Shop With A Cop raffles traditionally full of awesome pet supplies

Shop With A Cop and Bambi


Each year, the week before Thanksgiving week, there is a fundraiser – well, more of a party – at the McHenry VFW that raises money for Shop With A Cop, the event where law-enforcement officials chaperone area disadvantaged children, in their squad cars, for some holiday shopping.

The fundraiser includes live music, good food and prizes – lots of prizes. The prizes are in raffles, silent auctions and live auctions. You’ll find table after table of prizes at the event. There are coupons for area restaurants, baskets of cosmetics, massage certificates, automotive accessories, toys and much more. But, among those prizes, you’ll also traditionally find gifts for pets and pet owners.

Imagine a basket of goodies, filled to overflowing, with treats, dog toys and bedding for your dog. Or, how about coupons for horseback riding lessons, or coupons for dog training. These are some of the prizes available each year on the tables at the Shop With A Cop benefit.

So, if you’re a pet lover, you may find a prize waiting on the tables at the McHenry VFW that are precisely what you’re looking for. And, while you’re at it, you might want to throw a ticket into the cup for some of the other prizes; you might want to tender a bid for some of the auction prizes.

Rumor has it that the live auction includes a package for a Cubs game that’s more than just a chance to watch a game. They say it includes dinner and over-night accommodations for two. But, whatever prizes you might take home from the event, the real prize is the difference you can make in a young child’s life.

When times are tough for a family, they’re tough for the children, too. A child can become disillusioned by their hardship. They may wonder if anyone cares. The Shop with a Cop program gives evidence to these children that someone does care.

Making that kind of a difference in a child’s life today can have long-term benefits for a young man or woman as they grow into adulthood.

The Shop With A Cop Fundraiser is …

6 p.m. to Midnight
Saturday, Nov. 13
McHenry VFW
3002 IL-Rte 120

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Here’s a comparison: living with an untrained dog or a well-trained dog


26398277 - owner training puppy dog with treat

The difference between living with an untrained dog or a well-trained dog is night and day. It’s worth any and all effort you put into it. Of course, with the help of professionals, the amount of effort required is reduced.

Wouldn’t it be neat if your dog was well trained? You could show your dog off to friends and family and watch them ‘Oooohhh’ and ‘Aaaahhh’ as your dog performed tricks, right?


The idea of your dog performing tricks is nice. It’s a great conversation piece. But, it’s not the kind of conversation that will go on and on. And, it’s debatable whether it’s worth the effort to train your dog to do parlor tricks. That’s not the real benefit of training your dog.

What you get with a well-trained dog is a different life experience compared to living with an untrained dog. Here are some of the ways your life will be different if you train up that untrained dog:

When you take walks, they won’t pull constantly on the leash. Depending on where you live, and the local statutes, you may have the opportunity to walk your dog without a leash. Of course, this assumes that your dog is really well trained – that your dog won’t take off running, and not come back if a rabbit is spooked from some bushes while you walk. In either case, just having a dog that isn’t constantly trying to drag you down the sidewalk, or out into traffic, is incredible, if that’s what you’re used to.

With an untrained dog, you need to keep a good eye on your valuables. Who knows what they’ll chew up next? But, a well-trained dog is more likely to guard your valuables than destroy them. That brings up another point.

A well-trained dog will bark if someone is sneaking around your house and, depending on how they’re trained, may attack an intruder who tries to do you harm. An untrained dog will bark whenever they feel the urge. How will you know the difference if they’re just randomly barking or if someone is trying to get in to hurt you, your family or steal your valuables?

An untrained dog will beg for food incessantly. They’ll steal food off the table if they have the chance. A well-trained dog won’t beg but will appreciate any treats you give them. And, you can leave them alone with food on the coffee table in the living room and they won’t even sniff.

An untrained dog may bite one of the neighbor children. A well-trained dog won’t bite neighbor kids. They won’t give you cause to meet employees of the Department of Animal Control or to spend money paying for other peoples’ damages.

An untrained dog is liable to leave ‘little presents’ all over your house. “Presents?” Some also call these ‘landmines.’ They’re the result of dogs that don’t know where to go potty and, most importantly, where not to go to the bathroom.

An untrained dog requires a lot of attention. You always have to make sure they’re not doing something wrong, getting into something or running away. A well-trained dog requires a minimum of effort to live with you. They’re a pleasure to live with. You’re free to love them without working through your feelings of aggravation when they behave badly.

What are the advantages of an untrained dog? Hmmm. I’m thinking …

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Board & Train – crash course in dog training may do the trick


board and train crash course

Board & Train offers a crash course for canines.

Life is busy. Some folks just don’t have time to attend a series of dog training lessons. Still, they want their dogs to learn to behave better. A bit of a dilemma, isn’t it? Actually, there is a solution that may meet the needs of these busy people – Board & Train.


