Saturday, July 24, 2010

I wanted to share this photo of Milly. It's one of my favorites. I can't remember when and where it was taken, but I just love it! I'm on vacation in Vermont right now, and will be sure to post some pictures of my trip when I return!

Friday, July 23, 2010

The Kong Ball

You know I love a great product, and love the opportunity to review any dog related items. For a long time I've been wanting a Kong Ball, but have held out on getting one because I have so many treat toys like the Twist-a-Treat and Everlasting Treat Ball.

However, I simply could not resist when I saw that Petco carried the Kong Ball in a large size. I considered buying the Kong brand treats to stuff it with, but decided there weren't enough in a package to warrant the price, and opted for a higher quality, cheaper box of Buddy Biscuits to stuff it with. The Kong treats do not have the quality ingredients found in Buddy Biscuits, and are not something I would reward with daily.

Well, the Kong Ball has been a great hit with Milly. It is extremely durable, bouncy, and virtually indestructible (at least for Milly it is). I can fill it in the same ways I would fill her regular Kong with mashed banana or pumpkin or peanut butter, and freeze it just like I would the Kong. I can also wedge the Buddy Biscuits into the holes, for a fun challenge for her. It's kept her busy last night rolling the ball all over the room as she tried to get out the yummy treats! She played with the Kong Ball for over an hour!!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

With Education, My Opinions are Shifting!

You might remember my post from over a year ago discussing the Furminator de-Shedding Tool. At the time, I thought the Furminator was the greatest tool ever invented, and would be a great weapon in combating Milly's shedding. Because this blog is about my education, I must say, that I no longer have those positive feelings about the Furminator.

My biggest complaints with the Furminator is it is not gentle on the coat, is easily overused, causes the hairs to break, and tends to pull off a large portion of the top coat and not just the loose undercoat. I've seen some horror scenes of post Furminator grooming, and watched many people at the dog wash remove way too much coat. The Furminator can also easily damage a dog's skin if used too frequently, or incorrectly.

On a Golden Retriever, a good way to tell if you are removing loose under coat is if the hair is whitish/cream in color and sort of whispy. If you are removing top coat, you'll find the hair clumps up much more tightly, and is darker, like the color of your dog's coat.

Last week, I picked up a great tool at The Muddy Mutt, the dog-wash I frequent bi-weekly. This, like the Furminator is a tool designed to remove loose undercoat, but unlike the Furminator it is very difficult to remove the top coat with this tool. The shape of the handle is a rake style, like the Furminator, but rather than having the metal blade found on the Furminator this grooming rage has two rows of plastic teeth. I tested the Furminator on one side of Milly's body, and the grooming rake on the other side. I was amazed at how much more undercoat the grooming rake removed than the Furminator. And, the rake did not remove any top coat, but the Furminator did! At around $10, this is a very economical purchase, and much cheaper than the Furminator.

I've started using the rake fairly regularly after misting Milly's coat, and the results have been spectacular! With the Furminator, even with regular use, I still found large clumps of Milly hair throughout the house. But, with the new grooming rake, I've seen a huge decrease in the amounts of hair she sheds.

The grooming rake I purchased is made by Master Grooming Tools. It has 39 plastic teeth (in two rows), and a very comfortable ergonomic handle. It is so easy to use, just put the rake in the coat, and pull gently in the direction of the hair growth. I'm so glad I discovered this great product. You can find your own right here on Amazon!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010


I'm one of Mason's biggest fans!!!

Y'all might remember back when I dog sat Mason Bailes. In case you're wondering, yes, as in Pennington & Bailes, those boys making the fantastic game day pants! I can't even begin to describe how fantastic Mason was to dog sit. Ever since he left I've been absolutely salivating like one of Pavlov's Dogs to get a second Golden. Mason is not only a gorgeous Golden Retriever, but he has that golden personality too!

Milly and Mason had a grand time over the long weekend he spent with us. We went on long walks together, and I perfected walking two dogs at once. I simply put one dog on each side of me, and enforced that they stay on their respected side. They were happy to oblige, and Mason, Milly and me (I know it should be I, but the 3 M's sound cute) would go on strolls throughout Arlington that lasted for hours! We'd play fetch in the yard, too! And, the dogs got to enjoy a heavy snowfall where we got about 4" (we called this heavy, until we got slammed with 28 inches...)!!

