Puerto Rico Pup Leads Officials to Her Trapped Owner

Agua the Puerto Rican Dog

Photo Credit: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

Many people and pets in Puerto Rico are still recovering from the devastation Hurricane Maria caused almost two months ago. However, heroes of both the human and animal variety are showing their true colors in the aftermath. One little dog, named Agua, was named “a four-legged hero” by the U.S. Department of the Interior on Twitter.

According to KKTV, James Casey, an employee with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service was working in Puerto Rico on a mission for the Federal Emergency Management Agency. James was assessing the security of a closed hospital in Humaco with about 30 others when they spotted a small dog wearing a sweater.

“We were curious as to why a dog would be wearing a sweater alone in this area,” James told reporters. He added that their attention was also piqued because “the dog kept going up and down the hill.”

Intrigued, James and the others decided to follow the dog. At the bottom of the hill, they found a woman trapped under a scooter. She was Agua’s owner and had been attempting to reach the hospital. Due to the terrain, there was an accident and the scooter rolled on top of the woman. The woman was trapped and had prior medical issues that meant she desperately needed the team’s help.

James described where they found the woman as “abandoned” and “littered with debris.” He continued, “if it wasn’t for this little dog, it would have been likely she would not have been found and possibly perished.”

Because Agua not only caught the team’s attention, but led them to her owner, they were able to assist before it was too late. According to the Department of the Interior, the team radioed another official who was able to coordinate with hospital doctors so the team could immediately respond to the woman’s needs. Another member of the team was able to grab an ambulance to transport the woman to an emergency department. That evening, after the owner had been treated, Agua was able to be reunited with the woman she had saved.

James told reporters that the team was impressed by the dog’s devotion and quick actions. He said, “We all voted Agua the dog the hero of our mission.” Maybe soon Agua will have a cape to go with her sweater!

Halo Pets

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Students buy their teacher a puppy after his beloved dog dies

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A Different Kind of Holiday Gift (One They Really Want)

Thank you PayPal for sponsoring this post. Visit PayPal to give the gift people really want this season: money!

Ahhh, the holidays. When I think of this time of year, my mind is filled with two distinct types of thoughts. One is full of positivity and wonderful stereotypes: freshly baked sugar cookies, crackling fires, Christmas music and movies enjoyed under blankets with loved ones, and luxuriously excessive levels of cozy. The other is slightly more realistic and infinitely less fun: stressful last minute running around, expectations that can’t be met, and a general feeling of being overwhelmed. And when I get more specific and start thinking about holiday shopping and holiday gifts, my mind once again is split in two. One half is all about an ethereal vision of smiling people walking through busy, snow-covered city streets holding piles of beautifully wrapped packages, and the other is about the unavoidable anxiety that comes with trying to find the perfect gift for everyone on my list. Holiday gifting can be hard, man.

Lucky for me (and all of us, really), I just discovered a super easy but genuinely heartfelt way to give friends and family gifts they will actually use, with none of the stress. But more on that in a minute. First I have a story.

Years ago, my sister Morgan (aka my bestie forever) and I lived in the same city. We would do everything together during the holidays – from shopping to holiday coffee dates with manicures to seeing holiday movies together to cookie baking marathons and more. The holiday fun was endless, guys. These days, we live in different states, and even though I do get to see her on Christmas Eve and Day, the holiday season leading up to that can be rough. We talk, text, and FaceTime consistently during the holidays, but it’s just not the same.

A couple of weeks ago, I was putting together my holiday shopping list, and when I got to my sister, I started to feel a little sad. I miss her so much, and I felt like this year, I really wanted to get her a different kind of holiday gift – something that would represent all of the wonderful things we used to do together in the days leading up to Christmas. And then I got an email about something called PayPal P2P. Boom. I had my sister’s gift, and it was perfect.

