Pets that Blog: Meet the Five Sibes

The Five Sibes nomming on Birthday cake
Who was the first of the five to be in the house?
Harley, our black and white Siberian Husky, was the first and she joined our family at the request of my daughter who has wanted a Husky since she was a child. Harley is technically her baby, but we all live under the same roof, so while we joke two and half are hers and two and a half are mine, we share the care and in the love of all five!
When did the others arrive?
Gibson became part of our family about a year later when he was four months old and Harley was just a year. He immediately fell in love with her and still is to this very day! He is never too far from her side, or they are spooning! The three Pupsters, as we like to call them, are Wolfgang (Wolf, Wolfie), Chloe, and Bandit and they are littermates and came two years after Gibson, and they are actually his younger siblings.
Happy 6th Birthday to the Pupsters
Other than snuggling up to you, what else do they like to do?
They love to go for car rides and they love to free run in the yard. The sound of the leash gets them very excited, too!They also love it when you just get out a bunch of toys and get down on their level and hang out and play and give them belly rubs. Harley is the queen of tug o’ war; her favorite game!All five love to break out in song. One will start to howl or bark at Harley (she has to lead them off or they won’t group howl) and then they go into howling song together. I love hearing it! They can be quite loud, and they break out into “song” several times a day. It’s awesome! They also really just enjoy relaxing wherever we are. They are just so lovable and can be pretty funny at times, too! Siberians have great senses of humor!
Is there an “alpha dog” of the house?
Yes, that would be Harley, our alpha queen, a role she relishes!She also willingly and immediately took on the role as the Pupsters’ surrogate mom.
How do you get them to pose for such wonderful pictures?
They really are hams! I’m a photojournalist by trade, so they are so used to me whipping out my camera to photograph them. I love to keep the camera on them and capture their playful nuzzling or licking, or when they break out into Husky play. My little secret weapon is…treats! They are all about the food!
Is Chloe still using a brace?
Chloe actually never had the chance to use a brace. She was just four when she went to jump up on the bed and blew out both of her CCLs at the same time. It was an awful scene and we were so afraid for her. The surgeon said her knees were so shredded and a mess, that most likely her knees were defected from birth. She had bilateral imbrication surgery so both of her legs were repaired and she is doing wonderful now! She jumps, runs, and counter surfs with ease. It’s truly a miracle to watch her run and play today after all what she went through from the injury to the surgery to rehab. She is an amazing, happy girl. Her brother, Wolf, also recently had a complete tear of his right CCL (again most likely due to poor genetics) while running in the yard. He had imbrication surgery on Halloween and is healing well, with a slight recent setback of a pinched nerve or slipped disc that he is being treated for with medication, massage, rest, and short walks to build up his strength. He is now on the path to healing.
Wolf is healing
How is Gibson doing since his accident?
Gibson is still in his brace and will be for at least 10 to 12 weeks. He slipped on ice on Christmas Eve and went lame for a period of time. He is an Epi-dog (a canine epileptic) so he has other issues such as a weak hind end and ataxia issues due to medications that he is on. He tore his right CCL last year, which I treated via Conservative Care Management/Treatment (CCM/T) with the use of a brace, laser therapy, massage, and lots of rest. I went this route with him because being an epileptic, surgery is not optimal for fear of seizures or side effects. The CCM/T was successful. However, with CCL injuries, it is not unusual that within a year or two, they can blow out the other. That’s what happened this past Christmas Eve. He is strong and willing to work. So he can now help get himself up and walk with the aid of support from a brace and sling harness. Gibson, Chloe, and Wolf are from the same bloodline and it’s apparent that bad knees is a genetic issue as a result of irresponsible backyard breeding (they are now closed down). I can only hope one day, this type of “breeding” no longer exists so the dogs do not have pay the ultimate price down the line through pain and suffering.
Happy 8th Birthday Gibson!
I see that you support K9 Epilepsy Awareness, would you like to share some information about it?
Yes, I’m a huge advocate and Gibson is the face and inspiration behind my Live “Gib Strong” K-9 Epilepsy Awareness Campaign. Through this campaign, we raise awareness about Canine Epilepsy and seizures and how dogs can and do live full, happy lives with it. I also hope to help educate folks by sharing information and resources so they a) know they are not alone, b) have information so they can learn as much as they can about the disorder in order to help their dog and also to help take away some of the fear, and c) to let people know that these dogs are warrior dogs and love to run, play, pull sleds, go hiking, swimming, dock diving, be a therapy dog, and just lay around and be loved. And we raise funds to benefit Canine Epilepsy non-profit organizations.
I wrote the illustrated book, What’s Wrong With Gibson? Learning About K-9 Epilepsy ( in the hopes that through Gibson’s story and adorable illustrations of my FiveSibes, I could help educate young children so maybe they would not be so afraid should their dog ever have a seizure. Plus, there are a few real tips in the book, too. It’s a great learning tool. Plus, percentage of proceeds from the sale of the books benefits the Canine Epilepsy Resources site at, which is home to the Epil-K9 list and supports Emma’s Fund, which is provided by the Epil-K9 Foundation.
At one time in the past, dogs with seizures or Canine Epilepsy were euthanized…that is so NOT the case today. There is medication, supplements, and dietary recommendations, as well as a vast amount of information, including excellent resources, now available. Two excellent sources are Canine Epilepsy Resources ( and their EPIL-K9 Email list where parents of Epi-dogs can join and correspond with other parents and veterinary experts to share their experiences, information, and support. There is also The Wally Foundation for Canine Epilepsy ( that offers possible financial assistance to Epi-dog families who may need help with purchasing Epi medications or treatments. And there are so many others that I have included in a Gib Strong booklet I wrote and is available to folks in either hard copy (for just $3 to help defray the cost of printing) or soon to be available online. Anyone interested can send an Email to FiveSibesLiveGibStrong(at)gmail(dot)com.
What are a few things you would like people to know about siberians? Excellent question! Siberians are such gorgeous dogs, so many folks fall in love with them for that reason alone without doing their homework, and then when they realize the needs of a Husky that they can’t fulfill, so many are then dropped off at shelters, rescues, or animal control…and they are all so overloaded that these innocent,healthy Huskies are then at high risk of being euthanized if they can’t get adopted or fostered…and they didn’t do anything wrong! Homework is key when thinking about bringing a Siberian Husky into the family.
A few key points are:
  • While they can be very comfy in the home, they are high energy dogs (think sled dogs) who need to be exercised daily, whether it is long leash walks or jogging, swimming, skijoring, bikejoring, sledding, urban mushing, free running (in a safe yard with a very tall Husky-proof fence), etc. Husky parents know that a happy Husky is a tired Husky!
  • They shed incredibly huge amounts of fur and they do it twice a year, close in timing, so it seems like they are forever shedding and you can seriously create another dog-sized fur ball from all the blown fur.
  • They howl. If you don’t love it, you need to learn to because they don’t stop. We embrace the fur and the howling here. I actually love the howling and encourage it!
  • They talk. A lot. It’s great because you can actually have a conversation with your dog(s) and they answer back. Our Chloe gets frustrated and will almost yell at us if we don’t understand what she is saying!
  • When they get bored, they can be very destructive. I’m talking chewing up a sofa or woodwork destructive.
  • They are super intelligent and are great escape artists. They can turn dog knobs, open latches and gates, scale fences, and dig their way to another country. If you think you’ve Husky-proofed your yard and house…check again!  I’m sure they figured a way around it!
  • They love to run…after all they were born to run, so it’s important to be sure the yard is super-secure because they will get out and run until the sun sets, and then they could be so far away, they may not find their way home. (Please microchip!)
  • They can be very stubborn. They learn extremely fast, but if they already know something, don’t go over it again because they don’t want to hear it!
  • They love puzzles to challenge their minds…we have a few here and they figure them out so fast, it’s amazing!
If folks educated themselves and prepare their yards and homes and lives for a Husky (or more)…they are amazing companions. They love deeply and are very social. Here we created an environment that is very Husky friendly. They have a deck where they can be up high and reign over their yard. They have a roof over the deck, so they can be outside to play and be dry in weather. They can free run into a fort-typed secured yard whenever they want. They have a huge tree to lay under and are permitted to dig to their hearts’ content on that side. They can come inside whenever they like, and tend to spend a lot of time inside with us just hanging out.
Why did you start the blog?
I started my FiveSibes™ blog coming up on four years February 23rd. It was about a year after Gibson was diagnosed with Canine Epilepsy. Initially, I was very frightened of what was happening to him. After his diagnosis, I did a lot of research into the disorder and decided to post an open note on my then MySpace account. A wonderful gal who is a nurse from Texas and the mom of an Epi-dog, reached out to me and helped support me through it during those early days and we are great friends to this very day! As a journalist, I thought I could research as much as I could to help not only Gibson and to not only educate myself, but to network and share info and support other Epi-dog parents as well. I wanted to reach out to others who must be going through the same thing and maybe ‘pay it forward’ and possibly help someone else going through their dog having a seizure and be there to offer support and information, and help connect them to some amazing resources I’ve discovered while on this journey. I’ve learned much and made some very special friends (human and furpals) along the way.
What has been your favorite post(s) so far?
Wow…favorite posts… I enjoy writing them all. I really do. I love doing the annual Birthday ones because it gives me a chance to look back over the years and really enjoy all the wonderful moments of life with my Huskies. I get very excited about one of my book releases. I love doing reviews of items and books I’ve enjoyed and sharing that with others, and helping artists and authors spread the word about their works. And, of course, the Canine Epilepsy awareness posts are very important to me, as are safety tips and info, and stories on rescue Huskies. It really warms my heart to know that something I wrote helped someone in some way.
Do you have a sneek peak of any upcoming posts?  
Two special ones that coincide with the release of two books I’ll be publishing this year. Another FiveSibes™ Tale, Getting Healthy With Harley illustrated by Michelle Littler, and I’m aiming for a March 26 (Purple Day for Epilepsy Awareness) release date for a very special book – EPIc DOG TALES: Heartfelt Stories About Amazing Dogs Living & Loving Life With Canine Epilepsy, which is a collection of stories of Epi-dogs from across the world. A percentage of proceeds post-production costs from my EPIc Dog Tales will benefit Canine Epilepsy Resources ( and a percentage from my Getting Healthy With Harley will benefit the Save Our Siberians Siberspace Rescue Fund (
Is there anything you would like to add about yourself or the furry children? 
Each month, I co-host a Dog Works Radio show called “The Sibe Vibe” where my co-host Robert Forto (canine behaviorist, musher, and Dog Works Radio producer) and I chat about the wonderful breed of Siberian Huskies with guests who are trainers, mushers, Husky rescue volunteers, authors, artists, movie producers, Canine Epilepsy experts, vets, and more. It’s a great place for people to learn more about the breed. I also administer the FiveSibes: Siberian Husky K9 News & Reviews community page on Facebook, and that, too, is another great forum for Husky and canine lovers alike to come and visit for lots of photos, videos, information, news, and resources I share. Folks can check out past shows here:
Author’s Note: Many thanks to the wonderful (and very busy) woman of the Five Sibes. Pictures were used with permisson. Please follow them on the blog- The Five Sibes, facebook page – FiveSibes: Siberian Husky K9 News and Reviews and check out the radioshow –The Sibe Vibe. They are also on Twitter as – @FiveSibesMom.
This article is a part of the Pets that Blog theme, please click below for more pets that blog.
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Extra Love Needed: Meet Lennie the Miracle Cat

