Advertisements

Penny’s First Swim Lesson at the Dog-Friendly Beach

Nearly every description of Rhodesian Ridgebacks, no matter where you read it, mentions the breed is not fond of water – be it in a bathtub or an ocean. Overall, I have to say I agree with the standard because I know multiple Ridgebacks who refuse to put their paws on the grass when there’s a morning dew.

Knowing this, I gave Eko lots of positive experiences at dog beaches when he was a pup and now he loves to plunge into the water. He’ll usually only swim if I do, but I feel good knowing he can handle himself. I want to make sure Penny feels equally comfortable in the water so we headed to the beach specifically to practice her doggy paddle.
Rhodesian Ridgeback, puppy, dog beach, dog friendly beach, chicago, montrose beach. adventure, marking our territory

Eko helpfully goaded Penny on the shoreline and then dashed out towards me in the water

Rhodesian Ridgeback, puppy, dog beach, dog friendly beach, chicago, montrose beach. adventure, marking our territory

I was happy to see Penny confidently follow suit

Rhodesian Ridgeback, puppy, dog beach, dog friendly beach, chicago, montrose beach. adventure, marking our territory

She splashed up to her chest but suddenly stopped when Eko turned around

Rhodesian Ridgeback, puppy, dog beach, dog friendly beach, chicago, montrose beach. adventure, marking our territory

“Oh, the little pup is afraid!” I cooed. I should have known better. She was just waiting for Eko to look the other way…

Rhodesian Ridgeback, puppy, dog beach, dog friendly beach, chicago, montrose beach. adventure, marking our territory

The little huntress took a stalking bounce

Rhodesian Ridgeback, puppy, dog beach, dog friendly beach, chicago, montrose beach. adventure, marking our territory

And then exploded out of the water!

Rhodesian Ridgeback, puppy, dog beach, dog friendly beach, chicago, montrose beach. adventure, marking our territory

By the time Eko saw her coming, it was too late. The hover-dog was out for play-revenge

Rhodesian Ridgeback, puppy, dog beach, dog friendly beach, chicago, montrose beach. adventure, marking our territory

The titans splashed in the shallows. It wasn’t swimming, but it was…something

Rhodesian Ridgeback, puppy, dog beach, dog friendly beach, chicago, montrose beach. adventure, marking our territory

I broke up the ruckus and for a moment we got back to our lesson. Penny took her first few puppy paddles…

Rhodesian Ridgeback, puppy, dog beach, dog friendly beach, chicago, montrose beach. adventure, marking our territory

But only so she could get back to rumbling with her big brother

Rhodesian Ridgeback, puppy, dog beach, dog friendly beach, chicago, montrose beach. adventure, marking our territory

Eko was ready this time and caught Penny mid-air. Like all big brothers do, he promptly proceeded to dunk her

Rhodesian Ridgeback, puppy, dog beach, dog friendly beach, chicago, montrose beach. adventure, marking our territory

Undeterred, Penny sprang to the surface and gave chase

Rhodesian Ridgeback, puppy, dog beach, dog friendly beach, chicago, montrose beach. adventure, marking our territory

“Guys, the swim lesson? Guys???” 

Well, the good news is Penny seems to have ZERO trepidation about water. The bad news is that the swim lesson was a bit of a bust. But it was certainly fun to watch. Sometimes things work best when you don’t get caught up in a lesson plan. Or at least that’s what I tell myself!

There’s still time left before the lake gets too cold, so hopefully I will report back soon with Penny’s first real swim.

Advertisements

Best Beach Buds

Winter isn’t making it easy, but Spring is waging a desperate struggle to shake off the cold and gray skies. Yesterday the sun peaked out just long enough to remind us to keep hope alive. And what better way to enjoy the moment than to hit the beach with your best friend?

 For the first time in a long time, the beach was all sand. No snow, no ice, just beautiful sand

Eko and his pal Riley went on an excavation to see what treasures winter had hidden

The two worked feverishly to uncover their prize – a sand-aged stick

Which Riley promptly stole! Eko took off in hot pursuit

It was a blast watching the two race up and down the beach

Eko pounced…

And bounced! But he just couldn’t get Riley to give up the stick

So Eko just found his own stick to enjoy

Which of course made Riley quite jealous

Another pup also schemed to steal Eko’s prize

So he chased her off

Only to discover Riley was after his unguarded stick

Eko managed to steal back his prize and spent the remainder of our trip luxuriating in the sand

Sometimes when things are cold and gray, just a bit of sunshine makes all the difference. Thankfully, when the sun is not around I have Eko. But we’re both much happier with the sun – get a move on spring!

