Monster Play

This past week was extremely action packed for me. I had 2 monster friends over for a week-long sleepover while their people went out-of-town. Sebastian and Bella are both a few months younger than I am, so I usually get to be the boss when we hang out. Sebastian is a peki-poo (Pekingese and Poodle mix) and is my size and Bella’s a morkie like me but she’s a lot smaller than us.

Sebastian and I wrestle as Bella watches

Playing all day is a full-time job. We need a break!

Here’s how we spent most days:
- Wake up and go for a walk- race and chase each other.
- Come home and eat, eat, eat. I might have eaten a little more than my fair share; oh well, it’s survival of the fittest right?
- Wrestle, pick 1 to chase around- usually Bella.
- Sleep, sleep, sleep. Man, playing all day is exhausting!!
- Repeat- Play, Eat, Play, Sleep, Play Eat, Play, Sleep.

I have to admit, monstering around all day is very exhausting. When it’s just me, I’m pretty chill, but for some reason, other monsters get my adrenaline pumping. I can be pretty aggressive with my space, my food and the attention from my people, so it took a while for me warm up to Sebastian and Bella.

My people were actually worried that I would hurt Bella at first. I wouldn’t have hurt her on purpose, I was just trying to play with her, and fine I admit, maybe scare her a little and keep her away from my stuff. I was a little ruff with her, but I can’t help it that she’s so scrawny! Okay, that was mean, sorry Bella, you’re not scrawny, you’re just petite. I am an only-monster, the only monster for my family, so I’m not used to other monsters around all the time. I like hanging out with them, but I may be too monstrous for my own good.

Eventually, I did calm myself down. My people helped me too (a little). Here’s a couple of things they did, that maybe you monsters could train your people to do when you feel all riled up and meditating is just not working for you..

- Distract- When I started growling at Bella and planning my attack, er, I mean fun play attack, on her, my people started distracting me with other things like my toys and laser. I actually would forget about Bella for a little while.
- Positive Reinforcement- I also noticed I got a lot more treats whenever I was around her and didn’t jump on her. And we all know how much I love love love treats, this was a pretty great motivator. Treats v. Fight, hmmm, I pick treats 9 out of 10 times!
- Dominance- But I still pick fighting 1 out of 10 times and that prompted my person in picking me up by the neck and talking to me firmly. I was never yelled at, otherwise I think I would have gone nuts. I would have been even more mad at Bella for getting me in trouble! When they talked to me calmly and firmly, I felt like maybe I wasn’t the boss, and if you’re not the boss, you really can’t go around starting stuff.
- Separate- Still, sometime I just couldn’t help myself, Bella was just so small and cute and would get all the attention! I would go after her and I wouldn’t let up, no matter what anyone tried. That’s when I was taken and put in a different room. I still felt all wound up and crazy, but then my people would play with me separately and wear me out so much that when I saw Bella again, even though I wanted to pounce on her, I was just too tired. And that’s when we’d plop down for a dog nap.

Bella and I get along great when we're napping.

Now, I suppose I am pretty small and very well-trained (FINE, I’m mediocrely trained, I like to think of myself as an independent thinker!) so I may be a little easier to handle than other monsters. But I’m still pretty monstrous, and this is a good start to helping us get control of our monster instincts.

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Monster Faith

I just came across this amazing monster that I would love to meet. At first I felt sad for her but then I realized I was just in awe of her. Honestly monsters, after watching this we should all realize that there is no reason for any monster to complain or feel sorry for themselves. No matter how monstrous our situation in life is, it can’t be that bad. If Faith can do it, why can’t we?

Faith and her family have their own website too, it’s FaiththeDog.info, check her out. I’m officially her fan!

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Why Monsters Love Sleep

Sleeping Dog

One of my epic monster naps.

I sleep, I’d say, an average of 10 hours a day. Some days more, some days less. Now, I’ve barked it out with a lot of other monsters out there and apparently I sleep a lot less than a lot of them. And that got me thinking… how long are we monsters supposed to be sleeping?

