Scottish Dogs Steal the Show at the Scottish Festival and Highland Games

The Long Island Scottish Festival and Highland Games event has been going on for decades.  Despite being born and raised on Long Island, New York I had never been to this popular festival.  I had heard a lot about it and I've wanted to go for quite some time, so when my cousin called and said Let's Go to the Scottish Festival! I was on board!

The Scottish Festival celebrates and preserves Scottish Heritage by educating people about the cultural history of Scotland. I was looking forward to all the vendors with unique Scottish merchandise, sampling some interesting Scottish food, and watching the fun demonstration of Highland games and dancing.  What I was most looking forward to though, is seeing some Scottish Dogs!  You knew there had to be a dog angle, right?

Beautiful Scottish Dogs at the Scottish Festival on Long Island NY.  Scottie dogs,  Dogs of Scotland
Guenevere "Gwenie", my cousin's adorable Scottie was none too pleased that we went to a Scottish Festival without her.  You're not taking ME along? Really!? I hope you get sick on Birdie Pie, Humpf!!


The Scottish Festival wasn't a dog event, in fact it wasn't even a dog friendly event!  No dogs were permitted other than a few dog rescues, Scottish dog aficionados wanting to educate people about their dog's breed, and Scottish dog breeders that had booths set up there.  But there were plenty of adorable, sweet Scottish dogs to pet and love on! 

I was a little disappointed that there weren't more rescue dogs and dog rescue groups represented at the festival, but it was interesting to learn about the dogs of Scotland.  I was especially interested in the Scottish Deerhound, which I was only a little familiar with.  When I first saw this beautiful dog I assumed she was an Irish Wolfhound, the tallest breed of dog, but I was wrong.  Scottish Deerhounds and Irish Wolfhounds look so much alike - to me, anyway! 

Scottish Deerhound dog at the Scottish Festival in New York.  Dogs of Scotland, Scottish dogs
I mistook this sweet Scottish Deerhound for an Irish Wolfhound - My Bad!

The Scottish Deerhound is a pretty big dog, but they're considerably smaller than their Irish Wolfhound cousins.  This beautiful girl was so large I just assumed she was an Irish Wolfhound - sorry sweetie, my mistake!   You know what happens when you assume, don't you? You make an ASS of U and ME,  LOL!!   In this Modern Dog magazine article, you can read more about the differences between the Scottish Deerhound and the Irish Wolfhound .

I was thrilled to see a number of Scottish Terriers at the festival. These Scotties were so adorable, and super friendly!  

Friendly Scottish Terrier dog greeting children at a Scottish Festival.  Scotties are the quintessential dogs of Scotland!  Scottish Dogs.
This adorable Scottie loved greeting the children who came by to say Hi. Look at him smiling at his adoring fans! Kids' faces obscured for privacy purposes

I love black Scotties! In fact that's what I wanted when John and I finally decided to get a dog - actually, I had decided long before but it took some work to Convince my husband to get a dog!  We ended up with our Siberian Husky, Icy, instead!  A Scottie and a Husky couldn't be more different, but as most of you probably know, I wouldn't have it any other way.  Icy brings us so much joy.  I still hope to have a jet black Scottie one day.....

Handsome Scottish Terrier at the Scottish Festival, Long Island NY.  Scottish Dogs, Dogs of Scotland, Scottie dogs, Terriers,
How handsome is this Scottie dude?!

I was happy to see a Shetland Sheepdog rescue group with some really sweet Shelties at the festival.  Among them was this absolutely adorable Dog. This Sheltie was so popular and friendly, I could barely get near him! I loved his unique coloring and amazing temperament, especially with the children.

This beautiful, sweet tempered Shetland Sheepdog stood patiently while lots of kids came by to pet him! Kids' faces obscured for privacy purposes
He was there with the Long Island Shetland Sheepdog Rescue group.  If you want to Adopt a Sheltie or Foster a Sheltie, they might be a potential resource for you if you live in the vacinity of the Northeast.

The Long Island Shetland Sheepdog Rescue group was at the Scottish Festival on Long Island NY.
Sheltland Sheepdog Rescue Group on Long Island NY

Other great Scottish dogs we had the pleasure of meeting at the festival were West Highland White Terriers (Westies), a beautiful Sky Terrier, and a sweet little Dandie Dinmont.  

We saw so many beautiful Dogs of Scotland at the Scottish Festival! Skye Terrier, Dandie Dinmont, West Highland White (Westie) dogs and more!
Beautiful dogs! Skye Terrier (L),  Dandie Dimnont (Upper Rt), and a Westie (Lower Rt)

It was so nice to meet these dog breeds of Scotland, I loved it!  

After I got my Scottish doggie fix, I was delighted to see that there were some interesting birds of prey at the festival!  


All birds of prey are beautiful and fascinating.  One of my favorite birds in general are Owls.  I can't recall if my owl fascination increased following Harry Potter and his stunning Snowy Owl, Hedwig, or if I've always been this enthralled with Owls.  There wasn't a Snowy Owl at the festival, but there was an adorable little Barn Owl and a gorgeous amber colored Eurasian Owl.  

