Monday, February 10, 2014

A bad case of Ctrl-C and Ctrl-V continued!

Remember my blog post of October 13, 2013: People behaving badly by simply copying and pasting other people's work?

Well, it was time to follow up. I started with business number 1: Pooch Hike.

Pooch Hike,, has surely outdone themselves in every way. Owner Alina Fierra, who also owns Pooch Yum ( and Pooch Glam (, was contacted by me on February 10, 2014 as her website had barely changed. Both the top and bottom text were copied. She removed one section just to post it on her service site. This is the picture I had posted on October 13, 2013:

Today, February 10, 2014 the above text in light pink (copied from is still untouched. Our Adventures just switched to her service site with a few changes.

As you can tell minimum changes have been made.

I contacted Alina Fierra with the following email:

"Hi Alina,

It has been a few months in which I have provided you the opportunity to remove my text from your website. Since you still have not removed my text from your site I have the possibility to charge you for using text that I have written.

I would like to provide you the opportunity to remove my text within the next 24 hours. If not, I will send you an invoice. Obviously I would like to get paid for my work. 

Looking forward to hearing from you. Thank you!"

Her response:

" Alina Fierra wrote:
What are you talking about dear? We change it. Now you are starting to bug me...."

I am starting to bug her? Gosh, I am truly sorry. I didn't mean to annoy you after you so ruthlessly stole from me.

Another email immediately followed:

"BTW, I consulted with a friend lawyer. The changes i did are more than acceptable. You do not own words! I understand that you try to eliminate your competition, but this is not the way. So get a lawyer, or stop bugging me. I am done with this!"

Done with this? Me too. You flatter yourself. You are not my competitor. I don't steal! I'm original and stand behind "my" words. By the way, how could I eliminate you. That is very interesting since I really am not trying to eliminate you. I am just trying to protect my work.

I responded to her email(s):

"Hi Alina,

Thank you very much for your respond. I wrote those words and you stole them. I'm pretty sure you would be upset if that happened to you but then I guess the perpetrator never feels any guilt. You steal and feel you are in your right. 

You only deleted part of it. I have a copy of your text before and now. If you want to go to court then it is fine with me. I've done this before and always settled before going to trial. It will cost you more then just making your own text. My text is copyrighted and "stealing" is a crime especially if "every word" has been copied and pasted. Check it out: See you in court. Oh, I do hope your lawyer is willing to pay your costs because the advice he/she gave you in not correct.

Thank you!"

Her responses came fast:

"On , Alina Fierra <> wrote:
Fine! See you in court! You are nuts!"

"How do I know you did not cut and paste my text and now you are harassing me.
Do what you must. . . and see you in court if necessary!"

I am nuts? Indeed I am. I am enthusiastic and keen about what is mine (definition of nuts!). I know I did not cut and paste her text. Oh my dog, that gave me a good laugh. It seems all these perpetrators use the same techniques and words. Harassment? Doesn't it get better? I've been harassed and believe me one follow up email is not harassment.  

You set up your business site on July 23, 2011. I've had my business since 2007. I've had two other cases in which the "same" text was used before you even started your business and set up your website. In your business experience you claim to have the following experience: ... writer, director, graphic/web designer ... etc. Being a web designer should also come with the knowledge that past uploads will always be visible. You implemented your changes on November 27, 2013. That was the only time after you uploaded your website for the first time with its current changes.

Who is Alina Fierra? Alina Fierra is also a producer, director, writer at Extrinsic Productions. Linkedin:

If you have been "stolen" from here are a few great links:

Your artwork and your writing is protected. Protected from people like Alina Fierra. Isn't a website supposed to be a representation of your business? Then make it yours. Use your words to sell your product. Not successful? Copycats never succeed. They lack the drive, the originality and the inability to sell them appropriately since their wording doesn't equal what they provide. 

In my last case I hired Mr. Schneck from Patentvalley: He was fantastic and able to resolve the issue before we went to court. My best advice. Hire a good lawyer. It will be worth it!!!

