Sunday, June 23, 2013

The Joy of Healthy Eating - Pixel's Home-Cooked Dog Food

Hi friends! I bet you are wondering what I'm doing here, standing on my hind legs looking up at our kitchen counter. It's because Mommy is getting my dinner ready. I can't wait to share my special food with you, but first I want to explain a little about why I get special food. The commercial dog food industry is a HUGE market, bringing in billions of dollars every year. Yet more and more people are cooking their dog's food instead of buying "off the shelf" so to speak. Too many contaminated foods, whether for pets or people, have made many families nervous about what they are ingesting. My family is in that group. We've had tragic losses due to contaminated dog food, so my Mommy and family has become experts on researching foods.
Part of our food is home cooked and part is commercial. We use one specific grain/gluten free food that swears their chicken is from their own chicken farms, and that all ingredients are verified to be safe. I have been tummy sick as of late (coinciding with my tail troubles), so Mommy has been feeding me the awesome food that we make for my sister Peanut Pumpkin Pie, who has serious liver problems and other ailments. She was badly affected by food contamination from one of the "best" high end dog foods, at around the same time we lost my two senior uncles, so eating safe foods hits very, very close to home.
My Auntie has mastered the mix that is both super yummy and full of nutrition. It has chicken breast meat, rice, sweet potatoes, peas or green beans, bananas, applesauce & blueberries.  All three of us pups get SUPER EXCITED when it's meal time. I always have to stand on my hind legs so I can see everything being done. It's just one of my favorite things to see. First, Mommy lines up the bowls on the counter. She brings out all the yummy goodness that she feeds us.
We each get fed a certain amount each day based on our weight, so our food is measured for each meal. Since I've been ill, I get 1/8 cup of the chicken, rice, veggie, fruit stuff, then a scoop of pumpkin. Disregard that my eyes are glowing red...I just get very excited and serious about my meal time, so my eyes "glow" with anticipation, BOL!!
This is a close up of my beautiful meal. How many dogs do you know get a multi-course meal? Dixie gets some dry food put in with her food, so I guess she gets a 3 course meal.
See why I love to be front and center during meal preparation? It's just like a favorite TV show, or would this be a TV dinner, BOL! I guess it's sort of like the cooking channel for humans.
Dixie Mae loves to watch too, but she prefers to sit on the red rug in front of the kitchen sink. I actually taught her to do that because I go and sit on the rug all the time when Mommy is doing stuff in the kitchen. I guess you could call the red rug "home base" when we are in the kitchen. My guess is that standing a little ways off from the food prep allows her to actually see better. Look at those big pretty eyes of hers glued to the counter where the food is.

 Peanut waits with anticipation too, but she also tends to dance in excitement. She gets up on her hind legs and starts waving her paws in the air.
Just look at those moves. She's so serious when she does her "Just like a prayer" dance right before she chows down!
Dixie just gets really BIG EYES when her meal is ready to go and coming her way.
I do an occasional twirl or two, but not today. I'm all about being "Mommy's Little Helper", so when Mommy was done making everyone's bowl of yummy goodness, and it was my turn to get my dinner, I said, "Wait Mommy. I'd better help you pre-wash." She knew exactly what I was getting at, so she let me lick the fork. Good Mommy!
So Peanut, Dixie Mae and I ate...

and we ate....

and we ate. It was so yummy, and yet so good for us. See, dogs can eat good, and still stay both fit and trim.

Eating healthy really can be a joy, as you can see from my face. Whether you are human, canine, feline, or other, see if you can find ways to stay fit, eat healthy and eat safe. I'd LOVE to hear what you do for healthy safe eating. Just leave a comment and let me know. It might be something I can try too. 

Thursday, June 20, 2013

The Joy of Remembering - Pixel's Baby Photos 5 years Ago

These photos were taken within the first few weeks of me being with Mommy. I loved her from the moment I first saw her, and we've had such fun and love ever since! Mommy and I were feeling nostalgic today, so we wanted to share these with you.

I have been looking at Mommy out of the corner of my eye since day one, and I STILL do it. Usually, I am checking to make sure she is still there. Well, you never can tell when she might slip out a side entrance or something when I'm not looking... 

"Alright Mommy, we need to have a serious discussion about this whole tee shirt wearing thing...." 

"Peekaboo, I see you." Doesn't my little baby nose look like it is heart shaped?

