Every Pet Deserves A Good Home…

WCBM’s Les Kinsolving’s beautiful tribute to Brendan, Griffen, and all dogs and dog owners

Read the last chapter of Rescuing Sprite here (PDF)

WCBM’s Les Kinsolving’s beautiful tribute to Brendan, Griffen, and all dogs and dog owners

CHAPTER FOURTEEN – Rescuing Sprite: A Dog Lover’s Story of Joy and Anguish

Griffen (Levin)

February 2007

It was February. Kendall was up to something. She was leaving the house on the weekends for hours at a time without telling me where she was going. I also found some computer printouts around the kitchen of shelter dogs.

Mark R. Levin in a stern voice I said, “Kendall, I told you I’m not ready for another dog. We have Pepsi, and that’s enough for now.”

“Lauren’s just looking on the computer,” she said.

Then Lauren came over to me and showed me a photograph. “Look at this dog, Dad.  Isn’t he beautiful?  He’s blind but he needs help.”

“Are you nuts?” I said to her. “Let me be as clear as I can:  No new dog!”

A week passed. I was working in my home office.

Kendall and Lauren were out somewhere. Chase told me the girls had taken Pepsi for a ride. They were gone for a long time, but I thought nothing of it.

I heard the garage door open. Kendall and Lauren were home. But then I heard a commotion upstairs. Pepsi was making his “devil run” around the house. But I heard something else.

“Oh no, what’s that,” I shouted. Before I could get up to see what was going on, a small dog came bouncing down the basement stairs to greet me.  “Isn’t he beautiful?” Kendall said. She had a big smile on her face.

“I told you it’s too early for another dog. I  can’t believe you didn’t talk to me about this first!

“If I had told you, you would have said no,” she answered.

“That’s right, I would have said no. I need another five or six months before we consider getting another dog.”

Kendall apologized and said  she’d return the dog the next day. She and Lauren had taken Pepsi to a PetSmart in Frederick, Maryland, which was showing dogs that were up for adoption. They had seen a dog sleeping in one of the cages who caught their attention. He had curly fur but they couldn’t see his face. They picked him up to see what he looked like. They both looked at each other and knew he was coming home with them. Pepsi and the dog also hit it off. The dog then followed them around the store as if to say, “I’d love to come home with you.”

As afternoon turned to night, my apprehensiveness subsided, as Kendall knew it would. I couldn’t let her return the dog. God knows what might happen to him if no one else adopted him. It was a fate for which I  didn’t want any responsibility. As it was, a wonderful group called Friends for Life Animal Rescue Inc. in Monrovia, Maryland, had already saved him from being euthanized by the local shelter, which  hadn’t been able to find him a family after a few months. Besides, after a few hours with the little guy, I was already attached to him. He was as cute as could be—a mix of poodle and Lhasa apso, they say (I actually think he’s part cairn terrier, but what do I know), and he  couldn’t be more than twenty- five pounds.

I could tell he was happy to be in our home. He explored each room, sniffing here and there. He walked over to each family member, as if introducing himself. He needed and deserved a loving family. My family. We debated what to name him. Lauren suggested “Dewey” after the drink Mountain Dew. Kendall mentioned “Fresca” or “Fanta.” After all,  we’d named our other dogs Pepsi and Sprite. Chase and I shot them down. We decided to break from the line of soda names and settled on Griffen.

Once again, Kendall had been told the dog was six years old. And once again I told her,  “He’s not six years old.  He’s older.” We later learned that  he’s eleven. As Kendall dug further into his background, she discovered that his owners had decided that their lives were too busy to keep him. They wanted to travel more. So they actually asked their vet whether they should put him up for adoption or have him euthanized! Can you imagine? I have nothing but contempt for such inhumanity and selfishness

I fired off an e-mail to Chris, asking him to perform a complete exam on Griffen. I wanted to make sure that if there was anything wrong with him, we’d do everything possible for him. Chris responded, “Wow!” He was as stunned as I that Kendall had brought home another dog. After Chris examined Griffen he told us one of his ears had been severely infected for some time. He said he had to muzzle Griffen to look at his ears because of the pain it caused him. A few months later fifteen of Griffen’s teeth had to be removed because they were in such bad shape. And due to persistent problems with his right ear, Griffen
recently had a total ear canal ablation—that is, his right ear canal was removed. Had his original owners bothered to care for him, the poor dog would not have had to suffer as he did.