Puss In Boots: Volume Two

Last year I learned how hard a city winter can be on a pup’s paws.  Between frigid temperatures, unforgiving pavement and minefields of rock salt, there are a lot of ways for a dog’s paws to get injured.  I invested in a pair of dog boots that Eko initially hated but he eventually came to recognize them as the sign of an imminent winter adventure. 

It is a cold and snowy week here in Chicago, so before today’s run I decided it was time to break out Eko’s boot for the season.  I hoped he would remember all the fun he had last year in his boots, but unfortunately that was not the case.

Rhodesian Ridgeback, adventure, dog blog, dogs, photos, pets, adventure, chicago, winter, dog boots

Eko warily sniffed the bag as soon as I set it down

Rhodesian Ridgeback, adventure, dog blog, dogs, photos, pets, adventure, chicago, winter, dog boots

He then examined each boot carefully

Rhodesian Ridgeback, adventure, dog blog, dogs, photos, pets, adventure, chicago, winter, dog boots

And promptly attempted to destroy one

Much to my chagrin, Eko will have to relearn to become comfortable in his boots. Although I have to admit the learning process is absolutely hilarious.

Rhodesian Ridgeback, adventure, dog blog, dogs, photos, pets, adventure, chicago, winter, dog boots

Once I got him in his boots, Eko stood perfectly still like this and refused to move.  Eventually though I did manage to get him out the door

Rhodesian Ridgeback, adventure, dog blog, dogs, photos, pets, adventure, chicago, winter, dog bootsLike last year, Eko was all “woe, is me!” at first but I did coax him into a nice short jog to help him remember that the boots aren’t so bad

I have to admit that I was a bit exasperated with the process and wondered if it was really necessary to boot Eko up for our runs.  The universe sent me a loud and clear answer when Eko lost one of his boots in a snow bank.  We ran for a while before I noticed, so for part of the run his pad was unprotected.  Back at home, I was surprised by the difference between Eko’s protected and unprotected paws.

Rhodesian Ridgeback, adventure, dog blog, dogs, photos, pets, adventure, chicago, winter, dog boots

Like all Ridgebacks, Eko has thick paw pads.  He has built up some healthy, protective calluses from our adventures.  As you can see though, his unprotected paw looks raw and sore

Luckily the damage to Eko’s paw was strictly superficial.  Although I’m not glad I had to dig through a snow bank to find the boot, I am glad I got this reminder about the importance of protecting Eko’s paws on our runs.  If you have an active pup, I highly recommend looking into a pair of boots for the winter.  There is a bit of a learning curve, but at least it is a funny learning curve to watch!  Another good way to help keep your dog’s paws healthy this winter is to use Musher’s Secret – a Vaseline like paw-protectant that’s very easy to apply.

Winter time romps may require a bit more effort and equipment but they are definitely well worth the effort!

This Little Doggy Went To Market

I love visiting downtown Chicago, especially during the holiday season. Unfortunately, since Eko is not allowed on the El (subway system) it means that I have to drive downtown if I want to bring him.  And if I drive downtown then I have the dreaded task of figuring out where to park.

Last week, when I planned a trip to Chicago’s Christkindlmarket, I figured there had to be an better way to find a spot than driving around in circles for hours or paying a lot of money.   And I figured right.


Parking Panda is an app I found that lets you find and reserve parking ahead of time

Eko found a spot right by the market for much cheaper than what I paid last year.  I booked it and we were off in no time. Nice app to keep handy for future trips downtown

rhodesian ridgeback, dogs, adventure, chicago, pet friendly, dog blogThe market is pet-friendly, but Eko wanted to double check with security

rhodesian ridgeback, dogs, adventure, chicago, pet friendly, dog blog

Eko has a discerning eye so he helped me check out some potential presents

rhodesian ridgeback, dogs, adventure, chicago, pet friendly, dog blog

The fragile stuff was pretty to look at, but Eko’s big tail has been known to do damage so we admired it from afar


rhodesian ridgeback, dogs, adventure, chicago, pet friendly, dog blog

The eternal flame in Daley Plaza is a popular attraction with all sorts of locals

rhodesian ridgeback, dogs, adventure, chicago, pet friendly, dog blog“Room for one more?”


rhodesian ridgeback, dogs, adventure, chicago, pet friendly, dog blog

The real Santa loves pets, but unfortunately his stand-in in Chicago does not

 

rhodesian ridgeback, dogs, adventure, chicago, pet friendly, dog blog

Nevertheless we had a great time walking through the market and gearing up for the holidays

I’m probably gained about five pounds on Thanksgiving, but hopefully keeping up with Eko as we sprint towards Christmas should help with that.   Hope everyone had a great holiday!

[VIDEO] – Dog Friendly Hiking At Starved Rock

Our trip to Starved Rock State Park provided a nice change of scenery and the views were a welcome break from the cityscape.  You can check out some of the fun from the day in this quick video I put together.

