Category Archives: Awesome

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!

 

Monday is for Molly Mutt

Here’s how far behind I am in posting:

My birthday happened way back on February 17. Around that time, I received a super awesome gift in the mail from my friend Miranda.

I’m writing about it today because it’s Monday. And Miranda, the gift and her new dog Moby all start with the letter M…

Although I loved it from first sight, I had no idea how useful Miranda’s gift would become to me. I use it every single day.

It’s a Molly Mutt tote bag, embroidered with my name.

persolnalized Molly Mutt tote bag

persolnalized Molly Mutt tote bag

Let’s be honest: Like a lot of contemporary consumers, I have a lot of reusable totes. Too many, in fact.

They clog up the coat rack and don’t always make it to the grocery store with me. I don’t use them often enough and yet I can’t bring myself to throw them away. They are functional, but they aren’t fun to use. They are made of weird fabrics and only offer that one big compartment, which isn’t so convenient if you are doing anything but transporting groceries.

The Molly Mutt tote on the other hand is a tote-ally different story.

Rather than that stiff laminated fabric that a lot of freebie totes are made of, the Molly Mutt bag is soft to the touch yet durable. Looking at the stitching, I can’t ever imagine a handle breaking. And although I’ve had the bag very full, the straps never seem to cut into my shoulder.

The bag itself is roomy but not oversized. I’ve stuck the elderpin inside it a time or two and more lately have been using it to transport my laptop. Of course, the bag is ideal for any shopping excursion or for carrying a dog’s supplies for a trip.

In addition to the main compartment, the Molly Mutt bag has a flat front pocket and two small ones inside.

A lot of my dog mom friends have been fans of Molly Mutt for a while. This is the first time I have ever used one of the brand’s products. I now understand their devotion.

What’s your favorite bag? Leave your answer in the comments.

While you’re online, go check out Miranda’s blog!

This post is in no way sponsored by Molly Mutt – it’s 100% my opinion.

Good Times at the I Love My Dog Expo

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.

Dad in booth

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.

The Beer Paws booth was located right next to Paws Up Nebraska. We got to be there for the adoption of Odie, a dog who might not have made his love connection if not for the expo.

Odie

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!)

Canine Scrub

The Green Spot is an Omaha boutique with a focus on natural, healthy and local products for pets.

Beyond the Dish Bakery is a purveyor of wholesome treats for dogs. Although my pups had been gifted Beyond the Dish biscuits in the past, this was the first time I got to meet the baker herself.

Beyond the Dish

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.

Buttells

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.

golden retriever

Boo the mastiff

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.

Nebraska and Beer Paws

We didn’t offer samples of the beer at the event – too messy – but we did have a yappy hour, with free samples of Beer Paws Beer Biscuits and a special deal on bottle openers for collars and leashes.

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.

Wiener Wars – The Epic Video

Happy Friday!

long-haired dachshund

Here’s a fun video to get your weekend off to a rowdy start, especially if you are a fan of long, short-legged dogs!

Now Presenting: Wiener Wars


There is a story behind Wiener Wars.

Head over to Kelly M. Rivard’s blog to learn who these adorable, muddy dachshunds are.

Razzy hopes to be in her next production…

Cute Cat Lady Style

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!

girl in cat print dress

Even cat girls love Beer Paws products.

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.

Beer Paws baseball tee

Here’s me with Ashley, one of the event organizers.

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!

 

Ranch Life: Livestock, Working Dogs, Wolves and People

As an all-around animal and nature lover, I often find myself thinking about the ways in which dogs can negatively impact the environment.

People and Carnivores logo

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.

Raffle Tickets for Sale

“Wanna buy a raffle ticket?”

image

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.

Weather permitting, the event will begin with a parade of costumed doggies, including a doggy resident from Our Waldo Bungie, the awesomely obedient labradoodles from Kennel Creek and more.

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 crystalwayward@gmail.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?

I don’t need this stuff anymore

This is all going buh-bye.

Bed Head and Schwartzkopf hair products

Once worth a lot of money to me.

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.

KC Pittie Pack gets a mention – Best Way to Tame Your Wild-Ass Dog!

Also: What kind of products you currently put in your hair?

Save the Date: October 28

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.

Through a raffle of awesome dog-related products, we hope to collect proceeds for Midwest Adopt-a-Bull, the bully breed rescue organization that is helping us with my foster dog Charlie Machete.

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.

Fashion-a-Bull Fall flyer

It’s 5K Day

We’re ready! (Even though Charlie Machete didn’t want his picture taken.)

Self portrait in running clothes

Self portrait in running clothes.

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.

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