Griffen won’t have to fend for himself anymore. He has received excellent medical attention, and from now on he will be properly cared for. It turns out he also has a heartvalve problem. But as someone with his own heart issues, I know there’s no reason why he can’t live several more years. I sure hope so.

Griffen is now surrounded by people who love him, and a furry friend who will give him companionship. He no longer has to wonder where home is.  We’re working on his house- training, which means many more early morning and late- night walks. But  it’s worth it.  He’s a joy—our little joy. Moments before Sprite passed away, I looked into his eyes and promised him that  we’d never forget him. And I think about him many times every day.

Sprite will never know all the good he did during his short visit on earth and the events he set in motion: Because of him, I was moved to write this book. So  it’s only fair that a portion of all the proceeds I receive from Rescuing Sprite go to dog shelters and rescue groups across the nation, which are overwhelmed with Sprites and Griffens who are in desperate need of food, shelter, medical care, and loving families willing to open their hearts to one of these babies. Rescued dogs, like all dogs, appreciate every kindness.

Nothing will ever replace our beloved Sprite or Pepsi or Griffen.

And in the end, we humans are the lucky ones!

Source:  The Mark Levin Show

Griffen Levin passed away Christmas week 2010

Rainbow Bridge

Rescuing Sprite: A Dog Lover’s Story of Joy and Anguish

December 30, 2010 Posted by | Adopt Just One More Pet, Dogs, Fostering and Rescue, Just One More Pet, Pet Friendship and Love, Pets, Stop Animal Cruelty, Stop Euthenization | , , , , | 11 Comments

Tucker Carlson: Michael Vick ‘should have been executed’

Tucker Carlson, filling in for Sean Hannity on Fox News last night, picked up the issue of President Barack Obama’s call to Philadelphia Eagles owner Jeffrey Lurie, during which the president thanked Lurie for giving Michael Vick a second chance.

The call had been a hot topic on Fox throughout what was a pretty slow news day, but Carlson’s take took things to a new level.

I’m Christian. I’ve made mistakes. I believe fervently in second chances. Michael Vick killed dogs in a heartless and cruel way. I think, firstly, he should have been executed for that. The idea the president of the United States would be getting behind someone who murdered dogs is beyond the pale.

UPDATE: Carlson is well known as an animal advocate. For the past couple years, he and Ana Marie Cox have served as spokespeople for the Washington Animal Rescue League, and in fact co-hosted a holiday party for the organization just this month.

“It’s the oldest animal rescue league in Washington,” Cox said. “It’s a no-kill shelter, which appeals to my bleeding heart liberalism, but it also accepts no government funding, which appeals to Tucker’s libertarianism.”

She and Carlson were approached by the league after the organization found her name in its database of supporters.

“They thought it would be cute to team me up with a conservative,” she said. “It turned out that Tucker had adopted one of his dogs from the league. It was a great fit.”

In a PSA they taped together for WRAL, they use their partisan differences to set up animal advocacy as one thing upon which both liberals and conservatives could agree. “Animals shouldn’t be mistreated,” Carlson says while holding a dog.

Carlson did not respond to requests for comment, and Cox said she couldn’t not speak to his latest statement.

“I would say that Tucker can have a very subtle intellect, but he also knows how to make an impression. I’m not sure which side of his brain was at the forefront when he said that.”

Nor is she sure that the president made the best choice by singling out Vick, of all people, for a second chance in the court of public opinion.

“I appreciate the president wants to endorse the idea that once people have been to prison and served their sentences, they deserve a second chance,” she said. “I think there are lots better examples out there to grant presidential grace to. What he did was really unconscionable and almost inexcusable.”

Video:  Tucker Carlson: Michael Vick ‘should have been executed’ 

Good for you Tucker!!!

December 30, 2010 Posted by | Animal or Pet Related Stories, Dogs, Just One More Pet, Man's Best Friend, Pet Abuse, Pets, Political Change, Stop Animal Cruelty | , | Leave a comment

Which Is Better for My Dog: Flaxseed Oil or Fish Oil?

Nutraceuticals are now being used on dogs. One popular product is omega-3 supplements. Omega-3 has many benefits on humans, while in dogs, it has been found to be an effective part of arthritis treatment since it has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.

Right now, omega-3 supplements can be categorized into two groups. The first group is composed of products using omega-3 from plant sources. The second group consists of products that use fish oil as a source of omega-3. Hence, a debate has been started whether plant oil omega-3 is better than fish oil omega-3.

