Newt loves trying natural cat food! Well, she loves to eat. This week? #InstinctRaw

You guys, my cat is weird.

I know this to be true because every time I find myself talking to other people with cats, my experiences are vastly different. We were in the pet store the other day chatting with this woman who said her cats are so picky that she buys all this food but ends up cooking for them. I have friends who tell me that their cat will only eat one food for a while, then refuses, then another food for a while, then refuses… and I’ve heard people say that their cat skips meals altogether.

Not Newt.

Newt eats her Instinct Raw

Instinct Disclaimer

Newt eats anything. If I don’t put her bowl on the counter before I put down the dogs’ bowls, she shoves them out of the way to start eating their kibble. (Please note that she weighs 8.08 pounds.) She attempts to eat everything I’m eating. Leave a plate out? She licks it clean. Eating a bowl of oatmeal? She’ll stick her paw in it to claim it as hers.

It’s up to me to make sure she doesn’t eat what she’s not supposed to… and that she gets the healthiest food out there. Because she’s open to anything and because I’m committed to feeding her high-quality natural cat food, we thought we’d give Instinct® Raw a whirl!

It’s an all-natural, grain-free, raw cat food frozen into little bites. I always thought that feeding her raw would be gross or cumbersome, but you just stick the bags in your freezer and pull out the amount of bites you need per meal. It said that it would thaw in minutes. I think it took a bit longer than a few minutes, but it takes ages to measure out everyone’s pills and supplements, so for us anyway, filling her dish before I start that process would ensure they were thawed in time for her to NOT shove her brothers out of the way…

Instinct Raw Bites

In truth, I think she would’ve eaten them raw. As soon as I opened the bag, she was trying that cat-paw-fishing maneuver, sticking her arm into the bag and attempting to snag a bite. Since they were all frozen together, she was unsuccessful. (I chalk that up as a win for me. I gotta take what I can get.)

That said, I probably wouldn’t feed this to her for every meal every day. I like to rotate things for the herd, so I’d probably alternate this with typical canned food for her breakfast and dinner, or switch things up and give her some of this in her puzzle toy rather than regular kibble. Actually, I switched back to her regular canned food for dinner tonight, and I got a distinct “disappointed” vibe from her!

If you’re interested in learning more, you can visit Instinct’s website or Facebook page, or if you’re ready to take the plunge and give it a try, you can sign up for a $3 off coupon for Instinct Raw and do a trial for $3.99.

Have you tried raw for your pets? Please tell me someone else has a cat like Newt? Or are yours super picky when it comes to food? 

My avocado obsession deepens (and, yep, avocados are safe for dogs!) #AvoDermNatural

I’m obsessed with avocados. I seriously love them. Do you have a Lucky’s Market near you? They have avocados 3 for $1 (limit 6 so bring a false mustache) every couple months, and I stalk the bin. You know how the Portlandia folks put a bird on it? That’s my thing with avocados. Sandwich? Put an avocado on it. Pasta? Put an avocado on it. Eggs? Avocado. Even, no joke, chocolate mousse. It’s great for dry skin and dry hair, and because of all the rich fats in avocados, I seriously believe that eating a massive quantity of them helped my hair grow back so quickly after chemo.

You’re probably asking yourself: What the heck does this have to do with dogs?

Great question! I’ll tell you!

AvoDerm Revolving Menu


Allow me to introduce you to AvoDerm® Revolving Menu.


The Revolving Menu helps avoid food sensitivities because it allows you to vary your pet’s proteins so they don’t develop allergies. It’s specially formulated so that sensitive stomachs won’t experience digestive upset when you switch proteins.  Also, I know we’re all hyper-aware of food production: AvoDerm is made in the USA in California with California avocados.

We’re going to do a six-week trial of the AvoDerm Revolving Menu to see what this herd thinks. Although, to be perfectly honest, I don’t really care what they think! They eat compost and cat litter if given the chance. What I think is what matters, and here’s what I’m thinking:

The food is grain-free and gluten-free with a limited-ingredient formulation, so it’ll be easier on their stomachs. Plus, no fillers to help avoid even more food sensitivities (Cooper has NO tolerance for chemical additives or preservatives).

