The Honest Kitchen: A Gift of Change for Senior Pets

The Honest Kitchen: A Gift of Change for Senior Pets


Retaining good health has been a challenge in this household and is something we’ve grown to appreciate.  This is strongly influencing our gift giving this holiday season – for people and for pets.

For this reason, The Honest Kitchen’s limited-edition, all-natural Holiday Treat Pack is gracing our favorite dog-loving friends’ cupboard.


We had a special visitor recently, a lovely rescue dog named Quinn. Around these parts, we call her the Queen. You might recognize her eyes from the Be the Change for Animals logo. When founding BTC4animals, Amy and I chose Quinn as our mascot because her story embodied everything we wanted BTC to be about. Quinn is now a symbol of hope for abandoned pets everywhere and a celebration of local rescue.


Giveaway: Angry Birds Pet Toys from Hartz

Hartz Angry Birds ToysHartz for the Holidays recently brought the Angry Birds game to our pet household. Oh yeah. My worlds not only collide, but they are now complete. You too could have a goodie bag chock full of giggling and oinking dog or cat toys, and just in time for the holidays. See below for details!


While we gave our free samples some tough workouts, these are my – I mean our – favorites:

The adorable 4” plush ball comes to life with the real Angry Birds soundwaves and cracks me up. It’s also available in a 2.5” version for smaller dogs. Our cats love to bunny kick these, too, so don’t count them out for your cats! You can hear the sounds in our video below.

Hartz Angry Birds DiscWith a red bird on one side and a green pig on the other, the durable yet flexible Hartz Angry Birds Tuff Stuff™ Flyers travel long distances and are easy on our dog’s teeth. Constructed of super-durable ballistic nylon and double stitched seams, this toy can stand up to even the toughest chewers. Grips throughout the disc also make this a great tug toy, and the squeaker in the center will keep your dog interested during solo play. They even float!

Shamus and PigHartz® Angry Birds® Catnip Heads™ catnip refillable toy attracts the attention of both our dogs and cats. One bats it, another chases it, yet another steals it. Yes, we suprvise so the dogs don’t eat them whole – which they would – but it’s a total riot. This favorite goes hand in hand with the Hartz® Angry Birds® Wand, adding an elastic string with unpredictable yet hilarious results. Cats, dogs, birds, and pigs fly through air at once, none landing at the same time.


We had a little competition. Guess who wins…

Hartz has also an awesome video featuring enthusiastic dogs (who aren’t intimidated by cats). Watch “Now They Can Play Too – Hartz Angry Birds Pet Toys


US residents, tell me your favorite toy and whether it’s for a dog or cat in the comments section by Sunday at Midnight EST to be entered to win. Extra entries can be earned by sharing on Facebook or Twitter. One randomly chosen winner will be announced on December 12th. Best of luck to you all!


Yeah. It’s tough, I know. If you want to just go straight for the perfect gift, these toys are all available on (affiliate link).

Enter to Win!  Pure Gold: Adventures with Six Rescued Golden Retrievers

Enter to Win! Pure Gold: Adventures with Six Rescued Golden Retrievers

Pure Gold

Get Pure Gold on (affiliate link)

Pure Gold: Adventures with Six Rescued Golden Retrievers is a lovely memoir by Holli Pfau. My copy recently arrived, free for review, and has not only been my trusty companion through four airport excursions, it has graced my nightstand both at home and out of state.

Holli’s journey begins during a course of great change, the kind of change that moves slowly, deliberately, and etches deep meaning in the soul. At the milestone age of forty, after adopting a wise, gentle and inspirational Golden Retriever pup named Nikki, Holli leaves a career in marketing and advertising to search for something more meaningful . While she works toward a second degree in recreational therapy, she has faith that her old soul of a dog – who has reached a milestone of her own at the tender age of 1 – will lead the way.

Together, Holli and Nikki (with moral support from Holli’s husband), co-found a nationally recognized program of animal-assisted therapy (AAT) at Huntington Memorial Hospital, in Pasadena, CA. Holli’s tellings of the joy that Nikki brings to specific patients shine pure light into the vignettes presented here.

These early chapters could easily have been expanded into a book of their own (which might have impacted me more), but this leap into therapy was just the first in a long line of dog-led life adjustments.
Holli, Daisy, and ChatterWhile early chapters transcend dog and handler via the many lives Holli and Nikki so meaningfully touch, the story truly engages the heart as family relationships becomes more prevalent.

Holli and her husband give each of their rescued dogs a chance to be discovered, to be truly seen for who they are, and to have a meaningful impact. Together they take us across adventurous landscapes where we encounter rattle snakes, wildfires and beautiful, reflective solitude.

As time marches on, older dogs (and sometimes even younger dogs) move beyond this earthly life, bringing tears with each loss. And yet that sorrow is eased each time by the introduction of a new, shining, golden personality. Holli’s fears and insecurities become exciting triumphs, both great and small, all with the help of her glorious Goldens. This book offers ringside seats for every precious moment.

Pure Gold: Adventures with Six Rescued Golden Retrievers is available on (affiliate link) and has already hit the bestseller list in Durango, CO. But Holli isn’t strictly interested in numbers. She is a passionate advocate for adoption of dogs in need. Her hope is that her story will encourage others to adopt and support rescue efforts for all breeds.

