December 24, 2013

Christmas Greetings from Pooch Smooches!

I was going to save this for (mostly) Wordless Wednesday, but I figured many of you (including me!) won't be online (much) tomorrow, so here's our early Wordless Wed. Christmas greeting! 
Have yourselfie a merry little Christmas!
From our familial unit to yours...

December 22, 2013

Monday Mischief: Something's a Little Fishy Around Our Christmas Tree

Last week, I decorated our tree. Usually it's just a hodgepodge of ornaments collected over the years, but this year I decided I wanted to have a "dogs at the beach" themed tree, so I ordered some sand dollar ornaments and starfish, and I made some ornaments using shells. Then I decorated the tree with blue/turquoise ornaments, dog ornaments and all the shells. 

I thought it came out very cute and couldn't stop looking at it. Rita, on the other paw, was interested in it for other reasons... cuz it smelled like the beach.

December 19, 2013

Mirth Watch Thursday: Pet Blogger Gift Exchange Edition - Wag N Woof!

It's that most wonderful time of the year! Time for stressing out about gift-buying and menu-planning and trying to scratch things off your mile long to-do list!

But it's also time for the annual Pet Blogger's Gift Exchange - offering a lovely respite from all that stress. Why, you ask? Isn't a gift exchange just another thing to stress out about? No! Not when you do it like Pamela from Something Wagging This Way Comes and AJ from I Still Want More Puppies, the co-hosts for this year's event. These very wise ladies have come up with a "gift" exchange idea that doesn't involve buying anything! It's all about sharing the gift of "encouragement and blog love."

I was very excited when I was paired with Janet from Wag 'N Woof Pets! If you've never visited their blog, you should go there. Now. (I'll wait.)

Are you back? I mean, how freaking cute is their blog header??

December 17, 2013

Meet the Bloggers: Rita's Mom Gets Wordy Again

Today I'm joining the "Meet the Bloggers" hop.
Meet the Pet Bloggers Hop

I feel like you guys already know tons about me, since I don't hide behind Rita for posting. After all, part of the reason I have this blog is to attract attention for my writing, so I have to put myself out there as myself, not just as "Rita's mom." I post pics of myself every once in a while, and my mug is always there on the right side-bar. Plus I share interviews that I've done, so... you guys already know me, probably as well as you know Rita. But... I thought this sounded like such a fun hop so I wanted to play along. Hope that's cool.

December 15, 2013

Monday Mischief: Pooch Smooches Invaded by Cats!

Okay folks... We've got some SERIOUS mischief on the blog here today... We've been taken over by CATS!! I've had to restrain Rita (and it's not unlike when the gardener's here...). But because Rita has a love of cat toys...
Rita almost succeeds in eating my sis's cat's toy.
 ... and tuna treats, she agreed to allow the cats to take over for the day. So, please welcome Jane & Bingley, who own my fabulous writer pal, Laura Chapman. Laura just launched her first novel (**throws confetti**) and Jane & Bingley are here to take a lot of credit for that tell how they helped! 

December 12, 2013

See Beautiful: It's Easy to See Around Us

This is our first time finally remembering to join the See Beautiful blog hop, hosted by Sugar the Golden Retriever. I love the idea of this hop, but I just kept forgetting to join. Well, I finally remembered!

We always try to see beautiful, especially when we are out on our walks together.

We see it in the grand vistas... (This is a view from one spot on our walks. The air was so clear the other day, you could see the islands in Mexico).

Mirth Watch Thursday: Trash-Talk the Gardener Or Eat Treats?

A few weeks ago, I posted some photos of Rita doing her acrobatic jumping when the gardeners show up. Remember these? (Apologies in advance for the quality of these pics and videos... we always hide out in the dark when the gardener comes. I don't know why, but I have it in my head that she'll be calmer in the dark. Which doesn't seem to be the case...and yet I persist.)

