Sunday, August 28, 2011

We Named It!

Thank you to everyone who gave us feedback regarding the name of our new soon-to-open upscale clothing and accessory shop for dogs and their humans! Doctors and nurses at local vet clinics, pet store owners and workers, Facebook friends, strangers on the street, family, friends, colleagues, and dog lovers everywhere – thank you!

I am pleased to announce that we have finally settled on a name:

UpTown Pup
The Chic Boutique

The address for the online store will be and its Grand Opening is set for some time this month (I’d like to be more specific, but there are so many details and loose ends to tie up and several of them are dependent on other people’s schedules).

I’ll announce the Grand Opening here so keep checking back for details!

Meanwhile, I’m now looking for a signature design and logo – we are open to ideas and suggestions!

Saturday, August 27, 2011

True Devotion

Hawkeye, the Labrador Retriever who was the dog of fallen navy SEAL Jon Tumilson, demonstrated his true devotion during Tumilson's funeral earlier this week. When I see this picture I want to stand up and put my hand over my heart. 

Thank you, Jon Tumilson! And thank you also Hawkeye!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Product Preview: Leashes

The UpTown Pup will have a line of leashes for dogs and their owners to prance about in high fashion out on the town. All leashes are made of cotton fabric, reinforced with interfacing and adorned with decorative ribbons or bows.   

Disclaimer: Leashes are designed for gentle walking activities, not for training or to secure the dog for long periods of time. 

Here is a preview of some of the UpTown Pup leashes:

Black and white polka dot with purple polka dot interior
Size: sm

Blue and white checkered with green and blue polka dot interior
Size: long

Blue and white checkered close up

Ice cream design with pink and white polka dot interior and bracelet ring handle
size: M

Ice cream design with pink and white polka dot close up

Monday, August 8, 2011

Costs of Owning a Dog

Pups are cute – irritably cute! There is no doubt about that. But be not mistaken – they also cost money. Yes, even mutts, strays, hand-me-downs, and give-aways: Dogs cost money.

Too many people get a dog based on an emotional reaction to it adorable factor. They are more than willing to dish out their hard-earned money at first for all its necessities as if they are preparing a nursery for a new baby. But then later, when the dog chews up one too many shoes, knocks down too many human things in the house, pees on the carpet incessantly, its demands for more and more attention is relentless, and the cute factor goes away, it still costs money.

I’ve been babysitting for Coco, a 7-month-old Chocolate Lab this summer. Her owners left 3 50 pound bags of food, 1 toy, 1 small box of treats, and flea medicine for her. I should be set – right? What money would be required in addition to these basic supplies?

Well… On the first day (literally within the first hour she was with us), Coco charged into the glass-top table on the patio and shattered it: $65.00 to replace the glass. Later that day, I realized I couldn’t tie her rope to the tree without risking the life of the tree: $10.00 for a dog steak. The next day Coco chewed through the rope: $10.00 for a chain. Those things lasted only a couple of weeks – Coco kept pulling the steak out of the ground and wrapping the chain so tightly around its top that eventually I couldn’t break it free: $30.00 for a 4 foot augur and a coated wire cable. And another $35.00 to replace the garden hose Coco chewed up one of the times she broke free. Also, because Coco kept getting loose, I thought it was important to get her a name tag with my phone number on it: $15.00. Meanwhile, her flea collar came off and that too, was chewed to pieces: $45.00 for flea repellant meds. When I went away for a wee, there was the cost of kenneling: $150.00.

You get the picture, right? And Coco isn’t even spade yet, either. That will be another major cost for her owners.

My point here is simple: dogs cost money, even the “free” ones. So before you take that adorable, irritably cute pup home, calculate the estimated costs of every possible need you can think of – don’t be conservative in your estimation!

Please be a responsible pet owner. 
This begins with knowing the costs of owning a dog. 


Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Produce Preview: Bandanas

The UpTown Pup will have a line of bandanas for decorative dress-up and every day wear. All bandanas have an elastic neckline for easy, over-the-head slip on and off, and a D-ring to attach a leash.

Here is a preview of some of the UpTown Pup bandanas:

Disclaimer: UpTown Pup bandanas are not meant to replace a collar and are not guaranteed to 
reign in an enthusiastic dog with a “gotta-go-get-that-squirrel” kind of determination. 

We would love to hear your feedback and opinions!

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Hot Barefooting

Hot summer days are great for barefooting!

I struggle to breathe the hot Indiana air when our heat index is 110 degrees and there is no breeze for miles around, but barefooting is great!

I walk the dog, slapping my feet on hot tarmac until the burning finally penetrates my thick soles. Then I give them relief by stepping onto the crunchy dry grass. I pad my way down to the river’s edge and sigh a big, audible “Ahhhh!” as I immerse my feet in the cool, (not cold) still waters of The White River. The muck on the river’s bed is soft, almost fluffy; I revel in this sensation as Coco swims around me.

After that, I dip into my small cooler and take out a couple of handfuls of ice and drop it on the ground. I step on the ice, enjoying the stinging cold sensation and welcoming the massage created by my body’s weight pressing against the rocky chunks of ice. 

Warning: My soles are very thick and tough, so I can walk on extremely hot surfaces, but most people cannot.

When I step away and settle myself under a tree to write, Coco eats the ice then lays down beside me until it is time to go home.


Friday, July 29, 2011

Summer Heat Dangers for Dogs

Coco and River near Coco's private "beach"

We all know how dangerous excessive heat can be for all of us, especially for dogs who are dependent on us for their safety.

Coco has her own sandbox and swimming pool under a big shade tree and I refresh the water several times a day. This, in addition to daily trips to the river, however, still weren’t enough….

Coco developed sores on the tops of her ears. Right in the crease where the ears are attached to her head bone, there were perfectly round, quarter-sized raw circles. At first I thought she’d just rubbed her head on something. I washed the raw skin and put antibiotic cream on the sores. But after a few days without any improvement, I realized it was more than that.

I took her to the doctor.
“Those are hot spots,” he said.

The doctor then explained that the raw circles on Coco’s head were particularly vulnerable to the sun and were therefore “weaker”. This made them attractive to flies that were actually eating away her fur and skin!

The doctor gave me a fly-repellant ointment to keep on her ears and an antibiotic pill to fend off infection. Coco didn’t seem to be in pain, but general discomfort from the incessant heat.

Healing is slow because the heat is still relentless, but at least she is getting better. Every morning when I let her out of her crate, I am happy to see the sores are no longer red, are getting smaller, and are developing a healthy scab.

Moral of the story: in this unreasonable heat, keep your dogs in the shade; keep them hydrated; and keep the flies away!

Further Reading:

Hot Spot Remedies

Summer Heat and Heath Hazards for Pets