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Life’s a Beach

Just some randomness from an early morning beach walk this morning.
Lacey is happy – even with a nose full of sand.

I keep forgetting to bring a toy!  I’m trying not to play fetch so I leave the toys in the car.  Then Lacey gets the snot beat out of her.  So then I have to find something to keep Coulee occupied. Thankfully sticks are numerous at the beach.

Contemplating a swim.

She’s always so sweet with the gifts.

Just happy to be out and about.

A wet, dirty dog is a happy dog.

Crazy Coulee and Little Lacey

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Cosmopolitan Hotel Hong Kong Launches New Family Package

Hong Kong (PRWEB) July 01, 2014

Cosmopolitan Hotel Hong Kong has always been passionate about offering a comfortable stay for families where they can spend quality time together. With this vision in mind, Cosmopolitan Hotel launches its first-ever family-oriented campaign named Beyond Thoughtful ? Family & Us, and under this campaign a series of new and exciting family-friendly amenities have been introduced. .

Cosmopolitan Hotel offers over three varieties of family rooms to suit a wide range of needs, which include Family Quad Rooms, Ocean Park Suite and Toy Suite. Guests staying at any of these rooms will be treated to a host of complimentary benefits. These include FUN-cation specials, such as premium body and skin care for kids, a mobile storybook library, PlayStation, special sweet treats, a welcome gift, free toys and educational bookmark.

?We want our family guests who stay with us to be able to experience a stay that is fun, entertaining, yet educational, that they wouldn?t normally experience in any other downtown hotels in Hong Kong. More so, all their kid?s needs are well taken care of the moment they check into their room. Our family package ensures all the families are treated with the finest family friendly amenities and every stay for the little VIPs is made unique and memorable with our heartwarming touches,? said Ms. Chan, the General Manager of Cosmopolitan Hotel Hong Kong.

Cosy and Luxurious Family Quad Room with Two Double Beds to Fit Four

Measuring 32 square metres/340 square feet, Family Quad Rooms at Cosmopolitan Hotel Hong Kong are specially designed to accommodate two adults and two children, with two double beds readily available in the room. For new parents, a pair of bed rails or a baby cot can be arranged upon request. Everything on a parent?s ?to-pack? list, we have it covered.

Staying at a Family Quad Room will entitle guests to a full range of kid amenities for kids if booked via the hotel?s official website. Extra features including free room upgrade to the newly renovated Grand Family Quad (applies to when booking a Family Quad Room and subject to availability), a complimentary toy, free in-room Premium Wi-Fi and free use of smart phone with 3G Internet, which comes with special features like interactive maps, Hong Kong city guide, a host of exciting discounts across the city and unlimited local and IDD calls to selected countries.

Award-winning Themed Suites – Ocean Park Suite and Toy Suites

Both the Ocean Park Suite and Toy Suite offer the same range of amenities for kids as the Family Quad Room and include a full range of FUN-cation specials. Measuring 48 square meters / 520 square feet, Cosmopolitan Hotel themed suites feature a spacious living room and dining room. The Ocean Park Suite includes three Ocean Park admission tickets (two adults and one child), an Ocean Park souvenir, and a round-trip limousine service to and from the Ocean Park; whilst the Toy Suite is designed in accordance to a mini playground with all kinds of toys and little gadgets to keep the little ones busy . All suites have stunning views of the city?s skyline and the race course.

Head-to-toe Pampering for the Little Ones

For parents, a quality family accommodation begins from the choice of bathroom amenities. Like every mother would care for their juniors, the hotel has specially handpicked only the best toiletries that would make for quite an enjoyable experience. The premium kid?s toiletry bag features an extensive range of skin and body care products that every mother would find useful. . These products have been designed in a way where babies with sensitive skin are also taken care of.

A An Enlightening Stay Infused with Educational Elements

There is never a dull moment when staying at Cosmopolitan Hotel as the kids will find plenty of educational and fun-filled activities to enjoy. For kids who love to read, the hotel has a Mobile Storybook Library with extensive storybook stories, delivered to the room on request, here kids will be able to choose their favourite titles and enjoy reading the books in the comfort of their room. An inspirational bookmark specially designed by a popular local designer will also be awarded to kids who love to read. There are several educational cards found in the room with each delivering a special message to remind kids about healthy habits even on vacation.