Using PayPal P2P, I’m sending my sister a surprise money gift – along with one of PayPal P2P’s super cute digital holiday greetings (co-created in partnership with bad ass babe Leandra Medine, founder of Man Repeller!) – so she can treat herself to a holiday manicure and coffee date, just like we used to do together. Awwww! Seriously though, I can’t wait to hear her reaction. I feel like this will be such an incredible way for her to celebrate the season just like we did when we lived close to each other, and to also give her a gift that she will actually use and appreciate. And it alleviates stress off me as well, because it’s so much more convenient than trying to shop for a gift she may not even want, but still has a really special personal touch. As you can see in the image below, the greetings can be personalized exactly how you want them so they’re genuinely heartfelt. And there are so many fun designs to choose from!

With PayPal P2P, you can securely send and receive money with family and friends using just a phone number or email address between PayPal accounts. Be it food for Friendsgiving, the taxi to a holiday party, or that group gift for Mom and Dad, there are many reasons to use PayPal P2P payments this holiday season. You can send a PayPal P2P digital greeting by simply logging into your account on PayPal.com, select Send Money, enter the recipient’s contact information, designate the amount, click the gift box, select your favorite greeting, personalize with a message, and send. The funds go right into their PayPal account; if they don’t have an account, they can quickly open one for free. Pretty great, right? To learn more about PayPal’s holiday offerings, go to: http://clvr.li/2hwucFV.

I’ll be sure to try to capture my sister’s reaction via FaceTime and embarrass her by sharing on my Instagram Stories. Anybody else have a holiday partner in crime for all of your December activities? Who else is using PayPal P2P for holiday gifting this year?

Thank you for supporting the brands that help make Bubby and Bean possible. I was selected for this opportunity as a member of CLEVER and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.


Bubby and Bean ::: Living Creatively

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My Cat & Dog Film Festivals Are Coming To NYC This Weekend!

Dog Film Festival in New York City - December 10th

I am more excited than I was as a 3-year-old when there was a clown and pony rides at my birthday party! In 48 hours my NY Cat and Dog Film Festivals are going to take over the SVA Theatre in Chelsea and light up the hearts of pet lovers in New York City and the surrounding area.

The big difference between this and my childhood party excitement is that there are a lot more people coming to the “parties” I’m throwing this weekend in New York City. And I sure hope you will have a chance to join us for a once-in-a-lifetime experience of sharing with like-minded animal lovers the bond you feel with pets. I truly hope to share this experience with many of the people who listen to my pet talk radio shows ad meet them in person.

Leanne Italie wrote an insightful paean to the festivals for the Associated Press (AP) and the Washington Post was the first to grab her story. The separate festivals are on different days – Saturday afternoon December 9th for the premiere of the NY Cat Film Festival™ and Sunday the 10th for the 3rd Annual NY Dog Film Festival™. Both festivals consist of two separate programs of completely different short films (animated, documentary and narrative) which each have an incredible medley of short films celebrating the species of choice.

The Cats Have Their Day!
For the first time ever, the NY Cat Film Festival™ will premiere with an intellectual and emotional roller-coaster ride for cat lovers, similar to what dog aficionados have experienced with the NY Dog Film Festival™ for two years. The NY Cat Film Festival™ is funded by Dr. Elsey’s Precious Cat, a wonderful family-owned, philanthropic Colorado-based business, with all their products developed by Dr. Elsey himself, a feline-only veterinarian. The festival features two 70-minute programs of short films that explore our fascination with the felines who share our world. Gina from Dr. Elsey’s is flying in from Colorado to hand out samples and coupons from Elsey’s Precious Cat, with the help of volunteers from the Mayor’s Alliance for NYC’s animals, which has a Feral Cat Initiative, which is the beneficiary of a portion of every ticket.

Today in the New York Times, Laurel Graeber wrote this INCREDIBLE piece about the NY Cat Film Festival™. I am bursting with happiness and gratitude that she captured the essence of what it’s all about – two completely different programs of short films focused on cats. The programs are 70 minutes long each, one at 3:00 PM and the second at 4:30 PM. Get information about all the films and how to buy tickets (and I do recommend buying ahead of time because we are getting close to selling out and that’s even before other people read those wonderful articles I just shared with you!).

