Saturday, August 21, 2010

Does Your Dog Have What It Takes?

Fenway Bark Stay.Play.Heal. has the tag line "The Premier Destination for the Discriminating Dog" for a number of very important reasons.

One reason is that we want to create an environment where you and your dog can come and visit together year round, perhaps as a visitor, a guest, or even a Fenway Bark team member on one of our competitive teams!

We are confident from our floor dimensions that we will be able to offer competitive FlyBall at Fenway Bark!  If you don't know what Flyball is, take a peak at this short video from OK that gives you a 360 degree look at a Flyball competition.

There isn't much FlyBall in the Northeast yet but Fenway Bark plans to change that!  Its too much fun to miss out!  Perhaps the other dog care facility in the area will want to form their own team and it will be like the Sharks and the Jets from West Side Story but the dividing line is I-93. :-) (Rebecca - That's a Flyball Throwdown to you! Let's have some fun in 2011!)

Flyball is great exercise for your dog, a fun time for you and allows you to meet other dog parents (and their pups) who are as passionate about having fun with their dog as you are!

So does your dog have what it takes to be a flyball competitor?  Does your dog have a NEED to RETRIEVE?  We will be introducing our certified agility trainer to you this September who will champion the Flyball team! 

So if you want your dog to be considered for the Flyball training team starting late this Fall, let me know by contacting me at  We will have our agility trainer reach out to you in September and we will begin some basic training before we open.

Let's have some fun!

PS - I have this image in my head as I write this of dog parents all over New England sitting next to their prized pups and giving them the pep talk like in Rocky or the opposite, a dog whimpering over not being given the option like Marlon Brando in On the Waterfront- "I could have been a contender.  I could have been somebody.  Instead of dog, which is what I am."  
I guess I have a very vivid imagination, but no more vivid than the fiction that was delivered to my doorstep yesterday.  More to come on that - I truly love a good piece of fiction.

Thursday, August 19, 2010


Hi Everyone!

As the summer draws to a close I want to provide you with a brief update on Fenway Bark.

First, I am grateful to all of you who have spread the word about Fenway Bark.  We couldn't ask for a more helpful group of advocates than the Fenway Bark community.  Please continue spreading the word about Fenway Bark.  We hope to make it a place where you and your pups will enjoy visiting together!

Second, I want to convey to you that Fenway Bark is committed to bringing a wealth of vetted dog services to Boston and although we had hoped to open in October, we will be delayed a bit by process and will keep you up to date as things develop.

Here are a couple of things you can look forward to:

  • Fenway Bark will be participating in the MSPCA walk on September 12.  Look for us!
    • If you didn't see the Facebook post, South Boston Running Emporium on W Broadway is willing to give people a 10% discount if you buy new sneakers from them and give an additional 10% to the MSPCA if you mention Fenway Bark.  As a female, I have to say you can never have enough shoes and the MSPCA walk and the start of the school year are as good of excuses as any to buy new shoes.  Visit Bill Hartford and get some good fitting shoes then take the pup for a long walk on Castle Island.  The MSPCA, Bill, and your dog will thank you!
    • If any other non competitive small businesses in South Boston that support the MSPCA and Fenway Bark want to match Bill's offer in an extension of goodwill to the MSPCA, let me know and I'll be happy to use my blog network to cast out the information to help a good cause.
  • Fenway Bark will have a booth at the South Boston Street Fair on September 18.  We will have some special giveaways so please bring your pup with you to the festival!

Finally, we are so proud of our charitable partners, Alliance for Animals and NEADS.  When we open we will be working with Alliance for Animals to bring a pet food pantry to South Boston.  NEADS is doing some extraordinary work and they were featured in a Worcester Magazine article today
Please take a moment to learn more about them.  We look forward to providing Boston working space for NEADS at Fenway Bark after we open and to have their graduates visit us!

As we slog through some additional process issues, it is a great time for you to provide us with feedback on what you are looking for in a dog care destination and share any ideas you might have. We pride ourselves on listening to our future customers.  We have made some great adjustments to our layout and business plans by listening to you, our future clients, guests, and neighbors

Have faith!  We will open.  Welcome to small business in the 21st Century! Thank you for your support and patience.


