10 Reasons I Chose A Mutt Over A Purebred Dog

When I found Lana online, I made an appointment to meet her, and the next day to meet a purebred Border Collie from the same rescue. I had already started to picture my life with Ferris, the Collie. I was sure he would be the one for me. But, obviously I chose Lana. There are plenty of dog breeds I adore. But to me, nothing beats a good old fashioned mutt. And I can give you ten reasons why.

"10 Reasons I Chose A Mutt Over A Purebred" -A humorous, not preachy look at why one dog blogger chose her mixed breedMutts live longer. Continue reading

Feel Good Friday

I saw a super cute video on Facebook yesterday and wanted to wait until today to share it. Originally, I’d planned a separate blog post and to just share the video on our Facebook fan page, but I’ve changed my mind. Since it’s Friday, I want to share several fun videos, and no wordy post!

Just to start off, remember how I mentioned the importance of teaching “wait” earlier this week? There is an awesome video on YouTube of a whole pack of dogs who have mastered the trick. And guess what? Their household was peaceful and organized even at dinner time.


But, too much work without play doesn’t make a feel good Friday, so here’s a dog who can play fetch all by himself!


Or this little guy in the UK.


There’s also this self-sufficient puppy in Japan.


But, really, nobody wants to play alone. Especially when you have such fun friends nearby!


Even if they can be a little annoying…


I hope you all have a fantastic Friday and weekend! I think it’s time for me to go make Lana’s day as good as all of these dogs’ days were.

Lessons Learned From A Gluttonous Dog

Lessons Learned From A Gluttonous Dog

What’s your work schedule today and tomorrow?

I’m off today and tomorrow I work 6:30-8:30 am and again 4:15-11:30 pm.

Can you talk now?

Yeah I can. I’ll call in a sec.

I paused Andy Williams’ rendition of “It’s The Most Wonderful Time Of The Year” on Pandora and unplugged my ear buds. I re-entered the string of texts and touched my finger to the little phone icon on my screen.

The phone rang a couple of times and I heard my mother on the other end. She said she was in the middle of something and asked me to talk while she double checked someone else’s work. I heard her mumbling about something being wrong as I informed her I was packing my stuff to move back home and struggling to mentally plan an outfit for a Christmas party at work. She suggested my purple skirt and a sparkly top. Then, she was silent for a moment.

“Don’t be mad.”

Oh. That’s how this is going to go.

“Okay? About what?”

“You know how Lana likes to eat stuff, like your purse?” And my money, gift cards, shoes, bean bag, garbage….


“She ate something, but we don’t know what.”

That’s really not newsworthy. “Okay?”

“And she wasn’t feeling well.”

“Still?” This had been going on for at least a week. My parents had been keeping me up to date on her progress, much to my relief informing me that she was still eating and pooping and all that jazz. One of the dogs had been vomiting in the middle of the night, but with Desi being old and Lana feeling sick, there was no telling which one.

My mother said that yes, Lana was still feeling sick. That she’d been throwing up a lot and had stopped eating (though she still pooped and enjoyed her walks). Apparently, they took her to the vet and he had given her fluids and canned food and a shot to make the nausea subside. He’d done blood tests (no toxins or pancreatic cancer found) and x-rays, which were inconclusive.

Within hours she was back to feeling ill. They called the vet again the next morning and brought her in. He decided to do surgery.

Lessons Learned From A Gluttonous Dog

My mind froze. Had she already had the operation? Without me there?! Yes, I learned she had the surgery the night before, and that my mother didn’t want to tell me about it until they had a more solid idea of the result.

The vet found something in her small intestines. They said it was round, chewed up, and about three inches in diameter. Ouch. He saved the object so my parents could observe it, but they haven’t picked her up yet. They said they’ll ask the vet if they can take it home for me to try and figure out what it is. (One guess is that the object was a toy from doggie daycare, or an ornament off the Christmas tree. Last year she ate a glass ornament and gave me a heart attack, so my parents decided no more glass. Now it appears the plastic/wood ornaments may have done more harm. Who’d have thought?!)

The doctor said the next 24 hours would be critical, but seeing as Lana toughed it out with a large, solid object in her intestines, we were hoping for the best. She’s my tough little tomboy, after all.

Lessons Learned From A Gluttonous Dog

She got staples (allegedly stronger than stitches, though two of them came out), and then managed to re-open her wound after they were removed. Now she’s bandaged like a mummy and on antibiotics to prevent infection from licking.

Lessons Learned From A Gluttonous Dog

Will Lana keep eating non-edible things? Yes. She’s my stupid baby. She will have no idea her gluttony caused her pain. And, as she is still a puppy-ish young adult, she will continue to get into trouble. But I’ve always known this about her. She’s smart, and that’s a danger of smart dogs. Will I have to try harder to child-proof my house? Apparently. Will I have to keep a small Christmas tree up on a table until she can control herself? You betcha. I have lessons to learn from this, and if you’re smart, you’ll learn from me, too.

