October 12, 2011

Girl you got me running on sunshine...

Ain't no clouds getting in my way
No doubt, no doubt about it
And there ain't no clouds in my sky
You got me running on sunshine....

We're enjoying these few days of warm weather!

September 24, 2011

I hear lake water lapping with low sounds by the shore. . . . I hear it in the deep heart's core.

Come along with us...to "Three Shastas"
Mt. Shasta, Shasta Lake, and Shasta Dam.

Josey decides we're taking this trail...

leading us to Packer Bay of Shasta Lake.

Come on...Are you coming? Hurry up...

I'm ready to play...

Throw a stick or something! Water looks so welcoming...

My stick, mine, mine!

Got it!

Look what I have!

August 24, 2011

One of the deep secrets of life is that all that is really worth doing is what we do for others.

Over a week ago, the BCs were bathed using Pop's Pet Organics Multi-Purpose Pet Shampoo. It is an awesome product! Clean, smooth, shiny. It's definitely a keeper!
Below is a response from the company after I inquired about the INCI names of their products:

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Gerald Kass <gerry@popspetproducts.com>
Date: Mon, Aug 15, 2011 at 11:17 AM
Subject: Re: Pop's Pet Products: User filled in Contact Us form!
To: Around the Dog Bowl

Hi Around the Dog Bowl,

Great to hear from you, so glad you and the border collies liked,did you get these from me at Glynn Highland Farm?? We are not a sister company of Vermont Soap, as far as I know Vermont soap only makes 1 product for dogs and cats, I do not have the INCI names, the new flea, tick and insect repellent is getting great reviews throughout the USA, will be coming out with 2 to 4 new products this fall, thnaks again for your kind words and support, we have really worked very hard to make the healthiest products we can.

Warmest Regards,

On August 14, 2011 at 8:50 PM info@popspetproducts.com wrote:

> This email is from Pop's Pet Products™
> -------------------------------------------------------------------
> Name:         Around the Dog Bowl
> Subject:      product ingredients
> Message:      Tried your product on my two border collies and loved it! I recently blogged about your Pet Organics Multi-Purpose Pet Shampoo on August 13 and 14 at http://www.aroundthedogbowl.blogspot.com/ and would you happen to have the INCI names of your ingredients (International Nomenclature Cosmetic Ingredient)? Also, your Pet Organics Multi-Purpose Pet Shampoo looks very similar to Vermont Soap Organics Pet Shampoo - are you "sister" companies?
> Thank you for an excellent product!
> Pop's Pet Products™
> Phone:                             914-764-8145
> Fax:                               914-764-0533
> URL:                               www.popspetproducts.com 

August 14, 2011

Splish Splash - Part 2 of 2

This is a continuation of the previous post about dog shampoo.

Time to take a closer look at ingredients. Most of the products use a "coconut-based cleanser" or "vegetable derived cleanser" as a base but Google tells me that these terms mean different things. If you want to find out more, ask the company to provide the correct INCI names of their ingredients - International Nomenclature Cosmetic Ingredient.

Chemistry stuff
For example, the INCI of a "fragrance" would tell you if it is a synthetic oil or an essential oil. A "coconut-based cleanser" or "vegetable derived cleanser" would tell you it is a surfactant (or detergent) that creates the foam. Surfactants or sudsing agents are widely used in human products such as shampoos, toothpaste, lotions and creams today: Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS), Sodium Laureth Sulfate (SLES), Ammonium Lauryl Sulfate, Cocomidopropyl Betain, or Cocomide Monoethanolamine (MEA). Sulfates may irritate skin. Good or bad, labeling regulations allow "derived from coconut oil" and "natural" to be used on many products.

Again ask for the INCI names of their ingredients, of their surfactants. For example, a quality natural cleanser would be something called Decyl Polyglucose. It is a gentle yet effective surfactant derived from sugar such as corn, glucose and starch; it is also often described as derived from corn and coconut & palm kernel oils, too. Decyl Polyglucose is primarily used in human baby and personal care products for sensitive skin formulas.

Pop's Pet Organics Multi-Purpose Pet Shampoo uses "saponified organic coconut oil." Saponification is a simple chemical process using oil that produces soap, glycerin and water. I know, too much chemistry. It is your choice to identify what is most important to you: natural? organic? sulfate-free? detergent-free? paraben-free? eco-friendly? vegan? holistic? If your dog's skin is sensitive, look for less irritating ingredients.

