Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Christmas came early that year - tomorrow is Bella's Adoptaversary!

This video is from the Look At the Savings Bella Dug Up savings group on Facebook. And it's a special holiday tip video because it announces a very special day...

Tomorrow is Bella's Adoptaversary!

So it's Pet Week at www.shopwithbella.com!

When is your furry family's adoptaversary?

Monday, December 5, 2016

Raise your savings by 60% this holiday shopping season- Holiday Shopping Tip

This video is from the Holiday Shopping Tip series and is all about increasing your savings using discounted gift cards.

At www.ShopAllThat.com, we have a partner store that can STACK your savings even more than the cash back you get with purchase.

Here's what you do...

  1. Log in at www.shopallthat.com
  2. Search for the Raise.com partner store
  3. Visit the store for 2% cash back on your discounted gift card purchase
  4. Get the gift cards for the stores you are shopping....BONUS tip, get egift cards so you can shop online right away
  5. Go back to www.shopallthat.com 
  6. Visit the store you just purchased the gift card for via Shop for cash back at that store too
You get cash back on the discounted card
You get cash back at the Shop partner store
You get up to 60% off the purchase with the discounted gift card
You get to use coupon codes and promo codes and free shipping offers too

Raise your savings with this tip!

Let me know what discounted gift cards you scored at Raise through Shop!

Make a little bank every time you help your friends save money - Holiday Shopping Tip

This tip was meant for Saturday but I didn't find a few minutes to live stream it. I was having a wonderful time though so don't feel badly for me! In the bulk of the day, I taught local entrepreneurs some really effective yet simple sales techniques to close more business with more ease. And then out with friends to dinner at a local brewery and then A Christmas Carol. It's an amazing show with some dear friends so there's a plug at the end of this post .. please share and support this amazing show!

Ok on to the business of shopping! This episode of Holiday Shopping Tips is a great one because you can get something so rare - Givers Gain! Good Karma! Money for Doing a Good Deed! See, our goal is to pay as much cash back as we can to shoppers and make the Shopping Annuity and Shop.com a household name.

So we are incentivizing (sharing the wealth) with our customers and business partners that share Shop.com. Our corporate team negotiates an extra 1/2% cash back from our retail partners so we can gift it to our referral partners - YOU the customer! And every time a purchase is made an angel gets its wings...no not really (well maybe but that's a different holiday tale!)...Every time a purchase is made, you will receive 1/2% cash back and your friend will receive ALL the cash back listed for that item.

It's already built in - so you may as well enjoy it! Consider it a well-deserved thank you and acknowledgement for helping us spread the word about the Shopping Annuity and Shop.com.

Other companies have similar programs but NONE OF THEM is as generous. We have no restrictions, no minimums, no activity requirements, no expirations. Just COLD HARD CASH (or better yet WARM SOFT CASH to cuddle up with all your other holiday spending money).

So to get this fun little gift, share the gift of Shop! Use the INVITE TOOL on Shop or share the link at the bottom of that page on Social Media. The more people you invite the more extra cash back you'll earn.

A friend of mine referred her son to Shop for tires on his truck. These were FANCY! and as a result of her referral, he got a great deal and over $50 cash back! She got over $10 cash back on that one purchase. So everyone wins!

Are you convinced yet? Then go on out there and invite your friends! And if you or they need any help shopping, just let me or Bella know! We will sniff out the great savings for you!

 This is where to find the invite tool - it's a link just to the right of your cash back total.

When you are on ANY Shop page, at the very bottom you'll see a "Link to This Page" in green...that link will include your referral code. Share that link on social media and anyone that registers will be your referral and be linked for your 1/2% cash back.

So now my plug for this amazing show....

A Christmas Carol

Sat, Dec 3, 2016 through Sun, Dec 18, 2016
Culinary Institute of America–Marriott Pavilion 
By Charles Dickens, Adaptation by Geoff Tarson
Directed by Michael Schiralli
Starring Stephen Paul Johnson, Patrick Brady, Morgan Dean, Samantha Jones, Maria Silverman, John Summerford & Michael Withall
This new adaptation of Dickens' classic holiday favorite is humorous, touching and fast-paced—perfect for the entire family! Enjoy pre-theater dining at one of the CIA's award-winning restaurants for an unforgettable family holiday memory.


DECEMBER 3 & 4, 9–11, 16–18
Friday at 8PM, 
Saturday at 2PM & 8PM, Sunday at 2PM


TALK BACK WITH THE CAST 12/10  Meet the cast & discuss the show after the 2pm matinee


To make pre-theatre dining reservations at The Culinary Institute of America, call 845-905-4533 or email ciarestaurants@culinary.edu. The Caterina de' Medici is offering a family-style pasta dinner 3 Saturday nights: 12/3, 12/10 and 12/17, with a selection of salad, antipasto and pastas served table-side for $39pp. There is limited pre-theatre dining available at The Bocuse and American Bounty Restaurants, if you call now. All CIA restaurants are closed on Sundays.


Evening Performances
Adult $40–45
Senior $35–40
Child $20–25
Adult & Senior $32–37
Child $18–22

Friday, December 2, 2016

Comparison Shopping on Shop - plus a great Google Trick!

