West Seattle weekend scene: St. John’s ‘Blessing of the Animals’

October 4, 2015 at 11:56 pm | In Pets, West Seattle news, West Seattle religion | 1 Comment

(WSB photos by Katie Meyer)
Every year, St. John the Baptist Episcopal Church in Admiral invites pets and their people to an open, public “Blessing of the Animals” event, a tradition for many churches in honor of St. Francis of Assisi, and today was the day. St. John’s new priest-in-charge Rev. Michael Carroccino and Brother Paul Dahlke from the Order of Saint Francis were in the neighboring West Seattle High School parking lot for all who showed up.

Most of the pets brought for blessings were dogs … but we also spotted Olive the cat:

As explained on the event flyer, “Today we thank God for the gifts of companionship and beauty which animals and pets bring to our lives and homes, and ask God’s blessing on them.”

Blessings are usually offered this time each fall as it coincides with the feast day of St. Francis of Assisi, patron saint of animals:

At least two other West Seattle congregations offered Blessing of the Animals events today; another is still ahead, next Sunday (October 11th) at 10:30 am at Westside Unitarian Universalist Congregation in Gatewood (thanks to Sue for the tip).

SUNDAY: Two ‘Blessing of the Animals’ events open to all

October 2, 2015 at 4:00 pm | In Pets, West Seattle news, West Seattle religion | 2 Comments

The first Sunday of October usually brings “Blessing of the Animals” events in honor of St. Francis of Assisi‘s feast day. We’ve received word of two:

ST. JOHN THE BAPTIST EPISCOPAL CHURCH: Local Franciscans are usually part of this one:

The church shares the photo and reminder (if you haven’t already seen it in our calendar):

All Things Bright and Beautiful

All are invited to bring your pet or pets for St. John the Baptist Episcopal Church’s annual community-wide St. Francis’ Day Blessing of the Animals, this Sunday, October 4, at 1:00 p.m. on the West Seattle High School parking lot.

That’s at 3000 California SW (just north of the church).

PROVIDENCE MOUNT ST. VINCENT: At the same time – 1 pm Sunday – The Mount and its Spiritual Care Department is sponsoring a blessing in honor of St. Francis, at Pigott Chapel, on the building’s third floor. “All pets are welcome. People may bring photos of their pets, too.” The Mount is at 4831 35th SW.

HAPPENING NOW: What you’ll find in The Junction

September 27, 2015 at 12:17 pm | In Pets, West Seattle businesses, West Seattle news | 4 Comments

Big Sunday in The Junction. Seen while wandering through …

If you love chocolate, go see Andrea from Dolcetta Artisan Sweets, making a guest appearance at VAIN (WSB sponsor) until 3 pm as “Seattle Made Week” wraps up. VAIN is at 4513 California SW, on the west side of the street if you’re wandering the West Seattle Farmers’ Market, where you’ll find these gentle visitors today:

The “retired” greyhounds and their friends also are on the west side of the street. The market’s on until 2, as always, on California SW between SW Alaska and SW Oregon.

Room in your home/heart for a new friend? ‘Remember Me’ vigil illuminated pets’ need for homes

September 25, 2015 at 11:06 pm | In Pets, West Seattle news | 1 Comment

Right now, millions of domestic animals are without homes. Many will lose their lives without ever finding one. Last night, local animal advocates and companions gathered for a candlelight event in the Hotwire Online Coffeehouse (WSB sponsor) courtyard, in observance of “Remember Me Thursday,” meant to call attention to what you can do to help change that.

Above, that’s Teri Ensley of West Seattle-based Furry Faces Foundation, which organized the gathering; other participants included animal advocates from Animal Aid and Rescue Foundation and Kitty Harbor. Teri read a poem; another inspirational reading was the proclamation by King County Executive Dow Constantine, in which he urged everyone to adopt a cat or dog:

Adopting a pet is not the only way you can help reduce the number of pets who have no home. Spaying/neutering yours is another vital step. So is making sure your pet has ID – a chip, a collar, a license – so that if it ever gets lost, it won’t be in danger of never coming home.

This was the third year for “Remember Me Thursday” – here’s how it got started.

West Seattle scene: 1st ‘Dog Days’ swim at Arbor Heights STC

September 22, 2015 at 7:34 pm | In Arbor Heights, Pets, West Seattle news | 3 Comments

(WSB photos by Patrick Sand)

Didn’t take your dog to the Arbor Heights Swim and Tennis Club tonight for the first of five “Dog Days of Summer“? Your next chance is 5-7 pm tomorrow. It was sunny but a little brisk, yet the dogs just couldn’t wait to get into the pool

This is an annual fundraiser tradition to help support the AHSTC swim teams – the dogs are allowed in after the human swimming season ends, before the pool is drained and cleaned to await next year.

