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Thursday, December 25, 2014

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Free Pet Gift Box Giveaway!!

I think one of Jasmine's FAVORITE things to do is product reviews!  From time to time, companies will send us their products to get my dogs' opinions!

THIS is the reason why every time the doorbell rings, Jaz thinks it's for her.   She thinks every package left on our doorstep is for her!  (and gets very excited about it.)   Sometimes the humans get packages too, but this time it really was for her!  

She got a Pet Gift Box!
Chewy was super curious what was inside it too!!  
Inside the box, there were all kinds of toys and a bag of treats! 
They have pet gift boxes for dogs or cats.  Here's a sample of what their box looks like:

Jaz is a "wild huntress" and really liked this star.  (which squeaks too!)  
Here's the video of my wild "huntress"!

Chewy immediately went for the squeaky toy.   Any squeaky toy.  All squeaky toys.  The MUST BE de-squeaked!!  (according to Chewy).

We liked our Pet Gift Box so much, I wanted to make sure another lucky pup or cat could have a chance to get one!  So we're going to have a give-away!  :)
You have one week!  Contest give-away will run from Dec 17-24th, with the winner contacted on Dec. 26th!  (See Terms and Conditions for more info.)
  Good luck!!  :)

If you can't wait, you can order one right now.  Here's a secret:  Jasmine's friends get a discount! 
 If you use the coupon code:  Jasmine, you'll receive 25% off your first box! 
 (The coupon code expires Jan. 31, 2015)

One of the reasons I really like this company is that a portion of all proceeds is given to America's VetDogs.®  (If you haven't heard of them, they are an organization  that serves the needs of veterans with disabilities.)  So that makes me like them.  :)

Pet Gift Box is having their own contest to win a free Pet GiftBox!   To enter, just share a holiday picture of your pet on Twitter or Instagram, and tag it #holidaytailz and you'll be eligible for their contest!  

Lots of ways to win!  :D

FYI:  I'm picky about who I will do reviews for.  It has to be something I would actually let my dog have, eat, or use.   I don't receive any compensation to do reviews.  Companies send us their product to do reviews, and I let Jaz and Chewy try it. This is our honest opinion of the stuff we got.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Chewdini- The Great Escape!

For those of you who haven't been following our adventures on Jasmine's Facebook page... Chewy has been at it again.

Yesterday, when I left for work, I put Chewy outside.   I locked the doggy door, and put cinder blocks in front of it.    This is what I came home to:   

A logged doggy door and 2 cinder blocks are no match for Chewdini. 

Friday, November 21, 2014

Favorite Animal Movies?

Who gets to pick the movies in your house?  Jasmine has commandeered the TV remote control.  She'll probably be watching a lot of Animal Planet while I'm gone at work!

Dog TV Remote Control
I am compiling a list of really good animal movies to watch during the holidays.

I have my Top 10 list completed I think.  But I'm wondering if I've missed any.

What are your favorite animal movies to watch?  (Live action or animated?)

Super Buddies

I probably watch dog movies different than other people.  I'm usually watching to get new trick ideas.  Or wondering how they filmed that.  (Because as you know I like to make YouTube dog movies with Jasmine!)   I'm always on the look-out for new ideas!  :)

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Do you have a talented dog?

2 years ago, I made a trick dog video montage of "Dogs Playing Basketball".  I had my trick dog friends from all over the world send me videos of their dogs playing basketball!  (I love it because it shows dogs of all different breeds and sizes!)

Now, we're finally ready to do another one.  We're making a new video about DANCING DOGS!!  (We're looking for any freestyle dance move- or any trick that looks like dancing.)
I'd love to get as many dog breeds as possible.  

If you want your dog to be in it- record your dog doing any dance move, and send a clip thru Dropbox to getconnected@mchsi.com or upload it to YouTube and email it Cindy at getconnected@mchsi.com.   Thanks!  :)

A couple of hints- try to film in open space with good lighting.  Tripods or a friend with a steady hand helps out a lot!  Also- this is going to be an all dog film!  So no humans (unless it's just a leg or hand!)   Let me know if you have any other questions!   I'm looking forward to seeing your pups!!  :)

Monday, October 27, 2014

How To Survive Halloween Night with a Dog

I got a cool opportunity recently!