December 9, 2013

Tasty Tuesday: Buy These Treats with a Clear Conscience

Rita and I were contacted by Clear Conscience Pet and offered a chance to try some of their yummy treats, so today we are joining the Tasty Tuesday blog hop!

I've said here before that we always read the labels on treats/food we buy for Rita and never buy things from China, so we were happy to hear that Clear Conscience Pet offers USA made and sourced treats. (Note that you have to be even more careful these days! Some treats will say they are "Made in the USA" - but they might be made with ingredients sourced from outside the US.)

All their treats are made using free-range, grass-fed, or organically raised sources. They are also grain-free, gluten-free, and very low in carbs.

December 8, 2013

Monday Mischief: What Rita is Reading

I was sitting out in the backyard this weekend with my book. (Sorry... a little mischief there... I know many of you could not sit out in your backyards at the moment for more than about 2 minutes without freezing...). Anyway, I hadn't started reading yet, and just had the book in my lap. Rita came over and kept shoving the cover open with her nose. She's never done that with a book before, so she must have thought it looked (or smelled) good!

December 5, 2013

Mirth Watch Thursday: Why You Should Always Squeak the Toy in the Store

In keeping with yesterday's theme about gift-giving for dogs, I was reminded of a video I took of our angel Abby with one of her presents, and I thought it would make nice "mirth watch" viewing. (Speaking of yesterday's post... did you enter the giveaway?)

When I went back a couple of years on the blog to find it, I saw the cute pics and other pressies she got and decided to share all that again, cuz (a) she was SO cute and (b) I think a lot of you were not here 2 years ago so probably missed some of the cuteness. 

So, here's what I wrote about all of Abby's gifts back in Dec. 2011, plus your mirth watch video for this week:

"Hey, that dog looks like me!"
First of all, she got this very cute Christmas stocking specially handmade for her by her Aunt. She was very intrigued by it - even when it was empty. If you look closely, you'll see that the one dog on the right-hand side looks a lot like our girl! So cute!

Abby also got this very fine orange alligator in her Christmas stocking. My brother actually made toys for all the dogs in the family. He bought a gross of squeakers online (did you know you could buy squeakers in bulk?) and got some heavy-duty fabric and started whipping up dog toys on my sister-in-law's sewing machine. He is a very good doggy uncle. (He also made dog treats out of leftover grain from his beer making endeavors. She loves them.)

Her present from us was also an alligator, which (as you can see) she has already turned into a tripawd. (It was the very first thing she did.) [Ed. note added 12/4/2013: She loved to turn her toys into 3-legged things. There used to be a woman we would see at the beach who carried a small "monkey" pouch for her keys that hung off a cord at her hip. Abby snuck up once and chewed one of his legs off.]
What were the odds we'd both get 'er a gator?

I did not think to squeak this gater in the store. Big mistake. I'd been looking at some other no-stuffing toys that had recycled water bottles inside, and I thought this was the same sort of thing. I thought it would just make that crinkling, cracking sound that empty water bottles make. Um, no. It makes these crazy noises, as captured in the following video. (Note: the *other* crazy noise is just my sister's laugh...)

After opening her own presents, Abby thought everything was for her. Here she is perusing Grandma's presents:
"For me??"
And she got a bone, that she tried to hide behind the Christmas tree.
"No one can see me..."
Hope you enjoyed this stroll down memory lane and don't mind me reusing content. After all, it's the most busiest time of the year! (BTW, pretty pleased with myself - was able to look at old posts and pics and watch the video of Ab with nothing but smiles. Some sad smiles, but still... smiles.)

Happy Mirth Watch Thursday. Let's be mirthful out there!*

* If you ever watched the wonderful Hill Street Blues you will get this reference...

December 3, 2013

Wordless (ahem) Wednesday: Giveaway! Gifts To Keep Or To Give!

Excuse me if I am a tiny bit wordy on Wordless Wednesday (you always do, right?), but I wanted to tell you about our special giveaway -- it's a gift from me to you, or for you to pass on to someone else! 

After all, who doesn't like a gift?
"It's a SQUIRREL! Just what I've always wanted!"

