Tuesday, December 31, 2013

2014 Resolutions for Me & the Dogs

I used the same picture last year; I STILL can't get
my dogs to wear a party hat.
It’s New Year’s Eve!

Last year I wrote a post containing New Year's Resolutions for me and the dogs. I reread the post earlier this week and compared what I had wanted to do with what I had actually done. Some things worked, others didn't, but I think it's worth doing again.

I'd like to start by taking a few minutes to reflect on the past year.

What went well:
  • My blogging has gotten better and I actually have readers. Hi everybody!
  • Jedi and I completed Puppy Kindergarten and the S.T.A.R. Puppy program.
  • I took over the GSD Club newsletter last spring and won giant ribbon from the German Shepherd Dog Club of America for my efforts.
  • I got in the show ring, fulfilling a childhood dream. Even better, we got a blue ribbon and I didn't throw up!
  • The GSD club voted me member of the year and gave me a really nice plaque. That was pretty awesome.
  • I did save some money, though not as much as I would have liked. (And a good portion of it went to car repairs. Stupid master cylinder.) I had envisioned using the money for a trip to Epcot. We went to the Eukanunba dog show instead. (I didn't mind; not so sure about Hubby.)

What wasn't so good:
  • I'm still fat! Last year I stated that I wanted to lose 35 pounds that was only 3 pounds a month. I probably lost 5 total. What's frustrating is that I just cleaned out my closet. If I lost 20 pounds I'd have whole new wardrobe. And some of those clothes are cute too!
  • My organization skills are as good as my dieting skills. My office and dining room are still horribly cluttered. Seriously, we haven't eaten in the dining room in years. See, there is a reason I haven't invited you over for dinner (besides the fact that I don't cook).
  • Last year's new partner at work didn't last a full year. She found more suitable work in the big city and she's much happier. It only took a couple months to find her replacement (yea!) but I don't expect him to be here long. He's already disillusioned with the petty and arbitrary backwardness of our small town. And honestly, he could do better.
  • I fell short on Jedi's training. I'm not sure of what I'm doing and got frustrated. Even worse, I became overwhelmed at work and let it affect my home life. I didn't work with him consistently and when I did I tried to do too much at once and confused him. I suck. So no "one silly trick a month" (I think he learned three total) and no "CGC title by Christmas" like I had planned.

So now it’s time to make those New Year’s Resolutions. And like last year, I am going to make goals for both me and the dogs. I'll try again to make the goals S.M.A.R.T. (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Time-bound), but we see how well that worked last time! Every year I say “I want to lose weight, save money, and declutter the house” so let's try that again. And I'll throw in a blogging goal as well.

My goals for 2014:
  1. I will lose 35 pounds over the next 12 months. (Again, it’s not nearly all I need to lose, but I need to start somewhere. Besides, the goal needs to be realistic and attainable, remember? Three pounds a month sounds doable – as long as I refrain from combating stress with brownies and merlot.)
  2. I will save $500 to use on something fun and frivolous next December. And that frivolous thing will not be a dog show because a) dog shows are not frivolous and b) Hubby isn't as dog show crazy as I am.
  3. I will reorganize the computer room and dining room, having at least one of them usable and presentable by my birthday. (This is harder than it sounds. Remember, I don’t live alone. And a procrastinator.)
  4. I will post a minimum of 15 times on my blog each month. 
My goals for Roxy & Jedi in 2014: 
  1. Jedi will earn his Canine Good Citizen title.
  2. Jedi and I will enter 10 AKC conformation shows. This includes the GSD club shows in April.
  3. Jedi and I will show at the Eukanuba dog show in Orlando in December.
  4. I will teach Jedi one silly trick or a game each month for the next year. It's fun, and I have a plan (more later).
  5. I will continue taking Roxy for a car ride three times a week – even if it's just around the block – just because she loves it so much.
And like last year, I'm posting these goals publicly hoping that it will make me accountable and keep me on track. I'll share my progress here and on Facebook. I'm also giving you, my friends and readers, permission to gently nag. Suggestions on how to accomplish any of these goals are also welcome. See you next year.-- K


