New German Shepherd Puppy!

September 19, 2013 by  
Filed under Blog, Family & Friends, Pets

Who Can Resist A Puppy?

German sheperd puppy

We took that step in July and decided to get another dog (I thought it would be much longer before I was ready to get another puppy) after we lost our precious Sadie in April.  I didn’t get the first litter of pups I looked at, or the 2nd or 3rd.   I was able to walk away, and my  husband was shocked each time, thinking I would give in to that first little puff of fur. But I was thinking, is this my “forever” dog? When I didn’t feel a connection, I was able to walk away.

Then came Ellie.  I found her on Craig’s list. I followed all the rules that you aren’t supposed to follow when looking for a purebred dog.  First off, I don’t really care about the purebred part. I actually wanted a mixed breed. I feel like they tend to have less issues than purebred dogs. This couple was not a backyard breeder. They both had shepherds that the girls mom accidentally left together, at the wrong time. It was the female’s first litter and she had 4 pups. One female and 3 males.  I can certainly understand why a good breeder is important though. We found several issues, she was covered with fleas when we got her, she had a staph infection on her elbow and of course she was full or worms. Most puppies do have the worms, but according to what I read, she should have had several de-wormings before we took her. I asked and they gave her the first one the night before we picked her up. She was 8 1/2 weeks old when we got her.

german shepherd 8 weeks

I also didn’t notice, or know to ask, about the parents ears. I later found out that her mom’s ears are floppy ears. They do stand at attention when she’s excited, or alerted (which she was when were were there looking at her puppies).

A German Shepherd puppies ears typically stand up from about 8 weeks – 14 weeks.  They say they should be up by the time they have finished teething.  Ellie’s still aren’t up at 20 weeks. She still has several baby teeth though.  I’ve been reading about several options, and will share all that in another post.

Gizzy is our other dog. She’s 8 years old, and likes to play… sometimes, just not ALL THE TIME!  You can see how close in size there were here. Gizzy was a little bigger than Ellie, at 8 weeks.  Gizzy is about 20 pounds, Ellie is 16 pounds.

dogs

Ellie is growing fast!  One of the first things people say when they first see her is, “Oh my gosh, look at those huge paws! She’s going to be a big one.”
She loves the water, except of course when I want to give her a bath.  She has been swimming a few times at Dave’s cousin’s house, and a couple other places there is water. This would be a nice time to have a real pool she could swim in, so I didn’t have to give her a bath after every pond experience. She has so much fun, but she comes out smelling like pond scum.
puppy in the pool

Here she is when she’s three months old. Her coloring has changed a lot already. She had a lot of black on her when we first got her. Her Dad was a very light shepherd and mom had a lot of black. Of the four puppies, she had the lightest coloring, and they said she would probably get much lighter.

german shepherd puppy

At four months, you can see how much bigger she has gotten. She now weights 50 pounds, and Gizzy can actually stand up underneath her belly. She has a multitude of colors on her. She has white, gray, tan and black. From everything we’ve read and have been told, her markings are that of a black and tan shepherd.

german shepherd puppy 4 months

She still drives Gizzy nuts.  As soon as Gizzy is within reach, she’s attacking her (playing). I think Gizzy has a constant wet mark on her shoulders where Ellie goes for her. Ellie generally stays in the kitchen area, blocked by our dog gates, so that Gizzy can have some peace and quiet to relax. They go outside together often and I’m getting the hang of walking them together. Ellie also comes out into the family room in the evenings, since she’s potty trained now.

gsd 4 months

She and I have been taking obedience classes. I took her to the PetsSmart class when she was 10 weeks old and now I have her in another obedience class and beginning agility class. I  have to say that I had no idea how much training I needed! I’ve never done an official dog obedience class before. With a shepherd, and knowing how protective they can be of their family, I don’t want to take any chances with her. I want to do everything right, to make sure she is well trained and well socialized.

german shepherd puppy 4 months

How about this puppy face?

german shepherd puppy 4 months

 

Gotta love her!

 

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The Carlson Maxi Pet Gate is Saving My Sanity & Carpet!

Surviving The New Puppy with The Carlson Maxi Pet Gate.

I was thrilled when the Carlson Pet Products company agreed to let me do a review on their Carlson Maxi Pet Gate.  I received this gate at no cost, but all thoughts, opinions and images are my own.

Knowing we were getting a new puppy, I was in a bit of a panic.  Knowing all the work that a puppy is, and thinking about all the accidents on our family room carpet were really stressing me.  I wanted to figure out a way to keep the puppy in the kitchen, but we have this 96″ opening. How do you block that?

Carlson Pet Gate

I started researching and came across this Carlson Pet Products Maxi Gate on Amazon.  I was SO EXCITED that something existed that would be large enough to do the job.  (I had to get the gate and 2 extensions for the 96″ opening. When you add the numbers together, I thought one extension should have been enough, but they have to overlap each other when putting them together. I suggest that you ask on the Carlson Facebook page or Twitter handle @CarlsonTheDog to be sure you’re getting the needed extensions if you have a larger opening. I talked to someone and they walked me through what I’d need.) My excitement for this gate grew when I saw there was not only a walk through door, but also a little pet door. Gizzy (my other dog) would be able to come and go through the kitchen through this little door, while Ellie (when she gets older and bigger) stayed in the kitchen.

