Friday, December 26, 2008

My Favorite Things - Dog Food

I've been sharing with you all of my favorite things from my travel list. I've told you about my leash and my collar and even my dog tags. But the most important thing, in my opinion, that Mom packs when we travel, is my food. Mom says she buys only the best food for me because she wants to make sure I get the proper nutrition. I eat a combination of dry food and canned food, along with some treats and biscuits. She says all of them are made from the best ingredients and don't contain anything I shouldn't eat. Mom rotates my food each month. She said she read that this is the best way to feed me because I get a range of different foods that way, which helps make sure I get all the nutrients I need. So, since I don't eat one particular food all the time, Mom said I could share what I'm eating right now.

For dry food Mom feeds me a mixture of two different brands. She said that's one more way she makes sure I get my nutrients from a variety of sources.

The brand I am eating right now is called Innova EVO. She said there just isn't a better dog food available. It has lots of meat and potatoes, just like Dad eats. She heard about it from a breeder friend of hers. It took her a while to locate it but she bought it on Amazon.com. It's a little expensive she says, about $24 for a bag, but since it's too rich for Austin since he's still a puppy, it will last all month.

The other dry food I am eating is actually named after one of Mom's favorite books. That's actually one of the reasons she tried it. It's called Chicken Soup for the Pet Lover's Soul. She found it on Amazon.com when she was going to order the Innova. She said it was nutritionally sound and she liked the name so she ordered some of it too. It's cheaper than the Innova too - about $19.00 for a bag. That's good because I share this with Austin. Mom mixes it with his puppy food. It's got chicken, turkey, chicken meal, turkey meal, and brown rice and there are no chemical preservatives.

My canned food is readily available just about anywhere. Mom is feeding me Pedigree right now. She says most store-brand canned food is not good for me, but Pedigree does contain lots of meat and poultry. It DOES contain some lesser quality by-products, but it has more meat than most other store-brand foods. She says it costs approx 85 cents a can at WalMart.

You all know where Mom buys my treats - BigWag Dog Bakery! I love the honey bears and the beefie boots. And Mom bought me something new for Christmas - Ginger Bread Chew Chews. They were okay, but to be honest - I still like the beefie boots better! Order some for yourself and see. http://www.bigwag.com.

When we travel, Mom takes some of my dry food with her in resealable containers and some cans. She says travel is hard enough and we don't need to upset my tummy eating the local food. So even though I get the occasional treat if she stops to eat somewhere - like the meatballs in Orlando! - I still mostly get my own familiar food. I like it that way. I know Mom has had some bad meals because there wasn't anyplace to eat where we were. At least I know that will never happen to me. I always know what I'm going to have for breakfast or dinner!

What should you look for when shopping for dog food and treats?

Look for certification by the AAFCO (Association of American Feed Control Officials). According to the FDA's Center for Veterinary Medicine, "An AAFCO nutritional adequacy statement is one of the most important aspects of a dog or cat food label. A 'complete and balanced' pet food must be substantiated for nutritional adequacy by one of two means. The first method is for the pet food to contain ingredients formulated to provide levels of nutrients that meet an established profile. The alternative means of substantiating nutritional adequacy is for the product to be tested following the AAFCO Feeding Trial Protocols."

Choose a food that has whole meat or whole meat meal (lamb meal, chicken meal, etc.) as its top ingredients. Grain sources should also be whole grains, as opposed to glutens or other processed products. Rice and barley is better than corn or wheat.

Avoid BHT, BHA and ethoxyquin as preservatives.

Pet food safety is a growing concern. Recent recalls of dog foods because of wheat and rice glutens contaminated with melamine have spotlighted some major issues regarding pet foods and their ingredients. While the majority of foods have been deemed to be safe, this is an ongoing issue. It is a good idea to keep a watchful eye on things for the foreseeable future.

Next week - you've been introduced to Northwest Arkansas. Now we'll take you to Hot Springs!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

There's no place like home for the holidays

I want to tell you a story about a little dog. This dog was a good little dog. Yes, he chewed on shoes and piddled on the floor. But he didn't mean it. He was just a puppy after all. He wanted to be good. But the man and the woman who lived with him and his 4-legged mom said they had too many dogs already and that the little dog was too much trouble. So they took him to the animal shelter. The little dog was put in a small cage with no friends to play with and no one to pet him. He had food and water and sometimes he got to go outside and walk around, but most of the time he was in the cage - alone. It was very scary! Sometimes the people who worked at the shelter would come and get a dog for a walk - and the dog would never come back. The little dog heard that they were put to sleep. Sleep was good, but somehow sleeping and never coming back didn't seem right. The little dog worried that might happen to him and he was afraid. Sometimes, people would come in to the shelter and take a dog from the cage. These dogs also never came back. But the little dog heard that this was different. These dogs were going to new homes where they would be loved and be part of a family. The little dog wished every night that someone would take him home.

One day a man and woman came in to the shelter. They stopped at the little dog's cage and talked to him. The little dog sniffed at the woman's fingers as she reached through the cage. She asked if she could hold the little dog. When she picked him up, the little dog reached up and kissed her on the chin to say thank you for taking him out of the cage. The woman cuddled the little dog, looked at the man, and said, "I want him." That's was all it took! The little dog couldn't believe it. Someone was going to take him home.

In case you haven't figured it out, the little dog was me and the story is how my Mom and Dad found me at the shelter. I was lucky. I have lived here for 11 years and I am loved and cared for every day. I have food, and a bed, and toys, and playmates - I even have a cat. Mom helps me write this blog and holds me and takes me for walks and plays with me. I have a great life. But there are thousands of dogs and cats who aren't so lucky. So this Christmas, I am asking you to think about adding a furry friend to your home. I'm not suggesting you give a pet for a gift unless you are certain it will be a good idea. That's how many of us ended up in shelters to begin with. But if you have room in your house and your heart for one more thing to love, please visit your local animal shelter and adopt a pet in time for the holidays! They would love to share Christmas with you.

To help with this, each month I am going to take one post and devote it to featuring some of the pets from different shelters across the country. Since I introduced you to NWA last time, I'm going to introduce you to some great NWA pets that need homes today.

The following pets are available from the City of Rogers - Animal Services. They are a city-run shelter that handles animals within the city limits of Rogers, Arkansas. They strive to provide caring, competent, and professional assistance to the animals and community. Their adoption procedure is very simple. Find the perfect pet that you can give a "forever home". Their staff will help match your personality and needs to the pet that best suits you and your family. Adoption costs $61.00 per animal. This fee covers a Bordatella vaccine, worming, microchipping and $40.00 towards the spaying or neutering of the animal. ALL ANIMALS ADOPTED FROM SHELTER MUST BE SPAYED or NEUTERED! A few things to remember about the adoption application.... **If you rent, you will have to have letter from your landlord stating that you can have pets. This letter needs to include limitations if there are any. **If you have other animals, regardless of where you live, you will have to provide proof of rabies vaccinations for each pet. You may now access their application online at http://www.rogersarkansas.com/! You can find all of the pets featured here - plus others - at http://www.petfinder.com/shelters/AR125.html


Baby, female, Black and white, terrier mix



D06 1853









D39 2010
Labrador Retriever, Shepherd [Mix]
Large Adult Male











D20 2049
Australian Cattle Dog/Blue Heeler [Mix]
Medium Adult Female







D09 2126
Shepherd [Mix]
Large Baby Female




C05 2191
Tortoiseshell
Small Adult Female





I would like a couple of favors, please. First, if you adopt a pet featured here, please let me know so I can put another needy pet in their place. Plus I have a goal of helping 1000 dogs and cats across the country find homes. I need to be able to track my success. Second, tell the shelter you found your pet on my blog. I am trying to encourage them to link to my blog and if they see it's successful, that might encourage them.

I also want to help a wonderful organization in their efforts to find homes for pets - PetFinder.com. So - starting today - for every purchase from my CafePress store (http://www.cafepress.com/travelwithbob) Mom will make a donation to the Petfinder.com Foundation so that every little dog like me can find a happy home.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Welcome to Northwest Arkansas!

As you know, Mom has said I can't travel for awhile. I was sick a few weeks ago, and although I feel much better, she said it was a serious illness and I need to rest over the winter. I guess she does know best and she takes good care of me, so I think I'll do as she says.

