Dogwise–the (Not) Amazon of Dog Books

Recently Lisa Lemberger (Business Mgr, Numbers Wizard, HR guru) and I traveled to Wenatchee, WA to visit the good people at Dogwise. Several years ago we partnered with Dogwise such that they send out all orders that come in through our website. It’s been a great arrangement–as the “Amazon of Dog Books” [I mean that in the best of all possible ways, not in a take over the earth kind of way]  they are set up to mail packages all over the world to individual buyers, to big book distributors, like Ingram and Baker & Taylor, and to Amazon itself.  But unlike Amazon, they are a small, family-run business that has staff that’s been there for decades, and considers Dogwise part of their family too.

Here’s the pack in front of their dog friendly office:

That’s Nate (VP & son of founders), co-founder & President Larry Woodward (Charlene Woodward couldn’t be there that day), Ben the “Shipping Hound”, Kristy the “Author Shepherd” and Social Media Queen (my title), Jon the “Author Hound” and Jason the “Book Trolling Retriever” and customer service rep extraordinaire.

Speaking of members of the family, here’s Kristy’s dog Puppy Pants, who was rescued from the Republic of Georgia by Allen, a soldier who fell in love with her and contacted the Puppy Rescue Mission to bring her to the states. She spends her days at Dogwise now, along with Kristi’s Lucy Lui, gainfully employed as Director of Product Testing.

I threatened to bring Puppy Pants back to Wisconsin in my suitcase. She’s an absolute love bucket, and has the best dog name ever. But she looks pretty happy with Kristy.

Sending out orders is a far more complicated process than one might think–just filling Amazon orders is an adventure unto itself–and Dogwise does it seamlessly. And we’ve heard nothing but praise for their customer service (I’m talking to you Jason!).  But I’d never been out to visit them and I thought it was high time to see their operation in person and to meet some of the folks that we talk to on a regular basis. It was a great visit, and we left inspired by the work that they do at Dogwise for people who love progressive, positive dog training.

One of the fun things about Dogwise for me is that both their business and mine started at about the same time. I was just starting to do a little speaking beyond talking to 20 people in a local dog club, and Dogwise was moving past co-founder Charlene Woodward ordering books for a friend. Larry sent me this image of one of their early catalogs:

Any of you remember the first APDT conference? Florida 1993? Larry tells a great story about being talked into going by conference organizer Katy Sai, and to their amazement, selling out virtually everything they had in hours. That was a pivotal time for their business, when they decided to focus on dog trainers as their primary market. And what a great job they’ve done. Okay, I’m not objective here, because I consider many of them my friends, but still, they do great work and we’re lucky to have them.

Speaking of a family business, here’s Henry, the founders’ grandson, doing inventory.


MEANWHILE, back on the farm: Jim and I continued to be touched, overwhelmed and heart-swellingly grateful for all the kindness that we have received about Willie. I am just sorry that I can’t answer them individually. (170 comments here, 565 on Facebook . . .holy moly!) I have read every single one, some three to four times, and they are full of so much wisdom and grace. Thank you.

We are all entitled to some good news, and here it is:

This is Willie Sunday morning–

Did you notice how Maggie is looking at Willie? She is one of my worries–she’ll be gutted when Willie dies, and is simply not equipped to live without a playmate. But that’s another chapter, right?

But Willie is doing great. He had his second chemo on Friday, and although his breathing is clearly compromised, is still a happy guy. Side effects aren’t due for a day or two, so our paws are crossed, but today–the only day that counts–he’s doing great.  We have no idea of the effect of his medicines (including Rimadyl–pain, and Cerenia–nausea) and supplements (including Coriolus mushrooms, Respicalm among others) and diet (he’s been on protein and fat, very low carbs for a long time actually), but right now, he’s good. So we’re good.

Tootsie, our ancient puppy-mill abuse survivor, (we’re guessing she’s 15), also known as the “Eveready battery bunny dog,” is doing fantastically well. She is almost deaf, but she still gets the zoomies, loves food of any description and is very grateful that there is soil to sniff instead of ice and snow. Here she is telling me that her upcoming grooming appointment is not soon enough.

Spring is busting out all over. New lambs in the barn (girls white tag, right ear), boys (colored tags, left ear)–

Daffodil buds teasing us–

Lady Baa Baa, aka “Explodo Ewe,” teasing us even more (she’s not due for quite a while).  Anyone want to venture a guess of 1) date she lambs, 2) # of lambs and 3) sex of lambs? The first correct answer gets a free For the Love of a Dog book, but you have to guess by this Friday the 12th.