Monday, June 29, 2015

Honestly, It's FREE

While we were at BlogPaws, mom was introduced to a lot of new companies that she'd never heard of before. In addition to VitaBone and Kong and other well known names in the pet industry, we met Dr. Harvey's and The Honest Kitchen and so many others. I barked about Dr. Harvey's last week and a lucky winner was chosen to get a box of goodies in the mail. For her dog, of course.

I was the official tester of All The Things, of course. Mom came home with so much loot that it was kind of ridiculous (in the best way possible) and the girls and I have been sampling those things in the weeks since. Mom is a stingewad and doles out the goodies in rationed increments. I'd have eaten them all the first day and it would have been a very good day indeed, but I'm not in charge here. Obviously.

One of the things that I got to try and the girls didn't was The Honest Kitchen. This company makes some really yummy stuff. Their treats are amazing, but their food is different than any I'd had before. It's all natural ingredients, deyhdrated, in a powder form. Mom adds water and it turns into deliciousness that I can't wait to eat. While Dr. Harvey's was similar, you can get The Honest Kitchen with meat already added, so it really is just add water to make an instant meal.

Dad says he wishes the MREs he had in the military were that delicious. He says the just-add-water version of people food isn't nearly as fantastic as mine is. Nor as healthy.

After I ate up all the samples of The Honest Kitchen that we got at the conference, mom talked to my vet about changing my diet, and then talked to The Honest Kitchen folks to determine what formula would be best for me. Mom was looking to change my food because my eyes water a lot, and recently they've been red rimmed. Mom is worried that I have allergies, and the vet said that a diet change is an easier alternative than allergy testing.

It's a more delicious alternative, too. I'm just saying.

Mom decided to get me a grain-free turkey formula. Turkey is considered a novel meat, which means that it's not normally found in dog foods. A lot of dogs are allergic to the proteins in their food, as well as grains, so mom chose wisely.

My very own box of food arrived in the mail one day after a run with mom, and I was so excited to sniff it. I just knew it contained good things.

french bulldog Louie gets a box of dog food in the mail from The Honest Kitchen

I was right, because my sniffer never fails me. This is a box of dog food, and while it looks small, it contains a lot of food. The dehydrated state means that a whole lot can fit in there. Mom gives me roughly 3/4 cup daily, divided between 2 meals.

A french bulldog named Louie sniffing a box of The Honest Kitchen dog food he got in the mail, photo on his dog blog The French Dog.
It smells SOOOOO good!
Since that moment of delicious mail, I've been on a foodie journey here. I'll be barking about that for a few weeks to keep you informed of my progress, but mom says you need to know some things about the food first.

The Honest Kitchen is healthy, human grade food for pets.

*Complete and balanced whole food recipes
* Made in the USA
* Responsibly sourced meat & fish
* Organic whenever possible
* No GMO ingredients
* No ingredients from China
* No artificial additives or preservatives
* No wheat, corn, soy, rice or beet pulp

How do you feed dehydrated food:

1. Mix food with warm water.
2. Stir well and wait 3 minutes. (This part is HARD.)
3. Serve

Mom says I'm eating healthier than she is now. This might mean that I'll be in charge soon and can make the call to eat all the treats in one day. I'll let you know if that happens.

Mom is also partnering with The Honest Kitchen to give away a FREE 4 lb box of Embark, which is the grain-free turkey that I'm currently eating. (It's delicious. Trust me.) If you have allergies like I do, this would be a wonderful food to try. If you don't have allergies, it's just a super healthy option all around. And delicious. Have I mentioned that yet? Because it is.

This is the same size box I have, and it'll last a dog my size (20 pounds) about a month. Good deal, huh?

To enter to WIN, just leave a comment. You can do some other things, too, to get your name in the drawing more times. This will be open until July 19, so you have time to share with your friends, or come back and tweet about this multiple times to be entered more often.

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Sunday, June 28, 2015

Play Date

I had a play date last week. Mom says I have more social time than she does, but I can't think that's right. I haven't had a play date since Blog Paws at the end of May, and mom goes places all the time without me. She says it's to get groceries or run errands, but how many errands can one person run? I know she's sneaking out for some people time and doesn't want me to know.

She says she's not. I just asked her. I'm still skeptical.

So I met Lilly at the dog park in town, and we had a great time. It was even better because it wasn't raining that day. That's noteworthy, right there, because it's been raining every day since the beginning of forever, I think. Mom complains about the wet footprints on the floor, but when you have 4 feet and you have to go potty in the rain, these things are going to happen. 

