Making the most of the time with your dogs during #CoronaQuarantine2020

I think we all know dogs are the real winners in this Coronavirus quarantine. Although they don’t understand “social distancing,” dogs of the world are rejoicing as they get time back with their humans to do all of the things they dream of while we are away.

So, now that we have all this time, what should we be doing with our dogs? Especially when the weather is less than ideal, so we are mostly trapped inside. Besides just extra snuggles, which they definitely deserve, here are a few ideas from things we are doing during #CoronaQuarantine2020.

Make a homemade agility course

Putting together an agility course is pretty easy to do, even if you don’t have a lot of space. You can use a broom on top of a few boxes and have your dog jump over it, put some Tupperware or small boxes down to make a course for them to run zig zags through, get a small stool or bucket and have your dog jump up on it. You can find lots of ideas online for making your own course at home.

We set up ours in the basement and have a “course” where they can jump over two planks, run through a tunnel (purchased tunnel on Amazon) and jump up on a stool at the end. The dogs love it. It’s especially challenging with two dogs to get one dog to stay while the other goes, so it’s also a great way to do other training on stay while you work on agility too.

6EAC4F42-97DA-4ECC-AF2A-4301DB2A4507

 

Scent games

This is one of the easiest ways to entertain your dog, that actually does wear them out. You can hide treats or other food and make a game of hide and seek around the house, or you could put out boxes and hide treats in and around the boxes.

You can also hide treats in a muffin pan with tennis balls on top – great idea from Jessica at Milo and Me in Lakewood. We use scent games to work on stay as well, as one dog takes a turn finding treats and the other waits.

354BEC32-0B65-43D7-BC24-1E517EF32681

Grooming

This is your chance to really work on getting your dog to cooperate for grooming. I decided to use this time to work on teeth brushing with Hunter (Roscoe only has a couple teeth — they were bad before I adopted him 😀). I have really been slacking in this area, relying on bones and dental chews to care for his teeth. We are going to start an at home tooth cleaning routine now that we have time to work on this at home.

This time at home is a good opportunity to work on grooming with dogs that are not a fan of brushing or nail clipping or teeth brushing. Make your grooming session a fun snuggle time for your dog, or bring in a lot of treats and toys to try and get them associating grooming time with a more fun activity. You can take it slow and just do small amounts of brushing or teeth cleaning, followed up with lots of snuggles and quality time to make this a more fun experience and hopefully get them more comfortable with grooming.

image

Explore the Metroparks, find new trails

Luckily, we can still get outside! I still have a list of parks that I want to visit, so we will definitely be going through this list on nicer days (as long as it’s not raining at this point, since we are so desperate to get out). This is your chance to really explore the area and find some new parks and trails to love. Here are some of my favorites: https://dogsinthecle.com/2015/10/22/5-favorite-fall-hikes

Just be together

We really take for granted how much our dogs spend their lives waiting for us to get home. They are our constant companions; their lives truly revolve around us. We’ve been given an opportunity to spend a significant amount of quality time with our dogs and we should really take this time to just be with them and give back some of the love they are always giving to us. Take some time to do whatever your dog loves best, snuggle, play fetch, take a walk, do whatever it is you can to really appreciate this extra time we get together.

Stay healthy everyone, we will get through this! I know it’s a scary time but I am trying to focus on the positive, and one of the positives definitely is getting more time at home with my dogs.

And, please send me any ideas or pictures of how you are spending this quarantine with your dog.

 

 

 

Cleveland dog-friendly indoor activities

The winter tends to drag on here in Cleveland, and even when we get some warm days we often have to deal with trekking through muddy slush if we want to get our dogs outside. It can be difficult to figure out things to do with your dog that don’t end up in a bath for him (or you) this time of year.

If your dog is bored and you’re tired of dealing with the cold and snow, the Cleveland area does have some indoor activity options. Whether you just want to drop your dog off to burn off some energy for a few hours, or have him try swimming or agility, check out these options this winter:

Indoor dog park

Did you know K9 Cleveland has an indoor dog park? The doggie day care located near the Flats allows you bring your dog to play for an hour or so, while you stay and hang out with him. I was excited to see this option since I am not that big of a fan of dropping my dog off for play. From my experience with doggie daycare, Hunter just sits there and waits for me to come back. I like having an option where he can play with me and play with other dogs.

This option is only available on Saturdays and Sundays from 10 am to 4 pm. Admission is $2 and you have to show proof of rabies, DHPP and Bordetella, and pass a basic temperament test. Visit https://k9cleveland.com for more info.

k9 cleveland

Swimming and Activity Room

If you haven’t checked out the Canine Country Club, you really need to! It is so exciting we now have this option for indoor play here in Cleveland. With a large dog pool and an activity room with agility equipment, this is the perfect destination for your dog this winter. You can sign up online for your dog to do a half hour swim session with their staff, or if your dog is experienced swimmer, you can sign up for open pool time. You just have to go through the swim initiation first, so they can assess your dog’s swimming ability.

