What’s New with the Dog Days of Summer Challenge

how dogs keep cool in Phoenix summer
So, we are on Day 15 of our Dog Days of Summer Challenge, and I got to say that you guys haven’t disappointed one bit. You’ve made such creative ways to keep your dogs cool in this heat. Be proud of yourselves!

From “redneck” AC units to dogs on slides to dogs kayaking, you all have certainly come up with great, thoughtful ideas on how your dog can deal with Phoenix summers.

Keepin’ cool in Phoenix heat

We all know that dogs are vulnerable to the heat and I’m sure, like me, you get upset when you see a dog being walked during the hottest part of the day or people doing other thoughtless things with their dog when it is so damned hot outside.

That’s why it was just so wonderful to see all your photos and suggestions. Even when it was freakin’ 118 out there, all of you kept a cool head and thought of the dog first. Way to go!

Summer contest update

There’s still 15 days to go for the contest. Remember you can enter seven times. So as you think of things, just post them on Facebook for everyone to see. Here are the other official rules and ways you can win up to $120. Stay cool everyone!

 

Five Ways for Photo Fun with the Dog

Here’s a great indoor activity to do with the dog when it is so hot outside: photo shoot! And with a lot of great new apps, you don’t have to bother the dog with a lot of different attempts at being creative. She can resume her position guarding her spot on the sofa and you can create some different looks just by fiddling a little bit with the phone.

If you want some great tips on how to photograph your dog

So cuddle up with the dog, break out your phone and have some chill time as you two avoid the heat and turn her into a little star:

Barkcam

There’s an app – of course, there is – for sounds that will get your dog’s attention so that she looks at the camera. I tried Barkcam and it worked fine but frankly, I can get her attention pretty well as it as and I am a little worried about having the high-pitched sound going off and annoying the crap out of her if I mistakenly use the app.

Woofie

Again a nifty little way to get your dog’s attention as you try to take a photo of her. Woofie is a pet-treat dispenser that clips onto your phone/camera.

My Talking Pet

My Talking Pet costs $4.99 for my Iphone and I think it is totally worth it to make the dog talk. You can have the dog sound husky-like, ala Barry White or you can have her sound high-pitched like Mickey Mouse. Or add sunglasses, sombrero or text to the video. So much fun!

Christmas in July

It’s not too early to start thinking about the holidays. Either the cards you want to send out or the personalized gifts that you would like to give this season. Set up that photo studio and get this task done! Looking for inspiration?

Stamps or shoesfun with dog photos

And what to put on those cards that you send out five months from now? Dog stamps! Put her photo out there so that everyone from the mail carrier to Aunt Sue sees her lovely mug. Don’t use stamps anymore? How about shoes? You can make flip flops with your dog’s photo.

 

 

 

 

HDP’s 30 Dog Days Summer Challenge

keep your dog cool this Phoenix summer

Right now we are in beginning stages of Happy Dog Phoenix’s 30 Dog Days Summer Challenge, in which HDP posts for 30 consecutive days tips, recommendations, solutions of what to do with the dog in the Phoenix summertime.

It seems about the right time of summer to make this challenge. The initial excitement of bathing suits, swimming pools and BBQs has evaporated. The monsoons look like they may be taking a break and that leaves only, hot, hot days until say, October.

October seems very far away and that leaves us with the rest of July, a possibly brutal August and a so-so September — so let’s play a game, shall we?

The rules/rewards

We are posting a tip, recommendation, suggestion every day on our Facebook page and our new(ish) Instagram page for 30 days. Go ahead and post your own suggestion (and we love seeing your dog’s photo!). Each person is allowed seven suggestions. With each suggestion that you make, your name is entered into a drawing for a prize. If that suggestion has already been made, your name is not entered. Don’t despair – just come up with another suggestion.

We are going to be pretty generous about possible duplications – so just keep entering and know that you will have at the most seven chances.

What do I win?

