Back in Black 2 Comment-A-Thon is counting down!!!

As both the event and the comment-a-thon wind down, I'd just like to thank all of you who participated by commenting, and an even more special thank you to those who passed the word along on your own blogs, or on Facebook or Twitter.  Thanks to your help, we have already reached our goal of 100 comments (117 to date with three days to go).  So THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU to ALL who participated in any fashion, but an especial thank you to SNOOPYJeanne, Chloe, and Ladybug , Cathy Keisha , Barb & The Daily Gs , Oui Oui and the Gang at Twinkletoe Tails , Dash , Carl, KC & The Giggleman Kitties , Everyone at The Cat Blogosphere , Marg's Pets , and Random Felines!  Finn can't thank you enough for putting the word out and helping him reach his goal! As a reward, he thought you might like to see some of my favorite pictures of him some of his favorite pictures of himself!  

Lounging on the cat tree! 

Chilling on the cat porch!

Practicing his house panther stare! 

Safely enjoying the sun in the back yard!

The (baby) House Panther sleeps ...

Also - if you haven't commented yet, there's still time - all comments entered by or before midnight (EST) on May 31st will be counted, and the randomly chosen winner will be announced on Friday, June 1st! 


Everything but the halo ...

I have written more than once about how Tucker is the perfect dog, (and how he, now, even has a tag to prove it!) but the truth is, I know that, objectively, he really isn't.  For one thing, the "perfect dog" is different for different people, and the very things that endear Tucker to me might be things that would bug other people.  And in fact, despite his being very near to absolute perfection in my eyes, there are still things about him that I wouldn't mind changing ... his barkiness, for example.  He'll quiet when I ask him to, but that doesn't stop him from being sure to let me know about every little thing that goes on in the vicinity, whether I want to know or not.  If an intruder is attempting to gain access to the house, intent on theft, murder, or mayhem, then by all means please let me know.  A leaf falling off a tree two blocks away is not quite so important to me.  Especially when it happens at 3 am.  

But barkiness notwithstanding, and despite the almost certain fact that he'll probably never rescue me from a burning building or alert anyone to the fact that I have fallen down a well, he is a darn good dog, and I honestly can't take much, if any, of the credit.  True, I happen to have been around a dog or two in my time, and the lessons I'd learned, and mistakes I'd made, with previous dogs probably helped me do more things right with Tucker than I otherwise would have, but even without that I think he still would have been a great dog.  So great, in fact, that I am often given cause to wonder just what kind of a moron it was who didn't recognize all the wonderful things in Tucker that I did, and do, and was stupid enough to give him up.  Whoever he or she was, though, did me a HUGE favor! (Well, me, and every other person lucky enough to know him - from my family, friends, and co-workers, to the UPS and Fed Ex guys ... because whether it's due to his Muppet-like appearance, his goofy grin, his irrepressible zest for life or his heart-on-his-sleeve freewheeling affection for every man, woman, child, or animal he meets, almost without fail everyone who comes in contact with Tucker falls in love with him.  He's just THAT freaking awesome!)

 My own personal angel ... can't you just imagine him with a halo?
Which is why it makes me sad that it's taken having my grandmother in the hospital (and now in a nursing home, and probably Hospice sooner than I can really think about dealing with) to really appreciate how much good Tucker was doing as a therapy dog before we stopped going.  When you see how much someone you know well and dearly love lights up at having the opportunity to hold a dog on their lap for twenty or thirty minutes, or even just see one or stroke its head, it makes you feel really crummy that you have this amazing dog who has the potential to bring a lot of joy to people who most need a helping of it and you have been too selfish to MAKE THE TIME for such important work.  

After all, even though it's Tucker who's really making the magic on these visits, (my grandmother is always happy to see me, of course, but it's Tucker who has the ability to break through the pain, the fatigue, and the general malaise of being terminally ill), he can't get there on his own.  It's a lot easier to make the time for these visits when it's your own much-loved family member in the bed, but everyone (hopefully) matters to someone, and if they don't, then they need those visits even more! 

So at some point, Tucker & I will be back in a hospital or nursing home (or other facility in need of therapy animals) and the human will be back with a renewed commitment to doing whatever has to be done to MAKE TIME for the therapy visits to happen.  Tucker's commitment, as it happens, never wavered, but unfortunately he has to depend on me to get him to "work."  We'll still be concentrating on our VIP patient for the foreseeable future, but the facility where she currently is does have other patients who are happy to see Tucker also, and we are committed to making time for them as well.  

