Category Archives: Dogs

Zoe's Corner: K9 Joint Relief

Zoe's CornerThis post should probably be called Lucy’s Corner – no, no, no, NOTHING has happened to the Zoester. But Lucy has gotten far more use out of this product than Zoe. So….ZoeLucy’s Corner?

A couple months ago we reviewed Pet Doctor’s Hip and Joint Supplement (read that review here). Then, we had another opportunity to try a second glucosamine supplement through Tomoson. Because we have 4 old, large, pupperoos, we’re all about trying products in exchange for a review. Supplements aren’t cheap, and it’s always a toss up whether you spend the money on something relatively untested or not. So we appreciate the review opportunity – and you can expect to see a couple more in the next few months. I figure this will help you make informed decisions too, right?

Right.

Anyway, back to ZoeLucy. Zoe’s in one of her picky eater phases, which is why Lucy has been the tester this time around. (I’m having to feed my dog WHOLE TURKEYS just to keep her from looking all skeletal on me. The things we do for love.) Lucy is 9, a husky mix, and our sweetest, hyperest dog.

Coleman Weatheredge TentLucy’s pretty healthy, other than a weird compulsion to eat the pads off her feet. Sigh. But she’s a large breed, and she runs over everyone and everything, so it’s just a matter of time before arthritis sets in. (Though to be honest, I don’t know that she’ll ever “go slow.”) So she gets to be our test puppy for K9 Joint Relief.

K9 Joint Relief contains glucosamine, chondroitin and MSM, the trifecta for any decent joint supplement. This is a maximum strength formula, and is one of the highest combinations I’ve seen. Like most supplements, we need a ton for Lucy, but with a large dog that’s what you’d expect. Pricewise this is a little higher than some of the others, but still a reasonable $38 on Amazon.

One of the things I find interesting with this supplement versus others is that it doesn’t need to be refrigerated. I’m not sure why that is, and frankly, I don’t trust it, so my bottle has been parked in the fridge. I’m sure it’d be fine, but I’m used to having it in the fridge anyway, so that’s where it is.

Lucy seems to be doing just fine on it. She wasn’t exhibiting symptoms before, so I can’t see any visible improvement, but I don’t have any reason to think it’s not doing exactly what it says it is! If I could get Zoe to eat it, then we might know….I’ll work on that.

You can check out K9 Joint Relief’s website, or purchase a bottle through Amazon. Don’t forget to shop AmazonSmile to have a portion of your purchase donated to the charity of your choice!

Zoe's Corner: Pet Doctor Hip and Joint Supplement (Advanced Formula)


Zoe's CornerAww, my darling! Look at that face!! Isn’t she the sweetest?

Truthfully, that picture is at least 5 years old and she’s nowhere near as spunky most days. Sadness. But she’s my heart and I love her and I spoil her rotten. Which means that I’m willing to do a lot for her to keep her as healthy as possible.

Zoe’s 13, which is so amazing and so terrifying all at the same time. But, she’s in perfect health. Yeah, she’s got some doggie dementia, but other than that, she’s fit as a fiddle. Well, besides the arthritis.

A couple years ago we started the dogs on glucosamine supplements because our vet told us it would help with the arthritis pain. Just like humans! We had our dogs on a different brand for a while, but it was always a struggle to get them to eat their food once we’d poured the glucosamine on it. Happily, a few months ago there was an opportunity through Tomoson to review the Pet Doctor’s Hip and Joint Supplement, and we were able to snag some!

We’re pretty picky with our glucosamine. A lot of formulations are pretty weak, or they don’t include chondroitin and MSM. You really want the three ingredients together – glucosamine rebuilds cartilage, chondroitin lubricates the cartilage to keep it flexible, and MSM reduces inflammation in the joint. Cartilage + lubrication + no inflammation = happy puppies and less arthritis pain. Again, just like humans.

Only, you know, with more feet.

Anyway, we’ve tried tablets and we’ve tried other liquids. This is the first one that my picky eater will eat!

While it’s not a miracle, we do notice a difference when Zoe isn’t on glucosamine. She’s not quite back to puppy antics, but she’ll run and play, and she doesn’t have as much trouble getting up. Sure, she still struggles with stairs, and she’s running a lot more slowly these days. (The same could be said for me, to be fair.)

I’m pretty impressed with this glucosamine. The bottle is huge, and the price is reasonable ($25 for 32 ounces, which has lasted us 2 months and counting). My only wish is that it came with a marked cap, so I don’t have to use a measuring spoon. It would be much easier to just measure in the cap and pour, since the “spout” is fairly large and the glucosamine comes out quickly. It’s easy to overfill a measuring spoon. As with all liquid supplements, it needs to be stored in the fridge, but the bottle fits really well in the bottom of the door. I like that it’s not taking up valuable fridge (ahem, beer) space.

