Writer’s Process Tour

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Helloooo!

Is there anybody still out there? Did you think I quit this job? ;)

I wouldn’t blame you if you did. This site has been quiet for months, as my attention has been focused elsewhere. But I’m back. I’ll try to be so consistently.

Emily over at Adventures of a Dog Mom gets all the credit for the Wayward Dogs revival. A couple weeks ago, she asked me if I’d take part in a blog tour about the writing process. What a perfect way to get back into blogging!

What Am I Working On?

I always have a bunch of blog post ideas in my head. But I also do other forms of writing professionally. For Wayward Dogs, I am currently working on a farewell post about Scooby. I actually wrote the first draft about a month ago and asked a friend to review it. I haven’t touched it again for a multitude of reasons, including that I’m still not quite ready to deal with that topic in writing.

Dog stuff is not the only thing that keeps me busy as a writer. As a freelance reporter, I’m working this week on some health and beauty-related content for a women’s magazine. For the blog I manage at Staples Promotional Products, I’m working on a white paper about shipping trends.

Scooby at work

Why Do I Write What I Do?

When I write about dogs I do it to connect with other dog people. Sometimes I write as an advocate. Sometimes, like when I’m reviewing a product or looking into a pet health topic, I write to educate myself and others. Sometimes, I write just to record the moment. I am so glad that through blogging I was able to capture so many memories of Scooby over the past few years that might otherwise have been lost in the day to day.

How Does My Writing Process Work?

As a blogger, my writing process is pretty casual. Ideas come to me throughout the day. Sometimes I jot them down, but usually I just let them float in my brain until one sticks. Then, I start to write it in my head. By the time I sit down at the computer, I usually have at least a few sentences formed. I hammer it out right in the blog editor – not in a Word document. Sometimes cranking out a post takes 30 minutes. Other times it takes two hours because I edit as I go along. The title is almost always the last thing I write.

Emily answered all of these questions, too. Head over to Adventures of a Dog Mom to learn about her writing process.

our waldo bungie

According to the rules of this blog tour, I’m supposed to tell you a little bit about another blogger who really inspires me. The obvious answer here is another Emily – this one writes at Our Waldo Bungie, and she’s my best blog friend. Like me, she started out blogging consistently and passionately about her life as a dog mom and rescuer. She got so good at creating community through her blog and social media pages that she has been able to apply those skills to a dream job – social media coordinator for Great Plains SPCA. Emily is every bit as busy as I am these days, so her blog hasn’t been updated as regularly, either. But I urge you to go check it out. And follow her. She’s an inspiration.

Bath of the Elderpin

Sometimes, you just have to give a dog a bath.

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After a hot day of being outside during the Capital Humane Society‘s Tails ‘N Trails event, I thought the elderpin could use a refreshing splash.

I also wanted him to be good-smelling and dandruff-free when we got to the home of my cousin with whom we would be staying on Saturday night.

So between shopping (yes, Scooby went into the dressing room with me) and dinner plans, we stopped in at The Canine Scrub.

canine scrub logo

Although we recently spent a Sunday doing a Beer Paws pop up shop at the self-serve dog wash, we hadn’t been able to try out the services.

There are several different tubs at the Scrub, including ones big enough to fit Mastiffs and Great Danes. The elderpin, of course, only requires the smallest sink.

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A soothing aloe soap, plus towels and as much warm water as we needed was provided. The spray nozzle made it easy to get the little guy cleaned up quickly.

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The walls of the tub are higher than my utility sink at home, so I didn’t have to worry about the elderpin climbing out and possibly getting hurt if I had to reach for a towel.

He’s so small that washing him took less than five minutes! However, I think it felt like an eternity to the elderpin!

We will definitely make a visit to the Scrub part of our regular Lincoln routine. It would be nice to always hit the road home with a fresh pup.

scooby all scrubbed

Do you ever take your dog to a dog wash? Share about the experience in the comments below.

If you are in the Lincoln area, I highly encourage you to take your dirty dogs to The Canine Scrub. While you are there, you can also pick up some Beer Paws merchandise, biscuits and doggy beer!

