New Dog Owner? Here’s What You Need

Hello again, friends!


I know a lot of you are well-established pet-lovers like me, but I thought that it would be nice to write a post for people who don’t already own pets, but are ready to take the plunge. If you’re in that category, I know from personal experience that you’re going to be absolutely overwhelmed with people telling you what to buy, what not to buy, what they saw on the news, etc. So from one experienced doggie companion to a newcomer, here are all my must-haves for any new canine friend you’re welcoming into your home!



No, not just for fashion, silly. In fact, most dogs don’t like to wear extra clothes around unless they absolutely need to. They have fur coats for a reason, and their bodies can’t keep temperature properly if they’ve got a mystery outer layer on! But I like to keep a few key clothing items on hand when the weather gets extreme. When it’s hot, it’s a really good idea to have a cooling band or bandana that you can soak in the refrigerator or freeze to help your pooch cool down. They have a heat center on their necks just like we do, so helping them out there is super effective. I also have a warm blanket/jacket thing for the winter, when it’s absolutely freezing, and if you’re getting a puppy or a bigger dog that doesn’t have furry paws, booties can be good in sub-zero weather!


-baby gates


Baby gates are the easiest way to keep dogs from going where they’re not supposed to if you don’t have a door to work with. So, stairs, connected rooms, all those kinds of spaces where it’s hard to find an effective barrier. I find that having just two of these around the house is enough to either keep the pooches in one room, or to block off a zone when there’s work being done on the house or something like that.


-doggie bed(s)


No dog’s home is complete without a bed! Even if you have deep, fluffy carpets, Fido needs his own nest to love and cherish. Make sure each of your dogs has a bed they can call their own! I personally tend to start them off in different areas of the house when I replace beds, otherwise everyone tries to claim the new one for themselves. My basic rule of thumb would be to get anything that’s comfortable and big enough for them to sleep on curled up or spread out, and rough or tough enough to handle pawing, because if you know anything about dogs, they like to scratch their sleeping spot before they bed down. I would also definitely suggest dog beds that are easy to vacuum and wash when you need to, even if it’s just the cover. You never know when a mess might happen, especially with puppies or older dogs, and the smell in general can get a bit pungent!


-collar and leash


A collar and leash are probably the most obvious things to get, but I thought I’d put them on this list just as a reminder! You want a tough, go-anywhere collar that dries easily and stays relatively clean. I think nylon is best, because they tend to chew on leather collars, and I think metal is so cruel. I also make sure any collar has some reflective bits, and I would definitely urge you to get a reflective collar if you live anywhere with busy traffic at night or with hunters in the woods near your house. Nylon is the best option for leashes as well, since it doesn’t break easily, even when dogs yank suddenly. P.S. if you get a dog that likes to pull, like a beagle, get a harness for walks! That way they won’t choke themselves when they catch a scent and get excited!


-a comfy crate

I know, I know. You never want to put your canine friends in a crate. But the truth is, they often like having somewhere to retreat from thunder and other scary things, and they might need to use a crate to travel someday, so it’s much better to have a good one around the house that they can bond with rather than making them get into a strange and foreign box sometime when you move! I have a few crates around the house, and my dogs love them. They’re big, airy, and have lots of holes for light.


-food and water bowls


Need I say more? They’re pretty self-explanatory. But I would just say that it’s important to make sure your pooches don’t have bowls they’ll decide are frisbees, so skip the plastic and go for stainless. They’ll be easier to clean, too.


-housekeeping things:

Last but certainly not least, I would take a stroll around the hygiene/cleanliness part of the pet shop, and pick up a good brush, nail trimmers, and a hair roller for clothes. This is also the time to upgrade your home cleaning machine if you don’t already have a great one. If you have carpets, you absolutely need an upright pet vacuum! I’m putting together a post about which vacuums I’ve had success with, so look out for that!
Oh, and always make sure your pooch is registered and tagged properly wherever you live! You want to make sure your phone number and address are on the tag, in case someone finds your furry friend wandering far from home!


Dream Interpretation 101

Dream interpretation has been a thing since, well, forever! Ever since humans were conscious beings, we’ve known that our dreams have significance. Even as early as the Ancient Babylonians, priests and scholars were collecting dreams to interpret their symbols and omens, and coming up with basic dictionaries as to what certain dream elements might mean. Gilgamesh is the first figure in myth to see his future in a dream, and the most important part of the myth is that he needs a wise person (his mother) to help him understand his visions.

The ancient Greeks knew this, and ascribed lots of meaning to their ominous dreams, as well as dreams of upcoming battles. The Egyptians were fascinated by the dream world also, and they believed that those with the power to dream vividly could communicate with the dead and the gods. Many ancient cultures also revered oracles, who could help the dreamer interpret what he or she had seen and heard.


Then, Freud changed everything by bringing dreams from myth into science. He examined the significance of dreams, and tried to explain why people had the dreams they did, which led to the discovery of the unconscious, and the appreciation we have for it now!


Even the most skeptical person has to be convinced by the latest science. New theories are that in dreams, we rehearse scenarios that are threatening in some way, whether it’s emotional, physical, or spiritual. That helps us to be better prepared when we come across those situations in real life. Scientists don’t think it’s just theoretical situations, though. It’s clear that we’re extrapolating from experiences we’ve already had, and are seeing very possible outcomes. Or, our dreams can warn us of something. For instance, if you dream of losing an important game, it could be that your body knows it isn’t practiced enough, and is warning you.


