Notes From the Janery Studio

  • How Amber the Standard Poodle Found our Family

    August 30th marked 4 years since we adopted Amber, our Standard Poodle.  In honor of her anniversary, here’s the story of how she found us.

    When we learned that Amber needed a home, most people thought we were crazy to even consider adopting her.  I was 5 months pregnant with our first child, and we were spending every weekend (and then some) out of town, caring for my mom who was in the end stages of her battle with bone cancer. I was still working and traveling for my corporate job while attempting to keep Janery afloat despite the upheaval in our lives.

    But Ryan and I aren’t like other people, and we trusted our guts.  Ryan grew up with Standard Poodles, and when he met me and my four pets, his only request was that our next dog be a Poodle. I thought they were fancy and too serious, but his family’s poodles won me over quickly.  

    Janery Charlie Cushion How Amber Joined Our Family

    When we lost Charlie in December 2013, she left a hole in all our hearts - and Merlin was extremely lonely.  For the first time in his 12 years, Merlin showed signs of separation anxiety. We’d arrive home to find our usually angelic Merlin frantic, panting, shaking, and whining.  He even ate through a wooden baby gate twice.

    Nearby Poodle rescues wouldn’t adopt to families with kids under 5 or babies on the way.  When Ryan’s mom heard from her poodle breeder that a sweet, 1-year-old poodle puppy had been returned by the man who bought her, we were intrigued.

    We didn’t really want to deal with a young puppy – the housebreaking, the waking up at all hours, etc.  And my rescue-prone heart was already aching for this sweet girl who’d been “returned” after only a year.  

    Janery Charlie Cushion How Amber Joined Our Family

    When we took Merlin to meet Amber she immediately melted my heart.  She was fearful but sweet, and the more we learned of her story, the more I felt that we should adopt her.  Amber had been born to an amateur breeder who was unable to sell her. She was then transported to the breeder we met – in the trunk of a car.

    Then a man bought her, and called the breeder all the time, complaining about the puppy.  “I didn’t know I’d have to walk her.” “Dog food costs $30 a bag!”  “I have white carpets.”  

    I try not to judge, but I honestly can not understand this mindset.  To this day, we don’t understand why that man bought a puppy, and we wonder just how he treated her.  From the day we brought her home, she was well behaved, house trained, and eager to please - but was terrified (to the point of running in fear) when people reached for her collar.

    Janery Charlie Cushion How Amber Joined Our Family

    Despite her fearful nature, Amber fit in perfectly with our family.  She was successfully off-leash trained in three short weeks. She and Merlin hit it off, playing and wrestling and making ridiculous noises in no time at all.  Through the rest of my pregnancy, she was by my side, and we enjoyed daily 2-mile walks that kept her energy controlled and my health intact.

    Janery Charlie Cushion How Amber Joined Our Family

    When our daughter was born, Amber immediately kicked into “nanny mode.”  We were careful to always watch their interactions because you can never totally trust any dog and a baby, but Amber was interested and gentle.  She could often be found sleeping next to the crib, keeping an eye on her baby. Three years later, they’re the best of friends, and it’s clear that Amber was perfect for a family dog.

    Janery Charlie Cushion How Amber Joined Our Family

    She loves to go hiking - a “must” in my world - and is at her most well-behaved when she’s off leash on the trail with me.  I didn’t train her to do this, so I’m guessing she just likes to work.

    She has her quirks and has had some very unexpected and expensive medical issues, but four years later we have no regrets.  We couldn’t have found a better dog to join our family just as we added children to the mix.

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  • Welcome Forgotten Felines of Culpeper To Cozy For a Cause!

    “All Cats Deserve Love” and so do the people who love them.

    Janery Cozy for a Cause Forgotten Felines of Culpeper

    Welcome Forgotten Felines of Culpeper to the Cozy family!

    Janery Cozy for a Cause Forgotten Felines of Culpeper

    Forgotten Felines of Culpeper has a mission statement and a passion for the cats of Northern Virginia that will draw you in from the start:

    ALL cats deserve love.
    ALL cats deserve a good home.
    ALL cats deserve to be treated with respect and given care.

