Archive for the 'Featured' Category
Facebook for Dogs: Dogbook

If anyone else out there has a dog on Facebook’sĀ  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 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)

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.

Dog Friendly Hike near Littleton Colorado

It’s the last weekend in May and the weather has finally decided to be agreeable for a weekend. After planning a hike 6 weeks ago every weekend has been snow, rain, or generally bad weather and our outdoor spirit was ruined by the muddy conditions. With a few nice hours on Saturday and a beautiful Sunday morning it’s about time we got out there. First up on the hiking list, a random selection from a trail guide of Denver, is the Coyote Song Trail at South Valley Park in Ken Caryl. Below are some pictures from our hike along with a trail map link and directions to the park.

Dog friendly hiking trail in the Colorado foothills

Dog friendly hiking trail in the Colorado foothills

Hiking with a golden retriever

Hiking with a golden retriever

Tucked just the other side of the foothills at the base of the RockiesĀ South Valley Park is only 900 acres but has paths totaling 8 miles. Maintained by Jefferson County the park offers a few trail options of varying lengths and difficulty levels. The plan for Finnegan is take the Coyote Song Trail out and back for a total of 3 miles. A copy of the South Valley Park trail map (pdf) is good to have to make sure we only do 3 miles and not more. With his hip dysplasia we prefer not to work Finn for too much longer than that at any one time considering he goes on a run every morning anyways. Also with the weather (mid 80′s) Finn is prone to overheating. Winter helped him build up his golden coat but now we’re seeing it shed by the pound and 80 degree hikes just can not be comfortable.

Informational signs on Coyote Song Trail

Informational signs on Coyote Song Trail

Finnegan reading the signs

Finnegan reading the signs

From C470 take the Ken Caryl Road exit and head west. Keep left at the light onto South Valley Road. On the left will be a lake and parking lot for the trails. A second parking lot is located at the other end of the trails (continue on South Valley and turn on left on Deer Creek Canyon Road for the other smaller lot).

Furry Scurry
Finn and Friends at Furry Scurry Denver

Finn and Friends at Furry Scurry Denver

The mile high city has been an adventure for all of us, Finn included, since moving in December. The bear has acclimated well to the high altitude but somehow he now sleeps more than before (we’re up to 20 hours on some days). He still gets out though. There are a few dog parks in the area, a nice trail by the house, cool neighbor dogs, and even Finn’s first entry required event.

A few weekends ago Finn’s mom took him to the Furry Scurry. A run/walk put on by the Dumb Friends League to help support homeless pets. The whole thing raised close to $1Million.

The event was held in Washinton Park, in Denver. A great area that we’ve taken Finn for runs in otherwise, and he even had some company. The little Boston terriers are Louis and Wendel. Louis rocked a stroller for the event and both of the little guys were wearing their Varsity Letterman Jackets. I have no idea what sport they are from but I think we need to get Finn into sports so he can get a cool jacket as well.

I Voted!

Today has been exciting. This morning at 7am I waited in line for 40 minutes to vote, and it was fun. The atmosphere surrounding the polls was unique, as if everyone realized what could be. There has been a lot going on in the world and Finn’s world. By the time the winner’s of the election are sworn in Finnegan will be living in a different state. My Dog Finn is moving. There is lots to come regarding the move and how best to handle such a situation with a dog, but for now we’re going to enjoy putting today into hoistorical context (and Finn will enjoy nomsing on his sticker).

Dog "I Voted" Sticker

Dog "I Voted" Sticker

OSU vs USC
Ohio State Dog Collar Bandana

Ohio State Dog Collar Bandana

Being from Ohio myself it is only natural that I train my “kid” to root for THE Buckeyes. Add to the fact that we live within walking distance of UCLA and Finn’s mom has signifcant ties to the Bruins and it leads to a good reason to dress Finnegan up and have him wrestle with the evil neighbor dog. Ozzie, the neighbor dog, is cool and everything but he has the misfortune of living with Trojan alums. Poor guy.

Anyways, with the big contest this weekend to prove dominace in football prowess just hours away Finny is gearing up by sporting his new OSU bandana, a gift from the grandparents. He’s got an OSU football as well that he adores and we may need to get him some more OSU garb for the rest of the season.

Kickoff is tomorrow at 8PM. We’re all excited.

First Christmas with a Dog – Ten Memories #7

There were some stressful times leaving Finn at the shelter for the first time and taking him on his first road trip so Christmas was a nice change. We stayed in Los Angeles for Finn’s first Christmas and used the short break from work as a time to relax. Living in southern California is a dream for a kid from the midwest (me, not Finn) and growing up there were always rumors that some places in the world didn’t turn into semi-rain semi-snow grey blobs 4 months out of every year. There were others presents, and even a stocking for the pooch, but the real treat was the trip to the beach on Christmas eve.

Finnegan opening his presents

Finnegan opening his presents

Even though it is illegal to have a dog on Santa Monica beach there was noone around to enforce that rule. We had the beach to ourselves and spent a good half hour just walking along the water letting Finn sniff some seaweed and taste the salt (he quickly figured out it was not good). Seeing him experience sand for the first time, chase the crashing waves, and attack seaweed it was impossible not to smile. Even after only 6 months it was evident how much Finn had become a part of our lives and how much joy he provided on a daily basis. Starting our own traditions, and including him in them, made me realize that I had become a “crazy dog person” and I was, and am, completly okay with that.