December 1, 2013

Monday Mischief: Flea Infestation Turned Inspiration!

Pretty much every year, my sister (the excellent artist who painted my pups for my blog header) and I head over to my other sister's house to paint her windows for Christmas. (You can revisit previous windows in a guest post I did for Peggy's Pet Place last year, including tips if you want to paint your own windows!)

If you've seen the post I did for Peggy's blog, you know that my sister's dog Indy is always front and center ('natch!) for the paintings. 
Indy (She loves me. The feeling is mutual.)

November 24, 2013

Monday Mischief: Does the Gardener Taste Like Chicken?

Rita hates our gardener. Probably most dogs do. I mean, how often do strangers just wander into your yard, armed with sharp objects and loud machines?

I try to keep her calm, by closing her up in our bedroom and drawing the blinds. Unfortunately, we have these vertical blinds where all she has to do is shove them aside to see the intruders. Our usually fairly calm girl turns into the Tasmanian Devil: (sorry about the picture quality, but it was dark and I was just using my phone. And she was a moving target!)
"Hey you!"

November 22, 2013

FitDog Friday: Counting Paws & Steps

The hubs and I recently added pedometer apps to our smartphones. We thought I'd easily hit the suggested goal of 10,000 steps/day (since I walk Rita every morning for 45-60 min, plus run errands, etc.), and we figured the hubs would have a hard time since he's often stuck in endless meetings and works 10-12 hour days.
The Unit enjoys a good walk

November 21, 2013

Mirth Watch Thursday: We Are the Furred

My mother-in-law told us about this video that she saw on TV in Canada. (Maybe in between footage of Toronto's mayor Rob Ford's latest exploits?) It's sort of a "We Are the World"-style video (hence the post title), as you'll see:

November 19, 2013

November 17, 2013

Monday Mischief: Mischief-less In 7 Letters or Less

Today, while out on our long Sunday walk, a car with a vanity plate went by, so I asked the hubs to ponder what the 3 of us would distill our essences down to in 7 characters or less. With some collaboration, here's what we came up with for the 3 of us:

November 14, 2013

Mirth Watch Thursday: How Rude Is That Puppy in the Window?

Just a quick mirth watch post today (what?! She's not going to be wordy?) because it's NaNoWriMo, or National Novel Writing Month. To officially participate, you sign up online and keep track of your word-count progress, and to "win" you need to come up with 50,000 words (most of them formed into actual sentences!) by month end.
Hang in there for more cuteness like this!
BTW, 50,000 words does not a novel make. In general, your average 300-page novel is about 90-100K words. So, really it should be called NaHaANoWriMo - National Half-a-Novel Writing Month, but that's unwieldy and sounds like some ancient Hawaiian word.

November 12, 2013

Wordless Wednesday: Tiny Hats and Fond Memories

Y'all know Flea, right? If not, go subscribe to her Jones Natural Chews blog now, cuz she's funny and she gives away yummy treats and fun things. (Like the leash Rita won!)

Anyway, you should also be friends with her on Facebook, cuz she's funny and she gives you ideas for things to post about on your blog! Like the other day when she posted this picture of this fine, tiny hat, and said she was going to put it on her duck Jimmy the next day.

November 8, 2013

Follow-up Friday: More Cancer Stuff and Some Not-Cancer Stuff

It's Follow-Up Friday - the blog hop where we follow up on former posts, answer questions, share funny comments and wrap up the week! 

Dogs of Blogville Calendar
Remember waaay back in August when I asked you to vote to get Rita in the Dogs of Blogville Calendar? Well, they arrived, and they're gorgeous! Big thanks to Jodi of Heart Like a Dog and Julie of Daily Dog Blog for putting these together!

November 5, 2013

Give Cancer the Paw: 8 Ways We Try to Prevent Cancer

Welcome to the inaugural hop for Give Cancer the Paw. Thank you for joining Rita and me and our lovely co-hosts, Peggy and her pups Kelly & Ike from Peggy's Pet Place. We wanted to start today because November is National Pet Cancer Awareness Month. We want this hop to be about spreading awareness, support and hope!

