Nov 19, Best Dog Food Guide | Learn then Choose What’s Best for Your Dog

Want the best dog food for your beloved pet? Reasons to switch dog food brands. Get informed today.
Dog Food Blog | Best Dog Food Guide

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Instant Stress Relief: Awesome Penguin is Awesome

I don’t do stress very well. I get antsy. I eat too many cookies. I spend a lot of time staring vacantly into space listening to my heartbeat drum in my ears as I resist, with variable success, the urge to overreact to every little thing. You’d think I would be better at dealing with this sort of thing by now, but of all the curveballs I’ve weathered in life, this particular move has really unsettled me in a way that makes me entirely sympathetic to those who are simply steering clear of me until everything is in the clear. It’s what I would do in your shoes.

The urge to run is strong. If only I could escape somewhere far, far away, I would feel a lot better. In the absence of an actual physical egress, perhaps a pictorial one will do. (This must be why I’ve always obsessed over National Geographic.) One can’t get much further away than Antarctica. Join me, if you would, for just a moment, to the happy land of Antarctic Emperor penguins, where no one has to argue about closing costs, fish are abundant, and if you want to shove the guy next to you into the drink you can totally make it look like an accident.

The following is an excerpt from the November edition of National Geographic magazine. For the full piece online, please click here. Enjoy!

When an emperor penguin swims through the water, it is slowed by the friction between its body and the water, keeping its maximum speed somewhere between four and nine feet a second. But in short bursts the penguin can double or even triple its speed by releasing air from its feathers in the form of tiny bubbles. These reduce the density and viscosity of the water around the penguin’s body, cutting drag and enabling the bird to reach speeds that would otherwise be impossible. (As an added benefit, the extra speed helps the penguins avoid predators such as leopard seals.)

Preparing to launch from the sea to the sea ice, an emperor penguin reaches maximum speed. © Paul Nicklen/National Geographic


An airborne penguin shows why it has a need for speed: To get out of the water, it may have to clear several feet of ice. A fast exit also helps it elude leopard seals, which often lurk at the ice edge. © Paul Nicklen/National Geographic

Life is safer at the colony, where predators are few and company is close. © Paul Nicklen/National Geographic

I can go ahead and add this to the list of things I want to see before I die. Add to the list of things I do not need to see ever again: Buyer Disclosure Lists, escrow closing documents, packing boxes.


My life has been greatly enriched by having an ipad subscription to Nat Geo. It’s saved me from having to read 2010 issues of Life and Style at the doctor’s office more times than I can count.

Thanks to National Geographic for permission to use these fantastic images from Paul Nicklen and the November issue of National Geographic magazine. For more images and interactive video of the penguin zooming out of the water, you can go here. Happy Monday!



Pawcurious: With Pet Lifestyle Expert and Veterinarian Dr. V.

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The Homeless Chef: Rustic Rosemary Roast Stew

I’ve only been in the kitchen a couple of times during the Summer of Murphy tour and it was time fer me to get back in there and make a sammich damnit!  
Except it was chilly in Connecticut at Dawn’s house and I was in the mood for a hearty, savory, rustic stew.  Here’s what I worked up:
Fry a half pound of bacon, remove, then add a stick of butter to the grease to sear the pork roast on all four sides.  reduce heat and saute garlic and onions in the pan with the roast.  
Fill the pan up with beef stock and bring to a boil.  I would’ve made my own if I had time but I used Swansons a base and built the stock up from there by adding maple sugar, Sriracha, red wine, and a few other savory seasonings like cumin and cayenne pepper.  Remember, when it comes to sauces it’s all about sweet and heat.  
Next, add fresh rosemary and lemon thyme sprigs to the broth and simmer for a couple of hours depending on how many pounds the pork roast is packin.  About an hour out from serving time, add mushrooms, carrots, and fingerling potatoes to add to the heartiness of the stew.  
I’m always trying to build up layers of flavors you can saute the mushrooms in wine and butter first and I also recommend roasting the potatoes and garlic, too.  Just didn’t have the time for that.  
I think next time I make this I’m going to use roasted autumn veggies like butternut squash and brussel sprouts for the stew… Until then… Puppy Up and Chow Down!

2 Dogs 2,000 Miles

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Flea Bass Solo w/ Chad

Well a good technique video!
Video Rating: 4 / 5

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Postcards from Purgatory

I am saying goodbye to my house next week. I didn’t think I would be so suddenly sentimental about the place, given how keen I was on getting out of it for the last year or so. But now that it’s time, I realize that wow, there’s a lot of memories here I’m leaving behind once and for all.

We brought home two new babies to this house, celebrating milestones like first birthdays and first steps and first days of school. This is the only place they’ve ever called home. We said goodbye to two most amazing dogs, right there in the living room while I sat on the floor with their heads in my lap. We’re leaving the patio where even now, three years later, I still look out beyond the fence and imagine Callie strolling over to us as if no time had passed, full of guilt for one mistake so many ages ago.
golden assault

It’s not the house I will miss, wooden bones and wires perched on a hill, the faucet you have to wiggle a certain way. It’s the memories, of the way Brody would walk on the pool net, or Mulan would flop under the ficus to rest. Emmett jumping into the pool to “save” my sister’s shih tzu who was a frantic swimmer. Teaching Brody to surf in the shallow end. We said several goodbyes, but also many hellos.


