Our 12th Anniversary Poochie Love Story

Your dog makes you a better person™
and this month we recognize
LOVE.

It is a theme that is fitting for both Valentine’s Day and our 12th year anniversary here at Poochie-Pets, which was founded on this day in 2005.

12 years ago what started out as a need to communicate with my family dog began its evolution into a business that now employs 10 amazing souls, supports over 3,000 stores, connects to hundreds of vendors and consumes most of my attention every day. I look back over the last decade of this evolution from a single invention; PoochieBells®, to the drive to create a product line to enhance the lives of dog families everywhere.

I am frequently asked: “what is it like to start, grow and live the world of a business owner and entrepreneur, what are your take-aways?”.  Poochie-Pets started as a dream and fun discussion on a car ride home from a friend’s home with my family. Recognizing we needed to quickly figure out how to better communicate with our dog at potty time, evolved into a handcrafted product (originally made in our home’s basement), team of people and company that has created a product segment in the pet industry. Now, Poochie-Pets is driving forward to evolve into a thriving full line pet product company.

Personally, this company has brought excitement, fear, stress, happiness, self-reflection, drive, and tears along with laughs, travel, connections, failures and success. Most of all, though, Poochie-Pets has brought me incredible LOVE.

I love knowing that families everywhere that use our products find that they enhance the relationship between them and their dog. I love that I surround myself with a team that is passionate about what they do and believe in our company. I love that I can continually learn, face challenges and grow. I love that I have given my children an example of how to believe in your dreams and pursue, take risks, challenge yourself. I love that my family and friends constantly rally around me and support my vision, both highs and lows, I love that I have found the most amazing people in my life through this company.

Most of all, though, I love that this small little company was started out of the love within my family and our then, new dog: Oscar. That love and desire to make our lives better by communicating with him created a vision within me and I am so very thankful.

Happy Anniversary Team Poochie-Pets!

A Happier You and a Happier Dog, too!

Five Things You Can Do To Make Your Dog Happier

  1. Rotate Toy Selection – We all love new stuff, keep it interesting for your dog by rotating their toy selection.
  2. Keep Your Dog’s Diet Consistent – Keep your dog on a consistent diet of their dog food. Keeping consistent creates a calm digestive process.
  3. Walk Your Dog – Great for you and your dog. Even a 15 minute stroll adds to your dog’s mental happiness and fitness.
  4. Appreciation and Praise, Both verbal and physical: Talk to your dog and give him a snuggle. Spending a few moments to reconnect with your dog through praise lets your dog know he is loved and in a secure relationship ☺ Don’t we all want that?
  5. Keep Calm. Your dog’s behavior many times is a reflection of your mental state and environment. Try to keep an environment that is calm and peaceful for your pooch.

Five Ways Your Dog Makes You A Happier Person

  1. Your Dog is Always There For You. Doesn’t matter how moody you are, that you haven’t gotten out of your pajamas all day, he’s there by your side to listen and love you.
  2. Your Dog Makes You Laugh. I know there is always something quirky my dog is up to. Most recently a fascination with my daughter’s hair clip, seen by him as an intruder in the home, he made us laugh by his unexpected fierce reaction to it. Spending time each day to observe him consistently gives me joy and a few laughs.
  3. Daily Walks. Otherwise I probably wouldn’t make time for it, our daily walks are a great stress reducer and way for me to reconnect with the outdoors.
  4. Connection with Other Dog Owners & Conversation. I cannot count the number of times I have joyfully talked about my pug with other pug owners. An immediate and fun connection with people I would otherwise not have connected with.
  5. Love. Simply put: Love. He loves me, he needs me each day, makes me feel loved, special and needed.

Live in Dog Years | Wait Patiently

Dogs waiting to come in | Live In Dog Years™ Wait Patiently

These three sets of eyes in the cold waiting patiently to be let back into the warmth got me thinking about the virtue of patience. With the New Year always comes a new set of dreams and ambitions to achieve – right now! The instant communication & access to information world that we live in pushes us to act quickly and make snap decisions. However, I find that quality takes time. The richness of life is found in those moments of slow contemplation, where we take the time to consider other ideas. Lasting results come from taking thoughtful steps toward an end goal.

As I find myself getting frustrated by the lack of quick results in my life, I think of that soft look from my Besties as they patiently hover at the door. Their patience is based on their trust that I will be there eventually to let them in. I am reminded to trust in myself, and to work patiently toward my goals. One day and one step forward at a time.

Do you Live In Dog Years by allowing yourself the time it takes to make change, to set small goals towards the larger one?

 

Mind Your Manners | Live in Dog Years™

Live In Dog Years™ Mind Your Manners

While visiting family a few months ago I passed this cutie with his humans, sitting quietly at the table with great poise and class.  He reminded me of our Live in Dog Years theme Mind Your Manners, especially at this time of year, when the holidays may mean sitting around the dinner table with family.  All of those rules that must be followed: sit up straight, chew your kibble with mouth closed (no drool of course), paws off the table, no licking your plate and be sure to not bark with your mouth full! I’m tired already.

