Wednesday, December 25, 2013

A Quiet Holiday!

Happy non denominational gift giving season everyone!  Around here we will be exchanging gifts on the 21st (the solstice) the 24th (Christmas) and the 12 days of pre-Christian tree related holiday season from the 21st to the 1st thanks to my wonderful Mom who puts together the 12 days for us every year.

Today is still the big day for us though and I just can't get over how different this Christmas was than years past.  For the first time in a long time I am living in a house with a bunch of well behaved adult dogs who for the most part avoid trouble.  As I said on Facebook earlier- there is something to be said for a house full of dogs following the rules but I just can't help but miss shooing dogs away from the presents, pulling wrapping paper out of their mouths and running behind them as they attempt to run away with the most fragile Christmas gift they can find.  No one even tried to drink my coffee this morning as I sat under the tree opening presents.  Ben even jokingly offered Kerrigan a cookie and she actually turned her head to the side, knowing it had to be a trick because she was not allowed to eat that.

For Nova this christmas could not have been more different from the last one.  The picture at the top of this post is her watching us open presents from under the tree.  She stayed a foot or two away from the action but she was interested and not scared this year.  When I woke up the first thing she did was run over to my chair for a cuddle- kinda amazing considering that last year I couldn't even touch her.  Here are a few shots of her this morning- excuse that "just go out of bed look" I thought it was too cute not to share.


Then here is Kerri.  She usually sleeps in that spot of sun and today she didn't let any gift giving get in her way.

Copley was literally too boring to photograph, I have enough pictures of him sleeping on the couch.  You will have to enjoy this out-take of our holiday photo shoot!

Happy holidays everyone!

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Meet The Bloggers Blog Hop

Meet the Pet Bloggers Hop

Hey Everybody!  Today I am going to be participating in a blog hop all about getting to know the people behind the pet blogs.  I found out about the hop through our buddy Nola.  She sent me over to Bringing Up Bella to learn more (you could go there to learn more too).

To participate you need to post a picture of you and answer at least five of twenty questions.  Here we go-

 That is me and Copley in the Rockies on his first vacation with us.  Now on to the questions.

What's your favorite non-animal related book?
The Golden Compass
What's your favorite non-animal related movie?
Star Wars: Return of The Jedi
What's your favorite non-animal related food?
Pho (a Vietnamese soup dish)
Who's your favorite actor?
Jeffrey Wright
What's one thing you have to do every day?
Feed the dogs!
What do you wish you were more skilled at?
What's your favorite holiday?
Favorite meal?
Roasted Duck
What do you like to do in your free time?
Play computer games, hike and camp

What is one thing you've done that you're most proud of?
It would have to be one of my designs.  I work in a design field and I have a few works that I am very proud of.
How is your pet most like you?
None of us like loud noises and we enjoy the peace and quiet at our house.
If you could change one thing about your life what would it be?
I would have a bigger backyard!  (I'm working on changing that one)
Other than blogging, what are three things you do that bring you joy?
My job as a designer, spending time with my family and training my dogs (in no particular order)
If you didn't have your current pets, what pets would you choose to have?
I have always loved Shiba Inus and Basenjies (can you tell I love super easy to train, people loving dogs :P)  I have met many of them and they have always appealed to me.  The independence, the sparky personalities, I just love them both.  I am considering my time taming Nova as training for future Basenji ownership.

That's all about me I guess!  Now check out some of the other bloggers out there!

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

One Year With Nova- February and March

The dogs motto for these two months is "Thank you dear friends."

I spent a good chunk of that time (looking back at the calendar it was 22 days) away from home with my Grandmother.  She fell ill while visiting us during Thanksgiving of 2012 and passed away on March 21st, the first day of spring.  She was one of my biggest supporters in life and she was a woman who I looked up to very much.  She loved her family and spent a lot of her life raising us.  I say "us" because my family has an "it takes a village" view on child rearing and Grandma had a hand in at least four generations of that village.

