Friday, April 27, 2012

Nature's Harvest Natural "Gently Cooked" Dog Food

A little while ago a respresentative from Global Pet Foods asked me if I was interested in trying out a new food they were carrying - "Nature's Harvest Natural Gently Cooked Dog Food" - and I said "SURE!" - I never turn down anything that's free and sounds interesting.

It was also a good time to try something new because I had willing young participants in the house and I've been trying out different brands of food to see if they liked one brand more than another - and also to see if one brand made a difference in the amount that Sidney is chewing on himself - which is pretty bad at the moment unfortunately.

One of the things that I've been doing for awhile is home cooking for the majority of the dogs' diet - and giving some kibble to round things out - I've been feeding them rice, carrots, chicken, then some other meat on the side - either liver or steak or pork or something like that. They of course love that - in fact the rice and carrot mixture tastes so good that even I eat it! haha! (My Dad isn't very impressed that my life has gotten so low that I've stooped to eating dog food!)

An interesting note about home cooked food - usually when you say to a vet that you home cook for a dog their eyes pop out of their head and say that you're not giving them all the nutrients they need - but a couple months ago when I had Buttercup in and said what I was doing - the vet said to me that they thought home cooking was good for dogs and that they have a dietitian that they recommend people contact to get an individualize diet for your dog. That person is a lady named Monica Segal - who has a very impressive website at the information on her web site looks fantastic - and the vet I was talking to went up several pegs in my mind when she didn't immediately shoot down the fact that I wasn't feeding carboard kibble - she did however go back DOWN many pegs when she wouldn't let me leave the clinic without buying several cans of carboard soft food for Buttercup because of her thyroid problems. You can never win.

Other kibble that I've tried them on is Holistic Select, which they like pretty well, California Natural Herring & Sweet Potato - which they all refused to eat, NRG's dehydrated Range Fed Roast Beef which none of them liked - which really surprised me because Charlie and Daisy used to love it and it always smells so good - and of course Orijen Beef because that's what I always fed my old crew - which they also liked pretty well.
So on to the Nature's Harvest - did they like that? And what did I think of it? I'll say what I thought of it first.

I personally liked it because it was no muss no fuss - it's even easier than other frozen patty type dog foods like Carnivora because they don't want you to let it defrost naturally - they says to microwave it for 30 seconds before feeding - which makes it super convenient. It really is as convenient as kibble. I found the texture of it when I was serving it out to be a little different - but the dogs didn't seem to mind - so it wasn't a problem.

The dogs liked them too - and they have healthy ingredients - on the Nature's Harvest website you can see the ingredients on each of the 4 types of dog food's labels and it's all good stuff.

As for the price - I think it's $26.00 for a box of 10 patties - and I was giving the dogs 1/3 of a pattie per meal - so for 3 little dogs that's 2 patties a day - that's 5 days's per box - so like $26.00 a week for super premium soft stuff to mix into your super premium high quality kibble. I'd imagine most people like me would pay that without too much problems!

There's 4 flavours - beef, chicken, salmon and lamb.

As far as I know it's only available at Global Pets so far - so go there and try some out - I bet you and your dog will like it - it's like when they started putting cauliflower in Kraft Dinner!

Sunday, April 15, 2012

The 3 best little dogs ever

135th Annual AGM for Nova Scotia SPCA - April 14th, 2011

Yesterday was the 135th AGM for the Nova Scotia SPCA - I've been going to these AGM's since 2006 - and have been writing them up on this blog. I just went and read through all of them - and it's pretty interesting reading (in my humble opinion!)

There is definitely a progession through the years - in 2006 Lisa Murphy is voting in as president, and hopes are high that things are going to go well - this was shortly after a coup had happened at the Dartmouth shelter's SPCA where previously gas was used to kill animals and over 50% of the animals coming in were killed. It was a new era at the SPCA and everyone had a giddy excitement.

We head on 2007 when Lisa Murphy is - in hindsight - unceremoniously booted out by Pam Keddy and Judith Gass - another coup of a certain type has happened behind the scenes - and Pam Keddy is the new president of the NS SPCA - and big things are changing once again. And it's not looking good. Alliances are being made, lines are being drawn, money is being spent on nefarious activities, and the time is coming when things are going to explode - and it's going to be animals that are going to suffer.

It's 2008 when things just go all to hell. This is the year of the Celtic Pet's debacle. The NS SPCA implodes - this is when me and several other people have their memberships revoked, the SPCA is in the news everyday, Pam Keddy refuses to resign - Judith Gass smacks a reporter in the face with a dor at the AGM, the abusers MacIsaac are shown abusing a ton of animals - and the Board of the NS SPCA are shown to be completely approving and abetting it. It was the NS SPCA's darkest hour.

Things could only get better. Eventually Pam Keddy and Judith Gass disappear ande move their business over to Homeward Bound City Pound - and we move on to the 2009 AGM - and we see that changes are beginning to take place - nothing is still being done about the Cape Breton SPCA - but policies and procedures are being worked on, and good people are coming on board in the right positions - a new day is dawning.

