Deck The Halls

If you’ve decorated for the holiday season, I hope everything is still intact! I try to keep our decorations to a minimum. It’s really just an excuse to put out more animal “stuff.” I hope you enjoy the Christmas items I’ve collected over the years.

Part of me is glad the cats don’t play with this because of the noisy bells 😉

Here’s our pet stockings and photo ornaments.


Here’s the top of the bookcase with ornaments and a photo of Zinger with Santa. The wood carvings are from the Dog Bark Park Inn.


Our cute “cookie” jar made by Scentsy


My attempt at a photo Christmas Wreath


Petsmart Christmas Cat


Two days after putting up decorations, I found a stocking on the ground…


…Looks like a house cat is sending a message to the Barn Cats!


Jumping Hurdles

We have three baby gates in our house and zero human children. If I want go from our kitchen to our bedroom I have to “jump” two hurdles. Fortunately, the baby gate to the bathroom has a door. Having these gates allow us better control with our foster dog’s potty training. When I get fed up of going over the gates, I remind myself “it’s better than cleaning up an accident!”

Jack Benny (former foster dog) & Marley behind the kitchen baby gate


Make Life With Your Dog Easier

Photo from

Click HERE for product link. Photo from

I’ve been reading a lot of dog training and dog behavior books this past year, really focusing on positive training. Dog training relies heavily of treats being readily available to reward your dog. Over the years, I’ve used a few different treat holders.

I’m not a person who likes having my clothes smell like dog food, so putting food in my pockets wasn’t an option (plus my dog will hound me until she can lick the food molecules off my clothing).

I’ve tried ziplock baggies in the past and that was a cheap solution, but pulling the bag from my pocket along with opening and closing the bag slowed me down too much.

For a long time I used the drawstring treat pouch. I thought this was the best option available because it was easy to clean, could clip onto my waistband, and the drawstring was MUCH quicker and secure than the ziplock baggie.

Once I got serious about dog training and how important timing was, I looked for an alternate treat pouches. I found one that looked like it met my needs. I was hesitant because of the price, but it was more than worth the cost.

This treat pouch has a hinge that stays open until you push it shut (very easily, you can even use your elbow). When using the drawstring pouches, fabric would cave in on itself causing you to fumble for the treats, but this pouch doesn’t have excess fabric to get in the way. The treat pouch also has a fabric divider if you want to keep two types of treats separated.

Let the positive training begin!


Golden Bond 2015 Calendar

Hope you’re enjoying your 2015 Golden Bond Rescue of Oregon Calendar. If you’re not, you obviously didn’t buy one yet. If this is the case, click HERE to get yours ASAP! January is a photo of Bela (our first foster dog) and March is Heidi month (our second foster dog).

Edna Knows How To Play!

Turns out Edna knows how to play with a ball. It took almost a week for her to show interest, but it happened and I have proof! She appears to be feeling better physically (upper respiratory infection treated with antibiotics & ears treated with medicated drops) and emotionally (consistent love and attention).

Not only is Edna playful at times, she has some spunk! Thankfully we have a locking trashcan in our kitchen, because she’s pawed at it and has nudged it hard enough to knock it over twice. If you have a dog, no matter what size or age, you should have a locking trashcan to prevent your dog from consuming anything hazardous to their health (it could save their life and your wallet).

Heidi’s Favorites

While Heidi has been staying with us she has been exposed to some things she thinks are really great. If she could speak our language she would tell you all about these items (in random order):

1. Her crate is the place to be when it’s not by you! She has never hesitated going into her crate and enjoys stretching out in this spacious crate. The crate is 35.5″ Tall, 28.5″ Wide, and 47.5″ Deep. It is labeled for a dog larger than Heidi but she wasn’t interested in going into the crate the next size down. The trick is to get a thick supportive bed & a cozy cool blanket for on top of it (or warm blanket for the winter). I also made a crate cover that covers all but the front of the crate (I can easily lift the side pieces if she needs more air circulation).

2. Venison Jerky Treats

Real Meat Venison Jerky Dog Treats (12 oz)

This morning she “table surfed” for the first time for these suckers! I was gathering her belongings on the dining room table & had a zip-lock baggy of these. I found the empty, torn up baggie in her crate.

I order a lot of stuff from since you can earn money thru for an organization such as Golden Bond Rescue of Oregon (plus the prices can be quite cheaper). Click on the image for the link to where I purchased them from. To make them last longer (and Heidi not gain weight) I cut them up into smaller pieces.

3. Nylabone

Nylabone Heidi LOVES chewing on her bone SOOOOO much! She gets so much joy & entertainment out of these bones. A must have for when she’s crated.

4. Gentle Leader (Large Size)

This isn’t Heidi’s favorite but she loves her walks so much she wouldn’t mind this being on her list. Heidi moves fast on her walks & can eat stuff she’s not supposed to so it’s nice to have better control of her movements.

5.Chilly Dogs Soaker Coat

Heidi likes drying off in her bath robe after baths, swimming, or walks in the rain. I like it because she dries faster & that means less wet dog smell & wet furniture in the house. Click on the picture for more info.

6. Grooming Supplies

Heidi uses the de-tangling com mostly around her ears, especially when the fur gets wet from ear cleanings & after getting wet from rain, bath or swimming.

I used the mat remover a few times around her ears, a great tool to have! I’m certain more fur would have been lost if I had used scissors to cut out the mats.

This is how the slicker brush should have been designed from the beginning. I refused to use slicker brushes because I’d end up bleeding trying to clean them. Now it only takes a push of a button & I’m able to wipe the fur off. I use this brush a few times a week & as long as I’m gentle Heidi has no problem with it.

Heidi gets the fur on her feet trimmed regularly with these little scissors. She’s not a big fan but at least I know she’s not getting stabbed with a pointy tip.

MinkSheen Pet Shampoo has done wonders for Heidi’s coat & skin. She was on a medicated shampoo for a while but it was making her itchy. This shampoo has really softened up her whole coat, helps keep insects away (at least a few days after a bath), smells great & gets LOTS of compliments.

7. Food

A cup for breakfast and a cup for dinner is all she needs (don’t listen to her if she says she wants more) to keep her new healthy figure.

* Heidi will eagerly eat this food (this is a huge deal considering we tried at least 10 different foods, wet & dry, with her not eating for close to 4 days).

*She doesn’t itch nearly as much since the food switch.

*Keeping her allergies under control also works towards keeping her ears and skin healthy. She doesn’t want to go through those medical problems ever again & you wouldn’t want to either.

8. Thyroid Medicine

Heidi thinks this is the GREATEST STUFF EVER because it helped her lose weight and grow back all her missing fur!

Heidi takes Soloxine (.7mg) to manage her hypothyroidism. She gets 1 pill with her breakfast and 1 pill with her dinner. It is critical that she doesn’t miss any doses. We use a pill box for dog medication that holds a weeks worth. This way it is easier to see when you need to call in a request for a refill. Remember that if it has been a year since last thyroid blood work was done, she’ll need to get her thyroid level check before they’ll give you the refill.

This isn’t everything that Heidi loves but it’s a good start. I am anxious to see how many of these things the next foster dog will love!

Best Pet Shampoo

(Originally published on my old blog Dec 23, 2012)

It has been over 4 years since I’ve purchased pet shampoo for our 2 large dogs and 2 house cats. About a year prior I was at our state fair where I stumbled upon a company called Touch of Mink. I was instantly drawn to their pet shampoo which claimed to be a safe, gentle, natural shampoo which naturally repelled biting insects. This sounded too good to be true!

Pet Shampoo

When I got home I gave our dogs a bath. Boy was I pleased! The scent was nice, the dogs were clean, and my hands were SUPER soft (so soft that I not only ordered the largest 1 gallon bottle of pet shampoo, I bought the human lotion for myself).

The product website claims the 4-in-1 MinkSheen Pet Shampoo is:

  1. A gentle shampoo
  2. A coat conditioner
  3. An anti-bacterial formula
  4. A natural insect repellant

What I think:

1. The shampoo doesn’t dry out the coats of my dogs and cats

2. Their coats are very soft and shinier than they were with other shampoos

3. Even after the shampoo scent had faded, their coats didn’t smell like “dog” or “cat”

4. Didn’t rely on shampoo only to repel insects. Even though our indoor/outdoor cat was getting monthly Revolution treatments, he was coming in with ticks 3 days in a row. I put a small amount of shampoo in a squirt bottle filled with water and sprayed the cat before letting him outside for the day. When he came in for the evening there weren’t any ticks on him. I continued to do this the entire summer and fall with 100% success.

My husband and I weren’t the only ones who noticed how great this shampoo was. I was taking our dogs daily to the dog park and I had other owners approach me about how clean, soft and shiny my dog’s coats were. More than one person asked if they had gotten a bath that day when it had been over a month since they had a bath! Keep in mind they had been going to the dog park playing and getting drooled on by other dogs. I’ve been able to go longer between baths because of the shampoo which is an AWESOME bonus!

I hope this company stays in business forever! I support them with occasional human purchases (since a gallon of pet shampoo is lasting a LONG time even with 4 pets). I tell as many pet owners as I can that they HAVE to try this shampoo.

I’m truly excited to be sharing this info with you.