This sweetheart pup stays with us for daycare, but unlike most dogs, Bingley provides his own playmate! His neighbor Lily P the Retriever mix loves to come visit him at daycare. Did someone say block party at Dogtopia? Behind those innocent little round eyes lives a marvelous puppy spirit. His ideal daycare itinerary includes a quick game of chase, wrestling match with Oliver B the Cockapoo, a little flirting with the ladies, and goofing off with his neighbor Lily. In the middle of the afternoon, Bingley likes to take a short nap on the futon to recharge. Bingley’s blazing puppy spirit makes it easy to see why he’s our dog of the week.
Biggie Smalls, just like his namesake, has become a superstar within his own right. His sheer cuteness and wonderful energy has won over the hearts of many a Dogtopia employee. Biggie has become a boarding regular, and he greets all with a lick to the hand and a wagging tail every time he comes in. Biggie is torn between two women; Constance the terrier mix, and Puffin the Puggle are the leading ladies in his life. They all will wrestle and play chase with eachother in the Romper Room, then take a nap on the futon to relax. Biggie has also made friends with Diego and Joba, Bichon brothers, and Lucy the Westie. Whether he’s greeting the attendants with kisses or playing chase with his friends, we always know Biggie Smalls is going to have a great time!
With all of the good work that they’ve done lately, Peaches the Wonder Pit and her siblings just had to be our dogs of the week! Peaches the Wonder Pit, therapy dog extraordinaire, is one of the universal favorites of Dogtopia. Peaches recently traveled to Boston to comfort students, police officers and FBI agents in the wake of the marathon bombing. The students that she was visiting declared her “wicked cool,” and we couldn’t agree more! Some days when she’s at Dogtopia, she stays behind the front desk to keep us company in the lobby and to exercise her therapy dog charm. When she plays with the other dogs, she loves to get her zoomies on with her siblings in the Romper Room. Peaches isn’t the only lovely in her pack though. The Bashford dogs model every size of love, so don’t count out big Finley and little Pickles. If you’ve never met pure love on three legs, look no further than Peaches’ handsome brother! Golden Finley is all smiles and sunshine in the Romper Room and he even has a reputation as a little bit of a canine Casanova among the ladies. He certainly doesn’t let being a tripod slow him down from a good game of chase or fetch. Last but definitely not least, little Pickles the Chihuahua mix may be a pint-sized pup, but in her head, she’s basically a mastiff. She is a magnanimous queen, capable of graciously allowing other dogs to play in her room, but never doubt that the Chihuahua totally runs the place. All of the Bashford dogs are great ambassadors for their breed!
Oliver the Cockapoo, our Dog of the Week, is no stranger to the limelight. With a face that adorable, is it any surprise that attention rains down on him everywhere he goes? Oliver has charmed just about everyone at Dogtopia, on four legs and on two. For the price of a smile, he knows that he can wrestle with Layla the Puggle and Rufus the Cocker spaniel until they’re all too tired to keep playing. If chase is the game of the day, his friends Maisey and Fenway are always willing to weave around the play sets at mach speed with him. Even his nap times are adorable: Oliver loves to curl up with his friends beside the table! Who could resist that fluffy puppy charm?
Miss Puffin may be a pocket-sized puggle, but her personality is big enough for three dogs! Like her feathered namesake, Puffin is super-social and cheerfully bounces from one group of friends to another. She plays with pretty much everybody, but her best friend at daycare is Biggie Smalls the bichon frisé. Puffin was one of the first dogs to welcome Biggie to the Dogtopia pack and they have been close friends ever since. She also loves her “pug family,” Layla and Quincy the puggles, and Lola the tiny pug! When Puffin finally reaches the bottom of her nearly-endless supply of puppy energy, she turns her playmates into cuddle buddies and finds someone to snuggle with during a quick energizer nap before she’s up and running again. Puffin’s indefatigable charm makes her an easy choice for our dog of the week!
Planning a wedding is an extremely fun, frustrating and stressful experience all wrapped into one. It takes months of work, usually thousands of dollars and has more politics associated with it than a presidential election. The good news is there are a lot of ways to make sure you show off some of your personality to your guests.
