DogBoy's Dog Blog

Youth, Dogs and Life’s Endless Road

Posted by Bart Emken on Mon, Mar 16, 2015 @ 11:03 AM

Life is not required to post a sign telling you that there is a sharp turn or a dead end directly ahead.  The result is usually chaos, confusion, as well as, pain for many and we are left asking, “What was that?! Why, why, why?”  Life is also not willing to give you an immediate answer, rather, we are left to find the answer and in that search we find another road, some reasons and, hopefully, some answers.  I think that people and dogs come into our lives for a reason.  Each one is a new road that can lead anywhere.  Often where we end up is not where we planned (or didn’t plan) to go…we just arrive.  Actually, we never really arrive and a final destination is always just a little farther down the road.  The best we can do is enjoy the trip, rest in the stops and try to be ready for that sharp turn or worst of all the seeming dead end.

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Topics: DogBoy's Staff

Good Dog Food Brought Straight to Your Door

Posted by Community User on Tue, Mar 20, 2012 @ 01:03 AM
We're all crazy busy, right? Shuttling kids from here to there and back again. Working from dawn to dusk. We can barely catch ourselves coming when we're going. It's truly a dog-eats-good-dog-food world out there, and we at DogBoy's want to keep it that way. That's why we've partnered up with Mr.Chewy, an online pet food retailer, who carries many quality brands that DogBoy's endorses.

Mr.Chewy offers over 70 brands of dog and cat food, a wide variety of goodies for our buddies. They offer competitive pricing on Frontline, which is commendable, as well as promising to help DogBoy's raise money for our selected charities. Mr.Chewy is a subscription based ordering service (free shipping for any order over $49) that offers hassle-free delivery of products of your choosing.

Therein lies the Question, right? What products should we be choosing? Which of the over 70 products Mr.Chewy offers is the best for our precious pups?

When asked this critical question, our lovely kennel manager Marcella Slaughter, CPDT-KA, offered the following suggestions - thank goodness!

Marcella said her top 5 choices are:

  • Orijen - it's pricey because of the quality of the ingredients, so anytime you can get it at a discounted rate that's great.

  • California Natural - it's what we feed in the kennel, a good place to start since it is not as pricey as my other recommendations and doesn't have a ton of ingredients so it's easy on sensitive tummies.

  • Natural Balance roll - the turkey formula is the best for treating with, it doesn't crumble like the other formulas. It's what we use in classes for training treats.

  • Taste of the Wild - it's a nice grain-free option for dogs with allergies or sensitive tummies.

  • Honest Kitchen - an easy way to feed a raw diets, you just add warm water and it's done!

Oh, happy day! Each of Marcella's choices are available for purchase through Mr.Chewy! Great news! (It is so comforting to have an expert on this topic so readily on hand, isn't it? Thank you, Marcella. We all feel much better now.)

So, if you'd like for Mr.Chewy to help make your life a little easier and support DogBoy's favorite charities at the same time, here's how you do it. First create an account with Mr.Chewy. When placing an order, use the referral code DOGG3575 and you'll get 10% off of your purchase and Mr. Chewy donates $10 to one of DogBoy's favorite charities - The North Shore Animal League, Best Friends Animal Santuary, and/or Bidawee. Sound good? Good.

You know, whether you purchase from Mr.Chewy or not, isn't it comforting to know that DogBoy's staff is so knowledgeable and ever-willing to help? We and our pups are in good hands, for sure.
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Topics: Articles & Info, DogBoy's Staff, Your Dog's Diet

An Update on Pancake

Posted by Community User on Tue, Sep 13, 2011 @ 05:09 AM
[caption id="attachment_615" align="alignleft" width="225" caption="Copy Cat"] [/caption]

Many of you know Pancake, our orange tabby barn cat. He's very friendly and loves attention. And many of you have been surprised to see him in the office the last few months. What's going on? Has Pancake retired from the barn to become an office cat?

