Hi! My name is Yoda and welcome to my blog!

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Visit to the V-E-T

Yesterday I had my annual torture visit to the vet. As with most car outings, I am excited to get to go with mom and dad until we get in the car and I start feeling closed in. Mom claims she won't be hearing well for a week thanks to the high pitched whining I allegedly did during the five minute car ride. She exaggerates a lot though.

I didn't even know what was in store for me. I think I even forgot what place it was when we first went in. Well, for about five seconds.

Dad is smart so he walked me straight to the scale and I was exactly 67 pounds, maybe 2 pounds more from last year. But I do squirm on the scale so it is hard to get a completely exact reading.

My vet is Seaford Veterinary Medical Center in Yorktown and we saw Dr. Megan Alexander. If not for the torture treatment, she was a nice lady. All of the vets at this practice are women.

I will not stay still for any exam and they have a bunch of tricks to get me to do what they need - blood work, stool sample, shots and the worst the ear exam. First they know that I somehow behave worse when mom and dad are there so they take me in the back. Mom and dad heard my whining and crying the whole time. Then they were shocked that I was quiet. Turns out the Vet lady was smart and took me outside. As soon as I was outside, I let her listen to my heart and do the other bad stuff because I was distracted by the stuff outside. Watch for their tricks!

Mom and dad thought I had an ear infection because I have been scratching it and yelped whenever they accidentally touched it. They work hard to keep my ears clean and dry. Mom has ear stuff to dry them out after I go swimming but I don't like it. In fact just the mention of "ear stuff" sends me hiding. Mom was happy they were not actually infected but they were inflamed so the Vet sent us home with twice a day torture medicine for 5 days. The Vet had a hard time with the first dose because the floor was too slippery to get a good grip on me but I was good this morning when dad held me down on the bed. You can see in the picture below how greasy my beautiful ears look thanks to this nasty medicine.

The Vet said I was a fun dog and high energy. DUH. She also said I had the most beautiful teeth she had ever seen on a three and a half year old dog. Just keep those Merrick Red Bags coming mom! Her only concern is that the way my back legs are she said I will be more susceptible to hip problems so she suggested mom and dad start me on a glucosomine or fish oil supplement.

The Vet's office did confirm that this had to be the worst flea year they remember. And even though it's December we still have them because we haven't had a real freeze yet.

Well, so much for the annual torture Vet visit. I was a bit subdued for the car trip home and dad gave me a really nice bone from the Big Red Bag.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Eating Responsibly

We wanted share another great infographic from my friends at Pet365. This one is really important for our health. I know we all love our noms but hopefully our humans are careful to make sure we don't eat so much that we aren't healthy!

Pet Obesity
Pet obesity graphic produced by Matt Beswick for Pet365 - a UK stockist of dog coats, collars and accessories. Click here to view the full post.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving!

I wanted to do a post to tell all my friends that I hope they have a Happy Turkey Day but it has also been so long since mom let me do a blog post, I decided I better talk about more than Thanksgiving!
The turkeys asked me to give them a break and promote ham for Thanksgiving. I'll take BACON any day over turkey!

Mom and I are thankful for all our friends on Twitter, Facebook and my blog, my dad and four kitty sibs. We are grateful that we have a roof over head, mom has a job, and all our basic needs are met (food and treats for me). So many people don't have all those things.

We are also very grateful for her Kindle! Reading with mom is so much fun since we got her Kindle for Christmas last year. If you guys have Kindles, we have to tell you about a really great site called Pixel of Ink. Sign up for their email and get a daily email with free and low cost Kindle downloads. We love mysteries and thrillers and today there were three of them!

We owe you lots of reviews but we really wanted to tell you about one book in particular. It's called Plucking Wolf Fur: A story of one arm, one dog and an American family by James Michael Shea. Mom met the author at BarkWorld and downloaded the book the same day. We get many books for free from Pixel of Ink so we don't buy many but it is well worth the $2.99!

I know that our humans find us animals very special parts of their lives. This book tells a wonderful story about how a wolf hybrid dog changes James' life. It is autobiographical and a great story. Sequoia sounds like she was a wonderful creature and I would have liked to have met her. She works her way into James' like and that of his family and changes all of them like us animals have a habit of doing. Mom enjoyed talking to James at BarkWorld and she hopes you will download his book to your Kindle or other device.

