Collar Safety Awareness Week

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It’s sobering to think of all the things that could go wrong, especially when you think you are doing the right thing. That’s why it’s important that I share with you some information I was given on PetSafe’s Collar Safety Awareness Week (which is this week, October 18-24).


We’ve been lucky that as many times as Shadow and Rowdy play with each other or get in “trouble” out in the backyard that their collars haven’t resulted in a horrible accident.

Tenney Mudge was not so lucky when her dog, Chinook, got strangled due to a stick slipping through the collar that then got twisted. Even though her strory has a sad ending, Mudge turned her tragedy into the design of the PetSafe® KeepSafe® Break-Away Collar, with hopes to prevent entanglement and strangulation.

dog collar

According to PetSafe, the KeepSafe Break-Away Collar features a patented break-away safety buckle that releases when pressure is applied or it gets caught on something, allowing it to fall off harmlessly and reduce the risk of strangulation or injury to the pet. The KeepSafe collar also has a metal D-ring on each side of the breakaway buckle, which can be used to attach ID tags and can also be clipped together with a leash so pet parents can safely walk their dogs using the collar. (Information provided by


Our dogs, Shadow (who wears a large) and Rowdy (who wears a medium) started wearing the collars last week, just in time for Collar Safety Awareness Week, and as a precaution while headed to the doggy day care while we were away. We felt this was a good opportunity to try out the features because of the car ride (they bounce all over the back seat and often get in each others’ way), the crate time, and the leashes. Greg noticed that they disconnect easily when tugged on (but stay together for normal day-to-day use) – this is exactly what they were designed to do. His only concern with the collars was for dogs who don’t love taking walks and pull against a leash, however, Mudge and her engineering team were smart about this and created the collar with the D-rings for safety while walking.

You can find out more about the collar via this YouTube video or the infographic, below. My hope is that this information will help spread the word to fellow pet owners, especially those of you like us with two or more dogs who love to jump and play.

source: PetSafe
source: PetSafe

About the PetSafe® brand

PetSafe brand is an industry leader in the development of innovative pet behavioral, containment and lifestyle product solutions. PetSafe brand is owned by Radio Systems® Corporation and headquartered in Knoxville, Tenn. For more information, please visit or connect with us on Facebook and Twitter.

Smooches Dog Treats

Disclaimer: For this post, I was sent product in exchange for a review. All opinions are 100% my own.

On Christmas morning, Shadow and Rowdy were giddy to open their stocking. Inside, they each had a new dog leash and a box of treats. They’d been sniffing up the stocking all night, but I made them be patient as if they were kids. The box of treats was a healthy snack, Smooches.

Smooches Dog Treats
Chicken & Cranberry Smooches

From The Honest KitchenSmooches are a treat that I feel good about giving my dogs. At 2.3 calories each, the treats are filled with ingredients that are good for them – barley flour, chicken, molasses, egg – and things we humans technically could eat. So that means I’m not filling my pups with things I can’t pronounce or consume myself. Yum (for them)!

The treats we got to try out were the Smooches Chicken and Cranberry Recipe – perfect for a holiday “dinner” dessert. All of the treats in this line are not only 100% natural, but they are also handmade. How gorgeous are these ‘lil hearts?

Smooches Dog Treats

Rowdy and Shadow didn’t so much care about the fact they were cute. Arianna could barely keep them in her hand before “Poof!”, they were gone. The dogs give these treats two paws up!

Smooches Dog Treats


Since I obviously am not going to try the treats myself,  I have to take the fact that they kept sniffing the box out and begging for more as a good sign. As their owner, I love that they:

  • Are 100% natural
  • Don’t leave an “oil” or smell on your hands at handling
  • Are made with love (each treat is handmade)
  • Can be shipped to my house

The treats are $7.83 for an 8 ounce box and $12.73 for a 16 ounce box over at There are other flavors in line such as duck & cherry, buffalo & blueberry, and catfish. Smooches to you and your pup!

Did your pups get anything exciting for the holidays? 

Marked Moments

Disclosure: I was asked to write a review in exchange for the product(s) below. All opinions are 100% my own.

It is not often that a package comes my way and I am all “I have to get on the blog and write about this right now“, but it definitely happened last night. When Travis from Marked Moments, an Etsy shop, asked me if he could help me make my tree look even more awesome, I took him up on the dare.

He was right.

So right.

If you don’t know, our dogs are a huge part of our lives. They have their own beds and stocking (okay, they share for now). We really feel like we have four kids with our two friendly beasts. What Travis and Ela of Marked Moments did was recognize that and offered to send me ‘Rowdy’ and ‘Shadow’ personalized ornaments like these. They realized how important our furbabies are to us, and wanted to help us include them in the Christmas memories.

