#Sponsored Giving Thanks for my Silly, Stubborn Dog #NutrishPets

Rachael Ray Nutrish has sponsored this post, but all opinions are my own.

 

It’s the night before Thanksgiving, and here I sit with the smell of cranberries cooking on the stove for the upcoming Thursday feast. The TV is on with no one watching. To my left is Dakota’s favorite red, white and blue ball that is  just waiting for someone to trip over it. Dakota and Cody are asleep in the vicinity. Our condo feels warm and cozy. Perfect.

dakota-thanksgiving-nutrish-cranberries

It is hard to believe that in just a few weeks we will be saying goodbye to 2016. I have to admit, this is one year I am happy to kick to the curb. It hasn’t been kind on many fronts, but through all the challenges that were faced head-on, my pets are always there to make me laugh and give me the greatest gift they ever could, their unconditional love.

Today’s post was supposed to be entirely different from what it turned out to be. I was going to put a Turkey hat on Dakota, and take some cute photos and make it all “Thanksgivingy”, but Dakota made it clear that he wanted NO PART OF IT!  No amount of cajoling, treat bartering, or cutesy voices  would have him obey, he made it clear that he had enough of me chasing him around wanting to take photos.

dakota-thanksgiving-nutrish-looking

 

dakota-thanksgiving-nutrish-singing

My knee-jerk reaction was to be upset, my first thought was “what the heck am I going to write about now?”, but after looking at the photos and thinking, it dawned on me. How often do we forget that our pets have minds of their own? Some would disagree, but I believe our pets think and  have feelings, they are entitled to not want to always do what WE say they have to do, and if it is something that isn’t going to hurt them, then I say go with the flow.

 

dakota-thanksgiving-nutrish-guarding

Dakota practicing “selective hearing”
in the photo above. No way was he going to listen!

Dakota didn’t sign up to be on a blog, I enlisted him without his consent!  If I don’t have the photos that I need, that’s my problem, not his.

dakota-thanksgiving-nutrish-handsome

So, since “life is what happens to you while you are busy making other plans”, I re-grouped. There are  no silly turkey hats in this post. There is  just me, sharing photos of my sometimes stubborn dog, and often crazy cat, who make me laugh on a daily basis, multiple times per day, even when I don’t want to.

dakota-thanksgiving-nutrish-playing-with-cody

When Dakota and Cody both entered my life in 2007  I had no blogs. I didn’t look at them thinking of photo ops, or for what they needed to “do” to make me happy for my blogs, I loved them for THEM. I wanted them in my life because I love animals. Pets enrich the lives of their owners on every level. I wanted to give them love. I wanted them to be safe. They spend every day of their lives asking for nothing from me but to LOVE and  protect them. Dakota’s resistance to wanting his photo taken reminded me that he doesn’t need to pose or cooperate for a photo for me to love him. I love him because he is a wonderfully sensitive, fun, brilliant and silly dog. I love him because he “IS.”

Dakota, Cody and I are some of the lucky ones. My pets have a roof over their heads, a warm home. They have more than enough toys, tons of love from their Dad and me, they eat the most delicious food. Not all animals are as lucky.

When I began feeding Dakota Nutrish back in 2008, it was a no-brainer. I already was a fan of Rachael’s from TV, but my decision to feed them Nutrish was partly based on the fact that she has mad cooking ability, but more importantly, I trust Rachael Ray implicitly because I know how much she  loves animals.  Rachael’s pet food was created with the same love that she brings to her human food.  She brings that same love to a cause dear to her heart, Rachael’s Rescue.

Rachael's Rescue logo - new

A portion of Nutrish proceeds go to Rachael’s Rescue®, which was created to help animals in need. To date, over $14MM has been donated. This money has gone toward food, medical supplies and treatments for these unfortunate animals.

All of the Rachael Ray Nutrish products are available where you shop for your family’s groceries, making specialty recipes accessible and convenient for every pet parent. 

Follow Nutrish ! 

