Category Archives: cats

Pet friendly house plants





Excellent article with graphics below about keeping pets safe from plants and flowers, which ones are nontoxic and which ones are not safe for dogs and cats. Keep  your furry friends safe !


We gardeners can be a bit obsessive when it comes to our plants – we like them in the garden, on decks and patios, and inside to green up our interior living spaces. And for those of us who have them, we’re also obsessive about our pets – these furry companions provide us with affection, attention, love, and amusement, so we want to do our best to keep them safe. But what happens when our love of gardening threatens the health and safety of our beloved pets? That’s exactly what can happen when we use houseplants that have parts that are toxic to dogs and cats.

There are a number of potential pet toxins inside our homes, and plants make up a sizable portion of those toxins. Be aware of which plants are toxic, know the symptoms of pet poisoning, and have a plan in place in case of accidental poisoning, because the life and health of your pet may depend upon it.




Filed under cats, dogs, family friendly, gardening, pet care

Earth friendly dog toys

Cici has been enjoying these earth friendly new toys and she especially likes the squeaky ones. there is such diversity in the types of toys plus they are just plain fun and doggie mamas and papas can feel good about the ingredients that they are made with and how they are made. Affordable too. Every day is dog day, right.


Cici’s ears really perked up when she heard more about them.




These Honest Pet Products dog / cat toys are all organic, all natural toys, your dog’s best friend. for him/her to carry around and snuggle with, fetch, chew, and play with. made from organic wool, canvas, heavy rope, etc. Machine washable and dryable.
Non-toxic! Lead-free! Chemical-free! naturally anti-microbial and anti-bacterial so they are healthier and safer for dogs.  with various prices and sizes Each one is made by adults with disabilities in Green Bay, Wisconsin.









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Filed under cats, chew toy, dog toys, dogs, eco friendly/green, K9 approved, keep pets safe, organic, pet care, product review, toys and treats, tug of war

Love of the Paws

You love dogs and maybe cats and horses, too. And perhaps you love reading about them and the people who rescue, adopt and foster them as well as love romantic tales with a furry side. I just discovered an incredible book series by an amazing author, Susan Daffron is her name and our interview is below. I am starting the 8th book in her Alpine Grove series and apparently there is a 9th book and a 10th one on its way.


What I LOVE LOVE LOVE about these books, unlike other books that have pets in them, romantic comedies, is that Susan’s pets are major characters and play a BIG role in each of the stories. They are integral and integrated into the story. She writes firsthand from her knowledge about animals and it is hilarious at times, heartwarming and each of the books in the series gets better and better. What I also found wonderful is that she continues the characters stories, a little bit, in each of the books, so you feel as though you are getting to know everyone in the town of Alpine Grove. There is no such real town, but there is an Alpine, CA and much of the descriptions relate to where Susan lives in idaho.


This book is for dog lovers, cat lovers, even horse lovers. And the romance is very family friendly. In other words, the couple may kiss a little or end up in the sack but there is not a whole lot of spicy sexy details. I found some of the other books where the happy couple jump in the sack one two three, quite unrealistic and disarming. Who does that? no kinky stuff, either, just plain old normal living day to day with dogs and cats kind of thing. Very inspiring for animal lovers.


Each book can be read by itself, stands alone, but i think you will miss out if you do not read ALL of them.  Now how can you not love books with names like Chez Stinky, Bark to the Future, the Art of Wag, Luck of the Paw, not to mention a book with pugilies !!!

Here’s the complete list:

Four paws up !!!! Cici agrees, Woof Woof Woof !!!!





How did you get started writing romantic comedy books ?

I’d written a lot of nonfiction books and my husband started writing fiction. After we published his first book, he encouraged me to give fiction writing a shot. By then, he had acquired many books about story structure and writing, so I read through a few and decided to attempt a novel of my own.

Who is your favorite romantic comedy book author ???

Janet Evanovitch (although technically she’d say her books are mysteries).

Did you plan to have a whole series ahead of time – Alpine Grove ?

I wrote the first book with the possibility of turning it into a series. If the first book hadn’t done well, I’m not sure I would have written the second. But I got enough good feedback from people that I decided to continue.