They also have an activity room that you can reserve some time to play with your dog. The room includes agility equipment so you can work on that with your dog. The Club also offers the option for owners can drop their dogs off for a half hour play session with an activity assistant. Find out more about this or swimming options at: https://www.caninecountryclubcle.com/

swimming

Drop off play time

If you need to run some errands and just want to have your dog run off some energy, a few doggie day care facilities allow you drop your dog off for two hours of play time. The Dog Stop Plus near downtown, Stay Dog CLE in the Detroit Shoreway area and Double Dog Day Care in Stow, are a few of the places that allow dogs to be dropped off for some short-term playtime.

Playgroups

PetPeople stores host dog play groups on certain days, although I think it’s down to only the Hudson location that hosts these currently. Small dog socials are for dogs 30lbs or less. I don’t see any large dog socials on the calendar locally here for this month or next. Visit https://www.petpeoplestores.com/calendar.html to find out more.

Dog Classes

Training your dog is one the best ways to keep your dog active in the winter. We do a lot of training at home (it’s very easy to make your own agility course or do nose work), but it’s even better to get your dog out to try out some new skills or brush up on his or her obedience training.

Fortunate Fido is one of my favorite training centers. We’ve done about every course we can there. They offer Rally training classes, scent run trials, as well as various other obedience training classes. Cleveland All Breed Training Club offer agility classes if you’re looking to get your dog into that, as well as scent run trials, obedience training and Canine Good Citizen courses.

There are good training facilities all over Cleveland, so do a search to find the perfect one for your dog.

CGC

What do you do with your dog in winter to keep him or her entertained?

Holiday Gift Guide: Best picks from local retailers

There is nothing wrong with being that crazy dog mom who buys gifts for her dog. I will always say that, especially because I love buying and receiving gifts! And, compiling gift guides. It’s my way of continuing my love of making Christmas lists way beyond the age when anyone wants me to.

And since we have so many great options to buy local for dog gifts, I wanted to share some of my favorite items from local stores. Whether you like to dress your dog up or spoil him, or if you’re looking for gifts for the dog lovers in your life, local pet retailers have you covered.

Check out my favorite picks from some local shops:

Moose and Lulu’s

Moose and Lulu’s, a new online retailer has a wide range of cute dog clothes and Cleveland-themed dog lover apparel. They also sell delicious treats to spoil your dog with this holiday season.  You can use my code HunterRoscoe15 for 15% off!

Untitled design (2)

Personalized Dog Bed:: https://mooseandlulus.com/collections/personalized-fleece-dog-bed/products/green-plaid-personalized-fleece-dog-bed

Paw Print Leggings: https://mooseandlulus.com/collections/cleveland-pride/products/cle-indians-paw-print-leggings

Dog Mom hat: https://mooseandlulus.com/collections/cleveland-pride/products/cotton-cap

Buffalo Plaid Bow Tie: https://mooseandlulus.com/collections/bandanas-and-bow-ties-by-pawkids/products/buffalo-plaid-dog-bow-tie-by-pawkids

Treats: https://mooseandlulus.com/collections/dog-treats/products/treat-samples

Best Picks from Milo and Me

My other favorite Cleveland store, Milo and Me, has great options not only for the dog in your life, but also for any fashionable friends. Here are some of my favorites:

Untitled

Untitled2

 

Dog Friendship collar/matching bracelet: https://shopmiloandme.com/collections/walk/products/friendship-collar

Doggie pouch: https://shopmiloandme.com/collections/gifts/products/happy-breeds-canvas-pouch

Stylish waste bag dispenser: https://shopmiloandme.com/collections/gifts/products/xo-shape-waste-bag-dispenser

Cute dog vest: https://shopmiloandme.com/collections/wear/products/aspen-puffer-navy-jacket

“Burberry” sweater: https://shopmiloandme.com/collections/wear/products/tan-plaid-dog-sweater

Personalized dog bandannas: https://shopmiloandme.com/collections/wear/products/pink-plaid-dog-bandana-by-milo-me

Browns bandanna: https://shopmiloandme.com/collections/wear/products/barker-mayfield-bandana

You can order online, but it’s worth a visit to the store since you can bring your dog to shop with you. Plus the owner, Jessica, often has fun events, so check her out on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/shopmiloandme/

Three Dog Bakery

You also can’t pass up visiting Three Dog Bakery this holiday season to get some delicious treats for your dog to join in the decadency of the season. They will be hosting a Black Friday open house, so go check them out with your dog! https://www.facebook.com/events/409532053044116/

