Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Sunday, January 15, 2017

15 Inches of Snow!

Right behind Phoenix is our 15 inches of snow! 

The dogs were leaping over this snow hill! It was so funny!

Friday, January 13, 2017

Sunny Obama Bites A Family Friend! Dogs Don't Like Hugs!

Sunny Obama. Photo Courtesy of Google.

I just found out that Sunny Obama bit a family friend in the face. The news outlet stated that the friend tried to hug and kiss the dog. An article I read about the incident even went as far to say that Sunny is a bad dog and that she was even hard to potty train. Potty training has absolutely nothing to do with the bite and if she is having trouble being potty trained that is a human problem as most dog problems tend to be.

I feel bad that the girl was bitten but I don't believe Sunny is a bad dog. Dogs do not like hugs and it is so important for us to teach our children this! Any animal with teeth can and will bite. It happens over and over again. A kid or an adult attempt to hug a dog = dog bites person. Why do dogs do this and more importantly why do we keep ignoring all the research that tells us that dogs do not like hugs? Why do people stick their faces in a dog's face that they do not know very well or at all?

I believe that many people don't recognize the signs that a dog is uncomfortable. I also think that so many people feel compelled to pet every dog they see and some of them don't really care how the dog feels about it. A lot of people out there are all about meeting their own needs and for some reason there is just this obsession with dogs. People are not seeing the signs that dogs are not comfortable with this and the dog will learn that humans don't listen so they have to escalate to get their point across. Depending on the level of discomfort that escalation can happen in seconds.

In a perfect world all dogs would be socialized, taught to be comfortable with handling and come from good genes but unfortunately we don't live in perfect world. Dogs are animals who have minds of their own and they don't always act how we think they will. I feel like it's best to err on the side of caution when dealing with a dog you do not know well.

Any dog can become uncomfortable with being handled at any given time. Even those happy-go-lucky social butterflies who have all the good genes and socialization in their favor. All dogs have good and bad days, just like we do, even dogs who are socialized and handled from a young age. Sometimes they just don't feel like being messed with or they don't feel good. Or maybe something stressful just happened to them and they are trigger stacked. It's very important to learn dog body language and always be cautious with dogs you do not know. 

If you google "dogs" and  'hugs" you will find a hundred or more pictures of kids and adults hugging dogs and although I don't have time to look through every single picture, most of these dogs look uncomfortable. You can see it in their eyes, they are either very wide or the white in their eyes will show. A few of them are giving a hard stare. A lot of them are looking away from the person doing the hugging and are tense. Some are panting heavily with their lips pulled all the way back. I even saw a photo that looked like the dog was struggling to get away. None of the photos I saw were happy, comfortable dogs. Yet, we keep hugging them! Are we hugging the dogs for them or us? I would say for the most part that we are hugging the dogs for us because it makes us feel good. Can dogs be trained to like hugs? Sure, they can but we are not going to get into that here and just because your dog will let you do it doesn't mean they want every Joe they meet on the street to hug them, too.

Dogs don't like hugs but why doesn't anyone believe this? All the research points to dogs considering hugs as rude. You don't see dogs going around hugging each other. Hugs and grabbing is a primate behavior. We humans are primates and we like to grab stuff and hold onto it. Dogs are not primates and do not enjoy this. I think because dogs will tolerate a hug from trusted family members, people think that all dogs like hugs but that doesn't mean they actually do. They are just putting up with it because it makes us happy. The next time you go to hug your own dog, pay attention to their body language. Maybe even set up a camera so you can see what they are doing when you hug them. I bet your dog might surprise you.

It is so important for us to teach our kids and educate ourselves on how to properly interact with dogs. There are so many educational videos and infographics out there. There are so many amazing dog trainers available to learn from. We are bringing these animals into our homes and most people don't even understand what they are trying to tell us. It's important that in addition to teaching dogs our language that we also learn theirs.

Photo Credit:

Always listen to the owner of the dog and respect them if they say you may not pet. Even better, "listen" to what the dog is saying. The owner may say yes but the dog might say no! Watch their body language, remember that a wagging tail does not necessarily mean that the dog is happy and friendly. Phoenix often wags her tail when she's anxious! If the dog looks relaxed and wants to come up to you then that's a good sign. If they don't want to come up or look nervous, leave them be.

When in doubt keep your hands off the dogs and definitely keep your face out of theirs! Don't bend over and get in their space, don't try and reach for the top of their head. Let the dog come to you if they want to and if they allow it, pet them around their chest area or along their back. Never push yourself onto a dog who is acting fearful. It's important to remember that a dog out and about with it's owner is NOT public property and you're not in a petting zoo. If you really love dogs, admire and respect them from a distance. Always exercise caution when interacting with a dog who does not belong to you and always teach your children to respect dogs and to not put their faces into a dog's face. Dogs are not stuffed toys, they are thinking, feeling beings with a lot of sharp teeth. They give us so much and they deserve to be respected and protected from unwanted handling from strangers.

