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Savvy Tips and tricks learned along the way...

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Man's best friend is fun to have around, but as a woman, the care of and clean up is sometimes more than I can handle on top of my biggest priority, caring for our children. Here are some of my thoughts and ideas on how to make caring for your furry companion more fun and easy.

How to Stop Your Dog From Pulling During Walks


Back when I had a golden retriever, he was pretty heavy, at least for me, to handle. I eventually had to use a prong collar just to walk him around so that he didn't drag me all over the place. That was one of the reasons for getting a medium sized dog this time. As with the Golden, we took our Springer to puppy training class.

As she grew bigger, she started to pull like a sled dog. I was afraid that we would have to use a prong collar with her. The dog trainers had me try a couple different harnesses to try to rein her in. But eventually, when she reached almost adult size, they had me use a slip lead. That was the weirdest thing I'd ever seen. And it took some time learning to put it on. But this slip lead did the trick.

I guess it originated in Great Britain. It seems that they got it right as far as dog leads. Our dog is an English Springer Spaniel, afterall. The Mendota Slip Lead is made like a rope. But the rope fabric is a synthetic microfiber, so that it is soft on the hands, and doesn't chafe, like other similar rope leads might do.

The slip lead causes the dog to feel pressure on the bridge of their nose/snout when they pull, causing them to ease up quite a bit on the tension of the lead. This makes walks more pleasant for the handler, which most likely results in more walks for the dog. A win-win for both.

This lead has two loops. A small one at one end to put your hand in. And a larger, adjustable loop at the other end to put around the dog's neck and snout. The large loop is adjusted by a leather ring that you slide up and down to change the size of the loop.

How to Put the Slip Lead on the Dog

You slip the large loop over the dog's head, twist it into a figure 8, forming a second loop, and slip the second loop over the dog's muzzle. Then you cinch up on the leather ring, to make the loop around the dog's neck and muzzle snug, but not over-tight.

There is also a safety tab that you clip onto the dog's color to prevent the dog from completely detaching from the lead, should they accidentally wriggle out of the loop. I often attach the poop bag holder to this little tab for walks.

Our Mendota slip lead is 3/8in thick and 6ft long. This is the perfect thickness and length for the size of our dog of 40lbs. If you have a heavier dog, you may want to go with a thicker rope, like 1/2 in. This slip lead is an invaluable tool for walking the dog. I like it so much better than the prong collar that I used on my previous dog. The Mendota slip lead makes it possible for both our kids to handle the dog during walks, including our 5 year old.

Now go lasso that doggie of yours!

Oink Oink Goes the Rubber Piggy


Well, our baby grew older and so did the second one. We finally got another dog. She is a black and white English Springer Spaniel. Super pretty, but it did take a little getting used to having another "baby" in the house when we first got her as a puppy. She is 2 years old now, and I think I've finally adapted to the new normal.

We originally wanted to get another golden, but I was thinking the size would overwhelm the kids. So I opted for a medium sized dog that might be similar in temperment. She is a good dog, still figuring things out, but I'm happy with her.

Since the kids have so many stuffed animals, I decided not to give the dog any plush toys so as not to confuse her about what she is allowed to play with. But recently, we did stumble upon a toy that is currently her favorite. It took a while for her to accept it, but it has grown on her and become a new member of the family.

Purple Piggy grunts when you squeeze it. She was petrified of it at first. But now, she loves to bite down on it and make it grunt all day long. I've learned to just tune it out. She tries to play tug with it, but I want to make it last.

These grunting rubber pig dog toys come in different colors. I heard dogs don't see color, so I don't think they care what color they get. They just like the grunting sound :-)

Golden Retriever


the best dog in the worldI love golden retrievers, which is what my previous dog was. Goldens are intelligent, sweet, playful, and pretty harmless when it comes to children (except you've got to watch them when they are puppies, with their sharp puppy teeth and claws).

They are furry and cuddly, too. To me, golden retrievers are the perfect family dog. And I think we're going to get another one once our baby grows a little older.

More of my doggy pictures

They are the cutest puppies

They love to make snow angels

Then they like to come in and get warm

They like to frolic in the water

Play fetch in the water

and make sand angels, too, I guess

Playing fetch in the river

He loved flowers

and forests

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