Thursday, June 22, 2017

Take Your Dog to Work Day

When I first heard Ben and Jerry’s allows employees to bring their dogs to work every day, I couldn’t help but think of Duke the Dairy Delight Dog.  Darla, owner of Darla’s Dairy Delight, Home of the Famous Vanilla-Chocolate Swirl, is appalled when Duke, a mangy, smelly, homeless dog decides he has found his home in her place of business.  Darla prides herself on keeping an ice cream shop that is so clean you could eat off the floor, so you can imagine her outrage when Duke moves right on in.  It is not until an unfortunate mishap with a cleaning machine turns his coat into vanilla-chocolate swirls that Darla comes to her senses and sees Duke for what he really is:  A sweet and loving pup, looking for his place in the world.  Instead of hurting her business, Duke ends up helping, by drawing people “from miles around to see his spectacular hairdo, and eat Darla’s tasty Vanilla-Chocolate swirls.”

Knowing Duke’s story, I was happy to learn that it is actually Ben and Jerry’s corporate offices that allow dogs.  Describing what interviewees might see when they visit the company. Sean Greenwood, public relations spokesperson says, “Momo is there, Jack is in R&D, Allison’s in retail, Scout is brand new.  They’re just like your co-workers.”  Having man’s best friend accompany you at your workplace certainly has its benefits.

A 2016 survey of pet-friendly workplace benefits include reduced stress, improved workplace relationships, greater work-life balance, increased productivity, and decreased guilt over leaving pets at home.  That’s why Pet Sitters International created Take Your Dog to Work Day in 1999.  PSI wanted to encourage businesses to allow dogs to accompany their owners in the workplace one Friday a year.  Their goal was to help dog-less employees see what great companions dogs make and motivate them to consider adopting one of their own after observing the great bond between dog owners and their precious pups. Take Your Dog to Work Day has been embraced by well-known businesses, celebrities, and yes, even the President of the United States.  In 2013, President Barack Obama tweeted, “Don’t you wish every day was take your dog to work day?”   Today, many businesses have declared just that.  Take Google, Etsy, and of course, Ben and Jerry’s for starters.  

The trend of taking your dog to work has stuck.  The year the day was created, an estimated 300 businesses participated.  Since then, the numbers have only grown.  Although PSI cannot track the day’s participation rate since companies are not required to register to take part in the day, their tracking tools show involvement goes up each year, as indicated by the thousands of visitors who explore each year.

Ready to let Fido accompany you at your workplace?  Try it Friday, June 23rd and see how your productivity and mood improve.  But first, brush up on some etiquette to help make this day successful.

W ater your sidekick.  Make sure you have plenty of water and treats available for your dog.  Well-meaning co-workers may be tempted to share their lunch leftovers, so having treats at the ready can help your dog avoid an upset tummy.

O bserve co-worker’s allergies and aversions.  Not everyone is a dog-lover, so you may want to keep your dog on a leash so that he doesn’t bother others.

R eel him in.   Keeping your dog close to you can help him stay away from potential dangers, such as chemicals and dangerous foods.  Read our post, Preventing Accidental Pet Poisoning for tips on avoiding common dangers.

K eep in tune with your dog.  Take your dog on regular potty breaks/quick walks, make sure he has a comfy spot to crash, and above all, have fun!

This post first appeared on PetPartners website, Take Your Dog to Work Day.

Monday, June 19, 2017

Boredom Isn't Such a Bad Thing

It was after my mom sent a text of a page in her Better Homes and Gardens that I felt the conviction.  I had to make a change.  And it had to be now.

I held out my hand to collect their phones and their ipods.  They looked at me like I had two heads.  "What about yours?" they asked?  Mine too.  Especially mine.

"But what if you receive an important call?"  Ahhh, the beauty of technology.  Even that one was covered.  I have handsfree capabilities.  Even with my phone in the way back of the car, I can receive and make calls through the bluetooth in my phone.  And guess what?  If there is a true emergency and I need to talk to someone about something important, it might just be better if I pull off the road to make or receive that call anyway.

And then we had this conversation.

Me (to the almost teenager in the passenger seat): I am feeling like I need to make a change.  If my phone is right here at the ready, I am much more tempted to check a text that comes through, look at Facebook while waiting at a light, or even see what podcasts have come available.  It is not safe for me to be doing that.  The other day I had to slam on brakes because I was looking at my phone and I didn't notice the car in front of me had stopped.  And think of all I am missing while busying myself on my phone.  When I am in my car, I should be looking around, noticing the changing seasons, the way our little town is adapting to meet the population growth in our area, and enjoying the scenery.  I choose right now, this moment, to become better about not looking at my phone.  And if that means putting it out of my own reach, that's what I will do.

My almost teenager: But I'm bored.  What can I do while we are driving?

Oh, the answers I could have come up with.  But my mind steered me straight back to the text message from my mom.

Me: How about looking around?  In a few short years, you'll be the one behind this steering wheel.  You'll be driving to school, making Target runs, picking up your little brother from school. (YIKES!)  Will you know the way?  If you are constantly looking down at your phone, will you know how to get to Target???  And, let me tell you how bored you will be, or worse, how broken you will be if you hurt yourself or someone else because you are looking down at your phone when you are driving your little brother home from school. 

Silence in the car.

Jonah: You're right.  I understand.

Best four words a mama can hear.  And one of the best conversations we've ever had.  I know I need to be the role model in the driver's seat.  It may change the trajectory of my life.

