Monday, November 30, 2015

Canine College

Dogs are really smart animals.  We can do lots of things.  There are Therapy Dogs that provide affection and comfort to humans and Service Dogs that are trained to help people with disabilities.  Seeing Eye dogs were the first Service Dogs but now there are many different kinds of training.  Today dogs can be trained to assist humans with conditions from Autism or Allergy Alert Assistance to Diabetic or Seizure Response and even psychiatric conditions like PTSD.

There are Military Dogs that are trained to do all sorts of important jobs.  Jobs like sentry duty, walking patrol with human troops and being messengers.  Military Dogs, and Police Dogs, are trained to sniff out bombs and drugs.  Some Police Dogs are trained to track lost peoples or to catch bad guys.

I didn’t have any special training, only puppy training, but I thought I was really smart.  I mean, it was my idea to start the Pet Division of Laurel Mountain Basket Co and I helped my Mom get it up and running.  I have my own blog where I take on serious and not so serious issues concerning pets.  I have hundreds of friends on sites like 3 Million Dogs and PetPav.  I am paw pals with dogs all around the world and I can get Mom and Dad (especially Dad) to do pretty much what I want them to do.

I thought I was really smart until DixieLee came to live with us. We don’t know what kind of training DixieLee had before she came to live with us and she's not talking.  For all we know she could have worked for the CIA.  Anyway, DixieLee is lots smarter than even me and Dad.  She might be almost as smart as Mom!

She figured out how to open the cabinet where we keep the kibble so now it has a childproof lock on it.  She knows how it works but you need an opposable thumb to make it open.   Not saying she won’t overcome that obstacle but not just yet.

I don’t mind that she learns commands faster than me.  She was first to figure out “show me where the cookies are”.  No big deal.  We both get cookies even if she learned it first.
What I don’t like is when she outsmarts me.  Everybody knows there is only one THE BEST place to sleep in the house.  In our house it’s the certain corner of the couch.  Couches have two corners but the one nearest the table is the Best one.

Sometimes, when I am sleeping in the Best Corner and DixieLee wants to sleep, she tries to get me to move.  As I said, I am smart so her running up and down the hall and being a total pain may make Mom and Dad wonder what’s going on but I’m wise to her tricks. Or maybe not.

How am I supposed to know that her sounding the alert that there is a squirrel in the yard or that the post person is coming is not for real?  She gets me every time.  She runs to the window or the door so convincingly that I am sure we are under attack.  Then, when I no sooner get to the window or door, she jumps into the Best corner and goes to sleep with that smug look on her face. 

I know many of my friends are really smart dogs.  What is the best trick you know how to do?  And if you know how I can outsmart DixieLee on the Best seat in the house thing, let me know.

Your friend,


P.S. Blatant Self-Promotion. With one of our You Name It! Gift Boxes you can say congratulations to your favorite canine upon graduation from puppy school, Canine Citizenship Class, Agility Training or however they show you how smart they really are.

Saturday, November 21, 2015

When is Forever?

Mom tells us all the time that she loves us and would never leave us.  I believe her because once, a long time ago, she had a hard time finding a place to live because not lots of places let people have dogs live with them.  She searched and searched until she found a nice place that said her dog could live there too.

I still believe Mom would never abandon us but since we joined the Board of Directors at the Above the Notch Humane Society, we learned that there are times when people don’t have a choice.  Like the man who lost his job and his home or the lady who was old and very sick and had to go live in a nursing home.

Neither one of these people wanted to leave their dogs but life is not always the way we want it to be.  Luckily, there are places like Above the Notch Humane Society where people can surrender their animals and know that they will be taken good care of until a new home, with other loving people, can be found.

The reason I am telling these sad stories is because lots of times, when people can’t care for their pets any longer, like when they have to go live someplace else, they just leave their pets to fend for themselves.  The problem is that house pets don’t know how to live on their own and often times end up starving or freezing to death.

People need to know that there is help for them and their pets.   They can go to the American Humane Society website to find out what options are available in their area.  Sometimes the Humane Society can think of ways so people keep their pets or tell them where they can surrender their pets where they will be well cared for.  Not all shelters can take in surrendered animals because taking care of animals costs lots of money

We know how hard it is on a dog that is left on their own.  My sister, DixieLee was left to fend for herself.  She was young, scared and very sick with heartworms.  She would have got died but she was lucky and was found by a nice lady.  Because DixieLee wasn’t wearing a collar and didn’t have a microchip, there was no way to find out where she came from.  The nice lady took her to the vet, got her cured and fostered her until she could find a forever home with us.

