Dog Playing In Grass

Who Are You? (April)

Thank you for joining Pawtivity – Open Beta. As one of the first members, you play a key role in defining our community.

Monthly Challenges are designed to highlight an activity we want users to try each month. Since we are just getting started, we thought we would use this space now as an opportunity to introduce ourselves to each other!

Please submit a photo of you and your dog (or even your profile photo) and include:

1. A one sentence greeting & description about you and your dog(s)?
2. What you and your dog(s) love to do?
3. What you really want to gain from joining the Pawtivity community?
4. What are you planning to do next?

Shenandoah National Park

Who Are You? (March)

Thank you for joining Pawtivity – Open Beta. As one of the first members, you play a key role in defining our community.

Monthly Challenges are designed to highlight an activity we want users to try each month. Since we are just getting started, we thought we would use this space now as an opportunity to introduce ourselves to each other!

Please submit a photo of you and your dog (or even your profile photo) and include:

1. A one sentence greeting & description about you and your dog(s)?
2. What you and your dog(s) love to do?
3. What you really want to gain from joining the Pawtivity community?
4. What are you planning to do next?

Chinese New Year Lion

How To Celebrate Chinese New Year With My Dog

Happy Chinese New Year! How fantastic that we are launching Pawtivity in the Year of the Dog! We can’t think of a better year to launch!

I am the founder of Pawtivity.com and also of Chinese ethnic descent. I’m actually an “ABC,” or American-born Chinese, so my family has always celebrated Chinese New Year with a little less fanfare than in Asia. It’s hard to do much when we still have to go to work on the holiday here in the United States. The Lunar New Year in Asia is a big deal. Some companies give 1-2 weeks off from work to allow families time to celebrate. Pretty sweet huh?

Chinese New Year is based on the lunar calendar and the date usually falls anywhere between late January and mid-February.  This year, Chinese New Year is on February 16, 2018. The new year ends with the Spring Lantern Festival on March 2, 2018. Each year represents one of twelve animal zodiac symbols that cycle every 12 years. For example, this year is the year of the dog. The next year of the dog will be in 2030. Travel China Guide has a great description of each zodiac symbol along with birth years.  Your birth year defines what symbol you are. If you were born in the year of the dog you are, “…independent, sincere, loyal, and decisive…” and have a “harmonious relationship with people around” you.

There are so many traditions and ways to celebrate Chinese New Year. Here are some tips on how I will be spending Chinese New Year and making it extra special for Carmella in honor of Year of the Dog.


How To Celebrate Chinese New Year With Your Dog

BEFORE THE NEW YEAR

 

Get A Grooming.

Book a haircut appointment before the new year on February 16. Trim your dog’s nails too or send them off to get pampered at the spa! It’s all for a bit of good luck. No one ever says no to good luck and to looking good right? Cutting your hair during the start of the new year means that you will be cutting your luck! Do not wear black or white! In China, those colors are actually associated with death.

Clean House.

A clean house means the entire house – every floor, dusty window, and of course your dog’s smelly, dander covered bedding and dirty toys. Have any old toys still in good shape that your dog no longer plays with? Donate them to a shelter who would love to have the extra toys for their dogs to play with. A clean house means that you throw out all your bad luck for good luck in the new year. Purchase a money tree, jade plant, or bamboo plant to place at the front door, in your office, or kitchen. Plants help signify a healthy year.

2016 was the worst year to clean my house. That was the year we hosted a Super Bowl party on the same day as Chinese New Year Eve. I don’t know if I was a strict host requiring my guests take their shoes off, but that’s normal for an Asian household! I remember doing some major last minute cleaning of party food before the clock struck twelve midnight. I even got my guests to help clean up. That may have been a little extreme, but I had my reasons and I was going to get a clean house! My husband would grin reading this.

Decorate With Red.

The easiest way to decorate with red is to get the Chinese character for Fu, which means good luck and happiness, and hang it upside down on your door. Don’t ask me why we hang it upside down, but we found an article on Linda Mandarin that sheds some light on this tradition. I personally like the second explanation as it involves princes and princesses.

