Category Archives: belly rubs

Love of the Paws

You love dogs and maybe cats and horses, too. And perhaps you love reading about them and the people who rescue, adopt and foster them as well as love romantic tales with a furry side. I just discovered an incredible book series by an amazing author, Susan Daffron is her name and our interview is below. I am starting the 8th book in her Alpine Grove series and apparently there is a 9th book and a 10th one on its way.

 

What I LOVE LOVE LOVE about these books, unlike other books that have pets in them, romantic comedies, is that Susan’s pets are major characters and play a BIG role in each of the stories. They are integral and integrated into the story. She writes firsthand from her knowledge about animals and it is hilarious at times, heartwarming and each of the books in the series gets better and better. What I also found wonderful is that she continues the characters stories, a little bit, in each of the books, so you feel as though you are getting to know everyone in the town of Alpine Grove. There is no such real town, but there is an Alpine, CA and much of the descriptions relate to where Susan lives in idaho.

 

This book is for dog lovers, cat lovers, even horse lovers. And the romance is very family friendly. In other words, the couple may kiss a little or end up in the sack but there is not a whole lot of spicy sexy details. I found some of the other books where the happy couple jump in the sack one two three, quite unrealistic and disarming. Who does that? no kinky stuff, either, just plain old normal living day to day with dogs and cats kind of thing. Very inspiring for animal lovers.

 

Each book can be read by itself, stands alone, but i think you will miss out if you do not read ALL of them.  Now how can you not love books with names like Chez Stinky, Bark to the Future, the Art of Wag, Luck of the Paw, not to mention a book with pugilies !!!

Here’s the complete list:

Four paws up !!!! Cici agrees, Woof Woof Woof !!!!

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How did you get started writing romantic comedy books ?

I’d written a lot of nonfiction books and my husband started writing fiction. After we published his first book, he encouraged me to give fiction writing a shot. By then, he had acquired many books about story structure and writing, so I read through a few and decided to attempt a novel of my own.

Who is your favorite romantic comedy book author ???

Janet Evanovitch (although technically she’d say her books are mysteries).

Did you plan to have a whole series ahead of time – Alpine Grove ?

I wrote the first book with the possibility of turning it into a series. If the first book hadn’t done well, I’m not sure I would have written the second. But I got enough good feedback from people that I decided to continue.

Did you write about dogs and / or romantic comedy before this series?

I wrote nonfiction books on pet care and rescue, but no fiction whatsoever.

Are the people and pets based upon pets you’ve had, people you know ?

The human characters tend to incorporate aspects of people I’ve met or know, but aren’t really based on anyone in particular. This explains how I develop my characters:

http://www.susandaffron.com/creating-characters-people-love/

The dogs in the first book (Chez Stinky) are very loosely based on the dogs I had from 1996 – 2012. For those who are curious, this post explains which one of my dogs they are based on:

http://www.susandaffron.com/write-what-you-know-applies-to-pets-too/

 

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How do you begin each book?  do you have the names of the characters and plot all worked out ahead of time ?

Most of my books start with an idea. Sometimes it’s something that strikes me as funny or a theme I ran across in a movie, article, or a book that I want to explore. Then I figure out the characters, flesh out the story and put a basic outline into Scrivener. After that I start writing. At about 30K words, I tend to get incredibly stuck and have to print out the outline and figure out where I’m going in more detail. Then I go back to writing.

How do you decide which dogs or cats to feature in each book? 

I think about the type of dog the character might have, since certain types of people are attracted to certain types of dogs. For example, the character Sara Winston in The Treasure of the Hairy Cadre is an athlete. Before the story begins she wants a jogging buddy, so she goes to a shelter and adopts a high-energy Australian Shepherd that she names Holly. This post goes into more detail about how I create animal characters:

http://www.susandaffron.com/creating-animal-characters/

Do you have experience with walking dogs at a shelter or starting a nonprofit animal rescue ?

Yes. I volunteered at an animal shelter for many years and worked part time as a vet tech at a spay/neuter clinic. I didn’t start a rescue myself, but I founded an organization called the National Association of Pet Rescue Professionals that provided educational resources to rescues.

Tell us about your pets

I have three dogs, who are all alumnae of rescue groups. Fiona and Tasha are Samoyeds from Samoyed rescues and Kaylee is a mix of maybe Samoyed and collie that I got from a chow rescue. (The group rescued more than chows; basically, they took anything that was extra furry.)

Do you have a favorite breed of dog or cat that you like?

I’m a fan of Samoyeds (big surprise) but I also love Golden retrievers and retriever mixes. I have a soft spot for long-haired breeds.

What is your favorite book / pet / character ?

Of my books, my favorite character is Kat, since her story carries through the entire series. So I know the most about her life and background. Of the dogs, I love Linus because he’s so sweet and Swoosie amuses me because I incorporated aspects of my dog Fiona into her character.