As far as the dogs go over that time Ben would probably be better suited to write this.  After one stint away from home when my wonderful husband reported every day things were going "great!"  I came home to a husband with a bloody hand and a makeshift dog catcher pole in the corner.  I suspect that "great" might not adequately describe the state of affairs at the house over that time.

One Nova highlight I DO remember is that near the beginning of March we had a bit of a breakthrough.  Nova came over while I was petting Kerri and let me scratch her under the chin.  It was like a lightbulb went off in her head and she realized petting was great!  Literally overnight she went from a dog who I could not touch to a dog that was becoming pushy and possessive of my lap.  I started scratching her back, and her chin and her butt and literally every moment she could Nova would come to me for attention.  We quickly nipped the possession problem with Nova by immediately removing myself any time she was possessive.  I did the same thing with Kerri- who not as overt with her jealousy about sharing my lap- still had a little bump here or there.

I am actually surprised that Nova did as well as she did with me out of the house so much.  Speaking of "it takes a village" though- we had a LOT of help during that time and I could not be more grateful.  Nova's favorite person and his girlfriend helped Ben while I was out of town and stopped by the house to feed Nova while we both were away for 3 days for Grandma's service.   Mosby's parents took Copley and Kerri at their house with less than 24 hours notice but Nova was not in a state to take a doggie vacation.  I am just so glad we have friends who are willing to help us out.

Not much of a Nova update eh?  Well I will have much more to tell you in the April and May post.

Monday, December 2, 2013

One Year With Nova- December and January

Happy Adopion Day Nova Bear!!!

I can't believe it has been a whole year since we got Nova.  I've decided to re-cap her story month by month to celebrate and look back on the past year.  Mostly I want to say she is an amazing dog who has taught me so much about training, how dogs brains work and areas where I wasn't quite doing things right.  BUT if the person who bred her mother then let her puppies end up on the street is out there I want them to know they have done a horrible thing, and no matter how great Nova is today, she never should have existed in the first place.  The reason I ended up with a quivering disaster of a dog in my house is because I was cleaning up other people's careless messes and I wish I never had to do that.  I do however, still love her and here is our story, part 1 of 6.

When we first got her home she wouldn't even stand up.  She just crept along the ground and huddled frozen in any corner she could.  She was totally shut down and we had no idea what dog was under there.  So we put her in a crate, put a thundershirt on her and ignored her completely.  We would leave food for her when we left the house and it got eaten, but never when we were home.  Copley cuddled with her and Kerri whined a lot, but the people pretended she wasn't there.  The first little bit was pretty rough for her.  Being plucked off the street and put in a house had to have been like an alien abduction for her.  I do believe all she ever knew was the outdoors and I have serious doubts that she was ever owned by anyone.  It was rough too because she had to keep going back to the vet for dressing changes on her rear feet where half torn off dew claws were removed all the way.  I began to think she would huddle in the back of that crate for months.  Then about a week later I saw this.

I honestly could not believe it.  That really was the first moment I saw her stand up straight.  I'm glad my first thought was to take a picture so Ben could see how short she was.  I really had thought she was taller.

Now we had a dog who stood up.  Great.  Lets see what the next step is.  That is how we tackled everything, particularly in the beginning.  I couldn't think about next month, or next year, or how I was going to live with her, I just had to do one thing at a time.  What is the next step after crawling around on the ground in fear?  Standing up straight with her tail tucked between her legs.  Great.  Mission accomplished. 

Now that we had a dog who stood up I expanded her world a little outside of the crate.  She was in the living room right next to the Christmas tree and to be honest sometimes I thought she would live in that pen for the rest of her life.  I still could only touch her by cornering her (something that made me more than a little anxious) but she was warming up to the world.  I sat in that pen and spent hours getting her used to a collar, or at least associating good things with it.  She got a grasp of the clicker in there too.  That clicker was the only thing she connected with early on.  It was consistent, she controlled it and it was not human.  To this day it is our primary tool with her, and her list of clicker tricks is growing by the day.

