Author Archives: crystalwayward
Thank you to all who have shared hope, optimism and prayers on behalf of my cousin Kyle. Today, the world is invited to do something Kyle would do. Talk to a stranger, take a hike, grab a microphone and sing no matter what it sounds like.
And light a sparkler tonight at dark.
Thank you everyone for their prayers and loving, hopeful thoughts. Kyle is a receptive guy, he’s picking up what you’re putting out there.
My sister Kacie and our cousin Abby just inspired a request I’d like you to consider.
Today, we encourage you to have a Kyle-spirited day.
Do something fun or adventurous. Dance to music, laugh with friends, take a hike, talk to a stranger, be joyous. Tonight go out in nature, underneath the same big sky he is under, say a prayer, meditate, and LIGHT A SPARKLER for him. Even if you’re a stranger, I promise you, if you are someone who would do this for another stranger, he is already your friend.
May your day be a delight, may the healing and hope you want to send Kyle, also fill your body with joy and love.
With love and light,
Somewhere in the waters between New Zealand and Australia, this boat is lost.
The historic 1928 American schooner called Nina departed on May 29, en route from Opua to Newcastle. The journey was estimated to take a minimum of 12 days.
No communication has been received from the boat – or any of its seven passengers – since June 4. On that day, one of the crew members sent out a text message during a storm, although the boat has never called out for help, nor has its emergency beacon been activated.
Search and rescue missions have scoured hundreds of thousands of miles of water over the past few days but so far found nothing.
The Rescue Coordination Center of New Zealand has “grave concerns,” but friends and family of the crew are hopeful.
My cousin Kyle is on that boat.
Kyle is one of the cousins I have been getting to know more as an adult than I did as a child. He is handsome, fearless and so much fun. He lives for adventure, and his curiosity has taken him all over the world.
The family hopes the current adventure ends soon, with Kyle safe and sound and back to tell us all one hell of a story.
Another rescue mission is happening today, a joint effort by both Australian and New Zealand officials.
If you are in the part of the world where my cousin is lost, please keep an ear out for local reports that you can share. Comment on this post or tweet me.
Right in the middle of the sidewalk, between a coffee shop and a restaurant in the Waldo neighborhood of Kansas City, this happened last Sunday:
That’s right – bathies!
Bathies for all the world – or at least all of Washington Street – to see.
The dogs who unknowingly arrived for a scrub-down all seemed humiliated.
But afterwards, the dogs seemed as happy as their people.
All of the sudsin’ was part of a donation drive for Unleashed Pet Rescue & Adoption, a local organization that moves homeless pets from kill shelters to a no-kill shelter or foster homes until they can be adopted.
The turnout wasn’t huge for the event, but lots of people gave donations to Unleashed.
Ten percent of all Beer Paws proceeds from that day are also going to the rescue.
If you could not attend the dog wash but would still like to contribute, make a donation to Unleashed. If you would like to buy something from Beer Paws and have the charity portion of your purchase donated to Unleashed, just let me know when you place your order.
Has your dog ever had a public bath?
Before there was Lassie, there was this dog:
This faithful collie is part of my late grandfather’s collection of dogtiques.
According to my grandmother, this print belonged to my grandpa’s mom, which means it has been in the family for a very long time.
Unfortunately, the part of the print with the artist’s name and the picture title was trimmed to fit into the frame so many years ago. However, a little online research helped me learn a bit about this popular image.
What artist is responsible for this picture and what it is called are all up for debate.
The artists Walter Hunt, Edgar Hunt and Albert Schenck have all been attached to pictures that look like this but have been commonly called “Found,” “Shepherd’s Call” or “Rescue of a Lost Friend.”
My grandmother, who has dealt in antiques for most of her life, swears she has come across this picture many times over the years, with the title “Cry for Help.”
Whatever the truth may be, I enjoy this picture. What do you think of it?
To learn more about the controversy, click here.
For a fun collie blog, check out Collies of the Meadow.
Are there any horse lovers out there?
If so, then the following videos are for you. And they’re also for you if you like cute cowgirls, cute cowboys and cute doggies.
Big thanks to my
friends family Tyler and Sevy for making these videos. What an awesome surprise to find them in my inbox yesterday!
Ready to get a Beer Paws bottle opener for your four-legged friend (of almost any species)? Three styles, including glow-in-the-dark, are now available at my online store!
Luke is here to say thanks to everyone who spread the word about and took part in yesterday’s Beer Paws fundraiser for Missouri Alliance for Animal Legislation.
10 bottle opener orders came through, from places near and far.
20 percent of the proceeds will go to the Alliance, to support efforts against puppy mills and other inhumane practices in Missouri.
You guys are awesome. Thanks so much!
And if you ordered Beer Paws, be sure to share a picture of your dog and bottle opener over at the Beer Paws Facebook page!
If you missed the flash sale, you can still give back through your purchase. As of today, ten percent of sales are back to supporting Midwest Adopt-a-Bull dog Tessa.
I live in the state of Missouri, aka the “puppy mill capital.”
Puppy mills are commercial breeding facilities where dogs aren’t treated as man’s best friend or even his least favorite second cousin. Puppy mill dogs don’t get socialized, and they don’t get groomed. They exist solely to procreate as often as possible, their offspring headed for pet stores or wherever they may fetch the highest price.
When they can no longer reproduce, puppy mill breeding dogs tend to be dispatched, with the lucky few ending up in rescue.
Puppy mill dogs tend to be purebreds and high-demand hybrid breeds like Pearl, a labradoodle I know.
Rescued puppy mill breeding dogs often come with significant behavioral and health issues. Pearl has had trouble in her lady parts from having multiple litters, and there’s a notch in her tongue.
