Sunday, December 31, 2017

22 Things I don't want to forget about Galadriel, my cat

Me and Galadriel in 2016.

1. We found her at PetSmart in 2004. My brother, my roommate at the time, wanted a cat, so we went to check out the shelter cats. She was the only one that showed any real attention to us. She rubbed back and forth against the bars of the cage. When they took her out for us to meet, she was so friendly that we took her on the spot.

For two weeks after she tried to escape.

2. Galadriel would bite your nose if you picked her up. She stare at you with her big yellow green eyes, reach up close, and then chomp down on your nose. Or your chin, if she was so inclined. Could never figure out why she did it.

3. She liked to sit in the sink.

4. She had the oddest way of drinking water. Firstly, it was rare to ever see her drink water to begin with. But when she did, she often would dip her paw in the water and lick it instead of going right in the dish.

5. I bought her toys. I bought her beds. I won fancy cat stuff for her. She rarely if ever used any of it. Her favorite toys were my ponytail holders, the rings to milk cartons, and sometimes toys on a string. She preferred to lay on scratch pads, baby blankets, and over the last six months one particular dining room chair cushion.

6. I will never be able to get her fur out of my favorite chair.

7. We had these vaulted ceilings in one apartment, and these huge cabinets in the kitchen -- so huge I never used them. One day I found her chillaxing on the top of the cabinets. She would get on the counter and jump to the top of the cabinet and just lay there for hours.

Not the cabinets -- this was the cabinet in the garage of the house in the last couple years.
No idea how she ever got up here.
8. When she was older, she had trouble jumping even onto countertops. I bought her a cat tree so that she could make easy steps to the counter in my bedroom. She refused to use it.

9. She was messy. She was messy eating. She was messy in the cat pan. I cleaned the cat pan and replaced the litter one day. When I came home I found litter all over the bathroom floor. AND I MEAN all over.

10. She liked to think she was a tough kitty. If you got in her way, she made sure to let you know -- either vocally or physically.

11. She had this habit of sitting in doorways and as people walked by in a way she didn't like, she'd take a swing at your leg. She got more than a few people that way.


12. Galadriel never touched people food, ever -- until Koko, my oldest cat died in 2011. Then all of a sudden she loved human food.

13. In 2011, my apartment was broken into. Galadriel, who was normally fearless with strangers, all of a sudden hid from men -- like the men who fixed my broken window, or the friend who came by to help me. But she also never left my side. She was my comforter for weeks after -- or I was hers.

14. The dogs were usually afraid of her in the beginning. More than once in the early months, Lulu would not pass her for fear she'd take a swipe at her. And right up until the end, Cappy would refuse to walk past her.


15. There was only one dog unafraid of Galadriel. That was Jasmine. Galadriel would pick fights, and Jasmine would fight back. They had a few epic fights. But in the end, the two of them were very sweet to each other.


16. She loved to be outside. Every once in a while I would let her sit on the lanai with the dogs. She would sun herself and roll on the ground. I didn't let her go out all the time. But when I did it was a treat.


17. Galadriel had better recall than the dogs, who I had trained to come when called.

18. Galadriel never learned to boop heads. No matter how hard I tried. I wish she had.

19. She had the softest fur. And silky.

20. People said I had matched my pets. It was never my attention. But yeah, I had tri-color pets, but Galadriel was first.


21. She was beautiful. Even when her jaw was broken and crooked. She was beautiful.

22. And even though she didn't start out as mine, she surely was in the end.


On Thursday, Dec. 21, Galadriel went to the Rainbow Bridge. Sleep well kitty.

A painting I did a while back of Galadriel with my heart cat, Koko. They're both forever in my heart now.

Saturday, December 23, 2017

Countdown to Christmas Day 5: New colorful Le Bol dishes from Loving Pets

We're counting down to Christmas!

Christmas is only a couple days away and we can't wait, how about you guys? We're pulling out all of our Christmas stuff, and we're excited about these new pet dishes we got from Loving Pets. Check out the Le Bol series, and enter to win a set of them!
DISCLOSURE: All prizes and review samples in Lulu's Countdown to Christmas Giveaway were provided for free, but no other compensation was provided. All opinions are my own.

Thursday, December 14, 2017

Countdown to Christmas, Day 4: New Spot Farms training treats

We're counting down for Christmas!


