Sunday, February 28, 2016

Chewy Review: Merrick's Big Brush Bones

Hello good pups and peeps of Blogville! Macy Blue here with another Chewy Review for our favorite mail order foodables company!

OK Momma, what does Chewy want me to try this month?? I sure hope it's tasty!

It looks like I got Merrick Big Brush Bones

Merrick always makes such good stuffs, I bet this is gonna be good... if we ever get the "torture Macy Blue" shot over with... Com'on MOM!

OK! We get it that's what they look like... Gimmemomma!!

Oh nomnomnom nom nom!

Still chewing,,,

Creekhiker here... Maybe while Macy is working on her Merrick Big Brush Bones, I should do my part in this review! 

First, the ingredients straight from Chewy: 
Potato Starch, Vegetable Glycerin, Dried Plain Beet Pulp, Cane Molasses, Chicken Fat, Natural Chicken Flavor, Water, Alfalfa Nutrient Concentrate (source of chlorophyll), Lecithin, Dried Cultured Skim Milk, Parsley.
 All good stuff. And it clearly takes Macy a while to chew these. The only downside is the same one I find with ALL the canine tooth care products: cost! Right now, these are on sale at, making them about $1.10 EACH. But the regular price is $1.90 per... a far cry from the .33 per bone we get at the big box warehouse! 

Let's see if Macy Blue is done:

Gotta hoover for crumbs, Mom!
Yes, the Merrick Big Brush Bones are PAWSOME!

 Well I love them Mom! I give them four paws up!

But Princess Pocketbook says she gives them two thumbs down for cost! Humph! Maybe you puppers without such cheap frugal pawrents can get some??

PS... text me for my address! My barkday is just around the corner!!

Neither Creekhiker nor Macy Blue were compensated for this review. gave Macy Blue one case of  Merrick's Big Brush Bones  to devour...or not.

Saturday, February 13, 2016

Still Beating

I hope no one faints with me posting twice in two days.We have no one to hike with on Saturdays so I've been adding Mr. Bart for extra protection. He's a Senior citizen now but he still disappears at times ... to do "Bart stuff." I went back to the upper river as it's been really hot and Bart and Macy have both been suffering on the mountain trail.

I marveled at the dried mud the waters had overflowed it's banks.

Macy and Bart had both slipped further was too overgrown for me to follow...when I found myself face to face with three huge pitt bulls. At first I thought they belonged to the homeless guy who lives nearby...but his are smaller and bark well before they get near people or strange dogs. Finally their owner showed up. After telling me they were friendly, he noticed my leashes and the foursome took off toward my car. Macy and Bart showed up as soon as the big dogs were gone. Wanting to kill some time, I hiked up my pants and just ran into the river. 

It was just so strange to stand in a spot you know but realize the ground is not where you remember it being. It was obvious I had a much higher vantage point. I went up to where the hill had washed out and check it out:

As I mucked about trying to find my bearings, I noticed Macy had decided to take a trail nap.

Only she was chewing on the leg bone of some critter... ewwwww!

I decided to find that clump of bamboo and work from there. I just kept staring down stream, squatting to try and get my vantage point right. I just couldn't imagine that boulder washing away...

Then suddenly, I realized I was standing on it!

It didn't wash away.. it's just been buried! Here's another shot from up in the air...those are our leashes for size reference.

It's been a weird month since David's funeral...I've called Macy "Mabel" more in the last month than I have in a year and 7 months prior. I'm sure that losing my friend has amplified Mabel's loss for me in some ways.

But I love knowing that our boulder is still there! Maybe it's not mine to linger over any more. Maybe it will be someone else's favorite spot someday when the waters come and reveal it again.

Friday, February 12, 2016

Gone in a Heartbeat

Tonight, I found myself (and Macy Blue) in the upper river bed. This was one of Mabel's favorite spots, especially in the years the creek didn't make it all the way down to our favorite playground. This was a lovely swimmie hole that hugged the base of the mountain before curving Southwest.  This photo by the Rottrover was taken there shortly after Otto joined her pack:

I've written of this spot before... I especially loved the giant car sized boulder that was sometimes in the middle of the stream and often beside it, depending on the flow. I could hang out on it and Mabel would do her thing, check on me and explore some more. Since she passed, I find myself sitting there and it feels like she's just around the bend or having a swim. I know it's silly, but it's like she still there.

Mabel was my scenic lover... she never climbed a mountain that she didn't check out the view. On hikes, she would lie down and look around. It wasn't to rest...she was taking it all in. She would look at me as if to say, "Wow! Look where we are! Isn't it pretty?"

If anything, that dog taught to appreciate the beauty of the world! And being near her favorite swimmie hole, on a boulder I shared many a nap with her just allowed me to feel like my girl is still part of my life.