Did you write about dogs and / or romantic comedy before this series?

I wrote nonfiction books on pet care and rescue, but no fiction whatsoever.

Are the people and pets based upon pets you’ve had, people you know ?

The human characters tend to incorporate aspects of people I’ve met or know, but aren’t really based on anyone in particular. This explains how I develop my characters:

The dogs in the first book (Chez Stinky) are very loosely based on the dogs I had from 1996 – 2012. For those who are curious, this post explains which one of my dogs they are based on:




How do you begin each book?  do you have the names of the characters and plot all worked out ahead of time ?

Most of my books start with an idea. Sometimes it’s something that strikes me as funny or a theme I ran across in a movie, article, or a book that I want to explore. Then I figure out the characters, flesh out the story and put a basic outline into Scrivener. After that I start writing. At about 30K words, I tend to get incredibly stuck and have to print out the outline and figure out where I’m going in more detail. Then I go back to writing.

How do you decide which dogs or cats to feature in each book? 

I think about the type of dog the character might have, since certain types of people are attracted to certain types of dogs. For example, the character Sara Winston in The Treasure of the Hairy Cadre is an athlete. Before the story begins she wants a jogging buddy, so she goes to a shelter and adopts a high-energy Australian Shepherd that she names Holly. This post goes into more detail about how I create animal characters:

Do you have experience with walking dogs at a shelter or starting a nonprofit animal rescue ?

Yes. I volunteered at an animal shelter for many years and worked part time as a vet tech at a spay/neuter clinic. I didn’t start a rescue myself, but I founded an organization called the National Association of Pet Rescue Professionals that provided educational resources to rescues.

Tell us about your pets

I have three dogs, who are all alumnae of rescue groups. Fiona and Tasha are Samoyeds from Samoyed rescues and Kaylee is a mix of maybe Samoyed and collie that I got from a chow rescue. (The group rescued more than chows; basically, they took anything that was extra furry.)

Do you have a favorite breed of dog or cat that you like?

I’m a fan of Samoyeds (big surprise) but I also love Golden retrievers and retriever mixes. I have a soft spot for long-haired breeds.

What is your favorite book / pet / character ?

Of my books, my favorite character is Kat, since her story carries through the entire series. So I know the most about her life and background. Of the dogs, I love Linus because he’s so sweet and Swoosie amuses me because I incorporated aspects of my dog Fiona into her character.

We talked a little bit about your geek side, how did that influence your writing these books? a few of your characters are kinda geeky… and you said you work for IBM. 

I’ve been married to a programmer for a long time and worked in technology for years, starting as a technical writer. It was inevitable that I would include a few geeky people in my books. This post goes into it a bit more:

Do you have an agent, publisher or did you self-publish the books? in either case, why?

My books are published by my publishing company Logical Expressions, Inc. which has published more than just my books, so technically the corporation is a micropublisher. I was traditionally published (nonfiction) years ago and had an agent. It would take a LOT of money and unusually good contract terms to tempt me to accept a traditional publishing deal at this point. Although self-publishing is a lot of work, I have the flexibility and freedom to write the books I want to write.

Have you traveled a lot ? travel with your pets?

We’ve traveled with our pets a lot in the last few years because the current crew of dogs are great on road trips. (The prior pack was NOT.)

Any particular dog friendly places that you enjoy taking the dogs?

We live in Idaho and there are thousands upon thousands of acres of trails and forested areas to explore. The dogs love going hiking with us.

Are you an equestrian?  met any real life cowboys like Clay?

I’m a pathetic horseback rider, but I do enjoy it. I don’t own horses, but I have met quite a few people involved in the equestrian world. I did some research on horse trainers and Clay is compilation of a bunch of stories I read about their lives.

Are you a dog trainer?

I only train my own dogs, which is plenty. Almost all of my dogs have been to obedience classes with varying degrees of success. Fiona got her AKC Canine Good Citizen certification, which means mostly that she likes treats a LOT so she’s easy to train. I plan to take Tasha to classes later this summer.

What inspires you about writing about dogs and cats and romance?

I like writing about the relationships people have with each other and their pets. For most people I know, pets are part of their family and often play a big role in the decisions people make. So quite a few of my books explore those ideas.

