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Tuesday, December 27, 2016

We celebrated both Christmas and a special birthday!

On Christmas  Day our pretty Holly the collie turned 11 years old.  So she spent the day being spoiled, just as every senior deserves!  Hope everyone had a Merry weekend...



With lots of time relaxing with loved ones...


And getting spoiled by Santa Paws!

Saturday, December 24, 2016

Santa came early! (thanks Chewy.com)



The kitties have been very good this year, and thanks to Chewy.com, we had a new item for them to review.  Chewy.com sent us the Petstages Tower of Tracks cat toy, and what better time to review a toy then at Christmastime!



From the moment we pulled the Petstages Tower of Tracks Cat Toy out of the Chewy.com box, we couldn't keep them away from it!  They were curious kitties, and even though curiosity is in their nature, they were even more inquisitive than usual.



They had a lot of fun with this toy, and are currently playing with it as I am writing this review.  Ghost,who is under 2 years of age, seems to be enjoying the toy the most.  But even Pumpkin, who recently turned 5 years old, is playing with the Tower of Tracks.  We do not have any kittens, but I imagine they would have a great time playing with this toy too.



One of things I really like about this toy, is that the balls are enclosed within the tracks.  Which means they won't end up all over the house, where the balls will be either stepped on by us or chewed on by the puppies!  



The kitties and I both agree, this toy is great for cats of all ages.  It will entertain your cat, and I loved watching them play with it.  You can buy your Petstages Tower of Tracks at Chewy.com.  We want to thank Chewy.com for sending this toy and all the other items we reviewed this past year.  We are grateful to be part of your Blogger product review program, and can't wait to see what new items will be up for review in 2017.  We also wanted to offer our congratulations to Ms. Sydney on her promotion, we will miss you, and we look forward to getting to know Ms. Natalie.

 Chewy.com sent us this toy in exchange for our honest product review, we were not reimbursed for this review.

Friday, December 23, 2016

Have yourself a Merry little Christmas...

We know the next two days will be busy for many of you.  So the collies, kitties and I wanted to wish all of you a very Merry Christmas!



And if you haven't entered yet, you still have a little time!  Luv & Emma's giveaway


Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Wordless Wednesday, Almost Christmas!


Scarlett wants to wish everyone a Merry Little Christmas!  And she also wants to remind you there are a few days left to enter our first give away, you can find the details here!

Ryder spreads the love.

A couple winters ago, my mother fell in the snow and broke both of her arms, necessitating a six week stay in a rehab/nursing facility.  To cheer her up, I brought our collie Ryder to visit and work his magic.  He was such a hit, we brought him back a few times, and before long the other patients and residents were calling him into their rooms to visit.  The staff also fell under his charms and when I would show up to visit my mother without him, they would ask me to go get him!  All of which started me thinking about getting Ryder certified as a Therapy dog.  And this past summer, while we were at Sunnybank, I finally had him take the test, which he passed.



I had to wait for all his paperwork to go through, but finally in September, he was ready to start doing visits.  I contacted a few local nursing homes, and they all agreed to let him come visit.  But one Nursing home in particular was very enthusiastic, and even asked if they could put him on their weekly schedule!  They do a lot of activities for their residents, and were very happy to have a therapy dog stopping by the Nursing home.  It has been such a wonderful experience, and we can see how positively the residents have responded to Ryder’s visits.  Many of them light up when they see him coming down the hall, and one resident even had her family buy her a bag of dog cookies, so she has them to give to him when he visits.  And some of the staff look forward to his visits too, one particular lady keeps treats in her desk for him as well.



I recently planned a movie day, where I had Ryder and two other therapy dogs visit with the residents and watch an old Lassie movie with them.  It was a big success, judging by the smiles on their faces.  The staff even took pictures of Ryder and the other dogs with the residents, and printed them so the residents could hang them in their rooms.



We recently learned that the AKC, in order to encourage pure bred dog owners to pursue pet assisted therapy work, have made Therapy Dog titles!  Ryder is one visit away from earning his THDN.

Therapy Dog Titles
·         AKC Therapy Dog Novice (THDN) Must have completed 10 visits.
·         AKC Therapy Dog (THD) Must have completed 50 visits.
·         AKC Therapy Dog Advanced (THDA) Must have completed 100 visits.
·         AKC Therapy Dog Excellent (THDX) Must have completed 200 visits.
·         AKC Therapy Dog Distinguished (THDD)

Doing pet assisted therapy dog work has been a very rewarding experience, and it has so many benefits for the residents.  It can improve a patient’s social interaction and can improve their emotional health, as many are still sad after giving up their pets when they entered the facility.  Therapy dogs can also visit hospitals, hospice facilities, schools, libraries and sites of disasters.  To learn more about Therapy dog programs click on any of the following links:

AKCTherapy Dogs
Bright and Beautiful Therapy Dogs
TDI - Therapy Dogs Internatiional


Monday, December 19, 2016

Something to bark about!

This month our friend Ms. Sydney, over at Chewy.com, sent us a package of Stella & Chewy's Super Blends Cage Free Beef Recipe Meal Mixers.  We were excited to try this freeze dried food, as we love adding things to the collies' dinners to make sure they are getting good nutrition and to make their dinners a little more tasty.


The collies were convinced that Christmas came early, as they loved the Stella & Chewy's as a dog food topper!  And it's easy to see why:

  • Adds a boost of real, freeze-dried, raw-food nutrition and taste to your dog’s kibble, with every scoop
  • Each batch starts with 95% raw beef, bone and organs—with no added hormones or antibiotics—plus wholesome, 100% organic certified fruits and vegetables
  • Made without grains, gluten ingredients, fillers, or artificial preservatives or colorings
  • Every batch is crafted with care in their own USA kitchen, using only the finest, responsibly sourced ingredients, with no ingredients from China
  • Simply scoop and mix with your pet’s kibble to serve

Ingredients:

Beef, Beef Liver, Beef Kidney, Beef Heart, Beef Tripe, Beef Bone, Organic Bananas, Organic Wild Blueberries, Organic Strawberries, Pumpkin Seed, Potassium Chloride, Organic Cranberries, Organic Spinach, Organic Broccoli, Organic Beets, Sodium Phosphate Monobasic, Organic Carrots, Organic Squash, Organic Apples, Choline Chloride, Dried Pediococcus Acidilactici Fermentation Product, Dried Lactobacillus Acidophilus Fermentation Product, Dried Bifidobacterium Longum Fermentation Product, Tocopherols (Preservative), Calcium Carbonate, Zinc Proteinate, Zinc Sulfate, Iron Sulfate, Iron Proteinate, Vitamin E Supplement, Niacin, Copper Sulfate, Copper Proteinate, Manganese Sulfate, Sodium Selenite, Manganese Proteinate, Thiamin Mononitrate, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Vitamin D3 Supplement, Folic Acid, Calcium Iodate, Vitamin B12 Supplement
  


It sounds great right?  We thought so too, and we love that it is made with cage free, grass-fed beef!  The fruits and veggies are organic, and the beef is also antibiotic and hormone free, which is something we love to see in a quality dog food.


Each package of Stella & Chewy's Superblends Meal Mixers comes with a nice little measuring scoop, for added convenience.  And the Superblends isn't only a food topper, it can also be fed as a complete dinner when water is added.


And look, you can actually see the little bits of freeze dried bananas, blueberries and strawberries right in the food!  It has all the nutritional benefits of a raw diet, without the mess.  Now that is something to bark about!



And the collies all agree, 100%, that this food topper is the tops!  They couldn't get enough, and they have been begging for more ever since they got their first taste of Stella & Chewys Superblends.  They have been trying to convince me that it would make the perfect Christmas gift.



Please don't tell them, but I agree, and they will be definitely be getting some Stella & Chewy's for Christmas.  I certainly wouldn't want to be accused of being a Grinch!  (Notice the collies are ready with their Whoville Christmas tree?  )

"Fahoo fores dahoo dores,Welcome Christmas, Christmas Day..."

You can order your Stella & Chewy's Superblends Meal Mixers at Chewy.com.  And if you prefer a different protein source, they offer a Duck,Turkey and Goose version, or a chicken version.


We were sent the bag of Stella & Chewy's for free in exchange for our honest opinion.  And the collies and I are in agreement, this is a great product and we will definitely be adding it to our collie's diet.  So if you don't want to be accused of being a Grinch, you should head over to Chewy.com right away!



Saturday, December 17, 2016

The collies are doing their first give-away thanks to Luv & Emma !



We love to do reviews, it helps us to discover new dog and cat products and it enables us to share the info with all of you.  So we were very excited when we were asked to review Luv & Emma's Dry Pets Plus Super Absorbent Microfiber Pet Towel.  It is a super absorbent microfiber towel that fits over any door handle, and it can be used to dry off your pets' paws when they come inside after a snowy or rainy day!



With our gang of collies, you can imagine all the wet pawprints that covered our floors on rainy and snowy days.  No one gets as snowy as a collie!  So this towel has come in very handy, especially on days like today, when the collies have been outside playing and come inside with snow coating their paws and bodies!



Since it conveniently fits right over the handle of your door, you don't have to run around the house looking for a towel, Luv & Emma's patented microfiber towel is always right where you need it!



The Luv & Emma's microfiber towel absorbs so much water it can be used on multiple pets.  When you are done wiping those wet paws you just hang it back up on your door handle, and it doesn't drip after you use it, so there will be no puddles left on your floor.



The towel dries very quickly, but it can be tossed into the washing machine and dryer when it needs to be cleaned.  Just be sure you do not use dryer sheets, as the towel is made with microfiber.  And we have discovered another use for the Luv & Emma's Dry Pets Towel, it's very useful for dog shows, when you have to quickly clean your dogs' paws before they go in the show ring!  So we will be taking our Luv & Emma's microfiber towel with us to our next dog show.



And have we mentioned yet how cute these towels are with their paw print design?  We just love them, and we are sure you will too.  And we have exciting news, Luv & Emma have agreed to give one of our readers their very own microfiber towel, so click on the Rafflecopter below to enter our first give-away! (ends Christmas Eve)






a Rafflecopter giveaway


Wednesday, December 14, 2016

A Not so Wordless Wednesday


Each morning when I wake from slumber, I'm greeted by chocolate brown eyes and softly wagging tails, and I know love.



Sharing my life with dogs means always having a friend by my side.  They offer companionship and affection without judgement or prejudice.



Storms may batter against the door, but when sadness shadows my heart, I have my dogs to brighten my day.



Dogs are always ready to listen, and though they may not understand my words, they are ever present with a sympathetic ear.



Part jester, part guardian, part confidant, part fuzzy soulmate...I cherish every day I have them in my life.



Though there may be nose prints on my windows, holes dug in the yard, fur clinging to my couch cushions and dog toys covering the floor...I wouldn't have it any other way. 

Monday, December 12, 2016

Gifts for dog lovers

I'm a huge fan of Sci-Fi movies and TV shows.  I enjoy reading scary horror stories written by Stephen King and Dean Koontz.  And I can secretly watch those sweet, sentimental Christmas movies every night from Thanksgiving until Christmas Day with all the enthusiasm of a true fanatic.  But my favorite subject for books and movies has always been dogs, which if you are reading this, is probably yours as well.  So with December 25th fast approaching, I thought it would be a great time to do another book and movie review for dog lovers.

This time of year we are reminded to treat each other with love and kindness.  Dogs don't need the Christmas season to remember to show us how they feel.  No matter our failings, our dogs love us anyway,  Which is why humans have been writing stories and books that feature our best friends for centuries.  If you are looking for a gift for a dog lover, these books or movies might be the perfect gift.



Watchers by Dean Koontz

This is one of my favorite books, I must have read it a dozen times.  It is considered a horror novel, but one of the main characters is a beautiful golden retriever named Einstein.  The dog escapes a lab where he was being experimented on by scientists, and runs into Travis, a man considering ending his life.  Not only does Einstein save Travis, he changes his life and the lives of others.


A Dog's Life, The Autobiography of a Stray by Ann Martin

This is another favorite of mine that I have read countless times.  While it is classified as young adult fiction, it has appeal for people of any age.  This book is about a dog named Squirrel, a stray, who faces heartbreak and many hardships during her years as an unwanted, homeless dog.  This book is written from Squirrel's perspective.  It has the power to move the reader to tears, but it is equal parts heart wrenching and heartwarming.


The Christmas Collie by Ted Paul

This children's book is simply beautiful.  The artwork is charming and the story is written in poetic verse.  Any child who enjoys dog stories will love this book, and adults will also be enchanted as well.  As a collie lover, the story always brings a tear (or two) to my eyes, and it remains a favorite each Christmas season.  If you are looking for a sweet children's book, this one will be sure to delight both you and your child.  But you don't have to take my word for it, you can view the illustrations and listen to the story right here:



And last, I wanted to include a favorite movie.  It is one of the Lassie movies, but it isn't as well known as others.  "Lassie, Best Friends are Forever," was released in 1994.  In this movie, Lassie the collie, finds a family who needs her, and intuitively helps them adjust to a new life in the country.  Lassie bonds with the son, helps him make new friends and will have you hugging your own dog close.  It is a perfect movie to watch while curled up on the couch on a cold, Winter's day.  So if you don't have this movie yet, you may want to add it to your video collection or buy it as a gift for a dog lover this holiday season.


Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Wordless Wednesday- Love is...


A new bed for an old man.

(My mother's collie, Chase, is 11 years old and getting a little stiff.  So when my daughter saw these giant, orthopedic dog beds on sale at Petsmart she had to get him one.  With the special sale, and our 15% off coupon, it was a great deal.  Chase loves his new bed, he spends all day relaxing on it and sleeps on it at night. )

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Kibble chat with the collies - What makes a good dog food good?

