No more waiting for their next walk !
Blog & News

July 27, 2011

Crate Escape too Renovation Update

“To Err is Human, To Forgive Canine”

Not that we erred. We did our best to estimate a realistic reopening date. We even doubled the time given to us by the contractors so we could give you a time frame.

We just learned yesterday-

we are unable to open Crate Escape too on August 1st.

The good news is that it is we are getting there….. it is one of those situations; each step needs to be completed to move on to the next; so one delay pushes it all back. We promise it will not be long before Raining Cats and Dogs will reopen it’s doors as ‘Crate Escape too. We will keep you informed of our progress.

The second good news is that we want to thank and celebrate our wonderful customers and our new store with a party in September. Details will follow. We sincerely thank you for taking your dogs to Crate Escape for daycare during the construction time.

What Your Dog Needs to go on Vacation

Taking your dog on a road trip? Whether you are headed down the coast or to the beach, it is best to take your cue from the Girl Scouts and always be prepared with a custom First Aid Kit for your dog. The kit can be packed in any durable, preferably waterproof, case.

The following are the basics for a standard doggie kit. Keep in mind not everything that works on humans is suitable for your dog and never administer human drugs or prescriptions to your dog without first checking with your vet.

Dog First Aid Kit

1. A dog first aid book. We like The First Aid Companion for Dogs and Cats (Amy D. Shojai, Rodale, 2001). It’s a little hefty but it covers everything from allergic reactions to removing wax from fur.

2. Latex gloves

3. Emergency contact numbers. The digits for your vet, the closest animal emergency hospital, and the poison control hotline.

4. Tweezers (flat slant tip) and Scissors (dull ended). Avoid pointed ends lest you do more damage than good.

5. Special tweezers for tick removal. These are designed to remove the imbedded head, which, if left in, can lead to infection.

6. Cotton balls

7. Gauze Pads, Squares and Roll. For wounds—sticky bandages don’t work so well on fur.

8. Disinfectant, such as Hibitane.

9. Wound cream. To speed healing and minimize scarring try a product such as CanineAid, a soothing cream that eases discomfort and can be used on cuts, wounds, and irritations. (

10. Saline solution. Can be used to clean wounds or flush sand out of eyes. Contact solution will work in a pinch.

11. Antihistamine. May be used to calm itchiness, swelling, and hives caused by bee stings or insect bites but, as with any medication, please consult a vet first as dosage will vary depending on your pup’s size.

12. Hydrogen Peroxide. While this is not recommended to clean wounds, it can be used to induce vomiting in case of accidental ingestion. Check with your vet before administering; in some circumstances vomiting may not be encouraged.

13. Bulb Syringe or Small Turkey Baster. Use to flush wounds or eyes or for administering medicine.

14. Antibacterial Wipes or skin soap.

15. Skin & Paw Cream. I love Bag Balm—it works on my feet as well as Rover’s! (

16. Rectal Thermometer. A dog’s average temperature is 38°C or 101°F.

17. Petroleum Jelly. For use with the above. Just trying to be considerate.

It’s also useful to have an old blanket and some towels with you when traveling, as well as a second lead, some extra dog food, a flashlight, and matches. I’m the kind of girl who knows where all the exits are, as well as the lifejacket-to-passenger ratio, so this list could go on, but the above basics should have you covered until you can seek professional medical assistance. Safe travels!

Overseeing the Marshes!

Happy Sunshine,

July 19, 2011

Good Renovation News, Good Weather

So – two weeks into the renovation of Crate Escape too it appears that we are on schedule. Of course, we cannot make that an absolutely, positively, because you all know about construction projects! But, so far, so good. The Crate Escape too dogs have been just great in their temporary Belmont daycare and we must thank the caretakers again for ‘going with the flow’!

Regarding the summer weather – at least it hasn’t precipitated during the day. Our heart goes out to all of our black dog friends, who completely absorb the heat and humidity!

Current and Doggone Relative
This article is from May, 2011, when ‘National Dog Bite Week’ is observed. The information, statistics and suggested behaviors are valuable and unknown to many dog lovers.

Time to Take Responsibility for Dog Bites
Author: Sophia Yin.Veterinarian, Applied Animal Behaviorist

With 78 million pet dogs in the United States and a nearly 50 billion dollar pet care industry, it’s clear that Americans love their pets. National Dog Bite Prevention Week was observed recently which brings to light one solemn fact: In spite of the adoration we have for our pooches, over 4.5 million people — both adults and kids — are bitten by dogs every year. Nearly a million of these bite cases are severe enough to warrant treatment in a hospital.

