November’s BarkBox Review: Be Thankful I Even Wrote This!

November’s BarkBox Review: Be Thankful I Even Wrote This!

Awwwwww, I’m just joking about the title but my, oh my, did November get away from me!  November was filled with conferences, trainings, meetings and, oh yeah, Thanksgiving.  In the midst of all that, a BarkBox came and was enjoyed and I apologize, dear readers, for the delay in telling you about it!  So, let’s get into what was in November (before December shows up on my doorstep).

The BarkBox came with a reminder card that the BarkShop is open.  They actually have cute stuff, and I have a $10 credit, so I should probably get a stocking stuffer or something from there.  Oh!  I just noticed the postcard offers me $10 off my first purchase too!  I wonder if I can stack those.  I will definitely check that site out after I write this.  The theme this month is, duh, Thanksgiving.

 

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First look at the box.

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All the fixin’s!

So this box included Petsafe Squeak ‘ Treat Booya, $13.  This is a great heavy chewer toy (thanks, BarkBox) and you can also put treats in it.  These are the best kinds of toys, and the reason I keep subscribing.  (Although, I found it here for $12).  I actually said to my husband as we unpacked this box, “this is a good box” and I am sticking to my first impression.  http://www.dogtuff.com/busy-buddy-squeak-n-treat-booya-pet-safe-large.html?gclid=Cj0KEQiAhvujBRDUpomG5cq_mI0BEiQA7TYq-h_o7n2rMs2u12jbF6e0HL07e5JT_kR2Zu3qc0LsZB0aAkfm8P8HAQ

Wagatha’s Kitchen Sink are treats that Albie felt “OK” about.  He expresses this emotion by abandoning a treat but then later going back to find it and eat it.  Wagatha got 3/5 tail wags.  They are all-organic, GMO-free treats filled with a ton of really good stuff (thus, the kitchen sink)!  BarkBox prices these at $5 and I could only find a bigger box for $12 so we will let BB’s price stand.  http://www.amazon.com/Wagathas-Kitchen-Sink-Organic-Biscuits/dp/B00AN6A8ZS

Feel Good Treat Company Slow Roasted Rosemary Turducken (Oat & Rice).  Albie was not leaving these, he was LOVING these!  These were a hit, guaranteed to prevent the dogs from begging for your turkey.  I don’t know about that, but he does really like them.  BarkBox says this is a $6 item but Albie says no amount is too high! (and I cannot find them online)

Diggin Your Dog Charki-O’s was also in the box and Albie has never met a bone he didn’t like.  This is actually more than a bone, as it is freeze-dried beef trachea topped with liver sprinkles.  BarkBox prices this at $4, and I may just reorder this with my BarkMoney (if that’s possible) because it was a huge hit.  We actually did give this to Al on Thanksgiving and he was delighted.  I can’t find the exact one, but that price seems legit and actually very reasonable.  http://canvaspet.com/shop/diggin-dog-charki-o-hip-joint-8-9-dog-chew-single/

Finally, the box had Safemade Apawthecary Cleaning Wipes, $4.  These are cute and perfect to throw into my bag when we go on a hike.  I love wipes.  I keep baby wipes in my car and my “baby” is 12.  They’re for me.  Baby wipes get coffee stains out of shirts, not that I’m always spilling Americanos on myself (I am).  I couldn’t find these online either!

Not my best review, I apologize but I have recently had the flu and was feeling so guilty for stalling on posting this!  If you ever have a blog topic (dog related) you would be interested in my writing about, please comment below!  As always, we loved the BarkBox and feel that it is well worth the cost (it added up to $32, we paid $18).  Pop around on Groupon and other such sites if you ever decide to subscribe because you can often find a coupon code.  Do you get BarkBox?  What do you get in yours?

 I’m really looking forward to December’s box because I love a well-curated holiday box and as we all know, Santa is coming to town!

October BarkBox: Something Wicked This Way Comes

October BarkBox: Something Wicked This Way Comes

What a treat to receive a Halloween-themed BarkBox today!  Too bad Albie literally tried to bite the hand that feeds him- I swear we are 5 barks aways from the mailman macing Al.  Anyway, this box came with something I found to be incredibly awesome- A Scout’s Honor Tail Waggin’ Guarantee!  Now, if you recall from last month, Albie really hated one of the treats that came in the box.  From now on, apparently, BarkBox is guaranteeing only pleasure from the box.  Team BarkBox now promises “that if your pup ever doesn’t ruv an item in their box, we’ll replace it.  For real.  No fee.  No fuss.  No disappointed pups.  That’s our guarantee and we’re sticking to it!  Should your pup ever turn up their snout at something, just give a friendly holler to our BarkBox happy team… (and) we’ll get that tail back up wagging by sending a replacement item that’s better suited for them, or issuing a credit of equal value to our brand new BarkShop”.  That’s totally awesome!  This will be great for those toys that I know will last 15 minutes.  Solid toys and delicious treats only!  If that doesn’t convince you that this is the best subscription box out there, nothing will!  With that said, let’s talk about what we got this month:

 

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First look at October’s BarkBox

My husband, who is so rarely home for the unveiling, and I both thought it looked a little light.  Husband asked how many items usually come in the box and I said 4-5.  This time we got 6, but it still definitely seems like less bang for your buck than usual.  Although, I must admit, both toys looked pretty awesome.  I don’t know if 3 jerky sticks was necessarily the way to go, but I do appreciate that one of the toys has a treat chute.  I can stuff those sticks in the creepy face  toy when we go to Seattle for a few hours without feeling too guilty about our abandoning King Albie.

 

IMG_37373 jerky-style treats are cool but we typically like slightly bigger bags that last through the month

The first thing that caught my eye was Snoggz RIP Van Fetcher (hahahaha… who named this?  They should see if Essie  or OPI are hiring) USA-made of durable material, this crazy toy has an erratic bounce, American Horror Story-worthy grin and can even float!  It also has a hole in the back for the aforementioned treats.  I found this online for $12, but BarkBox prices it at $14.  We’ll split the difference and give it a $13 value.  In doing an image search I was psyched to see pictures of big dogs playing with this toy.  I think this will last awhile.  Hooray!

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Snoggz RIP Van Fetcher: $13 value

Max and Ruffy’s Pumpkin Patch Bites are made in Maryland and are GMO-free as well as being free of animal products, preservatives, and dairy.  On a more superficial note I find them adorable and festive.  $4 value according to BarkBox and I can’t find this exact size or packaging online so let’s go with that price.

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Pumpkin Patch Treats: $4 value 

Snicky Snacks Cinnamon Crunch Bar is organic and USA-sourced and promises to set your pup’s tail a-waggin’.  $2 value and pictured above.  These I found for much higher online, actually.  $3.50 plus shipping.  So I’m going to say $3 value.

Hare of the Dog Rabbit Jerky Stick promises to be super tasty and can easily be broken into smaller portions if your dog is watching his weight.  As my dog gained 4 pounds in as many months, I should maybe take this stick up on its offer.  $3 value and pictured above.  I can’t find single sticks available so we’ll go with that price.  That’s actually something I love about subscription boxes- a chance to try things you may not want to pay for the full size version of with no prior knowledge.

Heartland Premium Weasand Strips are made from 100% cow gullet (ew) and hail from Nebraska (like Connor Oberst!).  I bet Albie will love these.  $3 value and pictured above.  Again, I could only find whole packages of these, so we’ll go with the $3 value.

Finally, we have an American Dog Toys Flash & Glow Ball.  I have actually considered buying this exact toy at Petco but have balked at the cost.  BarkBox says $10 value, but I’ve seen these for up to $15.   We’ll split the difference here and price it at $13.

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American Dog Toys Flash & Glow Ball: $13 value

So, even though it did seem a bit lackluster at first look, it seems that this box actually had a pretty sweet value.  $39 plus shipping is what this box would have cost if piecemealed together, but I paid about $18 a month by signing up for 6 months with a coupon code.  Of course, cost is only part of what makes these boxes so cool.  It’s nice to try new things, get surprises, and have themed goodies delivered to your best friend.  Looks like we’ll need some supplementary milk bones to get through the month, but I’m still really pleased with this box after examining its contents so thoroughly.

Did you get a BarkBox?  Did you like it?  Let me know!  You can also subscribe here: https://barkbox.com/r/3QNTBTUXEV?utm_source=old_ref&utm_medium=referrals&utm_campaign=url_copy&utm_content=100008

Dogs: They’re Just Like Us!

Dogs: They’re Just Like Us!

They may live in the spotlight, but dogs like Elliot, Coco and Sam have no problem doing every day tasks. In fact, they’re just like us!

Check out all the photos now!

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They get hurt.

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They get excited.

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They take selfies.

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They get deep.

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They hang out with friends.

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They live in the city.

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They love the sunshine.

Your dog could be a star too!  Check out the gang at Elliot’s House!

Best Dog Walks in Boston!

Best Dog Walks in Boston!

Winter may be perpetually coming in everyone’s favorite HBO show, but thankfully in Boston it’s time for spring. After this never-ending winter of our discontent we can finally open up the windows, turn down the heat, kick off our snow boots, and become reacquainted with the beauty of Boston when it’s not covered in inches of filthy snow. Finally, the snow has melted, the flowers are blooming, and it is time to get out and enjoy the natural beauty of some of the best dog-friendly walking trails in the area.

Belle Isle Marsh
1 Bennington St.
East Boston, MA 02128
(617) 846-7418

Belle Isle offers free parking, lots of open spaces, numerous trails, and all on-leash dogs are welcome! This is a beautiful spot to bring your pup.

Prospect Hill Park
314 Totten Pond Road
Waltham, MA 02154
(781) 314-3475

Longer hikes and a spectacular view of Boston are some of the reasons to make a trip to Waltham for this one. Leashed dogs only.

