Friday, August 8, 2014

Hi I'm Idgie! I Like Squeaky Toys and Snuggles. =)

Idgie is available for adoption through Bama Bully!

So, a full two weeks have passed and we are all slowly learning Idgie and her quirks. She has been the sweetest, most obedient dog since she has come to stay with me! She comes any time she is called and sits anytime I can get her attention long enough to tell her to. She adapts really well to whatever situation she is presented with and is very careful when she gets startled to look to me for instruction.

She adores squeaky toys and has the best wiggly butt when I start squeaking them!! She likes to chew and "borrowed" Elsa's antler... which reminds me, it is time to go buy a couple more...

When I first got Idgie, I was surprised at how much she loved to snuggle! She enjoys curling up with me while I'm reading or napping. It's fantastic since Elsa is still young and would rather spend time playing and bouncing around. 

Idgie is really good at making me feel safe on walks. She barks when she sees a new person, but will immediately quit when I whistle. She loves to chase cars, but will quickly redirect when you remind her she doesn't need to. I love the terrier in her because she runs ahead a little bit and then circles back around and twirls on her leash. I wish I had a video! It is so cute!!! 

She has had some supervised playtime with Elsa and it has gone rather well. At first, Elsa wasn't sure about Idgie, but Idgie was patient with Elsa's puppy play and they've begun to like each other. Now they can play together along with Britta and it's already been a good experience!!

I am surprised people aren't already scrambling to adopt Idgie, but if you want to meet her in person, she will be at Avondale Brewery for Beer, Bands, and Bullies August 16!!!

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Dog Treats: Weekly Experimental Post!

So, this last week I made some cut out treats.  I'm completely behind on this plan to do different treats each week, but it's mostly because I've picked up so many extra hours at work the last couple of weeks!

I bought some basic cookie cutters off Amazon in a few cute shapes, then ordered some custom designed cutters from HomePrint3D on Etsy.  Their customer service is AMAZING and I absolutely adore the work they did.

Idgie was also highly impressed

The recipe I used to begin with is a really simple milk-bone type recipe:
3/4 cup hot water
1/3 cup margarine
1/2 cup powdered milk
1 teaspoon salt
1 egg, beaten
3 cups whole wheat flour
In large bowl pour hot water over the margarine. Stir in powdered milk, salt, and egg. Add flour, 1/2 cup at a time. Knead for a few minutes to form stiff dough. Pat or roll to 1/2 inch thickness. Cut into shapes. Bake at 325 degrees for ~50 minutes. Cool. They will dry out quite hard. Makes about 1 1/4 pounds of biscuits. ((Make sure you put these on the middle rack... I had some on the middle and some on the bottom and the ones on the bottom were too done when I pulled them out!! ))

All three of the pups liked these treats as is with no extra seasoning in them. They're nice and crunchy and apparently tasty. =) I attempted a few batches with slight recipe changes and everything I tried, they loved. Beef or chicken broth in place of the water really got them excited. =) 

This recipe is pretty basic and nothing too thrilling about the cooking process - the excitement here is in the cookie cutters!!!! My initial batch was done with the cutters off of Amazon, and I used the fire hydrant and dog bone cutters for those.

After the etsy cutters came in, I had a blast making them with the logos!!

Each batch of dough made 12-16 of these larger cookies.

She really, really, really didn't want to hold still for this pic!!


Sunday, August 3, 2014

My First Bama Bully event

Saturday morning I dove in head first to my first Bama Bully booth: GBHS' Barking for Bucks telethon.  My friend Apasra sent me there with $20 so I could get a shirt (THANK YOU!), Nick is coming by sometime a little later in the morning with Elsa, and I've got a few dog treats baked to help raise a little.
My southern side took over during packaging...

I'm pretty tired from working the night before (and somehow knowing I have to be back at work Saturday evening is making it worse...), but I am really excited because one of the ladies at work saw me making up the baggies and bought two of them from me right then and there!  That was encouraging because I was doubting all the effort I put into the setup (as usual).
I am not able to bring Idgie because I have only had her for one week.  Instead, Nick is going to bring Elsa by a little later in the morning.  I'll have enough time to setup and get settled in before she arrives and then he can walk her around a bit before she has to be contained at the booth with me.

I get there around 8:30 (I got held up trying to make a few extra treats after work) and meet Laura to finish setting up.  By nine the event has started and people are slowly trickling in.  Overall, people were really nice and interested in our adoptable bullies.  Nick brought Elsa around 10:30 and I had to leave to get to bed by noon.

