Thursday, April 19, 2018


Hi all! We are still here, still alive. I figure 2.5 months is a long blogging hiatus to take for the time being. I have been active on Facebook and Instagram if you want to follow us there for more updates.

I figure it's time for an update on how things are around here.

Spring is here at the farm. Even though it is has snowed at least once a week since the official beginning of Spring last month.

Squinty faces and a drool bubble during a late season snow. 

Though none of them really act like it, I feel as if I run a senior pet retirement home. Both Juice and Noelle (my cats) are 12.

She really is 12 years old.
Bruce is 8.5, Neeko is 8, and Faolan is the young one at 6.5.

While Winter has seemed to last a while, there are some signs of Spring around. We have had some nice mild days, in which to enjoy hikes, mud, and the creek.

One sure sign of Spring (at least to a northern breed owner) is the annual blowing of the coat. As usual, Faolan is the first to start here, and so far the only one.

Over the course of two long brushing sessions, I completely brushed out his undercoat. I made another dog in the process, and he appears to have lost 10 lbs. I only wish Neeko were that easy.

The chickens are enjoying the new vegetation, bugs, and longer days.

One thing they are less thrilled about is the addition of 12 new chicks.

I got these babies about 7 weeks ago, and kept them inside with their Brinsea EcoGlow Warmer for the first 5 weeks here. I moved them outside into a small, enclosed coop setup near the regular coop. They can see the big girls, and the big girls can see them, but no mingling yet. I am hoping this acclimation system will work.

I am 99% certain one of these babies is a cockerel, so we will see how he turns out.

So that's what is going on with us. Nothing earth shattering, simple day to day life. But it's fun, and I like it.

Tuesday, January 30, 2018

My Rotten Cats: Weruva Cats in the Kitchen #ChewyInfluencer

Hey, we are still alive over here! Follow us on Facebook to stay more up to date.

Myself, the dogs, cats, and chickens are all well. 

So our friends at sent the kitties some canned cat food this month. I know, I know, I am always preaching about the importance of wet food in a cat's diet.

In fact I left this comment in a Facebook group earlier today, when someone was asking whether to cut back on their cat's wet or dry food for weight loss.

That's where I stand.

As I was saying, Chewy sent the girls some Weruva Cats in the Kitchen wet food to try out, 12 cans, each weighing 3.2 ounces. The variety pack contains 4 recipes, 3 cans of each.

What I like most - all have a named broth and several named meats as the first several ingredients.

I also love the fact that my cats seem to be crazy about this food!

Unlike my dogs, they an share a plate.
Some of the formulas have a shredded meat in broth appearance, while others are more of a "pate" style. Either way, Juicekitty and Noelle are happy to eat them.

They are grain and starch-free, and can be a stand alone food.

Licking the bowl clean.

I am quite pleased with this variety pack. As stated, it provides protein and texture variety. It also provides much needed moisture, and the girls love it. It's a quality food, and I am happy to feed it.

We were provided with complimentary product. All opinions are my own. 

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Help Spread Some #SeniorPetLove

Did you know that November is Adopt a Senior Pet Month?

As much as I don't want to think about or admit to it, I am the owner of two senior dogs (and two senior cats, too!)

Neeko, my princess, my heart dog, turned 7 earlier this year, officially earning the title of "senior."

She hasn't changed much since she was a puppy, but has become a little slower, a little calmer. I love her more with each passing year. She started me on this adventure, and I credit her with my passion for canine nutrition, love of photography, and general interest in all things dog. She is steady, solid, consistent.

Bruce is 8, the oldest, and my "grumpy old man." He too has become slightly calmer with age, and is becoming a distinguished grey-haired gentleman. Unlike Neeko, his body shows no evidence of slowing down with age, nor his personality. He remains as goofy as ever, and continues to live up to his nickname of "the jerk."

Senior pets have so much to offer us. They have weathered many storms, and mine love nothing more than a good meal and some good scritches.

Stella & Chewy's has partnered with The Grey Muzzle Organization to help raise awareness for senior pet adoption. The Grey Muzzle Organization improves the lives of at risk senior dogs by providing funding and resources to animal shelters, rescue organizations, sanctuaries and other non-profit groups.

During the month of November, Stella & Chewy's is donating food to the Grey Muzzle Organization. For every photo posted, they will donate $1 of their food.

To participate

  • Post a photo of your senior pet on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter.
  • Use #SeniorPetLove
  • Tag the photo to @stellaandchewys.
This takes little or no time, gives you the opportunity to show off your senior pet, and helps senior pets in need!

My Rotten Dogs are Stella & Chewy's ambassadors. This post is sponsored by Stella & Chewy's but we only share information we believe in and feel to be relevant. 

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Stella & Chewy's. The opinions and text are all mine.

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

My Rotten Cats: Vital Essentials Freeze-Dried Minnows #ChewyInfluencer

I often preach about my love for single or limited ingredient treats for my dogs. The same holds true for my cats; the fewer ingredients, the better.

I couldn't resist the opportunity to let my girls try some cat treats with ONE INGREDIENT from our friends at

Vital Essentials Freeze-Dried Minnnows contain just that - freeze-dried minnows. Nothing else. Little whole prey treats for my girls. VE does a "slow" freeze drying process, over 48 hours, and their treats are shelf stable. No refrigeration required!

Rare is the treat that they will take from my hand. These must be amazing!

They have a very faint fish smell, not overpowering at all. After a couple brief sniffs, the girls were eagerly devouring them.

I like that they are 100% meat, decent size, and don't crumble at all. They help to satisfy the kitties' carnivorous needs.

