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Buddy Belt Drama

November 12, 2009

Our precious Wonder Pug has made his feelings known.  He loathes the Buddy Belt. The blessed Buddy Belt is not cheap.  It is one of those items you buy your pooch once he's grown and it is supposed to be your "go-to" harness for all things for the on the go canine.  I bought George his Buddy Belt after he went through a host of harnesses (Puppia) and cool collars, but he outgrew the Puppia brand and would skillfully slip out of it and make a run for it. (From Dirty Dancing: "Nobody puts Georgie in a collar.")

George-on-the-run is quite a site.  He pauses, discovers he's free, and bolts.  But, he doesn't have a great command of his paws and that big body so he looks alot like the Roadrunner when he's getting ready to sprint.   George the Wonder Pug is quite the character.  He wants nothing more than to be right up in your face but don't box him in -- he will break free.  Hence, the Buddy Belt.

When the BB first arrived I was really excited because I think it's great looking and high quality and a true work of genius.   The BB looks alot like a pair of sunglasses when it is flattened out or some say it looks like some kind of S&M device, but it works.   But, our little Georgie doesn't like it.  At first I thought he was just being "George" and would trick him to try and put it on.   It's been a few months now since we have had the BB, but today was the final showing.   He literally hid under the bed when I tried to put it on him.   And, it was Dog Park time...so you know something was definitely up.

To compare -- on Saturday a few of my pals and I headed out to some high-end boutiques in Danville, Dog Bone Alley and Mollie's Pupp Purree.   Adorable stuff abounds in these stores and I can't be trusted to not buy something for my precious boy.   George is the proud owner of a Burberry type harness and leash now and what can I say - the boy's got class.  He LOVES IT!

So, what gives with the darn tootin buddy belt?   I think I have figured out a few things about the blessed belt that might be annoying our little guy.

1.  Leather is pretty stiff and thick.

2.  Inside of belt is pretty hard leather instead of a smoother leather.

3.  I need to get the Buddy Belt Liner!  Yes, they have a liner for the Buddy Belt.

I wrote to the company because they have a good reputation of standing behind their products and I'm not ready to give up on the Buddy Belt.   I will keep you all informed of the response I get...perhaps they will make an extra soft one for George the Wonder Pug.   He is worth it, isn't he?!!


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Howling at the ....puppet?!!

November 11, 2009

That's right, our favorite Wonder Pug has now discovered puppets.  I always watch the Craig Ferguson show and he usually will do a bit with puppets.  Tonight, George saw the puppet on the screen and went nutto.  He barked and pug-talked until commercial.   It just makes me laugh because he is usually so picky about what he will bark at --

1.  Dog barking on TV (only if it is real and not canned barking) -- he will run around in circles trying to find out where that bark is emanating from...

2.  My ringtone when it is an unidentified caller is a dog barking sound...normally I won't get a bark but a pug head-tilt for sure.

3.  UPS, Mail Carrier, Jehovah's Witnesses, FEDEX and any delivery person will get the customary George welcome with a bark at the unanswered door.

4.  And, the most unusual bark of all is the one where whenever he sees an Asian woman over 5'8 walking he will bark incessantly. I'm still stumped on that one.

I look forward to tomorrow's episode of Craig Ferguson.  I hope he uses the puppet again!

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What kind of collar/harness do you use?

November 12, 2009

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Does Your Dog Bark at the TV?

November 11, 2009
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New Yorkers Turn It Around - Success in this Economy

November 2, 2009


Time for Plan B: Many New Yorkers turn job anxiety into opportunity

You say recession, they say reinvention.

While tough economic times may have had them pinching pennies, many New Yorkers have transformed their careers on a dime.

Bouncing back wasn't easy: One learned without advance notice that the Staten Island shop she managed was closing, leaving her jobless and forcing her to lay off 20 workers. Another was touched by what might be called Six Degrees of Bernie Madoff.

"I was a marketing consultant for a large Jewish organization that lost $90 million. In turn, she lost her biggest client. "Four months of no income coming in," she said.

Now, she's running an online dating consulting service she started, eflirtexpert.com.

A disenfranchised Manhattan architect said he started his business "with zero capital from my friend's couch. I called it my business incubator."