 Sometimes we all need a kick in the butt to see what is truly important. Whether or not Dakota cooperated for a photo shoot isn’t important at all. What IS important is that I love he (and Cody), for the amazing pets that they are, for the love and laughter they bring me EVERY DAY. 
dakota-thanksgiving-nutrish-sleeping-with-cody
Today,  I give THANKS for Dakota and Cody, the 4-legged loves of my life!! I also give ENORMOUS thanks to ALL OF YOU, and ALL OF YOUR FUR BABIES who bring joy to ME every day. Last, but far from least, I give thanks to Rachael Ray, Rachael’s Rescue, and every one at the forefront and behind the scenes at Nutrish. THANK YOU for caring about all of our pets, EVERY WHERE!!! THANK YOU for all that you do!

#Sponsored 5 Ways You Can Help Your Local Animal Shelter on National Animal Shelter Appreciation Week #NutrishPets

Rachael Ray Nutrish has sponsored this post, but all opinions are my own.

Hi my friends, it’s Dakota!

  Happy National Animal Shelter

Appreciation Week

which is 

NOVEMBER 6NOVEMBER 12

Now, while I was NOT rescued from a Shelter, my kitty brother,  Cody, was adopted from a foster home affiliated with a rescue. When I came to live with my family, my Mom and Dad did search Sheltie rescues but there were none in our area. Mom wasn’t blogging then and didn’t know about pet transport, so that is the reason an adopted Sheltie did not come to live with Mom, Dad and Cody.

That being said, our family has close ties to Animal Shelters though, and we DEEPLY appreciate them! My human “bonus-sister” is the Manager at Almost Home Animal Rescue League & Haven,  and Mom featured her on our blog last summer. 

shelter-appreciation-dakota-smiling

Mom also frequently features adoption events/fundraisers for Michigan Humane as well as  the shelter, Friends for Animals of Metro Detroit.  It is our way of at least doing SOMETHING to help. We think animal shelters should be appreciated EVERY day, not just one week out of the year. Thankfully Rachael Ray feels the same way that is why a portion of Nutrish proceeds go to Rachael’s Rescue®, which was created to help animals in need. To date, over $14MM has been donated. This money has gone toward food, medical supplies and treatments for these unfortunate animals. 

Logo courtesy of Nutrish.

5 Ways YOU Can Help Your Local Animal Shelter

 SHARE ADOPTABLE PETS–Visit a Shelter’s website and if they have a widget for a daily featured adoptable animal, you can install it on your blog if you are a blogger. (We have had one on our sidebar for years). If you are not a blogger, you can share an adoptable animal on your Facebook page.

 GET TO KNOW YOUR LOCAL SHELTER–Visit their website,  “like” them on Facebook, follow them on Twitter, stop in and visit in person.

 PURCHASE ITEMS FROM YOUR LOCAL SHELTER–Many shelters have websites where you can purchase items such as  T-shirts, mugs,holiday cards, calendars,  all sorts of things that you can order and the proceeds go towards helping animals. (In many instances the shelters also offer the items that are for sale online at their physical locations too). For the past few years my Mom has bought holiday cards from Michigan Humane (some of you may have received one in past years). It’s a “win-win” for the animals, you and your card recipients.

 VOLUNTEER–Many shelters would appreciate a volunteer coming to walk or play with dogs, clean cages for dogs and cats, help with feeding and so much more….SPEAKING OF FOOD….

 DONATE MUCH NEEDED ITEMS SUCH AS FOOD! Shelters can always use blankets, toys in good condition (that can’t be swallowed, Mom always puts together a bag of toys that Cody and I no longer use when she visits Pet Expos. Usually there are shelters there who will gladly accept them.), newspaper, paper towels, cleaning supplies, and MORE! You can give your local shelter a call to see what they need.

shelter-animal-appreciation-week-dakota-looking-at-bag

(Always check with your Shelter or Rescue first though to find out if they are accepting food donations). If they are,  you might want to purchase a few bags of MY FAVORITE from Rachael Ray Nutrish!

Super Premium Food for Dogs

Real Chicken & Veggies Recipe

Photo Courtesy of the Nutrish website, click on the photo to visit!!

Photo Courtesy of the Nutrish website, click on the photo to visit!!

