The Story of Spunky and Rascal, A Guest Blog By Kevin Sloan From “FindTheBest”

Hi Everyone! It’s Dakota! My Mom and I are pretty tired today so our friend Kevin from FindTheBest offered to do a guest blog for us!

Kevin Sloan is a 21 year old student studying at the University of California Santa Barbara and an intern for the website FindTheBest.  FindTheBest is a free online comparison website that aims to provide its visitors with the best and most accurate information to allow people to make informed decisions without being biased or influenced by manufactures or retailers.

Before  you read this blog post I wanted to say that I am NOT a rescue doggie. My Mom and Dad tried to find a rescue sheltie at the time that they found me but there were none near our home to be had and  they didn’t have the resources to have a far-away Sheltie shipped to our home.

Whether or not your dog is a rescue dog or a dog acquired from a reputable breeder, they ALL deserve the BEST in the quality of care that you give them. Now take it away Kevin!!

The Story of Spunky and Rascal


My name is Kevin and I am an avid dog lover.  My family has always had at least one dog in our house for my entire life, which is probably why I love them so much.  The great thing about the dogs we have had is that they have all been rescued.  Sometimes rescue dogs get a bad rap because they aren’t “pure breeds” or they have something wrong with them.  We have rescued and adopted 5 dogs in my 21 years, and all of them have been the most amazing pets.

I wanted to tell you the story of the two dogs I have now, Spunky and Rascal.  Spunky is a Malti-Poo mix, and Rascal is a Maltese.  Even the small, cute breeds need to be adopted sometimes too.  So if you think that these dogs are only sold for thousands of dollars by breeders , if you look long and hard enough you can find any kind of dog.


So let me tell you how we found these dogs and why they were a perfect fit for our family.  We first got Spunky as a puppy.  His owner passed away and the owner’s children didn’t want to take care of him.  He might have been abused a little and was not taken care of.   When I went with my mom to look at him, I remember sitting in the car when the rescuer brought him over to our car.  We put him in the trunk (we had a suburban so it was an open trunk behind the back seats) and we put up the back gate to keep him in the back.  He decided he didn’t want to be stuck there so he jumped over the back gate and tried to get away.  Luckily my mom was paying attention and she caught him in midair.  From that moment she knew that she would always be there to take care of him and we adopted him.

Rascal waking up from afternoon nap


I am not completely sure about the history of Rascal.  The local rescue organization was set up at the local PetSmart trying to get dogs adopted and Rascal was one of the dogs who needed to be adopted.  My mom fell in love with Rascal and brought him over to our house to let him play in our back yard and see if he would be suitable to live with Spunky.

Even though Spunky likes to bark at dogs, the two got along so now Spunky had a friend to play with.  We have had both of them together for about 4 or 5 years and the two can’t be separated.  They follow each other everywhere, and they are extremely happy to see each other if they have been separated even for a minute.

The important thing about finding our dogs is that we knew exactly what kind of dogs we wanted before we adopted them.  My mom wanted a small dog that didn’t shed, so we had an idea of what kind of dogs we wanted.  Our dogs are perfect fits for my mom so we got our dogs with confidence that they would be compatible with our lifestyles.  Some people who go to a shelter will pick a dog off of looks only without consideration of the breed of dog.  Unfortunately, sometimes dogs are returned to the shelter because a family member was allergic or the dog wasn’t compatible with the family’s lifestyle.  Make sure you compare dog breeds before you adopt so you can find the perfect breed for your lifestyle.  After adopting your new dog, make sure you find the best dog food to support a healthy life for your new pet.  Also, consider looking at pet insurance because medical bills can be extremely expensive over the life of your new dog.

So I hope you enjoyed my story about my two awesome dogs, and make sure to always research breeds before you acquire your pet  and  ALWAYS spay and neuter your pets!



Kevin Sloan is a 21 year old student studying at the University of California Santa Barbara and an intern for the website FindTheBest.  FindTheBest is a free online comparison website that aims to provide its visitors with the best and most accurate information to allow people to make informed decisions without being biased or influenced by manufactures or retailers.