Today's video is about using www.shopallthat.com comparison shopping feature to your best advantage.

Here are the tips - and some bonus ones not in the video!

  1. Search from the main search bar on www.ShopAllThat.com and you can drill down by price, brand or store
  2. Choose ONE CART in search results to use your cash back toward the purchase price.
  3. See All Offers allows you to make decisions about where to buy based on price, cash back and free shipping offers
  4. You can also browse by category in the top left of the header and drill down to what you are looking for
  5. BONUS - when you are at a product, you can do much more than look at all the offers from partner stores .. you can also set a price alert, add it to a wish list or a trend shop! 
  6. If you choose a product that is NOT part of the One Cart you will be taken to the partner store's site and can get all the discounts and specials they are offering..and even use gift cards and store credit cards because you are shopping from them directly...the referral code Shop sends will make sure you get your cash back
If you can't find what you're looking for here's a special Google tip
  1. Make sure you have Shop Buddy installed on your browser
  2. Google what you are looking for
  3. In the results, some of the options will have a big blue S ... those are Shop partners and when you purchase from them you'll get the cash back and coupons we have curated for you and you don't even need to go back to Shop to get them!
I ended up at the Bliss product - a really super option for stress (and all natural too!). It's a featured/exclusive product offered only at Shop. Get a 15% off coupon at the end of the video!

Thanks for watching! =)


Thursday, December 1, 2016

How to Get Cash Back from Your Favorite Stores..and Some Stores You Wanna Know About

Hey everyone! Today my Hu-Mom gave a lesson on how to use www.ShopAllThat.com to find stores and their cash back. She wanted to make sure you knew about the stores that were partners so you could get as much savings on your shopping as possible.

Here's a list of some of the most popular stores (this is definitely not a complete list):
Home Depot
Best Buy
TJ Maxx
Dollar Tree
Dollar General
Toys R Us
Pet Smart
Tractor Supply

(italicized currently not offering cash back but may have Hot Deals available through www.ShopAllThat.com)

Would you be willing to give up brand loyalty for a better deal? Often you can go to a smaller store that has spent less on advertising and get more cash back and better prices...Here are some examples from the video:

  • Toys     Toys R Us (0% Cash Back)      vs      Toynk (6% Cash Back)
  • Electronics       Best Buy (0% Cash Back)      vs      Shop Marketplace (5% Cash Back)
  • Accessories       Macys (2% Cash Back)      vs      IFashionwear (15% Cash Back)
  • Personalized Gifts       Things Remembered (3% Cash Back)      vs      Zazzle (7% Cash Back) or Personalization Mall (8% Cash Back)
  • Ugly Christmas Sweaters       Macys or Sears (2% Cash Back)      vs      UglyChristmasSweater (6% Cash Back)
  • Pet Supplies       Pet Smart and PetCo (2% Cash Back)      vs      Shop Marketplace (5% Cash Back)
  • Video Games       GameStop (0% Cash Back      vs      FYE (2% Cash Back)
Some cool stores you may not know about ...

Think Geek - 4% Cash Back - ThinkGeek is a one-stop shop for everything geeky.
Musicians Friend - 4% Cash Back - Musician's Friend - the hottest music gear at the lowest prices since 1983. More than 130,000 customer-written product reviews. Read instrument buying guides. Get the best guarantees online for all the fine musical equipment you crave.
Palm Beach Jewelry - 7% Cash Back - Fresh, fun and fabulous! At PalmBeach Jewelry, we search the globe to bring the most irresistible pieces to you, featuring genuine diamonds, shining cubic zirconia, precious gemstones and more. Our extensive selection is sure to please. From modern to timeless, elegant to trendy - PalmBeach Jewelry is where your fashion search ends.
Urbanity Boutique - 5% Cash Back - We believe in self-expression through clothing. That s why our hand-picked, hand-measured selection spans fashion lines past to present. Enjoy our collection! (FREE Shipping)

Watch the full video for ways to navigate around www.ShopAllThat.com to get to the stores you are looking for! 

Happy Shopping!

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

How my hum-mom gets GOOD WINE at GREAT PRICES - this is a great tip!

Today's tip was a twofer! We covered daily deals at www.shopallthat.com and how to get good wine at great prices (plus cash back!).

So let's summarize this baby...

First we talked about Daily Deals. Through December 25, www.shopallthat.com has a new daily deal. Today's is an awesome flavor infusion water at nearly 50% off plus cash back. Pick your color!

Then we went over how to shop for wine in a really smart way. You get good wine at great prices and 4% cash back! Sometimes you can get free shipping too! Trista uses Wine.com through Shop for the cash back and then she looks at price and star ratings to get the best deals. Watch the video for a demonstration.

I was impatiently waiting to play when she was doing this video so I barked a lot. Trista turned it into a drinking game .. can you guess how many drinks she took during the video?

We want to know about your favorite wines and the color you chose of the infusion water bottle!

Happy shopping!

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

One thing you're not doing that is costing you money this holiday season - Meet your new BFF!

Today's Facebook Live video at my Facebook savings group "Look at the Savings Bella Dug Up" was about a really great tool that you're probably not using and it's costing you money!

