Sunday, November 30, 2014

Black & White Sunday

They make me smile.

Saturday, November 29, 2014


I love this quote, and hate it at the same time.  Mostly, I am thankful for my steadfast dogs. 

Friday, November 28, 2014

Pet Gift Box Review

Admitting one has a problem is the first step, right?  I love subscription boxes.  Food, beauty, but mostly the ones for pets.

Pet Gift Box is a monthly subscription service that can be canceled at any time.  No contracts necessary.  At only $17.99 per month, it is certainly one of the least expensive pet subscription boxes available.

We were sent a Pet Gift Box to enjoy.

Loved this personal touch!

The Goods

The box we were sent obviously had a (cute) holiday theme to it.  This plush Vermont Fleece Star is cute, soft, and contains a squeaker.  It would last about 2 seconds with one of my dogs, but I am sure a shelter pup will love it.

My dogs love ropes.  And balls.  The Knotty Tug Toy combines these two!  I love interactive toys that encourage engagement between a dog and their owner.  This toy is perfect for that.

The Holiday Babbler is a cute penguin wearing a Santa hat.  When squeezed, he sings "Santa Claus is Coming to Town."  While very, very cute, it is not very practical for my dogs.

Black Eyed Cutie.  Neeko LOVES toys like this, and is surprisingly easy on them.  It is a latex toy containing a squeaker.  I cannot wait to give it to her!

Pup-rrr-mint Dental Chews.  These are USA made, and do not contain yeast, which means I can give these to Bruce.  Big boy has a strange affinity for dental chews, and finding ones without yeast is always a challenge.

While I am not quite sure what animal this is, it is a cute plush toy with a squeaker inside.  While it probably won't last long, I will allow one of my dogs to play with this while supervised.  Did I mention it is cute?

This Pet Speak Streamers toy seems to be made of durable material, and has a squeaker, which is a bonus for most dogs.  This would probably make a good tug toy, and I plan on using it as such.

Overall, the Pet Gift Box is decent, especially when one factors in the low cost.  For small dogs or dogs that are not heavy chewers, it is probably ideal.

I was provided with a complimentary Pet Gift Box.  All opinions are strictly my own.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

I am the Raw Feeder Who Forgets to Thaw Breakfast (Bravo! Homestyle Complete Giveaway)

After feeding raw for several years, one would think I had my routine in order.  I feed my dogs twice daily, and am guilty of forgetting to set food out to thaw for breakfast at least once a week.

I hate mornings when that happens.  I have a few options:
  • Try the quick thaw method, which involves submerging the bag of frozen food in a sink full of tepid water.  Time consuming, and sometimes messy if the bag leaks,
  • Putting a bunch of treats in a bowl, and serving it as breakfast,
  • Feeding a couple of individually frozen organ portions for breakfast; or
  • Dehydrated or freeze-dried raw food, like Bravo! Homestyle Complete.

Bravo Homestyle Complete is raw meat and organ based, and includes vegetables and cranberries.  It is easily prepared by mixing equal parts Bravo with equal parts warm water, and allowing it to sit for 15 minutes.  This product is perfect for those busy mornings when I forget to thaw out breakfast for the dogs.  Rehydrate the Bravo, get in the shower, feed dogs after I get out of the shower.

I love that I can tell what I am looking at here.  Meat and organs, sweet potatoes, green beans and cranberries. 
These are complete and balanced, and could be fed as the sole food of a raw diet for a dog.  They must taste good, as my crew eagerly eat them when offered.

Find Bravo! on Facebook and Twitter.  Follow My Rotten Dogs on Facebook for more raw feeding info, fun facts, and giveaways!

The Giveaway
Bravo is giving away 10 bags of of their Homestyle Complete to one reader.  Each bag makes one pound of fresh, raw, REAL food once rehydrated with water!  Giveaway open to US residents.  Enter using Rafflecopter below.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

This post and giveaway are sponsored by Bravo Pet Foods.  Bravo is not responsible for the content.


Saturday, November 22, 2014

November 2014 BarkBox Review

We received our November BarkBox yesterday.  Reviews of previous and/or current BarkBoxes can be read HERE.

