Dog Days of Summer

The dog days of summer are here, and to make things a little more bearable, I’d like to introduce a couple of new friends from the warehouse.

Sky is a two year old yellow lab, and Willow is a one year old Havanese mix.  They have been coming to the office occasionally since they were puppies so they’ve learned that car trips don’t always mean shots and when the delivery folks come it means treats. What they have not mastered is relaxing.

Baxter, the resident Cockapoo is an 8 year veteran of the office and knows that when I walk into the warehouse to pack something up or check inventory, he can comfortably hang in his chair and be assured that mom will be back shortly.  Sky and Willow have not gotten this memo…they follow me constantly!

I must be in eyesight at all times; if I go to the bathroom, they lay outside the door with their noses pressed to the bottom crack to make sure I don’t escape through an escape hatch.  If I go behind the rock bins for too long, they come to check on me, even though they can hear me and see my feet!

But, when they came in with me this week, they had a new strategy – the middle!  That’s right, they laid in the middle of the warehouse so they could see and stare at me in any direction I went!  And, it worked…brilliant!  They actually laid still for 10 whole minutes while I was out there! Of course, they got some wrestling in with each other, as puppies do, but I know they still had their eyes on me.

I’m going to try to keep up with their warehouse antics and post more photos of their cute faces.  They make me smile, I hope they make you smile, too.

~Suzi

Dog Gone Crazy

Tux Pet 3628p

Meet my nephew, Tux. Yes, he’s a dog, but he’s my brother’s dog so that makes him my nephew. Now that we have that established, let me tell you about Tux. His name comes from his black coat and the adorable white stripe down his front – which makes it look like he is always dressed in a tuxedo. Very formal, this boy. Anyway, Tux is 4 years old and crazy. I mean the running, jumping, barking, basically how a dog is supposed to be crazy, but maybe a little more and this in turn makes the people in his life crazy!

Besides crazy, Tux is also what I call a “runner”.  If given the chance he will spring out the door and loves a good game of tag. Except he seems to like being ‘it’ so he never gets caught. This is what really makes the people in his life crazy.  A couple weeks ago,  Tux got out and decided he didn’t want to play tag, he just played run. He ran into some woods about ½ mile from his house and the game turned into a sad round of hide and seek.  My brother, his wife, friends, family and neighbors all tried to help find Tux that evening but he must have honed his craft, because he was well hidden.

We hung posters, made phone calls, drove around neighborhoods, lit up social media and prayed that Tux would come home.  After 2 agonizing days the phone call came, Tux had been found!  He was dirty and hungry but oh so happy that hide and seek was over!

This weekend I got to hang out with my brother’s family and see Tux. I decided to give him one of our Pet Blessing Coins because even though he is crazy, he really is a sweet blessing in the lives he has touched and they sure are happy to have him home. I hope the message on the back of the coin ‘Protect My Pet’ rings true for a long time to come for this crazy boy!

~ Suzi

Scrapbooking has gone to the dogs

Scrapbooking is one of my great passions and many people run away from it because pages can look very complex and hard to recreate.   Not true!

For this adorable page I wanted to really focus on the picture of the dogs but added a few tokens from www.CourageInStone.com to make the page really “talk” to you.  I chose the 3 inspiration coins (Frog-Smile #6471, Bee-Happy #6475, & Flower-Joy #6534) and used only the word side of the coin to add some interesting emotions to this page.  Then I used the Friendship Blessing Coin (# 3628mm ) which has “Friends Forever” on the reverse side as a final touch.

This page, as well as these dogs, will bring smiles for years to come!    ~Suzi

The peanut shoot is pooping strange things

About 2 months ago, we were playing with Baxter and Bynum in the warehouse (hey, we all need a break from work once in a while!)  The dogs have many, many toys (all strewn about the office) but one of their favorite is a squeaky orange duck.  Watching Baxter and Bynum play fetch is quite a site.  Here is how it goes:

Step 1:  Throw toy.

Step 2:  See Baxter race as fast as his furry little legs can take him to catch said toy.

Step 3:  Watch Bynum frantically chase Baxter (and surpass him), barking furiously.

Step 4:  Watch Bynum pickup toy in mouth.

Step 5:  Watch Baxter steal toy from Bynum.

Step 6:  Watch both dogs race back and deposit toy.

Step 7:  Repeat.

We were having a jolly good time, when Brenda got a bit overzealous and launched the duck at just the right angle, causing it to soar high through the air…and land right into the large packing peanuts dispenser shoot.  We have not seen it since.

Now, you don't see this everyday!

Until today.

It was with great joy as we all watched the duck re-emerge from the peanut shoot.  And it was certainly a happy reunion of duck and dog.

And now, as I write this, the sounds of squeaker toy fill the air once again.  All is right with the world.
A dog and his toy.

The great ambassador

Murphy came into our lives when he was 9 years old.  We rescued him from GRREAT, a golden retriever rescue organization dedicated to finding forever homes for abandoned, unwanted and neglected goldens.  Murphy’s parents (and I use that term loosely) had left him at the doorstep of a local SPCA on Christmas eve.  The assumption was that the family was probably getting a new puppy for Christmas.  A kind and loving worker immediately called GRREAT  – because the chances of a 9 year old dog getting adopted was slim to none – and she could not bear to see this docile dog die in a shelter.

I miss you Murph...

My husband and I are big proponents of rescuing animals, especially those that don’t fit the bill of the most easily adoptable.  Since a goldens typical lifespan does not go much beyond 10 – 12 years, the older goldens aren’t most peoples first choice.   But, we took one look at Murphy and fell in love.

We adopted The Big Murph – as he became known – while I had the storefront, so from day 1 I brought him to the store with me.   For the first 2 days, he stayed with me behind the counter and slept.  I think it was his way of dealing with yet another change in his life.  But on day 3, he perked up, spent some time investigating the store, and promptly claimed his spot on the stoop at the front door.

He took his job as store mascot very seriously.  His favorite time of the day was announcing the arrival of the Fed Ex truck with some joyful barks because he knew Jim had treats in his pocket.  One day he actually attempted to climb up onto the truck because he was taking too long!  This was especially endearing since Murphy had terrible hip dysplasia that made climbing stairs painful and difficult.   He would lay on the stoop and patiently and calmly watch people climb over him to get into the shop.  One would think this might have hurt business, but instead he was my best marketing tool to date.  People just loved him.   They would stop and take his photo, pet his soft fur or just give him a hug.  He quickly developed an extensive fan base.

One person that he won over was my mother.  This is significant for several reasons.  My mom does not like animals and has a phobia of dogs.  She will cross the street or walk a mile out of her way to avoid a leashed dog.  And a loose dog?  Forget about it…there is nothing scarier in her view.  Besides the phobia that dogs actually eat humans, my mother also cannot stand how ‘dirty they are’…animal drool, hair and dander are my mothers kryptonite.   So when my mother started coming to the store to see The Big Murph, I initially waited for hell to freeze over.  Turns out it was just Murphy’s charm that she couldn’t resist.

Murphy was regal, handsome, patient, gentle and full of love.  He would politely lick your cheek if you asked for a kiss, hold up his paw if you asked for a shake, give you a high five when you put your palm up, and give a low ‘woof’ if you asked him to speak.

He did have a stubborn streak that my husband and I coined ‘putting on the brakes’.  When I had the storefront, I was lucky enough to be able to walk to work and the mile route included a draw bridge.  I came to understand – the hard way – that Murphy was not a big fan of walking over the bridge.  Up to the bridge and beyond the bridge he was fine.  We guess that there was something about the vibration from the cars that he did not like.  Typically I could urge him forward once we came to the dreaded bridge and I learned to carry cookies to make the journey easier.  But one day, I had forgotten to replenish my supply.  That was the day Murphy decided to put on the brakes.  He was not budging, no way no how.  I had people passing me asking if something was wrong…I even had one lady say ‘what’s he waiting for?’  I was standing there, stranded, until my husband happened to drive by.  I never forgot treats again.

We also like to think that Murphy had a sense of humor.  On days that we could not walk to work, we would take my pickup truck.  It required a ramp to get Murphy into the cab, so I’m sure watching us load up was quite a site.  Occasionally, by the time I got back over the drivers side to climb in, Murphy would be sitting behind the wheel, just looking at me.  “How about I drive today, mom?”

We only had the privilege of knowing Murphy 1 year and 4 months and it’s been almost 6 years since he left this earth.  I am still heart broken.   I feel very fortunate that the stars aligned to bring him into our lives and I hope to see him again someday.

P.S.  Please visit  www.grreat.org for more information about adopting a golden retriever.  Sadly, there are so many goldens of all ages that need forever homes.  GRREAT = Golden Retriever Rescue Education and Training.

Google may be on to something

Cockapoo twins

“Like other Google offices…dogs are welcome, with a pet center complete with treats and toys near the coffee station.” 1/08, Seattlepi.com

Bynum and Max

Among other things, Google’s got this right.  Three of us in our office have dogs that we bring to work on a regular basis.  Our office is slightly smaller then the 60,000 square foot Google space, but I’m happy to say that our 200 square foot corporate center definitely boasts treats and toys near the coffee maker.

As a business owner, I’m constantly searching for ways to cut costs, increase productivity and maintain a safe environment for everyone.  Here’s how Bynum, Max and Baxter foster this philosophy on a daily basis.

1.  Security.  We know the exact moment the UPS, Fed Ex, Postal Carrier or freight truck turns the corner into our parking lot by the sound of Bynum’s frantic ‘they are coming to attack, they are coming to attack’ barking.  You never know when the delivery guy is going to kidnap you. It does not matter that this happens 3 times a day, everyday and not once has anyone ever been harmed by a delivery person.  Bynum is always looking out for our safety.

2.  Welcome committee.  I do not need to hire a receptionist, as Baxter is the front door greeter.  If someone should make it in the door without running screaming after hearing Bynum’s barking, Baxter is there as a small, wiggling ball of fur to lick and nuzzle the guest.  He is unfailingly polite as well, always offering a slobbered on, chewed up toy to share.

3.  Entertainment.  Max, on occasion, has been known to belt out a tune or two.  There is a certain ringer on one of the phone lines that he is particularly fond of and he will howl along with it.  We have been known to let the phone go just one more ring in order to enjoy his music.

4.  No time clocks required.  Our offices close promptly at 5PM.  Not because business is necessarily done for the day, or the phone isn’t ringing, or there’s no work to do.  But because it’s dinner time.

5.  Comic relief.  How can it not be funny when, in the middle of an accounting project, an email to a difficult customer or talking to a vendor, your co-worker says “Hey Brenda, Bynum left you a present in the warehouse and I think he stepped in it…I think you better get out here quick!”

We love our dogs.