We know we are missing a post Thursday, and we are late with this one. Galadriel, our kitty, is very sick, so we've been dealing with that. 

More on that another time. 

We're going to unwrap a great giveaway right now!

DISCLOSURE: All prizes and review samples in Lulu's Countdown to Christmas Giveaway were provided for free, but no other compensation was provided. All opinions are my own.

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Countdown to Christmas, Day 3: WHIMZEES new Brushzees

Our Countdown to Christmas continues!

Every Tuesday and Thursday we unwrap a new gift to giveaway for your dog and for the dog lover in your life!




This Tuesday, we're giving away a treat that will keep your dog busy and help clean their teeth.

DISCLOSURE: All prizes and review samples in Lulu's Countdown to Christmas Giveaway were provided for free, but no other compensation was provided. All opinions are my own.

Thursday, November 30, 2017

Countdown to Christmas Day 2: Scents of the season with One Fur All!

We're counting down to Christmas!

Every Tuesday and Thursday we're unwrapping a new giveaway for dogs and the humans who love them!

On Tuesday we unwrapped the "Beagles Go Around the World" coloring book!

And today, we have another great gift for dog lovers!
One Fur All wax melts help dog lovers keep their house smelling great.

DISCLOSURE: All prizes and review samples in Lulu's Countdown to Christmas Giveaway were provided for free, but no other compensation was provided. All opinions are my own.

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Countdown to Christmas: Win this stress-relieving book for your dog lover

We're excited to announce our new campaign!

Lulu's Countdown to Christmas Giveaway

DISCLOSURE: All prizes and review samples in Lulu's Countdown to Christmas Giveaway were provided for free, but no other compensation was provided. All opinions are my own.

Monday, November 20, 2017

An Off-beat Holiday Gift Guide for Pets

EDITOR'S NOTE: This is an updated version of the original Off-Beat Holiday Gift Guide.

This is Lulu.

I bought the bed for the cat on Black Friday at Petco. Lulu doesn't even fit in it, but she loves it!

I tend to like different things though. I look for the unusual and fun for myself, and I want the same for my pets whenever I can. So without much ado, here's some of the fun pet items I found that would make great gifts for the holidays.


A shark pet bed! We first saw these on Think Geek, but they don't sell it anymore. But you can find a whole bunch of different ones on Amazon.





Sleep like a ghost!

This "Nightmare Before Christmas" themed dog bed is horrifically awesome. It comes in two sizes and is easy to clean with a removable insert, perfect for the Zero in your life.
Order now from Amazon!

 DOGGLES!
Got a dog who likes to stick its head out the window of a moving car? Or do you take your dog for rides on bikes, even motorcycles?
The doggles allow the dog to ride without getting things flung into their eyes.
Order now from Amazon!




 Here's a cool toy, and it gets the dogs thinking. It's called the Orbee-Tuff Mazee Treat Ball, by Planet Dog.
The dog has to negotiate the treats through the maze and out of the ball.
Order it from Amazon.








More treat puzzle toys, but this one is really cool.
It's called Trixie Gambling Tower. You put the pieces in various spots, and the dogs have to figure out how to get it out of the tower.
Trixie has other puzzle toys, including a roulette wheel, a mad scientist game, and a chess set.
This is available at Amazon.com.



We live in Florida. Sure it's cool right now, but this will be over soon. Probably by Christmas.
Give your dog a great way to cool off from running around all day.
This Bone-shaped doggy pool is like a kitty pool. The company that makes them, One Dog One Bone, also makes a paw print-shaped pool.
You can find these pools at Amazon.com. 


Of course, if you live in one of those houses where the backyard is all pool, and you don't mind your puppy in the pool, get them their own lounge.
The Swimways Float Paddle Paws lounge comes in two sizes, and it's made to be claw-friendly, according to the write-up on Amazon.com
You can find this at Amazon.com. 


PetSafe, purveyor of fine electronic pet products, makes it easy for you to keep your dog busy whenever they want to be. The Automatic Ball Launcher can launch balls up to 7 feet, and comes with 9 settings.
Available on Amazon.com.






