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Wordless Wednesday: Claire is aware

Wordless Wednesday: Claire is aware

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Wordless Wednesday: merry Mini

Wordless Wednesday: merry Mini

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dead-legged by my dog

N.A.S.H.A. waits until the littles have asked me for ten things in a row. She lets me sit down for precisely fifteen seconds, and then she punches me in the leg. Usually.

Sometimes, if she really wants something, she doesn’t wait for me to sit down. She waits until my knees are locked, and then she punches me right in the sweet spot, giving me a dead-leg like I’ve never had. The girl only weighs eleven pounds, so it’s not about heft, but about perfection of the skill. She has absolutely perfected it. This happens on a daily basis, sometimes multiple times in a day.

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Look at her, just mocking me.

But this morning, she took it to a whole new level. Not only did I have my knees locked, but I was taking that sweet first sip of my piping hot coffee. BAM! All over my face and PJs. (Don’t worry, I’m okay. It wasn’t that hot.) And then she sat down, mocking me.

Does your dog ever do this to you, or am I the only moron that responds to it by giving her the treat she’s asking for, reinforcing the behavior not only with my attention but with food? Because it’s so cute and smart that she knows how to ask for a treat. She has trained me well.


when a sulcata tunes-in to a terrier

The other day, our one-year-old sulcata tortoise, Fluffy, was enjoying some lettuce on the patio. I think watching him eat is like watching a dinosaur. He’s just so cool. So I took a video for posterity. Check out how awesome he is:

Fluffy is too young and small to be outside by himself for a length of time, so I often go out with him. Like a rebellious teen, he’s old enough to want to be out A LOT and past his curfew, so I can’t always watch him every second. If I lose track of him, I ask N.A.S.H.A. to “find Fluffy!” She’s great at sniffing him out. The unlikely pair get along really well. He doesn’t even pull inside his shell when she approaches. That means love. They are buds. She’s always been the mothering type, so it doesn’t surprise me that she’s taken him under her wing.

I took another video.

I didn’t realize that N.A.S.H.A. was in the background until I watched it back. N.A.S.H.A. is a mixed terrier in every way, and she often alerts to things outside. Maybe a rabbit hopping through the yard, a lizard rustling through the bushes, or a teenager walking home from the high school down the street. I find it completely fascinating how Fluffy completely plays off N.A.S.H.A.’s cues.

I stopped recording because he stopped eating. Immediately after I stopped, N.A.S.H.A. started barking her head off, and Fluffy pulled into his shell. I find it amazing that he knew something was up just by her body language before she even let out the alarm. He’s much more intuitive than I am.

They bonded the day they met. Two small critters against the world.

They bonded the day they met. Two small critters against the world.


Wordless Wednesday: locked-up Layla

Wordless Wednesday: locked-up Layla

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i am not a prejudiced pet sitter: Blog the Change for Animals

As a professional pet sitter, I can’t tell you how many times people say the following things the first time I speak to them on the phone:

“Do you take care of big dogs? I hope you don’t charge extra.”

“Sweetie is a Rottweiler, but she’s really nice…she’s never bitten anyone…she loves kids…you’ll love her…”

“He’s a Chihuahua, so he’s little. So you don’t charge as much, right?”

“She’s a Golden Retriever. She’s a lover, and she’ll be super easy.”

And my all-time favorite “Do you sit for Pit Bulls?”

I always provide the same answer: “I don’t discriminate based on size or breed. Every dog deserves the same amount of attention and love. I won’t take care of a dog that shows hostility toward me, regardless of the breed or size, and I take wonderful care of all animals that will let me, regardless of the breed or size. There is no difference in price.”

Sure, Goliath’s poop is HUGE, but that’s not his fault. I’ll pick up his, and I’ll pick up Chi-chi’s, just the same.

I have slept in bed with many a Pit Bull’s tongue in my face (in a good way) and I’ve been barked out of town by a Golden Retriever. I have learned through experience not to prejudge the animal. I greet each animal with the energy that is appropriate for the energy he shows me, whether that be positive or negative, big or small. Just like people, dogs are individuals and deserve the right to shine (or not).

So let’s judge them, but let’s judge them fairly after getting to know them. Just as most of us refuse to judge our human friends by their color or size, might we do the same for dogs? My motto: assume the best, but be prepared for the worst. I apply that to everyone I meet.