 

Rachael Ray™ Nutrish® Real Chicken & Veggies Recipe is made with simple, natural ingredients, like real U.S. farm-raised chicken, combined with wholesome vegetables, plus vitamins & minerals.

shelter-animal-dakota-eating

Real U.S. farm-raised chicken is the #1 ingredient

No poultry by-product meal, fillers, wheat or wheat gluten

No artificial flavors or artificial preservatives

 “Whether intended for dogs or cats, Nutrish recipes are made with simple, wholesome ingredients like real meat or fish, and do not contain poultry by-product meal or fillers.”

shelter-appreciation-dakota-licking-chops

All of the Rachael Ray Nutrish products are available where you shop for your family’s groceries, making specialty recipes accessible and convenient for every pet parent.

shelter-appreciation-dakota-use-last

Mom and I hope that if you haven’t made the “switch to Nutrish” that you will make TODAY the day that you make that switch!!

Barks and licks and love,

Dakota

 

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#Sponsored: “The Boys of Summer” took over OUR FALL!!! #NutrishPets

Rachael Ray Nutrish has sponsored this post, but all opinions are my own.

Hi my friends it’s Dakota! I just love Fall! Fall is a beautiful time of year, isn’t it? The colors of the leaves match my luxurious coat, there is a chill in the air….

nutrish-fall-post-leaves

there is Halloween, football, baseball….”WAIT, WHAT??!! Baseball?” Yep my friends, BASEBALL! There was baseball in October! Imagine that!! My furry friends, my  home  was turned upside down this Fall,  since the first week of October, all because of BASEBALL!!! “The Boys of Summer” took over OUR FALL!!!

Why? Well, my Mom is originally from Cleveland, Ohio, and her beloved Cleveland Indians were in the playoffs this year, and they made it all the way to the World Series!! For the one or two of you who live in the U.S. that don’t know, the Cleveland Indians and the Chicago Cubs, better known as the “underdogs” (whoever dreamed up THAT term is beyond me! Dogs aren’t beneath or “under” anything other than maybe resting under a table or something like that…but I digress….), were both battling with their hearts and souls because the Cubs hadn’t been to the World Series in over 100 years, and Mom’s Indians hadn’t WON a World Series since 1948. (Prior to 2016 the Cleveland Indians were in the World Series in ’95 and ’97 and lost both times). Mom was confident that the THIRD time would be “the charm”, or so she thought….

Let me tell you pals, it was HARD living in my house! My kitty brother didn’t feel the stress like I did because Mom kept saying that since we live in the Detroit area, and he is a feline,  (and kisses up to Daddy), that he is a Detroit Tigers fan. So,  Mom decided I was the logical choice to be HER  “baseball buddy!”

nutrish-fall-post-use-right-after-leaves

What does that mean? It meant that I had to sit there and take part in some of my Mom’s “rituals” or should we say “superstitions?” Well, for those of you who love baseball like my Mom, you know that baseball players are some of the most superstitious in sports. They have their favorite “walk-on” songs, (songs that play when they come up to bat), they have their favorite bats, favorite necklaces, etc. They even eat food that they feel is LUCKY.  Food that will bring them good luck for a game!

Mom’s food of choice superstition, was that if she ate the same snack that she had eaten when the Indians won a game, if she ate it again, the winning streak would continue. During the World Series Mom’s food of choice was popcorn. Bowls (or I should say TROUGHS of it!!!) Mom makes popcorn with olive oil and parmesan cheese. I usually have a tiny bit with her, but then, I move on to   MY food of choice,  my Nutrish!!!

nutrish-fall-post-food-in-bowl

My “food of choice” is no superstition, it is what I eat EVERY DAY and  is what I have eaten since 2008! Hey! “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it!!”

nutrish-fall-post-dakota-eating-with-bag-and-box

My fave is:

Super Premium Food for Dogs

Real Chicken & Veggies Recipe

Photo Courtesy of the Nutrish website, click on the photo to visit!!

Photo Courtesy of the Nutrish website, click on the photo to visit!!

Real U.S. farm-raised chicken is the #1 ingredient

Rachael Ray™ Nutrish® Real Chicken & Veggies Recipe is made with simple, natural ingredients, like real U.S. farm-raised chicken, combined with wholesome vegetables, plus vitamins & minerals.

