Monday, May 29, 2017

Food That Keeps Us Hopping # Chewy Influencer

Our continuing weird weather brought us a weekend of rain, wind, tornado sirens and hail, something for everyone. Today is sunny and quite nice, but that's supposed to change soon and another week of rain is in the forecast.
We were somewhat fortunate in that our hail was only this size. Some of the towns close to us had some the size of softballs.
Since we couldn't go out to play, I thought this would be a good time to try out some new food from Chewy. This time we're testing Zignature Kangaroo Limited Ingredient Formula Grain Free. I wasn't familiar with Zignature's food so I researched them and they passed my 'Mom test'. They eliminate troublesome ingredients such as chicken, corn, wheat, soy and potatoes. Their first ingredient is always meat or fish. To provide hypoallergenic food they don't use chicken eggs, chicken meal or any chicken by-products.
On their web site they list the vitamins, minerals and supplements they provide. I appreciate that. They also tell where the ingredients come from. The kangaroo, which we chose, of course comes from Australia. The trout, salmon and whitefish are from the American Northwest. The turkey is from the Midwest and the duck is from western France. The food is processed in Tuffy's in Perham, Minnesota and Performance Pet in Mitchell, South Dakota.

The food we tried is a soft pate  and I was surprised to actually find whole peas in it.

It was easy to mix with their kibble and it stayed soft even after refrigeration. It had no offensive odor.

I learned a bit about kangaroo meat. It has virtually no saturated fat. It contains nearly twice the vitamin B12 as other meats and is rich in iron, Omega 3 and concentrated Linoleic Acid. Since I have three dogs on diets and three dogs with intestinal problems I was interested in how they would do on kangaroo meat.

I made some comparisons with foods we've tried recently.
Evanger duck formula has 8% protein and 6% fat
Nutro fish formula has 9% protein and 5%fat
Wellness turkey formula has 12%protein and 8%fat

Zignature kangaroo formula has 9%protein and only 4%fat.

Because of the low fat and no chicken or wheat, all my dogs could eat this food, even the dieters and the boys with tummy issues. That made everyone happy, the dogs and me, too.

I was able to catch some of them enjoying their first meal of kangaroo. The others finished before I could get photos.
 This food was a huge success in our house. The dogs loved it and I could feed everyone the same thing, no separate meals for individuals. There were no bad after effects. Stools were normal and everyone was eager for their next dinner of kangaroo.

If you have a dog with special dietary needs, look into Zignature's line. They also make dry food, though we haven't tried it yet.

Chewy sent us a case of Zignature Kangaroo formula at no cost to us in exchange for our honest review.

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Only A Day Late

I heard that today was World Turtle Day, but it was actually yesterday. I'm sure the turtles won't mind that we're a day late.
I like turtles. When I was a little girl I had a tiny little pet turtle that lived in some special little place where he had a pool and a rock and I caught flies to add protein to his diet. I think my Grandfather got him for me so that I'd leave the large snapping turtles alone. We lived in the country and there was a creek and swampland. The big snappers would come into the yard to lay eggs and would make a mess of the yard. My Grandfather and Uncles would relocate them whenever they spotted them. I was a collector of wildlife but collecting snappers was discouraged for obvious reasons.
When I met Rob I didn't realize that he was also a turtle person. Then he started coming home from work with turtles in the back of the car. When he saw one crossing a dangerous road, he'd stop and stick it in the car. Then when he got home we'd put it in our pond or take it to another safe location.
When we moved here we were pleased to find that we have a turtle that lives in the woods behind our house. Each spring he comes out of the woods and crosses our yard on his journey to a nearby pond with other turtles. In the late summer he makes the return trip. We watch for him to help him on his journey.
 One morning last week Rob took Tess into the front yard while I had the others in the back. He saw a fairly large snapper sitting in the driveway. He put Tess on the deck and with the help of a large flower pot, he helped the turtle into the woods so that he wouldn't be run over.
I no longer have turtles as pets, but I do have this one that I made a while back. I like that he's wearing a rain hat and boots and his shell is designed like a backpack. I hope to make another different style turtle soon.
 Today's May flower was a mystery. The leaves looked like geranium leaves, but it was a wild flower planted by the birds. Then I saw the tiny flowers and looked them up. Apparently it's called a 'wood geranium'. 
If you see a turtle in the street, do you give him a hand getting across?

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Treats For Tweets # Chewy Influencer

I'm sending May flowers to everyone all this month.
 My birds are weird. Maybe all birds are weird, but these two are especially weird. We currently have two budgies. The green one is Norris and the blue one is Calder. They get along well and both like to sing. They greet us every morning with loud chirps and also chirp along when the dogs bark at the mailman and the trash truck. They're cheerful little members of the family.
As you can see in these awful pictures, they try to hide whenever they see the camera. I guess to them it looks like a big scary predator. If I open their cage to get a picture, they panic and start flapping around, so this is about as good as it gets.
I put their seed in a little dish on the bottom of their cage and Calder and Norris come down and join us for breakfast. They sit on the edge of their bowl and happily chomp on their seeds, throwing the husks all over the place. Birds are messy!

