Sunday, November 3, 2013

Diamond Candles Giveaway!

Hello dear readers! Sorry it has been quite a while since our last post. I'm still dealing with computer issues, and life has just been a world wind lately! I am currently hijacking Paul's computer in order to write this post. But to try and jump back into blogging I would like to bring you a very special giveaway!

Recently I was contacted by the lovely folks at Diamond Candles and asked to review one of their products. I was very flattered by this request and gladly accepted. If you have never heard of Diamond Candles before, they have a very unique product. When you purchase one of their candles, you are also getting a little surprise inside! Each candle comes with a ring hidden within the wax valuing from $10, $100, $1,000, and even up to $5,000!

You can view all of their different scents on their website, but I would like to share a little bit about my experience. I selected a watermelon scented candle. I really love the bright pink color, and was surprised at how large the candle was when it arrived.

I was so excited that I lit the candle right away. I will say that the very first time I lit the candle it was extremely strong. They do say on their website that these candles are "highly fragrant" and they are not kidding. The scent was very nice, but a little to strong for my liking. If you are sensitive to fragrances, then I would suggest only lighting it in a well ventilated room.

The ring in the Diamond Candle is kept in a small foil pouch just a few inches below the surface. As the wax melts down, the pouch containing your ring is revealed. It does take a few hours for the pouch to come to the surface, but I suppose if you are too excited to wait, you could dig it out with a spoon. But it is fun to watch the progress.

I have to say that watching the little pouch come to the surface as the wax melted was a lot more exciting that I thought it would be. When the wax had finally melted enough to remove the pouch I pulled it out with a pair of tweezers. Make sure you blow out the candle and let the wax cool before removing the pouch.

This is the ring I uncovered. A beautiful faux emerald! And although I didn't find a $5,000 ring in my Diamond Candle, it was still a really cool experience! This product would make a wonderful gift, and with the holiday season coming up, you can't go wrong! And each Diamond Candle is only $24.95 so you can get one for everyone on your list, without breaking the bank.

To enter to win your very own Diamond Candle, fill out the form below. If you have ever had your own Diamond Candle tell us about your experience in the comments, and let us know what scent we should try next!

Don't forget to check out Diamond Candles on Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, and Twitter!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Pet Insurance

Axle + Clover at the vet

Recently, I have had a lot of people asking about the Pet Insurance that we have on Axle and Clover. I know some people think that pet insurance is a complete waste of money, and why in the world would anyone insure their pets? But honestly, over the past year and a half we have saved well over $5,000 on vet bills on Axle alone.

I will couch this by saying that we probably take our dogs to the vet more than the average pet owner, but our dogs are basically just furry children to us. And since our insurance includes unlimited FREE vet visits, why wouldn't we take them in if we thought there was a problem. I've always felt its better to take them in and have the vet tell us its nothing, than not take them in and have a serious problem later. Especially since we don't ever get a bill for the office visit.

Back in May we took Axle and Clover in for their yearly exams. These exams are basically like a full physical for dogs. They check them from nose to tail, inside and out. And since we have two dogs, everything we do is doubled. The full work up includes...

Office Visit: $38.95 (X2)......................................100% Covered by insurance
Blood Work: $42.96 (X2).....................................100% Covered by insurance
Comprehensive Exam: $45.00 (X2)......................100% Covered by insurance
Boarding during exam: $33.21 (X2).....................100% Covered by insurance
Neurological Exam: $24.95 (X2)..........................100% Covered by insurance
Fecal Sample: $9.20 (X2)......................................100% Covered by insurance
Heartworm Test: $27.95 (X2)................................100% Covered by insurance
Organ Function Screen: $59.10 (X2).....................100% Covered by insurance
Parasite Fecal Exam: $25.62 (X2).........................100% Covered by insurance
State Rabies Tag: $4.00 (X2)
ProHeart Monthly Fee: $14.26 (X2)......................100% Covered by insurance
Tonometry: $22.95 (X2).........................................100% Covered by insurance
Bordetella Vaccine: $20.95 (X2)............................100% Covered by insurance
Distemper Parvo DAPP Vaccine: $29.95 (X2).......100% Covered by insurance
Leptospirosis Vaccine: $14.95 (X2).......................100% Covered by insurance
Rabies Vaccine: $15.95 (X2)..................................100% Covered by insurance
Medical Waste Disposal Fee: $3.10 (X2)...............100% Covered by insurance

