May has been flying by, and with the fast passing of time, I've got a few post in the works that are a little over due, including a Mr. Chewy's review coming up this week, A thank you-shout out-review of Nyima Bakery's delicious (or so Arie tells me) dog treats, and the post right here: A thank you Lady Bren of "The World According to Lady Bren" . This amazing lady was kind enough to pass along the Sunshine Blog Award, a new one for me:
The rules of the Sunshine Blog Award include answering a few questionaire style inquiries and passing it along to highly manageable 5 people.
Now--this award is supposed to go to 5 people. I am not a selfish person, and I love giving blog awards. That being said, I feel like sometimes I get in the habit of giving the same people certain awards. I've met a lot of new faces on the blogosphere, but there are three very specific blogs that I've found recently that fit this award. As this is the Sunshine award, I'm giving it to bloggers that have literally made me laugh out loud, or who always bring a positive light to the web.
Don't miss out on these blogs as they pass along the award and enjoy it. Visit them and be sure to leave a comment to let them know you stopped by, and let them know who sent you!
Some of you who know me well know about my apartment woes in Atlanta. I love Atlanta. I do. It's just insanely expensive to live there sometimes on a normal post graduation salary, and most apartments that are affordable on rent have a max of two pets per space and don't allow German Shepherd Dogs--It took me a very long time to find a place to live.
Truth: In all of the apartments communities I've lived in since moving to Georgia, I've had three pets. This is of course, one over the max of the normal two. It's never mattered before. Neighbors usually let well enough alone, and I vacuum like a madwoman to deal with pet hair and more. In the community where I live now, however, I have some...um...well let's just be blunt: Heinous, nosey neighbors that I utterly detest. These neighbors are so nosey, in fact, that they called to complain that I had three animals in my apartment.
Thanks to these vile beings, my kit-cats (read: cats) had to go live at grandma's house until I could buy a home. This absence is one of the reasons that you don't hear about the lovely Briseis and Jasper very often, and why my life is devoid of cat behavior...which I miss. There's something about an animal that a) does not love you unconditionally and b) is sarcastic just in their existence. I've missed the cats, their snark, and their hilarious behavior. Today I got to see them both lounging in the sun at grandma's house. Here are a few farm shots so that you can see the kittehs and a bit of where I grew up.
And now, for the scenery:
"Let the wild rumpus begin!" said Max.
The line from Where the Wild Things Are, the beloved children's book, is probably one of the book's best known phrases and lives on in other works, including the movie by the same title made in recent years, and even referenced in pop culture series, like Buffy the Vampire Slayer (Spike says it in one episode). The book was a beloved item from my childhood, and probably the best known work of Maurice Sendak, the well-known and cherished children's book writer and illustrator.
Maurice Sendak passed away this week, leaving a legacy of artistic creations for kids, and a lesser known love for German Shepherds. Sendak, 83, lived in Connecticut with his German Shepherd, Herman, as pictured by the New York Times.
“I hate people,” he said at one point, extolling the superior company of dogs, like his sweet-tempered German shepherd, Herman (after Melville)." - "Concerns Beyond Where the Wild Things Are," NYT.
Sendak's life, as you can read about in the linked Time's articles, was plagued with illness, controversy, and a certain darkness, but maintained a balance with rather gregarious moments for Sendak and happier times. Sendak changed the happy and shiny persona of children's books' illustrations and instead gave children something deeper to see--the wild and unruly side of life, sans princesses and princes with endings tied in a bow.
Before today, I didn't realize that Sendak lived with a German Shepherd. I already loved most of his work, but now I think his memory is a little sweeter in my mind because of his excellent taste in dogs. Say goodbye to Mr. Sendak by picking up a copy of one of his books, or just by reading one with your kids today (if you have them. If not, indulge in one yourself).
We've been telling you about our giveaway throughout the A to Z Challenge and Ultimate Blog Challenge. Since you stuck with us throughout the madness, we're giving you some swag. I'm ready to announce the complete giveaway basket, and ready for you to win!
The basket is a treasure trove of goodies for health-conscious pet parents and their beloved pups. We have $80 worth of items, including:
While we do love all of our international blog friends, we do have to keep the giveaway stateside--Only continental US entries will be included. The giveaway is open for two weeks. After that, we'll notify the winners. A blog comment is mandatory so that we can email the winners at the address they provide. A valid email is required--don't worry though, you're email isn't publicized. Winners who do not respond within 48 hours will be replaced with another winner. After winners have been confirmed, I'll email the winners to get their address so that the prize can be mailed. **If you have any problems with the giveaway, email me at canismajortreats (at) gmail (dot) com. Thank you!
