Colorful Tales

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

Miles Guarantees Smiles!

December 19, 2018

Miles models his spring Up Country attire.

Meet Miles! This three-year-old German Short-Haired Pointer is recognized for his ridiculously good looks and his play hard, snuggle harder attitude, which is all displayed on his popular Instagram @MilesOberlin.

Miles came into his family’s life when they were searching for an excellent running companion and a dog that would be sweet around future little ones. “We were deciding between a GSP, Weimaraner, and a Vizsla, but those spots were just too cute to pass up,” said Mile’s owner, Sydney. Today Miles has lived up to his breed’s expectations and has become an excellent running partner and the sweetest pup to his 5-month-old baby sister.

A couch and a toy, who could ask for more?

Miles’ popular Instagram came about when Sydney came across her coworker's dog’s Instagram @smuckersthedoodle. “I had a camera that I was determined to learn how to use. Making Miles' Instagram made me learn more about my camera and now I really enjoy taking photos of Miles, our family, and family/friend events.” In addition to Miles’ model status photos, Sydney also documents his love for tennis balls, running, tennis balls, bacon, eggs, more tennis balls, and of course his stylish accessories.

Beautiful and playful shots like this one, guarantee a smile every day!

If you’re following this handsome boy you’ll know that he loves to sport a variety Up Country designs. He can be spotted in our First Mate, Hydrangea, and Pupsicle designs. “Just like Up Country, Miles is stylish, lovable and fun!”

If you haven't already, head over to @MilesOberlin for an instant smile! #UpCountryDog

The Best of Everything Can be Found at Treats Unleashed

November 8, 2018

The yummiest treats can be found at Treats Unleashed!

What started as a batch of homemade dog treats in 2002 at a mall kiosk by Ian and his wife Teresa Miller, has since turned into 12 dog boutique locations over the past 16 years. The first Treats Unleashed store opened in Chesterfield, MO focusing on high-quality treats and locally made products. After the first store was born, Treats Unleashed has expanded to 10 shops in St. Louis, as well as a location in Columbia, Missouri and Leawood, Kansas.

Teresa snuggles with a very cute customer.

Today Treats Unleashed offers something for both the cat and dog lovers and owners. Each store adapts to its community and serves the right products according to demand and over the years, observations on customers needs. When you stop at Treats Unleashed you will find an abundance of high-quality dog and cat food, Treats Unleashed specialty treats, U.S. made toys and beds, grooming and self-service dog washes, as well as Up Country inc. accessories. “We’ve been carrying Up Country Inc. for the past ten years,” says Communication Coordinator, Tom Bazzle. We rotate five to six collar patterns through the stores at one time and have quite a few that are extremely popular amongst our customers. We also have Up Country’s Cat and Dog Treat Boxes in stores, that our customers enjoy.”

Plenty of Up Country to choose from!

To top it all off, Treats Unleashed locations host many popular events that the communities adore. The most important and wildly popular, adoption meet and greets in partnership with local rescues, happen almost every weekend and it’s a way to get more rescue dogs and cats seen. The stores also host holiday events like Easter egg hunts in the spring, Apple pie eating contests for 4th of July, and more.

We asked Tom what his favorite part of the pet industry is, his reply; “I’ve been working at Treats Unleashed for five years, and the best part of the business is the constant interaction with pets and those who love them. It’s great to be working with a small company, and the amazing customers who create the community in our stores.”

So if you are in or around St. Louis, or Leawood, Kansas stop by Treats Unleashed for a true one-stop-shop experience! #UpCountryRetailer

9 Tips to Keep You, Your Dog, and Your Family Safe at the Dog Park

November 5, 2018

Guest Blog Post by Samantha Randall

When heading out to a dog park, no matter how many times you’ve visited the same place, there’s always a chance that something unexpected can happen. However, as nice as a public dog park is, pet owners must be prepared for anything: weather, neglectful owners, unsupervised dogs and kids, and other potential issues that can create unanticipated and dangerous scenarios for you and your dog. Take the following steps to make sure you, your family, and your furry friend remain safe while everybody enjoys a day out.

  1.  Be Aware of Your Surroundings

Many times, we think that since we visit certain places often enough without incident, nothing bad could possibly occur. However, the dog park is the last place you want to get too comfortable or let your guard down.

Be on the lookout for other unleashed dogs or animals, kids, or strangers who attempt to approach your pet. Another dog might just be curious about your pooch, and other people may simply want to be friendly, but you never know what their intentions are, or how familiar they are with unpredictable canine behavior.

The whole point of bringing your pets out to a dog park is to allow them to socialize, and there’s nothing wrong with that. However, this is not the place to work on your laptop or scroll through your phone while your pup is out and about – keep an eye on everything that’s going on.

       2. Make Sure You’re in Control

You’re a proud owner of a well-behaved and friendly dog, so it’s natural to feel as though you can always trust your pup to behave. However, if you need your dog to “come” or “sit,” you must be sure that your dog understands and obeys these and other basic commands, particularly in public places like a dog park.

Having your dog obey the most basic commands is crucial if there is a situation that causes commotion, such as other dogs getting into a fight, or kids startling your pooch and your pup becoming agitated. Know that your pet will come back to you instead of acting on his instincts.

Having a secure fitting collar or harness is also extremely important. If you need to make a quick intervention, you’ll need to be sure that the collar or harness Fido is wearing is secure. Up Country’s dog collars and harnesses feature cast (not welded) hardware for extra strength, and their buckles are Coast Guard approved for high weight hold.

       3. Don’t Bring Treats or Food with You

Carrying dog treats and food are one of the “no-nos” in most dog parks because it creates competition and potential risks of aggression, and  among dogs. However, it’s often an unwritten rule and it isn’t always clearly spelled out on the large steel plate of rules at the dog park entrance.

You may notice that other pet owners don’t always take heed to this warning, and still end up using treats as a training tool at a dog park. Nevertheless, do not be tempted to break this rule yourself; because while your pet might listen if you say “no,” another dog could try to grab your pouch and run off with it or cause other problems. Even worse is if a mob of fifteen dogs starts chasing down the one with food - it’s not the kind of situation you want to be responsible for causing at a dog park.

        4. Consider Giving Your Dog Booties

This isn’t always necessary but depending on the weather, such as hot summer months or cold and icy winter months, you may want to consider putting dog shoes on your pet. Canines only have leathery pads at the bottom of their feet and they’re sensitive to hot and cold surfaces. If you aren’t careful, your pooch can burn their paws, resulting in something horrifying like this . This is especially necessary for dog parks that have areas of concrete, sand, or ice and snow.

Booties are also great for pets who run heavily at the dog park for long periods of time as they prevent broken nails and excessive wear and tear on your pet’s foot pads.

        5. Don’t Go Out in the Dark

If you really want some alone time with your pooch and the family, get to the park early in the morning rather than late at night. There might be a dog or two, but for the most part this is around the time of day where there aren’t as many people around. It’s rarely a good idea to take your pet to a dog park during the late evening hours unless there is significant lighting and the time is included among the dog park hours. Most parks have curfew rules that are clearly posted at the front entrance of the park.

        6. Respect the Size Restrictions

Not every dog park you’ll visit will be double-sided, but some do provide two different sections for small and large breeds. This is extremely helpful for more than simply reducing the risk of an attack on a smaller dog. A Rottweiler and a Golden Retriever running at full speed could seriously injure a Chihuahua or other small breed by sheer force of impact. If you have two different sized pets and no choice but to go to the large side, know where they are and keep them close.

You can double-check these restrictions and other necessary rules on most dog parks’ websites or even on your city’s website. For example, here’s a set of dog park rules from San Antonio that spell out the things to keep in mind. The exception to the small dog park is that senior pets are generally welcome no matter their size. This goes for elderly pets who don’t have much energy and are just happy to sniff and explore in calm.

