Remembering Sugar the Golden Retriever with “Golden” Love

I was heartbroken when I saw on Instagram this  morning at about 1:30am, that one of the most beloved and long time blogging dogs, Sugar the Golden Retriever had left for the Bridge.

My heart shattered. Sugar and her Mom are two of the bloggers who I have known since I first began blogging in 2009. Sugar was a blogging icon.

Her smiling face graced her blog, Instagram, Twitter, everywhere and you could never look at her without smiling yourself.

I remember when I FINALLY met Sugar and her Mom, (and her Dad too!), it was a few years ago now, and I believe it was at Bark World. Sugar was just as sweet (maybe even more so) than those who haven’t met her would imagine her to be. Her Mom, Rosalyn, as well as her Dad, Ron are as well.

Look at her sweet face…it was the highlight of the conference for me, FINALLY meeting Sugar in person

Sugar was deeply loved by her family and all who visited her blog. She was given a most beautiful, loving caring, active and interesting life. A life that ANY dog would be lucky to live. Sugar was blessed to live such a life, and her Mom and Dad were blessed to have such an incredible dog. I am certain the loving care, (and probably a great gene pool!),  enabled her to live longer than most dogs could ever hope to live.

Sugar’s Mom took this photo of my shoes and Sugar’s shoes because we both had purple shoes on!!!

Some of my most favorite memories  of Sugar on her blog, were way before she became as well-known as she was when she passed. It was when Sugar’s family moved to Hawaii for a period of time. There were photos of Sugar on the beach romping and playing, jumping into frothy waves that crashed by the shore, sunsets, walks, it was a beautiful “golden” time. Those are my favorite memories of Sugar. It was just Sugar, no embellishing, just Sugar living a most “golden” life. Sugar loving nature. Loving her family. Loving the tasty treats her Mom would make for her with such great care. It was just Sugar and her Mom, nothing else, all surrounded by the beauty of Hawaii. Sugar was the epitome of the “Aloha Spirit.” Those posts exuded so much love and you could see just how happy Sugar was being in Hawaii, (who wouldn’t be??)

To Sugar’s Mom and Dad,  thank you so much for sharing your special girl with all of us. There is a huge hole in our hearts that will remain empty without sweet Sugar.

Her smile lit up the hearts of all who encountered her, either in person or on the blog.

Sugar was not only a Golden Retriever by breed, but she was GOLDEN in her heart, soul and presence.
We pray for strength for Sugar’s family during this most difficult time. We send you gentle (((hugs))), “golden” love and we are here if you need us. Love from all of us and our most heartfelt sympathy.

May Sugar romp eternally in the sunshine and waves, flashing her “golden” smile to all at the Bridge. May she be surrounded  by loving energy for all eternity. I have no doubt she will.

Mahalo to Sugar’s Mom for sharing her life with us, and to Sugar we say “Aloha”, until we meet again.

Caren, Dakota and Cody

 

 

The Luck of the Sheltie St.Patrick’s Day

Vita Bone® Winners!

Thanks to all who entered our Vita Bone give-away!!!

Huge congrats to the lucky winners listed below!!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

 

I am a Lucky Dog!

Hi furiends!
It’s Dakota and  today I am wearing the BIGGEST Sheltie smile EVER!! I got the most TASTY surprise in the mail last Friday from some dear blogging furiends! I couldn’t believe it!
Mom brought in a package that was addressed to both of us. I was so excited I didn’t even bark when the mail carrier dropped it off. I just couldn’t believe a surprise came in the mail for ME!!  I wanted to grab that package and open it myself but Mom wouldn’t let me. It seemed like it was taking Mom furever to open that package (and SHE has thumbs!) C’mon Mom hurry! Finally, she opened it.

Look at what was inside!

The sweetest part was that it was from my friends Sam and Elsa who have a pawtastic blog that Mom and I read regularly called, Tails Around the Ranch. They are such kind woofies!! Sam and Elsa  were so happy with the Denta Dish that they won from my blog that they asked their Mom if they could share some biscuits that their Mom had baked for them. Sam and Elsa sure are special woofies to think of me, and to offer to share like that. It made my day!
They taste sooo good!! I asked Sam and Elsa if they would mind sharing the recipe because if my lazy Mom won’t make them, I know that many of you would be interested.  (Also, Sam and Elsa’s Mom have other tasty recipes on their blog, just click here to check them out!)  Here is a photo of what they look like from the King Arthur Flour website where Sam and Elsa’s Mom got the recipe.
 I love these biscuits so much and am sure that you will too!! THANK YOU from the bottom of my Sheltie heart to Sam, Elsa and their Mama. That was so incredibly kind of you! Now here is the recipe for the rest of you to enjoy!!!
Best of Breed Dog Biscuits
(King Arthur Flour website)
 
Ingredients
  • 2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1 cup rolled oats, regular or quick (I used quick oats on your treats)
  • 1 tablespoon dried parsley or 2 TBS of chopped fresh parsley (parsley is a great ingredient for controlling dog breath)
  • 1/2 nonfat dry milk
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup peanut butter, plain or crunchy (just make sure your peanut butter does not contain Xylitol or other artificial sweeteners)
  • 1/2 cup + 1 TBSP cold water, enough to make a cohesive dough
Directions
  • Preheat oven to 300ºF. Lightly grease baking sheet (or line with parchment)
  • Mix flour, oats, parsley, dried milk and salt
  • Add eggs & peanut butter, stirring to combine, mixture will be crumbly
  • Add enough water to bring dough together [you may need to add more in winter, less in summer]
  • To make biscuits, use a cookie cutter. Roll out to 1/4” thick
  • To make dog cookies, drop in walnut sized ball and flatten to 1/4”
  • Bake for 40-60 minutes with lesser time for smaller cookies. Biscuits should be golden brown, dry and crisp all the way through
  • Remove from oven and cool directly on baking sheets

#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!

