When I Realized This “Dog Food Thing” Was Not Working

It was all over the news this week.  Yet another set of dog food recalls.

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Image Via @dogingtonpost

In 2009, we adopted Peanut Butter Brickle. The day after he arrived to our home, I was on a mission to make him the happiest dog ever.  But Brickle’s constant battle with digestive issues had me perplexed.  He also had ear infections, dry skin, and lack of appetite.  But I took this as just being a normal dog.  He wasn’t sick all of the time, and I took him to the vet, but I was still perplexed.  What was I doing wrong?

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Fast forward to 2012, and Brickle’s stomach issues were getting worse.  Vet appointments were made more often for little things like skin infections, colds and lethargy. But then his increasing bouts of digestive issues were enough to make me panic because they were showing up more and more often.  How sick was he?  After ruling out major health concerns and illnesses, it became apparent that what I was feeding him was the culprit. Why hadn’t I thought of this? On the advice of many different vets and professionals, I was on a quest to find the perfect dog food.  What would be the cure all to his stomach problems? What would be the cost?

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I was a banking professional and not home for many hours during the day.  At this time, we had also adopted a second dog named Digby Pancake, and his ear infections were also a battle.  My husband and I took turns calling in sick to stay home with them when they had a flare up.  And one night, as I poured another cup of dog food in their bowls, I had one of those moments.  What was I doing? Obviously, this was not working.  This dog food thing.

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I have always been a creative person, thinking outside of the box.  But dog food was something I hadn’t given much thought to.  I mean, it was dog food.  Didn’t my dogs have to have dog food to LIVE?  And then I took it a step further.  People were telling me that these little pellets had all of the nutrition that it took for my dog to function, to be healthy.  Oh, so healthy.  The bags promised me healthy skin, and coats and teeth.  But this was not happening.  And then I just kept thinking, because you know, I was on a roll.  What was the supposed, required nutrition it would take to keep me a healthy human?  Why wasn’t there like, a person food or something?  How was I to know what I needed to survive?  How was it possible that I could think for myself and eat real food?  Uh, because this was nonsense. And even if there was a magic person food, would I even want to eat it every day?  What in the world was I doing to my dogs?  And what did dogs eat before dog food?  Now that I was thinking, I couldn’t go back.  I did a quick search online for soup.  Soup for dogs.  Because they weren’t feeling good, and when I wasn’t feeling good, I wanted soup.  They were going to have soup for dinner.

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And that was it.  At this point, our Facebook page was growing, and I reached out to our fans.  Would they want the recipe for this soup?  How about it?  It went over great! It was around this time that I lost my corporate job.  For the third time.  I was done, and I had an idea.  I could do this for a living.  I could change how people thought about dog food and the way that they were feeding their dogs.  I started my own company called Your Dog’s Diner and I made it my mission to change the world..or at least get people to throw away their dog food by offering them mixes like Mutt Meatballs, Mutt Soup, Kibble Mixes and even Mutt Pancakes.

I spent thousands of dollars I didn’t have attending trade shows, appearing in subscription boxes, and pretty much went crazy.  I worked the hardest I ever have.  There were sleepless nights that turned into days and more days.  But I kept going.  Because I knew that if people knew about my new concept of cooking for their dogs, and feeding them real food, that they would change their dogs’ lives and help them live longer.

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They say that when you start a new business, it takes years to take off.  I refused to give up on my values, and even though price was an issue in using organic ingredients, I truly could not compromise on what I knew was right.  As you can imagine, Brickle and Digby’s health had improved.  And the more research I did on feeding our dogs, the more I came to realize that there was no magic formula. My mixes simply offered people a more convenient alternative to their busy lifestyle, but still allowed them to feed their dogs real food.  And then, after yet another meeting with a big company interested in our line, another turn down, and after yet another trade show, speaking with representatives that didn’t even have dogs in their lives, I had another moment.  This was business.  These weren’t people interested in me or you. No matter how I was trying to spin it in my mind, it came down to a few things on why my mixes weren’t taking off the way I wanted them to.

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First off, some people simply didn’t care what they were feeding their dogs.  Their dogs were second or third priority.  And dog food for these consumers was always going to be there and they were always going to buy it. Then, there were dog parents who truly could not afford my mixes.  Dog food was cheaper.  Enough said.  And I understood that.  But third, and most frustrating for me was the fact that no one was thinking for themselves!  Why were they listening to dog food companies trying to sell them their product? Did they not realize that vets received compensation for selling specific brands?  How in the world could I alter this industry?  I was one person with one supportive husband and two rescue dogs.  The sales weren’t enough to keep fighting.  I had to change directions. And then.  I had another idea.

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If I worked at SHOWING people how they could feed their dogs real food by being an example, and give them the information that they needed in order to start, this was my best way to begin a change.  So I made a decision.  If I wanted to truly improve our dogs’ lives and change the industry, this was how to start.  Not by selling it.  But by living it. And I will continue to do this until there is a place for our products again.  And I won’t stop until that time.

