Calling all leprechauns

Posted by: Pack Leader | March 4, 2010 | Posted in Uncategorized

Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day with Central Bark

Join Central Bark at the third annual St. Patrick’s Day Paw Promenade. The “promenade” begins at Mercer Island City Hall and follows the I-90 trail to Luther Burbank Off-Leash Dog Park. There will be vendors (that’s us!), demonstrations, raffles, and doggone fun activities for the whole family. Plan to walk rain or shine and bring your four-legged leprechaun. Prizes awarded for “most spirited” dogs so don’t forget to wear GRRReen!

Day: Saturday
Time: 1 – 3 p.m.
Date: March 13, 2010
Location: Walk begins at Mercer Island City Hall, 9611 SE 36th Street,
Mercer Island, Washington.

The Luther Burbank Off-Leash Dog Park is located at 2040 84th Avenue SE, Mercer Island, Washington.

Dogs on Facebook?
Can’t get enough of dogs? Facebook has an application that lets you create a Facebook-like page for your dog. You can network with other dogs, post pictures, post your dog’s status, and brag to your heart’s content. Go to

Groomer to the stars

We have a celebrity in our midst. You might have heard that “Legally Blonde,” the Broadway musical hit, will be playing at the Fifth Avenue Theater. The story is about sorority star Elle Woods, an underestimated blonde who doesn’t take “no” for an answer. What you might not know is that the canine star is a Central Bark client.

Frankie the Chihuahua (“Bruiser” in the musical)insists on getting spruced up at Central Bark for his starring role. Here’s a behind-the-scenes look at the star getting ready for his fans.

Now you can tell all your friends you get your dog groomed where the stars go!

All you ever wanted to know about dog training

Posted by: Pack Leader | January 26, 2010 | Posted in Uncategorized

Central Bark hosts informational session

Recently we asked our readers to tell us what services they’d like to see at Central Bark. Fifty-eight percent of you said you wanted dog training.

We’re pleased to announce that at 9:30 a.m. on Saturday, February 6, we’ll be hosting an informational session on dog training. And here’s a surprise; the speaker will be none other than Curt Greenberg, the former owner of Central Bark. He is now a certified dog trainer, and will be glad to share his knowledge with us.

Please join us for this fun, free event. Bring your questions, and find out more about what your training options are. (Humans only for this session please.)

Dear Ozzie
Central Bark is pleased that Ozzie Schwartz was able to take time out of his busy schedule to respond to readers’ questions.

Dear Ozzie,

The people I live with keep talking about “getting in shape.” Apparently, they think I should participate in this new endeavor. While I think it’s just fine if they go running around the neighborhood in the dark, I don’t see why I need to participate. How can I convince them that it would be much better to leave me at home on the couch so I can guard the house and watch Oprah?



Dear Sleepy,

While I do see the advantage to staying home during your housemates’ exercise routines, I’d like to encourage you to see it their way. Your job is to help keep them motivated. If they think they’re exercising to do you a big favor and get you in shape, they’re more likely to stick to it. Why don’t you suck it up and just see this as part of the bigger picture – the one in which you are a responsible member of the family?



Dear Ozzie,

I have a problem. I really like jumping on the two-leggeds when they come home, but it seems to make them very unhappy. They scowl and get grumpy. Don’t they know I’m just happy to see them?


Eager to Please

Dear Eager,

Although the return of your people after an absence is a joyous occasion, you’re quite correct. I have found that, as a rule, they don’t like boisterous greetings. It’s quite confusing because when you are very little, it makes them laugh. Then after a while, it causes them a lot of discomfort.

My suggestion is to enroll them in a people training class. Now be aware, they will refer to it as a dog training class. But as we all know, it’s the people who have to learn what to do to communicate with us.

Central Bark is offering an excellent informational session on dog training, and I think your two-leggeds should attend. Leave this blog open on their computer where they can read about it. They’re smart; they’ll figure it out.



