Saturday, August 25, 2012

BarkBox Review!

 (lets start this post with my apology for cell phone photos- our camera was stolen out of our mangled wreck of a car and I haven't had a chance to decide what kind I want to buy yet)

Last month I signed Copley up for a cool new thing called BarkBox.  It is kinda like fruit of the month club but for your dog- you get a package of dog toys/supplies and cool stuff every month in the mail for $17-$25 a month depending on how many months you sign up for.  My first impressions for this month are- WORTH IT!  For organizations sake I shal rate the items in the box from my favorite to my least favorite!  Of the five items in the box 4 get my seal of approval and as far as things like this go that's good odds.

  • Bocce's Bakery treats "The Elvis" flavor.  These treats are modeled after Elvis's famous favorite food banana, peanut butter and bacon sandwiches.  Unlike Elvis's sandwich these treats are healthy with only 4 ingredients, no wheat, turkey bacon instead of that fattening pork stuff and they are made in NYC!  Well BarkBox must know me well sending Elvis themed dog treats.  Me and Mr. DogInTheDesert are big Elvis fans.  How big you ask?
Yeah, that's a picture of Elvis marrying us.
Did I mention the dogs loved the treats too?  Well they did.
  • A Moose antler from Acadia Antlers.  We buy antlers a lot but only ever deer and elk antlers.  This one is cool cause it is actually a slice of moose antler so Copley has immediate access to his favorite part of the antler (the inside) but it is still really firm and not really porous like the inside of the elk antlers so I think it will last a long time.  It is also the perfect size for him- I am glad I went with the medium box even though at 22lbs Copley is right on the edge of two sizes.  Two thumbs up for this one.  Also antlers are not cheap- this really helps with the overall value of the box. (Edited to say- Just realized these are from Maine!  LOVE IT!  We are Maine fans having lived there for quite a while)
 Kerri is being really submissive and begging Copley to let her have the antler.  It took a long while but she eventually did get a go at it.  Two Paws up from her too.
  • Hyper Pet Flying Pig slingshot toy.  OMG- this toy is so fun!  I only wish I had gotten a smaller one!  This one is the perfect size for Copley (and it was his box) but Kerrigan LOVES it.  It is really almost as big as her but it is the perfect toy!  I am always thinking "I wish we could get a plush toy that would fly farther" and this solves that problem.  She likes balls- but she LOVES plush toys I just can't throw them far enough.  I checked out online and I see they make the flying pig in a mini size- I will be ordering that ASAP.  In the meanwhile we are going to have fun with this full size guy too.  This is definitely Kerri's favorite thing in the box- Copley prefers the antler- but I rated it 3rd cause I am the one writing the blog and I WAS MARRIED BY ELVIS!!! 
  • Natures Miracle Freshening Spray for Dogs.  This is good timing- remember yesterday when I admitted I deodorize my foster dogs before going to adoption events?  That is what I will be doing with this.  I can't see getting much use out of it for my own dogs (remember they don't smell) but foster dogs for months to come will be using it I am sure.  Conveniently I just ran out of the spray I usually use it will be fun to try something else.
  • Finally the one thing I am not crazy about in the box is Milk Bone Trail Mix.  I would NEVER buy something by Del Monte foods for my dogs.  They are one of the evilest of the food suppliers and I avoid their products for myself along with my dogs.  I do like the idea of "trail mix" but would encourage you to get something that actually gives your dog good energy like Zukes Power Bones (what we use for long hikes) or Nutrical or something.  This milk bone trail mix is so far out of left field and if I was the Bocce's Bakery treat I would be ashamed to be in the same box as these.  I do have to say the ingredients list is not THAT bad if your dogs have no allergies but I am still unimpressed.  Copley is allergic to sweet potatoes so he can't have it anyway but really that is secondary to the fact that it is manufactured by the fine company that also brings us such great brands as Kibbles n' Bits, Milos Kitchen (remember the jerkey treats killing dogs) and Meow Mix.  But I will give BarkBox a pass on this one- the rest of the box was so good and there are worse treats out there
In conclusion BarkBox is totally worth it for me.  Getting to try new products I usually would not see at my pet store is the best part and the dogs like it too.  The box was absolutely worth the money as far as I am concerned.  So that's the review!  If you want to sign up for BarkBox use my link to get $5 off your first order.
I was not paid or compensated in any way for this review- but if you use my link I do get a free box.  Have a great weekend everyone!

Friday, August 24, 2012

Bath Time!

