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Monday, October 23, 2017

Autumn weekends are made for fun!

This past weekend was just about perfect.  The sun was shining, the temperature was in the 70s, and the leaves were starting to show their Autumnal colors.  It was one of those rare weekends that beckons you outside, and with Winter just around the corner, we enjoyed every minute.

On Saturday I drove North, to join our local collie club for one of our many fun events.  This time our club held a Farm Dog Certified test.  To earn this title (FDC), a dog has to pass the test twice, so we held a test in the morning with one judge and another in the afternoon with a different judge.  The FDC, or Farm Dog Certified title, is earned by passing a series of test elements.  Per the AKC - "The Farm Dog Certified test is designed to assess the overall conduct of a dog within a typical farm environment. The dog must demonstrate self-control when exposed to livestock and other unique sights, sounds and scents. The dog should exhibit confidence and a willingness to comply with instruction when confronted with a variety of situations. The Farm Dog Certification is not intended to confer herding capability, but rather a foundation of self-control and biddability beneficial to all working dogs."  All 12 of the elements of the test can be found on the AKC website.

After carefully reading through the test, I was pretty confident that Ryder could pass and earn his FDC.  So I signed him up for both the morning and afternoon tests, and of course Ryder did not disappoint me!  He is such a great dog, and he always does whatever I ask of him.  He walked right by the quacking ducks with no reaction when I told him "leave it."  He waited patiently while I fed the chickens.  He hopped up on the hay bales like he had been doing it all his life.  There were many other collies taking the test, and they all passed too, which isn't a surprise, as collies were bred to help with livestock.  But we also had a Great Dane, a sheltie, a Bernese Mountain Dog, a Wheaten Terrier and a Kelpie pass the the test too.  The club had a nice lunch for all the competitors, and the atmosphere was more like a picnic for dog lovers and their best friends.

This was a practice hay bale, not the one used in the test.


Ryder with his winnings!

To learn more about the Farm Dog Certified test, and to find out where it is being held next, you can click HERE.

On Sunday we grabbed a few of the collies, and we headed to our favorite hiking trails.  It was a beautiful day, and the collies were happy to pose for some pictures.







So that is how we spent this beautiful weekend, what did you guys do?

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Wordless Wednesday ~ Autumn style

"I can smell autumn dancing in the breeze. The sweet chill of pumpkin and crisp sunburnt leaves." ~ unknown



"I'm so glad I live in a world where there are Octobers." ~ Anne of Green Gables

Monday, October 16, 2017

When dogs want a treat for Halloween!

The days are getting shorter, the nights are getting cooler, and the leaves are starting to change color.  That can only mean that Autumn is here, and Halloween is right around the corner.  Feeling the Halloween spirit, we were excited to see that Chewy.com was offering a special, spooky treat for dogs this month!



The collies are always excited when a box from Chewy.com arrives, and they especially love when it is food or treats!  (They are definitely food motivated canines!)  This month our friends at Chewy sent us a case of Merrick Seasonals - Howl-o-ween Stew!  What could be a more perfect treat for Halloween?  Hopefully, with this food in their bowls, the collies will not be playing any tricks on me!


I can't tell you how happy I was to see actual veggies in every spoonful!  And the collies must have thought the smell was delicious, because they haunted my every step, like a pack of ghouls!


Of course being a cautious collie Mummy, I had to read the label.  Check out the ingredients:

Deboned Chicken, Chicken Broth, Peas, Dried Egg Product, Sweet Potatoes, Dried Pumpkin, Chicken Liver, Natural Flavor, Potato Starch, Calcium Carbonate, Salt, Sodium Phosphate, Choline Chloride, Minerals (Zinc Amino Acid Complex, Iron Amino Acid Complex, Manganese Amino Acid Complex, Copper Amino Acid Complex, Potassium Iodate, Cobalt Glucoheptonate, Sodium Selenite), Vitamins (Vitamin E Supplement, Vitamin B12 Supplement, d-Calcium Pantothenate, Vitamin A Supplement, Niacin, Vitamin D3 Supplement, Riboflavin Supplement, Folic Acid, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Biotin, Thiamine Mononitrate), Potassium Chloride, Flaxseed Oil, Sunflower Oil, Guar Gum, Cinnamon, Xanthan Gum, Yucca Schidigera Extract.

Real deboned chicken, sweet potatoes, and pumpkin - no wonder the collies were drooling like hungry Werewolves!


Holly wants to caution all you pet parents, that her dear friend Bones didn't get any yummy Howl 'O Ween stew, and now look at him!    



