Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Vinto Pizza

There's a new kid in town...Vinto Pizza.

If you love woodfired pizza, reasonable prices, and a hip but comfortable setting, go check out Vinto.

We enjoyed a proscuitto and apple pie with shaved parm and arugula, a baked mac and cheese with fontina, parm, cauliflower and crunchy baked breadcrumbs, and a delicious sorbetto and gelatto sampler.

The wine list is good and affordable, good beer selection, and great service. GO! NOW! What are you waiting for?

418 East 200 South

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Pits and Perception Art Show

OliverPeteyBlue NoseChinaMyaBonitaLenaGeorgia

Please join one of Best Friend's founding members and wonderful artist, Cyrus Mejia for a reception and art show entitled Pits and Perceptions running from 12/18-1/30/10.

This is an incredible collection of paintings featuring some of the Vic(k)tory Dogs and other pitties from the Sanctuary. You can visit Cyrus' website here:


This show has traveled the country and is finally stopping in Salt Lake! Please come to the reception and be sure to stop by while the exhibit is up!

I am truly honored to have a digital display of my photography featuring some of my favorite dogs at the Sanctuary that will be up during the exhibit. Please come to the opening and support the show, the dogs, and me!

Monday, December 07, 2009

The Secret to Happy Training

I have been psyched on training for climbing, and even though my beloved Rachel Orth, and my beloved Rachel Strate have both deserted me for greener pastures (sad, sad days for me), I have been getting amped with visiting, roadtripping Brit Steve Honeyman.

Having a fun, supportive, motivating person to train with makes all the difference, and I've been really amping to get into super shape and hopefully propel that onto some real rock in March (Bishop anyone?)...of course all of that hinges on all of our canine drama that we cannot seem to escape.

For me the secret to happy and productive training (well, really just climbing) is surrounding myself with good people with no egos, and people that realize climbing is fun! My other major secret, and perhaps I shouldn't divulge, lest the masses flood the gym, is going during the day with a few friends when the gym is empty....for me this is as much fun as it is productive.

I'm hoping to take a trip down South for some new bouldering areas- Duncan, if you are reading this, let's GO!

And this link probably won't work, but this pic is a hilarious oldie but a goody, me bouldering with a harness on and a huge ass chalk bag dangling behind me- good times!

Monday, November 30, 2009


Well, Adam and I enjoyed a very quiet T-giving. Jaima and John came over for drinks and appy's then Adam and I made a lovely dinner...though the turkey was not so good. I think Mr. Turkey lived a rough and tumble life on the streets, and was one...tough...bird.

Yesterday we got our tree up and decorated in preparation for Scotty and Mel's visit- the little nephews Reece and Trevor warrant getting a BIG tree, so we went with a 10 and a half footer! But, our space is limited, so it couldn't be more than 3 ft wide...good challenge!

Hope you like it:

In other news, we found Honey a stroller, but it was a bust- she HATED it, and sang the Honey Donkey Opera all the way down 45th South- people were coming out on their lawns to see what that donkey/manatee/operetta was coming from inside the stroller....then she wedged her head through the back pocket and clawed her way out- embarrassing. But, we did get some Ruff Wear booties, and they are a GREAT SUCCESS- in addition to climbing V10 now, she can also wander the first floor of the house with her booties on without slipping on the wood floors- as Mel Gibson in Braveheart would say- FREEEEEEEDOOOMMMMMMMM!!

Facebook is killing my blogging. Sorry for the lack of updates. Hope all of my readers are well.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Right About Now

We need THIS for Honey:

Her shit still is messed UP- limping, and the new freakish repair is still shifting a few degrees each week. We've been xraying her weekly, she is now radioactive. She lives in a pen. My poor dog. If I can come up with 250 bones, this baby will be hers! Then she could have some fun adventures. If any creative, handy friends want to try to make this out of a converted kid stroller, let me know, I'll pay ya!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Come to the Paws and Claws Adoption Event

Please come to this event, let's help get the University of Utah's Research dogs adopted and give them a happy ending they deserve. Come and meet the animals, show your support for the dedicated volunteers who see that they get walked daily, given treats, and love by caring people, and help find adopters and foster families.

