Monday, February 29, 2016

Enrich Your Dog's Mealtime With Paw5 Bowls + GIVEAWAY!

Hey, guys!

Happy Leap Day!

Today I have a really fun new puzzle feeder dog bowl to share with you from Paw5! Paw5 is a new company offering a new way of feeding your dog. This environmentally friendly, mentally stimulating bowl takes mealtime to a whole new level. Mental stimulation is just as important as physical work, and Paw5 understands this. They've even generously offered one (1) of my readers a choice to win their very own bowl!

This USA made bowl stimulates all of your dog's senses with it's innovative design, keeping food time fun, engaging and challenging. The contrasting colors and erratic movement of the bowl engage your dog's sight. The various openings allow plenty of scent to reach your pup's nose and let out tasty kibble. The sound of rattling kibble revs up your pup's appetite. The fun shape encourages your dog to nose, paw and touch the bowl in order to get it to release the kibble.

The bowl is BPA and phthalate free, and comes apart for easy cleaning - it's even dishwasher safe! It comes in orange and grey, or blue and grey. The colors are vibrant and very visually appealing, not to mention that paw print design is too cute!

The bowl holds up to four cups of kibble, and the openings are big enough to let even large sized kibble such as Acana and Orijen through with ease.

This kibble is Canidae PURE Sky Grain Free 

I do wish that the bowl came in different sizes, and had a way to make the openings smaller. 10lb, long nosed Nola can easily shove her tongue in the toy and get the food out that way, and the openings are so large that they fall through with the slightest movement. This results in Nola getting her food out in under a minute. This may be better for a larger dog, or perhaps mine is just smart. ;)
However, I do appreciate how this prevents her from gulping!

Overall, I really like the idea of this bowl, as well as the company that stands behind it. It's definitely a fun bowl that Nola loves to play with!


Paw5 has generously offered one (1) bowl for one of you guys to win! Follow the instructions in the Rafflecopter below, and good luck! Sorry, US residents only.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

- Dachshund Mommy

Sunday, February 28, 2016

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!

Friday, February 26, 2016

Happy Birthday, Pike!

Today is Pike's 2nd birthday!

He's a crotchety, freakish, obnoxious, and an asshole.  He's a dick to everyone but Nola, he's picky, he's dramatic, he's wacky, he's hyper-sesitive and he despises our neighbor with a fiery passion. He's easy to shut down, persnickety, and snobbish.
I never want a dog like him again.

And yet...

He can be the sweetest thing imaginable. He's cuddly. He's great about leaving other animals alone, and doesn't antagonize anyone unless they start it or are having too much fun. He's incredible with kids. He's a joy to play with, and he can be a really fun dog.
I'm love the guy and am glad to have him, even if I don't always like him. ;)

Thursday, February 25, 2016

It's a Wonderful Life With The Honest Kitchen Wonders Treats!

Hey, everyone!

Today we're working with The Honest Kitchen for a review of their new Wonders treats!

If you don't know, The Honest Kitchen is a great company that specializes in dehydrated dog and cat food, as well as treats, soap (I love their Sparkle Bars!), and supplements. Their products are natural, tasty, and so healthy!

Wonders are a single ingredient, high protein treat dogs go nuts for. These dehydrated pollock snacks are 1"-4" in size, and are fairly easy to tear, but they don't break right to make teeny treats. They're definitely make better "just because" or "bedtime" treats than training treats, but they dogs definitely don't mind that! ;) Thankfully they're only around 4 calories per piece, so you don't need to feel guilty above giving them.

They definitely stink, as you can imagine. It's easy to wash off your skin, but I recommend giving them outside, and not in your bedroom. At night. When you can't open the windows due to the full on gale outside. Trust me on this.

Overall though, I'm quite happy with these! I like giving healthy, low calorie treats, and the dogs are wild for anything fishy. They love em!

- Dachshund Mommy

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

This and That: Moving and Farms and Dreams, Oh My!

Hey, everyone!

Since I'm damn near fresh out of post ideas at the moment (okay, so I have ideas; I'm just too lazy to write out anything structured right now), this is just a hodgepodge of thoughts and future plans, things like that. May be a bit ramble-y, and it's not too terribly dog related!

We'll be moving as soon as possible, hopefully within a year or so! Somewhere in the mountains, either north Georgia or North Carolina most likely. This is one of the reasons the Italy getaway I've talked a few times about has been put on hold. Adulting sucks sometimes.
I'm so ready to be out of Florida. It's a beautiful state and there's definitely some major benefits here (those blue skies and white beaches....), but the heat has become too much. It's just too hot to do anything outside from around mid-March or early April to late October. As someone who'd rather be outdoors than in, Florida no longer works for me. Where we are right now is also in a very poor, very uneducated part of the state, with nothing much to do and no market for what I would like to do. Everything is undervalued here, and a move will be amazing. I've lived in Florida for nearly my whole life, and I'm so excited for a change!

