Wednesday, October 30, 2013

P.I. Trick or Treating

On Sunday before our weekly PEDs walk, we participated in a special event at Presque Isle - doggy trick-or-treating!

Canine-focused companies and organizations set up booths and handed out treats and information to dogs and their humans.  We decided that PEDs should support this event, too.  As we've said before, Erie doesn't have the best dog culture (even though we have a ton of dogs!), and we're all about helping to change that where we can.

We made some treat bags and small informational flyers, loaded up our new Mini Moo cards, and were off.  We figured with this being the first year of this event, there would be a small turnout - boy were we wrong!  We ran out of treat bags after the first hour, and I think the other booths were done shortly after.

We're so glad the event was such a success and so many pooches joined us dressed in costume!

Do you have any canine-focused Halloween/costume events in your area?

Monday, October 28, 2013

PEDs: Spreading the Word

Yesterday before our walk, we participated in a dog event at Presque Isle.  It gave us a big opportunity to tell the dog community about our dog walking group.

We were pleasantly surprised that so many had heard about our group before - most seeing our group on Facebook.

But there were plenty that had never heard about us, and it gave us a great opportunity to spread the word.

We know that many people may have not been interested, but we're pretty sure that we interested at least a couple new people!

Friday, October 25, 2013

Battle of the Fleas, Pt. II

Last week, we had made after round one against the fleas, we were seeing a few on the pooches.  I'm not sure if we weren't keeping up with the routine enough, or if our homemade spray wasn't working as effectively as we were hoping (I think it works well killing fleas on the pooches, but not so well at repelling them).

We couldn't give them another dose of their spot treatment, but I knew there was a pill form that I hoped we could give them.  After a trip to the vet, we came home with Capstar flea treatment pills for the pooches and Knockout spray for the house.  We also picked up another round of the Bengal Foggers.

We gave the pill to the pooches and brushed them well with the flea comb, sprayed the high-traffic and plush areas (mattresses, pillows, rugs, and couches) with the Knockout spray, fogged the house one more time, and vacuumed everything.

It seems like we are finally getting the upper hand.  Our vet instructed us to give the Capstar pills 3 days in a row.  We've sprayed areas down regularly and vacuumed.  And we plan to do one more "bombing" tonight.

Has anyone else battled the fleas and won?

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Up with the Sun

The past few mornings, we've noticed that the pooches have been slower than usual in getting up and around.

Usually, shortly after we get up, the dogs are up and ready to eat go.

Our pooches' sleep cycles seem to depend entirely on the rising of the sun.

We have noticed that with the sun coming up later and later each morning, the humans of the house have had a harder time getting out of bed as well.

Does the change in season affect your dogs?

Monday, October 21, 2013

PEDs: Sharing Advice

Our weekly walks have surprised us with the number of benefits it provides for the dogs and their humans.

One of the benefits has been providing us with an environment to discuss what has worked with our pooches...and what hasn't.  It gives us the opportunity to bounce ideas off one another and discover new strategies and tools for improvement.

So often issues we face are something that a member has already dealt with.  We know that our pooches are individuals, but the advice of other members is a great starting place.

Do you have an environment to discuss your doggy issues?

Friday, October 18, 2013

Dog Friendly Friday: Taphouse

Last week, we took a night walk around downtown.  As we were finishing our walk, we came to a local pub, the Taphouse.  They have a great sidewalk patio, but it is always packed.

Because it was kind of chilly out, the patio was empty.  We took the opportunity to enjoy downtown with the pooches.  Luckily, we dressed warm -- us and the dogs!

It was so dark out, so I was having trouble getting some good photos, so we only were able to catch a couple phone photos.  But we enjoyed hanging out on the patio -- the waitress even came out to say hi!

We had a great time enjoying our city with a couple of cold ones and our pooches.

How do you enjoy your city with your dogs?

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Jumpin' Jehosaphat!

In the 4 years I have had Tess, we have never once had fleas.  But before our friend Bandit left, he made sure to leave us with a parting gift.

So after a little freak-out, we put together a game plan: get the dogs clean, get the house clean, total eradication.