Other than putting an upside down Fu on your door, you can create red paper cutouts to put on your windows. There are plenty of templates on Pinterest or go to Etsy to buy one ready to go. Red lanterns may also be put up.

I never go overboard with the decorating. I keep it pretty simple with my Fu and my plants. Many families also put out something for their ancestors like a bowl of oranges, little cups filled with rice wine, and other bowls filled with good eats. We bow in front of the offering as a way to remember our loved ones and honor them.

Eat Dumplings and Fish.

Dumplings are a sign of prosperity and eaten on New Year’s Eve. I think traditionally it’s said to be eaten at midnight, but we always eat this for dinner instead. My family makes hundreds of dumplings. We sit around a table with dumpling skins, meat filling, little bowls of water, spoons, and trays. Sometimes, we make handmade dumpling skins, which tastes so much better than pre-made dumpling skins. Finished dumplings go on trays to freeze, then transferred to bags to store for up to 2 months. It’s fun to have small family traditions, and this is one we all enjoy.

Looking for a dumpling recipe? You can find a great meat filling recipe on one of my favorite cooking blogs, The Woks of Life. They bravely name their recipe article, “The Only Dumpling Recipe You’ll Ever Need.” I actually have a secret recipe that my family loves, but comment below or email me if you want tips. One of these days I promise you I will put an article out (even on a dog website) on how to make my dumplings. Dumplings are traditionally filled with pork, but you can also make other fillings based on shrimp, beef, chicken, fish, mushroom or pumpkin and mix that in with vegetables and other ingredients to match.

As far as I know, dumplings are safe enough for dogs but I would only give them 1 or 2 dumplings. They do contain a tiny bit of garlic and green scallions. I have yet to develop a dumpling specifically for dogs, although that should not be hard at all! I think Carmella is pretty content already with my dumplings.

Fish is also eaten the day before new year’s, but don’t forget to save some fish to eat on the new year. This signifies that you will always be lucky and have an abundance of everything in the new year. We usually sit down at the table with both fish, but then wrap one up when we start eating to put in the fridge to eat on New Year’s Day. Fish can prepared any way, but keep in mind that you do need to have it in a state to eat the next day.

I like to steam 2 small fish on New Year’s Eve, cooked Cantonese style. I steam the entire fish with head on and rubbed down with ginger and salt inside and out. Inside I stuff with more ginger and green scallions slices. The basic sauce that goes on top of the fish is added after the fish is steamed. The sauce has a mixture of soy sauce, sesame oil and other ingredients. Here is Woks of Life’s recipe for Cantonese Steamed Fish. When we sit down for New Year’s Eve dinner, we place both fish on the table (for show) and then put the one we eat the next day in the fridge when we are ready to eat.

There are so many other foods that you can eat, but my mother always had one dish made of each meat (fish, poultry, beef, and pork). Rice cake and glutinous rice balls are also popular to eat. I digress… besides dogs, cooking is my other love. Can you tell?


ON NEW YEAR’S DAY

 

Wear New and Red.

It’s time to go shopping! Wear new, red clothes on New Year’s Day. Red is for good luck and scares away bad luck. I have a new red bandana for Carmella, but you could also buy your dog a new red coat, collar, or harness.

Visit Family and Friends.

You may want to take your dog to the dog park or arrange a play date with another dog or your own family! We don’t live close to our entire family, but this year we have some of them coming over to celebrate the New Year with us! Carmella has some new people to play with! She is always ready to present them with a dog toy when they walk in the door! Carmella is usually fine with new people in the house after barking to let us know of their arrival and giving them the sniff down. Some pets do become stressed with a household of new people. If your dog is like this, you could arrange a “safe” room for your dog to stay where they will not be bothered.

Attend a Chinese New Year Celebration

Fireworks and firecrackers are always present at a Chinese New Year’s celebration, so if your dog is scared of the loud noise, find out what time they will set them off and make arrangements accordingly.

Instead of staying for the firecrackers, you could purchase some confetti poppers or sparklers and keep the celebration at home.

Near the San Francisco area? Each year, San Francisco holds one of the largest Chinese New Year parades in the country. This year, the event is on February 24.

Give a Red Envelope.

