Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Becoming a Phd (People Helping Dog)

I was napping on the couch with an ear open to the news when I heard the news person say that dogs are good at helping people who suffer from depression.  That's not news.  I've known that forever.

Our friends Niles and Caber are certified Therapy Dogs.  They visit people in nursing homes or hospitals and help them be not sad.

Harriet is another friend of ours who helps her Mom be able to go to work and not be afraid to leave the house.

You might have read the story about Charlotte, the dog who helped her Dad, a disabled veteran, get a job.  He is a good worker but he has a sickness that make it difficult for him to be with people. Charlotte is his Service dog whose job it is to help her Dad deal with his problem.

Lowe's saw that her Dad would be a good worker and hired Charlotte so she could go to work with him and help him not be anxious.  Charlotte even gets to wear a vest like all the human workers!

People who have depression or anxiety have a hard time leaving their house because they get scared.  
Certified Therapy or Service dogs, like all dogs, give their humans unconditional love.  They understand when their humans are very sad and give them lots of cuddles and kisses.  They don't say things like “Get over it” or “Snap out of it”.  Dogs don't judge, they just love their humans.  More and more studies are showing that the unconditional love a dog gives can make a big difference in the life of a person who suffers from depression.

I help Mom when she gets sad but dogs like Niles, Caber and Harriet have extra special training.  Dogs can be trained to help people who suffer from things like Bipolar Disorder, Major Depressive Disorder, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, Anxiety or even Schizophrenia.  

So, the next time your human is feeling sad, cuddle up and give them kisses.  You'll be surprised at how fast they get happy again.  And if you know someone who has a serious illness like those I talked about,  tell them there are organizations that can help them find a specially trained dog to make their life less stressful and easier to deal with.

Your friend,


P.S. Blatant self-promotion. I know what would help me get unsad, a new toy like the ones you find in our extra special pet gift baskets. See for yourself at pawpalsboutique.com

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Seniors for Seniors

I recently read a story about a dog who had to go live in a shelter because his human could not afford to keep her.  Her human is old and got sick so he had to go live in a place where he could not have a big dog. My heart broke. But this story had a sort of happy ending.

She was a lucky dog because she got adopted right away. She is a big dog with lots of energy so she is going to live in a house that has children and a big yard. Lots of dogs aren't so lucky. Especially older dogs. Older dogs that end up in shelters have a hard time getting adopted.

That is so sad. Older dogs have lots and lots of love to give and there are lots of good things about older dogs. They are probably already house broken, leash trained and know basic commands like stay and sit. Oh, and old dogs can learn new tricks!

Older dogs aren't as energetic as puppies. They like to go for walks but they don't need to play, play, play all day long. They are happy to sit by your side and nap.

Older dogs make good companions for every body but especially for older people. There are even programs that help older people adopt older dogs! Some shelters give a discount or even wave the adoption fee for senior humans who adopt senior pets. Our vet gives a discount to Mom because she is old.

My Grandmom lives in a community for older people. It's a really nice place because, unlike some places, the people who live there can have pets.

The houses/apartments are small so there are rules about how big a pet can be. That's okay. There are lots of small dogs looking for homes.

So, if you are “getting older” and thinking you should not get another dog because you might need to move into a smaller house or apartment, think about getting a smaller senior dog.

Senior cats make excellent companions too!

Adopt a senior…. I know he or she will be your bestest friend.


P.S. Blatant self-promotion. Looking for a super gift for your favorite pet? Check out the huge selection of gift baskets at pawpalsboutique.com I know they'll love it!

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Let Me Be Perfectly Clear

Communicating can be frustrating
I love my Mom but there are times … Our friend Kathi is an Animal Communicator.  She is so easy to talk to.  She is a really good listener and she understands when we tell her things. 

I wish Mom was more like Kathi.  I know she understands us.  Like when I want a cookie and she is watching TV or reading.  It’s not like she is doing something important and I know she can see me sitting right in front of her staring but she is not listening.

After a really, really long time of trying to get her to understand that I am starving and need a cookie she’ll say “Not happening, Sweetie” and tells me to go sit on the couch.  So frustrating!

And then there was the other day.  It was really scary.

Mom was at a business thing and didn’t get home until it was way past bed time.  DixieLee and I were waiting up. After she came home I went in the room with her where she keeps her nicer clothes so she could get into her comfortable clothes.

I was busy making sure there were no strangers hiding in the closet or behind the big mirror and the next thing I know, the lights are out and the door is shut.

Well, I immediately told DixieLee what happened and she tried to get Mom to come back and let me out but Mom would not listen.  DixieLee kept running to Mom and then back to me but Mom kept watching TV.  DixieLee was very frustrated because Mom kept telling her it wasn’t time for bed yet and that she should settle down.

