Pup-Peroni with MaQ-eroni

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of The J.M. Smucker
Company. The opinions and text are all mine.

With my crazy hectic schedule as a full-time writer, photographer, and blogger/digital content creator, I don't get that much time with my German Shepherd dog, McQueen, or also known as MaQ to most of you, as much as I'd like to. So I definitely make room for some heavy duty quality time with my fur baby every chance I can get. It's not only for his well being but for mine as well. We are each other's best friend and if I could take him everywhere with me, I would in a heartbeat. Which is why when I was recently asked by Pup-Peroni to share some of MaQ's most recent favorite treats we, of course, wanted to share with you a couple of his choices! Here's a small clue to what he always goes for... and they are made with real meaty goodness!

When MaQ sees these Pup-Peroni Original Beef Flavor Dog Treats, he immediately starts to drool and gives you the 'I want it NOW' eyes. He'll do anything for these treats, one of his favorite go-to maneuvers is the paw shake or high-five, which is always rewarded with a treat or affection. We do everything together and I love being able to count on a brand that provides real meat like beef, steak, bacon, etc. as the #1 ingredient in their treats. Even made with real Angus steak, (MaQ also is in love with the Prime Rib flavor as well) I am reassured that I'm giving something authentic and tasty to my beloved pooch. With less time to worry about what I'm giving my dog, I can spend the time I have with him playing and enjoying our time together, showing other people his tricks and 'tricks of the trade.' 

One of his favorite games he's loved playing since he was a puppy is what we like to call the "Idenitification" game. MaQ has an assortment of plush toys, ranging from a dragon, fox, pig, monkey, practically a whole farm, that he absolutely adores, so much in fact, that he doesn't rip them up to shreds like other dogs sometimes do. We'll put all the toys in the toy bin and then ask MaQ to individually bring us a certain one, one by one until he is mentally exhausted. He can bring nearly twenty toys in one sitting! I'm not kidding! I'm even thinking about doing a live video on Instagram or Facebook one of these days, what do you guys think of that idea? We, of course, reward him each time for his efforts with his favorite mouth-watering beef treats. 

MaQ aims to please and is one playful pup while doing so! Some other activities we love doing together are taking long walks throughout the city, rollerblading and playing catch with one of his favorite balls. He also loves going to the store with me, even hearing the word gets him super excited! But no matter where we go, I always keep a few Pup-Peroni treats within reach. When people ask how MaQ is so well-behaved, it's not just his demeanor, it's the hundreds of treats given through training and positive reinforcement. When you can make training fun and full of engagement, it can do wonders for you and your pup. And with the best meaty treats, your dog will do anything for one! You can find Pup-Peroni Original Beef Flavor Dog Treats (38 oz.) at your local Walmart in the pet aisle. Woof, YEAH!!! 





5 Tips on Dog Walking Etiquette in a Big City


Happy Thursday, everyone! I'm delighted about the short work week! We are looking forward to the weekend, where we spend most of our time outside walking MaQ and having fun. But, having a massive German Shepherd in a city such as New York, does have its setbacks and challenges. But I'm all for being resourceful, so with that, today I'm sharing with you my 5 tips on dog walking etiquette in a big city, like the New York metropolitan area!  


Knowing your dog's strengths and flaws along with what and who your dog's likes and dislikes are, will bring more awareness when you're out and about. They also say dogs are mirror images to their owners, so be mindful of who you are. If you're an anxious person, you're pet will more than likely be as well. This is also the time to put away the phones! Stop scrolling and pay attention to your surroundings and your dog. But don't forget to enjoy your time together and the little moments that really matter the most. 


