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Christie Keith
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It's no secret we live in highly polarized political times, leading to a seemingly endless cycle of outrage, fear, and anger played out on the social media stage. You may have been caught in the crossfire yourself. But what does this have to do with helping animals? This heightened cycle of outrage has led to the rise of the "rage donation," the act of giving money as a form of expressing anger or disapproval of a breaking news story or new government policy. Primarily utilized as a form of personal activism and expression, it has been stunningly successful at funding the candidates or causes in question. Of course, playing on people's fears and anger to raise money is nothing new. What's new is the spontaneity with which it's happening, and the enormity of its success. For example, the ACLU recently... Continue reading
Posted Sep 14, 2018 at Dogged Blog
Having a bucket list, or at least, announcing that certain items are on it, is a thing now. "Before I die, I'm going to do the following." But I don't have a bucket list, and I don't really think other people should, either. Here's why. I've seen a lot of death. Because I'm from San Francisco and am a lesbian and am in my 50s, I saw a lot of people die of AIDS at a very young age, with all their dreams and goals unfulfilled -- or even unacknowledged. That brutal period in history taught me many lessons, and one of them was simply this: If it's within your power at all, never put your dreams off. That's a big "if," of course -- we all have jobs and responsibilities and financial constraints and physical limitations. But to the... Continue reading
Posted Mar 5, 2018 at Dogged Blog
There's an ugly war being fought over the American love for cats right now... and the cats are losing. Yes, most of us love cats, are intrigued by cats, watch cat videos, and in ever-growing numbers share our homes with cats. But if you'd had your ear to the ground of the last few years, you'd realize there's a force out there trying to change that. It began with a series of high-profile headlines about how cats are murderous beasts. It was sustained by junk science and "alternative facts" about how many birds outdoor cats kill each year. And it was given credibility by the academic credentials of the virulent cat-haters behind this propaganda war, one of whom actually said in his book Cat Wars: The Devastating Consequences of a Cuddly Killer that felines should be removed from the landscape... Continue reading
Posted Oct 31, 2017 at Dogged Blog
Last month, without any warning, the stock photo service I've used for at least 10 years made a small, nearly-unnoticeable change that very efficiently sucks money out of their customers' accounts. They offer stock images in a variety of file sizes. Because I purchase them almost exclusively for use on the web, I have always bought the smallest and least expensive file size. For as long as I can recall, that was the size that was set as the default when I'd go to purchase an image. Sometime in September, that changed. I noticed that an image I was using on a blog post for a client was taking a really long time to upload. No wonder -- it was huge. I went and looked at my download history at, and saw that every image I'd purchased for the... Continue reading
Posted Oct 10, 2017 at Dogged Blog
Sileo has been a miracle for my noise-phobic dog, Tim. At the age of 7, Tim, a Silken Windhound, decided to become terrified of thunder and other loud noises. The first incident was during a wind and rainstorm -- no thunder -- and involved several rapid power off-and-ons, which sent him fleeing into the dark yard in the torrential downpour. I found him huddled in the corner where the fences meet, under some pine trees, and had to crawl in, drag him out, then carry him into the house. I had some alprazolam (generic Xanax) and Trazodone (another anti-anxiety drug) that had been prescribed for a different dog, and gave him those. He finally fell asleep, trembling in my arms. From that night foreward, he began reacting to all kinds of things: Wind, rain, the sound of my generator running... Continue reading
Posted Jul 1, 2017 at Dogged Blog
I have dry, sensitive eyes that tear at the slightest provocation. I also wear contact lenses. And while my lashes are fairly long and naturally grow in an upward direction, they've become very light in color and not as thick as they used to be as I've gotten older. All of which adds up to me being someone for whom mascara makes a big difference, but is almost impossible to wear comfortably. Add to that the fact that I will only buy cruelty-free makeup and can't tolerate makeup with gluten, and it's amazing I have one brand of mascara to recommend, let alone three. (Please note: None of these are affiliate links, and I buy my own makeup.) Chantecaille Faux Cils Longest Lash Mascara. Let's start with the best mascara I've ever used, and certainly the most expensive. "Faux Cils"... Continue reading
Posted Apr 21, 2017 at Dogged Blog
