Our 2021 Holiday Cards

Postable Holiday Cards
I distinctly remember sharing our family holiday cards with you guys last year and saying something about how 2020 had been a real a-hole and 2021 was bound to be better. Well, I can confidently say that I have liked 2021 less than 2020. It’s been a real crap year, my friends. The silver lining to this, however, is that I really am looking forward to 2022, and that I feel inspired to sprinkle as much love, peace, and good cheer around as possible right now – which means holiday card time is more appreciated than ever. 
Sending holiday cards is one of my absolute favorite seasonal traditions, and one I’ve been participating in since I was a kid. (Fun fact: I have never gotten rid of a holiday card I’ve received. I have a huge bag of them in my basement dating back 30 years. Someday I’m going to make something cool out of them, I swear. Or they might just sit there and continue to annoy my husband. The point is that I have a special place in my cold, dark heart for holiday cards.)
And speaking of special places in my heart and holiday cards, seven years ago, I discovered and fell in love with a card company who not only had some of the hippest designs I’d ever seen, they also went above and beyond to make my life easier (more on that in a minute). The name of this brand is Postable. (Pssst. I have a pretty major coupon for you, from Postable, at the bottom of this post.)
Postable Holiday Cards
Postable Holiday Cards
Before I start my annual professing of love for Postable, I want to say that Postable did not (and has never) paid me to review them. We do exchange (they give me cards, I gush about them to everyone I know), but truth be told, I’d gush regardless. They have a huge selection of beautifully designed, fully customizable cards that are all 100% post-consumer recycled and/or tree-free 100% (envelopes too). The cards themselves are highest quality, and they ship quickly too.

Postable Holiday Cards
Postable Holiday Cards

The thing I like best about Postable though, and what sets them apart from other card companies, is that they do all of the damn work. They really do. They give me an extremely user friendly way to design my cards, they print my cards, they stuff the envelopes, they address them, they stamp them, and they mail them to all of my recipients for me. No envelope cuts or carpel tunnel from writing our addresses here! During a time of year that is usually pretty overwhelming for everyone, they are a true saving grace. 

Postable Holiday Cards
The people at Postable are genuinely nice humans too, and that is the holiday cherry (cranberry?) on top. In fact they are giving you 20% off your entire order with code BEAN20. Pretty great right? So get over to their site right now and start designing (and saving 20%!), friends. Happy holidays everybody, and as I said on the back of our cards this year, here’s hoping that 2022 plays nice!

This post is in collaboration with Postable


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Bubby and Bean ::: Living Creatively

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Update: PetsitUSA Accepts Credit Cards

New and returning members of PetsitUSA can now purchase memberships with credit cards.  In the past, members could only pay with checks or PayPal.  Members will also automatically have their accounts activated.  Our ‘Welcome’ and ‘Thank you’ emails will also be automatically sent.  We hope this makes it easier for members to join and continue to stay with PetsitUSA!

PetsitUSA Blog

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Bold Raccoon Bogarts Cats’ Food, Grabs A Few Roadies [VIDEO]

Watch as this bold raccoon casually strolls up to a group of hungry cats, bogarts their food and then executes a hilarious 'grab and go' of more tayshtee schnax at the end.

Be sure to wait until the end to see his amazing exit from the scene of the crime!

Raccoon Bogarts Cat Food

source: Huffington Post

 -Janet McCulley


The Daily Treat: Animal Planet

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Pet Food Recall: OC Raw Dog, LLC RECALLS one lot of Chicken, Fish & Produce

The FDA reports on a possible health risk:

OC Raw Dog, LLC of Rancho Santa Margarita, CA, is recalling approximately 1,560 lbs of Chicken, Fish & Produce Raw Frozen Canine Formulation which was manufactured on 10/11/2017 with a lot number 3652 and a use by date of 10/11/18. We are voluntarily recalling because of potential contamination with Listeria monocytogenes, which can cause severe and potentially fatal infection in animals consuming the pet food, and the humans that handle the pet food and surfaces exposed to the product. Pets can be carriers of the bacteria and infect humans, even if the pets do not appear to be ill. Short-term symptoms may include high fever, severe headache, stiffness, nausea, abdominal pain and diarrhea. Young children, frail or elderly people, and others with weakened immune systems are particularly vulnerable to Listeria monocytogenes infections, which can cause miscarriages and stillbirths among pregnant women. Healthy people infected with Listeria monocytogenes should monitor themselves and their pets for symptoms.

Lot # 3652 of OC Raw Dog Chicken, Fish & Produce was shipped to the following states with the following associated volume with the intent to sell to Independent Specialty Retailers and in turn sold to Consumers. California – 356 lbs., Colorado – 153 lbs., Florida – 195 lbs., Maryland – 320 lbs., Minnesota – 429 lbs., Pennsylvania – 78 lbs. and Vermont – 30 lbs.

