Author Archives: Walter Johnsen
Meet Rascal: Zen Belly Friend of the Month March
Rascal is a 2 year old miniature Schnauzer who resides in Queens, NY with his dad Neil. The perfect name for this little guy, Rascal truly is a pro at finding his way to mischief! As quick as you can turn your head is about as fast as he can find something to get into. He is certainly a handful and runs on endless amounts of energy.
Being the only pet in the house, Rascal is always eager to go out for long walks or rides in the car. He absolutely loves interacting with the neighborhood pets and people. You may want to get your greeting in quickly as he is always on the lookout for bigger action!
Even though he is just a young boy, Rascal has already shown his impressive skills in climbing on all types of high objects and balancing on the smallest of surfaces. He also has a knack for swimming. He has a fearless nature and is always ready to perform for applause and treats. His love for all things edible and sometimes not so edible has Neil carrying around treats in his pocket on every outing to prevent him from sampling the latest pine cone. With an allotment of 3 per outing Rascal is keen to know when the treats are coming and this has kept his attention on Dads pocket and not the sidewalk treasures. He is certainly easy to please in this area so the only preference he seems to have with Zen Belly is the size, minis of course.
Rascal can be found taking in the views of the front window when he’s not out on errands with Dad. Soaking up the sun and keeping up on all the local goings on is what he loves to do while spending time inside.
His true love however is being outside roaming the neighborhood for activity and a few of his favorite pals. Neil has made a routine out of bringing Rascal to the local park every afternoon at the same time so he can play with the other dogs that are also there looking for some adventure. This has been a terrific way for Neil to spend some of that incredible energy that Rascal has. Now by the days end instead of running through the house with a toy, he is ready to settle down on the couch with Dad to watch some TV before going off to bed. Rascal truly is an amazing little lightning bolt with alot of love. He is quick to steal your heart and eager to do so.
Zen Belly is so thrilled to have Rascal as one of our special friends!
Zen Belly Friend of the Month Noodles!
Sadly, we are starting the new year off without our beloved Mabel. She was a huge part of what made Zen Belly and will continue to be the passion that drives us. She deserves nothing less and the month of January was left as a dedication to her.
While our goals at Zen Belly aside from promoting healthy alternatives to your canine pal is to support shelters and promote adoption, we feel the friends we have made along the way have been instrumental in making our goals that much more attainable.
Without the support of all of you, so many of our “big dreams” for the future would continue to be just that…dreams. This is our way of saying thanks, honoring them and giving you a peek inside of the best part of life with dogs.
So without further ado, we would like to introduce you to our February “Zen Belly Friend of the Month” Noodles!
Noodles is a 5 year old black and white (Shih Tzu / mix) who is full of zip and fire! He is the furry companion of Joe Marino and have been friends of Zen Belly since our early days. In fact, Noodles on occasion was one of our “taste testers” when we had a new creation that we were anxious to share! This finicky little monster gave it to us straight! No bones about it, we had some success but he was just as willing to let us know when we needed to go back and make some changes! What a wonderful feeling it was when we got his approval because we can tell you it wasn’t always easy!
An unusual name you may think, Noodles was actually named after a gangster character in a film which we find quite funny because he has got to be the most unintimidating dog we have ever met!
He resides in Queens with his Dad and he loves to walk around the neighborhood and socialize with all the residents, shop keepers and children who all know his name. Even the local Pastor calls out to say hi to Noodles as he makes his rounds! He truly is the “mini mayor” of Glendale and revels in all the attention!
Noodles is an easy going, very friendly young boy. It doesn’t take much to make him happy. A walk, ride in the car, belly rubs and tossing around his favorite ball are a few of his favorite things. Recently, he has gained the nickname of “The Great Noodini” because he has mastered the art of escape. He just loves to visit his friends and decided he was going to go when it suited him. So for now, poor Noodles is on “lock-down” until the new fence is finished.
Noodles stood out to us was when he was “taste testing” a few of our cookies early on. Our Black and White Confection was one of the ones he approved and aside from our joy that he was pleased ,we didn’t think much more about it. Two weeks later we saw Noodles again and we had a sample package on hand that we gave to him. When he saw the Black and White cookie he jumped up and did a spin! A 360 degree SPIN!!! We were beside ourselves with laughter and absolutely thrilled that we really won him over. To this day when we bring Noodles a Black & White Cookie he still does his spin!
He truly is a memorable guy! Full of energy, he’s got a tail that never stops wagging and a huge heart big enough to fit the entire world in! Everywhere Noodles goes he always leaves having made new friends. His Dad is very proud of his pal and credits Noodles with helping him get into better shape. Joe had this to say about his buddy, “I have a long way to go but he certainly has brought me a long way already!” “I can honestly say that Noodles has changed my life for the better. I went in thinking I was going to help give a dog a good home and he ended up giving me a better life!” “I love this little guy, and I can’t even say that about my Ex!” Wow, I think that says it all! We couldn’t be more happy for these two bachelors! We just love happy endings!
