Friday, November 20, 2009

A Pack for the Pack

When I knew the dogs and I where heading into Chicago, my daughter Jazmin bought me this great new backpack. I decided that if the Dave, the crew and I where going to start visiting new places to play I should have some supplies with me. The Lakewood PARK OF THE DOGS is about 20 minutes from my home or my vets. Taking three dogs into big cities like Chicago or Milwaukee or to new dog parks in areas unfamiliar to me I would rather be safe the sorry. Now that I have the backpack put together I take it with us to Lakewood as well. I leave it in the car, but if I need it I know its there. Geeze I'm really feeling like a responsible adult!

So here is what I put together in my DOG PACK!

Back Pocket: traveling water bowl and a towel. There is an interior pouch that is rubberized for the water bowl, cool! The towel serves double duty, first aide and wiping off wet dogs!
Traveling Water Bowl.
This works great, but when it is full and in the pack, I put it inside a plastic bag, extra protection!
Center Pocket, Main Supplies!
First Aide Kit: cleansing pads, latex gloves, cotton balls, gauze pads, an ace bandage, band-aides, waterproof tape, Neosporin, Purlle, iodine and tweezers.
And here it is all put together.
What a packer of packs I am!
Hand warmers, a brush & comb for burrs, dog treats and my training leash....just in case!
In the most accessible outside pocket I keep my poop bags, lots of them!
I can hook-up the three leashes right to the shoulder straps. I have walked the dogs in the neighborhood with the pack on and the leashes hooked on the straps; but it didn't work very well.....the dogs like to change sides, fall behind me, cross behind, cross in front so in the end it was more trouble then it was worth. The well laid plans and all........It is great for a dog park or hiking in the woods when the dogs are free but I want to keep the leashes handy. The rainbow on the right is an umbrella, I have used it more then once at the dog park.....once again it's a problem when the dogs are on leash....just not enough hands.
Remember to bring plenty of water, hiking dogs are thirsty dogs

So here we are all packed up and ready to go.....

We are meeting Shelly, Mocha, Te`a and Bella of Fluffy Fostering at Grades Lodge at Johnson Creek Dog Park Saturday It's a mini Beardie Reunion, doesn't that sound like fun!
The Lady

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Delilah the Gypsy 2 Month Aniversary

I was looking at the calender and released it was just two months ago that I met Delilah the Gypsy. She was starved for affection, shaved nearly to the skin, under-weight and confused by this strange Lady that had just scooped her up. She found herself in a home with two rambunctious dogs and too many cats, what she must have been thinking. But she was more then willing to give us a chance.

We, the humans that rescue and care for dogs in need, talk a lot about how we give them a chance at a new life. But each of these dogs give us, the human, the same species that neglected, abused and or threw them away a chance to redeem ourselves. They open up their fragile hearts and dare to trust again. It is frequently two steps forward and one step back, but most often these missteps are unintentionally initiated by the human. These dogs are the true heroes, they never give up on us, the want to love and be loved. They will give and give until we get it right.

I just took this photo of Gypsy today, she wasn't too happy about posing, she had been crashed happily on the sofa....I woke her up to show you how much her coat has come in, the weight she has put on, and how happy I believe she is. Now all she needs is a home, her own home. Maybe that is the hint of sorrow in her eyes.
This is the shaved, thin, scared dog I met just two months ago!
I can't believe she has come so far in such a short time, two days ago I had her in Chicago, walking bravely down a noisy city street. She follows me to the dog park or on a walk in our neighborhood. She waits patiently every night as I mix up the cat food and feed them before the dogs; then dances and Beardie bounces making the cutest houndy-sounding barks as I make up the dog food. She waits if it is not her turn to be feed first, then sits and looks right at me, just like I ask her to, before she gets her bowl. She cuddles up with Jake or a cat or me on the sofa each night as we take in TV. She goes out when I ask her, comes in when she's called and she trust me and I love and admire her for it.
Miracles Happen
The Lady

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

More from Chicago

Last night I was as worn out as the dogs.....I managed to upload the photo's but could scarcely put a cognitive sentence together!

Monday, November 16th the pack and I loaded up in the car and headed for Chicago to meet up with our friend Dave. Dave and I have done some research on Dog Friendly Chicago. According to Chicago is rated 7th for 2009, so we thought we would check it out. There are websites that list hotels, dog parks and things to do with your dog(s) in the City. Dave is a boat captain and he has checked out Montrose Beach via binoculars from the boat, he also lived near this area when he first came to the city so he had some first hand knowledge.... away we went!

When the Pack & I picked Dave up, he was immediately a accosted by the crew.....Jake was attempting to climb in the front seat and sit on him, Mollie was kissing his face and Gyps was struggling to get to him past Big Butt Jake! All the while I'm trying to drive through city traffic......great! We headed north on Lake Shore Drive.....terrific views....not too much traffic! As it is November parking was very easy to find. We unloaded the dogs and we were off.

This beach is totally dedicated to our four legged friends. There is fencing around three sides with Lake Michigan as the fourth side. It was cold, man I mean cold, the wind was ripping off the lake and I was really glad I dressed for the occasion! The dogs went crazy racing through the sand, frolicking with new friends and enjoying this fresh, innovative adventure! When we arrived there was about 6 other dogs there, during our stay at least 15 dogs and their owner came in and out, there are some really die-hard folks in Chicago!