Lilly and I had a good time reacquainting ourselves with each other, and then some other dogs came and we teamed up to terrorize them. It was SO MUCH FUN.

And then mom put me in time out because she said it wasn't good dog park rules to terrorize other dogs. Moms are all about manners all the time. Sometimes that can be a downer. Like when I'm really super excited to see someone and I jump up to say hello, and mom yells every single time and says, "GOOD DOGS KEEP 4 FEET ON THE FLOOR." I know that. I just forget sometimes.

I did decide to use my good manners, though, because time out is not fun. The dog park, however, is. I get to play with other dogs and mom is right there. What more could a dog want?

Okay, a cheeseburger, too, but that's a given.

Dr. Harvey's WINNER!

We have a winner for the Dr. Harvey's box of wonderful goodies! Congratulations, Amy Hughes! Thank you for stopping by and reading about my adventures. Many Louie Licks to you!

Saturday, June 27, 2015

This Just Bugs Me

Summer sure brings a lot of busy, doesn't it? I love the busy summer because I can romp with the girls in the yard or go on hikes with mom or ride on the motorcycle to new and fun places.

Summer brings some unfun things, too, like bugs. I spend a lot of time outdoors in the summer, and even with flea and tick medication faithfully administered, sometimes pesky things are pesky regardless.

While we were out enjoying summer the other week, we were invaded by a herd of ticks. It was actually funny to see the 2-leggers scratching their hind legs like I do, but they didn't seem too amused by the fact that bugs were crawling all over them. I guess with the lack of full body hair, it would be a creepy crawly feeling.

Fortunately, the family researched to find out they weren't ticks at all, but a tick impersonator called a billbug. They are completely harmless, and neither suck your blood nor give you diseases. This is good, because blood suckers that share diseases are bad.

This is a billbug.

the billbug looks very similar to a tick

You'll see the similarity to a tick, and why the confusion. And ensuing panic. (The humans did that part. I did not. I was rather oblivious to the whole thing and kind of enjoyed mom petting me all over every 10 minutes to check for more bugs.)

There are some ways you can tell if a black bug is a tick or a billbug.

1. Billbugs are social. They travel with friends. Ticks are loners.

2. Billbugs have wings. If you flick that thing away from you, and wings spring out, it's a billbug and not a tick. Ticks do not fly, they simply cling onto things as they pass by.

3. Billbugs are found everywhere, even indoors and on boats in the water. Ticks generally stay in the nature parts, like grass or wooded areas.

the billbug has longer legs than a tick, and has wings

4. If you get a really good close look at a billbug, you'll notice that it's legs are positioned more under it's body than on the sides. Provided you actually WANT to get close enough to notice this. But it's a good way to tell.

I have a concern about the billbugs, though, even if they are harmless. I'm thinking that as they spread through the nation like a locust invasion, all the people will get accustomed to seeing them and stop worrying about them being ticks. And then they'll stop worrying about ticks altogether. And then when they see an actual tick, they won't realize that it's an actual tick. And then those blood suckers will spread diseases, and those diseases won't be fun for dogs or their companions.

My suggestion is to wear flea AND TICK prevention all the time. And even then, be sure your human checks you over really well after you've been in the woods (or questionable places). Don't let your guard down. These imposters are probably in cahoots with ticks somehow and want us to do just that.

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

The Beginning Of My Career

Sometimes mom will set something on the floor, and OF COURSE a dog's first instinct is to walk over, sniff it, walk on it, and then lay on it for good measure, because that way you're sure to do whatever it is that mom wanted you to do with that thing on the floor. It's there for me, right?

Well, apparently not always. Who knew? The world doesn't revolve around me? I'm just as shocked as you are.

Sometimes the things that mom puts on the floor are expected to remain dog hair free, she said. If that's the case, why are they even in the house? Let's be realistic here.

The one large thing she sets up and poses people in front of (she calls it a backdrop) is definitely expected to be dog hair free. She also mentioned slobber and other things that I'm sure I don't do because I'm a refined gentleman French dog.


Mom put a new collar on me that had a necktie on it (because clearly, I AM a refined gentleman French dog) and then invited me onto the backdrop that dogs aren't allowed to touch. This his how I know mom loves me, and also that she recognizes my impeccable manners and undying devotion.