The past few months I've been seriously looking at what I want to do with my life, in a long term way. What will make me happy? What is something that fits me? What will allow me to be my own boss? I've toyed with more ideas than I can count, and I wasn't finding anything that I would be excited to do for the vast majority of the time. I was not - and am not - willing to settle for a longterm job I don't love. Luckily, I've found what I'm looking for.
That brings me to my next and most exciting thought today. When I move, I want to have a little farm. I want to produce most of what I eat, have a large chunk of my own land, breed and raise rare and/or heritage breed livestock, with the eventual goal of having that be my main "job" (I'll more than likely have side jobs as well). It will take a lot of time, money, and energy, but I'm excited for the challenge. 
This occupation ticks all my boxes: lots of outdoor time, physically and mentally challenging, lots of variation, taps into my interest of genetics and breeding, ect. I can't wait!

I've been researching all different types of farming and animal husbandry, and have been narrowing down exactly what it is I want to be working with. 
As I've said, I want to work with rare and/or heritage breeds. I think it is incredibly important to preserve these old, endangered breeds that are being passed over in favor of more commercially bred, less genetically diverse breeds and crossbreeds. The heritage breeds are living, breathing history, and that completely fascinates me. They were developed with such specific needs in mind, and watching the way they conform to those old standards is just incredible. Their health and hardiness is quite something, too.

I'd like to focus mostly on fiber animals such as sheep (Shetland, possibly), alpacas, and angora rabbits. I'm also looking at small dairy (Nigerian Dwarves) and meat (Fainting Goats) breeds of goats, as well as miniature cows (Gallowy or Scottish Highland), and chickens. Purebred, registered, quality multi-purpose animals is my goal.

I'm hoping to acquire some of these things this year; small animals that are quicker to mature and easier to transport such as chickens, rabbits and goats or sheep. Since the next few months are big months for sheep and goat births, hopefully I'll be able to have a few soon!

Well, that's kind of it for this little ramble! I hope that wasn't too terribly boring for you all. ;)

- Dachshund Mommy

Monday, February 22, 2016

A Little Morning Jaunt and Nola's Focus

Hey, everyone!

Wednesday we had a fun little morning jaunt to a dog park (weekday mornings are always so nice and empty!) and then to the dog friend beach in town, which isn't nearly as nice as our usual beach, but whatever.

You know, sometimes I wish I trained more tricks and flashy behaviors with Nola. Don't get me wrong, she knows a few dozen, but not nearly the extent of other bloggers' dogs. And then I take her out in public, and I couldn't be more grateful I've placed more emphasis on honing her naturally solid,  take everything in stride personality with real life situations and "real life", more functional training. The number one thing I'm glad to have taught and reinforced is her handler focus.

I've spent thousands and thousands of hours working on her focus, and proving to her that nothing she could ever do will be more rewarding than me. Showing her exactly how incredible it is to listen to "mom", and reinforcing good decisions, has created a dog that doesn't try and step outside these parameters, choosing instead to do things she knows will get her rewarded, rather than taking a risk on what may or may not get her anything out of it.
That's not to say that she has never tested her boundaries, because she has, especially when she was around 24 months or so. Instead of using the old school method of punishing her when she would blow me off (let's use recall for this exercise), I would simply go get her, and either pick her up or leash her to me. I wouldn't correct her at all, not even the no-reward marker I will sometimes use during distance stay work. All I would do is ignore her for 10 seconds or so, and then we'd go along with whatever we were doing.
Using this method, she knows that she will always be praised and rewarded for staying near me and recalling to me when off leash. Always. She knows that she will be heavily reinforced for following cues in highly distracting environments. Always. And since she knows that blowing me off won't get her what she works for, she's learned to choose on her to work with me.

Despite popular belief, it's entirely possible to teach this type of behavior without adversities.

I'm not bragging when I say she's an absolute dream in public (okay, I'm totally bragging ;)).
Loose leash walking, including intense handler focus and automatic sits?  Second nature to her. 
Leave it? Done. 
Come? Instant. 
Stay? Her ass isn't moving. 
Kids, adults, dogs, bikes, cars, motorcycles, cats, ect? None of it bothers her. 
She is focused on me, and me alone.  

At home, it can be a different story, but she's always perfect in public. 

I love this dog more than I could ever describe.

This was shot at the dog park. It was chock full of distractions, including fun obstacles, puddles, scents, and some of Nola's favorite people and a trio of other dogs just outside the fence. It's not flashy and there's no complex behaviors; it's just Nola, choosing to work with me, without cue. Giving her the option to choose has made for a dog that loves to learn. When it's "her idea", it goes much smoother. ;)

Okay, proud dog owner moment over!
This weird little dog house thing would make an adorable chicken coop.

Huge, empty area!

Sunday, February 21, 2016

Black and White Sunday

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

Friday, February 19, 2016

Fit Dog Friday

We had a little jaunt around town on Wednesday that I'll share this coming week, but here are a few shots of The Tiny Terror, in all her fit dog glory! The lighting was really weird that day.

And there's always time for a little soccer....

And parkour....