You may scream for ice cream, but your dog is howling for it. Puppy Scoops is an ice cream mix for dogs, in flavors dog like -- like maple bacon. It's a lactose free ice cream that's low in fat. All you do is add water to the powdered mix, then freeze it.
Available from Amazon.com.

Sunday, November 19, 2017

How your dog can have Thanksgiving dinner with the family

How does a dog handle living in a house during the holidays? Most people can't handle all the amazing smells and things. That's why we all gorge ourselves.

Dogs, meanwhile, have more olfactory cells than humans, and beagles moreso. No wonder they beg for food, and not everyone has trained themselves to resist those big sad eyes when they start begging.

So, what do you do?

There's lots of things dogs shouldn't eat during a holiday. HOWEVER, there are some things that you can give your pet so they can enjoy the holiday too.

Presenting the doggy Thanksgiving dinner.

Friday, November 10, 2017

K9s for Warriors save veterans, dogs: Tour the campus and learn how to help

We celebrate freedom in America, but as we always say -- freedom isn't free. The problem is, the people who pay that price for us often pay more than we can possibly imagine. Even if they are not hurt in body, many are wounded in mind and spirit.

At least 20 veterans commit suicide every day, according to estimates by the Veterans Administration.

1 in 5 veterans suffer from post-traumatic stress.

A wonderful organization in Florida is saving not only the lives of veterans, but the lives of rescue dogs as well.

K9s for Warriors saves veterans and dogs.
K9s for Warriors accomplishes this mission through the help of donors and volunteers and at a facility that's not unlike a homey camp.

And I got to tour it in July 2017, one day before a new class of veterans arrived.

DISCLOSURE: Merrick Pet Care helped set up this tour of the K9s for Warriors campus. They are a proud sponsor of K9s for Warriors. I did not receive any monetary compensation for the post, and all my opinions are my own.

Thursday, November 2, 2017

How to keep your dog's teeth clean -- Merrick Fresh Kisses review + giveaway

Nothing like doggy breath, huh? Hot and sometimes -- especially depending on what you feed them -- quite stinky.

But just like humans, stinky dog breath could be a sign of tooth decay. And just like humans, tooth decay in a dog can lead to all sorts of health problems.

That's why we've got to keep those teeth clean, right? And to do that, we'll show you how to brush a dog's teeth in a few easy steps, plus -- use a good dental treat. We recommend Merrick's new Fresh Kisses™ dental treats, and at the end you'll have a chance to win some.

Use Merrick Fresh Kisses Dental Treats to keep your dog's teeth pearly!

DISCLOSURE: This post and giveaway is sponsored by Merrick Pet Care. The opinions and ideas in this post are my own and are uninfluenced by any other person or business.

Friday, October 20, 2017

How to touch: Hand targeting with your dog -- a Trick or Treat Giveaway Blog Hop

Halloween is coming up fast! Who is ready to trick or treat?

We've joined up with Kol's Notes, Beagles and Bargains and more of your favorite pet bloggers for this year's Trick or Treat Giveaway Blog Hop!


We've got a great trick to show you -- and after you see our trick, you'll have a chance to enter to win prizes -- including a $300 PetSmart gift card!

DISCLOSURE: The Trick or Treat Giveaway Hop is sponsored by CleverPet, The Honest Kitchen, Planet Dog, and Health Extension. The opinions and ideas in this post are my own and are uninfluenced by any other person or business. The individual sponsors are responsible for their giveaway prizes including shipping.

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

4 Halloween goodies dogs should be scared of (but aren't!)

It's Halloween, which means there will likely be copious amounts of junk food coming into your home over the next few days (because even if you don't have kids I bet at least a third of you will raid the candy aisle during the Halloween clearance sales, amirite?)

But there are some goodies out there that can be a nightmare for you and your dog if he or she breaks into them.

So lets spread the word and remind our friends and family what NOT to leave out this week -- or all year long. This is with the help of PetMD.com.
4 Halloween treats dogs shouldn't have: chocolate, nuts, xylitol and raisins



Sunday, October 15, 2017

Apopka's Club Lake Plantation full of dog-friendly fall fun

Looking for some fall fun with your pet. This feature I wrote for Barkpost has some great fall/Halloween activities you can do with your dog. 25 of them, in fact.
And for us Central Floridians, this great month-long festival is going on right now!

Lulu had a blast exploring Club Lake Plantation in Apopka, near Orlando.

