Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Wordless Wednesday: Today is For Alex

Get well, buddy, we're all thinking of you... stop by Feeling Beachie and leave your well wishes to Hilary and Marc for Alex!

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Recall: Purina Dry Food, Limited

Due to the possibility of salmonella contamination, Purina is voluntarily recalling 870 bags of dry cat food in bags distributed in the states of Colorado, Idaho and Oregon. The following products are affected by the recall:

Cat Chow Naturals, 6.3lb bag, "Best by" Aug 2012, Production Code #10331083 13; UPC Code #17800 11320
Friskies Grillers Blend Dry Cat Food, 3.15lb, "Best by" Aug 2012, Production Code #10381083 06; UPC #500000 08450
Friskies Grillers Blend Dry Cat Food, 16lb, "Best by" Aug 2012, Production Code #10381083 06; UPC #500000 57578

According to the company, the bags were distributed to customers in the states of Colorado, Idaho and Oregon; however, these may have been redistributed to others in western states. If there is any question, check the codes for verification of your product.

Salmonella can cause a myriad of symptoms, and can be contracted by people through handling of contaminated product. Both pets and people are at risk for illness. Per the the FDA website:

"Salmonella can affect animals eating the product and there is a risk to humans from handling contaminated products. People handling contaminated dry pet food can become infected with Salmonella, especially if they have not thoroughly washed their hands after having contact with surfaces exposed to this product. Healthy people infected with Salmonella should monitor themselves for the following symptoms: nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal cramping and fever. Rarely, Salmonella can result in more serious ailments including arterial infections, endocarditis, arthritis, muscle pain, eye irritation and urinary tract symptoms. Consumers exhibiting these signs after having contact with this product should contact their healthcare providers.

Pets with Salmonella infections may exhibit decreased appetite, fever and abdominal pain. If left untreated, pets may be lethargic and have diarrhea or bloody diarrhea, fever and vomiting. Infected but otherwise healthy pets can be carriers and infect other animals or humans. If your pet has consumed the recalled product and has these symptoms, please contact your veterinarian."

If you find you have purchased this product, Purina instructs to discard it immediately.
If you wish further information, or a refund, you may contact Nestle Purina Petcare at 1-800-982-6559 weekdays from 7am to 7pm Central, or visit


Saturday, June 25, 2011

Forget Claws - It Bites!

These are hard times. Job loss, investment losses, plummeting real estate values - combined with rising prices of everyday living - have made it difficult to downright impossible for many to hold on to their homes, let alone their standard of living. The numbers continue to rise on those who have had to leave their homes, either through selling them or simply abandoning them. The foreclosure rate alone is staggering. People are not the only ones affected by these changes.

Pets have become the victims of this economic nightmare as well. Time and again, people are running into the ultimate decision, or having it forced upon them, to give up the home they have known and move elsewhere. All too often, the move requires rehoming the pets.

Sometimes they have to move in with relatives or friends, and for various reasons the pets would not be comfortably accommodated in the new mix. Most of the time, however, the need for the pet to be given up has come about because the new place that can be afforded, relatively speaking at least, does not allow pets.

Another situation rising more and more, most assuredly in our area, is with landlords and associations which allow cats, but only if they are declawed. For rescues such as Almost Home Foundation, this is particularly problematic, as they promote respect for a cat's natural state, and discourage the barbaric procedure of declawing.

One such case that recently came to light was the plight of Sebastian, a particular favorite of mine, who had finally - finally! - found someone to take him home and love him forever. It was a glorious day! This poor boy has been through quite a bit, has multiple strikes against him when it comes to the prospect of being adopted, and has been waiting a long time.

A gentleman fell for Sebastian's story - and then for his charm as well. It was to be a purrfect adoption! Sebastian could not have asked for a better person to share his life with, and of course this wonderful man could not have found himself a better friend. But the story doesn't have a happy ending. The place where this man lives allows cats only if they are declawed. So much for a pet-friendly building. His case is not so unusual, either.

The truth about declawing:

Many buildings and complexes are considered "pet-friendly", but have restrictions that prohibit many pets. Cats may be allowed, but not dogs, or the reverse. Dogs may be allowed, but only small dogs, or there may be restrictions on certain breeds. And, as in the case with Sebastian, cats may be allowed, but only if they are declawed. Still others will allow pets, or certain pets, but only with an additional, often expensive,  "pet deposit".

An additional security deposit to accommodate possible damage caused by a pet is the best compromise, but it prohibits many who just can't afford to come up with that much additional money at the outset. Many times these deposits must not only be paid upfront, but also will be non-refundable.

The cost of a pet security deposit can vary widely, too, from $100 and up at the outset, to $25 and up added monthly fees. For another cat who was recently adopted and sadly returned, it was going to cost $500 upfront.

Granted, I''m a pro-pet person. I can think of a myriad of reasons why tenants having pets would make for better residents. But what happened to the "cost of doing business" that you see in other businesses? Why are properties different? What makes them think they are immune to the cost of damages, for repairs or replacement? Heck, every place I rented was always in sore need of some replacement; many even in need of a plain old painting!