I was asked to write a guest post on Petco's community page about Halloween!

You probably already know how much I enjoy Halloween, and dressing up in costumes.   Jaz  has a lot of opportunities to use her different costumes.  I was going to write about all her different costumes, and the different places we use them.

But instead, the blog post was about Chewy.  Crazy dog Chewy.  And how to survive Halloween with a dog who goes crazy every time the doorbell rings.  Here's my advise:


Friday, October 24, 2014

A Dog Halloween Video, Why I Became a Dog Trainer

It's FINALLY done!!!   Halloween has gone to the dogs!  

Here's our newest Halloween dog trick video!  

Why settle for Tricks *OR* Treats when you can have both!!  :)

Many people have asked me why I spend so much time/ energy training my dogs and making videos.  I think I've finally figured out the answer.
1)  Because Jasmine LOVES it.  I'm not joking.  She LOVES training.  Because I use positive reinforcement, she gets really good treats whenever we practice.  So if even walk by the treat counter, she will start doing her trick resume, trying to get something from me.  As long as she enjoys doing it, I'll keep training and doing little tricks shows with her.
2)  I started making cute trick videos as a way of sharing Jasmine's talents to more people.  Because based on our experiences as a therapy dog team, I know how her simple little tricks can bring smiles and happiness to someone who is having a rough day.  And based on the friends I've made internationally through Jasmine, I know that dogs can be the bridge between cultures and people of all backgrounds.  They can bring a laugh or smile to anyone's face.

3) But it has even evolved from this.  Dog training has become a passion for me.  Visiting dogs in the shelters, it dawned on me that the vast majority of these dogs have never been given the proper tools to succeed.  They were never trained.  I have friends who volunteer at shelters and rescue groups to work with the training the dogs.  Dogs are more likely to be adopted if they can even sit on command.  
So then even if someone's circumstances change, and they need to re-home their dog, they're more likely to find a new owner for a well-trained, well-socialized dog.   So my conclusion is that if more people invested the time to train their dogs in the beginning, less dogs would end up being dumped at the shelters or just abandoned.   I personally consider dogs to be members of the family.  We try to teach our children to play nice and have good manners.  So why wouldn't we teach our pets this?   

THIS is my new reason why I make and share Jasmine's trick videos.  I hope to inspire others to work with their dogs.  They don't have to do tricks.  But just teaching basic obedience gives the dog a better chance in life.  So, this is my little way of making the world a more positive place.  :)

P.S.  When I first got Jasmine, I had never trained a dog in my life.  I just read books, and took classes.  I am not a professional dog trainer.  We just learned together.   And that's what helped create our strong bond.  And just look at what Jaz can do now!  It's living proof that if I can do it, anyone can do it!!  :)

Friday, October 3, 2014

Adventures in Dog-Walking

My brother and sister-in-law (and kids) asked us to dog-sit while they were out of town.  They have 2 very large Goldendoodles! Ringo (male)  and Francie (female).  And I have a very small house.  So even though there are only four dogs, it feels like more.

Because I have a small house and now three large dogs (and one little energetic dog), I got the crazy idea in my head to try and take them all on a walk!  It was quite the adventure.   Here's the staring line up.

 We made is as far as the driveway before Chewy saw another dog and went crazy.  (He has some bad manners of barking and rushing at other dogs.  We're working on that!!  He's a work-in-progress.)  So we all went back in the house to calm down, untangle the leashes, and reorder the pack  It was darker when we attempted it the 2nd time, so less likely to run into other dogs being walked.

