Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Life Without A Dog

Hello Everyone. It's been a long time since I've written a blog post. Ever since Cookie passed and living in a no pets allowed apartment, it's been hard for me to write about dogs. I love living with my husband and I love the location of where we live. It doesn't take long for me to go to work and it's convenient to everything. However, we're stuck here for another year.

I still love dogs (and cats). I'm patient enough to wait. But the decision to move has to be what's best for both of us. Right now, just isn't the time. It helps that I visit my mom who has Gigi and Homer. I also will be writing about their adventures. But right now, I'm just getting used to the fact that I'll live another year without them. Our property manager is very strict about that.

Living in the Present

So that's what I've been up to lately. I've been travelling more often which isn't something you can do as easily when you have a pet. To all of you who are in the same boat, I can only tell you this. Take the time before making a decision to find your next place. You don't want to rush into your next decision as this affects your life. Also, I plan to find ways to give back. Earlier this year, Ron and I participated in Bow Wow and Alley Cat Bowling with the Heartland Animal Shelter, which is a great way to combine your love for animals and giving back.

Anyhow, I just wanted to let you guys know what's been happening lately. I'll still be blogging, but less frequently than when I had dogs. I always check on the blog though, so feel free to comment below. Thank you all for stopping in to visit my blog.

Let's Discuss!

What have you done to get yourself through your no pet periods in life?

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Tuesday, May 24, 2016

4 Apps That Help You Go Cruelty Free

Day in and day out, animals are continuously being tested for various reasons. Some are tested for medical purposes, others are tested to see if household products are harmful. Worse yet, many animal are tested so that cosmetic companies can sell their products.

When it comes to dogs, beagles are chosen for animal testing more than any other breed. There are over 65,000 dogs and 20,000 cats in labs in the United States alone. In England, 94.7% of dogs that are using in animal testing are beagles. This is because of their gentleness, trusting nature and ability to forgive easily. 95% of animals are not protected by animal legislation in the United States.The Beagle Freedom Project has been working to free beagles from a laboratory and a life destined for euthanasia by banding together to help legislators find these dogs a home.

Cruelty Free Apps

While we are unable to only hope that more legislation succeeds in giving these animals a loving home, we can control the products that we buy on a daily basis. Some apps even offer a scanning feature to help you find out right in the store if an item is cruelty-free or not. For all of you who own iPhone and Android smartphones, you can download the following apps.

Cruelty Cutter

Cruelty Cutter is an app that promotes a cruelty-free lifestyle. It's free to download. This app was created exclusively for the Beagle Freedom Project. It offers many features including, a pledge to shop cruelty-free, doggie dollars which give the recipients discounts from their monthly sponsors once they've accumulated a certain amount and bite back, which allows you to communicate with cruelty-friendly companies to campaign for the welfare of animals.


Cruelty-Free is another app that makes it easier to navigate through the animal testing waters. This app is available for both iPhone and Android smart phones.

Bunny Free

Bunny Free was created by Graduate Student Margaret Pearce as a special project for PETA. The app will scan products and let you know if they're animal friendly or not. PETA also provides the data information for the app.

Choose Cruelty Free

Choose Cruelty Free is an app that was created for our friends who live across the world. Since the organization is based in Australia, most of the products researched will be pick up products in that continent. This may be handy for cruelty-free lifestyle pursuers in New Zealand and parts of Asia as well.

It's Not Hard To Be Cruelty Free

Living the cruelty free lifestyle isn't the easiest thing in the world. Many times, companies will find a way around the animal testing laws and pretend they are cruelty-free, but really have just found a loophole. You don't need to be a vegan or vegetarian to help end animal cruelty, but by choosing carefully which products you'd like to purchase is a great step to take.

Let's Discuss!

Do you have a favorite cruelty free app? What steps do you take toward a cruelty-free lifestyle? Please share with me in the comments below.

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Monday, April 18, 2016

The Soi Dog Foundation

Photo courtesy of

Living in the United States, one hears about the horrors and neglect of abused dogs on a daily basis. However, in places like Thailand, the abuse is so much more. Hundreds of dogs and cats are abused, abandoned or left for dead in the streets. Others, become part of the dog meat trade.