One more thing.  Ask your Moms and Dads if they have made provisions for you if they should become sick or get died.  We hope it NEVER happens but we know that there are people who will take good care of us if anything happens to our Mom and Dad.

If you know someone who might have to surrender their pet, let them know that there are people who are willing to help.  Your Moms and Dads can help too by becoming foster parents, volunteering their time or just donating to your local shelter.  It’s all of our jobs to help animals any way we can.

Your friend,


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Saturday, October 17, 2015

Mom Was Right!

Me at 66 pounds
Me slimmed down to 56 pounds
Holy guacamole!  Who is that dog?  Flipping through my blogs, looking for ideas, I saw a photo of me from August 2014.  

Mom said I needed to go on a diet and at the time I thought she was bonkers.  
I’m part lab and labs tend to be stocky, right?

Well, here we are, just over one year later and what a difference!

 Mom’s a healthy living nut. She watches what she eats and goes to the gym every day.  DixieLee, Dad and I, well we like being retired and hanging out around the house.  We do yard work and such but we really like napping on the couch and watching TV better.

I hate to admit it but Mom was right.  She made all of us go on diets and get more exercise.  It’s not just about looking good it’s about feeling sooooo much better.  Since Mom made us all be better eaters and exercisers we all lost weight and have much more energy.  I lost 10 pounds! We all still grumble that we are starving but we really do like carrots and apple slices as much as cookies and even Dad has discovered that he actually likes vegetables.

I think the bestest part of getting healthy is the walks.  Mom makes us all go on big walks.  It’s so much fun that the minute DixieLee see that both Mom and Dad have their coats on, she runs to the rack where the leashes are an tries to get her halter down.

We never know where we are going which makes it very exciting.  Not going to the same places all the time gives DixieLee and me a chance to explore.  Sniffing out our surroundings is important so being in different places is lots of fun.  Sometimes we walk around one of the towns.  Sometimes we go to the dog park or to one of the hiking trails our part of New Hampshire if famous for but the best times are when we go to walk on the logging road up to the old orchard.

Mom and Dad like the logging road because it goes up a mountain so we get more cardio.  I love it because I get to be off leash.  I only get to be off leash when Mom knows there is no danger to me.  I NEVER get to be off leash where there are cars or even where there are going to be lots of people.  DixieLee doesn’t get to go off leash because before she came to live with us, she must have been trained as a hunting dog because she loves following a scent and would get lost for sure.

We didn’t start out walking up mountains or going for big hikes.  We started by taking short walks around town.  Yesterday we walked a trail that was three miles long.  That’s far!  It was a nice walk cuz we got to enjoy Nature.  It was peaceful, no traffic sounds or other people, and there were lots of scents from the animals who live in the forest.   

Walking with your humans has lots of other Ben Fits.  We are a pack of two humans and two dogs and walking is a way for us to get to know each other better and strengthen our bond.  Walking is a great way for humans to get rid of stress too.

So, if you or your human is a little on the chunky side, consider taking more walks.  Seriously, I know you’ll like it.

Your slimmed down friend,

P.S.  Blatant self promotion.  Our Puppy Power gift basket is filled with lots of toys to keep in the most active dog  happy.  It also includes a box of poop bags for those walks around town. Check it out at

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Queen of the High Jump

One of my BFFs Miu is a chronic fence jumper.  I can’t understand why she would want to do that.  DixieLee and I have a really nice fenced yard where we can run and play all we want.  Our fences is a linky chain kind so we can watch the squirrels and chickens run around on the big yard and watch the people and cars on the road.  DixieLee likes to sit in the sunny part and I like to sit in the shade.

Miu also has a nice garden where she and her sister Bumo can run and play too but she says she jumps her fence because she loves being free to find other dogs and critters to chase. Her Mom isn’t so happy about the fence jumping because lots of the critters where they live have rabies and there are many other dangers awaiting a dog on the run.

We can play alone in our yard cuz our pen is right outside of our office windows and Mom can watch us without having to be outside but if you are an escape artist, having your human stay in the yard with you is a good way to break the habit.

