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And The Winners of the 2014 My Furry Valentine Contest go to…

Congratulations to our 2014 My Furry Valentine Contest Winners!!!

Brook H. with Rascal and Kathy B. with Magpie thank you for sharing your love stories with us.

Here are their wonderful stories…


It was January of 2011, and my partner Holly and I very unexpectedly lost our 5-year-old Bichon Frise Max
during a minor medical procedure.  There was no preparation for this, and we were bereft, as was our other Bichon named Gabby.  We had no plans to get another dog until spring or summer. After all, this was winter in Chicago, and, as it turned out, right before the 2011 blizzard that closed Lake Shore Drive and slowed the city for several days.

But so much for the best-laid plans!  Enter a guardian angel and another lover of Bichon Frises that had a family history of that breed as the family pet.  Our guardian angel checked in on us about 10 days after we lost Max to see how we were doing.  ”Not so well” I responded and that was all the opening she needed.  She then told me that she had found our next dog on Pet Finder, and of all places, he was currently at a Doberman rescue, although he was a full Bichon Frise.  His name was Rascal, and he appeared to be adorable, needing only a good grooming and a loving home. Still hesitant, I promised we would at least visit him.

The rest is history, as they say!  When we entered the Doberman rescue, it was filled with dogs. But somehow Rascal knew that we were there to see him.  I sat on the floor, and he immediately walked over and plopped in my lap.  And when Holly reached out to touch him, he kissed her hand.  You all know the rest. He was obviously going home with us!  And in that first moment on the floor, I knew that Rascal was meant to be ours and would always be our furry and funny valentine.  It felt like Max had sent him to us.

Rascal’s first day with us was a whirlwind!  After a vet appointment (He was in perfect health), we were finally able to feed him.  Fueled for the rest of the day, our next stop was Barker & Meowsky where we stocked up on winter coats and raincoats and collars and leashes and toys and treats galore! We were then headed home for a dinner party with some of our closest friends. Rascal, who has never met a toy that he did not like, had not even had a single toy of his own until we got him.  All of our friends showered him with more toys and treats that night and fell in love with our new addition.

In addition to clothing and toys, one of our friends gave us a magnetized sign that reads “Who Rescued Who?”  I know that many of you have seen that sign before.   And I know that all of you know the answer.  Rascal did indeed rescue us and brought happiness, love and laughter and so much fun to our home once again.  Rascal is filled with love and only wants to share it. Every day is Valentine’s Day, and we are forever thankful and grateful for him and that very special guardian angel!

-Brook H.




To say I loved Magpie from the moment we laid eyes on one another is not
only untrue it’s impossible. I was in the Operating Room helping the Vet
with the sprays and neuters for the shelter when someone walked in and said,
“About the blind kitten-”

“What blind Kitten? Where? Can I have her?” I blurted out. The vet
laughed and said, “Sure, I guess we have no choice!” Magpie was in the
adjoining room. She had been brought in a few days earlier after someone
found her in the street and brought her into Preiser Animal hospital. She
was very near death, dehydrated and running a temp. When I saw her in the
cage she had already rebounded.

She was tiny, she was all black and she screeched instead of mewing.
I picked her up and took her home an hour later. She is not part an
integral part of our home. Although she is our 4th and youngest cat, Pie
as we call her, runs the house. Her blindness is the result of congenital
cataracts according to the eye specialists at Blue Pearl in Northfield.

Our shyest cat Tank, immediately took to Pie and became her little guardian
in the house. She learned the house room by room with tank at her side.
This astounded us as Tank is very shy and used to hide from visitors.

Pie loves D’a Bird toy most of all her toys. She mews for us to take it
off the fireplace mantel and play with her.

She loves the tennis ball on the track toy that Santa brought our cats a
year ago for Christmas, from Barker and Meowsky. A few years ago we lost
our Deaf cat Radar to kidney stones. He was all white with two blue eyes.

We learned from Radar how animals compensate naturally for their deficits.
Radar loved the cardboard cabin Santa brought him from Barker and Meowsky a
few years back.

That’s why adopting a blind kitten seemed like an adventure not a handicap,
to us .

Happy Valentine’s Day
kathy b.

Toy Spotlight: Fluff & Tuff by Author Lincoln


Ava with Ricardo Raccoon Squeaky Tough Dog Toy

Do you have a dog that prefers a plush style of toy but destroys every single one within five minutes of pulling it out of the bag? While there is no such thing as an indestructible toy, some come closer than others.
If you want that plush feel with built in durability, check out the Fluff & Tuff line. Created by Chris and Ellen Lawson in Michigan, the toys come from a family with a lifetime of experience in loving dogs. They’re excellent toys, realistically styled after animals and will last through multiple play sessions. Double-stitched and outfitted with a tough mesh liner, there are no seams for your dog to sink a tooth into. The interior, if your dog does manage to get into it, is stuffed with a non-toxic fill. One of our in-store play-testers, Ava, has had Ricardo the raccoon for almost a year now and it has stood up to many hours of chewing and tug-of-war.
Does your dog go for the extremities first? Check out Karl the Koi or Henrietta Hedgehog. They’re simple shapes with few chewable limbs. Want a tug-of-war game? Monty the python is your best bet.
We carry nearly their entire line in our store and online, so come pick out your dog’s newest, toughest pal.