So many times, I am asked for a one fail proof dog food recipe.  I don’t have it.  Why?  If I had that, it would again be telling you that you can’t think for yourself, that all dogs are the same. Depending on my dogs’ moods and health day by day, I use some raw ingredients, some cooked ingredients, and some supplements. That isn’t very specific though, is it?  That, I believe is the beauty in a lightbulb moment.  I had to use common sense, I found out.  And after throwing away that dog food bag, they are thriving after 6 years. Not just living. Thriving.

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BUT if you want to start on the real food path I have some suggestions because everyone needs somewhere to start. And since I was in the industry, here is my disclaimer, y’all.  I am not a veterinarian.  I am not a nutritionist. But Dr. Karen Becker really is my “go to”.  I feel that she, as a holistic vet, has a different approach to how we feed our dogs.  Do I follow every recipe and article she has? No, but I found her information to be a great reference and starting point for my own journey. And here is a recipe that I think will start you on your way.

So many of you have asked what my basic, go to recipe is for Brickle and Digby.  I will give that to you as well. We are all busy, but that doesn’t mean you can’t cook up a great dinner for your dog. We use this recipe for our boys and make a couple batches a week. This makes a whole pot of deliciousness. Check with your veterinarian for specific caloric needs and diet advice.

Ingredients:
3 pounds ground turkey or other lean meat of your choice
2 cups kale
2 cups organic brown rice
1 chopped organic red pepper
1/2 cup chopped organic broccoli
3 ground whole eggshells for calcium
2 tablespoons organic coconut oil
5 cups water or unsalted broth
Directions:
Mix all ingredients together and bring to low boil. Cook until water is absorbed and meat is fully cooked. Let cool completely. Never serve your dog hot food.
Will last for 3 days in the refrigerator or frozen for up to two months.

We also feed them a raw diet as well on alternate days, substituting the cooked meat for 4 whole, raw, organic chicken wings.  Yes. With the bones. What supplements do we add?  Milk thistle, turmeric and hemp oil. Then, once a week, we substitute the meat with sardines.  And yep.  Some days we forget what day it is and that works too.

I didn’t write this article to start a debate on why you think your dog food is the best, or the pros and cons of raw or cooked food.  Truth is, we all have to make our own decisions.  And if you are reading this, you care about your dog.  And you will make the best decisions for your family.  Also, I recognize that dog food is cheap, and not everyone is in a position to buy organic ingredients.  But that doesn’t mean that you don’t care for your dog.  Providing a home, love, and the basic necessities for our animals and family is hard.  Maybe one day, if your economic situation improves, you will consider throwing away that dog food bag.  And until then, even adding some fresh food to your dog food when you can has been proven to reduce canine cancer drastically.

Do I feel I lost my battle with changing the way people feed their dogs when I put our dog food business and manufacturing on hold?  Yes, I was tired of the excuses from people about not having enough time to make their dogs’ food.  I was tired of staying up for 48 hours straight to make food that I wasn’t even sure people would buy.  Yes, I was tired of talking to pet food companies that only cared about their profits.  But I don’t feel that I lost my battle.  I just think that it is going to be a long one.  And even though right now I am not fighting it with producing dog food, I fight it by being YOUR example.  I fight it by keeping a positive attitude that one day YOU will be part of the change in the industry.  We have to demand it.  We have to think for ourselves.  And we have to work at it.  Work at it?  Yep.  You will have to do research, find recipes, go shopping.  But if you truly want to be with your dog as long as possible, you will do it.  We all make changes if they are important to us.  Don’t wait until your dog gets sick again or when they get cancer.  Don’t wait for the next recall.  The time is now, the time is today.

And maybe one day, you will see Your Dog’s Diner on your store shelves, or our recipes in your bookstore.  Yes, even the recipes for the mixes we sold are available for free on our website. Find ALL of our recipes at www.yourdogsdiner.com and our Daytime NBC appearances on our YouTube channel.

-Rachael Johnson, Girl Person and Owner of 2 Traveling Dogs

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Do The Hustle

This is Deputy Digby Pancake.  Some days I wake up and I think that I have too much on my plate.  You know, like a lot to do.  No, no, there are never enough pancakes on my plate.  Why would you seriously think that?  But yes.  Some days, even I think that I cannot get done all that I have to do!  And it makes me tired just thinking about it.

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Yesterday, we got up, took our walk, and after Girl Person made us our eggies, she said that we had to do some work like make videos and see what animals needed help that day.  Then, she said that after we were done with that, we were going to go hiking in a new place called Little Talbot Island here in this Florida place.

I am all for a new hike.  And in my opinion, a new hike means new opportunities to find  new things to roll in.  New dead things to try and eat.  New poop to try and step in and roll in, and grab up for later.  And new opportunities to make the persons think that they are going to go insane.  But when your name is Digby…Deputy Digby Pancake, and your reputation proceeds you, you have to work.  You have to hustle.

