Taking a Summer Break (At Two Miles High)

Happy July friends! July is my favorite month of the year. To me, it defines summer. And as you read this post, I am relishing in summer at 9,000+ feet in the air in the mountains of Colorado. We’ll be here until the middle of next week, and while it’s not just a vacation (Robbie is working at Red Rocks for 4 days and I have some work obligations as well), it’s really nice to be able to get away and be with family and friends during the most wonderful time of the year.

During this time, I will be doing something I never do – taking a break from the blog for the next week. If you’d like to follow along with our trip (because if you’re a blogger and you don’t overshare your vacation, did it really happen?), you can join me over on Instagram (both in my IG Stories and on my feed). And I’ll be back with a whole round of new posts next week.

In the meantime, here are a few fun summertime themed posts you might enjoy:

Summertime Family Story Night
Summertime Inspired Cakes
A Summer Day at the Zoo
Summertime Watermelon and Feta Guacamole Dip
Summertime Lemon Lime Vodka Spritzers
7 Ways to Make Summer Last
Deep Thoughts on Summertime

See you next week! And if you’re here in the states, happy Fourth of July!

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Bubby and Bean ::: Living Creatively

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Brave First Responders Rescue Cats who Survived California Fire

Cali Fire Facebook Page

Wildfires can rage across regions and change directions quickly, giving families little time to evacuate or return for their pets if they’re not home when the evacuation order comes. Thankfully, two cats not only managed to survive the California Tubbs Fire, but then both attracted the attention of firefighters so they could receive necessary medical treatment and thrive.

One cat in Sonoma County was found by the CAL FIRE Deputy State Fire Marshal, Jose Duenas. Jose had been conducting damage assessment inspections in areas hit by the fire when he saw a badly injured cat. According to the CAL FIRE Facebook page, Jose “tended to the cat until animal care could arrive to rescue” the injured animal. They reported that animal control cared for him, the cat was “in good spirits” and that they hoped to reunite the cat with his family.

Commenters on the post showing Jose with the rescued cat carefully wrapped in Jose’s jacket expressed gratitude for the hardworking firefighters who not only saved people, but beloved pets. One, Wendy Conteras, wrote, “…it makes my heart happy that this firefighter saved him [the cat]. I hope the little kitty recovers and is reunited with his family.” Another commenter, Joyce Baer Schiller was particularly touched by Jose’s actions, writing “Giving the cat your jacket and tending to it is such a humane act….Stay safe, and thank you for going above and beyond!”

Another cat took refuge under a car in Santa Rosa. According to The Tribune, Sonoma County Sheriff’s deputies noticed the cat while doing a sweep of a completely destroyed neighborhood. They realized the poor feline needed help. Their body cam footage, seen below, shows the officers on their hands and knees gently reassuring the cat and letting her sniff their fingers. The officers even offered food to the cat, though she was too stressed to eat.

Once the cat was out, they carefully put a slip lead on her to reduce the risk that she might run away from fear and hurt herself more. They noticed that her paws were bleeding and badly burned. One officer can be heard commenting sympathetically, “Oh, poor girl.” The deputies grabbed water for the cat, but wisely decided to leave treatment to animal control to avoid accidentally causing more damage. The officer assures the cat, “you’re safe now” before they carry the cat to their vehicle.

Cat being rescued by police

The department shared the video on their YouTube channel which turned out to be a great idea. KTVU News reported that Ed Ratliff lived in the neighborhood shown in the video. Ed had lost everything in the fire. When flames appeared, his cherished Siberian cat, Milo, ran away and Ed was unable to find her before he needed to evacuate.

The video that the sheriff’s department had shared had started to go viral (it now has over 24,000 views) which led to relatives of Ed’s spotting the video, according to SFGate.com. They noticed that the cat looked like Milo and told Ed. Ed was “stoked” to learn that his cat was alive and seemed to only have minor injuries. The two were happily reunited – one family back together and able to face the future.

