Traveling Dog Lady: 2017

Saturday, April 1, 2017

The Naked Dog Box

This post is sponsored by The Naked Dog Box. The pack was compensated with a box of food, treats, and a measuring scoop. All opinions written here are just that: my opinions. This post also includes affiliate links. If you buy something by clicking on a link (you are NOT obligated to, by any means!), the pets and I 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. 


My dog, Charlie Brown, received a big box last week, addressed to him! The Naked Dog Box arrived in great condition, and was waiting at my doorstep when I got home from work the other day. I have to say, I immediately fell in love with just the box itself, never mind what was inside!








When we opened it up, we literally got a treat (well, a bag of treats). Inside was, like I said, a bag of treats as well as a stainless steel measuring scoop, which was selected just for my dog, based on the profile I had submitted for him. Since Charlie and Cooper are twins, I didn't have to submit two profiles, their profiles are pretty much identical (hah, see what I did there?!).




Facebook Live video of us opening up the Naked Dog Box.


Also inside was a HUGE bag of The Naked Dog salmon and chickpea premium dog formula. It's grain-free and potato free. I don't know why potato free is an issue... I guess because of carbs and weight gain, maybe? I will have to educate myself on that, perhaps some of you reading this could weigh in (oooo, I did it again, sorry! Me 'n' my puns!).  

We eat only grain-free dog food in our house, ever since Hobie developed a terrible allergy to wheat years ago. Therefore, I was thrilled when The Naked Dog asked me to try out their grain-free product.

The company recommends feeding one scoop in the morning, and one in the evening. I usually feed my dogs just once a day, in the evening, so I had to make some adjustments to follow this recommendation, mix it together with our current food to avoid tummy problems, and be sure my dogs don't gain extra weight. 


A perfectly-measured scoop of The Naked Dog salmon & chickpea formula.
Measured specifically for my dogs based on the profile I set up online.

Let me say that the dogs absolutely went ape over this food! That made me feel confident that I am feeding them something really good tasting, as well as good quality. I have to admit, when I opened the bag, and got a whiff of the fish it was pretty strong-smelling. I remarked, "Woo! Smells like FISH!" You can only imagine what two hound dogs thought of that. "Gimme!"


Charlie and Cooper are like, "Mom, that smells so good, we're going to sit perfectly still until you feed us!"

Since we should always be careful when changing our dogs' food, I mixed some of their current brand with the Naked Dog brand. Funny enough, the other brand ALSO sent me a free bag of food in exchange for a blog post this week! Dog food doesn't pay the bills, but getting two free bags of food that I already use and endorse saves me money. So, it's a win-win. You'll be hearing about the other dog food (our regular brand) in a few days.


Nom, nom, nom
Nom, nom, nom, right out of the scoop itself!


Back to The Naked Dog food. Like I said, it's grain-free and potato-free. It's also free of soy and corn. No bad stuff. The large, unmarked bag we received has enough food to feed one of my dogs, two scoops per day, for two weeks. 





The Naked Dog prides themselves on having a small carbon footprint, thus the plain, brown wrapper on their bag, and minimal packing materials inside the box (which I LOVE -- can't stand bubble wrap, air-filled baggies or packing corn!).


The dog food is packaged in a plain, brown wrapper.
Charlie Brown says, "It smells so gooood!"

I just might consider signing up for the regular deliveries. The dogs like this food so much. The company claims you can skip going to your local pet store and shop on their site to include other items like treats, toys and other add-ons.


 


I've taken a picture of the guaranteed analysis and ingredients list for you to check out the salmon and chickpea formula.

They even sent me a cute little cardboard bow tie cutout with instructions and a video! I will have to find a few minutes to cut out the bow tie and put it on one of the dogs. Maybe Cooper.







You can find more details about The Naked Dog Box here.

As a special promotion just for my readers, you can get your first box for just $10 - regardless of the size of your dog! 
Just use the code travelingdoglady10 when you sign up.

First time using The Naked Dog Box? Get $10 off your order with code travelingdoglady10 now!


Have you tried the Naked Dog Box, or any other pet-related "box" service? I'd like to know how it works with your schedule. Tell me about it in the comments, or send me an email at k2k9dogs@gmail.com  

Don't forget to join my mailing list!




Sunday, March 26, 2017

Purple Day for Epilepsy 2017

Today, March 26, 2017, is Purple Day for Epilepsy, and we're joining FiveSibes bloghop to bring awareness to epilepsy in both humans and animals.






I've known a few animals that had epilepsy. One of our cats on Cape Cod, many years ago, had epilepsy. She would have horrible seizures, where she would spin around on the floor and lose control of her bodily functions in the process. The poor thing, she was such a love bug, too.