When I was on that white cloth, I just sat down and posed like a boss. That was the day that began my career as a model. Since that day, mom has asked me to stay in all sorts of funny places so that she can take my picture doing this or that or nothing at all, and I just sit there looking handsome because that's my job. And I rock it.

Cream colored french bulldog wearing a DIY necktie dog collar in a photo shoot.

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

(Mostly) Wordless Wednesday

A french bulldog shows humor on a dog blog through a series of photographs depicting a backyard barbecue scenario.
Yum! Grilling!

A french bulldog shows humor on a dog blog through a series of photographs depicting a backyard barbecue scenario.
Umm, there are no hamburgers.

A french bulldog shows humor on a dog blog through a series of photographs depicting a backyard barbecue scenario.
Hello? Do you have any hamburgers?
A french bulldog shows humor on a dog blog through a series of photographs depicting a backyard barbecue scenario.
This is just a photo shoot? Seriously?! I am not amused.

Dr. Harvey's GIVEAWAY Of Super Great Stuff

A pup in the country is just going to get dirty on occasion. Sometimes I find amazingly aromatic things to roll in when the farmers clean out their barns and spread brown stuff on the fields behind the house, and sometimes mud just finds me when I'm trying to enjoy myself in the great outdoors.


Let's call that "camouflage," shall we? You barely noticed that mud, am I right?

Mom and I have differing opinions on what a clean dog is. I think as long as there are no burrs stuck to my coat or anything sticky on me, I'm good to go. Mom, however, pretty much thinks dirt is evil and needs washed off.

Play in mud? Get a bath

Roll in poo? Get a bath.

Run through puddles and splash mud on myself? Get a bath.

It's ridiculous, this bathing thing.

I was super excited to get a box in the mail the other day, because it smelled so yummy. It was from the good people at Dr. Harvey's, whom I'd met at BlogPaws. I loved the Dr. Harvey's people! It's pretty fun when the 2-leggers get down on the floor to play with me. And they had some super amazing treats, too. I'm all about the treats.

There were all kinds of mouth-watering treats in that box, because a dog's nose doesn't deceive him, but there was also shampoo in that box. Shampoo that mom used to make me clean because she said it was time I had a bath. I WASN'T EVEN WEARING ANY MUD. Moms are clean freaks. It was herbal shampoo, and mom said its organic and chemical free. She loved it for that reason alone.

If you don't tell mom, it felt pretty good to be clean. Mom put some extra towels in my crate since she bathed me just before bedtime, and when she wasn't looking I rolled in them and burrowed under them and had a great time, because being clean makes you happy.

But don't tell mom I said that. No Louie Licks for snitches.

That shampoo was mighty fine, and didn't dry out my skin like some others do. Mom said it's a definite keeper. The timing of this box couldn't have been better. It had ear cleaner in there, too, and mom just told my vet the day before that my ears were looking pretty waxy. They're not now! Dr. Harvey's cleaned me right up and made me look like a respectable pup again.

I endured the bath without complaint, because I knew those good smelling treats were coming my way afterward. I was right, too. Mom gave me and the girls each a piece of Barkotti, because getting clean deserves a special reward.

Barkotti is an organic, homemade biscotti for dogs. It's made of people food, but we're not going to allow you to eat it just because you don't always share your food with us. That's how the game is played, right? Our food; your food. No share the food.

Except sometimes when you share yours with me, I'll be more than glad to break the rules.

There are all sorts of other fun things in that Dr. Harvey's box, too, like the Power Patties that my mouth is drooling for. They're made of tripe, and it's so delicious my eyes kind of cross when I eat it. There are the Coconut Smiles and the Sweet Potate'r Treats, too. I've had these samples at BlogPaws, and they're lip smacking good.

The box had real food in it, too, not just snacks. There was the Veg-To-Bowl dehydrated food that you add protein and water to, and Oracle, with the meat already added so that you just add water. The girls and I have been sampling these and can't seem to decide which we love the best. Jill's vote is ALL OF THEM, THEY'RE ALL MINE! Margo and I just think we need to eat a few more bowlfuls to decide for sure.

Mom says Dr. Harvey's is an excellent food choice for both meals and snacks because it's natural and holistic, and uses 100% human grade food ingredients. She likes things like that. I like things like tripe and chicken and coconut, and they're all in there. It's a definite 4-paws/2-thumbs up winner in our home! 

