Friday, 30 April 2021

60 ways to support small businesses during the Covid-19 pandemic *The ULTIMATE list*

60 ways to support small businesses during the pandemic: What to do to support local stores during Covid-19, and what not to do

60 ways to support small businesses during the Covid-19 pandemic *The ULTIMATE list*


There's a lot of things about the pandemic and lockdown we can't seem to agree on, except that we're ready for this to be over. Another thing everyone seems to agree on is that small businesses need support. Every time a small business makes a sale, the employees do a happy dance! That's because your purchase directly impacts their family and livelihood. Our community needs support. Please remember this important fact: Most small businesses are not closed, they just aren't letting folks in. Curbside service and online shopping and delivery are available for many small businesses and many offer debit or e-transfer options for those without credit cards. There are many ways to support small businesses. I tried to create the ULTIMATE list of ways to support small businesses during the Covid-19 pandemic, taking into account businesses of all types and different ways we can offer help. There are many ways you can support small businesses without spending money too, which I included because I know many are struggling financially but still want to support their community. I've also included what not to do to try to support a small business. 

Saturday, 24 April 2021

It's World Veterinary Day: Celebrating 6 years in the surprising career of veterinary medicine

 World Veterinary Day: I never believed I had what it takes to work in veterinary medicine

World Veterinary Day: I never believed I had what it takes to work in veterinary medicine



When I was studying print journalism and photography my life consisted of photographing and interviewing indie bands, hanging backstage at Bluesfest, and designing TV guides. If you told me then that I would go from interviewing Ron Jeremy, photographing the Never Ending White Lights, and drinking beers with Slightly Stoopid and Matty Mays, to working in media for the veterinary industry, I would have barked at you. I've loved animals my whole life, but working in a compassion-based industry was something I never wanted. I don't have what it takes. 

Thursday, 22 April 2021

Sustainable stories: Environmental headlines for Earth Day

Happy Earth Day: Environmental stories for dog owners, animal lovers, and climate activists

Sustainable stories: Environmental headlines for Earth Day

It's the greenest day of the year- Earth Day! This is the second Earth Day, April 22nd, we've celebrated during the COVID-19 pandemic. It saddens me that a year later Ontario is in worse shape. I hope you find a safe way to do something positive for the planet today. Interested in learning more about living sustainably and fighting climate change? Check out the green headlines on Paws For Reaction! These are the best posts about climate change, pollution, wildlife, the outdoors, and environmental action. 

Monday, 19 April 2021

How you can act to support a green and just Covid-19 recovery in Canada

Covid-19 and climate change: Pandemic's positive impacts on pollution were temporary, but damaging effects will be lasting

Covid-19 and climate change: Pandemic's positive impacts on pollution were temporary, but damaging effects will be lasting


Climate change took a backseat in the media as the planet's greatest threat when the Covid-19 pandemic swept the globe in 2020. It's been more than a year since the first Covid-positive case was reported and we are entering another lockdown in Ontario. Looking back, I remember how optimistic I was the first time we entered a lockdown. Not just optimistic about the health and safety of our nation, but optimistic for the health of the planet. During that lockdown, we saw wildlife emerge from the wilderness and take their rightful place in our urban areas that were one their home. We saw marine life break the surface of the water in places it had not been seen before. The planet took a deep, cleansing breath. 

Friday, 16 April 2021

Earth Month: Northern Biscuit & One Tree Planted have a treat for your dog

Brown bag goes green: One Tree Planted for every compostable bag of Northern Biscuits to lower your carbon pawprint

Brown bag goes green: One Tree Planted for every compostable bag of Northern Biscuits helps fight deforestation

Looking for a way to reduce your carbon pawprint that your dog will wag her tail about? Hazel's favourite Canadian dog treat company Northern Biscuit is celebrating Earth Month with a drool-worthy promotion. For every 1.36kg compostable bag of their five top-selling biscuits purchased in April, Northern Biscuits will plant a tree with One Tree Planted, a non-profit global re-forestation organization. The trees planted for this promotion will focus on Canadian regions to help promote cleaner air and support biodiversity. Forests provide habitat to over 80% of the world’s terrestrial biodiversity, and while this biodiversity doesn't include dogs, our dogs will be happy to explore the forest and snack on Northern Biscuits- all to help the planet.

