Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Guilty As Charged

Someone got into a package of fruit snacks while we were out the other day. The guilty party tore through the package and consumed its entire contents. Who on earth could it have been? Andy? Pablo? Or Diego? A certain canine had wicked gas later that evening. It was bad. Like "clear the room" bad. Coincidence? I think not.

Maymo vs. Robot Crab


Happy Wednesday!

Pablo Gets Existential

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Post-Camp Zombie Pup

My husband and I were both out of the house all day yesterday so Andy got to chill with his buddies at Camp Bow Wow. As we were preparing to leave the house he figured out what was going on and got himself worked into a frenzy of excitement and anticipation. Whenever this happens it's as if all the sounds that emanate from his little body are somehow magically amplified. The boy is loud. Embarrassingly loud. "I'm afraid it's going to wake the neighbors" loud. Arg. Andy was exhausted at the end of the day and slept most of the evening. He wanted nothing to do with anything - just wanted to sleep on the couch. He didn't even have the energy to harass his brothers. Makes me feel like we got our money's worth.

Friday, February 22, 2013

A Sunday on La Grande Jatte

Gerouges Seurat | A Sunday on La Grande Jatte | 1884-1886

Fresh Step | Catdance


Fresh Step, makers of kitty litter galore, are sponsoring a short film contest called Catdance (Film Festival 2013)...a la Sundance. This short is called Catalogue, and is one of five entries competing for a viewer's choice prize. I'm partial to this one and the one called Fallen Star. Check 'em out and vote for a chance to win prizes. Happy Friday!

Doggy Yoga | Plank Pose

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Review | Earthbath Eucalyptus & Peppermint Shampoo

Earthbath is a company that makes all natural grooming products for dogs, cats, and horses. According to their website their products are natural, non-toxic, paraben free, phthalate free, and phosphate free. The products are also "made in the USA with human-grade ingredients and pure essential oils" and have no artificial colors and fragrances. As far as their products for dogs are concerned, they have shampoos, grooming foams (kind of like a "dry-bath"), wipes, and deodorizing spritzes available. 

We've been using Earthbath's Eucalyptus & Peppermint Shampoo on Andy for about a month now and so far I'm happy with the product. The shampoo is "soap-free" and very gentle on Andy's coat and skin and has a wonderful scent to boot - it's herbal and minty but not overly so. I definitely prefer it to some of the fruity or floral scented dog shampoos I've purchased in the past. I've sniffed other shampoos in Earthbath's line (Orange Peel Oil and Oatmeal and Aloe) and they also smelled nice - not perfumy but more of a clean herbal medicinal scent - and I mean this in the best sort of way.  Post-bath the scent doesn't actually last all that long, maybe a day...which actually makes me kind of sad. On the plus side, it leaves Andy's coat shiny and soft for a couple of weeks...which makes me very happy.

Supposedly the oils contained within the shampoo are supposed to "help relieve pets of their most common topical skin problems while acting to cool and relieve irritated skin associated with flea bites and other dermatitis." I'm anticipating another rough flea season come spring/summer, so I'm really hoping this shampoo delivers on this particular claim. Earthbath's Eucalyptus & Peppermint Shampoo has been good for Andy so far and is good for the environment. Win/Win! The only downside to this product is the price. It isn't cheap! A 16 oz bottle retails for about $14.99. I picked mine up at Marshalls for $7.99. I honestly don't know if I'd pay retail for this. Is it worth $14.99? Yes. Am I a cheapskate? Yes. Draw. In all seriousness though, I'll continue to buy Earthbath products as long as I can find them at discount retailers like Marshalls or T.J. Maxx.

Earthbath Eucalyptus & Peppermint Shampoo
Marshalls | 16 oz | $7.99

Petco | 16 oz | $14.99

Swimming With The Fishes

Andy gets up close and personal with the trout at our local fish hatchery. It's a pretty decent sized operation, with many large pens holding thousands of rainbow and golden trout in various stages of growth. The hatchery is located right next to a river, from which the pens get fed fresh water. The trout are all eventually released into our local waterways.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

The Widow

Image on left, Kathe Kollwitz, The Widow I (Die Witwe I), 1922–23 

Every time I walk by this tree out back I'm drawn to what appears to be the figure of a woman on its trunk. Her body is rigid and her eyes are downcast. She appears trapped, lonely, and in despair. She reminds me of the work of Kathe Kollwitz, a German artist that lived between 1867 and 1945. Kollwitz is known primarily for her powerfully haunting depictions of women and children. She lost a son during WWI and her prints often convey the sorrow and devastation of war. She is easily one of my favorite artists.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Nemo at Night | Part II

Oops, He Did it Again


Our Sunday walk started off really nice. It was bitterly cold but it was a good cold. One of those "glad to be alive" colds. We saw lots of birds: hawks, woodpeckers, cardinals, and blue herons. Andy sniffed to his heart's delight and got to pee on trees and clumps of grass. We crossed bridges; we walked up hills. We visited the local fish hatchery and watched the rainbow and golden trout swimming in their pens. It was a productive walk, one that revved up our appetites and had us ready to consume massive amounts of food at a local Indian buffet afterwards. It was a perfect walk. And then it happened.  