You may notice a pillow in that pen.  It was there because my amazing husband was sleeping in there at the time so she could get used to people and wouldn't be alone at night.  We didn't yet realize that Nova hated him any more than she hated any other person and he thought it would be a good way to bond with her.  It was then that I realized my husband was in fact the most incredible person on earth and I could not possibly be luckier to have found him.  How many people would sleep on the ground of a dog pen for three weeks so that a chihuahua who you could not touch wouldn't be lonely?

Over the next several weeks I managed to get a collar on her.  Unfortunately she managed to get it right off again.  Or even worse stuck on something or in her mouth.  I saved her from strangulation on two occasions before we realized that collars were not something Nova would be wearing.  Or at least not dog collars.  I wanted her to wear a collar because she was a flight risk, but obviously it was not safe for her.  I got the great idea to get a quick release cat collar.  So I put it on her, she pulled it off, I put it on her, she pulled it off, I put it on her, she pulled it off and in we went for the next few months.  Did I mention that literally every time I cornered her to put it on I cringed, afraid that this would be the time she bit me?  In all the time we had her so far she never snapped at me, that is truly a testament to her temperament.  In case you were thinking of plucking your own traumatized chihuahua off the street I want you to know cornering a scared dog is a bad idea, you should never do it.  I cringe to think of some of the situations I put us in together early on, and I don't know I would do it again, and certainly not ever with a dog any bigger.

December brought us a dog who stood up in our presence, but never left a pen in the living room.  It brought us a dog who would eat while we watched, but would not sleep, or even close her eyes with us in the room.  She was scared all of the time.  Scared when the other dogs ran too fast, scared when anything new was in the house, scared of anything she saw us do.

This was during the two days we tried umbilical training.  Ben almost lost a toe and Nova nearly broke her neck.  It was a great idea for most people but you sometimes need to recognize when you are not "most people."

Near the beginning of January I tried working with her to take food from my hand.  It was not going swimmingly but she was getting closer and closer.  Then a friend came over and Nova decided he was the person that she trusted.  She ate right out of his hand and I informed him he had to move into my spare room.  Unfortunately he had his own place and wasn't looking for a job as a full time dog rehabilitator, but was over a lot and every time he came he gave Nova a handful of food.  Every time she took it.  By the end of the month she was taking food from me, and Ben if she thought she was actually stealing it from him.  If Ben looked like he WANTED her to have the food she hid.  But if he was giving treats to another dog, or eating a bowl of cereal she would try to steal that.  Baby steps.


 If I just...


January was a pretty rough month.  It was when we discovered Nova was not a dog.  She was in fact a Ninja.  First I would come home and find her out of the pen.  At first we thought she was burrowing under it.  So we piled things around to weigh it down.  She still got out.  Then I thought she was going on top of the crate to get there so I relocated her to the spare room with the pen in the doorway.  That was when I saw her climb it.  She climbed that pen like it was not even an obstacle.  In fact she started climbing anything she wanted to get over or out of.  She was getting braver and her smarts were starting to show.  This made me happy, but it also has led to endless frustration.

The only other exciting development of January was when I was upstairs on the computer (we have a loft that at that time was blocked off from the dogs but I could see down) and I think she forgot I was home.  I looked down as her and Kerri played with a toy they got for Christmas.  It was a Martha Stewart Elf that had no stuffing but made a crinkly noise.  They full out played, we are talking play bows and throwing the toy up in the air and the whole bit.  Then Nova saw me and ran back into her crate and started to shake.  That was the day that I knew this was going to be ok.  If she can play with Kerri we have her!  She is not so broken that she is non-functional, we just need to manufacture more circumstances where she can function.

So there is December and January for you.  I will update on the next 10 months this week.

How to Celebrate National Mutt Day!

