Monday, September 24, 2012

Party with Your Pup: September 24-30

Contact the event venue before attending to make sure information is accurate. Not all events allow pets, so check first.

Tuesday, September 25; 6:00 p.m.
Event: Cocktails at the Dog Museum
Location: AKC Museum of the Dog; Queeny Park
Details: cocktails in the courtyard; fundraiser; guest speaker about rare books in the museum library. 
Cost: $

Thursday, September 27; 6:00-9:00 p.m.
Location: Pawsitively Fintastic; South St. Louis
Details: Ask questions about feeding your pup a raw diet. Puppy playtime in the fenced yard as well with a kiddie pool (weather-dependent)
Cost: free
Steu says: Cooked or raw, I like it all!

Saturday, September 29; 10:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m.
Location: AKC Museum of the Dog; Queeny Park
Details: come meet this historic breed.
Cost: $

Sunday, September 30; 1:30-4:00 p.m.
Event: Meet the St. Bernard
Location: AKC Museum of the Dog; Queeny Park
Details: come meet the breed and talk to their owners. Find out if this breed is right for you.
Cost: $

Monday, September 17, 2012

Party with Your Pup: September 17-23

An unbelievable amount of fun stuff this week! Contact the event venue before attending to make sure information is accurate. Not all events allow pets, so check first.

Tuesday, September 18; 6:30 p.m.
Location: Clancy's Irish Pub; Ballwin
Details: Three Dog Bakery is back to sponsoring their travelling Dogs Dine Out events. People order off the restaurant menu while the pups consume a dinner fitting with the restaurant's theme. Reservations and pre-payment required.
Cost: $20.00 per pup. People order separately.
Steu says: I love going to these! So much delicious food!

Wednesday, September 19; 6-8:00 p.m.
Event: Yappy Hour
Location: West Frisco Park; Eureka
Details: Live music, snacks for people and pups (no coolers, please). First 30 pups get a free caricature.
Cost: free (please donate one canned good)

Thursday, September 20; 6:30-8:00 p.m.
Event: Mutt Mixer
Location: Three Dog Bakery; Town & Country
Details: free snacks for pups and people; shopping discounts
Cost: free
Steu says: I have had their treats, and love the variety!

Thursday, September 20; 5-6:30 p.m.
Event: Yappy Hour
Location: Four Muddy Paws; Lafayette Square
Details: Wine tasting for people and playtime for pups. Afterwards, area restaurants will offer specials and discounts to diners with dogs.
Cost: free
Steu says: I have had their treats, and love the variety!

Saturday, September 22; 9:00 a.m.
Location: Kirkwood Farmers' Market; Kirkwood
Details: Pet parade. Shopping for pet treats. Different animal welfare groups.
Cost: free
Steu says: This sounds like soooooo much fun!

Saturday, September 22; 7:30 a.m.-noon
Location: Queeny Park
Details: Fundraiser for Best Friends Animal Sanctuary. Lots of fun activities: puppy yoga, massages, and spa; free treats, contests and activities; refreshments; live music; shopping.
Cost: $

Saturday, September 22; 10:00 a.m.-2:00 p.m.
Location: Broemmelsiek Park; St. Charles
Details: Off-leash fun for pups in a park with a pond. Contests, prizes, freebies, and other activities.
Cost: free

Sunday, September 23; 11 a.m.-3:00 p.m.
Event: Animal Communicator
Location: Four Muddy Paws; Lafayette Square
Details: Animal communicator Catherine Hughes can let you know what your pet is thinking or feeling or put you in touch with pets who have passed on.
Cost: $25 per private 20-minute session
Steu says: I went to a pet psychic once. I told her to say that I want more walks and less picture taking.

Bath time

Steu and I went to visit my friend Sharon today. I can be all lofty and claim that we visited because she was recovering from surgery (which is true), but I also needed a favor from her (which is also true).

It rained on the way over, so I carried Steu from the car into her apartment. Cavaliers have "natural feet," which means the hair on them is allowed to grow. Someone once called them "yeti feet" and that's how I think of them. They trap and track an ungodly amount of mud and debris. Some owners elect to trim their cavalier's feet, but I never have, beyond once cutting out some stranger's wad of gum.