The first couple days that we had Ellie, the big gate hadn’t arrived, so we had to block off the kitchen area with a home made block-aid. We used a combination of a chest of drawers, 3 foot table and older pressure gate.  It worked, but wasn’t fun to climb over.

temporary dog gate

This is what it looked like on the other side.  There is my sweet Ellie.

dog gate

Once the gate came, just a couple days later (it came from the corporate office, not Amazon) I had my son put it together. He liked the measuring tape strip that came with it. He told me it would be really helpful for lining up where to put in the screws.

dog gate

Tim waited for Dave to get home to actually screw in the gate to the wall.  He didn’t want to be responsible if he messed that up. Isn’t this SO much nicer? I was excited! I loved that I could block off my kitchen from the puppy.

dog gate

Dave was surprised that the screws they had included were very small screws.  We weren’t able to put this into a stud and he wasn’t certain the screws would hold.

dog gate

As it turns out, they didn’t hold. It was just a couple days and one side came out of the wall, tearing up some dry wall with it. (This photo was prior to it coming out of the wall). The other side came out too. Dave got some anchor bolts and put it back in. He should have done that to begin with, since we weren’t putting it into studs.  But I would also suggest to Carlson that they should include them, as even into studs, I can’t see the small screws that were included, being enough. We also weren’t able to screw in the bottom because of our floor board, molding, whatever you call it. If we would have gone up above that, but then the floor support wouldn’t be on the ground and it would be too high to step over. But it still works with just the pressure against the floorboard.

One of the things I love about the gate is that Gizzy, who is about 20 pounds will be able to come and go from the kitchen, once Ellie gets bigger.  The little pet door opens and will allow Gizzy to go through, but will be small enough that Ellie won’t be able to go through.  Ellie is up to 30 pounds right now, and I just tested it this morning, to see if she could still fit through. Yes, she is thin enough still that she just angled a little bit and happily went through. Gizzy will be able to run to freedom when her new sissy constantly wants to beat her up by constantly biting her neck and legsplay” with her.

dog gate

The other wonderful feature is that there is a walk through door.  You don’t have to step over a gate all the time. This makes it so easy to come and go. That first couple of days have to either move things or step over our temporary gate was not so fun!  You do have to step over the bar at the bottom of the gate. I can certainly understand there would have to be one for support of the gate with a door. But you do have to let guests know to just be careful when stepping through. Small price to pay in my book, for having the convenience of a walk through door.

dog gate

The latch at the top just snaps down into place. At first we weren’t clicking it into place every time. You almost need 2 hands to pull back on the red mechnisim to release the latch, but it can certainly be done with one hand. But you can close the gate without the extra snapping.  But, now that Ellie is 13 weeks old, she has already learned that if she jumps up on the latch and it’s not snapped down, she can lift it up with her paw and open the gate. Dang those smart dogs, right?  So we are now snapping it down each time we go in and out. This latch isn’t not as large or strong as the other Carlson dog gate I purchased for the other opening in the kitchen. I was surprised by that, but I think because this gate had to be made longer, it wasn’t able to be made with as heavy as construction as the other gate, hence the smaller, lighter latch. (I’ll show you the other gate below)

dog gate

The other thing to note that I was surprised, that I didn’t realize until my son was putting it together, was that the gate/door has to be on one end or the other. I had planned for that to be in the middle. I wanted her crate to be up against that brown wall on the left, like it is in the picture above when I had the temporary gate up. But it has to be on one end or the other. I adjusted, we moved her crate and it’s all good. Just another thing to know when you’re planning out your space.

dog gate

 

We also had another opening in our kitchen that I needed to block.  It was wider than a normal doorway, but I didn’t need anything this long for it. I ordered and paid for myself, another gate – the Carlson 0930 Extra-Wide  Walk-Thru Gate.  It is a pressure mounted gate, so no screws! I had thought that the extensions for this gate were extra, but the 2 extensions come with the gate.

This gate seems sturdier than that maxi gate. Again, I think because it has to go in a smaller place, and I’m guessing that it would be too heavy to have this long of a gate for the maxi gate.  This gate also has that wonderful walk-thru feature and the extra pet door.

pet gate

Carlson pet gateThis latch is a much nicer latch. I really wish the maxi gate had the same one. It works the same, the red lever pulls back to release the latch. So far, Ellie hasn’t learned to open this one when it isn’t snapped into place, but I’m sure she will soon.

We’ve not had any issues with the pressure mounted gate not holding. Ellie is 30 pounds and jumps up on it, and we’re still fine. I guess we’ll find out when she’s 75 pounds and jumps up on it, if it will still hold – but it seems pretty strong, so I think we’ll be good.

You can get the Carlson Maxi Pet Gate or Carlson Extra-Wide Walk-Thru Pet Gate the on Amazon through my code, which I’d love of course! You can also find them and other places you can purchase them, along with their other products on the Carlson Pets Products Page. 

I can HIGHLY recommend the Carlson Extra-Wide Walk-Thru Gate, it’s very sturdy and strong.  I can also recommend the Carlson Maxi Gate. It’s awesome to find a gate that can expand to cover such a large opening! I love the walk through gates and the mini pet door features on both gates. (I do recommend getting your own anchor bolts to anchor the maxi gate securely in the wall.)

These gates have really made having a puppy SO much easier! If there is an accident, I don’t stress. It’s easy clean up and it’s not ruining my carpet. I can work (I work from home) and I don’t have to crate her all the time, when I can’t be constantly watching her. Of course, it’s not like she can’t get herself into trouble being left out in the kitchen, but I know the noises now of what to listen for.  She is in the kitchen, lying on the floor asleep right now as I write this post. I’m not running around the house, worrying about where she is, or if she is going to have an accident at any moment.

Thank you so much Carlson Pet Products, you really have helped to save my sanity!