How old are you now Lennie?

 I am 20 months old!

I'm 20 months old! Yay! ~Lennie
I’m 20 months old! Yay! ~Lennie

Where did your name come from?

My Mama named me after the character Lennie Smalls in the book Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck because of my big feet, sweet personality, and simple look at life as a special needs kitty.  I got the moniker of miracle kitty from the vets who treated me.  None of them could believe that not only did I survive with all my issues, but I thrived!  My favorite vet, Dr. Sherrie O’Brien at The Pet Hospitals of Memphis said it was a miracle!

I read you beat pneumonia twice, you brave little guy, do you think it was all the love and snuggles that helped?

I definitely think that all the love and snuggles helped me with my illnesses.  Mama never left me alone!  She would force me to take my medicine and eat when I just wanted to lay down and sleep.  Mama never let me give up and she never gave up on me!

May I ask what exactly is sternal exvacatum? And how is it you have a severe case of it?

Sternal excavatum is more commonly called funnel chest.  It is a birth defect.  My vet told Mama that kitties who have external deformities like extra toes often have internal deformities as well and I have a few!  The vet told Mama that it was the worse she had ever seen, even in her doctor books!

Do you take an medications for it?

I do not have to take medicine for my chest.  It is just something that is a part  of who I am.  I get winded prettily easily and Mama has to watch my breathing but that is all!

I'm an avid Mama watcher, especially when she's outside ~ Lennie
I’m an avid Mama watcher, especially when she’s outside ~ Lennie
Do you need any therapy?

I do not need any therapy.  There are some surgeries that can be done to repair the deformity but with all my other issues the vet was concerned that it would do more harm than good to operate.  Also, the most common procedure for sternal excavatum is a shunt that slowly pulls the ribs into the correct position- kinda like braces for your teeth.  The vet said that it was painful and may not work.  Mama decided she did not want to put me through it.

Do you live with any fursiblings? If so, who?       

Yes, I have lots and lots of siblings!  I live with 6 other kitties permanently and fosters are always coming and going.  I have two sisters, Magnolia and Isabella and 4 brothers, Tennessee Jed, Tobey,  Reggie, and Bo.  If I get my way we will be adding little Pip to that mix as well!

What is your favorite toy?

My favorite toys are Mama’s pantyhose and socks!  I love them!  I grab them whenever I can and I fight with them, sling them around, and carry them around the house.  She thinks she hides them from me, but I always manage to find some when she isn’t looking!

Where do you like to sleep?

When Mama is home, I love to sleep wherever she is sleeping or sitting.  If she is not home, I love to sleep on the back of the couch so I can watch what everyone else is doing.  Sometimes, Reggie joins me on the couch and cleans my face for me.  That is nice.

Cat nap time ~ Lennie
Cat nap time ~ Lennie

Is there anything you or your mom would like to add about yourself or your condition?

Mama says that there are a lot of things wrong with me, but there is way more right than wrong!  I may have a snotty nose most of the time because of my deformed nasal passages and have a hard time playing with the others a lot because of my limited lung capacity, enlarged heart and liver, and deformed front legs but Mama says that I am the sweetest, friendliest, most fearless kitty she has ever met!

Is there anything your mom would like to say about pets that need extra love & care?