Zen Belly is so honored to be able to call Joe and Noodles friends! We are so flattered that we can call Noodles a fan as well! We know once you see this little guys face you will find it easy to see why he is such a lovable local celebrity! He is certainly an A- lister in our eyes! Here’s to Noodles, Our Zen Belly Friend of the Month!
Come Join Zen Belly, D Pet Hotels Chelsea, and Aligno Yoga for an evening of DOGA, Yoga to experience with your furry friend!
Aligno Yoga’s Kerri Harendorf has designed a special yoga class for us Humans to enjoy with our best friend, our furry friends that is! Keri has combined her love for Yoga with her expertise as a dog trainer.
Date: Wednsday December 12, 2012
Time: 7:00PM – 9:00PM
Place: D Pet Hotle Chelsea 104 West 27th Street, NYC, NY. between (6th and 7th Avenue)
For more information Contact Kerry at D Pet Hotel Chelsae at 1646-478-(PUPS)7877 or email Kerry at firstname.lastname@example.org
See you there!
Meet BEAR – December Zen Belly Friend of the Month
Meet Bear Zen Belly’s friend of the month.
Four years ago Bear met the Anascavage family. Now not only is he a part of the family, he’s practically the epicenter!
His quirky good looks stem from a mix of both the Shiba Inu and Cocker Spaniel breeds. Mom, Jessica has a particular weakness for his “satellite ears”. Bear is all too happy to flaunt them along with his big brown sappy saucer eyes that will render you powerless!
During his days at his Florida home Bear can be found perched on a bed looking out the window daydreaming. Sometimes, maybe a nap on someone’s empty bed as long as their pillow meets his fluffy standards. Boy, Bear really has mastered the art of leisure! By late afternoon, Bear goes on the hunt for long lost treasures that he thinks the family has been pining for and would pay dearly to have back. Anything and everything he can barter for a cookie… including socks in abundance.
We are told when Zen Belly cookies are in the house, Bear is really on his game for trade and when things are sparse it’s not unusual for him to try and remove the socks right off your feet! Wow this guy’s got some hustle, what a character!
Bear has brought the Anascavage family so much happiness and joy they often joke he is the most spoiled member of the family. For their Care Bear they wouldn’t have it any other way!
We think Bear is a real charmer and it gives us great pleasure to know he is such a fan of our cookies. We are so honored to have him as a Zen Belly friend!
MEET HUNTER: NOVEMBER ZEN BELLY FRIEND OF THE MONTH
Hunter is the 1 ½ year old furry member of the Coats family. This young Bullmastiff is a big boy, weighing in currently at 130lbs and still growing! That’s bigger than mom Trisha and he hasn’t even reached 2 yet! Despite his big size he is very much the baby of the family, so much so that Hunter is referred to as their child!
Hunter loves the water and flopping around in the lake is a favorite past time, insuring everyone around him gets wet! Messes are one of Hunter’s specialties but with a face like that how can you react any other way than “awww”!
As much as he loves his water sports, Hunter has a gentle, introspective side as well. You can often find him exploring the yard, stopping to sniff every blade of grass and taking in all of what nature has to offer. Calling Florida home couldn’t be more fitting for this guy to take full advantage of his love of natural environments. This big boy certainly has adapted seamlessly from his birthplace in Lonely Creek, Arkansas!
Not long after Hunter settled in as part of the family, the Coats found he had some food allergies. After several trips to the Vet and what seemed like an endless trial and error, they finally found a brand that Hunter was able to enjoy and more importantly did not irritate his sensitive stomach. Anyone who has dealt with this problem knows it can be costly and certainly even more frustrating to see your pet suffer. Knowing these issues Hunter faced, a thoughtful “Auntie” while on holiday in New York came across Zen Belly while shopping at Dylan’s Candy Bar. When she saw the ingredients, or should we say lack of them, she was excited to bring them back for Hunter to try. To their surprise not only did he flip for them but they did not inflame any allergy issues.
We were so pleased to hear this we sent Hunter a special gift assortment so he would have a chance to pick a favorite. To date he still hasn’t decided so we will just have to take that as the ultimate compliment!
Thankfully, all the hard work and patience has paid off and Hunter is happy and healthy. Mom Trisha has told us that Hunter goes everywhere with them because they just can’t bear to be away from him! He brings so much joy into their lives their primary goal is to give just as much back. Boy, we hear that a lot and we can relate!
