Saturday, December 31, 2011

Top Ten of 2011

The past year was full of news about the welfare of pets, people doing what they could to improve the lives of animals, and so many, many dogs and cats in need of our attention. Our top ten 2011 posts, plus a guest post, reflect five main categories of these issues. Were you involved with any of these?


Friday, December 30, 2011

Eukanuba 28-Day Challenge Wrap-up & Giveaway

Hard to believe how fast the time has flown. It seems like it was just last week, when I was going through contortions to get CindyLu to eat her food - not the cats' or mine. But the past four weeks have brought about some changes in her, and I'm happy to report Eukanuba has served her well.

We began the challenge with trepidation, knowing CindyLu's preferences for wanting whatever is not hers, including what's in the food bowls. It wasn't likely she would last long eating only a food intended specifically for dogs. Eukanuba has changed that, and it's quite an accomplishment in itself. The taste of this food gets a big paws-up from CindyLu!

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

$50 to Mr. Chewy Winner!


We're happy to announce the winner of $50 to spend at Mr. Chewy!


But first, CindyLu sends a big bark-out to all who entered. The 100% awesome comments about Mr. Chewy are, we think, proof of just how fabulous his site is - and how we'd all now be crazy to not order our supplies from him all the time! Thank you to all who stopped by here to learn about Mr. Chewy and to enter for a chance to win the $50.

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Merry Christmas From CindyLu to You, 2011




CindyLu would like to sing a song for you (along with the Jingle Cats)...

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Happy Christmas!

Wishing you a very happy, loving, fur-filled Christmas and Chanukah!



Friday, December 23, 2011

Best Ever: 12 Days of Christmas

The newest video of this A-mazing series...enjoy!



Today we're honored to be guest posting at the terrific blog, Cat Chat with Caren and Cody - come visit us!

(Don't forget to enter the Mr. Chewy $50 Giveaway!)

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Deck the Halls Furry-Style...


Have you ever heard a better rendition than this one?



Happy Holidays!


...be sure you enter CindyLu's latest giveaway - $50 to spend at Mr. Chewy!


Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Mr. Chewy and a Gift To You

OMD, we have to tell you about a great site for dog and cat lovers. Ever hear of Mr. Chewy? He's one pawsome dog! He makes sure you get your favorite food, treats and supplies delivered right to your door - at a terrific price, no less!

Just some of 70+ brands available at Mr. Chewy
Convenience
At MrChewy.com, some of the best pet foods you can buy are on the impressive list of over 70 brands of food, treats and supplies he has available. Chances are, he's got the one you prefer.

What's more, he'll deliver your order to you - no more hassling with shopping crowds and hauling the goods in and out of your car. If your order is at least $49, shipping is free. FREE.

Service
You can set up automatic delivery, too. That means only ordering once, and you're done. You determine the schedule and quantities, and the rest of the work is done for you. You're free to change it at any time, and there is no fee.

If you have any questions, you can get an answer 7 days a week by phone, email or live chat. Mr. Chewy believes in a 100% Satisfaction Guarantee; if you're not happy with your order, you can return it. How's that for service?

Cost
But...what about the prices? That's surely the catch, right? The prices for the products Mr. Chewy has in his warehouse waiting for you are cheaper than at the stores. Cheaper. They're less than the stores' online prices, too.

Yes, I double-checked. I was surprised to find the prices less than what I'm familiar with on a certain store's online ordering site. And that site, like most, charges you shipping for heavier items (most of what you'd order).


For the love of pets
Our favorite part, though, is the passion and dedication behind Mr. Chewy's business. Not only does he provide you with excellent service and your favorite brands for less, he also donates $10 to your choice of partner charity for every referral you send to him. Your referrals get 10% off their first order, too!

Mr. Chewy is offering a 15% discount on all orders right now. That's in addition to all the savings you get already. You'll be able to start the New Year off with one less (huge) chore on your errand list, saving some money while you're at it.

We don't know how he does it, but Mr. Chewy sure knows how to do things right. He's a star in our book!

Giveaway!
We're so excited about this next part, CindyLu's happy dancin'. Mr. Chewy has generously offered us $50 to spend at his online store. It's the holidays, a time of giving. So we give it to you.