The story made mom think of her dog Skipper. She had Skipper many years ago - she rescued him 30 years ago after a friend found him running loose in Branch Brook Park in Newark, New Jersey. Mom says that Skipper got her through some really tough times in her life when she was lonely and needed his love. So in many ways Skipper was mom's Sequoia.

Well, stay tuned for more book reviews. I have the review of Chet's latest book coming up (I know, we read that almost two months ago now).

So for now, Happy Thanksgiving. Take a long nap after enjoying your dinner!

Monday, October 31, 2011

Put Your Paw Down!

You may all recall what happened the last and only time mom tried to dress me up for Howl-oween, but it appears there are even humans who realize the injustice. For all of you pets that still suffer the humiliation, I want to share this video from yesterday's CBS Sunday Morning.

Happy Howl-oween to all - costumed or not!

Monday, October 10, 2011

Bissell really cleans up at BarkWorld

I won't say that we are bad housekeepers but when you have a dog and four cats living in two rooms, the fur really flies. Literally and figuratively. Frankly I think that nasty tracked litter is worse than the fur.

Right before mom left for BarkWorld our over-used vacuum bit the dust. I can't say I was too upset, since I am no fan of that machine as you may recall from this post.

At BarkWorld, mom was really impressed with the Bissell Perfect Sweep Turbo. The staff at the Bissell booth kept making beautiful art out of kitty litter and mom really hated to ruin the artwork by sweeping it up but wow that sweeper worked well! She was excited to hear that the sweeper is only $39.99. A great bargain too. Bissell said she could share a coupon with all my readers. Just go to their website and use the code perfectsweepCAT before 12/31/11. They are having a free shipping promo now too!

So she came home and ordered one AND a new vacuum that specializes in pet hair removal -  Rewind Premier Pet Vacuum.

They came this week and while I am not wild about the vacuum (mom and dad love it) I give two paws up for the Turbo Sweep since it makes way less noise than the vacuum monster and I don't even bark. It's great for getting that tracked litter up and easy to use multiple times a day. We keep it charged and ready for any mess!

Dad is the primary house cleaner for us. Dad said he was impressed at how well made they are - sturdy and ready for abuse. He says the sweeper gets up odds and ends like bone pieces, shredded paper (our cats do that), and all that tracked litter and are great for quick pickups and routine clean up. Dad just swept up one of those nasty kitty hairballs too. EEEW.

For deep down cleaning you still need a vacuum and the Rewind is easy to push and has great pet cleaning attachments like the pet turbo eraser tool. The front has a flip down pet hair lifter. When you pull the vacuum back it collects pet hair and debris and then when you push forward it releases the collected debris so the vacuum can suck it up. Click here for a great video on the vacuum. The helix system provides a powerful suction to get even ground in dirt. Dad particularly likes the retractable cord that is longer than usual for extra convenience.

Mom and dad need to save their pennies for one of the Pro Heat carpet cleaners. The spots on the carpet are NOT from me, thank you very much, they are from mom and dad spilling stuff like coffee and food. Mom spilled have a cup of coffee on the bed just today.

Both the vacuum and the turbo sweep are so easy to use and empty. And I swear our living area is much less dusty since we got them too.

Note: Bissell did give mom a coupon good for $5 of the Perfect Sweep Turbo but she actually got an even better discount including free shipping on the website (because she ordered the vacuum too). We received no free product or compensation of any kind in exchange for our review.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Subaru paved the way to BarkWorld for Mom

It is hard to believe that mom has been back from BarkWorld a week now. And I have been enjoying her home for a change and have been remiss in writing my blog.

I'm also trying not to be jealous that mom got to ride with Paige the Border Collie, the You Tube star, all the way to Atlanta and back. I can't make up my mind if I'm jealous because she got to meet Paige or because she spent time with Paige and not me.

The whole trip was possible thanks to one of BarkWorld's biggest sponsors - Subaru. They provided the BarkNRide vehicle - a beautiful Subaru Forester. Both Paige's mom and my mom have cars with really high mileage on them (they drive a long way to go to work every day) so being able to drive a brand new car to Atlanta made them both happy.

