Traveling Dog Lady

Monday, February 20, 2017

National Dog Biscuit Day is February 23rd!

This post contains affiliate links. This is a sponsored post for Milk-Bone dog biscuits. All opinions are my own, or my dogs'!


With National Dog Biscuit Day coming up this week (February 23rd), I was so happy when Milk-Bone asked me to partner with them and write a post about their new Farmer's Medley dog treat line from Milk-Bone.

Whether it's for training or treating, dog biscuits are part of every day around here.

I am happy to be able to get a little break from having to buy a box of dog biscuits. They sent me three bags of Farmer's Medley to try out!

The first question I asked was "Will my dogs like them?" Well, we like to snack smart around here. I held up all three bags and let them choose which one to open first. They chose the non-grain-free bag (hmmmm.... interesting!). I opened that up, and they were not as excited as they usually are with the traditional Milk-Bone biscuits we've been feeding for many years (to all of my dogs, not just Charlie and Cooper). They gingerly took the beef flavored, whole-grain treats and then chomped them down. Win!

Milk-Bone sent us three sample flavors to try, plus a frisbee and a bandana!

This morning, I opened up the two grain-free bags. The dogs did not like the lamb flavor at all. Charlie took the cookie over to his bed, and played with it a while before finally eating it. Cooper refused to eat it whatsoever. Charlie ate Cooper's lamb-flavored treat.  Then, I opened the turkey and pumpkin flavored bag. They each took the treat much more eagerly, but still not as eagerly as the traditional Milk-Bone biscuit, or other treats we usually have. So, "Will my dogs like them?" Not so much, unfortunately!

My dogs are fussy, so maybe they are just creatures of habit. I'm not putting much stock in their first try. I'll give it a few more tries and will report back here in a few days -- so, keep an eye on the comments section.

The next question: "Does this treat have quality ingredients?" For sure! This is why I wanted to get the Farmer's Medley treats. They contain simple ingredients including real US-sourced beef, chicken, turkey or lamb, and vegies. I feed my dogs grain-free ever since my beloved Hobie developed a grain allergy. I wanted to feel good about feeding these treats to my dog every day, but unfortunately, they don't seem to like them very much. I'll keep trying and will report back with an update. They love the grain-free food I feed them (different brand).

Finally, "Does this treat fit my budget?" It fits mine. Keep in mind that my budget is kind of high as a general rule. I pay for premium dog food, treats, and toys. However, I am a traditionalist and have fed my dogs Milk-Bone treats ever since I can remember. I trust Milk-Bone, a lot. The Farmer's Medley treats have the same high-quality ingredients found in other premium dog treats, and are affordable. If your budget is high, like mine, I don't think you have to worry about breaking the bank by feeding your dog these treats.



The new product is a tad pricey





Our old standby- a much better option price-wise, and the dogs LOVE them!







If you haven't tried Milk-Bone Farmer's Medley treats yet, remember that National Dog Biscuit Day is this Thursday, February 23rd. If you're looking for a new treat to try with your dog, that might be a good day to start.

I'd love to hear your reasons for choosing specific treats for your dog -- tell me about it in the comments below.

To learn more about Milk-Bone Farmer's Medley dog treats (and where you can find them near you,) head over to https://www.milkbone.com/products/farmers-medley-biscuits#travelingdoglady 


This blog post is sponsored by Milk-Bone dog treats. The pack is being compensated with a box of treats and toys. All opinions written here are just that: my opinions. 
This post also contains affiliate links, if you buy something by clicking on a link (you are NOT obligated to, by any means!), we get a tiny bit of Moolah for Mueller off to the side, and it doesn't cost you anything extra. Not only that, it's much appreciated. 


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Sunday, February 12, 2017

My Dogs: The Paw-fect Valentine’s Day Companions!

This post contains affiliate links. This is a sponsored post for Pup-Peroni dog treats. 