Here's the finishing line up.  The girls on the outside, and the boys in the middle.  Francie is more nervous and likes to hang back by me.  Jaz likes to do her own thing... keep up with the big dogs or stop and smell the roses.  (and maybe pee on them.)  And the boys are my sled dogs.  They can just go, go, go.  This order seemed to work, and we made it around the block.  Then one of my good friends came over and walked the girls, so I could just concentrate on the boys.  It was a beautiful thing.  Thank goodness for good friends!!

In the end, all the dogs were tired and listening pretty well.  So I call that a success.

Tomorrow's adventure:  Bath-time for 4 dogs?  Or then again, maybe not!!

P.S.  While we were walking down the street, I had the 1st verse to the Monkees theme song stuck in my head!!  I wonder why??  ;)

Here we come... 
Walking down the street...
We get the funniest looks from...
Everyone we meet....


Friday, September 19, 2014

101 Dog Tricks for Kids- reviewed by Jasmine

True that!!  I'm always searching for new trick ideas for Jasmine!  When I first started trick training, I constantly was referring to our "101 Dog Tricks" book for ideas.  (Which I liked because they rate the tricks according to difficulty and also give you trouble-shooting hints.)

So now there's a new book out called "101 Dog Tricks for Kids".    It's got the same vivid, bright pictures to catch your attention.  In addition to trick ideas, it also has easy craft projects for kids.  (and adults, I might add!)  If I still worked at a day care, I would totally be stealing some of these project ideas. 

It also has practical advise.  For example, it teaches a "trick" called "Be A Tree", which teaches how to get your dog to not jump on you.  (Very much needed advice- especially for young kids!)

We do a lot of trick show for kids.  So now I can tell them where I got my ideas!  :)

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Senior Citizens Enjoying Dog Tricks by Jasmine!

Good things happen when you FINALLY get around to replacing your laptop battery!!   I found some old footage of Jasmine that I'm making into new trick videos!   Here's one we just uploaded...

We've done tricks shows for practically every age group now.  And they're all pretty fun.  Jasmine gets so excited when I get out ALL of her props, and start cutting up treats.  She knows we're going to do a show! 

This was a fun show to do.  We were asked to perform at a Senior Living Center, in honor of a woman's 96th b-day!!!   We did the trick show, then afterwards I took Jasmine around so that everyone could pet her.  They told me about the dogs they used to have.  It was very sweet.  Jasmine is a therapy dog, and loves people.  

Here's a recap of the show we did.  I think everyone enjoyed it.  (Including us.)

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Birthday Party= Dog Trick Show!

Jasmine often gets asked to perform trick shows at kids' birthday parties!

Here's one that we did!  As you can tell, everyone had a lot of fun!  (Dogs and kids!!)

Jaz honestly does LOVE performing tricks.  She is always eager and enthusiastic to do tricks.  It's her favorite thing ever!!  :)

Friday, August 1, 2014

9 Dogs You Won't Believe Actually Exist- Buzzfeed video

Buzzfeed wrote:

9 Dogs You Won't Believe Actually Exist

"There's a dog out there, somewhere... making someone waffles.  And I need to find him."

LOL- I know that dog!! It's our friend Paige!  (She can make waffles!)

Guess who else made the list?  My FAVORITE pup Jasmine!!  :)  (She goes shopping, gets the mail, and gets a drink from the fridge.)  She's also Jaz!  (who rides the scooter)

Also- our friend Jesse!  (who is a fellow shopper, and does a ton of other cool tricks!)

Also- our friend Norman!  (who as far as I know, is the ONLY dog who knows how to ride a bike!!)

It's SO fun that a lot of my trick dog friends got included in the same video!!  It turned out so awesome!  It totally made me laugh!  :D

Friday, June 27, 2014

Minties and Vitamin Chews. A Jasmine and Chewy Exclusive.

How can you resist those eyes???  Jaz has the best/ worst "Puppy Dog" eyes and expressions out of any dog I've ever had.  How could I not give her a treat after getting "the look"??

I think this is Jasmine's favorite part of the job.  We get asked to do product reviews, and Jasmine and Chewy are the taste testers.   As soon as Jasmine heard me open the bag, she resorted to doing her begging stance immediately.  (See pic below).   This is her way of asking "please can I have some??  Pleeeaaaaaase????"

