Friday Introductions: Reese

Happy Friday, everyone! Here is another #FridayIntroductions post about the last human member of the family. (You can read the first two here and here.)

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My beautiful baby girl! Who is…

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SO BIG!

My sweet “baby” Reese was born in January of 2017. She has been such a huge blessing and joy to our family. I thank God every day that He has given me the opportunity to be her mother.

Here she is at just a few weeks old.

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View More: http://knechelphotography.pass.us/reesenicole

To be honest, mothering wasn’t the easiest through the newborn stage for me. Reese was a great baby- she slept well and was certainly not a fussy baby. But the adjustment was a bit difficult for me. However, after a couple of months, this mama found her groove, and life with this kiddo has been awesome ever since. And I’m not kidding. This child is the best.

Now that she’s over a year old, we are having so much fun watching her personality blossom. She has a great sense of humor, and she loves the dogs!

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Reese is a very much her daddy’s daughter. She not only looks like him, but she acts like him! That is a mostly good thing, although the strong will and unrelenting determination to tackle big challenges can be tiring some days.  She is such a social butterfly and loves getting out of the house and being with people. She’s often the crankiest when she is at home with me all day long. I’m too boring, I guess. She’s also in the midst of a very curious stage, and she is into EVERYTHING. My kitchen cupboards are usually emptied, along with my bookshelves and game cupboard. It’s a fun stage, but it’s certainly a messy stage.

She has also recently begun climbing. And she is way too proud of her accomplishments!

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This kiddo keeps me on my toes, but she has made my life so much more fun than it ever was before. (And my idea of “fun” includes catching her upside down mid-tumble when she decides to try walking down stairs like an adult and breaking her fall when she tries to stand on the seat of her riding toy)

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It’s also a humbling stage, since she has begun mimicking things she sees me do. It’s such an eye-opening experience to have a miniature human copying your habits. It certainly is teaching me to be more thoughtful about the things I say and do. If I want to raise a gentle, gracious, and godly child, then I better be a gentle, gracious, and godly example.

It truly is amazing what God teaches you through children. He has taught me so much about pure, simple JOY. Life is so much simpler and happier through the eyes of a child. By experiencing such intense love for my child, I have begun to better understand His love for me, and that is a powerful thing. He has also taught me quite a bit about surrender. As a mama, I want nothing more than to keep my baby safe. But there is so much that is outside of my control. That’s when I need to surrender my child and her needs to God, because I recognize my own inability to be “perfect” and protect her from everything.

This post has turned out much more sentimental than I intended. 🙂 Suffice it to say that I love my daughter, and I think she is the most fun kiddo around!

Enjoy your weekend!

 

For Your Viewing Pleasure

Need a mid-week boost? I’ve got your fix right here- a whole blog post of adorable puppies, complete with oversized paws and disproportionately huge, floppy ears.

Take a deep breath and enjoy.

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Now that the weather has been relatively reasonable, the puppies have moved to our outdoor pen, and they are LOVING it! We have two puppy pens- one in our house and one outside at our shed. All of our litters are born in the house and spend their first bit inside. Then, depending on the size of the litter and the time of year, they sometimes get moved outside for the last few weeks. This litter outgrew the pen in our house, and they have been thoroughly enjoying the extra space outside. Our outdoor pen gives them access to a large wood chipped play area, as well as a cozy indoor section in our shed. The inside part of their pen has their bed and is kept at a cozy 70 degrees. It’s perfect for larger litters like this! The puppies still get to come inside our house on a regular basis while we work on socializing and crate training.

I tried to get a snapshot of each of the puppies while we played in the yard this afternoon. Some were better photo subjects than others.

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Gauge chewing on a piece of rope.

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Dakota stealing a piece of bark.

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Scout and Reese playing on our dirt pile. What is it with kids and puppies and dirt?

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Flush checking out the chickens. (Maggie the chicken is clearly plotting his demise.)

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April trying to figure out how to get in to the chickens.

