5 Everyday Dog Moments You Should Be Having

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of The J.M. Smucker Company. The opinions and text are all mine.

Do you have these 5 everyday dog moments you should be having? It's not too late to start! And you can earn $2 with Ibotta on Milk-Bone Farmer's Medley. #ad

For the full story, you can read it HERE. My husband, Cassidy, had been casually (or not casually) perusing photos of dogs in need of rescue and he fell in love with a young Husky/Basenji mix puppy who had a rough start to her life. Luckily through a wonderful rescue organization and foster family experience, he went to pick Athena up in Vermont one chilly morning a few years ago. We thought he was at work. Both kids were sick. Cassidy suddenly pulled into the driveway, ran into the house, and called for me to get my camera to photograph a supposed dent on his car. There was no dent. He was not at work.

Luckily I had my camera ready even though I had no idea what was about to change.

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And that is how we became rescue pet owners. The process was similar when we got our cat, although not as surprising since I was in on it. We have found the greatest love in our dog Athena, and we are so thankful every day that we rescued her, and she rescued us too. We have incredible times with her in the garden, and with snuggling, and at our town’s wonderful and adventurous dog park. Our eight-year-old takes an active part in her and training, and our five-year-old is amazing with Athena too. We are now avid rescue pet owners and supporters. We took a chance on her and she took one on us.

How do we pamper her and show her love? So many ways! For one, we buy her pretty awesome treats. I picked up Milk-Bone Farmer’s Medley at Walmart recently, and they were such a hit, I had to try all the flavors for Athena. Her favorite?

Milk-Bone Farmer’s Medley Grain Free with Turkey & Pumpkin Biscuits

I’m excited that Milk-Bone Farmer’s Medley introduced such high quality treats. These treats have no fillers, corn, artificial preservatives or flavors. They make our dog moments even better. Athena was our first pet as a family of four, and she’s sat back patiently while we’ve since adopted Juniper, and 11 chickens. It occurred to me recently that I should be making sure I never take our time together for granted. It can be hectic and busy around here, but I need to always make time for my Athena. It’s important not to miss these dog moments.

5 Everyday Dog Moments You Should Be Having:

1 – One-on-one, PRESENT time. Just like with your kids, even if a dog has a different capacity for understanding, they do know when you’re fully with them, and not on your phone or watching TV. Even if it’s just snuggling. It’s enough.

2 – Go for a ride in the car! My childhood dog would freak out if you said “car” so we had to switch it to “ride in the car” and she would go berserk! It was the best feeling saying it to her, and then of course, taking her for a ride in the car!

3 – High quality dog treats. This probably goes without saying, if you know me, but it really matters. And they know! I suggest Milk-Bone Farmer’s Medley for the high-quality treats.

Do you have these 5 everyday dog moments you should be having? It's not too late to start! And you can earn $2 with Ibotta on Milk-Bone Farmer's Medley. #ad

4 – Find that special scratch spot. You’ll know it when you find it, if you haven’t already. For Athena, it’s her armpits! I’m not sure they’re called “armpits” on dogs, but all I know is that she LOVES when I scratch them. It’s so awesome.

5 – Extra play time. Show your love with those everyday dog moments of play. Make up your own games, follow your dog’s lead, and see what happens. My kids make up elaborate games with Athena, and she’s always a willing participant.

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What’s your favorite thing to do with your dog everyday?

How to Love Your Cats Back With Meow Mix

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of The J.M. Smucker Company. The opinions and text are all mine.

Does your cat love you? Of course! Love your cat back by giving her Meow Mix foods and treats! Get this GREAT Ibotta offer for up to $1.50 off! #ad #MeowMix

I think it’s safe to say that my cat, Juniper, loves me!

I always staunchly stated that I was simply NOT a cat person, nor would I ever be one. I have always preferred dogs and their obvious friendliness and complete willingness to do anything fun and/or snuggly. Never did I realize that a beautiful grey and white cat would slip into our house (after being handpicked by Scarlet at the shelter) and then slip into my heart. Subtly. It wasn’t instant, but what amazing things ever develop instantly? When I work, she snuggles next to my foot in my office.

I’d have to have a heart of stone not to love her back, considering the way she loves me. She sleeps on my knees on the coldest of days, and lies on the cool floor in front of me on the hottest of days. Juniper follows me EVERYWHERE I go, and waits patiently for me on the bathroom floor while I shower. She greets me in the morning with a chirpy meow and rises herself on two legs to feel a good head scratch from my fingers. What can I say, except that it’s total love. Mutual love!

So how do I give back to the cat who gives me everything she’s got? Simple! Meow Mix from Walmart!

Meow Mix

We are a Meow Mix family, through and through. It’s because it has great taste (just ask Juniper) and it’s high quality – made with wholesome ingredients and the irresistible taste that will show your cat that you love her back. I am especially impressed with their great selection among different textures and flavors, including Bistro Rotisserie Chicken Flavor dry food, Tuna and Shrimp Lovers wet food, and Brushing Bites treats made with chicken. It’s so easy to find food/treats for Juniper.

The thing is, when you become a cat owner later in life, you really appreciate every aspect of what makes your cat so special. I didn’t grow up with cats – I grew up with dogs. When I expected my cat to be like a dog, I came up short. When I learned to embrace how amazing she is, that’s when I fell in love. It’s the purring on my shoulder and the kneading on my comforter in the winter. It’s the way she gets the “zoomies” at 10:00pm every night and races around the house after her toys, and the kids’ toys. She is soothing to my skin with her soft fur, and she makes me feel better when I’m down. I love that she’s independent sometimes, and other times, she needs big snuggles. She reminds me of ME more than she knows.

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And that’s why we give her Meow Mix – we’re showing her we love her back!

Meow Mix is a trusted brand that helps strengthen the bond between Juniper and me. The Walmart right in our town has an amazing pet food section, with everything I could want for cat foods and treats. I’m certain Juniper recognizes the packaging. When I come home from Walmart with a bag full of food and treats, she comes running to look into the bag.

Ibotta offer

Now THIS is the face of a happy, playful cat!

Does your cat love you? Of course! Love your cat back by giving her Meow Mix foods and treats! Get this GREAT Ibotta offer for up to $1.50 off! #ad #MeowMix

The bottom line? Juniper is important to us – and we want her to eat great and feel great. Meow Mix is perfect for her personality and her tastes. It’s also an incredible way for me to bond with her even more, and for her to know I care.

What’s YOUR favorite trait about your cat? I want to hear about it!