Tag Archives: windy city

It's all about who you know and who you meet

I’m running a little late on this – sorry! I wanted to make sure I got everything down and didn’t miss a bit!

So, we left Des Moines Friday morning so we could get to Chicago early afternoon, stop by an organization Haley had connected with, and then get ourselves over to set up for the Expo. You’d think being one of the few actual LA natives that exist I’d be fully aware of big city traffic and plan accordingly. Did I? Nope.

I swear it took us an hour to get 5 miles.

But, thanks to our friend Tina the GPS, we found “Found” and immediately forgot the dreaded traffic! Since Susan talked a bit about that, I’m going to focus on Brogan! The cutest puppy in the world! And the heroine dog appropriately named Honor who saved his little wiggly butt.

On July 4th Andrea was in the yard with Honor (aka “the Diva”), her one-eyed pittie, when Honor began obsessing about something at the back fence near the trash containers. Andrea tried to calm her but being the good dog person she is, went to check it out. A paw sticking out from between two cans. A tail. Oh no! She thought she’d found a cat that had crawled in to die. What she really found was a tiny, two week old puppy.

Fortunately for the puppy, Andrea works at Found, one of the coolest rescues around (they integrate three parts to make one whole, complete unit). Turned out Brogan, named after the Gaelic word for sturdy and strong  - “I thought he’d need a strong name for the hurdles he’d have to get over!” – had parvo. And once the parvo was cured, he had another puppy crisis that he’s now recovered from but that has left him with a few scabs on his ears and an adorably charming tickle in his throat that sounds like a chortle.

So, because I can, here are pictures of Honor, Brogan, and Brogan’s bad case of Honor worship.

All right, enough of that.

We finally left Brogan and his ladies, and headed off to find the Villa Park Expo. We were a bit nervous because we only had til 6 to set up and it was almost 5. We avoided the freeways this time, figuring we’d never make it. Surface streets got us there in about 20 minutes, so we had just over 45 to get our lovely booth put together.

Imagine one of those design shows “You have five more minutes!” That was us. Getting creative, using whatever we could find to get done what we needed to do. Susan will climb on anything and stretch across anything if it will accomplish her mission.

They kicked us out.

The next morning we – and hundreds of other vendors and nonprofits – burst through the doors with an hour of prep time. We were delighted to see our drape had stayed up. Woo hoo double stick tape! We quickly hung the design elements we’d completed in the hotel late the previous night, popped up the banner, and started moving food. Lots and lots and lots of food.

I’m delighted to say we sold our first bag of BOGO Bowl dog food before 11 a.m. What a great way to start the day, watching Susan and BOGO Boy the Dog tromp over to an organization to deliver a surprise bundle of canine deliciousness! Happily, that march continued all day long. We gave away lots of matching bags and the organizations were so happy to receive it.

We also met some amazing Chicagoans (as Susan described) and are looking forward to some events and activities we’ve been invited to later this year.

For now, here are pictures of some of the happy recipients of the “GO” bags of dog food in Chicago.

Okay, just one more of Brogan. You know you wanna see it.

 

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Our coming out party in Chicago!

As a BOGO Bowl rookie, I was excited, a little bit nervous, and all about diving right into our Chicago weekend extravaganza.  I mean, it’s about dogs – hello!!!   And I was going with a fun, easy-going super cool BOGO owner. We were headed to the Windy City Pet Expo.  I was overly pumped about all of the fun materials we had prepped for our booth - such cute, creative décor.  Not only that, but we were visiting a very special Chicago animal shelter on the way.

Despite the summer construction, unexpected (forgotten) Illinois tollways (“I think I have a nickel in the bottom of my purse oh here’s a penny wait I have a dime”), and bumper to bumper traffic, we successfully made our way to the rescue called Found Chicago.  And our GPS Navigator, Tina, was very helpful (she was not fond of going in the glove compartment, however).

We made it to Found Chicago.  Beautiful shelter – all walls painted a fresh calming blue , black and white pictures of gorgeous pups on the walls.  I describe it as “urban hipster sheek” – as much as you can describe an animal shelter like that.  HUGE rooms/areas.

I got to hold a 2 month old Pittie puppy, Brogan, on our tour (yeah, it was rough).  He was found emaciated on the 4th of July with several internal issues.  Despite a few sores on his ears, he looked well on the road to recovery.   The facility is divided into three portions – Found, Heal, and Stay.

All of the animals that come to this shelter have intense behavioral or physical issues.  We passed so many beautiful doggies, lots of gorgeous pitties, in the Found section.  The Heal section had a large therapy pool and training area for vet needs and rehab.  The Stay section was a very classy boarding area and shop.    Needless to say, we were IMPRESSED.  Oh yeah – and the lovely ladies we spoke with were even better than all of that.

Saturday morning we rose for the big day – The Windy City Expo.  After a little more set-up of our cute, fabulous, best-in-show booth (in my opinion), the thousands of people started their way through. And with doggies of all shapes and sizes in tow!  After I got my scpiel down, I was very comfortable.  And I can’t forget to mention our BOGO man in a Dalmatian costume, Gary.  Wow did he bring the cheese – BUT he also brought the people!  So he did a great job at being a crazy puppy for us.

Everyone loved our concept, signed up to have information sent, took our samples, and showed genuine interest.  They thought our pricing was on point and loved that it could be delivered right to their door with no additional shipping costs.

We sold a good amount of food!  People who said they would be back on their way out, actually did stop back on their way out.  One lady bought a bag and didn’t even own a dog – both her bag and the matching bag went to rescues at our expo.  Cool thing is, the same lady came back to us a couple of hours later with a dog that she just adopted at the expo, Nettie!  So she bought another bag for Nettie and we got to bring another matching bag to another rescue!  That was the best part – BOGO dog and I delivering FREE food to them.  Needless to say, they were all very grateful.

Such an exciting first-time experience for me with BOGO Bowl.  I knew the concept was brilliant from the beginning – but to have it reaffirmed by hundreds of people was pretty darn cool.  It was all worth the long day and sore tootzies.  Can’t wait to do it again!  Yay BOGO bowl!

Coming in the next day or so - pictures of BROGAN! the adorable pup, and some of the awesome organizations and people we met in Chicago.

BOGO Susan

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