Our new favorite dog shampoo is Pop's! We like the fresh citrus smell, easy rinsing, and squeaky clean feel. This is a low sudsing product. Pop's shampoo is thinner and just like the bottle said, a little goes a long way. It cleaned extremely well and the rinse time was so much shorter! As dogzoomies noted, Pop's is a USDA certified organic and eco-friendly pet product. It is the dog shampoo at Glen Highland Farm's Sweet Border Collie Rescue, too!

earthbath and CloudStar are very popular brands and very good products, too. earthbath has a dizzying array of "smells" and CloudStar is very sudsy (and in my experience, longer rinse times). CloudStar also makes a conditioning spray which we like to use between baths! TrueBlue and Pet Aromatics are very pleasant smelling (which is why I bought them in the first place). TrueBlue's shampoo with green tea has a soft, soothing smell. Pet Aromatics Honeysuckle Hound is like summer in bottle with lots of sweet honeysuckle but may be too heady for some folks. Expect to pay anywhere from $10.99 to $14.99 for a natural shampoo.

Bottom Line 
Pop's is the only dog shampoo we'll buy from now on. 24 hours after their bath and several brushing sessions, Josey and Lucas look amazing. Clean, smooth, soft, and fluffy! I am inclined to give them baths more often because we can cut the bathing time.

towel-dried and pissed off

fluffy and happy (she just had dinner)

again, towel-dried and not happy

 so clean and handsome 

We are also going to test Pop's Pet Organics Flea, Tick and Insect Repellent this fall and winter when we'll stop using our Frontline Plus. As part of my due diligence, I plan on contacting Pop's to learn more about their products and ask for the INCI names of their ingredients.

*Sorry about the black corners on photos, shutter on camera is a little tired.

August 13, 2011

Splish Splash, I was takin' a bath...Long about a saturday night...

Part 1 of 2

Josey and Lucas had baths today. It's a production and having the right tools, products on hand can make the job easier. For example, we love the Zoom Groom by Kong. Though honestly, I do not know that much about selecting a dog shampoo. But we do know how to read labels!
current supply of dog shampoos

Orange-label bottle in the middle is the most recent addition. Our friends at dogzoomies enjoyed a summer vacation at Glen Highland Farm's Canine Country Camp and picked up an extra bottle of dog shampoo for us...Pop's Pet Organics Muli-Purpose Pet Shampoo by Pop's Pet Products. Below are the shampoo ingredients of 3 brands in our supply, plus 2 more brands we've purchased frequently in the past.

Pop's Pet Organics Multi-Purpose Pet Shampoo
Ingredients: saponified organic coconut, olive and jojoba oils, natural essential oil blend including naturally extracted tea tea and lemongrass, organic aloe vera, and naturally extracted rosemary as a natural preservative. 16 oz.

TrueBlue Natural Balance Conditioning Shampoo 
Ingredients: water, natural cleansers and conditioners derived from coconuts, corn, sugar beets and wheat, fragrance (essential oil blend), glycerin, citric acid, sunflower oil, chamomile, green tea, vitamin E, vitamin A, soy lecithin, vitamin C, natural preservatives (sodium hydroxymethylglycinate and glyceryl caprylate). 12 oz.

Pet Aromatics Honeysuckle Hound Shampoo (w/ Conditioner)
(Not a good sign if you can no longer find the company's website)
Ingredients: purified water, vegetable-derived cleansing agents, cucumber extract, almond oil, chamomile, aloe vera, oat flour protein, palm oil, coconut oil, ProVitamin B5, macadamia nut oil derived emulsifier, natural fruit pH adjuster, food grade anti-microbial preservatives, fragrance derived from honeysuckle and mediterranean rosemary leaf and essential oil blends. 12 oz.

earthbath Totally Natural Shampoo - Tea Tree & Aloe
Ingredients: purified water, renewable coconut-based cleansers, aloe vera, xanthum gum, melaleuca oil (tea tree), olive oil squalene (natural presevative). 16 oz.

CloudStar Buddy Wash Dog Shampoo - Lavendar & Mint
Ingredients: coconut shampoo base, aloe vera gel, essence of lavendar, essence of mint, chamomile extract, sage extract, nettles extract, rosemary extract, wheat protein extract (natural deodorizing agent), tea tree oil, vitamin E, vitamin C. 16 oz.

Seems like the shampoos have identical, similar ingredients but they're called different things. So far I like what I read in Pop's over the others.