It's a humbling thing when your dog is a better human being than you are.  


We're sad

Today is a sad day.  We've just learned that the Diamond recall that has been so much a topic of conversation recently has been expanded.

Not only that, but it has been reported that two cats have died after eating the contaminated food.  

Here is a brief synopsis: 

Diamond Pet Foods of Meta, Mo., added another brand to its expansive salmonella-related pet food recall, and a pair of cats in a Canadian shelter reportedly died after eating Diamond products.

The latest recall involves Diamond Naturals Small Breed Adult Dog Lamb & Rice Formula samples, 6-pound and 18-pound bag sizes manufactured on Aug. 26, 2011. The product was distributed in Colorado, Illinois, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas and Wisconsin.

The recalled bags include the following production codes and best before dates:
  • DSL0801, 26-Aug-2012;
  • DSL0801, 26-Aug-2012;
  • DSL0801, 27-Sept-2012;
  • DSL0801, 18-Oct-2012;
  • DSL0801, (Samples).
Meanwhile, two cats at the Humanochat cat shelter in Montreal died and another is sick after eating Diamond products, according to a report by the Calgary Herald. One person also became ill from handling the food, according to the report.

The full story (and the source for the information reported in this post) can be found HERE!

This is a sad, and scary, lesson about how important it is to know not just the ingredient list and guaranteed analysis of whatever food you're feeding, and the reputation of the company whose name is on the bag, but also that of whoever is actually producing the food (if different from the company whose name is on the bag or can).  Diamond has multiple plants, and initially the recalls were limited to the South Carolina plant.  That is no longer true, and now not only have humans become ill and been hospitalized after handling the contaminated food, two cats have died and another is ill.  

Our pets don't get to choose the food that they're fed, so it's up to us to make sure that whatever we are feeding them is nutritious, species-appropriate, and SAFE!  


Back in Black ... it gets personal

Hi, everyone - MP here!

First of all, let me just say - THANK YOU to all who spread the word on their blogs, FB pages, Twitter, etc. about Finn's Comment-A-Thon in conjunction with the Back in Black 2 event!  

I had some personal stuff going on this weekend, so imagine my surprise when I checked the blog this morning and found that thanks to all of you spreading the word, we have now exceeded our goal of one hundred comments!  I hope we'll get even more, as we still have ten days to run! So if you haven't already - leave your comments HERE! We are very happy to have the opportunity to give a small amount of aid to an animal rescue or shelter close to your hearts.  

Now, on to the main reason for today's post.  The Back in Black event is very personal this time around, because a friend of mine has found herself in need (for medical reasons) of rehoming her three cats.  In fact, we have already found placements for two of them, but the Black Beauty of the trio, Bella, is still in need of a home.  My friend, S, who I have known for some ten years, was approached by a family member approximately two years ago about taking in a mother cat and her kittens who had been found as strays.  She did so, and was able to find loving homes for all but two of the kittens, and Bella, the mom.  S. has severe asthma, but what she didn't know at the time, and found out about nine months ago, is that she also has a very severe cat allergy (diagnosed via allergy tests).  Despite this, she was very reluctant to give the cats up, not only because of her own personal attachment to them, but for fear of where they could possibly go.  Shelters are more jam-packed than ever, and even more critically underfunded, so she made some practical adjustments around the house - banning them from her bedroom, replacing her upholstered furniture with leather, etc. to try to reduce the amount of dander, but she has continued to suffer, and recently her allergist advised her that she really needed to seriously consider trying to find homes for the cats.  I was able to help her do that with two of them (the now-adult kittens), but we have been unable to find a suitable home for Bella.  Rescues and sanctuaries are over capacity right now as it is kitten season, and what S. is finding is that even with two of the cats out of the home, she is not seeing any real improvement in her symptoms.  Therefore, the need still exists to find Bella a new home where she will be safe and loved for the rest of her life. 