They do love treats and we often give them honey sticks which are just seeds stuck together with honey. Their very favorite treat, however, is spray millet. It seems to be irresistible and once they start on it, they can't stop till it's gone.

The weird part is that they don't come running to taste their treat as soon as I hang it in the cage. Instead they sit on the highest perch on the opposite side of the cage and stare at the treat. They don't take their eyes off the treat and they chatter softly to themselves. I can imagine the conversation:

Calder: What do you think? Is it safe?
Norris:  I don't know, it could be poison.
Calder: She's been good so far and hasn't tried to poison us.
Norris: A bird can't be too careful.
Calder: It looks like the last one and it was delicious.
Norris: I heard about a bird that ate a treat once and couldn't ever fly again after that.
Calder: Maybe we should just watch it for awhile.
Norris: Go try it if you want to.
Calder: I don't want to be first, you try it.
Norris: The last one was good, but this could be the bad one.
Calder: Let's wait and see what happens.

The silly pair do this act for two or three days every single time I give them a treat, even if they just finished one the day before. Finally they break down and try the treat and decide that it's so good they have to finish it. When I find the bare stick, I replace it and we go thru this act again. We both think it's hilarious.

This month Chewy offered some treats for our feathered family members. One was this bag of spray millet, their absolute favorite.
Each spray looks like this with lots of tiny seeds.
We used to fasten them to the cage bars with twist ties, but the birds chewed on the ties, so I found these clips that hold the sprays to the cage safely.
A few days ago I clipped one to the cage and we watched them discuss the merits of actually trying this treat. After only two days they took a chance and cleaned it off in no time.
There is one problem with millet. Each of those tiny seeds is encased in a tiny husk and they throw the husks out of the cage. There's plenty of cleanup involved with millet. I repeat, birds are messy!
 Chewy sent Calder and Norris this bag of spray millet at no charge to us in exchange for our honest review. We had to wait a few days until they actually decided to try the treat, but they both agreed that it was wonderful.

Sunday, May 14, 2017

Mother's Day

Happy Mother's Day to all, whether your kids have two legs or four. Being a Mom means caring and worrying and loving, and that applies to any that you choose to mother.
 Here's a pic of me with my Mom.
 Here's a pic of one of the best Mom's I've ever known.
 And here are a few pics of me with the ones I chose to love and care for and worry about.
I've been so lucky to have these little creatures in my life.
 Of course, they're my kids and I'm their Mom.

Thursday, May 4, 2017

So, What's New?

Well, it's certainly been an interesting few weeks. It hasn't been exactly 40 days and 40 nights of rain, but it sure seems like it. Last night we had a whole night without thunder. It rained all night, but it did it quietly. That was really important to us because Norma Jean has decided that she's afraid of thunder and wakes me at the very first distant sound.
Norma Jean is a big strong girl, actually built like a mini tank, and when she hears a scary noise she jumps on me and starts clawing at me. Imagine being awakened by a 65 pound hairy monster clawing at you relentlessly. It isn't fun, so on thundering nights Norma Jean sleeps in her crate downstairs. She isn't happy about that arrangement and sometimes barks or howls all night. Rob can sleep thru the noise, (what is it with men anyway?) but her unhappy cries keep me awake. Last night Norma Jean joined us upstairs for a quiet sleep.
Today the rain has stopped, at least for awhile. Here are some pics of the flooding.
 The map shows the roads that are currently closed due to flooding. Actually it's a lot better than it was a few days ago. Each red dot is a closed road.
Now that the rain has paused and the sun is shining, my kids are feeling better, too. Bailey, Lola and Noah are all doing much better. I'm still cooking rice for their meals, but they're also able to eat kibble. No more vomit or diarrhea. Let's just blame it on the storms.
Fudge has now begun his second week of antibiotics and is doing much better. As long as I take him out just before bed, he can sleep thru the night. No more accidents in the house except for a little sprinkling in the garage on his way to the door. If we rush him straight out before releasing the girls from their crates, he does fine. Adding probiotics to his food has helped keep the antibiotics from upsetting his stomach and I think he'll be OK at the end of this.
The sunshine isn't the only good thing to happen today. The FedEx truck came and that gets the whole pack excited. We have a new box of goodies from Chewy to try. This month we're all excited because  we're trying kangaroo dogfood for the first time.  Bella, Roxy and Dui, who live in Oz, have been telling us how good roo tastes and now we'll be able to tell them what we think about it. Also this month our birds, Calder and Norris are going to be Chewy influencers for the first time. They're looking forward to that.
So, we're not exactly dry, but no rain is falling for the moment. We're all feeling better if not perfect and we have some tasty treats to look forward too. Things are looking up.