Peace, Love and Paws

peace, love and paws

I finally delivered the last element of my mom’s Mother’s Day gift yesterday.

Although she probably wishes her daughter was more together and punctual about such things, I think she loves her present as much as I do.

The handmade mosaic stepping stone is an original piece by my friend Lezlie Ferguson, co-owner of The Canine Scrub and the artist behind Doors, Windows, Walls and More.

I saw some of Lezlie’s stones when Scooby the elderpin and I visited the Scrub. They are pretty and perfect for people who love dogs and gardening.

My mom is absolutely one of those people, and I hope she decides to keep her mosaic stone in the rock garden near the entrance of her house, where everyone who visits will get to see it.

mosaic stepping stone in garden

My aunt, whose birthday was a little earlier in May, got a mosaic stepping stone from me, too. I hope she likes it enough to forgive my tardiness!

I heart paws mosaic stepping stone

I picked up the custom stones on Saturday during the Tails ‘N Trails dog walk and fundraiser for the Capital Humane Society in Lincoln. For a taste of what happened at that event, check out the video below. Sadly, the elderpin was not caught by the news team’s camera!

News, Weather and Sports for Lincoln, NE; KLKNTV.com

Thank Dog It’s Friday

thank dog it's friday

I am so ready for the weekend! How about you?

Scooby the elderpin and I are taking another roadtrip.

Tonight, we’ll hit the highway for Nebraska. Tomorrow is the Tails ‘N Trails Pet Walk, a fundraiser for the Capital Humane Society in Lincoln.

The elderpin is going to post up with me and my pops at the Beer Paws tent.

If you are in the Lincoln area, come see us!

Scooby will be nestled in a brand new bed made especially by our friend Heidi at K9 Closet. Watch my Instagram feed for the first look at that!

What are your weekend plans?

Help Natasha the Rhodesian Ridgeback find a Home

Rhodesian ridgeback with yorkies

Natasha’s inquiring mind wants to know:

Will you adopt me?

This regal Rhodesian ridgeback was recently surrendered to the Wayward Dog Foundation due to changing circumstances within her family.

Natasha is about 8 years old. She is very shy at first with new people and definitely prefers women. When I met her, I earned her trust pretty quickly by offering some tasty treats and letting her approach me.

Once she is comfortable, Natasha is very loving and cuddly.

Natasha gets along OK with other dogs, including small dogs. She is also crate and house trained.

Natasha in crate

The Rhodesian ridgeback is a South African breed of hunting dog. They are extremely intelligent and have great endurance.

Rhodesian ridgeback

Because she is a little older, Natasha is more mellow but still requires daily exercise and stimulation. True to her roots, she is a smart cookie and will need a home with a very tall fence.

Natasha is currently in foster care but needs to find a family of her own.

Please help us get this sweet senior into her forever home by sharing her story with your network.

To make an appointment to meet Natasha, call Kennel Creek Pet Resort at 913-498-9900 or reach out via the contact form below.

Happy Mother’s Day

The greatest love is a mother's. Then a dog's. Then a sweetheart's. Polish proverb.

Happy Mother’s Day, ya’ll. :)

Brew Paws: Making Beer and Drinking It with Lucy and Wally

sarah legg

Today the Brew Paws series continues with Sarah, a beer blogger and homebrewer with a pair of rescued boozehounds.

Why do you love beer? 

I have always loved beer, and being one of the rare chicks who liked beer made me feel tough – like I could hang with the guys. I also love that it’s all-natural and you can buy locally-made product easily.

What’s your favorite type of beer? 

Pretty much anything aged in a bourbon barrel. Soak it in bourbon and I will drink it. Lots of stouts and porters in the winter, and pale ales in the summer as well.

Who are your dogs, and what makes them great drinking buddies? 