Enter to win $50 at Mr. Chewy:
The entry form is below. Leave a comment below the form, click Do It (in the entry form), then Enter,  and you're done.

Want more chances? Follow the additional entries to "like" Mr. Chewy and CindyLu on Facebook, post and tweet about this giveaway.

The winner will be selected through Random.org when the giveaway ends 12:01am EST December 27th, and will be notified by email.


12/20/11 Attention: Rafflecopter, the application we are using for this giveaway, has been experiencing technical difficulties today. Due to this, we will extend the deadline an additional day, to December 28th.
12/21/11 - Rafflecopter's host experienced an outage. "The copter's now out of the hangar"- all ok now!


Good luck, and happy savings to you!


Disclaimer: We received a credit of $50 to spend at MrChewy.com (the giveaway); this in no way affects my review of their site. Opinions expressed are my own, honest thoughts about this business. CindyLu's opinion, however, may be biased. She has a crush on Mr. Chewy.



a Rafflecopter giveaway

Friday, December 16, 2011

Fab Feline Friday: Cookie

Adopted!
Cookie is a handsome young boy, black and white with a cute white tip on his tail. He was rescued from the outdoors by none other than one of Almost Home Foundation's founders. She has been lovingly caring for him since then.

Cookie

He hit the jackpot, meeting her. There is absolutely no one who takes better care of cats - not to mention loves and adores them - more than this woman. It's possible that someone was cruel to him while he was outside; when you first meet him, he seems like a shy kitty. But, after he has assessed you and determined you are not a threat to him, you wonder why you were thinking he was shy.

Cookie

As Deanne, one of the cat team coordinators for Almost Home Foundation, described him -

"Once he knows that you are not one of THEM... he is a love.   When I petted him, elevator butt was on automatic.  He couldn't control it!    When you rub under his chin, he throws his entire body into your hand.    And his purr motor...would make a German luxury car jealous!!!"

He has a girlfriend, too - the beautiful Tia! This brave boy is looking for his forever home. He was born in September of 2010, is litter box trained, fully vaccinated, neutered and microchipped - ready to go home with you. If you are in the Chicagoland area and interested in meeting Cookie, he is available through Almost Home Foundation.


Fab Feline Friday: Tia

Adopted!
Tia is a gorgeous, fluffy young girl, whose beautiful markings and sweet nature will simply wow you.

Tia

Tia was born in September of 2010, and appears to be a Siamese and Himalayan blend. She is beautiful. She is gentle. She is a loving kitty. She loves everyone who is willing to offer her a little attention and affection. She's quite friendly - no running and hiding for this girl if a new or strange visitor comes along.

The world is Tia's for the taking, and the world adores her. She's just looking for one adoring fan, though - to take her home with them. A family of adoring fans would most certainly be great, too! Oh, and she has a boyfriend, Cookie. Be sure to check him out, too.

Tia

If you are in the Chicagoland area and interested in meeting Tia, she is available through Almost Home Foundation, (email cats@almosthomefoundation.org). Tia is litter box trained, fully vaccinated, spayed and microchipped - ready and waiting for her forever home.


Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Eukanuba 28-Day Challenge: Week Three


We're into week three here with the Eukanuba food trial for CindyLu. Is she still eating it? Does she still like it? Has it served her well so far?

CindyLu, come up for air!

I was wondering how long it would take, and sure enough - she's gone back to wanting the cats' canned food. I haven't given that to her at all, though, sticking with just offering her the Eukanuba. I've found she will indeed go and eat it when she gets hungry (the world revolves around CindyLu, remember!)

The fact that she'll still eat it, without having to starve her for a day to coerce her into it, is a definite plus for this food. Too many others have been shunned with hunger protests here, including canned dog foods. So... she is indeed still eating it - and liking it.

At first I didn't notice any changes in her appearance, other than the immediate effect of cleaning some of the tartar from her teeth. Looking at her now, though, you can actually see an improvement in her coat. Her fur is shinier, softer, healthier-looking. One thing that has really surprised me is how her eyes have changed. (No, they're still adorable.)

CindyLu has had a tendency in the past to get goopy-eyed. Her eyes, particularly one, would have thick mucus pooled up along her lower lid, sometimes even casting a cloud over her eye(s). This mucus would also drain down her cheeks, causing an unsightly glom in her whiskers, making it matted and difficult to brush out or clean. Her eyes are now clearer, with much less ( if any) of that nasty mucus.