11.   Mama says that special needs kitties are extra special and need extra special people with extra special love.  It takes patience and a lot of faith to take on the responsibility of a kitty that is not “normal” but it is so worth it! Mama says I am the cutest kitty ever!  She thinks that the more people who see my sweet face and the great life that I have despite my challenges may take on the challenges and rewards of other kitties and doggies like me!

Pfft to those that don't understand I just need extra love ~Lennie
Pfft to those that don’t understand I just need extra love ~Lennie

Thank you for being interested in me and my story!


This article is dedicated to the loving memory of Little Louie.

Mama fought hard for him too and was heartbroken when he passed.  Mama said that he was not as strong and fearless as me.  Even the vet said that I was a fighter!  Mama wishes that Louie was with us today.

Lennie & Louie, Fly free little Louie, you will always be loved
Lennie & Louie, Fly free little Louie, you will always be loved

Author’s Note: Many thanks to Lennie for letting me interview him. Pictures were used with permission. You can find him on his facebook page Lennie the Miracle Kitty.
This article is a part of the Extra Love Needed theme, please click on the badge below for more articles on pets that need extra love & care.

Extra Love Needed: Meet Axel Alleycat

How old are you?
 I am 2-1/2 years old

hi! ~ Axel
Where did your name come from?
I was known as ‘the porch cat’ when I lived outside. After my accident, mom wanted to give me a good name. She found a definition for Axel, that was something like “the divine source of life”. It seemed to fit, as there didn’t seem to be any other explanation for why I was still alive after my trauma. I had the worst head injury the vets had ever seen (on a cat that lived, of course).  Some people think I was named Axle because a car hit me, but that’s not why.

Do you remember what your life was like before you found your forever home?
Yes. I had an owner in our neighborhood, but they did not take care of me. I was always outside and starving. I started coming to my forever mom’s house when I was about 8 mos. old. I really wanted to live there! My forever mom already had 4 pets, and was hoping my owner would get a clue – it was winter, and cold!  I kept coming back, though (I was very persistent!). I would sit on the back porch and cry until she came out to feed me. I was very scared, and wouldn’t let her get near me (she thinks maybe someone was not so nice to me). It didn’t take too long, and she made me a bed from an old down pillow, some blankies and a box, and put it behind some potted plants so I was out of the wind. I just moved into that corner. Mom felt really bad about me being out there, especially when I started getting skinnier, even though she was feeding me 4 times a day! I was not neutered, had fleas (even though mom tried to medicate me – I ran off and didn’t come back for 3 days when she put that scarey liquid on me!). It turned out that I had a lot of parasites, and was very anemic also – not in good condition at all!
I'm a cutie ~ Axel
I read that you were in an accident, how long were you at the vet’s?
 I was at the vets for about a week, until I stabilized. I was neutered because I had terrible stinky tom-cat pee all over me, because I couldn’t get up to use the litterbox. With two other males cats already in residence, the vet didn’t want to send me home unaltered. During my surgery, another vet bonded my canine teeth together with a dental material (with my mouth partially open, in case of regurgitation). This allowed my broken jaw to heal. I also had a feeding tube placed through my side. Mom brought me home and I stayed on a heating pad for about a month – I only got up (after a couple of days), to use the litter box – then straight back to my bed. My teeth were bonded together for about two months. Mom fed me with a mix of high calorie canned food & water (and medication when needed) through my feeding tube 6 times a day until my teeth could be unbonded.

I love playing peek-a-boo with mom ~ Axel
Do you need any additional care or medication now?
I don’t need any medication at the moment. I seem to have residual nerve damage issues, that may become more of a problem over time. I also have some sinus issues that I didn’t have before my face, skull, and palette were cracked.

Do you live with any fursiblings?
Yes! I have my kitty furiend Tiger that I plays with every day. Then there is crabby-cat Monkey (who doesn’t like Tiger and sort of tolerates me!), and my doggy Brandy.

What is your favorite thing to do?
I loves snuggling on, or near, my mom and dad. I also really like to go outside, but mom and dad will not let us kitties out by ourselves.

Singing the song of my people ~ Axel
Where is your favorite place to nap?
My favorite place is the kitty bed that I shared with my mentor, Mako, who left for that rainbow bridge place. He showed me the ropes, after I came out of my isolation room. I still like to sleep in our bed every day. When it’s cold, my mommy puts a heating pad in it for me (she thinks it makes me feel better – the cold seems to bother me).

Is there anything else you or you mom would like to add?
I love where I live now! I was very sad and scared when I had to live outside all the time by myself and no one showed me any love 🙁 I wish all kitties had humans who loved and cared for them!
I'm pretty good at kitty soccer ~ Axel

Author’s Note: Many thanks to Axel Alleycat for answering the questions (with the help of his mom) Pictures were used with permission. You can follow him on his Facebook page Axel Alleycat.
This article is a part of the Extra Love Needed theme, please click on the badge below for more articles on pets that need extra love & care.

Pet Product Reviews: Life’s Abundance Pet Food ( Cat & Dog )

Life’s Abundance Pet Foods and Treats

I received an abundant supply of samples of Dog and Cat Food products from an online company, I have both cats and a dog, so I gave each animal little test bites of each sample sent.

Mr. Moo is my newest cat and a former feral, downgraded to stray, and then adapting to domestic life, but he is extremely finicky. He also samples every cat dish in our home, making sure he’s got the best food in his dish. As a result, he is a little on the heavy side. I am now monitoring his food intake and making him exercise.

Dodger weighs only 7 pounds, so protein and wet food are in her diet. Neptune is 13 and healthy and I want to keep him this way.

Neptune, my deaf, geriatric cat, immediately said he loved the dry kibble of Life’s Abundance Healthy Cat Food, while Mr. Moo wasn’t initially impressed. After we ran out of the dry kibble Neptune went on a hunger strike, so I had to place an order for a 16.5 pound bag of dry kibble. Luckily it arrived in 3 days, before Neptune could die of starvation, and immediately upon setting the bag down, Neptune jumped all over it and insisted I open it and give him a bowl full; Which I did, because I wanted him to eat. Two weeks later and Neptune still gets super excited to eat his new food, every meal.

Life’s Abundance dry cat food is specially formulated, balancing the nutritional needs of a cat with optimum health. Vitamins, antioxidants, probiotics, proteins (fish), and green foods are among the chief ingredients. In order to preserve and maintain nutritional value, they use a fast-cook process.

They recommend feeding a cat Neptune’s size 1/3 to ½ cup of food a day, and his average daily intake is right in between those two figures.


Now Mr. Moo had noticed that Neptune was getting different food, and he wanted to eat out of Neptune’s dish, so I put some of this health food in Mr. Moo’s dish. He didn’t eat any of it, he just wanted to sniff it and know that his bowl now had the good stuff in it. Mr. Moo has 2 bowls, one to look at and one to eat from. He and Dodger share a dry food bowl and she doesn’t mind. Plus, she gets a mixture of wet and dry in a different bowl.

Amongst the samples were two cans of Life’s Abundance wet Instinctive Choice Canned Cat Food. So I let Dodger sample all the wet food. Like I do with all of her dinners, I mixed the wet with my current brand of store bought cat food. Dodger loved it, except for the fact it was pate, and not chunks of meat. She prefers meaty chunks over pate. However, Instinctive Choice uses four flavors important to cats: chicken, shrimp, turkey and liver, along with chicken broth. So she didn’t really mind the pate, since it had better flavor and smell than the brand name cat foods.

Instinctive Choice canned cat food is scientifically formulated, by the companies’ veterinarian, based on evolutionary and physiological factors. There are also other healthy ingredients, such as fish oil, minerals, vitamins and antioxidants.