Saturday, December 28, 2013

Sepia Saturday

My first time playing with sepia. What do you think? -- K



Yet Another Puzzle Toy

The K-9 Obedience Club's December meeting included a potluck dinner and a Dirty Santa gift exchange. I'm a new member of K-9 so it was my first December meeting with this club. Right off the bat I noticed that this was a lot different from the GSD Club Christmas parties. Apparently obedience people are a lot more relaxed! We met in the clubhouse (instead of a fancy restaurant), wore comfy jeans and t-shirts (dog themed, of course) and every other gift included a bottle of wine and/or a dog toy. My peeps! I came home with a giant shiny gift bag containing a puzzle toy and several different treats that were reviewed in another post.

Jedi has many puzzle toys, so I was excited when I saw -- and eventually stole -- the Yin-Yang-Yum dog toy puzzle. I hadn't seen this one before! This puzzle is made by Kyjen, one of my favorite dog toy companies. The toy has two hinged flaps on top which are held in place by a pair of cups that fit into a hole. The red cup is shorter than the yellow cup, making it more difficult to remove. Each flap covers three compartments for placing treats, and the compartments vary in size, getting smaller toward the hinge. The smallest ones are about the diameter of a nickel. The dog has to remove the cups and then swing out the flaps to access the treats.

This puzzle was frustrating for Jedi. He didn't get the concept of swinging the flaps open with his nose. Jedi is a foot guy. He pawed at the toy to get the cups out. He kept pawing until the flaps opens up slightly, but couldn't figure out how to open the toy completely. He eventually got it open and ate the treats by stomping on it and flipping it over. After making sure there were no more treats inside, he tried to rip the flaps off with his teeth and paws. I guess I'll put this toy up and try again later.

How about you, have you seen any cool puzzle toys lately? Let us know! -- K

Friday, December 27, 2013

Roxy & Jedi's Goodie Bag

At the K-9 Obedience Club December meeting we had a Dirty Santa gift exchange. I came home with a giant gift bag containing a new puzzle toy (reviewed here) and a bunch of different treats -- most I'd never heard of before. The dogs have tried them all (though not fast enough for Jedi's liking) and I thought I'd share their opinions.

 It's All Rover Power Bars (duck/sweet potato and sea kelp flavor). This was the strangest looking thing in the bag. The treats were long and flat, kind of like granola bars and were vacuum sealed. It reminded me of the Astronaut Ice Cream you get at the Smithsonian Museum. Once opened, I noticed that the bars were light and dry and smelled vaguely of fish food. I broke one in half and gave it to the dogs. I was skeptical, but the dogs LOVED it. Picky Roxy sat in the dining room crunching away, while Jedi took his bounty to the end of the hall to devour in private. Jedi finished before Roxy did and when he went to the dining room to sniff for crumbs she told him to get out.

Greenies Pill Pockets (chicken flavor). This was the only product in the bag that I'd seen before and I was anxious to try it. Giving Jedi a pill is easy -- I pretty much say "Take this" and he does. Occasionally I'll wrap it in cheese or wet dog food, but it's not necessary. Jedi is a food whore. Roxy, on the other hand, is horribly particular! Every month Hubby has to break up her beef flavored, chewable Trifexis pill and force it down her throat. I tried grinding it up and mixing it up in canned food but she'll refuse to eat it while Jedi tries to scarf it up, thus doubling his dosage. It's a hot mess. Got any better ideas? Unfortunately, the pill pockets are too small for the heartworm meds. However, Roxy has allergies and we give her Benadryl when things get bad. I gave her one earlier wrapped in a pill pocket. She ate it but looked at me suspiciously. I don't know if we can fool her again.

Blue Buffalo Blue Stix (salmon and potato flavor). I've used Blue Buffalo products before. In fact, Jedi was on Blue Buffalo for 9 months before it got really fishy and he stopped eating it. Anyway, I was interested in trying this one. The treats have a savory/beefy smell. (I know it says salmon and potato. I was confused too.) I guess the dogs thought it smelled good because they came running as soon as I opened the bag, each giving me a perfect sit. I broke one in half and gave it to the dogs. Roxy took it, spit it out, licked it two or three times (she does this) and then ate it. Jedi took his and spit it out too (this is not normal). Roxy tried to steal it so he ate it. I gave him another Blue Stix in private later. He ate it, but not with the gusto of a Pup-Peroni or a Beggin' Strip. Lets face it, my dog (like me) prefers the cheap, bad-for-you crap.

