Thursday, January 10, 2008

Dog Day Care Review

From time to time i get e-mails asking me to take a look at (and review) a dog related website or service. Typically I click over and browse for a minute or two but it's rare that I see something new or exciting, then I got one from Wag Hotels. Of course Finn already has a sweet place to stay when we leave (CageFree K9's) and Wag's only location is 500 miles away but a few things did get me thinking. Wag was touting "pioneering new standards for pet care. Our pet condos make your furry baby feel at home with a Plasma TV, artwork on the walls, a cushy sofa, raised bedding and web cams, so family and friends can watch their loved ones."

I am generally pretty caring about taking care of Finn, he is a great dog and a specimen of what a golden retriever should be, but.... a plasma TV and artwork as a selling point!?! Finn's favorite thing to do IS sit in front of the TV but most would more aptly describe it as "getting in the way I'm trying to watch something here" and I don't think he really takes any of it in. Wag does look nice though, the rooms seem very clean, and the daily rates are pretty good ($42 for a typical big dog room, $72 for the flat screen and Picaso's). This however raises the question, "Can I stay there with my dog". Look if you're gonna have a swimming pool (Yes they got that too) play time with dogs, television and you'll feed me twice daily all for $72, well let's just say you're doing better then a lot of places I've stayed in the past.

Some of the other nice things Wag is toting, Webcams and 24 hour pickup. If I have any complaints about Cagefree they could be solved by adding these two services. Webcams are just a forgone conclusion for any business that takes care of living beings. It would be nice to get a quick glance at Finn romping around on a webcam and although they don't have them, Cagefree has made Finn a model (check top left of the Cagefree Canines site and Gallery two for this pic, he's the one on the ground in the back)
24 hour pick-up would be also awesome. We try to save ourselves an extra $30 by having someone pickup or drop off Finn if we can't make the set times, but it would be nice to be able to get him the night of a late flight or drop him off the day of an early one.

Leaving a pet with someone requires a lot of trust, Cagefree has the added bonus of being a shelter for a lot of dogs looking for homes. It is this kind of caring, and they way they greet Finn and know him by name, that makes me realize Cagefree actually cares about pets. I wouldn't leave Finn somewhere I didn't trust. Luckily for him when we do it's somewhere he can socialize, but if he starts sitting next to me and taking in television shows at least I know there is a hotel he would like.

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

The New Look

As the few people who return here from time to time should be able to tell I'm switching things up a bit with the layout of the blog. I found a number of fun things I would like to add to make things a little crisper and let people find there way around, but don't worry if you're here to see pictures of a cute golden retriever...
we'll still have that.

Also I've noticed what some of the more popular posts have been. Lots of people came to see Finn's Dogbook page. Although he didn't get too many friends out of it, but if you would like you can add him on your facebook. I'm still a fan of Dogbook but because I am not a big Facebooker myself his profile isn't the central focus of my day.

The other post people seemed to like was the 1-800 Pet Meds review. This is understandable, the first thing I did before making my purchase was run a quick search looking for first hand reviews of the service. As a recap: they did a good job and I liked all the dog products we got from them although the order was slowed because I got Revolution which is a controlled substance thanks to heartworm portion of it. So remember, if you dog starts sucking down the heartworm meds, you may need to seek help.

If there is anything else you like on blogs in general, or if you have suggestions for things you would like to see here let me know via e-mail or the comments.

Oh... and it's a work in progress so if this all gets jumbled tomorrow, my bad.
More to come soon....

Thursday, January 3, 2008

New Years Resolutions

They may be cheesy, and a majority of folks don't keep them, but New Year's resolutions are fun. I'll be making some for myself, work, life, etc. But I wanted to take a second to write down a few pertaining to Finnegan. Putting them in print makes it easier to keep them, or at least easier to remember a few months from now.

The list of my Finnegan-centric resolutions is as follows:

1. Go on more walks.
Right now we go on about 4 a week, including hikes. Part of this low number is worrying about his hips, and of course we don't want to overdo them, but I'm sure he can handle one a day (with possibly a day off depending whether or not he shows any signs of pain).

2. Teach more tricks
As a golden retriever Finnegan is more then capable of learning literally hundreds of commands, right now he knows; Sit, Down, Shake, Roll-over, Drop it, Fetch, Stay (sort of), Up (on a bed/couch), Off
That's 9 commands, and none are perfect. Three times as much would be good but we'll make it a nice round number of 30 and call that a resolution.

3. Groom more
Finn usually gets a bath once a week, but from time to time we miss one. As far as numbers go we'll say at least 54 showers, ear cleanings, and brushing of the teeth will be resolution #3.

4. Continue to smile
I already do this one enough, but I'm fallible and sometimes I do get frustrated with Finnegan so I plan to keep the good times in mind. The resolution will be to smile about something Finn has done at least twice daily, like I said, I do this already but it's fun to make a resolution you KNOW you can keep.