I do not support the research on animals at the University of Utah. It's wrong, I hate it, and I want to take all of these animals home with me. I am sick that I live in one of the only two states that allows Pound Seizure- meaning shelters can be forced to turn over their animals to research laboratories. It's heartwrenching to think that if someone surrenders their family pet to a shelter (don't get me started on that), or a stray whose family cannot be located, that their once loved family dog or cat can end up a research subject in a laboratory.

Yes, there is controversy swirling around the University of Utah research on dogs, cats, and other animals, and PETA has infiltrated the labs with their expose that published in the Salt Lake Tribune today. The problem is (and let me preface by saying I hate PETA, they are only "ethical" if you support euthanasia of pit bulls and total breed discriminatory laws...um, yeah, PETA can suck it), they do not propose solutions or seem to support how the citizens of Utah can get involved to help the animals- like writing our State reps and congressman on overturning the inhumane and archaic laws supporting Pound Seizure.

But, I digress- alas, this post is NOT about PETA, or about the research, it's about supporting the animals that come out of those labs by fostering and adopting them, and coming to the Paws and Claws, which will be an awesome event highlighting some of the adoptable animals- there will be adoptable animals, crafts, food, etc.

For more on Pound Seizure and how you can help overturn this law here in Utah, check out this website.

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

GRRRL Power- Outdoor Inspiration- A Divine Line

My good friend Jaima has started a new website to help connect the female backcountry enthusiasts of the Wasatch. Her site is called A Divine Line and her aim is to have a forum, gear reviews, classifieds to buy and sell used gear, interviews, and great trail information for ski touring and climbing in Utah. Jaima is an amazing athlete, from snowboarding, to backcountry skiing, to climbing, she is pretty much a badass, and her website will no doubt be a fun, inspiring place to visit and a great way to connect with other women who enjoy the Wasatch backcountry. Stop by and join her forum today!


I'm Like David Hasslehoff

Not really, but this is a banner week for media. I must be big in Japan...or Germany, or somewhere!

Yesterday, my friend Chris pointed out that I am a centerfold in the new Urban Climber for an FFA I did in LCC about two years ago...oh well, better late than never, right? And, for those of you who have asked, Yes, it was scary. It's actually Ditch Witch low, or sit, or whatever it's called and was a fourth overall ascent, first female ascent. Back when I used to be strong, was motivated, and had balls. I remember the day well, I made Andy promise to stay on the ground and spot me with Justin, and he PROMISED he would and that he wouldn't take pics. When I topped out that boulder and looked over in the trees and saw Andy in a tree limb with his camera in hand, and only little ol' Justin on the ground, I was MAD. But, I was also so ecstatic, and I forgave Andy, as I was happy to have his amazing pics to remember it by.

Then today, again in design blog land, I have popped up again on Apartment Therapy, a republish of a shot that appeared about a year ago. This time, they have labled me as having an "Unstuffy Dining Room." Cool, I'll take it. I need to entertain soon in that Unstuffy Dining Room, because as of late I have been a total and complete shut in.

While we're on the topic of my status as a shut in, Honey is still struggling. I can't really write about it, because it's painful. She is still having problems on her leg that was re-operated on, and we go back in again on Thursday for another xray. At this point, I'm saying no more surgery...let's let this poor Honey heal and try again in a few months. And as if to tell me how over it she really is, she took a dump in my laundry room- a first, and hopefully a last.

That's the news for the day, and if you have any funny stories, I could use a laugh right about now.

Pic by Andy Burr
pic by yours truly
pic by yours truly

Sunday, November 01, 2009

Honored- Desire to Inspire Shout Out

Well, off the topic of pooches, and on the topic of design. Very thrilled and honored to have on of my photos appear on one of my favorite design blogs Desire to Inspire. If you ever are stumped on a house project, or just need to be inspired for your space, this blog is a must read! Thank you so much Desire to Inspire!

Saturday, October 31, 2009

We Made the News

Our Pittie Pumpkin Party made the Deseret News, and personally, I think our photographer, who doesn't have any pets, really fell for some of the dogs, especially Aggie, the black and white pup in a chicken costume (I was quite smitten with her as well...).

Photos by Chen Wang, Deseret News

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Pinups, Puppies, Pitties, and Pumpkins- Oh My!

Cute pupper!

