Eat, Sleep, Poop, Repeat.

Dean at the Vet

It brings a smile to my face when my dogs enjoy being at the vet and behave so wonderfully!

Dean got so excited about Christmas that he got an upset tummy and some pretty stinky diarrhea! Haha. So….we made a quick trip to the vet.

Christmas decorating isn’t why Dino has diarrhea, but he’s had excessive and very loose stool for a couple of days so we are here getting a check up.

It’s always good to know your dog’s eating and bathroom habits so you can catch anything out of the ordinary quickly before it turns into something much worse. I always take time to walk my dogs to ensure they have a healthy poo after each meal. If you don’t know your dog’s bathroom schedule start paying attention so that you can guarantee they go often enough, and that its a good consistency and color. You never know when you might end up at the vet with an issue and the doctor might ask if you know when the dog had his last bowel movement and what it looked like.

Poop is a part of life. Pick it up and move on. 

Thanksgiving Feast the Ridogulous Way

The dogs waiting for turkey dinner.

Dean, Dolcezza, Lola, Smokey, and Danner are waiting to say the blessing and dive into that turkey dinner!

The Darby dogs have so much to be thankful for. I have no doubt that they realize just how blessed they are. Many of them remember their time on the streets and appreciate every meal in a special way. Others who never experienced being homeless see the rescue dogs that come to our house and understand how lucky they are. We work hard every day to try to make the lives of homeless dogs just a little bit better. Dogs love us, work hard for us, and give us unconditional love. They deserve the same from us.

I’m constantly amazed at the rescue dogs that have been abused physically or by neglect. They’re so quick to forgive humans. Even though sometimes it takes them awhile to be comfortable and trust us completely, they still appreciate everything we do for them and show their gratitude with every tail wag or lick.

Now to try and express how thankful I am for my dogs. This might be impossible to put into words. Actually, it is. I cannot even begin to imagine my life without animals. They give me purpose. They are my purpose. A very special friend of mine sent me some Bible verses after I lost Sloane. She included these:

Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others faithfully administering God’s grace in its various forms. I Peter 4:10

Each person is given something to do that shows who God is.
I Corinthians 12: 7

God put each of us here for a reason, and my reasons have four legs. I haven’t yet figured out the whole story. I don’t know what His long-term plan is for me, and sometimes I question whether I’m following the right path. It’s hard to just close your eyes and believe sometimes, but guess what…my dogs are the very ones that remind me that He’s with me all the time, and I can put all my trust in Him. Without them, I would be nothing. I would have no reason to wake up in the morning. I would have no purpose. And I would have never invented my new pooper scooper blower (and I’m sure that’s going to be a million dollar idea soon)!!!

With each new furry family member that I find, my heart is filled more and more with pure love. And with the loss of each one, I endure extreme pain. But I would never take back the time I had with each of them. They each teach me something new and amazing, and I wouldn’t be the person I am today without them.

So today, I’m beyond thankful for my amazing family (which is comprised entirely of animal lovers), so grateful for my friends who understand my love for animals (even though they might not be quite as extreme in their love of animals as me), and I’m forever indebted to the animals that give me purpose.

#SardineSunday

IMG_7033We have a little tradition at my house that we like to call Sardine Sunday. My dogs probably count down the week days to Sunday like the rest of the human world counts down to Friday! I look forward to Sardine Sunday just as much as they do because I know how much they love the tasty treat, I love watching them get so excited, and I know how many health benefits are packed into each tiny, little can!

I’m in no way a scientist, a nutritionist, or a veterinarian, but I’ve spent many, many hours over many days, months, and years researching canine health and well being. It’s important to me. My dogs give me all of their love and loyalty, and they look at me as their leader, their hero. Providing the best in health and nutrition is the least I can do for these devoted companions.

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Be sure to buy sardines packed in water. Oils and other substances that sardines are sometimes packed in can be bad for your dog.

According to dogster.com, sardines are full of omega-3 fatty acids and Coenzyme Q10. The benefits of omega-3 fatty acids range from cancer prevention, to reducing inflammation, and even giving the immune system a boost. The DHA and EPA are great for brain development and help improve the skin and coat. CoQ10 supports a healthy heart, improves circulation, and is great for preventing dental disease. When buying sardines, be sure to get cans of the fish packed in only water. Sardines packed in oils and other types of substances can contain ingredients that could be harmful to your dog. Also, always look for the lowest sodium content and purchase those sardines. Your dogs don’t need the extra salt.

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This is what a good smelly, mushy sardine meal should look like!

Now, I’ll be honest…sardines can leave your furry little friend a bit gassy and if fed too many, too often, they can start to smell a bit fishy! Most dogs don’t need an entire 3.75 oz can every day, and according to mercola.com the fatty acids are fragile and will perish quickly, so the sardines should be eaten immediately or frozen. Because of these reasons I started feeding sardines once a week instead of daily and Sardine Sunday was born! My adult labs (weights ranging from 55-75 lbs) get one can of sardines each, once a week. For my puppies, I open one can and split it between them. They get one fish per 20 pounds of body weight each.

After putting kibble in their bowls I dump the fish, and the water it’s packed in, over the food. In order to get all the smelly goodness out of the can, I fill the tin up with water, swish it around, and pour it over the kibble, too. All the while my dogs are lined up, ready to devour their special treat, drool dribbling everywhere from their anticipation.

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Always wash your dog’s bowls after they have a special treat like Sardines. The excess left in the bowl will go bad and could make your dog sick if you don’t clean it out.

Be sure to wash your dog’ bowl after they finish eating the sardines! The smelly, mushy treat leaves quite a mess in the bowl, even after the dogs lick as much as they can out!

If you decide to give your dog sardines, let me know how much they enjoy it! I know they’ll be beside themselves with excitement. Sardines are the closest treat to a wild caught, fresh fish they can get!