Jurassic Bark

My sister called me up in a panic the other day because her dog Kiwi got into some of her food. Kiwi had gotten into some leftover chocolate chips that had been left out on the counter. Luckily, they were milk chocolate and she only ate a few, and she is doing just fine! But that got me thinking about all the things that our dogs cannot eat. Some of these are actually really dangerous for our dogs to get into.

We all do our best to keep these things out of reach for our dogs, but these guys are sneaky and sometimes things just happen! If your pet does get into these, contact your veterinarian and poison control. They can help talk you through the appropriate medical steps to help protect your dog! If you are ever concerned, seek emergency medical care.

Here are some common foods that our dogs cannot have!

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via huffington post

In our house, there are certain “rules” we follow to help prevent our dogs from getting into these foods!

Chocolate // Any and all chocolate, especially baking chocolate, is kept up on the top shelf in the pantry. Our dogs are creative and know where we keep our food. This is a pre-caution in case we left it open or they get the door open!

Grapes and Raisins // One of my professors told me to keep grapes and raisins out of the house completely- no if, ands, or buts about it. This is because we don’t know how/why these affect the kidneys but because just one single grape or raisin can cause kidney failure, which is incredibly scary! Definitely keep these as far away from your pets as possible!

Xylitol // This is an ingredient found commonly in sugar-free gum and even some peanut butter! This is a deadly ingredient to our pets! Make sure to check your gum and candy ingredients to avoid bringing this into your house.

Cooked bones // Bones are scary because they can splinter and break and can cause lacerations or holes to the GI tract. Avoid giving your pets any of your left over turkey or chicken bones to help prevent this. We also take all leftover trash from food like turkey and chickens to the trash can in the garage that the dogs cannot get into.

Medications // We keep all medications in a medicine cabinet high up in the kitchen. Avoid tossing medications into your purse, bag, or backpack that may be left within your pet’s reach. I have no idea why they enjoy chewing the plastic cap and eating 30 Advil or whatever they got into, but they do! Keeping our medications away from our pets can help to prevent an overdose or their harmful side effects. Many of our medications are processed differently with severe side effects!

I hope these help you protect your dogs!

House Update 

Being home so much these last two weeks, my mom and I spent much of our time finalizing plans for the house. I have a hard time making a final decision. I get down to two options and get stuck most of the time. It’s hard making sure that everything matches and looks good together to avoid a hodge podge look.

This week we spent time finalizing the kitchen cabinets. This was way harder than I thought. You have to pick what type of cabinet you want where, whether you want draws or cabinets and what size cabinet. It was really hard for me to visualize the kitchen and flow of the space to help pick out the type of cabinet. I relied heavily on Joe, who helped us design it. Then, you have to finalize the color and style of the cabinet. We didn’t get to pick the cabinet I really wanted because it was way to expensive, but I am happy with the cabinet we settled on. Then, there’s the hardware for the cabinets, whether you want knobs or pulls and then what type and color hardware. If you pick a pull, you have to then determine the size you want. It’s all extremely overwhelming.

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We now have the final plans for the kitchen, plus or minus me changing my mind on the color. I was starting at them in my room and Diz decided I needed help  that or she decided she was bored of watching me stare at them and fell asleep on them.

We went and walked through the house again. It’s hard because not much is changing right now. I don’t tend to get super excited when it comes to electric outlets and insulation. But we went at the perfect time of night and watched the sun set out on the upstairs balcony. It was gorgeous.

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Our last major task of the week is to check out countertops. I want to see what we picked for the kitchen again and we have to pick a top of the master bathroom. Hopefully, it will be an easy decision. Otherwise I’m going to start going gray soon!

Comfort Food

I’m lucky to have this weird rotation where I only have two days on and then a five day weekend. It has been fantastic because Tuesday is the new Friday and I have four Saturdays! I have been home at my parents house just lounging around with Dizzy with nothing that needs to get done. It is so nice just to relax and spend time doing whatever we want. We have spent hours lounging on the sofa reading in front of the fire place.

What has not been so fun these last weeks is all this rain. I have so much free time that cannot be spent outdoors. Dizzy acts like sponge and absorbs any water within five feet of her. And she never drys! These cold and rainy days have had me craving some comfort food. I convinced my mom to make me Hungry Jack Casserole which is something from my child hood that we never have anymore. It takes almost no time to make which is a plus in our house!


Here’s the recipe!

Ingredients:
1. One pound of ground beef
2. 20oz can of baked beans (we use maple flavored)
3. 1/2 cup of barbecue sauce
4. 1/4 of yellow onion, minced
5. 8 Flaky biscuits
6. 1 cup of shredded cheddar cheese

Steps:
1. Pre-heat the oven to 375 degrees
2. Brown the ground beef and drain the grease
3. Cook the onion until its translucent, about 5 minutes
4. Combine the ground beef, onion and baked beens until warm, about 5 minutes
5. Transfer stove-top ingredients to a 8×8 casserole dish
6. Cut the biscuits in half of keep the full sized and cover the baked beans mixture and top the biscuits with as much cheese as you would like!
7. Cook in the oven until the biscuits are golden brown, about 25-30 minutes

I cooked all my ingredients on the stove in an oven safe pan (I love my Le Creuset pan) so it was one less pan to clean! It takes about fifteen minutes to prep and about twenty-five minutes to bake!

