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Reader Round-up: Puppies, tentacles, home decor, and LA picnics

Remember Offbeat Home's reader round-ups? I'm bringing it back y'all! We finally have enough Homies submitting enough pics to our Offbeat Home Flickr pool to do more round-ups now and then. Included in this round-up we have a good idea to help change your eating habits, a kitchen moment that makes me particularly happy, more bathroom tentacles, and a peak into how I spent this past weekend…

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Keep your pets safe while looking dapper

Check out this light-up bow tie for your dapper animals! Now your pets can be more visible at night without sacrificing their fashion sense. This collar is useful for three main reasons…

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How yogurt saved me from my dog's farts

We have reached a point in our home where "blaming it on the dog" has become a regular activity. Harley is an eight-year-old shepherd mix that, up until a few months ago, was super-active. After injury and rehab, he's doing great, but the months of inactivity have not gotten along with his digestive tract. For the past few weeks my partner and I have been keeping magazines close at hand to fan noxious odors in the other direction, keeping oil burners going almost 24/7, and banish our loving friend to other parts of the house. We've had to even go as far as to sleep with the window open (in March!) to avoid finding ourselves being woken up in a gas chamber. I know Harley's food had a major role in his digestive distress but unfortunately due to a special diet and picky eating on his part, changing his food was not an option. So what to do… Thank gawd for Google!

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Lessons in adopting second-hand dogs: What I wish I had known

In what feels like a different lifetime, but in reality was a mere two weeks ago, we adopted our black Labrador from a rehoming centre. He's an absolute dream, and we wouldn't be without him for the world. What I found, however, was that dog owning manuals almost exclusively talked about "choosing your puppy from a litter," and "bringing your new puppy home." They were of little help in preparing us to visit a hectic, deafening kennel, adopting an almost-fully-grown, bouncy adolescent who's almost as strong as me, and dealing with two years worth of ingrained good and not-so-good habits. Here's what I wish I'd known…