Archive for June, 2009
Facebook for Dogs: Dogbook

If anyone else out there has a dog on Facebook’s  app exclusively for dogs, look up Finn, he wants some friends. Of course it is not necessary for Finn to have his own Facebook page, but it is another good way to store some pictures and stories about him that we can remember for a long time. He already has a few friends, Lala from the puppy fight is one of them. In case you are not on facebook here is a screen capture of what a dogbook page looks like. Oh and it looks like if you want a dogbook site you’ll have to sign up for facebook, but nothings stopping you from signing the dog up for facebook assuming you have an extra e-mail for them.

This post originally appeared at our blogger site, and since then dogbook has expanded greatly. There are now a lot more pooches on it and there are other applications as well including CatBook, Rodentbook and a host of others.

We’re trying to branch out in the world of social media for the little bear. Pretty soon I think he’ll be signing up for Twitter as well so we can quickly and easily share photos and thoughts.Until then hopefully we’ll get some new friends, and maybe even a wall write or two.

Dog Park in Highlands Ranch

Before the storm clouds rolled in today Denver had some beautiful weather. Nice and cool thanks to the impending rain, Finn and I decided to go check out a new dog park. There are a few right by the house but if I’ve learned one thing from having a dog it’s that not all dog parks are created equal and it’s worth a shot to check some out.

"Aerial" view of the park from the road

"Aerial" view of the park from the road

A few miles south of us is Highlands Ranch which in the past 10 years has expanded a lot putting in thousands of homes and essentially creating a suburb of Denver that didn’t exist 15 years ago. Luckily the folks planning the area were big on keeping the landscape of the area, with lots of bike trails, public parks, and green space. They even managed to find a way to sneak in 4 off leash fenced dog parks.

Rover’s Run at Redstone park was the pick for today. It’s about 2 acres set in the middle of a meadow on the Southeast corner of Town Center Drive and Foothills Canyon Blvd. Parking is easy enough thanks to the Tennis club just across the street.

Playing fetch at the dog park

Playing fetch at the dog park

Finn playing in his pond

Finn playing in his pond

As part of the open space bags are provided along with a watering hole just for the puppies although cleanliness is a concern, while we were there the faucet was situated in the center of a small pond it had created. Even so there was plenty of room to play some fetch, balls were all over the place. Being in the middle of a meadow a little more shade would be nice, the single small tree next to the picnic tables just wouldn’t cut it on a hot day.

The biggest concern though was the FIRE ANTS!! All over the park there were mounds with swarms of ants running around doing whatever it is the devil ants do. I made extra sure to check Finn’s paws upon our exit, along with my own legs. There is a whole chapter about fire ants and seeing so many made me freak a bit, more so than the coyotes that I know are in the area (why the sign for coyotes and no sign for fire ants? I’ve no idea).

Warning Coyotes. Also warning, terrifying fire ants

Warning Coyotes. Also warning, terrifying fire ants

All in all the park is a nice place although the bordering network of walking paths seemed a better place for a dog and those with great recall could likely go off leash without too much hassle. Finn enjoyed himself, but there are other parks in the area we have a better time at.

Dog Hike in Evergreen CO: Elk Meadows State Park

It was an exciting father’s day last weekend, with great weather, so we took our little four legged boy up into the mountains to enjoy some of the great outdoors that Colorado has to offer.

Posing on a rock in the off leash area with our wonderful Golden Retriever

Posing on a rock in the off leash area with our wonderful Golden Retriever

Elk Meadows state park was suggested to us by a friend as a nice park in the mountains, and it delivered. The state park itself is massive with hiking, biking, and riding trails abound but the gem of it all is a massive off leash dog friendly area including 7 acres of fenced dog park perched on the side of a slope.