So Mr. Moo didn’t and still doesn’t eat any, he just didn’t want to be forgotten. Neptune loved and is still on his Life’s Abundance Healthy dry kibble, and Dodger enjoyed her Instinctive Choice wet food, but she prefers the chunky cat food as opposed to pate.

The cost of our 16.5 lb bag of dry kibble for Neptune was $43.37, although they also have a 6.6 pound bag for $18.70. The wet food is sold by the case in 3 ounce cans, and you get 24 cans for $25.49. Our order arrived in 3 business days.


My dog Bowzer also likes receiving samples, and he really enjoyed all the canine goodies he received. Bowzer is on special dry health food already, because he suffers from several allergies, some of which are food related.

First up was the Dry Health Food for Dogs, dry kibble. He gobbled that right down. This dry kibble is formulated with high quality proteins, vitamins, and antioxidants, and also includes probiotics and fatty acids, to maintain muscle mass, healthy skin, glossy coats, and maintain nutritional and physiological needs of a dog, throughout its life cycle. They’ve also included calcium and phosphorus to support developing and aging bones, fiber to promote digestive health, and include prebiotics, vegetables and fruit.

Life’s Abundance dry Health Food for Dogs is sold in bags of 3 sizes: 8, 20, and 40 lbs. The small bag is $18.31, 20 lb bag is $37.23 and the 40 lb bag is $71.38.

With Bowzers’ normal dry health food, I spend twice what I would at the store, but it lasts twice as long as store bought. It’s the same with Neptunes’ dry Health Food. Only the cat food lasts 4 times as long as the store bought bags did, same size. Neptune eats less of his health food, due to the nutrititious components, rather than by products and ingredients which do nothing for digestion, health, or the longevity of a cats’ life.


Bowzer also received a sample of Life’s Abundance Premium Canned Dog Food, in the Chicken and Crab Dinner with sauce flavor. I could see the chunks of meat, as well as the veggies. It looked like stew, and Bowzer was more than willing to try it. He gobbled that right down, and looked around for more. He always enjoys gravy with his dinner, but this was an extra treat for him. He obviously enjoyed his Chicken and Crab dinner and it certainly had an abundance of sauce.

The ingredients consist of organic Chicken, crab, eggs, carrots, red skinned potatoes and peas and apples.

The canned dog food also comes in Turkey and Shrimp Breakfast in Broth, and its’ main ingredients are: turkey, shrimp, eggs, red skinned potatoes, red bell peppers, cheddar cheese, and is seasoned with Basil and parsley. Wow. Gourmet dining for a dog in a can!!!!

This Breakfast and Dinner canned food is sold by the case (24 cans at 5.5 ounces each), and cost 36.07 per case, either flavor.

Bowzer also got some training/reward treats and regular snacks for dogs. I made him work or remember his training, in order to get the reward treats, which he readily inhaled and seemed to enjoy, though there weren’t quite enough of those for him. Tasty Rewards Nutritional Training Treats were created to keep your dogs attention during training sessions. Key ingredients include New Zealand lamb, chicken, lecithin, and ground pumpkin seeds and look like mini pieces of jerky.

The Antioxidant Health Bars come in an Oatmeal/Apple recipe, which also include vitamins A and C, and beta carotene. These snacks helps a dog maintain a healthy

Immune system, and are made in the form of a cookie or a bar, which looked healthy and smelled nutritious. Bowzer especially liked the Oatmeal/Apple bars, but again, we didn’t get enough samples of those.


None of Life’s Abundance food, supplements, or snacks contain corn, corn gluten, wheat or wheat gluten.

My pets are all at different stages in their lives, and I gear their food toward their most immediate need. Bowzer and Neptune will remain on their health food diets, while Dodger and Moo will stay on their normal diets. I did switch Neptune over to Life’s Abundance dry Cat Food, and we are both happy with this arrangement.

Life’s Abundance has a website: where you can check out all of their products.

My rep for Life’s Abundance is Raven Hannah. She has a catalog and price list of all Life’s Abundance products. You can reach her by calling (586) 943-1928, or emailing her at .

The company veterinarian, Dr. Jane Bicks, DVM, is a nationally renowned vet, and her and Life’s Abundance have teamed up to form Dr. Jane’s HealthyPetNet Foundation, a non profit organization, committed to supporting a wide variety of rescue groups, which dedicate themselves to rescuing and helping neglected and unwanted animals. Every purchase assists with this mission.

Each of the products we sampled were rated 4 paws up by the pet which sampled each product.

My pets are all at different stages in their lives, and I gear their food toward their most immediate need. Bowzer and Neptune will remain on their health food diets, while Dodger and Moo will stay on their normal diets. I did switch Neptune over to Life’s Abundance dry Cat Food, and we are both happy with this arrangement.

Life’s Abundance has a website: where you can check out all of their products.

My rep for Life’s Abundance is Raven Hannah. She has a catalog and price list of all Life’s Abundance products. You can reach her by calling (586) 943-1928, or emailing her at .

The company veterinarian, Dr. Jane Bicks, DVM, is a nationally renowned vet, and her and Life’s Abundance have teamed up to form Dr. Jane’s HealthyPetNet Foundation, a non profit organization, committed to supporting a wide variety of rescue groups, which dedicate themselves to rescuing and helping neglected and unwanted animals. Every purchase assists with this mission.

Each of the products we sampled were rated 4 paws up by the pet which sampled each product.

If you are the kind of person who prefers shopping online, as opposed to visiting a grocery or pet store, this company is for you!!! Your order is shipped right to your door, and pretty quick, at that.

I would like to thank Raven Hannah for supplying my pets with the many samples, for proficiently taking my order which shipped ever so efficiently, and also for answering my many questions about her various pet products.

We received the small sample packages free, but bought our own bag of dry cat food. We were in no way paid for this review.

She can be reached via email (raven (at) thegiftedpet (dot) com, phone (586*943*1928) or on Facebook or Linked In


Author’s Note: Many thanks to the wonderfully talented Sharon Mohr-McDermott. There was nothing more I could have added to this review, so I left it intact because it is so wonderfully written. More thanks go to the wonderful Raven Hannah who sent us samples of pet food and was so patient when answering questions. Thank you both so much. This post was written by Sharon Mohr-McDermott, pictures belong to her.

Please check out Miss Sharon’s other reviews, You can read more of her reviews here, also her cat Neptune is the subject of a book that was just written, you can purchase the book here or you can follow Neptune & Mr. Moo & the rest of the furry family on facebook here.

For more pet product reviews please click the badge below.


