Friday, August 11, 2017

Back to School Treats #ChewyInfluencer

Hi there, Petey here. Wednesday I told you that I was going to school. Well, every good dog who goes to school knows that means one thing:  TREATS!!  And where does Mom get my treats? Can you guess? I spelled it out for you on Mom's refrigerator.


Mom and I and Ernest are Chewy Influencers. Chewy sent us this awesome bag of Natural Balance mini rewards treats. Whenever I do something good, Mom gives me one. They're mini size, so I don't have to worry about my figure--less than 5 calories each.



They're made with high quality proteins. The first ingredient is duck, and they also contain sweet potatoes. Other flavors available are chicken and lamb. Can I just say that learning is delicious?!

Check out these and other yummy treats on Chewy.

What flavor treats do you like when you are learning new things? Hot dogs? Cheese? Bacon?

Full Disclosure: Chewy sent us one 4oz bag mini rewards in exchange for our honest review. Opinions expressed here are 100% my own.

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Petey's First Day of School

The first day of school is here for Petey. He's ready to start his training to eventually become a therapy dog.


Here he is  at 12 weeks old and ready to learn. He's enrolled in puppy kindergarten with trainer Teri. I like Teri because she emphasizes a positive learning environment. No pushing and tugging and jerking. She has lots of lessons for little puppies. Here Pete's learning "sit."




There is even recess! The pups get to zoom around and play together. If one gets to be a bit bossy or possessive with a toy, Teri intervenes, scoops the puppy up and gently holds him for a little time out. This way Petey will learn about positive interactions with other dogs. Here he's playing with Luna. And yes, Petey got a time out too.


We had a fun obstacle course too. Pete went through a tunnel and hula hoop.



Pete loves school! I hope he graduates!
 What tips do you have for Pete as he goes through puppy kindergarten?


Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Personalized Books About YOUR Pet

I love books about dogs--partly because I write books about dogs and the human-animal bond. But I also love reading books about dogs, and I read a lot of them. In addition, I love reading books about dogs to my granddaughters. And personalized books about my own dogs? What's not to love?!

 Look! Here are some adorable books about Ernest and Petey.

I See Me! Books released a series of illustrated, personalized rhyming storybooks narrated from YOUR dog's perspective. If My Dog Could Talk. They offered me a chance to review the books, and sent me one for Petey, Ernest, and even one as a memorial for our spaniel Kelly.

My name, other family members' names and my dog's names were incorporated into the artwork. We enjoyed seeing Petey's name on his dog bed, Ernest's name on a dog bowl, and my name on a picture on the wall. The cute little rhyme expressed our dogs' devotion to their family and the book ended with a loving message.


The books are bright and fun, well-made, with great attention to detail and personalization in multiple places, not just once or twice. 

You simply submit information such as your dog's name, and choose from 12 dog "styles" and several color options that make it easy to select a dog that looks like yours--big dogs, little furry dogs, poodley dogs, long-eared dogs, terriers, dachshunds, shepherds, hounds, etc. You can also send photographs of your dog which are printed in the front and back of the book.


You can also get the book with a gift set which includes these adorable bandanas and a dog food place mat. The bandana is happily a nice quality with the name embroidered on, not a flimsy iron-on.


I See Me! If My Dog Could Talk would be an adorable gift for a child with a new dog, to celebrate your own dog's adoption, to memorialize the loss of a pet, for a veterinarian or pet sitter, or just for yourself to enjoy. Read it to someone you love...or maybe even a dog you love!

Check out the dog illustrations on this page. Which dog looks closest to your dog? Which color would you choose?



Your purchase will help an animal organization. This month, I See Me! will donate proceeds to Minnesota's Secondhand Hounds. If you order this month, use the code HOUND and you'll get 10% off your purchase, good through the month of August.

I See Me! also makes books for children to celebrate birthdays, baptisms, and other occasions, and other personalized products such as puzzles, lunchboxes and stickers.

FULL DISCLOSURE: I was sent 2 gift sets and one additional book in exchange for my honest review. This in no way influenced my opinion. Opinions expressed on this blog are 100% my own.

Friday, July 28, 2017

The Tale of Socializing Petey

One of the most important things we can do with a new puppy, I learned, is to socialize him. And I nearly broke into a cold sweat when I read that the age a pup needs to be socialized is from about 3 weeks until 16 weeks, and after that the window is shut, permanently. Oh my gosh!  What if I blow it. Am I doing enough? Am I doing it right?

I'm cute, right? Why do I need anything else?
If we expose our puppies during this time to a wide variety of sights, sounds, smells, people and other dogs, we can help them learn not to be fearful or anxious when faced with something new.
Well-socialized dogs are less likely to react with fear or aggression. I must admit I think often about what Petey's temperament will be like when he's older. Sure, he's adorable now, and funny and sweet and playful. But what about when he is a puppy adolescent? And adult? I feel a huge responsibility to do everything I can to help ensure Petey is a friendly and happy and well behaved dog, and one who gets along with Ernest too. We've been adopting senior dogs, who come to us pretty much as they are (and as a side note, I've been amazed that after all they've gone through, they're almost always well behaved and loving,). A puppy is different. We play a significant role in his developmental process. Oh Petey, the pressure!

So we've enrolled him in puppy manners class, a kind of puppy Kindergarten. (More about that in future posts.) There are also puppy playgroups where the pups can learn to interact in a safe, supervised environment. And then there's the socializing. We walk Ernest and Petey in our urban neighborhood a couple times a day. Because of this, Petey is exposed to cats, squirrels, dogs, people, children, buses, birds, cars whizzing by, sirens, fallen crab apples, puddles, sewer grates, trash cans, motorcycles, blowing leaves, garbage trucks and more. With Ernest's gentle lead, Petey trots along confidently.

Side by side. Ernest is a good calming presence.
We also take him out almost every day. To Great-grandma's. To friend's houses. To parks. And sometimes he gets to help me do the shopping. Wheeling him around in a cart at the pet food store, we attract many other shoppers who squeal at his puppiness and can't resist patting him. I welcome their attention, because they're helping me socialize him. Petey enjoys the outing because I usually can't resist letting him pick out a toy.

I like shopping with Mom.

Socialize-schmocialize. Let me at these toys!
Pretty soon Petey will be entering the next stage of puppyhood.
We'll get through it together.

Friday, July 21, 2017

Great photos with your dog? Try the Pooch Selfie.

Have you ever wanted to take better pictures with your dog? But your dog gets distracted and is looking everywhere but the camera? Have you ever thought you could get a good picture, if only you could stick your dog's favorite toy on top of the phone? Well, that's the theory behind the Pooch Selfie!

Smile!
 Chewy.com sent us a Pooch Selfie smartphone attachment so we could try for ourselves. Basically, it's a clip that snaps onto your smartphone or phone case, and easily holds a tennis ball. (retail $12.99).

You can insert your own tennis ball if this one gets demolished!


I don't know what they did to this tennis ball, but Ernest went crazy! All he wanted to do was to EAT TENNIS BALL NOW! He is generally a mellow dog, so his excitement surprised me.

Tastes good to me, Mom.

You wanted a picture of my canines, didn't you?


Petey didn't even seem to notice the ball at first, but when he did, he took a nibble. With his miniscule puppy attention span, nothing keeps his interest for more than a split second. He can't stay still either, so a posed picture is still hit or miss.

I'm teething, you can't blame me.

Here are our selfies we managed to get:

Close up with Ernest.

Close up with Petey. Very close up!

Petey noticed the tennis ball.

I love you Mom. (Tennis Ball!)
PROS: The product is sturdy and easy to use. Dogs in my experience were excited by the presence of the tennis ball.
CONS: If your dog loves tennis balls, he might become too excited and do anything BUT sit still and pose for a picture.

CONCLUSION: Pooch Selfie is a great idea for any dog who would be interested enough to look at the tennis ball, but not so excited by it that he has to play with it. The dogs definitely did look at it. With training, I think they would learn to stay calm. It's definitely worth trying!

P.S. I found it amusing that the package states: "Not liable for damage to phones or actions of dogs while device is being used."

FULL DISCLOSURE: Chewy.com provided us with one Pooch Selfie in exchange for our honest review. This in no way influenced my opinion. Opinions expressed here are 100% my own.

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