Thursday, 15 April 2021

Cleaning the Capital spring campaign is on hold due to the Ontario Covid-19 lockdown

Cleaning the Capital: Campaign on hold but litter collection doesn't have to be

Cleaning the Capital: Campaign on hold but litter collection doesn't have to be


I was excited to register for the Cleaning the Capital spring campaign and participate in city-wide trash collection during Earth Month. The pandemic delivered me another disappointment when the City of Ottawa announced the Cleaning the Capital Spring campaign would be placed on hold due to the current Ontario COVID-19 lockdown. My intention when I registered was to do trash collection on my own, so I could stay safe and physically distance from others. We are encouraged to only leave the home when it's essential, but I consider picking up litter in my neighborhood to be essential. 

Sunday, 11 April 2021

From farm to plate: Climate change is impacted by your carbon foodprint

Food for thought: What's your carbon foodprint and how can you reduce it?

Food for thought: What's your carbon foodprint and how can you reduce it?


Here's something for you to chew on. One of the easiest ways to fight climate change is with a diet change. We all have a carbon foodprint. What we put in our mouth leaves a mark on our planet. Deforestation to make space for animal agriculture, energy and water consumption, transporting and storing food, the production process, pesticide use, and waste runoff created by farming, and unsustainable packaging are ways our food can harm the environment. Climate change will threaten our food security, causing an increase in weather-related disasters like floods and droughts. To keep food on our plates we need to take climate change off the menu.

Tuesday, 6 April 2021

10 MUST HAVE children's about climate change: Celebrate Earth Day with story time!

Earth Day children's book list: Picture books about climate change for the next generation of environmental activists
    

Earth Day children's book list: Picture books about climate change for the next generation of environmental activists


Books are one of the most reused items in existence. We buy used books, borrow books from friends, and donate old books we've read already. E-books and audiobooks are sustainable and waste-free. Literature is important, but it can also be eco-friendly- especially when the book you are reading is all about caring for the planet. Getting people engaged with environmental action at a young age is the best way to ensure a sustainable future. Why not engage children during storytime?

Friday, 2 April 2021

Hazel's Easter stories: Happy Easter from Paws For Reaction

Easter fact and fun: Hoppy Easter ideas from your favourite Saint Bernese, Hazel!
  

Happy Easter from Paws For Reaction


Hello, I'm Hazel! I saw three rabbits the other night, so I figured it must be Easter. I'm woofing all of you a very Happy Easter! We are spending our second Easter during the Covid-19 pandemic together again, just Hazel and mum. There will be lots of snuggles and Easter treats. I hope you enjoy the long weekend even though Ontario is in lockdown and remember: Lockdowns are tough on everyone but it keeps us safe. I don't mind lockdown because get more time with mum and lots of walks. Want to know what else you can do to have a safe and fun Easter?

Sunday, 28 March 2021

Disney dog products: The best of the NEW Disney Collection at Chewy

Disney dog products for your Princess: Everyone is barking about the new Disney Collection at Chewy

Disney Collection at Chewy
This post contains affiliate links


Enchantment awaits your canine companion! The Disney Collection at Chewy is giving off serious nostalgia vibes, and what is more nostalgic than Disney? I'm a huge fan of Disney and I like to think of Hazel as my honourary Disney Princess. She's lacking in some Disney royalty qualities; she can't sing, she doesn't have a critter companion, and she has yet to find her Prince Charming. She has, however, faced and overcome adversity and learned valuable life lessons along the way- the most important quality in a Disney Princess. 

