Maine Coon Alerts Couple to Lethal Levels of Carbon Monoxide

Gracie the cat from Wisconsin“We were definitely saved by Grace. Saved by Gracie,” says Annette Shanahan about their cat. Annette and her husband owe their lives to their eight-year-old Maine Coon mix and aren’t afraid to admit it.

One night this past February, Annette and her husband, Kevin, were sleeping in their home in Reedsburg, Wisconsin while a silent killer filled their bedroom. According to ABC News, Annette woke up and thought she was having a heart attack. She felt confused and told reporters, “I wasn’t in the presence of mind to even tell my husband.”

Although Annette got out of bed, she unfortunately then fell asleep in a nearby chair. Thankfully, one of their three cats, Grace (or Gracie as they often call her) knew something was wrong. “Gracie started pounding at the door. Pounding loud. She was really pounding. Our house is 120 years old so the door rattles,” shared Annette.

Read more about Gracie the Main Coon mix.

Halo Pets

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Individual Mexican Style Layer Dips

Individual Mexican Style Layer Dips
Individual Mexican Style Layer Dips

Cinco de Mayo is next week, and while this holiday is actually a commemoration marking Mexico’s victory over the French at the Battle of Puebla way back in 1862, here in the U.S. the date has become more of a celebration of Mexican-American culture, music, and food. And we all know that I have a profound love for (okay, maybe even a slight obsession with) Mexican-inspired cuisine. So I say that a day that includes consuming it (along with other delights like fresh Margaritas; yes please) as a form of fiesta is something pretty freaking wonderful, and I always find a way to take advantage.

In preparation for a little Cinco de Mayo gathering, I decided to put together a recipe for one of my favorite Mexican-American snacks (7 layer dip) in a way that was a little more party-friendly in terms of serving than a big old casserole dish. I also wanted to make it (just a tiny bit) healthier by switching out a few ingredients in exchange for others (but I’ll get to that in a minute). These individual layer dips are so easy to make, incredibly delicious, and they look pretty too.

Individual Mexican Style Layer Dips
Individual Mexican Style Layer Dips
Individual Mexican Style Layer Dips

Serves 6

INGREDIENTS

1-1/2 cups Rojo’s Salsas (I like to use 2; usually Homestyle and Restaurant Style, or their new Organic Traditional)
1 can (16 oz) vegetarian refried beans
1 large ripe avocado
1 cup plain Greek yogurt
1/2-1 cup cheddar cheese, shredded
6-8 black olives, slicked
small bunch green onions, sliced
a few pieces of cilantro
chili powder
cumin
salt
2-3 limes

In a small bowl, mix the refried beans with chili powder, cumin, and a little salt to taste. In another small bowl, make the guacamole by mashing up the avocado in a bowl with a couple dashes of salt and some fresh squeezed lime juice. Now start layering! Set out 6 medium sized glasses and evenly divide the beans, followed by the guacamole, the Greek yogurt, and the Rojo’s Salsa. Top that with a sprinkle of cheese, some black olives, and some green onion slices. Then sprinkle on a little chili powder and a squeeze of lime on the top of each glass, and garnish with cilantro and a tortilla chip. Fiesta in a glass!

Individual Mexican Style Layer Dips
Individual Mexican Style Layer Dips
Individual Mexican Style Layer Dips

In addition to the fact this layer dip is perfect for celebrations (and let’s face it, cuter and more fun too) because of the individually sized servings, it’s also healthier than traditional 7-layer dips, which are loaded with sour cream, cheese, and salt. Swapping out sour cream for plain Greek yogurt not only makes for a creamier, more flavorful dip, it also increased the protein and cuts back on the calories. I also like to use shredded cheese as more of a garnish than a layer. Cheddar is a great choice because the flavor is strong so you need less. And I always choose Rojo’s Salsas because they are made with premium, fresh-cut ingredients in small batches with, and are refrigerated instead of jarred. It’s no secret that, like Mexican inspired food, I’m a big fan of Rojo’s. (Two of my favorite recipes use their salsas – Healthy Southwestern Stuffed Sweet Potatoes and Vegan Black Bean and Salsa Soup.) We grow tomatoes in our summer container gardens and I used to make salsa with them all the time – but now I just buy Rojo’s. They taste just as fresh and even more delicious than our home grown salsas, and (major bonus) all I have to do is open the container.

Are you doing anything to celebrate Cinco de Mayo this year? If you’re making a special dish for it, I’d love to hear your recipe!

This post is in partnership with Rojo’s Salsa. Thank you for supporting the brands that help make Bubby and Bean possible.

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Bubby and Bean ::: Living Creatively

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Girls In the Desert

When we were in Arizona a couple of weeks ago, we decided to head out to our favorite place to explore and take photos. It’s a piece of unoccupied land in the Sonoran desert not far from Robbie’s parent’s house in Scottsdale, and while it’s admittedly surrounded by the obvious civilization of the city, it feels completed secluded when you’re there. We go there every year to snap pictures (usually for outfit posts but also for fun), and this year Essley wanted to come with us. We’ve been trying to teach her about nature and the environment, and this seemed like a great way for her to learn about a completely different type of ecosystem than what she’s used to where we live, while also having some fun. (We also have a cool Earth Day inspired project stemming from this photoshoot; stay tuned for more on that in a couple of weeks.)

