Saturday, October 21, 2017

Berries = Yummy #Chewy Influencer

Hi Everybody,
Thanks to all my Bloggie friends for asking about me. I'm feeling much better. My legs still don't work quite like they used to and sometimes I even fall down, but Mom is there to help me and the pain medicine that Dr B gave me is helping a whole lot. 
  Mom gives me special stuff to help my legs get better, like extra fish oil and glucosamine. That's pills made from shellfish and you know how much I love fish. She's giving me raw goat's milk too. I don't know if that helps my legs but I sure do like it.

For a long time Mom has been giving me berries. She says they're really good for my mentals. She and Dad eat lots of berries like strawberries and blueberries and she gives them to us, too. Sometimes it's hard to get fresh berries around here so then Mom gives us berry capsules. The ones I've been taking are blueberry and cranberry because of the infection I had a while ago. She says that cranberry helps me pee. 

Now Chewy sent us some berry treats. They're Zuke's Superfood Blend with Bold Berries and they taste great. 
These are made with cranberries, blueberries, raspberries, blackberries and cherries. I start drooling just thinking about all those delicious berries. They are only 4.1 calorie per treat and Mom thinks the little size is super for training. They also contain cinnamon which is so yummy and tumeric which helps our joints feel good and rosemary which smells really good. But a warning, rosemary can bring on seizures in dogs like Mackey who are predisposed to seizures.
Noah  happened to be there when Mom opened the package so he got to taste them before any of the rest of us. He thinks they are super delicious and said he'd like a whole bowl of them. Mom said no.
Zukes makes very good treats and we've used them for years. The berry ones might be our very favorites. We do have just one complaint, please Zukes peeps, can you make them bigger? Our Mom likes the little size pieces but we'd like them about three or ten times bigger. Can you work on that?
Chewy sent us this bag of Zuke's Bold Berries at no cost to us in exchange for our honest review.
Your pal, Fudge

Friday, October 20, 2017

Teaching An Old Dog New Tricks

In this case the old dog is me. It's been an interesting couple weeks and I've been forced to slow down and get organized. Fudge is confined to the living room during the day and because he wants to follow me wherever I go, I am also confined to the living room. Rob doggie sits him while I do the essentials on the computer because my office is in the basement and Fudge isn't allowed to do stairs.
Fudge is actually doing better. He has a very bad limp that I'm guessing is permanent, but he is able to get around better than two weeks ago. I do notice a clicking sound in his leg when he walks and I don't thank that's a good thing, but he doesn't seem bothered by it. He's on leash at all times except for bedtime, then the door is closed so that he's stuck in the bedroom and can't roam. His appetite has improved and although he groans when he gets up and down, I don't think he's in much pain now.

Noah's colitis has been bothering him again. I can't seem to get his poop problems cleared up. Just when he seems better and I think we've got a handle on it, it flares back up. Taking a cue from a Blogville friend, we located a lady nearby who raises dairy goats and sells their milk. We bought a gallon and tried it on Noah's dinner. For several days we thought it was working well, then another poop explosion happened. We decided to give it a longer try and yesterday we went back to the farm and spoke with the goat lady. She suggested making Kefir.
OK, I knew that Kefir was fermented goat's milk, but that's all I knew. So this old dog hit the internet last night and now I'll be making my first batch of Kefir next week, as soon as my supplies arrive. Apparently Kefir from goat's milk is high in probiotics, vitamins, antioxidants and everything else that's good for you.
In the meantime I'm giving raw goat's milk to Fudge for his joints, Sebastian and Lola for their digestion, Noah for colitis and the others for their pure enjoyment. Such a happy group at dinnertime.

The weather here has been funky, hot during the day and actually cold at night. I decided that Sebastian might like a sweater for his evening outings, so I looked up some patterns. Trouble is that it's mostly little dogs that wear sweaters and most designers only have patterns for dogs much smaller than Sebastian. So this old dog picked a pattern that I like and I'm improvising as I knit. If it doesn't fit him, it should fit one of the others. If it doesn't fit anyone, I'll just unravel the whole thing and start over. It's a way to spend the time while sitting with Fudge.
 So, I'm learning some new tricks about nutrition and maybe some new tricks about changing a knitting pattern. Who said I couldn't do it?

