Sunday, August 30, 2009

Mom's Back!

Mom arrived back in the city earlier this evening and we have some catching up to do. I can't wait to tell her all about my adventures while she was away. I got to spend lots of time (and a night or two) with my Due. We'd both like to thank Due's folks and Aunt Dana for helping out with the "AbbeyCare". I'm one lucky dog!

I'll fill Mom in and then I can fill you in - but first Mom has to nap...apparently working 18 hour days knocks her out - she fell asleep on the train coming home and almost missed her stop!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009


Globe Photo / Chris Hartlove

THE LION OF THE SENATE, as well as…A brother, a husband, a father, a grandfather….and a dog lover.

A few years ago, while living in Washington, Mom came home from work, and told me the story of a great man. A man who dedicated his life’s work to bettering the lives of others. The elderly, the children, the disabled. A man who believed that public service was an honor and a duty. A man who believed in possibilities….She saw this man that day.

He was standing in the Upper Senate Park next to his Senate Office building, in a charcoal grey suit....with a tennis racquet. He was alone…except for his 2 dogs...Sunny & Splash. It was spring in Washington, the cherry trees were in full bloom, and there stood the senior senator of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, Senator Edward M. Kennedy….hitting tennis balls for his beloved dogs to fetch.

Our thoughts and prayers are with his family.

Mom will be on assignment the remainder of the week covering the funeral of Senator Edward M. Kennedy. We will resume posting upon her return.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Oh Due!

Just a quick post tonight. After missing my Due this weekend we grabbed our Moms and and met up for a little spin after work.

Mom was craving a chocolate milkshake - so we headed to 47th Street - Mom got her milkshake - I got some quality time with my guy.

A perfect New York evening!

Until our next adventure....

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Nature's Fury

We headed to Central Park this morning to see for ourselves the destruction we've heard about from Tuesday night's storm and to see how the clean-up is getting along.

To help understand the scope of the damage - here are images of 2 trees - right next to each other. It helps you imagine the "before" look - and the "after" look.

Untouched - and beautiful

Not so lucky -

I imagine they trimmed the damaged branches to eliminate an immediate hazard - and that the rest of the tree will follow soon.
Huge trees just blown over - this one completely uprooted.

And this one just bent in half.

It seemed everywhere I looked in this area (west side - near the tennis courts and 96th Street) I found caution tape, damaged trees...
And fresh, steaming piles of wood chips.

The power of nature amazes me. The beauty of a sunset, of snow capped mountains, luscious green valleys, and majestic coastlines (Hmm...I must have Maine on my mind! ). And then you see how destructive and dangerous nature can be.

The park will recover. The storm damage is centered in the northwest section. It took us a while to get there. As we first entered the park we were thinking, "hm - not so bad" then after brunch we headed further north - and it was indeed devastating. You can follow the progress of the recovery by checking the Central Park Conservatory website

On a happier note - although my dear Due slept in AGAIN today, we met a great pup at brunch. This is Maddie - and Maddie is a pit bull mix rescue dog. It started to rain during brunch so Maddie and her folks, and Mom & me - huddled under one big umbrella in order to stay dry. The important thing of course is that the BACON stayed dry!
What a face!

Mom's working on some new designs, and I'm doing a stellar jump supervising the entire operation. I'll try to post some photos of our "studio" soon. Until then...

Copyright 2009, Central Bark Designs, Inc. All Rights Reserved

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Rain Delay

Our weekly Central Park Adventure was called on account of rain…

Mom and I headed out this morning – but the rain came before we crossed First Avenue. And apparently Due was sleeping in….

We’ll try again tomorrow. I’m anxious to get back to Central Park to survey the progress on the storm clean up.

Instead of Central Park Mom braved the heat to head out to Brooklyn....I found a cool spot on the hardwood floors and relaxed.

I haven’t been to Brooklyn since we first arrived in NYC 3 years ago and stayed with our friend Jennifer. I soon headed back to DC while Mom found an apartment and got things ready for my triumphant arrival.

