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Remedy for a good time in Kansas City

I won’t pretend to be a real food critic.

But I will say I know good eats when they land on my plate.

Although Kansas City’s reputation as a foodie haven is growing, and there are certainly many enjoyable edibles to be had within a 7-block radius of my home, it had been a while since a restaurant in my neighborhood blew my mind.

Then, I discovered my Remedy.

The menu at my new favorite walkable Waldo restaurant features an emphasis on local, in-season food, and handmade, old-timey drinks. My favorite refreshment is called the King Louis. It contains vodka infused with fresh blackberries right there at the bar. Another house specialty is the Lily Pad, so named for the fresh basil leaf that floats in the gin-based concoction.

And the food? Equally delightful.

Remedy’s appetizer and dinner offerings consist of a mix of homemade kitsch (mini corndogs) and culinary sophistication (egg yolk ravioli was a recent special). I am guaranteed to mow through an order of honey-drizzled eggplant fries and put away several deviled eggs at each visit. Other must tries: the cauliflower steak (a vegetarian entree served on a bed of chickpeas) and the BLT.

Because a quality dining experience involves every sense, Remedy’s decor deserves mention as well. Everything in the room reflects the classic, DIY-artisanal mood of the menu, including the wine crates-turned-shadow boxes and especially the adorable mason jar terrariums in the center of every table.

The sunlight pouring in from two solid window walls made Remedy an unexpected location for my recent family photo shoot with Stacy Ideus Photography, which yielded some really fun pictures of my mother, my stepdad and me. You can check out a few of them on Stacy’s blog.

Of course, I also knew jetsetting Kenton would absolutely love Remedy, so when he asked for recommendations on where his birthday dinner ought to be, I refused to let him consider any other eateries.

As I am wont to do with any new discovery, I have obviously been crowing about Remedy to anyone who eats since basically my first taste. Besides Stacy and Kenton, I’ve also introduced several other Kansas Citians and out-of-town visitors, including my dad, to Remedy.

For a couple weeks, I showed up so regularly to meet friends that the staff began to recognize me and even comment on my hairstyle of the day. I checked into Remedy on Fousquare so many times that as of Saturday, I was still the mayor.

If I could afford it, this place would be my personal Cheers bar.

On the day of Stacy’s photo shoot, we actually went to Remedy twice. I gave one of my Moo mini cards to the manager on the second visit, and after checking out this blog he came back to the table pretty excited about one Charlie Machete.

Although the manager subsequently decided he’s probably not ready for a dog, Charlie Machete does hope to visit Remedy’s outdoor dining area sometime while sporting his Adopt Me vest. If I can be the restaurant’s mayor, maybe my foster dog can get a drink named after him.

What do you think would be in a drink called the Charlie Machete? Leave your suggestions in the comments!

Disclaimer: This post reflects my honest opinions about the restaurant Remedy. I received no compensation for this review, although the manager did give me one free King Louis when he found out I was the Foursquare mayor.

A shelter pets can go to just for the day

“Behave or you are going to the dog pound!”

As it turns out, when the “dog pound” in question is the Saunders County Lost Pets shelter, threatening your dog with an admission there isn’t so scary.

In fact, SCLP looks like a pretty wonderful place — for dogs, cats and kids — to spend time.

SCLP is an animal rescue organization in Wahoo, Nebraska, that gives loving care to strays and otherwise homeless dogs and cats from the region. My oldest friend Stacy Ideus, who volunteers at SCLP, described the no-kill shelter on her blog as “more like a group home for dogs and cats.”

As a means of generating funds for the cause, the shelter also reserves a few of its kennels for boarding. Although I can’t speak personally about the level of care offered, I think SCLP sounds like a great option for traveling pet parents in the Saunders County area who want to support animal rescue and send their fur babies somewhere safe.

To learn more about SCLP, check out the video, photos and the accompanying post Stacy wrote about the organization over at her blog.

After watching the video, what do you think? Would you send your pets to SCLP?

All photos in this post used with permission from Stacy Ideus Photography.

Those who are in the Kansas City area have an opportunity to be photographed by Stacy next weekend. For more information about scheduling, pricing and her photographic style, check out her KC Urban Shoots guide.


