Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Wordless Wednesday - Easter Dog Cupcakes: Carrot, Zucchini & Molasses

Nailah hiding behind the Carrot, Zucchini, and
Molasses dog cupcake ingredients.
A little Australian Shepherd nose sniffing her
Easter Carrot & Zucchini pupcake.
Some puppy was desperate to get a bite of these
cute Easter themed dog cupcakes. I was surprised she was
so excited about them seeing that she's never had zucchini.
Sometimes I'm surprised at how patient my little Australian
Shepherd can be... especially when I put funny
Easter bunny ears on her!
Who knew my dog would make such a cute Easter bunny?
She's even got a bobbed tail!

As you can probably tell I love including Nailah in our holiday celebrations. Since Easter involves a lot of chocolate and candy I decided to make her some dog cupcakes. These sweet pupcakes are made with lots of yummy ingredients like carrots, zucchini, and molasses. Check out our video to see how we made them and how much my silly dog enjoyed them.

Also, if you haven't yet make sure to enter our TOTALLY AWESOME GIVEAWAY. There are only a couple of days left and I know y'all want to score those cute bandanna's for your own pups!

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Sepia Saturday - Dog Bandanna Giveaway!

Nailah modeling the four dog bandannas that we are giving away!

Fill out the entry form below so you can win a set of large dog bandanas! If you want to win some small dog one's we'll be giving those away on our YouTube channel so make sure to enter there too!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Friday, April 11, 2014

FitDog Friday - Using a Dog Backpack to Tire out a Crazy Australian Shepherd

Nailah modeling her Outward Hound Excursion Backpack
for dogs.

Niles has a lot of energy. Even though she's turning 9 years old next month she still needs daily workouts. Sometimes I'm too busy to provide her with as intense of a session as I'd like, but on those days I find myself reaching for a great tool: her dog backpack! 

Nailah's Outward Hound Dog Backpack has been with us for about
3 years now. We've gotten a lot of use out of it!

Nailah has had this Outward Hound Excursion Backpack for around 3 years now. I don't use it every day but when I do I make sure she is carrying her weight. Before we hit the pavement I load up both sides, to  balance it out, with small water bottles and other doggy essentials. This provides my silly Aussie with a bit a of resistance and makes her work harder. Using this backpack lets us turn a casual walk into a more challenging workout. 

I usually weigh each side of Nailah's dog backpack down with
water bottles and other doggy essentials like poop bags and
treats. It's a great way of tiring her out with added

Not only is using a backpack good for getting her to work a little harder, I think she also gets a sense of purpose out of it. Niles is a working dog and therefore designed to work. She might not be from a pure working line, but regardless she's got the work ethic of her ancestors. Dogs like that enjoy having a a job to do and putting this backpack on her and making her carry her own weight let's her have one.

Dog backpacks let a dog
feel like they have a job
to do and also helps
tire them out.

I can really see a difference when we come back from a walk where she's been wearing her pack. Nailah is visibly more pooped and satisfied! 

Even though I really love the Outward Hound Excursion Backpack (enough to review and recommend it) I feel like it might be time for an upgrade. There's nothing wrong with her pack but I do want to try something a little more robust. 

Do you guys use doggy backpacks to tire your pups out? Any suggestions on some good brands? 

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Wordless Wednesday - A Pet Food Addiction

Nailah hanging out with the yummy Addiction Pet Food we got to try out.
Nailah hoping Vega the cat doesn't steal any of her 
Meaty Bites Brushtail og treats from Addiction Foods.
My dog kept giving the cats stink eyes in order to keep them away 
from her bag of Viva la Venison dog food.
This was Nailah's first time trying a raw dehydrated dog food: 
Perfect Summer Brushtail. 
Doing thorough dog food reviews isn't east. Nailah was pooped 
from all the taste testing she did for the Addiction pet food products!

If you're interested in seeing how Nailah liked the Addiction Pet Food products make sure to give our video a watch! In it my silly puppy tastes test their Meaty Bites dog treats, Viva la Venison dry food and Perfect Summer Blend raw dehydrated food!

**Addiction Pet Foods kindly sent us these products so we could try them out and give our honest opinion on them. We did not receive any compensation for this review. All the opinions expressed are our own.**

Monday, April 7, 2014

Monday Mischief - Summer Puppy Cut for my Silly Australian Shepherd

Nailah's coat can get insanely long if I don't trim it once a year. 
When spring time rolls around she drops her coat like crazy, l
eaving little blue merle tumbleweeds all over the house.

Spring time comes with a lot of things: flowers, baby animals, allergies, and fur. Lots of fur. Mounds of fur. Tons of fur. Enough fur for me to make another dog. No seriously, it's bad. Nailah has been dropping her coat like crazy these past few weeks and despite all the vacuuming and brushing we're still finding blue merle tumbleweeds. 

I spent an entire afternoon furminating Niles after giving her a long over due bath. The amount of fur I pulled from this dog was obnoxious. After she got free from the hour long torture session I decided it was time to do something neither of us liked. I had to do the only thing that could help me combat this natural mischief: book a session with the groomers. 

I have taken Nailah to only two groomers in her life. One of them was a local mom and pop salon back in Gainesville and the other was PetSmart. The mom and pop store did a pretty good job with her, though her mane did tend to get a roughed up, so I usually went to them. 

My Australian Shepherd's butt looking pretty overgrown. 
Despite all my brushing she was still producing massive amounts of fur 
so I knew it was time to visit the groomers.

The one time I decided to take her to PetSmart was when I couldn't get an appointment for her and I desperately wanted her groomed for her birthday party. After asking the groomer if she was used to working with Australian Shepherds, she told me she was, I left her and went about my daily business. When I picked Nailah back up I was shocked, they butchered her. 

Her fur was jaggedly cut and much shorter than I had wanted it to be. After taking her home and crying about it (seriously, that actually happened) I mustered up the courage to bring her back and ask that they fix it. The groomer was extremely rude about it, saying it was Nailah's fault for being so fidgety. Even after the "fix" her coat looked terrible but since it wasn't as bad as the first time I decided to just cut my losses and go. 

That little episode left me extremely wary of new groomers and I never again booked with a different salon... but then we moved. 

I got Nailah a very short summer cut last year right before we left Gainesville. Since I only get her trimmed once a year I figured that'd hold us until I could visit them again. I had planned on going up there this month to visit my friends but as luck would have it those plans fell through. After seeing how badly Niles was shedding and how hot it had already gotten I knew I couldn't delay the trim any more. It was time for a new groomer. 

Nailah likes to play innocent but I know she's all for her coat dropping. I
t's a good excuse to rub herself all over the furniture!

After doing a lot of research I found a promising salon here in Miami. After a bit of debating I gave them a ring and pleaded my case to the groomer. I told her of our past experience where someone claimed they could give Niles a puppy cut yet they totally butchered her. I told the lady that if they weren't experienced with working with Australian Shepherd's that I would like them to be honest and tell me so. Even after all this the groomer promised they had some Aussie clients and were used to working with the breed. With some hesitation I booked her appointment and started preparing for the worst.

When it was finally time to get Nailah groomed I was a bit nervous. What if they had lied about knowing how to groom Aussies? What if they were mean to her? What if they cut her? What if they sold her on the black market? Yes... I'm a slightly paranoid dog mom. 

Despite all my fears I did turn her over to the seemingly nice lady and after showing her pictures of what I wanted and again telling her about the previous incident, left my little Aussie in her hands. 

The next 2 hours went by miserably slow. I went to a local PetSmart to keep myself occupied while I waited and tried not to think about all the terrible things I might be greeted with when I went to pick her up. 

My freshly groomed Australian Shepherd. The new grooming salon did a 
pretty good job on her and the puppy cut looks mighty adorable.

When the time finally came to get Niles I braced myself. As soon as the groomer brought her out I had mixed feelings. She looked good... right? I gave her a very through look over as the groomer patiently waited for my comments. Over all I was impressed. They did a great job on her body and her rear was nicely trimmed. Her mane, however, was a bit uneven. After telling the groomer my observations she immediately brought out the lady that had worked on Niles. I explained to her where the issues lie and she happily brought us both back to fix the problem.

Over all I was happy with the new groomer. 
She left her coat even and the length is pretty good too.

After she straightened things out Nailah looked much better, though I still wasn't happy with the length. I told the groomer that next time it'd be best if they didn't touch her mane much and just focused on the body. She happily jotted down my request and after paying we were off.

Nailah letting us get a butt shot. 
Australian Shepherd booty's are the cutest.

I don't know if I'm too demanding when it comes to Nailah's appearance but in the end I was pretty happy with the results. What do you guys think? Was I too harsh on the groomers? Do you get the same when your dogs get groomed? Please tell me I'm not the only nutso dog mom out there! 

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Black & White Sunday - Time for some Spring Training!

Nailah at the Bark in the Park event held last year at the Miami Marlins stadium.

Spring (though it feels like summer down here) has arrived! My allergies are going haywire, Niles is dropping her coat like crazy and it's time for some spring training! Though we aren't baseball players we do love watching the sport. I took Nailah to the Miami Marlins Bark at the Park event last year and she was obsessed with watching the players and ball. You can see her reaction to the game in the following video:

Even though we won't be hitting homers out of the park that doesn't mean we won't be doing any training ourselves. Nailah and I are currently training for our first Obedience Trial in late May. I have to admit, I've been slacking a bit on getting her ready for the trial. But now that I realize that we only have a few weeks to get ready I'm kicking it into high gear. I know dog obedience isn't exactly a physical sport but it is a mental one. It exercises Nailah's mind and that is extremely important for herding dogs. 

Even though we are focused on obedience right now I've been considering starting her back up in agility sometime this summer. I was waiting for her muscle injury to heal up and at this point I think she's more than good to go. Hopefully we can finally get our last qualifying run and get our first agility title. 

So, will you guys be doing any spring training? We'd love to know if you are and what you'll be working on so let us know in the comments! 

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Thoughtless Thursday - A Farewell to Ferrets

Nailah and the Ferrets sounds like it'd be a great band name, 
don't ya think?

The time has come for our ferret friends to head back to their home. It's always sad to see your pet sitting charges leave but there's also a sense of relief. Taking care of ferrets is harder than I thought it'd be! 

Even though these critters are smaller than a dog they still require a lot of work. When I told my brother I found it tiring he was surprised. After all, wasn't having to walk, train and groom Nailah more work than cleaning out a cage and supervising these guys for an hour a day? 

Mocha and Wheezy the ferrets getting their 
pre-departure bath while my dog supervises.

I pondered his question and eventually I came to an interesting conclusion: It was technically more work to care for Nailah but at the end I felt less exhausted because it was work I enjoyed.

Ferrets are pretty cute, especially when their funk 
has been washed away by a good bath!

I love training Niles, taking her out to play, and grooming her (ok not really... but I do like the end result!). All of this is a great way of bonding with her and when I see her exhausted happy face I too am happy. 

Nailah loves watching these guys move around. Even though she won't 
normally approach the tub (tub = bath) she stayed and watched 
the ferrets get their bath.

Even though caring for the ferrets was a bonding experience at times, I don't think scooping out their poopy bedding really brought us any closer. 

Playing with them was a lot of fun but I found that for about 95% of the time they were busy exploring on their on and didn't really interact with me. Nailah on the other hand plays with me, bringing me toys so we can tug or having me throw things for her to fetch. 

The ferrets all nice and clean and ready to go home to their mom!

Maybe not all ferrets are the same as Wheezy and Mocha but I did find these guys to be a bit more aloof than I cared for. Even though I've already mentioned that I don't like overly attached dogs in the end I still want my pet to be somewhat dependent on me, with the ferrets I just didn't get that. 

Nailah wasn't too happy about seeing the ferrets leave. 
After all, who else could she herd around the house once they left?

This experience has let me see the appeal of owning one of these small animals but in the end I don't think they'd be the right fit for my lifestyle.