Monday, September 26, 2016

A danger right outside your door...

We debated writing this post, but in case it can help prevent another dog or animal from getting sick, we decided to share what happened to us last weekend.  Since we were very lucky, we wanted to tell you about an innocent looking Evergreen tree called a Yew.

Photo from

Many people, especially those living throughout the Northeast, have these trees either in their own yards, or in their neighborhoods.  They are very popular and used in landscaping, but they are also very poisonous.  We had a Yew in our yard, it had been there long before we moved in 20 years ago.  And in all the years we lived here, not one of our dogs ever bothered with this tree....until last weekend.

Sophie, the picture of innocence

Maizie, so sweet, and so naughty!
Yes, our two four month old puppies decided to try sampling the berries from the Yew tree.  Our first indication that something was wrong, was when Sophie vomited and we spotted the berries and seeds.  Within minutes she was staggering, and a seizure quickly followed.  Terrified, we rushed them to the animal hospital, where the staff induced vomiting in both puppies.  They treated them with charcoal, and then IV medicine and fluids overnight.  

I have never been so scared, this definitely could have ended in tragedy.  So if you have this tree in your yard, you should quickly take a chainsaw to it!  We have removed it from our yard, and we have scoured our yard for any other possibly poisonous plants.  So please, double check your yards and your neighbors' yards, you never know what dangers may be right outside your door!

Maizie never showed any signs or symptoms, so we would have never known she had eaten any of the berries without Sophie getting sick.  We brought Maizie to the animal hospital too, because with these two puppies, what one does so does the other!  Happily, they are both doing just fine, and up to their usual antics!  But we have had many friends tell us they also had these trees in their yards and they never knew the danger.  And sadly, one friend told us that her horse died after eating a branch from a Yew tree, so we felt it was very important to share this with all of you.  Please be careful everyone!

We got cookies, do you?

Do you have dogs or cats?  Are you looking for a great company with excellent customer service?  Then you should check out, they provide amazing service and strive to bring their customers quality products.  To ensure that the products they sell are top quality, asks us to review many of their foods, treats and toys.  We are sent these items for free, in exchange for our honest opinion.  This month the collies were sent some treats made by Fromm.

Fromm is a company we are very familiar with, so we were excited to review another one of their products.  Fromm is a pet food company that has been family owned and operated for 5 generations.  They are located right here in the United States, in Wisconsin.

The treats we tried, Fromm Four Star Nutritionals Grain-free Parmesan Cheese treats, were the perfect size, so we didn't have to worry about weight gain in our senior collies, who are watching their figures!  And the size was perfect for both our adults and our puppies.  Check out the key benefits:

  • A fresh, oven-baked treat made from Wisconsin parmesan cheese that is a great source of protein, fatty acids, calcium and of course a yummy flavor!
  • Made without grains, a common allergy trigger for dogs
  • Contains fresh cranberries, green beans, bell peppers and other veggies loaded with antioxidants and vitamins for a delicious and nutritious treat you can feel great about feeding your pup
  • Perfect size for training or treating your most loyal best friend
  • Made with USDA-inspected ingredients in the USA

And what about the Ingredients?  Let's look:

Fresh Wisconsin Parmesan Cheese, Pea Flour, Potato Flour, Tapioca, Whole Peas, Chicken Fat, Tomato Pomace, Fresh Cranberries, Sweet Potatoes, Carrots, Apples, Split Peas, Green Beans, Green Bell Peppers, Celery, Beets, Oregano, Parsley, Lettuce, Watercress, Spinach.

Well, as a dog mom, those ingredients look pretty good to me!  But what about the taste?  There were plenty of cookies in the package, so everyone got to perform a taste test, and they all enjoyed them.  But our senior Abby really enjoyed the Parmesan cheese flavor of these treats.  (She loves Wisconsin cheese!)

She thinks you should log onto and order some of these treats for your best friends as soon as possible!

And puppy Sophie, who shares her Grandma Abby's passion for cheese, agrees!  With their glowing endorsement, we had to give these treats our highest rating of 4 paws, way up! Thanks for sending us these great dog treats!

Saturday, September 17, 2016

What the collies (and their Mom) think....

This month the collies were thrilled when they got a look at what sent them to review!  They are always excited when they spot the box arrive on our doorstop, they even line up in the front window to watch the UPS man hop out of his truck to make his delivery.    It's pretty funny when your dogs watch for the mail delivery each day!  So what did they us? sent the collies an entire case of Wellness Core Grain-free canned dog food!

We received the Wellness Core Turkey Lovers Variety Pack.  They are 100% grain and gluten free, and full of high quality ingredients.  There are no meat by-products, artificial colors or flavors, no preservatives, corn or soy.  So far this all sounds pretty great to us!

But let's take a look at the ingredient list:
Turkey, Chicken & Turkey Liver: Chicken, Turkey, Chicken Liver, Chicken Broth, Chicken Meal, Turkey Liver, Sweet Potatoes, Carrageenan, Guar Gum, Carrots, Apples, Spinach, Parsley, Blueberries, Broccoli, Kale, Ground Flaxseed, Salmon Oil, Salt, Chicory Root Extract, Yucca Schidigera Extract, Potassium Chloride, Iron Proteinate, Zinc Proteinate, Choline Chloride, Vitamin E Supplement, Cobalt Proteinate, Copper Proteinate, Manganese Proteinate, Riboflavin Supplement, Sodium Selenite, Thiamine Mononitrate, Vitamin A Supplement, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Potassium Iodide, Biotin, Vitamin D3 Supplement.
Turkey, Pork Liver & Duck: Turkey, Pork Liver, Turkey Broth, Duck, Chicken Meal, Carrageenan, Guar Gum, Carrots, Sweet Potatoes, Kale, Broccoli, Spinach, Parsley, Apples, Blueberries, Ground Flaxseed, Potassium Chloride, Salt, Chicory Root Extract, Yucca Schidigera Extract, Dried Kelp, Alfalfa Meal, Iron Proteinate, Zinc Proteinate, Choline Chloride, Vitamin E Supplement, Cobalt Proteinate, Copper Proteinate, Manganese Proteinate, Sodium Selenite, Thiamine Mononitrate, Biotin, Vitamin A Supplement, Potassium Iodide, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Vitamin D3 Supplement, Riboflavin Supplement.