Okay, I'll pose pretty next to Pop's
Wait a minute...are you serious about the bath?
Stay tuned for Part 2.

July 24, 2011

Morning without you is a dwindled dawn.

An early morning walk with Josey & Lucas...
rising summer sun slow yet deliberate
scattering rays through grasses and trees
cool air lingering in low spots
rushing back home before she melts us

July 13, 2011

Knowledge is of two kinds. We know a subject ourselves, or we know where we can find information on it.

Though the two Time magazine articles below were intended for "masses," they made me smile inside. Reminding me how I value the relationships with Josey & Lucas, how much I appreciate their existence, and how much I respect them. They do their jobs as "treadmills" perfectly, too.
dogzoomies recently tweeted: Be an advocate for your dog's health. We at Around the Dog Bowl agree. Visit Speaking for Spot for tools and advice on how to do so.

Enjoy the resources and hug your dogs tonight!

July 7, 2011

Are you my mother?

Who is this pretty girl?
Not Josey.
She is actually Josey's mother...Truffles. 
A beauty.

Found this oldie but goodie 
when moving files from one PC to another.

July 5, 2011

My sunshine doesn’t come from the skies, it comes from the love in my dogs eyes.

Part 2 of 2
Josey & Lucas hiked the mountain trail easily, eagerly
free to run
free to explore
trail blazers
in her element
big smile
Loved watching the BCs enjoy nature in its purest form.
Their happy shiny dog faces makes me smile and laugh inside.

Josey didn't mind the frigid water
Lucas is always ready for the next adventure
Happy Trails!

July 3, 2011

The mountains are calling and I must go.

A beautiful morning for a hike. 
Part 1 of 2.
Lucas: I'm ready! 
Dogs allowed but keep on leash or under voice control.
Desolation Wilderness: 63,960 acres of subalpine and alpine forests,
granitic peaks, and glacially-formed valleys and lakes.
Raging waterfall out of Avalanche Lake.
From this vantage point looking up at the waterfall, 
elevation is approximately 6,600 feet.
It was also surprisingly warm yet comfortable.

Stepping off the main trail, we found lots of shade and 
creeks to rest & cool off the dogs.
Water temperatures were frigid cold!
BCs waiting for me on the smooth granite rock trail.
Saw a lot of this -
 Josey and Lucas running up to find me,
Are you coming? Hurry up! Come on!

(Note: Photos taken with a BlackBerry. Not bad. Not great. It worked.)

July 1, 2011

What dreadful hot weather we have! It keeps me in a continual state of inelegance.

Doesn't look that bad....but 
100-102 degree temps expected this holiday weekend.
This kind of weather keeps us indoors.
What do we do inside?
Play frisbee.
Chew bone bone.
Play ball ball.
Snack on treats from tricky or spin spin.
Nap again.
If we go outside, we find a shady place...
to practice our down stays.
Josey: I see a cat.  Lucas: Huh, where?
Wherever you are, whatever you do, 
keep both humans and canines cool and comfortable.

Happy Fourth of July!

June 25, 2011

The language of friendship is not words but meanings.

Came across this old photo when transferring files to new PC.
Josey & Lucas at
Kiva Beach, South Lake Tahoe.
This photo reveals many things.
What do you see?

Josey is tense, 
keeping an eye on frisbee.
Lucas is tentative, 
wondering if Josey is going to pound him should he grab frisbee.

Recently had a conversation with dogzoomies about play styles. 
Particularly play styles of border collies.
She said BCs are breed snobs.
 It is so true. 
Play is really complex behavior. 
You learn a lot watching the Glen Highland Farm 
BC rescues play in the paddocks.

Lucas and Josey are interactive. 
Making physical contact with each other 
and taking turns with
play bowing, chasing, grabbing necks, and body slamming.
They let loose and genuinely seem 
to enjoy the romps with each other.
Like very good friends.

June 23, 2011

The belly rules the mind.

What's in your dog bowl?
Been wanting to share this list of articles from The Whole Dog Journal that deserve your attention:
  • 5 Steps to Upgrading Your Dog's Commercial Dog Food Diet
  • 2011 Dry Dog Food Review
  • An Education in Specialty Dog Foods
  • Feeding People Food to Dogs is Not Harmful as Long as the Food is Healthy
  • Holistic Dry Dog Foods that Missed the Mark
Information is power. We get comments all the time about the deep shine of Josey and Lucas' coat and their bright eyes. They've been eating very well lately even though we cut back on their food portions (to account for their reduced exercise regimen during these hot summer months). 4 outings reduced to just 2. They are still getting a mix of dry and wet food (either canned food, dehydrated raw, home-prepared cooked) plus supplements and a wee bit of something special like cottage cheese, fresh raw or steamed veggies, or lightly sauteed ground turkey or beef.

