Keeping Our Cool

I’ve said it before: this summer has been pretty mild for a Southern Utah summer thus far. We’ve had many thunder and lightning storms with some rain and we’re expected to have storms every day this weekend.
Today and tomorrow, however, we’re expected to reach a high of 95.
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So what do we do when it’s hot?
We stay inside with the swamp cooler on. 😉 We play indoor games like ring around the couch (my Collies are crazy) and tug. We do some training. They play with puzzles or enjoy a bully stick or a frozen KONG (they love a good yogurt and fruit mixture or peanut butter or pumpkin).
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If it’s considerably cooler come evening, we’ll go outside so they can run and race and play fetch in the yard. Sometimes we’ll go out in the mornings before it gets hot. We stay close to home, or the air conditioned car, if temperatures are expected to rise. I keep a rubber, BPA free, collapsible bowl in the car and bring 2 bottles of cold water when we leave the house.

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I often get asked, “Don’t you shave them for the summer?” “Aren’t they hot with all that fur?”
Answer: No, I never shave them (excluding between their paw pads and a trim around private areas for the sake of cleanliness). Yes, they do get hot just like many other living creatures do when it’s hot out and yes some dogs, just like some humans, don’t tolerate the heat as well as others. But shaving them will do them more harm than good, being the double coated breed that they are. Their coat actually protects them from the sun and even the occasional hitch-hiking insect. Their coat not only keeps them warm in the winter, but it keeps them cool in the summer.

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Some people argue with it, but I stand by it. I would never shave Lassie or Petal unless a medical reason demanded it. If it’s too hot for them and all their fur, we stay inside and entertain ourselves until it’s cool enough to play a game of fetch outside or go for a walk in the shade. I wouldn’t shave my head because it’s hot outside like Pedro did.*

Their coats protect them from getting sunburned and being easily bitten by bugs. That’s not to say they can’t get sunburned or bitten by bugs; Petal’s nose gets sunburned if she’s out in the sun for a prolonged amount of time with no sunscreen on her nose and determined bugs have forged their way through their coats a few times, but the majority of the time, I find the bug and remove it before it can make it to their skin.

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I worry it wouldn’t grow back properly if I shaved it. I am also 99% sure that they would be extremely uncomfortable without their fur. They would also look ridiculous and would probably never forgive me. I had a lady once tell me, as she ran her fingers through Lassie’s coat, that she would shave her Rough Collie every summer and he would hide under the bed for days afterward. Lassie told her off with some barking.

They’ll put up with me putting ridiculous things on their heads, but shaving off their gorgeous coat? I would be in the dog house.

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Looking ridiculous.

There are many other ways to help keep your dog cool during these hot summer days.
The Uncommon Dog has provided this cute infographic with tips for keeping your dog cool and recognizing early warning signs that your dog is overheating.

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(click to enlarge)

Some of the tips (like getting a dog house) probably aren’t necessary unless your dog lives or spends a lot of time outside. I don’t recommend them living outside, but a lot of the dogs where we live do live outside, all year round. But luckily I have yet to see a dog who did not have a dog house and/or shade and water.

My dogs spend very little time outside unsupervised. They have a dog run where they go for potty breaks and that’s the only time they’re outside without supervision. We have a decent amount of property but only one area of it is fenced (you can see it in the above pictures), apart from the dog run, and it is most certainly not an escape proof fence. Because of that, and the fact that they just don’t enjoy being out there alone, they are never out there without a human or two or three. Which means there is always someone there to bring them in right away if the heat begins to be too much.
How do your dogs stay cool on hot summer days?
I’ve been thinking about buying a kiddie pool. Think my Collies would be willing to get their feet wet?
Yeah, probably not. ;P

*Don’t worry, I do know there is a huge difference between my head of hair and my Collies’ bodies of fur. 😉

Review: True Chews from Chewy.com!

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Today we are doing a review of True Chews from Chewy.com!

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“Open it, oh Thumbed One!”

The lovely folks at Chewy.com sent us 1 bag of Lils pig ears and 1 six inch bully stick to try.

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The Lils pig ears are for dogs 20 lbs and under. In our case they made the perfect sampling size!
There were three ears in the bag plus one teeny tiny one.

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They’re a pretty decent size. I bet a small dog would be in heaven and get lots of chewing time from it. Lassie and Petal finished them off in under 5 minutes. They LOVED them. I loved that they’re made in the USA. But the little hairs still on the ear made me cringe. My dogs have had pig ears before (usually when I take them to a pet store and they snatch one off the shelf or I tell them to “pick something!” That’s what they usually go for), but I’ve never noticed little hairs. Then again, I’ve never looked too closely either. 😉

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They’re a very messy treat. I was glad I had Petal and Lassie (trust me he got some, in fact, he got 2 of the 3; I just didn’t get any decent pictures) eat them on the kitchen floor/their dog cot.

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“Licking crumbs off the floor is a little difficult with an overbite.”

I gave the bully stick to Petal, since Lassie got 2 of the 3 pig ears.
It was a very thin little bully stick and it only lasted her about 8 minutes! Six inch bully sticks usually last my dogs somewhere between 20-60 minutes depending on thickness (yes, I hear you giggling ;P).