You see, other persons on the trail may wonder what we are doing.  Why do I throw myself in the middle of the trail and roll around, they may wonder.  What am I doing in the bushes with old chicken bones in my mouth? Why is Sheriff Brickle trying to grab my collar and yank me away from those fiddler crabs playing a tune?  Because I want to eat them? I never said that.  But I hate fiddlin’ tunes for the record.  Don’t play it.

I actually prefer banjos.

But what the persons who are gawking at us while I am trying to work don’t realize is that I have to hustle. I have to give the persons something to do.  It wasn’t like I was trying to ruin their day by stuffing a week old, dead, rotting, slimy, stretchy fish in my mouth.

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If I didn’t know better, I would have thought that I hit the jackpot.  But I guess I hit the panic button on the persons.  As Boy Person was trying to take yet another picture of us on a hill of sand, I seized the opportunity.  You would think that he would have tried to get it out, but instead, he tried to make me open my mouth while yelling at Girl Person to yank it out.  Now. Girl Person can scream, I will tell you that.  But she can also scream while throwing up. And that my friends is a talent that even a hustler like me can’t readily accomplish.

Upside down
Boy, you turn me
Inside out
And round and round

She kept pulling on the fish and pulling on the fish.  I just held on tighter which made the fish stretch even more.  And then with the snap of all snaps, it flung out of my mouth and right on Girl Person’s foot.  As I tried to hustle yet again and come back for round two, Girl Person kicked it down the hill, and Sheriff Brickle was done.  Done with it all. I. Was. Arrested. I looked at the horizon, realizing that my work was in vain for the whole afternoon.  Oh fish of all smelly fish.  I will keep hustling and find you one day.  One day.

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I was right when I woke up yesterday.  I had a lot on my plate, but a rotting fish would have fit on it perfectly.  So today, as I contemplate how I can work my way up this corpawrate ladder next week, I will get my plan of action started.  You think that the persons probably won’t take me back to this location, I assume.  Well, a hustler can persuade.  A hustler can hustle.  My middle name may be Pancake.  But my last name should be Hustler.  I actually don’t even know what my last name is.  I thought it was Why because all I ever hear is “Why Digby, Why”?  Why?  I so I will tell you why.  Because my job is to remind you that when bad things are going on in the world, there are little things that happen every day that are pretty funny, pretty interesting.  The bad will never, ever outweigh the good.  Even the persons admitted that the fish incident didn’t make them forget about all the pretty birds we saw.

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Or the trees.

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Or the ocean.

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If you think that this world only has smelly, stretchy fish to offer, you are wrong, my friends.  Don’t let the few bad things that happen make you forget about the good.  If I have to hustle every day to remind you of that, by golly I will. If I need to do roll in something I will.  If I need to eat something disgusting, I will.  If I need to shake my booty? I will! But I might charge you a fish to watch.

Tomorrow, we have to change campsites and head to Georgia for the weekend.  But on Monday, we will be right back here near Jacksonville for two more weeks.  As we keep looking for house or land, we will also be making some other plans! Stay tuned!

-Deputy Digby Pancake

Thank you to Balanced Health for letting us take over their Facebook page! We had a rough time on the road taking care of our health, and their scans helped even the persons! Find out more about them at www.creatingbalancedhealth.com

 

The Best

This is Deputy Digby Pancake. Oh, what a week. Rain, rain and more rain. It was enough rain to make me smell like a dog. And not a regular dog, but a wet Deputy Digby dog and that my friends is a very. Smelly. Dog. Finally, we heard that the sun is going to come out today. We thought that it would come out yesterday, but at least the rain stopped enough for us to try and get cleaned up a bit.

But as we were thinking about how hard the past few days had been, Girl Person looked at us yesterday on our hike. All wet. Stinky. And she noticed the way we were standing. Did she look like that too?  What were we defending ourselves from?  Why was our guard up as far as my foxhound tail?

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You see, she realized that her feelings of worrying about the rain and if more was coming was making her forget about the fact that it wasn’t raining. At that particular moment. There we were, enjoying a walk without being poured on. And yet, she was worried about five minutes from now. And the next day. And this. Was. Arrestable. The Sheriff pulled out the report. It. Was. Written.

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As Deputy Digby, it is a rare occasion that I bring out the worry. If I don’t see my dinner exactly on time…worry. But that’s about it.

Doesn’t take much to make me happy
And make me smile with glee
Never never will I feel discouraged
‘Cause our love’s no mystery

And part of my job is to make the persons realize what is important by just being me, which is all that I can do anyway. So as I peed on yet another tree and found an old chicken wing, Girl Person simply looked at me and said that she would try. She would try today. She got what I was saying. And she said that she would even try the next day after that. Here she was, not being her best because she was worried about the next moment of rain. And not enjoying what was there right now.

