Colorful Tales

Howl-o-ween Tips and Tricks

October 29, 2019

BOO!  Yes, it’s that time of year for ghosts and goblins to come knocking at your door.  While it may be fun and exciting for humans, oftentimes, it can be stressful for dogs and cats.  Here are some song-inspired tips and tricks to keep your furry family members ghoul-free on Halloween.

Some “body’s” knockin’ at the door, some “body’s” ringin’ the bell!  Well, you know it won’t be a skeleton because, um, they don’t have a body.  Hahaha!  Seriously though, every time someone knocks on your door or the doorbell rings, your pets perk up in either excitement or protection mode.  If your pet gets overstimulated by the sounds, then it’s best to prepare them ahead of time.  Some good options include putting them in a room with some background noise, like music or the TV, or in their crate.  You can also send them to a friend or relative’s house who doesn’t get trick-or-treaters, so they (and you) can enjoy a peaceful evening.

It was a one-eyed, one-horned, flyin’, purple people eater!  Getting dressed up for Halloween is so much fun.  If you plan on putting a costume on your dog though, make sure they are okay with it first.  Buy a costume that is made for a dog’s specific body type, so it is comfortable and accommodates their bathroom needs, ears, line of sight, and ability to pant if they get hot.  Put it on them first and look at their body language to gauge their reaction.  Let them wear it for a little while, and then if they are still hiding in a corner with their tail between their legs, it’s a no-go.  Also, make sure they can’t chew on their costume if you look away.  It’s not candy to you, but it might be delicious to them.  Speaking of candy…

Candy Girl, you are my world, you look so sweet, you're a special treat!  Let’s face it, one of man’s best creations ever is CANDY!  Your dog thinks so too, but unfortunately, human candy treats are off-limits for him.  Make sure you keep the loot you’re handing out, or have collected, out of your pet’s reach.  As you can imagine, vets are inundated with calls and visits during Halloween because Fido decided to wolf down a pillowcase full of Snickers – just to satisfy him.  On a side note, if you’re curious as to what the top Halloween candies are, we did the homework for you here.  You’re yummy yum welcome.

With a nick-nack paddy whack, give a dog a bone!  Lastly, in addition to October being all about Halloween, it’s also Adopt a Shelter Dog Month.  If you plan on adopting this month, give yourself the treat of a lifetime by visiting your local shelter.  Also, check out our Up Country Cares page to learn more about how we give back, pay it forward, and all the feel good stuff in-between.    

For more tips and tricks for a Fear Free Halloween, click here.

Fall Apparel Guide

October 21, 2019

To coat or not to coat?  That is the question…a lot of dog owners ask themselves when the chilly weather sets in.  The short answer is: Do you wear a coat when you’re cold?  Or a raincoat when it’s pouring outside?  Of course!  The long answer is a bit more complicated.

Just like humans, one person might be freezing cold when it’s 60 degrees outside, while someone else is passing out from “the heat.”  As a general guideline, the thicker the dog’s natural coat, the less protection he’ll need.  But for those short-haired or tiny bundles of love, well-fitting attire is in order to keep them comfortable.

As luck would have it, we have an amazing selection of apparel from which to choose!  Coats, sweaters, and slickers all have their reason for being.  When looking for any type of apparel, you should consider the following features too.

Coats:  coats are a stylish and practical way of avoiding hypothermia.  They are usually lined and/or quilted, which makes them the perfect choice for colder weather.  A proper fitting coat will run from the base of the neck to the base of the tail and should be sized accordingly.  You can find our handy sizing chart here.  A coat should also come with a harness patch and be washable, just in case Bella’s adventure gets messy fun!  Other nice-to-have features include reversibility, hook and loop closures for easy on/off, storage pockets, reflective fabric, and a collar.

Sweaters:  flowered, cable, basketweave, hand-knit and more, sweaters are versatile, fashionable and exude personality!  You go girl in your fabulous floral fashion sweater!  Sweaters are a great option in that they can work for mild to wild weather and often cover the belly appropriately, which is a wonderful thing if you live in a snowy climate.  If you’ve ever had a dog walk into the house with a bazillion snowballs stuck to their fur, then you know what we’re talking about!

Slickers:  rain, rain, go away!  Just kidding, Buddy has his rain slicker on and he’s ready to play!  Why?  Because PUDDLES ARE AWESOME.  Complete with protective hood, our slickers are perfect rainy-day attire.  Classic ticking stripe lining and decorative embroidery add extra style.  Hook and loop closures make dressing a “snap” without the hassle.  There’s also a collar patch for leash attachment under the hood.

The next time you and Oliver are out for a walk this winter, make sure you channel your mother’s inner voice and put a coat on both of you.  We’re fairly certain that you’re not going to freeze to death, despite your mother’s well-intentioned warning [cue childhood flashback], but warm should be the norm.

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!


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