|June 8, 2014||Posted by Ruth under Lifestyle, LOLs & BOLs, Pup culture, Recipes, Soul food, Videos|
Shhh…. Can you keep a secret?
My Rusty has a rep to uphold: that of a maniacal cat-chasing poodle. Unbeknownst to him, his favorite treats are – gasp! – cat treats. Shhh…. Please don’t tell him about my beastly betrayal. He’d never forgive me. Or I’d be eating cat food. Or both. Probably both.
Kitty treats are the perfect size for my little guy.
He loves Grizzly NuTreats for cats; Organix cat treats; and simple, small cubes of poached chicken breast – which, of course – are a canine & feline fave. While processed dog treats aren’t healthy for your cat, the reverse is fine. Just don’t go overboard. Look for a short ingredient list, preferably organic with few or no grains, sourced & made in USA. Healthiest of all, barring any allergies, is a single-ingredient, human-grade treat. Basically, you should be ok eating your pet’s treat. So go ahead & simmer some chicken. And save the broth. I hear it’s good for the soul!
Determined to satisfy Rusty’s taste buds & not leave our, well, my feline friends out, I baked a batch of cat-friendly goodness.
These beauties are uber-easy & hella-healthy. Yes, I taste-tested them. So did Elliott’s mom, who happens to be a nutritionist. In fact, it was her idea. She thought they looked yummy & was curious. How awesome is that? While we agree that tuna-flavored biscuits aren’t our thing, Rusty & Elliott couldn’t get enough of them!
Rusty’s Crazy-Tasty Tuna Treats
Ingredients (use organic wherever possible):
One 5-oz. can of tuna, no salt added & packed in water – drained
1 cup oat flour (Buy it prepared, or simply make your own by grinding old-fashioned oats in a food processor.)
1 large egg
1 Tbs olive oil
1 heaping Tbs fresh parsley (I used Italian, but Pup might like curly parsley’s milder flavor. For Kitty, use 1 Tbs dried catnip.)
Place rack in upper third of oven. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper for later.
In a food processor with the blade attachment, blend all ingredients until a smooth dough forms.
This adorable dough is easy to work with – not too sticky. Roll it into 1 1/4 ” balls. Arrange the balls on the lined baking sheet. Use a skewer to press an “x” into each ball.
Bake for about 17 minutes, until the treats are dried on top & slightly browned. Cool completely before your pet (or you!) dig in. Store them in an airtight container in your frig for up to 7 days.
~ Gently tweaked from Joy The Baker~
I don’t put catnip in Rusty’s treats because, quite honestly, we haven’t had the ‘nip talk.
But you should have that chat with your cat. Sit Princess down & have a heart-to-heart. Let’s face it, if you don’t tell Kitty about catnip, who will?
Rusty & I agree on many things:
First, if you have oat flour left over, you should make the dog treats below, too. Second, we choose our baked goods by their aromas. Third, we won’t eat cat poop. Also, we love to laugh. Finally, we’re easily driven to distraction. So, even if you don’t make Alton’s stinky treats, watch his fun little vid ’til the very end ‘cuz…… SQUIRREL!! LOL & BOL ~Ruth & Rusty~
©2014 The Soulful Pet
|June 1, 2014||Posted by Ruth under Lifestyle, LOLs & BOLs, Pup culture, Rusty's place, Videos|
Um, I may be crazy. I think I owe poodle props to some feline Ninja-Jenga playas.
(If you’re squeamish, peeps & pets, skip this first vid. It’s the original. As a dog, I’m ashamed to say that it shows a closeup of a nasty bite. On behalf of pups everywhere, I apologize to that sweet boy. Not cool @ all. NOT COOL.)
What? First a superhero cat, & now a cat with game?! This can’t be.
Wait a minute…..
Right. Dogs don’t play Jenga ‘cuz Jenga’s stupid.
Take that, Kitty. BOL ~Rusty~
©2014 The Soulful Pet
|May 11, 2014||Posted by Ruth under Lifestyle, LOLs & BOLs, Music, Pup culture, Seasonal, Videos|
We wish you a day filled with love and laughter!
Big woofs & wags to your fur-kids, too. This vid’s from our hearts to you!
xxoo ~Ruth, Rusty & friends~
©2014 The Soulful Pet
|May 8, 2014||Posted by Ruth under Lifestyle, LOLs & BOLs, Pup culture, Rusty's place, Videos|
I don’t know what this is, but it’s woofin’ wrong. Mom, hold me!!
Now this is more like it. I could swing with this poodle.
