Tag Archives: life with dogs

Picture of a woman's hand holding a mobile phone to illustrate text your dog friends

Text your dog friends

Is there anything that creates more chaos and mayhem than doorbell rings? Especially if you have more than one dog! Let’s start a trend. Do away with doorbell-ringing. Text your dog friends!

We’ve started doing it ourselves. Whenever we go to a friend’s house, especially if they have dogs, we text “I’m here!” rather than marching up and ringing the bell. Even if our friends live in restricted-access buildings, we avoid the intercom/doorbell system and just text when we’re at the door. They can buzz us in without their dogs being the wiser. 

Calm is so nice

Eliminating the excitement of an arrival leads to much calmer, better greetings and visits. If everyone can behave casually, there’s no reason for the dogs to get wound up. Just this week we had a great demonstration of the principle. We brought some homemade cookies to a dog training friend who’s laid up with a badly-sprained ankle. She also has three dogs who, putting it mildly, greet visitors with enthusiasm. 

Picture of a woman's hand holding a mobile phone to illustrate text your dog friends

Instead, just by taking a moment to text rather than ring the doorbell, we gave her more peace. She was able to take her time to get to the door safely, without her pack dancing around her feet and possibly tripping her. Since she already knew who was at the door (we were!) she didn’t have to say anything or call out. She also knew that, as fellow dog people, we’d secured her fence gate when we came in. Worries alleviated.

Small sample, good results

It worked. The dogs were curious about who was there, but they were pretty calm. They gave us a sniff and a wiggle. We gave each a treat and then the dogs just went about their business. We had a nice visit and then left as peacefully as we arrived.

It sparked this idea for a national, or possibly international campaign to “Text, Don”t Ring!” The biggest issue we can see is identifying the residences with dogs versus those without dogs. One solution would be for us to hang a sign on our door saying “Text, Don’t Ring.” We saw one like that with a second line something like “what the dogs don’t know won’t hurt you.” 

If the person at the door doesn’t have your number to text, chances are you didn’t want to see them anyway. Ages ago our neighborhood doors almost all sported “No Solicitors” signs. It may be time for a door sign revival.

Enjoyed this post? Click here to sign up for the weekly newsletter and never miss another!

Picture of the back half of a small white dog digging to illustrate make dog life easier.

3 ideas to make dog life easier

There are lots of ways that dogs are inconvenient. They dictate your schedule from the time you wake up to how long you can be away. There’s no such thing as spur-of-the-moment get-aways. But if you’re here, you probably agree with us that dogs are totally worth the time, bother, and effort. Even so, ideas to make dog life easier are always welcome. These are three of the things that we’ve found to reduce the joyful chaos and entertaining mayhem of living with our four hooligans.

Idea #1

Get a scratch board. We never even heard of them until a few months ago, so we’re betting that many people are in the same boat. It’s a way to get your dogs to help out with keeping their nails short. Most have a slanted board with a sandpapery top. Your dog just scratches on the board to keep their nails short and smooth. Some of them even have a compartment to hold treats, giving your dog motivation to scratch at it. 

Picture of the back half of a small white dog digging to illustrate make dog life easier.

If your dog has a tendency to dig and use their paws, you won’t even have to do much training to get them to use a scratch board. We’ve always had to use an emery board after clipping our dogs nails because we didn’t like how sharp they were after trimming. With the scratch board, that step isn’t necessary. 

There are lots of different shapes and sizes of scratch boards, at many different prices. We don’t have a specific recommendation for you, aside from checking them out.

Idea #2

Keep a package of baby wipes by the door your dogs go in and out. From eating dirt (Booker), to scratching in the mud (Simon), to not-quite-finished with business (depends on the day), they’re worth it. We choose a hypo-allergenic, unscented variety, but there are many choices available.

If you have a fuzzy dog, the wet wipes may not be your best choice. A useful hint we learned from a friend with Keeshonden is to keep a shaker can of cornstarch around. And a slicker brush. That way if anything gets stuck to your dog’s fur, you can dry it quickly and brush it out.

Both baby wipes and the cornstarch make it easy to clean up after your dogs go out. It’s certainly made taking the dogs out in the rain a less-dreaded chore.

Idea #3

Attach some hooks near the door for your dog’s collar or harness and leash. They don’t stick out too much if the space is tight, and you can easily grab the right dog’s stuff if you have a separate hook for each dog. 

Our crew doesn’t have the habit of chewing on leashes. Not even leather ones. But if your dog does, either loop the leash so your dog can’t reach it. Or use a shelf instead of a hook, if you have somewhere to put it. 