Well, finally, Mom decided it was time for bed.  We sleep with Mom and Dad so when DixieLee stopped at the door to the little bedroom instead of going to the big bedroom, Mom thought she was being silly but opened the door anyway.  That’s when she realized she had locked me in! 

I was so relieved!  It was the most awful 30 minutes of my life! I could have starved to death!

I wish I could get Mom to be more like Kathi.  I read recently that humans can be better communicators with their animals.

The first step is to get our humans to talk to us more.  We do understand their language as long as they use the same words all the time. 

We have to get them to ask us only one thing at a time.  They should say, “would you like a cookie?”  Not would you like a cookie now or should we go for a walk first?”, that’s too much all at once.

Once the ask they need to be quiet and give us a time to respond.  Now, if you ask me if I want a cookie, I will either tilt my head, lift my ears or head over to the cookie jar.

Once the animal has responded, it’s the humans turn to react.  The right response to my head tilt is to go to the cookie jar and give me a cookie. They could say "good girl" or something but going to the cookie jar is the best response.

It’s so simple but it takes time.  I am going to practice with Mom now, you might want to practice with your humans too.



P.S. Blatant Self Promotion.  For the bestest pet gift baskets in the universe check out pawpalsboutique.com  

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

The Hole Story

She’s at it again.  My sister, DixieLee, is a very energetic dog.  We try to give her lots of exercise.  Mom and Dad take us for walks and I run and play fight with her all day long, but I’m usually warn out long before she is so she finds other ways to entertain herself.

One of those ways is digging holes.

Dogs dig holes for lots of reasons.

1.  Keeping comfortable and safe.  Before dogs lived in houses with people, we dug holes to make dens to live in.  They would be warm in the winter and cool in the summer.

2.  Storing valuables.  Holes are also great places to hide things so we bury extra food or other valuable things.  Lots of dogs today bury bones or toys to keep them safe.

3.  Hunting.  There are some breeds like terriers that hunt animals that live underground like moles and groundhogs.  They dig to get to their prey.

4.  Escape.  Even when a dog has a nice big yard like we do, they don’t like not being able to go where they want to so they dig to get out.

5.  Boredom.  Digging is something we do to relieve boredom and some, like DixieLee, find digging fun.  She loves to dig and she digs really fast.  Dirt flies everywhere and it is fun to watch.

If you like to dig and your humans don’t mind a yard full of holes, there is no problem but if they prefer a nice lawn, digging can be a problem.  The first thing for your human to do is figure out why you are digging.

1.  If you can’t stay inside all the time you could dig a den or your human could make sure your outside area has shelter from the cold, like a dog house with some nice blankets, or from the sun, like a shaded area. 

2.  We have lots of toys and antlers but are not allowed to take them outside.  If we are given a treat while we are outside, it is one we finish right away so there is nothing for us to bury.

3.  Stopping a dog that is hunting for prey is not easy.  The instinct to hunt is very strong so you may need the help of a professional trainer to stop this behavior.

4.  Dogs don’t like to be left alone and digging our way out of a pen is our way of breaking free to find our family members or other dogs to hang out with.  A layer of paving stones around the inside of the pen might stop escape efforts.

5.  DixieLee loves to dig because it’s fun so we have a place in the pen where she is allowed to dig.  Dad dug a hole about three feet square and filled it with sand.  DixieLee is allowed to dig all she wants in her sandbox and at the end of the day Dad rakes the sand back over the hole.  DixieLee can dig all she wants and our pen still looks nice.

We always look for a way to solve our problems that lets everyone one be happy.



P.S.  Blatant self promotion.  Don’t forget the Holidays are coming soon and we have lots of gift baskets especially designed for pets and the people who love them at pawpalsboutique.com

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Looking for the Purrrrfect Pet

Hello again, Fo the cat here. We seem to be hearing more and more from cat friends so Zeva asked me to talk a little bit about cats and how to choose the right one for your family.

Just like dogs, there are many different breeds of cats. And just like dogs, each breed has different characteristics. Some breeds are known to be playful and energetic while others are more affectionate and gentle. Of course every pet like every human has his or her own personality but if you are looking for a cat with a more mellow personality, a Persian may be a better choice than a Bengal.

Age is also a consideration when choosing a pet. Age of the cat and age of the humans in the household. Kittens and little children are not generally a good match. Kittens need to be handled very carefully and little children don't realize that a big hug can hurt a kitten. A rescued elderly cat can be a good companion and may be a good choice for an older person who spends much of their time at home alone.

Cats make really good pets and we need less care than dogs which make them good for busy households. If you want a really low maintenance cat, choose one with short hair. Long haired cats like Persians and Ragdolls, like Grumpy Cat, do need to be brushed more often to keep their coats extra pretty.