When it comes to leadership, you want to do this as soon as possible with your dog. As the Alpha pack leader, you must always be the first to enter or exit out of any passageway, may that be a door, elevator, etc. Not only does this demonstrate who is the leader, but this is also demonstrates self-control. Having your dog sprint outside can cause many behavioral issues such as over-excitement, anxiety and other bad manners. Not everyone, dogs included, like to see a ginormous wolf-like hound bursting out of a door first. When it comes to your daily walks, which is approximately 1.5 - 2 hours a day with MaQ in the city, you also lead the way. Remember, you're walking the dog not the other way around. Training your dog to hell is very important and an essential tool for you on your walks. Forging isn't as bad - this is when your dog is walking slightly past your feet. It's actually a great preventative for dogs who ten to go looking for scraps on the streets of a bigger city. This way, you have a better chance of catching them before they consume it. Overall, leading on walks puts you, in your dog's mind, as the pack leader. This makes them much more trainable because they will be aiming to please you non-stop, and they will also be more obedient - making walks a pleasure rather than a nightmare.  


Regardless how much you love dogs, and trust me on this, as I'm a total dog lover myself, you should always ask permission if you'd like to approach someone's pet. The same should go with your dog meeting other dogs. You can never know, at first glance, if a dog is friendly, aggressive or even a service dog of some kind, especially on some of those harnesses that clearly label, 'DO NOT PET', some still may miss it while overdosing on cuteness overload. :)


Walking the streets of New York, I can tell you I've had my fair share of experiences when it comes to seeing many owners walk their dogs unleashed! This frightens people, especially with certain larger breeds that people are opted to be more scared of. In a city like ours, it is best to keep your dog on a leash as a protector from all the street and people traffic. Of course, dog parks and other places like this are an exception. But being out in public with hundreds of people walking around all the time, it's just better for everybody. 


Lastly... ever see that Sex & the City episode when Carrie steps in a knee-deep pile of poo-poo while in Paris? Yeah, no one wants that! I too have had my fair share with these encounters and if it's not too much to ask (literally takes 30 seconds of your life), please pick up after your dog!  

Thanks for stopping by! Don't forget to check out the full video for this post on our YouTube channel! Got some questions after reading this article? Leave them down below in the comment box! Hope you all have a great rest of the week! 

Sponsored post in collaboration with LASSO & Animal Hearted

photos + videography by Gilles Decamps | director, editing, & styling by Suzanne Spiegoski

Greetings from the Big Apple! A {NEW VIDEO} is now up on our channel! We're sharing 5 Tips on Dog Walking Etiquette in a big city, such as the New York metropolitan area! 






Are you ready for Halloween? We are! With less than ten days to go, I wanted to get into the 'Trick or Treat' spirit and do something I used to do as a kid with my mom especially, who was the ultimate master at this; carving pumpkins. And I'm not talking about the typical easy-faced jack-o'-lanterns, we did everything from spiders to Frankenstein, to mummies and skeletons. The more difficult sketches were left for my mom, who happily accepted the challenge. (And I wonder where I get my competitive nature from...)

I always wanted to carve a German shepherd onto a pumpkin, but since I never had a dog as a child (I know, such a shame), I never got the right opportunity or time to do one! Being a city girl, I've never carved pumpkins since being in NYC! But now with MaQ, of course I had to make one, just for him! Ladies and gentlemen (and furriends), I present you, the maQ-o'-lantern! :)

Yes, I did this carving all by myself! The most difficult and time-consuming part was the etching, which are the parts that are not cut all the way through, just the skin peeled. I think the funniest part of the whole experience was waddling down the streets of New York with an 18-pound pumpkin! I couldn't stop giggling at myself after I had left the market! Let's just say I got my workout in this morning! ;)

What a pair! MaQ has never had an up close & personal meet up with a pumpkin of this size. He, at first, considered it to be just a big toy for him, (maybe a giant ball perhaps?) but once he got that enormous black snout of his on it, he went crazy! I think he smelled all the gunk and goo and pumpkin seeds inside and got really excited. At some point he started clawing at it but I had to have him stop since I didn't want him scratching the poor thing! He seemed a bit confused watching me scoop out all of the pumpkin's guts, as if he was watching mommy murder his newfound friend... LOL!

Here's a close-up shot of the sketch. I found mine online and just printed it and used it. Should you want to make one of your beloved pooch, there are tons of sketches you can find on the internet just by googling what you're looking for. It's really easy. The actually carving part? Not so much. Be ready to have time and LOTS of patience.


