Posts filed under ‘Cool Products’

A gift from Pawalla; Boogie art!

Two days ago, a giant box arrived from a new Los Angeles company called Pawalla.  Boogie was very lucky to be selected to review a sample Pawalla monthly box. Just look at this! Wow.

Eric from Pawalla:

…our pet nutritionist constantly reviews foods from different brands, and selects her favorite all-natural products to put in our monthly box.  The products selected are also customized based on both the size and life stage of the pet (we offer a monthly box for both cats & dogs). So the idea is to help discover and try new products that have been vetted and recommended by a nutritionist.  If you do find something you especially like, we will also offer it for sale at a competitive price from our online store.

click to read: what came in our box

Not only this, the box comes with toys! The first thing I gave to Boogie was the Wapati Labs Elk Antler Chew. Boogie had never seen or smelt an antler chew before so this was a new and exciting thing. He loves it. And then he played with the KONG Traxx tire toy, got a piece of Sam’s Yam Sweet Potato Chew (remnants of which are now all over my rug) and some KONG chewy treats on our walk. Yesterday morning I opened up a can of Weruva Amazon Liver: Chicken & Chicken Liver in Pumpkin Soup to add a spoonful to Boogie’s usual breakfast and Boogie stood by the kitchen door, eyes wide open, perked up and waiting. He knew he was getting something different today. He loved that too!

This morning he sampled some Nutrisca Freeze Dried Chicken with his usual breakfast, and tomorrow maybe some Mulligan’s Beef Stew. I know there’s a rule about not switching dog food too dramatically to prevent upset tummies, so I am adding only tiny portions of the new food to Boogie’s regular THK and S&C food. We have a slight problem with stinky poots, but poops are fine.

The Pawalla Box seems to be an excellent way to try out new non-mainstream brands of dog food (and other goodies) that you might otherwise not know about, and I am happy to see that the selected foods are mostly holistic, grain-free and  made in the USA.  There is a list here of what comes in the monthly box.  $26 for all this  seems very reasonable! I think these boxes would make great gifts too.

**UPDATE – to all Boogie blog readers, use the coupon code BOOGIE20 to receive  20% off  the first month of your Pawalla subscription.**

In other news, I have been making more Boogie artwork available for sale. Check out  www.society6.com/LiliChin 
I sure wish I had an iPhone. (For a list of online places where I sell Boogie stuff, click here)

Boogie on Bongos, iPhone case

Boogie on Ukelele t-shirt

July 7, 2012 at 9:07 pm 6 comments

Doggy links and stuff

This blog post has absolutely nothing to do with Boogie.

I suppose by now, most people have seen the Food On My Dog tumblr blog? Tiger the Staffy-Bulldog gets photographed with food on her head. And according to the FAQ, this lucky girl gets to eat most of the food on her head 🙂

Today I found Maddie On Things. Maggie, the coonhound is photographed standing or sitting on fences, rocks, furniture, scooters…  I am so impressed. Of course, I can make Boogie pose on ANYTHING, but not in real life 🙂

And then, I had to order this mug.

Sale ends in only 1 day, at http://www.fab.comhttp://fab.com/sale/4094/

March 14, 2012 at 7:10 pm 4 comments

Mr. Chewy – review

A few weeks ago, Brent from MrChewy.com contacted me with a coupon that I could use to spend on Mr. Chewy products in exchange for a Boogie blog review, so this is it! My honest thoughts and all.

Mr. Chewy is a home-delivery pet food store.

Mr. Chewy delivers pet happiness by conveniently shipping 70+ brands of pet food and stuff (for free!) while ensuring at-risk animals’ lives are improved across the planet.

I have been receiving monthly shipments from Petflow  for a year now so I am familiar with the concept of ordering dog food in bulk and having it delivered with free shipping.  SO MUCH CHEAPER than buying from the local pet store.  *For treats and  fresh food items, I still get these at the pet store/supermarket.

