The Crazy Suburban Mom: 2012-11-18

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Ventura reviews

After a hard start in life, things are looking much better for Ventura.     He's got a home, people who love him and...


...A best friend.


His life is pretty mellow these days....

If you've watched my videos you might think he never gets up, but he does.  I promise.  He's actually pretty active (for a greyhound).  A lot of people tell me their greys lay on a couch 22 hours a day but Ventura  likes to be engaged, do things.  And he's very good at obedience training.  It's a learning experience for him and gives him a purpose, a job.  

I think dogs respond well to jobs, it keeps them busy and sets up boundaries.  Dogs are VERY smart and when bored they find things to do on their own... I've lost whole sofas that way with dogs smaller then Ventura so I like to give him things to do.  Training is one part but the other part is puzzles.  He just loves puzzles made for dogs.   

Ventura loves the new puzzles I got him from  (and the treats!)

Puzzles are hard to find locally ( if I can find them at all) and Chewy is a great source! 

There's a wide selection of things for cats and dogs, it's easy to navigate, shipping was super fast and you can find the country of origin for the items; something very important to me. I've been burned by too many recalls so I stick to mainly things from the USA.

 But  Chewy is great for another reason - Their  goal is to create the largest shelter and rescue network designed to support non-profit organizations that help animals in need (and you gotta love that!) The network is open to all registered non-profit organizations that specialize in assisting pets in need. 

 Joining the  Rescue Network is free and non-profit organizations will have access to programs built to promote, support and help animals in need through donations, fund raising and visibility opportunities. Chewy is fully dedicated to helping these organizations gain recognition and fundraising. "Together, we believe that we can truly make a difference!"

Having always had rescue dogs, it makes me feel good to know I'm supporting a company that supports dog rescue.    Thanks, Chewy!

And now for  a few of Ventura's favorites!

  Ventura has a strong preference for braided rawhide  chews.  I can't imagine what the difference is but  when I get him other shapes he licks the stuff off and he's done.  

The braids keep him busy for hours...   Occasionally  I can find these locally (at a higher price)  but not often so I was very excited to see Castor & Pollux Good Buddy USA Rawhide Braids Treat, 2 x 4" Braid Treats ($4.99) at Chewy.     I will be getting these again  very soon!  I got them six of these chews and I think there's one left...

The PureBites Freeze Dried Cheddar Cheese Dog Treats, 2.5-oz bag - $4.99 were a HUGE hit with both Ginger and Ventura.  The great thing about these for Ginger is they have a crunchy texture but she can still bite through them.    That doesn't happen often, usually crunchy means too hard for her few teeth.  

And Ventura LOVES anything cheese.  He runs to the kitchen when he hears someone open the fridge deli drawer because that's where we keep the cheese...  So he found these totally Nom!

The Science Diet Ideal Balance? Soft & Chewy Training Treats with Real Beef, 3-oz bag  ($3.99) were loved by both of the too.  These are the size of treats I always give Ventura.  Even though he's a big dog I give him tiny treats because that way I can give him a lot instead of just one.

And I got Ventura three puzzle toys because he  LOVES them.  These kinds of toys are  limited locally and the few I find are MUCH more expensive then these.  If you've never given your dogs puzzle toys, try it.  I think dogs need something to do, work on, figure out.   Dogs are very good at puzzles and problem solving if given the chance!

The first one is the  Kyjen Star Spinner Puzzle Dog Toy, Star Spinner Puzzle  ( $14.92).  He's never had a puzzle like this before but the concept is similar to something he had so he got this one right away.  You put the treats in the compartments and line up the star, hiding the treats.   Ventura has to spin the star to get at the treats.  

The next one is the Kyjen Kibble Drop Puzzle Dog Toy, Kibble Drop Puzzle  ($9.98).  You drop a treat in the top and it falls into one of the four 'arms'.   He uses his nose to smell where it is and flips up the blue end lid to get it.  This is very similar to another toy he has and he loves this kind of game.  It cracks me up when he flip the lids back down with his nose.