The good news for Sebastian is that he has actually found a new adopter. He will be going to his own home after the 4th of July weekend - until then, we hold our breath for the poor boy.

Are there restrictions or deposits common to where you live?

Welcome to the Saturday Pet Blogger Hop, hosted by Life with Dogs, Two Little Cavaliers and Confessions of the Plume. Enjoy - and Happy Weekend!!

Friday, June 24, 2011

Fab Feline Friday: Skeeter

Last week we talked about "shy" kitties - those that are of a more particular nature. Skeeter could fit in that category, although she is no ordinary shy cat. Skeeter has a story to tell that would curl your fur.

When she and her brothers were tiny babies, someone thought it would be fun to torture their mother. They used her as target practice with a bb gun, shot out one of her eyes, cut off her tail - and then buried her alive. Fortunately, a Good Samaritan came to their rescue. The babies were found pawing at the dirt, trying to reach their mother. Whoever it was, this human rescued not only the babies, but their now one-eyed mother. The babies were safe, and so was their mother.

When Almost Home Foundation heard of this situation, there was not a moment's hesitation that all four kitties would become their new charges. It was a given that the goal was to ensure these kitties were well-cared for, fully-recuperated, and had nothing less than a purrfect future. Skeeter's mom was adopted by a wonderful woman who didn't mind at all that she had one less eye; she saw her for the sweet kitty she really was. Skeeter's two brothers have both been adopted into loving homes. Skeeter awaits her turn.

You may have noticed, Skeeter is a tortoise-shell. Torties are unique, not only in their appearance, but also usually in their personalities as well. As one saying goes, "Torties are a lot like Mounds candy bars; sometimes you feel like a nut, sometimes you don't." You never know quite what to expect - in fact you're best in not expecting, but being pleasantly surprised - when it comes to what mood a tortie will be in at any given moment. They are unpredictable; they are sometimes goofy, sometimes serious, sometimes loving lap-buddies, sometimes preferring to be alone. One thing that is always predictable: torties are irresistible.

Knowing how Skeeter started out in life, it's no wonder she's a bit hesitant with new people and new situations. She's a superb playmate and friend for another cat; with people, she needs time to develop trust. Although it would require some patience for her to adjust, what she offers is well worth the wait. If you or someone you know is interested in a truly hidden gem of a feline, and has the understanding and compassion she needs of humans, Skeeter would be a fabulous choice. To give you an idea - I've always called her Sweeter, I think it fits her well.

Skeeter is fully vaccinated, spayed and microchipped; ready and waiting for her Forever Home at Almost Home Foundation

My Favorite Job Ever

I must admit, there is one job I've worked at over the years that was my favorite ever - paws down. Mind you, it wasn't the job itself. It was a summer of working with a cat on my desk. These days I do this all the time, because I'm home and all my furries here join in assisting me. But working for someone else, in an office...and having a feline coworker? THE BEST!

One summer, the family that owned the business I worked for decided they could no longer keep their cats at home. They had purchased a new home, and were having issues with the cats there. There are so many ways you can resolve any problems your cat might have at home, especially when moved to a new place, but they weren't interested in putting out the effort. Pure and simple, these people didn't care that much. So much for caring humans.

But I was more than happy to be the benefactor of their shortcomings. They had two cats, and one would sit on my desk all day long. I loved it. Yes, there were a few hairs I'd have to blow off the keyboard on occasion, and there were times I must admit I was a bit distracted. But overall, I was a much better employee than I otherwise would have been. On those days when sitting at that desk was about the hardest thing to do, that feline made the day easier, the time go by more quickly. I felt like I had the ideal coworker.

I'm sure there are physical benefits to having a pet at work. Blood pressure, sense of well-being, even leveling of mood must surely be at the top of the list for positive effects. There is just something very calming and reassuring having the unconditional love of a pet nearby. These days, I'm fortunate to experience this daily. But when I worked away from home,  that summer rates tops, thanks to that sweet little girl.

Today is Take Your Pet to Work Day. I hope many employers have honored this, and given their employees the opportunity to experience a truly wonderful day at work. I can just imagine all the conversation, as well, between coworkers about each other's pets. It surely would have the same effect as one of those costly dinners the boss takes everyone out for - to get better acquainted on a more personal level. And all it costs is maybe an extra bag in the vacuum at the end of the day.

Happy Take Your Pet to Work Day!

Follow Friday Four Fill-In Fun #17

Each Friday, Hilary at Feeling Beachie hosts a blog hop, along with a willing cohort. Four questions are posed, with the simple instructions we are to answer them with our own personal responses. It's a fun way to get to know a little more about those behind all these great blogs.