Pets that Blog: Meet Fabulous McGrady

How old are you?
Age-approximately 6 years old
How did you find your forever home?
Mom saw me on Petfinder and came to evaluate/pull me as her next foster for an Australian Shepherd Rescue.  An approved family was very interested in adopting me but, at the last minute, opted to get a Border Collie puppy instead.  That’s okay because, by that time, I’d made myself right at home at Mom’s place and fit in seamlessly with the rest of her pack.
How did the foundation start?
Fabulous McGrady and Friends Foundation (FMFF) was inspired by my former shelter.   When Mom came to evaluate me at my former shelter, she found at that the shelter, which is over 2 hours drive one way from any big metropolitan area, had given me 35 days instead of just the mandatory 7-day stray dog hold—and that was despite them suspecting me to be deaf.   She thought that they must have tons of donor support and rescue resources to have given a suspected deaf dog so much time given their location.  However, a year later, she found out I was one of 256 animals to make it out of the shelter all year—not because they didn’t want to save more—but because few private citizens came to adopt, there weren’t any rescues with volunteers in the area, and there wasn’t a huge amount of donor support providing extra resources to allow animals more time.  Mom had initially thought my reason for being was to be an AmbassaDog for deaf dogs but, after learning that my former shelter was in need, she realized that my mission would be to help my former and other rural animal shelters.
Would you like to share a bit about what the foundation does?
FMFF provides goods and services to rural Carolinas animal shelters that directly and positively affect the comfort and well-being of animals within those shelters.  One of our biggest goals is to help people recycle unused pet-related items sitting in their closets/backyards that they don’t need but which rural animal shelters cannot afford to buy…examples would include Igloo Insulated Plastic Dog Houses, airline/wire crates,  dog/cat collars and leashes/harnesses, metal food and water bowls/pails, etc.  We also conduct food and supply drives (ie, kitty litter, etc) as having more food allows shelters to keep animals longer.  We can also provide assistance to shelter staff  in how to select reputable rescues, tips on photographing shelter animals, etc.
Looking dapper as always
Is there a way that people can get involved by donating or volunteering?
Interested persons can contact me at; follow me on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram where I’m listed as “Fabulous McGrady” or check out the website  We are a registered non-profit in NC but do not yet have 501c3 (tax-exempt) status….that paperwork is in process.  If people in the Charlotte Metro area have things they’d like to recycle in the Charlotte area, we’ll gladly pick them up.  Small items can be mailed to our PO Box (PO Box 1443, Matthews NC  28106).
What has been the most rewarding experience you’ve had since starting the foundation?
The most rewarding thing has been seeing the look of surprise on the faces of the Animal Control Officers when I lower the tailgate on the back of the Chevy Avalanche at the time we deliver everything!   It seems that when people tell them they’re bringing a car or truckload of food that it’s really only a few bags in the backseat.  We bring anywhere between 500-nearly 1000 lbs of food with each supply run (for shelters who need food).  The other rewarding thing is that you know that food will give animals more time.
How long did it take to learn basic commands?
Deaf dogs can be just as easily trained as hearing dogs—in some cases even EASIER because there’s no outside noise to distract us.  I learned basic commands very quickly—probably 2 weeks tops.   Mom had taken several of my pack mates through Clicker Training before I came along.  In that type training, you use hand signals and mark good behavior with a clicker.  Thus, Mom used those hand signals but then also read on about using a “Thumbs Up” sign in place of a clicker to mark good behavior.  She “loaded” her thumb like you “load” a clicker at first (ie, in rapid succession do thumbs up sign, give treat, thumbs up, treat, etc).
He can wear jingle bell collars without being scared
What would you like people to know about yourself or deaf dogs?
There a few things I’d like people to know about deaf dogs:
1) you do NOT have to know American Sign Language to successfully train a deaf dog.  If you know ASL, that’s fantastic and I’d definitely use it.  However, it’s more important to use a system that works for you and your dog.  Mom “invented” several hand signals that we use.  She made sure they looked sufficiently different from other ones so I understood it was a different command.  She does make sure that I understand that the same signal from EITHER hand means the same thing (think about if you’re carrying in groceries and need to tell your deaf dog something with a free hand).  Be sure that signals are consistent and mean the same thing each time.
2)  deaf dogs can lead full, happy lives.  My brother Sydney and I are Mom’s “go-to” dogs when it comes to hiking in the mountains.  I got to day camp regularly and the ladies love me there!  I can be just as bratty as a hearing dog, too, (Mom made me say that!).  You see, if I don’t want to do something she says, I’ve learned to dramatically look away from her so “if I don’t see it, I don’t have to do it.”….but I do like to look back to be sure she SEES that I’m ignoring her.   Upon first meeting me and learning of my deafness, people often tell us how “sorry” they are that I’m deaf.  Mom then starts throwing hand signals my way and they quickly start saying, “Wow!  How smart!”
3)  don’t underestimate yourself or a deaf dog.  Many people automatically say “oh, I’d never consider a deaf dog…they’re too hard to train.”  Just like with training ANY dog, you have to be patient and you may have to try something repeatedly at first.  However, deaf dogs can learn and you do NOT have to have a special degree to train a deaf dog….just patience, time, love, consistency and understanding…as you have to have with ANY dog.
4)  deaf dogs are NOT all “time bombs”.  When Mom was looking at information for training deaf dogs, she was horrified at the literature about deaf dogs being “time bombs”.  I am the first deaf dog Mom has ever had and clearly I missed that memo.  I came here at age 3 without prior training and there was an old bullet inside my L thigh that was discovered during surgery to remove a “knot” that Mom found right after I came from the shelter (ie, my past life was not the best).  .  Mom wakes me with a gentle touch of my paw, by putting her hand right in front of my nose or my tapping on the floor (or by having my pack mate Betsey come over and “lick me awake”!).  I do not startle at all.
5) It is VERY important to make touching FUN for your deaf (and hearing) dogs.  Within the first 2 weeks out of the shelter, we had a young child break away from her Dad and come running up behind us.  We didn’t hear/see her coming and she grabbed me around my back in a bear hug.  Mom and I were stunned!  The little girl then proceeds to run after me and all I’m doing is to try to “hop” away from her.  Although my prior life wasn’t the best, I did NOT offer to growl or bite…just hop away from her.  At that point Mom bought me an “I’m Deaf” vest so that (hopefully) that wouldn’t happen again but also to educate people from afar that the well-mannered dog walking with Mom is deaf.  (we only go into stores that allow non-service dogs).
Is there anything else you would like people to know about yourself or your foundation?
I’d like to encourage people to call their area rural shelters and ask what they need, whether they are a kill or a no-kill shelter.  Positive change happens ONLY if people work together and understand why a situation is as it is.
Come join us at
Thank you!
Sheley and McGrady

Author’s Note: Many thanks to Miss Sheley and McGrady for sharing their story. Pictures were used with permission. You can find him on facebook, twitter and the blog.
This article is a part of the Extra Love Needed theme and Pets that Blog theme, please click on the badge below for more articles on pets that need extra love & care.
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Extra Love Needed: Meet Beowulf

Author’s Note: I’m interrupting Black & White Sunday to bring a very important interview about Beowulf who is an epileptic dog.

