Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Busy Dog or Lazy Pooch? Your Pet's Activity Level and GIVEAWAY

Do you wear a FitBit or other activity tracker? You know they're helpful in managing your activity goals. But have you ever wondered if your pet is getting enough exercise?

Petey, photo by Roy Gumpell

Are your walks together long enough? Is he running around in the yard or just laying in the sun? When you leave the house, is she actively playing or is she sleeping on your bed? If only you could have a FitBit for your dog!

Now you can, with the Poof activity tracker. AND, we're Giving Away Two Poof Activity Trackers at the end of the blog!!

Poof sent us two activity trackers to sample and review, and two to give away. We tried out the blue Bean for Petey, and the green Pea for Ernest.

Setting Up
At first I was a little intimidated because there seemed like a lot of parts. But the instructions are really clear and simple, and the parts are very straightforward.

THE BEAN- uses a USB cable to charge.
THE PEA- uses a battery

So the first step would be to determine which you would prefer, to charge or change the battery. Also, the Pea is a little bigger than the bean. The pea battery lasts up to 6 months and then you need to purchase a new battery. The bean charge lasts  6-8 weeks, then you need to recharge, which takes 4 hours to get a full charge--but you don't need to purchase anything additional. So, Question #1- would you rather have the convenience of a battery that lasts longer? Or, the cost-efficiency of recharging, but you have to remember to do it more frequently?

Getting Started
Once I put the pieces into the holders and attached them to the collar, it was time to download the app. You simply sign into the app, then hold the phone near the Poof on your dog's collar, and it connects! Easy peasy!


Reading the Data
Checking the data is quick and easy. I was able to enter multiple dogs on the same app, and could easily toggle back and forth between Ernest and Petey.  At the top was the activity level for that day, broken into hours, and a graph to show light, moderate and high activity levels. Below that was a graph to show light and deep sleep.  Then there as a bar graph showing calories. You can even enter feeding information to determine calories consumed and calories burned.

Uses for Poof
Poof is a great tool for
*helping manage your pet's weight.
*monitoring sleep patterns
*determining if they're active or sleeping when you're out of the house
*discerning if the pet sitter/walker exercised your pet for the appropriate time
* realizing if your pet is active at day care
*understanding changing activity/sleep patterns that can indicate health concerns
 *In addition, Poof has a cool feature that maps your pet's location. Plus, Poof can send out alerts for your lost pet.
 Question #2- Which way would you find Poof most helpful with your pet?

The Results
I've been having fun observing the difference in my senior dog Ernest's activity, vs. my puppy Petey's activity level! As you can imagine, Ernest has many periods of deep sleep, and mostly light activity. Petey, on the other hand, has fewer periods of sleep and a majority of high intensity activity! So far I have enjoyed seeing that my dogs basically sleep the whole time I'm out of the house, and sometimes they are awake and active in the middle of the night when I think they're sleeping. lol. It's a lot of fun to check the Poof app at the end of the day and see how they're doing!


 Would you like a Poof  activity tracker for your pet? I'm giving away one Poof bean and one Poof pea! Just enter the Rafflecoptor below!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

FULL DISCLOSURE: Poof sent me two Poof trackers to review and two to give away. This in no way influenced my review. Opinions expressed here are 100% my own. 

Friday, September 29, 2017

Oh, the Mistakes we Make

To err is human, to forgive canine
In raising and training our dogs, we are likely to make some mistakes. I feel like I still have so much to learn in training especially. (Perhaps Petey and Ernest are training me!)

Ernest thinking, "How can I make her understand what I want?" I look clueless.

Recently, Pet Wellness Advisor asked two dozen pet bloggers "What is the biggest mistake dog owners make, and how can they fix/help this issue?"
The responses are well thought-out and reflect the experiences and expertise of a wise and diverse group. I was honored to be included in the panel. Of course, after I read each response I thought, "I wish I'd said that!"

You may be surprised by some of the answers. Here is a link to the article Pet Wellness Advisor Ask the Experts Round Up.

What are your thoughts? What do you think the biggest mistake pet parents make, and how can we help the issue?

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Remembering Kelly

Recently I found myself thinking more about my dogs Ernest and Petey, and less about the ones I'd lost six months ago, and it shocked me.

Maybe it's only natural to focus on the ones who are here day in and day out. Maybe it's because Ernest has cancer and we spend a great deal of time making sure we're caring for his health and comfort. Or because Petey is a puppy and so very consuming of time and energy. Maybe it's just the way it should be. But it feels wrong.

Especially with Kelly. I don't feel this same melancholy about Ike, the 10-year old golden retriever we lost in March. Ike is still with me in many ways. I think of Ike every time I look at Ernest and Petey, and feel a deep appreciation for this wonderful breed. Ever since Brooks, the dog we adopted when he was 11-years-old, we fell in love with golden retrievers. Especially the seniors. Maybe it's still having golden retrievers that helps me keep Ike's spirit alive.

But Kelly. Sometimes Kelly feels...gone. It seems like years, decades ago that we had Kelly. Yet we lost her in March, just after losing Ike. And we'd had her longest of any dog...15 years.

