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!

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!

 

 

 

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!

Coyotes in central Phoenix Part: 2

coyote in central Phoenix
So, last week I wrote about a problem in our central Phoenix neighborhood distressing to us dog people: coyotes.

I had one lounging on my front yard and others have seen them sauntering through the ‘hood. These coyotes are not particularly scared of us and the Arizona Game and Fish Department advice of walking tough and acting big and frightening isn’t working.

Worried about my dog, the neighbor’s small dogs and kids playing at Encanto Park, where apparently a den of them live, I called my City Councilperson Laura Pastor.

The City Council’s advice about coyotes

I talked with a very nice guy there who said he would do some research and get back to me. After a lot of missed calls, we connected. Got to give him an “A” for effort.

The advice….

First he suggested talking with neighbors who feed stray cats because the cat food and the cats themselves attract coyotes.

But we both realized that the kind-hearted people who do that may not want to stop feeding the cats and there is nothing that can be done about that.

Then, he suggested making sure all the garbage can lids were secure and not easy to open to deprive them of an easy source of food. Fair enough. I can do a quick survey of the alleys and report back to the city.

Lastly, he suggested super soakers. Apparently coyotes hate water as much as cats do. And a blast from a super soaker will annoy them enough to make them run off.

Ok.

I can get a super soaker and place it by the front door and blast at any coyotes from the safety of my screened front door. But I am not walking through my neighborhood streets, armed with a super soaker. Hell no. It gets dark early this time of year and the last thing my neighbors need to see is me walking through the streets with a suspicious weapon-looking like thing.

So, there’s the advice. Take it for what it is worth. The city is not calling out the coyote SWAT team.

What I am going to do

I’m sticking with the golf-club/cane as a deterrent; also I’m trying to walk with neighbors at the same time. And I’m talking with any neighbor I can find to tell them about the situation and get them to think about what they can do to stop this.

At times, I feel like I’m “chicken little” about coyotes — “the sky is falling and it’s raining coyotes” but there have been cases of dogs being attacked and there are a lot curious kids at Encanto Park who may confuse coyotes for a different type of dog. it just seems like more could be done.

Coyotes in Central Phoenix

coyotes in central phoenix

We face a problem in our central Phoenix neighborhood: coyotes.

Amid all the new condos being built, there is a den of coyotes living on the Encanto Park/ Encanto Park Golf Course. And me and my other dog-loving neighbors worry about it.

Technically speaking, coyotes are part of the dog family but they also have been known to kill their canine cousins, especially smaller dogs.

If coyotes are in your neighborhood

In writing Happy Dog Phoenix, I contacted Arizona Game and Fish Department for advice about coyotes in the neighborhood (never thinking they would make it my central Phoenix ‘hood). They told me that if you see a coyote yell at it, wave your arms, make noise to scare it off. And remove all sources of food and water.

All fine advice.

Except I live next to large fields with plenty of hiding spots and small lakes. And lots of feral cats. I have good-hearted neighbors who feed stray cats, some of whom inevitably will become coyote food. There’s also other good-hearted neighbors, who see coyotes as just another one of Nature’s creatures and say we should just let them be.

I wish I could be so good hearted

But instead I selfishly worry about my little roly-poly potential coyote entrée, the Beagle, who would have no idea how to protect herself if attacked. She’s a goofball, not a fighter.

Would coyotes go after her? If the supply of feral cats decreases and the number of coyotes increase, they may.  Also, these coyotes are not afraid. I yelled and screamed at the coyote lounging on my front yard, and he just gave me a look, a shrug and sauntered off into the neighbor’s yard. Another neighbor has to charge them with an air horn to get them to move.

 What I am doing

Normally when I write a blog, I try to offer a solution. Right now, I have none. Except carrying a used golf club when I walk the dog, further cementing my reputation as a neighborhood eccentric.

On Monday, I contacted Phoenix Parks and Recreation. The first woman asked me to repeat my address because she couldn’t believe there were coyotes this far south. She transferred me to another woman who explained that they had unsuccessfully tried  to capture the coyotes but they can’t do anything more until the coyotes become aggressive.

