Friday, July 28, 2017

Rewarding Behaviors with #StellaandChewys

It's no secret that I am a fan of Stella & Chewy's raw food. My dogs are as well. While I haven't personally tasted it, it's apparently delicious.

So much so that my dogs are willing to work for it.

Stella & Chewy's freeze-dried raw makes a great reward or training treat!

I admit, I regularly bribe my dogs for good or desired behaviors, or for doing "tricks" that I want them to do. They typically comply, but the reward has to be worth it in their opinions at times. Stella & Chewy's is nearly always worth it to them.

My Rotten Dogs are Stella & Chewy's ambassadors. We are compensated to help spread the word about Stella & Chewy's, but all thoughts and opinions are our own. 

I am not a trainer, nor do I claim or desire to be one. But my dogs all know several behaviors and/or tricks, and I encouraged them to learn them with tasty goodies.

I haven't taught any new tricks or behaviors recently, with the exception of teaching Faolan to "crawl." However, we still do regular sessions of their known tricks and behaviors, to keep them sharp.

When I do these outdoors, there are distractions. My chickens, other birds and critters, each other my neighbors tractor, lawnmower, golfcart, etc. So have to have something very high value to keep their attention.

Stella & Chewy's is just that to them-high value.

Notice how intently (for the most part) are paying attention to me? I believe it's because of the pieces of Stella & Chewy's I was holding. Faolan in particular wanted MY attention and the treats, and was being pretty demanding (but still cute) by barking at me.

It's quite easy to use the food as treats. Though it is freeze-dried, it is not super crumbly. The patties easily break into smaller pieces to be used as treats.

My dogs definitely go nuts for these, and are willing to work. I need to put my thinking cap on, and come up with new tricks and behaviors to teach them using these as a reward.

Do you have any trick suggestions for me?

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

Thursday, July 27, 2017

Embark DNA Testing a Suspected Wolfdog From a Shelter

Order an Embark DNA test by clicking HERE.

When I adopted Faolan from a local shelter five years ago, he was officially adopted out as a "husky mix." Turns out, that is true. But there are a few other breeds present in him as well.

Faolan was an owner surrender to the shelter, and they seemed to think I was going to be his third owner. The person who surrendered him gave a story that suggested they may have gotten him from out of state. The shelter staff guessed him at approximately 9 months old in July of 2012. They thought he was neutered, turns out his testicles just hadn't descended yet. One small one popped up (or popped down?) a couple of weeks after I adopted him, and he was neutered shortly after that.

A few years back, I did an earlier version of Wisdom Panel on Faolan, and I wasn't terribly impressed with the results. So I decided to do an an Embark DNA test on him.

Not only does Embark have an extensive database to test for various dog breeds, they also test for 160 genetic diseases, all of which Faolan is clear of.

Faolan came back with five breeds present, and nothing was supermutt or too mixed to tell.

Monday, July 24, 2017

My Rotten Cats: Fresh Step Febreze Freshness Extreme #ChewyInfluencer

I'm not terribly picky when it comes to my cats' litter. My main criteria is that it clump hard, and be something my cats will willingly use. Though I have been loyal to the same litter for over a year now, and was loyal to another brand for 10 years prior to that. (Now I feel old!)

So I was perfectly fine with trying a new brand, courtesy of our friends at They sent the girls a box of Fresh Step Extreme to try out.

Thursday, July 20, 2017

July 2017 BarkBox Review

I am a BarkBox subscriber. I am not asked nor encouraged to review BarkBox. All opinions are my own.

What's in a barkbox

What's in a BarkBox? I used to reviews monthly of the BarkBoxes that my dogs received. (They get more mail than I do.) I stopped because I felt the quality had dropped, and I just wasn't excited about them. This month was the best BarkBox we have received in a while, so I decided it was worth posting about.

This month's theme is "A Lick in Wonderland" and the items seem to place on an Alice in Wonderland type theme.

Monday, July 17, 2017

My Rotten Cats: Stella & Chewy's Dinner Morsels #ChewyInfluencer

It's well known and well documented that my dogs are fans of Stella & Chewy's products. They enjoy various formulas of it for breakfast pretty frequently.

Cats, being obligate carnivores, also benefit from the raw goodness Stella & Chewy's has to offer. Our friends at (no relation) sent the girls some Yummy Licken' Salmon & Chicken Dinner Morsels to try out.

Salmon, chicken, chicken liver, and chicken gizzard are the first four ingredients. Check, check, check, check. These are all foods I would feed the kitties raw, if I could get them to eat most types of raw. But they are picky, so I get them raw in other forms.

Thursday, July 6, 2017

Cooking With My Dogs' Food - Grilled Beef Heart with Beer Mustard Marinade

beef heart recipe

A couple of months ago I decided it was time that the dogs started sharing their food with me. About 75% of what I purchase for them is human grade and intended for human consumption. It's usually incredibly healthy, so why not?

I first made a meal of turkey hearts, as there are many benefits to eating organ meat. Hearts are considered meaty meat for dogs, but are technically classified as an organ meat. Heart (and other organ meats) are typically less expensive, and usually contain higher amounts of protein, vitamins, and macronutrients.

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Happy Gotcha Day Faolan!

Five years ago today I left work early so I could make it to a shelter in a nearby county to "look at" a dog before they closed.

Five years ago today I ended up adopting a scared, fearful, skinny older puppy who was named Dante.

Five years ago today I renamed him Faolan.

The above photo was taken about three months after I adopted him. He was still small, but his coat was a million times better, thanks to raw.

Neeko played a large role in helping him to develop some confidence, as did patience, kindness, love, and consistency.

He is now a fun adult dog who is always up for an adventure. He loves meeting other people and dogs, and will do just about anything I ask of him. He is very confident now, and very rarely fearful.

Walking out onto and balancing on a narrow fallen tree for me.
He is funny. He is smart. He is sweet. He is pushy. Sometimes he is impatient.

He has become my favorite hiking buddy, and he doesn't tire out easily. He learns quickly, and most of the time will work for food.

I love how far he has come, and how far he and I have come together.

Happy 5th Gotcha Day, sweet boy!