Flashback Friday

In an effort to get out of the Bah-Humbug funk that has continued to have a stranglehold on me, I went through some old photos and came across these gingerbread houses, some of which I made with one of my sisters a couple of years ago. I gave them to my bosses as gifts. While I may no longer have bosses to build houses for like these, I kind of wish I’d put one together this year, though no doubt, a certain Ninja Elf who shall remain nameless would try to nosh on them! Are they fun to put together? You bet-cha! Just be forewarned…they do take some assembly time (what was I thinking making a tile-roof of sliced almonds?!) and you WILL be sweeping up candy pieces over the next 6 weeks because those little balls bounce everywhere! But all in all, not a bad first effort. While I may not be much of an architect, who can resist cute gingerbread houses to amp up the decorations?

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What creative things do you make to get into the ‘howliday’ spirit?













Live, love, bark!❤

Holiday Foods and Our Pets

It’s clear I can no longer deny Christmas is around the corner what with all the decorations so lovingly hung and tasty looking foodables in magazines and on blogs everywhere. And because I will begin the annual destruction of the kitchen baking and preparation of treats this week while imaging sugarplum fairies, it prompted me to think about all the sweet treats in particular that will be consumed by the bucket load this month and which ingredients are good and which are not so good for our pups.

But like most things, nothing is totally black and white and some ingredients are grey with controversy. Take for example, garlic. In the past, some vets recommended small amounts for flea control however many others consider it toxic. Like onions, chives and leeks, garlic contains a toxin that could damage a dog’s red blood cells. Cow’s milk can be problematic for the same reason it causes issues for us humans-that being lactose intolerant and could lead to intestinal upset, gas, diarrhea and vomiting. Whether I’m making treats for Sam and Elsa or for the new 4-legged neighbors, all my handmade dog treat recipes are scrutinized for potential naughty and nice ingredients and any of those that fall in the “when in doubt, leave it out” category are removed from my recipe book or suitably modified to remove iffy ingredients.


We all know chocolate and Xylitol (the artificial sweetener in chewing gum and candy)  are at the top of any list unsuitable for dogs and cats. This graphic shows a number of others that we might not realize as we over indulge in seasonal menus. Those on the “no” list  should never be included in your pet’s diet as they are toxic. Note however, this is just a small list that we need to make sure our fur-kids don’t get their paws on but if you have any questions, consult the Pet Poison Helpline for information. For a small fee, they can provide pet owners and veterinary professionals with assistance in treating a potentially poisoned pet and an extensive searchable list of potential poisons. The Pet Poison Helpline is a 24-hour animal poison control service available throughout the US, Canada, and the Caribbean and is not limited to dogs and cats, providing assistance with birds, small mammals and exotic species as well.

So, are you planning on making treats for your 4-legged buddies for Christmas? You might want to keep an eye out for nosey pets scamming for easy pickings around the tree this holiday and keep a copy of this handy graphic along with the poison center phone number (just in case) close by. After all, we want to be able to safely enjoy the holidays, right? Now pass me that tin full of Grandma’s Mac Nut Old Fashioned Fudge, will ya? Oh and if you’re like me, you’ll bury the scales in the back of the closet until after the New Year. No need torturing yourself if your tastebuds are enjoying the seasonal fare.

Live, love, bark!❤

A Post Thanksgiving Conversation

Thanksgiving was always the most favorite of all holidays for mom growing up as a kid. Sam here. Her favorite dog came to live with her on Thanksgiving day, a small white Boxer-mix puppy with patches on her eyes who quickly outgrew her promised diminutive size. They named her Beans and she was quite the card with a snapping whip of a tail. Mom loved her so much but she didn’t stay with the family all that long. She outgrew her body and the yard and moved to a family with more space to take care of her.

This Thanksgiving though, despite the best laid plans for a family get-together, life decided not to allow a family get together, offering something different instead.

Sam: I’ve been taking care of my mom for the past 10 days because like I mentioned in our last post, she’d been under the weather. What I didn’t mention, was it was pretty serious. So, mom, tell me what was it that ailed you?

Mom: Hi-ya Sam. I started to feel bad late Monday and it developed into excruciating back pain with a fever by Tuesday. On Wednesday I knew something was seriously wrong and scheduled a doctor’s appointment.

