Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Dogs should be dogs. Chemicals should be lessened, and yellow tulips inspire a dive into the symbolism behind the color yellow.

We have had such nice weather the past couple of days. The dogs have been so very excited to go to the park. 
I got a little frustrated yesterday because they really wanted to run and play with the other dogs. One owner was throwing a ball and every time Angel tried to play, he stopped throwing it, sat down, and held his dog. His dog seemed to be aggressively snapping and snarling at my dogs. Maybe he didn't like sharing his toys. There was another dog like that one day. He was carrying sticks, and when Angel tried to get one, he attacked her! You just never know what you'll experience at a dog park. Sometimes you get the owners that treat their dogs like people, and sometimes you get owners that treat their dogs like... dogs. 

"I'm sorry Frog is barking so much. He is very chatty." (I say as he scares another dog.)

"Don't worry. They'll work it out." 

Eventually her dog had enough. The dog jumped at Frog snarling and barking to warn him away from her. FINALLY. Frog finally shut up. Thank you understanding dog owner. Dogs have to learn to be independent and figure out social situations on their own sometimes.  They often will work it out. If they don't, you just walk away and try again some other time. Speaking of training. My dogs are still running pretty far away from me when they see people or other dogs that they want to approach. Any ideas about how to stop this behavior or at least minimize it with a bulldog breed? They are so stubborn. I've got treats in my pocket at all times, but sometimes they don't even care when I yell "No! Treat! Leave it! Frog! Angel! Toy! Treat!" Yes, sometimes they are all together like that when I see nothing is working.  Help!

Moving on. I've started my quest for a simpler life. I found some aluminum free deodorant today, and I bought some apple cider vinegar (already have baking soda) to begin my weaning off shampoo and conditioner.
I'm genuinely interested to see how I get along without these products and so many chemicals.  I even stumbled across this neat site where you can look up ingredients in your beauty products: http://chemicaloftheday.squarespace.com/.

 Here is a sample from the site:

Today's Chemical:
Sodium Lauryl Sulfoacetate

EWG Risk Score:
What is it?
Sodium Lauryl Sulfoacetate is a relatively newer chemical to the market.  It is increasingly becoming a replacement for sodium laureth and sodium lauryl sulfate.  It is a surfactant used to clean, de-grease, and create lather.
Safety Info:
There is not a wealth of information available on this ingredients, however, the EPA has provided some on this pdf.
  • Considered to be moderately irritating to skin
  • Moderately irritating to eyes
  • No evidence of reproductive toxicity in humans
  • Not considered to be readily biodegradable
  • Moderately toxic to fish and aquatic life
Steph's Opinion:
Although it seems to be a "safer" alternative to sodium lauryl sulfate, it still does pose the risk of skin irritation.  Additionally, it's not an environmentally-friendly option, as it takes a long time to bio-degrade and does pollute aquatic ecosystems."

Just for Fun:
This weeks flowers were (drum roll please.....)  Yellow Tulips!
The color yellow has always been so calming to me. It makes me feel happy, peaceful, and empowered (our shirts in Kung Fu are yellow too!). Maybe that's why I keep buying yellow flowers, and why I painted my living room in our last house yellow. Here are some interesting beliefs about the symbolism of the color yellow.

"The next migration includes Humans. Our suffering is our constant struggles through life including birth, aging, sickness, and death. In this realm, the Buddha is yellow which stands for restraint and nourishment. The color yellow actually was previously associated with the color worn by criminals but was chosen by the Buddhist faith as a symbol of humility and separation from a materialistic society. Therefore it is said to signify renunciation and being the color of earth, it is also a symbol of the equanimity of the earth. As humans, we must learn to control our passions and use our minds to attain enlightenment and eventually leave the cyclic existence."

"Yellow colors symbolize renewal, hope, light, and purity. Yellow is the Christian color for the season of Easter when used with white." 

"Yellow is the color of knowledge and learning. It symbolizes happiness, peace, meditation, competence, and mental development. It is the color of spring and activates the mind."


  1. My dog used to do the same when she spotted people across the beach and just bound towards them, that's not much fun when a German Shepherd is running towards you. I tried everything imaginable! Toys, treats, nice words, harsh words but one day as she was running away I just started whimpering like a hurt puppy and she turned round and came back to see if I was okay. This didn't work every time but it was progress.

    The next time I would shout "bye bye" and turn my back on her and walk the other way, she hated to be left behind. Gradually over the months she got it and now she doesn't stray far away at all and waits for permission to approach people.

  2. Sooo, basically it's trial and error just trying to find that one thing that works for them.

    Good luck!


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