Monday, April 21, 2014

Oh, How Time Flies! We Brought Franki Blue Eyes Home Two Years Ago.

Franki ... Just Chillin'
She was barely a year old when my rescue group, COLARS, took Franki in just over two years ago.  She was pregnant and had been abandoned next to a dumpster behind a closed-up, rural bar-and-grill.  A kind woman saw her and fed her for a couple of days until she learned about COLARS.  Just two days after rescuing her, Franki gave birth to three puppies.  After the pups were weaned and transferred to another rescue shelter for adoption, I went to visit her at her foster home.

At first, I hesitated about adopting her ... she was a bit wild and I was concerned that my older and partially disabled pooch, Ripley, might get hurt with such a rambunctious kid running around.  So I went home without her, knowing that our rescue group would be careful about placing her in a new home.  But I couldn't stop thinking about her.  Not just because she was beautiful and unique-looking with those crystal blue eyes ... there was something special about Franki beyond her outward appearance.  Even though she was unfocused and hyperactive during my visit with her, something kept tugging at my heart.

Franki and Ripley, August 2012.
Cooling off after a hike in the woods.
Two days later, I went back to her foster home and told her foster mom that I'd like to take Franki back to my house for a few hours to see how she'd do with my five dogs.  I introduced her to them, one-by-one, in the front yard, waiting until both dogs had enough time to sniff each other out and calm down enough to get acquainted. Since Ripley was the oldest and most dominant dog, I introduced Franki to her first. Despite being very excited, Franki seemed to understand that Ripley's physical body was fragile and she kept a respectful distance.

Things continued to go well, and despite feeling cautious about a new, younger and very active dog trespassing on their turf, my dogs were generally accepting of Franki running around the yard.  I was still unsure about whether this would be a good fit for everyone; but after watching Franki and the rest of the pack for a while outside, I decided to take her inside to see how she acted indoors.

Morning Playtime, November 2012
Franki and Andie
I was more than surprised. The instant Franki entered the house, she calmed down.  I had expected her to become overly excited about being in another new environment, but she seemed to know intuitively that acting like a wild dog inside was unacceptable.  I wondered if she had cued into the other dogs' relative calm and realized that this is how she was also expected to behave.

Waiting for a Birthday Treat
To make a long story short, as the saying goes, I never took Franki back to her foster home. This was her new, forever home.  She's been a blessing; pure joy! ... mixed with some occasional naughtiness, of course ... she's still a kid, after all.

Although I don't know her actual birth day, I decided that her homecoming date, would also be her birthday.  So, yesterday, we celebrated Franki's third birthday and her second year of being Home. 

Sammi, Cookie, Andie and Franki
As a special treat, I shared some of my mother's homemade, world famous chocolate chip oatmeal cookies with her and the rest of the gang ... the dogs got none of the chocolate, of course; just the bites around the chips.  

"I think dogs are the most amazing creatures; they give unconditional love. For me they are the role model for being alive." ~Gilda Radner

Friday, April 18, 2014

Mother's Day Gift Ideas for Under $30

Beagle Bobble Head
Beagle Bobble Head
Mother's Day is just around the corner ... May 11th ... so you are likely thinking about getting your mother something special this year. But maybe you don't have a lot to spend.

No worries!  If your mom is a dog (or cat) lover, I've happened upon an online store called the, that has some really great dog- (and cat) related Mother's Day gift ideas for under $30. Not only for Mom's day, of course.  Any time you need a gift for someone who loves their dog or cat, you're likely to find the perfect gift.  They have everything from bobble-heads, like the adorable Beagle pictured to the left, to iPhone covers, calendars, wind chimes, puzzles, bumper stickers, umbrellas, dog toys, leash hooks, stationery, magnets, coffee and travel mugs, sleep shirts, socks, doormats, wall art and signs, frames, leashes ... pretty much any kind of gift you're looking for, most under $30. Free shipping starts at only $25.00; otherwise, standard shipping is a flat rate $5.00.