Red envelopes are given to kids or anyone younger than you. Traditionally, we give money but dog’s don’t use money. For Carmella, she would be happier getting some lucky “candy” or treats in her envelope!


SPRING LANTERN FESTIVAL

 

The conclusion of the new year ends on March 2, with the Spring Lantern Festival. If you can go to an event that allows you to set off your own lit lantern into the night sky, go! It’s such a gorgeous site to see so many lanterns in the sky. In the day time, there may be some lion dance demonstrations that you can attend.

 

What did you end up doing for Chinese New Year? Share a photo with the Pawtivity community here. (link to Chinese New Year Event.


Is Your Dog An Amazing Pup? 

Is your dog amazing? Contact us to be considered as one of Pawtivity’s featured amazing pups! We may feature you on Pawtivity.com or on our instagram accounts @pawtivity and @myamazingpup. Send us a photo of your dog and tell us why they are so amazing!

 


Join the Pawtivity Community. Meet Other Adventurers That Do What You Love To Do.
Sign up TODAY!
Carol & Carmella of Pawtivity

Welcome To Pawtivity

Hello! Welcome to the Pawtivity community! We all have the same zest for exploring adventures that include our dogs and living life to its fullest.

Pawtivity was created to help dog owners find the very best dog friendly activities (pawtivities) and events. We are an online community where dog owners can share insights and experiences with those that share their same passion in being active with their dog.

Life is an endless journey with a dog at your side! Let’s go on an adventure!


PAWTIVITY IS FOR ALL OF US

 

“Carmella – For all her imperfections and perfections… she’s always my amazing pup. ~ Carol”

We believe that every dog is uniquely amazing. In essence, this is truly what Pawtivity is all about. All dogs are perfect in their owner’s eyes and our community celebrates the joy and spirit between human and dog.

Pawtivity’s main goal is to inspire dog owners everywhere to play more with their dogs. That means going on the best adventures and giving their dog smarter, varied play. Sometimes, all people need is a little motivation to get out there and the support of a community of people like them to play, share, and explore together. There’s a wealth of knowledge that each and every person has and we want to bring that collective knowledge together to benefit us all.

Pawtivity is the first true social network of active dog owners. We are a community-driven, which means that our users provide recommendations on the best dog friendly destinations, activities, and events. We do additional research to give you the best “cliffs notes” version of a dog friendly destination, activity, or event so you can spend less time searching online and more time playing with your dog. We also give you curated “best” lists and inspirational adventure stories from friends to make it even easier for you to get out that door.


PAWTIVITY – HOW IT ALL GOT STARTED.

 

Pawtivity came about basically because I was having a hard time finding great recreational outlets for Carmella and me to play! Carmella definitely has above average physical and mental needs as a Patterdale Terrier. Finding the right dog friendly activities for us to do just took too long, required finding and talking to the right people, or sometimes proved fruitless. We wanted an easy way to learn about proper gear, skills to help us get better at an activity, and great destinations to visit. We also wanted to meet others like us who wanted to teach our dogs how to do more dog sports at a recreational level or to practice. While sanctioned clubs are perfect for those that want to compete, I just didn’t want to travel far to go to long competitions when that wasn’t our focus.

Sometimes, to find the best adventures we look to Facebook or Instagram for a photo of where to go. I love to see all those fantastic photos of places people have been to. Sometimes the location isn’t on the photo or is incorrect. Still, when I do see a location mentioned I make a mental note that I have to go there one day… but then forget about it later! So much for that. Bah! Pawtivity gives you the ability to save your own adventure list and track all the adventures you’ve had and ones you want to take. Pawtivity also tracks things by special interest so you can explore more of what you like to do and find others that do what you do. In a way, we’ve created a super “active” bucket list, but I really hate to call it that. I want a full life of memories with my dog today, not tomorrow or before it’s too late.

Finding your next adventure shouldn’t be so hard. We want to make it easier and more accessible for people like me to find the best activities to do with their dogs. Pawtivity should be the first place dog owners go to when planning out a lifetime of adventures with their best furry pals. It’s also a place where you can capture all those great memories with your dog by all the places you’ll go!