Let’s look at this objectively…
1. I’m now quite sure we need pet insurance. My dog is a mess. An accident on legs. Not an accident waiting to happen, just a perpetual accident. Now it’s just a matter of researching the best provider for us.
2. Even with intestinal blockage, Lana was pooping up until her surgery day. She looked lethargic and sickly sometimes, but perked up for walks. The main symptoms, according to my parents, were vomiting and loss of appetite. I am fairly sure I would have thought If she’s pooping, there’s nothing in there. Which is exactly why I’m telling you all this story. Because apparently, hearty dogs can look not nearly as sick as they actually are.
3. The vet said Lana wouldn’t need her cone, and she re-opened her wound. Maybe most dogs wouldn’t have still needed the cone, but I should have known better. Lana is Lana, after all. Better to be safe than sorry.
4. Honestly, this should probably be a lesson in child-proofing your house. Closing your dog in a play pen. Crating your dog. However, I’m going to be that sickeningly optimistic mother who assumes her dog accidentally swallowed something rather than choosing to eat it.
5. She’s cost between 2,500 and 3,000 dollars this month. Once again an argument for pet insurance, but also a reminder for readers: dogs cost more than their adoption fee. There’s food, shots and pills, toys and bowls, grooming, and worst of all, random expenses like this. If you can barely afford the adoption fee of a dog (see, the people who complain that rescues charge a fee), then I assure you, you cannot afford a dog.

Lessons Learned From A Gluttonous Dog

New Year, No Fear

As I was preparing for work tonight it occurred to me I hadn’t posted in a while. I wrote a post about Lana’s health issues, but didn’t want to upload it until the drama was done. (It is now, I just forgot to do it.) Anyway, so as I was considering this, Pandora sent me a message in the form of a song. “Better Days” by The Goo Goo Dolls popped up. It’s a beautiful song, especially around this time of year. And you know what? It kind of fits the theme of Dream Big.

Go ahead, give it a listen. And while you do that, think about the message very seriously. I think it is important for all people, and all creatures, to feel loved. Especially shelter dogs. Couldn’t you just imagine a newly adopted dog making this plea in his head, hoping the others who were in the shelter with him could also find homes?

And you asked me what I want this year
And I try to make this kind and clear
Just a chance that maybe we’ll find better days


A mom and one of her pups in Chipley, Florida. (Image links to their Facebook.)

‘Cause I don’t need boxes wrapped in strings
And designer love and empty things
Just a chance that maybe we’ll find better days


A senior mix at the Tallahassee, FL shelter. (Click image for link.)

So take these words and sing out loud
Cause everyone is forgiven now
Cause tonight’s the night the world begins again

Image  Image

I need someplace simple where we could live
And something only you can give
And that’s faith and trust and peace while we’re alive


A Dachshund at the Hillsborough Co. FL shelter. (Click for link.)

And the one poor child who saved this world
And there’s 10 million more who probably could
If we all just stopped and said a prayer for them


Female in Hillsborough Co. FL shelter. (Click for link.)

So take these words and sing out loud
Cause everyone is forgiven now
Cause tonight’s the night the world begins again


Affectionate cat in Hillsborough Co. FL. (Click for link.)

I wish everyone was loved tonight
And somehow stop this endless fight
Just a chance that maybe we’ll find better days


Female mix (with mange?) in Hillsborough Co. FL. (Click for link.)

So take these words and sing out loud
Cause everyone is forgiven now
Cause tonight’s the night the world begins again
Cause tonight’s the night the world begins again

Image Image

*Most animals featured in this post are adoptable (and urgent)! Adoptable pets have links to their shelters and a very brief caption. All others animals shown were rescued.

Right After I Said I Would Watch My Money…

A week or so ago, I became an affiliate for Pet360. There was no pressure to promote them, but I wanted to have the option, should I like their stuff. (After all, I’m still trying to start a rescue over here in minimum wage land.) So today, I finally sat down and explored their website.

One of the first things I saw was a section where you could find out about food recalls. While I already get emails from dogfoodadvisor.com when foods get recalled, this is still a great option. (I need only one, but I think every dog owner should get updates about recalls from some source or another.)

The first section I actually clicked? “Toys for dogs who ruin everything.” Um. Yes, please?


This used to be a rope. Now it’s in a landfill. The environmentalist in me feels guilty.

Don’t get me wrong. I have a chewer. And I have my doubts that every item on their list could withstand Lana’s kind of toy torture. Seriously. If Toy Story was a movie about Lana’s toys, it’d be a slasher film. The stuff of nightmares. However, they had some toys I’d never heard of, and of course the classic Kong (which does, in fact, hold up quite well). So I decided to keep exploring.