According to dogtors, the average dog sleeps 12-18 hours a day depending on the breed. That’s over half our lives, monsters!! How is that even possible? Why do we sleep as much as we do? I dug around the library and here’s what I found out…

Natural Causes:

- It’s what we do. For household monsters, naps are a regular part of our activity cycle. We love to play when there is something to play with, but that can only last so long. Either we get worn out or whatever we were playing with stops. What else is there to do? Either eat or sleep. That’s the cycle. Eat, Play, Sleep. Now for service or work dogs, there’s a lot more to do like actual work, search, lead, act, train, blog, and the list goes on. These monsters have more to do, so they sleep less. But for regular domestic pet monsters, our job is to eat, play, and sleep.

- We wake up often. Monster never just get 8 straight hours of sleep. We wake up constantly throughout the night and fall back asleep again. We have a natural inclination to guard with an extremely acute sense of hearing- not exactly the best combo for a sound sleep. So we need to make up for the constant interrupted slumber by napping for more hours throughout the day. We don’t mind, it makes us happy.

- The older and bigger the monster, the more they nap. Now I wouldn’t say this is absolute, but after talking to a lot of monsters, it’s just an observation I’ve made. It takes a lot less activity to make an old monster tired. And big monsters that don’t have work to do, well I can only think that they have a much heavier load to carry around which seems like it could be tiring too.

Other Causes That Can Be Changed:

- Boredom. Why stay awake when there’s nothing to do? Monsters are really lucky. We can readjust our sleep cycle to work around our activities. So when we have more to do, we’ll stay awake and when there’s nothing to do, we doze off. Of course, sleeping too much out of boredom leads to laziness, sluggishness, and depression. There’s a really simple fix: Play with your monster for a little while or take her for a walk and she’ll end up napping naturally and not out of boredom. Remember, sleeping is what we do- you won’t have to work that hard to wear us out.

- Improper diet. Monsters need a balanced diet. As much as I love treats (and I LOVE treats), too much fatty foods and not enough protein or regularity makes me sluggish and lazy, not to mention a little tubby. As cliché as it sounds, a balanced diet and regular exercise are the foundation for the body’s activity-rest cycle. (Oh my dog, I sound like my mother!)

- Illness, medication, medical conditions. Sleeping more than normal can sometimes be a symptom of another condition. Hypothyroidism, heart conditions, senility all are possibilities, especially for older monsters. The key here is not really the amount of time your monster sleeps, but rather the quality of the sleep. Normal napping monsters can usually be awakened fairly quickly. They may be sluggish and slow after waking but they are responsive still. A monster with a condition sleeps so deeply he remains unaware to things that before would have woken him up. That’s a sign to check out the vet.

Sleeping a lot is natural for monsters. Just make sure we get good food and exercise to balance it out. If you’re worried about an older monster’s changing sleeping habits, take her to the vet to be safe.

I’ll catch you guys later, all that blogging about sleep has suddenly made me… sleepy.

How much does your monster sleep?

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One Monster’s Opinion- K&H Memory Sleeper

Today I’ll be reviewing a monster bed, the K&H Manufacturing Memory Sleeper.

MEMORY FOAM
As its name implies, this is a memory foam bed. Now, these days all the rage is orthopedic dog beds. Vets are talking about how important it is for older and larger dogs to have the foam support for their joints and how younger dogs can benefit from having a more supportive bed at an earlier age. Okay, fine, so we know that foam is good- but how good is the foam in the Memory Sleeper?

Well, this monster did a little investigating. The Memory Sleeper is almost 4 inches thick. The foam itself is really two pieces of foam put together. There is a 2 inch bottom layer of regular open cell foam with an almost 2 inch layer of egg-crate memory foam on top.