First of all, the presentation of the delivery is superb. Turnaround time is fast. They are in Texas, I am in Pennsylvania and in less than four days, I told Travis “go” and have the ornaments on my tree. Even better, the box inside the padded envelope is gorgeous and just might come in handy as I gift others this holiday.

Okay, enough. I know you want to see what I am so excited about – the dog bone ornaments that Marked Moments personalized for Rowdy and Shadow!


I know to some people these may just be wooden ornaments etched in dog names. But to me, these are a part of our lives. 95% of our tree is personalized ornaments in some fashion. We had nothing for our furbabies, so now we do!

The detail on the ornaments is incredible. I really love the edge work which you might see better as they hang on the tree:



Travis and Ela, you made me one happy mom. Arianna was so excited to hang these birch wood ornaments and have our pups included. Thank you for helping us celebrate the season!

If you’re wondering about our whole tree look, just be patient. There’s a post on just that. 


You have until Monday, December 16 to place an order on Marked Moments for Christmas delivery: And they don’t do just dog bones. Think last names, baby’s first Christmas, gift tags, cupcake toppers, and bride/groom hangers (making me want to redo our wedding reception, so adorable). Go, look. The prices are reasonable (my ornaments will run you $12 each plus shipping – but there’s a code out there for free shipping on orders over $50, sorry for any confusion) and the quality is definitely a perk on these keepsakes.

Join me in liking them on Facebook, too!

Connecting with Animals

Disclaimer: This post contains information on a book and cd that I was sent to review. All opinions are 100% my own.

Sometimes I wish I could get inside my dogs’ brains and figure out what in the world they are thinking. There are the obvious signs of what’s what, like the slight head butt to the couch signalling “get me outside now” and the nose to knee rub to welcome me home. But, I have to admit, I think they both understand more about the family and me than we’ll ever realize.

Recently I was sent a copy of Joan Ranquet‘s Communication with All Life book. Within, Joan (an internationally renowned animal communicator) writes about how we are actually exchanging with our animals on a daily basis. They help us get through “the things” (such as death, sickness, and bad days) and share in our joys, too.


At first, I was a bit skeptical about even opening the book (after I agreed to the review). I don’t want to come off as “the crazy dog lady”, but decided to give this a chance. And what happened was that I used the contents to let the book tell me where to go versus starting from the beginning.

I landed on page 122, a page in the chapter about setting the tone. Ranquet talks about belief on these pages – how do we “set the tone” when we’re given an expiration date or decide to adopt a rescue. I held back tears as I thought about what would have happened if we just believed the doctors when they said Wendy only had months to live and we got almost two more years (and a full remission included) with her. Those months would have been dreadful and misterable, instead, we lived, laughed, and loved out loud. It’s the same with a dog. When we took Shadow in, several people expressed concern about her shy behavior (and the fact that she’s likely part pit bull) with our kids. Almost two years later, this beautiful dog is loyal, loving, and probably more attached to our kids than we are (no lie – she paced the house looking for them when they were on vacation). If we believe what we are told from the get go and set the tone that the worst is going to happen, it might. Instead, if we set the tone to be positive, we just might get more love than we expected.

Call me a crazy dog lady, it’s okay. I really do think that my dogs and I (Greg, and the kids too) have connected, and that we communicate. We don’t necessarily need to read Joan Ranquet’s book to understand that, but it’s worth being reminded of it from time to time.


If you’re interested in learning more about Communication with All Life and the companion meditation CD, visit this page for more information.

Orijen Freeze-Dried Dog Food

Disclaimer:  This post is a review of Orijen Freeze-Dried Dog Food. I was sent a sample in exchange for a review. All opinions, as always, are 100% my own.

Rowdy just got himself in some trouble. Let’s be honest, he’s more pot-bellied pig than dog (and I say that lovingly, I myself am a recovering food addict). This time around, he was more than happy to help me out with a blog review of Orijen Freeze-Dried Dog Food. So happy, in fact, that he decided to eat his own and then scarf down some of Shadow’s before she got inside. Clearly, he would promote this food any day.

Orijen Freeze-Dried Dog Food Medallions
Shadow’s Medallions before water

As for me, I have to tell you, I was a bit grossed out by the food. It comes in freeze-dried medallions and involves work on the pet owner’s part. Work = pouring 1/4 cup of warm water over each medallion and letting it sit for 3-5 minutes…or stirring to make the process go faster. Since Rowdy was quite impatient, I found myself needing to stir the “mixture” so he could eat sooner. Yuck! (Let’s be honest, dog food doesn’t smell great at all, so just imagine having to stir it and have it there under your nose for a few minutes.)