Although Brooklyn is a lot of fun, and Prospect Park is close to dog-heaven – we decided on Manhattan. I can’t go on the subway – so I have not been back to Brooklyn since.

Mom went to check out the Artists and Fleas Market in Williamsburg. (Which apparently is a neighborhood in Brooklyn). We have a company, Central Bark Designs, where we create hand painted placemats for pets (see sidebar link to our etsy store!). Mom wanted to see if our mats would be a good product to sell at Artists and Fleas.

Located at 129 6th Avenue (L train, Bedford stop) and open from 12n to 8p on Saturdays & Sundays, they have a great array of jewelry and vintage clothes.

Since it’s in a warehouse, it is a great place to shop rain or shine. The vendors change from time to time so you should keep going back to see what’s new. There are lots of pubs and cafes in the neighborhood to enjoy after your shopping spree. Although it’s not the right fit for our mats, Mom said she is looking forward to going back. Sounds like a great place to take Sarah A. on her next visit to New York.

One of the reasons Mom wants to go back is the Ice Cream truck she found. (And has been raving about).

This was NOT your neighborhood Mr. Softee. Parked on Bedford Avenue between N. 6th & N. 7th streets was a creamy yellow Van Leeuween Ice Cream Truck. Artisan Ice Cream – from a street truck. And this was not any street truck. After doing a little on-line research, Mom’s discovered 2 brothers (Ben & Pete) started the company and that the truck is actually a retrofitted postal truck. Talk about recycling!

As an animal lover (which of course is obvious) I was happy to hear that they give 1% of their profits to Wildlife Direct. A grassroots organization in the Congo whose mission is to actively protect critically endangered species.

CLICK HERE to find our more about VanLeeuwen Ice Cream. (You can even follow their tweets to find out where their trucks are!)

The ice cream is amazing (or so I’ve heard). Mom had the mint chocolate chip with hot fudge sauce. It was rich (18% butterfat!), with a subtle mint flavor and lots of chocolate chips. And there was not one drop of artificial green food coloring! It had a freshness to it you just don’t find in other ice creams, especially ice cream truck ice cream.

Of course I have to take Mom’s word for it, as she did not bring any home. The excuse given, was that it would have melted…I might let her get away with that one.

After enjoying her ice cream it was back on the subway for a quick stop in Chinatown before heading home. And look what she found on Canal Street…..

Now that Mom’s had Van Leeuwen…. I’m afraid she’s kicked Mr. Softee to the curb!

Copyright 2009, Central Bark Designs, Inc. All Rights Erserved

Thursday, August 20, 2009


"CENTRAL PARK HAS BEEN DEVASTATED", Andrian Bebepe, New York City Parks Commissioner.

All of you who follow my blog know that the only thing I love more than Due, and almost as much as Mom - is my beloved Central Park.

When Mom got back from the Park on Tuesday night, we knew the storm was bad. We could see the flashing and hear the crack of the lightening, we (Mom) jumped at the claps of thunder that seem to go on forever. We had no idea how damaging it was. Over 200 trees were felled or severely damaged in Central Park. Beautiful trees, American Elms, Pin Oak, Chestnuts, and Tulips - many estimated to be 80-100 years old.

I know this is a "dog blog", but a great deal of this dog's life is centered around our adventures in Central Park. The destruction suffered by our Park is heartbreaking to us.

Mom and I also know that times are tough all over - and everyone has a lot of good causes they support. IF you can - please think about donating to the Central Park Conservatory.

The Conservatory has been operating on a reduced budget since January, they need our help now more than ever. I know I like to brag about Central Park being MY Park - but it really does belong to everyone who lives AND visits this beautiful city.

Mom and I are hoping to make it to the Park on Saturday (weather permitting). We'll give you an update on the clean up efforts. The Park will comeback - this is New York afterall - a little wind is not going to keep us down!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Ha! Rules Apply to You Too...MOM!

First off – let’s just say I was NOT a happy camper last night.

Mom dashes in from work and is in a BIG hurry. I don’t get a proper walk – but a quick spin in the cul-de-sac. Hmmm. What’s the rush?