U.S. farm-raised chicken is the #1 ingredient

 

It is tasty and I LOVE IT!!!!!!  So friends, back to my story. All was right in my world while the Indians were winning….Mom had her popcorn and I had my Nutrish. This “ritual” was great! Every time Mom had her snack, I got extra Nutrish! I hit the Mother Lode! I wasn’t just having my Nutrish at meal times like I usually do, I was having my favorite food for  snacks too! I kept thinking, “Go Indians!!”

nutrish-fall-post-dakota-indians-use-for-talking-about-when-series-was-good

But then, things took a turn for the worse. The Indians started losing, Mom was getting crabby, and there were TONS of HBO words being thrown around my house! Words not fit for ANY Sheltie to hear.

Then, the unthinkable happened. THE INDIANS LOST BY A SCORE OF 8-7, in the SEVENTH GAME OF THE WORLD SERIES,  in the 10th inning!!!

nutrish-fall-post-dakota-indians-use-last

The smile quickly left my face. Mom was crying, I was sad for Mom, but even sadder for myself. My extra servings of Nutrish would stop….but……I quickly realized, “Hey! I eat Nutrish EVERY day! That won’t change! I can be happy and let Mom be sad by herself!! Seasons change, baseball teams lose championships and rip my Mom’s heart out, but all is right in MY world because even though my extra snacks will end,  I will continue to eat Nutrish at my meal times TWICE A DAY, EVERY DAY!!” I am proud that Nutrish has:

No poultry by-product meal, fillers, wheat or wheat gluten

No artificial flavors or artificial preservatives

 “Whether intended for dogs or cats, Nutrish recipes are made with simple, wholesome ingredients like real meat or fish, and do not contain poultry by-product meal or fillers.”

Logo courtesy of Nutrish. Click to visit their website!

Logo courtesy of Nutrish. Click to visit their website!

A portion of Nutrish proceeds go to Rachael’s Rescue®, which was created to help animals in need. To date, over $14MM has been donated. This money has gone toward food, medical supplies and treatments for these unfortunate animals. 

All of the Rachael Ray Nutrish products are available where you shop for your family’s groceries, making specialty recipes accessible and convenient for every pet parent.

Dakota and I hope that if you haven’t made the “switch to Nutrish” that you will make TODAY the day that you make that switch!!

(Oh and while Mom is still grieving over the Indians loss, we would like to Congratulate the Cubs and their fans on their epic accomplishment……(we think!)

 

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#Sponsored What being a Rachael Ray and Nutrish fan, (make that SUPER FAN!!) means to me #NutrishPets

Rachael Ray Nutrish has sponsored this post, but all opinions are my own.

Wow, where do I begin? I have been a fan of all things Rachael Ray from as  far back as 2001 when her show, 30 Minute Meals first debuted on The Food Network.  That is a whopping 15 YEARS!!!

Today, on what just happens to be Rachael Ray’s birthday, it is only fitting that I share with you why I have a major “girl crush” on Rachael, and why Dakota has only eaten Nutrish since 2008, long before he or I EVER had a blog, and approximately FOUR YEARS before I was blessed and honored with the opportunity of being a Brand Ambassador for Nutrish.

nutrish birthday post dakota cake One of many things that I love about Rachael is the fact that she is  SELF MADE. She worked hard for MANY years in various food-related positions, before the public even knew that she existed. She had (and has), a devotion to her family, and often credits her Mom,  Grandfather and Dad for instilling the love of food in her that she has today. I also love that Rachael Ray is  down-to-earth, often has a  self-effacing demeanor and  is funny. I love her raspy voice, her hearty laugh,  and the fact that she NEVER presented herself as a “Chef” but as a “Home Cook.”  That resonated with me and still does. Being a self-professed “foodie”,  I also consider myself to be a “home cook.” 30 Minute Meals, back in the day, was the answer to my prayers. What could be better than recipes that were easy to understand,  that used food that I often would have on hand, that I could put on the table FAST, presented by someone who instilled my trust? I was hooked! My “girl crush was born!!”

Rachael Ray is REAL,  she is someone  like me, who drops food on the floor (“it’s not a party until the tomatoes fall on the floor”), she burns toast, and isn’t perfect. That’s Rachael Ray to me, REAL, HONEST, RELATABLE, just like the ingredients in her recipes for humans, and in the recipes for her brand, Nutrish.