Does Your Dog Need a Jacket?

        Some consider coats and sweaters for dogs to be silly, a conceit of a fashion conscious owner or an unnecessary luxury. However, particularly for smaller breeds and those with short coats, a warm piece of clothing can make a dog much happier, whether it’s only worn outside to use the bathroom or around the house to deal with low temperatures.
So does your dog need a jacket? Take a few things into consideration. Is your dog shivering during even short trips outside for potty breaks? Are they reluctant to go outside at all? Do you have a small or toy breed? Is their coat short? These are all good reasons to get a jacket on your dog, but even larger, thicker coated breeds can benefit from clothing. After all, we all like to be warm during the winter months.
So how do you fit your dog for clothing? While the best way is to come into the store with your pup, if there’s no way for you to bring them in with you a good option is measure them at home first. Take a tape measure and measure from the base of their neck to the base of their tail. This is how most clothing is sized. So a dog who measures 18 inches would wear a size 18 and so on. It’s also good to measure their chest, done by wrapping the measuring tape around their torso right behind the front legs.
A note on male dogs: Because of the location of their genitals, it is possible that male dogs may not get enough “pee clearance” in certain jackets or sweaters. Make sure before wearing it outside that your dog won’t be urinating on or into their jacket.
So what jacket or sweater should you get for your puppy? Well, we here at barker & meowsky have a huge variety to choose from, all of them toasty warm. Want something that looks ready for the runway? Check out Tanner and Dash’s huge selection. Do you have a dog with a big chest, like a greyhound or boxer? You might be better off with an Apache Polarfleece.
Whatever your needs, we’re ready to help you out. Come on in!

Soggy Doggy Shammy works wonders on wet dogs.


No wet doggy smell here!


My Go-To pet product has to be Soggy Doggy Super Shammy!!!! Owning this  has made my life easier, I have both the chenille dog towel (love the Super Shammy’s convenient hand pockets) and the Doormat. Both the Doormat and Shammy are super soft, durable, machine washable, and the number one reason why it is amazing is because of how it soaks up water and dirt. When they say it absorbs up to 7x it’s weight in water, they aren’t kidding… You can’t lose.  Sorry Shamwow , you’ve got nothin’ on Soggy Doggy.  I have two pups that need extra grooming between their scheduled groomings at barker & meowsky. My little guy has allergies and needs frequent baths at home. My big boy enjoys rolling in “who knows what” in the yard.  The Shammy comes in handy since I don’t own a high powered blower. When giving baths before, I would go through five or six of my own towels. Now with Soggy Doggy my dog drying process has been cut in half and my dogs love the rubdown.

Since I have a yard it’s simple for me to let the boys out when the weather is bad but no matter how easy it is on me, my floor still pays the price. It never fails, muddy paw prints show up on my kitchen floor!!! I now have the Soggy Doggy doormat at my front door and when the boys want to come back in I use the doormat to wipe down their legs, feet and bellys… I even use it to wipe my wet shoes. No more muddy paw prints (or footprints) makes this lady extremely happy.  My little guy Remy also thinks the Doormat is one of his beds and I can’t blame him, who doesn’t love soft comfy chenille?

So, not only is The Soggy Doggy my Go-To product, but it is also J.J. and Remy Tested and Approved. I give it two thumbs up and my boys give it two very clean and dry paws up!  - Jena G.

Handy hand pockets make drying 'em off so easy.



Teach your dog to wipe their paws themselves on the Doggy Doormat. Gotta love self-cleaning paws!

LXTV 1st Look goes shopping with Ms. Meowsky for the best gifts of 2010!

The perfect presents for your pets are at barker & meowsky!  Just ask Bessie Tsionis from LXTV who discovered that the options at barker & meowsky  for great gift giving for pets and their humans are endless! 

Wreath Rope Bones – Holiday favorite!

Just to mention a few, Bessie checked out our extensive selection of cozy coats and sweaters for large and small dogs including  our exclusive collection by Tanner & Dash,.  She admired the the simply beautiful Square Meal Diners by local Chicago designer Luke Wong, sampled some of our Organic Pumpkin Treats (delicious!)  and snuggled up with Gus & Casey on the fabulous Katie Puff Bed while wearing one of our adorable Santa Hats.  Awwwwww!

Fox Business News visits barker & meowsky

Fox Business News stopped by barker & meowsky to wish Gus a happy 10th birthday …And, to ask us a few questions.  Casey put a big wet nose print on the camera,  a perfect example of  how our furry friends help us smile while we’re thinking about the worrisome stuff.  Since 1998, barker & meowsky has been focused on helping our super savvy customers make great choices for their dogs & cats through any ups and downs.

Watch the video right here!

Thanks Jeff Flock & the Fox Business News Team -  come back anytime!

"Dog of the Bride" Bridal Trunk Show

If you’re part of the 18% of dog owners that, according to a 2006 survey by the American Kennel Club, would include or want to include your pets in your wedding ceremony, stay tuned! barker & meowsky, a paw firm based in Chicago, is ready to kick-off the wedding season with class and style by hosting a true-blue bridal trunk show on Saturday, June 5th from 12pm4pm.