“You Are My Sunshine”

Today Dakota and I are  excited because we were  presented with  a fun and happy award from our friends over at Four-Legged Furballs. It’s the Sunshine Blogger Award, “which is meant to shed light on those fellow bloggers whose positivity and creativity you admire.” Thank you so much for nominating Dakota and I for the Sunshine Blogger Award! We have received this award before, but it was quite some time ago. We figured since there are new readers of our blog, it would be great to participate again, plus I am super grateful to have received this award! Thank you Four-Legged Furballs for including us!!

sunshin-blogger-award

There are some rules to follow with this award, and these rules are:

1. Thank the person who nominated you and add a link to their blog. (See above. But also, thank you again to the adorable Four-Legged Furballs family and their sweet Mama!)
2. Answer the 11 questions sent by the person who nominated you.
3. Nominate 11 other bloggers, adding their links and asking them 11 new questions.
4. Notify the bloggers you have nominated.

Our friends over at Four-Legged Furballs came up with some great questions.

1. How many animals have you had in your lifetime thus far?

Eek. I haven’t had NEARLY the number of pets that others have had. Let’s see, when I was born, we had a Boxer named “Brandy” who lived with us til I was 7. She was the sweetest dog, but died quite young. She passed at age 7. From what my family had told me, she would “guard” my crib and get my parents if I was crying. I also had two turtles, some goldfish, a hamster, my first cat was my Angel Bobo, we shared our lives for 18 years. Then Cody, who I adopted 2 weeks after Bobo passed, then Dakota, my first dog as an adult, came that October.

dakota-gorgeous-side-view-for-wordless-wednesday-feb-25

2. Do you have a favorite blog topic, blog hop, or blogging day?

My favorite Blogging day is Wednesday when people participate in Wordless Wednesday. My favorite posts that day are the ones that ONLY use words in the title of the post. To me, those TRULY “wordless” posts beautifully convey the true meaning of the quote, “a picture is worth a thousand words.”
3. What is your favorite book?

This one is pretty much impossible to answer. I have read soooooo many books that I have adored. Many are classics, many are cat and/or dog related. It is impossible to just choose one.
4. If you had to change your first name, what new name would you choose?

That is a great question! I have never thought of that before. I actually like my first name and am happy that my parents spelled it in such a unique way. Being a child of the 50s, at that time “Caren” with a “C” was virtually unheard of. I think it helped make me the creative person that I am. I like to think that I march to my own drummer, I have never been a “follower”, and I don’t always do what is the expected thing to do or the “norm.”  I often wonder if I am that way because of my name.
5. Are you an early bird or a night owl? 

Both. I often stay up til 1 or 2 and get up at 6 am. It isn’t healthy to do that, but I do. I find that I am my most alert in the morning. One thing I am NOT is an afternoon person. I am usually pretty dead at 3pm, then I perk back up from 5pm on.
6. What is your favorite holiday?

Thanksgiving. I love the time of year, I love what it represents and OF COURSE I LOVE THE FOOD!!!! All of my favorite foods are present on Thanksgiving!
7. What is your dream job?

Another tough one. I used to have a dream of being an Olympic Swimmer (I was a lifeguard all through college, and was on a swim team when I was young.) At one time I wanted to teach Early Childhood Education, specifically kindergarten. Now, believe it or not, probably doing what I am now doing, blogging and working part-time in the world of Pets. Pet people, as we all know, are special people. I LOVE that I am able to work from home. I worked for approximately 26 years outside of the home, where EVERY morning I had to get up at 5:15am, I had intense deadlines to meet as well as steep sales quotas, working from home is something I never thought I would ever be blessed to do. If I am lucky enough to still be able to make ends meet at home, it is something I would do as long as I possibly can. One day, I would love to discipline myself to write a humorous children’s book involving cats and dogs. That would be fabulous.
8. How many siblings do you have?

one older sister and one younger brother, I suffer from “middle child syndrome.”
9. What is your favorite candy?

Almond Joy!!!
10. What is your absolute least favorite food?

LIVER!!!! Have to add another Bleu Cheese.
11. What do you call it: pop or soda? (Or something else altogether?)

Pop…of course (hehehe)

Next up is nominating 11 other bloggers.

To quote the Four-Legged Furballs Mom: “All of the blogs we read in this blogging community give us inspiration. We know so many bloggers deserving of this award, as all of you are so positive and creative in your own ways. That’s what makes this community so great!”  For that reason, and others, we always break the “rules” of these hops. I don’t want to list other bloggers because inevitably I would unintentionally leave someone out who is deserving and I don’t want to accidentally hurt anyone’s feelings. If I follow your blog, it is a pretty safe assumption that I enjoy your blog. So, if any of you are inclined to complete the challenge using the same questions above, (because I am lazy), feel free!