Since I can't go visit anyone right now, I'm going to invite everyone to come and visit me. Northwest Arkansas is a great place. I can't wait to share all that it has to offer with you. When you do decide to visit, make sure you let me and Mom know so we can get together. We might even put your picture on my blog so everyone can see what a great time we had.

When you come, the first thing you will need is a place to stay - providing of course, you don't just stay with me and Mom and Dad. My personal favorite is the Embassy Suites in Rogers. Dogs (and other pets) up to 10 pounds are welcome here with a deposit. I'm a small dog so it works great for me. The Embassy Suites has very comfortable beds and there is a refrigerator and a microwave in every room - for those midnight snacks I like so much. They even have room service so they just bring my snack right to my room. Heaven! Check them out at http://www.embassysuitesnwa.com.

If you're a bit bigger than 10 pounds, don't worry because there is a great place for you to stay also and it's just up the road in Bentonville, home of Walmart. It's the La Quinta Inn & Suites Bentonville. They allow dogs of all sizes with a refundable deposit. And they make the best biscuits and gravy - if your mom will bring you some from breakfast. You can find out more about them at http://www.lq.com/lq/properties/propertyProfile.do?ident=LQ790&propId=790.

Of course, there are many other places to stay and when I publish my travel guide for NWA, I will list them all. But since I don't have much room here, I will only share my favorites.

Now that you have a place to stay, what are we going to do. Some of that depends on when you come. One of my favorite things to do in the summer is go out on Beaver Lake in Dad's boat. He says I am a good boat dog! We speed across the lake to his favorite fishing spot. Then he fishes while Mom reads and I nap in the sun. It's a great time - except for the time I fell off the boat into the lake. I didn't like that very much. But Dad jumped right in and got me and Mom held me all wrapped up in a towel until we reached the marina. Sometimes we take the tube or a raft out and watch Jessica and Carter try to ride it. That is funny! They always have trouble staying on, especially when Dad is driving the boat. They seem to do better when Mom is driving. I wonder why? If you come when it's warm enough to take the boat out, I promise we won't make you ride the raft! You can find out all you need to know about the lake at http://www.beaverlake.com/.

When it's too cold to be in the boat but still nice enough to be outdoors, I love to go hiking with Mom in Devil's Den State Park. It is located in Winslow which is close to Fayetteville, home of the U of A Razorbacks. There are lots of trails for us to explore. Dogs are allowed throughout the park and in the campground for no additional fee; they are not permitted in buildings or public swim areas. Dogs must have proof of inoculations, be leashed, and under the immediate control of their owner at all times. One year she even took me camping there. The camping and tent areas allow dogs also. That was the best. There's nothing better than a nice walk and then a good hot dog cooked over a campfire! I slept on Mom's sleeping bag so she wouldn't get scared. In the morning she let me have some bacon with my regular food. Have you ever noticed how everything tastes better cooked over a campfire? Learn more about Devil's Den at http://www.arkansasstateparks.com/devilsden/.

If you are a history buff like my Mom, then you will want to go to Pea Ridge National Military Park. Mom says a battle was fought here during the Civil War and that some of Dad's relatives fought in it. She says it's the only battle in the war that had Cherokee fighting in it. There are lots of trails to walk or you can walk on the tour road if you watch for cars. Sometimes you can see deer or turkeys, but you are not allowed to chase them. I saw a snake once too. Mom said it was a rattlesnake. I didn't get to chase it either. You can learn about all there is to do here at http://www.nps.gov/peri/index.htm.

People in NWA love their dogs and are always hosting events for us. This past April, the city of Rogers held Dog Days Downtown. Local businesses had a variety of activity stations set up throughout Frisco Park for our sheer pooch pleasure. Mom and I enjoyed the demonstrations and helpful speaker sessions on Frisco Stage. And if your family was looking for a new addition, the Animal Shelter and Humane Society had pets available for adoption. It was so much fun, I hope they do it again this year. And before that, in March, there was the Easter Egg Hunt at Murphy Dog Park. Now that was fun! I hope they do that again this year too! And the Kennel Club is having a dog show next weekend. I'm not going. It's for fancy dogs like Austin. But Mom said she might go just to take a look at what sort of competition Austin might face if she decided to show him.

Now, about the food. Did I tell you my FAVORITE dog treats are made right here in NWA? BigWag Dog Bakery is right here in Rogers. My favorites are the honey bears and the bacon roll and of course - THE BEEFIE BOOTS! There is nothing better in the world than a beefie boot. Okay maybe sausage and biscuits, but Mom won't let me have that very often. But I can have a beefie boot every day if I want. Check out all their treats at http://www.bigwag.com/. Aspen, Pixel - if you're good, Santa might bring you a bag of honey bears or beefie boots...if you're good.

You can see NWA is a dog's paradise. Good fun, good food. What more could a dog ask for? I hope you'll come and visit me soon.

Friday, November 14, 2008

I'm An Entrepreneurial Dog!

Just a quick update. Mom and I are putting together all of the information about NWA for you. But while we are working on that, we also put together my store! It's on CafePress. I am very excited about all of the great merchandise we have to offer. And once my travel guides are published, you'll be able to purchase those through my store also.

I have to admit, it's not as pretty as I want. Mom is still learning to how to use CafePress resources. But at least it's up and functioning and I didn't want to to wait until it was finished to share it. So here's the link! Stop by and check it out and let me know what you think.

http://www.cafepress.com/travelwithbob

Look at me! I am a business dog now!

Sunday, November 2, 2008

I've been busy!

It's been a while since I've been able to get Mom to type for me. I'm getting stronger every day, but I still sleep a lot now and Mom won't wake me so we can blog. She thinks I need to rest. I don't know how she thinks I get much rest with the rat - I mean Austin - always pestering me to play. But I am feeling better.

I haven't been completely lazy. First, did you notice the new look to my blog? Our friend, the PopArtDiva, has finished my portraits. This is the masthead she created for me. Isn't it great? Now I can start working on my store. I'm excited at all the great ideas I have. I just need to get Mom busy on my stuff instead of hers so we can get started.

I also have a MySpace page! Mom helped me get it all set up. I'm still working on it so if you have some suggestions, let me know. I'm kinda new at this stuff. If you want to visit my page, here's how: http://www.myspace.com/adventuresoftravelingbob.

Mom still won't let me travel so I'm going to be working on several projects. I'll keep you updated on them. And I am going to take her suggestion and write about my favorite places to visit. But first I'm going to tell you all about the place I live. Hopefully, once you see all the great things to do here for you and your Mom and Dad, you'll come visit me. I love meeting new people and since Mom won't let me go to them right now, I have to find a way to bring them to me. So next post - A dog's eye view of Northwest Arkansas!

Monday, October 6, 2008

No Travel for Awhile - I Have to Recover...

It's been a rough week for me. Sunday evening Mom noticed I was shaking and not eating. She thought maybe I was just cold so she put me on my blanket. But later when I went outside, I was having some other issues (I think the blood scared Mom). She called Dr. Karen and was told to bring me in right away. When we got to the Dr. Karen's office, the nice new vet, Dr. Hobbs, was there. She took my temperature (105!) and did some tests and discovered that my liver was not working properly. She asked Mom if I had eaten anything like a toadstool (Yuck!) or if I had shown any other signs of being ill. Mom said no. Dr. Hobbs decided I needed to stay there for a few days until they decided whether I had an infection or a tumor. They put an IV in me and gave me all kinds of fluids and medicine. The good news is I'm feeling better. It must have been some kind of infection. I even ate a little bit today. Dr. Hobbs gave me some baby food and it tasted real good. Mom brought me home tonight but I'm still a little weak. So she said no traveling until I have fully recovered. In fact, she said we might just not go anywhere until summer so I have lots of time to rest and get strong.

I asked Mom what I could write about and she suggested I could share some of our favorite places from past trips. Plus she reminded me that I was still sharing my favorite things on my packing list. And I have to get MySpace up and running and I've been working on my store. So I guess I do have enough to keep me busy.

I guess she's right. I'll just rest and get well for now. I like Dr. Karen and Dr. Hobbs but it's good to be home!

Friday, September 26, 2008

There's a Rat in my House!