Mollie is part Lab and she was racing at the waters edge and dodging the incoming waves; I live on a small lake in northern Illinois so I have taken her to the beach near our home before, but she had seen nothing like this! Jake on the other hand goes out of his way to keep his toes out of the water.......this guy will avoid a mud puddle at all cost! He was a hoot, he would go to the waters edge and totally freak out when the waves would come in! Gypsy loved running in the wind, she was the lone wolf of the day. There was a dog walker there that visits this beach with his charges daily. He was throwing a rope toy into the lake and his charges where crashing through the wave to be the first one out.....Gyps got so excited she went flying in, the shock and amazement was absolutely hilarious, she had no idea what to do, she was making every attempt to get her feet out of the water only to find that she actually had to get to the beach.

After spending about and hour and a half at the beach, walking on leash through the adjoining park and watching some really crazy extreme sport dudes kite surfing, yes it is the truth there where guys out in the water flying around like the crazy men they are! Dave, the Pack and I loaded up again in the SUV and headed out to an area call Riverwalk.

Heading back to the Downtown area we found a parking garage and with the dogs in tow started to find out way out of the maze. We determined that the elevator was the best way out and it would be good for the dogs to experience it. They where all so cool about the whole thing I was dumb-struck. I don't know what I expected, but they only seamed to question why where were all going into a closet! We came out of the building on Upper Wacker drive, for any of you that have been in Chicago this is a really busy street. Jake & Mollie were unfazed by the traffic, cars and really noisy trucks. Gypsy was in flight mode, she had no clue where we were, why we were there but she was sure we should get the hell away from this craziness. She keep it together on a short lead and determined it was best to stay between me and Mollie.

We headed north on Wacker and found a set of stairs leading down to the Riverwalk. Jake and Mollie had no problem with the downward trek, Dave took Gypsy and with some gentle persuasion she figured out this was just one more thing she could do! You go girl, I was so proud of her. The Riverwalk was much quieter and they really enjoyed walking along and taking in all the sites and smells. To get to the opposite side of the Chicago River we followed a ramp up to a foot bridge, this areas was right next to a metal rackety auto bridge, here again Gyps needed all her courage to stay with us, but once again she did a spectacular job.

We found an outdoor bistro that was still serving and Dave and I had a burger and coffee...warding off the cold! Mollie was the best behaved here, she just laid down like the smart girl she is. Jake was calm, but very interested in the table we where dining at, his head is about one foot taller so wow cool Dudes, can I have a fry! Gyps needed reassurance that it was all good, but continued to handle everything I was throwing at her with her Beardie grace.

Now comes the most amazing escapade of the day, THE STAIRS UP! Dave had Mollie, I had Jake and Gypsy the first few flights to concrete landings where going just fine....the higher we got the more Jake started to freak and shut down. I know Jake is not into stairs, he will not go up to my daughter's 4 floor apartment, but I figured those steps where wood, slippery and narrow. The higher we got on this open rail stairway the more he freaked out...he started to pull me back down and I mean pull me, but we only had one more flight to make it to the street. Dave grabbed Gyps lead, she was doing great. Dave, Mollie and Gyps where at street level and Jake had literally collapsed on the landing. I got down next to him, he was crying, whimpering and shaking. I keep petting, reassuring and got him to look at me. I turned him to be facing Dave and the crew, got up and in my most firm voice said Jake Come....Dave was calling him from the top and we took off. He made it!!!!!!!!!!!! I have no idea what we would have/could have done if he didn't find the courage to go. He is 145 lbs of really big dog!

Chicago was fantastic, I am so glad we went the Pack, Dave and I really enjoyed it! I would give the day 5 out of 5 stars. We where dressed appropriately, had the right equipment for the dogs and it was amazing! I am more then proud of my Pack. Anyone that thinks Gypsy is too old of a dog to adopt is just crazy! She is a trouper, up for anything and can go anywhere!

This was a brief outline of our adventure, the video is editing so keep checking back!
For the next few months Dave and I will be visiting different areas in and around Chicago, the Suburbs and Southern Wisconsin, create a video of each visit and introduce all of you to great places to have some fun with your dogs!
The Lady

Monday, November 16, 2009

Chicago, Chicago, that toddlin' town

All in and ready to rumble
Quick stop at the bank
Hey Bank Lady....Bank Lady where are the biscuits?
So long country suckers.....Man we are going to Chicago
We're Here....Montrose Dog Beach
Lake Michigan
Dudes...Man I'm surfing on sand!
Beauty at the Beach
I just love this place
Gypsy's first tentative steps toward the water
Lone Wolf
So much sand, so little time
This place is the most awesome place on the planet
What is it?, I'll get it, no I'll get it, man what is it?????
Mollie, your Lab is showing!
Dudes, are you like sure that water isn't like totally freezing?
Last one in is a Chicken Dog!!
Gypsy proves she is up for the challenge!
Meeting a retrieving Shepard!
Hans Solo on the Beach!
What a Beautiful Beach, What a Wonderful Day
Man a Day in Chicago Wore Us OUT!

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Big Day Tomorrow!

Today the crew and I hit the dog park, we then came home and I cleaned out the car, then we went for a walk in the hood!

Yes, I was trying to wear them out.

We have a big day tomorrow, we are heading into Chicago! We are ready right???? Right!!!!!

Fluffy Dogs on the Go
Big Time!

I picked up a new backpack, a traveling water bowl, I have treats, poop bags at least 25, hand sanitizer, dog first aide kit, gloves, rain gear, boots, towels, brushes, the camera and any thing else I stuck in there. We are heading into the city for a Dog Day Chicago style.
I am really looking forward to a great adventure with my Fluffy Friends!

Can the Lady handle 3 dogs on leash in the windy city???
Stay Tuned....News tomorrow at 6:00