Monday, March 31, 2014

Update on Cousin Madam Star:

Still cute...even with her brother Sir Henry photo bombing.

Is It Monday Already?

This is how Coco feels about Mondays:

Mommy agrees.

Sunday, March 30, 2014

This Just In: Dog Plays Cards

Tonight, Coco's big sisters are over for dinner and cards.  Coco has decided that she can play cards, too.

I'm letting her play my hand; she'll probably play better than I will.

What card sharp I've got.  Or is it card shark?

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Pik-Nik Thief

I came across this picture of Coco, taken after she was caught stealing a canister of Pik-Nik shoestring potatoes.  Isn't it funny how innocent they can look even when caught red-handed?  What she didn't know was the canister was empty.  Just moments earlier I had caught Daddy red-handed finishing them off--truth be told, I think the two of them ate all of the Pik-Niks together!  Couppla Pik-Nik hogs!

Coco Tries Pawz...And Looks Pretty Cute Doing It

After so much trouble with her paw pads, and after talking with the doctor--who suggested a few remedies, we were ready to try Coco's new shoes for the first time!

We had heard good things about Pawz and decided to start there.  Our vet said that since her pads haven't toughened up as quickly as normal (and maybe they wouldn't) that if she is going to play outside for an extended period of time (like here at grandma and grandpa's) she should wear shoes.  

I had my doubts, as Coco doesn't do well with things on her paws, or even things touching them.  We struggled just a bit getting them on, and she didn't want to walk on them at first, but she settled into them.  Once we got into the car (with Cousin Madam Star) she managed to get one off.  In the Pawz defense, I'm not completely convinced I got the right size.  I think she is in between sizes.  When we got to playing she didn't mind them a bit.

All in all, they worked well and protected her paws from peeling.  She was able to play fetch and I didn't have to worry she was playing too rough!

Pawz claims that their boots are reusable, however, by the time we were done playing, one of Coco's nails had poked through the rubber and it seemed that they were tightening around her leg a little.  I can't imagine I could use them more than once and certainly not for an extended period time (we were playing for around an hour).   In the summer, when the roads get really hot, I can see using them for a walk and being able to reuse them then, but not for playing.

I think we will keep trying different products because Pawz aren't perfect, but so far, they are just what we need so that she can play outside and I don't have to worry about torn paws!  

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Coco The Princess

It has been established that Coco is a bit of a Mama's Girl, so it shouldn't be surprising that sometimes Daddy gets a little jealous, like when Coco chooses to follow me downstairs instead of play fetch with him.  Slowly Daddy is coming to terms with fact that Coco is Mommy's little brown princess.

Monday, March 24, 2014

Sleeping Dog Face

I am such a sucker for a good ol' sleeping dog face, aren't you?  This is one of my favorites:

I just can't get enough of Coco's slumbering mug.  Here's another: 

There is something about that face that makes me so happy.

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Caturday: Sissy Celebrates Spring

Today Sissy celebrated Spring by lounging outside (with her flea medicine newly applied).  Around here, pollen season is in full bloom and by the time she was finished, her pretty black fur was covered in nasty yellow pollen spawn. But she didn't seem to mind a bit...

Although she wasn't pictured, Coco kept a close eye on her sister and wasn't ever too far away.  The first Caturday of Spring was a successful one!

Thursday, March 20, 2014

tbt: My Baby is Growing Up!

Where does the time go?  I found this picture of Coco when we first got her, when she was just a few months old.  I can't believe how much she has changed!

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

"Dexter Needs an Exorcism"

This is my friend Ashley's dog, Dexter.  Could he get any cuter?

 Ashley was nice enough to share this video with me.  Have you seen a head stretch this far back since Linda Blair?  I laugh every time I watch this.  Dex's Nana knows where the good spot is!

Wordless Wednesday: Party Favors

Apparently Coco wasn't a fan.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

How to Help Overweight Dogs

It has been estimated that 55% of dogs in the US are overweight or obese, which can alter the lifestyle and health of our best friends.  Recently, my sister experienced this firsthand when she thought there was something seriously wrong with her beloved Tigger.  After a trip to the vet, reporting Tigger as lethargic and not wanting to do anything but sleep on the bed, turns out, Tigger is overweight.

I have gathered some information for my sister and the millions of others just liker her who are wondering, "How do I put my dog on a diet?"

1.  Watch the Food
Feed the right amount. This should help guide you. Then use an actual measuring cup to feed.  It might help to feed two or three smaller meals to help your dog feel more satisfied.  Don't let your dog free feed.

2.  Change the way you view treats
It's hard to get rid of treats totally (although you may have to) especially if you use them to train.  However, you do have some options.  Try veggies as treats.  Dogs usually love carrots, cut up apples, and most fruits (not grapes). You can also try stuffing fruits and veggies mixed with some plain yogurt in a Kong and freeze it as a healthy treat.  These options are low in calories and will be more of a treat for your dog than a Milkbone that gets gulped down!

3.  Get your pooch movin!
Think about creative ways to incorporate exercise into your dog's day.  I am a huge fan of treat dispensing toys.  I've written about some of them for Yahoo! Answers. I also have a list of my favorites here.  These are great for a many reasons.  But the best reason for a plump dog is because he/she is using physical energy to get his/her food, and because it will help satisfy him/her a little more.  Chasing a toy around just to get dinner burns some major calories for a little body!
My favorite food dispensing toy: the TreatStik

You can also teach your dog some new tricks.  If you spend 15-20 minutes a day on a new skill and reward with low calorie treats, you are bound to shed some pounds.  Get creative and get moving!

4.  Forget about people food
I see so many people giving their dogs bites of their food.  If you have an overweight dog (and really even if you don't), there isn't any real reason to do this.  Our food is filled with calories that dogs just don't need!  Stick with feeding them their own food and treating them with healthy people food if you must.  The less human food you can keep out of their mouths, the better.

5.  Consider a change in dog food
I, personally, don't think this should be the first thing you do if your dog is overweight.  I think if you do the first 4 things successfully, you should be ok.  But according to this article in The Whole Dog Journal, feeding a higher protein dog food could help you manage your dog's weight.

*I am not an expert on this subject, but I do know the basics of losing weight (for dogs or humans): less calories in and more calories burned.  This, of course is somewhat of an oversimplification.  The key here is that you are in control of what goes into your dog's mouth.  Making sure that your pup is active enough to shed those few extra pounds can be fun for both of you and can bring you closer together.

Sunday, March 16, 2014

It's a Dog Party!

We recently celebrated Coco's 4th birthday.  I can't believe that we've had her for over 3 and a half years.  I often tell Bill that I can't imagine our lives without her. Because of the delight and the joy she brings to our household (even to her old sissy, Pookums), celebrating a day just for her seems natural for us.  In fact, we had two parties for Coco.

The first one was with Coco's older sisters.  We had yummy human tacos and brownies.  And for Coco we had puppy cupcakes.  I tweaked this recipe a little.  It called for Greek yogurt and peanut butter frosting;  I didn't have any yogurt.  You know know I refuse to go to the store for extra ingredients, so I subbed the yogurt for cottage cheese.  Thus, the little hunks of stuff on top of the cupcakes in the pictures.  But actually, Coco likes cottage cheese better than yogurt, anyway. She didn't know it wasn't supposed to be lumpy.

She had a blast with her big sisters during party #1!  The next party was with Madam Star. Coco got lots of presents and even shared her cupcakes.  

We've had so much fun living life with Coco and feel so lucky that we get to be her Mommy and Daddy.  I even get the feel every once in a while that Pookums is starting to feel lucky to be her sissy (though she did stay clear throughout most of the festivities).  We love this little brown dog.  Happy birthday, Coco Puffs!

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Wordless Wednesday: We Love Our Coco Pie!

5 Fun Things to Do with Your Dog on Spring Break

Since I am lucky enough to get the week off, (yay Spring Break!) I've been think a lot about how Coco and I can spend this time together.

Coco understands that Spring Break means relaxing.
So I have put together a little list of things to do with your dog over Spring Break.

1.  Take a hike. 
Usually the weather during the break is nice enough to go for a little hike.  Of course you'll want to make the distance appropriate for both you and your pooch.  

2.  Learn a new trick.
Coco can usually learn something new in a day or two, provided we have the right kind of treat.  This week I think we are going to work on cleaning up her toys.  We started this a few months ago, but it was harder than we thought, which is good.  I like to challenge her and stimulate her brain.  

3.  Go for a run.
We run pretty regularly with Coco, but Spring Break is the perfect time to explore new areas and running trails.  Coco really enjoys running with us, so she loves this suggestion--I checked.  

4.  Play an indoor game.
If the weather is less than ideal, there are still plenty of games you can play with your pup. Try some of these:

5.  Do what your dog loves.
Whenever I have time off, I do what Coco loves: play fetch.  We get a ball and a stick and we play fetch.  Then we take a break and I make her sit and stay and sit down and we play fetch some more.  There is nothing like doing something that your dog loves!

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Why Are Basset Hounds So Darn Cute?

I don't think this is a question that can be answered.  But while we're all thinking about it, here is a picture to enjoy:

Monday, March 10, 2014

Newman's Own Snack Sticks from asked us to review Newman's Own Chicken and Vegetable Snack Sticks, which we are super excited about.  As you know, Coco is crazy about sticks! And she is just as crazy about these snack sticks.

We've been--ok Daddy--has been practicing balancing treats on her nose, and these stick were perfect for extra practice.  And I felt good about giving them to her because they are made in the USA, with organic ingredients, and no artificial flavors or perspectives.

Daddy is keeping these in a mason jar next to his side of the bed, trying to get Coco to love him more than me.  And while Coco is digging these treats, I'm not sure there is a treat on this planet to make her love her Mommy less!

Sunday, March 9, 2014

B&W Sunday: A Family Affair

Love this picture of the 3 of us.
picture by Stuart Rochford Photography

Saturday, March 8, 2014

Delicious PB and Yogurt Frozen Treats

Over at 17Apart they have a great recipe for Valentine's day DIY Natural Frozen Dog Treats.  They looked so easy and like something Coco would absolutely love, so I thought that I'd give them a try.

