. While giving an animal a safe and loving home is a worthy endeavor, you might want to consider the following before adding a dog or cat to your household.

  • Are you prepared for the commitment that is required to take care of a pet? A dog or cat may live as long as fifteen years. Do you have the finances, the time, the energy, to give this creature the home and the life it truly deserves?
  • If your kids are begging for a pet, will they truly take responsibility for the cat or dog or will the responsibility ultimately fall to the adults to care for the animal? 
  • Is your home pet friendly? Do you have plants that the cat or dog could chew on that could be potentially poisonous? Do you have wires and computer cables lying around?
  • If you rent or plan on renting in the future, are you prepared to part with your pet if you fall in love with an apartment that must be pet free? Some landlords will accept tenants with cats or dogs up to a certain weight; others will not allow any pets in their building. 
  • If you decide to adopt a puppy or a kitten (especially a puppy), do you have the time and energy to train them?
  • Do you or anyone in your home have allergies to pet dander?  As cute as animal is, if you are sneezing all the time, it may not be worth it.

While wanting to bring an animal into your life and your home is admirable, especially during the holiday season, it’s important to bring it home for the right reasons. Bringing it home for the wrong reasons will not end well for the animal. A pet should be a part of the family.  Not a play thing and not a possession you can change out or discard carelessly.

We had a great turn out to celebrate our 7-year anniversary this year!  Who knew we had so many wonderful supporters?! 
We hosted our amazing event at Paris in a Cup in Orange, CA which is a fantastic little French bistro tea house.  You have to give them a visit when you get a chance.  They are great to celebrate bridal showers, baby showers and birthdays.
It was so much fun and even doggies got all dressed up and attended on the outdoor patio. 
Tea sandwiches, soup, croissants and french vanilla lemonade.  Everyone had a grand time.
And our awesome sponsors who donated amazing items to be raffled off.  Thank you so very much!  We love you guys!

Invisible dog fences are excellent tools for keeping dogs contained in their yards, and they’re quite versatile. The most important aspect of using an invisible fence is that the dog is properly trained to understand their boundaries and the meaning of the warning tones and corrections from their e-collar. However, the second most important element is the choice/fit of the e-collar itself. Here are the basics you need to know about selecting an e-collar for use with your invisible dog fence.

Big Dogs vs. Small Dogs

Most e-collars have different correction strengths, so they can be used on a wide variety of dogs. Smaller dogs should use lower settings, and larger dogs will require higher settings. Dogs that are less than 12 pounds, however, should use a lightweight e-collar specially made for small dogs, such as the PetSafe Little Dog. Dogs that are more than 100 pounds may also require a maximum strength e-collar, such as the PetSafe Stubborn. If you have a very small or very large dog, you’ll need to make sure you purchase an electronic dog fence that’s compatible with the specialized e-collar your dog will need.

Fitting the E-Collar on Your Dog
Many e-collars come with special ready-fit technology that makes it easy for you to ensure your dog’s collar is secured properly. The proper place for the e-collar is high on the neck, under the jaw. It should not rest on your dog’s head or back. To test the tightness of the e-collar, you should be able to slip just one finger between the contact points of the collar and your dog’s neck. If your dog is still growing, it’s essential to regularly check the fit of their e-collar, and you’ll need to loosen it as they grow so that it does not become too tight. Alternatively, if your dog loses weight, you may need to tighten their e-collar.

Short Coat vs. Long Coat

The length of your dog’s coat will also affect the fit of their e-collar. Most e-collars come with interchangeable prongs. The longer prongs are for use on dogs with longer coats, and the shorter prongs are for dogs with short fur. If your dog has long hair in the winter, and a summer cut when it gets warmer, you’ll need to change the e-collar prongs accordingly throughout the year. Using the incorrect prongs will give your dog either too much or too little correction, and even the best invisible dog fence won’t be properly effective.

Rechargeable vs. Replaceable Batteries

E-collars have either rechargeable or replaceable batteries, so it’s important to consider whether or not you prefer a certain type before you make an e-collar purchase. Rechargeable e-collars must be regularly taken off and placed on the charger, which can be a nuisance. If you forget to charge the battery, your dog could also be at risk of getting loose. Replaceable batteries, on the other hand, need to be changed approximately 2-4 times per year, which can cost about $14-$40 per year. Some people prefer paying slightly more on batteries every year to having to remember to charge the e-collar on a weekly or daily basis.

Using Multiple E-Collars on One Fence

When selecting your e-collars and electric dog fence system, it’s important to consider how many dogs you own and if you plan to get more in the future. Not all specialized e-collars are compatible on all fences. If you have or plan to get a very small or very large dog, you’ll want to make sure the electronic dog fence system you purchase has multiple e-collar options. You may also want to keep in mind that many wireless dog fence systems can only support two e-collars at one time, meaning most households with three dogs or more will need a wired system.

For more information on e-collars, be sure to carefully read the manufacturer's guidelines, as well as invisible fence reviews online.

If you feel a wired or wireless dog fence is a sound option for your unique needs take a look at This website contains rich resources to help you plan, select, install and troubleshoot your dog fence of choice.  We invite you to share your experiences with a variety of dog containment systems in the comments section.

Liberty Tax in Fullerton was a great adoption event.  They made it such a fun day with several vendors out to help and participate.

Helping Honda was also there to lend their helping hand.  With lots of free goodies for people and pets. 

I love their little motto:  "Helping four-legged friends find two-legged ones." 
We also had the fun KISS ME I'M IRISH kissing booth with Buddy, our spokes dog.  He is so well behaved all the time and loves giving kisses and getting lots of attention. 
Cricket had a grand old time being a puppy and getting LOTS OF LOVE from all the visitors.  She finally tuckered out and had a nice long nap.

She had just had her last round of shots from the vet so she is definitely officially available for adoption!  Visit our Available Dogs section on our website to view her profile
Both Magic Mike and Fancy Face made an appearance at this adoption event.  They modeled for the Hawaiian Photo booth and got lots of visitors as well. 
Fancy is a really big American Bulldog with the most beautiful looking tiger strip pattern on her back.  She is still very young but is so big, she doesn't realize how strong she is yet!
Miles came to visit but he's already been adopted by Marianne (wearing red).  But he was originally rescued by Joanna (kneeling) from a horrible situation.  She saved him.  And she came to visit him at the event.  Miles totally remembered her and lots of cuddles were given.
Wally & Buddy, two peas in a pod, two brothers who are connected at the hip, decided to have a nice long nap as well.  I can't believe how much they adore each other.  They are still available for adoption and they would love to be adopted as a dynamic duo.  They are total cuddle bugs!

And little Luna was always in someone's arms the entire time!  I don't think she ever touched the ground!  She was so sweet and quiet and was perfectly content to be held the whole time.  I think she's going to be someone's little princess when she gets adopted. 
Magic Mikey has been with Barks of Love for a couple of years now and he just hasn't had any luck getting adopted yet for some reason.  He's bounced from different foster homes and is now stuck in expensive boarding care.  And we just want to get him out of there and back into a home environment.
Mikey is a fun and loving 4 year old pit bull who just loooooves getting attention and belly rubs.  His only downfall is that he only wants the attention for himself!  He's greedy that way.  He hasn't quite figured out how to share attention with other dogs yet.  And socializing with other dogs has been a challenge for him.  But he's working on it.  So for now, he's best to be adopted into an only-dog home.
Look at all the belly scratches he's getting!
Mikey is fixed and is house-trained.  He walks great on a leash and loves playing ball and doing agility.  He really is a great dog that is just waiting patiently for his forever home.  He is such a handsome boy and still young at heart.  I'm actually quite surprised that he hasn't been snatched up yet. 
So let's help spread the word about this awesome boy!  We would like to find him a home in the Orange County.  But we are also open to the surrounding areas such as Los Angeles, Inland Empire or San Bernadino. 
Help Mikey find his forever family.  He's got lots of love to give to just the right person.  And he's been waiting very patiently with love, heart and hope.
Wow!  Our first pup crawl event was a super fun success!  We can't believe how many supporters came to support our cause!  Drink beer and save dogs!  We love it!  And we love our fans!  Each and every one of you are awesome dog lovers.  We can't thank you enough!
We definitely hit a few glitches due to the unexpected amount of supporters that came out.  So we apologize if the event was a bit unorganized and the volunteers seemed a bit frazzled.  

