Earthy Poochanimal


Our sweet Sue Sue, my protector and sunshine face.  She would lay on my feet or put her head on my tummy when I was sick.  Bryten mentions her Sue almost everyday!

When our sweet Sue Sue died last August I pretty much swore off canines for a minute.  How quick she went and seeing her get so thin and frail was devastating.  And although I was raised in a home with dogs all rescued, I don't feel I have ever had a connection with one as great as I had with Sue Sue.  Sue was a 4 year old rescue when we got her, I think she was a hair older but they fudged her age and her weight a little because she was a lady!  She was a necrotic, deeply devoted stubborn dog, who my husband would butt heads with.  In my case however she was the best dog in town, because I was her gal.  My husband traveled a ton the first few years we had her and the two of us bonded quickly over her feeling like my 80lb protector.  She will always be missed and remembered for she gave our little family many years of love, and I hope we did the same for her.  I am getting emotional so I am going to skip that sadness and move on to the happy!  We adopted Buttercup in June and she was a 9 week old puppy that needed to be re-homed.  Unlike Sue she was not all the way a rescue, but I feel that for us as a family we made the right decision.  I didn't want a puppy mill puppy.  But I did want a chance at a puppy, one that I could train, and one that will essentially grow up with my children.  Pretty selfish but I am going to be selfish this time, I have more rescues in me but I am going to wait until my kiddos are grown and not in the bite-able bracket!  ;)  And believe you me sometimes they can be stinkers that are very much bite-able!

  Sue was a trained and a magical dog, I never had to worry about potty training or her running out the door.  So when it comes to a puppy I am clueless, so I submerged myself in research in how to train a puppy and what is the best care and products within my earthy guidelines.  To this it all simply went back to my simple way which is make most of it, and buy a few eco- essentials!  So here we go, some are old finds/ideas and recipes from my Sue Sue days and some are the newer finds/ ideas for our Princess Buttercup (named by my husband and my girls, mommy was overruled for my husbands love of the movie princess bride).

Don't let the bed bugs bite:

The bed I crocheted for Buttercup, it has old tee filling and an upcycled sweater bottom! 
This is the suitcase bed we made for little over $12 bucks...  She loves it and I am a dork I know ;)  
For those who don't have a somewhat boring life like myself ;)  There are other eco options such as these Nature Beds!

Carriers, purses need not apply:
I am sorry but dogs don't belong in purses, baskets heemmmmmmmm maybe!  But purses not on my watch!  Here is a cute option for traveling with your pet.  It's a carrier not a purse, perfect for flights or long drives so that pooch has their own spot.  Safer than letting them sit on your lap and possibly pee on your lap and you flip out and flip your car ;)   Sorry but I think dogs belong in seat belts, just like my other babies!

The body fabric is a high-quality polyester fiber made from 100% certified recycled plastic PET bottles. It has bamboo rafters for support and a removable, washable organic cotton pad.

Project potty training:
When we got the pup we were coming down from a potty training high with our 2.5 year old, boy oh boy did we ever get ourselves into deep dooodooooo!  ;) Note to self puppies are not like 2.5 year olds ;) Buttercup couldn't' go in the backyard until her shots were complete so we had to potty pad train her until she could wonder into the backyard.  We bought a pack of the weewee pads as I now call them and ran thru them with lightning speed. I decided that her learning to go on a pad first was sort of an invaluable lesson since she will be a traveling girl being attached to this family and all.  So I did a little research and I found some cool options for this cloth diapering granola!  ;)
  soft-quilted top layer design with super-absorbant inner layer and leak proof vinyl backing, traps fluids without spilling or leaking. Machine washable and dryer safe

Getting the sillies out:
A happy playful dog is the funnest dog to be around in my book.  Promoting healthy play makes them happy and keeps them healthy!  These toys are all eco friendly and super fun for your furry pal!  Our pup buttercup is in love with hers!    
These balls consist of all non-toxic ingredients; the compound is 100% recyclable and virtually no waste is created in their production.

Or instead of buying pricey toys, consider raiding your closets and donate a shoe or 2 to your dog!  Let them eat cake!  ;) 

Harness the energy, not choke it out:
I am a firm believer that collars, harnesses really depend on the dog.  However I can't wrap my brain around using collars on smaller dogs like we now have.  There little necks and windpipes can't hang in my not that expert opinion!  I feel that pulling on a small dog with a collar is borderline cruel.  I feel that the harnesses for the smaller dogs are a hair more humane.  I know that with larger dogs a harness tends to work well also.  Some have the idea that the dog slips out of the harness, and to that I say read the directions and put it on properly try one more time and then tell me your thoughts ;)

Please stop using gaudy leather collars folks, they are gross and promote hot spots and stickiness!  Go vegan with the collar choices pals!  Your pup or dogs neck will thank you! 
Leashes are so up to the type of dog as well, I feel these guys for little dogs are swell, but my golden broke one of these bad boys and required a tad more sturdiness!

