Advertisements

A New Adventure With An Old Friend

Wedding season ends for me with a coast to coast itinerary over the next two weekends. Next week I will drive to New Jersey for my cousin’s wedding and Eko will of course be my faithful copilot for that trip.  But this weekend I take to the skies and travel to California for my good friend’s wedding.  Since Eko’s tux won’t be ready in time for California, he opted to stay in Chicago.

The good news is that Eko will stay with my friend Rachel and her pup, Riley – who was one of Eko’s very first friends.

Rhodesian Ridgeback, rhodesian ridgeback photos, dog adventure, marking our territory, dog blog, dog photos

At one point Eko and Riley were the same size!

Rhodesian Ridgeback, rhodesian ridgeback photos, dog adventure, marking our territory, dog blog, dog photos

But I think that “one point” probably lasted all of ten minutes

Rhodesian Ridgeback, rhodesian ridgeback photos, dog adventure, marking our territory, dog blog, dog photos

Eko’s sleepover meant that I spent this morning packing each of us a bag

Rhodesian Ridgeback, rhodesian ridgeback photos, dog adventure, marking our territory, dog blog, dog photos

And of course Eko came in with his “Hey, what’s going on here?” face

Rhodesian Ridgeback, rhodesian ridgeback photos, dog adventure, marking our territory, dog blog, dog photosWhich was quickly followed by his sad “Hey, I know what’s going on here and I don’t like it one bit!” face

This is one of those times I could really use an English-To-Dog translation device.  Even though Eko is going to have a great weekend with a great friend, he doesn’t know that so he is resigned to pouting.  With a good romp and a few treats before I go, I’m sure he won’t miss me a bit.

Well, maybe I would be ok with him missing me just a little bit!

 

Advertisements

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.


Rhodesian Ridgeback, dog blog, pet adventure, dog adventure, marking our territory

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

Rhodesian Ridgeback, dog model

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

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

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

Rhodesian Ridgeback, marking our territory, dog fashion

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!

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!


Rhodesian Ridgeback, Rhodesian Ridgeback puppy, Rhodesian Ridgeback photo, dog adventure, dog blog, marking our territory, petcentric

Eko with his first stuffed toy

Rhodesian Ridgeback, Rhodesian Ridgeback puppy, Rhodesian Ridgeback photo, dog adventure, dog blog, marking our territory, petcentric

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

Rhodesian Ridgeback, Rhodesian Ridgeback puppy, Rhodesian Ridgeback photo, dog adventure, dog blog, marking our territory, petcentric

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

Rhodesian Ridgeback, Rhodesian Ridgeback puppy, Rhodesian Ridgeback photo, dog adventure, dog blog, marking our territory, petcentric

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

Rhodesian Ridgeback, Rhodesian Ridgeback puppy, Rhodesian Ridgeback photo, dog adventure, dog blog, marking our territory, petcentric

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

Rhodesian Ridgeback, Rhodesian Ridgeback puppy, Rhodesian Ridgeback photo, dog adventure, dog blog, marking our territory, petcentric

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

Rhodesian Ridgeback, Rhodesian Ridgeback puppy, Rhodesian Ridgeback photo, dog adventure, dog blog, marking our territory, petcentric

It’s always the cute ones who are troublemakers!

Rhodesian Ridgeback, Rhodesian Ridgeback puppy, Rhodesian Ridgeback photo, dog adventure, dog blog, marking our territory, petcentric

Out on one of our first adventures

Rhodesian Ridgeback, Rhodesian Ridgeback puppy, Rhodesian Ridgeback photo, dog adventure, dog blog, marking our territory, petcentric

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!

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!

 

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

Rhodesian Ridgeback, rhodesian ridgeback photos, pet adventure, dog blog, marking our territory, petcentric

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!

Rhodesian Ridgeback, rhodesian ridgeback photos, pet adventure, dog blog, marking our territory, petcentric

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

Rhodesian Ridgeback, rhodesian ridgeback photos, pet adventure, dog blog, marking our territory, petcentric

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

Rhodesian Ridgeback, rhodesian ridgeback photos, pet adventure, dog blog, marking our territory, petcentric

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!

Rhodesian Ridgeback, rhodesian ridgeback photos, pet adventure, dog blog, marking our territory, petcentric

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

Rhodesian Ridgeback, rhodesian ridgeback photos, pet adventure, dog blog, marking our territory, petcentric

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

Rhodesian Ridgeback, rhodesian ridgeback photos, pet adventure, dog blog, marking our territory, petcentric

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

Rhodesian Ridgeback, rhodesian ridgeback photos, pet adventure, dog blog, marking our territory, petcentric

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.

