A Few of Our Favorite Things- Part 2

As the holiday shopping season approaches, I wanted to share some dog related products that we love here at the M&M&NK household. Maybe some of them would make great Christmas presents for the dogs/dog lovers/dog owners in your lives!

headlamoL.L. Bean Headlamp
I don’t know about where you live, but here in Maine in the winter it is dark. Most of the time we walk the dogs before work in the dark, and again after work in the dark. Carrying a flashlight with two dogs who always go opposite directions is nearly impossible. I invested in one of these babies last winter and it made all the difference. Yes, it looks really dumb, like I should be working a coal mine or something, but in this case, it is function over fashion.

L.L. Bean Therapeutic Dog Couchllbeanbed
When Sarge came into our lives we knew he was going to need a bed that gave him more support than the ones we currently had for Nola (all 3 of them). We already had an L.L. Bean bed that we got when Nola was a puppy and we loved the quality of it. It’s no secret that we also like to support Maine based businesses, so we decided to invest in a Therapeutic Couch bed for Sarge. Yes, it’s a bit on the expensive side, but with a 100% satisfaction guarantee, we knew that if something ever happens to the bed we can return it for a brand new one. This particular model is great because it is extra thick with memory foam, is lined with fleece for warmth and softness, and has the bolsters that both the pups love to curl up next to.

vittlesVittles Vault
With two medium-large dogs, we go through a lot of dog food. I usually buy at least one 26 pound bag a month. But, our house doesn’t have a lot of storage space to keep large bags and I couldn’t find a clip that kept the bag closed well enough to keep it fresh. This container fits nicely in our kitchen pantry closet, it’s lid closes tight, and it keeps the pups’ food nice and fresh.

Orbee-Tough MazeePDOG_Mazees_med
If you’re looking for a fun interactive toy that you can’t find in a ‘regular’ pet store, this maze ball is a-maze-balls. Created by another Maine based company (and one we frequent regularly), Planet Dog, the Orbee-Tough Mazee is fun and interactive for the pups. You put a couple of cookies in and as your pups rolls it around the cookies move down the maze, closer and closer to the opening. Nola loves hers and I love that it keeps her busy!

harness2_Comfort Flex Harness
We have used every anti-pull harness available on the market for our fosters. But for Nola, and now Sarge, who both don’t pull regularly, we wanted a harness that was comfortable for them. I really don’t like walking dogs on flat collars alone, for many reasons, including safety and comfort for the dogs. Seeing dogs hacking and gasping for air while their collars are cutting into their necks makes me cringe. These harnesses are padded, IMG_4148have reflective tape for visibility and are great fits for our dogs with deep chests.

I like the sizing too, with the half sizes- Nola is a M/L because she’s sorta in between (she has a deep chest, but not too wide), where Sarge is a true L (with his deep WIDE stature). They come and a bunch of different colors and are pretty reasonably priced. Again, it is not a good anti-pulling tool, but for hiking, walking dogs with good leash manners, or for older dogs with neck/back issues, this harness is great.

nolasnood4


Sirius Republic Snoods
If you haven’t discovered these yet you must be living under a rock. These soft fleece neck warmers from Sirius Republic are fashionable and keep the pups warm in this cold Maine weather. It’s been especially cold lately, and the added coverage of the fleece for their head/neck has helped make walks in sub-freezing temperatures more bearable. Sarge and Nola both have one, and I am sure I will get them additional colors to match their ever growing cold weather wardrobe.

IMG_4929Decals from Bully Paws
Besides being locally made, the other trait I look for in dog related products is uniqueness. I came across these decals on Etsy.com  and HAD to have them. I bought two for my laptop and one for my car. While the two in the picture at right aren’t custom of Nola and Sarge, adoptdecal2there are so many breed options that I found the two that most resemble them, which are pretty close, minus Sarge’s straight up ear. I also purchased an “Adopt” car decal. They were reasonable priced, hand cut, and there are tons of different font/breed options as well as decals for cars, electronics, and iphones. These are so cute I want to buy more!

 

Are there any dog related products that are on your Christmas shopping list?