        7. Everyone Should Be Well Hydrated

This is something that goes for the whole family. Dehydration is serious and can lead to big health problems if taken lightly during the hot summer months. Even if it’s a nice, breezy day outside, exercise and activity are always met with water loss, and that’s particularly true for your consistently playing dog.

Bring water bottles, keep a water carrier with you, or a large stainless steel, refillable water bottle on hand for every person, including your pup. Several pet supply companies offer waterproof travel bowls so pets can drink easily, and you won’t have to worry about wasting water by spilling it into your hands or into your dog’s mouth.

         8. Spay and Neuter

While most dog parks require dogs to be fixed, there are some places that don’t. However, nearly all of them have rules against bringing females in heat to a dog park. Even if most of the males in the park are neutered, a female in heat can create a serious problem among the dogs there. In addition to competition for mating, the female could be injured while attempting to fight off suitors. Don’t risk putting your dog or other people’s pets in harm’s way. Fixing your pet is one of the best ways to reduce conflict when you’re at the dog park.

         9. Keeping the Humans Safe

You have to make sure that you and your human family members are kept safe too. At the dog park, you should always wear closed-toed shoes and long pants. You should never attempt to greet a dog that you do not know, and it’s important to keep your children from doing so as well. In fact, young children should not accompany you to the dog park at all.

Your child needs to fully understand how to behave around dogs before you bring him to the dog park. Children should be kept in an area away from large groups of dogs and pups that run and jump uncontrollably.

If a strange dog comes up to you or while at the park, NEVER bend down to get to his level. Stand still and allow the dog to sniff you. The dog’s owner should be right behind him. Likewise, do not ever try to grab a strange dog by their collar or harness to lead them back to their owner. The dog may see this as a threat.


Paw Pet Boutique is Pawsitively the Best Place to Shop in Annapolis!

October 4, 2018

Gracie, the most photogenic shop dog, poses in front of the State House with her Up Country ensemble.

During Michelle  Kownacki's travels, she was constantly looking for the perfect gifts to bring back to both her Jack Russell Jonah and her cat BJ, when she quickly discovered the lack of specialized pet boutiques. She was soon determined to open a pet boutique that would benefit both tourists and the tight-knit community of downtown Annapolis. In 1999 Paws Pet Boutique was born.

This charming shop welcomes people and pets.

The locally owned boutique has everything from dog treats to cat toys, and even pet-lovers gifts for humans. All are hand selected for quality and uniqueness. Since opening, Paws Pet Boutique has carried Up Country, satisfying it's customers accessory needs. “We love carrying USA made products and from companies who have the same charitable outreach as us. Up Country checks both boxes,” says Michelle. Due to the stores' Annapolis location on the Chesapeake Bay, the nautical designs are most popular among locals and tourists when shopping new fashions for their pet.

A bountiful display of Up Country collars awaits!

You’ll not only notice the beautifully stocked pet-inspired products when you first walk into the store, but you’ll also immediately become part of the community that Michelle feels so strongly about. “Almost 20 years ago Paws Pet Boutique was born out of true love and respect for animals,” which explains why a big part of Paws pet boutique’s mission is to raise awareness and donations to support animal charities. Paws Pet Boutique regularly holds “PAWS about Town” happy hours at different locations and other events,  benefiting a variety of animal-related charities. Many of the events benefit the Animal Legal Defense Fund through Ben’s Memorial Fund, which is near and dear to Michelle’s heart. In fact, Ben’s Fund was inspired by Michelle’s “soul mate dog,” who was rescued from a hoarding case with over 300+ dogs. When he sadly passed in 2015, the fund was born and will continue to help animals just like him.

Paws Pet Boutique is a great place to make friends.
Through these fundraising events, Michelle has been able to bring the community closer together. “It’s more than a business, Paws Pet Boutique is here to make a difference in the lives of people and their pets,” says Michelle.

If you are in the Annapolis area be sure to stop by Paws Pet Boutique and meet the team who “help you make your best friend's day… and yours too!”  #upcountryretailer


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