You might have noticed in our recent posts that we've discussing more of the act of blogging and a little less of Arie's life; I'm promise we're getting back to the doggie goodness, but as bloggers, we're sure you understand the need to discuss the more logistical aspects as well. Just to give you your "awwwwww!!!" for the day, here's a photo of Arie sleeping on the couch next to me. Home girl flipped the pillow over on her own for a face-shelf.
We have two very simple questions: Have you subscribed to our blog yet, and is it working for you? Don't worry--This isn't a witch hunt for who hasn't subscribed, though we would definitely love to see all of you click that little subscription button. It is, however, my attempt to get to the bottom of a few FeedBurner issues. Here's what we've noticed:
We want to be sure that those who want to have Life with Arie posts delivered to their inbox or reader are able to do so easily and efficiently, so let us know if things are working for you, or if you're having technical difficulties so we can get things fixed!
When I started this in August (was it August?) it was to be my creative outlet away from work. I work in the Social Media industry, and literally spend eight hours each work day looking over blogs, editing and creating content, and helping clients to hone their presence on Facebook and Twitter.
When I went to college, I was an avid reader. When I got out of college, I realized I hadn't read a book for pleasure in four years, thanks to a heavy course load in the history department where each class averaged 3-12 books each semester. I started to see that the same thing was happening to me in my career--I wasn't writing much or spending time on social networks outside of work because I was on them all day already. I didn't want to give up my passion for writing or connecting to others, so Life with Arie was born. I honestly didn't know if I would be writing to just myself or the three to five readers I expected to get; I was pleasantly surprised to discover an amazing network of pet lovers writing regular, well-written, witty and inspiring content, and have loved every minute of getting to know you all. Some of our blogger friends have welcomed us to the fold with kind blogger awards that circulate the blogging community, and we're happy to share them now (sorry for the long delay, lovelies.)
The Kreativ Blogger award was given to us by the other members of what I call the "Life with..." club, Lauren, and, well, Lauren. Lauren from Life with Desmond gave the award to myself and to Lauren with Life with Claire, who then passed the award to me for a second time. The award comes with the following instructions: Share a few things your readers and friends probably don't know about you, and then pass it along to six other blogs! Here it goes:
Now, to pass on the award, I'm *trying* to give the Kreative Blogger award to blogs who may not have received it and to a few new friends I've enjoyed reading.
The other award we received was kindly passed on to us from "Luna, A Dog's Life," by Luna and her amazing two daddies. As instructed, I have copied and pasted the blog award itself and the information that goes with it:
Liebster means “dearest” in German, and the award is intended to help up-and-coming blogs get the attention they deserve. As with any award, there is a bit of ceremony involved. In order to accept the award, we must do the following:
1. Copy and paste the award on our blog.
2. Link back to the blogger who gave us the award.
3. Pick our five favorite blogs with less than 200 followers, and leave a comment on their blog to let them know they have received the award.
4. Hope that the five blogs we chose will keep spreading the love and pass it on to five more blogs.
While I'm not sure how many followers they have, we're passing the award on to a few of our "dearest" friends online, again trying to get the ones who haven't yet received the award. If we overlap, we're sorry!
Thanks everyone for the awards, and please check out these amazing bloggers! We love reading their posts, and we know you will too!
So... "Life with Arie" is looking a little barren. Why? We blame the internet.
Over the past two weeks something has gone terribly awry with our blog, thanks to various issues that decided to all go caput at once. Our host server did something wonky that caused us to be unable to log in to our dashboard. Once that was remedied, we realized that it had de-activated all of our lovely plugins. While reactivating the plugins, Thesis, our Wordpress theme, "took a sh*t and died" as the expression goes, and locked me out of my blog (again) and did a bunch of other things, like delete my header and stylings.
My lovely friend Heather (check out her great radio show, Rubyfruit Radio) is an amazingly tech saavy person, and has been through tears, tirades, and utter confusion with me... with all of those symptoms being my own. Her calm resolve and techie magic have re-enabled my log in and we're working on the cosmetic issues now. The blog still functions completely, so feel free to comment on any posts you wish to, or to connect with us through our social websites.
Please bear with us as the site goes through a case of the uglies! We hope to get our stylish features back soon!
***UPDATE: It lives! We're back to our old selves again, and boy does it feel great. Have you had similar blog issues? How did you handle them? Share your pet blogger (or any kind of blogger) techie woes in a comment!
We mentioned a few posts ago that Arie's birthday had come and gone. Our little lady just celebrated turning 2! To celebrate, I got her a few toys and threw them in a bag (because the Martha Stewart section of my soul thinks that everyone deserves a pretty gift). Here's our photo collection from the celebration!
Each of these presents has a special significance for Arie. The Nylabone bone is to replace a bone she recently destroyed but loved--We hope this option will be more durable. The Moose tug toy feels durable and sturdy, and Arie ready, but here's a fun fact: I love moose. Oh, it's true. If Arie had been male, her name would have been Moose. The dental chew bones hope to keep Arie's teeth clean when brushing her teeth is a true chore (our experiences are much like those of our friends, Lauren and Claire, when it comes to the toothbrush).
After photographing the bag and the toys within, it was time to give big girl her present. Arie is pretty good about knowing what's intended for her and what's not, so she went straight for the toys.
As the toys came out of the bag, one by one, Arie wanted to experience everything all at once. Here's the progression from one toy, to two toys, to two toys and a treat:
Please forgive me for taking more photos than an unemployed pageant mom; it's not often you get her to hold still long enough for a decent photo!
I've mentioned before that Arie isn't crazy about other dogs, especially on her leash. She gets very territorial, very nervous, and somewhat aggressive. It's something we're working on, but it takes time and help from friends, so it's a slow going process. In just this week alone, we had two very interesting encounters with dogs from our neighborhood, one good, and one bad.
Let's go in sequence, and start with the bad.
When outside, Arie is always on a leash. This is for her safety and for other animal's safety, as Arie does not do well with other animals without an introduction. Her first instinct is to fight, and her second one is to cuddle. We're working on making the latter her first, second, and third instinct, but like I said, it takes time. My friend was vacuuming out their car, and while bringing in the vacuum, forgot to put Arie in her crate. She darted out the door and straight at a neighbor while the man was walking his dog. Thank goodness the owner was prepared and we were already running after her. We got Arie back in the house with the man and his dog all without injury, just a little angry, and understandably so. Luckily, the man was a dog person and understood what we were going through, so he didn't freak out too badly. Arie did scrape up her paw on the pavement though, so we did end up with a battle scar. (It's not too graphic, I hope).
It's days like that one that leave me discouraged. Sometimes I feel like we're making progress with her, and other times I question my own ability to work with her. The incident shook me up a great deal, and I felt terrible every time I thought of what could have happened. We are now even more watchful of Arie and the door, just to be on the safer side.
Little did I know, however, that just a day or two after this negative event, we would have a very positive one.
While walking my friend's dog last night, I noticed a little bitty something working its way up the sidewalk towards us in the pouring rain. I couldn't tell at first if it were a cat or a dog, but as it got closer, I realized it was a little dachshund mix, running all alone. I called him over and checked him out. The dog was wearing a collar, but without ID tags. I immediately put my friend's dog and Arie in their crates and brought the little guy inside to towel him off and to check him out. He was obviously someone's pet with a full belly and freshly groomed coat (besides being soaked by the rain). I called our community and left a message that if anyone were looking for a dog to call my cell.
Now, I had to figure out what to do with the little guy. It was unfair for me to leave Arie in her crate all night,but I couldn't risk her having issues with the tiny dog. We worked out a solution. The little guy went into a smaller dog crate I had, and I started working with Arie. We let Arie sniff the room, a towel with the dog's scent on it, and us from where we had been holding the dog to get her used to his scent. We then, with her on a leash, let her approach the crate. From a distance she growled and barked, but eventually calmed down. Over time, we let her get closer and closer to the little guy, who was at peace for the most part through the entire greeting period. Within about 15 minutes, Arie could lounge next to the crate containing the little dog without so much as blinking an eye.
Today, while on the way to the vet to check the little dog for microchips, I found a phone number scribbled in permanent marker on the underside of the collar (shame on me for not taking it off to check before hand). We called and got in touch with the family, and the little dog is safe and sound, back with his rightful home.
With one good experience and one very bad one, I have hope for Arie's progress as we work on her issues with other dogs. With continued training, I know she'll be the sweet, sociable dog we know and love within our apartment, but everywhere.
Have you ever had a dog with aggression issues? What are your suggestions? Have you rescued a stray before? If so, share your story!
Saturday. It's like an oasis in the week, especially during this short month. February has been a very, very busy month for us. This is the first month I've spent writing for Examiner (loving it!). It's a leap year, so an odd month on it's own. It's the month for my birthday (I can't believe i'm almost 25; 24 definitely puts the pressure on to accomplish more goals in a year), Arie's birthday (Feb. 17! Baby girl is 2! Birthday post on it's way), as well as my niece and my father's birthdays. Needless to say, the Moore family is all about packing as many birthday celebrations into the shortest month of the year as possible.