In the spirit of Thanksgiving, we are thankful for your continued support. We are honored that PoochieBells will be ringing in homes everywhere this holiday season.  From all of us at Poochie-Pets we sincerely wish you and your dog friends all a healthy, safe and loving holiday season.

Feel the Warmth | Live In Dog Years ™

Feel the Warmth | Live In Dog Years™

Our Live in Dog Years collection of gift items celebrates how our furry dog friends remind us of the importance of living life fully each day. We created this product line because we come across daily examples of these Dog Years moments. For example, I spotted this beautiful picture on a friend’s Facebook page a few days ago. I instantly felt a sense of warmth as the dark shadowed dog absorbed the light and heat from the setting sun. I could imagine the warm, smooth sand “underpaw”, and the calming sound of the ocean waves. Once again, a pooch reminded me of treasured moments in my life.

There are so many ways to interpret the Live in Dog Years reminder of Feel the Warmth.  For those of us who live in a cold, wintery climate, this time of year we feel it through sleepy lap dogs, crackling fireplaces, big fuzzy sweaters, and steamy comfort food.  We dream of being in places like where this lucky pup is! All in all though, the warmth we enjoy and appreciate the most comes from the love of friends, relatives, teams at work, the friendly smile of the staff at the local java stop, and of course, the never ending affection of the dogs in our lives.

Photo Credit: Tyson featured by the Santoro Family – Thank you for the great inspiration for Feel the Warmth!

 

Love Unconditionally | Live In Dog Years™

Love Unconditionally

Bogey & Sadie shared with us this sweet moment from a recent trip home from Friday night date night. We were touched by how they seem comforted by the soft touch of each other as the car moved them through each bend in the road. They exemplify the idea of Love Unconditionally within our LIDY product line.

Their image reminded us that there is nothing better than wrapping up your work week by cozying up with your loved ones.  So, how about you join Bogie & Sadie and take some time this Friday night to appreciate the loves in your life?  Snuggle up, get warm and share your week’s accomplishments, inspirations, and frustrations. Make some fun weekend plans!  Remember though, sometimes no words are needed; just a simple touch, lean and sigh can express it all.

Special thanks to Bogey & Sadie for sharing their moment of comfort with us 🙂

Who Wouldn’t Want to Attend A Pug Social?

Pug Social 2014

A few weeks ago Gibby and I packed our bags and headed to our first Pug Social, hosted by the New England Pug Rescue Group (PRONE) in Spencer, Massachusetts. Greeted by hundreds of pugs and their passionate families that day, I felt an overwhelming sense of community as we all shared the love of our unique pug buddies. It was truly a heartfelt experience for everyone there as we watched pug after pug strut by and showcase their unique personalities. Pug races, costume contests, most curly tail, most wrinkles – you name it – all pug characteristics were recognized at this event as prized attributes. Needless to say, Gibby and I loved it.

What struck me most however was the passion of the PRONE team and their followers for helping pugs in need.  All volunteers, the group works tirelessly to rescue and place pugs in forever homes. They also provide medical care, food, and foster housing when needed. This team gets high praises from Gibby and the PoochieBells team!  We thank them for inviting us to their event and sharing with us the warmth of their community.

To learn more about PRONE, check out their website or find them on Facebook.

We Believe in USA Made

Poochie-Pets Believes in USA Made

There is something very special about the ability to produce a USA made product with components sourced within the States. As much as the web has made our world a smaller place and has given everyone the ability to reach out and buy from anywhere, we feel tremendous pride in the fact that classic PoochieBells are 100% USA made.

Our bells are handcrafted by the oldest and only bell manufacturer in North America, with each specially inscribed with a paw print. Our ribbons are designed by our team and then created in New England. Our PoochieBells logo tag is hand-stamped in Connecticut, and our paper hang tag instructions are designed and printed also in Connecticut. All of these USA made parts are then assembled with care in our small manufacturing facility here in Simbury.

We ship PoochieBells over the US, Canada & Europe, so a bit of American true, hard-working manufacturing reaches homes far and wide.  We are thankful for the opportunity to represent part of what has made this country what it is today, a blend of people from various backgrounds, all united to work together toward a common goal: to create a team, a family, a working environment and a fabulous product that helps make pooch homes a little more comfortable.

PoochieBells, made with pride.

Cherish Your Loved Ones | Live in Dog Years™

Live In Dog Years: Cherish Family and Friends

Our pooches excel at appreciating the love in their lives. The ecstatic welcome we get when we arrive home; the questioning eyes and gentle nudges we get when we are visibly upset; the lift of the head and wag of the tail that happens when we walk into the room – dogs show us all the time how much we mean to them. It seems to make them feel good, and it certainly makes us feel loved!

