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13 02, 2020

 Tips to Caring for Senior Pets

By |2020-02-10T18:08:02-06:00February 13th, 2020|Guest blogger|1 Comment

A Guest Blog by Nick Burton

The bond between you and your senior pet is priceless. However, caring for senior pets tends to come with more measurable costs. You can keep those expenses low with these tips.

  • Save on Senior Pet Products by Using Online Coupons

 The needs of older pets can be different from younger animals. Your senior pet may need soft organic food,  a more comfortable bed or even a stroller. Or modifications to your home to help improve your pet’s quality of life; for example, anti-slip treads on staircases can help prevent slips and tumbles, while a doggy door will allow them to come and go as they please to take care of outdoor business.

Stocking up on these essentials does not mean sacrificing your budget. You can usually find all you need by shopping online or with major retailers, and you can find your pet supplies at the best prices for any budget if you do your homework. Better yet, you can boost savings on pet supplies by visiting online sites, like Amazon, Chewy, PetSmart or Petco and learning more about cash back deals from sites like Rakuten. It’s the smartest way to keep your senior pet healthy and your family budget happy all at once.

  • Cut Down Your Costs on Those Senior Pet Vet Bills

 Vet costs for senior animals tend to be a bit higher than their younger counterparts. This can even deter people from adopting senior pets, but the love of an older companion animal can be truly priceless.

Senior dogs and cats typically require less training, which can help offset those increased care costs, but there are other ways to save on your vet bills as well.

Pet insurance can help with veterinary costs for your pet at any age and can be cost-effective for people with multiple pets. Additionally, most pet insurance policies provide you with rebates for covered pet care costs.

  • Clean Up After Senior Pets Without Cleaning Out Your Savings

Senior pets tend to have stomach issues and bladder control problems that can spell disaster for your carpets. If your senior pet’s bathroom problems seem to be severe or sudden, you should make an appointment with your vet.

However, you should also stock up on cleaning supplies to address stains and remove odors. You can also make your own pet-safe cleaning supplies. A little vinegar and water are all it takes to eliminate even the smelliest pet messes from your home, and you can score a bottle of vinegar for a couple of dollars.

Pet expenses may increase as animals get older, but your budget doesn’t have to suffer as a result. If you are willing to look for promo codes and research online, you can find ways to save and take care of your senior pets.

You can show your senior pets the love they deserve without sacrificing all your budget needs.

About Nick

Nick Burton is the co-creator of Our Best Doggo. Together with his wife, they are proud parents of three rescue dogs. After the passing of their 15-year-old lab/terrier mix dog, Willie, they decided to create this website to share all types of dog information and help people that are mourning the loss of a dog.

Be sure to check out his website  You’ll find lots of dog-loving information.

13 09, 2018

Two Etiquette Tips to Help Your Dog Be A Better Neighbor

By |2018-12-04T11:01:44-06:00September 13th, 2018|Guest blogger|2 Comments

Welcome guest blogger Brandon Butler. He’s is a dog lover and vet tech, who loves helping pet owners. You can find more of his wisdom on Fur and Feathers.

Two Etiquette Tips to Help Your Dog Be A Better Neighbor

According to polls, 74 percent of Americans like dogs a lot, while two percent of respondents professed to hate dogs. Even those who like dogs don’t usually like obnoxious dog behavior.

As a dog owner, you probably love everything about your pet. You accept your dog, muddy paws and all. You accept his faults because he loves you unconditionally. Sometimes, adoration for your dog means that you ignore some of his behavior that may be bothersome to others. 

We’re a nation of dog lovers, but… it’s up to owners to teach their pets to be good neighbors. The good news is that you can address most problems yourself.

  1. Correct excessive barking

You may be numb to his barking, but your neighbor probably isn’t. If your dog is an excessive barker who howls at every pedestrian passing your home or just goes off on a yelping rant whenever home alone, there are steps you can take to stop or minimize the yapping.