It even has a name! Mom calls it Austin! She brought him home Sunday. She says he is my new playmate. He looks more like a cat toy than a playmate!

Mom says he is a registered Yorkshire Terrier and that his full name is Baron Sir Austin III of Oak Valley. He has papers and is worth a lot of money. I don't know much about fancy dogs like this one, but the only papers I've seen so far are the newspapers Mom puts down to housebreak him. Heck! It that's all it takes to be a fancy dog, I can piddle on all the newspapers Mom needs.
Mom used to raise fancy dogs like this a long time ago - before she met me. She says she wants to start doing it again. Dad doesn't seem too excited about the idea. I'm siding with him this time.
Am I looking properly pitiful? I must be, because Mom just told me that I was still her baby boy and that no one would take my place. Austin will not have a blog like mine. He might get to travel because she will be taking him to shows, but she said I could go too. And he is not going to have his own PopArt!
Mom is picking the rat up and putting him next to me. I'll just show him some teeth and maybe snarl a little just to show him who's in charge here. Yuck! He just licked me! Mom likes my puppy kisses, but I don't like Austin's! But he is trying hard to be nice. Maybe he won't be so bad. And it would be fun to have another dog to share my adventures with me. Don't all hero's have a sidekick? He's very tiny so he won't eat much or take up much space in the bed. And Mom really seems to like him, so he must be a good dog. I guess I'll give him a chance. Maybe we can call it the Adventures of Traveling Bob and Austin. What do you think?

Friday, September 19, 2008

Back from Orlando and into the Storm!

We're back from Orlando. We arrived home last Thursday. So why am I just now sharing the news about our trip? Because we arrived home just in time for a storm! Hurricane Ike hit the U.S. and had a big impact on many of my family and friends.

We spent Friday waiting to hear from Christine and baby John. If you remember, they live in Corpus Christi and for a while they thought they would have to leave. If so, Mom was going to go help because Christine is going to have another baby besides John and Mom wanted to be there to help if necessary. But we heard Friday evening that they could stay and so we thought we could rest a little easier. We knew that we still had many friends in harm's way, but all we could do for them was pray that they would be safe.

Saturday we got up early and went car shopping. Mom thinks she wants a new Jeep. We didn't buy one but Mom found a couple she is interested in. We got home, called Christine to see if they were okay, had dinner, and settled in for a quiet evening. Both Mom and I must have fallen asleep in our chair because suddenly we heard noise like a train heading straight for the house. Mom got up fast and went outside. The wind was blowing and it was raining so hard that even Iris, our outdoor cat, decided to come in! Mom was going to turn on the television to see what the weather man said, but just then the lights went off! I don't like the dark and the noise scared me so I started to cry but Mom picked me up and went to get a flashlight. She took Iris upstairs to Dad and then came back down and lit some candles. She said she was going to wait a bit to see if the power came back on. We waited for what I thought was a long time and then we finally went to bed.

So now you know why I haven't posted yet. By the time the lights and then the computer came back on it was Monday. And then Mom got busy trying to find out about our friends. And she also found out that a hotel in Texas where one of Mom's friends was supposed to have a meeting soon - well it got the roof blown off. So Mom has been busy trying to find another place for them. When she is busy she tells me she doesn't have time to type for me so I have to be patient and wait. Today she finally called me into the office and said we could write about our trip.

We stayed at the Residence Inn Orlando Lake Buena Vista. Mom said she had heard really good things about this hotel and wanted to check it out. I was a bit disappointed. The rooms were small! Smaller than other hotels we've stayed in and I like to have room to walk around and stretch my legs after a long drive. And Mom said they charged $100 extra for me to stay there. That's more than many other places we've been. The air conditioner made a lot of noise but fortunately, Mom never leaves it on at night so I was able to sleep. The staff was nice to me and they did bring me a different snack every night. Mom says they do that for all of the guests but I think Lola and I had a special bond! All in all I would give it 3 bones. (By the way, my bones aren't working on my computer. Mom said something happened to them because Dad was on the computer during the storm. But she said she can fix it - she just needs to find time. So meanwhile, you just have to imagine bones!). You can check out the hotel at http://www.marriott.com/hotels/travel/mcorl-residence-inn-orlando-lake-buena-vista/.

Whenever we are in Orlando, Mom always takes me to Hip Dog. I love it there! It's got a place where I can swim in warm water. Mom comes in the pool with me. She says lots of people bring their dogs here to help them after they get hurt or get old. Mom and I just come to swim in the warm water. But I have to admit, I do walk a little better after I've been in there. Hip Dog is one of my favorite places in Orlando. 5 bones!!! Check them out at http://www.hipdog.net/.

Orlando has a lot of parks just for us. At many of them, I don't even need to wear my leash! My favorite is Downey Dog Park. It has a play area for small dogs like me so I don't have to be afraid of the bigger dogs, a time out area, water fountains, and even poop stations! Mom and I go there whenever we come to Orlando. 5 bones for Downey Dog Park. Mom says they don't have a website but you can find them by looking for information on Orange County Dog Parks.

Mom had to meet with a client. That's why we came to Orlando. Mimi was one of Mom's very first clients and knows me. That's why Mom said I could come. We met Mimi for lunch so I could come too. We went to Cafe Bravissimo which has really good lasagna! That's what Mom had and she shared a little bit with me. We had to sit outside because I'm not allowed in the actual restaurant. But Mimi said she prefers dining outside anyway. And the person who brought us our food said it was okay for dogs to be there as long as they were well-behaved and on a leash. We have never been here before - Mimi chose it - but I liked it so I give it 5 bones. You can see their menu at http://www.cafebravissimo.com/.

We also had dinner one day at Dexter's of Thornton Park. I like it here because they bring me a water bowl. I can't go on the weekend, because they say it's too busy and I get in the way. But on Tuesday night, when we went, it was nice. Mom got something with meatballs so she could share a couple with me. They were yummy! And I got to just rest under the table while Mom and Mimi talked. I enjoyed it - especially the meatballs! 5 bones for Dexter's meatballs! http://www.dexwine.com/

We soon left for home. It's a long drive and we only went for a couple of days to see Mimi. But I got to swim and go to the dog park - and have some yummy meatballs! I know Mom was tired but it was a good trip for me. Next time, I am going to take PopArtDiva's advice and make Mom take our video camera so we can put movies online so you can see these places too.

Until our next trip!

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Boomerang Tags "For Pets That Come Back"

We are getting the car packed to head for Orlando in the morning. I'm excited! I haven't been to Florida in a while. I'll be sure to tell you all about it.

Mom and Ms. PopArt had a long phone call the other day. Mom said Ms. PopArt suggested I start setting up other sites of my own like a MySpace page and some YouTube videos. I don't know what all of that is but I'm all for anything that lets me show everyone how smart I am about traveling with Mom so they can learn too. I think we'll get started on these when we get back from Orlando.

Mom has my packing list out and she is putting all my stuff in my little travel bag - my collar, my leash. She packed the collar with my dog tags on it even though I have a microchip. She says it's an extra layer of protection.


I like my dog tag. It doesn't hang down and get in my way or get caught on things like other dogs' that I have seen. It's a collar tag. And it doesn't clink when I walk which helps a lot when I'm stalking cats or squirrels! If you aren't sure what a collar tag is, I have a picture so you can see what it looks like. This isn't my collar. Mine's already packed and I'm not letting Mom dig it out to take a picture! I love my Mom but she forgets things when we travel. That's why she has a list. But sometimes even that doesn't help. I could tell you stories..... But back to the tags. This is a picture off the Boomerang website. That's where mom buys my tags. It looks just like my red collar so you will still be able to see just how cool it is. Mine looks like the top one.
Mom said she first checked Boomerang out because she just liked their advertising: Boomerang Tags "For Pets That Come Back". Then she read more about them and she says they are the best dog tags on the market. She says they may not be "cute" but when it comes to keeping me safe she'd rather have functional than cute. And besides I'm cute enough already! And I think they look great - I'm a manly dog and I don't want anything "cute". Aspen, Pixel and Zeena can wear "cute"!
Mom says Boomerang tags are more durable (that means they last a long time) than those cheap aluminum tags. I've had mine for 6 years now. That's how long they last!
You don't have to get a tag like mine. Boomerang also makes those "hangy" tags if you really want one. You can get a metal one like mine or you can get a plastic one. They are both guaranteed, just like mine.
Mom says she buys my tag to keep me safe so if she gets lost, someone will know how to help me find her again. She says since that's what it's for she wants me to have one that will stay on my collar. She wants the people helping me find her to be able to read my name so they know who I am, and my address and phone number so they know where I live and how to reach Mom. Mom has never been lost, but it makes me feel safer knowing that she has done things to help me find her again.
If you want to find out more about Boomerang tags, check out their website at www.boomerangtags.com. And tell them Travelin' Bob sent you. I don't get anything if you do, but I want them to know how much Mom and I like their tags.
Heading for Orlando in the morning! I'll keep you posted on my trip!

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Meet my new friend Zeena!

Well, it's official. Mom and I are going to Orlando! I LOVE Florida. She has a client out there she needs to visit. And she said I can go this time because the client knows me and doesn't mind if I come along. We'll be planning the trip this week and I'll keep you posted on my adventures, as usual.

Mom was going to make me do a boring - but important - post on the importance of dog tags and tell you about my microchip. But I have exciting news to share about a new friend so she said I could do the other post later in the week.

We got an email this week from our human friend, Teri Dempski. She was so excited to share the news - she had a new baby! Her name was Zeena! Mom laughed and said that was an unusual name for a baby. Then we read further and discovered that Zeena is actually a Chihuahua! Zeena, Warrior Chihuahua Princess! I think it's a perfect name! Don't you agree?

Over the weekend Teri was having a yard sale. On Sunday, a Mexican family stopped to look over all the baby items she had for sale. They didn’t speak English, but the son (maybe 7-8yrs. old) came out of the car clutching something tightly to his chest. Teri heard squeaking, and asked if she could see, in her best broken (poor) Spanish. The boy spoke enough English (with Teri's broken Spanish) and said Teri could buy the puppy for $100.00. Teri said, when the baby is old enough she wanted it. The boy talked with his mother, and she said the momma had 8 puppies, and the momma would not take care of them. The family had been hand-feeding the babies every 2-3 hrs. and wanted someone to take over, so was only letting the puppies go to someone who would be able to devote time to care for them. Once Teri held the baby, whose eyes were barely open, no teeth yet, tiny little whimpers, she fell in love at that moment. Zeena nuzzled Teri's neck and sucked on her baby finger—then happily fell asleep on her chest. The family got the $100.00 and Teri got a new fur baby. **Note to dogs looking for homes - that's how I made Mom fall in love with me! I was not the cutest or the smartest in the litter, but when I curled up on her chest and went to sleep, after a good night kiss on her chin, that's all it took. I'm telling you it works every time!

Teri has never hand-raised a puppy. But she is quickly learning all she needs to do to help Zeena grow strong.
So now I have friends all over the country! Aspen the Yorkie in New Jersey, Pixel in Arizona, and now Zeena in Colorado. Wouldn't it be fun if I could travel to see each of them and tell you all about our adventures? MOM, Hey MOM! I have an idea!

Sunday, August 17, 2008

The Best Dog Collar!

I overhead Mom tell Dad she may be going to Houston in a few weeks. She really seems to like Texas! I don't know if she is going to be able to take me but I hope so. It's been a while since we have been on a trip. I'll keep listening and if so, I'll tell you all about our trip when we get back!
Meanwhile, I'm going to continue with my recommendations for the best of the best items on my packing list. That way, when it's time for you to travel with your Mom and Dad, you'll know what to have them pack for you.
Last post, I shared with you my favorite leash. But a leash is useless without a collar! But before I recommend MY particular favorite collar, I want to share some tips. There are so many different types of collars to choose from that it can sometimes be overwhelming.
1. Make sure the collar is right for you. If you are a big dog, you need a big collar. Smaller dogs can wear smaller, lighter collars. Puppies should wear soft nylon collars so you don't get hurt. A buckle collar is best, especially for puppies, because they are least likely to come undone and fall off and they are easily adjusted if necessary. Choke chains and pinch chains should NEVER be used for your everyday collar. You should only wear them when you are training your human! In fact, Mom has never put a choke chain on me. There are other types of training collars that are much easier on my neck. Choke chains put pressure on my neck and that is scary so I don't always behave as well just because I'm scared. My training collar doesn't hurt me and so I can focus more on showing Mom my newest trick instead of trying to figure out how to get away from the choke chain.
2. Once you have the correct collar, make sure Mom or Dad know how to put it on correctly. It needs to be snug so you can't lose it, but not so tight you have difficulty breathing or swallowing. Mom always puts two fingers between my collar and my neck. She says if she can do that, then the collar is just right. And since there is always some collar left over after she has put it on, she cuts the end of it off so I can't reach it. I wish she wouldn't do that. I have a nice leather collar and the end of it would have been great to chew on. But she said I could possibly chew it off and choke on it so she cut it off and threw it in the trash. Darn! Guess I'll have to settle for one of those "greenies."
I also have a red nylon collar which is my favorite and it is the one I am going to recommend for most dogs. The red color looks good with my black and white fur. And the nylon is soft and doesn't fray so it always looks good - not old and worn. It is a buckle collar, like all of my collars. Mom bought it at Petco, but I think it might be made by my friend, Aspen the Yorkie. Mom says no, but the collar is called the Petmate by Aspen Pet Single Ply Nylon Dog Collar, so I think she might be wrong. Aspen, did you know you have a dog collar named after you? Mom paid $5.00 for my collar but she checked online and said that Petco is having a sale and you can get a collar just like mine for $3.99. What a deal! You can't have the red one because it's mine. But they have lots of other colors to choose from. If you want to tell your Mom or Dad where to get it, tell them to go to http://www.petco.com/.
By the way, Mom told our friend PopArtDiva, that it was time for her to do my PopArt rendering. So keep checking back, because once it's ready, we'll be posting it here and launching my Squidoo lens. Mom helped me build it and it's cool! And we are working on some other projects together as well - all of which will have my PopArt picture from PopArtDiva. It's all very exciting. Stay tuned!
And here are my recommendations so far - 5 bones for both of them!
Leash: The Best Leash (www.bestleash.com)
Collar: Petmate by Aspen Single Ply Nylon Dog Collar from Petco (www.petco.com)




Friday, August 8, 2008

The Best Leash is - Best Leash!

As promised, I am going to give you a heads up on some of my favorite things. These are all part of my travel kit. Each one gets a 5 bone rating!

Today I'm going to tell you about my leash. Normally, I don't wear it. At home I have a big fenced in yard that I can run free in all day long. But when I travel, I have to be on a leash. Mom says it's a law. It's annoying because I like to chase squirrels and birds and being on a leash prevents me from doing that! But I suppose it does have it's good points. One day when we were out walking a car suddenly veered toward us and Mom was able to use my leash to pull me out of the way. Whew! It was a close call but Mom - and my leash - saved me! And I always feel safer knowing she is attached to the other end and can't wander off and get lost.

If I have to be on a leash, then I'm glad Mom chose the one she did. Appropriately, it's called Best Leash. What makes it so great? Well first, it's 9 feet long. Most other leashes are only 6 feet long. That's 3 feet longer so I have more freedom to move around. Mom often just ties the leash around her waist when we are walking and with 9 feet, I still have plenty of space.

You can order Best Leash at http://bestleash.com for $25.99

Mom says I should also share some leash safety tips with you. So here goes!

1. Never leave your dog unattended while on his leash. A dog can quickly chew through leather or nylon. Or a leash dragging behind a puppy can get snagged and choke the him.

2. Use a leash that is the correct size for your dog. Smaller dogs like me need thinner leashes with smaller hardware, while large dogs may require leashes of a slightly thicker width.

3. Never pull or drag your dog with a leash. If he is reluctant to come, simply backup & call his name in a happy voice.

4. Yanking or jerking a dog leash can injure your pet, especially younger pups and senior dogs.
If your dog likes to pull, consider using a no-pull harness.