Sunny Obama is not a bad dog and I really hope that the family takes time to understand her. Hopefully everyone learned their lesson and they will take steps to help her become more comfortable around strangers. 

How do you help your dog stay safe and comfortable around strangers?

Thursday, January 12, 2017

SNOWED IN! Snowpocalypse!!!

We're snowed in!

We got record breaking amounts of snow for Portland!

There was over a foot in most places!

The snow is so bad that the governor declared a state of emergency!

We don't have chains so we're just staying home and playing with the dogs!

They think it's pretty fun as long as we don't stay outside too long!

Hopefully we'll be able to get out soon! I'm dying for pizza! 

How's the weather where you are?

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Gather Dog Food by Petcurean Review!

Hi everyone! I hope you're all having a great week! Today we are reviewing an awesome new dog food called Gather by Petcurean.

Petcurean is a fantastic company where they create premium quality, nutrient-rich food for both dogs and cats. They also offer a selection of all natural treats as well! The company was started when two good friends got together and decided to open a small family owned operation in Fraser Valley of British Columbia, Canada. They were driven by the idea that pets deserved better food that was made with the same love and care as we put into preparing meals for our own families.
Petcurean's idea behind Gather was to create a pet food that is made using certified and organic ingredients. They wanted to make a pet food that is perfectly blended and balanced to provide our pets with a food that is of premium quality and all natural. They did this by inspecting farms and hopping onto boats with fishermen. The farmers and fishers that were practicing the most responsible, sustainable production of extraordinary quality, certified and organic ingredients were the only ones that survived Petcurean's scrutiny. These farmers and fishers became their trusted partners and in GATHER; functional, whole food from the earth and ocean, with nothing added that’s not needed was created.

Zoe and Phoenix were super excited when we received our samples of Gather! We decided to try Wild Ocean and Free Acres.

Wild Ocean is made from fresh line-caught cod, pulled from the cold, clean waters off the coast of Alaska. Cod is an excellent source of protein, and provides essential nutrients, vitamins and minerals. The cod in Wild Ocean comes from one of the world’s best managed, most sustainable fisheries; the food is blended with krill, peas, lentils, chickpeas and other essential ingredients to provide a healthy meal for an adult dog.

Ingredients: Cod, dehydrated cod, peas, chickpeas, lentils, organic sunflower oil (preserved with mixed tocopherols), krill meal, organic flaxseed, kale, carrots, egg shell meal, choline chloride, vitamins (vitamin A supplement, vitamin D3 supplement, vitamin E supplement, inositol, niacin, L-ascorbyl-2-polyphosphate (a source of vitamin C), d-calcium pantothenate, thiamine mononitrate, riboflavin, pyridoxine hydrochloride, folic acid, biotin, vitamin B12 supplement), minerals (zinc proteinate, iron proteinate, copper proteinate, manganese proteinate, calcium iodate, selenium yeast), dried rosemary.

Free Acres is a delicious recipe that is sustainably produced, certified organic and the chickens are free-run. The chicken in this food is the single source of poultry protein. Petcurean has also included other wholesome foods such as organic peas, lentils, krill, organic flaxseed, blueberries and cranberries.
Ingredients: Organic chicken, organic dehydrated chicken, organic peas, lentils, chicken fat (preserved with mixed tocopherols), krill meal, organic flaxseed, blueberries, cranberries, egg shell meal, vitamins (vitamin A supplement, vitamin D3 supplement, vitamin E supplement, inositol, niacin, L-ascorbyl-2-polyphosphate (a source of vitamin C), d-calcium pantothenate, thiamine mononitrate, riboflavin, pyridoxine hydrochloride, folic acid, biotin, vitamin B12 supplement), minerals (zinc proteinate, iron proteinate, copper proteinate, manganese proteinate, calcium iodate, selenium yeast), dried rosemary.
These foods do not contain any antibiotics or growth hormones, no by-products, no artificial colors, preservatives or flavors, no GMOs and absolutely no wheat, corn or soy.
Both of the girls really liked this food, although they preferred the Wild Ocean formula. I think it's because we don't often get fish so they were extra excited by it. They did great on this food and I would get it again. I would recommend checking Gather out! 
ZoePhee received Gather dog food from Petcurean in exchange for an honest review. We were not monetarily compensated and all opinions are my own. 

Thursday, January 5, 2017

The New Extreme Warmer Dog Coat by Hurtta!

