The holiday season and subsequent New Year celebrations are an opportunity for us to give thanks and reflect on all that has happened to us over the past year. Living in Philadelphia, this dog and recent graduate have had the privilege of experiencing, well, a whole lot! Join us as we look back on 2017—from articles and spotlights to events and product reviews—and welcome 2018 with some resolutions.
January & February
We started 2017 off with a bang as we met the entrepreneurial minds behind Philly’s first indoor dog park coming in 2018. Throughout the rest of the year, we watched this great idea bloom as its founders decided on the park’s location and partnered with other Philly pet businesses and rescues. We can’t wait to finally visit BarkPark in 2018!
We also continued 2016’s trend of speaking with pet experts across the city as I wrote an article about canine dental health. Penn Vet, an institution we’ve worked with for quite a few other articles, connected us with Dr. Alexander Reiter, an expert in pet oral health, to help us bring this piece to life. In it, we review some tips on keeping canine teeth shiny and clean.
March & April
Speaking of experts, we were invited to a continued education seminar for veterinarians that focused on Lyme disease and Leptospirosis. Out of this seminar and a subsequent chat with Dr. Cara Horowitz of South Philly’s VSEC, I wrote an article about Lepto, a bacterial disease prevalent in the Philadelphia area. This was a lovely opportunity to stretch my science and health writing muscles, which I spent the past five years honing as a student at Drexel University.
I was able to take some time away from the stresses of school at the second Fido Friday at the Philadelphia Flower Show. There, Dipper and I caught up with our friend Oliver the Love Pug, who we originally met during our first trip to the show in 2016. This year, his paparazzi snapped some great photos of Dipper—and me, too—that I’ll cherish forever. It was a great opportunity to take a break from the gray, bitter winter and surround ourselves with some fresh, green foliage. I look forward to the event every year, and I think Dipper does, too.
May & June
I graduated from Drexel University in June, so the late spring and early summer months went by in a blur. Dipper was essentially what made the last few years at school bearable for me as I chased after not only my bachelor’s degree, but my master’s degree, too. He pulled me away from endless hours of writing and research for walks and pet events across the city. In return for his unending support, I made him take photos with me while I steadied my graduation cap on his tiny head.
After graduation, we spent a lot of time visiting my parents in South Jersey where Dipper got to know his new best friend, Pippin. Granted, Dipper acts more like a standoffish uncle than a friend to the young pup. If you follow us on social media at all, you’ve certainly seen the curly-haired Pom with an affinity for Dipper’s rear-end. It’s also worth mentioning that Dipper got his first bad haircut this spring. Yikes!
July & August
It took some time—and a long vacation—to transition from student to, well, whatever I am now after graduation, but I quickly set out to create more content for the site. I started by reaching out to the maker of ponzmo, a new pet food startup prepared in a kitchen around the corner from my West Philly apartment!
I also wrote another product review to help spread word about the Earth Animal Herbal Flea & Tick Drops we love so much. Dipper lent his voice to another Dipper’s Quips, this time about how to courteously rent an apartment or vacation home. We also attended our first yappy hour at Morgan’s Pier, one of a series of dog-friendly happy hours at the pier during the summer and fall months. As always, we kept a diligent calendar throughout the year filled with all of the dog-friendly events the city had to offer and went to as many as we could.
September & October
September and October brought two events we’d looked forward to all year—the Gone to the Dogs at Morey’s Piers and the 11th Annual PAWS Mutt Strut. The first helped us say goodbye to summer while the second welcomed fall. At Morey’s Piers, we spent the evening at a massive pool party with over 100 other dogs. It was part of an end of summer celebration I’d planned for over a year as we spent mornings and evenings together on the beach.
The Mutt Strut was a blast as always. While it was too hot for the costumes we’d planned to wear, Dipper donned his toughest denim jacket and chowed down on some raw meaty bones in the grass of the Navy Yard. We attended a few other fall events, too, including a costume contest at the PHS Pop Up Garden on South St. and the annual East Passyunk Fall Festival.
But the fall wasn’t all fun and games for the two of us. Dipper ran into a bout of urinary distress during our trip to Wildwood, almost exactly a year out from his cystotomy in 2016. While his bloody urine didn’t come with the price tag of a surgery, it wasn’t a hit my wallet was glad to take. But a sweet bow tie in the mail from the maker of Adornables, a Philly-based business crafting accessories for pets, quickly cheered me up. We also received a kind care package from the team at Emancipet Philadelphia, an incredible new low-cost clinic in Northeast Philly. I was thrilled to help spread the word about both Adornables and Emancipet with spotlights on the site, and excited to see Dipper make a swift recovery, too.
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Phew! We are exhausted. We spent all morning at the 11th Annual PAWS Mutt Strut making new friends, meeting with old ones, and eating lots and lots of snacks. Oh, and discovering that our photobooth skills still need work. Dipper's pawprint painting has improved, though! Did you strut your mutt, too?
November & December
We made some new friends in November and December as I covered a Corgis of Philadelphia meet and got to know the founder of and veterinarians with Vetter Pet Care for an article on the emerging home-based veterinarian business. While Dipper was invited to the corgi meet, I decided he’d be better off sitting this one out—and I was right. Corgis play hard!
But in December, Dipper did get to make some friends. Three of them, in fact, all with big, white beards. Dipper met Santa three times this year. We were invited to meet Santa and Mrs. Claus at an Old City gallery supporting Philly PAWS, and we also met the big man at Ham+Bone, a new Fishtown pet boutique. Look forward to seeing a spotlight on Ham+Bone in 2018!
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Our first Santa (and Mrs. Claus!) this season! We went to an event at @allurewts benefitting @phillypaws so Dipper could tell Santa what he wants for Christmas. There were cookies, hot cocoa, and sweet little Polaroid pictures. Dipper also got to sniff the @6abcactionnews camera lens! 😆 Looking for a dog-friendly Santa? Head to our website to check out our events calendar!
Resolutions for a Better 2018!
1. Spending wisely
I love dog stuff. Collars, sweaters, treats, toys—you name it, Dipper owns it. Rather, I’ve bought it for Dipper. This needs to end, especially when I consider how much I’ve had to spend on his medical bills. This little dog has cost me well over $6,000 in under three years. I figure a good resolution for 2018 is to focus on setting aside some money for what really matters: Dipper’s health, not more toys he hardly touches. Though in my defense, he only plays with them when they’re new…
2. Being present
It’s no surprise that I spend just about every waking moment with Dipper. I go to all of the dog-friendly event we can, and if an event isn’t dog-friendly, I’m probably not there. But lately, I’ve felt like I haven’t truly been there—not mentally, at least. Instead, I’ve felt like I’ve spent too much time checking my phone or taking photos to have really been there to enjoy the moment. This year, I’m resolving to spend more time in the moment. I’m hoping to put away my phone during our walks, visits to the park, and yappy hour outings, and just be there.