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Fashion Has Gone To The Dogs. And Eko Wants A Piece!

As I have mentioned before, someone at GQ Magazine definitely reads this blog and has borrowed a few fashion tips from Eko.  But really, that’s just the beginning.  The more I look around, the more I realize that dogs are taking over the world of fashion and advertising.  More brands and commercials seem to use dogs and I just read that Abercrombie and Fitch now has seven new dog models.

Then I got to wondering, what’s stopping Eko from getting in on the dog model craze? As is usually the case, the problem was me!  Eko’s got the looks and the style, he just needed a quick photo shoot to show his stuff to the world.


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Need a young professional look? Eko has you covered, he is only two and he has his own blog

 

CEO EKO

Looking for a guy who can pull off a “contemplative CEO” then Mr. Eko is the dog for you

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If you want your Spring Collection to look its best, give Eko a call

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Do you have a new line of workout clothes?  Well look no further for your next dog model

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And for tasteful/artistic shots, Eko is happy to pose in his birthday suit

Alright, I think we’re ready to rock and roll.  Next time we see a casting call for a dog model, we’ll be ready!  Now just have to figure out if there is such a thing as a casting call for dog models.  In any event, we at least learned one thing from our shoot – Eko looks better in my clothes than I do!

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Opening Up The Puppy Photo Archives

In the past I have posted a few photos of Eko when he was a puppy and a number of people suggested I post some more.  Unfortunately, I didn’t get snap-happy with my camera until Eko was a bit older so I don’t have a lot of puppy photos to begin with. Nevertheless I have been meaning to dig through all my folders and scrounge together the puppy photos I could find.  I’m glad I did it because it was fun to remember that Eko was not always a big knucklehead, he started as a little knucklehead first!


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Eko with his first stuffed toy

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Eko, shortly before destroying his first (of many) stuffed toys

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Eko and his brother Petey reunited for the first time.  Of course, much romping and tumbling ensued 

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He was a contortionist snoozer from the day I brought him home

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When he wasn’t sleeping Eko liked to carry sticks that were bigger than he was

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Taking his first bite (*sigh*…of many) out of a shoe

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It’s always the cute ones who are troublemakers!

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Out on one of our first adventures

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Soaking up the sun in his favorite spot

Thanks again to those who reminded me I should get all these puppy photos in one place, it was so much fun to remember the puppy days.  And make sure to learn from my mistake, don’t wait to take photos of your puppy or kitten – they’ll be all grown up before you know it!

A Transformation Under The Full Moon

Our evening walk last week was spent under a full moon.


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The streets were quiet and Eko stared at the moon with a mischievous twinkle in his eye

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Back at home everything seemed normal…

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But then I started hearing low werewolf-like growls from Eko’s contorted body

Rhodesian Ridgeback, dog adventure, marking our territory, petcentric, rhodesian ridgeback photosHe rolled over, writing as if he was about to transform into a monster


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And then the fanged beast appeared!  Or at least it looked that way to me.

Turns out that Eko was just having one of his “sleepwalking” episodes that never fail to crack me up.  I particularly enjoy his “monster face” where on the frequent occasions Eko falls asleep upside down (no clue how that’s comfortable) his mouth droops and his “fangs” show.

Anyone else have a pup who sleeps upside down like that?

 

[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.

 

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

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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

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

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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

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

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


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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!

 

What Does Your Pet’s Tail Tell You?

You have to admit that at first glance tails are not exactly awe inspiring.  Anatomically, tails are just about the simplest body part around, which is why it is even more impressive just how much information our pets can convey with nothing but their tails.  I swear, Eko is more articulate with his tail than I am with my words.  Here are my top ten favorite types of tail-wag-messages that Eko sends.

1. “Where have you been all my life!?” – If I leave Eko for over a half hour, it might as well be a lifetime.  This tail wag is definitely my favorite.  He wags his tail so hard and fast that it seems to hit him on both sides of his body at the same time.  You can see him swinging his tail with reckless abandon at the beginning of the above video

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2. “Please don’t get mad!” – When Eko knows I’m upset he will run to the couch and look away from me.  He wags the bottom third of his tail very rapidly against the couch begging for forgiveness.  It’s hard to stay mad for long!

