Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Monday, June 29, 2015

Monday Musings: The Favorite Age

Hey, guys!

Happy Monday! Can you all believe that June is nearly over? Maybe it's just me, but I feel like this year is flying by. Lately it seems like I just can't sit and focus long enough to write a lengthy blog post, hence why the blog has been very picture-oriented the past few weeks. I sound like a broken record saying this, but with the dogs, work, planning a business and running two blogs, I get a bit overwhelmed at times. I love it, I really do, but sometimes I need a nap. ;)

Today's topic is something that I've been thinking about the past few days, especially with Olivia's first birthday being on Saturday. The question I've asked myself is, what life stage or age have I enjoyed most in my dogs? Pike had his first birthday in February of this year, too, so having two rambunctious adolescents has reminded me of the best and worst things about our pups growing up.

I enjoy the little puppy stage, where everything is a new experience for them and they're such little sponges. Alright, so house breaking and crate training (during the night, especially) aren't the most enjoyable things imaginable, but watching just how quickly the develop is fascinating to me.
I can't believe she was so little! Don't let that sweet face fool you though - she's always been a little shark.

I don't mind the 6-12 month period where they can be naughty little snots. I enjoy the challenges my teenaged dogs have presented to me, though Nola kept me on my toes more than anyone else! A highly energetic and highly intelligent dog with a gift for problem solving is enough to make anyone's head spin.

The 18 months to two years is an interesting one. They're still developing and coming into themselves (especially if you have a slow to mature breed or your dog's line is slower), but it so much more subtle than when they were tiny little piranhas. This is where the connection you build with your puppy really starts to come out, at least with my dogs. It gives such a sense of accomplishment when you become a team with your dog, instead of just an instructor.

I have to say though, I think Nola's age right now might be my favorite of all. She'll be five years old in October, and I couldn't love how she's matured more. She's still so energetic, so driven, and needs a lot of stimulation in order not to be a tiny terror, but her pattern is firmly in place. She's set with how her thought process and reactions work, and the way she can stop and actually think now is so neat to see. I had to do a lot of impulse work with her that didn't start becoming second nature to her until around two and a half. She's in the prime of her life, and we're past the surprises that puppyhood and the teenaged phase can hold. It's a very secure age for her.

What's been your favorite age with your dog?

- Dachshund Mommy

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Black and White Sunday

Nikon D3300
35mm lens
ISO 200 
Join me and my co-host Sugar for the Black and White Sunday Blog Hop! Grab the badge and link up!

Saturday, June 27, 2015

Thursday, June 25, 2015

52 Snapshots of Life: Week 26

My dad does my nails for me every week or so. My hands aren't very steady, so I end up painting more skin than nail when I attempt it myself. ;) It's a short bit of one on one time with him that I truly enjoy.
Side note: Julep makes the best polish!

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

The Patented Ultra Pathetic Look, Nola Style

I've been working with Miss Nola on her "rest" (chin on the floor) and "watch me here" (look up at my raised hand) cues, and this look was too cutely pathetic not to share! She cons so many into treats with this look.

Monday, June 22, 2015

Finally, Some Recognition!

Little Kielbasa's newest trick of balancing things on her (rather sharp, angled head) makes for some adorable photos. She's quite happy to finally have someone acknowledge her status as Ruler Of All She Surveys.

This crown is for a newborn shoot I'm doing, and was only about $12 (with shipping) on Etsy. Different sizes and colors, and super cute!

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Black and White Sunday

Nikon D3300
35mm lens
ISO 800 

Join me and my co-host Sugar for the Black and White Sunday Blog Hop! Grab the badge and link up!

Saturday, June 20, 2015

Friday, June 19, 2015

Dachshund Nola Reviews: Blue Wilderness Jerky

Hey, all!

I have a quick little review for you today, brought to you by Natural Pet Warehouse. Natural Pet Warehouse is an online retailer that supplies products for dogs, cats, and even small animals and horses. Their customer service is great, and their shipping is quick and reliable.

