Pet Fountains?

Does anyone use a pet fountain for their dogs or cats? I always thought they were kind of a silly extravagance, but I have to say I’m a believer now, especially for cats.

I have two PetSafe water fountains, which I will review here soon. The truth is that cats need to drink, and most house cats don’t drink enough. Having had a cat that died from kidney disease, I’ve seen one of the problems of not drinking enough for myself.

Something about the moving water of a fountain attracts cats, and they tend to drink more.  That has certainly been true in my house. My cats love the fountain, one paws at the water, and splashes it as it comes down. Logan, loves to dip her paw in the running water and lick it off. I guess it is more lady-like to her than sticking her face in it. Either way, I see my cats drinking often, and that was never true with a regular water bowl.

Let me know if you’ve had any pet fountain experiences, thanks!

Pet Ness Treats

Who doesn’t love to give their pet treats? Mine are all spoiled with treats a few times a day.

Last week, my husband picked up some great pet samples for me at PepCom Tots & Tails in New York. Today’s treats are from Pet Ness. According to their website, Pet Ness developed because the owners wanted to give their pets the best possible quality of life. They have treats, biscuits, and tinctures, including a tincture for cats, all containing full spectrum hemp oil. The hemp oil is sourced in Colorado.

There is so much news lately about the benefits of CBD and hemp oil, so what’s the difference? In basic terms, hemp oil is a broad combination containing cannabinoids, flavonoids and terpenes to give the full benefits from the plant while CBD Oil is one cannabinoid that is isolated.

Cali, my 11 lb. morkie, has some anxiety and also some joint issues. I’ve been giving her CBD oil for several months now, and it definitely seems to help. I use it twice per day, dropped on her food.

Pet Ness offers tinctures that you can add to your dogs’ food, like I do, but they also offer treats that can be used for specific situations. For example, if you have a dog that stresses about visitors, or vet appointments, you could feed their calm treats about an hour before the appointment.

With names like Mobility, Thrive, Calm, and Happy, Pet Ness makes it pretty easy to figure out which treat might be the right one for your dog. Mobility is for joint care. Thrive is formulated for heart health. Calm has ingredients to help with anxiety, and Happy helps boost mood.

The first treat I checked out was Happy biscuits.  Happy contains 1.5mg of hemp oil per treat. Small dogs would get one treat while larger dogs could have up to three. I picked up the cute package and was overwhelmed with delicious smells when I opened it. Cali came right over to see what I had. I was trying to decide if I should taste one of these myself, they smell SO good! Happy treats are a vegan blend of oats, sweet potato, pumpkin, carrots and more. They smell and look like a delicious little cookie. The treats are about an inch in diameter, and a lovely orange color with flecks in them, probably from the oats. They are hard and crunchy, but softer than a typical dog biscuit. My little Morkie had no trouble chewing it up. It didn’t take Cali long to learn the smell of these treats, and the second the bag opened she would appear from wherever she was napping hoping for another. They were definitely a hit!

Calm was the next treat I checked out. These have 4mg of hemp oil each along with chamomile, lamb, and palm fruit oil. These treats are formulated to help with anxiety, sleep issues, and to help calm tummies.  Like the other treats, it is recommended you feed 1-3 treats depending on the weight of your dog. The Calm treats have a stronger smell, a bit mineral-ish, kind of earthy. They are softer and smaller than the Happy treats.  Each one is a small little nugget, maybe half an inch long. They are drier and more crumbly than the first treats.

What did Cali think? Well, she didn’t come running when I opened the bag. The first time I fed her one she sniffed it and jumped back.  I wish I had a video! She picked it up in her mouth and kind of tossed it and then did a silly little doggy dance around it. Finally, she started rolling on it! I know others have dogs that find things outside and roll all over them, maybe trying to mask their own scent? Cali loves to roll on things, but I’ve never seen her roll on a treat. Why she chose to roll on this treat, I have no idea.

I’ve offered her the Calm treats a few more times, and they just aren’t her thing. Maybe it’s the lamb as it isn’t something I usually feed? Whatever it is, there is no way for me to see how she reacts to the ingredients if she won’t eat it.