There is a small parking area on the north side of Stagecoach Blvd that still had parking even on Father’s day (which we’ll assume is a busy day all things considered). North of the road is access to a network of trails where dogs are welcome, on leash. But south of the road is where the action is at. Beautiful meadows and a thick smell of pine await exploring noses. We first let Finn run off some energy in the larger fenced area. It’s a wonderful park complete with forts built of fallen pine wood

Finn walking in the fenced off leash  park

Finn walking in the fenced off leash park

Bring water as there is no faucet in this park

Bring water as there is no faucet in this park

Water was limited so it’s important to remember to bring some, but everything else is there, bags, forts, smells, and fetching sticks galore. Walking the perimeter of the fenced area is a short hike in and of itself but we wanted even more so Finn got to go off leash out of the fenced area. Signs posted let us know that there was some wildlife we should be aware of, thankfully to as the hillside and creek provide such a fantastic view it’s easy to think you are standing in a painting. This was easily one of the best parks we’ve ever gone to and we’ll be returning soon to take on even longer hikes.

Bear pooping in the woods

Bear pooping in the woods

Puppy Exploring the pine wood piles in the park

Puppy Exploring the pine wood piles in the park

Directions from Denver: I-70 West to State route 74 (Evergreen Parkway). Head south to Stagecoach Blvd (you’ll start seeing portions of the park on your right before seeing stagecoach). Turn right on Stagecoach and head approx 1.3 mi till you see the parking lot on the right (and smaller lot of the left side)

Getting Groomed in Littleton

It’s been a while since we had Finnegan groomed. We bathe him ourselves, brush his teeth, and brush him with a deshedding tool but last week as we picked him up from his Doggie Nightclub adventures we really he may be smelly beyond our repair. Add to that the long winter coat Finn managed to grow and it was time we take him for the real thing.

Littleton area dog grooming at A Paw Spa

Littleton area dog grooming at A Paw Spa

Luckily for us only a week or two ago we passed a local shop A Paw Spa. When possible I prefer using smaller businesses especially for things involving Finn. An on site proprietor invested in the well being of the company just tends to beat out the assembly line style of services from the major pet stores. I called up A Paw Spa and got him scheduled. Prices were reasonable, about $55 for a full shampoo, trim, nail clip, ear cleaning and Bandana.

The bandana is a nice touch to really show of the new cut

The bandana is a nice touch to really show of the new cut

When we picked him up we realized his nickname, Finn pants, didn’t fit any longer. He’s “Shorts” now. The nickname pays homage to his white fur backside, a distinct color against the rest of his coat. Of course the fur looks even better now, his tail doesn’t look so unkept, the paws are neatly manicured, and he smells a bit more like lemony than puppy.

If you’ve been to A Paw Spa let us know what you thought in the comments

New Vet: Firehouse Animal Health Center

One of the hassels with moving is getting setup to deal with things. Dog parks, good walks, where to get the right food, where to board (cage free), and most importantly a place to get a check up and a place to go in emergencies. Luckily for us our house is only about a half mile from the Littleton Firehouse Animal Health Center. We drove by it for a month or two, noticing the signs but never going in (thankfully due to good health) until one day a month or so ago that an issue came up.

Firehouse Animal Health Center

Firehouse Animal Health Center

Within a few hours of calling Firehouse I was in there offices. No wait at all. This is huge for us as most of the time these things are immediate and we don’t want to wait even 2 days to get Finn in if he’s in pain or uncomfortable. The staff was fantastic as well from the folks working the front desk, who gave Finn a treat and made him feel comfortable, to the vet techs, who are all extremely knowledgeable, to the Veterinarians, who take the time to answer questions and get to know their patients. Pricing here is in line with what we expected and a few of the services are cheaper than we’ve paid in the past. Unfortunately they do not have a vaccination clinic (an inexpensive way to just get vaccinations) but the checkup is useful and a good time to get Finn looked at, he’s fine by the way.

One of my favorite aspects of Firehouse Animal Health Center is that they are technology forward. A few hours after a visit an email appears with ALL THE NOTES direct from the veterinarian. Now I’ve got a copy of everything they checked him for, all the vaccinations he got, as well as things to look for sitting in my inbox. Further, the Center’s website even has an embedded research journal which contains information on injuries and illnesses of pets.

