Ernie Defines Dog Days

Being a curious Pug I wondered about the “Dog Days” of summer.

Is it a national holiday?
Are there parties? Dog dances? Dog parades? Special Dog sales?
Will I get extra treats?
My Wags on Willow business partner Mary chased after the answer like it was a tennis ball or a frisbee. She was dogged. (Please excuse the Pug pun. Sometimes I’m pugnacious and other times I’m punnacious.)
Mary said ancient Greeks invented Dog Days because they are usually the hottest days of summer when dogs get lazy. 
We dogs think of it as chilling out.
Dog days correspond to the appearance of the astronomical (a big word for a dog) constellation Canis Major which looked like a dog to the ancients with the star Sirius as its nose.
This year the constellation comes into view between July 22 and August 23. Those are official dog days.
But bipeds call any summer hot spell dog days.
That’s fine with me as long as I get treats.


Exciting news from Wags on Willow!

Wags on Willow has done it again named as the Best Grooming Salon on the North Shore for the fourth consecutive year by readers of the popular magazine and website.
And the yelp website has just given us the 2017 “People Love us on Yelp” award.
This Pug is jumping for joy. If I could  jump higher I’d high-five my business partner Mary and our fantastic team of pet owning and pet loving groomers. They are the best! 
That makes seven awards since 2014 including two from readers of the 22nd Century group of community newspapers on the North Shore. 
There is a reason why Wags on Willow just keeps winning: We are really, really good and dogs and cats love us.
Celebrate with us. Look for our ad in the current issue of, cut it out and bring it for bargains on grooming, pet food and treats.  
Oh, and don’t forget me Ernie the Wags On Willow Pug.  I love treats.

Ernie’s Father’s Day salute

A big Ernie tail wag for dads.

It is their special day this month (June 18 Mary says) and I salute them for all they do.

They step in to feed the family four paws when others are too busy.

They take us on walks after dark when stinky skunks lurk in the bushes.


They pick up after us and they sometimes even hide our “mistakes” from mom. Sometimes they “accidentally” drop popcorn on the floor when they are watching movies or sneak a little food under the dinner table.

Just so you know in case you are invited for dinner, I like bacon.

They drive us to the doctor because nobody else wants to watch us get our shots or when we are really sick in the middle of the night.

And if we get lost (usually because they moved the house when we were sniffing around the neighborhood) they stay out all night calling our name until they find us.

Hooray for dads!

Happy two-legged Father’s Day.


I’m celebrating cats this month.


Image of Lewis courtesy of Framed Write Media.
Yep, this precocious Pug is singing praises of pussy cats because June is filled with special cat celebrations—at least that is what my business partner Mary says. June is Adopt a Cat Month and June 4 is Hug Your Cat Day but if you can’t find a cat you can hug me. And June 22 is Take Your Cat to Work Day. That should be an adventure.
One of my favorite cats is Lewis who works with me at Wags on Willow.  He is a special breed, a Maine Coon—one of the biggest and furriest and sweetest domesticated cats—and helps me greet customers. We get to play sometimes. He can really wrestle.
I sometimes wish I was a cat so I could jump on Mary’s desk or her dresser or the kitchen counter where she keeps my treats. A little Pug can dream.
Did you know there are at least 48 different feline breeds? And that doesn’t even include “cool cats” or “fat cats” or “alley cats.” And what’s this thing with “cats’ pajamas?” Do cats wear pajamas when they take cat naps?

Ernie says DON’T BITE!

That is this Pug’s advice to my dog friends as we observe National Dog Bite Prevention Week.

Biting can get you and your human owner into a dog pile of trouble. Plus biting can get your owner into the legal dog house.

In Illinois all dog bites have to be reported to the dog police, the local animal control officer, within 24 hours. A biting dog also must see a veterinarian within 24 hours of the biting incident. If you haven’t had your rabies shot you’ll have too stay there for 10 days. If you did get your shots you can go home but have to stay in the house and yard for 10 days and then visit the vet again.

And while you might get out of the legal dog house your human owner might still face big legal troubles. So just don’t bite – be nice. That’s Ernie’s advice!

I love my Human Mom!