Just between you & me, that first video’s gonna drive me straight to catnip.
I swore I’d never go there, but what’s been seen can’t be unseen without a bit of nip.
Don’t judge, dawgs. Don’t judge. ~Rusty~
©2014 The Soulful Pet
|April 7, 2014||Posted by Ruth under Inspirational & motivational, Lifestyle, LOLs & BOLs, Music, Pup culture, Training/Behavior, Videos|
Rusty and I just had a long talk. We’re owning two words: “crazy” & “bitch”.
Personally, my poodle buddy loves a bitch who thinks outside the box. That’s his play style: outgoing; smartly switching up his game, including your style, too; with tons of give & take. I’m happy to fill that role for him as best as my 2-legged human self can. We aren’t interested in a “normal” game of border-line obsessive, robotic fetch. He’s met labs like that. I’ve met teachers like that. Don’t color outside those lines; don’t stray from my game; and don’t speak your mind. That’s quite insane, actually. Bonus: If you’re a human chic swimming up that stream, you’re sadly labeled a bitch.
“Crazy” is in the eye of the beholder.
Usually, that beholder is ignorant, insecure and/or envious of originality & spontaneity. They’re eager to label others as abnormal to soothe themselves. So then who’s wacko? No one. (Unless you’re just card-carrying, certifiably cra cra.) We’re all individuals doing our thing. March to the beat of your own drummer. After all, that’s why we’re here, isn’t it? Shine a spotlight on your crazy & share it. It’s charming, creative & downright adorable – and it’s all uniquely yours. The world’s a better place for it. Normal’s way scarier than a big box of crazy. Normal strikes me as Stepford-y creepy.
Let’s take a break to watch what most of my clients would call “crazy” canine behavior:
That pup’s not nuts; he’s very, very happy. (And gifted; he should be doing parkour!) He’s livin’ large, being himself because that’s all he knows how to be. He’s completely unencumbered by the fact that his human is about to put him up on YouTube. While you probably wouldn’t want that pittie party happening on your upholstery, you found yourself smiling, didn’t you? You’re not alone. This vid went viral for a reason. His “crazy” is charismatically contagious. I want in on that couch game!
Rusty disagrees with me on this one, but we can’t forget our feline friends.
Watch Simon perfectly depict a scenario played out in every cat-blessed house @ around dark-o’clock each night. This chaos causes my bleary-eyed, sleep deprived clients to wonder if Kitty needs Prozac:
Kitty’s not psycho. Cats are crepuscular (more active @ dusk & dawn). And they’re master human trainers. They quickly learn that normal nocturnal behavior pays off big: you get up & feed them just to calm them down. Mission sanely & smartly accomplished!
Back to “bitch”, please. Gals, the sooner we own this one, the better. I’m uber comfy with it, and so is Rusty.
If you want to get your crazy on, you have to be bold. You have to believe in yourself. You have to live, laugh & love like no one’s watching. And so what if they are? It’s your life. Guys, you might want to try this decidedly feminine definition of “bitch” on for size, too:
“Being a “bitch” means….
I stand up for myself & my belief. I stand up for those I love. I speak my mind, think my own thoughts or do things my way. I won’t compromise what’s in my heart. I live my life MY way. I won’t allow anyone to step on me. I refuse to tolerate injustice. It means I have the courage & strength to allow myself to be me. So try to stomp on me, douse my inner flame. Squash every ounce of beauty I hold within. You won’t succeed. If that makes me a bitch, so be it. I embrace the title. I’m proud to be a bitch.” ~author unknown~
So, a “crazy bitch”? Sign me up for life. As long as I’m being true to myself, it’s all good.
Rusty reigns me in if I get off track. In fact, just the other night, after I… um… let’s say had to be someone I’m not, Rusty put his paw down. As I tried to calm down to sleep that night, Rusty chose an awkwardly unusual sleeping position. He curled up as far away from me as he could get, with his back to me. I reached out to him, selfishly hoping that making contact with him would relax me. But when I touched him, he growled softly. (Don’t jump off the ridiculously erroneous dominance theory deep end here.) He didn’t growl because he thinks he owns the bed, or me, for that matter. He growled because I had unnerved him with my earlier rare & unpleasant personality change. Touching him while I was still upset was indeed selfish because he had already distanced himself from me. Message sent & received, Rusty. Sent & received.
What’s next for Rusty & his human sidekick?
We’re working hard on a project that will bring this blog to life. If we were normal, coloring in the lines & playing someone else’s game, our project would fail before it flew. The hell with normal. What is that anyway?!