Finn waited while I filled out paperwork

Finn waited while I filled out paperwork

Firehouse is a chain of Centers in the Denver area but with a little planning it’s easy to ensure you keep seeing the same vet. Overall the franchise setup of the organization helps with their organization and it’s evident that the employees still care about pets. We’re lucky to have found such a great vet, but we can only hope we don’t have to make the visit often.

Doggie Boarding!

One of the most important tasks we have had in our move to Denver has been finding a great Doggie Daycare and boarding facility for Finnegan. Between work and vacations, both Chris and I travel quite a bit.

In Los Angeles, we always took finn to Cage Free Canine.  We quickly fell in love with this place.  Not only was it a rescue foundation ( I have a soft spot in my heart for that!),  but there was not a kennel in sight. All of the dogs played outside all day long, and then retired to a large open indoor room to snuggle with each other for the night.  Our favorite part about it was that there was always a staff member with the dogs 24/7.  Someone even slept in the room with them at night. This provided a huge amount of comfort to Chris and I as we were traveling knowing that there was always someone around Finnegan in case something went wrong in the middle of night.

Since our move to Denver in November, we have taken Finn to many of the popular daycares in the Denver metro area trying to find the “right” one. They all offered pretty much the same thing. Some of them had awesome pools , some of them had web-cams, but none of them had the around the clock supervison that we became accustomed to in Los Angeles.  This always bothered us in the back of our minds. What if there was a fire?  At all  of the places we took Finn, the facilities manager would close ( and leave) around 7pm and then reopen again at 8am leaving the dogs alone unsupervised for the entire evening/night. This was extremely disappointing to us. We figured this would have to be something we’d just have to get over, until……

Doggie Lounge and Nightclub recently opened up in Englewood ( where 285 and santa fe intersect). This doggie lounge is a breath of fresh air among the other Doggie daycare places in Denver. The owner, Kyllee Dionisi is extremely interested in the well being of your dog. She is a certified dog trainer, a member of the American Boarding Kennel Association (ABKA), and a volunteer with the Humane Society and animal behaviorist.  Kyllee decided to leave her job of managing one of Denver’s biggest day-cares to start up her own daycare with her Husband. You can tell that they have put a ton of work into making this place all about the dogs! The best part about this place is the fact that there will always be somebody with the dogs at night! Hooray!

Just adding that simple thing adds loads of comfort to traveling parents who are leaving their “babies”  for several nights. Chris and I were so happy to find a place with a cute ambiance, excellent managers, and extremely reasonable prices! In fact, the prices at Doggie Lounge and Nightclub are substantially less than what we were paying at some of Denver’s most well-known places!

There are TONS of great amenities that Doggie Lounge and Nightclub has to offer.  In addition to the extremely nice owners, the lounge also offers rubber floors to protect your pups paws ( and just seems more hygienic all around) , a wonderful boutique with some extremely unique gifts for your pet, a large outdoor area, and not a kennel in sight. The entire place has a cool and hip vibe to it. It’s the type of place I wouldn’t mind hanging out at for the afternoon. Which brings me to the next best thing about this place….
The lounge was hosting a wine tasting event for Doggie owners on Saturday afternoon when we came to pick up Finn for his trial day at camp. It was a great way to mingle with other dog owners, while sipping on some excellent wine! Word on the street is that there will be lots of other events like this in the future. They are in the process of opening up an “owner’s  lounge” upstairs where dog owners can come mingle and maybe get in a few games of poker while watching their pups play below ( from a large window overlooking the outdoor play area).

We cannot WAIT to have Finn spend a week here while we are on vacation next week. Thank you Kyllee for opening up the boarding facilities of our dreams!

finn

Kyllee takes "first day" photo's of all her campers! Awwww!

finn makes friends!

finn makes friends!

Finn being social at camp!

Finn being social at camp!