Thursday, October 1, 2015

Miss M vs Stairs

Unlike Mr. B, Miss M has nice lanky legs that enables her to go up and down the stairs with ease. Her issue with the stairs is the troll that lives on the stairs leading to the basement. It is purely coincidental that the troll appears whenever A or I are on the stairs to the basement.
According to Miss M, this troll strokes the luscious fur on her rear whenever she is laying in the bed by the stairs. A and I have yet to see this troll that she speaks of. Though we know when the troll strikes, because Miss M will quickly jump out of the bed, shake and lick her lips.
Unlike Miss M, whenever the troll strokes Mr. B, he just smiles and enjoys the pets from the troll. The only troll he fears is the one named Miss M.

Monday, September 28, 2015

The Bloomingdale Trail

We were so excited when the Bloomingdale Trail AKA The 606 opened earlier this summer. We knew that it would be a nice addition to our weekend walks, little did we know that it would be an essential part of our walks.
Initially it was a novelty to walk above the streets of Chicago, but now we use it whenever we go on our family walks to explore neighborhoods to the west of us or east to get something to eat at our familiar spots with the pooches.
We love that our walks are no longer interrupted by stop signs, stop lights, turning cars or any sort of motor vehicle. Rather than taking a whole day taking the pooches on our weekend walks, our weekend walks only take a few hours as we walk uninterrupted.
When A's family was in town, we, including the pooches, went on a nice family walk on the Bloomingdale Trail. A's mom commented that it must be the happiest place on Earth because everyone was smiling as they ran, biked or walked the trail.
It is one of our favorite places in Chicago, and all of us, including Miss M can be seen smiling as we traverse the Bloomingdale Trail.

Friday, September 25, 2015

Mr. B vs Stairs Part II

We apologize that the blog has taken a backseat to everything that has been going on in our lives. The pooches are doing well, but getting older. A has noticed that Mr. B started to sit funny, so she decided to get his hips checked when he was in for his routine senior blood panel and shots. Everything looks great, but poor Mr. B has some pain in his hips from old age. We were told to minimize Mr. B's use of the stairs.
However, Mr. B has his own agenda, to live to the fullest and follow us everywhere. A and I have been working on getting Mr. B to stay on one floor, the main floor during the day and the top floor in the evening. We tend to forget things or need to do things on different floors and while heading up or down the stairs, we make sure to yell "stay" to Mr. B before we go up or down the stairs.
As we yell "stay" we can see the little wheel in his head turning, deciding whether to stay or follow us when we aren't looking. Next thing we know Mr. B is sitting right next to us, when he should have been staying. Now we run whenever we have to make a quick stop on a different floor and try to catch Mr. B before he has made it halfway on the stairs.
Due to all this running, A and I are keeping in shape going up and down the stairs. Through all this Miss M could care less about us. She chooses to stay wherever she wants, including laying in her own pee pads, a post for another day.

Is there anything you do to keep your dog's hips healthy?

Friday, August 7, 2015

Win a Date with Your Dog: Mercury Canine Cruise GIVEAWAY

Read to the bottom to find out how to win an architectural cruise with your pup!
Besides being able to step outside sans winter snoods, there are a couple of summer mainstays that we always look forward to: Chicago's Pride ParadeShakespeare in the Park (last weekend!), and the  Mercury Canine Cruise.
This summer has been especially busy for us, working most weekends since we've started The Laboratory (though I guess we can't really complain about being at Hogwarts, training dragons, and dodging zombies all day!) so we were especially excited to find out that the Canine Cruise has expanded from just one day to offering cruises on both Saturday and Sunday mornings!
Living here, we tend to take Chicago's amazing architecture for granted, but this 90-minute cruise takes you down the Chicago River, through Lake Michigan and past Navy Pier telling tales of Chicago history and lore. I always recommend the architectural tours as the #1 thing to do for anyone visiting Chicago. We love this tour because it's something we can do along with the pups and still appreciate the amazing city we live in.
The boat has enough room for each family and dog to have their own bench (this shows it a bit more)so you won't be sitting next to a strange dog. Though waiting while you're standing and waiting to board the boat dogs will be closer together as you make your way through the winding-line thing and some people don't give a lot of space.
 It's also good to get there earlier, or make reservations, as we know some dates have sold out (though this may not be as much of a problem since they added a day.)
We were looking forward to our annual visit, and we were so excited when the Mercury Canine Cruise invited us to come as their guests AND they are generously giving away Canine Cruise tickets to 2 lucky dog families.
Each of the winners will receive tickets for 2 humans and 2 pups. Winners will be able to choose the date of your cruise (and we would love to coordinate and meet up if it works out!)

