Tag Archives: playhardbarkoften

Thankful Thoughts

The neighborhood Blue Jays are thankful for Simon and Rosee’s water bowls as they serve as excellent bird baths.

(just press play to see them in action!)

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Being Thankful This November

Halloween may be over, but the holiday season is just beginning!

And while I may not be quite ready for Christmas, I am definitely looking forward to Thanksgiving this year. Thanksgiving has always been one of my favorite holidays. I mean there’s always great food, family, and I can’t forget about the pie. Even Simon and Rosee love Thanksgiving because it always means some extra special treats just for them. We all get to have a feast for the holiday.

So, in honor of the Thanksgiving holiday that is soon approaching (really, it’s only about 2 weeks away!) everyone, including both dogs and humans, here at Play Hard, Bark Often is going to share what we’re grateful for leading up to the big holiday.

To kick things off I have to say that I am grateful for Simon and Rosee. This year they both let me dress them up in multiple costumes for our 13 Days of Halloween celebration.

I mean, sure, they got a lot of treats out of it…

but overall I think I got the better end of the deal.

 

Day 10 of 13 Days of Halloween (2017)

Remember that second birthday I mentioned earlier this week?

Well, the second birthday of the month of October that also happens to coincide with Halloween is Rosee’s 5th birthday!

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I know for dogs (and other animals too, probably) birthdays don’t mean as much to them as they do for us humans. Yet, I can’t help but feel that Rosee’s 5th birthday is really a big milestone. I mean, she’s finally a whole handful! More importantly, by turning five Rosee is officially an adult dog. By age five dogs should be out of their growing phases, meaning they’re not teenagers anymore. Thank goodness!

Still, I can’t quite believe that Rosee is five years old. It’s almost unbelievable that she’s been a part of our lives for so long, and yet it seems that the time has flown by so quickly at the same time. She’s grown so much over this past year especially, and while I still like to think of her as my puppy (mainly because she’s the youngest), she is most definitely an adult dog.

Rosee listens better, is more focused on her humans rather than getting distracted by outside influences, she’s learning not to be afraid of other dogs and can walk past them (as long as she has some space) without issue, and she doesn’t try to test her boundaries as much as she once did (meaning she doesn’t steal the TV remote anymore). Don’t get me wrong she is still full of spunk and spice, but she channels it into more appropriate behaviors. For instance, when anyone arrives home she grabs her bone to bring to them as they enter the door rather than jump on them in her excitement. Win!

Life really is never dull with Rosee in our lives and I know we wouldn’t have things any other way.

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Happy 5th Birthday Rosee!

Day 9 of 13 Days of Halloween (2017)

Move over jack-o-lanterns because pup-o-lanterns are all the rage this year!

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I love my dogs and what better way to show off my love for them than to carve their face (or at least as close as I could) into a pumpkin for Halloween.

My pup-o-lantern may have started off as just a regular, orange pumpkin, but it definitely had a dream of being transformed into something special. All I needed was a pumpkin, a stencil, a small carving knife, a pumpkin shaver, some tape and a whole lot of determination.

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To begin, I started by cutting off the top of my pumpkin and cleaning out the middle. Honestly, this part of the process is the longest and definitely most labor intensive as well. However, making sure that your pumpkin’s inside is clean is most important because you don’t want any stringy bits obscuring all your hard work.

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Next, I taped my stencil to the front surface of my pumpkin and used my knife to make a shallow dotted line along the stencil lines so that I would know where exactly to cut. You could, of course, leave the stencil on while you carve your pumpkin, but this can be difficult since pumpkin juice can make your paper stencil rip and tear. I found a pit bull stencil off of the sheknows website, who kindly put together a slideshow of 19 printable dog patterns for carving. I did end up enlarging the stencil though, because otherwise a few of the lines were a little too close together for comfort.

Then I took my carving knife and carefully cut out all the sections that were cut out (the dark grey parts of the stencil), and continued on to shave the sections indicated (the light grey sections of the stencil). While I did use a fancy-ish carving knife and shaver, any knife should work. Although, I did find that a smaller, thinner knife did help me cut the more detailed areas easier.

Finally, all I had left to do was put in a couple LED electric candles in my pup-o-lantern and wait for the sun to set.

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So, whether you are ambitious enough to use a stencil to carve your own pup-o-lantern or stick to simple shapes to make a basic face or paw print (because really that’s just a cluster of ovals), any pup-o-lantern is sure to be awesome!

Day 8 of 13 Days of Halloween (2017)

Is there seriously anything more awesome than pumpkin this time of the year?

I mean, during the Fall season just about pumpkin-everything is available. From pumpkin spiced coffees, teas, flavored gums and candies, pancakes, and we can’t forget the giant refrigerated case at Costco that holds nothing but pumpkin pies. Then there are the numerous ways in which we can use pumpkins, whether it is for decorations inside and outside of the house, to make homemade pumpkin pies, and of course, there’s the classic use of pumpkins to create jack-o-lanterns for Halloween.