In our arsenal were 3 major players:

1. Diatomaceous Earth - we sprinkled this on all the carpets and furniture, as well as our mattresses and rugs.  This kills fleas by dehydration and it totally safe around animals.  We actually sprinkled this on and left it for a day before vacuuming up.  We also placed the end of a pair of panty hose over the top so we could use the jar like a shakers.

2. Bengal Dry Indoor Fogger - good for a 1,000 square feet and only around $8 bucks a can, we bought one for each floor.  This is the brand that is typically used in schools, hospitals, and restaurants and only requires being out of the house for 1 hour.

3. Homemade Flea Spray - made with 8 oz. apple cider vinegar, 4 oz. hot water, 1/2 tsp. salt, 1/2 tsp. baking soda, and 10 drops tea tree oil (shake contents slowly as the vinegar and baking soda will react to one another), we are able to use this to treat the pooches since we give them Frontline at the beginning of each month.  Then using a flea comb, we comb out the pooches.

We also made sure to wash all the bedding, blankets, oh and every piece of clothing in the house (thanks to leaving clothing out to be contaminated...then putting it in drawers. Forehead slap), then vacuumed pretty much every surface in the house.

Unfortunately, we did not keep up with the plan (vacuum every day, spray dogs every day, repeat until next round of Frontline and then move to periodic checks) and had a re-emergence of the little nasties this week.  So the pooches both got sprayed down, more vacuuming, and another bombing is on the docket for later today.

Hopefully this works, otherwise I've been seriously contemplating just moving...

Have you ever had fleas?  What was your secret to getting rid of them?

Friday, October 11, 2013

Family Walk Friday: Walking with Lu

With our recent slacking, one thing we've been trying to do to make up is taking Family Walks.  These differ from our regular daily walks in that we try to get out of our normal neighborhood and explore more of our city.

We also love taking the opportunity to walk with friends and their dogs.  We know the benefit of pack walks, and even walking with one new dogs we see huge benefits.

We saw this benefit recently when we went on a nice long walk with our friend Ludwig.  As expected, Edison had issues with him at first, but as our walk started, we could feel the difference in Edi's demenour -- so much more relaxed!

By the end of our walk, the two were off-leash together, relaxing!

How to do you challenge your pooch?

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

We Gotcha!

While Edi has come a long way and shown us he really isn't THAT bad, he definitely was more than we bargained for when we brought him home -- like, no way we would have picked him up had we known what we were in for.  

But it's definitely stretched us in all the right places.  And now knowing what we can handle, I wouldn't back down from the challenge with another diamond in the rough.

We count our blessings each day - yes, even on the bad ones - that we did take the chance on "Manny" and brought him into our lives 2 years ago (has it really only been that long?!).

Would you do it all over again, knowing what you know now?

Monday, October 7, 2013

PEDs: Rising to the Occasion

With a reactive dog, it is so easy to fall into the routine of staying within your comfort zone.

But our pooches get the most out of controlled challenges, while being set them up for success.

This week for our PEDs walks, we moved to Presque Isle State Park.  It's a great place to walk, but with a reactive dog, can be a challenge.  There are tons of obstacles - people, bikes, dogs, skateboards.

With tourist season over, we decided to give it a try as this month's location and allow some of reactive dogs to make the venture, possibly for the first time!

How do you challenge your dog?

Friday, October 4, 2013

Summer Slacking

Even though it's been summers and we've had gorgeous weather, it's been a hard few months for the pooches and us.

We've really been slacking on our daily walks, especially training walks.

Summers are always super busy, making it difficult for us to do all the socialization activities we normally do.

And while we aren't doing an official challenge, we're getting back to work with training walks, socializing, and working on our obedience commands.

Have you and your pooch kept up over the summer?

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Until Next Time

We said goodbye for now to our friend, Bandit, as he makes the long trek back to Florida for the winter.

We've had a blast hanging out with this guy during the past month.  With all his energy, he brought a ton of excitement.

I know Edison will miss him most - they definitely became quick friends.

He's already pacing around, waiting for him.

Does your pooch have a best friend?