Archive for December, 2009

Buddha Bark Celebrity and Canine Style Lounge Debuts During the 67th Annual Golden Globe Awards

Wednesday, December 30th, 2009

Hosted by Actress Camille Guaty, Buddha Bark Founder Madison Svensson, and Stylist to the Stars Chaz Dean

LOS ANGELES, CA – Buddha Bark is the premiere wellness, pampering and gifting lounge for celebrities, media, tastemakers and their dogs to primp and prepare pre-awards shows, debuting in January 2010 during the 67th annual Golden Globe Awards. Created by canine wellness expert, Madison Svensson, her Buddha Bark event series is the first to bring together top experts and brands from both the celebrity lifestyle world and the canine wellness community. Intended to be fun and relaxing for guests, each event will benefit and draw attention to serious animal rights causes. Buddha Bark is about extending the circle of compassion by educating and promoting a lifestyle of harmony and wellness between humans and their canine companions.

Showcasing cutting-edge organic treatments, services and products for people and their pets, Buddha Bark will take place on Friday, January 15th and Saturday, January 16, 2009 from 11:00am – 5:00pm. A limited amount of tickets will be sold to the public for access on the second day. Find refuge in an exclusive Zen-inspired garden oasis located in the heart of the awards show action zone complete with bungalows, a dog park, salon, art gallery, fashion runway, performance art, walking gardens and more. For additional information, please visit

Hosted by Buddha Bark founder Madison Svensson, hair stylist to the stars Chaz Dean, and actress Camille Guaty, this pre-Golden Globes weekend retreat will take place at the gorgeous, canine friendly Chaz Dean Studio located at 6444 Fountain Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90028. The January event will feature a canine couture fashion show, pet psychics, art exhibit, silent auction, doggie talent showcase, hair salon appointments, canine mini-massages, mobile groomers, dancing with dogs, agility demos, Frisbee dogs pet tricks, and the Buddha “Barkie” Awards Ceremony. Refreshments provided by Vitamin Water, Honest Tea, Coca Cola, Synergy Kombucha, and Hansen’s. The event will also feature celebrity dog lovers Jason Biggs, Daisy Fuentes, David Faustino, Corin Nemec, Rex Lee, Elaine Hendrix, and more.

Buddha Bark’s debut event will benefit Best Friends Animal Society and its campaign, “Puppies Aren’t Products,” which advocates supporting adoption and shelters rather than dishonest and inhumane pet retailers and breeders involved with puppy mills. Learn more here:

Celebrity and canine wellness experts will host a series of activities throughout both event days from 11:00am – 5:00pm. Dogs are welcome both days as are celebrities and VIP members of the media. The public is welcome to participate and bring their canine companions on the second day – Saturday, January 16th. Only socially well-adjusted, friendly dogs with shots and papers will be able to attend. Limited tickets priced at $100 are available if purchased by January 1st or $150 afterwards. Tickets include healthy food, beverage, lounge, entertainment, gift bags, fashion show and Barkie awards show attendance, entrance to wellness showcase and gardens, appointments based on availability with pet psychics, dog groomers, canine and people massage, mini facials, cleansing, and blowouts by Chaz Dean Studio. Gift bags to include Wen hair products, Buddha Balm, Yoga Fit, Daisy Fuentes Pilates DVD, Gamila, cookbooks, and more. Proceeds from ticket sales will benefit The Best Friends Animal Society.

Planned activities, events and entertainment during Buddha Bark’s pre-Golden Globes pampering weekend:

Fashion Show presented by D.O.G. Pet Boutique –
A celebrity hosted doggie couture Spring 2010 fashion show featuring fun, themed outfits from the best dog fashion designers in the world. The show will run on both Friday and Saturday afternoon and will be presented by the world’s hottest pet boutique – D.O.G. (

Buddha “Barkie” Awards Show –
A celebrity-hosted awards show honoring inspirational dogs and amazing people who are making a difference in animal rights and quality of life. Categories include Most Inspiring Dog, Most Philanthropic Dog, Best Dog/ Human Team, Best Therapy Dog, Best Canine Charity, Best Brand Campaign. Nominees and winners will be announced January 2nd.

Art Gallery and Silent Auction to benefit Best Friends Animal Society –
The art gallery will showcase artistic expressions depicting man’s relationship with the canine world through photography, sculpture, painting, drawing, and mixed media. Both humorous and dramatic pieces regarding a dog’s perspective on life will be included. Featured artists to include Nancy Levine (, Andy Stolarek, Sam Price (, Shaun Alexander, Brian Nice, and Grace Chon. Auction items include a limited edition Chién Vivant Couture “Napolione” doggie bed (retail value $1,700), clothes by visionary couture and eco-designer Linda Loudermilk (, artwork, jewelry, spa services, and much more. Proceeds from Best Friends Animal Society Silent Auction will benefit its “Puppies Aren’t Products” campaign.

ArcheDream For HUMANKIND – living sculpture –
The ArcheDream For HUMANKIND dancers, will add to the magic of this weekend oasis with their international blacklight mask theater company that communicates universal ideas and emotions to promote understanding and compassion –

Chaz Dean Salon –
Stylists from the studio will be pampering celebrities and media with salon appointments for blowouts, cleansing and styling.

