Jan 232013
 
While we live less than 2 miles from the center of downtown Chicago, we don’t make it there often with the pooches. 
Following the quote “Being dressed up is a beautiful form of politeness”, we made sure to show our respect to the city by dressing it up a notch.
For Miss M this meant stepping out with her pink puffy coat and even bigger fur hat.
Walking in front of the Burberry store, many people even asked if the pups were wearing real Burberry scarfs from the store.
Many of the downtown highrises have dog weight restrictions, so you don’t usually see bigger dogs walking around downtown.
It’s even rarer to see pit bull-type dogs downtown. 
Our pooches had the chance to make like tourists:
While they were able to meet many tourists.
It became quite the spectacle seeing large dogs in fur hats strutting around downtown.
Especially for people who had never met pit bull-type dogs before, and an honorary ‘Shittie’ (Shitzu + Pittie). 
What surprising places have you taken your pup?
Also: 
Jan 152013
 

Talking to any Chicagoan, one nostalgic holiday tradition everyone remembers is going to see the Marshall Fields’s holiday windows.
Marshall Fields was a local department store pioneer who created the holiday window displays that began in Chicago over a century ago. He created theatre sets within each of the seven large windows spanning State Street. Each window tells part of a story. In the past they have had themes including Pinocchio and Harry Potter. This year was ‘The Magic of Christmas’. Though a lot of people have been disappointed when Macy’s bought out independent Marshall Fields they have not done the windows justice.
Despite the local controversy, with the dreary, cold weather, it’s fun to have an outdoor, dog-accessible activity we can all enjoy:

Mr.B actually spent time looking in windows. I love how he looks with his little friend.
And Miss M….was Miss M.

With the colder weather, what are some activities you’re still able to do outside with your pups?


Also:
Taking your pup on an art walk!
The warm activity that gives Miss M ‘Crazy Eyes’
Fall

Jan 092013
 
With some time off over the holidays, we’ve started developing a couple of traditions with our little family (aka: the pooches). With everything closed on Christmas Eve, we thought this would be the perfect time to dress the pups in their best gear and head downtown for a family walk around the Loop.
Miss M thought this was the perfect occasion for her puffy hat, and her perfect ‘Blue Steel’ attracted many onlookers and paparazzi:

We walked by Chicago’s Christkindlmarket which is normally so packed you can barely move. Being the holiday, it was fairly empty, but the pooches were able to meet a lot of people. Even better, a lot of the people we met were from out-of-town and they had never met pit bull-type dogs before. How flattering that our pups were their first!
We took the pups walking around The Loop checking out Daley Plaza, some of the theaters, and of course Miss M needed to get her photo taken in front of Garrett’s Popcorn (yes! this popcorn really is that good!).

What types of holiday walks do other people take with their pups?

Also:
Speaking of paparazzi…
Miss M makes like a tourist
How to take a cab with your large dog

Dec 062012
 

I know a lot of people feel sorry for City Dogs because we don’t have backyards, but we’ve realized how this actually helps us have more quality, family walks with our pups.

After we wrote this post about safely combining dog walking and running errands, I’ve been on the lookout for more walk ups so people won’t need to resort to Dog Parking.

I’ve realized what once used to be a city of hotdog carts has become a city of bright red and yellow hot dog buildings. Many with walk-up windows and picnic tables where you can order a Chicago hot dog or Polish sausage without needing to tether your pup unattended:

During the summer we made our way to the original Maxwell street to eat at dueling stands Maxwell Street Original and Jim’s Original Hot Dog. They are inexpensive, original, and always open.

What are some other walking traditions you have with your pups?

Also:

Year round dog-friendly eats

Drive-in!

Check our Facebook Page to see what famous children’s character photobombed the pooches.

Nov 072012
 

While we spent a lot of our summer doing this, our outdoor opportunities are becoming more limited with the cold weather approaching. To keep Miss M from going through ‘people withdrawl’, we’re always looking for opportunities for the pups to get out and about in the city, and our new go-to is open year-round.
Maxwell Street Market is historically important in Chicago where it was once considered the largest open air market in the country. Now it sells everything from produce to socks to tools to toys. Our favorite part is the food area, complete with: tacos, tamales, agua de frescas and chocolate filled churros.

 Since we’ve been going, we’ve developed quite an addiction to Rubi’s Tacos; these are the best tacos we’ve had in the city, and probably the best tacos we’ve ever had! All the tortillas are handmade; they are pressed and cooked right in front of you as you’re waiting. They use all fresh, authentic regional ingredients; we’ve tried the asada, cactus, zucchini flowers, al pastor, spicy stewed pork, and huitlacoche. They are only open on Sunday’s during the market, though they post very tempting photos on their Facebook page throughout the week. We love stopping by after our SociaBulls walks (we even brought our friend Zoe!). We usually take our food to go, or just sit along the curb.

 Our other favorite part is seeing Chango’s mom. If you haven’t seen Chango on Instagram …you really are missing out. Chango has the best costumes, and he is also in BadRap’s calendar as Mr. October! You can follow them on Instagram at: Evemexicana.

What other things are you doing with your pooches as the weather is getting colder? 