    Our cat, Aretha, is a rescue with - shall we say - personality? But we love her just the way she is, even when she sheds all over my favorite chair.

    That’s why we were captivated by Lynn and her team, because we too believe every pet deserves a cozy place to land - especially the pets with a tough exterior who are just waiting for the right family.

    What makes Forgotten Felines of Culpeper different is that they rescue, rehabilitate and socialize community cats - the toughest of the tough, because they had to be just to survive. Often these kitties are written off as too difficult to rescue, but not for Forgotten Felines.

    We think that dedication deserves a treat - don’t you?  Enter code COZYFFC in the discount box at checkout and 10% of your purchase will go directly to this worthy cause. It’s that simple!

    What is Cozy for a Cause?

    All of the Janery four-legged interns have been rescues, which means as a company, we have a soft spot for the humans who help them. We created Cozy for a Cause as a way to give back to organizations that give homeless animals a “paw up”.

    How do you help? By shopping with a Cozy Code that supports your favorite rescue organization and we give them 10% of your purchase value. You can learn more about Cozy for a Cause here.

    Want to see your favorite rescue organization supported by Cozy for a Cause? We do, too! Pop over to Instagram or Facebook and leave us their contact information or Email Us and we’ll reach out. It’s as easy as a walk in the park with a well-behaved pup. ;)

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  • Meet the Model: Kiara the Mini Goldendoodle

    When I spotted Kiara on Instagram, I just knew that she’d be a fun and fabulous Janery brand ambassador. Her colorful, abstract photos and cool Miami vibe make me all kinds of happy, and I bet you’ll love them too.

    The adorable mop-topped pup was the real star for me, though. Kiara’s beautiful, apricot curls and her sweet smile are irresistible.  

    Janery Charlie Cushion Ginkgo Kiara Mini Goldendoodle

    Knowing there had to be some great stories behind this photogenic Doodle, we asked Kiara’s mom to do a little interview with us:

    How old is Kiara?

    Kiara turns 2 on November 16th.

    What was the inspiration for Kiara’s name?

    I love the movie The Lion King. It was my favorite Disney movie growing up. In the second movie, Simba's Pride, Simba and Nala have a baby girl named Kiara. I always thought that name was so beautiful and knew I wanted to name my first female dog this.

    How did Kiara join your family?

    My husband and I thought long and hard about the responsibilities of owning a pet. I was the one that really pushed for a dog since I work from home most of the time and really wanted a companion. I'm allergic to dogs that shed so it had to be a hypoallergenic breed. My husband wanted an athletic dog. Once we met our friend's charming and friendly goldendoodle we knew this was the dog breed for us! We still researched the breed and looked for reputable breeders for months before we decided a mini goldendoodle would be a great fit.

    What are some of Kiara’s funniest habits?

    Kiara is the queen of fetch. We were visiting my parents this summer (Kiara's grandpawrents) and they bought some new tennis balls for her to play with. If Kiara has easy access to tennis balls she will want to play fetch with you. 24/7. During dinner, she'd plop a tennis ball in my dad's lap. Then my mom's lap... and on and on it went.

    She is also a champion swimmer. Her favorite thing in all the world is playing fetch at the beach, in a river, or a swimming pool!

    The one thing Kiara can't do is go through a dog door.

    Janery Charlie Cushion Ginkgo Kiara Mini Goldendoodle
    What’s Kiara’s sleeping style?  Is she a curler-upper, a stretcher-outer, or a flop-down-anywhere sort of pet?

    During the day Kiara loves curling up like a little fox on her Janery pet bed. At night she loves sleeping on our bed stretched out as far as possible giving us less room. Thanks Kiara.

    What kind of treats does Kiara go crazy for?

    Her favorite treats are definitely bully sticks. I don't let her eat a whole one at one time. She knows this now so when she thinks I'm not looking she'll run into the bedroom and bury it beneath our pillows.