We were sent Blue Buffalo Wilderness Chicken Jerky and Turkey Jerky treats for review. They're USA made and sourced, grain free treats that consist of just three ingredients: chicken (or turkey), dried cane molasses, and salt. They come in a resealable 3.25oz bag, and Natural Pet Warehouse currently has them on sale for $7.99.

They don't have too strong a smell, which is great if you have a sensitive nose like I do. They're a bit difficult to break into smaller pieces without scissors (and let's me honest: I'm too lazy for that), so they aren't a good training treat unless you have a Great Dane. All of my dogs throughly enjoyed them.
My one complaint is that they are extremely, extremely greasy. Even touching just one piece leaves a nasty residue all over your fingers. May not be a big deal for some, but I usually have either my phone or Nikon in hand and I don't like them getting all slick.
Other than that, they're an okay treat that my dogs like.

- Dachshund Mommy

Sunday, June 14, 2015

Black and White Sunday

Nikon D3300
35mm lens
ISO 800

This week's 52 Snapshots of Life, Comfort, in black and white. Not sure which version I prefer! 

Join me and my co-host Sugar for the Black and White Sunday Blog Hop! Grab the badge and link up!

Saturday, June 13, 2015

Sibling Saturday: Flashback

Flashback to one of Pike's first beach trips! He was a cute little bugger. ;) Knew there was a reason I kept that naughty little guy around!

Friday, June 12, 2015

Dachshund Nola Reviews: Merrick BackCountry Grain Free Wet Food

Hey, everyone!

First of all, we are having terrible internet problems. This has been going on for months now, but has really gotten bad the past few days. Commenting might be a bit sporadic for a while; I'm using my iPhone's personal hotspot option to work the laptop and that is slow as can be. Fun.....

It's time for our monthly Chewy.com review! If you don't know Chewy....well, what rock have you been hiding under? They're simply fabulous!
For this month, I picked Merrick's Backcountry Canned Food in Alpine Rabbit Stew flavor. I'm a firm believer in variety being the spice of life, so I feed Nola a mix of kibble (Fromm), wet, and pre made raw (Sojos Wild) throughout the week. She hasn't tried any Merrick products before, so this was the perfect opportunity.

They have both kibble and wet food options for the Backcountry line, and they are all grain free. The canned comes in 7 different flavors: Hearty Beef, Rabbit, Duck and Venison, Chicken Thigh, Salmon, Real Beef, and Real Chicken. I'm not sure why they have what are essentially the same things listed twice, though. A case of 12 12.7oz cans runs from $26 to $32. That's a bit expensive in my opinion, unless you have a small dog or feed it as part of a rotation. One can lasts Nola three meals, so we use one can a week. That's pretty cost effective for us!

Here's the ingredients for the Alpine Rabbit flavor:

Rabbit, Turkey Broth, Deboned Turkey, Peas, Turkey Liver, Dried Egg Product, Carrots, Sweet Potatoes, Potatoes, Pea Protein, Calcium Carbonate, Salt, Sodium Phosphate, Canola Oil, Potassium Chloride, Flaxseed Oil, Guar Gum, Vitamins (Vitamin E Supplement, Vitamin B12 Supplement, d-Calcium Pantothenate, Vitamin A Supplement, Niacin, Vitamin D3 Supplement, Riboflavin Supplement, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride,  Folic Acid, Biotin, Thiamine Mononitrate), Choline Chloride, Minerals (Zinc Amino Acid Complex, Iron Amino Acid Complex, Manganese Amino Acid Complex, Copper Amino Acid Complex, Potassium Iodide, Cobalt Glucoheptonate, Sodium Selenite), Cinnamon, Caramel Color, Xanthan Gum

I was pleasantly surprised when I opened this and wasn't met with the typical, gag-inducing smell that  accompanies most wet food. While it does have some smell, it isn't terribly offensive and it doesn't linger in the air, on your skin, or your dog's mouth. Obnoxious smells are a huge deal breaker for me in dog food and treats, and I was happy the Backcountry didn't have that.
It has chunks of meat and visible veggies in a semi-thick sauce. Nola devoured it, and there was no stomach upset or any other issues. I'm quite pleased with it, and would recommend!

