Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Chewy Review Whole Earth Farms Hearty Turkey Stew

Hello there good peeps and pups of Blogville! Macy Blue here. Mom's a little miffed at me... Apawrently I was supposed to title my last post Mom's IN Pain, not Mom's a Pain. Oh well! But this is about my Chewy.com Review for Whole Earth Farms Hearty Turkey Stew.

Momma and me had quite a brouhaha over these pictures...she wanted me on my towel by the pool and I wanted to be on her feet by the Turkey Stew! She finally 'splained that I wasn't getting any Turkey Stew makes taking pictures really hard. So I hit my mark like a good supermodel should!

Momma wanted to show you all the rich Turkey Stew while I suffered and waited:

Finally! Incoming....

OK Momma's turn.

Creekhiker here: I really like the ingredients in the Whole Earth Farms Hearty Turkey Stew:

Deboned Turkey, Turkey Broth, Carrots, Chicken Liver, Peas, Dried Egg Product, Sweet Potatoes, Natural Flavor, Dried Potatoes, Blueberries, Calcium Carbonate, Sodium Phosphate, Salt, Potassium Chloride, Vitamins (Vitamin E Supplement, Vitamin B12 Supplement, D-calcium Pantothenate, Vitamin A Supplement, Niacin, Vitamin D3 Supplement, Riboflavin, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Folic Acid, Biotin, Thiamine Mononitrate), Olive Oil, Flaxseed Oil, Minerals (Zinc Amino Acid Complex, Iron Amino Acid Complex, Manganese Amino Acid Complex, Copper Amino Acid Complex, Potassium Iodide, Cobalt Glucoheptonate, Sodium Selenite), Choline Chloride, Cinnamon, Rosemary, Sage, Thyme, Caramel Color, Yucca Schidigera Extract
 As of this writing, Chewy has it priced at 19.98 for 12 which is actually a tad cheaper than our usual brand! I think we'll add it to our list!  Back to Macy Blue:

OMD!!! OMD!!! She said she'd add it to our list!!!! I can't believe it!  Princess Purse-strings is gonna add it to our list! That sounds like two thumbs up! As for me, the tongue says it all!
I give it four paws up!

Neither Creekhiker nor Macy Blue were compensated for this review. Chewy.com gave Macy Blue one case of  Whole Earth Farms Hearty Turkey Stew to devour...or not.

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Mom's A Pain

Hello good people and pups of Blogville! Macy Blue here. Just chillaxing by the pool.

Mom's been a little nuts MIA lately. She's working on some other teaching certificates...not that she wants to teach but she doesn't want to see little whippersnappers hurtified because she some wrong initials after her name. So she's been going to school and studying like a demon.

To make matters worse, that "good shoulder" that she hurt at Granny's?? It's gives her fits of pain. She wakes up crying a lot! Apparently is "just" a muscle tear and will take a long time to heal with physical therapy which she's pretty good about doing! And the bad shoulder that never got the surgery?? It's much better. But Momma says she'll take the torn labrum over the torn muscle any day. The labrum hurt only when she does something stupid. The muscle one hurts all the time!

Which is why we haven't been posting or commenting much. It hurts her shoulder. But she has been reading me your blogs! So I hope someone still pops in here to check on us!

Me?? I don't really like Momma leaving me but, someone's gotta hold down the fort:

It's hard work! And... I keep a close eye on Momma when she swims late at night and does her therapy in the pool:

And I use all my mentals to reminder her it's time to hike:

So if you think of us, just send a wish that momma's shoulder quits hurting her and that she's done with this school mess real soon!

Friday, August 07, 2015

Product Review: CRAPPY Dog Beds Galore!

Let me state right up front: This is NOT  a Chewy review. No, it's a review written out of sheer exasperation and frustration on the part of a dog owner who buys A LOT of dog beds!

WHERE are all the good dog beds?? Seriously, I want to know! If you know, please tell me!

There are about a dozen dog beds in my house. I work in every room. My dog wants to be with me and pardon me if I think she should have somewhere comfortable to hang out!  That being said, I still have the first two dog beds I ever bought some 21 years ago!

