We are HONORED to be included on the “THE TOP 20 PET BLOGGERS OF 2016” List

Ok, now that I have picked myself up from the floor, I can say that while I am STUNNED, I am DEEPLY, DEEPLY HONORED to have been selected by:



(and Dakota is too),  to be in the company of the blogs that are on this list. They are a sampling of a large number of blogs that I hold in high esteem, ( there are MANY, MANY OTHERS that are not on this list but SHOULD BE).

Here is a sampling of the blogs that have made this list, (I am listing those that I know and already follow. I linked to their Facebook pages, but if you click here, you can visit the original blog post announcing the selections and click on each blog from there.)

Fidose of Reality

The Conscious Cat


Golden Woofs

Tenacious Little Terrier

Carma Poodale

It’s Dog or Nothing

Rubicon Days



My Dog Likes

Wag ‘N Woof Pets



Dakotas Den


Here is what they wrote about us and we couldn’t be more HONORED AND PROUD!!!!!

“This enjoyable blog covers just about anything dog-related. From reviews of products and books to pet awareness days, Dakota and Caren will blog about it. There are giveaways and competitions too, so keep checking back for updates! Plus, you’ll find adorable videos of Dakota’s antics. Why not sit back, relax and visit Dakota’s Den with your dog?”


Dakota and I are full of gratitude to whomever selected us to be a part of this list. THANK YOU!!!!!!

Barking out my love for 4 Paws Pottery, “Pottery Inspired by Our Love of Pets” Unique Hand-Crafted Ceramics

4 Paws Pottery makes 

lead free, and microwave/dishwasher safe ceramic items for pets and pet lovers. They can also personalize their products with the names of your pets!!  You can find their full collection of pet ornaments, and their stamp gallery, at their website: www.4pawspottery.com!

4 paws pottery logo on card holder

TRUE CONFESSION !! I have a major “thing” for hand-crafted ceramics. Looking back, I think it started as a child. Growing up in an artistic household, my parents had a love of hand-crafted items. From paintings, to drawings, to hand-crafted furniture, warm, cozy items filled our home. Our family had a deep appreciation for the time that is invested in any item that is handmade. In my mind, items that are hand-crafted are unique items that are to be cherished.

As I grew older attending art fairs throughout the year became one of my favorite hobbies. When I lived in Cleveland, a “must-attend” fair was the Boston Mills Art Fair that took place every July 4th weekend. I would grab a friend and head out, often returning with hand-crafted ceramic pie plates, casserole dishes and more, that to me, were much too pretty to use for how they were intended to be used.

As a blogger, when looking for items for Dakota and Cody, I also gravitate to hand-crafted. Truth be told, I am not a fan of cat or dog bowls that are stainless steel, or that have sleek modern lines. I am drawn to WARMTH. I am drawn to ceramics that are  hand-crafted with love, that can be personalized and  that make me feel all warm and fuzzy. Those are just some of the reasons that I LOVE the hand-crafted items made by 4 Paws Pottery.

I had contacted 4 Paws Pottery after having lusted over their pieces when I would see them on other blogs. When a bowl of Cody’s broke (NOT a bowl from 4 Paws Pottery),  I asked if I could review their bowls. Not only did they send me a bowl for Cody, but Dakota received a slow-feeder bowl that I had been wanting  for some time.

4 paws pottery dakota and codys bowls

Are these not the best ever?

I couldn’t be happier with Dakota’s Slow Feeder Bowl.  I have often worried because Dakota will frequently eat his food way too fast. I have seen a number of Slow Feeder Bowls, but while they were functional, their style didn’t please me…until I saw the Slow Feeder Bowls from 4 Paws Pottery.

The design of  their slow feeder bowls helps Dakota slow down as he eats. Slower eating means a better likelihood of Dakota  avoiding an upset tummy or even worse… bloat.

Take a look at the video below and see how this bowl DOES slow down Dakota’s pace!


Dakota’s bowl is not only functional, it is adorable and fun!!! Did you notice the ceramic bone shapes that are (firmly affixed to the bowl), that provide obstacles for your pet to work around in order to get their food!?

