Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Pooches: Daily Walk in 10 Pictures 06.30.10

Though we go on walks twice a day, each walk is like a new adventure for Mr. B and for most walks, he cannot wait to go on this adventure. He is sitting patiently waiting for his sister, Ms. M to catch up.
However for this walk, Ms. M for some unknown reason was on a mission and walking ahead of A, which is something she rarely does.For as long as I could remember, this church/cathedral has been boarded up. It is such a shame, because this building takes up about a whole city block and it remains boarded up and vacant.Mr. B loves to look at the city skyline on our walks. He is gazing at the John Hancock building which is directly east from our walk.Too bad the Kennedy Expressway stands between him and sipping cocktails at the Signature Lounge on the 96th floor of the John Hancock building.A and Ms. M also enjoy looking at the skyline right west of the Kennedy Expressway, such a romantic and nostalgic point in Chicago.Some people have decided to set up camp in the middle of the park, with a tent, campfire and all. From the looks of their gear, it doesn't look like they will be moving for awhile.So Mr. B decides to do the deed on a patch of land before the campsite and cover up his tracks.Lucky for Ms. M, she found a stray chicken bone by the campsite, unlucky for A, she had to reach into Ms. M's mouth to fish out the chicken bone.Really don't know how this works, but apparently some of the alleys that we pass by are "green alleys". I wonder if this alley is as green as the Hummer H3.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Pooches: Dog Seat Belts Update

Just in time for our summer road trips, we received the Kwik Connect Tether for the Petbuckle Pet Harness. To recap our previous post, we researched dog seat belts for our two pooches, because we were afraid that if we were ever in an accident the pooches would be launched out the window or possibly at us. After over a year of use, we are somewhat satisfied with our choice. We wish we looked into the upgraded version with the seat belt quality buckles. Though it really isn't that time consuming, it still is a hassle to pull the pooches legs through the straps and adjust the strap length at the adjusters. With the seat belt quality buckles, we could have the straps adjusted and just click in the straps under the pooches front legs. Another main complaint is the diamond rubber piece that keeps the straps properly crossed in front of the pooches is rather flimsy and tore on one of the pet harnesses. Though I have rigged a way for the straps to properly cross, for the price the material should be of higher quality, especially for the larger dogs. I have emailed my concern to IMMI-PetBuckle, but after a month, I have yet to receive a response. Finally, we had an issue securing the pooches to the car seat belt with the pet harness, but the Kwik Connect Tether has saved us a ton of time (actually seconds) and headache in securing the pooches to the car seat belt. Also, before we used the Kwik Connect Tether, the pooches would become tangled in the car seat belt as well as the harness,but now the pooches can move a bit more freely, but are still secured to the car seat belt. For the price of the PetBuckle Pet Harness, the Kwik Connect Tether should come standard. Regardless, we are now quite satisfied with our pet seat belt setup.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Chicagoing: Chicago Gay Pride Parade

One of the highlights of our summer is heading out to Lakeview and supporting the Gay Pride Parade. This is an amazing event where the community gathers in support of equality and gay rights. It's a huge party in the street complete with beads, feathers, thumping music, and fantastic people watching:E and I came dressed in these shirts from in the UK which read: "Some People are Gay. Get Over It." The pooches came appropriately dressed in costume; Miss M was a ballerina, and Mr. B was a cowboy.Some of the parade marchers even showed up in the same outfit as Mr. B:
There were plenty of celebrities:And an appearance by Brent Sopel and the Stanley Cup:
My favorite part was the ROTC: Righteously Outrageous Twirling Corps:Miss M actually thought the parade was on the other side and she would stare at the people walking down the sidewalk. She really enjoyed getting petted and meeting new people. People kept surrounding them and asking to take photos. It was like they had their own paparazzi.
Miss M even found herself a new owner she wanted to go home with. She pretended she didn't know us anymore, even though I was still holding her leash.
We love taking the pooches out to meet people and demonstrate what pitbulls are really like. This was especially appropriate at the Pride Parade with issues of equality and discrimination. The pooches were a huge hit; I'm guessing it's the costumes.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Pooches: Mr. B's Excellent Adventure

While we love traveling and going out-of-town, we always have to face the issue of what we're going to do with the pooches while we're gone. Boarding for the 2 dogs is around $70 a night; that's nearly the same price as our own hotel room.
Lately we've been looking at some other options. When we went to Tulum, the pooches traveled to the "Chicago Countryside" to stay with E's mother. Their development doesn't allow fenced in yards, and we know how difficult it can be to walk both dogs at once.
Last weekend, we traveled to Memphis for my younger sister's wedding and we had to figure out what to do with the dogs. A friend of mine, who owns a bichon-poodle, offered to take Mr. B., while Miss M stayed in the "Chicago Countryside" to eat pear-apples and lay on the couch.
Before Mr. B could go stay with "I", we had to do a proper introduction and make sure they were compatible; Mr. B has a fear of smaller dogs, while "I" has never had another dog stay in his own house before. We had one meeting on neutral territory outside. Mr. B was originally terrified of "I", but we were soon able to walk them together. At the same time "I" wasn't sure how he felt about having another dog in his house.
The pooches eventually got accustomed to one another, and had a great time hanging out. They took walks by the lakefront:
Mr. B gazed at the sailboats going by:
And they took group photos. Can you tell which one is "I" and which one is Mr. B?
Eventually they became so comfortable that Mr. B became the Single Blu Male and impersonated "I's" every move.
We were lucky that Mr. B and Miss M were able to have places to stay this time, but it's still something that takes a lot of planning each time we go away. What does everyone else do with their pets when you travel?

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Travel: Cousins

This past weekend, A and I headed off to Memphis, Tennessee for A's sister's wedding. While out there, we hung out with Mr. B's and Ms. M's cousins: Mr. Fluffy Fuzzy, Mr. W, Mr. M and Ms. S. Mr. Fluffy Fuzzy has been in the family for 26 years. A's father is a biology professor and he ordered Mr. Fluffy Fuzzy from a scientific catalog saving him from a certain death as a test animal. A's family have always owned basset hounds. A's parents bought Mr. W from a basset hound breeder 11 years ago. They adopted Mr. M from a basset hound rescue about 8 years ago. The rescue group had one condition, Mr. M is not allowed to ride in the bed of a pickup truck. Fortunately, A's parents don't own a pickup truck. Unlike Mr. B, Mr. W and Mr. M has a kitty for a sister. Ms. S was adopted from a rescue group about 10 years ago. Mr. B would love to meet this kitty cousin of his.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Pooches: Daily Walk in 10 Pictures 06.23.10

While we were in sunny and hot Memphis, Tennessee, a major storm passed by Chicago wreaking havoc and chaos. The aftermath of the storm provided the pooches with new objects to explore and mark.There were remnants of damaged trees everywhere. The pooches had to stop, sniff and Mr. B had to mark on each and everyone of the branches,
which was really annoying since it was in the 90s and humid. We took a little break at the Greenhouse Garden, a small community garden.
The pooches were both panting and pretty exhausted from the heat and humidity.
Eventually we got on a major street, where some people were sitting out and enjoying the weather. Lucky for us, that some places had water out for the pooches.
Plus Ms. M was able to meet new people, which is always the highlight of her day.While drinking in front of this store, Mr. B heard someone barking and decided to check it out by sticking his head into the store.
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