Category Archives: Machete

Snow Day

Actually, it’s only a snowy day – not a the-world-stopped-because-of-the-white-stuff day.

But Charlie Machete was excited this morning to check out what fell from the sky.


How’s the weather where you are today?

January is almost over. Have you done your Valentine’s Day shopping? Check out my gift guide for ideas.
Also – don’t forget to enter to win a festive wristlet from waggiwear.

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.


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.

Sweet Sunday Faces

Are you having an awesome weekend?

three dogs beg

We are here at Wayward House!

We had a surprise visitor last night – little Roxy the jackeranian.


Of course, Charlie Machete is very concerned about getting his sweetheart the right gift for Valentine’s Day. I assured him the solution can be found in Wayward Hearts: A Valentine’s Day Gift Guide for Dogs and Dog Lovers.

Look out for more posts this week related to the products in the guide, including a new giveaway announcement tomorrow!

Happy Sunday!

A Guide for Wayward Hearts

In exactly one month, women across the U.S. will look to their partners with the same eager anticipation as these three handsome fellows:

Three handsome beggars

That’s right. Valentine’s Day.

It’s happening.

I know I’ve had nice Valentine’s Days in the past. I also know I’ve had rotten ones. There have been fancy meals. There have been candles. There have also, on occasion, been arguments.

There have also been Valentine’s Days that boyfriends (not necessarily Zach) more or less overlooked because my birthday occurs three days later.

No biggie. I know I’m loved – by my boyfriend and many other wonderful souls.

In fact,  there are certain, four-legged individuals, who shower me with love and affection every day. Even when I’m feeling frazzled and speak a little roughly or if I am running late and they don’t get their dinner on time, the dogs in my house look to me with excited eyes. And they always want snuggles.

All of you other dog lovers know what I’m talking about.

Dogs are pretty much the best Valentines ever.

That’s what I was thinking as I searched out cool things to include in the first-ever Wayward Dogs Valentine’s Day Gift Guide, a collection of products, services and ideas you can use to celebrate  the love you share with your pet.

There are some things in there your human Valentine would probably appreciate, too.

Valentine's Day Gift Guide from Wayward Dogs

Please check out the gift guide – and all of the featured products, businesses and non-profit organizations – and share the link with the dog lovers in your network.

Also, be on the lookout in the coming weeks for giveaways of some of the awesome products featured in the guide!

Now, go check out Wayward Hearts – and come back with a comment about what featured item you like the best!

Canine Hearts from Canada

I don’t typically buy a lot of things for myself. But I do like to spoil my dogs.


Last night, as I was replenishing the kibble supply with a purchase from Brookside Barkery, a deal on treats caught my eye.

All varieties of Holistic Blend Canine Biscuits (8.29 oz package), regularly $9.99 each, were buy-one-get-one-free.

Of course, I picked up a pair: 1 bag of  Pumpkin Spice Hearts and 1 bag of Sea Hearts.


These Canine Biscuits are all wheat-free and also do not contain artificial preservatives, additives or salt or sugar. The ingredient list is short and include good grains, like barley and oat flour. In each case, the flavor indicated in the product name (salmon for the Sea Hearts) appears about halfway down the list. But I’ve learned that is just the deal with most baked dog treats.

Holistic Blend is a Canadian company. The information on the packaging appears in both French and English. To ensure products of the highest quality, the food and treats are made to standards that exceed FDA guidelines for human consumption.

This human didn’t try one, but I did offer a couple heart-shaped biscuits each to Luke and Charlie Machete.


Of course, they approved!

Although I’d like to think I will regularly make my own dog treats, realistically, I don’t always have time for that. Holistic Blend Canine Biscuits are definitely seem to be the type of product I would purchase for my pets again.

If you’re in Kansas City, I recommend hitting up Brookside Barkery and taking advantage of this deal before supplies are gone!

In addition to the varieties I bought this time, there are also Cinna Hearts and Yogurt Hearts.


The heart shapes also make Holistic Blend Canine Biscuits perfect treats to have on hand for Valentine’s season!

Have your dogs tried any new treats lately? Where were they made?

I have no affiliation with Holistic Blend. I bought these treats with my own money. 🙂

How We Helped Dogs in 2012

Way back when my little Wayward Dogs project began, I started this blog to chronicle the lost, stray and abandoned canines I encountered.

Lost dog

I’m quite happy to report that for a second year in a row, those experiences did not occur frequently enough to warrant daily posts. In fact, I hardly ran into any wayward dogs on the streets in the year 2012!

That, of course, meant I had to fill in the days with posts about other things, including other people’s awesome dog projects, including:

Then, there was the KC Pittie Pack…

KC Pittie Pack & Friends at Loose Park. Photo by Fido Fetch Photography.

KC Pittie Pack & Friends at Loose Park. Photo by Fido Fetch Photography.

Emily from Our Waldo Bungie and I came together in 2012 to create a co-project of our own.

We founded KC Pittie Pack & Friends, a walking group designed to help people socialize their pets in a structured environment. In its first year, KC Pittie Pack:


In 2012, I also used this blog as a platform to generate support for local animal welfare organizations.

My awesome blog readers helped me:

And the year was not totally devoid of “wayward dogs.”

Tara the elderbull

Of the handful of lost dogs I encountered, the three I was able to assist appeared when I was en route to work:

  • Malakai – A gorgeous and sweet husky dog who was stopping traffic on a very busy Kansas City street.
  • Tara – I knew my neighbor’s elderbull was never supposed to run around the ‘hood by herself.
  • Cotton – A hunting dog I totally failed to blog about. Rather than taking him with me, I turned back toward home. Cotton’s ID tag had a phone number, so I left a message on his owner’s voicemail that his dog was safe and how to reach me. Then, I went on to work. Within 20 minutes, Cotton’s uber-relieved-sounding dad called him, so I told him where to go pick up his pup.

Foster Dogs

The fact that very few stray doggies followed me home in 2012 was actually a really good thing, considering at the beginning of the year we still had two formerly wayward dogs under our roof – Minnie and Charlie Machete – in addition to our two forever dogs.

Machete loves our husky mix Minnie.

No kidding – four was too much for our little house and the humans inside it.

Fortunately, by May, both fosters were adopted. But the reprieve did not last long.

Less than a year after he originally arrived in our lives, Charlie Machete came back – by way of a shelter in Omaha.

Machete bat ears-crop

We still don’t know exactly why he ended up behind bars, but we are grateful Charlie Machete’s adopters never changed the contact information on his microchip. Because they didn’t, the shelter called me, and Zach was able to make the three-hour drive to bail out our big black foster dog, who was otherwise on the list to be euthanized.

For now, he remains with us – when he’s not playing with his friends at Kennel Creek Pet Resort – and is available for adoption through Midwest Adopt-a-Bull.

Influencing Others

Although I haven’t proven to be a very successful dog foster mom, I’m proud to say that, through networking, I was able to help some other dogs find forever homes in 2012.

Sometimes I feel funny about the fact that I am the girl who almost daily posts sad pictures of dogs desperate to be adopted. I know this habit annoys some of my friends, but I keep doing it for a good reason: Sometimes the sharing pays off.

beagle husky mix

Because I helped my friend and fellow Kansas City pet advocate Nicole get the word out, these two dogs landed in forever homes in 2012:

  • Mia, a beagle/husky mix was adopted by my coworker
  • A black lab puppy was taken into a foster home that adopted him

My constant fretting about wayward dogs also seems to have had an effect on Zach’s and my mothers.

In 2012, both of them made successful efforts to apprehend and return home lost dogs in their own neighborhoods.

I have also noticed that generally in life I am becoming the person others turn to when they have questions about dogs. That sure feels good, and I always try to help if I can.

Here’s hoping for more successful efforts on behalf of dogs in 2013!

What was your biggest accomplishment for dogs last year?

This is What Saturday Morning Looks Like

“Do you think we can get them to bring us breakfast-on-couch?”

miniature pinscher and black lab mix snuggle

Scooby and Charlie Machete hope your final weekend of 2012 is starting off this comfortably.

If you would like to incorporate snuggling with Charlie Machete into your Saturday morning routine, check out his Midwest Adopt-a-Bull profile!

How will you and your dogs spend the last days of the year?

Do You Have a Yellow Dog?

This dog is yellow.


If you don’t believe me, read this story in the latest issue of MetroPet Magazine. (He’s in it – I wrote it.)

My big, black foster mutt Charlie “Chetty” Machete is a classic example of the kind of canines around which global movement The Yellow Dog Project was founded – dogs in training, dogs in rehabilitation, Dogs In Need Of Space and patience.

Such creatures, who don’t need their butts sniffed or heads patted by strangers while out on a walk, were also the inspiration behind the creation of KC Pittie Pack and countless similar dog socialization groups around the world.

To show your support for the cause of dogs who need space, hit up the Team DINOS™ Store and look out for The Yellow Dog Project’s forthcoming Shopify site.

You can also order a yellow (or red or navy) KC Pittie Pack hoodie (Kansas City-area residence not necessary).


Seriously, though, stroke my ego and please read the story.

Can you tell that I’m super excited to have landed my byline (and sweet headshot by Stacy Ideus Photography) in a glossy Kansas City magazine that’s all about pets?


What’s Another Way to Say Charlie Machete?


dogs play at Kennel Creek Pet Resort

Can you spot Chettty?

“Chetty” is how my big, black foster dog is known at Kennel Creek Pet Resort, where he has been attending daycare regularly.

Thanks to my partnership with the Kansas City-area pet boarding, grooming and training facility, I was able to enroll Charlie “Chetty” Machete in daycare at no cost.

He also recently spent a whole week in boarding at Kennel Creek for what I called his “socialization vacation.”

The results of his regular interaction with a variety of other dogs and people in a controlled environment have been pretty awesome.

Chetty comes home tired every night, and he even seems to listen to me better.

Because Kennel Creek is right on the way to the office where I work, Chetty joins me – in his Cruising Companion car harness – for my daily commute.

That’s fun – I like getting an extra goodbye kiss every morning. And Chetty never throws a fit when we part ways in the lobby.

Sometimes I tune into Kennel Creek’s play cams during the designated big dog playgroups. I didn’t think Chetty would be able to handle playing in a large group of dogs, but at Kennel Creek, he has been doing OK.

Chetty plays

He’s looking into the camera!

His favorite handler explained to me that Chetty wants to engage with the other dogs. Just like at home, he sometimes struggles with reading the signals of those who may not want to play with him, but he has made some friends.

The hope is that through continued, supervised and controlled exposure to other dogs, his socialization skills will keep getting better.

So far, so good. Can you believe it?

Kennel Creek also invited me to share Chetty’s story in the customer newsletter.

Kennel Creek Pet Resort december newsletter

To read the newsletter, click here.

Maybe someone who reads it will decide this handsome boy is the dog for them!

If you or someone you know would like to adopt Charlie “Chetty” Machete, check out his Midwest Adopt-a-Bull profile.

Review: Cruising Companion Car Harness for Dogs

This is what my backseat looks like just about every morning and afternoon these days.

With Luke’s help, I could re-enact the photo from this product packaging exactly. However, it’s not a golden retriever looking suave in a houndstooth harness in my backseat — it’s a black Heinz 57 mutt you all know as Charlie Machete.

In the past, I used to do everything I could to avoid putting my foster dog in my Volkswagen.

The car doesn’t make Charlie Machete sick or scared. It makes him way too excited.

He wants to look out this window, and then he wants to look out that window. Then, he wants to stare at someone from the way back window. Heck, then, he wants to roll around in the front seat – never mind the gear shift. Oh, and then maybe he’ll settle for a co-pilot spot, front paws on the console, hot breath in the driver’s ear.

That’s not a fun or safe way to travel from place to place.

Fortunately, I recently remembered that I actually purchased a dog car harness several months ago. (We never tried it because he was “adopted” shortly after.)

I was at first skeptical of the Cruising Companion.

The box, which I purchased at TJ Maxx for $7.99, contained two items: a harness and a separate, short strap with one end designed to fit in a seatbelt mouth.

The harness is pretty basic. The back of the chest piece has a soft, Sherpa-like fabric, which is nice for the dog.

There is a ring to attach a leash in the middle of the dog’s shoulder blades and another ring further down the dog’s back. The seat belt strap is supposed to attach to the second ring.

Basically, putting your dog in the Cruising Companion is just like having him on a leash in the car – a really short leash. I didn’t think Charlie Machete would stand for it, but he does fine. The strap gives him just enough room to stand and look out one window, sit pretty or lay down with his head on the console next to my arm. Gone are the days of this 65-pound dog trying to wallow around on top of me as I drive down the interstate.

Short of kenneling him or an actual dog car seat, the Cruising Companion is a suitable solution for rides with Charlie Machete.


Wondering why this dog is in the car so much lately? Come back tomorrow to learn about where he’s been going and what he’s been doing.

Disclosure: I bought the Cruising Companion harness with my own money and received no payment for this review. 

%d bloggers like this: