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.

Help Rachael Ray™ Nutrish® donate $250,000 to benefit shelter pets! You could win a year of Nutrish for your Pets!

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

A SWEEPSTAKES FOR YOU AND YOUR PETS TOO!!

  • Grand Prize$25,000 and a one-year supply of Nutrish® dry dog food or one year worth of Nutrish® dry cat.
  • THREE (3) First Prizes: $5,000 and a one-year supply of Nutrish® dry dog food or one year worth of Nutrish® dry cat.

Many of you know that I am not a Shelter dog. I was not adopted. That doesn’t mean that I don’t want to help EVERY SINGLE ANIMAL who is in a Shelter find a furever home. My kitty brother, Cody, was adopted. My “bonus” human “sister” manages a local animal shelter here in Michigan and she has adopted many of the animals she has helped care for.

I have been eating Nutrish since 2008, and I have been an Ambassadog for Nutrish for approximately four years. Mom and I are EXTREMELY proud to represent a company, that not only has delicious food that is good for me, but we are proud to represent a company where the owner, (Rachael Ray), not only “talks the talk”, she “walks the walk” when it comes to her dedication to helping animals.

For those who are regular readers of my blog you know that Rachael Ray created:Rachael’s Rescue® which was created 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.

Because there are so many more animals who need help, Rachael Ray has created a new campaign that will run throughout the month of October.

The Rachael Ray™ Nutrish® Furever Home™  Campaign is Helping Shelter Pets Find The Home They Deserve!

Rachael Ray Nutrish is donating $250,000 during the month of October to help shelter pets in need!!

Cash donation will be made in equal amounts to 3 organizations:

  1. Big Dog Ranch Rescue :Big Dog Ranch Rescue is the largest no-kill dog rescue in the Southeastern United States.
  2. ASPCA: American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals®(American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals®: We have featured the ASPCA numerous times on Dakota’s blog and are honored and happy to do so. The ASPCA is a national leader in the areas of rescue, adoption and welfare and has worked tirelessly for over 150 years to put an end to animal abuse and neglect.
  3. North Shore Animal League:  North Shore Animal League is the world’s largest no-kill animal rescue and adoption organization.
    • SWEEPSTAKES!!!!

    • The Sweepstakes begins on October 1, 2017 at 12:00:00 a.m. Eastern Time (“ET”) and ends on October 31, 2017 at 11:59:59 p.m. ET (the “Sweepstakes Period”).
    • To Enter Online: Purchase any Nutrish®-only product during the Sweepstakes Period, then visit www.nutrishfureverhome.com and follow the on-screen instructions to complete the registration form with your contact information, including email address. Then upload a digital photo of your original purchase receipt with the Nutrish product circled, to receive one entry into the Sweepstakes.
    1.                                                       To Enter without Purchase. Open to legal residents of 50 U.S/D.C.,18+ (19+ in AL&NE). Ends 10/31/17 at 11:59:59 p.m. ET. To enter without purchase by mail and for Official Rules: www.nutrishfureverhome.com

      1. Grand Prize: $25,000 and a one-year supply of Nutrish® dry dog food or one year worth of Nutrish® dry cat.
      2. THREE (3) First Prizes: $5,000 and a one-year supply of Nutrish® dry dog food or one year worth of Nutrish® dry cat.

      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.

      I LOVE MY NUTRISH and you will too! So what are you waiting for? Hurry out and buy some today and HELP SHELTER PETS and maybe you will win some Nutrish for YOU!! Barks and licks and love, Dakota

#Ad “Dishing” about Summer! #NutrishPets

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

Ahhh summer! Sunshine, long days, balmy nights, warm HOT temps! (Ok, we can forget the heat, not a fan here), but what I AM  a fan of is all of the fresh veggies that are just “ripe for the pickin'” in the summer! Veggies are a staple at dinnertime in our home, and the “dish” about summer is that you can get FRESH and DELICIOUS veggies  from a farmer’s market, (often at a lower price than at the supermarket!) Visiting farmer’s markets  is something I look forward to every year.

A few weeks ago a girlfriend and I went to our local  farmer’s market to survey the goods.