Beagle Bobble Head Beagle Bobble Head
This adorable Beagle will wiggle his way into your heart. The wobbly-headed pup is made of high quality, hand painted resin and stands approximately 4.25" tall. Great for home, office, or dash! The perfect gift for any dog lover! Does not include adhesive.

Happy Sammi
My best boy, Sammi, a Beagle-mix, has made me rather partial to Beagles, so some of the ideas I'll share with you here today are Beagle-themed, but you'll find the has a large variety of breeds to choose from: Australian Shepherds, Basset Hounds, Boston Terriers, Border Collies, Labs, Boxers, Bulldogs, Pit Bulls, German Shepherds, Chihuahuas, Cocker Spaniels, Dachshunds, French Bulldogs, Golden Retrievers, Puggles, Poodles, Heelers, Doodles ... the list goes on.  

The store features plenty of more generic and general dog-themed gifts, and if you're partial to Rescues, they have some products that are rescue-themed, as well, including iPhone covers, an air freshener, and magnet.

Dog Wisdom Wall Sign
They have a very large assortment of decorative wall signs and plaques (over 100) that would make great gifts. All of the decorative wall plaques are made from a printed page that is encapsulated between a UV blocking sheet of vinyl and a 3/8 inch thick sheet of medium density fiberboard. They're finished off with a decorative beveled edge and a keyhole hanging system, so they're ready to hang in any room indoors, including bathrooms.

The wall plaques are among my favorites ... it's hard to choose ... but the Dog Wisdom, and Golden Retriever Conversation Quote wall signs, featured to the left and below, especially caught my eye.  Each one is priced at under $25.00.  If you'd like to purchase one, or take a closer look, just click on the caption/link under each photo.  You'll be taken to's website, where you can see every product they have available.   

Golden Retriever Conversation Quote Wall Sign

The gorgeous wall plaque to the right features a Golden Retriever, but the quote is something every dog lover can relate to: "No one appreciates the very special genius of your conversation as the dog does."  ~Christopher Morley

One of my favorite Beagle-themed gifts is the beautiful wall hanging below.  They also have them for German Shepherds and Golden Labs. They measure 12 inches x 12 inches, and are only $19.99.

I Heart My Beagle Wall Sign I Heart My Beagle Wall Sign
Decorative Plaques are a ready-to-hang version of printed art. We take the printed page and encapsulate it between a UV blocking sheet of vinyl and a 3/8 inch thick sheet of MDF wood. We then finish it off with a decorative beveled edge and a keyhole hanging system. Once finished, this decorative plaque can hang in any indoor environment—from kitchens and baths to man caves!

I've given you just a very small taste of what the has to offer.  Take a look for yourself ... you'll see that they have quality dog and cat-themed gifts at great prices.  And their shipping rates are so reasonable.  Even if you don't purchase the minimum to qualify for free shipping (only $25), standard shipping is a flat-rate $5.00. 

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*Disclaimer:  I may earn a small commission from any purchase you make through any of the links to within this article or anywhere else on this blog.  Be assured, however, that my commission does not affect (increase) the prices you pay.*

Friday, April 11, 2014

Dying Woman Desperate to Find a Home for Her Beloved Dog

Family photo, contributed to National Dog News Examiner
I first saw this article on Facebook along with a plea to share the information to help this woman find her sweet Pittie mix, Sherlock, a new, loving home. Anyone who loves their pets like family can understand her anguish at the idea of her dog being homeless after she is forced into hospice care or dies.

The article, Dying Woman Desperate to Find a Home for Her Beloved Dog, appears on and includes the following contact information for anyone who might be able adopt Sherlock or help find him a home in some other way:

Sherlock is in Fort Collins, Colorado, is fully vetted, and heartworm negative. Contact Jess for more information at: or phone 970-775-0797.

