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Washington City Paper: Dogs are the New Diners!

Check out our mention in the Washington City Paper’s Article: Yuppie Chow: Dogs are the New Diners!


The dog menu is only available when it’s warm enough to use the patio, but hotel guests can order the canine specialities year-round for room service. Among the featured items: a $8 six-ounce grilled steak called the “Hungry Dawg,” homemade dog treats, beef tips in “rich sauce” with rice, and $4 non-alcoholic beer called “Bowser Beer,” which is a meat broth and malt barley drink that keeps dogs hydrated and can serve as a full meal. “We can sell quite a bit of it,” Smith says of the beer. “It’s like an energy drink for the dog.”



Today Show Feature

Things that make you go hmmm: ‘Beer’ for dogs, wine perfume and more

TODAY style editor Bobbie Thomas highlights fun, unique and downright kooky items

Yes, you can crack open a cold one for Fido and Fifi. Dogs can quench their thirst with this non-alcoholic ale, which contains B vitamins and comes in chicken and beef flavors ($19.99,!

See the video! >


Will Trick for Treats-Why Dogs Love Halloween

Happy Howl-O-Ween!

The phrase “Trick OR Treat” implies that you’d better give a treat or else someone will do a trick on you.  That’s usually a negative consequence, EXCEPT when it comes to dogs.  Dogs excel at tricks and they are good tricks for the most part.  Not counting the counter surfing trick, or the shoe chewing trick or the hiding my car keys trick, most dogs do entertaining tricks that we are conditioned to reward for.  Sure, that’s how we get more tricks.  “Will Trick for Treats” is the motto of most dogs I know.

At Halloween time, please go easy on the treats, otherwise  you will be buying a holiday gym membership for your dog instead of a stocking full of toys.

Here’s the Top 10 reasons why dogs love Howl-O-ween.

  1. Dogs LOVE to howl with their outside voices.
  2. Au Natural dogs can laugh at all the ones forced to dress up.
  3. Owners drag them to party after party – full of treats!!
  4. If they eat too many treats, they won’t be able to fit into their costumes anymore (sad puppy look – smirk – sad, sad puppy eyes)
  5. Grazing opportunities increase ten-fold for bowls of goodies left at snout level.
  6. Chances of finding appetizers on coffee table increase with start of holiday party season.
  7. Candy!!  Do I smell candy?
  8. OK, I’ve been eating carrots, apples, and grain-free biscuits all year, now gimme that brat!
  9. They look good in orange, especially brown dogs.
  10. Extra long walks so their owners can walk off their sugar highs.

Drink and treat responsibly with your dogs and Happy Halloween!

Dog, reunited with lost toy, loses control

Would this headline make the Colbert Report or the Daily Show?  Would Fox News give pause in the midst of all the market roller coaster reporting?  Would they send John Oliver out to give a snarky interview to investigate whether dogs suffer from bereavement when a  beloved toy goes missing?  He would scoff and say something about how American dogs need to toughen up and deal with life’s losses.  However, after seeing the sad puppy eyes, he might admit that dogs are suffering too in this economy – doghouses under water, stay-cations in the backyard, treat deprivation, increased stress from having to deal with economically shell-shocked owners, and as that cute little commercial shows… there’s no safe place to bury your bones anymore.

Recently, the much loved, much worn soft frisbee that belongs to our year old Golden Irish, Quigley, went missing.  It was so much a part of his daily existence, from 6 am wake up until the last potty run of the night that he was almost unrecognizable without it clutched in his mouth.  We looked everywhere for it.   Despite a giant collection of toys he shares with the other dogs, his Frisbee GPS was always on and he could locate it in a minute if he sensed someone was available to play.   He was visibly sad and at a loss when it came time to play.  The other balls just didn’t have the same appeal.  It couldn’t have just disappeared into thin air, we reasoned.  We searched in every nook and cranny he could possibly have dropped it, discovering some new areas to add to our vacuuming list along the way.

Recent storms made me think that it was carried away like Dorothy’s house in a Kansas tornado.  I spied over the wall at our chronically absent but impeccably landscaped neighbor’s yard.  No sign of the soft, pink 8” saucer of love.   Then, by chance, I discovered it floating in the pool skimmer drain trap.   I was delighted to see it but unprepared for the level of joy when Quigley spied it too.  Without hesitation, he snatched it up and immediately went into a frenzy of legs and paws and much head shaking, to the point where he lost his balance and fell into the deep end of the pool.  This was like a little “Snap out of it” slap but only for a second.  Bounding out of the pool, he proceeded to do the dog equivalent of a ‘happy dance’ and then viciously shook it, as if to say “You bad Frisbee, where have you been?”.  It reminded me of the time my daughter recklessly sped down a bike path, crashing into the bushes.  Her dad, watching helplessly, was both mad at her poor judgment and tremendously relieved that she was OK.

Quigley, ready for action!

So excited, can't wait for the toss.

If you Google dog addition to toys, you will find hundreds of testimonials of dogs who drag around the same toy for years, have specific preferences for certain toys, and sometimes the bizarre and funny lengths dogs will go to keep their BTF (Best Toy Forever) close to them. They spend a lot of time on their own and it’s natural to think that they would bond with something that doesn’t go to work, leave them for hours -unless it’s lost – or make them do silly tricks for treats.  It’s the equivalent of having that favorite Barbie or G.I. Joe when you are little.  And we all know that dogs never really grow up.