See those veggies in the middle? Do you know what they are? I sure didn’t! They are SQUASH and they were the cutest things I have ever seen! The other cute things I saw were dogs, lots and lots of dogs, two of them are featured above. (Dakota didn’t join us on this trek because I am paranoid about bringing him to outdoor markets/fairs because I don’t want to have to worry about what he might eat off of the ground while my back is turned.) It is important to me that Dakota is eating what is GOOD for him! That is why Dakota has been a Nutrish dog since 2008! One of our favorites is:

DISH Super Premium Food For Dogs from Rachael Ray Nutrish

It is available in two recipes, the recipe Dakota eats most often is the  Chicken & Brown Rice Recipe with Veggies & Fruit, Dish  is also available in Beef & Brown Rice Recipe with Veggies, Fruit & Chicken.

 Dish Has Real U.S. farm-raised chicken or beef (in this case it was chicken because that is the kind Dakota is eating right now), and it is ALWAYS the #1 ingredient.

There’s NEVER any corn, wheat, soy or gluten.

Each recipe is made with WHOLE INGREDIENTS YOU CAN SEE, like slow-roasted chicken, carrots, peas and apples for a whole taste your dog will love as much as Dakota does!!

 NOTE: Dakota has been eating other recipes of Nutrish since 2008, so I did not transition him to this food the way you should WHENEVER you switch your dog to another food. Because the only dog food that Dakota eats IS one of the Nutrish brand recipes, it was not a concern for me.

After I returned from the farmer’s market a few weeks ago, I had an idea. I decided to take some of the ingredients from Dakota’s favorite Chicken & Brown Rice Recipe with Veggies & Fruit (as shown above), and make a HUMAN recipe for my husband and I to eat while Dakota was enjoying his Nutrish.

“C’MON MOM! STOP MESSING WITH COOKING AND GIVE ME MY “DISH!!”  I LOVE THE REAL CHICKEN, VEGETABLES AND FRUIT and more!!!!

Crisp Carrots offer a tasty crunch, (kinda like a natural bone!).

Garden & Field Peas and Farm-Grown Potatoes are yummy!

Tree-Ripened Apples . Dakota often share apples with his Dad, they are one of his favorites! (TIP:NEVER EAT THE SEEDS OR CORE!)

BELOW IS THE HUMAN’S MEAL BEFORE IT WAS COMPLETE

 WE USED THE SAME INGREDIENTS

THAT DISH HAS!

 

While Dakota was enjoying his healthy and delicious DISH Super Premium Food For Dogs, his Dad and I enjoyed the same ingredients in our meal! It was a “win-win” for everyone!!

Remember friends! Dish is available in two flavors:  Beef & Brown Rice Recipe with Veggies, Fruit & Chicken,  and Chicken & Brown Rice Recipe with Veggies & Fruit

Dish is available right where you shop for your family’s groceries!

 

As you often hear Dakota bark about, and what we are SUPER PROUD OF, is 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.  Rachael’s Rescue® was created for all of the forgotten pets – the ones who might not have someone who loves them as much as they deserve.  Through December 2016, Rachael’s Rescue has donated more than $17.5 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.

So, what are you waiting for? “MAKE THE SWITCH!!” for your dog! Hurry on out and get some DISH Super Premium Food For Dogs from Rachael Ray Nutrish today, and while you are at it, go and check out your local farmer’s market for some fabulous seasonal veggies for YOU!!! Enjoy!!

Rachael Ray™ Nutrish® PEAK Give-Away Winners!

Thanks to all who entered our give-away! We are so excited to announce the FIVE lucky winners! We are so happy for all of you!  Huge congratulations to all!!!!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

 

 

 

Born to be Backyard Wild! Rachael Ray™ Nutrish® PEAK (Give-Away!)

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

 

“Get your motor runnin’ Head out on the highway
Lookin’ for adventure
And whatever comes our way…….”

 

“Like a true nature’s child
We were born, born to be wild…….”

“Get your motor runnin……'”

(lyrics from Born To Be Wild–Steppenwolf)

Well hi my furiends, it’s Dakota!! You caught me while I was rolling in the grass in ecstasy, barking out one of my favorite songs! Why? Wait til you see. Gather ’round woofies and let me clue you in on something super special! You know  I often pout about that my pawrents don’t own a traditional house with a yard. We have a condo in an apartment building so our “backyard” is a shared courtyard. I would often be sad that other woofies have private yards and mine is no fun, but that isn’t the case! You can have fun anywhere, even right in your own backyard, no matter what that yard is!