Some Related Information

Fish are not able to produce omega-3. Some fish like herring, sardines, and anchovies get their omega-3 from the plankton and algae they feed on. Larger fishes like salmon, cod, tuna, swordfish, and sharks get their omega-3 from smaller fishes.

Plants are the only organisms that can naturally produce omega-3, and among plants harvested for their omega-3, flax seed contains highest amounts. As a result plants specifically flax seed contain higher amounts of the essential fatty acid compared to fish.

Fairly recent has been the issue raised by some health experts and environmentalist regarding the presence of heavy metals and fat-soluble pollutants in most edible fish. Some doctors are alarmed of the presence of these carcinogens that to be safe, they recommend pregnant women to avoid eating tuna and swordfish.

So It Is Flax Seed Then?

Well, it looks like it, but we need to delve deeper into the matter.

Let us look at the first issue regarding the amount of omega-3. Yes, it is true that flax seed contains higher amounts of omega-3, but it is important to know what kind. Take note that omega- 3 is composed of three different essential fatty acids. Flaxseed contains Linolenic acid (ALA ), but what is more beneficial especially in the treatment of dog arthritis is Eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), which is found in fish oil. Also flax seed is not nearly as well absorbed as the fish based omega-3.

For the second issue regarding how safe is it to give fish oil supplements to your dog, yes, it is safe. Although there is a presence of these heavy metals and fat-soluble pollutants in fish usually used as fish oil sources, the amounts in supplements are well below the limits set by the FDA and the EU. And fish oil products are highly regulated.

If you are still wary of these contaminants getting into your dog’s system, I recommend salmon fish oil. Research has shown that the fish among omega-3 rich fishes contain the lowest amounts of these contaminants.

Flaxseed Oil or Fish Oil (PDF)

December 29, 2010 Posted by | Animal or Pet Related Stories, Just One More Pet, Pet Health, Pet Nutrition | , | 4 Comments


Los Angeles Times:

An 8-month-old German shepherd named Rebel somehow squeezed his head through a hole in an 18-inch block wall at his Desert Hot Springs home Monday.

Then he got stuck.

Rebel may have been chasing another animal or was just curious about the hole, said Sgt. James Huffman of Riverside County Animal Services. The dog cried and whimpered until a friend of the owner  heard him and called authorities. The dog’s owner wasn’t home at the time.


There was enough room to manage a rescue without breaking down the wall and risking further injury to the animal.

One officer worked the dog’s head from one side of the wall, while the other officer worked the dog’s body on the other side.

Officer Palafox pushed the dog’s ears back to ensure the dog would not suffer during the rescue attempt.

Some minor nudging and roughly 30 minutes into the rescue, Rebel the dog was free once again.

“He let us know if we were pushing too hard – but he kept working right along with us,” Sgt. Huffman said. “He helped a lot. You could see his hind legs stiffen to assist in the direction we were going. He knew we were there to save him.”

The dog was released to the owner’s friend.

Source:  The Blaze

December 29, 2010 Posted by | Animal and Pet Photos, animal behavior, Animal Rescues, animals, Dogs, Just One More Pet, Man's Best Friend, Pets, Unusual Stories | | 1 Comment

A Doggie Christmas 2010

Hope you all had a fabulous Christmas, Chanukah, Kwanza… et al~

In Germany and Austria, where we hail from, Christmas is such a special celebration that the official holiday lasts for three days:  Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and a Second Christmas Day… December 26, called "der zweite Weihnachtstag", the second Christmas Day when Germans visit friends and relatives and deliver gifts on the day after Christmas.  So with my Christmas music still playing in the background, I decided to sort through some holiday photos old and new today and wrap up my thoughts on this holiday season.

We had a very quiet Christmas this year, just us and the pups!!

clip_image002P1010018We Will Help You With Your Gift - Christmas 2008clip_image001P1010145clip_image003P1010056image

Just One More Pet Christmas Card 2010

December 27, 2010 Posted by | Animal and Pet Photos, Chihuahua, Chiweenie, Dogs, Holidays With Pets, Just One More Pet, Man's Best Friend, pet fun, Pets | | Leave a comment

Dog Gives Birth to 17 Puppies

A dog in Germany has given birth to 17 puppies, leaving their owner thrilled but fatigued after having to feed them with a bottle for several weeks because their mother couldn’t cope with the demand.

