Expo Etiquette

Every year, my husband and I attend the Pet Expo held at the St. Charles Convention Center in St. Charles, Missouri.  We would always bring at least three of our fur babies with us.  This was actually the first year when my husband was vehement about leaving everyone at home.

I could not imagine going without them!  I love including them in family outings as much as we can.  Not only does it provide great socialization practice for them, but it allows me to soak up all of the praise that our babies typically receive (usually for being cute).

I then began to think about an e-mail that I had recently received from Therapy Dogs International.  They provided tips for handler/dog teams in regards to the Ebola outbreak.  A few days later, I received another e-mail, this time dealing with MRSA (a.k.a. Staph Infection).  While our babies are ALWAYS kept up to date on their shots, other pet parents are not so vigilant.

Reluctantly, we left…alone.  The trip felt so awkward without a furry face pressed against the window.  My heart sank as we pulled into the parking lot.  I watched glumly as happy expo goers trotted towards the entrance with their dogs in tow.

What we could not see until we exited our vehicle was the long line.  The expo started at 10:00 a.m. and we arrived at 10:15.  As we got closer to the convention center, we discovered what the line was for.  Those that brought their pets had to sign waivers AND present the expo officials with a copy of their dogs’ latest shot record.

Since we did not have anyone with us, we got to breeze past the line and jump right in with the fun!  We love to see all of the different items that the vendors have to offer.  And I love to look at all of the adoptable animals!

What we had not expected was the complete and utter rudeness of many of the attendees.  I was actually glad that we had not brought our kids along.
Here are my suggestions for proper pet expo etiquette:

1. Do not bring retractable leashes.  These leashes are notorious for getting tangled.  Not only can they trip you (or someone else), but they can also trip your pet and cut off circulation if the rope remains tangled around your dog for any length of time.

2. Your dog is NOT a battering ram!  I cannot tell you the number of people that used their dogs to cut through the crowd.  One man in particular grabbed his dog’s collar and literally shoved him into people so that they would clear a path for him to get to the next vendor booth.  This is unacceptable behavior on many levels.  Your pet is there to enjoy himself/herself, not to be used as a tool for you to be rude to others.  If you and your dog need to pass through a tight space, simply say, “Excuse me, please.”  You would be surprised to know that the typical reaction is an immediate apology from the blocking party as they step aside.

3. Do not bring your pet strollers.  My husband and I had incredible luck when we won an awesome pet stroller for our babies to cruise around in.  However, the stroller is HUGE.   We could actually almost fit all of our dogs in it.  That being said, expos usually have tight quarters with which to move in.  Combine that with the fact that there are a large number of people and their pets in attendance, adding a stroller would make your moving space next to nothing.  If you cannot bear the thought of your precious pooch walking, try investing in a dog carrying bag.  Your dog can enjoy the expo from the comfort of a custom-made bag that you wear like a cross body bag.  This way, your baby remains close to you and off of the floor.  Our doxie, Hope, just loves hers.

4. Maintain control of your dog (s).  Just because you are at an expo with other animal lovers does not mean that they are responsible for your dog (s).  You must make sure that your dog (s) is under control at all times.  I have seen too many owners become lax about their dog’s behavior.  That is when the barking and snarling begins and others in attendance will avoid you and your pooch like the plague.

5. Your dog is still a dog.  We saw many different types of service as well as therapy dogs at the expo.  One incident that I saw was truly horrifying.  A woman was walking her large medical alert dog.  The dog became excited and started pacing back and forth.  This wrapped the leash around the woman’s arm.  She grabbed hold of the handle that was on the dog’s special harness and began shaking him!  She kept yelling the command, “Hold!  Hold!”  This was completely uncalled for.  While dogs can be trained to do many wonderful and helpful things, they are still, at heart, a dog.  You cannot train all of the dog out of a dog.  He was clearly feeling overwhelmed with all of the new sights, sounds and smells.  All that her shouting and shaking did was to make him even more anxious.  If you have a medical alert dog that you are not able to carry, please, consider bringing a friend with you that can assist with your furry companion should he/she become overwhelmed.  If your dog is not an assistance dog and he/she becomes anxious, consider walking outside for a few minutes to give him/her some space in which to calm down.  When you re-enter the expo, if he/she is still uncomfortable, you should respect your pet’s feelings and take him/her home.