Friday Fido Find! Freshpet Fresh Food For Pets! Look What I Got! And…Guess What YOU Can Get!

They must have thought of me when they came up with the term “Lucky Dog!”


Well I’ll tell ya!

Look at what I received in the mail! From FreshPet!

Freshpet sent me  3 (count ’em!) THREE  bags of goodies and a super high quality cooler made by Coleman to keep my goodies fresh  in when I am  on the go.   I bet Mom and Dad could steal it and use it should they go on a picnic! It came with 2 refrigerator cold packs! My Mom and I were simply overwhelmed by the generosity  of Freshpet and by the sight of these delicious looking snacks!

Just who is FreshPet?

Watch this video to learn more!

Can you tell how EXCITED I was to get my chops around this delectable goodie?

This bone is 100% all natural. It is a crunchy Brown Rice bone

The first item I tested was the DogJoy Fresh Bones! They are:

Crunchy brown rice bone with real chicken baked inside. A safer alternative to natural bones.

4.3 oz.

This bone was long-lasting and simply delicious!

My luck continued! Look what Mom gave me last night when I was having a full-blown bark-fest!!

Mom almost wanted to eat one too because they reminded her of beef jerky and Mom LOVES beef jerky!

These are:  Dog Joy Fresh Chews

Long-lasting chews made from free-range buffalo. Each hand-cut chew is slow roasted in its own juices. Maintains dental health naturally.

4.3 oz.

See how I have my paws? I do this when I am carefully holding onto something that I LOVE! My kitty brother tried to take this away. He’ll never attempt THAT trick again! BOL!

Do you believe I even received a THIRD item from Freshpet? I didn’t get to taste test this one yet but I am looking forward to enjoying these while I watch football with my Dad this weekend!

Yum!!! Sweet Potato!!! My Mom and I can't believe these wonderful flavors that Dog Joy has!! They are so unique and Mom thinks they look tasty enough for her to eat too!

” Dog Joy™ Sweet Potato Chews: The only ingredient is sweet potatoes, naturally full of beta carotene, vitamins and dietary fiber. Each slice is slowly baked to chewy perfection. Available in a 7.5 oz. resealable pouch.”

Mom and I are awfully impressed with Freshpet! I think I am going to work on Mom to switch me from the food I am now eating to this food!! Mom just used their STORE LOCATOR TAB on their WEBSITE and GUESS WHAT DOGGIES!!?? Mom just learned that Freshpet is available at EVERY store she shops at!!!

That’s enough to make me do Sheltie Spins the ENTIRE WEEKEND!!!


YOU can be joining me in doing my happy “Sheltie Spins” because the generous and wonderful people at Freshpet are offering to give ONE WINNER a GIFT BASKET FILLED with their products!!!! ( U.S. ONLY PLEASE) How cool is THAT?

How do you enter?

1) You MUST be a subscriber of this blog

2) You MUST “like” Dakota’s Den on Facebook  and leave a comment telling me why you want this food

3) You MUST “like”  Freshpet on Facebook and tell them you learned about their products on Dakota’s Den





So my barking buddies head over to Freshpet’s WEBSITE and check out all the healthy, fresh and delicious items they have to offer! I even saw a Sheltie featured on one of their items!! I think I am gonna have to try to steal that Sheltie’s modeling gig, don’tcha  know?

You can also find Freshpet on:




Barks and licking my chops with love and THANKS to Freshpet! Dakota

In full disclosure. Mom and I were not compensated for this review. Mom and I were given the products listed above to test/review. All opinions are strictly my own! Now go and check ’em out!

While you’re at it check out the other great give-aways at  “Doggies And Stuff” right here! Be sure to tell them that DAKOTA sent you!

Winners Of SmartBone Give-Away!

Happy Wednesday EveryBody!!

Today is a special day!

Today I am announcing the WINNERS  of the

SmartBone Give-Away!!












(as chosen by

will receive






Please email my Mom at:

cgittleman at mi dot rr dot com

with  your complete names

and mailing addresses

and let her know which size SmartBones you would like.

Four different sizes of SmartBones are available, based on a dog’s weight:

Small Dog (5-10 lbs) MiniSmartBones
Small – Medium Dogs (11-25 lbs) SmallSmartBones
Medium Dogs (26-50 lbs) MediumSmartBones
Large Dogs (over 50 lbs) LargeSmartBones

Mom and I  hope you enjoy your SmartBones

as much as I did!

Thanks to all who entered!

Barks and licks and love,  Dakota





















Published in: on September 21, 2011 at 12:18 am  Comments (5)  
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I Love My SmartBone! You Will Too! Give-Away!!

Hi Everyone!

Did you know that I am a “chewing machine?”

Oh yeah! If it’s chewable, (or not) I’m all over it!

This is the SmartBone that I had!

I’ve been known to chew wood, cell phones, metal door stops, you name it.  It’s not all my fault, I come from a long line of “chewers!”

Did you know that it is important for dogs to chew?

When doggies lived in the wild, they used to tear through the skin of wild beasts to get at the meat! We doggies that don’t have to hunt for our food don’t get to do that. It isn’t good for our teeth not to be able to chew things! We get a build up of tartar which can lead to periodontal issues and disease.

Some doggies chew out of boredom (like me!) These pet chews are the perfect answer to that problem! YAY! You gooo Mom! Mom also likes that SmartBones offer nutrition and health benefits as well!.

You have no idea how excited I was yesterday when my Mom gave me a brand new product to try!

Mom gave me a SmartBone!

Wow was I ever excited!

What is a SmartBone you ask? Well, sit back, relax and I’ll tell ya!

SmartBones by PetMatrix, are chew treats made with chicken, vegetables and other healthy ingredients. These raw-hide free treats are perfect for the four-t0-five out of 10 consumers who prefer not to feed their doggies rawhide.

Who came up with this genius idea?

Martin Glinsky, Ph.D.,  that’s who!  Dr. Glinsky is considered one of the premier pet nutritionists in the country and is currently the Chief Science Officer at PetMatrix, creators of SmartBones and DreamBone chews.  He received his undergraduate education at Cornell University and his M.S. and Ph.D. degrees from the University of Illinois, specializing in Animal Nutrition and Nutritional Biochemistry.

He has lectured extensively around the world on pet nutrition and dietary formulation and started his own pet food manufacturing company in 1980, specializing in holistic and organic pet foods. His expertise in formulating, manufacturing, analyzing and testing of nutritional products for pets is well known and respected.

Dr. Glinsky formulated, engineered and produced the first dry pet foods to incorporate fresh ingredients, the standard of the holistic pet food category today. He has been intimately involved with many of the best-selling holistic foods brands being marketed around the world.

Wanna know more?

SmartBones are 99.2% digestible, which is higher than the digestibility of premium dog foods (85% digestibility).

Chicken, vegetables and other healthy ingredients dogs will love are used in making SmartBones.

   SmartBones are the first treats of their kind to be enhanced with vitamins and minerals.

SmartBones are safer for dogs than regular rawhide treats, which may cause intestinal blockages.

SmartBones are environmentally friendly, whereas a toxic chemical process is needed to create consumable rawhide for treats.

  SmartBones are available in Peanut Butter and Chicken Flavors.  There is also a Dental variety with additional teeth health benefits.

Four different sizes of SmartBones are available, based on a dog’s weight:

Small Dog (5-10 lbs) Mini SmartBones
Small – Medium Dogs (11-25 lbs) Small SmartBones
Medium Dogs (26-50 lbs) Medium SmartBones
Large Dogs (over 50 lbs) Large SmartBones

Here is a video of me lovin’ on my SmartBone!

I have to get my Mom to order me more SmartBones, I didn’t even bother my Dad during football when I had this!

SmartBones are available nationwide and at

Guess what? The SUPER NICE people at SmartBones have offered to have a:


Two lucky winners will win FOUR (count ’em FOUR SmartBones!!)

