What’s the secret life of your pets? We asked and got some answers

Over on our Raising Austin blog, we have a contest for a family four pack of tickets to “The Secret Life of Pets” movie. We asked people as they entered to tell us what they think their pets secretly do all day.

Here’s some of their answers:

Luna drinks espresso all day, according to owner Tes Sawyer.

I’m pretty sure my dog, Luna, drinks espresso, surfs the internet and does yoga while I’m away. — Tes Sawyer

While my parakeet, Ringo, died several years ago, I always imagined him dictating The Great American Novel while I was out of sight. He loved to recite his repertoire of words and phrases as long as he felt he wasn’t being observed; who knows what he got up to when he was home alone? — Melissa Aellos

“Blue-y” the fish probably would say “All drains lead to the ocean and has been planning his escape for sometime” Either way, he’s been great for our 8 and 1 year old. — Jesse Rivera

Our family thinks our 8 year old kitty takes joy rides in the pink toy convertible Barbie car we have.  Sometimes we find it out

Kika watches squirrels all day. Bibiana Beardsley
Kika watches squirrels all day. Bibiana Beardsley

in places we know we didn’t put it there.  The cat has to be having a blast in it when we leave. — Melissa Garcia

DH works from home so pups don’t get away with much. This is Kika. She keeps watch to make sure the squirrels don’t get in our yard! — Bibiana Beardsley

We think that our dog Harley gets on the couch after we leave and stays there and sleeps. — Kristen Mellring

Blanca as white as the snow would wait for us at door. I think she would look for food! — Mariela Trujillo

Our pet, Rusty is a smart, little, scruffy dog we adopted from the shelter. Sometimes he is too smart. Rusty sleeps most of the day on top of his house up until the moment he hears us opening the front door. He jumps down and runs to the tree to make it look like he is chasing squirrels and earning his keep. Then he comes to up to us to get ears scratched for being such a good guard dog. He is such a good little dog and makes us look forward to coming home everyday! — The Fuentes Family

Tinsley does hair according to owner
Tinsley does hair according to owner Taylor Skinner.

My family has a 1 year old diva puppy English Cream Golden Retriever (white golden) named Tinsley, and she is definitely the princess her name suggests! Tinsley most likely spends her days preening her feathering in the mirror to ensure she is the prettiest puppy in the neighborhood. She then practices her sashay to show off her tail feathers to the other dogs in the neighborhood. At some point, she goes and gets her mud facial in the backyard (this we know for a fact).

When she is not being a little pretentious diva, she tends to Milton, the white kitty who she thinks is her child. Not wanting to have an ugly misshapen child, Tinsley bathes and coifs Milton’s hair. She then carries him around the neighborhood showing off her pretty puppy (kitty) to the neighborhood dogs. The rest of the day she lays on the couch being a slug pup so as not to get too hot and ruin her fluffed feathers. — Taylor Skinner

Our family has a french bulldog and a shih tzu that live inside and roam our homes while we are away. Our shih tzu Sam, probably spend his entire day plotting how to escape the yard during his next potty break, as that seems to be his favorite pastime. Fire, our bulldog literally spends her days plotting her next meal and dreaming of the treats I will bring home from the store. Sam is for sure smarter and more crafty, but Fire loves her family with her big heart. — Mellissa Alvarado

My grandkids think our pets watch TV and sometimes mess with our DRV while we are out and that’s why some shows we have set up don’t tape correctly…lol They also think they take naps on their beds but hop up as soon as they hear us come in 🙂 — Laura Floyd

Our dog, Mali, is an 11 year-old black lab. Due to her thick black coat and brutal Texas heat, Mali is an “inside” dog. Since both of us work, Mali is home by herself all day. She is rather particular about her domain, dog pillows are simply not up to her high standards for comfort. So, despite her age, she spends most of her day in the comfort of our queen bed. I am sure that the first item on her agenda for the day is to search every nook of our bedroom for any food that may have been forgotten in a bag or in a pocket. If she is lucky and finds something edible, we will be blessed to come home to a ransacked bag and food wrapper on the floor (she likes to consume the food with the wrapper then spit the wrapper back up later, she is nice that way). The rest of her day consists of long naps, dreaming of catching cats and jumping on counters to claim any food items that were not properly put out of her reach. She occasionally hops down from the bed to stroll right past the nice fresh water we put in her bowl everyday to take a nice refreshing drink from the toilet. Her most exciting part of the day is certainly when she hears the garage door open for as soon as it does, we can hear her tail banging against the walls as she anticipates her next feeding (her excitement has little to do with actual human interaction). And that is what she likely does all day long.  — Kristin Seibel\