Now, usually when people hear memory foam, your heads go straight to Tempurpedic beds and such. That’s not what this bed is made up of so get those expectations out of your head. In fact it’s a good thing it’s not Tempurpedic because then it would cost a crazy lot of money for a simple dog bed!

The foam and memory foam layers in this bed are still comfortable and supportive. You get an extremely firm (but still cushiony) bed that will never sink, no matter how heavy or large your monster may be. Okay, I may only be 12 lbs. (fine, 13 lbs, geez) but I do have a lot of large buddies that tested this out and the 70 lb. Rottweilers agreed that this was one thick dog bed. My family of people even tried sitting on it and found it rather comfy. (I really hope they don’t make a habit of using my furniture.)

COVER
Over the foam, there are two slip covers. The inside liner offers a waterproof layer so the foam core is protected. The outer cover is an extremely soft, velvety material. Both cover and liner are easily removable and machine-washable (which is very important considering the bed will be inhabited by monsters). The cover also doesn’t bunch up or cling to dog hair like other materials, and even after several washes it continues to be in good shape. The cover comes in 2 colors- Sage and Mocha. This monster prefers mocha, but check out the colors to decide for yourselves.

3 sizes, 2 colors- The medium bed is Sage, the other 2 are Mocha

SIZE AND USES
The Memory Sleeper comes in 3 sizes. The smallest is 18” x 26” and the largest is 29” x 45”. Bigger and heavier dogs fit and were well supported. The bed is also well sized to fit most kennels and crates, though you should check your crate dimensions and compare them with the size you are considering beforehand. The bed also functioned in travel. Because of the memory foam, the ride was much less bumpy when sitting on the bed in a moving car.

PRICE
The K&H Memory Sleeper ranges from $45 for the smallest size to $96 for the largest size. This is a fairly reasonable amount for an orthopedic foam bed, memory foam in particular, but it may still seem expensive. Considering that this bed will last much much much longer than your typical dog bed, you’ll end up saving money over the long run.

SO…
I tested this bed out, and I talked to lots of other monsters out there, and the overall consensus is that it’s usually a good fit. (There were a few monsters out there that preferred their families’ beds or their old familiar beds over their new Memory Sleepers, but it was more of a preference thing than a bed thing.)

I give the K&H Memory Sleeper 5 out of 6 woofs! And that’s one monster’s opinion.

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Monster Hero

I just saw this video and I had to share it. It’s from a few years ago and made headlines so  you may have seen this story:


A real life monster hero- this is the kind of stuff that makes Disney movies! And he mysteriously disappeared again after he did this heroic deed- like some kind of monster angel. So mysterious, so dashing, and he’s Latin American! Sigh, I’ll be dreaming about my Monster Hero tonight, wherever he may be…

I love witnessing monsters (of all species) exhibit their full capacity for kindness, generosity, and true self-sacrificing love. It makes you believe in the beautiful mystery of life.

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Monsters and People Food

So continuing from yesterday’s post, here’s what we found out about dogs eating people food-

There is a whole list of stuff that I absolutely cannot have because it has been proven to harm dogs in small or large doses. Sure some of these things I could technically have in moderation- but if a lot of it is going to hurt me, why even bother acquiring a taste for it?

- Chocolate, Coffee, and Tea- contain Theobromine, which is poisonous. Basically, my heart can’t handle caffeine. That’s okay, I really don’t need it.
- Onions and Garlic- contain Thiosulfate, which is poisonous. Garlic only has a little bit, but it can still build up over time. Grrr, there goes full-flavored chicken curry out the window.
- Grapes and Raisins- have been shown to cause kidney damage.
- Macadamia Nuts- unknown substance blah blah blah poisonous.
- Green parts of potatoes or tomatoes and rhubarb- contain oxalates, which are, take a guess, poisonous.
- Avocados- contain persin, problematic if not poisonous to monsters.
- Mushrooms- certain species more than others, but most are still considered toxic.
- Citrus Fruits- the acidity may be too much for my tummy to handle.