This lot of OC Raw Dog Chicken, Fish & Produce was made into 3 lb. Meaty Rox Bags, 4 lb. Slider Bags, 6.5 lb. Doggie Dozen Patty Bags and 7 lb. Meaty Rox Bags. All of which have been marked with a lot number of 3652 and a USE BY DATE of 10/11/18. Each bag has this information on a sticker located on the back lower left corner of the bag.

Product Package Nt. Wt. UPC No. Bar Code
OC Raw Dog Chicken, Fish & Produce Meaty Rox 3 lb. 022099069171 Barcode--1
OC Raw Dog Chicken, Fish & Produce Doggie Sliders 4 lb. 095225852640 Barcode--2
OC Raw Dog Chicken, Fish & Produce Doggie Dozen Patty Bag 6.5 lb. 022099069225 Barcode--3
OC Raw Dog Chicken, Fish & Produce Meaty Rox 7 lb. 095225852756 Barcode--4

To date there have been no reported illnesses of dogs, cats or persons in any connection with this product. The contamination is still under investigation.

OC Raw was notified by the FDA of the contamination after it was reported that New Jersey Department of Food and Agriculture tested the product and found it to be positive.

The same lab who conducted the tests for Listeria also tested for Salmonella on our 3 lb. bag of Chicken, Fish & Produce Meaty Rox and the test was negative. In addition to the OC Raw Dog Chicken, Fish & Produce tests the lab conducted tests for OC Raw Dog Pumpkin Rox for Listeria monocytogenes and Salmonella and the results were negative.

OC Raw Dog is a family owned and managed by passionate dog enthusiasts who take very seriously the safety and wellbeing of its consumers and clients. We are dedicated to producing a quality product that is safe. We are taking this contamination very seriously and have sent multiple samples of machines, utensils, packaging equipment and freezers to insure there is no contamination at our facility. We have also sent several individual ingredients to insure we are using safe ingredients and the food we produce is done so in a safe environment. All samples have returned negative for listeria.

There was product at two of the seven distribution locations. The product has been pulled from inventory and destroyed. It is possible there might be a few bags at retailers or at home with consumers. We strongly urge anyone who has purchased OC Raw Dog’s Chicken, Fish & Produce to check the lot number.

Consumers who have purchased product with lot 3652 are urged to return it to the Retailer where it was purchase for a full refund. Consumers with questions may contact the company at 1-844-215-DOGS Monday – Friday 8am – 5pm PST.

PetsitUSA Blog

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The Dog of the Highlands: West Highland White Terrier

At around 1700s, the Isle of Skye and other highlands in Scotland were already producing lots of small terriers. Scottish breeds were separated into two: the Skye terriers and the Dandie Dinmont terriers.

The Dandie Dinmonts were categorized as a separate breed. The Skyes included the Scotties, the Cairns and the West highland white terriers or the Westies.

It was also noted that these terriers were the hybrids among the crossed Cairns, Scottish, and Dandies terriers. One could assume that the hybrid would really be loyal and its hunting instincts could not be belittled. In fact, many royalties in Scotland owned terriers that were very similar to the Westies of today.

Another remarkable story is about a Westie that stopped a mother from constantly yelling at her daughter. Every time the mother would yell at her teenage daughter, the Westie would attack the mother. The aggression of the dog got worse over the years that resulted in the mother’s complete inability to scold her teenager.

It turned out that the girl was actually rewarding the dog for his protection by calming and soothing him down after every “threat” from her mother. Many would perceive that the daughter was able to help her mother to change her ways when in fact she was helping herself by rewarding the dog for its behavior.

The following are some of the basic facts breeders would really love to know about Westies:

Category: Terrier
Living Environment: indoors (highly recommended); outdoors (fenced yard)

Coat: about two-inch coarse and wiry outer coat and soft, dense, and furry undercoat
Color: white

Height: between 10 and 12 inches

Weight: between 13 and 22 pounds

Temperament:

Naturally,

•    they like to bark and dig
•    they are not as willful like most terriers
•    they love companionship

When properly trained

•    they can become fairly friendly towards strangers
•    they develop close affinity with behaved children
•    they love to chase cats but they do not hurt them
•    they can become a very good watch dog
•    they can become very lively

Breeders should note of the following health issues:

•         Chronic skin problems
•       Perthe’s disease (hip problems)
•       Jawbone calcification
•       Cranio mandibular osteopathy (lion jaw)
•       Patella luxation, a disorder in the kneecap
•       Liver ailments
•       Deafness
•       Congenital heart disease

Care and Exercise:

•    Their coat should be brushed regularly using a brush with stiff bristles.
•    They should bathe only when necessary.
•    Their whole coat should be stripped at least twice a year and trimmed every four months.
•    The fur on the eyes and ears should be trimmed using blunt-nose mirrors.
•    They will surely be more agile and healthy after regular sessions of play and/or walk.

