Six years ago, I couldn’t imagine living with a dog.
Today, I can’t imagine living without him.
Victor, my cocker-cross, changed my life six years ago, the minute I put him in my car, and drove home fully aware I had not started that day with the intention of getting a dog. But the universe had other plans for me – and him.
The universe is wise.
Last week, I spent quality time with my precious Victor at the dog-friendly Woodhaven Country Lodge in Ontario, Canada chasing chipmunks, wading into the lake and waiting on an oncology report.
Victor has swollen lymph nodes and the vet wanted to ‘rule out’ possibilities. I braced for the worst. When we got back from our awesome cottage experience, Victor needed more tests. It wasn’t looking good.
Then the biopsy came back: NO CANCER CELLS detected. He needs a good dose of anti-biotics and we are still not sure what is causing the inflammation, but …
Imagine my relief. We’ve got more time together. Who knows how much, but I’m making a list to take full advantage of whatever energy, mobility and enthusiasm we have left.
Time to focus again on what’s important: spoiling Victor.
That said, here’s some dog stuff we took for a trial run along Buckhorn Lake in the scenic Kawartha’s, Ontario’s other favourite cottage country.
1. Carolina Pet Company Bed in a Bag … for dogs.
I met Carolina Pet Company at SuperZoo 2017, and when I told them I travel with my dog, they said, ‘we have just the thing,’ and they sent me a ‘Bed and Bag’ – a sleeping bag for dogs – in exchange for an honest review. (Amazon.com affiliate link)
So here it is: we don’t camp much. By camping, I mean in tents. This Bed an Bag is ideal for that. Made like a sleeping bag but with no opening, this oval has polyester fibre fill for softness, and one side is water resistant to keep moisture away from sleeping dogs.
It rolls neatly into a drawstring bag, just like every human-sized sleeping bag I’ve ever struggled with, and has a carry strap. I’m going to keep this in the car because … you never know when you’re going to need to put a moisture barrier between the ground and your dog.
During our cottage experience, I unrolled it on the deck and Victor soon realized this was his place to curl up and preferred it over the hard deck. However, he kept ‘digging’ it into a ball before he laid down. After the fact, I noted four built-it stake loops – very hand if we were on the ground.
2. Beer Paws Beer for Dogs
What better place to test beer than at the cottage? Ok, it’s not really beer – there’s no alcohol content but there is malt extract … and water, and beef broth with K9 glucosamine.
Beer Paws is essentially a liquid treat that can be consumed straight, poured into a bowl, or frozen into summer ‘pupcicles.’
What did the dogs think? No surprise, my Victor was uninterested. He’s picky. His friend Sasha, however, took a sip, was hesitant at first (hey, beer is an acquired taste) then finished the entire bowl. I guess she’ll have an hankering for beef broth now.
3. Caru Dog Treats
If you’re lazing on the deck, enjoying a bowl of beer, what’s better than some jerky? If you’re a dog. Ok, it’s not exactly jerky but both dogs loved it anyway. Caru beef soft and tasty baked bars (affiliate link) are made in the USA from real beef, blueberries and cranberries with no wheat, gluten, soy or by-products. Neither dog, including my picky Victor. Thanks to BlogPaws for providing us sample bags to review.
4. Quick Bath Dog Wipes
Just because we’re on a short vacation, doesn’t mean we skip the baths. Well, Victor didn’t get a full out bath (and Sasha jumped in the lake ever minute) but I did need to wipe the dogs down especially because the furniture was not off limits (see previous post here).
Quick Bath (affiliate link) extra thick and heavy duty came in handy and I only needed one per wipe down. (Well, two for the giant Sasha and her lake water cologne). From International Veterinary Sciences (IVS), these pH neural, pre-moistened wipes remove dirt and dander, helps eliminate bacteria and odor (important while travelling) and come in a compact easy to reseal package small to pack than a roll of paper towels.
UP NEXT: Cancer-free Victor heads to Woofstock! Toronto’s biggest outdoor dog festival.