Nature’s Variety Biscuits

This month our friends at Chewy let us try the new Nature’s Variety Prairie Oven-Baked Biscuits and they might be the Aussies’ new favorite treat!  I’m not sure the Aussies are the best treat reviewers, as they love, love, love everything Chewy sends!





When I first opened the bag, this was Dublin’s expression: a huge smile!  Love that Aussie smile!




The Aussies know the routine- take a few pictures for the blog and then we get the treats. But they were very impatient this time.  Shortly after taking this picture, Bailey began to drool!  She could smell the bacon and apples through the packaging and she wanted her treat ASAP!  I had no problem ripping into the bag because, as you can see below, these are “naturally delicious”.  The biscuits contain no wheat, no corn, no soy, and no artificial preservatives.  They smell like bacon and they must taste like it, too, judging by the reactions from the dogs!





If you look closely, you can see a little bit of Dublin’s tongue hanging out. He could barely sit still long enough for this picture!  I tried to get a shot of him eating the treat, but it happened too quickly!  That’s stamp of approval from Dublin!



And then poor Bailey finally got her turn.  She was actually shaking as I took the picture.  She could smell the biscuit, she could see the biscuit, and I think she could practically taste it at this point!  She was even drooling a bit.  Don’t worry, I didn’t make her wait too long!  Like Dublin, she was done with the biscuit almost instantly and was looking for another one.  I have to keep the bag hidden away so she doesn’t try to eat them all day long!


Thanks to our friends at for being so nice to us!  We love trying new treats!  It’s been a little crazy lately because we are moving and they’ve been so understanding of us falling behind a bit.  But I think we are caught up now!  Be sure to check out Chewy for all your pet needs!



*These treats were provided to me free of charge but all opinions are my own.



Review: Indoor Chuck-it Toys

Dublin and Bailey are super active.  I mean, of course they are- they are Australian Shepherds! We take lots of walks but in the house we also need some playtime.  Recently, we decided to try the Chuckit! Indoor Ball. To be honest, I didn’t have a lot of faith in a soft toy that the Aussies were expected to pick up and toss around. I assumed it would be in pieces in a few short days. Boy was I wrong! Months later, the indoor toys are by far Bailey’s favorite “in the house” toys and they still look brand new!

The toys are great for the house because they are very soft. We can toss them around and they don’t knock the lamps over, leave marks on the wall, or make a lot of noise. We can get into some pretty heated games and I never worry about the toys breaking something. (The dogs, on the other hand…ha). I recommend the Chuckit! Indoor Ball to everyone I know.

More importantly, Bailey recommends the Chuck-it Indoor line of toys.

Buy these toys!!  We love Chuck-it!

Buy these toys!! We love Chuck-it!



*We are just big fans and bought these toys on our own. We’ve purchased them from Doggyloot and our local Homegoods/Marshalls.

Doodie Packs!

I have to tell you all how much I adore Dublin and Bailey’s Doodie Packs. We ordered them at L’Oreal’s Because Your Dog is Worth It, Too and had personalization done.  We figured it was a good investment because they are multi-use.  Both Aussies can wear them on runs during hunting season, they can use them as jobs on walks, and Dublin can wear his on therapy visits.  I love that they are Made in the USA!  Kristin Elliott, the brains behind the Doodie Pack is an absolute sweetheart and went out of her way to make our packs awesome! (She measured each dog and shortened the straps on Dublin’s pack, which she did not have to do!)


What is a Doodie Pack? From their website:

Doodie Pack is a canine utility back pack designed to improve your quality of life and the relationship between you and your dog.

Supporting the philosophy that dogs need a job, Doodie Pack’s simple and easy to use multi-pocket design is endorsed by behavioral trainers as an effective tool in the training process.

Originally designed to carry bags of dog waste generated during your walks, Doodie Pack’s roomy pockets allow your dog to comfortably carry whatever you put in the pack up to the recommended 15% of your dog’s body weight.
Our lightweight and durable pack promotes K9 physical and mental wellness during a day hike, a run, or just your daily walk around town and “puts dignity back into your dog walk”…as it should be.

Available in 8 colors and 3 sizes, Doodie Pack fits dogs from 8 to 180 lbs.