Buying in bulk is not without its challenges. It took a couple of months for me to work out how many bags of food Boogie would need per month. In the beginning, I under-ordered and  had to return to the local pet store anyway, paying the higher prices. And if there were any shipping delays (in Petflow’s teething stages) or inconsistencies with processing & shipping times, I found myself in the same predicament.  I also found myself  rescheduling my shipments closer together or over-ordering to make up for these problems.

My first impression of Mr. Chewy: They carry a great range of dog food brands. All the ones Boogie and I like: The Honest Kitchen, Halo, Stella & Chewy’s, Zuke training treats. I love the way their products are categorized on the website – you can pick specialty diets (gluten-free, grain-free, limited ingredient etc) and different food forms (Canned, dry, dehydrated or food roll) Very easy to browse.

Secondly, I notice that though they carry less brands than Petflow, their food prices are cheaper than Petflow’s!  With free shipping, this is a bargain.

I placed my order last week, received my Fed Ex tracking number which had delivery scheduled for 1 week later, and am pleased to report that the order arrived on time.

Will I be ordering from Mr. Chewy again?

Here is my honest answer.

YES, if they weren’t located in Pennsylvannia or on the East Coast, or if they were closer to me. I am on the West Coast so it makes more sense for me to continue ordering from Petflow – who ship from Nevada in only a few days. (Easier for me to edit my order at the last minute if I need to) For East Coast folks or anyone who doesn’t care about instant gratification, YES I would recommend Mr. Chewy.  Great selection and prices.

Hint to Mr. Chewy: Could you please carry bully sticks and Bravo training treats?

Website: www.mrchewy.com

February 10, 2012 at 8:31 pm 2 comments

We won an award! And ‘window film’…

First of all, Boogie’s blog won an Inspiration Award!  Thank you so much to Pamela of  Something Waggin This Way Comes. I feel humbled by this award because I don’t consider myself a “good blogger”. I post infrequently, and I don’t follow many blogs (except the training/behavior ones because I’m such a nerd)  so I always feel a bit out of the doggie blogosphere loop.

Several weeks ago, I said I was going to cover my windows with ‘privacy film’ to manage Boogie’s reactivity at the window. Well, the roll of film arrived this week and this morning I started sticking the pieces to my window panels. In the photo below, the film has just been freshly applied to the glass with soapy water, hence the splotchiness and air bubbles. I still need to work that squeegy.

They say on the instruction sheet that it takes a few days for the film to dry completely, after which it should look smooth and clean like the photo on this page.  I hope so!

The film lets light in, but you can’t see a thing out of it.

And here is what it looks like from the outside (with Boogie at the window).

So…Does it work? As I am typing up this blog post, I can hear the mailman outside…

Boogie barked once, and ran to the window, then stopped and let out a whimper. He is now back in his bed.

Next blog post: Notes from The Culture Clash byJean Donaldson. I can’t believe it has taken me so long to read this book!

January 27, 2012 at 9:37 pm 15 comments

Doggie Language, and a very funny book

Have I posted this before?

I have drawn several “dog body language” illustrations, but my Boogie Doggie Language version is the largest one, and available for FREE download!  This has also been translated to Japanese, Chinese, Spanish and Thai, … more languages coming soon.

***EDIT TO ADD: http://www.thebalancedcanine.com/canine-language/  – reading body language in context!

Recently I started reading How To Raise A Jewish Dog.

This is not a dog training book, it’s supposed to be filed in the HUMOR category and OMG, it’s hilarious.

Amazon Link

This book is a parody of the Monks of New Skete book (haven’t read, no interest in reading) and the authors say you don’t have to be Jewish or want to be Jewish to follow this program, which is not about training or rewards or punishments, but about “solving problems together”.  Techniques include Praising Dog to Other People, Guilting (in private), Situational Matyrdom, Pampering, and Use of Subtext. Ha.

Pages for your amusement:

“Enlightened Acceptance” happens too frequently in this household 🙂

January 16, 2012 at 7:49 pm 8 comments

It’s good to be home; Meeting Miki Saito in Tokyo

I was away from Boogie for almost 3 weeks and it’s so good to be home! I missed my boy!

[photos taken at the vet today. Staph infection all cleared up! :)]

While I was away visiting family and friends in Malaysia and Japan, Boogie stayed with my friend Christa in her new house, which has a huge backyard. Christa reported that Boogie LOVED running around in the backyard, and I’m sure the squirrels made things a lot more fun. At first, we were a little worried about the cranky German Shepherd next door, left outside to patrol the fence throughout the day (It sucks when people leave their dogs outside all day!) but then Christa came up with the brilliant idea to cover the entire fence with tarpaulin so that the dogs wouldn’t be able to see each other… and thankfully, there were no issues.

Christa and Butch also celebrated Boogie’s birthday (December 11th) with a Pumpkin Sesame Birthday Cake. What a lucky boy.

When I was in Tokyo, I had the pleasure of meeting dog trainer Miki Saito, who specializes in training blind dogs because her own dog Nono, is blind. I first met Miki online when she translated several of my illustrations to Japanese. (for example – How Not To Greet A Dog in Japanese)

Miki is such a lovely person and we had a great time having lunch, chatting, and walking around Daikanyama and Shibuya. I learned from her that in Japan, Positive Reinforcement training (which is what Miki does) is still extremely rare. Almost all trainers still believe in Dominance methods using force and intimidation, and most owners of blind dogs feel pity for their dogs and think of themselves as being trapped in a tragic situation, when in reality, blind dogs are HAPPY DOGS and have the ability to live, learn and communicate as confidently as sighted dogs.

I remember my foster boston terrier Rocky (RIP). He came to me completely blind and he was the sweetest, smiliest, happiest and smartest boy! He learned to “shake hands” in about TWO MINUTES! (It took Boogie much longer, something like 20 minutes to learn this)

After weeks of staying with me, even though Rocky still had the habit of bumping into furniture, he could locate squeaky tennis balls and treats from ANYWHERE.

According to Miki,  in Japan, most dog owners regard their tiny pups  (most popular breeds: toy poodles, chihuhuas, mini doxies) as accessories rather than as intelligent members of the family. People will gladly spend more money on dog clothing and bling than on training. Well, I think the same thing happens in Hollywood. I suppose most people think of “training” as something you are forced to do when your dog has a problem, rather than as something you would invest in for fun, for bonding, or effective communication…

Well, no post on Japan would be complete without pictures of cool and crazy dog-related stuff.

Princess  and Jack Sparrow outfits, anyone? (!)

And then there were these amazingly cute dog treats from the Green Dog pet store.

These treats are  a gift for Boogie and me…

Thank you, Miki !!! – Lili & Boogie xox

If you are in Japan or know any dog owners in Japan, you can get in touch with Miki Saito via her websites:

www.blinddogtraining.com
www.markandreward.com

December 24, 2011 at 7:08 am 8 comments

Boogie’s Birthday Wishlist

That’s December 11th, everybody! If you have a Boogie On Scooters calendar, you would know this 🙂  In actual fact, nobody knows  Boogie’s real date of birth (nor his real age),  so his birthday is really his adoption day from Boston Buddies Rescue . Boogie will be turning either 7, 8, or 9 years old.

Sadly, I won’t be here for Boogie’s birthday this year. I will be in Malaysia and Boogs will be staying with Christa and Butch.

BOOGIE’s WISHLIST:

1. Dog Bed.
You can never have too many dog beds. I usually buy beds from ROSS, Target, Walgreens etc. because we know what happened to the $100 fancy bed  from 2 years ago. LOVE this B.Pet Bubble Bed… and it can’t be chewed up!

We also love MollyMutt duvet and pillow covers and are disappointed that Sleepypod carrier-beds aren’t made for dogs over 12.5 pounds.

2. Dog Car Seat.
Boogie LOVES car rides and looking out the window. Unfortunately he is only a small dog so he has to stand on his two back legs to reach the window and he will in fact suffer this position for long car rides (with seat belt attached to his harness), which can’t be good for his back joints and is also potentially dangerous. Some sort of secure booster seat for the passenger side (that is easily detachable from the actual car seat) would be ideal. Does anyone know where I can find more attractive versions of THIS SEAT or  THIS SEAT ?  Preferably in red or black so that it matches my car interior. (Hello, Dogmilk? 😉 )

3. Nylabone Corn Cob chew toys.
Always. Boogie enjoys toys with either lots of outer texture or inner stuffing.

4. A Blanket ID tag.
I have never liked having lots of jingly jangly tags on Boogie’s collar, so the concept of wearing ONE tag that covers a whole bunch of information that is accessible online really appeals to me. Because I am an “online” kinda dog owner.  Check out blanketID.com 

Boogie says THANK YOU in advance!  xox

November 24, 2011 at 6:54 pm 1 comment

The BAT Book is here!

The book looks awesome. It is big and glossy and beautiful. Once again a big thank you to Grisha for letting me contribute to this enlightening and groundbreaking book. I’ll admit that working on this book was not like any of my other dog illustration jobs. Most of these drawings were based on and originally inspired by my own PERSONAL training experiences with Boogie so it is an extra exhilirating feeling to hold this book in my hands.

Example pages:

*click on images to see them larger

A Reactivity Chart showing “thresholds”:

Good Choices or Replacement Behaviors (instead of barking, lunging, biting etc.)

BAT On Walks, Stage 1 –

*One thing that I want to draw attention to…

Over a year ago, when I created my very first “BAT Set-Up” illustration I was still very much a BAT newbie, learning the protocol for the first time, and also learning to read Boogie.  In this illustration (see below), in Step 1, even though I labeled it “Safe Distance”, the drawing of Boogie shows stress. He is clearly “over-threshold”  ie,  NOT at a safe distance from the trigger. In other words, my depiction of the set-up was wrong.

Note: INCORRECT illustration!

I wish I could’ve fixed this illustration before it got translated into different languages and shared around the internet, but… sigh… Thank goodness for the book! I hope that people who are still sharing the old illustration will refer to the updated version.

In the book (and also in Grisha’s latest BAT Set-Up handout) the NEW and UPDATED “BAT Set-Up” illustration  shows an unstressed under-threshold dog… as he should be. The learning of Replacement Behaviors (or Good Choices) happens only when the dog is under-threshold.

Updated CORRECT illustration - click to see larger

A clipping from the book below, which is such an important memo.

Reactive dogs need to feel this sense of control in being able to disengage from stress on their own… which is what leads to social confidence and politeness. Hey, I think this applies to humans too. 🙂

In the last chapter of the book there are testimonials from dog trainers who have used BAT.  They share their experiences . I love this one in particular from Shelly Volsche

BAT website: www.functionalrewards.com

Order the book or ebook: HERE

September 25, 2011 at 7:02 pm 13 comments

Freedom No-Pull Harness: Day 3

BEFORE

These past few days I am learning a few new things about loose-leash walking that I probably wouldn’t have, training with Boogie’s usual long leash and  harness (as much as I like it)

This Freedom No-Pull Harness and Leash set-up is pretty cool. I LOVE IT!!! Thanks so much Sarah, for lending this to me!

