Hello to all four-legged friends and your humans! Early this December, the Boston Globe published an article about the growing market for dog walking and pet sitting, and we were of course mentioned as one of the great pet service providers in Boston, Cambridge and Somerville. What we have seen in the recent years is an increase in pet-friendly apartment buildings, and so we thought; wouldn’t it be great if these buildings included services like ours in the amenities package? It would not only benefit you as a pet owner, who can leave your pets in our care, knowing that they will be taken care of in a safe and friendly environment, but it would also greatly benefit your furry friend, who instead of sitting at home alone waiting for you to come home, can play and socialize with other animals while you’re out and about.
Our services include dog daycare where your dog can enjoy socializing and playing with other dogs and our caregivers, as well as cat sitting in your home. Cats can easily get stressed from traveling, and so this service will let your cat remain in its familiar surroundings, and at the same time we will take care of chores such as watering plants and getting your mail. Other services include our pet taxi service, should your pet need to be brought to the vet, or to for example the airport, and services such as grooming, microchipping, and of course, walking. We offer walks in your own neighborhood, and our professional dog walkers will make sure your furry friend stays healthy with a healthy exercise program.
We think it’s great that the Boston Globe chose to publish an article about the dog walking and pet sitting business, because honestly, it’s not something we see in the media too often. It’s always great to have someone shine a little light on something we are so passionate about. We get to spend every day with amazing animals who bring so much joy into our everyday life, and this is not only important to us, but of course also to our clients, who trust us with their pets. It’s like parents leaving their children in a day care. That’s why it’s so important for us to offer the best service possible, and we’re always working to improve ourselves. Adding Elliot’s House’s services to the apartment buildings offer, would create a network for pet owners and us, and make it easier for you as a pet owner to get in touch with, and make us of our services.
As most people know, dogs are sooooo good for humans! People who own dogs have longer life spans, improved cardiovascular fitness, increased self-esteem, and lower levels of depression due to the companionship that a dog provides. The relationship developed between human and canine is like no other and if you ask me, living in a home without a dog just doesn’t feel right. If you’re looking for a dog, pleaseeeeee rescue/adopt! There are so many little guys out there that need homes. To be honest, I’m secretly looking to rescue the fur love of my life and bring him/her home immediately! So I’ve been reading a lot lately about rescues and sheltered animals (just getting immersed in the loving relationships developed between human and orphan fur baby), and I’m inspired by the countless amazing stories of these incredible animals changing lives.
I recently encountered a warm story about a woman who has rescued two pit bulls; a breed with so many stigmas attached to its name. Being somewhat concerned herself about a “bully breed”, as she had no prior experience with this, she took a chance on Sookie in 2011 and then Ivy in 2013. Soon after she realized how misunderstood pit bulls are, and set off on her own little mini-mission to spread the word! She has various social media pages (Facebook, YouTube and Instagram) where she posts pictures, stories, and videos of her pitties on all sorts of adventures and in all types of costumes. Through her pages she hopes people will see how amazing rescue and shelter animals really are, and destroy any stigmas attached to “bully breeds”.
For those of you who don’t know, Elliot’s house was inspired by Elliot; a rescued pit bill from Compton, CA. Our founder and CEO, Carol, rescued him and it changed her life, just like so many of the stories I’ve been reading. Give them a chance. These animals can be some of the most loving, inspiring, intelligent, and life-changing companions you’ll ever meet.
“Look deep into the eyes of any animal, and then for a moment, trade places, their life becomes as precious as yours and you become as vulnerable as them. Now smile if you believe all animals deserve our respect and our protection, for in a way, they are us, and we are them.” -Philip Ochoa Board Member, ALL FOR ANIMALS
There’s a line from a Portlandia episode that I find myself quoting a lot: “Everybody on the Internet, they’re not having as great a time as you think they are.” I feel that this is never more true than at the holidays. Pictures of beautiful trees and perfectly foamed lattes and boots in the fresh snow may make you feel as though you’re inadequate, but they are poised vignettes. Instagram and Pinterest and Twitter are all true and false at the same time; social media is the cat in Schrodinger’s box. Everything is nothing. Nothing is everything. We present and represent ourselves in a way that we want to be viewed. We show you the best parts of ourselves and our lives. But there are things we don’t talk about.
This was the post I was going to write today. I even had pictures. Behold: my beautiful tree.
Behold: what happens from the dog’s tail wagging, even if I sweep every day (I don’t sweep every day. I’m lazy. I’m getting truthful here. Watch out, there’s more of that to come.)