Beautiful birds of prey were at the Scottish Festival

In addition to Owls there were Hawks, Kestrels, and a majestic Bald Eagle, which is the national bird of the United States. The Falconer shared some interesting facts about each of the birds. 

Check out the giant talons on this Bald Eagle!  These birds can weigh up to 12 lbs and can lift and carry up to 5 lbs.  But don't panic dog moms! Although they'll eat small mammals, a Bald Eagle's primary diet is fish.  

Majestic Bald Eagle on display at the Scottish Festival.  Check out this bird of prey's talons!
Closeup of a Bald Eagle's talons
Red Tailed Hawks and Great Horned Owls, however, have been known to attack cats and dogs weighing well over 6 lbs.  Both of these predators are common on Long Island, so needless to say I keep a close eye on little Phoebe.

I wasn't that clear on the connection between these birds and Scottish culture, but I do know that Kestrels and Golden Eagles can be found in Scotland.  Oh well, it's a festival and these wild creatures were beautiful to behold!  Most of the birds they had on display were rescued birds, but not all of them.

I hope you enjoyed hearing about our day at the Scottish Festival and all the sweet dogs and beautiful birds we saw there.  Please leave us a comment and let us know if you enjoyed this post.  We always love hearing your thoughts!

Here's a fun Flashback photo of Icy when she was less than a year old.  Look how big her ears were LOL!  As she got older, she lost the beautiful markings around her eyes which looked like a mask.  I always thought they made her look a bit mean, but of course she's the sweetest girl!  I'm jumping on the Flashback Friday blog hop with this photo of Icy, who is turning 9 soon:

Join the Flashback Friday pet BLOG HOP!  Here is my Siberian Husky Icy as a puppy.
Icy as puppy.  Look how giant her ears are LOL!


Why My Cat Suddenly Started Peeing Outside The Litter Box

Cats urinating outside the litter box seems to be a common issue among cat owners.  As I was reading a fellow blogger's post on reasons why a cat may be toileting outside the litter box, I was reminded of my cat Maggie - and the one and only time her litter box skills experienced an Epic Fail.

John and I had just gotten engaged and we were elated!  It was something we'd been talking about for at least a year, and we had finally sealed the deal.  Everyone was happy for us, and excited for our upcoming wedding the following year!


Shortly after meeting John, I had been so happy - and a little bit relieved, to be honest - when I learned that not only did he love cats, but he quickly fell for my beautiful sweet Calico cat Maggie.    

And Maggie loved him right back!  Or did she??  On the surface, she seemed to adore John.  She loved when he pet her, she rubbed against his legs, and snuggled with him on the couch.  She sometimes even napped on top of his tummy!

When cats toilet outside the litter box, there could be a logical explanation.  Why do Cats urinate outside the litter box?
Tell me this isn't the body language of a cat who loves the owner upon whose tummy she naps peacefully?!

Maggie and I owned the home we lived in while John had been renting his, so it made perfect sense for him to move into our home.  Much of his "guy stuff" had to be moved into the basement because there wasn't enough room to accommodate our combined stuff.  OK, so part of the reason was that some of his guy stuff was just plain UGLY!  Ladies, you know what I'm talkin' about, don't you?

The move went smoothly and we happily settled into our new daily routine.  Nothing was amiss, until John went down to the basement one day to retrieve one of his ugly guy possessions ... and discovered that sweet little Maggie had apparently been peeing and pooping all over his stuff!   Anything that wasn't secured in a plastic container was ruined - YIKES!  

We could not believe our eyes, or the assault on our noses!  Maggie had never soiled outside the litter box before, how could she have done such a thing?! Was Maggie just a two faced feline pretending to love John while deep down resenting his intrusion on our previously perfect little world of two?  Or, was there a logical explanation for her pissy  hissy fit of suddenly urinating and defecating outside her litter box?  Was she trying to TELL us something?

Reasons why cats pee and poop outside the litter box.  Urinating outside the litter box.
If your cat is suddenly urinating and defecating outside the litter box, there's usually a reason!

Hmmmm.  We thought about what might have prompted this bad kitty behavior, and the reason soon became clear.  Prior to John's ugly guy stuff invading a large corner of the basement, that space had belonged to Maggie alone.  It was her own little Fiefdom, her Cat Cave.  Her litter box was down there, along with some toys and a cozy bed.  She loved to creep up inside the rafters of the basement ceiling - I never did understand how the heck she managed to get up there - hiding and observing my laundry and crafting activities from her ceiling perch.

When the ugly guy stuff arrived it must have really cramped her style and stuck in her claw!  So she protested in the only way she knew how - by urinating and pooping all over the offending items!

Fortunately, my husband has a heart of gold and a soft spot for cats.  He didn't get angry or lash out at her (or me!), he simply dealt with it and we moved on having learned a valuable lesson!  You don't mess with the Cat's Crib.