These are memories that persist in my head, since the backdrop is here every day to remind me and make them seem maybe not so far away. But when we leave, they will recede into the recesses of my brain and become dusty with disuse, a mental picture to be recalled only with effort. It’s bittersweet.

I think maybe it would be a little less sad were we moving directly to a new chapter I was super excited about, but, yeah, not so much. I’m trying not to channel Marvin from The Hitchhiker’s Galaxy when I talk about the next year, but it’s hard. Nobody wants to sell their house right now (except, apparently, us.) I say cheerily to people who ask that “we are moving into an apartment while we wait for the right house to pop up on the market.” It sounds nicer than “we’re settling into purgatory for the indefinite future,” but they all respond with pity anyway. Some people nod in a noncommittal manner, but there is a small but vocal subset of the population who invariably respond with alarm. This group is women with small children and/or children who were once small.

Unimpressed Brody mimics the response of every single mother when I tell them our plans for the next few months.

It came up with my doctor, herself a mother of three, after she took my blood pressure and I felt the need to explain the numbers. “You’re moving into an apartment HOW big?” she asked. She lowered the chart and fixed me with her sharp blue eyes. “With two kids and two dogs.” I nodded.

“It’ll be fine,” I said, smiling a little too widely. “It’s just for a few months.”

She shook her head and made a note. “Call me if you need some Xanax.” pause. “And you will.”

The other responses were similarly uplifting. “I did that last year. Almost got a divorce.”

“You do realize that is a terrible proposition, right? I did that once. I was probably an alcoholic for a few months’ time.”

There’s nothing to be done about it now, really. Keep a stiff upper lip and all of that. My mother reminded me that her mother had 17 brothers and sisters growing up in her Irish Catholic family, and somehow they all managed in tight quarters, but if I recall after the fistfights died down at the one and only family reunion we were allowed to attend they didn’t exactly relish the closeness. And not all of them avoided jail time in life.

If I’m working from an optimistic worldview, I could say that my cabin fever will simply translate into more time in the great outdoors and Brody and I will simply go for a 5 hour run every day and I will come out the other side tanner and triumphant. Why don’t we go with that hypothesis for now.

But yes, we’re settling into purgatory for the indefinite future. Send brownies.

Pawcurious: With Pet Lifestyle Expert and Veterinarian Dr. V.

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Nuts or Not? Squirrel Predicts Presidential Win



Gnocchi Goes Nuts for Mitt

Gnocchi, a prognosticating rodent named for the Italian potato dumpling, is predicting Mitt Romney to be the country's next president.  Gnocchi's predictive skills have been tested before when he was asked in 2008 to predict the outcome of the presidential election, and he picked Democratic candidate and eventual President Barack Obama. 

[Related: Who is America's Favorite Pet?  Dogs, cats, pigs or ponies? Join the debate]

A Highly Technical Polling Methodology

To determine the presidential frontrunner, Gnocchi was placed inside a cage where there were two dishes filled with walnuts. One food dish had a picture of Romney attached to it; the other had Obama's picture. Whichever bowl he ate the most nuts out of was the winner.

[Related: Catnapping on the Campaign Trail-- VIDEO-- this site]

When it came time to make his choice, Gnocchi, like many of the undecided voters across the nation, took his time selecting his prediction Tuesday. In all, it took about 20 minutes until he chose the dish of nuts with Romney's mug attached to it.

Related: Do dogs rule? Why dogs should be voted America's Favorite Pet!


The Daily Treat: Animal Planet

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At 3.25 Ounces, Meysi Might Be the World’s Smallest Dog

In September, the world’s largest dog trod with a heavy gait across the Internet, delighting some and irking others, but now a newcomer is nipping at Zeus’ fame: She might be the world’s smallest dog.

Meet Meysi, a tiny, tiny Terrier cross. This is a very small dog.

When she was born, she weighed just 1.58 ounces and had to be fed day and night, every half hour, with a syringe. She’s so small, her pet mom thought she was a piece of placenta when she was born. No. Seriously.

“It’s a miracle Meysi is even alive. When her mother Pusia started giving birth to her litter, I thought at first she had passed a piece of placenta and was about to throw it away when it suddenly started moving,” her owner Anna Pohl of Jarocin, Poland, told the Gazeta Jarocinska, according to the New York Daily News.

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It was a rough beginning for the young pup and Pohl.

"The worst was the first six weeks. Zero sleep. I was feeding her day and night, every half hour. Sometimes I ran out of strength, had to call out of work," she said.

Now, however, the pup is doing fine. She is three months old and a robust 3.25 ounces. She's about the size of a cell phone (if you're my parents) or a paperback thriller.

"She is a lovely little thing but you have to be very careful where you sit and where you walk," said Pohl.

