#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!!

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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

 

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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. 

Follow Nutrish ! 

Twitter 

Facebook Nutrish

Facebook Nutrish for Cats

Instagram

Pinterest 

 

 

#Ad NEW Rachael Ray #NutrishDish Super Premium Food for Dogs! Enter to Win!

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

dish dakota bowl and apron

Hi my furry and two-legged friends!!! It’s Dakota! Today I herded Mom OFF of the keyboard because I have some exciting news to share with you, and it is only fitting that the news comes from ME and NOT my Mom!

Things had been pretty slow around my den, winter was wrapping up,  nothing exciting was going on and I was becoming tired of watching my kitty brother constantly cleaning himself.

I was starting to get hungry, and was jonesing for a bowl of Nutrish, but with no thumbs I knew I was out of luck trying to get it myself.  Then, like magic, before I could complete three Sheltie spins there was a knock at the door!!!  There was a box,  it was for ME…and…it was from Nutrish!!

 

dish logo on box

I couldn’t believe my eyes, OR my luck!!! Rachael Ray Nutrish had come out with NEW FOOD that they wanted to share with me!  NEW DISH SUPER PREMIUM FOOD FOR DOGS!!!

dish dakota yelling

Now, I am one super intelligent Sheltie (it’s part of my lineage you know), so I HAD to learn more about just WHAT makes DISH special, I moved in for a closer look, my eyes fell on a photo of delectable, crispy carrots (which I LOVE), I had to read more!!!

dish dakota box i want carrots

Upon closer inspection I learned that:

DISH from Rachael Ray Nutrish:

Has Real U.S. farm-raised chicken or beef 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 I do!!

dish food photo with description

Graphic courtesy of Nutrish

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

 I LOVE THE REAL VEGETABLES AND FRUIT!!!!

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

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

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

Available in two flavors:  Beef & Brown Rice Recipe with Veggies, Fruit & Chicken and Chicken & Brown Rice Recipe with Veggies & Fruit

dish dakota head on with bag fabulous

Ok, now all this talk has made me even HUNGRIER!!!! I gotta get my Mom to DISH it up for me!!!! How can you get YOUR human to “DISH” up new DISH SUPER PREMIUM FOOD FOR DOGS  for YOU???

Look for DISH where you shop for your family’s groceries or visit nutrishforpets.com to buy online.

dish collage

 

YOU CAN ALSO ENTER TO WIN!!!

One lucky DOGGY will receive a THE SAME BOX that I received (which includes BOTH flavors of Rachael Ray Nutrish DISH Super Premium Food for Dogs, the same dog bowl I am using above, the bib and more!!!!) They will also receive TEN COUPONS for DISH!!! THE GIVE-AWAY IS OPEN TO U.S. RESIDENTS WHO ARE 18+. ENTERING IS SUPER EASY, ENTER ON THE RAFFLECOPTER BELOW…THERE ARE A NUMBER OF BONUS ENTRIES!!! GOOD LUCK!!!!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

 

 

 

 

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 shelter pets 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.

 

 

FOLLOW NUTRISH:

dish dakota snarling is this photo shoot over

Celebrating Adopt a Senior Pet Month With #NutrishSeniorPets #sponsored

Let me begin by saying, if you are a regular reader of our blog, you already know that Dakota was NOT adopted. Dakota joined our family in 2007 at the tender age of 8 months old. At that time I was not a blogger. I had my heart set on fulfilling my childhood wish of having my own Shetland Sheepdog, and to me a breeder was the way to go. I had NO CLUE that just because there might not be Shetland Sheepdogs at my local shelter, there WERE Shetland Sheepdog rescues that would have many Shetland Sheepdogs in need of a loving home, and many of them would TRANSPORT the dog to ME! I knew NOTHING about that!

Don’t get me wrong, I ADORE Dakota and could not have a more sensitive, loving, yes and often CRAZY dog. He was purchased from a responsible breeder (who was also a Veterinarian), so I totally lucked out. Had I known more about the reasons I should adopt a Shelter dog, I am sure I still would have had a wonderful dog!

dakota nutrish every dog deserves

I also believed some myths about Shelter dogs  that many others STILL WRONGLY believe:

  • shelter dogs  have behavioral issues
  • shelter dogs are in a shelter due to the fault of the DOG and NOT the owner.
  • I should have a YOUNG dog

dakota nutrish no matter the age

Thank goodness I began blogging a few years later and became hip to the fact that my assumptions could not have been MORE WRONG!

“When you KNOW better,

You DO better!!”