Happy National Mutt Day! (Facebook tells me it is today but I am not sure who exactly decided it was, but I am going with it)

To celebrate why don't you take a mutt camping-

Give a Mutt a Bone-

Cuddle With a Mutt

Or if you live in Las Vegas you can adopt a discounted mutt from The Animal Foundation-

Or if you don't have a mutt at home maybe you can just pet a mutt at the park, or google image "mutt."

However you choose to celebrate be sure to have a great national mutt day! 

Monday, November 25, 2013

Holiday Shopping Guide

 Copley and his nearly 4 year old lupine collar

I know a lot of people post holiday shopping guides, but I have a lot of good ideas this year so I am going to post my list with the hopes it might help others with their shopping too!

Recommended Shopping (Stuff we have and love)-
  • Barkbox!  Barkbox is a really great gift for a new dog owner or anyone looking to learn about new products.  I have several reviews on my blog (here, here and here) and have been receiving it for a long time now myself.  Some months are better than others- but every month is worth it.   I always get my money's worth in a box.  For me though the real enjoying thing is discovering new products, there are some treats and toys that we have bough more of and many have become staples in our house.  Also if you use this link you will get $5 off your first box.
  • Buddy Belt- as I mentioned above we walk the chihuahuas on Buddy Belts all the time.  They are the best made, most comfortable and hardest to back out of harnesses I have encountered.  They have a non leather version called BB2 out now for the vegan folks among us or others looking to spend a little less.
  • Max & Ruffy's treats-  These are great, organic treats and the Mini size is perfect for training treats and for small dogs like mine.  I also like them because if you are someone who shows or does obedience and puts treats in your mouth they are perfect for that.  They are all vegetarian and made with human grade ingredients that smell good and don't taste half bad.  My dogs who don't usually like meat-less treats love these.  I used them as the primary treats for the run of Legally Blonde with Kerrigan.  The only issue I have with their company is that they advocate a vegan diet for dogs and I don't ever believe healthy dogs should be fed a vegan diet.  So just ignore that part of the website- their treats are great.
  • Star Wars!  Petco has started carrying a Star Wars collection.  Some of the items are a little overpriced and not the best quality stuff (although the t-shirts are good quality and we have two of them that have been getting a lot of use).  But come on- Star Wars!!  I got Kerri one of the cat toys that is a tie fighter on a stick and she loves crushing the empire in the living room.  I would say they are a must have for any Star Wars loving pet owner.
  • Lupine Pet collars and leads-  I LOVE lupine.  They are an American company who manufactures in New Hampshire and their stiff is all guaranteed for life even if chewed.  Copley's everyday collar is the same lupine collar he has been wearing since two months after we got him in 2010.  The chis don't wear Lupine collars but they are walked on Lupine leashes and Kerri has their small step in harness for wearing over clothing.  I have bough other leashes but I don't use ant of them.  99% of the time my dogs leave the house is on Lupine.
  • Planet Dog Toys-  These are some of the few dogs toys I have found that are actually manufactured in the USA (the other exceptions would be Kong and Nylabone).  Even with that said- watch out- there are a few Planet dog products (and Kong and Nylabone for that matter) that are made in China. so if that is something you care about read the fine print.  No matter where they are made I like them though.  The Orbee globe that Kerrigan has is one of her favorite toys and she has had it for quite a while.  Our blind foster dog Luke went crazy for their raspberry because it- along with a lot of their other toys- has a natural mint scent added when they make the toy- and it helped him find the toy when he couldn't use his eyes to see it.  This would be first on my list for any blind dogs out there.

I think that is most of the stuff I am loving right now.  Have fun holiday shopping!