Sunday, October 8, 2017

Something New #Chewygoodiebox

My dogs love presents. I'll bet yours does too. I like to give presents. I'll bet you do too. Now it all got a little easier.

So, lets' say a friend just adopted a dog from the shelter. Wouldn't it be nice to send a little gift to welcome the new family member?
Wouldn't it please Aunt Tilly to remember her kitties with a little something for no reason at all?
I think Fido would be disappointed if there was no special present under the tree for him.
Why not remember all of them, plus of course, you very own faithful furkids with a surprise gift that doesn't require a trip to the pet store or any bother at all on your part. Intrigued yet?
Chewy has a new offering to help solve your gift giving needs and they sent us one to try out. They're called Chewy Goodie Boxes and you can order them at the same time you place your regular food orders. They come in these cute little gift boxes and there are three varieties. There is one for cats, one for small dogs and we received the regular dog box.
So what's in these Goodie Boxes? All this! We got a great selection of treats that really grabbed the attention of my dogs.
In our box was a bag of I and Love and You nice jerky treats in chicken and salmon flavor You know how much we love salmon.
Next was a bag of Greenies breath buster bites. These will be perfect for Mr Sebastian whose breath gets a little doggy at times.
There was a bag of Starmark interactive dog treats with over 175 treats in the bag and they're under 3 calories each, perfect for our dieters. These are great treats by themselves or they work with the Starmark treat dispensers also available at Chewy. 
There was a bag of Hill's Ideal Balance soft baked naturals with chicken and carrots. They're grain free with no soy, wheat, corn or artificial preservatives, colors or flavors.
There was a bag of Halo healthsome vegan biscuits with peanut and pumpkin. We love Halo products and who can argue with peanut and pumpkin?
Finally, from USA Bones & Chews there was a six inch bully stick. None of my dogs has ever had a bully stick though I've heard from lots of people just how much their dogs love them. My Porties really aren't chewers and neither is Sebastian, but my hound girls love to chew and so Sydney will get the bully stick this time.
This is a very nice treat box that I'm sure would be appreciated anyone who receives it. Be sure to check it out next time you log into your Chewy account and add a few to your holiday gift list.
Chewy sent us this goody box at no cost to us in exchange for our honest review and my dogs  think it's absolutely wonderful.

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

What's Wrong With Fudge?

Maybe you've noticed that we haven't been around much lately. There's a reason for that. Something is wrong with Mr. Fudge and it's had us pretty worried.
Fudge has always been a wild and crazy guy with his spinning and jumping and his anything for attention attitude. Then two years ago a stroke left him with a spinal injury, a weakness in his left rear leg and his spinning and jumping capacity diminished. Still, it didn't completely tame the boy, he continued to find new ways to show off. Instead of spinning down the stairs on the way to the back yard, he started running down backwards.

 One day his weak back leg slipped and he fell down the stairs. It was not a pretty landing and when I helped him up, he seemed shaken. It didn't last long, he continued running around the yard and generally being silly. I soon put the misadventure out of my mind.

Then a couple weeks ago Fudge started limping on his right front leg. It was just a mild limp at first and when I examined the leg and foot, I didn't see anything amiss. But the limp continued and started getting worse. Last week he was limping badly and carrying his front leg at a strange angle and his foot was turned inward. There was a lot of swelling in the carpus region.
I did what I do and asked Google what could be happening and I did not like the answer. The result that kept coming up was osteosarcoma. We've recently watched a friend go thru that with her beloved dog and it's a terrible disease with a very poor prognosis. Fudge seemed to fit the symptoms perfectly, so Rob and I began steeling ourselves for the inevitable. There was another possibility though, it could be a torn carpal ligament. I remembered the fall and wondered it it was responsible for the limp.

On Saturday morning we took a very sad Fudge to visit Dr B. We had to lift him in and out of the car which he did not appreciate. When Dr B came into the exam room he sat down and watched Fudge move for a few minutes. Then he examined the leg. He started feeling around the swollen area and applying pressure, a lot more pressure than I used. He said he felt some popping in the area that shouldn't be there.

