Wednesday, November 30, 2011

The Lapdog B&B

Happy (a few words on) Wordless Wednesday!  Over the weekend the Lapdog B&B welcomed another guest... 

Bobby, a 9 week old Great Dane/Lab mix, was adopted by a wonderful family who happened to be away for the weekend, leaving the lovebug needing a place to crash Saturday night.  I'll have more absolutely adorable photos to come as soon as I have time to download them (this boy was so full of love and kisses), but in the meantime these were taken while we were waiting on his family to pick him up (Kelly is still staying here at the Lapdog B&B, looking for her forever home)...

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Tuesday, November 29, 2011

REVIEW: MY DOG! A Kids' Guide to Keeping a Happy & Healthy Pet

MY DOG! A Kids' Guide to Keeping a Happy & Healthy Pet
by Michael J. Rosen
Spiral-bound: 272 pages
Publisher: Workman Publishing Company (October 5, 2011)

MyDog

MY DOG! A Kids' Guide to Keeping a Happy & Healthy Pet is the perfect companion book for every child who has - or wants - a dog, whether it be a brand new puppy or a beloved family member who's been around for years.  Designed for children 8 and up, this guide book meets owner's manual meets scrapbook is both kid-friendly and parent approved. 

Every child wants a dog, but too often than not, they - and their parents - don't understand the responsibilities that come along with adding a new member to their family.  My Dog! teaches the essentials of feeding, grooming and training - all with the sensibilities of an energetic, eager-to-learn child in mind.  My Dog! presents the information in a clear, unintimidating and entertaining manner. The colorful, interactive layout is fun for kids (and kids at heart), keeping their attention and peaking their interest to learn more.  Plus, My Dog! features a customizable cover (slip a photo of the child's own best friend in the die-cut frame), pages for notes, doggy report cards, a pull-out dry erase dog care chart and a full-color guide to 74 dog breeds!

Author Michael J. Rosen explains why it was important for kids to be involved in training their pet... "Dogs and humans are both social creatures, and the more time we spend in each other's company, they more both creatures benefit.  For kids to fully engage with their dog and reap the many rewards of this companionship, they can't simply 'help' with the feeding or walking.  And they certainly can't be subjected to the daily frustrations of 'He keeps pulling!' - 'She got away again!' - 'He won't listen!' - 'She chewed my notebook again!'  Kids need a role in the overall training so that the dog is comfortable, safe and obedient with everyone in the family.  Playing games, grooming and turning the everyday walk into an adventure are more fun ways for the whole family to bond with your dog."

I couldn't agree more with Michael.  Far too often there are issues within families with dogs and children that could be easily prevented and overcome with a little training and understanding.  Every child deserves an obedient best friend and My Dog! helps make that happen. 

About the Author: Michael J. Rosen has written, edited or illustrated several books, including Kids' Best Dog Book, Dogs We Love, Horse People, Fishing with Dad and My Bug.  Many of his anthologies have supported humane efforts through the Company of Animals Fund, which he founded in 1990.  Michael lives in central Ohio with his pack. 

Monday, November 28, 2011

GIVEAWAY WINNERS: Planet Dog On The Go Collection

pd travel bowlThank you to everyone who entered to win items from the Planet Dog On The Go Collection! The 3 lucky winners have been selected by random number generator...

Congratulations to Jen & her NewfiesKathy & her pack and Chan & her girls!  As soon as I get your snail mail addresses, I will get a special bag or bowl off to you!

We hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving!  Now that you've had some time to sit down and relax, don't miss entering to win a $20 gift certificate to jYOUlry.com!  Get a beautiful personalized piece of jewelry for yourself or to give as a gift this holiday season.  There is also a special discount code included for Lapdog Creations readers.

Stay tuned for more reviews and giveaways coming soon...

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Gobble, Gobble

Wishing everyone a Happy Thanksgiving
from the Lapdog household to yours...

4Dogs_101611
Zeus is on the lookout for turkeys...

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Got Loom?

Happy Wordless Wednesday! What a web I'll soon be able to weave...

