Monday, July 21, 2014

#PetCharityDonations Program
Grooming and Cleanup

by Carrie Boyko, CEB

You guessed it; we're back again to continue cleaning out the shelves of excess pet stuff that will benefit our local Petfinder rescue. And this time we're out to help the rescue make all the pups look and feel better. We've got first aid and personal care products, shampoo, and a handful of bandanas to top off their good looks when they head off to new homes.

If you're not already familiar with this donation program, I encourage you to read my introduction to #PetCharityDonations, so you'll be sure to know what you're entering. This is a win to donate type of program, with products going to Petfinder shelters, rescues and foster families.

Our last event brought 3 New Puppy Kits to our local Petfinder rescue. These bags included necessities like collars, pee pads, leashes, training treats, bowls and great goodies like Good Buddy treats. Here's a photo of the delivery:
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Upcoming #PetCharityDonations will include treat dispensing toys, harnesses, dog food, stuffing for Kongs and more. Can you tell I'm serious about cleaning out and donating? But I need YOUR help. By entering these giveaways, I can hand off these terrific pet supplies in your name so the rescue isn't confused by my overflowing coffers. LOL; they have at times asked where does all this loot come from!

So, jump right in and enter away using the Rafflecopter entry form you'll find at the bottom of this post. If it's napping out of sight, please just call it to you by clicking on the post title. It will come running. 

Entries will remain open through midnight, August 7. Winners will be announced on Friday afternoon, August 8. Winners will be notified by email. Thanks again for participating in #PetCharityDonations!

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Products being donated are either conference swag, unrequested review products or items we are unable to review. There has been no compensation to All Things Dog Blog for these products or donations. All donations will go to shelters, rescues and foster families. Badge artwork courtesy Peter Mooney via

Dogs are Not Alone in Yoga:
Cats Want In Too!

by Carrie Boyko, CEB

I've been having a lot of fun developing a yoga regimine that includes my dogs. I'm now breaking out of the initial beginners workout that I presented here to build in slightly more challenging poses, while also enjoying some occasional searches of the web to see what else is going on in this tiny niche of workout wonder.

Surprisingly, I'm behind the curve. Huffington Post recently collected doga and cat yoga videos from Youtube--something I had yet to investigate--that share the hilarity of both cats and dogs interrupting their pet parents as mom (or dad) practice their asanas (poses). You're sure to get a good laugh out of the video.

You'll find lots of photos on my Pinterest page of pet parents in Doga classes or practicing at home. I've curated what's available by Google Images to save you searching the lot of what's out there. 

If some of these photos inspire you to give our new workout method a try, I invite you to visit our page of video instruction, where you'll find a series of short videos to help you learn how to correctly perform the pose, while adding a bit of Fido fun to your time on the mat. Make sure to bond and encourage your pup to participate, if only by watching from the edge of your mat. 

One last thing. If you do nothing else, please read my suggestions for preparing. Most importantly don't skip the opportunity to chat with your doctor about your ability to practice yoga safely. The same goes for your dog if you choose to involve him in anything beyond bonding silliness; your call. Enjoy!


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Saturday, July 19, 2014

New Furnishings and Your Dog

by Carrie Boyko, CEB

Temporary Quarters at the Office Entrance

The new chair, couch, rug or bed just doesn't quite smell or look the same as the old one. What's a dog to do? Most will steer clear. Some may mark. Others will jump aboard and try out the new digs. Which dog is yours? In this article I'm going to share some tips for helping Fido get through this change without the drama.

For starters, all the disruption that occurs when old furniture is removed and new furniture arrives is quite unsettling to our dogs, who generally are creatures of habit. My Oliver was
More Boxes: Anyone
 Want to Volunteer for Assembly?
trained to fear almost nothing, and thankfully that generally follows through just fine. He's great on planes, doesn't mind traffic, fire trucks or motorcycles. The same goes for the new chair that arrived last week. He jumped right up and was ready for a photo opp despite it's position in a spot he often enjoys languishing.

What Oliver doesn't know is that there will be more of this jockeying of furniture--and rugs too--in the All Things Dog Blog household, coming up. With another kid off to graduate school (didn't we just graduate one?) I'm giving up a couple of pieces of furniture to help deck out a new place, while shopping for replacements for these items that are moving on.

Tanner and Oliver will be helping me--err watching interestedly--while I unpack, assemble and move new beds, couches and chairs. I've really bit off more than I should have! Here's the plan:
  • Old furnishings are being dismantled, if possible, for easier loading and unloading at my daughter's new apartment. After loading items into a vehicle, I take the dogs out to sniff. When they see that their favorite bed or chair is heading off in Mom or Dad's vehicle, they seem okay with that. Curiosity abounds, but that's all right. I treat for curiosity, but not for anxiety. Soft voice and low stress experiences are key. Make sure to keep your cool around your dog as you go through this process.
  • When each new box arrives I'll offer plenty of praise for sniffing and not running, while following up with a treat for calm acceptance of the intruder.
  • Packing material will be collected carefully to avoid any dogs enduring choking episodes, and quickly swept away to the car for recycling at the pack-and-ship place down the road.
  • Boxes are collapsed and tied together, being sent to the recycling center of our city's recycling program. It's important to get these out of the house quickly so as not to antagonize potentially nervous dogs. Cats are another thing entirely, but Patches is now beyond her box-inspecting days. #Zzzzzz is her new normal.
  • New furniture is assembled taking care to keep tools and assembly items out of reach while the pets look on with amusement at the craziness. Yup; that pretty much sums up their expressions. I talk to them while I work and make sure to maintain a calm voice and demeanor.
  • Now we come to the fun part--moving the furniture into place. This is where Tanner tends to back away and disappear, peeking around a corner to see what's up. Maybe he just doesn't want to be asked to help. It's okay as long as his tail doesn't take up residence on his stomach as he locates a hiding place deep in the back of our house. Thankfully this has never happened. He's just cautious about large furnishing and rugs moving around.
  • If you have a nervous Nellie, take care to plan your furniture moving carefully, minimizing the movements to ease her anxiety. I happen to know that I'll be moving the new chair seen above into a different spot after my two 20-somethings come home from their India adventure. I need manpower to get all this done as there are 2 large rugs and 2 beds to be switched up as well! My plan is to let the dogs have a dogs day out with friends and get all our disruptive moving and assembling done in one fell swoop. Wish us luck, as I try to get all this done in one day.
  • Once your new piece of furniture gets settled, waste no time setting the rules. Either your pooch is, or is not, allowed on it. Establish this right now :) After that's done, add a pillow or small blanket that smells like you and your family. This will help your furry friends to understand that all in their world is still well.
  • Finally, if you're a pet parent who enjoys a lap pup, invite your pet to join you for a movie. Stroke, praise and treat as your pup or kitty begin to sink into your lap, enjoying their affection while bonding more closely with you and your newest furniture addition. Enjoy!
Great last minute news; the new chair got its new home yesterday, just after posting this article. What do you think? Tanner has decided it's a great place to chew on his Nylabone.
Rug and Chair Switchups 
Best wishes,

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