Whew. 26 letters later, and we're exhausted, but so happy to be here. We met so many amazing bloggers throughout the A to Z Challenge, and I really loved having that daily commitment to get my blog on. To give you (and myself, no lies) a nice little recap of the challenge I'm including links to all 26 posts.
Share them. Comment on them. Laugh at my insanity of posting so often. Bask in the glory of my sleep deprived writing. Do with them what you will (especially if that includes pointing out typos so that they may be fixed). Thanks to all of you for all of the amazing support and understanding!
For those of you who missed the challenge, or for those who can't wait to relive it, you can find all of my posts here:
Which post was your favorite? Did you participate in the challenge? What did you think of it?
PS. This is my 30th post for the month of April...meaning that I completed both challenges! I get to sleep again. WOOHOO!
Today is the last day of the A to Z Challenge! I'm cutting it very close. I need to publish this post, and one more to achieve the Ultimate Blog Challenge as well, with 30 posts for the month of April. I think I can!
Like the Aquarium, I love to visit the zoo in Atlanta. It may not be the largest zoo in the country, but it is still a nice zoo, and I enjoy my time there. Here are just a few of the photos I've snapped while visiting. For more details on the photos, or to see more, check them out in my Flickr gallery. Click each photo to see a larger version.
So I have to cop-out a little on the letter y, and I'm going with yesterday. No judgement!
My family has a green thumb...sort of. My grandparents on my mother's side have an AMAZING backyard. There are various nooks of blooms and greenery, two bonds (dug and devised by my Grandfather himself), several seating areas, and more. A little girl scout said it well when stopping by the house to sell cookies, in a hushed voice: "ooooohhhhh....is that a fairy garden?"
My mother tried with indoor plants for years, and would get angry when I forgot to water my African Violet for a week and it bloomed amazingly, but the one she had taken such care over wouldn't produce a single flower. My mom definitely has her strengths though--I've never seen anyone grow a fern quite as well my mom; she's also amazing with coleus, roses, and elephant ears.
My dad's parents were dairy farmers, but they boasted a nice veggie and fruit garden every year. I remember the cantaloupe from their garden always being amazing, along with hoards of tomatoes every year, accompanied by peppers, squash, eggplants, and beyond. Shelling beans and preparing green beans was an afternoon affair out on the porch, on a lazy Sunday afternoon. Everyone would pile onto the swing, a chair, or the steps and get to work, mulling over conversation and the weather.
Apartment life has siphoned my green thumb from me, but with the amazingly helpful patio garden articles from Apartment Therapy, I'm ready to take it back. Yesterday I decided I would plant a patio garden again. Last years died when we went on vacation, but with no extended absences planned, this years should thrive just fine. Today, we went and got the plants, and I got to work. Here's what we ended up with:
So gardens are great and all, but what in heck do they have to do with pets? Well, we discuss plants are pet safe in our 50 items that are dangerous for your pets post, but I have another fun twist. From growing up in the country, I saw tons of various "critters" around the garden and our yard. As part of our super-amazingly-awesome gift basket, I'm giving you two little garden critters of your own!
Joining our gift basket are a stuffing-less raccoon, a favorite of Arie and our puppy roommate's, as well as frog (saw those all the time in the garden!) Kong Knot, just like Arie's beloved moose. The best part about these toys is that they're okay for little guys or monster dogs like Arie, so that whomever wins can truly make the most of them. Stay tuned to our blog in the wait for May when we will showcase the full giveaway basket and give you and friends a chance to win it. Go ahead and start spreading the word by sharing this post or others mentioning the giveaway on Facebook, Twitter, or your own blog. We'd appreciate it. ;-)
After planting all of my beloved veggies, I'm settling down with a cider to continue to browse for houses. I can't wait until I have a backyard for a real garden.
Xylophone. Xerox. These are the popular words of today (well, yesterday as I'm a day behind) in the A to Z Challenge. I laugh in the face of your common words, and instead raise you Xoloitzcuintli.