I explained that I thought that was just waiting for trouble, especially if the coyotes are living on Encanto Park, which can be filled with children during weekends. By her silence, she indicated that it wasn’t her decision.

Then, I then called my City Council representative, Laura Pastor and spoke to someone who promised to get back to me. For the past two days, we have played phone tag — not his fault.

I’ll let you know what I find out.

In the meantime, beware of coyotes in central Phoenix and of strange women walking dogs and carrying golf clubs.

 

Flagstaff road trip!

Attention: residents of Phoenix. It is hot, still hot. You’ve still got time this Labor Day weekend to head up to Flagstaff, which may be Arizona’s most dog-friendly town.

In fact, it may be easier to list the places that aren’t dog friendly in Flagstaff than those that area — especially in downtown, historic Flag, where there dogs in all the best places.
dog friendly flagstaff

Shopping in Flagstaff with your dog

You know how sometimes stores say they are dog friendly but you get a way-different vibe once you and poochie get inside? In Flagstaff, they offer genuine hospitality for dogs. There’s water bowls, dog treats and even resident dogs in the stores. Check out the art galleries along San Francisco street for a lot of love for dogs as well as dog-related art.

biffs bagels flagstaff

Dining with the dog

For breakfast, hit Biff’s Bagels, which is named after a beloved pet and has photos of everyone else’s dog on the wall. For lunch, wow — so many choices. Charley’s on Aspen and Leroux has a great dog-friendly patio. Or Mix.  Or Macy’s. Or Mother Road Brewery. Or any others from our fine list.

roxy at tuthill fairgrounds

Hiking with the dog

You don’t have to be a super wilderness person to enjoy a hike with your dog. There are a lot of mild trails out there — which is especially nice since you and the dog may not have been as active during this hot summer season. Altitude change can also affect breathing for you and the dog.

There are several dog-friendly park trails throughout Flagstaff. Just have a leash and plenty of water.

 

  • Wilson Meadow at Hart Prairie:  A hike that can go as short as you want it to go. Wilson Meadow offers plenty of romping room and a pond to swim in (That’s for the dog; not you).
  • Griffith Spring Trail: Another short hike that allows your dog to wade in a creek.

Drinking with the dog

After a hard day of shopping, dining and hiking, it’s great to kick back with an adult beverage. Your best friend can come into the bar with you as long as the fine establishment doesn’t serve food. And that’s why we can get great scenes like this one at Hops on Birch:

dog in bar, Flagstaff AZ

Helping dogs hurt by Texas floods

dogs hurt by Texas floods
It’s stinkin’ hot now in Phoenix but I’m not complaining. Our heat is nothing compared to the floods and resulting anguish that people and animals in Texas.

Have you seen the video of the folks who are cradling and carrying other peoples’ animals to get to safety? I tear up every time I think of it.

What can people in Phoenix do to help our fellow dog lovers and their dogs displaced and harmed by the floods?

Donate money to flood animal victims

Phoenix’s own PetSmart Charities has already made an initial commitment of $1 million that will go to pet food and other supplies for shelters and other organizations. You can help support their work by donating here.

The Humane Society of the United States Animal Rescue Team has volunteers, equipment, and rescue vehicles currently working from Corpus Christi to Texas City to San Antonio.

The ASPCA is on the ground with search-and-rescue, sheltering and relocation teams in Houston and much of Harvey’s path. They are asking for monetary donations or membership within the organization to support ongoing rescue efforts.

No matter what organization you select, donating money is key. You may want to just drive over to Texas with a truck full of dog food. It’s a great idea but it is still flooding theree, the roads are a mess and you can donate safely and effectively with just a couple clicks of a mouse.

Keep it local

Want to keep your donations more local?

Go online and donate to:

Beware of flood scams

Vultures who prey upon these types of situations are already setting up phony relief efforts and telemarketing efforts. Don’t be fooled! Check out any organization you give money by looking them up at Charity Navigator which already has a Hurricane Harvey specific section.

Gimme shelter

Already shelters as far as New Jersey are flying dogs to their facilities to be fostered. No word yet if any Harvey dogs are coming to Phoenix. If we hear, we will let you know. And if your foster group is taking any in, please let us know – we would love to get the word out.

Dogs and dog lovers everywhere, take care!