Flowing in and out of changes
The kind that come around each day
My life has a better meaning
Love has kissed me in a beautiful way

You see, the best of our love will never be known if we don’t recognize our best. Being our best doesn’t mean the perfect job, or the perfect house. Being our best doesn’t mean that new car or even a new pile of pancakes. Sometimes, we have in our minds what we want to attain, and we think we can’t, and won’t be happy until whatever that is happens.  But being our best means showing our best in every situation, showing others what we truly are. Because you are the only you. And the best you.

Life cannot be lived in the past.  We left it there for a reason.  And even though we may have made mistakes, like that time I missed the coyote poop under that tree stump and was not able to roll on it in time, we can only do our best in this moment.  Will rain come again?  It probably will.  But if it isn’t raining now, appreciate that.  Even if it is a little foggy.  Even if it is a little dreary.  Because you can be your best in that too. It is just a different kind of best when you show what you are made of.

No, the day wasn’t perfect yesterday.  The sun did not come out.  But the rain never came either.  We may not have a home yet or land.  And so our sun isn’t as bright as we would like it to be.  However, where we are now is pretty good too. So we aim to show our best, to give the best of our love to each other, the world.  If we show our best and be our best, the best thing for us will happen.  That forecast is guaranteed.

Demonstrating love and affection
That you give so openly yeah
I like the way you make me feel about you baby
Want the whole wide world to see

-Deputy Digby Pancake

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I Just Gotta Stop. I Just Wanna Stop.

This is Sheriff Peanut Butter Brickle.  Oh, red bird.  Yesterday, we had to say goodbye.  I know that we were having a sort of competition for mirror time.  And I know that you probably think that because we left the campsite that you won.  But alas, guess who still has all the mirrors that you were attacking?  Me, red bird.  Me.

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But as we have been sitting over here a few campsites down from apparently yours…well…it seems that I will have to admit something.  We are missing your antics just a little bit.

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You see, campsite #132 is not the same as campsite #167.  It has no red bird.  It has no Scarlet Pimpernel to fly into our windows and mirrors all day.

When I think about the way the world must turn
I get the saddest thoughts for you and me
Memories of life and times go on and on
Ooh, Ive tried hard to forget it
But of lord my mind won’t let it

In fact, it is quite boring over here.  You can only listen to Digby sounds for a little while before you go insane. I don’t need to elaborate.  I just gotta stop.  I just wanna stop on that one.

Ooo, Ive tried so hard to take it
But oh lord my heart won’t make it

But I also just gotta stop thinking about you.  Because if our time as friends was that short, it would be a tragedy.  Friends? I think of you as a friend?  Well, listen.  You made me realize how important looking at myself was.  You also made me realize that I still had competition out there, when in fact I had let my guard down on that one.

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I have come to realize in life that the best friends we have aren’t necessarily the ones we even like the most. Sometimes, the best friends we have irritate us to the point of trying to block them out with tape on mirrors and plastic bags on windows.  But real friends don’t give up on us when they know that we need them.  Like you.  But Scarlet Pimpernel?  You are making me too emotional. And I just wanna stop.  I just gotta stop.

Sometimes, the best friends we have make us better whether we realize it or not.  And even though we may never cross paths again, I will always consider you one of my friends in this life.

You even reminded us of our family and friends who have been so supportive of us on our trip and our life changes.  They haven’t been pecking at our windows and mirrors, but they never gave up on us.  Even when we were depressed, broke down or when we thought we couldn’t finish our Adventure Of A Lifetime.  They told us we could.  And we did.

You see little red bird, there were times we wanted to stop.  And family and friends helped us not too.  Apparently, you were never going to stop pecking the Big Blue Treat Wagon RV.  And we thank you for not stopping.  But we had to move so that you could take care of your family. And mirrors.  Did I mention that I need all the mirrors?

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You see, friends aren’t always the same.  Sometimes, they are quite different.  Like you and me.  I have a feeling that one day, our paths just may cross again.  But until then, I won’t be able to help looking for you.  I just wanna stop.  I just gotta stop.  But I need a few days.

Memories of life and times go on and on

Take care of yourself, little red bird.  Take care of your family.  You were a good friend to us and taught us something when we needed to see it.  But I need to see myself too.  I have all the mirrors now.

-Sheriff Peanut Butter Brickle

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The Campground Scarlet Pimpernel

This is Sheriff Peanut Butter Brickle.  You may know that I am a dog of many talents.  Looking good is what I do.  Looking better is what I do best.

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But some little red bird named the Scarlet Pimpernel is trying his best to outdo me and take up all the mirror time around here.

And he hasn’t been doing it for one day.  Or three days.  Or even a week.  Nope.  He has been doing this for a week and two days.  And we are all about to go crazy.

You see, I named this red bird Scarlet Pimpernel because I am an avid reader of literature, you know.