With brain scanners, we know that when a person is sleeping, their mind is still running wild! In our sleep, we’re basically making sense of everything we’ve absorbed during the day, it’s like the buffering bar on your computer. And oftentimes, we have important revelations during that processing time, or we’re able to make startlingly accurate predictions.

But things aren’t always clear in dreams, and sometimes the details are hard to connect or understand, which is where someone like me comes in! I’ve been doing dream interpretation for over two decades now, and I consider it my life’s work. I get a thrill from helping people figure out what their powerful unconscious has already worked through while they were sleeping. Ever since I was a child, I’ve had vivid, important dreams that I knew had significance, and portended things to come. Now, as a career, I put those skills I developed puzzling over my childhood dreams and poring over Freud in college to good use! My clients learn to journal their own dreams, and to reflect on them to see trends and subconscious developments in their lives, which helps them become more attuned to their inner selves.


The Best Pet Hair Vacuums for Cleaning Up After Your Beloved Dogs

Hello, namaste, and greetings!


I hope you’re all healthy and happy! For today’s blog, I wanted to look at some of the best pet hair vacuums I’ve come across in my time as a pet lover! As you know I’ve got a pack of friendly pooches here in my home, and they take a lot of looking after. If you’re also a dog person, I’m sure you can relate to the struggle of dealing with all the hair. It’s in the rugs, on the yoga mats, and don’t even get me started on my couch! So, it’s fair to say that I’ve got a vested interest in making sure that I have a good cleaning machine to keep me sane.


One of the biggest principles I teach people in my life coaching practice is that order comes from within! And when you create order and harmony in the world around you, you create a space that allows for mental peace and order. I like to think that tidying my physical space and decluttering is like a remote control for my mind and spirit. It’s a reciprocal relationship, too. Creating order gives you a sense of purpose and achievement, while being in an ordered space gives you a sense of clarity.


That’s why I find it so helpful to get rid of obvious dirt, especially pet hair. There’s no way I can focus on my morning practice with fur on my mat. Ugh. So, I’ve found myself relying on a good vacuum more and more. I know it can be a real challenge to find a decent one these days, especially for doggies, so here’s my two cents’ worth!


I actually have three different vacuums to talk about:


The first is mine, which is a Miele. I like it because I have a whole mix of flooring and things, and this lets me deal with everything really nicely. Mine is a Titan, which is what they call their basic canister model with the motor brush. I don’t have a lot of carpets personally, but I find that on my area rugs, it’s basically impossible to get fur off without a big motor brush. This one’s perfect, and as far as I can see, it doesn’t do any damage to the rugs, which is definitely a problem I’ve seen from other ones. So, it’s a canister vacuum, with two different floor heads, the motor one for rugs and carpets, and a big brushy one for smooth floors. They’re both fantastic. I also cheat and use the carpet brush on the couch, which is the easiest way I’ve ever found to get all the fur off. It sure beats scrubbing with some upholstery tool and having to suck all the hairs off it.

I would definitely say it’s the best canister vacuum I’ve ever used, and I would say the best vacuum I’ve used period, but I know some people don’t like canister vacuums at all. I also personally hate bagless vacuums, so the bags on this one are perfect for a neat freak who will be frustrated by any loose dust and hair when I’m emptying the thing out. This thing is definitely the most expensive of the three vacuums I’m talking about, but I’d say that if you’re the kind of person like me who would rather just get it over with and buy the absolute best thing rather than be stuck with something “fine”, it’s perfect.


Now, having said that, I know that some people would argue about whether a canister vacuum is really the right way to clean 2 storey homes. Personally, I don’t mind using mine, because the hose is long enough to get up the flight in my house, but my sister swears by stick vacuums, since she can just carry the whole thing along.


So, that brings me to the second vacuum which is one my sister has, called a Dyson V6. It’s a convertible stick thing-y that she totally adores. I can definitely see the appeal, since it’s cordless and super light, but still really powerful. She likes that she can fit the motor head on her carpeted stairs. I know that’s something she looked for a lot when she was shopping. Honestly, I don’t think I could deal with how small the little dust cup is on it, but she says she just does a lot of little cleans, so she doesn’t have a problem. Definitely something to think about, but if you’re more of a sporadic cleaner than I am, workable! It’s very powerful, it’s super easy to use, and of course there’s no power cord to think about. I have to say it’s the most modern-y vacuum I’ve tried. Anyway, if you want to see what I’m talking about, because it’s really a cool gadget, she found a really good review on http://bestpethairvacuum.reviews/top-for-carpeted-stairs. That’s actually the site where we found both ours, by the way, so definitely check it out!

And lastly, I figured I should throw in something for people with a lot of carpets to clean who don’t want to spend as much as I did on a Miele. So the third recommendation I have for cleaning up after pets is actually listed as the best cheap vacuum under 100, and it’s a Bissell OnePass upright vacuum. I need something that can do hard floors in my house, which is why I don’t use one of these, but we have one at the office for cleaning our carpeted floors (which we have our pets on all the time), and holy crap, it’s amazing! It takes literally seconds to do the carpets because of the size of the floor head, and we’ve never had a problem with it. I would definitely say it’s a great one for places with deep carpets and lots of them! And so cheap! Under $100, easily. It devours fur, and leaves nothing behind. I wouldn’t use it on hard floors, though.


Let me know if you have any other vacuum suggestions to share! I’m happy to post your own experiences, so definitely reach out with them!


Wishing you a tidy, relaxing day!