Saturday, March 30, 2019

The Final Review # Chewy Influencer

Our first review for Chewy ( then Mr Chewy) was on January 4, 2012. We've been happy being Chewy family members but now the influencer program has come to an end. We're going to miss the friendly, helpful people in our Chewy family. We're also going to miss learning about and trying products that are new to us. We've found some foods and supplements that have become staples in our dog's diet.
Our final product is Purina Beyond Grain Free Alaskan Cod Recipe Canned Dog Food. This is a nice pate style food with only a mild fishy smell. The dogs think it's wonderful.
 This food is made with fish sustainably sourced from an MSC-certified fishery. It has no grain, gluten or by-products.

I use this as a topper on their kibble and there have been no complaints. No one has walked away from their bowl and everyone licks the bowl clean. What better statement can a dog make?
Although we're no longer active Chewy reviewers, we'll still post about any new products that we try and let you know yea or nay what our opinions are. How am I going to break the news to Mackey that she's been fired after only a couple reviews?
Chewy sent us a case of Purina Beyond Cod Recipe at no cost to us in exchange for our honest review.

Friday, March 29, 2019

Fishy Goodness # Chewy Influencer

You know that my pack loves fish. The Portuguese Water Dog was also called the Fisherman's Dog because they worked on the fishing boats before being replaced by technology. They ate lots of fish then and they still eat lots of fish today.

Chewy has helped me find many fishy options for my dogs to enjoy but one of our new favorite brands has become Zignature. We've tried a number of Zignature flavors from kangaroo to salmon, but this month we tried Zignature Catfish Limited Ingredient Formula Dry Dog Food.
Noah was lucky enough to get to enjoy this bag of catfish food all by himself because it has a unique alternative protein making it a good choice for dogs with allergies or sensitivities. Catfish contains a healthy amino acid profile that supports digestion. Noah suffers with colitis and we're always looking for foods that will help his digestion. It also has omega 3 and 6 fatty acids  that reduce inflammation and arthritis. Noah is twelve years old now and has some achy joints, so this also helps in that area.
What I really appreciate about all Zignature foods is that they contain no grain, wheat, soy, dairy, chicken, chicken eggs or chicken by-products. What other foods can say that? The first ingredient in the catfish food is catfish. That's the way I like it.
Noah just knows that he likes this food, it tastes good. For him that's all that matters but all you dog moms know that there's a lot more involved. Take a look at Zignature if you have a dog with allergies or intestinal problems. It might be just what you were looking for.
 Chewy sent us this bag of Zignature Catfish Formula Dog Food at no cost to us in exchange for our honest review.

Saturday, March 23, 2019

The Snake That Saved My Sanity

I can hear you thinking " Huh, I think she's lost her sanity", but bear with me and I know you'll understand.

Mackey has a few faults. She's a thief and she's destructive. If I don't stay nearby reminding her to be nice, she'll rip a stuffy apart in seconds. If she's left alone and can't find a toy, she'll rip up a dog bed or a pillow.
 Her worst fault by far is her barking. She barks at everything, real and imagined. Being a small dog, she has a high pitched, extremely annoying bark, the kind that makes you feel your head is about to explode.
 It's annoying when Mac runs to the door barking several times a day. When I look outside, the whole street is quiet, no one in sight. It's annoying when Mac barks if another dog leaves or enters the room.

 But without a doubt, it's not only annoying, but painful when Mac barks going down the stairs to the garage to go outside or to eat. Being in the confined area of the stairs makes her loud, high pitched, staccato barking so aggravating that the other dogs hang back.
I have tried everything I can think of to control the staircase barking. I have scolded, sprayed her with water, leashed her and made loud scary noises. Nothing works.

One day as we headed for the stairs and the noise began I just stopped and looked at her. She looked up at me, then turned and ran to her toybox. She grabbed a toy and came back to the stairs.

The toy she had was this snake. It has three large squeakers and she happily ran down the stairs squeaking as she went. Now you may think that constant squeaking is annoying, but this sounded like a symphony compared to the barking.
For obvious reasons I call the snake Muffler. Now I keep Muffler hanging over the stair rail so I can grab him and toss him to Mac as we go downstairs.

You may wonder why we put up with such an annoying little dog, but Mac is actually very sweet and funny. She's not a touchy feely dog. Even as a little puppy she didn't want to be held and still doesn't ask for petting and cuddling like her sister. But every night at bedtime she gets up on the bed, rolls over and begs for a belly rub. The only time she gets on my lap is when she's frightened by thunder or something she doesn't understand. She also follows me wherever I go around the house. And it's kind of cute that she nose whistles in her sleep.
Oh by the way, we have two Mufflers, because, well  it's Mackey.

Thursday, March 21, 2019

Get Happy

Wake up Blogville,
It's finally here, can't you tell? Spring started yesterday afternoon and we're excited. It officially started at 4:58 yesterday and we were all concentrating on dinner, so we didn't pay much attention. Besides it was kind of drizzly yesterday.

But today is sunny and a little warmer and we really took notice of some of the special offerings of Spring.
I observed with my superior senses that there was something living in the rock pile. I sniffed and scratched but the critters wouldn't come out to play.
Then Sydney came over to see what I was doing. Syd doesn't have a lot of patience, so she shoved a couple rocks out of place and dove in. There were two lizards behind the rock and she grabbed them both and ran. She started tossing them around and jumping on them. I ran over to join in, after all I did find them, but Syd doesn't believe in sharing so she growled at me.  She played with the lizards till they stopped moving, then she rolled on them. Finally she walked away and left the lizards on their backs in the dirt.
I saw my chance and ran toward the lizards but Mom got to them first and scooped them into the poop scoop. She says that dogs that roll on lizards can't sit on her lap.