For those of you who copy: I have no pity for you. Copycats are imitators. Does it flatter me? In some sense it does but it gets annoying. Nothing in life is free and if you don't get that part don't start your own business.

Oamenii fură pur și simplu e de rahat!

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Testing flea and tick medication

We purchased. We will test. We will review.
The Dog Hikers trying Seresto by Bayer.
A K9 Outdoor Adventure specialist.

We purchased Seresto by Bayer a few days ago. Our dogs Ani, a Labrador Retriever, and Chewie, a Golden Retriever, will be our first dog to test it.
My dad, who worked for Bayer, introduced me to the product when it was launched. I tried Adventix and I was not very impressed. I've been successfully using Frontline and love it. I do have to say that putting all that poison in our dogs does scare me so an alternative is always welcome.

There is almost no smell to the collar and it fits nicely around the neck. One paw up for that.
Will it work? We shall see. 
Will it last for 8 months? We shall see.

Our testing starts today.
We will keep you updated!

Sunday, October 13, 2013

A bad case of Ctrl-C and Ctrl-V

After following a disheartening copyright infringement case of fellow photographer Illona Haus of Scruffy Dog Photography:, I decided to check mine. I have been so busy that the Google Alerts went directly into my trash folder. I went to copyscape and found three businesses had bluntly copied my website text.

One business has not responded, one said "Someone help me write that for my website. Can you please include your original publication, so I can see what you are talking about? If it is as you say, I will look into it and see what the problem is. Not sure if you can actually copyright a sentience, but I will look into this and if that is the case, I will modify."

One sentence? I probably wouldn't worry so much if one sentence is the same but the whole homepage? It said that 173 words were exactly copied.

The other business copied everything. The whole webpage is a copy and paste of someone else's work. He didn't even bother to change the font or color of the text.

This is my business. My services. My philosophy. I have been at the other end. I understand what feeling you can get when someone says to you: "You stole my stuff." However in my case I didn't blame it on someone else. I did have my website written by an 18 year old college girl who earned $500 the fast way. Copy and Paste and some adjustments. I was so upset because I had to deal with her and the vindictive anger outbursts of the company who had their text stolen. I took the blame and I should. I should have known better. You get what you pay for and I paid for it dearly.

Everyone who has stolen from me has been approached in a normal fashion. Every business ended up leashing out at me, blaming me or accusing me of whatever they could think of. How does that work? You are the violator and I'm the bad guy?

Ms. Beverly Ulbrich, the Lesbian Whisperer, who conveniently took my Dog Connect name. I can post facts and if you don't comply you will be exposed. I think that is where I am right now.

Happy Hiking! - At the other end of a positive leash!

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

The Dog Hikers new Dog Mobile

In April 2007 we started our dog hiking business. We used one of our existing vehicles and transferred it into a dog mobile. With a little adjustment we were able to make the Tacoma into a dog friendly transportation vehicle. For 5 years it was a great means of transporting for our client dogs. During the last year we went on the hunt for a new vehicle. One that was safer, required no jumping in and out that could cause unnecessary injuries, a vehicle that provided the possibilities to cool off the dogs in the summer and provide heat in the winter. We also wanted to step away from the camper shell. Extra insurance for the soft top was expensive.
We wanted a vehicle that allowed us to transport all dogs safely either in a crate or attached to a seat belt.

Our Tacoma truck 

Our search was narrowed down to the Ford Transit Connect and the Toyota Sienna. Similar in price and both offered a unique safety aspect but we decided the Toyota Sienna it would be. The accessories were above and beyond what the Ford could provide. Air vents all over the van for great temperature control, easy step in and out, seat belts with harness connection for the second row and the third row we put two crates (thanks to Kate, Boe's mom, for donating a brand new crate!!!!). We added a little over $1000 in extras to make it even dog friendlier and we have the safest and most luxurious dog mobile in the South Bay. Thanks to Cathy from The Urban Pooch, who highly recommended the van. She too transports dogs in the same vehicle. Life is good! Life is safe for our pooches!!!