Halo Pets

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Humanely Raised Farm Animals & Respect for our Planet

Humanely Raised Animals - OrigiNative

What my own dogs eat has raised my consciousness and influenced my decisions about how to choose ingredients for my own diet. Thanks, Maisie and Wanda Weimaraner!

My realization came about ever since Halo coined the phrase OrigiNative® and changed the entire way they source their ingredients to focus on humanely-raised animals and non-GMO plants in their kibble (which Maisie and Wanda Hotchner eat every day as part of their diets).  I realized I could be making those same choices for myself with just a bit of effort. It’s funny how that happens – the pets leading the way!

For years when I was live every week on the air with CAT CHAT on Sirius satellite radio, when people called in with deep concerns about what they were feeding their dogs and cats, I recognized their own “lightbulb moment” when they realized that they could make healthier food choices for themselves and their human family members, too.

Concern for our (extended!)-family’s health is important, but don’t we need to consider the entire food chain and how those ingredients make their way to us?  What struck me recently is that even though I’ve personally been avoiding processed foods and concentrating on fresh ingredients for decades, I wasn’t aware of how the soil was being treated. Because of the work of the American Humane Association and the Humane Society of the United States on behalf of food-chain animals, I was theoretically “woke” about the horrible conditions in which chickens (for eggs and meat), pigs, beef cattle and dairy cows lived and died. I’ve been choosing cage-free, vegetarian-fed eggs for years (my girls get scrambled eggs at least twice a week, too) but what I hadn’t put together was that I could make choices about all my ingredients that followed these three simple rules:

  • No to close confinement on feedlots (which means cage-free egg hens and gestation-crate-free pigs).
  • No to antibiotics used during growth.
  • No to GMO plants for ourselves or animal feed.

In pockets of “moral high ground” across the country, people have been talking about the importance of feeding ourselves and our children (two-legged and four-legged) with healthier choices. Our focus on what ingredients are good for us has enabled food stores like Whole Foods to flourish, and more wholesome areas in traditional supermarkets to grow as well. However, I now see we have to take it a step further and use our pocketbooks to make a statement: choose providers that do not keep farm animals in close confinement, farmers who refuse to abuse antibiotics for faster growth, and those who do not use genetically-modified animal feed, which helps promote environmental balance and a healthy ecosystem .

In a world where things often seem to be going to “hell in a handbasket,” each of us making the best possible choices for our human and pet family members’ meals is a way to feel you’re treading a little more lightly on the planet and setting a good example.  

Halo achieves these goals by embracing an agricultural and ranching system that is more original and native—what they call OrigiNative®. Read more on Halo’s embrace of the humane raising of farm animals.

Tracie HotchnerTracie 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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Win a Newly-Redesigned PooVault!

Tiki and Barli LOVE to go to the beach. As different as a Gulf beach and a lake beach visit are, two things remain constant: our dogs love them both…and it’s no fun to tote around a full…



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DogTipper

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4 Easy Snack Recipes for Fourth of July

Red, White, and Blue Sweet Salsa + Chips
Summertime Watermelon and Feta Guacamole Dip
Individual Mexican Style Layer Dips
YOGURT SALSA VERDE DIP

Happy first official day of summer! I always start getting pumped for 4th of July on the summer solstice. It’s like as soon as the calendar tells me summer is really here, my mind goes right to 4th of July and the nostalgia that comes long with it. We will be in Colorado for the 4th this year, but we usually go to a party here in Chicago, and I’m always in charge of bringing a snack/appetizer (my favorite kind of food!). Today I’m sharing four recipes for the items I most often bring to the party, each of which is perfect for summertime. Click on any of the images of links below them for the full recipes. Enjoy!

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Bubby and Bean ::: Living Creatively

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Win a Handcrafted Dog Leash Hook from G3 Studios! #Giveaway

Summer means a time to grab your dog and head out for fun at a moment’s notice–and that means having your dog leash close at hand! Whether you’re preparing for a morning walk or a…



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DogTipper

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Service dog is picture perfect in yearbook

The Poodle (and Dog) Blog

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5th Annual Prosperous Pet Business Online Conference

Mark your calendars for September 12, 2018!