I followed Rachael all over the Food Network from 30 Minute Meals to Rachael Ray’s Tasty Travels, to $40 A Day.  If it was a show on the Food Network with Rachael Ray on it, I was all over it!! I also bought as many of her cookbooks that I could get my hands on.

nutrish birthday post cookbooks

#TBT just a sampling of the MANY cookbooks that I have of Rachaels

 

I endured bitter cold temperatures years ago in order to get a wristband that would enable me to meet her at a book signing that was held in the Detroit area way back in 2007.

#TBT Will cherish this forever!

#TBT Will cherish this forever!

Nutrish birthday post italian cookbook

#TBT I was presented with Rachael’s cookbook that came out last year by my friends at Nutrish!

I subscribed to her magazine:

I have bins and bins FULL of Everyday With Rachael Ray, the magazines shown here aren't even a fraction of the number of them that I have kept.

I have bins and bins FULL of Everyday With Rachael Ray, the magazines shown here aren’t even a fraction of the number of them that I have kept.

I have her cookware, I watch her show as often as I am able.

In 2007, the same year I endured those freezing temps for a chance to meet Rachael at the Detroit book signing, Dakota had recently joined our family. Also in 2007:

“with help from pet nutrition experts, Rachael Ray created Nutrish super-premium food and treats for dogs inspired by recipes from her own kitchen. In 2014, we were very excited to grow the brand into the world of cat food. “

I remember being over-the-moon- ecstatic when I heard the news! This was a no-brainer. I already trusted, had tested, and loved Rachael’s recipes for humans, I KNEW that she had a mad love affair with her dog. I TRUSTED that if Rachael fed her OWN dog Nutrish, then Nutrish it would be for Dakota. I already loved and respected the person BEHIND the brand, soon I was to fall equally hard FOR THE BRAND….NUTRISH. I NEVER LOOKED BACK.

 “Whether intended for dogs or cats, Nutrish recipes are made with simple, wholesome ingredients like real meat or fish, and do not contain poultry by-product meal or fillers.”

The recipe that Dakota eats most often is:

Super Premium Food for Dogs

Real Chicken & Veggies Recipe

Photo Courtesy of the Nutrish website, click on the photo to visit!!

Photo Courtesy of the Nutrish website, click on the photo to visit!!

Real U.S. farm-raised chicken is the #1 ingredient

Rachael Ray™ Nutrish® Real Chicken & Veggies Recipe is made with simple, natural ingredients, like real U.S. farm-raised chicken, combined with wholesome vegetables, plus vitamins & minerals.

U.S. farm-raised chicken is the #1 ingredient

No poultry by-product meal, fillers, wheat or wheat gluten

No artificial flavors or artificial preservatives

Dakota is now nine years old and I am proud that he has been a Nutrish dog for almost as long as he has been alive!!! I am also proud that Rachael Ray GIVES BACK!

Logo courtesy of Nutrish. Click to visit their website!

Logo courtesy of Nutrish. Click to visit their website!

 

A portion of Nutrish proceeds go to Rachael’s Rescue®, which was created to help animals in need. To date, over $14MM has been donated. This money has gone toward food, medical supplies and treatments for these unfortunate animals. 

All of the Rachael Ray Nutrish products are available where you shop for your family’s groceries, making specialty recipes accessible and convenient for every pet parent.

Back in the days BEFORE I ever had a blog, I was an  INFORMAL “ambassador-of-my-own-choosing” telling anyone who would listen, how much I loved Rachael Ray since I first discovered her on TV in 2001.  Approximately 4 years ago I had the honor of becoming one of the Nutrish Ambassadors which I am to this day. It is an honor to represent Rachael Ray, someone I have admired for many, many years, and  Nutrish,  her dog and cat food that both of my boys LOVE!

Thanks to Rachael Ray Nutrish, I visited places I never would have, one of them being a dream come true!!! A few years ago my husband, myself and other Nutrish Ambassadors were in New York to see her show!

When I got out of the cab at our hotel, THAT SIGN with Rachael on it outside her studio was the FIRST THING I SAW!! I was SCREAMING!!

#TBT: When I got out of the cab at our hotel, THAT SIGN with Rachael on it outside her studio was the FIRST THING I SAW!! I was SCREAMING!!

In my opinion there is nothing more natural, or more special than when love, admiration and respect for a PERSON evolves into a love of their BRAND.  Dakota and I wish nothing but happiness for Rachael Ray, today, ON HER BIRTHDAY and EVERY DAY!!

