Happy Valentine’s Day

Hello. Rufus and his pack want to wish all of our friends a very happy Valentine’s Day. Hopefully you and yours got all that your hearts’ desire today – whether it was a nice dinner out and quality time with the one you love, or flowers, maybe some chocolates or perhaps some shiny new jewelry. 🙂 However, if anyone is looking for an extra gift to give or get (one must not forget to pamper and spoil oneself on occasion) may we please recommend the following…

Joy Ride
Measurements: 5 x 7 photo; 8×10 hand painted frame (blue).
$55 – payment can be made via PayPal.

Joy Ride

Joy Ride. Measurements: 5 x 7 photo; 8×10 hand painted frame (blue).

Hearts and Hound
Measurements: 14 x 14 photo; 14 x 14 hand painted frame (red).
$85 – payment can be made via PayPal.

Hearts and Hound

Hearts and Hound Measurements: 14 x 14 photo; 14 x 14 hand painted frame (red).

 

I Heart Hounds 
Measurements: 5 x 7 photo; 8×10 hand painted frame (red).
Price: $55 -payment can be made via PayPal.

I Heart Hounds

I Heart Hounds. Measurements: 5 x 7 photo; 8×10 hand painted frame (red).

These signed, limited edition framed photo prints were part of Gallery 525’s Love Train Artist Exhibition. The prints would look lovely in your office, a guest room, children’s room or anywhere you want to proudly profess your love and admiration for these adorable hounds. ❤

All monies paid are tax-deductible to the charity DOGS (Dachshund Outreach Giving and Socialization). Shipping is INCLUDED in the price point when shipping in the USA. Thanks in advance for the consideration and continued support.
❤ JOT ❤

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Icebreaker Speech

Tonight at a local Toastmaster’s meeting, I gave the following icebreaker speech. I imagine many of you would enjoy it, along with the slides (pictures) I used. Check it out friends and let me know what you think. 🙂

Thank you Mr. Toastmaster.
Fellow Toastmasters and honored guests.

One Hound and His Human

The story of one hound dog and his human. Photo by: © Johnny Ortez-Tibbels | http://www.Rufusontheweb.com

Rufus. This is the story of one hound dog and his human. Together the dynamic duo goes from aloof private citizens to K9 socialites in the LA market and beyond.

Moving from Fort Worth, Texas to Los Angeles, California was a transition for me. As the second largest city in the union, I’ve often described LA as a large and lonely place full of bright lights, big stars and lots of indifferent people.

JC the betta fish

JC the betta fish. Photo by: © Johnny Ortez-Tibbels | http://www.Rufusontheweb.com

In May 2003, my partner got me a betta fish, and we start the conversation of possibly getting a dog. The joke was if the fish lived for a year, I’d be ready for something a little more substantial. (Pause) It may seem silly starting with a fish, but I wasn’t a really a pet person, or a people person for that matter, at the time. The idea of dog hair on my designer clothes, picking up poop and being responsible for another living being was a little intimidating for me at first.

We named the fish JC, and the act of regularly cleaning the bowl, feeding him daily – just the right amount of food – and making arrangements for someone to look after him when we traveled was an excellent preamble for what was to come. And for anyone wondering, JC and I did have a strong bond; he was a real good listener. (Pause) He also lived under my care for 5 glorious years, and taught me the importance of consistency and routine when caring for a pet.

Rufus, as a puppy

Rufus 1st picture ever. Photo by: © Johnny Ortez-Tibbels | http://www.Rufusontheweb.com

On October 30, 2004, my world changed forever when I met this precious puppy. After living in LA for 22 LONG months and caring for JC the betta fish for 15 of those months, we were finally ready to move from a possibility to action. We woke that Saturday morning, checked the newspaper for any breeders selling dachshund puppies and found two. We made the hour long drive from the familiar West Hollywood to somewhere foreign for me in the San Fernando Valley.

When we finally arrived at the breeders, it was dust and we were presented with three puppies. The first two were carried in and looked like picturesque model puppies – like something you’d see in a book about dachshunds. As I held the first one, he pooped on me. (Pause) The second one was shy and nervous, but the third came into the room on his accord, marching in tail wagging, curious to meet us and inspect his surroundings. The decision was easy, this was our dog. We could just tell there was lots of personality and confidence in this small and sweet package. He reminded us of a little Napoleon.

