Week #49 – Winter Bazaar Benefiting Red Door Animal Shelter

My friend and co-worker Erica (who took our adorable photos with George) told me about the Winter Bazaar that she was exhibiting at, and I knew I wanted to go. I love craft shows! Better yet? Proceeds from the Bazaar went to Red Door Animal Shelter in West Rodgers Park.

I drove over to Warren Park, located in the same area, and was surprised by how big the green space was. When I looked on the Park District’s website, I noticed there is ice skating here when it gets cold, along with many other activities year-round.

I walked into the gymnasium, and it was such a sight to see. Vendors selling their work–everything from knitted items to beauty products to stationary to art and so much more. Dogs dressed up for the holidays. Photos with Santa! A cookie walk, in which you pay by the pound for fresh, homemade cookies. You definitely couldn’t be bored here, that’s for sure.

Erica and her friends Kristen (http://www.etsy.com/shop/tinyseabeast), Emily, and Emma (http://www.etsy.com/shop/ClawedMeownet) were the first booth when you walked in (prime real estate!). Erica and I walked around to see the vendor offerings, and I did a little shopping.

First, I purchased some cards from a woman who sold cards with French Bulldogs on them! Then, I met Gretta of Gretta’s Goats and fell in love with her story and her products. She has dozens of goats up in Grayslake, Illinois, (but she was moving just after the show) and makes these delicious smelling soaps that are handmade from goat’s milk that are raised in organic pastures. On her website, you can meet all of her goats, see the different soap scents, and purchase her soap. She also visits a lot of local farmer’s markets (check her Facebook page to learn more). Family: don’t be surprised if you receive this wonderful soap as a Christmas present!

I ended my visit at Erica and her friends’ booth, where I picked out some of Erica’s beautiful and fun cards, and purchased one of Kristen’s pretty cowls (magenta!).

Keep an eye out for the Winter Bazaar next year, and be sure to take a look at the vendors’ sites. It’s so nice to shop events like this because you’re not only supporting the animals (which is important!), but also local small business owners, too.

Red Door Animal Shelter
2410 West Lunt Ave.
West Rodgers Park

Warren Park
6601 North Western Ave.
West Rodgers Park

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Week #45 – Anything Is PAWZible

I’ll be the first to say George is the best pup on the planet, but my little guy needed some training.

When Nate told me he signed George up for puppy class with Anything Is PAWZible, I was excited. When we started class, I was still a little timid around George. Nate would put him in the car, he felt more comfortable doing tricks and commands with him, and I was more the “supportive mom”.

Over six weeks, George would learn how to sit, side sit, wait (his best skill!), come (the most important!), and more. We are still working on down, but I’m confident George will get there. Nate and I learned house training tips, received behavioral advice, and the importance of loose-leash walking. Every week, we got our homework assignments to keep George, and us, working hard on his lessons.

Rendy, our class trainer and the owner of the company, was a wonderful teacher. She was patient and so kind to George, which I really appreciated because George loved her. Rendy answered any of our questions and always made herself available if we needed her (she said to continue to contact her, so we might take her up on that). The classes were fun, challenging, and well-balanced between skills and play time.

Our classes were held at Active – Dog Daycare and Boarding on Diversey near the expressway. Honestly, I’m not sure who was more excited for class, George or Nate and me. I loved seeing the other dogs in our class–Penny, Saison, Pappy, and Gracie–and how they grew and learned from week to week, and how well they all played together with George. It was also fun to chat with the puppy parents, finding out what’s going on with their puppies, and sharing in their successes.

This week during our last class, we did a skills quiz, the pups picked out toys, ate puppy cake (it’s not real cake!), and received certificates. Some photos from our last class are included below!

I honestly can’t say enough positive things about this experience. I’m not sure who learned more: me or George. I highly recommend Anything Is PAWZible. I hope we sign up for our next class soon, and hope that this isn’t the last that we see of our new classmates friends.

Anything Is PAWZible
1330 West North Ave
Noble Square

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Week #39 – Spotlight: Barc’s French Bulldogs

For as long as I’ve known Nate, he’s wanted a pup of his own. I, on the other hand, have never had a dog in my life, so I never really felt a desire to get one. Until I met George.

When our rent was increased drastically at our old apartment in July, I knew by the end of the summer we’d be out and in a dog-friendly unit. We were lucky to find another place in our building that accepted dogs, and the search began.

I let Nate take the lead, because of his knowledge and extreme interest, and I knew he would find us a great dog. He wanted a male French Bulldog, and I wanted him to be black or brindle. Nate would get so excited when he’d see Frenchie puppies–I was so excited for him to finally have one of his own.

So the week before we went on vacation, Nate told me he found a puppy, and not too far away in Michigan. It was all happening so fast! Four days later, after our dinner at Davanti Enoteca, we headed to the home of Alison and Nick, owners of Barc’s French Bulldogs.

My friend Sarah warned me that if I was going to see a pup, I wasn’t going home without him. Man, was she right.

When we pulled up, a pack of Frenchies came running from the backyard. I was smitten. We were able to meet Baby, his mom Sunny, his brother Aries, and many more members of his family. Seeing the way Baby interacted with his brother melted my heart.

We spoke with Alison and Nick for hours, learning about them, how they breed the dogs, why they do, and how to care for Baby. We found out we have a lot in common: Alison and I are both Polish, and she even hosts weddings at the barn on their farm–just like Nate’s mom. I asked a ton of questions, but I trusted them, and I believed this puppy was loved and well-cared for, and we would bring him into the same environment in our new apartment.

We agreed on the name George Barc King, and I tell you, he has changed our lives so much for the better. Nate is amazingly happy to have the dog he’s always wanted, and I feel that motherly instinct kick in when I see that little 11 lb. bundle of joy. (Don’t get too excited, people. I gotta let this feeling soak in…)

Below I included some photos from our time with Georgie so far. I hope you get a chance to meet him! He’s the sweetest, most loving dog I’ve ever met, and I’m so glad that he’s our little guy.

Barc’s French Bulldogs
Vermontville, Michigan

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