A bit of pertinent information:  

Bella is a medium/long haired, stunningly beautiful girl of approximately five years of age.  She is in good health with no known medical issues.  She uses the litter box reliably.  She is very affectionate, and loves attention.  She is always there to greet S. when she returns home from being away, and one thing that really bothers S. is that she cannot give Bella the physical attention, petting, cuddling, etc. that she obviously craves as to do so brings on a severe allergy/asthma attack, and requires her to use her inhaler. As she has lived with other cats, it would seem that Bella would be able to integrate into a house with another cat or cats, assuming introductions were done properly, but she would probably also not mind being an only cat, provided she got plenty of attention and interaction from her person/people.  She is good with calm children, but has never been around dogs.  She is spayed, vaccinated, and FIV and Feluk negative.  Any reasonable additional vetting that the new adopter would like to be done can and will be done, and S. is willing to consider out of area adopters if the right home can be found.  Additionally, she will hold on to Bella  for as long as it takes to find the right home for her.  

If anyone is interested, or knows someone who is, they can email me at:  tuckertellsall@gmail.com and I will forward the emails on to S. It would also be great if you could pass the word along in any manner you see fit.

Thank you! 


Friday Maintenance Post

TaDa!  It's me, Olivia! 

I heard that my presence had been requested, so here I am! And I have OODLES of news!  Plus, I have a full day of sunbathing, napping, and grooming my furs planned, so let's get to it!  I've got things to do! 

1) Finn's Comment-A-Thon for Back in Black 2 - we have 13 days left and 78 comments to go!  So please leave your comment today, if you haven't already.  If you are the randomly chosen winner, we'll make a donation in your name to the rescue group or shelter of your choice! 

It will make Finn really happy to reach his goal this year, and even though he's a bratty little thing completely lacking in the proper respect for a calico princess such as myself, his comment-a-thon is for a good cause, so I feel I have to support him, even though I TOLD Mom that we did NOT need another cat around this house.  Of course, I told her that when she brought Tanner home, too, but she didn't listen then, either.  Sometimes I think she needs a refresher course in Catonese.  Cause the woman doesn't do half of what I tell her, so maybe she just doesn't understand?  Ah, well.  That's a post for another time.

2)  Did you know that our friends over at William of Mass Destruction have opened up their own store?  I mean, it looks to me like the human is trying to take credit for it, but it's definitely William, Caroline, Russell, Olivia, and Gracie's store.  After all, whose pictures do you think these are?






PHOTO CREDIT TO THE HUMAN AT William of Mass Destruction
You may not know this, but reading William's (and Caroline's, and Russell's, and Olivia's and Gracie's) blog was one of the things that convinced Mom that we should have OUR own blog.  So we are forever in their debt in this regard, and it's one of our favorite blogs to read every day.  I'll tell you one thing, though ... I think that Caroline is a little bit of a hussy.  She's always flirting with Spitty, as if I NEEDED any competition in that department!!!  That boy's already romancing half the lady cats in the Blogosphere.  In fact, if it gets any worse, I might have to consider whether there's a handsome mancat out there who might be more steadfast in his affections.  Do you think William would want to go out on a date with me?  

Anyway, their store is called Feline O' Mine and their stuff looks really cool.  Plus, it's been tested and approved by all the gang at William of Mass Destruction, so it's gotta be great!  We're going to have Mom help us pick out some stuff this weekend and then we'll be reporting back about it!

3) Mom has been SUPER stressed out lately with all these food recalls.  And you might not know this, but some of the food that was recalled was for cats, even though it wasn't as widely publicized.  So she was pretty happy yesterday when she got an email from K9Cuisine.com (they have cat food, too).  I was reading over her shoulder and the email said that because of the recent recalls, they are offering a 15% discount on certain foods that have NOT been affected by all the recalls.  Those brands are Pulsar Grain Free, Horizon Legacy, Darford Zero/G, Fromm, and Orijen.  All you have to do is enter the coupon code SWITCHFOOD to receive the discount, and any orders $50 or over receive free shipping!

Phew!  I'm exhausted!  I feel a nap coming on! And I know just the sun puddle I want to take it in!  

Have a great weekend, everyone! 

And don't forget to leave your comment HERE!


On this Thursday we are Thankful for ...

P.S.  Don't forget to participate in Finn's Back in Black 2  Comment-A-Thon, in conjunction with Best Friends' annual adoption event spotlighting black dogs and cats! Leave your comment HERE and if you are the randomly chosen winner on May 31st, your rescue group or shelter will win a donation of $100.  Is there more than one group or shelter close to your heart?  That's ok!  You can enter more than once!  And don't forget to tell you friends!  Last year, we only got to 55 comments, and Finn was really bummed.  We pooled our toy and treat money and donated the $100 anyway, but this year he really wants to get to his 100 comments.  