As is the case with humans, there  isn’t an animal alive that doesn’t have some sort of behavioral issue! Most issues can be corrected with love, patience and proper training.

In the vast majority of cases, dogs end up in shelters for a host of reasons,  the majority of which have NOTHING to do with the reasons being the dog’s fault.

Some valid reasons that dogs are in a Shelter include:

  • owner surrender (unable to afford the dog)
  • the death of an owner
  • the owner not having done sufficient research of a breed before getting the dog, to make sure that the breed is a good fit for them and their lifestyle.

dakota nutrish silly

In February of 2016 Dakota will be turning 9 years old. According to PetPlace, a Shetland Sheepdog is considered a Senior when they are 9 to 10.5 years of age.  Does that mean because many believe that puppies/young dogs are better, that I should relinquish my silly, active and loving dog? NOT ON YOUR LIFE!

When I remember back to house-training Dakota when he was 8 months old, and the zillions of times I was running up and down the stairs in our apartment building, (because my husband was at work and I was home after having recently lost my job due to down-sizing, making me solely responsible for Dakota’s daytime potty training). Dakota would bark and ACT as if he had to pee, when in reality, he wanted to sniff every blade of grass known to man. I would NOT want to go through much of that again! When you adopt a Senior dog, while you may still have to teach them potty rules for YOUR home, they can hold their bladder much longer than puppies or young dogs, and will learn the lay of the land of your home  much faster than a puppy or young dog will!

 MORE REASONS TO ADOPT AN OLDER DOG/SHELTER DOG:

  • Shelter Pets are more grateful, They KNOW that they have been saved/rescued!
  • YOU will feel GOOD about YOU for giving a deserving older dog/Senior dog a loving secure home.
  • Worried about training a puppy? Older dogs/Senior dogs have more focus, tend to be calmer and as a result, are easier to train than puppies or young, rambunctious teen-age dogs!
  • When you Adopt an Older or Senior Dog there are no surprises as to what size your dog will be, they are already full-grown!

Need yet another reason to adopt an older or Senior dog from a Shelter? They are less likely to engage in incessant PUPPY CHEWING! (yes, an occasional older dog may have chewing issues, but it is far more prevalent with puppies/young dogs.) If you have read my blog for a while you will remember the story of Dakota practically eating my cellphone, (he stopped right BEFORE he chewed through to the battery), as well as how he decimated the wood panel along our front door, trying to tear down the door to get at the dog who lived across the hall at the time.

Now, while he is STILL obsessed with a NEW dog that moved in across the hall, he is less likely to add our door to his dietary fiber intake!

Speaking of diet, when I began feeding Dakota Nutrish back in 2008, (way before he ever had a blog), there were many reasons behind my decision, and here are a few! Rachael Ray cares about the well-being of her dog and the dogs and cats of others. She believes in GIVING BACK!

DID YOU KNOW THAT:

  • 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?
  • 100% of Rachael’s personal proceeds from sales of Nutrish have gone toward food, medical supplies and treatments for animals in need?
  • For Rachael food equals love — whether she’s cooking a meal for friends or working with pet nutrition experts to create delicious recipes for your family’s furry companions?
  • Every Rachael Ray Nutrish food and treat recipe is made with simple ingredients like real meat and wholesome veggies, so they’re naturally delicious?
  • You can find every Nutrish recipe — including our specialty recipes with zero grains, glutens and fillers — where you currently shop for your family’s groceries?

 

YOU DO NOW!!

Dakota and I hope you will encourage your family and friends to consider adopting a senior shelter dog when they want to add a new pet to their home. I cannot imagine my life without Dakota, and I pray that he is with our family for many more years! A Senior Shelter Dog will give you just as much love and happiness as Dakota has unselfishly given to  me.  In summation, remember THESE reasons that YOU should adopt an older/Senior Shelter Dog:

dakota nutrish glasses

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Fall Nutrish Blogging Trip! Austin, Texas! #AustinTrip

austin cow and cactus

Many of you remember that Wednesday, October 14th I flew to Austin, Texas to spend some time with some blogging pals and my great friends at Nutrish!  Sit back and relax because I have tons of photos to share with you from this fabulous trip!

austin me and texas flag

The second I stepped foot out of the airport I was greeted with a blast of HOT, HOT air! That week in October, Austin broke a minimum of three record heat setting days, and both days that I was there it was 96 degrees!

THE HOTEL

We stayed at the Intercontinental Stephen F. Austin Hotel which was  super comfy, attractive and centrally located.

