Colorful Tales

Seven Dog Friendly Adventures

April 25, 2019

Get me outta here!  Well, spring is finally here, and everyone’s favorite pooches are clamoring for the door.  Who can blame them?  After being cooped up all winter long, even the heartiest of beasts long for some fresh air…and GRASS!  So, here are our Seven Dog Friendly Adventures with helpful resources to get those paws off pause.



If you’re looking for a trail to bring your dog to that won’t garner you glares from non-dog people, then here’s a great list of pet friendly trails by state:  And the cutest part?  They use a five-bone rating (vs. stars).  If you’d like to narrow down the results to a specific state, simply use the “Search Within Results” bar at the top.



Let’s be honest…it’s time for you and Fido to get off the social networks for a while and socialize in person/dog!  Dog parks and dog friendly beaches are a wonderful way to connect offline.  Make sure you follow the rules though.  Here are some tips and tricks to make your day a success: and here’s a fabulous list of parks and beaches in your state:



Did you know that Major League Baseball teams actually host DOG FRIENDLY GAMES?  Mind blown.  What a special treat it would be to enjoy America’s national pastime with your furbaby!  So, get your peanuts and Cracker Jacks ready because here’s the schedule so you can play ball!  Well, kind of…



Most farmer’s markets are open, airy, delightful venues that are ripe for wandering.  After all, most veggies are good for dogs too.  While shopping, here’s a list of the fruits and veggies that are good for your pup as well as the ones you should avoid:



While a dog’s sense of taste isn’t as advanced as human’s, their sense of smell is off the charts!  Treat them to a bevy of culinary aromas at a restaurant that caters to their presence and palate:


Dogs are patriotic too!  Their loyalty has been proven to be unwavering through countless wars, K9 policing, and more.  Hence, we’re sure a national park or two is on their bucket list.  Treat yourself to the splendor of our nation’s beauty while Fluffy checks out some new sights and smells:



Is it time to get the heck out of Dodge?  Plan an awesome spring getaway with the help of these pet friendly hotels:  Call ahead though to make sure they are truly pet friendly and ask about any upcharges for having your pet, if there’s a limit to how many pets you can bring and their breed, and for a copy of their official pet policy so everyone is on the same newspaper, er…page.


Now you can plan your whole adventure complete with baseball game, nature trail, restaurant, national park, and more with the information above – have fun!  

Happy 35th Birthday to Us!

April 3, 2019

Balloons, champagne and cupcakes, is there a better way to celebrate?

Last week, we traveled to sunny Orlando Florida to exhibit at Global Pet Expo. It is the pet industry’s largest annual trade show and customers come from around the world to see what is new and exciting in the pet industry.

Up Country owner Alice Nichols chooses the lucky raffle winner.

This year we kicked off our 35th anniversary celebration with a bang. Each afternoon we enjoyed champagne and cupcakes, which were frosted in Up Country green. Many of our friends from near and far came to remenisce about their early days and how we have all grown together over the years. We also raffled off merchandise each day to three lucky winners. Gone to the Dogs in Wakefield, MA, Woofgang Bakery in Fayetteville, NC and Barkers of Orleans in Chicopee, MA, all won $350.00 of Up Country merchandise to stock their stores for the new season.

Our friends Ralph, @ralphtheminicockapoo and Prissy and Pop @prissy_pig stopped by to say hi!

Our 35th anniversary is a special time for us to reflect on both where we are and how we got here. Our thanks to everyone who stopped by to share some laughs, champagne and stories about the old days. Stay tuned for more events to celebrate 35 years of fashion and fun!  

Keeping Your Dog Happy and Healthy in Chilly Weather

March 7, 2019

Photo courtesy of Tori Mistick of Wear Wag Repeat.

Winter is still with us, which means we’re in for some colder than normal temperatures, as well as seasonal rain or snow.  March is indeed coming “In like a Lion”, and that means extra care should be taken for both humans and their beloved canine companions.


While most dogs have a nice layer of fur to keep them warm and toasty, think of it like your favorite Marmot or North Face parka, even extreme temperatures can permeate down to the skin.  Luckily, our four-legged friends have lots of options available to supplement their coats and still allow them to get out for some fresh air – everything from sweaters to puffers and fleece coats - depending on their specific breed.  Be sure to look for appropriately sized clothing, key features such as pockets and harness patches, as well as other thoughtful details including reversible, water repellent, and machine washable fabrics.

Another thing to consider is paw-wear.  Frostbite happens most often on a dog’s ears, tail, and toes, especially if they get wet.  Footwear to protect their paws is a must-have for several reasons.  First, their feet come in close contact with water, snow, and ice.  A dangerous combination that forces their body to constrict blood vessels to keep the blood pumping to essential organs.  Second, during the winter months their pads are often exposed to damaging salts used in the melting process.  Frostbite is often a precursor to hypothermia, so the bottom line here is to keep your pet warm, dry, and protected.  Basically, be sure to keep your love bug snug.

Photo courtesy of @brandyandmoose.


Dogs love the outdoors and running around.  Being stuck inside during the winter months can lead to boredom, bad behavior, lethargy, and weight gain – sounds like humans have these problems too!  Be sure to keep your pet indoors during prolonged periods of extreme cold, otherwise, get out there and have fun!  If your pet is used to playing fetch, look for bright-colored, waterproof toys you can throw, yet can still be seen in the snow.  Since dogs have what’s similar to red-green colorblindness in humans, choose toys that are primarily yellow and blue.  Nerf Dog has some fun choices; we especially like this cool Shark Football.  Also, let them get some indoor exercise with a game of tug of war or some all-natural bones for chewing (instead of your shoe).  Our dogs love Earth Animal No Hide Chews for a tasty treat that is easily digestible.