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Robin. Unfortunately I was a couple of seconds too late to catch a chicken pecking her on the nose. It obviously didn’t phase her, though.

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Brook practicing her downward dog pose.

The best part of this puppy stage is their EARS! I mean, who doesn’t just love these huge, floppy ears?

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The puppies are so playful now, and they never seem to get done wrestling, chewing, and running. It’s a good thing they are soon heading off to their new homes. All the energy drives me crazy, and I lose a little bit more of my sanity every day. But, I also fall just a little bit more in love with them every day. If they stay too much longer, I’ll decide to keep every single one of them no matter how crazy they make me. 🙂

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April and Brook chewing on a stick

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April playing with my towels hanging on the washline

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Robin & April

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Gauge & Dakota

I hope all the adorableness in this post helped cheer up your Wednesday.  Have a great rest of the week!

 

Munchy Monday: Life’s Abundance Ear Care Formula

Okay, so maybe this Munchy Monday post isn’t so “munchy,” but it’s still about a great Life’s Abundance product. 🙂

Say hello to Life’s Abundance Ear Care Formula!EarCare

This ear cleaner is gentle and soothing, and it helps to make ear cleaning a less traumatizing experience- for my dogs, anyway! It cleans the ears and eliminates odor without any painful stinging! It is also made in the USA. The two first ingredients are water and Aloe Vera, which helps show how gentle this cleaner is. There are also numerous plant extracts included in the formula to create a safe and soothing cleaner.

All of our dogs have floppy ears, which makes them more prone to ear infections. The two main ways to prevent ear infections is to, first, have a good diet to help their immune system; and secondly, keep the ears clean.

There are a lot of great ear cleaners out there. One of the brands I have used a lot in the past (and still do use some) is Epi-Otic. Epi-Otic is a great cleaner, and it certainly gets the job done! However, it is strong. My dogs HATE it. It smells strong; and based on their reaction, I think it stings. When I switched to the Life’s Abundance ear cleaner, I noticed that they didn’t give such a dramatic reaction. In fact, they hardly fight it at all. It obviously feels much better in their ears. And that’s what I love about it. It’s so gentle, but yet very effective.

Now, keep in mind, prevention is best when it comes to your dog’s ears. I like to use Life’s Abundance Ear Care Formula as my regular weekly ear cleaning solution. Whether or not my dogs’ ears look dirty, I try to clean them on a regular basis to prevent any build-up.

To properly clean your dog’s ears, begin by shaking the bottle well. Gently apply enough drops into the ear canal so that it is moistened. Massage the base of the ear canal to help loosen wax. Remove the liquid, dissolved wax, and dirt with cotton or facial tissue. Clean the applicator tip thoroughly after each use. Do not use cotton swabs or insert pointed objects into the ear.

If build-up has occurred or you’re suspicious an infection may be brewing, Life’s Abundance Ear Care Formula can be used twice a day for 4-5 days. However, if the ear still looks dirty or irritated, your dog may need something stronger or even some antibiotics to clear it up.

If your pup needs something to keep his or her ears clean, you may want to give Life’s Abundance Ear Care Formula a try. Here’s to happy ears and happy pups!



Interested in ordering?
 You can order from the Life’s Abundance site. When ordering through our page, you should see Kristen’s Happy Tails listed at the top of the page as the Field Rep. If I am not listed as your representative, please mention my ID number when you place your first order- 20552921. As your representative, I am able to help you determine what products are right for your pet and answer any questions you may have.

Puppy Update!

I’m pretty sure each litter we have grows faster than the previous one. Our sweet setter pups are already nearing five weeks old! These sweet red babies are becoming so energetic and fun! They still sleep a lot, but they are slowly demanding more and more attention and interaction. It’s such a fun time!

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Here is a recap of the last two weeks.