This continues 5-7 pm the next three days, and 11 am to 1 pm this Saturday – details in our preview.

The pool is at 11003 31st SW.

Arbor Heights Swim and Tennis Club again offering end-of-summer ‘Dog Days’

September 12, 2015 at 10:17 am | In Arbor Heights, Pets, West Seattle news | 4 Comments

It’s become a tradition at the Arbor Heights Swim and Tennis Club pool – just before it’s drained and cleaned after the season ends, it’s opened to local dogs for a fun(draiser). More than a few people have messaged us in recent weeks to ask if it’s happening again this year, and finally we can say “yes,” after receiving the photo and announcement from Cori Roed:

It’s that time again, The Dog Days of Summer at the Arbor Heights Swim & Tennis Club. Tuesday 9/22 – Saturday 9/26.

Weekdays 5-7 pm
Saturday 11 am-1 pm

Donation to AH Teams via cash or check to AHSTC
Suggested: $10/dog or $25 for a pass for the week.

Your donations allow us to purchase equipment and keep our team fees low. Thank you!

11003 31st Ave SW – Please drive slowly on 31st, no matter HOW excited your passenger is. See you on deck!

No, you don’t have to be a member. And no, you can’t go in too – dogs only.

FOLLOWUP: Generous West Seattleites help kindhearted local students assist animal advocates

August 25, 2015 at 10:32 pm | In Pets, West Seattle news, West Seattle people | 3 Comments

For the third year in a row, generous West Seattleites helped those two local students do a good deed for animals via their annual Seattle Humane-benefiting bake sale and donation drive. We photographed Muriel and Gwen on Sunday; David and Carey sent the followup tonight:

The girls raised over $300 and got nearly a full barrel of dog and cat food! West Seattle is awesome :)

TOMORROW: Buy a treat, help Gwen and Muriel help animals!

August 22, 2015 at 9:20 pm | In How to help, Pets, West Seattle news | 1 Comment

Goodies for a good cause, tomorrow – the photo and preview are from Carey:

Gwen and Muriel, Madison 6th graders, are putting their love for animals to work again through their third annual Humane Society bake sale! Delicious cupcakes, cookies, brownies, and more! They’ll be back at the corner of 36th and Dakota this Sunday, August 23rd, from 10 am-3 pm. The girls are also sponsoring a barrel from the Humane Society to collect cat or dog food (wet or dry), animal toys, or new scratching posts. Cash and check donations are very welcome; all proceeds go to Seattle Humane Society.

Here’s a map.

Potential cover dog in the house? CityDog Cover Model Search at West Seattle Thriftway this Sunday

August 19, 2015 at 9:49 pm | In Fun stuff to do, Pets, West Seattle news | Comments Off

It’s a tail-wagging prospect: Your dog, on the cover of CityDog Magazine (founded and edited by West Seattleite Brandie Ahlgren)! First step is this Sunday, when the annual CityDog Cover Dog Model Search returns to West Seattle Thriftway (WSB sponsor). From CityDog:

ALL dogs are welcome to enter for the chance to be on the cover of CityDog, and because all dogs are super models, each and every canine contestant will get their photo in the magazine! $10 per dog to benefit the Doney Memorial Animal Clinic.

Simply swing by West Seattle Thriftway between noon and 2 p.m. on Sunday, August 23, and CityDog Magazine will snap a photo of your pooch for the chance to be on the cover!

CityDog is 10 years old this year, by the way (human years, anyway).

More official off-leash space for West Seattle dogs? Survey time

July 27, 2015 at 9:24 pm | In Pets, West Seattle news | 35 Comments

This is already under discussion in the WSB Forums, but in case you haven’t heard about it yet: The city is running a survey for dog owners that could lead to more official off-leash space.

West Seattle, for example, has one off-leash area, at Westcrest Park in Highland Park, and there’s a growing clamor citywide for more such areas within walking distance of more neighbors. Take the survey here and have an early say as the city works “to develop a Strategic Plan which will help set a policy for future dog parks as our city grows – and the number of dog owners grows with it,” according to the group Citizens for Off-Leash Areas, which says, “Seattle has opened a mere 2.3 acres of off-leash areas in the last 14 years, while the number of dog parks in America’s largest cities went up 20 percent in the last five years, according to an April report from the Trust for Public Land.” Find out more about the off-leash-area Strategic Plan via the city website.