My Reading List

A goal of mine for the new year was to read more books. Over these past few months, I have made a list of the books I wanted to read. Anything I came across that looked good, I wrote down on my phone for when I had time because I was spending all my time studying for my board exam (which I found out I passed last week!!). I finally went to the bookstore this weekend! I figured it would be easy to pick a few books to get, but boy was I wrong. My list was so much longer than I realized, and I got distracted as soon as I walked in the door! I ended up with a few books on my list and a few books I had no idea existed yet!
I love to read any book that can hold my grasp, non-fiction, fiction, romance, self-help. If a book doesn’t pull me in quickly, I have a really hard time reading it. And if I am too tired to read, the book begins to fall off my radar as I fall asleep reading it every night. It is so hard to figure out where I am in the book because I never stop at the end of a chapter or the end of a page. I end up just putting the book away and never finish it. It enters my book grave yard.

I try really hard to be my own judge when it comes to different books. I take reviews into account, but will read a book that got bad reviews anyway if I think I might like it. I also do not like the FOMO of not being caught up on current books when chatting with friends!

At the end of a long day at work, I want an easy to read book that can take my mind away from everything- all the to-do lists, drama, and stress of the day. But, on the flip side, I tend to get way to absorbed by books and find myself reading way into the night. I have to set a timer and actually go to bed for some books, being my own parent.

Here are some books I cannot wait to read!

Hopefully, I can tackle my list and get caught up!

Bittersweet Endings

This week has been extremely bittersweet. For school, we are required to spend a certain time in both small and large animal services. This past week was my last week out at our large animal hospital. Our large animal hospital is about an hour from Philadelphia, so it makes it a little harder for us who live in Philly and not out in Kennet Square. There are dorms for us on campus that are super convenient, but the dorm life is not for me.

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I grew up riding horses, which was always my favorite time of the week. I rode on my college team and competed in IHSA. The last time I rode was on Buddy, the guy above, and he dumped me so hard on fence six of nine. My mom made me promise to not ride again until I graduated school which is now only five months away!

Being around horses again has been extremely relaxing. The stressful part of the week comes when interacting with the other animals we see, the goats, cows, pigs, and sheep. We learn about how to treat these guys in school, but its the handling part that is the most difficult. Many of these animals have not been handled much and their treatments end up as a group ordeal.

When I am out there, I began to feel completely comfortable, and I begin to change my mind on what I want to do in the future. I feel like I should totally switch from dogs and cats to horses. Which sounds crazy to my friends and family! I love the idea of being in a large animal hospital setting and less into the idea of being an ambulatory vet and driving around from place to place (which is where most people end up). I just love the fresh air and being around these big magnificent animals.

I spent my mornings here watching the sunrise. Every morning I would stand at the end of the first barn and wait for the sun. What I enjoyed the most, was how every morning was different and each was beautiful. My phone is filled with picture after picture. As much I would have enjoyed some extra sleep, those early mornings were worth it!

What I Am Listening To

I have been driving a lot more recently. Normally, I never drive anywhere because my brother takes the car home on the weekends, and if we are driving to or from home, he is the one that is driving. My rotation is currently out at our large animal hospital, which is about an hour from school, even though the school says it is 40 min which would only happen if every light is green and there were no other cars on the road. I have been driving from Philly most days to get there and back instead of staying in the dorms out there. It is not the most practical choice (seeing as I have to be at school by 5:45am), but I love coming home, laying on the sofa with my brother’s dog, and sleeping in my own bed.


I usually love to listen to music while I drive, and I am fortunate to have Sirius Radio in my car. The Morning Mashup on Hits 1 usually keeps me entertained, but I have recently started to get bored of music, something I never thought I would ever say. When I listen to Spotify, I find myself just hitting next after the first minute of a song and before I know it I am through my playlist.

This led me to start listening to Podcasts while I drive, and I found my answer, The TED Hour Radio. These are conversations and parts of TED talks about a certain subject matter. The show’s are about one hour, which is my commute time. When I listen to them on my way to school, I feel myself more inspired for the day ahead of me. I can’t wait to get back in the car, something that I never say, and make the drive because the talks help you to think in other ways or about things you try to avoid. I have even found myself listening to the whole TED talk when I get home.

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If you have never listened to a TED talk, I highly recommend it. You can find a topic on just about anything. The speakers are so moving, it’s incredible. The people who give them have done incredible life changing things. The TED Hour Radio I listened to today talked about a town in England called Todmorden that has planted vegetables around that are for everyone to eat and take as they need! This has spread to many other towns around the area as well. Or about Crisis and Response about a storm on Mt Everest (related to the book Into Thin Air). Or about Hidden things we find like a mythical 180 degree river that flows in South America that actually exists.

There is also an NPR podcast called Embedded that goes into depth about current news articles that I am excited to try in the upcoming weeks. I am excited to keep this going and to continue to learn about what is going on in the world around me!

Snow Much Fun this Weekend

Well, I think winter has finally begun. The weather decided to drop just as I moved out to the large animal hospital where I spend almost all day outside. There is no amount of jackets, boots, gloves, and hats that can keep be warm enough outside. It is also really hard to do treatments and handle horses when you feel like a giant marshmallow. I spend so much time taking my jacket and gloves on and off, and I also have a hard time hearing what’s going on with ear warmers. The other morning it was 11 degrees outside!

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When it snowed this weekend, I was happy to be in Philly and not trapped out in Kennet. One of my favorite things is playing with the dogs in the snow because they love it so much. Unfortunately, Dizzy has been at home with my parents because I didn’t know how much time I would spend in Philly, and I didn’t want to add to my brother’s workload. So, I took Oakley to a nearby field and played with him outside. He loved it! He plays fetch non-stop and carries that frozen ball in his mouth. Oakley never seems to get tired while you are playing with him. He brings that ball back and tosses it at your feet!

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All this snow really makes we want to go skiing. I haven’t been since I started graduate school which was the week I found out I was accepted. I cannot wait to go for a long weekend once I graduate. I may need to take a lesson or two because it has been so long!! I hope we get some more snow, maybe on a week day so we get a snow day or when Dizzy is around.