We were planning to go out to dinner that night so I was already sort of dressed up (for me, anyway), and while the photos we took weren’t purposely for an outfit post, it kind of turned out that way. And funny enough, Essley and I were not intentionally dressed alike. I know, I know – that seems impossible, considering how similar the dresses appear in these photos. But it’s true. In person, the pieces are quite different – mine is a fabric-heavy, super flowy, sort-of-bell sleeve woven fabric dress with a lot of embellishment, and Essley’s is a simple jersey knit cotton jumper dress. The patterns are also not that alike in person, but in the photos they’re almost identical. We didn’t realize how much we appeared to be twinning until we looked back through the photos. Essley and I don’t often do the mommy and me dress alike thing, but I think I might kind of like it…

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Posing for pictures with Ess is always fun – we love to get silly when we do it and there is a whole lot of laughing (and seriously awkward outtakes). But the best part was seeing how excited she was about the details of the desert – the plants, the land, even the way the sun was setting. I call it “her wonder” and it is genuinely the best thing ever, you guys.

ON MELISSA Dress: Knox Rose  |  Bracelet: c/o Lucky  |  Earrings: H&M  |  Sunglasses: H&M  |  Boots: c/o Trask   ON ESSLEY Dress: H&M  |  Sandals: c/o Bobux (use code BEAN25 for 25% off!)  |  Sunglasses: Target  

We took some other photos on a different day (without Essley that time) in one of my new favorite casual (as if I wore anything else) outfits that I’ll share soon. And that will probably conclude my outfit posts for the year knowing my track record but hey, it’s a fun change for a non-fashion blog, right?

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Jwoww Plastic Surgery Before And After

Jennifer Lynn “Jenni” Farley was born on 27, Feburary, 1986 in Franklin Square, New York. She is famously known as Jwoww. She is a Television personality. She was one of the main cast of reality series Jersey Shore. And played a prominent member in Snooki and Jwoww. She made appearances on shows including Disaster Date, […]



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Sunflower Faith

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Mickey

Micky, a 4 month old Shiba Inu, safely tethered whilst his owners enjoy lunch at Le Petit Port in Menton.
RIVIERA DOGS

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damn dog

That’ll be carved into my tombstone. 
I always found it to be a cosmic irony that I was the guy picked for this job if that’s even the right word for describing my life’s mission.  But trust me this was not the path that I chose for myself.  
Today is the anniversary of when I lost Malcolm – he was a gift from an ex from some distant land some distant time ago.  I didn’t know a damn thing about dogs back then other than I didn’t want one.  I worked 12 hours a day times 7. I was the chairman of this, the director of that… the creator and entrepreneur and my life didn’t lend itself to distractions.
And that’s what a dog was to me. A distraction.  
You see Malcolm & me was no easy thing.  He balked when I wanted him to obey and for six long months he and I were at war.  I didn’t know back then but I believe now he was fighting for my soul. 
And isn’t that the lesson?  No spirit should be secondary.  Not to anyone or because of anything.  
It’s been a decade since lung mets sent him into congestive heart failure and Malcolm died in my arms.  It was an inglorious death to a giant and only those who understand, understand.  
damn dog. i miss you. damnit. 
YBD’s Notes: What better way to celebrate Malcolm’s life than by damning him. I’m quite certain he would’ve done the same about me.  He was a beautiful boy.  