For some time, there have been tell-tale signs that something was going on with Pancake's health. His lip would swell sometimes, with what looked like insect bites, and they always seemed to go away. More serious were recurrent infections in Pancake's paw that never seemed to fully heal. We here at DogBoy's were concerned, and many of our great customers were concerned for him as well. We were worried it was something serious.

Finally we got a diagnosis: feline eosinophilic granuloma complex. Quite a mouthful! But what is it? Basically, it causes the growth of skin lesions in a cat's mouth, feet, stomach, or other areas on its body. No one really knows what causes it; one theory is that allergies set off an immune response that goes awry. There is also some evidence that eosinophilic granuloma complex is genetic. And in Pancake's case, the fact that he had a lesion on his paw made him more prone to getting infections in the affected foot.

The good news is that for most cats, this disease is manageable and there are a range of treatment options available. As Pancake recovers and gets back to his usual mischevious self, we will be consulting with our vets to determine what the next step will be. And whether he returns to the outdoors permanently to keep our other barn cat, Callie, company or embarks on another great adventure we here at DogBoy's will make sure that Pancake is happy, healthy, and very well-loved. In the meantime, feel free to give him some attention. But watch out--if he's feeling frisky he may try to nip you!

Update: Dr. Todd Riggan and the staff at White Rock Veterinary Hospital have given Pancake the go-ahead to return to the great outdoors. While he still loves to visit the office, he is happy to be free again!
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Topics: DogBoy's Staff

Feelin' Hot, Hot, Hot!

Posted by Community User on Fri, Aug 19, 2011 @ 08:08 AM
Howdy, Dog Lover!
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Topics: Dog Wellness, Articles & Info, dog boarding, DogBoy's Staff

Missing My Dogs

Posted by Community User on Sat, Jul 16, 2011 @ 11:07 AM
Hello Dog Lovers,

Each year, DogBoy & I go on a long vacation. We live on the property with DogBoy's boarding kennel on one side, and the Training & Wellness center on the other, a view of the agility field out our kitchen window, and a view of one of the playgroups our our bathroom window. Employees are all around walking back and forth, and customers are (thankfully) coming in and out daily. Sometimes, being in the middle of it all leaves us feeling a little like we're living in a bubble. Because we live, eat, work and raise our family all in the same place, when we need a vacation we have to really get away (far away or for a long time, or both) to accomplish that.

So far, we have not yet taken our dogs along for the ride. There is no room in the car for the big dogs (sorry guys), and taking little Noodle would make eating out difficult. Some of the national parks we went to this trip weren't very dog friendly either. Not to mention our dogs get excellent care at DogBoy's while we're gone!

I'm sure Noodle, Rebel and Tessa are getting lots of exercise, belly rubs, and plenty of opportunities for playtime with other dogs. Getting to romp around on 15 acres is like dog heaven. Anytime they're out of the house, their tails are wagging, and their tongues are hanging out from sheer bliss. They want all the other dogs to know the truth: they run this place. But at night, when they're sleeping soundly in their air-conditioned runs, I think about them and wish they were curled up in my lap or at my feet.

I think next year, I might see if I can talk DogBoy into letting me bring Noodle along. After 15 years in the pet care industry, I'm almost embarrassed to say that I've never taken my pups on vacation with me. I'm curious to know if you've traveled with your dog, and what your experiences have been?

Happy Tails!


Thanks to for the image.
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Topics: Uncategorized, travel with your dogs, dog boarding, DogBoy's Staff, dog boarding Austin, i miss my dog

New Years Resolutions from the DogBoy's Staff Dogs

Posted by Community User on Wed, Jan 5, 2011 @ 03:01 AM
[caption id="attachment_388" align="alignleft" width="225" caption="Pancake Weighs in on Resolutions for 2011"][/caption]

Here at DogBoy’s, we take dog whispering to a whole new level. Not only do our own dogs come, sit and stay (well…most of the time), they each told me their goals for 2011. Be sure to visit our biography page for photos! Without further ado, here are our pets' resolutions for the coming year:

Graham Robison: I want to do more than just lay around under a sage bush all day in playgroup.

Dottie Slaughter: I want to make new friends and not be such a mama’s girl!

