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Dogs about Town

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This post is part of a new series here on phetched, Barkworthy, which will highlight fido-friendly charitable organizations and events.

Last weekend the pups, my husband and I participated in Bark for Life here in Asheville, an event for dogs and their owners to raise money for the American Cancer Society. You’re probably familiar with Relay for Life, and Bark for Life is sort of a spin-off of that… the dog-friendly version!

The event, the first of its kind here in Asheville, was held down by the river at the Wedge Brewery and Studios. Hundreds of dogs and their owners showed up to show their support for the American Cancer Society. Special events included musical performances, agility and police K9 demonstrations, pet adoptions, and, of course, plenty of dog-watching and butt-sniffing.

More photos and words after the jump…

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Have I mentioned before that I love New York City? Here are some photos from a recent trip.

Enjoy your weekend!

West 82nd

10th + Bleecker

More after the jump.

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The day is swiftly approaching us, folks, that most glorious of Hallmark holidays — Valentine’s Day. The great thing about being dog owners, though, is that we truly know what unconditional love is all about… even if “unconditional love,” at least in my house, has a lot to do with meeting a strict 8:30 dinner time and turning a blind eye when underwear, socks, and other valuable possessions are chewed to shreds.

In celebration of our most precious Valentines, Chef Michael’s is sponsoring the My Doggie Valentine contest. All you have to do to enter is upload a photo of your dog, and the grand prize is a 4-day vacation package for you and your dog* to New York City! The cool part? For every entry, Chef Michael’s is donating $10 to Adopt-A-Pet (up to $7,500).

Visit  the contest web site for more information and entry terms.


* for dogs up to 25 lbs. Sorry, Ming and Dot!

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Happy Halloween, everybody!


(Image: Trick or Treat by Sara Harvey – fetch it at Multiple Personality)

If you plan to enjoy Halloween with your pups tonight, be sure to keep them safe and happy. Here are some great Halloween pet safety tips courtesy of Fetch! Pet Care, the nation’s largest provider of professional pet-sitting and dog-walking services, who are donating a portion of their Halloween revenues to Best Friends Animal Society:

Tricks are for kids. While ghouls and goblins provide entertainment, your pet does not understand the person behind that mask is their friend. Dogs and cats are creatures of habit and can easily become frightened, aggressive or agitated by the unaccustomed sights and sounds of costumed visitors. So when the trick-or-treaters come knocking at your door, it’s best to keep your furry friend contained indoors in a quiet, comfortable area of your home. Also, make sure all pets are wearing collars and ID tags in case they get spooked and escape your home or yard.

Candy is not a treat for our pets. Sweets may look appealing to pets, but candy – especially chocolate – can be downright toxic to animals. Keep your candy bowl out of reach from pets and make sure your children sift through their bags at a table where Fido can’t sneak a piece. Candy wrappers can be just as harmful. Instead, purchase a box of your pets’ favorite treats for them to munch on. If you believe your pet has ingested a harmful item, call your veterinarian or the Animal Control hotline immediately.

Decorations should shock Trick-or-Treaters – not our pets. Keep all electrical cords and decorations out of reach. One chomp on an electrical cord could have a potentially deadly outcome. Pets can also become tangled and injured by dangling cords or decorations. You can purchase plastic tubing or casing at your local hardware store to provide some level of safety. Keep lit candles and jack-o-lanterns out of reach and on stable ground. Your pet could accidentally bump the pumpkin, resulting in fire damage to the home – and potentially to your pet.

Costumes are constraining. Yes, your pet may look adorable as a dinosaur or Cleopatra, but pets can feel constrained and uncomfortable in costumes. Many costumes also have loose accessories that could be hazardous if chewed or swallowed. If you must dress your pet, find a costume that has few accessories and is loose fitting.

Extra care for black pets. Don’t let your pet fall victim to Halloween pranks; keep them inside or under supervision during the Halloween season. This is especially important for pets with black fur, since they are a target for pranksters.

Now, off to work on Mingus’ Boba Fett costume…

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This Friday, June 26th, is Take Your Dog to Work Day. This year marks the 10th anniversary of the event (created by Pet Sitters International), which celebrates “the great companions dogs make and to encourage their adoption from humane societies, animal shelters, and breed rescue clubs” (from the TYDTWD web site). True enough, employers across the country are finding out that dogs in the workplace can create better employee morale, boost productivity, and even make for healthier employees (or, at least, fewer sick days taken).

We’re lucky in that my husband’s workplace, a graphic-design firm, is dog-friendly year-round, so both Mingus and Dottie get to accompany him to work on a regular basis.


So what do dogs do at work? Here’s a rundown of a recent, fairly typical day for Dottie at the office:

If you plan on taking your dog to work on Friday in celebration of TYDTWD, be sure to clear it with your boss first, of course, but also be sure your pup would be happy and comfortable in your office environment. Be sure to bring a bowl for your pooch’s water (and any other food or supplies he’ll need).

Be sure to have his Social Security number on hand, too, so you can help him fill out his W-4s.

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Dottie loves trips to Locopops. If you’re in Raleigh, Durham, or Chapel Hill this weekend, treat your pup to a yummy pupsicle (Dottie recommends the chicken flavor) at one of their four Triangle locations.


Even if you’re not within walkies distance of a Locopops, plan a fun date with your dog today. I guarantee you you’ll both have a great time.

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I’m lucky to have two dogs that do just fine riding in the car, but I know from past experience (including semi-repressed childhood images of a spastic cocker spaniel flying about a station wagon) that having a nervous Nellie in the car is no fun.

Through a Dog’s Ear is a 74-minute CD of soothing classical music scientifically proven to help calm nervous canine riders. Animal behaviorist Patricia McConnell (one of my personal heroes) even vouches for its effectiveness. And, unlike your kids’ Wiggles CD, it’s something you’ll actually enjoy listening to, too.

Fetch it at doggonegood.com.

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What better way to get things rolling here at Phetched than to share some pictures from one of our favorite events of the year, Bark Around the Park, held today at Millbrook Exchange Park here in sunny Raleigh, NC? With springtime in full swing, blue skies and warm temperatures brought hundreds of dogs and their people out to enjoy the 20th anniversary of the annual event.

Mingus surveys the scene. Lots of booths to visit, lots of butts to sniff.


The festival features vendor booths, rescue organizations, charities, contests, demonstrations, and games.

agility demo

One of the best parts about Bark Around the Park, though, is mixing and mingling with dogs of all shapes and sizes. I found it’s rather hard to manage a camera while holding a dog-bearing leash, but here are a few smilers I snapped.





Perhaps the coolest thing about BATP is all the free loot you walk away with, but I noticed the haul was much smaller this year. Could it be the pangs of the recession have trickled down so far? Regardless, we returned home with a decent sack o’ goodies and two worn-out pooches… and that, my friends, is priceless.

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