Thanks to the four awesome Restaurant Bars that participated in this event and accommodated our  supporters and fed them lots of good food and beer.  Yum!
Visit Beachfront 301, Blackbull Chophouse, 2nd Floor and Zimzala in Huntington Beach for good eats!

And a big thank you to  Bark Bath Self Serve Dog Wash & Grooming of Costa Mesa   for masterminding this fundraiser idea!  They were so kind to come to up with the idea and share it with Barks of Love.  Don't forget, if you received a Bark Bath wrist band at this event, the bracelet qualifies you for  ONE FREE  dog wash at their  location:  2263 Fairview Road, Costa Mesa, CA 92627.
This event was one of the biggest and most successful fundraiser we've had.  Like ever!  The funds we've made is 100% going to help take care of our fosters such as the Veterinary care and private boarding care as well.  Our fosters are so lucky to have great supporters and fans.
Thank you to all the contributors and all the vendors who donated goods, coupons or vouchers!  We love working with you guys!  It's always an amazing experience when fun and happy people come together to  work together for the common good.
We were blessed with great weather, fantastic supporters and happy dogs of all breeds and sizes.  We can't wait to host another event so everyone can have a bunch of fun!

Happy Valentine's Day from all of us here at Barks of Love to all of you and your furry Valentines!
(More photos are available on our Facebook page!)
The above may look cute but it is risky behavior.  The little girls can wiggle on top of the dog and think it's fun, but they can accidentally hurt the dog and the only way for the dog to stop the pain is to bite, nip or throw the  girls off.

Dogs are adorable.  Kids are cute.  And by kids, I don’t mean baby goats….although, those are cute as well.  But I meant human children.

Put dogs and kids together, you get double the cuteness, right?

Of course!

But parents and adults should always be careful when children are around animals of any kind, even if they are domesticated and are sweet as pie.  The situation can be very unpredictable.  Especially with children under the age of 5 or with disabilities.

The above is Sarah Palin's son.  He obviously doesn't know any better.  
It's up to the parents to teach children what is right and wrong.
Take for example a video I saw recently of a little boy who was singing and playing in his living room.  His parents were eagerly trying to capture the moment on camera while their little family dog sat close by watching everyone.  The little boy started swinging around a toy sword, singing at high pitches and hitting his toy and flaying his arms about.  Then he  got the idea to lean forward and give the little doggy a big hug.  Guess what happened, the dog nipped him in the face.

Can you name two things in this situation that could have been done differently to prevent what happened?

1)       The adults in this situation was not being mindful of both the child and the dog.  As soon as the child started being more rambunctious, the dog should’ve have been picked up and taken out of the room or away from the child. 

2)      The child should have been told to be careful, calm down and not be too loud around a doggy because sometimes doggies can get scared.

Because of  the unexpected reaction of the family dog that has been in the family for 7 years……the dog has to now be re-homed.  The dog nipped the little boy in the face out of fear, anxiety and confusion, not because of malicious intent.  The little boy is now afraid of the dog.  Even though the nip to his face was just a little scratch, the parents decided to send the dog away like many people do these days.  Most children probably get worse scrapes when they fall on the sidewalk and scratch up their knees.  Unfortunately, parents can't remove the sidewalk.  

Instead of taking this opportunity to teach their child why the dog nipped her, they decided to remove the dog from her environment.  How will this teach the child when she encounters new animals in the future?  Teaching a child how to act appropriately in society is what a parent is supposed to do.  So teaching a child how to act around a family pet falls in the same category.  

So many poor family pets are given away or dropped off at the shelter like they are objects or possessions.  Like an old purse or t-shirt that doesn't match your wardrobe anymore.  Many of these family pets are then euthanized or put to death because of over-crowding, the animal's older age or the inability to get adopted out.  Please don't do this to a family member that you once adored and loved and cherished.

When my step-son came into my life at the age of 4, I already had my chihuahua Vincent....also known as vicious, because he was a little ankle biter.  Probably still is.  And my step-son was deathly afraid of all animals at the time.  Any time he got close to my dog, my dog growled.  But I never thought to get rid of my dog at any time.  I just removed my dog or removed my step-son away from each other whenever they were in the same room or kept a very watchful eye or a reprimanding hand on my dog. And we taught my step-son to never get close to Vincent unattended or to be loud and move around fast or suddenly.
8 years later, my dog can't get enough of my step-son and licks him to death and cuddles up to him on the couch.  And my step-son knows how to control Vincent and reprimand him as well if he misbehaves.  However, we still keep a watchful eye.  I have 4 dogs total now and I always know where they are and I can always read their behavior when something new is in the environment.