I held that dachshund puppy all the way home, and at the end of that hour drive, we were bonded and I was in love. We just had to pick a name; and after trying a few others we finally settled on Rufus, which means red-haired. And with that, the adventures of Rufus, the red smooth miniature dachshund begins.

Rufus, 10-week old puppy

Rufus, 10-week old puppy. Photo by: © Johnny Ortez-Tibbels | http://www.Rufusontheweb.com

Caring for a 10-week-old puppy is a huge undertaking, and on the fifth day I knew I needed help. Some of the best money we ever invested was hiring our trainer for Rufus. He came to our home and honestly trained us. He spent the whole afternoon teaching us how to properly feed, walk and crate trained our hound. Zach outlined the work we had to do to create the perfect dog for us, and now with laser like focus and armed with knowledge, I was ready to meet the challenge head-on.

Training Rufus

Training Rufus. Photo by: © Johnny Ortez-Tibbels | http://www.Rufusontheweb.com

One of the basic fundamental truths Zach bestowed on me was the importance of regular socialization for our dogs. We defined socialization as introducing Rufus to a variety of people, places and things. Most importantly, other dogs – both big and small. With that gem of information, I immediately and aggressively looked to schedule a few play dates for Rufus. I used Craig’s List Pet Community and Meetup.com to find other doting dachshund dads and moms. This was before Facebook and Instagram.

Rufus & Benny

Rufus & his best bud Benny. Photo by: © Johnny Ortez-Tibbels | http://www.Rufusontheweb.com

Since I worked from home as an assistant production accountant, I had the freedom to host other hounds during the day, and quickly found a friend living walking distance from our home that had a chocolate smooth miniature dachshund named Benny. Benny’s mom was a single mom, and an elementary school teacher; she would bring him over two to three days a week for play dates. She would drop him off in the morning and pick him up after school. It was the perfect situation for us. We also took turns watching each other’s pup when we travelled.

Although we only had one dachshund to start, I knew in time we would want more so socializing Rufus with other dachshunds was something I took very serious. Play dates with Benny were great, but I wanted to give Rufus more.

I also wanted to take advantage of the beautiful and dog-friendly backdrop of Los Angeles.

LA Doxies Meetup Group

LA Doxies Meetup Group. Photo by: © Johnny Ortez-Tibbels | http://www.Rufusontheweb.com

In less than a year, I went from a member of an informal public meetup group to its leader. And in the course of 12 years, we went from a laissez-faire attitude to structured and regular meetings at 12 different off-leash dog parks all over the greater LA area – while also organizing and participating in a variety of other dachshund centric special events. To date, LA Doxies is one of the oldest and consistent FREE meetup groups of its kind in the country. We have partnered with every notable LA dog store at one time or another, and have proudly pioneered the way for other meetup groups – including Ojai Doxies.

DOGS / ROTW

ROTW / DOGS. Photo by: © Johnny Ortez-Tibbels | http://www.Rufusontheweb.com

Rufus has inspired his own photo blog – Rufusontheweb.com, and the charity DOGS – which stands for Dachshund Outreach Giving and Socialization. Our DOGS’ Facebook page has 1.1 million likes. Rufus has been the catalyst of much good in my world.

Rufus

Rufus. Photo by: © Johnny Ortez-Tibbels | http://www.Rufusontheweb.com

Rufus will be 13 in August, and he has already visited over 20 different states, at least 50 different cities including New York City, Chicago, Austin, San Francisco and Las Vegas. He has been to the Grand Canyon twice, met a tortoise at Joshua Tree, visited Mount Rushmore during its fame Sturgis Motorcycle Rally, barked at a bison in Yellowstone National Park and posed for a picture with Elvis at Graceland.

Rufus at Graceland

Rufus at Graceland. Photo by: © Johnny Ortez-Tibbels | http://www.Rufusontheweb.com

Rufus has traveled by car, plane and boat. He has played on many beautiful beaches in Southern California, walked in wintery white wonderlands like Mammoth Mountain, and swam unexpectedly in the lake at Big Bear. If a man can be a reflection of his dog, I feel good by our long list of accomplishments in a relatively short amount of time.

Rufus in Mammoth

Rufus in Mammoth. Photo by: © Johnny Ortez-Tibbels | http://www.Rufusontheweb.com

After 7 years of being an only hound, we decided to expand the pack and rescued Emily our smooth black and tan in January 2012. 18 months later we were foster failures and got our red smooth female Lily; a shier version of Rufus.

