Reunited, and it feels so good!

Army Spc Tyler Mosley, of the 7th Special Forces Group (Airborne), reunited with a puppy, Daisy, he cared for during deployment in Syria. Mosley adopted Daisy after reaching out to the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals International (SPCAI) in January, who paved the way for the puppy’s arrival to the Destin-Fort Walton … Continue reading Reunited, and it feels so good! Dog Blog

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New Military Working Dog Stamps

The U.S. Postal Service honors the nation’s brave and loyal canines with the Military Working Dogs Forever stamps. In this booklet of 20, each block of four stamps features one stamp of each of the following breeds — German Shepherd, Labrador Retriever, Dutch Shepherd and Belgian Malinois — that commonly serve in America’s armed forces. … Continue reading New Military Working Dog Stamps Dog Blog

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Time to Relax

Actual footage of me trying to get into a hammock. Until next time, Good day, and good dog! Dog Blog

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Clive in Summer Pelt

I haven’t posted much of Clive lately because he’s been shedding out his winter coat. He does not have mange. He really does shed down to these levels.  The areas where he looks hairless are where the fur is about as long as a greyhound’s coat, but it’s much thicker and softer.

This should give you an idea that the red fox is not a bulky, hulking creature at all.

clive in summer pelt

Natural History

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Dare’s Embark

dare floppy ears

Dare’s DNA analysis came back from Embark.  She is clear of all genetic diseases that the company tests for, and she is not a carrier of any either.

She does not carry long-coat. There was possibility that she did, because long-coats occur on both sides of her pedigree.

She does, however, carry for recessive black. One great grandsire was a black dog.

dare coat embark

Her genetic COI is 32 percent:

Dare COI Embark

Remember that this breed is derived from very tight breeding at its foundation, and having a COI this high is to be expected.

In the MHC/DLA genes analyzed, though, she has high diversity, so she should have a good and effective immune system.

mhc dare 1

mhc dare 2

Her deep ancestry is pretty typical of European dog breeds. Her mtDNA haplotype is A361/409/611, which is very common in German shepherds.  It part of the A1b haplogroup, which has been traced to the original domestication in Central Asia and entered Europe during the Bronze Age.

So we can find out lots of interesting things about purebred dogs through these DNA tests. Not only do we know a lot about her risk factors and carrier status of certain diseases, we know a lot about her deep ancestry as well.



Natural History

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6 Ways To Help Kids Get Excited For Kindergarten

This post is sponsored by General Mills and Nestle, but all opinions are my own.

In less than two weeks, my little girl starts Kindergarten. Typing that out is pretty surreal, because that whole “time is a thief” cliche people throw around about having kids is absolutely true. I don’t feel like she was a baby that long ago, and now she’s completed preschool and is off to elementary. It’s emotionally intense to think about putting her on a bus and waving goodbye on that first day, but I’m also incredibly happy for her. She is happy too, and can’t wait to start at her new school, but she’s also admitted to me that she’s (understandably) a little nervous for this brand new adventure.

In an attempt to replace anxiety with excitement, we have been doing some things to help get her pumped for Kindergarten. And they seem to be working! So I thought I’d share these tips with all of you, in case you have a little one starting kindergarten (or school for the first time) as well.

1. Attend kindergarten orientation.
Most elementary schools offer some sort of optional orientation and I highly recommend going. My daughter’s was a three session program offered once a month for three months in the spring, and we attended all of them. She was very nervous and clingy when we walked in on the first day, even though she is normally quite outgoing and independent. By the end of the first session, her fear was replaced with joy, and by the last session, she couldn’t stop talking about starting school. If you can’t make the specific date(s) for orientation, most schools will allow you to visit on another day.

2. Read books about starting kindergarten. 
At her kindergarten orientation in the spring, Essley was given a book about starting kindergarten, and since then, we’ve gotten a few more. Two of our favorites for starting school (that aren’t kindergarten specific so they work for preschool too) are The Kissing Hand and Llama Llama Misses Mama. We also love Kindergarten Is Cool!