Happy New Year everyone! I hope you're all having a fantastic day! It's feeling a lot like winter here with the outside temperature being 29 degrees and with the wind chill it feels even colder! Brrrr! I figured it would be a great time to stay indoors and talk to you about the brand new "Extreme Warmer" dog coat from Hurtta! This new coat is my coat of choice for when I will have to venture out later with my dogs!

If you haven't been following us, Hurtta is one of our most favorite brands. They produce high quality outdoor gear for dogs and they have awesome customer service. We highly recommend checking them out!

"Grey is the new Black!"

The Extreme Warmer is a fantastic addition to the Hurtta line. It's definitely set apart from the other coats as it has a unique "foil" lining that reflects the dog's natural body heat back at them keeping them warm in even the most extreme conditions. Keeping a dog's muscles warm when they are being active in cold weather helps to prevent injuries. This coat would be excellent for any dog who wants to go with their humans, even if they hate the cold, like mine do. Zoe and Phoenix both hate any sort of cold weather so keeping them warm and happy is very important to me. We took the Extreme Warmer on a couple of fun trips and I really like this coat!

When we arrived at Mount Hood, it was 25 degrees outside. If Phoenix was not comfortable and warm in her coat she would not have sat on the frozen ground or stayed there for me! They definitely would not have even wanted to play in the first photo above if they were not comfortable and toasty warm.

We also tried these coats out at the beach! The Pacific Northwest is known for our cold ocean beaches. The water is cold, the sand is wet and cold and it can be very windy.

The Extreme Warmer offers great coverage of the whole dog. Besides the high neck cover, the coat  offers a warm tricot hood that can be lifted to protect the dogs head and ears. I love this feature, it's so cute and makes me laugh every time we use it! The coat has a chest cover that protects the sensitive chest and abdominal area, protecting vital internal organs. The chest/tummy cover snaps over the dog's back and is very adjustable. Just like all the other coats in the Hurtta line up, the Extreme Warmer has two openings: one in the neck and one on the back so you can easily attach your leash to a collar or harness.

The Extreme Warmer has an adjustable back length with a drawstring bungee, making this coat great for those dogs, like Zoe, who are hard to fit because their back lengths happen to be in between sizes. 

The coat also has a cover for the back end that snaps under the tail. One of the minor things that I didn't like about the coat happens to be this part. I honestly wish Hurtta had put in the buttons like the Ultimate Warmer which gives you the option to button the back end flaps up and under the coat. The Extreme Warmer does not include those buttons and we don't always need the coat buttoned under the tail. I really miss this feature and I wish they would consider adding it. The Extreme Warmer is designed differently from the Ultimate Warmer and the back end flaps are longer so it doesn't part away from the dog as well when they squat, which can be problematic after a long trip on a windy road and a dog who has a sore tummy needs to potty. I will likely end up safety pinning Zoe's coat up for the next trip, which is a quick easy fix.

Hurtta says to hand wash these coats. I ignored this recommendation and machine washed them in a lingerie bag on a gentle cycle with mild detergent and they came out just fine. I think over time a lot of harsh washing might hurt the inner lining so I'm going to be careful with it. I let them air dry and I don't recommend machine drying any Hurtta coats.

The coats are made from soft, flexible material that has been laminated so it's waterproof. The coat also offers 3M reflectors, which is great for those evening walks where your dog needs to be visible. The lining of the coat is a smooth polyester.

This coat allows complete freedom of movement, both dogs were able to play and run like normal. They were not in any way hindered and they had a great time running around in the snow and on the beach. 

In our experience, the Extreme Warmer runs a little big. My dogs are usually a size 18" or 20" in Hurtta products. Since this coat offers adjustable back lengths, I initially ordered them both a size 20" but when they got here they were way too big, even for Zoe who's back measures 19". Hurtta has fantastic customer service, though, so we just ended up exchanging them for two size 18" coats. I think Phoenix could probably even wear a size 16" in this coat. So keep that in mind when you order yours!

I think the Extreme Warmer is one of the best coats we've tried so far from the Hurrta line. I am very impressed with it and we will definitely be getting a lot of use out of them. We may not get extreme temperatures in Oregon but if my dogs were to give their opinion, anything below 50 degrees is too cold. Now that it's in the 20's here, the Extreme Warmer is my first choice for all of our outdoor activities. The coat keeps my dogs warm, dry and they are happy to keep playing outside. I also love how stylish this coat is! Grey really is the new black! 

I would highly recommend checking out the Extreme Warmer and trying it with your dogs! I would also recommend checking Hurtta out on Facebook and liking their page. They often look for product testers and run their own giveaways. The best way of finding out all the Hurtta news is by liking their page. 

ZoePhee received our Extreme Warmers in exchange for an honest review. We were not monetarily compensated and all opinions are our own. Hurtta is not responsible for the content of this blog post.