Jan 302013

It was just this past weekend that it snowed in Chicago for the first time all winter!
Since we live in a 2-bedroom, without a backyard, we don’t have a choice and just like the postman we need to walk in rain and wind and snow.
Realizing there is no such thing as bad weather, only bad clothes, we have realized how to prepare for the inclement weather.
We use flip-top gloves to open poo bags and crampons so we don’t slide on the ice. We wrote more about it, here. 

 And the pooches brought out their elf shoes!
We have realized it’s not the cold that bothers their feet, but it’s walking on salt and ice. After trying a couple of different shoes we’ve found the PAWs disposable boots work best for our pups. Mr. B wears size purple, while Miss M has long toes and talons and she needs to wear the huge green size. Which someone pointed out look like elf shoes. We wrote more about their boots, here.

What are some extra things you do for yourself and your pups in inclement weather?

Finding Cold-Weather Gear for large pups
How Cold is too Cold?
The Unexpected Winter Dog Activity

Dec 192012

While this week can’t go quickly enough (I can’t say how well-needed this break is!) this unseasonably warm weather has completely thrown us off.
Can this truly be mid-December in Chicago where our pups are only wearing raincoats?

What always gets us through the long-dull winters is seeing how beautiful the city is, coming alive with red ribbons, bows, lights, and pop-up forests of trees along our daily walks.

What we can expect.
Big furry hats and puffy coats
Deja vu

Oct 242012
Now that it is nearing winter, we try to take advantage of any hint of nice weather. This past weekend, the weather was nice enough for us to venture around our neighborhood and test out potential wide angle lenses. A is interested in adding a wide angle lens to her photography repertoire, because of its ability to really show off the pooches in their native environment.
Though we are surrounded by concrete during most of our walk, we can always find a park or two to sit at and enjoy the greenery and have an impromptu picnic. Lucky for us, two great taco places are within walking distance of these parks. So sad that we cannot walk to our favorite taco place.
Oct 172012
One thing we love about our daily walks is that it makes the pooches’ world ‘big’. Going out each day, and exploring different neighborhoods, the pooches have become familiar to the new things we might encounter: feral cats, noises from the train, and lots of drunk people at outdoor patios.
Though one thing our pooches have never gotten used to: statues. When I first adopted Miss M we used to walk by a huge lion statue that was stationed outside a martial arts studio, and normally over-confident Miss M  would cringe in fear. Not to mention the first time we walked by the statues at the Rock-n-Roll McDonald’s.
So we have been practicing walking by at a distance, while letting the pooches approach in their own. 
Mr. B is so brave:
Though we did consider it a success that she was able to be “walked” by the statue.

Do other people’s pups have a fear of statues? And can any Chicago people recognize where we are?

In Case you Missed It:
Incorporating Training on Daily Walks
Our Graffiti Safari

Oct 032012

Before we knew it, we were in October, which is the greatest month to sit of the TV or in my case in front of my computer with a TV tuner (we don’t have a TV) and waste the day and night away watching every game possible. However, there is a small catch to my ideal weekends and evenings, the weather. Whenever the weather is nice, A loves to go on these long walks around the neighborhood and enjoy whatever event Chicago throws our way. This weekend, we walked all the way down to the carnival near the West Loop. Miss M was so excited to take her very first ride on a ferris wheel,
but sadly, pooches are not allowed and Miss M made sure we knew how she felt about this injustice. On the other hand, Mr. B was having a great time, winning new best stuffies.
Sadly, he couldn’t remember that he left his new best stuffy on his head.
On our walk home, we decided to stop by the United Center. The funny thing is that I bike by the United Center twice a day, everyday and the only time we ever go to the United Center is to catch a Bulls or Blackhawks game. Walking the pooches really help us appreciate all the great sites and sounds of Chicago. Since we live pretty close to the United Center and going to a game is fairly common, we take the statues and all the other touristy aspects of the United Center for granted.
Miss M was especially perplexed by all the tourists posing Like Mike…
The highlight of Mr. B’s walk to the United Center was not the statues of Stan Mikita or Bobby Hull behind a fence, but the famous pigeon behind the fence.
Soon enough, the United Center will be so crowded that Mr. B won’t be able to pose with the famous pigeon.
Here are the pooches giving us their best game face.

Jun 132012

The warmer weather, means longer daily walks meeting up with old friends, making new friends and changing the preconceived opinions of some people. It is easy to write how great our dogs are, but to truly change people’s minds, they need to see the joyful wiggle of Miss M
and the handsome mug of the aloof Mr. B in person.
The pooches are excited to be out and about in our great city and if you happen to see us walk by, please feel free to stop us, the pooches would be more than happy to say hi.
Stay tuned for more summer adventures of Miss M and Mr. B

May 092012

There are days when the inviting sidewalks and lawns of Chicago pose a treacherous threat of wet poo and puddles of pee. Lucky for the citizens of Chicago, Miss M and Mr. B are always up for the challenge of using the grand Chicago landscape as their own toilet. Dressed in their SuperPooches gear, Miss M and Mr. B survey the threat that falls upon our great city.
 They spray any marked tree or lawn with their SuperPiddle and leap over any puddle in a single bound.
Super B enchants any bipedal Chicagoan with his Super Charm
and Wonder M guilts them into uncontrolled pets and hugs with her Wonder Scowl.
 Completing an afternoon of rain filled adventure, our two SuperPooches head back to their Pooch Cave,
 where Super B recharges his Super Charm.

Mar 142012

The weather was perfect for both our SociaBulls and our afternoon walk on Sunday. Mr. B was so excited to get out and take some pictures of our neighborhood alive with people,
but Miss M was none too pleased leaving the comfort of her bed to go on another walk.
She soon got over it when she met some new people eager to give her some loving.
 Mr. B is just so happy to be out and about, but then again, he never complains and he enjoys everything we do together.
We cannot wait until we can do these longer daily walks every weekend.

Feb 012012
Since we don’t have a backyard we don’t have a choice: we need to go outside several times a day to walk our dogs. And while that might sound like a terrible thing…it really hasn’t been that bad. We do believe in the phrase: “There’s no such thing as bad weather. Only bad clothes”. Since then, we’ve picked up on some things to make our winter walks a bit easier and dog-walking specific. Though not as dramatic as Miss M’s attire.

It has taken us over 3 years to get on the crampon bandwagon, but it has been well worth it.  There’s many a Chicago sidewalk that will be completely iced over, which becomes even more complicated with an excited dog (or two!). Tired of feeling like every walk was Iditarod, we finally picked up these crampons allowing us to walk over ice with ease. Now we wonder why it has taken us so long.

Flip Top Gloves:
I’ve found that I always have to take off my mittens to get a poo bag out, which can get cold. So now I use flip-top gloves so I don’t have to take my gloves off, or risk loosing one in the snow. I’ve been curious about using ‘texting gloves’ because I think those might work well also. Has anyone tried those?

Dog Booties:
I’m not sure if our dogs’ feet get cold as much as they get salt caught between their paws which can be painful. We had tried using the fancy boots before, then we just found out about PAWs disposable reusable boots which stay on, are cheap, and can be replaced easily if lost. We had written about our quest for the perfect snow boot here.

We are actually going to have an exciting dog coat post coming up next week. What are some other cold-weather dog-walking tips you’ve found?

PS. The hat Miss M wears is actually from the kids’ section at Old Navy. It has little pom poms at the bottom we secure and it stays on really well. We think it makes her look like an Ice Princess…in many ways.

Dec 092011

Ever since Miss M had her big 7th birthday party, she acts as if she can do whatever she pleases. Now that the weather has gotten colder, she is more reluctant to go on walks, even outright defiant, holding her ground after we have leashed her and gotten ready to go out the front door. She will brace herself and refuse to budge, like a donkey.

It is only through a lot of coaxing with praise, that she will choose to leave the house. Then on our walks, after she has done her business, she will turn to head back home.

However, Mr. B really enjoys going on walks and he will even rush ahead like a rabbit; he is always looking forward to our next adventure outside,
but on the other leash, we have Miss M, who will brace herself in the middle of the sidewalk and refuse to walk a step further. Again, we will have to sweet talk Miss M to join us for another block. 
Which is all she will give us. When we try to go even more, she will defiantly turn on one of the streets that would lead us home and she will pull towards that street with all her might and on the other leash, we will have Mr. B running like a jackrabbit toward the other street that leads to our usual walk. 
Poor Mr. B, Miss M’s will to lounge in the warm home is too strong for the both of us and we usually succumb to her ways and before we know it, we are back inside, enjoying the comforts of home, away from the elements.