Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Mark your calendars for Earth Hour!!!

Mark your calendars for Earth Hour - March 27, 2010 at 8:30 PM your local time!

What is Earth Hour? It's a time when people from all over the World come together to bring a call to action on climate change by doing something quite simple - turning off their lights for one hour.

Last year we participated in Earth Hour. Gracie even got in on the act by ceremoniously turning off our lights. Here's a quick video of her learning how to turn off the lights just a couple of days before!



The movement symbolizes that by working together, each of us can make a positive impact in this fight, protecting our future and that of future generations. Learn more about how Earth Hour began, what we’ve accomplished, and what is in store for 2010.

So what are you waiting for! Mark your calendars!

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

How we can help the animals and people of Haiti

So much sadness surrounding the devastation in Haiti...all I can think about is how I can help.

We believe that a part of being green is giving back to those less fortunate. The first thing I thought about after the massive earthquake hit the news is how can I help those in Haiti impacted by the devastation, and help them get their lives back - whether they be two or four legged.

How we can help

The American Red Cross is accepting donations by phone for human relief. You can text "HAITI" to 90999 to donate $10 to the Red Cross's efforts, or call 1-800-Redcross or 1-800-257-7575. Visit their Web site to find out more.

One of our companion blogs - Rescue Me - put together a great post about how you can help all living beings in Haiti. Here is some information...

"The International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) and the World Society for the Protection of Animals (WSPA) have formally agreed to head up a coalition of groups to address the needs of animals in Haiti following the earthquake that devastated the country. Also joining the coalition this week is the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA), and American Humane."

All of them are working together to help the estimated 5 million head of livestock in the country (mostly goats), a large stray dog population, an untold number of companion animals, and native wildlife all adversely affected by the earthquake.

By donating to any one of these three organization, you can help the animals of Haiti and contribute to the Animal Relief Coalition for Haiti (ARCH):

Association for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA)
The International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW)
World Society for the Protection of Animals (WSPA)
American Humane

You can also donate to the National Disaster Search Dog Foundation (SDF) who have deployed many dog/handler search and rescue teams to help with funds needed in the search and rescue efforts in Haiti.

Are thoughts and doggie prayers are with all of those affected by this terrible tragedy.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

The Amazing Treat Machine is amazingly green!

Here is one of our favorite green interactive toys - the Amazing Treat Machine!

Not only is it inexpensive, it's made with 30% post-consumer recycled cardboard, produced in CA using non-toxic glue and printed with non-toxic ink! You re-use your own plastic water bottle too!

And it's from a small business, who's innovative owner was looking for a way to help his dog get more exercise, be more active and entertained.

How does it work? You put it together upon arrival, then teach your down to drop a tennis ball in the box. When the tennis ball goes in, treats fall out along with the ball....entertaining your dog for hours. You could even feed your pup his/her dinner via the Amazing Treat Machine, to keep them entertained, and slim and trim :)

A great green entertaining toy, sold through JohannTheDog.com, just right for a cold winter's day.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

See our latest article on Dog Sport Magazine!

Our latest article "Winter Survival Tips for the Green Dog!" is now live on Dog Sport Magazine's website. Paw on over and get our top tips for keeping your green, or aspiring green, dog happier, healthier and safer this Winter.

Monday, January 11, 2010

What's a green dog to do on a too cold winter's day? Play...indoors that is!

It's been mighty cold these past couple of weeks here in Indiana. And we've heard that it's been that way in many parts of the country.

Since lots of pups can't get outside and burn off that cabin fever, and get the exercise they need to stay fit both mentally and physically, we thought it would be a good idea to share how we play, stay occupied, have fun, learn, exercise and stay outta trouble when we can't get outside for our usual hikes, agility and long walks.

Here's our short list:

Tricks

One of my (and Gracie's too) favorite things in the whole world besides agility, is learning new tricks. And Mum and I have a great time together figuring out the best way for me to learn a new trick, and then...oh the sense of accomplishment when I do it!

Here are some great resources for learning new tricks. And be sure to keep it positive, use treats, try clicker training, take your time and have lots of fun together:

An introduction to clicker training from Karen Pryor
Fun Dog Tricks - a blog with lots of videos and links to get ideas on tricks for you and your dog.
Dog Trick Academy - a great site with trick ideas and a forum to interact with other dog trick lovers.