A $100 gift card to a pet-supply place. It can be a gift card to a chain like Target or PetSmart, etc.

win $120 by telling us how keep a dog happy in phoenix summer

Or Behind Door #2, if you choose an independent pet-supply store like Noble Beast or Bonnie’s Barkery or The Stock Shop, we will make it for $120.

Deadline

Aug. 15 and we promise to get results to you as soon as possible, as long as the household AC holds up.

Happy Summer everyone!

Why write a book? Why buy a book?

Sometimes, I get asked how Happy Dog Phoenix came to be.

And now because we are announcing that we are working with the Arizona Animal Welfare League, I thought it would be a good time to share why I do what I do.HoneyBun, original Happy Dog Phoeix

And plus it’s a rare, cloudy day in Phoenix and that always puts people in the mood to read a good dog story.

Do you have your own story of how a dog changed your life or at least improved the heck out of it? We would love to hear about it.

Baseball and your dog

baseball at downtown Phoenix ballpark
You know what is great? It’s great when your baseball team, the Arizona Diamondbacks, is on a scorching hot streak? And they beat the Dodgers repeatedly. And that you can take your dog to a game in downtown Phoenix.

That’s great. Really, really great.

(Of course, how long the Diamondbacks are in downtown Phoenix remains to be seen since there are a lot of rumors that they will be headed to north Scottsdale sooner or later)

Head to the ballgame with your dog

But for right now, you can hope on the Light Rail and head down to the ballpark with your pooch.

The Diamondbacks were the first baseball team in the country to have a dog-friendly section at the ballpark. Other teams, including the Dbacks, had had bring-your-dog-to-the-game days but our team was the first to put in a special section for our four-legged friends.

Two baseball-viewing options

So here’s the rundown, baseball and dogwise:

On Sunday, you can go to  “Bark at the Park” versus the Houston Astros, with a pre-game Puppy Parade on the warning track at Chase Field.  Bring your dog and sit in the stands.

And on 17 other Sunday and Monday home games, there is “Dog Days of Summer”. Dogs and their peeps have their own dedicated seating and concessions area, PetSmart Patio, and their own indoor/outdoor dog park. There also will be onsite adoptions of dogs by leading area animal-rescue groups.

Dog Days of Summer ticket packages start at $160 and include a semi-private space with all the necessities for four people and one dog. Each table comes with access to All-You-Can-Eat hot dogs, soda, water, popcorn, peanuts, and chips. Fans must purchase entire table.

For dogs, hanging out on the patio means they aren’t confined to a seat and can roam around the suite. Another big thrill for the dog: dog-friendly ice cream with chicken, bacon, turkey or sweet potato toppings.

Be sure to head to the Chase Field dog park so Fido can burn off some of that sugar-induced energy before the trip back home.

But wait, there’s more

For those of you who love road trips with the dog, just know that the San Diego Padres are having their own “Dog Days of Summer” event Tuesday, June 19. Info is available on the Padres’ website.

Dogs and Spring Training

dog at spring training game
Want to bring your dog with you as you enjoy a day of sun, suds and spring training? Well, sad to say Cactus League ballparks aren’t as welcoming to the four-legged dogs as they are to the meat-byproduct ones.

Only one of the ten Cactus League Ballparks has a dog-day special in 2018. And that’s Peoria Sports Complex, home of the Seattle Mariners and San Diego Padres. Interestingly, the Padres play in Petco Park at home –and they were the first team in baseball to have bring-your-dog-to-the-game days.

Peoria Sports Complex more than makes up for the dearth of other Cactus League teams because it has not one – but four PawParty Days’’ on March 1, 6, 15 and 23!

On these days, you can sit on the lawn and watch a game with your favorite canine buddy. It’s up to you,though, to figure how much of your hot dogs you want to share with The Dog.

Take your dog to spring training

To get your dog into the game, purchase a “dog-admission ticket” at the Ticket Office Window.