Andy caught us off guard for just a split second and the next thing we knew he was on his back rolling away with utter abandon. My husband tugged and pulled at the boy's harness but he absolutely refused to get up. When it was all said and done Andy, and his Thundershirt, were covered in patches of poop. Arg. It's not like this hasn't happened before but something about this incident was particularly irksome. I'm pretty sure it was because my husband and I were both starving and Andy's little bout of rolling meant we had to give him a bath once we got home, which further meant we would have to delay feeding our hunger pains. Sigh.

We drove home in poop-scented silence. We marched Andy straight to the tub. He got a thorough wash-down with some Earthbath Eucalyptus Peppermint Dog Shampoo (which I plan on reveiwing later this week). His collar, harness, Thundershirt, and the car-seat cover all went into the wash. Once the pup was dry we bi-pedal folk hightailed it to the Indian buffet. And gorged. On the bright side, Andy was just about due for a bath anyways. But why the heck does he have to roll in the feces of other animals to finally get there? And with such frequency? And so it goes...the ups and downs of adopting a shelter pup.

Friday, February 15, 2013

Loup-Garou

George Rodrigue | Loup-Garou | 1991

Oh Yeah...That's The Stuff

Proof That Every Kid Should Have a Dog

Aya Sakai | facebook.com/ig.ayasakai | instagram.com/ayasakai


Photos of a seemingly inseparable pair, a boy named Tasuku and his French Bulldog Muu, have been trending on the web this week. Check them out. Feel warm and fuzzy inside. Every kid should have a dog.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Valentine's Day Gifts For That Special Someone

I know this is a little late, but in case you're still looking for a Valentine's Day gift for that furry someone in your life, here are some unique handmade goodies I found on Etsy. I love "window shopping" on Etsy - lots of beautiful and creative things to admire. Enjoy!

Striped Dog Cowel Scarf, $34 | CharlieHeartsDiesel
Birds of a Sweater Catnip Cat Toy, $6 | threesassysisters
Antler Dog Chew, $12 | BullyTested







Plaid Bowtie Dog Collar, $36 | ChloesCollars







Modern Cat Bed, $83 | likekittysville
Personalized Bowl, $24 | TwistedRiverClay
Felted Cat Bed, $77 | elevele

Please Doo Doo

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Post-Nemo Hike | Glassphalt


We took Andy out for a much needed walk on Sunday afternoon. Most of the paths and trails were still covered in snow, which the pup had no problem navigating. As we were walking a particular stretch of asphalt covered trail I noticed little pieces of multicolored glass glistening in the sunlight. My immediate reaction was concern for Andy's paws. The glass was everywhere! When I stooped down to the ground I saw that some of the glass was embedded in the asphalt while other pieces were scattered loose all over the ground. I collected some of the glass and inspected it up close. The pieces were smooth; no sharp edges. That's when it occurred to me that the glass might be a part of the asphalt - recycled bottles of some sort.

Sure enough, after doing a little research once we got home, I discovered the wonder that is "glassphalt" - it's exactly what it sounds like, asphalt with (recycled) glass in the mix. In order for glass to be recycled it needs to be sorted according to color and type. This wouldn't be so bad if it weren't for the fact that glass likes to break into a million little pieces and get all mixed up - thus rendering it unrecyclable. Enter glassphalt - glass of any color and type can go into the mix. This means that glass that would otherwise sit unrecycled in a landfill can be repurposed and live anew as the asphalt, or glassphalt rather, that we walk and drive on. Nifty. But what was up with all the loose glass we encountered at the park? Seems to me they need to crush the glass into smaller pieces to make it hold to the mix better. Sure was pretty though!

Monday, February 11, 2013

Nemo at Night

Friday, February 8th, 10:15 pm

Remembering Maxwell | Snow!


All told Nemo only brought us about 3 inches of snow. Maybe it's because I'm originally from "sunny"  Southern California and didn't grow up with snow...but I absolutely love the stuff! I kind of wish I lived in a place where it fell by the foot, and not by the inch. Kind of. One of the downsides of living in an apartment, at least for me, is that I don't get to shovel snow. We rented a house for a number of years when we lived in Indiana and shoveling snow was actually something I looked forward to. I would often get carried away and end up shoveling the walks in front of my neighbor's houses as well. Of course my husband never argued when I insisted on doing all shoveling!