Activities

There are lots of other indoor activities you and your pup can do to both get exercise, here are our favorites:

Hide and seek - Mum puts me in a stay down stairs, then goes upstairs and hides (sometimes in a closet, sometimes in the bathtub, you get the idea). Then she calls me to come and I find her to get a treat!

Find Target - This is one of my all time favorite games. Mum uses a yogurt container lid as a target, she puts me in a stay, then goes in another room and hides the target, releases me and then I have to find it to get the treats. Here's a quick vid.

Table Games - You probably know that I'm an agility dog. And part of being an agility dog is learning to 'down' on the table. So during the winter, we like to work on this part of my agility, but it's a fun game for any dog! Mum sends me to the table (which is really our ottoman), and the faster I get down, the more treats I get! Love, love, love this game.




Walking on a Treadmill - This is a little advanced, but a great activity to get pawsome exercise when you can't get outside because of the deep freeze temps. It's helping your dog learn to walk on a Treadmill. Here's a great resource to learn to teach your dog to walk on a treadmill.

Games

There are lots and lots of intelligent, interactive and puzzle type games on the market, and Gracie and I love to play with them. But did you know that you can make yourself some really nice and fun interactive and intelligent games with items around your house? Yep...here are some ideas:

The Muffin Tin Game - from our friend Astrid. Take a muffin tin, put a treat in each space, cover with a toy (make sure they're safe ones, K?) and let your dog learn to take the toy out to get the treat!

Hide a ball - Take an old blanket or towel, hide a ball or other green toy underneath and let your dog learn to find the ball under the blanket or towel. When they find it, give 'em a treat.

Hide a Treat - you know those stainless steel bowls you use to feed your dog their dinner? Well, they can become a pawsome hide a treat toy! Just put a little treat on the floor, then put the bowl upside down over it, and watch your pup use their brain to get to the treat. Even better, use three to four bowls and hide treats under just a couple of them. It's a great interactive toy!

Other Resources

- Visit my "Fun Games" YouTube channel for lots more ideas on tricks and games.
- Visit this great site for lots of ideas to make your own intelligent, interactive, and fun games for your dog! (It's in german, but you can see and get a lot of info from the photos).

Friday, January 8, 2010

What does a green dog do with old towels? Here are 21 great ideas!

Mum and I were thinking the other night about towels. Old towels. You know, the ones that have the hem torn, have a hole in 'em, are starting to get just a little too thin.

If you're like us you have several around the house. But what do you do with all those old towel?

We've got lots of ideas! So, the other night Mum and I put our noggins together and made a big ole list...a list of the top 21 things a green dog can do with an old towel, clean ones that is.

Are you ready? Here goes!
  1. Put them on the floor at the back door to soak up the mud and wet

  2. Tie a knot in both ends and you've got a great tug toy

  3. Wipe down a wet green dog - after rain, swimming or a bath

  4. Teach your dog to fold up a towel for a fun trick

  5. Wrap somewhat snugly around a dog with anxiety or stress, it may calm them a bit

  6. Cut up an old towel and use as rags with a green cleaner to clean up the yucky spots

  7. Wipe off those dirty paws before coming into the house

  8. Cut up in strips lengthwise and braid into a dog tug toy

  9. Teach your dog to grab a corner and roll up in it like a blanket

  10. Donate some old towels to your local animal shelter, they could really use them

  11. Keep some old towels in your car for clean up after trips hiking or to the dog park

  12. Teach your dog to load a towel into your dryer for drying as a fun trick, then fold them and put away

  13. Cut up an old towel and secure it to your old mop or Swiffer to get up all the dog hair

  14. A not so worn or dirty old towel could have a brand new life as a dog coat, all you need is a pattern and sewing ability

  15. Teach your dog to go mat for a fun trick...but use an old towel instead

  16. Thicker old towels would make a great material to make a quick and easy dog bootie

  17. Use old towels to restuff a fallen dog bed, or make a new bed cover from old sheets and stuff away with old towels

  18. If you're older dog is having trouble walking you can loop a towel under their belly and hold the ends up to help them along

  19. Put an old towel under your dog's water and food bowl to sop up any mess

  20. Soak a towel in cool water and wrap around your dog's belly to cool them down on a hot day

  21. Cut an old towel and sew into a square, add in rice for heating in the microwave and you've got a great heating pad for your pup. You can also make one that will hold ice for an ice pack

Wow, that's 21...we could have gone on furever! Got an idea for reusing an old towel for your dog? Add 'em in the comments for everyone.
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