I feel like I blinked and February 5 became February 18, but that's just the way it goes sometimes. It's been go-go-go for us lately. Arie has been meeting new people as new friends are stopping by now that we live closer, and she's learning to adjust to people and new animals better than in the past (training is working, yay!) I've been crazy with work, getting the apartment just-so now that everything is unpacked, and working on projects with my new sewing machine (but more on that later). This Saturday morning, we both got what we needed. A laid back Saturday.
After a morning walk, breakfast, and a little play time, Arie settled in for a nap while I finished up a few housekeeping details (until the vacuum came one, and I got this face. "Really mom, really?!") It's refreshing when she lounges, because she's usually hyped up with the typical energy level of a White German Shepherd. After that, we settled in for a movie and a half (Shrek and Harry Potter; gotta love those kid/adult movies). A lazy Saturday was just what we needed to recharge.
You may be wondering, "Why would I want to hear about you sitting on the couch with your dog? Snooze-fest!"
Have you ever had someone assume you were a stay at home mom or a housewife, or that you had no social life, just because you were a pet blogger? I think sometimes it's important to remind the world what kind of schedules we're working with--It makes the time we take to blog so much sweeter. I blog about my down time sometimes because it's something special to me--just like this blog. With a full time job, volunteer work, freelance work, sewing projects, and a social calendar, sometimes a movie on the couch is a blessed thing.
Now, it's time to get back to a few work blogs and to head over to a friends after, but I hope some of you had a nice lazy Saturday morning as well. What did you do today?
I've never really been what you would call a "breed enthusiast". I love dogs, all dogs, and pretty much all animals for that matter. Still, as I've mentioned in previous posts, German Shepherds, especially White German Shepherds, have stolen my heart completely.
This infatuation has led me to countless hours of research and plenty of "new car experiences". What is a new car experience? Think of it this way:
When you get a new car or think about buying a certain car, you'll start seeing that car EVERYWHERE. No joke. Next time you're shopping for a car, you'll realize your having the new car experience, as you will notice that car every time it passes it on the interstate, when you pass one in a parking lot, or when one is parked on your street. It's like having a stalker, but with a purchase you're about to make.
I have "new car experiences" with German Shepherds. I've started seeing them everywhere (which makes sense since they're one of the most popular breeds in the country); I've even seen White Shepherds everywhere, and often chase down their owners to chat them up about their dog. Creepy? Maybe a little. I should mention though that it's in acceptable situations...like when they're passing me on the sidewalk with the pup or at the dog park. (I hope that makes it a little more acceptable). Friends are starting to see them everywhere too, apparently. Lauren from Life with Claire even routinely texts me pictures of White German Shepherds she sees around town. Here is one she sent me recently of an adorable puppy:
After my research, numerous new car experiences, and having my heart stolen by these energetic love bugs, I have finally put my obsession with German Shepherds to good use--I'm the Atlanta German Shepherd Examiner!
I was inspired to take on this writing initiative after speaking with our friend Lauren from Life with Desmond, who is the Long Island Dogs Examiner. Check out her stories--they're definitely worth a read.
I'm starting on my content calendar for the Examiner position, and I'd love to hear from you what you think I should talk about. Be sure to leave a few ideas in the comments section here! In addition to your ideas, have you noticed "new car experience" in your own life, or with your pet's breeds/general looks?
PS: If you're thinking about becoming an Examiner, email me or leave a comment for me to get in touch with you. I'd love to talk to you about the experience!
Let’s get something clear: I usually hate retractable leashes. Usually.
Many people who use them do not teach their dogs proper walking habits. If they get away from you, they go bouncing after your pet, popping up to hit them along the way. They give tons of space between the pet parent and the pet, and with an untrained dog, this can end up in a tangled situation with others, or even a dangerous one with dogs at odds twisted together.
At Bark World (you can read about that here, here, and here), however, I was introduced to the LeashLocket, a new kind of retractable leash. Here are a few of the things that first attracted me to this leash:
I was generously given one of these products to try and to write about, so here is my review after using the LeashLocket:
First impression? I was right about the small casing being easy to carry. I have hands like a pygmy…no joke, and I can hold this comfortably and easily.