People like cats because they are more independent and are easier to take care of than dogs. Mostly. Cats don't need to be taken outside to pee which can be very nice when it is cold or rainy but their litter boxes still need to be kept clean. Zeva reminded me cats, like dogs, also like treats and toys and a nice place to sleep.

Responsible cat parents make sure that their cats are kept healthy which means regular trips to the vet  and see that their cats are spayed and neutered to help keep the number of cats without good homes as small as possible.

Lots of people think that dogs and cats can't live in the same house because they will fight. I know lots of dogs and cats that live in the same house. The trick to making it work is to give them a chance to slowly know each other.

We encourage anyone looking for a cat to look at local shelters or look on Petfinders.com. Even if you want a specific breed, you many not need to spend thousands of dollars at a breeder because there are breed specific rescue organizations that may be able to help you find the perfect cat.

No matter what breed or age cat you choose for your family, we hope you will all benefit from the choice and enjoy living together for a long, long time.

That's it for meow,


P.S.  Blatant self promotion.  Zeva said to make sure I reminded you that you can find the purrfect gift basket for any occasion at pawpalsboutique.com 

Saturday, November 19, 2016

It's Almost Here

Oh boy. It's getting busy around here. Mom's making up gift baskets to bring to the craft fairs and Dad has been looking for the bestest tree for our house. Thanksgiving is only a few days away and then comes Chanukah and Christmas and then New Years Eve. Humans sure have lots of Holidays coming up.

Did you know pets have special holidays too? We have lots of them. Like all of November is National Senior Pet month so the ASPCA encourages people to adopt a senior pet.

While people will be watching the Macy's Parade on Thanksgiving Day, dogs will be watching the National Dog Show hosted by the Kennel Club on Philadelphia that features 2000 dogs. And you know that the Puppy Bowl and Kitty Bowl will be shown at the same time as the Super Bowl in January. Now those are really exciting games.

There are a bunch of holidays in November like November 17th is National Take a Hike Day (which is good for dogs too) and it's also National Black Cat Day. Did you know that black cats are the last to be adopted? In the very olden days black cats were thought to be evil and some people are still stupidstitious and think that black cats are bad luck. Well, in lots of places in the world, black cats are good luck and National Black Cat Day lets people know that.

National Mutt Day (also known as mixed breed dogs) is December 2nd . DixieLee and I are both mutts and we are very proud our our heritage. December 10th is Animal Rights Day and December 15th is Herding Cats Day. Okay, so Herding Cats Day isn't really about cats but it is kind of a fun idea.

There are more fun holidays coming up next year like Squirrel Appreciation Day in January. DixieLee appreciates squirrels all the time. Every time she sees one she barks and barks until it goes away. We can both appreciate National Biscuit Day and Spoil Your Dog Day is high on our list of good holidays.

In our house dogs get to celebrate human holidays too so we are excited that Christmas is coming. We love checking out all of the presents Mom buys and it's fun watching her put them in the pretty paper. We know there will be presents for us too cuz Mom always remembers to leave out biscuits and water for Santa Paws and carrots for the reindeer. I can't wait! 

I hope you get to celebrate the upcoming holidays but remember you have to be very good so Santa Paws will stop at your house too. Ask your humans to check out our website because Santa shops there too.

Happy, happy holidays to all,


P.C. Here's the link to our site pawpalsboutique.com with all the great gift baskets for good little dogs and cats.

Monday, November 7, 2016

Happy Birthday DixieLee

November 20, 2011 is DixieLee’s birthday!  Sort of.  Could be.  See, the truth is we don’t know when she was born and she was too young at the time to remember so she can’t tell us.

I know my birthday is May 2, 2010.  I know because I was born in a shelter and the shelter gave me a piece of paper telling me when my birthday is.  DixieLee was a stray so when she got found and adopted by us, the vets had to guess how old she was. 

By the time DixieLee came to live with us she was no longer a puppy and into her adolescence, which is like being a bossy human teenager.  She didn’t seem to have good training like I did so there were lots of bad things she needed to overcome.  It took some time but she has managed to overcome lots of those bad habits like not being scared that I was going to steal her food and no one was going to hit her.

Now we are both grown up dogs and everyone gets along just great.  Sort of.  She still wants to play with the toy I am playing with and still wants to sit in Dad’s chair when he is sitting in it, but she is working at be good.

Just like humans, the different stages of a dog’s life mean different things.  For example, by the time a puppy becomes an adolescent he or she should have learned appropriate social behavior with other dogs, like no biting and should have formed a strong bond with humans.

Some of the most important time in a puppy’s development is around 8 or 10 weeks when they are especially impressionable and negative experiences can permanently harm a dog. Dogs always need to have love from their humans but it is especially important when they are this young.
 Around 10 or 12 weeks old is a good age to take a puppy to training.