The weekend is always a welcome change of scenery from the week – hope everyone has a good one!

Hiking The Trails At Starved Rock State Park

I love Chicago in the summer time.  The beaches and parks come to life and there is always something fun to do.  However, every once in a while it’s nice to trade the big city for something a bit more serene, so yesterday Eko and I took a day trip down to Starved Rock state park.

 

Rhodesian RIdgeback, dog adventure, dog photos, pet-friendly places, petcentric, hiking with your dog, marking our territory

 

Starved Rock is Illinois most popular state park and it’s also dog-friendly!

Rhodesian RIdgeback, dog adventure, dog photos, pet-friendly places, petcentric, hiking with your dog, marking our territory

It was a beautiful day and Starved Rock was a welcome change of scenery. No cars, no trains, no loud city sounds – just miles of trails to explore and enjoy

Rhodesian RIdgeback, dog adventure, dog photos, pet-friendly places, petcentric, hiking with your dog, marking our territory

This dead tree was the perfect spot for Eko to hide and keep a lookout for deer

Rhodesian RIdgeback, dog adventure, dog photos, pet-friendly places, petcentric, hiking with your dog, marking our territory

It’s the height of the dry season so we didn’t get to see any of Starved Rock’s well-known waterfalls.  But we did get to explore the waterfall canyons which was a lot of fun – they definitely make you feel small

Rhodesian RIdgeback, dog adventure, dog photos, pet-friendly places, petcentric, hiking with your dog, marking our territory

We looped back along a rolling and quiet riverfront trail. Sometimes no sound is the best sound of all 

Rhodesian RIdgeback, dog adventure, dog photos, pet-friendly places, petcentric, hiking with your dog, marking our territory

Someone was pretty pleased with himself for making the climb up to the riverfront lookout


Rhodesian RIdgeback, dog adventure, dog photos, pet-friendly places, petcentric, hiking with your dog, marking our territory

After a long day of hiking, Eko happily relaxed in the shade with some well-earned water and treats

Starved Rock State Park is a bit of a haul from Chicago, but it was well worth the drive. It’s always fun to visit somewhere new and it’s even more fun when you have a four-legged adventurer with you!

 

Eko’s Unexpected Audition For The Role Of Snow White

As I mentioned in last Friday’s video, Eko gets a kick out of bobbing for tennis balls at the beach.

 

Rhodesian Ridgeback, Rhodesian Ridgeback photos, dog adventure, marking our territory, dog blog, petcentric

He isn’t big on fetch but Eko gets a kick out of dropping tennis balls into the water and then snatching them back up

Rhodesian Ridgeback, Rhodesian Ridgeback photos, dog adventure, marking our territory, dog blog, petcentric During the summer the dog beach is littered with tennis balls of all colors and sizes so I didn’t think much when Eko went after this red “ball.”

Rhodesian Ridgeback, Rhodesian Ridgeback photos, dog adventure, marking our territory, dog blog, petcentricBut then I saw him lick his lips. “That can’t be what I think it is…” I thought

Rhodesian Ridgeback, Rhodesian Ridgeback photos, dog adventure, marking our territory, dog blog, petcentric

As the gears in my brain were still turning Eko went down to retrieve his bounty

Rhodesian Ridgeback, Rhodesian Ridgeback photos, dog adventure, marking our territory, dog blog, petcentric

 

It was an apple!  Eko literally went bobbing for apples!  I didn’t have that activity on our bucket list but I guess I will have to add it and cross it off

Rhodesian Ridgeback, Rhodesian Ridgeback photos, dog adventure, marking our territory, dog blog, petcentric

Of course, Eko immediately dashed off with his prize, and the good citizens of Chicago enjoyed watching me sprint after him

Luckily Eko didn’t take a bite out of the mystery apple, but as always, his post-beach slumber was as deep as Snow White’s sleep was.  Today Eko is back to his regular role of playing Happy and I remain rightfully cast as Dopey!

[VIDEO] Pooches In The Ballpark – Our Pet-Friendly Adventure To St. Louis

Our trip to last Saturday’s Pooches In The Ballpark was an absolute blast and I had a lot of fun going through all the video footage we got.  Hope you enjoy it as well!

 

More Highlights From Pooches In The Ballpark

All the good stuff from our awesome trip to Pooches In The Ballpark just couldn’t fit in one post, so I wanted to share a few more highlights…like Eko and I getting on the jumbotron!

