Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Gadgets and Gizmos Aplenty

A friend was recently lamenting the fact that her dogs were out of their minds with this rainy weather.  I couldn’t help but think back to last winter when my own pooch was chomping at the bit for a little exercise, unable to go on her regular walks due to snowy weather.  That was when I wrote this post, How to Exercise Your Dog When It’s Cold, and I have put many of the tips in that article to practice.

Monday, October 9, 2017

Fall Safety Tips



Autumn is a second spring when every leaf is a flower.
--Albert Camus

Friday, August 18, 2017

Dog Days of Summer Reading

Coming home from the beach recently, my kids faces tanned and relaxed, there was a sadness hanging thick in the car as we thought about the fact that the trip was our last hurrah of the summer.  Soon we’d be scouring the aisles of the superstore, on the hunt for packs of #2 pencils and two pocket pronged folders.  Until the moment my husband mentioned picking up our beloved Hattie at the kennel on the way into town.  Sadness immediately took a backseat to excitement and giddiness, as the boys anticipated being reunited with their furry friend, wet puppy dog kisses and all.

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

August is National Immunization Month




I’ll never forget the worried look on my brother-in-law’s face when he showed up at our house, very sick puppy in tow.  He had come over to help us celebrate our son, Jonah’s first birthday.  But he wasn’t able to stay long.  Jody, his six-week-old mutt, had contracted parvovirus and Christian was not sure he was going to make it.

Friday, July 14, 2017

Microchip for National Lost Pet Prevention Month


When friends of mine were looking for a home in another state, they left their dog in the care of a dog sitter.  When the sitter let Bear out in the backyard, the mastiff lab mix jumped the fence and ran away.  After searching the neighborhood tirelessly, the sitter had to give up and return to her home.  Bear wasn’t seen again, but my friends knew he had returned to their home after the sitter left.  His muddy pawprints on the door were a dead giveaway.  Not finding anyone home to let him in, Bear wandered away again.

There are many reasons pets can get lost, from inclement weather, to disturbances in their schedules, to loud sounds like fireworks.  Which is why, during this month of July, when there are backyard barbecues galore, trips with furry friends to far off places, and increased incidences of thunderstorms, it is a good idea to brush up on tips to keep your pet from running away, and to microchip if you haven’t already.

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

When the Thunder Rolls

The last week of June is Lightning Safety Awareness Week.  Imagine my surprise when I googled lightning safety and found tons of info on how to protect your human self in a thunderstorm, but not much on how to safeguard your animals!  Our pets can be at great risk in a thunderstorm, if they are not able to find appropriate shelter, or if they become frightened and cannot calm down.  Let’s talk strategies for keeping your pets safe should lightning strike.

One of the most important things to remember when it comes to your pets, is that they cannot tell you when they are afraid or worried, nor do they understand you telling them they are safe inside.  Their fear is irrational, therefore there is almost no way for you to know how they will react.  Being prepared is key when it comes to your pet’s safety in a storm.

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Take Your Dog to Work Day


When I first heard Ben and Jerry’s allows employees to bring their dogs to work every day, I couldn’t help but think of Duke the Dairy Delight Dog.  Darla, owner of Darla’s Dairy Delight, Home of the Famous Vanilla-Chocolate Swirl, is appalled when Duke, a mangy, smelly, homeless dog decides he has found his home in her place of business.  Darla prides herself on keeping an ice cream shop that is so clean you could eat off the floor, so you can imagine her outrage when Duke moves right on in.  It is not until an unfortunate mishap with a cleaning machine turns his coat into vanilla-chocolate swirls that Darla comes to her senses and sees Duke for what he really is:  A sweet and loving pup, looking for his place in the world.  Instead of hurting her business, Duke ends up helping, by drawing people “from miles around to see his spectacular hairdo, and eat Darla’s tasty Vanilla-Chocolate swirls.”

Monday, June 19, 2017

Boredom Isn't Such a Bad Thing

It was after my mom sent a text of a page in her Better Homes and Gardens that I felt the conviction.  I had to make a change.  And it had to be now.

I held out my hand to collect their phones and their ipods.  They looked at me like I had two heads.  "What about yours?" they asked?  Mine too.  Especially mine.

"But what if you receive an important call?"  Ahhh, the beauty of technology.  Even that one was covered.  I have handsfree capabilities.  Even with my phone in the way back of the car, I can receive and make calls through the bluetooth in my phone.  And guess what?  If there is a true emergency and I need to talk to someone about something important, it might just be better if I pull off the road to make or receive that call anyway.

And then we had this conversation.

Me (to the almost teenager in the passenger seat): I am feeling like I need to make a change.  If my phone is right here at the ready, I am much more tempted to check a text that comes through, look at Facebook while waiting at a light, or even see what podcasts have come available.  It is not safe for me to be doing that.  The other day I had to slam on brakes because I was looking at my phone and I didn't notice the car in front of me had stopped.  And think of all I am missing while busying myself on my phone.  When I am in my car, I should be looking around, noticing the changing seasons, the way our little town is adapting to meet the population growth in our area, and enjoying the scenery.  I choose right now, this moment, to become better about not looking at my phone.  And if that means putting it out of my own reach, that's what I will do.

My almost teenager: But I'm bored.  What can I do while we are driving?

Oh, the answers I could have come up with.  But my mind steered me straight back to the text message from my mom.

Me: How about looking around?  In a few short years, you'll be the one behind this steering wheel.  You'll be driving to school, making Target runs, picking up your little brother from school. (YIKES!)  Will you know the way?  If you are constantly looking down at your phone, will you know how to get to Target???  And, let me tell you how bored you will be, or worse, how broken you will be if you hurt yourself or someone else because you are looking down at your phone when you are driving your little brother home from school. 