Fruitables Skinny Minis (pumpkin and mango flavor). I opened the bag and smelled these. They smelled really good. I looked at the ingredients: vegetarian, nothing too weird and made in the USA. So I ate one. (Yes, I ate a dog treat.) I thought they were a little bland, but then again I'm not the target audience. The dogs weren't impressed either. Both dogs spit their treats out and left them on the floor. I think that's a NO on the Fruitables. I'm not that surprised. We've reviewed fruity dog treats before and the dogs didn't like those either.

Bil-Jac Vet Dogs dog treats (Skin and Coat formula). These treats were much better received than the last two. Both dogs ate them with enthusiasm and then asked for more. The treats are soft and small, just right for training. The website states that "every purchase supports America's VetDogs, who train and provide assistance dogs to veterans and active duty personnel with disabilities at no charge. Each bag of treats helps to make a difference in the lives of America's military heroes." I couldn't find out how much or what kind of support (I'm a bitter skeptic when it comes to advertising) but I did find the VetDogs website. I hope it's true.

So how about you? Have you seen/tried any of these products? If so, what did you think? More importantly, what did your dog think? -- K

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Christmas Wordless Wednesday

This Wordless Wednesday I'd like to share photos from Jozi the Corgi and the Pussycats. My blog was paired up with Jozi's blog for the Pet Blogger's Gift Exchange.

Wishing you a very Corgi Christmas . . .
and a playful New Year!

Isn't Santa Jozi adorable?! This post is actually part of two separate blog hops. If I can link them both it'll be a Christmas miracle! I hope that you'll take the time to hop around and see what others have to share. And if you're feeling generous this holiday season, leave a message or two. You'll make a blogger's day. -- K
Hop One:   
Hop Two:

Monday, December 23, 2013

Can't We All Get Along?

Kimberly over at Keep the Tail Wagging has an interesting post about dog people disagreeing, especially when it comes to puppy mills.

Everybody loves puppies

It got me thinking. I just love it when blogs do that!

As you know, I'm an animal control officer. I work with rescue groups, shelters, etc. and have many friends in that community. I have had a dozen rescued pets in my home: dogs, cats, birds and Spike, the world's greatest guinea pig. I also have an AKC show dog and have many friends who are breeders and handlers. Here's what I see:

Rescuers often paint all breeders with the same broad brush. In their eyes, the guy with "free to a good home" puppies born under his shed every six months is no different than the breeder who spends six months combing through pedigrees and OFA ratings to find the right stud for her champion bitch. I know people who think it should be illegal to intentionally create ANY puppy or kitten. Many rescuers think it's vulgar to make money selling pets (though if you call it an "adoption fee" and make a profit it's OK.) Some in the rescue community are extremely zealous with their "Adopt, Don't Shop" and "Spay/Neuter Saves Lives" mantras. These attitudes cause responsible breeders to become defensive.

NOBODY likes puppy mills
Responsible breeders just can't fathom puppy mills. I know, sounds weird. They put so much time/effort/money into their puppies. It's a labor of love -- surely everybody does it, right? And, honestly, some breeders come across as stuck up snobs. Multi-page applications and character references are required before a breeder will even think about you looking at her puppies. And if you are fortunate enough to get one there are contracts and stipulations that can make the most ardent rescue groups feel inadequate. Truthfully, most responsible breeders are too busy with their dogs to pay attention to the rescue community. (All breeders I know train/show/compete with their dogs on top of having full time jobs.) The rescue community is foreign to them, and sometimes a rescuer's passion comes across as crazy and/or aggressive.