Pumkin or Puppy?
Short, brindle ballerina SUNNY girl!
Lindy Princess

Heeler Pups!
One of the new heeler pups!
Campaign Tables At Pinups Event
Pinup and Adoptable
It's been a busy week for me helping the dogs! On Tuesday, we had the Pinups for Pups event, it was fun, and sexy, and if you are a single dude, you blew it by not attending...lots of beautiful women dressed as the old time pinups walking adorable adoptables down the runway. You can see pics of the Pinups for Pups event here.

Today, we held a Pittie Pumpkin Party at Salt Lake County Animal Services. I got to meet the new heeler litter...oh....my....GOD, they are so precious! Then we carved pumpkins and had a pittie parade with many of the shelters most adoptable pitties in costume.

We had two very deserving dogs go into foster care, including one of my personal favorites, Oscar, who went to crash on my good friends' Jessica and Justin's couch for a while...yayyy, I get to visit! Sunny also went, and for anyone who is a sucker for short, squatty, brindled dogs loaded with love and personality, this gal will steal your heart!

Fun, fun events, for great, very deserving dogs. Hope to see more of you out there next time!

For more puppy and PPP pics, go here.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

A New Litter of Puppies at SLCOAS

And, as a follow up to my last post...look who has just arrived at SLCOAS shelter. Who's got room for one more....c'mon, what's one more :))) Here they are, a litter of brand new heeler pups at SLCOAS...Needing rescue and their forever homes! Please, spread the word and share with friends and family. The shelter is located at 511 w 3900 s in Salt Lake City. All adoptions include spay/neuter, vaccs, and a microchip as well as a free vet visit!

A brief update as I've gotten a few inquiries and a little more info: they will be ready for adoption in a week and a half (they still need their next round of vaccs and s/n surgery) and will also get their deworming and a free bag of food as well. Their adoption fee will be $195 (but includes all of the aforementioned items and services). I do not believe they are on petfinder yet, or they were possibly listed under another shelter recently in another part of the state. They are however currently at SLCOAS. I am also not sure, but there may be a possibility of fostering- if you are interested, you can ask the staff at the shelter. I hope to have more pics for everyone on Thursday as I will be there volunteering! If you have more questions, keep them coming and I will try to find out. Let's help get these cuties adopted!
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Monday, October 26, 2009

Are You in the Market for a New Puppy?

Sometimes it sucks to be me. I am very OCD about everything in life, it doesn't matter what it is, if I'm into it, I'm INTO it, putting my whole heart and soul into whatever it is. I guess that is good, because usually when I set my mind to something, it will usually get done. Climbing has been a big part of my obsessions, and when I was growing up it was gymnastics. The older I get the more things get added to the OCD pile. House projects, climbing, dogs, ...that's what gets me to this point. It's so difficult when you are have an OCD personality- I just have to get it done and I will lose sleep while I am working on it, whatever 'it' happens to be, and I tend to worry a lot (hence one of the reasons why it sucks to be me).

People probably get sick of me talking about it, but when I first set my mind on being involved in animal rescue, from then on, I have felt like I am personally responsible for saving every dog I meet that needs a home. It can feel like an insurmountable challenge. Personally, I have never owned a dog in my whole life that wasn't rescued. I remember my first dog Sasha (aka FATHEAD) came from Lollipop Farm when I was ten years old. Somehow I just always knew that if you wanted a dog, you went to the pound, and you got one that really needed a home.

The problem with being OCD about rescuing dogs is that sometimes it seems like an uphill battle. Without sounding like a self righteous lunatic (or at least trying not to) you constantly, until blue in the face, try to recruit adopters, foster homes, and you try to explain to people the importance of adoption, spaying and neutering their animals, etc. You try to explain to people the problems with backyard breeding, the issue of puppy mills, and the staggering statistic that 5 million perfectly lovable, adoptable dogs and cats of all breeds and varieties are euthanized for space every year in this country. Personally, I think that everyone who wants a pet should spend an afternoon volunteering at a shelter- it is truly heartbreaking when a dog you have spent an afternoon with walking and playing with, looking into their eyes, and getting to know isn't there the next week, and it ain't because they were adopted into a loving home.