Sam: Yeah, I kind of figured as much. You weren’t your usual chipper self and you NEVER go to the doctor. You just went away and I had no idea what was going on.

Mom: After visiting with the doctor, she said I needed to go immediately over to the Emergency Room so they could start administering antibiotics and fluids. I was pretty weak. The diagnosis was Pyelonephritis…a fancy way of saying ‘kidney infection.’

Sam: Sounds miserable. I was concerned when you finally came home later. Notice how I stayed right by your side?

Mom: Yes, sweetie. I noticed both you and Elsa were great nurse mates taking care of me. I very much appreciate it.fullsizeoutput_fae

Sam: Oh yeah, the sister who shall remain nameless. She kind of got in the way a few times. I don’t think she knows how to be the kind of therapy dog you needed then.

Mom: Sam, she did fine though I could have managed with a little less “observation” on both of your parts and maybe a little more room in the bed. After being in bed for so long, I started to feel like I was never alone with two shadows attached.

Sam: I was just making sure you were going to be ok and to remind you when to take your medication. Who knows what the sister who remains nameless was doing. I gave up trying to figure her out shortly after you brought her home.

Mom: Sam…be kind now. She had a rough start in life and just needs to properly learn how to be a dog. It’s our job to help her figure that out. I noticed you played with her for a few moments the other night so she can’t be all that bad.

Sam: Uh, what…noooo! That wasn’t play, I was just avoiding her from crashing into me. Yeah, that’s the ticket, it was just avoidance. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it. Not to change the subject, but….how are you feeling today?

Mom: Sure, if that’s how you want to play it, I’ll go along. I’m doing better, almost feeling like a human again. It’s good not to be stuck resting all day. Do you know how bad TV programming is? It’s so bad, you can barely sleep because you keep having ear worm commercials screaming in your head. If I hear this commercial one more time, I may go insane!

Sam: Yeah, that song bugs me too. But I hope you don’t over do it like you usually do when you start feeling better. I don’t want to have to guard take that kind of care of you for long-term. I mean…I only have so much healing power available at any given time.

Mom: I promise not to over do it now that I’m feeling better. But there are now other things on my mind besides trying to get well that have me sad and teary. Our fur-iend, Easy Rider left this earth a few days ago. We were stunned and saddened at the news that this wonderful Weimaraner left for the Rainbow Bridge to make ‘snowfetti’ there. We are heartbroken for his pawrents, Katty and Mark who loved their boy with all their hearts and who have provided such joy and laughter in Blogville. If you aren’t familiar with the “king of comedy” and his family, go over to his website and poke around. I guarantee you’ll smile at all his adventures. We also learned our fur-iend, Sammy will be joining him later today. We send our love and condolences to his mom, too. Run free sweet boys. You will never be forgotten by us.



Sam: Oh no, not Sammy too? Why has this year been so hard on us ‘anipals,’ mom?

Mom: Not sure, Sam. We definitely lost way too many dear fur-iends this year and can only hope the new year begins better. Of this we pray. Now come here, you knucklehead and give me some sugar, I need puppy kisses and a hug from you.

Sam: Mooommm…you’re squeezing me too hard! [Shakes head hard, gains poodle composure and gets off the sofa]. You know I love you…but don’t strangle me!

Mom: I know sweet boy, I just want to keep you fur-ever. Us ‘pawrents’ are like that. As we say goodbye to our dearest fur-iends this year, we bid 2016 a curt farewell. Goodbye and good riddance. We hope your cousin 2017, is kinder to our world.

Sam: Yup, goodbye 2016. Don’t let the door hit you on the way out. For me, I’m going back to loving my mom and tolerating the sister who shall not be named and have a good time playing therapy dog tomorrow with my Grandma who had surgery a couple of days ago and who is recovering nicely at home. Woof, woof. Way to go, Oma, we 💗 ya!

Live, love, bark!❤

Wordy Wednesday

Hey there Thanksgiving Day fans. Sam here. Mom is under the weather but she wanted me to be sure and tell everyone we wish them a super-duper Thanksgiving. We hope your ‘howliday’ is grand. A special note to any birds out there…Woof! Don’t say I didn’t give you fair warning.


Live, love, bark!❤