Bottom Line: Happy Biscuits were definitely a hit. I like the all natural ingredients, my dog likes the taste, and the little bit of hemp oil is a nice bonus. I wouldn’t go out of my way to buy the Calm treats, but maybe that is just my picky dog that won’t eat them. I do feel the crumbly soft chews are a little messy compared to the Happy Biscuits, and with the hemp oil concentration, I would like them to stay together better so I have a good idea of how much oil my pet is getting.

Both the soft Calm treats, and the Happy Biscuits are available on the Pet Ness website for $34.99 for 120 gm/4.23 ounces.  This seems a little pricey to me, but not out of line for a quality treat with lab-tested hemp oil.

Check them out at Pet Ness

Hector D. Byrd Arrives

If you haven’t read Hector Part 1, it’s just a little background on my history with birds.  The important thing to know is that my husband talked me out of rescuing a little Lovebird because he knew it would just fuel my fire for a bigger parrot. He figured we should skip the little parrot part and just get the bird I actually wanted.  I appreciated that!

The other important thing to know is that Hector is a girl. Both sexes of African Greys look the same, so the only way to tell the difference is with a blood test, or if the bird lays eggs. Hector was named before she laid her first egg, but she’s quite proud of her name, and didn’t want it changed.

Silly me thought it would be hard finding the right bird to add to our house. I start doing some research on bird rescues to see what was out there. My husband thought he was being funny and posted to Twitter about his decision to talk me out of a Lovebird and into an African Grey. The post was something about how he thought he might regret the decision, but it seemed like the right choice at the time. Be careful what you wish for!

The universe has a funny way of reacting to things some times, and the husband’s Tweet lead to a friend joking about how we should adopt the old Ambrosia Software parrot, Hector. Next thing you know, the guy that took Hector in when Ambrosia no longer wanted an office parrot was reaching out to my husband. John Magnus Champlin, from Ambrosia, had been working with Hector for a few years, and gave her a great start on moving from being an office ornament to actually figuring out how to be a pet. While John loved and cared for Hector, he also felt that he wasn’t a “bird guy” and hoped to find her a forever home someday.

My husband Dave runs The Mac Observer, Inc., a website about all things Apple. John loved the idea that Hector could move to another Tech home after being the Ambrosia mascot. So at 21 years old, Hector moved from New York to New Hampshire and became the new mascot for The Mac Observer.

John is a super caring guy, and insisted on driving Hector to us to help ease her transition. On the drive, John stopped for gas. It was a nice day, so he took Hector’s carrier out of the car for a little air. John says, “If I remember right they recognized the Ambrosia logo stickers and some other Apple related thing on my car and it spawned a conversation. They didn’t realize I was associated with the company. When they saw the bird and realized it was actually *the* Captain Hector it blew some minds.”

And Hector made her way to New Hampshire. She loves my husband, she loves my son, me? she tolerates. I’m the one who researches parrot diet, makes her homemade food with organic grains and fresh veggies, buys her toys, cleans her cage, and gives her the most attention, but she loves the boys. It’s OK, she mostly doesn’t bite me, and I love her.

When Hector first came to us, she rarely wanted to leave her cage although she would climb up on top to hang out and liked having her cage door open. She was super nervous about anything new.  If I bought a new toy, I had to hang it across the room for a couple of days, then slowly bring it closer to her cage. After a week, I could usually hang the new toy on the outside of her cage and then move it in after another couple of days. She is not a bird that likes change.

After five years with us, I’m happy to report that Hector is much more comfortable here, finally! She doesn’t really fly even though she could, but she loves to climb down from her cage and stroll around the house.  She chases the cats and looks for anything cardboard to chew up. While she has always talked and whistled, she is talking more than ever lately. I think she has finally realized that we are her forever people and she doesn’t have to move again. Maybe she’ll even learn to like me some day!

Reviews are coming!

I’m really excited to let everyone know that I’ve got some new reviews in the works! I have a couple of sample products from Stella & Chewy’s that I’m really excited about.  They seem like a great company that has some high quality food products.  I’ll be filling you in on their Freeze-Dried Raw Wild Weenies, and Meal Mixers very soon!

I’ve also got some Hemp Oil treats from Pet Ness to check out. I’ve been using CBD Oil with my dog for a while, I’m very interested to see how these treats work. Cali will soon be sampling “Happy” and “Calm” can’t wait!