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

A House That Finally Feels Like Home

The bowls of popcorn shared.

Each baby coming home to meet her.

Swims and walks at the park.

Four-legged birthday parties.

Endless kisses and snuggles.  

These are the memories of our sweet Summer we hold close to our hearts.

Thursday, May 11, 2017

Be Kind To Animals Week

When my oldest son was five, he asked when we were going to throw a birthday party for our dog, Summer.  He wanted to invite her doggy friends (basically the neighborhood dogs), bake her a cake, and play some games.  So, that’s what we did!  

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

International Guide Dog Day

Dogs are not our whole life, but they make our lives whole. --Roger Caras

A dog is the only thing on earth that loves you more than he loves himself. --Josh Billings

To his dog, every man is Napoleon; hence the constant popularity of dogs. --Aldous Huxley

Thursday, April 13, 2017

National Pet Day

I have been thinking lately about how everything I know, I learned from my four-year old.  Never stop creating, be yourself, make time to play.  And it occurred to me that many of the same qualities I find endearing in my youngest child I also see in my puppy.  On April 11, we will celebrate National Pet Day.  In honor of this special day, let’s think about all the ways pets make life better.

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

April is Pet First Aid Awareness Month

Look at this face and tell me you're not prepared for your pet's emergency.  

Did you know it's as easy as installing an app on your phone? 

I was thrilled when I found out I could have the ability to know what to do in the event of a snake bite, allergic reaction, or even choking, just with the tap of an app.  Read on to find more tips on what to do if your pet has an emergency.

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

7 Spring Safety Dangers You Haven't Considered

You know the usual pests to look out for when the ground begins to thaw and leaves make their return to the trees.  Snakes, ticks, and fleas top the list of potential dangers when it comes to being proactive in keeping your pets safe.  But have you considered the risks of dog park bullying and accidental ingestion of Easter chocolate?  Let’s brush up on some other springtime threats before the seasons change.

Thursday, March 2, 2017

The Barking Blues

Our dog was a barker when she was a puppy.  She did not bark when someone came to the door or when she saw a squirrel outside, she barked seemingly out of the blue.  She would come into the room where we were watching tv or having a conversation and just bark at us.  So, we bought Soggy Doggy (a spray bottle in the shape of a dog) and squirted her with water.  Looking back it seems so inhumane, but we were at our wit’s end.  We didn’t know what to do to stop the annoying barking!  Did it work?  No!  In fact, sometimes I think it made it worse.  So, what to do when your dog barks incessantly and you just can’t get him to stop?  Well, first let’s get to the bottom of why your dog barks.

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Worn Out on What to Wear

It is a daily struggle.  I lament the fact that I had to give birth to not one, but two children who fight me on what they'll wear.  I blame my husband.  I literally kick and scream.  I use words I normally only mutter under my breath.  And then.  Then I give in.

Thursday, January 12, 2017

5 Ways to Make Exercise Happen When It's Cold Outside

Dogs were born to work for a living.  Beagles were bred for hunting, Collies for herding, and German Shepherds for protection.  So it is no surprise that dogs need exercise in order to be at their best.  However, our increasingly sedentary lifestyles mean dogs’ “jobs” are quite the opposite of their natural born instincts.   

So, how do we make sure our dogs are getting the exercise they need?  Let’s start with three things to know about exercise and your dogs…

  1. Exercise is important for all breeds.
  2. Exercise is important for all ages.
  3. Exercise is more than just letting your dog outside to play in the backyard.

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Final Installment: The Cs of the BCAAs and Outfits, Crush Cravings and Look Cute!

I've been a little quiet around here, I know.  It was an emotional end of 2016.  Between saying goodbye to our sweet Summer, to packing up to move and leaving a neighborhood of close friends, to partying like it's 1999 in our new home and ringing in the new year, life has never been busier. Trying to get myself back on track this week.

So, here are the Cs of the BCAAs (only a few months later...) See A is for Appetite Suppressant, Amino Acids and Accessories, and B is for Beating the Afternoon Slump, Booties and Boho, for a refresher. C is for crushing cravings and the significance of feeling cute!

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

The Things With Which We Shouldn't Bargain

Last week I made a decision.  A decision to buy a $200 helmet instead of a $59 one.  As painful as it was to hand over my credit card for a $200 piece of hockey equipment, I had to realize what that piece of equipment was protecting.  My little boy's head.

Why would I even consider trying to save a buck on something that will be protecting something so precious?

Thinking about all of this stopped me in my tracks the other day.  My breakfast consisted of the leftover sugary, syrup-drenched waffles my kids left behind, and a couple of cups of coffee.  It's no surprise I am exhausted and starving by 10 AM most days.

Why am I bargaining with my health?  When I ask myself why I don't eat well, it basically boils down to poor planning and the fact that healthy food is more expensive than frozen junk.  Time to switch things up.

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

"Pilling" Your Pet

Never having to give our dog anything but a monthly heartworm pill, I always thought it strange when people would mention hiding their pet’s pill in peanut butter or cheese.  When our golden retriever was diagnosed with a thyroid disorder and we began giving medication daily, I got it.  My once eager pill taker wasn’t having that daily dose.  She was over it.
So, tired of sticking my hand down my dog’s throat, I began exploring options for getting my sweet pooch to take her meds.  Here are three tried and true options (for dogs and for cats) for getting your pet to take his meds.