Mon Dec 20, 9:34 pm ET

BERLIN – A dog in Germany has given birth to 17 puppies, leaving their owner thrilled but fatigued after having to feed them with a bottle for several weeks because their mother couldn’t cope with the demand.

Owner Ramona Wegemann said Monday she barely slept for more than a couple of minutes without interruption during about four weeks in an "exhausting" struggle to make sure all of the purebred Rhodesian Ridgeback puppies would survive.

She said when she was "finished feeding the last puppy, the first was hungry again."

Wegemann’s dog Etana gave birth to eight female and nine male puppies on Sept. 28 in Ebereschenhof, which is near Berlin.

At least five times a day, Wegemann gave the dogs a bottle with special milk because their mother’s nipples could have never coped with the demand, and when the puppies were not hungry, they wanted to be entertained, she said.

Wegemann said when dogs give birth to so many puppies several of them die within the first week. "But all of our puppies survived. This is incredible and wonderful," the 32-year-old added.

It was the second time that Etana gave birth. She gave birth to eight puppies in her first pregnancy, not uncommon for the dog’s breed, Wegemann said.

"The birth of the puppies was very special. All puppies were born naturally, no cesarean was necessary," she added. It took Etana a full 26 hours to give birth to all of the puppies — and Wegemann was as baffled as amazed.

But caring for 17 puppies turned out to be a full-time job: Wegemann put her work as an independent animal psychiatrist on a hold and her husband took as much vacation as he could.

Their lives have been turned upside down by the puppies, and their living room is now occupied by a giant box that houses the puppies.

But even Wegemann still struggles to recognize them: The females puppies are called Bahati, Binta, Bahya, Bashima, Batouuli, Binki, Bora, Bisa and the male ones are Baakir, Banjoku, Belay, Bruk, Bundu, Bayo, Bukekayo, Biton and Bulus.

Wegemann gave them all African names because the Rhodesian Ridgeback is an African hunting dog. Wegeman and her husband now plan to give most of the puppies away.

A price of ?800 ($1,050) per puppy would only cover the expenses for the veterinary, vaccinations, food and the mandatory paperwork, Wegemann said. She hopes to get about ?1,000 ($1,315) per dog, but said they would only give them to families with children, not breeders.

Four of the puppies have been sold, two more are already paid for and will leave their siblings shortly.

Source:  Fox News  -  Cross-Posted:  Just One More Pet

December 23, 2010 Posted by | Adopt Just One More Pet, Dogs, Fostering and Rescue, Just One More Pet, Man's Best Friend, pet fun, Unusual Stories | , , , | 1 Comment

All I Want From Santa Is YOU

“The greatest Christmas gift is giving!!” 

There are more homeless pets than there have been in decades.  There are also more needy and homeless children, seniors and unemployed than there have been in decades.  Give a little more this year and eat or entertain a little less.  Give to toys for tots, give to shelters, volunteer, and donate to give families and the needy a meal for the Christmas and Christmas Eve.  But for you group you can actually save lives… that groups I homeless pets and animals.

Many shelters and rescues have lowered their fees for adoptions.  www.bestfriends.org is one and I have heard several of the government… city and county shelters and local rescues are doing the same and are also asking for donations to feed and house pets who are not adopted before the holidays.


Video: All I Want From Santa Is YOU!


Video: It’s a Jolly Holi-dog Celebration!

There are so many animals hoping for homes this holiday season. Help Santa make a homeless pet’s dreams come true! Because the only thing they’ve ever wished for is you. Become a champion of love and help us move closer to a time of No More Homeless Pets.

Best Friends Animal Society is a nonprofit organization building no-kill programs and partnerships that will bring about a day when there are No More Homeless Pets®. At the core of Best Friends’ work is the dream that one day kindness will replace cruelty, and animals will no longer be destroyed because they are unwanted or imperfect. Spaying and neutering will be the rule for all pets and adoption will be the first option for everyone. Making this dream a reality is the mission we call No More Homeless Pets. The society’s leading initiatives in animal care and community programs are coordinated from its Kanab, Utah, headquarters, the country’s largest no-kill sanctuary. This work is made possible by the personal and financial support of a grassroots network of supporters and community partners across the nation. For more information visit: www.bestfriends.org

There are pets of all types available for adoption or fostering:  dogs, cats, horses, pocket pet, birds, reptiles, fish, exotics and the list goes one.

