Review of Mr. Chewy: Update

I felt it was necessary to update my review of Mr. Chewy after dealing with their customer service last night (spoiler alert- their customer service is REALLY GOOD). I mentioned in my last review that I ordered dehydrated food from The Honest Kitchen in an attempt to find something that would agree with Pearl’s sensitive stomach and address some of her allergy symptoms. However, my dog, who will normally eat anything (except for rabbit meat), did not want to eat it. So, I called Mr. Chewy. On the website, Mr. Chewy’s policy states that they will “happily accept packages within 365 days of the sale date and we’ll give you a complete refund. Oh ya, we’ll also pay for the return shipping. All we ask is that the product is not used or expired, is in the same condition you received it and is in the original box and/or packaging.” I had already opened the bag and used some of it, so I was not expecting to be able to return it. But because people may use Mr. Chewy to buy and try new food that is not available to them locally, I figured that this was not a totally unique problem and that it couldn’t hurt to call and see what they could do for me.

When I called their 24/7 customer service line, the phone was answered quickly by a real (and friendly) person who addressed my questions. I was told to donate the leftover food to a shelter or rescue organization that could use it and they would give me a full refund. I did not even have to send back the opened food. This goes above and beyond what I was expecting them to do, since really I should have known better than to buy a new and expensive food without getting a sample or at least a smaller bag first. And since they were so pleasant to deal with and so accommodating, I really wanted to share this part of my experience. I am definitely planning to order from Mr. Chewy again and am even more confident in recommending them to others.

Next time, order me something tasty, ok?

If you look on their website, Mr. Chewy states that they want you to be “delighted, enchanted, blown away, jubilant, thrilled, ecstatic, tickled pink, euphoric, overjoyed, pleasantly surprised, elated, flying high, excited, and definitely over the moon about your experience with us.” I have to say that I laughed when I first read this but, after this experience, I truly am very impressed and can tell that they take this policy to heart.

P.S. Just a reminder, if you use my discount code, PEAR5654, on your first order, you can save 10% on your order and Mr. Chewy will donate $10 to Best Friends Animal Society.

Review of Mr. Chewy

I am very excited to be the latest blogger in the community to be offered a $50 credit from MrChewy.com to write an honest review of their services.

As I am not the first blogger to do a review, many of you are probably already familiar with Mr. Chewy, which is an online store which sells 70+ brands dog and cat food, including prescription food like the royal canin veterinary diet that Pearl is currently on, along with other pet supplies like treats, cat litter and flea and tick meds. Other reviews I have seen have been pretty positive, so I was excited to try them out for myself.

Mr. Chewy has an ENORMOUS selection of a wide variety of dog food and treats. Their prices seem pretty comparable to, if not cheaper than, the brick and mortar stores in my area. The site was easy to navigate, although the selection was pretty overwhelming in itself. The ordering and checkout process was easy, even for a first time user. I placed my order on a Sunday afternoon and my purchases arrived on Wednesday. Shipping is free on orders over $49, which is great, as I would imagine it’s pretty easy when buying dog food to meet that minimum. If you spend less, it is a $4.95 flat rate for shipping, which is still relatively inexpensive. The convenience factor here is really their best feature and in my opinion they do a great job making the shopping process as painless as possible.

I was going to order a new bag of Pearl’s prescription food, which would have allowed me to let you know how difficult the process was when a prescription was involved, but we are beginning to wean Pearl off of that food right now and I had just bought a new bag, so instead I purchased a box of the Zeal formula from The Honest Kitchen. We had been debating putting Pearl on a raw diet but for a variety of reasons we have decided not to at this time and this seemed like the next best choice. Once we transition her over I will do another post talking about my decision to try The Honest Kitchen and what our experience has been like.

I would definitely recommend Mr. Chewy, especially since most pet bloggers are the types of pet owners who want to feed their dogs the types of premium items that aren’t available at your local Petco. I had a great experience and the shipping speed is definitely a selling point.

If you would like to try out Mr. Chewy for yourself, here is a discount code which will save you 10% on your order: PEAR5654. For every first time customer that uses this code, Mr. Chewy will donate $10 to Best Friends Animal Society, which is a fantastic organization that does great work (their Senior Legislative Attorney, Ledy VanKavage, just came to speak at my law school this week. Check out their website here).

Gotcha!

So Pearl’s gotcha day was sometime in March, but being the type of person who forgets birthdays and anniversaries, I have forgotten the exact day. Still, I don’t want to let the month end without celebrating a year of having Pearl as a member of the family!