As doggie parents to three wonderful “kids” and the owner of a doggie daycare, it was important to my husband and I to include our dogs in our wedding. I scoured wedding websites and racked my brain for the best ways to show our guests that our dogs are more than just pets – they’re family. Making sure that went smoothly was no small feat. So, here are my tips for you on planning a dog-friendly wedding.
- Take your dog(s) personality into account. As much as I would have loved to have all three of my dogs standing next to us as our bridal attendants, we knew that two of them would not be well-suited to being a part of the ceremony. My rambunctious golden retriever Penny would have caused more stress for me, my husband, my family and anyone who met her because her idea of a good time is jumping up as high as she can to say hello. Settling down and sitting quietly are not in her vocabulary and I knew the last thing I wanted on my wedding day was dog paw prints on my beautiful wedding dress. On the flip side our rottie/pointer mix Jack is terrified by new people and would have been a nervous wreck with a crowd. He would have tried to find the nearest place to hide and hated every minute he was there. That left our old girl, Katrina. She’s a 12 year old Akita, and in very unAkita-like fashion has never met a person she didn’t like. She was our ring bearer and was escorted down the aisle by my brother Travis. Our other two enjoyed a fun day of play at Dogtopia.
- You don’t have to put your dog in a dress or a tux for them to look great at your wedding. I don’t think I’ve ever put a piece of doggie clothing on Katrina ever. An 85 pound dog really doesn’t lend herself to a frilly dress. I did want her to have something special to wear on our big day, though. I worked with Leah from My Dog Flair to create a custom collar, leash and bandana set that Katrina wore for her march down the aisle. Leah added a special ribbon on the bandana for the rings so they would be safe and secure for Katrina’s ring bearer duties.
- Just because they aren’t in the ceremony doesn’t mean they can’t be in pictures. You can always have a friend, dog walker, or relative meet you before or after your ceremony with your dog to be sure they’re in your pictures. Although I’ve done that for friends and customers before, we decided that would still be too much of a hassle the day of our wedding, so we scheduled a portrait session with Donna Foster Photography a couple weeks after our ceremony. It meant getting all dressed up again, but it was a lot less stressful because we could make our own schedule and didn’t have to worry about the dogs jumping on our clothes. We got them cleaned after that session instead of immediately after the wedding.
- Just because you’re up for partying all night doesn’t mean your dog is. At the ripe old age of 12, Katrina enjoys a good nap more than most anything else. We made sure my brother took her home between the ceremony and reception so she could sleep off all the excitement of the day. That way we didn’t have to worry about her begging for food or securing a dog-friendly venue, either.
- If you can’t have your dogs at the event, find another way to include them. Just because Jack and Penny couldn’t be at the ceremony didn’t mean we wanted to leave them out entirely. To show just how big a part of our family they are, we included them in our cake topper. We’re pretty big Star Wars fans as you can see, so our cake topper really served to make our wedding personal. I bought them through Knotting Wood on Etsy. I just sent shop owner Kathy a picture of our family and she created custom kokeshi dolls for us. Jack was an Ewok, Katrina was R2-D2 and Penny was Chewbacca.
- If your dogs aren’t going to be a part of your wedding, find someone to take care of them that day and don’t forget to schedule a vacation for your dogs while you go on your honeymoon. The last thing I wanted on my wedding day was to worry about whether the dogs were fed and got exercise. We made sure they had a spot reserved at Dogtopia so they could play and have a great time while we were at the wedding. If your dog isn’t suited for a daycare environment, hire a dog walker for the day or ask some friends, relatives, neighbors or co-workers to help you. Be sure and plan ahead though. You don’t want to wait until the day before your wedding and realize you forgot to schedule someone to take care of your dog. Busy wedding season is also busy travel season, and that means that many daycares, boarding facilities and dog walkers can fill up. You want to make sure you include it in your wedding budget as well!
Whatever you decide to do, just make sure you, your dogs and your guests have a great time.