Cheers to crazy, bitches! xxoo ~Ruth & Rusty~
©2014 The Soulful Pet
|March 15, 2014||Posted by Ruth under Inspirational & motivational, Lifestyle, Recipes, Seasonal, Soul food, Videos|
After a rare kumbaya mediation with my nearly-ex last week, I decided to keep the flow going.
I visited a local & heavenly spa for a much-needed (understatement!) massage with a very intuitively talented therapist, Laurie. (Before you dismiss me as decadent, know that I had a bday gift card from my hubs in hand. That’s part of our kumbaya how-we-do now.) Back to Laurie: Usually, when she greets me, she asks what spots need work. And usually, as with most of us, the tension that needs easing is in my neck & shoulders. Not this time.
I told her what was happening in my life. I told her that the horrors of it were throughout my body.
As an empath, negativity soaks into my body. I can’t prevent that, & I don’t know how to rid myself of it – yet. I’m learning. With tears in both of our eyes, I asked her to be my guide. She smiled warmly & wisely as she said, “I’d be honored.” Then, to lift both of our spirits & energies, she said, “Let’s just play & see what happens”. I was completely up for that.
Given the option of beginning face-down or face-up, I chose face-down.
I’m not sure why, or if I should even know why. But, I mention this because it was a decision that led to one of the most amazing experiences I’ve ever had. As Laurie began, her pattern & energy were quite different than when she’d last seen me. I knew that she was working some magic. As my thoughts drifted from divorce to house repairs to health insurance & financial fears to reinvention & writing ideas, I consciously let them pass by. I followed my breath and Laurie’s touch. I focused on the music of the flowing stream & bird chirps just outside the window.
I wondered if I would cry as my tensions released. Thankfully, I just relaxed.
Yes, I know this is a first-world issue: Have you ever tried to deep-breathe face down with a snot-filled, runny nose? Forget cute. On second thought, I take back the “first-world” thing I just said. This massage was every bit a necessity & prescription for part of my soul’s recovery. If I told you that I popped a pill to get better, I wouldn’t dismiss its importance. Yet that Rx would be such an unnatural fix by comparison. This was a crucial spiritual remedy for me. One that I highly recommend for you, too.
Here’s where the magic (& weirdness) begins. If magic wasn’t weird, well then it wouldn’t be magic, would it?
Halfway through & completely relaxed, I turned face-up. The fleeting thoughts that have fed past panic attacks were long gone. Laurie had managed the impossible in that my mind & body felt lighter, less burdened. As my brain became blissfully quiet, something amazing happened: In my mind’s eye, with a flapping woosh!, I suddenly saw myself on the table with large, thick white-feathered wings spreading from my back. My wingspan filled the room, and a few feathers lazily floated to the floor in the flurry. At the same time, a life force filled my body. What on Earth was that?!
Still stunned & winged, my massage came to a too-soon end.
Laurie left the room, inviting me to take my time getting up. As I eventually arose, I didn’t have my usual case of fogged-up massage brain & my-body’s-a-noodle-now lack of strength. Instead, I was energized. My wings were somehow still with me but hidden from sight. Outside the room, Laurie greeted me with a glass of water. I thanked her sincerely. Then she floored me: she said, “I know you’ll be ok.” She felt the energy & life come back into my body soon after I turned face-up. I confessed that I wasn’t going to tell her for fear of sounding certifiably cra cra, but that that was THE moment I sprouted wings. We shared our amazement & hugged goodbye. I walked away with chills & goose bumps.
The day’s synchronicities didn’t stop there.
As is my custom, I meditated by the spa’s zen garden afterward. As I watched the koi fish lazily swim in their waterfall-fed pond, I wondered about those wings. Where had they come from & what did they mean? Strolling the meandering path around the pond, I suddenly realized that I was going to write a book about my new path! What?! This certainly wasn’t my plan; it was as if the thought had just been inserted into my psyche. I smiled as I remembered the many times my mom told me I should write a book about my experiences as a trainer. Each time, I told her I’m not inspired by that. The last thing I want to write about is how to get Fido to sit-stay or Trixie to pee in the box. So what was this new inspiration? How is it connected to wings?
I have a hard & fast rule.
I never leave the spa without visiting the amazing artisan bakery & gardens just across the street. That day, I craved their sticky buns. Step back, there was no stopping me. Jazzed about being next up in the always-long line to the counter, I completely forgot that they don’t accept debit cards. When the owner kindly asked what I wanted, I sheepishly confessed my lack of funds. He didn’t miss a beat. He said, “We take checks, cash & mailed checks. So what do ya want?” I heartily thanked him & drove away as my car rapidly infused with the smell of fresh-from-the-oven warm, gooey, cinnamony buns. Such a sweet, heavenly experience. The check was most assuredly in the mail!
