Monday, October 27, 2014

How to make an easy skirt for your dog this Halloween

I'm not big on costumes, but there is something amusing about a dog in a puffy skirt (like a tutu).

So when I had to come up with a Tinker Bell, I knew I needed a skirt. But I couldn't find one in the stores, and I didn't want to buy one online.

Turns out making a skirt is pretty easy!


What you need:
  • Elastic band (I used a one-inch wide band)
  • Tulle fabric in the color or colors you desire. Tulle is a net-like fabric that you can find at Jo-Ann Fabrics or other fabric stores. (I needed two yards of tulle. You might need more or less, depending on the size of your pet. The fabric cutters can help you measure.)
  • Needle and thread (or sewing machine)
  • Fabric tape measure
  • Scissors
  • Pins

1) Measure your dog's waist. It's best to do this in the middle so you have good room for the skirt. Make sure the band is comfortably snug.

2) Next, measure the length from your dog's waist to the tail. This will be for the individual "petals" you're going to make.

3) Cut your elastic to size, giving yourself a little wiggle room in case you need to adjust.

4) Now, we stitched the band together first, but if you are worried you'll have to make a bigger adjustment, you can make until the end of. I found it easier to stitch the band first.

We used my sewing machine and stitched a zig zag stitch, going over it a couple of times so it holds tight. This is so the stitch won't break if I have to stretch the elastic. If you don't have a sewing machine, you can hand stitch it, just make sure it's definitely tight. A zig zag stitch is better for elastic.
* You could also glue it. But you need to make sure that glue is pretty strong. I don't think I trust it.

5) Next you are going to measure out and cut your tulle. Remember that length measurement you took? You want to take that size and double it. You're going to fold that length of fabric in half. Like below. If you fold your tulle right, you should have two pieces of folded over tulle like so:

Next, cut two-inch strips of tulle. We actually use a paper pattern for this, since I'm not exactly a neat cutter.

6) Once you cut your strips, you're going to tie them onto the elastic.


I believe this is called a Larks Head Knot. You're going to take your folded tulle strip, place the loop at the elastic, then take the two ends of the tulle and pull them through the loop so they wrap around the elastic.

Doing it this way will create two layers of petals.

7) As you're tying your tulle the elastic, make sure to push each strip tight and close. This will give it its puffy effect.

8) If you already stitched the elastic before adding the tulle, then put it on your dog and adjust accordingly (you may need to trim the tulle, particularly in the underside). If not, stitch the elastic together using a zig zag stitch and then make the adjustments.

I paired Lulu's skirt with a green Thundershirt and Tinker Bell wings! She had her tail up the whole time, so she liked it.








Wednesday, October 22, 2014

#WholeBodyHealth: What pet owners say is important #sponsored

This post is sponsored by Natural Balance and the BlogPaws Professional Pet Blogger Network. I am being compensated for helping spread the word about Original Ultra Whole Body Health Pet Food, but Life With Beagle only shares information we feel is relevant to our readers. Natural Balance is not responsible for the content of this article.
**************************

Remember this?

Last month we asked you guys to take a survey on what Whole Body Health meant to you in terms of your cat's health or your dog's health. The survey results are now out.
http://blogp.ws/NewUltra

Here's two numbers I find interesting: 
  • 97 percent of pet owners believe nutrition is important for pet health and well-being.
  • 55 percent of pet owners say nutrition is the most important factor for pet health.
If this is the case, why are some of the top-selling dog foods in the world so horrible for your dog?

A good dog food should not be so full of fillers. It should have high-quality protein. It should be properly balanced in terms of vitamins and minerals.

The good news is many pet owners are moving to better quality foods. So now is a good time to talk about the sponsor of the infographic.


First, a word about the sponsors of the survey, Natural Balance. They've come out with a new pet food line called "Original Ultra Whole Body Health." 