Turkey bones and other myths

Posted by: Pack Leader | November 27, 2009 | Posted in Uncategorized

Pooch portraits at Central Bark!
Need an idea for a fail-proof holiday gift? Any dog who comes into Central Bark on Thursday, December 10, will have his or her photo taken, courtesy of Kathryn Sauber photography. Then when you come in to pick up your pooch, you can look at the proofs and purchase any you like. Please note that there’s no obligation to buy.

If you’re a human who’d like to be in the photo with your pet, call us ahead of time at (206) 325-3525 to set up a specific time. Payment may be made in the form of cash or check.

Reservations are filling fast
If Central Bark figures in your holiday plans, be sure you’ve made your reservation for boarding or grooming. Our available slots are filling fast, and we want to make sure you don’t miss out. Call now!

Holiday hazards for your pets
Ah, the holidays. The decorations, the lights, and the music. And then there are the lovely greens that make everything so festive: Christmas Cactus, hemlock, holly, ivy, berries from mistletoe, poinsettias – all quite poisonous to pets.

Here’s an idea. Pick the berries off the mistletoe, or wrap the whole plant in plastic to keep the berries from dropping. Put the plants and greenery in a room where the dog doesn’t go, or up (WAY up) out of reach. Or consider using artificial decorations instead. Many of them are quite realistic.

When your dog looks at you with those big, soft eyes as you eat your holiday dinner, be strong! Cooked turkey, goose, chicken, and duck bones are extremely dangerous because they splinter and can get stuck or pierce a dog’s digestive tract. There’s even controversy about whether or not uncooked fowl is really safe for canines to eat, so talk to your vet if you want to try raw food with bones in it.

Oh, and one more thing: that water you put in the Christmas tree stand to keep the tree fresh? From the ASPCA blog: “…sometimes people add preservatives to Christmas tree water that may contain fertilizers. While these preservatives are poisonous, they can cause stomach upset. Stagnant tree water can also be a breeding ground for bacteria, which can lead to vomiting, nausea, or diarrhea. It’s a good idea to make sure a skirt or a cloth covers the bottom of your tree to deter your dog and cat from drinking the water.”

Bailey, the unknown reindeer
This u-tube video has been seen almost 5 million times since it was first posted in December, 2007. It’s worth seeing again, for those of you who already saw it. And if you haven’t, get ready to be reminded why we love our pups so much. Pure joy!

Poll results so far
Sixty percent of people responding to our blog poll about services they want to see offered by Central Bark want training! If you haven’t voted yet, do! We want to know what services you think are important.

Happy Holidays!

Greet and meet the positive way!

Posted by: Pack Leader | November 15, 2009 | Posted in Uncategorized

This week’s guest blogger, Ozzie, is a frequent visitor to Central Bark. Ozzie is a 9 year old cattle dog and we invited him to tell us a little bit about his experience and insights into the dog psyche.

Greet and meet the positive way! By Ozzie Shwartz.

Hi, my name is Ozzie. I am 9 years old, a cattle dog and I love to go to the park! I love to fetch the flying green balls and I love to meet new doggies and humans! Every time I see a dog I wag my tail; I get so excited I just have to bark in happiness because I can’t wait to play with them! When we meet, I sniff the other dog, the other dog sniffs me, then I send the universal doggie “come and play” gesture and off we go to have fun.

When I meet humans I do the same. I wag my tail, I sometimes get too excited so I bark and then sniff, and if I want to play I bow, I pant some and hope they will join me in the game. If you ever meet me you’ll see that I love dogs and I love humans. My Mommy taught me from an early age that people, just like fellow dogs, are part of the pack and they are nice to have around. It’s always good too when your human teaches you at an early age about good manners around other dogs and humans.

Not all dogs are as well conditioned to human presence as I am. Dogs, just like humans, have their own personality. Some are outgoing and confident, like me (I’m a bit of a show off too if you want the truth), but some are shy and nervous around other dogs and humans. Some dogs have had bad experiences from being strays on the streets or being abused so they’ve become timid and suspicious of any human contact. I know that because I meet them when I go for my walks and when I go to the park. These dogs just need a little extra care and attention so they can learn to trust again.

