Friday, May 31, 2013

Dog iPhone Cases

Looking for a new dog inspired iPhone case?  Well fret not as I have rounded up some great options for you!  All of these come from Etsy and they are all just way too cute! Do you have a favorite? I keep going back and forth between #2 and #5, but I secretly want them all!

Thanks to Life With Dogs, Two Little Cavaliers & Confessions of the Plume for hosting The Saturday Pet Blogger Hop!

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Bark and Bites - Tips for Gardening with your dogs

I don’t have a green thumb. My mother has one, so does my father, but somehow my thumb has managed to remain pink for quite some time.  My lack of experience is due to my fear of spiders (I’m such a girl that way) and the fact that almost every house we have rented has provided some type of landscaping service that maintains the property for us. So I have never really had any reason to spend a lot of time weeding or maintaining a yard. At some point in the future, my husband will retire from the Military, which means we will no longer be required to move.  When that time comes, we will find our permanent place of residence, and I will finally be able to design my house – inside and out – the way I want.  I have an idea of what I would like my dream yard to have; a sizable vegetable garden, lush green grass, paver trails for the dogs to explore on, trees that produce fruit…  all while providing a safe, comfortable environment for the dogs.
Since today is Water a Flower Day (and also because I really need to start learning about this stuff) I've collected a lists of helpful tips for gardening with your dogs. I hope these come in handy for you because they certainly will be for me!
  • Sunset Magazine has a great article explaining how to create a ‘dogscape’ by learning to think like a canine.
  • The Oregon Garden has a great video explaining which plants which are toxic to pets, and addresses the issues of creating a landscape that accommodates pets.
  • Better Homes and Gardens provide 20 simple tips for balancing the needs of pets and plants.
  • The Huffington Post has a great article on how you can grow a dog friendly garden – and a garden friendly dog.
  • HGTV shows you how to pet proof your garden.
  • Wyatt is an Airedale who lives in Oregon and runs a gardening business! He is the go to blog (Gardening With Wyatt) for tips and inspiration!
  • I just stumbled upon this blog Three Dogs In A Garden and was blown away by all of the beautiful photos she has of her landscaping.
We have teamed up with Newandhound for this Thursday's Bark & Bites Link List, so make sure to hop on over to see what great gardening links they have for you!

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Tasty Tuesday - Baked Sweet Potato Chips

We are currently on a “chip mission” as we are trying to weed out the bad chips and replace them with healthier ones.  Since sweet potatoes are starting to make more of an appearance at my house I decided to make (for the first time) baked sweet potato chips! Sweet potatoes are a great source of dietary fiber and contain lots of vitamins, plus they fall into the category of people food that is okay to give to dogs – of course within moderation.

You can find many recipes online, but here is the common general instruction:
  • Wash 2-4 sweet potatoes, and you can remove the skin or leave them on. I am using firm white sweet potatoes, instead of the soft dark orange ones, and I did leave the skin on.  I found this video helpful explaining the differences between sweet potatoes and yams and how often grocery stores will label them incorrectly.
  • Use a mandolin or a food processor with a thin blade attachment (if you have one) or cut the potatoes as thin as you can (at least 1/9" thin).
  • Arrange the slices on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and brush them with olive oil.
  • Bake at 400 degrees for about 20-25 minutes, until the edges begin to curl. (You may want to flip at 10 minutes and re-brush).
That's it! One thing I plan to do different next time is to soak the sliced potatoes in chicken broth for 30 minutes as suggested by Newfandhound.  This is supposed to prevent them from turning brown while baking.
For the batch that I shared with my husband, I seasoned the chips two different ways:
  • 2 tb. olive oil, crushed garlic clove, 1/4 chopped rosemary and sprinkle with a little coarse salt.
  • 2 tb. olive oil, 2 tb. Chipotle seasoning, 1 tb. Brown sugar, and sprinkle with coarse salt.
Sky is the limit when it comes to seasoning; just remember to leave it off for your dogs!

The chips were a big hit with everyone and I will definitely be making them again!  Remember to always check with your veterinarian before introducing new foods to your dogs.

Monday, May 27, 2013

Memorial Day

Memorial Day means different things to different people, but for most of us it’s a day to reflect and remember all the men and women who gave their lives fighting for our country.  So we would like to take this moment to thank all of our service people, past and present for everything they have and still do for us to keep us safe and protect our loved ones. You can see how Luna has enjoyed her long weekend with both of us home!

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Black and White Sunday #45

We hope you are having a lovely Memorial weekend!
  • 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.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Lucky Penny Day

Today is Lucky Penny Day and to celebrate this quirky holiday we thought we would share with you (specifically to our new friends) the story on how we found our lucky Penny. On October 3, 2010, D and I went to our local pet store to pick up a few items for our Golden Retriever – waste bags, some treats, and maybe a toy. There was an adoption drive going on that day, sponsored by a local rescue outfit. As we passed by the area where they had set up shop, we noticed the sweetest little creature walking among a group of children. This little Dachshund caught my husband’s eye, and I suspected that we’d be circling around to see her again.  A few steps down the first aisle, D confirmed my suspicion, declaring, “I’m going back to look at the dog.”  I continued on to gather the items on our list. When I rounded the corner back to the adoption area, I knew almost immediately that we’d be giving the dog a new home; the look in D’s eyes told me so.  This little girl, originally named Betty Jane by her foster mother, quickly became ‘Penny’ on our drive home; Penny just sounded like it should be her ‘forever’ name.  The agency told us that she had originally been owned by an older lady in the process of retiring and moving, who was not able to care for her dogs any longer.  I don’t know how many foster families Penny had stayed with after having been given up, but her last foster family had wonderful things to say about her. 

