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December 31, 2014

Crate Escape, 2014! & Make a New Year’s Resolution for Your Dog!

Ernestine’s Comments and Photos!

2014 Has Been an Amazing Year at Crate Escape!

What we are all about!! Daycare, Grooming, Overnights!! Always improving… facilities, service and safety!

crate services


Some of the Fun Activities We Hosted/ Participated In (or just HAPPY about!!)

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And, of course! My 12th Birthday Party and Crate Escape’s 10 Anniversary!



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Happy New Year!  Ernestine


Make a New Year’s Resolution for You and Your Dog

Andrea Arden,  Dog Trainer & Pet Celebrity

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As a professional dog trainer I am quite often asked if there was just one bit of advice I could offer to pet parents, what would it be? My response is usually along the lines of encouraging people to focus on management to set their dogs up for success. Careful supervision and long and short term resting areas are vital to helping a dog reliably learn the rules. And of course, being able to understand and comply with the rules of your home is the best way for a dog to live a long, safe and wonderful life with its family.

But, as it is the beginning of a New Year I have found myself in the last few days responding to this question a bit differently. This time is a wonderful opportunity to make a very simple resolution to remind ourselves of the things in our lives that bring us joy and to make an effort to appreciate those things in the coming year.

One of the most valuable things you can do for yourself and your dog is taking a moment to consider how many big and small moments of joy your dog brings to your life on a regular basis. Consider that your dog gives you all he or she has to offer every day. They give you the joy of sharing your life with a creature that lives for the moment and lives each of those moments to the fullest. They give you the peace and comfort of resting by your side with their head on your lap, grateful for the occasional scratch behind the ear. They give you their wiggly, bright-eyed enthusiasm at the prospect of a walk when they see you head towards the door. Our dogs bring us calm and warmth as well as enthusiasm and play…and they ask for so very little in return.

So, the next time you are frustrated with your dog or upset for some mistake or lack of manners, consider all the ways your dog has made your life better, all the times your dog has accepted you cutting a walk short to get back in time for a TV show, and the fact that your dog doesn’t care one bit about your net worth statement.

Many trainers I know suggest people “train, don’t complain.” The idea being that it can be tough to set your mind to making something better rather than just complaining about it. With that said, I think it can be equally as tough to avoid focusing on the things we wish we could change, rather than taking time to appreciate those things that we wouldn’t want to change for the world.

Of course, we should resolve to do all we can to better the lives of the animals in our care. Whether that be by taking a trip to his or her favorite park at least once a week, or improving basic manners, teaching a new trick, agility, or striving for our dog to become a certified therapy dog. All of these may result in a better relationship with people and therefore a better life for your dog.

But, I resolve first and foremost to take at least one moment every day to look at my dogs and remember how lucky I am that I am their person.



December 17, 2014

Santa Photo Donations to MSPCA! Last Hope K9’s Adoption Event in Belmont & A Happy Ending Puppy Mill Story!


Woof! It’s been a great week of holiday celebrations! Friday evening and Saturday, Santa visited Crate Escape tooCambridge, and Charlestown Crate, inviting dogs to sit with him for holiday photos. All proceeds will be matched by Crate Escape and donated to the MSPCA, year 6!

All 3 Crates have great holiday decorations and lots of special Christmas toys. The hedge hogs with hats are adorable and so popular! We also have the real rubber animals, dressed for the season. C’mon 1/ year is ok for your pooch to rip apart!

Here’s a preview Santa photo:

Happy Holidays!

ernie in santa hat

Later, Ernestine

Great Last Hope K9 Adoption Event held at Crate Belmont on Dec. 14th!


On Sunday, 12/14, Crate Escape Belmont hosted an adoption event for Last Hope K9 Rescue. Several Crate Escape people volunteered for the first time. They were amazed at the process, the number and dedication of the volunteers and the organization of Last Hope, pulling the whole thing off.  Our Nikki is on the Board of Directors, and Crate Belmont hosted their first Last Hope adoption event last spring.  This time, 10 dogs were adopted and 8 more had deposits. YEA!

Many of the attendees had expressed interest in particular dogs and were pre-approved for adoption. Several new people started fostering. It is one thing to ‘share’ a dog’s profile on fb, but a whole new experience to visit an adoption event and see first hand how it works.

Most potential foster people say, ‘I would never be able to give the dog up, once adopted!’ Once you have a rescue dog in your home and s/he has settled in – it is often hard to hand over the pup to his new people. Events like yesterday make it way more understandable; actually viewing the number of homeless dogs and realizing they need homes.  Each fostered dog saves a dog’s life, by opening a spot in a shelter.