By the time a dog is 6 months old, he or she should have confidence and some independence.  Continued training is important so that the independence doesn’t get to the point where they don’t listen at all.  Mom says I am too independent sometimes just because I don’t hear her call until she says my name 3 times.

DixieLee and I are getting close to being seniors like Mom and Dad.  Because we are both medium /big size dogs we can have many, many years ahead of us.  The important things we need to be aware of are eating well, getting enough exercise and having regular vet check-ups.

I’m just happy DixieLee is my sister now and that we are going to be celebrating her special day soon.  I love birthdays because in our house, no matter who is having the birthday, we all get presents!

Join me in wishing DixieLee a very happy birthday!


P.S.  Blatant self promotion.  Looking for a gift for you dog or cat's special day?  Check out the huge assortment of dog and cat gift baskets at pawpalsboutique.com

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Hi Ho, Hi Ho, It's Off To Work I Go!

I just took a look at the calendar and boy, time is sure moving along. At the Studio we are getting ready for the upcoming Holiday Season. DixieLee and I are working very hard testing treats and toys and approving designs. We are very lucky that we get to go to work every day with our Mom.
I know lots of dogs and cats that get to go to work with their humans every day too and there is even a special day called Take Your Dog To Work Day in June where some places let the humans bring their dogs in and spend the day in the offices.
Most people I know think it is a wonderful idea to let pets go to work with their humans. Allowing pets to go to work lets the employees have a more balanced life. They will stay later to finish projects when they don’t have to rush home to feed their furry friend and walking a pet for a potty break gets the employee outside for some fresh air and exercise which can increase creativity and productivity.
Of course there need to be some rules about pets that go to work like they have to be housebroken, well mannered and friendly. Having dogs peeing in the office, fighting with other pets or biting coworkers would be a very bad thing. No company wants a smelly office, employees rushing their pet to the vet or dealing with lawyers over dog bite claims.
Some pets, like DixieLee, manage to get in trouble without trying. She’s not B-A-D just curious and klutzy. She chews socks and pulls pillows off of the sofa or gets into the trash. In an office it would be very bad for a dog to chew on computer cords or jump up on other workers or clients.
When we had our Shoppe, I had to stay in the office/studio part and not go out into the store area. I know I was a good greeter but there were some people who are afraid of dogs who might not think so. Also from the Shoppe I could get into the main hall and wander into other businesses.  I love to socialize with our neighbors but Mom says it's a no no.
As hard as it is to believe, not all people like pets and there are some people that are allergic. I am a very clean dog but there are still some businesses like medical offices and restaurants where animals shouldn’t go because of germs.
I’d like to know if you get to go to work with your human and if you do, do you work from your house or do you go to an office. If you go to an office, what are the rules you need to follow?
Sorry, got to go, I see the big brown truck just brought us some more packages. I wonder what we’ll be testing today.
Your busy friend,

P.S.  Blatant self promotion.  The Holidays are almost here so check out the huge selection of pet gift baskets at pawpalsboutique.com  Remember we are also happy to custom design gift baskets especially for you,

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

The Lazy Dog's Workout Program

People know that exercise is very important to being healthy. Exercise lets people have strong bones and hearts and exercise is good for being happy too. Well dogs want healthy bones and hearts and we want to be happy too. When dogs get exercise we get rid of extra energy that makes us look for things to do like chew shoes and furniture, dig holes, and bark too much. Our people like it when we don’t do destructive things which make us happy.
Some people think that talking walks is the only way to get dogs exercised. Not true. Walking is very good but on days when it is rainy or cold, we don’t want to go out much either. So, I found lots of other ways to get exercise.
1. Obstacle Courses. These are big fun and can be an indoor or outdoor exercise. Our pen is a good place for an obstacle course. Big chunks of wood are good for running around and old tires stuck in the ground are good for going through.
In the house we get to run around the chairs and tables and up and down the stairs. Stair running is good because it makes you tired fast and you use different muscles going up than you use going down. Mom throws a toy down the stairs and we fetch it and bring it back.
Mom shows us how she wants us to go around chairs and we follow. DixieLee usually is better at the running stuff but I good at the figuring out stuff like a champion agility dog. The thinking part is hard because we train with treats and in obstacle course you don’t get to go straight to the treat you have to go around stuff.
2. Hide and seek. Dad is a good hide and seek player! Our house is not very big but he still finds good places to hide. At first we needed to be held while Mom counted one, two, three… but we learned not to go until ten. Sometimes DixieLee still starts looking earlier.
3. Tug of war. This is a good game to play with our humans and just with dogs. Tug of war is a very competitive game and both DixieLee and I are very competitive so we have strict rules about how hard we can play. When Mom or Dad say “stop it” we know we have to give up the toy and calm down. We have some good tug of war toys but DixieLee likes Dad’s socks the best. She forgets that socks are no nos.
4. Hiding treats. It’s sort of hide and seek where you look for hidden treats instead of hidden people. Good hiding places are behind chairs or doors or under tables.
We also play hide treats with our Kongs. Treats hidden in Kongs are easy to find but hard to get to. It takes concentration to get the treats out and keeps us quiet for long times.
We still like taking walks with our friend Scout and her new puppy friend but when we can’t we have plenty of other ways to get our exercise.
Let us know what you do to stay fit.

Your friend,


P.S.  Blatant self promotion.  Looking for a super gift for your favorite furbaby?  Check out our website at pawpalsboutique.com

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

What's for Lunch?

Graphic copyright Priya Nagarajan
Zeva: I have been working for hours and I'm starving!
Mom: Zeva, you had breakfast fifteen minutes ago.
I know but I am part Lab so part of me is always hungry. Just because I know when it's time to eat doesn't mean I won't try to get a snack before it's time. Just like I know when it's time for Mom to leave to go to the gym doesn't mean I will get off of the big bed and go to my crate without her coming to get me.
Dogs are much better time tellers than people are. People have to look at the round thing on the wall to know when it's time to eat or go for our nightly walk. Dogs know time differently than peoples.

Mostly we know how to tell time because our humans give us clues. We know we are going to get breakfast minutes after Dad wakes up. Some times I need to remind him he has to get up and feed us but most of the time he gets up at the right time, just before the music plays. We know it's time to go for our walk because our friend Scout and her Mom start to walk up the street.
Dad is the food giver in our house so some times if he is not home we need to remind Mom that it's time to eat. I know it's time because my tummy is empty. I tell Mom that it's time by making little barks and looking at the round thing on the wall. Mostly she says we have to wait another big minute but at least I know she won't forget to feed us.
Our Mom works at home so she gets to be with us all the time. Lots of humans have to leave their houses and their dogs for long times and they feel bad about it. As long as they give good treats, they don't have to feel very guilty. They might also want to leave good toys to play with because although we like to nap, if too many hours go by, we need other things to do or we find good things to play with like their shoes or favorite book.
A regular work day for a human can be a long time for a dog, especially a young dog. We are social animals. That's one of the reasons we are a two dog household. Even when our humans are gone we have each other to talk to. When Mom and Dad have to go away for the day they have one of our friends come in to feed us and let us into our pen to play for a time which makes the time go by better.
Okay, now my tummy is really empty. I think I need to tell Mom to look at the round thing on the wall because it is time for lunch.
Bone appetite,

P.S.   Just to remind you we put lots of yummy treats in our pet gift baskets.  You can see them at www.pawpalsboutique.com  The Holidays are coming.  Make sure you don't forget your favorite pet this year.

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Dogs Can Be Scaredy Cats Too

My sister DixieLee is one of the bravest dogs I know. When we go for walks and other dogs bark and growl, she barks and growls right back.  She’s a really good fighter too!  We play fight all the time and I am bigger and stronger but she is wicked quick and barks really loud.  She is a fierce warrior who isn’t afraid of anything.

Or maybe not.  She won’t like me telling you this but there are things that make her be really scared. She would run at a huge bear if it were going to attack Mom but when she hears thunder miles away, she hides in the closet.  She is afraid of loud noises.

She is not alone.  Fear caused by noise is a very common problem for dogs.  Remember, we have really good hearing so a loud noise for a human is super duper loud for a dog.  When a dog gets scared by a loud noise he or she may try to run away from the noise.
A thunder storm or fireworks display can go on for a long time and there is nowhere to go to get away from the noise.  DixieLee is lucky that she has a place to hide where she feels safe.  Mom’s clothes closet is small and the door is not open wide so the noise is not so bad.  Some dogs are not as lucky and don’t have a place where they feel safe.  They get so scared they try to dig their way through the floors of their house to make a den like our friend Miu or escape from their yard and run for hours (getting very lost) to get away for the noise.
Oh Boy!  Neither is a good solution.
We have a Mom who wants us to be healthy and happy.  Shew doesn’t like that DixieLee is scared of loud noises and although hiding in the closet makes her feel okay, We wanted something better. Recently our Vet told us about an herbal supplement that helps with anxiety.  Now when we know a storm is coming or when we are going to have fireworks in our town, DixieLee gets a supplement that lets her feel less scared and safe enough to sit with Mom and me on the couch until the noise goes away.
Dogs can be trained to not be scared of loud noises and there are other way to help them deal with their noise fears.  One of our trainer friends recommends the Thunder Shirt.  Some dogs do well listening to soothing music or getting a massage.  There are holistic remedies like the one we use that work for some dogs.
For me, just being able to cuddle up next to my Mom on the couch until the storm passes is enough but not for my sister.  If you need more than a cuddle to help you get through a thunder storm, have your humans talk to your vet and look for other alternatives.  There is no reason for you to be so scared of loud noises that you could hurt yourself or get  lost.