These are the pictures of Pearl from her petfinder posting (which isn’t actually how we found her, but we looked her up after filling out her adoption application)

This is how the rescue agency described her (her old name was Cora): German Shorthaired Pointer/Terrier Mix: Cora is cute, cute, cute! She is about 6 months old was rescued by a group of women who worked at an antique store. They were upset to see her waiting outside in a parking lot in the cold while her owner was shopping. She was a thin, hungry puppy but he did not buy anything for Cora. He was also very rough with her. The ladies offered this man money for her and he gladly gave her up. Cora is now safe in rescue and doing great. She participates in doggy day care and enjoys playing with other active dogs. She also lives with cats. After a long day of fun she can be very loving and affectionate to her foster mom. Cora is precious!

I don’t know HOW she lived with cats, but she certainly was/is cute, cute, cute!

Pearl today:

She may not be the easiest dog in the world (understatement…. she is a b*tch, a pain in the *ss, the most frustrating, high maintenance creature I have ever met) but I love her and I can’t even imagine life without her. She makes our family complete. And maybe by next year at this time I will be able to say “she is a good girl” without laughing. So here’s to an exciting year and being grateful for the smart, fun, goofy girl who keeps me on my toes!

Bad Behaviors

So my gotcha day post is going to be postponed again because of what is a more pressing problem (I think). Lately, Pearl has been barking at me. Like, demanding I play with her by dropping a toy in my lap and barking at me when I won’t, or barking like mad at me while I am on the phone or even when I am just sitting on the couch doing nothing. Then, in the past two days, she has actually been biting me. Not hard enough to break skin, but hard enough to leave a mark. She has nipped me on the leg, on the rear end, on the arm, the back…

Now, she had a steroid shot and was on antibiotics for a cut on her foot and she is also on dewormer, but this is not acceptable behavior, right? And because we are trying to be positive, I don’t know how to tell her it is wrong to do that. We’ve tried time outs but no result yet, although we will keep being consistent with that (thanks for the really timely post from Love and a Six-Foot Leash. But when we let her out of her crate following a time out she comes flying out and starts nipping and jumping all over me again. I try to ignore her and turn away and she bites me in the back. And of course, now, after I pushed her away 15 times, she is lying calmly in my husband’s lap.  He says she doesn’t lie calmly with me because I don’t just sit and pet her and give her attention, and that the fact that most days I feed her and walk her twice doesn’t count. I am so frustrated… I feel like my dog doesn’t like me and- I can’t help it- I take it personally. It makes me angry at her because I’ve spend thousands of dollars in vet bills, training classes, expensive crazy foods, I’ve moved to accommodate her twice in less than a year (or will have moved twice when we move next week), I wake up early every morning before it is light to walk her, even on weekends. Not to mention her reactivity, which scares, frustrates, and embarrasses me despite how much I research different solutions and work with her. I meet friends’ dogs and want to trade and then feel horrible. I contemplate trying more forceful training techniques (is she barking at me because she thinks she is dominant over me?) and then I think better of it- for now. I feel like this blog has become a place mostly for me to vent about her, rather than to celebrate her, learn new things, and all those other positive things I want to be doing. It feel like my husband and I had a baby and every time I hold the baby it cries and every time my husband holds the baby it smiles and laughs (except probably not that bad… if my baby cried every time I held it I really would lose it).

Look at this face... is this the face of a bad girl?

Have any of you dealt with these types of problems with your dogs? Do you think it may be the drugs she is on? Are most of you proponents of positive training methods even in these situations? I have had two different trainers come to my house early after we got Pearl and it hasn’t been that helpful, in large part because she is, of course, not badly behaved when they are there. We haven’t been going to classes lately because we are waiting for a canine good citizen or a tricks class to start and because the agility classes I know of are run by a trainer who is 1) kind of far and 2) recommends pinch collars and e-collars. I don’t think we can afford to get another private trainer to the house and we are moving in a week anyway, which worries me even more with uprooting her in the middle of dealing with all these issues. I just feel overwhelmed and also bad for Pearl because I clearly am not equipped to handle this and help her behave more appropriately. It’s just one of those days where I am discouraged and hopefully tomorrow will be better.

Scattered Update

I am still alive and well and I still own an insane puppy. Posting has been slow because, besides some busy non-dog related school stuff I have been up to, 1) I want to post a review of the aikiou dog bowl but am having trouble figuring out how to post a video because I am technologically challenged and 2) Pearl tested positive for roundworms, which makes me wonder if this has been the problem the whole time, if she has this and still has allergies, how many tests missed this or if she just got them (we switched from heartguard, which protects against roundworms as well as heartworm to ivermectin, which just protects against heartworm, when we did the allergy trial, since heartguard has beef in it. Now I am going, I think, to sentinel, which does most common worms plus fleas, since we aren’t giving her frontline ever again and it is warming up around here and getting to be flea season. So yes, lots of frustration and vet bills on this front that started with a paw sore that the vet thinks was likely an infected bee sting or something and ended with bloodwork, stool samples, and dewormer… we’ve been busy figuring out how to make our puppy feel better. but yes, better, more coherent posts to follow. Speaking of health issues, has anyone had side effects from dewormer that include a dog that is whining, antsy, bouncing off the walls, won’t settle? I mean, that describes Pearl somewhat anyway, but this is new levels of craziness and my husband and I have had to hold each other back from wringing her cute little neck. 

