Tuesday, August 24, 2010

WOW! PetFlow.com ROCKS!

I just came home this evening and found a giant box waiting for me on my back porch: my first shipment from PetFlow! I had just placed an order, Friday, August 20th, and I had expressed excitement in a previous blog about finding a better way to buy pet food.  So, I wanted to document my first shipment experience.

I have to say that I am very impressed with PetFlow.com.   They have a fast turnaround time, but prior to making my first order, I asked a ton of questions.  My customer service rep answered each and every one.  Patiently!  It's rare to get that kind of service in a local store, so I was really surprised to find such a knowledgeable and patient person online.  That's what I call EXCELLENT customer service. I got just what I wanted - at a great price - and it was delivered by FedEx quick as a whip!

My first order was: Greenies and Grammy's Pot Pie for my little ankle-biters and Felidae for my three cats. No lifting, no carrying, and no annoyances with traffic and hitting the stores after work (I'm a high school teacher with a teenager and a toddler, and I just can't wait to get home at the end of the day). All I had to do tonight was just pick each bag out of the box and place them in my storage bin. Ta-dah!   All done!  This was easy!

I LOVE PETFLOW - and I will definitely be a repeat customer! Thank you, PetFlow!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Men in Black - People

You know, every day that I turn on the news, there's just one more crazy thing after the next. Today, the brilliant *cough* Ali Velshi of CNN, made an observation that was pure genius. To paraphrase: "People aren't spending money like they were expected to. We are in a double-dip recession. The first dip is the most meaningful (and he took a chip, and he dipped it into one of two chip dips in front of him - just to make his point)."

Cheap theatrics have no place in journalism. Cheap short-term ruses have no place in good government. The reason that people are not spending money as expected is that (DOH!) -- WE HAVE NO JOBS! They've been outsourced, sent overseas (while we are being forced to buy sub-standard - or even TOXIC - products that aren't worth having spent our hard-earned money on. We "real people" have to make every dollar count, and WE can't give ourselves pay raises. No sirreeee! Those who aren't spending any money live in a place called POVERTY IN THE REAL WORLD.

There's a special place in hell for politicians who mislead people for power, prestige, and standing. However, too many politicians are forgetting what the people want and need, but they don't really care: They have their pockets lined by special interest groups, etc, or they can elect to give themselves a pay raise. Further, they will tell their constituents anything in order to get re-elected - and "the people" fall for it. Time after time. Look what happened with Obama. He campaigned on change. Things are worse now than they were before!

Joe Sulzer, Mayor of Chillicothe, is another such card that needs to be dealt with (after his lay-off plans, cutting police staffing and fire-fighters, etc), firefighters (hey, if CNN can use cheap tricks, so can I). Obama - and his circus of clowns - needs to go, too. Hell, let's CLEAN HOUSE and throw them ALL out - and start over - before it's too late.

We need to remember this movie line in during election season - and again when it's time to elect a NEW president!

"A person is smart, PEOPLE are dumb ..."
-- "Men in Black"

I hate shopping. Of any sort. I just do, but here's one thing I'm doing to make things easier - TRY IT!

I live out in the country, and I don't have a lot of free time, and when I do, it never fails: I'm out of something silly.  It might just be a loaf of bread, a gallon of milk, or a dozen eggs.  No biggie.  I can deal with that - there's a nearby convenience store for those things.  But what really bugs me is - after I've had a hard day at work, and I've gotten home late (an hour's commute each direction) - I'll go to feed/play with my pets and find just a few bits of kibble left in the bottom of my storage container.  Damn.  I REALLY hate that.  Sure, I could pick up some cheap dog/cat food at the convenience store, but I'll pay a pretty price for it, and it'll be crappy food that's not very nutritionally well-balanced.  I feed a higher quality food for my pets, which cuts down on waste and odors - AND my pets are getting really nutritious food and that is better for them.  So, what have I just discovered that has me all excited?  Reminder note apps in my smartphone that tell me to pick up dog food?

NO!  Yeah, I'm pretty tech-savvy, and I love my Motorola Droid (see review here, by the way), but I've found something even better than that!

PetFlow.com!  PetFlow is great!  Their prices are better than those found in pet stores (locally, for me, that's PetLand and Complete Petmart), and they have AUTO DELIVERY!  Oh, yes, I am very excited about that!  Why?

After I've already been on the road for AN HOUR (after a full day of work), the last thing I want to do is to drive out of my way, all the way into town (on what I call "Hell Street" - where they have 30 red lights all in the distance of about 100 yards) to buy pet food.   I don't NEED the hassle - or the bother - or the super high prices!

Check this out:  I feed my cats Instinct, which is a premium cat food. Expensive, yes, but guess what?  Cats are meat eaters.  They're not SUPPOSED to live on corn.  Do you see cats sitting around eating ears of corn?   NO!  They're going to chase bunnies, or chickens - you get the idea. So, why not feed your pet what it's supposed to eat?  How would you like to eat corn every single day of the week for the rest of your life?

I didn't think so.

Anyway, I go off on tangents, let me reel this one back in.  So, I was out of cat food, and I sent the teen into Complete Petmart to buy a bag. When she told me it was $17.95 for a FOUR pound bag of Instinct, I said, "Forget it.  Go to Walmart and buy some Cat Chow."  $8.00 and that was a done deal. I saved money, but the cats weren't happy with the switch.  The litter box was "Ewww."

I needed a solution.  A friend said, "Save all that money, get rid of the animals."

Boo.  Hiss.

I found PetFlow.com on Facebook, and I'm glad that I did.  Guess what?  I can get Instinct, delivered to my house, with no aggravation, or heavy lifting, on a schedule!  Even better?  The prices are better than that found locally in the pet stores.