Mom is still talking (read rubbing it in my face) about how great Paige was in the car. This photo probably says it all and explains why I did not go. I am never relaxed as much as this in the car. You can see how comfortable the Forester was for Paige. Mom says it was a great ride for humans too.

Mom says she had a great time talking to Lauren, Paige's mom, and the ten hour trip each way really flew by. On the way back they stopped for gas, a potty break and some snacks and mom literally tripped an fell flat on her face. A week later, the bruise on her chin is still quite impressive. Lauren helped mom up. Mom always jokes that one of her talents is that she falls well! She has a more impressive bruise we can't show in a family environment. The funny thing is that the chin didn't hit the ground. Apparently she was wearing her sunglasses around the neck and the chin hit the glasses which also made the bruise on the place we can't show. She scraped her arm which is still ouchy.

Another cool thing about the trip was that BarkWorld fans could follow our trip using an installed PocketFinder GPS unit. When they stopped for lunch at Wendy's, Paige's dad called and asked, "are you guys stopped at a fast food restaurant?" Wow. The Subaru GPS helped keep them from getting lost especially when they got to downtown Atlanta!

By the way, please check out Paige on her You Tube Channel. She is amazing! Follow her on Facebook and Twitter too. And, when you see the PetMeds.Com commercial below, the star of the commercial is Paige (she's at the end so be patient).

Saturday, October 1, 2011

BarkWorld Day 1

In case you haven't heard, mom abandoned me to go to BarkWorld this week. After my recent experience last month in a hotel, we all decided (me included) that I was happier at home. But I made her tell me all about it last night so I could share with my readers.

Not sure what mom thinks, but I believe the most exciting thing was all the cool stuff she got to take home for me! She got some Nylabone treats for me. You know how much of a chewer I am, so I am too aggressive for their regular bones but mom found out they have treats you can eat too and she has some for me! She got me a new tag with a QR code on it  from Pet QR Tag so if I ever get lost whoever finds me will be able to find out where I belong. There are other tags with web updates but there is no additional fee to keep the info updated on the web with their tag!

She also got me a new leash from Leash Locket that retracts into a gizmo (locket) that I carry on my collar. We are going to try that out and let you know how it works. She also got a coupon for a Perfect Sweep Turbo sweeper from Bissell  to clean up all that tracked cat litter (I never make a mess). I will be doing a blog on that too and will share a $5 off coupon code. By the way, mom tried it and that sweeper works great. Of course in our house, dad does the cleaning but we think even he can handle it.

The conference is at the Loews Atlanta and mom says the conference facilities are great. Here is a picture she took from the balcony yesterday.

She is meeting some really cool humans and dogs and some have some neat pet businesses and she is learning a lot about social media topics.

Mom did her presentation on Facebook advertising. You can see the slides from her presentation by clicking here.

She said her favorite thing from the first day was getting to hear Victoria Stilwell talk. Mom says she was great and all my pals should check out her website and social media sites. We love her show It's Me or the Dog and her positive training methods. (Sorry for the Blackberry picture, her good pictures are trapped in the camera until she gets home).

Mom will share some more stuff later so stay tuned.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Dog development grahic

Mom and I are really excited to share another great infographic from the folks at Pet 365 Blog. Matt Beswick sent this to us and we wanted to share.

Dog Development
Dog Development graphic created by Matt Beswick for Pet365 - a UK stockist of Dublin Dog collars and brands like Hamish McBeth. Click here to view the full post.

Be sure to check out their website for other cool stuff!

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Back from Vacation

Mom, dad and I went on vacation for nine whole days to one of my favorite places. It is a special cabin at one of our parks that the public doesn't rent because there is no real road and mom says the cabin is too rustic for the public. So staff can rent it. It is right on the river. It is called the Brown Cabin (it's not named after someone named brown, it's just painted brown) and it's at Shenandoah River State Park. I know my pal @ShawneeShep and her mom know about the cabin because they found it when they were hiking in the park.

It is a really good vacation for mom because there is no cell service and no internet. Also no TV (they actually have a TV that we can rent Red Box videos and play them but only three channels). So mom read 9 books while we were there (actually they were on her Kindle). One was that new Chet book (I will blog about that another day).