Mother’s Day is around the corner and for the record I want you to know that I love my Human Mom! Sure she sometimes smells of other dogs but that’s the business she runs – a dog grooming salon. I’m not a jealous pug. And she lets me come to work with her most days even when it is not “take your dog to work day.” What fun!

And sometimes she gives me a sample from the gourmet chew bar in the boutique part of the store. Maybe when she reads this I’ll get an extra treat. If a goodie or food accidentally falls on the floor, she lets me eat it – unless it is chocolate. Did I mention that I love my Human Mom?

And she is patient with me on walks while I take my time sniffing around. A dog can never sniff enough. And I get to tryout all of the new grooming products she offers. The Blueberry Facial is my favorite.

But most of all I love my Human Mom.

Thank you Mary for bringing me into your home and letting me be your partner at Wags on Willow.

It’s time to get TICKed off!

Dog and cat owners the North Shore is in the midst of one of the most serious disease carrying tick outbreaks in years. Every dog or cat who walks or plays outside is at risk. “They came out early and in heavy numbers,” said one of my doctors, Robert Liebman at the Becker Animal Hospital, “the result of a warmer than normal January and February.” You can rid your furry family member of ticks with a special bath in addition to a regular bath or groom at Wags on Willow now specially priced at $18 – $27 additional. And Mary, my business partner has secured a limited number of “Tick Keys” a handy device to keep around to easily remove these blood sucking critters.  Stop by the Wags on Willow to pick one up – they’re only $7.25 each! Groomers and veterinarians can also remove ticks. Ticks are not something to ignore. Its time to get ticked off!

Hairball Awareness Day is Today (April 28) even if your Cat Doesn’t Know It!

Hey all you cats out there, it is hairball awareness day today. No a hairball is not a fancy dance for cats or a game played with a furry ball. Unlike Pugs or other dogs, cats get hairballs from grooming themselves, catching bits of fur on their prickly little tongues and swallowing it. Sometimes that hair collects in a cat's tummy and they have to spit it out. Stand back. But hairballs are usually not dangerous even if you get hit with one. Cats groomed here at Wags are likely to have fewer hairballs. And I like it when cats visit. I think they are purrfect!

Splish-splash! April (and May) Showers

Splish-splash! April (and May) showers are here and this puddle-pouncing-Pug (can you say that fast 10 times?) and the professionals at Wags on Willow, the award winning salon and pet boutique, are rain ready. We specialize in DRY! I like those little rubber reusable Pawz that keep my feet dry and mud free and protect me from those nasty chemicals on lawns this time of year. When it’s not raining multi-purpose Pawz protect me from the hot pavement and they help older dogs gets traction. Wags loves senior dogs. Then there is the Dirty Dog Door Mat that soaks up all the water on unprotected paws and the Tall Tails cape that’ handy for drying furry fur. I pretend I am a caped crusader when Mary uses one on me.


Staff notes: Why we love the products in this post-

  • Pawz have minimal padding which allows dogs to still feel the ground and thus provides them with a sense of security.
  • Dirty Dog Doormats are super soft and durable when it comes to usage and washing.
  • Tall Tails Pocket Towels have convenient pockets which clients report are nice for snuggling after wet walks and at-home baths.

Interested in try one – call us at 847-272-2918 and we’ll put one aside for you.

Ernie’s Easter & Passover tips

Yippie, it’s spring! And there is nothing like a two legged spring holiday to give us four legged family members paws (Mary: I think Ernie means ‘pause’). For example, at Easter there are all those chocolate bunnies and chocolate eggs. BUT for me and for dogs and cats they are POISON. Please keep them away from your furry family members. And watch for chocolate kids might drop on the grass. Dog’s don’t have a 5 second rule. But if one of those yellow or pink marshmallow bunnies happens to drop on the floor, eating a Peeps probably won’t hurt me. Still keep the vets number near by. And if a piece of matzo gets crunched and swallowed by your dog they may experience the same things I hear adults sometimes experience – constipation. Again if in doubt call the pet doc. Also Mary wanted me to remind you the Wags DOES NOT groom pet bunnies or chickens. They don’t have pause (Mary: I think Ernie means ‘paws’)