One of my favorite things to do after a good snowfall was to dig paths in the snow for Maxwell. He wasn't a big fan of the wet stuff, and whenever there was enough of it on the ground that it came up to his chest, he all but refused to go outside. This is when me and my trusty snow shovel would come to the rescue! I shoveled paths all over the backyard for him. I even included "potty zones," these were larger areas where he was able to comfortably do his business. Once I cleared these pathways Maxwell would obligingly "go on his rounds" - he would walk the paths, inspect my handy work, pee, poop, bark, and mind everyone else's business. I sure miss having a backyard!

Friday, February 8, 2013

Adele Astaire

Oskar Kokoschka | Adele Astaire | 1926

Finding Nemo?


We live in Northeastern Pennsylvania so it looks like Nemo will only be bringing us 3-6 inches of snow this weekend, if even that. For those of you in areas that will be hit harder...stay safe and stay warm! I know the name "Nemo" doesn't sound all that menacing, but 24 inches of snow is a fair amount of snow! Was "Nemo" a random name selection by the powers that be? Or does it refer to the Nemo from Finding Nemo? Or maybe even Captain Nemo from Jules Verne's Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea? Cause we're talking about the difference between a cute little clown fish and a menacing anti-hero with a submarine that has the power to do some serious damage here...

Andy 3 Ways

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Well Played Andy. Well Played.

The last time Andy got his nails trimmed was back in December when he had to go to the vet's office for his injury. We figured since we were already there, and the pup had been giving us such a hard time about trimming his nails, we might as well have the professionals do it for us. When it came time to trim his nails this week it occurred to me that if we put him up on the stainless steel "island" we have in our kitchen it might remind him of the vet's office and that somehow that would make him cooperate. Well, it worked! I was able to clip every nail without incident as my husband held Andy in place. I think the novelty of the situation, coupled with the height of the island, made Andy just nervous enough that he didn't even think to put up a fight. Whatever the reason, we'll keep trimming his nails this way as long it works!

With every success...comes challenges. Right after we trimmed Andy's nails my husband got ready to take the pup on a walk. Andy got so excited he started to jump around and in the process he managed to scratch my husband's arm and hand up pretty bad. Lesson learned. Either we need a new, sharper, pair of nail trimmers or we need to file his nails smooth after each trim. On an unrelated note, Andy managed to ruin 2 pairs of my shoes this week. 2 pairs. In 1 week. #!$@!*# 

Score 1 for the humans. 
Score 3 for Andy.

Snowy Crossing

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Pup Tip | Pilling Your Pup

Some of you may remember that Andy got a minor bite wound back in  December while at doggy day care. While the wound was small it did require regular cleaning and medication. Speaking from personal experience, pilling a pet can either be as easy as pie or like pulling teeth. The trick is to make the experience as stress-free (for both you and your pet!) as possible and to exhibit bucket loads of patience. Lucky for Andy we're seasoned pros when it comes to medicating both cats and dogs. 2011 was the year of medicating pets. At any one given time at least 2 out of 3 of our pets was on medication. At the peak of Maxwell's illness he was taking five pills, twice a day. Add to that Pablo, who was on antibiotics for reoccurring urinary tract issues, and Diego, who had to take steroids at some point for allergies, and we're talking about a lot of medication! It took a bit of research and a lot of trial and error before we had pilling the pets down pat. Here are some practical tips to help you get your pup pilled quick and easy. 

Around Here

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Puppy Bowl IX


Happy Super Bowl Sunday! Or, if you're like me and could really care less about football...Happy Puppy Bowl Sunday! The Puppy Bowl will air from 3-5 pm EST on Animal Planet. In it's 9th consecutive season, the Puppy Bowl offers a menagerie of football themed animal hijinks including, a starting lineup of puppies, a kitty half-time show, hedgehog cheerleaders, hamster reporters, and a bird "tweeting" from the sidelines. All animals featured in the Puppy Bowl, which is filmed months in advance, are/were available for adoption. Working in conjunction with petfinder.com, the program is meant to draw viewer interest to animal adoption. I know what I'll be doing from 3-5 pm today!    

Friday, February 1, 2013

Brown and White Norfolk or Water Spaniel

Geroge Stubbs | Brown and White Norfolk or Water Spaniel | 1778

More Maymo!

Less Space Chronicles and More Andy Please!

I've been trying to squeeze in a chapter of Neil deGrasse Tyson's Space Chronicles here and there. Andy would prefer I direct 100% of my attention his way, 100% of the time. He's like, "Who cares about NASA, space exploration, pondering the existence of life on other planets, or worrying about the possibility of asteroids blasting us to kingdom come. RUB MY BELLY!"