P.P.S.  Mom just got a really cool email from the owner of K9Cuisine.com that she will be sharing later today or tomorrow for the opportunity to save some serious cash on brands of dog and cat food NOT affected by recent recalls! 


More news on the recall front

Though it doesn't exactly surprise me, I was very unhappy to learn this morning that the more we find out about what's going on in the Diamond plant, the worse it sounds. 

If you or someone you know is feeding any of these foods:

Chicken Soup for the Pet Lover's Soul 
Country Value 
Diamond Naturals
Premium Edge 
Taste of the Wild 
Natural Balance 
Solid Gold

you owe it to yourselves and your pets to READ THIS


Back In Black 2

Hi, everyone!  It's me, Finn!  

And I just wanted to remind everyone that May is Back in Black 2 ... a national adoption event promoting the adoption of black dogs and cats, sponsored by Best Friends Animal Society.  You can learn more about the event, and Best Friends HERE

Obviously, as a black cat, this is an event very dear to my heart.  Black cats are awesome, as anyone who has ever known and loved one can attest, and I am sure black dogs are awesome, too, even though I don't personally know any.

The last time Best Friends had this event was back in August of 2011, and we tried to do our part by holding a COMMENT-A-THON and this time around we'd like to do the same!  

So leave your comment here ... and if, on May 31st, you are the one randomly drawn, you can win a $100 donation to the rescue group or shelter of your choice!  It's pretty easy - just leave us a comment telling us who you'd like to receive the donation in your name if you win, and you're entered!  One caveat:  there have to be 100 comments (or more)!  So leave your comment today! 

Meanwhile, check out some of these "black beauties" available for adoption at Best Friends! 

This is ORLANDO!

Photo Credit:  Best Friends

Orlando is described as "wiggly, bouncy, and happy" by the Best Friends staff.  He is also reported to be very food motivated so he would probably love to learn tricks.  Orlando is cat friendly, but might prefer to be an only dog.  He is afraid of children.  Do you know of someone who is looking for a big, friendly guy like Orlando to give them lots of love and maybe be their new partner in a dog sport like agility or Rally-O?  Tell them to contact Best Friends and ask to meet Orlando!

If felines are more your cup of tea, then you might want to meet Lady Opal!

To me, Opal looks like the feminine version of my good pal, Spitty, and who knows?  Perhaps a full-time partner in crime might be just what this confirmed bachelor and ladies' man needs?  Listen to what Best Friends says about Lady Opal:  "Opal doesn't have any self-esteem problems.  She likes for you to pet her.  But if you fuss over her too much for too long she may start giving you 'diva attitude."  Um, excuse me, but does that sound like Spitty's perfect other half, or what? That lush midnight black fur?  That piercing diva stare?  This is Spitty's soul mate, I'm sure of it!

 Happy Tuesday, everyone, and don't forget to leave your comment telling us which organization you'd like to get the donation if you're the winner!!


Why does dog food have to be so complicated?

I don't know about anyone else,but the recent rash of recalls on some very well-known brands of dog food is really stressing me out!

That might seem a bit silly, considering that the dogs and cats at Chez Tucker are all on a prey model raw diet (although they do get small, occasional meals or snacks of commercial food, such as canned tripe, or things like Honest Kitchen for the dogs if we are traveling and feeding raw for that brief time is not convenient or possible).  

But even though I don't personally have anything to worry about as it relates to the Diamond realls, which are now confirmed to have affected not just the foods in the Diamond family of pet foods (including Chicken Soup for the Pet Lover's Soul, Country Value, Diamond, Diamond Naturals, Premium Edge, Professional, 4Health, and Taste of the Wild) but also foods that are CO-PACKED by Diamond, specifically Natural Balance, Wellness, and Solid Gold, I'm still stressed out, and worried, and, to tell the truth, pretty darn mad! Because even though I wasn't using any of the affected products for my animals, other people were! 

Now about those co-packers.  Just what are they, anyway?  Well, in short, a co-packer is a company that manufactures and packages foods for other companies. This means that the company whose name is on the bag or can of food you're buying for your dog or cat may not be who is responsible for actually producing the food.  The reason for this is simple economics.  Manufacturing plants are expensive to purchase, set up, staff, and maintain, so many companies contract with a co-packer to actually produce their foods in accordance with the recipes and guidelines they set forth. 