Your friend,


P.S.  Blatant self promotion.  The Holidays are right around the corner.  I bet your favorite pet would love a gift basket filled with toys and treats from PawPalsBoutique.com  Our Santa Paws Gift Basket is specially cute!

Monday, October 3, 2016

Her Royal Highness ---- Cat

In ancient Egypt cats were held in the highest esteem. Many of us modern cats have not forgotten that and require royal treatment from our humans. Maybe it is because cats are more independent than dogs that people think we need less care. That simply is not true. Before you decide to bring a cat into your life there are a few things you should know.
1. The average lifespan of a cat is 13 – 17 years and 20 years is not that uncommon. That’s a big commitment.
2. Cats have an average of 3-5 kittens per litter and can have up to 8 or 9.  Cats also can have 2 to 3 litters a year so you can see that over population of cats is a serious problem. Spay or neuter your cat even if they are going to be an “inside” cat because accidents do happen.
3. Claws are important to cats. Please don’t declaw your cat. For more information you can read my blog  Declawing Cats on this site.  Cats need to shed their outer nails to get to the healthy nails beneath. You can help your cat keep their nails healthy by providing a scratching post. It really is a good idea because if they don’t have a nice scratching post to keep their nails in shape they just might substitute your favorite piece of furniture.
4. Cats won’t use a dirty litter box so it is important to make sure the box is cleaned often and fresh litter is provided regularly.
5. Many people think that cats need milk when the truth is that dairy products are harmful to cats. What cats need is plenty of water so keeping their water bowl filled with clean, fresh water is important.
6. Dairy products aren’t the only foods that are harmful to cats. Never feed your cats chocolate, coffee, tea or other caffeinated drinks, raw meat or fish, grapes, raisins, onions, garlic or Xylitol (artificial sweetener).
Instead, feed them a high quality food made especially for cats and feed them on a regular schedule.
7. Cats are fond of eating plants but there are hundreds of common plants that are toxic to cats. A few of the more common ones are holly, aloe, calla lily, Rhododendron and peace lily. If you are not sure the plants you have in or around your home are non toxic to cats, there are several places on line you can source.
Most cats do like cat nip and I personally suggest you grow a pot or two in a sunny window.
8. You may have gotten your cat from a friend or local shelter for a few dollars but the ASPCA determined that when you add up the cost of housing, feeding, and vet bills, having a cat in your life costs around $600 a year.
Cats make wonderful companions and I hope you consider adopting a shelter cat today but know that we are decedents of royalty and expect to be treated as such.
Meow for now,

P.S.  Blatant self-promotion.  Zeva asked me to remind you that PawPalsBoutique.com has a large selection of gift baskets especially designed for cats and the people who love them.  The Holidays are coming soon so make your list and shop early.

Monday, September 26, 2016

Rain, Rain Go Away

It has been a very dry summer. Some places have had so little rain that they are having a drought. Today it is raining and raining and raining. Lots of peoples are happy but me and DixieLee aren't.

We don't like droughts but we don't like getting wet either. We usually like to go outside and play in our yard, but on rainy days like today we would rather stay inside and sleep on the big bed.  We just don't like to get our paws and butts wet. Wet paws and wet fur is so yucky!

Mom and Dad have fluffy towels to dry us off the second we get back inside but it still is not fun getting wet. I think they snuggle us with a towel so quick so we don't shake off the rain in the house.

Even when I have to pee I hold off as long as I can. Lots of times I can out last the rain. If I really, really have to go, I run out and run back in as fast as I can, which is pretty fast.

On rainy days I envy cats because they have special places where they can pee indoors. I'm a big girl and I don't EVER pee in the house but for you little puppies who don't like to go out in the rain you need know that peeing in the house is a big no no.

Little puppies need to go outside when their human wants them to even if it is raining. There are things humans can do to make going out in the rain less yucky if you let them know you don't like getting wet.

Humans can get some boots and a rain coat or they can hold a roof thingy called an umbrella over you. The roof/umbrella thingy doesn't help with the wet paws and buttsbut it does keep rain off the coat.

It's really important to make sure you remind your humans to give you a treat for going out to pee in the rain. Treats make everything better.

Looks like the rain has stopped for a minute. Time to run outside for a quick pee and then back on the big bed for the rest of the day. I love watching the rain fall as long as I am inside and dry.

Stay warm and dry.

Your friend,


P.S. Blatant self-promotion. Check out the bestest pet gift baskets in the universe at pawpalsboutique.com 

Monday, September 19, 2016

I'm Always Thinking

The other day one of our friends asked me where I get my ideas for our gift baskets.  If you have been to our site you know we offer lots of different baskets for all kinds of reasons.  I told her that I get ideas from things that I see happen in my world.