How did I discover this? Well, you know my furiends at Nutrish have my back, right? They are always looking out for ME and all you woofies, wanting to bring us food that they know we haven an “instinctual craving” for. So, guess what they created?

 

That’s right! They created Rachael Ray™ Nutrish® PEAK Open Range Recipe™ with Beef, Venison & Lamb and Rachael Ray™ Nutrish® PEAK Northern Woodlands Recipe™ with Turkey, Duck & Quail!!!

Don’t those flavors sound wild and exotic? That’s what I thought too! While I am “sheltie-smile-happy” with ALL of the Nutrish food recipes, let me tell ya my furiends, PEAK is something to get super excited and “SHELTIE-SPIN “WILD” about!

I couldn’t wait for my Mom to let me try it! Mom and Dad gathered some fun stuff that my pals at Nutrish sent to me and we headed outside, the most exciting part was the FOOD came with me! “FOOD OUTSIDE?” I had never eaten “al fresco”  and I was beyond excited!

I couldn’t wait to dig in! The recipe that I tried was the Rachael Ray™ Nutrish® PEAK Open Range Recipe™ with Beef, Venison & Lamb. (I will be trying the  Rachael Ray™ Nutrish® PEAK Northern Woodlands Recipe™ with Turkey, Duck & Quail soon!!)

Both the Rachael Ray™ Nutrish® PEAK Open Range Recipe™ with Beef, Venison & Lamb and Rachael Ray™ Nutrish® PEAK Northern Woodlands Recipe™ with Turkey, Duck & Quail are a natural food for dogs with added vitamins & chelated minerals. These are nutrient-dense recipes which satisfy your dog’s instinctual cravings! They both are:

  • Protein-rich, grain-free recipes to satisfy your dog’s cravings
  • Real U.S. farm-raised beef is always the #1 ingredient (Open Range Recipe)/ Real U.S. farm-raised turkey is always the #1 ingredient (Northern Woodlands Recipe).
  • 30% high-quality protein
  • 0% grains, glutens or fillers.
  • Natural food for dogs with added vitamins & chelated minerals.
  • Protein-rich recipes made with nutrient-dense duck & quail or lamb & venison.
  • No poultry by-product meal, artificial flavors, colors, or artificial preservatives.
  • Safely USA cooked with the world’s best ingredients. (Venison & Lamb from New Zealand, Duck from the U.S., Quail from the U.S. and France.)
  • Made for dogs of all sizes.

They are available right where you shop for your family’s groceries!

As you often hear me bark about, and what we are SUPER PROUD OF, is 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.  Rachael’s Rescue® was created for all of the forgotten pets – the ones who might not have someone who loves them as much as they deserve.  Through December 2016, Rachael’s Rescue has donated more than $17.5 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.

Now…check this out! After eating my incredibly “delish” meal, my Mom got out the new toy that Nutrish sent to me:

Boy did I ever have fun!!

WOOFIES!! Did you know that if you follow Nutrish on Instagram @nutrish and share a pic of your pup  with #NutrishBackyardWild & #sweepstakes you will be entered for a chance to win prizes from PEAK as well as a GoPro® HERO Session™? Yep, that’s true but the contest is ending soon so you had better hurry!!!  Read the Official rules: http://bit.ly/2qDmVUs

AND WE HAVE A GIVE-AWAY TOO!!!!! That’s right woofies!!! FIVE OF YOUR HUMANS  WHO ARE 18 AND OVER, WHO PAW IN YOUR ENTRY FOR YOU AND WHO RESIDE IN THE U.S., CAN WIN ONE COUPON TO TRY Rachael Ray™ Nutrish® PEAK !!! Now, when you enter, read CAREFULLY…there are TWO mandatory requirements on the Rafflecopter. Unfortunately, if you do not complete both, you will be disqualified.

Now woofies

“Like a true nature’s child
We were born, born to be wild…….”

“Get your motor runnin……'”

AND ENTER!!!

GOOD LUCK!!! 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

#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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