Cricket

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Thankful

Happy Ten on Tuesday!  Today's topic is Ten Things For Which You Are Thankful.  In no particular order, my list goes a little something like this...
CRoy_7063_MattNic_61911_croppedAgain

1. My other half... He's a wonderful partner and a fabulous doggy Daddy, plus he cooks, sometimes he cleans and he even stained my Cricket loom over the weekend!

2. The Lapdogs... truly the best kids around!  Their love is unconditional and never ending.

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3. Family... immediate and extended.  Although I've lost touch with some, I am at peace with that.  I've finally come to realize that you can not reason with unreasonable people and sometimes it's best to just walk away. 

4. My job... I had an unexpected change earlier this year that was truly be a blessing in disguise. 

Duckies_61105. My true friends... nearby, far away and online.  You are all wonderful and I appreciate you more than you know.

6. Knitting... a hobby that stands the test of time and keeps me sane in this crazy, topsy-turvy world.

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7. Coffee... yes, I run on Dunkins.

8. Wine... it's been quite a 2011 with lots of changes and sometimes you just need a glass bottle.

9. Slow Cookers and Leftovers... we tend to cook enough for leftovers on purpose and there's nothing like coming home to a yummy smelling house and not having to do much except for put dinner on a plate (or in a bowl) after a long day.

10. My Bruins and Tony Stewart... both champions in 2011!

Monday, November 21, 2011

Kelly the "Fuzzy Beagle"

Yes, yes... I know that I still owe everyone a real update and uber-cute photos of Ace, our houseguest from last week.  Those will come shortly, I promise... but in the meantime, meet this week's houseguest, Kelly!

Kelly_112011 Kelly_111911f

Before we picked up the little 12 week old bundle of joy, she was described to me as a "fuzzy beagle" - and that she is.  We know her Mom was a beagle, but aren't sure who Dad was.  I'm guessing she's got some shepherd in her.  Her coat is super soft and fluffy... and yes, her puppy breath is too die for!

Kelly_111911 Kelly_112011c

She's quite the little cuddle bug...

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KellyLola_111911b Matt_Kelly_111911c

Kelly was part of a liter named after "The Office" and Angela, Andy & Toby have all gone to their forever homes.  Little Kelly was the shyest of the bunch, but the Lapdogs sure are helping her overcome that. 

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We're looking forward to finding Kelly her perfect forever home soon... are you interested?

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It was unseasonably warm outside today (probably our last such day until Spring) and Kelly sure did enjoy the warm sunshine.  We thought we'd share a little of the nice weather with you...

Sunday, November 20, 2011

REVIEW & GIVEAWAY: jYOUlry Custom Photo Jewelry

Custom Photo Jewelry Purse Hanger
Where to Find: jYOUlry.com

PurseHook PurseHook4

I recently had the opportunity to review a piece of custom photo jewelry from jYOUlry and I chose the purse hanger.  While at a restaurant in Newport last year, I saw a girl pull one out to hang her purse from a nearby table and thought "hmm, that's a cool little gadget... I've got to get me one of those..."  

PurseHook5The purse hanger is truly a must-have accessory.  It keeps your bag off dirty floors and safely nearby almost anywhere.  Hang it next to you while seated at a restaurant table or in front of you at the bar.  It's even cooler when personalized, but be prepared for the questions and admiration from the waitresses, especially if you've got your furry pack on display (I'm sure the non-furry kids get similar reactions as well)!  Speaking of which, the purse hanger also makes a nice hook for dog items as well. 

When not in use, the hook folds up, making it easy to store inside your purse.  Made from highly polished chrome, the purse hanger features a circle pendant that is customized with any photo or image you choose. A crystal-clear, scratch-resistant resin coating guarantees that your photo remains waterproof.

PurseHook3Purse hangers make fantastic personalized gifts for any occasion.  A truly unique and thoughtful gift, you'll be sure to get a smile from your recipient!  Getting married soon?  They also make fabulous bridal party gifts!

jYOUlry founder Lisa Yaker, a proud Mom of three, wanted to avoid pulling out the dreaded brag book all the time.  Instead she sought a creative way to show off her little jewels, and made a simple photo pendant of her twins.  The response from family and friends was so incredible that she began to make more and research additional photo items... and jYOUlry was born.  Lisa continues to grow her collection and offer us more unique gifts. 

Lisa has been kind enough to offer YOU, Lapdog Creations readers, a 10% discount off anything in her shop!  Simply log onto her website, choose your items and enter the discount code LAPDOG for 10% off your entire order (offer expires 12/31/2011). 

GIVEAWAY! Thanks to Lisa, we've also have a $20 gift certificate to jYOUlry.com to give away to one lucky winner!  The gift certificate will cover the cost of many of the items on her site or you can use it as partial payment towards a more expensive item.  To enter:

1) Follow Lapdog Creations publicly (see "Followers" on the right hand side bar)
2) Visit jYOUlry.com & leave a comment here indicating which item interests you
3) Like the jYOUlry Facebook page & leave a comment here indicating you did so
4) For additional bonus entries, blog, Facebook and/or Tweet about this giveaway (leave a separate comment here saying you did so)

You must complete steps 1 - 3 above to enter. You must be a USA resident to win.
Winner will be selected by random number generator.
Deadline for entries is Tuesday, November 29th at midnight.
 
I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Tomoson.com. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Baby Ace

More photos and a real post to follow, but in the meantime please excuse this fly-by Thorsday/Dogs on Thursday post about the most recent little furball to crash at the Lapdog household...

Meet the tiniest little lovebug ever... Ace! 


Ace is an 11 week old Boston Terrier/Schnauzer mix who loves to cuddle, romp and get belly rubs (treats are a favorite too)! We picked him up to foster on Saturday, then took him to meet friends of ours Sunday night and that was that... they couldn't resist! We dropped Ace off at his forever home on Tuesday night.



Ace is now the baby brother to Simon, who we fostered back in 2007.  Their human sister Bella is thrilled... and I promise uber-cute pictures to come soon!
 

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

GIVEAWAY WINNER: Botanical Animal Flower Essences by Arenus

MellowOutHiRes2009Thank you to everyone who entered to win his/her choice of Botanical Animal Flower Essences by Arenus! The winner has been selected by random number generator...

Congratulations to Chan and her girls!  A bottle of your choice will be on it's way to The Woods shortly! 

Stay tuned for more reviews and giveaways coming soon... 

Monday, November 14, 2011

REVIEW & GIVEAWAY: Planet Dog On The Go Collection

Planet Dog On The Go Collection
Where to Find: Planet Dog
pd travel bowl pd feeding bag

Planet Dog's On The Go Feedbag, Food and Water Bowl and Snack Sack make traveling with your dog both easy and fun!  The popular collection has recently undergone a face lift with bright new colors and additional sizes. 

The On The Go bowls and bags are extraordinary lightweight, collapsible, rollable, stuffable and waterproof.  Designed with transport and storage in mind, they are the perfect travel companion for all of your adventures.

The On The Go Feedbag was modeled after a paddling dry bag and keeps up to 30 cups of kibble fresh.  It's perfect for a weekend getaway.

The Food and Water Bowl provides an easy means for you to quench your pooch's thirst anywhere.  The bowls fold flat when not in use and are available in two sizes, small (holds 1.5 quarts) and large (holds 2.25 quarts). 
pd snack sack

Truly a trainer's best friend, the Snack Sack was inspired by chalk bags carried by rock climbers.  Featuring a drawstring closure, the bag can easily be velcroed or clipped to your belt loop making it perfect for positive training anywhere, anytime. 

The On The Go collection is made of durable poly-canvas with linings made from PU, an eco-friendlier material than PVC.  The collection is offered in four bright, eye-catching colorful stripped patterns: Seaside Blue, Sunset Pink, Harvest Orange and Forest Green.  They retail from $10.95 - $16.95 each. 

Like all of Planet Dog's products, the On The Go collection features a 100% satisfaction guarantee.  In addition, Planet Dog donates 2% of all every purchase to the Planet Dog Foundation to support canine service programs nationwide.  If you've got a dog family on your holiday shopping list this year, the On The Go collection makes a perfect - and thoughtful - gift! 

GIVEAWAY! Thanks to the great folks at Planet Dog, we've got some On The Go items to giveaway to lucky readers!  The number of items we giveaway will be based on the number of entries received.  For up to 10 entries, there will be 1 winner... 11- 15 entries = 2 winners... 16 - 25 entries = 3 winners... 26 - 35 entries = 4 winners... 36+ entries = 5 winners!  So be sure to spread the word and tell all of your friends... after all, the more entries, the more chances you have to win! 