Are you working on any new books, series related to pets?

I’m about halfway through the first draft of  the as-yet-untitled tenth novel in the Alpine Grove series. The dog in this one is a yellow Labrador retriever named Harley that the main character, Lisa Lowell, is fostering for the local rescue group.

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Filed under adoption, belly rubs, breeds, canine cuteness, cats, dog friendly, dog hair, Uncategorized

What Your Dog Wants for the Holidays



Has your doggie been naughty or nice this year? Does Santa Paws keep track?  What would your dog tell Santa s/he wants this year????




Cici is ALWAYS GOOD WHEN SHE SLEEPS !!!!  And when she is naughty, she does not mean to be. It is just too tempting to do things that I do not want her to do, that’s all.


1. Not to be dressed up in costumes, treated like a baby, carried around in a hand bag or painted and groomed and dyed to look un-doglike.


2. To be treated like a dog (belly rubs).



3. Join in the Feast: Endless treats and food.



4. Lots of time to be a dog  (zooooomies)




5.  Much time to play with other dogs, sniff the neighborhood, and chase small animals.


6. Real live cats, squirrels and/or bunnies to run after




7.    Lots of time rolling on back scratching and showing off belly.



8.  Lots of bones, toys (squeakies), ropes, and/or pillows to chew on.



9.  Lick lick lick lick lick lick lick, much time to slobber.




10.  Nap time, woof woof woof woof woof !



a dog has got to dream about all of the above, right?



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Filed under bones, bunny rabbits, cats, chew toy, dog speak, dogs, holiday gifts, holiday spirit, pet care, Uncategorized

Carmel edge

When you travel with your dog, you can  hardly go wrong if you visit Carmel, a truly dog friendly place with dogs everywhere, miles of sandy dog friendly beach and lots of dog friendly stores and activities. Carmel has the canine edge that doggies love.


A wonderful place to stay right in Carmel are the Edgemere Cottages, a block from the beach.

take Hwy. 1 to the Ocean Av. exit turning towards Carmel. Go down the hill, through town and continue on to the bottom of the steep hill. There you will see a sign pointing to the 17 Mile Drive. This is San Antonio Av. Turn LEFT onto it and proceed 7 and a half blocks. Edgemere Cottages is on San Antonio between 13th and Santa Lucia on the left hand side

Check in is after 4 pm, check out noon

Gretchen and Doug are the innkeepers, very personable, friendly and knowledgeable.

We stayed in the Piccadilly cottage and found out that the difference between these two cottages is that Piccadilly has steps leading up to the bathroom and kitchen and Devon cottage does not (we had our choice to stay at either and I should have mentioned that stairs are challenging for me. oh well… The cottage was roomy, comfy and very clean.



This B&B has been pet friendly since the 1990’s. Gretchen’s parents bought the property in 1964. It already was a B&B called Edgemere. Gretchen and Doug have been the innkeepers since 2008.

There are four rooms, three are pet friendly plus there are innkeeping cats.

The inn has many repeat guests who come back year after year, for anniversaries, festivals and just to visit Carmel whenever they can. Anita and Dick from NYC are a couple who have been coming to the inn since Gretchen was a little girl in 1965. Anita: “It’s fun for us and very nostalgic. We love it here.

“Whatever excuse, we just want to be here.”

Gretchen loves collecting cook books (and there are a lot of them on her shelves). She is a home cook and baker and makes delicious breakfasts. The first morning we had a fresh fruit salad with strawberries, bananas, apples, grapes and blueberries. There was a choice of juices from V8 to orange juice. And an asparagus quiche (she has modified the ingredients by adding sour cream and nutmeg) with a Mississippi spice muffin (cinnamon, allspice, cloves, nutmeg, ginger, applesauce and chopped nuts) plus coffee or an assortment of teas (herbal and caffeinated). She uses local ingredients from farmers markets. The hospitality is superb. During breakfast each guest was asked for their preferences which were cooked to their liking. Second breakast was a fruit salad, scone and scrambled eggs with or without ham, onion, cheese and veggies. She loves to cook from scratch and it shows.

Her mother collected antiques which are on display everywhere throughout the cottages.