6. Never touch someone else’s pet without asking.  I know that I sound like a broken record with this one, but it is so true.  Each dog has he/her own personality.  They cannot simply be lumped in together with the idea that “all dogs are friendly.”  Or even worse, “all [insert breed here]” are friendly/mean.”  If you are interested in petting someone’s pooch, just ask.  They will be so appreciative and you will get to make a new friend.

Pet expos are all about having fun, but as pet parents, we have a responsibility to make sure that we, as well as our pets, are on our best behavior.  Following these 6 tips will assure that everyone will have a tail wagging good time.

Canine Carnival 2014

My apologies once again, for being behind on my blogging.  We attended the annual Canine Carnival, held at Tilles Park in St. Louis, Missouri.  There were tons of adorable dogs (and even a few cats)!  With tons of games, food and shopping, it was easy to lose track of time.  The day passed so quickly, but was tons of fun.  And all proceeds from the purchase of the Canine Carnival t-shirt go directly to the Missouri Animal Protection Agency.

 We dressed Adriel in her famous angel costume for the costume contest.

 I love the ears on this adorable Chihuahua!

 More big ears to love!

 Keeping warm on a cool day.

 Adriel channels her inner bliss.

 This Dalmatian totally rocked the Robin costume.

 Check out this dappled doxie!

 This is one stylin’ Dachshund.  Note the matching hat and bandanna.

 Meet Fergus!  This little cutie is up for adoption.  He may only have one good eye, but he is a total love bug!

 The babies and I pose in front of the giant dog inflatable.

 This long-haired Chihuahua reminds me of my Theo!

 It’s a Mexican Hairless!  I know what breed I’ll be adopting next!

 Check out this costume:  It’s a Min Pin-cushion!

 It’s a Min (Pin) ion!  Super creative costuming!

 Take a look at those gorgeous eyes!

 Look at this adorable one-eyed wonder!

 This pooch is relaxing after getting a (temporary) tattoo.

 Meet Sebastian, the cutest dog alive!

 He looks so serious for such a young pup.

 Even angels get tired.

 What a stately Scottie.

 I got to meet this adorable Bostie pack!

 This tiny poodle is a Therapy Dog!

 Crikey!  It’s the rare Tigerchi!  Just kidding; this is one super-cool air brushed tattoo.

 Chihuahuas are one of my favorite breeds.

 Hello, poochies!

 It’s a Whippet pack!

 This little cutie dressed as Winnie-the-Pooh!

OMD!  What a doll!

I can’t wait until next year’s Canine Carnival!

Races for Rescues 2014

First, I would like to apologize for my recent absence.  My Grandmother, who has been battling cancer for three years, was suddenly placed into Hospice care two weeks ago.  She passed away on Monday, October 13th.

Grandma loved dogs almost as much as I do.  So, I would like to share some wonderful photos that my husband took from the Belleville Humane Society’s annual Races for Rescues.  This event features a timed run as well as a fun walk.  There were tons of adorable adoptables and inspawrational pooches.

 This dog/owner team was really in sync!

 I think this little guy REALLY wants to be adopted!

 Penny and Domino decided to sit in my lap and watch the runners whiz by.

 Check out this amazing tripod Husky!

 Who wouldn’t want to adopt this cutie?

 Just look at those baby blues!

 I just loved this adorable couple!

 This Corgi is ready to be on the cover of Modern Dog.  Look at that smile!

 I could not stop laughing at this shoe wearing dog!  My fur babies would hate having something on their feet.

 This dog has eyebrows!  I think he is just gorgeous.

 Mr. Mohawk stole the show!  How has he not been adopted yet?

 Penny even made a new friend.

 The fur was flying as the dogs crossed the finish line.

 I was so excited to meet another tripod pooch!

 This dog knows how to pose.

 “Come on!  Walk me!  I am ready to be adopted.”

 “Awww, mom!  Do we have to leave?”