2 Dogs 2000 Miles

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Midnight with Murphy

I should’ve been fasting these past 10 days out in the hinterlands of Tennessee.  All alone in my trusty tent starving myself of sustenance in order to achieve some greater clarity, understanding and context that occasionally is lost to me.  Heck I was packed up and ready to head out and then something stopped me.  Can’t say what for sure – but the cascade of events set in motion since have been nothing short of metamorphic.   
Recently, I met a man who showed me another way and for the past two weeks I’ve been doing some serious transcendental shit; acupuncture, chanting, Reiki and sensory deprivation (not like Altered States – I’m already a beast of a man but more internal, intrinsic).    If I didn’t know better I’d think I’d been smoking some serious Humboldt county style Boo-Ya.  Yes, yes I got a PhD in weed on the west coast.  
Sure, I’ve acknowledged the possibility and potential of and even dabbled in these Eastern type practices but never personally, truly, and profoundly have I explored them.  And now I’m down in it.  
So where is it going to take me?  What’s the endpoint of it all?  To this, I am as yet uncertain.  But here’s what I have learned thus far on this new path.
The Fallacy of ‘What Should Happen Should Happen’
I was never any good at Logic – not the concept or application of it – but in the scholastic sense and  as a subset of philosophy.  So in attempting to make sense of the sequence of events that led me here to this time and place – I made up this fallacy which is basically the basis of flawed logic. 
People often ask me why did you walk those thousands of miles.  Oh sure, I’ve got a pocket full of reasons.  The fun, flippant one – everything is bigger in Texas and when we lose a dog to cancer down there we don’t walk around a park, we walk cross country.  Then I’ve got the media sound bite version – sharing Malcolm and Murphy’s story from town to town to raise awareness of the epidemic of canine cancer. I’ve got many more but you get the point.  
Perhaps they are all truths or variations of the same one but for me it’s because I believed walking from Austin to Boston would help heal my loss of Malcolm, to soothe my savage heart. And then within weeks of the final mile, Murphy was diagnosed and, well, most of you know the rest of that story.   
And so I walked another 1,700 miles doubling down on the belief that THAT would heal me.   
You see the fallacy in this logic?  That because I believed it should, it should’ve.  But it didn’t.  
Luke 4:23
You know, it’s commonly thought that the origin of my name is ‘light giving’ and the best known example of it is the apostle Paul’s traveling companion and doctor.  This proverb – I had to look that up since, um, well I usually skipped Bible study in search of less pious pursuits shall we say – in Latin reads cura te ipsum  - ‘Physician heal thyself’ something that’s been a bit of an impossibility for me it seems.  
I suppose my post-facto rationalization has always been – I never spare myself any emotion for Malcolm and Murphy no matter how painful.  I can endure it.  Just like so many nights on the road and asea, I can weather this storm.  But I have suffered so.  
Self-imposed or not.  
Disconnection
Back to this newfound friend of mine, whom I barely even know. He showed me that pain can be a way to separate yourself from others.  To disconnect from them.  Furthermore, he said that people like me unknowingly use tragedy to spare themselves from the need and necessity of love and letting others in.  
I’m not sure if I believe all of his bullshit yet – but hey, I’m listening.    You see, it’s one thing to turn tragedy into action – oh, I’ve done that and then some.  It’s quite another thing to allow that experience to truly transform you.  And it’s here I find myself at this intersection.   
Life Off Road
Not to put too fine a point on it but I’ve become a bit of an expert on backpacking the byways, highways, back roads and farm roads of this incredible land of ours.  But take me off and away from it and I tend to fall apart.  Perhaps it’s because I’m always in pursuit of an idea, a belief, a cause – our cause – that remains elusive to me.  Or maybe it’s as simple as finding sedentary existence unsettling and like Carthamus I’m damned to a life of wandering and wondering.   
And while I have been pretty good at chronicling and sharing my journeys on the road with you, I’ve been decidedly deficit in talking about it off, especially post west coast.  From now on, that will change.  I won’t let fear, doubt, uncertainty, darkness or utter despair disconnect me from you again.  
In part because some of you have said to me you find the latter much more inspiring and relatable if not essential than the former.  And in part because my new friend tells me to.  
That and I need a simpler formula for existence.  I live.  I learn.  I write.  Something like that… just less cheesy and Julia Roberts sounding.  
Postscripts
Two blogs in draft right now (1) On Turning 36 – My travels and adventurin’ have taken their toll on Yer Big Dog so I lick my wounds and tell tales about it; (2) The Theory of Cancer – lately my thinking has gotten so abstract and theoretical about the evolution of cancer. Where is it going and how can that affect our thinking about the future of therapeutics? On societal and civil re-engineering?  Reflections on my conversations with thought leaders and a whole host of other ideas – this will definitely be a multi-part project. 
There are more… lots more but I’m attempting to do a better job of prioritizing my crazy.
——–

YBD’s Notes 1: The name of this blog has a special meaning to me.  Back when I was a businessman in Texas I would often take Malcolm up to my office in the evenings and that inspired a series of writings I entitled Midnight with Malcolm.  Dunno what the change denotes quite yet…

YBD’s Notes 2: I stuff hyperlinks in my blogs if’n anyone wants to learn more about things that fascinate me but be forewarned – logic will make yer eyes water.  

YBD’s Notes 3: Upon further reflection ‘What Should Happen Should Happen’ SHOULD be a fallacy. Oh boy.

YBD’s Notes 4: Coincidentally, whilst recently consolidating all of my scant worldly possessions from around the country, I found this photo of me taken at the blessing of my childhood home.  I’ve seen too much of this world in this life to believe in coincidences.  Thanks to my sister-in-law Linda for preserving it.  Nice bowl cut, Mom
YBD’s Notes 5:  I should choose a name for my new friend – he’s not imaginary.  I Promise.  At least in my mind.  In this room.  That’s white.  And padded.  

YBD’s Notes 6: Perhaps it’s still too early for me to write – no, I’m always doing that – to publish about these transcendental, metaphysical experiences and experiments.  But hey, at least I’m rounding again.  

2 Dogs 2000 Miles

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Rain

Naples – Market shopping in the rain.
RIVIERA DOGS

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Happy Easter!

Wishing you and yours the happiest and most blessed Easter, from all of us at doggies.com and breeders.net. May the bunny be good to you.


Doggies.com Dog Blog

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Win a DogTuff ID Tag for #NationalPetIDWeek – 3 winners!

The statistics about lost pets are terrifying: one in three pets will become lost in their lifetime. April’s National Pet ID Week draws attention to the need to ID your dog, in case he should…



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DogTipper

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