Monday, 22 March 2021

March 22nd is World Water Day: What does water mean to you?

Water is life: Take action to help end drinking water advisories in First Nation communities 

March 22 is World Water Day


We dip our toes in it. We listen to it rain down on our rooftops. We use it to brew our coffee, brush our teeth, wash our hands. Up to 60% of our bodies are made of it. Water is life. It's easy to take for granted because access to safe water is a basic human right. Or is it? The truth a little murkier. 61 indigenous communities in Canada are under water-boil advisories. They don't have clean water for drinking or sanitation, even though Canada is one of the most water-rich countries in the world. Some First Nation communities have lived with water advisories for more than a decade and are forced to boil water or use bottled water. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau reassured these communities that he would end the water advisories by March 2021, which would be a great way to celebrate World Water Day. Sadly, we won't be celebrating because the Canadian government says that Covid-19 may delay its target deadline. To those First Nation communities, water is a reason to make waves and take action. It's something they long for. It's a need not being fulfilled. Ask yourself this: What does water mean to you?

Thursday, 18 March 2021

How 3D printing and regenerative medicine work & the impact on veterinary medicine

Guest blog: Regenerative medicine and 3D printing, the future of veterinary medicine

How 3D printing and regenerative medicine work & the impact on veterinary medicine

So, what is 3D printing and how is it the future of veterinary medicine? I get asked this question a lot. I'm a licensed veterinary technician (CVT) and research associate at the Louisiana School of Veterinary Medicine. I work for an orthopedic surgeon that created our laboratory of 3D printing and regenerative medicine. Our lab works with existing departments at the vet school and other main campus departments, specifically the engineering department, and we collaborate locally outside of the school. It's a lot of science, all in the name of saving animals! 

Wednesday, 17 March 2021

Happy St. Patrick's Day Paws peeps!

Pandemic Paddy's Day: Wishing you a safe and happy St. Patrick's Day!


Hazel and I wish you a safe and happy St. Patrick's Day! We urge you all to be mindful of Covid-19 restrictions. I know how much we all want to get out and dance a jig and drink green beer, but we are a community and we need to keep each other safe. This hasn't been a very lucky year, but we are hoping there is a pot of gold at the end of this pandemic rainbow. Happy St. Patrick's Day!

Friday, 12 March 2021

March is Pet Poison Awareness Month: Common household pet toxins

Pet poison awareness: What you need to know about toxin ingestion, inducing vomiting, and pet insurance coverage of pet poisonings 

Pet poison awareness: What you need to know about toxin ingestion, inducing vomiting, and pet insurance coverage of pet poisonings


There is no other moment in a pet owners’ life that is more fear-inducing than when a pet ingests a toxin. It’s hard not to panic when you catch your cat licking a lily or come home to your dog surrounded by ripped open candy wrappers, looking up at you with a chocolate-stained smile. Heart racing, you run to the phone to call your veterinarian or jump online to search if the item is toxic. We know we have to act fast when a pet is poisoned and veterinary treatment can be expensive. We also need to do things to prevent possible poisonings. But pet owners have other questions. What do I do if my dog or cat ate something toxic? What are common household toxins for pets? Are pet poisonings covered by pet insurance?

Wednesday, 10 March 2021

Not One More Vet: Three veterinary professionals died by suicide in March 2021

 How you can help #NOMV: Veterinary community and animal lovers raise awareness after three vet med professionals die by suicide 

How you can help #NOMV: Veterinary community and animals lovers raise awareness after three vet med professionals die by suicide

Please contact 
The Canada Suicide Prevention Service 24/7 by phone at 1-833-456-4566
or text them at 45645, available from 4:00 PM - 12:00 AM, EST for support. You are never alone. 