Family dogs and cats are great teaching tools for both adults and children about unconditional love, companionship and friendship.  But it takes time, nurturing and careful interactions to get there. Please use the below guides to help teach children the proper way to be friends with their pets.  
Can you believe it?  It's already 2015!  What a year 2014 has been for us all here at Barks of Love Rescue.  All the pets and their families are forever thankful for all the hard work that all our volunteers and our fans have contributed this past year.  Here's to another fabulous 2015 and saving more lives and connecting more love with more homeless dogs and cats!

So speaking of New Years.  What kind of New Year Resolutions do all of you have? Does it involve losing some weight?  Eating more healthy?  Or spending more time with the family?

Well, I went and asked some dogs and cats what their resolutions would be this year.  I've got some wild replies!

PEE WEE the Cat: "I will wipe my feet before I leave the litter box.  And I will NOT eat the bird!"
MOJO the Dog:  "I will stop being a poop ninja. I poop in the house mysteriously and have never been seen and caught. Or I will develop some thumbs to clean up my turds myself."

SKIZZLE the Cat:  "I will stop leaving rat guts on the bedside carpet for my parent's bare feet to find in the middle of the night."
LOBA the Cat:  "I will stop chewing on slippers."
SHORTY the Cat:  "I will stop peeing on the hardwood floor."

CAROLINA BLUE the Dog:  "I will stop eating cat poo!"

MOLLY the Dog: "I will resolve to puke less because I think I am being ignored."
ABBY the Dog:  "I resolve not to get so jealous when Mom plays with the cat more."
FIGARO the Cat:  "I resolve nothing!  I am perfect!"

SHERMAN the Dog:  "I will stop scratching at the door to be let out when I was just barely let in!"

ZIPPER the Cat:  "I will cover my poo when I get out of the cat box."

TROUBLE the Cat:  "I'm going to call Jenny Craig!"

VINCENT the Dog: "Must resolve to sleep more in the middle of the bed and keep Daddy's hands off Mommy."
ISABELLA the Dog: "Must resolve to get more sloppy kisses from anyone who gets at least 6-inches away from me."
BEBE the Dog: "Must stop being so scared of everything."
LOKI: "Must take over the world. And find a side-kick to help."

ABBEY the Dog:  "We're going to get the Fedex Man, the UPS guy and the Post Lady!"
POODAMAN the Dog:  "I will give up the plaid blanket."

BEAR the Dog:  "I will resolve to recover quickly from an upcoming ACL surgery."
DUKE the Dog:  "Be a good boy!"
FIZZGIG the Cat:  "Catch something small and fuzzy."

JACK the Dog:  "I will stop tearing up cardboard boxes."
MEAMY the Dog:  "I will stop yelling at mom when I think I'm even a little big hungry."
SIMON the Dog:  "I will stop eating cat poo directly from the litter box."


Well, it looks like there is a lot of similar resolution trends.  STOP EATING POOP OF ANY KIND!


Photo Above:  Snickers the Dachshund. 

Barks of Love would like to wish a very Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah or Happy Kwanzaa to all our wonderful friends, fans and their families!

Many of us consider our beloved pets as part of our family.  And as family members, our pets get the royal treatment!  
For those of us who do not have human children and have chosen to not have little humans around, our fur babies are indeed treated like royalty!  In fact, even without human children in our household, we are still considered a family.  And what does family do during the holidays?  We get special holiday photos taken with our sweet little fur babies!

Let's visit with our childfree families and their sweet furry kids.  

Playing in the snow is a must!  If you gots the snow, you gots to play in it!  
Of course no Christmas photo is complete without a lovely portrait including Santa and lots of lap time.
And don't forget about the holiday kitty cats!  Auggie is totally loving his kitty tie.

Why the gloomy face, Bea?  Is Santa a big scary man?  I'm sure your Mom is standing to the side with lots of treats waiting.
Kira is the cutest little Shiba Inu!  She even has her own Facebook Fanpage!