When your human is in the yard watching you, he or she can distract you as soon as you get ready to bolt.  We use lots of what our friend Eric the Amazing Dog Training Man calls “positive reinforcement” to break bad habits

Positive reinforcement means offering an alternative to jumping.  Like when your human calls you and offers a toy or a treat or tells you what a good dog you are.  We never get tired of hearing what good dogs we are.  I’m pretty good about going to Mom when she calls but sometimes DL gets so into whatever she is doing, it’s like she doesn’t hear.  That’s when Mom says AAHHHHH using her Stern Voice or shakes THE CAN.  THE CAN is a soup can with a bunch of pennies in it that makes a horrible racket when Mom shakes it.  It’s so horrible that it startles DL long enough to get her back in listening mode.

Dogs need lots of exercise and attention.  If we aren’t getting enough of either, we get bored and look for ways to amuse ourselves.  We get walks and Mom and Dad pet us and talk to us all the time.

Mui’s Mom has tried all kinds of tricks to keep her in the garden.  Their fence is a garden wall which sounds very pretty and her Mom put big colorful pots along the top but Miu knocked them off and broke them.  Needless to say her Mom was not happy.

Dogs are pretty smart when we want to be. Can’t get over the fence, go under.  Dogs can fit through the smallest holes or gaps in a fence.  When we had the fence built, there was a six inch gap between the fence post and the house.  You guessed it!  DL found it right away so Dad banged a pipe in the ground to make the space to small even for Houdini Dog.

Chicken wire can also be used in lots of different ways to help fortify a fence.  There are way too many to make your fence jump proof for me to talk about in this blog so if you are a jumper or digger, tell your human to go on line and find out a way that works for you.

The yard should be a place where it is fun to be and a fence is the best way to keep us safe while we are having fun.

Your Friend,

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Thursday, September 10, 2015

Zoom, Zoom, ZOOMIES!

Off the couch, down the hall, on the bed, off the bed, back down the hall, back on the couch, to the door.  Mom, Dad and I get tired just watching her but this is how DixieLee starts doing Zoomies.  When Mom finally reaches the door to the pen (Mom’s old and doesn’t move as fast as us) DixieLee bursts outside and does laps around the pen.

At first Mom was worried.  She never had a dog that did Zoomies before.  Of course everyone knows that puppies have lots of energy and run around crazy sometimes but DixieLee is a grown dog.  Zoomies (the grown up words are Frenetic Random Activity Period (FRAP)) are just a dog’s way of letting off steam.

When we didn’t know what FRAPs were, we called them “Crazy Dog” and tried to discourage the behavior.  Even with a big walk, plenty of toys to play with (DixieLee plays with toys all day long) and me to play fight with; she still has lots and lots of energy.  ‘Sides, she likes doing Zommies and smiles and smiles when she stops.

Once we figured out what was going on, we decided we would her do Zoomies.  As long as she was out in the big pen where she (and the house) was safe, it seemed best to let her get rid of her excess energy.  ‘Sides, she was having fun and fun is always a good thing to have.
We don’t discourage her from doing Zoomies but we don’t encourage her either.  We make sure we don’t chase her around or laugh too loud, sometimes that’s hard cuz she looks like she’s having so much fun.

Now Mom and I just stand on the deck and watch her run and run and run until she has had enough.  Then we all go back in the house and I can get back to serious relaxing.
A nice big fenced in pen is the best place to do Zoomies but if your house doesn’t have one, you can still do them.  Sometimes we go into the basement but stay on the carpet part.  Slippery floors are dangerous cuz you could slide and hurt your back or bang into a wall.

If you are little dog you might even be able to Zoomie around the living room as long as you don’t knock over any valuable stuff.
We never know when DixieLee is going to want to do Zoomies, but some dogs have a schedule.  Some dogs like to do them in the evening.  Another common time is right after a bath.

If you do Zoomies and your humans don’t think it’s a good for you, there are ways to help you stop.
Your humans can have you go in your crate and have a special toy to play with until the urge passes.  A Kong with peanut butter or cheese inside will keep your mind off of Zoomies for sure!  The good news is Zoomies only last for a few minutes. 

Keeping your mind busy also works.  Get your humans to play learning tricks with you like “down” or “leave it”.  I know this works cuz I get zausted when I have to think too much.
Zoomies are natural for some dogs so humans shouldn’t get angry at their puppies for doing them.  For most dogs it’s just a stage.  DixieLee on the other hand… what can I say? 

Love from,

Zeva (and her crazy sister)

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Monday, August 17, 2015

Neither Rain Nor Snow Nor Dark of Night

I like to watch television with Mom and Dad.  We especially like the commercials with the dog family riding in the car.  What I don’t understand is why they laugh when all of the dogs bark at the mail truck but when DixieLee and I bark at the mail truck we get scolded and sent in the house.

We get scolded when we bark at the man who comes in the big brown truck too.  It’s not like we bark for no reason.  Dogs have an exceptional sense of smell but we don’t see so good.  When the big brown truck comes in our yard and the man starts walking toward the house, he doesn’t really look like a man.  He’s dressed in all brown just like his truck and he’s always carrying something like a big box or bag.  It could be an alien or zombie monster for all we know. 

Mom says we should like the man in the brown truck cuz he brings our food every month.  Like we can be bribed with food.  Okay, so we can be bribed with food for some stuff but that doesn’t mean we are going to let someone come near our house.

All I know is when the mail person and the man in the big brown truck hear us bark, they get scared and leave. It’s our job to protect our house and we take our job seriously.  Mom says it’s her job but she’s not all that good at keeping people away.  Sometimes she even lets them come inside!  Doesn’t she realize what could happen when they come in our house?  Our cookie jar is sitting right there in the kitchen where anyone could see it and steal our treats!

Our Mom is real smart about some stuff.   She said watching is just as good as barking and she may be right.  When we watch real good, the mailperson just stops and then goes away.  Sometimes he doesn’t even stop.  I guess he knows our house is protected by good watchers.

The man in the big brown truck doesn’t come by so often so he doesn’t know that we are as good at watching as we are at barking so he comes right into the driveway.  He leaves us no choice but to bark.  We bark very loud and can’t hear Mom say to be quiet so she shakes a can filled with pennies (it makes an awful sound) to get our attention.   She tells us we can have a cookie if we go into the house and be quiet.  Did I mention that we absolutely cannot be bribed with food?

Maybe once the man in the big brown truck learns how good we are at watching, we won’t have to bark at him either.  It worked for the mailperson and for our neighbors chickens who like to eat the bugs in our yard.  But that’s a story for another time.

Your good watching friend,
P.S. Blatant self-promotion.  You can make any occasion a special occasion with our You Name It Gift Basket.

Sunday, July 19, 2015

Gone Missing

Every day on Facebook (if you don’t follow us, we would like you to) we hear about dogs that got lost and their families are looking for them.  Getting lost can be very scary for a dog.  Imagine not being able to find your family.  You rode in the car so you are far from your house.  How will you find your way home?  Where will you find food?  Where will you sleep?
I know it’s hard but don’t panic.  Try to stay near where you got lost because chances are that is where your humans will be looking for you and they will be doing all kinds of things to help you find them again.  Here are a few things they should do:

1.  Call the local animal shelters and animal control.  Shelters help people find lost pets all the time.  They know people who will help you look and do things like hang up fliers.
2.   Make up posters using a recent photo.  Hang the posters all over the place.  Places like grocery stores, vet offices, pet stores and any place lots of people go to.  Be sure to ask if you can hang up a flier.  Most places will be happy to help.  Post them at road intersections and at play grounds and dog parks.

3.  Walk and drive around the area several times a day.  Talk to the people who live there.  Give them a flier with your phone number so they can call right away.  Ask them to check their garages and shed or any other place a pet can hide.  Mail carriers know the neighborhood and the pets that belong there very well.

4.  Use Social Media.  There are lots of sites that are dedicated to helping find lost pets.  We get notices from Granite State Dog Recovery all the time. They are super good at helping pets get back home safely all the time.
5.  Don’t give up.  Your pet is trying to find you so don’t give up on finding them.

Dogs, never leave home without your tags!  Cats that go outside should wear tags too.  Wearing up to date tags can help your humans find you quickly if you get lost.  Make sure your microchip information is correct too.   If you do not have a microchip, get one.  It doesn’t hurt and microchips are a good back up.
I hope you never get lost but if you do, remember that your humans are doing everything they can to get you back safely.

