Author: Jen

Are Cicadas Toxic To Dogs?

We’re about to be invaded by bugs.

According to Cicada Mania, the 17 year cicadas are expected to invade parts of Ohio, Western Virginia, Virginia, New York and Pennsylvania by the billions next month. Some areas will see more than others.


While some people are excited for the invasion, I can assure you that I am not one of those people.

I’m not a fan of crunchy bugs falling out of trees on my head or covering the ground in which I walk on.

The last time they invaded was 17 years ago and I barely remember it, probably because I hid under my bed for 2 months.

Image from Cleveland Metro Parks Field Blog

These bugs have been underground since 1999 waiting to emerge.


The Shoe Bandit.


Spring in Ohio can be quite a mystery.

Everyday is different.

One day it’s 75 degrees, the next it’s 30 degrees, and some days it’s just an even 60 degrees.

There’s no rhyme or season and this can wreak havoc on your footwear.

You don’t know what shoes you’re going to wear until you wake up in the morning and let the dogs outside.

This is why every pair of shoes that I own are by the front door right now.

Winter boots, flats, flip flops, running shoes, dress boot, sandals.

That’s 6 pairs of shoes all in a pile by the door.

If your a Math whiz like me, that means 12 shoes.

So why is that there is only six shoes in the pile right now?


Newfs n’ Brews. Hard Soda


I did it. I fell into the hard soda craze.

It started a few weeks ago and it escalated from there.

Curiosity got the best of me.

All the hard sodas. Root beer, orange, ginger ale, grape, cherry cola, cream soda. YUM.

I don’t even know if it’s a beer or not.

As far as I’m concerned it’s carbonated water with booze and sugar.

So far I’ve tried Henry’s Hard Orange, Not Your Father’s Root Beer,  Cooney Islands Root Beer, Henry’s Hard Ginger Ale and Best Damn Cherry Cola.

My favorite is by far the Henry’s Hard Orange made with cane sugar. (4.2% ABV)  “Malt beverage with natural flavor and certified colors.’ It reminds me Zima but orange flavored. Remember the 90’s and Zima? Good times.

In a close second was the Henry’s Hard Ginger Ale.(4.2% ABV). “Made with cane sugar,” a “malt beverage with natural flavors. This one was super smooth, gingery and just yum. Great for a hot day.


The Bigger The Newfoundland The Better? Why Bigger Is Not Always Better

The Bigger The Newfoundland The Better? Why Bigger Is Not Always

I’ve been noticing a trend a lately.

Actually, it’s probably not a trend, I think I’m just paying closer attention.

I’ve been hearing a lot of people talking about Newfoundlands that weigh over 200 pounds.

“I want a HUGE Newfoundland.”

“My uncle’s cousin had a Newfoundland that was 250 pounds.” (Ok. This isn’t a new one. Everyone’s uncle’s cousin had a Newfoundland that was 250 pounds.)

“We breed Newfoundlands for SIZE.”

“His father was 300 pounds so he’s going to be a BIG boy!”

What the what?

Are we talking about the same breed?

Have Newfies gone on steroids?


PetSafe Outdoor Dog Fountain Replacement Filters.

PetSafe Outdoor Dog Fountain

This weekend I got our PetSafe Outdoor Dog Fountain cleaned and set up for the Spring. I don’t use it in the winter because the water freezes too fast. The boys get bummed out because they love drinking out of it but now it’s back up and ready to roll for Summer. They were so excited to see me filling it up this weekend and watched my every move while I got it ready

I love our PetSafe Outdoor Dog Fountain. It holds a ton of water, it keeps the water fresh and cool and I feel it’s a perfect water fountain for giant breed dogs.

What I don’t like about it is that it’s kind of a pain to maintain with Newfoundlands. I realized this a few weeks into using ours. Because of the slobber and hair I need to dump and wash the fountain a few times a week. I also need to change the sponge and charcoal filters monthly, if not more. The charcoal filter can sometimes go longer but the foam filter gets slimy and smelly if it goes any longer than that.

I keep doing it because I love my dogs and my dogs love this fountain but the filters can get expensive and the foam ones are hard to find. I can find the charcoal filters at a local pet store but the foam ones I’ve had to order online. I usually pay about $11.99 for a pack of 3 charcoal filters.


The Night Creepers


I’ve been having a little issue with night creepers lately.

A few weeks ago Gracie was having a difficult time sleeping so she would come in my room and stand next to the side of my bed and stare at me.

I’m a pretty hard sleeper but if someone is staring at me while I’m sleeping I wake up. Seriously. I slept through a severe thunderstorm a few weeks ago. Everybody was talking about how bad it was in the morning and I was like, “Interesting. I didn’t hear a thing.”

