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?
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.
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.
Recently, I announced that I founded a little business.
Well, it’s so far so good in Beer Paws land.
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:
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:
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)
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.)
It’s her day.
This is the woman who taught me how to love unconditionally and that your baby, no matter how many legs it has or how ill-mannered it can be, should be doted on and cuddled as much as possible.
Case in point: Tori the rat terrier who’s giving the camera the stinkeye.
Today, I’ll be spending a good part of the day with my mom, celebrating our relationship and dining on tasty, locally prepared food.
Our ultimate hope is to get tickets for a tour of Boulevard Brewery, the internationally renowned craft beer company based in Kansas City.
She better leave that Spuds Mackenzie apron at home, though.
Happy Mother’s Day to all of the moms out there! Whether your puppies have two legs or four, you deserve some appreciation for a job well done!
Even you can make your own dog clothes.
Because I’m a sucker for upcycling and DIY, the rag bin at the recent Dogs on the Lawn event at the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art caught my eye.
I had read in the event schedule that one of the activities involved making shirts for your dog, but I didn’t know exactly what that meant.
I was thinking blank doggy tees and magic markers.
But the art students leading this activity were far more crafty than that!
They clearly had figured out what we have all known for a long time:
Dog apparel is expensive in the same way as women’s swimwear and lingerie. You pay a premium price for very little fabric because it’s cute.
For the art students, a way around investing in a bunch of pre-made doggy shirts was to upcycle old fabric. Their rag bin consisted of various shapes, sizes and colors of well-worn and soft T-shirts.
Next to the bin were several patterns for cutting the cloth into no-sew, homemade doggy duds.
Because I didn’t have any of the wayward dogs with me and the event was winding down, I grabbed a yellow shirt sleeve that seemed big enough for an elderpin to squeeze into.
Then, I proceeded to the screen printing area.
Guests could choose one of several patterns and colors. There was a pretty cute outline of a dog with a heart design, but I chose something more representative of this particular day.
I picked a shuttlecock, a locally-understood symbol of the Nelson, which has a giant shuttlecock sculpture on the lawn.
helped me screen printed the piece of fabric for me and pinned it to a clothesline with everyone else’s so the ink could dry.
I was pleased with the result. But back at home, I realized quickly that even a stretched out T-shirt sleeve is a bit too snug for an elderpin.
Nevertheless, the project did not go to waste. It makes a very nice neck band for one Charlie “Chetty” Machete.
And the color suits him well, since he is undoubtedly a yellow dog.
Have you ever made your own dog clothes or done screen printing at home?
If you want to upcycle the scraps in your rag bin, check out this eHow article about making old dog clothes from things you have around the house.
To try your hand at DIY screen printing, try out this Instructable.
Don’t be fooled by that headline.
I did not take any of my dogs to the museum.
But on Saturday, a lot of Kansas City folks did – well, they went at least as far as the the museum lawn.
Dogs on the Lawn was a first time event hosted by the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art.
Festivities included paws-on art projects, DIY dog apparel decoration and a few pet-friendly vendors including Kansas City’s brand new food truck for dogs.
People with dogs got to participate in paw painting – finger painting for dogs. The results were very colorful and abstract, but all the pet parents seemed proud.
Those interested in more serious art inspired by their animals could order a custom portrait from Ashley Corbello, a local artist who specializes in pet paintings.
I decided I would like Ashley to immortalize Scooby the elderpin in a painting sometime soon.
But in the meantime, I headed to the DIY screen print area, where local art students were helping folks customize cloth accessories for their pets.
With the yellow dog project in mind, I chose a fabric scrap that I thought might work as a t-shirt for Scooby.
For decoration, I chose the shuttlecock, which is a nod to the famous sculpture that lives on the Nelson-Atkins lawn.
The real reason I came to Dogs on the Lawn, however, was to
play with the puppies help at the Midwest Adopt-a-Bull table.
The group currently has five adorable pit mix puppies available for adoption. Three of them attended this event, along with their mama and another adoptable adult male.
The puppies were such a big hit that by the time I got to the event, they were pretty much crashed out. (I picked them all up and snuggled them to my chest, anyway.)
The coolest thing I discovered at Dogs on the Lawn was Kansas City’s first food truck for dogs.
I grabbed a bottle for the boys at home!
Come back tomorrow to see how they liked the brew!
Although we missed each other, Our Waldo Bungie’s Emily and adoptable Moby the Wonderdog also attended Dogs on the Lawn. Check out the post here.
If porcupines were tree branches, they would look like this.
Long-haired Luke picked this up in his golden tailfeathers last night during our jog along the Trolley Track Trail.
He squatted down to do his business, and when he stood up, this foot-and-a-half-long weapon was swinging from the underside of his tail. Because his fur kept him safe from the thorns, he seemed more confused than anything – like a cat with a string tied to its tail.
Never have I more wished to be carrying a pocket knife on an outing.
However, instead of cutting around the evil entanglement, I spent ten bare-handed minutes, gingerly tugging strands of hair away from the sticky, hair-like thorns, many of which lodged themselves in my skin throughout the process.
Charlie Machete seemed to be laughing at us all the while.
Oh well, it was an adventure!
According to the Missouri Department of Conservation, several thorny varieties of deciduous trees grow in Missouri. I think our spiky branch was new growth from a black or honey locust that fell off due to the recent snowstorms.
Many honey locusts grow along the part of the trail we were on. They have a terrifying appearance, their own branches wrapping around the trunk like wooden barb wire.