Friday, October 21, 2016

Halloween Pet Safety Tips

Not Mylie or Watson, but this little guy makes me smile!
Halloween is just around the corner. You probably know to keep your pet out of the chocolate stash, but here is a great list of Halloween safety tips from PetMD to keep in mind.

Our Chia Pets :-) Costume how-to here
One item on this safety list- keep your dog away from lit pumpkins- I didn't even think of that! Mylie and Watson have fluffy tails and I often keep the lit pumpkins on the front step, you know... just at perfect tail height.

Keep the dogs away from chere and here. Just trust me. if you have a curious dog that eats anything in sight, I imagine those decorative ears of corn this fall could be nightmarish for you as they were for us! And pumpkins... I've seen people give pumpkins to their dogs and while they are non-toxic, it doesn't mean your dog will chew it up enough. I know mine would chew for awhile but eventually just try to swallow it whole if they could.

Mylie and Watson greet our trick-or-treaters,
but they are leashes to the banister so they can't escape :-)
Corn husks and pumpkins... need I say more? Brings me back to the Wuollett corn cob incident of 2011. The time Watson ate about 10 cobs of corn out of the garbage on the 4th of July and almost needed surgery. You can read about it

Lastly, even though I think Mylie and Watson are the nicest, friendliest dogs on the planet, I always leash them or gate them inside the house on Halloween while all the trick or treaters visit. It's surprising how one scary mask can set Watson off into an angry growl and he goes into ultimate protection mode of his mama (It's all bark and no bite, but still). And many kids have not been taught how to approach a dog or pet it, and you don't want an incident.

So, keep your pets at home, safe, and keep away the candy and decor!

Happy Halloween!

Friday, October 7, 2016

Planning for Halloween

Mylie and Miley Cyrus 
I can't believe it's already October! Each year, I dress the dogs up in Halloween costumes and I'm trying to decide what to dress them as this year.

They've been Waldo and Wenda, and Sherlock and Watson, Chia Pets, lions, and we even dressed Mylie up as Miley Cyrus one year.

Where's Watson? 

Sherlock and Watson 
The Chia pets were my favorite costume, and I made them by hand. I posted a tutorial here. However- much to my disappointment, the kids who came to the door had no idea what a Chia Pet was!! Apparently I am old. "Ch-ch-ch-chia!...the pottery that grows!" Anyone remember that?

I think I may bring back the lion again this year. That adorable Amazon commercial with the baby and the lion warms my heart.

I've still got a few weeks to think about it....
My three lions

Bye for now! Happy Friday!

Friday, September 30, 2016

How do they get along?

I get asked a lot "do your dogs get along with your kids" or "Do your kids get along with your dogs?" The answer is YES. There is definitely a mutual love :-)

From the day we brought our first child, Jeffrey, home from the hospital, the dogs loved him. We were sure to introduce them on neutral ground first so they could bring the new baby home with us. We think this worked well. You can read about that experience here. 

With Annie, we didn't plan time for that because we were rushing the day I came home from the hospital. We requested an early morning discharge so Mike could drive me and the new baby home as quickly as possible so he could rush back to the office to meet with some people that flew in for a meeting. Mike dropped us off, gave us both a kiss, threw on a blazer, and rushed off to the office. So, our dog meeting with Annie was a little less planned. The dogs ran up to Annie, smelled her a little, then laid down on the floor next to us. Not too amused. However, when she started to cry the first time, Mylie was very concerned and ran over to see what was making all that noise.

Mylie and Watson are very protective of the family. If we're ever home without Michael, the dogs will bark and even growl if someone comes to the door. If Michael is home with us, they greet guests with kisses and wagging tails, but if he's not home, they go into guard-dog mode. It's very sweet.

Before we had kids, both dogs slept in bed with us. After Jeffrey was born, Watson started sleeping at the end of the hallway that leads to our bedrooms. I think it's his guard-dog spot. The first few nights after we transferred Annie from her bassinet to her own room, Watson slept right next to her crib.

Every day we need to tell Mylie and Watson that they can not lick the kids (especially Annie), and Jeffrey gets a little frustrated when they run to greet us when we come home and nearly knock him over.

As Jeffrey gets older, he's able to play with the dogs more and that's pretty fun. He also likes to help with bath time- as shown here in our superman dog wash. The dogs are so great and have always been super gentle with the kids.

So yes, they all get along. If I had more time and more space and more money, i'd have two more (of each!)

As I write today, Mylie is doing that "golden retriever flip" where she sits next to me and demands I pet her head if I stop and go back to writing, she flips my arm up with her nose.

Alright...signing off for now to go pet Mylie.

Happy Friday!

