Thursday, November 26, 2015

BarkWorld Swag Bag Review: SleekEz Shedding Blade

While I was at BarkWorld, I stopped by the SleekEz booth. They were giving away samples of their shedding blades. A simple setup, the SleekEz blase features a toothed, metal blade mounted in a poplar handle.

As I mentioned to the representative, Axle doesn't shed a lot. What bit he does shed isn't likely to be caught by a grooming blade or brush because his hair is so short. I told her I would give it a try, though.

Well, I did. Unfortunately, it was of no use on Axle. I tried it out on the cats instead. I usually use the Furminator on the cats, which I have been happy with. I was not impressed with the SleekEz blade. It has a shallow reach into the fur, and, while it did pick up some hair, it wasn't very efficient. It may be a more useful tool for horses.

Sorry, SleekEz, not a fan!

Monday, November 16, 2015

BarkWorld Swag Bag Review Update: TropiClean

After scouring the shelves of my local pet superstore, the TropiClean treats were nowhere to be found! The manager told me that the treats had been discontinued, which I said was odd as I just received one in my BarkWorld swag bag!

Anyway, I spotted these fresh breath drops by TropiClean at their checkout counter, and picked up a bottle to try. It says, "Noticeably fresher breath in 1 week." It's safe for both cats and dogs. That's great, as mine share a water fountain.

Stay tuned for a results post!

Sunday, November 15, 2015

BarkWorld Swag Bag Review: TropiClean Treats

Ok, dog breath isn't cute. Some people fawn over puppy breath, but I find it smelly! At nearly five years old, Axle doesn't have puppy breath, but he doesn't have really good breath, either. Part of that is to blame on his favorite treats and chews - beef tracheas, raw deer bones, and chicken/duck feet aren't very pleasant.

I've tried several dental-type chews in the past, but Axle has shown zero interest. From the original Greenies brand to the newer Minties, Axle has turned his nose up at every anti-bad-breath treat I could find.

I get a treat?

When I saw the TropiClean Fresh Breath +Plus dog treat in my swag bag from BarkWorld, I was excited to give it a try! Made in the USA, the treats are gluten-, corn-, grain-, and wheat-free. The treat itself has a softer texture than some of the dental treats on the market. It reminded me of the puppy-era Nylabones.
Want a treat?

Oh my dog, it's so good!

His breath is much better!
As picky as Axle is, he absolutely loved this treat! His breath was also noticeably better, so I'll definitely be getting more of these treats! Thanks to TropiClean for supporting BarkWorld and for giving us these treats to try in our swag bags.

Wednesday, November 11, 2015


This past weekend, I left my quiet home  in the country and headed to the big city of Atlanta, Georgia. I was going to my very first BarkWorld!

I'm a bit ashamed to admit that, before this year, I had never heard of BarkWorld. I had no idea what to expect!

Axle and the cats stayed home with my husband, while my daughter, my Nana and her dog, and myself all hit the road towards Atlanta.

The next day and a half was a bit of a blur, a mix of seminars, networking, and a futile search for sweet tea. Lord knows I love my sweet tea, and there was not a drop to be found in the hotel or surrounding restaurants! My aunt didn't have any, either, which simply blows my mind. I'm pretty sure I drank a gallon once I got home.

Now, don't be fooled. There was tea around...unsweetened, herbal, hot teas of many varieties, but when I asked for sweet, I was offered sweeteners or peach tea. Bless that waitress's heart, ain't nothing worse than no sweet tea than PEACH tea! I like my peaches fresh and unadulterated, thank you.

If I go next year, rest assured I'll be pulling a Duck Dynasty and hauling around my own personal gallon of sweet tea!

All kidding aside, it was a wonderful experience, and I was simply overwhelmed at the amount of passionate fellow dog lovers in attendance. I will be writing about a few of them, including Shorty Rossi (Pit Boss) and a young entrepreneur by the name of Isabella (Isabella's Pet Shop).

Perhaps the best part was meeting several people that I had only interacted with online, particularly my "boss's boss," as she referred to herself, Vicky Walker; my editor/boss, Pamela Mitchell; Dogster community manager, Lori Malm; and fellow Dogster/Catster writers Susan, Lisa, and Toni. They are truly amazing women, and just being around them and hearing their stories made my heart want to explode! We all enjoyed dinner together that Friday night, and the talent and passion at that table was astounding.