And, of course, the avocados! They are a nutrient-dense superfood, rich in heart-healthy fats and omegas 3 and 6 fatty acids. On top of that, they have antiodidants, vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients like vitamins A, C, E, and B6. We just love ’em around here! (He doesn’t look like he loves ’em in this pic. Ha! But, he’s earning his keep! 😉 )

Lucas balances an avocado

I know there’s a lot of concern swirling about avocados being toxic to dogs. I’m not sure how that myth has propagated so wildly, but it is a myth! Avocados are toxic to horses and some birds, so maybe it was extrapolated from that? Or maybe it’s to prevent the pit from becoming a choking hazard? Anyway, you can read all about avocado toxicity on the ASPCA website here. Or, stay tuned for my (purely anecdotal but pretty funny) evidence on the safety of avocados. I have two avocado-related dog shenanigans to share… I’m sure you can guess who one of the “culprits” is, which I’ll include in the next post about our six-week AvoDerm trial!

AvoDerm Revolving Menu products

You can purchase the AvoDerm Revolving Menu to try along with us or check them out on Facebook to learn more about the brand and their products.

Please tell me I’m not the only one with an avocado obsession. Are you an avocado fan like me? Have you tried avocado-related products for your pup? Or any experience with this food? I’m pretty excited to see how it affects their skin and coat! I’d love to hear your experiences or questions you have about that food that I should look into for my next post!

Time to Strut Your Mutt

You guys, I’m so excited to share some awesome news! We’re due for some happy news around here!

I was asked to be an ambassador for Best Friends, so obviously YES! Love sharing their message and mission. And here’s the first thing I get to share with you…

Strut Your Mutt 2015 is here! Actually, it’s already started! Sadly for us, there isn’t one in Indy, but I wanted to share this info with you in case–fingers crossed–there’s an event near you!

Here’s the scoop: Strut Your Mutt, presented by BOBS from Skechers, is a 12 city fundraising dog walk, 5K run and festival that brings together rescue groups, shelters and individuals to celebrate the collective effort of saving the lives of shelter pets. We kicked off the tour last weekend in Minneapolis and Portland, and will be visiting the following cities this month and next (Kanab and Austin already happened):

  • Jacksonville, FL – September 26
  • NYC – September 26
  • San Francisco – October 3
  • DC Metro Area – October 10
  • Los Angeles – October 10
  • St. Louis – October 10
  • Houston – October 17
  • Salt Lake City – October 24

Since 2010, Best Friends has raised more than $5.2 million for its animal welfare partners through Strut Your Mutt. The national goal for this year is $2.6 million. Additionally, through a virtual Strut Your Mutt Challenge, supporters can raise money to help homeless pets in their own communities or for national programs that help to create sweeping changes for homeless pets everywhere. So, if you’re like me and there isn’t an event near you, you can STILL Strut Your Mutt virtually!

You can view all of the cities, sign-up, start your own fundraising page, or donate to an existing team at

I’d love to know: Are you planning to take part in a Strut Your Mutt? Are any of these near where you and your pups are? Or are you going to join a virtual team? Please leave your plans in the comments so we can all cheer for everyone who’s strutting!

He will not go gentle…

That Dylan Thomas poem has been swirling around in my head for weeks now. The first stanza, anyway:

Do not go gentle into that good night,
Old age should burn and rave at close of day;
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Lucas has been having a ball. He is absolutely raging. Heck, last weekend he went for a mile hike with his bestie, Cady. That’s the longest distance he’s gone in one shot since March!

Lucas and Cady go for a hike September 2015

We followed it up with a trip to Sonic… in fact, he’s becoming a bit of a fast food connoisseur. So far he’s had cheeseburgers and fries from McDonald’s, Burger King, Wendy’s, and now Sonic. We’ve added Steak ‘n Shake, White Castle, and Dairy Queen to his To Do List.

He will not go gentle.

The thing about Lucas, though, is that all the adventures Emmett went on, Lucas would HATE. He hates the beach. He’s afraid of water. He can’t swim. He doesn’t want to go to festivals or coffee shops or Mexican restaurants. That’s just not him.

So, he’s eating and hiking his way through the dying of the light.

And chewing sticks with his brothers, one of his all-time favorite evening activities.

Stick time September 2015

He is raging, raging, even while his x-rays show that the cancer is, too. He had another round this morning, and they showed at least three additional tumors but maybe more–he was wiggling too much for one of the angles to really be able to tell. So, 6 or 8 tumors now. It hit home for me when our beloved vet gave her cell number for middle of the night/just in case.

Lucas at the vet September 2015

But today he’s good. Better than good. The vet’s office was a circus. Dogs everywhere! And he did marvelously. John and I kept shaking our heads and saying, “Can you imagine trying to sit here with him a few years ago? Incredible.”

He came home and clobbered the crud out of Cooper, then he ran into Newt’s room and snatched up her teddy bear. He will not go gentle.

Nothing but good, nothing but fun. His favorite toys, his favorite treats, his favorite hikes, all of it.

My sweet Lucas.

Do not go gentle into that good night,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.