Hunter means the world to the Coats family and we have to say we are big fans as well! We are so happy to have him as a Zen Belly friend. Hunter is a big lovable boy with such a big heart it just didn’t seem fair not to share him with all of you!
Meet McCoy Zen Belly Friend of the Month – October
McCoy is the 4 1/2 year old Black Labrador Retriever of Greg Stephen. This happy young guy has the idea that everyone exists on the planet to play with him. He loves the outdoors and spends as much time as he can exploring new territories. He leads a very active lifestyle; swimming, retrieving balls and rescuing lost toys.
His very calm, friendly demeanor is what attracted McCoy into the work force. Yes, McCoy is a certified Therapy Dog! Just when you think this guy can’t get any better we find out he volunteers his time accompanying his dad Greg to hospitals to greet the residents. McCoy has made so many friends as a Therapy Dog and has created even more smiles and laughter!
Looking at his beautiful pictures, one would struggle not to think they were lifted straight from a Field & Stream Magazine shoot!
After a long day at play McCoy looks forward to his bedtime snack but before he retires for the evening he makes the rounds giving everyone their goodnight kiss. What a thoughtful young guy! We think that is really sweet!
McCoy’s active lifestyle keeps him healthy and fit but he’s also conscious of his diet (well, his dad is really) so the Zen Belly Sweet Potato Rawhides and Carrot Hydrants are on the top of his list, however, every so often he can’t resist indulging in carob covered Black & Whites!
We are so honored to have McCoy as a Zen Belly friend. He is a wonderful dog who brings joy to everyone he meets. For those who are fortunate enough to know McCoy, you would be hard pressed to find one whose heart he has not touched, and with the time he spends volunteering, we can assure you that every place he visits is a lot more cheerful when he leaves than it was before he arrived.
McCoy is an amazing dog with a big heart who loves people. His family is so proud of their little furry gentleman, especially dad, Greg. We are all fawning over Mr. McCoy here at Zen Belly! He really is the total package!
We knew he was just too lovable to keep to ourselves so we wanted to share McCoy and his impressive story with all our Zen Belly family. We know you will agree he is a perfect fit for the Zen Belly friend of the month!
TO GROOM OR NOT TO GROOM……
With the economy being a bit tough to manage at times, many people are always looking for ways to cut costs. There is nothing wrong with trying to budget in order to provide long term for your family.
One of the things that was discussed in the local dog park recently was the “few” amenities that have been given up by a few and some that they had decided to try to take on themselves. The one that stuck out the most was Grooming. Especially in NYC, most things are more expensive than surrounding areas so it can be difficult to find the “sanity” in plunking down that much for your dog’s “day at the salon”.
Some breeds, if you have the wherewithal to do the job by all means give it your best shot!I do think it will give you a new appreciation for what these licensed professionals do at the very least! Other breeds with thicker fur , “double coats” or have a specific cut may look easy but I assure you it is not as simple as it seems!
We had a few good laughs over some of the attempts and for some, the best thing we could say was “Don’t worry it grows back”…and it does. If you are an easy going person that won’t be derailed when it’s not perfection, well then give it a try but be ready for a challenge. My goal here was to just give you a different perspective on why the “grooming” is in many cases more costly than your own salon visits. While that might seem ridiculous to you, maybe you never stopped to think about the vast differences.
For one, you sit still in a chair and communicate! You are a willing participant and many dogs are not. Your cut revolves ONLY around the hair on your head. It does not include a mani/ pedi, a sanitary trim or ear cleaning. All of those are done on hair that has not been washed every other day but rather more like 4-8 weeks! The likelihood of having an aggressive moment or an “accident” for you while your in the salon is pretty slim… (we hope!).
Our main objective is to encourage everyone to just maintain their dogs. It is essential to there well being and health. Whatever it takes we hope you find the right balance to fit your needs.
We just wanted to show our appreciation for the professionals that do a fantastic job for our furry friends and wanted to share with you a different insight to what most of us overlook when it comes to the task they face.
While we have seen our share of “You can’t be serious!” pricing, there are plenty of great dog groomers out there that are fair. Maybe now it won’t seem so unreasonable.
Whatever your preference or abilities, just keep in mind that a maintained dog significantly reduces easily preventable health issues, so one less trip to the Vet is a saving in itself!
Meet Roma, our Zen Belly Friend of the Month!
Roma is the 7lb Morkie baby of Ken Wolf and Jennifer Pierro. These true New York Artists have raised quite the little world traveler! One of her favorite places to retreat with her family is Italy, where she enjoys hiking in the Italian Alps and sampling the local pizza crusts. We are told she is quite the connoisseur too!
