Colorful Tales

Every Dog is Happy at Happy Dog Barkery!

August 29, 2019

Everyone loves a Happy Dog Barkery treat!

From an expansive dog bakery to the most durable pet toys, Happy Dog Barkery has everything for both you and your pet! In the early 2000's owner Beth Staley was struggling to find the right food for her allergy suffering Labrador. As an avid baker, Beth had a solution; she would home make her own food and treats for her four-legged friend. After a ton of success with her pup, Beth decided to leave corporate America and opened Happy Dog Barkery, where she offered the same homemade treats and cakes for the pet owners of Downers Grove, Illinois.

When Happy Dog Barkery opened in 2004, the store offered an abundance of homemade treats, toys, collars, bones, chews, and accessories while the other half of the store was dedicated to gifts for pet-loving humans. After a few years, Happy Dog Barkery made room for dog and cat food and treats, which you can find in-store today.

Upon entering the pet specialty retail store, you’ll be captivated by a beautiful bakery, making up about 30% of the store. The bakery includes custom cookies with designs like ladybugs, pizza slices, holiday themes, as well as wholesome and nutritious stews. Custom birthday cakes come in your choice of six flavors, from grain-free peanut butter to grain-free ginger molasses. The cakes are quite popular for those four-legged friends celebrating birthdays, gotcha days, and other special occasions. Customers residing in Illinois travel far and wide to pick up custom cakes, but lucky enough for the rest of us, cakes are shipped nationwide.

Up Country collar are a customer favorite.

Outside of the delicious baked goods, Happy Dog Barkery has offered Up Country collar and leads since the day they opened. “Our most popular Up Country designs are the Bella Floral, Nuts, and Up Country Plaid,” says Beth. Customers love coming in seasonally to get new accessories for their pets.

Aside from shopping the latest and greatest pet supplies, customers also enjoy giving rescue pups some love. “Every Saturday, we host a different local rescue where adoptable animals come in, and locals come in to have meet and greets. Our annual Ice Cream Social, benefits the Greyhound Alliance and the transport that brings Greyhounds from Florida to Illinois. This year we had 500 dogs come out to raise money and of course, enjoy dog-friendly ice cream!” In addition to the store’s commitment to doing good, Beth fosters dogs looking for their forever homes. In fact, Beth’s beagle and foster failure Kale Chips is a legend of his own after losing 85 lbs with the help of Beth’s homemade specialty diet, exercise, and of course, love!

High fives are Beth's favorite!

When we asked Beth what her favorite part of the pet industry was, her response; “I love getting to know the customers and their dogs. It’s fun to interact with them daily and see them with a new puppy or senior rescue dog and be a part of their lives from the beginning to the end. We help to keep your family members healthy and happy. The best part by far, though, is to be around dogs every day.”

If you are near Downers Grove, Illinois stop by Happy Dog Barkery and spoil your pets with the very best! “We make tails wag!”

Spotted! Up Country Ambassador Ernie the Dalmatian.

August 13, 2019

Ernie celebrates his birthday with a big lick.

We are excited to introduce our four-legged friend, Ernie, recognized for his beautiful black-spotted coat and his wildly popular Instagram account @ErnieSpotted.
This five-year-old Dalmatian was adopted from a farm in Missouri, where his Dad Zach, lived just a state over. “I’m originally from Illinois, so Ernie’s a Midwesterner just like me,” said Zach. Ernie was picked up right before Christmas, and “he’s been the best gift that I’ve ever received.”

Ernie checks out the seawall in Narragansett , Rhode Island.

Today you can spot Ernie romping around Boston, New England and beyond. “As a Dalmatian, Ernie has plenty of energy. He loves to run and play, especially outside in the park where he can go wild with other pups. Ernie can also cuddle with the best of them. He’s convinced he’s a lap dog and is always down for a snuggle sesh.” When Ernie isn’t meeting new friends and cuddling with his Dads, he’s snacking on some of his favorites like carrots, Twizzlers and the unavoidable, street meat.
Ernie’s big personality coupled with his incredibly good looks has earned him 16,800 dedicated fans on Instagram who enjoy following along on all of his adventures. The account initially started when Dad Zach thought of a more convenient way to update and share pictures of Ernie with friends and family. “After living all around the country and having friends and family everywhere, I figured creating an Instagram for Ernie was the best way to share his everyday life.”