Give PetFlow.com a try!  You'll be glad you did.  No heavy lifting, no forgetting anything, and best of all?  You can change your order at any time.  Last night, I could see that I wasn't going to have enough dog food to last me until my ship date of August 30th, so I just logged in and changed it.  My food will ship tomorrow, and it will be delivered soon, courtesy of FedEx - FREE SHIPPING, too!

THIS is the way shopping should be!   Food, treats, you name it. PetFlow.com has it - and better prices, too!

Tabitha Twitchit and Smokey Java Joe
suggest that "Grain-free is the way to be!"

Monday, August 09, 2010

Goodbye, My Sweet Little Tommy Lee... goodbye.


Today was a horrific day.

Mom & Dad have been keeping my Min-Pin, Thomas "Tommy Lee" since my little Sprout was born because I was afraid, in his grumpy old age, that he might bite her. Tommy Lee was spoiled silly, and he loved his mamaw. She was his "bestie." Unfortunately, when I spoke to mom this afternoon, she was devastated, and since she knew I was on the road, she was hesitant to tell me what was wrong, but she did.

She had let our Tommy out to potty, like she had done 1,000 times before, but Coco (her Poodle, and Tommy's buddy) didn't go with him, as he usually did.  Tommy went up the road, and not very far, and he was gone for just a bit too long, and mom was worried.  Tommy would always come to her when she called. Always. 

Mom asked my nephew to go look and call for him.  So, my nephew, and Coco, went in search of Tommy.  They weren't gone long at all, and Terry came running back to the house with tears streaming down his face.  He was heartbroken.  Coco had found Tommy, and tragically, Terry had seen this horrific image of our little dog. Something had bitten Tommy Lee right in half.  My Thomas was about 8-10 pounds of ferocious little stuff, my little man, and true to his Min-Pin nature, he never backed down, from anything. Ever.  He must have sensed something on his turf and went to check it out, and that was the last thing he did.

I just remembered a funny story of something that DID scare our Thomas, once.  One day, he was out on our front stoop, and a small bird flew overhead, and it cast a shadow.  Poor Thomas got so scared that he fell right off the porch barking at the bird!  But, back to the story.

Sprout and I had been in town all day, so when I had called mom to see if she needed anything before I left, she explained this whole story to me.  I got her stuff, and I headed over to my parents' place.  I was so hesitant to go say goodbye to my boy because I wanted to treasure the last day I'd seen him: two days ago, when I was sneaking cheeseburgers to him under the table.  We had a good day, that day, my Tommy and me.  But, I did.  He was my good boy, and I owed him that final respect.  That last bit of recognition for all of his loyalty throughout the years.

We don't know what it was that killed him, but we suspect it was coyotes because the hunters had noticed some in the woods during turkey season.  We do know there is a small black bear on the prowl, within 10 miles of home, and that is also a cause for concern.  So, I finally said my last respects to Tommy, and I am glad that I did - as hard as that was to do - and it was.  As horrific as the image was of my boy, I at least know now that he did not suffer - not for long.  He couldn't have.  The was no middle to him.  At all.  Just his beautiful head, and his fat little rump... the rest was just... nothing.  Only his skeleton held him together, like some silly bit of cable.

I write this now, not to gross anyone out, but to remind them to not take their personal safety for granted.  I know I've been fearless going out late at night with my super silly dogs, and now, I won't.  Tommy's attack happened close to 5:00 p.m.  Still in the light of day.  And, so close to the house that it's just scary as hell. 

Since I've told others about Tommy's attack, I've heard there have been many coyote attacks in this area.  My sister's friend said that a pack of wild coyotes attacked, and killed, her cat, who was sitting on her back porch!

We can't be too careful.  Thank God that whatever killed my Thomas did NOT harm my nephew.  How unthinkable!!!!   Whatever this was was not far, at all, from my parents' house.  I'm guessing maybe 35 yards - if it was even that far.

No more allowing my Sprout to play outside over there, and she's done that 1,000 times before, just sitting out on the large swingset... singing.  Playing with flowers.  No more!

No more peaceful walks in the woods that I used to love so much, and I've taken my camera out into the woods, plenty of times.  Alone.  No more.

It's all over... it's like the days of "The Wild West" again. 

I called my friend, a hunter, to warn him of the danger over there, since he loves to camp up in those woods.  He said he has something special for those coyotes - if the come around.  I know he does, and I'm sure, somehow, their karmic payback will be well-justified.

Friends, do not let your children or pets out of sight - not for one moment.

Be ever watchful of your children playing in their own yard - even in the bright light of day!

Don't take a fenced backyard for granted.

Don't be too overly confident.

We can not be too careful these days.  It's sad to think you almost have to carry a gun to do simple basic outdoor family-related things these days, but, maybe that's what it will take.

Watch your little ones.  Terry, my nephew, is luckier than he knows...  who would have thought something like this could have happened?  I know I didn't.  I'm sure mom didn't expect anything like this.  She probably just thought Tommy was chasing the bunnies or the squirrels. 

Mom is absolutely heartbroken.  She has loved Tommy Less since the moment I brought him home as a pup, at eight weeks old, and I showed her to him by holding him in the palm of my hand that day.  He melted our hearts.  Tonight, they're broken.

Goodnight, my Tommy Lee... we will miss you so much.  You were, and always will be, mommy's little man.

R.I.P.  Toodles.  September 17, 1999 - August 9, 2010.

Snapshots of my little man:

Tommy Lee pictured with his little buddy, "Chili Bean" (a rescue I'd taken in who had epileptic seizures):

Tommy Lee at Christmas, two years ago?  His little muzzle was getting all gray...  I have more pix on other cards, but they're not so handy right now.

Some of Tommy Lee's little stories