Here are some important reasons to eat Veg-To-Bowl food:

* The ultimate solution food, correcting many common health problems in dogs.
* Controls allergies. (Nice!)
* Helps dogs with kidney and liver problems.
* Best way to help a dog lose weight. (Add in a frisbee, and you're golden!)
* Grain-free
* Perfect for picky eaters.
* Just like home cooked, only easier and faster!
* Can be mixed with raw diets.
* No chemicals, dyes, preservatives, GMOs, by-products or synthetic ingredients.
* Dogs find it to be irresistibly yummy.

But don't take our word for it. We want you to try Dr. Harvey's, too. Your dog will be your best friend all over again. Mom taught me to share, so I'm giving away a box of Dr. Harvey's awesomeness. 

Veg-to-Bowl food
Oracle food
Coconut Smiles
Health & Shine essential oil supplement

This box is going to be very well received by your 4-legged companion, and you're going to absolutely love the healthy things your new box of fun contains. Nothing is too good for your best friend, right? Right. 

Mom will choose a winner from comments below. Start by telling us if you've ever heard of Dr. Harvey's, and if so what you love best from them. That's all you need to do!

Winner will be chosen Sunday, June 28.

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Monday, June 22, 2015

Jammin' Out

I hope you had a super wonderful Father's Day weekend! I know I did. I got to spend it with mom.

What? I love mom!

Okay, I had a great time with dad, too, but mostly because mom was home all weekend and we all got to spend quality time together.

Dad worked really, really hard on building things, and mom worked at cleaning the house. Because it was a holiday weekend relaxing needed to happen, I took one for the team and did that myself.

I do like to jam out with my tunes on occasion. The boy, Micah, and I have that in common.

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Please, Rescue Me!

I live with a large family here, and love it. In addition to the people who think they run the place (lets face it, dogs rule the world), there are 2 other frenchies. Jill and Margo are my compadres, but I want to be clear that I'm mom's favorite, because I don't want you to be deceived.

Mom says I have a job here, and it's not just to be her shadow. I was brought here for a purpose; not just to be a pampered pet. Mom very carefully selected me because of how handsome I was, because I am a stud dog. Here's a dirty little secret: mom is a dog breeder.

There. The secret is out. Go ahead and judge.

It's come to the point where mom is almost ashamed to tell people this fact, and she's tired of it. The rescue organizations of the world do such amazing work, and they're to be much applauded for it, but in their efforts to teach people that dogs need rescued, they've somehow managed to also teach that people who breed dogs are evil beings who overpopulate the world with unwanted dogs. Or worse, such as overpopulating the world and being inhumane to the dogs in their care. Are there people like that? Absolutely, because the world is broken. Is everyone like that? Of course not.

Please don't judge everyone by the few.

It's been difficult for people like mom to talk about what she does on public forums without fear of criticism. It's not fun to learn that she'll never be able to rescue a dog or cat because we aren't spayed or neutered. Somehow that makes mom an irresponsible owner. I don't understand how a movement whose entire goal is to help animals has decided that it's okay to bully others, because that's what's happening. It's like when I block Margo from getting too close to mom because I think she's all mine and I don't want to share. The rescue movement is blocking information on how to find a responsible breeder because they want all the Pet Parents to get a rescue instead. They're telling the world that breeders are the problem that put pets in shelters in the first place. They're bullying breeders to help new Pet Parents choose adoption instead.

I get it. Pets who don't have homes need families to love them. I love that rescues are so passionate about finding these unfortunate dogs and cats the homes they deserve, because every pet needs a person to love. These people deserve many, many Louie Licks for the good work that they are doing in getting homeless animals into the arms of people that will love them forever.

It's time to stop bullying. Educate people so they can make informed decisions. If adoption is the route someone wants to go, those people are going to get some amazing pets. And conversely, if we teach others what a responsible breeder is, that'll stop Pet Parents from buying from the irresponsible ones. That's the goal, right? To stop the irresponsible breeders? Because if you stopped all breeders, everywhere, the world would have no more purebred dogs. That would be a shame. Mom loves a scruffy mutt so very hard, and would love to adopt one and love second only to me. But sometimes owners want a certain type of dog on purpose. There would be no more labradors or poodles or Jack Russells. There would be no yorkies or St. Bernards. The world would be a little sad if the breeders all stopped breeding.

So what DO you look for in a responsible breeder? I'll talk about that tomorrow. In the meantime, please remember not to bully those who believe differently than you do. All good Pet Parents love their dogs, and nobody needs to feel inferior because they didn't rescue.