Tessa Emken: I want to cut down on eating sticks of butter that the kids leave on the counter. My vet says it’s bad for my cholesterol.

Jack “Mooper” Mundy: I want to stop helping mom clean out the litterbox. If you know what I mean.

Max Semple: I want to be braver when my big brother Ralphie isn’t around.

Murphy Andrews: I want to try to stop getting breakfast tacos based on my good looks.

Hoosier Robison: I want to give Mikey, my two-legged housemate, more kisses (easy); I want to stop accidentally flipping the switch on the power strip under the desk and turning off the computer while dad’s in the middle of a game of Civilization V (hard).

Oliver Porter: I want to stop chasing cars!

Mika Olczak: I want to treat my brother, CK the cat, more politely, even though his loud meows make me think he really likes getting rolled onto his back. Also, I want to take the stairs more slowly—tripping up them at full speed really hurts!

Noodle Emken: I want to be more polite to the visitors at my house. And to help DogGirl come up with more great Nuggets in 2011.

Cajun Slaughter: I want to stop trying to break through gates with my big head!

Sadie Korpi: I want to create a bucket list in 2011 that includes meeting my children, swimming where I can't touch and becoming a calendar girl.

Ralphie Semple: I’m going to be more polite to strangers.

Gib Andrews: I’m going to stop fighting with dogs on the other side of the fence. Unless they start it. Then it’s on like Donkey Kong!

Rebel Emken: I want to get off the couch and run with the bike.  Oh yeah, and I want to get better about coming inside when I'm out in the front yard!

Tyler Porter: I want to cut back on stolen table scraps.

Telo Slaughter: I want to travel more with mom.

Brownie Webber: I will try not to chase my housemate kitty Elise around the apartment anymore.

Zoe Korpi: I hope to see the world in more than just black, white and ham.

Pancake Barncat: I will stop leaving “presents” in the flower bed in front of the office. Also, I will find a better napping spot in the office than the out tray on the desk.

From the DogBoy's family--two- and four-legged--to yours, all the best for a great 2011!
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Topics: Uncategorized, Articles & Info, DogBoy's Staff

DogBoy's Salutes Our Veteran Customers!

Posted by Community User on Thu, Nov 11, 2010 @ 01:11 AM
[caption id="attachment_336" align="alignleft" width="150" caption="DogBoy's Salutes our Veterans"][/caption]

Today is Veteran's Day. On November 11, 1918 at 11:11 am, World War I ended. What started as Armistice Day in the United States has since become a day to remember the service of the men and women of our armed forces, past and present. And we especially want to recognize our customers who have served.

Paula Juba, whose dog Missy is a daycare regular, served in the Army from 1984-1992:
"I can't compare my service in the 1980s with the sacrifices made by soldiers today. But I will say that it was wonderful bringing my dog, Sara, from NY to Germany, & realizing that she was welcome in hotels, restaurants, & private homes. When I traveled by train or flew on intra-European flights, I merely bought a child's ticket, & she sat beside me. I had no problem renting a house. In fact, my landlords said that Sara did far less damage than most children. Americans don't have a very good reputation with respect to the treatment of animals, so Sara & I were ambassadors.

Hats off to the current crop of soldiers who go to extraordinary lengths, often risking their careers, to rescue loyal local translators & canine companions from Iraq & Afghanistan.  Their contributions towards the welfare of people, as well as animals, may go unnoticed by most, but they mean the world to people they touch."

Paula is just one of our great customers who have served, and we salute them all. And we also want to recognize a member of the DogBoy's family who will be going into the armed forces this summer.

[caption id="attachment_333" align="alignright" width="150" caption="Chris Rivera is committed to his company and his country."][/caption]

Chris Rivera has been a member of our kennel staff for several years and will be off to boot camp shortly after graduation this year. We wish him the best on this great adventure. 

There are also many great programs to connect dogs and vets. In one of his first acts as a U.S. Senator, Al Franken funded a program to pair severely injured vets with service dogs. There's also a great program called Pets for Vets, which rescues shelter dogs and pairs them with returning veterans. And if you think your dog has the stuff to become a therapy dog, you can always visit an area VA hospital after they're certified.