Sorry about our rather "used" bag, but that is what happens when your pet actually EATS the food they represent!!!!

Sorry about our rather “used” bag, but that is what happens when your pet actually EATS the food they represent!!!!

Dakota and I hope that if you haven’t made the “switch to Nutrish” that you will make TODAY the day that you make that switch!!

Follow Nutrish ! 

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Dog Days of Dakota #NutrishPets #Ad

Rachael Ray Nutrish has sponsored this post, but all opinions are my own.

Dakota Lifestyle Nutrish looking at camera

Hi my friends! It’s Dakota, and I am super happy that you could stop by today! If you look at the photo above, I am reporting to you from my spot right behind where Mom wastes time works on mine and Cody’s blogs. Since Mom wastes time works from home, this is where you while find me!

As any Sheltie lover knows, we are working/herding dogs, and we take our jobs seriously! Did you know that I work 24-7? Why Yes! I do!

My day starts quite early. My kitty brother, Cody, begins his annoying, whining quest for food, meowing for breakfast, often at around 4:30 am. Mom ignores him. Who gets up with us at the you-know-what crack of dawn to feed us? YOU GOT IT!! It is my DAD who gets up and gives both Cody and I our breakfast. If you are a regular reader of my blog, you know that the ONLY food that I eat is Nutrish!  Just like humans need a good breakfast to begin their day, I do too, and Nutrish is the ONLY food that I want or need!

Dakota Lifestyle Nutrish sniffing bag

A good breakfast gives me the energy I need to protect my Mom while she works, it also gives me energy to perform my MANY other important Sheltie tasks:

  • Barking at leaves blowing in the wind
  • Barking at the neighbors who I see 50 times a day
  • Barking when I hear FedEx or UPS
  • Barking when I hear ANYONE in the hallway outside of our door
  • Barking at my kitty brother to alert him that the mail carrier has arrived
  • Barking when it is time for dinner
  • Barking to hear myself bark
  • Barking so that every dog in the world knows that I exist

(Notice a pattern here? Below you will see just how seriously I take my work! Mom apologizes for how dark the video is, but it will give you an idea of what my day entails)

See what I mean? My work is NEVER done!!! Yeah, I might take a nap here and there, or go for a walk, or maybe run around with my plush football, or chase Cody, but the majority of the time I am protecting my pack. My “pack” being Mom, Dad and Cody. All of that hard work spurs my appetite and at 5pm it is time for, you got it, DINNER!!!

When it is time for dinner, it is  Dad once again who is my HERO!!!   DAD  is the person who brings me my delicious DINNER!!

Dakota Lifestyle Nutrish and Lenny

Before I eat, I make sure I say my prayers and stop and think of the woofies who need barks of support. Some might be  ill, or some woofies aren’t as lucky as I am. Many woofies don’t have a Mom or a Dad that feeds them their favorite food, they are in shelters hoping to find a forever home. I am a lucky woofie. I make it a point not to lose sight of that. I have parents who love me and make sure that I have my favorite food, my ONLY FOOD. THAT FOOD is Nutrish!!

Dakota Lifestyle Nutrish Looking at bowl

After saying my prayers, it is time to gobble up my “delish” Nutrish!!!

As lucky as I am to have my favorite food, and parents and kitty brother who love me, I have to admit, sometimes being an Ambassadog gets on my nerves!!!! Why? The puparazzi,  my Mom NEVER stops taking photos! Can’t a dog eat in peace??? I wish someone would let her know just how annoying it is to have a camera in their face while they are trying to enjoy their most FAVORITE time of the day, MEAL TIME!!!!! Excuse me while I grab my Dad for some help!!!!

Dakota lifestyle Nutrish Dad are we done yet

 

Whew!!! I think she heard me, and is FINALLY  letting me eat !!! Woofies! I hope that after you work hard taking care of YOUR pack, that  you get more consideration than I do! !! 

As usual, my Dad saved me!!! I will have to remember that for Father’s Day, (pssst…which happens to be THIS SUNDAY!!),  and give him some EXTRA SPECIAL LOVING!!! After all, Mom helps me be an Ambassadog, but it is DAD who FILLS MY BOWL!!! Now if you will excuse me……………I have some Nutrish to eat! Barks and licks and love, Dakota

Dakota Lifestyle Nutrish eating

 

Follow Nutrish ! 

