Saturday, January 28, 2012

Mr. Chewy Review & Donation Opportunity

(image provided by
although i have seen the reviews floating around in the doggie blogosphere, i couldn't resist the opportunity to review the site myself. $50 worth of products for an honest review? and the ability to offer my readers 10% off their first order & a $10 donation to Bideawee (more on that later)? yes, please!

we decided to take this chance to grab some food and treats we hadn't tried yet (this is not a review of the edibles, but i can tell you that desmond is very happy we brought sweet potato chews into his home).

Mr. Chewy, for those of you who don't know, is an online store where you can buy cat and dog food & treats, plus flea & tick products, litter, and wee-wee pads. they claim their prices are lower than what you'll find in stores, and i have to say i agree in regards to the dog food and the treats. another benefit you'll find here is a subscription-delivery service and free shipping on any order over $49 (and if you're buying a 30-pound bag of dog food, you're pretty much all set there). 

(image courtesy of

the service certainly did live up to the expectations i had from reading other reviews (and the Mr. Chewy website) in regards to speed of delivery. i ordered on 1/19 and got the bag of food on the 20th, followed by the treats on the 21st. that is exactly the 1-2 day delivery they promised. 

(super cute image courtesy of

here's a look at the packaging and my thoughts on that:

this is the food box. i took two photos in hopes you'd get a good idea of its size...

because although the bag of food obviously fit inside of it and the box was large and heavy, i'm not sure if it was big enough. (confession: yes, those are still christmas cards hanging up. we forgot all about them and have since been prioritizing other tasks. my goal is to get them down before super bowl.)

please don't call me a tree killer or anything. i really don't hate the earth, and i'm all about decreasing useless packaging in all industries, but the box did get a little beat up in transit and all that was inside it to protect the food's bag was this bit of brown paper. i know has no control over what happens to the package after it leaves the warehouse, which is why i think they could benefit from a slightly larger box with more packing material to protect the bag of food, just in case. it would suck to get this and find a hole in the food bag or something.

that being said, our food bag was unharmed and desmond was pretty pumped to see the big box was for him.

this is perhaps a bad choice of food for us, seeing as how our vet once suggested--after a discussion about his energy levels and rambunctiousness--we might be feeding desmond too much protein. we shall see if this sends him into full-on zoomies all day and another month or so when it's time to switch him off his current food.

here is the package the treats came in. i was thrilled to find that it came in a plastic bag, as this arrived on the one and only day we had snow here in LI. i'm not sure who is to thank for that plastic bag, Mr. Chewy or the delivery company, but i appreciated it greatly.

sniff sniff sniff... "for moi??"

desmond wouldn't let me have a moment alone with the sweet potato treats, but as you can see, the packaging was the same as it was with the bag of food, only on a smaller scale. no complaints here...

from anyone. but seriously, i felt that this small bag of treats was just a bit better protected in the box than the food was, due to the size left around the treats and the packing material used.
now then, if you would like to give Mr. Chewy a try, feel free to use our promotional code: DESM8618

when you use this code, you'll receive 10% off (your first order) and $10 will make its way over to Bideawee. this donation will be made for each person who uses the promo code found here. pretty cool, right?

one final thought (feeling a bit like jerry springer now): i know there are a variety of online stores that sell dog food, have a subscription plan, and will give you free shipping once you get to around $50 of merchandise, but i think what sets Mr. Chewy apart is the fast shipping. hear me out...

joey and i can be a little scatterbrained when we get busy and overwhelmed, and one of the things we find ourselves doing is realizing we need food for desmond, like, now--and then we have to figure out how we're going to find the time to go to the store ASAP to buy it when we're already in the middle of a million other things, which is why we forgot to buy his food in the first place. stressful cycle. ordering online is far less time consuming than going to the store, but the shipping times i've experienced with the pet store is not super fast. i wouldn't be able to order and move on with my life. now that i know Mr. Chewy can get the food to my house within 48 hours (and i saw that they stock a bunch of the foods we've tried and liked), i feel like i have a plan to fall back on should this happen when this happens again, as long as i buy the same food desmond's eating at the time (since i surely wouldn't have enough left to do the switch).

if you'd like to connect with Mr. Chewy online, you can find them on Facebook and Twitter.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Pet Obesity: An Piece

here's my latest article/column for it is more LI-centric, but there's still some tidbits and links i think you'll find interesting.

in another few days, i'll have my Mr. Chewy review up, and over the weekend i hope to work on a bunch of other things (like those videos i swore i'd get around to, catching up in blog land, details about our dog-friendly trip to Atlantic City, and a chance to get a custom pet portrait/illustration).