The new line includes a gluten-free formula for both dogs and cats. It focuses on seven key areas:

1. Supports Neural Development: Formulated with optimal levels of  DHA EPA from marine sources to support an active, healthy brain.
2. Supports Healthy Skin & Coat: Balanced Omega‐6 and Omega‐3 ratios support healthy skin and a luxurious coat. 
3. Digestive Support: Using multipl  types of fibers – fruits & grains – our unique fiber layering system helps maintain healthy digestion.
4. Healthy Muscle Development: Quality proteins to help support healthy muscle, important at any age. 
5. Antioxidant Nutrients: Our proprietary blend of antioxidant nutrients helps maintain a healthy immune system. 
6. Strong & Healthy Bones and Teeth: Proper levels of calcium and phosphorus maintain strong bones for all that fetching and playing. 
7. Helps Maintain Healthy Heart & Eyes: Added taurine for healthy heart and eye function.

Natural Balance uses chicken, chicken meal and duck meal, or venison, turkey meal and lamb meal for its Original Ultra Whole Body Health varieties. And among the ingredients is brown rice, oats, potatoes, pea protein, blueberries, cranberries, carrots and flaxseed. 

The food is for puppies through seniors. Here's why Natural Balance does that:
In Nature, your pets would not have the choice of puppy or kitten formulas; they would simply live on a diet of mostly meat and and some grain. In a natural free environment, animals instinctively eat more or less, depending on their age and activity level. Puppies will require a higher caloric intake than an adult, therefore we suggest feeding puppies, up to 6 months of age, two or three times a day. Natural Balance Products are scientifically formulated to provide  complete and balanced nutrition for all stages of your pet's life. We recommend that you do not add vitamins, minerals or any other supplements, except upon the advice of a veterinarian.
Interested in trying it for your dog or cat? Here's you chance at a coupon.

Click here to download a coupon for $3 off the Original Ultra Whole Body Health dry formulas. Act quickly as the coupon expires December 31.”

And for more updated and promotions from Natural Balance, like them on Facebook or follow them on Twitter.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

How about a little Monday Mischief? Lulu and Jasmine get spunky


The weather has been greatly lately -- perfect for beagles who want to be outside. We've been trying to spend more time outside, but I've been busy working. So Lulu and Jasmine are starting to get rambunctious outside by the pool. Look at the mess they made!

So we got to take a ride to a park Saturday for the first time in... forever!

Ahhhhhhh!
We went over to Doctors Dog Park in Apopka. It's a HUGE park, with large areas for big and small dogs, and it's got some shade too. 

By the time we were done at the park, Lulu and Jasmine were pretty exhausted, but Jazz had time for a little more silliness.

Your foot is comfortable.
 SURVEY AND GIVEAWAY!!
What do you want to see on Life With Beagle? Take our survey, tell us what kind of stories are important to you, and be entered to win a gift card! Enter today!
http://www.lifewithbeagle.com/2014/10/take-our-survey-and-enter-to-win-how.html

Take our survey and enter to WIN: How can we make Life With Beagle better?

UPDATE: A number of people have checked out this post, but no one has commented on it. This is a reminder that if you answer the survey you MUST enter the Rafflecopter and comment below with the word "Done" in order to be entered to win a giftcard. To make it easier on people, I will remove the captcha code on comments.

We've been thinking a lot about what we do here lately. Now it's your turn to tell us what you think. Keep reading.

"I'm thinking... I'm thinking...."
When we started this blog two years, almost three years ago, Lulu and I set out to talk about what life is like for a beagle and a new pet owner.

A lot has changed since then. I'm not a new pet owner, and sometimes I have a hard time writing like I am. I sometimes worry that our focus is all over the place.

I just decided to take down the Orlando Pet Event Calendar, for instance. I just don't know that my readers are getting much from it.

I want to know what YOU think of my blog!

"What DO you think? Huh? HUH?!"
Why do you come here? What stories do you want to see? Where can we improve?

Here's your chance to tell me what you think!

https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/YWD2TCV

It's not a long survey -- but it will tell me a lot about the direction we should take Life With Beagle in.

In exchange for your help, you'll be entered to win a $15 gift card!

Pick one: Petco, PetSmart or Amazon. I will send you a $15 gift card.

All you have to do is take the survey, and then enter the Rafflecopter. Be sure to enter the Rafflecopter, and also comment below with "DONE!"

Don't delay though, this giveaway is only good through Oct. 31! Take the survey today!

 a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Here's the World War I Flying Ace: 5 facts on Snoopy's iconic fantasy

When I wanted to dress Lulu up as Snoopy, only one costume came to mind.



Snoopy is one of the most famous dogs in the world. But while PetSmart does sell Peanuts Halloween toys, no one seems to sell costumes for pets. Lulu is actually wearing the hat from my Build-A-Bear Workshop Snoopy doll and a red scarf I found at Macy's!

I even went so far as to suggest a "World War I flying ace" costume to one of the big costume makers at Global Pet Expo earlier this year. Hopefully they will come up with something.

But I digress. The World War I Flying Ace in my opinion, is Snoopy's best fantasy (and way better than silly Joe Cool). Here's a little about the World War I Flying Ace.


What is a flying ace?
The term flying ace did begin in World War I.  In the beginning the French and Americans considered a pilot an ace if they got five victories in the air. The number has varied over the years.

Who is the most successful World War I flying ace?
Sadly, not Snoopy, but his nemesis: Manfred Freiherr von Richthofen, aka The Red Baron.


Courtesy National World War I Museum.

How did Snoopy become a World War I flying ace?
According to "It's The Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown: The Making of a Television Classic," by Lee Mendelson, Snoopy's status as a World War I flying ace was inspired by Charles Schulz's son Monte. Monte was a World War I enthusiast and a model plane builder. According to the book, he suggested his father make Snoopy a fighter pilot.

According to the Intrepid Museum in New York City, Schulz said this: "Like Snoopy, most people turn to fantasy for fun and refuge. I have always believed that his flights of fancy are what help him survive, and we must admit that a dog’s life is not an easy life."

Snoopy's first appearance as the World War I flying ace was in a comic strip.
His first appearance was in Oct. 10, 1965.

Courtesy: Peanuts.wikia.com

Snoopy's World War I flying ace fantasy has made it into museums all over the country.

There was a special exihibit at the National World War I Museum at Liberty Memorial in Kansas City, MO. You can still see pictures of the exhibit online.

Snoopy has also been featured at the Intrepid Sea, Air and Space Museum in New York City. In 2009 Snoopy as the World War I Flying Ace featured prints. But even cooler, the Intrepid showcased some of the Snoopy artwork that crew members would draw on the walls of the Intrepid, called "sailor art."

Snoopy is also immortalized in the Smithsonian in Washington, DC. You can find, for instance, an album of the Snoopy vs. the Red Baron song by The Royal Guardsman. At the Air and Space Museum there is an exhibit on World War I air combat, called Legend, Memory and the Great War in the Air. They talk about the Red Baron there.

Want more about Snoopy? Check out my 5 ways to tell Snoopy is a beagle article from last year.

Monday, October 13, 2014

7 truths about shelter or rescue dogs

A few months ago the Washington Post published an editorial on why one person would "never adopt another shelter dog."

You can read it here.

It's a nasty piece of work that is based on bad experience and not much more. And it hurts an entire group of pets who just desperately need homes as much as any other pet.

This month is Adopt a Shelter Dog Month. Many have posted about the myths of shelter and rescue dogs. As the owner of two shelter dogs, I'm going to tell you about what's true.


1) They are often the victim of uninformed humans. How many dogs are left in shelters because they weren't potty trained, or the human didn't realize the dog's chewing on things had to do with the dog being bored? Or that some breeds need more exercise than others?

Darius is 3 and a half years old. He was recently sent Orange County Animal Services in Orlando.
This is true for all dogs. Do your research before you get a dog. Know what type of dog can fit your lifestyle. If you can't go out for long walks with a dog, you probably shouldn't get a dog who needs lots of exercise. Dogs require structure. You need to be prepared to give them that.