All of the PawParty Days’ proceeds will go to the Arizona Humane Society.

The scoop on Peoria stadium

Of all of the stadiums, Peoria has the most promotions this season, including  honoring nurses, teachers and veterans.

That’s great because other stadiums just gladly take your money and then turn around charge you a bundle for beer and a hot dog. Do I sound bitter? Sorry. I just remember the old days when going to a spring-training game was a spur-of-the-moment decision, made mostly because you had nothing better to do that particular afternoon. It was more of a lark and didn’t involve so much logistics. Or parking. Or planning. Or money.

But enough nostaligia for the old days! If you are interested in making it a day with dog, may we suggest the ultra-friendly Salty Senorita, which is super dog friendly and close to the ballpark.

And play ball!

 

 

 

Year of the Dog –Welcome!

img class=”aligncenter size-full wp-image-2369″ src=”http://www.happydogphoenix.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/02/year-of-the-dog-main.png” alt=”year of the dog ” width=”225″ height=”225″ />Gong Hey Fat Choy! Welcome to the Year of the Dog!

I kinda think every year is the Year of the Dog (at least around our house) but according to Chinese astrology, 2018 is for all the Dogs out there (people born in 1934, 1946, 1958, 1970, 1982, 1994, 2006, 2018) to have their time.

The 2018 Chinese New Year, celebrated around the world, begins on Friday, Feb. 16 and lasts for two weeks.

What does Year of the Dog mean?

According to a number of astrology sites I looked at (one that said it was 100-percent accurate – can’t go wrong with that!) the Year of the Dog is going to favor canine traits. The Years of the Rooster (2017) and Monkey (2016), which brought more impulsiveness and disharmony into the scene, are thankfully in the past.

2018 is expected to bring prosperity, particularly to those who, like the Dog, are proactive, work hard and communicate well. Dogs are natural problem solvers so now may be a good time to try new business ventures or make lifestyle changes.

All of us will get some of the Dog’s keen sense of right and wrong and perhaps that means more equality for all.

Let’s raise the doggy water bowl to that! Power to the pups!

Not so much into astrology

You don’t think there’s a species worth of difference between a Year of the Rooster or Dog? You can always check out your birthyear and see what animal represents you. Does it ring true for your personality?

Still not going for it? Well, you can always shop instead. Turns out there is some really nifty merchandise to commemorate Year of the Dog. Who knew?

How about these very cool shoes that are supposed to be for kids but maybe you can squish your feet into them?

year of the dog merchandise

You will actually want to use snail mail with these breed-specific Year of the Dog stamps

year of the dog

Very cute little stuffed dog

year of the dog doll
Does your dog smoke? Maybe they need a lighter?

year of the dog
 And finally a onesie — for your little human Dog 

year of dog

Service-dog laws in Arizona

service dogs

Photo courtesy of Canine Companions for Independence

There’s a new bill going through the Arizona Legislature to tighten the leash on people who try to pass their dogs off as service dogs.

Which I admit, I have been greatly tempted to do.

Like most of us, I like spending time with the dog and want to take her with me to grocery stores or Starbucks (although there is a pretty extensive list of dog-friendly places in Phoenix). Most of all, I would love her comforting presence when I fly. I’d gladly pay for her to sit with me on the plane (only domestic, of course –hey, not made of money here).

Why I don’t pass off my dog as a service dog

But I have talked with enough people who have trained dogs for people with disabilities, to realize that my poorly trained Beagle could give real service dogs a bad name. And “real’’ service dogs are true heroes – they can do everything from help people with hearing losses know if there is a knock on the door to alert people with neurological problems of potential seizures.

Apparently, there are others who are passing their dog off as a trained service dogs and now, a Fountain Hills legislator wants to rein them in.

Service-dog legislation

Sen. John Kavanagh wants judges to impose fines of up to $250 on anyone who fraudulently misrepresents an animal as a service animal or service animal in training to operators of businesses, public recreation sites, buses, taxis and ambulances.