This week’s statements:
1. If you would have ever told me years ago that I now would _____ I would never have believed you
2. ______is my beverage of choice
3. The last time I got a ______ was_____
4. ____ is one of the items on my bucket list

My Answers:
1. If you would have ever told me years ago that I now would be such an animal advocate I would never have believed you
2. Coffee, hands down, is my beverage of choice
3. The last time I got a vacation was about a gazillion years ago, I sooo would love to get away!
4. Getting a piano is one of the items on my bucket list. I used to play when I was young, and miss it terribly. Mind you, I was never any good, I just enjoyed it!

For more Friday fun, just follow this link - Follow Friday Four Fill In Fun Blog Hop #17

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Terra Paws Winners

Well, the giveaway for Terra Paws treats is over. The sequence generator has chosen the winners - and I'm finding this a little funny...both winners are best known for their blogs about, as well as advocacy for...cats! I have no doubt, though, that they will find some eager dogs to partake in their winnings.

Terra Paws all-natural treats

The winners are:

Brian, of Brian's Home
Caren, of Cat Chat

Congratulations, Brian and Caren!

CindyLu and Chester can attest to the awesome yumminess of these USA-sourced as well as USA-made, all-natural treats. We think you'll enjoy them as well. Please email us with a shipping address - your treats will be sent to you quickly.

For all who entered this giveaway, Thank You very much! Be sure to check out the website, this is only the beginning for this great company.

Thank you as well, Terra Paws, for allowing us to review your fabulous treats; we look forward to enjoying lots of them in the future! You rock!!

Sunday, June 19, 2011

A Father's Day Tribute

I know someone who exemplifies what it means to be a Man. He is intelligent, has always been a hard worker, fair boss, and reliable friend to many - and an incredible father. He has never let his family down, always put them first in his priorities, and taken his responsibilities as a husband and father seriously. That man is my dad. I have yet to meet a better man than my father. I am blessed beyond imagination.

Throughout my childhood and that of my brothers, Dad wasn't around much. He worked a lot, and usually nights - which meant quiet activities only in the house during the daytime to let Dad sleep. He eagerly accepted all the overtime hours he could get at work, knowing it would help that much more in providing for his family. And when he was home and not sleeping, chances are he was working on his "Honey-Do" list, as he's always called it. Yet I have so many memories of him from those days, he must have found time for us.

Dad has always loved bowling and golfing. Never much of a sports fan, he wasn't the typical father glued to the TV set for ballgames. He'd rather be doing than watching, anyway. He still loves golfing. But there's one thing he truly looked forward to every year, which I did not learn of until my adulthood; his precious time with his family during the two weeks each year he took vacation. As he's explained to me, going on vacation each summer, having that time for just being with and enjoying us kids and my mom, meant more than anything else to him. So he placed a high priority on being able to afford those yearly trips away from the usual.

My father is a person who is a thinker. Extremes have never been his fancy. He generally lands squarely in the in-between-grey, as he refers to it. He would often talk about how things are not necessarily as they appear. This in itself taught me critical thinking from an early age. Dad instilled in us the importance of action. He deliberately taught us so many lessons, simply by discussing things over dinner. And what he talked about during those dinners has stayed with me to this day. His voice was a reassuring guide post in my mind as I maneuvered my way into adulthood. His platitudes still sum up what is most important in life. To this very day I enjoy nothing more than having conversations with him.

When I question where it is I came to be the animal lover that I am, I can only think it must be from him. Although never an outspoken advocate of animals, Dad has always loved them. With my father, there is a general, overwhelming appreciation, awe and wonder about nature as a whole. Growing up in the city, there was not much "nature" around; teeny squares of grass adorned front yards, small patches of garden boasted a few flowers at best, some mature trees canopied overhead if you were fortunate. The only wildlife that I can recall from around home were squirrels that ran up those trees, a few birds (mainly pigeons!), and unwelcome guests of the rodent family.

It was on our vacations, though, those special family times, when I think I was influenced most by Dad's love of nature. The drives down to Florida and back, when he loved to stop off for special sight-seeing adventures, pretty much drove my mom crazy having to postpone getting to the beach - her favorite. But to this day I remember the rolling hills and dizzying heights of mountain roads, the red dirt of Georgia, the caverns (and endless signs promoting Ruby Falls) of Tennessee, the smell in the air that is unique to Florida. While staying on the beach, Dad and I would walk along the shore enjoying the sights and sounds, looking for shells or watching the shorebirds. We would stand by the Gulf at sunset, to enjoy Mother Nature's brilliant nightly display.

One year, as we drove the highway through Indiana, I witnessed just who my dad really is as a human. A dog had darted out into the road out of nowhere, just in time for our speeding car. My father stopped the car as soon as it could, walked back to check on the poor victim - and came back to us visibly shaken and broken. The dog could not be helped, but at least it didn't suffer. There are many people who could shrug this off, but not my dad. That unknown dog's life was precious, he felt awful that it had been cut short.

