Wednesday, May 28, 2014

The Joy of a Spa Day - Pixel the Fashionista Gets Her Hair Done

Mommy sure knows how to spoil her girl! After getting overheated outside on Sunday, Mommy said I could use a little extra pampering, so she treated me to a special Pixel Spa Day. "Really Mommy? That would be wonderful!" I exclaimed with excitement and my special "I love you" smile.
I'm not too keen on baths, but I wanted to try this luxurious new shampoo and conditioner Mommy got for me that smells divine. It's made by my friends at Dog Fashion Spa, who believe in quality life for dogs.
Since I have long pony tail ears, and my fur is actually hair, I was all excited to try it. One of the many cool things about this dog hair product line is that it is free from things like sulfates, harsh chemicals and odd smells. They spent years creating just the right formula.
"Are you going to try it in your hair too Mommy?" I asked. I know she was tempted, but she said she wanted to focus all on me. We started with a nice warm soak for me in the tub. As soon as she poured that shampoo out, I could smell the gentle, soothing aroma. First the shampoo, then the conditioner. She gave me the most wonderful body massage as she worked. I felt pampered indeed!
Once I was done getting my hair washed and conditioned, Mommy wrapped me in towels and whisked me to the bedroom for drying. I gave her the "sad Pixel face" because I knew she was going to need to use the blow dryer to warm me up while drying me off. Again, not too crazy about the blow dryer either, but the warm air is SO soothing, plus I get little treats all through the process. The sad face did it's job for me, because out popped that wonderful bag of treats.
"Today is spa day Pixel, so you get extra treats while we get you all warm!" Mommy saying that was music to my ears! I couldn't help but grin with a little sass at what she said. Sad puppy dog eyes works every time!
Incidentally, Mommy tends to not wash my face during bath time as she's afraid she'll get soap in my eyes when she tries to rinse my head with a shower sprayer, so she washes my face separately (and frequently) with a washcloth and wonderful smelling shampoo. After Mommy got me all dry and warm with the blow dryer, she then brushed my hair, head to tail, ears to paws, with a soft boar's hair bristle brush. It made my hair feel even silkier than it already was. I felt like a new dog after all that special spa treatment!
Okay, are you ready to see this pampered pooch become the Dog Fashion Spa Fashionista I was meant to be? Drum roll please......

We ended my special spa treatment day with a mini fashion show and photo shoot. I felt just like a true "Fashionista", a young lady who makes her own fashion statement. And my hair is so silky soft, fluffy and pretty now. You have got to try my shampoo and conditioner set. As a matter of fact, this week, Dog Fashion Spa is offering FREE SHIPPING on their Shampoo and Conditioner set .
Don't miss out. Oh, and be sure to give them a "LIKE" on their Facebook page or follow them on Twitter. They take dog pampering spa care very seriously!

Monday, May 26, 2014

The Joy of Playing Outside & Playing It Safe in the Heat

I've always loved playing outside with Mommy and my toys. I feel it is important that my toys get to experience the great outdoors with me. We live in the mountains, and even as summer creeps up on us, our highs are only around 75-80 degree Fahrenheit right now. I'm still a young pup at 6 1/2 years old, I am very fit (I exercise regularly), I'm at my perfect weight and I've always had boundless energy. But I've started to show an inability to take the 'heat' outside. Let me tell you what happened this weekend.

Sunday I told Mommy I wanted to take my good friend Lion L. Ritchie outside to play on the back deck. So the three of us ventured out there for a little game of throw and chase with Lion L. and a Kong Wubba. The sun was shining and it was only around 78 degrees. We were in a sunny spot on the deck and Mommy threw Lion L and the Kong Wubba for me to catch or go chase them. 
Mommy (of course) was taking photos and caught this GREAT series of photos of me running and catching Lion L. in mid air!! Don't you just love the look on his face as he's flying across the deck?! Lion L. Ritchie was even MORE surprised after I caught him. I immediately brought him back to Mommy. 
She was highly impressed with my amazing feat and she took several photos as I returned to her. Then she saw that my tongue was just about dragging the ground. I am not a 'panter' like many dogs are. In fact, I almost never do it...unless I am really hot. I mean seriously overheated. Although the photos of me with my tongue hanging out seem normal, I am in serious distress. 

I couldn't help but just stand there. Mommy called me to her right away, but I only took a couple steps. Mommy scooped me up and immediately took me inside. She tried to get me to drink, but I refused. She had to do some serious cajoling to get me to drink some cool coconut water with plain water mixed in. I only drank a little bit, but then choked on it. Finally, she made me stay still with her in the cool air conditioned living room until I felt better. 

