6/30/11

0 Swan Lake

After hitting the auction the other day, we took a slight detour on our way home and rode over to one of our favorite places in Sumter, Swan Lake-Iris Gardens.

According to the City of Sumter's webpage dedicated to Swan Lake-Iris Gardens, the property is the only public park in the United States to feature all eight swan species, representing North America, South America, Europe, Asia, and Australia. The park actually dates to 1927, when local businessman Hamilton Carr Bland began developing 30 acres of swampland into a fishing retreat. Apparently, while Mr. Bland was developing the property, he also was attempting to landscape the grounds of his home with Japanese irises. However, legend has it that when the irises failed miserably at his home, he ordered his gardener to dig up all of the bulbs and dump them at the swamp. And lo and behold, the following spring the bulbs unexpectedly burst into bloom, creating an accidental garden, or as Southern Living has described it, "a lovely mistake." 

In addition to swans and irises, today the park also houses a butterfly garden and a chocolate garden. Of course I was drawn to the idea of a chocolate garden; its name actually refers to the chocolate-colored, edible plants that grow there, such as Chocolate Cherry Tomatoes, Chocolate Corn, and Chocolate Miniature Bell Peppers, as well as the chocolate-smelling, flowering plants that grow there, such as Chocolate Daisy, Chocolate Cosmos, and Chocolate Mint. (Speaking of chocolate mint, I actually snapped the picture to the right at the Charleston Farmers Market the other weekend because I had never before seen or heard of the deliciously-named plant.)

Anyway, back to the park: it is delightful. The grounds are beautiful, as are the swans. What's more, the trumpeter swans actually sound like trumpets, and the black swans actually are black. (I love things that are appropriately named, and to be honest, Natalie Portman's Academy Award-winning performance in Black Swan has had me a bit confused on the issue.) 




The thing about swans, however, is that while they are exceptionally graceful, they're also a bit territorial (and therefore scary). But the fact that an outing to Swan Lake invites a bit of danger only serves to keep things interesting, at least if you ask me.


Speaking of outings made interesting by swan-induced danger, about this time last year, we joined some friends of ours and their one-year old daughter for a stroll around the lake one afternoon. The dad, who was charged with pushing the stroller and who shall remain unnamed here, apparently pushed the stroller a bit too close to what appeared to be a very calm swan but was instead a very angry swan. By the time our friend realized that the swan was not calm (but was instead angry), the swan had already risen up, spread her wings, and begun running towards the stroller and honking loudly in the baby's face. I will never forget the look of complete fear in our friend's eyes as he flung the stroller around (thankfully, into the hands of his wife who somehow managed to keep it upright) and hightailed it out of the swan's way. Unfortunately, our friend wasn't quite quick enough to avoid the swan nipping his behind, but dad's behind being nipped is definitely better than any baby part being nipped. Although we laughed a little bit (more like a lot) at our friend's reaction to the angry swan (because from at least one perspective, it looked a bit like he was sacrificing his child to the bird), I do have to say that I cannot entirely blame him for his fear. Like I said, swans are kind of scary.


Now, I thought Tod had learned from our experience last year, but apparently, there's just something about men that makes them feel like they can safely approach wildlife. (Women just seem to know better when it comes to these things.) So, I cannot say that I was super surprised the other day when Tod, like our friend in the above tale, ventured a bit too close to a swan. Maybe swans just don't like wheels. After all, our friend was pushing a stroller, and Tod was walking with his bike. I honestly don't know. But regardless, when Tod stepped a bit too close to the calm-looking-but-angry-instead swan, that bird turned directly towards him and started approaching him with ruffled tail feathers. I just knew I was going to witness a full-on swan attack when Tod swiftly (or like a girl, some might say), ran with his bike behind a trashcan, placing both the bike and the trashcan between him and the bird. Tod spent a minute or two trying to stare down the bird before he finally mustered the courage to run away with his bike. What was I doing while this was going down, you wonder? Oh, you know, just laughing and making sure to catch the whole thing on video. (He wasn't really in danger, people. You know I wouldn't laugh at someone who was really in danger. Come on now.) Sadly for you though, I'm keeping that video to myself. Instead, you'll just have to be satisfied with this picture, which really doesn't do the whole thing justice but is still pretty funny. 

6/22/11

1 Pantry Sweep

Every so often, I enter my kitchen, bust open a bottle (or a box) of wine, and decide to do a pantry sweep.


