Shocking! Never Before Revealed: The Truth about #Barkbusters!


It was a dark and stormy night…make that a dark, cold, and stormy night in November 2009. Zorro, the Giant Schnauzer known to all as @IamZorro on Twitter, was performing a routine security check of the perimeter of his backyard. Out of the corner of his eyes, he caught sight of unusual activity in his neighbor’s front yard. This “thing” glowed and swayed with the wind. This could not be good.

So, Big Z did what all superior security guards would: He barked. He howled. He lunged at the fence separating him from this intruder. He made so much noise, his people made him come inside. But still, the intruder glowed and mocked him through the window. All night long. By morning, the glow was gone. The next night, the thing was back.

First Sighting of Intruder

Realizing he needed back-up, Z consulted with Twitter pals, Bosco (@BigBoyBosco), Tiger (@TigerthePup), the Baron (@BaronVonOdem) and SnowyWestie (me).

We were intrigued and perplexed by this unwanted intruder. First, it was ugly. It was sooo ugly, we just had to bark at it. Even the combined power of three very large dogs and two tenacious terriers did not seem to faze this ugly thing.

It was about this time that Bosco started calling the ugly thing “Fugly”—will let you guys figure that out for yourselves. Night after night, Fugly swayed back and forth, mocking, just mocking us. Come morning, Fugly was just a harmless blob on the ground. Even a coating of snow could not keep Fugly down once the sun set.

Fugly at Dawn

Fugly Rising at Dusk

One night, we all huddled and howled in Z’s backyard, frankly getting a bit frustrated by our inability to rid the neighborhood of this vile creature. It was Tiger’s idea to plan stealth attacks on Fugly. Maybe we could pee it away. Tiger’s idea; Tiger was the first to go in.

While we all filled our bladders with some of @HanksBaconBeer and plenty of water, Tiger crept across the yard, slithered over the fence, attacked from the back side, and let it rip. The Baron attacked next, hitting Fugly squarely on the front side. The thing was wet. It was so cold, Fugly should have turned into an instant ice-cube (which we could then melt).

Down for a Moment

Dawg, this Fugly was tough. Having had just about all he could take, Bosco suddenly and recklessly rushed Fugly, knocking him over with a quick right hook. Fugly swayed, hit the ground briefly, then popped back up. What was this thing?

Zorro and I decided to try a two-prong attack. Using darkness as his cover, Zorro went for the high angle. Blending into the snow piled on the ground, I went for the creature’s lower region. Again, Fugly stood his ground.

The Sheer Brazen Nature of Fuglies

Flash-forward to mid-December. Fuglies began popping up all over the country. In Tiger’s neighborhood, in Bosco’s, in Baron’s, and in mine. These things were everywhere! Worse, these Fuglies were bold, mocking us night and day. They appeared in groups, swaying in the breeze, just taunting us to do something about them.

We knew we were out-numbered. We needed back-up. We were hoarse from barking night and day. So, we did the only thing we could do—we created a Twitter hashtag and put out a call for additional voices. #Barkbusters was formed.

The response was overwhelming. #BarkBusters together created such a din that the skies opened and dumped foot after foot of snow across the countryside. By morning, Fugly was nowhere to be seen in Zorro’s yard, replaced by several feet of fresh snow coated in a thick sheet of ice. We’d discovered the combined awesome power of #BarkBusters working as one very loud howling group!

Since that night, #BarkBusters have put this power to work for the good of our Twitter pals. We learned #BarkBusters could bark away storms, keep intruders away from friends’ homes, even bring rain to parched areas. #BarkBusters are still growing and still learning to harness the energy produced by barking, howling, hissing (yes, there are #HissBusters, too, who come with nice sharp claws) animals all over the world. There are so many #BarkBusters and #HissBusters, it is impossible to include them in a 140-character “All Call” alert. So, we depend upon our worldwide network. Put out the #BarkBuster call for help, and you’ll find assistance.

Back to Fugly…. we thought  the snow had finished him off. We thought Fugly was destroyed. Then, late one night, Zorro posted an unbelievable picture on Twitter. Fugly lives!

Fugly Lives On...

Who you gonna call?

#BarkBusters and #HissBusters, please add your names to our Roll Call below in the comments below. Tell us about your most memorable #BarkBuster / #HissBuster adventure. Seeing an adventure saga in our future!

#BarkBusters! #HissBusters!