We did get a lot of rain thanks to that Hurricane Lee coming up from the gulf. The Chief Ranger came and warned us about possible flash flood warnings but the Shenandoah River just got a little bit wider. The porch room that mom likes to spend her time in (she can see the river and the windows open really wide (we will not talk about the screens on the window that were perfect when we got there but somehow not so perfect when we left - can I help it that I have to jump up and bark when people go by hiking or biking?) has a tin roof so the rain was very relaxing. When you want to spend your vacation reading and relaxing the rain is not a bad thing.

It did not rain steady so there was lots of time for me to go swimming in the Shenandoah River. Since there is a current in the river (and none in my pond), it is different swimming. The river tended to steal some of my sticks too and there also seemed to be a stick shortage at the park compared to our yard.

Oh the big news was that we also took Alexis and she got herself a mouse! Mom said - another reason we don't rent that to the public (no pix). She had lots of fun stalking all kinds of bugs too.

If you like a good place for a vacation, I highly recommend Shenandoah River State Park. The park has "for the public" cabins that are only a year old and two great campgrounds.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Okey's Promise - the Next Project

If you remember mom went to the Shorty Awards in 2010 because her @VAStateParks twitter account was a finalist. She shared a room with Vicki Boatright, perhaps better known by her artist name BZTAT, and they got to know each other. Since then she saw her at BarkWorld Expo 2010 and Blog Paws just a couple of weeks ago. While she was at Blog Paws she found out about the next Okey's Promise project.

BZTAT discusses Okey's Promise at Blog Paws

Maybe you do not know about the first Okey's Promise project. BZTAT used Kickstarter to raise money for a mural that would be painted on a building in Canton, Ohio where she lives. The way Kickstarter works is that people promise (they call it a pledge) to donate a certain amount of money to a project and IF they raise the goal amount, the people pay their money. BZTAT calls the donors Promise Keepers which both Mom and I like a lot. You can donate as little as $1 or as much as you want. Mom was one of the Promise Keepers for the mural which was officially unveiled last month.

The name of the mural is "Safe Animals and Safe Kids."

Safe Animals and Safe Kids
Original Artwork by BZTAT

Okey is one of BZTAT's cats, one she rescued from a parking lot who had been badly mistreated. Okey has a good life now but she still exhibits behaviors related to her earlier life. Okey was BZTAT's inspiration to raise awareness about the connection between animal abuse and child abuse. Where there is animal abuse there is often children and spousal abuse. Sometimes the animal will be threatened as a way to psychologically abuse the human victims.

 Okey, photo by BZTAT

Okey's promise: Make the world a better place for children AND animals.

BZTAT has launched another Kickstarter project. Mom and I have already become new promise keepers. We think BZTAT describes the project and her goals the best in this short video:

I think this new artwork sounds like it will be amazing. Please help BZTAT take it from a concept to art that calls attention to this issue by offering hope by telling a story of survival and resilience.

What can you do?

Go to Kickstarter and become a Promise Keeper in any amount.

Tell your friends and family. Tweet it, post it on Facebook and Google+, blog about it. Okey's Promise can be found on Facebook by clicking here.

There are only eleven days left to make a difference by helping BZTAT reach the $6,000 goal.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Yappy Hour Is Friday!

Yappy Hour Pre #BarkWorld pawty, Friday, Sept. 16, 8-10 p.m. EDT

I'm sure all my pals know that mom is speaking at BarkWorld Expo which is coming soon - it kicks off September 29th! She will be telling folks all about advertising on Facebook. She has done lots of ads on Facebook for her job at Virginia State Parks. While I am disappointed I will not be going, I know that my last hotel/conference experience was just too much for me so I am okay with it until I get older and mom invests in some significant obedience training.

Since BarkWorld will be two weeks away on Friday, there is going to be a great Yappy Hour Twitter pawty!

It is going to be exciting with the Shibbering Cheetos (@ShibberingC) performing, prizes and lots of fun. Click here for more information.

And, if you have not signed up for BarkWorld Expo 2011 it is NOT TOO LATE. Victoria Stilwell will be a keynote speaker from the show "It's Me or the Dog." Hmmm maybe mom can pick up some tips. Just because it's called BARKworld, don't worry the sessions are good for all anipals (and even humans).