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3. “Glad you’re home, but I’m pretty tired right now” – Normally I get the royal treatment when I walk in the door, but sometimes Eko just can’t be bothered to get up.  He will lazily wag his tail in appreciation of my return but that’s all he can manage

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4. “Is what I think is about to happen about to happen!?” – If Eko gets the inkling that something good is about to happen – a walk, a trip to the park, or an incoming treat (the above photo) – he immediately sits down and remains still. Except for the very tip of his tail, he just can’t help himself and those last few inches of tail wag with anticipation

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5. “I’ll never eat the trash again, I promise!” – Once Eko knows I have forgiven him for his latest transgression he always comes over to apologize with lots of kisses.  You can also see the relief in the way he wags his tail to disperse the built up tension

6. “Am I good, or what!?” – At the very end of the above video you can see Eko’s triumphant tail wag.  He holds his tail high and shows off big time!

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7. “Shh, be wewy wewy quiet, I’m hunting wabbits.” – When he spots a rabbit Eko will initially freeze.  Then his tail begins to slowly waver in excitement for the hunt.  It is at that point I know to redouble my hold on the leash

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8. “What’s that???” – Also known as “radar tail,” Eko’s tail will swing in low sweeping arcs when he is scoping out something new or trying to decide what to do next

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9. “I have no idea what’s going on.” – When Eko’s brain gets scrambled, so do the signals that go to his tail.  Meeting Emily’s niece was such mental overload for Eko that it broke his tail-control system.  His tail would erratically swing all over the place and then just stop completely

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10. “You said the magic word!!!” – If we’re home, “walk” and “hungry” are the magic words and if we’re out the magic words are “go play!”  Eko’s tail goes from 0-60 in about one second flat and then is not much more than a wagging blur

There is a way to say just about anything with a tail.  What your favorite tail-message you get from your pet?

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.

 

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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

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

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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

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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!

How Eko Does His Part To Keep Chicago Healthy

If you’re feeling sad or down or bored, Dr. Eko is the dog to see.  He can get rid of the blues or rescue you from the doldrums in no time at all.  If however you have any other ailments, Dr. Eko recommends you head to the hospital, where you might see another recognizable face, Dr. Emily!

 

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The two doctors having one of their typical consults

However, in order to see Doctor Emily at the hospital she has to get there first, which is sometimes easier said than done.  Emily is working nights right now and it can be tough for her to adjust.  Luckily Eko is more than happy to help.  We had dinner here the other night and afterwards Emily wanted to lay on the couch for “just a minute” before work.

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As expected, one minute turned into five minutes

Five minutes nearly turned into ten minutes, so I gave Eko the signal to give Emily his patented triple-kiss-guaranteed-to-get-your-butt-up-wake-up-call.

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Emily was up, wide awake and off to work in record time.  Chicago needs its doctor and its doctor needs Eko to get her to work. Eko is more than happy to oblige!

[VIDEO] Eko’s Tips For Beating The Heat

Summertime is the high season for adventure but it’s also prime time for our pets to overheat.  That’s why whenever I head out with Eko I take a few simple precautions to make sure that he stays hydrated and cool.  As an added bonus, solutions to beating the heat can be fun and tasty too!

Hope everyone stays cool!

The Art Of Two Dogs At Play

Watching two dogs play together always makes me smile.  Their exuberance and joy is transcendent.  The ballet of two dogs at play is so well choreographed I often forget that the dogs met for the first time less than a minute before the dance began!

How do dogs know what the rules of play are? Sure pups usually get basic bite control and socialization when they’re young, but aside from that it seems to me like playing is an art and our dogs are lifelong artists who make up the rules as they go.  With Eko I have noticed that he has a wide variety of “brushes” to choose from when he wants to paint a moving portrait.

Bow before the dance

 Eko always begins playtime with a bow

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Usually Eko loves to give chase

The bandit

But the Windy City Bandit also has his methods to encourage another pups to chase him

"Hey, over here!"

There are no weight classes for dogs who want to play, although on more than one occasion a smaller dog has jumped up on Eko without him even noticing

Fearless pup

A direct approach is generally more effective

Evening up the playing field

For smaller dogs, Eko will purposefully even the field by laying down to play

Teaching the puppy

He also lays down to play with puppies.  This lab was hesitant to play, but as soon as Eko layed down the lab pounced.  I guess it’s a much less threatening posture

The clash

Somehow Eko knows not to jump into smaller dogs with all his weight

Getting bigAnd thankfully dogs even bigger than Eko seem to know this rule as well

IMG_6886It doesn’t matter if the friends are old or new, puppy or full grown, runners or wrestlers – as long as Eko gets to play, he leaves the park grinning from ear to ear

I’m not sure how dogs know exactly how to play with each other, but I’m also not sure how artists create their work.  I guess I’m just glad I get to be there to enjoy it!