Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Wordless Wednesday #125

Tuesday Tails Blog Hop - Hoarding In Monterey

Today we are joining with Dog N Pawz where we blog about a dog or cat in our local shelter that needs some love and attention. You can visit Dog N Pawz to get the full scoop on how this new blog hop was conceived.  This new blog hop actually couldn't have been thought of at a better time as it just so happens that my local SPCA recently rescued 48 animals from a horrific hoarding situation.  You can read all about the story below, and pass this information along to folks you know living in this area.

According to the SPCA for Monterey County - On April 28 the SPCA for Monterey County rescued 17 cats, 24 dogs, and 7 young puppies from a horrific hoarding situation in Monterey. SPCA Humane Officers and skilled staff members responded to the scene at 1:00 am after receiving a call for assistance from City of Monterey Police Department. SPCA staff worked diligently until 9:00 am that morning rescuing the scared dogs and cats and brought them to the safety of the SPCA to provide much needed medical examinations, vaccinations, flea treatments, food, water, and care.
The rescued pets suffered from flea infestations, eye infections, painful dental infections, and skin infections. Many of the dogs are covered in painful mats, urine stains, and fecal matter due to the inhumane conditions in which they were being kept. Most of the rescued animals are emaciated.
The cats and dogs are now safe and are being treated for their illnesses and enjoying fresh food, clean water, and comfortable living conditions in addition to compassionate care from SPCA staff.
No information is currently available on the owner. The house where the animals were being kept was three feet deep in garbage, urine, and feces, and has been declared uninhabitable by the City of Monterey.

You can help by donating to help rescue more animals in need, or if you are a professional groomer your time and skills to groom these rescued dogs and cats would be greatly appreciated.  To volunteer your professional grooming skills, please call 831-373-2631.

Monday, April 29, 2013

Teddy the Dog Product Review

We would like to introduce you to Teddy the Dog … again.  Last year we had the pleasure of reviewing clothing from their dog themed clothing line, and this year we will be reviewing Teddy’s Treat and Cookie Jar and Teddy's Dirty Dogs Have More Fun Beach Towel.
Who is Teddy the Dog you might be asking? 
Teddy always has one paw out the door. After dropping out of obedience school, he's been carving fresh glades in Colorado with his powder hound buddies, fishing in New England with some old salty dogs, mountain biking in Moab, surfing at Huntington Beach, and hiking in Hawaii. Every once in awhile he'll bring back all the cool stuff he collects on the road so that he can share it with you. Be sure to stop by again to catch a glimpse of Teddy and see what the dog dragged in.
Teddy’s Treat and Cookie Jar is a ceramic jar that measures 6.5” in diameter and stands 7.5” tall. It is available in one color – Blue Jean, and comes adorned with Teddy’s picture and the saying “show me the biscuit”. The jar retails for $40.00 and is proudly made in the USA. It comes with a good amount of ‘heft’ to it and the lid fits on rather nicely. There is not one scratch or scuff mark on the ceramic so I can already tell that the jar should last us a long time. I really like this jar and the cute yet quirky photo of Teddy makes for a fun conversation piece.
The Dirty Dogs Have More Fun Beach Towel is 100% cotton and comes in one standard size of 34” x 36”, is machine washable and made in China.  The towel has a great image of Teddy the Dog playing in the sand and retails for $25.00. The beach towel has been a big hit so far!  I have already gotten sand all over it and
have run it through the washer and dryer.  The towel is thin, but durable and of good quality.  Also, unlike other thin towels, it doesn't leave “fuzz balls” on your body afterwards.  I hate it when towels leave fuzzies everywhere and thankfully this one does not.  Luna and Penny have taken to the towel as well.

Overall we had a fun and very positive experience with the Teddy the Dog products – just like we did last time. The customer service was super friendly and the products shipped quickly and arrived in perfect condition. I would definitely recommend their products for any animal lover, especially if they love dogs and love to make a fashion statement! Make sure to check out their website to see all of the other cool stuff they carry, and we would like to extend a 15% off your order to all of our readers by using coupon code: MYLIFEINBLOGYEARS during your checkout.