3. Go school shopping together.
Getting new clothes, supplies, and food for school is one of our favorite ways to get excited for the upcoming school year. We’re saving the new backpack shopping trip for last, but we’ve already gotten some new clothes, shoes, and started stocking up on food for her lunches and school day breakfasts at Sam’s Club. A few days ago we grabbed the 96 ounce Bisquick Mix for pancakes and 48 ounce package of Honey Nut Cheerios (her favorite breakfasts),  as well as some of her favorite snacks to add to her lunches (30 count box of Nature Valley Protein bars, 32 count package of GoGurt, and a case of Nestle™ Pure Life Water). One of the things she’s been worried about is having lunch at school everyday for the first time, but taking a Sam’s Club trip to stock up on some of her most beloved food items has helped set her mind at ease. (Pssst! Right now, you can buy 1 earn 12 Box Tops for Education, exclusively at Sam’s Club. See my next tip for more on this…)

4. Start collecting Box Tops for Education.
In the spring, I attended my first PTO meeting at the school where Essley will be attending kindergarten, and Box Tops were mentioned as an easy way to really help out the school. Afterward, I told Essley all about it, and explained how we could make a difference in getting her school what it needs just by purchasing foods we love. She loved this idea, and couldn’t wait to get started collecting them. (Every single one of the items we bought at Sam’s Club that I mentioned in number 3 above helped us earn Box Tops, by the way.)

And the best part is that now Box Tops are going digital! Instead of having to clip and save actual Box Tops off of items, a quick scan of your receipt with the Box Tops app and it automatically adds to your school’s earnings, which you can see online as soon as you do it. So cool, right? If you don’t have a lot of extra time or money to devote to your kids’ schools, Box Tops are an incredible way to contribute through items that you already have on your grocery list. They’re also a great way to get your child involved and excited. Essley loves checking the products we buy for Box Tops, and the more we collect, the more pumped she gets about her new school. As I mentioned above, right now you can buy 1 earn 12 Box Tops, exclusively at Sam’s Club. Bonus!

5. Play school.
Children learn from role playing, and pretending we’re at kindergarten at home using stuffed animals (and ourselves!) has made our daughter feel not only more comfortable, but also joyful about the upcoming school year. It has been great for practicing writing and math, and has also helped her learn how to handle certain situations that might arise in her new classroom, likes talking to her teacher if she ever feels worried.

6. Talk about it.
As much as we want our little ones to be thrilled about everything in front of them and never feel fear or worry, those emotions are okay too. We have made sure to talk to Essley frequently about her feelings about attending Kindergarten and a new school, have shared stories of our own kindergarten experiences, and have assured her that it’s normal to feel apprehensive. We’ve also told her that even though it might seem scary at first because it’s so new, it will get better everyday. This has really helped her to feel excited about the experience (and helped make us more excited too!).

I hope these tips prove as helpful for you as they have for us. And if you have any tips of your own from when your kids started kindergarten, I’d love to hear them!


Bubby and Bean ::: Living Creatively

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Search and Rescue

It’s all about strategy, folks! Until next time, Good day, and good dog! Dog Blog

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Friday Funny: Baby Deer For Sale

I hope this brought a smile to your weekend! Happy Friday! Until next time, Good day, and good dog! Dog Blog

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Win Bio Hemp™+ Bites (2 winners!)

After 14 months of research and development, Animal Nutritional Products (ANP) has introduced Bio Hemp+ Bites™, pet chews developed to support the joints, gastrointestinal, immune and nervous…

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Recipe: Mango Sorbet for You AND Your Dog!

Today we have a fun that you AND your dog can share…and one that’s perfect for the hot, hot weather that so many regions are tolerating right now. Our mango sorbet is a yummy dairy-free…

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