Archive for the ‘Pets’ Category

postheadericon Landmines and Hairballs Oh My! The Benefits of Proper Nutrition from Pet Food

I’m sitting here tonight going over our monthly and annual budgets. We’ve been doing pretty good at saving some money wherever we can in our goal to move to Idaho next year. I’ve slashed our spending in most areas and am surprised at the savings in one – pet food.

That one area is our pet food expenses. By pets, I’m not including the poultry, horses or cattle. Strictly dogs and cats – 3 pooches and 7 purrers. We are feeding a higher priced feed to both cats and dogs and have actually been saving quite a bit of money. It all comes down to a better quality feed and the animals eating/needing less while being healthier.

Even though I am fairly well versed in animal nutrition, I used to be bad about watching sales and using coupons for my cat and dog food. Whatever seemed to be decent pet food for a decent price AND had coupons, I went for to save a buck. Unfortunately my critters paid for it with poor coats and up/down weight issues. So I went to the other extreme and bought really pricey, overly hyped feeds. I think probably more to assuage my guilt than anything else. This also didn’t really benefit my animals or my pocketbook.

Flash forward to last winter when I went to work part-time for our new Tractor Supply. I chatted with a few of the nutritionists and feed reps to see what they were feeding their own animals. I found it very interesting that most of them were using the TSC brand “4 Health” pet food. It’s priced pretty much in the middle of the scale and the ingredients seem to be very good. So I gradually switched my crews over to the appropriate formulas and I am thrilled!


4Health Mature Dog Food at Red Barn Blue Skies

Both cats and dogs have all done very well with these feeds. Their coats are thick and glossy, they all maintain steady, healthy weights, fewer hairballs and a large bonus overall is less poop. That may seem funny or trivial to some, but when you have a 125 pound hound, you want smaller landmines and fewer of them. Since there are so many less fillers and more of the good nutrients, the animals utilize the feed better and need less to be happily full.

So I’m curious what kind of pet food do you feed your furballs? Anyone else use 4 Health?

postheadericon Ernestina Hemingway – Our Polydactyl Cat

Just a quick post to introduce you to the baby of the house.  “Ernie” is a polydactyl cat with extra toes on each of her paws.  She actually has little “thumbs” on her front feet which makes her two times the menace of  the other cats ~ she can open drawers and latches like a person!  I’m baby-proofing several cabinets now.  I did try to get a better photo of her feet, but she kept swatting at me so I’ll wait until the monster is asleep for that.  You can see a bit of her thumb in the second photo.


As for her name, it obviously stems from a beloved and well-known figure in American history.  What isn’t quite as well known is that the Nobel prize-winning author Ernest Hemingway had a his house full of these “abnormal” polydactyl cats.  In fact, even decades after his death his home in Florida is still a haven for the descendants of his original six-toed cat that he received as a gift from a ship’s captain.

These type of cats are said to be much more common on the East Coast than here in the West.  I personally hadn’t come across one until we adopted Ernie after someone dumped her at our non-pet friends’ house.  At the time we had a hard time telling if she was indeed a girl, so I called her Ernie and Mr. MoonCat was calling her “Hemi”.  Got a little confusing since we already have a “Hammy” in the house.

postheadericon Dawg Days

The little tyrant tells him off and then attacks
(Cailen and Pippi)
The old man ignores them all


Bottoms up!  Vole hunting..
(Chandler, Cailen & Pippi)


How can you stay mad at this face?


Mama’s big baby boy


Chandy has the toy and is ready for take-off!

postheadericon Pippi’s Opinion

Pippi, aka Peepers, Rodent, Rat Dog, *&#@(&^, etc. recently shared her opinion of Mr. MoonCat while occupying the couch with him.  I told him that it is unclear if she was commenting on his breath or his attempt at whistling.  Could be a combination of both…

What ARE you doing Daddy?
Ewwww, what IS that?


Make it STOP!!!

Just a note, Mr. MoonCat CAN NOT whistle.  It is a major cause for amusement around here.  I have to call/whistle for the dogs (or he has to yell for them) because when he tries to whistle, the dogs all just look at him with their heads cocked to the side as if asking “Why is the air escaping from Daddy’s face while he turns blue?  Why doesn’t he just have Mom whistle for us?”

postheadericon Wave from Wedgie

I spent the last few days helping Dad at the ranch.  For once I remembered to take my camera so I could update all of Wedgie’s fans with a couple of new photos.  It is hard to believe the little poop is already 5 months old!  As you can tell, he and Dad’s dog Adolph are the best of friends.  They play together all the the time.

Do you have grain for me?


Here I come..
Can you see me now?
Wedgie chasing Adolph?
Adolph resting after the race

postheadericon Critter Corner – Cailen

I’ve been remiss in my blog writing as well as introducing the critters that inhabit our world. Today I would like to introduce Cailen (pronounced Kuh-lin). He has many aliases though: Bubba, Pointy Eared Pest and Dingo Dog are some of the more often used. He’s a pretty pooch that we love very much.

Cailen was Michael’s dog before we met. He was just turning a year old when we got together and I think it hurt Michael’s feelings that Bubba took to me right away and was minding me better than he was Michael. I’ve just had a lot more experience with working dogs than he had so it was easier to try to channel Cailen’s natural herding abilities. I’m thinking my mastery of the “mean Mommy voice” also had a lot to do with it.
He’s a very smart dog who is extremely quick and very play driven. I feel really bad that he is going to waste as a cow dog since we don’t really have a herd to work him on at this point. We try to keep him entertained and from getting too bored by playing lots of games with him.
It really helps that he and Chandler absolutely love each other. They play constantly. It is funny to see a hound trying to be as athletic as Cailen. If Chandler didn’t have Cailen to keep him moving, he’d be lounging on the couch eating bonbons. He could easily turn into a slug. Chandler has tried to teach Cailen the art of baying so they can be a really noisy pair at times.
This series shows them :
1) sitting like goods boys,
2) Cailen slamming on the brakes just before Chandler T-bones him at full speed, and
3) the aftermath of the crash (with Cailen having never let go of his toy).
These are our boys!