And check out the key benefits:
  • Real, de-boned chicken is the very first ingredient along with fresh peas, sweet potatoes and seasonal pumpkin.
  • All-natural, grain-free recipe contains no wheat, corn or soy, so it’s easy to digest and great for the pooch with allergies or a sensitive tummy.
  • Formulated with essential vitamins, minerals and nutrients to provide complete and balanced nutrition.
  • Savory stew can be served as a complete delectable holiday meal or delicious topper over his dry kibble to add some festive variety to his diet.
  • Proudly made in Merrick’s Texas facility using the world’s best locally-sourced ingredients from farmers they know and trust.



So Ryder wants to know what are you waiting for?  This spooky and delicious dog food is the perfect treat for your little Goblin or Vampire to sink their fangs into, and it's only available for a very short time!


The collies all agree, Merrick Seasonals - Howl-O-Ween Stew is the perfect way to treat your dog this Halloween season!  They give it their highest rating, four paws way up!  And this canned food definitely has their Mummy's seal of approval!


We were sent Merrick Seasonals - Howl-O-ween Stew for free, in exchange for our honest opinion.


Saturday, October 7, 2017

Have you heard the news?

Our awesome friends at Chewy.com are now selling Goody Boxes!  This is something brand new, never before offered, and we were fortunate to receive one to review!


Chewy.com offers three Goody Boxes to choose from, a box for medium to large dogs, a box for tiny dogs, and a box for kitties too!  Each box has five or more full size goodies, and they are all quality treats.

Each box has items your dog is sure to love, as they are specially chosen by the staff at Chewy.com.  And shipping on your Goody Box is free, we love free shipping!


"Ok Mom, can we see what is inside now?!?"


We were so impressed with the selection!  Many of these treats were ones we wanted to try.  And with five different kinds of treats, there is something for everydog!


We were sent the Bone Appe-treat, and the collies could not have been happier!  They highly recommend you get a Chewy Goody Box for your best friends too!  These would make great birthday presents for your dog or cat, and with the holidays right around the corner, we bet your dogs or cats would be thrilled to find one under the Christmas tree!



Key Benefits

  • Five or more full-size goodies from premium brands.
  • Free shipping on every Chewy Goody Box order!
  • Handpicked gifts for dogs of every breed and size.
  • Great savings on everyday prices.
  • Surprise your own precious pooch, or give the Chewy Goody Box to friends and family as a thoughtful pet gift box.
  • It’s great for special occasions, new pet adoptions, pet birthdays or a special present for any day of the year.



The collies want to thank our friends at Chewy.com for sending this Goody Box.  We opened it yesterday, for Abby's birthday.  She is sure Natalie sent it just for her birthday, but she was happy to share it with the others.  We will definitely be ordering more Goody boxes, you can get one by clicking here!

Friday, October 6, 2017

Happy Birthday Darling girls!

Abby on the left, CC on the right

Today my little Abby, and her sister CC, turn 11 years old.  I have written Abby's story, in 4 parts, trying to capture just how special she is and how much she means to me.  You can find those posts here:
Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4

So today, after I go pick up CC, so the sisters can celebrate their birthday together, there will be cake and presents.  There will be lots of pictures too, so come back later to see the reunion!


CC on the left, Abby on the right



Monday, October 2, 2017

Rich in color, each Autumn day is a gift.

It's that time of year again, time for fairs, pumpkins, apple cider and beautiful Fall foliage.  Autumn is our favorite season, and it's definitely my favorite time to head outside for pictures with the collies.  There is just something about the colors of Fall that compliment the collies. Autumn decorations and colors seem by design to frame the collies and highlight their beauty.


And the cooler Autumn temperatures suit the collies, as both the smooth and rough collie are double-coated.  I can see their joy and relief in the change in temperature, as they are more active,and greet each day with wagging tails and games of tag.


They are enjoying the cooler weather so much that they are reluctant to come inside!  They love being outside, and going for long walks, which means they are encouraging me to get outside more.  And as soon as the leaves start changing color, we will be heading out on long hikes, to take in all the stunning foliage here in New England.


Even Pumpkin kitty is hanging outside with us, and she even wanted to pose for some Autumn pictures.  She watched me photographing the collies, and came over to join in the fun!


Before long the snow will be blanketing the ground, the bare trees will be glistening with ice, and the air will be bitter cold.  So each day of Fall we celebrate the season with gratitude, and try not to take a single day for granted.  Dogs are great at reminding of us to live in the moment, and enjoy every second we have together.  And Autumn, with it's glorious burst of color, is truly a celebration of life.


