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Polly Pocket here to share with you about my limits. You may not realize this (apparently foster mama didn’t*), but some dogs have limits as to how much they can handle before they go berserker and melt into a puddle of drool and stress toots.


You see, the thing is that I am just getting the hang of being part of a family in a house let alone out in the big bad world! So while I am finally able to be calm and hang out with Foster Mama and Foster Daddy (and Turkey and Rufus), I get really anxious when we leave the comfort of Foster House. I see other doggies and I go bark, bark, bark to let them know that I am not scared but very TOUGH. Sometimes I even bark at doggies who I know are my friends, like Dante.

Yesterday I met up with Dante and his Mama, Amy of Fido Fetch Photography, at the Suds of Fun charity dog wash for the Humane Society of Greater Kansas City. Foster Mama had thought this event would be a good way to both get me a bath and market me to potential furever families at the same time. She knew there would be some challenges though, since many of the factors involved in this outing pushed my limits: (1) Lots of dogs; (2) Lots of people – most of which were not paying attention to me; and (3) bath time (shudder). As soon as we got out of the car I started bark, bark, barking to let everyone know that I had arrived and that I am very TOUGH. I thought Foster Mama would appreciate that I was announcing our arrival, but she looked really embarrassed. She even tried to lure me from my hyper-attentive state with hot dogs, but seriously? I am a terrier, lady…it takes more than a hot dog to break MY focus. So instead of walking around and sniffing other dogs’ butts (which was making me feel growly), we found a quiet corner away from the hustle and bustle where Foster Mama made me “sit,” and she petted me when I was quiet. When it was time for my bath, we had to take this twist-y turn-y way into the bath time building because she didn’t want me to bark or lunge at anyone’s dog. Once inside, I faced death in the face the dreaded bathtub. I made sure to give Foster Mama my surliest glare to show her how I felt about bath time. Then she tickled underneath my chin and made me smile just a little before letting Amy snap this photo – tricked!

After my brush with death bath, Foster Mama got me some brisket for being so brave and took me back to a quiet spot away from the other doggies and let me eat just enough to not get sick, but enough to make my tummy warm and full and happy. I was a little upset when she gave a couple of bites to Dante, but she told me that he was her favorite hot dog, and I needed to chill out.

After my brisket, I calmed down enough to walk around to look at the different booths for a little bit. Some people’s dog’s were on retractable leashes, and a few times those dogs were out reeeeeeaaaallllly far on the leash and would just get up in my face! IN. MY. FACE! But luckily, Foster Mama and Amy were keeping a close eye out for me so Amy ran interference with Dante a few times and Foster Mama knew to redirect my focus if I started to get growly. One time, she even redirected my focus with a teeny tiny pup cone from Sheridan’s(my new favorite thing). I love the ice creams but not the cone, so I gave that part to Dante. See? I can share.

When I finished my cone, Foster Mama felt like I had done enough for the day and chauffeured me back to Foster House.  She told me that I had “made some strides” but we still have a lot to work on. Walking around by the end of the night without barking or snapping at any dogs – good. Trying to hide between a hunky firefighter’s legs for three minutes because I was nervous – not so good. But honestly, can you blame me on that one?

* Foster Mom here – although Polly doesn’t think so, we do recognize that she has some boundary issues when out in public. I do want to help her work through those though, which is why I took her to this event. I was very careful to read her signs and take her away from the group when she was feeling overstimulated. The firefighter though – she beelined for him. Not sure what I could have done.

** Polly Pocket is still available for adoption – see her profile here!

**** THIS GIVEAWAY IS NOW CLOSED ****

At the Great KC Expo a few weeks ago, I had the pleasure of meeting several local vendors, including Brandi Judah from Chew Gourmet Dog Bones.

Brandi started Chew Gourmet Dog Bones after her father had a health scare and she had to relocate from New York City to Salina, KS to be near him. While helping with the family business (a meat packing company that goes back three generations!), Brandi noticed that the top selling item for the company was their dog bones – people were driving in from all over to stock up! Brandi realized that people all over must be longing for fresh, all-natural, made-in-the-USA marrow bones – a healthy alternative to the treats and bones sold at big box pet stores. So, in 2005, Chew Gourmet Dog Bones was open for business! Starting the business even spurred Brandi to get a dog, which she hadn’t had since she was a kid. They adopted Dub (which is “Bud” backwards – they changed his name after finding out “Buddy” is the most popular dog name in the U.S.) and he became the face of Chew Gourmet.