2)  They come in all colors, shapes and sizes. Don't think you can get the breed you want? Think again. There's a rescue for almost every breed of dog in the country. And if you can't find one close to you, you'd be surprised how many perfect strangers will take turns driving however far to bring you your dog. Sites like Petfinder and Adopt-a-Pet  will help you find the pet you're looking for.

Shelby is an adult beagle mix at Lake County Animal Services.
3) Older pets are better than puppies. Can you get a puppy in a shelter or a rescue? Of course. Especially during certain times of the year. But should you? Puppies are a lot of work, and they don't let you sleep through the night necessarily. And they may have to be housebroken.

The good thing about older dogs is they may be more mellow. They also may be housebroken. If you're not used to having a dog, consider an older dog.

4) All dogs can get sick. Sure breeders might offer a guarantee that their dogs don't have any problems. But more than half of golden retrievers get cancer.  Cocker spaniels are susceptible to a number of illnesses.  Beagles can get hip dysplasia and intrervertebral disc disease.  Any dog is capable of illness. And mix breeds may actually be less susceptible to certain illnesses.

5) Some shelter or rescue dogs may have training. When you are looking at dogs, be sure to ask the shelters and rescues what training the dogs have had. Some will train the dogs to make them more adoptable. Nothing fancy, just basic behavioral stuff.

Pup pup is a poodle mix at Pasco County Animal Services.
6) You don't HAVE to go to a shelter to see a shelter dog. Shelters make people sad or they scare people, and that's why some avoid the shelters. Think you're scared? You should see some of the dogs! They sit in a corner and won't look at anyone because they don't understand what's happening.

There are different ways to see a shelter dog. You can go online, look at the websites, or the Facebook pages (they all have them). Then you can go to the shelters and meet the dogs out of the cages. Some shelters have fenced in areas or rooms where you can meet the dog and see them come out of their shell. Or, you can visit an offsite location, like a pet store or a rescue event. PetSmart and Petco both host rescue events on the weekends.

7) Shelter and rescue dogs are grateful. I don't know how else to say it. I don't mean that dogs from breeders are not grateful to the people who adopt them. I just mean I hear lots of stories about shelter or rescue dogs saving their owners or their owners' children. They also become therapy dogs or medical alert dogs.

Here's some stories:
Tell me about your shelter dog! In the comments below, tell us about the dog you rescued, in honor of Adopt a Shelter Dog Month.

Thursday, October 9, 2014

How does your doggy cuddle? 10 cuddling beagles

Sometimes I just want to cuddle my dog.

Don't get me wrong, I love to blog. But between blogging and working, sometimes my dogs don't get the love I think they should.

So some days, I turn off the computer, and love on my dogs. But while Jasmine loves it, Lulu is not as much of a fan. She really has to be in the mood -- either because I've been on a trip or she's cold or something.

Experts will tell you dogs don't like to be hugged. Some trainers even say that, to a dog, putting your hands (paws) around the dog is a form of dominance.

But it seems some dogs do like to cuddle. Some dog breeds are even known for being particularly snuggly, according to SheKnows.com. Note beagles don't make that list.

So I asked my followers on Facebook to show me their snuggling doggies. And apparently quite a few enjoy a good cuddle! (lucky ducks). Here are 10 adorable photos. And be sure to head to my Facebook page to see more.

PHOTO/Andrea Beth
PHOTO/Nathalia Pineiro


PHOTO/Jackie Bouchard (and Rita)



PHOTO/Kerri Temos Tollinger.

PHOTO/Christina Reece (And Jackson)

 
PHOTO/Kathleen Klunk

PHOTO/Mis Marie
PHOTO/Jeanine Wright-Decker (and Baxter)
PHOTO/Rachelle Bankhead (and Bernadette)
PHOTO/Genea Kercheval (and Daisy)