Silence in the car.

Jonah: You're right.  I understand.

Best four words a mama can hear.  And one of the best conversations we've ever had.  I know I need to be the role model in the driver's seat.  It may change the trajectory of my life.





Tuesday, June 13, 2017

A House That Finally Feels Like Home



The bowls of popcorn shared.

Each baby coming home to meet her.

Swims and walks at the park.

Four-legged birthday parties.

Endless kisses and snuggles.  

These are the memories of our sweet Summer we hold close to our hearts.

Thursday, May 11, 2017

Be Kind To Animals Week


When my oldest son was five, he asked when we were going to throw a birthday party for our dog, Summer.  He wanted to invite her doggy friends (basically the neighborhood dogs), bake her a cake, and play some games.  So, that’s what we did!  

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

International Guide Dog Day

Dogs are not our whole life, but they make our lives whole. --Roger Caras


A dog is the only thing on earth that loves you more than he loves himself. --Josh Billings


To his dog, every man is Napoleon; hence the constant popularity of dogs. --Aldous Huxley

Thursday, April 13, 2017

National Pet Day

I have been thinking lately about how everything I know, I learned from my four-year old.  Never stop creating, be yourself, make time to play.  And it occurred to me that many of the same qualities I find endearing in my youngest child I also see in my puppy.  On April 11, we will celebrate National Pet Day.  In honor of this special day, let’s think about all the ways pets make life better.

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

April is Pet First Aid Awareness Month

Look at this face and tell me you're not prepared for your pet's emergency.  


Did you know it's as easy as installing an app on your phone? 



I was thrilled when I found out I could have the ability to know what to do in the event of a snake bite, allergic reaction, or even choking, just with the tap of an app.  Read on to find more tips on what to do if your pet has an emergency.

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

7 Spring Safety Dangers You Haven't Considered


You know the usual pests to look out for when the ground begins to thaw and leaves make their return to the trees.  Snakes, ticks, and fleas top the list of potential dangers when it comes to being proactive in keeping your pets safe.  But have you considered the risks of dog park bullying and accidental ingestion of Easter chocolate?  Let’s brush up on some other springtime threats before the seasons change.

Thursday, March 2, 2017

The Barking Blues


Our dog was a barker when she was a puppy.  She did not bark when someone came to the door or when she saw a squirrel outside, she barked seemingly out of the blue.  She would come into the room where we were watching tv or having a conversation and just bark at us.  So, we bought Soggy Doggy (a spray bottle in the shape of a dog) and squirted her with water.  Looking back it seems so inhumane, but we were at our wit’s end.  We didn’t know what to do to stop the annoying barking!  Did it work?  No!  In fact, sometimes I think it made it worse.  So, what to do when your dog barks incessantly and you just can’t get him to stop?  Well, first let’s get to the bottom of why your dog barks.


Thursday, February 23, 2017

Worn Out on What to Wear


It is a daily struggle.  I lament the fact that I had to give birth to not one, but two children who fight me on what they'll wear.  I blame my husband.  I literally kick and scream.  I use words I normally only mutter under my breath.  And then.  Then I give in.

Thursday, January 12, 2017

5 Ways to Make Exercise Happen When It's Cold Outside



Dogs were born to work for a living.  Beagles were bred for hunting, Collies for herding, and German Shepherds for protection.  So it is no surprise that dogs need exercise in order to be at their best.  However, our increasingly sedentary lifestyles mean dogs’ “jobs” are quite the opposite of their natural born instincts.   

So, how do we make sure our dogs are getting the exercise they need?  Let’s start with three things to know about exercise and your dogs…

  1. Exercise is important for all breeds.
  2. Exercise is important for all ages.
  3. Exercise is more than just letting your dog outside to play in the backyard.

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Final Installment: The Cs of the BCAAs and Outfits, Crush Cravings and Look Cute!


I've been a little quiet around here, I know.  It was an emotional end of 2016.  Between saying goodbye to our sweet Summer, to packing up to move and leaving a neighborhood of close friends, to partying like it's 1999 in our new home and ringing in the new year, life has never been busier. Trying to get myself back on track this week.

So, here are the Cs of the BCAAs (only a few months later...) See A is for Appetite Suppressant, Amino Acids and Accessories, and B is for Beating the Afternoon Slump, Booties and Boho, for a refresher. C is for crushing cravings and the significance of feeling cute!

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

The Things With Which We Shouldn't Bargain


Last week I made a decision.  A decision to buy a $200 helmet instead of a $59 one.  As painful as it was to hand over my credit card for a $200 piece of hockey equipment, I had to realize what that piece of equipment was protecting.  My little boy's head.

Why would I even consider trying to save a buck on something that will be protecting something so precious?

Thinking about all of this stopped me in my tracks the other day.  My breakfast consisted of the leftover sugary, syrup-drenched waffles my kids left behind, and a couple of cups of coffee.  It's no surprise I am exhausted and starving by 10 AM most days.

Why am I bargaining with my health?  When I ask myself why I don't eat well, it basically boils down to poor planning and the fact that healthy food is more expensive than frozen junk.  Time to switch things up.

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

"Pilling" Your Pet

Never having to give our dog anything but a monthly heartworm pill, I always thought it strange when people would mention hiding their pet’s pill in peanut butter or cheese.  When our golden retriever was diagnosed with a thyroid disorder and we began giving medication daily, I got it.  My once eager pill taker wasn’t having that daily dose.  She was over it.
So, tired of sticking my hand down my dog’s throat, I began exploring options for getting my sweet pooch to take her meds.  Here are three tried and true options (for dogs and for cats) for getting your pet to take his meds.