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News and Information about Dogs, Cats, and Pet Products

Sarah Stromberg, Animal Care Manager at the West Suburban Humane Society provided us with this amazing story about adopting senior dogs and how they can change your life!

“I could never adopt a senior pet.  I can’t go through loss again so soon.” “Old dogs cost more to take care of.” “There must be something wrong with that dog if her owner gave her up after 8 years.” These are common comments heard at shelters across the nation.  I’m letting you all in on a big secret: if you are lucky enough to adopt a senior shelter pet, it will change your life.

My family was not looking for a dog when Rocky entered our lives.  He was originally adopted as a 3 month oldRocky puppy and returned to the shelter at 7 years old.  When asked about return reason, Rocky’s owner said “There’s nothing wrong with him, we just don’t have time for him anymore.”  When they left, one of his kids said “Bye, Rocky, I’ll miss you.” Heartbreaking…

Oftentimes, dogs living in a home for many years have a harder time adjusting to shelter life than strays or those from other shelters.  I’ll never forget how Rocky wouldn’t lay down in his run at the shelter, and he whined pitifully and was inconsolable.  I was asked to bring him home as a foster to determine his true personality.  Little did we know how deeply this old shepherd would embed himself in our hearts.  Rocky was ours for seven years.  He was the best behaved dog we ever had. He was already housebroken, never chewed anything, did not beg at the table; not even once, and was fine with other animals (even annoying foster puppies who came and went over time).  He was my shadow; my constant companion, following me everywhere.  It was as if he was so grateful to be back in a home, he wanted us to know.  He was such a loyal, loving guy.  When Rocky left us, he took a piece of our hearts with him. He was so special and we couldn’t imagine not having had the chance to be in his life.

brutusWhen you visit a shelter, don’t overlook the seniors thinking you will be heartbroken if they die too soon. Small breed dogs can live to 20, so at 10, they are only middle-aged!  Love is love and it comes with loss at some point.  Senior dogs are an open book, what you see is what you get.  Most seniors are potty trained and have already learned their manners.  I always suggest a senior for busy families with younger children because they don’t require as much training and tend to accommodate their family instead of the family accommodating them.  The idea that senior dog care costs more is just not true…Puppies need more vaccines, more check-ups, and they get into things they shouldn’t and cost you a trip to the emergency vet.  A dog of any age can become ill or injured.

JudyRocky was not a anomaly.  Fantastic dogs of all ages and breeds are given up every day through no fault of their own.  People’s lives change.  They find they can’t afford their pet.  They may have to move to assisted living or take in a family member who is allergic.  Maybe they changed jobs and travel more.  Shelter dogs are not damaged goods.  Senior shelter dogs have such amazing hearts, they are the best kept secret in sheltering.  Next time you visit your local rescue organization, take special notice of and seriously consider a senior dog.  You will never regret it, I promise!

When you think about getting a new dog, most of the time our minds automatically go to looking at cute, fluffy puppies.  I mean, they really are just adorable…but have you thought about adopting a senior dog?  November is Senior Pet Month and next time you think about bringingMabel_terrier Chihuaua mix a new four-legged family member into your home, think about the benefits of a senior dog.

  1. What you see is what you get:  Older dogs are an open book – you know what their full-grown size is, what their eating and grooming requirements are and they will have already established their temperament and personality.  This will help ensure that this is the right dog for you and your family!
  2. They have manners: Most senior pets are already housetrained; unlike a puppy, and are usually familiar with basic commands (Come. Sit. Stay.) that will make your life easier.  If your household has young children this is especially helpful!  Old dogs are eager to please and enjoy the mental stimulation, they also have a lot of experience in reading humans which will help them quickly figure out how to do what you are asking.
  3. An older dog is past the chewing phase: Anyone who has had a puppy that has chewed furniture, shoes, rugs, and anything and everything else they can get to…you can now relax!  The chewing is a puppy behavior and you will not have to replace your favorite shoes anymore.
  4. A senior dog requires less exercise: You might be experiencing this already…as we age we all slow down a bit.  Same goes for a dog, they will be less frisky and rambunctious than a puppy, so the requirement for exercise will be far less.
  5. They are not a 24-7 Job: Dogs in their older years will not require the constant monitoring like puppies do.  You will have more freedom to do your own thing.
  6. Just Add Love: An older animal will adapt to a new family given love and time.  You might not be this dog’s first family (or even 64a5a33b-306b-4e7d-aec2-a6273a2ef100second or third), but once you adopt and shower him with love you will be his only family!
  7. Great for all ages: Senior pets have a more relaxed temperament which makes them excellent companions for the young and elderly.  More mature people benefit with an older dog companion that is aligned with their energy level and lifestyle, and children can benefit from an animal who is more tolerant and who may already be well socialized with them.
  8. They know they have been given a second chance: Talk to anyone who has adopted a mature dog and they will tell you that they are convinced their pet knows they have been saved.  Just one look in their eyes and you can see that they are saying, “Thank you for saving my life.”
  9. Be a hero: At shelters and rescues, older dogs are more than always the last to be adopted.  Taking one home will give you an emotional return on your investment, and you will feel the rewards every day you spend together!
  10. They are Cute…do you need anymore than that!