After the exam we discussed the possibilities. Yes, it could be osteosarcoma, it's the right area and Fudge is the right age. But, he thinks in this case it's either a torn ligament or a bone fracture. In either case we're treating it the same way. Due to Fudge's age, we're not considering surgery. Dr B thinks that splinting or casting the leg might cause more damage to the other side of the wrist. He gave Fudge an injection of Adequan and told me that he must be on leash at all times inside and out. His movements are to be severely restricted. Fudge is also taking the highest dose of Rimadyl that he can safely take. In two weeks we'll reassess the situation and he'll have another Adequan injection.
If Fudge shows improvement in two weeks time, we'll know we're on the right track. If there's no improvement, we'll do xrays to see what else may be going on. In either case, our goal is to keep him as comfortable as possible.

On Saturday when we got home, Fudge was tired and slept all day. On Sunday he was about the same. Then Sunday evening Rob and I both noticed that he looked a little more alert. On Monday it was obvious that Fudge was feeling better. He was eating better and was interested in what the others were doing. He also wanted to bounce when I took him outside. Bouncing is not allowed, but try telling him that.

Today Fudge's attitude is still continuing to improve. It's going to be hard to keep him quiet for two weeks and that's just the start. If this is a fracture or tear, it will be a lengthy recovery. How do I tell Fudge that his days of bouncing and running backwards are over.
We could use some Power Of The Paw if you have some available. Fudge isn't out of the woods yet.

Friday, September 29, 2017

How About Some Stew? #Chewy Influencer

Being a Chewy Influencer, I've had the opportunity to try some dog foods and treats that I'd heard of from other dog parents and I've also discovered some new brands of which I was totally unaware. That's been part of the fun for me and it's the very best part as far as my dogs are concerned.

Several of the new discoveries have impressed me so much that I've either added them to our rotation or made a note of them to include them in the future. This month we were introduced to a another new to us brand, Dave's Dog Food.

Now the name Dave's Dog Food reminds me of a truly awful dirty joke I know about Joe's Bar and Grill. I won't retell that particular joke here on the family oriented blog. And strangely, shortly before I met Rob I was dating a guy named Joe who owned a bar and grill. Oh well, my point is that I'm not overwhelmed with the name Dave's Dog Food. It reminds me of a joke.

As with any unfamiliar dog food, I googled it to read all the available info. Dave's site is humorous and I'm sure he's a nice man who would be fun to have a beer with, but I'm not sure how much he knows about dog food. The one thing I did like was that he tells on his site just where each variety of dog food is made. Because the food got some good reviews on other sites, I decided to give it a try.
We tried Dave's Pet Food Stewlicious Grain Free Fisherman Stew. On the can it says " with lots of fish". You know how my pack loves fish! This food has salmon and sweet potatoes, blueberries, raspberries, tomatoes other yummy stuff, all in fish broth. What it doesn't have is corn, wheat, soy or gluten.

Well, you can certainly see that there is lots of fish.
Now for the big test. This time my four Portie girls were selected to be the taste testers.
So how is it Bailey?
Norma Jean?
Lola?
Tess?
As you can see they were much too busy eating to answer. It was a unanimous, great!! So now it's back to me, would I buy Dave's Dog Food again? I don't know. There are some really wonderful dog foods out there that give me a more confidant feeling. This may be one of the truly great ones, but I just don't have enough info, so I'm leaning toward NO. I didn't find anything really negative about this food and my dogs liked it and had no bad reactions to it. I'm trying to not let the name turn me off, but I'd just like to know more about it.

Chewy provided us with a case of Dave's Fisherman Stew at no cost to us in exchange for our honest review.