Thursday, September 22, 2016

It's a dog-friendly office

Nearly 90% of employees believe a dog-friendly work environment improves employee morale. (According to a study conducted by Banfield). We certainly see the impact at Protege Biomedical. 

A dog-friendly environment is said to be a way to encourage conversation, relieve stress, provide flexibility (no rushing home to let the dog out), and a huge way to attract and retain millennials. The statistics on dog-friendly workplaces are fascinating.  

I never really thought about having a dog-friendly office, until we started Protege Biomedical. Prior to this, I was at Wells Fargo downtown Mpls and Michael as at 3M HQ. We had security badges, I took the bus, and we both worked in "cubeville" with hundreds of other people on the same floor. We never dreamed of anyone bringing a pet to work.

Heidi with Mylie and Watson

When we signed our first lease for Protege Biomedical HQ (you know, HQ that isn't our basement or garage...) We saw that one of our neighbors walked their dog during lunch. I immediately got excited, realizing that we could bring our dogs to work. We don't bring our dogs everyday, because they tend to harass our guests begging to be pet and leave them with a complimentary wardrobe coating of white fur, but they do get to come most Fridays, and some other days during the week if we don't have a lot of meetings.

Right now, on most days, we only have 5 or 6 people in the office on Fridays. Heidi, Kyle, Karen, Mike, Me, and sometimes Dr. Carl. Heidi LOVES the dogs. Sometimes I look outside my office and see she's moved her computer to the floor so she can be closer to them. Kyle loves them too and likes to pick Mylie up and carry her like a baby. Karen is a cat gal. She likes the dogs, but her companion of choice is a cat. Even though we don't often find Karen on the floor with the dogs, She's always first to make sure the dogs have fresh water. Carl works in the lab, so if he's here working, we just keep the hairy dogs in another room, so we don't end up with hairy experiments (we do have another lab in St. Paul that we use when we work with blood or run any official experiments- our lab in this office is just for initial prototypes and bench testing) 
Carl, Kyle, Heidi, and Karen
Most of the time, Mylie and Watson lay outside my door. One typically right by my desk and the other in the entry. If I go to the conference room, they follow. Sometimes one will be in my door and one will be in Michael's. 

When Annie was just a little baby, I brought her to work a lot. A surprising change in Mylie and Watson happens when Annie is in the office. Typically they greet the UPS and FedEx guys with kisses, but when Annie is here they bark! First time we've ever heard them bark at the office. They (especially Watson) are especially protective of her. 
Mylie is hiding under the table
Kyle, Heidi, Carl, and even Karen know they can bring their pets to work, but so far it's just been Mylie and Watson. Heidi's rescue dog is working on good behavior, and when Heidi is ready, she will bring him in too.

We love having our furry friends in the office at least once per week. It adds an element of fun.  

If you're interested in more info on transitioning your office into a pet-friendly environment, here is a link to good website I found. Obviously, this process is more difficult if you have a larger company, but for a small start-up like ours, it hasn't been a problem. 

Until next time! 

Friday, September 16, 2016

Welcome Back!

Hi there! Welcome (or welcome back) to the Adventures of Mylie and Watson! 
This blog was started as a place to write down some of the funny stories about our dogs, Mylie and Watson. Since I started it back in 2010, my husband, Mike, and I started a medical device company with a new hemostatic (blood stopping) technology that we invented in our kitchen. Fast forward 6 years, we now have a patent on this technology, investors, an office, employees, lots of clinical trail data, and we're working on getting the product cleared for humans. 

We launched the product in 2012 for animals and named it ClotIt. Now we have several versions of this for animals, and more coming soon.

So how does all this relate back to Mylie and Watson? Well besides the obvious (they are dogs, we have a product for dogs...) We have a dog friendly office and we bring the two gremlins in at least once per week. They continue to be a source of joy for us, and now also for our employees. 

I'm going to start blogging on average once per week again sharing stories of life with Mylie and Watson, their visits to the office, life at home with two little kids, etc. I'll also throw in some company updates about ClotIt, first aid tips for animals, and other industry things that might be helpful. 

Life has been an adventure! A lot has changed for us since 2010. Here's a top 10 list of all that has happened so you can get caught up with the Adventures of Mylie and Watson in all the time I've been away: 

1) At home, Mylie and Watson welcomed their new (human) baby sister, Annie. Annie is 6 months old and she and her 4 year old brother just love the dogs.  
2) Mylie and Watson got a new office (well, we got a new office, but they sure think they own the place!) Mike and I both quit our "day jobs" at 3M and Wells Fargo
Their "happy place" 
and work full time now at our start-up med device company, Protege Biomedical (side note: our board keeps telling me we're not a start-up anymore, but I can't seem to stop calling it that). 
3) Mylie has perfected her amateur dock jumping skills and Watson has perfected his lazy ball-stealing retrieval methods. (He lets Mylie run and get the ball, then steals it from her when she's 10 feet from me and brings it to me like he retrieved it. Watson, you're not fooling anyone...)
4) Mylie continues to be a counter surfing champ and has managed to eat several entire pizzas, a pan of cinnamon rolls on Christmas, a batch of cookies, a few diapers, several loaves of bread, a bag of cereal, some protein powder, a couple of chicken breasts, anything Jeffrey will secretly feed her, some french fries, a jar of peanut butter, and a plate of spaghetti to name a few. You'd think we're just downright negligent with her, but I swear, she's got a food-stealing gift. She's innocent as can be and doesn't even beg at the table, but as soon as you turn your back, anything she can find she thinks is fair game. 
5) Mylie and Watson have been featured in the ClotIt marketing materials- they are so proud... 
6) The dogs have found their "happy place" up north at our friend's cabin 
7) Mylie became a ClotIt testimonial when she impaled her foot with a wire she found in the yard 
8) Watson recovered from two bad cases of hot spots and skin allergies (likely brought on by those lake visits to his "happy place"). 
9) Both dogs continue to be hairy monsters that leave evidence of their hairy existence everywhere they go. Hair is EVERYWHERE!!! 
10) Mylie and Watson are still spoiled. Even with 2 kids now and a company to run, I still consider them my first "kids". They still get birthday parties, still sleep in our bed, and I still buy them toys and treats like they are my only children. 

So long for now! 
-Susie W. 

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

DIY Chia Pet costumes

Watson's so embarassed
This year I was feeling extra crafty and made Mylie and Watson's Halloween costumes. I found the idea on pintrest and decided to make it myself. ...3 packs of hot glue, 12 sheets of aquarium plants, 1 pack of velcro, 1 felt blanket, 2 glasses of wine and 3 burned fingers later, we have two very sad, embarassed, chia pet dogs.

I think the costumes turned out very nice, and they are very durable so even when the dogs wrestle and run around, the costumes didn't get ruined. The three packs of hot glue I used contributed to the durability.

Here's how I made the costumes:

Step 1: Cut felt/wool/fabric into a cape shape like in the picture below. This will serve as the base for the costume.

Step 2: Glue hook and loop (aka Velcro- but that word is not allowed in my house becuase my husband used to work for 3M and they make the Velcro competition and were taught never to call it "Velcro") to front of cape

Step 3: Pull off the individual plants from the aquarium plant mat and glue them individually all over the cape. Yeah... you could have just glued the mat exactly as is to the cape, but I was about 2 mats short to do that, so instead, I tore them all off and individually glued the plants on so they could be evenly spaced. I think it looked better that way, but probably added at least 2 hours to this process. 

Step 4: Attach a strap that will velcro under the dog's belly. (not pictured). This keeps the costume from sliding around and falling off the dog's back.

That's it! Each costume cost me about $35 to make- and I'll admit, I could have found cheaper fabric and aquarium plants. The dogs entered a costume contest at the Canine Club and Spa but they didn't win. A dog dressed as Iggy Azalea won. :-(

The dogs stayed dressed in their chia costumes while I gave out candy to the trick-or-treaters. They got a lot of compliments, but I was not prepared to explain what a chia pet is to all the kids. Am I really that old!? Maybe if I had dressed them as characters from the movie Frozen, they would have been a bigger hit with the kids. Maybe Watson as Sven and Mylie as Olaf?  Naw... 

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Three and a half dollars

Last week I was mowing the lawn and I looked down and saw a wad of cash. This wad of cash had been "previously digested" (we'll just say that- it sounds classier) by either Mylie or Watson. 

I thought about just leaving it there, but I wasn't sure if there were $20s or maybe even a $50 rolled up in the wad, so I grabbed some gloves, picked up the wad, and washed it off. I pieced the money back together and found
One dollar...
Two dollars....
Three dollars....
1/2 a dollar....

That's it. I was really disappointed that I dug through dog poop for 3 1/2 dollars. 

After washing the cash several times in soap and water, I laid it out on a paper towel to dry, got out the tape, and taped it back together.

The next day I brought it in to the teller and exchanged it for $3 in undigested cash :-) I brought it to the teller in this plastic bag...I told the teller my dog had eaten the money, but i didn't exactly explain that the dog had digested the money as well. I'm hoping that doesn't make me a terrible person. 

This story has 2 morals: 

1) Keep your money and other valuables away from your dogs (I feel like this is a reoccurring theme)

2) Wash your hands after handling cash- you really never know where it may have been ;-) 

While I was mostly frustrated that I dug through the poop and only found 3 and 1/2 dollars, the good news is that $$ almost paid for this pumpkin latte. Latte well earned, i'd say!