The product we were trying out is Vet IQ's "Vitamin Chews" and "Minties".  We started with the Vitamin Chews for Jasmine.  (Because they are liver flavored, and that's her favorite.)  I am highly selective of the treats Jasmine gets to have.  (Mainly because of her allergies.)  But the Vitamin Chews are wheat-free, and made in the USA.  So I'm ok with letting her try them.  They were a big hit.  She loved them.  She's taken other doggy vitamins before- but these ones are a soft chew, so it's easier to get her to take them. And it gives her 19 essential vitamins/ minerals.  The only downside is- because they are vitamins, she can only have one a day.  Try telling that to your begging dog with big puppy dog eyes.

Chewy got to try the Minties.  (I had to convince Jaz that she needed to share!)  Chewy lives here now, so he gets to start doing the taste testing too.
Chewy is a very careful chewer.  (You could think the big dog would gobble it down, and the little dog would delicately chew the food.)  Nope- it's the opposite in my house.  Jaz gulps everything down.  Chewy slowly savors the moment.

The Minties are not made with wheat, corn, or soy.  (Gluten Free)  So that's important for Jasmine's allergies.  They are also made in the USA.  (a MUST for any of my dogs.)  The dental treats are minty, and help to promote fresh breath.  (Important before doggy play dates.)  ;)  

So- after our taste testing product review- I can honestly report that both dogs give their treat 2 paws up.  Jaz wants to know why we can't just do this for a job full time.

Well, that's because I don't get paid to do product reviews.  These companies just contact me, then send me their treats/ toys/ dog products to try out with Jaz and Chewy.  Then we write what we think about it.  (Although, like I said, I am selective about which products we'll review.)  I'm picky about what I give my dogs.  I only review good quality products.  

So there you have it!  The Jasmine and Chewy Exclusive Report on Minties and Vitamin Chews.

The opinions in this blogpost are my own.  I do not work for, or with, any brand mentioned in this blogpost, nor do I have any official relationship with them.  I have a relationship with GigaSavvy, for whom I create original editorial content.  

Friday, June 6, 2014

Adams Smart Pets Contest

Jasmine got to be in the promotional video for Adams Smart Pets Contest!  They used 2 of her tricks-  Stealing the Blanket, and Pushing the Shopping Cart.  


If you have a smart pet and want to enter the contest, there's details on their website how to enter!  :)

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Sophia Maxim Design Collars = AWESOME

Every now and then, Jasmine and I get asked to do a product review.    As you know, I'm pretty selective of which companies I will do this for.  I research the company before I'll agree to it, because I don't want to do a review on a product that I wouldn't want my own dog to try.

So I when I was asked to do a review for a Sophia Maxim Collar, I checked out their website.   Everything was made in the USA.  It said they were tough and durable.  (which is necessary if you know my dog!)  And I immediately liked their bold colors and patterns.  I got to pick out which collar I wanted Jaz to try.  (Which was the hardest part!!)  I eventually picked the "Amalfi Sunrise"  (the pink/purple/orange one.)  I thought that would look the best against Jasmine's dark hair.

Aside from being pretty... the truly unique thing that makes these collars stand out is the dog ID tag.  It's incorporated onto the collar.  The dog's name and phone # are engraved on it.  So when Jasmine itches or shakes her head, you don't hear the jingle sound of the name tag!  (Which I think is brilliant.) 

