Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Happy Fall!

I love my little pumpkins!

Happy Fall!

Friday, October 25, 2013

Pocahontas Puppy Costume Tutorial

Poca, our little 10 week old black lab puppy, is dressing up as Pocahontas for a pet costume contest on Saturday!  Isn't she adorable?  I snapped a few photos along the way in case anyone wanted to see how this was done.

My super scientific way of measuring Poca was to throw a kitchen towel over her back.  It was about the right width, and after folding it down some, I found the right length.  I then figured in parts for the neck straps.  Initially they were longer than this and after trying it on her we cut them down to the right length.

To sew on the fringe, I sewed the lighter fleece on in a bigger piece than I needed.  Cutting it afterwards was easier than trying to keep the two pieces lined up.

I cut the neck out and then flipped it over to cut the fringe.  Again, very exact measurements here... the fringe was about the length of my finger all the way around.  I just moved my finger along as I cut.

The bottom fringe was done in the same manner.  I sewed a piece on and then flipped it over and trimmed it to fit.

I used two KAM snaps for the neck and then put a snap on a piece of brown ribbon as well.  We pinned the ribbon in place and tried it on Poca to be sure it was going to fit well.

 She didn't seem to mind the outfit much, as it was comfy fleece.  You can see the snap placement here:

 I happened to have an Aqua Mommy Necklace that I threw on her just for a minute for the photo.  We had treats on hand to keep her from biting the necklace, and certainly wouldn't leave it on her unsupervised.  We had also considered finding her a turquoise collar as an alternative.

Add in her Kong Raccoon and she's all set!  Do you think she'll win?  Check back later this week to find out!  *She didn't win, but it was still lots of fun!  The kids got candy and apple cider, and Poca got lots of treats and some coupons to local dog stores.  We enjoyed seeing all of the creative costumes other dogs were wearing too!*

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Kong Puppy Toy Review

Puppies need to be busy!!  Good quality toys are a necessity.  We recently had the chance to review some Kong puppy toys - Poca loves them.  Ok, I love them too because they keep her from chewing up things that she shouldn't.

Right away Poca stole the raccoon and ran off with it.  Its been her little buddy ever since (fitting since her name is Pocahontas).  Even after lots of play, it is holding up well.  There is a knotted rope inside the raccoon that makes it interesting for Poca to chew on.  Its eyes and nose are embroidered on so that no little pieces will come off and harm her.  She likes to play "fetch the raccoon" or just nibble on it.

My girls thought it was super cute that Poca has her own pacifier.  The special Kong shaped treats fit perfectly inside, with just enough sticking out to tempt Poca to chew.  I was impressed that the ingredients in the treats are all natural and good for her.

After giving Poca the pacifier once, I was completely sold on it.  I could hand her a treat and it would be gone in three seconds, or I can put one in here and she can bite and play with this for five or ten minutes instead.  This way she gets the treat, gets a bit of a challenge, and gets to chew on something for a while.

The pink bone is really nice because I can just stick pieces of Poca's food in the ends of it.   She's had an upset tummy a few times, probably from switching her food over or just from settling in to her new home here with us.  I've not wanted to give her any extra treats, but this still works well and because its just her normal food inside, its fine for her to have.

Poca hasn't paid much attention to the frisbee yet, she looses sight of it once its in the air.  Its a nice flexible one though and I think as she gets older it will be great.  The kids and I had fun throwing it to each other anyway.  ;)

Ok, am I the only crazy dog mommy who thinks this is super cool?  There are ice cube trays made just to fit the Kong toys!  Poca will be getting one of these for Christmas to use with her pink Kong.  We can also stuff it with peanut butter, Kong treats, and more.  Once her tummy is settled down we'll be using this often.  There are some fun recipes and games here.

The Kong Wubba toy is fun, only Poca is a total blur when she is playing with it and impossible to photograph!  Its great for playing tug, bite, pull, squeak, etc.  :)

In my opinion, every dog needs a Kong (just check here to see which size).  I like having a variety of them to keep Poca interested and happy.  Kong toys are made in the USA and are a good high quality choice for dogs.  Thanks so much to the Kong Company for sending us these to review!  All opinions expressed are my own.

Monday, October 21, 2013

What Does A New Puppy Need?

We've had Poca, our little black Labrador Retriever, for two weeks now.  As always, I tried to do a bit of research and pick out the safest and best supplies for her.

Here are my green pics for dog care:

a crate - We are borrowing the inlaws cat carrier until Poca is a little bigger. We have another crate that she can move into as she grows.

old towels - An old bath towel works well in the bottom of her crate.  It is comfortable for her and easily washable.  We also have towels down on the floor by the back door where we take her out.  These are for wiping muddy paws and feet and also inevitably for catching puppy pee when we don't get her outside in time.  I decided that towels would be much more washable than the rugs I normally have there.

fleece blanket - I cut about a half of a yard of purple fleece that I had in my fabric stash.  Poca likes to snuggle with this and it keeps her nice and warm.

collar and leash - Our local pet store had a set that was made from soy and used all natural dyes.  It seemed more comfortable and natural feeling than some of the others.

tag - I saw these at the pet store but ordered ours online.  Red Dingo makes adorable stainless steel tags with nice engraving and a big variety to choose from.

food dish - After reading that stainless steel dog dishes could be radioactive (not kidding), we decided to go with ceramic.  I noticed that Fiestaware makes pet dishes, but then realized that my Gusto Bowls were just the right size.  Hint: they are much cheaper than the pet bowls.

dog food - Feeding your dog good food is probably the most important thing you can do to keep her healthy!  We decided to go with Wellness brand large breed puppy food.

treats - So far we have used pieces of Poca's food as treats, but we also picked up a bag of Wellness brand soft puppy treats.  I like the all natural ingredients on these and I'm sure Poca will too.  There were a few good brands available at our local store (Zukes, Wellness, and more).

toys - We picked up a cotton rope that Poca loves (not the color dyed nylon ones, just cotton).  We also are huge fans of Kong brand toys.  I'll be doing a review of their puppy toys soon.  Poca has several of them and loves them.

cleaning supplies - Pawganics foaming spray has been great for cleaning up accidents in the house.  My mother in law bought us a big six pack of paper towels with a bow on top as a new puppy present.  :)

bath soap - Poca had her first bath with Earthbath shampoo.  I really like their line of products.

poop bags - Right now we are walking Poca outside to potty each time and staying with her so that we can reward her.  We go ahead and pick up her poop with Earthrated Poop bags each time.  I like that these are biodegradable and come on a convenient little roll.

bones - I looked up some information on rawhides ...yuck!!  It looks like Wholesome Hide is what we'll be giving Poca.  I still have to track some down.

grooming supplies - The Kong Zoom Groom came highly recommended and works well.  I also ordered a puppy toothbrush, nail trimmers, and styptic powder from Amazon.

Are there any puppy care items that you love?  I'd enjoy hearing about them; leave a comment!  Check back for more adorable photos and a few puppy related product reviews soon!  :)

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Meet Pocahontas!

There is a new little furry friend in our household.  She's an eight week old Black Labrador Retriever and we just picked her up Saturday.  Her name is Pocahontas (Poca).  Julia read in a book that Pocahontas means "playful one".

She's settling in well!  The girls are doing a super job of watching her every move and running her outside to potty often.  She already knows that if she goes potty outside she gets a treat and will turn around and look for it after she goes.

Poca gets lots of love around here!  Hopefully she settles down and likes her crate better soon.  She already likes to sleep on the rug in the kitchen right beside me while I am cooking, and happily trotted all over the house following me from room to room while I put away laundry today.  So cute!