The Soi Dog Foundation

The Soi Dog Foundation was founded in 2003 by a trio of animal rescue activists, Margot Homburg Park and John and Gill Dalley. Jon and Gill had relocated to Phuket and decided to dedicate their lives to rescuing these animals. Their foundation became the first organization of its kind to be certified as a foundation in Thailand.

What They Do

In Thailand, there aren't as many facilities available to help their animals. The veterinarians volunteer their time. They can't perform surgeries there, just give basic care. In addition to the basic care, that's given to these animals, there have been huge strides to spay and neuter them to control the overcrowded pet population. Since the beginning, over 100,000 dogs, averaging about 1,800 a month.

In 2011, they started an initiative to help end the dog meat trade. Many dogs from Thailand are exported to Vietnam to be eaten. It's illegal and the foundation has worked to bring awareness to this by naming it the Trade of Shame. In addition to its Trade of Shame campaign, the organization teaches students in school to become more understanding and tolerant towards dogs. Today, the Soi Dog Foundation is the largest animal rescue foundation in Asia, having over 50 full-time employees and a huge goal of opening a veterinary hospital in Asia.

How You Can Help

There are many ways you can help this foundation. They have a dog sponsor program where one can sponsor a dog or cat for $26USD a month. Another way to help is through adoption. Many of their dogs, mostly adult are shipped to places such as North America and Europe to loving homes. If you find yourself vacationing in Thailand, one of the best ways to help the animals is not to take them into the comfort of your hotel room. Many tourists will do so thinking they're helping and it gives the animal hope they'll have a loving home. When they return to a new tourist who turns them away, they at risk for getting clubbed to death.

Finally, 100% Pure has a special offer going on right now. You can purchase special products from their website and 100% of the profits will go to the Soi Dog Foundation. I picked up their Soi Dog Mangosteen bath package and it's a great feeling to know that even though it was a little costly, the end result is more well worth it. If you'd like to learn more about this please visit

*Note: No payment was offered by 100% pure. I am endorsing them purely for their Soi Dog Program.

To learn more about the Soi Dog Foundation, you can find them at

Let's Discuss!

Are you familiar with Soi Dog Foundation? What animal rescue organization has changed your life?

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Sunday, March 13, 2016

When The Time Comes To Cross The Rainbow Bridge

Dogs add so much to our life, we put it out of our mind that their time has come to cross the rainbow bridge. Yesterday, that day had come for Cookie.
We had brought Cookie into our life for one main reason. Our other dog at the time, Elvis, had stopped eating because he lost his best friend Cosmo. Elvis had come from backyard breeders, and was a fearful dog by nature. He grew up with Cosmo, with them both being a month apart in age. Losing Cosmo, really struck a chord in him. He lost his appetite and his weight dropped from 75 to 60 pounds. After two weeks of my mom and I seeing Elvis going through this, we knew he needed another companion or he would die from a broken heart.

I knew it couldn't be a replacement for Cosmo, who happened to be a black, tan and white Siberian Husky/German Shepherd mix. I figured getting a smaller female dog would be a good solution but not let Elvis think that I was trying to replace his buddy, but rather help him through his grief. When I brought Cookie home, Elvis was at first confused but surely warmed up to her. Her gentle, sweet demeanor helped Elvis become himself again.
Cookie was about two to three years old, when we adopted her. But that's only a guess. She was a dog picked up off the street who had given birth to puppies and was left to fend for herself. Thankfully she was picked up and taken to the city pound.

Elvis was an older dog by then. But Cookie being in his life, helped him live an extra year and a half. Soon after, Cookie was just so grateful to have a home, she was happy enough to be by herself for a while. A few years later, my mom wanted a companion for her, and then Gigi came into the picture. But Cookie, no matter what or what pets came into our life was the same. She was grateful she had a home and a family that loved her.

Thirteen Years Later

On my way to my mom's house, I had a feeling that her time was near. I didn't want it to come, but I couldn't stand to see her suffer unnecessarily. I went to my mom's house to take Cookie for a vet visit. When Cookie greeted me, her legs gave out on her. She was having constant accidents, and because she had epilepsy all her life, her seizures had increased much more in frequency.

I took my mom with me to see the doctor. I unfortunately couldn't make the decision because I had moved out when I got married at the end of 2014. My mom who is retired, was there day in and day out. She spent the most time with Cookie, so in all fairness it had to be her choice. When my mom told the doctor, that Cookie just isn't Cookie anymore, I knew.
It's never easy to say goodbye to your pet. I didn't write this to make you all sad, but since Cookie was one of the reasons I created this blog in the first place, it seemed the only fitting way to let you guys know, since she was such a big part of this blog. It is seen said that dogs live for less time than humans, because they've taught us all the lessons we need to learn from them. That definitely was the case with Cookie.

I'd like to thank you all that have come to support me and my dogs here. I still plan on blogging with all types of topics, not just the sad ones. For all of you who are in similar situations like I was with Cookie, my heart goes out to you. Thanks again for visiting, and I'll be back with new posts soon.

Saturday, March 5, 2016

The Return Of The Bladder Stones

Hello everyone. I know it's been awhile since you've heard from me. Right now, I live in a place that doesn't have dogs. However, I'm lucky enough where I can see Cookie, Gigi and Homer when I visit my family. Luckily, it's not too far of a drive. So, when I blog, you'll be hearing stories about me blogging from experiences outside of my home. It's my goal to do things more frequently and finding a balance between marriage, family, friends and my world online. Anyhow, this post is more about Gigi, so here we go.

In October 2014, I noticed that Gigi was having accidents in the house again and not eating. Not only that, but she would lay on my mom's bed all day and not budge. So it was time take her to the doctor again. Unfortunately, I had to switch doctors because the original one I had taken her to didn't have weekend hours. So I took her to the Petsmart in the neighborhood.

When I took Gigi there, they checked her over and we had x-rays done. From the x-rays, it was obvious the stones were back. They had prescribed Clavamox and she was eating the prescribed food. Taking her back on regular visits, there was little improvement and the doctor suggested that she may need to have surgery.

It occurred to me knowing that she had struvite stones, which are able to be dissolved, this place did not look at all the options. They looked at surgery as the be all and end all. There was no suggestion of a urine culture or other non-invasive treatments. I knew in my heart it was time for a second opinion. It also didn't help that the staff wasn't very compassionate either. For me, compassion goes a long way when it comes to those you love and the people who are responsible for their care. I also felt like I was being judged.

Time for a Second Opinion

One year later, I knew things shouldn't be this way When I got home, I decided to check my old vet's website. After seeing the hours, I noticed he now had Saturday hours in the morning. I quickly called to make an appointment. I brought Gigi in to get an exam and asked the doctor if it would give her the medication that he did in the past, because it seemed to work. I was hesitant about getting an X-ray because I knew in my heart from the way Gigi was behaving and struggling on walks that they were still there.

As the person taking her to the doctor, I had made some mistakes. I got a urinalysis first to see where things were and took a plan of action. It was getting scary because Gigi had become resistant to the original antibiotics. I shouldn't have tried to outguess my doctor. Because the urine culture wasn't done right away, it was hard to tell if the medicine was working properly or not.

So it turned out that the doctor ran the urine culture to see if there was any medications that Gigi's would accept. Out of the seven types of possible medications he ran against her blood chemistry, there was one in which she wasn't resistant. I realized then and there, it was time to me to let go and go all in with what the doctor was saying. We instantly switched the medication and I told my mom that she would need to give her a half pill twice a day.

This was a very long process, but after a couple of weeks, I took Gigi back for another test to see if the medicine would work and her body didn't build up another resistance to the medication. A few days later, I got another call and the doctor told me that the medication was working. We both were relieved.

Lessons that I Learned

This experience with Gigi and her bladder stones has been frustrating and incredibly fulfilling at the same time. I learned that no matter how scared you are, you can't try to second guess your doctor. I also learned that you have to go with your instincts. It's also important to build a foundation of trust with your vet and not to let incidents of the past cloud your thinking. Not all vets are the same. Because of my second veterinarian's unyielding commitment to finding a solution, Gigi didn't have to have an unnecessary surgery. I will always be grateful to him and his staff for their excellent care they gave my dog.

