What does “BOGOLicious” mean to you?

At BOGO Bowl, we believe in Dog, and we believe in living a BOGOLicious life. For us, that means Good Friends, Good Laughs, Good Love, Good Taste, Good Travels… you get the picture.

We want to know what you all think makes a BOGOLicious life so we’re having a Pinterest contest! You share the things that make you happy and three people will win!

Contest start April 1 and ends April 30th so you have plenty of time to show off your BOGOLicious life! ENTER NOW!

BOGO Bowl Pinterest Contest

Rain, rain, go away

As spring approaches, Rachael looks at storm fear and possible solutions for your skittish pup.

courtesy of madmikesamerica.com

courtesy of madmikesamerica.com

Thunderstorms leave my foxy little lady a trembling, hot mess. She paces, hides, shakes and pants. It’s disturbing for me to see because I feel like I can’t comfort her, and then I’m like, “Gah! How bad is it when I’m not here?” I instantly feel guilt, but that’s a post for another day.

Many pet owners struggle with anxious fur babies when a thunderstorm hits. With storms, levels of anxiety can go from relatively mild, like Pippa, to destructive. Severity of thunderstorms can also play a role in the response of your pet. Mild thunderstorms elicit a similar reaction from the Pips, but a severe thunderstorm can be debilitating for her.

You’d think that we could just beckon our sweet babies to sit in our laps, so we can comfort them, but storm anxiety or fear makes normal lap dogs disinterested in our lovin’. Pippa rarely lets me love on her when it storms – she even turns down the treats that I try to lure her into my lap with; on a normal day, she wouldn’t turn down a treat or my lap. She prefers to go into hiding whether it’s under the bed, in her kennel or in the nook between the corner of the couch and the side table.

thundervestDog trainers suggest that when owners know a storm is approaching, to help reduce their anxiety we should distract them with their favorite toy. Distracting them will help turn their focus from the storm to, “Yay! I’m having fun with Mom or Dad!”

Products also exist on the market that include plug-in dog pheromones to help reduce anxiety, as well as apparel like the ThunderVest or Thundershirts. For extreme cases, some pets may be prescribed medication from their Vet to help calm them during severe weather.

pheromonesRegardless of the method, remember that no two dogs are alike, which is why you may have to try a few methods before finding one that works to help reduce your fur babies’ storm anxiety. 

Free & low-cost resources to help with spay, neuter and medical care

walking the dogIt’s okay to admit it: sometimes you may need a bit of help with the dog’s medical bills. After all, taking care of an animal isn’t cheap, and it can often cost thousands of dollars just to figure out what’s wrong. They can’t speak to us in English, so figuring out what’s going on with them is more guess work than anything, and sometimes that guess work can rack up some serious bucks.

But because other people understand, there are resources to help cope with those bills. That assistance comes from many places and in many forms, all of which have been categorized below.

Medical Care Resources

Care Credit: This is the most well-known type of assistance you can get in a crunch. If Fido is vomiting and refusing food and water and you just had to pay $700 to get your car repaired, you can turn to Care Credit to give you a helping hand. They are a low-interest credit card company that offers credit to almost anyone who needs it, but the credit can only be used on health-related expenses (including ones for our furkids). You can find out more information about them on their website.

Red Rover: Not only do the kind folks at Red Rover have a grant of their own for pets in need, they also have an extensive directory of resources that are mostly breed specific. They include a smattering of disease specific programs as well. If you’re a non-profit in need of assistance, they even have a list for you.

The Shakespeare Animal Fund: SAF helps animals that are injured and sick. They’ve distributed some $300,000 to needy owners that need help paying medical bills for their animals, and they specialize in cases where an animal is being held because a medical bill cannot be paid.

The Pet Fund: The Pet Fund is a smaller organization, but they do tons of good work. Their website is also full of awesome resources about spay and neutering and basic medical information.

YouCaring: YouCaring doesn’t directly offer help, but they provide a way to raise money for your animal in need of medical care – for free. YouCaring is one of the few sites that doesn’t charge any fees on top of the PayPal fees already associated with crowdfunding websites. There is an option to donate to their server fees, though.

Spay & Neuter Resources

Because Spay & Neuter has to happen up close and personal, some of these resources are very localized.

Animal Liberation Front: This website is awesome because they’re constantly updating their list of free and cheap spay and neuter locations. Many of their resources also offer feral cat spay and neuter for free as long as the person who brought the animal in agrees to allow it to be ear-clipped to indicate it’s part of a feral colony.

Advocate for Saving Dogs: This website has lots of resources, one of which is a state-by-state guide to free or low cost spay/neuter.

Neuter Spay: Neuterspay.org is a pretty huge database that lists nationwide spay and neuter resources. There are even some resources for people in Canada and Europe.

