Tuesday, July 30, 2013


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Kaya & Norman were still trottin' around with their original tags I got for them as puppies. Just the name and phone number ones you get from the machine at the pet store. I'd been meaning to get them some fun custom tags for a long time but finally got around to it once I noticed that their old tags, along with their cheapo split rings had gotten all rusted and were rubbing off on the nice stainless steel bottle opener D-rings on their Cycle Dog collars.

boring old rusted tags on their old collars

I decided on a couple tags from Critter Bling on Etsy. In case you haven't checked it out, Etsy is amazing for pet products and other handmade/personalized items. Remember our Etsy Halloween collars? Every shop owner I have worked with on Etsy has been so dedicated to their craft, pleasant to communicate with and passionate about their product. This shop was no exception. I sent her a long drawn-out explanation of what I wanted which was really a combo of several different tags she had listed, but without any further questions, she understood exactly what I wanted! About a week later, for just 11 bucks each, I had my awesome new tags!

Can you guess which is Kaya's and which is Norman's?

I love their names in the circles, she stamped the letters and circles all separately by hand!

I had to go with nu-gold(red brass) for Kaya because I love this metal with her eyes and Norman's is a nice nickle silver. I even loved the packaging which included a cute tin, tissue paper, tiny baggies for each tag and even separators so the split rings wouldn't rub on the tags. She also included 2 stainless steel split rings with each tag so I no longer have to worry about that damn rust on my tags and collars!

I spent about an hour scrubbing the rust off the D-rings!

And of course we had to head to the park for a photo shoot! Getting the dogs to stay put was easy, but getting the tags to stay put in the breeze was not something I anticipated...

I love these tags so much, if I ever get around to buying Kaya and Norman their leather collars, I might just order the same ones so I don't have to worry about switching the tags between the collars.

Do your pups have special tags or do they keep it simple?

The all important bloopers ;-)

Stay tuned because I also have a tag for Gina coming soon and another set of super fun custom tags for Kaya and Norman!

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Sunday, July 14, 2013


Wow...of all the years I have lived in the SF area, this is the first year I have gone to pride! We had a blast and I can't wait to go again next year. I have brought the dogs to some events but nothing of this scale so I wasn't totally sure how they would handle it. I kept an eye out for any signs of stress but I should have known, they loved every minute of it! With all the commotion, loud music, helicopters, parade floats, marching bands, crowds of people, crazy costumes, people on stilts, fireworks and cheers...the dogs walked along like we were on any old walk around the block. About a year ago, Kaya would have flipped her lid with all the excitement. And as much as Norman acts like a nervous nelly at home and even in the car, nothing phases him when he's out and about. And of course what they loved most was all the attention they got from people.

We were too late to get a good spot to view the parade so we mostly walked along the route, checking out the floats as the went past.

I think Norman found a spot with a peephole to the parade:-)

One of my favorite things about the day was how friendly everyone was. Tons of people came up to say they had pit bulls too and show me pictures. A lot of people asked what breed they were and smiled when I said they were pit mixes. One lively group started to shout "Give Pit Bulls a break! We love Pit Bulls!" as we walked by. It amazed me that sometimes I go out and only run into 5 people and get a snotty comment while in the midst of a crowd of 1.5 million people, I did not hear one snide comment, muttering, gasp or anything. One girl was happy to give her entire bag of ice cubes to Kaya in return for some tricks.

I cannot believe how cool and calm the dogs were all day. We had to navigate through some very tight crowds where the only way to get through was to have them follow close behind me while there were people reaching out and petting them from all angles, but the hardest part is that they wanted to turn around and greet everyone that petted them. One girl even tapped me on the back and asked me if the dogs were in training. I said we are always working on things but not specifically. She said she was impressed that they were paying such close attention!

There were 2 really shocking things that I saw throughout the day. Forget naked people and outrageous outfits, forget dirty dancing and drunken displays of affection...the craziest thing to me was a lady with a cat. Not just any cat, but a cat in a stroller all dressed up with a woman who was extremely obsessed with the 4th of July. The dogs saw the cat and they were intrigued but calm and kept their distance though the cat was hissing like crazy, understandably. I led the dogs away from the cat as the lady rambled on and on to me about the 4th of July and tried to get the dogs to come closer to the cat. I nodded and used it as an opportunity to get some pictures.