How can you win?

Just complete THREE EASY STEPS!

1)  Like  my  Facebook Page and give us a BARK OUT!

2) Subscribe to Dakota’s Den-you MUST be a subscriber of Dakota’s Den to enter. There are many great give-aways coming up just around the fire-hydrant that you WON’T want to miss out on!

3) Leave a comment telling me and my Mom why YOUR dog is a SMART DOG!!!


The WINNERS will be announced Wednesday, September 21st!

So what are you waiting for!?

Start jumping, barking, and if you are a Sheltie (SPINNING!)  and ENTER NOW!

Good luck!!!

Barks and licks and love, Dakota

I was not compensated for this review. I was sent a SmartBone to test and review and boy am I ever happy that I got to test it! You will love them too!

9/11- 2001 “We Must Never Forget”

Barks,  licks, love,  prayers and tears for those who lost their lives on 9/11   2001  and their  families and friends who still grieve.

We share in your grief.

We pray for a better world.

Dakota & “Mom”

Published in: on September 9, 2011 at 10:10 am  Comments (13)  
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Thank You Every Body!! “Wordy” Wednesday

Hi everyone!

I thought I would give you an update while my Dakota is resting.  He is extremely tired. Our poor little guy really had a rough way to go last night and early today.

Dakota was up most of the night (as was his Daddy and I).

Over the past couple of weeks Dakota had thrown up a bit here and there. We didn’t think much of it at all because it was so sporadic.

This past Sunday night he threw up a bit, Monday nothing. Yesterday? BOOM!!!

"I like to be by my brother all the time!"


Dakota was vomiting white foam (which was really yellow when it was being mopped up) with a frequency that had his Daddy and I quite alarmed.

This started about 10 or 11pm and continued until this morning.

It broke my heart to see our normally alert and “smiling” Dakota in a rather blase’ state.

He loves his brother Cody, but I knew something was wrong because he had chosen to sleep curled  up under the chair that Cody was sleeping on which is not his usual sleeping spot of choice.

This morning I called our vet whom we adore (DePorre Veterinary Hospital, the home of “Dr.Smiley” as our Cody likes to call him) and were told that Dakota could be brought over at 8:15 am.

Daddy took Dakota to the vet because I was having flashbacks of when my cat Bobo was first diagnosed with heart disease and I was driving home in a raging snowstorm  from the vet alone and devastated. I couldn’t stop crying.  Today, I was afraid of how I would react if there had been bad news.  I always stay calm during the cleanup at home or in front of my babies at home but was afraid of how I would act at the vet if I were to be given bad news.

Our doctor did blood work, thankfully all was fine!

He took X-Rays which showed nothing significant.

That still leaves the dilemma, what was wrong?

I am thinking it could have been the treats that I was giving Dakota. I was giving him 3 different kinds at different times and I am wondering if one (or all) possibly didn’t agree with him?

The doctor said he seemed to be a little dehydrated as well, that seemed strange to me because every night before bed I fill his bowl with fresh drinking water and we do it again in the morning and various times throughout the day should Dakota’s bowl be empty. I am thinking he was a little dehydrated from vomiting.

So, what was really wrong remains a mystery.

I'm So Happy To Be Home!!

Dakota came home after a few hours at the vet.  He is not permitted to have ANY food today (which breaks my doting Jewish mother heart, one of the ways many Jewish mothers show their love is through the providing of “food, glorious food!”)

I have moved Cody’s bowls and food into another room where Dakota will not be able to see (and hopefully won’t be able to hear) his brother being fed.

"Hi Cody! I'm Home! Did You Miss Me?"

The doctor sent us home with IAMS Veterinary formula Intestinal (low residue) canned dog food. Dakota can have 1 tablespoon tomorrow morning. Then we have to wait a couple of hours and give him another tablespoonful. This will continue until he has eaten his allotment for tomorrow which will be the equivalent of a half of a can.

On Saturday we can start mixing the IAMS with his normal dog food.