I happened on my first great dog bed by accident. I had been looking for a bed for Milly but they were pricey back then - over $130 for the model I had seen most often. Cut to: I'm shopping in the JC Penney Outlet, helping a guy friend decorate his apartment when I see the same bed for $25... I bought it tossed it in the car and after making 6 trips back to the car with my friend's stuff throughout the day, I only noticed why it was so cheap on the final trip! It had a name embroidered one it! "Maggie" ... I thought of returning it...but Milly couldn't read, so I turned the name to the wall. When I got Maggie, I named her after the bed!
Maggie May

I bought a second of the same brand when I found them on sale for $30 at a discount store that same year.  Here's Mabel Lou on the same bed. (Mother cut out Maggie's name and patched the bed when Maggie died.)

 Mabel Lou on the most excellent dog bed

HOW have these beds held up for 20 years? They probably weren't made in China... or maybe they were but the companies that put their name on them had better standards??? I don't know... they were well made. The covers were heavy cotton with a plain side and a warm fuzzy side. I would flip them over as the temps and dogs demanded. The inner liner was a thinner cotton and had a inner zipper; inside that was fiber fill and cedar shavings.

Care and Handling of a Most Excellent Dog Bed: To make them last 20 + years, I remove the outer cover and toss it in the washer. If it is shedding season, I run it through the dryer on no heat to remove some hair BEFORE washing. I dry them in the sun.

That cotton inner liner is just fabulous. The zipper allows easy access so if the filling is stained, I remove some and replace it. I addmore cedar shavings from time to time.  Every time I wash the outer cover, I take the innards outside, spray it with  Pure Cedarwood Oil (Juniperus Virginiana) (Link provided cause it's hard to find the real deal that's not half alcohol these days!) This is a natural deodorizer and flea / tick repellant. I sun the inner bed 1/2 a day, flip it, spray that side down the second side and sun it. Replace the cover at the end of the day.

The result is a clean, fresh dog bed for 20 + years! Never had any kind of insect issue or stain issue... the sun will bleach the inner cover and the pure cedar oil  takes care of the rest. And it's not overly smelly from cedar either!

The Problem with Modern Dog Beds...circa 2015

Again, my snarky opinion has something to do with not finding one made anywhere but China. But after spending several DAYS looking for one, the biggest issue is the inner liner...It's not made of cotton any more... it's made of this ..... I'm struggling to not curse... cacca!

Crappy Dog Bed by Cynthia Rowley

Yes, that's a hole in it where my finger is. I can't tell you what it's made of... diaphanous gauze would be the best description. No one tells you what it's made of cause it's not supposed to come in contact with the dog.

I first came in contact with this crap when I bought Macy a bed.  I like to buy a new dog her very own sleeping bed so that her primary bed smells like her. A month later, I go to wash the cover and the fiber fill and cedar is all over the carpet! That gauze cacca had DRY ROTTED! In only a MONTH! GRRRRR!

I was pressed for time so I just stuffed it back into the outer cover and forgot about it for another month. I've made many attempts at finding a new one... to no avail and then spent a solid weekend driving anywhere I could think off looking at dog beds.

That one up there with the hole in it??? It's a Cynthia Rowley Dog Bed. The outer fabric was some of the best, thickest sueded canvas I've ever seen in a dog bed. I wanted it to be "the one" based on that alone... but I opened the zipper and found... gauze cacca...that already had a HOLE in it. If you have any slight length to your fingernails, it will tear the gauze cacca when picked up the outer bed! GRRR

I kept looking... I found one at PetSmart with a label... "the only one strong enough to be called a Kong." MY TAIL FEATHERS! Inside...you guessed it! Gauze Cacca. Strong enough to be called a Kong??? Yeah, until it dry rots in a month!

So we still have no bed. After every single bed I found had this inner liner, I terrified to buy one online.  I don't want to pay shipping to return the thing!


Here are my gripes:

  • NO gauze caca inner liner! Cotton please! With a zipper or good velcro!
  • Inside should either be poly fill + cedar or memory foam. Nothing else is acceptable.
  • And by the way... Memory foam PIECES is NOT the same as a memory foam bed! My baby's bed is not a way for you to get rid of your manufacturing garbage! SOLID memory foam only!
  • Outside liner should be thick and washable. Natural fabric please! It should be reversible. 
  • NO rubber feet on the bottom! 
Pet owners, we need to start a revolt! Until they start making better beds... please stop buying them! 

Friday, July 31, 2015

Product Review: Evangers Super Premium Beef Dinner Canned Dog Food

Hello Good People and Pups of Blogville! Macy Blue here, back for another Chewy.com review. This month, I got to review Evanger's Super Premium Beef Dinner Canned Dog Food. Before we get started, Momma says we have to dis-clothes. Since I don't have any clothes, I'm not sure why Momma needs to be nekkid for this... but we'll wait Momma.

What's that Momma?? Oh. Apawrently, dis-clothes means I have to tell you something and Momma gets to keep her clothes on. Whew! (That's a close one. I've seen her chunky dunk in the pool and believe me, the birds should be grateful she does it at night!).

OK...the Dis-Clothes part: Evanger's is my and my mom's mostest favorite brand!!! I love it. My angel sisters Mabel Lou and Maggie May loved it too! Momma discovered it ages and ages ago and she was very impressed with their limited ingredients...they were doing that before it was cool. She was also greatly impressed with their prices! All that being said, I (nor any of my angel siblings) have ever tasted the Super Premium Beef Dinner! Probably because it's a few bucks more for a 12 pack than some of the other varieties... So, this is still a totally honest review!

First off, I have to show you another fine example of Momma's photography skills:

Can you believe what I have to put up with???

Now for the taste test. Here it comes!

Closer... (Momma is such a tease with that fork!)


Yummers! I love it!! Just l@@k at that cute pink tongue of happiness!

O.K...Momma's gonna do her part now... and don't fret! She IS wearing clothes! Take it away Momma:

Creekhiker here. Sorry for the scary part about the disclosure but, I felt it only fair to tell you this was our regular brand...but not variety.  Macy is fed a rotating variety of Evanger's canned foods with her kibble. Some of our regular faves are Beef and Bacon, Beef with Chicken, Beef with Chicken and Liver, Chicken and Rice and... Mabel Lou's all time favorite (seriously, she came running when the can was opened!) Duck and Sweet Potato! 

Evangner's doesn't advertise a lot and only recently upgraded the graphics on their cans. I was told by my local pet supply that the advertising and can design was how they kept their prices reasonable.  But between great prices and great ingredients... they are a win win in my book.  

The Super Premium Beef Dinner contains: 
Beef, Water Sufficient for Processing, Liver, Spinach, Kale, Cinnamon, Guar Gum, Minerals (Calcium Carbonate, Zinc Sulfate, Ferrous Sulfate, Zinc Proteinate, Copper Sulfate, Potassium Iodide, Copper Proteinate, Manganese Sulfate, Selenium Yeast, Manganese Proteinate), Vitamins (Vitamin E Supplement, Niacinamide, L-Ascorbyl-2-Polyphosphate, Calcium Pantothenate, Thiamine Mononitrate, Vitamin A Acetate, Folic Acid, Riboflavin, Biotin, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Vitamin D3 Supplement)

As of this writing, a 12 pack case is 20.99 making it 2.29 more per case than the varieties we usually buy...but the same price as the duck we love! So, this will get added to Macy's rotation for sure! 

Oh My Dog! Did you here that?? Miss Crowbar in the Pocketbook is gonna add this to my mix!!!! YAY!!! How pawsome is that??

I'm giving Evanger's Super Premium Beef Dinner Canned Dog Food four paws up and Momma gives it two thumbs up too!!! Com'on Momma lets get over to Chewy.com and add this to our Autoship...you'll save 5% and won't need to struggle so hard with that crowbar!

Friday, July 24, 2015

Macy the Blue

I promised myself that before I put up one more review, I would do the Macy update that... has been in my head for months - and months.  It's so hard to get enthused about this blog... Mabel was so damn colorful and something happened almost every single day. She was an entertainment riot!  Macy...is not. She's barely a dog!

Most of the time I don't even know she's there. She doesn't complain. Unless I'm in the kitchen, she's often not in the same room with me. (Funny, she just slipped into the office...) Her affections are few and far between...making me relish each and every one.

Macy the Badass

Macy got skunked back in March. While the chunk of flesh missing from her nose is obvious in this photo, the other damage is not.

There was a long streak cut across the other side of her nose and under her chin. And the primary smell zone (if you can call it that when you take a direct hit) was on the left side of her neck.  I'm pretty certain this means Miss Blue picked that skunk up! I thought Mabel Lou was badass... but Miss Macy has her beat....

Add in the time I rounded a bend on a mountain trail and found her PLAYING with a giant rattler! Yes, I marched her behind back for round two of rattlesnake training. Badass. Dumbass...I'm still not certain what I'm dealing with here.

Just 'cause I Let You Stand on My Tail...

Macy is constantly described as "stoic." Her vet, the rattlesnake trainers, friends, strangers use this term. Macy does not register emotion the way my previous dogs have. She limps with such a bob and weave that everyone who sees her will ask me what I'm doing hiking her. Yet on the mountain, she races with barely a limp! And she begs to go. It's the only time of day she gets excited. She doesn't get this excited over FOOD!

I knew when I picked Macy that I would have a problem with the height differential between the oh-so-super-model-tall Mabel and less than 1/2 her size Macy. I've nearly gone arse over teacups several times. But twice recently, I thought I was standing on the rubber mats in the shop only to find I was standing on Macy! Her tail once and her paw another time!

Neither time she made no effort to move, cry out or even let me know I was hurting her! Each time, as I realized it, I looked at her to find her staring at me, wide-eyed...but nothing else!

Emotions Are Not Her Forte

 Often when I have Macy out in public, people will tell me she looks sad. While she does have a worried look on her face... and her crooked eyebrows and ginormous jowls add to the perceived sadness, to me she often registers no emotion at all. Except...

The Big Boom Booms!!

The 4th of July was interesting. Terrifying for MB and blissful for me! Last year, Macy had been here barely a month. So instead of going up the hill to hang in the RottRover's front yard with creek buddies, I stayed home and swam and watched the local fireworks from the pool. Macy seemed fine.

I have no recollection of New Year's except I had the Swine Flu... I'm certain I took copious drugs and went to bed.  But this 4th... I went up the mountain to visit friends. I left Macy with the doggy door access but in the house, windows closed, a/c on and televisions in several rooms tuned to an easy listening station.

I returned home to a terrified pup. Shaking, drooling... and oh-so-affectionate!  This is the first year since I've lived in this house that the fireworks didn't start mid June. I heard the first one around 4 pm on the 3rd! But they have continued off and on. And some part of me is grateful!

Not only does she seek me out for comfort, I get cuddles and kisses and she'll nibble and play growl during the quiet times! And...she even slept with me the night of the 4th! ALL NIGHT LONG!  Happy mommy!

Play School

I read an article in Bark magazine about how beneficial play is to the relationship of dog / human (bonding/ sense of fairness / trust / shared joy) . Great. Whaddaydo when the dog doesn't know HOW to play?  Well, I'm a teacher and I'm not about allow lack of understanding in a subject stand in the way.

So, I've been giving Macy play lessons almost daily. I pick up one of her toys and race outside with it. I toss it in the air and catch it and run some more.  I roll in the grass. I pick it up and run in the house and repeat inside. And she's slowly joining me. There are days she clearly wants her toy all to herself. And I give her that. But there are days, she wants to engage me. She picked up her toy, glanced at me out of the corner of her eye and darted outside. I followed. We played.

And...the first few days we played... I got unsolicited cuddles on the sofa! Even better, it seems to carry over to how she interacts with the other dogs in the pack... Look at her chasing Wizard up there! She often got the toy that day!!

The Dog I Need

It's said you don't get the dog you want. You get the one you need. I've avoided most human relationships because I'm certain I'll be unappreciated at best and mistreated at worst. Macy seems to feel the same way about humans and not much better about most dogs. It's been thrilling to watch her choose to interact with dogs hiking or at the dog park. Recently, a stranger offered to pet her and she walked to her and stood there, getting pets and love! I just about cried!

I hear myself telling Macy, "Love doesn't have to hurt! There is someone who sees how wonderful and special you are!" And I hope it's sinking in for both of us!