Saving pets’ lives: Miniature masks donated to Seattle Fire Department

July 14, 2015 at 2:07 pm | In Pets, West Seattle fires, West Seattle news | 9 Comments

(Firefighter Jeff Blevins with rescued cat; 2012 photo by WSB’s Patrick Sand)
You might remember that scene from a fire near The Junction in 2012; the Seattle Fire Department has to revive/treat pets more often than you think, and that’s why a donation today is so welcome. Here’s the SFD news release:

Today, Seattle Fire Department Chief Harold Scoggins received 20 donated pet oxygen masks from the Invisible Fence Brand of Seattle. The masks will be used to resuscitate animals overcome by smoke inhalation at fire scenes.

“I am very thankful for Invisible Fence’s generous donation,” said Seattle Fire Chief Harold Scoggins. “These masks are another tool in our tool belt that firefighters can use to save pets overcome by carbon monoxide.”

In 2006, the Seattle Fire Department began carrying pet oxygen masks on Battalion Chief vehicles. The masks are used on animals overcome by smoke at building fires and other types of emergencies. Each mask contains a small, medium and large face piece. The cone-shaped design allows a snout to fit inside while a rubber gasket on the large end allows a seal to be maintained. They can be used on small animals like mice and guinea pigs too.

“When a family suffers the tragedy of fire, lives are turned upside down,” said Ed Hoyt, Director of Invisible Fence Brand.” Pets are valued family members, so we want families to know that their pet can be cared for if tragedy strikes.”

While the priority for firefighters is saving lives and property, the first responders are able to rescue and resuscitate trapped or injured pets.

Since the pet oxygen program began, the masks have been used at more than a half dozen fire scenes to successfully resuscitate pets.

On March 26, 2014, firefighters and paramedics revived two cats trapped in a burning home in the 3200 block of South Hudson Street in the Rainier Valley.

On March 22, 2013, Firefighter Blake Bidleman and other fire crews revived two cats after they were rescued from a burning North Seattle condo building located in the 11500 block of 15th Avenue NE.

On January 9, 2012, Firefighter Jeff Blevins revived a cat found inside a burning West Seattle home in the 3800 block of 46th Avenue Southwest.

There are steps that people can take to protect their pets during a fire or medical emergency. We have a fact sheet on our website.

West Seattle 4th of July 2015: Fireworks plea; pet protection

July 3, 2015 at 3:34 pm | In Pets, Safety, West Seattle news, West Seattle parks | 8 Comments

Two more 4th of July notes:

FIREWORKS PLEA: The photo is from Shelly, who found fireworks debris while running through Lincoln Park the morning after the 4th last year. She warns, “The park is extremely dry now and it wouldn’t take much to set the whole park on fire.” She is hopeful people will heed that and obey the fireworks laws this year – the park is far from the only place that’s full of dry grass, brush, shrubs, and trees. And just as we were writing this – the National Weather Service has just extended the “heat advisory” AGAIN, continuing through Sunday night.

Speaking of fireworks laws, we already published the official reminder from Seattle Police a week and a half ago, but are sharing it here one more time, as conveyed by Community Police Team Officer Jon Flores:

The Seattle Police Department and Seattle Fire Department would like to remind the public that fireworks are illegal in the City of Seattle. The possession, manufacture, storage, sale, handling and use of fireworks are prohibited. Fireworks offenses are gross misdemeanors punishable by up to one year in jail and/or a $5,000 fine.

Fireworks pose a fire hazard to property and present a safety risk to those who use them. Every year the Seattle Fire Department responds to fireworks-related fires and injuries. The holiday-related fires and injuries are preventable.

On the 4th of July, 911 centers become overloaded with non-emergency fireworks calls. DO NOT call 911 unless you have a life-threatening emergency and need immediate help from police, fire or medics. Unnecessary 911 calls block people with real emergencies from reaching 911 and getting help.

Any fireworks-related fires or injuries should be reported directly to 911. Other fireworks violations may be reported by calling the Seattle Police non-emergency number at 206-625-5011.

Listening to the scanner the past few nights, fireworks calls *are* broadcast, so those lighting fireworks shouldn’t assume they’ll never get caught.

PROTECTING PETS: Another side effect of fireworks – they tend to scare pets, which means that invariably, we get many more lost-and-found pet reports to publish on the WSB West Seattle Lost/Found Pets page. We hope you won’t need to use it, but if you do lose or find a pet, please e-mail a description, phone number, and photo if available (if not, just be sure the description is detailed) to editor@westseattleblog.com. The Seattle Animal Shelter, meantime, has published information on how best to protect your pets at this time of year.

July 18th celebration planned at Westcrest Park Off-Leash Area

June 18, 2015 at 8:25 pm | In Pets, West Seattle news | Comments Off

Share your life with one or more dogs? You might want to put this first-of-its-kind celebration on your calendar. We received the announcement this afternoon:

Join the Westcrest Off-Leash Area community as we celebrate our favorite (and only) West Seattle Dog Park!