We chose hunter orange because we do a lot of hiking during hunting season and I wanted to make sure they would be visible.  Plus, it goes with the Irish theme.  We had each dog’s name embroidered on the pack along with a shamrock (again, the Irish theme).  The Aussies have been wearing their packs a few times each week for the past two months and they are fabulous!  Dublin even managed to get his covered in mud last weekend and it rinsed clean, coming out as good as new.

The Doodie Packs have a very convenient grab handle on top which I have used more than a few times to corral running Aussies.  The expandable pockets on each side can hold keys, cell phones, waste bags, water bottles, and lots more! The reflective tape is great for walking at night and when your dogs are racing through the woods at twilight.  And best of all, the nylon is rugged and heavy-duty.  So far, my packs have taken a beating and still look brand new!

I highly recommend the Doodie Pack.  Be sure to check out their website!

Here are some photos of the Doodie Packs in action!

Bailey and Dublin wore theirs during their last CAT trial and they received many compliments on them!
Patricia Hart Zackman: CAT in Colts Neck 9-16-12 &emdash; CAT in Colts Neck, NJ
Patricia Hart Zackman: CAT in Colts Neck 9-16-12 &emdash; CAT in Colts Neck, NJ




*all opinions are my own.  I was not compensated for this review.  I just really love the Doodie Packs!

My Dogs Have Letters After Their Names Now

Yes, you read that correctly. Dublin and Bailey have earned letters after their names, a feat I am yet to accomplish myself.

J+F’s Dublin’s Irish Sky, CA

Bailey’s Irish Dream, CA

Both dogs completed the three legs necessary for their AKC Coursing Ability titles this past weekend!

Showing off their fancy ribbons!


For those of you not familiar with Coursing Ability Tests, they are related to lure coursing.  Lure coursing is for sighthounds, so coursing ability tests were developed to let other breeds in on the fun.  The dogs must enthusiastically chase a lure (plastic bags, usually) on a pulley system around a 600 yard course.  They must complete the course and return to their owner in under two minutes.  Both Aussome Aussies finished in under a minute each time.

We completed three trials this weekend, which was exhausting for all parties involved.  But we met a lot of great people and the Aussies love, love, love lure coursing.  We attend practices most weekends during the warmer months and it’s great exercise.  After this weekend’s events, the dogs slept for about two days!  I joked with my husband that we had finally discovered the secret to good Aussies- three coursing ability tests, meeting lots of new people, and attending a soccer game to top it all off.

Bailey is one of less than 40 Aussies nationally who have achieved their CA titles.  Dublin, AKC registered as a Miniature American Shepherd (mini Aussie), seems to be one of the first (if not the first) of his breed to reach title status in CAT!  Very cool, huh?

Next up? Coursing Ability Advanced titles!  Bailey just needs 6 more passing runs and Dublin needs seven.

August Barkbox Review

The middle of the month is very popular around here.  Sometime around the 15th of the month, our Barkbox arrives!  The Aussies know when it’s here, because unlike the other boxes that arrive on our porch this one always smells like treats.  As soon as I bring the box into the house the Aussies are following me around, herding me into the family room so I can open it.

This month’s box was another hit!

Checking out the goodies!

This month’s box was awesome!  The first item out of the box and quickly out of the packaging was the Hyper Pet™ Flying Series Slingshot Flying Pig.   This is a slingshot toy that can shoot over 100 feet!  We haven’t tried it outside yet, but it certainly flys far in the house!  The Aussies also love the rope toy attached to the pig.  I’m not sure how long the pig will last around here, as it seems ripe for holes from Aussie teeth, but no stuffed toy lasts very long at our house anyway.  This one is a big hit right now, though!

Playing tugs with the flying pig!

The Aussie’s least favorite item in this month’s box was my favorite.  The NATURE’S MIRACLE Freshening Spray for Dogs is like a leave-in conditioner for dogs.  You can use it between baths to keep your dogs smelling fresh and clean.  The Aussies are not big fans of taking baths and they tend to dislike anything that represents bath time. However, I can’t wait to use this to keep them smelling fresh and clean!

