Dryer Sheets Keep Away Nasty Flying Insects!

dog outside

Summer bug problems? I nearly forgot about this low-tech simple solution really works to keep away the nasty little biting, flying insects that swarm around me and my dogs when we go on summer walks in the middle of summer.

My girls Maisie and Wanda – who run across fields, streams and into woods year round – are already fully protected against ticks with their monthly applications of Vectra 3D or K9 Advantix II. In addition, this spring I added the long-acting Seresto collar, after hearing one too many blood-chilling accounts of the ever-emerging horrible diseases transmitted by an ever-expanding world of ticks looking to gorge on us and our dogs.

The best topical anti-tick products do kill-on-contact – so that the tick only needs to land on the dog to die and does not have a chance to take a “blood meal,” which is how the tick-borne diseases are transmitted. In theory, these topicals also have a repellent effect on other insects – but tell that to the mosquitoes, gnats, little black flies and other incredibly annoying flying insects that proliferate during the summer! And watch out for the panicked, tail-tucked misery of a short-coated dog being molested by these bugs!

Those of you with furry dogs (like my Golden Retriever Roma was, and my Collie-mix Jazzy) don’t know the torture these insects are for our “nude” dogs like my Weimaraners, or anybody’s Dobie, Viszla, hound of any kind, etc.

So here’s the “trick:” right before you go outdoors, take a dryer sheet and rub it all over your dog’s head, back, sides, armpits, belly. If you have two dogs as I do, turn the dryer sheet over and use the other side on dog #2. You can use a dryer sheet the same way on your own skin and clothes and hat – and even tuck it into the back of a baseball cap so it hangs down. It works!

But just to be sure I wasn’t leading you down a (bug free) garden path, I did a quick internet check and found THIS ARTICLE from Smithsonian.com which confirmed the folk wisdom as having scientific proof!
Tracie HotchnerTracie Hotchner is a nationally acclaimed pet wellness advocate, who wrote THE DOG BIBLE: Everything Your Dog Wants You to Know and THE CAT BIBLE: Everything Your Cat Expects You to Know. She is recognized as the premiere voice for pets and their people on pet talk radio. She continues to produce and host her own Gracie® Award winning NPR show DOG TALK®  (and Kitties, Too!) from Peconic Public Broadcasting in the Hamptons after 9 consecutive years and over 500 shows. She produced and hosted her own live, call-in show CAT CHAT® on the Martha Stewart channel of Sirius/XM for over 7 years until the channel was canceled, when Tracie created her own Radio Pet Lady Network where she produces and co-hosts CAT CHAT® along with 10 other pet talk radio podcasts with top veterinarians and pet experts.

Dog Film Festival - Tracie HotchnerTracie also is the Founder and Director of the annual NY Dog Film Festival, a philanthropic celebration of the love between dogs and their people. Short canine-themed documentary, animated and narrative films from around the world create a shared audience experience that inspires, educates and entertains. With a New York City premiere every October, the Festival then travels around the country, partnering in each location with an outstanding animal welfare organization that brings adoptable dogs to the theater and receives half the proceeds of the ticket sales. Halo was a Founding Sponsor in 2015 and donated 10,000 meals to the beneficiary shelters in every destination around the country in 2016.

Tracie lives in Bennington, Vermont – where the Radio Pet Lady Network studio is based – and where her 12 acres are well-used by her 2-girl pack of lovely, lively rescued Weimaraners, Maisie and Wanda.

Halo Pets

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Sad News from Tennessee

On Wednesday, August 2, 2017 at approximately 0500 hours, the City of Crossville Police Department assisted the Cumberland County Sheriff’s Office, who were attempting to stop a stolen semi-truck, which was traveling down a secluded dirt road off of Genesis Road. With City and County law enforcement in pursuit, the semi-truck wrecked in the woods […]

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Shih Tzu Care Tips

Shih tzu’s are good-natured and easy to train, making them great family pets. But caring for a Shih tzu can be time consuming because they require a lot of grooming.

A major part of Shih tzu care is proper grooming which will begin as soon as you bring your new dog home. Their thick, double-coated hair can be grown long, …
Dog’sHealth.com Blog

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The Golden Poodle awards for July

The Poodle (and Dog) Blog

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New South Korean president adopts rescue dog

The Poodle (and Dog) Blog

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Whole Lot of Difference: Texas Husky Rescue

Texas Husky Rescue at Phydeaux & Friends

Texas Husky Rescue, Inc. was created in May 2009 as a non-profit 501(c)3 animal rescue organization that is run entirely by volunteers. Its mission is to rescue, rehabilitate, and find qualified loving homes for neglected, abused, and unwanted Huskies throughout Texas and beyond as well as educate the public about responsible pet ownership and the special qualities of the Siberian Husky Breed.

Halo is proud to partner with Freekibble.com and GreaterGood.org to make a WHOLE lot of difference for shelter pets together.