Your budget isn't a valid reason to buy cosmetics and skincare products that were tested on animals. Cruelty-free beauty products don't cost more or less than brands that torture animals for the sake of mascara and lipstick. Because I've been writing more about makeup and skincare lately, I'm hearing from a lot of readers and friends who have their own thoughts on beauty products. Two of my friends should be careful not to meet each other, though, because my understanding is when matter and anti-matter meet, things explode. The first friend told me, with great confidence, that she couldn't possibly use cruelty-free cosmetics because she was on a very tight budget and buys all her makeup and skincare at the drugstore. "Cruelty-free is for rich people," she said. Just a week later, a second friend told me, also with great... Continue reading
Posted Mar 12, 2017 at Dogged Blog
Politics. The loss of two beloved dogs in less than one year, one after a lightning-fast illness at a young age, the other after a long, slow, complicated decline in her senior years. And did I mention politics, or, as I think of it, the threatened collapse of everything that makes this America? Those are the reasons I've not blogged as much as I used to. But the example of those badass journalists at Teen Vogue have me inspired to blog again about the subject nearest and dearest to my heart after dogs and politics: Makeup and skincare. Have no idea what I'm talking about? Read The true story of how Teen Vogue got mad, got woke, and began terrifying men like Donald Trump. Seriously -- read it. It will give you hope at the same time it prompts you... Continue reading
Posted Feb 19, 2017 at Dogged Blog
When a woman with rosacea and dry, sensitive skin finds her holy grail foundation, why on earth does she not stick with it? Continue reading
Posted Oct 23, 2016 at Dogged Blog
I have never really explained what happened to my dog Rawley, although if you follow me on Facebook you probably know much of this, with the exception of the biopsy results. The night of Dec. 20, I was tickling Rawley's tummy. I did this all the time; I'd definitely done it before I'd left on a week-long business trip the week before, and hadn't noticed anything wrong. This time, I found some kind of growth at the base of his penis. I took him to the vet ER at Michigan State University the next morning, where they did a fine needle aspirate and found it was malignant. They couldn't tell what kind of tumor it was, and I okayed a tru-cut biopsy, another kind of needle biopsy. They tried to schedule an appointment with the surgeon on Jan. 25, but... Continue reading
Posted Jan 31, 2016 at Dogged Blog
I have too many dog bowls now. I have too many collars. I have too many dog beds. I have too many blaze orange safety vests. I have too much room in my house. I have too many Christmas ornaments. I have too many signs. I have too few dogs. Rest in peace, Rawley. No one could have loved you more than I did. Continue reading
Posted Jan 9, 2016 at Dogged Blog
If your dog has struvite stones, he has a bladder infection. He doesn't need a special diet and he doesn't need his urinary pH adjusted. He needs his infection diagnosed and treated. (To be perfectly accurate, there is a condition known as "sterile" or "metabolic" struvites that occurs very, very rarely in the dog. This condition isn't just a zebra, however; it's a unicorn. I'll say more about it later on.) Why do dogs with urinary tract infections have struvite stones? Why do they so often have alkaline urine? The urine becomes alkaline for the same reason the stones form: Because the urease-producing bacteria that usually cause canine UTIs produce magnesium, phosphate, and ammonium as waste products. The urine becomes super-saturated with these waste products. Add it all together, shake well, and you have struvite stones. It was once believed... Continue reading
Posted Sep 30, 2015 at Dogged Blog
I'm afraid the only way I can go back to rooting for Glee power-couple Kurt and Blaine right now is if the season 6 premiere and a lot of season 5 turn out to have been a dream. I haven't recapped Glee for two seasons now, and the just-premiered season 6 will be the third. But that doesn't mean I don't care about a show I once not only loved, but thought was important and powerful. It also doesn't mean I don't care about the relationship between Kurt and Blaine, even though I am not what their devoted fans call a "Klainer." My working definition of that term is that Klainers wouldn't watch or forgive the show if their pairing was split up. It would fundamentally damage what they like about it, and as far as I can tell from... Continue reading
Posted Jan 11, 2015 at Dogged Blog
Because, even though I rarely blog now, blogging used to be incredibly important to me and I feel it's been degraded and despoiled in recent years, I thought I'd participate in this year's pet-themed Blog Hop. 1. How long have you been blogging? And, for anyone stopping by for the first time, please give us a quick description of what your blog is about. I have been blogging since 2004. I blog about animals, animal sheltering, veterinary medicine, pet health, teevee, and politics. 2. Tell us one thing that you accomplished on your blog during 2014 that made you proud. I blogged. 3. What lessons have you learned this year – from other blogs, or through your own experience – that could help us all with our own blogs? Be ethical. Stop thinking about traffic and SEO and making money.... Continue reading
Posted Jan 10, 2015 at Dogged Blog
