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Category Archives: Blogging

Team Beer Paws Grows + A Giveaway

Recently, I announced that I founded a little business.

Well, it’s so far so good in Beer Paws land.

The Facebook page is active. The official website is live.

Beer Paws products are available at my online store, at Kennel Creek Pet Resort and on Kansas City’s food truck for dogs GoodDog2Go.

And the sales – with a portion of proceeds directly supporting Tessa, a Midwest Adopt-a-Bull dog – are happening.

My first product, Beer Paws button style bottle openers, adorn the collars of many Kansas City area dogs, including:

Pearl

Pearl

Lola

Lola

Reilly and Willow look good with Beer Paws!

Reilly and Willow

Beer Paws have also been seen on dogs who live very far away!

It’s so exciting for me to see Team Beer Paws growing.

And, of course, I want it to get even bigger.

So, I’m hoping you all will help me spread the word, in exchange for an opportunity to win something cool.

Here’s the prize:

image

1 Stainless Steel Water Bottle for Dogs + 1 Beer Paws Button Style Bottle Opener

The bottle is awesome. The screw top lid opens two ways. The bigger opening allows you to fill it with fresh water for your pooch. The smaller, top opening contains a ball bearing that controls the flow of the water so your dog can drink from it. You can find similar bottles all over the internet for $10-$20. One winner will get this one for free plus one of my bottle openers.

Three ways to win:

  • Leave a comment below telling my why you want to win (mandatory – 1 entry)
  • Tweet about the giveaway using the hashtag #beerpaws (bonus entry)
  • LIKE Beer Paws on Facebook and leave a Facebook comment related to the giveaway (bonus entry)

Good luck!

This giveaway is in no way endorsed or sponsored by Facebook. Entries close at 12:01 a.m. CST Sunday, June 2. One winner will be randomly selected via random.org and contacted by email. If the winner does not respond within three days, a new winner will be randomly selected.
U.S. residents only, please. (Sorry – I promise to do an international giveaway soon.)
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Who is Our Secret Admirer?

scooby under cover

Somebody out there sure loves me.

Yesterday, I received an email from Yellow Brick Home, informing me that I have been “anonymously gifted a custom mini, modern portrait” of Scooby the elderpin.

I’m so excited I could almost cry!

If you’ve never seen the awesome pet portraits that Yellow Brick Home offers through its tiny division called The Pet Shop, go check ’em out now. You might even recognize some familiar fuzzy faces from the blogosphere in the pet gallery!

Meanwhile, I’m now furiously sifting through pictures of the elderpin that I can send to Yellow Brick Home for inspiration as they turn him into a piece of fine art!

To whoever is responsible for this beautiful opportunity:

Thanks with all my heart  – and Scooby’s, too!

Scooby sombrero 2

Are you our secret admirer? Do you have a portrait of your pet?

Interview with a Queen and a GIVEAWAY

Stories of people who strike out to follow their dreams are always inspiring.

Christine is following her dream.

The Queen of Paws and her dog Mykos.

Christine Gregory is the Queen of Paws – well, she is the woman behind a pet business of that name, anyway. Through her shop and QueenofPaws.com Christine offers her four-legged customers an assortment of posh and local products, from apparel to treats and bath supplies. I envy her for the days she gets to spend at her Prairie Village, Kansas, shop, surrounded by fun pet stuff and the dogs who come in for grooming, aromatherapy and a romp in her day play studio.

Recently, I asked Christine to tell me more about her business and how it came to be.

How did you become a dog person?

When I was a little we got our first Shihtzu, Shasi Ling. Since I never had 2-legged children, the 4-leggers have been my babies. I can’t imagine my life without one.

Tell us about the special dog in your life.

Mykonos “Myko” Tai Ling which he’s named after my favorite Greek Island & he was also given the middle names of Shasi Ling & Tashi Tai. Never considered a male doggie but when my mom & I met him we fell in love! When my days are sad or even happy, Myko is always right there to brighten my day even more.

image

What do you want Queen of Paws to be for customers?

We cater to our clients’ loved ones, providing them with a day of relaxation and pampering. Our belief is that our customers’ needs are of the utmost importance, and we’re commited to meeting those needs. Customers love the intimate setting and special attention they get along with their pets. Our boutique offers unique specialty items for the pet that likes the best!

How long did you have your online store before you were able to open the brick-and-mortar location?

Prior to the brick-and-mortar location my mother & I traveled the midwest setting up a booth to sell my designer collars and other boutique-related items for 6 years. Three years ago an opportunity came my way to rent space within a co-op to sell my designs along with a broader array of items. During that time is when I started my online store and August 1, 2012, is when I branched out on my own.

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What is it like to have a pet-based business right now?

It’s a dream come true! It’s not about being self-employed and my own boss. It’s truly a labor of love. Being surrounded with pets day after day, giving them the love and attention they deserve is so fulfilling. I worked in corporate America for 22 years and knew it was time I go after a dream that my mother and I shared for many years. Besides being with my 4-legger clients and carrying on a dream in memory of my mother.

How do you choose products to feature in your shop?

I travel to pet trade shows to see the new trends. A lot of research goes into selecting what I will feature in my boutique. If it’s not something I would give Myko, then I won’t have it here. Quality is very important to me. If I don’t believe in it, then I obviously can’t sell it.

How does supporting animal rescue help build your business?

There are too many pets that are homeless and in need of medical care. I believe in giving back to the community and to the animals that give us unconditional love. I host adoptions in my facility along with events benefiting local charities for animals and humans. I don’t believe in profiting from the sale of animals and supporting puppy mills and backyard breeders. Please spay & neuter. Adopt, don’t shop.

Queen of Paws is giving Wayward Dogs readers a chance to win a locally-made product that will help make your pet more kissable for Valentine’s Day.

Rupert's single spray

For your chance to win an 8-oz bottle of Rupert’s Smoochable Doggie & Kitty Mouth Spray, just follow the directions at the link below!

***************Click here to enter: a Rafflecopter giveaway

This giveaway is now closed. The randomly selected winner is Krystal Miller.

Check out the ad for Queen of Paws and other fun pet-based businesses in my Valentine’s Day gift guide for dog lovers.

To learn more about the giveaway prize, check out my Rupert’s review.

This post and giveaway is sponsored by Queen of Paws.

GIVEAWAY: Waggiwear Goes Beyond Collars and Leashes

Linda Brown has never met my foster dog but in a rather direct way, she touches him every day.

She made his collar.

Charlie Machete wears waggiwear

Charlie Machete in the “dante” design.

Linda’s handiwork (literally the work of her hands) graces the necks of dogs all over the world.

She’s the designer behind waggiwear™ collars and leashes, a cheery line of colorful pet accessories handmade in Mission, Kansas.

Prior to meeting Linda, I had never purchased a handmade collar for a dog. When it comes to dog accessories, I tend to opt for utility over fashion.

I hate to see my rough and tumble pups destroy something beautiful.

However, I noticed the durability of waggiwear collars on other dogs. And after Charlie Machete returned from his failed adoption, I felt the need to celebrate him with an accessory that would help catch people’s eyes.

So, I reached out to Linda.

She met me at a coffee shop, and I bought the “dante,” a beautiful blue collar named after a dog that belongs to Amy of Fido Fetch Photography.

cropped-machete3.jpg

Although he hasn’t found a forever family yet, the pop of blue against Charlie Machete’s coal black coat never fails to earn him attention at adoption events and anywhere he meets people for the first time.

What impresses me most about waggiwear, though, is the fact that the collar never slips off his head.

Prior to outfitting him in waggiwear, this was a serious problem in our household.

I can think of at least three separate occasions when I grabbed Charlie Machete by his old, cheap buckle collar, he wiggled his head out of it and rushed immediately into a tangle or the street.

This never happens anymore.

I can honestly say that since he began wearing it every day, Charlie Machete’s waggiwear collar has saved us a lot of trouble, if not his life.

We don’t have one yet, but Linda also makes leashes to match the waggiwear collars. And she debuts fresh designs of all her products throughout the year, including around holidays, such as Valentine’s Day.

Karma leash by waggiwear

Karma leash by waggiwear

Waggiwear isn’t just for dogs, either.

Last year, Linda introduced an accessory for dog moms – wristlets.

These handy items are available in the same designs as the collars and leashes. They’re ideal to use for your keys, or to turn almost anything into something with a wrist strap that just happens to match what your dog is wearing.

waggiwear wristlet

“sweetie pie” and “lover boy” wristlets

If you think these wristlets are super cute, then you’re in luck…

One lucky Wayward Dogs reader (with a U.S. mailing address) will win your choice of a “sweetie pie” or “lover boy” wristlet.

********To his giveaway is now closed. To see the winner’s name, follow this link: a Rafflecopter giveaway

Whether or not you enter the giveaway, check out the waggiwear website. You might even recognize the handsome dog on the homepage! (Hint: It’s Charlie Machete!)

For even more fun Valentine’s Day gift ideas for dogs and dog lovers, check out my Valentine’s Day gift guide!

This post and giveaway is sponsored by waggiwear.

Giveaway: Toby and Max Jewelry for Dog People

The words “rescued and loved” accurately describe every dog that resides in my house.

Three handsome beggars

Often, I can imagine them describing me the same way. In particular, I can almost hear how Scooby the elderpin might describe me to a new friend. “That’s my Crystal. It was love at first sight when we met. And it’s a good thing I came along. That girl needed a man in her life with some maturity.”

A few weeks ago, I won a Toby and Max “Rescued & Loved” necklace in a giveaway at Pawsitively Pets.

rescued and loved pendant by toby and max

Like the saying, the pendant can actually pull double duty – as an accessory for you or your pet.

So far at our house, my neck is the only one it has decorated. I always get compliments when I wear it.

Toby and Max is the jewelry company of designer Sandy Comstock,  a longtime advocate of animal rescue organizations and a big time dog lover.  Toby and Max was named after her beloved rescue dogs.

toby and max wonder dog

The all USA-made line of products includes an array of  inspirational jewelry in sterling silver, pewter, and bronze and a whole category of Dog Lover designs, several of which appear in my Valentine’s Day Gift Guide for Dogs and Dog Lovers.

tobyandmaxcollage

The current Dog in Residence at Toby and Max’s Oregon headquarters is Oscar the Poodle, who reportedly gives all Dog Lover designs his paw of approval before they’re offered for sale. (Oscar even has his own Facebook page.)

The Toby and Max “Rescued & Loved” pendant/pet tag was featured at last year’s Emmy Awards gifting suite benefiting the Humane Society of America. A portion of all sales of that item benefits animal rescue organizations throughout the U.S. and Europe.

As the sponsor of today’s post, Toby and Max has also offered to reward one lucky Wayward Dogs reader with a “Rescued & Loved” pendant just like mine!

One winner with a U.S. mailing address will be chosen at random via random.org. Winner will be announced as an update to this post on Saturday, January 26.

To enter, click on this link:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

This giveaway is now closed.

The randomly selected winner is Diana S.

Scooby Has a New Friend

As a man of a certain, indeterminate age, Scooby the elderpin isn’t usually one for toys.

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Yet when I dangled in front of his nose a stuffy that came in the mail yesterday, he snatched it decidedly.

Puzzled, the big dogs tailed their Napoleonic pal as he trotted into the living room. Charlie Machete once tried to steal the loot right out of Scooby’s mouth.

He was met with a growl from the old dog and a mean “No!” from foster mama.

Scooby then settled into one of his three new beds and began to gnaw softly at the toy’s furry appendages. Less than three minutes later, he decided his new friend made a better snuggle buddy than a chew.

Can you blame him?

Scooby’s new toy was part of a Frosty Paws giveaway I recently won from DogTipper.com.

image

You can be a winner, too. Be sure to enter the Love Note Valentine Giveaway!

A Love Note Valentine Giveaway

Love Note apparel line

I love stories of people following their passions. That’s the story behind Love Note, a very tiny fashion line based in the Kansas City area. In this post, Love Note founder Jessica Thomas talks about how the brand supports her love of dogs and design.

How did you get involved in animal welfare?

I have been a dog lover my whole life. I am currently 26 years old, engaged to be married in September and a proud dog mom! I have been working with dogs at a pet resort for almost 5 years. I rescued my first dog of my own in May of 2009. In the last year or so I started fostering with a rescue group one of my co-workers runs.

Love Note apparel

How did Love Note begin?

Love Note began in September of 2011. I had been thinking about starting my own clothing line for a while but I wanted it to be something different than every other line you see out there. So then I had the thought, why not give a portion of proceeds to animal rescue? That way it combines my love for fashion with my love for animals!

I instantly started researching ways to make my dream a reality. Once I had designs made and shirts ordered I gathered up a group of amazing friends and held a photo shoot! It was a blast! The first line of shirts released in October 2011.

Love Note apparel

Who creates the designs for Love Note products?

I create all of the designs for Love Note myself. I usually ask my fiancé for his opinion on everything though! All of the marketing, designing, ordering, etc. are all done by me!

Love Note tote bag
What else should people know about Love Note?

Love Note shirts are all printed on American Apparel, which makes them all super comfortable! A portion of proceeds from every item purchased goes directly to animal rescue, specifically Love Note’s partner rescue, Friends of Parkville Animal Shelter (FOPAS).

You can find out more about FOPAS on their Facebook page or on their website, www.parkvilleshelter.com.

Love Note apparel

Who is the special dog in your life?

