Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Paws for Veterans... how rescued dogs are making a difference in the lives of veterans

Theo and me
My family has been blessed with the companionship of countless shelter pets throughout the years. Now that the kids are grown (our baby will be 29 soon!!), Bill and I are down to only two cats. I ended up being highly allergic to the last cat we adopted from the Humane Society, the sweetest long-haired black Manx who is now being treated like a princess in someone else's home. From dogs to bunnies to a slew of kitties, our shelter pets have brought so much joy into our lives. 

My favorite pet of all time, however, is one particular cat who's lived with us for over six years now. Theo Van Gogh is a Siberian Forest Cat (although he was listed at the Humane Society as a Ragdoll), who is devoted to me unlike any other pet I've had. When I first saw Theo, he was curled up in his litter box in a cage. It wasn't until he looked up at me that I noticed he was missing an ear. This slightly cross-eyed cat, with too long fangs, and rough, greasy fur, won his way, first into my husband's heart, and then into mine. 

The Van Gogh "brothers"

We already had a Ragdoll cat named Vincent Van Gogh, which, admittedly we purchased from a family who originally bought him from a breeder in Jamestown, New York. Because of my allergies, I am limited as to what kind of cats we can have. It didn't use to matter, but as I've aged, the allergies to cats grew stronger and now I have to be careful. Ragdolls are a good choice for those allergic to cats; as are Siberians. 

After we got the Ragdoll, we renamed this magnificently beautiful cat Vincent Van Gogh. A year later, we started watching for another Ragdoll at the shelters, with hopes of adopting another one. That's when a cat named Gyro showed up in my search. 

His fur isn't rough anymore!

As we were checking out this faux-Ragdoll, we started laughing as we realized we already had a cat named Vincent Van Gogh and we were about to adopt a one-earred kitty! So, we renamed him after Vincent's brother, Theodorus. It wasn't long before Theo captured the #1 spot in my heart.

Why am I telling you this? Oh yeah. Because I want to announce an upcoming contest I'm excited about.

Nordic Naturals® What's Essential Rescue Pet 
Photo Contest
Supporting Paws for Veterans and Animal Shelter Dogs

Yes, it's about shelter dogs, but anyone with a rescue pet can enter to win an amazing prize package from Nordic Naturals®. Simply by uploading a special photo of your rescued pet, you will be entered to win! Two grand prize winners will be chosen on August 1st and will each receive a prize pack that includes: 
  • A 3-month supply of Nordic Naturals® Omega-3 pet products and human products -- you choose from a list of qualifying Nordic Naturals® products.
  • Dog and cat goodies, including collapsible water bowl, chew toy, doggie bags, and a plush fish toy
  • The Dog Bible: Everything Your Dog Wants You to Know and The Cat Bible: Everything Your Cat Expects You to Know books by Tracie Hotchner
  • A custom canvas painting of your pet by Rebecca Fischer at beccavision.com   
  • Mr. or Ms Omega-3 Pet Award Certificate
  • Profile featured on the Facebook app 
The contest supports the nonprofit paws4vets and voting for your favorite pet photo on Facebook earns dollars for this important organization. This is a win-win for everybody -- rescue dogs are given a purpose in a loving, forever home, service members experience the healing power of their new canine partners, and Facebook fans enjoy the satisfaction of knowing their vote in the contest sends $1 to Paws for Veterans (up to $5,000).

The contest isn't starting until June 28th, but I wanted to give you plenty of time to start snapping some amazing shots of the rescued pets in your life. Here's what you'll need to do:

  • Upload your pet's photo between 6/28 and 7/18
  • Vote for one of the finalists from 7/19 to 7/31
  • Check back to see the winners on 8/1
 It's simple and it's for an awesome cause!

Paws for Veterans, Inc. is a community-based organization providing service dogs, training, supplies, and therapeutic group sessions to Veteran and Active Duty men and women struggling with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), Traumatic Brain Injury, and Physical Disabilities. As a 501(c)3 nonprofit, this organization rescues, rehabilitates, trains, and rehomes dogs as service dogs for injured veterans. 

Based in Watsonville, CA, Nordic Naturals® is committed to delivering the world's safest, most effective omega oils to help provide the essentials of an extraordinary life. Distributing to more than 35 countries, Nordic Naturals® offers more than 150 products in a variety of flavors and formulations, all in line with leading standards for safety, efficacy and sustainability. By providing omega oil supplements for adults, kids, athletes, and pets, Nordic Naturals® helps everyone do more of what they love. Read more about their amazing products on their website and follow them on Facebook and Twitter.

Nordic Naturals® offers two types of high quality fish oil for your pet companions: 

  • Omega-3 Pet Liquid (which contains anchovy and sardine oil)
  • Pet Cod Live Oil (which contains pure Arctic cod liver oil) 
These supplements come in 16 oz., 8 oz., and 2 oz. bottles, and the Omega-3 Pet product is also available in a soft gel delivery system. The pet products are guaranteed fresh for 90 days after opening, when refrigerated.

Why fish oil? For centuries, canine and feline diets consisted of unprocessed foods rich in EPA and DHA, omega-3 fatty acids derived from algae, plants, and fish. However, most of today's pet foods contain primarily omega-6 fatty acids from vegetable oils. Even the highest quality pet diets rarely contain adequate amounts of EPA and DHA. This results in an unbalance ratio of omega-3 to omega-6 that can negatively impact the health of our pets.

Nordic Naturals® is known for its freshness and sustainability. All products are purified for mercury and environmental contaminants and surpass strict international quality standards.

Don't forget to visit the Nordic Naturals® Facebook Page between 6/28 and 7/18 to submit your pictures! Looking forward to seeing lots of furry faces from the GG community!

While this is not a sponsored post, I will receive some lovely Nordic Naturals swag for posting.

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