We talked a little bit about your geek side, how did that influence your writing these books? a few of your characters are kinda geeky… and you said you work for IBM. 

I’ve been married to a programmer for a long time and worked in technology for years, starting as a technical writer. It was inevitable that I would include a few geeky people in my books. This post goes into it a bit more:

http://www.susandaffron.com/geeks-and-nerds-in-romance/

Do you have an agent, publisher or did you self-publish the books? in either case, why?

My books are published by my publishing company Logical Expressions, Inc. which has published more than just my books, so technically the corporation is a micropublisher. I was traditionally published (nonfiction) years ago and had an agent. It would take a LOT of money and unusually good contract terms to tempt me to accept a traditional publishing deal at this point. Although self-publishing is a lot of work, I have the flexibility and freedom to write the books I want to write.

Have you traveled a lot ? travel with your pets?

We’ve traveled with our pets a lot in the last few years because the current crew of dogs are great on road trips. (The prior pack was NOT.)

Any particular dog friendly places that you enjoy taking the dogs?

We live in Idaho and there are thousands upon thousands of acres of trails and forested areas to explore. The dogs love going hiking with us.

Are you an equestrian?  met any real life cowboys like Clay?

I’m a pathetic horseback rider, but I do enjoy it. I don’t own horses, but I have met quite a few people involved in the equestrian world. I did some research on horse trainers and Clay is compilation of a bunch of stories I read about their lives.

Are you a dog trainer?

I only train my own dogs, which is plenty. Almost all of my dogs have been to obedience classes with varying degrees of success. Fiona got her AKC Canine Good Citizen certification, which means mostly that she likes treats a LOT so she’s easy to train. I plan to take Tasha to classes later this summer.

What inspires you about writing about dogs and cats and romance?

I like writing about the relationships people have with each other and their pets. For most people I know, pets are part of their family and often play a big role in the decisions people make. So quite a few of my books explore those ideas.

Are you working on any new books, series related to pets?

I’m about halfway through the first draft of  the as-yet-untitled tenth novel in the Alpine Grove series. The dog in this one is a yellow Labrador retriever named Harley that the main character, Lisa Lowell, is fostering for the local rescue group.

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Filed under adoption, belly rubs, breeds, canine cuteness, cats, dog friendly, dog hair, Uncategorized

Blog hop WW: silly dog

well, practically wordless Wednesday… for me and her royal silliness…

 

 

Photo on 2014-08-19 at 11.14

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

BP_Wordless_wed_Hop_Logo_2014

 

 

 

Blog Paws

 

 

 

Grab the code (hope this works, fingers crossed) 

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Filed under animal communication, belly rubs, blog hop, blogging, dogs, four paws up, justforlaughs, laughter is the best medicine, pet blog hop, silly dog

Dog by dog healing ministry

Anne Lamott on Oprah talked about how her doggies do their healing dog ministries every morning…. LOVE that…  dog by dog…

Cici’s healing ministry

Cici’s healing tongue ministry

whenever i least expect it, here comes the tongue licking my toes, my face, my hands

lighting me up inside like the fourth of July

giving me a bath of slobbery sunshine

Cici’s healing silly ministry

there she goes rolling over onto her back showing off her belly

making me chuckle

making people smile and sometimes laugh

Cici’s zooming around the park ministry

she is gone with the wind and looks soooo very happy

making me feel proud, warm and good inside

Cici’s booopping me ministry

mama, take me out, or mama give me some treats or food or attention

Cici’s looking at me with soulful eyes ministry

she puts her chin upon my knees and stares straight into my heart

or lies on the floor and looks at me with those eyes

her eyes implore me

tell me that her request is urgent

and that she will love me forever

Cici’s silly goofy healing ministry

every day she makes me laugh

Cici’s furry warm wiggly body healing ministry

some lucky nights or naps

when she plops herself right down on top of me

too close to breath

Cici’s healing ministry

makes me HAPPY

and

thankful that i have this loving dog

my sweet canine friend

best friend and healing partner

deliciously edible and scrumptious

gotta kiss that warm sweet polka dot belly

and inhale her doggie smile

Having a good dog is the closest some of us will ever come to knowing the direct love of a mother, or God.

Source
Anne Lamott in
Plan B: Further Thoughts on Faith

 

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The Animal Doctor

by D . Nicholas

Yes, he is an animal Doctor.

No, he does most of his work outside the vet’s office.

Yes, he seems to have a natural gift as a healer.

No, he charges very little for his service.

Yes, he has a great bedside manner.

No, he doesn’t explain really what’s wrong.

Yes, he just fixes the pain and goes on.

No, I haven’t seen his license.

Yes, he does resonate in abundance.


No, I don’t know how many clients he has.

Yes, I’m really thankful he’s my doctor.