Stony Brook Reservation
Turtle Pond Parkway
Hyde Park, MA 02136
(617) 333-7404

This is the place for when doggy needs to take a dip! Stony Brook features a stunning walk that will make you feel like you left Boston far behind. Again, don’t forget your leash!

Neponset Trail
Dorchester, MA
http://www.bostonharborwalk.com/placestogo/location.php?nid=2&sid=63

Formerly a train track, this is a very cool place to walk your best furry friend. Nearby parking is available.

Castle Island
William J Day Blvd and Head Island Causeway
Boston, MA, US 2127
(617) 268-5744

This 22 acre urban-park is fun for the whole family, including those whose tails wag while on a hike. Stunning views!

Minuteman Bikeway
Cambridge, MA

This is another re-appropriated train track! Nearby parking available.

Gore Park
East Cambridge, MA, US

On-leash dogs are welcome to this East Cambridge park.

Harvard Square
Cambridge, MA

Sometimes a general area walk is what you want. Harvard Square is fun for people and pets alike! Enjoy the street performers, walk the manicured lawns, and if you need something to read pop into the Harvard bookstore. Dogs are welcome!

Ed Leathers Community Dog Park
Skilton Ave and Medford St
Somerville, MA, US

This fenced-in dog park is especially great for smaller dogs. The ground is gravel, not mud, which is obviously a huge benefit to choosing this one. When you’re done here make sure you stop into JP Licks for refreshing treats for you AND your puppy. (J P Licks, 4A College Ave., Somerville, MA 02144- featuring Cow Paws, a cool treat made especially for dogs.)

Nunziato Field Dog Park
Summer St and Vinal Ave
Somerville, MA, US

Sometimes there is nothing better than a fenced in dog park to let your buddy go off leash and run until he or she drops. A tired dog is a happy dog. Make sure you remember to bring your own water!

Boston Public Garden
Newbury St and Arlington
Boston, MA, US 2115
(617) 723-8144

Probably the best known walking spot in Boston, but also my favorite, is the Boston Public Garden. Swans, flowers, people-watching: the Gardens have it all! This is a fantastic spot to walk your dog. (And I once got Albie the best sweater at a little dog store on Newbury Street.)

So get those leashes out and go enjoy the sunshine with your dog! What spots do you like to go to, Bostonians? Let us know in the comments and we’ll see you there!

You and me and the doggy makes 3…

You and me and the doggy makes 3…

Making room for our dog, Albie.

After 13 years with my husband, we no longer sleep in the same bed most nights. More often than not, he’s staying at sofa city, sweetheart. He keeps blankets out there on the big, leather couch, where he watches Firefly or Cosmos or some other show I’m really not interested in. But he isn’t there becuase of the entertainment dispute or even because we have grown tired at looking at each other. See, it’s not that we don’t want to, it’s just that we don’t fit with both of us and Albie. And sometimes the kid gets in there too. It’s a queen bed, damn it, not a village! The other night I kept waking up half off the bed with Albie just sprawled across the whole thing. It’s just less of a hassle to have my husband, and sometimes the dog too, stay out. The benefits are that I can get to sleep early since I wake up early too. But still, I miss marital late night snuggles. I miss stolen kisses. Although, honestly, they all have to be stolen now because the dog always wants in on the action. If I hug my son, the dog has to join in. He wholeheartedly insists by inserting his giant body into the situation. If I kiss my husband, it’s only a moment of time before that big furry face is shoving in there too. No one gets love without me, he barks. If there’s time for cuddles, I volunteer as tribute!

He is so needy, like my son was as a baby. I get why people call their pets their “furbabies”, although I can’t quite get behind that. This is very similar to having another kid. Both the dog and my son were miserable unless they were touching me somehow, constantly reassured that I’m here. Real talk? It annoyed me both then and now. Yes, being someone’s caregiver is a beautul thing. But sometimes, I need space. Sometimes, I’m fine sleeping alone. And just like with my son, I’m waiting anxiously for the puppy to grow up. He is still a puppy, really; he’ll be 2 years old at the end of April. I remember wanting so badly for my son to walk so that I could put him down. I was so ready for him to take some steps, even if that meant he was taking them away from me. I feel like that sounds mean, but it’s not. My dog is not independent, but I know (I assume? I hope?) that this is temporary. And one day the relationship I have with my dog will have evolved somewhere else as we continue to grow together . Maybe one day Albie will feign indifference to me, like how my son ignores me now at 11, locking himself in his room to do his own thing. Will the dog do his own thing one day? Will he be more distant and I’ll feel sad thinking about how as an 80 lb puppy he used to cuddle with me? He puts his whole head on mine, sometimes. My aunt looking at pictures of him said she never saw a dog hold somebody like he does. My dog is big, my son is small: Albie is always the big spoon. He’s a good spooner. Who am I kidding? He’s not going anywhere. We’re going to need a bigger bed.

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