This morning she nearly pulled my arm out of its socket lunging after

a) a bunny

b) a cat

c) an empty space where a cat *may* have once been

No matter how bad she is feeling Pearl clearly has PREY DRIVE to spare. 

Also, I have to write a belated gotcha day post for my girl, as we have had her a year now, although (and I feel horrible admitting this) I don’t remember what day in March 2011 we actually got her, I think it was either March 15 or March 17. Either way, it’s worth celebrating even a week or so late.

And just because, here is a picture of Pearl trying to catch a tennis ball (she can never actually catch them they just hit her in the face and then she chases them and I am caught between feeling guilty that I just hit my dog in the face and laughing at her. She can catch treats tossed to her with no problem, so I don’t know what the issue is with the tennis balls- too big?)

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I’ve Been Tagged!

I’ve been tagged! I am a bit slow in responding, but I am rationalizing it because I am slow in real life and would definitely stay “it” in a game of tag for quite a while. I’ve actually been tagged twice, by The (mis)Adventures of Sage and Gone for a Walk.

1. Describe Yourself In 7 Words
Pearl: high-strung, anxious, spoiled, lovable (in spite of the previous three words), curious, smart, silly
Me: haha probably the same as Pearl, she is definitely the dog version of me (except she is skinny)

2. What Keeps You Up At Night
Pearl: The fact that I have boundless energy
Me: Pearl

3. Who Would You Like To Be?
Pearl: The one who is the center of attention AT ALL TIMES
Me: Someone successful enough that I can wear jeans to work and no one will question it

4. What Are You Wearing Right Now?
Pearl: My spindrift fleece-lined cozy dog collar
Me: Unfortunately, I had to dress up for school today because of a job fair, so I am not wearing my usual jeans and a sweatshirt for once

5. What Scares You?
Pearl: Other people and dogs getting too close when I’m on a walk, the sound of car doors slamming near my house, the vet’s office, the sight of the bitter apple spray bottle, things blowing in the wind, water getting anywhere near me unless I am drinking it, and the many other strange and suspicious things I encounter every day that are just NOT RIGHT
Me: heights, getting lost (which I do often), not getting a job after I finish school, not being able to button my jeans

6. The Best and Worst of Blogging
Pearl: The best is all the good info that is out there about the best ways to feed me, train me, and generally take care of a high-maintenance dog like me. The worst is when I want a lap to rest my head on and a laptop is in the way.
Me: The best is the wonderfully supportive and knowledgeable community that has helped my totally unprepared self through the ups and downs of dog ownership. The worst is that because I am so busy I don’t “participate” as much as I want to- for example I do a lot of my blog reading through my google reader on my phone so I tend to not comment very much because doing it on the phone is a pain.

7. The Last Website I Visited
Does gmail count as a website? I am an obsessive email checker, it’s really gotten out of hand.

8. What Is The One Thing I Would Change About Myself?
Pearl: I think it would be nice to be a little bit more relaxed and less jumpy. It is awfully stressful to be constantly on high alert, but I don’t seem to know how to calm down sometimes.
Me: Be more decisive! I am super bad at making choices… I was actually debating what one thing I would change about myself for way too long.

9. Slankets Yes or No?
Pearl: I will sleep on anything that is soft and blanket-like.
Me: I really enjoy being curled up under a blanket. I am ok with slankets but I probably would not use the arms as intended. Also, slanket as a name sounds way less nice than snuggie.

10. Tell Us Something About The Dog That Tagged You.
Sage seems like one of the most happy, fun-loving dogs around and her puppy pictures are literally so cute they make me squeal. Actually, one of my favorite things about her blog are the pictures, she is always having fun adventures that often involve getting dirty!
Gwynn, like Pearl, also has a first time dog owner and seems like he is doing a great job of “showing her the ropes” of dog ownership. He loves snow and food. He just seems like an all around good boy who will melt your heart with his shaggy good looks.

And now to tag 8 others…
This is hard because I feel like so many of the blogs I read have already been tagged. Sorry if I accidentally pick someone who has already been tagged. Here are some who *I think* have not been tagged yet…

Bringing Up Bella
Maisie and Me
Winnie’s Dog Blog
Graceful Greyhounds
That Touch of Pit
Dog is God in Reverse
Snoopy’s Dog Blog
A Franklin A Day

Phew! That was the hardest part! Now we’re tired

Peace

Watched my husband play fetch/keep away with the dog in the yard this morning (and, sadly, failed to get any decent pictures), cleaned the living room this afternoon, took the dog on a long walk in the beautiful weather, done with my homework early and watching mindless TV on the couch with Pearl curled up next to me asleep. Life is good.