Thursday, September 21, 2017

A Fancy Restaurant In A Can # Chewy Influencer

Hi Everybody,
Have you all heard of 'terducken'? Imagine you feed a chicken to a duck, then you feed the fat chicken filled duck to a turkey.  Then you cook and eat the whole big fat bird. There you have a terducken, sort of. Well, when we got this new food from Chewy this month, we thought we were going to have a nice terducken dinner, but it was much better than that.
This month we're trying Taste of the Wild Wetlands Grain Free. It has turkey and duck and chicken but there's so much more.
Mom said that Mackey and I could be the first ones to try it so when dinnertime rolled around we hurried to the garage to help her prepare it. That's when she read the ingredients to us. Wait till you hear what's in this stuff. It's duck, duck broth, chicken broth, chicken liver, chicken, potatoes, roasted duck, roasted quail, smoked turkey, peas, ocean fish,tomatoes, sweet potatoes, blueberries, raspberries and lots of vitamins and minerals. After reading all that Mom said it sounded like something from a menu of a fancy restaurant. This is how it looks.
Mom put some in my bowl and Mackey's bowl. We're both on diets so we only got a little, but she said there was plenty more for another day.
 So then she put the bowls down and we went to work. Mine tasted great.
Mackey agreed. 
This was like having an early Thanksgiving dinner. Be sure and tell your peeps about this special foodable. It would be great to have on hand over the holidays.
Your pal, Fudge
Chewy sent us a case of Taste of the Wild Wetlands at no cost to us in exchange for our honest review.

Saturday, September 16, 2017

An Acquired Taste

When I grew up in the Northeast, I knew about 17 year cicadas. The big, ugly, noisy bug appeared every 17 years and were everywhere. I didn't know much about cicadas except that they don't fly really well, crashing into objects and people. They are very large bugs and they make an outrageous amount of noise. But people can put up with ugly noisy bugs once every seventeen years, right?
Then we moved to the midwest and guess what... there are cicadas that happen  every year. They are big and ugly and noisy and they are here every single summer. Sometimes they make so much noise that we can hear them inside the house with all the windows closed and we only sit outdoors in the evenings if we don't mind the constant high pitched shrieking. I do mind, so I don't sit out in the evenings.

But, not everyone dislikes cicadas as much as I do. My dogs love them.

When cicadas die, they tend to just drop out of the trees and we find them on the ground in the morning. My Porties race to grab them and crunch them up like potato chips. I remember a few years ago when Bailey found a live one on the ground and grabbed it. It kept rattling and screaming as Bailey ran around the yard with it in her mouth. She eventually stopped and put it down to study it, only to have Tess grab it and gobble it down.

Now a new generation has discovered the appeal of cicadas. Mackey is quite obsessed with them.
 Autumn is coming and the nights are getting cool. That means that in the morning we can usually find a few cicadas in the yard. Mackey is fast and usually beats the Porties to her new favorite treat.
 Occasionally she finds one with some buzz left and will carry it around until it stops buzzing. Then in a gulp, it's gone.
 Sebastian says, "I don't do bugs."
Smart.

Sunday, September 3, 2017

An Observation

My Water Dogs have had a good life. They've never gone hungry. They've never had to sleep outdoors in the cold or heat or rain. They've always known they had a warm dry bed waiting them at the end of the day. They have lived with a routine so they know exactly when to expect their next meal and when they would go out to play and when they would go to sleep each night. This is what we would hope every dog could experience.
 Sebastian has a different story. We don't know what his early life was like but from his good manners, we think he was loved and cared for. Then something changed.
 We don't know how long Sebastian was on his own looking for home, but from his physical condition when he found us, he'd been alone for awhile. His eyes were red from the sun and his pads were sore from the hot pavement. His coat was covered with a tar like substance and lots of burrs. He was too thin and very tired and thirsty.

Some people don't give dogs credit for thinking or remembering, but Sebastian knows that things were bad and now they're better. How do I come to this conclusion?
Each evening when I feed my dogs their dinner, the Water Dogs and the Hound girls get excited and jump and bark and act like it's a special occasion. Sebastian walks to the spot where he eats and sits quietly waiting.

The Water Dogs and Hounds act like it's a race to see who can finish eating first. Then they come to me for their reward. What, a reward for eating dinner? I'm not sure how that got started but I try to think of it as dessert and give each of them half a biscuit.

Sebastian takes his time eating his meal, he's usually last to finish, then comes over and licks my hand. After every single meal, he licks my hand and I interpret it as a 'thank you for feeding me' action. He will also gladly accept his half biscuit but not until he thanks me.
The experts may say I'm projecting human feelings onto my dog, but I am convinced that Sebastian knows what it's like to go hungry and be lonely and not have a safe place to sleep and he appreciates what he has.

I'm so sorry that he had to experience bad things and I think they're responsible for the dreams he has every night when he cries and moans.
 I wish no dogs ever had to know such a life. Mostly I'm glad Sebastian found us and we can give him security and love.