People will say though, "but I want a puppy " or "I want a [certain breed]" Well, there are tons of puppies in the shelters and they get euthanized as much as anyone else. Did you know that 1 in 4 dogs in shelters are PUREBRED? There are even breed rescues, so lets say you want a beagle, well, there's plenty of beagle rescues, or poodles, or huskies, or whatever your flavor. If you do your homework, you will find your perfect companion, purebred or mutt, puppy or old man- all that need an adoptive home.

If anyone is in the market for a puppy, or a certain kind of dog, please, let me know, I can help you connect with a rescue group that might have the perfect puppy or dog that you are looking for- skip the classifieds and send an important message to backyard breeders to spay and neuter their animals- it's the responsible thing to do. Don't believe it when they tell you there was an 'unexpected meeting' or it was an 'accident.' There are plenty of affordable and low cost spay and neuter clinics in the valley that anyone can utilize if cost is an issue.

You can also visit Petfinder, a wonderful rescue resource where you can do an advanced search to find your perfect companion based on age, breed, gender, location, etc.

If you have ever 'bought' a dog, please don't be offended and don't despair- this post isn't intended to make anyone feel bad- it's a chance to educate people on rescue and adoption and also inspire people to get involved to make a difference in the life of a homeless animal.

Photos: by moi, at a recent No More Homeless Pets Adoption event.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Surgical Stress- It's Complicated...

I'm not sure where to begin.

First and foremost, my Honey is home with us following another surgery this morning to correct one of her two failed surgery knees.

The surgeon, the best in the this entire region, has only seen 3 in 5,000 surgeries go this way. It really sucks when your dog is the one with the 1/10th of a percent chance complication.

In addition to her tibial crest fracture which wouldn't have been that bad, two of her screws had sheared, causing the whole plate to shift and the tibial plateau to return to it's pre surgical angle.

Now, the crux was how to fix it...he couldn't touch the two broken screws, so he moved the plate and did another placement. The crappy thing about that placement, and it was the ONLY place to go without shattering her knee...was that there is now a screw head sticking up in her joint. He doesn't feel this will be in the way YET, but there is no way to know. He used locking hardware
plates and screws this time (where before he had not).

Additionally, he had to drive two other pins in to stabilize the fracture, then added a tensioning wire for additional support, which now runs through one of the now vacant screw holes.

Since were are in unchartered waters here, we really have no idea if and how this repair will hold.

He is recommending that if it is successful, that in 6 months, we remove all hardware from this leg. Assuming her other surgery leg is doing well, we'll leave that hardware alone- he doesn't like to remove unless necessary.

So, we have nothing to do now but wait and see. I'm trying to stay strong. He said of the three he's seen that were similar, one dog was 'never really the same' and the other two fared well.

That's the news...I wish it were better, but Honey is still her cute little wiggly-waggly butted, licking, happy little pink nosed pitty. So, from her I take my strength and good humor- it's all we can do at this point.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

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Surgery Complications for Honey

Many of my faithful readers already got this news, but Honey's left surgery leg has failed. Her tibial crest has fractured and the hardwear inside may be compromised. I had been concerned about this leg all along- it looked more bowed AFTER surgery, and I raised numerous concerns. Finally, by Sunday, she started limping, where she hadn't been before. She didn't even limp the day after surgery with both of her legs being operated on. I couldn't figure out why on Day 10 of recovery, all of a sudden we were seeing such a backslide.

I brought her in to the surgeon on Monday, he manipulated both legs, watched her walk, and said she was just healing unevenly- but, he never xrayed her legs- and he gave us the go ahead to start pt/rehab on Tuesday (yesterday). The rehab vet was also concerned when she saw the limp. She took some films, which showed things in tact. We began two hours of hydrotherapy and rehab, when as an afterthought, the rehab vet decided to get another view on an xray. This time, a clear fracture was noted. She emailed the digital files to the surgeon, and he said it's a problem, and needs to be reoperated on to fix it. Mind you, we just did two hours of rehab on a broken leg.

Now, today, she is in so much pain on BOTH legs, that she won't walk at all. This backslide is devastating- I'm sick to my stomach with worry, and we go in tomorrow for another surgery. I'm angry at being brushed off in the first place (twice) when I raised concerns about the left leg.

