Bark for Peace!
musings & ramblings, mostly about dogs, from a three being, three species family

Bark for Peace!

Lee Mannix 1969-2010

May 12th, 2010 . by lisa knaggs

Lee Mannix, walking in his woods

Everyday I hear in my head, “all you have to do is be funner than dirt.”  Occasionally, I am. (big exception being elk, I am soooo not funner than elk!)

Lee Mannix taught me the power of being the funnest thing in the world to my dog, Clementine.  And if I succeed, boy, does she shine!  When Lee met her she was an out of control adolescent.  Charming, yes.  But only to those who were strong on imagination.  He got a kick out of her from the get-go and commended me for loving her mischievousness and not wanting to break her spirit.

Lee working Clementine, herding sheep!

Lee also taught me the power of ignoring Clementine, not an easy thing for me to do.  And he taught me to “move through her” so she didn’t have control of our space.  Those are two other things I use every darn day.  When I realize I’m rambling on about nothing of significance, right out loud in front of Clementine, I chastise myself internally, for my “verbal diarrhea.”  Then I smile, reward her like crazy for her exceptional patience, and smile again.
I adored Lee from the moment I met him.  His easy-going arrogance and pseudo-crusty cowboy exterior did little to mask his huge heart and the insistent playfulness of a then almost 40 year-old little boy in a big-bellied man’s body.   Lee was Irish, he reminded you of that often, as if you might forget.  “Don’t cry, ’cause if you cry, then I’ll cry, and then we’ll both have to go drink.”  Or something like that.  Whatever the exact words were, I never doubted that he meant it.   He was paying attention and tracking where you were emotionally with your dog, and by golly, if it got that bad, then the two of you were gonna be drinkin’…a lot.

Lee helped more dogs (& their people) than any trainer/behaviorist I’ve known.  He also pissed a lot of them off.  Not everyone appreciated his brash, shit-kickin’ demeanor or the way he handled them and their dogs.  I have to admit, although I found it wholly inappropriate, he was one of the few men I let get away with calling me “dear.”  Hard to not be charmed by a man who lead his own cheers: “I’m living the dream!” he would shout as he strolled across the agility field.  I looked forward to every encounter with Lee because I knew I’d learn something, and I knew I’d laugh.  When a car accident on Sunday May 2, ended Lee’s earthly life, I was devastated knowing there would be no more conversations, no more laughter.

Lee with Creek, his heeler

Lee earned my respect because of his fiercely relentless love of dogs, especially heelers.  When we met him, FORD was in the last years of her long life, and many dismissed her as passé as easily as they would have a 99 year old great-grandmother with dementia.  Not Lee, he saw her strength and her beauty, and I loved him for it.  He saw strength and beauty in dozens of dogs he brought back to Austin after hurricane Katrina, and his optimism about their potential for recovery saved more than a few lives.

I sent many a dog/person combo to him because of that, even though I didn’t always agree with his methods.  Usually the hand-picked people I sent loved him for the same reasons I did.  Lee was also an ever enthusiastic supporter of my work with dogs- first with my dog treat business, and now in my service of canine therapeutic massage. I have no doubt he didn’t always agree with all of my methods either.

FORD & Clementine: Wisdom & Youth (Engineer Pass, CO. 2006)

One of my most cherished memories: In the Spring of 2007, I carried my aging heeler FORD, because she was not able to walk on her own, to rest under a cedar and observe Clementine in agility class one day. Lee asked about her condition, then went on with the class.  At the end of class he went over, had a moment with her, then was nowhere to be found. The following week, FORD was up-and-at-em once again and she trotted herself out and under the cedar. Lee came up to me and said, “When I saw her last week, I thought that was gonna be the last time I ever saw her. I started crying and had to leave. I can’t believe she’s back.”

For better or for worse, Lee shot straight from the hip, and straight from the heart. We are the richer for having known him.
We join all the hearts and voices who can’t imagine how one so much larger than life is no longer among the living. Yet we are not without Lee- his wisdom, laughter, anecdotes, like all of the dogs who come into our lives and forever change us, will always be with us.  And Lee will stay forever young…

Earth Day Around Austin

April 22nd, 2009 . by blogadmin

Well, I have to admit that my cynicism can get the best of me on this “holiday” like so many others.  We’ve been saying EVERY day is Earth Day for years and years, I mean afterall isn’t that the point?  It really would be funny, if it weren’t so very tragic, that everyone and their mothers and grandmothers’ dog were greenwashing like there’s no tomorrow.  Hmmmm… maybe there’s something to that!