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Yet, did you know that pumpkin can also be nutritious for our dogs?

Yes, in fact it seems that pumpkin mania doesn’t just have to be for us humans, and can be a nutritious snack for our dogs. For the most part, pumpkin is considered to be of good use for dogs with upset stomachs and tummy troubles. For instance, when either Rosee or Simon experience tummy troubles we feed them some plain cooked white rice and boiled chicken (as advised by our vet), however some dogs, like my brother’s dog Trigger, don’t handle grain very well and pumpkin can be a better option. Furthermore, pumpkin can be a good source of fiber, beta-carotene as well as numerous other vitamins and minerals that can be beneficial to our pups. Just remember it’s best used in moderation as a treat!

Plain canned pumpkin is the easiest way to provide your dogs with a tasty treat, but fresh pumpkin can be good too as long as you’re up for the challenge of cutting, cleaning, and storing it. Just make sure that any pumpkin you buy (at least in the canned form) is only plain pumpkin. Do not use pumpkin pie filling or any sort of spiced pumpkin mix since these other additives can further upset your dog’s stomach or even be toxic (for instance if the pumpkin pie filling contains xylitol).

I mean really, just when I thought I couldn’t love pumpkin anymore.

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For even more information on pumpkin and the benefit for your dog make sure to check out the links below.

References:

https://www.dogids.com/blog/pumpkin-for-dogs/

http://www.akc.org/content/health/articles/can-pumpkin-help-with-dog-diarrhea/

http://www.petmd.com/dog/slideshows/nutrition/3-health-benefits-pumpkin-dogs

 

P.S. We’re past the halfway mark in our celebration here of the 13 Days of Halloween, but we still have lots left to come, so make sure to check back for more Halloween-inspired fun!

Day 4 of 13 Days of Halloween (2017)

Let’s face it…costumes are not for every dog, or even every human.

Sometimes we just want something that’s easy to put on our pets, no hassle, quick, and is fashionably festive without being over the top. As fun and silly as dog costumes can be, they can also be expensive, difficult or tricky to put on, or an unnecessary expense for just one day of the year. Then there are those dogs that just don’t enjoy playing dress up. Believe it or not, Rosee is not a fan of wearing a costume for too long. She’ll usually tolerate it for 15 minutes, but beyond that she’ll start rolling around on the ground until she gets off any and all clothing, or she’ll incite Simon into playing that ends with him pulling off the offending garment. She really can be scarily smart sometimes.

Never fear though, I have come up with a solution: festive holiday bandannas!

For most dogs, wearing a bandana is tolerable since they’re used to wearing a collar anyways, and they can be easy to make yourself. Now, while I do know that bandanas can be purchased, I have personally found it nearly impossible to find ones that actually fit around Rosee and Simon’s necks. Plus, the best part is that I have a way to make your dog a bandana that requires no sewing!

First what you’ll need is:20171022_161324.jpg

  • holiday fabric
  • fabric adhesive tape
  • velcro
  • scissors
  • measuring tape
  • pencil/marker
  • iron (if you use fabric adhesive that requires one)

What you need to do:

  • Measure the neck of your dog so you know exactly how wide to cut the top of the bandana
  • Sketch out a basic outline for the bandana on the backside of your material using a pencil/marker
    • the shape is simply a triangle with flaps of material left on each end
    • make sure you leave at least 1/2 inch extra to your outline for the hem
    • repeat this step, so you’ll now have two pieces of fabric in your basic bandana shape
  • Line your two pieces of fabric up so that the patterned side is on the inside
  • Starting with the outer edge of the triangle cut your fabric adhesive to size and place it on the inside or patterned side of your fabric of the bottom piece of fabric
    • I used fabric adhesive that is activated by an iron and found it worked great, but there is another kind that doesn’t require an iron and while it does work it can be tricky to peel the backing off
    • basically, the fabric adhesive will be sandwiched between the two pieces of fabric
  • Lay the top layer of fabric on top of the adhesive and bottom fabric and iron
    • let the hem cool for at least a few seconds so it sets before moving on
  • Repeat the previous two step on the other side of the triangle, the flaps on each end, and the top but make sure to leave about a 2-3 inch opening at the top
  • Through the opening pull through the fabric (so you turn it right side out) with the pattern on the outside
  • Cut some adhesive to the size of the opening and fit it along the inside and carefully iron closed
  • Attach some velcro to each flap on the end of the bandana
    • I did put fabric adhesive (the non-iron kind) behind the velcro to help it stick better

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  • Put your creation on your dog and you’re done!

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Ultimately, I love having holiday-themed bandanas for Simon and Rosee and they love wearing them because they are easy to put on and can be worn anytime or anywhere. It’s a great way to show off their love for Halloween all month long!