Monday, December 30, 2013

PEDs: Being Conscientious Citizens

Since most of us live in smaller neighborhoods, we don't meet many pedestrians on the sidewalks.  When we do, it's easy enough to cross the street and walk along the other side.

Our downtown walk has challenged us all to be a little more conscientious.  We've met people on tight sidewalks along busy streets where crossing the street is not an option at that moment.  We're forced to analyze the situation and make sure that not only are our pooches comfortable, but also that our fellow Erie-ites are also comfortable with our presence downtown.

After all, we are all working to become more responsible members of our community!

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Monday, December 23, 2013

PEDs: Getting Together

Last week, we had our first humans-only gathering!

Our friends at Mud Puppies graciously offered to let us use their training rink to set up a few tables.  We BYOB'd and brought dishes to share.

Of course, we mostly talked about what we know best -- our pooches!  While our reactive dog owners don't get to interact during our walks, they have a lot of knowledge to share with each other.  The get-together was the perfect opportunity to do so.

Thanks to everyone who came out and made our first gathering a success!

Friday, December 20, 2013

Ed & Tess's Favorite Things: Petco Sport Dog 4' Leashes

Several months ago, we found these leashes during a trip to Petco.  Our previous 6’ leashes definitely got the job done, but I was finding that the hard edges hurt my hands when I gripped them (especially if Edi decided he didn’t walk to walk nicely!)

The 4’ length is perfect because not only does it give us more control over where the pooches are, we very rarely ever used 6’ worth of leash!  The extra length really just became a burden, especially since Edi is double leashed.

The leash itself is soft (no hard nylon edges!), and the handle has even extra cushion.  There is also a built in traffic leash for extra control that we use very frequently.  They come in 4 colors: red, purple, green, and teal.

What kind of leash do you walk your pooches on?

We were not compensated in any way for this post.  We just like sharing products that we truly love.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Christmas Photos with Lani Harmon 2013

Just like last year, we took the pooches for their annual Christmas photo with Lani Harmon.

These photo shoots are always a testament to how far the pooches have come from the year before.

Edison was even better than last year (if that's even possible!).  And at the end of our shoot we figured out the trick to get Tesla to relax (just a little!) in front of the camera -- set up the shot and then bring your face out from behind the camera.

Within just a few minutes, we had the perfect photo -- with both the pooches cooperating.

Thanks again to Lani for another great photo!

Do you get your pooches' photos taken?  Did you do a Christmas photo?

Monday, December 16, 2013

PEDs: Weather Issues

We finally cancelled our first walk due to weather issues.

We've had some pretty rough walks up until now, but today was pretty nasty with several inches of snow.  We didn't want anyone to have issues driving in, so we made the decision to go ahead and cancel.

We did hear word that a few brave souls braved the snow and walked this week's route anyway!

Friday, December 13, 2013

Polar Puppies

Last weekend was light up night in Erie -- Downtown D'Light!

We bundled up and took the dogs downtown to enjoy our city and get in the holiday spirit.

It wasn't warm, by any means, but we had a great time listening to carols and watching the city light up.

How do you get in the holiday spirit with your pooches?

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Edi & Tess's Favorite Things: Earth Rated Poop Bags

Poop bags are something that every dog owner is familiar with.  We started to feel pretty guilty of throwing away so many plastic bags.  We tried to poop scoop into a garbage bag, but not only did that make our garage super stinky, it was almost impossible to pick up when Edi had an upset tummy.

So we switched back to poop bags and decided to find an eco-friendly, biodegradable poop bag.  We tried a couple cheap ones (again, we use so many), and as we have, unfortunately, learned from experience, poop bags are not an area you want to skimp -- many tears, leaks, and defected rolls later.

We then found the mother of all poop bags -- Earth Rated.  They were everything we were looking for, and more: thick and strong.  While they aren't labeled "biodegradable" (because the US has different definitions), they are considered biodegradable in Canada (where they are the product of a small business!).  They even have a 100% recycled paper core!

We're seriously loving these bags.  We even bought a 900-count box from Amazon.  Although we're a little bummed that they aren't labeled "biodegradable," we are interested in trying their compostable bags!

What's the scoop on your poop bags?

Monday, December 9, 2013

PEDs: Human-Canine Bond

During our walk yesterday, we were talking about how special the human-canine bond is.

Fostered over tens of thousands of years, this bond is such a special one -- especially to those in modern day who know what it is to love a pooch.

One thing we do know is that spending time together and learning to communicate effectively helps further the bond between our individual pooches and us.  And what better place to do so than a pack walk!

How do you improve on your relationship with your pooch?

Friday, December 6, 2013

Homeward Bound Gear

When I brought Tess home, all she had was a leash, collar that was too big, a crate that she wouldn't use, a brush that she was afraid of, bowls, and cheap-ish food.

Fast forward 4 years and the girl has more clothes than I do!  She's got snoods, sweaters, jackets, and tutus.

We sometimes now struggle to keep it all corralled and organized!

What did kind of "stuff" did you bring your pooch home with?  How has that list changed over time?

