You’ve Got Mail! #SayItWithMilkBone

downloadOne of the most fun parts about Valentine’s Day, besides celebrating the ones you love, is getting Valentines cards.

When I was little we used to make our own  “mailboxes” so our classmates could put cards in them when February 14th arrived. It was such a fun time of the year creating “mailboxes” and putting together cards to give out.

Now that I’m an adult, my Valentines usually come in the grown up mailbox, but that doesn’t make it any less fun!

But why should we humans have all the fun?

We love our dogs, shouldn’t they get a special treat on the day we celebrate love too? Why not make a Valentine’s Day mailbox for your special furry friend?


Fun, inexpensive, and easy to make, this Valentine’s Day mailbox for your dog is sure to be a hit with humans and dogs alike! Filled with Milk-Bone Dog Snacks, your dog will be even more excited than they are when the regular mailman arrives!


To make the mailbox you will need the following things:

  • Cardboard mailbox from a craft store
  • Valentine’s Day themed paper for the base
  • Embellishments. I used heart doilies, shiny heart stickers, heart glitter tape, rhinestone paw stickers, and a rhinestone ‘B’ for Baby (our dog’s name).
  • Tissue paper.
  • Glue, Mod Podge, tape.
  • Photo or photos of your dog.
  • Scissors.
  • Milk-Bone Dog Snacks

The first thing that I did was to remove the mailbox flag, and then trace the flag, doors and box onto the Valentine papers that were going to cover the box. I then cut out the papers so I could have all my pieces ready for gluing to the mailbox. An alternative would be to paint the box first, and then embellish it when the paint is dry. I liked the idea of having different patterns peeking through, so paper was my choice. Get as close as you can to the edges, but don’t worry, it doesn’t have to be perfect.



Once it is covered with the base of paper (or paint), the fun part starts! Embellish it to your hearts content! I wanted to make sure that everyone knew that this mailbox was for Baby. What better way of doing that than having her photo on the box. I also found a rhinestone ‘B’ to put on the front.

I attached red heart doilies using a glue stick and some Mod Podge over the top. Once they were dry I added the stickers and the glitter sticker tape. When everything was done, I packed the inside with some heart print tissue paper and plenty of Milk Bone dog snacks! As you can see, it’s pretty cute. Don’t forget to put the mailbox flag back on so your pooch will know that they have mail!


From now until February 13th Milk-Bone is giving away fabulous prizes! If you find a red colored Milk Bone with the word LOVE on it in your box you’ll win a year supply of Milk-Bone dog snacks (qualifying boxes are specially marked). You can also enter online for your chance to win a year supply of Milk-Bone dog snacks.

See other fun ways to Say It With Milkbone:

This post is sponsored by Milk-Bone on behalf of the BlogPaws Blogger Network. I am being compensated for helping spread the word about The Say It with Milk-Bone Campaign, but 4 The Love of Animal only shares information we feel is relevant to our readers. Milk-Bone is not responsible for the content of this article.

Fancy Feasts (For Fabulous Floors)


I’d like to introduce you to one of my two most favorite males on the planet: This is Cyrus.

And yes this is the first thing I see every single morning. A fluffy Maine Coon with no sense of boundaries. All up in my grill. Like my husband says: ‘He doesn’t even care.’

After he walks all over me and eliminates all hope of just a few more minutes of sleep, he trots off to his #1 hangout spot.

Cy, more commonly referred to at our house simply as ‘The Boy,’ has loved sinks, tubs and showers since he was a kitten and that is only one of the many unique qualities that I love about him.

In case you can’t already tell, I absolutely adore The Boy. And because I adopted him as a 6-week-old kitten when I was 15 and he turns 17 in 2014, I have lived with him longer than I lived without him. In short, I’d do anything for him.

Getting back to the focus of today’s discussion; my husband and I recently installed new hardwood flooring in our first home (yay!) and we’re trying to do whatever we can to keep them looking like new for as long as possible.

One aspect we realized we’d have to address is The Boy’s eating situation because there’s nothing in between his food and water ‘station’ and our brand new flooring.