My next click led me to an article. This site apparently isn’t just a store! Anyway, the article is about the benefits of dental treats for doggies. I’ve always given my fur kiddos dental treats. I think they did their job, but I’m always a little concerned about the ingredients, so I was drawn to this post. It was informative without lots of flowery language (I’m sorry if you don’t like my blog gardens, there is a time and a place). The author listed several options and didn’t fail to remind readers that actually cleaning the teeth is still important, but complementary products are great.

So far so good! I’ve found a place to get information about pet health, and where to buy fun stuff for my doggies. But as I glance around, I also find ‘just for fun’ articles, like a slideshow of celebrities and breeds of dogs who somewhat resemble each other. (There’s no way to make that sound polite, is there?)


Gratefully borrowed from http://thedisneyprincess.tumblr.com and of course The Walt Disney Company (don’t fire me!!)

So I browsed the shop a bit and I think there’s a pretty decent selection. They seem to place a big emphasis on treats and foods made in the United States (which is a big thing right now given the whole China treat fiasco). They also have beds, pharmacy stuff, flea and tick stuff, training aids, dog apparel, and a holiday themed section. OH. And cat stuff. (Sorry! I didn’t forget my awesome cat parents!)


A Christmas leash! You can even choose from 3 different widths! (Skinny leashes scare me, I’m always afraid they’ll break.)

Okay, and here’s a thing. I LOVE to make my dogs homemade treats. I really feel like I’m spoiling them when I pull a tray of cookies out of the oven and give them a fresh snack. But I’m no chef. They taste good (because I always taste test them), but they look a little… not pretty. So I do also enjoy buying my dogs snacks. And I recognize some here that I’ve bought before! (They also taste good! I will seriously try any dog treat without ‘meat’ in it.)


Yummy! And pretty!

Okay. So maybe you think I’m a sell out. But I actually like Pet360. The prices seem fair, and there’s a little something for everyone. (Er, everyone who likes dogs and cats.) And you know what makes me even happier? My Discover credit card is offering cardholders 10% of Pet360 until November 22nd! That’s an even better bargain than Pet360’s first time buyer’s deal! (If you don’t have a Discover card, you might want to consider it!)

If you want to join Pet360 and see everything they have to offer, click the image below:

Pet360 Registration

If you want to head straight to their store:
Pet360 Free Shipping

Want a free coupon?

Get $8 off Greenies dog treats at Pet360.com

*These links are not spam. They are affiliate links. That means, when you click them, it SHOULD tell Pet360 that I was the one who sent you. (Assuming I did this correctly.)  If you choose to create an account and/or make a purchase, Pet360 will send me a small percentage. Any rewards received go to Dream Big, Bark Loudly’s future as a nonprofit animal rescue, not to my personal whims and shopping lists. Thanks!

A Sickness Of The Mind Or The Body?

Not my dog. My dog is fine. Aside from eating my uncle’s birthday card. Sorry, Uncle Mark!

So am I just complaining about my life again? Yes! I thought I was going through a bit of a weepy phase. Then I feared I was legitimately sick. Like, on the verge of death sick. Not at all a hypochondriac. But now I’m hoping it’s just the flu. I’m feeling constantly exhausted. I just had an awful little wave of nausea. Like, an hour or two ago. Needless to say I had to close out of the food porn AKA Pinterest. And my throat is sore. Come on, flu!

Also, I’ve been suffering from a muscle in my left arm twitching. Probably unrelated. Also probably the most exercise that muscle has had in weeks.

But aside from death knocking at my door, I’ve enjoyed myself lately. I took a couple of days to head to Tampa to help my parents pack and move, and of course to spend time with my fur kid. And my fur sister.


The girls were magicians for Halloween. Except instead of trick or treating they hid from neighborhood kids in the back bedroom.


I think Lana’s wondering why Desi actually enjoys wearing a hat.

I did something else last weekend, too. I had an interview for another internship in Orlando. (NOT for the same Company.) Granted, I’d really like to hear back from the actual careers I applied for (okay, careers is a strong word), but better one than none! Except now I need to practice my swimming skills. Any guesses what internship I’m trying to get?


It’s got nothing to do with this, but I promised my family I’d post pictures of the girls.

And, for something actually related to the blog: the other day on stand, there was nobody in the pool. Because it’s friggin’ November and people shouldn’t be swimming. Anyway, without lives to guard, my ADD struck and an idea came to me. One that I can’t properly complete this year, but you’ll see it next year. A very FUNdraiser. (See what I did there?!) I know I’m lame…

These next couple of months, I’m determined to watch my money (and my calories – unrelated). I want DBBL to become a standalone rescue by February. Which means I need cash. So, I will do my best to avoid calling in sick (or lazy) and resist the temptations of employee discounts. Well, some of them at least. I’m trying to eat cheaper, consider taking the bus, and plan my training days on the same days I work, so I can get at least a couple hours of overtime. When the journey is said and done, we’ll be a real rescue. We’ll be stronger for our struggle, and we’ll avoid flat out asking for money as long as possible.  =)