Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Bark in the Park

The Windy City Canine Rescue is hosting a fun dog event on Saturday.  It should be a lot of fun.  You can find more information on their blog.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Remembering Molly

It is with a very heavy heart, and with tears in my eyes that I write this.  Molly peacefully crossed over to the Rainbow Bridge late last week.

She was a dog that you couldn't help but love.  She was sweet.  She was affectionate.  She was even sassy when in the right mood.  :)

I met Molly during my dog walking days and we had a lot of fun exploring her neighborhood and beyond.  It took a few weeks for her to learn to trust me but after she did, every visit I was greeted with "cat rubs" and tail wags.  She came to the daycare every week after we opened and she always was asking for pats and rubs, which we were happy to provide her with.

She lived a long and happy life but that doesn't seem to make saying goodbye any easier. 
We'll miss you Molly.

Monday, June 28, 2010

When Cody grows up....

he wants to be a super model :)

Here is Cody showing off our new ID tags.

These tags are on all of the daycare playsafe collars. This way the dogs always have identification on them.

Thanks to Cody for being a great model!

Friday, June 25, 2010

Perseverance defines Perseverance as;
steady persistence in a course of action, a purpose, a state, etc., esp. in spite of difficulties, obstacles, or discouragement.

Not all dogs love daycare right away. Some take a little bit of time to get used to the sights and sounds of such a busy place. And some take a LOT of time to get used to things. Each dog is different- sometimes they are playing within a few minutes (or seconds!), and sometimes it takes a few visits. We tell clients after each visit how their dog did- who they played with, if they were nervous, happy, or over excited.

Most dogs who are nervous or scared at first will warm up eventually- it just takes a bit of time, and perseverance. We will work with the owner to find out what makes the dog most comfortable- for some we suggest bringing them more frequently, but for shorter length of time. Others we suggest to bring them only on slow days to start when it is less busy. We truly want each dog to learn to be social and have a good time in the company of other dogs and us!

Mia has been coming to daycare for a few months now is a good example of why we encourage people to keep trying, and keep bringing them even if at first they aren't having fun. When Mia first started coming she was afraid of us, and of the dogs. She needed to have a leash on so that we were able to catch her at home time. Slowly she started getting more and more used to us, and she made dog friends.

Now she pulls her owner in and gives us a tail wag on the way. She is excited to get here, and always manages to find a friend. She still can be a little overwhelmed at times, but with a little comfort from us she is set to go back and play. It is heartwarming to see a dog like Mia come out of her shell.

This is Mia on one of her first visits. She wouldn't let us approach her, and you can see the leash attached to her collar. Notice her stiff posture and scared expression.

This is Mia this morning- playing with me, tail wagging, and clearly having a good time. The photos aren't great as she was convinced the camera was a toy. :o)

I'd say she's come a pretty long way in a short time! Yay for Mia!

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

A Proper Introduction

We thought it was about time we introduced the newest member of our staff on the blog!

Maureen comes to us with lots of dog experience and in just a few short weeks has made friends with all the dogs at daycare! She is working the morning shift with Amanda.

(And just so you know Lindsay and Maeby adore her!)

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Head to Higher Ground

To say that we've had a wet spring, would be a bit of an understatement.  Jake was trying to call everyone to higher ground.

Alyera could only stand and look pathetic in the middle of the "lake".  :)

Jade didn't know what the big fuss was about.  She was quite enjoying playing in the rain!

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Bigger than his ears....

Draco's personality is bigger than his ears believe it or not! He is one smooth pup and has made friends with everyone in the small dog room. He loves everyone and already greets dogs like a pro. I have a feeling he will have no problem moving to the big dog room when the time comes!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Good Boy Gordie

Gordie is one of those dogs that can make you smile just by doing nothing at all. He is very sweet, and happy, and just an all around good boy.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Queen of the Castle

Belle likes to survey her kingdom from the castle at least once a day. :)

Friday, June 11, 2010

Sherlock knows...

that all good dogs need manners! :)

We have a Mind Your Manners and a Puppy Prep class starting on Monday. There are still spots available if you and your pooch need a refresher.

Contact us for more details!

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Serious Shiba

Neiko is a Shiba Inu. They are a breed that are typically aloof and serious. Neiko is no exception. He may be a serious guy, but he has a pretty good time playing at daycare!

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Lost and Found

Yesterday, Ryder, a little yorkie/shih tzu cross, gave us a heart attack.  It was his very first day and he was pretty scared of the new situation he found himself in.  We did a very slow introduction and allowed him to meet each dog one at a time, before he was finally brought into the play area.  When we brought him in, he was still pretty uncomfortable so we kept a very close eye on him to make sure that he didn't get overwhelmed.

