Advocacy and Activism Books and Movies Get informed and Educated Interviews on Lilly Recommends

New documentary: Street Dogs of South Central – Interview with filmmakers [Audio]

Are you aware of the stray dog problem in Los Angeles? No? Well, approximately 30,000 dogs live on the streets of L.A. – some surrendered by their irresponsible owners, some dumped on the street, others never had a home. It’s an ongoing challenge for animal welfare groups, rescues and animal control services to reduce the number of stray dogs in L.A. Once caught by animal control, many dogs (especially Pit Bull mixes) are euthanized by the thousands every year in the U.S.

Fortunately, many spay & neuter programs are working hard to reduce the number of newborn puppies. In the City of LA, mandatory spay/neuter is the law, supported by great low- and no-cost options, so spread the word!

Elsie and her puppies in South Central. For more pictures check our gallery or visit Dogs of South Central's Facebook fan page.

Bill Marin (Director) and Vince Ueber (Producer) have made a powerful documentary about stray dogs surviving on the streets of Los Angeles, a film called “Street Dogs of South Central” which helps shed light on the pet overpopulation problem. Narrated by Queen Latifah, this feature length documentary follows the story of Elsie—a mother struggling to raise her litter of puppies in a harsh urban environment. Every day, Elsie and her brood travel the streets of South Central in search of food and shelter. Their daily struggle for survival in the ghetto is brilliantly captured and emotionally revealed in this captivating film. STREET DOGS OF SOUTH CENTRAL captures the truly challenging conditions in which these canines live and reveals how the dogs adapt with their innate abilities.

We had the great pleasure of talking to Bill and Vince last weekend. Listen to our audio interview and share our blog post to raise awareness about our stray dogs, and this new important new documentary.

Street Dogs of South Los Angeles – Interview with the film makers by PackPeople NEW: We’ve made it easier to listen to our audio interviews! This audio is  24 minutes of highly interesting and educational content. Use the little flags in the blue bar in the SoundCloud Player to navigate through the questions and content. Get this interview as a Podcast here.

Bill and Vince recommend:

The New Encyclopedia of the Dog by Bruce Fogle

The Ecology of Stray Dogs: A Study of Free-Ranging Urban Animals by Alan M. Beck

To help the street dogs, please click here.

Facebook: Street Dogs of South Central


If you liked the interview please share it with your community or feel free to leave a comment. Thank you for making an impact!

The movie is not yet available in stores or online.

To find out more about screenings and when and where to watch it, you can stay informed through their Facebook page. To help the street dogs, you can click on the ‘help’ section of their website. Here is the trailer:

More clips:

We are humans, so if you see any typos please send us an e-mail to – Thank you!

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Books and Movies Fun Stuff and Pet Companies Interviews on Lilly Recommends

Show Dog – Interview with author Josh Dean [Audio]

A Facebook post on packpeople’s fan page led me to this year’s American Kennel Club’s show results. Even though I’m not a huge fan of dog shows, I was interested to know more about the community. Breeders, proud handlers and overexcited owners get the ribbons with the highest rankings and strive to present the most beautiful and flawless dog on earth. Show Dog: The Charmed Life and Trying Times of a Near-Perfect Purebred gives an excellent insight into this community, as accomplished writer Josh Dean follows ‘Jack,’ an Australian Shepherd, on his journey to the big leagues at Westminster.

I wanted to understand the hype around it, and that’s the reason we contacted Josh Dean for an interview. We had the great pleasure of hearing this excellent journalist and editor share about this first book of his, and why he decided to write about show dogs.

Show Dog – Interview with author Josh Dean by PackPeople NEW: We’ve made it even easier to listen to our audio interviews! This audio is 31.16 minutes of highly interesting and educational content. Use the little flags in the blue bar in the SoundCloud Player to navigate through the questions and content. Get this interview as a Podcast here.

Qualify to win a copy of ‘Show Dog’ here. You can’t wait? Buy it here: Show Dog: The Charmed Life and Trying Times of a Near-Perfect Purebred

About the interviewee: Josh Dean is a magazine writer and veteran editor at various known magazines. He currently does not own a dog of his own (we hope he’ll change this soon:) and lives with his wife and son in Fort Greene, Brooklyn. He is a member of the US elephant member team and obsessed with international soccer.

Josh’s recommendations:

The Wolf in the Parlor: The Eternal Connection between Humans and Dogs

Animal books by Jeffrey Moussaieff – This is our pick:
The Dog Who Couldn’t Stop Loving: How Dogs Have Captured Our Hearts for Thousands of Years


Dogster –

NBC Universal’s site

For more information check the

Twitter: @joshdean66

Facebook: Josh Dean

Facebook: Jack the Show Dog 

If you liked the interview please share it with your community or feel free to leave a comment. Thank you for making an impact!