 

 

 

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Dealing With The Loss Of A Pet

April 16, 2013 by  
Filed under Blog, Family & Friends, Pets

Losing A Pet Is Never Easy

I lost my beloved pet, Sadie a week ago today. She was almost 11 years old, but still had the spunk and personality of much younger dog. She was my soul mate dog. I connected strongly with Sadie when she was just a pup. She was a rescue that a vet in Westerville took in. The liter all had parvo virus and 1 of the 7 died. My neighbor Carol and her son came home telling us about this pup they had just adopted, Lexie.  I was newly single at the time and had been thinking about getting a larger dog rather than a security system.

sadie

I drove over to see the liter, without kids. I figured I’d be strong and knowing this was pretty much a spur of the moment decision, thought I’d be able to say no to the pups.  Sadie was the runt of the litter, the only fully black pup. The others looked like shepherds. We found out she has German Shepherd, black lab and husky in her.

Needless to say, I picked her. I’m so glad I did and almost wished I had picked out two pups. She was the sweetest dog I’ve ever known. Her sister Lexie also has that same sweet personality.  I had a ShihZue at the time and never really considered have three dogs.  Lyla, my ShihZue died about 3 months after we brought Sadie home. Although, I was a little sad, I had actually formed more of a bond in that short time with Sadie than I ever had in the 8 years I had Lyla.

pet

Sadie was a really smart dog.  She “got” me. She knew when I was upset, sad etc.  She would use her nose to move your hand so you’d pet her.  She loved playing with the hose or the sprinkler and would try to “catch” the water.  The snow was her other favorite. The kids would throw snowballs for her to catch. She walked out with me to get the mail everyday. She loved going to the farm, going on walks and oh my gosh,  if you said the word “biscuit”, you’d better be ready to give her one.

pet

We have another dog now, Gizmo (Gizzy) that Sadie loves. We’ve had Gizzy for about 7 years now. I kind of worried about how Gizzy would do without Sadie, but actually, I think she’s doing great. She is enjoying the extra attention she is getting from all of us. I don’t think it would be the same if Gizzy had gone first. Sadie would have really missed her.

sadie and gizzy

As good of a dog as Sadie was, she had fears.  Loud noises like fireworks and storms were really scary for her.  To the extreme that popping bubble wrap, or even popping chewing gum scared her. She hated fire, smoke and certain beeps.  Until she was about two years old I used a shock collar with an underground fence because we only had a front yard for the dogs at my old house. So the tone that it made and any other tone near that (and believe me.. a lot of things make that tone… digital watches, stop watches, tv commercials etc etc etc… ) would send her running to the basement. You couldn’t convince her she wasn’t going to get shocked from a collar she hadn’t worn in years. One of my cameras, she always hated because I didn’t think to turn off the tone when I first got it. Even though she only heard it make the tone once, that was enough. Every time I got that camera out, she ran the other way. She wasn’t happy in this picture because she was scared of the camera, but it was right before she had to have surgery to remove her anal gland last year, and I wanted a picture of us together.  In the last several months though, she was ok with me taking pictures. I was so glad because I did get several before she died.

sadie

Sadie developed a thyroid tumor about 2 1/2 years ago now. We never knew for sure if it was cancer or not. One vet said he didn’t think it was because she would have been sick and would have died before now. Another vet told us it would have been, but was just a localized cancer that was slow growing.  We never had it biopsied. There was no reason.  I was not going to put Sadie through the surgery needed to remove the tumor, even if it was cancer.  I researched it and it would not have given her that much more time to live, and the quality of that life might not have been that good.  You would not have known she was sick, other than the fact that she became mute, and in the last several months panted all the time. The tumor was pushing on her trachea & esophagus and slowly causing her to suffocate. The vet had told us she would start having panic attacks (lack of oxygen) and when she did, it would be time to bring her in.

She had the first one (and only one) of those attacks on Monday. It was terrible. She was coming up on my lap rather I wanted her to or not. It lasted from around noon until 3pm. Her panting was much worse, drooling and had condensation on top of her nose. Looked like sweat. She was scared to death. Even that evening when she was doing better, she still couldn’t sleep. She was really restless.  I knew I could not watch her go through that again.

This picture was not of her panic attack, it was just her wanting my attention. “Mom… put the computer away and pet me!”

sadie

My kids loved her as much as I did.  She was always so happy when my older boys came home to visit. John and Sadie were close too.

sadie and john

One of my big fears was that I was not going to be home when it came time to put her down.  I had several trips coming up and I knew that I wanted to be with her. Dave and I had just been in TN for the weekend. My other son Tim was home to take care of Sadie, but I was still worried about her why I was gone. We got home on Sunday. Her panic attack was Monday and I took her Tuesday morning to say goodbye.

As hard as it was, I was not going to let my girl suffer. She was excited to go in the car. I let her sit in the front passenger seat and she loved that. Usually she’s in the back of the SUV.  She was excited to see the people at the vet.  The vet reassured me it was time. She said that respiratory distress was horrible to see dogs go through. That as hard as she was working to breath that morning (which wasn’t as bad as it had been the day before) that it wrong to let her go through anymore suffering. That helped me to be sure I was making the right decision.

sadie

She said she was going to give her a sedative first because she was so alert.  I could not have been happier with the vet’s office.  They brought in a nice soft blanket and laid it on the ground in the room. They didn’t make her get up on that “scary” table.  I was able to sit down right beside her. They talked to her so sweetly and gave her a quick injection to help relax her. She didn’t mind that part at all.  The vet told me it would just take a couple minutes for her to relax. That she would calm down, and go into a “Hey Mom, I feel good” phase.  She was right. Within about 30-45 seconds she sat down. Another minute she laid down. I was talking to her and petting her the whole time. Within another minute after this picture she laid her head down. Her panting had stopped, although she was still breathing. The vet came back in with her assistant and asked if I was ready and did I want to stay with her. I figured they were going to take her into the other room at this point. Nope, they came right in and sat down on the floor with us. She had a syringe with the med in it and asked again if I was ok. I was… and wasn’t. But I told her to go ahead.  Sadie didn’t mind that she took her front leg and was putting a needle in it. I was again talking to her, petting her and of course.. crying like a baby.  It didn’t take but a minute.  The vet and assistant left and told me to take my time with her. I spent a few more minutes with her, just trying to take in as much of her as I could, knowing I would never again be able to pet her soft silky fur, see her face when I came down the stairs in the morning, have her nudge my hand to pet her or greet me when I came in the door.