The Dogs are Going Strong for a 3rd Year
The 3rd Annual NY Dog Film Festival™ will take on Sunday December 10th As I wrote last week, the initial funding for the NY Dog Film Festival™ came from Halo – who then passed the baton to the philanthropic Petco Foundation to that the festival could travel the country last year and going into 2018. Pura Naturals Pet is a sponsor of the festival and the first 300 ticket buyers to each of the two programs will get a sample of their organic shampoo and wipes. Weruva pet food is a sponsor of the dog festival and will be there distributing samples of their good-enough-for-people-to-eat food.

Goodie bag for Dog Film Festival

The Filmmakers Get Their Swag Bag of Goodies!
There are so many terrific filmmakers flying in from around the country, and even abroad, that I had to do something a little special to fete them. The photos show all the lovely gifts they’ll be receiving in their very nice carry bags – CAT CHAT® baseball caps for the cat folks and a branded Dog Film festival leash and t-shirt for the canine crowd. My favorite interactive cat toy, the Nekoflies, went to every cat filmmaker as well. Halo® put freeze-dried Liv-a-Little salmon in the cat bags and the chicken Liv-a-Littles for the dogs, along with canned food for each species, as well. For the feline filmmakers, Jackson Galaxy graciously put his new book TOTAL CAT MOJO in their bags, as did Rita Mae Brown with her Mrs. Murphy mystery “Tall Tail,” while dog filmmakers receive Heather Weston’s gorgeous picture book, “Canines of New York” and “Loyal: 38 Inspiring Tales of Bravery, Heroism and the Devotion of Dogs,” by Rebecca Ascher-Walsh. Pura Naturals put in big bottles of organic, cruelty-free lavender cat or dog shampoo, and GoodNewsforPets.com has a thank-you for every filmmaker, too: flashlight flashdrives with Moleskin memo pad.

Goodie bag for Cat Film Festival

There will be volunteers from our beneficiary, the Mayor’s Alliance for NYC’s Animals, and others from NYC Animal Care Center to let people know about how to foster and adopt, all “waving the flag about the great animals for adoption among the more than 150 rescue groups the Mayor’s Alliance supports. Student members of the Stuyvesant School Canine Appreciation Club will be on hand again, helping me greet and seat people and make sure everyone has an optimal time.

Won’t you join me for this very special weekend?

Tracie HotchnerTracie Hotchner is a nationally acclaimed pet wellness advocate, who wrote THE DOG BIBLE: Everything Your Dog Wants You to Know and THE CAT BIBLE: Everything Your Cat Expects You to Know. She is recognized as the premiere voice for pets and their people on pet talk radio. She continues to produce and host her own Gracie® Award winning NPR show DOG TALK®  (and Kitties, Too!) from Peconic Public Broadcasting in the Hamptons after 9 consecutive years and over 500 shows. She produced and hosted her own live, call-in show CAT CHAT® on the Martha Stewart channel of Sirius/XM for over 7 years until the channel was canceled, when Tracie created her own Radio Pet Lady Network where she produces and co-hosts CAT CHAT® along with 10 other pet talk radio podcasts with top veterinarians and pet experts.

Dog Film Festival - Tracie HotchnerTracie also is the Founder and Director of the annual NY Dog Film Festival, a philanthropic celebration of the love between dogs and their people. Short canine-themed documentary, animated and narrative films from around the world create a shared audience experience that inspires, educates and entertains. With a New York City premiere every October, the Festival then travels around the country, partnering in each location with an outstanding animal welfare organization that brings adoptable dogs to the theater and receives half the proceeds of the ticket sales. Halo was a Founding Sponsor in 2015 and donated 10,000 meals to the beneficiary shelters in every destination around the country in 2016.

Tracie lives in Bennington, Vermont – where the Radio Pet Lady Network studio is based – and where her 12 acres are well-used by her 2-girl pack of lovely, lively rescued Weimaraners, Maisie and Wanda.

