It's a Dog's Life

As told to ELA LINDSAY

Everyone says dogs are man’s best friend. In my case, it’s my human who’s mine. She takes good care
of me—feeds me, takes me on adventures and, best of all, scratches my hard-to-reach spots.
And I know my human is very special because some of my
pooch pals tell me that I get to do a lot of interesting and fun things that they’d love to do, too.

7:00 AM

Every morning I take my human for a run because,
well, she needs the exercise. She calls it “jog with a dog,” but I call it fun! Sometimes she just lets me run around
with other dogs. Here are some of our favorite local dog parks. Find more at
www.dogchannel.com/dog-activities

Calabasas: Ahmanson Ranch Park and Calabasas Bark Park
Camarillo: Camarillo Grove Dog Park and Mission Oaks Park
Oak Park: Oak Canyon Dog Park
Thousand Oaks: Conejo Creek Dog Park and Estella Park
Newbury Park: Kimber Park

9:00 AM

When I’m a mess my human takes me to get cleaned up. I like the places where I can get groomed and pampered, too. But sometimes we’re in a rush so she takes me to the do-it-yourself place.

DIY dog wash at Petco’s special “Unleashed” storesMobile groomer: waggingtails.com/mobile-pet-grooming will come to home or office Spa-Go’s Mobile Spa: They offer specials for dogs (and humans) like massages, yoga and playtime

1:00 PM

I go to my part-time job as a therapy dog for loveonaleash.org.  I like to visit people at nursing homes and hospitals. But I had to get trained to do this important work. My human contacted The American Kennel Club at www.akc.org to get me started.

Dog day subhead

11:30 AM

After my human exercises, she gets hungry so we go somewhere where she can chow down. Did you know that some fast food spots offer secret menus just for dogs?

Starbucks: “Puppuccino,” a small cup filled with whipped cream for your pup
Dairy Queen: “Pup Cup” of ice cream
In-N-Out: “Pup Patty”

3:00 PM

After I squeeze in a nap, it’s playtime. Here are some of my choices: Practice herding: On the Lamb Herding Training in Camarillo; Drummond Ranch in Malibu Agility Training: Happy Dog Agility in Moorpark; Contact Point Agility in Woodland Hills  Boating: Hopper Boat Rentals in Oxnard allows dogs on their boats Surfing: Wavehuggers Surf Shop in Long Beach will give surf lessons to dogs

When we run out of ideas, my human goes on www.dog-play.com to find stuff we can do together. She found places for us to dance together, play flying disc dog sports, go scootering and play flyball.

6:00PM

After all this running around, I need another nap and my human is hungry. There are lots of local restaurants with dog-friendly patios. Here are some spots where she can eat and I can catch a snooze at her feet:

Agoura Hills: Jinky’s Kanan Café, Maria’s Italian Kitchen,Twisted Oak Tavern, Tavern 101, Urbane Café
Calabasas: Corner Bakery Café, Le Pain Quotidien, Marmalade Café, Pedalers Fork
Camarillo: Baja Fresh Mexican Grill, Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf, Old Town Café, The Way Point Café, Toppers Pizza
Thousand Oaks: The Lazy Dog Restaurant and Bar (pooches can get a special grilled hamburger patty or chicken breast and brown rice from the dog menu), Tilted Kilt Pub & Eatery, Five Guys Burgers & Fries
Westlake Village: Boccaccio’s, Mediterraneo, The Stonehaus, Zin Bistro Americana
Newbury Park: Brendan’s Irish Pub & Restaurant, Cronies Sports Grill, Side St. Café, The Local Table
Oak Park: Beanscene Espresso, Breakfast Café, Margaritas Mexican Grill, Zen Garden
Moorpark: Asakuma Sushi & Chinese, Cactus Patch, Café Firenze, Grinder Restaurant, Lemmo’s Grill
Simi Valley: Firehouse Café, Old Susana Café, Sharky’s Woodfired Mexican Grill
Malibu: D’Amore’s Famous Pizza, The Malibu Café, Kristy’s Malibu
Ventura: Anacapa Brewing Company, Café Nouveau, Chipotle, Golden Egg Café, Nature’s Grill, Spasso Cucina Italiana
Oxnard: Café Amri, Sea Fresh Channel Islands, Toppers Pizza

and next week

After all that activity, I need some R & R so I’m sending my human to Hawaii while I relax at a local luxury dog hotel. Here are some I can choose from:

The Barkley Pet Hotel & Day Spa in Westlake Village is a luxury resort and doggie day camp
Flying High Pet Resort in Camarillo where I can get a Spa Blueberry Facial for $5
Canyon View Ranch in Topanga is a five-acre canine resort with tunnels to explore and a bone-shaped swimming pool and waterfall
Lazy Dog Kennels in Camarillo has a great pool for me and my pals
Dioji K-9 Resort & Athletic Club in Agoura Hills is a tropical oasis with a giant pool, doggie loungers and a spa
Camp Bow Wow also in Agoura has doggie day care, boarding and plenty of room to play
Paw Hills in Agoura Hills has luxury rooms with comfy pillows, filtered water, a spa and lots of TLC

Adding to the pack

Recently I told my human we need another dog to add to our little pack. I learned from my favorite TV show, the “Dog Whisperer,” that finding a right match is key to creating a happy family.

So we’ve been checking out places where we can find a new pup. At www.breeders.net we found listings on every kind of breed from A (the Abyssinian Sand Terrier) to Z (the Zwergspitz), and all sizes from Chihuahuas to Great Danes.

But, there are many other options, like rescue organizations, shelters and fostering. dog and friend

When I heard that 3.9 million dogs enter animal shelters every year in this country and 1.2 million are euthanized, according to ASPCA statistics, I knew we had to save one. There are lots of local places to find dogs who need a home.

One unique place is the Shelter Hope Pet Shop at Janss Marketplace. This nonprofit volunteer-based shop has shelter animals available for adoption. They also sell merchandise and donate the proceeds to help homeless pets.

And the storefront space was donated by NewMark Merrill, a Woodland Hills-based property management company with an ultimate goal of eliminating puppy mill pet shops in malls.

Local Animal Shelters and Rescues

Agoura Animal Care Center, 29525 Agoura Road, Agoura Hills
Ventura County Animal Shelter: 670 W. Los Angeles Ave., Simi Valley
Ventura County Animal Services, 600 Aviation Drive, Camarillo
Humane Society of Ventura County, 402 Bryant St., Ojai
Canine Adoption and Rescue League, 3203 E. Main St., Ventura
Tiny Loving Canines, 1736 Erringer Road, Simi Valley
Rescue Me Inc., 22121 Clarendon St., Ste. 385, Woodland Hills
Paw Hills, 30601 Canwood St., Agoura Hills
L.I.F.E. Animal Rescue (Saturdays at PetSmart), 5766 Lindero Canyon Road, Westlake Village

There are also breed-specific rescue organizations like the Forever Friends Golden Retriever Rescue, which was started by Ruth DiGregorio in Moorpark.

You can also check out FoundAnimals.org, where you can locate any kind of adoptable critter by entering your zip code, the type of animal you desire, what breed, age and gender you’re looking for and photos pop up of the closest matches available in your area.

Local animal shelters and rescues are also great places to search for adoptable dogs, so check out the ones nearest you. My human found me at www.adoptapet.com, where she saw my cute mug shot and just had to bring me home. There are also organizations that might not be local but will connect humans with their new pooches via volunteer networks.

My human is getting things at home prepped for our new dog and I’m getting ready to welcome a new mutt to our little pack.