Regular readers may remember Pretty Opinionated’s first (and only) guest post written by a dog. Bo, author of “Bad to the Bone,” had a lot to say on the subject of rescuing homeless animals. Now, his brother, Kensy, has inspired a brand new project—The Good Dogma Company. Bo and Kensy’s human, Lisa, is joining me today in an interview about the company and the meaning behind it, and to share a great giveaway with all of you.

About the Good Dogma Company

The Good Dogma Company was founded based on the philosophy that dog lovers have a different kind of good karma, it’s Good Dogma. Lisa got the idea one afternoon on the way back from the dog park with Kensy. She noticed all the “For Sale” signs in front of houses along the street and inspiration struck. Rather than burying a statue of St. Joseph to sell your house, just bury the dog. Not just any dog, but a little dog statue with the St. Joseph tag. To The RESCUE Home Seller’s kit was created as a way to lighten up a stressful time for home sellers. The kit comes with a dog statue, doggy bag, and a card that explains what to do. Similar to St. Joseph, you bury the statue and after the house sells, unearth it. Take it with you to your new home and display it prominently, or near the treat jar, as a way to thank man’s best friend who made it all possible.

Although the idea started out with the home seller’s kit, Lisa thought everyone could use a little Good Dogma in their life so she branched out into other products, including wine, handmade jewelry, mints, and home-baked dog treats. I love the motto behind the wine: Wine More, Bark Less. The Good Dogma Company features six great wines with fun names: Cat Chaser Chardonnay, Muttin But Malbec, Bitchin’ Sauvignon, Lucky Pup Pinot, Fetch Me A Cabernet, and Kiss My Mutt Merlot.

The Good Dogma Company is all about doing good, giving back, and making a difference. Their goal is to help homeless dogs by donating a portion of every sale towards dog rescue. Every dog deserves to be safe and happy, and have a place to call home.

Interview with Lisa, founder of The Good Dogma Company

The Good Dogma company is based on the concept that dog lovers have a kind of karma all their own. Can you tell us a little more about that?

The Good Dogma Company was founded on the philosophy that dog lovers have a different kind of good karma, it’s Good Dogma. While it’s a little bit of a play on words I do believe that dog lovers are a special group of people. Especially all the shelter workers, rescue groups and animal welfare proponents who make this world a better place, one animal at a time. They are the ones who keep the circle of positivity going by doing good, giving back, and hopefully watching it eventually come full circle. Good Karma + Dog Lovers = Good Dogma.

Kensy, the inspiration behind the Good Dogma Company, is a rescue, as was his wildly popular and prolific brother, Bo. I know it seems like an obvious question, but I’d love to hear your take on the importance of rescuing dogs from a shelter versus buying them from, say, a breeder.

Those adorable dogs people see in the pet store come from puppy mills. People just look at the cute puppy but don’t think about how they got there. What they don’t realize is that the breeder dogs, the ones having those adorable puppies, don’t get a chance to know the love of a human. They are the ones that are left behind, those which are thought of as nothing but a piece of property, a commodity. The dogs are kept in horrific conditions because the bottom line is money, not the dogs.

If everyone learned about puppy mills and knew what happens there then no one would be getting a dog from a puppy mill breeder. There are so many rescue dogs out there and millions are killed each year because there aren’t enough homes. Even if you would like a specific breed check with your shelter, you would be amazed at the dogs that are available. You can also check out breed specific rescues. I guarantee there is one for most, if not all, breeds out there. You can’t buy love. Adopt.

Speaking of rescues, on your blog you talk about rescuing Logan, who wasn’t in the best condition both physically and mentally when he came to you. What advice can you offer those who are rescuing similar dogs who need a lot of extra love and care to get past a traumatic life?

Logan lived at a puppy mill for 4 years, he was the stud dog. He had no name, was kept caged, used and abused. Eventually when the owner of the puppy mill thought he no longer fit the bill as a stud dog he was put up for auction. Yes, auction, so possibly another breeder could come along to buy him and continue his life of abuse. Or, if he wasn’t bought he probably would have been put down.

This is where a wonderful organization called the Bernese Auction Rescue Coalition comes in. They bought him, got him medical attention, and put him in a wonderful foster home until he got adopted. On June 6, 2008 Horst and I went to pick up our new family member. When I saw him I had tears in my eyes, he was so beautiful, and so scared.

When we first got Logan, I’m not going to lie, it was hard. He barely moved, spent most of his days in our half bath where he was comfortable. We never pushed him, always let him do things on his own time schedule. Every day we spent quiet time lying with him and petting him. We started taking him for walks every day and that was when we got our first glimpse at the dog who was waiting to come out.

We made progress, and had setbacks, working with Logan was like nothing we had ever dealt with. We’ve always had rescues but Logan was in a whole different category. I remember after a few months had passed wondering if we were just going to be Logan’s caregivers, which was fine, or we would eventually breakthrough and show him life could be good and people could be trusted.

I don’t have an exact date or incident to mark the change but it happened. I do remember the first time he wagged his tail it touched my heart in a way I didn’t think possible. Every breakthrough brought us such joy.

Sadly, we lost Logan after a mere 14 months to cancer. As devastated as my husband and I were, even if we had known the outcome in advance we would have done it again without a second thought. Logan had turned into an amazing dog and taught us so many things. Who would have thought a tail wag could make your heart skip a beat.

My best advice for anyone looking to adopt an older puppy mill dog is to realize you are not going to be getting a normal dog. What I mean, if you want a dog to be an instant buddy this may not be the right road for you. These dogs need an amazing amount of care, love, and patience. Given time they can make huge progress but I know that if Logan had lived he would of always had certain issues. And for us that was fine. If you think this is something you can do then I will guarantee you what you get in return…priceless!