Back in the apartment she starts throwing things in a boat bag – umbrella, baseball cap, the camera, a blanket..there's a quick phone call to Aunt Dana….HA – we’re going to Central Park!! Midweek!!

But wait, Mom tosses me a cookie and heads out by herself…without me. I DON’T THINK SO PEOPLE.

Turns out Mom and Aunt Dana were going to the (7th Annual) Central Park Film Festival. And they didn’t take me. Funny thing – seems they didn’t do their research. When they arrive at site – they found a list of RULES…

Now I’m not going to tell on them – but apparently they were in violation for more than one of the above listed rules (and we KNOW it wasn’t the one that said NO PETS).

So instead of watching “Sex and The City” they had their picnic on the benches lining the Mall – and then headed home.

All was not lost – by leaving early – Mom was home before the huge summer thunderstorm. Complete with thunder, lightening, and lots of fallen branches in my Park.

So the lessons we can all take away from this….

1) Never go to Central Park without me

2) Do a little research before attending any event – find out the EXACT location and if it’s in a theater (or playground with bleachers) – you probably shouldn’t lug beach chairs all the way to the park, and rethink your beverage packaging and serving options (oops – did I just spill the beans).

Here's hoping for a break in the August heatwave! AND here's hoping Hurricane Bill stays far out in the Atlantic and leaves my Park alone! (Not to mention my friends in the Carolinas and those on the Cape and the Islands).

Until our next adventure....

Copyright 2009, Central Bark Designs, All Rights Reserved

Monday, August 17, 2009

Balto, My Balto!

Here is a true Dog Hero.

Of the 51 sculptures dotted throughout Central Park, this is by far my favorite.

Just off East Drive at 67th Street, a bronze sculpture by artist Frederick George Richard Roth (1872-1944) was added to the landscape of my Park in 1925.

The slate tablet on the granite boulder explains it all. Balto, a black & white Alaskan Malamute lead a dogsled team through a blizzard to deliver the antitoxin to halt a diphtheria epidemic. Balto and his teammates are all heroes.

Best of all, when we enter the Park at Central Park South, meander through the zoo, (run up hill #1) take a left at BALTO, walk through Mom favorite promenade, past the band shell, around the Bethesda Fountain....and then it's time for BACON!

That's how I spent my Saturday. It's just been so hot here in NYC it took me 2 days of rest (and plenty of a/c) to write about it!

Untill our next adventure...

Copyright 2009, Central Bark Designs, Inc., All Rights Reserved

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Who's Al Fresco anyway?

Tonight was another first. I joined Mom and Aunt Dana for a little sidewalk dining at our neighborhood Irish pub, Parnell's on First @ 53rd. Mom first stopped into Parnell's when she was scouting the neighborhood before we moved into our apartment. She knew she found the perfect spot when she walked in and they had the Red Sox game on.

Being a Sox fan in NYC can be trying. Trust me. During the season I proudly wear a Red Sox collar amongst all the Yankee fans - and a few Mets fans. (Yes - this past weekend was more difficult than others - let's not dwell on the sweep. - We'll see you in October)

Sidewalk seating is located on the 53rd Street side of the pub. We found a table in the back corner so I had plenty of room to stretch out without getting in the way. Besides - now I could keep my eye on all the action.

Our server took great care of me. When Mom asked for a little ice, I never imagined I'd get my own BOWL - filled to the brim with ice cubes! Of course - I would have really liked to share in one of the cheeseburgers I saw brought to our table. Mom explained to me there was no BACON involved - and this was not Central Park. Apparently my table treats are limited to our Saturday morning brunch!

Bacon or not - I'm just glad I got to join in on the evening's outing. The perfect way to relax at the end of another long day.

Saturday will be here soon - and so will another adventure....

Copyright 2009, Central Bark Designs, Inc. All Rights Reserved

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Rescue ME!