There are two ways to enter, and you can enter twice.
Let us know:
Why would you be interested in going on the Mercury Canine Cruise in Chicago with your pup?

1) Enter by commenting on our blog post here

2) And/or posting a photo on our Facebook page letting us know why you would be interested in bringing your pup on the Canine Cruise.

3) Winners will be chosen at random using a random number generator.

-You have two chances to win by commenting once on the blog and posting a photo once on our Facebook page.
-We will use a random number generator to randomly choose 1 winner from blog comments and 1 winner from the Facebook page.
-You have until Wednesday at Midnight (EST) to post your comment or photo
-Check our 
Facebook page and blog this Tuesday for the announcement of winners. If you are a winner, please contact us, so we can get your information. It is up to the winners to contact us to claim your prize. If winners do not contact us in an appropriate amount of time, we will choose a new winner.
-Winners must come to Chicago to attend the cruise

Good luck everyone!

Deja Vu.
Where we're also tourists.
And in 36 hours!

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Pooches: Mr B and His Baboon

While Mr. B is generally laid back, his one downfall is racing his 12 year-old self through our house, stuffies in mouth:
We thought maybe if we bought him a more cumbersome stuffy, it would slow him down a bit.
Enter...creepy 4-foot long Baboon:
Mr. B wasn't so sure what to make of this stuffy. And even tried to nibble off some hair.
But he soon found it to be a comfortable pillow:
And a 4-foot long toy he could race around with:
We find his new toy a bit creepy, constantly popping up from nowhere:
But Mr. B considers it his new best friend:
Check our Facebook page for more photos, comments, and storylines beyond the blog.

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Things to Do in Chicago with Dogs: Miss M and Mr. B Explore the Bloomingdale Trail

It was nearly 10 years ago that I first heard the rumor about the Bloomingdale Trail.
While buying a bench on Craigslist (from a loft at the old Schwinn Bicycle Factory!) the owner told me he bought his place because they would be building an amazing park on the old Bloomingdale rail the next "few" years.

Flash forward to over a decade of several starts, stops, and a false-alarm opening last year, and the trail finally opened this past weekend. The Bloomingdale trail stretches 2.7 miles above the city creating a continuous walking path between Humboldt Park, Logan Square, Wicker Park, and Bucktown.
Since it's mere blocks from our home, we were excited to check it out this past weekend with the pooches:
They had several huge events for the opening weekend, and this is likely the most crowded the trail will ever be. Somehow it was able to accommodate the mix of walkers, bikers, dogs and strollers.
There are a lot of homes built right next to the trail, but it was interesting seeing all the rooftop decks, and a lot of the homes were having parties and waving to the people walking along the trail.
We ran into a lot of friends, neighbors, and a neighbor out on his rooftop deck.
Our favorite part was being able to walk continuously without needing to stop for traffic.
Of course, Mr. B brought his camera and he made this video showing the trail from the dog's view.

The trail makes it even easier to do things like this to and this!
One of my favorite videos by Mr. B.
Check our Facebook page for more photos, comments, and storylines beyond the blog.

Monday, May 18, 2015

CIty Dog: Reasons to Walk

We know some people are hesitant to get dogs in the city because without backyards, there is always so much walking involved. While we really enjoy heading out for a family walk,  I've also realized so many other times it has been helpful to have a dog at your side.

Finding a Mailbox
While so many things are better in the city, one thing that is more difficult is mail.
Without going into stolen packages or lack of delivery, it is just really difficult to mail stuff.
You can't just put the outgoing mail in your mailbox for the mail person to take, but you have to put it in a common blue mailbox. Which usually will be several blocks out of your way, and across at least 2 large streets. Or just hard to find. I would go days carrying my Netflix around hoping to stumble upon a mailbox that I never found.
The mailbox closest to our house is about 4 blocks away, which means I'm walking 8 blocks just to mail a letter. Which seems like a chore if I'm doing it on my own, but it becomes worthwhile with the pups. And if Mr. B can bring his stuffy.

Justifying Walk-by Donuts
Mr. B jauntily waits for donuts.
Chicago is really good at having walk-by food windows. Including several dessert options.
And since we're out walking around with the pups so much, we've made it a family tradition to stop by the Glazed & Infused window on our family walks.