This may be surprising to the ordinary dog owner but to those in the field — animal control officers, applied animal behaviorists, or, like me, a veterinarian practicing in behavior, it’s a wonder there aren’t more! One person who knows the reasons all to well, is Dave Dickinson, interim director of the Sacramento County Animal Care and Regulation. Dickinson describes one common scenario, “People get bitten because they see a dog they don’t know. It’s not acting aggressive. It’s just kind of walking around. They go up to it and they think the first thing you should do is put their hand out and let the dog sniff your hand.”

This may surprise most people, but even though we are commonly told that we should greet dogs by reaching out, in actuality, this can be very scary, especially if you’re a stranger to the dog. Dickinson explains, “The dog doesn’t know you’re reaching out in friendship. You’re just coming at them. A lot of times people get nipped that way. It’s just the dog’s way of saying, ‘You’re in my space. Stay away from me. I’m not interested in you right now.'” Ruben Hernandez, the supervising animal control officer at Sacramento Animal County Animal Care and Regulation, agrees with Dickinson, especially in regards to dogs who are roaming or loose. “[People] don’t take into account that this is a dog that’s scared, that is loose, and more than likely has not been around any other people than it’s family.”

As a result when people call and report a loose roaming pet, Hernandez and his officers have a routine answer they give. “We always tell people we are professionals, we want them to use our service. Most of the time we tell people not to approach. They own dogs and love dogs. It’s a person’s natural inclination to want to help, The thought of a dog being in the street and defenseless [makes them] want to help.” In spite of the warnings, some people want to do something and in that case Hernandez offers additional tips, “We say, no abrupt movements. Don’t do the overhand pat on the head. Don’t run at it or chase after it or scream at it because it’s in the road and you’re trying to catch it.”

The Family Pet Can Bite Friendly People Too.

While these are general recommendations for dogs who are roaming, they are also good recommendations for household pets. It is not just stray or roaming dogs that are fearful and defensive towards new people. It can and often is the family pet. Hernandez remembers one incident during his childhood when they adopted a stray German Shepherd and had it for a week. ” It was friendly to us after a week. It got acclimated to our family, so I thought the dog would love everyone.” When Hernandez’s neighborhood friends came over, he found out differently, “Of course, the dog reacted to us playing and screaming in the backyard and it just jumped up and bit my friend in the rib area.” The friend had to go to the hospital and was wary of the dog for some time after that.Hernandez took home an important lesson that day. “What my dad told me,” he says, “is you can’t just introduce a new person into the household unless you do it properly. You can’t just introduce a new person to a new dog and expect the same relationship.” With this new understanding he was more careful after that and his friend and his dog did eventually get along well with each other.

This lesson that Ruben learned about relationships is a key one. While you may be able to suddenly reach out for your own dog and pet him roughly or put your face in his face, if you do the same thing to another dog, even one who knows you well, it may make the dog uncomfortable, even to the point where he snaps or bites. When you think about it this makes sense. You can joke around with and even run up to and hug friends on the street, but with strangers and even with co-workers or acquaintances, those same behaviors can been seen as a threat, insult, or just plain rude. If you randomly tried to perform these behaviors with people around you, many would put up with it, but eventually someone might attack you.

These rules of comfort and safety extend to dogs that you do know fairly well too. It’s important to realize that just being around a dog a lot does not mean the dog likes you or feels comfortable with you in all contexts. And just because a dog is friendly to you when you are being polite does not mean he will be comfortable when you are being rude or interacting inappropriately.

Hernandez describes one case of a family who took their Cocker Spaniel as well as their child and her friend on vacation in a camping ground. It was the first thing in the morning and their dog was tied out with them. Says Hernandez, “The kids both walked up to the dog and the little girl knelt down and put her face into the dog’s face to say good morning. The dog severely bit her in the face.” To the child’s parents, the bite appeared out of the blue. Even to the dog’s owners it was unexpected. But says Hernandez, “When I was reading the report, a lot of things went through my mind. I asked why was her face in the dog’s face? Even if she knew the dog, why was she doing it? Where were the parents? What did they know about the dog? I was thinking of all the ways this incident could have been avoided.”

In the case of the Cocker Spaniel it truly could have been avoided, especially since the dog did already have a history of biting or nipping. Unfortunately owners tend to think that nips are a fluke since they don’t occur every time in the given situation. It may take five to ten nips or minor bites or a few more serious bites before owners realize it’s a problem. Even when they realize there may be a problem, owners often ignore the issue because they have no idea why the dog is aggressive or what they should do. This includes not considering that they should keep the dog out of the trouble situations.

