I am pleased to announce that Gatsby and me are official bloggers on ChicagoNow.com. Please check out our first post http://www.chicagonow.com/dog-friendly-chicago/2012/02/city-dog-versus-country-dog/ and be sure to follow the blog as we will be updating it on a regular basis with reviews about dog-friendly places in Chicago and tips about having fun with your dog in Chicago.
I've been talking with my friends for several weeks now about the need for a website that allows you to set a recurring order for dog food delivery since I somehow always seem to end up running out of Gatsby's food.
Boy oh boy was I excited to find PetFlow today! It's a website that allows you to order dog treats, dog food, cat food and other supplies, and you can setup automatic shipping for recurring orders. Plus if you use discount code "ship49" shipping will be free for life, and the prices are below retail!
This is amazing! Such a great way for me to start off the new year, and I know Gatsby is going to love knowing that his food bin will always be full :-)
There are several opposing schools of thought about whether dogs need a coat, and below is the post I feel sums it all up the best. Although it may seem like common sense, I just need to add one thing: If a dog coat is not water resistant, don't use it when it's snowing. Also, Gatsby's personal choice in coats is Ruff Wear. http://www.ruffwear.com/
Copied from Does My Dog Really Need A Coat? February 24th, 2009 by Dan
While you may think that a dog’s natural fur coat is enough protection against the elements, this isn’t true for every individual canine. While some dogs (Siberian Huskies, Samoyeds, Great Pyrenees, Saint Bernards, etc) have thick fur that is designed to keep them warm in cold temperatures, others would be more comfortable with an extra layer.
So which dogs *do* need coats?:
- Dogs with very short fur (Pit Bulls, Boxers, Dobermans, etc) can all benefit from wearing a coat due to their lack of insulating fur.
* Dogs with little body fat (Greyhounds, Pharaoh Hounds, Italian Greyhounds, etc) that can’t retain heat as well as their stocky canine cousins should wear an additional of insulation in cold or wet weather.
* Toy breeds that can’t retain heat as well as larger dogs and will be more affected by the cold.
* Elderly dogs or those who are suffering from illnesses. Keeping warm puts extra stress on a dog’s system. A coat allows them to preserve their energy.
* Dog’s that are accustom to warmer weather and are then brought to a cold region may need an extra layer as they are not acclimated to the new climate.
* Any dog that is hesitant to go outside in the chilly weather or shows obvious signs of being cold while you’re outside (shivering) will probably be more willing to spend time outdoors if they are wearing a coat.
Keep in mind that if a healthy dog is actively exercising in cold weather that he probably won’t need a coat for his entire time outside. However, if you’re just going for a leisurely walk, a coat will keep your dog more comfortable.
6/30/2010: UPDATE - Less than 24 hours after posting this blog, the fake review from Helen (referenced below) mysteriously disappeared from my Yelp page...funny how Yelp seems to have responded to my social media blast rather quickly about Helen but is still "unable" to reactivate Christy and Lauer's reviews until they "become more active on Yelp".
Two of my very loyal clients posted 5-star reviews on Yelp, and their reviews were "filtered" off the site because they are apparently not active enough in the Yelp community. To show my appreciation to both Lauer and Christy, I have included their reviews below for you to enjoy. Additionally, at the bottom of this blog you will find the e-mail discussion I had with Yelp's client services team...
To summarize what was discussed in the emails:
There is actually a review on my Yelp page from someone who I do not know at all. I do not have a dog client named Boris and I do not have a client named Helen, but somehow I have a review on my page from a woman named Helen with a dog named Boris who very clearly references my name and Get Pet. If you read the review (pasted below Lauer and Christy's reviews here), you will see that Helen's review almost seems to be a compilation of all the other reviews I have received from actual clients.
Of course, Ms. Helen has 110 reviews on Yelp and Christy and Lauer only have one each - their glowing review of Get Pet :-). From what Yelp is telling me, the only way that Lauer and Christy's reviews will start showing on my Yelp page again is if they each become more active on Yelp by reviewing more businesses and providing more reviews. Hmmmm...what if they don't have any other businesses they think are exciting enough to warrant a review? Should they lie and make up reviews so that their legitimate review can be viewed by the Yelp community? I certainly hope that's not what Yelp is encouraging....