    How has Kiara changed your life/your family’s life for the better?

    Kiara brings so much light and love to our little family. She has such a positive energy and loves unconditionally. She is a constant reminder that these are qualities we all need to strive for.

    Do you have other pets?

    Just Kiara!

    What has been your biggest challenge with Kiara?

    We picked up Kiara when she was an 8-week old puppy so as to be expected we dealt with sleepless nights and the potty training phase. It has been so fun to watch Kiara mature and she is a very easy dog to take care of. We just need to make sure we give her proper exercise during the day.  Kiara needs to play fetch and run around for at least a half hour each day and I am committed to giving her proper exercise.

    If you could give prospective or new pet owners one piece of advice, what would it be?

    Have patience! We expected to have a few sleepless nights and accidents during potty training, and that is to be expected with any new puppy. This phase only lasts for a few months though. Once your dog gets older and learns your routine things get much easier. I'd also strongly suggest researching breeds you want and find one that best fits your lifestyle.

    You can follow Kiara and all of her adventures on Instagram. I can’t wait to see where she ends up next!

    Kiara is a Mini Golden Doodle. She is pictured here on our Medium sized Charlie Cushion in Yellow Gingko.  All dogs - and Doodles - are different, so be sure to check out our size guide.

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  • Shed Happens: 10 Ways to Fight Pet Fur

    You've bought the fabulous pet bed to protect your furniture.  You've made sure they have the best food to keep their coat shiny and healthy.  But let's face it - shed happens.  So how do you keep your furniture pet hair free?

    I’ve had up to 5 pets at a time in my life, and loved them all dearly - but their hair? Not so much!  While I've come to understand my love of animals means that I'll never have a fur-free home, I’ve also come to know a thing or two about easy fur removal. Here are a few of my favorite ways to keep the shedding to a minimum and to keep my furniture looking (almost) showroom new.  (Now if I only I could stop myself from spilling red wine and coffee ;)

    Janery 10 Ways to Easily Fight Pet Fur

    10 Simple Fur Fighting Tips

    1. Use a Rubber Glove to Remove Fur Easily

    I discovered this tip when my sweet old man cat Doctor enjoyed curling up in my favorite relaxation spot. It's as easy as putting on the rubber glove and smoothing your hand over the furniture in one direction until the fur balls up and then tossing! This method has worked better for me than a dozen store-bought tools - even for my cat Aretha’s fuzzy black fur.

    2. Try an Upholstery Brush

    Much like my rubber glove, a good upholstery brush will remove pet hair quickly from sofas and side chairs.  You can usually find one at any home or big box store.

    3. Give Your Pets a Haircut

    The first time I shaved the fur off my shepherd mix Merlin, my veterinary friends raised an eyebrow or two.  But then they tried it with their dogs and cats, and discovered I was on to something. This reduction in hair can make a huge difference, even with dogs and cats with only medium-length hair.  As a bonus, it keeps pets cooler in the summer as well.

    4. Groom and Brush Your Pet Regularly

    A clean pet is a low-shedding pet!  Whether you do it at home or hire a groomer - it doesn't matter!  A regular bath and brushing can significantly reduce pet hair and dander.  I like to bathe our pets in the shower using a simple handheld attachment for easy bathing. I have this one but any decent handheld sprayer will do.

    5. Invest in a high-quality bagged vacuum

    Investing in a high-quality bagged, not bagless, vacuum is great for pet hair but also for trapping other dust and allergens.  Having a closed HEPA filter system will ensure that pet fur, dander and other dust and debris are closed and easily disposed of without putting them back into the air.  This is a must for people with allergies. (No, really.  Our friend with life-threatening allergies just invested in a Miele and says it was literally life-changing.)

    6. Keep Up with Pet Fur by Using a Robotic Vacuum

    Want to stay on top of the pet fur on a daily basis? Try a robotic vacuum.  It will start and stop at the same time every day and keep fur and dander to a minimum with little effort! We’re currently shopping for a new one, and eyeing this Wirecutter article for good, detailed, and unbiased reviews.