There are four special dogs in my life! My first dog I ever owned myself is Lyric, a longhaired Chihuahua who is almost 5-1/2 years old! I then rescued Solo, my almost 4-year-old Border Collie mix from FOPAS.

Love Note Chorus dog

Chorus

Chorus came into my life as a stray that was found on the side of the road. I’m not sure what breed he is but he definitely has some terrier in him. He’s about 5 years old. Last is my sweet little Aria, a 2-year-old Maltipoo. I also have a cat named Treble, who is 1, and thinks she is a dog. 🙂

Love Note v-neck
What are you giving your dogs for Valentine’s Day?

For Valentine’s Day this year my fiancé and I may be having our engagement pictures done, so the dogs will get a full day outside at the lake (which is one of their favorite spots)!

Want to win some Love Note gear?

Love Note is giving away a travel mug and sticker set to 1 lucky Wayward Dogs reader! See below for your chance to win!

You could win this mug!

You could win this mug!

Love Note stickers

You could win these stickers!

How to enter the Love Note giveaway:

  • PRIZE FOR YOU: One Love Note travel mug and sticker set
  • TO ENTER: Go to the Love Note website and come back with a comment on this post about the product you like best. Start your comment with LOVE NOTE LOVE!  Example: LOVE NOTE LOVE! I’d look great in that v-neck!
  • BONUS ENTRY: LIKE Wayward Dogs on Facebook. All current fans are eligible for the point, but you have to claim it. Leave a separate comment (or include in your first comment) saying you are a Facebook fan. Be sure to include your screen name if it is different than the name you are commenting as.
  • GIVEAWAY CLOSES: Saturday, January 19th 2013 at 10pm (CST Time)
  • NUMBER OF WINNERS: One
  • PRIZE VALID FOR: Citizens of the U.S.
  • GIVEAWAY INFO: The winner will be selected using random.org and announced on Sunday, January 20th, 2013 as an update to this post. I will also email the winner on the 20th for information on how to redeem their prize. This giveaway is not sponsored by or affiliated with Facebook in any way.

This giveaway is now closed. The winner is Ashley Wright.

Need more ideas for gifts that give back this Valentine’s Day? Check out Wayward Hearts, our Valentine’s gift guide for dogs and dog lovers.

10 Inspiring Faces of 2012

I blog because I’m a compulsive writer.

But I don’t put those words on the screen just so I can sit and stare at them.

Like anyone else, I put sentences together and send them out into cyberspace in the hopes that they’ll resonate with somebody else.

I write to express a point of view. I write to tell a story or share facts. I write to learn. I write to connect.

In 2012, writing on this blog, mostly about dogs, allowed me to connect with more awesome people than I can count. Here’s a look at a few of them:

New Friends

1. Katty De Lux, Pin Up from the Paris of the Plains

Pin Up from the Paris of the Plains Katty De Lux

Katty De Lux and Winston, her West Highland White Terrier.

Interacting offline with Kansas City’s blogging community introduced me to many amazing people, including Katty De Lux, a model, blogger and animal lover who adds smile, style and sass to every situation. She wowed me with her mad networking skills when we co-hosted a fundraiser for Midwest Adopt-a-Bull.

2. Chris Sailors, Owner, Kennel Creek Pet Resort

Chris Sailors

Chris Sailors with Reilly, Abby, Chalmers and Willow.

The guy with the best-behaved dogs at the Great KC Pet Expo also runs the nicest pet resort in Kansas City. In 2012, Kennel Creek Pet Resort changed my opinion about what to expect from dog daycare and boarding. I’m proud to call owner Chris Sailors a professional collaborator and friend.

3. Amy Oleson, Owner, Fido Fetch Photography

Amy Oleson

Amy Oleson

Amy Oleson was one of the first people to join KC Pittie Pack. Her beautiful pictures helped generate attention for our dog walking group. Less than a year later, she’s now pursuing her dog-umentary photography dream full-time and expecting her first baby.

4. Mike Kitchens, Founder, Midwest Adopt-a-Bull

Midwest Adopt-a-Bull Founder Mike Kitchens

Mike Kitchens and his son Deegan

The story of how pit bull dogs stole Mike Kitchens’ heart generated massive views for this blog in February. Four months later, when his brand new rescue group was just getting started, my big, black foster dog returned from a second failed adoption. Mike could see that we needed support and made space for Charlie Machete.

5. George Lombardi, Director, Missouri Department of Corrections

George Lombardi, Director of Missouri Department of Corrections

George Lombardi

The man who oversees Missouri’s prison system cares about rehabilitation – of people and animals. Under George Lombardi’s leadership, Missouri correctional facilities have implemented Missouri Puppies for Parole, the nation’s most extensive prison-based dog training and adoption program.

Renewed Connections

6. Stacy Ideus, Owner, Stacy Ideus Photography

Stacy Ideus: photographer, blogger, hottie.

Photographer Stacy Ideus

I’m certain Stacy Ideus and I first communicated through the walls of our mothers’ abdomens. Our lives have moved in very different directions since we were born a few days apart in Beatrice, Nebraska. But family, dogs, photography and blogs are bringing my oldest friend and me close again in our third decade.

7. Shawn

Shawn Timm and her dog Dulcie.

Shawn Timm and her dog Dulcie.

When we were kids, Shawn Timm and I were the little girls in our 4-H club who each had very obedient but very big and scary-looking dogs. She still has a mastiff (and a therapy-certified springer spaniel), but my black-and-tan went from a Rottweiler to a miniature pinscher. But we are both still crazy about dogs. And our dogs send Trader Joe’s treats to each other.

8. Miranda

Miranda Loehle

Miranda Loehle

 In 2011, my long lost high school friend Miranda Loehle found me and my blog and – from halfway across the country – introduced me to a fellow dog blogger in my neighborhood. In 2012, Miranda continued supporting this blog, Our Waldo Bungie and countless others. Sadly, it was also the year her beloved dog Brutus crossed the rainbow bridge. He was lucky to be loved by her.

9. Megan

Megan Jackson

My cousin Megan Jackson and me.

My cousin Megan and I didn’t play together as kids. But if we lived in the same city, we would definitely “play” together as adults. In 2012, we realized we have a lot more than family in common. She’s a marketing manager for a farmers’ market in Lincoln, Nebraska, and she can make things like yogurt, kim chi and lard from scratch. She’s kinda my hero.

10. Holly

husky mix

Unlike the other people in this category, my friend Holly and I haven’t been acquainted for lots of years. We’ve known each other for a few, but in 2012, our casual friendship was cemented when she adopted my much-loved foster dog Minnie.

Who has blogging brought closer to you?

Highlights from 2012

Another year of blogging is over, and a new one is about to begin! Thanks to everyone who checked out Wayward Dogs this year. It has been so fun swapping stories with you and learning from each other.

Your comments and likes cheered, inspired, surprised and motivated me not only to blog better but also to live better, for myself, my pets and the world. I hope you took away some of the same feelings as a reader.

I also hope you will continue following the Wayward Dogs journey in 2013. I have lots of plans in the works for posts and projects meant to entertain and enlighten our growing dog-loving community.

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2012 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

4,329 films were submitted to the 2012 Cannes Film Festival. This blog had 30,000 views in 2012. If each view were a film, this blog would power 7 Film Festivals

Most popular posts:

Most commented post:

Click here to see the complete 2012 report.

What did you like best about Wayward Dogs in 2012?

If you have a blog of your own, feel free to share a link to one of your own most popular posts in the comments!

This One is for the Readers Who Put Up with Me

Quite some time ago, an Alaskan Malamute gave this blog an award…

wonderful-readership-award2-11

Big thanks to Misadventures of Misaki for the love. Sorry for the belated thanks.

What’s pitiful is how this award is all about recognizing fellow bloggers who are sweet enough to read your own scribbles on the regular and engage. I know that’s what we all blog for – a sense of community, to connect with like minds, to be heard. The pitiful part is that I haven’t been a very good reader lately due to my bad habit of staying too busy.

But, I am exceedingly grateful to my fellow bloggers who put up with this and show up at my site, anyway, to toss in their two cents or a like. I hear you. I love you. I thank you.

Seriously – you make my day, every day.

Now, for the torch passing…

The Wonderful Team Member Readership Award also has some rules. The deal is to give a shout-out to 14 other bloggers and complete this thought:

“A great reader is…”

Here goes:

A great reader is someone who knows when to hurrah and who knows when to challenge the writer. A great reader doesn’t have to comment or leave any indication of having read. But it’s nice when you do.

And the nominees are…

Adventures of a Dog Mom

Animal Couriers

Our Waldo Bungie

Craves Adventure

Running with Ellen

Long Life Cats and Dogs

Misty Shores Chesapeakes

Couches for Breakfast

DogDaz

Fido Fetch Photography

PigLove

Bumpy Road to Bubba

The Forester Artist

Not a City Girl Anymore

This award also goes out to all of my faithful readers who don’t have blogs of their own. 

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