And literally as I sat down to write this post, to analyze pets and family-time and holiday expectations and our role as social media users and creators there was a pretty serious accident in my house. I don’t really want to get into the specifics (I’m vague booking on a blog) but the end result is that we do not have Albie in our lives anymore.
Loss of any loved one is hard, but at the holidays it’s harder. How do we celebrate the good times (come on) when we feel like something or someone is missing? How do we see others’ joy and not let our own sadness overwhelm everyone? There’s a saying, “be kind for everyone is fighting a battle you don’t know” and I think that’s probably true. The holidays are about more than gifts and food (although those are awesome), and now more than ever- not just because of the holidays, but also because of the political state of the world- we should remember to be kind. Hug your kids and dogs a little tighter. Smile at the people on the street. Whatever joy and love you have in your world, pay that forward. And remember not to let other people make you feel like what you have and what you offer is not enough. You are enough. You are more than enough, on the internet and in real life.
Awwwwww, I’m just joking about the title but my, oh my, did November get away from me! November was filled with conferences, trainings, meetings and, oh yeah, Thanksgiving. In the midst of all that, a BarkBox came and was enjoyed and I apologize, dear readers, for the delay in telling you about it! So, let’s get into what was in November (before December shows up on my doorstep).
The BarkBox came with a reminder card that the BarkShop is open. They actually have cute stuff, and I have a $10 credit, so I should probably get a stocking stuffer or something from there. Oh! I just noticed the postcard offers me $10 off my first purchase too! I wonder if I can stack those. I will definitely check that site out after I write this. The theme this month is, duh, Thanksgiving.
First look at the box.
All the fixin’s!
So this box included Petsafe Squeak ‘ Treat Booya, $13. This is a great heavy chewer toy (thanks, BarkBox) and you can also put treats in it. These are the best kinds of toys, and the reason I keep subscribing. (Although, I found it here for $12). I actually said to my husband as we unpacked this box, “this is a good box” and I am sticking to my first impression. http://www.dogtuff.com/busy-buddy-squeak-n-treat-booya-pet-safe-large.html?gclid=Cj0KEQiAhvujBRDUpomG5cq_mI0BEiQA7TYq-h_o7n2rMs2u12jbF6e0HL07e5JT_kR2Zu3qc0LsZB0aAkfm8P8HAQ
Wagatha’s Kitchen Sink are treats that Albie felt “OK” about. He expresses this emotion by abandoning a treat but then later going back to find it and eat it. Wagatha got 3/5 tail wags. They are all-organic, GMO-free treats filled with a ton of really good stuff (thus, the kitchen sink)! BarkBox prices these at $5 and I could only find a bigger box for $12 so we will let BB’s price stand. http://www.amazon.com/Wagathas-Kitchen-Sink-Organic-Biscuits/dp/B00AN6A8ZS
Feel Good Treat Company Slow Roasted Rosemary Turducken (Oat & Rice). Albie was not leaving these, he was LOVING these! These were a hit, guaranteed to prevent the dogs from begging for your turkey. I don’t know about that, but he does really like them. BarkBox says this is a $6 item but Albie says no amount is too high! (and I cannot find them online)
Diggin Your Dog Charki-O’s was also in the box and Albie has never met a bone he didn’t like. This is actually more than a bone, as it is freeze-dried beef trachea topped with liver sprinkles. BarkBox prices this at $4, and I may just reorder this with my BarkMoney (if that’s possible) because it was a huge hit. We actually did give this to Al on Thanksgiving and he was delighted. I can’t find the exact one, but that price seems legit and actually very reasonable. http://canvaspet.com/shop/diggin-dog-charki-o-hip-joint-8-9-dog-chew-single/
Finally, the box had Safemade Apawthecary Cleaning Wipes, $4. These are cute and perfect to throw into my bag when we go on a hike. I love wipes. I keep baby wipes in my car and my “baby” is 12. They’re for me. Baby wipes get coffee stains out of shirts, not that I’m always spilling Americanos on myself (I am). I couldn’t find these online either!
Not my best review, I apologize but I have recently had the flu and was feeling so guilty for stalling on posting this! If you ever have a blog topic (dog related) you would be interested in my writing about, please comment below! As always, we loved the BarkBox and feel that it is well worth the cost (it added up to $32, we paid $18). Pop around on Groupon and other such sites if you ever decide to subscribe because you can often find a coupon code. Do you get BarkBox? What do you get in yours?