To enter:

1) Follow Lapdog Creations publicly (see "Followers" on the right hand side bar)
2) Leave a comment here indicating your top 3 choices of which On The Go item you'd like to win.  You can also leave a color preference, although color choice can not be guaranteed for prizes.
3) For a bonus entry, Like the Planet Dog page on Facebook (leave a separate comment here saying you did so)
4) For additional bonus entries, blog, Facebook and/or Tweet about this giveaway (leave a separate comment here saying you did so)


You must complete steps 1 & 2 above to enter. You must be a USA resident to win.
Winner(s) will be selected by random number generator.
Deadline for entries is Tuesday, November 22nd at midnight.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Happy Friday

Happy Veteran's Day!  The Lapdogs and I are sending out special woofs to all those who have and/or continue to serve and protect while we get to go about our daily lives and do the things we enjoy.  Thank you.

It sure has been a long week... TGIF!  Doggy parents, don't miss the Arenus Animal Flower Essence giveaway - you can win any one of the formulas you'd like!


Time for a little Fill-Ins...

1. Turkey is yum-o.

2. The peach raspberry pie from Apple Acres Farm is the best.

3. On and on and on we go about a Kardashian failed marriage and whether or not Bieber is a Daddy
Can't we please report real news?

4. The last time I saw my niece Amber was in July... Happy 7th Birthday to her today!.

5. Can you believe Thanksgiving is less than two weeks away - gobble gobble.

6. I need a
clone to help me catch up on reviews, downloading photos, knitting Christmas gifts and work
.


7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to beef stew that's in the slow cooker, tomorrow my plans include the NHMS Road Racing Series banquet and Sunday, I want to get my holiday spirit on with TSO.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

REVIEW: Animals and the Kids Who Love Them

Animals and the Kids Who Love Them
Extraordinary True Stories of Hope, Healing, and Compassion
by Allen & Linda Anderson
Paperback: 224 pages
Publisher: New World Library (November 15, 2011)

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Allen and Linda Anderson are back with another fabulous installment in their collection of books on animal-human relationships.  In Animals and the Kids Who Love Them, the duo showcases stories about children and animal connections that result in courageous and compassionate acts of love and healing.  These stories amaze and inspire as both animals and children overcome tremendous odds to live with basic skills and mobility that most of us take for granted. 

Animals and the Kids Who Love Them is for animal lovers of all ages.  Smile and heal a little as you read the joyous tales, including:
  • Buckwheat, the llama who helped a young girl overcome severe PTSD
  • Simon, the disabled cat who visits inner-city children while they are being tutored
  • Ricochet, a failed service dog who excelled at raising funds for charitable causes by surfing
  • Snazzy, the black pony who helps a boy learn to talk
  • Woodstock, the chicken who helped a highly anxious young girl become emotionally stronger
  • Sparkles, the Dalmatian who teaches fire safety and whose efforts helped children safely escape home fires
Grab yourself a copy of Animals and the Kids Who Love Them, along with your favorite beverage, and spend a fall afternoon curled up in front of the fire.  You won't be disappointed... in fact, you might find yourself running to pick up additional copies to give to friends!  After all, like peanut butter and jelly or milk and cookies, some things just belong together... a boy and his dog; a girl and her horse...

The following is an excerpt from Animals and the Kids Who Love Them.