What's a pantry sweep, you ask? Well, it's a game I play to see how many random ingredients from my pantry I can use up in one meal. You know, those odd bottles of pesto or pasta sauce, those bizarre spices that seemed like wise purchases, and those almost-expired cans of whatever that I bought because either (1) I went to the grocery store too hungry (always a no-no) or (2) they were on some kind of crazy sale. Okay, I'll be honest: it's usually a combination of (1) and (2). Plus, my pantry consists of three small shelves in a very narrow cabinet, so you can understand why the pantry sweep is a necessary game for me.


Anyway, sometimes when I come up with my random ingredients, I'll hop on Google and see if I can find any fitting recipes. But other times, when I'm feeling particularly daring, or when the Barefoot Contessa or Giada haven't quite dumbed it down enough for me and I don't feel like following complicated instructions, I just give it my best shot. (Who am I kidding? I pretty much always take the latter route, just throwing ingredients in a pot all willy-nilly and keeping my fingers crossed that the results will be edible. Willy-nilly cooking may be fun, sure, but it does make for some mixed results. You just can't expect to win 'em all, but as long as you're having fun, well then, you're having fun.) 


And I willingly admit that I've had some colossal failures cooking willy-nilly style, but I'm proud to say that I've also had a few successes, including this week's pantry sweep, which I'm going to share with you now.


First, I pulled half a bag of frozen shrimp out of the freezer and boiled them according to the package instructions. (The other half of the bag of frozen shrimp went into the pad thai I tried to make a few months back. Yeah, let's just say that one fell into the "colossal failure" category.)


Then, I pulled a bag of whole wheat orzo out of my three-shelf pantry and boiled the pasta according to the instructions, remembering to salt the water, of course.


Meanwhile, I grabbed a jar of roasted red peppers that I picked up at Costco a while back and sliced and diced a few of them. (I love roasted red peppers. They go great in any pasta dish if you ask me.) I also pulled out a can of garbanzo beans and drained and strained them until the bubbles went away. (Why do beans bubble like that when you rinse them?) I also gathered a package of crumbled feta, a bag of fresh spinach, and a bottle of olive-oil based Newman's Own salad dressing from the fridge. I combined the beans, the feta, and the roasted red peppers in a glass bowl, like this:




When the pasta finished cooking, I first scooped out a coffee mug's worth of pasta water. (I've found that it's always a good idea to scoop out some pasta water before you drain the pasta in case you need to add it to your dish later to make it saucier.) After draining the pasta, I put it back in the pot and began to stir in the bag of fresh spinach. (I love how a huge bag of spinach reduces to almost nothing in the face of hot pasta.) I added in the hot pasta water that I'd reserved, as necessary, to get the spinach to wilt. I also added in some dried shallots and roasted garlic from two jars of those ingredients that I picked up at T.J. Maxx of all places. 




After successfully combining the spinach and the pasta (as well as the shallots and the garlic), I added the ingredients from the glass bowl (the beans, the feta, and the roasted red peppers). I also added the shrimp, some dried basil, some fresh cracked pepper, and a bit more salt. 




While stirring everything together, I added the  salad dressing a little bit at a time until the dish reached the desired consistency.






I served myself a huge bowl and put the rest in a glass refrigerator dish for later enjoyment. I've now eaten the dish both hot and cold, and I'm honestly not sure which way I prefer it. A dish with options is a beautiful thing, I think.




So what do you think? Have you had any successful pantry sweeps recently? Do share.

6/20/11

0 Patrick Veterinary Clinic

Zelda is a patient at the wonderful, world-class Patrick Veterinary Clinic in downtown Charleston, and a couple of months ago when we went for a visit (back when her luxating patella was bothering her), it just so happened that the folks from Best of Charleston were at the clinic filming a short video. The videographer asked for permission to film us in the waiting room, and of course we agreed. So now Zelda's on YouTube! Check out the video below. You can see a quick shot of Zelda at 1:48, I think. 



By the way, if you live in Charleston and have a pet, the Patrick Veterinary Clinic is definitely the way to go.

6/19/11

3 Weekends are the best.

First of all, I want to wish everyone a happy fathers' day! I hope all the dads out there got to do something fun this weekend.


And speaking of doing something fun this weekend, all I can say is that Tod and I packed about as much fun into this weekend as is humanly possible (which is proven by the length of this blog post).


