A few years ago, I purchased a beautiful hand-made, wooden dog bed at Building Character, 342 N Queen St, Lancaster, PA 17603. The shop sells recycled, new, and vintage items from a variety of sellers. Since my original purchase, I’ve acquired another dog. I tried contacting the original seller, but he no longer makes furniture. Recently, Building Character posted some photos on their Facebook page of a new furniture seller who used recycled wood. The bed jumped out immediately. It was perfect. I believe the dogs agree.
I’ve been taking a class at the Pennsylvania College of Art and Design for the last several weeks. Class is Tuesday and Thursday from 6-9. One of the most wonderful things about Lancaster City is the ease of walking everywhere. My walk is 20 minutes, and every night I pass Vinny’s Plants. It appears to be a freelance plant selling business that operates in front of Vinny’s Attic Thrift Shop, 252 N. Prince Street. I have yet to see a sign for the latter, but with the warm summer weather, a small number of plants are displayed on the sidewalk along with a placard sign. I have four classes to go, so maybe someday soon, I’ll meet Vinny himself.
When we bought our home in 2005, it needed quite a bit of work, so certain projects just fell off the radar immediately. One of those items was hardwood floor repair. Built in 1928, our home is on the newer side for the city of Lancaster having been built in one of the former suburbs on the north west side of the city. The floor is 1.5 in oak throughout. That’s right, every single floor is oak hardwood. Imagine finding that in a new home. You wouldn’t. Most of it is in passable shape for a house this old, but the dining room had numerous water spots and stains. My solution upon moving in was just to cover it with a rug. I found one for less than $100 at Ollie’s Bargain Outlet.
This rug lasted years until we acquired Baby Cow. Baby Cow arrived to us having lived her entire life outside. Potty training an adult dog is quite a process, and Baby Cow never stopped peeing on the Ollie’s rug. So despite looking just fine, the rug could never be thoroughly cleaned, and I hauled it in my Volvo to the transfer station a few months ago.
I just returned to Ollie’s hoping they had more rugs, and, indeed, they do. I chose one that is the thickness of regular carpet this time, but it’s no less lovely. I thought a thinner rug might be easier to thoroughly clean if Baby Cow has an urge to pee on this one too. As you can see, the dogs like it quite a lot.
Mark your calendars. The Lancaster Craft Brew Fest is coming back for another year. If you haven’t attended in the past, do yourself a favor and book your tickets now. It’s a lovely event featuring brewers of all sizes from across the Mid-Atlantic.
You can sample everything from Cox Brewing, which is run out of an industrial garage in Elizabethtown, to storied Penn Brewing in Pittsburgh. Last year, Penn brought some leftover seasonal beer, but I drank it anyway. I’ll try anything they make.
If you’re really into craft but not into crowds, book the VIP tickets. The event fills up fast, but you can make a quick round of all your favorites in the hour you have before general admission begins.
Food trucks will be present including the famed Fridge pizza pickup, so you won’t go hungry. If you can’t walk there like the Where’s Pom Team, bring a designated driver or use Uber. We want everyone to go home safely.
At Where’s Pom, we have two knuckleheads. One perfectly healthy one that is full of anxiety and one with numerous health problems but a stellar temperament. The former is Pom, for whom the blog is named.
Pom is a beautiful, healthy dog. At 9 years old, he can still catch a tennis ball out of the air. He’s a muscular and athletic English bulldog with none of the breathing problems that plague the breed. As you can probably tell from this blog, he’s an excellent loose leash walker. He’s an angel in the house. He never chews anything, gets in the trash, or sleeps on the couch. (Furniture is off limits to the dogs with the exception of the bed.)
He has one overriding issue, however. He’s anxious and afraid of new people. If someone is coming over, he has to be locked up. Walks require vigilance lest someone with a trigger cross our path. Backpacks, hats, a limp, men in general – they’re all suspect. Everything is suspect. If Pom were a human, he’d be carrying a gun.
We’ve worked with trainers and read a shelf full of books. In the end, we understand and manage his anxiety, but the overall problem is a tough one to crack. In addition to anxiety, he is wicked smart. He’s the smartest dog either of us has ever owned. You can always see the wheels turning, and he picks up new tricks with ease. The trainer recommended that he be given a job and challenged regularly. We hide his dinner in a kong every night, and he finds it.
