2. Fun Pet Stuff We’re Trying

The Best of Today’s Dogg

Posted on May 8, 2011. Filed under: 2. Fun Pet Stuff We're Trying | Tags: , , , , , |

The Best of Today's Dogg

Recently, I read a charming book called The Best of Today’s Dogg.  The author is award-winning cartoonist, Guy Gilchrist – who has written 48 children’s books, was the cartoonist of the comic strips “Nancy” and the “MUPPETS” and was the character designer for Tom & Jerry, Pink Panther, Looney Tunes & Disney.

The book is about 140 pages and only took me about 30 minutes to read.  Guy does a great job of capturing the wonderful personalities of dogs and cats.  The cartoons are funny, heart warming, intelligent and witty.  Any dog owner can relate to this book!  I found myself laughing out loud in my bed, as I thought of my own dog, cat and their relationship.  Some of the cartoons make you reflect, some melt your heart, some make you tear up, some make you giggle – but all make you want to hug your dog!

This book is yet another example of how dogs make the world a better place and how we are blessed to have one in our home.  I loved taking time out of my busy day to just simply enjoy a book full of spirit and remind myself just how special a friendship I have with my dog and cat.  It gives you some humorous insight of what dogs might be thinking if we could get into their heads.  Between chew toys and treats to loyalty and unbreakable bonds, and of course, getting into mischief, you will find yourself saying, “That’s so true” or “My dog does that!”

The best part of Today’s Dogg is a portion of proceeds go to pet rescue organizations.

I give this book and its mission four paws up!

For more information, please visit The Best of Today’s Dogg

– Michelle Brubaker

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42 Rules to Fight Dog Cancer Review

Posted on March 14, 2011. Filed under: 2. Fun Pet Stuff We're Trying | Tags: , , |

I received an email asking if I wanted to review this book.  Having had more than 1 dog with different forms of cancer, I thought it would be very interesting and a good learning experience.

I am very grateful to have this book in my library now.  Being a huge dog lover,  I know I will always have dogs throughout my life, unfortunately, I know at some point in my life, this book will come in handy. 

Aimee Quemuel did a great job of making this book easy to read and follow.  There are a ton of ideas to help incorporate veterinary care, modern medicine, holistic medicine, diet, and supplements into creating a comfortable longer life for your dogs.   There are also a number of uplifting success stories to give owners hope into this awful disease. 

I won’t get into the individual tips in the book, that is for you the reader to look into, but I will tell you that  this is a great book for any dog owner to have on hand. The first thing I am going to do is look into using Aimee’s recipe for a natural flea control.

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Pet Friendly Reflective Wear

Posted on January 5, 2011. Filed under: 2. Fun Pet Stuff We're Trying | Tags: , , , , , |

With the dark cold mornings and nights of winter it can be dangerous getting out for a walk with our four legged friends. My husband insists on walking the dogs at five in the morning when it’s pitch black and we often go for an evening stroll when again… it’s pitch black. I often worry about being seen by drivers.

So I was pleased to test out the “see me” line of reflector products marketed by a company called Pat Bay International. Several of the reflectors are actually sleeves that easily slip around your dog’s collar, leash and even your hat. There’s also an adjustable reflective band that you can wrap around your waist and fasten with Velcro like a belt.

My husband, two dogs and I wore all of these products when we recently went for a walk after dinner. It only took a couple of minutes to put all the reflectors on. Once outside, every time a car drove by, its headlights caught the reflectors and made all four of us pop out against the night sky. The secret ingredient is 3M’s Scotchlite™. Normally we’d just try to wear light colored clothes, but these definitely seemed to give us an extra advantage to being seen and keeping safe.
These items are all priced very reasonably ($3.49 – $14.49). Click here for a short video of us trying out the products on our walk.

-Nina Jimenez

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Winter Reading for the Animal Lover

Posted on December 9, 2010. Filed under: 2. Fun Pet Stuff We're Trying | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Dewey’s Nine Lives –

“Dewey’s Nine Lives” is a follow-up book to the bestseller “Dewey: The Small Town Library Cat that Touched the World.” Now I admit I’m a dog person, but I also have a huge respect for cats. Their spirit and attitude seem so different from dogs, but the bond we have with them as pets is just as deep.
Dewey, a little orange cat, was abandoned in the book drop of a small-town library in Iowa one cold winter night and saved by the library director Vicki Myron. The first book tells about how Dewey became  a soothing presence in the library. This second book tells more personal stories of the people Dewey touched and the legacy he left behind.
I especially like this quote from one of Dewey’s fans who describes what cats mean to so many of us:

“Some cats are special because they are sweet. Some cats are special because they are survivors. Some cats are special because they were exactly what someone needed at exactly the time they needed it: a soul mate, a companion, a distraction, a friend. And some cats are just plain crazy.”   Watch Dewey’s Video.

