Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Edi & Tess's Favorite Places - Mud Puppies Self Serve Dog Wash

WARNING: This post in long – but necessary in order to talk up this wonderful place!
I realized yesterday that we were totally out of treats.  Not wanting to cause a coup, we made sure to head to one of Edi & Tess’s favorite places: Mud Puppies Self Serve Dog Wash.

Mud Puppies is a little shop at 3867 Peach Street in Erie that, in its simplest form, is a place to take your dog and give him a bath – without worrying about the moment he shakes off and soaks your entire bathroom.
But Mud Puppies is so much more than that. 
We’ve taken the dogs to get baths here several times.  Correction – we’ve taken Edison here several times.  Since Tess is terrified of the bath, she’s gotten a bath here maybe 3 times.  The owner, Kim Hessong, understands Tess’s (irrational) fear.  She encourages us to stop in throughout the week and desensitize her to the tubs – walking back and forth, jumping in and getting a treat – without actually getting a bath.
We did give Tess a bath last night, but it wasn’t without soaking both Sam and I and at least one of their employees.
Edison, on the other hand, does fantastic in the bath.  He jumps in with the promise of a treat and waits patiently while we wash – even standing still while we blowdry his coat.

Since our dogs have such short fur and don’t need professionally groomed, we have little occasion to see the groomers they have on staff should you have a long-coated pal or are just low on time.  However, we recently discovered the beauty of dremmeling the dogs’ nails: we can get their nails a lot shorter; we don’t end up with the sharp, jagged nails cutting our legs for days; and it’s a lot less traumatizing for Tesla. 
Best yet, we get to interact with the fantastic girls from the groom shop.  We love Melissa and Brandy.  They, of course, do a great job on their nails, but they are so great with the pooches.  They understood that Tess is still working on letting people touch her feet and that Edison is starting to get over trying to nip people when they grab his.
Brandy was even understanding of our foster beagle who made every attempt to blow out her eardrum during his pedicure.
Food, Treats, and Supplies
At Mud Puppies, you can find all sorts of goodies for your canine friends.  With a huge selection of all-natural treats, you can feed your pooch as well as you feed yourself.  Our pups love Grandma Lucy’s Pumpkin treats – they’re made with human quality ingredients and are actually really tasty.

These photos were taken after Tesla's bath...she's not very happy with us...

Mud Puppies also carries Premium Tuff Lock collars and leashes.  These fantastic, everyday collars are durable – and backed by an unconditional lifetime guarantee, even if your dog chews it!  We’ve already taken advantage of the guarantee when we found Edi’s collar clip had broken.

 Mud Puppies offers several different classes that you and your pooch can take.  We’ve not had the opportunity to try out any of their obedience classes, but we’ve heard good things.  Edison and I started an agility class there – where you learn the obstacles, good technique, and safety considerations to prepare you for a full-blown agility course class – until our trainer broke her foot.  Boo.  Kim offered us money back, store credit, another class – we opted to keep the deposit and sign up for the next one when the trainer is all healed up!
Mud Puppies offers Basic Obedience, CGC Prep, Agility...just to name a few!  They also offer tons of workshops throughout the year like How to Keep you Dog Busy, Senior Dogs, and Socialization Seminar, just to name a few
One of our favorite things about Mud Puppies is the opportunity for socialization.  Edison will never be a dog park dog – and that’s okay! – but we still want him to be well socialized around all types of people and canines.
Mud Puppies offers 4 opportunities a week for direct socialization (in a controlled and aware environment) and ample opportunities for passive socialization.  Thursdays (1030-1130 & 430-530) you can bring in your “large” dog (30+ lbs) for Yappy Hour to play with 10 canine friends in the training rink.  All humans are aware of their dogs limits and signals.  Since the play group is so small, it is easy to keep an eye on your dog and all the other dogs in the rink.
On Fridays (530-630) you can bring in your “small” dog (<30 lbs.) for Yippy Hour, a smaller version of Yappy Hour.  Even though Tess is just over 40 lbs, Kim lets Tess attend Yippy Hour because she is so much more comfortable with the smaller dogs and gentle enough when she plays with them.
On Saturdays (1030-1130 & 430-530), all dogs are welcome for Social Hour.  There are a few smaller dogs that run with large dogs that come, but generally it’s a large dog group.
All owners wanting to bring their pooch to Social hours must attend the Socialization seminar.  This 1 hour workshop teaches dog owners the cues to look for when dogs play – good play techniques, red flags, and tips to help your dog understand what is acceptable and what is not.
When Tess started going to Yappy Hour, she spent most of her time hiding underneath the chairs.  Through the confidence boosting of Yippy Hour and the exposure at Yappy Hour, Tess became a confident socialite!
Edison has always been too rambunctious to take into the rink, but don’t think he doesn’t get a chance to socialize!  We take him and stand of the outside of the rink and give him indirect exposure to the dogs and allow him to observe play.  Additionally, he gets tons of contact with different types of people and works on his greetings (which is one of the CGC test items).

All dogs must have vaccination records on file and all humans must attend the Socialization seminar offered once a month.

We love Mud Puppies and are so excited to see more of the positive impact it will have on the Erie community in promoting responsible dog ownership.

Don’t forget: November 24th is Small Business Saturday – a great opportunity to get some holiday shopping done and support businesses like Mud Puppies!  Stop in and pick up a gift for the dog lover in your life.

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