Hi! It’s nice to meet you…

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giving Petbrosia a try (and a coupon for you!)

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kibble image source: Petbrosia

When I first heard that there was a custom pet food on the market, I thought it was genius idea. Petbrosia is self-described as “the first and only pet food designed for your pet’s unique nutritional needs.” Interesting! I wanted to check it out. So when they contacted me about giving their food a try, I was super excited.

The first thing I wanted to check out was their ingredient list. Regardless of how custom the food is, if they aren’t starting out with quality ingredients, what’s the point? I was pleased to learn that Petbrosia uses the “highest-quality, all-natural ingredients grown and raised by farmers across America” and that there are no “unnecessary additives and cheap fillers.” They use real meat rather than a “by-product meal.” And one of my favorite features…no artificial colors or preservatives.

What about grains? Petbrosia has grains. The good kind. The first ingredient is always meat, but the food contains brown rice (how much depends on your pet’s custom blend). They also use nutrient-rich sweet potatoes as a source of carbohydrates. There is no corn, wheat, soy, or gluten. Petbrosia’s states: “Our quality carbohydrates provide a balanced glycemic index with a lower impact on blood sugar levels.” I, personally, see the benefits of a food that includes high-quality grains as well as a grain-free food, so I alternate N.A.S.H.A. between the two and am happy to find this food. She has a stomach of steel, so I’m able to transition her rather quickly. You know your dog best…grain or grain-free is a personal choice. High quality is the non-negotiable, in my book.

In addition to high-quality ingredients, Petbrosia foods contain essential minerals such as iron and zinc that help your pet’s immune system, skin, coat, and overall growth and health. Petbrosia explains, “since dogs and cats can often have difficulty absorbing some minerals, we’ve included chelated minerals, organic forms of minerals that are easier to absorb.” What more? custom vitamins and supplements based on your pet’s needs, and every Petbrosia diet contains glucosamine and chondroitin for joint health, important for all life stages.

Digestive health is getting a lot of attention these days, and Petbrosia makes sure dogs and cats are taken care of. Petbrosia blends contain probiotics, the good bacteria that helps the digestive and immune system, and prebiotics, which promote the growth of good bacteria in the colon.

In addition, Petbrosia diets contain omega-3 and omega-6 essential fatty acids that are believed to lower your pet’s risk of heart disease, cancer, and arthritis–chronic diseases–and improve skin and coat. DHA-rich menhaden fish oil is also included in every diet, which supports brain health.

Whew! Sounds pretty awesome, right? So how does it work?

It’s so easy! All you have to do is answer a few questions about your pet. They ask about breed, weight, age, activity level, allergies, astrological sign (just kiddin’), etc. Petbrosia states

We use patented algorithms to craft a truly unique blend of food customized to your pet’s unique nutritional needs and lifestyle…Our customization process uses your pet’s profile to ensure optimal percentages of protein, carbohydrates, and fats are included in their diet. We also use your pet’s information to keep their diet appropriate for their level of activity, tailored to their health needs, and allergen-free…Based on our research and your input, we’ll update the blend based on the naturally changing nutritional needs of your maturing pet. We’ve studied how aging can influnce feeding for different breeds of pets and apply our insights, to ensure your pet’s Petbrosia diet can continue to serve them for a lifetime.

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When our first box of Petbrosia arrived, N.A.S.H.A. and I were very excited. Whenever a package comes to the door, she barks her head off in true terrier fashion, then wags and wags her tail, in hopes that it might be something for her. It usually is.

The box was nicely and distinctively designed, and the food came in a 10-pound interior bag, labeled with the ingredients in N.A.S.H.A.’s custom blend. The ingredients:

deboned chicken (free-run, antibiotic and hormone-free), brown rice, chicken meal, potato powder, pea starch, pea protein, chicken fat, dried cooked navy beans, dried cooked chick peas, sweet potato, dried egg product, dicalcium phosphate, natural chicken flavor, sun cured alfalfa, menhaden fish oil, potassium chloride, choline chloride, carrots, natural antioxidant, blueberries, dried kelp, cranberries, dried apple, chicory root (prebiotic), chondroitin, glucosamine, taurine, chelated minerals (zinc proteinate, calcium carbonate, iron proteinate, potassium chloride, copper proteinate, manganese proteinate, sodium selenite, calcium iodate), vitamins (vitamin E supplement, niacin supplement, calcium panthothenate, vitamin A supplement, riboflavin supplement, vitamin D3 supplement, vitamin B12 supplement, thiamine mononitrate, pyridoxine hydrochloride, folic acid), probiotics (dried enterococcus faecium fermentation product, dried lactobacillus, acidophilus fermentation product, dried aspergillus niger fermentation extract, dried trichonderma longibranchiatum fermentation extract, dried bacillus subtilis fermentation extract).