I’m really looking forward to December’s box because I love a well-curated holiday box and as we all know, Santa is coming to town!
What a treat to receive a Halloween-themed BarkBox today! Too bad Albie literally tried to bite the hand that feeds him- I swear we are 5 barks aways from the mailman macing Al. Anyway, this box came with something I found to be incredibly awesome- A Scout’s Honor Tail Waggin’ Guarantee! Now, if you recall from last month, Albie really hated one of the treats that came in the box. From now on, apparently, BarkBox is guaranteeing only pleasure from the box. Team BarkBox now promises “that if your pup ever doesn’t ruv an item in their box, we’ll replace it. For real. No fee. No fuss. No disappointed pups. That’s our guarantee and we’re sticking to it! Should your pup ever turn up their snout at something, just give a friendly holler to our BarkBox happy team… (and) we’ll get that tail back up wagging by sending a replacement item that’s better suited for them, or issuing a credit of equal value to our brand new BarkShop”. That’s totally awesome! This will be great for those toys that I know will last 15 minutes. Solid toys and delicious treats only! If that doesn’t convince you that this is the best subscription box out there, nothing will! With that said, let’s talk about what we got this month:
First look at October’s BarkBox
My husband, who is so rarely home for the unveiling, and I both thought it looked a little light. Husband asked how many items usually come in the box and I said 4-5. This time we got 6, but it still definitely seems like less bang for your buck than usual. Although, I must admit, both toys looked pretty awesome. I don’t know if 3 jerky sticks was necessarily the way to go, but I do appreciate that one of the toys has a treat chute. I can stuff those sticks in the creepy face toy when we go to Seattle for a few hours without feeling too guilty about our abandoning King Albie.
3 jerky-style treats are cool but we typically like slightly bigger bags that last through the month
The first thing that caught my eye was Snoggz RIP Van Fetcher (hahahaha… who named this? They should see if Essie or OPI are hiring) USA-made of durable material, this crazy toy has an erratic bounce, American Horror Story-worthy grin and can even float! It also has a hole in the back for the aforementioned treats. I found this online for $12, but BarkBox prices it at $14. We’ll split the difference and give it a $13 value. In doing an image search I was psyched to see pictures of big dogs playing with this toy. I think this will last awhile. Hooray!
Snoggz RIP Van Fetcher: $13 value
Max and Ruffy’s Pumpkin Patch Bites are made in Maryland and are GMO-free as well as being free of animal products, preservatives, and dairy. On a more superficial note I find them adorable and festive. $4 value according to BarkBox and I can’t find this exact size or packaging online so let’s go with that price.
Pumpkin Patch Treats: $4 value
Snicky Snacks Cinnamon Crunch Bar is organic and USA-sourced and promises to set your pup’s tail a-waggin’. $2 value and pictured above. These I found for much higher online, actually. $3.50 plus shipping. So I’m going to say $3 value.
Hare of the Dog Rabbit Jerky Stick promises to be super tasty and can easily be broken into smaller portions if your dog is watching his weight. As my dog gained 4 pounds in as many months, I should maybe take this stick up on its offer. $3 value and pictured above. I can’t find single sticks available so we’ll go with that price. That’s actually something I love about subscription boxes- a chance to try things you may not want to pay for the full size version of with no prior knowledge.
Heartland Premium Weasand Strips are made from 100% cow gullet (ew) and hail from Nebraska (like Connor Oberst!). I bet Albie will love these. $3 value and pictured above. Again, I could only find whole packages of these, so we’ll go with the $3 value.
Finally, we have an American Dog Toys Flash & Glow Ball. I have actually considered buying this exact toy at Petco but have balked at the cost. BarkBox says $10 value, but I’ve seen these for up to $15. We’ll split the difference here and price it at $13.
American Dog Toys Flash & Glow Ball: $13 value
So, even though it did seem a bit lackluster at first look, it seems that this box actually had a pretty sweet value. $39 plus shipping is what this box would have cost if piecemealed together, but I paid about $18 a month by signing up for 6 months with a coupon code. Of course, cost is only part of what makes these boxes so cool. It’s nice to try new things, get surprises, and have themed goodies delivered to your best friend. Looks like we’ll need some supplementary milk bones to get through the month, but I’m still really pleased with this box after examining its contents so thoroughly.
Did you get a BarkBox? Did you like it? Let me know! You can also subscribe here: https://barkbox.com/r/3QNTBTUXEV?utm_source=old_ref&utm_medium=referrals&utm_campaign=url_copy&utm_content=100008