Having a foot in both camps gives me a unique perspective. If rescuers and breeders would stop bickering for a moment they would see their common ground: neither want puppy mills. Rescuers and breeders both love puppies (seriously, who doesn't love puppies?) and want them to be happy and healthy, loved and wanted. Responsible breeders are working hard to produce healthy, disease free puppies. They don't want poorly-bred, sickly dogs representing their breed of choice. Puppy mills don't test hips, elbows, eyes or temperament before breeding. However, my breeder put more thought into the father of my puppy than I did into the father of my own children. Rescuers don't want dogs to live in cramped in cages with no socialization, turning out as many puppies as their bodies can handle every six months. Rescuers don't want puppies euthanized because they are sick, unsocialized and unwanted.
So here's what I would like to say:
To the Rescuers:
  • Not every owner or breeder is irresponsible. Please don't lump them all together.
  • Think this through: If all dogs were spayed/neutered, there'd be no puppies -- and eventually no dogs. We should support responsible, conscientious breeders. 
  • Yes, breeders can be a bit kooky, but they really do love their dogs.
  • Sometimes your passion can be overwhelming to those who don't know you.

To the Breeders:
  • Not every owner or breeder is responsible. Rescuers are trying to stop those who aren't.
  • Think this through: Every dog deserves a loving home. We should support the efforts of those trying to prevent adoptable dogs from being euthanized.
  • Yes, rescuers can be a bit kooky, but they really do love dogs.
  • Sometimes your desire to improve the breed can appear cold and callous to those who don't know you.
 And finally, can't we all put our differences aside and do what's best for the animals?

YOUR TURN: If you could say something to a Rescuer or a Breeder to help them better understand your position, what would it be? If there is something you would like to know, what would you ask? -- K

Saturday, December 21, 2013

My Special Dog

Jedi's a star!
He was featured on Your Special Dog yesterday. Your Special Dog is a blog dedicated to sharing beautiful dog photos and wonderful dog stories with dog lovers worldwide. And they decided to share my Jedi! It's nice to know that other people think he's special. (Special in a good way, not the he-should-ride-the-short-bus, finger quote referencing kind of "special" that the boys like to insinuate.) Follow the link above to see Jedi's bio. While you're there, why not check out some of the other special dogs? They're not as cute as Jedi . . . but maybe I'm biased. -- K

Friday, December 20, 2013

Jedi's Favorite Things

Looking for a present for the dog in your life? There are an overwhelming number of choices out there. Unfortunately, not all of them are as good as they sound. Jessica over at Beagles and Bargains had a great idea: Why not ask pet bloggers to share their favorites? Jedi, Roxy and I are happy to help out! Here are a few that get 4 paws up at our house.

DISCLAIMER: All links are to Amazon.com for your convenience. I don't have any affiliation with Amazon.com, so if you choose to buy elsewhere it won't hurt my feelings one bit. Also, I have no affiliation with any of the products listed and have received no compensation for my reviews. This is just me sharing my opinions, regardless of who cares what I think (as usual).

  • Kyjen Hide-a-Squirrel. This is a hollow, semi-rigid plush stump with three squeaky squirrels that fit inside. I'll stuff the squirrels in tight, sometimes tucking a couple training treats in as well, and let Jedi pull everything out. He loves playing with this toy. I often find him chewing a squirrel or tossing the stump around. Kyjen makes this in several sizes and even sells replacement squirrels.

  • IQ Treat Ball. This 5" hard plastic ball has a hole at the top and a plastic divider inside with a hole in it as well. You put food in it (I use regular kibble) and the dog has to bat it around to get the food out. Sounds simple? It is. Surprisingly, it'll entertain Jedi for half an hour.

  • Red Barn Smoked Knuckle Bone. Jedi loves these. I have to hide them on the top shelf when it's not approved chewing time, else he'll find it and chew anyway -- plastic wrapper and all. Jedi only gets bones when I really need a block of uninterrupted time (like on Game of Thrones nights or GSD Club Newsletter final edits). I like that Red Barn  bones are made in the USA, especially with the all the "made in China" scares lately. 
  • Laser Pointer. This is Roxy's third favorite thing in the whole world, just behind Son #2 and car rides. (For reference, I think the laser pointer is followed on her favorites list by Hubby, cheeseburgers, belly rubs, chasing cats and then me.) Roxy has trained every house guest where to find the laser pointer and she will chase the red dot up and down the hall until you get tired. The picture is of a Kong pointer, but honestly the brand doesn't matter. We usually pick one up in the check out line at Walmart for less than $4.
  • I know that technically this isn't for the dog, but I wanted to include it. When you have two German shepherds blowing their coats  -- like mine are right now -- the FURminator Deshedding Tool is worth every penny. I LOVE this thing! I recommend spending the extra $5 to get the model with the ejector button.
  • And another product that's more for you than the dog is Nature's Miracle. This is the best stain and odor remover I have ever used. DO NOT buy anything else, no matter how much cheaper it is.
Hope this helps make your holiday shopping a little easier. Click below to see what goodies others have to share! Note: This link doesn't close until New Year's Eve, so come back later if you need ideas on how to spend your Christmas money. -- K