Life is good again

We could have, and almost did replace the frisbee.  It wouldn’t have been the same but would have been accepted in time as it sailed through the air to his waiting catcher’s mitt of a mouth.  The worn edges, frayed areas from his teeth, and good doggie smell – all would have been missed and noted.  He took his prodigal frisbee to bed with him, sleeping with it tucked under his paws.  In the morning all was well with the soft pink disc flying across the yard at 6 am.  Like comfort food, a favorite toy soothes the psyche and restores a dog’s faith in man.

John Oliver, go fetch!

Squeaky toys in the workplace

My earlier blog on telephone etiquette apparently fell on deaf ears in the dog world.  Lots of barking and carrying on  while on the phone several times this week.  Not from me… the dogs.   I’ve also had to stifle a giggle as my customers were dealing with barking too.

It’s been so hot out, I really can’t blame them.  Dogs across America are experiencing severe cabin fever as the temperatures soar.  This leads to chaos and anarchy in their napping schedule – you can only sleep so much before the urge to chase a ball takes over.

To take out their frustration, I’ve noticed an increase in interest in toys that have long sat at the bottom of their toy bins.  The squeakier the toy,  the more it holds their interest.   To make their point,  they like to share the ‘squeak’ with me in my office, especially when I am on the phone.  This can be detracting when you are trying to appear professional and mature.

Would a potential investor think less of your management team if they knew that a squeaky pacifier is necessary to satisfy an oral fixation for your Director of Security?  Could you suppress sheer embarrassment by asking “Pardon me, but could you repeat that?  The squeaking drowned out your last sentence.”     How many of you have flailed your arms in the air in a desperate attempt to make them stop while trying to carry on a normal conversation?  Do dogs understand arm flailing?  No, to them it says “Oh boy, she’s getting ready to throw this for me”.

Don’t try to get into a tug of war in trying to remove the offending object – it will just bring it closer to your phone.   Instead, here are a couple of suggestions:

–          Ban all squeaky toys from the office (Yeah, good luck with this)

–          Keep a supply of treats within reach.  Toss treat across the office and scoop up the squeaker he goes for it.

–          Close your office door when taking important calls – scratching on the door, while more expensive to repair, is less noisy than squeaky toys

–          Preface all calls with “Your call is important to us but we may experience some auditory difficulties.

–          Ignore it and state “Squeaking, what squeaking?”

Feel free to share about your own Squeak-a-holics here or on our facebook page.

Telephone Etiquette for Dogs

This is directed at the dogs, since most people have reasonably good telephone etiquette, unless you’ve ever attempted to resolve a problem with a large company’s customer support line.  Do they call it a HOTline because it makes you see RED!!!!!  when you are just trying to get resolution  for your issue?  Sorry, I digress. . . painful flashbacks.

To all Dogs:  if you share an office with your owner, there are a few things to keep in mind.  When he/she is on the phone,  here is a list of DO’s and DON’Ts :

DO ease up on the water consumption while a call is in process.  You never know how long it might last and you may feel the urge to break into the ‘tinkle  dance’,  accompanied by whining and yipping.  While the advent of cell phones may make your predicament more workable, your owner MAY be immersed in taking notes or negotiating a big contract that could guarantee you bones for life.  You don’t want to blow the deal.

DO be courteous when the doorbell rings  to the ears on the other end of the phone and to the poor delivery person outside.  Who knows, it might be your neighborhood Girl Scout and then,  as they say,  “No cookies for you!”.   I know Fed Ex trucks just get your hackles up but stick a sock in your mouth and chase your tail until the adrenalin subsides.

DON’T get into fights with your housemates.  It is never ideal but no time is worse than when your owner is on the phone.  To the receiver, the sounds of gnashing teeth, growls, and faux-vicious barking makes him/her look like a cousin of Michael Vicks or a bad manager who can’t control his/her employees.  Apologies aside, phone impressions are lasting.

DON’T think that because your owner is on the phone,  their 6th sense will not kick in (or if it is a Mom, the eyes in the back of her head always open) and they will know if you are even THINKING of snitching schwag or tchotchke from their Promotional items bin.  A certain Rottweiler was recently caught sneaking out of my office with toys meant to go overseas to military dogs stationed in Afghanistan.  The boxes weren’t sealed yet and he mistakenly thought, while I was on the phone, that they were gifts for him.  So they were sent on pre-slobbered, with reluctant Love from Dax.

And finally, DO continue to lay at their feet, looking sleepy and adorable.  Nothing like a good head scratch while your owner chats away.  Be alert to “Thank you for calling”, or “I’ll talk to you later”, as a warning that the head scratching will be over soon.   When the phone does ring, consider it an opportunity to sidle up and get some extra attention.  Soon, you’ll be so conditioned that the Fed Ex driver could park right in the office and you wouldn’t even bat an eyelash.  Opportunity might knock for some, but it can Ring!! for you!

Next time we’ll cover:  Squeaky toys in the workplace.