Once, we ventured a camping trip instead; hitching a pop-up trailer to the back of the station wagon, Dad took his family on a trip that would cover 11 states and many of Mother Nature's wonders. That was my favorite year ever. We meandered our way from Chicago westward to Colorado and back. In almost every state there were many stops along the road, simply for taking in the spectacular views. And in each one, the wildlife unique to the area. This city girl got a nosebleed from panic when a bear stood up against her side of the car at Yellowstone Park. Dad thought it was wonderful to get such a close encounter.

We weren't a family with many pets. When I was 10 he brought home a puppy - and other than a few fish, Freckles lay claim to being our only pet. He loved her. But it was a dog he brought home from a shelter years later that would become his soulmate dog. Buddy was just that, your buddy. Looking a lot like Benji (from the movie), he was "just" a mutt. Proving there's no such thing as purebreds being superior, Buddy was simply the best dog a human being could possibly be blessed with. I think Dad misses him to this very day. I like to think we have a furry angel watching over us.

Dad's quiet appreciation and respect for all living things is what I believe influenced me to be the lover of animals that I am today. With his gentle guidance, I learned to revere the uniqueness and dignity of each and every creature God has blessed us with on this planet. And through his teachings of the importance to "live your life in such a way that when you're on your deathbed, you'll look back and not have regrets", I have become the advocate for animals and the environment that I am today. He has been my most influential teacher. The best teachers don't preach, they demonstrate.

Thanks, Dad, for all you've done - and all you mean to me and your grandchildren.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Fab Feline Friday: A Litter Rescued

Typical scenario: stray cat wandering neighborhood, so young to be a new mother. Also typical: Litter of six tiny kittens left alone, when mama is hit by a car and killed. Not so typical: a kind human notices and comes to their rescue. This is the story of Polly, Jeremy and Logan, and their siblings.
Horrified by the mother's fate, and worried for those of her babies, a caring woman stepped up and took action. The kittens had been living behind a restaurant, along a road with heavy, speeding traffic. She ensured the babies were all rescued, vetted, and taken under the wing of a rescue organization. She fostered them in her home. They may have forever lost the love of their mother, but they had hers. She literally gave them a future.

Three of these kittens have found their forever homes. Three remain, waiting for their turns. For all that they have been given, they still have this one need. They seem to know they aren't there yet, that they are in a temporary situation. It is not what would give them the security and peace that their mother would have provided, or what any foster home can provide, no matter how much love is showered on them.
Polly, Jeremy and Logan are all considered shy kitties. What does "shy" really mean? Well, if you would love to have someone that makes you feel super-special, one of the privileged few, you want a "shy" cat. These furries are particular; they won't just run up to whoever walks through the door and welcome them with purrs and wagging tails. They probably won't have anything to do with most who come by to visit.
Particular kitties prefer to feel comfortable with someone. They are choosy and will not automatically trust or climb on your lap. So if you are the one who adopts these cats, they learn that you provide them with what they need, what they want, and will not harm them. They will open up to you, and you'll become their Special Person. Their love and affection will be reserved for YOU. Not such a bad thing to have a shy pet, is it?
Imagine coming home after yet another grueling day at work. You feel crushed from all the chaos, the lack of respect, and unappreciated for who you are and what you do. But you know that when you walk through your door, you will have your treasured friend waiting for you - who thinks you are the most amazing and worthy person in the world.

Polly and her brothers are just over one year old. They have been fostered with other cats and a dog. If you or someone you know is considering adopting a cat, consider providing a home for one that is ready to make you their Best Friend Forever.

Polly, Jeremy and Logan are available through Almost Home Foundation. They are current on vaccinations, spayed/neutered and microchipped.

Psst! Have you left a comment for the Terra Paws Giveaway yet?

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Versatile Honor

I just have to tell you about something, but keep in mind I'm rushing. I have to finish this before CindyLu wakes up from her nap; the last thing that girl needs is a bigger head! You see, we've been honored with an award, and I'd hate for it to go to her head. She has quite the attitude already!

Okay, seriously...we feel quite privileged to have been graciously presented this Versatile Blogger award! Richa, and her pup Chewie, have a new blog we recently discovered. You must check it out - Find Me a Happy Pet. Richa writes about pets and rescue, fostering and adoption. She's personally experienced in those areas, so she knows what she's talking about. She has fostered dogs from death row. Richa, her husband and Chewie live in Seattle, WA.

Thank you, Richa, we love your blog, your passion and dedication - and humbly accept your award.

In receipt of this award, there are a few rules we must abide by:

1. Thank the person that awarded it to you and list a link back to the blogger.
2. Tell 7 things about yourself.
3. Pay it forward by sending it to your favorite recently found new bloggers.
4. Contact the blogger that you have awarded and make them aware.

Well...that's certainly a bit easier than the gargantuan task Gary from Klahanie honored us with! (Gotcha, Gary! lol) It still is a bit difficult though, as there are so many great bloggers! This time around, CindyLu will list things about herself. Rats, that means waking her up. And her head swelling even more than it already is.