They asked me when I came in if I wanted to take her with me or have her cremated. I had already decided to have her cremated. I hadn’t thought about wanting to keep her ashes though. They asked me if I wanted them, they’d have them put in a tin with her name on it. I decided I didn’t want that. I knew that we’d have to figure out where to bury her, and I didn’t want to go through the emotion of it.  They also asked if I wanted a paw-print sent to me. I said yes, I’d like that.

I just got that yesterday in the mail.  They put her paw-print on a card and had a little tuff of her fur in a bow along with a sympathy card from the vet’s office. How sweet was that?

I’ve lost my girl. The house is so strange without her. We all miss her. My husband is bound and determined we’re going to get another dog though.  Right now, I’m not ready. But I’m sure I’ll soften in a few months.

Goodbye my sweet Sadie. You were the best dog I could have ever asked for.

sadie

 

 

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Litter Spinner – Self Cleaning Litter Box Review

December 5, 2012 by  
Filed under Amy, Blog, Pets, Reviews & Giveaways

Got Cats? Hate to scoop the poop?

by Amy Trauntvein

I am a cat person.  Don’t get me wrong, I love dogs too, but for me, cats are much easier to take care of. They eat when they want to, clean themselves, entertain themselves and bury their bathroom jobs.  Except for the litter box.  I loathe cleaning the litter box!  Luckily my 2 cats are indoor/outdoor cats and normally “go” outside, but when it gets cold they usually stay indoors which means they “go” indoors. Ugh.  So when Litter Spinner asked if they could send me their self cleaning litter box for review, of course I wanted to check it out!  Retail- $99  They are also offering FREE SHIPPING on all orders over $79.

Litter Spinner

It is enclosed so more of the litter stays put.  It did take my 2 cats a while to get used to entering the “door”, but they got the hang of it.  We have a finished basement (the cats sleep down there during the night) so I put the new litter box in the bathroom where we have an empty corner.  It fit perfectly!  I pulled it out for the photos.  We did need to assemble it, but it was only in four pieces and just needed a Phillips head screwdriver to put the round “box” together.  It took all of 3 minutes, very easy!  Fill to the inside line with clean (clumping) litter.

Litter Spinner

To Self Clean-  It sits on a rounded base, so all you need to do it stand on the right side of it and push the top so it rotates counter-clockwise.  The drawer always sits at “3 o’clock”.  Rotate Litter Spinner one full rotation and continue to spin until the drawer is at “2 o’clock” then rotate back to “3 o’clock” to reset the litter.  Yep, that’s my foot. My apologies…

Litter Spinner

All the clumps will deposit themselves into the drawer.  Simply pull out the drawer and dump into the trash.  No need to scoop or touch anything!  Sweet!

Litter Spinner

I decided to be kind and not show you the “cat clumps”.  You’re welcome!

Litter Spinner

Now just put the drawer back and it’s all done and clean!  Yay!  Also, a VERY easy job for the kids to do.  Yes, I think so.

Do this once a day for best cleaning results and you won’t be disappointed.  I love my Litter Spinner.  What did I do before?  Oh yeah, plugged my nose and gagged.  A lot!  Here’s a pic of my one kitty that was being helpful today.  Yes, Tiger is fat and he still fits!  Even though he looks annoyed, he doesn’t mind being in pictures unlike my other one who hides unless she’s hungry.

Litter Spinner

 I would recommend Litter Spinner for any household with cats.  It’s keeps you, your pets and your house much cleaner for those necessary jobs that come with pet ownership.  Even though I was compensated with my Litter Spinner for this review, all opinions and photos are honest and my own.

Love to all!  ~Amy

 

 

 

 

 

I have been married for 22 years to my awesome hubby, Todd and we have 4 equally awesome kids who keep me young! Our favorite thing to do together is travel. I enjoy gardening and puttering around my yard. I am very active in my church and am currently serving the children, and I love volunteering at my kids’ schools doing whatever I can to help the teachers and staff.

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Kids Activities – Pets

August 3, 2011 by  
Filed under Activites for Kids, Blog, Pets

Raising a Pet Teaches Responsibility

bunny

I think it is great for kids to have a pet or a couple pets to take care of.  It teaches them that there is a life that is depending on them, for food, water and shelter.

But I also believe the kids have to follow through with the responsibility if they decide to get a pet.

I have to tell you this story, because it is such a hoot.  We took the triplets to a local street fair.  Dave told them they could have a couple dollars each to either ride a ride, get something to eat or play a game. (The kids had a karate demo there, so we were just sticking around for a few minutes after the demo – we didn’t go just for the fair).

They all decided they wanted to try a ring toss game. You know the one… you get the little rings and they are nearly impossible to get on the bottles?

bunny

The prizes?  Huge stuffed animals hanging from the center, kids bikes on each corner of the booth and a cage with live bunnies. There was one red bottle in the center of all of the bottles.  I figured that was the one you would have to get in order to get the big prizes.  I asked the guy…. he said that if you got a ring on any bottle you had your choice of a huge stuffed animal or a bunny. If you got the ring on the center, then you won a bike.