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Actually, I bet you didn’t know that.  Because you haven’t read about it, because a book of that caliber has not been written yet.  Because I haven’t finished it. Only I could write such a masterpiece.  So since my book is not written, I thought very hard about this bird.  This little red bird.  And it called to mind a literal masterpiece of duels and wits already written.  Because that is what is happening here.  At camp. Between a bird.  A little red bird. A duel of mirror time.

You see, the mirror time around here is valuable.  Very valuable.  When I want to see myself, I not only have one mirror to choose from, but I must use many, to get different angles.  And yet, this little red bird thinks that his handsome is just as important as mine.

Apparently, this Big Blue Treat Wagon RV not only provides him with mirror time to get the ladies, but obviously, he is trying to protect the ladies and the babies he might already have from a bird that he keeps seeing in the mirror.  And while this would be entertaining to most, and perhaps most and three more persons, it is not amusing to me.  His valiant efforts in protecting his fans while terrorizing the Big Blue Treat Wagon RV mirrors and windows, were enough to make the persons put tape and bags over them all.  You see, they started to worry for his mental health while taking ours away.

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But alas, the Scarlet Pimpernel still has not given up.

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Even yesterday in the rain, his efforts were taken up a notch.  It seemed with all of the noise that he was making that he called in all his backups.  Little did he know that in fact, this was working.  The persons decided that the best thing that we could do for the Scarlet Pimpernel was to move spaces today. And so.  We are.  And you may think that in fact the Scarlet Pimpernel won this duel.

But the real winner here is me.  You see, with us changing campsites, we will leave the Scarlet Pimpernel to his own devices and I get my mirror time back.  And ladies?  You can now get back in line.

The Scarlet Pimpernel may be crazy.  He might be insane at this point.  But call me crazy too.  Because I will miss the little guy and our daily battle of wits.

I do just have a feeling though that it isn’t over yet.

-Sheriff Peanut Butter Brickle

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I Got You

This is Deputy Digby Pancake. Have you ever had a day when you are too happy?  You know.  You can’t contain yourself?  You are like a kid in a candy store.  A Girl Person in a winery.  A Brickle making an arrest.  A Digby at dinner.  Have you ever been that happy? Have you ever felt that good?

As you know, I have been pretty mouthy and howly lately.  But catch me around dinner time, and I tell you what, you haven’t seen nothin yet.  I go literally insane.  Girl Person says that every night is worse than the last.  She said all of Jacksonville, Florida needs ear plugs at this point if they aren’t all sold out around here.  But this weekend, I took the cake.  Or Girl Person’s eye if you must know.

I feel nice, like sugar and spice
So nice, so nice, I got you

There it was dinner time.  Girl Person had made us one of our favorites…pizza!  And well, I got a bit beside myself wondering what the toppings would be.  Pancakearoni?  I just couldn’t imagine.  She tried to sneak the food outside without me waking up so that it would lessen the barking time.  But you cannot sneak a pizza past Digby Pancake.  You might as well change my name to Digby Pizza.  I am that good.  You can add any name of food to my name…that starts with a peeee of course. Digby Potato, Digby Poutine, Digby Pasta, Digby Papaya.  Digby Poop.  Yes, that’s food to me.  I said it.

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So when her sneaking food past me failed, I jumped up in amazement like I always do!  Dinner time, dinner time, dinner time!!  I get so excited that I can’t sit still, and Girl Person tried to put my collar and leash on me.  I tried to be good, but tried wasn’t doing it.  And as I threw my head back one last time to howl as loud as I could, Girl Person’s big old eyeball she has had since she was a baby person got clocked right about out.

When the clock strikes two, three and four
If the band slows down we’ll yell for more.

Now.  You would think that when your eye almost falls in a pizza and it doesn’t, that you would be thankful your eye didn’t fall in a pizza. Yet, Girl Person lost her mind, fell on the ground doing a person howl, Sherif Brickle arrested me, and she was a little bit perturbed.  But as she always does, she gets over it in about five seconds.  Good thing, because I had started my howling again. As she looked in the mirror and saw her black eye, she wondered if she should ever make pizza again.  And what were the toppings? I couldn’t tell you.  I ate it too fast.  And that was the only time I stopped howling.

Girl Person thought that perhaps we should take a walk to clear our heads, but as some others campers tried to talk to us, she felt the need to explain her appearance and eyeball.  She explained about the pizza, the howling, the arrests, and dinner time.  As the campers patiently listened to her story, the man camper person remarked that he had heard it all.  About a mile down the road.

IMG_3621.JPGThis information reaffirmed to Girl Person that not only was my howling about to get us kicked out of this place, but if everyone knew I was howling because pizza was so good, she was going to have a line at the door.  She said to me that she wished that she got that excited about anything lately.  And as usual, I said thank you.  Because one of the things that I don’t understand about persons is why they try to hide happy.  Why they try to hide excitement.  If something is good, even if it happens every day, feel it.  Embrace it .  Howl about it.  Don’t. Hide. It.