The first, second and third time that  I woke up to Gracie staring at me in the middle of the night I jumped so high I almost fell out of bed.

The fourth time I screamed and actually fell out of bed and that’s when I told her. “You can’t do that. If you need to wake me up just walk in my room and nudge me. STOP STARING AT ME. It’s creepy. Don’t you ever watch scary movies? Like when the possessed little girl is staring at her mother sleeping right before she stabs her to death? You know what? You’re going to church tomorrow ”


Helpful Tips On Taking Your Dog To The BallField

Helpful Tips On Taking Your Dog To The BallField

This weekend marks the beginning of baseball season for us. (Actually it’s the first tournament game. Practice started back in December)

After a 2 year break Bobby decided to go back to travel ball and I’m pretty excited.

After being at the ball fields every summer for 7 years I was happy to have a break from it but last summer I started to miss the sound of the ball hitting the bat, the smell of the field, the “strike” call of the umpire, the pit in my stomach when Bobby was pitching or up to bat, and of course I missed bringing the boys to the field.

It’s not easy to bring a Newfoundland to a ballfield in the summer, not only to they draw a crowd but you also have to pack appropriately and be prepared for surprises. Heck, Leroy’s baseball bag is bigger than my baseball bag.

Here’s a few helpful tips that have helped us over the years have a fun and safe dog trip to the ballfield:

Check to make sure that the ballfield you are going to is dog friendly. You can often call the city or just visit the field and see if any signs are posted. I only bring Leroy to home games because I know dogs are allowed there, I know which dogs to expect to be there and it’s only 2 minutes away from my house. We actually have a park that consists of about 12 baseball fields scattered throughout the park. All of them are dog friendly. ( When I say ballfield I’m referring to local ballparks not major league ballparks.)


There’s 2 Seasons And Then There’s Mud.


As I sit here tonight sipping on my beer and trying to focus on writing my next post about dogs and ballparks,  I can’t help but be distracted by the muddy paw prints on my floor. And why is there mud splattered on my walls?

Obviously I’m not overly concerned about it because I have no plans on mopping it up any time soon but they’re more muddy than normal and it’s causing my thoughts to wander.

One reason that they’re more muddy than normal is because my husband has decided that he’s no longer wiping muddy paws. He’s done. After 9 years of wiping 8 ginormous paws he’s literally throwing in the towel.

I was not aware that was an option but we haven’t had that much mud this year compared to other years so whatever.

The other reason why they’re muddy is because we got 8 inches of snow on Saturday.

And then it rained on Sunday.

And now it’s 55 degrees.

Which brings me to our seasons.


The Newfie Sandwich


The other day I was the doctor’s office getting my thyroid checked. (I have thyroid disease. Go me.)

Everything checked out just great and after the exam was over I went to hop down off of the table.

Being that I’m a bit challenged, when I hopped down I hit my knee on the side of the table, my knee buckled and I slammed down on the floor in the least graceful way anyone could fall off of an exam table.

My doctor abruptly turned around and said,

“Oh my goodness! Jen are you o.k.?”

Completely and totally embarassed I muttered,

“I’m good. I’m good. Darn knees, they just aren’t what they use to be.”

Of course that started a whole other discussion and the doctor asked how long I’ve been having knee issues.

“About 8 years.” I told her.

” Do you want me to examine your knees? Do you do any heavy exercises? Any recent falls?”

“No. I have Newfoundlands.”


4 Easy Ways To Check Your Dog’s Vitals From Home.

4 Ways To Check Your Dog’s Vitals From Home.

The other day Leroy was off.  I couldn’t pinpoint anything specific other than he was just not himself and that he was sleeping more than normal.

He was eating, drinking, urinating and defecating fine. No vomiting.

But he wasn’t following his normal routine. He wasn’t where he was suppose when he’s suppose to be. His internal clock was broken. He wasn’t impatiently waiting to go out for his last pee of the night and he wasn’t standing in the hallway squeaking his toy when I woke up in the morning.

Just like people, I believe that dogs have off days for no apparent reason, however, that doesn’t mean I don’t get nervous when it happens. That’s why I always do a quick home exam. If I know what Sherman and Leroy’s regular heart rate, respiratory rate, capillary refill time and temperature are I feel that I have a good way to determine if they are just “off” or if I need to call our veterinarian.

Before we get to it I’ll just say that I believe that routine veterinary care is the best way to manage your dog’s health, I also believe that a good dog owner is a well informed dog owner.

Grab a watch with a second hand and let’s go.