The kids wanted to play because they wanted a bunny.  I said, “We can’t have a bunny at our house. Sadie loves to chase bunnies and she actually killed one this summer inside our fence.  If your mom will let you have a bunny at her house, then you can get a bunny if you win.”.  The next step was calling their mom.  She agreed that if they won, they could have a bunny – but only after she asked what the game was. She told me later she never considered any of them would win.

bunny

Guess what?  Alex did!!  He got a ring on a bottle and you should have heard him whoop!!  Here is the call to his very surprised mom.  He was SO proud!!

bunny

It really is a cute bunny.

bunny

We had the bunny at our house over night.  The kids took it in the back yard in the morning to let it hop around. It was having a great time in our fence yard until Elise was coming out of the house and Sadie pushed pasted her (she had been watching this bunny in our yard and barking like crazy at the window). You would have thought we were on a sit-com… kids yelling… adults running.. grabbing dogs… kids chasing the bunny… getting dogs in the house after that had a taste of fur….finding the bunny hiding and checking it over for doggy damage … ( it was fine) .. phew!

As a side note. Alex has also realized how much work goes into cleaning cages…( “Yes Alex, bunnies do poop a lot!” lol ) feeding and nurturing.

 

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New Puppy

April 22, 2011 by  
Filed under Blog, Family & Friends, Pets

No Bunny, Just a Puppy For Easter

Happy Easter Everyone!

I will be taking the weekend off enjoying a new puppy. Here are some pictures. I picked her up last night through a puppy adoption.

Her mother is only 2 years old. Had a litter of 16 pups last year and the people who owned her brought her in to give her up the day before she gave birth to her 2nd litter of 13 pups. (Their other dog at home a shepherd was not neutered.)

She is 8 weeks old.  She is part lab and shepherd.  My other two dogs aren’t sure what to think yet, but they are being very gentle with her.

This is when she was 6 weeks old with some of her litter mates.  She has on the pink collar.

tali

Here she is now.

tali

tali

tali

tali

tali

tali

They were banning together.  They aren’t too sure what to think of her yet. They are a bit jealous.

sadie

She really seems to like this new toy. It is a Snugglepuppie. It has a heartbeat and a warmer!

tali

I didn’t use it on the way home from picking her up last night (2 hour drive) and she yipped and cried the whole way. I did use it last night and she slept from 11pm-4:30am! Then after going outside and going potty, she slept again from 5-6:30.  So I do recommend it. But, the only negative is that the disposable heater is only good for 20 hours, and it only came with 2. But they are something you can buy on your own too.  Hopefully she won’t need them too long.

taliBy the way, I found and paid for this product – it is not an “official” review. I just wanted to let you know about it.

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Donating to a Dog Shelter

Kibbles ‘n Bits Bistro Dog Food to the rescue

I had the opportunity to purchase some dog food for my dogs to try and also to donate a bag to a local dog shelter. The timing couldn’t have been any better.  E has been talking about wanting to be a vet for some time. She is in 4th grade now.  She has also talked about volunteering at a dog shelter or vets office at some point.

Evidently the Second Chance Humane Shelter came and talked to the  kids at their school.  She decided that she wanted to go and help out.  Dave got the phone number for her and she wanted him to make the call.  Dave told her no, that he thought it was best if she made the call on her own.  She made the call and discussed it with the woman, and then they of course asked to talk to Dave to verify it.

They were all set for this last Sunday.  The perfect timing came in when last week I got the chance to go to Walmart and purchase a 16 pound bag of Kibbles ‘n Bits Bistro Dog Food to donate to a shelter. I was also supposed to buy one for my dogs, any size I wanted.

So off I went to Walmart.  I had some other shopping to do also, but didn’t have any trouble finding the dog section. I had been there many times before… so I should hope not. But there are hanging signs to make it easier.

The Kibbles ‘n Bits Bistro Dog food in the small 3 pound bags was on the end cap.  It was $4.95 and I decided to get that bag for my dogs.  We had an experience with changing their dog food once a year or so ago.  They both got sick and that isn’t something I want repeated! I figured I would let them have one bowl full and see how their systems handled it. Then if that went well… they could finish off the bag.

kibbles 'n Bits

I had to find the bigger 16 pound bag also.  I went down a couple aisles. Found the dog toys, leashes, bowls etc… and the smaller bags of dry food.  But I didn’t see this brand in the small bags other than this end cap display at first.

I went down the aisle with the large bags and then I spotted them.. up near the front of the aisle (of course)

kibbles 'n bitsI knew I wanted to buy the new Bistro Meal dog food. I have to say that I was impressed with the picture on the bag.  Looked like  a really nice meal!!  lol

kibbles 'n bitsI then saw that there was a $2 off coupon right on the bag.  Coolio!!  So I grabbed one 16 pound bag and figured I’d be on my way. Then I spotted the other end cap (not sure how I missed it coming in!) with the big bags!  It was $12.  Of course then you take off the instant coupon of $2 and now I’m down to $10.  To make the pot even sweeter I printed off a $3 coupon at home.. so now I am down to $7 per bag.

kibbles 'n bits

Now I am no math wiz.. but I am smart enough to know that here I am with a 3 lb bag of food in my cart for $4.95. I could get a second bag 16 lb bag of food for $10 (I only had one of the $3 off coupons).  It was kind of a new brainer.  So I put the small bag back and got a 2nd big bag (that had a $2 coupon on it.. not all the bags did)

I did the rest of my shopping, and then checked out with a total of 3 coupons (two of the $2 instant and one $3 off).  Another fun surprise was that the big bags rang up as $11.48 instead of $12!   Wonder why they didn’t have that on the signs?  Just makes sense that the lower price would attract even more people to buy right?