No, I’ve never seen his Doctor’s office.

Yes, I’d recommend his services to anyone.

No, he doesn’t require medical insurance.

Yes, it does sound too good to be true.

No, I am not mistaken.

Yes, he is my cat.

This poem was written after I had told him that I had a tummyache one day and my cat Abundance came and sat down on my belly for awhile. When he got up, I realized that my stomach no longer hurt. He truly was a healer that cat, written in honor of my handsome cat Abundance

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Filed under au natural dog, belly rubs, cats, children and dogs, dog friendly, dog health, dog prayers, dogs, Oprah, Uncategorized

Putting on the Pooch

Update about my Cici girl….

SHE HAS GAINED SIX POUNDS… she had lost 14 pounds. Now to recap, she had fleas and possibly a tapeworm so I tried EVERYTHING UNDER THE SUN and nothing natural really worked for her, the aromatherapies just made her rashy and itchy. Finally, I took her to the vet.  She is still somewhat itchy but I have ordered some doggie shampoo for her and an anti-itchy spray (herbal) that hopefully will take care of the issues. I talked to the company and found that I could get the products at a slightly better price and no shipping charge on Amazon.

I have been giving her an extra meal a day to put the weight back on and it is working.

No more fleas.  Now the vet gave me drugs to give to her including antibiotics. I gave her them for a couple of weeks but then it seemed to me that the drugs were making her rashier and itchier so I stopped.

And the medicated shampoo she gave us got Cici all greasy and did not stop the itchies.

So now am giving Cici the Herbal Internal Powder and No More Flea Drops from earthanimal.com that Kate suggested and it appears to be working since she is due for her flea medication and has NONE.  We shall see.

The powder and drops adjust the blood chemistry so that the fleas do NOT like the taste of it anymore. The powder is filled with good stuff like alfalfa, kelp, blue green algae, and the drops have wormwood (good to taking care of tapeworms), and other ingredients. I still have the confortis from the vet if necessary but am hoping that the powder and drops will work.

And we are not due back to the vet for a month and Cici should be back to her normal weight by next week. Am back to feeding her Canine Health by Dr. Harvey’s and a can of dog food (a huge can from Trader Joe’s). The rabbit and turkey burgers are great AND kind of expensive.

Voila.

and the big lump you see hiding under the cover is Cici LOL… If/when I put a cover over her, she will just stay like that until I take it off again… what can I say, she’s weird that way…

Photo on 2013-09-16 at 00.28 #2

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Filed under belly rubs, canine cuteness, canine rehabilitation, dog cone collar, dog health, dog prayers, dog wear, doggie healing center, dogs, eco friendly/green, food, healthy dog food, holistic vet, keep pets safe, natural health remedies, pet care, pet food

Dog Jammies

i know i am biased, but I think my polka dot princess looks edible, angelic and delicious in this photo… magically delicious… nom nom nom… my sweet bundle of cutie pie…cici pie…

thanks to Carol Bryant, her dog Dex just went through surgery and she had info on her blog and FB about it (ACL similar to what Cici would have had if she had not done conservative management protocol and had it not worked)… so there she was talking about this onesie, a comfy snuggly little outfit created by a vet tech instead of putting your dog in an annoying cone, which you and the dog hate, to keep the dog from scratching and licking and itching, wear a onesie instead.  the minute i saw it i asked carol about it because I had been imagining something like this for cici and I did not know that it existed anywhere… I put her in a t-shirt but it did not give enough coverage… now she is all cute and snuggled up in this breathable fabric thingy … thanks to Stephanie at Tulane’s Closet…

Photo on 2013-08-29 at 13.53

it is a little big on her so of course she is walking like frankenstein in it and got half out of it several times… but she will learn to navigate this… better than the cone… and for the first time in months, I can leave her alone in another room and not worry that i will come back and find her having chewed herself until she was bleeding

alas, she has already chewed up some of her new jammies, i guess she needs the superstrength kind made out of what? towel material? or something extra heavy duty… where there is a will, there is a way with a stubborn pitbollian

Photo on 2013-08-29 at 14.19

 

Blog Hop time…thanks to Life with DogsTwo Little Cavaliers and Confessions of the Plume…  grab the blog hop  link

 

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Filed under belly rubs, dog cone collar, dog wear, dog with cone, dogs, four paws up, pet blog hop, pet care, pit bull, product review, self help, Uncategorized

Put the dog in the coconut

Ok, well, I always wanted to be a sleuth… Reading Nancy Drew books when I was a pre-teenager, I imagined what it would be like to solve mysteries. Fast forward to yesterday. I had a chance to figure out (once again) what is going on with Cici’s sensitive skin (why it keeps getting rashy and blotchy and itchy).  First, I realized after slathering her up with cream that she did indeed have fleas. Saw several critters fleeing as I slathered. Been trying different natural remedies for the fleas and the rashes and it seemed last week that the coconut oil plus spraying the bedding with a mixture of water and Oregano oil was working. Cici LOVES the coconut oil, laps it up as well as licks it off her fur but the rashes and itchiness was going away.  It is organic virgin Coconut Oil from Trader Joe’s. Am going to get a few more jars.  They’re about $7 for a jar (16 fl. oz).