Unfortunately, there are a lot of things I could write about when it comes to cancer in our pets so I had a hard time deciding, but I thought I'd start with sharing an important topic: things we do to try to keep Rita from getting cancer.

November 3, 2013

Monday Mischief: Ever Loved an Obedience School Dropout?

So... Have you ever loved an obedience school dropout? We have. Two of them, in fact. Both our angels, Bailey and Abby, were obedience school dropouts. Although that was the Momma's fault, not theirs. (Bailey's class was unorganized and we got bored, and Abby's class just wasn't a style that meshed with the Momma.)

But no more! We now have our first graduate from Obedience 1! Here she is practicing her down/stay. And she didn't even need to be coaxed into this position with treats!
She looks thrilled, yes? (She's actually just pooped!)

October 30, 2013

Mirth Watch Thursday: The End of K9 Kamp (for Now!)

Another session of K9 Kamp has come to an end. The goal was to add some extra activity to your normal routine, especially by adding some "Fitness Fun & Games." 

Mostly we went for our usual walks, walks and more walks, which isn't exactly "fun and games" but it was fun to walk around the neighborhood at night this month and check out the spooky displays for Halloween. Also we were aided in that effort by a package we received from Miss Flea of Jones Natural Chews

We won a reflective leash from a giveaway on Flea's blog, and she sent it with some Jones chicken and beef taffy in the box, as you could have probably guessed from Rita's reaction to the box:

October 29, 2013

Wordless Wednesday: Outtakes, So-Cal Fall & A New Hop!

I'm going to be a tiny bit wordy today (quelle surprise, right?), because I want to tell you more about the new blog hop that Peggy from Peggy's Pet Place and I are starting! More on that at the end, after I share a passel o' pics. 

So, last week I shared this selfie of Rita and me in my new SlimDoggy gear that I won.

October 27, 2013

Monday Mischief: Rita's a Howl-o-Weenie!

Rita is not a fan of Halloween. She thinks it's even worse than Fourth of July!

First of all, she hates the decorations people put up:
Skulls with googly eyes have no appeal for her!

October 22, 2013

Really Wordy Wednesday: Black Tie with Betty White

I apologize in advance for how wordy this will be, but I wanted to share my pics from the Morris Animal Foundation (MAF) Gala of Hope and tell you all about it. 

I also apologize in advance for how crappy our pics are. (!) My sis and I are new to having iPhones. (Do all iPhones take crappy pics indoors if the lighting isn't great, or is it just us? It's just us, isn't it...) If I'd known, I would've brought my "real" camera! Darn it.

Anyway... here goes the full report! 

My "date" and I checked into our lovely hotel room and got dolled up.

October 20, 2013

Monday Mischief: Even More in Awe of Betty White Now

Okay - I'm going to start right out by saying the mischief is all on me today. I am too beat to give you a full report on the Morris Animal Foundation Gala of Hope today! But... I'll give you some teasers and answer the Big Question.
Terrible photo - but that lady in red is Betty!

October 17, 2013

Mirth Watch Thursday: I'm So Hoppy

In homage to Rita, our Mexican jumping bean, and this photo that I posted of her on Monday...
... I thought I'd post a hoppy video. And this one just happened to cross my path yesterday. This is a lot like how Rita looks when she's amped up about something. Luckily she doesn't get amped up too often!

October 15, 2013

Wordless Wednesday: A Pup in the Grass

I've posted before about how Rita loves to flop down in cool grass on a walk.

Well, a neighbor planted some crazy tall grass, and Rita was only too happy to disappear into it this weekend on our walk when it was still kinda hot here.

October 13, 2013

Monday Mischief: The Girl's Got Vertical

Recently I posted about Rita being a Sheagle - she's half beagle, half shepherd (at least, as far as we know). But maybe she's got some springer spaniel in her too. Or sproinger spaniel.

She doesn't look like she'd have a lot of vertical (after all, she only measures about 20 inches tall)...
"Measuring tapes are scary, Momma!"
... but man, the girl can jump.

October 11, 2013

Follow-Up Friday: We Get To Go!!!

If you read yesterday's post, you know I was soooooo bummed about not getting to go to the Morris Animal Foundation Gala of Hope... but we ARE going!! I just found out a few minutes ago that it's 100% for sure happening!!
It's all thanks to entering my beautiful angel in a photo contest!

October 10, 2013

Feeling Blue on Mirth Watch Thursday

You guys! You are not going to believe my tale of woe...

You know I love Morris Animal Foundation and Betty White right? (If not, I mentioned it here, plus mentioned my donation pledge to MAF in my book trailer that I posted yesterday.) So, imagine how excited I was when I got a phone message inviting me and the hubs to the MAF's "Gala of Hope," featuring Betty White - we're talking free tickets!

Since we donate to MAF, we get their mailers so had seen that the event was happening on Oct. 19. I had said to the hubs how much I wished we could go, but (a) it's in L.A., about 2 hours from our house (that's with NO traffic), (b) the tickets for the 2 of us would have been $600, (c) it's not the hubs' favorite thing in the world to get dressed up and go somewhere fancy. So the mailer went in the recycle bin.

But they called yesterday and said they wanted us to come for free!! We were chosen because of Abby's entry in the Orvis cover dog photo contest. If you've been following the blog for a long time, you'll remember that I entered this photo of her in the contest way back in Feb. of 2011.

October 8, 2013

Wordless Wednesday: Sending Out Golden Thanks!

If we're friends on Facebook, you may have seen this already (and if we're not friends on Facebook... why not? Look me up on there!). Anyway, for those of you who haven't seen it - the lovely Sugar the Golden Retriever, with a little help from her mom, made me a video trailer for my new novel, Rescue Me, Maybe!

I was so thrilled that they offered! I sent them the words and the pictures, and they turned it into this:

October 6, 2013

Monday Mischief: The Ball Is Always Greener...

Rita's not all that big on playing ball. But of course she wants the ball if it's in someone else's yard. 
Rita spies a lovely big, green ball in a neighbor's yard

October 3, 2013

K9 Kamp is Back!

Hey K9 Kampers - get yer booties on cuz Kamp is back and it's time to rise and shine! And walk! And hike! And do whatever else it is you like to do to get up off your butt with your mutt!

Mirth Watch Thursday: That Infamous Cupcake Dog

On yesterday's post, the first comment made me laugh. It was in regard to this picture:
Andrea of This Pug Life said, "She reminds me of that infamous cupcake dog in the first pic. :)"

October 1, 2013

Wordless Wednesday: What's With the Waiting?

Rita has been enjoying some samples we received from I and Love and You of their dehydrated raw food.

She loves it! But in the immortal words of Tom Petty, "the waaaaaiting is the hardest part!"

September 29, 2013

Monday Mischief: Art Imitates Life or Vice Versa?

Rita had to go to the vet on Friday for her annual checkup. (And she was super healthy! Well... still waiting for her blood work results, but eyes, ears, heart, teeth, weight were all deemed "just great" by the vet.) Anyway, our vet's office has a sign posted with the Top 10 items ingested by pets.
Thanks to my sis for the photo.

September 26, 2013

Q&A With Peggy Frezon for FitDog Friday!

Today, we welcome Peggy Frezon, of Peggy's Pet Place, and author of Dieting with My Dog, and Heart to Heart, Hand in Paw. I read both books and they're pawesome! Peggy's a fantastic writer, and I can't wait to get my paws on her new book: The Dieting with my Dog Guide to Weight Loss & Maintenance.

Pooch Smooches is excited to be part of Peggy's blog tour, spreading the word about the book and about doggy (and human) fitness! Today we've asked Peggy to join us here for a little Q&A about the book.