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Rally For Change

Hello Las Vegas folks (and other folks too)!  As many of you know Kerrigan was adopted from a county shelter called The Animal Foundation (formerly LIED Animal Shelter).  Sadly only 61% of the animals that go into The Animal Foundation make it out alive.  Also sadly the administration at the shelter is very resistant to change and perhaps worse than that is spreading a lot of misinformation to the public.  The Executive Director, Christine Robinson claims that the shelter has not killed a dog for space in over a year.  If that is true why was healthy, happy Lala (seen in the picture above) killed?  Why are so many dogs killed for minor medical issues, why are so many dogs euthanized for behavior when volunteers witness those very same dogs as happy and healthy.  The numbers just don't add up.  Then there are the stories like this-

So what can you do about it?  There are a few things.  First watch and share this video.



Social networking.  Share the video and the poster with all your friends.  Also follow Go Vegas Dog and Animal Help Alliance on facebook for more information.  If you are looking to adopt soon check out Go Vegas dog on Facebook for information about sponsored adoption fees the day of the rally.  We may disagree with how they are run, but it is not the animals fault, so if you are ready to adopt consider adopting from The Animal Foundation the day of the rally (or any other day for that matter)!


If you have a little extra to spare please also consider donating.  Permits, insurance and printing flyers is not cheap and the organizers can use anything you can give!  Here is the link for that.


Most importantly attend the rally and RSVP here!

P.S- Arbor (Go Vegas Dog) is a really cool pup!  You should follow her on facebook.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Tis The Season To- Judge Other People Without Knowing All the Facts

It is that time of year.  The weather is getting colder.  You are all frantically starting to deep clean your houses in anticipation of the family visits at Thanksgiving.  The leaves are falling off the trees, the crisp air is making your morning coffee taste that much better, and your chihuahua is sitting in the corner shaking.  Take a minute to go look- I bet if you have a dog under 10 lbs in the house right now it is shaking in the corner.  Are they upset at your insane cleaning spree?  Do the leaves on the ground rub on their tummy uncomfortably?  Did they eat part of your Halloween pumpkin?  No,  no and no.  I was asking these same questions a few years ago.  The answer is simple, your chihuahua is freezing its ass off.  Tiny dogs with thin hair have been selectively bred by people for hundreds of years to be as tiny and as useless in the cold as possible.  Luckily, dear humans, over the last several hundred years we have also refined another thing.  The mass production of textiles.  And heating pads.  And polar fleece pet beds.  Now go put a sweater on that freezing dog, cause you know what?  A room temperature of 68 is cold if you only weigh 5lbs.

This jersey says "Wide Retriever"

I am always the first person to shout from the top of the roof that SMALL DOGS ARE DOGS TOO and to TREAT A CHIHUAHUA AS YOU WOULD A ROTTWEILER as far as rules go.  There are some areas though where tiny dogs are different.  As I mentioned before we humans feel a need to breed dogs to the extremes (no judgement there- really- I mean I own two super tiny dogs- I don't judge on that one) and some of those extremes have made it so our dogs can't regulate their own body functions.  In the case of tiny dogs that would be blood sugar (in some cases) and temperature.  The human race is responsible for the dogs being tiny so we are also responsible for putting a sweater on them if they are cold.

There comes my next point.  If you see a person walking their dog with a sweater on it.  DON'T JUDGE that person.  They are not (necessarily) treating their dog like a child, or playing dress up with it as if it is a doll, or anthropomorphizing it.  The dog is probably cold and the responsible owner is just keeping it warm.  Even if the dog does not seem to like the clothes- stop judging!  Just like anything some dogs take faster to stuff than others.  While one dog may love a sweater from the first day it wears it, it may take another dog a little while to be trained to ignore the clothes.

I am tired of people saying "I would never put clothes on my dog" or calling it "cruel" to put a sweater on a dog.  If you think it is cruel then you also must think it is cruel to simply own a small breed with short hair in a place where it gets cold.  Maybe that is what you think.  If so say that.

