I’m one of those women with the magical purse that has just about anything you need hiding within. If you just give me a minute or two to dig around, I can probably come up with a snack of some kind, a hairbrush, a deck of cards, a cell phone charger, and some post it notes. But being a Dog Mom means adding a whole other set of necessities to my handbag. As much as I want to be prepared for anything I might need, I absolutely must be prepared for all of Sadie’s needs. Here is a list of the typical items found in the purse of this loving Dog Mom.
Doggie bags (I just don’t like calling them poop bags)
Collapsible food and water bowls
Puppy training pad in case of indoor emergencies
Camera to capture any spontaneous cuteness (I know I don’t need to carry a camera anymore with high quality cell phone photos, but I can’t seem to break this habit)
LED collar, in case we end up out walking after dark
Spare ID tag, in case Sadie’s gets lost (I actually use an ID tag as one of my keychains, so I always have one on me)
Folding rain coat
It may seem like I have every dog product ever made inside my purse, but there are actually quite a few potentially useful items I’ve left out. I personally have decided not to carry the following items, but you may want them on hand in your purse for your dog. Some of the items may also be useful to take with you depending on where you and your dog are headed for the day. I regularly add and subtract items from my purse depending on Sadie’s and my destination.
Water bottle – a very important item in some climates and at certain times of year, but it’s usually too heavy for me to carry unless Sadie and I plan to go on a long walk. I usually have a bottle waiting in the car for us to rehydrate. You may want to consider those water pouches as a lighter alternative if you want water on you at all times.
Clicker – Sadie and I don’t clicker train, but if you do than you probably should keep a spare clicker in your purse
Blanket – useful, but too bulky for everyday carrying
Towel – even more useful, but also too bulky
Medication – if your dog requires medication, you may want to keep a supply in your purse in case you are away for longer than intended and your dog needs to take a dose
I always like to find ways to include Sadie in all my holiday celebrations. For the past few years I’ve held Easter Egg hunts as a special Easter activity for Sadie. Each year Sadie has had more and more fun and the hunts have been increasingly successful. Today I’d like to share my tips for Easter Egg hunts for dogs so that you can plan a fun Easter activity for your dog too.
The first things you need for an Easter egg hunt are eggs. For Sadie I use the normal children’s plastic eggs that can be found at any store this time of year. But these kinds of eggs may not be safe for all dogs, especially bigger dogs. Sadie is very dainty when she put things in her mouth and makes sure not to bite down hard, so she can safely handle and open these plastic eggs. But if your dog is rougher with playthings and tends to chomp down hard, then you may need to consider alternative options for your ‘eggs’. I would suggest using a bunch of treat balls or similar items that are meant to hold dog treats. Instead of filling up the treat balls all the way, just put a little in each one to reward your dog for finding it and keep looking for the next.
This brings me to the next tip – filling your doggie Easter eggs. Just like with children, you will want to put a little something in each egg to reward your dog for finding it. You will want something yummy in the eggs, something your dog really likes and is willing to work for. And you will want a treat that is not too messy, as it may spill all over when your dog gets the egg or treat ball open. For Sadie I like to use small pieces of cooked chicken. Sadie can easily smell the chicken and is excited to go looking for it. Plus it’s very easy to break into small, bite-sized pieces for each egg.
My final tips are about hiding the eggs. Personally, I don’t like to have the doggie Easter egg hunt outdoors. I’m always afraid that other critters will find the eggs before Sadie does. Or when Sadie gets an egg open, her treat goes flying out and gets covered in dirt, but of course a dog won’t care and she’ll eat dirty chicken anyway. So that’s why I prefer to hide the eggs indoors. I usually shut Sadie into the bedroom with some of my family members and then I hide the eggs in the living room. You definitely want one really easy to find egg to start out the hunt. Especially if your dog isn’t used to treat seeking games, you may want to leave the first egg in the middle of the floor. That way your dog will notice it right away, figure out there is a reward inside, and when you tell him or her to look for more, they’ll have a better understanding of what to find. The rest of the eggs should be hidden in places your dog normally goes. For instance, if you don’t normally let your dog on the couch, you should not hide an egg there. In my house I usually hide eggs behind couch cushions, under Sadie’s blanket, inside her dog house, among the toys in her toy box, up on the window seat, etc. I even hid an egg in one of the tissue boxes Sadie likes to play with! As with children’s Easter egg hunts, try to keep track of where you hid the eggs and which eggs your dog has already found. You will probably need to direct your dog towards an egg once or twice.
Hopefully you can use these tips and enjoy some bonding fun with your dog this Easter weekend. I’m getting ready to have twice as many eggs for Sadie this year. Last year I hid ten eggs, and once Sadie found the last one, she kept running around the house looking for more. She was having so much fun that I didn’t want to ruin it, so I filled the eggs with chicken again and hid them a second time! Below you can enjoy a video of part of Sadie’s Easter egg hunt from last year.
We’re coming to the end of January now and here in this part of NJ we have hardly seen any snow. But apparently that will change this weekend with the arrival of a big blizzard. I’m honestly looking forward to some good snow fall. Yes, it will be annoying once the cars need to be cleared off and the sidewalks shoveled. But since it’s the weekend, all the manual labor can be scheduled for Sunday, leaving Saturday free to enjoy all the wonderful parts of a snowstorm. Sadie and I can run around and play in the snow. We can build a snowperson or snowdog or snowpenguin. We will definitely play some snowball catch. And when we’re cold and tired we can curl up under a blanket by the window and watch the peaceful flakes fall.
This week’s #52Snapshots of Life theme is comfort. For this theme I’ve decided to use a photo I took a couple of weeks ago in Nashville, Tennessee at the BlogPaws conference. In the photo, Sadie is relaxing on the bed in my hotel room, cuddled up in her purple cupcake blanket. For Sadie, this blanket provides comfort and security, as it carries the familiar scent of home into the strange hotel room.
Working at our office can get pretty boring for Sadie, even with all the toys she’s got all over the place. So some days I try to make things more interesting for her. I had just finished using the last ream of paper from the box and was setting up the empty container for recycling when Sadie came to investigate what I was doing. She started sniffing around, and then stepped into the overturned box lid and sat down. That’s when Sadie’s Grandfather and I realized that the box lid was exactly the right size for Sadie to lie down. We brought over some stuffed toys for pillows and a nice blanket. As soon as I placed the blanket over Sadie, she laid down and got comfy. Within minutes she was fast asleep. Of course Sadie has multiple fluffy dog beds around the office, but we correctly predicted that a box lid would be a far more exciting place for a nap that day.