If only finding true love was as easy as falling for a stray dog. That's what Cara Snow thought. She worked in a specialty pet boutique, and always seemed to go crazy for some homeless pooch at their adoption clinics. But her love life was a disaster!
In her new book, Stray Magic, Jackie Bouchard blends her trademark humor with a passel of pups and a sprinkling of fairy dust. All I can say is I bet you've never met anyone quite like Vincent, Cara's matchmaker and fairy godfather. (Did I mention he was about 3 feet tall and wears a velour track suit?) And wait til you read what happens to Llewellyn, Cara's adorable corgi. He certainly comes to her rescue in a unique way!
If you're looking for a great story about dogs, love, magic spells that often spell trouble, and a lot of fun, be sure to pick up Stray Magic. And, enter our giveaway here!
Entering is easy! Simply leave a comment telling us one quality in a dog that you'd like to see in your significant other! Contest ends Monday 11/143 at midnight. Good luck!
Note: Contest open to U.S. residents only. Winner will receive your choice of one e-book or paperback copy of Stray Magic.
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.
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?
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!
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!"
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.