Hey, I think I know that dog!

31 Jul

Screen shot 2013-07-30 at 5.22.29 PMIt’s always nice to see a familiar face when you are in a new place. Sometimes the face just happens to be furry.

I was meeting family for breakfast one morning at my Mom’s favorite new place. I was nervous about finding it since I had never been there, so I left my house early just in case I got lost. I ended up being at the restaurant way early. My family hadn’t arrived yet, so I had to hang out and wait.

I noticed a Golden Retriever also hanging out in the outdoor portion of the restaurant’s waiting area watching the customers. It looked familiar to me and although all Golden Retrievers look similar they aren’t all identical. The dog had spotted me too and had started to get up from its nap and walk over to me wagging its tail.  I watched the dog approach me, wondering if perhaps it came into South Bark for Blueberry Facials and that is why it looked familiar. That’s when I spotted a faded green and white checked color under all that red fur and I knew that I had run into a friend.

“Faye?” I said quietly to the dog. She wagged her tail even harder and nudged my had with her head so I would pet her. Sure enough, I spun the collar around to confirm that this was one of my blueberry buddies.

Thank you for reading-
Alex
Lead Tub Tender

Tucker’s Tail

15 Jul

dog-lover-black-pawI have always been a dog lover. However, it wasn’t until I was a teenager that I really started to understand how to work with them and train them.

My uncle had new dog. Great looking, midsized all-American mutt named “Tucker”. Tucker liked to bark…a lot, and he has a nice, loud “burglar alarm” bark (a bark that will keep people from breaking into your house). When my uncle brought him home he barked at everything, cars, people, birds, and even me! I wasn’t afraid of Tucker, but it was difficult to spend time with family at my uncle’s place without Tucker barking at you non-stop.

After a while I noticed an interesting phenomenon, he did not bark at my little sister when he saw her. Every time he saw her he would sit down about 5 feet from the fence and just look at her with one of the cutest puppy faces I had ever seen. I was shocked. Tucker didn’t even seem to notice that I was also there; he was too excited about her.

“Good boy, Tucker” I heard her say as she went into my uncle’s kitchen to get him a treat. My sister told me that she had asked our uncle if she could give him treats because he was so cute but she would only give them to him when he stopped barking. She was a genius!

My sister and I told our uncle about how she had taught Tucker not to bark. He was surprised to learn that two kids had trained his dog but grateful that we had all learned a lesson.

Alex
Lead Tub Tender

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What is a Tubtender?

20 Jun
Zoey wagging her tail for a Blueberry Facial!

Zoey wagging her tail for a Blueberry Facial!

A Tubtender is part advocate for your pet’s health. An expert on skin and coat issues. Someone that can tell skunk from seborrhea from yeast without a second sniff. Someone that can tell you why your dog is shedding and what you can do to help that. Someone that can tell your if your dog has an ear infection, mites or is just plain drity with a simply swipe of a cotton ball. A Tubtender can spot a hot-spot from a mile a way and can get you the right combo of medicated shampoo to help heal the irritation .

A Tubtender is part treat dispenser. Making sure that everyone has a positive experience while bathing, even if it requires some edible bribery for the canine parties involved. A Tubtender will know how to use treats to distract a dog from everything from ear cleanings to nail trimmings to baths in general.

Tubtenders are professional Blueberry Facialists. Someone that can calm a pet with their touch. A person who is an expert at not only massaging faces but also cleaning dirty dog beards and removing eye boogers.

Most importantly Tubtenders are exclusive to South Bark Dog Wash. We make sure that our staff is equipped with the tools to give you the best service you’ve ever had at a Self-serve Dog Wash or any retail store. Our Tubtenders ensure that you will have an experience worth doing over and over again.

-Alex
Lead Tub Tender

Zoey wagging her tail for a Blueberry Facial!

Sights and smells of the neighborhood

3 Jun

ImageOne of the things I love about working at South Bark is that I live close enough to commute to work via longboard skateboard. Not only is it great exercise, it gives me a different perspective on my neighborhood. How many people can say that they know what their neighborhood smells like?

On my way home, the first thing my nose typically encounters is either the fryer from the fish taco truck in Gala’s parking lot or the smoke from the BBQ at South Park Abby. Then, as I cruise the by the houses in South Park I always appreciate the fresh scent  of rosemary and calming scents of lavender, both of  which grows in many of the yards.

I always love skating by the Starbucks on 28th st. The flowers on the bushes that grow in front of the shop always smell so sweet and put a smile on my face. B st is always a joy on my way to work on Saturdays due to the farmers market. The combo of hot food cooking and fresh fruit, veggies and flowers is always a great way to start my day.