 Chewy wakes me up every morning when he shakes and his collar jingles.  My sister-in-law takes her 2 dogs' collars off because they are too noisy.  (But I don't do that, because I worry about the dogs accidentally getting out without their collars.) 
 Jasmine is micro-chipped, but not everyone knows to take the dog to a vet to check for it.  So I like knowing that her name and phone # are easily found.  (And if she somehow loses her collar, the microchip is my back-up.)   Her dog ID tag has already been used once.  A few years ago, Jaz was visiting over at my parents' house.  She was in the backyard with Toddy.  Well, someone accidentally left the back gate open. And Jaz and Toddy decided to go on an adventure.  A jogger found them and called my cell phone, and I immediately went to pick up my canine explorers.  So- after that experience- my phone # is ALWAYS easily accessible on Jaz's collar.
 So I'd say that is the best feature of these collars.  Having the security of knowing my dog's contact info is on the collar, but the luxury of not having to listen to the jingling dog tags.  (And yes, I did buy one of those rubber "silencer" things that fit around the dog tag for Chewy.  It doesn't help much.)    So I may have to get him a Sophia Maxim collar, just so I can sleep in on Saturday mornings!!

This is the one I picked out for Jasmine.  I think it's really cute.  :)

If she wasn't so hairy right now, you could get a better view of the collar!  (Which is why I included some pics from the Sophia Maxim Design website!)  Jaz needs another haircut, so she can show off her new collar!  :)

If you're interested in getting one of these collars, be sure to tell them you are friends with Jasmine!  (and that will give you 20% off!)   :) 
 Just enter the discount code:  SMD1001 when you are checking out.    

FYI- We didn't receive any financial compensation for this blogpost.  They just sent us the collar to see what we thought.  Here's my official review:  Two paws up from Jasmine.  Stylish and Practical.  Exactly what I like.    :)

Sophia Maxim Designs

Website:  http://www.sophiamaximdesign.com/
Twitter:  https://twitter.com/sophiamaxim
Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/sophiamaximdesign?fref=ts

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Pets Got Talent!!

Jasmine has been on quite a few TV shows.  But now I'm super excited to say we can add "Kathie Lee and Hoda" to our list!  (Part of the Today show!)  :)  :)   They had a little segment called "Pets Got Talent!"  And as you can see from the screen shot above- they picked Jaz for the covershot!   :)

If you missed seeing her on the Today show, here's a clip from the show!

Visit NBCNews.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Saturday, April 26, 2014

This dog is a Criminal Mastermind!!

This dog is a criminal mastermind.  For those of you who don't follow Jasmine's Facebook page, this is my new dog Chewy.  (I got married last fall, and this is my husband's dog.)  

If you don't follow Jasmine's Facebook page, then you might not be familiar of "the adventures of Destructo Dog".  It's been a long process trying to introduce Chewy to the civilized world of being an indoor dog, which includes NOT chewing up my stuff!!   He's finally kennel trained now.  (And in fact, loves his kennel.)  But yesterday was just such a beautiful day, I decided to leave him outside in the backyard.  (I was thinking there wasn't much left he could damage out there.)  He has already torn every screen off every window/door.  (including pulling the screen door off the frame.)  He has dug up a dead cat we buried over a decade ago.  (that was lovely).   I have covered up the water drip system (for the plants) to keep him from digging those up.  So in my mind, there was no more damage he could cause.

Besides, I was only going to be gone for ONE HOUR- while I went out to lunch with my friends.  When I came home from lunch, I opened the front door.  And surprise- both Chewy AND Jasmine were there to greet me!!  ??????

Upon further investigation, I discovered Chewy is WAY too smart.  He was able to open the LOCKED doggy door, and let himself in.  To lift up the panel of the doggy door, you have to push down the handle, and then left up.  (Which apparently is no problem for Chewy.)

You slide the panel in and lock it from the inside or the outside.  I used to lock it from the inside, until Chewy tore apart the inside of the doggy door and started ripping out drywall out of my house.  (In his effort to get in.)  My husband just fixed that.  Since then I've been sliding the panel in on the outside to lock it.  But apparently this doesn't work anymore!!)