Halfway through our visit, Steu announced that he needed to go out, so we walked along a wooded path until he'd accomplished his mission. Also accomplished? One muddy, wet dog.

Sharon toweled him off and took this photo.

If you groom your dog regularly, and give plenty of treats while doing so, grooming should be a relatively easy task, even for a pup with a high-maintenance coat like Steu's. When he had a puppy coat, he needed no grooming at all beyond the monthly bath. His adult coat requires a daily brushing, along with regular removal of all the leaves, twigs, and vegetable matter he accumulates on his walks.

To get him used to all the brushing, I would give him a treat to chew on while he was being  brushed, sometimes several treats. Now, we've reached the point where he gets a treat when he's done. Steu doesn't like having his tail brushed, but those long feathers require a brushing every few days. Once I'm done brushing his body, I give him a treat, which he eats while I brush his tail. By the time we're both done, the process has been relatively pain free.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Party with Your Pup: September 9-16

Contact the event venue before attending to make sure information is accurate. Not all events allow pets, so check first.

Ongoing; deadline September 30
Location: n/a
Details: Gateway Pet Guardians, which focuses on rescuing strays in East St. Louis, is sponsoring a contest for their next t-shirt.
Cost: free
Steu says: Pups can wear t-shirts too! 

Friday, September 14; 5-7 p.m.
Event: Yappy Hour
Location: I Scream Cakes; Cherokee St.
Details: sponsored by PBR, free giveaways and free PBR, puppy ice cream, discounts, and more
Steu says: I love their puppy ice cream. It has bacon AND salmon oil AND sweet potatoes. YUM!

Saturday, September 15; 10:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m.
Event: Meet the Bouvier des Flandres
Location: AKC Museum of the Dog; Queeny Park
Details: Meet the breed, talk to owners, and find out if the Bouvier is right for you.
Cost: $
Steu says: Did you know Ronald Reagan had a Bouvier des Flandres? Now you do!

Walking the Dog

Steu, like most dogs, is much better behaved when he gets a daily walk. When he was a puppy, we would often walk up to three times a day. Now that he's three, one walk a day is fine. He'll even let me skip a day or two due to rain or extreme temperatures.

I, however, do not love walking. I get bored. My feet are often tired and I need new/better shoes. It's too hot, too cold, too dark, too late, too early. Whatever. I've got a million excuses.

Lately, inspired by a friend, I've re-committed to walking Steu daily, so I've been mapping our walks on Map My Walk. The site is pretty easy to use, and I discovered that we were already walking a mile a day. By mapping out a few other routes we take, I've come up with some two-mile loops and even a three-mile loop.

As long as it's not too hot, Cavalier King Charles Spaniels are perfectly capable of walking just as far as your average recreational walker.

How often and how far do you walk your pup?

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Party with Your Pup: September 3-9

Contact the event venue before attending to make sure information is accurate. Not all events allow pets, so check first.

All Week
Event: Dog Swims
Location: All over!
Details: Many local municipals pools will be hosting end-of-season dog swims beginning on Monday. Rather than list them all here, I am linking to St. Louis All Dogs for a comprehensive listing.Their calendar doesn't list past events, so the link is only good for this week.
Cost: varies, many events are fundraisers
Steu says: I have never done a dog swim, but I do have my own paddle pool. I have to be bribed to get it in. 

Wednesday, September 5; 7:15 p.m.
Location: Shrewsbury City Center
Details: Greater St. Louis Training Club is hosting a free session to see if your pup is ready to take place in rally obedience competitions.
Cost: free (the six-week class will be $120)
Steu says: Want to read more about rally obedience? I have never learned to heel. Really, I totally suck at it. Like, you have no idea how bad I am at heeling.

Wednesday, September 5; 5-7 p.m.
Event: Yappy Hour
Location: The Boathouse; Forest Park
Details: Half-price appetizers 
Cost: $5 cover charge to benefit Forest Park Forever
Steu says: I've never been to this, so I can't say for sure yet what kind of dog things are there, besides other dogs. If you go, let me know!

Thursday, September 6
Event: Mutt Mixer
Location: Three Dog Bakery; Town & Country
Details: discounts on non-food items in the store. No details on other activities or times.
Cost: free

I really am so sad about Earthdog
Saturday, September 8; 10 a.m.-1 p.m.
Location: Purina Farms; Gray Summit
Details: Practice running in tunnels and racing with other dogs.
Cost: $
Steu says: I really wanted to go to this, but it may only take earthdogs. Be sure to check first! I am feeling a little sad about this.