Here’s what Texas Husky Rescue had to say about a recent Halo Pets donation, which was made possible with the help of Phydeaux & Friends in Austin, TX:

“…having Halo available for them gives us the peace of mind they are getting the nutrients they need to be the very best husky…”

“Halo has been a critical part of our program for every husky we have had this past year. We would not be able to have 60 dogs in our program right now if it were not for the generous donation of food, which allows us to allocate the funds we save towards making sure all of our huskies get the very best care.

From the healthiest of huskies to those needing a little TLC, having Halo available for them gives us the peace of mind they are getting the nutrients they need to be the very best husky they can be as they start the next chapter of their life searching for their family.

Zeus’s Story

Zeus from Texas Husky RescueZeus was picked up as a stray and brought to a local shelter. He wasn’t reclaimed and was labeled as “rescue only” because he was highly stressed and wasn’t feeling the whole shelter vibe (who does, really?). Once out of the stressful environment and into a place where our volunteers were able to show him the love and affection he so desperately needed his true personality came out! And boy does he have personality!!!

It didn’t take long for us to realize his rescue only status was not a true reflection of him, he is extra sweet and over just a big goofy fun loving boy who loves a nice ear scratch. The two months he spent in our program he enjoyed learning how much fun being a happy husky can be and of course all the yummy Halo food he got for his dinners. He learned quickly he wouldn’t ever have to go hungry again, there was always plenty of tasty food available to fill his tummy.  After two months we were thrilled to watch as Zeus walked away tail wagging and head up high with his very own family who loves him. (Is there any better sight??) This sweet boy now loves to play in the yard with his doggie friends and can not get enough love from his people.

Zeus from Texas Husky Rescue

Nymeria’s Story

Nymeria from Texas Husky RescueNymeria was an adoption return to the shelter because after 2 week her owners realized they were moving and couldn’t take her. She was terrified and depressed being back in the shelter. It didn’t take long for her to show signs of illness and they called us immediately.  When our volunteer picked her up at the shelter we knew right away Nymeria was in trouble! She was EXTREMELY underweight, listless and couldn’t even walk on her own! We rushed her to our vet where she got some antibiotics, a B12 shot and an IV. Our vets determined she had pneumonia in both lungs and stayed overnight at an emergency vet clinic to monitor her progress. After getting her illness under control Nymeria went to a wonderful foster home where they began giving her some much needed extra TLC (and some extra Halo meals) where she began to gain weight and gain trust in people again.

Zeus and Nymeria are just two examples of the many dogs we save every day. We do not know what happened to these sweet babies before rescue but we do know that thanks to generous donations from our partners at Halo and our great team of volunteers that none of these dogs will ever know what it is like to be alone and scared again. It is a promise we make to each and every dog we bring in and one we never go back on.”

Nymeria from Texas Husky Rescue with Halo pet food

Thank you Texas Husky Rescue for making a WHOLE lot of difference for pets in your community.

When you choose Halo pet food, made from natural, whole food ingredients, your pet won’t be the only one with a radiant coat, clear eyes and renewed energy. Halo feeds it forward, donating over 1.5 million bowls annually. As always, Halo will donate a bowl to a shelter every time YOU buy. Thank you for helping #HaloFeeditForward

Halo Pets

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Our Love For Storytime

Our Love For Storytime

I’ve posted here before about how storytime is one of our little ones’ favorite activities. We have family story nights outside in the summer, where we all sit out on our deck and read together. The kids have pretend storytimes of their own, where they snuggle up in the big chair in our living room and Essley “reads” to Emmett. (There is quite possibly nothing more adorable than this, by the way.) Essley and her friends play storytime on playdates. Robbie and I love how much they enjoy these experiences. In a time where screens dominate so much of our daily lives, there is something incredibly reassuring (especially when our kids, like most, admittedly do love their screen time), to know that they find such genuine joy in books.

Because they are such big fans of storytime, you can imagine the kids’ excitement (and then subsequent heartbreak, when they realized we’d have to miss out because we’ll be on vacation!) when we found out about Storytime LIVE!, an awesome event that Kiddie Academy is hosting at multiple locations here in Illinois this Saturday, July 29th. You may remember me singing Kiddie Academy’s praises in the past. They’re a nationally recognized provider of comprehensive educational child care programs, with a really wonderful Life Essentials® curriculum that focuses on social and emotional character education, and physical and cognitive outcomes – all of which are aligned with state preschool learning standards. And Storytime LIVE! is yet another cool thing they’re doing for little ones. It’s a fun, educational community reading event (that is also free!) intended to promote reading amongst kids. It will also help prepare little ones for the transition into school or a school setting through the combination of playtime and leaning (which are the main parts of the Life Essentials® curriculum). And the best part is that Curious George (one of our kids’ all time favorite characters) jumps off the page and visits the classroom in person! So fun, right?

For my readers here in Illinois, ten Kiddie Academy locations will be participating in Storytime LIVE! this weekend: Arlington Heights, Batavia, Carpentersville, Darien, Frankfort, Naperville, Oswego, Park Ridge, Plainfield, and Streamwood. And the event is open to everyone – whether your children are current students, you’d like to learn more about Kiddie Academy, or you’d just like to be a part of this special experience with your kids! To reserve your spot to attend, just click here. If we weren’t going to be several hundred miles away, we would be there in a heartbeat. And if you go, I’d love to hear about it!