5. Keep your leash in good shape. If the snap seems unstable or broken, replace it immediately.

I hope this information will help you and your parents choose the best leash for you. Despite many tales of dogs finding their way home when their humans get lost, it is certainly not the norm. Having a missing human parent is a heart wrenching experience. Mom and I wish all dogs the healthiest and safest life possible. Please use a durable collar and leash combo whenever possible.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Sharing My Close Up and My Tips for Traveling with Your Mom

I know, I know...it's been a long time. But Mom has been busy traveling (without me if you can believe that - she said it was business and she wouldn't have time for me!). Since I need her to type for me, I've had to be patient and wait.

I have great news! Jessica finally sent my picture. I am a handsome boy if I do say so myself! And now that I finally have my photo, I want to share it with all of you. Here it is!






What do you think? Pretty sharp looking, don't you agree? Especially for 11 years old. That's like 77 in your years. You should look this good when you're 77!

Mom says we aren't going to be taking any trips for a bit. She is redoing her kitchen and she wants to get it done before we go anywhere else. It's really a mess right now and I don't like having strange men in the house but Mom says she needs them to fix her cabinets and build her breakfast bar. The only good thing about it is that Mom isn't cooking so much right now, which means I get to sneak treats from her doggie bags. Not as much as I used to - I'm still on that "diet" - but at least it's better than those "greenie" things she keeps trying to feed me!

Since we aren't going on any adventures right away, I thought I'd share some basic tips on making sure your mom and dad have everything you need when you travel with them. You want to be comfortable, safe, and have a good time so it's up to you to make sure your humans are well trained and prepared. If not, ask them to leave you with a pet sitter or a boarding kennel!

Whenever possible, tell your mom and dad you want to travel in the car. While it is possible to travel by plane, I wouldn't recommend it. Would you believe they treat us like cargo?! And if you've ever traveled in the cargo hold of a plane, then you know it's not much fun. Since I'm small, sometimes I get to sit on the floor under the seat in my carrier with Mom, but that's still very scary and cramped. Always encourage your mom and dad to take the car unless there is no other choice.

If your humans aren't used to driving with you in the car, then they need to take you for some short practice drives. When they get nervous, they can make you nervous so some nice short rides to the park, or to PetSmart, (or for hamburgers!) will help you both learn to ride together. If they still make you anxious, tell them to get some medicine from the vet to help you relax before you go on your trip. And make sure they have a doggie seat belt for you. A regular human seat belt won't work and you want to make sure you have the same protection as they do.

Make sure they plan the trip with you in mind. Remind them you will need to stop every 2-3 hours for a potty break and some water. You should take them for a walk when you stop too, so they can stretch their legs. If you get all cramped up just sitting in the car, imagine how tired they must get driving all the time. A short walk will do you both good.

I am including my traveling packing list. This is everything I insist Mom brings with us so I'm safe, comfortable, and happy. In future posts, I'll go into detail about each item and maybe I'll even rate some of the different options!

My 'Top Ten List of Things I Need on My Trip':

1. My Leash - almost every city has some sort of leash law so bring it along unless you want to spend the entire trip in your crate in a hotel room.

2. My Collar with ID Tags - just in case you get lost, your ID tags should help you get home. Mom got me a microchip, but if you don't have one, you definitely want the collar and tags.

3. Food and Water - who knows what the local food and water may be like. Bring your own!

4. My Dishes - you'll need something to eat and drink from. Bringing your own dishes will also make strange places seem more like home.

5. My Blankie - I always sleep better with my favorite blankie!

6. Pooper Scooper - it's just polite to clean up after yourself.

7. My Favorite Toy - sometimes traveling can be stressful. Having my favorite toy along with my favorite blankie is comforting.

8. Copy of Pet Health Certificate or Shot Record from your Dr. Karen - just in case you do get sick or hurt, this will help the vet give you the best care.

9. My brush - so I always look my best!

10. Carpet deodorizer or Cleaner - just in case. I'm a good dog, but accidents do happen!

That's it! Sometimes she brings some extra things like my carrier, or my toothbrush, or some treats. But this is the basic list. I even have my own little travel bag to pack everything in. Put together your own list using mine to give you some ideas. Then tell your mom and dad that you're packed and ready to hit the road!

Saturday, July 12, 2008

We're Back!

And though it was a fun trip, I'm glad to be home. I think Mom is too. She seems a little tired. Baby John and I kept her pretty busy.

We arrived a couple of days before all the fireworks. I'm not much of a fireworks fan. Too much noise! Too many people! So we checked into the hotel, called Christine to let her know we were there, and then just spent the rest of the evening relaxing in the hotel. Long drives make me sleepy! We stopped at the local Sonic for some dinner and just ate in the room. Mom even let me have a few of her french fries (not too many because I'm still on that diet! But she said if we shared them, then neither one of us would eat too many!). I love Sonic! After dinner, we went for a quick walk and then came back to the hotel and just watched TV. I fell asleep early. I hope Mom wasn't too lonely. She had Dad with her, but I don't think he was much company. He was asleep before I was!

The next morning, we got up early and went straight to Christine's. Baby John wanted to have breakfast with us so we didn't even stop to eat. I was worried because Mom didn't feed me or stop for something to eat on the way. I thought she had forgotten me. But it was alright. Baby John has a new friend named Duke. Duke is a Beagle and he let me have some of his breakfast. It was pretty good. Different from my usual breakfast but not too bad. After breakfast, we just played in the yard with John and Duke. Mom, Dad and Christine sat outside and talked. We played until we all got tired and Mom said it was time for a nap because after lunch we were going for a boat ride! I love boats. I go fishing with Dad all the time. He says Mom and I are his fishing buddies - when he can't take Carter.

The boat trip was fun! We took a ride around Corpus Christi Bay on Captain Clark's Flagship Tours (http://www.captclarksflagship.com/.com/). The captain told us all about the bayfront and I saw lots of odd looking birds (not like our birds at home) and I even saw some dolphins! There were lots of pretty sailboats too! I had a great time! I was so excited by everything I missed my afternoon nap!

After the boat ride, it was time to go home. John and I were both tired. John was cranky and Mom said Dad and I were cranky too. So we had a quick dinner at Christine's and then went back to the hotel to sleep.

The next morning Mom got up early. Dad was still sleeping so Mom and I went to an outdoor bakery called Les Succes Bakery. They are a French bakery and one of my favorite places to go. But when we got there, they were closed! Mom said the sign in the window said they were closed all month so the owners could go on vacation. So we ended up back at the Sonic. Mom bought some breakfast for her and Dad and we went back to the room to eat. I was disappointed because I love sitting at the outdoor table and watching everyone while we have breakfast.

After breakfast, Mom and Dad and I went to see some gardens. Mom loves flowers and spends a lot of time at home working in her garden. We even planted a Pizza Garden this year (I didn't know pizza grew in a garden?!). This garden was big - a lot bigger than Mom's. She called it the South Texas Botanical Gardens and Nature Center (http://stxbot.org/). I had to be on my leash and I had to be careful not to potty on the flowers, but other than that it was fun. There were lots of big plastic birds all dressed up in costumes. Mom said they were flamingos. I don't know why anyone would want plastic birds in their garden. You can't chase them so they aren't any fun. But Mom said they were helping to raise money for charity. We even got to vote for our favorite flamingo. I liked the one that was all covered in flower petals. I hope Mom voted for it!

The rest of the trip was spent relaxing. We stayed home on fireworks night and just had some sparklers in the backyard. I don't mind them since they aren't loud. We walked on the beach and went to the park. I played with John and Duke a lot. Mom visited with Christine and sometimes left me and John with Dad and John's daddy so she and Christine could go shopping. It was a fun trip - but I'm glad to be home.

Here are the places we stayed - with my new ratings (thanks again Ms. PopArtDiva!)

The hotel where we stayed:

Omni Corpus Christi Hotel: Mom was a little disappointed with the room. She said it looked old and the bathroom was kind of dirty. She said for a 4 star-rated Omni, she expected more. But the bed was comfortable and everyone on the staff treated me well. I would give it 3 bones but because Mom was a little unhappy, I'm going to give it 2. She knows more about these things than I do.

Omni Corpus Christi Hotel:


Captain Clark's Flagship Tours: Other than the fact that I wasn't allowed to go down on the carpeted area, this was great! 4 bones!


South Texas Botanical Gardens and Nature Center: I'm going to give it 3 bones. It's nice but it's hard to remember not to potty on the flowers.