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Thin little bully stick.

These bully sticks would be perfect for little dogs/dogs that aren’t strong chewers at all. They wouldn’t be worth the money for us though. I expect the pricey chews to last a minimum of 20 minutes. This didn’t even last half that.
On the plus side, I didn’t notice any smell and I sat right next to Petal as she ate it.

Lassie & Petal give the pig ears 3 1/2 out of 4 paws up for deliciousness and being made in the USA. They’re a little pricey though.
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Petal gives the bully stick 1 paw up. It was tasty and made in the USA, but it was gone in a flash; not for strong chewers.
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While I wouldn’t buy True Chews’ bully sticks for my dogs, I would happily buy any of their other treats, and I do think their bully sticks would be the perfect size for soft chewers/small dogs.

Of course Chewy.com still has all our love. Our package arrived promptly and the goodies were packaged well.
The dogs get excited when a package from Chewy.com comes. Even the cats come running to see if it’s their usual order of food.

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“Hey, I know that Chewy bloke! He sends me food!”

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Discloser: I was sent one bag of True Chews Lils Pig Ears and one six inch True Chews bully stick from Chewy.com for review purposes. I was not compensated for this review. All opinions expressed are my own.

Monday Face and the Weekend

This is Lassie’s Monday Morning Face:
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 😛

Look what we got over the weekend!

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We won Dachshund Nola‘s giveaway! We got 25 bully sticks from Best Bully Sticks. Lassie and Petal were both very excited by this package. Petal ripped it open and put a few small holes in the resealable package in her enthusiasm, oops. Luckily I was able to force them into our treat jar. 😉

Thank you Nola and Best Bully Sticks!

How was everyone’s weekend?

Our weekend was crazy. Mostly thanks to this dog here:
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Our weekend went from relaxing, to stressful, to filled with relief and exhaustion.
Lassie was up sick from 3 AM – 7 AM Saturday morning. He was drinking plenty of water and nothing suspicious was coming out of him, so I wasn’t too worried until his diarrhea turned to blood. At that point I was exhausted, which is probably why I was so scared when I lifted his tail and found blood all over his romp. I knew it was normal to have some bleeding after suffering through so much diarrhea, but I had never seen him bleed this much before.
That discovery led to lots of crying to my Mom over the phone. I was sure I had done something to make him so sick. She and my Dad were out of town, about 2+ hours away, with our only car, but they rushed home as soon as I called. They picked me and Lassie up and then drove another forty-five minutes to the vet in another town.
Why? Because my parents are awesome, but also because our Usual Vet wasn’t working yesterday, Dr. Jerk Face Vet was and we avoid him unless it’s an absolute emergency. This wasn’t an emergency, so we made the drive to our Favorite Vet Office. We go there whenever we can because I feel they actually listen to me, even if I’m just rambling on and worrying over silly things, they listen and they’re so supportive. They make sure I get all my questions asked and answered before they send me on my way. Our Usual Vet is nice and he seems to know what he’s doing, but I feel like he only half listens to me and he doesn’t take the time to explain anything. It’s frustrating.

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Saturday at Favorite Vet Office we met a new-to-us vet, Heather. She was very sweet. She listened to everything I had to say and offered feedback, suggestions, and answers to my questions. She even made sure I got all my questions asked and answered before we left. And she found nothing wrong with me feeding a homemade diet with supplements. She’s the first vet I’ve ever told that my dogs eat homemade food because I was worried I would be lectured and/or criticized (too many internet stories of pet owners being chewed out by their vets), but she did none of that. She simply looked at Lassie and said he was living the high life and then told me the current meals I had made up would be perfect for his upset tummy.

I brought in what I could gather of Lassie’s poo for them to take a look at, but it wasn’t much. She mentioned colitis, stress, or something he got into (among a few other things). He did get into the trash Friday night and ate something that I couldn’t see in the dark kitchen. We’re usually careful not to throw away dangerous things in the kitchen trash and instead throw them out in the big trash can outside to avoid the dogs or cats getting into it, but who knows, maybe he got something that just didn’t agree with him. There has also been thunder off and on over the past few days and he’s not a big fan of thunder.

So he’s on an antibiotic, a probiotic (in the form of kefir), and a bland diet. The vet told me to call today if he’s not feeling any better and she’ll give him an anti-nausea shot. He’s acting more like his usual self today though, so that won’t be necessary.
I probably could’ve given Lassie a few more days to see if his tummy troubles would sort out on it’s own (as I usually do, so long as there isn’t anything alarming about it), but the blood scared me and he had been throwing up here and there for a few days prior, so to the vet we went. The antibiotic he’s on seems to be helping, he hasn’t thrown up since Saturday morning. So here’s hoping.

Petal also seems to be feeling better today. She hasn’t been sick or anything, but I think I stressed her out Saturday with my worrying and then suddenly taking off with Lassie and leaving her behind. She glued herself to me when we got home and had little to nothing to do with anyone else.
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Snoozing across my chest Saturday afternoon.

