#WeRateDogs by Matt Nelson

#WeRateDogs compiles the greatest hits of Matt Nelson’s popular Twitter feed. Nelson rates the dogs (and a couple of other animals, a horse for example) in user-submitted photographs (never lower than 10/10 or 11/10) and writes hilarious captions to go with them. One caption for a yellow lab reads, “Say hello to Winnie. She accidentally opened the front-facing camera, but then realized she’s flawless and proceeded to take more pictures. 13/10 confident af,” (p. 146).

I also love the captions that chastise people for sending “non-dog” photos. “Okay, how did our editor not catch this? We rate dogs, not Yugoslavian Snow Ostriches. Unbelievable. Please be more careful with your submissions next time… 11/10 would still pet,” (p. 16). Of course, there is no such thing as a Yugoslavian Snow Ostrich—the picture is a dog with his head in a hole in a snow-covered yard.

The book is heart-warming and fun. I highly recommend it. While you’re at it, follow #weratedogs on Twitter and Instagram!

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A White Thanksgiving

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Our backyard in the snow. I have to admit it’s a pretty sight, although I’d still rather be in Arizona.

dogs in snow

The snow almost reached Lily’s belly! Walter hates being in the snow, but Norman enjoys eating it.

Of course, we had a tofurky, which is our traditional Thanksgiving meal. I had my first tofurky in 1998, just a few years after Turtle Island Foods was founded. I am thankful for them.

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George didn’t want to bake a pie – fair enough, since he made dinner. Since I wanted a desert with applies, I found this recipe: Microwave Apple Crisp. (I made the oven version.) The only modifications were using Earth Balance for the butter and reducing to three apples. Peeling, slicing and coring the apples was a breeze with my Pampered Chef Apple peeler. While I usually avoid single-use items, the apple peeler is so worth it. Pretty tasty!

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Have a Safe and Happy Fourth!

Lily, Norman, and Walter wish you a happy Independence Day and want to remind you to keep your pets safe. More pets go missing on July 4th than any other day of the year, and typical Independence Day celebrations use a number of items that are harmful to cats, dogs, and other critters.

Happy Independence Day from the Pugs

To keep your pets safe, follow these steps:

  1. Keep your cats and dogs inside.
  2. Make sure your pets are wearing ID collars.
  3. Do not take your pets (even dogs) to firework shows and don’t use personal fireworks around your pets. The loud noises can scare pets and make them bolt. If you are using fireworks at home, pets can be exposed to dangerous chemicals.
  4. Keep your pets on their normal diet, and don’t feed them lots of food from the BBQ.
  5. Even if it seems funny, don’t let your dogs or cats drink alcoholic beverages. They can get alcohol poisoning with small amounts of drink.
  6. The material in glow sticks and jewelry is harmful to pets as is citronella. Keep pets away from them.
  7. Do not use sunscreen for people on your dogs or cats. They will lick it off their fur and the chemicals can make them sick. If you have a light-colored dog, you can get a sunscreen just for pooches. Since your cat will be inside, she won’t need sunscreen, but if you are interested, you should consult your veterinarian to find an appropriate solution.

The Ellis-Nosis dogs hope you have a very safe and very happy holiday. They would lick your face if they could.

patriotic dog collage | lily norman and walter pugs

Patty Griffin’s Heavenly Day

Several years ago, Julia introduced me to Patty Griffin’s album 1,000 Kisses, which includes the beautiful and haunting song “Rain.” Since then, I have followed her new releases closely, especially after I learned she’s performed on some Ellis Paul tracks. Although most of her songs feel like they are stabbing you in the heart, she does have some upbeat melodies as well.

Interestingly, “Long Road” is one of the more upbeat songs, in terms of the music. However, if you listen to the lyrics they are heartbreaking. The song is about the funeral of a loved one. “Tony” about a high school outcast who commits suicide is also a catchy tune. All of this points to the unpredictable nature of her music and, to my mind, its thoughtfulness.

Last spring, when Griffin’s new CD “Children Running Through” was released, I was so excited and bought it posthaste. I enjoyed it as much as her previous albums, which combined the gut-wrenching and uplifting. One of the uplifting songs is called “Heavenly Day”:

The smile on your face I live only to see
It’s enough for me, baby, it’s enough for me
Oh, heavenly day, heavenly day, heavenly day

With these lyrics, you might forgive me for assuming the song is about a lazy weekend day with a boyfriend (or girlfriend) or husband/partner.

Last July, Patty Griffin came to Phoenix for a concert, so George, Ryan, and I went. It was phenomenal, amazing, breathtaking… I was so pleased I had the opportunity to see her perform live. One of the most delightful moments was when she introduced “Heavenly Day.” Instead of being about a lover, she said it was about a day with her dog. Of course, that was the sweetest thing I’ve ever heard, and I liked the song even more after that!

Go Orange!

Today is ASPCA Day to celebrate the venerable organization’s victories on behalf of animals. Please visit their website to take the anti-cruelty pledge and learn more about the programs of the ASPCA.

Etsy’s Dog Mafia has created a treasury of fun, handmade doggie items, and the sellers are donating $1.00 to the ASPCA for each sale. More of their sellers are listed in this discussion thread.