As you get older you realize it’s the things that cost nothing which hold the most worth. For me, one of those things is a tail wag from a very special boy.

The Good Dogma Company features wines with rather unique names (Cat Chaser Chardonnay, Muttin But Malbec, Fetch Me A Cabernet, and Kiss My Mutt Merlot). How did you come up with them?

I wanted to come up with a line of wines for dog lovers that could be sold to help raise money for dog rescue. The names needed to be fun and catchy, so people would see them and want to buy a bottle for themselves or think that it would make a great gift for the dog lover in their life.

I started tossing ideas around. Since our dog Kensy loves to chase our cat, Mothball, around Cat Chaser Chardonnay was a natural choice. Don’t worry, no cats were harmed in the making of the wine. Since our focus is on dog rescue and that usually means adopting a mutt so Muttin But Malbec and Kiss My Mutt Merlot seemed perfect. For all the dogs who have been adopted we have Lucky Pup Pinot as a tribute to them. Our two dogs, Kensy and Goliath, love going to the dog park and there’s usually a ball lying around that they enjoy playing with, which lead me to Fetch Me A Cabernet. And finally, Bitchin’ Sauvignon. That one just sort of popped into my head.

We donate 50% of our wine sale proceeds to dog rescue. If you want to help it’s as simple as sharing a bottle of wine with some friends.

All wines are Paw Harvested, 100% Adoptable.

Sit. Stay. Wine…for a cause.

Lisa's Family

I am in love with your “You Had Me At Woof” necklace in your shop. What was the inspiration behind that?

Thank you for the nice comment. I’m so glad you like it. I created a line of jewelry because I wanted something special for dog lovers. My jewelry is more than just something to wear, it’s a token of Good Dogma and a way to spread a message. I believe in the power of jewelry to express oneself, and it should make one feel good when they wear it.

The items in the line are designed with a purpose in mind. In this case, it was because I have the belief that we don’t choose our dog, we are chosen by them. I feel like each one of ours came into our life for a specific reason. We have had six dogs, four currently, and every one has taught us something different about life and about ourselves. Each dog has their own story. Life may be a journey, but with a dog it’s always an adventure. To all those out there that feel the same way the ‘You Had Me At Woof’ necklace was made with you in mind.

Part of the Good Dogma Company’s message is promoting the “Just Paw it Forward’ concept, which involves random acts of kindness towards animals. Can you offer a few suggestions on how my readers can “Paw it Forward” in their own day to day lives?

The Just Paw It Forward Campaign is something that means a lot to me, it was inspired by an incident at PetSmart. The goal is to get pet lovers everywhere to join me in committing random acts of animal kindness. There is no big or small act, this is not about money, and you don’t need a penny to get started. It’s all about doing something, anything, and inspiring others to go out and do the same. Here are a few ideas for your readers:

  1. Adopt a shelter. Pick any shelter and make it your mission to help them out. Call them and ask what’s on their wish list, help find the items they need. Volunteer to walk the dogs or clean cages.
  2.  Ask your veterinarian if they would be willing to dedicate a few hours a month to help out those pet parents who may not be able to afford shots or other necessary care.
  3.  If you have any elderly neighbors who own a dog and have trouble getting outside offer to walk their pup to help out.
  4.  Donate dog/cat food at a drop off location, leave a post- it on the food sharing your mission and hope you inspire the recipient to do the same.
  5.  When Petco or PetSmart, or any shelter you know, has their pet adoption day stop by and drop off lunch or a treat for the volunteers.
  6.  Sign up with your dog to become a pet therapy team so you can visit nursing homes, hospitals, etc. and share joy and love with those in need.
  7.  If you see abuse or neglect taking place become a Good Samaritan for animals. Call any authorities you trust to uphold compassionate animal welfare standards. Start a neighborhood watch with your children; it’s a wonderful way to teach them about compassion for animals and how to help prevent animal abuse. Go to Sunbearsquad.org to get a Neighborhood Watch Kit and get started.
  8.  Help with rescue dog transport. You can help get rescues to a safe location or to their new forever home. Dogs are being transported across the country every day and drivers are always needed and appreciated.
  9.  If a rescue is having a fundraising event offer to donate an item for their auction.
  10.  Help spread the word via the internet about dogs that need homes, it really does make a difference.

I hope your readers will come join me on my blog and share their random acts of animal kindness. Together we can make a difference, one pawsome act at a time. No time to waste, let’s get barking.

Do you have anything else you would like to add about The Good Dogma company?

Kensy, as you noted earlier, is the dog behind the Dogma. He was rescued from death row and now works as a therapy dog, aka, love on a leash. We visit nursing homes, a pre-school for children with disabilities, as well as many special visits throughout the year. Everywhere Kensy goes he brings joy and smiles to those he visits. The fact that he looks like a walking stuffed animal doesn’t hurt. We are all about doing good, giving back, and making a difference. One of the reasons for starting The Good Dogma Company is to help raise money for homeless dogs. We donate a portion of every sale to dog rescue because we believe every dog deserves to be safe and happy, and have a place to call home.

GIVEAWAY

Lisa has generously offered a prize package containing winner’s choice a lovely piece of jewelry and a bag of her baked dog treats, Karma Krunchies to one of my readers, for a total value of $40. To enter, just use the Rafflecopter form below. Giveaway ends April 4th at 11:59PM, and is open to US Residents age 18+.

a Rafflecopter giveaway