Be safe,

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Thursday, June 25, 2015

Like Cats and Dogs

I have to admit that I don’t know much about cats.  We don’t have any living in our house or working at the Studio.  I do have lots of cat friends on line, especially on, so I decided to find out why cats make such good pets.

It seems, although I would dispute this, cats are the most popular pet in the United States.  They sure do have a presence on the internet.   Grumpy Cat himself has a huge following.

Like dogs, cats make great companions, are entertaining, affectionate and offer unconditional love but they definitely are a whole different species.

1.  Cats don’t make very good alarm systems.  The mail person steals our neighbor’s mail every day and their cat just sits in the window and watches.  Even if she wanted to scare him away, cats have very little voices.  How is a human supposed to know we want to go outside or are hungry if we don’t jump around and bark hysterically?

2.  Come to think of it, cats don’t need to go outside much.  They have litter boxes so they get to pee and poop in the house.  They don’t have to go outside in the rain or snow or when it’s really dark outside.  That could be an advantage for humans who live in the city where they have to go out with their dogs in the rain and snow and really dark nights.

3.  Cats are easy to entertain.  They are happy just sitting in a sunny window or playing with a laser pointer.  But entertaining a dog gives humans exercise.   Taking us for walks and playing catch or tug of war is good exercise for dogs and humans.

4.  Cats spend a lot of time grooming themselves.  Dogs are pretty clean, except for DixieLee who can track dirt across the entire house even when it hasn’t rained in days.  And we do like to roll in smelly stuff we find in the yard.  Maybe that’s why cats never have to go and get a bath.

I guess when it comes right down to it both cats and dogs make great companions which makes us more alike than different.

Another thing cats and dogs have in common is shelters are filled with cats that need furever homes.  So if you are looking for a companion who is entertaining, affectionate and offers unconditional love but can’t have a dog, a cat may be just what you are looking for.



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Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Walking On The Wild Side

We just got back from a big walk.  DixieLee and I love to go for walks with our humans.  Mom is a big walker and a fast walker too.  Dad, not so much.  He tries to say he walks slower because I have to stop and smell every post and tree and pee 100 times not cuz he is old.

It was hot on our walk today.  The best time to walk is the early morning or at night when it is cooler but that’s not always possible.  There was a nice breeze today but the roads and sidewalks still can make our feet burn so our humans walk on the pavement and we walk on the grass.  We are very careful when we walk on the grass.  Some people put chemicals on their grass to make it look pretty.  Those chemicals are very bad for pets and can make you sick or even died.  Parks are good places to walk because there are usually lots of trees to make shade.  If you have to walk on pavement all the time, you can wear doggie booties to protect your pads.

Dad was sweating a little so he knew to drink some water but dogs don’t sweat, we pant, so our humans need to watch carefully to make sure we don’t get dehydrated.  When we go for long, long walks, we take along water and little bowls that fold up so we can have drinks too.  Mom keeps them in her knapsack but I know some dogs that have vests and carry their own water.

We live near town so most of the time we can walk on sidewalks.  Sidewalks are safer than roads but there are places where we need to walk on the road.  We make sure we walk facing traffic and that we dogs stay on the inside.  The inside is the best because it has the grass but also it is easier for cars to see big humans than small dogs.

Having a good harness or collar and good leash is very important.  We have good non-pull harnesses.  One time a big dog ran off of his yard and wanted to fight with us.  DixieLee was ready and able.  If she hadn’t been on a leash somebody could have gotten hurt.  Make sure you always have your tags on too just in case your humans get separated and lost.

If you do go for walks at night be sure to wear a reflective vest or collar.  There are lots of good products available that are very fashionable.  Be sure your human wears something reflective or at least light colored clothes too.  Have your human bring along a flashlight so other people and cars can see you coming and you can see other animals like skunks or porcupines before you step on them.

Walking is great exercise for humans and dogs so I highly recommend that you take your humans out for a walk as often as possible.  A fit human is a happy human and a tired dog is a good dog.

Be safe out there,


P.S. Blatant self-promotion.  We know every dog loves treats but why keep them in the closet when you can keep them right on the counter in a pretty tin like My Own Dog Cookie Tin?  It makes begging for treats much easier.

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Can We Talk?

