8 Style Straw Totes For Summer

8 Style Straw Totes For Summer

Natural woven fiber bags are all the rage right now, and I have 100% hopped on the bandwagon. Really though, I’ve been a big straw/raffia tote fan for years now. They’re perfect as oversized purses, they make killer diaper bags, they’re ideal for the pool or beach, and if they’re big enough, they even work as overnight bags or carryons. Summer is the quintessential season for them though, without a doubt – especially when they include colorful tassels or poms.  I’ve rounded up 8 of my current favorites for the season, as seen above.

Who else is a big straw tote fan? Which one do you like best?


Bubby and Bean ::: Living Creatively

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How Hot Is TOO Hot for Your Dog?

How hot is TOO hot for your dog? With temperatures hovering around 100 degrees here every day into the foreseeable future, we have to schedule our dog fun in the early morning (evening remain too…

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Great article! Everyone should read it. I am proud…

Great article! Everyone should read it. I am proud to call Farah a friend and my family is proud to call a Vafa dog a member of our pack. I pray that Trump's executive order is found unconstitutional by the higher courts as it helps no one and impacts so many in such a negative way.

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Thanks, once again, BADRAP for reminding us that c…

Thanks, once again, BADRAP for reminding us that civil rights strongly parallel and affect animal rights. You know you have always been my heroes, and were once the only voice of reason ringing in the wilderness for me battling it out in the late 90s advocating for our dogs. So many people have chanhed their opinions of Blocky Headed Dogs. In no small part, to you. I don't know what I would have done without you. Great blog post! I have quite a few Pitbull loving Iranian friends whom I'll share your message with.
Always. Gemma

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A comfy lap for a hunting dog pup.

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Does Your Dog Need a Gluten-Free Diet? (Do You?)

dog with food bowl

Issues with human nutrition and digestion are not parallel to the dog’s digestive system or immune system, yet people seem to want to apply beliefs or facts about human diet trends (which are often fads!) to their pets.  For example, the current attention being given to a “gluten free diet,” which is actually as irrelevant to most people as it certainly is to dogs. I happen to have Celiac disease myself, which is an intolerance to the gluten found in most grains that can lead to serious health consequences if you don’t rigidly avoid gluten in any form. It’s an extremely strict diet and not one most people would willingly want to adhere to unless their life depended upon it! So why would people embrace this as a fad diet, and think that “gluten free” is something to impose on their dogs. Pet owners also refer to a “grain free diet,” when honestly they don’t exactly know what they mean by “grains,” since I find people often confused and amazed that I can eat rice, corn, quinoa and other “grain shaped” food items that actually contain no gluten.

Since I am hyper-aware of what constitutes a grain (because I have to avoid most of them, especially wheat, rye, barley) I don’t know quite what to make of this general embrace of gluten-free products by people who do not actually have the disease.  Pet food trends seem to follow human food preoccupations, so that “grain free” becomes a desirable marketing catch-phrase. In reaction, pet food manufacturers are finding it useful to view “grain free” and “gluten free” as important in their products because they perceive it is a trendy thing that dog owners want. But dogs don’t have celiac disease (and relatively few people actually have it, either) and gluten is nothing to avoid if you don’t have to!

[A random example of the misperceptions about gluten-free diets is that the tennis star Novak Djokovic, once the most dominant player in the world, switched to a gluten free diet and wrote a book extolling the virtues of this choice. I imagine many people followed in his footsteps, and probably thought it would benefit their dogs, too! Perhaps they weren’t noticing that as Novak followed that gluten-free path he lost an exaggerated amount of weight so that he doesn’t look as strong and healthy as he did before, and his power and prominence has since plummeted, perhaps in part because of that diet or for personal reasons.]

Let’s go back to common sense, please! If our goals and desires for our pets’ health is driving the train of what goes into pet foods and how they are promoted, then wouldn’t it be better to go back to basics and choose a dog food based on our confidence in its overall recipe and the company’s reputation? Shouldn’t we be giving preference to pet foods that list real meat (chicken, lamb, salmon, etc.) and whole vegetables and other recognizable whole food ingredients—all hallmarks of higher quality nutrition? That’s why I choose Halo as the kibble I fed my own dogs, and most of my friends now follow my example, I’m proud to say! Let’s not distract ourselves or the pet food companies that cater to us with passing fancies about food ingredients or diet fads that are a waste of our time, and not doing a thing for our pets.

Tracie Hotchner is a nationally acclaimed pet wellness advocate, who wrote THE DOG BIBLE: Everything Your Dog Wants You to Know and THE CAT BIBLE: Everything Your Cat Expects You to Know. She is recognized as the premiere voice for pets and their people on pet talk radio. She continues to produce and host her own Gracie® Award winning NPR show DOG TALK®  (and Kitties, Too!) from Peconic Public Broadcasting in the Hamptons after 9 consecutive years and over 500 shows. She produced and hosted her own live, call-in show CAT CHAT® on the Martha Stewart channel of Sirius/XM for over 7 years until the channel was canceled, when Tracie created her own Radio Pet Lady Network where she produces and co-hosts CAT CHAT® along with 10 other pet talk radio podcasts with top veterinarians and pet experts.

Dog Film Festival - Tracie HotchnerTracie also is the Founder and Director of the annual NY Dog Film Festival, a philanthropic celebration of the love between dogs and their people. Short canine-themed documentary, animated and narrative films from around the world create a shared audience experience that inspires, educates and entertains. With a New York City premiere every October, the Festival then travels around the country, partnering in each location with an outstanding animal welfare organization that brings adoptable dogs to the theater and receives half the proceeds of the ticket sales. Halo was a Founding Sponsor in 2015 and donated 10,000 meals to the beneficiary shelters in every destination around the country in 2016.

Tracie lives in Bennington, Vermont – where the Radio Pet Lady Network studio is based – and where her 12 acres are well-used by her 2-girl pack of lovely, lively rescued Weimaraners, Maisie and Wanda.

Halo Pets

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Westie Dog and Walker Find Missing Woman

hazel the westOften when people walk their dogs, they’re in a hurry and wish that their dogs were a little bit less interested in everything off the path. Sara Wilce isn’t one of those people. She’s grateful that her dog, Dougal, has a keen interest in his surroundings. Recently the Westie became a hero when, during his morning walk, he spotted an elderly woman and her dog who had been missing for four days!

According to the Stroud News and Journal, Hazel Denham had last been seen at 1:20 the previous Tuesday afternoon as she headed out to walk her Poodle-Yorkshire Terrier mix, Bertie. Her husband, Richard Denham, reported her missing at 5:17 that evening when she and Bertie still hadn’t returned home. Richard is 85 and his wife is 71 with mild dementia. The Denhams live in Minchinhampton, an ancient hilltop town in the Cotswolds of England. When people learned that Hazel was missing, the community sprang into action. Volunteers and professionals with a number of agencies and services coordinated searching for the woman. Police officers and other officials gave out maps of areas where people should search. The National Police Air Service used thermal-imaging cameras to look for signs of Hazel and Bertie. The Search & Rescue Dog Association (SARDA) South Wales also participated in the search.

Read the complete story.

Halo Pets

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Recently Ginger & I + Fuzzybutts were in Indiana and Chicago on business and he couldn’t help but pen another haiku.  Here it is:
Hello Chicago.
Oh No H20! Won’t Go!
Hello Hotel Room.  
Those who know him well know he absolutely hates even the thought of his paws touching water and I think our walk at Montrose Beach on Lake Michigan scared the crap outta him.  And so he saw Chicago from the window of Red Roof Inn in Willowbrook.  
Team Chicago
We’re hosting our first #PuppyUp walk in Chicago Proper and partnering with #PremierVeterinary in what we hope will be a successful collaborative platform for us to launch in other cities. Here’s a video recap while on my drive back to Memphis.  I’ll be posting more about #TeamChicago soon.  

2 Dogs 2000 Miles

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Dogs in Parked Cars

When it’s 78 degrees out, I consider it absolutely perfect. But don’t forget that the interior of your car gets much, much hotter. If you can’t take your dog with you wherever you’re going, don’t load them in the car. They may give you those big puppy eyes, but they really won’t like it when […]

Doggies.com Dog Blog

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My guess is this is a wild turkey hen trying to hide her poults in the tall grass. She probably had them out for a nice grasshopper hunt on a balmy June morning. but when she encountered me, she went renegade.

Unlike suburban wild turkeys, which appear clueless dumb, those from pressured populations behave with all the stealth of a well-trained and well-seasoned sniper. Any mistake and the shotguns will get you.

Natural History

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