Pet Winery Winner!

Thanks to all who entered our fun give-away!!!! (Pssst: if you didn’t win, Cody is having a give-away for Pet Winery this Friday so stop by!)

Now it’s time to announce the lucky winner! Huge congratulations to:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

Woooo hooo you are gonna have a FUN holiday for sure!!!

Barks and licks and love, Dakota

 

#Spon My Dog FINALLY wants to sleep in a bed thanks to the Brentwood Home Pet Bed! (Discount Code and Give-Away!)

Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Brentwood Home, Dakota received the Brentwood Home Runyon dog bed in exchange for our honest review. All opinions are our own.

TEN…LONG…YEARS. Let me say that again, TEN…LONG…YEARS…that is how long it has taken me to find a pet bed that Dakota will use.  You name it, we tried it and Dakota would NEVER USE any pet bed that has entered our home, (other than a flat pad that was called a bed, but in my opinion was not a bona fide bed,  and even THAT was rarely used). Any and all pet beds that Dakota received were promptly given to family members and/or friends COMPLETELY UNUSED.

A few weeks ago I was contacted by a California-based company,

 

they had seen Dakota on Instagram and asked me if I  would like to review one of their new beds. After visiting the Brentwood Home website, learning about the company and  after having viewed  their beautifully designed beds, I experienced a moment of totally forgetting  who my dog is. I jumped at the chance to review one of their beds. I had completely forgotten that MY DOG DOES NOT, NEVER HAS and most likely NEVER WOULD  sleep in a dog bed.  I was setting myself up for a disaster, or so I thought. Throwing caution to the wind I chose the  Runyon Deluxe Pet Bed , size Medium  (34-inch X 24-inch), my color of choice, Mocha.  I chose the size based on Dakota’s size (28 lbs),  and I knew the color would go perfectly with our furniture, carpet, floors…and…DAKOTA!

When  Dakota’s bed arrived, I looked at the long, narrower than I expected,  rectangular box and thought “There is a BED in there?” When I opened the box there was a beautiful bed resting covered in TONS of protective, heavy plastic wrapping! It was Dakota’s new bed that I was certain he would NEVER USE!

The color was just perfect and exactly as I hoped it would be!

With Dakota being a senior dog, I love that the gel memory foam and orthopedic support foam that this bed has, helps relieve and prevent body aches, joint pain, hip dysplasia, and arthritis.  Dakota sometimes seems a little stiff when he awakens and stretches and I am hoping this bed will help with that. The Runyon model that I have, also has bolster edges for additional support when needed. I was extra thrilled because I hoped that I would no longer watch Dakota sleep using the dining room table base as his pillow.

With all of the amazing features this bed has I wanted to sleep on it! The furniture grade upholstery cover is easy to wash and stain resistant!  Of course, because the bed was meant for Dakota, it was NOT “cat-resistant.”

Yep, there was Cody just smiling and dreaming away on Dakota’s new bed! After a few days, Dakota still hadn’t tried it and I was panicking. I went into the Sheltie group I am a member of on Facebook and asked if their Shelties used beds. The overwhelming majority said “No”, they preferred the floor. We all came to the conclusion that Shelties are so furry that they travel with their beds attached to them!  I was discouraged, but not about to give up! For the next few days I gave Dakota his treat dispenser IN THE BED. Maybe that would work! Worst case scenario would be that Cody would end up reviewing the bed, but I was still not giving up. Then, one night as I was sitting in the dark, (without a camera), I caught a glimpse of a furry creature  laying on the bed, it was Dakota! I didn’t want to discourage him from using the bed so I didn’t get my camera. I prayed this wouldn’t be the only time that he used the bed. It wasn’t…………he has used it EVERY NIGHT SINCE!

Brentwood Home  has been making mattresses and home essentials with a team of local artisans and fabricators in Los Angeles. for over 30 years. From the beginning, they have obsessed over creating products using healthy and ethically-sourced materials, all inspired by their  love for the natural world and their home in California. Learn more

The ordering process at Brentwood Home is easy and the delivery is superb! Your new Brentwood Home Pet Bed has a warranty, and though I am doubting you would need it, they have easy returns. Their communication is fabulous!

