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Friday, January 27, 2012

Driving, Walking, Babysitting

There are so many things to love about living here in the NW but I recently discovered one more thing....The Yeller Cab Pet Taxi. This is one of those ideas I put in my "why didn't I think of this?" category.

Here are a group of folks that saw a need - transportation for your pet when you are not able to drive them yourself and filled it beautifully. However, they didn't stop there - They offer a wide variety of walks, off leash runs, quick 'pit stops' and more. This service is wonderful for us who work a lot of hours and perhaps don't give our best friends the excercise and stimulation we really want them to have.

You can visit them on line at and register your pet for their passport and see all the different services they offer.

How about day care? We are really blessed here in Portland to have doggie day care in just about every neighborhood. I take my Boma-Lomma to several day cares in town and here are some things to note;

1) Your baby must be current in their vaccinations - always a good thing anyway but required for day care (if you visit a day care facility and they don't require this, walk away!!!)

2) Bordetella (kennel cough) is another vaccine you will need - this is a highly contagious disease and you should have your dog vaccinated for this if they are going to be with other dogs. The most common way to administer is through a mist sprayed in their nose. Trust me, they really don't appreciate this much but a treat and 15 minutes and all is forgiven!

3) Visit the day care and check it out thoroughly. See where the dogs spend most of their time, meet the handlers and folks who will be interacting with the dogs. Some places have web cams you can log in to and watch what happens. This is your best friend. Make sure your trust is warranted and that the people who work there not only love dogs but have a good understanding of behaviour and meaning.

Most day cares will or should require some sort of temperment test to make sure that the experience will be good for your pet and the others at the facility. This usually requires you to drop Fido off for a visit of 30 minutes to an hour to see how everyone gets along.

It's not free and many of us can't afford to take our dogs every day but I highly recommend giving your pooch the opportunity a few times a month if you can swing it. Lots of socialization (which helps when you go to the dog park), plenty of playing, and a stimulating environment which goes a long way to having a satisfied and relaxed best friend.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

A Dog's life in the great NW

My mom works for Keller Williams Realty Professionals in Portland. One thing we do is visit our local coffee shop - is Portland amazing or what - and talk about what we are going to do (if my mom isn't showing houses) There are so many fabulous places to go around here:

* If I want to hang with my buddies. So many choices - here's a partial list of some of my favorites;

North Portland

  • Chimney Park; 9360 N Columbia Blvd

  • Overlook Park; N. Fremont and Interstate Ave

NE Portland

  • Argay Park; NE 141st Ave. and Failing St

  • Grant Park; NE 33rd Ave and US Grant Pl

  • Irving Park; NE 7th Ave and Fremont

  • Sacajawea Park; This one is hard to say-NE 75th St and Roselawn
SE Portland:

  • Cherry Park; SE 110th Ave and Stevens

  • Laurelhurst Park; SE 39th Ave and Stark

  • Sellwood Riverfront Park - Talk about SMELLS - this place ROCKS; SE Spokane St and Oaks Parkway

  • Woodstock Park; All I can say is "far out man"; SE 47th Ave and Steele
SW Portland:

  • Gabriel Park - DUDE, check out those skateboarders; SW 45th and Vermont

  • Council Crest Park; SW Council Crest Drive

  • Hillsdale Park; SW 27th and Hillsdale Hwy

  • Summerdale Park Dog Park - kinda small but what the heck, it's outside!; 11450 SW Winterlake, Tigard

Rooster Rock State Park - not by the nudies!! Swim your heart out but be careful!

There are others so for the complete list, check out:

* I want to be dropped off in the morning - NO messy kisses, it's embarrassing don't ya know?

* Sometimes I want to wander among the briars and the brambles.

HUGE and wonderful Forest Park: - Trails, adventures and smells in this 5000 acre place we are so lucky to have - even the Pittock Mansion offers a doggie drinking fountain. Great place for you and your best friend to get some excercise, smell some really cool stuff, and bond with nature.

Just a few miles and a few minutes from Portland is Hagg Lake; 50250 SW Scoggins Valley Road, Gaston, OR 97119 - I have to stay like a good boy on my leash, but THIS place is fantastic fun - elk smells (doo doo if you must know), squirrels, birds, more poo,

* Let's party like it's 1999

  • The Lucky Lab? Does it get any better I ask you? 915 SE Hawthorne - hang out and enjoy a Lucky Lab Stout: and don't forget to check out all the cool 'lab' stuff!

  • How about a schnitzel? or a 'wurst? Visit the Berlin Inn with your human and sit on the outdoor deck - maybe you'll get a bite or two:

  • Old Market Pub and Brewery...hmmm do I see a pattern here? 6959 SW Multnomah Blvd

  • Did you say Pizza? Did you say Pizza? Pizzacato Northwest, 505 NW 23rd Ave

  • Tin Shed Garden Cafe, 1438 NE Alberta St

    I am a LUCKY dog to live in Portland. Don't I know it. Whatever you and your best friend want to do today, here are some things to do before you go out:

    DO make sure you have safe and secure collar with identification tag - gives us a chance to call home without a cell phone. Better yet, get a micro-chipped if you can. This is like a mini-GPS for dogs (not a government conspiracy to track us on the remote chance we have nefarious intentions)

    DO bring water for us. We do a lot of drinking - Here's a few links for you but you can just visit your local pet store provided they don't "sell" purebred puppies - more on that much much later

    DO make sure we are up to date on their vaccinations particularly Parvo and Distemper. If you are an annoying, well darling puppy, have a talk with your veternarian for advise on when it will be safe for to begin your big adventure in the great outdoors.

    DO make sure you have the basics down - COME when called - even if you have a big wonderful huge stick or you are chasing after that super duper interesting critter or attempting to greet the small thing in the stoller. (this will really get your mom and dad riled up so don't try it! nobody will find it funny)

    If you are going on a longer trip, remember your medications and basic safety kit with local veternarian information (god forbid you would have to use this but you know how we are - will eat or drink anything - we are dogs after all). It's also good to travel with a current photo of us - preferably NOT the one with me in my Darth Dogger costume that you took last Halloween.

    Finally, Oregon does have a slightly higher risk of Lyme's disease than some other states so unfortunately, someone - not my mother that's for sure - has to check for ticks when you leave the forest! If they find them (and here's the icky part) you have to remove them. For me, don't want to use tick powder or other chemicals, just some good old fashioned vaseline and tweezers it is.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Walking your dog

Taking your best friend for a walk is one of the great joys of living. So many places to see, so much to smell and the SQUIRRELS -- Oh My!

Here are a few tips to making your trips more enjoyable:

**Thanks to one reader - forgot important item - CARRY those plastic bags and clean up your pets' business! This is non-negotiable and creates happy neighbors and fellow walkers.

1) Get out for daily walks - at least 30 minutes and you will have a pet that is calmer and less bored at home (think about your shoes, furniture, etc)

2) Get an appropriate collar and make sure it fits and has a tag with your contact information - this is the equivilant of a cell phone 'just in case' your hound takes a road trip without you. I am not a fan of 'choke' style collars at all.

3) Your dog pulls? So does mine - he is a very strong lab/pit mix and our walks were not too much fun at first. Buy a halter or harness that fits over their chest and attach your leash to it. These often discourage pulling - just have someone at the pet store help you fit it.

4) Vary your route - even small changes will keep your friend interested in where you are going and what will happen next.