Yet we humans are not so lucky – we can struggle with expressing our feelings. Life gets busy and we forget to do the little things that make the people special to us feel appreciated. In the spirit of our Live in Dog Years™ product line, we remind ourselves and you to take a moment to cherish your loved ones today. Perhaps a lingering hug, or a well-meant compliment, or even an “I love you” will be just what someone needs. And of course, remember to pat your pooch, who is the true inspiration for taking the time to show the love.

What is your favorite way that your pooch shows you love?

Wolfhound cherishes his tiny kitten friend

Live In Dog Years: Sleep Snugly

Live In Dog Years™ Sleep Snugly

Living in New England the seasons bring me a welcome change in the weather. With the the cooler temperatures beginning to creep in at this time of year, Gibby (owner of the curly tail and cute face shown here) tends to snuggle up even more closely at night. He uses his many beds more often, appreciating the warmth they offer versus the cold floor Sleep Snugly(to which is situated particularly close). Evening routines begin a little earlier as the days get shorter, meaning the “Mom, I’m tired” stares can get a bit wearing. Mornings come too fast (when do they not), and the warmth of the bed and the chunky little body next to me make it difficult to get out of bed. Again this am, I was the last one into the office, having overslept. You can bet I was dreaming of making PoochieBells…

In the spirit of our Live in Dog Years product line, remember to Sleep Snugly. Don’t deny yourself the pleasure of much needed downtime, snuggling up with your pooch and getting your zzzzz’s.

It Takes a Team to Make Our PoochieBells Ring

An inside peek at our awesome team!

While wrapping up one of our daily wholesale shipments last week, I became even more aware of the number of hands it takes to get our products out the door and to our family of retailers. Our favorite UPS guy Brian (pictured above) greeting Gibby twice daily is only one step in the process. Here is a glimpse of the process we go through to get PoochieBells® into your hands, evaluated by the number of PBells Team hands we need:

  1. First the ribbon is pulled from our stock, cut to size and hole punched where our rivets & snaps will be later placed. – One set of hands.
  2. It then moves to our hand press area where the PBells top snap is hand-punched to create the hang loop. The logo tag is added too. Second set of hands.
  3. From there, it goes over to our rivet station where the second two folds are created, and the bells are attached and riveted into place. The Pbells are then stored hanging up until needed. Third set of hands.
  4. Next, we fulfill the order, which begins with gathering the PoochieBells by color and attaching a training hang tag to each.  They are then rolled up and place into their baggie for easy shipping. Fourth set of hands.
  5. The full order, along with some extra goodies, is then placed it in a shipping box and passed along to our shipping department. They create an address label, process payment and seal up the box. This part tends to take two people, so Fifth & Sixth sets of hands.
  6. Finally Brian picks them up and off they go. Seventh set of hands.

Phew! This list is long and it didn’t even include purchasing the product components or taking, selling and processing the order. Not to mention managing the day-to-day office and walking the dogs!

Among our team and partners, there is a lot of care and attention to detail behind each set of hands creating PoochieBells. Thank you for trusting our product in your home and with your family & pets.

Poochie-Pets' expo wall of PoochieBells® dog doorbells

Live In Dog Years: Reach for the Stars

Meet Pixie- the Great Dane Puppy | Live In Dog Years™

Our first glance at this pic of “Pixie” left us stunned – how can this creature be so beautiful? And those legs!  As a 13-week old pup, this gray-blue Great Dane lazily stretches those long, long legs like they are nothing, like they are not what will propel her forward into the world. For now she takes a moment of physical rest, though still well alert to the curiosities surrounding her. Seeing this gorgeous pooch reminded us of one of our Live In Dog Years ™ themes, Reach for the Stars. Like most pups, Pixie – such an little name for a big girl – will embrace life with enthusiasm and verve, reaching her long legs toward her adulthood. She will learn the hard lessons of “no”, and strive to achieve the many goals her adoring humans have set for her as she matures.

Live In Dog Years Moment

Meet Pixie, the Great Dane Puppy
Photo Credit: New Klebanoff

Pixie’s long, growing legs are a reminder of the importance of pushing yourself continually toward your goals. Sometimes gently, sometimes with intense power, yet always moving forward unafraid of reaching far and beyond your current abilities. Recognizing each day your inner drive that motivates you, and the tools you will use, like Pixie uses her legs, to get you there. Goals come in all varieties, short & long, personal & professional, yet your every day actions bring you continually closer in range.  Perhaps like for Pixie, whose owners affectionately described as “a bit clumsy”, it’s the stumbles that send your body head over heels that most often teach us the most about what it takes to dream a bit out of reach.

Walk, Stumble, Run Onward!