Well – not ME exactly– but I did want to mention the great work pet rescue organizations are doing around the country. My dear love, DUE is a rescue dog. In fact he was in a kill shelter and his days were numbered when Tom and Deborah rescued him.

Oh Due, Isn't he one handsome devil!

ALL dogs take a little work - but the amount of love you get in return is 10 fold - make that 1000 fold (at least that's what Mom keeps reminding herself when I come home from Central Park - covered in mud - again!) Rescue dogs may come from homes where they were abused or mistreated - all they need is a little love.

If you, or someone you know is looking for a companion pet – think about looking at the shelters in your area. You can register online at and they will send you updates on available dogs in your area. You can list the size, sex and even breed and age of dog you're looking for. Mom has a thing for goldens - we checked out the Petfinders website the other day - just doing research of course - we found TWO golden/lab puppies - girls - 10 weeks old at the Charlottesville, VA ASPCA. Although we don't have room in our tiny NYC apartment for 2 more golden girls - I wish we did.

Adopting a shelter dog is not the only way to help. If you are just thinking about getting a dog - and maybe want to "try it on for size", FOSTER a dog! Fostering a dog will remove them from the kill shelters, helping not only the dog you are fostering - but making room in shelters for more dogs - doing so can save a life. You "foster" the dog until a permanent home is found. If you are in the New York area - take a look at Foster Dogs NYC. This wonderful blog is updated daily. Make it one of your favorite blogs and get the latest profiles. Check out the stories, fall in love with a dog! SAVE A LIFE!

Copyright 2009, Central Bark Designs, Inc. All Rights Reserved

Saturday, August 8, 2009

I Take the 5th

You may notice from the evidence above that it "appears" I am soaked from head to toe (or tail to snout depending). Appearances can be deceiving. Swimming is illegal in Central Park and I'm not talking, other than to say:

1) all the other kids (labs in particular) were doing it,
2) it's been really hot in NY
3) I'm one happy camper...and after all isn't that what really matters. (p.s. - MUD was involved!)

It was a beautiful day in New York. I hope you enjoyed your Saturday - as much as I enjoyed mine!

Until our next adventure....

Copyright 2009, Central Bark Designs, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

It's August - and I'm wearing FUR.... forgive me if I haven't been blogging lately...the extent of my adventures have been moving from one cool spot on the hardwood floor to another trying to maximize the a/c effect!

I's August, this is New York. AND IT'S HOT. You'd think the way everyone (Mom) is complaining about the heat - they (she) would be grateful we have yet to break 90 degrees...and did I's already AUGUST.

Here's an throw on a full length fur - run around town - and let me know how comfy you feel!

One good note - due to the heat....I think I've convinced Mom & Co. that we need to leave for Central Park - half an hour earlier come Saturday! Rise and shine people!

Until then....

Copyright 2009, Central Bark Designs, Inc. All Rights Reserved

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Another Glorious the Park

What can I say - there's nothing I like to do more on a Saturday morning - than romp and roll in Central Park with my guy, Due. Mom really needs to get a video camera so she can share the full extent of our adventures.

Did somebody say BACON? OK - maybe I just heard someone say its time for coffee - but I KNOW that's just code for B A C O N !!! Someone says coffee - we head to the Boathouse Patio - sit down and along with the coffee I know there will be bacon.

See - there it is - now if I can just get someone to share with me! Mom is a tough sell - Deborah and Dana don't seem to be on board either.....then there's TOM - Maybe if I give him "the look"

Works every time! Now I don't want to leave the impression Mom is not willing to share. But she makes me wait until all the people are done - then gives me just a little nibble.

Someone said it was time to go. I strongly disagreed and tried to take things into my own hands.

Well that was that for this week's adventure in Central Park. I asked Mom to take some photos of my favorite fountains and statues so I can tell you all about them in a later post. Just one of the things we're working on.

It's raining AGAIN in New York, so looks like I'll be napping followed later by some beauty sleep and eventually I'll get around to a power nap. Girl's got to do what a girl's got to do!

Until our next adventure...

Copyright 2009, Central Bark Designs, Inc. All Rights Reserved