I love the sound of my Mom’s voice.  Well most of the time that is.  She has this way of saying my name when I’ve done something she isn’t pleased with.  You know what I mean.  I bet your Mom says your name different when you’ve been bad too.
My Mom talks to us all the time.  I like hearing the funny stories about things she does and people she meets when we aren’t with her.  I heard that it is healthy for people to talk to their dogs.  Dogs are great therapists because we are good listeners and we don’t judge.  We are also really good at keeping secrets so you can tell us anything.

We are wonderful companions for children and the elderly. We are happy to spend hour and hour with them so they can talk to us when everyone else is busy.  
Talking things over with your dog is a good way to make decisions. I especially like it when Mom asks my opinion.  The other day we were making a gift basket and she asked if I thought it had enough treats in it.  After careful consideration I said we should add just one more of the big cookies and she agreed.

It’s good for humans to talk to their dogs because it strengthens the bond between us.  I like it when Mom tells me what that I am her best Zeva dog and Dad tells me how pretty I am.  It’s true that we are more sensitive to body language than the average human but we do understand words.  What dog does not know the word “cookie” or “treat”?  Chaser, a Border Collie, understand about 1000 words!   Lots of dogs understand 200 or more words.  Just so you know, some of us are good spellers too.  V-E-T does not spell dog park!    
 My friends Bumo and Miu’s Mama sings to them.  They love it because she changes the words and makes the songs about them.  They say she has a very pretty voice. We’re glad our Mom only talks to us because we have heard her sing and it is not pretty.

Mom talks to us like we are grown up humans.  I’m glad because I don’t like it when people talk baby talk to me.  And, she usually has something important or at least somewhat intelligent to say.  I remember one time at the dog park when a lady said to her dog, “Don’t pee on your sister’s head!”  Mom started laughing.  She said to the lady, “I thought I was the only one who ever said that.”
Does your Mom or Dad talk to you a lot?  If so, what is the best thing your human says to you and what is the silliest.

Your friend,


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Sunday, March 29, 2015

I'm Worth It!

One of our Facebook friends was having a bad week.  In addition to all the stuff humans have to worry about all the time, her senior dog wasn’t feeling well so off to the vet’s they went.   Happily there is nothing terribly wrong, she’s just a senior dog and, to quote one of Mom’s favorite humans, “Old age ain’t for sissies”, for dogs either.
Our friend was saying how she had just spent a lot of money buying special things little Ella needed, like special senior food and such.  Everyone agreed that even though we pets cost a lot of money, we are definitely worth it.

Lots of people like the IDEA of having a dog.  They see on television how much fun a dog is but what they don’t see is how much care we need.  Hey, we can’t go out and work to earn money to buy our own food you know.  Anyway, having a dog can be expensive so if you are thinking of bringing one home, there are some things you need to know.
Since I am an advocate of rescue/adoption, I’m not even going to talk about how much it costs to buy a pure bred dog.  So here goes:

First of all, rescued shelter pets are not free.  It costs a whole bunch of money to rescue and take good care a dog until it is adopted so they need to charge a fee. 

At our Humane Society it costs around $200 to adopt a dog.  When I got adopted Mom and Dad gave the people $275 and that was almost 5 years ago.  I was transported from South Carolina (volunteers work for free but someone has to pay for the gas), I was spayed, had a mico chip and had all of my shots.  Then I was housed and fed until Mom and Dad came to get me.
When I got to my furever home I had to get a license and had to go to school to learn manners.  Even though other dogs lived there before me, I got all new stuff, like a water dish and food dish, collar and leash and a new crate to sleep in while I was at work with Mom.  Mom didn’t keep track of the money but according to one site it cost between $500 and $2700 to start.

DixieLee and I get regular vet checkups and Mom makes sure we get regular heartworm and flea and tick medicines.  If we do get sick, there are additional vet visits and medicines.   I remember one night I wasn’t feeling well and Mom rushed me to the emergency vet hospital.  Vets and medicine cost money too.
We just got our new license tags and since Mom is kind of old, we got a discount but she still had to pay some.  We are very particular about our food.  We don’t like food with lots of additives so we get a good brand, made in the USA.  And of course, we get treats!