Notice the little bit of chicken by his paw. Surely he’ll grab that before he wanders away, right?

Nope. Not a chance. He doesn’t even care!

Something had to be done so I bought a new set-up for him that includes an updated bowl and a placemat.

Pretty boring, right? Plus, the first drop of water or food on the placemat and the whole thing’s ruined unless I make it waterproof. But perhaps most importantly, The Boy deserves better than this blah bowl station!

And so, a personalized and laminated placemat for Cyrus is in order.

Whether you have your furry baby’s food station on hardwoods (like we do), tile or laminate flooring, the basic premise remains the same: There’s no reason you can’t pamper your pet and protect your flooring at the same time!

Check out how I put together Cy’s custom placemat and maybe it will help spark some ideas for creating one of your own for the beloved pet in your life.

DIY Laminated Pet Placemat

For the mat, I used a 12″ x 12″ sheet of woven paper that resembled a little jute canvas. For the personalization aspect, I used a set of Martha Stewart stencils and stencil brush along with DecoArt’s Slate Gray acrylic craft paint.

Start by laying out your design before you apply any paint. I wanted Cyrus’ name in the bottom center so I marked the edges of each letter of his name with the stencils and a pencil first so I could get the spacing accurate.

From here, I lined up each letter with their corresponding ‘shadows’ and taped down the top edge. To keep everything level, I matched the bottom edge of the stencil sheet to the bottom of the paper mat.

Take your stencil brush and dip it into the paint to load up the tip. Dab off the excess and carefully apply the paint to the inside of the stencil.

You can avoid the dreaded ‘stencil under bleed’ by applying several light coats of paint rather than one heavy application and only press the brush in an up and down blotting motion.

Once I had completed his entire name, I moved over to the bottom left corner and used a cookie cutter as my ‘stencil’ to create a cat silhouette.

I did the same thing to the bottom right corner with a paw print cookie cutter.

For each of the top corners, I stenciled a little flourish that actually reminded me of cat tails!

Since he’s The Boy, I wanted it to look like the placemat belonged to a boy cat but I also wanted it to look like the rest of my style around the house.

Once you are completely happy with your design, the only thing left to do to ensure the placemat does its job facilitating mess-less floors is laminate it.

I am thrilled with how it turned out and can’t wait for The Boy to wander out of the shower to come give it his paw stamp of approval!

What kind of personalized pet mat are you going to make?

Rheney Williams adds a DIY element to all of her home décor pieces on floors. Besides writing about fabulous floor crafts for Home Depot, Rheney is busy updating her Charleston, S.C., home with all manner of custom Lowcountry touches.

Baby turned 10!

Oh my how does time fly! It’s hard to believe that our furry friend is now 10 years old.

Baby 10 Birthday

What an amazing 10 years it has been. There is truly nothing like a dog to make life sweeter. In celebration of her big day I whipped up this cute little “10” toy for her. It’s simple felt, with a whip stitch around the edges and stuffing inside. It’s not stuffed a lot, making it a floppy toy, which she loved to throw around in the air before settling down to sleep on it.

5 Pet Projects to Bring the Family Together

Simple, constructive activities to make pets happier

PhotoSpin Visual Metaphors Objects © 2001 PhotoSpin

If your family is starting to get a little stir-crazy as summer winds on, it’s a good idea to find constructive ways to keep everybody occupied. If you’re looking for a fun project, why not do something for the furry and feathered friends in your life?

1. Build a cozy doghouse

Even if your dog spends most of his or her time inside, a nice snug doghouse can give them a welcome retreat that feels safe and secure. Doghouses are a snap to build with proper instructions essentially it’s just a wooden box but make sure your materials are appropriate. Pressure-treated wood is often treated with toxic chemicals, and steer clear of paint if your dog is prone to nervous licking. Also, be wary of using too much padding; dogs are perfectly comfortable without it, and it can be a haven for fleas and ticks.

The most important concern for your doghouse is temperature if you live in a hot climate, look for a more open, well-ventilated design, and use tin roofing to deflect sunlight. If it’s chilly, dark shingles will help soak up warmth and thicker walls will help insulate the interior. This is mainly a project for parents and older kids who can use tools safely.

2. Make bird feeders

Bird feeders, on the other hand, are a fantastic creative project even for toddlers. Mix the following ingredients in a large bowl:

  • 3 tbsp corn syrup
  • æ cup flour
  • 1 tbsp agar agar (a gelatin substitute)
  • ? cup water

Mix to create the base of your bird feeder; then have kids knead in 4 cups of bird seed (take your time; this step is messy and a lot of fun). Coat a pie pan or cookie sheet with cooking spray, and then spread your feeder goop evenly. Kids can use cookie cutters or a plastic stylus to create designs for their feeders, and when they’re done, use a drinking straw to poke a hole in each one. Depending on the thickness, they should dry overnight then you can run a string through the hole you poked, and hang them up outside.

3. Install a pet door

This is another project for older kids, but its quite simple if you have the right tools. Stencil out a square of the appropriate size for your pet with a pencil and ruler, and then use a jigsaw to carve out your stencil. At the most basic, you can cover the exposed edges of the door with a simple rubber liner, and then attach a vinyl flap to the exterior with a door hinge. When you first install the doggy door, you never know who else you’ll let into the house, so use baby gates near the door for the first couple days, to limit the risk from raccoons and other wild animals.

4. Make pet toys

This is a great project for younger kids. For a sturdy, braided tug-of-war toy, a parent or older child can cut up strips of denim or old towels. Then, the whole family can braid the fabric into the desired shapes. They don’t last forever, but it’s a great way to put old scrap fabric to use.

Old socks can be used to create all kinds of toys. Stick a crumpled plastic water bottle inside one and tie it off to create a crackling toy that is satisfyingly noisy and crunchy. A sock soaked in beef broth and frozen can make a tasty (but messy) treat let your pet take it outside to beat the heat.

5. Build an armoire aviary

It can be tough to find a cage or aviary that is both attractive for you, and comfy for your pet and many common cage designs can make birds feel exposed and vulnerable (and cranky). Find an attractive dresser or armoire at your local thrift shop, and knock out the cabinets and rollers to hollow out the interior. (You can leave some interior struts to allow your birds to perch.) You can use a jigsaw to carve additional openings in the sides and back of the armoire. Then, use chicken wire to cover the openings in the dresser, and you’ve got a classy, personalized aviary that will better mimic the feeling of a home in the shady protection of a tree.


Mike Freiberg is a staff writer for HomeDaddys, a resource for stay-at-home dads, work-at-home dads, and everything in between. He’s a handyman, an amateur astronomer, and a tech junkie, who loves being home with his two kids. He lives in Austin.

A Valentine For Bo

Canine Campers Express Puppy Love for Bo with Paw-Print Valentine

The doggy day campers at Best Friends Pet Care in Chicago were paw deep in paint this week, creating a special Valentine card for First Dog Bo Obama.

The dogs paw-signed a heart-shaped card as a mark of their deep puppy love for the First Pup. The six panel fold-out card reads “Happy Valentine’s Day from the Doggy Day Campers at Best Friends in Chicago” and was paw-printed by 24 camp dogs including Sasha, Mavis, Indigo, Asa, and Rosie, as well as Max, Spike and Huckleberry.

“Bo is the ultimate furry Valentine and is our hometown doggy hero,” explained Bruce Blaine, manager of the Best Friends Pet Care center in Chicago. “So it’s not surprising that his name came up when we were making valentine cards.” Paw painting is a frequent activity at Best Friends, he said. With the help of their camp counselors, the campers paw-print cards for their pet parents for special occasions. “It’s their way of saying ‘I Woof You’.”

The Valentine card for Bo has already been mailed to the White House, but Valentines to campers and counselors in Chicago and at other Best Friends Pet Care centers will be distributed during the doggy Valentine’s Day parties this week.

Best Friends Pet Care, which offers boarding, grooming and training as well as doggy day camp, has 41 locations across the U.S. The local pet care centers regularly hold parties to celebrate special occasions like Valentine’s Day. Earlier this month, many celebrated the Super Bowl with Doggy Bowl events.