Home to check out what my girls think of it. Sadie is 8 years old.. and she is checking out the picture of good food! Gizzy is my food hog, she is 6 years old.  She also was very excited.

kibbles 'n bitsAccording to everything that it says on the bag… this stuff looks really good.  There are vitamins, antioxidants and protein.  We buy our dog food primarily on cost.  I would like to say we get our food at the vets office (I used to years ago when money wasn’t so tight) but we have 5 kids at home and 8 total.  We just don’t have the money in the budget to spend on the best food for the dogs.  They are both happy, healthy, and in good shape.

I let them both try it first.. and then I used it for some tricks.  Sadie is the pickier of the two when it comes to food.. and she was ready to do about any trick after she first tasted it…. so that was a good sign.

dogsThen the big test.  I cleared out their other food from their other food.  I washed the bowl out… and then put the Kibbles ‘n Bits Bistro Dog food in.

Instant run for the food.  You would have thought these girls had not eaten in a week.  Seriously!  They had food in their bowl before I switched them out…. and they hadn’t been hungry!.

These dogs ate for like 20 minutes! I cleaned the kitchen and folded clothes and put in another load in the laundry and they were still eating. This is what the bowl looked like after their “dinner”

I think it was a success.  And a bigger success in that I can say two days later that neither dog has gotten sick from it.

Now for the rest of the adventure.  On Sunday we went over to the shelter in Johnstown where E was volunteering.

I told them what I was doing and asked if I could take some pictures. They were fine with that.  It was a house, actually Holly’s house and her sister Paula was there working.  There were also 3 girls (including E) and the one girls father helping out.

I don’t remember all the dogs names or who had what name.. so I won’t even try. lol

She said that they had about 50 dogs there presently and that the cats were in the other part of the house. We didn’t go in to see them. Paula was wonderful with all the dogs.

The place wasn’t in the best of shape… there was nothing fancy about it.  Repairs were needed, but the dogs were all clean, they all had beds up off the floor with blankets.  They had clean paper on the floor and their play yard was clean.

The cages were full walk in cages.. not small little ones that can only hold one dog.  They all had assigned cages and they knew which ones were theirs. They got to come out in groups to eat and play outside. Can you imagine the food that 50 dogs go through?

Or all the work involved with taking care of them?

This is a shelter that is supported by donations only.

They had the smaller dogs inside and the larger ones out back.

E is getting ready to go out to show us the play area.

Someone was getting their belly rubbed…. ahhhh…

I went out to the back area.  Holly was back there with the bigger dogs.  She brought a couple out to show me… they had their own little house back there with heat.  There were cages inside and ones outside so they could play.

Each dog had a story attached to it. The reason they were there. These two brothers had been indoor dogs since they were pups. Then a new baby came into the house and suddenly they were outdoors only.  A neighbor turned them in when the yellow lab got caught under a fence and torn his back open.  Holly said she’d never separate these two.

This pit bull was the funniest thing. He came running out to see me.. all excited and smiling.  She said that he had been in a home with one other pit bull.  The law evidently says you can’t have more than one. This guy had two.  They were going to put this dog down, even though he had never hurt anyone.  Holly said he was the sweetest thing ever.

The biggest problem they were having when we were there was the fact that they had no water.  They were trying to figure out if it was the pump on the well that went bad.  Holly was saying she was probably going to have to go and buy water at the store, but wasn’t looking forward to the cost involved.

I suggested they put the girls to work while they had them here and have them collect snow in these buckets.  There was a whole big yard of untouched snow they could let melt for water.  Holly was concerned about the snow and what was in it.

I have to admit that I chucked a bit on that one only because.. heck, the dogs eat their poop! Snow wouldn’t be that bad would it? But, it also shows the concern that they have for the well being of these dogs doesn’t it?

It was a good experience.  I dropped off the bag of food and got to learn about a new place. I know E is going to go back. I am thinking of the extra blankets I have that I can donate.  A 16 lb bag of food is like nothing compared to what all they need.

I got home to see my girls.. and realized how lucky they were.  Sadie had been a rescue dog. She was 11 weeks old when I got her. But her litter of 7 pups had Parvo and were going to be put down.  The vet at the Annhurst Animal clinic in Westerville wanted to save them. He treated them and only lost 1 of the 7.  Thank goodness because Sadie has been an awesome dog.

Disclosure: I was compensated for this post by Del Monteto but the pictures and thoughts and opinions are my own.  Sadie and Gizzy’s opinions are pretty obvious too.

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Dog Harness

Adjusting the Bergan Auto Harness

I got this dog seat belt so that Gizzy can be safe when we go on our trip.  I’ve never used one before….so you can join me as I put this on her for the first time.



Collective Bias sponsored my Holiday Roads adventure.

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Water Bottle Crunchers

July 8, 2010 by  
Filed under Pets, Reviews & Giveaways

Sadie & Gizzy Review This Dog Toy

The Fat Cat Water Bottle Cruncher toys are darling! You put an empty water bottle inside the end and velcro it shut.  Sadie was scared of this at first….but after just a few minutes she “claimed” this toy.  Gizzy tried and got a little play time with it…but not too much.

Durability

This was a problem. My dogs are hard on toys. I will be the first to admit it. I thought with the durable cotton fabric it would hold up to them, but alas it did not.  I had to take it from them in 3 days.  You would think I would give this a terrible review. No…my dogs LOVED this toy. I thought it was cute and a great idea.

Recommendation:

This is a toy meant for dogs that are easy on their toys. If you have a chewer…or a dog who loves to pull the guts out of stuffed toys…then this toy is not for your dog.  BUT…if you dog doesn’t destroy toys….then they will probably love it as much as my dogs. did.


Disclosure: I was given this Fat Cat Water Bottle Cruncher toy to review. The thoughts are all my own.

