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Free Doggy Fitness Class Saturday!

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Go Fetch Run has been going and running all winter long. Through rain and sleet and snow and…well, when temperatures dipped below 20 degrees, the class was called off. Hubby and I braved it out with very few other suckers willing to endure the frigid torture. Now that Spring is in the air, the pooch-in-tow workout will be much more pleasant!

Instructor/owner Angi is offering a free class this Saturday morning to get people going again. We’ve been meeting at Grand Army Plaza because it’s been snow free, but we may actually get to run around in the park this time!

Go Fetch Run involves interval workout with your dog. Boot campy circuit training in the great (or sometimes not so great) outdoors. We’ll be there with our two misbehaved mutts. Please join us! RSVP here.

Ikea Hack Catwalk

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We finally did it! We installed a few shelves where the kitties can look over us like the aristoCATS that they are. This isn’t the elaborate system we would’ve liked, but it only took a couple of hours to do, so it is something that takes no thought and just about anyone with a drill and level can handle.

You’ve seen those whole-room cat jungles with stairs and all? Well, my husband comes from a family who believes that life is nothing without a struggle (Yes, Irish) and this apparently applies to cats as well. He installed the shelves in the hallway right near the ceiling without steps to get to it, so they have to work for it if they want to perch up there. I wasn’t around for the installation. I would’ve made it lower, especially since we’ll need to clean it every now and then.

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The cats must “enter the system” through the human stairs. There’s a shelf on the outside, which they quite like. From there, they can either jump across to that larger shelf or walk along the thin shelving on the wall (See it about the door?). Either way, the sprinkler system is in the way, but they can also jump from there.

Ideal? No. Temporary? Knowing us, it’s probably going to be a few years until we do it the way we (I) want….with multiple steps and shelves going around the entire room. I would’ve liked to have used reclaimed materials, but the great thing about Ikea is that no thought or extra work needs to go into it. We didn’t have to paint or seal any wood. Nor did we have to think about brackets. Bada bing bada boom, it was done.

Doggy Fitness in Prospect Park

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Hey! Welcome back to Life After Holidays. Like everyone else, I’m trying to start the new year off right by getting into shape. Since I’d rather be sitting on my ass than exercising, it’s tough to come up with a compelling fitness plan.

Enter Go Fetch Run. An exercise class with your dog? Yep. Hubby and I gave it a trial run on Saturday, each with mutt in hand, and whaddya know? We signed up for the season!

So, what’s the class like? It’s a mix of boot camp and interval training. The only difference is that you get to exercise your dog right by your side. There’s some jogging, burpees, jumping jacks, push ups…the usual dreadful stuff, only it makes it more fun with a dog trying to pull you away. Resistance workout for the arms.

The classes are in Prospect Park and Central Park. Winter schedule is only once a week on Saturday mornings. It costs 5 bucks to give it a shot for the first time. After that, the choice is $20 per class or various packages that would be as low as $10 per class if you actually go all the time.

Don’t have a dog? Borrow one!

Howl-O-Ween Sunday

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10492016_10152425605901483_4294953843197949518_nIt’s time for the 7th Annual Sean Casey Animal Rescue Howl-O-Ween Block Party! Get those pet costumes ready because there’s a contest. Your pooch is too cool for a costume? No worries, there are raffles, a baking contest, a kissing booth, live music and of course….an adoption van! Be sure to bring your petless friends, so they can go home with a special someone.

Sunday, October 26th

12-5pm

E. 3rd Street between Ft. Hamilton and Caton in Brooklyn.

Pitbull Kisses and More

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 Poop Bag Dispenser

Come check out the Badass Brooklyn Animal Rescue Fall Event this Sunday, September 14th in Gowanus! The festivities kick off at 11am on President Street between Nevins and 3rd.

There will be a Pitbull kissing booth, dog selfies, training advice and plenty of vendors with food and handmade goodies…including us. We’re bringing lots of pet related items such as the ones shown here, so do stop by and say hello!

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Litterbox Cabinet. $275

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Upcycled Chair Raised Dog Dishes $125 pair

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Repurposed Bookcase Dog Bed. $185

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Double Leash Hook. $50

Badass Fall Festival!

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We are delighted to announce that Reclaimed Home will be participating in the Badass Fall Festival taking place in Gowanus on September 14th. For those of you not in the doggie world know, Badass is a non profit rescue group that takes dogs from high kills shelters in the south and brings them up here. The volunteers come in all forms, from transporters to publicity to fosters to adoption event workers and on and on.

The Fall Festival will have food and drink, raffles, doggy activities and even a Pitbull kissing booth!  Oh yeah, and crafts vendors, which is where we come in.

Sunday, 9/14, y’all! Bring your dogs!