Dakota thinks it is pretty funny that I thought he wouldn’t use his new bed:

I wish I had the words to convey just how ecstatic I am when I  see Dakota FINALLY sleeping in a bed, and a bed as stylish and of the high quality that his Brentwood Pet Bed is.  Thank you Brentwood Home! After TEN YEARS Dakota is FINALLY SLEEPING IN A BED!  Dakota also said that from the moment he saw his new bed he KNEW he would love it but wanted to make me nervous! Dakota also said that he wants his friends to experience the new Brentwood Home Pet Beds  because he knows that all of you will love them! There are TWO STYLES TO CHOOSE FROM! You can choose the Runyon as I did, or the Griffith. The Griffith bed does not have bolstered sides. 

DISCOUNT CODE: YOU CAN RECEIVE 15% OFF BY USING DISCOUNT CODE

DAKOTA15

at checkout. (The code is good until December 31, 2017). PLENTY OF TIME TO GET (OR GIVE!!)  A NEW BED FOR THE HOLIDAYS!!

GIVE-AWAY!! OPEN TO U.S. residents only, 18 and over, (excluding Alaska & Hawaii, Brentwood Home does not ship internationally) One winner will get to choose the style, color and size bed they would like. (either Runyon or Griffith).  Entering is easy, enter on the Rafflecopter below and good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

 

 

Happy Happy Thanksgiving!!!

Yes, we are a day early but many of you are going to be super busy on the actual day, so we wanted to be sure you see our wishes for a wonderful Thanksgiving! And…a HUGE THANK YOU to BLOGVILLE!!!!! We love all of our furiends that we love to read about every day! You make us smile and we THANK YOU!!!

We will be busy with family the next few days but be sure to stop by Monday for a special give-away!!

Barks and licks and love, Dakota and “Mom”

3 Reasons Why I Am Thankful For My Dog (Secrets You Never Knew)

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

One of my favorite holidays is right around the corner, Thanksgiving. It is a favorite of mine for a number of reasons, yes, the food is decadent and scrumptious,  but I love Thanksgiving for another huge reason as well, it enables me to stop, take a deep breath from the trials and pressures of life in my daily world, as well as the world around us, and take stock of what I am thankful for. This is something I should be doing every day, but like many others, I do not do it enough.

Some of the things I am thankful for are my husband, my family, friends,  a roof over our heads, food on our table and the pets by my side.

This year in particular I am especially thankful for Dakota. This self-professed “cat person” and this incredibly sensitive and loving dog have become obsessed with each other. I am sure this didn’t happen overnight, Dakota is now ten years old, it has been ten years in the making.

Dakota is the first dog I have had as an adult. When I was a child we had a dog, but I had never had one on my own until Dakota.  When Dakota first joined our family, I was clueless. I had cats for approximately 20 years and knew nothing about caring for a dog. Dakota not only helped me learn about dogs in general, but with his unconditional love and devotion, he enabled ME to learn about HIM.

1. Dakota Expanded My Horizons: Having been immersed in the world of cats for so many years, I am thankful that having Dakota enabled me to meet some of the most knowledgeable dog bloggers in the world. Some of them I have been blessed to meet in person, others I am close to via email and their blogs. Many have become like family to me and they have enriched my life more than they could know.

2. Dakota enabled me to be a Brand Ambassador for a Company that I am honored to represent: I am thankful that Dakota enabled  me to take my years of loving all things Rachael Ray, (long before I ever had a blog), to an entirely different level. When I first bought Nutrish  in 2008, Dakota didn’t have a blog, (his blog began in 2011, a thank you to Yvonne DiVita at BlogPaws who strongly suggested that Dakota have his own blog, even if I was kicking and screaming that I did not want Dakota to have a blog, because I already had a cat blog, and how would I ever manage TWO blogs?)

  I never dreamed that Dakota’s blog  would lead he  and I to be Brand Ambassadors for Rachael Ray Nutrish. It is an honor that I cherish and I am  proud to have been a part of for nearly 5 years. I am thankful  for this relationship on so many levels. It is a complete delight to work with the people I am involved with at Nutrish,  and it delights me because Dakota truly eats Nutrish (and has since 2008).  Authenticity is important to me, and it is a HUGE component of our blog. I am also grateful to be an Ambassador for Rachael Ray Nutrish because Rachael as a person, and the brand as a whole,  truly cares about animals and gives back.