MEDICAL ISSUE: A trip to the Vet can identify, or rule out, a UTI or other medical problem.

UNAPPEALING LITTER BOX: You've gotten a New litter box and she doesn't like it, her litter box isn't Clean enough, or you Moved the box to a location your cat doesn't like.

EMOTIONAL OR BEHAVIORAL ISSUE: Something is upsetting, stressing, or frightening your cat for some reason. It could be furniture being moved or changed, something outside a nearby window such as a scary animal, or as we found out the hard way, someone has moved Ugly Guy Stuff into their coveted space!

So if your cat starts to urinate and defecate outside the litter box don't get mad, do some detective work and Find Out Why it's happening!

Have you ever had to deal with the issue of cats toileting outside their litter box?  How did you handle it?  Please tell us about it in the Comments!  We always appreciate hearing your thoughts.

Have you been longing to add a feline to your family but won't because you're allergic to cats?  Here's How I got Relief From Cat Allergies and Kept My Cats!

I got Maggie as a 9 week old kitten. While I was waiting for her to be ready for adoption I "accidentally" adopted another cat!  Click this link to see how my Accidental Pet Adoption turned out to be a joy and a blessing!

Let's Follow Each Other On Twitter & Facebook!!


Join Us on the Flashback Friday blog hop, hosted by Dorothy Wills-Rafftery of  FIVE SIBES.  This is one of my favorite photos of Icy when she was about a year and a half old.  She had these beautiful, dark markings around the eyes which disappeared as she got older.  She's going on 9 now.  Our favorite activities with our dogs is Hiking!

Flashback Friday Blog Hop!  Photo of my Siberian Husky Icy hiking at Phoenix North Mountain
Flashback of Icy hiking at Phoenix North Mountain. Join the Blog Hop!

Visiting Dog Friendly Wineries on Long Island, New York

If you've been reading our blog for awhile, you know that we love taking our dogs just about everywhere with us!  We're always looking for great dog friendly restaurants, dog friendly activities and other destinations that welcome dogs.  We have recently discovered some great Dog Friendly Wineries on Long Island, New York!

Long Island's Wine Country

Yes, Long Island, New York has a Wine Country and it's pretty darn good!  The sandy soil and moderate climate found on Long Island makes it ideal for growing grapes.  Although grapes have been grown and vines sold on Long Island since the late 1600's, according to the Long Island Wine Council the first Long Island Vineyard wasn't planted until 1973.  

Quite a few wineries on Long Island allow dogs! Long Island's wine country, Pet friendly, Dog friendly
Several vineyards on Long Island, NY are dog friendly!
Upon visiting Long Island in 2,000, world renowned Australian viticulturist Dr. Richard Smart said that the soils of Long Island "are among the finest soils for grape growing that I have ever seen in the world"  Wow, that's quite a testament coming from a leading global consultant on viticulture methods!

Dog Friendly Vineyards in Long Island New York's, Wine Country.  Pet Friendly Travel, Dog Friendly Travel
Sandy soil and a moderate maritime climate are ideal for growing grapes that make the delicious wines of Long Island!
As you travel East on Long Island, the Island splits into two sections, the North Fork and the South Fork of the island.  This split begins at the town of Riverhead, about two thirds of the way to the Eastern end of the island.

The North Fork of the island is where most of the wineries are located in towns like Riverhead, Mattituck, Peconic, and Southold.  There are a couple of wineries on the South Fork as well, but the South Fork is better known for the beautiful regions of The Hamptons and Montauk.

Dog Friendly Wineries, North Fork Long Island

We've visited several vineyards on Long Island over the years, but this was the first time we visited wineries on Long Island that allow dogs!  It's the first time, but it will certainly not be the last.  We had a wonderful time at two of Long Island's pet friendly wineries, and so did our dogs, Icy and Phoebe!

For our first winery visits with the dogs we chose Pindar Vineyards  in Peconic and Macari Vineyards in Mattituck.  Visiting two wineries with dogs was plenty for one day.  We wanted to take our time and enjoy the wine and the beauty of the vineyards, and didn't want to tire the dogs out too much.  We'll be heading back out to visit a couple more pet friendly wineries on Long Island in the coming weeks, so stay tuned for that!

Dog Friendly Pindar Vineyards, Peconic, Long Island NY

Our first stop was Pindar Vineyards in Peconic.  I did a tasting of about 5 different wines (don't worry, the tasting size is super small!) and John had just one glass of wine since he was our driver.  We bought a couple of cheese sticks and a small package of crackers to enjoy along with our wine.

They had a covered patio with lots of shade and a beautiful view of the vineyards.  The gentle, cool breezes off the water were delightful!  I had brought chew sticks for the dogs, but of course we couldn't refuse sharing some of our cheese sticks with them too!

Dog Friendly Pindar Vineyards on Long Island New York.  Dog Friendly places on Long Island, Pet friendly places on Long Island.  Wineries on Long Island
We had to share some of our cheese sticks with the dogs.  I mean, who could say No to that face!?
I really like Pindar's green initiatives, one of which is the use of wind in their wine production.  They installed a 156 foot tall Turbine that will power at least 80% of all winery operations.  We applaud their sustainability efforts!

