The Chicken Soup for the Soul book series is known for providing heartwarming stories and My Very Good, Very Bad Dog is a wonderful example of that tradition. If you are looking for a book that’s guaranteed to make any dog lover smile and is easy to read in between your hectic schedule, then Chicken Soup for the Soul’s My Very Good, Very Bad Dog by Amy Newmark is the perfect choice.
No matter the breed or personality of your dog, you will find stories in this book that speak directly to your experiences as a dog owner. You’ll find reassurance that other dogs can be as mischievious as your naughty pet. Your heart will warm with the tales of the human-animal bond. And as you read, you’ll be cuddling closer with your own pets, cherishing the smiles they bring to your life.
I also really enjoyed all of the interesting facts before each story. Did you know there’s a dog collar museum in England? Or that when a dog chews on your shoe, he or she is trying to learn about where you go when you’re not home? And that the Shar-Pei and the Chow are the only two dog breeds that don’t have pink tongues? (Their tongues are a blue/black color in case you were wondering.)
Another heartwarming aspect of this book is that part of the proceeds are donated to charity! All of the author’s royalties from Chicken Soup for the Soul: My Very Good, Very Bad Dog are donated to the American Humane Association. The animals thank you, Amy Newmark!
With the crazy, unpredictable weather lately, this book is the perfect choice to read to the family by candlelight when the power goes out. You’ll have everyone laughing and smiling, forgetting about the stress of the world for a few precious moments.
As a small dog owner I have to be conscious of the level of stamina required for the various adventures we undertake. For every step I take on a walk with Sadie, my dog takes about 6 steps. Exercise is important for both Sadie and myself, but I want to make sure that Sadie never overexerts herself. That’s where the Lambo Pet Carrier from Pet Magasin comes in. I wear this carrier like any other backpack, but when Sadie gets too tired to keep walking, I can place her securely and comfortably in the Lambo Pet Carrier and continue the rest of our journey with her on my back.
In our everyday adventures, the Lambo Pet Carrier comes in handy most when faced with stairs. I’ve noticed that Sadie is perfectly happy to walk along with me wherever our adventures take us, but she hesitates sometimes at stairs. When we get home from an average walk, Sadie is usually still full of energy and looking for a ball to play with. But if our walk required a bunch of stairs to get to and from our destination, then Sadie seems sore by the time we get home. Sometimes she even starts limping because her hip joint, which wasn’t formed correctly at birth, starts aching. Glucosamine can help ease these aches and pains, but it’s better if Sadie could avoid the stress to her joints altogether. So now when I know a walk will involve quite a few stairs, I can pop Sadie into our Lambo Pet Carrier and whisk her up and down the stairs with no threat to her joints. Yes, I could carry her in my arms if necessary, but then I can’t hold onto the railing. Plus I usually have my camera in my hands which complicates things even more. So by using the Lambo Pet Carrier, Sadie is safe and comfortable on my back and my hands are free to use the railing.
The Lambo Pet Carrier is extremely useful for airplane travel. It is approved by airlines to be used for pets traveling with you in the cabin of the airplane. You can wear it on your back, knowing your pet is safe and secure as you check in and deal with all of your luggage. And you can walk around the airport with your hands free, without the hassle of trying to carry your dog or cat in a typical carrier that you probably need to juggle from hand to hand or shoulder to shoulder, making both you and your pet uncomfortable. The backpack fits nicely under the airplane seat and the cushioned reinforcements inside make sure the bag doesn’t collapse around your dog as some soft carriers tend to do. And the top of the backpack has a mesh zippered layer so that your dog has adequate ventilation and can keep an eye on you from under the airplane seat.
And I haven’t mentioned the wings yet! The sides of the backpack can zip open, revealing expanding mesh wings. Your dog can access these wings from the inside of the backpack, so that when they are open it effectively doubles the amount of space for your dog. These wings offer much more ventilation for your dog if you are in a hotter environment. And they are also a fun place for your dog to lay down but still be able to take in his or her surroundings.
The bottom of the Lambo Pet Carrier has sturdy feet, so you can securely place the bag down, making sure your dog doesn’t feel any impact with the ground. There are elastic tabs strategically placed on the bag for you to clip on necessities likeyour dog’s leash, a water bottle, collapsible dog bowl, and dog waste bag dispenser. And there is also a mesh front pocket, perfect for travel paperwork or even your cell phone. The backpack is made from sturdy, waterproof material that should hold up well through various travels and adventures. The cushioned, adjustable backpack straps help evenly distribute your pet’s weight, making it easier to carry for longer periods of time than your average pet carrier.
A few weeks ago I talked about what you can find inside the purse of a typical Dog Mom. When I take Sadie out for a walk I regularly lug that full purse with me, stuffed with poop bags, tissues, some treats, my phone, camera, collapsible bowl, water bottle, etc. I’m always frazzled when we leave the house, worried that I forgot something. And it’s twice as difficult when someone else in the family wants to take Sadie for a walk and I have to make sure they have everything she might need. But with the RokaPets Dog Treat Pouch, I no longer have to worry about being prepared. All of the essentials fit in a handy little wearable pouch.
