Monday, April 11, 2011

Team Brutus Takes Chicago - the Final Installment

 It was two weeks ago today that we wrapped up our adventure to Chicago.  Yes, agility was the our primary agenda, but there was so much more to the trip than jumps & tunnels!  In addition to making lots of new friends (both human & canine), we had lots of tasty things to eat, and even got to do a little shopping.  We'll wrap up the trip in this post, and share with you the neat stuff we got to do before we came home!

None of it would have been possible without the hospitality & generosity of our wonderful friends - Hope & her sister Fran (pictured above with the Frenchies).  I met Hope in Wisconsin last year at the Frenchie National Specialty & we became instant friends.  So funny how having only your dogs in common can be grounds for a friendship where it might appear that you had nothing else in common!  Who'd have thought that a random conversation at an agility trial would lead to me driving 400 miles to visit less than a year later!

We thoroughly enjoyed our four days in Chicago, playing agility while getting to know Hope & Fran (and many of their friends!) better.  The agility trial is where we spent a lot of our weekend hours, but there was still plenty of time to relax and enjoy the finer things of the windy city - like pizza!
Nothing like Chicago deep-dish pizza!  This delicious slice is from Malnati's, but I also got to enjoy our all-time favorite, Giordano's!
After all 3 days of agility all day and playing all night, the kids were all seriously tuckered out!   The dogs worked hard and played hard, and as you know - tired dogs are happy dogs!!  Our last night there Brutus & Carmen crashed on one end of the couch,

Dax on the other end, 

While Teddy was zonked out in his lounger!

Thankfully we all got good nights' rest before we headed home on Monday morning.  There was one last item on our trip agenda to check off before leaving Chicago - a visit to Golly Gear!


Turns out that Hope & Fran own a small-dog supply store!  Behind this unassuming door we found the motherload of all dog stuff!

Golly Gear sells everything imaginable for our furry friends.  Collars, treats, toys, training supplies - you name it. They do most of their sales over the internet, but Brutus & Carmen were lucky enough to have the store to themselves to go on a shopping spree!

Talk about kids in a candy store!  These bins are bursting with all kinds of cool stuff!

The Frenchies wasted no time diving right in!
We spent over an hour trying on collars, harnesses & coats, taste-testing treats & playing with toys.  Hope had a special gift for Brutus,  a shirt that was most certainly made with him in mind:

The perfect muscle tee to show off Brute's buff physique!

In case you can't see the logo in the photo above (I was taking photos with my phone, sorry if they are blurry), here's a closer look.  It's simply made for Brutus, all too appropriate for my little mama's boy!

Love these new harnesses we found at Golly Gear!  Best-fitting ones I've ever seen, plus they are super-easy to put on (look out Teddy, Brutus & Carmen are gunning for your modeling job).

Here's some fun new collars we found there, biggify the photo to see what Brute's says.

Carmen opted for an ultra-comfy, pretty-in-pink martingale for her new training collar. 

Brutus & Carmen picked out some toys too (I'd show you, but they've already, um, Frenchie-tested them & they don't look so hot) and a really fun training tool (called a Manners Minder, but that's for another post).   There were so many other neat things there I can't begin to tell you, so just go to the Golly Gear website (just click on the name anywhere in this post for a link) and see for yourself!!

As they say, all good things must come to an end.  So with many great memories, a couple of qualifying agility scores, a bunch of new friends, and a bag full of great stuff from Golly Gear, we bid farewell to the windy city and headed across the Eisenhower Bridge towards home.

Hope & Fran, we can't thank you enough for all the hospitality and kindness you showed me, Brutus & Carmen (really, who else would be crazy enough to let my crew into their home??).  Can't wait to see you all again!  Until then, hugs to all our furbuddies!  Come visit us here in Ohio sometime!


Asta said...

Bwutus and Cawmen
That looks like a sopew fun twip that you had..
So much to do and see and eat, heheheand that stowe! my dog, that was heav en..i love all the things you got and I think you must be having lovely dweams of this whole twip all the way home
smoochie kisses

Kitty+Coco said...

Wow what a fun trip! Let's just say we will be checking out the Golly Gear site. The lounger Teddy was in was awesome! Might have to look into that.

Kitty and Coco

verobirdie said...

I love your posts, I feel like I have a dog myself :-) Thanks so much!

Amber-Mae said...

Looked like you guys had a very pawsome trip! WOAH look at that pizza! It looks crazy good!

♥♥ The OP Pack ♥♥ said...

It sure looks like you had a wonderful trip. That pizza looks so good, drool, drool, drool, - that's all of us wishing for a taste.

We have to get Mom to take a look at Golly Gear and see what she might find for us. We think we could use some new things for the spring:)

Woos ~ Phantom, Thunder, and Ciara

Two French Bulldogs said...

Oh my your adventure sounds awesome. You guys must be pooped from all the excitement. Your friends store has so many cool things. Thank goodness you are spoiled so you got to pick out toys. Welcome home
Benny & Lily

houndstooth said...

I'm glad you guys had so much fun in Chicago! It's one of my favorite places to visit.

Sam said...

I really am envious of your roadtripping, Michelle. Good dog sport, good friends, good times.. your crew is lucky! I'm in the planning stages of an overnight agility trip in the Fall; if Marge gets through that OK, I'd love to take her on a trip for a few days somewhere fun.

Oreo said...

Sounds like a great big fun ole trip!! Gald that you enjoyed your friends!!

Jazzi and Addy

Oskar said...

What an amazing trip, with a shopping spree & my mom person is now raving like a lunatic about Chicago pizza!

So glad you had fun.

Nubbin wiggles,

Molly the Airedale said...

OMG, we love Teddy's lounger! How comfy that looks!

Love ya lots
Maggie and Mitch

Rocky Creek Scotties and Rocky Creek Ramblings said...

What fun!! We're beginning to wonder when your Mom ever has time to do any dentistry.


Lucy-Fur, as typed by Dr. Liz said...

Awesome shirt there, Brutus! (We all knew you were a total Momma's boy - but this way you look likea tough Momma's boy! *grin*) Great collar, too! (Although Mom says I'm the Best Dog Ever, so we might need to have a chat about that!) Looks like a Most Excellent trip!

*kissey face*
-Fiona and Abby the Hippobottomus

Hope said...

So much fun - We miss you! Gotta start planning that jaunt to Ohio!

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