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Kakadu Pet Beds

May 25, 2010 by  
Filed under Pets, Reviews & Giveaways

Sadie and Gizzy Will Review These Dog Beds


So what do you think…should dogs have a nice comfy bed to sleep in?  I say it if helps to keep them off my couch and beds (they aren’t allowed on the beds, but because we have a teenager in the basement…Gizzy goes and sleeps on his bed when he isnt’ home). I received 2 Kakadu Island Pet Beds to review


These beds are really nice. They remind me of heavy duty sleeping bag material with almost a down like squishy feel to them. To be honest I have to shoo the kids out of the bed because they like lay in it to watch TV…it is that comfortable!

Features:

It has reversible cushion for a different look

You can use the inside cushion on it’s own (which we might do)

It is washable (I have found that out ….thank you very much Gizzy)

It has the side that the dogs seem to love.

It comes in 4 sizes (and 4 colors).

I got an extra large. Sadie is about 45-50 pounds and the extra large really is too big for her. I think she would have done great in the large and she probably would have been fine in the medium.

To Purchase Your Own

Go to Kakadu Pets.com and purchase one

I was given these dog beds to review. The video and pics and opinions are all mine.. and Sadie & Gizzy’s.

Update (April 5, 2012) The dogs still have the large size bed and still sleep in it. They ended up using it more after I made the video.  The smaller bed I gave to my son for his new puppy last year. The girls always slept in the large one together anyway.

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Wool Ball for dogs

May 6, 2010 by  
Filed under Blog, Pets, Reviews & Giveaways

Sadie & Gizzy Dog Review – purrfectpet Wool Ball

I decided that the only one who could really do a fair review of this wool ball dog toy were my dogs! So I will start having Sadie and Gizzy decide. We will measure how much the dogs and myself like the dog toy. Their decision will be made by how much they like and use the product. My decision will be based on durability, cost, longevity and how much my dogs like it. Enjoy! (There is music on the video..just a warning depending on where you are watching it from.)

I went to the BlogPaws Convention in Columbus Ohio in April. It was the first one and it was very different. There were dogs with T-shirts and cats in strollers. One of the vendors there was purrfectplay.com. She had a really nice looking display with blankets, dog balls and pull toys made from organic material.

To be honest I really had no real interest. I am not real big on the organic kick and really saw no need to buy organic for my pets. But I did go over to see her items. She started telling me about this wool ball. It looked neat…but really? Wool for a dog ball? I think I told her my dogs would have it torn up in a minute. But she then told me that I was mistaken. She explained how the whole thing is made out of wool…all done very tightly and in very many layers.

She had told me I could throw it in the washer and make it new again. I did. I used the cloth bag it came in and threw it in the washer. Then when it came out I kind of squeezed and rolled it a little …then put it back in the bag and threw it in the dryer for 5 minutes. It did help to revive it.

This is the “Before” washing picture

Going into the washer "Before"

This is the “After” Picture fresh from the Dryer

Yep….it looks better doesn’t it?

No lie…my dogs LOVE this ball! It has held up like no other tennis ball they have ever had. They have one of those apart in one day. It might seem expensive to pay $12.95 (jumbo size) for a dog ball….but it last. She gave me one to review (at no cost) while I was at the convention. You can see on the video how my dogs reacted to it as soon as they saw it. She made a convert out of me. Not for the organic part of it necessarily…but for the longevity and durability of it.

To Purchase Your Own:

Go to purrfectplay.com and purchase your own. You can also see all the different items they have.

 

Update: My dogs STILL have this wool ball, still play with it and still love it! Unbelievable! I would recommend this toy to anyone!

Another update 9/19/2012 – My dogs have had this ball now for almost 2 1/2 years and it is still their favorite toy and they STILL LOVE IT!!!  Best dog toy ever!!

 

I was given this wool dog ball to review in April of 2010. The  opinion, pictures and video are my own. The purrfect play have permission to use my video on their web site.

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BlogPaws 2010

Pet Bloggers Conference

Blogpaws Pink Catillac

Blogpaws Pink Catillac

Blogpaws – A conference for Pet Bloggers or Mom bloggers that love their pets.

This was the first Blogpaws conference ever and I got to go. It took place in Columbus Ohio (yeah…hometown!). I was given a ticket by Superdumb SuperVillan (Thank you!) when she wasn’t able to make it. Kim from Crafty Mama of 4 came into town and stayed with me.

This was certainly a different blog conference than I have ever been to. I am used to hearing babies cry or toddlers running, but never have I heard a dog barking while a session was going on. Yes…the little dog kept barking at the Great Dane (who was a giant baby). Oh, by the way this stroller had 2 funky (I think hairless, but honestly don’t know the real name for them…spinx maybe?) cats in it.  So funny. I hate that this picture was blurry. Because this blinged out “Cat-illac” stroller was a hoot!

There was Doggy playground (yes…like a baby daycare for dogs) that owners could use if they didn’t want to take their dogs into the sessions. I think the equiette was to take your dog out of the session if he/she barked or misbehaved. Surprisingly enough the dogs were very well behaved.

Majority of the bloggers were pet bloggers of course, I don’t think there were too many other “Mommy bloggers” – but we had a great time.

I will have some pet products that I am going to do and think that I will have Sadie and Gizzy (my dogs) do those reviews.

Sadie & Gizzy Reviews

Sadie & Gizzy Reviews

I have even thought that maybe I will do a bi-weekly post from one of the local pet shelters of a dog that needs to be adopted. I am not going to have a blog or twitter site for Sadie and Gizzy…but thought it would only make sense if their names (and probably videos) were on the product reviews.

What do you think? Like it?  Dumb?  Give me some feedback please.