I think my dog sleeps all day and waits for his daddy to get home! — Jennifer Jones

As for my house: Mew, the chinchilla, is a secret agent, while her dog and cat friends sleep all day.  — Nicole

Ava Villalpando holds secret agent Mew. Nicole Villalpando


If you want to enter the contest for the 7 p.m. Tuesday screening at the Regal Metropolitan, send an email to nvillalpando@statesman by Friday morning with the subject line “The Secret Life of Pets.”

Tell us what your family thinks your pet does all day long and send me your name and phone number as well.

I’ll draw entries out of hat on Friday morning and let the winners know that day.



How to keep your pets safe and inside this Fourth of July

Bella a 5 year old golden doodle participates in the Round Rock Sertoma July Fourth Parade with Hunter Chambers, 12, Saturday, July 4, 2015. (Stephen Spillman for AMERICAN STATESMAN)
Bella a 5 year old golden doodle participates in the Round Rock Sertoma July Fourth Parade with Hunter Chambers, 12, Saturday, July 4, 2015. (Stephen Spillman for AMERICAN STATESMAN)

From the City of Austin:

The Austin Animal Center, 7201 Levander Loop, will be open this Fourth of July holiday weekend.

The Center will maintain regular hours of 11 a.m.-7 p.m. Sunday, July 3, and Tuesday, July 5. The holiday hours on Monday, July 4 will be from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Every Fourth of July the Animal Center sees a spike in the number of lost pets due to runaways that are frightened by the noise from fireworks.

Because the animal shelter operates at capacity it is critical to have the pet properly tagged so the animal will not be at risk. The City is asking if a lost dog or cat is found, that the person finding the pet keep him/her safely contained, call 3-1-1 to create a Found Pet Report, and the finder keep the animal a few days before turning it in to the shelter. In addition to freeing critical space at the shelter for pets most in need, it can be easier to reunite pets and owners if pets stay in the community in which they’re found.

Additionally, pet owners should make sure that pets are properly contained on the Fourth of July. The safest way to ensure that your animal doesn’t run off is to bring the pet inside during the celebration and to not bring pets to family gatherings where they may be further stressed by an unfamiliar setting.

The Austin Animal Center offers free I.D. tags and microchips to all pet owners in Austin and Travis County to help keep pets safe and out of the animal shelter system.

If a pet goes missing, owners should visit AustinAnimalCenter.org and click the Lost & Found button. There, owners can find a step by step listing of what to do to find a lost pet.

Tips to locate a lost pet include placing flyers in neighborhoods, and posting to the Facebook group, Austin Lost and Found Pets, Nextdoor.com and Craigslist.
AAC is also offering waived fees on cat and kitten adoptions through the July 4th Holiday. All cats and kitten adoptions include spay/neuter surgery, vaccinations, an ID tag and microchip.

The Austin Animal Center is also asking for donations of dog chews to keep the dogs in the shelter busy and distracted during fireworks. The loud noise can cause anxiety for pets in the shelter. Dog chews can be dropped off at 7201 Levander Loop or sent in via their Amazon Wish List.

For additional information, visit the www.austinanimalcenter.org; call 3-1-1 or check Facebook for daily pet updates, facebook.com/AustinAnimalCenter.

Austin Animal Center creates coloring book to mark 5 years of no-kill policy

From the City of Austin:

Austin Animal Center
Austin Animal Center

In celebration of Austin’s five years of being the largest No-Kill City in the country, the staff and volunteers of the Austin Animal Center created a first-of-its-kind coloring book for children and adults.

The book highlights a wide variety of all types of animals that enter the shelter daily and also educates the community on what it means to be a No-Kill city.