Of course if that is what Yelp recommends, then that might explain why Helen created a fake review of Get Pet. Or maybe Helen doesn't exist at all and it's just a robot at Yelp creating content to entice me to start paying $300/month to be a premium business listing...I do keep getting calls from the advertising department after all....
Whatever the case, THANK YOU so much Lauer and Christy for taking the time to share your love for Get Pet online. I'm so sorry that Yelp thinks it's best for a computer to decide that you are not real people with valued opinions that other consumers might want to read because I definitely value the time you took.
2 Filtered Reviews for Get Pet
Note: The reviews below are not factored into the business's overall star rating.
***** 6/1/2010 We were extremely nervous parents when we brought our puppy home from the breeder. How would we find a good dog walker? One that we could trust in our home and to care for our new, precious family member. Also, how would we find someone in the Streeterville area since parking can be an issue? I found Kyle and Get Pet on Yelp and took a leap of faith. Within minutes of meeting him, I knew we had hit the jackpot. He showed up on time, was VERY professional and spent an hour and a half answering questions and making training recommendations. He provides so much more than just walking your pet. He provides such great tips, is so trustworthy and is extremely thorough! You can tell right from the start that he adores animals and knows a ton about them! I honestly don't know what we would have done without him. I am certain that we will look back on this time and thank Kyle and Get Pet for what a fabulous, well-trained dog we have. Kyle is the BEST! Thank you for making our puppy experience filled with lots of already cherished memories! ;)
I wish they had more stars to give!
***** 5/13/2010 My husband and I were having a difficult time figuring out what to do with our dog, Burnham. We had just finished obedience school and we were in the process of learning to manange our impulses and behave like a gentleman on walks.
We had a dog walker, but when I asked our obedience trainer about it, he indicated that if the dog walker is not reinforcing, on the walks, everything that we are learning, then "Burnie" would lose all we had worked so hard to learn.
It took months of calls and research to find Kyle, Gatsby and Dr. Seuss, but WOW what a blessing when we did. Kyle completely understood the "wait, watch, leave-it" commands as well as the inter "personal" communication that needed to take place between him and the pup (he understood, the "letter" and the "spirit" of what we needed).
We decided to give Kyle a try, and instantly we could see improvement in Burnie's behavior on walks. As the weeks have passed, we have continued to be impressed. We love Kyle almostas much as our puppy does.
Apart from being a wonderful teacher/walker/trainer for our dog, Kyle truly and sincerely loves his clients. He takes the time to discover who your pet is and caters to the personality nuances and needs of your dog. Our dog doesn't like to have his harness put on. So, Kyle will sit with him and give him a belly rub and really take his time and ease Burnie into the harness. He has also offered insights into our dog's personality that we didn't know and offered pointers and advice when we have sought it.
I cannot say enough about Kyle. 5 stars is definitiely not enough!
***** 6/1/2010 For some people who are aversive to the prospect of having children, or need a trial run with Chia-Pets to see if they can keep the plants alive, pets are wonderful substitutes for human babies.
I rescued Boris from an area shelter and found out to my surprise that, yes indeed, I have a nurturing side. As my work schedule and overnight business travel became more frequent, I needed a reliable dog-walker to come into my condo and exercise my little boy. I also wanted a company that would also be able to pet-sit on occasions when none of my friends were available to help me out and I'd be gone for more than a day (i.e. out-of-town weddings, weekend getaways where I could not take Boris with me.)
I am always leery about letting strangers into my home, let alone the prospect of entrusting my little furry pal to someone else. Because of the reviews on Yelp, I reached out to Get Pet for a trial dog walk and to see if Boris would take to the walker.
Enter Kyle. From the moment that I met him, I felt completely at ease. Boris loves Kyle and it is embarrassing almost to see how much PDA Boris gives. I knew I found the right person who would take care of my dog and love him as much as I do. Plus, as an added bonus, the price structure is highly competitive, so I have used GetPet liberally for a multitude of services.