The thing about using a shorter double-ended leash is that I can feel the tension as soon as Boogie pulls. This is BEFORE Boogie reaches the end of the leash, before all 26lbs of Boogie’s weight is  engaged in stretching the leash completely taut… at which point he is already 200% committed to the direction that he wants to go in, and no longer responds to his name, food lures, or hand targets…

It seems that timing is important. The trick is to get Boogie’s attention BEFORE this point-of-no-return. (Bit like working under-threshold in BAT, right?)  As soon as I feel tension on the short leash, I have 3 options:

  1. Connect with him. (“Boogie!” or Hand Target) “Yes!” and treat. What’s cool too is that because the leash is short, I have to feed treats  right next to me (vs. tossing on the ground), which further reinforces for Boogie that “heeling next to Mom” is a good place to be.
  2. Move along with him. For example when he turns to sniff/pee on a bush, I walk with him to keep the leash between us loose, and to prevent it from tightening. This is something that I never had to do when I was holding a long leash so it’s new for me…
  3. Change direction and keep walking boldly forward. (“Let’s go!”) The leash attaches to front and back – which gives me a lot of  extra leverage to move Boogie along. I do this when I really have to move along. “Yes!” and treat.

FREEDOM HARNESS & POLITE WALKING

The NO-FUN parts:

  1. The two leashes can get  disorganized. Thankfully, my smart little dog has figured out how to slip his head in the space between the two leashes so that the front-clipping leash hangs on the convenient side of his body.
  2. Being extra careful about not pulling him.  The Freedom Harness is designed to give the dog walker more control and power so it is quite easy to drag Boogie around if I wanted to and because it’s so easy, I really have to make an effort not to. The whole point of this exercise is to teach LOOSE-leash walking. I would mess everything up if I pulled him.
  3. Wet Grass, stinky stuff. A shorter leash means that I have to trudge through long wet grass with Boogie, and stand closer to lamp posts and doggie poo. (This includes other dogs’ poo or icky stuff on the ground that Boogie is checking out)  Ew.
  4. The harness itself – Don’t ask me how to tighten or loosen anything and if any pieces get twisted up, I am sure I will be calling on Sarah to help me sort this out. I get confused just looking at the thing.

Some happy walks:

BIG SCARY DUDE
Last night Boogie and I were standing by the traffic lights when a big guy stood next to us on my right side, only a few feet away. With this shorter leash, I knew that even if Boogie lunged, he would not be able to reach the guy. Perhaps this gave me some confidence to do nothing instead of moving Boogie away. As it so happens this big guy was staring at Boogie (uh oh) and Boogie was seated in front of me, staring back at the guy. I called Boogie. He got up, walked away from the guy and stood on my left side. He was also pawing at my treat hand but wow – I was so impressed that we had a major trigger in close proximity and Boogie did not lunge. He moved away from the guy like it was the most natural thing in the world to do and completely ignored him. When the lights turned green, we ran across the street and I gave him a treat.

COYOTE
Later in the night, Boogie and I saw a coyote dash across our street. Boogie pulled. I stood still. The coyote dashed across the next street. Boogie turned and pulled in that direction. I still didn’t move. Then the coyote stopped in the middle of the street, turned around and stared at Boogie. I called Boogie “Let’s Go!” He disengaged from staring at the coyote, and ran home with me. First thing he did when he got inside was pick up his tennis ball and run to the window. “Coast is clear, mom. Let’s play”.

OFF-LEASH DOG
Today an off-leash sweater-wearing terrier approached us on the sidewalk outside a restaurant where the owners were having dinner. (I hadn’t seen him) I stood in front of Boogie and said to the owners: “Please call your dog! Mine isn’t friendly”. Thankfully the dog was well-trained and returned to his owners immediately when they called him, but in that split-second a huge leashed-dog approached us from behind. I pick Boogie up until the dog passed us. I put him down again when the dog had walked off several feet ahead of us. Boogie pulled towards the dog for a few seconds (more curious, than triggered). I waited, then he turned his head to look at me. “OK!” I said, and off we went, turning down a side street.  No reactivity. 🙂

In addition to BAT, I wonder if the new harness plays some part in making Boogie feel safer and more connected to me?

Some time this week I think I will take Boogie to the park and train some loose-leash walking there…

By the way, everyone with a reactive dog should read the BAT book!!! And I’m not saying this just because my Boogie illustrations are in it 🙂

This is a screengrab from the e-book version which has color pages.