It seems that avoiding problem-types of interactions should be common sense but clearly is it not common sense to everyone. Says Hernandez, ” In the 12 years I’ve been here it’s a none too familiar story. ‘He just went to take the dog’s toy. He’s just a toddler and he fell on the dog. There was no initial introduction into the house.'”

Most cases of bites are an accident that has been waiting to happen many times over and the owners or humans have just been lucky. The overall take home message so far though is that people need to learn how to interact appropriately with dogs and to read the warning signs that the dog is feeling uncomfortable.

Hernandez also stresses that the dog owner has to take responsibility. “With dog owners I’m hearing [them say] that it’s someone else’s fault. ‘This is my dog and how dare the child ride a skateboard on the sidewalk or how dare these kids scream and run like kids do in the front of my house’ ” he states. What they should be asking according to Hernandez, is “What am I going to do to get my dog accustomed to the normalcies of life.” Because children and people just walking, doing their own thing is very different from those who interact with the pet inappropriately.

Both dog owners and people interacting with dogs should take responsibility, realistically it goes both ways because, no matter what, the consequence is bad for the dog.

“Any time a person is bit even if the dog is reacting [fearfully] to something the person did, people think the animal is dangerous and aggressive regardless of the circumstances. Most of the time they say it’s out of the blue or uncharacteristic of the animal but when you delve further and ask about the type of interactions and training [and socialization] you find that there’s a huge void between having an animal and having it be accustomed to being around new people and new situations.

That is, most of these animals are fearful because they did not receive enough positive experiences around many people, environments, and animals during their early puppy sensitive period of socialization and through adulthood. The result is that these dogs are fearful and then they get into a situation where they bite to defend themselves. Ultimately many are euthanized due to human irresponsibility — either lack of socialization, lack of keeping the pet safe on the owners part, or inappropriate interaction on the part of the person being bitten. Regarding the case of the Cocker Spaniel, Hernandez states, “I the [owner] knew that the Cocker bit already, they should not have had him there. But on the other side, what type of person would tell their kids that is ok to put their face right into the face of a dog.”

Hernandez concludes, “The debate can go either way. But in the end everyone shares a little responsibility in ensuring their pet and their children and [they themselves] are safe.”

A Note from Ernestine
Hey my Crate friends! I was back at the beach again last week, loving life! I know it would be a great idea for me to check into the renovation at Crate Escape too, but jack-russell-honestly I can’t imagine going into that dusty place after feeling so fresh and clean at the beach. Plus, there’s nothing for me to chase there!

July 11, 2011

Crate Escape too!! Can’t wait to see you!

(almost officially!) Crate Escape too
The renovation is underway! The Crate Escape too gang is busy at the original Crate Escape, taking care of the Crate Escape too dogs, and eagerly awaiting their new store. New paint, new floor, expanded daycare and lots more new. We’ll keep you informed. (maybe you should wait to tell your pooch, so s/he doesn’t get too excited… but then they live in the moment so… hmm….. we’ll leave it up to you.) Big thanks to all of our wonderful customers for taking their dogs the extra mile.

Crate Escape
No summer lulls for Papa Crate this summer. Since we are (gladly!) entertaining the Crate Escape too pups, the combined packs are all about exercising and socializing it up. It is great to work with the Crate Escape too staff and have everyone get to know everyone, canines and people.

More Summer Safety
The number of lost and missing dogs increases drastically during the summer. Be sure your dog wears his identification tags whenever s/he goes outside. If your place of residence has lots of coming and going, it is best to leave the tags on at all times. There are so many tragic stories of something happening ‘just once’ and having awful consequences.

On A More Personal Note
We do an awesome job caring for your pets once they are in daycare. It is up to you to get them to us safely. Recently, a dog being dropped off at Crate, was off leash; in a split second, she just jumped out of her owner’s car and took off.
Thank you.

Checking in with Ernestine
Whoopee! I was at the beach last week! Had a blast chasing birds and swimming. Think I’ll go lie on my porch and think about the waves and the seagulls! My advice for all of you city folk is to get out, go swimming and have fun!
Later –

The good life. Ernie and Emmitt

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Crate Escape | 30 Brighton Street, Belmont MA 02478 | (617) 489-9003 | Fax: (617) 489-9002
Crate Escape Too | 368 Huron Ave, Cambridge MA 02138 | (617) 354-9003
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