Go hug your dog, and if it's a rescue, hug it twice to make up for the days it was waiting for you to arrive. We support rescue even if rescue doesn't support us.

Monday, June 15, 2015

Tell It Tuesday

 This is one of my favorite boys in the world. He's my boy, Luke. I love giving him Louie Licks. I'm just telling it like it is.

Sunday, June 14, 2015

I've Been Promoted, And I Get to Give Stuff Away For Free

Yesterday, mom had a sales event for the candles and collars she sells at Darla Jane's on Etsy. She's been pretty busy with these sales events on weekends, and sometimes I get to go with her. I love those days. Spending time with the ones you love is what life is all about.

I helped mom set up and get ready, because I saw how crazy busy she was. My job is to quietly stay out of the way, and not run off. I rock that job so hard. When everything was ready to go, mom got me a Jones Natural Chew to keep me entertained, and we all settled in for a fun day at the park.

A side note about Jones: They are some of my very favorite things ever. Mom has treated me with their all natural, 100% USA meat and bone products ever since I was a pup. She says nothing is too good for me. This is why I love her so much.

Me, as a young pup, enjoying a Jones treat. Mom loves me!

I love sales events with mom, just like I loved BlogPaws. I get to be right beside mom no matter where she goes, and also meet lots and lots of friends of the 2-legged and 4-legged variety. Watching everyone come and go is interesting. Dog watching is like a sport, you know? You see big dogs and little dogs and hyper dogs and dogs with long hair and dogs with short hair... There were a lot of dogs. And a lot of people that loved me.

No, really, there were. And I helped mom sell some things, too. A few people came into our tent just because they wanted to pet me, and of course I sat really still and let them so that mom could talk to them about our candles. I made two sales for her that way. I think I've been promoted to assistant manager already. I'm ridiculously good at my job of Being Cute.

I rewarded myself for the good job of Selling Things By Being Cute by trying to stuff my entire Jones snack into my mouth at one time. Things didn't go well because I choked and had to spit it out again. Mom wasn't very happy about that and took my treat from me. I was treatless the rest of the day. Mom mumbled something about choking to death while she was with a customer or something. Moms worry a lot. She also said that in the future, she's going to have to give me larger chews so that I can't stuff them in my mouth. For a little dog, I have a big mouth. It's because I like to eat things, that's why.

After mom took my treat, I watched all the dogs come and go, and always remembered my manners to just sit quietly and patiently until mom said I could play. I sat quietly and patiently, that is, until Willow came to see me. Willow is one of the babies we raised, and she sometimes comes back to visit us at the house when her mom and dad are in town. I love our puppies SO HARD, even if they're all grown up and not babies anymore. Willow and I romped and wrestled as much as we could while on leash, because that's how frenchies roll.

Mom just laughs and laughs that I don't play with other dogs like I do our babies. She doesn't understand, I guess, that family is family no matter if they live elsewhere.

So it was a super fun day, and not only did I get to spend it with mom but I got to see Willow, too. The only bad part was when mom took my Jones snack away. She says she has more to give me, but I haven't seen them so I can't be too sure of that. I'm going to have to trust her, and maybe beg a little in hopes of getting one tomorrow.

I get to share with you, too, because mom said it's good manners. If you leave a comment here, you'll be entered to win a variety pack of Jones 100% natural, REAL meat and bone dog treats. You'll smell that box coming before the mailman even rings your door bell, and it'll be like Christmas in June. A winner will be chosen on Sunday, June 21st. In the comments, let me know if you've had Jones Natural Chews before, and if so what your favorite is. That's all you need to do to be entered!

The variety pack contains 20 assorted pieces so that you can sample a large selection of fun things. And you're going to love them all.

Saturday, June 13, 2015

Bikes and Boats and Brawlers, OH MY.

So yesterday, huh? All those months when mom worked and I was home alone (woe is me) are being made up for this summer. Mom and I spend nearly all day together, and she takes me with her so often. A pup could really get spoiled like this.

Yesterday I thought it was going to be a nice quiet day at home, because that's how it started out. And then, just about time I was ready to lay down and take a long nap at mom's feet, she put on her motorcycle helmet and called me outside. I remember the last time she did this, and bad things happened. This time, however, the Black Box of Death wasn't on the bike, and instead mom stuffed me into a large piece of fabric that she called a sling.

