When Chewy.com asked us to join their team of blogger product reviewers, we first thought to ourselves… nah, we don’t really like doing product reviews. But then Doodlebug looked at us like this, and we thought to ourselves… You’re right boys. High-quality treats, delivered to our door for free? Yes please.
So we made our selection — the Orijen Black Angus Beef freeze-dried treats, and before the dogs could figure out how to spell “lickety-split,” the package arrived.
What did we think? Us humans were impressed with the short list of ingredients: Angus beef liver, boneless Black Angus beef, Black Angus tripe. The treats — along with all Orijen products — are made in Canada from all Canadian ingredients, and we like that too.
What did the boys think? They decided that black angus is their favorite flavor of beefs. These treats were so yummable that the boys couldn’t even concentrate enough to follow basic commands or do simple tricks. I’d ask for one thing, and they’d speed through all of the commands and tricks that they know in rapid fire succession, and then stare at me with those gimmegimmegimme eyes.
If anything, these treats were too delicious. We’ll be saving them for those special occasions when we’re asking the boys to do something exceptionally difficult, like walk casually past a giant, tiara-wearing cat eating a tuna sandwich with bacon on top. The boys are just hoping that such a day comes.
Well folks, it’s been two weeks since we announced our “Show Us How You Chow Down” photo contest with Arrfscarf, and boy have you kept us entertained with amazing photos of your dogs! I wanted to submit this photo of myself expertly doing cleanings to the whipped-cream-makers, but mama said I was disqualified because I live with her. Lame!
Check out all these entries that were NOT disqualified:
Originally, my brother and I were going to put our big brainiac brains together with the good folks at Arrfscarf and pick a winner. But then I realized something. I said to myself: “Self, you know many of these dogs in real life or through the interwebs, so you would not make a very fair judge.” And so I disqualified myself from the judgings!
I left the pickings all to the nice people at Arrfscarf, and they picked a winner — and because they liked the other photos so much — TWO runners up!
So without further ado, the second runner up is . . . . . Our dear friend Luna! Luna wins one large bag of Arrfscarf hand-crafted dog treats and a mini variety pack of treats.
The first runner up is . . . . the lovely Arabella! Arabella wins her choice of two large bags of treats and a mini variety pack.
And I am most
jealous excited our big winner, who wins the whole package — a large back of EACH of Arrfscarf’s handmade dog treats, two doggie ice creams, and an Arrfscarf custom engraved dog tag — Delilah!
Congrats to our very deserving winners. My brother Doodlebug and I hope you get blissfully fat from eating so many treats (in a good way)!
And — as a sweet little bonus — I have convinced Arrfscarf to award a FOURTH winner, picked randomly by me via Random.org (did you even know that I know how to use the internets? I am damn smart!).
So congratulations to Peyton for winning our last prize — two mini variety packs of Arrfscarf treats!
Thanks to everybody for playing. We can’t wait to play another contest with you sometime soon!
***Winners, please contact us via email at info (at) loveandaleash (dot) org, or via Facebook messaging***
**Don’t forget to enter our photo contest for a chance to win some handcrafted doggie ice cream and a whole bounty of other delicious treats!! Click here for details**
Things are going really well in our household since Puppy E came home several weeks ago. And it’s not just good luck — we did plenty of preparation ahead of time to get the dogs accustomed to the routines, sounds, smells, and general presence of a baby in the house. But there’s a lot more to it than that, too. The biggest success factor, in our opinion, is to make sure that the dogs feel calm, relaxed, and safe in every single interaction with the baby.
The other day, a friend was bragging to me about how good her dog is with little kids. Several toddlers had been over at her house, and decided to play with her dog. The dog tolerated their ear tugging, tail pulling, and wrestle moves, my friend boasted, even though he was clearly unimpressed. According to my friend, the dog was looking to her, like: Mom, I know I have to tolerate this, but I am really unhappy. What struck me about this story was that my friend chose to observe and allow this behavior to continue even though her dog was uncomfortable, rather than intervening on his behalf.
What my friend didn’t realize is that on that day, she sent a message to her dog: you are on your own. Luckily, her dog is laid-back enough to have tolerated this particular interaction with these children without acting out. But there is no telling whether a day will come when he decides he has had enough and, fairly, tells the children in no uncertain terms to back off –– or worse. If the dog did growl, snap, or bite, he would most certainly be blamed. Called aggressive. But in reality, he had looked to his people the whole time to help out, but no one paid any mind. Can you really blame the guy?
It is our responsibility to be our dogs’ guardians. It is our duty to keep them safe and happy, and protect them in situations that make them uncomfortable. Even when the children are our own, we must look out for the dogs –- as well as the kids.
A new baby coming home creates a lot of excitement in a household. Dogs, accustomed to living in a house with no tiny humans, may be nervous or over-excited when the new human first moves in. Obviously, this is understandable. But it is during those moments of over–arousal that dogs tend to make poor choices or act un-gently. And and un–gentle dog, even if it is super friendly, can spell trouble for a tiny human.
So in our house, we were especially careful about one thing. Before the dogs were allowed to interact with Puppy E at close range, they had to be totally over it. We did not want any tap-dancing paws, fast–wagging tails, or excited puppy kisses. We wanted total boredom. And we got it. How? Simple. When the baby first came home, we kept the dogs busy with plenty of enrichment activities. Lots of walks, stuffed bones and kongs to chew on, puzzle toys to play with, and slow, controlled–based exercises in the presence of the baby. Things like sit-stays and down-stays. After a few hours for Chick and a couple days for Doodlebug, they thought the baby was the most boring thing in the world. A total non-issue. And that was exactly what we wanted.
So now, all of our interactions are monitored. If either dog shows the slightest sign of being nervous or too excited, we gently invite him to walk away. The message? If you are nervous, you don’t have to stay. The dogs both seem to appreciate this, and now enjoy spending time in the presence of Puppy E without feeling any pressure to stay or to go. As Puppy E gets older and becomes mobile, new challenges will pop up. But we are betting that by setting up the relationship between the dogs and baby correctly from the start, we will be better able to face these challenges gracefully.
For more about preparing your dogs for a new human addition, check out our Preparing for Baby Mini-Series: