Friday, May 26, 2017

Picture Me This Photohunt Week 21:"Twirl"

We are happy to be a part of  a fun blogging event that was created by our friends over at A Tonk's Tail. It is a weekly photohunt. There is no pressure to participate, just jump in whenever you are able as we are doing this week! You can post on any social media channel that you wish, there is ZERO pressure (which is something WE LOVE!!)

This week the theme is:

Ok as you will see below, we cheated! Big time!!!! This is obviously NOT a photo, instead it is a video...a super old video that many of our friends haven't seen. Cody and I felt it depicted the word "twirl" quite nicely, so we decided to use it! Creative license, right? Hehehe. This video shows some of the BEST "twirling" you will EVER see!!!

That was some pretty pawesome "twirling", right?

If you participate in this photohunt be sure to tag #PMTphotohunt and @tonkstail

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

An "Angel" of a Cat Sofa/Scratcher Bed

Early last winter I had the pleasure of meeting the Cat Mom from the blog Eastside Cats. I had gathered together some items that Cody wasn't using that I thought her kitties would enjoy.  Last Valentine's Day the Eastside Cat Mom blogged about how much her kitty, Angel, LOVED the cat sofa scratcher bed that Cody had given to her, and she had sent me these photos:

Photo courtesy of Eastside Cats
Photo Courtesy of Eastside Cats
Then, just a couple of days ago, I got a text from Angel's Mama with two more photos showing me that Angel is STILL in love with that sofa scratcher bed:

Photo Courtesy of Eastside Cats
Photo Courtesy of Eastside Cats
This makes me sooooooo happy!!! Angel's Mama said she had to purchase another one to make it a "double-wide." I nearly died laughing! For those who might want to purchase one, it is called the Kitty Couch Sofa Cat Scratcher by Feline Be Mine. (We reviewed it in 2015) It is sold on Amazon and no, there are NO affiliate links in this post and we get nothing for mentioning it. Just wanted to pass the info on in case you want one for YOUR kitties, there is NOTHING in it for us!

Kitties, do you think Angel loves that Sofa Scratcher so much because she can smell Cody? Discuss!!

Monday, May 22, 2017

Pet Loss and Children: "Staying Strong for Smokey" and "Being Brave for Bailey" by Corey Gut, DVM (Give-Away!!)

"Tis better to have loved and lost
Than never to have loved at all"
--Alfred Lord Tennyson

Losing a beloved pet is one of the most heart-breaking experiences that anyone who shares their life with a pet will ever have to face.  It is hard enough for adults to understand,  but how does one explain it to the special children in their life?

Explaining to a child that their beloved pet whom often they have known since they were born is aging, and ill, and that the most caring thing that you can do for that pet is to help them "pass peacefully to a safe place" is a difficult concept for adults to grasp, let alone a child.
Photo Courtesy of Corey Gut, DVM

"Smokey is a cherished family pet who has been a loving companion and friend to all. But Smokey has become very sick and her quality of life has diminished. It's time for the family to make an extremely difficult decision.

Death and euthanasia are difficult concepts for a child to grasp and accept. "Staying Strong for Smokey" introduces these difficult subjects and helps guide children through the complex and frightening emotions that are inevitable. Written by a veterinarian with assistance from an elementary counselor, this book and its canine counterpart "Being Brave for Bailey" are valuable tools for broaching these topics"

I had the honor in July of 2016 of reviewing Dr. Corey's first book: Being Brave for Bailey on Dakota's blog Being Brave for Bailey by Corey Gut, DVM,  is a sensitive, touching and beautiful book,  that is written with a great deal of compassion and  in a charming rhyming manner, that is geared towards elementary school children. It was inspired by a true story when Dr.Corey's niece was experiencing the loss of her beloved pet.

I  am honored to know "Dr.Corey" (as all at the Vet call her!), and to have received a copy of her second book, Staying Strong for Smokey.

While reading Staying Strong for Smokey, I cried. Yes, I did. It brought me back to when my beloved Bobo crossed the Bridge and I held him close and sobbed into his fur. I cried at one of the exquisite illustrations (by Kim Stahl), that showed a tiny smoky gray paw clutching the fingertips of a hand. A hand that was adorned with a bracelet that a broken heart dangled from. I lost it. 

Please do not let the fact that I cried deter you from purchasing this important book. Staying Strong for Smokey is sad, but it is also a book that is full of love and encourages pet adoption when the individual who is grieving is ready. It leaves children and adults with the knowledge that one day they WILL have another pet who they will love with all of their heart again, and one whom they will  create new memories with. It lets children know that even though now they are hurting, the memories and love they shared with their beloved pet will NEVER leave.