Mommy was trying to figure out why I was getting overheated so quickly. We'd barely been out there 10 minutes. But you can see I was in distress in this photo to the left because my head is low, I have a far off look as my tongue continues to hang really far out of my mouth. NOT the typical Pixel face! This has happened a few times in the last couple of weeks and Mommy was perplexed. After some thoughtful discussion with the family, we realized that part of it has to do with the fact that I need to re-acclimate to the coming warmer temperatures, and the other part (perhaps the most significant) is due to the medications I am now on. In the last year, I've had to go on several medications to help me stay well. It makes perfect sense that medications, whether you are human or canine, can affect your ability to tolerate certain things. It can change your body chemistry and so it is something to be aware of for your beloved pets. I'm certainly no expert, but I feel it's important to talk about
Helpful Tips to Remember:
1. All types/breeds/sizes of dogs can be at risk for heat exhaustion, heat sensitivity or heat stroke.
2. It can happen quickly, so always keep constant tabs on your animal companions.
3. It does not matter whether the dog has no hair, short hair or long hair, anyone can be overcome by the heat.
4. Always keep your pet well hydrated
Here's are some warning signs:
1. Extreme panting, tongue hanging far out of the mouth.
2. Loss of interest in running, walking, playing, etc. Your pet might lay down suddenly or refuse to come when called.
3. Thick mucus, bright pink or red tongue (more than normal).
4. Nausea and vomiting (get them to the vet immediately).
What to do if your pet is overcome by the heat:
1. Move the pet into a cool environment immediately. If you can't do this...
2. Move the dog to a shaded area outside and cool the dog down with water, such as from a water hose. Getting at least the feet wet can be helpful.
3. Give your pet cool fresh drinking water. Put ice cubes in it if you have them.
4. Placing cool wet towels around your pet's neck, and around the groin area can help the cooling process. An electric fan blowing on them can help increase the cooling process.
4. Take your pet to the vet if breathing at all is affected.
I'm certainly no expert, nor am I a doctor. I'm just a little dog that has experienced heat sensitivity and the unpleasant feeling it brings. So watch your pet carefully for any signs of heat stroke or heat sensitivity. It doesn't have to be very hot outside for a dog to become overheated. Just having the sun shining on them on a temperate 75 degree day can be too much, just as it was for me on Sunday.
Remember that us pups can only release body heat through panting and through our keep us on the cool side and we'll have a great summer together!
And don't forget my new Pixel Blue Eyes Heat Safety Tip:

When in doubt, DON'T TAKE US OUT!

I'm taking part in the Monday Mischief Blog Hop hosted by my friends Alfie's Blog, Snoopy's Dog Blog and My Brown Newfies. Go sniff around some other blogs below and see what they have to share.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

The Joy of Beautiful Memories at the Beach - Pixel & Mommy Moments

My time in Florida, enjoying the beautiful beaches and rich history, was such a wonderful special time, filled with precious memories. On this Wordless Wednesday, hosted by my BlogPaws friends, I wanted to share some of the beauty that I beheld.
This image shows the text Beautiful Florida Beaches with ocean waves inside the text. This is the gorgeous view of the ocean from the back deck of the beach house where we stayed. Mommy and I couldn't get enough of the view and the sounds. We constantly had huge pelicans flying overhead, as well as a variety of seagulls and other ocean birds.
As you stood on the deck and looked far to the left and right, there was hardly any people. It was just endless beautiful sand, shells and surf. Mommy and I were awe struck by it.