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

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!


Wednesday, October 4, 2017

What Hurricane Irma taught me about dogs, disasters

It's 2 a.m. and 89 degrees in the house. I'm stripped down to my underwear, "The Crown" on my tablet to try and distract me from my discomfort at the heat and humidity, the darkness and the otherwise silence of my powerless home.

What I can't distract myself from is the sound of Lulu's breathing.

It's faster than usual, and her chest is heaving up and down quickly. She's not panting, just breathing heavily.

I rub her chest and "arm pits" with a damp rag in the hope of keeping her comfortable.

Jasmine tries to stay cool. She handled the lack of AC better than Lulu.
But I'm resolved. Tomorrow, they all go to my parents' house, even if I hate to do an overnight trip and rush back to work.

Their discomfort is more upsetting to me than anything else about this situation. It's early Thursday morning, Sept. 14. I've been without power since Sunday, Sept. 10, when Hurricane Irma hit Orlando and the rest of Florida.

And I won't have power again until Sept. 19.
Keeping the dogs cool was tougher without power.
Lulu poolside two days after Hurricane Irma. Debris could be cleaned out, but without power I had no filter for over a week. The pool turned quite green.
I'm lucky, I really am. There are people in Florida and Texas and Louisiana and the Caribbean who have it a lot worse. One beagle breeder friend in South Florida had to leave a flooded home. Other friends waited for days before they heard from loved ones in Puerto Rico.

But I learned a lot about myself, and about dogs, in a disaster, in the days after Hurricane Irma.


DISCLOSURE: I received Fresh Wave and One Fur All products from those companies. I received no monetary compensation for this post. All opinions are my own.

Monday, August 21, 2017

Solar eclipse and pets: Scientists want your help

Everyone is so excited about the solar eclipse today.

And online there are some saying keep your dog in the house, some are saying you don't need to because they won't look at the sun anyway.

Scientists are very interested, however, in how your pets will react in general.
Download the iNaturalist app and help them better understand how animals react to an eclipse.


It's called the Life Responds project, and scientists at the California Academy of Science want your help.

Friday, August 18, 2017

3 ways you can help Clear the Shelters when you can't foster, adopt

Saturday, Aug. 19 is Clear the Shelters Day!

Thousands of shelters in the United States are currently full of pets looking for homes -- it's a big summer problem. And it will take all of us to help reduce the pet population in our shelters.

When you adopt a pet, you actually rescue two -- the one you adopt, and the one that can take its place so it is not killed.
Buster is a 4-year-old beagle at Orange County Animal Services in Orlando, FL. He is heartworm positive, but his treatments are sponsored.
Ideally, we'd all love to run out and adopt every pet who needs a home. But that's not feasible. Still, there are ways you can help #ClearTheShelters today and everyday. Here are three:

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Help your dog handle a new school year: Jones Natural Chews review + giveaway

UPDATE: Just to make it clear, to be qualified to enter, you MUST leave a comment in the comment section at the end of the blog AND enter the Rafflecopter widget by confirming that you left a comment. I see some people have entered the Rafflecopter widget by saying they left a comment... but didn't leave a comment. Please do so.

It's tough to imagine the summer is almost over and children are going back to school.

That means a rush of shopping, getting kids back to a bed routine, maybe a doctor visit or two, maybe even one last trip somewhere fun. 

But dogs are creatures of habit. And after a relaxing summer with their best friends, the new school year up-ends their peaceful existence. So lets help them adjust!

And one way is to use long-lasting chews that they can keep busy and relieve stress with. That's why we're partnering with Jones Natural Chews to help.

A bone can help your dog adjust to the kids going back to school.

We're giving 2 people a set of great Jones Natural Chews center bones to get you started.

DISCLOSURE: This post is sponsored by Jones Natural Chews. But all of the opinions and information are our own.

Saturday, July 8, 2017

5 great reasons your dog needs water plus PetSafe fountain review

DISCLOSURE: This post includes a review of the PetSafe® Brand Drinkwell® Outdoor Pet Dog Fountain. PetSafe provided a fountain to review, and one to giveaway, but no other compensation. Any opinions in this post are my own.

July is Pet Hydration Month. Can you guess why?

You know your dog needs clean water daily. But do you know how much? And do you know the signs if your dog is dehydrated?

Here are 5 reasons your dog needs to have clean drinking water all day long, and especially in the summer.


Monday, June 26, 2017

How CBD dog treats from Treatibles can ease summer stress

What summer means for you is not everything it means to your dog.

To you, summer means cookouts, beach visits, freaking heat, the Fourth of July.

To your dog it means lots of human activity, staying home alone, lightning and thunder summer storms, the Fourth of July's fireworks.

Now any dog can get a little stressed in summer, but if your dog is like my Jasmine, you know summer can be an extremely tough time.

So lets talk about ways you can help your dog all summer long, and using Treatibles® CBD Pet Chews to help your pet combat summer stress.

DISCLOSURE: This post is sponsored by Treatibles CBD Pet Chews, but all opinions about the product are mine.

Saturday, June 24, 2017

Beagle Facts: Funny Twitter account you need to follow

Here at Life With Beagle, we post lots of beagle facts:

We've posted on the beagle anatomy from nose to tail.

We've posted on the distinct sounds beagles make.

And we post about all sorts of beagle health problems.

But we've never posted facts like this:

Monday, June 5, 2017

Who is Megan Leavey: Real-life hero story about Marine and her K-9

Right now everyone is all about "Wonder Woman," and with good reason. She's a superpowered super hero with 75 years of history, and her film is a critical and commercial success so far.

But she's not the only female hero leading a movie in the summer of 2017.

Meet Megan Leavey.

The poster for 'Megan Leavey,' about a Marine and her K-9.

DISCLOSURE: I saw the below featurette at BlogPaws 2017 in Myrtle Beach, SC, which was sponsored by Merrick Pet Care, a proud supporter of "Megan Leavey."  Merrick Pet Care is a proud sponsor of BlogPaws. However, I did not receive any payment for this post.

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

How to tell if your dog has dog flu, and 7 other facts

In 2015, a newly-seen strain of dog flu shut down doggy day cares and left pet parks empty in Chicago.

The H3N2, largely seen in Asia, sickened hundreds of dogs in Chicago and made its way across the country. 

Now it's in Florida. 

University of Florida vets say they are caring for a dozen confirmed cases of H3N2 dog flu, with six more cases pending test results. 

How do I tell if my dog has the H3N2 dog flu? What does H3N2 dog flu do to my dog? And should I get the vaccine? We try to answer some of your questions.

What you need to know about dog flu to protect your pet.

Sunday, April 30, 2017

7 ways dogs are the prescription for PTSD, heart health, more

May is National Pet Month!

Seems like the perfect month to celebrate the Human-Animal Bond. And why the science says a pet is a great prescription for better human health. They even have a whole commercial for this medication.


Friday, April 28, 2017

Thongs, couches and light bulbs: Crazy things dogs will eat

Lulu once ate (or tried to eat) a burrito full of ants.

I was walking her in my old apartment complex. Now normally, I try to keep a weather eye out to make sure Lulu doesn't get anything she's not supposed to. But I missed this burrito. She grabbed it before I had the chance. And then she dropped it, scrunched up her nose and pawed at her mouth as a million ants poured out of the wrap.

Lulu has eaten some crazy things in her time.

I wish I could say that ended her habit of grabbing things off the sidewalk.

Now, we've all heard of dogs eating crazy things. Lulu and Jasmine have never really strayed from food, and cat poop -- including cat poop left by outdoor cats. SO GROSS!

I remember a story about a beagle in the Tampa area that ate money. 

This dog apparently ate stone -- 109 stones, to be precise! Vets have the Xrays to prove it! 

Sometimes dogs eat strange things because of a mineral deficiency, or pica. But some experts think dogs mouth objects out of curiosity. It may be a behavioral issue too. Here's some more info on that from VetStreet.


I asked our friends on Facebook and Twitter what the weird items their dogs ate were. And here are some of the responses.

Monday, April 17, 2017

Don't put the Easter eggs away! A nosework hunt for dogs

Hope you had a great Easter holiday! Did you do an Easter Egg Hunt? Well don't put those eggs away yet! We have a great activity that will help you get Easter going all year long, sponsored by Einstein Pets.



DISCLOSURE: Life With Beagle did not receive compensation for this post, and all thoughts are my own.