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Coconut oil has other benefits … skin smells good. weight loss, if that is an issue, keeping your dog slim and trim. Keeps the yeast away. Helps with arthritis / joints.

“the lauric acid in coconut oil has antibacterial, antiviral, and anti-fungal properties. Capric and caprylic acid have similar properties and are best known for their anti-fungal effects.”

http://www.dogsnaturallymagazine.com/the-health-benefits-of-coconut-oil/

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http://www.petside.com/article/coconut-oil-miracle-jar-dogs

Until yesterday it seemed to be working. And it was strange because she had slept with me (as she did last night too) and I took her for a walk and fed her, gave her a few treats and she seemed just fine and dandy. Then I had brought her back to the bedroom for her after breakfast nap and noticed that she was all blotchy and rashy again. What possibly could have happened? I kept going over the events and decided to look up the ingredients of the treats. Voila.  I also found out that I gave her too many of them. (Am not a big follower of instructions but sometimes it is important to do so). It was suggested to give only 1 or 2 a day and I had given her five or six or seven. Oops.  Not only that but one of the ingredients was rosemary.

A few weeks ago when this all had started up again I had sprayed her with an all natural flea spray that ALSO had rosemary as one of the ingredients.  I think I also oversprayed her too. She did NOT have a problem, I don’t think, with the Salmon oil that had rosemary in it but maybe that is not true. All I know is that there is a common denominator here and it seems to be the MISSING LINK.

So there you have it folks.  No more Rosemary for Cici. It is good to be cautious when it comes to herbs, essential oils, and other natural remedies as well as regular treatments. Some may be too strong for you and/or your poochie pals. Tea tree oil, clove, oregano, cinnamon bark, are some oils that can burn when put on the skin (and more). They have beneficial properties but proceed with caution, dilute, dilute, dilute and for some, do not use at all.  Ask your vet (holistic vet). Tis better to be safe than sorry… don’t let the flea bugs bite !!!!

Photo on 2013-06-04 at 08.37

Lickiest tongue in the west

 

https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?v=10151540622537545

 

 

Put the dog in the Coconut…

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Filed under Adventure, allergies, bathing your dog, belly rubs, bugs, dog health, dogs, holistic healing for animals, holistic vet, itchy red ears, keep pets safe, natural health remedies, organic, pet care, Uncategorized

Born to be Cici

Does your dog dig Enya, Mozart or the Beatles?

2012 study at Colorado State University found that kenneled dogs spent more time sleeping when exposed to classical music and became shaky when listening to heavy metal tunes.

If your dog had a favorite song or signature song what would it be?

I think Cici’s would be Born to be Wild by Steppenwolf, Easy Rider movie… (she loves motorcycles, PEOPLE who ride them and she’s a wild and crazy dog)…

Get your motor runnin’

Head out on the highway

Looking for adventure

In whatever comes our way

Yeah, darlin’

Gonna make it happen

Take the world in a love embrace…

motorcycle-riding-dog

http://www.craigboyce.com/w/2011/09/motorcycle-riding-dog/

***

How Many Dogs Does it Take to Change a Lightbulb?

American Pit Bull Terrier…  (my polka dot princess)…   rub my belly and I’ll kiss you and cuddle with you and kiss you and cuddle… after, let’s zoom around the block, roll in the grass, rub my belly, cuddle and kiss… what light bulb?

Golden Retriever: The sun is shining, the day is young, we’ve got our whole lives ahead of us, and you’re inside worrying about a stupid light bulb?

Border Collie: Just One. And then I’ll replace ALL the wiring that’s not up to code.

Dachshund: You know I can’t reach the stupid lamp.

Rottweiler: Make Me.

Boxer: Who cares? I can still play with my squeaky toys in the dark.

Lab: Oh Me, me me, PLEEEEEEEEZE let me change the light bulb. Can I? Can I? Huh? Huh? Huh? Can I, PLEEEEEEEEZE, PLEASE PLEASE?

German Shepard: I’ll change it as soon as I’ve led these people from the dark, check to make sure I haven’t missed any, and make one more perimeter patrol to see that no one has tried to take advantage of the situation.

Jack Russell: I’ll just pop it in while I am bouncing off the walls.

Cocker Spaniel: Why change it? I can still pee on the carpet in the dark.

Chihuahua: Yo Quiero Taco Bulb.