So from the collies and myself, we hope you are spending as much time as possible outside, enjoying the weather and the gorgeous scenery with your four-footed best friends!


Abby wanted to ask, "What is your favorite thing to do in the Fall?"

Thursday, September 28, 2017

Taste of the Wild canned dog food

Even though the weather has been unseasonably hot, Autumn is officially here.  And the new season means it's time for the collies to do a review.  The collies are members of the Chewy Influencer Program, which means that every month our friends at Chewy.com send us something new to review!



 We were excited when the box from Chewy.com arrived, and the collies all gathered around, eager to see what was inside.  I could see the happiness in their eyes, and in their wagging tails, when they realized that it was a case of canned dog food!  They like their dog food, a dry kibble, but they LOVE canned dog food!  




Now we won't give the collies just any dog food, it has to be a product we trust.  So  I took a look at the nutritional label of the canned Taste of the Wild, High Prairie Grain-free dog food.  And I was happy with the ingredient list, as it's packed full of real meat, and not meat by-products.  We feed a grain free kibble, that contains bison and lamb, so we liked the Taste of the Wild High Prairie variety, as it contains Beef, lamb, Bison and venison.  It also contains superfoods like sweet potatoes, blueberries and raspberries!



Ingredients
Beef, Lamb Broth, Vegetable Broth, Lamb Liver, Dried Egg Product, Potato Starch, Potatoes, Bison, Roasted Lamb, Roasted Venison, Peas, Ocean Fish, Guar Gum, Tricalcium Phosphate, Sunflower Oil, Natural Flavor, Calcium Carbonate, Sodium Phosphate, Salt, Potassium Chloride, Inulin, Tomatoes, Sweet Potatoes, Blueberries, Raspberries, Choline Chloride, Yucca Schidigera Extract, Zinc Amino Acid Chelate, Iron Amino Acid Chelate, Thiamine Mononitrate, Vitamin E Supplement, Copper Amino Acid Chelate, Manganese Amino Acid Chelate, Sodium Selenite, Cobalt Amino Acid Chelate, Niacin Supplement, D-Calcium Pantothenate, Vitamin A Supplement, Riboflavin Supplement, Biotin, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Potassium Iodide, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Vitamin D3 Supplement, Folic Acid.




This is definitely a food I feel safe feeding to my collies.  Check out these key benefits:


  • Grain-free complete and balanced formula can also be fed as your pet’s sole diet
  • Contains bison, lamb and venison for a blend of quality animal protein sources to meet the needs of your special dog
  • Formulated with potatoes and peas as an excellent sources of nutrients, and highly digestible carbohydrate sources.
  • Supplemented with highly nutritious ingredients such as tomatoes, blueberries and raspberries, to deliver antioxidants to help give your friend a healthy lifestyle
  • Made right here in the USA!


The collies give Taste of the Wild High Prairie, grain freed canned dog food four paws way up!  They loved the taste, and were begging for more.  So if you are looking for a tasty canned dog food, you should give this one a try!


The collies were sent this product for free, they did not receive any compensation for barking about this dog food.  


This is a blog hop!

Monday, September 18, 2017

Books for dog lovers...

Dogs make me smile, and not just my own dogs, all dogs have this effect.  When I am out running errands, or returning home from work, and I see a dog taking a walk with his or her person I have to smile.  So I can understand why so many residents at Nursing homes are excited when they see me walking down the hallway with my collie, Ryder.  I recently read two books that show just how deeply dogs can create positive change in peoples' lives.



The first book, Rescuing Finley, was written by Dan Walsh.  This book was very heartwarming, but you have to get past the first few chapters, which help set up the story.  The main characters are a young woman in a correctional facility, a veteran with PTSD, and a special dog called Finley.  This book did have me in tears a few times, but they were happy tears.  While it is a work of fiction, service dogs really can help soldiers suffering from PTSD, and they have made profound changes in the lives of inmates participating in training programs.  I highly recommend this book, and plan on reading it again sometime in the future.



The second book, Finding Riley, was also written by the same author, Dan Walsh. In this book, the main character is a dog named Riley.  He is the best friend of a little boy, and becomes lost during a family vacation.  As a dog lover, you can't help by worry about the fate of this little dog, but Dan Walsh does not disappoint the reader.

I really enjoyed both of these stories, and I can't wait to read his next book in this series.  While they weren't short stories, I flew through them in a matter of hours.  If you give them a try, please come back and let me know what you think!