Seriously, I can't sing their praises enough! I am so grateful to have been taken into the formerly SayMedia and presently I-5 Publishing fold. 

Catch up with me on soon, y'all!

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Preventative Medication: An Adventure

After nearly five years, Axle is wise to just about every trick in the book when it comes to sneaking him medications. He was very quick to figure out the pill pockets (Greenies) when he was a puppy, so we moved on to sliced cheese. That sneaky dog figured out how to pick the cheese apart, little by little, until the pill fell out and he was left with just the fantastically delicious cheese. Now, he refuses to eat cheese. Peanut butter was also a bust, as he'd just lick it off of the pill.

I switched to the ProGuard heartworm prevention shot (every 6 months) and used a topical flea/tick preventative until my daughter was born. At that point, I needed something beyond a topical, since she would be touching him, and I needed something easier to handle with an infant. (Hauling your dog and your child to the vet every 6 months is tough!) Sooo....we switched to Trifexis.

I know, I know. There have been complaints about Trifexis. There have also been complaints that topical flea meds cause hair loss, surface burns, and other harsh reactions. There have been complaints that Comfortis causes seizures. There was also that trend where people refused to give their dogs flea/tick or heartworm prevention because it "caused cancer."

I say, go with the preventive care that works best for you and your dog, under the guidance of your vet. In our case, that was Trifexis. Have you ever seen one of those tablets??? They are the size of a quarter, but way thicker. Here's how Trifexis markets these gargantuan things:

"Trifexis is beef-flavored, so you can offer it as a treat. Trifexis is an easy to administer chewable tablet"

They do not smell like any beef I've ever eaten! Axle must agree, because he refused to eat it. I wrapped it in everything I could think of, even bacon. So, how did I end up giving him his Trifexis? I had to crush it into a very fine powder. I'm pretty sure I inhaled some of it, so I am also parasite-free. I then had to mix small bits of it into various substances until I could find what he would eat. The winner? Ranch dressing, and it couldn't be the kind that came in the plastic bottle or that you get served at a restaurant. No, he wants the "fancy" kind that comes in reusable glass jars.

The good news is that I only have to do this once a month, and it only takes one pill to cover everything. The only thing I miss about the topical I used was that it also repelled fleas AND mosquitoes, and it was cheaper.

Oh, the things we do to keep our dogs healthy and free of fleas/ticks and parasites!

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Images Update

I recently upgraded to a new phone, and it automatically synced all of my Google photos. Seeing a lot of old photos on my phone, I deleted them...not realizing that they were stored in the Google drive for places like this blog! Soo...if you've noticed a lot of "x" boxes where images should be, that's what happened!! To make up for's lots of pictures for you to look at instead! :)

Sleepy time?


Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Welcome (Again)

If you're new to this blog, you probably heard about it through Dogster, the online magazine that I write articles for. I've written several articles for them over the past couple of years, and some of you have agreed with my points and some of you haven't. I write from my experience, my research, and from interviewing those with professional insight. I write about what inspires me, what upsets me, and about things I think we need to change.

For every rule I stand for, I firmly believe that there is and always will be at least one exception to that rule. Our world comes in shades of grey (more than 50, ahem), rather than stark black and white. In my articles, I'm limited on my word content, and I try to write in a way that both captures the attention of my audience, as well as delivers my point in a concise and easy-to-understand manner. Am I always successful? No. Are there always nitpickers? Most definitely.

I used to take some of the commentary personal, because I put my heart into my articles; however, I quickly learned that a) you cannot please everyone and b) the world would be boring if no one disagreed.

Unfortunately, with my article writing on top of my full-time job, second full-time job as a first time mom, and all of my other duties, I've come up lacking on keeping this blog updated, as well as the corresponding Facebook page.

I truly appreciate each of you readers and fans, and I do try to respond in a timely manner to messages and comments; however, I cannot live in the electronic world 24/7. My hat is off to those that run FB pages, blogs, and websites that are constantly updated and engaging with their audience. It's a tough job, and I simply do not have the resources to handle it.

I will continue to write on here as I can, as well as on my parenting blog, but you'll be more likely to find new content from me more frequently on Dogster and Catster online magazines. I'm also always open to interviewing and writing about people you nominate as a Dogster hero, heartwarming rescue stories, and other topics relevant to dogs (or cats!).  You can reach me at :)

Carry on!