I would like to feel that all dogs are friendly but I also understand that some dogs are not sure of my intentions, and I think it’s the same with humans meeting new dogs. Just like humans dogs use body language in order to communicate our emotions and intentions. Ears to the side, hackles up, trembling, glancing to the sides, growling, showing teeth are signals that we do not feel comfortable with intrusion to our personal space. When we are on a leash our personal space is even smaller and some of us can be unpredictable with humans we do not know.

Best way to make friends with us doggies is first making sure to ask the dogs’ human if it’s OK to get close to their dog and if it’s OK to pet them; they should make it clear it is safe. If you know dogs, then you know we sniff everything and we know a lot about the world around us just by sniffing it. I love to sniff and when I meet and greet I would love to smell you if you let me!

Here’s my advice to you on meeting a new dog:
Crouch instead of stand, avoiding direct challenging eye contact, turn to the side instead of a frontal posture and let the dog smell you. All these moves will be talking the dogs’ language saying, “I don’t mean troubles.” These things are all important when getting close to a dog with a non confrontational body language, as described above, and will be easier on the dog. These moves are the best for making the dog feel OK with your presence. That’s what I do with new doggie friends I meet and also humans.

Everyone loves a bit of attention and we dogs are no exception. Petting us however sometimes should be done with caution. Some of us have had bad experiences in the past and a hand reaching for us can appear threatening. If we have suffered at the hands of some less kind humans, then it’s better to skip the petting part until you’ve won our confidence. So instead of petting the dog’s head straight away, try petting the side of their body or chest… and only if the owner agrees to it. Any sudden movement can make a timid dog feels uncertain and unexpected as well.

Meeting new dogs and humans is so much fun for me! I know greeting them in a positive way is the key to happy times together! Thanks for reading my blog and I hope to write more soon. And of course, thanks to Hertzi for translating.

News from Central Bark!

Birthday for bowser
Central Bark is pleased to announce we’re partnering with a local bakery to provide birthday parties for your dog. If you’re interested, let us know, and we’ll put our noses together to figure out what makes your tail wag.

We’re considering expanding services…
…but first we want to know what YOU want. In the poll box on our blog, please vote for services you’d be interested in seeing us provide. You can make as many selections as you want. You get to help guide Central Bark’s future by telling us what’s important to you!

Plan ahead for the holidays
As you make plans for the holidays, be sure you get your reservations in for doggie boarding and grooming at Central Bark. It’s a great convenience if you’re leaving town, or if your pooch needs a spruce-up for that holiday party. Overnight guests also get doggie daycare as part of the cost for boarding, so it’s a thrifty way to make your dollars stretch. Don’t wait until the last minute; it’s our busiest time of year!


Posted by: Pack Leader | October 18, 2009 | Posted in Uncategorized

One of the biggest doggie events of the year is coming this next weekend. On Saturday, October 24, Dog-O-Ween takes place at Genesee off-leash park. It’s sponsored by COLA (Citizens for Offleash Areas) and includes raffles, vendors, food, prizes, and a costume contest. The event takes place between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m.

Central Bark will sponsor a booth at the event. If you have never been to Dog-O-Ween, it is not to be missed. Here’s a chance to dress up your dog – after all, it’s all about them the rest of the year!

To register for the costume contest, or get more information, visit

The best off-leash dog park

Posted by: Pack Leader | October 7, 2009 | Posted in Uncategorized

Results from the last blog poll are in. Your pick for the best Seattle off-leash dog park is…tied! Both Magnuson Park (at Sandpoint) and Westcrest Park (in West Seattle) were voted as the best off-leash dog parks. For those of you who use, or those of you who are thinking about using off-leash dog parks, the City of Seattle posts the common-sense rules and regulations for your viewing pleasure at

Here’s a little-known tip that will make your off-leash outings safer and more enjoyable. Don’t be tempted to keep your dog on a leash in an off-leash park. This invites strange dynamics between dogs and can lead to aggressive behavior – both from the leashed dog and the unleashed dog. If you aren’t sure your dog will behave off-leash, consider some additional training or socializing before you venture to an off-leash park.