The  Planet Dog Orbee-Tuff Mazee Interactive Dog Toy, Green, 1 pack  ($16.95)    is unlike any puzzle he's done before.   It's more challenging for him.  You put the treats in the hole and they get caught in/behind  baffles.  He can smell them but can't reach inside to get them.  It takes rolling the ball around.  This video is a little long and you don't need to watch the whole thing to get the idea behind this toy.  

But it's kind of  interesting seeing how he figures things out, both  actively and passively.   He spends considerable time just  staring at it, focusing...  Figuring out what to do...   The Planet Dog Orbee was the most challenging of the puzzles for him and a great work out, brain wise. 

Hope you enjoyed seeing Ventura get a mental work out!  He thinks he's playing but I know he's learning how to solve problems.  Definitely check out Chewy's large selection of healthy brands and their great toys!   Maybe say Hi! to them out on Facebook or Twitter, it would make their day!

*The small print: Part of this order was gifted to Ventura by Chewy and part was gifted by me because I just love this dog.*


Thursday, November 22, 2012

A Thanksgiving Giveaway for my Filofax Pals...

Today is Thanksgiving in the United States.  A time to reflect on gratitude...


 Not focus on the nail I just broke...

Or the wall of stink ( A melange of old meat and rotten eggs fermenting in a dumpster)  that hit me when I opened my Thanksgiving turkey an hour ago.

Or how I went to the grocery store to find only thirty pound, seventy-five dollar birds left.

No. Today I'm not giving any of this  another thought, Thanksgiving is a time to be grateful for what I have...Which at the moment are several  D'Artagnan Free Range Organic Chickens  from Kings that smell fresh as chickeny daises.

And I'm very thankful for all you guys...

 A blog with no readers isn't much of a blog.  You're visits and generous comments make me feel like part of a community and not so alone in this world.  Without all of you my blog would be a sad, solitary endeavor.   I've been blogging near four years now and for the first time I feel  part of something wonderful.  Thank you all for helping me sort out problems, for your encouragement and  all your generosities  in this last year.

Yesterday I went to Staples to get a date stamper and ink pad, I've wanted one for a while...


I love the way it looks.  Clearly, haven't quite got the logistics worked out though...

But I picked up a few things you've all commented on recently and I'm going to give them away to one of my readers.   


I know everyone loves the Martha tabs and I got a lot of comments about the dividers I just added. Staples had them in stock (P.S. They had a few sets and at $2.99 they are a bargain) so I picked up a set of those too.

It's an easy giveaway! I'll run it until Sunday Novemeber 25th at 11:59 pm EST.  

Just leave a comment to enter and it's open worldwide.   Oh, and please be a subscriber...  'Cause that's kind of the point.

Love you all! 


Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Fruitables Brand Pet Food / Treat Giveaway!

Greyhounds are  amazing.  They are gentle, intelligent and seriously fast.  Their long, powerful legs,  deep chests, and flexible spine allows them to reach 45 MPH  in just 30 feet (six strides) from a standstill.  The only animal that can accelerate faster over a short distance is the cheetah and greyhounds are faster then race horses over short distances.  

They have sweet dispositions...

the sweetest eyes

... a gentle countenance....

Happy Face

And an extra helping of irresistible goofy.

The greyhound body hasn't changed much in thousands of years because it's perfectly suited for what they do best, run.  Besides their strong legs and flexible spine, their deep wide chest holds the biggest heart and lungs in the dog world.  

This all works well for being fast...

Happy Face

...but it doesn't leave much room for digestion.

I've had several dogs throughout my life but Ventura is my first greyhound.  Certainly I've dealt sensitive tummys before but nothing like a greyhound tummy.  It was months before ...  um, how to put this... I picked up anything that was easy to get into a bag.   I never had a dog  where their normal state is 'digestively challenged'. 