Origin/History:

As noted, they share the same lineage with Cairns and Scotties (from Skye terriers), and even with the Dandies. This trio was developed in the Isle of Skye, which was one of the highlands in Scotland. It was noted that white whelps were chosen from the wiry-coated Cairns, Scotties, and Dandies to produce the variety that were known as Poltalloch terriers.

Following are some items in the history that show the Westies’ reputation of being owners’ favorite companion dogs.

Records in the history mentioned that around 1620, King James 1 of England requested some small white dogs from Argyleshire in Scotland. Colonel Malcolm, who was considered as the originator of Poltalloch terriers, that are very similar to the Westies of today, accidentally shot his terrier (a dark one). From then on he vowed to have only white terriers.

In the 19th century, terriers that were very similar to the Westies were known as Roseneath terriers in honor of Duke of Argyll’s interest and patronage of this breed. Roseneath was the name of his estate at Dumbartonshire. 

In the first-ever dog show that were organized in the late 1800s, the Westies were called as White Scottish terriers. In 1904, they were classified under the name West Highland White terriers.

During the mid-1900s, breeders of the Cairns in Argyll, Scotland selected white puppies from the stock and interbreed some to obtain white Cairns. However, in 1917, the American Kennel Club ruled that Cairns could be listed if they have the Westies’ lineage.
  
We can say the history repeats itself for this delightful terrier is now mostly a favorite companion dog of many households.

Welcome to The Top Dog Blog!

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Wordless Wednesday

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LoveMy2Dogs

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5th Annual Prosperous Pet Business Online Conference

Mark your calendars for September 12, 2018!

Interested in growing your pet business?  Are you thinking about starting a business.  If you are interested in pet sitting, dog walking, training, grooming, or daycare, then join the 5th Annual Prosperous Pet Business Online Conference!  This year you will hear from the top speakers from the previous 4 years!

Check back with PetsitUSA for additional information in the following weeks.

PetsitUSA Blog

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Easy Plant-Based Meal Idea: Soup in a Sourdough Bread Bowl

Plant-Based Soup in a Bread Bowl

This is a sponsored post for SheSpeaks, The Rustik Oven, and Gardein.


I’ve talked before about how challenging it is to figure out easy meals that every person in my family will actually eat. It’s an ongoing battle, and I know from talking to you guys that I’m not the only one. That’s why I just had to share one of our favorite meal ideas that is quick, super yummy, perfect for cozy season, and as a major bonus, totally plant-based: Gardein Soups and The Rustik Oven Sourdough Bread Bowls. It’s not a made from scratch at home recipe, but it tastes like one (without the work), and I love that I can grab all of the ingredients at Meijer and then prepare a truly delicious meal in a few minutes that all four of us love to eat. 
The first time I had soup in a sourdough bread bowl was many, many years ago in Fisherman’s Wharf in San Francisco. I was hooked. The combination of hot, flavorful soup literally inside of a loaf of crusty bread is the definitive comfort food. Being able to be a satisfying plant-based version at home for my family is the best!
Plant-Based Soup in a Bread Bowl
Plant-Based Soup in a Bread Bowl
I’ve been a Gardein fan for many years. As a long time vegetarian (I made the switch over 30 years ago!), I was thrilled to discover them and their incredible line of plant-based foods for every meal and every occasion. My vegan and flexitarian friends and family all love Gardein too, and for good reason. They have a huge variety of yummy meatless foods to choose from with really great taste and texture. Their products also contain no artificial flavors, no artificial preservatives, no dairy or egg ingredients, have 0mg of Cholesterol, and are NGP Verified. 
My daughter and I love soup in general, and being Gardein’s #1 fans and all, we always have lots of their soups on hand. My daughter’s favorite is Gardein Plant-Based Chick’n Noodl’ Soup (filled with tender chunks of yummy plant-based chick’n, vegan noodl’s, carrots and celery with 13 grams of protein per can!). My son’s favorite is Gardein Plant-Based Chick’n & Rice Soup (loaded with tasty chunks of plant-based chick’n, white rice, wild rice, thick-cut carrots and celery with classic spices). My husband loves Gardein Plant-Based Be’f and Country Vegetable Soup (tender plant-based be’f in homestyle broth with carrots, potatoes, and peas). And my top pick is Gardein Plant-Based Saus’ge & Minestrone Soup (thick slices of plant-based Italian saus’ge, vegan noodl’s, chickpeas, green beans, tomatoes, kidney beans and more). 
Plant-Based Soup in a Bread Bowl
Plant-Based Soup in a Bread Bowl
Plant-Based Soup in a Bread Bowl
We were already enamored with Gardein Plant-Based Soups, and as soon as I saw The Rustik Oven Sourdough Bread Bowls at Meijer, I knew it was going to be, as my daughter describes them together, a match made in plant-based heaven. I’d had bread from The Rustik Oven before and knew how good it was (I love how it has an artisan taste and texture but with long-lasting freshness), and combined with Gardein soups, it genuinely makes the ideal fall/winter meal. The Rustik Oven uses a traditional European baking process, which creates a rich flavor and perfect crusty texture, and it’s really apparent in the bread bowls. Breads from the Rustik Oven also contain no artificial colors/flavors and are Non-GMO Project Verified. Their bread is amazing in recipes too!

Plant-Based Soup in a Bread Bowl
Plant-Based Soup in a Bread Bowl
Plant-Based Soup in a Bread Bowl
 
To create this simple, comforting plant-based meal that the whole family loves, I just have each person choose a Gardein Soup, then heat it up and pour into a The Rustik Oven Sourdough Bread Bowl. My son loves to top his with vegan oyster crackers, and sometimes we’ll add chopped scallions or a little parsley. That’s it. In minutes, we have an easy lunch or dinner that is customized to each person’s tastes. The best.
You can grab all four of these tasty, plant-based Gardein Soups in the soup aside at Meijer, and Bread Bowls from The Rustik Oven in the bread aisle. I know you’ll love this easy, comforting meal as much as we do!
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Bubby and Bean ::: Living Creatively

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Shelter Sunday: Ruger / James River Humane Society / Jamestown, ND

Meet Ruger! This handsome fella is up to date on vaccinations and neutered. Here’s what his rescuers have to say about him: Ruger is a 10 month old german shephard/doberman mix. He loves attention and likes to chase a ball. Don’t overlook this one of a kind find. He wants desperately to find a family. … Continue reading Shelter Sunday: Ruger / James River Humane Society / Jamestown, ND

Doggies.com Dog Blog

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Dog Training – It’s All About the Relationship

Your dog’s behavior doesn’t exist in a vacuum. Perhaps you’ve heard the phrase (or seen it written here): “The dog is always right”? The reason is that dogs are simply responding to what is happening in their environment. And, specifically, how their environment makes them feel.

Whatever your dog is doing, it is ALL about the relationship that you have with your dog. And the relationship that you have with the significant people in your life. And the relationship that you have with yourself.

The obvious relationship that matters here is how you are with your dog. Are you nervous? Rigid? Harsh? Grounded? What are you communicating with your body language? What is your emotional state communicating to your pup? 99% of the time, what your dog is doing is “right” – meaning that your dog is simply taking in all of the information that you’re giving (and primarily the physical and emotional information – NOT the intellectual or conceptual information) and doing what makes the most sense to a canine under the circumstances.

Guess who else’s behavior doesn’t exist in a vacuum? YOURS! You are affected by your self-image and beliefs, and the relationships that you’re having with those around you. One of the biggest challenges that I’ve had over the past 10+ years of working with people and their dogs has been helping the PEOPLE change their habits. I would see, over and over again, how the emotional atmosphere of a person’s life – their stress at work, or in their primary relationships, or their view of themselves – was affecting how they lived their lives. Their habits. And this is important, because…

Your habits are creating your dog’s habits.

A little over 5 years ago I decided to branch out and get some training, as a coach, from the Robbins-Madanes Institute for Strategic Intervention. For me it was an opportunity to not only focus on shifting my own habits of being, but to also develop more skills at facilitating change for the humans with whom I was working. In the time since then, it has truly been an honor to not only be helping people with their dogs, but also to be helping them with the overall quality of their lives.

During that time, it became a passion of mine to work with people on improving their romantic relationships. You may notice that my original site (yes, this existed BEFORE Naturaldogblog) www.neilsattin.com has been revived. There’s a lot of great content there, and more in the works, that’s focused specifically on improving relationships. I’m also about to launch a podcast, called Relationship Alive, focused on helping you have amazing relationships (or easeful breakups – should that be the path that you choose). So stay tuned for more information on that.

In the meantime – think about it this way. Your dog is an emotional creature, picking up on everything that’s happening in the environment and responding from a place of heart – not head. What’s going on in your world? Where is the stress? Where is the tension? Where is the anger? Where is the love? Now look at your dog’s behavior, and ask yourself “how is my dog giving a voice to everything that’s happening in our world together?” I look forward to hearing what insights you uncover.

Natural Dog Blog – Training and More

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