This one is so awesome, I can't stand it!  I love the doggy pajamas!  Best holiday family portrait ever!  Scout, Mojo and Moxie must be so loved.  And her parents are definitely blessed.

Zoe & Goldie are the cutest little chi-chis.  Oh how we cherish the unconditional love we receive from our fur babies.
Lillie is eagerly waiting by the Christmas tree to open her presents.  And I'll bet the majority of the gifts under the tree are hers!   
Santa Clause makes everyone smile!

That is one well-behaved little kitty.  I'm surprised she wasn't climbing all over the tree or chewing on the lights!
Clothes on kitty cats always make me laugh.  Now holiday hats are just a riot!  Look at that face!

Last, but not least...let's not forget about the holiday cards that we send out to our friends and families.  Customized and printed with our special fur babies in front row center!

Even the families without human children get to enjoy the love and blessings of sweet furry faces and smiles during the holiday season.  Nothing is more rewarding than the loving companionship we receive from our four-legged family members and the pitter-patter of their feet.   And rescuing unwanted pups and kitties from the street, unwanted homes and shelters is the most rewarding of them all.

Happy Holidays everyone!  And may the new year bring much joy, laughter and happy doggy smiles for all!
This past weekend was the 8th Annual Home for the Holidays Adoption Event in Irvine, CA.  And boy was it a big event with lots of vendors and animal rescues coming together.  This is a great event that helps to raise awareness about the over-population growth of homeless pets and to help these sweet pups and kittens find new homes.

It is extremely important to get your pet spayed or neutered.  It is the responsible thing to do as a pet owner.  Millions of unwanted and homeless animals are put to death every year due to over-population and unwanted strays.
The event is hosted twice a year by the Irvine Animal Care Center in Southern California.  This one is the Winter Holiday event, while another similar one is hosted in late Spring each year. 

Barks of Love has a prime location for our booth every year!
We made over $200 in donations that day selling cookies, pet apparel and other gear, thanks to our awesome volunteers Fabian, Alma, Dayana and more!

Even the little humans love to chip in!  Getting kids involved and educating them about the importance about being a responsible pet owner is awesome!!!

We got so many adoption applications for our BoL fosters.  We hope we'll be able to find the perfect home for each and every one of them.

In order from left to right, below is Stella, a female Chihuahua & Pitbull puppy mix.  
We call them Chi-pits!  She's got FIVE brothers and sisters who are also available for adoption.  But they weren't able to make it to the event.

Next is Rocky who is a beautiful and so-well behaved male Shepherd mix.

And last is Nalu who is a giant great dane mix.  Boy, oh boy!
Wally and Buddy, chihuahua mix brothers were also there.  How can you resist these cute little faces?
They loved all the attention they were getting and all the walks they took around the event showing off their cuteness.  
They were almost falling asleep standing up!

Below are two sweeties who are also looking for homes.  I took photos of them when I was taking a stroll and they are adoptable through a private rescue.  If anyone is interested or have questions, please contact the info listed below their photos.  They are not affiliated with Barks of Love in any way.
This is Toby, a 1.5 yr old male terrier mix.
or 562-450-9711 for more information.

This is Oreo, a 4 yr old male lab/chihuahua mix.
or 562-450-9711 for more information.

Paige, the Director of Barks of Love and her good friend, Karen were also at the event, giving lots of love to Wally and Buddy.

And here's Phil, our Chief Operating Officer and Dog Wrangler giving LOADS of love with a welcomed visitor to our booth.  Sloppy kisses for the win!

These two little guys came by with their Mom & Dad and got cookies and made a donation to our rescue.  Awwww.....thanks guys!

This little poodle model was working it in all her cute outfits.  And her mama bought her a new Christmas dress just in time for the holidays!  
I have never seen an Old English Shepherd Dog up close before and I even got to pet him. He was like a huge fluffy pillow!  His name is Garth!
And last but not least, another visitor to our booth.  A cute little Shi-Tzu who patiently waited while her mom chit chatted with us at the booth.

All in all, it was a great day.  The weather was perfect after a week of endless rain.  Come check out this event each year in the Spring and during Christmas.  There was food, dogs and cats, shopping, free gifts, raffles and lots more.  It's a fun affair for the whole family!