But...tonight, it was gone.

I haven't been there since our last good rain several weeks ago.  I was shocked when my path there was strewn with dead limbs. The rising waters had knocked dead, water starved shrubs over and they had become entangled in living brush. I had to climb and clamor to stay on my path.

Then Macy dove in the river for a swim...just upstream from Mabel's favorite spot. I noticed the stream got murky and lots of rocks just beyond where Macy was swimming. And suddenly, the stream was jutting South. The path I usually walk was completely underwater. I turned and followed the stream.

The soft sandy banks and deep swimming hole were gone... you can't even tell where the stream was (blue arrow in the photo below) if you don't know what to look for! And that magical car size boulder? Gone.

I stood there in shock. It felt like I was losing Mabel again. I had to do a post mortem on the stream.

I realized the "little hill" ( Red arrow - about 40 feet tall) was not a smaller mountain as I had always assumed but just a cut out. The large gully that comes off the actual mountain had previously  been turning the water to the west. But the water washed away a large chunk of the hill in the last storm, pushing straight through and throwing tons of boulders, sand and mountain debris to the left and right of the opening (hence the blockage where Macy was swimming).

Here's a close up of the hole blown in that hillside:

Our boulder was somewhere in the area where the red arrow below is pointing.

And just like that, our river is totally different.. and my girl's favorite spot, the place I feel so close to her, is gone.

I know she's not there and yet just a few weeks ago, I got the strangest feeling that she is OK.

My hiking buddy had a memorial at the creek. It was NOT one of those funerals that brings you closure. It was jacked up and just WRONG. The hikers were the only ones early. His girlfriend and pup were on time... and the rest of the family was late. We started spreading his ashes after 30 minutes of waiting for the younger daughters (grownass women) to show up...both were waiting on their boyfriends. (Gee, if he can't show up for your father's funeral on time...maybe you should pick better men??? Just sayin...) There was much infighting and just nastiness ... I've been to some doozy of funerals...Southern family dramas but...this took the cake.

Spreading his ashes was fraught with drama and all the fighting had me tense and nervous. I decided to take Macy and hike downstream for a nice long was a beautiful day and the fighting family was headed to their cars in the other direction. As we dropped into the valley where the river starts is slow descent over lots of boulders...making beautiful water music, my calm was returning. I just wanted to remember my friend as he was there in that spot. Happy!

About this time, I became aware of two women hiking with three dogs across the river. I was wary as Macy can get a bit skittish when outnumbered by lots of strange dogs.  I couldn't tell you two of the dogs' names but the third...was a naughty girl they couldn't keep track of... MABEL!

MAY BULLLL!! MaBEL! MABEL MABEL MABEL.... they called her name a hundred times... no exaggeration... the whole time I was hiking they were across from me looking for Mabel. Only when I got to the swimming hole where we would stop and chat as the dogs swam did I get a break from the verbal barrage of Mabels!

And I had to laugh. How many times had I stood there screaming that very name at the top of my lungs? How many times had my friend said to me, "Don't worry, she's OK. She'll find us." ??

Here I was looking for some relief from my grief over losing my friend and I'm reminded of my beloved dog...a dog he loved so much. It felt like my friend was telling me he had found that Rainbow Bridge and my girl was there to greet him. 

It felt like he  was somehow letting me know... "Don't worry about your girl. She's with me!"

I haven't heard or seen those women since...

But today as I was lost in thought of how we, and the places we love, are here and gone in a heartbeat, I had to remind myself, it's the love that remains. 

Monday, February 01, 2016

The Results Are In!

The results from Macy Blue's DNA test are in...and she's pure mutt!

She is 3/8 pittie, 1/4 Labradork, 1/8 GSD, 1/8 Chow, and...1/8 mutt. I can say I'm not surprised by the results and a tiny bit disappointed she doesn't have drop of rott in her. I've spied the shepherd in her when we hike...she will do the classic pose. The night before we got her results, she let out an unusually long yawn...and I noticed way back in her mouth about 1/8th of her tongue is black, a Chow trait. While she is goofy, she was afraid of water and had no interest in balls, typical lab traits. But lately, she dives right in the water, has no concern of her head getting wet. I got out a ball. It took her a few minutes but soon enough, she was catching it! Hmmm.

I do find it interesting that the mutt mix is from the sporting breeds...more lab maybe? And from the sight a greyhound maybe...I can see traits that reminded me of Mabel.

And we'll, pitties...I know nothing about owning one. Macy's personality is only now starting to come out...she's been so human shy. Just this week she's started walking up to me and demanding affection. Hmmm, maybe she's been taking Rottweiler lessons on the sly?

As for our contest, the winner is Haley and Zaphod. They guessed the closest with rottie shepherd lab!