Pointer: I see it, there it is, there it is, right there–RIGHT THERE

Greyhound: It isn’t moving, who cares?

Australian Shepherd: First, I’ll put all the light bulbs in a little circle.

Poodle: I’ll just blow in the Border Collie’s ear, and he’ll do it. By the time he finishes rewiring the house, my nails will be dry.

Terrier: Let me bark at it for a while to see if it really needs changing.

What would your dog say?

https://apps.facebook.com/dogbook/content/view/5290

How many cats does it take to change a light bulb???

Screen shot 2013-01-30 at 4.54.25 AM

http://www.kulfoto.com/funny-pictures/38591/cats-changing-light-bulbs

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Filed under animal communication, belly rubs, breeds, cats, dogs, four paws up, funny, justforlaughs, music for dogs, pit bull, silly dog, Uncategorized

A Dog’s New Years Resolutions

New Year’s Eve is almost here… some tips from last year that are still relevant.

http://celiasue.com/2011/12/29/party-animals-play-it-safe-for-new-years-eve/

Do you set goals? Write New Year’s Resolutions?

http://celiasueink.wordpress.com/2012/12/24/new-years-resolutions-for-champs/

Some dogs who are ready to party hardy…

Screen shot 2012-12-28 at 10.14.22 AM

http://thefw.com/new-years-dogs/

Fun New Years Resolutions for Pets, check out Animal Planet’s ‘official’ pet resolutions!

Cici’s Top 22 New Years Resolutions

1. Eat more treats. (Have Mom, get more Dr. Harvey’s Power Patties).

2. Scavenge for more food other than the bread left out for the birds.

3. Get more belly rubs.

4. Give more kisses.

5. Take more walks and runs at the park.

6. Get yourself to the beach and swim.

7. BOYCOTT  BATHS, and NO SLATHERING CREAMS.

8. Chase more cats, squirrels and birds.

9. Dream more about chasing cats, squirrels and birds.

10. Dine on fine cuisine and travel more.

11. Play more with neighbor dogs.

12. Start a barkday list a few months early.

13. Hoover the food off the kitchen floor while it’s fresh.

14. Dig a hole in the back yard to recline in for the spring/summer.

15. Squirm out of taking photos and dressing up.

16. Learn how to drive to feel my fur in the wind.

17. Be a good ambassador and END BSL.

18. No more itchies.

19. Make more doggie friends.

20. Eat more.

21. Get more bones, deer antler chews and Chew On.

22. Help doggie pals get adopted.

  • Feel free to share your pet’s resolutions in the comments.  We wish you and your furries a very happy and healthy 2013!

 

 

 

Blog Hop time…thanks to Life with DogsTwo Little Cavaliers and Confessions of the Plume…  grab the blog hop  link

 

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Holiday gift guide for pets plus

This holiday season, nearly 63 percent of dog owners and 58 percent of cat owners will be buying Christmas gifts for their furry friends, according to the American Humane Association.

Aromatherapy dog gift set

Gerrard Larriett Aromatherapy Treatment Experience For Pets is a natural, therapeutic and effective pet care regimen and makes a wonderful gift set. The Rose Essential Oil hand poured soy candle smells yummy while balancing the body/mind. also comes in Jasmine and Wildwood scents. The gift set also includes Rose Aromatherapy Shampoo & Conditioner For Pets, Rose Aromatherapy Freshening & Shining Spray For Pets and a lovely Logo Tote Bag.

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http://www.gerrardlarriett.com/balancing-rose-aromatherapy-deodorizing-soy-candle-for-pets.html

Books

Adalyn’s Clare is a heartwarming, adventure-filled story that draws attention to the realities of social anxiety and the need to help create meaningful relationships for children who have difficulty making friends in grade school – just like Adalyn.

Author Kari Dunn Buron developed an Autism Spectrum Disorders Certificate program for educators at Hamline University in St. Paul, MN, and has done volunteer work specific to autism around the world.

Adalyn, a smart but lonely fourth grader, is not very good at finding human friends but loves animals and is a whiz at science. Her favorite place in the whole world is the science room where her “animal best friends” live. In fact, Adalyn knows details about animals and the places they inhabit that most of us would never know or remember.

Adalyn often finds people confusing and frustrating, which in turn causes her a great deal of worry and often gets her into trouble. Clare is a therapy puppy. When Clare gets assigned to help Adalyn calm her anxieties and help her find (human) friends, it seems like a tall order for a 3-month-old puppy. But Clare takes it in her stride. It’s during these times when Adalyn worries that Clare creeps up close and gently puts her chin on Adalyn’s foot to reassure her. Together they wait, silently and relaxed, until Adalyn’s nerves start to get smaller.  Recommended for young readers in grades 3-6.

http://www.aapcpublishing.net/book/view/701/adalyns-clare

9781426744174

Dogs teach unconditional love. The purr of a kitten can bring peace. Horses show us how to harness our strength with grace.