In use? This leash doesn’t come out the usual 16-20 feet—That’s a good thing. It’s actually, a great thing. The leash only lets out about 6-7 feet, keeping your dog in the socially acceptable social bubble, so that they’re close enough to you in case something happens, but with enough leeway that they can still run about and have a good time.
The LeashLocket available for trial was under Arie’s weight class (she’s just big boned, I swear!) so I tried it with Shady. He didn't seem to notice or care that the leash could attach to his collar, and seemed comfortable and at ease.
After my review, I can say that if you enjoy using a retractable leash, the LeashLocket is the perfect leash for you. For the family on the go, this makes a good option as well, as it can stay on your pet’s collar in the car, making the leash convenient to grab when it’s time to get out. The casing is small and easy to carry for smaller hands and children’s hands, making it easier to use than your standard retractable leash. If you’re looking for a little more ease to your routine, give it a try.
White German Shepherds are great for active, playful people. They love a great game of fetch, to run, and to play games.
They are also very expensive playmates. Why? Their teeth and chew power. German Shepherds have some powerful jaws. In a study conducted by National Geographic's Dr. Brady Barr, the bite force of a German Shepherd, a Rottweiler, and a Pit Bull were all put to the test. For the Pit Lovers out there (including myself) you can tell people who constantly say that pits are dangerous because of their bite to shame--They didn't have the strongest bite force! The three dogs averaged at a bite force of 320 lbs, and the German Shepherd and Rotty passed up the Pit in the power department.
These bite facts aren't to scare you, or to reinforce the stereotype that these sweet babies are aggressive. It's to let you know how much we have to spend on chew toys.
Arie can chew through toys in a heartbeat--So called "durable" chews have been destroyed in a matter of minutes. Over time, we've found a few tried and true toys to stand up to her play time, and have established the 3 day test: If a toy can make it through 3 days, it's a fairly stable toy. If it makes it through longer, It's a winner and a staple in our home.
So far, the stuffing-less animal toys, the traditional Kong, and the Holey Roller have made it into our hearts. Now, we're adding the Kong Tug Dog Toy.
We discovered this lovely treasure in an order from PetFlow, a great online website that allows you to get your pets toys, food, and treats delivered right to your door. (Shameless and honest plug: If you start using PetFlow, use this link to sign up! I can earn perks if you do!)
Arie immediately fell in love with the Kong Tug Dog Toy. She carried it around with her everywhere, and if you sat down, it was immediately in your lap for a game of tug o' war. I wasn't able to get a picture, but she even cuddled with it to take naps the first few days we had it.
As you can see, this toy is both mom and Arie approved for fun and durability. What are your dogs favorite toys? Any suggestions for powerful chewers?
**WOW! Arie's love for durable toys caught the eye of Kong on Pinterest! Check out their recent repin of Arie going to town on her toy, and follow our dog-centric pin boards for the latest images of doggy goodness.
Today marks the Chinese New Year as we welcome in the year of the dragon. It's been a while since I made Arie some treats, so I decided to put a fun twist on it: Let's make fortune cookie treats for the new year! Fortunately, someone had already had that creative genius . The Doggy Dessert Chef had a recipe and a game plan ready for use! I put to to the test tonight in the kitchen.
You're going to need whole wheat flower, two eggs, chicken broth, butter, and baking powder.
Get your ingredients ready to mix. You'll need a cup of butter, 3 and 1/2 cups flower, 1/2 cup chicken broth, and 1/2 tsp. baking powder.
You're ready to make the cookies!
I love my rolling pin. It's so much better than the empty wine bottle I used to use (no joke).
Okay okay, so the inspiration cookie isn't an actual step. Still, I did find that having this cookie (preserved from the Chinese we ordered a few nights ago) was helpful, even though the Doggy Dessert Chef's directions were simple and easy to follow. Also, who doesn't love fortune cookies? This little baby was set to be my reward while the pet-friendly ones were in the oven.
While the cookies baked, I wondered if Arie would enjoy them as much as she was thinking she would. My inspiration cookie had the answer.
The cookies cooled after coming out of the oven. While not as pretty as the Doggy Dessert Chef's, I still think they were a valiant effort.
Answer to my question and the smart ass fortune? Arie loves the treats. This is a recipe I have to use every Chinese New Year, otherwise there might be a strike on White German Shepherd cuteness in my apartment. Happy New Year everyone!
***Even though we wrote this on Monday for the holiday, our friend Kol suggested we include it in the Tasty Tuesday blog hop! Be sure to check out the other tasty recipes!