5 Days!

Just five more days before "Considerations for the City Dog" is a real-life book!

Use #CityDog for your chance to win a copy of the paperback, which will be out in two weeks. The Kindle version goes live on June 1st!

- M3
#Dogs, #PositiveReinforcement, #DogTraining, #DogBehavior, #LoveDogs, #UrbanHounds  


Considerations for the City Dog: Excerpt - "Bet"

Chapter 16: A Note on Back Yards, pg. 152 
Considerations for the City Dog 

"Cocoa mulch is used as organic mulch with a more pleasant scent to humans but the same chemicals in dark chocolate are found in some brands of cocoa mulch. Caffeine and theobromine are the chemicals that are responsible for toxicity. Though it’s possible for a dog to get sick, most dogs leave the mulch alone. However, I’d personally lean on the safe-side and not use cocoa mulch in areas where dogs have access. I’ve worked with dogs that have eaten rocks, chocolate, goose poop, their own poop, and other dogs’ poop. I wouldn’t ever bet against the temptation of a dog eating something he shouldn’t."
Posted by Considerations for the City Dog on Thursday, May 21, 2015



Chapter List for "Considerations for the City Dog"

Some more big news!

Here is the CHAPTER LIST for the upcoming book for city dogs!

(Melissa Mullen of Melissa Mullen Photography

For any dog in the city, for any professional who needs to know HOW to refer a dog to another professional, for any student who needs help in the city with their dogs, this book will make you look at dogs and the pet-industry with new eyes. We have specific kinds of stress in the city, stress that just simply doesn't exist in quite the same fashion as in rural environments. That stress affects us, our dogs, and the way we treat problem behaviors. Urban dogs have been ignored for far too long, and it's time that a resource exists for city dog owners.

There is just 12 days left before this book is available. If you think that city dogs need a place on the book shelf, please feel free to share Considerations for the City Dog and tell your friends. You can pre-order the Kindle Version here!



Car Talk, Talkin' Dogs!

A few weeks ago, my friend Dr. Sip and I started a new adventure.

CAR TALK asked if we would be able to write about topics involving pets, travel and cars. (It's honestly hard not to be a fan-girl about this, but I'll try to keep it professional).

We accepted the challenge!

Here are the first three of our Blog Posts for Car Talk.

Belt Your Beast!
  Sip and I discuss why it's important to secure a pet in a moving vehicle.

Of Kennels and Crates 
  We continue our discussion about securing pets by address the pros and cons of crates, doggy-seat-belts, and barriers.

Driving Miss Fluffy
  Because we aren't in the line of discrimination, we talk about how/why to keep kitties safe, too! Have you heard of a "Cat Tube"? No? Then go here and it will change your life.

 If you have ideas for our Car Talk monthly discussion, please feel free to leave it here in the comments, or go HERE.

 #dogs, #travel, #cartalk, #pets, #blog


City Dogs Eating Things

Considerations for the City Dog is due out on June 1st. I was lucky enough to get submissions of photos for this project from all over the country and I wish I could have included all of them. As part of the countdown, I'm going to post some of the photos. Some made the cut, and others didn't. I wanted to tip my hat to all of the amazing dogs and handlers in some way, so even if the dogs didn't make it in the book, I wanted to show the world how great they are. I think all of the owners who submitted their dogs for consideration for Considerations are amazing owners who are doing everything they can to give their urban hound the best possible life. 

This is what this book is about. People and their dogs, in the city. 

I'm calling this segment "Dogs and Lunch." 

"Lulu" really wants a Dog-tini, but it's barely even noon.
(Photo submitted by Amy Cotter)

"Finders keepers, man. Finders, keepers. "
-Roger, the Aussie
(Photo submitted by Alan and Mariah Torpey of Somerville, MA)

Calliope "Callie" Mallon working for her dinner!
Photo submitted by Andy and Ken Mallon of Medford, MA.

This is my daughter, Aislyn. She is giving her favorite buddy, Bandit, his Kong. 
(Photo submitted by Maura Kennedy and Steve Turcott).

Considerations for the City Dog  is due out June 1st. Look for it on Amazon in e-Book and in print - and as always, thank you so very much to all the students who made this book possible by submitting photos of your wonderful dogs. This book and this project would not exist if it weren't for you. Thank you for sharing them with me.


#PositiveReinforcement #MentalStimulation
#Dogs #DogTraining #CityDogs  #Dog #Book


Car Talk: Belt Your Beast

On Superbowl Sunday, 2015, my friend Dr. Sip Siperstein asked if I would join her in writing a pet blog for Car Talk

We've been having so much fun ever since! 

The first of our monthly series is now out: Belt Your Beast. Each of our posts will relate in some way to pets and cars - likely traveling and product reviews. We intend to make things as entertaining and informative as possible. Some subjects will be tougher than others (pets in hot cars will not be a laugh-riot) but we are excited to team up with Car Talk on this project. 


- M3


The Book!

Oh, they grow up so fast.

These ideas grow up and become fully fledged books with websites of their own.

Where did the time go? 

Considerations for the City Dog now has it's own website and it is now available for pre-order on Kindle.  I will have a pre-order link for the physical book a little later, but for now, I'm feeling pretty good about where things stand. 

After I go over my editors' notes this weekend, it will go through one final check and be ready for release by the 1st of June. 

See you all on the other side of June 1st. Send this along to anyone you think would benefit from a book like this. Wish me luck and most importantly, thank you for sharing your dogs with me for this project. I'm honored. 



City Dogs!

I've been working on a book, Considerations for the City Dog,  which is due out on June 1st. I was lucky enough to get submissions of photos for this project from all over the country and I wish I could have included all of them. 

As part of the countdown, I'm going to put some of the photos that I really wanted to add, but for some reason couldn't include (too dark, resolution not up to par, similar to other photos in the book, etc). I think all of the owners who submitted their dogs for consideration for Considerations are amazing owners who are doing everything they can to give their urban hound the best possible life. 

This is what this book is about. People and their dogs, in the city. 

Nyla Bonz (owned by Amy Parker) and Murphy (owned by Jocelyn Fassett), both of Somerville, MA.
They are enjoying a beautiful day at Zero New Washington Dog Park, the newest park in my fair city!

Lilah stretching her legs around Boston, MA.
(Photo submitted by Torrie Dwyer)

Tara Slesar took this photo of her sheltie,"Siena," with the Boston skyline in the distance.
This is how I feel about the 2015 winter. "Go Away, Winter! Go AWAY!"

I'll continue posting more photos as we get closer to the June 1st date, but for now, I did want to reach out and say a heartfelt thanks to everyone who has supported this project and submitted photos for the book. Thank you, thank you, thank you.



Pro-Tip: Identification Tags

I was a dog trainer LOOOONG before I was a mom. I think that's critical to this story.

It breaks my heart whenever I see a lost stuffed animal, well-loved blanket, or toy with stickers all over it in my city. That indicates that somewhere, sometime in the likely near future, is a 1,2,3 or 4 year old child who is very, very, very sad. 

At least once a month on Facebook, I'll see an image circulating: 
"Have you seen my son's toy? It's his favorite. It looks like this and was last seen at the grocery store." 

"I found this on an airplane seat. I think a little girl left it behind. Can you share it? It looks well-loved and I'm sure she's missing her friend." 

It reminded me of the missing dog posters I see around my neighborhood. These toys are just as important to these kids as family pets are to the family. If you don't believe me, try to take my daughters favorite stuffed toy from her, even just to look at it. Utter panic, real emotion, actual tears. When she gets it back? Instant comfort. 

I had to bribe her to take Puppy for a photo session. 
"If I can borrow puppy, you can watch your show." 

I have been making dog leashes for my students for awhile now, and even tried to make a dog collar once, but couldn't figure out how to size it. Then it hit me: I could put a collar and identification tags on "Puppy," in the same way I tell my students to ALWAYS have a collar with identification on their dogs. As you can see in the photo above, Rohan my cat never goes outside, but even she has a tag with ID because you never know. One day she might slip out, or there might be a fire and she escapes. You never know. I'd rather be prepared for my pets. 

I feel that I should afford my kid the same comfort that if Puppy were lost, I did everything I could to make sure they would be reunited. So, I made Puppy a fancy, schmancy collar.

It's a little big, but it was my first try. 

Return to Aislyn 

Then, I made Puppy an ID tag. Ace and I went up the street to the pet store where she picked out Puppy's new tag. We made it an activity where she was part of the process. Now, if Puppy is ever lost in a grocery store, on a plane, or at the park, I can say that the dog "looks like this, has an orange braided collar, and a gold tag." If the toy is picked up and found, they can call the phone number on the tag, ask for Aislyn and say "I found Puppy!"

#DogTrainerMom  #Win  

I hope, just like with real pets, that we'll never need it, but if my pets, or if Puppy is ever missing, we have that safety net. 

What life hacks have you tried for your kids and dogs? 



Charlestown Fire - How To Help Local Pet Boarding Business and Family Who Lost Everything

It's with a heavy heart that a I say that a local dog walker and boarding business is in the worst imaginable position.

On Saturday, a house-fire tore through a Charlestown home, killing 4 dogs and 2 cats. Many of these pets were boarding with the family at the time of the fire.

Many of my friends board and walk pets professionally for owners who are out of town or work long hours. These pets become a part of each family who spends extended time with them - the family who loves the pets, and the families who care for the pets when the family is away.

Elizabeth, her husband, her two children, and the other adults who lived in the building were not harmed during Saturday's fire. However, they lost everything. None of the pets survived and a firefighter was injured at the scene.

My dear friend, Michelle told me that she saw them bring out the pets, and place them under a white sheet. The firefighters did try CPR at the scene, but they couldn't do anything to save the family pets or the pets boarding at MonumenTails.

Charlestown is such a tight knit community. The pet community, specifically, is a tight knit community. If you don't believe me, look at the GoFundMe page for Elizabeth's family. The $5,000 donation ceiling was shattered just hours after posting about the family. We don't live in Charlestown, but every time someone in that community needs help, people spring into action and it's absolutely amazing.

I wrote this piece several years ago, and some of the links don't work anymore - but there is still good information specifically about pets and fires; how to give your pet the best chance of getting out; why a cop or a firefighter might tell you to step away, or brush you aside while they assess what's happening on scene; and to make clear that everyone is trying to help on a chaotic, horrifying, scary scene. The best thing you can do is be prepared, and understand why certain protocols are taken at the scene of an active fire.

My heart is heavy and sad for everyone involved. If you wish to help, Durty Harry's is taking donations for the family, their two kids (ages 2 and 4) and the GoFundMe page is open to people who wish to help.