Dog Friendly winery Pindar Vineyards on Long Island New York uses wind in the production of their wine!  Dogs, Pet Friendly, Dog friendly wineries on Long Island
This wind turbine will power at least 80% of wine production at Pindar Vineyards 
There is a beautiful Sunflower Field on the property as well.  You can stroll through the field with a glass of wine in hand, admiring the bright, "happy" flowers.  You can even cut some sunflowers to take home for just a dollar or two per stem.  They provide the clippers, you choose & cut your flowers. 

Pindar Vinyard has a beautiful sunflower field. Sunflowers can be cut and purchased by the stem.

We left Pindar Vineyards with 2 bottles of wine in tow.  A bottle of Pythagoras red wine for my husband and a bottle of Winter White for me.  Delicious!!  

Dog Friendly Macari Vineyards, Mattituck, Long Island NY

Our next stop was Macari Vinyards in Mattituck.  I didn't do another tasting, instead I had a glass of a sparkling Cabernet that I really like and john had a glass of Merlot.

In addition to tasting flights, Macari offers a boxed cheese, cracker, and aged salami snack that you can enjoy with your glass or bottle of wine outside on the patio.  You can also buy these items a la carte.  

There was enough in the boxed "snack" to consider it lunch for two.  There was also enough cheddar cheese and salami left over for a delicious omelette du fromage the next morning!

Enjoying wine and cheese at dog friendly Macari Vineyards, Long Island NY.  Pet friendly winery.  #Dogs
Macari Vineyard offers a la carte or boxed snacks of cheeses, crackers, and aged Italian salami.  Yum!!

We enjoyed one of the boxed snacks with our wine on the covered patio overlooking the vineyard.  It was perfect, sipping wine and snacking on cheese and crackers while looking out over the beautiful vineyard.  The breezes that came off the Long Island Sound were so relaxing, even the dogs were loving the cool breezes!  

We made sure there was plenty of shade and kept the dogs well hydrated.  Of course, we had to share a little of our cheese and salami with the dogs!

Visiting Dog Friendly wineries on Long Island.  Pet friendly Macari vineyards, Long Island NY
Phoebe jumps up to catch a bit of cheese!
The Macari Vineyard started in the 1990's. The Macari farm uses an ecological and holistic approach to growing their grapes.  That includes a field devoted entirely to compost, with a composting program that utilizes a herd of Long Horn Cattle and a couple of horses.  


Dog friendly wineries, Dogs, Dog Friendly Activities, Pet Friendly, Long Island Wine Country

If you decide to visit wineries on Long Island, New York, there are lots of Long Island Vineyard Tours available.  I like the idea of a tour because you can visit several wineries and participate in wine tastings to your heart's content without having to worry about driving afterwards!  It's probably the safest way to do a wine tasting tour, don't you think?

Have you ever visited a dog friendly Vineyard?  If not, would you like to?  Leave us a comment and let us know, we LOVE hearing from you!

A Simple Trick To Give Your Dog A Pill By Mouth

My dogs don't have to take pet medications very often, especially in pill format.  The occasional need for an antibiotic and their monthly heartworm preventative medication are the only medications my dogs need, thankfully.  However, I wanted to share a creative way to give a dog a pill with food your dog probably already eats.  My cousin's Veterinarian shared this pill giving tip with her and now I'd like to share it with you!


Even if it's infrequent, giving your dog a pill can be a struggle.  You slather it with peanut butter or cream cheese, you hide it in their food, you may even stick it in the very back of their throat or use a "pill dropper", hold their snout closed and tilt their head back trying to get your dog to swallow the pill. 

Even after those stealth pill giving attempts your pet may eat all the peanut butter or cream cheese around it and spit out the pill.  Or your dog might remain stark still while you practically wrestle him to the ground trying to get the pill to the back of his throat, but then find a way to gag or spit the pill out anyway.  Or you think you've hidden the pill in your dog's food but he smells it immediately and refuses to eat at all.

Pin This!

How to give a dog a pill by making a "Pill Meatball Pocket" using canned dog food.  Pet health, Dog health, How to pill a dog or cat.
Make giving your pet medications in pill form easier!

It's difficult when there's an occasional need to give your dog a pill, but imagine how hard it must be for dogs or cats who need daily medication in pill form long term! 

What's a Dog Mom to do?  

Pill Pockets you buy in the pet store may make it easier but they can be expensive. For ongoing daily pet medication administration of pills that's a lot of extra cost and calories added to your dog's diet.


My cousin Grace shared a tip with me that her Veterinarian recommended when her pill hating Scottish Terrier needed 10 days of medication.  He suggested making a simple Meatball Pill Pocket using canned dog food she already feeds her dog. 

🐶 Place a can of dog food in the fridge to harden and chill.  Make sure it's a canned food your dog likes to eat, and one you can scoop out and roll into a ball!  It shouldn't be too wet or have gravy in it.

