After yesterday's duvet debacle, Woody decided it would be best to sleep on top of the covers this morning. Naturally, this also means incorporating one of my throw pillows. Don't worry, it's only from Target.
One fun thing about Jack Russell Terriers, especially my Jack Russell Terrier, is that they love to dig and burrow. Because we live in an urban apartment, Woody's burrowing is limited to my bedding. Most of the time while I'm getting ready in the morning Woody prefers to go back to sleep, all the way under every blanket and sheet. This morning, he took a wrong turn and ended up trapped INSIDE my duvet. The video is a little blurry, but his angry growling out of fear was the highlight of my week, though probably a low-light for him.
This week I am one proud dog mama, though not really because of anything Woody did. As I've written about before, Woody attended behavioral modification training earlier this year. These classes were probably the best things I ever could have done to strengthen our dog-human relationship. They taught me how to read his behavior and understand how to get him to focus and channel his energy. The other day, The Behavior Clinic posted that Amanda Eick-Miller, the clinic's behavioral technician, recently received the technician research award from the Veterinary Behavior Symposium, sponsored by the American Veterinary Society of Animal Behavior.
Some of you may think it's silly that I take my dog to this level of training, but this is proof that there is a lot of work going in to this field. This work will further allow for humans and their furry companions to understand each other and create more harmonious relationships between dogs and people. I am so grateful that someone like this practices in the Cleveland area and uses so much time and energy toward helping animals be better. So, with that, congrats, Amanda, on your accomplishments! You're the best there is.
In the past few years (and a few too many Netflix documentaries later), I've become much more conscious of the type of food I purchase and have a greater sense of awareness about what really goes into the food I order when I eat out. Though it's taken me a little longer to get there with Woody, I've finally begun switching his diet to a much more natural variety, from the daily dishes all the way to his chews. Before moving to this holistic blend, the dining option I chose for Woody was Purina One Beyond. Recently, I saw Purina's advertising campaign about how they now only use nine ingredients in this particular brand of food.
At first I thought "wow, maybe this is reason enough to switch back and save some money." Of course, now I do much more conscious research than in the past. For this particular research project, the first thing I did was re-watch the commercial on YouTube (shown above), in which I found they actually add "plus vitamins and minerals" in fine print. If I, who works in advertising, didn't catch this during the first viewing, how many other people haven't caught this either? The next step was to seek out a bag of this newly natural wonder at my local Target. I wanted to read the ingredient list and see if this was real or just a clever campaign.
On the front, the bag also says "Nine natural ingredients plus vitamins and minerals." Below is the actual ingredient list:
Two big questions: 1). How do you pronounce some of this stuff? 2). How is something named pyridoxine hydrochloride considered a healthy ingredient for a mammal consumption?
Upon doing my research, it appears that all of these are, in fact, a combination of vitamins and minerals. And, absent in this new ingredient list are all of the controversial ingredients previously found in this brand, all of which are listed by Dog Food Advisor, an online resource that breaks down every single ingredient in every food brand.
Kudos to Purina for getting rid of the original bad stuff. We can get angry at mega-corporations all we want, but we have to acknowledge when change is slowly happening. It's commendable that food companies, both human and animal-friendly, are starting to take notice of the desire for a more natural, holistic diet. But it doesn't mean they don't have a long way to go. Who knows how many of these "vitamins & minerals" are also not good for our furry friends. Because of Purina's controversial food dilemmas surrounding many other brands and treats, I do not plan on switching back anytime soon. Plus, regardless of how good these supplementary ingredients might be, they still do not add up to the advertised number of nine.
This past weekend, the weather was exceptionally perfect in northeast Ohio, making for an excellent opportunity to get Woody out of the house after a long week of dealing with me working late and attending various events every night. The bf and I decided to go on a "hike" at the Cuyahoga Valley National Park towpath. Why is "hike" used in quotation marks? Because I think in order to really say you went on a hike, you have to actually go into the woods, walk through the cliffs and trees, and experience natures winding trails. What we did was more of a three-mile walk next to a busy road on the edge of a national park.
I love being outside in the summer. I love everything about nature. But I am far from outdoorsy. To be outdoorsy, I should be able to be one with nature without complaining about bugs and the artificial threat of bears (though, lately, this seems like it could be more of a reality). Woody absolutely enjoyed the walk, though he picked up about five ticks on the way that prompted me to finally purchase flea and tick medication. Before you say I'm a bad dog mom for not doing so previously, just remember that we live in the city, and ticks are not something you find downtown. At the end of our journey, we got in the car and drove to a suburban park in Independence, one that didn't require much on-foot navigation and proved to be tick-free.
As we sat there and I reflected on the partially man-made, partially God-given world around me, I began to think about how awesome it is to have a dog that needs to be as active as mine. Sure, lazy dogs are nice because their likelihood of being unpredictably spastic is low, but how far would they get on a three-mile towpath, let alone in the woods?
Whether your dog is high energy like mine or laid back, there is something for all canines to enjoy in the summer. Aside from pretending I know how to be an experienced hiker, other activities Woody and I love to do include:
I'm just a twenty-something female raising the weirdest dog I've ever met.