Endless Surprises and Free Treats For the Little Ones and Parents

Children love surprises and gifts. So every child arriving at the hotel will instantly be offered a snack box featuring all-time favourite snacks and healthy juices that a child would like from a friendly hotel staff. More sweet surprises are hidden in the room! Last but not least, the ever popular free-to-pick Toy-cart overflowing with all sorts of toys and gadgets is available to let the kids choose their favourite toy! All of these thoughtful perks will surely guarantee that little ones enjoy a stay full of pleasant surprises. Other in-room amenities include various TV channels for kids, Wii games, kid?s dental kit, bathrobe, slippers, baby bed rails and many more.

Impressive Presentation To Ignite A Joyful Stay

The presentation of the gift and amenities has been given much thought so that even the parents will find it heartwarming. More so, the hotel is also providing a point-to-point free shuttle bus for guests to 15 tourist destinations every day. The shuttle bus to Ocean Park is available every Friday to Sunday, and parents who purchase Ocean Park tickets at the hotel concierge will get to enjoy the ride for free!

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TracieHotchnerJune is the National Adopt a Cat Month, an idea created by the American Humane Association to encourage people to make room in their hearts and homes for one (or more?!) cat(s), from the millions of them who are waiting for their Forever Homes in shelters across the country. Research has shown that all cats in sheltering situations experience stress that causes emotional and physical health problems – which means that every day a kitty spends in a shelter (even the nicest one) is a really hard day for her. If you have never had a cat yourself, but have considered adding a feline member to your family, why not make now the time to make a lifetime of difference in one cat’s life – and discover for yourself the joy a cat will bring you (with the bonus that pets have been proven to lower your stress at the same time!)

There are ten days left in June so don’t miss the chance to be counted as one of the Good Guys! You can make a huge difference – not just in that cat’s life, but also to the shelter workers who suffer another sort of stress seeing their cat populations grow with not enough adopters knocking on the door. From my book THE CAT BIBLE: Everything Your Cat Expects You to Know, here are some of the thoughts to take into consideration as you head off to your local rescue or shelter.

The first question to ask yourself is, “What kind of cat am I looking for?” Even if you don’t have a clear picture in your mind, we are all influenced by preferences we may not even be aware of. When you try to imagine what the perfect cat would be for you, what would your ideal cat look like? If you have a fantasy of the color and size of your dream cat, it’s easy enough to accommodate those physical characteristics on your wish list because on any day of the week there are so many thousands of cats for adoption wherever you might turn – local shelters, breed rescues, and of course the ubiquitous Petfinder.com which brings them all together on the Internet based on your zip code.

Beyond what your Fantasy Cat will look like, do you have feelings about what you envision as the ideal kitty’s personality and energy level? Kittens tend to zoom around and get into mischief: they need to have their environment kitten-proofed while their personalities are developing and you have to play with them and set boundaries for them until their energy mellows out. A grown cat will need less playtime and probably exhibit little, if any, of the wild antics of a kitten. In either case, think beforehand about your own time and energy levels and what might make a good fit for your lifestyle and personality.

When you meet an adult cat, you know in short order what her personality is. Does she like to sit on laps? Is she quiet and timid, or bold and assertive? Shelters and rescue groups often know their cats very well and can help steer you to a compatible match if you have a sense of what feline qualities would be appealing to you. But if you think about it, attraction often just happens. When you’re dealing with another living, feeling being, there are two sides to the equation. With pets we adopt, there often seems to be a mysterious moment of being touched with a magical wand of mutual attraction and you just seem to feel “That’s the one!”

For many people there is an “Aha!” moment when they are attracted to a human partner – for some people this can happen with pets, too. If you leave yourself open to that moment, you will know when it happens. Call it animal magnetism, karma, fate or your “inner cat,” and just go with it. What you’ll be letting go of at that moment is the idea that you can pick the “perfect” kitty and mold her into what you want, or control her natural self. Much better to leave the match-making in the hands of destiny and trust that the cat whew needs you – and whom you need – will find you.

Are there qualities about a cat that you can know beforehand? Unlike with dogs, there’s not much value to the idea of temperament testing for cats, starting with the fact that they wouldn’t submit to the test, anyway, unless they were in the mood! Dogs can be evaluated through a temperament test, but there is no such yardstick to evaluate cats, which means it isn’t reasonable to try to choose a cat or kitten based on a checklist of qualities.

The truth is that there’s really no way to pick the perfect cat for you, even if you knew what such a cat would be like. This is because one of the beautiful things about cats is that they do not reveal themselves all at once. Getting to know pussycats is a process, a gradual discovery of their enigmatic natures. Purebred cats are the only ones who tend to have somewhat predictable personalities and energy levels, but since only a small percentage of cat owners have purebreds, majority rules apply here. While I have heard that nearly one third of cats in shelters are actually purebred, there are still no hard and fast rules about their proclivities: not all Siamese talk a lot and not all Maine Coon cats like to take showers or go on walks like a dog!

Behaviorists who study cats have identified just two basic personality types for a cat. Beyond that, there aren’t any clear guidelines that allow you to judge a cat’s temperament ahead of time, other than sitting with a cat over one or more visits to discover how she interacts with you. Those who study cats generally agree that there are two fundamental kinds of cat personality and most cats’ personalities fall into one of them, with subtle variations. Type A cats are independent loners, aloof and maybe even reclusive. Type B cats are the kind of cats who will seek out people and other cats for companionship and they need affection and company.

The best overall tip in visiting the cat room at a shelter is not to pick extremes of personality. Be wary of the cat cowering in the corner.: if she’s a kitten, that timidity may be her natural personality and nothing you can do will make much of a dent in it. If she is an older cat who is fearful and withdrawn, it may be trauma of some kind has driven her into a nervous state, in which case you won’t be able to change much there, either. Avoid any extreme behavior, whether it is very reticent or overly energetic or enthusiastic, unless you are prepared to have a potentially long and challenging road to win this cat’s affection (though for some, such cats become the best love stories of all). But otherwise, pretty much any kitty who rings a bell for you has a great chance of being a love for life – so go ahead and make this the month you go for it!

Halo Purely for Pets is a pet food company devoted to supporting the health of cats in shelters (where they donate millions of meals through Freekibble.com) and their mission is to vigorously encourage adoption, which is why June being Adopt-a-Shelter-Cat month is such a meaningful month for them.
Keep in mind that how you feed your kitty will have a direct effect on her physical health and therefore her frame of mind.

Because the carbohydrates in dry food have been linked to health problems for animals who are obligate carnivores, I always recommend feeding wet food only to any cat of any age. Halo has a great choice of canned foods, including their newest pate-style cat food which has a remarkably low carbohydrate content around 3%. Feeding Halo canned foods is a sure way to get your new kitty on track for a lifetime of health and happiness. Don’t forget to pick up some freeze-dried protein in the Liv-a-Little containers, which makes heavenly treats to properly spoil your new feline family member!

Tracie Hotchner is the author of THE DOG BIBLE: Everything Your Dog Wants You to Know and THE CAT BIBLE: Everything Your Cat Expects You to Know. She is also a renowned pet radio host and producer, having spent 7 years on the Martha Stewart Channel of Sirius/XM with CAT CHAT® and even longer with her award-winning NPR radio show DOG TALK® (and Kitties, Too!) that continues to broadcast in the Hamptons and the Berkshires. Her most recent accomplishment is the pet talk radio network she has created on the Internet called The Radio Pet Lady Network.


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To sum up today it got so hot that I started chaffing so I went commando under my kilt and then as I was desperate for shade I sat under a pine tree not thinking about the bed of needles.  Learned a new lesson.  Still I made good progress left philomath and said goodbye to the cascades. 

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Dr. J. Alexander Withers Launches a New Website, Aimed at Educating Patients on Procedures and Treatment Options Offered at his Fairfax, VA Periodontics Practice

Fairfax, VA (PRWEB) June 30, 2014

Patients of Dr. J. Alexander Withers can now benefit from a user friendly website containing helpful information on periodontal conditions and treatments offered at Dr. Withers? periodontics practice. Through the recently launched website, patients can learn about periodontal conditions, symptoms, and corrective treatments that Dr. Withers performs as a periodontist in Fairfax, VA. Patients can even use the website to find special offers, learn about financing options, and request appointments.