PAWS: Paws is known for helping out low-income households with not only information on low-cost clinics, but with money to pay for those low-cost expenses, too. They have tons of locations, plus they work with vets across the nation.

Humane Society: The Humane Society maintains a database of low-cost spay and neuter resources, but they also provide services themselves for little to no cost for families in need. They have a huge network of vets, locations, and grants.

 

Do dogs really feel guilt or shame?

Poop Bubblestissuespowerbars flour dad's shoeRachael takes a look into the pet shaming trend

Being a pet owner all but ensures that you’ll be granted memories that will bring you great joy, even if that joy comes secondary to initial anger and/or frustration.

Enter the dog shaming phenomena. I’ve yet to join the Internet trend of documenting my sweet Pippa’s poor decision making skills, but fur baby moms and dads across the globe are popularizing the trend on websites like dogshaming.com to bring attention to their little troublemakers.

On various websites and through the use of social media outlets, pet owners are regularly posting pictures outing their beloved pets and documenting angry moments into laugh-worthy photos for all the world to enjoy. Below are some of my favorites, courtesy of dogshaming.com.

Now, I couldn’t help but notice that some of the pups in these photographs look genuinely guilty. When Pippa makes bad decisions, I’d like to think that her behavior when “caught” is equivalent to guilt, which makes me pose the question: Do dogs feel guilty?

In an article by Jason Goldman, “Do Dogs feel Guilty”, he reveals that 74% of dog owners believe that their dog experiences guilt. Unfortunately, evidence that supports this is rare, as it’s difficult to measure this secondary emotion in animals. Many reactions stem from the owners scolding and the “guilty” look may be a learned response, as it tends to reduce the duration of the scolding. Animal cognition experts have conducted a few studies, but nothing conclusive yet is on the horizon for whether or not your sweet pup truly feels guilty for chewing up your favorite shoes, or eating the cat’s poop. Guilt is a complex emotion – I’d like to think that their “guilty” look at least means they are ashamed of what they’ve done, but in reality, our sweet animals are just that, animals. Somewhere this century, perhaps more studies done in the realm of real-world pet/owner interactions, more evidence will be revealed that indicates our dogs do feel guilt, but until then… let’s settle for the notion that they have a guilty conscience, and take more pictures.

And they called it puppy love…

“No, Kath, it’s never gonna happen. I don’t want a dog in the house or peeing all over my lawn. We don’t need the hassle — we have enough going on in our lives!”

My husband uttered these very words every time I broached the idea of getting a dog. I’d always been an animal lover, but I grew up with cats so I only half-heartedly fought for a dog. Cats were an easy sell. But a dog required real commitment.

My husband’s attitude changed, however, when, four kids and 11 years of marriage later, I asked one more time, this time mentioning how good I thought it would be for our oldest son to have a buddy (thanks to BOGO Susan and BOGO Sara for encouraging the idea!). Christopher struggles with social awareness and maturity, and as a result has very few friends. It breaks our hearts. Every parent wants to fix the holes in our children’s hearts any way they know how, so at that moment it became obvious: We had to get a dog for Christopher.

Charlie

Charlie

mac

Mac

I began my search instantly. That Saturday I somehow convinced my husband to pack up the kids and all go to our local PetCo for a Last Hope rescue event. We were just looking, or at least that’s what I told myself at the time, since we were leaving for a weeklong vacation in Disney World the next week. This is no time to bring home a dog! But we went anyway. As soon as we laid eyes on Charlie, a 1-year-old Pomeranian/shih tzu/wire fox terrier mix, we fell in love. The kids and I were ecstatic, and the next day we brought him into our home and our family.

That was October 7, 2012. Yesterday, January 13, 2013, we added another little guy to our family. Mac is a 4-month-old schnauzer/terrier mix who is playful, affectionate, and all puppy. So far he and Charlie are two peas in a pod, although Charlie could stand to teach him a thing or two about where the Diaz dogs should do their business. Having just been through all this with Charlie, though, we are prepared for Mac’s shenanigans and understand the value of patience during this time of training.

Dogs change people. I have a life full of love and laughter and delight, yet adding two pups to share that with has only made my life that much sweeter. My husband only begrudgingly agreed to get Charlie, and three months later was on petfinder.com for hours at a time, looking to rescue the perfect second dog. How did this happen? What have we become?!

I guess we’ve become dog-lovers. Unabashed, unapologetic dog-lovers. The kind of dog lovers who welcome a good face lick and don’t mind wearing a bag around our hands as we pace the yard looking for their “remains of the day.” The hysterical joy they feel every time we walk through the door is enough to make me feel like the Duchess of Cambridge, and the warmth of their snoring bodies at night comforts me after a bad day.