Shop Buddy is a widget that runs on your desktop browser so you will always get the cash back and coupon codes from ShopAllThat.com partner stores.

Trista shows you how you can use it to...

- Save money
- Earn cash back
- Beat Amazon prices (actual example in the video)

She walks you through 3 easy steps to start using Shop Buddy when you shop.

- Set up an account at www.ShopAllThat.com
- Visit www.BellasBuddy.com to get right to the Shop Buddy page
- Download it!

That's it! Reach out to Trista on Facebook or Twitter @tristapolo if you have any questions about using Shop Buddy.

What great deals did you get with Shop Buddy?

Happy shopping!

Monday, November 28, 2016


Today's Facebook Live video features everything you need to know about Cyber Monday deals!

First - make sure you have www.BellasBuddy.com downloaded onto your browser on your computer. This way you'll have direct access to all the deals being offered AND you'll get whatever cash back they award to Shop customers.

Second - visit all the Cyber Monday deals especially curated for Shop customers at www.shopallthat.com - the home page has a link to all the deals and there are tons!

Here are some highlights...

Lenovo Thinkpad Laptops are 40% off + 6% Cash Back!

Forea (high tech skin and tooth care) has 25% off + 8% Cash Back!

JC Penney has 33% off $100+ order (online only) + 3% Cash Back!

Macy's has 20% off with code CYBER + 6% Cash Back!

Things Remembered has 25% off entire online store + 9% Cash Back!

NIKE - EXTRA 25% off clearance items with code EXTRA25 + 3% Cash Back!

Shutterfly - Extra 10 cards free, 50% off PLUS extra 25% off with code CYBER25 + 2% Cash Back!

Shoplet (office supplies) - 25% off plus free shipping on orders over 25% + 6% Cash Back!

Free Shipping + Cash Back stores - The Body Shop, Saks 5th Avenue

Watch the whole video for the CODE to get 25% OFF Exclusive/Featured Shop products including Isotonix, Motives Cosmetics, Pet Health, Lumier de Vie, Snap, DNA Miracles and more!

Sunday, November 27, 2016

Live Daily Tips on Saving Group now through Dec 25 - Cyber Monday and More

Bella and I teamed up at www.shopwithbella.com to give you lots of great savings for your furry and not so furry friends. We were throwing a ball around in the yard yesterday and Bella had a great idea! Savings ideas on our group about how to save as much as possible this holiday shopping season. Why didn't I think of that!

We'll be doing a video each day with lots of great tips and tricks. Today's first video is below...It's a great list of Cyber Monday shopping tips.

Here they are in a nutshell..but watch the video, because you could have a chance to win a free gift by being one of the first 10 people to comment on this video!

  1. Make a list - this way you can concentrate on saving instead of searching
  2. Check www.shopwithbella.com for deals in the DEALS and HOLIDAY tab
  3. Go mobile with the Shop.com app and make sure you're getting the best deal in store
  4. Download www.BellasBuddy.com so you never miss a deal or cash back credit
  5. Use more than one coupons at lots of stores online including Kohls, Old Navy, Gap, Athleta, Target, Saks 5th Avenue, Victorias Secret and more
  6. Stay tuned to tomorrow's video for a 25% Cyber Monday coupon on all of Shop's exclusive lines including Isotonix, Motives Cosmetics, Pet Health, Lumier de Vie, Snap, DNA Miracles and more
Don't forget to join our Savings Group - Look at the Savings Bella Dug Up to get all the videos live and our special savings announcements including coupon codes, great products, daily deals and stacking tips.

Happy Shopping!

Friday, November 25, 2016

Black Friday and Cyber Monday Deals - Triple Cash Back for the Holidays - Up to 25% #cashback

Your furry and not so furry friends are hoping you'll be generous this holiday season. Now you can get a lot more for a lot less with TRIPLE CASH BACK at www.shopwithbell.com.

Just go to this link to get the cash back - http://www.shop.com/ALLTHATINTERNET/cc.class/cc?main=v&act=TripleCashbackEvent&ccsyn=260&credituser=C6176934

Here are some of my favorites -

Only Natural Pet - Now 12% Cash Bck!

Macys - Now 6% Cash Back! (plus you can bring me with you when you go for the in-store pick up)

JC Penney - Now 3% Cash Back!

Burlington - Now 6% Cash Back!

See's Candies - Now 12% Cash Back!

Sketchers - Now 12% Cash Back!

Things Remembered - Now 9% Cash Back!

1-800-Baskets - Now 15% Cash Back!

Sunglass Hut - Now 12% Cash Back!

Nike - Now 3% Cash Back!

Lenovo - Now 6% Cash Back!

Life is Good - Now 6% Cash Back!

Happy shopping and saving! <3

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Holiday Gift Guide for Your Furry Friends

ShopwithBella.com has over 50 million products for the holidays. You can get the full gift guide here at the Holiday Gift Guide.

I wanted to make sure you had a Holiday Gift Guide for your Furry Family too. Because we know you have us on your list...at least twice if not 10x. I like to employ the Grant Cardone 10x Rule for holiday gift giving to your furry family. It's a good strategy.

So here's my gift ideas for your pups! Happy shopping! Lots of licks in your future. Promise!