This also solves the mystery of how Chewy got inside the night of the Easter Pageant. I swore I put him outside when I left.  But when we came home, he was inside.  And all the doors were locked, the doggy door was shut, and there were no broken windows.  My parents have a key to my house, but they said they didn't come over.  So we had no clue who let him in.  We finally concluded that after I put him outside, he must have snuck back inside when I wasn't looking.  (It didn't seem very likely, but it was the ONLY explanation at the time!   But now I realize, he must tried this trick before.  He must have lifted up the panel without removing it, slipped underneath to come inside, then the panel slid back in place behind him. Which explains how that dog got into a locked house!

Ugh.  Crazy, crazy, crazy dog.  I just need to convince him to use his superpowers for good, not evil!! 

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

In memory of Travis- Help needed

This is Travis, he has been married to my friend Andrea for 19 years. Together, they have 4 beautiful kids, and a Havanese named Ruby. 

In May 2008, Travis was diagnosed with a brain stem tumor.  He had surgery and radiation, and it went into remission.  But in Sept 2012, it came back and was more aggressive this time.  He had surgery again, followed by chemotherapy.  And it went into remission for a year.  Then an MRI in Oct 2013 showed it was back again.  He had surgery this past January (2014), but it really took a toll on him.  
Travis has been unable to work since then.
 Friends had planned a fundraiser (Run for Travis) for this next Saturday to help with the growing cost of medical expenses.  Although it breaks my heart to share this, Travis just passed away this past weekend.  My heart aches for Andrea and her kids.  

I found out they are still having the fundraiser, as now the family needs help to cover the medical bills and funeral expenses.  

   If you are able to donate any amount at all, here's a link to donate online: http://www.eventzilla.net/web/event?eventid=2138998542   
Or you can go to any Wells Fargo bank and donate to the
 "Run For Travis" fund.   
Even if you're not able to donate, please share this link so we can help out this wonderful family as much as possible.  
Thank you my friends.   

P.S.  If you're wondering, the top picture is Travis with their Havanese Ruby.  He loved that little pup.  His family got a Havanese after they heard all my stories about Jasmine.  So we are connected that way too.

Friday, February 28, 2014

Cute Animal Videos- Project Pet!

Jasmine was on TV in Canada all month long!

Her tricks were featured through-out the month of February on "Project Pet!".  (Cute little animal videos that they found on YouTube.)   These were shown on the Family Channel.   My friend Sara lives in Canada and was able to get us the clips!  (Which I'm so thankful for, otherwise I never would have seen them!)

Here's a compilation of Jasmine's first TV appearance in Canada!   :)

Monday, February 10, 2014

Jaz was on TV in Canada!

I have fun news!   Over this past weekend, Jasmine's tricks were on TV in Canada!   They were shown on the Family channel- on "Project Pet".  This is Jasmine's version of Ring the Bell (on the desk) and Roll Up in a Blanket.  (a.k.a. Steal it from your human!)  ;)   They'll be showing other tricks through-out the month, so if you live in Canada, be sure to keep an eye out for my favorite pup Jasmine!   :)

(and a BIG THANK YOU to our friend Sara for getting us this clip!!)   :)

Saturday, February 1, 2014

Valentine's Day Gifts at @Petco

 My husband took this picture- which I love!!   Jasmine and Chewy are waiting for me to get home from work.  :)   According to my dogs, I'm a celebrity.  I am greeting with enthusiasm every single time I walk in the door.  Whether I was gone for 5 minutes, 5 hours, or 5 days.... the greeting is the same.  :)
It's nice to be this loved.  :)

People have asked me where I got Jaz's outfit.  It was from +Petco!   It's really cute on her.

Here's the front view of the outfit.  (The dogs are practicing their down/ stays.)   Is it pretty obvious I have a treat in my hand??  ;)
These are the other valentines day gear we got from +Petco !

A "LoverBoy" hoodie, and some cute heart toys.  (and some Veggie toys.)

I won't let Chewy play with this one for too long, because I don't want him to destroy it.  The middle heart says " You tug at my heart."
I'll play Tug-of-War with the rope toy, but I only let him chew on it for a few minutes.  It at least has to last through the month of February without getting the stuffing pulled out!!

Happy Valentine's Day to all my friends!!  Furry or Human!  :)