She was a total ham and everyone loved it!

Nick and I walked around to the different booths before I had to leave. Everyone was really nice and I was surprised at how awesome Hollywood Feed is... they actually charge less for Canidae Life Stages food than I am paying off of Amazon!!! They also have a buy 10 get the 11th free with Canidae.  They gave us tennis balls that are a huge hit at the house!!

Sunday, July 27, 2014

IAADP Weekly Training Requirements Week of 7/21/14

Age: 5 months
Week of: July 21 - 27, 2014  Total Hours (5 hrs on Site) + (1.5 hrs Outings)

Last week I wasn't doing well at all.  I don't have any explanation for how I managed not to keep up with the training, but I don't have the log for 7/14-7/20

- Got ill from the Petsafe Indigo Chews that came in her barkbox. She was better a couple of days later. They're sending a toy to make up for the fact she got so sick. I love those people...
- Elsa had excessive eye boogers from Sunday til Wednesday... they are still there, but the vet says it is allergies so we are just treating with benadryl
- Wednesday we went to the vet for a checkup.  She's 5 months, 1 week, and 36 pounds!!

- Recently Elsa isn't receptive to her poop command and it caused her to poop in Petco!! I had given her the command before we went in and she just refused to listen.
- Still some nipping, but this seems to be getting better

- Petco - 45 minutes

- Idgie our foster dog came.  The two of them seem happy enough with each other.  Elsa rarely is bothered by other dogs.
- We went to the Hoover dog park twice

- Lots of time is being spent polishing recall.

Service Dog Tasks: 
- We worked putting her paws on my chest from several different angles.  I can have her to either side or front of me and I will put my hand on my chest in a fist and she puts her paws up!  This is going to be her fake potty signal since she has taken to it so easily.


Saturday, July 26, 2014

Meet Idgie!!!

As some of you who are closer to me are aware, I applied through Bama Bully Rescue to foster a dog.  I was nervous about it since I live in a smaller space, but they approved me and the home visit went well!  I was impressed with the way the group is run and I'm super excited to be a part of this.
I'm not allowed to have pitties where I am staying (I'm still confused about this since Elsa is a half-pitbull...), so instead of the girl I initially applied for, they placed Idgie with me.  She's a bull terrier about the same size as Elsa and Britta, has a high energy level that will match them well, and gets along with dogs and children really well. 
I have spent all week studying what you should be doing as a foster parent.  Socialization, training, marketing, etc...

Yeah, I was nesting...

So, Friday the 25th rolls around... I've bought a slo-feeder bowl that is slightly different from my baby's but it seems like a good one, I've bought a couple of toys, more have been ordered online, she's signed up for a BarkBox, and they're even sending her a toy ahead of time!  I've talked with her last foster family a few times and know how fantastic she is.  I'm going through the typically pointless nervous thought process I have, "Will she like me?  What if she just hates living with me?  What if she doesn't like my neighborhood?  What if she hates the food I have?  What if Elsa gets upset that she's here? What if Elsa likes her but Britta doesn't?!...". I'm ready to hunker down for the two week shut-down/bonding period that we are expected to go through as foster parents and it is time to go pick Idgie up.
I met Bethany (her last foster mom) in Pelham to pick her up.  Idgie is a lot less shy than I was expecting!!!  She jumped straight into my vehicle and was obviously excited about getting to go on a car ride.  She was comfortable with the harness I used to strap her in, and she seemed to enjoy the ride home.  She panicked slightly when Bethany and her family drove off, but quickly recovered.

Idgie seemed to handle the new surroundings pretty well.  We had a few moments of panic with the crate, but with some basic crate instruction (a.k.a. bribing with treats for short times in the crate), she seems to have calmed down and accepted it, albeit reluctantly.

There was some concern that Nick would make her uncomfortable. Despite her being startled when he walked in the door (he IS 6'2" and built like a definsive end after all...), she took to him almost instantly!!!

Elsa was overexcited, so we let them meet under very supervised playtime. They did well!

Idgie is a complete snuggle bunny!!  I was so surprised to find out she loves to curl up with you on the couch. =)  She has no problems with me scratching her ears or rubbing her belly or patting her tail.  She comes to you anytime she hears her name.  I'm already in love and it has been only 24 hours!!!

Anyone who is interested in Idgie can apply at  Look for future updates on the blog!!