    7. Protect Your Furniture In Style

    Your cat (or dog) probably has a favorite spot on the furniture, and protecting that spot can help grab the fur before it makes itself at home.  Use a fabulous bed or faux fur throw blanket to avoid a decorating style that can best be described as “disheveled chic.” (Might we suggest our Catnip Cuddler ?)

    8. Trap Airborne Fur on Fan Blades with a Pillowcase

    When’s the last time you checked your ceiling fan?  Fur and dander magically travel through the air, collecting - shockingly fast, if you ask me - on things like your ceiling fan. To quickly clean ceiling fan blades, simply wrap them in an old pillowcase and pull the dust away. The dust and dander will be trapped in the pillowcase, which you can wash and reuse over and over for cleaning.

    9. Invest in Regular Steam Cleaning

    If you have wall-to-wall carpet, make sure you steam clean regularly. Invest in a high-quality home steam vac, but also have carpets professionally steam cleaned at least once per year.

    10. Change Your HVAC Filter Regularly

    We change ours every two months and use an allergy-trapping HEPA filter from a big box store.  Keep in mind that Spring and Fall are the two biggest shedding seasons so you’ll want to change it more often then.

    It might take a little effort, but by being proactive you can keep your furniture from becoming fur-niture.

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  • What Is Ethical Manufacturing and Why Should I Care?

    Find out why ethical manufacturing is good for business—and for you.

    Janery What Is Ethical Manufacturing and Why Should I Care?

    From the first day I opened Janery’s virtual doors, I was committed to creating sophisticated pet beds with an unapologetic commitment to quality. Some of this quality you can see and feel—the double-stitched seams, the deep-dyed patterns, the channel-sewn cushion, the impressive waterproof liner—and some of this quality is inherent in the ethical manufacturing, which includes the quality of life for the people who help pull it all together.

    I’ve written about how to be an ethical consumer, and I’ve shared some of my favorite ethical businesses with you. But what does “ethical manufacturing” really mean?

    Not all ethical manufacturing occurs in America, and not all American manufacturing is ethical.

    Picturing unethical manufacturing is unfortunately easy to do. We’ve all seen the pictures in the media of the sweatshops in foreign countries. It might surprise you, however, to learn that “American-made” isn’t a guarantee of ethical manufacturing, and popular stores, like Los-Angeles-based, fashion giant Forever21, have a long history of exploiting workers and state law. As recently as last fall, companies were found paying as little as $4/hour to workers who put in 11-hour days.

    Conversely, not all overseas factories are unethical. Companies like Cambodia-based Tonlé focus on improved quality of life and safety for their workforce. Per Tonlé’s website:

    “We're a zero waste, ethical fashion brand on a big mission, to reduce waste generated by larger factories and change the way business is done in the fashion industry. Our process starts with scrap waste sourced from mass clothing manufacturers. Using every last thread, we create handmade clothing and accessories signed by their Cambodian makers. Our family of employees is made up of individuals with spirit, drive and dreams. Together, we’ve built a supportive environment where everyone expresses themselves freely, learns new skills, and gains confidence in what they do. We believe style is more than what you wear – it’s what you choose to be a part of.”

    Everlane is another example. Their tagline, “Modern Basics, Radical Transparency” makes it easy to see where their priorities lay. I am so inspired by their transparency and their mission to improve the lives of the people who make the products they sell. They have factories from LA to Vietnam, spread across four continents. The best part? They encourage you to #KnowYourFactories, and in each product listing, you can click a link to see the actual factory where that product was produced.  

    On a global scale, ethical manufacturing focuses on the good health, safety, and fair compensation of the workforce. These best practices often include a commitment to minimizing waste, thorough product testing, and proper labeling. When you can source your favorite products ethically, you know you’re voting for companies that respect the time, energy, and talent that goes into each and every product. Wouldn’t this be great if it were the norm - instead of the exception?

    Yes, ethical manufacturing will always cost more than sweatshop labor, because it reflects the true value of what you are purchasing. It’s a small investment to ensure the best dog beds and the best cat beds on the market.

    Janery What Is Ethical Manufacturing and Why Should I Care?

    What does ethical manufacturing mean to us at Janery?

    When I bring in more hands to work on our luxury pet beds, I consider several factors before placing an order with a sewing factory:

    • Employees of all levels are treated with respect.
    • Employees are paid a fair, legal wage - and ideally, a living wage.
    • Employees work reasonable hours and are working at-will:  no bonded labor, no underage employment, the doors are unlocked, and they are free to leave at any time.
    • A safe work environment where repairs are made and safety equipment is available.
    • Ideally, all employees receive benefits and healthcare - though our country has a ways to go with this one.

    Because of these benchmarks, I’ve been able to form amazing partnerships with manufacturers across the country, from Michigan to North Carolina and Maine.

    I sleep better at night knowing we aren’t cutting corners—on style, on comfort, or on human rights, and you can rest easy knowing that your pup’s favorite waterproof dog bed has both chic, effortless style—and a higher purpose.

    Explore the Janery product line and feel the Janery difference.

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  • Together By Design: 5 Ways To Help Your Dog Feel Like They Belong

    Helping new pets feel at home in your home is a bit of an art form, and no one knows that better than we do. Inspired by my first rescue dog, Charlie, my soft spot for animals now give pets a soft place to land--with pet beds pretty enough to place in every room.

    Here are 5 ways to you can help your new dog feel welcome in their new home.

    1.  Embrace the form.

    Dog beds often get shoved out of sight in dark corners, since they are traditionally kind of frumpy - and that’s putting it nicely. The more the bed looks and feels like a beautiful accessory in the space, the more you'll show it off, and the more your dog will feel like he belongs, too.Janery 5 Ways To Help Your Dog Feel Like They Belong

    2.  Keep it fresh.

    If there’s one thing pet owners have in common, it’s a love of animals--and an aversion to a house that smells like them. Seek out beds with waterproof, odor-resistant liners and modern, washable, upholstery-weight fabrics that can withstand wear.  One way to make pets comfortable and welcome in every room is by providing a conveniently-placed bed that complements your decor, so they aren’t compelled to hang out on your furniture.Janery 5 Ways To Help Your Dog Feel Like They Belong Laura Metzler Photography Waterproof Dog Bed Cover

    3.  Find what fits their needs.

    Pets come in different sizes and shapes, and they all sleep differently. If you are wondering how to find the right size dog bed, pay attention to their position. Some small dogs like to stretch, some big dogs like to curl into a small donut, and some dogs don’t like to sleep alone. Your dog’s weight is a good starting point for choosing the right bed, but his sleep shape matters just as much.

    4.  Create consistency.

    Firm rules and structure help dogs know where they fit in and how to function happily in the family. Finding a dog bed that works--and sticking with it--gives your dog a sense of security. Cheaper, conventionally manufactured dog beds aren’t meant to last; the filling gets bunched, the seams rip, and most fabrics can’t be washed effectively. Think about how you’d feel if someone kept switching out your mattress just as you got comfortable--it’s not a great feeling.Janery 5 Ways To Help Your Dog Feel Like They Belong Charlie Cushion Hi Sugarplum

    5.  Give some space.

    While it’s important to help your pet feel at home, it’s just important to give them their own space. Give your new dog a stylish-yet-functional dog bed next to a couch or tucked in the corner, so pets are close enough where they feel like they are in on the action, but far enough away to get a rest if they need it. Lightweight washable pet mats can also help cover sofas and chairs for pets who are invited up.

    Of course, even if you find the perfect dog bed and put it in the perfect spot, it may take some time for your dog to make an instant connection to your home. Rest assured, this transition phase will pass, and it won’t be long before you--and your dog--can’t remember a time when you didn’t belong together.

    Photo Credits:

    Photo 1 / Photo 2 / Photo 3 / Photo 4

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