Paws to Reflect offers gentle daily reflections for those who seek to grow spiritually by observing the animal kingdom and all the lessons it teaches.  This is a Christian book.

GRILL-ICIOUS™ (Loving Pets)

http://www.lovingpetsproducts.com/pet-treats/grill-icious

Cici LOVES these delicious treats. She sits there and DROOLS until I give her one.

Add sizzle to your pet treat assortment with Loving Pets’ new Grill-icious, 100% all-natural Beef, Chicken and Turkey treats. available in both Regular and “Bite Size” treats. Made in the USA from USA-grown ingredients, these lean and tasty meat treats mixed with a touch of antioxidant-rich sweet potato will light a fire in dog’s taste buds. Each treat is naturally seared over a hot grill to seal in a juicy flavor dogs love. Continuing its commitment to pure, unprocessed ingredients, Loving Pets’ GRILL-ICIOUS™ recipe contains no gluten, byproducts, or preservatives. These all-natural treats are made in the USA, and contain only 100% USA farm-grown ingredients.

Designer and Expressions Bella Bowls™ (Loving Pets)

http://www.lovingpetsproducts.com/pet-accessories/bella-bowl-designer-collection

Loving Pets’ #1 selling, dishwasher safe BELLA BOWLS™ are now available in eight new designer prints.  Designer and Expressions Bella Bowls™ bring a new level of style to Veterinarian-recommended stainless steel.  Cici and I love her new bowl…

For Dog Lovers:

•    Classic Pink Argyle

•    Playful Turquoise Dragonflies

•    Antique Gold Fleur-de-Lis

•    Compassionate Valentine Red Hearts

•    Contemporary Silver “Bow-Wow”

•    Whimsical Steel Blue “I Love My Dog”

Slow down, Fido… Cici scarfs up her food, she eats sooos fast, you’d think it was her last meal. Food gulping isn’t only a messy habit that’s difficult to break, but a behavior that can lead to vomiting, choking, bloat and digestive issues. Plus, eager eaters don’t realize how much they just ate, so they keep begging for between-meal treats that can quickly turn into extra pounds. Fortunately, now there’s an innovative way for pet parents to end this “feeding frenzy” by turning mealtime into a challenging, entertaining game.
The Company of Animals presents GREEN by NORTHMATE – an innovative “turf placemat” for pets that turns mealtime into a fun , stimulating game. Just scatter a handful of kibble or two across the deeply sculpted surface. Then it’s up to the dog or cat to seek out the food in the valleys between the simulated grass blades. Especially recommended for aggressive gulpers and pets on a restricted calorie diet , GREEN prolongs eating time, making meals healthier and more fun . And since this product is made of durable plastic that’s phthalate-free, it’s 100% pet and dishwasher safe.

Brewer’s yeast and garlic helps to repel fleas. You can give your doggie treats and bye bye bugs. This daily nutritional supplement helps support healthy blood sugar levels and can also be especially helpful during flea and tick season and during times of stress. Available in chewable tablets or tasty soft chews!  Cici LOVES them.

http://www.probioticsmart.com/pets/pscpets-brand.html.

Does your doggie have bad breath? PlaqClnz may be the answer. For fresh breath and good oral care, go to www.plaqclnz.com for more details.
    Its zinc-based formula works to stop bad breath (a warning sign of deteriorating gum and teeth conditions) while it guards against the build-up of plaque and tarter. Most dogs 3+ years already have the signs.

Are your pets scratching up the house? Then SoftClaws nail caps for dogs and indoor cats could help. The caps mute scratching damage and avoids cat declawing…a big issue for cat parents.
    See www.softclaws.net  for details, size and color selections. These were invented by a vet.
    When you travel with your dog/cat, putting these on helps to avoid tearing up car upholstery, hotel furnishings, strangers’ clothing and more.

To apply, fill each vinyl nail cap with the adhesive that’s provided, then slide it on over your dog’s toenail. It stays on for 4-6 weeks.

Each low-cost nail kit comes with 40 nail caps, the adhesive that secures them onto your dog’s toenails, and simple instructions.

You can place them only on the front paws or on your dog’s front and back paws.

lg_9579_8050

for the humans

Mighty Mug is great for pet parents and parents, people like me who are clumsy and spill everything. I LOVE IT. (only wish it came in PURPLE). This mug is amazing. powered by patented Smartgrip Technology which allows Mighty to resist tipping over and spilling that cup of tea, hot chocolate or coffee all over your pants (or even worse your computer). The best part about the Mighty Mug is that it knows the difference between an accidental knock and going in for a sip. If you can imagine a mug that won’t fall over even when punched but lifts naturally then you gotta try one for yourself, your favorite pet parent or computer geek coffee drinker.