Total: $856.10
After Insurance: $8.00 

On a $856 vet bill we paid a grand total of $8.00 out of pocket. And this was just on their yearly physicals. I can't even tell you how many times we have walked into the vet's office thinking something was wrong, and walked out owing absolutely nothing. Its wonderful not having to think twice about taking the dogs in. I know that the immense cost of veterinary care can deter a lot of people from taking their animals in. And, like with people, sometimes waiting means waiting until its too late...

We pay a small monthly fee of about $50 for Axle and a little bit less for Clover. And while that does add up to almost $1200 a year, we still save hundreds and hundreds of dollars on vet bills. Plus we get the piece of mind knowing that when we do take them in for a visit, its not going to cost an arm and a leg just to get seen by our vet. Especial since Axle is a 'special needs' dog and requires more care than the average dog.

We use Banfield Pet Hospital as our primary veterinarian, and we LOVE them. All of the Vets and nurses are so wonderful with Axle and Clover. And they always make sure that I understand any and all procedures or medications.

If you have pets, especially special needs pets, I highly recommend at least looking into pet insurance. It it becoming more common, and most vet's do offer some kind of wellness plan for their regular patients.

Do you have pet insurance or any kind of wellness plan? What have your experience been when it comes to handling expensive bet bills? Please let us know in the comments below! We love hearing about your personal critter stories!


Also be on the look out for At The Dog Park's very first giveaway coming soon! We have been contacted by a very awesome company to do a product review, and we will be giving one of their really unique items away to one lucky winner!

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Pet of the Week: Layla

Meet Layla, the very sleepy Great Pyrenees! Layla has been trough a lot this week. When she came into the shelter, Layla was gross... Honestly, she was dirty and stinky and just well, gross. The groomers tried to save her coat, but it was just too matted. And no matter how many times she had a bath, they just couldn't get the rotten smell out of her coat. So she unfortunately had to be completely shaved.
On top of her new do, Layla was also spayed. She is still recovering from her surgery, and the pain medication she is currently on is making her a little tired and loopy. But once she is all healed up, puts on a little weight, and grows her hair back out, she will be a picture perfect Pyrenees.

Layla is a sweet and gentle girl that needs a quiet home. She is a little older, and may not be the best for a home with rowdy children. But older kids that understand her desire to not be jostled would be fine. Layla loves everyone, and is eager to make new friends. She will need to be on a special diet for a while, since she is a bit under weight, but should fill out with time.
If you think that Layla would be a good fit for your family, please contact the Williamson County Animal Control & Adoption Center in Franklin Tn, or Check out their Pet Finder page for their other adoptable pets!

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Dog Park Adventure: Back in Action!

This week was the first time we have been back to the park in about a month... The last few weeks Axle has been feeling a bit under the weather. He has been sick off and on since we adopted him last year. But our vet could never really tell us what was wrong with him. The best guess we could make is that he was just really susceptible to getting bacterial infections.
 Axle and Clover wait for their friends to arrive.

But this most recent time he was sick, his usual rounds of antibiotics and probiotics didn't seem to be working. Axle was vomiting several times a day, almost every day. And even on the medication, he still wasn't getting any better.
 Vlad is a little camera shy.

So after going back and forth to the vet about three times, they decided to do just one more fecal test to see if anything would show up. Well, the 3rd time was the charm and it came back positive for Whip Worm. Our vet told us that they could do six of these tests on a dog that had Whip Worm and MAYBE one of them would come back positive.
 Clover is fast!

After we got the results Axle and Clover both began treatment for Whip Worm. We had to treat both dogs, since it would be extremely easy for them to pass it back and forth. Our vet thinks that the Whip Worm could be what has been making Axle sick for the past year. So with this new information we were really excited, because we might have finally found out what has been wrong with Axle for so long.
 Clover, Axle, and Hachi

We began the treatment for the Whip Worm, and for a few days it seemed to be working. Axle was not throwing up, and he was starting to get a little bit of his energy back!
 The welcoming committee

But a few more days passed, and Axle started vomiting again. He was lethargic and just was not himself. Right away we called the vet and made an another appointment to bring him back in. The vet was really concerned, becuase he should not be throwing up while on this new medication.
 There was a good crowd at the park!