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A Plea to the World…. Please Share

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With a Heavy Heart… UPDATE! Heroes DO Exist!

This video gives me hope. Again, thank you @PepiSmartDog, for pointing me to this.

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With a Heavy Heart….

This tiny kitten is just one of the many anipals in Japan who need our help.

I have been closely following my friend @pepismartdog’s reporting on the tragedy unfolding in Japan. Yes, we all remember the March 11 earthquake, tsunami, and subsequent nuclear catastrophe. We raised money at the twitter pawpawty to help the World Vets Organization treat and assist animals affected by the triple disaster. We felt sorrow, we did what we could to help… and then most of us became distracted with other tragedies (tornadoes in the South and Midwest, massive flooding…). Every week, there seemed to be something new calling for the compassion and generosity for which our anipal community is so well-known.

But, back in Japan, the crisis continued, unnoticed by most of the world. Our attention spans are so short these days. Many of us did not realize that when the residents in the 20-km area surrounding the nuclear reactors were instructed to evacuate, they thought it was for one night only and were instructed to leave their beloved pets behind (with enough food for a couple of days). Livestock and horses were left in their stalls. Everyone evacuating believed the assurances that they would return in just a day or so.

It has now been nearly three months since the devastating earthquake… and three months since the evacuation of the 20 km “hot zone” around Fukushima. Animals are still waiting for their trusted humans to return. Many heroes have ventured inside the zone to feed their pets, leave food and water for others, but still the animals wait… many dying an agonizing and slow death.

I saw a video yesterday of a woman sneaking into the zone to feed her dog, then quickly jumping back into her car to leave. The dog ran after the car in desperation…. his face fading in the background as the car disappeared from his view. Heartbreaking to watch… heartbreaking for the woman… heart wrenching for the dog. But this is one of the lucky pets whose humans practice civil disobedience and risk fines, jail, and radiation exposure to bring food into the zone just as often as possible.

Please visit Pepi’s website and learn about the heroes of Fukushima… the animals that despite all they have endured, can be saved if the world calls for action NOW. The full link is

Please read and share. We must keep our focus on our friends in Japan who will continue to face challenges for month and years to come. Please don’t forget.

#WestieWaves to our anipals of Fukushima.

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I’m Still Here….

Well, either Rapture didn’t happen, or a whole lot of people didn’t get picked… Guess that gives me more time to work on my Bucket List.

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Before the World Ends Tomorrow…. A Westie’s Bucket List

1. Catch that squirrel that jumps from branch to branch just out of my reach.
2. Live in a house with no annoying cats.
3. Convince @MissBusyBiz that dudes don’t do pink.
4. Visit Orkney, Westies’ ancestral home.
5. Learn how to swim in ocean waves.
6. Get mom to cook like @LucyWestie’s mom. (well, a dog can wish, right?)
7. Get to hunt vermin just once.
8. Get muddy and not have to take a bath.
9. Take a ride in a convertible with the top down.
10. Meet the Twitter #BaconBot
11. Speaking of Bacon…. Bacon Bacon and more Bacon!
12. Solve Pi
13. Watch Jr. win a race.
14. See the Grand Canyon.
15. Sit at the bar and share a BaconBeer with the #Barkbusters
16. Win an agility contest.
17. Learn agility.
18. Travel to Paris, where I can eat in a restaurant, no just a drive through.
19. Visit @westiesp and join in one of the Gatherings of Westies
20. Watch cycling with @angusfala and @danapixie. (watch Ainsley attack the TV)
21. Elect politicians who work for the people, not themselves.
22. Find out what is at the end of the rainbow.
23. Get barktending tips from @Pepismartdog.
24. Win the lottery so all animals have a good home. Appoint @FrugalDougal to administer funds.
25. Achieve world peace by appointing @MacintoshWestie Diplomat in Chief.
26. Read War and Peace.
27. Watch All Dogs Go to Heaven.
28. Ride with @nocrybabydogs when she goes storm chasing.
29. Put the bitie on the dog catcher.
30. Figure out the meaning of life.
31. Tell my family and friends I love them THIS MUCH.

…. Lots to do. Gotta run. #WestieWave

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…Just Waving! You know?

Welcome to WestieWaves! If we are Twitter pals, then you know my favorite greeting (especially on Wednesdays) is #WestieWaves. It’s a universal way to say “Hi-there-hope-all-is-right-with-the-world.”

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