Saturday July 18th, 10 am – 2 pm, Westcrest Off-Leash Area, 9000 8th Ave SW

Free gift bags for the first 250 attendees
$10 off pet licensing for 15 dogs – first come, first served

Each visitor will receive a free raffle ticket for a chance to win:
A dog-friendly vacation to the coast
An Invisible Fence
Dog food for a year
A pet adoption from Seattle Animal Shelter plus a pet store gift card
Professional pet photography session
Veterinarian care
…and more!

Free family-friendly events include:
A frisbee competition starting at 11 am
Costume contest starting at 12 pm
A talent show at 1 pm
Private photo sessions on site throughout the day!

Morgan Junction Community Festival: Dog parade, contests back!

June 4, 2015 at 2:43 pm | In Pets, West Seattle festivals, West Seattle news | Comments Off

(Photo courtesy MoCA, from last year’s Bark of Morgan)
If you weren’t already planning to come to the 10th annual Morgan Junction Community Festival at and around Morgan Junction Park on Saturday, June 20th – here’s some motivation: You have multiple chances to show off your dog(s)! The official announcement:

The Morgan Community Association (MoCA) is pleased to announce the return of the “Bark of Morgan” Dog Show at the June 20, 2015 Morgan Junction Community Festival. This is the 10th year of the popular Community Festival held at the intersection of California Ave SW and Fauntleroy Way SW in West Seattle.

The “Bark of Morgan” starts with the Parade of Pooches through the Festival Grounds. Costumes are encouraged. Canine contests are held after the Parade. There are six categories this year, with judging by audience applause. Here are the details:

1:30 pm – Pooch Parade: Leashed dogs and their human should line up by 1:30 pm north of Morgan Junction Park in SW Eddy Street. The parade will go through the Festival Grounds back to Eddy Street.

1:45 pm – Canine Contests: In SW Eddy Street after the Parade. Categories are:

* Cutest Puppy (under one year)
* Loudest Bark
* Smallest Dog
* Best Trick
* Best Costume
* Best Owner/Dog Look Alike

Contest winners are based on the ‘audience applause meter’ as monitored by the MC.

The “Bark of Morgan” will occur rain or shine!

WSB is a festival co-sponsor. See you there on June 20th, two weeks from Saturday!

Pet owners, take note: Seattle Animal Shelter back to full patrol strength in local parks

May 6, 2015 at 5:29 pm | In Pets, West Seattle news, West Seattle parks | 61 Comments

Pet owners thinking about flouting the laws in city parks might want to think twice. Seattle Animal Shelter says it’s back up to full staff and so, as director Don Jordan puts it, “folks not only in Lincoln Park but around the city will see a more-concerted effort back in the parks again to (encourage) off-leash compliance and compliance with our licensing law.”

We contacted Jordan because of Jeannie‘s post in the WSB Forums, saying she’d heard from an officer who said Lincoln Park is now being patrolled. Concerns about off-leash dogs have been a frequent topic in the forums; we also published a report in March after hearing from a student researcher who’s been studying how off-leash, off-trail dogs have affected park restoration efforts.

Jordan says what’s happened is, “We’re finally back up to full staff” – 13 officers, after two years in which various staffing challenges dropped levels to barely half that, as low as seven officers. (If you’re cited for a violation, here’s the list of fees.)

Even more than off-leash violators, though, he wanted to talk about the importance of licensing. “It’s the right thing to do,” he said, pointing out, repeatedly, that licensing revenue supports SAS, and that it has other benefits. It’s estimated, Jordan said, that only about 30 percent of dogs and 15 percent of cats are licensed here (he cited a formula by the American Veterinary Medicine Association for that), “so we know there’s a great opportunity out there for pet owners to help us out.”

For one – if your pet is lost (a circumstance that touches our work via the WSB Lost/Found Pets page), a license provides a way for you to be found, once they’re found, without putting all your personal contact info on their tags.

Jordan says licenseholders also can contact SAS when they’re going on vacation, for example, to provide information on who’s watching your pet, in case it gets loose. Find out more about pet licensing here – and keep in mind there’s a $125 fine if you’re caught without it.

Back to the staffing; Jordan says SAS has “been able to recruit some really stellar staff members with a tremendous variety of backgrounds … vet technicians to wildlife experts to folks who have worked in large animal veterinary practices, a wide array of officers. Best crew I’ve had in the past 25 years I’ve been here.”