I received this product free from Teddy the Dog. I was not required to write a positive review, the opinions I have expressed are my own. I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Black and White Sunday #41

We are teaming up with You Did What With Your Weiner and Dachshund Nola to host a Black and White Sunday blog hop. Want to join the hop? Just follow the rules below.
  1. Link up your blog name and URL using the Linky Tool below.
  2. Follow your co-hosts and follow as many other blogs on the Linky as you’d like.
  3. Please only submit a few photos with minimal or no text, and make sure it’s in BLACK AND WHITE.
  4. Grab the “Black and White Sunday Blog Hop” button below and include it in your Sunday Blog post.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

We Are Not Dog Park People

I will be completely honest – we are not dog park people.  We don’t have anything against dog parks; we actually think they are great resources for exercising and socializing dogs. That being said, dog parks are not for everyone and every dog. I’d like to share our not-so-wonderful experience we had the last time we attended (back in 2009) one of the largest dog parks located in Norfolk, Virginia.  Despite the fact that there were only three dogs outside that day, they were all extremely aggressive and would NOT leave Luna alone.  Dog number #1 was a swatter, dog number #2 was an aggressive humper, and dog number #3 was a biter. Here we are with the swatter.  This boxer (friendly and all) kept chasing Luna while trying to swat at her face.  I wanted to leave Luna alone and have her play and mingle with the dog, but I was getting concerned that I would be going home with a dog that had no eyes, ears, and nose intact.

This is a picture of Luna and the humper.  After the third mount by otherwise cute yet aggressive ‘humper’, Luna finally looked up at me with those telling help-me eyes and I managed to grab humper off of her so she could catch her breath.  Humper’s owner finally came over and took him away.

We didn't bother taking pictures of the biter because we got fed up after biter’s second mouthful of Luna’s cheek, and decided to go home.  I was clearly annoyed and frustrated that Luna was constantly – and let me emphasize constantly – being swatted at, mounted, and bitten by the only dogs there. She wasn't given the chance to check the place out and run around before she had to constantly defend herself from these dogs.
After being rolled over in the dirt several times at the park, it was only appropriate that Luna should get a driveway hose-down.  She didn't seem to mind and actually enjoyed interacting with the water more than she did with the other dogs.

The more I think about it the more I realize that back then Luna was probably not ready to enter into the dog park scene.  At eleven months of age she was naturally shy and easily overwhelmed around rough playing dogs.  We stopped going (once I figured this out) as I didn't want to worsen her shyness by exposing her to the hectic environment of the park.  Even to this day (and at 4+ years of age) I prefer to take her to scheduled play dates with friends we know, or I attend small meet up events supervised at places like the Zoom Room.  These types of environments just seem to work better with Luna’s sweet personality.   We are participating in Gizmo’s Park Day co-hosted with Finn where we share our experience of visiting a park with our dogs.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Wordless Wednesday #124

Monday, April 22, 2013

Dog Communicator Detects A ‘Huge Wedge’

The last time I was with Penny at our local pet store (Luna was at home), there was a ‘dog communicator’ (a euphemism for a ‘psychic medium’) who was giving free ‘evaluations.’  I had her do her thing with Penny (a very scientific process that involved putting her hand on Penny’s back and closing her eyes for a minute) and although she said some interestingly accurate (but probably pretty obvious) things about Penny’s personality, when I told her we had another dog at home, she indicated that she felt a huge wedge between the two dogs.  I smiled and nodded thoughtfully, though I definitely thought this last part was
about as wrong as it was possible to be. I’ll let you, my readers, tell me whether you think there’s a ‘huge wedge’ between Luna and Penny.  Here is picture (specifically-selected, yes) of a commonly-occurring situation in our household to help you decide!

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Black and White Sunday #40

We are teaming up with You Did What With Your Weiner and Dachshund Nola to host a Black and White Sunday blog hop. Want to join the hop? Just follow the rules below.
  • Link up your blog name and URL using the Linky Tool below.
  • Follow your co-hosts and follow as many other blogs on the Linky as you’d like.
  • Please only submit a few photos with minimal or no text, and make sure it’s in BLACK AND WHITE.
  • Grab the “Black and White Sunday Blog Hop” button below and include it in your Sunday Blog post.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Wordless Wednesday #123

Apparently Luna has a lot to say.

Monday, April 15, 2013

Are Dog Bowls Created Equal?

I am currently in the market for a new dog bowl and I know that choosing the right one can sometimes be as challenging as choosing the perfect pair of comfortable “cute” shoes. We all know that not all dog bowls are created equal, some are designed to offer different features, and some are just flat out better than
others.  These next few weeks I will be researching the web to see what my options are regarding popularity and design and what features those types of food bowls offer.