Canine Wellness Services –
Pet Psychics, Canine mini-massages, and Canine Mobile Groomers will be available for canine appointments.

Entertainment –
Dancing with Dogs, Agility Demonstrations, Frisbee Dogs, Pet Tricks, DJs, and more

About the Hosts:
Madison Svensson is the founder and spokesperson of the Buddha Bark canine lounge event series. She is a canine wellness trainer and consultant. She is certified in Canine Massage, a member of IAAMB (International Association of Animal Massage and Bodywork), a member of The Animal Wellness Association, and the producer of DJ Doggie canine bioacoustic music therapy CDs.

Celebrity hair stylist Chaz Dean single-handedly transformed the beauty industry with the wildly successful WEN Hair & Body Care line. The all-natural line has replaced the harmful detergents and sulfates in soap and shampoo with nourishing botanical ingredients that work wonders on even the most dry, damaged and frizzy hair. When Dean is not focusing on developing new groundbreaking products and his personal clients, you’ll find him hiking with his dogs, who even have their own playground at the studio.

American actress Camille Guaty’s first big break came when she was a finalist on the WB’s reality show “Popstars,” which led to her film debut in the movie Chaos Theory and her television introduction as Maria, the maid in the sitcom “The Help.” Guaty has had major roles in the television shows “Raising Dad,” “Prison Break,” “Las Vegas” and in the Disney Channel original movie Gotta Kick It Up. She is currently starring on the hit ABC show “The Nine.” Of Buddha Bark founder Svensson, Guaty shares, “I am so supportive of Madison and everything she is doing for our furry four-legged friends. My two dogs were at a kill shelter and they’re the best decisions I have ever made. I support “Don’t shop, Adopt” and you should too! Let’s help give these amazing animals good homes.”

About the Event Venue:
Located in the heart of Hollywood, this private complex is a Zen-like refuge tucked away in a charming bungalow surrounded by bamboo and filled with the scent of eucalyptus and lavender. Chaz Dean chose to have no signage at his studio. Instead you’ll find ivy-covered walls, lush foliage, trickling fountains, calming sitting areas and hanging lanterns. The living room and parlor of this 1921 Craftsman home are filled with overstuffed velvet furniture in jewel tones and exquisite hand wrought iron surrounds the hanging mirrors at the stylist’s stations. The salon’s services include hair color and cuts, conditioning treatments and makeup application and lessons. Learn more at

About Best Friends Animal Society:
Best Friends Animal Society is a nonprofit, membership organization building no-kill programs and partnerships that will bring about a day when there are 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 members and community partners across the nation. In 2009, Best Friends celebrates its 25th anniversary. More information at

About the Golden Globes:
This year, the Hollywood Foreign Press Association’s (HFPA) 67th annual Golden Globe Awards® will be seen in more than 160 countries worldwide with an estimated 14.5 million viewers and attendance by all major film and TV stars. HFPA members represent some 55 countries with a combined readership of more than 250 million. The Golden Globes is one of the few awards ceremonies that span both television and motion picture achievements. Today, the Golden Globes recognize achievements in 25 categories – 14 in motion pictures and 11 in television. Dick Clark Productions has produced the Golden Globes ceremony since 1983. All nominees will be invited such as Emily Blunt, Sandra Bullock, Helen Mirren, Carey Mulligan, Gabourey Sadibe, Jeff Bridges, George Clooney, Colin Firth, Morgan Freeman, Tobey Maguire, Marion Cotillard, Meryl Streep, Julia Roberts, Matt Damon, Daniel Day Lewis, Robert Downey Jr., Joseph Gordon Levitt, and Michael Stuhlbarg. For more information please visit

Pet Airways: A New Option for Pet Airline Travel

Thursday, December 3rd, 2009

You pull up to Midway Airport in Chicago and park at the terminal area. Then the driver, who is dropping off a passenger two hours before a flight, helps the passenger to the check-in lounge. At the check-in counter the driver says goodbye to the passenger as the passenger heads to their flight where they will board the airplane cabin. Scenes like this are repeated countless times every day across America.

Only in this case, the passenger is actually a “pawsenger”, a dog or cat, and the airline is the new Pet Airways which began flying in July 2009. Pet Airways is an airline for pets only, with the exception of their human flight attendants. The initial cities served are New York, Baltimore/Washington, Chicago, Denver and Los Angeles. Fort Lauderdale was added in October.

If you take a dog or a cat on a regular airline, if your pet is small enough (usually about 10 pounds or less) then they may be permitted in a carrier but must remain under your seat. For the vast majority of dogs who are too big to fit under a seat being checked as cargo in the cargo hold has been the only option. There are many reasons that pet owners are unwilling to send their dogs in the cargo hold and we at do not recommend sending pets in the cargo hold unless there are no other options. Pet Airways is another option and should be considered by dog owners as an alternative when best friend needs to fly.