So thank you, BOGO Susan and BOGO Sara, for that gentle nudge into Dogland. I now know what you two have known for years, and now that I’m here, I’ll never go back.

Rescue Me…

It’s always refreshing to see celebrities “do good,” especially when it involves rescue animals. Animal adoption in the entertainment world has really picked up within the last few years. It’s wonderful to witness this trend as they influence others to adopt needy pets, too.

Not only are stars welcoming new pets into their lives, some have even started their own rescue facilities and foundations:

Miranda Lambert – This popular country music star considers her several rescue dogs children.  Lambert founded MuttNation Foundation (http://muttnationfoundation.com ) over four years ago. The funds raised have helped build shelters, promote adoptions, and rehabilitate sick animals. MuttNation also facilitates training programs for shelter dogs that are used in therapy for military and people in prison.

Emmylou Harris – Nashville’s 12-time Grammy winner has started a fostering service for unwanted pups in her own backyard.  Bonaparte’s Retreat (http://www.bonapartesretreat.org ) was founded in 2004 and named after one of her beloved dogs. Their mission is to take dogs that have run out of time.

Katherine Heigl – This movie actress has seven dogs and a heart for rescue. Her family started an animal rescue group named for her late brother who was also an avid animal lover. The Jason Debus Heigl Foundation helps protect the voiceless and innocent (http://jasonheiglfoundation.org). Heigl has also started her own pet products line where a percentage of each purchase goes towards helping shelter animals.

Other animal-loving celebs have rescue pets and openly proclaim their love of the furry four-legged companions:

Kelly Clarkson – Not only does this American Idol winner rescue dogs, but she also adopts horses and pigs. She has 50 different rescue animals!

Jane Lynch – Glee funny-woman Lynch loves dogs. She’s an advocate for pet adoption and is involved with PETA. Lhasa Apso Olivia has been her therapy dog for 13 years.

Trent Reznor – Nine Inch Nails front man is an animal lover and longtime supporter of rescuing greyhounds. His concerts and merchandise benefit animal organizations.  Reznor has adopted several greyhounds that accompany him to his practice space.

Charlize Theron – This actress advocates for homeless animals as much as she can.  She has taken in abused and abandoned rescue dogs for many years. “It just kills me when people run to pet stores. This is the season to adopt.” says Theron.

Kaley Cuoco  – The Big Bang Theory actress has adopted three very lucky Pit Bulls. She works with Los Angeles based non-profits to promote a positive image of Pitties. Cuoco believes in helping smaller rescues, and thinks that donating and volunteering is very important.

Sandra Bullock  – Special needs dogs are near and dear to this Oscar winner’s heart.  Bullock has adopted one three-legged dog, one two-legged dog, and one pooch that is missing an eye.

Pinteresting Ways to Get Through a Bad Day

What do you do when you’re having a bad day? Some people eat their feelings. Some people get on the phone and vent. But others, like me… turn to Pinterest. Now, Pinterest is an almost daily time-sucker, so I pin even when it’s not a bad day, but when it is, it makes things that.much.better.

Typically, I pin DIY and domestic related things (i.e. cooking, tips to fold a fitted sheet, etc.) but on bad days… my go to… is animal pictures. While, I do appreciate all pictures, I am particularly fond of any of them featuring a Pug. It’s a “Pugly” obsession really, as certifiable as my former cat obsession. I’ll climb on the couch, call sweet Pippa the Pomeranian over, and we will scope out her new sister, Kate. Our personal favorites are costumed pugs or pug photos with captions.

Here are a few laughs to brighten up your day, courtesy of this fantastic thing called Pinterest.

Why no… no I’ve never seen a dog shower like that? Usually, I am far more wet than than the sweet Pup when it’s wash time. Perhaps, I need to look into a shower-time method for Pippa. This is brilliant.
Shower time!Now, tell me that you aren’t laughing at the Yoda pug with the caption… I mean really? You can almost hear the pug saying the caption in Yoda’s voice.

Pug YodaNow, I don’t know what it is about Pugs in costumes that are so hilarious… but out of all the dog breeds, they tend to have the funniest costumed pictures. Big bug eyes, wild tongues… squishy faced wrinkly fur babies. I just want to give them ‘pugs’ and kisses all over.

Here are a few of my favorites:

A tale of 3 pugs

Pug in Waiting, Shark Pug, Freddy Krueger Pug

Sushi pugSome pug owners are quite creative when it comes to costuming their four legged loves and seeing the unique costumes that make you literally laugh out loud are welcomed joys to a foul day.

I’ll leave you on this note. Flash ahead to my future Halloween. This is it. Kate will be some sushi and perhaps, I will color Pippa green and she can be some wasabi?

Rachael