Sunday, August 15, 2010

Pet First Aid - Items to have on hand

We know you are a responsible pet parent because otherwise you wouldn't be hooked into our blog.  We are grateful for the growing legion of pet parents who subscribe to Fenway Bark's blog and interact with us through our blog, Facebook, Twitter, and, of course, in person!!

As thoughtful pet parents, I am sure you would be interested to know what types of materials you should have on hand for pet first aid.

This is a contemporary topic for the Fenway Bark Board of Directors having nursed a hot spot this weekend, a tear duct cyst this morning, and a sprained ankle over the past week.  It has been a banner week for the Board of Directors!  Luckily, we had all the right tools on hand and years of experience and training to know what to do to bring them back to their healthy, happy "homeostasis".

So with the thought that you, like us, like to be prepared (once a Girl Scout, always a Girl Scout), here is a useful list of items that you should have on hand for Pet First Aid. 

Know someone who is just adopted a dog? Why not surprise them with a gift pack of first aid items?  We will have ready gift packs in our retail shop or simply pull together the items from your local supply store and put them in some creative packaging!

Courtesy of, please find below a list of useful first aid items.
  • Sterile gauze pads (3" x 3" and 2" X 2") and gauze bandage rolls (1" and 2")
  • First-aid adhesive tape, 1" roll
  • Cotton swabs (Q-tips®)
  • Tweezers
  • Scissors
  • Plastic freezer/sandwich bags
  • Small bottle of 3% hydrogen peroxide
  • Styptic pencil or cornstarch (stems blood flow from minor cuts)
  • Antibacterial ointment
  • Antiseptic cleansing wipes
  • Kaopectate® or Pepto-Bismol®
  • A current pet first-aid book
  • Eyewash
  • Eyedropper
  • Mineral oil (a lubricant and laxative when given by mouth)
  • Digital or rectal thermometer in a plastic case
  • Leather work gloves (to protect you from being bitten)
  • Latex gloves
  • Leash
  • Thin rope
  • Splint materials (tongue depressor, 12-inch wooden ruler or thick magazine)
Place the contents in a storage box where you can easily access it if there is a first aid situation.

On a final note, Fenway Bark will require all its employees to be certified not only in Canine CPR but other first aid and basic care needs.  Additionally, we will be offering pet first aid courses in our meeting room throughout the year.

Please take a moment to vote on the poll to the right of this column on other courses that you may find of interest.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Clean Out the Cabinets and Give to Alliance for Animals

As you work through tidying up your home before school begins or a busy 4th Quarter ensues, please keep in mind the needs of special charities that may be able to use your extra items that are taking up space in your home.  Instead of tossing them, take a moment to create a box of items that would be useful to the Alliance for Animals (or a shelter of your choice) so that they can keep their overhead low and animals in need of homes alive and well until they are adopted.

Please see list below of items they can use at their organization:

Cat litter, Copy paper, Paper towels, Toilet paper, 4-line telephones, Small cat beds, Dog beds, Heating pads, Distilled water, First-class stamps, 3-tab manila file folders, Dishwashing liquid, Large trash bags, Hand sanitizer, Cat dishes, Water bowls, Cat and dog toys, Nice towels, Cat and dog food, Rubbing alcohol, Scissors, Bleach, Liquid laundry detergent, 4-line telephones, Tape dispenser, refills, Air fresheners, 3x5 index cards, Radios, Dust busters

Fenway Bark will be running a pet food pantry monthly in conjunction with Alliance for Animals so that people can forgo giving up their animals in difficult financial times until they land on their feet.  


Friday, August 6, 2010

Poem - Walk With An Old Dog by Gayl Jokiel

Because you will not be forever,
Hope against time though I may,
I paint your picture in my memory,
Eyes blue with age, muzzle gone gray.

Because you walked with me in Springtime,
Puppy-clumsy, running free.
As you grew, we grew together-
You became a part of me.