I confess: I am have not been a fan of hairless dogs; this could be due to the fact that they require sunscreen and are high maintenance to a certain extent, or to the fact that I'm so used to having my apartment completely infused with dog hair because Arie sheds so much that it just wouldn't be normal without it. Still, this breed is a little larger than the tiny toy options you usually in hairless dogs, so I have to give them some credit. They would also be great for allergy sufferers, or for someone who isn't committed to a love affair with their vacuum, as I have to be to deal with the shed-inator. They also got their first debut at Westminster this year, and since I mentioned the Kennel Club in my W post, I thought it might be nice to name drop it here as well. At the time of the show, I wrote an article about the new breeds in the herding group on my Examiner page, so I couldn't give true face time to the Xoloitzcuintli until now.
Have you seen a hairless dog in person? I haven't, and I'm very curious about them--Are they as odd in person as they are on the screen? Do you have one? If so, what drew you to the hairless breed?
W is for working dogs that wow. It was originally going to be a post about walking your dog, but as you know, I'm a day behind in the A to Z Challenge, so I'm catching up by shorting my posts today and tomorrow. Instead of talking about walking Arie, I thought this might be the perfect time to showcase some amazing dogs I saw at the Atlanta Dogwood Festival, one of the best annual festivals in the area. The festival features a great deal of art, and goes more into fine art than into craftsy stuff. I purchased my first true artist painting that wasn't from a store like Target or World Market and that wasn't painted by a friend (though they are some amazing artists).
After checking out the art and stopping for a bite to eat, I stopped by to see Disc Dog Exhibition. The show features talented pets and their trainers fetching disks in style. My phone doesn't zoom in all that great, but you can still see two amazing catches in these quick snippet videos I was able to take:
Though these dogs, mostly Australian Shepherds and Border Collies, are technically in the "herding group" at Westminster (there, another W word as a trade off) I consider them to be extremely hard working dogs, hence the title.
The weather was great, I came home with a beautiful art piece, and I got to see some dogs strut their stuff with athletic poise. What was the last great dog event you went to?
At the beginning of the month, I raved about our love of Nutro Natural Choice's Grain Free dog food, and told you about how wonderful their lamb and venison formulas have been for Arie's allergies, and for my roommate's dog's allergies. In the post I gave a disclaimer:
"Just as a FYI for this post, Nutro does not pay me in free product or monetarily to tell you how awesome their food has been. I do that all on my own."
I stick to my guns when it comes to disclaimers, so I would now like to offer a new one. Since writing that post, I won a contest with Nutro and WebVet, and did receive some swag. The blog post was written before the contest was decided and scheduled to post; reps of Nutro did not know that I planned to write the post about their product, and so could not have used that to sway their decision. The blog post was actually posted after the contest's final entries could be entered to also keep things on the up and up.
Whew. Now that we've gotten past all of the disclaimers, I can tell you about the contest. Nutro and WebVet got together to let pet parents celebrate their babies with the following comment assignment:
***Tell us one thing you love about your dog in the comment section below and you will be automatically entered to win a Nutro gift basket!***
The entries are very sweet, so be sure to read them! I really enjoyed them while the contest was underway. My entry read as follows:
"A companion during a big life step: I adopted Arie shortly after moving to a new state and away from my family; most of them love our hometown, so I'm only the second person in my family to move away! Arie, my White German Shepherd, was the perfect companion for me as I had to get to know new people without my usual friends and connections there. She's my best friend and an amazing pet--She's a true blessing in my life."
The winners, I believe there were five, were to receive gift baskets containing "the variety of NATURAL CHOICE Grain Free dog food of the winner's choice, as well as bags of NUTRO Crunchy Treats." This being stated, I expected to receive a smaller bag of food, maybe even a sample size, and a small bag or two of treats. Boy, was I surprised. Several weeks later, we got this in the mail:
That is an Arie sized bag of food, the giant one that we buy every two weeks for the two dogs. We were happily surprised! That, in addition to treats we'd been thinking about trying anyways, and a rope toy was a wonderful gift to have received. Along with it was a hand written note from a Nutro rep.
Since we're happy to have a bit of swag in the house, I can officially announce the next couple of items in the giveaway basket we'll be doing in May, after the A-to-Z Challenge is over. Arie and her doggie roomy have LOVED the apple treats from the prize pack, as well as their tried and true Zuke's mini naturals in salmon:
So we're giving away a bag of each! These, plus the pet baggies and carrier from last time are just a small portion of our giveaway, so stay tuned to the last few letters of the alphabet to learn more about the giveaway before all items are revealed.
While this isn't tied to my giveaway, and the Nutro/WebVet giveaway has passed, what's one thing you love about your pet? Post a comment or, if you'd like, tell me about on Facebook!