Interested in growing your pet business?  Are you thinking about starting a business.  If you are interested in pet sitting, dog walking, training, grooming, or daycare, then join the 5th Annual Prosperous Pet Business Online Conference!  This year you will hear from the top speakers from the previous 4 years!

Check back with PetsitUSA for additional information in the following weeks.


PetsitUSA Blog

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Like most Americans I greet the World Cup with a yawn

The Poodle (and Dog) Blog

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The inherent conflict between animal rights ideology and biodiversity

arctic fox eating an auklet

Arctic foxes were introduced to the Aleutians where they waged war on the seabird population, such as this poor least auklet.

I am a speciesist. Yep. I accept the title. I do believe some individual animals of certain species do have certain privileges that others don’t.

Owned domestic dogs should be treated as individuals, as should anything else kept as an actual companion animal.

Individual animals that must be culled through hunting seasons, like white-tailed deer, get no individual consideration. What matters about those species is carrying capacity as determined by wildlife managers.

Invasive species anywhere should receive even fewer protections than the game species.

That’s because as a conservationist, I value biodiversity over individual animals.

So I really don’t care that conservationists have trapped and killed introduced arctic foxes in the Aleutians, feral cats in the islands of the Sea of Cortés, or red foxes in Australia.

I don’t care about the individual deer that are shot every year in the United States. I care much more about what they are doing to temperate forest ecosystems.  They exist in a world without predators, predators that will never be reintroduced in significant numbers, and it is vital that humans manage their populations.

I don’t think an absolute moral system can be applied to all animals. Indeed, I have issues with the concept of an absolute morality period.

I know, though, that we are but one chain of biodiversity on the planet. And it is out of this chain that we somehow became the dominant species on the planet. As the dominant species, we like to think we’re above all other species, when we’re just the ones at the top right now.

I don’t think every invasive or introduced species is a negative on the ecosystem. Ring-necked pheasants are mostly banal where they have been introduced. In North America, common carp are generally not an invasive species either.

But many things that have been introduced clearly are.

Especially on islands.

New Zealand had rabbits that were introduced, which ate down much of the good sheep grazing. Then stoats, weasel, and polecat-ferret hybrids were released to control the rabbits, and the mustelids wreaked havoc upon the ground-nesting bird population. New Zealand is a place full of unique ground-nesting birds, and it was once fuller of those species before the weasel horde hit its shores.

Therefore, to protect things like the kakapo, a massive ground-nesting parrot, it is necessary to kill these predators.

Animal rights ideology, which posits an absolute set of rights for individual animals, cannot allow for this killing.

So this ideology would rather have all the kakapo and native New Zealand birds go extinct, just because this ideology doesn’t want to see a guild of invasive predators killed off.

And I must say that I have to reject this ideology, because it clashes with my aesthetic, which requires us to maintain biodiversity as much as possible.

That’s because I know fully well that in a hundred years, that biodiversity will be reduced. Habitat loss, poaching, pollution, climate change, and invasive species will take their toll on a whole host of species.

And the diversity of life from which we descend will be reduced because of us.

Therefore we must kill invasive species to protect as much of life as we can.  It is this paradox that many people cannot understand, but failure to understand this concept is ultimately going to add to the many species that will go extinct.

But in the end, animal rights ideology and conservation are not the same thing. Hunters who oppose animal rights ideology should stop conflating the two systems of thought. Animal rights ideology has no room for hunters, but true conservationists, who want to protect wild places from rampant development, believe hunters are part of the solution.

And virtually everyone is a speciesist. I am one, and it is only a small minority who try to hold absolute values when it comes to animals.

We have these inconsistencies, but they are not without reason. And although most mammals are very much like your own pet dog, they don’t act in the ecosystem in the same way. Transferring one’s feelings about a pet dog onto a mongoose in Hawaii is not wise– that is, if you care about nene. If you don’t care about biodiversity, then go ahead.

But don’t pretend that these two concepts are consistent. They are not.

And they are very much in conflict with each other.

Natural History

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