I'm angry that she did two hours of rehab on a broken leg, which has now taxed the remaining good surgery leg to the point that she doesn't want to weight it. If both of these legs are sabotaged, I will die. My poor Hun Buns.

Please, send some good wishes our way. This has been beyond stressful. I can only hope that in the long run, this will help her. This is difficult because I was always on the fence about whether to subject her to these surgeries in the first place. Now my worst fears are coming true. I feel so helpless. I have to stay strong for my baby.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

University of Utah Research Dogs

It is only within the last few months that I learned about the University of Utah's research on dogs. When I say research on dogs, I don't mean veterinary studies...I mean medical research being conducted on dogs taken from the shelter- dogs that were going to be euthanized. These studies have been going on for many, many years, and span a variety of areas including pain studies, anesthesia studies, lung studies, and much more. Some of the dogs are control dogs, and therefore are not subjected to the "real" drugs or experiments, however many are given various drugs, procedures, etc, that some might equivocate with torture, depending on your point of view.

Many of the dogs are 'released' from the studies and are then placed up for adoption, facilitated by one very dedicated volunteer, Linda Schmidt. Linda has been helping retired research dogs find their homes since the mid 90's. Her dedication is unwavering- she has built a very nice volunteer network, and people meet daily at 5 pm to walk the dogs and give them a half hour reprieve from their kennels. She tirelessly advocates and tries to find foster and adoptive homes for dogs that have been released and has helped some 600 animals over the years have a second chance. Linda does not work for the research lab, she happens to be a scientist in her own right in a different lab. She does not conduct any testing on the animals. She is truly their angel, helping them find light at the end of a very dark tunnel.

In her words, however, many are not released- meaning, these dogs will be killed either as part of the study, or following the studies completion, never having the chance to find happiness in a loving home.

I will tell you, when I walked into the building, my chest felt an intense pressure, I could hardly breathe...I though I might pass out. The air was so thin- knowing what these dogs have endured and still seeing how hopeful they are just rips my heart out of my chest.

If any dear readers can open thier hearts and homes to a retired research dog, please, please contact Linda and she can direct you.

Please also come to a fundraiser November 12 in the Eccles Genetics center on the U of U campus, an early holiday bake and craft sale, where you can meet many of the adoptable animals. After the fundrasier, the dogs' fate is unknown.

UPDATE: Jasper, the handsome black lab/pitty mix at the top has gone into a JACKPOT of a foster home with Agnes and Brandon, who love him and have spoiled him already! Let's see if we can get a few more of these great dogs out of the kennel into foster care or adoptive homes!

Linda's email is: linda.schmidt@hsc.utah.edu Contact her if you'd like to foster, adopt, or volunteer to walk the dogs.

To see more photos of Jasper with his new foster mom and dad, copy and paste this link into your browser: http://picasaweb.google.com/woofslc/BrandonAgnesAndJasper#

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Honey's Recovery Day 3 Post Surg

Wow, Honey seems to be forgetting that she has Frankenknees...she just wants to moooove. She's annoyed that her area is restricted, and she has become very vocal to let me know about it. We have been walking several times a day to the corner and back (maybe 100 feet?). She isn't allowed to be near Tiggs for fear they will try to play...this will be tough, they are best buds, and they cannot play for 4 months! They will be able to walk next to each other however, on leash only.

We don't start rehab for another week and a half...I'm wondering what I am going to do to keep us all from going stir crazy. Meanwhile, Adam's been walking Tiggs and Winn and making sure they are getting out.

This pic was taken this morning from Honey's new lookout post by the front door. It's about the only excitement she is allowed.

Friday, October 09, 2009

Honey's Surgery Day 1

Honey is a BRAVE girl! She got through her surgeries yesterday with flying colors. Now we begin the long healing process. Honey's ACL's and CCL's were gone, and her meniscuses were torn and calcified. Dr. Dale Smith put Honey back together again by performing a bilateral TPLO surgery. Doing both knees at once has advantages and disadvantages. Right now, Honey is trying to stand up and walk, naturally this is difficult since two of her four legs are stapled and screwed together.

We will just take her recovery one day at a time, and she is a brave little trooper. She loves her food, and we're making her special meals that are extra, extra yummy. We also will be icing her throughout the day to help reduce her swelling.

Thanks for the good wishes!