Ceramic Dog Bowls
These bowls are great if you are looking for ways to express you (or your dogs) personal style as they are often decorated with fun designs and may be handmade by artists. Their protective glaze makes them easy to keep clean, especially if dishwasher-safe.  I have read that some glazes used to coat the ceramic during the baking process may contain lead, so if you decide to use a ceramic bowl, make certain it is intended for food use and that it is coated with a lead free glaze.  Ceramic bowls are certainly pretty but can often crack that could potentially house bacteria, so close monitoring and constant washing are a must for this type of food bowl. Do you think ceramic is a good choice for a dog food bowl?  Do you have one, and if so how has it held up for you?
Links to the above products. 
  1. River Stone Pottery
  2. Hideminy
  3. Miss Pottery
  4. Fatty Frog Pots
  5. Lauren Bausch Original

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Black and White Sunday #39

Taking Turns.
We are teaming up with You Did What With Your Weiner and Dachshund Nola to host a Black and White Sunday blog hop. Want to join the hop? Just follow the rules below.
  • Link up your blog name and URL using the Linky Tool below.
  • Follow your co-hosts and follow as many other blogs on the Linky as you’d like.
  • Please only submit a few photos with minimal or no text, and make sure it’s in BLACK AND WHITE.
  • Grab the “Black and White Sunday Blog Hop” button below and include it in your Sunday Blog post.

Friday, April 12, 2013

Cloud Star Dynamo Dog Functional Treats Review

The company Cloud Star got their start in 1999 when Jennifer Melton and Brennan Johnsons adopted dog Samantha proved to be one picky eater.  Since Samantha could not eat commercially available treats due to her allergies, they ended up baking their own, and after supplying a local fundraiser with these super delicious treats, their idea to create wholesome and healthy snacks for dogs everywhere was born. 

Today we are reviewing Dynamo Dog Functional Treats which are formulated for a dog’s specific need and infused with carefully selected vitamins and nutrients.
  • Hip & Joint comes in two flavors, Chicken and Bacon & Cheese and contains glucosamine and chondroitin to help support daily joint function.
  • Dog Tummy comes in a Pumpkin & Ginger flavor and has added probiotics to help support your dog’s digestive health.
  • Dog Skin & Coat comes in a Salmon flavor and contains salmon oil and vitamin E supplement for healthier skin and coat.
All of these treats are grain, corn, gluten, and soy free, have no artificial colors, flavors, and byproducts, and are made in the USA.  It’s also nice to see that the first ingredient in the Salmon treats is in fact Salmon, and the first ingredients in the Chicken flavor treats are chicken.  I also appreciate that they display the crude protein, fat, and fiber on the back of each package so you can see what amounts of each are being used.
Now on to the goodness.
Luna loved them...
....and I practically lost a finger giving one to Penny.  I'm taking that as I sign that she really liked them!

I really like these treats and would purchase them in the future as they are not too smelly and they are a great size for both dogs.  They are also soft enough that I could take one treat and cut it up into smaller pieces for Penny.  One bag (depending on size and location) will run from $5.99 - $14.99. Their complete line of dog treats can be found at your local and independent pet food stores in addition to these on-line locations:
  • www.amazon.com
  • www.cloudstar.com
  • www.chewy.com
  • www.dogtoys.com
  • www.drugstore.com
  • www.kvvet.com
  • www.petfooddirect.com
  • www.sitstay.com
  • www.valleyvet.com
  • www.wag.com
Thank you Cloud Star for making great treats!!!  We are now huge fans!

I received this product free from Cloud Star. I was not required to write a positive review, the opinions I have expressed are my own. I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Bark and Bites - Dog Friendly City Link Love

Today I am joining up with Robin from Newf and Hound to bring you Bark and Bites Dog Friendly City Links.  Now I am assuming that the majority of you know that I hail from Seattle, Washington, but have also lived in Norfolk, Virginia, and now in Carmel, California.  Somewhere within these past seven years I adapted the mind frame of “home is where the Military sends you” – so for the past year, Carmel, Ca has been my home.  It’s no secret that Carmel is a super dog friendly city, so today I thought I would share with you a few links that prove Carmel is definitely a dog-town destination.