Girl Person? I got you good.  But you’ve got me.  We have each other. And even though we have not found a house and we have no campsite available here after this Friday, and  you are worried, I do know this.  There are five more dinners until then.  And I will still be excited about that.  Every day, every dinner should feel like you are experiencing it for the first time.  Try it.

-Deputy Digby Pancake

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Life Before Dogs. Life After Dogs.

Admit it. You have thought about it. Maybe it is when you are walking your dog in the pouring rain. Or maybe it is when you try to sleep in on the weekend and your dog barks to go outside. What was my life before dogs?

Amelia Island 2TD

It happened to me last weekend. There I was, so tired from the week and honestly, I couldn’t even fathom the idea of getting out of my warm bed. But there he was. The love of my life patiently, yet not so much…staring at me to get up. No, he didn’t really have to go to the bathroom. He just wanted to be with me. Me. And at that exact moment I knew. Life before dogs was easier. Life before dogs was cheaper for sure. Life before dogs was way cleaner. But. Life before dogs pretty much was awlful.

And so…on our Facebook page, we asked you, our fans the same questions I had asked myself that morning. What was life before dogs and after dogs? Why did we ask you? Because sometimes, when life gets hard, it is easy to forgot one of the most amazing parts of our life, who makes it better, and it may be time for a reality check. What if they weren’t there tomorrow? So here are just of your answers to life before and after dogs!

“Empty before, in between, and after. There hasn’t been a lot of in between because it’s too weird not having a dog in my life.” Janice Everett Davis 

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“No dog hair, no morning wake up kisses at 7 in the morning and I got to sleep in, I didn’t have to spend money to spoil a dog but Lord is he worth all these things and I don’t know what i would do without my boy Theo. He is my pride and joy and when he wakes me up in the morning I smile ear to ear cause he is like mommy it’s time to wake up and play” Brittany Jones 

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“Before? More free. After? EXPENSIVE lol. But I love both of our pups.” Heather McCloud Beene

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“I hope I never know.” Ron Loy 

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“There has always been a dog in my world,
So I wouldn’t know about before or after….” Kevin Jasinski 

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“All I did was relax alone on the couch. Now I relax with Daisy on the couch” Fern Stiffler 

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And then, probably our most favorite picture, with no words from Ann Marie Grycza Muehlhauser

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It may be easy when you dedicate yourself to animal rescue to only see the negative side of persons out there.  But we hope that you can see that there are truly ones who love their dogs!  Having dogs in our lives, and all pets comes with responsibilities, not unlike having children.  No one ever said that it would be easy to walk in the rain, make room in our budgets for food for our pets, or to keep our homes clean!  But probably, no one ever told us how having dogs in our lives can not only change it for the better, but in my case, they literally saved my life on more than one occasion.  Depression has been something I have battled my entire life.  Before dogs, I struggled every single day to get out of bed.  Not because it was warm, but because there was no one that really needed me to get up.  On the days I feel sorry for myself that I am too tired to take care of them, I remember how boring it would be without them.

Spring Break (2) 2TD

Do we deserve dogs?  Maybe not.  But they deserve for us to appreciate them, because They. Are. Amazing.

“Before dogs, I had money. After dogs, I have love. Easy choice.” Susan Graziosi 

“There’s never been a before, or after, for me! Life with dogs – from beginning and hopefully to the end!” Eleanore MacDonald 

-Rachael Johnson, Owner and Girl Person of 2 Traveling Dogs

Catch our daily dog blog written by Peanut Butter Brickle and Digby Pancake at www.2travelingdogs.com

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Sold Out Tickets

This is Sheriff Peanut Butter Brickle.  Some persons may be making super fun plans for the weekend.  I hear some persons like to go out for dinner to fancy schmancy restaurants.  Some persons like to go to hang out with other persons at places to drink some drinks.  I heard some persons even like to go out to the movies or plays or shows.  But around here, the tickets are sold out.  So don’t even try to get them.  You can’t order online or in person.  The shows around here are in such high demand that tickets aren’t even possible because I don’t know what they are about. They are that good.

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You see, we have been watching a show at camp for the past few weeks.  Every morning and every night, all of the birds here fly around doing tricks for each other, they dive in the lake, and then they roost on the islands.  Every kind of bird is out there.  Even the pelicans show up, the buzzards and the the cardinals.  This show is THE show to watch.

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But something suddenly occurred to me yesterday.  There we were on the banks of the lake watching them.  Deputy Digby was doing his usual rolling around in bird poop, which apparently they sell at the concession stand, and I was looking mighty fine. Too fine.

I’ve got two tickets to paradise,
Won’t you pack your bags, we’ll leave tonight

And all of a sudden I wondered.  Were the birds buying tickets to OUR show?  Who was watching who?!  Were we on broadway too?  Oh.  This was intriguing.  And it made the shows even better.  In demand.  I amped up my handsome, Deputy Digby howled. This was so dern good.  This show. We had to keep this a secret though, I could tell this right away. When you know you have magic, its a dangerous thing.