Friday, July 25, 2014

Thursday, July 24, 2014

BarkBox Review: July 2014 Box "Day at the Beach"

Another month has flown by and here we are opening up BarkBoxes again!! This month we got two of the same box, so this will be the only review. As I said before, I enjoyed getting two different boxes last month. However, it is kind of neat to be able to have the same things for both the girls.

For those of you who do not know, BarkBox is a monthly subscription service starting at $29 that has a few treats and 1-2 toys a month inside.  You can buy a 3,6, or 12 month subscription at a discounted rate.  I also encourage you to use my referral link and get 10% off!  You can also add on an extra toy for $9/month if your dog is really toy oriented.

BarkBox has the absolute best customer service of any group I've ever met.  Every question I have is quickly answered, every concern I have is thoroughly addressed, and I never feel like they're brushing me off.  They also make it really easy to unsubscribe if you just decide it isn't working out for you.

It was really rainy this week, so we opened it inside!

Our "unboxing":

Elsa really enjoyed the pizzle stick.

These were really, really, really, really yummy.

I saved these for a day that they had gone running at the dog park for awhile.  They love frozen treats and these were gone impressively quickly. 

She hasn't figured out the shark has a squeaker in it yet, but she still prances around with it like it's the best thing EVER!!

Petsafe Indigo Triple Chew - $11
These chews didn't set well with our puppies' stomachs. They got pretty sick, and it made me very nervous. Elsa recovered pretty fast. Britta had a harder time. I emailed BarkBox and they are sent us both replacement toys and even a new toy for my foster pup who should be here Friday, Idgie!

In conclusion, we pay $19/month for the boxes (I strongly urge you to buy a subscription and save up to $11/mo), and the box's contents are valued around $37.

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Puppy Photos Week of 7/13

Morning Dog Park Fun

Britta loves my tub faucet.

Meet Idgie!  She is going to be my first foster dog... hopefully she will be here Friday!

Buying Idgie and Elsa Silly Bums.  Britta already has one that came in her BarkBox and Elsa always loves to play with it, so I decded it was time for her to have one too.

Winding down after a long day.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Support Your Local Animal Charity: the Easy Way

While nervously awaiting Elsa's new cousin (a.k.a. my new foster dog), I've been researching different ways to support local charities.  Now that I will have a second furbaby, I am going to be limited in the money that I can donate outright.  I will continue to volunteer at the Humane Society, but I also started researching simple ways to support the rescue I am fostering through.  Here are a few really easy tips for giving back without investing a large portion of your time or

1. Amazon Smile: When shopping on Amazon, use and choose your favorite charity through their site.  Each purchase you make, they donate 10% to the charity you pick.

2. Woof Trax: Download the Walk for a Dog app and choose your local shelter.  Every mile you walk, they donate a certain amount.

3. Keep a shelter donations box: Old towels and blankets, bowls, newspaper, papertowels, coupons for pet items... there are a thousand different items that your local shelter can use that you would have otherwise thrown away.

4. BOGO and other sales: watch Publix and other stores with really good sales.  Every once in awhile they will put cat and dog food, treats, or toys on a very good sale.  Pickup a bag of food or a toy to add to your shelter box.

5. Follow them on social media: start "liking" and sharing their posts.  Invite friends to their fundraising events.  Share a post with a newly adoptable animal.

6. Bookmark GoodSearch: use Goodsearch every time you search for something online and gain a penny for your rescue each time!  They also have surveys and other things you can use to raise money.

Sunday, July 13, 2014

IAADP Training Requirements: Weekly Training Overview

Week of:
July 7 - 13, 2014  Total Hours (5 hrs on Site) + (2 hrs Outings)

- Her ears smelled really bad a few days ago.  I was afraid it was a yeast infection, but the smell has gone away.  I will continue to monitor for a repeat.

- Some anxiety is cropping back up.

- We Talk Dog daycare all day Monday!  They work with her on not jumping and appropriate socialization.
- Wednesday evening Elsa went with daddy and Britta to his game night/puppy playdate.
- Saturday we went to Hoover Dog Park then after to Brusters for puppy sundaes!

- Basic tasks covered while eating dinner each night

Service Dog Tasks: 
- Working on deep pressure this week.  Elsa doesn't like to sit too long, but she is doing better each time.

- Nipping is an issue again
- She got excited and tried to herd my face when we went walking the other day.  It was nervewracking, but supposedly a puppy thing.

- There's some new anxiety that I think is cropping up because I'm not doing enough with Elsa away from Britta.  We've had them together way too much recently.  I will be working with Elsa more and not letting Britta stay with us as much.

