Tuesday, November 24, 2015

#NaturesRecipe dog food is affordable and easy to find

This post is sponsored by Nature's Recipe and the BlogPaws Professional Pet Blogger Network.  I am being compensated for helping spread the word about Nature's Recipe available at PetSmart, but k2k9.com only shares information we feel is relevant to our readers.  Nature's Recipe and PetSmart are not responsible for the content of this article. 

As I sat down to write this sponsored post today, I received some devastating news about some dear friends of mine in the animal world.  The local shelter that I often support, and whose events I always attend, fell victim to a horrible fire last night, and they lost everything including over 35 animals (both dogs, and cats).  The director of the shelter is a friend, and she took care of my dogs, Hobie and Hector for many years as my number-one pet sitter extraordinaire.  The outpouring from our little, tiny community here has been incredible.  In an effort to help the shelter re-build, I am donating all of the money I will receive as payment for this post to the shelter.  Now, on to the Nature's Recipe/PetSmart post.

My dogs have been eating Nature's Recipe ® for several years now, ever since my beloved Hobie developed a grain allergy. So, unlike some reviewers of this product, I am already using it, and very happily so!  And now, I'm honored to help introduce this product to you and your pet family. If you want to be reassured that Nature's Recipe products are the way to go, then look no further, because I'm here to tell you that they are an affordable option for a better nutrition choice for your pet.

Just ask Cooper, he'll tell you about the delicious nutrition in Nature's Recipe, grain-free natural dog food.
Even though my current dogs, Charlie Brown and Cooper, don't seem to have a grain allergy, I've stuck with Nature's Recipe simply because it's a great product with quality ingredients. 

For over three decades, Nature's Recipe has been committed to providing good nutrition for a pet's healthy, happy life.  Ingredients are derived from nature's inherent goodness.  Nature's Recipe crafts its recipes so that every ingredient counts.  Dog food recipes are crafted to help provide specific nutritional or functional benefits, and they contain no artificial colors or preservatives.  I personally like the fact that there are limited ingredients -- recipes for real life.

Cali wants me to remind you that Nature's Recipe also has a whole line of yummy cat foods that include all the essential vitamins and minerals cats need.  They're protein-packed and include grain-free formulas, just like the dog food!

Nature's Recipe products are available at PetSmart retailers.  Click on the following link to purchase dog food at petsmart.com www.petsmart.com/naturesrecipe  

Follow Nature's Recipe on social media (I do!!) :

Sunday, November 22, 2015

52 Snapshots of Life, Week 47: Passion

This year has been the absolute worst, and I had trouble figuring out what I would post for this week's topic, "Passion", since I am not feeling very passionate about anything these days.

But, last week was the dogs' fourth birthday, and we got together with their sister, Tess to celebrate their birthday, on the beach up in gorgeous Gloucester, Massachusetts.

If it were not for these two dogs, I don't know how I would have made it through these last few months.  They are my comfort, my companions, my heart.

I have always loved the Massachusetts coast, and have been visiting the "north shore" (as we call it) and the Gloucester area ever since I can remember.

Two things that I love most of all:  my dogs, and "my" beaches.  So, here we are:  a couple photos from dog birthday party on the beach, year four!

Charlie Brown looks on as Cooper (left) and Tess (right) vie for possession of the ball


52 Snapshots of Life is a themed photo blog hop hosted by The Lazy Pit Bull.

Monday, November 16, 2015

52 Snapshots of Life, Week 46: Veteran

My post is a tad late this week, and I really wanted to match the picture to Veterans Day, because this week's topic was Veteran... but November 11th is also the dogs' birthday (they're four years old now!!); and I sort of got sidetracked.

Without further delay, here (above) is my favorite veteran, and his favorite gal [that would be, my parents, in case you didn't know].  My father served in WWII in the 15th U.S. Army.  He wrote to my mother every single day, and I have all of his letters.  You can see some of the letters in my books:  available here on Amazon

52 Snapshots of Life is a photo challenge blog hop hosted by our friends at The Lazy Pit Bull.  Only six weeks remain in 2015!

Thursday, November 12, 2015

PL360 Supplements for Dogs Product Review and #Giveaway

This is a sponsored post for PL360 supplements.  I have received a two-month supply of supplements in exchange for this product review, but no monetary compensation.  PL360 is also providing a giveaway to three of my readers/followers of the product I am reviewing.  Contact me if questions:  k2k9dogs@gmail.com.

A few weeks ago, I received an inquiry from the folks at PL360, asking if I would try their all-natural supplements with my dogs and write a review.  I no longer do product reviews with payment in product only (in other words, that doesn't pay the bills!), but I made an exception because a giveaway to three of my readers was also offered.  Hoping some of you out there would like a free supply of PL360's Arthogen Hip & Joint Formula for active dogs.  If so, just comment on this post right here on the blog (you may need to input a captcha code so Blogger knows you're not a robot!).

My "boys" Charlie Brown and Cooper just celebrated their fourth birthday yesterday!  They are still young, and the description "active" may be pushing the envelope a bit.  These hound-mixes are much less "active" than my previous dogs who were all Labs or Lab-mixes.  For example, Charlie sleeps most of the day (20-22 hours a day just about) but then will run at high-speed after a squirrel or a neighbor walking a dog past the house (safely separated by our wonderful fence, I might add!).  Because he is a large dog, pushing 90 pounds, but still tall and lanky, I do worry about his joints.

Charlie "treeing" a squirrel in classic Walker Coonhound style

Cooper, on the other hand, also sleeps all day, but is disabled (shhhh, please don't mention that word in his presence!).  With his single front leg, there is a lot of "slamming" of the leg onto hard surfaces such as pavement outside, ceramic tile and hardwood inside, and running up and down the back deck stairs at high-speed, jumping onto and off of furniture (yeah, he's allowed).  He is still so young that he runs just as fast as his brother, and that concerns me because his shoulder joint must get incredibly sore with all that slamming.

I've had a lot of experience with aging dogs and their joint problems, but I was interested to see how these all-natural supplements would work on The Boys.

Timba, above, and Hobie, below both had arthritis in their senior years.

The first day, Charlie, typically, was averse to anything foreign and new being put into his mouth.  I usually give out supplements like treats, so I had him sit at the treat counter in the kitchen.  He, of course, spit it out onto the floor and had to smell it and investigate it before chewing or swallowing.  He ended up walking away that first time, and Cooper scooped up Charlie's serving.  Cooper, by the way, gobbled it right up, no questions asked, no hesitation.

After a couple of days, Charlie decided he could trust me, and now has been enjoying his daily dole of the supplement each day.  I give them each two tablets per day at "treat time".

Give us treats!  Give us treats!

The hip and joint formula contains glucosamine, chondroitin, vitamin C, manganese, beef flavor, brewers years, cheese flavor and a couple of other ingredients I'm not 100% thrilled about, but at least they are few (silicon dioxide and xanthan gum just to name two).  The latter are inactive ingredients, incidentally.

Since my dogs do not have current joint issues, I am using this product more as a preventative than a treatment.  The first few days, I did think that they seemed to have more energy after their daily dole!  They were running around the house doing zoomies* and so forth.  But that could just be a feature of the time of year (less outdoor time, more indoor time as fall and winter descend).  Nevertheless, they certainly were not held back from romping around the house doing zoomies for 15 minutes!  So, I'd say that's a mark in favor of PL360's product.

All in all, I would recommend this product.  The folks I've communicated with at PL360 have been personable and professional, so that's a big plus, too (a lot of times it's the people behind the brand that makes the brand appealing!).

PL360's products can be purchased at Entirely Pets and HealthyPets.com !!

Don't forget about that giveaway!  If you're a reader who has an active dog and want to support their hips and joints with a pretty good product, just comment below.  The first three to post a comment containing the word "giveaway" will get a free bottle of PL360 Arthogen Hip & Joint Formula.

*This video is from 2014.

Saturday, November 7, 2015

52 Snapshots of Life; Week 45: Fall

A very unusual fall here in Massachusetts, with "beach" weather for the past 10 days....

Cape Cod National Seashore -- autumn sunset over Nauset Marsh and Nauset Beach
at the intersection of Eastham and Orleans

This post is part of the 52 Snapshots of Life blog hop, hosted by our pals at The Lazy Pit Bull.

Monday, November 2, 2015

52 Snapshots of Life; Week 44: Scary


Cooper, Charlie Brown, and I went to the Halloween Dog Spooktacular this weekend!  They wore their skull & crossbones collars, and their matching bandanas.  I got Cooper a matching sweater, supposedly for a "large" dog (ha, ha).  It is so small, I ended up putting on him like a scarf.  He looks very "metro".  For Charlie, I added a "Boo!" bandana that Hobie got last October at the groomer.

Cooper's "scarf"!

Charlie looking very dapper in his Boo-dana!  But not exactly "scary".

It's the great pumpkin, Charlie Brown!   (had to throw that in -- we actually watched the cartoon AGAIN, since it was shown again on Saturday night -- and yes, my Charlie Brown does actually watch tv!)

This is a blog hop, hosted by our friends at The Lazy Pit Bull.

I forgot to post my own shirt!!  Here is a picture!!

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Tips for Keeping Your Dog Safe on Halloween and a #Giveaway

Halloween is known for being a frightfully fun holiday, when all our fears come to life in a way that’s enjoyable with just a hint of the unknown. While most people enjoy Halloween, most dogs find it stressful. The noises, costumes, and decorations are out of the ordinary, and your dog can’t tell what’s fake and what’s a real danger. With a little precaution and common sense, you can make Halloween safe and less stressful for your dog. From using the best dog fence to keep them contained, and keeping the candy bowl out-of-reach, here are some tips for keeping your dog safe during Halloween festivities.

Don’t Leave Your Dog Outside
Never leave your dog outside alone during trick-or-treat hours, because the hustle and bustle may cause them to try and escape. Even the best invisible dog fence or traditional fence can be breached when a dog is determined enough, so don’t take any chances. If you have an electronic dog fence, it won’t keep people out, and unfortunately real bogeymen sometimes use Halloween as an opportunity to steal dogs from yards. Your best bet is to keep your dog indoors - in a locked room or a crate - so they can’t get out of the house when you open the front door for trick-or-treaters. This will help reduce their stress level, too.

Trick-or-Treat Carefully
If you choose to bring your dog trick-or-treating with you, do so with caution. If you’re unsure of how your dog will react to costumed children, keep them at a safe distance and don’t allow strangers to pet your dog. If it’s after sundown, make sure you use an LED or reflective leash, collar, or harness, so that your dog is visible to cars on the road. Do not remove your dog’s collar or ID tags, and make sure your contact information is up-to-date, just in case. If you’re concerned about how your dog will handle trick-or-treating, the safest bet is to leave them home.

Be Conscious of Costume Hazards
Dog costumes can be a lot of fun, but they can also restrict breathing, movement, or circulation if they don’t fit properly. Try your dog’s costume on several times before they wear it for a longer period of time, so they have a chance to get used to it, and you can observe them for any concerns. If you use an e-collar for a wired dog fence and you remove it, don’t let your dog outside without a leash, no matter how well-trained they are. Accessories like buttons or baubles can be choking hazards, so avoid costumes that have them.

Keep the Candy Bowl Out-of-Reach
Chocolate and the sugar substitute xylitol are toxic to dogs, so be very careful with candy in your home. If you utilize an indoor wireless dog fence or pet barrier, keep the candy and your dog on opposite sides. Otherwise, keep the candy high enough so it’s out of your dog’s reach, and make sure your children do the same with their treat bags. If you’d like your dog to enjoy a sweet treat, purchase new dog treats for them before Halloween night. As always, keep your vet’s number handy so you can call them if your dog ingests candy and gets sick or starts acting strangely.

Decorate with Care
Pumpkins, corn, hay, and other edible decorations may not be poisonous to dogs, but they can still present hazards. Dogs often want to eat pumpkins, and large pieces can lodge in their intestines and cause blockages. Keep pumpkins and other appealing decorations away from your dog, so the dog doesn't choke or become sick. Ensure that lit candles aren’t in a place that your dog could accidentally knock them over. If any of your decorations plug in, make sure electrical wires are hidden or covered, so that you dog can’t chew on them and be shocked.

No matter how you decide to celebrate Halloween this year, keep your dog’s health and happiness in mind, too. Dogs are often confused and concerned by the hustle and bustle of holidays, so giving them a little extra love and attention is a great idea, too. With precaution and care, you and your dog will have a safe holiday with no unexpected frights - only fun. Have a Happy Halloween!

This is a paid sponsored post by www.dogfencediy.com 

These Halloween safety tips were provided in partnership with www.dogfencediy.com;

Dog Fence DIY offers an affordable alternative to the pricey and hard to maintain invisible fences. A wired or wireless dog fence solution is not a fix-it-all and should be used in tandem with training to make sure your dog is safe and happy.  Questions or concerns about Dog Fence DIY?  Let me know and I'll put you in touch with their reps who are happy to answer.

Share this post on social media, or post a comment or tip of your own below, and you'll be entered into a giveaway for a $25 Amazon card!!  Who doesn't want one of those?!  Winner of the Amazon card will be chosen at random using Rafflecopter, or similar.  Be sure to tell me that you shared on social media!

Sunday, October 25, 2015

52 Snapshots of Life; Week 43: Pumpkin

I didn't realize there was a PUMPKIN topic in the 52 Snapshots challenge, otherwise I may have thought twice about posting photos of the pumpkin that got eaten two weeks ago in the ANIMAL post.  

Alternatively, I suppose I could have just re-posted the same photos here, out of sheer laziness.

Like this.
But then, I was putzing around the house, moving around my knick-knacks.  One of my collections, other than my glass animal collection, of course, is blue glass.  People give me blue glass things all the time, and one friend gave me these two blue glass "globes" (or so I thought).  I was carrying them around the house the other day, when I actually looked at them for the first time, and realized they are...  (cue the music!).... PUMPKINS.  Blue, glass pumpkins.  Who knew?

And then, the rains came.  I wanted to set them up in a window, with sun shining through for this week's snapshot.  Alas, no sun for many days.

Late this afternoon, the skies cleared for a very brief moment, and I grabbed the opportunity.

When the light hits a different way, there is actually an extra layer of metallic gloss on the outside.
You can spot the photographer (me) reflected in the middle, and then, creepily,
it looks like there is a man standing behind me to one side!

52 Snapshots of Life is a photo challenge blog hop, hosted by our pals at the Lazy Pit Bull.

Monday, October 19, 2015

52 Snapshots of Life; Week 42: World

I live in a 5-mile world.  No, I really do!  My house is 3.9 miles from my office; and both the house and office are about four or five miles from grocery stores and other stores.  I did have my doctor's office in town as well, but I started to think that was a bit too "small town-y", and therefore recently expanded my "world" to a nearby city for my medical appointments!

Regularly, the hounds and I expand our world another 130 miles, or so, and head to Cape Cod.

At this time of year, the beach at the National Seashore does really weird things.  Small pools of water and large rock formations are revealed, that aren't seen in the summertime.  It is so strange to see a humongous rock in the middle of the beach, where you sat, all summer, not knowing it was underneath you!

I went for a beach walk this past weekend to take some shots of the autumnly-transformed beach, and I found this piece of driftwood!  (No, I didn't write on it, the writing was already there.)

Where Am I?

Kinda perfect for this week's 52 Snapshots* topic, "World", wouldn't you say?
You can view the rest of the photos from my beach walk on my Facebook page.

*52 Snapshots of Life is hosted by The Lazy Pit Bull, and there are only 10 weeks left!

Saturday, October 10, 2015

52 Snapshots of Life; Week 41: Animal

I set out today to take some photos of an animal OTHER than a dog or cat for this week's 52 Snapshots challenge; topic: ANIMAL

The only "animal" I found on my walk was a FISH:

There was a really large banjo catfish nearby, but he skee-daddled when I moved :(
So, I got this kivver instead.

"But wait," I thought, "That's not exactly an ANIMAL."

No squirrels in sight?  Not a one.  No skunks, possum, deer or bunnies, either.

Then, I got a little help from a rather unlikely source.  

I decided to stop at the cemetery to visit G's grave, where I had recently put mums and pumpkins.  I wanted to see how they were doing after last night's monsoon rain.

The mums are great. 

The pumpkins?  Not so much!  An ANIMAL apparently had decided to make breakfast, lunch and dinner of them!

And that, is how, I got a slightly different idea for the topic: ANIMAL.

The mums look great, but here's all that's left of three pumpkins

Pumpkin seeds!

Expanded view:  ANIMAL with TEETH!

Looks like the ANIMAL had a PARTY!

Special thanks to my beloved, G for leading me to the ANIMAL; and to our blog hop hosts at The Lazy Pit Bull.

Saturday, October 3, 2015

52 Snapshots of Life; Week 40: Framed

Week FORTY??!  That means there are only twelve posts remaining in this themed photo-blogging challenge, 52 Snapshots of life, hosted by our buddies at The Lazy Pit Bull.  How the heck did that happen?  A whole year (almost) gone by.  Phew.  So many photos, so little time.

This week's theme is FRAMED.

Here is a picture from a couple years ago.  I was spying on Charlie, while he was outside, from inside the house.  The windows are six-over-six sash windows, and I used one of the six squares to frame the dog.  The window was dirty, and the window screen took most of the focus of the picture.  It was a cute idea, but not the best quality photograph I've ever taken!

Sunday, September 27, 2015

Go local for pets!

The k2k9 crew has been spending September attending the various dog/cat festivals in and around our area.

These are local events that support local pet-related charities and businesses.  A valuable part of attending these events is not just spending money making donations or buying products from local folks, you also get to socialize your dog(s).  [Cats are usually not invited, although we did see Spike and his dad, and his famous cat brother (sister?) that their dad wears like a mink stole around his neck.  Yes, a real, live cat!  At a doggie event!  These folks actually attend a few of these events, and I've seen them a few times.  Spike is a wonderful, black senior dog who is SO friendly.  The cat is very docile.  I tell their dad that he is VERY brave!]

The weekend after Labor Day, Charlie and I attended Pet Rock Festival.  Now in its 17th year, Pet Rock was inspired by a news report of a horrific animal cruelty case -- a Worcester-area woman had a band named Pet Rock, and she wanted to do something to help animals.  Pet Rock Festival was named after her band, and over the years has become a fun gathering of music, vegetarian food, and all things dog, cat, pet.  This year the event was held at Becker College, in Leicester.  This was a great venue because of size, and a perfect fit since the college offers a popular veterinary/animal program.

Charlie Brown at Pet Rock

A week later, was New England Pet Expo.  This is a nationwide organization (may include Canada, as well?) that does Pet Expos in various cities each year.  There are usually two in our area:  New England Pet Expo, and South Shore Pet Expo.  But this year, there was no South Shore Pet Expo.  Pet Expo is a bit like a home show with dog/cat products.  Ferrets, reptiles, birds and horses, are featured, too.  Shorty Rossi (The Pit Boss) usually makes an appearance at each Expo, and there are other well-known animal trainers, agility courses, police k-9 demos, and other activities.

Me, and Shorty Rossi in 2012 at NE Pet Expo
I brought Cooper to Pet Expo -- it was Cooper's very first event like this.  He did quite well.  He only has three legs, so walking from the parking lot to the venue can be an issue.  I thought about taking advantage of handicapped parking, but I didn't think that'd go over well!!  Anyway, he did ok, but he got a little "testy" with a couple of dogs after being over-stimulated for a few hours, so we were soon outta there.  I was very proud of both of us.  No one got bitten, unless you count me. (Trying to entice him out of the building with a tennis ball in my hand! Ow!)

Cooper at Pet Expo

Yesterday was festival number three, of several:  Woofstock!  Similar to Pet Rock, this is a music and food fest with booths from the usual suspects.  I should point out that many pet companies attend ALL of these conferences; but some only attend one or two.  So, you don't always see the same people twice, but when you do, it just reinforces the networking.  Networking locally is SO important!

Posing at the Woofstock/Buddy Dog table, while I added to my impossibly unmanageable t-shirt collection.

Coming up:

Oct 3 & 4: Animal Weekend -- hosted by Second Chance Animal Shelter and Wellness Center.
(our pals at Second Chance are going to be exhausted, because they have been at EVERY one of the aforementioned conferences, AND they're doing their own full weekend next week.  I'm tired just thinking about it!)
Cooling off at Second Chance's booth during Woofstock-- see you next weekend!

Oct 3:  Great Dog Rescue Meet & Greet. Harvard Farmers' Market, 27 Mass Ave in gorgeous Harvard, Mass.  (Great Dog Rescue is the place I adopted Charlie and Cooper from!)  If you're looking for a great dog, you might just meet her or him here.

Oct 11: Pug Rescue of New England (PRoNE) Pug Social -- right here in beautiful downtown Spencer (at the fairgrounds).  If you love Pugs (and who doesn't?) this is a can't-miss event.

Oct 24: Klem's Annual Dog Halloween Costume Contest, at Klem's in Spensah!

Oct 31:  Sweetpea Friends of Rutland Animals Halloween Spooktacular, at Camp Marshall in Spensah!!

(Can you tell how excited I am that all of these things are right here in SPENCER!!!?  Have I used enough exclamation marks?)

November 7:  Goodness Gracious Run for Rescue 5K.  This 5K is being held in dog-friendly Marblehead.  If you've ever been to Marblehead, you will notice.... dogs!  It seems like everyone who lives there has a dog.  What a wonderful community!  Our friends at Great Dog Rescue have a team participating in the race, so if you want to donate to the Great Dog team, here is the link.

Friday, September 25, 2015

52 Snapshots of Life, Week 39: Shadow

Ok, this just freaked me out.... I was hunting through my photos for an appropriate picture for this week's 52 Snapshots challenge, and my cursor randomly landed on this photo and highlighted it automatically!!!  Weird!!

Therefore, here is this week's photo!  The theme is SHADOW

Charlie Brown at last year's PetRock Fest (2014) !!  
Which is also freaky, since PetRock 2015 was just the other day!

52 Snapshots of Life is hosted by our friends at The Lazy Pit Bull!!

Monday, September 21, 2015

52 Snapshots of Life; Week 38: Feet

When Hobie was a puppy, I liked to smell his feet.  I know other dog parents will understand this.  We've talked about it!  Back in those days, dog food had corn as a primary ingredient (maybe it still does, but I don't buy that stuff anymore).  I am not positive, but I think this is why dogs' feet smelled like Fritos.  Frito Feet!  Or, more generically-correct:  Corn Chip Feet!

Anyway, I sang a little song to Hobie:  "Puppy feet, puppy feet, I love puppy feet!" and then I'd grab his foot and SMELL it!!  Yeah, we pet parents are sick ha ha.

I regularly take pictures of my pets' feet.  Yes, yes, I do.

Here is a small collection of Pet Feet Photos from my archives.  The first picture here was just taken a few days ago while Cooper was sleeping!

Cooper foot!  This could make a good logo.

Cats have paws, too.

Footprint in the sand

Not a "sole" on the beach

We did a nail trim right afterwards!
Hobie loved to sleep with his back legs crossed.


Hobie's feet.  I did a whole photo session of Hobie's feet on his last birthday.

52 Snapshots of Life is a blog hop hosted by our friends over at The Lazy Pit Bull.