Padre Island National Seashore ( http://www.nps.gov/pais/index.htm): I had to be on a leash and I couldn't go on the deck of the Visitor Center. But it was still great fun! 4 bones!


Aransas National Wildlife Refuge (http://www.fws.gov/southwest/refuges/texas/aransas.html): Dad likes alligators and there are plenty of them here. I had to stay on a leash and we couldn't go on trails where there might be gators so Mom and Dad split up. On the one hand it was nice having some alone time with Mom, but this was supposed to be a family trip. For that reason I'm giving it 3 bones. But it might be worth 4 if your family doesn't have a gator-lover in it!


Corpus Christi dog-friendliness rating: 3 bones! Lots of places to stay, places to eat, and things to do.

Can't wait for my next adventure. After I rest up a bit, I'll be ready to go again!

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

We Leave Tomorrow!

I heard Mom talking to Christine today. We are leaving for our visit tomorrow! I'm so excited. I can't wait to see baby John. I'm not excited about the drive to Corpus Christi in this heat, but it's worth it to see everyone.

I was hoping my new pictures would be ready so I could take one with me to give to John. But Jessica has been busy and hasn't finished them yet. She said she would get them done this week. I guess I'll have to wait until we get back to see them.

Our friend, PopArt Diva, made me a little bone widget to use on my blog. She thought my giving the Omni Corpus Christi 5 "treats" was cute and made me a "treat" to use. Which gave me an idea. While I'm in Corpus Christi, I'm going to take notes on the hotel and other places we visit. Then I'm going to report on them when I get back. I'll use PopArt Diva's bone to rate them. It looks like this:

Isn't it great? She sure is talented! You can check out her other work at www.PopArtDiva.com. And Mom is working on Squidoo pages for me so I can share my experience with lots of others. I think I'll use these there too! Thanks Ms. Terri, for making these for me. I can't wait to see what you do with my picture. Someday Mom and I are going to put up a whole website for me, but that is taking a lot of work and we want to share things faster. That's why we made this blog and why we are using Squidoo!
Oh wow! I just heard Mom ask Dad to get the laptop out of the office. That means she's taking it with her. Which means I'll be able to stay in touch even while we're traveling. Maybe Jessica can send my pictures so I won't have to wait to see them.
Well, Mom and I have a little bit more packing to do. I want to make sure she takes everything I need: treats, toys, blanket, leash, collar, food and water bowls, food, water, vet records, brush, odor remover (just in case! I'm potty trained, but accidents do happen...). And she'll need a little time to get her own packing done too. I'm going to help her finish and then I'm going to have dinner and go to sleep. Tomorrow is a big day!

Friday, June 27, 2008

I'm so photogenic!

This diet Mom has had me on must be making me look really good. Mom had Jessica come to the house today and take pictures of me. Jessica is Mom's daughter and she takes wonderful pictures. She is a photographer! We had so much fun together. I sat up for her and did a few other poses and when we were finished she gave me a treat. She made Mom go away while we worked so the treat is our secret. Mom said the pictures were for my Squidoo pages she is working on. And she said she needed to send one to Aspen the Yorkie. And then she said her friend Terri aka PopArt Diva, needed a picture because she is going to do a PopArt design of me! You can see what I mean by checking out her other work at www.popartdiva.com.

Mom had a special day today to! She was on a radio show with Dr. Sally Witt. They talked about Mom's work and how she was able to not have to leave me alone all day. Mom told everyone I was special (actually she said special needs. I'm not sure what that means but if it's some kind of special then it has to be good!). She let me sit in her lap and listen while she talked. I tried to get in on the show too but Mom rubbed my tummy and I fell asleep. I missed part of the show while I was napping but Mom said we could listen to it later. You can too. Just go to
http://www.blogtalkradio.com/drsallywitt/2008/06/27/Melodieann-Whiteley.

It's just a few days now before we leave on our next trip. Mom got us a room at my favorite Corpus Christi hotel. We are staying at the Omni Corpus Christi Hotel. Mom says it's 4 stars but I have my own rating system. I give it 5 treats! It has everything I need to be comfortable when I'm traveling - room service so Mom and I can eat together, television, internet access so Mom can work right in the room with me, and a little porch so we can go outside for some fresh air without having to leave the hotel. The beds are soooo comfortable! I wish I had a bed like that at home! And the bay is just a short walk away. It has been awhile since we were there so I hope everything is still the way I remember it. If you want to check it out, visit www.omnihotels.com. And I'll be sure to let you know how it is once I get back.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Hilton Goes Pet Friendly!

HILTON HOTELS & RESORTS OFFER UP PET HOSPITALITY FEATURING WILLIAM WEGMAN AMENITIES BY CRYPTON

Hilton's new Pet Friendly program makes it easier for Mom to take me to spend time away from home! Hilton Hotels and Resorts announced today plans to welcome me and my friends into hotels in the Americas by this summer. And they plan to roll out the Pet Friendly program to some if their international hotels too! Maybe I'll get to travel to Paris! Of course I'd have to fly so I'll have to really think about that...

Mom won’t be the only one to feel rejuvenated as each pet-friendly room is loaded with specially-designed upscale amenities sure to please the most pampered dog or cat. Designed exclusively for Hilton by famed artist William Wegman (best known for his striking photographs of Weimaraner dogs) the Hilton Pet Friendly collection will include a stain-, water- and microbial-resistant pet bed, as well as food and water bowls with placemat, and an exclusive pet amenity kit complete with dog waste clean-up bags and treats. The bed, placemat and amenity kits are produced by Crypton Fabrics and made with its patented performance fabric. For guests who want to recreate their stay at home, the pet beds will be available for purchase on https://mail.helmsbriscoe.com/exchweb/bin/redir.asp?URL=http://www.hiltontohome.com/, alongside Hilton’s Serenity Collection® mattress and other exclusive, in-room amenities.

Participating Hiltons will also offer pet concierge service with information about local dog runs, veterinarian offices and pet boutiques.

A select amount of Pet Friendly rooms will be designated in each participating Hilton hotel and along with the standard room cleaning procedures, the rooms will undergo a deep cleaning – including carpets, drapery and all upholstered furniture – after each pet guest has checked out. All Pet Friendly rooms will feature a special door hanger alerting hotel staff to the furry guest within.

I guess I know which hotel Mom will be choosing from now on! Yeah Hilton!

For more information on Hilton’s Pet Friendly program, contact my Mom at mwhiteley@helmsbriscoe.com!

Calling all pets!

Does your mom have a book or product she sells to help support you?

If your Mom is a professional woman with a book or product, give my mom and her friends an opportunity to purchase from her on Friday, June 20.

This is the day Mom and her friends are celebrating who they are as women---as women who are on the move and making a difference!

June 20 is the 2nd annual celebration of Baby Boomer Diva Day. Showcase your product for 15 minutes for the very low price of $10. A few vendor slots still left. Also, there will be plenty of prize giveaways with special guest speaker, Heidi Richards, who will discuss how blogging can turn into $$$ for your business or product. Mom says it's going to be the most fun you've had online in a LONG time. 10am-3pm

To get more information or to sign up now: keybusinesspartners@verizon.net

Friday, June 13, 2008

Dr. Karen says I need a "diet"!

Well, we are a little behind schedule. Mom has been busy helping Carter and Morgan move into their new home. Carter and Morgan are like baby John only a little bit bigger. They live close enough that I get to play with them all the time. They are moving into a new house but not too far away so I will still get to see them on weekends.

Mom did take me to see Dr. Karen. She looked at me all over and gave me a couple of shots. She said I looked like I was pretty healthy, but could probably stand to lose a couple of pounds. She said I shouldn't weigh more than 10 pounds and Mom said I weighed 13. So Mom said I could go on a diet with her. I guess that's okay - I'm not sure what "diet" means. I only know I didn't get my hamburger after my visit. Mom bought something she called a "Greenie" at Dr. Karen's house and I got that instead. It was pretty good to chew on and it lasted longer than the hamburger. But I still wish I'd gotten my hamburger. Mom's taking this diet thing seriously though. She wouldn't even let me have a piece of her waffle this morning. And she made me go for a walk with her last night. Night time is my relaxing time! I hope this diet ends soon. I'm not sure I like it.