If you follow animal or veterinary groups on social media or are friends with someone working in veterinary medicine, you may have seen profile pictures change to support #NOMV. This stands for Not One More Vet, and it's trending for the worst reason. In the past two weeks, three veterinarians  (Josh Smithand one veterinary technician died by suicide. I extend my most sincere sympathies to their family, friends, and colleagues. Sadly, it's a story we in the veterinary profession have heard before. According to the most recent data available in the United States, depending on gender, veterinarians are 1.6 to 2.4 times more likely to die by suicide than the general population and veterinary technicians are 2.3 to 5 times more likely. The veterinary profession has the highest rate of deaths by suicide of any profession. 

Sunday, 7 March 2021

March 8th is International Women's Day: Girl Guides shapes the next generation of female leaders

Empowering females of the future: The feminist past and female future of Girl Guides 

Empowering females of the future: The feminist past and female future of Girl Guides


GUIDER (noun) /gahyder/ Catalyst of girl empowerment.That's what's written on the new shirt I ordered from the Girl Guides of Canada store and I wear it proudly as I write this. Girl Guides is exactly that for me: How I empower the next generation of female leaders. Is there a more fitting topic for International Women's Day? I began my journey as a Brownie and Girl Guide before becoming Guider (unit leader) to an amazing group of Brownies. Being a Guider is a big responsibility. The Guiding movement's past is rooted in feminism. Some people don't like the word feminism, but the definition is the belief that women should have equal rights. I can't imagine anyone being fundamentally against that. Girl Guides is the feminist movement all girls should be involved with. On this special day of celebrating women's equality, I want to share with you why your girls should join Girl Guides.

Thursday, 4 March 2021

Please sign this to save Ontario wetlands in Pickering

URGENT ACTION NEEDED: This just in from Ontario Nature, we need to save wetlands in Pickering
 

Save Pickering Ontario Wetlands


Developers are looking to destroy a large Provincially Significant Wetland in Pickering to make room for a warehousing facility. This is unacceptable but if we act fast we may be able to save these wetlands. 

Monday, 1 March 2021

Hanging With Hazel: My job description

Hanging With Hazel: A successful working (from home) dog's job description 

Hanging With Hazel: A successful working (from home) dog's job description


You all know me- I'm Hazel. The last time I barked at you I told you all about how happy I am that mum and I work from home to stay safe from the rona. I told you all of the things I like about it, but I forgot to tell you about my job. Now that you know I work from home, let me tell you a little about what I do. I wear many collars here at work. My role here is vital to our success. Some days I feel a little micromanaged by mum, but since I love her I tolerate it. These are some of my job duties. I can't wait for you to learn about how pawesome of a worker I am!

Thursday, 25 February 2021

February 26 is Tell a Fairy Tale Day: Best spooky & fantasy books for children

Tell a Fairy Tale Day: My childhood favourite spooky and fantasy books for fairy tale lovers

February 26 is Tell a Fairy Tale Day: Best spooky & fantasy books for children
This post contains affiliate links


People connect with stories, the real and the fantastical. Fairy tales submerge us in a fantasy world and teach us about life and morality. I've always been an avid reader. I remember how exciting it was to graduate from picture books to the young adult genre. When I was growing up I was drawn to fantasy stories. I loved books that create a magical world and stories that scare me. Fantasy stories are an exciting escape from reality and for National Tell a Fairy Tale Day I'm going to share a few of my favourite fantasy books I read growing up. Maybe your kids will enjoy these stories as much as I did.

Monday, 22 February 2021

February 23 is National Dog Biscuit Day: Peanut butter & jam dog treat recipe

Celebrate Dog Biscuit Day: Peanut butter and jam dog treat recipe 

February 23 is National Dog Biscuit Day: Peanut butter & jam dog treat recipe


Hazel is one spoiled little (big) mountain dog. It's hard to resist her puppy dog eyes and crooked nose. For National Dog Biscuit Day I tried my hand at baking Hazel some homemade dog treats. Hazel gave me the idea when she wouldn't stop staring at me as I ate a peanut butter and jam sandwich. Hazel's been a good girl, she deserves her own PB & J.