After our long walks or play time, we'd all come in the house for some grooming and tellie. I'd usually collapse on the sofa, with the two at my feet, but I'll admit, I broke my no dogs on the sofa household rule twice to have Mason and Milly snuggle for TV time with me.

I've dog sat for many, many, many friends - always opening up my home to their canine companions, and usually the dogs are great - but, no dog has ever gotten along with Milly like Mason did. In the past it's not that the other dogs didn't get along with Milly, but more that Milly seemed very indifferent about having them around. With Mason, the two of them would snuggle non-stop, and the few minutes when they weren't balled up together they were chasing after tennis balls with each other. It was as though they'd been best friends their entire lives! After Mason left to go back home, Milly seached the house whimpering for him. She was so lonely without him!

I was so proud when I was pursuing the Pennington & Bailes Facebook page - I'll admit, I'm dying for these two skirts! - and my favorite mascot jumped right off the screen at me! Look how handsome Mason looks here? I think he makes an incredible un-official Mascot. It's nice to know I've got a golden in my room that will work so nicely with the skirts I plan on ordering! Hopefully, I can make the trip down to Florida one of these days to visit with Mason (and the human Bailes, too)! They're just a great family, with a fantastic dog!

I love to go to USC football games, and this skirt would be great for that!
I'm also dying to get the Palmetto skirt, so I can proudly represent my homestate while in DC!!!

Milly even has a Palmetto collar and a Gamecock collar!

Her collars aren't made by P&B, but they would look so cute
on her with me wearing the skirt!

Of course, Pennington and Bailes products are of superb quality, and great for game day. Think about how great you'll look in your tail gaiting attire with your tail wagging pup at your feet!

Monday, July 19, 2010

A Grooming Tip

I recently learned that you should never brush a dry Golden Retriever, because brushing a dry coat can damage and break the coat. When I learned this, I was shocked! How could so many books I've read on Golden Retrievers not disclose this seemingly simple detail?

As soon as I learned this I was worried that I'd only be able to brush Milly when she is soaking wet during a bath, but that just didn't seem right to me. So, I asked a couple of breeders and a few groomers what this new fact meant to pet owners like me. I was told that you do not want to brush a soaking wet Golden Retriever, but wait for the coat to dry some. Between baths, you can simply mist the coat with a spray bottle of water before brushing!

I started doing this about three weeks ago, and I've been amazed at how much shinier Milly's coat is. I picked up a cheap pink spray bottle at my local pharmacy, and filled it with Falls Church city water. I then added a small squirt of conditioner (that had already been heavily diluted with water) to my water in the spray bottle. Voila! I can now safely brush Milly without worrying about damaging her coat. I know many of you have Golden Retrievers and other long haired dogs, and thought I'd share this with you.

I simply mist Milly all over and then brush her. If any areas get dry, I re-mist her with my spray bottle. I highly recommend doing this, and have found it really makes a difference in how easily the brush or comb moves through her coat.


Friday, July 16, 2010

Water Buffalo Toy

A few days ago I stepped into a dog bakery, and decided to pick up yet another toy for Milly. I've been kind of bummed lately, because I have no idea when I will be getting a puppy, and I'm just so ready. To help with my sadness about not having a puppy, I've been going overboard on spoiling Milly.

Milly has every toy imaginable, but she did not have any suede toys made from water buffalo hide... until now! I know water buffalo is a great type of leather, strong and durable, yet smooth. There were many toys to pick from, but I settled on "The Suede Big-O Donut Toss," made by Advance Pet Products. I like that the toy is round, and mine came with a rope on it, so it's easy to throw.