Inbred Chiweenie Finds Happiness

Check out this amazing video:  http://youtu.be/P00j1u8pbuI

I love Ms. Flans!  I am the proud mom of 7 rescue dogs, 3 of which are “special.”  Adriel, short-haired Chihuahua, was born with a tongue that is longer than her head, so it always sticks out.  She is a certified Therapy Dog.  Children love her!  Penny is a Chiweenie that was born with a deformed front foot (lobster claw paw) and a severe overbite.  She may be a tripod, but she can scale our pet gate!  Our most recent rescue is a double dapple doxie named Hope.  She was also the product of a backyard breeder.  She was born without eyes and is completely deaf, but that doesn’t stop her from living a wonderful life and accomplishing amazing things.  Hope is able to open our bedroom closet door with her nose!  All animals are special and deserve to be treated with respect and love.  You wouldn’t call helping a disabled child a “waste of time,” would you?  Helping and loving differently-abled animals is no different.  Continue to stand up for those that have no voice.  Adopt, don’t shop!

Curious Kitty

Tomorrow will officially be October!  And we all know what that means.  Halloween is rapidly approaching.

Miracle, our rescue kitty, has decided to start celebrating a little early.  She has an unusual fascination with my pumpkin tote bag.  It was housing a few Halloween decorations, but now….you’ll have to see for yourself.

 I was just sitting here, minding my own business, when this bag attacked me!




 Maybe I will use this bag as a hat.


 This is the perfect hiding spot!  Domino has no clue that I’m about to pounce!


 These straps sure are fun the chew.



Picturesque Pooches

My husband has suddenly developed (pun intended) a love of photography.  He is currently borrowing his dad’s very spiffy camera to practice with.  Naturally, he decided to take photos of some of our fur babies.  What do you think?

 Penny loves to stare at the neighbor’s Dachshund.




 Penny take in the fresh scents of fall.




 Hope does her happy prance!




 Hope is one happy weenie!




Nothing gets this queen ween down!

A Very Special Day

Today is a very special day!  Not only is it National Walk n’ Roll Dog Day, but it is also….Penny’s 4th birthday!

 National Walk n’ Roll Dog Day helps spread awareness about Dachshunds living with IVDD.  There are options and there is hope.  Roll on, wheelin’ weenies!  Be sure to visit the official National Walk n’ Roll Dog Day Facebook page at:  https://www.facebook.com/NationalWalknRollDogDay.



Today is also Penny’s birthday!  Our beautiful tripod angel turned 4 years old.  We celebrated with a big Halloween bone for her and small “frosting” covered mini bones for the rest of the pack.  We can’t imagine life without our little Stumper!

Lost Dog Found

This little cutie was found by one of my co-workers on 9/11/14 in the Jackman’s Fabric Store parking lot in Fairview Heights, IL. He is microchipped, but the owners never registered the chip in their name, so it comes back to the Missouri Humane Society. If you have any information about this dog’s owners, please send me a message and I will get you in touch with the person who is currently caring for him. Thank you!

Jackman Close Up Jackman in Crate Jackman with Football

Darling Dachshunds

As we pulled onto the fairground lot, there were Dachshunds as far as the eye could see. The first two beauties took our breath away as we stepped out of our car.  They both had luxurious, long hair that blew in the chilly September wind.

This was our very first trip to the Midwest Dachshund Festival!  The event is held annually at the Vermillion Fairgrounds in Oakville, Illinois.  I am very thankful to my father-in-law for loaning us his super-spiffy camera so that we could capture all of the wonderful doxiness.

 I had a blast at my first ever Dachshund Festival!


 Look at this gorgeous fur!


 All heads turned when this stroller arrived on the scene.  There are eight Dachshunds tucked inside!  The two at the top are both IVDD survivors who love to be chauffeured around.


 These glamour girls looked simply fabulous in their dresses and matching hats.


 Meet Daphne!  She is a double dapple Dachshund that lost one eye to cancer and is completely deaf.  But, she doesn’t let anything stop her from living her best life.


 I just love this little dapple doxie!



 One of my dreams came true that day.  I got to witness my first set of Weenie Races!


 “Are ‘ya coming?”


  The most weenspirational moment was when Shadow’s dad removed his cart about ¾ of the way into the race and Shadow walked, unassisted, over the finish line!  You rock, Shadow!

  We also picked up a custom made carry bag in a fun Dachshund for our own little ween bean, Hope.  As you can see, she loves it!

I cannot wait to return to the festival next year!