My beloved dog Hector had seizures, but it turned out they were due to a head injury that went undetected. We were told he had either epilepsy, or a brain tumor, and we were treating his seizures with phenobarbital. Hec only had seizures for about 5 months before he ended up dying very suddenly from whatever was wrong with his head. I am STILL not over his death, nearly six years later. This one was the worst. He was taken from us much too young, and the last months of his life were spent helplessly watching him suffer.


My beloved dogs, Hector (standing) and Hobie.

While Hector's seizures were from an injury, they were pretty much identical to epileptic seizures in terms of his disorientation, he would go temporarily blind afterwards, he would be really energetic during the post-ichtal phase, yet at the same time profoundly confused. He would also try to crawl into small spaces such as the closet and the fireplace, or under a desk. He did not recognize us after the post-ichtal phase, so it was hard to calm him down as he didn't know who we were and he just wanted to run around in the back yard. During the seizures themselves, he could be very dangerous as he was a big dog, and he would be paddling his legs, knocking things over, and snapping his jaws. Gosh, it was just awful to see our wonderful young dog go through that.


I, myself experienced what we THINK were seizures most of my life. Doctors could never figure it out, but they would hit me once a month. I had auras and would be in intense pain, and I would also lose control like the cat mentioned above, plus I would sleep for hours and hours afterwards. When I went into menopause, the seizures pretty much stopped. So, we will probably never figure out what that was.

But, I mention my own experience with this because I had an amazing dog, Hobie, who could detect my episodes (I called them episodes -- notice the Greek prefix "epi" is the root word of episode and epilepsy). Hobie would lie on top of me on the couch and not let me get up. He knew (I didn't) that if I got up, I would have an episode and end up on the floor. If I was already up, he would bark at me. I wish we had been able to pursue this as a therapy dog thing, but he certainly was helpful to me. When I did have episodes, he would lie beside me on the floor and cuddle with me and lick my face. He was just amazing.

My favorite color is purple. Just about everything I own is purple (ok, that's an exaggeration! Close, but an exaggeration!). As part of today's awareness campaign, we want to show ourselves and our pets wearing purple. So, here are some pictures of us from today (and I was already wearing purple today anyway -- gee what a surprise).

Please note I've been sitting around the house in my pajamas all day. Hey, it's Sunday.

Cooper has a purple tennis ball!
My purple laptop case!


Purple paw pajamas and purple fibromyalgia t-shirt

      Charlie steals the show in his Purple Petfinder bandana!


 






Saturday, March 25, 2017

How to work on dog rescue apps with a cat on your keyboard




This is what it's like to work on a computer when your Tuxedo cat likes to nurse on your sweatshirt!

I also talk about dog rescue, and how proud we in Massachusetts are of the fact that we have little to no animal overpopulation problem here, and our shelters are no-kill facilities.

As many of you know, I adopted Charlie Brown and Cooper from Great Dog Rescue of New England, a rescue agency that transports dogs from the southern states to New England. Southern states have a dog and cat over-population problem, and most of their shelters are high-kill facilities. Here in Massachusetts, and mainly New England, we are animal lovers and advocates, and we're very proud of our ability to save these poor creatures. In the south, there are some amazing people who go to great lengths and sacrifice to rescue dogs and cats from high-kill shelters. It is a lesson in grace, sacrifice and beauty to think of how hard these folks work, all volunteers, and all motivated only by the determination to save dogs and cats. They are true heroes. 



On Saturdays and Thursdays, I generally have about 12-15 dogs that I input into Great Dog's database. I have been a volunteer for Great Dog for just over a year. In addition to putting the transported dogs into the database, I also drive a dog, locally, on occasion. I love to drive, and I'm a database whiz, and a lot of people don't like either of those tasks, so I am happy to be able to help out the rescue in both of these ways. 


Crazy cat Tux on the keyboard!

When I'm trying to work on my computer, Tux gives me a hard time! LOL! He lays across my arms, or in between my hands and the keyboard, and basically won't let me type. He nurses on my sleeve of my sweatshirt and kneads my arm underneath the shirt sleeve. You should see my forearms, they are covered in cat claw marks! Ouch! But I love him, so I put up with it.


Cats Newman, Tux and Cali sitting on the back porch railing

Tux lost his kitty mother when he was an infant kitten. He was bottle fed by his rescuer, and later on I adopted him from her, along with his "siblings" Cali and Newman, who were also abandoned kittens who were bottled fed. From what I understand, they are NOT related, although they are the same age. When they were available for adoption, we had been cat-free for the first time ever (both of us always had cats ever since we could remember). So, I took the plunge and adopted all three of them! 


Cali and Tux, exiting their crate on the day they were adopted

Introducing the kittens to Hobie and Hector was a challenge, but we made it through. Tux, himself, trained Hobie that he (Tux) means business -- he actually drew blood! None of the other dogs have ever messed with Tux. He's the big boss of the brood. If you get a good look at Tux, you can see that he is much larger than Cali and Newman -- why? Because he steals all their food!