You know what? That sling thing is pretty okay! I got to sit on mom's lap the whole ride, and it was very nice. Turns out, I WIN. Safety second, huh? (Mom said it was totally safe, so maybe it was safety first.) I was so relaxed that my paws just flapped in the breeze. But duh; I was sitting on mom's lap. And I really do love riding the motorcycle when I'm not in the Death Box.

But that's not all! The motorcycle took us to a new house that I'd never been to, and then we walked to a lake and got on a boat. I've never been on a boat before, but that's beside the point. Mom was getting on that boat so I needed to be on that boat, too. That's how I roll.

Turns out, boats are even more fun than motorcycles. I get to sit with mom and walk around, too. It's a pretty leisurely way to spend an afternoon. Mom and I had a great time just relaxing together. 

I learned a lot yesterday on that boat. First of all, safety is always a concern. Frenchies aren't very good swimmers, so life jackets are beautiful things.

I also learned how to drive the boat, because one never knows when that kind of useful knowledge will come in handy. In the event that we're ever kidnapped and dropped onto a deserted island with a spare boat sitting around, I can totally get us to civilization that sells dog food. 

Just about time I thought the day was complete, mom shook things up again. She said the life jacket that I chose wasn't a good fit, so she outfitted me with a contraption that had the word "infant" on it. Which I'm not.

And then she did something that made me question her sanity. She put me on a raft. Behind the boat. In the water. We were only attached to the safety of the boat by a very thin rope. AND THEN THE BOAT STARTED DRIVING OFF. 

As long as I'm with mom, life isn't too bad, but I'm just going to admit that sometimes, keeping up with mom is a hard life for a dog. That thing with the words Super Brawler on the side wasn't my favorite part of the day, truth be told. Things were alright as long as the ride was smooth, but when mom started jumping like popcorn in a pan, I just decided that life jacket or not, things weren't safe any longer, and I hid behind mom because I just didn't want to see what was coming. Which was probably our deaths. Thankfully the boat stopped and let us catch up to it again. They must have changed their minds and decided not to kill us after all. Thank goodness.

After that, dad and I just chilled and watched the boys try to cheat death. Weirdly, they seemed to be having a good time back there, but I much preferred the safety of the boat.

Despite the death threat on the water, yesterday was a pretty amazing day. Spending time with mom is always an adventure, and I'm game to try anything once.

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Helping Others Is A Beautiful Thing

When mom packed our things for BlogPaws, she threw in my favorite toys for me in case I got bored in the hotel room. A pup can't be bored, you know. We find things to entertain ourselves, sometimes, that our people don't approve of. It's hard to know what they will and will not appreciate at the time you're creating art out of furniture legs or sofa cushions.

When we unpacked our things, our roommate said that the toys were probably unnecessary since there would be so much swag shared with us that we'd have toys aplenty to choose from in our swag bags. She was right. There were toys aplenty.

There was a plush panda from PetSafe that had a squeaker inside it, but was stuffing-less so that pups who get a little carried away and get into the DESTROY IT zone won't make a mess all over the floor. (See above, where sometimes our Pet Parents just don't appreciate our art.)

There were frisbees from several companies.

There was a Tugg-O ball that you could fill with water. It had a rope through it so that a pup could carry it around or toss it to and fro. The water added weight so that we could get proper exercise.

There were tennis balls of all colors.

I'm so glad mom brought my favorite toys, because I didn't have anything to play with. My favorite toys are the things that you can't buy in stores or don't normally allow dogs to have. My very favorite thing ever is an empty spool of thread. It's part of the reason that I lay at mom's feet under the sewing machine as she's working. When she empties a spool, she'll toss it on the floor for me. I'm instantly on top of that thing, and chasing it back and forth across the basement before I settle down to gnaw it to bits.

My second favorite toy is a golf ball. My boy, Micah, steals them from the golf bags, and I steal them from Micah's stash. Even though that boy has dozens and dozens, he still yells when I take just one. Part of the fun of golf balls is the thrill of being sneaky in taking one.

My third favorite toy is a Nylabone wishbone. It's the only toy that's designed to be a dog toy that I've ever played with. There's just something about that wishbone that I love. Mom says I need a new one because mine is getting pretty gnarled up.

My fourth favorite toy is a lid from a bottle of soda or water. Mom didn't pack one of those for me, but I did find one that accidentally fell on the floor while mom was sitting in a session one day. I played and played with that, batting it back and forth and playing soccer with myself. And then I kicked it too far and it got under a dachshund who stood guard over it and glared at me. I had no choice but to lay down and pretend that I didn't want my bottle cap back.