If you haven’t already voted for your favorite doggie daycare (and you know who that is!) in the King 5 Evening Magazine Best of Western Washington, here’s another chance to do so before voting ends. Just click here. It only takes a minute, and we really need your vote!

By the way, here’s a link to a great web page I found from the ASPCA: Ten ways to help animals in your community.

The best doggie daycare and upcoming events

Posted by: Pack Leader | September 1, 2009 | Posted in Uncategorized

Did you know? Central Bark has been nominated as the Best – for King 5 Evening Magazine’s Best of Western Washington. The category is pets / doggie daycare. If you click here, right now, you can quickly cast your vote for us. You’re allowed only one vote in each category, so we’re encouraging you to do it right now while you’re thinking about it. We’d really appreciate it!

Summer’s not over – not yet! I wanted to make sure you knew about some fun outings you and your dog can attend together.

We’re very excited that Central Bark will have a booth at the PAWSwalk this year. We’ll be at Seattle’s Magnuson Park on Saturday, September 12, 2009 getting the word out about your favorite doggie daycare and groomers. Join the 5k walk, and shop for animal-friendly products. There’s a canine agility course, a kids’ zone, and more. All proceeds benefit the animals at PAWS. Learn more at We’ll be there that Saturday from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m.

We’re also going to be at the very first Doggie Fest in Loyal Heights on Saturday, September 19, 2009. It runs from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Take part in a fun-filled dog day while you meet new dogs and walking partners. The event includes dog games, doggie treats, vendors and more.

A special note for October: If you’ve never been to Dog-O-Ween, it’s not to be missed. Held each year at Genesee off-leash dog park, many dogs and owners dress up in costumes. There are prizes and freebies, and Central Bark is hosting a booth there, too. This year’s event will be held on Saturday, October 24, 2009. We’ll keep you posted as the event draws closer.

Hope to see you at one of these events; stop by and say “hi.”

Great news! Central Bark now offers tooth-brushing for your dog. The cost is nominal – $10 – and it saves you from having to do it. Vets recommend regular tooth brushing for canines to eliminate expensive tooth cleaning under anesthesia. It’s also a great way of preventing infections that can keep your best friend down. If you’re interested, stop by the reception area and ask about having our expert groomers brush your dog’s teeth. You’ll both feel better for it.

Posted by: Pack Leader | August 4, 2009 | Posted in Uncategorized

Greetings from Central Bark! This is our first-ever blog, “The Central Barker.” We want to provide you with relevant and useful information about the wonderful dogs in your life.

What could be more appropriate than a discussion about the summer temperatures and the importance of caring for your furry friends in warmer weather? Your friends and neighbors at Central Bark would like to remind you about some ways to stay cool and safe. These simple precautions may save your animals’ lives.

  • Every summer, hundreds of animals die needlessly due to hot and humid weather. Please, never leave a pet alone in a car. Even if the windows are open and it doesn’t seem that hot to you, the temperature inside a car can soar to over a hundred degrees in just a few minutes.

  • Make sure your pets have access to plenty of fresh water and cool shade.

  • If your dog loves water, get a kiddie pool. Don’t get the inflatable kind (for the obvious puncture hazard), but get the hard-sided plastic pools. They have an extra benefit: you can climb in yourself!

  • Ice cream! Many pet stores are selling some sweet treats for dogs in the form of frozen treats. One brand is called SweetSpots, by Nature’s Variety. They’re (mostly) non-dairy, non-soy, non-corn. I know they are available at both All the Best and Mud Bay. You can also try making your own treats by freezing chicken or beef broth in ice cube trays.

  • Bring your dog to Central Bark for a fun day of play in air-conditioned heaven! We have supervised play time, a wading pool, and off-leash park adventures. For an extra-special treat, schedule your pup for grooming. Our professional groomers will clip, brush, bathe, and pamper your dog. We even clip toenails – something a lot of pet owners dread.

  • Remember to stay cool yourself. Drink plenty of fluids, and plan on fewer activities than usual during these extremely hot days.

From LaVonne