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

The Joy of Fun in the Sun & Pet Summer Safety

Although the official first day of Summer isn't until next week, it's pretty much already here in the mountains of Virginia. It doesn't get quite as hot here as it does in other parts of the country, but it can still get pretty toasty warm. My sister Dixie Mae and I had some great fun outside this past weekend and I have lots of cool photos of us enjoying the summer-like temperatures. But first I have an important "Pixel Public Service Announcement" to share.
Signs-of-heatstroke-in-dogs The sunshine is wonderful, but it can also be deadly for animals if we are not watched and monitored for signs of possible heat stroke. My good friends at PetFinders have a "Summer Pet Safety" campaign that they just launched this week. If you remember, PetFinders "adopted" my blog when I went to the BlogPaws 2013 Convention (Mommy & I won a $200 gift card and lunch with the wonderful producers of PetFinder, where we talked all about rescue work and how we can help more animals), so I am very excited to share aspects of their new campaign with you. This poster lists many of the early warning signs of heat stroke in a dog. Remember when Mommy took me to that dog festival and we entered a contest for "Best Dog Trick" but we pulled out at the last minute because I started getting sick from the heat? Mommy did the right thing because she could tell I was getting heat stroke due to the lack of shade in the activity area. It didn't matter that we were 4th in line and I was just about to be next. Nothing was more important to Mommy than me being okay.
Always check for signs such as exaggerated panting, lethargy, warm/hot/dry skin, weakness, or rapid heartbeat when a dog has been out in the heat or sun. It can make all the difference in the world! Please go visit my friends at PetFinders for more information on Summer Pet Safety.
Now, when Dixie Mae and I go outside together, the first thing we always do is check the yard and surrounding area for safety from neighborhood trouble-makers, strangers driving by in cars, anyone daring to even walk on our street, and most importantly...tiger-werewolf-monkeys. Just look at the intensity of the "guard dog on duty" looks on our faces. We make SURE the coast is clear before we venture into our yard to play.
One of the first things we saw in the yard this weekend was how pretty the little star gazer lilies were.   They looked so pretty in the afternoon sunshine. We have all kinds of things in bloom right now, but the lilies are one of Mommy's favorites!
Dixie Mae and I have different ideas of "fun" outside. Dixie prefers to sniff around in the yard, seeing who has "been there" and investigating to see if there are worms to be rolled on.
Dixie also loves to bask in the late afternoon sun. She sure does look pretty in the sunshine! I love how her confidence has increased the longer she has been with our family. It's been 4 months since she "adopted" us, and she's amazed us all! Did you know she is now a service dog to my grammy? Pretty cool huh!!
My idea of a great time outside, no matter the weather, is doing zoomies in the yard, running as fast as I possibly can and then barreling into Mommy's legs saying "tag - you're it". Mommy says she can see the utter joy on my face every time I run. Can you tell in this double photo that I am getting ever closer? All while wearing a smile on my face.
I also LOVE to find a really good stick for Mommy to throw so I can "pretend" bring it to her, then chew on it in the grass. "Look at me can't catch me 'cuz I am faster than a jaguar!"
Oh yeah, this is one fantastic stick I found. Excellent for cleaning teeth too I'm sure. It's in these moments that I think of my uncle Jessie, who passed away in November. He and I shared this great love of sticks, and we BOTH  would play the keep away game with Mommy and then both chew our sticks together. I miss you uncle Jessie!
Don't worry, Mommy doesn't let me chew much...but it's fun to tease her!
"Mommy, are you going to throw that stick??" We always have a great time outside, and Mommy makes sure we don't get overheated or stay out in the sun too long. We all take summer safety very seriously.
Before I go, I just had to share this sweet photo of Mommy and Dixie Mae laying in the grass together. The look of love in Dixie's face is clear. She's yet another example of how wonderful adoption can be!
We all had fun outside in the warm "almost" summer weather. So now it's time for YOU to go have some fun already and then tell me all about it!!

Thursday, June 13, 2013

The Joy of Pumpkin - A Pixel Public Service Announcement

This is an important Pixel Public Service Announcement. Did you know that pumpkin is a wonderful addition to a healthy meal? It is chock FULL of beneficial fiber and tastes really yummy.
You can eat pumpkin in many different ways. It can be added as a side dish, or used in baking. I know for a fact that pumpkin is really great for your hair because of the high moisture content in it...

but I also just learned that because it contains carotene, pumpkin is fantastic for your nails and paw pads (or in my case, my "BlogPaws"  BOL!).

Pumpkin is the most amazing shade of orange, so it's easy to see who ate their pumpkin and who didn't. I think that everyone should have a little cooked pumpkin in their diet every day. I know you'd never guess, but I eat it too. I practice what I preach. Have you had YOUR pumpkin today?

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

The Joy of Favorite Toys, Feeling Good & Playing Outside

I must admit I've been pretty lax in my blogging as of late, and have certainly missed sharing my adventures, photos and thoughts on life in general with you. As most of you know from previous posts of mine over the last couple of years, I have chronic tail pain issues because of my docked tail that was done before I adopted Mommy. Even with my surgery last year to help correct the issues and even though I take nerve pain medicine, I still have bouts of pain that leave this little dog not feeling very playful or joyful.

These last couple of weeks have been especially painful for me & my docked tail (read about my education campaign on the dangers of tail docking), and so most of my outside fun time was spent wearing my neck pillow that protects my tail from my attempts to give my tail some "relief". This is me earlier last week after I had to go to the vet because my tail got SO bad. Now, I've played plenty of times while wearing my neck pillow when I have to and even made fun games and inventions out of it, but not last week. The vet gave me some additional medicines to try though, and we are seeking some new options too. I gave it a few days to let the medicines do their thing, and I just took the time off to rest and watch over Mommy, who had her own medical thing going on. Well, the medicines started to help me and my tail some and Mommy noticed I was less distressed by my tail. Things were looking up, so it was really great when I felt like playing with Mommy this weekend. 