The highlight of my commute home oftentimes comes as I cruise down B st to 25th street. As I approach the corner I smell Luigi’s on my left, the sweet crust cooking, marinara sauce and melting cheese.  As I turn the corner onto 25th street I try to dodge holes in the sidewalk as I am distracted by the scents of steaks on the grill and hot garlic bread drifting out of the Turf Club on my right side.

Lavender, garlic, fruit, flowers, marinara sauce, steak, rosemary; I love the unique perspective my commute to and from South Bark gives me.

-Alex
Lead Tub Tender

Crazy Cat Moments

23 May

Alex's CatsI always tell my friends, I don’t need cable TV because I have cats. I never get bored because I always have my cats to entertain me.

I live with 2 cats. One of them, Maximus (or Max for short) is very cat like. He has long grey fur and a big poofy tail that looks like a feather duster. He loves to be brushed or take naps in your lap as you pet him.  Max is a picky eater…preferring his Prowl at a particular consistency or he won’t eat it. Max is also a big fan of the laser pointer toy; as soon as he hears you pick it up, he springs into action, determined to finally be able to catch it… this time.

The other cat, Zombie, is about as close to a dog as a cat can get. Zombie is your average orange and white tabby except that he is a polydactyl meaning that he has extra toes, or in his case thumbs. Zombie typically prefers to nap next to you rather than on you. He is also a scavenger, eating anything and everything he can get his paws on by using his thumbs to open cabinets or simply chewing through the packaging. Zombie has been known to eat everything from veggies like green bell peppers and frozen broccoli to bacon grease if I forget to rinse the pan after breakfast. He will eat his Prowl dry or soupy and has chewed the box open and helped himself on more than one occasion.

Although Zombie hates to be brushed, he is such a social guy that he will often cuddle up to Max and start grooming him. I have even seen Zombie use his teeth to gently work knots out of Max’s fur for him.

The two cats have distinctly different play styles when it comes to catnip too. Maximus will roll all over it and throw it in the air while Zombie eats the catnip or licks the toy until he saturates it.

Between the two of these guys I always have something to watch.

5 Tips for Interacting with Dogs

22 Apr
BlueberryMohawk

Do you like my Blueberry Mohawk?

  1. Never stare a dog in the eyes. This is basic but very fundamental. Staring at a dog is a considered challenging them.  Don’t do it.
  2. Let them sniff you first. Put your arm out either parallel to your body our out slightly with your fingers tucked in and your hand in a fist shape to protect your fingers in the case the dog is not friendly.
  3. Treats are a great way to ensure your relationship with a dog gets off on the right paw. When giving a treat always put your hand out with palm flat and the treat on top in easy reach. Never hold the end of a treat with your fingers and give it to a dog, you WILL get bit. Also, pay attention to if the dog owner advises you to use a word like “easy” or “gentle” when giving a treat.
  4. Try to observe the dog’s natural body language. Does the dog look shy or scared? Is the dog wagging it’s tail from side to side and panting? Is the dog snarling or barking at you? Take a second to take a look.
  5. Don’t put your face in the face of a dog that you don’t know really well.  A lot of times people will want to interact with a dog by getting really close to it and putting their face very close to the face of a dog kind of like how some people interact with babies. A baby will probably not bite you if they feel uncomfortable, a dog may….and a bite on the face is no fun.

If you follow these 5 tips you should have safer and more enjoyable interactions with all canines. Also consider taking dog training classes. South Bark offers basic training classes, but we also offer additional classes such as Canine Good Citizen, Introduction to Dog Sports, Teen Class, and several more. South Bark also recommends that you try a variety of options and places for dog training. This gives your pet a well-rounded education.

After – Bath Dance

9 Apr

south-bark-flying-dog-72.jpgOne of the things I enjoy at South Bark is seeing dogs that are so excited to be clean and fresh from their bath perform the “After-Bath Dance”.  I’m sure you’ve seen it; heck your pooch may possibly do their own After-Bath Dance.  As soon as the towel is pulled out the tail starts wagging. And then the bum starts shaking’. And then, as they get out of the tub their whole body starts wiggling and you can see the pure joy on the dog’s face as they prance about, happy to be clean.

Every time it makes me laugh. I see these pooches that are usually as serious as possible while getting a bath turn into these goofy creatures as soon as their human reaches for a towel.  I see stoic canines with their tongue hanging out, ears flopping around, and paws out in all directions as they get a dried. I see shy dogs jump up and down and bark announcing to everyone how refreshed they feel.

It makes sense if you think about it. That fresh and clean feeling when you first get out of a bath or shower is amazing. I admit that my own After-Bath Dance isn’t anything compared to some of the ones I see the dogs do at South Bark (unless I’ve got some good music on) but I can see why they get so excited.

-Alex
Lead TubTender

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