The last year with Kelly had been bad. Pacing. Loss of continence. Loss of mental faculties. She didn't like to be held anymore. She fell. Panted. She stared with eyes that barely recognized me anymore. That's not the Kelly I'm remembering today.

Kelly was a good dog. She used to be joyful. She ran, wagging her tail like a helicopter, springing from bush to bush in the yard. She loved to swim. She loved to jump. She jumped up on the back of my big green chair and curled around my neck like a scarf. She cuddled. She was smart. She could solve any puzzle or problem. She was in charge, that was for sure.

 With any other dogs in the house, she was the boss. She controlled them with just a look. All our golden retrievers were respectful of her, and deferred to her leadership. But what I remember most is her empathy. She was always there beside me if ever I was down or not feeling well. There were many times when I was going through some challenge, and she just intuitively crept up and tucked herself in by my side. She was almost human, I thought. She understood me, and sometimes it seemed as though she read my thoughts.

It makes me happy to think of Kelly and how special she was, but it also makes me sad because I miss her all the more.

There once was a dog named Kelly, and we adopted her, and she was a part of the family and she loved us with everything she had. We played with her when she was young and we cared for her when she was suffering from dementia. And in March we said goodbye to her. And I love her. And I miss her.

Kelly was a good dog.

Friday, September 15, 2017

Pet Parent's Guide to a Clean and Odor Free Ride and #Meguiar's Giveaway!

To be a pet parent is to have a car with:
Smudgy nose prints all over the windows.
Muddy footprints on the upholstery.
Drool down the back of the seats.
Dog hair flying everywhere.
And that ewwwww stinky dog odor.

Does this describe your vehicle? It does mine! Ernest and Petey have lent a paw or two to make sure our car has that lived-in look and smell!

It's time for a total car clean-up. Luckily, I was sent a set of high performance car care products to review....and because I think they're so fantastic, I'm giving you a chance (below) to win  a set of five  Meguiar's car care products!

We take Ernest and Petey in the car to go to the vet's, the park, training classes, visiting Grandma, and we recently took them with us on vacation. So they've certainly left their mark on (and all over!) our CRV. The trouble is, actual human beings have to ride in that car too. Most of them prefer not to sit in a rolling dog bed. It would be nice, just once, not to exit the car with dog hair all over the seat of my pants too. So we sampled and tested five items to shape up our car inside and out, and I can tell you that it's never been cleaner or fresher, except for the day it rolled off the lot. Best of all---usually you need a lot of elbow grease to make a dent in the gross dog muck, but I was pleasently suprised at how easy these prodcuts were to use, and how effective they were with very little effort from me.

Here's what we got:

Ultimate Interior Detailer -- Helped clean up mats and interior surfaces such as dashboard, vinyl handles, and seats. It really only took a swipe of the cloth to see a noticeable improvement.

Meguiar’s ®Perfect Clarity Glass Cleaner--  What do you know, I can see out the windows again! Quite helpful when driving! No streaks and smudges, either. This is my favorite of all the products.

Ultimate Waterless Wash and Wax --  For touch-ups and a quick cleaning on the exterior, no need to get out the hose and bucket. Simply mist on this product and wipe away with a microfiber towel to remove drool and road grime. It also adds a layer of protection to your finish. What's not to love?

Meguiar’s ® Whole Car Air Re-Freshers-- I notice that Ernest and Petey's doggy smell lingers, even after my pups have left the car. This great air freshener's "odor-eliminating technology" took care of that. Scents include sparkling berry, spiced wood, spring blossom citrus grove, summer breeze, and new car.  
Meguiar’s ® supreme shine microfiber towels--  These are the softest, car clean-up towels ever! Why use quality cleaners if you don't use a quality towel too?

Now for the fun part. You can win a set of Meguiars products too-  Just fill out the Rafflecopter below to enter. Good luck!
Prize consists of:
1 3-pk microfiber towels
15.2 oz Ultimate Interior Detailer
24 oz Perfect Clarity Glass Cleaner
26 oz  Waterless Wash and Wax
1 whole car air re-fresher

a Rafflecopter giveaway

*Full Disclosure: Meguiar's sent me these five car care products in exchange for my  honest review. This in no way influenced my opinion. All opinions expressed here are 100% my own.

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

A Special Prayer at the Western Wall

This month my dear friend Lori took a birthday vacation to the Holy Land. One day while she was there, I received a Facebook message from her. "I went to the Western Wall today."

I thought of pictures I'd seen of the Western Wall, also known by some as the Wailing Wall, a 1601-foot long limestone wall in Old City of Jerusalem.

"It's a custom to stick notes in the cracks between the stones to ask God to grant requests," she continued. "I wrote a special one for Ernest."

So tiny!
 Ernest was just diagnosed with cancer.

"There is very little space in that wall, and it's difficult to stuff the notes in the cracks, so that's why the paper is so small!" Over a million notes are placed in the Western Wall each year!

I was so touched that my friend brought such a special request across so many miles to a place so far away.

Here is the note tucked in the stones:

Ernest's note.

Thank you Lori for praying for Ernest, and for bringing this request to God in such a special way.

My friend Lori at the Western Wall.
Thank you God for hearing this prayer. We pray Ernest will be healed of his cancer. Amen.