And there’s more! I’ve got a cool product called a Wag Tag that I’m testing out, and reviews of TWO PetSafe Water Fountains.  It’s going to be a busy week!

Stella and Chewy’s:  http://<>

Pet Ness:  http://<>

Wagtag:   <>

PetSafe:  http://<>




Not pet related, but I can’t help thinking about Beulah the elephant today. Beulah  spent her life traveling around in small trucks and living in parking lots for the enjoyment of humans. She showed up at the Big E Fair in Springfield, MA this year sickly, and yet her owners were still collecting money from people to take selfies with her.

Poor Beulah was photographed sleeping in a parking lot on her side this week, clearly ill.  She soon disappeared from the public eye, and now we find out that poor Beulah actually died at the Big E.

Please consider signing this petition to help stop fairs and circuses from taking advantage of wild animals.

Circus Petition

Pet Products

What do you use? What do you love? I plan to start reviewing pet products here. I’ve got a couple that I use regularly that I plan to start with, but what are you interested in?

CBD Oil seems to be on everyone’s mind lately.  I’ve been using it with my dog for several months now, I’ll do a post about it soon. Anyone else use CBD for their pets?

Another one of my favorite pet products is my Water Fountain. I know it seems a little silly to have a water fountain for your pets, but I have grown to love mine! I’ll do a post soon about why it’s really a practical thing.


Before Hector D. Byrd

My history with pet birds starts in middle school.  My first bird was a little cockatiel named Rosie, not the most original name since she had “Rosie” red cheeks. Rosie was cool, she whistled and loved to fly across the living room. She was a sweet little bird that loved to have her head scratched.

While taking care of Rosie, I met Maverick, a Red Lored Amazon Parrot. He belonged to the local pet store where I bought supplies, and he was not for sale.

Poor Maverick, (that was my name for her, the pet store hadn’t bothered to name her) lived in a too small, dirty cage perched high on a shelf in the back of a strip mall pet store. She would stare down at people when they walked in the store, and had learned a lovely string of swears courtesy of the local teens that would come in and pester her. I always spent extra time in the store when I shopped there talking to Maverick. I dreamed of having a big bird some day.

Eventually, I noticed a sign that the store was closing. What was to happen to the parrot, I asked? You want it? Of course! Maverick came home with me. First task was a new and bigger cage.  Second was reading up on parrot diet and care.

Maverick wasn’t the friendliest bird, but I could pick her up, she would ride on my shoulder if she was in the mood, and she would bite my ear if he wasn’t. She watched TV with us, laughing along and often imitating noises she heard. Maverick quickly became part of the family. When we ate dinner, Maverick had a place at the table. If she wanted something, she would run across the table and grab it off your plate. She loved to climb down from her cage and bite toes as someone walked by. If you screamed when she bit you, she would laugh!

After a couple of years, I headed off to college, and my mother took care of Maverick. When graduation came, I moved into my own apartment and Maverick came with me. Unfortunately, Maverick was not built for apartment life. I found myself feeling bad I wasn’t home enough to give her the time she needed, and my neighbors felt that Maverick was too loud.  Although it broke my heart, I knew Maverick needed a new home. I found a bird sanctuary and breeder that was interested in taking Maverick. They promised a large aviary, lots of good food, and even some birdie friends for Maverick to hang out with.

Over the years, I always wanted another pet bird, but I knew how long they could live, how much attention they needed, and how messy they were! I was also afraid to get into a situation of having one and not being able to keep it again.

Many years later, married with my own home and quickly growing children, I saw an article that the local animal shelter had seized dozens of lovebirds that needed new homes, I felt it was time. I went to look at them and loved their cheerful little tweets and pretty colors. My husband, who knows me very well, was afraid that a tiny little lovebird was only going to make me long for a big parrot again. He mentioned to a friend how he would probably regret saying it, but he felt I should get another big parrot, maybe even an African Grey like I had always wanted instead of a little lovebird. Yup, you read it right, my husband convinced me NOT to adopt a little lovebird and instead to wait for the right opportunity to bring my dream bird, an African Grey, home.

Check back soon for part 2 – Hector Comes Home…