This isn’t your typical trunk show, however – this one is all about the ‘Dog of Honor’ (or perhaps the ‘Best Dog.’) barker & meowsky, together with dog fashion designer Alice Nichols of UpCountry, will have the latest wedding day fashions and accessories for pets available and on display all afternoon. Among the many items to be featured are tuxedos, top hats and even made-to-order collar and leash sets that match your wedding colors. Event attendees will meet wedding service providers such as trustworthy professional wedding day dog handlers and will receive some invaluable tips & resources to ensure that special day goes on “without a hitch”!
Volunteers from Midwest Labrador Retriever Rescue will also be on hand with some wonderful adoptable Labradors. So, if you don’t have a Flower Dog yet, don’t worry, you may just meet the furry love of your life!

“Over the years we’ve assisted the finest wedding planners in selecting the right outfits and accessories for the dog of the bride – so we’re excited to be able to host an event that brings it all together in one place,” explained Alice Lerman, founder of barker & meowsky. “We love to see pet-friendly weddings that are done well, that not only have style and flair but also respect for the dog, guests and wedding party. Our specialty is getting the right items and info to the happy couple to make that happen.

Details for the event are as follows:

‘Dog of the Bride’ Bridal Trunk Show
barker & meowsky, 1003 W. Armitage Ave in Chicago
Saturday, June 5th, 2010
12pm 4pm CDT

As if 18% of dog owners aren’t enough, the American Kennel Club survey also reports that 27% of dog owners under thirty years old said they wouldn’t think twice about including their best friend of the four-legged variety in their weddings – so this trend is on the rise. 

WXYZ in Detroit Covers Pet Friendly Safety in Cars and Features barker & meowsky Owner and Owner’s Dogs

WXYZ Detroit was on hand at the Chicago Auto Show to do their piece on pet friendly safety. The piece, which highlights dog safety while traveling, features barker & meowsky owner as well as the stores pet mascots. View the video on

6th Annual – Your Furry Valentine Contest

Share your love stories and everyone wins! barker & meowsky’s 6th Annual – Your Furry Valentine Contest

With Valentine’s Day’s arrival, we can’t help but think of true love and love stories – especially those little sources of unconditional love, our own furry valentines. Throughout the year we’re privileged to hear from our customers stories of rescue, destiny and love at first sight and we want to hear more! Think back and remember the moment you realized that you and your furry friend were meant to be together. Was it love at first sight? Were you surfing and saw a face you just couldn’t forget? Were you in a shelter and saw a cat that you had to share your life with? Did your dog save you from a burning building? What is it that they do every day that makes you love them a little more?

Every year the entries make us laugh and cry – we are always touched. Last year’s winning stories illustrated the powerful effect our furry friends have on all of us. Just when we think we are rescuing them, they are rescuing us right back! Good luck, and remember, you have a furry valentine so you’re already a winner! As always, we want to reward true love, so every entry receives a coupon code for a special valentine offer. (Cat got your tongue? Simply tell us you love your furry friend to receive your coupon.) Thank you for sharing your stories with us!

This year we’re thrilled to welcome our celebrity judges, beloved Chicago veterinarian Dr. Marla Minuskin & animal expert Steve Dale.

The details:
Everyone who enters gets a coupon code.
Prize packages: 1st place = $150 value, 2nd place = $75 value.

Entry deadline 2/28/2010.

Winners announced 3/4/2010.

Email your story & pictures (we love pictures!!!) to

Winning stories will be published on our blog.

About Our Celebrity Judges:
Dr. Marla Minuskin
, is one of Chicago’s most beloved veterinarians. A graduate of the University of Illinois College of Veterinary Medicine in 1985 and the co-founder of Family Pet Animal Hospital in 1990. Dr. Minuskin skillfully and lovingly cares for more barker & meowsky customers than we can count!

Steve Dale
, a champion of the human-animal bond, pet expert and certified dog and cat behavior consultant, reaches more pet owners than any other pet journalist in America. Steve writes a twice weekly syndicated newspaper column (Tribune Media Services), he’s a contributing editor at USA Weekend and host of two nationally syndicated radio shows, The Pet Minute, and Steve Dale’s Pet World at WLS Radio, Chicago. Steve Dale’s website is a wonderful resource for all of us who love our pets.

ABC 7 Chicago Features Pet Care Tips Including Dog Winter Booties

The chill of the winter doesn’t just affect humans. Our pets experience bone-chilling cold just like us. Which is why ABC 7 Chicago ran a segment called Winter Paw Care Basics. The segment featured Gus and Casey, barker & meowsky mascots, and products such as dog winter booties.

Below is the segment:

The coverage included great winter pet care tips as well as excerpts from the book Happy Dog: Caring for Your Dog’s Body, Mind and Spirit. If you are a concerned pet owner, here is a list of products featured on the segment including pet wipes and winter dog coats.

Did you see the segment on ABC 7 this morning? What did you think, leave us a comment.
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