Squishy, Tuggy and Flirty

No, those aren’t the names of three more dwarfs. These are the words that describe our new found love of Squishy Face Studio’s Flirt Pole and Super Tug toy. We won the Flirt Pole and Super Tug bundle a couple months ago during And Foster Makes Five’s giveaway. Since this winter has been particularly snowy, even for Maine, we haven’t had a chance to use our prizes until now!
DSC_0611And the verdict is, Nola loves them! I wish we could use the flirt pole to have Nola jump more vertically, but since her ACL injury we have to keep the jumping to a minimum. Even so, she loves chasing things, so just going around the back yard tires her out.
DSC_0631 DSC_0628Nola has ‘drop it’ down to a science, so playing this game with her is so much fun. She has to sit before she can chase and then I let her catch it and she drops it. Occasionally she keeps her foot on the fleece part, just to prove to me that she got it.

DSC_0625It took her a bit longer to get the feel for the Super Tug toy. I had to demonstrate what to do and then entice her to grab the end. But once she got the hang of it, she loved it too!
DSC_0664 DSC_0660 DSC_0651 DSC_0643The way she sticks her little bum up in the air and wags her nubby tail as she pulls makes me giggle every time.
DSC_0654(I tried to play with Sarge too, but he wasn’t interested. He tends to leave the chasing and tugging to the youngin’ while he enjoys eating his bully stick.)
DSC_0488Squishy Face Studio’s toys are super durable and great quality. The flirt pols is one million times better than anything I could make on my own! I love that it has a bungee cord instead of a rope. It helps prevent the feeling of a sudden snap when Nola grabbed the fleece. The handle is nicely lined with a non slip grip that was easy to hold on to. Nola liked chasing the braided Fleece Toss lure because it had floppy ends, but they also have the option of getting one with Zanies Bungee Gecko with squeakers, or you can even use your dog’s favorite toy!
flirtThe ‘marine grade’ bungee cord and metal fasteners on the Super Tug toy seem like they will hold up against even the strongest pullers (man, if only I had found about these toys when we had Anna!) It was easy to install and the strap was plenty big enough to fit around the trees in our yard.
tugNola and I love both of these products and would highly recommend them to anyone who’s dog loves to chase and/or play tug! They are a great option to change up your dog’s exercise routine and keep them mentally and physically stimulated (and exhausted).
DSC_0670

Nola Muffin Monday: How I Spent Easter

Hey Everyone! Mom hasn’t let me blog in a long time. She says she’s been busy, and if busy means not being home very much than she has been VERY busy. But, she was home this weekend because it was Easter. I’m not really sure why we celebrate Easter, but I got to do some fun things anyway. First, and not very much fun, Mom made me pose with stupid rabbit ears on. They were heavy and I didn’t like them much, but I got lots of treats if I sat there, so I did.
DSC_0165DSC_0191 DSC_0201Then when I decided we were done, I took the ears and ran around all silly in the backyard. THAT was fun!
DSC_0199 DSC_0204 DSC_0205 DSC_0206 DSC_0211We also got to go to the beach. I wish there was still snow there, I love running in the dunes with the snow. Mom seemed to be happy it was warm and she didn’t have to put her boots on. The water was really low so I had LOTS of beach to play on.
IMG_3843

Really?! I have to sit and pose again?

Really?! I have to sit and pose again?

I also explored the little pools of water. I saw this little creature moving all funny so I went to check it out. Mom started yelling “Leave it!” just when I got close enough to sniff it. I don’t know what the big deal was, but she gave me a treat for being a good dog and listening to her and not touching it.
IMG_3850Then, later in the afternoon we played ‘find it’! ‘Find it’ is my FAVORITE game. Usually we play it with Teri in the big blue room or in our basement, but today we played outside. Mom filled these round things with chicken and put them in the yard for me to find. She said she stole borrowed the idea from Athena’s mom at Pitlandia. (Hi Athena! Thanks for having such a smart mom so mine can get ideas from her!)
DSC_0218 DSC_0216 DSC_0230DSC_0252At first I wasn’t sure how to get the chicken out. Then I realized if I used my paw enough it broke and out popped the yummies!
DSC_0258 DSC_0250 DSC_0242 DSC_0223 DSC_0227DSC_0266Easter must be really special because on top of all that other fun stuff, Mom and Dad  made ham and I got to have a few bites! (But only when I sat nicely on my mat.) So, to recap: I got treats, went to the beach, played ‘find it,’ ate chicken, then ate ham. Best.day.ever.