Because you shared with me my sorrows,
Not understanding- simply there.
Often spurring me to laughter--
My friend, you know how much I care.

Because the years have slowed your fleetness,
Though your spirit still is strong.
I promise I will take more time now,
So that you can go along.

Because you do not fear the future,
Living only in the now,
I draw strength from your example-
Yet time keeps slipping by somehow.

Because the day will soon be coming
When I will no longer see
You rise to greet me-but in memory
You will always walk with me.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Canine Massage - Good for your Senior Dog

As we continue to celebrate and honor senior dogs, it is important to recognize their special needs and steps we can take as canine parents, caregivers, and friends to make their lives more comfortable. 

Fenway Bark will offer therapeutic massage by trained canine physical and massage therapists for the trained healing and comfort of your dog, particularly dogs who have injuries, disorders, such as arthritis, that impair function and cause pain or loss of function.

As a thoughtful dog parent, there are massage techniques you can use now to make your pet more comfortable.  Take a moment to watch the video and try the techniques with your fuzzy friend.  Pay attention to your pets reaction to your touch and your techniques and note what appears to be pleasurable.  Massage. Relax. Repeat.

More massage techniques are available on the FenwayBark You Tube channel. 

Monday, August 2, 2010

American Dog - Corky, a Portrait of Compassion

The 17lb turkey was in the refrigerator marinating in a new brining recipe we had discovered by combing through hundreds of Gourmet magazines, Bon Appetit magazines, and our bountiful supply of cookbooks. We had already prepped all the side dishes so that Thanksgiving would be a low stress event. Well, as low stress as any first Thanksgiving in a new home can be with parents staying in our home for a week, a desire to impress, and an ambitious agenda of entertaining friends throughout the holiday weekend.

But life can change at a moment’s notice and the best laid schemes of mice an’ men (and turkey) would have to wait. Life had other plans for us.

It was the Wednesday before Thanksgiving and we found ourselves in the emergency room waiting for my father to be assigned a room because he was having heart trouble.

As the experts paraded through his hospital room and the results of testing drew a portrait of someone who may not make it back home, a sadness that shouldn’t be a part of any holiday cast a shadow on all of us but most of all, my mother.

My father’s care was escalated to one of the finest hospitals in Boston and we completed the daily pilgrimage into Boston to visit and learn more about their plans to help him. At night we would drive home after hours of stressful doctor visits, mounting fear, and plans for surgical intervention with months of recovery.

I couldn’t remember a time when I saw my mother so sad and scared. As the situation became more concerning and plans had to be made in the event he didn’t survive the surgery, there was little comfort to be gained from anywhere; although my Mom did find one source of comfort.

As our cold, forlorn faces came in from a cold winter one evening, my mother sat on the couch with her eyes wet and full of the day’s event. Corky, our first rescue dog, with a sense of compassion that is inexplicable, climbed gently next to her and put his head in her lap and allowed the warmth of his body to comfort her.

As the weeks took their toll and became months of evaluation, surgery and recovery, daily round trip sojourns to Boston, and life had been sufficiently turned on its axis, each night my Mother would go to the same spot in our family room and call Corky to her. She would hold Corky and sometimes cry, sometimes laugh at his goofiness, and sometimes just get lost in her connection with him.

Corky, a dog that was always up for a game or some exercise, would forgo his own agenda and just rest his head so gently on her lap and provide that comfort to her.

My mother is gone, my father survived and Corky is approaching his 13th birthday. As a Super Senior Canine Citizen, we see the effects of age. He can’t see very far, his arthritis limits his exercise, and bully sticks are no longer tempting. He smiles broadly and often and wags his tail with the energy first witnessed when we rescued him as a ten week old puppy who was dropped in the woods in late December to fend for himself, assumed to be an unwelcome Christmas present at his first address from the red ribbon still wrapped his neck when he was found.

He is an integral part of our family and has left his own indelible mark on the chapters of our lives. We are blessed to have him as part of our family for he has proven in the roughest of times that he has our back and now in the twilight of his life, we have his.