🐶 Scoop out 4 tablespoons of the canned food and roll each one into a ball in your hands, just like making a meatball.  Make 4 of these dog food "meatballs".

🐶 Insert the pill you need to give your dog into the middle of one of the "meatballs".  The other 3 meatballs won't have a pill inside.

🐶 Start by giving your dog one of the meatballs that doesn't have the pill in it.  Then give him a second meatball without the pill inside as soon as he swallows the first meatball.  Make it fun like you're giving your dog a special treat, and praise him!

🐶 As soon as he swallows the second meatball, give your dog the third meatball, which should be the one with the pill inside it.  After scarfing down the first two yummy meatballs and being praised for it, your dog will be anticipating the third yummy meatball and happily gobble it up!

🐶 Finish by giving your dog the last meatball without the pill in it.  That will end your pet medication session on a fun and positive note!

Make giving your pet their pills easier by making a Pill Pocket Meatball  w/ canned dog food.  How to give a dog a pill, Pet medication.
My dog Phoebe thinks Pet Medications are no fun!

This technique can be used for cats as well as dogs.  Just adjust the size of the meatball, making it smaller for small dogs or cats.


You may also enjoy some tips on how I handled my allergies living with two cats  and the Dangers of Tick Borne Illnesses to Dogs. 

Have you ever had to give your dog or cat medication in pill form?  Was it easy or did you struggle?  Tell us about it in the comments, and if you have a pill giving tip, please share it!

Having Cats When You Have Allergies

Ever since I was a kid I've loved animals, especially cats and dogs.  Sadly, I found out early on that I'm allergic to cats, but it didn't stopped me from having them!  

When I was growing up in New York, my 3 Uncle's had a deli in the city.  They often had kittens in the back of the store.  Spaying and neutering wasn't a big thing back then and the Uncles didn't mind taking in stray cats.  My Uncles would give the cats scraps of deli meat, a saucer of milk, and one of their many food delivery boxes with a blanket to sleep in.  

Needless to say, this made for excellent lodgings for a kitty that found herself Pregnant In The City!  I'm pretty sure there was a secret network for wayward cats who were in the family way that led them straight to my Uncle's store!

If you're Allergic to Cats, here are some ways to reduce allergic symptoms
Pregnant Cats In The City somehow managed to make their way to the NY City deli owned by my Uncles!


When we visited my grandmother's house, I couldn't wait to stop by the deli, which was around the corner.  Not because I wanted the candy or chips they sold there, or because I wanted a bologna sandwich, but because I was always hopeful there would be kittens in the back! 

After hugging the Uncles the first words out of my mouth were always "Are there any kittens today?"  Many times I was not disappointed.  I would run to the back of the store to find the latest litter of kitties and plop myself down to play with them.  They were largely stray kittens but I was always able pick them up and play with them.  Invariably, I'd leave the deli with bright red, watery itchy eyes.  I didn't care, I was going to play with the kittens anyway and there was nothing anyone could do to stop me!

Back home on Long Island, stray cats often made their way into our yard.  When they did, we set out the welcome mat.  They had food, water, and blankets in a cardboard box to sleep in.  My cat allergies were always present, but again I didn't care.  I wanted to handle the cats and play with them.  I loved them all!

How to reduce Cat allergies.   Pet allergies.
Adorable stray kitten from a litter of cats that ended up at my sister's house.

When I was finally old enough to get a place of my own, one of the first things I did was look for a kitten to adopt!  I unexpectedly ended up with two cats in a one bedroom apartment, wreaking havoc on my allergies.  You can read about my Accidental Pet Adoption here.  It got so bad that I had trouble breathing and ended up with asthma.

I finally had to see a doctor, and in questioning me he realized the cause of my asthma was living in a small apartment with 2 cats.  He strongly urged me to give my cats away.  No Way!!  I told him I already loved both cats to pieces and there was no way in hell I was giving up my feline furbabies.  He shook his head and told me I could end up with asthma for the rest of my life.  "So be it!" I said.  I just had to keep my cats,  Mousey and Maggie, so I  began to research ways to help diminish my pet allergy symptoms.  


Here are the things I did to reduce my allergic symptoms:

🐈 The cats could no longer sleep in my bedroom, it was my "cat free zone"

🐈  I wiped the cats down with wet paper towels daily; sometimes twice a day

🐈  I vacuumed every single day and followed up with a wet mop to keep the dander down. Thankfully I had hardwood floors and not carpeting which helps a lot.

🐈  I dusted every few days using wet cleaning cloths instead of a dry cloth to keep dander and fur down.

🐈 I washed my cats' bedding frequently and kept the litter box super clean.

Following the above steps helped a lot but it wasn't quite enough.  I still suffered with frequent asthmatic symptoms due to pet allergies for several years, but I didn't care, as long as I had my cats.  When Maggie was the only cat left in the considerably larger house I lived in by then, my symptoms lessened a lot.  It was still difficult but quite manageable.  