P.S. Now that dad and I aren't going, mom would love a female roommate (dad insists on the female part) and she might just have a conference ticket available too. Email her at nancyDOTheltmanATdcr.virginia.gov.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

I went to BlogPaws and spent the conference in my room

There is a first for everything and BlogPaws was a lot of firsts for me: my first hotel, my first elevator and my first experience with a lot of dogs and people I don't know. I was on sensory overload and I didn't do well.

 Sheraton Premiere at Tyson Corners -
my barking really echoed under this canopy

We tried the play room and sweet little me was over aggressive. I barked too much when I heard people in the hall.

 Here are some dogs enjoying the Play Room without me 

The first day mom stayed in the room with me because due to Hurricane Irene she had to do a lot of work telling people some of her Virginia State Parks are closed.

At least I can say the bed was real comfy

So I thought I was maybe calming down so mom had dad bring me down after the sessions to meet some of my pals' staff. I saw mom and kind of went nuts. I did get to meet some people like @tildatoo but it was back to the room pretty quick.

Maybe I need a doggie day care a few days a week.

 Dad visited the exhibit area 

 Dad met @CosmoHavanese 

Anyway mom had some good sessions about how to do better video, how to write a proposal and she learned a lot about legal stuff like copyrights, endorsements and contests.

Dad went swimming lots of times in the neat indoor pool and also took most of the pictures.

Hot tub 


Mom's favorite part was at lunch Saturday when her friend @BZTAT talked about Oakey's Promise her Canton Mural to bring awareness to the link between animal cruelty and child and domestic abuse. BZTAT talked about using Kickstarter for fund raising for the project. Mom got to stand up as one of the Promise Keepers who helped in a small way to make the project possible.

BZTAT talks about Oakey's Promise

A very talented young lady named Miah Thornton did a dance to describe the story of Oakey's rescue that led BZTAT to decide to start the project.

 Miah Thornton performs at BlogPaws

BZTAT has started a new project at Kickstarter for a traveling artwork on the same theme. We will be writing more about that soon.

We leave tomorrow as soon as we know the roads are okay after Hurricane Irene.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

You don't have to leave Blogger to avoid Google+ issues

Mom and I have been spending the afternoon redesigning my blog a little and working on our blog reading. After reading George the Duck's post about Google+ and their real people policy AND because mom was already having problems because they kept thinking she and I were the same person, she decided she had to solve the problem.

We did one simple thing - we changed the Google profile for her email to her and not me. This did not mess up my blog. It didn't even change my blogger profile. There is also no link back from my blog to mom's Google profile. So all fixed and no future problems.

For my pals that have left for Word Press - please be sure and add an RSS button to your blog so I can subscribe to you. Or, add an email subscription link. Mom has a terrible time keeping up with reading blogs but she always reads her email!

In fact, for my pals still on Blogger, did you know it is really easy to add an email subscription link to your Bloggie? It is easy to set up AND you never have to do anything. You can see how many people have subscribed to you that way. We were sorry we checked today because it hasn't been that successful but then we have been very bad about posting lately. I'm sure many people prefer Google Reader but for peeps like mom and me, it would be nice to add the email subscription.

If you use Blogger, all you have to do is go to the design page, click ADD A GADGET where you want it and the Email subscription gadget is on the top of the list!

Oh and let me know if you like the new look. I'm still working on some color issues.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Oh Oh Mom Got a New Camera

Mom is kind of a geek. She swears she is not a total full fledged geek because her technology knowledge is somewhat limited. But boy does she love her gadgets.

So she got the just released Sony Cyber-shot Emor-R camera for work and of course had to practice with it at home so she could learn how to do it. It's 16.2 megapixels and like her old Sony does video and still shots. In fact this one does HD video.

This camera has a real cool tool for doing panorama shots - those really wide pictures. She says this is so cool because you make the picture by moving the camera from left to right. The camera does the rest.

In this one you can see me in the far right corner.

Mom says my bloggie is too narrow to do the pictures justice but I think you can see what she means.

It also lets her take 10 pictures in a burst - like one after another which is really helpful when shooting pictures of me.

This is a great series showing me doing a shake-off after coming out of the pond.

One more burst series - this one of me jumping in the pond to chase a stick dad through. I think these still shots are more fun than the movie pictures.

My apologies in advance because you will probably be seeing lots more burst series and geeky thinks on my blog thanks to this new camera.