The new Dog Hiker mobile

 Safety through seat belts and crates in the back

 Temperature regulation for the back

 Interior mirror to watch the dogs while driving

Rear view camera for extra safety

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Hiking Mt. Tallac August 8, 2012

5 am. Wednesday morning. Lake Tahoe. Time for probably our biggest family adventure during our two week vacation. Our destination: Mt. Tallac.

Our backpacks were filled with water, food and treats. Two of our three dogs would carry their own backpacks filled with water. Treats were to keep the motivation going and for emergency recalls if necessary. You never know what you are going to meet on the trails and up the mountain. The weather forecast was good. 86 F and a few clouds.

My husband Jeff, our son Benjamin (BJ) and our Lab Ani hiked Mt. Tallac last year. They had taken the longer route up (Glen Alpine Trail) and split the strenuous hike into two parts with an overnight at Lake Gilmore. They loved it!
I fed the dogs about 1/3 of the their normal breakfast. Some chicken backs and green tripe. Last year our Golden Retriever Chewie could barely get up. We had put him on special food (kibble) but we did not get the anticipated result. A good friend and Golden Retriever breeder Christine Hsu of Tigana Goldens ( ) suggested I put him on raw food and a whole new door opened up to him. Chewie was born without hips (yes, no ball or socket on both sides). How long he can walk or get up will depend on how fit we can keep him. Our Vet's advice: keep him lean and exercised. He was the very reason our dog hiking business was born. Every day we hike him to keep the tissue that holds everything together as fit as possible. Here is a picture of Chewie during our Mt. Tallac hike. 7 years old and growing strong.

Although we planned to hit the trails at 6 am having kids means something is always missing or someone is not ready in time. At 6:10 am we finally rolled our truck out of the campground.

6:30 am and we hit the trail. The sun was already up and we could feel the heat bouncing of our bodies. Dang, we were too late with our start I remember thinking to myself. Should we ever hike this trail again remind me to go an hour earlier!!

We started at the Mt. Tallac trail head. The trail head starts at 6,480'. The trail climbs gradually up and along a ridge above the west side of Fallen Leaf Lake. This was our first peek of Lake Tahoe and Fallen Leaf Lake.

Lake Tahoe and Fallen Leaf Lake

The first couple of miles went gradually up and we hiked along side of Fallen Leaf Lake. The ridge provided some great views. We expected it to be busy but not yet. It was too early for many. The kids were happily marching in front of us. In this picture I was hiking Scout and Ani, our almost 2 year old Golden Retriever and our 7 year old Labrador Retriever.

Scout, Ani, BJ and Lara
20 minutes into our hike we finally get the first glimpse of the mountain we intended to conquer. 9,735 feet above sea level. I remember I got a weird feeling of anxiety in my stomach. Suddenly my enthousiasm dropped completely out of me and I stood there asking myself the question: "Wtf am I doing here? Two adults, two kids and three dogs. What was I thinking? " A second after the thought entered my mind I hear a "Mom, come on!" from infront of me and my legs moved automatically and I followed the kid from who it came. 
Mt. Tallac ("large mountain") from Mt. Tallac Trail
Meet our canine crew: Scout (GR), Ani (LR) and wearing no backpack is our hip less dog Chewie (GR). They had just taken a dip in Floating Island Lake. 1.6 miles from the trail head.

We continued our journey and at 8:30 am we reached Cathedral Lake about 2.3 miles from the start. We are taking our time as the most difficult part is ahead. The climb along the rock wall of Mt. Tallac. Time to refuel and get ready! Below a picture of Cathedral Lake.

Cathedral Lake
Turning around from above taken picture my view was immediately different. Gone were the trees. This was the much dreaded open space that potentially becomes a problem on very hot days for inexperienced hikers. No shade, no water and a steep, rocky and dusty trail. My son remembered this part from his hike last year. He never hiked this part up but he knew it from hiking it down.
His anxiety level went up right here.