Guest Blog: ‘A clearance mutt’

Today’s post comes from Stacy Ideus, my oldest friend in the world, who is also a fantastic photographer. She adopted her first shelter dog 11 years ago. This is his story.

 in 2001, I was in my sophomore year of college, engaged to a banker and co-habitating in a 1970’s ranch house. needless to say, i was crazy for domestication—planning a wedding, decorating the house, etc…   so what a glorious addition a pet would be!

never having a dog before (I was always a total ‘cat person’ growing up), I didn’t understand all the training, maintenance, and messes that come with the territory. my fiancé sure did, however. we just had new carpet installed, and he wasn’t so sure that a puppy would respect it. haha. this was just after Thanksgiving. Christmas lists were made. a Puppy became the only thing written on mine.

i have an aunt that is very persuasive and is notorious for making fanciful decisions on a whim. she casually mentioned one saturday that there was a new litter of puppies at the shelter. we were there in .2 seconds.

turns out, six little 2 lb pups were dropped off early in the morning and left on the doorstep of the shelter in a box. they smelled like skunk and it was impossible to decipher who their parents were. some were curly with black hair, one was white. one had a pug tail. falling in love with a calm, white female with 2 black checker spots on her back I cried to my fiancé that they’d be put down if not adopted. again, with the carpet. his answer was firmly, ‘no.’

that weekend we put up our first christmas tree. beneath it a few days later was a gift, which i was allowed to open a bit early.  i was excitingly expecting a few holes in the box in hopes there was a live creature inside. but…. it was a hand-held carpet cleaner. What? I don’t get it. ‘it was on sale. thought we would need one,’ says the fiancé. ‘let’s go pick out our puppy.’ (yesssssssssss)

 out of 6 puppies, only 1 was left. they brought out the remaining clearance puppy, this tiny, hyperactive all black male with a smooth coat. after about 3 seconds of ‘this puppy is crazy and will destroy the house’ common sense banter, he came home with us. we named him Toby.

 fast forward 11 years and you will see our perfect 23 pound Toby in nearly every memory we have at home. Sure, he may snore, growl at little kids, and bark at every dog on the TV (even cartoon ones), but he’s been the best damn dog anyone could ever ask for and more. plush squeaker toys are his favorite, as is his leopard dog bed in my office. once he farted in his sleep and woke up and started barking because he thought his fart was a knock at the door.

 we love our little clearance mutt. he’ll always be known as our ‘first born.’

To see more adorable photos of kids, dogs and beautiful people, check out Stacy’s photography blog.

Never was a cornflake dog


Considering the current makeup of our home pack, I might come off like a big dog person.

It’s not true.

I love all dogs in general and my own forever and foster dogs in particular, but I really love dogs so little I can scoop them up, snuggle them against my face and carry them into the next room.

A recent interaction with a five-pound yorkshire terrier named Sissy really drove this home for me.

I am sure there is a psychological reason for my desire for an animal that I can totally dominate and stuff in a purse. But I just blame this dog:

Tori is the first tiny dog I ever owned. She lives with my mom.

At my demand, my family acquired this tri-colored rat terrier my junior year of high school. At the time, I was listening to a lot of Tori Amos and dealing with typical teenage angst. The bossy little dog provided great company and something for me to focus on.

In her almost 13 years, Tori has lived up to all of the stereotypes of small dogs — yappy, snappy and just plain adorable.

Although she doesn’t like most people or dogs (nor they her), when Scooby came into my life five years ago, and I was living down the street from my mother, Tori graciously accepted him as a friend. (Who wouldn’t?)

Scooby’s exact age is unknown, but due to their similarly decreasing energy levels, old dog breath and rapidly increasing gray-face, we estimate that these two little ones are about the same age. I hope they both stick around forever, but since that’s unlikely and I don’t get to see Tori very often, I asked Magnet Lady Kathleen Henn to make me a keepsake.

Mine is different from the one I gave my mom for Christmas.

My music tastes have changed a lot over the years, but I will always have a soft spot for Tori Amos, whose powerful perspective as a lyricist helped me find my own feminist voice.

Zach is a rather vocal non-fan of Ms. Amos, but I often remind him that we fell in love on the same evening that I last saw her in concert.

In honor of that fact and my first tiny dog, here’s one of my all-time favorite Tori songs, “Spark.”

Are you a big dog person or a little dog person?

Either way, you can order your own custom magnet by e-mailing

Black and white image courtesy Stacy Ideus Photography.

The other side of the interview

I have been asking people questions with the intention of publishing their responses since high school. Stacy Ideus knows. My oldest friend, she was there back when I was uncovering big stories for our high school newspaper.

She’s also one of two folks to put me on the opposite side of the interview lately. Just last week, Stacy published a Q&A (mostly non-dog related) with yours truly. If you check out the post, please poke around Stacy’s site and admire her mad photography skills.

Around the same time I received Stacy’s questionnaire, another friend — this one new, who I probably never would have connected with if not for this whole wayward dogs project — invited me to participate in her new interview series about people and their rescued dogs.

Just click on the image below to get to my Dog Treats interview at For the Love of My Dogs.

Virtual hugs to Stacy and Deanna. Thanks for putting me on the spot. It’s an honor to be featured on your blogs.

A tale of two bassets

A few weeks ago, my photographer friend Stacy asked her Facebook fans to submit their best rescue dogs stories for a chance to win a prize. Abigail Nelson‘s tale of two basset hounds really caught my attention, so I asked Abigail to share it, in her own words and photos, on my blog.

Abigail and her husband Brandon own two rescued basset hounds. Little girl Layla came from some friends who had to give her up.

We lived in a rental that didn’t allow pets. Even though we wanted her, we couldn’t take her into a home knowing if our landlord found out he would boot us out. Then, she would have been homeless right along with us! The months passed and they kept telling us they couldn’t find anyone and if they couldn’t find someone soon, they would have to take her to the Humane Society. Brandon and I talked about it and we couldn’t stand the thought of her going from living in a home to living in a kennel, waiting to be adopted. We talked about it a decided we were going to take her and move.

The Nelsons didn’t just move to a different house. They moved to a different town in Nebraska. Abigail says that period in 2010 was busy and crazy, but so worth it.

We fell in love with Layla right away. She went from sleeping in a kennel in the basement alone at night to sleeping next to or in our bed. She went with us everywhere. We decided that if we were going to have a dog, she was going to live just as comfortably as we did. It was win/win. She made us better people. We went from being couch potatoes to walking miles every day. Funny how it took us being more concerned about her health (than ours) to get us off our bums. She literally goes everywhere with us. People say she is like our baby, and she is.

One day, while visiting a dog park in Omaha, the Nelsons spotted another basset.

But the basset then known as “Gordan” wasn’t there with his owner. He was in the care of a woman who had volunteered to help the formerly wayward dog get into Basset and Beagle Rescue of the Heartland.

She told us he was found by the railroad tracks in Ord, Nebraska. They put him in a wire kennel waiting for someone to claim him and no one did. They didn’t really have any sort of humane society or pound, so if someone didn’t take him they were going to put him down. Her brother took him and had her come get him. She couldn’t keep him because she had a Boston Terrier with special needs, so she found this rescue group.

The rescue representative soon arrived to claim the dog, and the Nelsons told her right away they wanted to adopt him. She interviewed them on the spot and directed them to an online application.

They did their homework and made sure we would be loving and caring pet parents. I will never forget when we finally found out we were approved. I took Layla with me and we met at Petsmart. I filled out the final paperwork, bought ‘Lynard‘ a new name tag, collar, leash and all the other necessities and headed home. He knew his new name within a few hours, and he was stuck at my hip from the second I took hold of his leash.

This match turned out just right, with Layla loving Lynard as much as her people do — even on the naughty days.

It is safe to say he is mine and Layla is my husband’s. Lynard and Layla play, pounce, wrestle all day, and sometimes I can’t even get them to sleep in their own beds, they sleep together all cuddled up in one bed. With their low slung bodies, droopy eyes and long ears … they make it easy to love them. I never can stay mad at them, even after Lynard has chewed up yet another valuable! He just gives me those eyes and wags his tail, and I melt. They consume my life and I can’t imagine life without them. It is such a blessing knowing we saved them from an uncertain fate. Rescue a pet. It not only changes their life, it changes yours!

If you have a great rescue story — especially one that involves a wayward dog — that you would like to see published on this blog, please send it to for consideration.

Pug dogtography by Stacy Ideus

Stacy Ideus: photographer, blogger, and hottie from Nebraska.

Yesterday, I shared the news that Wayward Dogs had received the Versatile Blogger Award and passed it on to several more fantastic blogs including that of my oldest friend and fantastic photographer Stacy Ideus.

Typically, for fun and her business, Stacy photographs a lot of people, kids and babies. But she has a soft spot for doggies — one of hers happens to be named after my childhood pet Tyson — so she responded with glee when I asked if she’d be willing to share occasional dog portraits with Wayward Dogs.

100 percent of the following content was provided by Stacy Ideus, my first guest blogger.