  1. The puppies are beginning the weaning process. Yay! At this point, the care of the puppies slowly shifts from Mama Duchess to me. In the last weeks, I have been caring for Duchess, providing clean bedding, and monitoring the puppies’ growth. Other than that, Duchess has done the rest. As the puppies begin to wean and become more independent, I’ll take over a lot of the care- feeding, cleaning, training, socializing, etc. This is where my work truly begins! I always start the puppies off with raw goat milk with a little bit of softened and mashed kibble. Goat milk is a really amazing thing! I’ve heard it called the “universal milk replacer.” Many kinds of animals are able to digest and live off goat milk. It’s much gentler on the digestive system than cow milk. When bottle feeding a puppy, I chose to use raw goat milk over store bought puppy formula, because it’s easy to digest and it contains good bacteria that a store-bought formula would not have. To help puppies learn to eat solid food, I soak kibble in goat milk for the first while. They love the taste, and the liquid is easy for them to lap up while they practice chewing the harder kibble. This insures that the even the puppies that are a bit slower at picking up the chewing part are getting plenty of fat, protein, and nutrients. It also helps keep them hydrated as they transition off of mama’s milk.
  2. Socializing also starts at this age. I am trying something new with this litter. I found a playlist of videos on YouTube specifically for desensitizing dogs to noises. Each video focuses on certain sounds, like rain and thunder, cars and trucks, vacuums and household noises, fireworks, crying babies, and other noises that dogs may find frightening. The idea is that if you play these kinds of sounds at a low volume it helps to get them used to it, making it less likely for them to startle or be frightened when they experience these sounds in real life. So for an hour or two a day, I am playing some of these sounds tracks to help get the puppies used to a variety of different noises.
  3. We are working hard on potty training. Right now, the puppies do excellent with not peeing on their bed, but they still often pee anywhere in their play area. I’m trying to get them to use a certain area for bathroom needs, so that the play area stays dry and clean. That’s going to take a few more days of messy work, but we will get there!
  4. The puppies got the chance to venture into the great outdoors for the first time this week. They were THRILLED! However, the weather has turned cold and snowy again, so it will be a few days until the puppies are able to go outside again.img_1345img_1334img_1354img_1360
  5. Remember the little sweetheart with the torn ear? That was April. This is what her ear looks like now.

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If you look closely, you can tell her ear is not quite perfect. The stitches only stayed in a day or two, but the glue the vet also put on held fairly well. The end result is an ear that is MUCH better than it was right after birth, but not totally perfect. The back of her ear has a slightly uneven edge. However, as the feathering comes in on her ear, I don’t think it will be very visible (if at all) as an adult. Even now, if you didn’t know anything was wrong, you would never notice. At any rate, I am very pleased with how her ear healed.

Other than that, we have just been playing with the puppies and enjoying the brief time we get to spend with them! Five of the seven puppies have homes, which is so exciting! We still have two boys that are available. I hope you all have a wonderful day, and I hope all of my north-eastern friends are enjoying the snow!

 

Two Weeks Old

Happy Monday, everyone! Duchess’s puppies hit the two week milestone over the weekend. It always feels so good to reach this point, because the puppies are much bigger and stronger. I feel really good about how they are all doing!

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After seeing this litter of puppies from Duchess and Timber, it makes me realize how incredible it was that her first litter survived! Her first litter was 11 puppies, with one puppy that had died in utero. That dead puppy prompted labor to begin several days early, so those puppies were much smaller. It’s really amazing that they all survived.

This time around, the puppies were all large at birth and have steadily gained since then. I have one puppy that is a bit smaller than the others, but I certainly wouldn’t call him a runt.

Duchess, also, has been doing very well! Irish Setters are thin, lean dogs to begin with, and nursing mothers can sometimes become more thin than usual as their bodies put extra effort into making milk. However, Duchess is looking great! She was a bit thin the days directly following birth, which is very normal; but she has filled out beautifully since then. She makes caring for seven babies look like a breeze! She is soaking in some extra snuggles from us and enjoying getting some eggs as her “mommy snacks.” This momma is very spoiled! I’m pretty sure she thinks she really is a royal duchess!