I haven't noticed any difference in her energy level or muscle tone. She's always been a rather active little dog, so I wasn't expecting that to change. She does, however, seem more content. When she's resting, it's very peacefully. When she's sleeping, it's very soundly. And when she does get excited, she seems to have better control over herself. I mentioned last week about the colder weather we're now experiencing, the possibility that may be the reason. I have no way to tell. But surely a full tummy would lend itself to a happier dog.

I can't change CindyLu's basic personality, which includes not wanting to miss out on something she doesn't have (cats' foods), but I can offer her a food that she enjoys enough to outweigh that desire. Eukanuba is turning out to be a nutritious one that fulfills that tall order!


Sunday, December 11, 2011

Best Gift Ever


For some...



The best present Santa could bring....




Here's to best friends, full hearts, and homes for the homeless!




Related:
How Not to Wrap a Pet
Adopting a Pet as a Gift?


Friday, December 9, 2011

Fab Feline Friday: Smokey

Adopted!
Just look into Smokey's eyes. What do you see? What do you feel? This boy is a gorgeous grey tabby, young yet with the sweet calmness that usually comes with later years. He is a sensitive soul, yet loves people and attention. Smokey is a boy who is looking for someone to take him home with them.

Smokey

Hi, my name is Smokey. Don't you just love my "deer in the headlights" look? I ALWAYS look surprised. Right now, I'm pretty surprised that I don't have a forever home and family! I'm a really nice cat and I love people. I'm calm and well-behaved, too. And check out my last photo here--can't you tell how much I love being gently petted? It feels great! 

What else should you know about me? Well, it's very easy to overwhelm me. I like to take things slow. After all, slow and steady wins the race, right? I sure think so! I'm very curious, so it doesn't take long for me to get interested in new things. Oh, and I love those feather-on-a-stick toys, so you should always keep one on hand.

I'm wide-eyed, curious, and very special. I'm just waiting for somebody to scoop me up and take me home!

I was born in October 2010 and am neutered, microchipped, litterbox trained, and fully vaccinated. If you're interested in adopting me (and I sure hope you are!), please contact my foster home at cats@almosthomefoundation.org. Hope to hear from you soon!



I could look at those soulful eyes all day long! What about you? What do you see?

Smokey

If you or someone you know are in the Chicagoland area and interested in meeting Smokey, he's patiently waiting for you at Almost Home Foundation.


Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Pet Lovers Holiday Giveaways - Winners!


I am so excited to announce the winners of the giveaways! They were chosen by Rafflecopter, through Random.org. The order of the winners pulled determined who wins which item. Are you ready? Drumroll please...


Hand Painted Cat 20 Card Note Set - Kathy (first "Kathy" comment)
2012 Hand Painted Dog Calendar - Lori Miller
Personalized Mini Pet Portrait Ornament - Kim Clune

Congratulations to our winners! 

A big Thank You to all who participated in our giveaway event - we truly appreciate all your kind and wonderful comments. We're looking forward to providing you more great offers in the near future!

Please note Becky Sorrentino Studio is offering a 20% discount on all items, through the end of this year. You can order directly through BecArt and BecArtDesign.  Just enter "HOLIDAY2011" at checkout to ensure your discount. (Head straight over and get your order in now, to make sure you get delivery by the holiday.)
Thank You, Becky, for offering these doggone catabulous prizes!


Wishing you all a beautiful holiday season,
CindyLu and Kim

*Winners will be contacted via email. If a winner does not claim their prize within 48 hours of notification, a new winner will be selected through Rafflecopter and Random.org.



Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Eukanuba 28-Day Challenge: Week Two


Well, CindyLu has been eating her Eukanuba Small Breed Adult Dog kibble for a week now. We've seen some definite changes in her. She still loves the food, thoroughly enjoying her mealtimes.


The first change to notice was her teeth. I had intended on snapping some photos of her lovely choppers the day after she started with Eukanuba, so I could compare later. Not smart, Kim; her teeth already had lost the nasty-looking spots! She had tartar buildup on her front lower teeth. She'd been regularly chewing on treats that are specially formulated for improving a dog's dental health, along with her usual chew bone. Her front teeth were missing out on that action, though.

