April 2014

Canine & Company

5952 Transit Road, Depew, NY 14043

Edited on 7/1/14 to add: Playgroups are on hold indefinitely. We do not know yet if, or when, they will resume, but will update this listing when we find out..

If you spend much time driving on Transit Road in Depew, you've probably seen the sign for Canine & Company, a facility that's been around since 1998, and at its current location since 2001.

There are two main buildings along Transit Road. For playgroups, park by the one on the left (your left while facing them), and then walk around behind that to the dedicated playgroup building. This building is also completely enclosed by a fence, so that if a dog should run out the door, or be taken out for a potty break, there is no chance of them getting lost. While there, I spoke to a member of staff about daycare, and she told me that they have several different play areas, so that dogs can not only be grouped by size, but also play style.

Canine & Company website
Facebook page
"It's all about the animals at Canine & Company in Depew" - WNY Metro Source, June 05, 2012

A Joyful Dog

1599 Kenmore Ave., Buffalo, NY 14217

Notable features: personalized training during daycare

Edited on 6/3/14 to add: Playgroups are on hold for the summer. We will update again when they resume in fall.

While "A Joyful Dog" is a new facility, the three owners all have years of experience in caring for dogs. Here they provide daycare, boarding, obedience classes and playgroups. The playgroups are divided into 2 types: "Puppy Prep," for dogs 3-6 months old, is free. "Hello Doggie," for dogs 6 months and older, has a suggested donation of $5 for local rescues. There are 2 rooms for playgroups, allowing them to be divided by size if needed. When Ren has come to playgroup, the rooms have sometimes been divided if there is a large size disparity, and sometimes combined if the size difference is not so great and there is a smaller number of dogs.

A Joyful Dog also provides a service I haven't seen before at similar locations - personalized training while at daycare, based on your dogs individual needs! If your dog has a specific training need that you'd like help with, the staff can work with him/her while at daycare, such as teaching an obedience skill or even a fun trick.

Group obedience classes of different levels are also offered, including a unique one: "Preparing for Baby," which helps dogs and pet parents prepare for a new baby.

A Joyful Dog website
Facebook page

Cheektowaga Town Parks (with 2 exceptions)

Cheektowaga, NY

Park Type: Town

The town of Cheektowaga has been the subject of a lot of debate in recent years with regard to (leashed) dogs being allowed in parks. Amazingly, dogs had been banned in all parks in the town since the 1960s. The ban was finally lifted in 2012, allowing dogs in all the parks except for 2. So here's the list (see the Town of Cheektowaga Dog Walker's Guide (pdf) for details).

Dogs are allowed in:

Nob Hill Park
Orchard Playground
Cedargrove Park
Winston-Vegola Park
Hanley Park
Nokomis Park
Alexander Community Center
North Creek Park
South Creek Park
Raymond Park
Rails to Trails
Dingens Park
Eiffel Park
Dartwood Park
Kelly Park

Dogs are not allowed in:

Cheektowaga Town Park
John C. Stiglmeier Park

This of course leaves the 2 largest parks in the town still dogless. Luckily, there are proponents of lifting the ban entirely, which would allow dogs at all 17 parks. Although the town board does not currently have plans to make a change, there is still hope for the future.

Town of Cheektowaga Dog Walker's Guide (pdf)
Town of Cheektowaga Park Locations (pdf)
"Town looks to open 15 parks to dogs" - Cheektowaga Bee, 2/10/2011
"Allowing dogs in Cheektowaga town parks sparks debate at public hearing" - MetroWNY, 1/18/2012
"Cheektowaga Town Board dogged by canine conundrum" - Lancaster Bee / Depew Bee, 1/19/2012

Sadie's Laundromutt Fundraiser

Event Date: 
Saturday, May 3, 2014 - 12:00pm to 4:00pm
Event Location: 
The Laundromutt, 3102 Delaware Ave, Kenmore, New York 14217
Event Cost: 

$5 for nail clipping, $12 and up for washing

The Laundromutt is a self-service dog spa in Kenmore. They regularly host fundraisers for local shelters, and there is one coming up to benefit Sadie's Safe Harbor Canine Rescue. Half of the proceeds from any services on May 3rd will go to the rescue, and volunteers will be on-hand to assist with washing. In addition, every dog that gets a bath will be entered to win one of four prizes. See the Event Flyer for more information. All prices are available at this page on the Laundromutt website.

Sadie's Laundromutt Fundraiser Facebook Event Page

Bark for Life - Buffalo

Event Date: 
Saturday, July 12, 2014 - 10:00am
Event Location: 
Delaware Park, Meadow Dr, Buffalo, New York 14214
Event Cost: 

$15 and up for initial donation

"Bark for Life" is a fundraising event for the American Cancer Society, a dog-friendly version of its "Relay for Life" event. Bark for Life and Relay for Life events are held throughout the country, and in July, a Bark for Life is being held at Delaware Park (stay tuned for info about another one in a slightly more northern location, later in the summer). The day begins with a non-competitive walk, and continues with demonstrations, contests, and games.

When you sign up for the walk, you can create a new team or join an existing team. You are asked to make an initial donation: $15 to walk without a dog, $20 with one dog, and $40 with two. You can of course donate more, and are also asked to collect donations from others, which is easy to do thanks to automatic Facebook integration.