Boris has become a better walker on the leash, and is less "talkative" in the evenings, now that he is getting walked regularly during the day when I'm at the office. It is great that I no longer have to rush home to let him out, if something unexpected pops up and keeps me at work longer or I want to meet up with colleagues for a quick happy hour.
Kyle is the consummate professional and respects animals - he is patient, reliable, and he always picks up after his 4-legged clients. Hands down - hire him. He just may have inspired me to give up the Chia-Pets.
Click "Read More" to see the email chain between Yelp's client services team and me:
I think we all know that the chicken crossed the road "to get to the other side," but I'm curious to know why so many dog owners in Chicago cross the street when they see another dog approaching? Is it because they have an aggressive dog? Are they afraid the oncoming dog is aggressive? Did they skip getting their dog vaccinated recently and are afraid of communicable diseases? Did my deodorant wear off and I'm just oblivious that people can smell me over a half block away?
I venture to guess that almost 100% of these dog owners choose to cross the road because they are afraid their dogs will display behaviors they cannot control. For these dog owners, I would like to provide some simple advice:
1) Avoiding other dogs on the sidewalk is only making the problem worse. You are never presenting your dog with opportunities for positive re-inforcement.
2) Make sure you have a collar, head collar or harness that makes you feel comfortable about being in control of your dog's behavior - there's a reason "training collars" were created.
3) Practice "Watch Me" and "Leave It" at home using high-value treats to prepare you for success outside the home. These treats should be something that will quickly get your dog's attention (and keep it) - something "smelly" like Zuke's is usually good.
4) As soon as you see an oncoming dog, put your dog into sit, stay, and get a solid "watch me" using the high-value treats. I've heard this technique refered to as "Bar Open" "Bar Closed". It's called "Bar Open" when you are feeding the high-value treats over and over again until the other dog is out of site. It's "Bar Closed" once the other dog is out of site.
5) If your dog becomes distracted by the other dog and loses focus on you during "Bar Open", use "leave it, watch me" until you regain "watch me". If you are unsuccessful in regaining your dog's attention, quickly turn and walk away from the other dog while repeating "leave it" until your dog settles.
6) Once your dog settles, regain sit, stay, watch me and re-open the "Bar".
9) If you feel as though the situation might become dangerous, place more distance than the width of a sidewalk between your dog and the other dog, but DON'T take the other dog out of site by crossing the street. Find an alley, driveway or yard to step into until the other dog passes, but continue sit, stay, watch me, and "Bar Open" while you wait for the other dog to pass.
You might be thinking, "I could have simply avoided all that effort and display if I had just crossed the road before my dog ever reacted," and you are correct. But what happens when you can't avoid coming into close contact with another dog? Isn't it better to fix the problem so you never have to worry about being put into a dangerous position?
Training takes consistency and patience, but your dog WILL start to associate that every time a new dog is around it's a VERY positive thing. Ask some friends if they will practice with you, and Gatsby and I are also more than happy to help out some fellow canine friends, so feel free to give us a call.
As a dog walker, I often get asked for recommendations of pet boutiques, veterinarians, groomers, parks and more. There are some great reference books available (The Dog Lover's Companion to Chicago by Margaret Littman and City Dog : Chicago come to mind), but it seems impossible to find a comprehensive map online that outlines all the great dog friendly places Chicago has to offer.
I decided it's time we all work together to put together the ultimate resource for any dog lover looking for something dog related in Chicago, and I'm hoping you can help me continue to add to the map based on your experiences. I have only begun inputting my favorite spots to take Gatsby, but I thought parks, pet boutiques, non-profits and vet services would be a good beginning. I plan to add people shops (i.e. Best Buy and Clark Street Ale House) that are puppy friendly after I add the dog businesses I know.
So please, check out the Google map I started and submit your comments to my blog about the places you think need to be on the map, and I'll add them asap!
You can visit the full map by clicking here, and a sneak peek is included below :-)
View Get Pet's Favorite Spots for Dogs in Chicago in a larger map
Growing up in the country in Pennsylvania gave me tons of experience with animals from a very early age. I later pursued a career in horseback riding and also have experience as a veterinary technician. I have a strong passion for animals and have an uncanny ability to connect with all sorts of furry friends.