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Winter Prep: Cold Weather Gear

Living in Erie, you learn to work around the cold.  While we do have a backyard for those days we stay inside and snuggle, the pooches really do need walked.  And we need to go to our PEDs walks.

When I first got Tess, I didn't think twice about clothes -- they were just for small dogs.  After our first walk together ended in me carrying my pitbull 4 blocks home when she refused to go any further, I quickly invested in a coat for Tessie.  After spending too much on a coat that only lasts one season, we found these coats on a recommendation from the eskimos themselves.  We love that they are high quality and actually cover the pooches bellies -- especially since Tesla's tends to hit the snow!

On the extra cold days, we layer up with our favorite Zack & Zoey hoodies -- the only hoodie that fits around their barrel chests (isn't a foot too long).  At a reasonable price, we can get these in a variety of coordinating colors.

And we can't forget, of course, our Sirius Republic snoods.  Seriously.  We love these things.  Not only do they add an extra layer of warmth, we get so many compliments on how cute the pooches look.  And you know we love every opportunity to make our dogs approachable!

What are your "musts" when it comes to cold weather gear?

Monday, December 2, 2013

PEDs: Making Additions

One of our newest members joined us for their first walk this weekend.  She also happens to be the sister of our other members.

As their human wrote on our Facebook page:  "Without Pack of Erie Dogs, I don't think we would have been able to have a second pup"

We are so happy to welcome their newest addition into our walking group as well!

How did you know it was the right time to add to your family?

Friday, November 29, 2013

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Thanksgiving Reflections

We can hardly believe that it's already Thanksgiving!! We took a page out of Two Pitties in the City's book and decided to share what we're thankful for.

H: I'm thankful for a roof over my head and gainful employment to pay for necessities and...not so necessaries; for having the two furriest, best friends a girl could ask for; for having a wonderful, supportive boyfriend; and for all of you who have supported this blog.

S: I'm thankful for my friends, my family, and my feet warmers; for how much progress Edi has made in the past two years; and for my loving girlfriend.

2013 has given us so much to be thankful for.  We can't wait to see what the next year has in store!

What are you thankful for this year?

Monday, November 25, 2013

PEDs: A Little Motivation

With winter starting to hit us full-force, daily walks with the pooches become shorter and shorter, then eventually less often than daily.

On weekends like this, it would be so easy to snuggle under some blankets with the pooches rather than take them out for a walk.

That's we love about our weekly PEDs walks - the commitment we've made to the group to show up every Sunday, no matter what the weather has in store for us.  And our members have taken on the commitment to bring their pooches each week and walk with us.

How do you stay motivated when the weather is less than ideal?

Friday, November 22, 2013

Family Walk Friday: Walking Downtown

One of the things on our to-do list has been to take the pooches downtown.  Don't ask me why this has been so hard to do (it only takes 10 minutes to get there, and there's no issues parking or anything).

We realized after taking them a few weeks ago (when we stopped for a brew at the Tap House) that downtown walks may be just the thing we need to work on Edi's reactivity.  While he still tends to be dog reactive, one thing we've noticed is he is becoming reactive to people.  We know his body language and know that it is not aggressive reactivity, but it really is poor behavior -- and not a way to pass the CGC.

We have to keep a really close eye on him - making sure he has enough space, he's not "red zoning" on a particular person, and he's giving us good focus -- walking downtown is a great way to make encounters with others more mundane.  When we walk around our neighborhood, we only see one or two people.  I think this allows Ed to think it's his neighborhood and sidewalk.

Forcing him to share with a lot of other people during our downtown walks (again, while listening to what he is telling us and looking for signs of discomfort) takes that ownership and the surprise out of other pedestrians.

Not only is walking downtown a great training opportunity for Ed, we have a lot of fun.  We relish every chance we can get to support our city, especially the downtown shops and restaurants.  Being present downtown is an easy way to do so with the pooches.

Do you have a special place to walk with your dogs?

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Tesla Won't Snuggle

When I first adopted Tess, she never left my side.

Then, very slowly, she started secluding herself.  It happened slowly so I thought at first I thought she was becoming more confident and independent.  Last winter, she spent so much time by herself I was pretty sure she had Seasonal Affective Disorder.

Even though she's snapped out of it, we'll find her lounging somewhere secluded.  And although she still is definitely a snuggler, it's always on her terms - and we have to sit very still so we don't disturb the princess.

Is you dog a super snuggler?

Monday, November 18, 2013

PEDs: No Greetings Policy

One of the major rules of our walking group is that there are no dog greetings allowed before, during, or after our walks.  We do this for 3 reasons:

1. Since we invite reactive dogs to our group, we almost always have one or two on our walks.  Establishing a "no greetings" policy ensures that all members are aware of their dogs, and takes some of the burden off of reactive dog owners.

2. Because we have reactive dogs in our group, we try to limit the level of excitement as much as possible as a high-energy level can trigger many reactive pooches.  Eliminating greetings helps us do just that.

3. Not allowing greetings has its benefits for social butterflies as well.  Many of these dogs want to greet others and will pull and and whine to go meet other dogs.  Walking as a pack helps with this behavior.

What benefits do you notice from not allowing your pooch to greet others?