Having a Late-Night Escort
While we walk most places in the city, I still know to take extra precautions after dark.
It seems like the people I'm most wary of, are most wary of the pups. E and I always refer back to the time when we were walking and a guy leaped out of our way, turns to Mr. B and told him "Much respect, Sir".
We're lucky that so many places in the city allow dogs in their outdoor seating areas so if I'm going out to meet friends I can bring one of the pups to escort me home.

Teaching your pup to behave at an outdoor patio
Some favorites.
Check our Facebook page for more photos, comments, and story lines beyond the blog.

Friday, May 8, 2015

Mr. B vs Stairs

One of our biggest concerns going from a single floor condominium to a single family home were the stairs. We were worried that our elderbulls would not fair so well on our stairs that lead up the bedroom and down to the basement. Miss M has long and gangly arms that are perfect for our stairs. She can ascend and descend our stairs with amazing grace. Mr. B on the other hand, has a harder time up the stairs. Though his stubby arms really makes it difficult for him to climb up our stairs, it is actually going down the stairs that has caused Mr. B the most problems. As written many times before, Mr. B loves his stuffies. He loves them so much that he has to take them everywhere, even if it means taking them up and down from the second floor.
We were wary, but we thought it was nothing to be concerned about. Until that fateful day when we heard a loud crash coming from the hallway. really early in the morning. A and I jumped out of bed to find a stuffy on our landing and Mr. B hobbling a bit on the main floor.
Luckily for us, the vet examined Mr. B and found that his injuries were minor, but we are really shaken by the whole event.
Now Mr. B is no longer allowed to carry any stuffy down or up the stairs. A has even separated his stuffys, where the ones that dangle and can cause Mr. B to trip are Mr. B's downstairs stuffys and the rest are his upstairs stuffys.
Unlucky for Mr. B, whenever he wants his stuffys to all be together, it is quickly yanked out of his mouth whenever he approaches the stairs. No longer will his stuffy collection be complete and in one place.

Monday, May 4, 2015

Pooches: On "Shop Dogs" (Kind of)

After so many years of maintaining our blog and sharing about the pups daily, it feels so strange to have stepped away from the blog for so long.
Since we launched The Laboratory, things have become beyond busy between The Laboratory and our regular teaching at school. We wrote before that The Laboratory has always been a dream of ours, that we never realized regular people (like us!) could start. It has been so great to have so much support from everyone, and to actually create the types of classes that I always wished I could take. And it has been so much fun! We've been using chemistry to recreate Cleopatra's beauty products, re-creating Hogwarts in Chicago, and working with students as young as 5 to design their own mechanical creatures (including an all-girls class!). We're already developing our summer camps where we'll be training dragons, dodging zombies and working as detectives.
We're still out and about with the pups, though the time where I'd normally spend photographing, creating, and writing for the blog has now been dedicated to continuing to create ideas for The Laboratory, emailing and returning phone calls.
One thing that has been lucky for us is that the pups can join us at The Laboratory when we need to go in to do things and we don't have classes.
They like to sit by the window and watch the people who watch them:
You usually don't see "shop dogs" this big, or in a pair, so a lot of people stop and interact with them through the windows. So we thought of some ways they can draw extra attention to our space:
The pups like the idea of "going to work". Mr. B has even decided that any store in our neighborhood that has its door open must be his store.
They get to help us out as we test our experiments.
Like checking out the Bath Bombs (Miss M approved!):
And some of Elsa's magically disappearing snowballs.
Miss M was not impressed.
Or amused:
Sometimes they become a bit bored, kind of like when I used to visit my Dad's laboratory. And Mr. B will just try to sleep:
Though Miss M needs to make sure it's a bit more like home:
As things are starting to settle a bit more, we're hoping to get back to writing more on Two Pitties, because we really have missed it!

We've been posting somewhat on our Facebook page. 
We've still been running into a couple of people who know the pups from the blog (thanks for saying hi!). They've told us that this, this, and this were some of their favorite posts!

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Pooches: Old St. Patrick's Day and "The New Normal"

We've been overwhelmed with all of the well-wishing and support as we've started The Laboratory. 
Though since we're doing this in addition to our full-time jobs, we're trying to figure out what our "new normal" is. While we've always had an annual tradition of taking the pups to the St. Patrick's Day parade, this year we were at The Laboratory working with students to create robots that draw, light up Elsa crowns, and make snow from powder.
So we missed the parade this year. Though in spirit of the holiday, these are some of our favorite photos from past celebrations:
And a favorite videos with Mr. B's camera: 

So right now, we're trying to figure out our new normal. 
Which includes our pups being 'product-testers' for many of our science experiments.
Stay tuned to our Facebook page, where we're able to post more recent updates. 

Deja vu here and here.

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