It doesn't seem fair but Spring is just starting and I'm sure I'll find a lizard of my very own soon and I'll roll when Mom isn't looking. Don't you love Spring?
Keep wagging, Mackey Doodle

Sunday, March 10, 2019

No Explanation Necessary

Where gingerbread people come to die.

I killed them!
Any questions?

Thursday, March 7, 2019

Getting Old Stinks!

Friday was a busy day for the Portie Pack. Early in the morning Noah went to spend the day with Dr B and the nice ladies who pamper him. Noah had a major colitis flareup on Wednesday ad I thought we were going to lose him. He's been showing some signs of distress over the past week. His stool has been getting worse and he's walking hunched up, telltale signs that his intestinal tract is painful.
On Wednesday at 3AM he woke me to go out, but before I could get the door open he had a major poop explosion. I shut him on the porch while I cleaned up the floor, then went outside to see the porch was also covered. Once I got him settled, I mopped the hall and cleaned the porch. Then I took him back to bed but an hour later he needed to go out again.

Wednesday was a horrible day. When he wasn't racing to the door, about every hour, he was lying very still in the corner of the room. He wouldn't eat and looked very sick. I called the vet and he suggested bringing him in on Friday morning and leaving him for observation.

On Thursday Noah looked slightly better and ate a little rice cooked with pumpkin. I poured some bone broth over it and he seemed to like it. He didn't poop all day but I think Wednesday he had cleaned out his entire system. Friday came and Noah was actually dancing around the exam room greeting his favorite nurse. He didn't look sick at all. I left him and ran some errands.

Friday afternoon we took Lola and Tess in for their rabies vaccinations. Then Dr B and I had a long (2 hour) discussion on the state of everyone's health. The news isn't as good as I'd like, but not as bad as it could be.

First Noah. Yes he had a major colitis flare. He's also running a fever. One back leg isn't tracking properly and his bad eye is red and dry. So, he's now taking an antibiotic and a steroid for his colitis and we're doubling up on his eye medication. He's eating rice, pumpkin, a little salmon and some bone broth. I'll start gradually adding in some kibble till I get him back to normal meals. He's feeling much better and is having normal stools. His eye is less red. and I'm keeping an eye on the back leg though there isn't really anything we can do about that. It's a nerve problem but doesn't seem to bother him.
Next is Lola. She has a lot going on. First of all, she has masticatory muscle myositis. You may remember that Samba also had that. It's a situation where the body attacks the jaw muscles and eventually will prevent the dog from opening it's mouth. Samba had the acute version which comes with sudden extreme pain. Lola has the chronic version, same disease but more gradual and a little less pain. I've noticed that in the morning Lola can't open her mouth very wide and is slow eating her breakfast. By evening, however, she has worked the muscles enough so that she can open her mouth almost normally. Dr B says she's lost 10 to 15% of her muscle so far and instead of giving her steroids, we're going to try physical therapy.
Lola has something else going on too that we're not sure about. Her coat isn't growing and is quite thin. She's also lame in all four legs. For now we're treating her with melatonin for her coat and Rimadyl for her legs.  Lola has also developed a lick granuloma since Bailey's death. She used to suck on Bailey's ear flap but now she licks and chews on her own toe. It's red and sore so we're putting medicine on it to dry it up. I'm trying to interest her in a toy instead of her foot.

Tess is doing great. She's a big, happy, dumb dog. Even with her crooked front legs, she loves to run and climb. She had her vaccination and was happy to get her treat afterwards.
Then we discussed the others. Mackey is having seizures again after a 14 month seizure free period. The doc gave her a prescription for valium to calm her after her seizures. She'll be visiting him in two weeks for a checkup.
Sydney is also going in two weeks for a thyroid test. It may explain her stubborn weight gain.
We discussed Sebastian's headaches. Dr B has been doing some research on them and says they're like migraines. He suggested increasing Sebastian's daily intake of fish oil and giving him a daily Rimadyl. Sebastian will go in two weeks for a checkup. He needs a dental cleaning and also has a cyst on his eyelid that may need removal.
Then I asked about Norma Jean. She was in to see Dr B a couple weeks ago. Something strange is happening to her face. It's hard to describe but one side of her face is shifting to the side. It looks very strange though it doesn't seem to bother her. Dr B told me that he has no idea what is wrong with Norma Jean's face. He said that in 30 years of practice he's never seen anything like it and doesn't expect to ever see it again. He thinks it's a nerve problem in one side of the face but doesn't know where or why. As long as it doesn't bother her we're just watching it and putting drops in her eyes.
So there you are. I have a house full of geriatric dogs, each with a different health issue. If I thought a house full of puppies was a lot of work, this is much tougher. Fortunately, my dogs are all really good about taking meds and I don't have to fight with them. There's just a lot to keep track of.

Sunday, March 3, 2019

Think Spring !

For all of you who are experiencing yet another snowstorm or ice storm or windstorm or flood, Spring really will arrive one of these days.
Till Spring gets here, think warm colorful thoughts.