Prior to starting the Challenge, I took a look at her teeth and was horrified. She had tartar along the gumlines, and a bit of greyish areas on the surfaces of teeth near the gums - but her front lower teeth had some really awful-looking areas of dark, nasty tartar. Probably thanks to her penchant for the cat's canned food, not to mention snagging the goodies from the litter boxes, have only hastened any tartar activity. All the more reason to find a dog food CindyLu will want to eat.

As partly Shih Tzu, she has an under-bite, which also might not be helpful for those front, bottom teeth. In any event, I felt the full load of pet parental guilt weighing heavy. I've neglected her teeth, not doing a thorough check. The "tops" of her teeth, the ones we usually see, have looked great. So much for thinking I was doing enough with the chews and the bones, in-between vet visits.

Hit me with your best shot. Ew. Tartar along gumline.

In less than 24 hours after her first Eukanuba meal, CindyLu's teeth were dramatically improved. She still has tartar along the gumline, but those big ugly spots on her teeth were gone quickly.(You can clearly see it along the gumline in the photo - even though it's a blur. Apologies, CindyLu was a wiggle-butt!)  I'm not a vet, so I don't know the status of her gums and any calculus, but it looks, at least, like this food can make a big difference for a dog's dental condition!

CindyLu is a finicky eater. In part, her personality gets in the way of just enjoying her own food. She's a girl who just has to have what everyone else has. It doesn't matter if it's a toy, a treat, an activity, attention - or a food. She's a serial beggar, and a thief with whatever belongs to one of the other pets in the household. "Mine!" could be her middle name. So when it comes to feeding her, it's always a challenge.

The novelty of a first-time taste might go great, but after that she quickly figures out if the cats or Chester are getting something different - and stubbornly wants THAT. She'll refuse to eat, sneak snackies from the litter boxes to curb her growing hunger, anything to avoid eating the food she's supposed to. Needless to say, I usually do a lot of handstands just trying to get her to eat.

Twice every day now, I've poured the Eukanuba into her bowl - and she's eaten it. No complaints, no refusals, no hesitation. I haven't had to doctor it up by putting a dab of cat food on top of it, adding chicken broth, mixing in pumpkin or peanutbutter or...well, you get the idea. Just the kibble in her bowl, and she still gobbles it down. That is huge. What makes this food taste that good?!

I haven't noticed any other significant changes in her so far. Her energy level is down and she's been sleeping more (and more soundly). That, however, is probably due to the change in weather here. Temperatures have plummeted, the sky's been grey and overcast, and we got our first bit of snow to stick on the ground. Perfect weather for sleeping (I can personally attest to that!) Chester's been the same, and he's eating his usual food. So the jury's out yet on whether her new food has an impact on activity.
After our initial post about this food I heard from my cousin, whose Shih Tzu, Oreo, is very much like CindyLu. They've been feeding Eukanuba to Oreo for some time now. She said that Oreo prefers a different formula, the Adult Small Bite, and that they also feed the Senior formula to their senior dog. It was encouraging to hear they've found great results with Eukanuba.

It's been exciting to be able to dish up meals for CindyLu this past week. Watching her look intently as I pour them, her apparent enjoyment while eating them, and her satisfied, full tummy afterward are a wonderful result. And life is certainly more peaceful when CindyLu is happy!

Eukanuba 28-Day Challenge: The Beginning


Monday, December 5, 2011

Only the Dog Knows


Eight years ago, the Pruitt family lost their dog, Petunia. They'd long given up any hope of ever seeing her again. This past week, they received a phone call - from a shelter across the country no less -that they had the family's beloved Petunia.
It's an amazing story! can you imagine how great their holidays will be this year having her home again?



Just a reminder - Pet Lovers Holiday Giveaways ends tomorrow night!


Sunday, December 4, 2011

Rudolph's the Wrong Breed?


Interesting thought...



May the day come soon when all dogs are allowed to live to feel the warmth of Christmas.

Hug your furry family members just a little extra today, in honor of those that won't.



If you haven't entered the Pet Lovers Holiday Giveaways yet - check it out, you'll be glad you did!