For a long time I was ashamed of putting clothes on my chihuahuas.  I thought it reinforced a stereotype and frankly the clothes are often really ugly.  If you are a person like me who tends to scoff at socially imposed gender norms then don't shop for chihuahua clothes.  It is a sea of pink tutus and camo pants, as I have blogged about before.  So for a long time I bought the cheapest, most generic clothes I could find and moved on.  Recently though I have realized that there is nothing wrong with spending money on clothes I like.  Kerri and Nova don't care what their clothes look like, but just like with collars and crate pads and other dog stuff it is ok to spend your money on what the human thinks looks good.  After all I am the one looking at it and parading it around town on our walks.

So moral of the story-
  • Your dog might be cold
  • If it is put a sweater on
  • Don't judge others for putting clothes on their dog
  • Even if they are designer clothes and cost a lot of money don't judge
  • Don't judge other people
  • Chihuahuas are dogs too
  • Don't Judge other people

P.S- Kerri outgrew most of her clothes from last winter, and Nova is her size too, so I am in need of clothes if anyone has any suggestions.  I like quirky stuff FYI.

Monday, November 4, 2013

Funny Story

"I'm a dog, not a genius"

Today I was re-arranging some stuff and moved the dogs water bowl.  Usually when I move it I give them a little something fun in there- just to make sure everyone is attracted to the new place and no one is out looking for it later.  I used Ice Pups by Honest Kitchen and make it into a warm broth.  I made it pretty light and put it in the bowl.  Copley drank first (being chief food lover around here he always goes first) and it turns out I didn't put in enough liquid.  When I saw he was going to finish it I knew I didn't want to go through making a bunch more so I got water out of the tap and poured it in the bowl so there would be some left for the chihuahuas.

I guess using Copley logic I had "covered up" the tasty stuff so he stuck his entire head down in the bowl and licked the bottom of it.  A few times.  He was covered in water from snout to eyes- all because he didn't understand that the tasty stuff was being diluted, not covered.  I love how dogs brains work sometimes.

Friday, November 1, 2013

Iams Shakeables Review- Or Anti-Review

I have noticed that a lot of bloggers have been reviewing IAMS Shakeables these past few days.  Well I don't ever accept ANYTHING from the major pet food companies, so I am not reviewing them for Iams.  In fact I wasn't going to review them at all.  But then I was reading all over blogville about how "amazing" "tasty" and "fun" they are and I decided I needed to throw my hat in the ring on this one.  I went to the store and purchased a can of the treats (they were less than $3 so it didn't break the bank) and now I am going to review them.  My basic review is this-

They are fattening, cheap, contain very little meat and I would never in a million years buy them for my dogs.  Iams is contributing to pet obesity with the size of these treats and with poor labeling practices, but at least they are not full of sugar like other treats on the market.  You could buy worse, but why buy crap at all?


Before I get into manufacturing practices that I find suspect lets take a go at the ingredients.  The first one is Wheat Flour followed by Glycerin.  That's right- the two ingredients that make up the primary composition of the treat is wheat flower and glycerin.  I don't have anything particularly against wheat, but it is a grain, and a lot of dogs are sensitive to grains.  Also I can't imagine that any dogs particularly love the taste of these two, cheap as shit ingredients.  Next on the ingredients list is lamb.  To that I say bravo!  Lamb is a named protein source, and a lot of dogs like it.  But it is also the reason I bought the lamb flavor.  You see a lot of people whose dogs have allergy problems buy lamb as a way to avoid chicken and other common allergens.  But you see the thing here is that the next ingredient on the list is... wait for it... POULTRY fat.  Not chicken, duck or turkey fat, but poultry fat.  That means it can be any kind of poultry fat at all.  So if your dog is allergic to chicken, these treats would be a bad idea, even though the word chicken does not appear anywhere on the label.  On top of that poultry fat is a by-product of the rendering process so who knows what really is in it.  I see people right now saying- "but I trust Iams to make sure their product is safe and they wouldn't put iffy poultry fat in treats."