Sherlock's human guardian, Pat, has end-stage cancer and will soon be going into hospice. "Sherlock has basic obedience training and is housebroken. He loves people but has never been around young children. He loves long walks and cuddling on the couch. He is such a sweetheart. Sherlock would do best in a home with no other pets. A well mannered, sweetheart of a boy who can't comprehend that soon his human will be gone."

Can you help this woman fulfill her dying wish?  Please share this far and wide so that Sherlock can find a new forever home and loving family!

Update from the Saving Sherlock Facebook page:  "We found a wonderful local family for Sherlock, who we spoke with several times, we did reference checks and had scheduled a home visit for yesterday in the evening. We told Pat about this family several days ago and she was very excited to meet with them, especially since they want her to continue to be a part of Sherlocks life as long as she can. Pat was not feeling well yesterday and began having some difficulty with the thought of placing Sherlock. This is completely understandable and we all feel for her. The adoptive family is wonderful and very understanding of her situation. They said to me this morning "we don't want Pat to look at it like she is losing Sherlock, we want her to look at it like she is gaining a family". ... April 22, 2014

Friday, April 4, 2014

The Best Price for Bully Sticks

Bully sticks, bull pizzles, and steer sticks ... whatever you call them, they have perhaps become the most popular dog treats around.  Especially since all the bad press on treats from China, bully sticks have become THE trusted treat for dogs.  But they can be very expensive with price tags of $3.00 - 5.00 per stick being very common.  And if your dogs are anything like mine, even a single 6-inch, thick bully doesn't last longer than an hour or so.  

So where can you find the best price for bully sticks? Unless you can afford to buy in bulk at the wholesale level, the lowest prices for standard thickness, 6-inch bully sticks ranges from about $1.25 - $1.80 per stick.  One of the very best sources I've found online is  They specialize in bully sticks and offer a large variety of sizes and quantities.  The more you buy, the lower the price per stick.

Not all bully sticks are made in the U.S.A.  In fact, most of them are not.  Most likely, that's because the American beef industry isn't interested in the investment it would take to raise free-range, grass-fed cattle. Most bullies come from either Brazil or India, where there are more organic ranchers than in the United States.

Most of the bully sticks sold by come from free-ranging, grass-fed Brazilian cattle, none of which are fed hormones or antibiotics.  They are a single-ingredient treat with no added chemicals, coloring, preservatives, or flavorings.  They are USDA/FDA inspected and approved.

Some of the bullies sells are made in the U.S.A.; but from the research and looking around I've done, it's very difficult to find American-made dog treats that come from free-range, grass-fed cattle that have not been given hormones and/or antibiotics.  I prefer the bullies from Brazil because they are thicker and more uniform in size. The bullies from the U.S. are thinner, and I'm not 100% sure they are from organically-raised cattle (free-range and grass-fed; although they appear to be chemical-free).  All of the bully sticks sold by come from cattle raised with NO added chemicals, coloring, preservatives, or flavorings.  

Bull pizzles (basically, dehydrated bull penis) are "left overs" of the beef industry.  But as far as dogs are concerned, these "left overs" are one of the best-tasting things on Earth!

Sammi is always happy to "demonstrate"
the proper way to eat a bully stick.
Bully sticks become chewy when moistened by your dog's saliva and naturally help clean their teeth while providing dogs with a satisfying chew. They're a great way to reduce tartar build-up while satisfying your dog's instinct to chew.

They're a much better treat than rawhide:  bullies are easily digested, and won't break or splinter so are a safe and healthy treat for dogs. They're naturally high in protein and low in fat. ... It's just hard to find a better, longer-lasting treat for your canine!

These are the same bullies I give to my own dogs.  I trust and have had no problems giving these treats to my furkids.

*Disclaimer:  I may earn a small commission from any purchase you make through any of the links to within this article or anywhere else on this blog.  Be assured, however, that my commission does not affect (increase) the prices you pay.*