Now let’s fast forward to the present…  Penny definitely has her little quirks (like finding her voice now at almost three years of age) but to think of ourselves without her in our lives is unimaginable.  While I’m sure the trials we faced were mild compared to many others, our adoption story is really about pushing ourselves out of comfortable routine, patience, and wanting more than anything to be a second chance for a beautiful, blameless creature that someone else has given up on! Who do you think is more lucky - you or your dog?

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Wordless Wednesday #128

My dogs are so unique! ;)

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Tasty Tuesday - Kale Chips

Kale is one of those greens I haven’t figured out yet.  I love cooking with spinach and arugula, but kale has proven to be a little tricky for me.  I just don’t like the way it tastes, which sucks for me because Kale is a proven cancer-risk cutter, abundant source of fiber, calcium, Vitamin A, E and C, helps prevent heart disease and contains numerous antioxidants.

My husband and I have come to terms that we both are not as fit as we would like to be, so I am trying my best to introduce new healthy snacks into our eating habits.  I have seen baked kale chips on the internet for years, but have never attempted to make them – simply due to my lack of fondness for it.  I have also recently red that kale is a great super food that contains essential vitamins often missing or insufficient in dog food.
So instead of letting the kale that I purchased go to waste, I figured now was the time to try something new. You can use whole leaves or bagged kale; just make sure to de-stem them (like I forgot) before tossing them with a bit of oil.  I seasoned the first batch with a bit of salt and Thai seasoning and left the second batch plain which was intended for the dogs. I was surprised how crisp and yummy they turned out.  Even my husband was impressed by the bitter-less taste of these new green chips.  The dogs were happy with me as well for introducing them to a new treat.

  1. Use whole or kale in a bag. Make sure you remove the stems.
  2. Toll with a little olive oil and season with salt. A little goes a long way! You can be creative and try different seasonings such as Thai, Cumin, Paprika... whatever you like.  Omit any seasoning on the kale that will be given to the dogs.
  3. Bake at 300' for 20-30 minutes.  
  4. That's it!
Don't overlook this healthy green, but always check with your veterinarian before introducing new foods to your pet. Kale should be avoided in pets with certain types of bladder stones or kidney disease.

Monday, May 20, 2013

Spaz Attack Moments

Luna was lounging around on my bed the other day and I managed to capture one of her spaz attack moments.  She decided she wanted to roll around and kick her legs up, bite my blankets and bark at me.  It was all rather funny and I couldn't help but to laugh at her while I was shooting.

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Black and White Sunday #44

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.

Friday, May 17, 2013

Happy Armed Forces Day

We want to take this opportunity to salute all of the men and women in all branches of the service who protect our country and you!  They are always called upon at any given time to perform dangerous missions; they are always training physically and mentally for all types of situations, and are always willing to protect us from harm.  Thank you!

FitDog Friday - The Zoom Room

Okay I will admit that most of my 'action' photos came out extremely blurry, but that's okay because once my dogs are let loose in the Zoom Room they start running around like crazy!  We love having a Zoom Room close by because we can rent out the gym for a half & hour and play on the equipment, or attend group meet up’s and socialize with other dogs.  On this particular day we had the place to ourselves and we (the dogs not me) had a blast climbing and playing on everything. 
Luna’s fear of the tunnel is officially over and she now shoots through that thing like she is on some kind mission! Penny of course doesn't need any coaxing going up the A-Frame or jumping over hurdles.  She loves proving to us that her size is not an issue and can do the same things that Luna can do. The Zoom Room is quickly becoming a weekly visit for us and all it takes is a half an hour to get in some great quality exercise time!

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Bark and Bites - Outdoor Gear

I am ready for summer are you?  The weather has been absolutely gorgeous here in my neck of the woods, and I actually had to pull out some of my warm weather clothes the other day.  All of this beautiful sunshine makes me want to spend every minute outdoors with the dogs.  I have an itch to go hiking, swimming, camping, trail blazing (what’s that?), surfing…  So it’s only appropriate that I bring you Out Door Gear Links for this week’s Bark & Bites round up!
  1. We really like this Doggy Flotation Vest with all of the different sizes and colors they come in.
  2. Looking for a unique and stylish puppy tent constructed of heavy nylon that includes a washable fleece floor mat?  Ya, we thought so.  Check out Olive to view this super cool dog tent.
  3. If you do decide to go camping this summer then you might want to pick up a Crew Oatmel Dog Jacket here.
  4. REI is the place to go for great outdoor gear, so it’s not surprising that we really love their MAX Reflective Dog Collar and Leash.
  5. Going to do some serious cold weather mountain hiking? You might want to check out these Polar Trex Winter Boots that go all the way up!
Here are some other great links I found for you!
  • House of Harvey shows you the proper gear for bug hunting in your back yard.
  • Pretty Fluffy shows you how to make your own medical kit.
  • Jessica has a great review on Musher’s Secret, Bootless Boots for your dog.
  • Two Collies & A Mutt just posted her favorite "Must Have Items".
What is your favorite must have out door gear?  Care to share any great links?  Make sure to check out Robin from Newf & Hound to see what kind of gear she has on site!

Monday, May 13, 2013

Monterey SPCA Wag N Walk

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