Have you ever spent time researching dog or cat food, trying to make the best choice possible for your best friend?  There are so many companies, and so many varieties that the process can be very confusing for the average pet owner.  Trying to determine what you want, and more importantly what you don’t want, in your pet food is a Herculean task of epic proportions.  There are websites that rank the pet foods available, and many do the research for you.  But even those are influenced by the people writing and maintaining the websites, so I wouldn't recommend relying completely on their opinions.  I would never tell anyone what they should feed their dog or cat, as there are just too many factors to consider.  Allergies, age of the animal, location, financial cost, and even the activity levels of the pets all need to be considered.  I know it all has my head spinning, so I’m sure many of you feel the same way. 
In my research, these are things that I am looking to see in my pet food, as well as the things I want to avoid:
  
  • We prefer a kibble with No fish or potatoes.  No fish, because some fish is preserved with ethoxyquin.   No potatoes because a couple of the collies have allergies to potatoes/sweet potatoes.
  • The food should be Free from artificial preservatives, flavors and colors.
  • It should be Grain-free.
  • The food should contain No ingredients from China or Thailand, because there is just too much risk.
  • No sodium selenite, as this is linked to toxicity in dogs and cats.  It is safer to use Selenium yeast.
  • No Copper sulfate
  • No Carrageenan, as this is linked to gastrointestinal disease and gastric cancer.
  • Each batch of food should be tested for bacteria (Salmonella, E. Coli and Listeria have been found in various dog foods and treats.)
  • In producing the food, we want a food that is not irradiated.  While irradiation may kill dangerous bacteria, chemical alterations to the food can occur and  the process destroys valuable nutrients. 
  • The meat should be sourced from humanely raised animals.
  • We do not want to see animal fat, animal digest, meat by-products, bone meal or meat meal, as any of these can be sourced from dead, diseased, non-slaughtered or even euthanized animals.
We have not yet succeeded in finding a dog food that meets all of our requirements, so we concentrate on finding the food that comes closest.    I have also begun cooking for my dogs, and replacing about a ¼ of their kibble with real homemade food a few nights a week.  This accomplishes two things, one it gives my dogs a variety of different foods so they are not stuck eating the same food day after day.  (Can you imagine eating a bowl of cereal three times a day for the rest of your life?  Does that sound appealing?) And two, it enables me to make sure they are getting good nutrition, without relying solely on a kibble produced by a Pet Food company/corporation.  Plus, the collies love it, they line up, drooling in anticipation of whatever meat, fruit and veggies I have added to their food that night.


So we are curious, have you found a food that meets all of your requirements?  Or are you still searching for that perfect food?  Are there things that you are looking for in a food, or things you are looking to avoid, that we haven't included on our list?

Goodbye sweet friend


We haven't know you for a long time, but your funny posts, and your kind comments on our blog will be missed.  We were so saddened by your loss, we just couldn't believe it.

Graphic by Ann of Zoolatry

For those who haven't heard, Blogville has lost an incredibly sweet and handsome boy.  Easy has crossed over to the Rainbow Bridge, and we will all miss him.  There have been so many losses in recent months here on Blogville, and each loss touches us all.  Good bye to our dear friends Easy, Teach, Ciara, Rory and Natasha, we miss each of you!  Hopefully you are all playing together at the Rainbow Bridge.

Monday, November 28, 2016

Cats and kittens love getting presents!


The collie cats here, and guess what?  We were sent another thing to review this month!  We are really feeling the love from Chewy.com this month!  Now we know, this is mainly the collies' blog, but every so often we get to stage a coup log on and voice our opinions.  And if there is one thing felines are known for, it's our strong opinions.  (Well, that and our intelligence, refined taste and beauty)  So what did our cat loving peeps at Chewy.com send us?  They sent us some Temptations Mixups Surfers Delight and a Snacky Mouse!



The Tempations Mixups Surfers Delight contains three flavors, salmon, shrimp and tuna!  With three yummy flavors we couldn't stop purring!  Have you ever met a cat that didn't love fish?  We are definite connoisseurs of all things fish!


And check out the Key Benefits:
  • No artificial flavors for an amazing taste your cat will love
  • Crunchy outer shell helps to control tartar and support dental health
  • Under two calories per a treat these little goodies make the perfect snack or reward that can be given daily
  • 100% nutritionally complete and balanced for adult cat maintenance
  • Treats come in a convenient lock and seal pouch or tub for maximum freshness
That sure sounds great to us, and to our Mom!  And there are other varieties, take a look HERE!



And don't forget the Temptations Snacky Mouse, it turns snacktime into playtime!  It's an interactive toy, that gives us our Temptations treats as we play! Can you say F-U-N?


Did you know Christmas and Chanukah are right around the corner?  We think these would be awesome gifts for your kitties this holiday season!  So what are you waiting for?  Today is Cyber Monday, so log onto Chewy.com and show your own kitties some love!

We were sent these items in exchange for our fabulous opinions, we were not paid any of the green papers for this review!