My favorite recipes are ones that look good, easy, and ones that don't require crazy ingredients that I don't ever have.  This goes for recipes for me and Bill and ones for Coco.  This recipe met most of these requirements except for one: it recommended that you freeze the treats in a shaped ice cube tray, which we didn't have (can you believe we didn't have a single ice cube try in the house?).  I despise leaving the house for a single item, so I improvised!

Items Needed:
cookie sheet
wax paper
cookie cutters
2 tablespoons peanut butter
1 regular container yogurt

1. Gather ingredients.
2. Clear space in your freezer.  For some, this may take a while.  (Don't judge.  Freezer cleaning is on the to-do list for Spring Break...ok, you can judge, I would do the same.)
3.  Melt PB a little, so it is easier to manipulate.  I melted mine for 20 seconds.  
4.  Let cute brown dog lick bowl once you use PB and it has cooled. (this picture is out of order, but you'll forgive me.)

Next comes the tricky part.  This is where it really would have been handy to have those ice cube trays.  But don't go running out to Petsmart for cute bone shaped trays in your PJs just yet; it is possible to do this with cookie cutters, maybe just a little messier. 

1.  I lined my cookie sheet with some wax paper and set my cutters on them like you see below in the first picture. Then I filled them with the melted PB. (This is when I actually let the little brown dog lick the bowl.)
2.  Then I filled the cutters with the yogurt.
3.  After the cutters are filled with PB and yogurt, I put the sheet in the freezer for 4 hours.  The PB really need a little more time, but Coco told me she couldn't wait any longer.
4.  Let said little brown dog enjoy delicious treats!

These really were pretty easy and Coco gobbled them up.  I thought I would have trouble getting them out of the cutters, but I didn't.  It was a really simple recipe and one that the kids could help with, which I know is important to some!

Coco Ruins First Day of Spring Break for Mommy

Ok, well maybe ruin is a little strong, but certainly she started it off on the wrong foot.  This morning I woke up to a tennis ball (one of Coco's most favorite play things) lodged under the small of my back.  So not only was I completely wide awake at 3 am, but I hadn't gotten a very restful night's sleep.

One of the best parts of working in academia is getting holidays off, like Spring Break.  I guess I can suck it up and make the best of my remaining time, a whole 9 days!  I suppose I can forgive her.  I mean look at that face, how can I stay mad at her for long?

Friday, March 7, 2014

Happy Friday!

Anyone need a kiss?

Follow Me on Bloglovin'

So I've just discovered Bloglovin and I am, indeed, lovin' it! It reminds me of Pinterest for bloggers.  Anyway, certainly check it out and follow me.

<a href="">Follow my blog with Bloglovin</a>

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Yahoo! Answer's Guest Blogger...Coco's Mommy!

Did you catch Coco's Mommy (that's me) as Yahoo! Answer's Guest Blogger last week?  You can check out my post called "The Best Dog Toys" here.

Photo by Stuart Rochford Photography

Help Celebrate Lila's Birthday!

My friend's daughter is celebrating her 7th birthday today.  But instead of presents, this fantastic 7 year old has asked that party goers make a donation to charity.  Which charities?  She has chosen ASPCA and St. Jude.  These parents have a lot to be proud of!  Look at Lila, helping save lives instead of accumulating more stuff.  What a special little girl.

You can celebrate with Lila and her dog Faolan here: ASPCA
Want to give to St. Jude?

Happy birthday, Lila!

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Inforgraphic: The Most Dog-friendly Cities?

Is your city dog-friendly?  We are lucky enough to have a couple of dog parks here in Tallahassee, although there is certainly room for improvement--and there is argument about whether dog parks are really "dog friendly."  In general, our parks and recreation system in town is fantastic, and in that sense, there is lots of opportunity to enjoy the outdoors with your pooch.

While searching about what makes cities "dog-friendly," I came across this infographic I thought I'd share.

Did you find your city on the list?  Do you agree? What do you think makes a city dog-friendly? 

Many families relocate to be in a city that is more suited to raise a family, so it makes sense for furfamilies to want to know what cities have to offer them.  Maybe this is a growing trend, attracting dog-families with dog-friendly activities.  

Wordless Wednesday: Uncle Rocky

Meet Uncle Rocky.  He is so very loving, as you can tell by this picture, where he is trying to get some lovin' from the camera.

Saturday, March 1, 2014

What To Do On A Saturday Morning?

I love Saturday mornings.  Daddy is golfing.  Coco and Mommy are well rested, and we have the whole day ahead of us.  Sometimes we go for a run.  Sometimes we lounge around.  Sometimes when the weather is nice we hang out on the deck out back:

And we chew sticks,
while we get distracted by squirrels.
but we go back to chewing sticks, while we keep an eye on those squirrels.
Oh! how we love chewing sticks on sunny Saturday mornings.
Then we come back in and wait for a snack.

There is nothing like a relaxing, sunny Saturday morning! We hope you've enjoyed yours!