CindyLu: things about myself...
I have Mom trained to interpret my language, which gets me what I want.
I've now taught Chester to do the same, which drives Mom crazy - he's not very good at it.
I take my role as guardian and protector very seriously. Oh, and official Notifier, too.
People say I sound like a gremlin sometimes. I say a gremlin sounds like me.
My hair grows so fast, it's hard to keep it out of my eyes. I hate hair ties, though - even pink ones.
I snuck one of the sample packages of treats we reviewed and ate the whole thing. It got me in big trouble.
I will do just about anything if you tell me I'm pretty.

And now, for the honorees. Drumroll, please...

Boondocks the Wonder Dog - One special golden, from a house full of them.
Chloe and Cecil - Two Burmese cats. Feline Fun.
Dakota's Den - The wind beneath the wings of Cody at Cat Chat with Caren
German Shepherds and Dog's - Chester's fave, for obvious reasons.
il mio amico friend pitbull - Keith is an adorable, lovable, lucky pittie.
My Life in the Dog Lane - Cute, cute, cute!
My Life with Flyball Dogs - Dogs, sports, fun...
Sawyer the Schnauzer - Boy are they going to be surprised - they've just won two other awards.
Sheltie Times - All about beautiful shelties, Bailey and Katie
The Cat from Hell - Yay!! I found another cat blog ! I really do love cats.
The Chronicles of Cardigan - A fun concoction of dogs, cats, and a great sense of humor.
the other winnie cooper - CindyLu's BTF. Winnie loves to tweet.

Richa, thank you immensely for considering us in this award.
And now you should head on over to check out Find Me a Happy Pet! If you aren't familiar with the new finds of ours, head on over to them, too. You'll be glad you did!

edited: 6/16/11, 8:20  

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Wordless Wednesday: Rain or Shine

                                                                  They greet us for the day :)
                           National Nature Photography Day - the critters are all undercover...

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Terra Paws and Giveaway

Do you ever get frustrated, trying to find a good, wholesome treat for your dog? I do. Time and again, I think I've found something with a price I can swallow, and it either turns out the product is not what it's cracked up to be, Chester's allergic to something in it, or the dogs simply don't even like it.

When I learned about what Terra Paws offers, and about the man behind it all, I was intrigued. All the concerns over chemicals, additives, and the nutrition leeched out of products through the usual cooking/extruding processes are tossed aside, as Terra Paws uses only one or two natural products, and a freeze-drying method instead.

Pure, freshly grown/raised USA-sourced, human-grade ingredients are freeze-dried through a special process that enables the retention of all that's good, without adding anything undesirable.  And the flavors are retained through this method, as well. So what you get are treats that are made from good, wholesome ingredients - like sweet potatoes, chicken and beef liver - and nothing more, nothing less. My kind of dog treat!!
As an example, the sweet potatoes are carefully grown, harvested, then freeze-dried with skins, which provides maximum nutritional value by retaining the natural nutrients, enzymes and amino acids. This is true for all ingredients used. The treats weigh 75% less than your usual treats, due to the freezing process which removes the moisture. And because of this, 3 oz. of Terra Paws treats is equivalent to 14oz of your standard treats.

- USDA and FDA certified, human-grade ingredients
- Fresh, but capable of withstanding storage and shipping.
- No chemicals, additives, or all those nasty things like grains, sugars and questionable picks of ingredients.
- A carefully chosen and measured combination of meat and carbohydrates for a healthy balance.
- Due to both the high quality of the ingredients and the freeze-drying, the treats have a shelf life of 18 months - with no preservatives added. Not like they'd last around here for 18 months, though!

We taste-tested these treats, of course, here at the CindyLu dominion. We've tried many "healthy" treats that neither dog would eat or chew on, simply because they were not interested in the smell or taste. CindyLu of course tried one first... then Chester...
(I could not get clear shots - they were maniacs over these treats!)

The results of tasting all flavors: They truly love them. The texture is chewy, yet you can break it into pieces. You can smell the flavors even with a human nose, and they look like bits of food I would have cut up and stored in my own freezer for later use. For me, I had a satisfaction of knowing I just contributed to my dogs' health, rather than jeopardize it.

Anthony Santarseiro is President of Terra Paws, and the founder. Here's what he told me after I mentioned I have such a big distrust of large companies -

"It's funny, it was actually a big, multi-national companies treat package that inspired me to do this. When I couldn't pronounce more than two of the ingredients I decided there was a better way."

This is a newer company, so the selection of products offered are limited. And that, believe it or not, is the one beef CindyLu has with Terra Paws! Why aren't there more kinds of treats, Mom? And why can't we have this guy make us our dinner, huh??

Fact is, there are some already in the works: this summer Terra Paws will be introducing single-ingredient treats, options for smaller package sizes, and an all-natural food topper.

In short, CindyLu rated these treats - PAWS UP!

Terra Paws is offering a special deal to all CindyLu's Muse readers!
Any reader will save 20% when ordering - just use coupon/promo code BL20
This special discount is good through July, 2011.
Be sure to check out the website at Terra Paws!

Now, for the fun part. Terra Paws has offered two (2) 14oz packages of treats for us to give away for free!