From the first moment we walked onto the beach, I felt so connected to it. All of Mommy's stories and descriptions, as wonderful as they are, paled in comparison to actually being there. I was mesmerized by it's beauty, grace and power and spent long periods of time just watching the waves roll in.
 I did spend some time 'running' with the waves. They were such fun to watch...I just wanted to see if I could either beat one in a race or catch one. Doesn't the Beach Boys song say, "Catch a wave and you're sitting on top of the world!" I just wanted to see for myself.
 There were SO many sights, sounds and scents that captured my attention at every turn. I also enjoyed looking for tiny little shell treasures with Mommy. You should see our collection of beautiful shells!
 Some of the beaches we went to had sand that was actually cochina, which is ground up shells. The shells (besides the cochina sand) were so very plentiful that you couldn't even step without stepping on thousands of little and big shells. Mommy took this photo of my feet after stepping into the ocean for the very first time. I didn't go deep of course, too many dangers, but I let a few waves "catch" me after I tried to catch them. See the plethora of shells underfoot?
The amount of shells just laying all over the beaches was incredible! In fact, there were so many shells that you sometimes missed things due to the sheer volume. Can you see in this photo below the beautiful little perfect conch shell that Mommy never saw (in person) until she looked at her photos later? But that's okay because they are all beautiful and she at least has a photo of it.
 Even I found beautiful shell treasures. I enjoyed looking for pretty shells too. I saw a beautiful large piece of a huge conch shell in light gray/beige and decided it should be mine. I picked it up and carried for a few minutes until Mommy offered to hold it for me.
Pixel Blue Eyes found herself a treasure as she carries part of a conch shell in her mouth The local residents were very kind. These two gentlemen chameleons even did a special ritual type tango thing where they took turns showing their red neck bubble and doing push ups. It was really funny.
The day before we were set to leave, we were blessed to see a school of dolphins surfing the waves for about 20 minutes. Mommy's camera didn't have enough zoom to get much, but seeing and experiencing it from the back deck of that beach house was a real thrill!
Pixel Blue Eyes posing pretty for a picture on a bench by the ocean My time with Mommy and our family at the beach was incredible! It's an experience full of joyful memories that I will never forget. It is such a special, magical place and I hope we get to go again real soon!
Pixel Blue Eyes and her Mommy share a snuggle moment on the beach Did you enjoy my collection of photos and memories? I'd love to have you leave a comment and tell me what your favorite part was and what photo is your favorite. I'd also LOVE to hear your own beach story or would certainly mean a lot to hear about it.

The Joy of Traveling - Part I: Pixel's Road Trip to the Beach

My Family just recently took a long, much needed vacation to the beautiful shores of Florida. It was such an incredible experience for me, as I've never even seen the beach before. I'm six and a half years old now, so it was always something I wanted to experience with Mommy. See, I was born and raised in the Appalachian Mountains of Virginia. I love the mountains and beautiful seasons that I experience here, but I've always wanted to see the ocean. Mommy grew up on the eastern shore, and she often told me stories about the beautiful beaches; describing the ocean, the waves, the wildlife and the wonderful experiences she had there. It has made me long to go for years.
Once we set a plan into motion and started preparing for our 10 day excursion, Mommy and I were so excited we could hardly contain ourselves. I've only long distance traveled once in my life, and that was to the 2013 BlogPaws convention last year. That was 4 days and 3 nights, but this beach trip was going to be 10 days, which might as well have meant we were moving there. At least when it came to my travel needs. I double and triple checked Mommy's packing skills when it came to my stuff, and we both packed WAY more than we ever needed. But our philosophy is simple:  better to pack too much and not need it than not pack enough and be left without what you need. Thus, Mommy and I packed at least 2-5 times as much outfits and toys than we ended up using. Anyone else pack like that?
After making enough food to feed a large iditerod team of dogs and people, and after packing 3/4 of the house into Grampy's van, we were off. It was a long drive so we split it up into two days. We stayed at a FANTASTIC Pet Friendly hotel in South Carolina that really made us feel welcome and comfortable. I will be doing a full review of the Residence Inn Marriott in a later post. Once on the road, me and my sisters informed the family that we would be doing spot checks of every single rest stop and gas station from Virginia to the beaches of Florida. Thus, we only had to stop about 35 times times per day,  meaning that our 5 hour first day's travel turned into 8+ hours. We found nice rest stops all along the way that had real nice pet walking areas that even included supplies for picking up any 'messes' you made. In our defense, traveling with three little girl dogs, and a van full of people with differing "break" schedules, requires frequent stops...especially when you're doing surprise inspections.We didn't mind all the stops though. We were together and that was all that mattered.
So do you want to know what happened next? Stay tuned for more posts detailing my amazing beach trip! Wait until you see all the're going to love it!

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

The Joy of Showing Your Love - Redefining Love with #HillsPet

Hi friends! I'm live on location here on the beautiful coral sands of Florida's East side with a special report that I hope you will appreciate. It deals with two very important and joyful things...Food & Love!
Just like all pet parents, Mommy has this incredible need to make me feel loved, and she shows me love every single day of my life. It is a constant that comes in so many forms and I cherish each one. Sometimes it's with hugs, sometimes with kisses, other times it's with a toy or a nice game of chase outside. In the past it has been with extra food and treats, whether it was my normal food or food from her plate. It is so easy to express love with food. Up to a point it can be good, but when I was a couple of pounds over my ideal weight a few years ago, Mommy had to curb her desire to give me as many treats as she would have liked, and as much as I wanted her to. Of course, a little treat here or there is good in moderation, but they can add up rather quickly. Extra food and treats that say "I love you" can often lead to excess weight that could over time lead to health problems in your pet. I know first hand that this is true.
Animals are often ruled by their stomach, so for us, any excuse is a good excuse for treats, extra food, a lick of your spoon or a piece of french fry from your fast food stop. We can't help it. If we had our way, each of us would have free reign of your refrigerator every single hour of the day.