I feel bad for my little guy. He is such a good dog at the vet. Actually we are blessed, both Cody and Dakota are fabulous at the vet. The vet constantly compliments both of our boys.

When my husband asked our vet how Dakota handled everything today, he said, “Dakota? He’s fine, he’s always laid back and fine!!” He mentioned how stoic Shelties are and that often if they aren’t feeling well you can’t always tell.

Hopefully my boy will be back to his silly and barking self real soon.

Thank you "Dr.Smiley!!"

Thank you to the staff at DePorre Veterinary Hospital (primarily “Dr.Smiley!!”)

Thank you to all of you who left comments both here and on Dakota’s Facebook page.

It means a lot! There are NO people like PET people and we HEART all of you!!








Please Use The Power Of The Paw

Hi everybody. I am not feeling very well today and Daddy is taking me to the vet this morning.

I threw up at least 6 times last night.

This is an older photo, Daddy isn’t laughing cause I am sick.

Please keep me in your thoughts.

The “Power Of The Paw” is pretty powerful.

Mommy and Daddy are very nervous.

Barks and licks and love,  





Published in: on August 17, 2011 at 7:01 am  Comments (24)  
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“Gimme the snack already!”

It’s snack time at my house.

Enough with the teasing

Just give me the snack already!

Happy Anniversary Mom & Dad! And…It’s “National Take Your Dog To Work Day!”

Today is my Mom and Dad’s 5th wedding anniversary! Yes, I know they are both older than dirt but you see they are such gems that their first marriages didn’t work out and this is the second marriage for both.

Look at this card that my Dad gave to my Mom….

This card was made by Avanti Cards, to read about them click  here 

I think this is a great card but the Sheltie is wearing a DRESS! I am a boy dog and my Dad gives this to my Mom from ME??? This greatly affects my Sheltie sensibility!

Anyway, I hope Mom & Dad have a great anniversary, nobody else wants them so they had better make the best of what they have!!

Now, on a totally different paw,  today is also:

National Take Your Dog To Work Day!!

You can read about that by clicking on the above link…

I have a bone to pick about that too.

I would LOVE to go to work with my Mom and/or Dad but you see, they must have a JOB first!! A JOB!!

Dad retired last summer after 36 years of teaching in the Detroit Public Schools. Mom worked 20+ years in Advertising Sales but lost her latest job due to downsizing in 2007. Mom is now a freelance writer/blogger. Yeah, yeah she puts in TONS of hours doing this (as all of you bloggers completely understand), makes enough to keep me in kibble,  but she works from HOME!  How in the dog world can I go to work with her if I am already THERE 24/7?

Even more insulting, her  “office” is off-limits to me! She has the hallway baby gated!   See the photo below? This is the closest I get to her office:

That’s not even me!! It is merely a stuffed replica!! (And a poor representation at that!) I’m not allowed back there because that is where Mom keeps her partner in crime’s  Cody’s toys.

For all of you “lucky dogs” who get to go to a BONA FIDE WORKPLACE with your Mom and Dad and not some bogus representation of an “office” this video is for you!!!! It was done by Ginger of YouTube and Mom and I LOVE her videos!

Now THAT’S a workin’ Sheltie!

Barks and licks and love, Dakota


Update On “Barney The Escape Artist”

Hi everyone!

Remember when I wrote a week or so ago about my doggie buddy Barney who miraculously escaped from his apartment and ended up over at my house?

If you missed that post you can read about it here



Barney’s Mommy Lynne discovered the screen door on her balcony had a hole in it. Yeah, yeah, I know,  how did she not notice this? Well for whatever reason she didn’t.

I guess a neighbor had heard Barney go PLOP off the balcony. Luckily he landed in the bushes or he could have been quite hurt.

The neighbor tried to get him but he got away from her and to make matters worse, Barney doesn’t like to be picked up.

Lynne has had her screen fixed and Barney hasn’t made any appearances here without his Mommy and thankfully he is safe and sound.

Guess he REALLY wanted to come and visit me, didn’t he?


Smart doggie.

Barks and licks and love, Dakota