Vegetarian Foodie Dog: Upstate NY

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photo-2Hubby and I are creatures of habit.  There are three vacations we take every year.  Visit his mom in Ireland. Visit my mom in Florida.  And take an upstate vacation with the dogs.  This year was no different.  We found our dog friendly rental in Woodstock, complete with fenced in yard and the dogs were in heaven.

The rentals are easy enough to find.  Just filter your VRBO or Air BnB search for places that accept pets.  If your dogs are well behaved, you have a choice of properties with lots of land.  For neurotic moms like me, there are a handful of fenced in properties so we don’t have to worry about our babies getting lost chasing deer, getting eaten by bears or running into the road.

But it’s not all about the house.  We wanted our dogs to be able to spend entire days with us. And that they did!  From the early morning hikes to patio lunches, they were welcome.  Although there are plenty of places in NYC where you can sit with your furry friend in the outdoor area, it’s never as pleasant.  Don’t even get me started on sidewalk cafes in NYC.  This isn’t Europe with its charming squares…NYC has dirty, busy sidewalks!  I said “Don’t get me started”.

Anyway, since upstate is less crowded and you usually don’t have to walk through the restaurants to get to the patio areas, there are plenty of really pleasant dog friendly restaurants where they bring water to dogs before humans. Without further adieu, here are some of our favorites….

1. Sweet Sue’s, Phoenicia.  Go with our without the pooch.  It’s one of the best restaurants around, full stop. Although they are known for their pancakes, I always get the pistachio encrusted tofu.  Always.  Front porch dining.  Our family of four (2 humans, 2 dogs) sat next to a couple with their black Lab.

2. Rosendale Cafe. Great vegetarian dining in the cutest Ulster County town around.  Backyard patio is enclosed using reclaimed windows and iron work.  Just thought I’d add that.  Very private for those of you with dogs who bark at every passing stranger.

3. Luna 61. Sadly, we didn’t get here this time around.  They are only open for dinner now and we drove to Tivoli looking forward to a great lunch with the pooches.  Food is excellent and they did welcome our dogs in the past.

4. Two Boots, Bard.  On the way from Tivoli to Red Hook in search of lunch, we came across a Two Boots.  We ate there.  Who knew there was a Two Boots up there?  Not us.

5. Terrapin, Rhinebeck. Didn’t make it over to Terrapin this time around, but they do have an outdoor area where we’ve been with the pooches. Great food, full stop.

Don’t quote me on this, but it seems that any restaurant with an outdoor dining area will allow the dogs as long as they are well behaved.  Our two are not well behaved and we weren’t asked to leave, so there’s good news for bad dogs too. So, go on…take your dogs on vacation with you and do what you normally do!

Litter Box Furniture DIY

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Raise your hand if you have cats. Raise both hands if you have dogs and cats. Now, be honest. How many of you have dogs who help themselves to treats from the litter box? Yeah, you know what I’m talking about! You need to get yourself a dog-proof litter box.

First, my apologies for the terrible iPhone pics. I’m lazy. Secondly, I’m also too lazy to actually finish this project so what you’re looking at is merely a piece of furniture with a hole cut into it. Ideally, the interior would be protected against accidents, because as Elvis says “Accidents will happen”.

We bought the piece at a local yard sale already painted. This is a simple DIY but for those of you even lazier than myself or not skilled with power tools, we will definitely be selling litter box furniture once the shop opens this Spring.

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First choose the entry way. Make sure it’s high enough so the litter box inside doesn’t block it.

Cut 4 starter holes. They definitely don’t have to be as large as the ones in the photo. We did that to get rounded edges.

photo 3 The tool of choice is a jigsaw. We found it difficult to keep a straight line so we switched off between the jigsaw and another tool.

photo 2The Makita multi-tool is a must have for any DIY geek (or even a real contractor). It’s just fun. Trust me.

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This particular piece has 2 doors in the front so the litterbox can be placed and removed easily. Notice how our dog is already looking for some goodies. The cats can enter through the side hole but the dog can’t. Ha!

Again, inside and hole should be painted and/or sealed. Don’t be like us. Take it that extra step.

More Cat Furniture

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With so many lovely kitty condo and bedding options out there, it boggles the mind that all we see in local shops are those carpeted pieces of ….

Why would people buy those when there are much nicer alternatives available? Oh yeah, price. These things can cost a small fortune. And why spend that when your cat will claw it to pieces within months?

Click on each images for more info on kitty units.

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This one is made from Ikea shelves, so you know it’s affordable.

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Kitty Condos

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Why are all cat trees and condos made with carpet? That does not last very long in a multi-cat household! Carpet gets scratched to shreds, puked on, pissed on and don’t get me started with the fur! Someone needs to invent a practical kitty condo with removable and washable parts. Yeah, I know it would be an easy DIY project, but I’m feeling lazy.

