Wednesday, November 2, 2011

He barks.  He barks when he's happy, he barks when he's sad, he barks when he's bored and wants my attention, he barks when he's mad.  He barks at people outside, not to scare them; more like, "Hey, get over here and play with me!"  He barks at blowing bags and leaves outside, he barks at imaginary things outside.  He barks at dogs on TV, he barks at noises from the neighbors and at his reflection in the entertainment center.  He barks when he's walking, he barks when he's standing still, he barks when he's hanging out the car window.  He barks.

Case in point: Barking at his reflection in the window.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Shelby & Bailey, October 2007
It's Halloween!
Here are some tips to keep your pet safe:

1)  Halloween candy is poisonous to your dog - Never let your dog have Halloween candy. Chocolate is toxic and tin foil and cellophane wrappers can be hazardous if swallowed. Seal your stash and keep out of reach.

2)  Door bells can be scary - All but the most social dogs should be kept away from the front door during trick-or-treat time. A repeatedly ringing doorbell can be very scary and stressful. A great alternative may be to sit on the porch with your pal and hand out candy there; great for socialization too!

3)  Make sure your dog’s ID tags are up-to-date and ON - Repeatedly opening the door for trick-or-treaters may give your dog an opportunity to make a break for it.  Current ID tags can ensure that your BFF is returned safely.

4)  Be careful with open flames near your dog! – A curious nose can be stuck into candle-lit pumpkin leading to a burn and a stray tail can knock anything over.  There are numerous no flame, no mess alternatives out there for both d├ęcor and to light your pumpkin.

5)  Wires and cords can harm your dog – Safely secure all wires and cords leading to holiday lights and props. Chewing on cords can cause cuts, burns or possibly life-threatening electrical shock.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

One of the challenges of living with a dog is dealing with their instinct to hide or bury things.  Murphy is especially comical in his efforts to put something aside 'for later'. 

He shoves whatever it is down between the couch cushions or in the folds of the comforter and then uses his nose to shove things around in order to cover it up.  Unfortunately, this can sometimes lead to raw, red spots on his little nose, which breaks my heart.

Last night I gave him a Halo Spot's Pumpkin Chew and proceded to watch him head for the bedroom, clearly his 'safe place'.  A little bit later, while getting ready for bed, I found it - under the covers and shoved into a pillow.  Whoops!

Once he sees that I've found it, it's time to rehide!  Off to the closet he goes...

Apparently, he thinks that if you put it in there, no one will ever find it.  The closet is definitely his preferred spot.  (I give him points for at least trying to put things away.)

The important thing is, even if you know where it is, you must never let him know that you know.  Otherwise, the process starts all over again.  So, needless to say, that treat is still in my shoe!

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Basic White Bread:
3/4 cup water
4 tsp oil
4 tsp sugar
1 tsp salt
2 1/4 cup bread flour
1 1/2 tsp active dry yeast

Add ingredients to the bread machine in the order listed, measuring carefully. Use basic cycle.

Makes (1) 1 lb. loaf
And the baking continues...

Pumpkin Bread
1 15 oz can pumpkin
2 cups sugar
2/3 cup butter
½ cup water
3 eggs
2 ½ cup flour
2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
½ tsp nutmeg

In a large bowl, combine pumpkin, sugar, butter, water and eggs. Beat 1 minute at medium speed. Mix dry ingredients together and then add to pumpkin mixture. Beat at medium speed for about another minute. Pour into 2 greased 8x4 inches or 9x5 inches loaf pans. Bake at 325°F for 50 to 60 minutes, until toothpick inserted near center comes out clean. Cool in pans about 5 minutes and then turn out to finish cooling.

Yield: 2 loaves

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

I find myself with extra some free time this week and Fall must bring on my nesting tendencies.  Yesterday it was homemade bread and today, cookies.

Very rarely do I share my Gramma's recipes, but she was the BEST baker! Truly an old fashioned recipe, these cookies are buttery and not overly sweet, crisp on the outside and chewy once you bite into them.

Grandma Pete's Sugar Cookies
baking powder
cream of tartar
vanilla extract
Mix together sugar and margarine. Add remaining ingredients, mixing them together in one big mixing bowl. Drop by teaspoonfuls onto cookie sheets and flatten with a fork ( # ) like you do for peanut butter cookies. Bake at 350 degrees until the edges are lightly browned, about 10 minutes.
Servings: 36 cookies

Sunday, September 18, 2011

This kid. I cry every time I hear him sing. He is so passionate about the theater. I can only hope that one day he will realize his dream and be able to turn it into a career.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Just say "NO" to companies that test on animals!

You might never guess that big-name dog and cat food companies would conduct cruel and invasive tests on animals in laboratories. But the companion animal food industry is big business, and in their efforts to slap "new and improved" labels on their products, some corporate competitors conduct CRUEL experiments on dogs, cats, and other animals.

Dogs and cats may be locked in cages and driven stir-crazy from confinement, playing the role of imprisoned taste-testers. In other cases, invasive and even deadly experiments may be conducted on dogs and cats as well as other animals. Ironically, these cruel experiments are often conducted so that companies can boast about the safety or nutritional adequacy of their products.

None of these tests is necessary or required by law, and humane alternatives do exist. Non-invasive, nonlethal, and cage-free "in-home" testing is conducted by PetSci, and collaborative veterinary clinic studies allow sick animals who are volunteered by their guardians to participate in humane feeding trials that can determine the beneficial effects of nutrition on a specific illness.
The following companies have assured PETA in writing that they do not test on animals in laboratories:

• Active Life Pet Products
• Artemis Pet Food
• Evangers
• Halo, Purely for Pets
• Natural Balance
• Newman's Own
• PetGuard
• Wysong Professional Diets

For even more info, go to:     WARNING: The videos are horrific!

Sunday, August 7, 2011

The Dog Days of Summer.  Hot. Oppressive. Uncomfortable. Sticky. Miserable.  I have always loved the heat, but living in Arizona has really spoiled me.  I like the dry, desert climate so much more than the moisture-laden atmosphere of the Midwest.  Unfortunately for me, heat has no effect on Murphy - he is always ready to go.  Hurry up, Fall!

In the meantime, stay cool!

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

I have a new love - Pinterest! What a great source of inspiration.

Go pin something!

Saturday, July 16, 2011

What a difference a year makes. Well, not really.  It's been 12 months since my last post and one would think that there would be much to tell.  Not really.  I guess I just don't think that my life is that interesting and what with the many options in social media, it seems easier and requires less thought to say something in 140 characters or less than it is to write a more lengthy blog post. Yep, it's all Facebook and Twitter's fault.  I had originally intended to use Blogger as an online journal but what is it they say about the best laid plans?  They also say that life is what you make of it so where does that leave me?  Needing a change, I think.