Rhodesian Ridgeback, pet adventure, dog blog, pooches in the ballpark, st louis cardinals, petcentric, marking our territory

 

The camera on Eko’s back attracted the attention of the host and we got our fifteen seconds of fame on the big screen.  However, Eko was nowhere near the most interestingly adorned pup at the park

Rhodesian Ridgeback, pet adventure, dog blog, pooches in the ballpark, st louis cardinals, petcentric, marking our territory Now that is a dedicated fan!  The costumes and get-ups at the parade were each more outrageous and fun than the next

Rhodesian Ridgeback, pet adventure, dog blog, pooches in the ballpark, st louis cardinals, petcentric, marking our territory

This fancy little lady stole a smooch from Eko before trotting away.  He didn’t even get her name…

Rhodesian Ridgeback, pet adventure, dog blog, pooches in the ballpark, st louis cardinals, petcentric, marking our territoryThe baseball players weren’t the only professionals at the stadium. This duo showed us how flying disc catching is really done.  We have a lot to practice!


Rhodesian Ridgeback, pet adventure, dog blog, pooches in the ballpark, st louis cardinals, petcentric, marking our territory

Eko taking in the sights, smells and sounds of one incredible event

That about covers it for photos, but I have started to go through the video and I was fortunate enough to record a lot of fun footage.  Time to get back to work so I can have the video ready for Friday, have a great day everyone.

Our Incredible Day At Pooches In The Ballpark

 Most Saturdays Eko and I hop in the car and head to the dog park, but this past Saturday we drove just a bit further than usual so we could attend Pooches in the Ballpark at the St. Louis Cardinals game.  It was a long ride and we had to dodge some flash floods, but the payoff was well worth it!

Pooches in the Park, marking our territory, petcentric, purina, st. louis cardinals, dog adventure, dog blog

Nearly four-hundred four-legged fans showed up to cheer on the Cardinals


Pooches in the Park, marking our territory, petcentric, purina, st. louis cardinals, dog adventure, dog blog This nice couple wanted a photo with Eko

Major League games are always fun but Saturday had a special atmosphere thanks to all the dogs.  Dogs have that uncanny ability to spread smiles so it was incredible to witness four-hundred happy hounds make an entire stadium smile!

The day kicked off with a pregame parade around the stadium where the dogs got to strut their stuff.

 
Pooches in the Park, marking our territory, petcentric, purina, st. louis cardinals, dog adventure, dog blog

I wanted a photo, Eko wanted to dig!

Pooches in the Park, marking our territory, petcentric, purina, st. louis cardinals, dog adventure, dog blog

I wanted a photo, Eko wanted to get back to the parade!

Pooches in the Park, marking our territory, petcentric, purina, st. louis cardinals, dog adventure, dog blog

It was a blast to see all the dogs parade across the jumbotron 

Pooches in the Park, marking our territory, petcentric, purina, st. louis cardinals, dog adventure, dog blogEko taking it all in

After the parade the dogs (and the humans lucky enough to be with them) took over center field where we had a perfect view of the action.  We even got to watch the K9 unit throw out the “First Fetch.”  The crowd loved it.

Pooches in the Park, marking our territory, petcentric, purina, st. louis cardinals, dog adventure, dog blog

“What do you mean I can’t go after the ball?”

Pooches in the Park, marking our territory, petcentric, purina, st. louis cardinals, dog adventure, dog blog

The entire night was dog-themed and the jumbotron had lots of fun stuff on screen.  Most notably, the kisscam gets a lot more “awww”‘s when dogs are involved

Pooches in the Park, marking our territory, petcentric, purina, st. louis cardinals, dog adventure, dog blog

 

One of my favorite parts of the night was the Cardinals players teaming up with the APA to help some awesome shelter dogs find a home

Pooches in the Park, marking our territory, petcentric, purina, st. louis cardinals, dog adventure, dog blog

I also loved watching all the people enjoy the night with their best friends.  Speaking of which, I don’t have enough fingers and toes to count all the new friends I made on Saturday.  It’s another one of those dog powers – they make us more friendly.

Pooches in the Park, marking our territory, petcentric, purina, st. louis cardinals, dog adventure, dog blog

The simple things in life are the best and watching the game with Eko at my side is a memory I will always treasure.  Great dog, great game, great night!

Pooches in the Park, marking our territory, petcentric, purina, st. louis cardinals, dog adventure, dog blog

 

After a fun filled day, the pups were dog tired

Unfortunately the Cardinals did not win the game but they certainly won over some fans. We had such an incredible day and I hope other teams will be inspired to host their own pooches in the park events.

As you can see, Eko had the Ekocam going and I focused a lot more on taking video than photos in hopes that we could better capture the spirit of the event.  I have a lot of footage to sort through and hopefully Eko got some good stuff.  Check back later this week to see what we got – it’s sure to be a lot of fun.

Thanks to the Cardinals and Purina for putting together such a great event!