• How Much Is That Doggy In The Window?

    More puppies are sold in pet stores during the holiday season than any other time of year. Oftentimes these animals are born in large-scale commercial breeding operations known as puppy mills, where dogs are bred for profit at overcrowded and unsanitary facilities. They frequently suffer from infections and congenital problems and breeding females endure lifetimes

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  • From Russia With Love

    If there is such thing as a universal language, we’re fairly certain it contains the words “bark” and “meow.” How else do you explain someone in Moscow reaching out to an anti-animal abuse campaign based in Baltimore on behalf of a 10-year old mixed-breed pup looking for love? While there are hundreds, more like thousands,

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  • Why We Bleed Purple

    Four years ago when we started Show Your Soft Side ®, two of the three of us had never seen a football game in our lives. One of us (not me) was into ballet and the other (okay I confess) viewed Sundays as that fabulous day when her husband headed to M&T Bank Stadium and

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  • Some Angels Carry Guns

    The rendezvous was planned for mid-morning at an undisclosed parking lot just off 83. The two participants had texted each other so they’d know what model car the other was driving, but it turned out to be unnecessary. On this particular morning, they were the only ones in sight.   It only took a few moments

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  • Neither Trophies Nor Trinkets

    The world has condemned the recent killing of a lion named Cecil that lived in Hwange National Park in Zimbabwe and American dentist and trophy hunter Walter Palmer faces extradition charges for illegal poaching. The Wildlife Conservation Research Unit of Oxford University had been following Cecil for several years as part of a study into

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  • How I Was Shanghaied By SYSS

    It must’ve been fate. I can’t think of any other reasonable explanation for how I crossed paths with SYSS.  It started at a crowded Starbucks, crammed next to Caroline and Sande on three barstools. If you ask them, I was shanghaied onto the team. If you ask me, they were gracious enough to bring me

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  • When Animal Planet Comes To Town

    Anytime I see a text from Torrey or Chanel Smith, I know it’s going to be good. It could be a video of TJ with his pibble sister, Mama, or a photo of a young Soft Side fan whose battle with cancer included a special invite to a Ravens practice. As predicted, this one made

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  • Soft Side Goes Hollywood

    The word came via a text from Rebecca Corry – “Kaley Cuoco wants to be a Softie.” Shut up. THE Kaley Cucoco?   As in America’s sweetheart, star of The Big Bang Theory, recently inducted into Hollywood’s Walk of Fame and high profile “mom” to three rescue pups? THAT Kaley Cuoco? The answer came back, “Yep,

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  • The Case Baltimore City Didn’t Want You To Know About

    Today, former Baltimore City Police Officer Alec Eugene Taylor was sentenced to one year in jail for the choking and beating death of Rocko, his girlfriend’s 7-month old Jack Russell puppy in Montgomery County, Maryland. As many already know, Taylor resigned his position with the Baltimore City Police Department back in August in order to

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  • Three Letters Almost Did Him In

    It was only our second time volunteering at the secret kitty sanctuary when we were cautioned that there was a feral kitty tucked away in the back room. After having recently trapped and transported a feral to the vet only to see it fly around the examining room as if winged, I admit I was

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