Showing posts with label pets. Show all posts
Showing posts with label pets. Show all posts

Friday, October 17, 2014

Living Pretty With Your Pets: brittanyMakes

Hi animal lovers, it's that time of the week again. TGIF and Living Pretty With Your Pets!

And today I'm sharing someone I have been crushing on for a very very long time. If you don't know Brittany yet from brittanyMakes then I have to tell you that you are totally missing out. She is super talented, outspoken, adorable, funny and of course loves her dogs...bulldogs that is. She recently got married, had a baby and bought a house but her dogs are still playing a major role in her life.

Lets say she is my kinda girl:

Hello everyone! I'm Brittany from the blog brittanyMakes where you'll find me journaling my daily adventures in DIY and home design. If we haven't met before, you might be interested in my current projects! We're undergoing a kitchen renovation, and simultaneously I'm making over our bedroom. You can say I like my plate FULL. I'm not here today to talk about my projects, I'm here to share with you my pets! In a nutshell, we're a bully family. Bully's are one of those breeds you either think they're ugly or you think they're the cutest squishy faces ever! I could seriously kiss those scrunched up noses all day! We have 3 bulldogs, an English Bulldog and two French Bulldogs. I feel terrible! I actually don't have a "family" picture with all our dogs, but let me introduce you to our pups anyway... Meet Trixie! My husband got Trixie a year before we met, she and him were a package deal. Trix ate all my heels when I came into the picture. Apparently she wanted to be the only woman in his life.

Trixie has an old soul. She loves to lounge around, sleeps in all the sunny spots in our house, and generally acts like Eeyore. This year she's going to be Eeyore for Halloween. I found her the perfect costume :)

Meet Rocco! He's a stud. He's been the baby for his entire life (of 4 years), until this last Spring when we brought home his future wifey. Rocco loves to play fetch, chew on bones, and pretty much destroy every squeaky toy within seconds. Like all Frenchies, Rocco loves to love and loves to please. His favorite treat is an ice cube, and his favorite spot to sleep is on my lap.

Now, let me introduce you to our little firecracker, Olive the Frenchie! We found Olive through Maria of Dreamy Whites, Maria and her daughter breed Frenchies (they have a new litter too btw!), and it wasn't but 3 weeks before I was about to give birth that my husband and I decided to bring Olive home. Show us some Frenchie puppies and we lose all our inhibitions, lol! So yes, we are legitimately crazy. We brought home a puppy and a newborn at the same time. Olive has the funniest personality of any dog I've ever met. She loves to do the things she's not supposed to do, like sprinting around the dirt in our back yard (that white fur turns black so fast!), eating bark and rocks, barking at the neighbors, hiding socks under our bed, chewing on Trixie's feet... The list is long! Rocco and Trixie are so relaxed in their age that in comparison she acts like a toddler with a sugar high. I'm not going to lie, raising a puppy with an infant is not something I recommend to the faint of heart, but the hardest part is over and heck, in hindsight it wasn't that bad.

It took a while but about two months ago Rocco and Olive finally become best buds. If you're thinking of introducing a puppy to your dogs, just keep in mind there is usually an adjustment period where the pup needs to be 'initiated' so to speak, before they're accepted into the 'pack'. We learned this the hard way and had to be patient as Rocco adjusted to no longer being the baby. Usually a puppy has to mature a bit before understanding what the 'rules' are at home. Rocco's rules were "toys are mine!" and all Olive wanted to do was be all up in his business, chewing on his leg or his ear. The best thing lately is our 4 month old son Zano is becoming more and more interested in our dogs. He watches Olive sprint around the back yard and giggles when she licks his feet. It's so cute. So anyway, the real question is, how do we 'live pretty' with our pets? Honestly, it's tough! I would say, just like any mess, you have to remove it from the blog content. I can't be posting pictures of raw hides, puppy crates, and funky dog beds (oh wait, I did!).

I have to kick aside the stinky dog bed for photo shoots, there's just no other way.

I tried sewing a pretty dog bed from a vintage grain sack one year, and it looked nice for like the first 5 seconds after I gave it to our pups. In the end it was just a waste of a perfectly good grain sack. We share our home with our pups, which means there is always a mess or a bone or a chew toy lying around. I can't complain about the pups because, to be fair, I generally have a few loads of laundry to fold or dishes to put away! Lord knows what our pups would be saying about us, lol! Thank you Julia for having me!

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To read more animal posts you can click HERE.

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So adorable right? I love their faces too, how could you not?!

Love her even more for being able to raise a baby and puppy and accepting the mess the pups create.

And Brittany is always creating, or should I say "making" some serious eye candy. I'm still dreaming of her fabulous bedroom:

Head on over and check out her blog if you haven't seen it already by clicking HERE.

Have a great weekend my friends.



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Monday, May 5, 2014

Small pet door search and reviews (part 1)

This post is certainly not for everyone but I have been desperately searching for the perfect pet door for our little Molly Monkey (a.k.a porch cat). She wants to be able to come and go as she pleases but of course I want my other cats (Heidi, Lucy and Lilly) to stay put.

{UPDATE click HERE to see which of these doors ended up at our house}

Theses three are still only using their outdoor cat enclosure I built but Molly (Monkey) wants nothing to do with it. As a former stray she is used to her freedom.

There aren't really any informative reviews or help out there so I'm making it my mission to share my findings and let me tell you it is so unbelievably frustrating.

For our other cats to get into their enclosure from our living room window I'm using this Sash Cat Flap Small Pet Door which works wonderful and I can highly recommend it. So I had the idea to buy another one and exchange the normal flap (which you can unscrew and take out) with an electronic or magnetic locking flap. I'm talking about those pet doors that require a trigger key around the pets neck to enable it to come and go. Sounds wonderful, doesn't it?

Well the problem is to find a pet door that locks in both directions (individual entry and exit control) with the key because it appears that most of those pet doors only lock one way. Meaning that all the cats can leave but only the one with the collar key can come back in. Which is completely stupid if you ask me. There are so many people that are in the same pickle as myself with different pets and situations.

So I ended up finally finding the Cat Mate Elite Selective Cat Flap which uses batteries and collar tags to only let the tag wearing animal enter and exit. I was so excited and ordered it right away:

The door arrived and it actually fit into the window door too. I would have been set!! I mean the door gets pretty good reviews too on Amazon besides being really noisy when it unlocks. So I installed the the contraption into my window and tried to set it and BOOOOM….nothing. The thing didn't even turn on. Darn it! I should have maybe tried to turn it on before hand. None of the Amazon reviewers had that happen before because now I checked all the reviews again which made me notice that several people complained about the door not working in a metal door installation (click HERE, HERE and HERE but there are many more) since the metal interfered with the reading of the pet collar key. This made me so angry because the window door is metal!!!! And the box of the Cat Mate door clearly states that you are able to install it into metal doors.

What did I do? I called the company to ask them. And the lady on the phone was no help whatsoever. She told me that it only works in metal when installed correctly. Well it was installed correctly. That's an easy way out my lady. 

I also wrote to their customer service in the US which gave me another completely uninformative answer and then I wrote to their British customer service with no answer which leads me to the conclusion that their customer service sucks. There is no other way to put this. (click HERE to read another Amazon review about this)

The end result of this door's review is that the Cat Mate Elite Selective Cat Flap might possibly work wonderful if you use it in a wooden door but face it, a lot of households have metal exterior doors like myself and the window sash door that I wan't to use it with doesn't leave room to cut the hole bigger to line it with something else. 
If you buy one, please also turn it on before hand to make sure it works and you might want to read this review HERE which is just plain scary where a cat broke it's leg using this door. So sad! 

I'm now desperate to find another one which requires the key both ways and I have written to several other companies with no response. Doesn't anyone have good customer service out there? Seriously!!!

I wrote to HighTech Pet who is selling a horribly expensive version. They even have a link to fill out a form for an affiliate program and guess what? No reply for the form or the questions. Nothing…nada!!!
Newsflash people, I'm not going to buy your $400ish door if you can't even answer simple questions for a customer. I still want to know which doors work with the key both ways. And that's way too much money to waste on a company with that type of service and I deal with websites and companies all the time! This is not the way to do it.
You can find the door at HomeDepot by the way and it does get pretty good reviews though besides being expensive.

Or the larger fully automatic pet door version for $699-$799:

Then there is the Ideal Pet 7 in. x 9 in. Small Electric Cat Flap sliding glass pet door for $192.95 at Home Depot which gets really great reviews but I still can't determine if I can set it to only key exit and entry. Looks like that isn't an option but to be sure, I wrote to the company again with no luck of course. Appears to be the theme here.

There are several other doors on Amazon which look like they all only have the option to use the key one way, not both ways.
Here are the other following doors I have found:

Ideal Pet Products Cat Flap Plastic Electric Pet Door for $69 (appears to only work one way because reviews mention that Racoons can still get in which means they lift the unlocked flap from the other side. All my cats would still be able to leave this way)

Cat Mate Electromagnetic Cat Flap for $56.19 (which again only locks one way with the required key)

PetSafe Staywell Magnetic 4-Way Locking Cat Flap, White $43.24 (This one appears to simply not be sturdy enough for larger cats, since it pops open easily. And determined animals can still get in and out without a key)

The SureFlap Microchip Cat Door is another option but your pets have to have a micro chip. And unfortunately it is also not secured in both directions. It is designed for selective entry only. They suggest to reverse the door which would only allow the one cat to exit but all the other critters and strays would still be able to come inside too. No thank you!

I have spent hours and hours and hours last week and this past weekend reading reviews and writing to companies. The moral of the story is that if you need a door to keep out other strays and raccoons (because they don't wear a collar with a key) and all your pets are allowed to leave your house, then there are plenty of doors to be found in all kinds of price ranges. 
But I only have one cat that is allowed to leave, so this one needs a collar and key for both ways which is the BIG problem here.
I can't believe that I haven't found one company so far which is able to address this problem with me. Yes, the first door does the trick (for some) but not in metal which means I either buy a wooden door (which won't happen) and I also don't want my cat to brake her leg or I'll continue to search for a company that can help me.

And this is where part 2 of this review series would come in if I am successful in finding a door that works with metal and has the individual entry and exit control feature that I'm looking for. I know this adorable little one (read more about her HERE and HERE) would thank me a lot since she wants to come and go nonstop:

electronic locking cat flap door reviews

Wish me luck because I'm really really frustrated at this point. 

Do you guys have any other suggestions?



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