My Child with Autism and the Dog Who Adores Her
Pam Thorsen, HASTINGS, MINNESOTA

He came on a cold, blustery winter night from the sickbed of her human companion, Dan. My husband and I wanted to be her forever family, but her nervousness led us to believe her heart remained with her best friend. She could no longer stay by Dan’s side. He was moving into a hospice where he could not take her. We were most impressed with her loving attention to him. There obviously had been a special bond between them, and we knew how sad they would be without each other.
She shivered and looked worried. Even though she was only four years old, her little brow creased with what seemed like a permanent wrinkle. She was a German wire-haired pointer, black except for the perfect gray markings of her breed: gray beard, whiskers, and eyebrows, and gray feathered fur from her knees to her feet. Her name was Maya. We lengthened it to Maya Angel Ah, a playful variation on the name of our family’s favorite author and poet, Maya Angelou.
It was weeks before Maya adjusted to our home. At first, she paced a lot and followed me everywhere, seldom relaxing. We soon learned that one of her fears was that she would be left outside. After Dan became terribly ill, he would let her outdoors and then would be unable to get back up to bring her inside. Minnesota winters can be very hard on a shorthaired dog. So although she was perfectly housetrained, when she asked to go out she raced back indoors after doing her business, fearing that she might be forgotten. Her terror was so great that, at first, when she left through the door, she walked backward into the yard, watching to be sure someone would be waiting for her. Light on her feet, Maya dashed in and out so fast that her feet hardly seemed to touch the ground.
When our daughter, Britty, was eighteen, Maya started following her around the house. Britty has autism and Down syndrome, is cognitively age six or seven, and does not have the use of language. Maya and Britty frequently stared into each other’s eyes, and we imagined they were communicating. Their long gazes were a little unusual, because one of the traits of autism is the avoidance of eye contact. But at their first meeting Maya and Britty both did double takes, as if to say, “Hey, I know you.”
Britty’s habit of twirling ribbons and spinning things, another trait of autism, mesmerized Maya, who seemed almost catlike in her fascination with the movement. She often positioned her head beneath whatever Britty twirled and placed her nose on my daughter’s lap. Now that Maya’s wrinkled brow was smoother and she felt more secure, she occasionally swished her tail so that it touched Britty, much to Britty’s delight. Perhaps the dog was reciprocating because of the special connection between them.
An interesting new aspect of Britty’s focused twirling was that it became more purposeful and connected, which is unusual for a child with autism. In the past Britty had twirled objects in order to tune out the world. Now, she started making the twirling into a game to get Maya’s attention. We saw marked improvement in our daughter’s attentiveness to the world around her after she began to interact with Maya.
As Maya grew to love and trust her new family, she adjusted to being in the yard by herself. Tasks in Maya’s day included the daily ritual of seeing that Britty got on the school bus. This dog is not a barker. So, from the middle of the fenced backyard on our corner lot facing the street, as the bus rounded the corner near our house and pulled into the driveway, she would do a perfect hunting point pose by straightening her feathered tail behind her, lifting one back leg off the ground, lengthening her neck, and pointing her nose at the bus. The kids on the bus and the driver loved it. After Britty got on the bus and it drove away, Maya would circle the yard, run into the house at lightning speed, drink thirstily, and fall to the floor, exhausted.
Just before 2:30 in the afternoon, Maya would pop up from one of her dog beds or the couch and run to the door, knowing full well that her sister was due to come home. She would race around the yard when the bus came, then switch from high gear to low, matching Britty’s slow pace as she walked from the bus to the backyard gate, which opened automatically to let them in our yard.
Maya never left Britty’s side when the two of them were outdoors. If Britty was on the swing, Maya lay beneath it. We found it amazing that the dog never got bumped or hit by the swing. If Britty played on the patio, Maya stretched out in the sun beside her. If Britty moved to the middle of the yard or onto the porch, Maya traveled by her side.
Inside, when Britty watched television shows or DVDs, Maya offered her companionship. Even though there was barely enough room for one of them in the window seat of Britty’s room, Maya snuggled next to our daughter while she listened to music. We gave up trying to get Britty to stop giving scraps from the table at dinnertime to Maya, who fit perfectly under my daughter’s chair, where she waited for the treats. Britty gave food to Maya with one hand while watching us peripherally. And of course, Maya always slept in bed with Britty.
The most comforting symbol of their connection and Maya’s sensitive nature appeared when Britty would occasionally fall ill or otherwise not feel well. We knew right away if Britty was sick, because Maya stayed on the floor next to her bed and not in the bed. With her kind and gentle spirit, she seemed to know to let Britty have the bed to herself. But her furry, wrinkled brow remained exactly an arm’s length away from Britty’s tiny hand.
We are grateful for the nurturing love Maya Angel Ah gives Britty. We thought we were doing the rescuing when Dan could no longer keep her. But she has added an amazing dimension to our family as our daughter’s constant companion. The changes we have noticed since Maya became part of our family include Britty’s better eye contact and more focused attention, as well as the conversations we now have with our daughter. Britty even has a certain new skip to her step that we attribute to Maya’s devotion. In fact, we are all skipping since Maya Angel Ah came into our lives.