So all those toys that mom got in her swag bag and that I won't ever play with (because they're not golf balls or thread spools or Nylabones or bottle caps) were put into a basket and donated to dogs that don't have Pet Parents yet. The dogs at the Humane Society are going to have some super fun toys to play with while they wait for their new moms or dads to find them. I also filled the basket with some of the many, many treats that I got, including Pedigree, Weruva and Jones Natural Chews, because while I love those things, mom says that sharing is good.

And that's not all! Mom and I sang a line of a dog food jingle so that our local shelter could get $250 worth of dog food donated to it. (You can see that here.) We love helping those in need, even if it means singing in public. (I chickened out once the camera was rolling, though, and made mom do all the work.) We're both very grateful for BlogPaws helping to donate so much to so many dogs in need.

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

The Good Dog's Guide To Good Manners (10 Ways To Stay Out of the Dog House)

Now that summer is here and we all get to socialize a lot more, it's a good time to review some basics. This is the Good Dog's Guide To Good Manners. Please feel free to add to this list in a comment if I've forgotten anything, because sharing is also good manners. And it's to help us all be better dogs, right? For the greater good!

1. Don't jump. Whether you jump on people or jump to get something out of someone's hand (if you're small like me), jumping is discouraged. Mom's mantra is, "good dogs keep 4 feet on the floor." If I've heard her say it once, I've heard her say it a thousand times. (She also says that if I'd listen she wouldn't have to repeat herself.)

2. Don't chew things. Whether you call it mouthing or chewing, the same thing is happening. Just say no. Keep your mouth closed, and your teeth to yourself. Small children's limbs aren't snacks and other dogs' harnesses aren't chew toys.

3. Don't beg for food. It's not good manners to stare at people when they're eating. In fact, sometimes it makes them grumpy. I know, firsthand, that begging very effective for scoring a taste or two for yourself, but it's just bad manners to watch people eat. That's what mom says anyway. She says a good Pet Parent will reward a well behaved dog (that doesn't beg) with some taste samples just for being good.

4. Don't body slam. When you're running at the park, or with a pack of children, don't run into anyone. Especially not on purpose. It's polite to remember that everyone has personal space. Mom says I need to work on this, and scolded me for body slamming a new friend at the dog park. Busted!

5. Don't sit on laps that don't belong to you. Sitting in your Pet Parent's lap is okay. Your mom or dad know you and love you. Other people don't know you, therefore they don't have the opportunity to love you yet. It's bad manners to sit on people that you don't know. Also, don't stand beside them and lick their face when they're sitting on a bench. Weirdly, some people don't like this.

6. Don't bark. You can say hi with a word or two, but a lot of barking is not favorably looked upon by the 2-leggers of the world. If you see another dog, don't bark. If your Pet Parent leaves you for a minute, don't bark. If you're excited to get into the woods and chase squirrels, don't bark then, either. Our people expect us to communicate by looks and wags instead. Good thing we're good at that!

7. Be calm. If you're on a leash, don't strain on the end of it, jumping and lunging like you're dangling from a bungee cord. If you're on a bench , don't climb on people or repeatedly jump up and down and up again. If someone is petting you, sit calmly and enjoy it rather than turning and twisting in circles and confusing everyone. This one is hard when you're just an excited kind of dog. This is why Margo doesn't get to go anywhere. She has no Be Calm manners.

8. Poop in the grass. If at all possible, that is. Going potty on pavement is considered about the same as going potty inside the house. It's just a giant NO. Also, going potty on trails or beaches is a giant NO, too. Take a step off and get in the grass if you can. If you can't, just give your mom the apologetic puppy eyes and she'll totally understand. When nature calls, sometimes you just have to answer it.

9. Listen to your Pet Parent. If you're Pet Parent calls you, you're expected to come instantly, no matter if you're home or in public.  NO always means NO. If you hear it, stop what you're doing. This is appreciated by everyone, all the time. When you're told to do something, just do it. It's not fun, and I sometimes like to play deaf (WHAT?!), but mom says dogs with good manners obey all the time.

10. Don't bite. EVER. This is never a good thing, any time. Biting is taboo and will get you sent to the dog house out faster than anything else. Never bite other dogs, never bite people and don't even bite chickens when they escape from the coop. (Ask Margo about this. She got in t-r-o-u-b-l-e.)