Harley the Chihuahua Helps Puppy Mill Dogs


After a decade in a cage himself, this former breeder works to spring other puppy mill dogs across the country.

He’s an old dog hoping to teach lawmakers some new tricks. At 14 years old, Harley the puppy mill survivor is winning hearts all over the world through his social media activism.

“I hear stories every day,” says Harley’s human, Rudi Taylor. “Every day I receive an email, a message, or a comment from somebody about how Harley’s story has made a difference to them.”

The story that has impacted so many people is horrific and heartbreaking.

Like so many of the puppies who end up in pet stores, Harley began his life in a puppy mill, but he never ended up in a pet shop window. Instead, he had the misfortune of being chosen as a breeder and was kept in a cage for a decade. He received no exercise, no medical care, no kindness or love. He never saw the sky or felt the comfort of a soft bed.

According to Taylor, the people at Harley’s puppy mill used pressure washers to clean the wire cages while the dogs were still trapped inside. That horrific scenario is how he lost his left eye. Taylor says the puppy-buying public needs to know that the horror Harley lived through really isn’t uncommon.

“Even though this is Harley’s story that we’re sharing, it really is the story of all the puppy mill dogs.”

Thankfully for Harley, the story has a happy ending — but it almost didn’t. After a decade in a tiny cage, Harley was riddled with health problems, from disfigured paws to an arthritic, broken tail. He was in heart failure, and when he developed a cough the puppy mill had no more use for him. Harley was about to be tossed into a bucket when an employee noticed he was still alive, and sought permission from the boss to hand Harley over to a rescue.

“The mill owner apparently agreed,” explains Taylor.

Already an anti-puppy-mill activist and volunteer for National Mill Dog Rescue (NMDR), Taylor had an ear to the ground of the rescue world and instantly knew this dog was destined to join her pack. She reached out to the woman running the rescue that saved Harley.

“When I learned of him, I called Barbara and she agreed to give Harley to me, so he could live out his remaining days in a home with a lot of love.”

Taylor and her husband loaded up their car, and along with their two chihuahuas, Zoie and Cricket, drove from Colorado to Kansas to pick up Harley. During the long ride home Harley cuddled with his two new sisters. He was finally safe.

At last Harley had the kind of loving home and life he deserved, but his vet didn’t think he would get to enjoy it for very long. Taylor was told Harley wouldn’t last three months — but that was more than three years ago. Time after time, Harley has beaten the odds as his family has spent thousands of dollars getting him the veterinary care he needs.

“A year ago he was really bad off, and every day we didn’t think he would live another day,” explains Taylor.

She credits an interdisciplinary team of veterinary specialists with helping Harley make a second comeback. “They came up with a treatment plan,” she says. “They got him off all the medications he was on.”

These days, Harley is in good health and good spirits, loving life with his family and being a great brother to Cricket, Olive, Riley, and his foster sister, Charo.

“He wants to take care of everybody,” says Taylor. “If one of the other dogs cries — he’s right there.”

Harley’s empathy doesn’t end with his housemates. He’s also taking care of his fellow puppy mill survivors. In early 2013, Harley lent his name, face, and social media savvy to a campaign for National Mill Dog Rescue called “Harley to the Rescue”.  It started out as a way to fund the rescue of 25 to 30 puppy mill dogs, with each rescue costing about $2,500, but the campaign quickly surpassed the initial goal and even took on a second spokesdog, another puppy mill survivor named Teddy.

Together, Harley and Teddy traveled across the U.S. as NMDR saved the lives of puppy mill dogs with funds raised through the “Harley to the Rescue” social media campaign. The first rescue mission in May 2013 saved 64 dogs. The second rescue mission happened in August of 2013, when 24 dogs were saved from the same puppy mill where Harley had spent the first 10 years of his life. Among the 24 dogs saved that day were Harley’s own son and daughter.

 The campaign continued into this year, and according to the NMDR website has brought in more than $200,000 dollars — enough to fund the rescues of 364 puppy mill dogs.Harley is a hero to all the dogs he’s helping save and to the more than 58,000 Facebook friendswho follow his every adorable move. Taylor is pleased to see so many people connecting with her little survivor. She hopes Harley can help end the cruel practices at puppy mills by bringing attention to the gruesome reality the caged dogs face.”Harley’s mission is just to spread the word. The more people that know, the better the chance of changing the laws,” explains Taylor. “I would love to see it happen in Harley’s lifetime.”