Saturday, September 8; 10:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m.
Event: Meet the Samoyed
Location: AKC Museum of the Dog; Queeny Park
Details: Stop by the Dog Museum and meet the breed
Cost: $

Saturday, September 8; 10-11 a.m.
Event: Canine Corrective Bodywork
Location: Four Muddy Paws; Lafayette Square
Details: Movement assessment and trigger point therapy for active or aging dogs.
Cost: free (reservations required)

Sunday, September 9; 1:30-4:00 p.m.
Event: Meet the Border Collie
Location: AKC Museum of the Dog; Queeny Park
Details: Stop by the Dog Museum and meet the breed
Cost: $
Steu says: My cousin is a Border Collie named Teagan. I love her.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Dog Whistles

Steu is neither Republican nor Democrat. He disdains all politics. He does NOT want to be kissed, let alone patted, by any candidate.

His namesake, Baron von Steuben, helped our nation overthrow England but had strong mercenary tendencies. Like the Baron, little Steu will deign to perform for strangers, as long as there are treats.

At all other times, he is a committed monarchist.

During this political season, however, he and I have been discussing dog-whistle politics: the use of coded language designed to appeal to the prejudices of one side while escaping the attention of the other.

Be on the lookout. Steuben does not approve.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Party with Your Pup: August 27-September 2

Contact the event venue before attending to make sure information is accurate. Not all events allow pets, so check first.

Monday, August 27; 9 a.m.
Event: Hearing of Darick Stallworth
Location: Civil Courthouse, Division 9; 10 N. Tucker; St. Louis
Details: Randy Grim of Stray Rescue has put out a call for letters and a public show of support for abused dogs. Stallworth is accused of the horrific abuse and killing of five dogs in North St. Louis and a show of support in the courtroom will serve as a voice for abused dogs.
Cost: free
Steu says: I am sorry to start with a sad thing, and pups are definitely not allowed here, but I hope you will come and voice your opposition to dog abuse.

It seems like a quiet week, and I'm sorry to only have the one event be so sad. Next week is full of end-of-season dog swims, so stay tuned!

Dog Park

 As a teacher, I love using analogies to help my students understand complex material: life is like a box of chocolates, our blood circulates like a river system, etc.

To me, the dog park is analogous to a gym membership: a good idea in theory, but incredibly pricey if you never go.

We've never joined. I've never joined a gym either. I know myself too well.

To get to the dog park, we'd have to drive several miles. A dog park would defeat my own (extremely modest) exercise goals. The dog park has had a vaccine-resistant kennel cough outbreak. Etc.

Frankly, the main reason we haven't joined is that I don't entirely trust other dog owners.

This website has some wonderful analogies on dog park etiquette. Basically, if you would find a child's playground behavior intolerable, don't let your dog do the equivalent in the dog park.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Party with Your Pup: Aug 20-26

Be sure to contact the event venue to be sure information is accurate. Not all events allow pets, so check first.

Date: Wednesday, August 22; 7:30 a.m.-6: p.m.
Event: Ice Cream Social
Location: Petropolis; Chesterfield
Details: no details on flyer, but ice cream social is included in the cost of a day of doggie daycare.
Cost: $

Last month at Laumier
Date: Thursday, August 23; 6-8 p.m
Event: Yappy Hour
Location: Laumier Sculpture Park; Kirkwood
Details: food trucks, samples, training tips, nail trims, live music, pet psychic, photographers, and more
Cost: free to attend; some $ for certain booths
Steu says: I went to this last month and had a blast. There were even helpers to watch pups while their people went into the gallery. I barked until the helper took me for a walk around the garden so I could pee on all the roses. Plus, there was a chicken coop. Did you know that Laumier offers dog memberships? For real!

Date: Thursday, August 23; 6-9 p.m.
Event: Puppy Pool Party
Location: Pawsitively Fintastic; St. Louis
Details: Extended hours to use the puppy wading pools in the fenced dog yard.
Cost: free
Steu says: This is one of my favorite places to go. The yard is nice and big with lots of room to run. 

 Saturday, August 25; 11 a.m.-5:30 p.m.
Details: special "doggie wine" and treats from Boxador Bites, pet trainer on hand to answer questions, adoptable pups, live music, bbq, and more
Cost: $$
Steu says: I love Boxador Bites! The banana is my favorite. 

 Saturday & Sunday; August 25-26; noon-4 p.m.
Event: Shaved Ice Treats
Location: Petsmart; Sunset Hills
Details: Benefit for Pet Rescue Network; frozen treats for people and pups
Cost: $

Date: Saturday & Sunday; August 25-26; see link for times.
Location: Four Muddy Paws; Lafayette Square 
Details: session from a professional pet photographer with an option to order a photo package and other products
Cost: $ (appointment required)
Steu says: I am very photogenic. Sometimes.

Party with Your Pup: Aug. 13-19

Please contact the event venue before attending to make sure information is accurate. Not all events permit pets, so check first.

Thursday, August 16; 5-6:30 p..m.
Location: Four Muddy Paws; Lafayette Square
Details: patio time and free wine tasting; discount baths. Afterwards, many neighborhood restaurants and shops offer discounts for people with pups.
Cost: free-ish
Steu says: I have done this one (no bath for me!), and it was very fun.

Friday, August 17; 5-7 p.m.
Event: Canine Back to School
Location: Old Dog New Treats; Kirkwood
Details: food games, food toys, creative feeding options, speed training and paw painting.
Cost: free!
Steu says: I am planning on going to this one. I just got a new treat puzzle and love it. Well, except for the part where I can't get to all of the treats right away.

Friday, August 17; Saturday, August 18
Event: Puppy Pool Party
Location: Koch Park Family Aquatic Center; Florissant
Details: see link for details
Cost: $

Saturday, August 18; all day
Event: Free pupcake day
Location: Three Dog Bakery; Town and Country
Details: free pupcake with purchase
Cost: $
Steu says: Pupcake! Pupcake! Pupcake! 

Saturday, August 18; 11 a.m.-3 p.m.
Location: Four Muddy Paws; Lafayette Square
Details: sundae bar just for pups, wading pools and games on the side patio
Cost: $
Steu says: I love it here. The herbal ice-cream toppings are delicious.

Saturday, August 18; 10 a.m.-6 p.m.
Event: Pooches and Hooch Adoption Event and Beer Tasting
Location: Urban Chestnut Brewery
Details: sponsored by Stray Rescue. Designed to find forever homes for long-term fosters. Beer tasting from noon-1 p.m.
Cost: $

Saturday, August 18; 10:30 a.m.-4 p.m.
Sunday, August 19; 1:30-4 p.m.
Event: Meet the German Shepherd; Meet the Doberman Pinscher
Location: AKC Museum of the Dog
Details: a weekly Meet the Breed event included in the cost of admission to the Museum of the Dog.
Cost: $
Steu says: I love this museum!

Sunday, August 19; 9-11 a.m.
Event: Hope for the Animals Day
Location: Tower Grove Park; St. Louis, MO
Details: low-cost vaccinations, microchips, nail trips, ID tags, "ask-the-vet" and more.
Cost: $ (cash only!)
Steu says: I will be there for sure! I am a fancy-pants dog on a thrift-store budget.

Bird Dog

Steu is a bird dog. When we first got him at six-months old, he got out of the car after an eight-hour drive and immediately pointed at a bird. Nose to stick-thin tail in a straight line, tiny leg tucked to chest, all of nine pounds. Immediately.

On our walks, he will spot the pigeons on the phone wires. In the car, he'll whip his head around to stare at a hawk. CBS Sunday Morning's "Moment of Nature" segment is fraught with peril in our house. Barking could ensue at any moment. Even the sound of a crow on the television will set him off. For some reason, he particularly loathes crows.

I don't know what the hell I was thinking by getting backyard chickens.

This spring was really rough, and many times I thought I would have to scrap the whole effort. With time, desensitizing, and a lot of work, we've now reached the point where I can leash Steu, walk with him to the coop, open the door, let the girls out into the yard, take the pup for his walk, come back, and have him lie down in yard while they peck nearby.

We are still a long way from any off-leash time with them, and I doubt I will ever leave them together unsupervised, but I'm amazed at how much progress he's made.