If you follow these rules, you'll be a well loved dog anywhere you go, and well behaved dogs get far more privileges than those with bad manners. Let's work on our good manners together to have the best summer ever!

Monday, June 8, 2015

It's A Sign

Mom and I are training for a 5K, and it's been very fun. A little intense lately, but fun nonetheless. The boy, Luke, joined us today and I had to show off my superior running skills to him. He's only got 2 legs, so even if he's an athlete, he still can't keep up with me.

Never mind the fact that by the end of the 3 miles I was really, really tired. I just let mom and Luke get ahead of me to make them feel better. Plus it was hot and humid and everyone knows that frenchies don't do well in heat. It's why I let them get ahead of me. I know mom would have been quite upset if I'd have collapsed on the trail. I could never do that to mom.

Part of the reason that I love running with mom is because there is so much to see. We saw ducks the other day and I almost caught the mama duck when she flew away from her babies. Her wing was hurt and she was flapping in the water very near the shore. I jumped in after her and would have caught her if I wasn't up to my belly in the mud. I was forced to stand and watch her.

(Mom says her wing wasn't hurt and that she was fooling me. Mom says I'd have never been able to catch her, and she was just protecting her babies. I'm pretty sure mom is wrong. I really almost had duck for breakfast. Really.)

Other things on the trail are fun, too. Like the sign post. It tells you all sorts of things, like how far to the next town, or which dog was here two hours ago.

One can learn a whole lot from sniffing a sign post. That's what they're there for, after all. I signed it, too, because that's what's expected, right?

Saturday, June 6, 2015

New And Fun Things!

I did something brand new today that I've never, ever done before. I mean I've kind of never done before. I went to a dog park! Only this time it was our local dog park and it was outdoors and mom was with me, so it was totally different than the dog park I was at in the hotel in Nashville when mom left me all alone.

Totally different, in all aspects.

This time, mom sat right there on the bench and talked to a friend while I played. There were big dogs and little dogs and it was so very much fun running and playing and exploring. But I didn't explore far because mom might not want me to be too far away from her, even in a dog park that's all fenced in and she can see me. I'm considerate of mom's feelings that way.

Mom says I get to have another play date at the dog park soon. OH BOY.

Friday, June 5, 2015

That Thing That Came In The Mail

A package came in the mail yesterday. All packages get the sniff-over from me, of course, because what if dog treats are hiding in them? This particular package did not contain food of any sort, so I had no use for it. Turns out, mom had a use for it.

I wish she wouldn't have thought of that use.

This Thing was Black Box Of Death.

See it there, on the back of dad's motorcycle, looking all innocent-like? Don't be fooled.

It' was all fun and games until mom stuffed me into that thing. That thing called the Black Box of Death.  And to add insult to injury, she wanted to take a  selfie with me in that Death Box.

I chose not to smile.

After shoving me in there (and trust me, I made it a difficult job for all concerned. And by "all," I mean both mom and dad), mom and dad got on the motorcycle and started driving. With me in the Box of Death. 

I will admit to being quite thrilled to spend the day with mom once we arrived at our destination. We walked around town, had lunch and then she shoved me in the Death Box again. 

This is me, doing my best "Help, someone stole me and shoved me into this box and is driving me away to be sold into slavery!" imitation. It's a good one, huh? Nobody bought it, because I wasn't rescued.

At the next stop, things took an upturn. I got to sit in the driver's seat! That's a great place to be. It's much nicer to see where you're going than to see where you've been. From the inside of a Black Box of Death.

And then dad let me drive!

I could totally reach the handlebars, but I didn't want to show dad up.

And as if that wasn't fun enough, mom didn't shove me inside the Death Box when she got on the bike, but instead she held me while dad drove.

This is how riding should be! The wind in your face, securely seated in mom's lap, not having a care in the world.

Okay, I know that's not a good picture of me. Everyone has a bad photo day on occasion, okay? I really did love it there. I actually fell asleep in mom's arms and started snoring. But not before we did another selfie together.

I only got to ride in mom's lap for a little while, though. Sadly, and very unfortunately, she shoved me back inside the Death Box. I'm very certain that I do not like that thing, but I'm also very certain that I love spending the day with mom. Perhaps we should just agree that the best place for me is on mom's lap?

She said no. I asked. She said it's a safety issue. Dad agreed with her. I'm going to employ the Puppy Eyes.