We asked if they’re working beats – is someone permanently assigned to Lincoln Park, for example? He would only say that they schedule in advance, and might have to “modify” when something comes up at the last minute – someone out sick, testifying in court, etc. They’re trying “to spread our efforts out, (especially) among the larger, heavily-used parks. Folks should know we’re here to help – call us if you have problems in the neighborhood. We’ll be deployed as much as we can with the leash law and licensing law this summer,” among other things. The SAS animal-control hotline is 206-386-7387 (that’s 386-PETS).

Image by Wonderlane, published to Flickr, licensed for use via Creative Commons)

You can help! ‘Catsino’ benefits animal-advocacy groups Sunday

April 6, 2015 at 8:36 pm | In How to help, Pets, West Seattle news | 1 Comment

Next Sunday (April 12th) afternoon, 2-6 pm, you can help out local animal-advocacy groups via the annual “Catsino” silent auction (and more) at Beveridge Place Pub:

What do Pig Craps, BlackCat 21, Hotwire Snip ‘em, and Studless Draw all have in common? They are the entertainment portion of our annual Catsino Silent Auction! Come on out to meet four local rescue groups and bid on unusual, unique silent auction items! All proceeds benefit Furry Faces Foundation, A.A.R.F., Community Cat Coalition, and Regional Animal Services of King County.

You’ll also get to visit and play games with our local business friends! Check out our Facebook page each day to see who is playing and what silent action items have been added.

Pre-Sale Ticket Outlets – Save $5 By Purchasing Your Ticket Early!

Beveridge Place Pub: 6413 California Ave SW, 932-9906 (Morgan Junction)
Hotwire Coffeehouse: 4410 California Ave SW, 935-1510 (Alaska Junction)
Pet Elements: 6511 California Ave SW, 206-932-0457 (Morgan Junction)
The Beer Junction: 4511 California Ave SW, (206) 938-2337 (Alaska Junction)

The fine print: Catsino’s entertainment is recreational only; Catsino Bucks have no monetary value, and all prizes are non-monetary; BP Pub is 21+.

If you take your dog to Lincoln Park, the trail’s the place to be. Student volunteer/researcher explains why.

March 16, 2015 at 11:56 pm | In Environment, Pets, West Seattle news | 77 Comments

While helping Friends of Lincoln Park restore the forest, a University of Washington environmental-studies senior has also been studying one of the park’s thorniest issues: Off-leash dogs. Sam Timpe has been working with the local volunteers 15 hours a week since January, planting natives and pulling invasives.

Spending all that time in the park, he’s been able to observe dog owners and their pets, and while most follow the rules, he says the ones who don’t are responsible for more damage than you might think. He’s hoping for an “attitude shift” in the park, and hoping that people feel empowered to talk to those not following the rules, to say “please don’t do it,” to have a sense of community.

Restoration work is something you often won’t detect just with a casual glance. It’s a cleared spot, a small plant. “With all the people doing restoration work there,” Sam said, “to have a dog run through it and tear it, is kind of disheartening.”

Any individual dog, of course, wouldn’t do that much damage, he explains, but if he sees one every hour, ten times a day, 50 times a week, the cumulative effects add up.

From Sam’s research:

I did a study within Lincoln Park to get some baseline data on leash and trail compliance. I chose three different locations within the park (south open area near bluff trail, north open area west of soccer field, and the north parking lot) and at each location I conducted three 90-minute samples, one on a weekday morning, weekday evening, and weekend morning. I found that 59 of 239 (25%) of dogs were off leash. 55 of 239 (23%) of dogs were observed going into the woods (off trail, off grass). When excluding the north parking lot, I found that 38% of dogs are off leash and 29% are going into the woods.

The effects go beyond the “trampling of plants,” he explains. When that happens, it’s easier for seeds to disperse and the forest edge to break down. Those seeds are seldom desirable ones – instead, they’re the invasives, the berry-laden plants like ivy, holly, blackberries, cotoneaster.

And the giddily exploring pooch might spread them beyond the park – seeds can catch in their paws, and be carried far away.

One area that Friends of Lincoln Park is particularly concerned about is near the north parking lot. A restored area might look like a clearing – with the invasives removed, and the new native plants fragile and small – and that might seem to some like an invitation to make their own trails. Sam says he also sees people stop, let their dogs out for a quick dash or bio-break, and then move on.

What would he say to try to educate people, convince them not to do this?