You can purchase the Pet Doctor’s All Natural Liquid Glucosamine – Hip and Joint Supplement for Dogs through Amazon. Don’t forget to shop AmazonSmile to have a portion of your purchase donated to the charity of your choice!

Vote for Luka!

I know you all love Luka….I mean, what’s not to love?

Luka in the TruckLuka has EPI, or exocrine pancreatic insufficiency. Basically, he lacks the enzymes needed to digest his food. What that means, in English, is that he can eat as much as he wants but literally starve to death because his body isn’t absorbing nutrients or calories.

When we rescued him, he weighed 46 pounds. Sadly, I don’t have a good picture of just how skinny he was. By comparison, that picture above, he’s about 20 pounds heavier.

EPI is absolutely treatable, but it’s a lifelong condition that means that every single meal, he takes medicine. He can only have so many treats, and if he misses just one dose of enzymes, he’s sick.

EPI affects dogs, cats, horses, tigers, and all sorts of other animals. It’s often overlooked in diagnosis. There’s a fantastic website, that literally became our lifeline, called Epi4dogs. I can’t praise them enough.

Epi4dogs is running their first ever photo contest this month, as a way to raise awareness of Epi. And you guessed it, we entered Luka! Prizes are awarded for the top 3 vote earners, so if you’re so inclined, please go vote for our pupperoo! You can vote daily through the end of February.

Click here to vote: http://bit.ly/1wSdURU. 

Luka says thanks!!!

 

Knitted Bow Tie Collar Tutorial

This is a fun one.

Are you ready?

I present to you…..

KittyCat Bow Tie Collars

Sophie BowReally.

Actually, they don’t HAVE to be for kittycats. It just so happens that the first one I made was for my mom’s cat, though Zoe wore it too. (Yes, she’s getting her own.)

Zoe Red BowI found the idea on Pinterest (where else?) and made a few modifications. As my bestie calls me, I’m a “lazy but inventive” knitter. She’s absolutely right. If you don’t believe me, I routinely tie knots instead of weaving in my ends. Yup.

Anyway, I found inspiration on Pinterest, and simplified it. Even for me, this is a fairly quick project. The first one took me a while, but now I can make one in about an hour. All you need to know is garter stitch. You can easily make these to any size you want, so they can be cat collars, dog collars, baby headbands, or even bracelets. I’m currently working on a red and green one for Luka for our Tacky Sweater Party. You won’t want to miss that post.

This is a great beginner project since it’s garter stitch – awesome for practicing stitches, and it’s something besides coasters. And dishcloths. And a bow tie collar is nowhere near as intimidating as a scarf. And….these are much more fun to give as gifts. Everyone thinks they’re adorable, and everyone has a pet who just ABSOLUTELY-NEEDS-ONE. Trust me. When have I steered you wrong?

I used plain old Red Heart acrylic yarn for these bad boys. I don’t love this yarn – but I bought a bunch of it before I knew what nice yarn was. That said, it works well for the collars, and it’s cheap. If you buy 2 colors you’re looking at, what, $6? Think how many bow ties that could make. This is also a great project for using up yarn you don’t love…..

I used size 6 needles but it all depends on your yarn and the look you’re going for. Ready for the pattern?

Needles Size 6

Bow Tie Collar

This is knit in two pieces, the bow and the collar.

Bow: Cast on 10 stitches; Knit in garter stitch until approximately 3 inches long. Weave the tail ends in to the middle of the piece. Using the tail ends from cast on and bind off, wrap the center of the piece to create a bow. You’ll need to adjust this to get the “bow” shape. Tie the ends in a knot on the back side of your bow, and cut off excess.

Bow Ends

Bow Wrap

BowCollar: Cast on 40 stitches (this will give you a collar that’s approximately 9 inches long, adjust as needed); Knit 4 or 5 rows in garter stitch, or until desired width is reached. You can either seam the ends together for a banded collar or leave the ends unseamed and use the tails to tie the collar on.

Sew the bow to the collar. I use yarn, but you could use thread or embroidery floss too.

Neon BowWhat do you think of the 80s collar? There are so many possibilities with this one….one color, two colors, stripes, patterns….if you make one, please share your pictures! I’d love to see yours!!!

Oh, and Jimmie wanted me to name this post….”How to do things that will make people who know you feel embarrassed.” So be warned. This project *might* turn you into a crazy-knitting-cat/dog-lady.