Do your kids enjoy storytime as much as mine do? What books are their favorites?

This post is in partnership with Kiddie Academy.  Thank you for supporting the brands that help make Bubby and Bean possible.


Bubby and Bean ::: Living Creatively

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What I’m Wearing Now: July

Casual Summer Style Staples
1. Printed Maxi Dress (similar), H&M   //   2. Love Bird Sunglasses, Free People  //   3. Linen V-neck Top, H&M  //  4. Embroidered Linen Tank, J.Crew Factory  //  5. The Perfect Jean Short, Madewell    //  6. Cora Chain Wrap Scarf Necklace in Antique Silver, Free People  // 7Morocco Sandals in Brown, Minnetonka  //  8. Magic Braid Cross Body Bag, Lucky Brand (on clearance!)  //  9. Rene Sandal, Trask   //  10. Silver Hoop Earrings Set, H&M  //  11. Off-the-Shoulder Dress, H&M 

July is my very favorite month of the year for What I’m Wearing Now posts. It’s usually hot here in Chicago, but not unbearably hot like August tends to me. There are lots of parties and concerts and lake trips and other fun summery things that require me to put on more than my summertime work-from-home shorts and t-shirts uniform. It’s the month where I’m most able to take advantage of my favorite pieces in my closet. This has been the perfect July for all of these things, and I’m genuinely sad that there’s only a week left of it.

As you can see in the collage above, I’ve been living in my usual lightweight dresses (including this one and this one which are not shown above but are not to be missed as they are SUPER reduced in price right now), tees, cut-offs and sandals. But I’ve also ventured beyond my usual comfort zone this month, into maxi dresses – which I’ve always found beautiful, but don’t usual work for my body type. I’ve actually found the majority of my beloved maxi dresses via the Knox Rose line from Target, believe it or not. They’re really beautiful and so flattering and best of all, affordable AF.

We are going on another trip, way up to Door County, Wisconsin, later this week, and the kids and I will be going on another weekend trip to Indianapolis in a couple of weeks – so between our travels and other fun weekend activities (and maybe even a date night or two with Robbie sans kids), I’m hoping for many more opportunities throughout the next month to enjoy pretty summer dresses before my favorite season for fashion comes to an end.


Bubby and Bean ::: Living Creatively

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Links I Love, Right Now

I was looking through old posts the other day and realized I hadn’t done a Links I Love since March. I guess it’s just been a busy summer (meaning I haven’t had as much time to waste aimlessly browsing the internet at 2 AM). I’ve had a random case of insomnia all week long though, which means I’ve got all kinds of stuff to share. So here we go!

Mmmm. 80+ hearty vegetarian meal recipes. I’m in.

This Free People blog post on 10 ways to use healing crystals is actually a few years old, but it’s new to me. I have dozens of crystals around my house and have always been fascinated by them.

A Saudi woman was arrested for wearing a mini skirt in public. I have so much to say about this but I’ll leave it at that for now.

I am in love with these simple organic cotton duvet cover sets – available in 6 colors and less than $ 60. I think I need at least two.

Did you guys hear about the Swiss couple,  missing for almost 75 years, who were found frozen on a glacier? So intense.

This made my week: a dog rescued a baby deer from drowning.

This embroidered dress is everything.

A school in Paris asked 100 graffiti artists to paint before they renovated it. Who else thinks this is better than any renovation could possible be?

I enjoyed this piece on screen time rules and reality as voiced by 10 different moms. Both my kids are allowed to watch tv and movies, but it is very limited. It was interesting to read the views of others. (And I learned that many of us who were anti screen time for kids changed our views once we had them.)

I’m one of those rare bloggers who doesn’t get excited for fall clothing – I actually get a little sad. But this oversized denim moto jacket (as seen in top image) might make me a convert. I can see myself wearing it with a pretty printed maxi dress on an end-of-summer night. Love.

This family turned a school bus into their own personal hostel on wheels and are exploring Europe. (Fun fact: I lived on a school bus, parked in the highest incorporated town in Colorado, the summer after I graduated college.)

How cute (and chic) is this little cactus stud earring?

What are you up to this weekend? The band Robbie works for is playing locally (in Chicago) tomorrow, which is usually just a once-a-year occurrence. The kids and I are going, and then we’re heading down to Indianapolis to see them play there as well. I guess it’s go-to-work-with-daddy weekend for us! Essley is stoked. Oh, and speaking of out of town trips, here’s a funny story for you. We’re taking a big family trip up to northern Wisconsin that, for many months, I thought was August 3rd. I found out last night it’s actually July 27th – an entire week earlier. Yep. Considering we’re leaving town this weekend too, I’ll just let you imagine how frantic this Type A personality has been over the last 15+ hours trying to rework our schedule. It’s going to be an interesting week next week. I’ll see you back here on Monday!


Bubby and Bean ::: Living Creatively

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Give me a drink!

What is it about French Bulldogs that make them so irresistible? What is it about French Bulldogs that make them so irresistible? This one is waiting for a helping hand from his owner so he can drink out of the fountain in Menton.

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