Lucy and Wally round out the wolf pack. Lucy is a 7-year-old beagle/shepherd/??? mix. Wally is my 5-year-old schnauzer/beagle (don’t ever breed a schnauzer and a beagle, btw. You’ll end up with an always-hungry, poop-eating dog that wants to run away all the time.) They love beer (in small quantities, of course!). They don’t beg when we eat, but if we’re drinking a beer, they will sit and stare deep into our souls until they get a little taste. Also, Lucy has been known to steal empty beer bottles to try and get the last drops during parties.

Lucy brew dog

Lucy rocks a Beer Paws bottle opener tag on her collar.

How did you get into home brewing?
It seemed like the natural progression as I started KCBeerGuide.com to start home brewing to really understand how it’s made, how flavors are developed, and basically just what goes into the process. Plus it’s a fun at-home activity when the weather sucks. There’s nothing better than trying out your brew after waiting for the fermentation process to finish.
kc beer guide
What is KC Beer Guide?
KC Beer Guide is an online (and in the future, print) publication that features events, breweries, restaurants and other Kansas City and beer-related items. The difference between the guide and other KC beer sites is that it is aimed toward the non-beer geeks both in Kansas City and visitors who may not always know about new breweries opening and events to attend. Kansas City has a tight-knit, growing scene and it’s time for it to be recognized as a beer-drinking destination! We’re getting there, and it’s a fun time to be involved in the scene as it changes from week to week.

Head to Sarah’s website to get the latest news on the Kansas City beer scene.

Beer Paws Banner

Get swag and snacks for your party pup.

A Day with the Elderpin at The Canine Scrub

miniature pinscher wearing Carol's Dog Scarves photo by Fido Fetch Photography

I’ve been told recently that the elderpin and I share a “special connection.”

I think it is actually best described as codependence.

This is never more apparent than when we are in a new environment, where he’s afraid to let me out of his (limited) sight, and I’m afraid to let him out of mine in case he has an accident.

The best way to keep other people’s carpet clean is for Scooby to be off the ground. Translation: I have to hold him.

To be clear, no one else can hold Squirmy Scooby in these situations. Just look at what happens when they try:

Beer Paws pop up shop at the Canine Scrub

“Where’s mama? Where’s mama? Where’s mama?”

Had my friend Mike let the elderpin down at that moment, I guarantee my little dog would have desperately sought me out (possibly squatting for a pee while en route) and commenced jumping desperately at my ankles upon finding them.

Fortunately, Mike and Lezlie, the owners of The Canine Scrub, a self-serve dog wash in Lincoln, Nebraska, are used to having dogs do all kinds of things in their establishment. And they think Scooby is pretty cute.

The elderpin and I spent the second day of our recent Nebraska travels at The Canine Scrub. Because the weather prevented us from setting our tent up in the parking lot, we set up a temporary Beer Paws shop in a nook inside the business.

It was fun to meet The Canine Scrub customers and see many dogs before and after they got a bath.

We saw some familiar faces and met some new ones.

Bruno, an adoptable dog from Paws UP Nebraska, spent the whole day with us.

Bruno and mix pack

Amy, a volunteer with Paws UP, also brought in her personal dogs, PBR and Brendan, for a scrub and some Beer Paws goodies.

Peeber and Brendan

Archer the very handsome pit bull and my friend Terri’s puppy Dorri both got their first taste of Beer Paws at the event.

Archer

Between customers, Scooby and I got to know Mike and Lezlie of The Canine Scrub a little better.

Mike is an ace at marketing who is always focused on how to make the customer’s experience positive. He’s also a really nice guy. He noticed when I pulled up that one of my windshield wipers was malfunctioning, and he made a point of fixing it for me before I hit the road at the end of the day!

Lezlie is extremely creative. In fact, in addition to operating the Scrub, she makes awesome art for dog lovers.

doberman silhouette

You can order Lezlie’s art online or pick it up in person at The Canine Scrub.

I’m proud to report that there is now something else you can get anytime at The Canine Scrub – Beer Paws!

After Scooby and I tore down the pop up shop, we left some merchandise, Beer Biscuits and doggy beer with Mike and Lezlie. Their business is now our first Nebraska retailer and currently the only retailer of our beer for dogs!