The dark stuff in the middle is The Honest Kitchen's Perfect Form supplement, not anything funky!

- Dachshund Mommy

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Wordless Wednesday: I Don't Even Know...

I'm not sure what happened here, but it makes for a hilarious picture. The monkey didn't even touch her before Pike (Mr. Nose In The Frame) snatched it, so don't worry she's getting knocked around. ;)

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Spastic Dog is Spastic

Nola, doing spastic leg jumps. For no reason. At all. I love this crazy girl.

"More, more, more!"

Monday, June 8, 2015

Monday Musings: Multiple Blogs, Work, Social Media, and Travel Plans

Hey, everyone! Holy shit, y'all, I can't believe it's the second week of June already. That just does not seem possible.

Today's post will be a bit of a ramble. I wanted to do a post on one of these topics, but none felt long enough; figured I'd just cram 'em into one post and call it a day. ;)

It's the time of year where work really starts to pick up for me. I currently work in the vacation service industry, and am laying the foundation for my own business while I'm at it. It's scary to think about having your own business and not having the reliability of someone else giving you a paycheck, but the lure of being my own boss and making my money perfectly counteracts that fear. It'll be challenging, but I'm excited to start the journey.

That's beside the point though. I only brought up work because as I get busier, I'm more aware of just how much time I spend on the blog. Posting, photographing, working with companies for reviews, commenting, ect. Just for this blog, I spend an average of 45-60 minutes every single day without fail. On the 2-3 days a week I sit down and schedule out posts, it can be an additional two hours or more, when you factor in photo editing.
On top of that, I started a book blog three weeks ago (Good In The Stacks, if you're curious). It's doing surprisingly well for being brand spankin' new, and me being completely out of my element in the book blogging community; it's a much more introverted group than dog blogging is, and I never thought I'd be the extrovert in a group :p. Reading has been a lifelong passion of mine, and I'm in love with having a book blog. I'm going to venture into book vlogging as well in the near future. Me, an overachiever? Never. :p
Anyways, there's another 1-2 hours a day with that blog (book reviews are a bitch to write, let me tell you). I spend a lot of time blogging, and it's a lot go work. However, it almost never feels like it. I truly enjoy blogging, and being part of the community. It's a pleasure and a privilege to be friends with you, and I wouldn't change it for the world. It really is true that if you do what you love, success will follow.

Okay, here's something I could use some help with: Social Media. How do y'all manage it?? Currently this blog has a Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Instagram and Pinterest (well, it's my Pinterest but there's blog stuff on there, too). The book blog has Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest. I'm good with Pinterest, because I must PIN ALL THE THINGS. I've become obsessed with Instagram, because hello filters. Facebook is easy, since I'm on there a lot anyway. I can't get my ass into gear with Twitter or YouTube, though. How do you all manage to keep up with your social media?
Shameless pimping: there's a spot to follow us on all of the above mentioned places right there >>>> in the side bar. :D

We'll be going on vacation in the early fall, and I'm so excited! We'll be flying somewhere north (Boston, perhaps), and Miss Nola is coming. The Minions will either be kenneled or stay with a sitter. You really have no idea how excited I am. I haven't been on a real vacation in years, and I haven't flown since I was a toddler. Despite that, I love to travel. I can't wait to visit everything, find dog friendly spots, scope out the best bookstores, and take a million photos.
I'm not anticipating any problems with Nola. She's a go with the flow type of dog when it comes to going anywhere, and so long as she's with me she's cool. She's been "purse trained" since puppyhood, and is crate trained, but we're already starting to make her travel carrier a very positive thing. More about our trip will be told when the kinks get worked out.

On top of that...I'm 97% sure that both Nola and I will be attending BlogPaws 2016 in Arizona next year. :D

I told you it'd be a ramble!

Do you travel with your pup? Planning any trips this year?

- Dachshund Mommy