Would that be so terrible?

Happy Birthday Zoe!

Zoe's Corner

Just a quick post to let you all know that the resident darling, and my first true love, turned lucky 13 today!!! She’s enjoyed belly rubs, playing with her toys, and licking the chili bowl. All in all, a pretty good day.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY ZOE!!!!!!

MMHH: Remember Me Thursday

Makes My Heart HappyIt’s been a little while since we had a Makes My Heart Happy post, hasn’t it? Time to remedy that.

Today, Thursday, September 25th, is Remember Me Thursday. It’s a worldwide collaboration between pet adoption organizations and the public to raise awareness on the millions of animals waiting for their forever homes in shelter. It also honors the lives of the millions of pets lost each year. You can read more about it here.

You’ve seen my babies – but maybe you don’t know they were all rescues. They’ve made our lives complete, and we would trade them for the world. Here are their stories.

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Luka (left) and Lucy (right)

We adopted Luka from the animal shelter on New Year’s Eve in 2011. He was four years old, and weighed about 45 pounds…grossly underweight for a male German Shepherd. The shelter people told us he’d been surrendered with 6 other dogs two days after Christmas. Apparently his family had been having some difficulties…the husband left the wife and children, and the wife took all their 7 dogs to the shelter. It took about 4 months, but we finally found out he has EPI, exocrine pancreatic insufficiency. Basically, he can’t digest his food naturally. Once we found that out, we got his weight up to about 65 pounds. He’ll always be small, but he’s our little crazy co-dependent lovable Luka. He’s madly in love with Jimmie. He’ll be 8 in January.

Lucy was born to a friend’s Siberian Husky in 2005. Her dad was a traveling salesman. While not strictly a rescue, we kept her out of the shelter. She’s got those husky crazy genes, but she’s the sweetest dog we’ve got. Loves everyone, except rabbits. She’ll be 9 in December.

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Katie (left) and Zoe (right)

Jimmie adopted Katie before I came along. The shelter folks thought she was a year old, but we’ve no way of knowing, so we just say she’s 14. We think she’s a border collie mix. We don’t know her story, though we know she was abused. It took her years before she’d let anyone near her. Now she’s a sweetheart who loves attention from everyone.

Zoe is my heart, and I adopted her from the shelter as a puppy in 2001. She turns 13 on Monday! She’s been my constant companion, and over the years has opened her heart up to Jimmie just as much (though she hated him at first).

And of course, I can’t forget Evie, our bloodhound, who died of heart failure in 2010. We still miss her. She was Lucy’s best friend, and the slobberiest dog I’ve ever seen. And that howl.

Evie

Evie

I’ve chosen to light a real candle, but you can light a virtual candle as well. Let’s light up the world for pets today!!!Remember Me Thursday

Zoe's Corner: July Bugsy's Box

Zoe's CornerBefore you go ape on me…there’s a really good reason we’re reviewing the July Bugsy’s Box in September.

If you’ll remember, back in May I stumbled on a great Bugsy’s Box deal. We got our first box in June, and were pretty pleased with it. The code I used was just for a single-month, but then I came across another coupon code. I canceled the original box, and added another box (this time in Lucy’s name) to the account using that second code. The Bugsy’s Box site took the code, didn’t say a thing about the code being for first-time subscribers or any of that. (What can I say – I’m a bargain hunter.)

And they charged my card.

Mexico came and went, and our final Barkbox arrived. Hmmm…but what about Bugsy’s?

Middle of July, and no box. No email telling me the box had shipped. Ok….maybe it’s just late.

End of July. Still no box. Still no email.

So…ok. Time to send customer service an email.

Let’s just say….I’m a fairly tolerant person. (Jimmie, stop laughing.) The email response I got back was not satisfactory. Basically, I asked (quite nicely I should add) what was up with my box, since my card had been charged. The answer? The coupon code I used on the second box was for first time subscribers only. If I wanted my box they would need to charge me the difference for the full price (in this case, $10), or they’d refund my money. Uh, what?

I responded, and asked….”Why did your website allow the coupon code, and why did you charge my card, and why did I receive absolutely no communication from you saying this was an issue?” In other words….your website screwed up, but the biggest thing that got me was the complete and utter lack of any communication. You charged my card, so send me an email telling me there’s an issue. I shouldn’t have to contact you to find out why you’ve taken my money. Not cool.

I never got an answer to my question, but Bugsy’s Box did agree to send me a box. Without me having to pay the difference, which was nice.

Well, sort of.