DSC_0159Hope you all enjoyed Easter as much as I did!

Nola Muffin Monday: My New Game

I love the beach. I can’t help it- the sand, the smells, the water, it’s just all so fun! But what’s even better is the new game I invented to play there. It’s pretty easy to learn, and the best part is you can play all by yourself. Mommy and Daddy always seem to laugh at me when I do it. I think they are just jealous they aren’t having as much fun as I am.

I’ll teach you how to play in 5 easy steps:

  1. Dig a hole in the sand.
  2. Put a ball in the hole.
  3. Dig/fling the sand out of the hole so that the ball flies out.
  4. Chase the ball and catch it.
  5. Repeat steps 2-4 for 15-30 minutes until tired.

If you are more of a visual learner and need to see the steps in action, here is a video of me playing my game. (Please excuse the camera work, Mommy isn’t very good on her eye-phone.)

You Know You’re an Animal Lover When…

Jim and I just got back from our one year anniversary celebration in New York City. When I was looking through the photos I took I realized the only things I photographed were animals. I don’t know if it was because I was missing Nola Muffin or if it’s because I am just obsessed with animals, or both. While I enjoyed the sights and sounds of the city, I only felt that these were worth capturing in pictures:

A dog park we came across down by Pier 88.

People say that Nola looks part Vizsla so we were happy to have one in the park that we could look at and compare her traits to. And, I am obsessed with French Bulldogs and Boston Terriers and there were a whole bunch playing there! They were so cute. Also, I took photos of the Sea Lion feeding at the Central Park Zoo.We loved how they trainers used commands just like in dog training. Every time they did a trick I was thinking to myself, Nola can do that! Nola actually does know some of the tricks they did, like ‘kisses’ and ‘high five.’ The trainers even used a Kong for the ‘touch’ command (look at the trainer to the left, at the end of the pole he’s holding).Jim and I also commented on EVERY dog we saw in the city, wondering it’s breed, saying how cute it is, wondering how hot he/she must be. Seriously, I know I’ve commented that we are crazy dog people but our love for animals even takes over our vacations! Oh well, we had a great time.

Oh, and by the way, we went to see The Lion King on Broadway. Of course.

Toys ‘R Us

We love toys in our house. Stuffies, babies, educational toys, tuggers, balls, you name it we have it. We even have a special toy box for all of the dog toys. Nola has a ‘baby’ (it’s acutally a rabbit) she sleeps with that she doesn’t chew and we made sure that Laynie had one when she came to our house too (hers is a leopard but wasn’t so lucky and all the sqeakies got chewed out). Since Delaynie arrived in our house just about six weeks ago we haven’t really allowed many toys to be played with, other than the babies at bed time. Nola has a bit of a jealousy issue when it comes to Laynie playing with her toys. Or, she will grab a toy and tease Laynie with it by running away. We didn’t want to create any issues between the two dogs so we just avoided the issue all together.

We have always used the educational toys with Nola for mental stimulation when it’s too cold, rainy, or she is otherwise injured and can’t go outside and run. She is so smart that the tug-a-jug was no match for her. She figured out that if she picks the whole thing up in her mouth and drops it the bottom will break and all the treats come out on their own. She has even mastered the toy with the cups that hide the treats in them.The twist and treat she discovered works best when she rolls it down the stairs.

We weren’t sure how Delaynie would do with these mental toys, but since the plague kennel cough outbreak hit our house we needed something to keep her energy at bay. We started with the twist and treat. At first she didn’t really get the concept. She left the treats on the floor and brought it over to her bed to chew on the plastic.

In the end she just chewed a piece off the plastic and left all the treats. Nola would have thought this was an abomination. What dog leaves treats and doesn’t eat them?

We also tried the tug-a-jug. (This time I bought the bigger size which will hopefully withstand Nola’s smarts). She did well waiting until I told her ok.

But then, like with the twist and treat, she left the treats and just wanted to chew the plastic.

I think she liked this one better because she eventually figured out that if she stuck her tongue in the top of the bottle she could get the treats out. But really, she just wanted to chew it.

As far as toys go, with Delaynie it seems that if she can’t chew it, it’s not worth playing with, even if treats are involved!

If you’re interested in adopting Delaynie please fill out an application with BURN. If you would like more information about her, email me at: mrandmrsandnolakisses@gmail.com