Saturday, December 3, 2011

God's Little Angels


When I was a child, I was told that animals couldn't go to Heaven, only people could. And it broke my heart. So each night, when I said my prayers, I asked God if He would please let the animals go to Heaven.

Photo courtesy of Purr Photography

In my adult years, I've had the privilege of volunteering with an animal rescue organization. I have learned there was no need for my prayers. The animals have shown me, they are angels sent to us by God.

Today I humbly honor all those who pour their efforts into a brighter tomorrow for these gifts to us. The world will be righted, thanks to them. Tonight, volunteers, adopters, and donors will gather to celebrate the lives they've saved, enriched, been touched by - at the annual Little Paws, Big Hearts holiday gathering for Almost Home Foundation.



Here's to God's secret angels, and the angels who care for them!



It's Saturday! Time for the Saturday Pet Blogger Hop, graciously hosted by Life With DogsConfessions of the Plume, and Two Little Cavaliers - enjoy!

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Pet Lovers Holiday Giveaways


So...got a few things left to get yet on your holiday list? Black Friday and Cyber Monday didn't cover it all? Don't worry, you're not alone. What about for those pet-loving friends and relatives? There are oodles of products available to choose from, but I know of one that is always appreciated...and we're giving one away to a lucky reader, too!


CindyLu's Muse has hardly done any giveaways, and it's not for lack of interest. We'd love to offer you great stuff - and often! We just haven't had the opportunity for much that is worthy, aka CindyLu-approved. Last year, though, we offered this very same giveaway, and it was a HUGE hit. Just proof that we're not biased on how much we love this idea. So this year we're offering it again...and throwing in a couple more items, to boot!

Custom Mini Pet Portrait (see for details)


Mini Pet Portrait Ornament 
Chances are, you've got a favorite photo or two of your pet. What if you could turn that into a beautiful, original work of art? Becky, of Becky Sorrentino Studio, can do just that for you. She loves to work with paint mediums, and loves animals. Becky creates adorable mini pet portraits with attached ribbon that can be hung on your Christmas tree, on the wall, or even stand on a table or shelf. It's a holiday ornament that can be on display all year 'round! She will paint one just for you, simply from a photo of your pet.

Gus, last year's winner

You have a chance (in fact, several entries if you like!) to win one of these ornaments. If you're not sure what you would like on it, or would rather give it as a gift to someone whose pet you don't have a  photo of - no problem! We'll send you a Gift Certificate for one.



Hand Painted, Hand Cut Cat 20 Note Card Set
Ever need to send a note to someone, when an email just won't do? Ah, the lost art of letter-writing. How about a set of 20 hand painted note cards featuring four each of 5 cats, that are ideal for just about any reason you would send a special note! Unless you specify otherwise, Becky will leave the text area blank for your own personalized note to that special someone. Not only will you be sending a card, but you'll also be gifting that person with an original painting.

Set of 20 hand painted note cards

Tip: Have you ever been stuck on what to give your pet's vet for the holidays? Your vet is a very important person in your pet's life (and yours for that matter). Veterinarians love to have special cards to send to their clients, especially for condolences. Becky has quite a few vets who order from her regularly. They tell her there is just not much available for that very purpose. Your vet will love you for these.

Purrfect!


2012 dog calendar
Here's a fun calendar, featuring prints of some of Becky's hand-painted dogs - perfect for brightening up corkboards, refrigerators, office cubicles, or even framing. With a different dog each month, you can have a little extra canine fix all year long. Each month has its own sheet, you can save them afterward to use the images for decor. Oh, CindyLu wants me to mention you'll get to have a calendar with HER in it! (Notice Miss May. Now that's priceless! BOL)

Dog of the Month Calendar

Each of these giveaway items comes in a beautifully handcrafted box, ready for gift-giving. Original works of art, handmade in the USA, by a small business - I love lending my support to that!

The Giveaways
Just leave a comment to be entered. If you'd like to up your chances of winning, we've offered additional means to do so. The contest will run from today until midnight, CST, Tuesday (12/06). Winners will be chosen by Random.org.

Today we're happy to be participating in Fido's Freebie Friday, graciously hosted by All Things Dog Blog and Doggies and Stuff. Head over and sniff it out!



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