Two brief offerings:

B4P! Toss-n-Tug™ toy making demonstrations @ Whole Foods Market                           (flagship store, 6th & Lamar) noon-4pm

Join Bark for Peace!, G.A.G.A. (Greater Austin Garbage Arts) and others for demonstrations on how to make cool, groovy, fun, and functional art from reclaimed materials (this is landfill diversion, baby!:))  I’ll have Toss-n-Tug™ kits available for donations to the Bark for Peace! massage fund, so we can get our hands on more dogs like Ariel who wouldn’t otherwise have access to therapeutic touch!

Another great collaboration is happening today btw our beloved Wheatsville Co-op (Texas ONLY full time grocery co-operative, shame on Texas!), Austin Green Art, and the Sustainable Food Center @ the Triangle Farmer’s Market. Wheatsville and Resooultion Gardens are offering membership in a  “Gro-op”- a local food growing and distribution co-operative.  Cool, huh??  Additionally, the (sounds very scary, but informative) film “King Corn” will be screened. Come on out to get some delicious, fresh, local, organic veggies, eggs, cheese, bison, lamb, etc. andlearn more ways to get involved with local food production and distribution.  As Carol Ann always says, “THAT’s Homeland Security!”

King Corn Film & Resolution Gardens

King Corn Film & Resolution Gardens

Jo’s Easter Pet Parade Photos

April 14th, 2009 . by lisa knaggs

Well, if you’ve never been to Jo’s Pet Parade, there’s just no way to describe it!  Below, a few photos. Not pictured: Leslie in Easter thong. (you’re welcome!)

Enjoy, we did! (and we’re thrilled to have been able to help raise funds for Animal Trustees.)

Frida Kahlo & Salvatore Dogi (we thought it was Diego, but no!!!!)

Frida Kahlo & Salvatore Dogi (we thought it was Diego, but no!!!!)

Banjo & B4P! Wonder Woman Becky practiced nice sits for treats!

Banjo & B4P! Wonder Woman Becky practiced nice sits for treats!

Great guy Keith came up and helped Banjo socialized!  It was wonderful!

Great guy Keith came up and helped Banjo socialized! It was wonderful!

An Easter Unicorn and her egg bearing puppy (only in Austin, yeah?)

An Easter Unicorn and her egg bearing puppy (only in Austin, yeah?)

Elvis & Priscilla

Elvis & Priscilla

This was the only dog with a trick- and it was a good one

This was the only dog with a trick- and it was a good one

Bark for Peace! 100% recycled wool make your own Toss-n-Tug™ kits

Bark for Peace! 100% recycled wool make your own Toss-n-Tug™ kits

A Whole Mess'o Toss-n-Tugs!!  Dogs love 'em!  So does the landfill that doesn't get 'em! :)

A whole mess'o Toss-n-Tugs™!! Dogs love 'em! So does the landfill that doesn't get 'em! :)

B4P fan Claudia brought her darling babes out!

B4P fan Claudia brought her darling babes out! (Bill brought Ariel by too!)

anonymous foursome

anonymous foursome

Hound Dog Drools for Peace! :)

Hound Dog Drools for Peace! :)

Pug Easter Lily (impressive, huh?)

Pug Easter Lily (impressive, huh?)

 Jimmy tells a story about Moses

Jimmy tells a story about Moses

What a joy it is to reconnect with old friends!  I met Jimmy back in 2000- I was in grad school and FORD wouldn’t stop barking at our apartment door one Friday night around midnight.  After repeatedly checking the peephole, I opened the door to SHOW her that no one was there and what to my wondering eyes did appear… Moses! The biggest, blackest, sweetest lab I’ve ever seen!  Several hours later, Maya, FORD, and I walked Moses 3 blocks home and fell in love with Jimmy too!  Moses stories are legendary and Jimmy is talking about the time Moses climbed into a pizza dumpster (behind the UT Double Dave’s) and ate so much pizza that he couldn’t get back out!  It makes me smile to think that Moses and FORD are romping together on the heavenly hiking trails!

