Nature Friday ~ August 9, 2019

Let’s hear it for the arrival of Friday! If it’s Friday, that means it’s not only our most welcomed friend, but it’s also a time when we stroll around Blogville checking out the beauty of Mother Nature. As usual, we are joining our friends, Rosy and her brothers from LLB in our Backyard.

This should come as no surprise to anyone who follows along with our whinging antics, but it’s been hot. I mean, H-O-T. With temperatures in the upper 90’s a fair part of this week and little moisture in our ‘hood, you’d think there wouldn’t be much to look at. Wrong! It’s Rudbeckia season. Often referred to as Black-eyed Susan’s, this beautifully colorful perennial is a herbaceous flower belonging to the aster family. Growing throughout the US, the Black-eyed Susans is actually the state flower of Maryland and a symbol of horse-racing’s Preakness race.

Black-eyed Susans grow to between 12 to 40-inches in height, and 18 to 12-inches in width across the petals. Its stem is hardy and covered with tiny stiff hairs. This plant is fairly resistant to the wind and the elements, making it easy to grow in all conditions. It’s probably why you see it often along highways and in meadows.

The leaves arrange themselves in rosette form around the “bee,” with the plants shooting leaves from the stem in the second season. The leaves have a toothed edge with a rough texture. The plant produces a flower heads consisting of 8 to 20 orange-yellow florets that cluster into a cone-shape and turn dark toward the center. They are part of the coneflower family.


Ever wonder how this garden favorite got its name? The scientific classification actually comes from Sweden. Born in Västerås, Olaus Rudbeck was a famous botanist and professor of medicine at Uppsala University. Black-eyed Susans garner its scientific name, “Rudbeckia,” from the Swedish scientist although Rudbeck didn’t name the flower himself. Botanist Carl Linnaeus, who studied under Rudbeck’s son, named the plant in loving memory of Rudbeck and his son. The Black-eyed Susan belongs to the Asteraceae family, which includes other coneflower species.


We hope you are able to get outside and enjoy a lovely summer weekend and check out all the beauty Mother Nature offers. Like this pretty sunrise from this morning.


* * * Exciting News * * *

Recently I mentioned there’s be some exciting news coming and now I can share it with you. For some time now I’ve been working on writing a collection of treat recipes in a cookbook BarkBook. After exploring numerous publishing options, I decided to ‘publish’ it in our e-shop in the form of a download with a portion of sales benefitting local pet rescue groups. With lots of starts and stops (including a catastrophic disappearance somewhere in the Cloud) requiring me to lose my mind a total rewrite, this baby is now done. I’ll be beta-testing the download process over the next few days but wanted to give you advance notice that it’s coming soon. Finally. I feels like I’ve birthed an elephant. Stay tuned for the official arrival ( hopefully next week). In the meantime, don’t forget to check out the e-shop for bandanas, hand-painted greeting cards and (now) another new item, “Scrubbies” (which work great as an exfoliator for uprights or work hard cleaning your veggies-we use ours all around the house for cleaning too). Check them out!

BarkBook logo

Live, love, bark! 🐾

Monday Musings ~ November 26, 2018

We hope your howliday was full of good cheer, the best of tasty noshings and comfortable elastic pants. Did you gobble till you wobbled? Ours was nice and quiet which allowed us to reflect upon all our blessings and being especially grateful for all of you. Hopefully you survived Black Friday. Today is known as Cyber Monday following the Thanksgiving weekend and we invite you to swing by the e-shop.

Enjoy those Thanksgiving dinner leftovers this week!

Live, love, bark! 🐾


The weather isn’t the only thing changing around the Ranch. Our new e-shop is open. The intent was to post the news with a flourish of trumpets and angels singing.

The ‘shop’ Sam’s K9 Kreations is open. Sort of. That sound accompanying it isn’t so much trumpets, think more like a couple of out-of-tune kazoos. And the angels…I’m sure I heard the heavens snickering. *Sigh*

Earlier this week I created a simple “Pay Button” (courtesy of those nice folks at WordPress) and began beta testing to make sure it worked. It did in fact, but it became crystal clear that the blog needed to be upgraded to allow for customization which wasn’t possible to sell CBD oil along with other items. It looked and felt much like a kid’s cardboard lemonade stand. On the third weekend. So, I bit the bullet, upgraded the blog and with that upgrade began a crash course on customization in e-commerce. That sound you are hearing now is much like the sound of a plane dive-bombing into the ocean.

If you are familiar with the WooCommerce platform (or any other e-commerce tool), I bow down before you. The installation of plugins, reinstallation of photos and descriptions (plus other elements not seen but necessary to keep the wheels on) made conversion from the simple pay button page to WooCommerce one heck of a mind-sucking exercise. In my case it’s like a blind pilot is behind the steering wheel of that plane headed for the ocean.

After birthing this elephant sized cluster, it appears to be up and operational but there are issues with appearance that are affecting the blog (who knew there was so much behind the scenes online). As I become more proficient on the deets of e-commerce (please Gawd, let. me. become. proficient), you will likely see some changes to our blog header and the theme (which, lucky me…does not lend itself to supporting an e-storefront). There’ll be tinkering and consulting with professionals today, tomorrow and for many days in the future regarding the inner workings and appearance elements, so I apologize in advance if it messes up your internal brain-compass juju like it has mine. Changing the appearance affects me much like changes in the dogs’ routine. In other words, we kind of hobble around until we catch our stride.

Long story short, you can now purchase the Black Dog Botanicals CBD oil I’ve been touting lately (which comes in two strengths-300 mg and 600 mg. Other products (the handmade greeting cards like the ones posted on Instagram), pet accessories and organic treats will begin showing up as we move forward. In the meantime, pray for me. I’m simultaneously terrified and excited about this new endeavor. But understand I’m clearly no Jeff Bezos and this here shop ain’t no Amazon. If I haven’t scared you off yet, visit the “Sam’s K9 Kreations” page to the right of our “Home” page. Here’s hoping the news the angels begin singing a bit soon.

Live, love, bark! 🐾

The 411 on CBD

CBD is getting a whole lot of press these days and for good reason. From pain management to managing anxiety responses and a whole lot in between, CBD oil is making quite the name for itself with numerous opportunities for medical benefit. CBD is a natural way of regulating the body’s endocannabinoid system. So what is this CBD oil all about, you ask?

Cannabis sativa is a species of plant with well over 60 active agents called cannabinoids, the most well-known of which are THC and CBDTHC is the psychoactive ingredient found in marijuana, while CBD is non-psychoactiveCBD, derived from industrial hemp must contain less than 0.3% THC. Cannabinoid receptors are normally found throughout the body in both human and canine nervous systems, glands and organs and all mammals rely on the endocannabinoid system to regulate the immune response. Use of CBD is a natural way in regulating this system.

According to PetCareRx, 20% of all dogs will suffer from some developmental or degenerative joint pain during their lives. Whether it’s caused by genetics or age, joint pain will definitely reduce the their quality of life. Starting out as mild discomfort, it can progress to chronic pain. CBD can target receptors throughout the body and reduce any inflammation or nerve-related pain.

CBD is also an effective treatment for anxiety. Triggers like a trip to the vet, a thunderstorm, separation anxiety or phobias can be reduced when CBD is administered in advance. For the estimated 5% of dogs who suffer from epilepsy like Elsa, CBD in combination with vet prescribed anti-seizure medication, has allowed a reduction in her Phenobarbital dosage by 25%. CBD is known to have properties that block symptoms from taking over the brain and can potentially reduce the frequency and severity of seizures. Colorado State University is currently conducting a study that suggests 89% of dogs who received CBD had a reduction in frequency of seizures. Dr. Stephanie McGrath, overseeing clinical trials on the use of CBD treatment for epilepsy and osteoarthritis, presented her findings last month at the annual convention of the American Veterinary Medication Association. “This pilot study is important and it does seem like there is a positive effect from the use of CBD for dogs with epilepsy,” said Dr. McGrath. To learn more about the clinical trial, visit the hospital’s website.

Although much confusion exists, CBD oil derived from hemp is legal for purchase in all 50 states. Initial studies show CBD is safe for dogs and most veterinary professionals recommend starting with small doses as our vet recommended. We had to tinker with Elsa’s dosage and finally settled on 15 drops of 300 mg spread out throughout the day in conjunction with the vet’s recommendation. Since switching to Blackdog Botanicals, she has had only 2 seizures, both of which were extremely minor. Elsa’s vet is very pleased with her progress on CBD oil.

“CBD has been shown to decrease the production and release of inflammatory cytokines that can cause allergies, hypersensitivities and autoimmunity. It can also suppress something called Th17 dominance, which is a major cause of autoimmune diseases. CBD also inhibits the production of inflammatory macrophages and decreases chronic inflammation. CBD is also a powerful antioxidant that’s shown to be more powerful than vitamins C and E.” [Source: Dogs Naturally Magazine]

According to Wikipedia: “Research suggests that CBD may exert some of its pharmacological action through its inhibition of fatty acid amide hydrolase (FAAH), which may then increase the levels of endocannabinoids, such as anandamide, produced by the body. Speculation suggested some of the metabolites of CBD have pharmacological effects that contribute to the biological activity of CBD.”

As more and more vet professionals become aware of the benefits CBD provides pets, it stands to reason that more and more people are getting into the business of CBD oil,  which is quite lucrative. It’s imperative that owners be aware of the strength and efficacy of the product as not all products are created equal. In other words, make sure to do your homework and discuss CBD usage with your vet

Live, love, bark! 🐾