Canine Country Club and Modern Dog Massage

Gift cards for a doggie massage make a great gift as well. On Black Friday, Canine Country Club will be offering 50% off gift cards for massage services provide by Modern Dog Massage at their facility. Find out more here: https://www.facebook.com/events/425377228390411/

You can also buy your dog a present by scheduling some time for him or her to swim or use the activity room at the Club. Read more about Hunter’s experience checking out swimming at the Club: https://dogsinthecle.com/new-business-spotlight-the-canine-country-club/

And one bonus non-local item that Clevelanders will still love. Check out this cute Christmas Story bandanna from Hella Cool Dog:://www.etsy.com/listing/753115187/christmas-story-leg-lamp-premium-dog?ref=shop_home_active_15&frs=1 

 

il_794xN.2131564515_5uy2

Happy shopping!

Dog-Friendly Road Trip: Put-in-Bay

We are lucky to have so many fun, dog-friendly places within a short drive of Cleveland. One that I have been wanting to hit up for a while with the dogs is Put-in-Bay island. Located on South Bass Island in Lake Erie, Put-in-Bay is a popular summer destination for those looking for an Island party scene, but is also a great place to take your dog for patios, fun walks and sight-seeing.

I decided to plan my trip in September, thinking it would be less crowded, and less hot. I was right on one point, it was definitely not crowded. Unfortunately though, it was also one of the hottest days this summer. The heat definitely impacted our options with the dogs since Hunter is very heat averse, but we decided to make the best of it anyways.

Here is a rundown of what we did if you are looking to plan a trip to Put-in-Bay with your dogs.

How to get there

Both Jet Express and Miller’s Ferry allow dogs to travel on their boats over to the island. Just be sure to check the schedule if you are going in the off season. We didn’t plan ahead well and got to Jet Express only to find out that it doesn’t run on weekdays after Sept. 9. Luckily, Miller’s Ferry still runs on Fridays in September and is not too far from the Jet Express, so we were able to drive over there to pick up the ferry. They do have more limited hours and don’t take cars roundtrip on certain days during the off season, so read the site carefully when planning a trip in the off-season.

On Miller’s Ferry, dogs can ride on the lower level with the cars. Although it doesn’t drop you off as centrally on the island and is a more cargo-like experience than Jet Express, it’s still an easy option for getting to the island with your dogs. If you take Miller’s Ferry, you will want to rent a golf cart since it’s a farther walk to the main area of the island from where they drop you off. There is a golf cart rental place right next to where Miller’s Ferry drops off.

IMG_8579IMG_8591

6AB610DB-6668-4896-A251-9895CEEA9491

What to do

Put-in-Bay has a number of parks, and even recently opened a dog park on the island. There are a lot of fun areas to walk with your dog on the Island. You can walk around the Main Street to see the shops or take more scenic walks through the parks and along the lakeside. Most of the shops on the Island are dog-friendly, although it’s always a good idea to ask before bringing in your dog.

South Bass Island State Park is a great spot for a dog hike if you go on a less hot day. We couldn’t add it to the agenda knowing our dogs would barely make it a half mile, but from my research it looks like a good option for a nice Island walk. The park offers scenic views of Lake Erie as well as beach access.

And if you can’t get much of a walk in, there are a lot of great photo opportunities around the island for your dogs!

IMG_8633 IMG_8598

For a little history, you can walk around the grounds of the Perry’s Victory & International Peace Memorial.

IMG_8603

The new dog park, Island Paws Dog Park, on the island is located very close to where the Miller’s Ferry drops off. The park just opened this past May and provides a large space for dogs to roam and play. It didn’t look to have beach access to me, but it was hard to tell based on our visit when no other dogs or people were there.

IMG_8618

For the more adventurous pup, you can also rent kayaks at Kayak the Bay near Oak Point to take your dog out on the water. http://kayakthebay.net/additional-information/

We didn’t rent kayaks, but we did get some cool pics on the jet skis at the ice cream place 🙂IMG_8636 IMG_8635

 

Where to eat

We stopped at the Reel Inn to find some shade and water for the pups after arriving on the island. The patio out front isn’t too large, but was able to accommodate the four dogs we had with us since it wasn’t crowded. The service and food was very good, so I would definitely recommend making a stop there if you visit.

IMG_8587

And of course, there’s nothing better than ice cream on a hot day!

IMG_8609

Other recommended dog-friendly patio options are: Goat, Boardwalk, The Keys, Chicken Patio, Hooligan’s.

The storm clouds started to move in toward the end of the day, but thankfully the weather held up and it only began to pour on us as we got to the parking lot on our way home. Some of the dogs were not too pleased with us for the long walk we had to make in the rain to get to the car. (Sorry Roscoe!)