Kasey to the Rescue – The Remarkable Story of a Monkey and a Miracle

I first read about Kasey in a magazine article and I was instantly drawn to how a small monkey helped a family through one of the most difficult challenges life can deal you.  When 22-year old Ned is left paralyzed and brain damaged after a car accident, his mother Ellen was left to help him redefine his shattered life. For Ellen, she had suddenly become what she called an accidental caregiver.
The book “Kasey to the Rescue” is Ellen’s account about how a trained therapy monkey  named Kasey helped them through their darkest days and became Ned’s “wingman.” But it didn’t happen overnight and Kasey was about as high-maintenance an animal as they come. Ellen was not only taking care of her paralyzed son, but also learning how to deal with a “Diva,” and make monkey chow.

“Kasey to the Rescue” is a heartwarming story and a lesson in making lemonade out of some pretty bitter lemons.

K9 Heroes –

I have to admit I have a real soft spot for working dogs, especially K9 cops, military dogs, search/rescue dogs and therapy dogs. “K9 Heroes” is Nicole Arbelo’s first book and a true tribute to her love of the dedication of the dogs of war. Nicole chronicles the stories of military dogs and their handlers and the incredible risks they take every day.

The book showcases the bond born out of the instinct for survival and loyalty. “K9 Heroes” can be quite the tear jerker. Some of those profiled are killed in the line of duty and we get a true sense of their courage and commitment to our country. The stories and photographs Nicole includes in her book are touching and inspiring. She did an amazing job for a first time author and for anyone wanting to learn more about the military dogs of war along with stories of courage and sacrifice, this is a great read!

Fixing Freddie –

Freddie the beagle is every dog trainer’s worst nightmare. Like “Marley and Me,” Freddie gives his owner Paula Munier constant entertainment, frustration and pure love. Paula chronicles these adventures in “Fixing Freddie.” By the way Freddie even has his own You Tube channel.

But more than just the story about a very bad dog, this memoir is more about a single mom navigating some difficult challenges in life and learning to live with what she calls a very, very bad Beagle. Although it didn’t quite grab me and tear my heart apart like “Marley and Me,” it’s still a fun read that most dog owners can relate to.

Freddi the Dog –

The children’s book “Freddi the Dog,” is not related at all to the book “Fixing Freddi,” just a popular name for naughty dogs I suppose. “Freddi the Dog,” is by Lisa and Randy Herman, with whimsical illustrations that kids will love by Bruce Hammond. Freddi is the Herman’s real dog, an English Bull Terrier whose full name is Fredricka. It’s a cute story about how Freddi has a habit of eating everything in the house, especially when her naughty bone gets tickled. It’s a silly story that you’ll enjoy reading to the little ones.

Many families will be able to relate to having a dog that thinks a cell phone is a chew toy and underwear left on the floor, smelly cheese. In fact, my sister-in-law’s dog Bella got into a lot of trouble after gulping down socks and underwear… sending the pooch right to the animal ER. I recommend “Freddi the Dog” and look forward to her next adventures.

-Nina Jimenez


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Petopia.tv’s Favorite Things for the Holidays!

Posted on December 1, 2010. Filed under: 2. Fun Pet Stuff We're Trying | Tags: , , , , , , |

If Oprah can have her “favorite things” for the holidays, so can the “furry” reviewers at Petopia.tv. We’re really impressed with some of the cool dog toys we’ve been testing out. Check out Indy and Lola at the beach with the Soft Bite Floppy Disc.



Fortunately for Lola and her little mouth, the discs come in three different sizes. They not only fly pretty high, but they also float when they hit the water, which means you’re not going to lose it when  your dog misses a catch. Our “furry” critics had no problem keeping busy chasing these fun floppy discs up and down the lovely beaches of La Jolla, California.

The Dogzilla Disc is another saucer type disc, which also flies and floats. It seems a lot more rugged for dogs that like to sink their teeth into things. It’s made of a high-quality foam which is puncture proof. Another flying disc to check out is the BOODA Designer Flyer which is actually made from parachute material, although I doubt your dog will realize it. Still it makes it very light weight and easy to toss around for both you and your pet. I especially like the saying on the disc, “A house is not a home without a dog,”  We fully agree!