Chia seeds bars

I LOVE LOVE LOVE these bars. Give the gift of CHIA this holiday season! these yummy bars are healthy, easy to bring with you to the dog park, traveling and/or to carry in your purse. Filled with Omega 3 and tasty… I love the ACAI BERRY and also the COCONUT bars. They also come in PEANUT BUTTER AND CHOCOLATE flavor… great replacement to the high-sugar, empty-calorie-filled, non-nutrient providing candy all too often around the house during the holidays. They have only 100 calories and 5g of sugar per serving. And best of all, there are actual health BENEFITS to eating them: Chia provides six times more calcium than whole milk, six times more protein than soy, 15 times more magnesium than broccoli does, twice the fiber then bran flakes, and nearly nine times the amount of omega-3s found in salmon.

download

CreationScapes offers a gift of tranquility; a way to reduce stress that rejuvenates mind, body and spirit.  breathtaking beauty and sounds of nature, set to soothing music that calms, refreshes and inspires – all without leaving home!   Ahhhhhhhh…

http://www.squidoo.com/handmade-with-love-christmas-gifts-for-pets

http://www.squidoo.com/hanukkah-gifts-for-pets

http://www.squidoo.com/stocking-stuffers-for-dogs-and-puppies

 

 

Blog Hop time…thanks to Life with DogsTwo Little Cavaliers and Confessions of the Plume…  grab the blog hop code

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Pit Bulls and Addicts

been enjoying the new season of Pit Bulls and Parolees…now that they have moved to New Orleans…

https://www.facebook.com/PitBullsandParolees/app_378878488848240

last night, there was an inspiring new show on afterwards, Addicts & Animals...

Addicts & Animals’ hero, Phil Aguilar, aka “Chief,” has made it his mission to help drug addicts, but he does it his way. He and his family run an in-home sobriety program that uses the responsibility and joy of pet ownership as a means for recovery. Once a heroine addict himself, Chief swoops up addicts from the doorsteps of Hell and helps them get their lives back, with the help of a few tail-wagging companions.

He rescues death row dogs/shelter dogs… which is very cool…and each addict, when ready, gets to take care of a dog.

Healing Trauma

The relationship between humans and pets has always been a close, cherished bond. Animals have a magical way of easing stress and relieving strain for individuals in need – even drug addicts. Research suggests that the hormones activated by drug abuse are also elevated by animal contact. Dopamine and serotonin levels increase with drugs like cocaine and heroin; the same feel good hormones increase from healthy activities, like taking care of a dog.

Health benefits of having a pet include:
• Lowers blood pressure
• Reduces stress
• Fights depressions

Animal-assisted therapy is being used in a wide variety of settings to help people with acute and chronic illnesses. This is based on the many physiological and psychological benefits documented in patients during interactions with animals. These include lowered blood pressure and heart rate, increased beta-endorphin levels, decreased stress levels, reduced feelings of anger, hostility, tension and anxiety, improved social functioning, and increased feelings of empowerment, trust, patience and self-esteem. Animal therapy is looked upon as both a learning and healing experience.

How can animals help with addiction? There is more than one reason for utilizing animals to help in addiction recovery.

The first reason is that animals like dogs and horses exhibit total emotional honesty, something that addicts need to learn themselves. A horse, for example, will show signs of fear when afraid, aggression when angry, exploration when curious, rather than trying to conceal these emotions in any way.

In addition, animals like horses reflect our emotions. If we are anxious near them, they will be anxious also. If we are relaxed, they will relax as well. This kind of feedback is especially helpful for addicts who are working on getting more in tune with what they feel. An addict may not be aware that he is feeling particularly tense, for example, when working with a horse. But the horse’s unease may alert him to that fact. The addict can then respond by concentrating on relaxing.

Horses are large and somewhat intimidating animals. How an addict responds to and behaves around the horse can tell an addictions therapist a lot about how this person interacts in other relationships. For example, someone who is aggressive, in personal relationships, will generally demonstrate the same behavior when working with a horse.

Another addict who is shy, reserved, or afraid to speak her mind will usually have a very difficult time setting boundaries with a horse. The horse will learn to respect those who earn it, and weak requests will not get that respect from a horse.

The horse is therefore a great teacher of assertiveness, the midpoint between aggression and passivity. A horse will often respond in fear or refused cooperation to aggression. They will generally ignore passive requests. Somewhere in the middle is assertiveness, the ability of the addict to be clear and honest about what he needs, without being overbearing.

Outside of therapy, animals can help a person in recovery cope with stress. Animal studies regularly demonstrate that the mere presence in the home of a dog or cat can lower a person’s blood pressure. Just petting a dog or cat can decrease heart rate, respiratory rate, and other symptoms of stress.