Like the time I was thinking about when a dog or cat gets rescued how nice it would be to get a pretty “welcome to your new home” basket filled with important things like a dinner bowl and some toys and treats.  I call that gift basket “To The Rescue”.

One of my very favorite ones is our “Santa Paws” gift basket.  The Holidays are a very busy exciting time in our family.    Mom spends lots of time getting and wrapping gifts for our human family and friends.  She always remembers to get gifts for us and our furry friends too.

There are lots of people who like to give Holiday gift baskets from Laurel Mountain Basket Co because they are very busy and gift baskets are so easy to give.   We know the people who get them really like them too.  Since gift baskets are so easy to give I thought it would be a good idea to offer Holiday gift baskets for pets too.  After all, pets like to get gifts too and gift basket filled with lots of toys and treats are so fun to receive.  

I also get ideas from talking with our clients and asking what they like.  Most of them like toys and treats, which would be my best choices too.  One of the things that is super important to our clients is that the treats we use are made in the USA.  We know several people in New England who make dog treats so we know that the treats are not only made in the USA, they are also fresh.

We also have clients who want us to make up gifts especially for them.   They tell us what they want and we are happy to help.  Like the time the lady wanted us to make a gift basket for a horse who just became a Mama.  Yup, we got to make a fun gift basket filled with things the Mama would like.  Did you know that they make cookies for horses too?!?

I’m always looking for new ideas so if you have any ideas that you think would be a good gift basket for a pet or if you have a special gift you want us to help with, just let me know.

Your friend,


P.S.  Blatant self-promotion.  To see our full line of pet gift baskets go to pawpalsboutique.com 

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

How Much Is Enough?

Mom thought that I was asleep in the other room so she didn’t know that I overheard her talking with DixieLee.  If you have been following my blog, you know that DixieLee is an abandoned dog that we rescued several years ago and that she recently has had a rough couple of months.  First she had a liver infection and then, when we went to doggie day care to have fun, she got kennel cough.

Mom told DixieLee that she knew that she was getting good food and shelter but she hoped that she also was getting enough love.  Dog that are in shelters get good food and shelter and I know that the humans who work at shelters love animals and spend as much time with them as they can but it’s not like having their own family where someone loves them for who they are.  Having your own humans who love them is super important.

Some people think that dogs love anyone who feeds them.  That’s sort of kind of true but it’s not the whole true.  Dogs are pack animals.  We need to have others in our lives.  Other dogs are good but when we leave our birth moms and litter mates to go live with humans, we form a pack with them. 

Sometimes it’s just one human.  I know lots of dogs who live with one human and love it.  They get all the attention and all of the treats.  I know other dogs who live in houses that have other pets and lots of humans.  They think they have it pretty good too cuz there is always someone to play with or to beg treats from.

No matter how big or little the pack is, dogs are affectionate beings.  All we want is to love our pack members and be loved by them.  We are also very protective of our pack members.  I don’t like it when someone I don’t know gets too close to Mom cuz it’s my job to protect her but once Mom says it’s okay, I know she’s got it all under control so I can relax.

I don’t know how much love is supposed to be enough but I do know that DixieLee and I know that Mom and Dad love us super much.  I just wish every shelter dog (and cat) will someday get a good home with plenty of food and lots and lots of love.

Your very loved friend,


P.S.  Blatant Self-promotion.  For the biggest selection of pet gift baskets anywhere, check out pawpalsboutique.com 

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Finding The Perfect Pet

In last week’s blog I said that, after the loss of a special pet, adopting another is the best way to honor that pet.  I still believe that is true HOWEVER choosing a pet is not like shopping for a dress.
I’ve talked with shelter dogs and they say that being chosen and then returned to the shelter because they were “not a good fit” is worse than not being chosen at all.
A pet is going to be the member of your family for, hopefully, a long time.  10 to 15 years.  That’s a long time.  So, please think about the type of pet that would fit best in your family BEFORE you take one home.
Here are a few tips on how to choose the perfect pet.
1.  Look at your family and think about how a new pet will fit in.  Every breed has a different personality.  Our family has two adults who could live with lots of different dogs.  A family with children, especially young children, needs to be more considerate of the age and breed.
2.  How much can you spend?   We don’t like pet stores very much and they often charge much more than reputable breeders.   We like the idea of adopting from a shelter but shelters cost lots to run so they have to charge a fee too.  A “free to good home” ad on Craig’s List may seem like a good idea but it may not be a bargain in the long run.
The cost doesn’t stop there. Since you already had a pet, you know taking care of a pet is expensive.  There are food and vet bills and training and grooming costs and of course the toys and cookies.
How much can you spend also means time.  Certain pets need more attention than others.
3.  What is your lifestyle?  We have a pretty laid back household with a good yard to play in but we still need to have walks and interact with our humans.  Walking together is good exercise for everyone but it’s much more.  We get to socialize with other people and animals and make our bond with Mom and Dad stronger.