He's so handsome
He’s so handsome


May I ask if your full name is Beowulfs Wild Irish Rose “Riona”?
My AKC registered name is Beowulfs Wild Irish Rose, everyone calls me Riona.
Are you a full breed Mastiff?
I am a purebred English Mastiff.
How tall are you exactly? ( I’ve ever met a mastiff before)
I’m approximately 32″ tall at the shoulder and weigh around 165 lbs.
I couldn't resist another snow picture of Beowulf
Can you explain a little bit about what genetic epilepsy is/How were you diagnosed?
Idiopathic Epilepsy means seizures of an unknown cause.  At first I saw my regular veterinarian, but then went to see a Neurologist.  I was diagnosed with Idiopathic Epilepsy at 21 months old following a couple of grand mal seizures.  That basically means that I’ve been through extensive testing (MRI, blood tests, etc…) but there are no other reasons for my seizures (i.e. poisoning, tumor, illness, etc…).  There is nothing physically wrong with me, I just have seizures due to my genetics.  I suffer from cluster seizures which means I have multiple seizures, not just one.  Mom says it’s pretty scary to watch and they always worry about status.  In some breeds, the genetic marker for epilepsy has been located, but that isn’t so with the Mastiff yet.  Hopefully someday they’ll know and can test for it.
What would you like people to know about epilepsy in dogs?
I’d like people to know that you can live a very normal life with epilepsy, but breeders should be very careful when breeding relatives of known epileptic dogs.  There are other dogs in my pedigree that suffer from epilepsy as well.  It is life changing to my mom and dad but they love me very much.
This is his serious face
I read you take 36 pills a day to manage your seizures, how often do you go to the vet?
I take a total of 36 pills a day (four different medications) at five different times throughout the day to help prevent my seizures.  I go to the vet every 3-4 months and have blood work done to check my liver and other organs.  The AEDs (anti-epileptic drugs) that I take can cause problems with my liver, so we’re always checking that.  All my doctors (my regular veterinarian and my neurologist) love me though and I like visiting with them.  I’m very friendly and everyone talks about how big I am, I love the attention!
Do you live with any other fursiblings? If so who?
I live with three other dogs, two cats, and an African Gray Parrot.  My brother Jari is a Dutch Shepherd, my sister Killian is a Boxer, and my other brother Fearghas is a Mastiff too.
Do they treat you any different?
My siblings love me very much.  Fearghas gets nervous when I have seizures and lies down away from me.  Killian gets upset but stays right with me and my mom until I’m feeling better.  One seizure is the equal of running a marathon, so I’m very tired following seizures.  I rest a lot after seizures because it takes a lot out of me and we all lie together.
Sniffing the air for snow
Do they also have epilepsy or any other health conditions?
My brother Fearghas, Beowulfs It’s Five O’clock Somewhere (his AKC registered name), has also been diagnosed with Idiopathic Epilepsy.  We are from the same breeder but have different sires and dams.  He takes 24 pills a day (three different medications) on the same schedule as me.  My brother has only had focal seizures so far.  He is over a year seizure free!  Today, January 20th, I am 47 days seizure free, my record!  All my other siblings are very healthy!
Your mom takes wonderful pictures of you, do you pose on your own for them or are you treated?
My mom loves to take pictures of us!  I tolerate it (because I know it makes her happy), but Fearghas looks the other way…he likes to make mom work at a good picture of him.  LOL!  He’s a big goof ball!
Do you want to share any websites about epilepsy to help people understand the condition?
My mom’s favorite website about canine epilepsy is .  It’s full of great information and has been very helpful since my diagnosis.

Author’s Note: Many thanks to Beowulf and his mom for letting me interview him. Pictures were used with permission. You can find him on facebook here or visit his siblings pages (listed above) .
This article is a part of the Extra Love Needed theme, please click on the badge below for more articles on pets that need extra love & care.

Extra Love Needed: Meet Trooper

Good Evening Sir Trooper,
Baby Trooper
Thank you so much for wanting to be interviewed.
Thank mew for having me.  How exciting this is!
Your little life had such a such a sad beginning, how are you doing now?
It has been a rough going. It started out very bad.  I was so cold when momcat took my brothers & sisters away and didn’t come back for me!  I cried and cried as LOUD AS I COULD for hours in the early frosty morning.  She never came back (mew-hoo).  After a couple of hours the humans came out and found me.  I had been stuffed under an upside down canoe with the rest of my siblings in some leaves near a pond, but I had started to slide down the hill towards the pond and no longer had any cover to keep me warm.
Once the humans (now mom & dad) took me inside, they wrapped me up to warm me and bought a bottle & kitten milk and fed me around the clock every 2 hrs for weeks until I became stronger.  Unfortunately my legs developed terrible abscesses within a month or so which the vet said were probably due to parasites getting under my skin while I was outside.  When they x-rayed me, the vet found I had no hips!  This was not apparent at first because I crawled and had not started walking yet.  The abscesses got SO bad that they damaged the bones in my legs and deformed them (mew-hoo) so now my right front leg is bent backwards, my left front leg is slightly curved and my back legs are slightly off as well.  I am unable to sit like a regular cat and walk awkwardly at best.  I get around by running like a hopping rabbit.  I cannot jump up, but have learned to climb somewhat and can sort of jump down from small heights.  When I was younger I would try to jump down from whatever I was on and was constantly injuring my legs & side.  Mom was a wreck and started buying pillows to put all over the floors to save me.
Trooper on his "throne"
Nowadays I usually just rest on My Throne in the kitchen (kitchen chair).  Sometimes I climb up on the kitchen table, much to moms dismay, but don’t do much more than sleep.  I like to play sometimes, but just really do not like to be held or hang out in other rooms, other than My Kitchen.  Being held makes me uncomfortable and mom is always picking me up and squishing me because she cannot resist my super soft kitten-fur.
How many fursiblings do you live with?
My original family consisted of my twin sister Bandit who was taken in by mom a year ago due to grave illness, and Stripey who turned out perfectly healthy and lives outside.  I had a grey sibling, but I don’t know what happened to them.  I never saw them again after they got moved by momcat.  I now live with Aunt Pickles who is the family matriarch, Aunt Spooky who has also contracted Feline Calcivirus from my sister Bandit, Aunt Stumpy (who has no tail!), Aunt Stumpy’s son Squishy, then there’s Big Tux, Uggy, and our latest arrival, Trouble.  So that makes 8.
How do all of your get along?
I pretty much ignore everybody and remain on My Throne, but have no quarrels with anyone except mom who tries to bathe me, take me to the V-E-T, or scares me half to death with the evil vacuum monster.
Does anyone treat you different?
I get special treatment because I cannot get around normally.  When I was smaller, I had my own low-profile litter box so I could easily climb in.  I get expensive Iams canned food  for better nutrition since I was so sickly when I was younger.  Mom has since tried to wean me off it and on to “regular” canned food like the other guys eat, but I’m not hearing it.  Furniture gets moved around lots because I’m always trying to climb high places.  I have boxes I use as steps so I can get onto My Throne in the kitchen.  Mom throws big fluffy bed pillows all over the kitchen floor when I get in my “climb the kitchen table” mood, in case I fall off.
Trooper gets dryer treatment after a bath
What causes your fur to be “crunchy”?
Not sure.  Originally it was due to the stupid fleas the other guys would bring in, but now I believe it is due to the very dry conditions in our house.  My Aunt Stumpy, who I believe is a sister to my cat-dad and whom I take after also has this skin problem.  It gets very scaly and cracked.  Mom runs a humidifier, but it doesn’t help.  The shampoo/bath has made an improvement, but don’t tell mom.
Did you get treats and pets for tolerating the bath?
After The Bath I didn’t want to talk to anyone.  Mom kept making baby talk noises about being a “good boy” but I was not hearing it!  NOW she is intimating about this becoming a WEEKLY event.  I don’t THINK so! (Although my skin is way better and my fur super soft now…)
Do you take any other medications now?
I was on Amoxi-Drops about 2 weeks ago because of  my aggravating skin condition and having diarrhea, but that has since gone away.
What is your favorite thing to do?
I rule the kitchen from My Throne and all who enter it.  Most of my time is spent sleeping.
Young Trooper the worried
Is there anything else you would like to share about yourself of your family?
Mom is a big softy who cannot turn anyone away.  Dad is no better as he lets her bring us all in.  My feral family (Murphy-mom-cat, Buster-dad-cat, Brother Stripey, Step-sister Mini-Murph, Timmy-Tim, and 2 new kittens (and the occasional Mystery-cat) that showed up recently all are watered and fed daily by mom.  They often take refuge under my house when the weather gets bad.  Mom has also created a Rubbermaid tub shelter right outside the door for anyone to take emergency shelter if needed.  It is running us broke, but we manage.