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  • About Rachael Ray Nutrish: 
    • In 2007, with help from pet nutrition experts, Rachael Ray created Nutrish super-premium food and treats for dogs inspired by recipes from her own kitchen. In 2014, we were very excited to grow the brand into the world of cat food. Whether intended for dogs or cats, Nutrish recipes are made with simple, wholesome ingredients like real meat or fish, and do not contain poultry by-product meal or fillers.
    • Rachael’s personal proceeds go to Rachael’s Rescue®, which was created to help animals in need. To date, she has donated over $14MM. This money has gone toward food, medical supplies and treatments for these unfortunate animals. All of the Rachael Ray Nutrish products are available where you shop for your family’s groceries, making specialty recipes accessible and convenient for every pet parent.

 

#NutrishPets A Passion for Volunteering Turns Into A Career! #Sponsored

Rachael Ray Nutrish has sponsored this post, but all opinions are my own.

April is National Volunteer Month,  and the true definition, (per Wikipedia is: This month is dedicated to honoring all of the volunteers in our communities as well as encouraging volunteerism throughout the month) and here at Dakota’s Den, we say ALL YEAR!

It is with great pride, that today I am featuring an individual who has a dedication to animals that I am blessed to witness first hand. How? The individual I am featuring is  Marla Weingarten, who is a Manager at Almost Home Animal Rescue League and Haven. She also happens to be one of my “bonus daughters”. (That means step daughter but I prefer the term “bonus daughter. Because I happen to be married to her Dad!)

Marla is not normally this glamorous working at a shelter! She knew I was coming :)

Marla is not normally this glamorous working at a shelter! She knew I was coming 🙂

I first met Marla in 2001,   ONE thing that was  evident from the beginning,  is that she has a LOVE, DEDICATION, AND PASSION for all animals.

Marla had volunteered hours and hours upon end both at shelters and on her own, helping to care for and promote animals that needed loving homes. I was beyond thrilled for her when she was offered the opportunity of a full-time job, doing what she has a true passion and a calling for. Marla would be caring for, helping, loving and spending time with animals whether she was being paid or not!!

It is my pleasure to present to you my interview with Marla Weingarten, of Almost Home Animal Rescue League and Haven:

WHEN DID YOU FIRST START LOVING ANIMALS? My love of animals began when I was a child. I was lucky enough to grow up with dogs, rabbits, cats, lizards, etc…animals were always my passion! I loved horse back riding, and going to the petting zoo. I always wanted a farm since I can remember, but working at an animal rescue is my dream job!

WHAT MADE YOU GET INVOLVED IN RESCUE? I have been involved with Almost Home Animal Haven since I was 15 years old and other rescues prior to that.    I was so fortunate when the position for manager at Almost Home became available, and I have been working here for the past 3 years.

Almost Home Logo

TELL US  ABOUT ALMOST HOMEAlmost Home is a non-profit (c) 3 no-kill organization dedicated to finding loving, forever homes for unwanted , homeless animals that was founded and is run by Gail Montgomery and her daughter, Lauren. We are strongly against the senseless act of euthanasia. We have a small group of dedicated volunteers who are passionate about keeping Almost Home operating. Almost Home believes every animal can be adoptable. It just takes time, patience and money. Almost Home believes that every animal is worth saving. They don’t deserve to be tossed aside, abused or worse. The haven is a place where animals can feel safe and be safe. Every animal in our care gets the very best love and attention we can give them. 

almost home lobby collage

Just some of the cuteness that exists in the waiting area at Almost Home.

WHAT IS AN AVERAGE DAY LIKE AT THE RESCUE? Every day is different. It is all about making sure the animals are safe, and healthy. We are constantly taking sick dogs from animal control and rushing them to the vet to get better so they can become available for adoption. There are days when we get multiple dogs from Animal control or owner surrenders and we have to make room. We get calls every day from people wanting to surrender their pets, and it’s quite difficult to turn people away, especially because we are such a small facility and we just don’t have the space to take in another dog. We noticed there are so many pit bulls that people want to surrender and it’s really sad that the majority that come in are not spayed or neutered. We wish more people would be responsible pet owners and not just buy a puppy for their kids,  because it is cute, then, once they are  older, they want to dispose of them. Every day is a constant struggle, as Almost Home does not receive government or city funding.  They rely on donations from the community, and the generosity of people on their Facebook page to help with the cost of medical issues, etc. Working at an animal shelter has opened my eyes to the sadness of animal abuse and neglect, but I do know there are good people out there too who foster dogs, and who care, by donating to our cause and other wonderful causes.