The first rule is to resist the inclination to yell. Your dog doesn’t know what it means when you raise your voice to him, and if he’s barking, he’s just going to think you are joining in on the noise. Instead, speak to him in a confident, authoritative voice. Here are some tips to curb barking:

  • Remove the barking stimuli. If your dog barks all day at people walking by the front of the house, make it so he cannot see out that window. Restrict access to rooms that face walkers and other activity.
  • Desensitize your dog to things that would cause barking. For example, if your dog barks at other dogs, incorporate socialization with other dogs and reward him for not barking around those that he meets.
  • Train your dog to be quiet when you command. Just like other problem behaviors, your dog is only barking because he hasn’t learned that it’s inappropriate. Again, you accomplish this training goal without yelling, but by rewarding your pup with training treats for stopping barking on command.


  1. Calm your dog through adequate exercise

Problem behaviors often arise in dogs who are bored from inactivity. A dog may jump on a visitor, chew on furniture, and even have accidents in the house because of pent-up energy and nervousness. If you provide frequent interaction and activity your dog will be less likely to engage in a destructive stress-relieving behavior. Try this out: double the frequency and duration of your current walking schedule. In most cases, you’ll be hearing more snoring than barking, and your well-exercised pup will be a lot less likely to engage in other inappropriate behavior.

Dog walking provides benefits for owners in addition to controlling bad canine behavior. The activity gives owners exercise and has been shown to reduce stress. It also is a wonderful way to connect with your dog.  If your busy schedule limits your available time for walking, consider hiring a dog-walking/dog sitter service. These services can help make sure your dog gets frequent attention.

Today’s gig economy makes finding dog sitters and walkers easier than ever, but ask some essential questions before hiring a service. For instance, ask how they would handle an emergency situation. Insist that they provide a reference list of current and former clients, and make sure that you give the service clear instructions and have an open line of communication.

Through basic obedience training and frequent exercise, you will find that many of your dog’s problem behaviors disappear. You, your dog, and the entire neighborhood will appreciate it.

13 08, 2015

(Almost) End-of-Summer Safety Tips for Dogs

By |2015-08-02T17:32:11-05:00August 13th, 2015|Guest blogger|0 Comments

A Guest Blog by Vee Cecil

dog-Vee Cecil

SOURCE: Via Flickr – by Luke Ma

If you’re a dog owner, you know that they enjoy the summer almost as much as people do. They get to spend more time outdoors, take advantage of human eats at their owner’s summer parties, and if they’re lucky, take a dip or two, in the pool or lake.

But pet owners should keep in mind that there are a few summer-specific dangers that come with all that fun. Here are a few things to watch out for so that you can ensure you and your dog fully enjoy the rest of the summer.

Do a thorough clean up after summer get-togethers.

Many dogs enjoy being around visitors. So, they find summer, with its outdoor barbecues and parties, especially great. But as the MSPCA explains in its tips for having a pet-friendly summer, these get-togethers are often rife with possible dangers for your dog. For example, if you aren’t careful, your dog might chomp down a barbecue skewer, which could be very dangerous for them. These parties also tend to produce a lot of trash. Make sure you’ve secured it properly so that your dog can’t fish out “dangerous items like corncobs and bones.”

Keep ‘em hydrated.

Just like humans, dogs need to stay hydrated. Whether they’re at the pool, at the park, on a hike, or just going for a walk around the neighborhood, be sure they’re drinking enough water. As these end-of-summer safety tips recommend, it’s best to bring water along with you when you have your dog in tow. That way your dog can have a drink whenever he or she needs one.

Lock up the chemicals.

All you have to do is take one look at this list of common pool chemicals and their uses to know that you don’t want your pet getting anywhere near them. In fact, when not properly handled, these chemicals are toxic for humans and animals. So, if you have a pool, be sure your chemicals stay locked up and out of reach of children and pets. And if you’ll be visiting a friend or neighbor’s pool, ask them where they keep their chemicals so that you can be sure to keep your dog away.

Know the signs of heatstroke.

Yes, pets can suffer heatstroke, too! The Humane Society explains that signs of heatstroke in your dog might include, heavy panting, glazed eyes, lethargy, and more. And it explains that some animals may be at higher risk than others. For example, if your pet is “very old, very young, overweight, not conditioned to prolonged exercise, or [has] heart or respiratory disease,” then you should keep a close eye out for signs of the above symptoms and try to keep your dog as cool and comfortable as possible in the summer heat at all times.

There’s no reason your pet can’t enjoy these last weeks of summer just as much as you do. Keep these tips in mind so that you can keep your four-legged friend healthy and happy.


VeeCecil.pngVee Cecil has a passion for wellness. She loves studying the topic and sharing her findings on her recently-launched blog. She is also a wellness coach, personal trainer, and bootcamp instructor.

13 07, 2015

A Charmed Life, Are You Sure?

By |2015-07-05T19:52:12-05:00July 13th, 2015|Guest blogger|3 Comments

 A Guest Blog by Jody Payne

Do you watch Hollywood stars pose in gorgeous gowns covered in sparkling sequels and believe they live charmed lives?

They just stand there looking beautiful and actually get paid for it. Big bucks. Do you wonder where you went wrong? How can life be so unfair? Would you gladly trade places with them?

Are you sure?

Are you willing to travel to Africa to adopt a child just so you can stay in the headlines? Remember that your fans will lose interest, and you’ll need to go back to get another one or try something else. A child is forever. You can’t use him as a prop and then put him away until the next publicity crisis comes along.

Do you honestly believe a fifty year old model looks as good as a twenty year one? Not without help. A lot of help. A nip here. A tuck there. Pretty soon, you’re in the hospital for a complete overhaul. Are you up for it?

Are you sure?

If you have the cosmetic surgery and a lengthy convalescence, who will cook dinner for your family? Carpool the kids? Even if you can afford to pay someone to do these things, would you really want to forfeit the time with them just so strangers will admire you?

Are you sure?

I don’t know about you, but I’m no Angelina. My life isn’t glamourous. I don’t dine on champagne and caviar. I don’t even own a spandex dress trimmed in sequins. All that glitter would scare the horses. It doesn’t take a lot of shiny stuff to set a show horse off, and me stuffed into spandex is something you probably don’t want to think about.

There is this: We actually know nothing about the lives of these famous women. They may have been sitting up all night with a feverish child. They may be trying to balance a checkbook that refuses to cooperate.

For all their great looks and glamour, their relationships don’t seem to last very long. Maybe they dream about forgoing the rigorous life of strenuous exercise and makeup before peeking out their front doors costumed in the latest fashions from Paris.

When I walk about on my ranch in my old jeans and t-shirt to watch the sunrise, I’m not greeted with flashbulbs. Instead, the cattle saunter up to the fence and look for handouts of range cubes.

My bull, Billy Clinton, probably outweighs my John Deere. He’s that big. To a city person, he looks downright scary, but he’s pretty predictable, even if a little fickle. (Hence, the name.)

This time of year, the cows bring me their calves for inspection, and my heart is filled with the love of the animals, the land, and the God who gives me these blessings.

To me, this is the good life. However, I will admit this, I wouldn’t refuse a small tin of that caviar, but I wouldn’t trade places with any movie star in the world.

What about you? Would you trade? I mean, you know, other than the caviar.

 Jody Payne is a writer (fiction and non-fiction), a horse woman (dressage, no less),an animal lover (just ask Katrina rescue dog Jane Austin or my two four-legged boys, Toby and Buster),and most of all she’s southern through and through.

You can find her on FB: or her website:

26 06, 2014

Mother by Mother. Battle by Battle.

By |2014-06-26T06:00:31-05:00June 26th, 2014|Guest blogger|3 Comments

A Guest Blog by Jody Payne

June. Time to shop for a swimsuit. Sob! But that’s another blog for another day. Don’t ask. I can’t discuss it. Not until I lose about a thousand pounds.

Anyway, a friend and I decided to face the inevitable and support each other through this tragedy of middle-aged shopping. We were determined to find swimsuits that showed off our awesomeness while hiding the bulges that go with it. There must be one out there.

swimsuit shoppingBy the way, don’t put this off until school is out like we did. It’s intimidating shopping next to a hundred pound eighteen year old. We found ourselves at the swimsuit rack standing next to a mother shopping with her teenage daughter.

The daughter had a lot to learn about respect, but frankly, so did the mother. It was pitiful and the argument escalated until it ended with the mother saying between clenched teeth, “Just who do you think you are?”

I understood the woman’s frustration. Her daughter was determined to buy a bikini that would have made the average Brazilian blush while doing the samba on a nude beach.

My friend and I glanced at each other with a mutual cringe. I happen to know that my friend has heard this demeaning phrase more than once from her own mother.

My first response was to get out of there. Quick. I glanced around the room looking for the nearest exit.

However, my friend put her hand on the teenager’s arm and said, “I’ll tell you who you are. You are a beautiful young woman with a beautiful body. You have every right to be proud of it. Just remember this, it’s yours, and yours alone. It doesn’t belong to anyone else. Because you do have a beautiful body, other people are going to want to possess it. Control it. Don’t let them. Don’t give it away. Don’t let them use you. What is yours is yours and yours alone. Their greediness is their problem, not yours. Take a tip from Gypsy Rose Lee who said, ‘Always leave them wanting to see more.’ That woman was a famous burlesque queen who left the stage modestly clothed amid standing ovations from hungry eyed men.”

The girl was stunned into silence. So my friend used the reprieve to pull several more suitable suits (pun intended) from the rack and hand them to the girl. “Try these on. They’ll look great on you.”

I think the girl was too shocked to argue with these clueless adults so she took the suits and stomped into the dressing room. Probably just to escape us.

After a few minutes, she pulled back the curtain from the dressing room and she peeked out timidly. I realized I was holding my breath. Apparently, I wasn’t the only one because when she emerged there was an audible exhalation of relief from all three of us.

She looked gorgeous. The one-piece suit covered her very few flaws and made the most of her admirable assets. When she saw our reaction, she lost her hunched over posture. Her head came up and her shoulders back. A wide confident smile replaced her surly frown. Princess Di would have been envious.

The mother burst into tears. She turned to my friend and said, “You nailed it. Why couldn’t I have said that?”

My friend shrugged, “Because you’re a mother. Your job is impossible. Mine is a whole lot easier. I’m a stranger.”

The mother whispered, “How can I ever thank you?”

My friend grinned. “Just pass it on to the next stranger who needs help. We can win this war. Battle by battle. Stranger by stranger. Mother by mother.”

As we exited, I looked back to a beautiful young lady hugging her mother. Tears streamed down their faces. I hope to see either those two or someone like them when my own daughter tries on her first adult bathing suit.

And so, pass it on, okay? Battle by battle. Stranger by stranger. We can win this one. Mother by mother.



Jody Payne is

a writer (fiction and non-fiction),

a horse woman (dressage, no less),

an animal lover (just ask her two rescue dogs),

and most of all she’s southern through and through.


You can find her on FB:

Her website:

13 03, 2014

Olympians desire to change the world?

By |2014-03-13T06:00:12-05:00March 13th, 2014|Company's Coming|2 Comments

torch twoA guest blog by  Jody Payne

Tonight I crept out of my writer’s cave to hear an interview with an obvious non-athlete at the Olympian Games. He talked of the athlete’s desire to change the world.

Excuse me? Are you kidding?

I have worked with some extraordinary athletes in the horse ring. Don’t get me wrong. I am nowhere near their quality. I just happen to know them.

To my knowledge, the ones I know are not out to change the world.

These dedicated human beings don’t waste a lot of time thinking about the State of the Union, what the Dow is doing, or which way to the nearest photographer.

Do you honestly believe when a skier is standing at the top of an obscenely high mountain looking down and waiting for the signal to descend she is thinking about changing the world?