Under SB 1040, a business owner can file a complaint if they feel someone has brought in a fake service dog. The dog owner would have to prove otherwise. Kavanagh is no stranger to dog issues – he was a guiding force behind last year’s legislation to help dogs trapped in hot cars.

“It’s amazing that you can’t get a placard to park your car in a disabled spot unless a doctor certifies that you’re disabled.

“But, pretty much, today everybody can walk around and buy vests (for their animals) on the internet and claim non-trained animals are service animals. It makes no sense to me,” he told KJZZ.

The other side of service dog

Attorneys for the Arizona Center for Disability Law, which represents people with disabilities, said Kavanagh is trying to solve a non-existent problem.

Arizona law already gives businesses the right to eject any animal — including a service animal — if it misbehaves, is not housebroken, poses an “undue burden” or “poses a direct threat to the health and safety of others,” say center attorneys.

Arizona isn’t the only state looking at this: At least 19 others have cracked down on fraudulent service dogs. Massachusetts is now considering a similar proposal to Arizona’s.

What do you think?

For dog lovers, this is interesting stuff. We love our dogs and always want them nearby. Yet, we, more than others, understand how much a dog could mean to someone who faces really tough challenges every day.

If you have any thoughts, pass them along to your legislator.

 

Cookie recipes for the dog

peter and pickle love christmas cookies
Christmas is only days away but surely, you have done the shopping, wrapping and delivering? Well, let’s pretend that you have. It’s going to be relatively chilly in Phoenix the next couple days — why not hunker down and bake some cookie treats for your best friend, the dog?

I love baking for the dog and her pals. They are a non-judgmental, hungry, even greedy group of gourmets who like everything that gets put in front of them, foodwise.

christmas cookies for dogs

Dog cookies galore

In the morning, I walk into the kitchen, where there are tubs of dog cookies and I’m not tempted by any of these ‘treats”. I give these cookies away at cookie exchanges and everyone is happy to walk away with a box of goodies that won’t affect their waistline. I also give away the cookies to neighbors and colleagues and it’s a great way to start up a conversation. Something along the lines of “You have dogs? I have dogs. Now, can you get me that report before I expire from old age? Happy holidays!”

But the biggest thing of all: baking for the dog gets me into the holiday spirit of giving. Not the type of giving that happens because you feel compelled to go out and buy a gift but the better kind of giving: the simple act of doing something out of love in your heart and knowing that it will bring a smile to another person (or creature). The joy that comes from that really lightens my heart, especially in these darker times.

Dog-cookie recipes

And without further woo-woo ado, here are this year’s dog cookie recipes. I made them all and I cheerfully comment on all of them:

  • Alexander’s Peanut Butter Dog Biscuit Treats: the first I ever baked and I still love them. This year, I used small heart-shaped cookie cutters on these and they turned out very sweet!
  • Calvin’s Christmas Cookies: Very festive — somehow it always reminds me of the Flinstones. Just absolutely push down those cranberries and pumpkin seeds into the dough or they will plop out once baking is done.
  • Homemade Dog Treats — I thought the peanut-butter/bacon glaze for the treats would be the bomb but then I had doubts about frying that much bacon to get the bacon fat for the glaze. And I thought about how bacon fat isn’t good for the dog, so I opted for the coconut oil option. Freeze the treats to get the glaze to really stick. Next year, I think I am just going to smear some peanut butter on the cookie and forgo the glaze.

And that’s the joy of making cookies for dogs!

Happy holidays everyone!

 

Gifts for the dog this holiday season

You know you are getting the dog a gift this holiday — a little something extra.

Why not shop local?

The metro Phoenix area is home to a lot of great entrepreneurs who love dogs as much as you do and their products/stores show it!

Plus, when you visit these local stores and vendors, they welcome your dog as well as you!