Rufus & Emily

Rufus & Emily. Photo by: © Johnny Ortez-Tibbels | http://www.Rufusontheweb.com

Rufus & Lily

Rufus & Lily. Photo by: © Johnny Ortez-Tibbels | http://www.Rufusontheweb.com

Los Angeles is no a longer lonely city for me. In fact, it’s truly one of my favorites. And, I can thank Rufus for much of that experience and state of mind. Rufus introduced me to a world of people and places that I would have never known if it wasn’t for him. Rufus helped me to step out of my comfort zone, pushed me to meet strangers and motivated me to get up and get out.

I Heart Rufus

I Heart Rufus. Photo by: © Johnny Ortez-Tibbels | http://www.Rufusontheweb.com

Today, I have more friends than I did when I first moved here. But whenever they’re all too busy with work or their own lives, I know I always have a constant companion in Rufus. He never says no and is always eager for whatever is next – whether it’s visiting an art gallery, lunch at a café or running errands around town.

STOP.

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Rufus goes to the Grand Canyon (again)

Rufus returns to the Grand Canyon. Rufus and family visited the Grand Canyon once before; and we all had so much fun that we simply had to make the trip again. Last time we were there in the summer so, it was nice and new experience to see the majestic scenery again as a winter wonderland blanketed in snow.

This was additionally a special trip because it was just Rufus and dad, while the girls (Emily & Lily) stayed home with their other human. Rufus is 12; I value, cherish and appreciate each day we have with one another. I expect Rufus to be around for a lot longer, but I know our time together isn’t indefinite. So, I love making the most of it – every chance we can.

Enjoy the video, and we’ll share more pictures from our trip in the days ahead. Love and spoil them while you can for as long as you can. JOT 🙂

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Happy New Year 2017

Rufus, Milo, Lily & Emily | October 2016.  Photo by: Johnny Ortez-Tibbels ©

Rufus, Milo, Lily & Emily | October 2016. Photo by: Johnny Ortez-Tibbels ©

Wishing all of our friends a very happy New Year!!!

DOGS’ Shop: http://goo.gl/Er9dpX
ROTW: http://goo.gl/Ktq3Wt
Donate: http://goo.gl/wcDJJD

Rufus, Milo, Lily & Emily | October 2016.  Photo by: Johnny Ortez-Tibbels ©

Rufus, Milo, Lily & Emily | October 2016. Photo by: Johnny Ortez-Tibbels ©

Rufus, Milo, Lily & Emily | October 2016.  Photo by: Johnny Ortez-Tibbels ©

Rufus, Milo, Lily & Emily | October 2016. Photo by: Johnny Ortez-Tibbels ©

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Dachshund Holiday Photos 2016

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Dachshund Santa Photos | December 2016.

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Dachshund Santa Photos | December 2016.

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Dachshund Santa Photos | December 2016.

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Holiday Brunch at Azu Restaurant | December 2016.

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Sam wearing our collectible Dachshund Hoodie | December 2016.

On Sunday, Dec. 4, 2016, members from LA Doxies and Ojai Doxies came together to support our local Humane Society of Ventura County by taking photos with Santa. We did both group and individual photos. Afterwards we ended another year of wonderful meetups with brunch at Azu Restaurant sponsored by the DOGS charity. Check out the video below or click here. Hope everyone had a happy holiday season.

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Emily turns 5

Rufus, Emily & Lily | October 2016.  Photo by: Johnny Ortez-Tibbels ©

Rufus, Emily & Lily | October 2016. Photo by: Johnny Ortez-Tibbels ©

Wishing our Emily Sue a very Happy 5th Birthday!!! In celebration of Emily turning a year older, Black Friday weekend and the upcoming Cyber Monday, Emily is happy to offer our friends an exclusive 25% off the “clothing collection” at our DOGS’ Shop. Check it out friends! In lieu of gifts or cards, support the charity DOGS and enjoy some original, unique, collectible, wearable dachshund art while being philanthropic. Enter “EMILY” at checkout and save 25%. Remember prices include shipping in the USA. Thanks to all for their wonderful well wishes today, and the continued support. This Thanksgiving weekend, we’re grateful for all of YOU! Thank you!!!