Get real. She is visualizing the perfect run. They know there has to be luck on any particular day, but they also know they are so incredibly good that today this run can prove they are the absolute best in the world.medals

That’s a horrible, exacting standard to live with. However, somehow, these particular athletes get up every morning and face it.

Let’s don’t strap them with changing the world too.

Here’s the takeaway for this particular tirade: If each of us put the effort into being the best we could possibly be, if every morning we rolled out of bed and did the absolute best we could at what we do, we might just change our own personal world.

Of course, that doesn’t always happen. Rolling out of bed is the most some of us can handle some days. Just showing up is a major victory.

Been there. Done that.

Tomorrow is another day. Do better.

It’s tough, this reaching for perfection. And now we expect our athletes to change the world?

No wonder ballplayers take drugs.

Before you start with the hate mail, I’m not condoning drugs. Far from it. Let’s just make a deal with them.

You do your best, without drugs, and we won’t expect you to change the world.

Does this sound like a fair deal to you?

I’m just saying…


Jody Payne isjody

a writer (fiction and non-fiction),

a horse woman (dressage, no less),

an animal lover (just ask her two rescue dogs Annie and Janie or my two four-legged boys, Toby and Buster),

and most of all she’s southern through and through.

You can connect with her on FB:

Her website:

11 10, 2013

Chicken Coop or Aviary? – Miller Farm Friday

By |2013-10-11T06:06:01-05:00October 11th, 2013|Friday on the Miller Farm, Miller Farm Friday|0 Comments

A guest blog by Chicken Wrangler Sara

It rained off and on all Saturday night. I had to be at church early Sunday morning so I went to let the chickens out before the sun came up.

This is what I found:

bird in coop

A small bird had shared the coop with the chickens during the rain.  The chickens didn’t seem to mind.

It reminded me of a song – of course.

This song has no words. It is an orchestral piece entitled “Aviary” from Camille Saint Saens: Carnival of Animals.

Here’s Aviary for those who have never heard it.

I use the piece in my elementary music classes when I talk about music being high or low. And, every time I have to explain “aviary” is another name for a large birdhouse.

I didn’t realize it could also be a chicken coop.

15 02, 2013

Advantages to Raising Chickens

By |2013-02-15T06:45:30-06:00February 15th, 2013|Friday on the Miller Farm, Guest blogger, Miller Farm Friday, Uncategorized|2 Comments

A guest blog from Chicken Wrangler Sara

There are advantages to raising chickens. They get food and water and sometimes grass, and they are happy.


Humans, on the other hand, need many things.

Last Wednesday proved the last. It’s my usual my day to clean the bathrooms and mop the kitchen floor, but that didn’t happen for three reasons.

  1. Beekeeper Brian called at 8:30 to ask if I could bring him his ID, which he had left on the dresser. Not a problem – I had something to drop off near his school anyway.
  2. Then Rachel texted and asked if I could meet her at the band hall at 10:50 with her jacket. OK, I could still get some things done at the house between taking the ID and taking the jacket.
  3. Then Matthew texted – “Can you go by Thorn (music store) and pick up some drum sticks?” By this time, I was a little frustrated so I told him I would have to see.

After a bit of thougt, I decided taking care of family was more important than a clean bathroom.

As I left the house to make the deliveries, a woman was putting a flyer on my mailbox for a maid service. Rather ironic, it seemed to me considering I really wanted to be at home cleaning house myself.

Instead, I was off delivering things to my humans…

Beekeeper Brian his ID,
Rachel her jacket,
and drumsticks to Matt.

This morning as I fed the chickens I thought about how simple it was to take care of them.

Chickens don’t need IDs.
Chickens don’t need jackets.
Chickens don’t need drumsticks – they already have them.

However, not one of those chickens said “thanks, sweetheart” or ‘Mom, you’re the greatest.”

I realized while there are advantages to raising chickens, they do not outweigh the advantages of raising a family.

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