Official Page for Bark for Life Buffalo
General (National) Bark for Life Info
Bark for Life Buffalo Facebook group
Bar for Life Buffalo Facebook event page

The Bark Park at Ellicott Creek Island

Creekside Drive, Tonawanda, NY 14150
Park Type: 
Managing Organization: 
Friends of Ellicott Island Bark Park (Friends of Ellicott, Inc.)

about 14.25 acres

Notable Features: 
Natural surroundings; plenty of shade makes it great for hot days

This is the area's newest dog park. Many people (myself included) had been taking their dogs off leash to the island part of the park anyway, as the surrounding water made a natural barrier to keep dogs from running off. But technically, we were all in violation of leash laws. That all changed in January 2014, when Erie County officially made the Island at Ellicott Creek Park a dog park. Perhaps the county thought, "If you can't beat 'em, join 'em"? As with the other Erie County owned location, this one is also called "The Bark Park."

This is very different from the other dog parks in the area. No fence is needed, except at the bridge leading onto the island. And you'll find more than just grass here - your dog will enjoy walking with you along the dirt paths, running through the plant growth, jumping over rocks, and even going for a swim where the water meets the shore.

Due to the natural setup, there is no divider to keep small and large dogs separate, so it's important to keep an eye on your dog in the case of large size differences. At this park, Ren is more interested in exploring than playing, so I usually do not have to worry about him trying to wrestle with a Great Dane, for example. Usually I just walk around the island, with Ren next to me, so it's just like we're going for a regular walk only without a leash. We also work in some jogging, a game of fetch, and some obedience training (a great way to practice overcoming distractions).

Erie County Dept. of Parks, Recreation and Forestry - Ellicott Creek
"New ‘Bark Park’ opens in Ellicott Creek Park" - Buffalo News, January 18, 2014
Friends of Ellicott Island Bark Park

Camp Bow Wow West Seneca Grand Opening

Event Date: 
Saturday, April 26, 2014 - 11:00am to 3:00pm
Event Location: 
Camp Bow Wow, 31 North America Dr., West Seneca, NY 14224

Camp Bow Wow is a national company providing dog daycare, boarding, and training at locations across the country. The Camp Bow Wow in Tonawanda has been around for a few years, and a new one has recently opened in West Seneca. A grand opening event, complete with ribbon-cutting, will take place later this month at the West Seneca location. Some local rescues will be in attendance with adoptable dogs, as well as some dog vendors to browse. Well-behaved dogs are welcome, as long as they are kept on a leash. See all the details below:

Event page on Camp Bow Wow's site

Easter Bunny Photos at Walden Galleria

Event Date: 
Monday, April 14, 2014 - 6:00pm to 8:00pm
Event Location: 
Walden Galleria, 1 Walden Galleria, Cheektowaga, NY 14225
Event Cost: 

$17.99 and up

Sorry for the short notice, but here's one last chance to get Easter Bunny photos with your pet!

The Walden Galleria has been doing Easter Bunny photos all month, including a designated time for pet photos from 6-8pm on Mondays. So that makes tonight your last chance. I was at the mall today and confirmed this with the company doing the photos. The woman I spoke to also advised arriving right at 6pm since this is the last photo session and they usually get very busy. When I had Ren's photos done at the Eastern Hills Mall I failed to find out the prices in advance and had a bit of sticker shock. This time I made sure to ask, and found that, although slightly cheaper, these ones also aren't that cheap. The cheapest photo package is $17.99 and they go up from there.

Signs at the mall indicate that the Easter Bunny is in front of Sears on the lower level, but they are actually a bit farther back, just in front of the newer wing leading to the movie theaters.

Walden Galleria Event info

Yappy Hour Dog Walk

Event Date: 
Friday, May 23, 2014 - 6:00pm
Event Location: 
Tres Chic Pet Boutique, 718 Main Street East Aurora, New York 14052

Tres Chic Pet Boutique is a shop in East Aurora, selling clothing, treats, and even grooming services. They announced the event on their Facebook page:

Come to our YAPPY HOUR dog walk!! Bring your dog, enjoy some drinks, and let's all walk and have a fun together! Meet at the store Très Chic Pet Boutique on Friday, May 23rd at 6:00pm! Sign up in advance 805-7996 or message us!

Tres Chic Pet Boutique Facebook page
Yappy Hour event page on Facebook

The Bark Park at Black Rock Canal Park

16 Black Rock Harbor, Buffalo, NY 14207
Park Type: 
Notable Features: 
Gravel instead of grass

This is a newer dog park to the area. Even though it's located in the city of Buffalo, it's part of Black Rock Canal Park, which is an Erie County park (that's why the Barkyard is still "Buffalo's only official dog park"). Like most dog parks, it has separate areas for large and small dogs. One difference from other parks is that the ground is covered in gravel rather than grass, which may be a good or bad thing depending on what you and your dog like.

Even if you don't specifically use the dog park, Black Rock Canal Park in general is a great place to walk your dog, with a paved trail close to the water.

Bark Park website
Facebook page
Erie County Dept. of Parks, Recreation and Forestry - Black Rock Canal Park