Here are a few outtakes from our shoot! We've got a variety of fun, serious, and oh so model-y! I love the first one where by chance I got him looking like he's saying, "Boo!" but rather just an in between shot where he was just licking his chops. It's too cute though, right? I had to share it with you guys! Below you can find MaQ doing what he does best: modeling. 🎃

Kill them with your smile, dude! I think he started getting more comfy with his pumpkin towards the end of the shoot. I'm still surprised by his initial reaction toward the pumpkin! Do any of you have a dog that wasn't a huge fan of something at first but grew to love it? Most GSDS hate vacuum cleaners, brooms, or golf clubs (I know a sheppy who DESPISES them), but a pumpkin?! I have the silliest fur baby!

I'm glad I introduced him to yet one more thing in life to experience, because that's what life should be all about! And I really do think he started to feel on that pumpkin because when I started putting down the studio, I caught him licking the crap out of it! Someone is in love...! Ha ha ha!

We can't wait to show you our Halloween costume! My hubby is even partaking in the fun! So excited to share! Stay tuned, it'll be up on Halloween Day, naturally. Hope y'all had a great Hump Day!

Love & xx's,

maQ + suz

Shopping Day

TGIF! Most Friday's, I'll be running around doing errands but I also try to make time to pamper MaQ. He LOVES going anywhere with me, especially to 'his' stores. He has two favorite places: Whiskers & Petco. Today we went to the Petco in Union Square, and as you can see, this fella is raring to go!

I pick up his usual treats, for continuous training, for passing time (as well as an instinctive habit) and to help reduce the buildup of tartar and plaque! Here is a list of certain particular items he (yes, he does choose) and I will normally get on a weekly basis. 

  • Halloween PLAY DEAD Bone Dog Toy: OMG, we just are so excited for Halloween! We are really into the Halloween spirit this year and can't wait to show you all our annual themed costume this year! I found this to be pretty adorable, and MaQ does have a 'play dead' command! He loves plush toys and since they're not too expensive, I do have a tendency to purchase these type of toys.

Isn't it so cute? Looks like someone needs a trim! I only will clip his nails when he's tired. Otherwise, he fidgets and I become anxious in fear of hurting him. If he's more on the exhausted side, he could care less that I'm giving him a 'mani'. Ha ha ha!

Here is MaQ posing his best 'play dead' look. He looks like he's half-smiling! This was one of the earlier tricks I taught him, all I have to say is, 'bang bang!' And he'll stay in that pose until I tell him it's okay to move! Such a good boy. ♥

  • Blue Buffalo Blue Bits Dog Training Treats in Savory Salmon Recipe: These are great for any dog, regardless of the breed or their size. These tiny, delicious treats are great for training. While we train, I give countless amount of treats, therefore I always use these because they're so small but oh so good. He's obsessed with these! And to be successful during training, one of the key elements should be a reinforcing treat that they really love. With this salmon recipe, I poke fun at him since he literally goes gaga over them such a grizzly bear does over a King Alaskan salmon! LOL! They're a bit pricey for the amount, but they're all about natural, healthy ingredients so I'm all for spending a little more to give MaQ the best quality.
  • American Prime Cuts Ham Bone Dog Chew: This, besides bully sticks, are his favorite chews to pass time. If I'm writing, and want to go at it for more than just a few hours, I'll give him one of these to chew on and he'll go at it for hours. It's a little stinky, but I don't mind. These are perfect for larger dogs, because they are enormous! It's literally the size of a small dog!
  • Large Greenies Dental Dog Treats: When people ask me how MaQ gets his gorgeous pearly whites, I always tell them it's the Greenies. They are really tasty (he loves them so much he once got into a tiff about it with one of his dog pals!) and are an excellent source of dental hygiene. Don't get me wrong, I do try to brush his teeth as much as I can but there are only 24 hours in the day to do so many things! Which is why I've been adding these in to his weekly treats, because not only does he enjoy them so much, it's why he's got some of the healtiest, whitest canine teeth! Hee-hee!

What are some of your dog's favorite treats and toys? We'd love to hear more about what your pooches go for! In the meantime, we hope you have a nice weekend!

Love & xx's,

maQ + suz