Last--and certainly not least--we want to remember the dogs who have served their country. Dogs and the military go back thousands of years. The Roman Molossian dog, ancestor to breeds from the Rottweiler to the bull mastiff, helped haul loads at Roman military camps and fought beside the legions in battle. In the military today dogs serve in security, search and rescue, and perhaps most importantly in the age of the roadside bomb, helping discover hidden explosives.

On this Veteran's Day, DogBoy's salutes them all!
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Topics: Uncategorized, Articles & Info, DogBoy's Staff, veteran, veteran's day, customer appreciation

New Beginnings

Posted by Community User on Fri, Oct 29, 2010 @ 00:10 AM
[caption id="attachment_291" align="alignleft" width="300" caption="Goodbye, sweet boy."][/caption]

I'm new at this word press thing - blogging is fun, but I'm no expert. So I hope you like the new look. And I'm planning more fun things for the blog so check back soon and often.

Last week, we said goodbye to a dear friend - our old boy Pepper, aka Sam from the Austin Humane Society.  He was our Nervous Nelly, our T-storm dog, with the mystery hack, his own stress bucket, and near the end, a bit of Doggie Alzheimer's.  We'd find him barking into the closet, pacing all night, sleeping all day, and falling down was unfortunately an all too familiar site.  But through it all, he got 11 good years with us (15 total) to stretch his legs and be free, and we got one helluva great dog.  We'll miss you, Boy.

DogBoy Jr. was a complete and total trooper.  He wanted to be a part of saying goodbye every step of the way.  So at his request, we took him out of school, and he said goodbye his way, with lots of love, tears, and a heavy heart.  I can't tell you how proud I was of him for being so grown up about it.

DogGirl Jr. was another story.  She had been wanting a new dog for months (after we said no to a hamster, a horse, and a miniature horse), and our excuse was always that we couldn't - because we had to take care of Ol' Pep Pep.  Well, once Pepper was gone, she wasted no time pulling up every local rescue site she could find online.  She was determined to get her new dog now!  Thankfully, we're bigger fans of delayed gratification than DogGirl Jr.  After thoughtful consideration, and much support from friends, we decided that a 3 month period of doing her chores - consistently, would earn her our undivided attention and help finding the perfect furry fit for our household.

[caption id="attachment_293" align="alignleft" width="135" caption="Contessa Free Love"][/caption]

Not just any old dog will do, mind you, as our canine clan already comes equipped with it's own set of quirks.  First there's Tessa, the butter eater, our sweet old Yellow Lab, who gets along with everyone but puppies.  As long as you're not jumping up tugging at her ear, she will let you do almost anything to her.  Just the hint of her name, and she comes running - Did you want something, Mom?  You want to pet me, don't you?  But behind that uber-loving personality, you'll see her true nature.  Trash eater, fence fighter, counter surfer, and UPS van chaser, this lovable fur ball won't let you stay mad long, because she's just so damn sweet.

[caption id="attachment_300" align="alignright" width="150" caption="Rebelina, aka Marmaduke"][/caption]

Next comes our Dane/Lab mix Rebel who deserves an entire blog post all to himself.  Like our other two pups, Rebel was found on Crystal Bend Drive, but his story is a wee bit different.  We didn't just find him; we found his owner dumping him - at the age of only three months!  Apparently, he was rebellious (No, a puppy - rebellious?), and his owner thought he was better off on the street than at a shelter.  After we had words with his former owner (and after I called the cops on him), we decided to keep the poor guy.  Mr. Handsome, aka He Who Barks at the TV, is gloriously soft and hopelessly sweet, but can be a real turd with other overly enthusiastic dogs.  At the Dog Ranch, he is fondly referred to as an Orange Card dog, which means he can't be put with just anyone...But when you see him sit pigeon-toed, and tuck his little nub of a tail under when he sits on cold tile, you can't help but love the Marmadukian qualities in him.