There is a lot that goes into choosing the right pet.  Breed, size, age, and disposition are just the beginning.

Mom found me on Petfinders.com.   Sites like Petfinders.com can help you narrow down just what you are looking for in a pet.  There are also breed specific sites that can help you find your next best friend.

DixieLee was abandoned and found by one of Mom’s friends.  DixieLee, like many abused and abandoned animals, needed lots and lots of TLC.  It took a long time to build trust but now she knows she is in a safe and happy home.  Mom says it was worth the effort because DixieLee is a special dog.

Not every household could deal with the issues DixieLee brought with her.  Many would have brought her to a shelter where she may even had to be died because she was unadoptable.  Not because she was a bad dog but because she had the misfortune of having bad people in her life.

I hope you always have a special pet in your life and if you take the time to choose wisely, you will.

Your friend,


P.S. Blatant self-promotion.  For the bestest pet gift baskets anywhere, check out pawpalsboutique.com

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Forever In Our Hearts

We visit lots of dog sites on line.  I especially like 3 Million Dogs and Dog Everywhere on Facebook because we get to meet dogs from all over the world and see what they and their families are doing.  We may live in very different places (our bestest friends live in India and Canada) but we are all very much alike.

We all like treats and walks and spending time with our humans.  Mom reads me the posts all the time and sometimes we find a post about a dog that has crossed over to Rainbow Bridge.  It never fails, Mom cries.

It doesn’t matter that she doesn’t know the dog or the humans, she still cries.  I asked her why and she said that some dogs are extra special (like me and DixieLee) and that when they cross over Rainbow Bridge, their humans are very sad.

Special dogs make their humans so happy that when they cross, they make their humans extra sad.  I think that’s right because when our neighbor Ranger crossed over a few weeks ago her humans were very sad.  Even though she was 15 years old and not feeling good it still hurt them a lot.  It hurt her doggy sister too.  I know because we talked.

Mom said when she lost her first dog the vet said to go and get another right away.  I know, that doesn’t work for most people.  Everyone grieves in their own way, but Dr. Nancy knew Mom forever and getting another dog right away was good for Mom.

Dr. Nancy said the best way to honor the loss of a pet is to give another animal the chance for a good life.  Humans never forget their special pets and another pet is not a replacement.  A new pet is the chance to fill their heart and home with the love of another special pet.

Just yesterday, I noticed that there is a new puppy at our neighbor’s house!  Dad said she is a rescue from the local shelter.  I can’t wait to meet her.

Wishing you all a long life filled with treats and walks and fun times with your humans,

Your friend,


P.D.  Blatant self promotion.  Visit our website at pawpalsboutique.com for the best selection of pet gift baskets in the Universe.

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Should I Stay or Should I Go Part 2

We go to day care at a facility that offers boarding. Since we already know the place and the people, staying for a longer time would not be so bad.  If you don’t already have first paw knowledge about a kennel, ask your vet or a friend if they know a good one.

 I told you last week that Mom and Dad are going away for a vacation soon and we can’t go with them. They take very good care of us so it is important that we have someone who can take very good care of us while we are away. 

Last week we investigated having a pet sitter come and stay at our house.  Today we are going to investigate going to a boarding kennel.

When our humans go away it is very stressful for us so we need to know that we will be taken care of.  Hey, I’m a dog, the world does revolve around me.

So, if Mom and Dad choose to bring us to a boarding kennel, how do we know we found a good one?

The first step is asking people you trust to recommend a kennel.  about a boarding kennel you should ask friends, neighbors and of course your vet for referrals.

Your humans should visit the kennel.  While they are there, they should look to see:

1.         Is the kennel clean?  Does it look and smell clean?

2.         Is it comfortable?  Is there enough light, is it warm enough or cool enough, how abou ventilation?

3.         Are the staff attentive and caring?

4.         Are all pets required to be up to date with vaccinations, including kennel cough?

5.         Is the kennel area adequate for the size of the dog?  That means inside and outside. 

6.         Is there adequate exercise included in the daily schedule?

7.         What about the feeding schedule?  And treats?

8.         How are medications handled?

9.         Does the kennel have access to emergency veterinary care?

10.       What other services are available?  Grooming, etc.

We like going to day care so I guess if we had to stay overnight, it would be okay.

Many of our friends commented on last week’s blog saying they got to stay at a friend’s house or that a pet sitter got to stay at their house.  They liked the care they got and recommended in house sitting.

We would love to hear about their experiences from dogs who stay at boarding kennels when their humans are away.


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