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Wordless Wednesday

It's Hump Day! This week I have TWO Wednesday posts. Here is the usual Wordless Wednesday:

Atlantic Beach decorated Town Center with these giant ornaments. As soon as I saw them I knew I had take a picture of Jedi among them. Isn't he cute?

As usual, this is a blog hop. Check out the blogs below and see what others are doing today.

My second post of the day is a lot more wordy. Today I'm also participating in the Meet the Bloggers blog hop. Pet Bloggers worldwide have come out from behind their monitors to answer a few revealing questions and post pictures of themselves. Cool, hunh? Want to see my responses? Click here.

Meet the Pet Bloggers Hop
Sounds like a busy day. I'm so glad I have it off. I'll be hopping until dinnertime! TTFN. -- K

Meet the Blogger

This is going to be fun! Some of my favorite pet blogs have challenged each other (and the rest of us too!) to step away from the animal anecdotes and introduce ourselves, the humans behind the blogs. I think I've been pretty candid about who I am, warts and all. But I've decided to play along anyway, just in case someone hasn't picked up on my neurotic tendencies and/or good-natured homicidal fantasies. The rules are:

1. Post the badge on your blog and join the hop.

Meet the Pet Bloggers Hop

2. Answer at least five questions.
CHECK (see below).
  • What's your favorite non-animal related book?  I can't pick just one. I guess Animal Farm and To Kill a Mockingbird don't count, hunh? I'm also a big fan of Game of Thrones, Harry Potter and Ender's Game (I read them all before the movies BTW) and authors Sue Grafton, Michael Connelly (Harry Bosch series), John Grisham, Robin Hobb and Janet Evanovich (but only the Stephanie Plum stories).
  • What's your favorite non-animal related movie?  Star Wars. (C'mon, I named my dog Jedi so I could be a Jedi Master!)
  • What's your favorite non-animal related food?  Potatoes -- mashed, fried, baked, boiled, scalloped doesn't matter. I LOVE potatoes.
  • What do you wish you were more skilled at?  Letting things go. I stress too much over things that don't need to be worried about. I also wish I was better organized.
  • Favorite meal?  Breakfast.
  • What do you like to do in your free time?  Spend time with friends and family: BBQs, board games, picnics, pool parties, love and laughter.
  • What one word would people who know you use to describe you?  Sarcastic (duh!)
  • What is one thing you've done that you're most proud of?  I have a loving, supportive husband of 25 years and two great sons. I don't know if I can actually take credit for it, but my family is my greatest joy.
  • How is your pet most like you?  We both enjoy cookies and afternoon naps.
  • If you could change one thing about your life what would it be?  I wish I had paid more attention to my health when I was younger. Bad habits and poor decisions made in my 20s are now affecting me in my 40s.
  • Other than blogging, what are three things you do that bring you joy?  Reading, spending time with friends and family, playing with the dogs.
  • What's one thing you could do to be more kind to yourself?  Exercise more and eat less crap. (Oh, but I really do love the crap!)
  • What drives you nuts about your pets? What melts your heart?  I can't get them to walk together on a leash. We would walk more (what they want) if they weren't total idiots on the leash (what I want). It's embarrassing!! What melts my heart is "the look." You know, the one of total adoration that says "we're together, all is right with the world."
  • If you didn't have your current pets, what pets would you choose to have?  More dogs.

3. Post a current picture of yourself.
Me and Jedi taken last week
So that's me. I can't wait to see everybody else's answers. Nice meeting you all! -- K

P.S. For a less wordy Wednesday, check out a fun picture of Jedi here.