So they sent a box, but they didn’t bother packaging it nicely, and they didn’t pay all the shipping….so when we went to pick it up, we had to pay $1.56 in shipping. WHO DOES THAT?? How is that even possible?

July Bugsy's BoxNo descriptive card, no tissue paper…just everything haphazardly thrown in there. Sigh.

I’ll be honest. I don’t even want to review the box, I’m so annoyed.

There was a ball. The dogs weren’t interested in it. I’d like to donate it, but we opened it.

There was an Arm & Hammer dental chew. We haven’t opened it, though Luka could probably use it.

Arm & Hammer ChewWe have It’s Purely Natural Chicken Jerky Treats. We haven’t opened them yet, but I’m sure the kids will love them.

It's Purely Natural TreatsRiley’s Organic Treats in Peanut Butter & Molasses. I like the ingredients – they’re human grade, so I suppose I could eat them too. They smell kinda weird, but the kids like them.

Riley's TreatsLast is Wags & Wiggles Purify Pet Wipes. This is a great idea, and will be perfect for muddy paws and faces.

Wags & Wiggles PurifyNeedless to say, we’re not getting any more Bugsy’s Boxes. The July box was ok – not as great as the June box. I think we’ve decided that the dog boxes are fun, but we can take the $30 a month and buy a lot of treats for that. Zoe’s ok with this plan, so long as there are lots of liver treats involved.

Have you tried any dog boxes? What’s your favorite?

 

MMHH: Share a Coke

Makes My Heart HappyIs anyone else over the whole “Share a Coke” thing?

Well, too bad.

Because we have this.

This, my friends, is Luka. And he’s sharing a Coke.

Luka Shares a CokeThese pictures make my heart happy…because this is the essence of Luka. Goofball extraordinaire.

 

Happy National Dog Day!

Today marks the 10th year of National Dog Day!

Show your furbaby some love today. They do so much for us, don’t they?

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All four of mine are rescues, and though it’s cliche, they’ve rescued me too. I can’t imagine life without them. From Zoe’s random barking at shadows, Katie’s begging for belly rubs, Lucy’s demanding milk from my cereal bowl, and Luka’s codependency, they make life a whole lot more enjoyable.

I know a lot of you are pet lovers, so now’s your chance to brag on your babies! Tell me about your loves – let’s celebrate them all.

While you’re at it, check out the website for National Dog Day!

Zoe's Corner: July Barkbox

Zoe's CornerZoe’s back with her July Barkbox review!

Back in May we found a Groupon for a 3-month Barkbox subscription. July’s box was the last in that subscription. Check out our May and June reviews too! 

Side note: Yes, I know it’s August. It’s totally my fault this is so late. Zoe was ready to post this the day after it arrived…and I wasn’t. Oops.

July BarkboxSorry we didn’t take pictures of everything. July was kind of a hectic month, so honestly I think it’s a win that we even got one picture.

Oh, and so before I begin, I should mention that when we opened the box, it was full of ants. Eww. The treats were all sealed, but still…ants? Ick. Needless to say, I’ve been hesitant to give them any of the treats, though really that doesn’t matter because the kids will eat most anything. Well, 3 of the 4 anyway.

July’s box was “seashore-inspired,” which was kinda cute. Unlike Birchbox, the theme actually did seem to make a difference. Everything was blue and beachy. Love it.

Loopies Fish Bone Toy: By now, we are overflowing with dog toys. Will we stop? No. I love the color on this, and the pups love playing with it. It’s a little hard for them to pick up, which makes it highly amusing. And they haven’t ripped it to shreds yet, so that’s a huge bonus.

Bixbi Daily Essentials Chicken Breast Jerky Treats: These are wheat, corn, and soy free. They’ve also got blueberries and cranberries for an antioxidant boost.

Healthy Dogma Coconut Flavor Barkers: First of all, I adore the packaging. How fun is that?! Barkbox goofed on the card description (they reprinted the Bixbi blurb), so I had to do some digging. These are wheat, corn, and soy free too, and have both coconut and pumpkin in them.

Etta Says Duck Chew: We’ve now got 3 giant chewies, so one more, and everyone gets one. This was the most highly sniffed item in the box.

Mr. Barksmith’s Pina Colada Smoothie: Not gonna lie, this was perplexing. You can freeze it, or just give it to them room temperature. We’ll freeze it, I think. It’s made from human-grade ingredients, so I suppose that means we could share it….but no.

I’m a little sad to see the end of our Barkbox subscription. Zoe’s heartbroken. In the end, though, we decided to take the $30 a month we’d spend to continue the sub and just buy more dog treats. An easy compromise. We’re glad we tried it, though, and highly recommend it!