Orijen Freeze-Dried Dog Food
Rowdy’s food in progress

Regardless of how I felt about the extra work and smell, Rowdy and Shadow seemed happy with the food. They each can eat several medallions a day (Rowdy gets 7 and Shadow 8 based on calories and weight)–the only problem with this is that there are 12 medallions in the 6 oz. bag, so if they became addicted to the food, it could be costly for our budget. (A 6 oz. bag costs $12.99 on, and a larger 16 oz. bag is $31.99.)

Orijen Adult Dog Freeze-Dried Food

Our dogs got to try out the “Adult Dog” version, there is also a “Tundra” and “Regional Red” version of the food. Each variety is specially formulated, balanced meals made with fresh ingredients. The freeze-drying process locks in the flavor and the freshness. (I can attest that the food is fresh and flavorful just based on the smell as I mixed it up!) Even better, the food leaves out fillers and preservatives, leaving dogs with only the “good stuff” they would get in the wild.

If you’d like to learn more about any of the varieties or pick up some of your own to try, head over to to learn more.

For the Dogs: Halo Healthsome #sponsored

My biggest complaint about having two dogs is the amount of hair they shed. Both of our “pups” have long hair, nor do they really shed for a summer or winter coat; however, hair is just always everywhere. That’s why I was very interested in seeing how Halo Healthsome might help with this issue.

Disclaimer: As part of my partnership in’s Blogger Outreach Network, I was provided a sample of Halo Healthsome for my dogs in exchange for a review. All opinions, however, are 100% my own (since I can’t ask the dogs).

If you haven’t already bounced from the site to see what Halo Healthsome is, now you’ll know. This treat line is aimed at helping pet owners address specific health concerns for their dogs (and there is a cat line, too). In my case, I wanted to see how the Skin & Coat version could help us. According to, this dog treat, made with Halo’s Dream Coat, contains botanical oils and fatty acids to aid in skin and coat health. (Other flavors are aimed at needs like vegetarian, high protein, and fiber.)


The ingredients list intrigued me–there is nothing in the list that I didn’t know what it was or how to pronounce! (Pea Flour, Potato Flour, Salmon, Tapioca Flour, Pumpkin, Salmon Oil, Tomatoes, Cranberries, Soybean Oil, Apples, Sweet Potatoes, Wheat Germ Oil, Safflower Oil, Sunflower Oil, Garlic Oil, Cod Liver Oil, Anise, Ascorbic Acid (a Source of Vitamin C).) When I read lists like this for food I consume, I get super excited for the health benefits, so to be able to pass this good stuff off to my dogs is a good feeling.

Time to admit, I do not really like to eat fish due to the smell, but I knew that acids and oils in fish products are good for human skin and hair, so I figured giving these treats to the dogs would be good, too. The first treats were given to the dogs by Greg (just in case there was a smell); however, I don’t mind touching and smelling the treats as the “fishy smell” I expected isn’t there. (The Skin & Coat treats are Wild Salmon flavored.)

If the dogs could talk, I think they’d say the liked the treats. They looked easy to chew then swallow (at least by Shadow–Rowdy tends to inhale his food, regardless of size or taste). The treats didn’t break all over the floor (even though some were broken in the bag). While they haven’t ate enough treats to show a difference in their coat and skin, I’m taking Chewy’s word for it.

We’ll probably continue to rotate Halo Healthsome Skin & Coat in the dog’s treat options, especially when they are on sale (you can get a 6 ounce bag for $5.99 normally; however, there is a special for $3.49 right now). You can get your own through and have them delivered right to your house, one more reason to give these a try!

Stay at Home Family: The Pets

I really don’t know how traditional families with dogs do it. The past two days, I’ve felt so guilty leaving our dogs home alone while off to work I went. Coming home to them was a treat, they jumped and ran much more than I’ve ever seen them do.

Here’s the thing.  I don’t do pets. Don’t get me wrong, I like animals enough to have had a pet pretty much as long as I’ve lived (ah, fodder for another post!). As an adult, however, I get why my mom and dad really thought the pet thing through. Traveling is a pain, tack on a good $300 when you do because the kennels are not cheap (any good dog sitters out there?!?). Working full-time means leaving them home alone to get into trouble (like eating plastic toys…). It’s not easy.

And beyond the stress of leaving the dogs, there’s the whole they need fed and let out. I get it, it’s just so much easier to remember to do those things with a kid than a dog.

Lucky me, I have a great husband who loves animals and is quite attentive to them when he’s home. Being a stay at home dad, he has plenty of opportunity to love on them and be at their beck and call. I just can’t do it, and am so glad he can.

No wonder they’ve been circling at night looking for him!

Satisfying Appetite for Picky Eaters: A Doggy Post!

I still haven’t put my finger on whether our (newer) dog, Shadow, is embarrassed to eat in public or if she’s just a picky eater. She’ll sometimes munch on a few bites of her food and then leave the room. Usually during this time, Rowdy decides he’s going to sneak in and take her serving.

The good thing is that she’s not losing weight, so it can’t be that she’s all that picky.

It’s been pretty easy figuring out what Rowdy likes to eat–the answer to that is EVERYTHING. There’s really no best brand of dog food for him, but switching it up could also be a disaster. You know, just like kids have allergies, I think dogs can have sensitivities, too, right?

But, wouldn’t it be great if dogs, like children, could tell you whether they preferred chicken or beef? If they could tell you what the best brand of dog food might be would they? Do they want hearty meals at breakfast versus dinner? If only it were that easy.

Since I have one dog who loves to eat anything in sight and another who likes her privacy when eating, I probably don’t have overly picky eaters. Yet, I did have one who I had to search for the best brand of dog food for her and she still would pick through certain pieces to find exactly what she wanted. Treats worked well with this pup!

Do you have dogs that are picky eaters? If so, what are you doing to find the best brand of dog food for them?

Everyone? Meet Shadow!

This is our new “dog”ther, Shadow. She’s a bit shy, so you have to pardon the snaps we’ve been able to take of her. Shadow comes to us from one of my work friends who found her as a stray last year. She is about a year and a half old and part boxer (we’re not sure exactly what her other half is).

Shadow came to us at a good time–Rowdy’s been a bit lonely, and now the two of them wear each other out to the point they spend the nights snoring away. Her sweetness combined with her love of Mama have won us over, and we’re glad to make her part of our family.

Have Pets? Get Mr. Chewy! #Giveaway

Our dog, Rowdy, is not just a pet, he’s a family member. Keeping him healthy requires attention and care…and sometimes some money. That’s where our savings mind kicks in. Thanks to Mr. Chewy, Rowdy’s medicine for the next three months was bought on super savings.

When I started browsing the Mr. Chewy site, my mind first went to buying some food, but when I stumbled upon the Frontline treatments, I knew exactly what I wanted to pick up. We were out of flea medicine, and the savings were too good to pass up.

The site’s categories, brand listings, and suggestions based on “cat” or “dog” really helped steer my shopping. Should I have had questions, there even was a live chat that could be used. And can I mention unique? When I go back to my account on Mr. Chewy, I am greeted with a “Woof” instead of the standard “Login” or “Welcome” of other sites. Love it!

I placed an order for 3 months of Frontline and picked up a few treats for Rowdy (and some for your pet), then went to check out. Check out was straightforward. I was stunned when I selected my shipping options and realized 1) I had spent enough to get free shipping and 2) it would be at my house the day after next. You see, I placed my order late on a Monday evening, so I never imagined I would get the box in two days. Sure enough, it was waiting for me when I got home Wednesday!

One other thing I love about Mr. Chewy is that they have a sweet referral program that give back. If you place an order at and use my referral code BECK4218 at checkout, not only will you get 10% off your first order, but Mr. Chewy will donate $10 to an animal loving charity of my choice! (I chose the Best Friends Animal Society).

I’d love for you to consider using Mr. Chewy for your next pet supply order. To entice you, I am also hosting a giveaway of a few extra treats I picked up plus a $25 worth of pet food coupons from Mr. Burgher’s stash.

So, here are the details on the giveaway and how you can enter:
* Giveaway runs from 1/24/12 to 1/31/12; winner will be selected using based on entries before 12:00 AM 2/1/12
* If you win, you will be e-mailed and have 48 hours to respond with your mailing address so I can send your goodies out.
* Mandatory Entry: Leave a comment on this post giving me your pet’s name and favorite treat.
* Optional Entry: Follow Mr. Chewy on Twitter and leave your Twitter name below. (only 1 entry)
* Optional Entry: Like Mr. Chewy on Facebook and leave your Facebook name below. (only 1 entry)
* Optional Daily Entry: Tweet about this review and leave the link in the comments below. (1 per day)
* Optional Daily Entry: Share this review on Facebook and leave the link in the comments below. (1 per day)

Like the site says, they have the brands we love, are cheaper than going to the store, and ship for free right to your house (if you order over $49). What’s not to love?!?! Good luck!

(I was given a code to order products from Mr. Chewy, but these opinions are all my own. Thanks, Mr. Chewy!)