Instead of coming to a dog training lesson every Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday or Friday night, or a Saturday afternoon, they bring their dog by a kennel that offers Board & Train. They drop the dog off one weekend and pick the dog up the following weekend. In between, the dog receives a crash course that can transform a dog from an irascible nuisance to a contributing member of the family.

Each day, the dog gets up, takes care of its business, has something to eat and receives a lesson in doggy etiquette. While he or she is having a lesson, their room is cleaned with fresh mints on the pillows. Well, maybe not mints. The point is that they come back to a clean and relaxing room when their lessons are over. This assumes, however, that you’ve chosen the kennel wisely for your dog’s Board & Train experience.

You wouldn’t choose a university out of a hat. And you wouldn’t stay at any old hotel, would you? It’s the same with Board & Train.

You want to bring your dog to a kennel that offers 5-Star accommodations. This ensures that they’ll have a safe, comfortable, clean and healthy stay. You shouldn’t settle for anything less. This means that you’ll want to do some research to check out the intended kennel before you register your dog at the front desk.

You also want to check out the kennel’s dog training credentials and reputation. Do they know what they’re doing? If you want your dog to get a good education, you want a Board & Train experience that will enrich and educate your pet.

What else do you have to do? That’s up to you. You can …

  • Go on vacation
  • Take a business trip
  • Visit with friends or family
  • Take a seminar at your local community college
  • Make some soup, pull the covers up, and spend the week in bed reading a good book
  • It’s up to you

Whatever you do while your dog is learning better behavior, when you pick your dog up the following weekend, virtually a different dog will come home with you.

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What peculiar habits does your dog or cat have?


46416685 - little cute brown spotted dachshund puppy with big eyes

Does your dog or cat have any, well, shall we say, peculiar habits? 

Some people have some, well – how else can we say this – peculiar habits. Some people are always cracking their knuckles. Some folks sniff their fingers after eating. There are people who constantly think their cell phones are vibrating and check no matter how many times they find it hasn’t. Of course, people are the only creatures who have odd tendencies. Cats and dogs can have peculiar habits, too.


One cat owner spoke of how their cat would find a mouse in the garage. The cat would wait quietly until the mouse was scurrying across the garage floor and then the cat would pounce. While many cats would quickly turn the mouse into a meal, or a gift for their owner, this cat simply held the mouse to the floor with one front paw. When the mouse gave up struggling, the cat would lift its paw. Surprised by its apparent good fortune, the mouse would sit and look around for a minute. Then, finally convinced they had escaped cruel fate, the mouse would make a dash for it only to have the cat pounce on the mouse again.

This cat’s owner used to tell the cat, “Hey, don’t play with your food.”

A search of the internet produced on dog owner who says that their dog barks at barbecue sauce, whether it’s in the bottle or not, and that barbecue sauce is the only condiment that elicits this reaction from their dog.

A cat owner said that their cat likes to sit in flower pots and stare at the wall.

A dog owner tells how their dog doesn’t chase a ball. Their dog chases the ball’s shadow.

For dog and cat owners, these odd-little pet behaviors are often entertaining, even if they’re unexplained. Some pet owners never grow tired of watching their dog ride a skateboard, or watching their cat run madly from one end of the house to the other for no apparent reason.

Of course, cats and dogs sometimes do things that people don’t appreciate so much, such as finding unseemly places to go potty or chewing on particularly expensive items in the home. In the case of the cat, some litter training is in order. In the case of the dog, if they’re not housebroken, that may indicate the need for additional training in general.

Assuming your dog or cat doesn’t have one of those unsavory habits, the question is what entertaining habits they have. We would love to hear about them if your dog or cat will allow you to tell us about it.

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How to avoid having your Naperville dog get lost


Lost Naperville dog poster

You don’t want your dog to run away from your Napperville home and there are things you can do to reduce the risk that it will happen.

We’ve all seen the signs. They’re heart-wrenching: photo of a cute little puppy under the words “LOST” and a phone number at the bottom. You can’t help but feel for the family and worry about the lost dog. You imagine a little boy or girl sitting at home, possibly on the floor by their puppy’s empty dog bed, crying. You shudder to think how your own children would take it if your puppy escaped from your Napperville home. How would you take it if your dog got loose and lost?

This is every dog owner’s nightmare. Well, not every dog owner’s. There are some dog owners who have trained their dogs to the extent that there’s no real chance that their dog will get lost. They can let the dog out of the house and it will never leave the yard. If a herd of bunnies ran by, they may run to the lot line but they won’t go any further.