I haven't been a fan of Valentine's Day for quite a while. It's not exactly the kind of day that resonates with you when you're widowed!

That being said, my parents met on February 13, 1942 at a Valentine's Day dance. Were it not for them, I wouldn't be sitting here writing this. So, I guess V-Day is ok in my book.

So, all right, I'll write about than my love for my two dogs, Charlie Brown and Cooper on Valentine's Day!

Since my favorite four-legged (and three-legged in our case!) best friends deserve delicious gifts on holidays, and every day, I'm surprising them with Pup-Peroni Original Beef Flavor dog snacks for Valentine's Day.

Our gifts from Pup-Peroni! Two bags of treats, and a chuck-it type ball launcher!
The dog on the packages looks a little like Cooper, and he's going to love the ball launcher.
Both dogs got prime-rib flavor Pup-Peroni treats for dessert on Valentine's Day!
You, too, can join in the fun with your favorite pooch. In the spirit of sharing the love with your pup on Valentine’s Day, here are three special ways to treat Fido:

1.  Valentine’s Day Is All About Indulgence!
Pup-Peroni is the paw-fect mouthwatering meaty treat that your dog will love. And on this indulgent holiday, make sure your dog gets this extra special treat! But delicious snacks shouldn’t just be given on special occasions. Stock up on Pup-Peroni Original Beef Flavor dog snacks for your four-legged friend, and no matter what day it is, your pup will know they come straight from your heart.




2.  Fun-Themed Ideas for Pup-Peroni Treats
With Pup-Peroni, you can create Valentine’s Day-themed treats to help celebrate the holiday. Pup-Peroni sticks can be twisted into hearts and broken into shapes that say “I love you.” Use these yummy treats to create your own doggie conversation hearts and Valentine’s Day messages that perfectly show the bond you share with your pup. They're also a fun treat to have around for a pup's birthday.

traveling dog lady pup-peroni
Mom, I can SIT for a Pup-Peroni!

I can also LIE DOWN, Mom.... for a Pup-Peroni! Please??!

3.  Special Occasions Call for REAL MEAT (for dogs)!
I happen to be a semi-vegetarian, so the beef thing isn't a turn-on for me. But, oh, it is for Cooper and Charlie! On this holiday we humans might treat ourselves to chocolate, but don't give chocolate to your dog... EVER. Instead, give Fido the one snack he craves the most – the superior taste of the real meat in Pup-Peroni Original Beef Flavor dog snacks – He just might say, "YUM!" This is sure to show your dog how much you care about him this Valentine’s Day!

No matter how you celebrate Valentine’s Day, make sure to show your dog how much you love him, too!


Want to see how your dog really wants to celebrate Valentine’s Day? Check out this cute video: 



You can learn more about Pup-Peroni Original Beef Flavor dog snacks here: 
>> http://bit.ly/2ksiV8R-travelingdoglady

Pssst! Newman, did Charlie just say "Pup-Peroni"?! 
This blog post is sponsored by Pup-Peroni dog treats. The pack is being compensated with a box of treats and toys. All opinions written here are just that: my opinions. 
This post also contains affiliate links, if you buy something by clicking on a link (you are NOT obligated to, by any means!), we get a tiny bit of Moolah for Mueller off to the side, and it doesn't cost you anything extra. Not only that, it's much appreciated. 

How are you and your furry friend celebrating Valentine’s Day? 

Tell me in the comments below! 

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Video: My Two Dogs Playing




Check out this video of my dogs, Charlie Brown and Cooper, playing under a blanket!

They're nuts, and so much fun!!


Advertisement:    Save $10 off $30 at PetSmart.com! 1/27 - 1/29 Only.

