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Wednesday
Sep032014

Block Island Day Trip

When one is blessed with a long weekend such as Labor Day, what does one do? Plan a day trip, of course!

Cooper, Finn and I went to Block Island with my mom on Saturday. She and my dad visited it for the first time last year and brought Cooper a souvenier dog collar with tie so, naturally, I just had to go there myself and check out the inventory. I'll take you through my internal evaluation of how I decided that this trip would be enjoyable for us, 2- and 4-leggeds alike!

Are they allowed on the ferry? Is there an extra charge?

Yes, dogs are allowed at no charge! Depending on the port and boat you choose, the dogs might only be allowed on the outer decks and are always required to be leashed or in a carrier.

Can I take them in the shops and restaurants with me?

Most shops were very welcoming and some just tolerated the dogs being in there but we were not asked to leave any of the several establishments we entered. We ate outside at 2 different restaurants, including The Oar which was awesome!

Are we traveling during their normal meal time(s)?

We scheduled the 12:30 ferry from Newport so the boys had their breakfast. I brought them a few treats and plenty of water for the day and got them home for a slightly later-than-usual dinner so no need to pack a full meal.

Will the elements be too much for the pups to handle?

The weather outlook was fabulous for our trip - no storms or rain on the radar. I did consider the potential that their paws would get quite hot walking around town so we took breaks often, chose grass over pavement when possible, and stayed hydrated.

Are they allowed on the beach?

Ha, well... We learned the dogs are not allowed at Ballards but when we asked about the other beaches, we mostly heard that they were generally tolerated when kept on-leash. There were a few "No Dogs Allowed" that seemed to be overlooked as long as the dogs were well-behaved and no beachgoer lodged a complaint.

Friday
Aug152014

Finn's Firsts

Today is Finn's 1-month ADOPTaversary! To celebrate, I thought I would share with you some of his memorable moments from the past 31 days.

Finn flies on a plane! He made the trip from National Mill Dog Rescue in Colorado back home to Massachusetts with me. He was such a good traveler that the flight attendant didn't even realize there was a dog under my seat until we landed and I smothered him with kisses.

Finn walks on a leash! Since the first day home, Finn has been a very cooperative walking buddy with his snazzy yellow harness and leash. I think having Cooper with us helps since he knows our neighborhood like the back of his paw. A little tangle here and there does release a little spastic reaction so we try our best to keep a steady pace.

Finn knows his name! Many times, families will change the name of their newly adopted dog because they either had another name in mind all along or they just don't think the current name fits with the dog's personality or appearance. Because shelter and rescue dogs typically only have their name for a short while, changing the name right away isn't too confusing. I decided to keep Finn's name because I thought it was just perfect but the truth is, I don't think he knew his name until a good 10 days and when he first responded, my heart swelled :) For the story about the origin of his name, click here.

Finn sleeps on my bed! After 2 nights of Finn whining and me feeling guilty that Cooper was free to roam while Finn was confined to his crate at night, I decided I would rather have Finn sleep on the bed. Instead of transitioning to the big bed right away, I borrowed a newborn co-sleeper from my sister. It allowed me to have Finn at eye-level but also kept him safe since the bed is too high for him to jump off of. Now that I can trust that he won't attempt to leap off the bed, he's cuddling right up with Cooper and me, zzzzz...

Finn learns the "look" command! Because Finn is still very shy around people, he tends to keep his head low. I taught him the "look" command so that he would look up at me and get a treat every time he complied. He is very trusting of me and I'm hoping this will translate with friends and family soon, too. Then onto [kind] strangers.

Finn plays with Cooper! My Cooper is very much a people-loving dog while Finn loves canines companionship so I stopped everything to watch their first wrestling match a few weeks ago. This might actually be more of a milestone for Cooper, but it also speaks to how important it is to know your dog when considering adding another to the crew. I'm one proud momma!

Finn pooped on the mulch and grass! This one might sound strange because, for your normal family dog, this is just par for the course. Puppy mill dogs, however, have a rough start in life and are typically restricted to small cages either suspended above the ground or attached to a small slab of concrete. As you can imagine, Finn became accustomed to "going" on hard/flat surfaces so 9 times out of 10 he goes on the sidewalk. The first time he went in the mulch, I was ecstatic!