Without the restoration work, he says, invasive plants will start to take over and start climbing up trees (think of all the ivy-covered trees you’ve seen). Eventually that weakens the trees, and a windstorm might be all it would take to bring them down. On the ground level, the invasives take over and nothing else can get established, so a “monoculture desert of holly and ivy” results, he explains. Take a look at the difference between a clump of native vegetation before cotoneaster removal, and after:

The value of a healthy urban forest? Priceless. He ticks off benefits: “Reduces stormwater runoff, improves water quality, captures and filters air pollution, provides wildlife habitat, aesthetically improves neighborhoods’ appearance …”

About the wildlife: Even if a dog doesn’t catch it, or eat it, it is a threat: “A lot of these animals, if you watch them for a while, they’re working on eating, building shelter, nests, on what it takes to survive. When you do have dogs chasing them, they have to expend a lot of energy on the chase, getting safe …maybe that next chase does it in, it’s tired. I found one study about shorebirds – having to avoid dogs chasing after them 12 times a day. Many were getting ready for migration. In another study, researchers walked through different areas (of a forest/park) with dogs on leash, with dogs offleash, without dogs … when humans were there with dogs, there was a 41 percent decrease in the amount of birds present. Birds are aware it’s a potential threat.”

So what’s the solution?

More parks specifically set up for off-leash dogs seems like an obvious idea, Sam says, but they’re not so simple to set up – grassy fields get muddy in the rainy season very fast; gravel can lead to runoff problems for nearby waterways.

He hopes that information and education – like this report about his volunteer activities and research – can help people be aware that dogs at least need to stay on the paths, and to share that awareness with others.

He’s working toward a research paper and presentation next quarter. And he’s well aware that dogs are the light of their humans’ lives … he’s just hoping a little enlightenment will help the forest and its inhabitants too.

Stay on the trail, or at least grassy edges and fields – it’s not grass they’re worried about. If it’s a native plant, don’t walk or run on it – salal, Oregon grape, red flowering currant, ocean spray, seedlings of evergreens such as Western red cedar, Douglas fir, Western hemlock, all types of ferns, snowberry … He could go on.

He’s been working on a spot near the bluff trail but hopes to see all the restoration areas thrive.

P.S. He’s interested in your thoughts, if you have a moment to comment.

Will sign stop rulebreaking dog owners? Pigeon Point NC hopes so

January 7, 2015 at 9:09 am | In Pets, Pigeon Point, West Seattle news | 101 Comments

The photo is courtesy of Pigeon Point’s Pete Spalding, who explains:

One of the issues the Pigeon Point Neighborhood Council has been looking for ways to address has been the ongoing issue of folks letting their dogs run loose at the fields at Pathfinder School. One of the ideas discussed at our last meeting was putting up a sign. Here is the sign.

West Seattle’s official off-leash area is at Westcrest Park (map and info here).

Use the off-leash area at Westcrest Park? This is for you

December 9, 2014 at 10:47 am | In Pets, West Seattle news, West Seattle parks | 6 Comments

If you use the off-leash area at Westcrest Park – West Seattle’s only official public off-leash area – can you spare a few minutes for a survey? It’s part of a project that’s just getting going with a $7,500 grant from King County Wastewater Treatment meant to help manage the off-leash area’s runoff problem, with water coming down the slope from the covered-reservoir area. A much-larger amount is being sought via grants, sponsorships, and private donations to pay for general improvements to the park, in partnership with Seattle Parks, King County, Seattle Public Utilities, Seattle Animal Shelter and COLA (Citizens for Off-Leash Areas). The survey is collecting opinions on what improvements you’d like to see at Westcrest. Answer ASAP; they’re planning to report results next month.

‘Pre-Black Friday Doorbusters’ – the furry kind, @ Kitty Harbor

November 21, 2014 at 11:30 pm | In Pets, West Seattle news | 12 Comments

Less than a week until the shopping day that’s become known as “Black Friday” (shop local indies!), we have word tonight of “Pre-Black Friday Doorbusters” … adoption “deals” at Kitty Harbor in West Seattle this weekend:

Avoid the crowds and bring home something much more special and lasting — an adopted cat(s)! This weekend, all colors of black kittens’ adoption donation is $20 less. We have panther black, elegant black, ink black, sleek black, reddish black, sexy black and more! Black cats are our personal favorite — they have cool personalities, beautiful eyes and are very loving. Did you know they were worshiped in ancient Egypt?

Prefer a more mature cat? Our 15 amazing adult cats want you to know that their adoption donation is just $50 this coming weekend. They’d like to remind you that they are yesterday’s kitten, are still playful, loving and very dignified.

It gets better! The above kitties will be sent home with their very own, special Christmas stocking, chock full of kitty kibble, toys, and catnip. Just our way of making sure you don’t have to go out shopping for their Christmas gift. We have 35 Adults, teenagers and kittens that are looking to meet you.

Kitty Harbor is at 3422 Harbor SW, open noon-5 Saturday and Sunday.