We're going to make this very simple for you. We really want you to try these! Here's all you need to do:

-- Check out the website at Terra Paws, then
Leave a comment below, telling us what you would like best about these treats!

Want additional entries? Choose any or all -
  • Follow CindyLu's Muse through Google Connect; leave a comment that you are following.
  • Follow CindyLu's Muse on Facebook or Twitter, leave a comment here that you are following.
  • Share this Giveaway on Facebook, leave a comment here that you have done so.
  • Tweet this message, leave a comment here with link that you have done so -                              #WIN Terra Paw's Dog Treats
 (You may tweet once a day, as many days as you wish; leave a comment for each)

This giveaway will end at midnight EDT, June 20th.
Via Two winners will be chosen, and announced the following day.
Good luck to you!

Disclaimer: I received sample packages of this product from Terra Paws for review, as well as an agreement to accept 2 packages of these treats for this giveaway. Opinions are my own; facts regarding the products obtained from Terra Paws and the website.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Is This What We Created

The human race has bred canines to be dependent upon them. Humans have, through time and calculated breeding, created the dog as we know it today.

 A creature that is neither wild nor independent, the dog lives and breathes to be with, to serve and to please human beings. And it is this same human race that turns a blind eye to the abuse, suffering, loneliness, and destitution of so many of these dogs.

Dogs sit outside day and night - chained, lonely, exposed to the elements. Dogs wait in houses, condos, townhomes - for their master to finish work, shopping, dining out. Dogs crouch in corners, closets, under beds - dreading the next beating or torture. Dogs sit in shelter cages, losing all sense of being - waiting for someone to take them home, to run in fresh air and sunshine, for love. Dogs that were born for profit, or because a human wanted their dog to have puppies - face the gas chamber, the needle, the death room.

Just look at all those hungry mouths we have to feed
Take a look at all the suffering we breed
So many lonely faces scattered all around
Searching for what they need

Is this the world we created
we made it on our own
Is this the world we invaded
Against the law
So it seems in the end
Is this what we're all living for today
The world that we created.

You know that every day a helpless child is born
Who needs some loving care inside a happy home
Somewhere a wealthy man is sitting on his throne
Waiting for life to go by

Is this the world we created
we made it on our own
Is this the world we devastated
Right to the bone?
If there's a God in the sky looking down
What can he think of what we've done
To the world that he created -
Is this the world we created?
- Queen

Not all humans exemplify the human race, when it comes to dogs. Some recreate -

And Rescue Ink.....Real men, Real heroes
There are many more, too; quietly, persistently making right what another has done wrong by. These are the people who renew my faith in the good of humankind.

It's time for the Saturday Pet Blogger Hop, hosted by Life with Dogs, Two Little Cavaliers and
 Confessions of the Plume. Enjoy, and have a great weekend!

Friday, June 10, 2011

Follow Friday Four Fill-In, Week 15

Every Friday, Hilary from Feeling Beachie, hosts the Follow Friday Fill-In Blog Hop. The guidelines are simple and fun. Four statements are provided, and each participant just fills in their own answers. This week, I'm having Mom answer the questions.

This week's statements:
  1. When I reflect back upon my life, I regret_________
  2. I over use the word________
  3. The first time I saw the beach/mountains was when I was_____
  4. _______reminds me of the color yellow.

Mom's answers:
  1. When I reflect back upon my life, I regret that I didn't pursue my own interests sooner. I spent so many years pleasing others, caring for others, ignoring what was important to me, myself. But, as they say, it's never too late, and "my time" is now.
  2. I over use the word "worry". Whenever I'm trying to convey my concern about something, I have a habit of using that word. I need to replace worry with concern or care, which is what I really mean!
  3. The first time I saw the beach I was a baby. My mother always loved the beach, and we used to go regularly down to the beach in Chicago. My parents loved to take vacations to Florida, and I have many great memories of the Atlantic and the Gulf of Mexico. The first time I saw mountains I was 10; our family took a camping trip out to Colorado and back, travelling through 11 states. That was my most favorite vacation ever; the mountains, the national parks, the purple skies and the wildlife were all amazing.
  4. Happy people remind me of the color yellow. I suppose it's the connection of their cheery disposition and sunshine. I love yellow. I love cheerful people!
So now that Mom's answered, here are some other great answers...
Enjoy, and have a Wonderful Weekend!
 CindyLu xo

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Wordless Wednesday: Dream On

Happy Hump Day! Whatever your weather is - or what you wish it would be - take a moment, enjoy a few photos...

It's Wednesday's Wordless Pet Blog Hop, hosted by BlogPaws! I'm gonna go get more ice cubes...

Monday, June 6, 2011

Man On a Mission

Are you familiar with Kenzo the Hovarwart? How about his human dad, Leo? Kenzo and Viva, along with their dad, live in Denmark. And as Leo recently quoted Shakespeare...there's something rotten in the state of Denmark. There sure is, something horribly rotten.