The problem is that while this practice is sound from an economic standpoint, it does not succeed so well from the standpoint of quality control.  Companies who contract with co-packers have varying degrees of control or supervision over their company's food runs (some companies send a representative to oversee their company's production runs, for example, while others do not), but when multiple brands of varying qualities of foods are being produced in a single facility, the potential for many or all of the foods produced there to be affected by the same issue (if one should arise) is high.  This is what happened in the mass recalls of 2007 with the melamine issue.  Some lower priced, lower quality brands of foods were purchasing vegetable proteins from China that later proved to be contaminated with melamine, and due the equipment not having been properly cleaned during production runs, even foods whose recipes did not include the contaminated ingredients wound up being affected.  As a result, many dogs and cats became ill, and many died.

As it pertains to the current recall situation, to my knowledge, no pets have yet fallen ill as a result of the salmonella contamination that prompted the recall, but CBS News  reports that fourteen people in nine states have become ill and five have been hospitalized as a result of handling the food. Disturbing to be sure, and yet, perhaps perversely, I have to laugh a little bit, even if that laughter is of the sardonic variety, rather than a true expression of mirth.  After all, it's certainly NO laughing matter that people are becoming ill and having to be hospitalized as a result of handling this salmonella contaminated pet food.  Yet, as a raw feeder, well-accustomed to being on the receiving end of the side eye when the subject of what I feed my pets comes up in conversation, I will reluctantly admit to feeling just the teeniest bit smug.  Because, after all, commercial pet food is supposed to be the SAFE choice, while we raw feeders are, according to many, risking the health and safety of not just our pets but ourselves by making this, allegedly, unorthodox choice.  (For the record, Tucker and gang are thriving, and neither they nor any of the humans in the house have ever been ill as a result of the diet I choose to feed.)

But wait ... I digress.  This post isn't about raw feeding.  It's about the fact that going out and buying commercially prepared food for our dogs and cats (hopefully after making a considered decision regarding the food in question) should not feel like some bizarre game of Russian roulette.  It shouldn't be life and death, for our pets, or for us.  But it is.  Because here's the sad, ugly, but very real truth:  the entire pet food industry came into being when some savvy individuals figured out that marketing the grain hulls, sweepings, rendered meat, and other "leftovers" of the human food industry for consumption by pet dogs and cats was a great way to turn a tidy profit from things that had previously been discarded as waste. 

Thankfully, a lot has changed since those days, and there are now a handful of companies making very carefully considered dog and cat foods using quality, human-grade ingredients, who actually seem to truly care about the health and welfare of the animals consuming their foods.  Unfortunately, a lot has stayed the same, and the truth is that the lion's share of pet food companies out there are driven not by a love of animals but by a desire to improve their bottom line.  I wish this wasn't so, but it is, no matter how many adorable dogs and cats they have romping through their high priced television advertisements.  Here's a suggestion ... spend less on slick ad campaigns and more on quality ingredients and in creating species-appropriate foods that are actually GOOD for dogs and cats.  In fact, I'll go so far as to say that any company spending what it takes to advertise on the national stage is probably not a company whose products I'd ever in a million years want to feed to my pets.  And I'm in advertising!  I'm also a believer in free enterprise, but NOT at the expense of the health or safety of one's customer's, or that of their pets. 

Co-packers, as mentioned above, complicate the whole issue exponentially.  When a consumer goes into a store, be it a small, boutique type store, a grocery store, or a large supermarket type pet supply store, to purchase pet foods, they are, hopefully, making the decision to purchase a particular brand of food based on a considered assessment of the ingredients, guaranteed analysis, and the history/reputation of said food/company rather than on the basis of the cute dog or cat in a given company's advertisements or on the packaging itself.  But even then, how do you know if the food you're buying is actually made by the company whose name is on the bag?  The truth is - often, you don't.  Most people don't give much thought, if any, to the whole co-packing issue, and it's certainly not something the pet food industry as a whole wants to encourage people to delve too deeply into.  In addition, assuming that someone actually WANTS to find out if a company uses a co-packer, or who that co-packer is, it's often very difficult to do.  Inquiries into the matter are often met with slick double talk by company customer service representatives, and, even worse, the more dubious a company's reputation is, the slicker that double talk is likely to be.  Not to mention that many pet food companies whose reputations have been tarnished by frequent recalls and safety issues pay their representatives to participate in discussion groups pertaining to pet issues, which inevitably includes talk about what foods the participants use and recommend.  After all, pet food is big business, so spin doctoring as damage control is only to be expected.