Periodontal disease treatment is a service many patients of Dr. Withers? periodontics practice require at some point. If periodontal disease is left untreated, it can cause gum tissue recession, tooth loss, and even reductions in jaw bone density. Dr. Withers offers various procedures to remove or control periodontal disease, including gingivectomy, periodontal maintenance, scaling and root planing, osseous surgery, and laser gum surgery. These procedures can improve oral health while lowering the risk that patients will suffer from serious health problems associated with gum disease, such as stroke and heart disease. Patients who receive gum disease treatment also enjoy a better likelihood of success during any cosmetic or corrective dental procedures they require later.

Dr. Withers also provides various services for people who need to visit a periodontist in Fairfax, VA because they have lost teeth or suffered tissue damage from periodontal disease. Dr. Withers performs procedures such as gum grafting, bone grafting, sinus lifts, and ridge preservation, which can help protect teeth, preserve bone density, or prepare patients for dental implants. To help people with missing teeth, Dr. Withers offers various types of dental implants, which are posts placed in the jaw to anchor prosthetics. Implants are a permanent, stable tooth replacement, and do not require special care, adjustments, or dietary changes. They also offer long term health benefits for patients by stabilizing bite alignment and preventing alveolar bone density loss.

Dr. Withers hopes patients will use the new website to become familiar and comfortable with the procedures offered at his Fairfax periodontics practice. Patients can also use the website to check their symptoms and learn about the adverse health effects of various periodontal conditions. Anyone who wants to learn more or schedule a visit with a periodontist in Fairfax, VA is encouraged to explore the new website at http://www.withersperio.com.

About the Practice:

Dr. J. Alexander Withers Periodontics and Implant Dentistry is a periodontal practice offering professional dental care for patients in Northern Virginia. Dr. Withers received a Bachelor?s Degree in Biology, and earned his D.D.S. degree from The Medical College of Virginia. Dr. Withers has been named in the Top Dentists by the Washington Magazine, Checkbook Magazine and Consumer Research Council of America, and Northern Virginia Magazine. To learn more about Dr. J. Alexander Withers Periodontics and Implant Dentistry and their dental services, visit their website at http://www.withersperio.com/ or call (703) 997-4211.

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Tracie_Hotchner_PicIt has been a Spring of sadness and loss in my world – my older rescued Weimaraner, Scooby Doo, gave up the ghost himself, soon after I lost my youngest Weimaraner, Teddy, to a fast and brutal death from cancer. It was heart breaking for me to witness the older dog’s broken heart from the loss of his younger adopted brother – yet it was also uplifting as a reminder of the depth of feelings that our dogs can have, not just for us, but for each other.

During Teddy’s hospitalization and after he failed to return home, Scooby Doo became lethargic and stopped eating or drinking. At first I thought it was a medical emergency and rushed him to the vet for ultrasounds, blood tests and I.V. fluids. This medical intervention made him extremely nervous and agitated, which I realize in hindsight was because I had misinterpreted his profound depression as a medical problem, when what Scooby actually was suffering from was a broken heart.

Whichever room they were in, Scooby Doo and Teddy had never failed to lie down on the same bed together, curled or spread out in parallel positions, always touching. Our other older dog Jazzy, a Collie mix, is an aloof gal who likes her own space and couldn’t offer any comfort to her lifetime boyfriend. Scooby Doo was devastated with loneliness, and continued on “a hunger strike,” which was so out of character for the Fastest Eater in the West that I knew I had to find a way to give him a reason to live again.

I decided to bring a new breath of life into the household when I learned that the Mid-Atlantic Weimaraner rescue in Virginia Beach had a nine-month-old Blue Weimaraner female, Maisie, who had been turned in for adoption. Maisie’s situation reminded me of adopting Scooby Doo, turned in by his owners as a 6 month old pup, and adopted by me the day he came into the Southampton shelter over twelve years before.

My sister and I had driven down from Vermont to Virginia to pick up the beautiful young lady, and Maisie came home filled with exuberance. She tried her best to rouse Scooby Doo from his depression; for a brief period it seemed as though he might have revived emotionally. However, within a couple of weeks it was clear that having lost Teddy, Scooby had thrown in the towel and decided to follow his little brother over that Rainbow Bridge. On a Friday night – exactly five weeks to the day when Teddy’s illness had declined past the point of salvation – Scooby got “that look” in eyes saying it was over, it was “time.”

I reached the vet early the next morning and she offered to come over and ease Scooby Doo out of his mortal suffering. It was a chilly morning in early April and we had lit a fire in the wood stove; Scooby managed to get up from a bed he had been on all night and stretch out on the bed in front of the toasty fire. He did not raise his head or open his eyes again.