If I had known about it, there were other things I could have done to help reduce my allergy symptoms to cats as well:

🐈  I should have gotten a clean air machine with a HEPA filter! They weren't as common back then and I didn't know much about them.

🐈  I could have gotten a removable couch cover which can be removed and washed.  If I had drapes I would have washed them regularly. 

🐈  A few companies make pet allergy sprays that act as allergen blockers, although I'm not sure how well they work.  Have you used pet allergen blockers?  If so, did it help?

🐈  Allergy shots and prescription oral allergy medications.  I didn't want to consider allergy shots, I hate needles! But that probably could have helped a lot as well.

What to do if you're allergic to cats but you want one!  Pet allergies, Cat allergies
I was allergic to my cats Maggie and Mousey, but I didn't care!

After all that, was having cats worth going through asthma symptoms and constant daily cleaning?  YOU BET IT WAS!!  The love of a cat is not to be underestimated and I would do it all over again.  I have two dogs now but I look forward to getting another cat in the near future.  Thankfully, I'm not allergic to dogs, just cats!

NOTE:  I'm not a doctor or Veterinarian, I'm just sharing how I handled my allergy to cats. If you're allergic to cats but you really want a cat, you may want to check with your doctor first.

YOU MAY ALSO ENJOY this post: Stray Cats In The Hood?  TNR 'em!

Do you have pet allergies? If so, how have you handled them?  Please leave a comment and tell us about it.  We love when you howl back at us!!

Dog Friendly Events That Help Rescue Dogs

I'm always searching for great Dog Events in my area.  A dog friendly event that benefits shelter or rescue animals? Even better!  I was so excited when Carol, from Fidose of Reality, told me about a Dog Friendly Breakfast event near me that would benefit Long Island Bulldog Rescue!  Needless to say, I wanted IN!


Dog Events That Help Rescue Dogs.  Pet Events. Helping Shelter Dogs.
My dog Phoebe as the "cream" in a Cocker Spaniel Sandwich with Coco and Dexter at a Pet Event to help Bulldogs in need!


Even though Icy is a Siberian Husky and Phoebe is a Havanese, Maltese mix (we think!), my dogs are always happy to lend a paw to help any animal shelters and rescue pets in need.  I rescued Phoebe from the county animal shelter, where I volunteered when we lived in Phoenix.  Phoebe knows what it's like to be a frightened shelter dog (read her story here!)

There aren't that many Dog Friendly Restaurants on Long Island, so a pet event at a restaurant with a dog friendly patio is a welcome find!  The Refuge, in Melville New York, teamed up with Tito's Vodka to co-sponsor a fabulous dog friendly brunch to help a local Bulldog rescue.


I love a pet friendly restaurant that is truly dog welcoming!  Dog events, Pet events, Dog friendly,
Phoebe relaxing in Carol's arms at the table.  Coco sittin' pretty in her mom Christine's lap  
A truly welcoming pet friendly restaurant goes out of it's way to show dogs how happy they are to see them!

Dog Friendly Restaurant The Refuge, Melville New York, offered a special dog menu at this wonderful Dog Event to benefit a local dog rescue.
Dog friendly restaurant The Refuge really knows how to welcome the pups! This little guy sure was enjoying his special doggie meal.

Talk about a dog friendly restaurant that really gets it, The Refuge even offered a special doggie menu!  On the menu were steak and brown rice or chicken and brown rice dishes made especially for dogs!  I ordered the chicken and rice for Phoebe.  Coco had the chicken and rice too, and Dexter had the steak and rice.  Our dogs thoroughly enjoyed their dog friendly meals!

Beautiful outdoor patio at The Refuge in Melville, Long Island New York. They co-sponsored a fabulous dog friendly event with Tito's Vodka
The outdoor patio at The Refuge is so nice.  It has a beautiful bar and lots of seating.


Phoebe is a bit of a social butterfly, so she enjoyed making friends with many of the other dogs in attendance.  She met Bulldogs, Pomeranians, Schnauzers, and even a white Husky (jealous much, Icy??)!  How cute are these little sweeties!?

Dog Events that help pets in need can be Fun and Rewarding!  Dog friendly Pet events, Dog friendly restaurants in New York, Dogs, Dog Rescue Events
My dog Phoebe made lots of friends at the dog rescue brunch!

Along with a delicious brunch, there were free flowing dog treats and raffle baskets.  One of the baskets was a Tito's Vodka gift basket!  I had visions of hosting a girl's night with fun drinks made with Tito's Vodka, which I love.  I bought $20 worth of raffle tickets and put nearly ALL of them into the Tito's gift basket.  Sadly, I did not win.  My girl's night Tito's Vodka party was not to be.  *SIGH*

Great dog event at The Refuge restaurant on Long Island NY to benefit Bulldog Rescue.  Co-sponsored by Tito's Vodka. Pet friendly events, Dog friendly restaurants
What a great dog friendly event!  Thanks to The Refuge and Tito's Vodka for sponsoring this brunch to benefit Long Island Bulldog Rescue.

Literally, BEST. OMELETTE. EVER. I can't wait to go back to The Refuge for brunch!  

Great dog friendly restaurant in Melville NY, hosted a brunch to benefit a local dog rescue.  Pet friendly events
Delicious omelette at The Refuge brunch to benefit dog rescue

Have you been to, or plan to attend, any Pet Friendly Events this season?  Tell us about it in the comments.  We love hearing about adventures with your pets too!

Bringing Home A New Puppy or Dog

Congratulations on bringing a new puppy or dog into your family!  Whether you've just brought home a new dog or puppy to join your family, there are preparations to make and things to consider before your new furry family member moves into his new home.  This post contains Amazon links. If you access or purchase using this link we may receive a few pennies to help keep this blog going!

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Tips for bringing home a new puppy or dog.  Adding a new dog or puppy to your family
My dog Phoebe, shortly after we adopted her


When getting a new puppy or dog, the entire family should be in agreement on where your new canine family member will sleep, who will feed and walk her, and what areas of the home your new dog will be allowed in. 

Does everyone know whether or not the puppy will be allowed on the furniture?  Do the kids think she'll be sleeping in their beds but you plan to have her sleep in her crate?  Are you expecting young children to be responsible for feeding and potty walks? I hope not without close supervision, because that often doesn't work out too well!

If everyone isn't consistent with the new dog's routine and rules of the household, your dog may become confused which can lead to unwanted behavior and make training difficult.


You don't have to run out out and buy every specialized pet supply item they sell for puppies and dogs.  Before your pup comes home though, you should have the essentials on this New Puppy Checklist ready for your new dog's arrival.

Food appropriate for the age of your puppy or dog
 Food and water bowls
 Dog Bed
 Dog Crate
 Chew Toys
 Collar and Leash
 Dog waste bags (always Scoop your dog's Poop!)
 Pet cleaning supplies ('cause you know they'll be accidents & messes, even with an older dog)
 Pet Brush or comb
 Shampoo for dogs (don't use human shampoo on puppies or dogs!)

You may also want to get a Pet Gate.  You can use a human baby gate or a gate for pets, they're not all that different.  A dog gate helps you contain your dog before giving her the run of the entire house.  I found a gate to be very useful when Icy was a puppy.  It prevented her from chasing the cat and getting into things she shouldn't!

Here's a great deal on a Puppy Starter Kit from Amazon!


Do a pet safety check in the house.  Puppies and dogs love to chew and they'll chew on anything that catches their eye. Many household items can be dangerous for dogs to chew.  Get down on the floor and peer all around to see what your pup might spot that could catch her attention.  Remove anything that looks dangerous or inappropriately chewable.  Look for things like wires, TV remotes, cell phones, shoes, purses, kids toys, plants (many plants/flowers are toxic to pets!) cords from window blinds or curtains, string, toilet bowl water lines (that's why you never want to lock your dog in a bathroom, you could end up with a flood!), and pretty much anything else that catches her eye!  Empty snack bags can cause suffocation, never leave those lying around.

Needless to say, be sure to lock up all medications and household cleansers.  Child safety locks on lower cabinets containing cleansers or medications are a great idea. Most of those are highly toxic to pets, and if your new dog gets into them it could be disastrous!


Introducing your new puppy or dog to family members and pets who already live in the home should be slow and not chaotic.  If possible, introduce your dogs to the new puppy or dog in a neutral place. Many shelters, rescues, and quality breeders encourage you to bring your current dog in to meet the one you're going to take home, which is a great idea. 

Once you bring your new dog home, don't let the kids or other pets rush at your new pup, that can frighten her!  Let the kids meet her one at a time and tell them to move slowly and speak to the dog softly.  Screaming, squealing kids can be scary to a dog!

Introduce your new puppy or dog to other pets slowly and be patient
Phoebe is extremely mellow and my Siberian Husky, Icy, is super friendly, I think that's why they got along right from the start.
Keep your other pets at a distance at first.  It can be unsettling to them having a new family member join the pack.  I like to introduce pets slowly.  When I bring home new pets or foster dogs I place them in another room before I make the introductions.  I rub a blanket over the new pet to get their scent on it. Then I let my dogs smell it. I give them a treat as they're catching the scent of the new dog so it creates a positive association with the new dog's scent. 

Then I let the dogs sniff each other under the door and give them all some treats.  When I'm ready to open the door and let them see each other I keep them all on leash, about 10 feet away from each other.  I give them all treats as they see each other, provided none of them are growling or barking.  You don't want to encourage or reward growling or barking.  Try to create that positive association.  You may need your significant other or a friend to help you make the introductions and give the treats.

Once they're all calm I'll bring them closer to each other, one at a time, to sniff & greet.  You don't want 2 dogs and 3 cats approaching your new pup all at once, that could be overwhelming!  If anyone displays negative reactions like growling, lunging, or excessive barking, I move them further away from each other, wait until everyone is calm, and try again.  I never yell at them, I keep my voice calm and keep the interactions positive.  

When introducing cats and dogs, follow the same process ensuring the dog stays on a leash and the cat has a place to easily get away from the dog.  A place higher up is usually helpful so the cat feels safe. When I first brought Icy home she couldn't wait to play with my cat Maggie!  She kept trying to continually chase her around at every opportunity and it was pure chaos.  Teaching Icy the Leave It! command is the only thing that saved everyone's sanity!

Sometimes it takes awhile and sometimes they all get along right away, it depends on the pets.  Every dog or cat is an individual. The most important thing is to have patience, lots of patience!


Even if the breeder or the animal shelter/rescue you got your pup from has given vaccinations and done an exam, you should schedule a Veterinary appointment.  A thorough wellness check is always a good idea.

Please,  make sure your new puppy or dog has these 2 things right away; Tags with your updated contact information and a Microchip. I can't tell you how much heartbreak I've seen with devastated owners at the animal shelter after losing their dog.  When a dog or cat enters the shelter the first thing staff do is check for a collar and tags and scan the pet for a microchip. 

Frightened pets can slip out of a collar, collars break off or can be removed by well meaning (and sometimes NOT so well meaning) individuals that find your lost pet.  A microchip is the size of a grain of rice.  Injecting the chip is quick and simple.  It's very inexpensive if it's done at an animal shelter and approximately $50 at the Vet.

Tags + Microchip = Pets Get Home Safe  
It's that simple.  Please, Do It!

If your dog hasn't already been spayed or neutered, please get that taken care of as soon as possible.  Talk to your Veterinarian about whether or not your puppy is old enough to be spayed/neutered.  If she's not old enough yet, make the appointment in advance and mark your calendar!

You may want to consider Pet Insurance.  Because of the high cost of Vet care, many pet owners are buying pet insurance.  You never know what might come up in terms of illness or injury.  It's something to think about. 


Try to bring your new puppy or dog home when you will have at least a few days to spend together.  A new home can be confusing and frightening to a puppy or an older dog.  You don't want to bring a new dog home only to leave her all alone for hours while you go to work. Make sure an adult is present for the first several days at least.  

Bringing your new puppy or dog home. Things to consider when bringing your new dog or puppy home
The joyful day we brought Icy home when she was a puppy
If you can swing it, the best time to bring your new pup home is when you're able to take vacation from work so you will have time to bond with your new furry family member and get her into a daily routine of feeding, pottying, playing and sleeping.


Whether your new pooch is a puppy or an adult dog, training is a must.  

Both older dogs and puppies will need potty training. Even if the dog was previously housetrained, they still need to learn when they will be able to potty, where they will potty, who will take them out to potty and at what times.  I recommend frequent potty walks at first to try to establish a routine and learn how often and when your dog needs to do his business.  Icy always poops right after breakfast, but Phoebe won't poop until several hours later.  I've learned when and how often each of them needs to go out and I have it down to a science!

Housetraining a puppy is more work and takes more time.  I recommend googling how to housetrain a puppy and deciding which method works best for you.  

I'll say one thing, you want to start off taking them out on a leash so you can direct your puppy where to potty, even if it's in the yard. You don't want them toileting all over the entire yard, right?  Take them out very frequently, perhaps every hour the first day or two and see when they are most likely to need a potty break.  After eating, sleeping, and playing are the most common times puppies will need a potty break.

I highly recommend using a crate and crate training your puppy or dog.  A crate is such a useful tool.  It's not just a potty training element, it actually functions as a safe place for your dog to call her own.  She won't get stepped on in there, she can retreat to her crate to get away from noise or when guests arrive.  I thought of my dogs' crates as their bedrooms.  We don't need their crate much anymore, over time they've come to prefer just having their own beds in the living room.  A crate should never be used as a punishment, that's just cruel!

I also highly recommend signing both puppies and dogs up for basic obedience training classes.  Puppies in general need much more training than older dogs, but a dog is never too old to train.  Training can re-enforce basic obedience commands and be a great bonding activity. It certainly was great bonding and fun for Icy and I.  

If you don't want to pay for formal training classes, watch some training videos on YouTube or get some books on dog training. Here are some of my favorites:  Dog Training Books by Victoria Stilwell (as seen on Animal Planet);

Dog Training books by Andrea Arden (seen on Animal Planet)

Terra Nova also publishes some good dog breed and dog training books.   

Whichever trainer you choose, make certain they only use positive reinforcement dog training!  Please, no punishment methods of training.

Finally, BE PATIENT!!  A new home is a huge change for any puppy or dog, so please understand they will need your patience, understanding and kindness at all times.  Their world has been turned upside down a bit and they need to figure how things will work in their new home and what you expect of them.  They'll need time to observe & learn the ropes!  

Check out my dog Training Tips tab on the Home page for some dog training tips I've used for Icy and Phoebe.

Should you let your new puppy cry all night in her crate?

Do you have any favorite tips on bringing a new puppy or dog home to share?  Tell us in the comments!

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