Dogzilla Disc

BOODA Designer Flyer

Now if your pet is crazy for squeakers, the BIGSQUEAKS will definitely get its attention. It promises not to rip apart or unravel, so for those dogs determined to gut the toy and kill the squeaker, good luck. Indy, my Border Collie tried, but the toy held up. I like that each BIGSQUEAK has a different fun word on it like “Zip!” “Pow!” and “Splat!” Of course we would not want to leave out the little dogs and puppies, so BOODA has the  Tuff Plush Cookie Cutter toys. Their cute, tiny, soft and squeaky, just like a puppy.

Puppy Tuff Plush


Indy especially enjoyed BOODA’s Dogzilla Tug, because he thinks he’s the top dog and is determined to win in any tug-of-war game. What’s also pretty cool about the Tug is that it has a little compartment for treats, which is another reason your dog will want to win in tug-of-war match.

Dogzilla Tug

If your dog is a ball fanatic, Indy recommends the Go Get It! Retractable Ball Launcher. We liked it too because who really likes picking up the goopy mess of a tennis ball after a few rounds of fetch. With the launcher you can pick the ball up, no hands required, and launch the ball farther then any major league pitcher. Since it’s retractable you can easily throw it into your beach bag and pack it up very easily.

Go Get It! Ball Launcher

The first thing you notice about a lot of these pet toys is the sweet vanilla scent. Also, according to the manufacturer the toys are designed for canine eyesight, which is interesting if you consider the limited colors dogs can see. Many of the toys are in shades of blue, which apparently is one of the shades dogs can see. Indy and Lola just loved testing out all of these products and give them the paws up! If your looking for ideas for your pet’s Christmas stocking ask your local pet store for the Petmate products featured here.  The best part is everything we checked out was under $20.00. Of course they also have some great products for the cat of the house too.

-Nina Jimenez

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Indy Tests Out Dazzle Dog Delight

Posted on October 28, 2010. Filed under: 2. Fun Pet Stuff We're Trying | Tags: , , , , |

Indy and Lola love to travel and we love to try out new things. I just discovered this fun website called DazzleDogDelight.com, which has some really unique pet products. For our recent trip to the Central Coast of California we tested out the Designer Travel Dog Food and Water Bowls.  These bowls are made out of actual seat belt material! So they’re heavy duty and not like those I’ve used before.The food bowl holds about 6-cups of kibble so depending on how much your dog eats, it’s good for an overnight. The top has a drawstring closure. The water bowl holds 65-0z. Now I did find the wire rim a little tricky to open without screwing up the shape, but overall these are great for a get-away with the furry kids. However, a little bulky if you’re trying to carry the bowls on a day hike.

What was the paws down favorite, or I should say Indy’s favorite was the plush character toys called Bottle Buddies. Indy, my 6-year old Border Collie has had a thing for plastic bottles ever since he was a puppy. I think he likes the crunchy sound.  Bottle Buddies are made with recycled bottles, so here’s a great use for all those bottles clogging up the landfills.  Indy immediately chomped onto the soft, crunchy and cute toy and would not give it back. It’s $8.99 and comes in three styles, Indy has the dog. Click here to watch video of Indy and his new best friend.

DazzleDogDelight was founded by Joy Randel and 5% of all profits go to the SPCA.

-Nina Jimenez

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Cleaning Up Pet Messes and Housebreaking Confusion

Posted on October 18, 2010. Filed under: 2. Fun Pet Stuff We're Trying | Tags: , , , |

For pint sized Lola there is one room, one spot in the house where she thinks it’s okay to do her business. The guest room is the least frequently used room and the farthest away from our family activities. Perhaps Lola believes this qualifies it as “outside.”  Fortunately, Lola does not have this housebreaking lapse anywhere else and when we travel she’s always on her best bathroom behavior. So how do I break her from sneaking off to go in this one spot in my house?

At one point it got so bad I had to get the carpet cleaned and bought an air humidifier to get rid of the smell. These days I keep a baby gate up to keep her away from that one spot. I realize in doing this I may be missing out on the opportunity to catch her in the act, but I couldn’t take it anymore. Eventually my false sense of security led to a set back when I forgot to put up the baby gate.  Sure enough I walked into the room and there it was, a small package from Lola in that corner, in that spot… in that room!

Although I missed the teaching moment, I did use it as a chance to test out the “RESOLVE Pet Stain” carpet stain remover I was recently sent. I followed the directions, picked up the poop, blotted up the residue, sprayed the area down, waited three minutes and than blotted it up with a damp cloth. No stain was left behind, but I could still smell the RESOLVE and I think I still detected some of Lola’s leftovers. I have a pretty sensitive nose so I asked my husband to take a whiff. He didn’t smell any dog poop or RESOLVE, so it seemed to work. I would definitely give this product positive marks for cleaning up pet messes.