It was almost the same time on a Saturday morning when my sister and I had driven to the specialty hospital where Teddy’s suffering had overwhelmed his ability to fight against his illness and we held his paws and each others’ hands while putting him out of his misery. Scooby Doo was the opposite: no apparent physical suffering (despite not having eaten or drunk in a full day) but with the loss of the will to live. He looked peaceful, resigned and patient, waiting for his chariot to take him across the Rainbow Bridge.

As we waited for the vet to arrive, I debated whether it would disturb him if I were to get down on the floor with him, worried that expressing my sorrow might interfere with his peaceful resignation to leave this world. As I was wondering how to be of comfort – and considering if I should sit down next to him and put his head in my lap, the exuberant young puppy came bounding into the room. Fearing that she would disrupt Scooby’s peaceful state of near-unconsciousness, I caught Maisie. I was about to banish her from the room when she stopped in her tracks. She regarded Scooby Doo thoughtfully, taking in the scene.

Before I could do anything, she quietly slipped down next to him on the adjoining dog bed. Ever-so-gently, she lay her young head right on top of his – like a laying on of hands. She lay there in utter stillness for quite some time, then shifted her head so that it lay across his neck in a protective, loving position. Then she stretched out her neck and fit it against him in an embrace of sorts. She had not known him more than a couple of weeks, but even as a young newcomer to the family she recognized what was going on.

She had an instinct about how to keep Scooby Doo company until he was freed from his suffering. He accepted what she had to offer. Both Scooby’s love for Teddy, and Maisie’s respect and affection for Scooby, left me breathless. Their deep attachment and elegant, instinctive compassion were luminous examples of pure love. As sad as I was, it heartened me to experience this surreal and awe-inspiring interchange.


Tracie Hotchner is the author of THE DOG BIBLE: Everything Your Dog Wants You to Know and THE CAT BIBLE: Everything Your Cat Expects You to Know. She is also a renowned pet radio host and producer, having spent 7 years on the Martha Stewart Channel of Sirius/XM with CAT CHAT® and even longer with her award-winning NPR radio show DOG TALK® (and Kitties, Too!) that continues to broadcast in the Hamptons and the Berkshires. Her most recent accomplishment is the pet talk radio network she has created on the Internet called The Radio Pet Lady Network.


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This Japanese Golden Retriever Shows Off Her Table Manners

Does the price of dog food ever seem overwhelming to you? Feeding a dog, especially with the fancy stuff that’s in all the stores now, can be expensive.

I don’t know if the solution found by the owner of Coco-Chan, a Golden Retriever in Japan, is really the one that you want to use to cut down on dog food expenses. However, it definitely is amusing to watch. Coco-Chan’s YouTube channel has amassed a cult following, apparently because people love to watch the beautiful dog eat vegetables.

The video that’s gotten the most attention shows Coco-Chan calmly munching on a corn cob. Perhaps the most notable thing is how unfailingly courteous she is about her dinner manners. Whether eating corn on the cob, watermelon, or sushi, Coco-Chan is invariably calm and appreciative when eating. Actually, she does get pretty enthusiastic when she gets the sushi, but it’s impressive how incredibly patient she is while her owner prepares the rolls and brings them to her. And when she does get it, it’s gone, as neat as can be.

Neatness is something that seems to characterize all these videos. If nothing else, she is the tidiest creature — human or animal — I’ve ever seen eat a watermelon.

In the video below, she does have to do a little more than wait for her food. In this one, her owner has her play a version of the old shell game, albeit using two cups instead of three. Usually, playing this game is a sucker’s bet: If you’re the one playing, you wind up with nothing, except for a free lesson about gambling with strangers. In this case, though, it pays off for Coco-Chan in the end. She finds the treat and devours it.

I’m not saying that this is the ideal solution to your dog food bills, obviously. However, it’s certainly charming to watch.

Via YouTube

The Scoop | The Scoop

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Inscribed Collection Book Review

Part of the Inscribed Collection, a series of books has been released via Thomas Nelson, that really encourages a deeper search into the bible that goes beyond just “basic topical approaches” but takes a deep approach in an assuming ways. Exploring topics such as developing a deeper love for God’s word, looking into the book…

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Sunflower Faith

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