Finn plays with toys! So many people have helped me welcome Finn to freedom so naturally he received lots of new toys! I'm guessing that because they didn't have Cooper's scent on them or because he knew they were bought especially for him, he played with a little stuffed Lamb Chop(TM) and a fleece rope just like a real puppy! Cooper has since engaged him in a few tug-of-war battles with some of his favorite stuffies :)

Finn enjoys a bully stick! Initially, Finn did not show interest in treats or snacks, like the homemade frozen yogurt I make for Coop so you can imagine my surprise when he started chomping a bully stick (with his teeny tiny mouth). He will now take a treat from my hand, as long as I offer it to him by pinching it between my fingers (as opposed to an open palm), but he is still unsure of the "healthy" stuff like carrots, apples, blueberries, etc.

Finn goes up stairs! With a lot of encouragement, Finn finally conquered the stairs! On occasion, he will hesitate to start the climb; once his little legs get going, he hops right on up. This is helpful since I'm on the second floor of a 2-family.

Finn goes down a few stairs at a time! The descent, on the other hand, is still a bit of a challenge for Finn. So it is with my assistance that Finn tackles 2-4 stairs every time we head out. I have no doubt that this will be his next major feat!

Finn swims! Okay, it wasn't intentional, but Finn swam in Nana & Pepere's pool! He was chasing Cooper and zigged when he should have zagged and... SPLASH! I went in after him but only because he swam away from the stairs. Go little Finn Finn, go!

Finn sits! No, it's not on command (yet) and it is very rare and for a very short period of time BUT he CAN sit! Finn has luxating patellas, commonly known as "floating kneecaps" where his rear knees sort of become disjointed from time to time. This condition can cause discomfort in some dogs but the vet says that it's relatively common and Finn's getting along just fine.

Finn licked my hand! Finn has been very loving and cuddly with me since day 1, so I was surprised that he hadn't tried to "kiss me". The other morning he did lick my hand, repeatedly, and it seemed to be out of love and excitement. What a doll <3

Every day, Finn represents puppy mill dogs and helps me advocate and spread awareness. He joins Cooper and me on our adventures - from Poop Patrol to Yappy Hour to your family-friendly parade - Finn has been taking it all in and he just brings so much laughter and love to our family!
Tuesday
Jul222014

Meet Finn!

Over the past 7 days, I have had the pleasure of watching my newest furkid, Finn, explore and enjoy his freedom here in MA. Finn is so playful with other dogs and he and my Cooper are getting along great. He’s been my little shadow, following me from room to room. That translates to leash walking, too, where he has really excelled. And don’t even get me started on his cuteness. We can’t walk 50 feet without the “awwws” and pointing at my little crew. I’m so grateful to National Mill Dog Rescue for saving this boy and allowing me to give him the life he deserves. Four and a half years in a puppy mill is a lifetime for some dogs, but Finn was a lucky one. I can’t wait to see what our future holds <3
 

Wednesday
Jun252014

2nd Annual Animal WelFair at EMC a HUGE Success!

This year’s Animal WelFair event was held on June 20th in the courtyard of EMC’s Corporate Headquarters in Hopkinton, and we couldn't have asked for a better day! Once again, we welcomed organizations representing all aspects of animal welfare - from rescues, humane societies, doggie daycare and training to disaster recovery, veterinarians and pet insurance. Each group gave employees a chance to learn more about their mission, their fundraising needs and their opportunities for volunteering. Many were also giving away FREE STUFF! Dog treats, “doody” bags and collar tags were among the SWAG offerings. Pawfect Life Rescue also held a raffle where the randomly chosen winner received a gift bag full of great dog toys and goodies!

With representation from over 20 groups plus 3 of EMC’s own Employee Circles (DERG, VeTS and C.A.R.E.), we met our goal of growing this year’s event from our inaugural “Pet Fair” last June. Employees were even kind enough to donate goods to select organizations, filling nearly all 4 gigantic boxes we set up in the building for a few weeks leading up to the event! Until next year… THANK YOU! And remember: ADOPT, Don’t Shop!