[caption id="attachment_295" align="alignright" width="150" caption="Noodle Doodle"][/caption]

And last, and actually least in size and stature, is my little angel Noodle.  Our little 9 pounder, the Chiweenie - Senor Schnitzel, as we like to call him, is one tiny bundle of trouble.  This one wandered right up to the driveway, and was too small to throw back into the wild...Oh yes, he's a snuggler, and quite the french kisser, I might add (ewww!), but at night when the family sleeps, he is busy eating childrens' library books, and chewing holes in leather furniture.  In a group, away from his bad mommy, he seems to do fine with other dogs.  On a leash, however, he becomes a Napoleonic Kujo, and then squeals like a stuck pig when a dog says he's not afraid.  What a big baby - but I love him like I have never loved a dog before.  He is my little hero.  And you should see him on the agility field - amazing!

I know how this looks - the family of a dog trainer with imperfect pups?  You remember the pastor with the wild children, right?  Or the teacher who's kids can't spell?  So here's your proof - we're human...and we're working on it!  The point is, that finding the perfect fit for our family won't be easy, and yes, I'm sure our new dog will come with their own little set of paw-printed baggage.  But we will love her (yes, it will be a her) with all our hearts, big, small, and fur-covered.  The countdown begins!
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Topics: Uncategorized, DogBoys Family, New Dog, DogBoy's Staff, getting a new dog, rescue, death of a dog

A Very Doggie Playlist

Posted by Community User on Sat, Jul 17, 2010 @ 10:07 AM
[caption id="attachment_264" align="alignleft" width="235" caption="Dogs like Music too!"][/caption]

Every summer has its soundtrack, and people have been making their own summer mixes ever since home recording became affordable. What better way to celebrate the “dog days” of the Summer of 2010 than to make your very own dog-themed mix CD or playlist? Here are some to get you started:

“Who Let the Dogs Out?”—by The Baha Men.  Yes, this may possibly be one of the most annoying songs ever recorded. On the other hand, it is one of the most catchy.  And very summery.

“Bron-y-aur Stomp” and “Black Dog”—by Led Zeppelin. Zeppelin front man Robert Plant owned a sheep farm near the Welsh village of Bron-y-aur (pronounced “brom-rawr”) and “Stairway to Heaven” was written there. “Bron-y-aur Stomp” is Plant’s tribute to his dog, Strider, on Led Zeppelin III.  “Black Dog” is a classic from their next album, Led Zeppelin IV.

“Hound Dog”—There are two great versions of this song, originally by blues legend Big Mama Thornton. Elvis Presley’s cover is most famous, but Eric Clapton’s version on Journeyman is more faithful to Thornton’s original.

“Sleeping With the Dog”—by Jethro Tull. Because Tull did a lot more than just “Aqualung” and “Locomotive Breath.” ( Catfish Rising).

“I Wanna Be Your Dog,” –by Iggy Pop and the Stooges. One of the most famous songs by the giants of ‘70s punk.

“Diamond Dogs” – by David Bowie. If you’re going to have a song by Iggy Pop, you need one by his BFF David Bowie too.

“I’m Gonna Buy Me a Dog!”—by The Monkees. “I’m gonna buy me a dog,” sings Peter Tork, “‘cause I need a friend now.” Tork was actually the most accomplished musician in The Monkees but was stuck playing the clown.  This song proves he knows where to find true friendship!

“Hey Bulldog”— by The Beatles.  I’m not quite sure what this song means, but it’s an under-rated Beatles song from the Yellow Submarine soundtrack.

“Jet”—by Paul McCartney and Wings.  There are some differing stories as to what this song is actually about; many believe, though, it was a tribute to Paul McCartney’s golden retriever, named Jet. ( Band on the Run)

“Atomic Dog”—George Clinton. Give your playlist in the groove with this track from the master of funk.

“Bird Dog”—by The Everly Brothers

“Ghost of a Dog”—by Edie Brickell and the New Bohemians.  This was the title track to their second album.

“Rain Dogs”—by Tom Waits.  Shake things up with Waits and his whisky-soaked voice.