Rachael Ray created:Rachael’s Rescue® which came about to care for all of the forgotten pets – the ones who might not have someone who loves them as much as they deserve. A portion of proceeds from each sale of Nutrish is donated to The Rachael Ray Foundation, which helps animals in need through Rachael’s Rescue. Through September 2017, Rachael’s Rescue has donated more than $21 million dollars to pet charities and other organizations that do good for animals. The funds are used for food,medical supplies, treatments, and more for animals in need. Many more animals around the country need help, and through Rachael’s Rescue, together we can make a difference in the lives of many four-legged friends.

 

 3. Dakota has taught me to be a “little” more patient: I am thankful that Dakota taught me that yes, “patience IS a virtue.” I am NOT known for being patient. Living with and loving Dakota has taught me that things aren’t necessarily going to happen when I want them to. Housebreaking a dog,  teaching commands, learning how to interact with each other, it all takes TIME and PATIENCE.  There are many “how to train a dog” books that have been written, I have read a ton of them, but an important point that must be taken into consideration is, what is “tried and true” for some, might not be “tried and true” for all. Each dog, just like each human who lives with a dog is an individual.  What motivates one, may not motivate another.

I try to make sure I remember that Dakota isn’t a “cookie-cutter” dog. Taking the time to learn about MY dog and only MY dog is one of many lessons that Dakota has taught me that I am thankful for.  While Dakota appreciates that I have become more patient there is still one thing he wishes that HE could be thankful for…….what is it? That when it comes to taking photos, that I would just disappear!

There you have it, those were my 3 Reasons Why I Am Thankful For My Dog  (yes I have a TON more but you have better things to do than to read about a ZILLION reasons why I am thankful for my dog).

Now it’s YOUR turn, what are YOU thankful for? What has your dog taught you? Has your dog “Made the switch to Nutrish?” Leave us a comment below and tell us, we would LOVE to hear!

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.

World Kindness Day 2017

Unique Nonprofit Shares the Healing Power of the Paw by Shannon Kopp

With Adopt a Shelter Dog Month just underway, a unique nonprofit organization, SoulPaws Recovery Project, was thrilled to share it’s message about the healing power of the paw in PEOPLE Magazine! 

Logo Courtesy of Shannon Kopp

 
SoulPaws utilizes rescue dogs and therapy animals (dogs, puppies, miniature horses, guinea pigs, rabbits, rats, and more) to help women overcome food and body issues. The nonprofit provides free online and in-person animal-assisted therapy workshops—designed to combat the shame and secrecy so inherent in eating disorders. Live workshops are held monthly by trained facilitators, who are licensed therapists, social workers, or marriage and family therapist interns. Journaling, meditation, sharing on recovery oriented topics, and one-on-one time with the animals are a part of each workshop experience.

 
Studies show that time spent with animals not only improves our physical health, but our mental and emotional well-being. “The lack of judgment, lack of expectations, nonverbal interaction, sensory engagement through touch, evident behavior of the animal, and restorative/fun experience are elements that have made the human-animal interaction qualitatively different from human interactions,” says SoulPaws Executive Board Member, Dr. Patricia Flaherty Fischette, Ph.D.

soulpaws participant and therapy dog. Photo Courtesy of Shannon Kopp

 
SoulPaws Founder, Shannon Kopp, shared with PEOPLE: “Eating disorders are often described as a disease of disconnection. The goal of SoulPaws is to not only help the participants connect with animals and each other, but to experience freedom from their eating disorder and a reunion with their true, authentic selves.”
 
In late November, SoulPaws will be teaming up with Recovery Warriors to offer their biggest online animal-assisted therapy workshop yet at the FoodBodyLove Rally.
 
To learn more about SoulPaws, visit www.soulpawsrecovery.org.

Soulpaws therapy dog photo courtesy of Shannon Kopp

 
About SoulPaws: SoulPaws, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, offers unique and evidence-based animal-assisted therapy experiences designed for people impacted by mental health issues. With every workshop, SoulPaws aims to decrease shame, increase compassion, and inspire courage. Offered in-person and online, our workshops are led by SoulPaws trained facilitators. SoulPaws utilizes a variety of therapy animals, including dogs, miniature horses, guinea pigs, rabbits, rats, and more. In simply being themselves, SoulPaws therapy animals serve as guides to compassion, mindfulness, and emotional vulnerability.