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Pongo Ensures This Summer Is No Bummer

Pongo Ensures This Summer Is No Bummer

Summertime, and the livin’ is queasy – thanks to the ongoing COVID-19 crisis. But the global pandemic doesn’t have to spoil all the fun. In times of trouble, there’s pawsitively no one better to lean on for comfort and stay-at-home fun than our friendly four-legged coworker Pongo.
“If there’s an upside to this whole pandemic, the kids at Mercy Home are seeing a lot more of Pongo this summer,” said Tom Gilardi, Vice President of Youth Programs and Pongo’s facilitator. “Finding joy is now more important than ever, and Pongo continues to bring joy and unconditional love to our kids.”
Whether it’s celebrating birthdays, chasing soccer balls, or running through a sprinkler on the lawn, Pongo is lending a helping paw to prevent the summer from becoming a total wash. 
“One thing we’ve been reminded of this summer is the significance of basic things. Slowing down has really emphasized the importance of great food, a good night’s sleep, relaxation and reflection, or a good conversation around a fire pit,” said Gilardi. “And Pongo has been a real part of this simplicity.”
Hopefully, you have your own pup that’s helping you bear the brunt of the pandemic. If so, here are a few Pongo-inspired activities that you can do with your pooch to remain in good spirits. 

Teach That Old Dog New Tricks

Pongo knows over 40 commands, but even a super intelligent facility dog needs to brush up on his skills to remain fresh. Kids at Mercy Home love helping Pongo practice his commands to stay sharp. Consider enhancing your dog’s skills by teaching them to fetch your house slippers after a grueling day of working from home. 

Indoor Obstacle Course

If quarantine has you on lockdown, take advantage of all those household items lying around the house and make an obstacle course for your dog. Break down cardboard boxes for a tunnel to crawl through, or create a maze from empty bottles and cans. Whip out your phone and film your dog’s ingenuity and, who knows, they might be the next viral sensation.

Hidden Treasure

If canceled travel plans prevented you from sailing the seven seas for treasure this summer, how about creating a treasure hunt for your dog, either indoors or in the back yard. Hide your good boy or good girl’s favorite treat or toy in a secret spot and see if their snout can sniff out the bounty.


Hide-and-seek remains a true summer classic, indoors or out. Practice your dog’s ‘sit’ and ‘stay’ commands while you hide in the next room or behind a tree in the park. Once you’ve found the perfect hiding spot, call their name and let the chase begin. 

Doggie Ice Cream

After brushing up on commands, conquering obstacle courses, and finding hidden treasure, your dog deserves a sweet treat. How about indulging them with some doggie ice cream they’re sure to bark about? Toss three ripe bananas, 32 ounces of plain yogurt, and one cup of peanut butter in blender, then pour the mix into ice cube trays and freeze. Once ready, pop one out and tails will start wagging.

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