Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Lucy Loves: Dog Toys, Accessories, Treats, and Activities

If you know us at all, you know that our dog, Lucy, is awfully important to us. Lucy is a vizsla mix breed, who we adopted from a shelter in June 2012. We adopted from the Sterling Animal Shelter in Sterling, MA. This shelter brings dogs up from overcrowded kill shelters in the south, or from Puerto Rico. They either spay or neuter the dogs, catch them up on immunizations, and help them to get ready to find their forever homes!

I liked the idea of adopting from a shelter where we could meet the dogs before committing. Many adoption organizations aren't able to do this, but it was helpful to ensure that the dog we chose was a good match for us. My parents adopted their dog from the same shelter, so we always knew we'd go there as well.

Lucy is a bit of a shy girl, especially around people she doesn't know. We like to take her out and about with us when we can to help her be more and more comfortable around strangers, but I think it's also her personality to be a bit reserved.

She loves lots of things, and I thought I'd share some of them with you all, so you can try them too, if you'd like!

First, we love Lupine brand collars, harnesses, and leashes. Lucy has a pretty petite head for her body, and so collars can slip off pretty easily. Combine this with a nervous (and smart!) dog, and you are looking at danger. We found this out quickly after she slipped out of her collar a few times, but felt like I couldn't be much tighter on her neck. This prompted us to try a harness with her, and we've never looked back. On the regular, she only wears a collar and leash out for bathroom trips, but for walks, car rides, hikes, etc., she wears the harness too. This way, she always will be wearing her identification if for some reason she did Houdini out again, but the harness has proven to be much more secure, so that hasn't been an issue.

Lupine products are made here in New Hampshire, and sold locally at smaller businesses, so it's a company we are happy to support. They guarantee their products, and will replace them even if chewed, so they are definitely worth the purchase! The adorable prints and bright colors are great, too. We own a couple of collars, leashes, and harnesses, and they have all held up really well.

When it gets cold here, which is several months out of the year, we add this double layer polar fleece jacket.  It definitely helps retain some body heat, and looking adorable doesn't hurt!

Another thing we love for Lucy is this CET brand vanilla mint toothpaste. It has worked wonders on cleaning Lucy's teeth and keeping them shiny and white. The scent is also great, and we know Lucy loves mint! I'll be honest, it also helps with doggy breath! It's an enzymatic toothpaste which our get recommended we look for. We use a Nylabone brand toothbrush, which has worked well. She isn't exactly begging to have her teeth brushed, but she tolerates it, and this has definitely helped get rid of plaque buildup in her back teeth.

Lucy loves her Kong. She gets a swipe of peanut butter and a couple of mini treats in it each day when Rich leaves for work, even now that she's not crated. I've always felt that a reward for good behavior as we leave is a distraction and an affirmation that we'll be back, and she'll be okay! We use a medium size, red kong. It's washable and durable. You can stuff it with all kinds of things, but good old peanut butter is a favorite here. 

Speaking of peanut butter, her favorite treats are these Newman's Own peanut butter heart cookies, and these homemade pumpkin peanut butter cookies.  The homemade recipe makes a ton, and I usually use cookie cutters for some, and then use a pizza cutter to make simple, quick squares. 

Kong also makes her favorite fetch toy, a tennis ball-like football.  It's a daily favorite in our house. 
Lucy is a big fan of stuffed animals with squeakers. She has quite a collection, and loves to fetch, tug, snuggle, and play. I was surprised when she didn't rip her first one apart, like every dog I grew up with. Ever since, we've loved adding to her clan.  Yes, that's an alligator.  Her name is Alice. :)

Lucy also loves...

Long walks:

That includes hiking...

Burrowing under blankets to take naps, or sleep at night:

Playing in the snow:

Green beans:

Do you have a dog? What does he or she love a lot?  We are always looking for fun new things for Lucy! 

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