So back to the vet we went. I swear, we are in there so often that I don't even have to give my name anymore when I call. All I have to say is 'Axle is sick' and they know exactly who we are. I'm not really sure that's a good thing... But I am glad we have such a good relationship with our vet. It really eases my mind when one of the dogs is not feeling well. 
 Hachi is a ham!

After talking with our vet about all the different possibilities, they decided that he may actually have something else wrong with him in addition to the Whip Worms. So we decided to put him on a trial diet along with some new medication for Acid Reflux. And I'll be honest with you, deal readers, I was not aware that dogs could even have Acid Reflux.
 Clover sporting her Summer Cut.

So once again we were sent home with yet another new medication and a very pricey prescription bag of dog food. Axle and Clover were both already on a sensitive stomach and skin brand of dog food. We had suspected that Axle had some type of food allergies, but we were never really sure what exactly he could be allergic to.
 Axle enjoying the sunshine!

But with this new possibility of Axle having Acid Reflux, we might finally be able to get him on the right medication and diet to make him feel better. The hardest part about the whole thing is that Axle can't just tell us where it hurts. I feel so bad that he has had to go through test, after test, after test. Even though we love our vet, its still so stressful for Axle every time we have to take him in.
 Hachi is sooo handsome!

Over about a week or we had to slowly transition Axle from this old food, to his new prescription food. We wanted to do this slowly so as not to upset Axle's system even more. Just switching his food immediately could really throw his whole system out of balance.
Greeting a new friend.

Finally after a week Axle had fully transitioned to his new food, and had been taking his Acid Reflux medication too. Thankfully he seems to be doing really well on this new diet and medication! Its such a relief to us and him, that he has stopped throwing up every day, and has gotten a lot of his energy back.
 Axle and Henry.

Axle and Clover still have to go through one more round of the Whip Worm treatment. But since Axle has been on this new diet and medication, he has not thrown up once! It has only been about two weeks, but we are hopeful that Axle will continue on the path of recovery with the help of this new treatment.
Lets play!

I never thought of Axle as a "special needs" dog, even though he technically is. He has always just been my little Axle. I never want to keep him from doing things he loves like going to the dog park, or going swimming in the pond by our house, just becuase of his health issues. So I was thrilled when the vet told us that as long as he doesn't have any problem while on this treatment, we will not have to change his daily lifestyle.
I love the rustic old barn next to the park.

I would simply be heartbroken, if I could never take Axle to the park again. And that was one of my fears when he started getting sick. But thankfully his illness does not seemed to be triggered by his environment. And even better, he has gotten used to taking his Acid Reflux pill twice a day.
That's the spot!

Poor boy just goes belly up, as soon as he sees me heading towards the cabinet where we keep his pills. I know when most dogs have to take a pill, it needs to be wrapped in cheese or deli meat for it to even have a chance of going down. But I guess Axle is so used to taking pills, he just rolls over and lets me put the pill in his mouth and he swallows it on his own.
Chloe is ready for action!

Axle has has another appointment with the vet in a few weeks to make sure he is adjusting well to his new diet and medication. I don't know for sure if he will have to stay on the Acid Reflux medication forever, or if they will lessen his dosage, but I'm just thankful that he seems to be feeling better.
Sunset at the dog park!

I know that the dogs are happy to get to go to the park again too. We had not been taking them, on the off chance that it was an environmental issue. But now that Axle's stomach is not getting upset on his new treatment, we will be able to get back into our routine park trips again!
Henry takes a break in the shade.

I promise I will keep all of you updated on Axle's progress. So many of you have already been so sportive and concerned about what has been going on with him lately. And I honestly cannot tell you how much it means to me that so many people care about my two crazy fur balls!
It wouldn't be a Dog Park Adventure without a close up of Clover!

Do any of you have any Special Needs pets? Or pets that have chronic health issues? What are your ways of dealing with the stress of frequent vet trips, bills, medications, or special diets? Please share them in the comments below! We love hearing about your personal pet stories. 