Cici and I enjoyed the one block access to the beach, nice walks and beautiful sunsets. Two doggie bowls for food and water were left out in the kitchen and the bed and couch and chair were covered with sheets.




All in all, if you are visiting Carmel and IF they have a vacancy, you should definitely check into the Edgemere Cottages.

Split-level cottage with two sleeping areas
Queen bed on lower level with flat-screen TV/DVD player 
Gas-log fireplace
Sofa-sleeper bed and kitchenette on upper level
Windows and doors opening onto beautiful gardens
One bathroom with tub/shower

Continental breakfast with fresh organic fruits, sweet breads, with quiche or egg dish
Orange juice and fresh ground Pleasant Morning Buzz coffee
Warm atmosphere, garden views and classical music

(831) 624-4501
(866) 241-4575




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Filed under Adventure, Carmel, cats, dog travel, dogs, four paws up, pet friendly lodging, pet travel, travel with dog, Uncategorized

Fighting Over Dogs and Cats

Nowadays, many of us pet parents, consider our fur babies our children. There is nothing wrong with that, in my humble opinion. Except that the law considers them property not kids. Still, issues like divorce bring up similar considerations between spouses, what to do about the fur kids. Who gets to “keep” the fur kids? Will custody be shared? Can one party “keep” the fur baby and how often can the other party visit? Below an attorney, guest blogger, Charla Bradshaw, flushes out the issues more fully.

I don’t wanna get divorced…


more info:

Consider making up a pre-pup arrangement (like a pre-nup) that spells out what happens to your pets if your marriage splits up.

True Love American Style

  “We can judge the heart of a man by his treatment of animals”

                                -Immanuel Kant

The American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers conducted a poll of 1,500 members and nearly a quarter said they had noticed an increase in custody issues over pets. Courts have had to determine not only who gets the pet but whether one party has the right to see the pet after the marriage breaks up.  Identifying the best interests of the pet in a divorce case can safeguard that the pet is properly cared for after divorce.

Pets can provide unbelievable companionship and unconditional love for adults and children.  Animals such as dogs, cats and horses are considered personal property for divorce purposes and unfortunately can also be the subject of domestic violence.

In a divorce, pets must be awarded as part of the property division and therefore will usually go to one spouse or the other.  However, spouses can choose to co-own the pet going forward and create a visitation schedule for the pet.  We have done these orders and they actually work very well.  We also see pet schedules associated with a child’s visitation schedule where the pet goes with the child.  When spouses co-own a pet, going forward, we must provide provisions for the expenses related to the animal. This can be important when dealing with livestock, such as horses, or an animal that has health issues.

Since pets are considered personal property, there can be disputes over whether the pet is the separate property of one of the spouses or community property.  Separate property can be acquired by a gift, inheritance, or if the property was owned on the date of marriage.  Separate property cannot be divided by a court.  Spouses may argue over whether the pet was a “gift”, or whether the spouses bought the pet together, making the pet community property subject to being awarded to one spouse or the other.

Unfortunately, pets are often targets in family violence but Texas has come to the rescue.  Texas courts can now include pets in protective orders in domestic violence cases. Because pets have suffered abuse when family violence has occurred, in 2011 the Texas legislature amended the law to prohibit the removal of animals from the possession of a person named in the protective order.  In a protective order, the court may prohibit a party from removing a pet, companion animal, or assistance animal, as defined by Section 121.002 of the Human Resources Code, from the possession or actual or constructive care of a person named in the protective order.  The “actual or constructive care” verbiage was added in 2013.  In turn, in 2013, the Texas Penal Code was amended to specify what the possession of a pet, companion animal, or assistance animal by a person actually means.

So what do these protective order laws actually mean for pets?  They mean that a person subject to a protective order that violates a pet provision in the protective order can go to jail, plain and simple.  An abuser will often turn on a pet to cause pain and suffering not only to the pet, but to the perpetrator’s victim(s).  An abuser may also threaten a pet’s life in order to keep their victim(s) close.  As a result, a victim may stay in an abusive situation to keep the companionship of the pet, not realizing the court can make orders with regard to the pet.