The offspring of dogs like Pearl aren’t always in the best condition either. Pet store pups exhibit more health and psychological problems, according to Psychology Today.
The whole puppy mill issue sucks, but it’s actually getting a little better in Missouri, thanks in part to one tireless organization.
According to the Missouri Alliance for Animal Legislation, which has lobbied full-time on behalf of animal issues in the state since 1990:
- In 2009, there were 1,998 commercial breeders and dealers, as of May 30, 2013; there are 963 which means 1,035 puppy mills are gone!
- In 2009, there were 9 inspectors, currently there are 14 animal health inspectors, 2 investigators, and 3 veterinarian inspectors. So it went from 9 people in the field to 19 in the field today.
- The number of inspections conducted in 2008 was 1,169; the number of inspections last year was 3,460, which means that the number of inspections conducted has tripled.
- In addition to the number of breeders decreasing, the number of dogs per facility has also decreased. The average number of adult female breeding dogs per facility has declined from 44.5 to 39.2.
- Those mills that still exist have substantially increased their standards of care due to the new law. Many have built brand new facilities.
Many of these improvements are owed to the passage of the Canine Cruelty Prevention Act in 2011, which enacted tougher regulations for breeders in Missouri and funded more inspections of breeding facilities. MAAL was a leading force in educating and mobilizing the public to vote for that bill.
Some MAAL members are even featured in the trailer for the forthcoming documentary Dog by Dog.
Prominent in MAAL’s recent updates are announcements of a fundraiser happening tonight. Pints for Paws takes place at an Old Chicago in Olathe, Kansas. Twenty percent of the restaurant’s profits tonight will be donated to MAAL.
Although I cannot personally attend the event, I am also supporting this organization today – with a little help from my friends.
If you’ve been waiting to buy a Beer Paws bottle opener like Pearl’s now is the time!
20% of all Beer Paws bottle opener purchases made at my webstore by midnight Central Standard Time will be donated to MAAL.
Let’s see how much we can raise for the fight against puppy mills and the overall better treatment of all animals in the state of Missouri!
I’ll report tomorrow on our success. Watch for updates on Facebook throughout the day.
Pre-order silver and glow-in-the-dark bottle openers for guaranteed U.S. delivery by July 4. A limited number of turquoise openers are available for immediate shipment.
It was a long night, but the house smells great.
Late in the afternoon yesterday, I came into possession of about 20 pounds of spent grains from a local homebrewer.
I had been hoping to get into this situation ever since I heard that you can make dog treats from the leftover mash from beer making.
The catch is, you have to use the soaked grain mash pretty quick or else it gets moldy.
While I haven’t yet used up all 20 pounds, I did whip up quite a few biscuits, bars and cookies for my pups (and pups of my friends and family) last night.
These biscuits, which utilize an edible product that would have otherwise been thrown out or composted, are great treats for dogs who don’t have grain allergies.
I tried the basic formula for peanut butter spent grain biscuits that is all over the internet. I also experimented a little for pumpkin and bacon beer biscuits.
My results varied in shape, texture and dryness.
The key to beer biscuits is getting them super dry (and consequently super hard) so that they have a shelf life longer than a couple days. However, to get the biscuits that dry and mold-resistant, they need to be in the oven at least three hours.
I got one batch just about perfect by spreading the batter out thin on a cookie sheet and cutting it into squares before baking. It’s so crunchy I’ve dubbed it puppy brittle. The dogs loved it, and I even tried a little with my own breakfast. It tasted peanut buttery yet wholesome.
Apparently, granola bars for people can be made almost the same way. I’m going to try this recipe from Flying on Jess Fuel.
Have you ever made people or pup treats from spent beer grains?
This is Flurry.
She’s skinny and furry and friendly and full of energy. She’s also adoptable.
If you are in the Kansas City area, you can meet her this Friday in the Crossroads art district.
“Pop Up Shop” in our case is a fancy way of saying “table on the street corner.” But it will be fun.
Flurry and friends are going to help me shill Beer Paws bottle openers and delight passersby with their wiggles.
Join the Facebook event to be the first to know where our shop pops up.
If you’re not in Kansas City or don’t want to deal with the crazy First Friday crowds, order a Beer Paws bottle opener from the comfort of where you are right now via Storenvy.
Remember, 10% of proceeds benefit adoptable dogs like Flurry (and specifically, Tessa).
Yesterday, I wrote my very first check as a business owner.
It was for $25, and the money went directly toward helping this pretty lady:
I felt so proud and grateful at the same time!
The only thing that would have made the experience better is if Tessa and I had run into her future family while we were out walking.
The money, of course, was proceeds from Beer Paws – the new little business that you all have been helping to support through purchases and by spreading the word. Tessa and I both thank you!
She seems to be doing OK, by the way.
I think she has put on a little weight, and her sensitive blue velvet coat is in good condition.
Although Miss Tessa so far doesn’t seem too great around other dogs, I think she will blossom into a wonderful companion for someone.
She’s very excited about meeting new people. And in my experience, she is neither afraid nor dominant with humans. She is rather independent, but I think she just needs a chance to bond with a person of her own.
While I cannot adopt Tessa, I will continue to do what I can to help her and dogs like her, through this blog, direct action like walking her and through the Beer Paws brand.
This past weekend, I added a new product to the line – turquoise bottle openers for collars and leashes.
As always, a portion of every sale will go towards animal rescue.
However, to keep the bookkeeping easy as the Beer Paws brand continues to grow, I’m shifting the donation from a dollar amount to a percentage – 10 percent, to be exact.
Does that sound like a good deal to you?
Stay tuned for announcements of more Beer Paws products – and, of course, updates about beautiful Miss Tessa.