Y'all probably know where I am going with this as in making your own Pooch shampoo, but to surprise you I will drop one brand that you don't have to make yourself ;)

A few Grooming recipes,

Tangerine dream shampoo:

¼ Cup Organic almond Liquid Castile Soap
½ Cup Distilled Water
1 teaspoon apricot or olive oil
2 drops tangerine essential oil

1 teaspoon White Vinegar
Pour ingredients into mason jar, with tightly sealed lid, shake well!
Coconut hot oil treatment:

1/2 cup of coconut oil, 8 drops of sandalwood oil,  8 drops of lavender.  Heat until a liquid and mix all oils.  Pour into a tea cup and let get luke warm before applying to pooches hair.  Leave for 15 minutes, and then shampoo hair and condition.  This was a great mixture for my Golden's hot spot treatment and prevention, and since Buttercup is a shitzu mix I am sure her hair will like this mixture as well.
Oatmeal Powder bath:
For hotspot prone dogs, as well as dogs that have been treated for fleas!
Blend 1 cup of oats until a fine powder, add to running water and let pooch soak in mixture for 10 minutes, and than shampoo w/out conditioning.

Feeding that furry face:

When it comes to feeding your dog like children you are setting them up for what they will eat and like their whole lives.  It is important to choose wisely.  My dog Sue got homemade meals on occasion and we alternated kibble.  I made all her treats from scratch.  I know life gets hectic, but it really only takes 30 minutes a week to make a weeks worth of food, or make a bunch and freeze.  Alternating a healthy food and homemade food will pretty much seal the your dog being healthy deal in my book.  Here are my picks for healthy dog food as well as some of my recipes.

I get that this stuff is pricey, for us because we have a small dog now we are excited to feed our pooch this again.  With Sue we went back and forth between this, homemade and one other!

A few simple recipes to get you going on your adventure:

Vegetable Stew 

1 large pepper (sweet, not hot), sliced
  1. 1 tbs olive-oil

    1 cup veggie stock or broth

    1 medium zucchini, sliced

    1 medium yellow squash, sliced

    1 medium Eggplants, peeled & cubed 

    1 cup of cooked brown rice

    1 Potato, peeled & cubed

    1 tsp. oregano or basil

    dash of salt


Heat oil; add pepper and saute for 2-3 minutes until softened.  Add all of the vegetables.  Mix thoroughly.  Bring the mixture to a boil, then lower the heat and let simmer for 30 minutes or until tender!  Let cool. 

Dinner of champions:
Making food does not have to be so labor intensive keep in mind.  Having the staples already in fridge like cooked rice and some beans and then get creative.  Keeping in mind protein, fiber, and vitamins.

cooked brown rice, beans and either a steamed sweet potato or thawed frozen peas into their bowl.  Other tasty mixtures can be what you have on hand already made.  If you boil some potatoes and have them in fridge use those.  Other yummy safe mixtures are chopped fresh apples and zucchini, corn, peas, sweet potatoes, black beans, kidney beans, bananas, carrots, cucumbers, zucchini, asparagus, brown rice, collard greens, kale, spinach.  These things offer pooch the fiber that kibble lacks!

 Sue Sue Peanut Butter Treats:

2 cups whole wheat flour
1 cup quick-cooking oats
1/2 cup wheat germ
1 tbs natural molasses
1/2 cup natural no sugar or salt added peanut butter
1 1/4 cup hot water (boiling is better)

Preheat oven to 350
combine all ingredients in a bowl adding water last... make a ball with dough and knead on a flat floured surface until the dough is nice and firm.... Not to firm, just not goowwwey.... Roll out the dough with a rolling pin about 1/4 inch thickness and cut with desired shape cookie cutters... I use about 3'1'inch shapes like fire hydrants and dog house shapes..  Bake 40 minutes.  Cool on wire rack..  Recipe makes 3 dz!

Please consider finding easier on the earth ways for everything in life.  Especially animal owning!  There truly is so much great eco stuff out there, but maybe also considering making things yourself first!  ;) Comments and ideas are highly appreciated, I love learning about new stuff especially when it comes to pet care!
Tread lightly! 


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