Living in a multi-pet household has its challenges, but I would never have it any other way. I literally do not know what I would do if it were not for Tux, Newman, Cali, Cooper and Charlie Brown -- and all my pets before them. I love my dogs and cats so much. 

So, grab a coffee, pull up a chair, and watch me and Tux play "kitty on the keyboard" together, while we learn a few things about dog rescue. 

Remarks? Tell me your thoughts in the comments, I'd love to hear from you!


This post contains affiliate links. I only promote items my pets and I already use, and are passionate about. If you purchase one of these items, we get a tiny little bit of money. Enough to maybe buy one can of cat food! Moolah for Mueller. Sometimes we get samples or a supply of the product in exchange instead of cash. Thank you for your support!

Sunday, March 12, 2017

My favorite traveling with dogs photo

This is my favorite picture of myself. Ok, I know, self-absorbed! But isn't that what social media and the internet is for, when you think about it?

This photo was taken in 1987 during my very first trip to the island of Tobago in the Caribbean. Nobody ever knows where Tobago is. It is the sister island of Trinidad, and is located about 90 miles off the coast of Venezuela -- due east of Aruba, if you will. Tobago is the very last island in the Caribbean chain before you reach South America, more or less.  In fact, my mom, when she was alive, would always say, "Are you going to South America?" instead of "Are you going to Tobago?" ha ha.

My favorite pic of myself, with Tobago the dog!


I deliberately did not retouch or Photoshop this picture. It is actually a paper snapshot from "back in the day" before digital cameras

The way I see it, this should not be my favorite photograph of myself. I was going through a horrible time in my life. While I was in Tobago, my father died, 6 days after the birthday we shared. I was going through a divorce, and had just come off of the worst six months in my (relatively new) travel career:  the terrorist attacks of 1986 (terrorism was new then) had caused thousands of our customers to cancel their 1986 and 1987 tours. I had spent six months handling phone calls from angry clients wanting refunds. It was a horrible time. I spent the first few days of this trip with Gil, and then he went home. It was while I was by myself at his house that I learned my father died. I didn't go home for the funeral. People said I would regret that for the rest of my life. They were right, but I was 27 years old, young and stupid. I needed this break from "life". I needed to recharge and find myself. I stayed on the island and did not attend my father's funeral.

A week after Gil left, and I had been by myself (can't believe I did that!) my co-workers arrived, and we spent another two weeks on the island. It was, and would be, the only time I would spend a month in Tobago, even though I have been there dozens of times since. One of my co-workers snapped this photo for me.

The dog in the picture is named Tobago. Most dogs on the island are not big. He was the biggest dog on the island. If you see dogs on Tobago these days, you'll notice the black snout, and the brown coloring. We feel that Tobago the dog bred himself very strongly on the island (to this day there is still an aversion to spaying and neutering -- as with most Caribbean islands). We think his genes live on in the Tobagonian dogs of today.

Tobago the dog was a jumper. When he would greet people would jump on them and scratch the hell out of them (not deliberately), but because most people were wearing bathing suits, they'd get some awful scratches. But other than that, he was a pretty cool dog, and he lived a long time in Tobago years, which is not very long (dogs die young there, as a general rule). 

The island of Tobago is frozen in time. While the landscape changes due to erosion and too much building, the people never change. The locals still fish using large nets and everyone in the village helps pull the nets in each day. It's incredible to watch this more or less primitive tradition taking place. Tourists call Tobago "paradise". I'm not sure it still is, but back in 1987 it was as close to paradise as I had ever experienced. The Beatles and Princess Margaret (separately!) spent time on this island.

The most beautiful sunsets are on the island of Tobago -- second to none!


While I didn't travel WITH Tobago the dog, because he lived there, I became friends with so many dogs during my years traveling to Tobago. Here's a picture of one that I bonded with during one trip. It was my birthday. I usually went to Tobago for my birthday, as was tradition. I was sitting on the back porch crying (as I often did during these trips) and this dog just popped up over the back steps and laid down in front of me. He walked on the beach with me every day after that, and we became rather attached. We ended up helping his owners out for a couple of years, buying food for the dog and stuff like that. I doubt he is still alive, but I like to think he was sent to me, like an angel, by the birthday angels.

My canine 50th birthday present. Sent to me by angels.

Decades later! Gil and me in Tobago on my 50th birthday. It poured rain all week, but I didn't care. 

Do you have a favorite photograph of yourself? What is it about that picture that you like?
Tell me in the comments, or share it with me on Facebook


One of the things we used to do in Tobago was read books. We would "race" each other to see who could read a book the fastest. He always won, but not by much! We could read about a book a day. 

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.

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".