* Podcast Interview about BAT with Grisha Stewart –>  http://www.animalcafe.co/dog-behavior-adjustment-training-for-fear-frustration-and-aggression/

September 21, 2011 at 8:01 am 7 comments

Doggy House Calls (a new dog training TV show) and the Freedom Harness

I found this video – the premiere episode of “Doggy House Calls” – via the dogbehaviorscience forum:

*There’s a boston terrier!!!

I’m happy to announce that recently my new television show, Doggy House Calls, aired here in London, Ontario, Canada on Rogers TV.
Doggy House Calls features clicker training and purely positive reinforcement techniques! The first show featured a reactive chihuahua named Tater, the dog showed excellent results using the LAT game almost immediately.. good representation for positive training!Melissa Millet

It must be  hard to make Clicker Training look exciting on TV because in reality it’s quite visually repetitive and boring. During clicker sessions, the human trainer is fairly still and quiet… not a lot of moving around or theatrics (unlike on The Dog Whisperer Show). Cool article about the reality of dog training: The Quest For Boring

Personally I would love to watch a Clicker Training TV show that focuses more on what the dog is communicating. I think it would be cool for there to be subtitles drawing attention to body language or what the dog is doing right, explaining the tiny subtle doggie behaviors that our untrained eyes might miss while we are busy listening to the human actors.

Funny thing – today Sarah (Boogie’s trainer) came to visit, and the first time she called out Boogie’s name “Boogie!”, Boogie turned his head towards ME! He then turned back to Sarah for his treat. He did it again the second time she called his name. For a split second, he looked at me before he looked at Sarah. The power of Positive Reinforcement. Those Name Game sessions are paying off. 🙂

So this afternoon Sarah lent me her Freedom No-Pull Harnesses. These are complicated looking harnesses. So many strappy bits to lengthen or shorten, multiple  buckles and things. There are two rings – one on the chest in front, and the other at the back. And the leash that comes with the harness is a double leash with two clips.

As I was saying to Sarah:  Boogie walks nicely on leash until he decides that he wants to go in a different direction. I used to do Premack with him. So much so that he now turns to look at me while pulling away at the same time.  I call him, I hold out treats, I hold out my hand “Touch!” (for nose target). Nope, Boogie continues to pull and refuses to come to me. It’s almost as if he is over-threshold and nothing I can do or say will make him loosen the leash.

Boogie pleads with his entire body, all four legs leaning away from me at a 45 degree angle, yawns, lip licks, head turns… the full kaboodle of “calming signals”.

“No. I don’t want to go that way. PLEEEEAAASE…I want to go THIS way”.

Boogie sometimes even pulls himself into a SIT or DOWN position and stays there until I give in. Meanwhile, passersby are laughing at us.

And yes, I keep reinforcing this behavior by eventually giving in and walking in Boogie’s chosen direction.  I can see people/triggers/cars approaching and I think to myself it’s better to move than to not move at all.

I am hoping that the Freedom Harness will help me break this frustrating cycle/habit, and I can train polite loose-leash walking from scratch. For Boogie it would also be a new and different sensation.

So far, I notice that the Freedom leash is much shorter than our regular leash. I have more control and I can feel the tension on the leash as soon as it happens, such that I can call Boogie (click and treat) before the leash fully tightens <– my new challenge is to not let Boogie go too far. I need to call him much sooner before he is already pulling with all his might.

It is also SO much easier to walk two dogs together with these harnesses. Less criss-crossing and tangling of leashes and I don’t have to suffer having both my arms stretched in opposite directions. (e.g, when Boogie wants to charge ahead and when Butch wants to stop and pee on every tree)

Above is a photo of Butch and Boogie with Sarah and her bag of chicken pieces.  JUST LOOK AT THOSE FACES!

September 18, 2011 at 10:25 am 2 comments

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