After talking to Dad, Mom has decided to drive to Corpus Christi - yippee! Like I said before, I'm not too crazy about flying. I watch birds fly and it's okay for them. But I like to be next to Mom or some other human. Not cooped up in a crate who knows where. That means Mom will have to get the car ready for the trip. She said she needs to get the oil changed and the tires rotated. I don't know what that means but it's one more thing she has to do before we can leave.

Tonight we get to sit down and look at hotels. Mom does hotel stuff to make money so she knows all about them. She will get on the computer in the office an look at some things. She might even let me in the office to look at pictures with her. I don't get to come in the office during the day when she is working. She says I bark and that doesn't sound good when she is on the phone. But at night it's different. So we'll look at hotels together and then Mom will pick the one she thinks is best and call them to tell them we are coming. I hope she picks a really good one. I have my favorites where we travel a lot. I should share them with you. Lots of hotels allow pets. But some are just nicer to me than others.

Well, Mom is saying she needs to stop typing for me. She says she has a meeting with someone at lunch time. Sometimes, when Mom has lunch meetings, she brings me a treat in a bag just for me. It's called a "doggie bag." I probably won't get one this time though. I'm on a diet!

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Corpus Christi Here We Come!

The votes are in and Corpus Christi won. So it looks like I'll be getting to spend some time with baby John this summer! I hope he doesn't try to pull my tail again. Mom wasn't entirely convinced at first. I think she really wanted to go to Orlando. But we have been there once already this year and I want to go somewhere new. So, I just had to do the "puppy dog eyes" routine whenever she talked about John and Christine. It worked. She called them last night and told them we were coming. I told you I had Mom well trained!

Now we have to get ready to go. Mom said she's going to call Dr. Karen tomorrow and make an appointment for me to get my shots (ouch!) and a pedicure and maybe even a flea dip. Can't be too careful with those pesky fleas. I don't like shots but if I'm good Mom will buy me a hamburger on the way home! I love hamburgers with cheese on them and I only get them after a trip to Dr. Karen's. Mom says they're not good for me to eat very often but a once in a while treat is okay.

Another part of planning the trip is deciding whether to fly or drive. Mom said she is going to get on her Travelocity site tonight and check airfares. I'm not a huge fan of flying. I'd rather drive so I can be close to Mom on the trip. I'm always afraid one of these days I'll get lost and Mom won't find me. I've heard stories about that happening. Mom has a chip in my ear she says will help keep that from happening. But you never know... Mom almost always drives if I go with her so I think we probably will this time also. If not, it may be time for more "puppy dog eyes."

After that, we have to choose a hotel. We are welcome to stay with Christine and baby John, but truthfully, although I love him, spending all day with a baby can be tough on a dog. So I'm glad that Mom is going to get a room where I can have some time to myself just to spend with her. I like our little vacations since it lets me have Mom to all to myself for a little part of each day. At home, I have to share her with Dad, and the grandkids (when the come to visit), and dad's dog Ginger who is lots bigger than me, and the cats and even some fish! I admit I'm a little spoiled. I was here first before all these others (except Dad) and I don't always like to share. In fact, sometimes I get a little cranky about it - especially if it's a treat or a new bone!

Hey! I almost forgot to share the news! I made a new friend! Her name is Aspen and she is a Yorkie which is a small dog like me. Except she is fancier than me because she is all Yorkie and has papers and everything. I am lots of different things (Dad says I'm a Heinz 57. I never heard of that kind of dog before) and I don't have papers - unless you count the newspapers Mom used to put down for me until I learned to go outside. Mom showed me Aspen's picture and she is cute. I wish she lived close enough to come visit since she's almost the same size as me. It would be fun to have a friend my own size to play with that wasn't a cat! Aspen has her own website though, just like I do. She talks about taking care of small dogs and living with her humans. You should check it out. http://www.aspentheyorkie.com/. Stop by and say hello and tell her Travelin' Bob sent you.

I guess that's all for now. It's almost dinner time and I need to be in the kitchen in case Mom drops anything on the floor. I get a lot of treats that way!

Friday, May 23, 2008

Why Everyone Should Own a Dog

While mom is deciding where to go for our next trip, I thought I'd share this with you. Someone sent it to mom and she was laughing so hard at the end, I thought it must be pretty funny. And anything that gives people a reason to have a dog has to be worth sharing. So watch and enjoy - and then go to your local shelter and get a dog of your very own so you can get in on the fun!

Monday, May 19, 2008

Bob Has Been Tagged!

Claudia of http://www.workathomegrandmoms.com/ tagged me/us for a blog meme. Oh my oh meme!! Here are the rules:

1. The rules of the game get posted at the beginning.
2. Each player answers the questions about themselves.
3. At the end of the post, the player then tags 5-6 people and posts their names, then goes to their blogs and leaves them a comment, letting them know they’ve been tagged and asking them to read your blog.
4. Let the person who tagged you know when you’ve posted your answer.

1 ) What was I doing 10 years ago? I'm only 10 years old!

2 ) What are five things on your to-do list for today?
chase squirrels
eat
play with mom
eat
get mom to clip my toenails
and did I mention eat?

3 ) What snacks do I enjoy?
jerkey
bacon
cheese
biscuits

4 ) Things I would do if I were a billionaire?
Buy mom a house with an even bigger yard and more squirrels!
Take mom (and dad too) on the vacation of their dreams
Donate to local animal shelters so my fellow canine (and feline) friends can have the same chance to find a good mom that I did

5 ) Three Bad Habits
Eat too much
Sleep too much
Chase cats and squirrels

6 ) 5 places I have lived…
I have only lived with mom in our house in the country

7 ) 5 Jobs I have had
My only job is to provide love and companionship to mom
...and keep the cats on their toes
...and keep the yard free of squirrels
...and bark if anything stray comes near the house (stray people, stray dogs, stray leaves, the wind)

Thank you Claudia! People I have tagged:
Eileen at "Feisty Side of Fifty" http://feistysideoffifty.wordpress.com/
Kathie Thomas at http://vadirectory.net/blog/
Michael Walsh Kaizen Consulting http://business-growth.com/
Beverly at Talk2Bev http://talk2bev.blogspot.com/
Heidi Caswell at http://www.connectsimply.com/blog/

Friday, May 16, 2008

We're Hitting the Road!

I'm excited! It's summer and Mom has decided to take a trip - and I get to go along! She hasn't decided where to go yet. I heard her on that little thing she uses to talk to other humans last night. She was talking about ideas for a vacation. I think she is trying to decide between visiting Aunt Mai Lei in Dallas (okay, but they have an awful lot of cats that don't like to play with me), Christine in Corpus Christi (that might be fun. I can see baby John! I LIKE babies!) or Desiree in Florida (that gets my vote. I love the beach!)

Once she decides, we will have to get ready. That means a trip to see Dr. Karen. That's always fun. I know sometimes I have to get shots and that hurts a little bit. But the ladies at Dr. Karen's are always nice to me. They pet me and cut my toenails for me so I can walk better. And if I have to get a shot, Mom always takes me for a hamburger afterward!

I hear Mom talking to someone on that black box again. She is still not sure where she wants to go. I know! Why don't YOU help her decide. Vote for which trip you think we should take. I'll do my best to convince Mom that's where we need to go. How you ask? Don't worry. I have Mom well-trained! And I'll keep you up to date on all the fun things there are to do for dogs (and cats too I guess) whereever you decide we should go.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Our First Adventure - Fort Smith, Arkansas

I want to tell you about our first trip together. Mom (that's what I call my human!) and I had not been in Arkansas long and we wanted to go exploring. So we decided to take a drive to some other locations in Arkansas. We started with Fort Smith since it's not a long drive from Rogers.

We decided we would stay overnight so we could take our time and really explore the area. Mom called around to find a place that would let me stay with her. There were several to choose from including the Comfort Inn Fort Smith and the Holiday Inn City Center. Mom decided to choose the Holiday Inn since it is Fort Smith’s largest full service Holiday Inn Hotel connected to the Fort Smith Convention Center and conveniently located near: UA Fort Smith, UA Fayetteville, Fort Smith’s National Historic Site, Judge Isaac C. Parker’s Museum / Courtroom, the Fort Smith Trolley Museum and Fort Smith Museum of Natural History. Fortunately, I am under the 20 lb weight limit in the hotel's pet policy and Mom did not mind paying the additional pet fee. We did have to stay on the pet floor, but that was alright with me. It gave me a chance to meet some other traveling pet friends.