Dub – the Chew Gourmet mascot

When asked why she thinks it’s important to serve our dogs high quality, all-natural food and treats, Brandi explained, “because dogs are members of our families and deserve to have the same quality of food and treats that we would buy for ourselves and our children.” I couldn’t agree more, so I was psyched when Brandi gave me some of her fresh, all-natural, real marrow bones to try on Turk and Rufus. These bones are so fresh, they need to be kept in the freezer until you are ready to serve them – that’s fresh! Here is the assortment of bones Turk and Rufus got to try…

Turk was over-the-moon for these bones. He comes running every time I open the freezer, hoping that a delicious frozen bone will fall out.


Rufus is not as enthusiastic as Turk, but he will actually spend time chewing these bones, whereas others he will just look at in disgust before retreating to his hideaway under our bed. So, I’d say that is a pretty ringing endorsement from Sir Rufus…


And now is your chance to try out these delicious bones for your dogs! Brandi has generously offered up three bags of Chew Gourmet Dog Bones in the size of your choice (small, medium, or large).

Contest rules listed below:
***************************************************************************************************************************
  • PRIZE: See above
  • TO ENTER: Head on over to the Chew Gourmet Shop to check out the merchandise, then comment on this post with the phrase “GIVE A DOG A BONE!” and tell me which size of bone (small, medium, or large) you think your dog would like best.
  • GIVEAWAY CLOSES: Wednesday, May 16th, 2012 at Midnight CST.
  • NUMBER OF WINNERS: Three
  • PRIZE VALID FOR: Anyone living within the 50 (nifty) United States.
  • USUAL STUFF: One entry per e-mail address is permitted. The winners will be selected using random.org and announced on Thursday, May 17th as an update to this post. I will also email the winners on the 17th to obtain mailing information to send their prizes.
  • DISCLAIMER: I did receive some bones for free to try, but I also purchased another bag (at full price) because I loved the product so much. I was not given any payment to review Chew Gourmet Bones – but I was lucky enough that Brandi offered to give away a couple bags of gourmet bones to my readers to try for themselves.

 

** Congratulations to Rachel Kirby, Rebelwerewolf, and Mr. and Mrs. and Nola Kisses for winning the giveaway! I will be contacting you shortly! **

Dogs: Our breath isn’t that bad, Mom….



Foster Dogs: It’s really not that bad!


Lucy Lou: Seriously, Foster Mama, SMELL IT!

Lucy Lou: That bad, huh? Embarrassing.


Don’t let your dog get caught with embarrassing morning breath! Check out yesterday’s post and enter the giveaway to win a combo pack of Rupert Simply Smoochable Doggie & Kitty Mouth Spray AND Rupert’s Simply Smoochable Doggie Shampoo!

Also, if you would like to purchase any products off the Smoochable Rupert store website, enter “Waldo” at checkout to receive 15% off your ENTIRE order!

** THIS GIVEAWAY IS NOW CLOSED **

As I mentioned yesterday, the Great KC Pet Expo was chock-full of vendors selling their products that were made in the U-S-A. Of course, Crystal and I, being the die-hard, hippie, liberals we are, gravitated towards the all-natural products made by local businesspeople. One of my favorites was the Rupert’s Simply Smoochable booth, run by Brad & Jami Ansley (shown below) of Kansas City.


Brad & Jami graciously gave both Crystal and me some of their Rupert’s Simply Smoochable Doggie & Kitty Mouth Spray to try out. I was so smitten with their product (Rufus’ heavy breathing in my face at night is no longer like constantly smelling a butt!) that I begged Jami to tell me more about how their business got started, and Jami graciously agreed. She even offered to tell me all about Otis, their rescue pooch, who inspired the Rupert’s label art. Here is their story…

We adopted Otis in January of 2007. After several visits to Wayside Waifs, we finally found a dog whose personality just seemed to fit us. He was pretty timid, wild wiry hair and skinny, skinny. We had no idea Otis had the beautiful brindle until we got him groomed!