Click any of the images to go directly to the awesomeness in each category. 

You can shop by price or by gift category. So if you want to shop for gifts under $5, gifts under $10, gifts under $20, gifts under $30 or even fancy gifts under $40, I got you!

Gift categories are also awesome. We got interactive, plus, floating, squeaker (YES!), treats toys, wellness stuff and treats.


Kong Wild Knots Bear with Squeaker - 

Different colors, fun and squeaky. Also it has ropes on the inside so the chewing is super fun even after the squeaker is gone.

Entirely Pets has it for the cheapest price and also comes with cash back.

Air Kong Dog Squeaker Tennis Ball -

It's durable and has a hidden squeaker (so it's in 2 categories!). It's a tennis ball with great bounce and bite. I can't rip it open but I can puncture it, which doesn't hurt its bounce at all. I can get the squeaker broke eventually so I recommend you stock up. 

Planet Dog Orbee Tuff Cosmos Ball -

A toy that your dog will absolutely love and that is ideal for games of fetch or supervised individual play. Planet Dog Orbee Tuff Cosmos Ball is durable and bouncy and it floats!

Romp N Chomp Roller Treat Toy -
It works with Nylabone dog treats and is made for moderate chewers. It cleans your dog's teeth and stimulates his gums. The chew part is refillable with treat refills even better - Peanut Butter!

The Romp 'n Chomp treat toy comes with a treat and comes in 3 sizes - small/older dogs, ACD like me size, bigguns.

Multipet Swingin Sleevins Plush -

It's the gigantic stuffed squeak toy of your dog's dreams! This lanky toy features a fun animal design with a long lanky body that makes it the perfect toy to toss around for playful pups. It's 30-inch-long and this is the frog but there's also a pig, duck, and cow.

Multipet Loofah Squeaker Mat Dog Toy -

OMG so many squeakers! 22" and a Bakers Dozen of Squeakers. The body of each dog features isolated squares that each squeak when compressed to ensure that the toy is uniquely interactive. These toys are available in assorted colors

Otis and Claude Bumble Ball -
This is a patented interactive motorized dog toy.What a mouthful! It jumps and shakes and wiggles, and bumbles and more. It's specifically reinforced for pets. Your pets will go "crazy" trying to catch the "Bumpy Ball". Entertain your pets for hours. But not good for aggressive dogs or really skittish ones.

Boodah Turbo Disc -

Dogs love frisbees, and some might argue that this thing is a dog-designed frisbee. The Booda Turbo Disc provides a dog owner the perfect flying toy that comes with bright colors, an easy flying design, and an easy to clean material. Your pup can pick it up without having to flip it over. It flies really far.

Kong Safe Stix Floating Fetch Toy -

I hate the water but I love my Safe Stix. It floats, it bounces, it fetches. It also freaks out the neighbors. It comes in 3 colors and 3 sizes and I think you should just get one of every size and color to be on the safe side.

Canine Chuck It Ultra Sling with Dart - 

It dives, it floats, it banks it glides. So many fun for a pool and water loving dog! It's portable, safe and rugged. It's basically darts for dogs. Darts. For. Dogs! It's erratic in movement so your pup will never know where it's gonna go. It's safe for you and her. She'll love it. Really. Get it!. And some extra darts while you're at it.

GUMBY! Plush Toy -

It has a squeaker and it's Gumby. If you have to ask, then just move on or check out Gumby on Youtube. Cause he's awesome. I would totally chew that.

Squirrel! Plush Toy -

Squirrel! If you don't get it, then just move on. Another reference of an awesome movie...this one featuring Dug an awesome dog that was recently brought to life in this video. I can't help your dog talk but this will help him play like Dug!

Get Naked Super Antioxidant Treats -

Get Naked Super Antioxidant Dental Chew Sticks are ssuperfoods for your discerning dogs that care about organic and vegan and other fancy stuff. These have vitamin C, vitamin E, cranberries, blueberries (pomace), pomegranate and decaf green tea extract. 

Plaque and tartar buildup are a thing of the past. Plus they're all natural and gluten-free.

Cloud Star Buddy Biscuits in Peanut Butter Flavor -

I have a sensitive stomach and allergies and really love these. They don't hurt my stomach or anything. So no trouble for dogs with allergies. They have no salt, sugar, corn, preservatives, artificial colors, artificial flavors, or byproducts. They are really the best dog treats ever! That's cause they are really yummy and all natural treats made from only healthy and wholesome ingredients.

Complete Natural Nutrition Real Food Toppers Pure Chicken Breast - 
Great for your finicky, overweight, diabetic, allergic, pets. If they're on an ‘elimination’ or a ‘restricted’ diet i.e. low carb, low sodium, low calorie, no wheat or raw. 

Great to mask medication and to be fed pre and post surgery. 

Pet Health OPC Formula for Dogs and Cats-
It's an antioxidant and helps with joint pain and also allergies. It's also great for dealing with all the yucky stuff in your dog food. It will help protect against stuff that takes us way too young. It's made of pycnogenol and it rocks. Plus it's beef flavored.

Monday, September 12, 2016

Amazon Shoppers - Here's a Tip to Save More on Your Purchases

As the number 1 shopping site Amazon has some great deals. It's becoming the place people go for their online shopping.

Here's a tip for Amazon shoppers, including Prime membership holders.

If you are an Amazon shopper, make sure you have a Shop.com free account. Download Shop Buddy and have it running on the browser you use to shop on Amazon.

You'll get an alert from this free widget if Shop.com has a better price.

You can still decide to purchase from Amazon, but with the cash back, free shipping, hot deals and favorite stores partnering with Shop.com you may choose otherwise.

Here's a Roku Streaming Stick. Saving $1 with Cash Back from Shop.com thanks to Shop Buddy.

Another example is these Samsung Gear headphones. A $4 savings with Shop Buddy.

Now instead of being a ROTE consumer (someone who buys with habit as your priority) you can be a CONSCIOUS consumer (someone who makes the best choice for their family even when it differs from their habit).

Shop with Bella for great savings on Pet Products, Household Products, Beauty Products, Baby Products, Health and Wellness Products, Anti-Aging Products, Personal Care Products, and more.

Here's more from the Market America Blog:

"SHOP Buddy brings the deals to you, for free!! Never miss a deal or coupon offer with over 20,000 partner stores on SHOP.COM! Now, invite friends to get SHOP Buddy directly from SHOP Buddy and receive IBV off every purchase they make! SHOP Buddy is taking consumerism to a whole new level with a prompt that detects the best price. Marc showed examples of SHOP Buddy saving the day while shopping on Amazon and other competitors sites. Now with a share function, you can share the deals on any partner store site with SHOP Buddy deals- even if you go to the partner store first! Do yourself a favor, download SHOP Buddy on your desktop and mobile today."

Sunday, June 26, 2016

Bella's Trip to Staples - Is Staples a Dog Friendly Store ?

By Trista Polo

Shopping with your dog is definitely a growing trend. Some stores are quicker to get on board than others. Home Depot has been known to be dog friendly for quite some time. We frequent Marshall's too but those trips are shorter because the customers seem to find it odd that there's a dog walking around near by.

I think the growing dog shopping phenomenon is due to the increased awareness of the dangers of leaving your dog in the car. The Humane Society says that a dog left in a car could be dealing with temperatures of over 100 degrees inside the car, even with the temperature outside is cool. They also report that open windows appear to have little affect on the inside temperature of the car. You can read their whole article here.

Recently I needed to make a trip to Staples to print out color certificates for an upcoming training I was leading in Fishkill, NY. I thought this was the perfect shopping trip for Bella. I wouldn't be there long and the print center at Staples is open and spacious. If you Google, "Is Staples Dog Friendly" today, you get mixed reviews. In 2008, an LA Times article noted Staples as being open to service dogs only but it seems they Staples is loosening their grip on that rule, depending on the store...and likely it is at management discretion.

I have learned my lesson at Barnes & Nobel and called first. I made sure to speak to a manager - a lesson I learned at Kohl's - and asked the following question:

"I need to come in and get some stuff printed but I have my dog with me. I don't want to leave her in the car because you know how people are these days..they'll probably call the police. So I'd like to bring her in with me...would that be ok?"

I worded it this way to assist him in giving me the answer I was looking for, which turned out to be quite effective. I could tell he was hesitant...resistant...leaning toward saying no.

He asked her size...if she would be leashed...if she was well behaved. I said yes. I also threw in that I would clean up after any mess she made. That was when he said (quite relieved) that it would be fine.

When I went to the store with Bella, I was a bit nervous about going in. I almost didn't do it. But then how could I write about the experience? ;-)

We went in and made a bee-line to the print center. I had her leashed and had treats with me to keep her occupied. Generally she was great. She got a bit bored and barked once...and on our way out she really wanted to sniff and say hello to a customer at another copier. But we made it out without incident or comment.

As the dog friendly store rules continue to unfold, my advice is to call and speak with a Manager to request permission. That way, you won't catch anyone by surprise and if an employee gives you a hard time you have a manager's name to refer to. Keep your dog leashed and happy (treats work best for Bella) and don't do anything to wear out your welcome. Most of all, clean up after your dog! A mess left in a store is the quickest way for a store to remove themselves from the dog friendly store list!

Where do you shop with your dog? What tips do you have to keep your dog on the "Welcome" list?

Sunday, June 19, 2016

Treat Puzzle Review - IQ Treat Ball Dog Toy (small, large)

This is a review of the IQ Treat Ball Dog ToyI would recommend this toy and am offering you a way to purchase it through an affiliate link. This will provide a small income to me and Bella to help us further our cause for happy active dogs everywhere. You are not required to purchase it from us. If you decide to do so, know that we very much appreciate it. 🐶

Bella's Review:

This is the coolest because the treats roll around and make lots of noise when I play so I am always excited to see what pops out. Since the holey part is small, I have to work to get the treats out. It uses my smarts and I like that. My hu-mom keeps it on the hard setting because I have lots of smarts. Don't be jealous. You're probably smart too. It is exciting too cause I can smell what's in there but I can't get too it till I earn it. Bring it on!

Just the Facts: 

The IQ Treat Ball Dog Toy comes in 2 sizes - large and small. It has 3 parts ... the top and bottom that screw together and an internal barrier that keeps the treats from coming out on their own. The top has a hole that the treats can come out of when the ball is manipulated. The bottom is solid so you can't see what's in there. The internal barrier is also opaque and has an adjustable opening so you can change the difficulty and size of treats used. This is a durable toy that keeps your dog's interest as long as treats are in it. The hard plastic is not puncturable as long as you get the proper size (I don't recommend the small one for larger dogs for this reason).

Trista's Two Cents: 

Not much more to add except - get it, try it out and your dog will most likely love it. I recommend not letting your dog play without treats because a determined and frustrated dog could destroy it while trying to get non-existent treats out of it.

Enjoy! Get it here with cash back - http://bit.ly/bellaiqball
It's about $5-$10 at the writing of this post depending on if you are choosing small or large size.

For treats that work best in this treat puzzle, try some of these - small training treats

Thursday, June 9, 2016

A Pet Medium's Journey - Ponce the Cat

This was my most challenging and interesting case to date. The cat and her family are so private, they have all requested that their names be changed. So they have been. I introduce you to Ponce the cat and her hu-mom Maria and future hu-dad Jose. Here's Ponce's story:

Ponce is a very fearful and private cat. She is known for being invisible when company comes over. She has been with Maria her whole life since she was a kitten and it's known that she was taken from her cat mother too early and never really recovered. She has shown herself 3 times to Jose since he has been coming around Maria's house for the last year. This is a HUGE step and has never happened even once with any other visitor. Maria said Ponce and Jose definitely have a strong fondness for each other and Jose has a goal to be able to pet Ponce some day.

As Maria and Jose have gotten more serious, a relocation to Jose's home is in Ponce's near future.

Maria is worried about how Ponce will take the move and has been making mental preparations for weeks. She has picked out where and how Ponce will be relocated to ensure she has as much comfort in her new surroundings as possible.

This is where I come in. Maria asked that I check in with Ponce about the move. My process when communicating with animals is as close to a conversation as you can imagine but without any words. I start the conversation always the same way.
Me: "Hello Ponce"
Po: "Hello"
Me: "I love you"
(usually they say I love you back)
Po: "OK"

Maria laughed when I shared this part. She said "That's just like her."

This was my first experience where I could sense her in my mind. She was on the right of my inner vision in a corner, crouched but neither laying nor standing. She was against the wall. The corner and the way she pressed against the wall made it look like her back was arched but she was not in an attack position - more like defensive, afraid, worried.

So the interview started. I'll share it here to the best of my recollection.

Me: "Ponce, what do you know?"
Po: "Pain...fear"

Me: "What do you like?"
Po: "Grass. Bugs. Dark places. Blankets."

Me: "Do you feel Maria loves you?"
Po: "It's hard."

Me: "Do you know Maria loves you?"
Po: "Yes."

Me: "Do you know Jose loves you?"
Po: "Yes."  - a warmth that I felt in my chest at the mention of his name

At the point we discussed the move, I could feel her fear in my chest.

I asked Maria to describe the house to me. I began to be an interpreter for Ponce and Maria - allowing Ponce to really hear Maria describe the new home and all of its rooms. Allowing Maria to hear Ponce's reactions through me. First Maria shared about the room where Ponce will move into for the first few days...a room she is calling her "Spirit Room." Ponce was elated to be in that room... a sacred space for Maria. When she heard it was in the cellar, that turned her sour. Maria offered a different room out of the cellar. A small room with a desk, but no hiding places. Ponce would rather be in the Spirit room even if it means being in the cellar. Her response to the smaller room was, "no no no no no no no no no."

Maria described a guest room with a king sized bed and really comfy blankets. Ponce immediately responded, "That's my room!" When she spoke of the room they would share as a family, with a king sized bed that would have plenty of room for both humans and cats, Ponce imagined herself stretching between them against each of their legs, cuddled in the blankets and thought, "that's my spot."

At the news of 3 levels of rooms and exploration, Ponce was intrigued. She knew she would be hiding on the upper floor when guests came to visit. She saw lots of possibility by the end of Maria's description of the future home.

In fact, Ponce was no longer in the corner crouched and fearful. She was away from the wall, peeking out, curious and wondering.

Maria wanted me to make sure Ponce knew this was Jose's house they were moving into. I began my connection again with Ponce.

Me: "Hello Ponce."
Po: "Hello."

Me: "I love you."
Po: "That's fine."

I would call that progress.

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

A Pet Medium's Journey - Kupa the Cat

Kupa is a Maine Coon Cat who lives in the Hudson Valley. He is a love and enjoys people, the outdoors and being pet. His Hu-mom, Yvette, was concerned about his health so we did a little check in session with him.

Here's what happened:

Me: "Hello Kupa"

Me:            "Hello Kupa's body" (trying something else)
Ku's body: "Hello" (a very purry hello indeed)
Me:            "I love you."
Ku:             "I love you too."

Ok so Kupa wasn't talking. He didn't want to be part of this inquiry. But his body was willing so I decided we would go there instead.

Kupa is having some pain. I asked his body where and heard, "Liver and onions." I asked for his body to show me where and a dull ache started in my right lower abdomen and side. Yvette and I wondered if he was having issues with his liver. After our session, she researched issues with the liver for cats and found his symptoms consistent with liver issues.