Please also share your pet blogs or websites with us! We are working on a special project in the near future and want to include our dear readers! Also be on the look out! We have a few really awesome contests and giveaways coming up as well!!!

Monday, August 5, 2013

Pet Of The Week: Gabby

Hello dear readers! Its been a little while since my last post... A mix of person/family issues and the unfortunate fact that my laptop is on its last leg has been keeping me from updating my blog as much as I would like too. So please bear with me over the next few weeks as I try to work out getting a new computer... or at least trying to fix my old one.
 I love her sweet smile!

But to start of this new week, lets meet our PotW Gabby! Gabby is a sweet, two year old, medium sized, chocolate Pit Bull Terrier. She is a very special girl, with an unfortunate past. Her previous owners did not loosen her collar as she grew, resulting in it becoming embedded. Because of this, she has a noticeable scar that encircles her entire neck. As well as several smaller scars from who knows what all over her body...
Here is a better view of some of Gabby's scars.

Despite Gabby's troubled past, her true Pit Bull spirit shines through. Gabby loves every single person she meets. And loves to be scratched, petted, and cuddled. We think that Gabby was used as a breeding dog, since is it very obvious that she has had more than a few litters of puppies. Thankfully now that she has been 'through the system', Gabby will be spayed before she is adopted.

Although Gabby is very gentle and sweet towards humans, she would need to go to an experienced dog owner. Because of Gabby's over-breeding, she wold prefer to be the only dog in her new home. She does not seem to trust other dogs very much, and acts very defensive if they get too close. Gabby is also Heart Worm Positive, so she will be undergoing treatment after she is adopted. 

Gabby is a wonderful girl, who deserves a wonderful, loving forever home. So if you think that Gabby would be a good fit for your family, please contact the Williamson County Animal Control & Adoption Center in Franklin TN or Check out their Pet Finder page for their other adoptable pets!

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Thank you, Two Collies and a Mutt!

A few weeks ago we entered a contest over at one of our favorite blogs Two Collies and a Mutt. And we were fortunate enough to win one of the prizes! Our winnings consisted of three different bags of yummy Kong Chewy Treats! Axle and Clover have always been a huge fan of Kong brand toys. And I'm sure that they would really enjoy the treats. But since Axle has so many food allergies, both the dogs have agreed to donate the treats to the animal shelter. I know that the shelter dogs will be extremely appreciative of all the delicious treats!

We want to give a BIG thank you to Lassie, Petal, and Marquie for picking us to be one of the winners! If you have never visited this blog before, I highly suggest you give it a look. The photography alone is enough to keep anyone interested. Seriously, Lassie and Petal are completely breathtaking! And the post following the every day happenings of this group is absolutely wonderful!

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Pet of the Week: Romeo + Juliette

This week's PotW post is double header! Meet Romeo (background) and Juliette (foreground) the German Shepard mixes! These two are the definition of adorable! R+J are about 5 to 6 months old, and full of energy. They are brother and sister and the best of friends!
R+J practicing their herding skills

These two sickeningly cute pups love everyone. They are a little timid around larger dogs, but they are still puppies and can be socialized if given the proper care and training. These guys will be big! They are all paws and legs now, but will most likely grow into them rather quickly.
Juliette resting in the shade

Juliette is a bit more shy than her brother, but craves attention. They would both make a wonderful family dog. But be fair warned. These two are big, rambunctious puppies. So they may not be the best choice for a family with smaller children. But over all they are wonderful young dogs. 
 Romeo has a great smile!

Romeo is a little more rambunctious than his sister. And he has a habit of jumping up to greet new friends.  But that could easily be corrected with the proper training. Romeo and Juliette are both very sweet, and full of energy. So if you think that Romeo or Juliette (or both!) would be a good match for your family, please contact the Williamson County Animal Control & Adoption Center in Franklin TN or Check out their Pet Finder page for their other adoptable pets!
 Juliette enjoying some pool time

Juliette wants to remind everyone to have a safe and happy 4th of July! And remember to keep your pets indoors during the firework celebrations. Independence Day has the most recorded reports of lost pets over any other day of the year. So have fun and be safe!