“You’re off to Great Places!
Today is your day!
Your mountain is waiting,
So… get on your way!”
~ Dr. Seuss, Oh, The Places You’ll Go!


CAROL & CARMELLA – OUR PERSONAL JOURNEY

 

The Dog Park Is Not For Everyone.

Carmella loves to play and is fast in a chase. As a puppy, I took Carmella often to the dog park to socialize her. She could rally up a whole pack of dogs to chase each other in circles, which always brought on laughter from bystanders.

Carmella no longer rallies up other dogs now that she is older, but she does still love a good dog chase! Carmella will also chase after any ball or toy thrown in the park, even if it’s for another dog. More often than not, she overtakes the other dog and does her victory trot back to me to show me her prize. I always have to apologize for my little ball fiend and we usually end up just leaving the dog park.

So much of Carmella’s play preference is driven by her breed instincts and high prey drive. She loves to chase, tug, fetch and explore. This is not surprising as Patterdales are working dogs bred to hunt small animals and dig underground.

In all, Carmella really isn’t the dog park kind of dog anymore. It doesn’t suit her needs and I think she would just rather be doing so many other things! She does perk up when we find an agility course, but few parks have them.

Letting Carmella Be Carmella.

Dogs will always be our loving, loyal sidekick. They depend on us and live through our own adventures – hiking, camping, running, working out with us, playing sports, or just lounging out at home. They are our tagalong, companion dogs – and they don’t mind it one bit. It’s how we develop such a lifelong bond with our dog. We bond more by doing more together.

Carmella is definitely my tagalong dog, but hiking and running are activities driven by my interests. Not all of the things I like really satisfies Carmella’s prey drive and give her smart play. Carmella needs to be Carmella. She needs to be the dog that she was meant to be.

I honestly never gave much thought to dog sports (like most dog owners), but I started looking into them more as an outlet for Carmella. We have tried out a few dog sports, thus far. Carmella absolutely loves agility and disc dog.

I only took Carmella to a few sessions of agility, but noticed the instant change to her overall confidence, obedience, focus, and affection towards me. I highly recommend learning proper basics with a professional trainer who is really training you and your dog. I wish we had a larger backyard so we could practice on our own more.

Carmella seems to be the happiest when we play disc. We love it when we can get the park all to ourselves where she can really run around! When we take a break, Carmella will sit in my lap, lean up against me, lift her head 90 degrees and look at me as if to say “Thank You, Mommy, I Love You.” I feel more of that special bond with her on these days. It’s so precious! I now always keep a mental list of frequently empty dog friendly fields where we can play.

Dog sports is definitely Carmella’s super workout. Just 15 minutes of disc playing wipes Carmella out mentally and physically more than an hour-long walk. More importantly , Carmella loves to play! If Carmella is happy, she’s a better and more loving dog, so everyone is happy. So many other dogs out there could benefit tremendously if they were engaged more in smarter play. I sometimes wonder why dog obesity is such a problem and why shelters are over-crowded with energetic or poorly trained dogs.

Of course, Carmella and I still love to go out on a hike and go camping together as well! There’s so many places that we want to go! We also have to do more fun runs and obstacle courses together!


GET INVOLVED. HELP US OUT!

 

We hope that you love our community and can give us some feedback to make the community better.

We are always looking out for great members to join our team. There are opportunities for members to become a Pawtivity Pup Explorer Ambassador or a Special Interest Lead. Contact us if you would be interested in doing more to help us grow!

Life really is an endless journey with Carmella at my side. It’s a journey and adventure I’ll cherish and remember forever. I’m excited to share our journey with you and can’t wait to see your adventures!

Happy Adventuring,

Carol and Carmella
President & Pup, Pawtivity
Is Your Dog An Amazing Pup? 

Is your dog amazing? Contact us to be considered as one of Pawtivity’s featured amazing pups! We may feature you on Pawtivity.com or on our instagram accounts @pawtivity and @myamazingpup. Send us a photo of your dog and tell us why they are so amazing!

 


Join the Pawtivity Community. Meet Other Adventurers That Do What You Love To Do.
Sign up TODAY!
Hike The Triple Crown

Who Are You? (January)

Thank you for joining Pawtivity – Closed Beta. As one of the first members, you play a key role in defining our community.

Monthly Challenges are designed to highlight an activity we want users to try each month. Since we are just getting started, we thought we would use this space now as an opportunity to introduce ourselves to each other!

Please submit a photo of you and your dog (or even your profile photo) and include:

1. A one sentence greeting & description about you and your dog(s).
2. What you and your dog(s) love to do.
3. What you really want to gain from joining the Pawtivity community.
4. What are you planning to do next?

____________________________________________

Snowball Catch

Who Are You? (December)

Thank you for joining Pawtivity – Closed Beta. As one of the first members, you play a key role in defining our community.

Monthly Challenges are designed to highlight an activity we want users to try each month. Since we are just getting started, we thought we would use this space now as an opportunity to introduce ourselves to each other!

Please submit a photo of you and your dog (or even your profile photo) and include:

1. A one sentence greeting & description about you and your dog(s).
2. What you and your dog(s) love to do.
3. What you really want to gain from joining the Pawtivity community.
4. What are you planning to do next?

____________________________________________

PAST INTRODUCTIONS

Thanks to everyone that posted their first introductions in prior months! Don’t forget to post again this month and let us know what you and your dog are planning to do!

November 2017
October 2017
September 2017
August 2017 

Go hiking with your dog.

Who Are You? (November)

Thank you for joining Pawtivity – Closed Beta. As one of the first members, you play a key role in defining our community.

Monthly Challenges are designed to highlight an activity we want users to try each month. Since we are just getting started, we thought we would use this space now as an opportunity to introduce ourselves to each other!

Please submit a photo of you and your dog (or even your profile photo) and include:

1. A one sentence greeting & description about you and your dog(s).
2. What you and your dog(s) love to do.
3. What you really want to gain from joining the Pawtivity community.
4. What are you planning to do next?

____________________________________________

PAST INTRODUCTIONS

Thanks to everyone that posted their first introductions in prior months! Don’t forget to post again this month and let us know what you and your dog are planning to do!

October 2017
September 2017
August 2017

Dog Friendly Pumpkin Patch

Who Are You? (October)

Thank you for joining Pawtivity – Closed Beta. As one of the first members, you play a key role in defining our community.

Monthly Challenges are designed to highlight an activity we want users to try each month. Since we are just getting started, we thought we would use this space now as an opportunity to introduce ourselves to each other!

September Members: Please submit a photo of you and your dog (or even your profile photo) and include:

1. A one sentence greeting & description about you and your dog(s).
2. What you and your dog(s) love to do.
3. What you really want to gain from joining the Pawtivity community.
4. What are you planning to do next?

____________________________________________

PAST INTRODUCTIONS

September 2017: What did everyone do with the new change to the Fall season?
August 2017: Thanks to everyone that posted for our first introductions! Welcome and thank you!

Who Are You? (August)

Thank you for joining Pawtivity – Closed Beta. As one of the first members, you play a key role in defining our community.

Monthly Challenges are designed to highlight an activity we want users to try each month. Since we are just getting started, we thought we would use this space now as an opportunity to introduce ourselves to each other!

August Members: Please submit a photo of you and your dog (or even your profile photo) and include:

1. A one sentence greeting & description about you and your dog(s).
2. What you and your dog(s) love to do.
3. What you really want to gain from joining the Pawtivity community.

 

Play Red Light Green Light With Your Dog

Who Are You? (September)

Thank you for joining Pawtivity – Closed Beta. As one of the first members, you play a key role in defining our community.

Monthly Challenges are designed to highlight an activity we want users to try each month. Since we are just getting started, we thought we would use this space now as an opportunity to introduce ourselves to each other!

September Members: Please submit a photo of you and your dog (or even your profile photo) and include:

1. A one sentence greeting & description about you and your dog(s).
2. What you and your dog(s) love to do.
3. What you really want to gain from joining the Pawtivity community.
4. What are you planning to do next?

____________________________________________

PAST INTRODUCTIONS

August 2017: Thanks to everyone that posted for our first introductions! Welcome and thank you!