Category Archives: Awesome
I wish I could spend every weekend doing what I did last Saturday and Sunday.
That is: petting dogs, talking to dog lovers, introducing people and pups to my brand and hanging out with my dad.
A few weeks back, my old man and my dear friend Shawn encouraged me to plan a trip to my college town for the I Love My Dog Expo. The annual event is presented by Domesti-PUPS, a group that provides service dogs to people who need them around Lincoln, Nebraska, and beyond.
Dog lovers from all around the region attend to see obedience and agility trials, interact with pet-based businesses and, in some cases, adopt new dogs.
Because I have strong ties to Nebraska but don’t live there, the event gave me a chance to meet the people behind some local brands I’ve heard a lot about.
The Canine Scrub is a wildly popular self-serve dog wash that many of my Nebraska dog friends frequent. One of the owners is also a painter. (She did the doberman silhouette in the photo below that now lives in my house!)
The Green Spot is an Omaha boutique with a focus on natural, healthy and local products for pets.
Of course, it was great fun for me to be able to engage directly with people interested in the products I make and sell. I love answering customer questions, learning about their dogs and seeing to which items they are most drawn.
The bottle cap-studded collars my dad has been making got a lot of people’s attention. He even customized a few for people right on the spot. It made me so happy to see the pride he took in his work – and people’s excitement at being able to deck out their drinking buddy in a totally unique collar.
The expo marked the introduction of beer for dogs to the Beer Paws offering.
That concept alone got a lot of tongues (and tails) wagging. Not really beer at all, our brew is a mixture of wholesome broth and glucosamine and other minerals to support joint health, with a subtle malt flavoring.
People seemed to get a kick out of “yappy hour,” and pictures posted on Facebook tell me some have been repeating it at home this week.
At the end of two days of constant standing during the expo, I have to say my dogs were barking.
But I left Lincoln floating on a cloud and feeling closer than ever to my dad, thrilled to have made some new friends and profoundly grateful to all of the people who are with me on this little endeavor called Beer Paws.
I can’t wait for the next big show.
Every Beer Paws purchase supports my small business and animal rescue. A portion of all proceeds are donated to rescue groups and shelters. This month’s featured rescue partner is Paws Up Nebraska. Click here to shop now.
I met so many wonderful people at the slew of rescue-related events I attended last weekend.
But when I saw this girl, I had to get her picture. Check out her awesome kitty print dress!
We chatted for a while when she visited my booth at Tunes for TARA, the concert and fundraiser for The Animal Rescue Alliance.
She was there in part because she had fostered (and kept) a cat from TARA, one of a few felines she had at home.
Although the Beer Paws brand does cater more to dog lovers, my new young cat lady friend found something she liked at my merch table.
She bought one of the Wine Paws wine stoppers (“when it’s time to take wine pause, get our your Wine Paw”) and even inquired about the Beer Paws baseball t-shirt I was rocking that day.
I am proud to say that thanks to cat girl and many other TARA supporters that day, Beer Paws raised over $60 for the rescue group.
We are trying to drive that number up even more throughout the week. 10% of all proceeds from online sales through Sunday, September 1, 2013, will benefit TARA.
Click here to shop: http://waywarddogs.storenvy.com/
To see more photos from Tunes for TARA, check out the photo album on Facebook!
As an all-around animal and nature lover, I often find myself thinking about the ways in which dogs can negatively impact the environment.
Then, every so often, a story like this pops up – a story about working dogs whose loyalty provides a sustainable and reliable form of livestock protection. It’s an awesome solution especially at a time when many people violently resist the reintroduction of natural predators like wolves.
Even if you aren’t interested in the eco-angle of this story from the People and Carnivores conservation group, I urge you to watch this 7-minute video for the rare and old timey dog breeds featured in it. (And don’t be put off by the creepy thumbnail image.)
To learn more about how human society and the great predator animals can share the planet, check out PeopleandCarnivores.org.
What do you think of the Livestock Guarding Dogs?
If you like this story, check out my post on the Conservation Canines.
“Wanna buy a raffle ticket?”
That’s the question you’ll be greeted with if you interact with me in person this week.
And I have no shame. In my quest to collect lots of dollars for rescue dogs, I will be pushy. I will guilt-trip you if you hesitate.
“Come on, it’s just $5.”
Every cent collected will go directly to Midwest Adopt-a-Bull, the rescue organization that enrolled Charlie Machete. In tomorrow’s post, you’ll get to learn more about some of the other dogs in the group. For now, suffice it to say that every dollar matters. Midwest Adopt-a-Bull dogs come from shelters, the streets and abandoned houses. Two animals linked to our group have recently undergone amputations.
My goal is to raise at least $500.
Winners need not be present, but the raffle drawing will occur on Sunday, October 28, at the end of the shopping party Katty Delux and I are co-hosting at the Madewell boutique in Leawood, Kansas.
Everyone who attends that event will also be entered in a free drawing for a Madewell gift card and enjoy complimentary refreshments and an available shopping discount. The first 20 attendees will receive a free goodie bag.
You can check out some of the raffle prizes in the Fashion-a-Bull Fall at Madewell photo album on the Wayward Dogs Facebook fan page.
Here’s a list of some of the things we’re giving away:
-Custom doggy sweater from Tiennot Knit Sweaters
-Leash and collar sets from Waggiwear Dog Collars and Leashes
-Gift Certificate to The Barking Lot Grooming Salon
-Gift Certificate to Simply Grooming by Gia
-Gift certificate to Pete ‘n’ Mac pet resort
-K9closet handmade collars from Simply Grooming by Gia
-Handmade Doggie Bows by Styled by a Milk Tooth
-Handmade Retro Accessories from Lucky Lucille
-Handmade Sunnglasses from Tumbleweeds Odd Shop
-Handmade pit bull magnets from Kathleen Henn
-Gift Certificate for a tree three-night stay at Kennel Creek Pet Resort
All above items will be grouped into two monster prize packages.
So, are you going to buy a raffle ticket?
Unfortunately, gambling laws made me too nervous to accept online payments for raffle tickets. So, if you are in the Kansas City area and want to buy one, let me know in the comments or email me at email@example.com. We’ll figure out how to get your tickets to you!
I will have raffle tickets on hand during the Coast to Coast Bully Walk and at the shopping party on Sunday.
If you don’t live in Kansas City, but still want to contribute to the cause, feel free to make a donation directly to Midwest Adopt-a-Bull. Let me know in the comments if you do.
And don’t forget to enter the Retro Vixen giveaway. No purchase is necessary for that – just give a Like to some worthy Facebook fan pages. (That giveaway is open to all U.S. residents.)
What prize from the list most excites you?
This is all going buh-bye.
I’ll tell you why I’m getting rid of all those pricey hair products tomorrow.
(And, yes, it does have a little bit to do with dogs.)
In the meantime:
Go check out The Pitch‘s hot-off-the-press Best of Kansas City 2012 edition.
Also: What kind of products you currently put in your hair?
A while back, I said I was working with the fashionistas at the Madewell store in Leawood on a special event that would raise funds for a favorite cause.
Well, it’s finally happening!
Katty Delux over at Chronicles of a Sweet Tooth and I are presenting Fashion-a-Bull Fall, a shopping party and fundraiser on Sunday, October 28.
Keep tabs on my blog and Katty’s for more details about the event.
If you have a pet business and wish to donate items for the raffle, please contact me at crystalwayward(a)gmail(dot)com.
We’re ready! (Even though Charlie Machete didn’t want his picture taken.)
In less than an hour, foster dog Charlie Machete and I will begin the 5K Strutt with Your Mutt charity race to benefit Wayside Waifs. Big thanks to everyone who has supported us with encouragement and donations for homeless pets.
We racked up over $250 in sponsorships!
If you’re in the Brookside area of Kansas City this morning and see us run by, give us a holler. It should be hard to miss me in this outfit!
Note: I am wearing my KC Pittie Pack T-shirt instead of the official race shirt.
Can a dog help save the whales?
If you read the New York Times, are a fan of Wayward Dogs on Facebook or follow me on Twitter, you have probably already encountered the story of Tucker, the onetime stray black lab mix who now spends his days sniffing out Orca scat from the deck of a boat off the coast of San Juan Island, Washington.
By leading scientists to this obscure excrement, Tucker helps them monitor the health of the whales and understand where they go when they’re not in the San Juan area.
I can’t believe this dog is for real.
According to the story, Tucker is the only dog in the world currently trained and working to detect the scent of whale droppings in the open ocean, but he’s not the only dog sniffing out endangered species poop for science.
Since 1997, the non-profit, Washington-based organization Conservation Canines has been training dogs to trackers of endangered whales, bears, owls, elephants, caribou, pumas, jaguars, giant anteaters and even mice.
Studying the scat is a non-invasive way for scientists to learn a whole lot about the animals, including their sex, species, nutritional status and reproductive health. In the case of the orcas, the presence of the chemicals like DDT and dioxin in the scat suggests in what other waters the animals may have been swimming.
We humans are killing off the rest of the planet at an alarming rate.
Something like 200 plant and animal species die off each day, mostly as a result of human impact.
Like our own, the world dog population is more of an overpopulation. Just ask shelters and rescue groups. When they’re free-roaming or feral, dogs can pose a threat to wildlife, as well.
As a person who cares deeply about the environment – and is a crazy dog lady – these are things I think about a lot. In fact, I often feel a bit guilty about the time and energy I put into dog advocacy, compared with what I do about the plight of threatened wild things.
What if at the end of the world, it’s just us and dogs? Would that be worth it?
Discovering the Conservation Canines organization was huge for me yesterday. This is an area where domestic animal rescue and environmentalism can come together. Humans can work with dogs to help in the fight to save other species.
Almost all of the Conservation Canines are rescue dogs or owner surrenders. Tucker came from the streets of Seattle.
According to the group’s website, the dogs that make great trackers often don’t make great family pets. They’re too hyper and too single-minded.
The dog now in training to do what Tucker does is a flat-coated retriever who was so obsessed with her ball that when her former owner placed it atop a refrigerator, she sat and stared at the ball for eight hours.
If only the rest of us could apply that level of determination to protecting the planet…
You can support Conservation Canines by shopping at the group’s merchandise site. I rather like the hoodies and “honorary member” shirts for dogs.
What do you think about this story? Share your thoughts in the comments.
Fun fact: I have been obsessed with whales since I was a little kid. That’s why there are books by the marine life artist Wyland in the “Favorite Things” section of the Wayward Dogs Store.
It’s amazing how much a small accomplishment can improve your whole view.
Miraculously, the glass did not break. The hanger, however, left a nasty scar on the wall above my dresser.
The mirror itself took up an almost forgotten residence on the floor behind the headboard. All I could really see was the beautiful ornate frame that makes me love this mirror so.
It was Zach’s idea last weekend to move the mirror to our tiny bathroom.
The effect is amazing. Of course, there’s the whole room-enlargening effect. But that old mirror also brings something personal to a room that we’ve otherwise furnished sparsely with store-bought, assemble-it-yourself cabinets. That mirror makes me stupid happy.
I can’t believe it took so long.
Did you accomplish any projects over the holiday weekend?
Have you ever completed one very small task and been overjoyed with the result?