IMG_8629

 

Have you been to Put-in-Bay with your dogs? What was your favorite thing you did?

New Business Spotlight: The Canine Country Club

As we all know, Cleveland is full of more bad weather days than good ones, which can make it hard for those who like to keep their dog active. Since I got a dog I have wished Cleveland had an indoor play option.  Thankfully, my prayers were finally answered in July with the opening of The Canine Country Club in North Olmsted.

The Canine Country Club offers an indoor activity room for your dog to play in, as well as an indoor swimming pool. In addition to those services, the Club also offers massage (with Hunter’s favorite masseuse Diane Pekarek) and reiki services and hosts various training classes and seminars. In order to use the facilities, you have to show vet approval (they have a form on their site), so any dog entering the facility has to be up to date on shots — making it a much more appealing option than a dog park.

canine

 

The Club is not to be confused with an indoor dog park as the activity room is really designed for you to play with your dog one-on-one. You can sign up with a friend though, to give your dog some play time with another buddy. You can also drop off your dog for a half hour of play time with one of the Club’s staff members. A great option if you are running errands but want to get your dog out for some fun.

You can register on their site to sign up for a half hour of swimming or to have your dog play in the activity room. Hunter and I went last week to try out the swimming and check out the facility. We signed up for the swim orientation, which all dogs must compete first. Although Hunter has been to various dog swim events over the years and loves a good kiddie pool romp, he hasn’t really done a lot of swimming. I was excited to see how he would do.

At the swim orientation, they help you determine your dog’s life jacket size and will assess their swim ability and decide what the next steps for future swim sessions are. Your dog can continue with full assisted swimming after the first lesson, or if they are very comfortable, they could move on to independent swim. The key lesson they focus on in the orientation and future assisted swim sessions will be getting the dog to use the ramp in and out. Once a dog is comfortable with that, it’s likely they’d be good with an independent swim.

Multiple dogs can also use the pool, as long as the owners all agree, and they’ve completed the swim orientation and are good independent swimmers.

It took Hunter a little while to warm up to it, but once they broke out the hot dog, he was all in. The staff was so kind and patient, really focusing on making it fun and low stress for him. It was really fun to see Hunter get comfortable enough to doggie paddle around the pool.

swimming

 

See a video here: https://www.facebook.com/DogsintheCLE/videos/2943320895740907/

We also checked out the activity room, which has lots of balls to play with and some agility equipment. Hunter loved having a big open space to run around and he got lots of attention from the staff, which is his favorite thing.

The Club will be hosting more events over the upcoming months, so make sure to follow them on Facebook to stay up to date. https://www.facebook.com/CanineCountryClubCLE/

You can visit them online at: https://www.caninecountryclubcle.com/

Cleveland Doga events this summer

I’ve always been curious about Doga (dog yoga). Dogs already have a natural inclination toward yoga poses, so of course, Doga should be something they would excel in. It’s typically been hard to find yoga places that offer this, but this summer, all of the sudden, there is an abundance of doga events in Cleveland.

Hunter and I attended our first doga class last month. Hosted by Milo and Me, the yoga class was led by Marcia at Pink Lotus Yoga. It was a very laid-back class focused on allowing you to spend some time with your dog while trying yoga poses. Really, it’s just nice to be able to bring your dog with you while you exercise, Hunter didn’t actually do any downward dogs — even though he could show us all a thing or two about the correct way to do one!

0437183F-F783-48E9-84F8-72BD6D760293 E670176F-62EF-4826-98A5-09F664BC5283

Look how excited Hunter is to be doing doga!
Look how excited Hunter is to be doing doga!

Photos courtesy of Milo & Me and Pink Lotus Yoga

Did I mention there was a Newfoundland at doga? See big dog owners, don’t be scared to take your dog out!

There are several other doga events to check out this summer, all hosted by Doga Love. The classes are more focused on bonding with your dog, not putting the dog into yoga poses, so it’s a good way to get out and spend some relaxing quality time with your dog.

Yoga with your dog at K9 Cleveland
Multiple dates

All levels doga class led by Doga Love.  $10 for the session. K9 Cleveland members can pay there or others can pay the $10 to paypal.me/loveforanimals1. Find out more here: https://www.facebook.com/events/1732545633514721/

Yoga with your Dog Terrestrial Brewing Company
July 28th , 9:30 am to 10:30 am

Another all levels class hosted by Doga Love. $10 for the session. Find out more here:
https://www.facebook.com/events/682608082165122/

Doga at Lakewood Park
Multiple dates

Doga Love also hosts classes at Lakewood Park, you can find out more info here: https://www.facebook.com/events/784021755348492/

Not a doga event, but you can also attend a yoga fundraiser for R.E.A.L Rottweiler Rescue on July 14. They will host an all levels yoga class outdoors at Towpath Crossfit to raise money for their organization. There will also be dog vendors and adoptable puppies. Cost is $10 and you can find out more here: https://www.facebook.com/events/332530927631246/

Dog-Friendly Road Trip: The Finger Lakes, NY

I love planning trips that Hunter, Roscoe and I can take, so when a friend that lives in Philadelphia suggested meeting in the Finger Lakes, NY, I thought why not bring the dogs??