And Gigi? Because the stones came back after the first treatment, she will have to have prescription food for the rest of her life. The food is available by prescription only but it's a small price to pay to know your dog has a good chance of not getting the stones again. I'll also have to take her for a follow up visit in about four months.

Let's Discuss!

I love to hear what you have to say. So here is my question for you. Have you ever gotten a second opinion for your pet and how did it make a difference?

I appreciate you guys always coming here to support my blog. Have a great weekend!

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Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Things To Know When Getting A Really Big Dog

* All Photos provided by Pixabay

Hi Everyone. It seems like forever since I last posted here. In the past year, I had planned a wedding, got married and had some medical issues that caught me off guard. I'm doing much better now, and I am finally back to blog about one of my favorite topics--dogs.

Getting A Really Big Dog

In an ideal world, a dog's size wouldn't be an issue. People would see a dog and think it's cute or not. But the reality is much different. We live in a world full of fear. Many people are afraid of dogs. Even a large dog like a labrador retriever, will send those with an intense fear of dogs, running for the hills.

That being said, many dog lovers gravitate toward owning really big dogs. When I say really big dogs, I'm referring to dogs over 100 pounds (45kg) and up. These owners don't worry about the fact that having a huge dog makes them conspicuous. All they see is a wonderful pet. That's the way it should be. Having any dog is work but if trained right, a really big dog like a Mastiff (pictured above) or an Irish Wolfhound (pictured right) isn't going to be any harder than owning a smaller dog.

Misconceptions about Really Big Dogs

Here are some misconceptions about giant dogs:

  1. They are aggressive.
  2. They are hard to control.
  3. They don't like children.
  4. They are noisy.
  5. That dogs of this size live long lives

There are always certain breeds of dogs that will be more aggressive than others. However, most owners have a desire to make their dogs aggressive. Dogs don't wake up one day and say, "Who can I terrify today?" Usually, if something happens, it's in direct response to what they felt was a threat. Many breed-specific laws try to address this issue by eliminating the breeds. But in actuality in a study by the Irish Times, the number of dog aggression incidences actually increased. In fact, many dog breeds like the Mastiff and the Bernese Mountain Dog are quite gentle and loving.

Having a really big dog that pulls you when you take them on a walk, will tire a person out more than a smaller dog. Still, how a dog behaves, comes down to training. By using positive reinforcement methods, any large dogs will be as easy to control as their smaller counterpart.

Whether or not a dog likes children or not is more based in the breed type of the dog. Dogs like Irish Wolfhounds and Great Danes, absolutely love children. It's important for parents to set ground rules when it comes for their children behaving properly around pets. After a while, even the gentlest dog will get tired of a child yanking on its ear.

Many large dogs are very nimble on their feet. You'll probably hear them walk into the room and yes, some breeds are messier than others, but in general, many large dogs like the mastiff will bark to alert the family when something is wrong.

While smaller dogs live anywhere from twelve to twenty years, it's a different story for giant dog breeds. Many dog owners are lucky to see these pooches live over twelve years. A dog like an Irish Wolfhound lives a maximum of 8 years. A Great Dane lives for about the same time. Mastiffs can live over ten years and many Bernese Mountain dog owners are fortunate to have their dogs around for nine years.

Final Thoughts

While really big dogs tend to stop traffic on the street, having them as part of your family should be more than just a novelty. With their larger size, you're going to have higher dog food bills and more upkeep. As with any pet, it's important to do your research to find the best dog to fit in with your lifestyle. What do you think is the most important thing to owning a really big dog? Leave your comments below.

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Monday, December 29, 2014

Primal Freeze-Dried Treats Review

I'm always in the market for tasty treats for the dogs. I received the chance to review Primal Treats for dogs from With dogs as different and diverse as the five that I have, I knew this would be a great opportunity.

At First Glance

What makes freeze-dried treats stand out is that the flavor is saved through this preservation technique but does not need any additives. As a result, the beef liver treats that I gave the dogs had only one ingredient — Beef Liver. Looking at them, you can see small rectangular cubes (pictured right). They were firm but with a little give, so you could break them apart if need be. However, with the way the dogs could smell them, making them smaller was not required.

All About The Taste Of It

No matter how simple a treat can be, the true test of success is how much the dogs like it. It's safe to say, when the

dogs saw me removing these from the bag, I had their complete attention. They would stay motionless in anticipation. And when the time came, boy, did they down it. Their wasn't one dissatisfied dog in the house.

The Final Verdict

Primal Treats are an excellent choice for your dog. Although, it's a small-size package, it's good to know that you are giving your dog a healthy treat that can last awhile if you give it as an occasional treat. Like organic treats, quality is to be considered before price when deciding on this treat. However, if you're seeking a treat that is tasty and healthy at the same time, this is the way to go. A special thanks to the folks from for making this review possible.

Let's Discuss!

What do you love most when you give your dogs freeze-dried treats?

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Tuesday, November 4, 2014

The Dogs Were Rescued...A Book Review

Recently released on October 7th, The Dogs Were Rescued (and so was I) isn't your typical rescue story. Why, because there's so much more to it. The writer Teresa J. Rhyne, has a voice that is very honest. You learn about her love for her beloved Seamus, wine and longtime love Chris.

At first, one thinks they are going to read about dog rescue. However, this book is more about discovering oneself through your dog's eyes. It shows how going the extra mile for your dog, can trickle over into their human's life. It shows how passion for a lifestyle grows from one incident.

If there's one thing that separates this book from others in it's class, it's the unvarnished truth the author presents about fighting cancer, how the Beagle Freedom Project has saved so many dogs, finding oneself and making choices that define your life without losing yourself in the process.

It's a book about discovery and really opens one's eyes to many topics we tend to ignore because they can be uncomfortable. Reading this sheds light on the effects of animal testing on dogs, how vegans don't fall into one stereotype and that as messy as life can get, one always finds a way to navigate through it.

This book is highly recommended for those love non-fiction with an unusual twist.

Friday, October 31, 2014

Solid Gold Jerky Treats Review

It's not everyday I get to review a product like this. When sent these to me, I was thrilled. My dogs have always loved beef jerky and these treats from Solid Gold got all of them excited.

Normally, I will give the pros and cons. So here goes. There are a whole lot of pros including the fact, the dogs loved the taste, the treats come in cute little squares, and they have unusual ingredients like rosemary, cinnamon and tapioca. Every single one of my dogs loved it and the only proof I have of that is the lack of pictures you see here. As you can see, there aren't many because it lasted about two days between the five pooches. The only downside I can see is that these treats, like all jerky treats cost a little more. However, they are on sale at so it balances out.

In conclusion, if you're looking for a tasty treat for your dogs that has a more healthy bend to it, these treats are not to be missed.

Let's Discuss!

What treat have you given your dogs over the years that has been a sure thing?

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Primal Chicken Shredders Review

One thing my dogs live for is treats. Whenever they see that bag opening, they bark with excitement. This month's review is a product called Primal Chicken Shredders. I received them courtesy of the folks from The fact that these were organic and limited ingredient was very appealing since my dogs can be fussy about their treats.

At First Glance

When I first opened the bag, the chicken pieces came in a generous size. Because of their lined texture, they are easy to break into smaller pieces. There also were little shreds left in the bad which can be used a topper for your dog's food after all of the treats were gone. It has a natural brown color from slow roasting and then being freeze-dried. As you can see, two of my dogs--Gigi and Fancy--couldn't wait to have theirs.

The Test

Well, considering I have five dogs and the bag was just four ounces, these went very quickly. The dogs absolutely loved them. They ate them fast and there was no turning of the head. Other processed treats will render that result with my dogs, especially Gigi, who can be particularly discriminating in her taste.

The Final Verdict

I highly recommend these treats. They are sure to please even the most finicky dogs. They have grain-free and gluten-free and limited ingredients which is gentler on your dog's stomach. Hopefully, down the road, they'll have larger sizes available for people like me who have five dogs.The only downside I saw was the price. At $12.39 USD, that can be high for a four ounce bag like this. However, has them on sale for $7.99 USD, which is quite reasonable for high-quality organic treats.

Let's Discuss!

What is your favorite treat to give your dog? How do you feel about organic treats?

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