He made his way outside and planted himself in a corner of the yard so he could watch all the comings and goings.  We made sure that the dogs that went up to him, didn't linger too long and make him nervous.  The dogs were starting to ignore the newcomer and get on with their play so when a couple of dogs were making a racket inside, we took our eyes off of little Ryder for less than 2 minutes.

That is all it took for him to scale the fence (which is 6 ft high) and run off.  At first we didn't believe it.  He must just be hiding in the tunnel, under the couch, or ????  We searched and then searched some more.  He had just vanished.

Our next step was to search the blocks and alleys surrounding the building.  He'd been gone less than 5 minutes, he had to be some where nearby.  He wasn't.  While searching, I started making calls - to Jo, Amanda, even my husband and of course his owner.  We needed reinforcements so that we could continue to supervise the dogs, yet start a search as well.  Of course, NO ONE picked up their phones.  I eventually called my husband's cell phone enough times, that he stepped out of his meeting to talk to me.  He came instantly and started combing the nearby streets.  Jo got back home from her morning walk and also instantly came to the rescue. Amanda didn't have her phone with her, and his owner was in a class and didn't realize the urgency.

About an hour had passed at this point and still little Ryder hadn't been found.  I was asking people on the street if they had seen a dog and discovered that both Pet Parade and Just for Pets had received reports of a dog running loose at the Canadian Tire just a few blocks from us.  Unfortunately he was spotted there shortly after he'd escaped so I was still an hour behind him.  I searched the neighborhoods on the other side of 13th Street (the residential side) thinking he was probably trying to get home.  He used to live near the daycare, but they had recently moved to the West Side.  Unfortunately we didn't know their old address (as we still hadn't heard from the owner) so we didn't know which neighborhood to search. Turns out he didn't run for home, so it didn't make a difference anyway.

We still hadn't found him and I was starting to think there were just 2 possible scenarios.  Someone had managed to catch him and he was safe or he didn't manage to make it safely across 13th Street.  Gulp.  I didn't want to look, but I had to. Better me, than his mom.  So I started going down 13th Street, which is a very busy street.  I saw some women on their coffee break outside the Dollarama and asked if they had seen a dog.  No they had not.  I kept walking.  And then I saw him.  He was up on a high cement bank, behind the Dollarama.  He looked so sweet and innocent up there.  The whole climb up the cement bank, I was telling him what a good boy he was, and he gave me the tiniest of wags in response.  I was worried he would run away as it had sounded like the people who had seen him at Canadian Tire had tried to catch him but failed.  He must have recognized me as he let me scoop him up and carry him back to the daycare.

Why am I telling you all this? I want you all to know that things like this CAN happen and what we do in an emergency situation.  During this time, we had also contacted the Animal Shelter to see if they had received any reports on him and Jo was also in the process of calling Radio Stations when we found him.

We went over the fence with a fine tooth comb and there was no way he could have gotten out without going over the top. One of the questions on our questionnaire is "Has your dog ever scaled a fence?" but I guess there is a first time for everything and just because they haven't done it before, doesn't mean they won't. We are still amazed that in that short period of time he managed to not only figure out how to climb the fence, but also get all the way over it. We will definitely be looking into ways that we can prevent this from happening in the future.

We have also talked about getting ID on our play safe collars that all the dogs wear.  I've been meaning to get tags for them, but hadn't found the time.  I'll be ordering tags this week.  This way, every dog will have ID on them if they manage to get loose.

If you have any suggestions about what we could have done differently, we'd love to hear them. While I'd like to think nothing like this will every happen again, I'd also like to be prepared for the worst.  We want to make this not only a fun environment, but a safe one as well.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Dog is Good

You may have noticed that we've been wearing different shirts lately....  On second thought, maybe you haven't had a chance to see them under our sweatshirts as it hasn't actually been very warm.

We recently discovered, and fell in love with, the shirts from Dog is Good and knew we had to have them. And we thought you might like them as well.  You may have noticed, Chewy is quite enjoying them too.

We ordered just a few to start but if there is a style and/or size that we don't have that you'd like, we will be able to order it for you.  Just let us know.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Therapy Dog

St. John Ambulance is starting a new Therapy Dog Program to bring the benefits of pet companionship to those who are isolated, ill or residing in long term care facilities.

To become a volunteer, all potential Therapy Dogs must pass the St. John Ambulance TD evaluation.  This involves assessing the dog's responses to situations that he/she may encounter during visitations.  This is not an obedience test, more of a socialization test.  They will be looking at things like how your dog reacts to going into different places, are they frightened of wheelchairs, walkers, etc., are they calm and gentle, do they bark all the time, etc.  I'd love to volunteer, however both my dogs would fail all the above examples!  :)

So if your dog is a little more "balanced" than mine are, and you are interested in looking into the program further, please contact the Community Services Co-ordinator at (403) 327-2847.  And let us know if you do sign up as we'd love to hear more about the program first hand.