I really had no idea how dog friendly the area was. I knew there was some nice hiking in the area and I thought maybe the dogs could hang outside at some wineries. Little did I know until doing a little more research that the Finger Lakes is a very dog-friendly place to visit.

Boys trip! Hunter and Roscoe with their buddy, Bruno.
Boys trip! Hunter and Roscoe with their buddy, Bruno.

Located about four and half hours from Cleveland, the Finger Lakes region is located in Central New York. We stayed in Seneca Falls right on the Cayuga Lake. We were about 20 minutes away from most of the wineries on the Cayuga Lake Wine Trail, all of which are dog friendly. There are 14 wineries on the trail and all of them allow dogs inside the tasting room. We asked before entering each one though, just to be safe. (The weekend after our visit they were actually having a dog-friendly wine event at the wineries.)

winery1 winery2

Since you can only drink so much wine in a day, sadly, especially while transporting around dogs, we only visited four wineries along the trail – Varick Winery and Inn, Knapp Winery, Thirsty Owl and Buttonwood (dogs didn’t go into Buttonwood, although they would’ve been allowed as far as I know). The dogs were welcome at our stops and there was even water bowls already in most of the wineries.

Knapp Winery actually had a very dogs-and-people tolerant resident cat too. cat

CC7B62A0-C496-4C2C-8C8D-F311E3A39322

At Thirsty Owl, we sat outside at the picnic tables and had a beautiful view of the lake while we ate lunch. The food and service were great, I’d definitely recommend it as a good stop for lunch along the wine trail.

owl

725F3044-EA72-4A74-A9C8-EDF46201FF08 3B1568E3-B1EE-4524-847C-153D2F0A8754

Hunter loved the attention he got from the groups of women visiting the wineries for bachelorette parties, and Roscoe enjoyed the anonymity he could have by hiding out close to the bar. None of the wineries were too busy on our visit, so it made it pretty easy to bring the dogs along.

Other attractions

If wine tasting isn’t really your (or your dog’s) thing, there are some great hikes in the area, as well as other activities for dogs around the lake. At the end of the wine trail was Taughannock Falls State Park – a great place for a walk before or after the wineries to wear out the dogs. From where we parked it was about a mile walk to the Falls, which was definitely worth a visit and a great way for us to cool down on a hot day!

E7335F02-0FC9-40C5-8F7F-07B06689FB05

B72969D3-48B3-4731-AAF5-FE9ADE6E0C72 38D0EA43-8787-41C5-A195-342BFD722215

Taking the trail back we were able to stop and get some ice cream from Cayuga Lake Creamery. They served doggie cups for the dogs too.

ice cream

Doing a little research, I also found that there is a dog park at the base of the Cayuga Lake in Ithaca, where dogs can access the lake, as well as play in doggy pools. You can also rent canoes or kayaks at Owasco Paddles and bring the dogs along.

Here’s a good list of dog-friendly things to do in the area: https://www.fingerlakestravelny.com/blog/post/far-from-a-ruff-life-dog-friendly-stops-in-the-finger-lakes/

Where we stayed

We found an Airbnb on the lake in Seneca Falls that was dog friendly. The location was perfect and the price was good, and the place was not so nice I felt bad having the dogs there. More like a cabin (or motorhome actually). We saw a lot of options on Airbnb that were dog-friendly, so it shouldn’t be hard to find a place to stay with dogs.

At our Airbnb
At our Airbnb

In Seneca Falls, we also discovered a swanky dog-friendly hotel, Gould Hotel, if you are looking for accommodations that are a little more upscale than most of the cabin-type Airbnbs in the area.

Next time I go back I think I’d look for places a little closer to Ithaca, which is still close to the wineries and other good areas to hike. If you have dogs that enjoy a mix of hanging out and hiking, this is definitely a great dog-friendly trip to take. Since dogs and wine are two of my favorite things, I will definitely be back!