No surprise: few new entrepreneurs can say they quickly struck it rich. Yet one choice this group didn't make was to wallow - a critical decision, said Mark Victor Hansen, author of "Cash In A Flash: Fast Money In Slow Times."

"You can lose all of your money and be okay, as long as you don't lose your self-worth," he said.

Meet a handful who found a new route after being knocked off their career path.

Nicole Romagnolo

Before: Retail store manager

After: Co-founder, Fetch Pet Care of Staten Island

Last August, when the Esprit outlet she managed at the Staten Island Mall closed, 34-year-old Nicole Romagnolo lost her paycheck. But she hadn't been happy anyway: "I took it as an opportunity to see where my passions were," she said.

She had always loved animals, but didn't want to be a vet. "I didn't want to do surgery, see them sick and dying. I just wanted to love them!"

Her solution: A stake in a national pet care franchise called Fetch.

After determining that Staten Island was Fetch-free territory, she joined forces with a friend, Loni Rudolph, 29, a former divorce lawyer. They started small, buying up territory one zip code at a time.

"You can start with $5,000 and see where that goes," said Romagnolo, who lives near the mall in New Springville.

Eight months later, they have more than 100 furry clients. Their franchise owns "nearly all of Staten Island."

Romagnolo isn't quite on par with her old salary, but she has a good foundation to grow on: According to a U.S. Chamber of Commerce study, 97% of franchisees were still in business five years after they launched.

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The Dogs Life

November 2, 2009

A Dog's Purpose? <span style="font-size: small; color: #333333;">(from a 6-year-old).

</span>Being a veterinarian, I had been called to examine a ten-year-old Irish Wolfhound named Belker. The dog's owners, Ron, his wife Lisa, and their little boy Shane, were all very attached to Belker, and they were hoping for a miracle.

I examined Belker and found he was dying of cancer. I told the family we couldn't do anything for Belker, and offered to perform the euthanasia procedure for the old dog in their home<span style="font-size: small; color: #333333;">.

</span>As we made arrangements, Ron and Lisa told me they thought it would be good for six-year-old Shane to observe the procedure. They felt as though Shane might learn something from the experience.

The next day, I felt the familiar catch in my throat as Belker's family surrounded him. Shane seemed so calm, petting the old dog for the last time, that I wondered if he understood what was going on. Within a few minutes, Belker slipped peacefully away.

The little boy seemed to accept Belker's transition without any difficulty or confusion. We sat together for a while after Belker's Death, wondering aloud about the sad fact that animal lives are shorter than human lives. Shane, who had been listening quietly, piped up, ''I know why.''

Startled, we all turned to him. What came out of his mouth next stunned me. I'd never heard a more comforting explanation. It has changed the way I try and live.

He said, ''People are born so that they can learn how to live a good life -- like loving everybody all the time and being nice, right?''

The Six-year-old continued, ''Well, dogs already know how to do that, so they don't have to stay as long.''<span style="font-size: small; color: #333333;">

</span><span style="font-size: small; color: #333333;">Live simply.

Love generously. </span><span style="font-size: small; color: #333333;">

</span><span style="font-size: small; color: #333333;">Care deeply.

Speak kindly.

Remember, if a dog was the teacher you would learn things like:

When loved ones come home, always run to greet them.

Never pass up the opportunity to go for a joyride.
<span style="font-size: small; color: #333333;">Allow the experience of fresh air and the wind in your face to be pure Ecstasy.

Take naps.

Stretch before rising.
<span style="font-size: small; color: #333333;">Run, romp, and play daily.

Thrive on attention and let people touch you.
<span style="font-size: small; color: #333333;">Avoid biting when a simple growl will do.

On warm days, stop to lie on your back on the grass.

On hot days, drink lots of water and lie under a shady tree.

When you're happy, dance around and wag your entire body.

Delight in the simple joy of a long walk.

Be loyal.

Never pretend to be something you're</span> not.

<span style="font-size: small; color: #333333;">If what you want lies buried, dig until you find it.

When someone is having a bad day, be silent, sit close by, and nuzzle them gently.

'Animals come into our lives as gifts from God, for companionship, to teach us, and to heal us. They deserve our very best efforts in caring for them'...Dr. Ihor Basko, DVM [/break]

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