What do I think of the Michigan Humane Society's insistence that there is no legal stray hold period for cats in the state now, and that there shouldn't be? I am absolutely in favor of sheltering cats in a different way than dogs. I'm also in favor of completely revolutionizing our sheltering practices and creating a different paradigm for cats than dogs. And I'm in favor of new approaches and throwing out all the old ways if they're not working. What I am not in favor of is codifying approaches that create second class citizenship for cats, nor that disrespect the cat-human bond. And I'm definitely not in favor of reducing the legal stray hold for cats if it gives animal control agencies and shelters the right to kill those cats sooner. Fortunately, you don't need to abolish hold periods... Continue reading
Posted Nov 7, 2014 at Dogged Blog
While the cowards at the Daily Prophet won't even say his name, this blogger has no such fear. I bring you a statement from the Dark Lord himself, Lord Voldemort, on the triumph of the Death Eater Party (DEP) in taking over both chambers of the Ministry of Magic: Today, the reign of the muggles, the mudbloods, and the pureblood traitors among us is all but over. True, the current Minister of Magic is still a mudblood, but there is no serious doubt among our ranks that he will fall, and soon, leaving the Ministry, as it should be, in pureblood hands. Our rise has been swift since our allies, the Koch Brothers, won the Battle of Citizens United, leaving the way clear for the muggle suppression movement that has brought us to this great penultimate victory. Of course, much... Continue reading
Posted Nov 5, 2014 at Dogged Blog
Another pointless, terrible Comcast "customer service" experience. Continue reading
Posted Aug 27, 2014 at Dogged Blog
I thought I'd heard all the reasons people object to the idea of free pet adoptions -- but I was wrong. Continue reading
Posted Jul 17, 2014 at Dogged Blog
Update: It looks like the easy share feature is back. Whether it was a feature they abandoned or a glitch is unknown at this time, but definitely take the information I include below about the limited value of pages (not individuals, pages) sharing to another page to heart. This is not a good strategy for getting your message out. I woke up this morning to a number of people contacting me wanting to know why they couldn't share a post from one Facebook page to another anymore. This was news to me, but when I got online, I checked, and found it was true for pages that had been converted to the new format -- which is supposed to be fully implemented on all pages by June 5. What does this mean for animal organizations? On one hand, it's a... Continue reading
Posted May 30, 2014 at Dogged Blog
A couple of months ago, my friend (sister with different DNA, really) Gina Spadafori regained the right to use her domain again. We discussed opening up the old Pet Connection archive there (my posts were all copied over to this blog, but the PC archive itself, including everyone else's posts, was inaccessible). And once we started down that road, we thought: Should we start blogging there again? We decided HELL YES, and then we invited two of our favorite dog people on Planet Earth, Kim Campbell Thornton and Liz Palika, to come back, along with our beloved Dr. Tony Johnson. All said yes, although Tony will only be an infrequent contributor. And we also made the vow: NO ads. NO sponsors. NO mealy mouthed BS. This is just all of us blogging about animal issues for no reason other... Continue reading
Posted Feb 8, 2014 at Dogged Blog
A shelter or animal control agency that responsibly manages its intake flow is still an open admission shelter. Continue reading
Posted Nov 20, 2013 at Dogged Blog
I'm at the Best Friends Animal Society No More Homeless Pets Conference in Jacksonville right now. In the elevator this morning, I overheard a person wearing a t-shirt supporting spay/neuter efforts tell her companion that two unaltered cats and their descendants will produce... wait for it... 10 million kittens in 12 years. I interrupted her and told her that yesterday, at the day-long Face to Face with Feral Freedom session, Dr. Julie Levy of the University of Florida shelter medicine program -- who knows as much about community cats as anyone alive, and has done more research on them than anyone, too -- said that no one knows the actual number of community cats in the United States, but the number lies somewhere between 10-90 million. So those two unaltered cats were pretty busy 12 years ago. I'm going to... Continue reading
Posted Oct 10, 2013 at Dogged Blog
I used to be a recreational shopper. I've never cared about the latest electronic toys and I drive a 1998 car, but I love to buy new clothes and shoes and bags, new dog beds and collars and jackets, every spring and fall. Mostly fall, because I love colder weather and also -- you can wear more clothes. But I read Overdressed: The Shockingly High Cost of Cheap Fashion by Elizabeth Cline a few months ago, and went cold turkey on recreational shopping. That doesn't mean I didn't buy anything at all; it means I didn't read catalogs and look for things to buy. A few times I realized I had a need for something, researched it a bit, then made a rational purchase. No impulse buying. Before I read this book, I would have claimed that I didn't buy... Continue reading
Posted Sep 22, 2013 at Dogged Blog
As a fourth generation native Californian (even if I have moved to Michigan!), I just wanted to mention that this was not actually an HSUS report or project, nor a project of any national group. It was a joint project of a large group of advocates and "stakeholders" in California. Forever loyal to my birthplace, I guess! :)
I realize that waxing rhapsodic about fall is the most hideous of cliches, but I just can't help it. Continue reading
Posted Sep 12, 2013 at Dogged Blog