"The Culprit"

"The Spot"

But Lola is still in the dog house and the real problem is not RESOLVED. Why does a certain 14-pound dog thinks a certain spot in the house is fair game for you know what?
Suggestions anyone for housebreaking an adult dog with selective bathroom habits…

-Nina Jimenez

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Catch a Wave of Fresh Air, Be Part of a Good Cause

Posted on October 3, 2010. Filed under: 2. Fun Pet Stuff We're Trying | Tags: , , , , , , , , |

I should have potty trained my cat, Cody, when he was a kitten, but I didn’t, so now I have to clean a litter box every day. It’s definitely not on the top of my list of favorite things to do, but it’s part of cat ownership, and I will do anything for my feline buddy.

I was recently introduced to JulAir – an air freshener that has a hint of jasmine and is made out of Australian tea tree oil. I have used it several times after cleaning Cody’s litter and have also used it on my dog, Dezi’s, bed and our kitchen trash can. It’s a light spray that smells great! I love the Australian branding with a Koala as the mascot and the tagline – catch a wave of fresh air. I studied aboard in Australia in college, so I have a soft spot for anything related to down under.

The JulAir Company is based in Santa Barbara, California. Bob and Julia Zeman, founders of JulAir were inspired to create their all-natural air freshener while walking on the beach and the woods near their home.

It’s about $9 for a 4 oz bottle – more than a bottle of Lysol, but in my opinion, JulAir is more effective. Also, JulAir donates a portion of each bottle to develop treatments and eventually a cure for Parkinson’s Disease and arthritis.

Cody gives this product a meow and two paws up!

Learn more about JulAir and try it for yourself.

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Dezi Puts DERMagic to the Test

Posted on September 23, 2010. Filed under: 2. Fun Pet Stuff We're Trying | Tags: , , , , , , , , |

After the Heart Walk, a long game of fetch in the park and rolling around in the yard, it was time for Dezi to get a much needed bath.

Dezi has skin allergies, which means she is always licking her paws.  Her condition has actually gotten much better since we adopted her in July, but when I was contacted by a company called DERMagic about their new shampoo bar for dogs with stubborn skin conditions, I knew I had to try it.  The shampoo bar is all natural and made from organic products.

I could smell the bar of soap before I even opened up the box.  I love the lemongrass spearmint scent – our bathroom smelled like a spa! I lathered Dezi up and rubbed her down with the bar of shampoo.  I washed her paws really well, in between her toes and all the raw spots that she licks.

A few minutes after her bath, I noticed how soft her fur was, and she smelled fresh. My girl was clean and beautiful!

Today (two days after her bath), I notice she isn’t licking her paws as much, and the raw spots are no longer bright pink.  I have only used the bar of shampoo once and saw results. The company claims “the healing powers” in the bar are sulfur and neem oil – just in case you don’t know what neem oil is (I know I didn’t) it’s a vegetable oil pressed from the fruits and seeds of neem – an evergreen tree native to India.

I originally was going to put the shampoo bar in a plastic soap container, but the owner of the company suggests letting it air dry, so it will stay hard and last longer, or using the cardboard box it comes in as a container, preventing it from getting soft and dissolving quickly.

Dezi gives this pet product four paws up!

Learn more about DERMagic and its products.

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2011 – The Year of the Dog?

Posted on September 12, 2010. Filed under: 2. Fun Pet Stuff We're Trying | Tags: , , |

Orvis the dog calendar 2011:

Oh my gosh, I can’t believe we’re already talking about 2011! Why is it that the days and years seem to race by? This is what went through my mind when I received a copy of the Orvis 2011 dog calendar. I admit I’m ready to say good-by to 2010. Between the economy and the difficulties so many people are having, let’s hope 2011 is filled with nothing but tail wags.
I love the cover shot of the golden retriever named Dylan.  You can sense the pure pleasure as he swims with his prized tennis ball stuck in his mouth. Dylan also happens to be a cancer survivor. You don’t often think of animals getting cancer, but unfortunately they’re just like us in that way.
Orvis collaborated with the Morris Animal Foundation and its Canine Cancer Campaign on this calendar, which is very cool. All of the pictures in the calendar are apparently from a customer photo contest that was held.

I’m pretty sure this will be the calendar I post in my pantry for 2011. The furry faces are hard to resist. I love February’s picture of the two black labs   snuggled up together. Monty and Toto, the two little pups featured in June are also adorable. There are also some great quotes throughout the calendar, like:

“Dogs are not our whole lives, but they make our lives whole.” -Roger Caras

Here’s where to find out more about Orvis and its next dog photo contest & calendar:

I give it four paws up!!   -Nina Jimenez

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