Author’s Note: Many Thanks to Trooper and his mom for answering the interview questions. Pictures were used with permission. This post is a part of the Extra Love needed Theme. For more on pets that need extra love, please click the badge below.

Extra Love Needed: Meet Toot & family

Toot, just a little shy about being interviewed
How old is everyone?
Miss Molly Ma'am

Molly – 11 years

Shadow is Molly's brother
Shadow is Molly’s brother

Shadow – 11 years


Trooder – 8 years


Mooch – is apx 13 years old


Stashy – 2 years old

Toot – will be 2 years in Feb

Toot & Oreo sharing secrets
Toot & Oreo sharing secrets

Oreo – will be 1 in Feb

TJ kitty
TJ kitty

TJ – will be 1 in Feb

Miss CoCo
Miss CoCo

CoCo (the outside stray that is ours) is apx 6 to 8 years old

I is Jake is a bit shy too
Jake is a bit shy too

I is Jake!! (woofie) is 5 3/4 years old


Shana (woofie) is apx 9 to 10 years old

Molly and Shadow were found as kittens, outside a pub in Connecticut, in snowy freezing weather.  Shadow was on the verge of death when he was brought to me – I nursed him back to health and went to rescue his sister Molly and tried to get their mom cat – sadly she was unable to be caught and was hit by a car.  Shadow was named by my son and Molly was named by my middle daughter when the cats arrived with us.

Trooder is a rescue adoption.  He was found in Kentucky in a feral cat community who happened to be overly friendly.  The caretakers took him to Grayson Animal shelter to be helped.  He has a limp and always will and they think it is due to an improper break in both front paws that was never fixed.  He is not in any pain but does have issue with walking – he cant extend his front paws flat.  Trooder (once called No Where Man) was brought to rescue here in Massachusetts where I adopted him at a adoption event at a pet store, 3 months after TT Girl died. Trooder got his name because everything I called him he didnt respond to.  A blogger Pefectly Parker, suggested he was an InTrooder and so his name became Trooder which he responds to!

Mooch was a stray that wandered into our yard 3 years ago, on a cold wintery day.   It was bad out one day so I opened the basement door for her to seek shelter and there she stayed for a year – not wanting outside.  I tried to get her to go out, I even picked her up and brought her out the door but she ran right back in.  I finally brought her to our apartment to help socialize her.  She became my first foster failure!  Mooch got her name because she would sneek over and mooch off the plate of food we’d leave out for the stray cats.

Stashy was one of three kittens that were found in someones yard that I volunteered to foster.  Stashy and his 2 sisters need socialization before being brought to our shelter for transfer to another rescue.  Stashy failed that rescues idea of a adoptable cat, so I took him back home to work on his socialization.  I realized he would never be that lap cat most rescues want out of a kitten, he was still scared of people.  I kept him because I didn’t feel he needed to be a “barn” cat or in a shelter for all his life. He became my 2nd foster failure.  Stashy/ Mustashio came with that name because of his black stash under his nose.

Toot was brought to a vet’s office with badly infected eyes at the age of 4 months old.  The guy wanted free care for her but the vet could not provide her with the free care, so the owner gave her up to the vet for rescue.  Toot had 3 siblings which were later brought to our shelter for adoption.  I was to foster Toot until we could raise funds for surgery on her eyes –  I was totally convinced she could see.  I took it upon myself to do a small fund raiser on Facebook for her, to bring her to the vet so that her eyes would not be removed.  The first vet that saw her just said that was the easiest and the most inexpensive for the shelter to do.  She has glaucoma in her left eye and her right eye is smaller due to birth defects.  She is not in any pain, we give her medicine to help the glaucoma and her smaller eye is washed and ointment put in. Toot became part of our family because her Dad just couldn’t see her being adopted easily – truth be known, he fell in love with her.  lol  He wasn’t much of a cat person prior to Toot’s addition to the family.  She totally won him over with her ways.  Toot was first named Little Timmy the Toot – we found out the first vet was wrong and he was a SHE, they tried to give her the name Tammy but I didnt see it as her name.  She responded to Toot when her Dad called her and that’s how it stuck.

Baby Oreo
Baby Oreo
Baby TJ
Baby TJ

Oreo and TJ are brother and sister who were brought to me in a shoe box at the wee age of 1 week old.  They were found in a garbage site and the owner of the lot was scared that they would die if they stayed outside.  The mother cat was seen but never found after he brought the kittens to rescue.  I took them in knowing that they would have to be bottle fed every 2 to 3 hours.  With the help of my SO, we bottle fed and raised them.  It was a hard choice but less so for him but they became our foster failure 4 and 5.  Once again my SO named the kittens, Oreo because of her colors and TJ because when he was bottle fed he would eat and eat and get a big belly like Trooder has. TJ was short for Trooder Jr, now that he is almost grown its short for Total Jerk because he causes so much trouble!  Not nice but fitting for him when he knocks everything off the table and counters. lol

I is Jake!! or Jake, is a Boston Terrier that was not rescued (he’s the only one here that was bought from a good breeder).  He almost died.  His is a long story –   He has seizures now and will for the rest of his life.  He is a welcome addition to our house of slightly dysfunctional furry kids.  Jake got his name because when I was pregnant the baby if a boy was to be named that – well we had a girl and Jake got the name instead of her. 😀

Shana is a Boston Terrier/ Rat Terrier mix called a Brat.  She is adopted from a rescue at the age of 6 years.  She was returned several times and the former owners remarked she was “retarded” and un-trainable.  She came to us only eating cat food and didnt know how to play.  It took us a week to get her to like dog food, but she still will not eat meat and prefers potato chips to that. lol   I think her behavior is more of an autistic type and I think she was also part of some sort of hoarding situation because she will take a mouthful of food, walk away and spit it out to eat it.  We’ve come to accept her for her odd behavior and love her just the same as the rest.  Im not sure how Shana got her name but she responds to it and I felt a change would confuse her and she is already confused at times.

CoCo is a cat that was thrown outside by the next door neighbor in the middle of cold weather.  He denies throwing her out but his children have said otherwise to me.  She is a lovely cat that only wants to live outside, we’ve tried to get her to come in but I think she is claustrophobic of closed in spaces, due in fact that the neighbor kept her in one room the entire time they had her.  She lives here now, we feed her and keep her sheltered, outside, in a insulated, heated shelter.  She is spoiled as much as the indoor cats and gets warmed up canned cat food in the mornings along with her dry food.  She is very affectionate and loving to us but will not get near other people.  CoCo got her name because she reminded me of CoCo Channel, who came from nothing and took matters into her own hands to make it somewhere.

We had 5 cats and 2 dogs when Toot came here.  Toot is our first and only blind cat we have.   All cats need to be accepted for who they are, just as we would want people to accept us for who we are.  We can’t make cats be the object we want – playful, talkative, lap cats or show cats, etc.  I’ve come to accept each pet as they are, and let them show me their ways so that we all can live together.  I wouldn’t want them to change because of what I want or would I have an expectations of them, Id want them to be just as they are – there are a lot of folks that perceive an animal is suppose to be what they want them to be like and that’s just not the case.

Time for noms!
Time for noms!


This article is dedicated to the loving memory of TT who left the family too soon. Fly free little one, you will always be in our hearts.


