Attitude Adjustments.

Tiger Woods has a bad day in Ponte Vedra Beach on the TPC Sawgrass course and says, “It’s just a matter of getting my mind where it needs to be. And certainly I’ve made a lot of adjustments in my life, and I’ve gone through a lot…”

Really?

Read the story in the current issue of The New Barker about how another professional golfer is having to make adjustments in his life, after what he has been through. Ken Green has set his sights on being the first professional golfer to play with a prosthetic leg. Green, who is always surrounded by dogs at home told The New Barker, “There is no time to feel sorry for yourself with a dog around.”

Good words to live by.

Bark at the BallPark Fun for Dogs.

Sunny Florida skies with balmy Bay breezes made this past Sunday the perfect day to kick back with an ice-cold beer and catch a great game of baseball. Enhancing the afternoon’s experience was the presence of dogs, lounging in the stands with their owners. It was Bark at the Ballpark II at Bright House Network Field in Clearwater, where the Clearwater Threshers trounced the Daytona Cubs, 8-4. Co-sponsored in part by The New Barker, proceeds benefited the Humane Society of Pinellas County. Special Events Coordinator, Twila Cole and a very capable group of volunteers put on another cool event with contests, prizes and vendors. We ran into Executive Director Barbara Snow, who was making sure everyone was having a good time.

Part of what makes baseball fun and entertaining is the music, radio and/or television excerpts and a plethora (plethora?) of sound effects interspersed throughout the game. One of the sounds was a doorbell. Ding Dong. Guess what happened each time that was heard? About two hundred or so dogs started barking, right on cue.

And as good friend of The New Barker, Cory Cooper says, “You can never predict what your dog or your spouse will do in public,” comes Toby, a three year-old Yellow Lab. Toby snuck away from his owner, ran down the stadium steps and jumped over the dugout onto the field during a play. We caught the “play-by-play” on camera, then ran across the stadium afterwards to interview Toby’s owner, who said, “He loves to play catch and just went after a ball in play. When I realized he was gone and saw where he was heading, I thought for sure he’d stop at the fence.” Catch the photos on The New Barker Facebook page.

At the end of the game, everyone and their dogs were invited onto the field to run the bases. What a great sight. Kids, adults and dogs – smiling and laughing as they rounded the bases. The Humane Society of Pinellas will have more Bark at the Ballparks and The New Barker highly recommends this dog-friendly outing. For a complete list of Bark at the Ballpark events throughout Florida, visit the Social Calendar link on http://www.thenewbarker.com

Woof, woof, woof for the home team.

Clearwater Threshers vs. Daytona Cubs today @ Bright House Field, Clwtr. Bark @ the Ballpark. Gates open @ noon; game starts @1. Benefits Humane Society of Pinellas. Sunny day, baseball and a dog by your side. Then, run the bases with your dog @ the end of the game. Woofalicious fun.

AMERICA’S TOP DOG MODEL CONTEST-TOMORROW!

THE NEW BARKER Come on out to Hyde Park tomorrow morning. Register in front of Downtown Dogs to be part of the casting call for America’s next Top Dog Model. Producers are looking for dogs of all shapes and sizes. It’s free, fun and your dog doesn’t need a costume/get-up to be part of the casting call. Gifts, vendors, radio remote and more.

Recycling Homeless Dogs.

Conspicuous consumption. Instant gratification. Easily disposable.
Society’s habits have caused an over-abundance of homeless dogs in shelters, rescue groups and foster homes. Today is the 40th Anniversary of Earth Day, and leading up to this day we’ve been provided with what seems like an over-abundance of media tips on how to be more green – by recycling, re-purposing or re-focusing our lifestyles.

Well, if you can stand one more, here’s another tip from The New Barker: if you’re thinking about bringing a puppy into your home, consider this: adopt a recycled dog.

What is a recycled dog? Dogs, who for one reason or another, had previous lives with a human being or family. Through no fault of their own, they now find themselves homeless, in a shelter – hopeful the one they love will return. For those of you reading this, you already know what will happen to these creatures if homes cannot be found for them. In fact, you may have already rescued a shelter dog by adopting one. Can you find room in your home for one more?

The Florida State Fairgrounds will be the site of the Tampa Pet Adoption Expo this Saturday, April 24 between 10a and 4p (www.tampapets.org/expo.php). You will be able to see hundreds of puppies and dogs of all breeds and sizes available for adoption. There will be the Heinz 57 breed and senior dogs available as well. These dogs have been vet checked; they will be current on their vaccinations; they will have already been personality tested.

The work that the shelters and rescue groups do up to the point of adoption means that the dogs can be better matched with their new families. You’ll be apprised of the dog’s personality traits, the needs and care required. You will probably know more about what to expect from your newly recycled dog than the pure-bred puppy you might be considering buying from the puppy store.

Tampa Pets is a partnership between the ASPCA, Humane Society of Tampa Bay, Hillsborough County Animal Services and more than 50 rescue groups. Formed three years ago, the partnership had a goal to reduce Hillsborough County’s euthanasia rate by 50% by the end of 2012. Their efforts have been so effective that they are on target to meet that goal by the end of 2010.

So this weekend in honor of Earth Day, you can help save Mother Earth, one homeless dog at a time. Adopt a recycled dog.