We love seeing how much meat is in this canned food, and other great ingredients like carrots, kale, broccoli, spinach, apples and blueberries!  But we were disappointed to see Carrageenan and Sodium Selenite added to this dog food.  Carrageenan is added to many canned dog foods to thicken the food.  It is linked to gastrointestinal disease, including gastrointestinal cancer.  Sodium Selenite can cause toxicity issues for dogs.  A safer supplement is Selenium yeast, as it does not cause toxicity in dogs.  This is a cause of concern for us, so we wouldn't feed this everyday or in large quantities.  But since we are only giving our collies a spoonful added to their kibble, we felt it was safe in such small doses. 

But how did it taste? The collies loved it!  They couldn't wait to dig in!  Always voracious eaters, their dinners have never disappeared so quickly!  And they licked their bowls clean, and then they licked each others' bowels too!

I really like what Wellness is trying to do with these Core varieties of canned food.  I love seeing quality meat, fruits and veggies included in the ingredient list.  There are so many dog foods available for our best friends, it's hard to know what to choose, what is safe and what isn't.  And Wellness is one of the dog food companies that is really striving to provide us with healthy alternatives for our dogs.  But until they remove the carrageenan and sodium selenite from their product we can only give them three out of four paws up.  We are hoping that Wellness will remove these from their products in the future, as they seem to really care about dogs and their wellness.

We want to express our gratitude to the awesome folks at  They really care what their customers think of their products, and they send us these great items for free, for our honest opinion.  There are few companies that we respect as much as  They love our dogs and yours, and are always looking for great, new products to offer to their customers.  Thanks Chewy!

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Wordless Wednesday! (Video time!)

Since we don't have any new is a video of Sophie at her first puppy social last night!

And Tate 2 weeks ago, seeing a lake for the first time!  Silly pup!

Friday, September 2, 2016

Sunnybank, then and now, always beloved

Tate, photo by Ron Sherr

On August 20th and 21st, we attended The Gathering at Sunnybank.  Our long time readers know what Sunnybank means to us, but for those who may not know, you can read all about Sunnybank in our previous posts by clicking HERE and HERE.  Sunnybank is a special place, and walking around the grounds can almost be a spiritual experience for collie lovers. And each year they come, from near and far they travel, to spend the weekend gathered together on the rolling hills of Sunnybank.  Humans and collies, young and old, newcomers and longtime friends, spend the weekend honoring our beloved collie breed and the memory of Albert Payson Terhune and his beloved Sunnybank collies.  

Ryder and his mom, Abby, at The Gathering

This year we were able to attend the Gathering on both Saturday and Sunday.  There were so many things to see, so many old friends to visit with, and even though it was very hot, we had a wonderful weekend.  On Saturday we brought Ryder and Abby, along with the puppies.  Ryder came because he had never been to Sunnybank, and because he was signed up to take the Therapy Dog test.  Abby came, because I was feeling very sentimental, remembering when I visited Sunnybank with her when she was just a young girl. (I don't think these pictures were from The Gathering though, I think they were from a puppy match held in October of 2007.)  She turns 10 years old next month, and loves to go everywhere with me, so I had to take her with me.  It always makes me anxious when I think of how quickly the years are passing for Abby and me.

Abby, standing next to the Fire Blue Lake, on the banks of Sunnybank.

Abby then....

And Abby now...

So on Saturday we had Ryder take the Therapy Dog test.  I had been thinking of having him tested, because even though he hasn't taken the Therapy Dog classes, he always does whatever I ask of him and he has the perfect temperament for it.  The test is looking to see how a dog reacts to meeting new people and dogs, being in a crowd of people, and dealing with strange new things.  He was bumped by canes, crutches, walkers and wheelchairs, and he didn't care at all.  He greeted strangers politely, didn't pick up the cookie on the ground after I told him to "leave it," and passed each portion of the test with ease.  He was as perfect as always.  Which means that once our registration is processed, Ryder will be able to visit our local Nursing Homes for Therapy Dog visits!  I am so proud of my boy!

Recognize the spot Ryder is posing in?  It's the same spot where Abby posed years ago!

And on Sunday it was time for the puppies to come out and play!  We brought Sophie and Maizie, and Tate came too!  Tate is a big boy, but at 10 months old, he is still a puppy too!

It was so hot, the puppies started melting into collie-puddles!

Maizie, already a perfect little show dog, and she isn't even 4 months old in this picture!

Maizie, looking so sweet!

Sophie is very serious, she has caught on to dog shows very quickly!

Sweet Sophie
Tate looking very grown-up!

And do you remember Sophie and Maizie's brother, Wyatt?  He is name is now Finn, and his family brought him to The Gathering too!

Photo by Ron Sherr

It was such a fun weekend, and it was so wonderful to see so many or our puppies at the match!
photo by Finn's dad, Steve Mierz

And as we drove home, I caught an exhausted little Maizie smiling in her sleep....maybe dreaming about Sunnybank or her future career as a show dog?