Monday, February 11, 2013

5 Simple and Sweet Ways to Say "I Ruv You"


Who says you need a significant other to enjoy Valentine’s Day?  The day may be about love but it doesn’t only have to be about the love a couple shares.  Whether you have someone to celebrate Valentine’s Day with or not, no doubt you want to do something sweet for your pup, as a token of your love and appreciation.   Here are 5 simple and sweet ideas to show your pup a little extra love.

Take your dog for a nice long walk. All dogs love to go on walks. They love the chance to get out, smell the fresh air, sniff the plants, and check out the neighborhood. You might even walk to a park and enjoy a sunset together.
Enjoy a meal together at a pet-friendly restaurant.  Dog friendly restaurants are becoming more and more common, but mostly in bigger metropolitan areas, so this maybe a bit of a day-trip for you, depending on where you decide to go.  There are truly dog friendly restaurants, like Lazy Dog Café and Park Bench Café- both in Orange County, that have dog menus along with human menus.  Most other places have an outdoor patio where they allow you to sit with your dog while you eat. From LA to Palm Springs, you will find pet-friendly restaurants with a loyal following of dog lovers, so just pick a city and see what yummy food awaits. (Check out this article, 8 Best Dog-Friendly Restaurants in LA, if you're looking to try LA).

Take a special trip.  This trip can be combined with your search for a pet-friendly restaurant; but even if it isn’t, take your pup somewhere new that he or she would truly enjoy.  Maybe it’s a new dog park, maybe it’s the dog beach (since it’s been so hot lately), or maybe it’s a trip to a dog store, boutique, or bakery.  A special trip doesn’t have to be a weekend in the mountains, just a nice trip out of the ordinary.
Celebrate a little early by watching the 2013 Westminster Kennel Club All Breed Dog Show tonight, Monday, and tomorrow, Tuesday, February 11th and 12th.  The annual competition will be broadcast live from Madison Square Garden on CNBC tonight and then on USA Network tomorrow night, 8 – 11 p.m. ET.

Bake your pup some sweet treats.  For those who do like to bake, try this Peanut Butter and Pumpkin Dog Treat recipe.  And if your aren’t the best baker, stop into your local dog bakery and pick up some special dog treats. 

2 ½ cups whole wheat flour                         2 tablespoons peanut butter
2 eggs                                                               ½ teaspoon salt
½ cup canned pumpkin                                 ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon


1.       Preheat the oven to 350 F

2.       Whisk together the flour, eggs, pumpkin, peanut butter, salt, and cinnamon in a bowl.  The dough should be dry and stiff but workable.  Add water if needed.

3.       Roll the dough a ½-inch thick and cut out shapes using your favorite doggy cookie cutters (if you have any)

4.       Place in the preheated oven until hard, which will take about 40 minutes.

Let the cookies cool before giving them to your pup. You may even give a treat to a friend’s dog or co-workers dog as a valentine gift.
However you choose to celebrate Valentine’s Day with your pooch, keep it simple and sweet.  Your dog will be more than happy to just spend time with you.

As always, please keep all human chocolate away and out of reach of your dog to ensure you have a happy and loving Valentine’s Day.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Mardi Paws this Weekend

Have you always wanted to go to New Orleans and experience Mardi Gras but never made the trip? Well, you’re in luck because Mardi Gras has come to Orange County.  No need to flash for beads at this parade, Mardi Gras OC is a family and dog-friendly event.  There is even an all-day Masquerade Party for those 18 and over, if you’d prefer a little adult time instead.  

This celebration (called ‘Carnival’ in many other countries) starts on or after Epiphany, in January, and ends on Ash Wednesday, in February.   Mardi Gras is French for Fat Tuesday, referring to the ritual of eating richer, fatty foods on the last night before Lent, which starts the following day, Ash Wednesday. 
The large celebration in New Orleans was brought over by two French brothers when the Louisiane territory was still owned by the French and included today’s Alabama, Mississippi, and Louisiana.  The first organized celebration was in 1703, in Mobile, Alabama, which was the original capital of the territory.  The capital was moved two more times until it landed in New Orleans in 1723.  

The first formal mystic society, or krewe, was formed in 1711, but it wasn’t until 1803 that the first masked mystic krewe celebrated with a parade.  From there the celebration continued to grow to the Mardi Gras celebration New Orleans knows today, which is the largest in the United States.  The krewes today continue to wear masks and costumes on the parade floats and toss ‘throws’ (usually colorful beaded necklaces) to the crowds.

Mardi Gras is coming to the Orange County Fair Grounds this weekend with fun for everyone, even your four-legged best friend.  Opening Ceremonies commence on Friday at 3 p.m.  The rest of the day features a Youth Masquerade Parade, live music, Parade of Krewes, and an adult Masquerade Party from 3 p.m. – 9 p.m.

Saturday will feature Tykes Masquerade  Parade (kids 5 & under), Parade of Krewes, a Pooch Parade, live music, and an adult all-day Masquerade Party.  Sunday will feature a Pooch Parade, Kiddo’s Parade, Parade of Krewes, live music, an adult all-day Masquerade Party, and then closing ceremonies. 
Saturday’s fun runs from 10 a.m. – 9 p.m. while Sunday runs from 11 a.m. – 5:30 p.m.  Kids and pups can enter the parades by going to one of the Mardi Gras Gear Booths.  Children are $10 per entry and pups are $15 per entry.

The OC Fair Grounds are located at 88 Fair Drive in Costa Mesa. Mardi Gras tickets cost $15 at the door and children under 12 are free.   For more information, including parade times and more on the all-day Masquerade Party, check out