The good news is, our love for you runs much deeper than our stomachs, and of course your love is precious and never ending, and we know it. So we trust you to do what is right for us. If you see that your pet is looking a little extra stout, it can be hard to curb that desire to give us extra treats, especially when we give you those sad puppy dog eyes or a soft little "Meow" that is just begging for a little something extra. But cat and dog weight loss can be hard to attain.
My friends at #Hill'sPet know how difficult it can be to cut back on our treats, especially when we have been a good girl or boy. It might even feel like you are withholding love. With Hill's® Prescription Diet® Metabolic Advanced Weight Solution, it’s not about withholding love, it's about redefining love. Every pet parent wants their pets to live as long and as healthy a life as possible, and keeping your pet at a healthy weight is instrumental in helping live a long healthy life with you. Hill's doesn't want you to feel like you are withholding love to keep your pet's weight in check, they want you to be able to feed a better weight loss pet food that will allow you to keep giving your pet all the love you ever have as you feed them a food specially made to help them lose weight without holding back on the treats and food.
Hill's Prescription Diet Metabolic Advanced Weight Solution pet food is virtually guilt free! No more cutting back on food or treats. Not only do they have wet & dry food, but they also have...wait for it....TREATS! Can you imagine? Guilt-free treats for your dog or cat. You no longer have to feel like you are withholding love...instead you are redefining love with a pet food that actually changes the metabolism of your pet to help them lose weight. As a matter of fact, 88% of pets that tried the Metabolic Advanced Weight Solution food for 60 days lost weight! They ate good, had special treats and still lost the weight. Now THAT is my idea of showing the love!
Now, how would you like to show the love? How would you like some love shown to you? Hill's would like to help you pay it forward through the Tell-a-Friend Program. Share the Hill's® Prescription Diet® Metabolic Advanced Weight Solution $25 Wellness Visit Rebates with your friends and family to encourage them to see their pet’s veterinarian for a wellness visit. That's $25 you get back after your pet visits the veterinarian for a wellness check up. Instructions are on the rebate.
In addition to that cool rebate, those same lucky friends (who take their dog or cat for the wellness visit) will receive a valuable $25 rebate for Hill's® Prescription Diet® Metabolic Advanced Weight Solution food for dogs or cats. Wow! That’s a $50 value. Only one rebate per household please. Rebate  available in the U.S. only.
So whether you fill out the rebate form yourself, or share it with someone whom you know could use it, you'll be spreading the gift of health for dogs and cats! What could be sweeter than that?
This post is sponsored by Hill’s and the Pet Blogger Network. 
I am being compensated for helping spread the word about Hill’s Prescription Diet Metabolic Food,
but Pixel Blue Eyes' blog only shares information we feel is relevant to our readers.
Hill's Pet Nutrition, Inc. is not responsible for the content of this article.

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Pixel Blue Eyes Presents: The Accidental Tourist on Wordless Wednesday

I'm back!! I took an extended leave of absence from my blog and social media sites to focus on helping Mommy during a serious neck issue. Well, the family also took a much needed vacation that no one knew about.
They said "Beach" and I said "WHERE?"
They said "Florida" and I said "WHEN?"
They said "now", and I said, "LET'S GO!!"

I grabbed my collar camera, a bunch of toys, several outfits and my favorite doggie bed and blanket and we were off to the gorgeous shell-filled, sandy beaches of Florida. Over the next couple of weeks I'll be sharing all the adventures, as well as reviewing the places we stayed that were pet friendly, and places we visited that were not so 'pet friendly'. We sure did learn a lot and I want to share that knowledge with you!
Stay tuned for lots more fun to come with LOTS of photos of course.
Happy Wordless Wednesday friends!! This blog hop is hosted by my good friends at BlogPaws. So many of my fellow pet bloggers are going to the 2014 BlogPaws Convention that starts tomorrow. I wish I could join them, but I will be following their adventures with great anticipation. Have a great rest of the day!!