4 paws pottery dakotas bowl

This bowl features a natural/white base with a lip that is painted in a rich dark green glaze. Green happens to be my favorite color and the color of this bowl is delightful.

4 paws ridges showing in bowl

They are also  lead free,

microwave/dishwasher safe!




The process begins with freshly pugged stoneware clay that is thrown into shape on a flat disk called a batt. Using water, Candice uses her  hands, and kicking  wheel where she can bend the clay into a bowl, a jar, or even flatten it into a plate or jar lid. Freshly formed pottery is very wet and takes about 2 to 3 days to dry out for trimming.

When ready for trimming she uses a cheese wire to cut the piece from the batt, and then it goes back on her wheel. She trims all the excess clay away from the piece to make sure everything looks clean and smooth. She waits about an hour after each piece is trimmed to let it dry out a bit and then it heads for painting!

4 paws pottery bowl close up

After painting it dries for a few more days, and when dry it goes to the kiln! The first firing is the bisque which is a 3 day process. Then she does the final glass glaze which takes several hours, followed by loading the kiln for the final firing. This firing also takes 3 days.

Visit 4 Paws Pottery on Facebook!!! 

Hand-crafted items are special, pride in craftsmanship isn’t always present in our modern world, with the items at 4 Paws Pottery you can be certain that love, care, time, talent and great thought are put into each and every item!

4 paws pottery logo from facebook

4 Paws Pottery can be found on Etsy and their main website. There you be able to find:

Bowls, plates, slow feeder bowls, treat jars, and more! You can get items for cats, dogs and small animals!





I could not be happier with my bowls and I am certain you will be too! 

In full disclosure: I received no compensation for this review. I received a custom-made bowl for Cody and one for Dakota in exchange for my always honest review!


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


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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.


Happy Cinco de Mayo!

National Pet Week continues and today we are featuring “Chico, who is a 14-year old Chihuahua and he is one of a few “fosters turned adopted fur babies” of my bonus daughter and son-in-law! He was blind in one eye when they adopted him a little over a year ago and now he is blind in both eyes. Chico had a hard life but since he was adopted by my bonus daughter and her husband, he is now receiving the love that he should have always been receiving!

cinco de mayo 2015 Dakota

To learn about Cinco de Mayo, click here

“If you don’t have a dog…” Day Three of the Three Day Quote Challenge

The Three Day Quote Challenge has been so much fun! Once again, I thank  FOUR-LEGGED FURBALLS for tagging Dakota and I.  We love YOU and your blog and are thrilled that we have met you!

three day quote challenge

In the spirit of “Wordless Wednesday”, and the fact that I am on my way to have a lithotripsy for my kidney stones,  I am going to keep this one short and sweet.

If you missed Day One click here

If you missed Day Two click here

I hope you enjoy my quote for the final day

dakota quote challenge

Now, about the challenge:

There are three rules to this challenge, and they are:

1. Post for three consecutive days.
2. Choose and share one or three quotes each day.
3. Challenge three additional bloggers each day.

Today we are breaking the rules and are not going to tag three additional bloggers (but we DID the first two days!). If you would like to participate, just go for it! It was a blast!

Now, if you excuse me, I must go and have my side pummeled 2500 times (I am NOT kidding!)

kidney stone medullary sponge

That would be ME!!!

“See ya when I see ya!!

A Poopy Surprise!

Remember on Friday,  I showed you some photos and a video of the nice walk that I took when the weather warmed up a bit?

Well, the walk wasn’t without its mischief!!!

You see, I had already pooped over by our condo so Mom thought I was “poop-free!” She was worried at first when Dad said he couldn’t find a poop bag.  No worries!!! Dad  thought he didn’t have a poop bag, but sure enough, he DID!! ( Even if Dad hadn’t had one on this walk, Dad would have gone back to pick it up. We hate when people in our complex don’t pick up poop!! Mom and Dad are always conscientious about picking up my poop!!)

Hope your Monday isn’t POOPY!!

Barks and licks and love,