Addy the Pug, courtesy Stacy Ideus Photography.


make: pug

model: black

age: 3 yrs

Addy was rescued from a backyard breeder puppy mill by Pug Partners of Nebraska. She was first sent to foster care to a loving home. Megan was her foster mom. And everyone who was in the market for a pug puppy was suddenly Megan’s new bff. I guess rescued puppies are pretty rare in Omaha, so needless to say, emails and phone calls came flooding in.

Meanwhile, in Wahoo, NE, there lived a lady named Sheila. She had desired a puppy for several years.. begging, pleading, bribing, negotiating her new husband. One magical day…a Thursday, as she recalls… Pug Partners posted a photo of a little black pug puppy. Adorable, perfect and surprisingly healthy. Sheila began sending messages to the rescue group telling them how perfect she was for this particular puppy. Then they grew to full fledged essays. She pleaded her case to Megan. Then pleaded her case to her husband. Finally Sheila won.

What happened next is pretty facinating. Turns out Sheila was chosen as the new owner of Addy solely based on the fact that the two women shared a birthday.

The home inspection=passed.

Entire puppy section at PetCo= purchased.

Megan and Sheila have been close friends ever since.

And Addy has become an energetic and special member of the Dukolil family. They are so grateful to have her in their home… where she belongs.

Sheila blogs about cooking, Addy and family life at Sheila in the Kitchen

To see what inspires Stacy, head to

Versatile Blogger Award

Big thanks to one of my favorite blogs – For the Love of My Dogs – for recognizing this site with a second award, the Versatile Blogger Award. 

For the Love of My Dogs blogger Deanna is a kind soul with a fun crew of rescue animals, and she fills her blog with interesting and useful content — like recipes for awesome-sounding homemade doggy treats and very thorough reviews of pet products.

One day I will get around to making some treats for my pups from scratch…

The rules for the Versatile Blogger Award are simple:

  • Thank the award giver and link back in your post.
  • Share 7 things about yourself.
  • Pass the award along to up to other 15 bloggers you enjoy, and let them know about the award.

7 things about me

  1. My love for dogs goes way back to childhood when I used to show my miniature schnauzer Tyson and my rottweiler Prowler in 4-H.
  2. Although I often chart successes from our planting projects, my thumb isn’t that green. It’s more yellowish and sickly — like the curling leaves of my money tree, which I think is dying. (And I fear the metaphor of a dying money tree.)
  3. My favorite animals after dogs are whales. I have seen them in real life four times — twice around Maui, Hawaii, once near Puerto Vallarta, Mexico and once off the coast of Argentina.
  4. I have four tattoos.
  5. I was born in Nebraska and attended the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, but I don’t like football at all. If you know anything about Cornhusker fandom, you will understand why this is noteworthy.
  6. Right now, I am reading the book Endgame by Derrick Jensen.
  7. Next month, I will turn 30! (And my dad will turn 70!)

In addition to For the Love of My Dogs, I urge you all to check out these lovely blogs:

Peaceful Dog. On its face, this blog is about fostering, rescuing and training dogs. But the extremely well-written posts also touch on environmental issues, spirituality and vegan/vegetarian food.

Dogs or Dollars. I felt a similar sense of instant connection when I stumbled on this blog about a couple with a pack of dogs, an ambitious gardening project and a desire to find meaning, if not material wealth.

I Say Things So You Don’t Have To. Another Kansas City dog lady writes about her experiences as a shelter volunteer and all-around advocate for dogs. Recently, she went to great lengths to help a man she met through Craigslist find employment and housing so that he wouldn’t have to give up his beloved dog.

Chainofhope’s Blog. Both inspiring and heartbreaking, this is the official blog of one of my favorite animal advocacy groups in Kansas City. The site features photos and stories gathered in the field by people dedicated to helping urban dogs who live on chains by providing food, medical attention and, in the case of owner surrender, new sanctuary.

Krista and Jess. Here is a blog by another one of those households with which I both identify and envy. Krista and Jess are big DIYers and foodies who are also into urban homesteading.

Root Simple. A reliable dose of practical gardening advice and how-to tips for urban homesteaders.

Stray Dogs Worldwide. I can’t always read all the text of this international blog, but I certainly identify with the motivation: helping “dogs with no rights.” This site can get a little intense, but I’m impressed when I read about international rescues.

Stacy Ideus Photography. Stacy is a professional photographer with a fantastic style. She’s also a dog lover and my oldest friend. Her blog is a great place to peep some of her recent work, as well as get a taste for some of the people, objects and animals that inspire her. Check out her site today and get ready to see some guest content from her on Wayward Dogs tomorrow!

Happy reading, everyone!

For links to other blogs I enjoy, see my nominations for the Liebster Award.

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