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

New Educational Website Guides You to be the Best Cat Caregiver

 New Educational Website Guides You to be the Best Cat Caregiver
Powered by Feline Veterinarians, Website Serves up Credible Information & Unites Cat Lovers 
 
HILLSBOROUGH, NJ (January 11, 2017) – Your cat is a valuable member of your family and of course you want help him live a long, happy, and healthy life.  The American Association of Feline Practitioners (AAFP), an organization of feline veterinarians whose mission to improve the health and welfare of cats, has launched “The Cat Community:” www.catfriendly.com .  Powered by feline veterinarians, catfriendly.com provides cat caregivers with reliable and valuable educational information. Cat caregivers will be able to learn about their cat’s natural, but sometimes mysterious behaviors; the importance of routine veterinary care; feline diseases; tips on how to be a great cat friendly caregiver, and answer many of their most pressing questions, such as why does my cat scratch?
 
“Better education for cat caregivers means better care for cats,” said Dr. Lauren Demos, BVMS, HonsBSc, and President of the AAFP.  “Catfriendly.com supplies cat caregivers with credible content on feline health so that if they do turn to an online search, they know this information is reliable. However, no amount of online education can replace the relationship you and your cat have with your veterinarian.”   
 
The website includes critical information in the following areas of focus:
 
  • Cat Care at Home
  • Keep Your Cat Healthy
  • Diseases
  • Why Does My Cat….?
  • Be a Cat Friendly Caregiver
  • The Toy Box (offers the opportunity to share photos, take quizzes, and other fun stuff!)
The site also features a “Find a Veterinarian or Practice” search database so cat caregivers can locate an AAFP member veterinarian or Cat Friendly Practice® in their area.  The importance of fostering a close relationship with a veterinarian is highlighted throughout the site and caregivers are encouraged to contact their veterinarian for both sick visits and vital routine preventive care check-ups. You care, we care, cat care. Join the Cat Community and visit: www.catfriendly.com
 
# # #
 
About the American Association of Feline Practitioners 
The American Association of Feline Practitioners (AAFP) improves the health and welfare of cats by supporting high standards of practice, continuing education, and scientific investigation. The AAFP has a long-standing reputation and track record in the veterinary community for facilitating high standards of practice and publishes guidelines for practice excellence which are available to veterinarians at the AAFP website. Over the years, the AAFP has encouraged veterinarians to continuously re-evaluate preconceived notions of practice strategies in an effort to advance the quality of feline medicine practiced. Launched in 2012, the Cat Friendly Practice® (CFP) program was created to improve the treatment, handling, and overall healthcare provided to cats. Its purpose is to equip veterinary practices with the tools, resources, and information to elevate the standard of care provided to cats. Find more information at www.catvets.com.
 
About The Cat Community: Catfriendly.com 
Powered by feline veterinarians, catfriendly.com provides caregivers with credible, valuable, and reliable educational information. Caregivers come away from the site learning more about their cat’s innate behaviors, the importance of routine veterinary care, how to take great care of their cat, and be able to answer many of their most pressing questions. The website was created by the American Association of Feline Practitioners (AAFP) with the goal of creating an online community of cat caregivers who want to provide the very best care for their cat. For more information, visit: www.catfriendly.com.

Thursday, January 12, 2017

DaVinci Has been Saved!! -- Updated Post Help Us Save This Dog - This Is A Serious Post

THANK YOU EVERYONE WHO HELPED AND PRAYED AND NETWORKED! DaVinci has been saved!

From Sweetpea's Facebook page: 
Hi everyone! It is me "D"! Thank you for all the positive energy! I am going to go to live with a trainer backed by an established 501(c)3. I will let you know when I leave! It will be soon! My volunteers who love me! I will get to give hugs and kisses to you before I go! Be on call! I am not scared! I know where I am going! Been there before! Love you all! Oh and I will live in a house! Hope I get the couch! 
*************************************

This is serious. DaVinci is a dog who needs a home urgently and immediately. 

I'm helping spread the word about DaVinci, a Pit or Amstaff who is the last survivor from the fire at Sweetpea shelter here in Paxton, Massachusetts near where I live. 

The shelter cannot re-open or operate despite a crowd-funding effort that raised over $100,000. There has been a huge delay in obtaining permits and licensing.

Meanwhile DaVinci, the last surviving animal (of very few who survived, I might add!) has been at various locations and is the only survivor that has not been adopted. 


For some reason the current location can no longer keep him. It's an urgent situation and because of some issues that are described below. DaVinci cannot live with other pets or children.



“Dogisgood.com





He needs a strong experienced owner, handler, foster or potential adopter.

 Sweetpea is a no-kill facility whose volunteers have been emotionally and physically destroyed by this situation. They have been forced to put out notice that this dog will be euthanized if a facility, adopter or foster is not found within the coming days. Yes, days.


This is terrible after he survived the fire that claimed the lives of 50 animals! And he lived a whole year with great medical expense as well. Money will no longer help. Complaints obviously won't help. We need someone to step in a save this guy and make him a true survivor. 








  I know the directors and volunteers who run Sweetpea personally. This is my local shelter, less than a 5-minute drive from my home. This is personal for me. If I did not have five pets (soon to be six) I would take DaVinci myself, but sadly he can't come to a home like mine. If he could, he would have already gone to one of hundreds of homes just like mine.

I'm putting out the word to everyone I know in the doggie world. If you know any way to help, contact me & I can put you in contact with Sweetpea


More info is on their website and their Facebook page. If you use Google: "Sweetpea Friends of Rutland Animals" is the exact name.






This dog survived the devastating shelter fire that took the lives of 50 other pets in November of 2015, just a few days before Thanksgiving. 

Then, he survived medical treatment, and a whole year-plus of living here and there, but no adoptive family. 

DaVinci is what I would call a special needs dog due to his reactive nature and the fact that he has been attacked twice by other dogs. 

Look at him! He's beautiful!

I am told that he needs a family with no other pets or children; and he needs a strong leader/owner/handler who will lead with benevolent love and understanding. He's a survivor, and I know we can do this if we pull together. Let's not fail him now!! DaVinci is in Massachusetts right now, but I am networked with a ton of dog people and agencies throughout the U.S. and the world. 

If you can take him in, if you know someone who will foster him, and/or adopt him, if you know of a no-kill shelter that will take DaVinci, please contact me and I will put you in touch with Sweetpea... or follow the instructions immediately below to contact Sweetpea directly. Please help!!

From Sweetpea's Facebook Page:
Our hearts are breaking. We do not want to euthanize Davinci but where we are boarding him will no longer keep him after his quarantine is up. Davinci was attacked while walking with a volunteer by an OFF LEASH DOG! Yes you know those people who "It's ok My dog is Friendly" The volunteer was bit by Davinci while she tried to keep him safe from the OFF LEASH DOG! This is the third time this has happened to Davinci! This time he was not hurt but he was in the past! We have tried several other Rescues,Shelters and Sanctuaries in the past and present. None will take him due to his bite history and dog reactivity! Mary asked for your help, suggestions not bashing. This has nothing to do with money donated to rebuild and where money is. As told before the money is in the bank waiting to rebuild. The town is holding us up on that. I rescued Davinci from another shelter that was going to Euthanize him. The last thing I want is for him to be euthanized. The fire, the loss of all my precious animals, the bashing from the public, yes you always the know it alls...how it affects you. You don't even know Davinci. Never ever saw him., My entire life is ruined with all of this,I have no shelter animals left, no shelter, no job, and probably will lose my home and now D. The worst is when asked for your help, you turn like vipers instead of taking action and making calls to places and helping us save him! Try helping please! Make calls! Find a place for him! A place that won't put him down! A lot of the places you name here Euthanize daily!!!!
We have been boarding DaVinci since he recovered from the fire in November 2015. During that time we have actively looked for a home for him with no success. The facility cannot keep him any longer. We need to find a rescue for him very soon as we have no place to shelter him. If we did we would probably keep him until it was his time to cross the Rainbow Bridge. If he can't be placed with another rescue or in a suitable home, we will be forced to consider euthanasia as our last resort as it will break our hearts. If you can help, please contact us at sweetpeafora@verizon.net.

Please find it in your heart to give him a chance.
Thank you!!
Dog Bless You!

Saturday, January 7, 2017

Pet Blogger Challenge 2017

This is my first time participating in the annual Pet Blogger Challenge, hosted by Amy Burkert of GoPetFriendly.com   Following here are the challenge questions: 

1. When did you start your blog and, for anyone who is just seeing it for first time, please provide a description of your site. Would you say your blog focuses more on sharing stories with your readers, or providing a resource for your audience?


I started blogging when blogging was rather new, in 2007. I can hardly believe it's been 10 years! Back then, blogging wasn't monetized. Blogs were a place where writers could show off their work publicly... instantly! No more applying to magazines and newspapers. Just write it yourself, click a button, et voila! Anyone with an internet connection can read what you write. 


My blog focuses on sharing stories with my readers, for sure. My tag line of "This trip called life with dogs and cats" describes the blog. It's sort of a mish-mash -  a "lifestyle" blog by a travel professional who loves dogs (and cats). But I write about other things, as the mood strikes.



The original k2k9.com logo

I have tried to make a go of providing resources (senior pet care; pet loss and grief, for example) but I haven't given that enough attention to make TravelingDogLady into a resource site, yet.

2. What was your proudest blogging moment of 2016?


Taking the huge, and scary, step of changing the name of my blog. My late husband had named my website k2k9. My nickname is "k2" because there are so many Kathys. And obviously k9 = dogs. It was very clever! But, because he had come up with the name, it was emotionally troubling to make the decision to change. 


I have owned the domain "Travelingdoglady.com" for a few years, but just kept it in my back pocket for "some day".


Recently, some issues cropped up and made me re-think the name of my site. There is a street drug named K2, a reality-TV star named K2, and (the clincher) someone started using the tag K2-K9 in YouTube videos about dog fighting. I wanted no relation or attachment to any of those things, so, I took the plunge and changed the name of the site. Not to mention that my friends and family and followers STILL rarely get it right:  "k292?"  "k922?" "k929?" 


I also convinced myself to put my 32 years of travel industry experience front and center or a change. Up until now, I aimed to downplay my travel career -- to separate it from my dog/cat enthusiasm. 





In 2016, I decided to embrace my travel career background and use it, instead. Thus, travelingdoglady.com was revealed.  I lost some followers and traffic when I changed the name, and made some mistakes that can't be reversed, but the blog is springing back and I feel it was the right decision. [By the way, the domain k2k9.com still redirects here.] 

3. Which of your blog posts was your favorite this year and why? (Please include a link.)


18 Steps For A Successful Dog Birthday Party was my favorite blog post of 2016. I hosted Charlie and Cooper's 5th birthday party at our house, and learned a few things about my dogs and their siblings that day. Plus, it was a good experience to have "a pack of dogs" at my house, socializing (something I never do). I made gift bags for everyone, served food, and entertained (again, something I never do). It certainly got me out of my comfort zone. Finally, I got some pretty good photos of the crew, and was able to use those shots in my blog post. The post generated some traffic on my blog, too.



I can't help by re-post this "pile of puppies" photo!
That's Cooper right on top!

4. Year after year, one goal that we all seem to share is that we want to reach more people. What one tool did you use or action did you take this year that had the most impact on increasing traffic to your blog?

In a rather humorous turn of events, the tool I decided to use to increase traffic to my blog ended up being a scam, of sorts. My traffic increased by 300%. It turns out, all the "hits" were from Russia (of all places!). I ended up cancelling my account with that feed-sharing site, after complaining to them about their trickery. So, I am sort of back to square one with traffic. When I began blogging, this stuff did not even exist. However, I am a "computer nerd" from way back, and have a lot of experience in sales and marketing from the travel company. So, I understand HOW to do marketing and traffic-driving... I just don't enjoy it. It's not my favorite thing, even though it's a skill I possess, and I understand how it works. For me, tracking all that stuff is not "the fun part" of this experience.