For more about Holli and her book, visit



US and Canadian residents: Leave a comment stating why you might like this book. Do so before 11:59 PM (ET) Sunday, December 4, 2011 and you’ll be entered into a random drawing to win a copy of Pure Gold: Adventures with Six Rescued Golden Retrievers!

I’ll announce the winner on Monday, December 5th, in the comments section of this post.

Best of luck to you all!
I look forward to your comments!

Safe Paw Melts Ice: No Harm to Kids and Pets

Safe Paw Melts Ice: No Harm to Kids and Pets


Snow came early this year for many US residents. We’ve had more than a foot already, in October! We shored up the roof’s heat cable, pulled out the snow shovels and we’re still working on getting the snow blower going, but the easiest task is stocking up on ice melt.

(And 5 lucky giveaway winners can too. See below!)


There’s a safe product we’ve been using for several years now, sparing us salty dogs. It’s called Safe Paw and it’s been a safe ice-melt bet since 1996. Have you heard of it? Did you even know it mattered? If not, you aren’t alone. According to Safe Paw:

A national survey of more than 500 consumers living in cold weather states showed that an alarming nearly two-thirds of the respondents (62% total; 66% of men) were not aware that salt and salt-based ice melting products pose a health danger to pets and children who digest or come into contact with these products. The survey also revealed that 60% of the respondents said they use rock salt or salt-based ice melters in their households.


Meet Peggy Frezon, Author of Dieting with My Dog

Meet Peggy Frezon, Author of Dieting with My Dog

Please give a warm welcome to author Peggy Frezon. She’s here to talk about her brand new memoir, Dieting With My Dog: One Busy Life; Two Full Figures and Unconditional Love (Amazon affiliate link).

Before we begin, let me share a bit about what this book is about…

Dieting with My Dog - Peggy Frezon

Amazon Affiliate Link

Dieting with My Dog is the honest and heartfelt story of how one overweight woman and her chubby spaniel struggled to get fit and healthy together. Theirs was a comfortable routine. While Frezon’s children were flying the nest, her loyal rescue pup snuggled close. Sneaking M&Ms from her secret stash, she would slip Kelly extra doggy cookies too. Why not? Food is love. But then, Kelly became the motivating factor that led Frezon to face down the physical and emotional reasons for her overeating, and for over-feeding her dog. She learned that embracing change is healthy, and everything is easier with unconditional love.

Peggy Frezon and KellyNow that you’re familiar with the premise, I introduce to you, the fabulous Peggy Frezon!

Hello, Peggy, and thank you for being here. I’m eager to read your book and the description alone has me very curious. What did this journey toward your dietary goals mean for you and your dog? Better yet, let me break this down…

What first steps did you and Kelly take to get healthy?

I totally changed our diets. I switched to low fat, whole grains, fruits and veggies. I learned what to look for in dog food ingredients. And most importantly, I learned to measure how much food I gave her…not just “one scoop.”

You understood the goal, but Kelly didn’t. How did Kelly first react to the shift in her daily routine?

Most of it she loved, because we were walking together and getting more active together, and she really responded to that. About the diet, she still seems to get hungry in the evening, but now instead of “second dinner,” she gets baby carrots, and that does the trick!

 Did you feel guilty about placing Kelly in this position, and was it difficult to withhold the extra and familiar treats from her?

I felt guilty when I discovered that my lifestyle was affecting Kelly. The food I brought into the house…my sedentary habits…none of that was good for either of us. But, fortunately, we changed before any real health problems occurred for her. I had some of my own, but she was in a bit better shape. I still struggle not to reward her with cookies. I give her extra attention, carrots, playtime. But our relationship with food is complicated, and it is hard to erase that message “Food is love.”

Did you empathize with Kelly and thus find understanding for your own wants or was her wanting your wanting?

Dieting together, Kelly and I bonded and grew to understand we were working toward the same goal. When I saw how much Kelly loved her walks, it made me want to get out there and enjoy them with her. And she often nudges me to take a bread from work. Actually she more than nudges…she slaps her paw down on the keyboard to tell me when it’s time to get up and get active!

How did it feel to achieve your goals, both toward yourself and toward Kelly?

It felt great to know we could do something important together. Of course, we have to keep working. Losing weight, and keeping it off, is a lifelong challenge. But I’m glad I have such a great partner to share it with!

Thank you, Peggy, for taking the time to be here today. We wish you and Kelly well on your continuing adventure!

Dieting with My Dog Blog TourJoin Peggy and Kelly on their journey to weight loss during the “Weight Loss With A Wag” blog book tour. Peggy is being interviewed all across the net and every interview invokes brand new insight. You can purchase Dieting With My Dog: One Busy Life; Two Full Figures and Unconditional Love on (affiiate link) and, while you’re at it, Like Dieting with my Dog on Facebook too! 


Our dogs, Shamus and Emmett, were invited to be in Peggy’s book trailer back in March. It was tremendous fun we being a small part of the enormous pack of participating dogs. Thank you for the opportunity, Peggy!

And these were the adorable resulting trailers: