Monday, 16 January 2017
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Happy New Year! Holiday Blog Break Catch Up + News

Smiling Dalmatian dog in a red and white bandana

Happy New Year!  We hope that you all has a safe and enjoyable holiday season.  Our own little holiday blogging break has been a great relaxing family time-off together and now we're refreshed and ready for a whole new year of fun!  

Since our final double-header holiday posts of 2016, we've been chilling out at home for a family staycation of sorts, enjoying plenty of dog-snuggles, playtime, and treats.  Santa Paws was good to the dogs, and they finally got to play with all the DIY dog toys that had been made for our Christmas posts and then hidden away for the holidays.  I think that the favourite homemade pressie was their matching squeaky softie Christmas trees (can't resist a squeaker around here!) although, of course, each dog always wanted the others toy...typical "kids"! Both LOVED ripping up all of the paper, especially Oli who prefers the ripping to toys.  His favourite? Cardboard tubes.

Smiling Dalmatian dog with a pile of ripped wrapping paper

Santa's elves had clearly been checking in on the blog and seen the gift ideas for pet chefs, as my own Christmas stocking included a whole bunch of fun new dog bone silicone pans, cookie cutters, and a few shaped plunger cutters too! Many have already been used since Christmas (I know - I can't help myself...treats!) and the new goodies will be making appearances in future treat posts no doubt. 

I also took advantage of some of the post-Christmas sales to buy a new style of leash.  When walking or running solo with the dogs,  I used to use an EzyDog Cujo Shock Absorber with Double Coupler.  It has been a real lifesaver (probably literally!) and definitely takes a pounding: big dogs, daily all-weather use, and exposure to sand, mud, saltwater, etc.  The only dislike was the way it started to look a bit dishevelled after some of the outer threads/casing snapped during ongoing use. On the rare occasions when walking one dog, I used to use a standard leash. For running with one dog, I'd recently upgraded to the EzyDog Road Runner, which allows me to be hands-free or hands on depending on location and situation.

Oli, our senior, is still a very active boy but he retired from on-leash jogging with me last year which means a lot more solo outings for walkies, as Humphrey still runs with me.  I know - lots of extra exercise for me to try and give both boys what they need!  This change meant that I was doing a lot more single dog walking. A standard leash just wasn't good enough, I tried but didn't like using the Cujo with only Oli, and the Road Runner was convenient but I still wanted a "normal" leash.  To further complicate things, the growing difference in dog pace meant that even when I was walking the two dogs together, the Cujo was no longer as ideal as it once was as Oli was sharing the receiving end of eager Humphrey's need for speed. Based upon my love of the EzyDog Road Runner, although the handle on the Cujo is great, I decided it was time to migrate my everyday leads to EzyDog's Zero Shock family when I refreshed my leashes.  They still have a shock reduction "bungee"-like bit, but I like the fabric lead/outer better than the thready Cujo. I bought the 48-Inch Zero Shock Leash, and I also like that it has a  second handle for traffic control if/as needed.

Thus far, I'm really liking my new Zero Shock purchases.  Of note, I currently walk the two dogs on two separate leashes because of the pacing issues noted above, but I might try going back to a coupler now that I've seen the Zero Shock version. I haven't (yet) bought or tried the Zero Shock Double Coupler, but it looks very nice - I like that the coupler section has shock reduction which would reduce the issues with old boy Oli occasionally being jerked around by young Humphrey, as well as separate control handles. 

Tips for managing young and senior dogs together? I'd love to hear your advice and suggestions!  This is new for our family, so I'd love to learn from those of you who've experienced the difficult period of multi-dog ownership when one is fully active and the other is a slower senior. I'm also keen to hear about the shifting pack dynamic and ways to keep things smooth and harmonious as things evolve. 

I'm also very keen to hear from any readers who have worked through aging dog issues with slippery wooden floors.  Our old house has wooden floors in many of the rooms that Oli occasionally struggles with, especially when he's still warming his muscles up after a nap. He's still very active and an in/out dog, which makes socks (he HATES and won't keep on) impractical and he's still far too active for nail grips, with plenty of daily walks, playtime on grass, beach outings, river splashing, etc.  At the moment, we have a plenty of dog beds, a few strategically placed rugs, etc. He has his favourite carpet/rug spots for resting/rising, and I've been known to help warm him up with a little doggy massage when needed.  Other tips and ideas are, of course, most welcome!

Regular posting resumes tomorrow, when I'll be sharing the weekly recipe post that was bumped from today's usual Monday recipe slot so that we could share this little hello and catch-up post.  Stay tuned for tomorrow's treat recipe, and the start of this year's Valentine's Day doggy DIY posts!


  1. It isn't pretty but the rubber mats used for home gyms or daycares work great for dogs that slip. They are those interlocking puzzle squares

    1. I imagine someday I'll end up with an entire rubber runner path of some sort through the house for our beautiful old boy. Love over looks any day. :)

      I've used normal mats (and with sticky mat underlay if they slide), but haven't tried the foamy interlocking mats. Do your dog(s) ever try to pick them up or pull/rip at them since they're a bit raised around the edges?

      I've also heard of folks using the meshy matting underlay without real over mats, but don't think that would hold up underfoot with our two big boys. Perhaps I can get my hands on some of the flat rubbery runner mats like movers and deliver companies use when the time comes.

      Now you've gotten my mind whirring. :) Thanks, Tania!


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