"She eats on her own now," Pohl said in a YouTube video. "She eats Gerber baby food on her own. You can tell by her round belly that she's got a good appetite."

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Of course, as happened with Zeus, the specter of Guinness looms large over stories like these, and talk about the World's Smallest Dog seems to anchor every story about tiny Meysi. It's all sort of seedy, to be honest, with the popular media playing the role of carnival barker, making a big show of records and awards and exhorting us to look behind the curtains to see the freak of nature.

Most stories, of course, fail to wonder exactly why Meysi is that size (as Casey Lomonaco wondered with Zeus.) Was she bred that way? Thankfully, it appears not:

"Her sister is three times her size," Pohl said in the video.

But we should we temper our fascination with Meysi, lest smaller and smaller dogs become more and more fashionable and breeders try anything to keep up with the interest. JaneA Kelly just wrote a scathing rebuttal to Kim Kardashian's decision to get a "teacup cat" for this very reason. Let's hope Meysi's fame doesn't make ounce-sized dogs any more fashionable than they already are.

The Scoop | The Scoop

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Q&A: Skin allergies….?

Question by hey ya’ll!: Skin allergies….?
Hello all….

I have had skin allergies on my legs and arms for almost 3 years…
it has not gotten better, but worse…
it started just by my shoulders… then it went to my
lower arms… then my thighs… then my lower legs..
i think it stopped spreding… becuase it’s almost MY WHOLE BODY!

is there any way to get rid of this for good?

I have been taking “Apple Cidar Vinegar” for a month and a half.

i read that apple cidar helps…
but it’s not really helping. please help :’(
i wont most pictures. but PLEASE! help me.

Best answer:

Answer by MondoBizzaro
I would see a doctor. It may not sound very appealing, especially in hot weather, but does help block future infection on the skin is to wear a long sleeve Under-Armour top, to protect the upper part of the body, and wear pantyhose to protect the legs. My skin is very sensitive to poison ivy and bee stings, and pantyhose and other tight fitting garments have done well to keep my skin clean, and protect against insects, bacteria, fungus, and poisonous plants, while hiking and camping.

Know better? Leave your own answer in the comments!

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Reader Request: Chick Update!

You asked, so here they are, more chicken photos!

Last week we introduced them to their new coop. Around the coop is an enclosed pen, but we have to keep a watchful eye out for hawks while they are in the enclosure. I have already spotted a Cooper’s hawk swooping into our yard trying to get to the chickens (luckily they were in the coop at the time and safe). For this purpose, we bought a fake owl. Yes, an owl. Can’t miss it, it is like they Eye of Sauron! ;) Check this thing out:

They are supposed to deter hawks, as long as I keep moving it around every few days so the hawk doesn’t figure out it isn’t real.

The chickens are loving their new home! At night we cover the coop with a blanket for warmth, though since it is summer here it doesn’t get that cold at night.

When we are outside, we let them free range and they love to eat the bugs in the yard and slurp up blades of grass like spaghetti! I am hoping they eat all the nasty spiders.

Well, I won’t make you wait any longer- here is a gallery of the chickens, they are getting BIG though they still chirp like babies ;) Click on the first thumbnail to view the whole gallery.


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Emotions and Your Pets: By Nicole Bruder

Whenever I’m in a great mood my dog, Lucy Goo, picks up on it.  She jumps up and down, wags her tail, and spins.  She wants in on the party!  My cat, Zacky, purrs and wants a cuddle, and everyone seems to be smiling.  That said, when I’m feeling sad or upset, Lucy Goo and Zacky both seem to sense this, too.  They will lick my tears when I’m crying, and give me extra cuddles when I’m lonely.  Our pets take care of us as much as we take care of them; knowing this is very important.  Keeping in mind how our pets are tuned in to our emotions is an important part of the relationship “owners” have with their pets.  (I put the word owners in quotes, since I actually feel like their moth, and not their “owner.”)

Now, because pets pick up on our emotions, they also tend to have sympathetic feelings to what we are feeling, too.  It’s great to be happy and have your pets rejoice with you, and it’s wonderful to have a warm furry friend sit on your lap and help cheer you up when you’re feeling down.  But there is another emotion that we may not always associate with our pets, and that is anger.  Yes, pets pick up on anger, too.  The next time you feel upset with the world and find yourself tossing things around or on the phone venting or even yelling, take a step back and remember that our pets pick up on this energy.  The emotions of anger scares animals.  You may notice your pets hide and cower when you’re feeling this way.

So, the next time someone or something has you worked up, take a couple of deep breaths and do something to soothe yourself.  One of the best things I do to help calm myself down is to go on a power walk with Lucy Goo.  This makes her happy, and at the end of the walk, I’ve either figured things out, or come to realize the situation wasn’t really that bad after all.  So, from now on, make note now of how your pets behave when you’re experiencing different emotions.  Let me take care of you when you’re sad, let them rejoice with you when you’re happy, and when you’re mad at the world, look into their eyes, and you’ll notice that things really can’t be all that bad since you have the unconditional love of your pet.

Nicole Bruder, owner of Lucy Goo Pet Sitting.


PetsitUSA Blog

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