 

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!

The Ultimate Pet Product Everyone Should (And Does) Own

We humans like to think of ourselves as pretty clever but sometimes we can be downright unimaginative.  Thankfully we have our pets to remind us that a little imagination goes a long way. Take couches for example, they occupy the most space in our living rooms but all we ever use them for is sitting. Eko is happy to remind me on a daily basis that a couch is much more than a place to sit.

Rhodesian Ridgeback, Rhodesian Ridgeback photos, marking our territory, dog blog, dog adventure, pet adventure, petcentric, dog loves couch, funny

Of course, first and foremost a couch is a place to snooze

Rhodesian Ridgeback, Rhodesian Ridgeback photos, marking our territory, dog blog, dog adventure, pet adventure, petcentric, dog loves couch, funny

And yes, it’s a place to sit, but it is much more than that

Rhodesian Ridgeback, Rhodesian Ridgeback photos, marking our territory, dog blog, dog adventure, pet adventure, petcentric, dog loves couch, funny

With a couple couches and an ottoman, Eko likes to play “the floor is lava” game 

Rhodesian Ridgeback, Rhodesian Ridgeback photos, marking our territory, dog blog, dog adventure, pet adventure, petcentric, dog loves couch, funny

En route to another successful trip across the treacherous lava

Rhodesian Ridgeback, Rhodesian Ridgeback photos, marking our territory, dog blog, dog adventure, pet adventure, petcentric, dog loves couch, funny

The couch makes an excellent lookout nest for bird watching 

Rhodesian Ridgeback, Rhodesian Ridgeback photos, marking our territory, dog blog, dog adventure, pet adventure, petcentric, dog loves couch, funny

And it offers a convenient place to store dog toys

Rhodesian Ridgeback, Rhodesian Ridgeback photos, marking our territory, dog blog, dog adventure, pet adventure, petcentric, dog loves couch, funny

Agility courses aren’t just for the dog park. What is Eko’s preferred method for getting from here…

Rhodesian Ridgeback, Rhodesian Ridgeback photos, marking our territory, dog blog, dog adventure, pet adventure, petcentric, dog loves couch, funny

…to here?

Rhodesian Ridgeback, Rhodesian Ridgeback photos, marking our territory, dog blog, dog adventure, pet adventure, petcentric, dog loves couch, funny

Air mail, of course!

So when is a couch not a couch?  When you have a pet – then it is the ultimate all-in-one pet pleasing product! 

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

RHodesian Ridgeback, Rhodesian Rigeback photos, marking our territory, pet adventure

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!

Eko’s Happy Place

Eko is a seasoned traveler, so when we hit the road he usually sleeps until we reach our destination.  There is however one notable exception to this rule.  Eko knows EXACTLY how to get to the beach and if he sees that’s where we’re going he fidgets and wags his tail like crazy for the entire ride.  Eko loves romping in parks, through fields and up mountains, but there is no doubt in my mind that his favorite place in the entire world is the beach.

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

The beach gives Eko some extra pep to his step

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

 

Our trips to the beach always begin with Eko’s happy dance

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

In between romps Eko can cool off in the water – and when circumstances permit, steal toys from his friends

Rhodesian Ridgeback. dog adventure, Rhodesian Ridgeback photos, dog blog, dog beach, petcentric, marking our territoryMaybe it’s because he is a puppy at heart, but Eko LOVES playing with puppies.  There’s no better place than the beach for herding some of the little guys


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

Friends of all sizes are plentiful at the beach – this is what it looks like for one of those friends when Eko is coming over to play 

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

I love watching the sand whip up as Eko and friends fly across the beach

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

After a trip to the beach Eko is guaranteed to be very tired and very happy

Maybe its our New Jersey roots, but I’m with Eko – nothing beats a day at the beach! Does your pet have a favorite place?

 

[VIDEO] Lights, Camera, Action!

Warm summer evenings invite us to get out and enjoy the night, but after dark it is usually lights out for any outdoor playtime with Eko.  Unless…

 

 

Nite Ize, Planet Dog, Chuckit and a number of other manufacturers all make glow in the dark/LED equipment.  Chicago is well lit, but I still plan to use the LED collar on any longer night time walks.  I highly recommend looking into some light up toys for your dog, Eko got a total kick out of them and they help keep us both safe.