A pretty man came to me
Never seen eyes so blue
You know, I could not run away it seemed
We’d seen each other in a dream
Seemed like he knew me, he looked right through me, yeah

This was going to be the hit of the centuries, these shows across the lake.  But we couldn’t let the secret out.  It was TOO big. Like Digby’s butt. But I wondered.  Could birds keep secrets?  Or would they try to promote our show far and wide to all the other birds around here…in the ocean.  In the skies.

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So across the lake, I made it clear in my show that the only tickets available were to the ones right here.  Right now.

Right now, hey
It’s your tomorrow
Right now,
C’mon, it’s everything
Right now,
Catch a magic moment, do it
Right here and now
It means everything

You see, after it was all said and done, both entertainers in the plays across the lake decided that our shows were too good to leak out.  And even though our lives to ourselves seemed pretty ordinary, to the other side of the lake, they were extraordinary.

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Do you really appreciate how special the show of your life is? How do others see it?  I bet they would buy tickets to your show, because you have the only show like it.  Make it good.  But don’t try to buy tickets to our show.  Because they are sold out.  All I have for you is a ticket to ride, y’all.  But since the Big Blue Treat Wagon RV is pretty stationary right now, you may have to wait in line for that too.

-Sheriff Peanut Butter Brickle

We have been on the road for almost two years now.  And one of the ways we are able to keep up with Brickle and Digby’s health needs comes down to knowing WHAT they need!  Check out the scans from PetMedella and Balanced Health and listen to our “live video” below! #sponsored

Yakety Yak. Don’t Talk Back.

This is Deputy Digby Pancake.  It has been said that I drive some people to drinkin’.  At least that is what Granny Person used to say.  It has also been said that the drink in their drinkin’ glass is a little stronger than maple syrup, when they drink that drink I drove them to.  Seriously.  I do know how to drive.  But that’s not the point here.  I’ll drive you to drinkin’ any which way I please.  And I please.

Don’t you give me no dirty looks
Your father’s hip; he knows what cooks
Just tell your hoodlum friend outside
You ain’t got time to take a ride

But you may have noticed in our live videos…and in all of our videos pretty much lately that I am a bit, well, mouthy, as Gandma would say. Yes, it seems like everyone has something to say about this.  Because I guess everyone hears me.  You see, the older I get, the more I know what I want in life.  And I am going to tell everyone about it.

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I also know what I don’t want in life.  I will tell you that too.  I don’t want Sheriff Brickle to sleep in his bed after 9:03 a.m., because that is my turn to use it.  So I howl, I pretend to see a stranger danger outside, and that makes him jump up and give up his bed…yep.  Howling works.  You would think that the Sheriff wouldn’t fall for this day after day after day.  Oh, but he does.  So I keep doing it.  Day after day after day.

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Also, for the last week, at exactly 4:44 p.m., I start howling if I ain’t eating.  Yesterday, I was extra hungry.  Boy Person kept asking me to please, please stop.  He kept asking me to just wait while Girl Person made our dinner.  My howling got Brickle all in a dither, and he started tearing up his bed, which made Girl Person try to go faster to make the commotion stop.  But her fast moving antics made my howling antics seem more necessary until the Big Blue Treat Wagon RV was rocking away with unnecessary loudness.  Yes.  It was rocking.  Our jacks still won’t come down in this thing.  To the other campers trying to find peace in their camping activities, I am sure that they were not liking this.   Which made me howl even louder.  Oh, this was a show.

At this point, Girl Person took our dinner outside, I tried to get down the RV steps too fast, and I fell flat on my butt.  Which is already a pancake butt, so there isn’t much there.  But that didn’t stop me.  Girl Person was upset, tried to make sure I was ok, but then figured I was when I ate my dinner in five seconds.  As we walked down to the beach, I decided last night that every dog I would see, I would howl at.  Every old man person outside with a hat on, I would howl at him.  Every little girl person on a bike deserved a howl. And especially that woman person in the tent that popped out of nowhere with a pizza.  I needed that. I am sorry you dropped it. Once you lick it, its yours.  Just. Saying. Why is a pizza in. A. Tent.

You just put on your coat and hat
And walk yourself to the laundromat
And when you finish doin’ that
Bring in the dog and put out the cat
Yakety yak (don’t talk back)

But in my mind the whole time, all I could think of was our nightly “present time” after our walk.  And at exactly 6:20 p.m., the howling started.  Girl Person was trying to clean our muddy feet, Boy Person jogged up, and as he was trying to help her, I got more and more impatient. The howling got louder and louder.  And let me tell you.  That driven to drinkin’ thing was happening.