2010 signals a paradigm shift - this is the year that Kristin Williams comes on board - and from here on in, everything changes. From here on in, nothing is the same - and at least I - am very happy.

2011 is more of the same - only it's multiplied in it's betterness - that was last year - and it's unfortunate that it was the day after I had laser surgery on my eyes - so I was at the AGM - but I didn't make a blog post about it - so we'll have to rely on the SPCA's minutes from the meeting to find out what happened at the actual AGM.

Which brings us up to the current AGM - yesterday's 135th AGM - and it was so interesting - it had the smallest crowd that has attended in the 7 years that I've been to - and it's also interesting in the fact that the people who have fought so hard over the years to get the changes in place that are now there - the transperancy, the no kill model, the animal loving people in place - none of them were there yesterday - I don't know, they may still be volunteering with the organization - but none of them came to the AGM yesterday - it was weird to be the only one there - apart from past president Sean Kelly from the heady days of 2008 when we were pariah's but we all thought we were fighting for the good.

Yesterday's AGM carried on from the theme of the 2011 meeting - moving the organization into the 21st century and having it speak with one voice, not letting cronyism keep the SPCA from helping the animals who need the help - and for sure the biggest thing - finally dealing with the Cape Breton SPCA.

Ever since I've been involved with rescue - since 2003 - that has been the number one thing being talked about inside the community - and finally - in 2011 it was dealt with by the Provincial board - they had the balls to do it - and there are really no words to describe how much respect the Board and the volunteers in Cape Breton deserves for taking this on.

As well - the report from the Provincial shelter - and the fabulous turn-around they've made with the way they've been able to take in money - is a tribute to the Director of Animal Care - Sandra Flemming - their program of shifting animals around the province so that they can be adopted out in areas where the need for animals is higher is amazing.

Nova Scotia has become a world leader in the no-kill model - bar none. I am so proud to be a Nova Scotian, for sure - especially in today's tumultuous controversial no-kill world where the no kill model seems to faltering and everyone is accusing everyone that it's a flawed system that can't work everywhere - Nova Scotia is showing that it can work if you simply say one day - "stop the killing, stop the killing, stop the killing".

And talking about transparency - the speeches from Saturday are available online -

Kristin Williams operational update for the past year can be read - here

The SPCA's chair year's update can be read - here

I personally think that is just fabulous.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

OT: Bully the Movie and the movement

I remember very little of my childhood and teen years - I have blocked almost all of it out. It was very unpleasant for me in several ways - and one of those
ways was the fact that I was bullied really badly where I grew up in Amherst Nova Scotia.

It probably started when I was 9 or 10 and didn't end until I graduated from high school and left for university in Halifax.

Back then - in the 1970's and early 1980's - no one talked about the fact that being bullied was something that was bad and you didn't have to put up with it. I never told my parents what was going on - instead - I believed what the people bullying me were saying to me, and it shaped the personality I was to have as an adult and totally dictated the amount of self worth I had for myself.

Being bullied as a child does not just affect the child - it affects that child for their whole life because that is the time when they are developing what their internal consciousness is going to be for their adult years - and to be told over and over again that they aren't worth anything, that they're ugly, that they better have sex soon or their hole will grow over (that is what one very generous fellow wrote in my yearbook who like to be particularly mean to me - his name was Rick Chapman).

I would not want to be a child growing up today. There is just too much going on in the world, too much stuff going on, too many things available for a child's mind.

But what's going on about awareness regarding bullying is fantastic - kids are learning that they don't have to believe what bully's are telling them - and that they need to go tell an adult that someone is hurting them - that they are worth something regardless of what that bully is teling them.

That idea did not exist when I was growing up.

There is a movie being released April 13th that's called "Bully" that is becoming a movement and has tons of resources attache to it - I hope it comes to Halifax and makes a ton of money and millions of people see it.

I don't know if I'll see it - whenever I see anything related to bullying I get really uncomfortable and have panic attacks - I think it's too late for me to do anything about the subject - but it can be a great learning situation for tons of children and their parents today.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Video so cute you want to tear their faces off

I took some video today of Sidney and Bubby playing - it's pretty cute - they are a very good looking couple of dogs when they are together.

If you'll notice - Sidney is tucked into my side as he's playing with Bubby - Bubby has become a humping machine - so Sidney takes refuge next to me when they are doing serious wrestling so that the humping isn't an issue - he is such a cute little guy. If only I could get him to stop shitting on my living room rug. I'm sure there are better days ahead on that count.

You can see in the video what Buttercup thinks of Sidney - she is still not impressed by the interloper 2 weeks in - but you'll also see that when she starts growling that Bubby immediately goes over to her to see what's wrong - so their relationship hasn't changed - but poor Sidney has not gotten any breaks from her - it's the old cliche - 2's a company, 3's a crowd. Maybe if I get a 4th then things will even out. What do you think! haha! I don't think Buttercup would agree!