Brutus_beagle mixIf you are interested in visiting our local shelters to meet some adoptable senior pets here are some of the local shelters that we would recommend visiting first.  A.D.O.P.T. Pet Shelter, Hinsdale Humane Society, Naperville Area Humane Society and West Suburban Humane Society.

We are so excited that our 6th Annual Adopt-A-Rama is this coming Saturday!  This event has grown so much over the years and we will now have 24 rescues and shelters on hand along with a dozen vendors and local businesses to educate you on products and services for your pets.

Last week we told you why owning multiple pets is actually good for you!  Today I want to give you a short checklist of how to go about introducing new pets into your home.

1. Consider the personalities of your existing pets, look for a new addition with specific traits.  Adopting an older pet has a big advantage – most older pets have already been exposed to other species in their past, which can really streamline the socialization process.

3abede6d6e2ae0f0ecb262c932190bd22. If your dog tends to aggressively chase, pin, or otherwise “manhandle” cats, it’s probably best to consider getting another dog instead.  And, a cat who constantly growls and bats, or hides from dogs would probably prefer the company of another cat.

3. If you have a pup who loves chasing things, consider avoiding a fearful or shy new addition.  This can actually sometimes trigger a dog to chase.

4. Ignore the old wives tale – Bringing a highly energetic, rough-playing pet home could bring “new life” to your existing elderly pet companion.  This pairing could actually terrorize or even hurt your older furry friend.  Look for an upbeat, but calmer new addition.  The extra company can still do wonders for an older animal.

5. Pick a neutral location to introduce your existing pet and the prospective new pet.  Pick a somewhat airy, open area that neither pet considers “home turf.”

6. After bringing your new furry friend home, periodically rotate which pet has freedom to roam and which one is more confined for the first few days.  This allows each animal plenty of space to investigate the other one’s scent.

7. Never leave two newly-acquainted pets alone together and unsupervised.  This should be managed very gradually over about 3-6 weeks.

8. In the case of dogs and cats, the cat will often “claim” higher territory and let the dog “have” the floor spaces.  Try adding a few high-up perching features (shelves or pieces of furniture) to your living area to help both animals feel comfortable.

9. Don’t hesitate to work with a qualified animal behaviorist who can often suggest very specific and effective strategies for helping new furry family members get comfortable with each other.

Stop by any Two Bostons store and ask for some firsthand advice on creating a happy, healthy homecoming for your new pet!  We look forward to seeing you and your well-behaved four-legged family members this weekend.

If you are reading this, you are probably a pet lover already – so you know and are already reaping the benefits of having a furry family member!  But sometimes, one just isn’t enough…are you wanting to add another pet family member to your house?  Do you (like me!) have to do a lot of negotiating and convincing of why another pet in the house is needed and beneficial…well now you can use this! Pet companionship is proven to reduce stress; increase feeling of contentment; even lower blood pressure.  That’s a lot of advantages from one devoted family member.

It is a fact that multiple pets are good for each other too.  Dogs and cats take cues from others in their “pack,” and will entertain each other while your away.  Adding another cat or dog to a single-pet household can help the current pet with separation anxiety and a younger pet can spark new energy in the life of an older one.

cat-and-dog-snugglingMost vets agree that owning multiple pets can give us pet parents:

Greater peace of mind – When we have to work a long day or be away for an evening, it is reassuring to know that your pets can keep each other company.

A better understanding of each pet – It’s amazing how you will see so many other aspects of your pet’s personality come out around other animals!

dog-puppy1Personal insight – If we pay close attention, each animal can teach us something different about ourselves and those we care about.

A greater sense of gratitude – Watching animals romp and play reminds us how much they live for (and in) the moment – and encourages us to let go of worries about the future or guilt about the past.

If you are thinking about adding another pet to your household, consider the type and breed that would represent the best “fit” for your lifestyle.  Take your existing pet(s) along with you to meet the new pet you are considering.  Neutral, non-territorial settings can help you get a better feel for general temperament, as well as food and sharing issues.  Experienced rescue and shelter personnel can offer invaluable insights that can help you all enjoy a smooth transition!

2015-adopt-a-rama-logo-with-TBlogo

Don’t forget that we have our 6th Annual Adopt-A-Rama coming up on Saturday, October 3, 2015 from Noon – 3:00 pm at Two Bostons – Springbrook…we will have over 20 Chicagoland shelters and rescue represented for you to meet, greet and help find you your next four-legged family member!

Anna Payton, Executive Director at the Naperville Area Humane Society shares how becoming a Foster Parent can make a difference.

Anna%20and%20Gulliver%20web“Every day we are inundated with emails and phone calls from people wanting to rehome their animal and high volume shelters needing help with placing animals in their care.  This is one of the hardest decisions staff faces daily.  Which animals do we have room to take in and help and which ones will have to wait for space to become available.  The Naperville Area Humane Society (NAHS) is a small but mighty shelter with only 18 dog kennels and space for about 40 cats.  Our staff and volunteers provide the animals within our walls great care and love daily.  One of our goals is to increase the number of animals we help per year.  With our space being limited, we cannot do that without your help.

By becoming a foster parent, you can make a big difference for the animals in our community by truly saving a life.  On a temporary basis, you will provide a warm, loving environment, or kittens that are not quite old enough to go up for adoption.  NAHS is here to support you throughout the foster process and answer any questions you may have along the way.  When we have an animal in need that is a match for you, you will be contacted to see if you are available to help.  In the middle of painting your house or getting ready to go on vacation?  No problem.  We will contact you next time we have an animal looking for a foster home.

The length of time you foster depends on the needs of the animal.  We do our best to accommodate foster families and their time available.  There is an initial $50 fee to become a foster ($25 foster license through the Illinois Department of Agriculture and $25 general volunteer program fee through NAHS).  For all the details about the NAHS foster program, please visit our website.

As someone who has fostered many animals over the years, I can honestly say that being a foster parent is a very rewarding experience for adults and families alike.  Please help us increase our capacity for care of animals in need and become a foster parent today!”

20150730_095300Does this make you want to find out more or sign up to be a Foster Family?  As part of the Two Bostons 10 Year Anniversary Celebration we are searching for NEW Foster Families.  The first 10 new families (per shelter) to contact, and be accepted as a foster family before August 31, 2015 in this rewarding program will receive a “Foster Hero Basket” valued at over $500.  As you generously open your heart and home you will find you have everything you need to feed, treat and entertain your Canine Foster Friend. Contact one of these shelters today to find out more information: A.D.O.P.T. Pet Shelter, Hinsdale Humane Society, Naperville Area Humane Society, or West Suburban Humane Society.

Multiple pets make great family members.

If you’re reading this, odds are good you’re already a pet lover — so you appreciate the benefits of having “furkids” in your family! Pet companionship is proven to reduce stress; increase feelings of contentment; even lower blood pressure. That’s a lot of advantages from one devoted, fluffy friend.

It’s a fact that multiple pets are good for each other, too. Dogs and cats take cues from others in their “pack,” and even entertain each other while we’re away. Adding another cat or dog to a single-pet household can help the existing pet feel less separation anxiety – and a younger pet can spark new energy in the life of an older one.

What about for us pet parents? Most vets agree that owning multiple pets can give us:

Greater peace of mind.
When we have to work a long day or be away for an evening event, it’s reassuring to know that our pets have each other for company.

A better understanding of each pet.
It’s amazing how many aspects of a pet’s personality only surface around other animals! Our Maizy is a puppy mill dog who’s very shy and scared around people – but quite an impish instigator when it comes to her brother Grant.

Personal insight.
If we pay close attention, each animal can teach us something different about ourselves and those we care about. Grant, for example, just needed lots of time and space before he was willing to trust others – but the wait was totally worth it. Sitting with my good old dog Sparky as we nursed him back from a lengthy illness helped me appreciate my own capacity for love.

A greater sense of gratitude.
Watching animals romp and play reminds us how much they live for (and in) the moment – and encourages us to let go of worries about the future or guilt about the past.

If you’re thinking of adding another pet to your household, consider the type and breed that would represent the best “fit” for your lifestyle. Then take your existing pet(s) along to meet whichever new pet you’re considering. Neutral, non-territorial settings can help you get a better feel for general temperament, as well as food and sharing issues. And experienced rescue and shelter personnel can offer invaluable insights that can help you all enjoy a smooth transition!

Don’t forget: Our fourth annual Adopt-A-Rama happens this Saturday, October 5th from noon – 3p.m . at our Springbrook location. Come out and see us!

Did you know that Two Bostons was created out of the love Andy and AdreAnne had for their two rescued Boston Terriers?

It’s true. That is the entire reason this place exists.

Because of their deep love for rescued animals, Andy and AdreAnne have made it part of their mission to help as many rescue groups as possible in as many ways as possible. From weekend meet and greets to donations of food and supplies, Two Bostons feels strongly about supporting rescue groups.

Our 3rd Annual Adopt A Rama is coming up on September 29th. It is an entire afternoon dedicated to rescue groups. Be sure to save the date and bring the family out to this amazing event, where you will be able to see many, many rescue groups. You’ll also have the chance to gather great information from manufacturers of some of the Two Bostons products you love. You can even have your dog’s nails trimmed and there will be a vet tech on hand doing micro chipping.

We currently have 15 groups slated to join us that day, but we are always looking for more great groups to help out.

Do you know of a group with which we aren’t currently acquainted? Send them our way! Have them email events@twobostons.com and introduce themselves to us!

In the meantime, be sure to check out these links to the great groups we’ve worked with just this year alone (in no particular order):

Australian Shepherd Rescue

Midwest Lab Rescue

Don’t Bully My Breed

Naperville Area Humane Society

Help Save Pets

A.D.O.P.T.

ARF

As Good As Gold

Crossroads Shih Tzu

It’s A Pittie

Forever Friends Great Danes

Westie Rescue of MO

Chicago English Bulldog Rescue

Recycled Rotts

Houndsong Beagle and Coonhound Rescue

Starfish Animal Rescue

Hope 4 Paws

Collie Rescue of Greater Illinois

Pit Crew of IL

Chicagoland Eskie Rescue

DuPage County Animal Care & Control

Dire Straits Animal Rescue

MOPS Pug Rescue

There are many, many animals looking for their forever homes in these groups. Won’t you consider helping one out? As you can see by the long list of names, many rescue dogs are breed specific, so if you are looking for a certain type of dog, be sure to check the rescue groups first.

And, don’t forget about that great site petfinder.com…where Andy and AdreAnne found three of their four rescue dogs (Sassy, their fourth rescue dog came from the Naperville Area Humane Society). It is another really great resource for people looking to add the love of an animal to their home.

 

Oh, Miss Sassafras! We didn’t even know we missed having you in our family until we had you in our laps!

Sassy joined our Two Bostons family this last week from the Naperville Area Humane Society.  Andy and I found out she was there on Friday and after introducing both of our fur babies and well as our human kids, we brought her home on Sunday.

 

She has been absolutely wonderful and is bringing out the best in our Beamer Boy – he is so excited to have someone to pick on . . . I mean play with!

Beamer and Sassy Playing

I’m pretty sure Daisy Duke is A-OK with the addition, too. This means she can sit up on her throne and observe the two pups playing. When enough is enough, she gives the a quick bark and all is well with the dog world again.

It’s been fun watching them all figure out the pack rank naturally. It all makes perfect sense from the dogs’ perspective. As difficult as it is to stay out of it as a human, it is so very important to let them figure out the ranking themselves.  Enjoy the photos – we’ll be sure to post more as we have them.

 

All Three Dogs in a Bed

All three of our Furry Babies!