Thanks to a tip from dogzoomies--we got a smokin' deal recently via Hearty Pet's $6.99 flat rate shipping promotion! Competitive prices on 15 lb. ACANA dry (fish), 2 lbs. SOJOS raw (turkey), a case of EVANGERS wet (chicken) and NUPRO JOINT supplement with no sales tax and only $6.99 shipping fee regardless of weight! A 33 pound box was delivered right to our door! It was awesome! You have to sign up with Hearty Pet to receive their promotions via email. Totally worth it!

Thanks for reading and I hope you check out those dog food articles!

June 13, 2011

No matter how dark the moment, love and hope are always possible.

Have you heard about the border collies rescued from Texas?

This story is sad, heartbreaking. Several months ago a handful of rescue organizations removed almost 200 border collies from a rural property in Texas. As time goes by, each one is healing, receiving love, and learning to be a dog again. If you want to learn more about their amazing survival stories and how to help, checkout these dedicated organizations:
At the moment, we are not fostering any BCs but we continue to volunteer for our favorite rescue with pick-ups and transports to safety. Lucas, I know, misses having playmates and someone to chase (other than Josey). When I think of these Texas BCs, I think of Jim, Maddie, Juno, Tess, Abbey and Ian who have stayed with us; remembering their bad situations but never dwelling too long. Happily, they were all adopted into lovely BC Forever Homes and I wish the very same for the Texas BCs. 

Sorry, we've been out for so long. Josey, Lucas and I are doing well....adjusting to the warmer weather. Summer finally hit Sacramento after a lingering cold and wet spring. Our walks are restricted to the early mornings and late evenings now so we don't overheat. We'll be catching up, starting this weekend...so visit us again! Hug your dogs today and tell them how much you love them!

April 24, 2011

As you stopped to say hello, oh, you wished me well, you couldn't tell that I'd been crying over you.

It's been a long while since we posted. 
Please accept our apologies!
We're surviving a tough few weeks. 
Things are on the mend...slowly.

Today, we went to Stone Creek to play!
Josey: Are you gonna throw the Frisbee or not?
Josey: Yep, that one right here...see it?
Josey: Yippee! (pure joy)
Josey: I hate resting in between throws. Lucas: Speak for yourself!
Josey: Ready anytime!

April 3, 2011


Co-ops or clubs are ideal for folks venturing into raw food for their dogs. They have built-in support groups, discount bulk pricing and delivery options. Check out the following resources to get started...

In the Raw K9 Grub
Darlene Boyle

Foothill Raw Feeders
Michelle Boyes

The K9's Choice
(916) 682-8604
Stephanie Mohr 
Excel K9 Diet
(209) 223-00K9

March 22, 2011

Continuity gives us roots; change gives us branches, letting us stretch and grow and reach new heights.

Leisurely walk in the mid-day...
 Change is coming...you can feel it.
Spring wants to emerge
but on-going winter rainstorms keep it away.

March 20, 2011

A hard beginning maketh a good ending.

Hi ya!
Good news!
Abbey was adopted this morning by a couple from Chico, CA.
Abbey's way of letting me know she's hungry.
Digging deeper in Abbey's records...I found out that 
she was dumped at the Yolo County shelter in 2006. 
Adopted by a family in 2006 and named "Candy."
Nearly 5 years later the family returned her to the same shelter.
But rescued immediately by BCRNC 
and placed in a foster home (mine!).

I can't believe the hard life this sweet, beautiful girl has endured.
Tossed around. But surprisingly, she's not messed up.
She was the perfect foster BC.
Now she landed safely with a couple who will give her a Forever Home.
It was a great match!
I love happy endings!

March 17, 2011

Anyone who says sunshine brings happiness has never danced in the rain.

Going for a walk after the rain, Lucas, Abbey & Josey
I love the confetti from the fallen pear tree blossoms.

Abbey is closer to finding her Forever Home.
Two applications were received and both good candidates.
When Abbey leaves, I will miss her very much!