When we moved to our new house, we had a man come and put up a fence so we could go outside by ourselves.   Sometimes we go to day care so we can socialize with other dogs that cost money too.  DixieLee gets her nails clipped when we are at daycare cuz she won’t let Mom cut them and I understand that some dogs get baths and nails clipped and painted and all sorts of pampering.
From what I read, when you add up all those things, the cost of having a dog can run anywhere from $500 to $2,900 a year.  Even more if they buy you lots of toys and treats.   I’m not sure but I think that might be a lot of money.  I know my Mom and Dad think DixieLee and I are worth every penny and I bet your Moms and Dads think you are too because dogs are really priceless.

Your friend,


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Thursday, February 19, 2015

Confessions of a Cookie Monster

I confess.  I love cookies.  I love carrots, potato chips, Triscuits, -…. who am I kidding, I love food. Dog food, human food, I’d even eat bird food if I could just reach the feeder.  You can’t open the refrigerator or pantry door in our house without my help.  Mom had to put a baby lock on the cabinet where we keep the kibble because I figured out how to open it.

My excuse… I’m part lab and labs love to eat.  I never really got to eat much human food cuz Mom said I needed to eat nutritious and well balanced food.  She only buys “the good stuff” for me and DixieLee.  She reads the labels to make sure the ingredients haven’t change and we are getting food, not fillers.

So you can see why I was shocked when I had my physical this summer and the vet man said I was FAT!  Well, he said it nicer than that but he made it clear that I needed to drop a few pounds.  I wrote about that horrific experience in my August blog.  We told him we only eat good food and only what the package says.  He told us that dog food sellers are in the business of selling dog food so the more we eat the more we have to buy.  Light bulb!  He said we should cut my portions in half.

OMG!!! I thought I was going to die.   I was hungry all the time as it was I was surly going to starve to death now.  Fast forward six month…. I have managed to lose 13 pounds!  I look marvelous if I do say so myself.   What’s even better than that is that I feel marvelous.  I didn’t realize it but when I was heavier, I didn’t like to play so much.  Running wasn’t fun.  DixieLee would run up and down the stairs or around our pen all day long.  I would rather have stayed on the deck and watched.  Now she’s in big trouble cuz I can run just as fast as her and I win lots of our fighting games.

How did I do it?  It wasn’t easy.  I found out that cutting my portions in half wasn’t so bad.  I still got treats but we got more slices of carrots and sweet potatoes and fewer cookies.  We also started eating coconut oil and boy, is that delicious!  We had to be careful because coconut oil is fat but it’s one of those super foods packed with all kinds of good for you stuff.

As much as I hate to admit it, losing weight was a really good thing to do.  Like Mom says, it’s not a diet, it’s a lifestyle choice.  We choose to eat healthy and I hope you do too.

Your healthy friend,


P.S.  Shameless self promotion.  How would you like to win a free gift basket?  All you have to do is go to our Facebook page and register.  Contest ends on March 20, 2015 so don’t wait.


Thursday, February 5, 2015

Put The Lime In The Coconut

I don’t know about the lime but I LOVE the coconut.  Actually it’s coconut oil that I love.  It tastes yummy and it is really good for you.

We started eating coconut oil this fall when I got a case of the itchies.  Some of my friends suggested Mom give me coconut oil and sure enough, the itchies went away.   Not only that, my fur got fluffier and shinier and even though DixieLee didn’t have the itchies, she has to get all the treats I get so she was getting coconut oil too and her coat got really shiny.

Coconuts are very nutritious (that means they got lots of good stuff in them).  You do have to be a little careful because coconut oil is fat and since I am watching my weight, I just get a teaspoon a day. If you want to start taking coconut oil, you need to start adding a little at a time so your tummy gets used to it.

Coconut oil does more than just make itchies go away and make coats shiny.  It can help digestion, stop infections and helps keep you healthy.  Did I mention that it tastes yummy?  It’s so yummy that if you mix coconut oil in their food picky eaters (if there is such a dog) stop being picky.

There are lots of different coconut oil brands out there so you need to make sure you are getting one of the good ones.   The best kinds are all these things: organic, virgin, unrefined and cold pressed.  The most important words to look for are unrefined and cold pressed.

Oh yeah, coconut oil is also really good for humans.  It keeps them from getting itchies on their skin, makes their hair shiny and keeps them healthy too.

If you already take coconut oil, you know how good it is so let’s spread the word so all dogs can get a yummy nutritious food, be itchies free, have shiny coats and be healthy



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