Category Archives: Contest

Giveaway: Leather collar from Euro Dog Designs

Yesterday, I promised to tell you more about Euro Dog Designs, the company that sold me Luke’s new collar.

Well, here’s the woman and the dobermen behind the brand:

Easter, Katja and Bailey.

Katja’s business is based in Lawrence, Kansas, but she originally hails from Denmark (“a tiny little country in northern Europe”) and all of the products she sells are imported from Europe.

She’s a leather snob becuase she’s also into horses.

The reason I started the company was due to the fact that it is near impossible to find really good quality leather collars in the U.S. As a rider I know and appreciate good leather and expect nothing less for my dogs than for my horses. I had seen the bling collars at ‘Crufts’ in England, which is the biggest dog show in all of Europe.

The “bling” Katja refers to is Swarovski crystal or chrome accents on fine British bridle leather that gets softer with use. According to Katja, these handmade collars will “last a lifetime and still look beautiful.”

Tapered leather Sighthound collar with Swarovski crystals.

Handmade leather dog collar with lace and conchos.

The bling-y and durable bridle leather collars can costs hundreds of dollars.

Katja also carries lower-priced leather options, such as the Italian leather Hurtta brand collar I bought for Luke.

The Hurtta leather is made in Italy from very soft leather. These collars are priced at a more reasonable level and are therefore accessible for most people. The quality is still great and they make for fantastic everyday collars and leashes.

Hurtta, a Finnish company, also makes long-lasting, attractive coats for dogs.

The Hurtta wear is superior in the fact that they fit so well, and fit most any breed and shape of dog. They are made from durable materials that will last season after season even with very active and rough dogs. This is not clothing for froo-froo dogs but rather for active dogs that exercise in all types of weather.

Katja’s pedigreed, agility-trained dobermen sisters Easter and Bailey sport Hurtta wear regularly.

Easter has turned out to be an amazing model for all my products and gets rather excited when I tell her it’s time to take pictures. Her show training as a pup has really paid off. Bailey is an overachiever. She will do anything for a treat, frisbee, or ball and loves agility and anything else I can think of doing with her. She has a leg injury that we are having a tough time getting rid of, so no agility for her at the moment. She is my snuggle bug and my heart dog.

Before the girl dobermen, Katja and her husband also had a Luke dog. Their golden retriever, Fanny, passed away of Lymphoma around age 10. They had gotten 8-week-old Bailey and ended up taking her sister Easter following the loss of Fanny.

Katja clearly maintains her soft spot for golden retrievers, and that helped her advise me in picking out Luke’s collar at the Great KC Pet Expo.

Now, your dog has a chance to wear a collar like Luke’s (retail value $39) — or a martingale style rolled leather Hurtta (retail value $49). Euro Dog Designs will give one lucky Wayward Dogs commenter your choice of the two styles.

Which will it be?

Classic buckle style.


Rolled leather martingale.

Wondering how to get your dog in one of these handsome and durable collars? Just follow these two easy steps:

  1. Head over to and scope the inventory.
  2. Then, come back here and leave a comment starting with the words LEATHER LOVE about the most exciting product you saw on the site. (You can comment about anything — Katja sells clothes for people, too.)

 Entries will be accepted through midnight CST on Wednesday, April 25. A single winner will be determined via and announced here on Thursday, April 26. One entry per e-mail address. Prize ships anywhere in the U.S.

UPDATE: Congratulations to commenter Jan S.! You are the randomly selected winner of this giveaway!

This contest is now closed.

Wayward Living Tip & Giveaway: Vegan Deodorant

A while back, I wrote about how I gave up commercial toothpaste in favor of natural toothpaste. Since then, I’ve discovered that the same brand makes another product I love to use every day: deodorant.

This makes me an ideal customer, according to Sandy Francis, who operates the company Nutressant with her husband John. She says:

“The two most important products we offer are the toothpaste and deodorant, as both have a significant impact on our health and are products that most people, male and female, use daily.”

Athough evidence is not conclusive that traditional deodorants increase the risk of breast cancer, I gave up my Secret long ago. Why chance it by slathering such suspect ingredients as aluminum and paraben under your arms when natural alternatives exist?

Many people’s hang-up on this issue has to do with the fact that a lot of natural deodorants do not double as anti-perspirants. So, you might smell OK, but you still end up with wet pits.

I used to counteract this effect by combining two natural products — Burt’s Bees Herbal Deodorant spray and Tom’s of Maine Deodorant stick. Between those two companies, I could have found a single item solution.

But then I found Nutressant, which is made and marketed in the Kansas City area. Bonus points for buying local!

Like all Nutressant products, the deodorant with antiperspirant contains all vegan ingredients, including shea butter and non-GMO cornstarch. The only weird thing about it is it doesn’t roll on. The ideal way to apply it is with your fingers. (I just rub it in right after my morning shower and I’m good to go for the day.)

For those worried about making the switch, the Francises include some detailed instructions on the back of their product.


If you live in Kansas City and want to try out some Nutressant products, you can find John and Sandy at various farmers’ markets around the metro.

They will also ship their wide variety of personal care and household cleaning products just about anywhere. Head over to the Nutressant fan page on Facebook or e-mail to learn more.

Want to win some FREE Nutressant products? You can. Here’s how:

  • PRIZE: Pre-selected assortment of Nutressant products donated by the company.
  • TO ENTER: Comment on this post with the words “I WANT TO WIN!” and explain why you love — or would like to try — using natural or organic personal care products.
  • GIVEAWAY CLOSES: Saturday, March 10, 2012 at midnight CST
  • PRIZE SHIPS: Within the 50 United States
  • USUAL STUFF: One entry per e-mail address is permitted. The winner will be selected using and announced on Sunday, March 11, 2012 as an update to this post and on the Wayward Dogs fan page on Facebook (which you should totally LIKE). I will also email the winner on the 11th for mailing address to send the prize out. Got it?
This giveaway is now closed. Thanks to everyone who entered. Congratulations to the winner: Bethany K.

Mondays just got cuter

Have you been wondering how that custom magnet of stinkin’ cute little Simba the poma-poo turned out?

Simba was, too, until Magnet Lady Kathleen Henn sent it to him in the mail:

Here’s a close-up on the art:

I think Kathleen does fabulous work. The colors and detail of her hand-painted magnets are even more impressive in real life, under natural light. They also look awesome on a fridge.

I’m such a big fan of Kathleen that I’m dubbing Mondays from here on out Magnet Mondays. She’s agreed to let me showcase different examples of her work plus the backstory every week.

Because this is the first-ever Magnet Monday, let’s look at one more piece of her awesome art. This one’s a little different from what you’ve seen so far – it’s wildlife art. And this Wednesday between 8 and 10 p.m., someone will win it!

Kathleen donated the otter magnet to be part of the prize packages I’ve been putting together for a charity BINGO event benefitting the Thomas Hart Benton Group of the Sierra Club. Her creation will be featured along with works by other local artists, plus a basket of goodies from the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, a collection of organic body products by Nutressant, free passes to a theater production by Musical Theater Heritage and much, much more.

If you will be in the Kansas City area this Wednesday night, please join me and the Sierra Club for Ham-BINGO at Hamburger Mary’s in the Crossroads district. You can find complete details at the Facebook event page.

Next week on Magnet Monday, I’ll share one of the custom magnets that Kathleen made for me. If you have ordered a magnet from Kathleen that you’d like to see featured at Wayward Dogs, let me know.

Remember, you can order magnets any time by e-mailing Be sure to put Wayward Dogs in the subject line, and she’ll donate $1 of your purchase price to Friends of KC Animals.

Simba the pomapoo wins the Wayward Dogs Magnet Contest!

Well, as I predicted, our first-ever Wayward Dogs photo contest was a fierce competition of cuteness! Here’s a review of the pups who received the most votes. In the coming days, I plan to share a little more information about some of the other contestants. So, I hope you’re not tired of these cute pictures yet. (As if.)

Our grand champion, whose adorable face will be incorporated into a custom magnet by Kathleen Henn, is Simba the pomapoo. He racked up some 58 Facebook likes! Part of his popularity no doubt owes to his formal attire. Apparently, his mom and dad are opera singers, so the little guy needs that tux.

Simba loves cuddling, kissing, learning new tricks, chasing leaves, and wearing his pajamas to bed.

The next-highest vote-getter was Charlie (not to be confused with Charlie Machete). More gorgeous photos of this rescue dog can be found at The photographer had this to say about his subject:

“In September my girlfriend rescued Charlie from an abusive home. He was extremely malnourished and in poor health. He was initially diagnosed with ear infections in both ears and hookworms in his stomach. After several months and many trips to the vet, she has brought back him to great health.”

Charlie is a Pembroke Welsh Corgi.

The third-highest vote-getter was a pretty girl named Boo, another rescue pup.

Boo has grown into the name she got on Halloween.

I can’t wait to see what Simba looks like on his special magnet. When Kathleen sends me a picture of the finished product, I will be sure to share it on the blog. Don’t forget that you can order magnets from Kathleen at anytime just by e-mailing her at Put Wayward Dogs in the subject line so that a portion of the price gets donated to Friends of KC Animals.

The polls are open! Vote in the Wayward Dogs Photo Contest!

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OK, folks! The time has come to cast your vote in the Wayward Dogs Photo Contest. The 24 photos in the slideshow above represent all of the entries submitted for a chance to win a custom piece of doggy artwork by Kathleen Henn.

Voting will take place between now and 5 p.m. CST Friday, November 18, over at the Wayward Dogs fanpage on Facebook. Just head to the album called Wayward Dogs Magnet Contest and click “Like” for as many photos as you’d like to vote for. If you submitted one of the adorable pictures, please encourage your friends to vote for your dog. You are also welcome to add your dog’s story as a comment below his or her photo.

I will announce the winner over the weekend.

The cuteness is pretty overwhelming, so I think it will be a stiff competition! Who’s your favorite?

Last day to enter the Wayward Dogs photo contest

Today is the last day to submit your dog’s photo for the Wayward Dogs photo contest. Following a week of voting on Facebook, one winner will get one of Kathleen Henn’s pieces of original doggy artwork.

Kathleen recently just finished up a new style of background for the magnets she’s making this season. Here’s a picture of what her art looks like before she incorporates a photo of a dog, cat or person:

Kathleen describes the new look this way:

 “Remember when you were a kid, and you’d draw with crayons and then put blue watercolor all over it?  And how it made white crayon color really seem to glow?  That’s the look I’m going for with these.  Some of the whiter ones I think will look like opals.  They’ll be GREAT to use for black dogs.”

Don’t forget that you can also order magnets directly by e-mailing When you do, remember to put Wayward Dogs in the subject line of your e-mail. That way, she’ll donate part of your purchase to Friends of KC Animals.

As for the contest, be sure to send me your dog’s photo by 5 p.m. CST today. Send pics to with Wayward Dogs photo contest in the subject line.

A bunch of adorable pictures have already come in, so I predict next week’s compeitition will be an overload of adorable!

How you can win a custom magnet featuring your dog


Kathleen, artist-ing.

Last week, I told you about Kathleen Henn, the animal lover and artist who incorporates actual photos of pets into hand-painted magnets.

Right now, anyone who orders a magnet from Kathleen (by e-mailing her: and puts “Wayward Dogs” in the subject line will get $1 of the per-magnet purchase price donated to Friends of KC Animals, an awesome local organization dedicated to helping homeless and neglected pets.

Starting today, Kathleen is working with me to provide readers of this blog with another cool opportunity: a chance to win one of her custom magnets for free!

Here’s how the contest works:

Send me a photo of your dog sometime between now and 5 p.m. Central Standard Time this Friday, November 11. (If you have more than one dog, feel free to send a picture of each. But please submit just one picture per dog.)

E-mail the photos to me at Put “Wayward Dogs photo contest” in the subject line and include your dog’s name, plus anything else you’d like to share. Your dog will be identified only by his or her own name on Facebook.

Over the weekend, I will upload all of the photo entries to a special album on the Facebook fan page for Wayward Dogs. As soon as that album goes live (probably sometime on Sunday, November 13), voting — in the form of “Likes” — will begin!

Judgment Day will be Sunday, November 20, at 5 p.m. Whichever photo has the most “Likes” is the lucky winner.

This means that if you haven’t already “Liked” Wayward Dogs on Facebook, you’ll want to do it soon so that you can encourage all of your friends to vote for your dog. If you don’t mind the competition, encourage your friends to enter, too.

Although the winner will be determined by the Facebook public, it’s a good idea to keep Kathleen’s tips in mind as you decide which picture to submit. She provided the following four pictures as examples of photos that made good magnets.

Kathleen dubs this shot good because: "good lighting; no shadows cast on the dog; in focus; interesting facial expression and for that reason, easily captioned if someone so desires."

Kathleen says this photo is good for the same reasons as the one above.

Kathleen likes this photo because "his whole body is visible, and I have LOTS of wiggle-room if I choose to crop it, which I will."

Kathleen likes this photo for all of the same reason as those above.

I can’t wait to see all of the pictures of your lovely dogs in my inbox! Good luck everyone! I know this will be a fun contest! If you have questions about anything send me an e-mail or ask in the comments below.

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