Meditation: When a family needs canine intervention, how can a dog contribute to their hopefulness? Has a pet’s devotion made a difference in your life?

Excerpted from the book, Animals and the Kids Who Love Them. Copyright © 2011 by Allen and Linda Anderson. Reprinted with permission from New World Library.

Wednesday, November 09, 2011

Until They All Have a Home

Happy Wordless Wednesday!  While wishing really hard for our power to be restored last week, I was surprised with a little belated birthday box from Jessi.  How sweet is this bracelet?!  I absolutely love it. Of course she also sent treats for my pack (because you all know that none of us ever sends a box without something for the four-legged babies), but I'll save those photos for later... 

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Tuesday, November 08, 2011

Foster Updates

I always say that fostering is bittersweet, but the most rewarding part (after helping a pooch get to his or her forever home, of course) is getting photos and updates of our fosters from their families. 

I just received this photo of Sophie (formerly known as Sookie) from her family in Vermont.  I can't believe how tall she's gotten!

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Sophie's Mom & Dad report that she loves to go hiking and when she's not running around with her brother Murphy, she's waiting for her Dad to sit down so she can jump up in his lap to watch TV.

Skipper's Mom also sent a couple of recent shots... and boy is he getting big quick!

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Speaking of foster babies, you may recall that we got to steal babysit little miss Rosie for a week at the end of August when her Mom was on vacation.  I still need to upload those photos (yes, I'm behind... are you surprised?), but here's a couple to make you smile in the meantime...

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I hope you've enjoyed my cuteness overload today as much as I have... I'm itching for another dose of foster puppy breath soon!

Monday, November 07, 2011

GIVEAWAY: Botanical Animal Flower Essences by Arenus

Flower Essences
Where to Find: Arenus

MellowOutHiRes2009 ArenusLogo

One Lucky Winner Will Receive his/her choice
of Botanical Animal Flower Essences by Arenus

"Considering your pet’s emotional and behavioral health is a key component of his overall well being. Like humans, pets experience stress. Prolonged stress impairs pet’s ability to fight off illnesses and infections. In addition, behavior problems in dogs are often related to underlying emotional factors. A shelter dog entering a new home or a pet experiencing the loss of a loved one may feel sadness and withdraw. Multiple pets in the same household can lead to jealousy and selfish behavior, fighting over attention or toys."

"Botanical Animal Flower Essences can calm pets and reduce emotional stress. The specialized infusions of various blossoms work synergistically to help address the common situations that affect all our animals at one time or another throughout their lives: Trauma, stress, abandonment, loss of a loved one, aggression, insecurity and others. Arenus makes 14 different blends of Botanical Animal Flower Essences and each is issue-specific, to address the various emotional conditions that are keeping your pet from enjoying more happy moments."

I am thrilled to host another giveaway from Arenus that will benefit the health and well being of your four-legged family members. We do everything we can for our pets, but sometimes it's a long road, or even a losing battle, when it comes to negative effects from environmental issues.  With Flower Essences we can get a little help from mother nature to manage many of those environmental stress issues that affect so many pets.

To enter this giveaway:

1) Visit Arenus.com and pick one of the 14 blends you’d like to win

2) Leave a comment below indicating your blend of choice

3) For an extra chance to win, follow the @ArenusPet Twitter account, and let us know you’re following in a separate comment.

4) For an additional extra chance to win, follow LapdogCreations publicly (see "Followers" on the right hand side bar) and leave a separate comment saying that you do. If you are already a follower, just leave a comment stating so.

Deadline: This giveaway closes November 13, 2011 at midnight. The winner will be announced here on this blog.

Restrictions: One winner will be selected at random among all entries using random.org. This giveaway is open to readers in the US only. Winner will be notified via email that they have won and will be asked to provide an address to where they would like their prize sent. Winner will have 48 hours to respond. If winner does not respond within 48 hours, an alternate winner will be chosen.

Thank you to Arenus for providing Lapdog Creations
with this fabulous giveaway offer for our readers!