If you’re not handy, or don’t want to mar your walls, you can get an over-the-door hanger to keep your dog’s harness and leash. You can find them in any closet department. 

We hope you and your dogs have a happy, healthy, and less-hassled 2024. Happy New Year from all of us at Golly Gear. 

Enjoyed this post? Click here to sign up for the weekly newsletter and never miss another!

Celebrating Dog Moms (and Dads)

Thank you, Dog Moms and Dads! You never hear it from your dog, but we’re letting you know – we think you’re terrific!

We know dogs aren’t easy or convenient. You choose to structure your days so your dog’s needs are met. You opt for all the messy chores; feeding, bathing, grooming, pick-ups. 

People without dogs don’t really understand it. They’re the ones who might say “it’s just a dog.” But please know that there are legions of us who get it. What we get from our dogs is so much more than what they ask of us.

Spoil them rotten

Back in the day, when our family had a bookstore, the bookstore had a resident cat. His name was Merlyn. Merlyn had quite a few fans, and would spend his days on the checkout counter, in a special bed. Or on the lounge chair next to the counter that was his alone.

One day, as one of his fans was admiring him, a shop customer (obviously not a pet person), said “He’s not too spoiled, is he?”

To which the woman petting him replied; “Why not? It’s not like he has to grow up and be a responsible taxpayer!”

And, since that day, it’s been our response whenever we’re accused of spoiling our pets. Merlyn was the only cat we’ll ever have – we’re dog people at heart. But we loved him dearly, spoiled him rotten, and remember him fondly. 

Lavish them with love

Dog Moms and Dads make sure their pets have everything they need; nutritious food, secure harnesses, proper health care. And they go a step further, giving their dogs enrichment with toys, attention, training games, and affection.

All of that can add up to a significant investment of time and money. Again, non-dog people may not understand the return on that investment. But we do.

Unconditional love

There’s a popular quote: “A dog is the only thing on earth that loves you more than you love yourself.” It’s by Josh Billings, a 19th Century humorist. And it’s absolutely true.

Dog Mom Hope getting licked by French Bulldog Torque

Dog people know unconditional love. There are people you love, who love you, too. But every person knows nobody’s perfect. Your dog doesn’t know that. They think you are the epitome of perfection. And their absolute faith in us helps when we’re not convinced that’s true.

Dogs sense our moods and our needs. When we’re feeling low, they either cuddle close, or act goofy and pester us until we play with them. And either one helps, although playing with your dog is bound to lighten the gloomy days.

Celebrating Dog Moms (and Dads)

Whether you call yourself a “dog mom” or “dog dad,” it is your role. You embrace the responsibilities of having a dog. And enjoy all the stuff that goes with it. 

Some of that, like the line-up of chewed-up toilet paper rolls gifted by a new puppy, is much funnier years later. Lots of it makes you look over at your sleeping dog and say “Awww, he’s so cute.” But most of all, it all feels like family, and love, and home. 


Cheap dog tips

There’s no doubt that life with dogs is more complicated, messier, and more expensive than without. But it would also be less happy, include fewer smiles, and much less cuddly! Here are some ways we’ve discovered to simplify life with dogs without spending a lot of money:

5 Cheap Dog Tips:

#1 – Have hooks by the door for leashes. One for each dog. And, since it’s always safer for dogs to be naked in the house, keep the leash attached to the dog’s collar or harness. It’s faster to get out the door if you only have to attach one thing.

#2 – Stock up on cheap bath towels. There’s a big box retailer who sells bath towels for about $4 each. If you have a mud room, just keep a stack there to wipe muddy paws and faces. If not (like us), get an over-the-door hanger to keep a couple handy in wet weather.

Cheap dog tip - use yoga mats to save your floors

#3 – Especially if you have an older dog, use yoga mats on hard floors for traction (and to protect your floors!). There’s a retail chain that sells everything for $5 or less and cheap yoga mats do the job just fine. They’re also great to use for your dog’s go-to place!

#4 – Store dog food in a (new) garbage can. With four dogs, we buy large bags of dog food and dump it in a garbage can in the basement. A good scooper lives in the can full time. Up in the kitchen cabinet, we keep a plastic cereal container with the food. Refills are easy and not heavy to carry. 

#5 – Get a set (or two) of measuring cups at your local dollar store. Leave the correct measure in the container of dog food to make sure you’re not over-feeding your dog. Even with years of experience, it’s easy to overestimate the amount you’re feeding unless you measure. If you have more than one dog and they eat different amounts – leave both cups in the container.

We never want to skimp on anything for our dogs, but these are things that are easy to do, make life easier, and don’t have to cost a lot.