Well a little research on my part finds that Iams Shakeables were actually already recalled once this year.  By recalled I mean that Iams silently pulled them from store shelves without even notifying consumers.  Here is their iffy "press release" that can only be found if you know the product was recalled and google as such-

Here is a blog post about the whole situation.  I agree with their assessment that P&G was hoping no one would notice they were withdrawing the product.  Thanks for putting dogs first P&G!

Still trust Iams?

Maybe you do.  Lets forgive them for a minute the "poultry fat."  It is just there after all to make the treat taste good, because glycerin and wheat flour with a little drop of lamb actually tastes like cardboard, so you need the fat for flavor.  Lets move on to a few little tidbits form the Iams website FAQ-

" Are all ingredients in Iams Shakeables from USA?
The majority of our ingredients come from the United States; there are some ingredients that are sourced from other countries."

What countries you may ask?  This FAQ might give you a clue.

"Why do you purchase ingredients from China for Iams Shakeables?

The realities of global trade means that some countries or regions specialize in certain ingredients, which can limit the buying options. We do not source meat- or vegetable-based proteins from China"

Good luck finding it in the FAQ though- they are about as easy to navigate as a corn maize.  I did learn some more information from them though.  Such as the fact that one shakeable treat is about 10 calories.  That is one thing I must thank Iams about- I was planning on trying to calculate that somehow and they saved me a lot of math. 

There too comes the other problem with Iams Shakeables.  10 calories is a lot for a dog treat.  I do use a lot of training treats, and I my dogs are not obese, but these are just HUGE.  I see so many of the dogs reviewing them online struggling with obesity.  There is simply no reason to give your dog a 10 (useless, empty) calorie treat like this.  Pictured below you will see the Iams Shakeable with equal calorie amounts of other treats I had laying around.  You will notice that one shakeable is actually more calories than a snack pack of fruitables (flower shaped treats).  The high values zukes treats I use are more calorie dense than the Shakeables, but you will see that they are small, encouraging people to actually feed less of them (those are the z's on the right).  The zukes treats easily tear in half, giving me 8 treats for every one of the Iams ones.  I tried tearing the Iams treats into 8 pieces and it didn't go great.  All I got was a crumbly mess and a broken nail.  Plus the Zukes are full of good stuff like chicken as the first ingredient and fish oil.  Dogs don't eat a lot of calories in a day, do you really want to waste 10 of them on wheat flour and glycerin?  Overall I just can't get behind these Iams treats, they don't even say on the can how many calories are in a treat!  The Kcals are there but it takes a math major to translate that into something real.  If Iams really was putting dogs health as their first responsibility they would list the calorie content per treat on the can.  It's not like they didn't know it, cause it is listed in the back of a difficult to navigate FAQ section on their website.

Also notice there was no taste test here?  Of course the dogs loved them (I broke one up for all three dogs) but the dogs love a lot of stuff, it does not mean it is good for them.  The rest of the can is going where it belongs- in the trash.


P.S- From the Iams FAQ "Are Iams Shakeables Made in the USA?" says "Yes, the Shakeables are manufactures and packaged in the USA. All of our products distributed in the United States are manufactured in the United States."

I was wondering around the store curious where Iams products are made and the first thing I picked up was this tub-

"Made in Thailand" is printed on the label.  Still trust Iams?


Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Happy Halloween!

Nothing fancy this year for the dogs- we are going to not one, but TWO parties without them- so enjoy this collage of tears past.

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Follow Us By E-mail

Hey Everybody!

I finally figured out how to add a "follow by e-mail" option to the blog!  It is on the left hand side at the top of the page.  If you are a regular reader please follow us so you can be sure to catch all our blog posts!