Water buffalo toys are very durable, but like all toys, they are not completely indestructible. The toy I got Milly is a Water Buffalo Suede leather, and the toy is colored with natural vegetable dyes and a non-chemical tanning process. These durable toys are a natural by-product of Domesticated Water Buffalo processing, constructed of hide with ultra suede leather finish. Milly absolutely loves to chase and fetch this stuffed leather tossing ring, and thinks it's great fun! I selected this particular toy, because I'm confident it will be durable enough for my future puppy to play with, too.

There are tons of water buffalo toys to chose from. With so many great shapes and sizes there is something for every pup! You can find your own water buffalo toy on, at your local pet store, or from I do not profit in anyway from promoting this product, I simply am a pet owner who liked this toy.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

The Sugar Doll Award

Prissy and Preppy Flamingo gave me the Sugar Doll Award. I love her preppy blog and she is cuter than a bug’s ear! (I know, bugs don't have ears, but if they did they'd be cute)! Her blog is full of great tips on shopping deals and fashion finds, and she always highlights some of the best blogger giveaways in the blogosphere! I highly recommend you check her out!

The Rules!!!
Thank the person who gave you the award, share ten things about yourself, pass this award onto ten bloggers (I did 12!) who you recently discovered and think are fantastic and finally contact the bloggers to let them know you’ve picked them for an award.

My 10 things: 1. I once was on the "put to sleep list" at a local animal shelter, they'd call me and tell me if I didn't adopt Fluffy he'd be put to sleep. Sad, but it worked. I adopted almost every animal they contacted me about. 2. I picked my car based on my dog... I even brought Milly to the car dealership to make sure she'd have plenty of room. I tried multiple station wagons and SUV's and in the end the Subaru Outback was the car for us. 3. I make the world's best Chicken Noodle Soup, if there was ever a chicken noodle soup contest, I am confident I would be the winner! 4. My Kate Spade purse currently has a choke chain, a bag of treats, and a hoof pick in it (among other things). 5. I only wash my hair 1-2 times per week. The only exception is if I go riding, then I wash it after. 6. When no one is home I "canter" around the backyard and pretend I'm a horse. I've been doing this since I was 3, and it's just fun. No one knows I still do this. 7. My favorite color is pink, and my favorite saying is, “Pink to make the boys wink!” 8. I pray every night that God will help me find my future Golden Retriever puppy. 9. I love fresh fruit - I went to Trader Joe's yesterday and all I bought was fruit and sparkling water. 10. I have an obsession with wine and cheese. My favorite cheese is Constant Bliss from Jasper Hill Farms in Greensboro, VT. So I'm supposed to tag new bloggers that I love! I'm so excited for this!! Be sure to check out some of my favorites, below!

Little Me Queen Bee - I stumbled upon her blog and absolutely adore it! We actually were following each others blogs not realizing we knew each other in real life!

Days, Recipes, and Ramblings of Mrs. Dziok - She got married in November, and started a new blog. I turn to her for great craft projects and recipes!

Dog Show Poop - This is one of my favorite dog blogs! It started sort of like my blog, as hopefully a journey through the dog show world, but now it had turned into "the place" to turn for dog show results and dog show predictions. Any dog lover should check it out, as the pictures of the beautiful dogs are just incredible - there are breeds I didn't even know existed!

Losing Weight in the City - This blog isn't new to me, but I haven't read it in months. I stepped on the scale this morning and have gained 4 pounds, so it's time to turn to my dear friend Theo for some weight loss advice!

Desperately Seeking Seersucker – I recently found her blog, and I’m in love! She is really cute, and her posts about her furkids are great to read!

Samster’s Mommy – This is another new-to-me blog! She has amazing posts on all sorts of crafts, and her life in general. I don’t have kids, but I love reading about Natasha’s on her blog!

Corgi Butts – Who wouldn’t fall in love with their cute faces, and furry little backsides? This blog is a fantastic dog blog, and I encourage you all to follow it!

Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of BACON - This is a fantastic blog! You'll enjoy reading all about Central Bark Designs, and their adventures through the Big Apple!

Hyperbole and a Half – This is my guilty pleasure! While she isn’t necessarily the most PC blogger, her posts make me laugh so hard!

In Case Something Exciting Happens – You’ll love reading about Annie’s adventures, and with her two adorable bassets in tow, there’s always something there to make you smile. She has some great recipes and craft ideas, too!