I told Mommy that my newest toy, a turquoise Kong Wubba that she got for me when we went to the amazing BlogPaws convention last month, really needed to go outside and play. She got the hint in a flash, and knew it was I who needed & wanted to go outside and romp around for a while. Mommies are great like that aren't they? She grabbed BOTH cameras (one for photos, one for video) and we went outside to have some real fun! 

First we went out on the back deck and took in the scenery in our back yard. She always brings a few treats with us when we go outside, and my powerful sniffy nose knew she brought my new peanut butter treats. I asked her for one before we even got off the deck! Well,  little dog does need her strength, right? I twirled and twirled for her, doing my very best pirouettes for her, and she absolutely LOVED it! I love doing my tricks with (and FOR) Mommy. I love to see her smile.

Soon afterwards we went out into the yard. She walked, I ran like the wind because I was sooooo excited to go play! Here is a really fun, super energized 3 minute video of pure Pixel loving playtime outside with my favorite toy in the world, the Kong Wubba! I'm still waiting for Kong to call me and ask me to be their official "Spokesdog" so here's hoping they catch the hint, BOL!! I hope you like it...

Do YOU have a favorite toy that makes you just want to do zoomies all over the yard with? You'll have to tell me all about it in a comment on this post. I sure love hearing from you. And don't forget to please follow my No Tail Left Behind campaign that educates about the dangers of tail docking. I have all kinds of good & helpful information that I share through Facebook and Twitter

I want to thank the hosts of this "Monday Mischief" blog hop: Alfie's Blog, Snoopy's Dog Blog, and My Brown Newfies. It's always fun to share my latest adventures from the weekend on our Monday Mischief and read about all the other pet bloggers and their adventures. So, go check out some of my friends below! 

Friday, June 7, 2013

The Joy of Dog Festivals, Fun Exercise & Being Wise in Hot Weather

I had quite an adventure last weekend when I went to a fun doggie festival with Mommy, Grammy, and my sisters Peanut Pumpkin Pie and Dixie Mae. The festival was created a few years ago to support our local spay/neuter clinic. That is always something worth howling about! It's super important and cannot be stressed enough.They promised it would be a 'howling good time' so I spent that morning practicing my best 'howls' so I could 'howl' with the best of them. 
We packed the world's BEST picnic lunch for both humans and dogs (including gluten free muffins, Parmesan chicken strips, potato salad, and fresh fruit salad, plus our special yummy nutritious dog food and treats), and we were off! I of course wore my "protect and serve" security dress harness, but this time I had bows in my hair. It also serves as an impromptu dancing dress when needed. Did you know dancing is an excellent exercise? Helps keep me in shape and it is super fun....but more on that later.

There were so many different types of dogs there, and they were all beautiful. Big and small, long fur and short fur. It was really neat to see so many different dogs out in one place. There were a few shade trees here and there and lots of people and pets congregated under them. Some of the dogs jumped into the little creek nearby, which was a fun site to see!
This handsome boy and his twin Great Dane sister and entire human family was super nice. We really enjoyed talking with them. My sister Peanut, a Pomeranian, also got to meet a very unique looking Pom with one blue eye and one brown eye. They talked and visited for a while. The only trouble with the festival was the temperature. It was so super hot...sort of stifling to tell you the truth. But we all had fun anyways and just visited in the shade.

I almost got to perform for their "Best Trick" contest at the festival. I had on my dancing and trick showing dress harness and I was ready! We applied, filled out the form, got a number for us, and then they made us stand out in the blaring 91 degree sun so long that I got a little sick. Mommy was getting worried, and she was getting overheated as well, so even though we only had 3 more dogs to go before it was our turn, Mommy made the wise executive decision NOT to go on. She didn't want me to get any sicker or hotter. If you are going to be a fit doggie, and want to keep in good shape and health, you must also be wise to know when it is a bad idea to exercise, play, or perform in extreme temperatures. But that's okay that I didn't get to try out for "Best Trick"; we made a special video of me doing my tricks later that afternoon. (I will be showing that video at the end here, so stay with me.)
We went back to our car, had that amazing picnic lunch in the comfort of some really cool air conditioning, and then drove home happy to have the adventure we did. I was exhausted from all the excitement of meeting new friends, walking all over the place, and enjoying the many vendors and fun sites and sounds. I slept in Mommy's lap all the way home.

 When we got home, Mommy and I went out under  one of our big shade trees and made this fun video of me doing a few of my tricks. Can you see all the ones I do? I did 'sneeze', 'sneer' (that's my famous smile!), 'how does a car go', 'whisper' and of course, my keep in shape dancing 'twirls'. I hope you enjoy it!! And don't forget to leave me a comment on the blog. I love hearing from you!