And a few more people foods that are not toxic, but not recommended…

- Carb-loaded foods like Bread- are hard to digest and can cause weight gain in large amounts. Okay, that’s just mean.
- Dairy- since there is a possibility of being lactose intolerant– Wait what? A possibility? Oh come on!
- Corn- because it is unnecessary and really has no nutritional value. Seriously? How would you like it if I told you to stop eating fast food!

And here is the list of people foods that I can have no problem-

- Any Non-Citrus Fruits like Melons, Berries, Apples, and Bananas- Yum yum yum!
- Peanut Butter- I actually have been eating this from when I was a puppy. I love peanut butter, I get it a lot when I’m sick and it always makes me feel better. They say you can crush medicine and put it in there too but my family has never- wait, wait a minute…
- Broccoli, Carrots, Green Beans, Yams, and most Veggies- but you have make sure any thick skin is peeled off- I actually could chew on a carrot almost as long as my favorite bone, so this works out for me.
- Chicken and other Meats- served plain with not a lot of extravagant seasoning; boiled or grilled is best- Now that’s what I’m talking about! This is the jackpot of all table scraps!

The problem with most people food, is that you don’t always know what ingredients are in a dish, and you don’t always know how much is too much.

That's me on my birthday after a satisfying meal.

At the end of the day, my family and I decided that as long as the people food is home-cooked and we know there’s nothing in it that can hurt me, then I could have some too. And I get served in my bowl so don’t have to beg for it.

The non-toxic, non-recommended food is not completely off-limits anymore. But if I get sick, it will be, so I’m trying to control myself. Not a bad compromise, I’m pretty satisfied!

* Most of the information we got here was from my local vet at Banfield Pet Hospital. But we also referenced the website VetInfo.com.

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Why Can’t Monsters Have People Food?

Hello all! Yes, it has been a long time since my last blog post and I’m sorry to all my favorite monster and non-monster readers out there, all 2 of you. We’ve been busy what with the Grand Opening of ThePerfectDogBed.com happening on March 1 (It was quite exciting. I feel like a little celebrity the way they keep chasing me around with a camera!), plus my birthday was February 26- I turned 1!

Which brings me to today’s post, a subject I feel rather passionately about. Why in Fido’s name are some of us monsters not allowed to eat people food? I say some of us because I know there are some lucky dogs out there that have wonderful people who feed them whatever is at the dinner table all the time. I was usually not one of those monsters. I’d be lucky if I got a morsel or scrap. But I changed all that on my birthday.

It was dinner time and since it was my special day I expected to be treated with a little extra attention. Sure, I got extra play time and treats, but I was thinking more like the homemade chicken curry that I figured they made for me (it was the obvious conclusion to draw).

I sat patiently and waited my turn to be fed. As all the people got their tender juicy chicken, my mouth watered. Then, my bowl plopped down in front of me with my boring, not-special-at-all-for-my-birthday, dry kibbles. Now, normally I would have simply tried giving a look to someone- you know the look- sweet puppy dog eyes just staring at you as if you are the center of my world. Yeah, it’s supposed to incite guilt, but it doesn’t work on everyone, especially not at my dinner table. So I would have gone back to my bowl and obediently eaten my dog food.

That's me tellin' 'em

Not that day. I put my paw down. This was ridiculous and I told them so. I didn’t see why I was banned from having people food. Who made up this rule? And why did some owners accept it while others didn’t? It didn’t seem fair that some dogs should get to eat savory exciting cuisines while other missed out. I kept at it, unrelentingly pleading my case until finally I made them stop eating and start questioning.

That's me pleading

So, we came to an agreement. My family would come up with some sound reasons- real researched medical reasons why I couldn’t have what they were having. Not just, “The vet told us no,” but why did she say no. If they could not find these reasons, well then, they’d have to give in. I waited as they got the facts, and we found some interesting information- that’ll be the next post!

I know you’re sitting at the edge of your seats.

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