I asked Kupa's body about food. Bottom line - he loves junk food but his body does not. He loves cheese (swiss, cheddar and brie but NOT Boursin or American) but his body definitely does not.

Raw chicken was a yes. Cooked chicken was a no.

This was my first time communicating with an animal, so frankly, I was surprised I got anything at all. Yvette shared that my communication with him felt right. And she went to slice him up some chicken.

Feel better Kupa!

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Treat Puzzle Review - Dog Treat Maze by Nina Ottosson

This is a review of the Dog Treat Maze by Nina Ottosson. I would recommend this toy and am offering you a way to purchase it through an affiliate link. This will provide a small income to me and Bella to help us further our cause for happy active dogs everywhere. You are not required to purchase it from us. If you decide to do so, know that we very much appreciate it. 🐶

Bella with Nina Ottosson Dog Treat Maze available at PetCoBella's Review:

If you love to eat - and who doesn't...SRSLY. - then you wanna try a meal in this baby. It is round and has colors and it spins. Most of all it has food and treats in it. So you wanna spend some time with it because when you first get it you are gonna think you just have to bite it to get to the yummy smells inside. And then you will learn techniques like SPIN, BOUNCE, SLAM, PIROUETTE, THROW and maybe even make up some of your own. Make sure they put food and treats and not just food because that makes it better. And better is always better. Get this one. You won't regret it. Unless it's empty. And with emptiness comes regret. I read that somewhere once. I don't remember where. Seems to fit here though, no? I hear this one is size large. If it came in an extra large I would want that because I bet you could fit more treats in it.

Just the Facts: 

The Dog Treat Maze by Nina Ottosson is a spherical maze that is shaped like a dome on both the top and bottom. This gives it a wobble that is fun to watch. It also allows your dog to get their paw or nose under it to wobble it, tumble it and turn it end over end. It spins nicely on hardwood floors. They can use the openings to grab it with their teeth for throwing and dropping. The maze inside on the top and bottom are 90 degrees off center of each other so the top and bottom mazes don't react the same way. This makes filling easier and play longer and more engaging. There is no way to take it apart for cleaning, so only dry treats/food are recommended. There is no way to increase or decrease difficulty of this treat puzzle. Treat/food filling can be done on the top and bottom of the maze and each section is separate so treats do not co-mingle between sides.

Trista's 2 Cents:

Dog Treat Maze by Nina Ottosson
We have had this treat puzzle since the beginning - so over a year. It was the first toy of its kind that we got Bella and our first experience with a treat puzzle. It was under the tree for Bella's first Christmas. We pre-filled with some training treats and wrapped it with paper and bows. I remember she opened the package - wrapping paper and all! - and then proceeded to try to open the puzzle. Oops. Didn't think that one through! This puzzle definitely took some training for her to get the hang of it. So worth it!

My first piece of advice is be prepared to train your dog to use this treat puzzle. It's a maze so they have to move the puzzle around to get the treats out. I highly recommend using a positive reinforcement tool to do this. We used the clicker to enforce the actions that would get the treats - pawing, pushing, spinning, tumbling end over end. And we discouraged her when she began to bite it in frustration. The time you spend training should go quickly if your dog is fairly smart. We did get some damage at first (I blame my lack of preparation with training needed) but the treat puzzle has held up..and all that damage (see right) is from the early days. This is one of the pricier treat puzzles we have purchased - at around $15 to $20 - so we have stuck with the original since it still works perfectly fine. 

This treat maze has also stood up to Bella's tendency to get bored with her toys. There is no figuring out a trick to empty the contents .. and repetition of the same movement over and over will not get the results she is looking for. Varied movement is required and therefore this is a long-term treat puzzle that your dog will enjoy for years to come. Our experience is that it will stand up to the abuse it gets while treat-seeking, as long as your dog is not left to gnaw on it. For that reason, I recommend supervised play. By that I mean - not alone. This is definitely in my arsenal of things for Bella to do when I need to get work done.

Here's a funny thing that happened last night - We were sitting on the couch for some late-night wind-down TV. Bella jumped onto the couch arm so she could reach her treat box that lives on the top of her crate. She took almost a minute picking something out. And then - voila! The toy she chose was the Nina Ottosson Dog Treat Maze! It was empty but she kept picking it up with her teeth and dropping it until we filled it up. I like that she chooses it when she wants to find something to do by herself. It's so much better than a fairly new habit she has started - Finding and then destroying boxes of tissues...not just the boxes but also the tissues! :-/

We are happy with this toy and would recommend it, and purchase it again.

Here are some additional helpful details:

  • It comes in 2 sizes - small and large
  • Use small training treats and small food pellets that do not crumble easily. The food will need to fit into a fairly small opening and will get knocked around quite a bit before escaping from one of the openings
  • For longer play, fill both the top and bottom mazes with treats
  • When filling the holes, here's what I do for maximum treat capacity (and maximum play time) - first fill one side, then on that same side tip the maze toward a NON opening side, flip the maze and repeat
  • Mix treats and food so there is a lower calorie/fat content and still the interesting smell of treats
  • As you get used to how long your dog will want to play, you may end up with treats and food leftovers on the floor - Bella empties it but doesn't always finish the contents at the initial sitting
  • This is a great way to feed your dog if you have a fast eater

Saturday, April 30, 2016

Treat Puzzle Review - Outward Hound Kyjen Star Spinner Dog Toy Puzzle

This is a review of the Outward Hound Kyjen Star Spinner Dog Toy Puzzle
I would recommend this toy for beginners and dogs that are not overly astute at solving puzzles (no judgement!). I'm offering you a way to purchase it through an affiliate link. This will provide a small income to me and Bella to help us further our cause for happy active dogs every where. You are not required to purchase it from us. If you decide to do so, know that we very much appreciate it. 🐶

Bella's Review:
I like this puzzle because I was able to get to the treats easily. Sometimes you have a tough day waiting for your humans to come home and watching the cat run around and you just need to unwind and not think too much. This is the perfect thing for me. I think of it as the Paw-tini. Dirty.

Trista's 2 Cents:
A great use for this is to slow your dog down in how quickly they eat. It hold about 1c of dry dog food between all the sections.

The way it works is the dog moves the top and middle sections with their paw or nose to get to the treats or food. Once spun, the toy opens up and all the sections of the level(s) are exposed. If they already know how to use their body parts as tools they will be able to solve this quickly. Once learned, it no longer poses a challenge.

We were not so much looking to slow down eating (we already had a great option for that at a higher difficulty level). So for us this was not a good choice. The 3 pieces are supposed to tighten to create more resistance and increase the difficulty. My experience was that it was never tight enough to pose a challenge for Bella.

Some Good Information:

  • Don't over fill 
  • Evenly distribute the treats among all openings
  • For dogs not great at puzzles, start with the top tier only and then gradate to the lower tier
  • Use the resistance screw on the bottom to slightly increase the difficulty level
  • Avoid OVER tightening as this can cause the unit to break apart and then you may need to call my husband to fix it (I did...)
  • Call me if you want mine - it's basically new 

Here are some additional details:
  • It comes in different colors - you can sometimes find blue instead of green
  • It ranges in price from $10 to $15 at the writing of this review
  • You can get it here with cash back

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Treat Puzzle Review - JW Pet Ever tuff Pod Treat Dispenser Dog Toy

This is a review of the JW Pet Ever Tuff Pod Treat Dispenser Dog Toy
I would recommend this toy and am offering you a way to purchase it through an affiliate link. This will provide a small income to me and Bella to help us further our cause for happy active dogs every where. You are not required to purchase it from us. If you decide to do so, know that we very much appreciate it. 🐶

Bella's Review:
I ruv this toy! Ok, enough with the puppy talk...listen to me what I am saying. Get this for your dog. It's important. My love is their love. And I love this toy. The boney end is perfect for gnawing. And the fun bubbles have yummy things inside of them so I have fun getting them out. This game is fun and it's also a toy when it's not a game and I hear it could even be funner with wet stuff in it but no wet stuff is ever in mine. But I don't care because - as humans say - it has rocks in it.

Trista's 2 Cents:
Bella means "It rocks." This was an impulse buy for me. I saw it and thought it had pretty colors. I was looking for some variety for Bella because she tends to get bored (due to her intelligence) as she gets good at a toy puzzle. She's also a destroyer so I have to say I liked the price. It was less than $10 - a great price for treat puzzles that are usually at a much higher price point. I can't remember but it may even have been the extra thing I put in my cart to get the free shipping.

We have had it over a year and it has held up and held Bella's interest. We are replacing it because the bone ends are now sharp from chewing and we don't want to create opportunities for Bella to cut herself on them.

The colorful pods have held up and have not been broken, ripped or pulled apart by Bella - a well known power chewer.

We are happy with this toy and will purchase it again.

Some Good Information:

  • Use smaller treats for easier filling efforts - training treats and treat discs work best. A broken up milk bone or similar tend to stretch out the pod over time making the toy easier to empty after a while.
  • Vary treats so there is something new in each pod. Variety is the spice of life and will reduce boredom.
  • Avoid allowing your dog to use it as a chew toy to lengthen the life of the toy. Bella has been gnawing on the bone ends for a while now and they have become jagged and sharp. I'm in the process of replacing it to avoid injury of her or my bare feet.
  • Avoid wet treats as it's not the easiest thing to clean. The pods are not removable and it does not come apart for easy cleaning.
  • See the way it's facing in the photos - turn it the other way to fill it. They are showing it to you with the large pliable end towards the bottom and this was quite confusing to me when I first tried to figure out how to fill it. 
  • There is something in the directions about sliding the pods to make room for treats. This seems like it would work but in my experience it really didn't. I pry the large end open with a finger and squeeze the treats in. It's not the easiest thing I have ever done. But it's so worth it. =)
Here are some additional details:
  • It comes in small and large. We got the large, which is the perfect size for Bella.
  • It ranges from $5 to $13 at the writing of this review
  • You can get it here with cash back

Have you tried the JW Pet Ever Tuff Pod Treat Dispenser Dog Toy? What are your thoughts about it? Please share...and include pictures! =-)