So what was the wing thing? One of many signs that I’m finally being true to myself, perhaps?
I believe that when you are on your correct life path, you see synchronicities. The stepping stones on your path are illuminated, and you walk your path with ease. There’s a flow to life – a knowing without trying. (Ever notice that walks with your dog or laptime with your cat go better when you’re more peaceful?) That week’s discoveries & kindness gems (delightful synchronicities) extended into this week, with generous gestures from beloved girlfriends. Tearfully grateful tangent here:
Girls, you know who you are. My goddess friend who cries when I cry & does my hair for free occasionally, asking for nothing more than a kiss on the cheek or puppy advice in return. My gorgeous, strong, wise, sista-from-anotha-motha personal trainer who just hugged & kissed me & sweetly gifted me her time so I can reach my 2014 goal of “being buff”. My inspirational GFFs who drag my ass up a mountain @ least monthly & just surprised me with a birthday brunch. The FB army of wise & supportive women who always know just what to say. My friend who sweetly cupped my face as she asked if I was ok on a day when she was recovering from surgery but I was the one who could barely stand – & then invited me in for a huge cup of tea served with laughs & wisdom. My east coast girls, who define BFF, picking up where we leave off, no matter how long it’s been. (One’s a first-time author – congrats, girl! And, hell, one just drunk messaged me as I was writing this & dared me to fit that into this post. Did it, GF!) And my human soulmate muse, my mom. She was so thrilled to hear about the book-to-be that I lost count of the I-told-you-so’s!
My wings? They symbolize my new-found strength, independence, creativity & ability to do-for-me.
They represent freedom; they can take me anywhere to do anything. All the kindness from friends, family, mentors, acquaintances & animals are the wind beneath my wings, helping me find my way. (Corny? Yeah, I thought so as soon as I wrote it. But it’s true!) So call me Dorothy. Rusty’s my Toto. Now where are those adorable ruby slippers?
Whew! You know, it took a little hutzpa to tell that story. I’m happy to trust you with my truth.
In honor of flapping my way to a buffer, healthier me, I created a green drink. It’s also a sincere thank you for reading this tale. If you’ve had winged synchronistic moments -or- you’ve got a green drink recipe of your own -or- you’d like to share stories of great friends (human & animal) in your life, please chat away in the comments. Cheers to being true-to-you & a healthy, happy 2014, friends! xo ~Ruth & Rusty~
1 frozen banana, sliced
1/2 cup frozen mango chunks
1/4 ripe avocado
1 cup lightly packed baby spinach
3 basil leaves
1/8 t cinnamon
1/2 t ground flax seeds
1/2 t vanilla extract
1 1/4 cup almond milk, equal parts sweetened & unsweetened
Mix all ingredients in a blender until smooth. Drink immediately. (To share with pup, simply make the drink without the avocado. It will be thinner, but just as yummy. Or, treat pup with the non-avo ingredients as you make your green drink.) Cheers!
©2014 The Soulful Pet
|March 1, 2014||Posted by Ruth under Lifestyle, LOLs & BOLs, Music, Pup culture, Rusty's place, Training/Behavior, Videos|
Yo, dawgs. My mom’s singin’ a Lorde song, & I’m waitin’ for the postal carrier.
It’s uber fido fun to bark @ ’em, but I’m not hatin’ on ’em. Not like these pooches:
Obsess much, dawgs? This ain’t healthy.
If I don’t talk to you about your nasty little habit, who will? Go cold turkey & have your humans get rid of the mail slot. Go chew on a bone or a stuffed Kong instead. Outasight, outamind.
Sometimes ya gotta watch a spooky movie to stop a bad habit.
Gather round, hounds. Dig my puplic service announcement: When cats do it, it’ll scare ya straight!
Ya feel me? xo ~Rusty~
©2014 The Soulful Pet
|January 22, 2014||Posted by Ruth under "Wordless" Wednesdays, Lifestyle, LOLs & BOLs, Music, Pup culture, Rusty's place, Videos|
If you know my mom, you know she loves music, singin’ & dancin’.
In fact, she’s woofin’ fab to howl with. So when I saw her lovin’ this tune, I promised to share it with y’all:
If mom’s happy, I’m happy. Groovin’ & woofin’! xo ~Rusty~
©2014 The Soulful Pet
|January 15, 2014||Posted by Ruth under "Wordless" Wednesdays, Lifestyle, LOLs & BOLs, Pup culture, Rusty's place, Seasonal, Videos|
What’s that white stuff, “snow”? It looks cold, messy & FUN!