BJ and our dogs looking up at the moon
We continued our hike and we ran into one of our campground neighbors. We chatted and followed and passed later during our hike. The trail ascends into a large rocky bowl, which steepens considerably before it crosses the ridge to the south side of Mt. Tallac. I was carrying 22 lbs of water in my backpack and hiking the unsteady rocky trail really started to affect my hike. You can guess how I felt the next day. I felt muscles I didn't know I had even though I consider myself a trained hiker. The extra pounds in the pack really got me on this part!

Finally we reached the top of the rock wall. I have some pictures of our descent I will share later but this was definitely the most difficult part. Once at the top we encountered a meadow and such a different landscape I had to rub my eyes to remind myself of the surrounding we had just left behind. Simply amazing!

Backside of Mt. Tallac

We continued our hike to the top. We still had more than a mile to go and it didn't look much easier to be honest. The kids and dogs were doing great. We decided to put boots on our hip less dog. Chewie has a "different" walk due to his hips and our fear was that he would get his paws all raw. Better be safe then sorry! Right?

My daughter was enjoying the hike. She listened to music all the way. This picture just makes me smile! Lara is a great fan of Hetalia (anime) and this is one of the poses I guess. I'm still learning all the insight details of her new found passion!

We continued up and were exposed to the sheer beauty of the Sierra Nevada. No matter which direction you looked every capture was fascinating.

Lake Aloha is to the left (blocked by tree in picture)
This picture was taken during our 4th break. Hiking with kids and dogs means you adapt to their capabilities. Frequent stops means it may take you longer but it also gives you the opportunity to catch your breath, drink, fetch a snack and chat! A camelback is great way to provide water to your dog at all times without having to "unload" your backpack.
Scout. The rest of the family is in the background.

Lake Tahoe as beautiful as can be. 4.8 miles and a 3,255 feet climb.

Lake Tahoe

Conquering the top of Mt. Tallac was a huge deal for my daughter too. When she was a little girl she renamed the mountain to "scary" mountain. She now stood on top of the very mountain that once scared her. She laughed just thinking of it!

We found a good spot away from the crowd that was level and provided us the opportunity to sit and enjoy our first lunch. It was just before 11 am when we were rewarded with this spectacular view. Benjamin had an anxiety attack before the summit. Red Bull and Ibuprofen aborted a migraine attack. Do you remember the squirrel in "Over The Hedge"? Well, all the way down he wouldn't stop talking. I wonder why? 
Benjamin and the woof gang!

We ate lunch and tried to condition one chipmunk that humans do not equal food. Jeff even threatened to arrest him for stealing. Not even the dogs could keep the lil' fella away. It is sad to see that people find it okay to feed wildlife and make them dependent on our food.

Now before you close and open your eyes again and ask yourself why you are suddenly seeing everything in black and white here is my pathetic excuse: "I accidentally put my Canon on P (black and white mode) and didn't realize it." I bet you cannot read that. Good. In other words: I am your top notch amateur photographer. LOL.
Jeff hiking Chewie and Ani down the mountain standing at the entrance of the rock wall.

Now if I had the pictures color you would most likely be fascinated by the variety of rock, shrubs and trees in this next picture. The lake and the clear blue sky were spectacular in the background so you will just have to take my word for it.
 Kids are to your left in the picture

 Only a few hundred feet but the length of the trail almost equals the ascent/descent of it. Here is where we met a lot of people barely making it up while we were on our way down.

The steepest descend was over. Cathedral Lake is the first patch of water when coming down. The dogs cooled off. By now it was 1 pm and we took a long break for our second lunch.

Scout (left) and Chewie (right) enjoying a much needed cooling off at Cathedral Lake.

Bellies full of goodies and hydrated to the max a quick nap was in place. Ani and Chewie getting comfy at Cathedral Lake. Even we took a quick nap as the conditions were just "heavenly".
 Our second lunch and a fast nap did wonders!

Scout is still our little baby of the family. He too couldn't resist a nap.

Being pooped!

The ridge along Fallen Leaf Lake. This part must have gotten burned a few years ago. It was open and provided us again with a great view. Lara speed walking on the trail listening to her music!
 Working ourselves down over the ridge. The last part can be very motivating!

We did it! At 3 pm we were back at the car. We all felt proud of our acomplishment and very tired. The kids and dogs did fantastic. Our dogs are fit and capable of doing a strenuous hike. Our dogs hike an average of 3.5 miles a day. Although we feel it may have been Chewie's last big hike, we don't know what next year will bring us. Our kids had hiked throughout the whole summer with me during my client hikes and they were in top condition when we did this hike. The hike looks super easy. 4.8 miles up and 4.8 miles down. In reality the ascent and descent are very difficult. We calculated one hour per mile including breaks and we stayed well within our expectations.

 10-7 O.D. or in dog language DONE!

Mt. Tallac. "Large Mountain" in native american. Thank you for letting us be part of your existence for one single day. We had an unforgetable adventure. Of all the hikes we did you were definitely one I will not forget. Especially my legs and butt were very appreciative for the next two days. Oh, and the only reason we had our dogs on-leash: 10 miles would have otherwise been 30 miles. Afterall, they are Retrievers!

Happy Hiking!
Mt. Tallac. One more glimpse ....

Monday, February 6, 2012

Dog limit Santa Clara County Parks

It has come to our attention that Santa Clara County Parks is in the process of setting up a proposal for a new law to limit the amount of dogs walked by one person. Currently there is no law in place limiting people on the amount of dogs they walk. We learned that the reason for changing the law was another dog walking business that caused incidents in County Parks. The individual does not have the ability to walk multiple dogs and

was observed having 6 dogs lunging and barking at the end of their leashes when being passed.


We are obviously sad that again it seems to only take one business for a law to change. It happened a few years ago when the Open Space District reduced the amount to 3 dogs per person. We are afraid that the County will adapt a similar rule.

We are not going to sit back and wait. If the County changes the law we will lose our business. Obviously that is not our goal. We love what we do and do what we love so we are going to fight this until the end.

We are in the process of setting up a proposal for a permit system that the County could use for professional dog walkers as San Francisco and the East Bay have already introduced. Our current proposal is:

  • Permit (against a fee)
  • Formal dog walking training or internship with a professional dog walker (that has had the training & certification)
  • Dog First Aid certification
  • Insurance
  • Licensing: with County (dba) and the City they are operating from (if applicable – we don’t have a license as we live in unincorporated Santa Clara County and the County does not issue licenses for businesses like ours)
  • Vehicle check: insured, registered and maintained vehicle
  • Trail Manners Workshop (our suggestion: setting up a mandatory workshop for professionals with the County covering the following aspects: trail etiquette, multi use trail management, environmental impact, etc)
  • 8 dogs maximum per handler

The South Bay is not exempt from the trend of agencies in the San Franciso Bay Area to regulate professional dog walkers. We totally support the idea of issuing a permit for professional dog walkers because it will give legitimacy to the profession. Being a professional dog walker is not something that just anyone who likes dogs can do; it takes knowledge and skill to control groups of dogs. With safety and training requirements in place, dog owners can feel more confident that licensed dog walkers know what they're doing and that their dogs will be safe while in the dog walker's care. And people who encounter a dog walker in the park or on the street can feel more confident that licensed dog walkers know what they're doing and that the dogs will not cause problems.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Happy 2012!

I cannot believe it has been July 2011 since I last blogged. Oops ....

2011 was a good and busy year. We implemented positive changes to our business structure and it was a success. Not only did we increase the attendance rate to 95% but we also simplified our billing system and ensured that spots would be filled at all times. We merged two hiking services to one and now have a regular 6 dog attendance with a possible addition of 2 more dogs per hike if needed. We also decreased our service area to ensure we stay within a 15 mile radius. As every business owner we were wary of implementing the changes especially towards existing clients but the changes were accepted without a problem. We love our clients for that!!!!

We are looking forward to 2012. 366 days of dog fun ahead of us! Miles of trails to cover and new ones to explore. Our philosophy: "We love what we do and do what we love" couldn't be more fitting. We are engaging in new business ventures but we won't spoil the secret until it is official. Just stay tuned.

Be pawsitive! Be happy! Wishing you a great 2012!

Happy Hiking! Your Dog Hikers Team