desmond says hi, by the way.

yup, that was one of his christmas presents

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Kreativ Blogger Award

well, you guys, i've done it again. i've waited way too long to respond to receiving the Kreativ Blogger Award. in truth, i've been generally way behind since christmas. i don't know what happened, but here i am, still reading other people's blog posts from december and staring at my crappy version of an editorial calendar (just a bunch of draft posts consisting mostly of titles) and wondering where i'm going wrong. sometimes, i suck at life. oh well. i'll try harder from now on, i promise. 

in any case, the Kreativ Blogger Award was given to me by Pauley James, Leslie & Bella, and Sage.

i really hope these fine folks do not think the award goes unappreciated. my apologies for being ├╝ber slow, as per usual.

this reward requires that i share some things about myself and/or my dog and then pass it along to 6 blogs. i've seen different rules regarding the number of fun facts to share, so i'll go with the same number as the blogs: 6. chances are, because i have taken oh-so-very-long with this, the blogs i choose will have gotten one already, but who doesn't love getting some love?

  1. snow! we finally had some snow. only a couple inches, but it was the first time anything has been on the ground since we've had desmond. it is not, of course, the first time he's seen snow, but he sure acted like it was. he was not feeling it at first, but eventually decided that doing zoomies in the snow is super awesome. :-)
  2. snow! ugh. we finally got snow. not a lot, but enough that shoveling was required. ugh times 12. lucky for me, my husband is an amazing man. he went out and did all the work while i was inside studying for my Stage 6 ABC test. 
  3. the Stage 6 ABC test was hard. very very hard. the hardest one yet. 20 essay questions! and that was after the 50+ multiple choice questions. and it was all on problem-solving training treatment plans (as in not obedience lessons but stopping things like digging, jumping, nipping, excessive barking, etc.). i have literally no clue how i'm going to remember all this stuff when i start my apprenticeship. they're going to laugh me out of the joint. 
  4. desmond's been obsessively sniffing the ground and trees and poles, etc., ever since the weather got cold enough for frost to be on the ground. before that, he was only mildly interested in sniffing things. he's also increased his marking behavior outside. cold things must be more potent. does your dog do this, too?
  5. the one thing we can count on desmond to do all the time, at the same time (besides whine) is want to go to bed. he seriously has a bedtime, and he seriously gets cranky before it, just like a little kid. i do not think this is normal. is this normal? and it's not even just that he's ready for bed by 8:45 every night, but he refuses to go to bed on his own. he will just act like a little brat until one of us takes him into the bedroom, even though he has free reign and can go in the bedroom whenever he damn well pleases when we're at home. why? why why why?
  6. in case you missed it, check out our Long Island Dogs Examiner page! (shameless, shameless. i know. but i warned you.)
okie dokie. let's pass the award along now, yes?

  1. Life with Arie. Arie's a white German shepherd, and she's one of the cutest damn things i've ever seen. i like the style of this blog very much, and i think you will, too.
  2. Life With Claire. Claire reminds me a lot of Desmond, physically. also the pictures Lauren (yup, another Lauren) posts on her blog are stunning. go look at them!
  3. The Daily Dog Blog. three resident kitties, one resident dog, plus one long-term visiting dog. lots to see here! also a nice blog to look at. very clean. very calm. still lots of pretty pictures, though.
  4. Two Grad Students and a Pittie. exactly what it sounds like, but their unique take on blogging is why i chose this blog. the letters from a dog walker feature is my favorite.
  5. Pet Blogs United. there's so much going on at this blog, and it's not just about dogs. this is a great place for new bloggers to connect with the community. and the site is very stylish. and speaking of stylish...
  6. Doggie Stylish. this is more than a blog; it's also a store where you can buy some snazzy collars. (they really are snazzy. i now have some. and i will post pix of that soon. or, rather, one day. :-/ ) the DIY posts on this blog make me laugh, because i am the opposite of crafty, but they're all really cute.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

New Doggie-writing Venture

i have a fairly exciting (for me) announcement to make: i am the new Long Island Dogs Examiner!