This box also included a moose antler from Acadia Antlers! Dublin and Bailey LOVE LOVE LOVE antlers.  We have deer antlers and elk antlers laying all over the house.  I haven’t given them the Acadia Antler yet because we only have one and that won’t go over very well. As soon as I have another moose antler they will be thrilled to chew away on them. Antlers are awesome because they last forever, they don’t break, and the marrow is delicious (to the dogs)!  They also don’t smell and don’t stain, which makes this owner quite happy.  Plus, they are a renewable resource, as they are collected after the deer, elk, or moose drops them each year.

Finally, we got two bags of treats this time.  First, we got a sample of Milkbone’s new Trail Mix for Dogs.  The Aussies tore through that and it’s already gone!  But the best treat is the Bocce’s Bakery Elvis, a banana, peanut butter, and turkey bacon treat.  The Aussies sniffed that out immediately and I think they would have eaten the whole bag right then if I let them.  But we are trying to ration the delicious treats!  Just a few each day.  🙂

Once again, Barkbox hits it out of the park!  I enjoy each month’s offerings almost as much as the Aussies do!

Click here to order your own subscription.  (You get $5 off and I earn a free month!)

*I was not paid for this review in any way. I stumbled upon Barkbox while reading another blog back in April and subscribed almost immediately.  Opinions are my own! 

Dog Days of Summer- L’Oreal’s Because Your Dog is Worth It, Too!

One of our favorite days of the year is L’Oreal’s Because Your Dog is Worth It, Too.  An annual event held in Cranbury, NJ,  it raises money for Susan G. Komen for the Cure.  As of 2010, over $500,000 had been raised towards finding a cure for  breast cancer. It’s a wonderful event, put on entirely by volunteers at L’Oreal, in honor of their co-workers who were some of the millions of people who are diagnosed with breast cancer.  Thousands of humans and dogs attend the event, which houses hundreds of pet vendors.  The vendors have samples and sell lots of doggie items.  There are rescue groups, pet food companies, trainers, doggie daycares, pet stores, apparel companies, and anyone else you can think of!

Today we attended Because Your Dog is Worth It, Too for the fourth year in a row and it was the best year yet! It was raining when we woke up and when we jumped in the car, but a little rain never stopped the Aussome Aussies!  In fact, I think they prefer the mud!  Plus, the cloudy weather meant it wouldn’t be as hot as it normally is at the event.  We lucked out, and when we pulled into the parking lot (where we got the closest spot ever, thanks to the inclement weather!) the sun came out!  The weather cleared, the mud was negligible, and there was no humidity all day.  It was absolutely perfect!

We spent almost five hours at the event and it was aussome, as always.  We came home with lots of free pet food samples, which Dublin and Bailey love, and we made some purchases.  We are so looking forward to receiving our Doodie Packs, which will be embroidered with the dogs’ names.  Plus, they will be hunter orange, so they are perfect for hiking during hunting season! No big box manufacturer here- Kristin Elliott, the inventor, took the time to measure both Aussies and make sure they got the perfect backpack.  It should arrive in 2 weeks or so and we can’t wait!

The dogs loved all of the attention they got throughout the day, plus they got a chance to swim in some of the many doggie pools set up by the volunteers at L’Oreal.  Bailey and Dublin met lots of people and received a lot of “oohs” and “aahs”.  A blue merle and red merle Aussie always attract a lot of attention because they don’t have the typical dog coloring, so when they are together it’s a double-whammy!  Plus, we met tons of other Aussies, too!  The Aussome Aussies met and loved a mini Aussie named Willow, a stock dog named Skye, and a few others.  Plus, we ran into Finnegan, an Aussie boy we met least year when he was a puppy!  He grew up a lot!

I want to thank all of the volunteers at L’Oreal who did such a fantastic job today.  They dealt with the inclement weather, the parking issues, the thousands of people and dogs, and all of the logistics of holding an event of this size.  They were all gracious, helpful, and chatty when we were walking around.  They do an amazing job!

Some pictures from today:

Dublin and a few other Furry Angels Therapy Dogs!

Checking out the big pool!

A mini Aussie friend!

dock diving!

Taking a break under the Tumbleweed & Eddie’s tent! The Aussome Aussies were recognized by the very nice Tumbleweed and Eddie’s people!

It’s important to stay hydrated!

She loves bubbles!


more swimming!

She froze and couldn’t climb the stairs to get out. After 10 minutes, Chris had to lift her out.

very tired on the way home!

Yay for a wonderful day for a wonderful cause!