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Books and Movies Lilly Recommends Ringo Bingo's Raffle

Win a copy of 'Soldier Dogs' – Ringo's Raffle

Our March Giveaway is looking for a new owner! Fresh from the press and ready for release on Thursday, March 15, Soldier Dogs – The Untold Story of America’s Canine Heroes by Maria Goodavage is definitely a must read for every dog lover. These stories of soldier dogs contributing to military efforts, and the special bonds that develop between them and their handlers, truly celebrate the heroism, loyalty and sacrifices of these amazing dogs.

We had the great pleasures of reviewing Maria’s book in advance and interviewing her last week. Join our raffle by entering through as many or as few of the methods below (Rafflecopter). You can also “Like” this article on our Facebook page, or tweet about it from this page, to enter the raffle. Cute little Ringo will pick the winner at the end of the month. This giveaway is open to US mailing addresses only and ends at 12:01am Pacific on Friday, March 30, 2012. Good luck!

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Book Review: Soldier Dogs by Maria Goodavage

Book: Soldier Dogs

Author: Maria Goodavage

Publisher: DUTTON, Penguin Group (USA) Inc.

PackPeople review: “The cover looks awesome” said one of our friendly, dog-loving boys at the front desk while I was unwrapping Maria’s new book a few weeks ago. I agreed, the hardcover layout is great. Let’s see how the book is:

You don’t have to be a dog lover to enjoy the 293 pages of this book. Goodavage’s newly-released book uncovers how military working dogs are procured and trained to become field-specialized, while she enlightens readers toward the training and work of a military dog and as well as their history and related scientific studies. A terrific balance of heart warming stories and interesting facts, Soldier Dogs addresses  these dogs’ heroic accomplishments, the special bond between handlers and dogs, a military dog’s life after retirement – all while impartially addressing the conflicting ethics of employing canines in battle.

The book is subdivided into 4 parts: I. Dogs in Harm’s way; II. Nature, Nurture, and Training; III. The Dog Trainer and The Scientists; IV. Dogs and their soldiers.

“Military working dogs are amazing in every respect, and even more so when you realize that they risk their lives and save yours, all so they can have a ball.” – Air Force Staff Sergeant Christine Campos/Dog Handler

Maria’s writing style is accessible and human – we definitely recommend it as a must-read.

Check out Maria’s audio interview with Rufino and learn about her background, the book and more here. You can also win a copy of Soldier Dogs by entering Ringo’s Raffle. Have fun!

You also might enjoy our Pets for Patriots interview.

Articles Books and Movies Breeds Lilly Recommends

Which breed makes the best movie dogs? – The most famous movie dogs in history

Which breed is the best for a movie? Is there such a thing? I would say NO. If we think back and just follow the movie industry we can see that many dogs, of many different breeds, have successful careers in movies and television. It all depends on the dog.

We’re located in Los Angeles, the heart of the entertainment industry… and I’ve met a lot of dog and cat owners dreaming of their pets working in show business. They train, groom and go to castings, pay a lot of money for agencies and trainers just to get their foot (paw?) in the door. Many are persistent and drag their dogs from one casting to another. Once I met a guy at the dog park who told me about his beautiful Doberman — and how he attends 4 castings or auditions a month to make his dog a famous movie star. He really wants his dog in showbiz – Good luck, buddy!

We know a famous yellow Labrador often used in ads and movies. He was trained at a very young age, lives with a forever foster family, and just like a human actor, is listed with an agency and is always waiting for the call. And where do these dogs in movies come from? Hhmm, that’s another topic we’re going to write about soon!

Let’s see if there is any specific dog bred for likely stardom. We took a look at the different breeds in the movies we know and can remember:

– The first dog in a movie I remember is loyal Lassie – a Collie – the star of the all-time classic dog movie Lassie Come Home (1943) and the beloved series of Lassie films.

– Rin Tin Tin (also Rin-tin-tin) was legendary in films of the 20’s and 30’s, with a successor going on to big success on television in the 50’s. The TV program lasted 166 episodes on ABC from 1954 until 1959, following the adventures of young Rusty and his German Shepherd.

Old Yeller (1957) is an classic as well – the story of a boy who adopts a Mountain Cur Dog that wandered onto the family’s ranch.

Benji (1974) is another one – the shaggy-haired mutt who becomes a canine hero by helping rescue two kidnapped children.

– When it comes to cop and dog movies I remember Turner and Hootch (1989) which is one of my favorites… our dog Samson was a Dogue de Bordeaux and I know that the breed got pretty popular after the movie.

– Another huge hit was Beethoven – the adventures of a big (and slobbery!) St. Bernard.

Eight Below is a really entertaining movie as well – six Siberian Huskies and two Malamutes are unfortunately left behind at a research station by a sled dog trainer who was forced to evacuate because of a big storm.

– I’ve heard about My Dog Skip but haven’t had the chance to watch it. It’s the story about a boy who lives in Mississippi with his Fox Terrier puppy. It’s a sentimental movie which portrays the special relationship between dogs and humans.

– I liked Hercules in the Sandlot, about a huge English Mastiff, a fantastic giant dog. Actually… I just loved seeing this dog and didn’t care about the story so much:)

– Have you seen Buddy, the Golden Retriever in Air Bud? This dog is a multi-sport phenomenon.

Milo and Otis is a very sweet movie as well – A red cat and his best friend, a Pug. Milo and Otis is like the most wonderful storybook read by an English man showing you the illustrations the entire time. It took 4 years to film.

101 Dalmatians. Guess which breed was involved? 🙂

– I also liked Babe, the pig with the two Border Collies

The Awful Truth features Wire Fox Terrier – I haven’t seen this one. This is Rufino’s favorite [The dog’s adorable – and Cary Grant and Irene Dunne are superb in this marriage comedy – Hi everybody! – Rufino]

– A Komondor was the canine actor in Backdraft

– You can see a Brussels Griffon in As Good as it Gets

– In one of the Harry Potter films you can see a Neapolitan Mastiff named Fan

– Roly, a white/creme Standard Poodle was in the TV series Eastenders

– Jack Russell Terriers have given impressive performances this past year, in the recent films The Artist and Beginners

I love this dog watching a romantic canine couple, co cute.

When it comes to animated movies, there are so many that I can’t list them all. Some I have watched are All Dogs Go To Heaven, 101 Dalmatians, The Fox and the Hound, Lady and the Tramp, All Dogs Christmas Carol, Garfield (I know this is not a dog, but his friend is one:), The Adventures of Tintin, the list goes on and on…

Which one is your personal favorite? I don’t know if I really have a favorite. I just love to see dogs on screen. So, bottom line: There is NO specific breed I could find which is in particular the best for movies.

All dogs are stars and I’m sure your own dog is always your personal super star!

Books and Movies Cool and Fun Stuff Lilly Recommends Product Reviews

The Adventures of Tintin – Movie Review

When I first heard about TINTIN, I thought the guy I was talking to mispronounced it and wanted to say “Rin Tin Tin.” I corrected him twice and he said, “NO, I mean Tintin“. I had no clue who Tintin was until I saw a giant Billboard in Studio City – Ahhhh! It’s Tim and Strupi (as I know the characters in the German version). Sure, I know Tim and Strupi, I mean Tintin. I didn’t pay much attention to the movie ads (but recognized the cute dog:) until I got my free tickets (a perk!) from Klout. PackPeople shares its influence about dogs on Klout and we got a nice gift box. I decided to watch it with my friend and PackPeople partner Rufino, and invited Peter and David as well to our 3D adventure event last week.

In a nutshell: Intrepid, young, curious reporter Tintin (Jamie Bell, from Billy Elliot) and his cute loyal companion dog Snowy (a white Fox Terrier) discover a model ship of the Unicorn, which carries valuable secrets. Tintin, Snowy and Captain Haddock travel half the world to unravel the mystery of the Unicorn. Chased by the pirate Red Rackham; TinTin, his dog and Captain Haddock (Andy Serkis) set off on a treasure hunt for a sunken ship commanded by Haddock’s ancestor.


Yurda: I have to admit the movie was an awesome ride, humorous, fascinating and thrilling. This animated movie from Steven Spielberg and Peter Jackson is based on the characters created in 1929 by Belgian illustrator Hergé. I loved the music and my most favorite scene was “The Opera Scene”:) It’s definitely not just a movie for kids and feels like a you are in a video game.

Rufino: Completely enjoyed myself, and the family can, too — taking note of two things: it’s a bit light on plot and heavier on extravagant set pieces, and there is some violence to be seen (characters do engage in battle, and a few bullets do make their target). For adults, this is not as layered an experience as, say, The Incredibles or Wall-E, but as a thrill ride Tintin does its job with energy and precision. And as a dog lover, I found the most compelling character to be Snowy, Tintin’s clever Terrier. While gifted with seemingly human reason, Snowy moves and acts like a real dog, whether jumping from racing vehicles, outwitting evil henchmen or wandering through a Paris flea market.