 Greyhound people call diarrhea 'the big D' and it's a huge topic of discussion ( if you google it, you'll get almost 2 million hits) on greyhound boards.  I made it my mission to find something (ANYTHING!)  that would help and after months of trial and error, I found it.

Fruitables holistic pumpkin & sweet potato supplements are awesome. They are sourced and MADE IN THE USA, are rich in dietary fiber, antioxidants, Vitamins A, C & E and provide a flavor pets love. These supplements are fortified with fruit & vegetable fiber, soothing herbs, and vitamins to naturally support food transition, digestive issues, and weight loss.   I feed Ginger and Ventura two blends, the Sweet Potato Superblend and....

The Pumpkin Superblend

Both work wonders on his less then stellar digestive tract and if I miss giving it to him ( just one meal) the next walk isn't a peak experience... Just sayin'.  At Ginger's age (20) she needs all the help she can get with her aging tummy so they both get this at every meal and have for months.

Both my dogs give Fruitables Superblends 5 Happy Tummys Up!

And speaking of happy tummys ....

They  both love Fruitables treats.  Straight up, the sweet potato pecan ones smell like cookies!

I've tried at least five flavors.  Ginger and Ventura do the doggy nom-nom dance when I take out a bag. 

Mmmmmm! Apple Bacon!

I called the company a while back with questions and everyone I talked to was just wonderful   I was so impressed I offered to do a giveaway and spread the Fruitables word.... Having a great product is essential but a focus on  customer service is such a rare thing and they were outstanding.  This is the best company I've dealt with in a long time...

And to the giveaway!

Fruitables is providing THREE(!) prizes consisting of an assortment of three Fruitables Treats and a can of a supplement.   As an exclusive for you, one of the items will be the  new Crispy Bacon & Apple Flavor, which is just now finding its way in to stores. Your dog will be the bacony envy of all neighborhood dogs!

I usually do 'comment for entry' giveaways but there are three prizes and I wanted to give you as many ways to enter as I could, in case your doggy really, really wanted to win this one.  

The only mandatory entry is a comment but there are other ways to enter (Like, follow, etc) and one daily entry (tweet) if you want more chances to win. 

The small print - *I'm a regular customer of Fruitables and was not paid to do this*


Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Hot, Malden love....

I posted a few days ago about giving Mr. Malden some much needed liposuction around the old leathery middle and adding dividers.  I'd taken most dividers out a while back because I don't do well with lots of categories. The more I added the less I knew where to find anything but in the end I needed some definition to separate what was what (Broad categories work much better for me then filing things down to minutia).

I'd rather use my own tabs because I can stick them where ever I want and customize them.  My favorite - many people's favorite - are the Martha Stewart Note Tabs although getting them can be a sticky wicket. Staples  has them, but not all Staples stores carry the Martha line (Why?). If you're in the US you can order them online.  If you're not in the US, getting them requires more then a soup├žon of aggravation and a fair bit of creativity.

You can get the tabs two ways, on a planner insert  or just the tabs.   I've tried the planner insert twice and the tabs don't stay on...  Now I just buy the tabs.  


For $3.99 you get forty attractive, ready to tart up tabs.


I use a combination of stickers to theme them.


A clock  marks my dated planner inserts


In my last post I talked about using the Post-It Grid stickies on the back side of the dividers for notes.  It works especially well as a grocery list.


And I love the shopping tab!

I added  'shopping' themed calendar stickers on the top and some food themed stickers  from Yozo (here) to the bottom.  As an FYI, both the colored and clear sections are writable so you don't have to add stickers.  


It's a great set with 200 different graphic stickers for $4.50 and I've repurchased these several times already, really useful! All in all, it's going very well with Mr. Malden and I at the moment.  Oh, one more thing.

Have you seen the new addition to the Malden line?  Yes, they are iPad cases and no I don't have one but oh! It's stunning!

Aqua they call it.

If they make an A5 binder in this color I might explode; hot, Malden love smothered in teal awesome-sauce would be hard to resist... 

And I'd want me some of that....


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