“This coloring book is not only a celebration of lifesaving, but a great tool for teaching kids about No-Kill animal shelters and why they’re important,”  Deputy Chief Animal Services Officer Kristen Auerbach said. “There are 22 of our one-of-a-kind animals featured in book and under each illustration is a story about that pet and how it got to the shelter.”

Some of the animals illustrated in the book include a paralyzed cat and his wheel chair, a baby owl, a three-legged dog and many more of the unique animals that are alive because of Austin’s No-Kill policies. One of the pictures even portrays Greenwood, a rooster rescued from a cock fighting ring and rehomed earlier this year.

The coloring books cost $12 and can be purchased at the Austin Animal Center or at Amazon.com. In addition, two of Austin’s local stores are carrying the No-Kill Coloring book; BookPeople on Lamar Blvd. and Toy Joy on W. 2nd St. All of the proceeds go to the Austin Animal Center.

The book is perfect for kids and adults makes a great gift for just about anyone.

The artist/illustrator of the coloring book is Mellie Test who owns Magic with Mellie, a company specializing in visual branding.

About Austin Animal Center

Austin Animal Center is the largest No-Kill municipal animal shelter in the United States, providing shelter to more than 18,000 animals each year and animal protection services to all of Austin and Travis County. The Austin Animal Center is an open-intake facility where lost and surrendered animals from all of Travis County in need of shelter are accepted regardless of age, health, species or breed. The goal is to place all adoptable animals in forever homes through adoptions, foster care or rescue partner groups.
The Austin Animal Center, 7201 Levander Loop, is open from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily.  For more information go to www.austinanimalcenter.org, call 3-1-1, or visit www.facebook.com/austinanimalcenter for daily animal updates.

The City also maintains the Town Lake Animal Center, 1156 W. Cesar Chavez St., as an overflow animal adoption location.  It also is open daily from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Wag!, like Uber, but for dog walking with your dog’s business tracked by GPS

Wag! Let's you schedule a walker for you dog and then you can watch by GPS where your dog is and what your dog is doing.
Wag! Let’s you schedule a walker for you dog and then you can watch by GPS where your dog is and what your dog is doing.

Now the secret life of your dog’s walks will be revealed.

Wag! a dog walking app allows you to set up a walk for your dog. Once you connect with a walker, the walker will take your dog on a 30-minute for $20 or 60-minute walk for $30. The app also alerts you when your dog has been picked up and allows you to follow your dog with the GPS Puppy Tracker.

If you’ve ever wondered how often your dog does his business and what kind of business it is, Wag! walkers will put a pin on a GPS map with an poop or pee emoji everywhere your dog did that particular business. It lets you know your dog’s favorite spots as well as how often his bowel or bladder is talking to him. (It also might make you want to do something nice for that neighbor whose lawn your dog seems to love.)

Wag! also sends you video of your happy dog. And when the walk is finished, you get a Pup Report with the distance and time traveled and the “pee and poo” record.

This week Wag! also introduced pet sitting and boarding. The rates starScreenshot5t at $50 a night for one dog, $30 for additional dogs in the same house.

The Wag! app is available on Apple App Store.

This Austin Pets Alive adoptee loves walks the most

Photo via Instagram user tullstoy

Because of the internet, we thought we’d seen every incarnation of a cute dog getting adorably excited to go on a walk there was to see. But now there’s Poppy.

This Austin Pets Alive alumn is literally screaming at the top of her tiny Chihuahua lungs at even the idea of a walk. A video of her answer to the question, “Do you want to go for a walk?” was posted to Instagram earlier this year but just recently made its viral rounds.

Poppy doesn’t seem to get tired of being asked her favorite question either. The answer to which is always an affirmative bark-scream:

View this post on Instagram

I have a feeling that Poppy is onto us…

A post shared by Michael Tully (@tullstoy) on

We have to agree with her owner in that we too wish we had even “a flicker of this enthusiasm for pretty much anything.” Poppy isn’t this excited by everything in her little pup life, however. Another Instagram video shows that she too has her reservations.

Before you and your own Poppy go for a W-A-L-K this summer be sure to review these summer pet safety tips from the Humane Society to protect your furry friends from the heat.

Now. Do you want to….?