Halo Pets

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Win an Isle of Dogs Holiday Prize Pack! #Giveaway

Are your dogs ready for the holidays? For all the family fun the holidays bring, we all know that with all the joy and excitement can come a fair bit of stress for us AND for our dogs. Whether…

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More royal puppy love

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Sick Kids, Canceled Trips, and The Hard Parts of Parenting

This is not the post I had scheduled for today.

Originally, it was a post to tell you that we were 30,000 feet in the air on our way to the Dominican Republic. (The photos you see throughout this post are from our trip there last year.) Those of you who have followed me for a while know that we take this trip every year (first to Jamaica, then Mexico, and the last few years it’s been in the Dominican) for my husband’s work. The band he stage manages does a festival in the tropics every December, and we (almost always) accompany him. He may be gone a lot during the year working on the road, but we sure do feel lucky to get to go with him for special travel like this. I worked 60-80 hour weeks all month so I could take a week off during my busiest season. I barely saw my husband or kids and felt tremendous guilt, but knew it was a means to an end, and that soon we’d be reaping the benefits together in paradise. We spent days packing (those of you who travel internationally with little kids can relate to how complicated it is to pack), tying up loose ends, and getting excited.

Then, a little after midnight, about four hours before we were scheduled to leave for the airport, Essley threw up. She’d had a cold, so we chalked it up to post nasal drip and a very sensitive gag reflex. Then she did it again. And again. She did it all over her brother too. We sat up all night trying to decide what to do. Do we subject her to an hour ride to the airport, long check in lines, a five hour flight, a couple hour customs/immigration line, and a 45 minutes shuttle ride while she could be potentially repeatedly vomiting? Or do the kids and I stay home and miss the trip, after months of planning and weeks of really hard work?

We decided it wouldn’t be fair to put her through that. So we looked up potential later flights the kids and I could take and meet Robbie there. They were full of connections (let’s just say that traveling with Emmett even with both parents is a massive challenge) and really expensive. And that was that. I watched my husband walk out of the door to go to the airport by himself, both of us with tears streaming down our faces.

This is, of course, not a real problem. But man am I heartbroken. We all are. This is a once a year opportunity, and not a family trip that can be made up later since it’s for my husband’s job. We worked so hard to be able to make this happen. We really needed the break. I just keep envisioning all of our friends there with their families in the sunshine, and Robbie there alone, and us here in the cold missing out on something we’ve been talking about daily since the summer. It’s brutal.

Essley is much better now, and I’m second guessing our decision. This is part of what makes parenting so difficult at times. Often you just don’t know what is best for your kids, your family, or yourself – so you go with your gut and hope you didn’t screw up. Right now, I’m too sad to feel like I made the right decision, but I know I did. Even if she’d been completely fine by the time we boarded, other people on the flight excited to go on vacation could have been exposed to her illness, or Emmett could have started barfing (I know that’s probably coming soon), or she could have just felt terrible. Or everything could have worked out perfectly. We’ll never know, so for now I’m trying to chalk it up to another lesson, and hopefully a story we can laugh about (instead of crying, like we are now) someday.


Bubby and Bean ::: Living Creatively

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Why Dogs Vomit Undigested Food

Dogs vomit undigested food occasionally and if this happens to your pet it shouldn’t be cause for alarm. It’s normal for dogs to vomit sometimes, but if the vomiting is accompanied by diarrhea or bloody stools, the dog should be examined by a vet and treated as soon as possible.

When a dog eats inedible food it can develop gastrointestinal …
Dog’sHealth.com Blog

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Thank you! My dog flourishes at home with his adop…

Thank you! My dog flourishes at home with his adopted sis and my husband and I. But when strangers come in the house it's something else. Unless we're in a neutral setting, he is pacing, VERY reactive and just a totally different dog. You can't judge a dogs character by their first meet and greet in my opinion. Especially if it's their territory.

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Homeless Houston Dogs Enjoy Thanksgiving Dinner

Thanksgiving dinner may now just be a memory, but along with heaping helpings of turkey, stuffing and mashed potatoes this long holiday weekend also offers animal lovers sustenance for the soul…

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