Category Archives: Awesome

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.

Conservation Canines save wildlife one scat at a time

Can a dog help save the whales?

Orca AKA Killer Whale

Photo by Innotata. Courtesy Wikipedia Commons.

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.

My foster dog Charlie Machete

My foster dog Charlie Machete

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.

Honorary member of Conservation Canines

Wouldn’t your dogs look great in this shirt?

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.
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