With stress being so imperative for addicts in recovery to manage, having a pet can be a big help in the recovery process. Pets can also help addicts work on service and compassion, as they learn to care for and love an animal that is dependent upon them for support. All of these benefits make animals an important addition to recovery.

As an adjunct to more traditional types of addiction treatment, animal-assisting therapy works by helping those who have been battling the demons of substance abuse find a way to step outside of themselves and discover deeper meaning and purpose by providing vital assistance to other living creatures who desperately need love and companionship. For animals and recovering addicts alike, animal-assisting therapy is a win-win situation.
Acts of kindness and selflessness by their very nature put us in contact with the best of ourselves, and this can make them incredibly valuable for recovering addicts who spent so many years selfishly putting their own needs above those of everyone else. Addicts and alcoholics repeatedly use and manipulate people in order to satisfy their desire for relief from the symptoms of addiction, and besides their need to detoxify their bodies they also need to cleanse their wounded spirits to remove the contamination left behind by their self-centered and abusive past behaviors.
Animal-assisting therapy can help even the most broken and jaded person rediscover his or her deepest inner sources of compassion, which is an essential step for any addict who hopes to finally ascend from the pit of despair and shame that dominated his or her existence for so long. Before those with a history of substance abuse can hope to find lasting sobriety, they must first rebuild their self-esteem to the point where they actually feel strong enough to accomplish difficult things and worthy enough to deserve the happiness and peace that was denied them during their years of battling against alcoholism or drug addiction.
Animal-assisting therapy is all about fixing bodies, minds, and souls that have been damaged by abuse and neglect. Above all else, recovering addicts and alcoholics need something new and worthwhile to live for, and a commitment to caring for animals who have been cast aside can provide vital meaning and purpose where before there was only dependency and hopelessness.

Therapy dogs, like Peaches the pit bull pictured above, typically work with their owners in hospitals, nursing homes, schools and rehabilitation centers. They play with abused children, give affection to the elderly, help the critically ill to laugh and forget their pain for a while, and sometimes provide a warm lick to wipe the tears away.  The presence of dogs provides a sense of normalcy and reassurance to troubled individuals. Acceptance and non-judgment are perhaps the two most important gifts that these animals can offer. To dogs, humans are “perfect” just the way we are.

Shame, guilt, secrecy and hopelessness create a fertile ground for self-loathing, despair and an abnormal fear response. In an environment where people have proven to not be trustworthy – or, in the addict’s case if they cannot trust themselves – trained therapy dogs can potentially bridge the gap and make a difference in one’s recovery.

Benefits:

  • Stabilized and Improve social skills by learning gentle ways to communicate and handle the animal, such as feeding and grooming.
  • Brighten affect, mood, pleasure and affection while playing with the animal.
  • Reduce abusive behavior and learn appropriate touch.
  • Improve ability to express feelings by identifying how an animal might feel in a certain situation and/or recalling a client’s history with pets (sharing stories of grief or funny events).
  • Reduce anxiety and fear by forming a bond of love and comfort with the animal.
  • Learn how to better communicate with people by talking to the animal.
  • Develop a cooperative plan to accomplish something with the animal.

Cynthia Chandler, author of Animal Assisted Therapy in Counseling, points out that the positive benefits to be gained from therapy can be more immediate when a therapy pet is involved, especially when working with a resistant client. The desire to be with the therapy pet can sometimes override the client’s initial defenses (Chandler, 2005). She further points to the natural relationship that occurs between dogs and humans which can result in quick bonding and trust between the client and dog in a therapeutic setting. According to Chandler, this bond between the pet and the client also helps to facilitate a bond with the therapist, as the feelings of affection and trust for the pet are eventually transferred to the pet’s therapist. Screening is required for clients in recovery who have a history of violence, animal abuse, animal phobias or allergies. However, most clients and pets will benefit from this type of therapy (Chandler, 2005).

According to Dr. Joseph Volpicelli and the U.S. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), “20 million Americans suffer from alcohol abuse disorders, yet only about 2 million are in any kind of treatment program.”

Stories of getting sober and being aided in staying sober fill the halls of AA and other recovery centers, and now, with the expansion of the field of AAT, perhaps the use of animals at treatment centers will one day become commonplace.

Love is considered by many to be the universal healer. Is it any less comforting if the source is not human? According to a study done at the Waltham Center for Pet Nutrition in Leicestershire, England, a pet’s love can help reduce anxiety, lower blood pressure and triglyceride levels, moderate the effects of stress, and build a sense of empathy. Love creates a bond that undeniably aids in the health, happiness and a sense of belonging that makes life worth living (Meunier, 2003). These nurturing qualities can easily be translated into a treatment plan for a recovering addict.

Imagine all of the shelter animals that can be saved and given new life/loving homes when more animals are utilized to help people recover from addiction, illnesses, war, trauma and injuries, PTSD and more…

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/21134540/vp/40471379#40471379

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