24-Hour Foster Dog |Farewell, Rosa

This is Rosa.


Rosa was actually in my home for less than 24 hours before she met her now forever family and swept them off their feet.


Now I don’t usually recommend doing introductions so quickly after a new pup comes into your home, but Rosa is of the happy-go-lucky velcro dog variety. She just wanted her people and I could see that immediately.


The adopters had a stellar application and an amazing setup for a dog like Rosa – a community of friends, a momma who stays at home with her two little kids, and a beautiful backyard. It was a no-brainer.

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We had a great night getting to know this sweet girl and she became attached to me within the hour. Of course, now she can channel that passion into her forever family.

Even though it was short lived, I’m so happy I got to hang out with this beautiful soul. Happy trails, Miss Rosa.‚̧

Play With Your Food! | A Chewy Treat Toy Review

For breakfast, Rufus gets a mix of Honest Kitchen dehydrated food and kibble. And for that reason, it would be impossible to put his meal in a treat toy…because it’s basically soup.


However, every single dinner of his is stuffed into one of his many treat toy options (click here, here, and here to see a few of our favorites). I think it’s important to make him work for his food on a regular basis and it slows him down as well. It’s a win-win.

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Most of Ru’s toys are ¬†of the “roll around, knock ’em down” variety. These seem to work really well for him, but I decided to test his brain a little bit.


When Chewy offered to send us the Outward Hound Spinner Puzzle Toy, I was all about it! That being said, I was also kind of thinking it would take a few tries for him to get the idea…

[Click HERE to see Instagram video]


Turns out this dude was born to prove me wrong. The joke’s on him – I love to be proven wrong.

My favorite thing about this toy is that it’s something different. As our dogs get older, I think it’s just as important to keep their minds active and to introduce them to new obstacles on a regular basis. Doing this in the form of treat toys and games makes it way more fun for everyone involved.

Do you use treat toys? If so, what are some of your favorites?

Thanks to Chewy for offering some excellent products in exchange for my (our) honest review!


Pet Health | 3 Teeth Later…

Two weeks ago, I took Rufus in for an exam. For the past few years, we’ve had some real issues with his gums. A year ago, our vet put him on some natural remedies to (hopefully) calm down what we thought was severe gingivitis. His actual teeth seemed healthy enough, but his gums were inflamed to a point the vet hadn’t seen before.

Well, that didn’t really work.

And then a month ago, I noticed a growth on his gum line that seemed pretty alarming.


Bump is next to the bottom canine tooth

After an exam and doing some of my own research, I decided it was best to get it removed. And since he would have to be put under anyway, I scheduled a teeth cleaning as well.

I kind of hate having to put him under, but we do what we gotta do sometimes.


Such a pathetic sight…

So what did we learn?

-The biopsy results of his growth are not in yet. However, the vet is leaning towards issues with inflammation and gum overgrowth due to an allergy or reaction¬†as opposed to something more serious. This is good news and I’m hoping it stays this way and we get answers as to what is causing this.

-He had three teeth that were so damaged, they had to be pulled. Two of these teeth had exposed nerves. What?? I couldn’t even comprehend how that was possible as Rufus is always fine with eating, chewing, and gnawing on things like bully sticks and hooves. But I suppose when you love food as much as he does, you find a way around the pain. What a punk.

-His breath is sooooooo much better. Hallelujah! 


He’s obviously as thrilled about this as I am…

I’ll keep you guys updated on any changes. We can’t do much right now as he has stitches in his mouth that have to heal first. As for the future, I’m going to make sure to CLOSELY exam his mouth¬†regularly (as he obviously won’t tell me when something is wrong), brush them daily, and take bad breath much more seriously.


A Good Dog | When a Fearful Dog Succeeds


What makes a dog good?

I’ve written a lot about Ru’s behavioral quirks and obstacles and I’ve been really honest about how I try my hardest to work through and around them so that he can have as many enriching experiences as possible while also always being mindful of his boundaries.

We had a visitor this weekend. This person is someone that Rufus hasn’t been around in almost four years and even when he was around her back in Illinois, they met less than a handful of times. And even though I was super excited to spend time with her for a long weekend, I was a bit nervous about how Ru would take to a stranger (one that isn’t necessarily a “dog person”) staying in his house for several days. But! I didn’t let nerves deter me. I took the steps needed to make him comfortable and to set him up for success.

So what’d we do?

1.We met our guest outside. We took a mini walk in which no one interacted with each other. We just walked and talked and let Rufus sniff and get into his happy zone.

2.Then we walked inside and kept the mood neutral. She said “hello” to him but did not reach down to pet him. We put her stuff away, handed her some treats, and sat down to visit.

3.She fed Rufus treats as we praised him in our highest “dog mom” voices for being neutral. He licked her hand. Success!!

The rest of the visit was perfect. He would go up to her for a good neck scratch and then come back to me. He followed me around a lot more than usual, but he wasn’t fearful….just a little unsure.

Nothing happened. He didn’t “bond” with her but he also didn’t dislike her in the slightest. It went as perfectly as I could’ve hoped for.

A lot of people (especially those that aren’t completely nerdy over canines) expect a dog to WANT the attention. They expect to meet a dog that is incredibly¬†friendly, excited to meet every single person ever, and that you can easily reach down to pet no matter who you are or where you are. That’s not Rufus. And honestly…that’s not a lot of dogs, now, is it?

Rufus will never be happy-go-lucky in the traditional sense, but I’m more than ok with that. I just want him to be comfortable and content when life hands him a curveball. Through tiny baby steps, he’s shown me that he is willing to do the work and I love that about him.

Rufus is a good dog because he’s mine. I take responsibility for him and I do my best to push him through those rough moments without forcing anything. Our bond is stronger because of these moments and I’m so happy to have him by my side.

My heart dog.