Saturday, 20 February 2021

February 20 is National Love Your Pet Day: How to show your pet some love

Love is a four-legged word: Four ways you can show your pets the love they deserve 

February 20 is National Love Your Pet Day: How to show your pet some love

This post contains affiliate links


Love is a four-legged word! When I discovered February 20th is National Love Your Pet Day my first thought was "I don't need a day to remind me to love Hazel!" I show Hazel love every day! But it made me think about how I show Hazel love. The first thing that came to mind is the unlimited snuggles I give her. Affection is the obvious way we show love, however, there is a better way we show unconditional love for our fur-family. 

Wednesday, 17 February 2021

Op-ed: Historical hysteria & words weaponized against women

It's 2021: Time to stop calling women hysterical

It's 2021: Time to stop calling women hysterical


I was moderating comments on my blog and discovered a comment left on my article Real talk: Does a veterinary hospital have to see your pet?. It said the article was very "crass" and should have "a rant warning." To be fair, in the first paragraph of the article I state I'm aware I'm going to ruffle some feathers and the article may sound harsh. The male commenter then said the article was "obviously written by a hysterical woman. Yikes." After some consideration, I deleted it.

Saturday, 13 February 2021

February Featured Pets: Custom Valentine of your pet

Your funny Valentine: February pets featured in a Valentine from their pet parents

Paws For Reaction- Your funny Valentine: February pets featured in a Valentine from their pet parents


You know why you love your pet, but why not put it in writing? That's what some of my Paws peeps did for Valentine's Day! I asked my readers to submit a photo of their pet and one sentence explaining why they love their pet. Thank you for submitting your pet to be selected as one of my February Featured Pets. I created custom Valentine's for them from you- the person who loves them most! Just right-click or press and hold on the photo and save it! Then you can share it with your friends and family!

Friday, 12 February 2021

Ask a veterinarian: Everything you need to know about chocolate toxicity & dogs

Ask a vet: Why is chocolate poisonous to dogs? What do I do if my dog eats chocolate? 

Ask a vet: Why is chocolate poisonous to dogs? What do I do if my dog eats chocolate?


Chocolate is almost as sweet as my dog Hazel. That's right, I said almost. But every now and then I get a chocolate craving I can't ignore. I've always been extra careful not to let my dog have even a crumb of cocoa goodness. But why? We know not to give our dogs chocolate, but what is it about the sweet substance that is so dangerous for dogs? I asked Dr. Carlie Paquette, a veterinarian at Pembroke Animal Hospital, to give me the facts about chocolate toxicity and dogs. 

Monday, 8 February 2021

12 Black History Month books for children

 Black History Month: 12 books about diversity and inclusivity for children

Black History Month: 12 books about diversity and inclusivity for children


February is Black History Month. Canada's theme for Black History Month 2021 is The Future is Now. Educating the future generation about the achievements of Black Canadians and the importance of diversity and inclusivity in our community is a fundamental part of a child's learning experience. Setting a good example for the youth and teaching them when they are young is the best way to ensure children are more tolerant in the future. Literature can help shape future generations and is a useful tool in achieving this. Check out these 12 inspiring children's books about diversity and inclusivity. If you are interested in purchasing one of these books for your children, just click the links in the post!

Saturday, 6 February 2021

How to be a climate change activist if you're just a normal person

The regular person’s guide to becoming a climate activist


The regular person’s guide to becoming a climate activist

I’ve always felt a deep connection to nature. Growing up I was passionate about aquatic life and had an interest in wildlife extinction. I used to drag my little sister to the stream behind our housing development and collect samples to analyze. We would catch frogs and collect algae. Mostly we would get covered in mud despite my mother’s strict instructions to ‘not get dirty.’ I decided I was going to be a marine biologist when I grew up, long before my dreams of being a writer surfaced. The problem was I didn’t excel in science and math and I knew my grades would never reflect my passion. I had to set my scientist dreams aside. It was clear to me that my talents were limited to pen and paper. But my connection to nature never went away, and as I grew, that connection grew with me. I became aware of climate change and the harm humanity is inflicting on the planet and that the list of extinct animals is getting longer. I couldn’t sit back and watch without doing something. But what could I do? I’m just a regular person.

