Dogs Just Want to Have Fun

By Lisa-Anne Manolius | January 07, 2015 ~ 2 Comments

Dogs Just Want to Have Fun

Ever since he was a pup, Vinnie has loved the beach. His routine is the same at every beach we visit. He races to the water as fast as he can until he’s knee deep in the Pacific. Again and again he leaps over the waves dolphin-style, arcing his body up and down in a U-shape. Then he runs back to his humans to get us to chase him back into the ocean so he can do it all over again.

Vin ocean

Day of Fun at the Beach

At the beach, he is jubilant. You can see it in every jump, in his springy gait, in the huge doggy smile on his face, in every giant play bow he presents to dogs he meets. A beach day is a super day of fun for him so I try to make it happen as often as I can.  When I can’t get to the beach, I make sure his days include other fun stuff, like playtime with other dogs, Vin’s version of soccer, tug matches and scenting games.

I know. You probably came to this blog for serious science-based information on doggy behavior and training. So why the emphasis on fun? Continue Reading

Pet Portrait Art By Laura K. Johnston

By Lisa-Anne Manolius | January 05, 2010 ~ 1 Comment

Pet Portrait Art By Laura K. Johnston

This post isn’t about behavior or training but it does celebrate pets and our relationships with them. I couldn’t resist writing about a fabulous pet-related gift I gave my husband for Christmas.

Laura K. Johnston who lives here in San Francisco, is a fabulous artist who paints original watercolor portraits of pets. I asked Laura to paint a portrait of Vinnie as a Christmas gift for my husband, or “He-Who-Is-Notoriously-Hard-To-Shop-For.”

The painting is spectacular. My husband is thrilled and so am I. Not only did Laura create a stunningly life-like portrait of Vinnie, she brilliantly captured his real essence, his very “Vinnie-ness.” The bright spark in his eyes, his curiosity, zest for life, playfulness, sweetness and yes, the light of mischief that lurks just beneath his surface…all these qualities shine from her painting.

Here’s a photo of the painting, though I must add that it doesn’t begin to do justice to the actual painting:

Vin Painting

Laura’s love of animals is clear in her art. She’s easy to work with, professional, works quickly and for an extremely reasonable price. If you’ve ever considered having your pet’s portrait painted, I recommend Laura highly and heartily. A pet portrait by Laura is a one-of-a-kind extraordinary gift for a pet lover – a gorgeous lasting portrait of a pet in all his/her glory.

You can see more of Laura’s art and contact her about painting your pet at