The next crazy thing I saw was an off leash dog. Now the dog was no bother to us. Kaya & Norman were lying down as it marched up to us, but they have no issues with new dogs or surprise greetings and it was a friendly little dog so they all exchanged sniffs and it left, but I could not believe that someone would think it was a good idea to let a dog dodge through dozens of people across a 30-foot sidewalk toward a parade route to jump in the middle of 2 unknown large dogs. The guy had another little dog on a flexi-lead that nearly tripped several people as it tried to join us too.

After the parade, there was a huge festival with tons of live music, djs and food where we checked out a lot of fun entertainment.

After a while, the dogs really started to get beat so we got something to eat and Kaya passed out on my feet while Norman rested in the shade behind us. Kaya soon got too hot and I told her to go in the shade also. She agreed that it was a good idea and turned Norman into her personal pillow.

When we started to head back to the car, the dogs felt rejuvenated when tons of new people took interest in them. The only bit of attention that was too much for them was when some guy tried to put sunglasses on Norman. I was about to say you shouldn't do that but Norman backed up and that was the end of it. And the next thing you know, Norman spun around and covered the guy's face in kisses, something they both really enjoyed. No grudges held! In fact, Norman kissed a whole lot of faces. One guy said it was the best kiss he had all day. Another rather flamboyant guy said, "Oh no! Too much cute, waaay too much cute!" And we had to laugh because that is word for word something I say all the time, haha.

So all in all it was an amazing day and bringing the dogs made it all the more fun because we got to meet and talk to so many more people than we normally would have. We did do some things right like bring plenty of water and a portable bowl for the dogs, plus treats and poop bags. I bathed the dogs in the morning and put sunscreen on them, but not enough on me! Though I have some ideas of how to make it even better next year. I would love to come earlier and get a spot by the side so we can actually see the parade and after that it would be nice to set up a blanket with drinks and snacks on the grass to listen to music. And I did not have enough time to get cool costumes together for them like Miss M & Mr B but maybe next year!

Last but not least, here is a picture of Norman totally confused by this guy...

I think he would have stood there all day trying to figure it out!

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Thursday, July 11, 2013


Kaya and Norman have never shown a fear of fireworks noises and they have been going off regularly for the whole month prior to the 4th. So when I found out there would be a display at our favorite park, I couldn't resist bringing them along.

It was a bit surreal when they blocked off the roads that we are so used to driving on and instead they were filled with people. For some reason, it reminded me of The Walking Dead. The park is at the Berkeley Marina which is a peninsula and everyone was gathering on one side for viewing where there was also music, food and carnival rides but the off leash dog park is on the other side so of course we headed over there since I had at least an hour to let them play before the fireworks.

Kaya, of course, chased a million tennis balls. Well, she chased her tennis ball a million times and Norman found some new friends to play with. One of them was a super cute Kaya look-alike and the other one was a buff tan pittie who was a ball fiend like Kaya.

As we walked around the park, I realized that there were people gathering on the hill so we decided to stay on this side to watch the fireworks instead of going to other crazier side. We grabbed a spot on the hill and while we were waiting we could see the fireworks on the San Francisco side across the water which was cool. Kaya and Norman got in the spirit and put on their glow necklaces.

As soon as the fireworks started on our side, I realized I had very little to worry about with the dogs being bothered by the fireworks. Kaya passed out with her head on my legs and Norman passed the time by playing with the ball, sitting on our laps getting his butt scratched and giving us kisses. He even watched a little bit of the display. After it was over, Kaya was happy to chase her ball again back across the park.

The walk back to the car was pretty entertaining. Some people set up a large drum circle in the middle of the blocked off road and there were tons of people weirdly dancing to it. It was quite the range from little kids(one was an amazing break-dancer!) to washed-up hippies flailing their arms around to bootie-shakin' ladies and some awkward college guys sort of club dancing. We watched for a few minutes and we had our fill.

Overall, I think the event was a bit of a let down for the dogs. After having gone to SF Pride a few days earlier where they were spoiled with so much attention, this time they only had a couple people come up to pet them. Norman was certainly miffed and confused. Though Kaya had one guy memorized by her knack for catching tennis balls in the air. But at least I know they don't mind fireworks!

Norman wants to know where the love is :-(

What did you do to celebrate? How did your dogs handle the fireworks?

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