Lastly, if you do take your pet for a walk, don’t forget their coat, paw-wear, and a reliable collar, harness, and lead.  This time of year, the roads can get tight when sidewalks and road edges fill up with ice and snow.  Your best bet is to take your dog to a park, but if that option isn’t available, ensure your pet’s safety by using a secure harness and lead.  Our collars, harnesses, and leads are made of high-tensile strength nylon webbing and our buckles are Coast Guard approved for high weight hold.  Make sure everything is fitted properly as well so that your pet can’t breakaway at the first sign of a squirrel.

Keeping your dog active during the cold weather is a win-win for you and your pet.  With some common sense, proper gear, and lots of TLC, your furry friend can enjoy the cold just as much as a day at the beach.    

Understanding Your Pet’s Affection

February 12, 2019

February brings Valentine’s Day and its many forms of love – including puppy love! Picture this…you leave home for a quick ride to the store. When you get home, your dog greets you with unbridled enthusiasm that makes you wonder if you were away for a month. And you’re like, “Whoa, buddy, it’s nice to see you too, but I was only gone for fifteen minutes.” Why? Because they love you! While dogs have a circadian rhythm and a sense of time, just like humans, you’re pretty much the center of their doggone universe. A wonderful quote we read recently sums it up like this, “Be kind to your dog because while he’s just a short part of your life, you’re all of his.” So, let’s talk about love…


One of the surefire ways to know that your dog is happy is to check out their derrière, er, tail. But the height and briskness of the “wave” does matter. A tail that is wagging horizontally and quickly means that your pup is a happy little camper. A slow wag means he’s assessing the situation and is hopeful. A tail held high, vertically in the air might mean he’s showing dominance and things might get “ruff.” A low hanging tail is more likely to be a sign of submissiveness. Much like a human smile - from a wide grin to a scowl – a lot can be said without barking a word.


To a dog, kiss, kiss, kiss really means lick, lick, lick. Take it as a compliment, and if you own a doormat that reads, “Dog can’t hold his licker,” then you know exactly what we’re talking about. Besides affection, licking signals a few other things. First, it shows that they view you as having a higher social status. Second, it feels good for them as licking releases endorphins. Third, it might just be because you ate a batch of his favorite chicken wings. Never fear this Valentine’s Day though if your dog isn’t a big kisser because some breeds lick more than others, like Golden Retrievers. We know, big shocker there.


Surprisingly, a dog that leans on you, puts her paw on you, or willingly snuggles up with you during TV time, is showing you that you’re her main squeeze. But don’t get her a box of chocolates (it contains caffeine and theobromine, which can be toxic to your bro dog), rub her belly instead as she’d much prefer that anyway. Speaking of bellies, if a dog rolls over on his back that’s another sign of the trust they’ve placed in you to protect and provide for them. So, go ahead, lean on them, when you're not strong, and he’ll be your friend and help you carry on…wait, where have we heard that before?

Dogs can be loyal and extremely affectionate; understanding their cues can foster an even closer bond. It should be a reciprocal relationship as well. Kind and loving things you can do for your dog include: a fabulous doggie massage, getting on their level and spending time with them, lots of praise when they’re modeling correct behavior, and most importantly, having patience with them as they find their way to becoming your best friend.

P.S. Since we’ve already established that you can’t buy your dog chocolates for Valentine’s Day, and you’re certainly not going to “put a ring on it,” check out our selection of heart collars to show how much you care.

Chalet Has the Best of Everything for Home, Garden and Pet.

January 10, 2019

The cutest four-legged Chalet fan!

Located in Wilmette, Illinois, Chalet is a lifestyle brand offering customers everything from award-winning landscape services, indoor and outdoor plants and garden essentials, home décor, outdoor living furniture to pet accessories. Since the company’s inception in 1917, they’ve expanded their Landscape Division and added Chalet Farms where they grow their own plants for the landscape services and at retail, as well as a newly-revamped pet living collection and floor space. The sizeable retail location is indeed a one-stop shop serving customers of the North Shore.

A news team covers an event at Chalet.

The pet living area came to light in the 1950s when the second generation owner, Diane Stanton had the bright idea to offer goods for our beloved furry friends. Today you’ll find high-quality food, plush beds, USA made collars, unique clothing, and specialty dishes, for both cats and dogs at the Chalet. The store even carries a handful of items for parrots, as the nursery is home to a talkative psittacine. Amongst the numerous amazing pet products the Chalet has in store, Up Country is one of the longest standing accessories, carried for over 30 years. It doesn’t stop at collars and leashes, the Chalet carries decorative pillows, futons, treat jars, as well as sweaters, and during the holiday season, Santa hats. Their most popular Up Country designs? Hearts and Flowers, North Star, and the Up Country Plaid, to name a few.

“We also incorporate pet events in store, specifically adoption events for our local rescue organizations,” says store manager Gabbie Roderer. Once a month on a Saturday or Sunday a different rescue comes in with adoptable dogs and cats, for a better chance of getting their animals adopted in our area.” We also have Santa come in for the pet photos around the holidays, and we do a massive Halloween parade where at least 100 dogs and their families show up.” Chalet Nursery is continuously thinking of ways to serve and provide fun events for the whole family.

Everyone is invited to shop at Chalet!

“Chalet is dog-friendly, cat-friendly, potbelly pig-friendly, and beyond. Everyone is welcome here, and we enjoy developing long term relationships with our customers as well as their beloved animals. Working here is more of passion than a job,” says Gabbie.

If you are around the North Shore of Chicago, stop by Chalet and bring your furry friend(s)! #UpCountryRetailer


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