I was explaining Pom’s issues this week when I took our other dog, Baby Cow, to meet a friend. My friend remarked that we frequently require our pets to be perfect when most everyone you know isn’t perfect. We all have issues whether physical or mental that require management and understanding from those around us. We shouldn’t expect our dogs, who lived with humans so long they essentially domesticated themselves, from reading our emotions and having a few of their own.
For Training, the Where’s Pom team strongly recommends Kristina Ackerman at Oscar’s Pet Resort. She’s terrific.
The authors of this blog recently returned from Portland, Maine, a lovely New England town that reminds us of Lancaster. Besides the obvious difference of the water, it has some similarities. Both cities were founded about 100 years apart, 1623 for Portland and 1729 for Lancaster. Their populations are currently similar – 66,194 for Portland and 59,322 for Lancaster. Portland is the largest city in Maine. Lancaster is the 8th largest in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. The greater Portland Metro area is strikingly similar to Lancaster, 519,900 to 507,766.
The architecture and vibe of both cities is similar. Both towns have thriving art colleges and art scenes, and both benefit from tourism. Lancaster has Rachel’s Creperie, and Portland has Hot Suppa. Lancaster has Lancaster Brewing Company and Portland has Gritty McDuff’s. There are actually several more breweries in both places, but these felt the most comparable.
The ocean is the obvious difference, and you don’t see or hear seagulls in Lancaster. Both towns feel like they are on the upswing, places that businesses want to grow in and people want to live in. While dining at Hot Suppa, our server asked us where we arrived from. When we told her Lancaster, she said she was originally from Selingsgrove, PA. “I came here on vacation when I was a kid, and later, I decided I want to live here. I hope I never leave.”
My husband and I bought a blue leather couch in 2002, and the leather cushions recently ripped. After quickly shopping for a new one, we decided to repair this one and save a pile of money while keeping a piece of furniture we both enjoy. Enter Stump’s Upholstery. The variety of fabrics available was pretty overwhelming. I went two times before selecting a fabric. You can take books home with you to make your decision easier. Unfortunately, we couldn’t match this custom color. Instead, the team suggested making it very different and buying pillows to match the new cushions with the old couch. Once I was on the schedule, the job only took about a week to complete. The replacement cushions are a perfect fit, and are reversible. If the one side wears, I can always flip them over for more life. The entire job cost about $400. We were able to re-use the stuffing and save some money. Actual cost would, of course, depend on the fabric choice and size of your job. Highly recommended.
The authors spotted this service dog at Lancaster Brewing Company a few weeks ago. The place was packed on a early Saturday night when the dog entered with his sight-impaired handler and a companion. He settled under the high table with some other patrons and immediately spied a french fry on the floor. He quickly ate it before settling down as pictured. It was a nice reminder that despite their incredible temperament and rigorous training, service dogs are still dogs at heart.
The Lancaster Public Library holds a yearly book sale in May. It’s a three-day event, and it’s worth marking on your calendar. They also hold a smaller event in the winter in addition to staffing several used book stores. You can find details at the link. What is most interesting about the sale is how it is a window to the reading community. The years just after Sarah Palin ran on the GOP ticket, her books were strewn about the non-fiction table. This year was a banner year for used copies of Bill O’Reilly’s books. In fairness, political books tend to have a short shelf life. When Oprah’s book club was active, her choices were always prominent among the fiction table as was Elizabeth Gilbert’s Eat Pray Love when it was the rage. Newer books are individually priced with older copies selling for a dollar or two. In recent years, the sale has become more organized with tables of recent travel books, text books, collections, and signed books. The selection is always worth your time, and the prices can’t be beat. Plus, all proceeds go to the library and its programs. Happy reading.
“I lived on this earth for over 73 years and as a trained lawyer, the most persuasive empirical evidence I have found about the existence of God is that someone must have done something to create that special bond between dog and human. It exists for us with virtually no other animal and I can’t believe it was just an accident. If God did that, we thank Her but God made one mistake, she should have made the lifespan of humans and dogs the same so that we wouldn’t lose them so soon, so very very soon.” – Ed Rendell, Former Pennsylvania Governor and Dog Lover