Banjo flirting with Lahti

Banjo flirting with Lahti (Jimmy's girl)

Jimmy sporting his Bark for Peace! gear (t-shirt in bag) Isn't he ever so color coordinated?

Jimmy sporting his Bark for Peace! gear (t-shirt in bag) Isn't he ever so color coordinated?

and the band played on....

and the band played on....

Jo’s Coffee 10th Anniversary Pet Parade- benefits ATA

April 11th, 2009 . by blogadmin
Jo's Coffee Pet Parade

Jo's Coffee Pet Parade

If you’re not already booked for Saturday, this is ridiculously fun!  And it all benefits Animal Trustees of Austin.

FORD entered the very first one – I borrowed a hat w/price tag, silk scarf, and pink pearls from Flashback Vintage and she went as (drum roll, please!) Minnie Pearl!  Where IS that photo?

Anyway- c’mon out, stop by and say hi to me, flirt with Banjo, enjoy the parade, live music, good hangs and if you want to shop, proceeds go to to ATA. (Bark for Peace! will donate 10% of all sales at the event to ATA) Mention the Bark for Peace! blog and get a free gift with any purchase! woof!woof!

Images of Dog Week, some favs so far

April 8th, 2009 . by blogadmin
This spectacularly spotted SuperStar tried our jerky chews at Blue Dog’s Run for the Rovers, and came by last night for more!  She’s as soft as she is spotty and yeehaw was Clementine jealous!  Her person is a Vet Tech with Emancipet and came by that night to support them!
LaLa, the dog (my bro David called me this when he was little!)

LaLa, the dog (my bro David called me this when he was little!)

Jingles, Gold Ribbon Rescues "Poster Dog" of the Night

Jingles, Gold Ribbon Rescue's "Poster Dog" of the Night

This regal 2 year old was dropped off with litter mates at 10 weeks old b/c they had all kinds of medical issues that made them “unsellable” by the backyard breeder.  Now, Jingles is healthy, happy, and turning all the girls’ heads! He was pretty dang fired up to get a fair-trade, boiled wool fuzzee!

Jingles shakes hands with a new friend

Jingles shakes hands with a new friend

Ten Thousand Villages is a great store for fair-trade gifts (hint, hint!) including jewelry, bags, scarves, home furnishings, and instruments.  Tonight was enjoyed a 3 bowl sing- wow!

Singing Bowls

Singing Bowls

Kiko takes his Toss-n-Tug™

Keeko takes his Toss-n-Tug™

Keeko was in trouble for jumping a six foot fence and killing chickens (oops) in the country; thankfully a cool young couple read a Craigslist ad and Kiko got adopted into a family with better boundaries for him.  He’s a very handsome heeler, smart as a whip and quite the lover!

It’s Dog Week at Ten Thousand Villages

April 6th, 2009 . by blogadmin

This is Dog Week AND Holy Week and as one wise woman said to me over dinner last week: “Well, they’re the same thing!” Amen.

Come on out and help support our local non-profits working to support precious under-served dogs!  A different organization benefits every night! (see flyer for details) In addition to all our wonderful sustainable good for dogs (& their people) there’s lots of cool, fun, funky, fair-trade goods from the 60 year old fair-trade “trendsetter” Ten Thousand Villages. That’s right- they were doin’ fair-trade and sustainable crafting WAY before it was cool, just because they’d figured out it was the right thing to do!

We love doing Dog Week-  it’s a fun way to get Ten Thousand Villages’ regular customers some great dog stuff, and get some great dog people into Ten Thousand Villages and introduced to fair-trade, locally made, truly safe, non-toxic, fun and sustainable goods for their dogs!  10% of all sales are donated to a different non-profit every night!

(click on flyer to enlarge)

Oh, and VerySuperCool cards will be there too! Make your own Toss-n-Tug™ (100% recycled wool braided toys) demos every night.  Great activity to do with your kids and dogs! woof!woof!  And free B4P! treats for you and your dog!

“Best Mug Shot” Contest- Round 1

April 6th, 2009 . by blogadmin

Hey Friends & Fans in the Austin area~

Forgot to mention there’s a Best Mug Shot contest happening this DOG WEEK at Ten Thousand Villages.  The prize is a $50 gift certificate to the store AND a $50 gift box of Bark for Peace! goodies so grab your poocher and have ‘em pose for the polaroid!