December 7, 2014

Santa Photos 12/12 & 13, HOHOHO from Ernie & A Trainer’s Wish List

Ernie’s Brother Emmitt!

ernie and emmitt holiday

Happy Holidays!  Super Special for we Crate Escapeians, since this is the last month of our 10th Anniversary Year. Thank you, thank you for being a part of the CE family and bringing your dogs to play, sleep, bathe and hang out. (In typical Ernie-fashion) I am so proud of us for all we have learned (and applied) and for our always increasing love of you and your dogs!

More notations and wonderous occurances to celebrate – but there are still 3.5 weeks left in December!

Make sure THIS is on your calendar!!

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Have fun, and keep your pups safe!

Later,  Ernestine



A Trainer’s Wish List – The 5 Things I Want Most for Dogs


Dogs do so much for us, so it’s fair that we give them the best care and training in the new year.

As we move past Thanksgiving and barrel toward Christmas and the New Year, I hope dog owners everywhere will take a few moments and reflect on what would enrich their dogs’ lives in the coming year. Dogs do so much for us that it’s only fair that we think about how we can make our dog’s lives be the best for them, too. It’s not an either/or situation: Both humans and dogs can have a great deal of fun together, and we should be enjoying the sharing of lives with our “best friends.” To get to the fun part of dog ownership, you first have to address the responsibility part.

Here are my top five wishes for dogs for 2014:

1. Dogs will get daily exercise

See the word “daily”? It means MondayTuesdaysWednesdayThursdayFridaySaturdaySunday. Sometimes I feel that dogs are a bit like prisoners in our homes and backyards. It gets boring. Seriously boring. It gets so tedious for some dogs that they start doing things we don’t like, such as nuisance barking and digging. You may be a couch potato but your dog is not a potato of any kind. This means walking outside on leash with your dog just about every day. How many of us really do that? How fair is it to the dog that we don’t?

2. Dogs’ minds’ will be engaged as well as their bodies

Most of us have day jobs. Do you think about what your dog is doing while you are away? Do you assume she sleeps all day? How would you really know? You could put your dog in a separate room each morning before you leave and then hide frozen Kongs with yummy treats inside (such as peanut butter) and release your dog and let her search and enjoy while you are away. I love Kongs and so do most dogs. You could also leave behind mind puzzles, such as this one. Or how about hiring a professional dog walker who has stellar references and will treat your dog kindly?

3. Abusing animals will be perceived as such a heinous crime that people will not dare do it.

I wish there were serious punishments enforced on those who abuse dogs. It’s too easy to leave a dog chained outside with zero stimulation in all kinds of weather, even when chaining is illegal in the town or city. Abuse can come in the form of neglect, and –- of course -– it can get much worse. It is unfortunate, but abuse can come from the “trusted” hands of your veterinarian, your pet sitter, your dog trainer, your groomer or even a family member. It’s up to you to do your homework and ensure no one inflicts harm upon your dog.

4. Owners will invest in training dogs from the first day the dog arrives

Don’t wait for the dog to be six months to take it to a puppy class. Get one round of shots and if the trainer is okay with this (many are –- I am), enroll in well-organized and pain-free puppy classes. Putting a solid foundation of training on your dog opens up the world for you both. A well-behaved dog can go out in public with you and you could then even participate in dog sports or go hiking if you wanted to. Really investigate what it means to socialize a puppy, because all new experience must be positive and affirming for the puppy. Throwing your vulnerable dog into an unsupervised room full of other dogs is NOT what socialization is about.

Dogs get dumped with a terribly high rate at shelters by their “loving” owners all over this country, often because the owner neglected to be a quality guide for the dog and fairly and effectively teaching the dog what behavior is permitted around humans and what behavior is unwanted. If you have a dog, the onus is on you to train it. The dog does not arrive in this world already trained.

5. People will respect dogs’ immense skill sets

Dogs can do so very many things that we humans cannot do, and we need dogs. They can detect cancer and illegal drugs, among many other things. They can alert owners about health emergencies that the owner can’t yet sense, such as an impending seizure. They can save the lives of children with peanut or other allergies. They bring calmness and peace to hospitals, nursing homes and elementary schools. They help ranchers move livestock, usually better than any human helper can. They find people after natural disasters. They find people who have gone missing. They protect us. They make us smile. They love us, unconditionally.

For all of these reasons and many more, dogs deserve our respect. Seeing yourself as the dog’s kind but effective coach is showing the dog the respect he deserves. Being kind to dogs and teaching them the meaning of “yes” (instead of only telling them “no”) equals respect. Setting your dog up for success early in his life with clear communication shows respect.

I hope these things come true for dogs everywhere in 2014. I hope we humans use our powerful brains and big hearts to teach dogs instead of disparage them. I know it’s a lot to ask for, but I intend to keep on asking on behalf of dogs.





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