Thanks to our girl Heidi, we were up with the sun on Saturday morning, so we beat the heat by hitting the farmers market early. (I love the Charleston farmers market; remember this post?) And thanks to a very sweet mothers' day gift from Heidi and Zelda, we've now got two beach cruisers in Charleston instead of one, so we were able to travel in style all weekend. 








The farmers market was a hit (as always). The tomatoes were out in full force, perhaps even showing off a bit, but who can blame 'em? And I was smitten with the bin of shucked silver queen corn.






Check out the parade of heirloom tomatoes marching down the table; they seem proud to be in Marion Square, probably hoping to end up on a slice of white bread slathered in mayonnaise.


And as I've told y'all before, one of the great things about the farmers market is that it offers so much more than beautiful produce. It also offers a ton of smells-so-good-it-makes-you-hungry prepared food and a wide array of handmade gifts and art. I discover something new every time I go to the market, like the Greek gyro man and the Vietnamese taco booth that I saw this time. (What the heck are Vietnamese tacos by the way? I guess I'll have to give them a try soon.)




With respect to the handmade gifts and art, one of the things I most appreciate is the way each artist sets up his or her booth to present his or her handiwork. Presentation does matter, I think. And because I'm a fan of pretty much all things creative, I love to think that in some sort of alternate reality I would forego the world of business suits to try my hand at making something worthy of being sold en masse at the Charleston farmers market.  









This weekend, we stumbled across a couple of young table makers, who make simple but astoundingly beautiful tables from old, reclaimed wood. We walked away saying things like, "how cool that they're doing that," and "I love how excited they are to talk about their work." Pretty quickly, these conversations inevitably turned into, "wow, I wonder if we could do something like that?" 


And you know, I'm pretty sure we could. But for now, I think we're pretty content to just walk through the market and have those "I wonder" conversations, because that's actually a great way to appreciate the people among us who've learned to make things, and who've taken the risk of sharing their handiwork with others.    


We also particularly enjoyed talking to the young lady (Lauren Shuler) who makes dog leashes and collars. (Remember this picture from my previous farmers market post?) And for this weekend's farmers market treat, we decided to grab a pair of adorable and reasonably-priced collars for the girls. Zelda's is green with black and white sheep, and Heidi's is pink with pigs. We realized after the fact that it should have been the other way around as Heidi is part shepherd and Zelda has some piggish tendencies (understatement). I told the girls to sit still and model their new jewelry for the camera! (I think Zelda must have been worried about having a double chin.)









After the market, we headed to the library, where the Friends of the Library was hosting a quarterly book sale. I just love used book sales.



Then it was off to Ted's Butcherblock for a BBQ block party with bluegrass music by the Bushels.  





Because who doesn't love spending a Saturday afternoon outside listening to good music, drinking good beer (Westbrook white thai to be specific), and eating good food (burgers and kielbasa with pimento cheese and all sorts of other fixin's)?
For an additional dose of fun, someone from the Post & Courier (The Scene section) snapped our pic; you can check it out here.


After the block party, we biked back over to King Street and spent some time walking up and down the street going in and out of shops to look at things and sometimes just to feel the air conditioning.


When we'd had enough shopping, we headed back home to take the girls to the park to play. After a short nap (and a mini meltdown when Zelda wet the bed mid-nap), we cleaned up and decided to head back out on the bikes in search of supper. We ended up stopping at a new place, Leaf, which has taken over the old downtown Vickery's (although there's not even the smallest trace of the old Vickery's in the new design). The owner of one of Zelda's dog park buddies has been working on opening the place for a while, and we were glad to give it a try. The location is great, as was the service and the food (killer Greek salad by the way). We sat at the bar and enjoyed chatting with the staff and the other bar patrons, and Tod and I agreed that the new, clean design of the place made us feel like we were hanging out at the island in a friend's (albeit a very wealthy friend's) large, open kitchen in an equally large, open beach house. Well done. 