Today we had bath time for everyone at our house!  It is not something that happens often because... I hate to brag... but my dogs don't smell.  I know, I know!  How is that possible?  I have my theories and it is not all me.
  1. Homemade food- raw- pastured cattle and farmers market veggies.  Fewer toxins go in- fewer toxins seep out the skin.  That one's simple.  Also dogs on cheap kibble feel greasy (not sure why that is)- mine don't so that for sure helps because dirt sticks to grease.
  2. No bugs.  We really don't have biting bugs of any sort in Las Vegas so my dogs are not ever iching/licking/biting.  That has to help with smell.
  3. 0% humidity.  It is really dry here so everything smells better- even trash and dog poop.
  4. Short hair and a shedding breed.  I find the stinkiest dogs are the long hair non shedding ones.  Copley and Kerri seem to have hair that causes dirt to just slide off.
With that said once in a while even the cleanest dog needs a bath.  These guys were todays victims.

George (the foster dog) got one because I like to either bathe fosters or if they hate baths at least spritz them with something so they are deodorized and looking good for adoption events.  I have to admit some fosters never get a bath because they are either just fixed or they get adopted before I have the chance but George had been here a few weeks and I figured we moved past the point where a bath would ruin my relationship with him.  Today was the day and actually he enjoyed it a little I think.  Hopefully his new good looks will get him adopted tomorrow!

Kerrigan has not had a bath in 6 months.  She was getting a little stinky.

Copley was doing ok in the stink department but on the advise of our holistic vet I am giving him a bath more often to help wash away the toxins he may be seeping out of his skin as he gets over this TBD issue.  I am skeptical about this but I see how it might help out a little so I am TRYING to give him more baths.  It helps that he is a cooperative bather.

I don't have any pictures during the bath (it is a bit of an electronics hazard with the shaking dogs and water an all) but I do have a great video of everyone drying off.  My dogs LOVE playing and rolling in the damp towels after a bath.  It also has the bonus of drying them off further so now after we all air dry a little in the heat outside I let them in to go crazy on the towels on the floor!

Have a great weekend everybody!

Saturday, August 18, 2012

S****y week- Adorable Kerrigan

A few days ago I was in a car crash.  I am ok but it is kinda a miracle.  Someone swerved in front of me on the highway and clipped my front end.  That sent my car spinning out of control and I slammed into a concrete median barricade then skidded 125 feet and hit the median again.  The car was totaled and I walked away with a bloody hand, and bruises all over- mostly from the seatbelt and a few burns on my arms from the airbag.  I was on my way to the supermarket to buy chicken for the dogs.

Luckily there were no dogs in the car but I do keep my crate in there for transporting dogs.  I can't even begin to express my appreciation to the paramedic who after seeing I was ok asked if there was a dog in the crate and if they could help me with them.  I was so grateful there was no dog in there but it really hit home that they just as easily could have been.  I have always insisted my dogs ride in the crate for this very reason.  If my dogs were loose in the car they would have been thrown from the car out the front window into oncoming freeway traffic.  Imagine if they had been tethered to something in the car by a collar?  Or even those car harnesses are so easy to slip out of I can only imagine them flying around in one of those.  Would my dogs have survived that crash in the crate?  I really don't know (in fact I can't even believe I made it out of that car myself) but it would have been a hell of a lot better than the alternative.  No matter how careful you are things can happen.  This accident was not my fault, I was going the speed limit and had both hands on the wheel.  So next time you secure you dog in the car I want you to imagine what would happen to them if your car hit a concrete wall going 65 MPH.

Oh and did I mention this story gets worse?
When we went to get our belongings out of the car (as if just seeing our mangled mess of a car was not traumatic enough) someone at the tow lot stole my house keys, GPS and mail that was in the car and our garage door clickers.  Long story short a common crime around here is stealing peoples keys and then going to their house when they are not home with a moving truck.  Well the tow lot was about 45 minutes from our house so we called 911 and the VERY UNHELPFUL OPERATOR, whom I have filed complaints about for transferring me to an AUTOMATED MESSAGING SERVICE INSTEAD OF SENDING OUT AN OFFICER warned me that people were probably breaking into my house but they were not going to do anything about it.  Finally I called 911 again (And so did my husband) and they finally agreed to do an area check of the house.  I assume they did but who knows.  We raced home to find someone had attempted to get in the front door but in this really bad heat our top lock is jammed and can only be opened from the inside so they presumably gave up and left.

In the way to long ride home to our house all I could think of was "don't take the dogs!"  That was interspersed with thoughts that if the person was scarey enough, making enough noise, giving off enough bad energy, and they stuck their hand in Kerrigans crate she MIGHT bite them.  Never have I wished so hard that my dogs would bite a person in my entire life.  We spend so much time socializing them and teaching them to love all people but it leaves them so defenseless.  Copley would follow a criminal right out the front door no matter who they were.  Like I said Kerrigan is a little more cautious- but I don't think she would go so far as to put up a fight.

So dealing with all that is why I have been MIA for a little while and also why 30DOCPP turned into 17 DOCPP.  I hope you understand.

