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Who Do You Love?

Here’s a guy who is confident in his appeal this Valentine’s Day.

miniature pinscher bitches love me

Oh? You noticed the hairs on my shirt? Those are from that husky dog.

The truth is: Scooby the elderpin is right to be cocky.

He’s never going to be without a valentine (aka the woman he pukes on in the middle of the night) as long as he lives.

Rescue dog Scooby is among the uber-lucky 1 in 5 U.S. dogs who will be receiving a valentine gift from their doting human caretakers this year. Luke and foster boy Charlie Machete fall into that category, too.

However, in the final hours leading up to Valentine’s Day, they did not seem so self-assured.

sad golden retriever

Will I ever get to see Minnie again?

sad black lab mix

Why are girls scared of me?

If they really could talk, I would have told the big boys not to fret – lots of pups and people out there think they are just great. (Right??)

And then I would have showed them the neat valentines I made with their handsome little faces.

Instead, I’ll show them to you:

golden retriever valentine

black dog valentine
miniature pinscher snood valentine

Which valentine do you like best? Would your dog like to be one of these boys’ valentines?

If you are still in need of a valentine gift for your pet, check out my Valentine’s Day gift guide for dog lovers!
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Valentine Chocolate Hearts for Pit Bull Lovers

Looking for the perfect box of chocolates for your favorite pit bull lover?

R.M. Palmer Company has you covered.

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Apparently, the candy company’s Valentine’s Day series of Best Friends Heart Boxes also features several other breeds.

But anyone who has spent any time defending pit bulls understands how awesome it is when the breed is featured commercially, in a positive light.

I received my Palmer’s chocolates last night from PJ the pit bull activist during a fundraiser for her organization MOSH Pit KC.

According to the Palmer’s Facebook page, you can find all varieties of the Best Friends Heart Boxes at major retailers including Walgreens, Shopko, Kroger and more.

Have you received any valentines yet?

Valentine’s Day is just two days away. Have you checked out the great ideas in my gift guide for dog lovers?

Adorable Doggy Valentine e-Cards

val ecards

Discovery of the Day

Want to send a digital valentine to someone you love? Modern Dog Magazine will help you do it for free.

Just click on one of the many super cute pictures of dogs,  personalize the message and Modern Dog will e-mail it to your sweetheart.

To send your doggy valentine, just click here.

Which is your favorite design?

If you’re looking for printable and digitally shareable valentines for coworkers, click here to see four fun designs over on my work blog.

Click here for free mustache-themed valentine printables! 

Looking for a valentine gift? Check out my gift guide for dog lovers!

Scooby Has a Question

Seven days from now is Valentine’s Day…

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How would you respond?

Find something good for your valentine in my gift guide for dog lovers.

And don’t miss your chance to win some Rupert’s spray that will make your pooch more smoochable!

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.

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.

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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!

Help Me Promote Your Favorite Animal Rescue Organizations

This blog will be quiet for a couple of days.

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Snood courtesy Handmade by Ashley Wright

I hope you all have a wonderful weekend.

I have a big agenda:

  1. Celebrate the KC Pittie Pack’s 1-year anniversary with a yappy hour tonight
  2. Coddle the elderpin, who was feeling almost normal until he got tangled up in Charlie Machete’s feet last night.  (This is a major downside of having a multi-dog house that includes at least one frail old dog and at least one big, exuberant young dog)
  3. Wrap up an exciting project that will debut here next week. Hint: It has to do with Valentine’s Day!

You can help me with item number 3.

I’m compiling a list of animal welfare organizations that sell merchandise (i.e. t-shirts and hoodies) to support their efforts toward dogs in need. Help me gather a robust list of organizations, including some in your area.

All you need to do is leave a comment with a link to an organization and/or web store that you think I should feature.

As an example, check out the merch shop for Friends of KC Animals, one of my favorite Kansas City animal welfare groups.

So, who’s your favorite local dog rescue or shelter, and what cool stuff do they sell?

Canine Hearts from Canada

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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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. 🙂

Seedy intentions


Some people got flowers for Valentine’s Day. My sweetheart gave me future flowers. Future flowers and future food. (I was stoked!)

We kinda dropped the ball on the whole ordering-seeds-from-a-catalog thing.

Fortunately, even big box stores now stock a good selection of organic seeds in their garden centers. That kind of stuff makes up a big chunk of our seed stock for this season. (Next year, I hope to get an order in to Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds.)

We also have a weird variety of seeds we saved from things we grew and things we got from friends or the farmers’ market last year, including: all kinds of peppers, naked pumpkins, some weird heirloom melon that totally took over our yard and seeds from some delicious and colorful string bean things.

This is our second spring trying to start things from seed. Last year, we started a lot of things too early, during a very cold winter,  in our very bright kitchen. Although we diligently left the lights on above the seedlings, opened the windows very early every morning and used a space heater to counteract the draft, the majority of our seedlings didn’t make it.

I attribute the widespread seedling death to:

  • Artificial light was too far away from the plants
  • Inconsistent temperatures
  • Us being too wussy to thin the seedlings we planted too close together in the first place

The other part of my Valentine’s/birthday gift should solve the first problem:

Yay for plant lights!

As for the other two problems: I am banking on the continuation of our obscenely mild weather and the convenience of the old space heater to assist with the temperature issue and common sense to negate overcrowding.

Last year we started by throwing a whole bunch of seeds into all different sizes of pots. This year, we are smarter. We are using egg cartons, which should help us resist the urge to overplant. If Zach will stop throwing them into the compost bin, I hope to start some seeds in eggshells.

As with most things we enjoy (dogs and houseplants, for example), Zach and I have accrued way, way, way more seeds than we will ever need. We also splurged on some exotic species that we probably have no business attempting to grow.

But I just couldn’t resist going for the olive tree. I did swear back on Thanksgiving that we would give this a try someday.

Hello, someday!

We are already late in getting this project underway, so I will be pouring dirt in eggholes yet today. It’s not too late for advice, though, so please leave words of wisdom in the comments below, along with what you are growing this year.

Big thanks to the love of my life, my friends Jen and Erik and Bear Creek Farms for stocking us with seeds for the 2012 growing season.

Related Reading:

The Doodle House’s awesome post The Need For Seed

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