Nothing harmful, and it’s U.S. made, so I felt safe giving it a try. N.A.S.H.A. just thought it smelled good and didn’t much care about what was in it.

What I like about Petbrosia’s ingredients is that they have real meat as the main ingredient and main protein, and they don’t use artificial colors or preservatives. I also like that the supplements N.A.S.H.A. needs are already right in her food, as well as prebiotics and proboitics.

Along with the bag of food, Petbrosia included a “Customized Petbrosia Blend Overview,” which was pretty awesome and made me wish I’d uploaded a picture of N.A.S.H.A. onto the Web site when I’d placed our first order (alas, she had to deal with the generic gravatar on her printout–bad mommy!) The overview listed all of her stats and provided feeding instructions. As an eight-year-old, eleven-pound mixed terrier with moderate activity level, her Target Nutrition was listed as follows:

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AMOUNT PER SERVING:

moisture (min), 4.81%

dry matter (min), 95.19%

protein (min), 33.31%

fat (min), 17.4%

fiber (min), 2.18%

calorie content, 278.73 Kcal/cup

It is recommended based on N.A.S.H.A.’s stats that I feed her 1.75 cups per day, which is about twice as much as I feed her on her current grain-free food, but that’s to be expected. Since Petbrosia’s kibble is also less dense than traditional kibble so that all life stages can enjoy it, that may be another reason why I am recommended to feed her a bit more than I do with other foods. This is something Petbrosia explains clearly on their Web site. N.A.S.H.A. didn’t complain about the possibility of getting more food.

TopSecretSo what did she think? N.A.S.H.A. is super picky about treats, but as far as food goes, she eats to live rather than lives to eat. We should all be so disciplined. She also has an eating ritual, which she closely adhered to the first time she tried Petbrosia. First, she smelled new food in her bowl. Then she looked at me. Then she smelled it again. Then she circled around the table. That’s my signal to “get lost.” She likes to eat in private because she hides some of her meal for later. She’s a little OCD, but that’s one of the many reasons we love her.

So I pretended to “get lost” and then watched her raise her front paw near the bowl, replace it on the ground, and then take three–exactly three–kibbles onto the playroom rug. She then walked back to the bowl, smelled the remaining contents, and then returned to the displaced kibble on the playroom rug, at which time, she crunched them up. That means she liked it!

She hid a few bits of kibble around the play room for later so my kids can say “N.A.–S.H.A.!, not again!” I think she likes the attention. Then she returned to the bowl and consumed the whole thing. Woo-hoo! Liking-it: confirmed.

N.A.S.H.A. has been eating her custom Petbrosia blend for about a month, now, and she still loves it. (Her cousin, Darby loves it, too, because he’s always trying to steal it.) And her coat is shiny (as shiny as a rat’s nest can get), and she has plenty of energy to meet her daily grind. I will definitely keep Petbrosia in our rotation of high-quality foods.

Petbrosia has both dog and cat food custom blends and allows you to order one box at a time or offers an auto-ship option for added convenience. Your food just comes to your doorstep, and you don’t even have to think about it!

Petbrosia is offering our readers an exclusive coupon–25% off! (New customers only.) To take advantage of this awesome offer, enter coupon code RWMP225 when placing your online order.

And have fun! It’s a pretty cool process. Just don’t forget to upload your pet’s picture to make the experience even better! Come back and let me know what you think!

Petbrosia provided me with an order of custom dog food in exchange for my honest opinion. Petbrosia is an affiliate partner of Well Minded, which means, if you order using the coupon code provided, we’ll be extra excited because Petbrosia will pay us a little somethin’ in exchange for referring new customers, which helps cover the cost of running this blog. Cool. huh?