At 3 years old, Roma is already debuting in her first play “Dad and the Dog” this November at the Manhattan Repertory Theatre on 42st in New York City. This talented little girl is quite grounded with a heart of gold despite her princess treatment. Described as both sweet and spicy, she gives love and brings joy to every one she meets!
With a full calendar, Roma on her down time, truly cherishes time biking around the city with Dad, Ken.
We have been told that her favorite of the Zen Belly collection is the Mini Carrot Hydrants and we couldn’t be more pleased!
Roma is a true New York original! She embodies all the character of our beloved city…Bright, Bold, Creative, Beautiful, Unique, Vibrant and Unforgettable! We are so happy to have her as a part of the Zen Belly family and could not be more honored to have her as a fan, because we are certainly a Big Fan of Miss Roma!
To find out more about Roma’s home away from home you can check out the
Manhattan Repertory Theatre here on Facebook.
Zen Belly Friend of the month…. ZACHARY!!
The team here at Zen Belly has been so very fortunate to have gained such loyal fans! We cannot express enough how grateful we are. Zen Belly was started with the best interests of our canine friends in mind and our promise was to always keep that as the number one priority as we grew.
This has been an amazing experience for us. We never imagined how many friends both human and canine we would make along our journey and it has been the wonderful feedback and pictures of new fans enjoying our cookies that keeps us inspired and determined to continue to offer our best combination of unique, healthy, quirky, fresh baked cookies and confections to our human friends for our canine friends! So without further ado, our Zen Belly friend of the month,
This handsome Boston Terrier is the furry sidekick of Andrew Goldberg. Friends of Zen Belly from the very beginning, we are so happy to be a part of helping to celebrate Zachary’s 14th Birthday on August 14!
This refined gentleman has exquisite tastes and is a dog of few “barks”, as he prefers to get his point across quietly. If he wants to go out, he goes to the door. If dad is not on point, Zachary will tap on the door to get his attention! When he is ready to retire for the evening, he simply excuses himself from the sofa and goes off to bed. Certainly seems obvious to us who runs that home!
As you can see Zachary is very photogenic, he has real regal heir about him which is why we kept finding ourselves dubbing him “Sir Zachary”..we think it’s a perfect fit!
This Silver fox comfortably resides in Oceanside, New York with his Dad, Andrew. He is currently single but always seems to have a full social calendar! Definitely a lover not a fighter, which makes the team here at Zen Belly think we could all learn a lot from him!
We absolutely adore Zachary. We are so honored he is a fan and friend of Zen Belly CanineCookies and Confections! We are certainly a fan of his! We thought this fella was too wonderful to keep to ourselves so we wanted to introduce all of you to “Sir” Zachary as well! We know he will make you smile and impress you as much as he does all of us!
Summer getaway tips
Weekend getaways are a given throughout the summer months. Packing a bag and jumping into an adventure with your fuzzy pal is second to none! With weather as warm as what we have been experiencing lately, your destinations are probably water related such as beaches, campsites or lakes.
For the pets that are excited about water activities, by all means enjoy it! Just keep in mind the overexposure to water and sun does have its downsides. The sun of course can overheat your pet so always make sure you have a shady spot and fresh water available to them. The sun’s rays can be equally damaging to your pet’s skin and eyes and yes, animals can get sunburns! So be mindful of the amount of time you spend out and try to avoid peak hours without protection. Long hours running on hot sands can also cause sensitivity and/or irritated paw pads. Pebble sands can easily get lodged in between their toes and pads and cause great discomfort so do a quick inspection just to be safe.
Did you know that excessive swimming can dry out your pet’s coat and cause irritation?
Pools that are chemically treated with chlorine can be an irritant to both their eyes and skin after prolonged exposure.
Salt water can remove the natural vital oils and moisture from your pets coat so after a summer you can imagine the toll it takes. Bleached fur, dry coat and itchy skin are a few problems you may encounter.
The best way to tackle this potential problem is to give your pet a thorough rinse at the end of your daily water activities. This will help remove most of the salt/chemicals. Bring along a good shampoo and moisturizer and condition your pet once a week. You don’t want to neglect a dry coat for too long, aside from it being uncomfortable the dry skin when scratched is much more vulnerable to tearing. Once the skin is broken your pet is open to bacteria and infection which can result in a costly trip to the Vet.
Remember beaches come with their own residents. Sand fleas can be an annoyance but a crab or jellyfish is something that packs a bit more punch if you get too close. If your pet is new to the surroundings, chances are his nose is going right in for inspection! It should only take one time for them to come up with their new friend attached to their face to know not to go back but we much prefer mom and dad keep a good eye on them and hopefully avoid any painful lessons altogether!
Last but not least we would say NEVER leave your pet unattended but we already know to all our friends here that is just inconceivable! So instead we say ENJOY your quality time with your favorite pals and make the summer your playground!