The dilemma of finding a food to feed one's dog or cat that contains quality ingredients, is species-appropriate, and SAFE, is difficult enough if you have a healthy animal that doesn't suffer from allergies, food sensitivities, or other ailments.  If you have an allergic or food sensitive animal, for example, then things become even more complicated.  Here's a case in point.  Imagine my friend E.'s horror at discovering that a brand of food she had recently tried for her two dogs in an effort to find a food that her itchy/allergic/food intolerant boy would do well on was one of the brands affected in this recent recall.  The good news is that her dogs are fine, and by the time the news of the recall hit, she had stopped using the food anyway.  But I've been in a similar situation (back in 2007), and regardless, it's still scary! 

Here's the bottom line.  As our pets' guardians and caregivers, it is up to us to be as discerning as we can possibly be when deciding what to feed our pets.  For some people, it is simply not feasible, for any number of valid reasons, to prepare food for one's pets at home, either by cooking for them, or by feeding a raw diet.  I, myself, even though for the most part my animals are raw fed, still have to rely on commercial food from time to time. But if we are going to spend our hard-earned money on commercial pet food, we need to do our best to be sure that the food we're spending that money on is as nutritious, as species-appropriate, and as SAFE as it possibly can be.

It's a decision our pets can't make for themselves.  In this, as in so many things, they must rely on us, and their health, their longevity, even their very lives, are at stake.  We must hold pet food companies accountable, and never forget that pet food manufacturers, even the best of them, are motivated at least in part by the potential for financial gain.  That's their job.  Our job is to protect our pets.  They're counting on us. 


Monday AGAIN?

Hi, everyone - it's me, Phoebe!  It is getting hot again here - and I keep hearing the man in the talking box in the armoire yakking about how this is going to be a long, hot summer.  Well, duh!  We live in Florida!  How hard is it to predict THAT?

Anyway, we are trying to take advantage of cooler temperatures whenever we can, and this weekend Mom and Aunt K. took Tucker, Cosmo, and me to the park.  It was really fun!  

Mom says she's probably going to be pretty busy lame  this week so we may not post much, but we will try to visit everyone when we can.


Looking forward to the weekend ....

Hi, everyone - it's me, Tanner!  Tucker let me post today because it's been a long time since I had a chance to post.  I hope all my friends out in Blogland are doing well. 

I've had a busy week this week on watch.  The neighbors now have some kind of big, grass-eating monster living in their yard that has required my extra-vigilant attention.  Mom will be home this weekend, though, and hopefully I'll be able to get a break.  If so, I think I'll just hang out on the couch and watch Animal Planet.

What are YOUR weekend plans?


Olivia's Opinions - # Who Knows in an Ongoing Series

Hi, everyone - it's me, Olivia!  And my Opinion for today is that since it has been THIRTY THREE WHOLE DAYS since I last got to post, I am going to post a BUNCH of pictures today, because really - who knows WHEN I will get another chance!!!!  What with my mom constantly putting things like work and socializing with friends before blogging, and all my siblings stealing my thunder, it's a wonder I get any blog time at all, and frankly, that is just NOT acceptable!  

And so ...

Lately, one of the things Mom has been obsessed with is her new friend, Pic Monkey.  It's a photo editing site that replaced Picnik, and while Mom was sad to say goodbye to Picnik, she is really loving Pic Monkey!  It can take just about any photo and make it better, which for Mom is good, because even though thanks to her photography class, she now at least knows how to hold her camera correctly, I'm not gonna lie to you ... Mom is no Ansel Adams.  

Now, take the photo below for instance.  It's - well, this is probably a poor example, because this is a STUNNING photograph.  Then again, it IS of me!  Mom took this photo several months ago - (you can see I'm not wearing my new blue leather collar with the rhinestones) but it's always been one of her favorites.  No arguments from this corner. 

But see how this same photo is improved with our new pal Pic Monkey's help!  With a quick adjustment to the sharpness and clarity, my eyes look even more jewel-like than they did in the previous photo, and you can see more of the detail in my beautiful calico furs! 

This one has the Orton effect on it.  Don't I look dreamy?

This one is cross-processed with blue.  

While this one is cross-processed red ... I like how it makes my eyes look gold and makes my red calico furs really pop!  

This one is the HDR look ...  

And this one is daguerreotype.  See how old-timey I look?

Mom says she can't quite decide which one of these looks is her favorite.  I say they all look fabulous.  Which one is your favorite?