Also enjoy this video of Nova relaxing and playing with me and Kerrigan (it's pretty cute).  There was a time when I never thought she would be relaxed and playing like this, now it is an everyday occurrence.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Squeaky Wheels Get the Grease

^Squeaky Wheels^

The chihuahuas get a lot of air time around here.  It is because I tend to write about the exciting, challenging, interesting things that happen in my life.  Now I LOVE Copley, but he is far from challenging or exciting.  For the large part he listens to things I tell him.  He never has pooped or peed in the house, he knows a few tricks and they are all cute, he can go for a hike, or sleep all day.  He walks well on a leash, no longer gulps his food, eats anything put in front of him, and now that we are past the lyme disease he has no health problems.  At 5 years old (or so) he is neither young or old, he has ok but not great hips and while he does like agility, it really knocks him out and we can't seem to get in the swing of enough classes for him to keep up but not too many to wipe him out.  

So Copley sleeps on the couch and snuggles with me at night while I write about the exploits of two exceptional chihuahuas.  Not only are they exceptional, but for opposite reasons, so it really keeps things interesting.  In one day I might be working on Nova not attacking guests who come to the door then taking Kerri to visit a library where she patiently allows ten children to pet her at one time.  I think you get the picture.

Copley is relegated to a few tasks he is particularly suited for on the blog-

 Trying out products that are too big for the chihuahuas

 Bragging about being named after a nostalgic part of his owners lives

 Testing treats that are too big for the chihuahuas

Sometimes (often) I ask myself why I am not writing about my favorite dog.  That's right, I said favorite, they are dogs not children, I can pick a favorite and they will never know.  Copley was our first dog and for all the reasons I stated above he is perfect*.  Literally the closest thing to the ideal family pet one could ask for, so he is my favorite.  The thing is Copley doesn't mind.  I think he liked it when we got Kerri because he wasn't the center of attention anymore.  Then I think he liked it when we got Nova because there were two chihuahuas to entertain each other and the humans so he REALLY could avoid being the center of anyone's attention.

A common remark I get from acquaintances is that Kerri is the BEST dog.  I agree with that.  But I also know what people really mean to say is that Kerri is so much better than the false idea in their mind of what most chihuahuas are.  When you expect a dog to never leave the house, bite your ankle then shiver in the corner it is amazing when you see that dog confidently climbing a mountain.  I get it.  It is just funny to me when the better behaved, better trained, more evenly tempered dog gets no credit for anything.  Except from people who have dog sat.  Funny... they all fall in love with Copley.

 You see Copley only wants a few thing in life
  1. To sleep most of the time close, but not directly touching, other members of the family
  2. To occasionally cuddle
  3.  To spend time outside with everyone else looking at, but never actually going near (that would be scarey) wild animals such as ducks and squirrels
  4. To get a meal every day, preferably of raw red meat
  5. For me and Ben to return home every time we leave the house
  6. To meet new people and spend time with guests that come over
That's it. Plus he is my buddy, always has been.  From the day I brought him home I have been in love and I think he loves me back.  We are buddies and that's that.

So what's the point of this post?  Copley is perfect* and I felt he was due for some attention.  Just don't tell him, he really does not want me bothering him.

*The word "perfect" is subjective in this case.

Friday, October 18, 2013

Happy Two Year Adoption Day Kerrigan!

Yesterday we celebrated Kerri's two year adoption day (as we do not know her birthday exactly I go with the day we got her).  Here is a selection of pictures of her enjoying those last two years.

 Cuddling at a campsite in Wee Thump Joshua Tree Wilderness

 Watching squirrels at Big Bear Lake, CA with Copley

 Environmental (Nuclear) Monitoring Station in Rachael NV at the Al'e'inn

 Chewing on a Zukes Treat from her BarkBox

 Practicing her balance on a pumpkin

 Christmass 2012!!!!

 Camping at a ghost town in Parahump, NV

 Posing at Cedar Brakes National Monument, UT

 Graduating Basic Obedience Class

 Looking Elegant on the Couch

 Hiking in the Mt. Charleston wilderness area, NV

 Fishing in Big Bear, CA

First Time Seeing Snow at the largest lodge pole pine tree in the world

 Meeting Nova for the first time (that we know of)

Sisters at Christmass