Tonight’s sales benefited the Austin Humane Society and Ollie showed up as their mascot- charming! I think Ollie clearly has the lead in this week’s contest.  He’s a good looking rescue (mixed herding breeds?) originally from the Beaumont area.  Kathleen’s grandmother saved him after he’d been hit by a car and then sadly she died just three weeks later.  Ollie’s got looks, brains, personality, and a wonderful howl!  He went crazy over Sweet Potato Jerky Chews like Kathleen had never seen before!    Here he is- jumping for joy (and jerky chews!)

Ollie

Ollie


Greening Austin, One Garden at a Time

March 30th, 2009 . by lisa knaggs
GCP, Feeding Austin, One Garden at a Time

One of the organizations that Bark for Peace! has been proudest to support over the last three years has been Green Corn Project.  No one ever gets everything right, but these folks are onto something and they are making it happen in a most beautiful, bio-intensive, way! This Spring, I got to train as a Dig-In Leader, and help refurbish a local Elementary School’s gardens.  Dirt Therapy ROCKS!

Mitch Mills, GCP Board President demonstrates double-digging

Mitch Mills, GCP Board President demonstrates double-digging

From their website, their mission is: “That Central Texans have nutritious, affordable food grown in ways that conserve natural resources, promote self-reliance, and strengthen communities.”  Like B4P!, they believe that delicious, organic food should be available to everyone.  Unlike, B4P! they’ve found a way to make that happen!  (I can’t yet figure out how to be legal, affordable, AND use seasonal organic veggies from local farms- the USDA and State regs and fees are really cumbersome.)  Digs are open to people of all ages- kids are great gardeners!

Everyone plays a part in Green Corn Project Dig-Ins

Everyone plays a part in Green Corn Project Dig-Ins

If you’re looking for a way to learn about high yield organic gardening, Green Corn Project is a wonderful resource for that; you can get training yourself, AND you can volunteer to help someone else grow their own delicious and nutritious organic food at home or school!!  GCP workshops and Dig-Ins happen Spring and Fall, so put it on your calendar for Fall now.  In the meantime, check out Jeavons books(Amazon link)- available locally in Austin @ BookPeople (who by the way is expanding their gardening section to include more organic references- let ‘em know if you have a fav!)

Finished Garden at Dig-In Leader training (South Austin)

Finished Garden at Dig-In Leader training (South Austin)

Dog Therapy at GCP re-furb of Gardens at Andrews Elementary

Dog Therapy at GCP re-furb of Gardens at Andrews Elementary

Re-furbing @ Andrews Elementary

Re-furbing @ Andrews Elementary

Cindy and Clementine had an immediate love connection- made all of our hearts sing! :)

Cindy and Clementine had an immediate love connection- made all of our hearts sing! :)

Sweet Barks Honky Tonk benefit for Austin Pets Alive Today

February 14th, 2009 . by blogadmin

Come join us and hang out with some of the sweetest dogs,people, coffee, music and tunes from 12 noon- 5pm TODAY to help the great folks at Austin Pets Alive.  We’ll all be hangin’ out at Jo’s Coffee on S. Congress Avenue.  Mention the Bark for Peace! blog for a free gift! woof!woof! :)

tried repeatedly to get the flyer to upload, but to no avail…UGH!, so, here’s the link:
http://www.austinpetsalive.org/ (upper right hand side of home page)

Green Holiday Shopping Festival at Farmers’ Market

December 13th, 2008 . by blogadmin

Well, it’s not Sustain-a-Ball (we’re sad, but we sure understand the difficulty of an all volunteer event!) but it’s the Green Holiday Shopping Festival at the Sunset Valley Farmer’s Market!  9am-1pm

We’ll still have all our great fair-trade and handmade wool toys, soaps, shampoos, balm, recycled cotton & hemp collars and leashes, organic t-shirts, tote bags, and more!

Mention the B4P blog and get a FREE Pet Sitting Instructions Notepad- kinda like MadLibs for the one who takes care of your beloved companion animals while you’re away (on recycled paper, of course!) woof!woof! :)

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