Daily Dose of Jack – I started following his blog about a month ago, and it’s great! He posts so many photos of his Golden Retriever, that it will inspire you to take your dog on your next adventure!

Love, Tina Marie - She started this blog as I'm 26, Now What? But, she's no longer 26, and the blog has a whole new style! Tina covers all sorts of events in the DC area, book reviews, craft projects, television shows, and random rants on life!

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Happy Birthday to Me!

On Monday, July 5th, I celebrated my 26th Birthday! Wow, I can't believe how old I'm getting, and that I've been out of college for over three years! That feels like just yesterday! Time sure does fly!

For a long time you know that I've been simply dying for a Dremel. One of my first posts was about grinding dog nails vs. clipping nails, and all of the benefits to grinding (I highly recommend you read it if you're interested in grinding). For my birthday, I received a very special gift, a Dremel Tool Kit!!! I know, most girls probably wouldn't be quite as ecstatic to get a power tool, but for me this is better than Tiffany's! I can now cross the Dremel off of my Ultimate Grooming Wish List!!!

I debated for a long time if I wanted to simply buy the Oster or Dremel nail grinder, but decided in the end, I wanted the real Dremel. A Dremel has varying speeds, and makes trimming nails very easy - many dogs that won't tolerate nail trimming, will tolerate nail grinding, if the groomer is patient and has a pocket full of treats. One of the main reasons I opted for the Dremel over other nail grinders on the market is quality, and the ability to use it for other things, say, like what it's made for! I have absolutely no experience, what-so-ever, with woodworking, but now that I have a Dremel, I'm going to give it a shot. The tool kit came with numerous attachments that will be handy for woodworking, and also included a sanding attachment and a sanding belt, which I will use for the nail grinding.

I find the website very handy for learning how to safely Dremel a dog's nails. She really breaks it down into steps, and by providing the reader with lots of pictures, you're able to learn how to safely grind your dog's nails.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Rest in Peace, Peace Maker aka "Crabby"

I just got word that one of my all time favorite horses was put to sleep today. I rode him in high school and college, he actually went to college with me my sophomore year, and made that year the best year I had in college.

He was just the sweetest horse in the world - absolute beginners could ride him, and he'd take great care of them. Then, he'd make himself harder as your riding abilities progressed. He was an absolute blast to ride, and jumped the moon. On the ground, he was the sweetest horse I've ever met. When he went to college with me everyone adored him! While he was great on the ground, as soon as you'd get on him, or curry him, his ears would go flat back and he'd give the most crabby expressions, but no other part of his body would get crabby. At home, he was much harder to ride than at horse shows, but the moment you'd step in the show ring, his ears would be perked forward and he was always a saint, winning numerous championships at horse shows all over the country (some with me, some with the other lucky girls who rode him in his lifetime). His show name was Peace Maker, and it suited him perfectly. I remember when I first took him to college and rode him in many lessons the director of the riding program seemed a bit put off with me bringing Crabby, because Crabby would race at top speed around courses of jumps during our lessons (when, as a hunter, he was supposed to go slow and gracefully over the jumps). When I signed up to go to a huge horse show the trainer seemed nervous, but I assured him Crabby would be perfect. Sure enough, Crabby was an absolute saint. I walked out of the ring and the director of the program was begging me to stay at college during the summer and show with them! He certainly had made his peace.

A couple of years ago he decided it was time to retire from showing and jumping, and a little girl with Williams Syndrome took over the ride. She even learned to trot while having him! Crabby would follow her everywhere, and took such great care of her, as they prepared for the Special Olympics.

Unfortunately, every time we were champion there was no photographer at those shows. So here are a couple of pictures from my first adult medal finals with him - he was perfect - I made a nervous mistakes, so we ended up 8th out of 18 riders. In fact, most of these pictures are terrible from a horse show/jumping point of view, but to me, they'll always be special, because they're the only ones I've got of Crabby.

He was the most incredible horse, and I will miss him dearly. I am so glad that I have a bracelet made from his tail hair to always remember him by.