On a final note I wanted to tell one more story.  Once we bagged up everything that was in the car and finally got it home we spread everything out on the floor.  Kerri sneaked into the pile, found a granola bar wrapper and slinked away in the most adorable "maybe no one will see me and I can go chew on this in the corner" sort of way- looking from side to side, turning her head when Copley looked her way.  It was friggin adorable!  And it is absolutely why I love my dogs.  They can look at a pile of mostly trash that was rummaged through by thieves and then dumped on my floor and instead of seeing all the horrible things it represented see an opportunity.  An opportunity to sneak off with an absolutely amazing prize in the form of a crumb filled granola bar wrapper!  All the trouble I put into keeping them safe and healthy is worth it just for that.

Who could look at this happy little girl and not smile?

Thursday, August 9, 2012

30 DOCPP Days 15, 16 & 17

I have been a little busy to upload lately because our household has temporarily grown by 1.
Introducing our newest foster dog George!!!  If you live in Las Vegas and would be intirested in adopting George drop me a line!  He is available through a rescue called A Home 4 Spot.   He arrived Monday and is having a great time hanging out with us.  Also he could easily be Copleys litter mate, they look so similar.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Cookies & 30 DOCPP Day 14

Made some biscuits today!  I looked at a few recipies online and came up with my own based on what I had around.  If you are curious I used-
2 cups whole wheat flour
1/3 cup coconut oil
1/2 cup coconut milk
1 egg
1cup bioled chicken livers and hearts

I food processed the whole egg (shell included), liver, milk and oil.  Theni mixed in the flour, rolled, cut and baked at 350 for 30 minutes.  Then I shut off the oven and let them cool in the oven for a few hours. 

Saturday, August 4, 2012

30 DOCPP Day 13

We came home to a certificate in the mail!  Both dogs are now OFFICALLY good citizens!!

Big Bear Trip again!

I just love going to Big Bear Lake!  It is a lot of fun, the fishing is good and it is totally dog friendly.  If you ever want to take a trip up there e-mail me and I will hook you up with our favorite cabins.  They are so totally dog friendly and I love them!  This trip was a lot of fun for several reasons.  For one- Kerrigan is an adult dog and listens to what I have to say.  Secondly Copley is feeling a lot better and had a great time hiking again for the first time on months.  Also it is really, really, really hot in Vegas and we needed to get out of the valley before we went nuts.

I have a lot to say about Big Bear this time but sadly not so many pictures to go with it!  One thing you might have noticed in the recent cell phone photos is the dogs sporting bandanas (or in Kerri's case a piece of bandana tied to get collar).  Those are our new bug control technique.  I took bandanas and put a few drops of Cedar Oil on them then stored them in a Tupperware.  This trip did not tell me lot about effectiveness because there were very few bugs anyway.  I can say it didn't smell too bad and the dogs seemed fine with it.  When we take some trips to more bug filled places I will let you know how well they work.  Fortunately we don't have any ticks, mosquitoes or fleas in Las Vegas so it is not something we deal with at home.

I also want to comment on our feeding situation while traveling.  I like to bring their home made raw food but in some situations it is just not practical.  This trip we were gone for a whole week and didn't pack a cooler so I needed something easier than raw.  I brought ziwi peak dehydrated food that I keep around in case of emergency and also use as training treats from time to time.  The dogs are used to it already so it doesn't cause them any tummy issues.  Ziwipeak is the only protein based kibble-type thing that comes anywhere close to raw (although it is still processed and not optimal IMO).  I like it because there are not a lot of fillers and it is mostly meat.  It also absorbs water very well so I can make it into more of a mushy wet food.  The one complaint I have about it is cost.  It is possibly the most expensive kibble on the planet.  Most nights the dogs got Ziwipeak re hydrated in coconut water.  On the days when we went to the supermarket I just bought the dogs meat.  That is the kinda convenient thing about feeding raw- you can just buy meat at the supermarket.

To the raw purist out there yelling at me I say this- my dogs eat no processed foods on a regular basis.  They are healthy and proper weight and look great.  When I am home I feed me and my family all organic/local/farmers market veggies.  We buy our meat from local ranchers who pasture their cattle and the list of food products we don't buy for ethical/health reasons is so big I can barely shop at the supermarket anymore.  When I go on vacations I stop at has stations and eat kellogs breakfast bars and I don't die.  You have to make compromises while you are traveling- my dogs are not going to die because they got a few nights of commercial food.

That's all for this post!  I hope you are enjoying  my 30 DOCPP and you should also look forward to my post about the zoo we went to in big bear.  Hint: lots of wild canines- lots of wolves doing cute things.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

30 DOCPP Day 9 & 10- Big Bear!

When I get back I will be making a big post on our fun trip to Big Bear!  Meanwhile you get these cell phone photo gems!  In the picture of the lake you should try to find Kerri- she is in there!  I call it "ultimate recall."  The second picture is titled "Copley, my fishing buddy."  He was a really good fishing buddy too.

30 DOCPP Day 8

.Hanging out with the lions at bass pro shops.  Kerri is all yeah- big cats are my new peeps.