Books and Movies Lilly Recommends Pet Care Shelter Animals

Special Guest Blog from Holli Pfau, author of "Pure Gold: Adventures with Six Rescued Golden Retrievers"

We’re thrilled to receive this very special guest entry from author Holli Pfau, whose new book shares a powerful, touching journey while giving hope and help to the dogs and organizations who make the human, and humane, experience a richer one. We’ll also be featuring an interview with Holli next month, so please stay close and enjoy our talk with her in November as she shares even more of her important story with all of us. – Yurda and Rufino

From Holli Pfau:

They arrive on our doorsteps with issues and baggage.

Sometimes it’ s evident right away – the guarded, wary eyes, the thin frame and brittle coat, or the fear of men’s boots or sudden noises.

Sometimes it shows up later, in an x-ray that reveals old injuries, or congenital defects that will require surgery and rehabilitation.

But what’s soon revealed – given time, attention, love and tender care – are the true gifts of the heart. The eyes that begin to show trust and love again. The coat that begins to shine. The confidence that life will be worth living again.

These are rescued dogs, those that were once cast aside, discarded, or ignored. These are the lucky ones, now embraced by their families and safe from harm. What will happen now is the remarkable bond between humans and dogs, one of the true joys in life. I’ve been blessed to live with six rescued or second-hand golden retrievers and to see how the bond blooms, and how everyone’ s lives are enriched, often beyond any possible expectation.

My first golden, Nikki, arrived as a three-month-old, saved from euthanasia when a nurse carefully bottle raised her so her cleft palate could heal and she wouldn’ t drown on milk. Nikki grew into a beautiful dog who bestowed stunning gifts as a hospital therapy dog.

Bodie’ s congenital eye problem caused his first owners to return him, saying he wasn’ t perfect. We adopted the lanky youth, had the surgery done… and then Bo also became a happy therapy dog and a superb wilderness hiker.

Tucker was relinquished by his family around six months of age, probably because the mother couldn’t deal with a young dog and a houseful of children, too. One month after we adopted him and fell in love with his gentle spirit, he was diagnosed with bilateral hip dysplasia. Two months post-op, he was hiking trails again and lived a long, pain-free life.

Sophie had languished for her first year of life in a breeder’s kennel. She had never been in a house or in a car, or received any training at all. Sweet to the core, she soon blossomed into a spunky little sprite who became Tucker’ s faithful companion.

Then Daisy arrived. Or had she been catapulted over the fence and flung into our yard? Six months old, she had already had two homes and had been relinquished to the humane society. She burst into our placid household and careened through our days like a sports car stuck in high gear. Smart, athletic and totally lacking in self control, she needed a job. Agility was the perfect choice, and after years of patient and persistent training, she’s earned numerous titles.

Tender little Chatter brought resigned eyes that reflected her barren and neglected youth. Still trying to fill the empty spaces, she craves attention and has trouble containing her newly found enthusiasm for life. She’ s a rising star in our hospital’ s pet therapy program, where she can soak up all the attention lavished on her. Now those deep brown eyes reflect joy and contentment.

Yes, the challenges can be huge, but the rewards are, too. Each dog needed help – medical, emotional, behavioral. But with that help, they flourished. They enjoyed every day to the fullest. And they enriched and transformed my life beyond measure. I’ve been blessed to travel many paths alongside these remarkable dogs. They’ve taken me places I never woud have found without them, and I’m grateful for the journey. So to honor them, and all the gold the’ ve brought into my life, I’m dedicating the profits from my memoir, Pure Gold: Adventures with Six Rescued Golden Retrievers, to shelters, humane societies and rescue programs across the country. It’s the least I can do to help needy dogs find their forever homes.

Meet the Author: Holli Pfau 

Holli - Daisy - Chatter

A third generation Trojan, Holli graduated from the University of Southern California with a degree in English and, years later, added a BS degree in Therapeutic Recreation from California State University, Northridge. Holli’s long career in advertising took a back seat to the adventures her goldens would bring to her life, as they arrived on her doorstep one by one.

Blessed with the animal-loving gene, Holli shared her early years with a menagerie in southern California. So after an 18-year career in marketing, it’s no surprise that she returned to her roots, inspired by her first golden retriever, Nikki. Credentialed by her second college degree, in therapeutic recreation, she co-founded PAT at Huntington, a program of animal-assisted therapy that became a national model. But the Rocky Mountains lured, and she now lives with her husband in Colorado. Holli continues to be humbled, challenged, charmed and entertained by two frisky golden retrievers, Daisy and Chatter.

Book Details:

  • Pub. Date: October 2011
  • Publisher: Glad Dog Press LLC
  • Format: Hardcover , 263pp
  • ISBN: 9780983645108
  • US/CAN $24.95