Over the weekend, I expanded the puppies’ pen to give them a space to go to the bathroom. It amazes me how much sooner our Irish Setter puppies are ready for potty training in comparison to our Mini Goldendoodles. As soon as our setter puppies have their eyes open, they are on the MOVE. They are ready for more space and ready to begin potty training almost a whole week earlier than Mia’s puppies. It’s so interesting to see these differences in breed temperaments even in puppies so young! In another week or so, we will add on a large play area for them, as well.

I hope you all have a great week! Enjoy these sweet faces as you finish out your Monday!

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Duchess’s Puppies

What an exciting day! We are excited to announce the arrival of seven beautiful Irish Setter puppies! It’s a smaller litter than she had last time, but the puppies are significantly larger. In fact, the smallest puppy from this litter is the same size as the biggest puppy from the last litter. And the biggest puppy from this litter weighs over a pound! That’s a big puppy! (Mia’s puppies usually weigh around half a pound. Duchess puppies averaged 9-10 ounces last litter.)

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Duchess was very kind to me and decided to have her puppies during the day, which was GREAT! With another delivery under my belt, I gained a few new experiences. With each litter, I seem to pick up valuable nuggets of information and experience. Sometimes those nuggets come from good experiences and some not so good. Every litter is different and presents its own unique challenges.

So here’s how my day went.

Yesterday (Thursday), I charted a temperature drop for Duchess, so I knew we would see puppies sometime in the next 24 hours. I checked on her a few times during the night, but she was pretty calm and relaxed.

Morning came, and with it, some encouraging signs. As the morning progressed, Duchess became more and more restless. Pacing, panting, digging, nesting, and frequent bathroom trips.

Her first puppy was born shortly before 11am. She quickly and steadily birthed five more by 12:30. Then things paused for a bit, which isn’t unusual. I was fairly certain she wasn’t finished, though.

Around 1:00 she began pushing. Typically, I see her push for just a few minutes and then a sac presents. Once I see can see the puppy, it’s usually out within seconds. Duchess doesn’t waste time. However, this time, Duchess kept pushing for almost half an hour with no signs of a puppy. (Thirty minutes is the textbook time frame for delivering a puppy. After thirty minutes of pushing, it’s time to call your vet.) I had given her a few doses of liquid calcium in the last two hours, which helps for strong contractions; but she was still struggling. She started to get very agitated. She left her puppies and began pacing and whining.

I was getting very nervous. I called my sister, who breeds Miniature Schnauzers, because I knew she has had some similar experiences. While on the phone, I saw back feet. The puppy was no longer in it’s sack. Both of these things are normal. Puppies are frequently born back feet first, and it’s not unusual for the sack to break before a puppy is totally born. But when those two things are combined, you need to be watchful. If a puppy is breech with a broken sack, it may drown before it’s born. Those puppies should be delivered quickly.

But this puppy, for some reason, was stuck. Duchess kept pushing, but the puppy wouldn’t budge. So far in this entire delivery, I had not done anything except watch. But this little pup was stuck, and mama was clearly distressed. The puppy was out almost up to its hips. I grabbed the legs and gently pulled during the next couple contractions. And just like that, the pup was out.

But Duchess was too agitated to care for her, and she was more concerned about getting back to her other puppies. This little one wasn’t breathing, which wasn’t a surprise considering her prolonged birth. I spent the next few minutes vigorously rubbing her with a towel and suctioning her airways clear of fluid. She began moving almost right away, and soon started some weak gasps. After a couple minutes, she began squealing- LOUDLY. She wanted to let the world know that she did not appreciate her traumatic arrival. I was so happy to hear those angry squeals.

Would have this puppy died without my intervention? Maybe not, but my help certainly increased her odds of survival. Sometimes, healthy puppies are lost in whelping, because of small problems like this. Duchess almost certainly would have eventually gotten this puppy out by herself, but it may not have been soon enough for the puppy. That’s just how nature works sometimes. But, fortunately, I was able to lend nature a hand. With just a little bit of extra help, this little pup seems to be doing well.

Things quieted down after that, and Duchess has been contentedly caring for her babies since.

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We did have one more little blip, though. Once Duchess was calm and settled after whelping, I began weighing and identifying each of the puppies. As I did that, I noticed one of them had a torn, bloody ear!

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The picture isn’t very clear, but she had a deep tear at the base of her ear. It was bad enough, I was afraid it may tear off completely if I just let it go. (Birth is tough for these little guys!) So off to the vet we went for a couple of stitches and a little glue. I’m hoping Duchess doesn’t bother the stitches! As long as the stitches stay in, the ear should heal nicely.

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All in all, it was a good day, and we are praising God for our seven beautiful puppies! Have a good weekend, everyone!

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First Post of the New Year

I feel like I have been Missing In Action the past month and a half. Poor Faith hasn’t had a blog post update since she was born. And weekly pictures? Phew, this poor darling hardly has any pictures taken of her.

But, we are all still here, just doing normal life. Mia healed very well from her c-section and is back to her happy, normal self. She will be getting about a year off before having another litter, but there isn’t any concern about her ability to carry and deliver more puppies naturally. Good news!

Dear Faith is growing like a weed. She’s already six weeks old! Weaning has been going slowly, but it can be that way with single pups. They don’t have the competition of other puppies for food, so they don’t really have much desire to try things other than mama’s milk. Otherwise, though, she’s doing very well! She’s active and is enjoying our puppy play dates with a litter of puppies from another breeder. She loves playing with our daughter, and our daughter is equally as delighted have a little buddy crawling around on the floor with her.

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As for our other dogs, we were hoping to have two litters this spring- one from Duchess and one from Jade. Duchess’s pregnancy is confirmed, and I was confident that Jade was pregnant, as well. However, she fooled us! An ultrasound showed no babies in there! She seems to be going through a bit of a false pregnancy, which is common with female dogs. They can show very convincing signs of pregnancy, even to the point of producing milk, but still not be pregnant. Typically, the hormones cycle through and everything goes back to normal all on its own. We’re still very excited for Duchess’s litter of Irish Setters, and we’ll try for some Mini Goldendoodle puppies from Jade again in the fall!

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Duchess, in the meantime, is eating up a storm! I’ve stopped counting how many cups of food I give her a day. She’s now approximately six weeks pregnant, which is the time that I begin free-feeding my mama’s. I let them eat as much food as they want, and I often supplement them with an egg or vitamin every day. Her belly is growing, and she’s slowing down a bit. She still runs, but she tires quickly. I should soon be able to feel the puppies moving when she is lying still. A few more weeks and then I’ll have some more sweet setter babies from these two gorgeous dogs!

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In other household news, my baby turned one this month! And she started walking! I suppose she is now my toddler and not so much my baby. That is a little hard for this mama to accept. She is my social, giggly little girl, and I thank God every day for allowing me to be her mother.

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Mmm, I’m feeling a bit nostalgic with the passing of the one year mark. Soak in the time with your loved ones this week. Life goes by much too quickly.

 

 

 

Faith

I now have something new to add to my list of dog breeding experiences. This one will go under the category of “Not as Bad as I Thought, But No Need to Repeat.”

We knew Mia was having a small litter this time around, because of her small belly and because I could only feel fetal movement on one side. I was hoping for at least two puppies, but I was suspicious Mia was having another singleton.

As we near every delivery, I begin to track my girls’ temperatures. About 24 hours before delivery, I can usually spot a sudden drop in temperature. This drop in temperature comes from the release of hormones that begin labor.

Mia’s temperature is usually 99-101 degrees. When her temperature drops, I often see readings as low as 98.2. The lowest I ever saw was 97.9. In the past, Mia has followed a very consistent pattern. I’ll see a temperature drop early in the morning. She will act fairly normal, but refuse to eat that day. As we near evening, she will begin nesting. Active labor usually starts around midnight, and her puppies are born very quickly and easily.

I saw a temperature of 98.8 on Wednesday morning, so I thought puppies were coming Wednesday night. Nothing happened.

Thursday morning her temperature was 98.2. I thought, “Ok! This time is the real deal!” I was sure puppies were coming Thursday night. Nothing happened.

Friday morning, again, her temperature was in the 98’s. So I took her to the vet to see what was going on. This was not normal for Mia. Although her temperature indicated something wasn’t right, Mia was not acting stressed or uncomfortable. She still wanted to play fetch and seemed to be her fine, happy self; but my instincts told me something was off!

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Mia waiting patiently at the vet’s office

A check up at our vet showed only one puppy! The puppy’s heart rate was normal, and Mia checked out perfectly. My vet didn’t want to rush into a c-section when everything seemed to be okay. But we discussed the fact that with only one puppy, there sometimes is not enough hormone to start contractions. However, from all outward appearances, there was no cause for concern… yet.

So we waited another night. Nothing happened.

By this point, I wasn’t surprised. After seeing three normal deliveries from Mia, I knew this one was not normal; and I was pretty sure that this puppy was not going to come naturally.

Saturday morning (now three days after I thought labor started), we went to the vet again to monitor the puppy. Mia was still acting normal, but the puppy’s heart rate had dropped, indicating it was in distress. It was not in proper position to be born, so, unfortunately, inducing labor wasn’t an option.

Sweet Mia had to have a c-section. All things considered, everything went as smoothly as possible. The surgery went well, and recovery has been progressing normally. Both mama and baby are doing great! Mia is definitely feeling more sore and uncomfortable than after a natural delivery, but she is still being an excellent mama.

The puppy, a female which we have named Faith, seems to be doing well. She even gained a bit of weight in the first 24 hours. She is totally red and weighed 7.7 ounces.

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We also came home with an arsenal of post-surgery medications! Mia’s not super impressed with her pills, but she doesn’t notice when I hide them in a hunk of sticky peanut butter. 😉

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The coming days will be filled with rest and recovery. Even though we had to do a c-section, we are counting our blessings that we have a healthy mama and puppy! Thanks for reading! 🙂

Munchy Monday: Antioxidant Health Bars

Everyone loves a good snack, right? My go to snack is peanut butter and Ritz crackers and a glass of milk. Snacks are a good thing, whether it’s the mid-morning power snack or the late afternoon pick-me-up snack. Snacks can be a great part of your diet, as long as they are healthy snacks, anyway. When you dive in for the cookies or chips, snacks can be a hindrance to your health. It’s important to pick out healthy, nutritious snacks.

This same simple principle applies to our pups, too! A healthy dog food makes an excellent nutritional base, but everyone knows our dogs don’t just eat kibble. There’s always some treats and snacks around! It’s just as important that dogs get healthy treats that add to their diet, not take away from it.

Life’s Abundance Antioxidant Health Bars are a great place to start!

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These healthy treats are loaded with vitamins and nutrients to help give your dog the perfect mid-morning power snack. Antioxidants, in the proper balance, are very beneficial for the body. Oxidation in the body creates “free radicals,” which can damage cells. “Anti”oxidants help prevent the oxidation and free radicals, thus promoting healthy cell function and immune system.

Here’s the list of ingredients:

Oatmeal, Heat-Stabilized Rice Bran, Brown Rice Flour, Ground Flaxseed, Dates, Rolled Oats, Peanut Butter, Oat Flour, Flaxseed Oil, Apples, Honey, Rye Flour, Eggs, Cranberries, Carrots, Citric Acid, Brewers Dried Yeast, Natural Vanilla Flavor, a-Tocopherol Acetate (a source of Vitamin E), Lecithin, L-Ascorbyl-2-Polyphosphate (a source of Vitamin C), Beta-Carotene

Honestly, it sounds like a really healthy granola bar that I would eat myself. These bars smell amazing! If it weren’t labeled as a dog treat, I would have taken a bite when I first opened a pack.

Included on the package is a feeding chart, with recommendations on how many treats a dog should get daily based on their weight. (Like most things, antioxidants are beneficial in the proper balance. There is such a thing as “over supplementing.”)

So if you’re looking for a healthy treat for your favorite pup, Antioxidant Health Bars are a great option!



Interested in ordering?
 You can order from the Life’s Abundance site. When ordering through our page, you should see Kristen’s Happy Tails listed at the top of the page as the Field Rep. If I am not listed as your representative, please mention my ID number when you place your first order- 20552921. As your representative, I am able to help you determine what products are right for your pet and answer any questions you may have.

 

Friday Introductions: Zach

Happy Friday, everyone! I hope you all are enjoying your day and looking forward to the weekend. Also, happy December 1st! (Yay! Now I officially don’t have to feel odd for listening to Christmas music- not that I did anyway in November.)

Today is another #FridayIntroductions post, and you all get to meet my amazing husband Zach. Please forgive me if I gush just a little bit in this post.

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Zach is a Lancaster County native, having actually lived much of his childhood in the house where we live now. He is 23 years old and is a hard-working, loving husband and father.

He is my opposite in nearly every possible way. As a child, he was one of those very boisterous, sometimes naughty boys. He was maybe also a bit too smart for his britches. He now tells me about all the ways he sneaked candy and did other things he knew he wasn’t allowed to do. I’m sure his mother would cringe if she heard some of the stories he tells me. He spent his childhood building bike ramps and teepees, picking on his sisters, and doing all sorts of other adventurous boy things.

In elementary school, his teachers couldn’t figure out how to keep him quiet and in his seat. In high school, he was still as talkative and social as ever. He irked me just a bit because while I studied hard for my good grades, he never studied and still got good grades. But I forgave this injustice when he spent his study halls helping me with Advanced Math homework.

Ever since graduating, Zach has worked as an electrician. I am very grateful for his hard work ethic, since that is one of the main reasons we are able to afford having me stay at home full-time with our little girl. He is also a great handyman, and he loves to be presented with a problem and come up with an out-of-the-box solution. He always has home-improvement projects going around the house, and I have to remind him frequently to take time to relax. (His response is usually, “But then I won’t get anything done!”)

One thing that surprises most people about Zach is his eye for colors and decorations. He is very detailed and organized, and he puts that to use in what our house looks like. He picked most of our paint colors and has done more of the decorating than I have. While I love having a nicely decorated house, I am not good at envisioning a final product. That’s why I’m glad he can help with the details!

Fun Facts:

  1. What he may lack in compassion, he makes up for in his faithfulness and determination.
  2. When we got Mia, he declared she wouldn’t be allowed in our bedroom. A few months later, he was the first one to cave and invite her onto our bed to sleep.
  3. He enjoys reading.
  4. He enjoys hunting- Mostly deer, but also pheasant and small game.
  5. He badly wanted a son but now has fallen head over heels in love with his daughter.
  6. He LOVES winter! The colder, the better!
  7. He hates clutter. I can ignore clutter, but it drives him nuts.
  8. He enjoys gardening and flowers. While he rarely buys me flowers, he often brings me fresh cut stems or bouquets from our flowers in the summer.
  9. He loves camping and being outdoors.
  10. He restored an antique John Deere B tractor that he got from his grandpa. He enjoys using it to plow our garden and do hayrides in the fall.

Enjoy these pictures and your weekend!

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Zach & Reese camping this summer

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Quality time with his favorite little girl

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Working on the nursery before Reese was born

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Hunting selfie

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Shooting clay birds at the cabin with his family

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Successful pheasant hunt with Duchess

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Plowing our garden with his tractor