There are several ways to ensure that your dog will never get loose – will never get lost. Here are some ideas to consider:

  1. Keep your dog on a leash when you take them for a walk in your Naperville neighborhood. Of course, this assumes that they’ll never get out the door when you’re not looking. You may have to consider how they’ll act when someone comes to the door. If they’ll charge out the door barking, who knows when they’ll stop charging and how far they’ll go. Will they be able to get back?
  2. Have them neutered. Dogs have those urges and, if your male dog is loose, and there’s a female in heat in the neighborhood, your dog could take off to find her. Once again, will your dog be able to find its way back?
    Make sure your dog gets enough exercise. A dog with a lot of pent-up energy is more apt to run.
  3. Create a happy environment in your Naperville home so your dog really doesn’t want to leave. This includes making sure your dog isn’t afraid of you. Imagine if your dog gets loose. You’re trying to call him or her to you but they’re afraid. Instead of coming when you call them, they scamper away.
  4. Desensitize your dog to loud noises or take special measures when there is a thunderstorm or fireworks. This may mean locking them in a room, where they can’t get out, when those noises are likely, such as on the 4th of July.
  5. Train your dog so it’s like the dog mentioned earlier – the dog that will never run away.

One thing you can do, in case your dog does somehow get lost, is to have your dog microchipped. These are fairly inexpensive and, unlike a GPS, they operate with a unique radio frequency that serves as a permanent ID for your dog.

If your dog does get lost somewhere in Naperville, or beyond, make calls, check with the police and the local animal control. And, of course, put up posters with a photo of your dog under the word “LOST” and above your phone number.

You can find more information about dog trackers by visiting sites found in this google search:

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Is your Palatine dog a social misfit?


antisocial dog

You can’t stay mad at a dog that adorable for long but, even if he does act like a social misfit in your Palatine home. But, wouldn’t you like it more if he wasn’t such an unsociable puppy?

Have you ever seen that movie ‘Bad Grandpa?’ The movie is about an elderly man who has no social compass. If there’s a right choice and a wrong choice, you can count on him to choose the latter. There are some people who live with dogs that almost make the ‘Bad Grandpa’ seem like a coach for good etiquette.



There are dogs that do everything wrong. What do they do wrong? The list can easily include the following and more:


  • They bark incessantly
  • They chew on shoes, slippers, socks, tables, chair legs, prescription glasses, books and any number of valuables
  • They growl at other dogs
  • They growl at people, whether they know them or not
  • They fight with other dogs
  • They bite people
  • They jump on people who come into your house
  • They dig holes in your yard
  • They dig holes in your best sofa
  • They chase cars
  • They chase people on bicycles
  • They beg for food
  • They do their business in all the wrong places, from the living room to the kitchen
  • They chase cats
  • They jump up and eat food on counters and tables
  • They nip at people and other dogs
  • They pull on the leash when you take them for walks
  • They drink from the toilets
  • They lick people, often after drinking from toilets (YUK!!!)
  • They have severe separation anxiety, which can manifest itself in many of the behaviors listed above


What are you to do with a dog exhibiting many, if not all, of these bad social tendencies?


Did you know that there is actually something called a Canine Good Citizen award? This isn’t just a great idea for teaching a dog good manners; it’s actually recognized and sanctioned by the American Kennel Club. If you have a Bad Puppy you can do something about it. Teach that dog some manners and you’ll find them a lot easier to live with.


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Dogs and cats living together – it’s just crazy, or is it?


dog and cat together

Dogs and cats living together? It’s just crazy, right? Hmmmm, maybe not.


They’re natural enemies, right. They go together like oil and water, like flame and gasoline, like nitroglycerin and a bumpy road. But, in spite of their storied history of animosity, is it possible that dogs and cats can live together?

If dogs and cats can live together in peace and tranquility, anything is possible, even Middle East Peace. Imagine living in harmony with a dog and cat in your house. Let’s get really crazy and imagine that your cat and dog are both friends – even BFFs.

In most cases, this is a hollow dream. Bring a cat into a home with a dog and, batten down the hatches, the furniture is about to fly. Bring a dog into a cat’s home and the cat will probably vanish from sight until the dog leaves again.

While the idea of dogs and cats cohabiting peacefully is not likely or common, it’s not unheard of. It generally depends on the proper circumstances to bring the cat and dog together as friends.

It’s really a question of timing. If the cat and dog meet at the right time, they might just become friends. So, what is ‘the right time?’

Dogs: For dogs, it’s essential that they meet a cat during what is commonly called their primary socialization period. This is the period when the dog is a puppy – up until they’re about nine or 10 weeks old.

Cats: Cats also have a time period when they are more accessible, from a dog’s perspective. And, it happens that the time period for a cat is about the same as for a dog. In other words, put a puppy and kitten together and they might just get along as they grow into adult dogs and cats.

By putting a kitten and puppy together, before they know that they’re enemies, you stand a chance of short-circuiting the confrontational behavior that is considered normal between their species.

Of course, any time you put a cat and dog together, you risk more than hurt feelings – yours or theirs. You also risk physical injury. The dog could maul the cat, even if the dog thinks he is just playing. The cat could act defensively and shred the dog’s nose with his claws. And you can wind up with your hand badly injured because you stuck your hand between them when they were doing what comes naturally.

If you approach it right, however, as Bill Murray put it in the 1984 movie Ghostbusters, “Human sacrifice, dogs and cats living together, mass hysteria!” And the hysteria will be the reactions of your friends when they see your dog and cat get along together.

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