APPROX HOW MANY ANIMALS ARE ADOPTED EACH MONTH? I would say between 9-13, it depends. Unfortunately, the reality is the smaller dogs get adopted a lot quicker then the big dogs. Most of the big dogs we have at the shelter are Pit Bull mixes, and a lot of them  can take longer to be adopted due to breed stereotypes, etc.

Marla with the cutest dog EVER,(Luna,...see further down for info about her, she is available for adoption!! and me!!

Marla with the cutest dog EVER, (Luna…see further down for info about her, she is available for adoption!!) and me!!

TELL US ABOUT YOUR PETS AND HOW MANY ARE RESCUE PETS? I currently own 3 dogs and 3 cats. I adopted two of my pets from Almost Home.  One of them is “Chico”, a 14-year-old Chihuahua who I found while taking part in a rescue mission at a puppy mill.  He is a special needs dog, he was  blind in one eye at the time and recently has lost his vision in both eyes. He is such a special little man and is so happy to finally be spoiled!  I also adopted a Devon Rex, 8-year-old cat named “Muffins”. She was owner relinquished. The owner said that “she was too needy” and she didn’t have time for her because she was expecting a baby.   I immediately took Muffins home that day, she is still with me!

Rescue pets are so thankful for love. They are pure and trusting and never pass judgement towards humans. I only wish that people could follow in their paw prints, the world would be a much better place.

A huge thank you to Marla for taking the time to visit with me before her busy day began!! 

 Did you see sweet, ADOPTABLE, Luna, above?  She is one of the SWEETEST dogs I have ever met. She was brought in as a stray and would do best as the only dog. She is 48.6 pounds of SWEETNESS!!! Here she is!!!

almost home adopt luna

Almost Home can always use help to help subsidize the cost involved in caring for the animals. To donate you can visit them on GO FUND ME  and on the DONATE tab on their website.

Almost Home Business Card

Almost Home in the NEWS!!!! 

 

Another person who holds animal rescue close to her heart is  Rachael Ray. Rachael, like Marla,  doesn’t just “talk the talk”, she “walks the walk!!”

rachaels_rescue_logo

 

What is Rachael’s Rescue®?

Rachael’s Rescue was created for all of the forgotten pets — the ones that might not have someone who loves them as much as you love your pet.

Rachael’s personal proceeds go to Rachael’s Rescue®, which was created to help animals in need. To date, she has donated over $10MM. This money has gone toward food, medical supplies and treatments for these unfortunate animals. All of the Rachael Ray Nutrish products are available where you shop for your family’s groceries, making specialty recipes accessible and convenient for every pet parent.

If you can volunteer or donate

to a shelter, please do!!

if you can adopt a shelter pet,

that’s even better!

it will make YOU and your pet

feel “REAL GOOD”!!!

How Can You Help The Shelters

During National Volunteer Month and EVERY DAY?

  • you could volunteer to play with and walk dogs
  • clean cages
  • share adoptable pets on social media
  • donate items such as newspapers, towels, cleaning supplies
  • Buy Rachael Ray Nutrish !!
  • do something to thank the Volunteers!! (Everyone LOVES FOOD!!)

That’s what Nutrish did! They mailed me coupons for food for the animals, to give to Almost Home!  Marla, on behalf of Almost Home, and myself,  would like to thank Nutrish for the coupons they donated to the animals!!

 

almost home collage coupons

About Rachael Ray Nutrish:

In 2007, with help from pet nutrition experts, Rachael Ray created Nutrish super-premium food and treats for dogs inspired by recipes from her own kitchen. In 2014, we were very excited to grow the brand into the world of cat food. Whether intended for dogs or cats, Nutrish recipes are made with simple, wholesome ingredients like real meat or fish, and do not contain poultry by-product meal or fillers. 

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