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Puppy photos! Week of 7/7

We just found out Brusters does puppy sundaes!!

Mommy, I think it's a little too tight...

Got a Kong wobbler this week to keep things varied and interesting at mealtime. 

New Kong! Donated the old one to the humane society. :)

I wanna pump gas too!!

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Service Dog Tasks in Puppy Play

Recently, I've had comments about how I must be working Elsa too hard.  I must be teaching her too much and she will burn out before the training is over.  My precious little puppy is four and a half months old and I'm pushing too much onto her and making things serious too fast.
At first, the comments frustrated me.  Now, I just choose to appreciate the concern that people have for making sure my puppy's training stays humane.
Anyone who is around is aware that I spend more time playing with her than "training" in an official sense.  However, the playing is carefully constructed to teach her to be comfortable with things that she will encounter as part of her tasks.  Some days are more structured than others based on how much I've worked at my other job, weather, and other weird factors.

Below, I have listed several things that can be used to keep play going in a useful, yet fun, manner. I hope others will comment with their ideas to help me expand!!
- One meal a day is spent going over basic commands.  This way they work for the kibble, practice basic obedience consistently, and don't even notice it happening.
- We have puzzle toys that sometimes come out for different meals.  They help with staying entertained and I've noticed after we bought a couple that had Elsa using her paws, she's become more interested in utilizing them like little hands.
- Hide and Seek: this can be helpful if one has a fear of coming home to intruders.  It's possible to teach them to bark once they've found you.  You can upgrade to friends hiding when you're out for a walk and then you can come home and have them find the person and bark for a treat.  Eventually that becomes habit to check.
- Mini agility toys: certain things like a mini see saw plank or a hula hoop can be useful to teach agility basics without getting serious too fast.
- Fetch: this easily reinforces bring it and drop it.  Here there is also an opportunity for object recognition reinforcement.  Elsa has become really efficient with "bring it" without much formal training because of this game.
- Biking: Really, any activity can be a bonding exercise.  This one is really helpful to teach her to constantly be focused on me.
- Waking up: When the alarm clock goes off in the morning, immediately give your pup a treat.  They will begin to expect the treat at the sound of the alarm and this can be really helpful during a depressive phase if you're not wanting to get out of bed and your puppy is licking your face.  Eventually, we will refine this and it will become one of Elsa's tasks.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Dog Treats: Weekly Experimental Baking Post!

I want to start selling homemade dog treats and toys on Etsy, so I am going to be doing some experimental recipes that I will record on here and send out samples to a few loyal readers for feedback. I've got a few friends who will try the recipes out, but I also want some other people to try the products out.

This week, I am working on the beginnings of a trail mix for pups.  I'm testing a mix of dried chicken, dried blueberries, and cinnamon-honey-roasted peanuts.

The dried chicken is easy: take it out of a can, rinse off the extra fat, and put the small pieces of chicken in the oven for around four hours at 175 °F.

The blueberries are a bit more involved.  Begin by boiling the blueberries for around a minute to split the skins. 

Then put them in cold water to cool off quickly...

On the side, I added a bit of honey and boiled the juice down for a bit. Then, I stuck the concoction in an ice tray. The pups now have blueberry honey pops!

Take the blueberries out of the cold water and lay them out to dry off.

Then, into the oven at 200 degrees for four hours, stirring every half an hour to help them dry evenly.

Elsa and Britta are both just crazy about the chicken and blueberries.  I tasted one of the blueberries and it is really bitter.  I have NO IDEA why they're so crazy about it!!!  I'm not brave enough to try the chicken now, hahaha.

Onto the peanuts.  On a low temperature, put some cinnamon in the pan.  Then add honey and stir.  (I tried a recipe the first time that called for butter and they just burned in the oven.)

Once you've coated the peanuts, stick them in the oven at 200 degrees for 45 minutes, stirring every fifteen.  Elsa isn't as crazy about these as the blueberries and the chicken, but she will eat them anyway.  Britta seems to like them pretty well. Personally, I like them but am thinking about adding a bit of vanilla flavoring to the mix next time to see how that goes.

In conclusion, of COURSE my pups love these treats, hahaha.  They love EVERYTHING!  To help determine how the treats REALLY are, I'm going to make a big batch of these treats to send out to friends later next week.  Once they've sent their reviews in, I'll post them here!!!

Are you interested in reviewing my treats?  Comment below with an email!  I will be in touch with a few people to review