Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Product Review: Evo's Wild Cravings Red Meat Formula

Mabel Lou here.... Hey Mom! I've seen a box from Chewy.com in the foyer and the month is darn near over... Shouldn't we work on my review??? (It's so hard to get good help!)

Chewy.com sent me some treats from Wild Cravings by Evo. It was their Red Meat Formula.

I can see right away why my mom would like this. Check out the rottenweiler on the package:
Never mind my Mom's clear prejudice for a certain black and tan breed....let's get to the taste test!

'scuse me while I do a little vacuuming....

 Oh. My. DOG!!!!!! Those were yummers!

Mom likes when they come in different shapes and she also likes smaller cookies for me now that I'm older. Between her tennis elbow and my old teeth...we are quite a pair with large, hard treats! These were perfect in size and easy for me to chew!

Mom also liked the ingredients, as did I! Beef, lamb meal, potatoes, eggs, sunflower oil, peas, apples, carrots, tomatoes, cottage cheese, pumpkin, dried chicory root, vitamins and minerals. All good stuffs!
Now excuse me while I try to look cute and get some more Wild Cravings!

Mabel Lou Mom here: The Wild Cravings are a bit more expensive than some of the other treats Chewy has sent us... and that's always a consideration for us. But, overall, they are a quality product and a big hit!

Summary: Evo's Wild Cravings Red Met Formula Treats
Taste: Four paws up
Looks: Two thumbs and four paws up
Ingredients: Two thumbs and four paws up
Cost: Eh... other treats we've tried cost less yet have the limited ingredients we love. We would pass on these for that reason alone.

Creekhiker was not compensated in any way for this review. Mabel Lou was given a free bag of dog treats to eat - or not - by Chewy.com

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Sojos Dog Food Product Review

We were asked to review Sojo's Dog food ages ago... before Mabel's recent illness. I must say Mabel simply loves the Sojo's treats that we've reviewed in the past. They are her favorite bedtime snack. And I love the good wholesome ingredients so I figured this would be a easy one.

Between the time we said yes and the product arriving, I started reading about their food. I was impressed by the quality ingredients but I was kinda intimidated. Sojos comes freeze dried and has to be re-hydrated. I was afraid I would mess something up.

We ordered the Turkey complete dog food but Sojos also has grain free and meals where you can add your own meat. As I studied this, I realized it was simple...just add warm water and allow it to sit at least fifteen minutes.  Not  difficult at all!

This what the turkey complete looks like out of the bag:
And here it is after adding the water:

And another minute or so later:

I LOVE the Turkey Complete Meal. It's chock-full of healthy stuff I feel good about giving Mabel:
turkey, sweet potato, whole egg, broccoli, celery, apples, flax meal, pecans, tricalcium phosphate, pumpkin, cranberries, basil, dried alfalfa, ginger root, dried kelp, zinc sulfate, vitamin E acetate, vitamin D3, vitamin A palmitat. 

I knew that all the veggies would be filling but I also know that flax, pumpkin, ginger and sweet potato might be soothing to Mabel's nighttime tummy issues. I've mentioned before the horrible belching she suffers with at night.  With Sojos, the belching has dropped to a few times a month, down from every single night! 

Which brings me to the only downside: the cost. I am a below poverty-level artist who has finally found part-time work which helps but barely supports us. While Sojos is an excellent dog food, I feel it is geared toward wealthy dog owners. I simply cannot afford to feed Mabel this all the time. I would love to, but, it's just not an option. 

While I did find the 8# (makes 24# of food) bag of Sojos Turkey Complete on another website for over $30 less a bag, that still costs 2.66 / pound. Similar limited ingredient brands run around 1.82 / pound but... are there ingredients as good??? I doubt it. 

Sojos before Mabel gets it! Kibble, wet food, meds and Sojos all mixed together.

Which brings me to another positive note. When I first tried this, I was telling a friend about it and she asked a surprising question: Have you ever tasted dog food? Taken aback, I said no... She responded that she wasn't talking about enough to make me sick but a taste.  She went on to say that dog food is absolutely tasteless! No wonder our dogs are always begging for our food... they want to taste something! 

I will admit to licking my current brand when I got home... she was right! It was nothing I would look forward to, certainly not day after day! But here's the thing about Sojos: it smells AWESOME! It smells like hearty bowl of soup with lots of veggies! And... Mabel Lou LOVES IT!
nom nom nom...

All gone... Sojos Good!

Happy Girl, looking for more Sojos!
So... we've come to a compromise. I want both of us to be able to sleep and since Sojos really helps her tummy, I replace half of her evening meal with Sojos. (Her regular kibble and Sojos are the same calorically.) She loves it and yet still loves her old 70 cents a pound kibble. And best of all, her tummy doesn't give her fits most nights! It's a win / win.

Summary: Sojos Turkey Complete Meal
Taste: Four paws up
Looks: Two thumbs and four paws up
Ingredients: Two hands and four paws up (thumbs are NOT enough!)
Cost: Two thumbs down

Creekhiker was not compensated in any way for this review. Mabel Lou was given a free bag of dog food to eat - or not - by Sojos.com

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Much Better Now

I finally got in to see Mabel's vet yesterday... Mabel has gained back the weight she lost since our last visit. That could be the result of the upset tum. And she only wants Mabel to gain 2 - 4 pounds. Additionally, she said that she truly felt if something were bothering Mabel more than old age... it would show up in lack of appetite, decreased interest in walks or friends, pain, etc. And... we have none of that! Whooo Hooo!