Photo credit: Purr Photography
Almost exactly a year ago, Denmark passed a bill that banned 13 breeds of dogs. It is typical Breed-Specific Legislation; go after certain breeds, convinced that those types of pets are killer dogs and cannot be allowed to remain a part of our society, much less of our families. The bill specifically named the breeds, but also included a provision for dogs of mixed-breed origin, should one of the banned breeds be in that mix.

The bill also allows breeders of these now-illegal dogs to continue breeding them. Can someone please explain to me how this possibly makes any sense? Breeders have until 2015 before they must cease bringing more of these unwanted pups into the world. And of course, we all know that most of those breeders are doing so for one reason, and it isn't a love of the dog. Money rules the day, again.

There are restrictions included in the new law, with regard to these banned dogs. Those who already own one, must have the dog muzzled at all times when outdoors. At least for those families who may have a pet that is on this list, it is good that they don't have to relinquish him. However, just knowing that dog is now on a "dangerous dog" listing must surely make life more difficult. How many people will overreact upon meeting this pet, how many neighbors will see the dog in a different light?

One more stipulation in the bill is that any dog of the listed breeds, whether purebred or suspected as part of a mixed-breed, cannot be sold or "transferred". Thus, if someone has one of these dogs and no longer wishes to retain it for whatever reason, it must be euthanized. There is nowhere for this dog to go. One result of this law, then, is the needless killing of dogs. As a friend of mine recently asserted, it is a different kind of holocaust.

As of now, no one has devised any reliable method of determining the true breed of a dog. Unless it has been personally bred by a breeder who files legitimate documentations asserting lineage, one can only decide based on appearance. In addition to the discrimination against a particular type of dog, this now also leads to such behavior against merely looking like a certain type.

I've included this before, but don't believe it ever gets old:  Take this test. It demonstrates just how difficult it can be to determine the true breed of a dog. There are many that have similar traits.

Interestingly, although not surprisingly, research has recently emerged that reports of dog bites have in fact increased during this past year, according to Leo. This is the same scenario that plays out over and over again, with every locale that attempts BSL. The response, however, from the Danish political system, is to consider adding more breeds to the banned list. In addition to the 13 already banned, there are a definite 12 more breeds under consideration for banning.

This kind of legislation does not take into account the true nature of these dogs, or the potential they each have. While any one individual dog may have aggressive, if not outright dangerous tendencies, there is no one rule of thumb for any breed. We've made it illegal and unacceptable to stereotype human ethnicities and religious affiliations; why would we step back in time, and do so with our beloved fellow creatures?

Back to Leo, with Kenzo and Viva. They are not on the list of banned breeds. But this situation breaks Leo's heart, and has fueled his determination to see that common sense be restored. Some press reports have made it clear to him the gravity of the situation. One such article highlighted the burden this now also places on veterinarians who are forced to be part of the culling of these banned breeds. You may read the article, see the video - a vet collapsed in tears after having to euthanize 19 dogs, many of them mere puppies.

Having become disillusioned with the selective coverage given by his country's media, he now is reaching out to the world. A petition has been created just for those outside of Denmark. A petition in Danish has already gathered over 11,000 signatures - it's obvious that even the Danes think there's something rotten. Now those of us who are English-speaking can also lend our voices to the cause.

Please, take a moment and sign the petition. The lives of many innocent dogs are at stake. We need to support Leo in encouraging his country to reverse their BSL stance, and return to sanity.

**Note: I have removed the petition from this post; you may find it on the right sidebar. Hopefully that one will not have the difficulties the one that had been within my post did! ( has been experiencing hacking attacks due to its support of a dissident in China)

Please also drop by Leo's site for a visit - I'm sure he could use some words of support! Kenzo the Hovawart is a wonderful collection of information about the Hovawart breed, training, daily life with Kenzo, and a love for all dogs.

Kenzo the Hovawart

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Gino Says


Hey! Gino here, just wonderin'...

Did you know it's Adopt a Shelter Cat Month?
Have you considered giving a future to a homeless pet?
Do you know how utterly wonderful life can be with a cat by your side?

What are you waiting for?

Look into my eyes.
Now, head on out and find your new best friend -
Remember, Adopt, don't shop!!

(Gino is an awesome boy, waiting for his Forever Home.
He can be found at Almost Home Foundation )

Happy Saturday! Time once again for the Saturday Pet Bloggers Hop, hosted by Life with Dogs, Two Little Cavaliers and Confessions of the Plume. Enjoy the great selections, and have a great weekend!

Friday, June 3, 2011

Fab Feline Friday: Sebastian

If there ever was a cat guilty of theft, it would have to be Sebastian. He is a master of sleek, stealthy, quicker-than-the-eye and right-under-your-nose theft. What does he steal? Hearts. Untold numbers of hearts.

Photo Credit: Purr Photography

Sebastian is the most amazing cat I've ever met. At a glance, he's "just another black cat". Hah! Gotcha already, if you've so much as glanced at him. There is something purely mystical in his gaze, something ethereal in his aura. I would even go so far as to suspect he's one of those angels who live among us here on Earth, within the guise of a life form. He is that amazing.