The elderpin and I can’t wait to see Mike and Lezlie again. Our next trip to Nebraska happens on May 17. Stay tuned for more information about that event. It’s not at the Scrub, which means Scooby won’t be causing any scrubbing of carpet to occur!

Why We Woke Up at 4 a.m. Last Saturday

Scooby toof

Exactly one week ago, I was collapsing into the bed in my old teenage lair.

After an incredibly long Saturday, the bedroom where I feel safer and sleep more soundly than anywhere else in the world (aka my dad’s house) was exactly where I wanted to be.

Scooby the elderpin and I had risen that day at 4 a.m., hitting the road well before sunrise so that we could represent Beer Paws three hours away at Hefflinger Dog Park in Omaha, Nebraska.

In the week leading up to the event, I kept going back and forth with myself trying to decide what I should do with Scooby while I was out of town. After exhausting all options, including boarding him at the vet in case he had some kind of health attack, I had finally just taken my mother’s advice and loaded him up in the car with me.

The event was Beer Paws’ first in Omaha. We were invited by someone who had visited our booth in February at the I Love My Dog Expo in Lincoln.

She promised that her event, a fundraiser for the Omaha Dog Park Advocates, would be just as much fun.

She was right!

Although the wind viciously whipped our hair and merchandise around all day, Bark in the Park at Hefflinger Park was a fantastic experience.

From a vendor’s perspective, I can honestly say I have never participated in an event with such a well-organized and legitimately helpful crew of volunteers. That really made the beginning and end of the day go much more smoothly.

The crowd was pretty wonderful, too.

We met some really cool people and dogs, including Giovanni the Great Dane and Buck the labradoodle, who left the event wearing leather collars that my dad customized for them while they waited.

Giovanni

Buck

Lots of pups, like handsome Hugo,  also got their first taste of Beer Paws Beer Biscuits during the event.

Hugo

When their parents asked where to get more of my products locally in Omaha, I said:

“Tell your favorite pet businesses you want them to start carrying Beer Paws.”

I hope they do.

While it was super fun, between the wind and the crowd, the experience of working the booth was a bit chaotic at times. At one point, I even fell flat on the ground because I tripped over a corgi!

dad and scooby

Although we tried to keep Scooby toward the back of the space, I didn’t see him relax much at all through the day.

I did see him squat several times for a pee, though. Those moments made me glad the event was on grass.

What we did the next day didn’t happen on grass. Find out about it in my next post!

 

To Travel or Not to Travel? What to Do with an Old Dog

miniature pinscher

“Do my ears make me look like a bat?”

Every day, my dog becomes a little more “vintage.”

Assuming he was at least 7 (and not the 10-12 they said) when I got him back in 2006, the dude is 14 years old at a minimum.

Every day is precious.

Consequently, I don’t like to spend a lot of time away from him beyond the obligatory 8 hours I have to put in at my non-dog-friendly office.

However, as my own company Beer Paws grows and we head into event season, I am busier than ever, with places to be on many evenings and weekends.

In Scooby’s younger days, he was my constant companion. He came to work with me. He partied with me. Anywhere he could go, I brought him.

What's a retirement fund?

What’s a retirement fund?

But as his face gets whiter, his bones more creaky and his bladder less reliable, I began to feel it is easier on him if I don’t take him everywhere. I’ve been leaving him at home during local events and booking him at the kennel when I travel, with the idea of not upsetting his routine too much.

But you know what?

I haven’t been giving the old guy enough credit.

He’s an excellent roadtrip copilot. He just sleeps until the car stops moving or stares at me while I drive.

And people love to meet my little smiling dog when he hangs out with me at Beer Paws events. (It’s just better if the event is outdoors, so I don’t have to feel bad if he has an accident.)

miniature pinscher wearing a hoodie

Cinco de Mayo 2013

In the next blog post, I’ll talk about some of the elderpin’s recent travel adventures.

In the meantime, share in the comments your thoughts about taking old dogs on the road.

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