For me the RokaPets Dog Treat Pouch is great in terms of comfort and hands free convenience. I can wear it around my waist like a belt (and it actually fits my waist, which was a pleasant surprise) or I can use the belt clip instead and hook it directly onto my pants. My shoulder doesn’t ache from carrying a bag for an extended amount of time. The Dog Treat Pouch is comfortable to wear around your waist for short walks or even extended hikes. And it’s absolutely perfect for spontaneous photography, which if you know me you realize happens frequently on walks with Sadie. I no longer have to juggle the camera and my purse and Sadie’s leash all at the same time. My hands are free to take all of the photos I want!
But the RokaPets Dog Treat Pouch is especially useful for the other members of my family. All they have to do is put it on and go. No more worrying about transferring the necessities from my girlie purse when Sadie’s uncle or grandfather wants to take her out for a walk. The RokaPets Dog Treat Pouch is stylish for both men and women in a pretty blue color that everyone can enjoy.
There are four separate compartments to hold all the necessities in the RokaPets Dog Treat Pouch. The large, open, main compartment can handle everything from treats to a water bottle to a water bowl. In the back is a zippered section that holds the poop bags (one roll of poop bags included!). A zippered compartment in the front is perfect to keep necessities safe like your ID, credit card, or some cash. And lastly a mesh compartment in the front provides a handy place to keep your cell phone or other item for quick access. The material is waterproof and easy to clean, which is always a plus for any dog owner. It seems like the perfect pouch to stand up to the crushed dog treat crumbs and spilled water and grass stains that accompany the typical life with dogs.
Ever since hearing about the Tether Tug, I’ve always wanted to try it out with Sadie. But my pup is so picky that I wasn’t sure it would be useful in my household. When the opportunity came to test the Tether Tug for a product review, Sadie and I jumped at the chance. And it couldn’t have come at a more perfect time, as I’ll explain later.
In case you’re not familiar, the Tether Tug is an interactive toy for dogs. It’s a really simple concept – a rope toy attached to a pole. But the pole has a flexible portion that allows your dog to move that rope around and tug on it. The rope is attached via a carabiner so that it can be taken on and off and replaced if necessary. There are both indoor and outdoor Tether Tugs, as well as different models depending on the size of your dog. The outdoor models involve securing the pole in the ground and then allowing your dog to have endless amounts of fun tugging at the rope. It kind of reminds me of a doggie version of Tether Ball.
The indoor version, which Sadie and I tested out, involves securing the pole into a holder, which is held in place by the foot of any heavy piece of furniture. The rope of the indoor Tether Tug is made of a soft fleece material that seems very sturdy, but won’t irritate a dog’s mouth or damage any furniture it comes into contact with. As you can see in my photos, I have Sadie’s Tether Tug held in place by the foot of our couch. As I suspected, Sadie wasn’t too excited with this toy at first. She’s not much of a tugger and doesn’t usually grab onto anything, even if I try tempting her. But I quickly realized that if could involve one of her squeaky balls with the Tether Tug, then Sadie would be much more interested. So I took a squeaky ball and secured it in between the braids of the fleece rope. As soon as I let go, Sadie began jumping and tugging and having a good time trying to free her squeaky ball from the Tether Tug.
As I mentioned earlier, Sadie’s Tether Tug arrived at the perfect moment – just as I suddenly came down with the flu. All I wanted to do was sleep all day and I barely had enough energy to switch from the bed to the couch. Sadie was more than happy to sleep alongside me most of the day, but eventually she grew bored and wanted something to play with. That’s when the Tether Tug came in to save the day. I set it up, hid her squeaky ball in the rope, and watched from the couch as Sadie pulled and tugged and jumped and barked and wore herself out with her new toy.
From this experience I have realized that the Tether Tug would be an invaluable tool for any dog owner with mobility issues or disabilities. Your dog will have a fun way of releasing all his or her pent up energy without needing human involvement.
Visit TetherTug.com to learn more and get one for your own dog. Prices range from $49.99 to $64.99 for the complete toy, and you can also buy separate/replacement ropes and tethers for your dog to enjoy.
My top tip for dining out with your furry family is:
don’t hesitate to ask.
My family loves going out to dinner, but we almost never go out anymore because we feel sad having to leave Sadie home alone. So we get excited when we discover a new restaurant that is dog friendly. Sadie loves going out to dinner with us, exploring a new place with exciting new smells. And we love having Sadie as a dinner companion. But it’s hard to find places that allow dogs in my area, even if they have outdoor dining areas. And you can’t necessarily rely on reviews or word of mouth to find out if a restaurant is dog friendly, because one manager may love having dogs, but if someone else is in charge that day, he or she may be too nervous to allow your dog to stay. So my best piece of advice is don’t hesitate to ask, because what the restaurant staff says may surprise you.
For example, Sadie and I recently stayed at a dog friendly hotel that had an attached restaurant. The hotel clearly had frequent canine guests, as they had welcome treats and food and water bowls already set up in the rooms. So I assumed it would be an every day request to eat with my dog on the patio of the restaurant. As usual, assuming didn’t work out well. Apparently I am the first person to ever ask to eat there with my dog! The wait staff and kitchen staff had a discussion about my request and decided it was fine with them if the hotel manager approved. So then they had to track down the hotel manager to give permission for me to eat outside with my dog at the dog friendly hotel. Eventually the manger approved and we had a nice dinner on the patio. But the point of my story is that no other dog owner ever thought to ask. Imagine all the other poor doggies left alone in their hotel rooms when they could have been enjoying dinner with the rest of the family. All it took was a simple question.