Ernie is exhausted after learning so much at Phillips Academy.

If it wasn't easy enough to spot this handsome boy around town, his incredible fashion sense makes him a complete show stopper. “Ernie looks great in fun, trendy, high-quality gear. Up Country’s products are spot on style-wise, making the brand a great fit for him. Our favorite product is our Up Country’s slicker, which is as functional as it is fashionable!”
For more on this smart, sweet, and always curious boy, follow @ErnieSpotted and if you spot him in Boston, be sure to say hi! #UpCountryDog

You’ll Find the Best of Everything at Hot Diggity!

July 29, 2019

Dogs are always welcome at Hot Diggity!

What started as a kiosk in the Cape Cod Mall in 2004 has grown to two retail locations servicing mid and lower Cape Cod dog owners and lovers. Hot Diggity offers “really cool, really well-made things for you and your pup!” Ashley Lancaster owner and operator joined the pet industry after pursuing her dream of doing what she enjoyed every single day, and that was being around dogs.

“The background behind the fun and catchy name, you ask? “When I call people, and they see that Hot Diggity is calling on their ID, they answer with a smile in their voice,” says Ashley. “That is why we are Hot Diggity. It conveys the same happiness we feel when thinking about the dogs we love. I’m obviously biased, but I think it’s the best name ever.”

Smiling faces always await you.

The original Hot Diggity boutique is located in Mashpee Commons. That location offers customers premium products for dogs and their owners. Hot Diggity specializes in collars and leashes, USA made chews and treats, sturdy toys and gifts for dog lovers. The store has been carrying Up Country designs for almost 15 years and was one of the very first brands that was brought in. “You would expect the bestseller designs to be nautical because of our location, but by a landslide, it’s the Christmas plaid. It’s a staple every holiday.”

The newest and brightest Up Country styles are in stock.

“Shoppers will walk into our Mashpee store, thinking it’s a high-end boutique — not realizing it’s for dogs!” The second location in Dennisport offers all of the above as a self-serve dog wash and full-service grooming. Guaranteed to clean your pup right up after those beach romps. “At this location, there is no mistaking that we are pretty much the doggiest place on Cape Cod.”

Stop by and see this Best of Cape Cod boutique!

Because of Hot Diggity's location on Cape Cod, the popular summertime destination, the store brings in an abundance of tourists looking to spoil their pups both with them and those at home. However, Hot Diggity has a healthy dose of both locals and visitors and certainly caters to both. “In both shops, customers and their pups are our priority at all times. You will always be greeted with a smile (if you’re human) and a pat on the head and a treat (if you’re canine). While the visitors certainly make what we do possible, it’s the locals who make Hot Diggity who we are.”

How happy does this dog look?


If Hot Diggity didn’t offer enough, they also host several events throughout the year that have quite the following. Among the most popular; Annual Easter Egg Hunt, Annual Halloween Pawrade, Annual Howliday professional photos. “We are working on bringing a couple of new additions in 2019. Stay tuned!”


When asked what Ashley loves about the pet industry, her answer; “I get to be with dogs every day. It doesn’t get better than that!” So if you are visiting the hook-shaped peninsula of Massachusetts, be sure to stop by Hot Diggity and spoil your four-legged friends!

Incorporating Your Pet on Your Big Day

July 11, 2019

Do you hear wedding bells?  How exciting and congratulations!  Dress?  Check!  Venue?  Check!  Dog?  Che…wait, what?  Your big day can be just as fun for your pet too.  After all, saying yes means that you and your partner will be combining your lives into one happily ever after…furbaby and all.  You may want your dog involved in every aspect of the planning from the Save the Date to the I Dos, or you may just want Fluffy to be in the pictures.  Whichever way he or she is going to be involved, getting hitched can go off without a hitch with some simple ideas and preparations.


You and your fiancé fell madly in love, but your dog hates his new human.  Don’t assume everything will fall into place once you get married.  Plan ahead.  Here are some great tips and tricks for getting your grumpy pooch to acclimate to – and possibly one day “like” – your new mate.  One of the most important things to focus on is to make sure Princess knows that her new human is a fun bonus (treats, playtime, etc.) and isn’t just the person that takes you away from her.