But today she’s back to her playful, goofy self.

Busy, busy weekend.

Review: Orijen Freeze Dried Treats from Chewy.com

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I love Chewy.com and was thrilled to work with them again for this review.
Chewy.com has many brands of pet food to offer. They also offer treats, toys, clean up supplies, leashes, collars, and much more.
My favorite thing about Chewy.com would have to be their customer service. I order our cat food from them (it’s so much cheaper at Chewy.com than anywhere else, another plus!) and have had to contact customer service on two occasions and both times they were very prompt and incredibly kind. They didn’t make me want to pull my hair out and they didn’t make me feel like it was my fault.

Chewy.com asked us to review Orijen Freeze Dried treats.
Chewy.com offers Orijen’s dog food, cat food, and dog treats. Orijen’s foods and treats are made in Canada.
We were sent the Original flavor of their freeze dried treats. Here’s a description of them from Chewy.com:

No lazy lap dogs here… these treats are just for the rough-and-tumble, ready-to-wag pups. Orijen Original Freeze-Dried Dog Treats are filled with tasty chicken, turkey, and flounder to provide your pet with a protein-rich snack that’s made without any preservatives, fillers, or artificial flavors. Each grain-free treat only has seven calories, and is freeze-dried to lock in all of the nutritional content and flavor. 5 Star reviews across the board!
 
Key Benefits

  • Made with high-quality protein sources
  • Preservative-free
  • Grain-free
  • Low-calorie, freeze-dried dog treats

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They’re basically the dog equivalent of cat nip (or crack).
My dogs went insane for these treats.
I’m not kidding. I could probably train them to back flip for them.
Look at this crazed look Lassie got in his eyes:
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And Petal, or Miss Talks A Lot, is more quick to end her loud conversations (complete with obnoxious “dancing”) with neighborhood dogs when I bring these treats on our walks. Which quickly made them a five star training treat in my eyes.

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Even Petal’s picky friend Pepper devoured half of one and then demanded the other half. This dog usually won’t take any dog treats from me.

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They’re soft treats. You can easily pinch smaller pieces off of it. They crumble easily and would probably work well to bribe finicky eaters to eat their dinner. That also makes them a bit messy though, but my dogs will happily lick up every last crumb.

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They don’t have a super strong odor (which is a big plus), but they aren’t something you want to go inhaling deep breaths of. Unless you’re a dog, of course.

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While my dogs love how these treats taste, I love that they’re high quality and the ingredients are simple:
Cobb chicken liver, turkey liver, boneless Cobb chicken, boneless turkey, boneless flounder.

That’s it! That’s all that’s in them.

They only down side to them is, they are rather pricey. Though I suppose that’s to be expected for a high quality treat.

The dogs give them 4 out of 4 paws for deliciousness.
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I give them 5 out of 5 hearts for their high quality.
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And 4 hearts for cost.
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Overall, we really loved these treats! We would definitely buy them and recommend them to our friends. Next time you’re in need for a high quality training treat, head over to Chewy.com!

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 Learning to back flip (just kidding).

Discloser: I was sent one bag of Orijen freeze dried treats from Chewy.com for review purposes. I was not compensated for this review. All opinions expressed are my own.

Collies in the Sun + Winners

I’m sure you’re all dying to know who the KONG Treats giveaway winners are, so here we go.
Our winners are…
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Rebekah!

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Mason!

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And Madison!

The three of you have all been emailed, but if by some chance you did not receive an email from me, please let me know here in the comments. Thanks!

Thank you all for entering our giveaway!

Now I’ll leave you with Lassie in mid-run
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and Petal tasting the sun.
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Both pictures were taken on sunnier days.
Today is very windy and the sun is mostly hiding behind the clouds. Looks like it may even rain.

Our summer has been pretty mild so far. It’s only been ridiculously hot for a day or two. I can only hope it stays this way. However it is only June, so I’m trying not to get my hopes up. Who knows what kind of heat July and August will bring us.

Bits and pieces + We have a Winner!

We have a winner for our Vitacost $25 gift card giveaway!
Our winner is…

Dachshund Nola!
Congrats Nola!
I know I said I would have the winner email me, but since I have your email, I went ahead and emailed you. 😉
Thank you to everyone who entered!

Now for a few other things…
pet-ambassador
Earlier this week we had the pleasure of being featured on Healthy Paws blog!
We wrote up some of our favorite activities to do together for their “8 Active Pet Parents.” article.
You can read it here, if you’re interested, you may even recognize a few other dogs/blogs there!
https://www.healthypawspetinsurance.com/blog/2013/06/11/pet-activities/

We have a visitor…
Guess who arrived here just a few hours ago?
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(excuse the crappy iPhone picture, I knew that if I got up to get the Canon, Pepper would follow and I would miss getting this picture)

Petal’s friend Pepper!
For the next 3 weeks we will have a Petal, Penny and Pepper in the house.
Oh yeah, and Pancake the cat who often goes by Panny.
Petal, Pepper, Penny, and Panny.
Yikes. I’m getting tongue tied already.
Should be fun though!

Hope you all are having a great weekend!