Monday, December 16, 2013

Eukanuba Dog Show

Yesterday a group of us left Jacksonville at 5 AM to spend the day at the AKC/Eukanuba Dog Show in Orlando. Eukanuba is one of the biggest dog shows in the country. There were the conformation shows you would expect, as well as obedience and agility trials. The demo ring introduced treibball, flyball, rally, nose work and a K9 drill team. Dock diving was going on behind the health and breeding seminars. AKC representatives offered free "dog show for beginners" tours. National breed clubs manned "Meet the Breed" booths. And there were more vendor booths than I have ever seen in all my dog shows combined! I came home excited, overwhelmed, inspired and a couple hundred dollars lighter. If you ever get the chance to experience the Eukanuba Dog Show -- DO IT!! Here are a few tips to help make it as enjoyable as possible.
  1. PLAN AHEAD. The judging program is posted online. I discovered that different groups show on different days. I like the herding and working groups, both of which showed on Sunday. I really wanted to see the German shepherds. They were on first, so I needed to be at ring 10 by 9 AM -- hence the predawn departure.
  2. Buy tickets online. There were multiple entrances into the building. I have no idea where the ticket office was and am glad we didn't have to look for it. Since I had bought my ticket online, the guy at the random door I walked through scanned me in, stamped my hand and sent me on my way. As luck would have it, the door was right next to ring 10!
  3. Leave your dog at home. Only dogs participating in the events are allowed on the premises. I suggest leaving small children, slow-moving friends and whiny husbands at home as well. (For clarification purposes: my husband was not whiny, but I saw many who were.)
  4. Wear comfortable shoes. I wish I had worn a pedometer because I'll bet we walked several miles, on hard concrete no less. My calves and knees are sore this morning.
  5. Choose your outfit carefully. Don't wear your chocolate-stained "Crazy Dog Lady" shirt, no matter how much you love it. You will run into all kinds of people you know. You will also get Facebook messages that say "Hey, I just saw you on the live feed." You have been warned.
  6. Grab the free show guide on the way in. The show site is huge and you'll want to be able to see what is happening where. The guide also lists the demo and seminar schedules.
  7. Unless you're in it, skip the catalog. They're $20!
  8. Pack a lunch and plan to picnic in the car. The food was cold, bad, and cost three times what it was worth. I spent $10 on the worst gyro ever. I could have used that money on a personalized crate tag. Also, pack water. 20 ounce bottles of water/soda were $3, and they only sold Pepsi products -- not acceptable for this Coca Cola girl.
  9. Print out a list of vendors before you go. There were over 80 vendors this year. Have an idea of what you really want beforehand (I wanted Isle of Dogs shampoo and a soft leather ring lead) and plan accordingly. And when the nice lady hands you a small bag of grooming products saying "That will be $68" DON'T look at your husband . . . just don't.
  10. Take a pen. You will pick up dozens of business cards. Make a quick note on the back before you forget who that person was or what caught your eye.
  11. Bring a backpack or large tote bag to haul all your goodies. Even if you are able to avoid the vendors (yeah right) there's lots of freebies given out.
  12. Take cash. Many vendors will offer a cash discount. Also, it's easier to stick to a budget if you avoid the plastic. 
  13. Forget the camera. You can't take pictures ringside and there is so much going on that you'll forget you even have it.
  14. Hit up the "Meet the Breed" booths more than once so you can talk to the different people manning them. We met some awesome shepherd people.
Hope this helps! And I hope to see you there next year. -- K
P.S. Below are a couple pictures that dear Hubby took yesterday.

This map helped a lot

AKC Representatives gave a free show tour

Free seminars were available

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Smart Dog/Smart Car

No blogging today! I'm suppose to be taking a few mental health days. Instead, I've been on the computer for two days straight! I'm shutting this thing down and going low tech (after this post, of course). I picked up a couple paperbacks from my favorite authors, have a neighborhood Christmas party to attend and need to get ready for tomorrow's trip to the Eukanuba Dog Show. I'm so excited!! I'll come back Monday refreshed with stories from Orlando. You'll be fine without me -- promise -- but I want to leave you with a chuckle. A friend sent this video to me with the caption "Do you know where your GSDs … and car keys are?!"