And then, not to let Sunday be outdone by Saturday, Tod talked me into hopping back on the bikes this morning and heading over the bridge to Mount Pleasant for lunch (to one of our favorite weekend lunch spots, Whole Foods). Was it a very difficult ride? Yes, of course it was. After all, beach cruisers aren't exactly made for hills, a lesson we learned when a pedal on one of the bikes became loose, necessitating a pit stop at a local bike shop on the way home. (The pit stop at the bike shop also involved me picking out a hula girl bell for my handlebars, which you know I rang the whole way home, much to everyone around me's annoyance.) Anyway, despite the difficulty, or maybe even because of it, our trek across the Cooper River was totally worth it; in fact, it was a lot more fun than I thought it would be if I'm going to be totally honest here. 


Tod challenged himself not to stop until he got to the top, so he soon got very far ahead of me. I, on the other hand, was busy being a total cheeseball, stopping to take pictures and to ooh and aah at the dolphins swimming below and the amazing views of the Holy City. 



Lo and behold, you run into the darnedest people on that bridge, like my dear friend Janice!






Do you see the person in the orange? Well, look to the left of him, and you can sort of see Tod, very patiently waiting for me at the top. 



Like I said, total cheeseball. Vigorous exercise does that to me, I guess.


You know, the part of me that absolutely fell in love with the Eiffel Tower when I lived in Paris (especially when it lit up and twinkled at night) must be the same part of me that has absolutely fallen in love with this bridge. Like, I really, really love it. It's awe-inspiring.


Thanks to gravity, the way down was a lot easier than the way up. That being said, however, the way down also was a heck of a lot scarier than the way up because who knew a beach cruiser could go so fast down a bridge? I'm not sure if my legs are going to be more sore tomorrow from pedaling uphill than my hands will be from the death grip I had on the handlebars on the way down. Despite all that, for a minute or two there, I'm pretty sure that Tod and I both felt about nine years-old again.




Okay, enough blathering about our silly weekend. But I will say that I hope you were able to cram as much fun into your weekend as we were able to in ours. 

6/16/11

3 Slow Cooked Pork Tacos

The other night at the beach, Tod and I were tasked with preparing supper for six and decided to try out a new recipe from a cookbook that I recently checked out from the library, Slow Cooker Revolution from the editors at America's Test Kitchen.



When I check out newly released cookbooks from the library, I usually flip through them, admire the photographs, and jot down one or two recipes to try the next time I'm in the mood to cook. And this time was no different; as the title of this post indicates, I jotted down the recipe for slow cooked pork tacos, and Tod and I decided to go for it. (When preparing supper for a crowd, I often turn to the slow cooker for a number of reasons. First, I love the fact that you can get the messy work out of the way before your guests arrive (so you're not busy trying not to burn things while simultaneously trying to entertain your guests). Second, it means that you'll have enough food for the inevitable guest or two who show up unplanned or maybe even uninvited. Third, cooking in the slow cooker means your house will smell like Betty Crocker lives there. And finally, because slow cooking gives the spices a chance to "mell" (inside joke there; of course I know that the correct word is "meld"), you can go bananas with your spices and still not ruin the meal. Wait, one more thing: slow cooking is energy efficient, or so I've read, and in these hot summer months, you don't have to worry about turning on the oven and overheating your entire kitchen. One little appliance does all the heavy work for you. Yay for slow cookers!)   



So anyway, I jotted down the recipe for slow cooked pork tacos, and I thought I'd share it with you since it was a hit. (And no, I was not trying to "age" the recipe by spilling water and random ingredients on it. I'm maybe just not the neatest cook in the world.)

Here's a list of what you should pick up from the store:
First, a slow cooker if you don't have one. (Seriously, why don't you have one?)
1 boneless pork sirloin roast (roughly 2 pounds)
1 and 1/2 cups of salsa verde (the green kind in case you don't speak Mexican)
1 medium sweet red pepper, chopped
1 medium onion, chopped
1/4 cup of dried apricots, chopped (Don't skip this; it's amazing how the sweetness of the apricots works with the spiciness of the salsa. I wonder if other dried fruits would be good? Pineapple maybe?)
2 tablespoons of lime juice (We used the juice of one lime.)
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon of ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon of salt
1/4 teaspoon of white pepper
dash of hot pepper sauce 
flour tortillas (We went with the smaller sized tortillas rather than the giant burrito-sized fajitas. The recipe also suggested using Boston Bibb lettuce leaves if you're going for the whole low-carb thing. Yeah, my vote is for the flour tortillas.)

As for the taco toppings, we went with chopped lettuce, shredded cheddar cheese, sliced green onions, sour cream, cubed avocado, diced tomatoes, and low-fat refried beans.  

And here are the directions:

Plug in your slow cooker and remove the lid. Add the pork, salsa, chopped red pepper, chopped onion, chopped apricots, lime juice, garlic, cumin, salt, white pepper, and hot sauce (all of the ingredients except the flour tortillas and the taco toppings) to the slow cooker. Turn the slow cooker on high and cook for 4-5 hours or until the meat is very tender.

Remove the meat and let cool slightly. Shred the roast with a fork and return to the slow cooker, heating through. When you're ready to eat, place the pork on a serving dish, throw the bowls of toppings on the table, and let your guests make their own tacos! 

Oh, and for a side dish, we also boiled some fresh ears of corn for corn-on-the-cob (although I personally still cut the kernels off of the cob and eat them like an eight-year-old without front teeth). Go slightly overboard on the theme (you know we did) and serve up your favorite chips and cheese dip, as well as some Margaritas and taco-friendly beer like Corona or Pacifico. 

Sometimes when I try new recipes from random library cookbooks, they immediately go in the trash, but not this one. No, I think I'll keep this one and stick it in my recipe notebook so I can make it again. Although next time, I'll be sure to avoid puncturing my finger while chopping avocado. (I may not be the neatest cook, and I'm clearly not the most coordinated, but at least I plan ahead. That's right, I make sure to do my messiest and least coordinated cooking when there's a doctor or two in the house as well as a mom or two, because, as everybody knows, doctors and moms don't get light-headed and teary-eyed at the sight of blood (like I do), and they always know just what to do to make it better. Thank you, by the way.)  

6/13/11

3 Teen Paranormal Romance

It's a pretty big deal. At least to booksellers, that is. In fact, I think it's safe to say that it's a genre now.


The other night, Tod and I were wandering through Barnes & Noble, and on our way to find a book on Airstream trailers (more about that later perhaps), we came across a very large section of books called "teen paranormal romance." We realized on the way home that we should have taken a picture of this gigantic section, filled with black and red vampire-laden books, all with angsty titles and twisty pictures on the covers, but we didn't. So no pics today, sorry. 


Anyway, here's the true confession part of this post. During the past several months, Tod and I have become full-fledged fans of the Twilight series, which for those of you who don't know (if such a thing is possible these days) is a series of "teen paranormal romance" tales filled with vampires and werewolves. And I know we're a little late on the uptake here, but we're far away from our teenage years so it just takes time to learn about these things. (Tod's actually a much bigger "Twihard" than I am, so much so that after finishing the four books from the series, he also took on The Short Second Life of Bree Tanner, an Eclipse novella (or as Tod calls it, the after-the-fact book that Stephenie Meyer wrote when it came time to go vacation-home shopping). And his next book is sure to be The Twilight Saga: the Official Illustrated Guide. I'm pretty sure he just likes reading the werewolf parts because they remind him of Heidi's potential. Sorry to call you out, Tod, but I'm just keeping it real around here.)


Now I guess it's time to call myself out. Although I liked the Twilight books, I never could buy completely into the whole vampire/werewolf thing. But no worries because, you see, the "teen paranormal romance" genre has made room for more than vampire and werewolf tales; the money-making genre also includes tales of a future world where children must compete in brutal killing games, where they literally fight other children to the death each year. Umm, sounds horrible, I know. But the funny thing is that it's not. It's actually really, really good. And if you're thoroughly confused now, I'm talking about The Hunger Games trilogy by Suzanne Collins. 


I started The Hunger Games on Saturday afternoon, read into the night, and finished it Sunday morning. One word: uh-mazing. Yep, I'm completely sold. Forget about Edward and Bella. It's time for Katniss and Gale. (Or Katniss and Peeta?) And I'm just so happy that it's a trilogy because that means I've still got two more books to read. Hooray for teen paranormal romance. Who knew? 





6/9/11

1 Look Who's Blogging Now

Most of the time Zelda really prefers to be the center of attention (I mean, can you blame her?), so although she loves being made famous by the blog, she does not so much love spending time entertaining herself while I work on the blog. (She prefers activities that involve me throwing toys to her, scratching her belly, or feeding her things. She does not enjoy activities that involve me folding clothes, reading, or typing. When I am doing one of the latter activities, she sticks out one paw and bats either me or the laundry/book/computer until I revert back to doing one of the former activities. She's pretty persistent, too.) 


So, to make up for all of the lonely hours I have forced her to spend tossing her toys around by herself with her mouth (all the while hoping to draw my attention away from the Mac screen), I gave her some blogging lessons tonight. She's a natural. (And, of course, now she wants to start her own blog. I'm afraid I've created an animal. Oh, wait, she is an animal. I mean, I'm afraid I've created a monster.) 




Happy Thursday from Nan (and Zelda).



6/8/11

5 Gift Ideas for the Dog Lovers in Your Life

Between Heidi and Zelda (and all of the other precious dogs in our lives), Tod and I are always discovering great products for dogs. So I thought that, just for fun, I'd share a list of some great gift ideas for the dog lovers you know. (Yes, I know, Christmas is a long way away, but random, non-special-occasion gifts are pretty fun if you ask me.)

Here you go, in no particular order.

 1. I know it's going to seem like I'm some kind of undercover L.L. Bean peddler, but honestly, these products are just tried and true, and they're the first things that come to my mind when I think of great dog gifts. First, what about a monogrammed boat tote? Heidi and Zelda each have one, and it makes traveling with all of their food, leashes, and other gear such a piece of cake. (Added bonus: these things are still made in America, which is such a rare thing these days.)



Or consider an L.L. Bean dog bed. They're a bit more expensive than the beds you'll find at the box stores, but they're worth it. With some beds, I've had to rub treats on them and lie down on them myself to get the girls to use them, but not with the Bean beds. Seriously, when Zelda got hers, Heidi immediately hopped on it to show her baby sister how it's done (Heidi's Bean bed is more appropriately sized for her), and Zelda soon took over. (Added bonus: I believe the inserts are still made in America.)

Lastly for L.L. Bean, the personalized web collars and leashes are great. You can include the dog's name and a phone number, and they come in such happy colors. 





2. DNA testing kits. Yep, you read that right, I said DNA testing. (Obviously this gift would only be appropriate for the mutt lovers out there.) Several companies (such as Canine Heritage and Wisdom Panel) offer this service (just google "dog DNA testing"), and it's a very simple process. Once you receive the package in the mail with instructions, you swab your dog's cheek as instructed and then return the swabs to the lab in the provided envelopes. Six to eight weeks later you'll receive the results. We've had both Heidi and Zelda DNA tested, and it's really a lot of fun. (Heidi is a rottweiler/Australian Shepherd mix, and Zelda is a Pomeranian/Miniature Schnauzer mix.)  


3. The Thunder Shirt. Our sweet girl, Heidi, has a bit of anxiety (understatement). During thunderstorms, I used to put an old t-shirt of mine on her, but she'd always get sort of tangled up in it. Problem solved: the Thunder Shirt has velcro and is stretchy and tight-fitting, which apparently helps dogs feel secure. On any given stormy day, this is where you can find sweet Heidi, in the bathtub, her very own shelter from the storm. 


4. Matching dog and owner pajamas. No, I'm not kidding about this. Last year, The Company Store offered flannel pajamas for the whole family (dogs included), and Zelda and I were lucky enough to get some for Christmas from my sister. I'm not ashamed to say it; I cried a little bit when I opened them because I was so excited. (Yes, you know you've completely lost it when a set of matching owner/dog pajamas bring tears to your eyes. Alas, I'll save you from having to see a teary-eyed Christmas pic of us in our matching jammies.)


5. Kyjen Hide-a-Squirrel Puzzle Toy. This one reminds me of the Woodsies toy I had as a kid, but it's definitely a hit for any toy-loving dog (and it comes in several sizes). It's all-around adorable, and Heidi and Zelda have had a lot of fun playing with (and eating) theirs. And if I'm not mistaken, this company also makes bees-in-a-hive, turtles-on-a-log, and birds-in-a-nest, just to name a few. (Added bonus: you can buy replacement squirrels if your dog goes to town on any of them like Heidi and Zelda have been known to do.)



6. The Furminator. These things are simply amazing. Seriously, you'll be delighted by how much easier it is to keep your dog's shedding under control once you start using one of these. They come in several different sizes (even for cats, too, I think), and every dog owner who owns a big shedder and has to wear suits to work should have one!


Alright, I think that's enough for now, but I'm sure I'll think of about five more after I publish this post! Oh well, I can always update it later. 


But here's what I want to know now: what are your favorite dog-related gifts? 
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