If you plan to get a pet for someone else… make sure that you consider whether they can afford it and then take them along to chose the pet that claims their heart.

A great gift in these tough times is supplies and food for families, friends and neighbors out of work or having a tough time, so they can keep and feed their pets.

And if you love pets, there is always room to adopt just one more pet and the holiday season is a great time to do so.  They will add to your joy and you will have saved a life!


A Dog Named Christmas

Video:  A Dog Named Christmas DVD (Hallmark Hall of Fame)



Waiting for Santa

A Dogs Rules for Christmas

Christmas for Pet People

Help the Reindeer

"Within the heart of every dog, lives the singular desire to be loved."

Best Friends Adorable Adoptables - All I want fromn Santa is you!

December 21, 2010 Posted by | Adopt Just One More Pet, animals, Dogs, Fostering and Rescue, Help Familie Keep Their Pets, Holidays With Pets, Just One More Pet, Pet Adoption, Pet Friendship and Love, Pets, responsible pet ownership, Stop Euthenization, We Are All God's Creatures | , | 7 Comments

Help the Reindeer

care2 petitionsite actionAlert

Reindeer are a holiday icon, immortalized for eating carrots and leading Santa’s sleigh around the world in one night.
But the truth about the lives of many reindeer in Finland and Sweden is tragic: They are subjected to abuse on a massive, commercial scale.

Commercial reindeer husbandry operations round-up, transport and slaughter reindeer for food. Throughout the process they are scared, mishandled and injured. Animal welfare laws in both countries outlaw the kind of inhumane treatment the reindeer endure.

The Växjö Declaration is a document among Scandinavian countries that states that animals are sentient beings with their own intrinsic value and deserved to be respected. Yet, this cruel treatment of reindeer goes on unrestricted.

Stop the holiday cruelty: Tell the Nordic Council of Ministers to uphold the Växjö Declaration and end inhumane treatment of reindeer »

Thanks for taking action!
Emily V.
Care2 and ThePetitionSite Team

End Holiday Cruelty

Stop reindeer abuse!

Take Action!

Take action link: http://www.care2.com/go/z/e/AgaLC/zKwE/bhPGC

December 21, 2010 Posted by | animal abuse, animals, Stop Animal Cruelty, Wild Animals | , | 2 Comments

Dogs and Dolphin Friends… and Orcas

"Within the heart of every dog, lives the singular desire to be loved."  This makes dog abuse even more heinous that it appears on the surface.

Dog and the Dolphin

Video:  Dog and Dolphin

Wild Dolphins Playing with Dog

Video:  Wild Dolphins Playing with a Dog

Video:  Orca (killer whale) and dog – READ THE DETAILS!


Video:  A Dog’s Friend


Keep a green tree alive in your heart and a songbird may come to sing there.
– Chinese Proverb

December 20, 2010 Posted by | animal behavior, animals, Animals Adopting Animals, Dogs, Just One More Pet, We Are All God's Creatures | Leave a comment

Tell Michael Vick Please Don’t Get Another Dog!!

care2 petitionsite actionAlert

Michael Vick, professional footballer player and convicted dog fighting ring operator, recently said he’d like to own another dog and that it would be a "big step" in his rehabilitation process.

Tell Michael Vick: please don’t own another dog! »
In 2007, more than 50 dogs were rescued from Vick’s farm and reports of unspeakable abuse like electrocuting dogs in his pool surfaced.

Michael Vick should continue his rehabilitation and his role as animal advocate, but not personally own another dog. »

Now, Vick is speaking out against dog fighting and is a reformed animal advocate. But even if Vick has learned compassion for animals, no dog should be used to test his recovery.

A dog shouldn’t be adopted to someone with a history of animals abuse, just like a child shouldn’t be adopted to someone with a history of child abuse. Send a polite message to Michael Vick: applaud his new role as an animal advocate, but tell him to please not get another dog. »

Thanks for taking action!

Tell Michael Vick: Please Don’t Get Another Dog!


Take Action!

Take action link: http://www.care2.com/go/z/e/AgaH2/zKVZ/bKVZL

December 19, 2010 Posted by | Dogs, Just One More Pet, Man's Best Friend, Pets, responsible pet ownership, Stop Animal Cruelty, Toughen Animal Abuse Laws and Sentences, Unusual Stories | Leave a comment