West Seattle Montessori visited by new book’s star ‘Danny Dog’ (and its author Sid Shapira)

November 15, 2014 at 1:39 am | In Pets, West Seattle news, West Seattle schools | 1 Comment

Literacy starts early! And it can so often be fun – as it was Friday at West Seattle Montessori School and Academy (WSB sponsor), where students/staff got “a wonderful visit,” says assistant director Heather Aquino (who shared the photo), “from author Sid Shapira and his dog Danny.” Danny is the star of Shapira’s just-published children’s book,”Danny Dog – A rescue dog finds his forever home.” The book is described as “also illustrating the key role pet-rescue organizations play in giving pets a second chance and a forever home.” The author says part of the book’s profits will go to rescue organizations.

Camp Crockett dog day camp: Welcome, new WSB sponsor!

November 6, 2014 at 12:36 pm | In Pets, West Seattle businesses, West Seattle news | 6 Comments

Just opened in West Seattle – Camp Crockett! As a new, local WSB sponsor, they get this chance to let you know what they’re all about:

Make your puppy’s day! Give your special pup the experience of a lifetime by joining our pack at Camp Crockett. Crockett, our 2-year-old Bluetick Coonhound, would like to introduce himself to the West Seattle community and personally extend a welcoming paw to all pups, big and small. Our new and exciting dog day camp, boarding, and grooming company just opened our doors for the first time November 4th, 2014. Family owned and operated, we would like to bring the delight of “going to camp” to you and your furry family member with our ‘camp themed’ dog day camp.

With more than 30 years of experience in the dog-day-care field, our team is very passionate about giving your pup a very fun and loving environment while you are away. Our 6,000-square-foot camp yard provides plenty of room to help even the highest spirited of pups to unwind and meet new friends. Some of our campers are older or more sophisticated and prefer the comforts of our indoor space with lots of cubby holes and plush beds. Camp Crockett also provides an ‘at home’ feel for our overnight campers. Instead of spending the evening in a kennel, your pup will enjoy snuggling on the couch with our team leaders who live on site.

For those campers who are having a bad hair day or just love getting dirty, don’t worry, we will take care of you too. Camp Crockett is privileged to have the best groomer in Seattle on our team! Our groomer takes the time to get to know your pup, gives your pup time to get to know her, and then works with your pup at a comfortable pace to be able to give you the result you desire.

Camp Crockett is open 7 am–7 pm, Monday-Friday, with all services available on the weekend by appointment. Send your furry family member to camp with us and make your puppy’s day! First day with us is FREE!!!!! Located at 5611 Delridge Way SW; call 206-790-1674; e-mail campcrockett@gmail.com.

We thank Camp Crockett for sponsoring independent, community-collaborative, 24/7 neighborhood news via WSB. Find our current sponsor team listed in directory format here, and find info on joining the team by going here.

‘Bless those who curl themselves around your hearts’: Blessing of the Animals 2014 at St. John’s

October 5, 2014 at 6:13 pm | In Pets, West Seattle news, West Seattle religion | 5 Comments

(WSB photos by Katie Meyer)
Sunshine again graced the annual Blessing of the Animals event presented by St. John the Baptist Episcopal Church in Admiral, drawing pets and their humans to the West Seattle High School parking lot next door this afternoon.

While St. John’s isn’t the only local church offering animal blessings, it’s the only one where you’ll find a member of the Order of Saint Francis participating in this tradition inspired by the feast day of St. Francis of Assisi, patron saint of animals:

That’s Brother Paul from the OSF, explained here. St. John’s priest in charge Rev. JD Godwin offered blessings as well – below, he blesses Waffles:

Even if you’re not religious, if you have a companion animal in your life, you might appreciate this offered prayer: “Bless those who curl themselves around our hearts, who twine themselves through our days, who companion us in our labor and who call us to come and play.”

We did spot one brave, well-behaved cat, named Purrcilla:

Rev. Godwin and Brother Paul blessed St. Francis medals and offered one for each pet blessed.

Most waited patiently for their turn.

West Seattle’s Peace Lutheran Church also offered animal blessings today, and next Sunday afternoon, they’re planned at Fauntleroy UCC Church.

