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May 31, 2014

Handsome Hermes, Ernie Beach (again) & Being Polite to Your Dog

Ernestine’s Elation!

It’s June!! Almost beach time!! I love my job, but I LOVE the beach TOO!

We did a super fun Yappy Hour in Charlestown last week, on the roof of a new apartment building! Resident dogs came up, and played! Parents had wonderful local pizza and thirst quenching, easy breezy drinks. The views were amazing! (as not shown by the photo)

top of gatehouse

My buddy Hermes is featured below! We used to play, play, play at Crate Escape too when we were puppies.

And, a very important read – Being Polite to Your Dog!! I love it!

Ernie on grass

Later, Ernestine

Here’s Hermes!

In celebration of our 10th Anniversary, we are honoring some of the original dogs who started daycare at Crate Escape too ( then named, Raining Cats and Dogs).  One of our first dogs was Hermes, a regally handsome golden doodle.  He was adorable as a puppy and continued to receive compliments from people as he grew.  We looked forward to seeing him in daycare. He loved the staff and had some strong bonds with Crate Escape dogs.  In addition, his family was always fun to see. We watched daughter, Grace grow up and Jay, his father, is charming and funny! These are memories from his wonderful Mom, Melinda:

‘Raining Cats and dogs opened shortly before we got our puppy Hermes. I remember visiting with my daughter and choosing the leash and collar we would use to take him home. A few months later, we enrolled him in doggie daycare. He would rush through the door each day and imediately lie down so all the big dogs could check him out. When I would pick him up at the end of the day, he was usually on the couch, holding hands with one of the staff, beautifully worn out. The hand holding continued as he grew to his present 85 lbs. If you forgot to take his paw, he nudges you until the petting starts. When he gets really comfortable, he burps loudly, like the son I never had.

Soon Hermes had a life of his own outside our home. People would mention that they had seen him at Crate. He had lots of regular visitors who dropped by to see him in the store, and many phoned to ask the name of his breeder.

Hermes, like his Greek god namesake, was mischievous from the start. He loved to steal the small stuffed animals on sale at Crate, often putting two or three in his mouth and keeping his head down as he sauntered out the door, hoping we wouldn’t notice. He also liked to put front paws up on the counter looking for treats.

When he was about a year old, my daughter and Hermes won the pet/ owner look alike contest at the Huron Village Street Fair. wearing tee shirts that said, ‘obey me’ and ‘question authority’, respectively.

I always know when Hermes encounters a dog or person he met at Crate, because he is so excited to see them. A Stephanie or Barbara sighting leads to groans of joy. He loves his Crate pack and so do we!’

Thanks to the Cantors and big hugs for Hermes!


Be Polite to Your Dog — It Benefits Both of You

by Kelly Pulley | Dogster

Dogs pick up your tone of voice and your body language and there is not better way to convey good nature than by being polite.

“Oh, Baxter, I’ll take you to foggy London town ’cause you’re my little gentleman”. — Ron Burgundy to his dog in the movie Anchorman.

Most of us try so hard to teach our dogs good manners. some of us even praise them by saying inane things like “What a little gentleman!”. There are at home manners, visiting a friend’s house manners, dog park manners, walking on crowded sidewalk manners, and just good doggie manners in general.

“Oh, Baxter. I’ll take you to foggy London town ’cause you’re my little gentleman.” — Ron Burgundy to his dog in the movie Anchorman

But we many be less likely to work on our own manners in our interactions with our dogs.


Using polite phrases is one way we humans attempt to be civilized with each other. It may seem odd to incorporate politeness in your conversations with your dog — and we all know that we talk out loud to our dogs all the time — since dogs can’t understand the nuances behind phrases such as ‘I’m sorry’ and ‘Thank you’.

What they do pick up on is the tone of your voice, your body language and the positive effects that these niceties have on our brains and bodies.


Believe me, I was skeptical about this until I did a few experiments with my Pit Bull, Bunch. It certainly seemed to make a difference in my own perceptions and actions as well as in hers. One thing that is critical, though, is that you have to mean it when you’re being polite to your dog! If you’re not sincere, then neither of you will get any benefits.

Different genteel sayings have different effects on the person saying them. But, overall, they increase our sense of awareness of those we say them to and even release endorphins in our body. Saying them can make you feel better, in short, while they change your dog’s behavior.

Here are some sayings I used with Bunch and how they were successful:

‘I’m sorry.’

It's easy to kiss and make up.

Apologizing to another person obviously can make her feel better, but it affects you, too. When you say “I’m sorry” to your dog after accidentally stepping on his foot or after losing your temper when he tore up a pillow, you are acknowledging that you have done wrong and helping to insure you’re not blaming your dog for the incident.

This humbling of yourself comes out in your tone and body language. It eliminates an unnecessary use of treats, which we often use to bribe our dogs for “forgiveness.” Instead, it is usually accompanied with a big hug.

Bunch decided to eat a part of my bed when I first got her, and I unduly lost my temper. Immediately — and that’s important — I said I was sorry with open body language, holding out my arms. Because I meant it, I’m sure Bunch understood the gestures.




My kitchen is in a small, narrow hallway in my apartment. It’s not the best place for Bunches to be when I’m cooking. I’ve found that when I just say, “Get out,” Bunch gets out and comes right back. But if I say, “Please, get out,” Bunch stays out for a much longer time. This is due to my more positive and persuasive tone when using “please.”


‘Thank you.’

This phrase promotes gratitude in the speaker, and gratitude releases tons of those great endorphins. Whether we’re thanking our dog for doing a command or something more nebulous (such as being quiet while we write an article), these words remind us of the importance of our dogs and make us feel good, which makes our dogs feel good, too.


Bunch recently became a toilet paper thief. I often thank her for many things and thought I’d try it in this situation. When I see a white streak of Bunch and trailing toilet paper go by, instead of chasing her, I calmly go over to her, thank her for the roll and gently take it. She’s still a toilet paper thief but now she brings it to me. I thank the positive atmosphere that comes from all of those fabulous endorphins of mine for her behavior.

Behaving in a well-mannered way to your dog may not seem all that important in the scheme of things, and it’s not as crucial as, say, teaching some commands. But it’s an easy thing to try, and the benefits to yourself, and thus to your dog, are certainly worth it. But do it in the moment (saying “sorry” a day later doesn’t work) and remember to mean it!

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