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Organizing Pet Supplies

Pet Supply Storage

Pet Supply Storage

Organizing Your Pet Supplies can be tricky.  If you have pets you realize that they do not come without their “stuff”.  There are leashes, brushes, nail clippers, etc…  There are some things you need to think about when you are organizing your pets supplies.

Organizing Supplies

Decide on the Location

Each family has to decide what place will work best for their home and their needs.  Either one spot in the garage, or mudroom or laundry room. Maybe you have space in your back hallway  that will work. Using a piece of furniture like I did might work for you. It can go right by the back sliding door where the dogs come in and out.

Gather all the dog paraphernalia

The first thing you should do in organizing your supplies is to sort through them.  Decide if you (your pet) still use this item or if it is too small, or worn out or too dirty.  If it can be donated, it would be great to donate to a shelter. If not, then pitch it.   Medicines, leashes, brushes and clippers, bandanas, clothes (if your dog wears them).  The food might need to go in a separate spot or toys. It depends on space. But try to keep as many of the little things together as possible.

Decide on a solution for storage

This is the solution that I have found for my 2 dogs.

Pet Supply cabinet

Pet Supply cabinet

The top 2 drawers have the most frequently used items. Their leashes and their brushes.

pet suppliesThese two drawers have their shampoos and and medications they have along with a sweater for Gizzy (that she doesn’t wear much) and a small dog bowl that we use outside.

dog supplies cabinetThe bottom two drawers have towels (when feet are wet and muddy) and an old dog halo collar.  We keep their dog food out in the garage in a sealed plastic roller bin.  Their toys are in a basket in the family room where they can reach them and their dog biscuits are in a Longenberger basket on the counter.  But all the rest of their supplies are in this chest of drawers.

Here are some other ideas for Storage

You can use peg board and baskets in the garage. Or just some unique peg board like in the picture

Photo taken from Lowe's Creative Ideas for Organizing Your Home magazine, copyright 2003

Photo taken from Lowe's Creative Ideas for Organizing Your Home magazine, copyright 2003

You can make a pet supply closet like I found on this blog post by the Organizing Aussie Check this out because I LOVE this.

Photo taken from the Lowe's Creative ideas for Organizing your Home magazine. copyright 2003

Photo taken from the Lowe's Creative ideas for Organizing your Home magazine. copyright 2003

How fun is this? If you have the space in your mud room or where ever your food is located – take a new metal trash can and paint it cute for your dog food.

Be creative and fun – Think outside the box but be sure to keep your pets supplies together.

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FURminator Dog Brush Review

April 8, 2010 by  
Filed under Pets, Reviews & Giveaways

I Have A Dog With Lots of Fur To Review The FURminator!


I recieved this FURminator deluxe deShedding tool free of charge to do a review on. She sent me the large size since my “shedding dog” Sadie is about 55 pounds.

I had actually purchased a small FURminator (classic) a few years ago and wasn’t all that happy with it. I didn’t feel that it got as much fur out as my favorite “horse loop brush” that I currently used.

So I did have my reservations about what it could really do. If it wasn’t any better than the other one I tried….I was going to have to give it a “not as good as my other brush” reviews.

But guess what? It must have been the size (size does matter here!). This one got out a huge amount of fur just on the first pass. Sadie sheds like crazy, so I know there are tons always there. I made a pile (you will see on the video just 2 passes of the brush) and got so much out of her.
I then tested against my brush that I love. Since it was raining outside I couldn’t fully brush her with it, because it HAS to be used outside. It doesn’t gather up the fur, it just pulls it out (and makes it staticy) and it gets all over. But I also notice that it did not get out nearly as much fur on the few passes I did make with it in the house. (pics on video)
It is solid and seems very well made. It is not the least bit flimsy and doesn’t feel loose or cheap.

I have to admit that I am a convert. (No…I am not just saying this because I am reviewing it and they gave me one…I REALLY like it) I think what I like best is that when you get this big bunch of fur in the brush…you can just press down on the FURejector at the top and it just floats off.

To Purchase Your Own:

Go to the FURminator.com site and look for a store or web site you can purchase them at.

Disclosure policy - I was given a FURminator deluxe deShedding tool free of charge. These opinions are my own.
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Organizing Pet Supplies

August 12, 2009 by  
Filed under Blog, How To Organize, Pets

Organizing Your Dogs?

Organizing and dogs don’t really work! LOL You can organize their things of course…but not them.
If they are properly trained, going outside to potty is not a problem. But when they are sick…thing are different.
I am writing this because “things are different” in this house in the last few days.

Gizmo 0r Gizzy for short

Gizzy (above) has been sick. She started getting sick Saturday night and had me up 3 times through the night. She had both V and D. (I really don’t want to write them out…I think you get the point…it is breakfast time you know)
I ended up taking her into the vet hospital yesterday morning. She had blood in both her V and D yesterday am. She has been in since yesterday and getting IV fluids to hydrate her. They think she has either pancreatitis from the high fat content in the steak bone we gave her Thursday night or an obstruction. They are holding off doing x-rays and all kinds of labs and just watching her (I appreciate that $$$)

Sadie

Enter Sadie – She has been fine, just worried because her sissy isn’t here.
But I came down to find two (one on linoleum but the other in the boys bedroom carpet…ggggrrrrhhhh)places where she had had D. No not her too!! (she is my soul mate doggie)
I called the vet and they said to take her food and water away. Give her ice cubes to keep her hydrated and cook up some hamburger meat (drained) and give her little bits and that helps with the D.
Dog hair to clean up, vet bills, ruined carpet (Gizmo chewed up a red ink pen 2 years ago and we had to replace the carpet in the family room because of it)from pens and D/V, rolling in poop at the farm, bad breath….WHY DO WE LOVE THESE ANIMALS? LOL I don’t know…but we love them and they are a part of the family…so we deal with the bad along with the good.

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