That big black lump in the middle of the pic below is Mabel...lost in the tall grasses of Dirty Creek. 

Sunday, April 20, 2014

The Narrowing Path

Just as our hiking trail is being overrun and narrowed by mustard, I feel a narrowing of the path that Mabel and I share. Her age is most certainly slowing her down... and scaring this dog mom.

After bringing the coyote skull from my previous post - brain still inside - to me last week, two days later she had a really strange bout of "technicolor diarrhea" for a day and a half. This is after discovering her weight drop. I was working and not home with her and really scared. Once I finally figured out she really did not want the homemade chicken soup and did want some kibble, she was eating again.
Do you see the baby hawk?
But, the past few days, I started to feel she was looking even thinner. When a friend at the creek noticed, I decided to take her for pancakes at her favorite restaurant. And since we were driving by the vet's, I took her in for a weight check. She's dropped another 2.3 pounds in two weeks... all while eating MORE food.

Yet her appetite is excellent... she ate all but a few bites of the eggs I hate, more than half of my pancakes and most of my bacon. And, I fed her  some kibble and some high calorie supplement as "breakfast #2" yesterday... she ate every drop and supper too. And she still ADORES going to the creek. The walk that used to take us an hour now takes an hour and a half. I let her set the pace. If she wants to stay in one spot and hunt lizards, we do. And when we get to the 2nd swimmie  hole, she often takes the trail back toward the car.

So while I wait over this long weekend to see what the next steps are, I'm just beyond frightened. Unexplained weight loss is never good.... so if you would say a prayer for Mabel Lou, I would be most grateful.
Mabel - meditating on the sunset Saturday night.

Sunday, April 13, 2014


Imagine my shock when my precious girl comes out of the brush with THIS!

Ewwwww.  And trust me,   it smelled worse than it  looked!

Tuesday, April 08, 2014

Do I Really Have to Do This AGAIN?

Mabel Lou here.

I have something most serious to discuss. Once before, I sought out candidates for my Mom's #1 job... Taking care of me! My Mom is falling down on the job AGAIN!
Ruby: Oh jeez, Mabel! Whadshedo??? Forget where to leave your EXACTLY THREE pieces of kibble on which bed? Oh the DRAMA!

Now I admit, if you read the list of my job requirements for a Mom, I DO sound kinda high maintenance but...

Ruby: Kinda??? Pft!

..it's not easy maintaining a titled position such as mine! Not everyone can be the Queen Bitch of Everything. But royalty is my lot in life and I cope with it as best I can.

Bart: Oy Mabel Lou... Your Mom is pawsome! She gives great ear scritches and belly rubs and cuddles! 

I know my present Mom "sounds" good on paper. She does do a lot for me and she's even recently taken a job she probably would never have taken just because it allows her to be home during daylight hours to walk me at the creek. She claims she misses her old film industry 18 hour a day jobs and the beaucoup bucks she made but feels she owes it to me to maintain my creek hiking needs.
Bart: So whadshedo??? Take one of those long hour jobs???

No, not that... she's home at a reasonable hour. And I nap on the sofa with my fans on while she's gone.

Otto: Well I know she still gets you out to the creek...we hiked together just two days ago... 

Ruby: We haven't been going to breakfast... Are you mad about that??? I thought you just had company... Is it lack of BACON??? Now, we might have to have a meeting and straighten your mom out if it's lack of bacon!

No... it's not just bacon... My doc says my mom is not feeding me enough food! I'm underweight!

{Laughter ensues.... and continues}

Stop laughing.......... STOP LAUGHING!! You do not laugh at the QBoE!!!!

Barticus Farticus: (still laughing) Mabel, I know ya Granny was just here... I KNOW she brought ya a ham... My mom even took a picture:
L@@k atcha practically licking ya granny's plate...biscuits and Salmon. The only kind of salmon I get is when I steal a can and bury it... That can's not very tasty. But you! You get cooked salmon AND biscuits and ya say ya Mom isn't feeding you enough??  REALLY??

REALLY! My doc said so... I'm losing weight ever since Mom cut my food back a few years ago when I topped out at 103. Now, I'm down to a paltry 83! My doc wants me to weigh 87 - 89. And it's MOM'S FAULT! SHE HAS TO GO!

Barticus Farticus:  But Mabel! Dats the easiest fix in the world! It's not like our pal Chloe who needs to lose 20 pounds. DOH!

Ruby: You don't need to find a new mom for that! 

Otto: Yeah and who else would do all your mom does for you for a sliver of the of the bed? Even I give my pawrents more room than that!

She's gets kisses too!...sometimes. Being with me should be worth all the work it takes to maintain me!

Bart: But your Mom loves you! You would break her heart if you fired her! 

Ruby: Oh Gawd! I can hear the crying on our walkies now! You CAN'T do this to her Mabel Lou!

Otto: Seriously old girl..


Otto: Mabel, no disrespect but, you would miss your mom! Nobody's gonna love you like she does! And you will never love anyone like you love her... and I KNOW you love her!

Barticus Farticus: Cantcha just have the vet tell her to feed ya more? 

Well I guess I would be better off keeping her... Good help is so hard to train!