The Refined Lotus Cat Tower shown above is fairly practical. The carpet attaches with Velcro, thank you! The cushions are washable. That’s what I’m talking about! The price is $326 including shipping at Amazon. Is that about average considering these things aren’t cheap?

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Be careful what you wish for. Ok, so the Feline Snoozer Climber Tower is completely washable. I’ll give ya that. It lacks something though. A design, maybe? Someone said “Hey, let’s put some PVC pipes together and throw trays on it. $240 for something that I’d be embarrassed to keep in my living room.

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OMG. That is beautiful. Unfortunately, it wouldn’t last a day in my house. Yeah, I could just imagine cleaning each slat.

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Finally, this recycled drawer kitty condo seems to be the perfect fit. I’d paint the wooden posts though, so they’d last longer. It seems like an easy enough DIY job. I can’t tell you if it’s actually for sale since the site I found it on is in Italian. E la vita.

Creative Litter Boxes

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If you have cats, a litter box is just another object in your home that needs to be cleaned often. Perhaps you start to notice it more when you’re expecting company. What you have learned to live with may not be so appealing to everyone. These are literally containers of poop and pee sitting around your house. If they are not covered and you don’t clean that poop out immediately, a visitor will come face to face with a cat turd. Do you really want that?

I have a multi-cat household which means that I have several litter boxes. The poop thing isn’t an issue since the dogs think of that as treats. No, it’s certainly not good for them! Which is why it’s time to put an end to their binge snacking.

These photos are merely ideas I’m grabbing for a DIY project. I’m torn between running out to Ikea today and just getting ‘er done or finding the right vintage piece for each box. For now, I’m leaning towards the more disposable/less green Ikea option since it’s something that’s going to get smelly and be replaced in a couple of years anyway.

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Modernist Cat has some great options. This would probably most resemble an Ikea hack and not a vintage piece. So, why don’t I just order one from them? 600 bucks is why.

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DIY option made out of a table and three fabric covered sides.

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If you have the space and desire to start cutting into your walls, this is a great option! A litter box cubby hole.

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Ok, that’s totally goofy but kind of awesome. A cat house.

Perfect Vacation Rental for Dogs

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It’s easy enough to find a vacation rental that accepts dogs. I’ve passed the info along in previous posts. What is not easy to find is a house that allows a neurotic, helicopter dog mom like me to sit back and relax while letting her dogs run wild. It’s always either too close to the road, too close to the neighbors or too close to the woods where they can run off chasing wildlife.

Well, I think I’ve finally found the perfect doggy vacation rental! It’s in Woodstock and it stood up to my own doggy test. Three and a half acres of fenced in land to roam free. I walked the perimeter and every inch of it is secure. There is deer fencing that I’m pretty sure the deer can hop over but when my dog tried to chase something into the woods, she couldn’t get beyond the boundary.

So, it’s safe for dogs. What else?

It has a pool. Unfortunately, we experienced winter temperatures this summer weekend, so I can’t tell you much about the pool. It looked nice. I thought I might try to book the place again in August since I’m totally bummed about missing out on the pool, but I see that it’s booked out for the dog days of summer.

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Still, the house is lovely. It’s a converted 1920 horse stable. Just up our alley. There’s a mix of old and new and it’s completely clean and airy. They have wifi and a DVD player, but no DVD’s.

In nice weather, the home would have been a decent walk into Woodstock. Not something I’d want to walk at night on the dark, country road, but the drive is short enough that you can have a drink with dinner out and not worry about falling asleep on the way home.

So, that’s my doggy retreat story for this year. It’s pricey because of the pool, but sleeps up to six, so it can be split, which is what we did. Just a shame it’s all booked up for July and August.

Broken Angel Dog (and Block Party)

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This is Simba. He lived in the most famous building in Clinton Hill, Arthur Hill’s Broken Angel. The 84 year old Arthur was evicted after years of struggling to hang onto his house-as-art project. Now Arthur needs to find a new place and Simba needs fostering. Can you help? If so, please contact shannonkernerATgmailDOTcom.

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Perhaps you can meet Simba and Arthur at the Broken Angel Block Party on March 15th. If it looks familiar, yes, it was the backdrop of Dave Chappelle’s Block Party. The event takes place all day and night, so stop on by, y’all!

Need a Bestie?

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Badass Brooklyn Animal Rescue pulls dogs from kill shelters in the rural South and brings them up here. Why? Because the shelters down there are even worse than here.

Badass is having a huge adoption event this Saturday, July 14th from 11am-2pm at NYC Pet in Williamsburg (475 Driggs). Please come to show some love. If you can’t give a pup a forever home, nothing is stopping you from volunteering, donating or fostering, now is it?

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