Corny or cute, having your dog do the proposing with ring in collar is downright adorable.  Not only does it create a lasting impression and a fun story to tell, but it also shows your dog that he is an important part of your marriage right from the start.  Ideas include:

  • Puppy Proposal – yep, you guessed it, you get a puppy AND a ring.It’s pretty hard to top that!And the added benefit is the dog is now your first (and probably best) wedding gift EVER.
  • Sign or Tag Proposal – a “Will You Marry Me” sign carefully draped around your dog’s neck or a specially made dog tag (there are a bazillion on Etsy) will do the trick nicely.They also then become treasured memorabilia.
  • Collar Proposal – our personal favorite way to go is the ring on collar proposal.Our Eternity Collar fits the bill in that it features intertwined wedding rings that will match perfectly with your very own attached engagement ring!


Another cute idea on how to incorporate your dog into the planning is to include her in the Save the Date photo.  Many couples use signs – and there are hundreds of examples on Pinterest and some good ones here - but we especially liked this clever idea of using t-shirts.


“Here comes the bride, with doggie by her side!”  If that sounds like the perfect wedding to you, then you’re in luck!  We make several wedding-themed collars to make your dog feel special on your big day.  From traditional collars to rosebud rings, your dog will look magnificent walking down the aisle, in pictures, and pawing it up on the dancefloor.  Here are some other truly unique ideas for including your pet’s likeness in on the celebration.  We really like the pet-inspired signature cocktail sign we found here.

Lastly, if you “do” choose to include your pup in the “I Dos,” then you should know his or her limitations and prepare accordingly.  Invite a dog sitter or someone close to your dog who can monitor your pet’s needs throughout their time in attendance: everything from bathroom and water breaks to some quiet downtime.  By having someone else responsible for their care throughout the day, you can focus on soaking up every detail of your big day.

Distinctive Products for Extraordinary Pets, that’s Cosmopawlitan!

June 27, 2019

Owner Marie and her dog Frankie.

Beautiful pet accessories, holistic dog food, and toys and treats galore, Cosmopawlitan Pet Boutique in Middletown, New Jersey has truly gone to the dogs. Located on NJ-35 in Middletown, Cosmopawlitan welcomes you and your furry friends to shop “high quality and purposeful products, along with a touch of whimsy, glitter, and glam,” says Marie.
Marie Northup, the store President, and Owner opened the store in 2001 when she was having a difficult time finding high-quality products for her then senior Golden Retrievers. It was at that time Marie spotted a specific storefront and declared, “I want that store.” From that point on, Marie took the necessary steps to make her dream a reality and left her job in finance to set out to offer the very best merchandise in the pet business.

Today, the carefully curated store offers not only everything you need for your pup but also cage free grooming services that guarantee a happy and clean dog upon pick up. Besides their full range of services, Marie is also committed to giving back. “We work with Rescue Ridge, a last chance animal shelter in New Jersey where we support events for them throughout the year,” says Marie. “They don’t have their own space, so they take available pups from other shelters and find foster homes for them to help socialize them and make the transition to their forever home successful.”

Lots of Up Country designs to choose from!

Cosmopawlitan also prides itself on their full range display of Up Country’s collars and leashes in an abundance of our fun designs. Their best Up Country seller? “The classic White and Black Polka Dot, and this year the new Heart of Gold design,” says Marie. They also carry Up Country’s Nantucket Slickers for when your pup has to (willingly or unwillingly) brave the rain.

Three very happy customers!

When asked Marie what her favorite part of the pet industry is, her response; “Number one, the dogs. When you’re dealing with pet parents, everyone is so sweet. The minute people come in the door saying “you’re going to think I’m crazy,” but in reality, you can instantly relate and help them solve their pet problems. It's so special when customers come in to share photos and updates when they move away and are in town visiting. It’s never working, it’s just a special place where you open up your store to friends where there is a common ground.”

So if you’re in the area stop by Cosmopawlitan, say hi to Marie, and find “Distinctive Products for Extraordinary Pets.”


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