Author’s Note: Many many thanks to Toot & family’s wonderful mom for all the information. 🙂 Pictures were used with permission. Please paw over to Toot’s page to say hi to the furry family.
This interview is a part of the Extra Love Needed Theme, for more interviews on pets that need extra love please click the badge below.


Happy Tails: Meet Butters

 How old are you?
I will be two years old on March 5.
Where did  your name come from? 
My Mommy named me Butters after Butters on South Park, she thinks he is adorable and that’s how I got my name. Although she mostly calls me Baby.
How did you find your forever home?
I found my forever home in May of 2012, my Mommy was out walking and a neighbor from a block away was outside, he asked if we knew anyone looking for free kittens. My Mommy said no but she would like to look at them anyway. When she saw me in the cage she instantly fell in love with me! A few days later when I was weaned from my birth Mom she took me home. 
I'm handsome and I know it.
You have such wonderful markings on your sides, are you part Bengal?
My Mommy isn’t sure if I have Bengal in me since the we aren’t sure what kind of cats my parents were. With my markings though my Mom and everyone else seems to think so. 
What is your favorite thing to do?
My favorite thing to do is lay in the window, play with all my toys, but mostly at night me and my Mom relax and watch tv and just spend time together and she spoils me with neck rubs and treats. 
Yes, yes, I'm handsome, I know
 How often to you go outside?
My Mommy doesn’t let me out too much it makes her nervous, but in the summer she goes out back with me. Right now its very cold and snowy so I mostly stay in, some days though I do like to play in the snow. But I am mostly an indoor cat. 
 Do you live with any fursiblings? If so who?
My human brothers both have a cat and I enjoy playing with them sometimes. 
Is there anything else you would like to share about yourself or your mommy?
Just that I am so thankful my Mommy found me that day and gave me a great home with so much love. Everyone makes fun of my Mommy for loving me too much but I think its great and so does she. She loves taking pictures of me and singing to me. She wishes all the cats in the world would be so lucky. Also me and Mom are huge Chicago Bears fans and we watch the games together. 
Just me
This article is dedicated to the loving memory of Gangster, you will always be loved and are dearly missed.

Author’s Note: Many thanks to Mr. Butters and his mom for answering the interview questions. Pictures were used with permission. This post is a part of the Happy Tails theme, for more tales of happy endings, please click the link below.

Pets that Blog: Meet Rolo


How did Rolo come into your life?

I have always been a big supporter of “no kill” animal rescues/shelters so I knew when the time was right for my family that we would adopt from the local SPCA (Fort McMurray SPCA). Once we purchased our first house we went to the shelter every day for a number of days looking for the perfect dog for our family. My Fiancé Brett was the one who found then named “Apollo”. Honestly he was so different, he was the only dog who wanted to be left in his cage, and he just sat there not barking looking around. I took him outside and he wouldn’t even come near me. I went to go and pet him and I could see fear in his eyes. I have never witnessed this in my life time as I have always been such a big animal person. I was intrigued and asked more about him. We found out he had Epilepsy and also takes a long time to get used to someone to be able to trust them. We put in our application for him after doing a ton of research of Canine Epilepsy. We got the call a few days later saying he was OURS! It took a good few months until he finally felt comfortable in our home and with me. I cannot stress this enough to people adopting animals that it does take some time for an animal to warm up to you and be comfortable with their new routine. I hear of many animals being brought back after a week saying that they don’t fit in or aren’t acting properly. The unbreakable bond that Rolo and I have didn’t happen overnight, it took a long time. Just give it time!

Do you know what type of breed Rolo is?

Rolo is a German Shepherd crossed with a Husky

How did you get involved with FMSPCA?

I have always donated my bottles to the FMSPCA as well as attend their events. A while before adopting Rolo I started volunteering at the shelter with dog walking and a few other things. After adopting Rolo I kicked my Volunteering into overdrive by helping at events, getting silent auction items from local businesses for their events and doing a ton of little fundraisers on my own for the shelter. I also entered the “Miss Wood Buffalo Pageant” in 2012 in hopes of becoming an ambassador for the FMSPCA. I lost my category by .5 but gained the title “Miss Big Spirit” I also was able to raise over $3500 for the shelter during the pageants. In 2013 I started my blog (see answers below) and also became a Board Member for the FMSPCA. Our involvement with the FMSPCA will only continue to grow!

How did the blog start?

I have always loved animals and helping out the shelter this was just another way to help them as I cannot always help them out with money. Social media is an amazing thing that can help spread the word of many things!

What has been your favorite post?

My favorite post happens to be the post I released on my Birthday (December 4th) Rolo and I love to do fundraising for our shelter, for the last 2 years we have done a Christmas Fundraiser for our shelter. Last year (2012) we collected wish list items for the shelter. In 2013 we wanted to kick that outta the park and try to raise enough funds to sponsor 3 Christmas kennels ($600) as well as collect wish list items. At the end of our fundraiser we collected a whole bunch of wish list items and were able to sponsor not 3 but 7 kennels for a total of $1400.

Link to Dec 4th post:

Do you have any sneak peeks of future posts?

I think with 2014 it will be a great year for my blog, I hope to get in contact with big animal companies as well as our favorite product companies to put up blog posts about their items. I’m also hoping to reach 10000 views by our 1 year blog anniversary! (March 11th) I think that would be a really great accomplishment for us.

After reading the post about the boots to keep Rolo’s feet warm, has he gotten accustomed to them?

He doesn’t wear them too often but when he sees me pull out the little bag of his boots he does have a scared face LOL. I always give him treats while I put them on to teach him that they aren’t a bad thing. Once they are on he does walk a little funny at first but then gets used to them. He loves to wear them outside as he knows they keep his feet warm in the cold weather we get up here. He will run and play around as soon as we are in the back trails behind our house.

Do you have any tips for first time pet owners?

My main tips are to make sure you do your research. I have seen a ton of posts online or have seen a ton of people in real life who don’t know how much work an animal is and then they don’t properly care for the animals. Keeping up on your animals vaccinations are a huge thing, and yes they do cost quite a bit of money but the shots can prevent further illness which could cost a heck of a lot more money than shots. Also be sure to spay & neuter your animal that’s another thing I cannot stress to people. We are lucky that our shelter will not even post an animal up on the website or put them into the viewing kennels until they have been fixed & healed. Also food, treats, toys and babysitters cost money as well. You need to think about if you leave for a vacation where will your animal be staying? Will they be coming with you? What is the cost of flying with a pet? What is the cost per night of staying at a hotel with your pet? So many things to think about while getting an animal so be sure to do your research and make sure you can PROPERLY take care of this animal. J

Is there anything else you would like to share about yourself, the blog or Rolo?

I would love to share that Rolo is also a Pet Therapy Dog in Fort McMurray, AB, Canada. He loves going to brighten the days of everyone at the Hospital! Rolo attended a Epilepsy Conference for humans in Edmonton, AB and we ended up being a guest speaker. Rolo has also been in McMurray Girl Magazine, Read about him Pages 49-51:

**If you have an animal please be sure to head to my blog and fill in the interview then just email me photos of your animal(s) and you will be posted up! Email:


Author’s Note: Many thanks to Miss Kimberely for answering the interview questions. Congrats to her on upcoming wedding. You can find her and Rolo on the following social media sites. Pictures were used with permission.

Twitter: @RescueMomBlog

This interview is a part of the Pets that Blog series, for more interviews with pets that blog please click the below badge.

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