The ones that are left

I don’t always know the background of the fosters that I get, but when I have found out the stories it usually breaks my heart. And not always for the dog, but sometimes for the owners. For many of my fosters, they were given up because the owner was very sick or died unexpectedly. I will never forget picking up my fosters Bear and Roxie at their owner’s home and seeing him cry as we took the dogs away. The owner was very sick and going to move in with his daughter for hospice care. When he died a month or so later, his obituary asked for donations to go to Central Ohio Pomeranian Rescue. He loved those dogs so much that he made sure they were cared for even when he no longer could, the ultimate responsibility of a dog owner.

Part of dog ownership is caring for your dog for life, and that can mean knowing what you’d do with your dog if something were to happen to you. Rescue groups like Central Ohio Pomeranian Rescue serve an important purpose to help out families who can no longer care for their dogs for whatever reason. Many individuals contact this group when they have to give up a dog, knowing that the dog will get a chance to go straight into a home and be cared for until his or her forever home is found.

In my mind, sickness and death are the only reasons to give up a dog and in an ideal world, rescue groups would only have to take in dogs from these circumstances. And in this ideal world, no one would ever drop a dog off a shelter, scared and alone. But sadly, that is not the case and rescue groups take in just as many dogs that have been abandoned at shelters. Because shelters are constantly overcrowded, groups like Central Ohio Pomeranian Rescue, also pull dogs from shelters, like in the case of my recent foster, Boogie. Boogie was dropped off at the Cobb County Shelter in Marietta, Georgia.  I don’t know the circumstances of the family that gave him up, and I don’t want to judge since it may not have been an easy or thoughtless decision, but when I saw this photo from his intake record, my heart broke.

boogie

It’s the trusting smile that kills me. Boogie has no idea his family just dropped him off at a shelter, all alone never to see him again. When I see Boogie’s trusting smile, my heart breaks for him, but also all the other dogs who won’t make it out, or the ones who will spend weeks or months alone at the shelter waiting for a chance to get out. Boogie was one of the lucky ones, being young and cute meant that the shelter knew they could find a rescue group for him. It’s not always the case for the old, the fat, the slightly mean or aggressive ones who are stressed from being left at a noisy shelter. Those dogs deserve a chance out too, but too often don’t get it.

I am not familiar with this shelter (although I have been told it’s a high kill shelter) and I know that many shelters are filled with caring individuals who dedicate their time to make these animals feel safe and secure, but I think we can all agree a shelter is not an ideal place for a dog to spend any amount of time. And, the sad fact is, the more dogs that end up at a shelter means the more dogs that will be euthanized for being too old, too challenging, or maybe even just a certain breed.

So this is all I ask. Make a plan for your dog. If something were to happen where you could no longer care for your dog, do a little research on what would be best. Ask that one friend on Facebook who is always posting dogs pictures (because we all have one of those, like me 🙂 ), if they know of any rescue groups or organizations that might be able to assist. Rescue groups take the load off of shelters and give dogs the chance to decompress in a home environment which makes the life change a little easier.

And if you know someone looking to give up a dog, educate them about alternatives to an animal shelter. Ways they can keep the dog, or if they have to give them up, lead them to a rescue group that can help.

boogie1

And most importantly, know that when you add a dog to your family, you make a commitment to care for that dog for life.  You don’t give it up because the dog is too old, or sick, or having some behavior issues. If you aren’t willing to care for the dog as you would a member of your family, don’t get one. You are responsible for another life, don’t let your decisions lead to their suffering or the suffering of other dogs in the community.

And, just an update on Bear and Roxie because I love this so much. Bear, the younger dog, was one of my most fearful fosters. Because the owner was older and got sick when Bear was young, I don’t think he socialized him much. Bear was adopted with his sister Roxie by a wonderful family who has devoted their time to training and making, especially Bear, feel safe and comfortable. Now Bear is competing and winning in Rally competitions! This is my absolute favorite foster story, and just another example of the fact you can never give up on a dog!

 

Before and after Bear. On the left, hiding under my bed, on the right, winning Rally competitions!

Boogie is up for adoption with Central Ohio Pomeranian Rescue: https://www.facebook.com/pg/OhioPoms/photos/?tab=album&album_id=2201785316556883

And please check out all of the dogs up for adoption at the Cleveland Kennel. If you can’t adopt, donations, monetary and otherwise, are always welcome: https://www.petango.com/cacc

 

Dog-Friendly Business Spotlight: Milo and Me

Lakewood dog-friendly retail store, Milo and Me, will be celebrating its first anniversary next month, capping off its first year of bringing fashionable clothes to Cleveland women and their dogs. The store offers a unique experience for the fashionable dog owner – a chance to shop with your dog, as well as lots of fun events for people to get out with their dog, my favorite thing of course!

Jessica Smith opened the store last April and has been hustling ever since, attending dog-friendly events and markets as well as being a regular vendor at the Cleveland Flea. The store offers a stylish collection of women’s clothing and accessories, as well as dog clothes, accessories and treats. And, thanks to the many dog socials she hosts, it has quickly become Hunter and Roscoe’s favorite place to go to try fun doggie treats like pumpkin spice lattes and shamrock shakes.