(image approved for use by Examiners)

yup. someone has given me an "official" platform to write about dogs on, and they are going to pay me! well, they're only going to pay me if my posts do well bringing in traffic, but i'll still take it as a compliment. 

a fun and scary fact? they made me submit a headshot. it's my first one ever, and i nearly died of embarrassment ten times while my lovely husband did a photo shoot for me.

my posts there will be, in general, more serious, but they won't be all work and no play--i hope they'll be entertaining and enlightening. i just mean no one who's going to wants to see a bunch of pictures of desmond. (if they change their minds, they can always come here.) the posts will also be shorter (i bet that's a relief for some all of you), but with any luck my passion will still come through. oftentimes, the articles will be focused on Long Island (though i hope to be able to include some less-localized information in every post).

the first article is up here. i would love for you to go check it out and let me know what you think. i'll probably continue to post links to my Examiner articles on Life With Desmond as they go up, in a blatant act of self-promotion. please don't stone me. :-)

because is all about localized content, they're always looking for new writers. if any of you would be interested in becoming an Examiner, please do let me know. i can help!

Thursday, January 19, 2012

My Neighbors Don't Think Christmas is Over

so why should i? now seems like a great time to finally share some of the photos we took during the holidays.

christmas eve:

ever since we let desmond sleep in bed with us, he insists he's human--and lounges around after we've gotten up. what a lazy bum.

sporting his christmas bandana from the groomer

oh yes that's right--i won the elf costume battle. sort of. it's not a full-on costume, but at least i got the ears. 

it's really unfortunate, too, because i swore i'd only do this stuff to desmond for our first year together...

 i simply had to get it out of my system. from the look on desmond's face, i'm sure he's really looking forward to Gotcha Day.

"y'all, this is so embarrassing." 

"oh my god, is that a cookie?!" (don't mess with us, desmond. we know what makes you tick.)

and here's a very festive picture of the fireplace over the fireplace. gotta love the yule log.

christmas day morning was interesting. husband and i more or less skipped the whole hullabaloo by deciding to update/upgrade our living room (we're finally getting around to that this weekend), so all we really had going on that morning was desmond's gifts. 

i don't know why i was expecting more from desmond, other than the fact that seemingly every other dog i know in real life or via the magic of the internets goes nuts over their gifts and tears them open just like a little kid. but let's remember who we're dealing with here...

"so...there's an open box of treats here--i know because my mouth is watering--and you want me to do what with it?"

yeah, desmond had no clue and just kept sniffing them, so we tossed him a new ball/tear-up toy. he sniffed that, too.

eventually, at least he sniffed the treats so hard they fell over--not that this helped him figure out he could just take them.

nor could he figure out how to get anything from his stocking. oy vey. we had to empty it out for him.

and then he just sniffed everything some more, making no effort to actually do something with anything.

sniff sniff

sniff sniff

stretching break

sniff sniff

"what are you looking at, dog?"

after we took the bully stick out of the plastic bag, he was like OH! I CAN EAT THIS!

in his weird way, of course

until he got tired of standing
here's a better look at some of the treats we got him:

i was looking to add some variety to his milk bone biscuits

these are even smaller biscuits that come with a cut mark down the middle so they can be snapped in half to a little bigger than pea size--love that

this was desmond getting all up in my photo-taking business

and these are his moist multi-flavor treats. i believe it's chicken, beef, mint, and vanilla cookie. also tiny and also breakable with a cut line.

more mints (you can never be too hygienic), although he doesn't seem too keen on these.

these treats are great, and desmond loves them. this is our third bag. the one problem with them is that the treats are kind of soft and crumbly, so you can't really carry them around in a treat pouch or pocket for very long before they'll turn to dust. however, if you put them in with mixed treats, at least all those will then have a fine cheese powder covering. :-)

even though it didn't look that way, all the christmas excitement tired desmond out. he needed to get some beauty rest before heading over to grandma & grandpa's for dinner. of course, i wouldn't let him.

"ugh, here we go again."

"dad? seriously??"

"i give up."

and this is desmond's hipster portrait, in case you couldn't tell. 

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Blog the Change for Animals: Seriously, Dog Science Matters

Blog the Change

earlier today, i posted on facebook that i would not be able to take part of today's BTC4A. then i came across this article in the newspaper:

there's no way i could go about my day without sharing this one. it's a short article with some cool information, and it backs up the whole point i'm always trying to make, which is: You want to help dogs? Go learn about dogs!

the more we know about our stinky, furry friends, the better off we'll all be. so many things are known today that weren't 10 or 20 years ago. or even five years ago. dog science is discovering things that will allow us to build kinder and better bonds with our pets and understand what they are really thinking, feeling, seeing, hearing--and needing. 

i've talked about the books Dog Sense: How the New Science of Dog Behavior Can Make You A Better Friend to Your Pet and Inside of a Dog: What Dogs See, Smell, and Know before, however briefly. go get these books and read them once or twice. use a highlighter. fold down pages. feel differently about the dog sitting near you while you're reading. and then hope that more books like this come out very soon.

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