Saga of the Jacobsen Road goats: Why the feeder’s gone again

October 3, 2014 at 12:21 pm | In Neighborhoods, Pets, West Seattle news | 61 Comments

(Photo by Suzanne Krom - goats with visitors before the feeder was removed last month)
You might recall the saga of the Jacobsen Road goats – Bama, Deli, and JJ - who would come say hi to visitors who put a quarter in a food dispenser and rang a bell to summon them. As reported here in June, the feeder went away in late spring after the goats’ owner acquiesced to a neighbor’s complaint. Then, encouraged by community support, he brought it back. Now, it’s gone again, as explained on this sign:

(September 25th photo)
This time, the feeder was removed under order of the city Department of Planning and Development, because of a zoning complaint – the feeder apparently turned the goat display into a “petting zoo.” We started asking DPD for comment last week, and finally received a response last night. Spokesperson Bryan Stevens told WSB, “We inspected the site (Wednesday) and found it to be in compliance with what the code allows in the single-family zone. The owner has been very cooperative and removed the elements that created the ‘petting zoo’ use. The feeding signs, bell, and 25-cent feeder have been removed, but the three goats remain.”

We asked Stevens about what appeared to be a new beef in the goat site’s file: “The more recent complaint that you’ve referenced was regarding the number of animals kept. Someone was claiming that there were more than three animals on site, but upon inspection from the sidewalk, only the three goats were observed … so the service request was closed. Up to three small animals are allowed on each single family property.”

Blessing of the Animals: 3 West Seattle churches this year

October 3, 2014 at 10:26 am | In Pets, West Seattle news, West Seattle religion | Comments Off

(WSB photo: Rev. JD Godwin blessing Pace the dog at St. John’s 2013 Blessing of the Animals)
St. Francis of Assisi, patron saint of animals, is the inspiration for Blessing of the Animals events each fall, and this year we have heard from three West Seattle churches welcoming you and your pet(s) for the occasion, at events being held independent of the churches’ regular services:

PEACE LUTHERAN CHURCH: Happening this Sunday morning:

Pastor Erik Kindem and Peace congregation offer an opportunity to bless your special companion/pet on Sunday, October 5 @ Peace Lutheran Church, 39th Ave SW and SW Thistle. The blessing will take place on the Westside Patio (8316 39th Ave SW) at the conclusion of worship (11:45am). Community invited!

ST. JOHN THE BAPTIST EPISCOPAL CHURCH: Happening this Sunday afternoon:

Sunday at 1 pm: Plan now to bring your pet or pets for St. John the Baptist’s annual community-wide St. Francis’ Day Blessing of the Animals, Sunday, October 5, at 1:00 p.m. on the West Seattle High School parking lot. Parishioner Paul Dahlke is coordinating the event again this year.

WSHS is at 3000 California SW, just north of St. John’s.

FAUNTLEROY UCC CHURCH: Happening Sunday, October 12th, 2 pm – details on this flyer. The church is at 9140 California SW.

Dog on the run on the West Seattle Bridge; drivers stop to rescue it

September 27, 2014 at 3:55 pm | In Pets, West Seattle news, West Seattle people | 26 Comments

FIRST REPORT, 3:55 PM: For a short time about half an hour ago, the west end of the eastbound West Seattle Bridge was backed up to Fauntleroy. Anne Higuera from Ventana Construction (WSB sponsor) sent the photo and explains why:

Just watched as hundreds of people stopped their cars on the West Seattle Bridge to wait while a couple of valiant dog catchers blocked traffic and captured a little dog that refused to stop and was running all the way down Fauntleroy and onto the bridge. They finally wrapped him up in a jacket and put him in a box and I’m going to assume that they’re going to then try to locate the owners of the dog. Everyone was so well mannered. Not a single horn blown and everyone waited patiently until the little dog was captured. It was really sweet.

We heard a bit about this on the scanner but had no idea how it turned out until Anne’s note. The dog might be hurt, according to a tweet from Dan. (If whomever now has the dog sees this, we can of course put a note on the WSB Lost/Found Pets page, where we’ve had multiple “found dog” reports today but no “lost” reports yet.)

4:45 PM UPDATE: We have heard now from both the dog’s owner and the finder – the latter, via comments, saying it’s been taken to Seattle Animal Shelter; the former, via e-mail, explaining the dog, a Jack Russell Terrier mix named Woody, bolted from Petco in The Junction “just fitted … for a new harness & lead and obviously it didn’t fit! He backed out of it and ran for it.”

We’re hoping they all connect quickly!

West Seattle scene: Dogpaddling at Arbor Heights Swim & Tennis

September 15, 2014 at 9:54 pm | In Arbor Heights, How to help, Pets, West Seattle news | 2 Comments

(WSB photos by Katie Meyer)
If one dog playing “fetch” in a pool isn’t cute enough .. how about two?

Tonight was the first of six season-ending sessions in which Arbor Heights Swim and Tennis Club invites dogs into the pool (which will undergo its annual cleaning before humans go in again next year).

It’s a fundraiser for AHSTC teams. You can buy one-session or all-week admission, 5-7 pm swims nightly through Friday, then 10 am-1 pm Saturday. More info’s in our calendar listing.

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