Austin hotel history

The Hotel staff was extremely accommodating, especially Natalia whom I spoke to before the trip and she also made sure that while I was there that my stay was wonderful. Jamiliah was also a gem and always greeted me with a warm and wonderful smile and was extremely helpful.

Austin Natalia and Jamiliahedited

The next shots were taken in and outside of the hotel:

Austin hotel collage

After checking in and getting ourselves oriented, we all met in the lobby to head off to a most delicious dinner at Swift’s Attic. I can’t believe I was remiss and forgot to take photos of the food there! It was superb! We tasted a wide variety of dishes, each more delicious than the last!

Thursday morning we headed out bright and early for breakfast. We ate at Slake Cafe which was just a mere 200 ft from the hotel. I had an amazing breakfast taco called the Mr.Taco. It had  scrambled eggs, a slice of Boar’s Head cheddar cheese, and homemade bacon jam!!! OMG it was so good!

Austin breakfast taco from Slake Cafe

After a delicious breakfast we were off to Zilker Park  where we met up with Amber from Love-A-Bull. Our mission was to walk throughout the park and stop dog owners (preferably pit bull owners, but we only met two), to tell them about the special Pit Bull Awareness Day event that would be taking place on October 25th. at Yard Bar, Austin’s first dog park/beer garden/restaurant.

Zilker Park was simply gorgeous. Here are some photos of some sights that interested me.

Austin park collage

One photo that I loved was this shot that I took of the water under the bridge.

Austin under bridge at Zilker Park

Zilker Park is popular with cyclists, runners, walkers and of course DOGS!!!! There were a number of 4-legged friends that we met and here are a few!

An Australian Shepherd whose name escapes me!

Austin Zilker Park Australian shepherd

Nutrish’s own Nisha makes a new friend!!!

Austin Zilker Park Nisha and friend

Then, one of my favorites was a crazy swimming dog who just could NOT get enough of the water! He was just adorable!

austin crazy swimming dog collage

He would swim and swim, run out, “shake it off”, and run right back in! Enjoy this super short video of him swimming:

In the next photo you will see one of two Pit Bulls that we saw, meet Rebel! He was just adorable and had been adopted the day before we met him. I loved the color of his coat and he was a real sweetie!

Austin Rebel in Zilker Park

After our mission in the park was finished we headed off to Yard Bar, Austin’s first dog park/beer garden/restaurant where we chatted with the incredibly sweet owner. Check out these doors to the restrooms there:

austin yard bar restrooms

We also  dined on  hush puppies, (the BEST I have EVER eaten),  and other goodies in the scorching sun and enjoyed refreshing fresh squeezed lemonade. The Yard Bar’s slogan is  “Good Food, Great Drinks, WIFI, and Dogs” (yes, DOGS are welcome there!!!). If you are in the area you MUST check it out!

austin yard bar collage

If you thought our eating frenzy was done here, well, you thought wrong!!! I think my FAVORITE restaurant of the trip was Black’s BBQ in Austin. Ohhhh myyy God! When we opened the door to walk in, I was lured in by the incredible aroma. I told my blogging pals that if I could wear perfume that smelled like Black’s BBQ I would! When people tell you that you haven’t eaten BBQ til you have eaten Texas BBQ, well, they KNOW what they are talking about! Black’s was the most AMAZING BBQ I have EVER eaten!!! Check out these photos…WARNING…your mouth WILL be watering!

Austin barbecue

Austin Blacks sign

Austin my barbecue

I had Brisket, (yes the fattier cut!), a pork rib, garlic sausage and sweet potatoes!!! I am STILL dreaming about it! I was just visiting their website and discovered a shop there. If they ship out-of-state, trust me, I am going to be all over it!

Our last stop on our culinary adventure was Matt’s Famous El Rancho  (where I also neglected to take photos!)  Probably because I was still dreaming of that BBQ! Matt’s was great, and what was extra special was that I was surprised by a Mariachi band who sang Happy Birthday to me! My only photo came out too blurry to post, but trust me when I say it was a lot of fun!!

If you made it to the end of this photo-laden post, I thank you! I also want to thank Rachael Ray Nutrish for one of the most fantastic trips of my life! I’m STILL trying to lose the weight I gained on it!!!  Austin, it was my first visit, and I fell in love!!! Thanks to every place we visited for the most amazing hospitality ever!!! “I’ll see ya, when I see ya!”

 

 

In full disclosure: We were not required to blog about this trip, hence I have not used the word “ad” or “sponsored.” That being said the kind people at Nutrish made this trip possible for all of us. All opinions expressed in this post are my own and are in no way influenced by Nutrish subsidizing our trip.