Yearly Events
  • Carmel Retriever Day which is a two day celebration that includes organized activities at the beach, fun and games, a wine tour of Carmel, and lots of other great activities. This even helps to support Canine Companions for Independence which is the largest non-profit provider of assistance dogs.
  • 18th Annual Wag 'N Walk is a yearly event to help end pet homelessness in Monterey County. Hundreds of dogs and dog owners get together to walk in an effort to raise money for the local SPCA
  • The Spring Dog Festival is a "fun" raising event for dogs and their people and yes, a fundraiser too, for the preservation and creation of off-leash exercise options for dogs, education about responsible dog ownership and worthy dog related charities in our local community.
  • Get your dog ready for an exciting day at the park! This family event Woof To Woof offers a day full of dog focused fun, including parades, contests, dog vendors, and even dog demonstrations by local canine pros.
  • Chihuahua Pride Day boasts contests, silent auction, vendors, adoptable dogs, agility all to raise money to help reduce the Chihuahua overpopulation problem.
Dining With Your Dog
This link will direct you to a list of the 45+ dog friendly restaurants located in downtown Carmel - and all within walking distance of each other!
Places to Walk, Hike and Romp
  • Lets get the obvious out of the way. Carmel Beach which is locally renowned for good surf and excellent dog-walking conditions, and dare I say just located ten blocks from my house!
  • Carmel River State Beach is popular with dog owners as it’s only a mile long and makes for a very scenic walk. 
  • Mission Trail Nature Preserve you can hike five miles of trails with your dog through wildflower meadows, hillsides with towering century plants, and small stands of redwoods, pines, oaks.
Another thing to love about Carmel - you never know who you'll come across - the other day my husband was in line at the supermarket behind the gentleman who cooks for Doris Day's dogs! Who knew?  So what makes your city a fun place to be for you and your dogs?  Make sure to stop by Newf and Hound to see what great city links she has in store for you!

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Wordless Wednesday #122

Monday, April 8, 2013

How To Correct Excessive Barking

A few weeks ago I shared with you that Penny has developed a bit of a barking pattern, and I wasn't really sure how to address it.  She has become super vocal in the presence of our dog walking group, and it seems that her boisterous bark is only amplified when I have Luna by my side.  Now keep in mind, Penny is an extremely friendly, outgoing dog, and she loves to say hi to everyone (and dog) in our pack, but she reminds me of a kid who is hopped up on too much sugar and can’t settle down.

Talking with other Dachshund owners leads me to believe that these could be possible reasons contributing to Penny’s excessive barking:
  • Greeting/Play: Dogs often bark when greeting people or other animals. It’s usually a happy bark, accompanied by tail wagging and sometimes jumping.
  • Attention Seeking: Dogs often bark when they want something, such as a trip outside, to play, or to get a treat.
  • Over-stimulation: When playing, just through sheer excitement.
I do not feel Penny is being protective or barking out of fear, because her body language and her interaction with others don’t support either of those conclusions. So how do I tame this excessive barking? I have started using a verbal/sign command while also saying ‘quiet’ in a calm, firm voice - then treating her when she gets the command right. I am also trying to keep Penny focused on me or an object (like a piece of kibble hidden in my hand) and have been keeping her busy during the time spent waiting around – which is usually when the barking occurs.  I have also decided that I am going to alternate taking Luna and Penny at the group because walking them both is turning out to be a circus. When did I become that person who can’t manage both of her dogs? I know it’s unreasonable of me to expect Penny to remain quiet on our dog walks, as that is just not her personality.  She is a vivacious, happy, energetic dog that is happy to let the world know she loves life; however her excessive barking is being triggered by something and I just need to figure out what it is!
Have you ever experienced anything like this before? 

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Black and White Sunday #38

Luna's mug is so nice I had to share it twice. We are teaming up with You Did What With Your Weiner and
Dachshund Nola to host a Black and White Sunday blog hop. Want to join the hop? Just follow the rules below.
  • Link up your blog name and URL using the Linky Tool below.
  • Follow your co-hosts and follow as many other blogs on the Linky as you’d like.
  • Please only submit a few photos with minimal or no text, and make sure it’s in BLACK AND WHITE.
  • Grab the “Black and White Sunday Blog Hop” button below and include it in your Sunday Blog post.

Friday, April 5, 2013

DogIDs Product Review

Today we are reviewing two products from a really neat company called Dog IDs.  Dog IDs is a family business based in Fargo, ND, and they have been producing pet ID tags and personalized dog collars since 1999. Not only do they use computer driven engraving equipment that ensures their tags quality and life span, but they have a great team of professional artists to help create their unique dog themed artwork.  Dog IDs takes great pride what they do and always want to make sure you are satisfied with the products you purchase from them. 
I had my choice of reviewing a lot of different items from their website, and after spending way too much time finalizing my decision; I went with the Double Braid ScruffTag Personalized Dog Collar and the Mendota Braided Snap Leash.

The Double Braid ScruffTag Collars are made exclusively for dogIDs by Mendota Products and features a built-in engraved name plate that you can customize with different fonts and up to four lines of text.  The name plate sits on the back of your dogs neck for easy identification, and also comes with a D-ring which gives you the option of attaching other identification.  This particular collar has no holes so you can push the buckle prong through the woven material anywhere.  I was a little unsure of how the material would start to look after repeating this process a few times, but I am happy to say that the collar shows no sign of puncture holes and I am very pleased with the quality of the material.  This collar comes in a variety of colors, sizes, along with many different font options to choose from.

The Mendota Braided Snap Leash I can honestly say is one of my favorite leashes I have used.  The leash comes in either 3/8” or ½” widths and 4 ft. or 6 ft. lengths, has a non-corrosive solid brass bolt snap, is adorned by a pretty genuine leather accent, and comes in 18 different color options.  I have never owned a braided leash before and I was quite surprised at how soft yet strong the material was.  The handle feels good over my wrist and the leather accents gives me something else to hold onto when Penny is pulling her
hardest.  I need a sturdy leash for Penny as she is a strong little puller, and this leash definitely fits the bill.

I am very pleased with these two products and I actually now have my eye on a specific collar for Luna.   I would recommend visiting Dog IDs website if you are in the market for a new personalized collar or leash. They have so many different styles to choose from you will probably spend way too much time on their site like I did.  It will be worth it though!

I received this product free from DogIDs. I was not required to write a positive review, the opinions I have expressed are my own. I only recommend products or services I use personally
and believe will be good for my readers.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Bark and Bites - Spring Training Link Love

Spring is here, so how about starting some spring training with your dog? Exercise is as important for your dog as it is for you and it is one of the best ways to spend time with your pet. Thankfully there are a million ways you can do this; whether it’s just being active outside with your pet, learning agility or taking a new training class.  The type of exercise you choose should depend on the age and fitness of your dog and your own lifestyle, and if your dogs are like mine, they are adaptable and happy to play catch in the park or just take long walks in the neighborhood.  They key is finding activities you both enjoy, so here are a few links that might spark your interest.
  • Looking for a specific meet up group such as hiking or walking with your dog? Visit Meetup.com and you should be able to find all sorts of groups to join in your city. Meet up is where we originally found
    the Adventureweiner Club of Seattle when we were living in Seattle, WA.
  • Visit your local Zoom Room.  It’s like an indoor dog park where you can play on agility equipment and social with other breeds in a safe enviroment.  They also have a plethora of classes to take ranging
    from agility to leash training along with different levels of obedience classes.
  • Why not go for your AKC’s Canine Good Citizen (CGC) Certification? The Canine Good Citizen Program is a two-part program that stresses responsible pet ownership for owners and basic good manners for dogs.
  • Do you have a dog that has never been in the water?  This website offers you 10 Essential Tips to Teach Your Dog to Swim.
  • This website gives you great tips on how to exercise your dog indoors, and you can watch this cute video of Kiko the Dog exercising with his mom and either get inspired or jealous of their exercising routine.
  • If you are thinking of trying Doga (that’s yoga for your dog) then check out this site where you can watch free videos to help get you started.
Here are a few fun links for you.
  • Check out Dog IDs for a great selection of specialty dog leashes to help you with all sorts of training.
  • This is a fun site that has a wide range of exercise dog t-shits and clothing.
  • The Skechers Gratis shoe is my favorite walking shoe. They are cute and comfortable and I would like one in every color. 
  • The Active Line from Old Navy is my favorite place to buy Yoga Pants and I love the new Elements Hoodie from The Gap.
  • We are teaming up with Robin for the Bark and Bites series! Hop on over to NewfandHound to see what links she found for you!

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Wordless Wednesday #121

Monday, April 1, 2013

My Nephew Ben

Last week I visited my sister Lindsey and nephew Ben in Valencia, Ca.  It was a lovely visit and I certainly enjoyed the low 80’ weather they were currently having. Ben will be two this summer and his outgoing personality kept me laughing all day.  He is at that stage where he copies everything you do; you touch your ears, he does the same, you laugh out loud, he shrieks even louder.  These photos were taken one morning while I was at the table drinking my coffee and Ben was having fun mimicking everything that I was doing.  At one point I had him sticking his fingers up his nose, which I know my sister appreciated very much.
The images were taken using the B&W setting on my camera, and edited with a Creamy Chocolate B&W action which adds a hint of chocolate color to your image, and also makes everything slightly softened.
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