“Hair of the Dog”—by Nazareth.  Or go for some metal if you prefer.

“ I Love My Dog,”—by Cat Stevens.  Cat made some great music back in the day, and the title just says it all.

Special thanks to Paula and Julia, who helped me come up with titles for this list. Of course, we could barely scratch the surface of dog songs, but this should give you a good start on music to play Frisbee or fetch to.  Be sure to comment if we left out one of your favorites.

Now, if your question is what would your dog listen to, one answer might be one of the Through a Dog’s Ear CDs. We play this for our guests when they’re here overnight, and we also offer the “Music to Calm Your Canine Companion” and “Music For the Canine Household” discs for just $14.95 for sale in the office.

by Jay Robison
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Topics: Boarding, Uncategorized, Articles & Info, dogs, DogBoy's Staff, music, summer

Kids and Dogs – Dos, Dont's and Preparation

Posted by Community User on Tue, May 25, 2010 @ 02:05 AM
[caption id="attachment_217" align="alignleft" width="300" caption="Mikey and Charlie Bear "] [/caption]

As a member of a household of two dogs and an energetic toddler, one of the most satisfying things for me since my son’s birth three years ago has been watching his developing relationship with our dogs, and to see the love he has for all dogs in general. And yet, I also have to be watchful. Though I know and trust my dogs, any dog (it can’t be emphasized enough) should never be left alone with a small child, even for a minute. We’ve all seen the tragic results of ignoring this essential rule all too often on the news. Even the sweetest dogs have their limits, and as resilient as newborns and infants can be, it is easy for a dog to injure them without even intending to do so.

Short of this, countless dogs are re-homed or surrendered to a shelter because of the arrival of a new child. But think about it from their perspective. Your dog’s life and routine have been suddenly upended. This new noisy, smelly…thing…is suddenly the center of attention and their humans have little energy left over for favorite activities like games or walks, or even a good belly rub. It is stressful for your dog, and your dog will let you know it.

Here at DogBoy’s, one of the one night seminars we offer is one specifically for expectant dog parents, “Welcoming the New Human Arrival.” Our wonderful training staff goes over all the do’s, don’ts, whys and wherefores of introducing a new two-legged member into your household that already has four-legged ones. Here are some general tips, which are only the beginning of what the seminar covers:

DO: Encourage your dog to start investigating baby furniture and toys as you receive them and begin setting them up in the weeks before your child’s arrival. Reward him when he does. You can start building positive associations with the baby even before her arrival.

DO: Decide ahead of time what your boundaries are when it comes to your dog’s interaction with your child. Is sniffing OK? What about a lick? Knowing ahead of time will let you be consistent from the day you bring baby home from the hospital.

DO: Start reducing your dog’s status before your child’s arrival. That means start doing things like not letting your dog sleep in the bed or bedroom and for smaller dogs, not carrying them around—that elevates their status. Status is everything to a dog and any changes in it need to be handled with care.

DON’T: Let anyone else shoo your dogs off baby if that is something you’re okay with. You don’t want your dogs to think coming around their new housemate will bring punishment. You also don’t want them to be confused by mixed messages.

DON’T: Freak out if your dog growls. First, it’s important to know why he’s doing it. Second, a growl is a dog’s warning; a warning you will want to have as your child gets older and begins testing the limits of the dog’s tolerance for herself. The last thing you want to do is take that warning away and leave a bite as your dog’s only recourse.

And finally…

DO: Make time for your dog. It’s probably the most difficult thing to do when a new child comes into the house, especially in those first few months of multiple late night feedings and diaper changes. Still, the sacrifice will be worth it. If you can, take advantage of visits by family and friends to carve out some time with your dog while they are giving baby lots of attention. Your dog—and eventually your child—will thank you!


UPDATE: Congratulations to the Butler Bulldogs, who made it all the way to the final game against Duke and gave the mighty Blue Devils a run for their money. Go Bulldogs!

by Jay Robison
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Topics: Articles & Info, Dog Training, DogBoy's Staff, dogs and kids, having a baby, kids

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