When we brought him home, he wasn’t eating well and would vomit clear liquid every day. We tried wet food, scrambled eggs with beef and rice; he couldn’t really keep anything down. We took him to our vet and the only equipment they had was an ultrasound machine, and it didn’t tell us anything. One day, my husband Brad came home from work and found him lying on the cool bathroom floor, looking miserable and very sick. He rushed him to Mission Med Vet (amazing place!) and the doctor did an X-ray. They told us he had a diaphragmatic hernia (caused by either a kick or a car accident) and all his internal organs were shoved up into his chest. The cost would be $8,000 (yes that’s eight THOUSAND dollars) and he probably wouldn’t make it off the operating table. I asked the vet if we could have a moment to discuss. We both agreed; we had to do it. We’d had Otis less than a month, but he was already our baby and we loved him dearly.

We put the plastic on the table and Otis made a full recovery! You know about rescue dogs – they are the BEST pets. He’s such a wonderful dog, we are glad we found him.


So, on to how we wound up starting a pet products company. Brad’s dad, Dan Ansley, passed away in January of 2005. We met later that month and have always attributed our meeting to him, in some way. Dan was apparently an amazing father and a brilliant inventor. He was a chemist by trade and invented several pet products – one of them we found in a file cabinet entitled “Canine Oral Spray.” In the spring of 2009, we were helping Brad’s mom go through some of Dan’s things and Brad told me to keep this recipe. Brad had a clear vision of what he wanted the label to look like and he commissioned the brilliant Charlie Podrebarac (of the Cowtown series) to design the label for us.

Some might wonder why they would even need mouth spray for their dog or cat. Well, proper pet dental hygiene is something that most pet owners take for granted, because let’s face it: there are a lot of things easier and more pleasant to do than brushing your pet’s teeth. On average, pets have their teeth cleaned twice per year and yet many pet owners still say that their dog or cat has bad breath. There are many hard or chewable treats on the market that do a great job keeping plaque and tartar under control between dental visits, but they really don’t “freshen” your pet’s breath. Enter Rupert’s Simply Smoochable Doggie and Kitty Mouth Spray: the daily use breath treatment that provides the missing link between brushing and treats. The Mouth Spray is different from other products because it contains no Xylitol or dyes of any kind. One feature that is unique to this product is the addition of clove oil. Clove oil has long been used as a topical pain reliever, especially for tooth pain. While providing a pleasant scent, you will also see the benefits of providing your pet relief from discomfort associated with tooth and gum pain.

We also recently added an unscented shampoo that we are really excited about. The shampoo is cool because it’s completely free of fragrance, dyes, perfumes. We didn’t like it when we’d take Otis to the groomer and he would come back smelling all perfume-y. Yuck. We wanted him to smell like him, just cleaner. We LOVE this formula because it makes him clean and makes his coat fluffy and shiny. The Rupert’s shampoo is awesome for dogs with hot spots, allergies or any other skins issues because it’s such a mild formula.

 
A secret recipe for Mouth Spray hidden away in a filing cabinet?! A rescue dog who survived against impossible odds?! Seriously, could Brad & Jami’s story be any cooler? Oh yes, it can…because Brad & Jami graciously offered to giveaway combo packs of the Simply Smoochable Doggie & Kitty Mouth Spray AND Simply Smoochable Doggie Shampoo to not one, but TWO lucky readers! Pretty sweet, huh?
* Also, if you would like to purchase any products off the Smoochable Rupert store website, enter “Waldo” at checkout to receive 15% off your ENTIRE order! *
Contest rules listed below:
***************************************************************************************************************************
  • PRIZE: See above
  • TO ENTER: Comment on this post with the phrase “KISS ME!” or “BATHE ME!” and tell me, does your dog (or cat) suffer from “poop breath syndrome” or “stinky dog (or cat) syndrome?” For us, Turk tends to suffer more from stinky dog syndrome, while Rufus has the poop breath from H-E-L-L. You can also get a second entry by “liking” Rupert’s Simply Smoochable’s Facebook page and leaving a comment on their wall saying that Our Waldo Bungie sent you!
  • GIVEAWAY CLOSES: Wednesday, April 18th, 2012 at Midnight CST.
  • NUMBER OF WINNERS: Two(!)
  • PRIZE VALID FOR: Anyone living within the 50 (nifty) United States.
  • USUAL STUFF: One entry per e-mail address is permitted. The winners will be selected using random.org and announced on Thursday, April 19th as an update to this post. I will also email the winners on the 19th to obtain mailing information to send their prizes.

 

* CONGRATULATIONS TO DIANE MCCORNACK & KELLY SELLS – YOU ARE THE WINNERS OF THE SIMPLY SMOOCHABLE COMBO PACKS! *

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