Pet Airways Flight Selection Form

Pet Airways Flight Selection Form

Say you need to go from Los Angeles to Chicago with your dog for the holidays and want your dog to be safely transported in the cabin of an airplane. You can visit Pet Airways website at and you will recognize an online booking system very similar to those found on other airline websites. You enter the cities and the depart and return dates with the help of their automatic calendar letting you know what days are available. We selected December 17, with a return on December 30, 2009. The form will give you the pricing which depends on the size of the pet, the date traveling and other factors. In our example the pricing was $449 each way for a 60 pound dog. You may also upgrade to a larger size kennel when booking. The airline often seems to be booked solid a few weeks out so it is advisable to try to book early. Before your flight make sure that your pet is up to date on the following vaccines which are required: For dogs (Rabies, DHLPP, Bordetella, and a Negative Fecal examine) For cats (FVRCPP). You would also want to book your own flights to coincide with your dog’s flight so that you can meet them at Chicago. Pet Airways website has a link to allow you to book your human air travel on other airlines. If you are taking this route then you should drop your pet off two hours or more before their flight. In Los Angeles the Pet Airways lounge is at Hawthorne Airport which is about 1 mile south of Los Angeles International (LAX). You can then proceed to LAX or any other airport for your own flight to Chicago. You can then meet your pet at Chicago’s Midway airport about 12 hours later. During the flight you can track your pet’s travel on the Pet Airways website. The return flight is the same in the other direction.

So how does your pet fly on Pet Airways? Each airport lounge has a potty area and the attendants will see that each dog has a chance to go. The dogs are led to the plane by leash and placed in the appropriate kennel on the plane. The plane is a Beachcraft 1900 which normally seats 19 people but has been configured to hold up to 50 pets. One flight attendant accompanies the pets and are constantly checking on them. The attendants are Certified Vet Technicians so they can recognize medical or other issues. They can handle medication needs as well. According to Alysa Binder, a co-founder of Pet Airways and the Executive Vice President, many pets will sleep on the plane. Some will be more anxious or will bark. During stopovers (such as in Denver on the way from Los Angeles to Chicago) the dogs will generally be left on the airplane unless the attendant thinks that they may need to go out for a walk. The stopover in Denver is usually quite short. If your pet is flying from LA or Denver to NY, Washington or Florida an overnight stay in Chicago may be required. Dogs will be in kennels in the overnight lounge. There are always attendants with the dogs at the overnight lounge in Chicago.

The Cabin of Pet Airways Beachcraft 1900

The Cabin of Pet Airways Beachcraft 1900

Pet Airways has flown over 1000 pets on it’s initial flights. They have added Fort Lauderdale to the cities that they serve. The objective, according to Binder, is to serve 25 cities in about 2 years in the U.S. and Canada. There are no current plans for overseas or Hawaii flights. Flights are currently weekly but may ramp up to more frequent schedules as the traffic grows.

Ideally, we would all, of course, like to fly with our pets seated next to us. Currently, however, options of that sort are very expensive, running in the many thousands of dollars for longer chartered flights. For many of us, cargo holds are not an option. Pet Airways seems to be a very safe alternative for many pets. It can be used for people moving to new houses or for vacation or other travel that lasts more than one week. As time goes on, hopefully there will be more and more city options and flights that don’t require overnight stays on the coast to coast routes. This is a new idea but it seems to have been very well thought out by the company. More information is available at the Pet Airways website.

* may receive commissions from this company.

Books: NUBS – The True Story of a Mutt, a Marine & a Miracle

Thursday, December 3rd, 2009

In October 2007, while serving a second tour of duty training Iraqi forces along the Syrian border of Iraq, Marine Major Brian Dennis befriended one of the many wild dogs that roam the border forts. A German Shepherd-Border Collie, the mutt’s ears had been cut off to make him a dog of war. Dennis aptly named him Nubs. Over time, Dennis and Nubs formed an incredible bond strengthened by Dennis’s willingness to share his meals, offer a warm place to sleep, and give Nubs the kind of care and attention he had never before received. When the time ultimately came for Dennis’s unit to relocate from the Syrian border fort, Nubs was not willing to be left behind. Miraculously trekking 70 miles alone through below-freezing desert temperatures and treacherous territories fiercely protected by wolves and wild dogs, Nubs ended up at the gate of Dennis’s battalion headquarters. Unfortunately, Nubs had no way of knowing that Marines were not allowed to have pets.

Thus began Nubs’s amazing journey from feral dog of war to faithful companion, as documented in NUBS: THE TRUE STORY OF A MUTT, A MARINE & A MIRACLE (Little, Brown Books for Young Readers; Ages 3 and up; $17.99), written by Major Brian Dennis, Mary Nethery & Kirby Larson. Informed that pets could not be kept in a war zone, and given only four days to “get rid of the dog, or else,” Dennis launched the Save Nubs Fund to evacuate Nubs to the United States. With an outpouring of help from family and friends, Dennis raised enough money to transport Nubs back to his hometown of San Diego, where the dog now has a permanent home – with Dennis.

Told primarily through real photographs from Major Dennis’s own camera, with snippets of his e-mails to friends and family about his new-found friend interspersed, NUBS will remind readers that friendship has the power to cross deserts, continents, and even species.