And the dogs love them too!

Monday, October 30, 2017

Northern Breed Coat Care Featuring Nourish by Isle of Dogs

While all three of my dogs are "northern breed mixes" they have three different fur types. Caring for the coat of any dog can be a challenge, though it doesn't have to be.

Coat health starts within, and Isle of Dogs Nourish products are a beneficial addition.

This post is sponsored by Isle of Dogs. All thoughts are my own. 

Diet. The best thing I do for my dogs' coats is feeding them a raw diet. I personally feel that unnecessary ingredients, fillers, and poor quality ingredients will take their toll on a dog's coat by making it either too dry or too oily, "dirty" feeling, and even increase the rate at which they shed. Proper nutrition can contribute to a healthy coat, be it in the form of a raw diet, a balanced homemade cooked diet, or high quality kibble or canned food.

Neeko has a very woolly coat, with long guard hairs, and the thickest undercoat I've ever encountered on a dog. Bruce has what I consider a typical northern breed coat, and Faolan's is a combination of northern breed and GSD.

Coat care is not one size fits all, especially in my house.

Bathing. I am not a fan of or believer in over bathing dogs. It can strip the natural oils and dry out the skin, contributing to itchiness and fur loss. If a dog feels oily or is stinky without good reason, the problem could be due to diet or genetics. Some fur types are prone to holding odor more than others.
My boys haven't had baths in five years, yet both are soft, and neither stink or feel dirty. Neeko gets 4-5 baths per year, usually all in the spring and fall, due to the changes in her coat during these time periods.

Brushing. Regular brushing of northern breed dogs is important, not only during periods of seasonal shedding. It helps to spread the natural oils and keep the coat conditioned, and remove debris. It also helps to prevent small tangles from becoming large mats that must be cut out. It can be a way to bond with your dog, and also a way to examine the rest of their body and structure.  Don't wait until your northern breed is blowing coat to brush, brush them regularly throughout the year. (Disclaimer - none of my dogs are huge fans of being brushed...)

How Isle of Dogs can help

Nourish Grain Free Functional Dental Chews contain beneficial dental benefits on the outside, and beneficial skin and coat ingredients on the inside.

Bruce LOVES dental chews. However, most contain yeast, which he is highly allergic to. Isle of Dogs Nourish Dental Treats do not! What they do contain is kelp, chicken liver, parsley, and turmeric, amongst other ingredients I am comfortable offering to my dogs. 

Daily Fix Nutritional Probiotic Supplement - Skin + Coat Formula contains fish oil, vitamin E, and biotin for coat health, and probiotics for GI health. My dogs find the taste irresistible, and it is easy to dose in a clean/drip free pump. Omega fatty acids are well-known to benefit a dog's coat, and also overall health. This is a convenient way to offer them. 

As I mentioned above, my dogs are NOT fans of being brushed. They tolerate it at best. We have lengthy brushing sessions in the spring when they are shedding, and shorter brushing sessions throughout the rest of the year. One way I get them to cooperate with and tolerate the brushing sessions is by offering them yummy treats during the brushing sessions. 

Nourish Grain Free Jerky Bites contain no wheat, corn, potatoes or rice. They are 90% beef or lamb, and contain Green-lipped mussels. These small treats contain limited ingredients, are easy to pass out, and my dogs love them. They definitely make the brushing sessions quicker for all of us. 

Feed the highest quality food you can, brush your dogs regularly, bathe them when needed, and supplement as necessary. 

How do you care for your dogs' coats?

Sunday, October 29, 2017

Fear, Control, Trust, and Relaxation: Leaving my Dogs with Someone

Until last week, I had not had a vacation in five years. Five years ago I went away with some girlfriends to celebrate one of their birthdays. I boarded the dogs during that time period. It was an awful fiasco. I had taken the dogs to meet the gentleman prior to leaving, and he was sure he would be fine with them. This was a licensed kennel, and a very nice place.

He had to go out of town, and things got bad, apparently. When I picked my dogs up, they were separated, and all three were wearing bark collars. I was told they were not welcome back, and that Bruce was "unboardable."

I scrapped the idea of ever leaving town again, though four years ago I attended a Nicole Wilde seminar in a neighboring state with a friend while my ex cared for the dogs.

Earlier this year, I relinquished a little control, but mostly overcame a little fear, by asking my sister to come over one night and feed the dogs for me. I set everything up so it would be easy for her.

It went perfectly smooth.

I knew I could trust her. My dogs love her, they trust her. Mostly I knew she could follow the directions. My dogs resource guard, so I was worried about a fight breaking out over guarding the food, or because they saw my sister as a resource to guard.

She has since done it for me a couple more times. I probably leave overly-descriptive instructions for her.

A couple of months ago, I decided it was high time I get away, if only for a few days. I booked a cabin in the Smoky Mountains. I asked my sister to stay at my house for four nights. She agreed.

I prepped and labeled easy to feed breakfasts and dinners. Explained about setting food out to thaw. Made sure Bruce had plenty of medication. Bought her several bottles of wine, and stocked my refrigerator with food. Gave her a check to cover her gas and inconvenience of staying at my house.

And I left. drove 6 hours away to enjoy beautiful scenery, good food, and time with someone important to me.

She sent me texts to let me know things were going ok.

My biggest fear was getting a phone call that there had been a fight, that one had escaped, or that one of them was sick. None of these things occurred.

I had a wonderful time, it was a much needed break.

I knew all along I could trust my sister, I just needed to give up the control, and overcome my fears. I hope she knows how appreciative I am of her.