Maybe I’ll get my CA poodle paws in some soon. Until then, I’ll live vicariously through these dawgs:
Whoa! Mom rolled in this stuff, too? I wanna poodle snow day! ~Rusty~
©2014 The Soulful Pet
|January 6, 2014||Posted by Ruth under Inspirational & motivational, Lifestyle, LOLs & BOLs, Seasonal, Training/Behavior, Videos|
Right, I refuse to say it. Let’s just call it a pesky little lie that we tell ourselves each year. Agreed?
The truth is that only 8% of us keep our R-words after just one hot week. So why lie to yourself? Why set yourself up to fail & then kick yourself for having (shockingly) failed? Would you treat a friend that way? I think not. So this is the year that you will be kinder to you. Rusty & I will help…
Don’t get caught up in today’s wave of R-words.
Just because everyone’s doing it, doesn’t mean you have to join their circus. If you already blurted out a bubbly-inspired R-word on New Year’s eve, it’s not carved in stone. Your hangover outlasted your R-blurt, didn’t it? So what? Shake it off. Listen (or don’t – it’s best) to the TV talking heads & lame headlines this time of year; they’ve all gone mad! How to make the best R-words, how to keep them, blahblahblah…. I find it sooo annoying, I couldn’t even write the-word-that-shall-not-be-mentioned in this post. Resist the urge; purge the R-word. Feels better already, doesn’t it?
In a previous tangent rant, I mentioned washcloth weirdness. ICYMI: When I request washcloths from hosts, they stare as though I just sprouted horns & spoke in tongues. One gal replied, “Why? Are you afraid to touch yourself?” Huh? Maybe I’m an oddball, I don’t know. Another bizarrely answered guest-request: “Can I watch a show on TV?” (This was pre-DVR days. Otherwise I wouldn’t have asked.) The response: “Yes, if it gives you a sense of comfort.” What?! Did I miss something here? Why not a simple “Yes, of course”? Why are my basic niceties, which might differ from the personal preferences of others, cause for such lunacy? The answer is the key to kicking your R-words to the curb….
What really gives you a sense of comfort?
Yes, the little things like a favorite show, a washcloth, & comfort food are nice, but they’re not pivotally comforting. Dig a little deeper. What truly makes you feel all warm & fuzzy inside? How about the brief, shining moments when you allow you to simply be you? I am convinced that there is great power in being bravely, unabashedly you. People who aren’t comfy with themselves will belittle, dismiss & patronize your genuineness. Trust me: That says everything about them and nothing about you. Stay true to yourself. Stand your ground. Be ridiculously happy being you.
So that’s it? That’s the big R-word cure?
Yes, it is, friend. Trust that you are good enough, worthy & loveable – as you are. Fly your freak flag and let your light shine. The world will notice, and you’ll be happier. If you believe in you, you’ll be kinder to you, and you’ll attract no-drama souls who believe in you. That covers all the R-words under the sun. How do I know this? I survived last year because of it. I believe it in my soul.
Bonus: The more you do you, the more you’ll appreciate the uniqueness of others.
That’s when you’ll see that the truest beauty really lies within our differences. It’s the basis of the best relationships in our lives, with humans & pets. My Rusty reminds me of this every day. He can only be himself; he’s a happy, charismatic little guy. His joy is contagious to me. I strive to follow his lead in this because it’s better for both of us. An aside: Did you know that your pets mirror you? If you’re out of balance, not being genuine, your pet will reflect your insincerity/instability – often via undesirable behaviors. You can’t fake it with animals, & they don’t fake it with us. Back to Rusty. He lets me know when I’m not @ peace with myself. He brings me back to me, and we both benefit. At the same time, I adore our differences. He’s an amazing dog, not a human. As a dog, he accepts me as I am: oddly human. No weird, conditional responses from my little guy. Just joyful acceptance. I am grateful for him daily. Best of all: Neither of us ever utter R-words.
Rusty & I relish being ourselves. In that way, we’re very much alike, perhaps embarrassingly so:
For maximum fun, play both videos @ once. See? Delightfully similar & different!
Did you make and/or break any R-words yet? What do you think about our cozy, comfy cure?
How will you do you this year? How will you & your pets benefit? We’d love to hear from you.
Happy New Year! xxoo ~Ruth & Rusty~
©2014 The Soulful Pet