The Scoop on Poop

dog (Photo credit: Alex Balan)

Stepping In Dog Poop

Like most folks in NYC, I have had the distinction of stepping in dog poop. It is not pleasant, especially when you consider that this has happened to me more than once and often while I am actually picking up after my own dogs - 3 to be exact.  NYC Law dictates that dog owners must pick up after their pets or risk incurring a $250 fine. Dog poop should not be picked up though, simply because there is the potential for a fine or because it is a nuisance to those who step in it.  

A Taste of

I recently received an offer from – an online pet food retailer.  They offered a promo code worth $50, and no other compensation, in exchange for an unbiased review of my customer service experience in ordering from Mr. Chewy.  Anyone who knows me knows that this can be a loaded request.  Why?  Because as a customer service professional, I have always strived to provide the utmost impressive customer service – white glove service regardless of the industry or product – therefore I have a high expectation of excellent customer service.  This can make me a customer service challenge under the right, or rather wrong conditions.  So, I decided to take advantage of the opportunity.

My pack – Suede, Ellwood & Jake - has varying tastes and Suede, my “big mama”, has issues with her bowels.  So trying to satisfy the varying tastes and balancing that with their needs becomes a challenge.  Additionally, none of the pups will think twice about eating garbage off of the street but if I try and give them treats, they will scrutinize them and in many cases will actually shun the treats.  Go figure! offered quite a wonderful selection of foods & treats.  I decided to purchase a large bag of Diamond Naturals Senior 8+ Formula Dry Dog Food and 2 bags of Fromm Four-Star Nutritionals Grain Free Salmon with Sweet Potato Dog Treats.  I have to say I was impressed, because I swear that I blinked only once and the shipment arrived.  I actually think it was like 2 days.  I was thrilled at the expedience of the shipment especially since they clearly delivered on their promise.  At this point I had nothing to complain about.  Then the next day the news hit about a huge recall of dog foods.  When I logged on to my computer, lo and behold, was literally thee first of the many petfood retailers I have ordered from, to actually send out detailed information on the petfood recall.  It was so detailed it was specifically about the food I had purchased.  They didn’t make me look for the information, they simply sent it to me.

Next time you’re ready to buy your pet any food, checkout first.  It will be worth your time and your pocket.
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Cuteness & Conservation

ZooBorns Cats! The Trailer
Just how cute can conservation be?  You’ll find out with one of the cutest books ever.  ZooBorns Cats!  features the cutest photos of newborn felines from accredited zoos and conservation programs from around the world.  This is not just your average picture book.  Each newborn photo delivers important information about each of the featured felines.  Adorable AND educational?

I couldn't put it down.

ZooBorns Cats! is available on shelves at local bookstores and major retailers.  It’s the gift that can keep on giving because every sale of ZooBorns Cats! supports the Association of Zoos and Aquariums Conservation Endowment Fund.

If you like ZooBorns Cats!, you’ll like these other titles by ZooBorns and Simon & Schuster

ZooBorns! For Young Children

ZooBorns! For All Ages

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Driving In Cars With Dogs

Yesterday, a beautiful Pitbull named Thumper managed to liberate himself from his owner's truck on the Tappan Zee Bridge in NY. Said owner, neglected to get a receipt for his toll so he pulled over, hopped out, left the truck door open, and Thumper went for a walk. 

This story reminded me of my own experience, at the age of about 10 when my own dog, a poodle named Heidi, liberated herself from our car...while it was moving.

The Blessing Of The Animals

St. Francis of Assisi and the Wolf
As we enter the autumn season, and October approaches quickly, with the changing color of the leaves and the arrival of a slight chill in the air, my pack – Suede, Ellwood & Jake- are, as always, part of this idealistic vision of The Fall.  Suede tentatively shuffles through the fallen leaves while Ellwood & Jake bound around, bouncing through nature’s carpet of color, probably practicing for the winter snows to come.  With the approach of October, however, also come thoughts of my pack’s place in my spiritual life – especially given that I believe they chose me.  October 4th is the feast day of St. Francis of Assisi, known for his love of all creatures big and small.

During the weekend of October 4th and throughout the rest of the month,

Ice, Ice...Baby!

Having just suffered one of the more brutal heatwaves here in NYC, ice and I have become best friends. When you get hot, you want something cold. No? It's no different for dogs.  Naturally, I provided a continuous supply of ice or ice water during this heatwave for The Pack as well.  I have always provided ice for all 7 of the dogs that have been part of my family.  I have had no problems with this practice.  Most of them have waited until the ice has melted to drink the cool water, but a few of them, Suede in particular, actually like licking the "icebergs" I sometimes put in their bowls.  But a dog's appreciation of "cold" is not terribly surprising given that I have also noted that most of my dogs love to eat up snow when let loose after a storm.  What's up with that?  The air is already cold...why would they want to eat the snow too?  Go figure!

I also have those water bowls that have a portal for a standard plastic water bottle.  I freeze the water in the bottle and then put it in the bowl.  I do this for several reasons.  The most obvious is because it provides a steady supply of cool water throughout the day, but at a relatively controlled rate.  So if you are like Suede who will drink up water like you just exited the desert, there is a certain amount of control over how much or even how fast she drinks.

I have never had any issues with the practice of giving my dogs ice. In fact, my friend Ron says his dog, Sam,  loves ice cubes.  So imagine my dismay when I received a link, via Twitter, to an article warning dog owners about the dangers of feeding ice to dogs. WHAT? Ahuh!  Supposedly, we should not be feeding our dogs ice or ice water because it can cause bloat.  I am well aware of the dangers of it becomes a balancing act. Hmmmm...bloat or heatstroke? I am not a vet, but this just seems so impossible to I did what any intelligent skeptic would do...