We packed our bags. Mom brought my leash and my carrier even though I don't use them at home. She just wants me to be safe so I don't mind. She also brought my favorite food and some bottled water, dishes for me to use, my favorite toy, and my blanket. She also packed a pooper scooper and some carpet deodorizer - just in case! Then she made me wear my collar with the ID tags and we were off! On the way we stopped at Dr. Karen's, my vet, to get a copy of my shot record.

The trip did not take long. When we arrived, we went to our hotel first. Mom let me out to stretch my legs and take care of business. Then we visited our room so I could have a drink of water and look the place over. I decided where I wanted my blanket, explored the rest of the room and then it was time to see the city!

We went first to the Fort Smith Dog Park located at the corner of Massard Road and Louisville Street. This dog-lovers park provides an off-leash experience and socialization opportunity for me and my friends while also offering special events and programs. It even has benches so Mom and I can rest and a pond! We played for a while and Mom chased a ball for me. She looks silly doing it, but it seems to make her happy so I always play along.

I was pretty tired and ready for dinner and a nap but Mom wanted to check out Ben Geren Park located at 7200 South Zero Street. She had heard about the annual Top Dog competition sponsored by the local Alzheimer's Association. It's held in the park each year in conjunction with the annual Memory Walk. She thought it would be a dog-friendly place to just walk around for a bit and she was right. I had a great time and I hope she lets me enter the Top Dog contest this year. I know I can win!

Now it was definitely time to call it a day. Mom stopped at the Wendy's drive through for her dinner and then we went back to the hotel so we could eat together. After dinner, we settled down to watch some television. My favorite Saturday evening lineup was on so Mom let me lay beside her and watch while she read her book. Soon it was time for one last visit outside and then bed time. We have to get up early in the morning so we can head for home!

Friday, April 25, 2008

Fayetteville, Arkansas

Before we set out on our journey, I want to invite all of my fellow pet friends to visit my town. Fayetteville, Arkansas is one of the most welcoming cities around. Even though I live only 30 minutes away, Melodieann often takes me to Fayetteville just so I can enjoy myself. There are plenty of places for us to stay together. Home to the University of Arkansas, Fayetteville is a college town nestled in the mountains of northwest Arkansas and offers visitors an array of arts, culture, and natural beauty. Pets and their humans travel from all over to see the area's fall colors and attractions such as the Clinton House Museum, the Arkansas Air Museum, Civil War sites, and the annual Bike Blues and Barbecue. And be sure your human takes you to visit the Fayetteville Farmer's Market on the weekends.

My favorite place to stay is the Courtyard Fayetteville. Located in the heart of Fayetteville, the Courtyard by Marriott offers all of the conveniences necessary for Melodieann and me to be comfortable. The hotel is smoke-free so I don't have to worry about my allergies acting up or getting all that smell of cigarette smoke in my fur. And there are 32" Flat Screen LCD Televisions in every room so we can curl up and watch our favorite shows together after a busy day.

The Courtyard is close to one of my favorite places to walk - Lake Fayetteville Park. There are trails around the lake where Melodieann and I like to take early morning strolls. I do have to let her put my leash on me. There is a city ordinance that requires me to wear it for my own safety. I wouldn't want to get separated from my human and get lost!

Another great place to stay is the Best Western Windsor Suites. The Best Western Windsor Suites is conveniently located off of I-540 with easy access to key area attractions and business locations including the University of Arkansas, Wal-Mart headquarters and lovely downtown Fayetteville. Hotel guests will appreciate a wide variety of options for entertainment and shopping nearby. Each spacious guestroom or suite is equipped with free high-speed Internet access, cable satellite television, free long distance access, toiletries, iron/ironing board, coffee/tea maker and a hairdryer. Suites and mini-suites offer a whirlpool bath, 32-inch flat screen television, refrigerator and microwave. Every day begins with a divine complimentary continental breakfast featuring fruit, biscuits and gravy, waffles, cereals, coffee, and more which Melodieann always shares with me. Other hotel amenities include an exercise facility, business center. Guests may take a dip in the largest indoor swimming pool in Fayetteville. A friendly staff is ready to ensure a comfortable and memorable stay.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Support Adopt a Shelter Cat Month!

I know - dogs and cats don't get along (or so they say). But I'm going to share a secret with you. I have several cat friends. My human adopted them from the same shelter she found me at and I have to admit they are okay. Once I showed them who was in charge, they really became good companions. They share their food with me and they don't complain too much when I chew up their catnip mice. And on cold winter nights they sleep next to me on my blanket and help keep me warm. So I hope you will all encourage your humans to enter this contest and maybe even consider getting a cat of your own!

We all know how special cats are. But let's face it, not everyone gets it. Unlike their canine counterparts, cats don't have a cool slogan like "Dogs are man's best friend." Throughout history, cats have been the victims of superstition and misunderstanding – and even today, cats are in trouble: More than 70% of cats in animal shelters are euthanized (compared to a still-shocking 56% of dogs).

But you can help. June is national Adopt-a-Shelter-Cat Month and Cat Fancy has teamed up with Petfinder.com, the world's largest online database of adoptable pets, to raise awareness of the crisis facing our feline friends with the Cats Rule! Ad Contest.

Here's our challenge to you: Create a 7" x 10" ad that shows the world the value and importance of cats. Finalists will be posted online for readers to vote for their favorite, and the winning entry will run as a full-page ad in the September issue and be featured on CatFancy.com and Petfinder.com.

CONTEST RULES
Submissions will only be accepted between April 1, 2008 and May 23, 2008.
Your ad campaign should include a one-page print ad (7"x10"), in PDF format with minimum resolution of 300dpi. (If using a bleed, add 5/8" to all four sides.)

The ad should communicate:
Why cats are excellent pets
Why cat lovers should adopt a rescue/shelter cat
All submissions should be e-mailed to CatChannel as .pdf attachments

Do not:
Include any copyrighted material (photos, logos, etc.)
Use inflammatory images or copy
Specifically denigrate any organization, corporation or group

Ads will be judged by Cat Fancy/CatChannel.com and Petfinder.com on:
Overall creativity
Clarity in expressing the message
Technical & artistic execution
In the event of a tie, the entry judged to be the most creative will win.

RELEASE FORM
By submitting an ad, you acknowledge that you have read and agreed to the following terms and conditions:

All entrants must be 18 years of age or older. All submissions become the property of Cat Fancy/CatChannel.com and Petfinder.com and will not be returned. Users warrant that their ads are their own original creation, do not violate any law or regulation or infringe upon the rights of any other person or company (including but not limited to copyrights), and do not contain offensive, defamatory, vulgar or profane content, as determined by Cat Fancy. Ads that do not comply with the above shall be rejected. By submitting an ad, each user grants permission, without further compensation, to Cat Fancy/CatChannel.com and Petfinder.com and their agents and licensees to use the entrant's name and the ad itself in any media now known or hereinafter devised including, without limitation, print, Internet, radio and/or television throughout the world and for any purpose, including advertising, promotional or other purposes, with or without charge or cost to end users or other parties. Submission of an entry will constitute the user's representation that user has secured any and all rights, releases and permissions necessary for Cat Fancy/CatChannel.com and Petfinder.com's use hereunder, including without limitation those related to any person, place, music, performance of music, video, photographs, graphics and/or other elements, and upon request, each entrant shall provide proof that such release and permission was obtained and that no further permissions or fees are due for Cat Fancy/CatChannel.com and Petfinder.com's use of the submission or any elements therein. By uploading an ad, each user agrees that if requested, he or she will sign a release and waiver of liability.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Join Me and My Human On our Travels!

Hi! My name is Bob. I live with my human, Melodieann, in a great house in the country. I have lots of companions to play with and Melodieann takes very special care of me. I think I have her very well trained! She buys my favorite food and treats, bathes and brushes me, and buys me toys so we can play together. In return, I let her share my bed and sometimes, if she has been very good to me, I even let her share my favorite chair. Best of all, we both love to travel and I often let her accompany me on my adventures! Travel with us as Melodieann and I show you the very best places for you to take your human. Let's get packed!