The Goods

Wagatha's Kitchen Sink Organic Biscuits.  Approximate retail value $4.99.  Barley based biscuit treats with all organic ingredients.  These contain several fruit products, which Neeko loves.  Bruce loves anything, but I am not sure how Faolan will respond to these.

Diggin Your Dog Charki-O Hip & Joint Dog Chew.  Approximate retail value $6.99.  8-9" roasted beef trachea.  Trachea is a good natural source of chondroitin.  My dogs love roasted treats, and I am sure whoever receives this will be very happy.

Apawthecary Cleaning Wipes.  Unknown retail value.  Handy-sized bottle of lavender scented wipes.  Wipes such as these are useful for cleaning ears or a quick freshening up.  I like that the container is small, and easily portable.

PetSafe Squeak 'n Treat booya.  Approximate retail value $9.49.  A hollow rubber toy meant to be filled with loose treats.  While I am sure my dogs would enjoy this, it does not feel very durable, and would probably be quickly destroyed.  This is going in the donation box.

Turducken Baked Treats for Dogs.  Unknown retail value.  These are made by the Canadian company FeelGood Treat Company exclusively for BarkBox.  Limited, quality ingredients in a crunchy treat.  These are liver-based, and I am sure they will be a hit with my dogs.

Overall, this month's BarkBox is okay.  My favorite item is the trachea, followed by the Turducken treats.  I have once indicated to BarkBox that I have heavy chewers, and the toy does not seem like it would stand up to any dog that is a heavy chewer.  To try BarkBox for yourself and save 10% off your order, click HERE.

I am a BarkBox subscriber.  I am not asked or encouraged to do these reviews.  All opinions are strictly my own.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

What a Dog Knows: Canine Empathy

Faolan used to be fearful and demonstrate several "reactive" behaviors.  Over the last 2.5 years he has blossomed into a sweet, social boy who only occasionally demonstrates fearful behaviors.

I recently attended the Great Indy Pet Expo with a dear friend of mine, and took Faolan with me.  My friend, Debbie, has actually known Faolan longer than me, as she has long been associated/works for the shelter I adopted him from.  He is actually the reason we are friends.

Little boy did fantastic, although there were a couple of occasions in which I could tell he was overwhelmed.  On these occasions, we took a quick break from the throngs of people so that he could decompress.

He is always excellent with children, but sometimes a bit pushy, meaning he uses his nose to seek attention from them.

We were approached by many people, asking about him, asking to pet him, which is not unusual.

A man and his approximately 10 year old son with special needs were cautiously approaching us, so I spoke up and told them hello.  The man asked about Faolan, the usual questions-"What is he?" "Where is he from?"  "May we pet him?"

I answered them-"He's a mutt, a shelter special."  "He is from Greenfield-Hancock Animal Management."  "Of course you can pet him, he loves everyone."

What happened next brought tears to my eyes.  Faolan very gently curved into the boy, who then leaned over Faolan.  (That always makes me uncomfortable, with any dog, but that is another post for another day.)  Faolan gave him the gentlest of kisses, and then went belly up at the boy's feet.

I stood talking to the father for a few minutes, and the whole time Faolan was lying at the boy's feet.

He knew to be gentle with him.

Neeko is my girl, my princess.  But she does not seem to be particularly empathetic to my emotions, and neither does Bruce.  Faolan does.  He seems to sense when I am having a bad day, and is a subdued, gentle version of his sometimes obnoxious self.

I have not come home in the best of moods the last couple of days.  His usual greeting to me is excited, joyous, and occasionally jumpy.  These days he has greeted me with a deep look, a gentle lean, and a non demanding head on my lap.  It is just what I need.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Black & White Sunday

I have a new camera, a Nikon D3200.  I am still learning and playing with it.

It has been unseasonably cold here.  One can see the water in the stock tank is frozen solid.

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Recent Raw Meals

 After the break are photos and examples of raw meals for dogs.  I feed mostly prey model raw, but do occasionally use some dehydrated raw and premade raw.

These are just a few photos of some of my dogs' meals over the last two weeks.

My crew mostly eats the same meals as each other, with the same portion sizes.

 I feed as much cut and protein variety as possible.

For additional photos of raw meals for dogs, click HERE.

Useful links:

How **I** Feed Raw

Raw Feeding Resources

Monday, November 10, 2014

Wolfdogs, Prey Drive, and a Suicidal Guinea Fowl

Prey drive is inherent to many breeds of dogs.  Sometimes it can be "fixed" and typically it can be managed.  I am a member of the camp who manages it.

Bruce and Faolan both have a strong prey drive.  Bruce more so than Faolan.  Bruce cannot be trusted around smaller dogs, while weirdo Faolan tends to be afraid of smaller dogs, and ok with cats when supervised.  Faolan is excellent with children.

A couple of months ago, I let the dogs out into the play yard to run around one beautiful morning before work.  Neeko and Faolan immediately ran to a back corner, but I didn't pay much attention.  Next thing I knew, I heard this awful noise, and saw them playing tug with something.

They were playing tug with a rabbit, and the awful noise was it screaming.  I quickly corralled Bruce, because he is an asshole who wants anything that could be remotely considered food, and did not want to deal with a fight.

Neeko was quickly bored, so I ushered her inside as well.  By the time I returned outside to Faolan, he had eaten half the rabbit, and buried the other half, caching it for later...

wolfdog prey drive, mid content wolfdog
He's too sweet to be a cold-blooded killer.
Earlier this week, I watched, helpless, as a guinea fowl flew into the play yard.  While the dogs were in it.  And could not figure out how to fly back out.  Needless to say, I am short one guinea fowl now, courtesy of Bruce and Faolan.  The day before, I had just commented on how they are not very smart birds...

I have read stories in chicken groups about what people do to their own dogs if the dog happens to kill a bird.  Some of them are disturbing.  Some will simply shoot the dog, some tie the dead chicken around their neck, some use aversion training to make the dog fearful of chickens, and some rehome the dog.

I feel it is the responsibility of the chicken keeper/dog guardian to protect their birds from their dogs, and vice versa.   Fences are your friend.  Not every dog is rock-solid good around all other animals.  To punish, rehome, or do worse to a dog for being a dog is just wrong.

Fortunately, my dogs are not livestock guardian dogs, nor do I expect them to be.   However, it is my responsibility to protect my chickens and cats from them.

Due to their lack of recall, my dogs are always leashed, or contained by a fence when outside.  This works well for chickens, who cannot get the necessary height while flying to clear the fence.  Guinea fowl are a different story. 

I was upset over the guinea fowl incident, but not angy.  You cannot be mad at a dog for being a dog.

I have written before of the precautions necessary to keep my cats safe.  It is a matter of supervision, and closing appropriate doors when not at home.  Easy, peasy.  

I have yet to figure out how the rabbit got into the dog yard, but was unable to escape.  Again, I was upset, but not angry. 

The most unfortunate thing about these two situations is that I fear Bruce and Faolan now view anything small and fluffy that is not a dog as food. 

I only hope that the other guinea fowl learned a lesson...

Monday, November 3, 2014

October 2014 Expenses

Typically, the first day of a new month has me calculating how much I spent on my dogs in the previous month.  This month I am doing it on the final day of the month at hand.  Some months the numbers are low, others are a bit much.  Previous posts about expenses can give one an idea about how much it costs to care for three large breed dogs in the Midwest.

I do these posts for a few reasons.  I have seen a few other bloggers do them, and it is a good way for me to keep track and be accountable for dog related expenses.  Also, it is a fairly accurate example of the costs associated with caring for three large dogs.  Some argue that raw is expensive, but in my opinion and experience, it is no more expensive than feeding a good quality kibble.

October 2014 Expenses



My food was a bit over budget.  Some of it is my November order from Raw Paws, which I will receive in a couple of weeks.  Some is from another raw food supplier, some for some chicken leg quarters at the grocery store, and $91 was spent on a large box of The Honest Kitchen Embark. 

Treat expenses was for our PetBox.  I haven't yet cancelled that, but need to.

$8.00 was spent on Bruce's prescription.  

Although I was a bit over budget on food, this was a fairly average month.