Emily & Lily | October 2016.  Photo by: Johnny Ortez-Tibbels ©

Emily & Lily | October 2016. Photo by: Johnny Ortez-Tibbels ©

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Dachshund day at the beach

Run big dog, RUN! Here is Rufus, Emily and Lily giving way to chase to some random bid dog at the beach earlier this week. They love it there, and this big dog was a great sport about it. ❤ A good time was had by all. Check it out friends.

#Dachshund #Doxies #HappyHounds #CuteCanine #PoshPups #PamperedPooches #GuardDogs #WienerDog #StyleHounds #Security #GoodTime #Socialization #DOGS
DOGS’ Shop: http://goo.gl/Er9dpX
ROTW: http://goo.gl/Ktq3Wt
Donate: http://goo.gl/wcDJJD

Below is the pack and I ending our beach visit with a walk in the sunset. #LoveOurLife ❤

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Election Day 2016

Rufus, Lily, Milo & Emily | November 2016. Photo by: Johnny Ortez-Tibbels ©

Rufus, Lily, Milo & Emily | November 2016. Photo by: Johnny Ortez-Tibbels ©

Rufus, Lily, Milo & Emily | November 2016. Photo by: Johnny Ortez-Tibbels ©

Rufus, Lily, Milo & Emily | November 2016. Photo by: Johnny Ortez-Tibbels ©

Today we voted in the United States’ 2016 Election. We voted for president, senator, some local county folks and many varied state propositions. And our happy hound dogs were there for moral support while we prepared to vote, when we voted and now while we wait and watch for the election results. Today is a historical day for many reasons, and when we look back on the day, not only will we remember who we voted for and why, but we’ll remember there were dachshunds present and that makes me smile. I think dachshunds always make it a little better, a little happier and a little more fun. For all of our friends in the US, we hope you voted. Enjoy the photos friends.

Rufus, Lily, Milo & Emily | November 2016. Photo by: Johnny Ortez-Tibbels ©

Rufus, Lily, Milo & Emily | November 2016. Photo by: Johnny Ortez-Tibbels ©

Rufus, Lily, Milo & Emily | November 2016. Photo by: Johnny Ortez-Tibbels ©

Rufus, Lily, Milo & Emily | November 2016. Photo by: Johnny Ortez-Tibbels ©

Rufus, Lily, Milo & Emily | November 2016. Photo by: Johnny Ortez-Tibbels ©

Rufus, Lily, Milo & Emily | November 2016. Photo by: Johnny Ortez-Tibbels ©

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The end of Daylight Saving Time

Lily, Emily & Rufus | November 2016.  Photo by: Johnny Ortez-Tibbels ©

Lily, Emily & Rufus | November 2016. Photo by: Johnny Ortez-Tibbels ©

Hope all of our four-legged (and two-legged) friends are have successfully transitioned to the end of Daylight Saving Time. The hardest part in our family centers around meal time. The chowhounds coming looking with hungry eyes and watering mouths an hour early for the next few days until the adjustment is complete. It’s probably one of our least favorite times of the year, simply because we’re big fans of longer day and shorter nights, but I guess one must endure Fall / Winter to truly appreciate Spring / Summer. Hope everyone enjoyed that extra hour of sleep. We did.

Lily, Emily & Rufus | November 2016.  Photo by: Johnny Ortez-Tibbels ©

Lily, Emily & Rufus | November 2016. Photo by: Johnny Ortez-Tibbels ©

Lily, Emily & Rufus | November 2016.  Photo by: Johnny Ortez-Tibbels ©

Lily, Emily & Rufus | November 2016. Photo by: Johnny Ortez-Tibbels ©

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Have a wienerful weekend

Rufus, Emily & Lily | November 2016.  Photo by: Johnny Ortez-Tibbels ©

Rufus, Emily & Lily | November 2016. Photo by: Johnny Ortez-Tibbels ©

Rufus, Emily and Lily are wishing all of our friends a very wienerful weekend OR, perhaps said another way, a very happy hot diggity dog day! Whichever is more fitting, enjoy yourselves and be certain to include them happy hound dogs in your weekend excursions and activities. Love them, spoil them and cherish them all day everyday.

Rufus, Emily & Lily | November 2016. Photo by: Johnny Ortez-Tibbels ©

Rufus, Emily & Lily | November 2016. Photo by: Johnny Ortez-Tibbels ©

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