Maggie the cat, back in the '90s.

5. Which of your blog posts got the most traffic this year? (Please include a link.) Have you noticed any themes across your most popular posts?

A Fond Farewell to Eastham. Other than sponsored posts, which I'm not counting, the post I wrote about selling my vacation home on Cape Cod got the most traffic. It's not pet-related at all!! I do notice that my most popular posts are the ones I write about myself, "from the heart", rather than the ones I THINK are going to get a lot of traffic. In this particular case, I wondered if people were just being nosy.... uh, I mean curious, yeah, yeah....or perhaps it was that fabulous selfie I included! 

6. What blog do you find most inspirational and how has it influenced your blog? (Please include a link.)

Hands down (er.... paws down?) it's Pooch Smooches!  Jackie Bouchard's blog. Jackie and I have similar interests and senses of humor. It was our look-alike three-legged dogs, Abby and Cooper, that more or less connected us. I had the great honor of previewing one of her books before it was published, too. She inspired me to use more photos in my blog posts, and write funny (well, I think they're funny) captions for each photo. Thanks Jackie!

7. What is one thing your readers don’t know about you or your pets that would surprise them?

Gosh, my life is an open book. Pun fully intended. I doubt there's anything people don't know about either me, or my pets. Well, I'll give this a try... I am welcoming my "grand-dog" to our pack in a few weeks. She is very old and has some health issues. I offered to take her to my home where she can live out her remaining years in the way that my dogs Timba, Hobie and Hector did before her. I always dreamed of having a pet sanctuary for senior pets. I think I've had one all this time, and just didn't realize what was at the end of my nose all along!


my "grand-dog", Ana.

Coincidentally, I am (still!) taking classes to become a Certified Canine Training and Behavior Specialist -- something I've been doing for a few years... 
slow-w-w-w-ly. So, having Anabel added to our pack may give me some extra fodder and muse, both for my studies AND my blog. 



Infographic courtesy of doggiedrawings.net


Canine Body Language Infographic - not mine, but love it!


8. What is something you’ve learned this year that could help other bloggers?

Watch out for scams and expensive online courses. I got roped into some of each that really were a turn-off. And since I have a marketing and sales background, it made me say, "I could do this MUCH better than they are doing!" (and at little to no expense.) Maybe I should offer them some training ha ha. Thankfully, the scam cost nothing but my time (lots of it!); and the courses were fully refundable.

9. What would you like to accomplish on your blog in 2017?

All through 2015 and 2016 I focused on monetizing my blog. I have not found it enjoyable, whatsoever. So, in 2017, I'm going to try to have fun with my blog, hopefully move it over to WordPress, and simply try to enjoy doing the "work" rather than trying so hard to make a profit out of it. 

That being said, I already have my ticket for BlogPaws' conference in Myrtle Beach, and that includes the Cat Writers' Association conference (they are combined). I am a member of both organizations, so I'm excited to learn some things at the conferences.  Sounds like I'm talking out both sides of my mouth. Hey, I like to keep all options open.




10. Now it’s your turn! You have the attention of the pet blogging community – is there a question you’d like answered, or an aspect of your blog that you’d like input on?

I have far too many pet-related interests and areas of dog/cat experience, so I keep changing the blog's menu, features and appearance. Sometimes on a weekly basis! I look at other blogs and think, "Darn, I thought of that... why didn't I do it first?" or... "Why didn't I think of that?" I could use some suggestions for how to focus my blog. Or feedback telling me it's just fine the way it is (lol!). 



Since I changed the name of the blog, it's under construction so, "please excuse our appearance".