 When I was finished reading this sensitive and touching book, I mentioned to my husband how I love that Dr.Corey wrote both books in a rhyming style and was seeking the proper way to convey that to all of you who read this review. My husband then handed me the perfect quote:

"Poetry:the best words in the best order"

The quote could NOT be more perfect. Staying Strong for Smokey and Being Brave for Bailey are brilliant examples of that quote. "the best words in the best order."

Though geared towards children, Staying Strong for Smokey  brought ME comfort. As was the case in Being Brave for Bailey, at  the back of the book is a helpful section called "Activity ideas for further support" that lists some wonderful ideas to help a child, (and in my opinion, adults would benefit from many of these same activities),  cope with the loss of their pet, such as:

Make a scrapbook, a photo album or a memory box: I did this when Bobo passed. I could not bear to not see him every day. I bought a number of collage frames so that I would have photos of Bobo in every room that I entered.

Plant a Tree or a flower bed in your yard in honor of your pet

Create a website or social media page to honor your pet.

Donate to an animal rescue group in your pet's name

and more! 


When I was about 6 years old, our family pet (a Boxer named Brandy), passed at the young age of 7 from cancer. Neither of my parents discussed her passing with us. All we knew was she was sick, the next day she was gone. It was never addressed. I loved her dearly and never completely understood what happened. How I wish these books had been available to me back then! Both Staying Strong for Smokey and Being Brave for Bailey deal with a sensitive subject in a caring, loving and gentle way that will not frighten a child. They are written in language that children will understand  and that will not overwhelm them.. The illustrations in both books are touching and beautiful. Both are hard-cover books that are the perfect size for both parents and children to read together, and that will offer parents (and any adult who reads them with a child), the opportunity to encourage further discussion and share their feelings. Allowing feelings to be shared is an important step in the grieving process.

 The nicely sized pages are just the right size for tiny little hands. These books would make wonderful bedtime reads, and would also be great in a classroom where teachers could address the subject of pet loss with their students.  These books would be fabulous to donate to a school, community library, doctor's office, etc. or to give as a gift to anyone in your life who has experienced the loss of a beloved pet.

Photo taken by the QUEEN
of selfie-takers!
Dr.Corey Gut
I am truly blessed.  Dr.Corey happens to be a Vet at the same practice that has been caring for my pets for approximately 16 years.  Cody and I  have often written about "Dr.Smiley" (who primarily takes care of Dakota and Cody, and he also took care of our Angel Bobo). We are blessed that the practice has  Dr.Corey as a member of their superb staff as well. I recently learned that Dr.Corey has taken HER pets to the same practice throughout her childhood years. Before becoming a Vet, she was an employee there during her High School years. Then, she went on to get her education to become a Vet.  

When I am saying that both Staying Strong for Smokey and Being Brave for Bailey are written with warmth, sensitivity, knowledge and love, I am saying it with FIRST HAND knowledge of WHO Dr. Corey is as a person. Dr.Corey has an aura of warmth and love that exudes from her being the second you meet her in person. This same aura is evident in her written communication as well.  She is loving, kind, knowledgeable, caring and a true professional.  



Corey Gut is a veterinarian in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan. She has loved working in a wide variety of veterinary fields but finds her current job of caring for pets and their families the most personally rewarding.

Kim Stahl has been a high school science educator for the past 22 years where she has taught biology, chemistry, botany, and zoology courses. Kim loves animals and has been drawing as a hobby throughout her life. She lives in Lake Orion, Michigan with her husband and their Golden Retrievers, Kodi and Cooper. Kim's two furry "boys" are loved and cared for by Dr.Corey Gut.

GIVE-AWAY!!! Dr. Corey is generously offering THREE of our readers who are 18 and over and who reside in the U.S. the chance to win a copy of either Staying Strong for Smokey or Being Brave for Bailey. Entering is super easy, just enter on the rafflecopter below (watch for TWO mandatory entry requirements) and a bonus entry. GOOD LUCK!!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

In full disclosure: We were not compensated to share this book with you. It is our pleasure to share this beautiful book and the author with a heart of gold who wrote it.

Sunday, May 14, 2017

The Reluctant Mother's Day Participant

Ok, as you can see, Cody was a most UNWILLING Mother's Day participant.  Doesn't matter, I love him just the same.

Quite often, some of the best Moms
are NOT biological, and 
they don't have to be female.
Whomever or whatever it is
that you "mother" unconditionally,
YOU matter, YOU rock
We salute you and thank you!

Have a wonderful Mother's Day!

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