Monday, 1 February 2021

February featured pets: Be my furry Valentine *Your pet can be featured!*

 Looking for February featured pets: Submit your pet to be featured in a custom Valentine

Looking for February featured pets: Submit your pet to be featured in a custom Valentine

My furry Valentine! That's Hazel! The reason's I love Hazel are endless, but one thing I love the most about her is that Hazel 'feels the sad' as I call it. When I'm feeling sad or stressed, even if I'm not in the same room as her, Hazel can sense it and gives me love. She comes over and snuggles me and I instantly feel a weight lifting. Hazel, like all of our pets, gives me the most precious and rare gift: unconditional love.

Sunday, 31 January 2021

Paws For Reaction is looking for guest bloggers

 Do you have a story to tell? Share your story on Paws For Reaction

Become a Paws For Reaction guest blogger


This year more than ever, I've been providing an outlet for people in the community to share their stories. I've teamed up with some wonderful and interesting guest bloggers, interviewed experts in their fields, and supported different organizations. I want to keep expanding upon that. That being said, Paws For Reaction is looking for new guest bloggers!

Thursday, 28 January 2021

Hanging with Hazel: Working from home dog

 Hanging with Hazel: The ups and downs of working from home

Hanging with Hazel the Saint Bernese dog: The ups and downs of working from home

You all know me- I'm Hazel. I'm having the best time being a big city dog. Mum is disappointed that the rona is still pretty bad. I pretend that it bothers me too, but I have a secret. The rona is the best thing that has ever happened to a big city dog like me. Before the rona mum used to leave me all day. She would go somewhere called 'work' and come back with all kinds of weird smells I didn't recognize. And I'm pretty sure she was eating food without sharing it with me! Since the rona got bad she is with me every day working from home! Now I'm not just a big city dog- I'm a big career dog! Mum and I work from home together, which is mostly great because mum doesn't eat any food without my strict oversight. But it does have its challenges. 

Wednesday, 27 January 2021

COVID-19 impacts how OSPCA celebrates National Cupcake Day on February 22, 2021

Frosted festivities: How to celebrate National Cupcake Day during the pandemic?  

COVID-19 impacts how OSPCA celebrates National Cupcake Day on February 22, 2021

How sweet it is to save animals! Heather Jobe, the Community Development Coordinator at the Ontario SPCA Renfrew County Animal Centre, wants you to "sprinkle the love for animals in need by participating in National Cupcake Day!" This year's frosted fundraiser culminates on February 22, 2021. Like everything else in the world, the celebration has been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. But that's alright- Heather has some advice about how you can think outside the muffin tin to celebrate the sweetest day of the year.

Saturday, 23 January 2021

Pet food fraud: How the industry is using marketing ploys to trick you

The pet food industry's dirty secret: Ingredient splitting, "real" meat, all-natural, and a ban on by-products

Pet food fraud: How the industry is using marketing ploys & antidotal information to trick you

Do you think the concept of fake news is a recent thing? The retail pet food industry has been serving up its own brand of fake news for more than a decade. Today's pet owners are savvy and have a hunger for knowledge; much of the knowledge they seek is available at their fingertips. The tip of their paws, if you will. But like an all-caps tweet typed by Donald Trump on the toilet at 2:00 AM, most information dished by retail pet food companies will be found false once it's fact-checked. Much of the information is based on human diet trends that are influencing the industry. While conceptual and anecdotal information is pleasing to hear and easy to digest- and science is confusing and questioning- it's important to remember the fundamental rule of retail: you are being marketed to. 

Thursday, 21 January 2021