See you a few days. -- K

Friday, December 13, 2013

Meet Jozi and the Pussycats

It’s Christmas time and everybody is out looking for that “perfect gift.” Want to know what a blogger wants more than anything? Readers! We sit in front of our monitors and pour our hearts out in hopes that someone – anyone – will notice. A comment or two can make our entire day. Pamela over at Something Wagging This Way Comes (one of my favorite pet blogs) came up with a great idea: The Pet Blogger’s Gift Exchange. Pet bloggers were randomly paired up “to share compliments, encouragement, and linky love with each other” through their blogs. My blog was paired up with Jozi the Corgi and the Pussycats. Have you seen this blog? NO?! Well, here are the top 10 reasons you need visit. 
Baby Jozi. How cute is that?!
  1. Jozi is adorable! The blog began two and a half years ago with the picture of 11 week old Jozi.  
  2. The woman behind this amazing blog is named Cat. How funny is that?
  3. Contests. Seriously, they're giving stuff away! Lucky Cynthia A. won three bags of Kong Treats just last month.
  4. Product reviews. Cat and Jozi are always helping to make sure you spend your hard-earned cash on quality stuff. Apparently Holiday Buddy Biscuits are a definite yes.
  5. Homeless animals are important to them. Cat blogs about amazing rescue stories, displays an Adopt-a-Pet banner in her sidebar and is participating in the 2013 Santa Paws drive for animal shelters. 
    Jozi reviews and gives
    away cool stuff!
  6. Jozi’s PitaPata dog ticker tells you exactly how old she is -- to the day. How cool is that? And if you see one mysteriously show up on my blog, you know where I stole the idea from.
  7. Jozi Tweets! Follow her on Twitter @Jozi_the_Corgi. If you're like me and haven't figured out Twitter yet, you can also find her on Facebook.
  8. Cat and Jozi care about your dogs' safety. Links to current FDA recalls are posted right in the sidebar.
  9. They also care about canine health issues. Here is a link to a fundraiser to cure cancer, and here is another about a dog fighting lymphoma.
  10. Finally, the photographs are gorgeous. Cat has real talent, which can also be seen on her other blog Photos by Cath. All photos in this post came directly from Jozi the Corgi and the Pussycats. Yes, ooh and ahh people!
Stop by to wish Jozi and Cat
a Merry Christmas

Please take some time to wander through Cat's blog(s). I've provided over a dozen links to help you. And while you're there, leave a message. Bloggers love that. -- K

P.S. This is a blog hop. Want to see the nice things other bloggers have said? Just click on the icons below. Note: This linky is open until January 4, so check back later for more holiday cheer. And if you're a pet blogger that wants to join the exchange, click here. As Cat always says, "Love and Barks and Peace and Treats Forever."

* In case you're interested, here is what Cat wrote about us!

Bake a Bone

I tried out my new Bake a Bone and it was pawsome awesome! I added water to the bacon flavored mix (throwing in a handful of real bacon bits for added flavor) and followed the directions. Easy peasy. They came out just like the picture too, which never happens for me. Jedi approved of the taste. Even picky Roxy liked them. My sole complaint would be that you can only make 4 bones at a time. A full box mix makes 24 bones and it takes 10 minutes for each batch to cook, so it can take an hour to cook them all. I had no idea what I would do with two dozen bones (much to Jedi's dismay) so I saved half the mix for later. The cooker also came with a recipe book which we'll explore later.

Was it worth $20? Sure. I had fun. Dogs like it. And I've wasted more time and money on worse crap. If you want one too, take a look at the "as seen on TV" section of Walmart or Walgreens. I'm sure you can find it cheaper than what they're going for online.

So, what kind of crap have you wasted time/money on lately? Inquiring minds want to know. -- K

Thursday, December 12, 2013

A Fun Time Killer

Yesterday, Jen over at The Elka Almanac shared a link to a site where you can custom cartoonize your pets. I've had waaaay too much fun playing with this. Wanna see?