We love when a dog-centric business opens in CLE, so we wanted to hear from Jessica on how she got started and what she is planning for the future. Read on to hear more:

What were you doing before starting Milo and Me?
Back in 2012, I graduated from the Fashion School at Kent State University with my bachelor’s degree in Fashion Design. I was hired at Heather Moore Jewelry right out of college doing marketing and even designing jewelry. A few years later I decided to work at a boutique in Rocky River to see if I’d enjoy running my own small business.  When I felt ready to turn my passion into a real business, I just went for it!

5A5559DF-067B-47C5-912F-B1CD2BED80C1

 

Why did you want to open a store like this?
Growing up, my parents had always owned their own businesses. So becoming an entrepreneur was always part of my plan. I fell in love with Cleveland and decided I wanted to serve the women here. I knew that breaking into the industry as another women’s apparel boutique would be hard, so I paired it with my love for dogs! My goal is to bring a higher end, fashion-forward selection of products to the area that cater to both women and their dogs!

 

D673E176-019C-474C-8133-650511A80F75

Tell us about your dogs, especially the namesake of the store, Milo.
Well of course I have lots of dogs! Three to be exact but I would have more if I could! Milo, the namesake, is my oldest. He just turned 7 years old, is a Maltese and loves to greet our customers at the door. When he comes to the shop he isn’t bothered by his siblings and knows he’s King here! He loves people but tends to get overwhelmed during our doggie social events and will keep to himself. Milo is a bit large for his breed, weighing a whopping 15 lbs, but I say it’s because he has such a huge heart!

490235AE-465E-4AB6-BE71-9973C40456FE

 

 

My other two dogs are a 5 year old Pomeranian named Thor and a 3 year old Goldendoodle named Stella. Stella is super shy, so you won’t see her at the shop too often. Thor makes appearances on Thursdays – It’s been dubbed THORsday! He loves coming in and giving his brother the day off.

B731700B-2CEB-4077-B745-2EC990A0DE8DB39D1827-3E70-4D82-AE45-AAB46FDC4376

 

Any upcoming plans or events you want to share?
Yes! April 6th is our 1 Year Anniversary Bash! (FInd out more info here: https://www.facebook.com/events/382844055599895/?ti=ia)  It’ll be running all day, from 11am-7pm, with special giveaways and tons of treats & refreshments for both humans and their pups.
Also, we love throwing social events for the dogs on Saturdays (usually twice a month!) These always involve delicious treats for the dogs. Think ice cream, cupcakes… we’ve even served doggie pancakes! You can find all of our upcoming events on our Facebook page.

What advice do you have for others looking to start a dog-centric business?
Being only one year into my business, I still learn new things every day. So don’t expect to be perfect. And do not be afraid to let your original ideas evolve. I look back at my original plans for the shop and realize I was crazy to think that I could do it all at once! Seriously, you’d laugh! Just start somewhere – and add on as you go to build it up. Most importantly, don’t be afraid to take that leap! “Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did.” – Mark Twain

 

D581B0CD-E6ED-46A8-8FF6-2E04707213AC

What do you think of the dog-friendly community in Cleveland?
I think we are extremely lucky to have great outdoor spaces for our dogs. The metro parks and Edgewater are my two favorites places. I’ll sound like a broken record by saying that I crave an indoor dog park! We have some temperamental weather in Cleveland, so one of those would be quite valuable to dog owners in the area.

Where is your favorite place to take your dog?
Whenever I can bring along my dog to a bar/restaurant, that’s a plus! I enjoy going to McGinty’s in Lakewood during the winter because they allow dogs inside. During the summer, I attend a lot of baseball games at the Lakewood parks, so I love taking them along for those. Other than that, Edgewater Park is my other favorite and I love that we have a dog beach there.

Will you be at any upcoming events (Cleveland Flea, other markets)?
Yes, of course! You can find us at the Spring Flea on May 4 & 5. We always serve free scoops of doggie ice cream at our booth 😉 We love how dog-friendly the Flea is – such a great summer activity! We also plan on being at the Mutt Strut and Woofstock later this year.

Milo and Me
18117 Detroit Ave., Lakewood
(216) 860-4008
https://shopmiloandme.com (you can shop online too!)

 

Dog-Friendly Easter Egg Hunts

You may think Easter egg hunts are only for kids, but lucky for us, this is a perfect activity for dogs too. This Easter season the Cleveland area has several fun dog Easter egg hunt events to get your dog out using his favorite sense – his sense of smell. Oh yeah, and his other favorite sense –taste, for all of the yummy treats he’ll find!