Puleez. Just. Puleez. #youknowwhat

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Girl Person was beside herself at this point.  If you have never heard a rescue foxhound like me howl, you don’t know about howling.  Just ask the other campers here and all the way to Alaska.  As I went inside, Girl Person and Boy Person stood outside trying to talk, but they couldn’t even hear each other.  Girl Person didn’t want us to be kicked out of here, so she ran inside, tried to get our bone, and I jumped up on the couch with one last howl as loud as I could muster.  Girl Person gave us our bones, didn’t say a word, and went into the shower.  She shut the door with a loud shutting type way, and as she stood in the shower wondering what her life was coming to, she closed her eyes with tears of stress from the last few days. And she looked up.  There was a glass of wine coming thru the door from Boy Person.  Mission.  Accomplished.  My drivin’ is pretty good.

I like this getting older thing.  You know what you want when you want it.  You don’t have a problem telling others what you want.  And in the end, you know that you earned everything you asked for.  When the persons finally realize that I am indeed yaking for a reason, maybe they will appreciate it.  You see, they can’t even figure out what they want in life.  A house..just some land…where they want to be.  Maybe when they do, things will come easier.  Digby always knows.  Why doesn’t anyone around here listen to me?  Maybe I should talk louder.

Yakety yak (don’t talk back)
Yakety yak, yakety yak

Today we are going to take a side trip into Georgia!  Why not?!  Will you join us? Look for updates on our Facebook page!

-Deputy Digby Pancake

Don’t miss our online shop!  Mugs, shirts and all your 2 Traveling Dogs gear!

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Lost In Space

This is Sheriff Peanut Butter Brickle.  Have you ever been so distracted that you don’t notice the little things in your day?

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Have you ever been so distracted that you don’t notice the big things in your day…like perhaps a rocket launching in your backyard?

Yeah, so apparently that was us yesterday.  Here we were, in this Florida place.  And we were so caught up in trying to find a house without wheels to live in that we missed it. In fact, we pretty much didn’t even know about it.  Self absorbed?  Perhaps.  But I mean, look at me.  How could I not be?

Some people call me the space cowboy yeah
Some call me the gangster of love
Some people call me Maurice
‘Cause I speak of the pompitous of love

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You might think that we would have been disappointed to miss such an expensive, monstrous launch of a rocket that people came from all over the world to see.  But alas, we were lost in our space of trying to figure things out around here.  Rocket? Who needs a rocket when we are trying to find sticks and bricks to live in? Unless that rocket was going to take us to another planet with nothing but rescue animals and nice people taking care of them, it was not helping us. We were also lost in the trauma of trying to pry a half eaten bbq rib out of Digby’s mouth. But that’s a story for another day.  Another space in time.

As the persons took their borrowed car back from last weekend’s trip to Gandma and Gandpa’s house, and got groceries and wine and talked to people about houses for sale and not for sale, they forgot about the rocket. And when they got back to camp, well, it was over.  They had missed it.  All because the ordinary things of life distracted them.  But then I thought about it.  I always think about it.  That is what I do, you know. If I didn’t I am sure you would be disappointed.

People talk about me baby
Say I’m doin’ you wrong, doin’ you wrong
Well don’t you worry baby, don’t worry
‘Cause I’m right here at home

How many times would a rocket like this launch?  Who knows.  But how fast it was over! And it is like that in life.  We may think that the ordinary things in our day aren’t special. But let me tell you.  Being able to have ordinary days in life are the most special.  They don’t call me the space cowboy for nothing you know.  Actually, I don’t know who “they” are.  But I am a space cowboy today.  Because in my opinion, well, the space around us and our loved ones and what we fill it with are far more important than even a rocket.  I don’t need to be launched into space or see a metal object launched into space to appreciate what I have on the ground and in the space around me.

And although I arrested Deputy Digby for the bbq rib incident, I did not arrest the persons for the rocket incident. Because truth be told, at this point, if they could turn a rocket into a house, they might do that. They don’t need any more ideas. They are looking at every option now.  Old houses.  Land.  And even making a house out of containers or tiny houses.  And if they would have saw the rocket, they might have made an offer on that too.  And my patience is wearing thin.

We do feel lost in space right now.  But we know that we will find our way.  Just obviously not on a rocket.  We were a bit late. For now a house on wheels with sunshiney and the ocean to walk to ain’t that bad.

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You might feel that your days, and maybe even your life have been too “ordinary”.  Maybe you feel like you missed out on something when you had to work, or live the everyday things of everyday.  But how many people go thru things that would make them wish for your ordinary days?  They aren’t so ordinary now…are they?  They are pretty special.

Although this may not be the Adventure Of A Lifetime to some, it continues for us.  Because even the ordinary days of life, and the ordinary decisions that come with it are special too.  Each step leads us to another adventure that may even be more exciting than the last. And you don’t need a rocket for that. We will just see where being lost in space takes us.

‘Cause I’m a picker
I’m a grinner
I’m a lover
And I’m a sinner
Playin’ my music in the sun

-Sheriff Peanut Butter Brickle

Did you catch our article in Animal Wellness Magazine!  It is written by none other than Girl Person herself.  Click here to read!

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