PS. Since a lot of people on our Facebook page have been wondering….this is where we got our scarves.
Oct 102012
 

We are always looking for unique dog-friendly activities. While sometimes we make the stretch discovering dog-friendly dog stores and bars with dogs. little did we realize we completely under-rated one of the best dog-friendly activities: going for long walks on the lake.

Chicago has an amazing 18 mile lakefront trail stretching along the city and encompassing a diverse grouping of neighborhoods. With skyline views, boats, and beaches, it makes even the most mundane daily walk that much more exciting.

Also:
If the beach is too far, we learned how to take a taxi with our dogs
The dogs’ view of the downtown lakefront

Oct 082012
 
After spending the past several years running marathons (6 Chicago and 1 Las Vegas!) I have decided to ‘retire’. Though I know the one thing that really got me through each race was the crowd support; they estimate nearly 1 million spectators come to cheer on the runners! Each year it becomes a city-wide party where over 40,000 runners weave through the various neighborhoods for 26.2 miles. And there are costumes abound from spectators, runners…and our pooches.
With the mismatching, can you tell the pooches ‘picked’ their own costumes from the costume bin?
We were stationed at Mile 14 which I remember as being one of the hardest sections to run through. There is always huge crowd support for the first 12ish miles which weave through downtown, Old Town, Lincoln Park, Lakeview and Boys Town, and after a huge party (including Elvis) you turn a corner and hit a lull. So what could encourage you and make you smile more than a dainty lady bug with a big scowl? Or a Chicago Bears fan complete with furry hat? We even had a couple of runners jump out of the race to pet the pooches and take a photo opp.
Plus, a small reunion and special cameo appearances by one of our favorite look alike duos. (Hints here and here.) And we even saw one of our SociaBulls members, Hammie’s mom, in the race!
Congratulation to all of the runners! Was anyone else out there running or watching?
Also:
When I documented my marathon run with a disposable camera (Including a cameo with Mr. B in a cowboy hat!)
Sep 192012
 


 One of the best parts of living in a big city with a pup is that everything is very walkable; we have plenty of wide sidewalk spaces, crosswalks, and interesting places to visit along the way. We’ve learned first-hand how being able to walk to more destinations allows you to meet more people, creating closer communities within a huge population.

Driving does disconnect you from your immediate community (not to mention frustration with traffic, and road rage!), and we love that Chicago is working on eliminating car traffic by creating safer walking options and more protected bike lanes. Last weekend we even had the chance to stop by an Open Streets event.
This event closes a major street to car traffic encouraging people to walk and bike and create a healthier, more environmentally friendly, and vibrant community. I guess this has been going on in communities for awhile; for the past 20 years Bogata, Columbia reportedly blocks off streets each Sunday to create a car-free public space for everyone to enjoy. This has been spreading to other cities, and you can read what the Active Transportation Alliance has been doing with this concept, here. 
The event encouraged walking, and biking, playing, and meeting neighbors. Wouldn’t you know it, we ran into our friend Pip:

Though we do have to drive many places just to transport our pups, we dream of one day eliminating our reliance on our car and owning a Nihola cargo bike to bike with our pups (complete with Doggles!).

Has anyone else noticed how the walkability (or lack of walkability) in your area influences your interactions with your community? Or do you have a similar open streets concept in your area?

Sep 122012
 


Each year there are 2 things of great significance that fall on the same weekend: Chicago’s Renegade Craft Fair and the Chicago Bear’s Home Opener. So each year, Miss M and I have a Girls’ Day heading out to check out the half-mile long festival of indie artists while E and Mr B watch the game together (complete with jerseys!).
We had the chance to go with several of our SociaBulls buddies, including: Zoe and Miss M’s boyfriend Boomer.

We loved that they did have such a variety of artists and vendors. Miss M and I “shared” a tangerine-lavendar snowcone, we saw decorative tepees (though no pitbull hiding inside)  and even a pillow that looked exactly like our Mr. B.
We also saw so many other SociaBulls friends: Little black Lily’s people, SuperLevi’s person, and even Jack and his family.

We also loved being able to visit Sticker’s mom at her booth: La Familia Green.  I couldn’t resist picking up the cat/dog/cat+dog tote bag which will be perfect for SociaBulls walks.

Remember when we brought a certain someone last year?

Aug 222012
 

Miss M has always appreciated the other side of her heritage. and has become quite the connoisseur of Kalbi and Korean Pear-Apples when she goes to visit E’s family. So this weekend’s Chicago Korean festival was extra special for her with the scents of kalbi being grilled and E’s mom look-alikes abound.

The festival highlights the traditional and modern: from traditional clothing and drums to modern K-pop and B-Boy battles (quite the highlight of the festival!).
We didn’t see a lot of other dogs at this festival, so our pooches were quite the hit! They spent a lot of time surrounded by adoring teens who loved the chance to pet them. We liked that there was a lot of space (though crowded towards the entrance once the B-Boy battles began) and lots of curbs to sit on.
Though there were a lot of kids with ‘snaps’ firecrackers which Miss M isn’t too found of. The kalbi was also quite the temptation.
How else have you been getting your pooches out and about?