A couple words of caution: if you do have a dog that is very food aggressive, some of these events may not be the best for him. Dogs will be on the hunt for treats, so we want to keep things fun. Also, many of these events require you to register or purchase tickets in advance, so don’t delay.

Check out our calendar for other fun Easter photo events to take your dog to: https://dogsinthecle.com/dog-friendly-events/

April 6

Easter “Bone” Hunt
10am – 12pm
North Royalton Animal Hospital

This annual Easter “Bone” Hunt will also include a complimentary photo. The first hunt begins at 10:30 am, followed by another one at 11:30 am. This event is held indoors and all friendly dogs are welcome. Refreshments will be served. Find out more here: https://www.facebook.com/events/429880177555305/ 

Social Treat Hunt
2pm – 5pm
Terrestrial Brewing Company

Social Paws will be hosting this fun Easter event at Terrestrial Brewing Company. Dogs will search for eggs filled with treats and freebies including one “Golden Egg” with a special prize. Easter egg hunts will start after 2pm and there will also be local vendors you can also shop, as well as snacks and drinks of course. There will be two “hunting” sessions – small dogs at 2:30 and medium/large dogs at 3:30.

While it is a free event, they are requesting you pre-register your dog on Eventbrite so they know how many eggs to hide. Raffle baskets will also be sold at the event to benefit the Cuyahoga County Animal Shelter and adoptable dogs will be on hand. Find out more: https://www.facebook.com/events/454602008640882/

52864593_805982836446235_8049325684062945280_n

 

April 13

Duke’s Easter “Egg”stravaganza Fundraiser
11:30am – 3:30pm
Duke’s K9 Dash N’ Splash

A little farther out east, Duke’s K9 Splash will be hosting a dogs-only Easter Egg Hunt. There will be eggs scattered all around for dogs to find and some of the eggs will have different prizes and treats for humans too. There will also be pictures with the Easter Bunny and raffles. A $10 donation to Never Surrender Pet Pantry per dog will get you into the event, but you must register in advance. There will be a limited number of tickets available for each time slots in order to maintain everyone’s safety. Onsite tickets will not be available unless there is room to add more dogs. Each dog with a pre-paid ticket will receive a FREE water canteen with detachable water bowl and strap.

Find out more here: https://www.facebook.com/events/624725051318220/

Easter “Begg” Hunt
Three Dogs Bakery
12- 3pm

This Easter “Begg” Hunt hosted by the newly opened Three Dog Bakery includes a walk with your dogs through the Hingetown neighborhood to collect eggs filled with dog treats. The event starts at the Bakery where you will receive a bag for your goodies and a list of all participating businesses. At each business you’ll be given a plastic treat filled egg. Each dog needs their own ticket. You can find out more and get your tickets here: https://www.facebook.com/events/260068058279087/

54520854_10161622360900261_2799825782250143744_o

April 14

Easter Egg Hunt for Dogs
11:30am – 3:00pm
B.A.R.K Akron Dog Park

For our furry friends a little south of us, don’t miss the “Eggciting” Easter Egg Hunt at Akron Dog Park. This event requires advanced online registration at https://www.akrondogpark.org/events-1/easter-egg-hunt-for-dogs-2 since a limited number of tickets will be sold. Walk-up tickets will not be sold. A $10 donation per dog (limit three dogs per human companion) is the fee. The park asks that you bring your own basket or container to collect eggs in. Visit www.akrondogpark.org/events for more info.

2nd Annual Dog Easter Egg Hunt
12pm – 3pm
Market Square at Crocker Park

This indoor/outdoor event will include multiple dog Easter egg hunts, raffle baskets, vendors, coloring table, photos with the Easter Bunny, and more, to raise funds for City Dogs Cleveland. Admission is free, but a donation to City Dogs at the door is strongly encouraged. Find out more here: https://www.facebook.com/events/412916069484131/?active_tab=about

Easter Egg Delivery

If you don’t have the most social dog but you want to have your own Easter egg hunt, Live Love Rescue can help you out. The rescue group will deliver 100, 50 or other quantities of treat-filled eggs to your home. Eggs will be delivered the night before Easter, and you have to order by April 10. You can also order candy-filled eggs if you want to get some for children, while supporting the rescue group (just don’t mix up the dog treats and kids treats if you are doing both!). Find out more information here, including what cities they’ll deliver to, here: https://liveloverescueohio.com/index.html

copy-of-easter-made-with-postermywall_orig (1)

Oh hey, while you’re here – please stop by Twitter and give me a vote for best twitter account in CLE. I am losing bad to the NE Ohio Sewer District. Sewers or Puppies? Should be an easy choice! https://twitter.com/playcle216/status/1108807180789141504