One of the problems is that most facilities and shelters for those running from family violence are not equipped to take animals and therefore the animals are left behind. There is a growing need in this regard not only for the safety of the pet but because the unconditional love a pet can give may be lost at the time it is needed the most.

Divorce or abuse can actually take a toll on a pet.  The Humane Society of the United States sets forth the following signs of pet stress:

•    They become depressed

•    They sleep a lot

•    Their appetite lessens

•    They’re not interested in their walks or other daily activities

•    They start to cry or whimper

•    They groom, lick and/or bite themselves excessively

•    They have accidents in the home

The bottom line is that pets are often the subject of divorce and family violence and the laws are improving to protect them.  It is important for everyone to be aware of these laws especially so that abuse victims may realize the court can include a pet in a protective order.  Abuse is bad enough for the lives of those who suffer it, but losing or leaving behind a pet can only make the suffering worse.

Victims asking a court for a protective order should ask the court to make orders regarding their pet(s).  Additionally, spouses in a divorce should be aware that pet(s) are property.  Sadly, a pet may become the subject of a very expensive fight when the real issue is to cause pain to the other spouse.

Charla Bradshaw is an accomplished family law attorney and Denton Managing Shareholder known for successfully summarizing some of the most difficult cases. She was listed among the Top 50 Women Lawyers in Texas (2014) and rated one of the Best Women Lawyers in North Texas by D Magazine. While she employs an aggressive approach to litigating family law cases, Charla Bradshaw is also a certified mediator and handles collaborative law cases.

This is a blog hop post… click on link here

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Filed under adoption, animal abuse, blog hop, cats, dogs, Humane Society, keep pets safe, moms, pet blog hop, pet care, Uncategorized

Dog by dog healing ministry

Anne Lamott on Oprah talked about how her doggies do their healing dog ministries every morning…. LOVE that…  dog by dog…

Cici’s healing ministry

Cici’s healing tongue ministry

whenever i least expect it, here comes the tongue licking my toes, my face, my hands

lighting me up inside like the fourth of July

giving me a bath of slobbery sunshine

Cici’s healing silly ministry

there she goes rolling over onto her back showing off her belly

making me chuckle

making people smile and sometimes laugh

Cici’s zooming around the park ministry

she is gone with the wind and looks soooo very happy

making me feel proud, warm and good inside

Cici’s booopping me ministry

mama, take me out, or mama give me some treats or food or attention

Cici’s looking at me with soulful eyes ministry

she puts her chin upon my knees and stares straight into my heart

or lies on the floor and looks at me with those eyes

her eyes implore me

tell me that her request is urgent

and that she will love me forever

Cici’s silly goofy healing ministry

every day she makes me laugh

Cici’s furry warm wiggly body healing ministry

some lucky nights or naps

when she plops herself right down on top of me

too close to breath

Cici’s healing ministry

makes me HAPPY


thankful that i have this loving dog

my sweet canine friend

best friend and healing partner

deliciously edible and scrumptious

gotta kiss that warm sweet polka dot belly

and inhale her doggie smile

Having a good dog is the closest some of us will ever come to knowing the direct love of a mother, or God.

Anne Lamott in
Plan B: Further Thoughts on Faith



The Animal Doctor

by D . Nicholas

Yes, he is an animal Doctor.

No, he does most of his work outside the vet’s office.

Yes, he seems to have a natural gift as a healer.

No, he charges very little for his service.

Yes, he has a great bedside manner.

No, he doesn’t explain really what’s wrong.

Yes, he just fixes the pain and goes on.

No, I haven’t seen his license.

Yes, he does resonate in abundance.

No, I don’t know how many clients he has.

Yes, I’m really thankful he’s my doctor.

No, I’ve never seen his Doctor’s office.

Yes, I’d recommend his services to anyone.

No, he doesn’t require medical insurance.

Yes, it does sound too good to be true.

No, I am not mistaken.

Yes, he is my cat.

This poem was written after I had told him that I had a tummyache one day and my cat Abundance came and sat down on my belly for awhile. When he got up, I realized that my stomach no longer hurt. He truly was a healer that cat, written in honor of my handsome cat Abundance

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Filed under au natural dog, belly rubs, cats, children and dogs, dog friendly, dog health, dog prayers, dogs, Oprah, Uncategorized