Here's Jedi:

And Roxy:

You can customize cats, but I couldn't seem to save my Gucci creation. Templates for birds, bunnies, reptiles and horses are coming soon. So, are you going to head over and cartoonize your dog? If so, send me a link! -- K

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Wordless Wednesday

I was in the computer room trying to work on a blog post when I heard frantic barking and angry hissing coming from the kitchen. It sounded like the dog was tormenting the cat again. I yelled "Jedi!" and ran to rescue poor, old Gucci. This is what I found:
Gucci has a new spot to hang out -- Jedi's food dish -- and she won't let him get near his water either. Jedi is not amused. And until the cat decides to find some place else, he's sharing Roxy's bowl.

This is a blog hop. See if you can find any other evil kitties lurking about. -- K


Monday, December 9, 2013

Mental Health Days

I'm taking some personal time off -- no specific reason, but when you find yourself trying to come up with reasons not to hit people with your truck you can safely say there is stress involved somewhere. I'm just trying to get through this week avoiding T.T. -- my toxic truck -- as much as possible. (We still don't know what's making me sick.) Then I have 10 days off. I have no idea what I'm going to do with myself. I don't "relax" well. (Funny, you'd think I'd have a cleaner house. Unfortunately, I don't do that well either!) I'll probably be blogging and working on the "Award Winning" GSD club newsletter. I've got a few other things planned too.
  1. I'm going to the Eukanuba Dog Show in Orlando. Tickets aren't cheap, so I'm just going on Sunday to see the herding group. There's also going to be agility trials, obedience trials, seminars and LOTS of vendors. I am so excited. I promise to take pictures and blog all about it.
  2. I'm going to make more dog treats. I found the Bake a Bone (as seen on TV) on sale at the Navy Exchange. I even got some treat mixes to go with it -- for almost half what they advertise on TV. I'll let you know how they come out.
  3. Jedi and I are going to walk every day (or close to it). We're still training for the Chariots of Fur 5K. I'm getting nervous about it too. Thanks to T.T. we've only been able to walk 2-3 times a week (instead of 5 like I had wanted) and our best distance is only 2.2 miles. Our goal (OK, my goal -- Jedi couldn't care less) is 3.5 miles in an hour or less. 
  4. We need to work on stacking as well -- especially if I want that white jacket.
  5. I want to read at least two books. Reading has always been a great escape for me. Problem is, all I have around here is non-fiction. I need a good novel. Any suggestions? -- K

Sunday, December 8, 2013

GSD Club Christmas Party

Last night was the German Shepherd Dog Club of North Florida's Christmas Party and Awards Banquet. It's always a lot of fun. We had three dogs make Champion this year, which is pretty awesome. It's not an easy process. The club gives a white jacket for a member's first major title (i.e. champion). I really want one. But I'll never get one if Jedi and I don't train more consistently. GRRR. Other patches were given out and I got one for Jedi finishing the AKC S.T.A.R. Puppy program. The biggest award, though, is the Outstanding Member of the Year Award. AND I WON! The winner is chosen by the three previous winners. And then last year's winner says really nice stuff about you and makes you cry. It was very humbling. Between this, not throwing up my first time in the ring and the 1st Place Newsletter ribbon from the German Shepherd Dog Club of America I've had a pretty good year.

The Club always ends the Christmas Party and Awards Banquet with a gift exchange/stealing game (sometimes called Dirty Santa or a Chinese Gift Exchange). The game can get pretty vicious, but I came home with this awesome pillow. SCORE!

I ended the night riding a mechanical bull. No pictures of that! It was fun -- and extremely short -- but not a pretty sight. Trust me.

I love my German Shepherd club, and all the crazy dog people that admit to being my friends. How about you? Do you have a group of dog-crazy friends too? If not, you can join mine. We're fun (and usually covered in dog hair). -- K

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Who Got in the Trash?

Hubby and I had to run a few errands. This is what we came home to:

Someone got into the trash while we were out!! Was it Jedi?

No. He was locked in his crate. Was it Roxy? Let's ask!

What a bad girl. No cookie for you!
Lessons learned:
  1. Trash needs to go out regularly.
  2. It's not always Jedi.
  3. Mom's right -- again!