As a kitten, he suffered from panleukepenia, also known as feline panleukopenia virus (FPV), or feline distemper. Panleukopenia is highly fatal in a kitten - so right from the start, Sebastian is special. He survived it. He thrived afterward. This boy was meant to live; there is a higher reason and a purpose for his life.

The disease left it's mark on him. His nervous system was affected by it, and the result is a sometimes-shaky, uneven balance or walk. He might tremble a bit, his head might tilt to the side as he looks at you. You hardly ever see this in him, though; it happens when his system is overstimulated, bombarded. So if he gets stressed, it might become noticeable. Even with that, he'll tell you he can manage just fine, thank you.

Photo credit: Purr Photography

Having overcome a horrible disease, he also overcame adversity. As a kitten, he was dependent on the support of his sister. Although they were adopted together, the humans were really only interested in his sister, and Sebastian was left to learn life without her. Living in a loving, attentive foster home has surely helped him, and he no longer needs that early support. His only need now is for human companionship.

For humans, he offers companionship in spades. He loves to be petted, held, talked or sung to - any attention from you will be fully appreciated and returned with purrs you can hear from clear across the room, or head-butts of love. He is the epitome of sweetness, purity, goodness, love.

Sebastian is looking for his Forever Home. More importantly, he is looking for his Lifelong Friend. If you or someone you know has a calm home, empty lap, and heart longing for the best friend ever, be sure to ask for him!

Photo Credit: Purr Photography

Sebastian is fully healthy, up-to-date on vaccinations, neutered, and ready to go home! 
You can find him at Almost Home Foundation. He's waiting for you.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Thank you Joshua-Paul

Awhile back, Mom wrote about Joshua-Paul's radio show, and his fervent dedication to us animals. He's an advocate for all those who are unfairly treated in this world, four-leggers and two-leggers alike. He's a super-cool guy, and I'm so happy to know him.

He works hard in many ways for us animals. He volunteers for our rescue group, Almost Home Foundation. He hosts his radio show, The Joshua-Paul Show, where his latest shows ran hard-hitting against an awful place in our area that claims to be a rescue, but is not kind to them at all. In fact, that's been his latest mission - to see that the state's Department of Agriculture gets it's butt over to that place and investigates.

He also writes regular articles on Examiner; although he covers a few subjects, his latest have been exclusively about the conditions of that wretched place, the petitions for an investigation, and what people can do to help. He has relentlessly pursued this like a bloodhound, even though the humans from that rescue have been really nasty to him. He just cares about animals. Apparently those people only care about themselves.

Now that it's the beginning of June, and it's National Adopt-a-Shelter-Cat Month, Joshua began writing articles about his favorite rescue organization, and the cats that need their forever homes. He wants to see them get as much publicity as possible, in the hopes someone will see them and want to take them home. Let's face it; there are so many cats in need of homes, they need all the help they can get!

So I was really surprised yesterday, when he contacted me asking if I could provide him with a photo of Mom. Mom? Whatever for? Well, he was writing an article about her. When he explained what he was writing about, I of course corrected him; he was writing about MOI. But...he had his ideas, so I just let it pass. So I sent him my best photo of Mom, one I'm quite proud of. And he thinks I've got some real photography potential! He was just way too excited, I didn't let on that it was really done by a pro, I was only the one sending it. Hey, a girl's gotta take credit however she can get it, no? BOL

So here it is, Hoffman Estates woman devotes every day to animal rescue and animal welfare, complete with photo provided by me. I do get a nice mention in there, about being the "beloved dog" and all. I was kinda hoping he'd emphasize a little more about me, a little less about the secretary...but he's way too great of a guy to quibble with. He knows what he's doing. I'll pretend it's Secretary's Day. And check it out - he gives me the photo credit!

Oh, one more thing about Joshua. All the funds he can raise through his radio show and his articles he has sent directly to the animal rescue group. He does all this work - which is a ton, no doubt! - just for us animals. You gotta love this guy! See the radio button on the upper right side? That's for his show. Any time someone clicks on it, it helps send money to feed the animals. I personally picked out a show of his that had really great music to listen to.

Am I proud of the article? Yep! And I'm proud of helping for it, too. But I'm most proud of knowing a very special man like Joshua, who takes us animals seriously. And does something about it. You can't beat that!

Please visit his radio show, or just click the button above.
Like Joshua-Paul Radio Show on Facebook.
And give him a big bark-out (or meow, if you're inclined) in the comment section!

Thanks, Joshua, for all you do, and for being a dog's best friend!
Smooches! CindyLu

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Wordless Wednesday: Speechless

Apologies for breaking the "wordless" theme...but our electrical line came down yesterday after a gust of wind - right where Chester lays in the sun when he's out in the yard. I can't fathom what might have happened to him. How can our dogs not be safe in their own yard?

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