Category Archives: Blogging

Writer’s Process Tour


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.

For Better and Worse – A Pet Love Story #RecipeforMoments

February is here!

I can’t lie, this is my favorite month of the year. I don’t love it for the weather. I love it because it’s my birth month.

My birthday is coming up on February 17, and just before that is Valentine’s Day. I think of that holiday as a time to celebrate love in general, not just the romantic kind but also the love of family, friends and, of course, pets.

The Blog Paws network and Nature’s Recipe® pet foods agree with me on the last part. In fact, they have dubbed February Spoil Your Pet Month. I’m cool with that.

This will be Scooby the elderpin’s 8th year as my canine sweetheart.

New Friends Photography Beer Paws

Credit: New Friends Photography & Design

To be honest, we all know the honeymoon is over in this relationship.

I don’t mean that in a bad way, but taking care of the elderpin can be tough. Potty training was never his forte, but these days I feel like I’m cleaning up Scooby’s messes 5 or 6 times a day. And that’s on top of the cleaning up his team of caretakers at Kennel Creek Pet Resort performs while he’s at daycare.

I’m not mad about it. Scooby’s old. He can’t help his potty problems at this point.

And he deserves special treatment in his twilight period. Doesn’t everyone?

Accidents in the house are a big reason a lot of people give up their pets. I understand – these habits are hard to break, and it sucks to see your property damaged or ruined.

But for every puddle I wipe up, my elderpin will make me smile 10 times. On the best days, he’ll make me laugh, too.

He’ll realize it’s dinnertime, find some reservoir of youth within him and bound across the house top-speed. He’ll steal a piece of steak straight out of Luke’s astonished mouth. He’ll attack a raw knuckle bone that weighs a third of what he does.

He’ll click, click, click up to my side of the bed at night and stand there until I scoop him up so he can sleep in the crook of my arm.

No one loves Scooby like I do. And he doesn’t love anyone the way he loves me.

He’s a good boy. He likes people – especially if they have food or a warm lap on a cold day.

But I am his favorite.

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

If I’m not careful, he will risk his feeble bones by leaping off of beds, chairs and other people’s arms to get to me.

It has always been this way. I had given him back to the owner he had strayed from and wanted to check in to be sure all was well a few days later.

At the door, in the neighbor’s arms, the little dog squirmed and wiggled until the guy just handed him over.

“I think he wants you,” he said.

And I wanted Scooby, warts and all (for real – he had a nasty one on his neck).

I wouldn’t take it back for all the world – or even a dog with a bladder made of steel. Scooby’s my boy.

That’s our love story.

What’s your love story with your dog? Share it in the comments below!

This post is part of a blog hop sponsored by Blog Paws and Nature’s Recipe.

You can join it, too, and enter for a chance to win a collar camera for your cat or dog. To learn more, click here.

Dynamo Dog Treats – A Cloud Star Review + Giveaway

IMG_3360 large

After years of being a walking garbage disposal, capable of consuming crippling amounts of anything he could get into, Scooby the elderpin is getting a sensitive tummy.

In fact, these days, although his dry kibble doesn’t bother him, certain baked treats do. To be on the safe side, when he gets treats nowadays, I make sure they are soft ones.

For that reason, I was thrilled recently when Cloud Star sent the Wayward Dogs an assortment of meaty, chewy treats to try.

In the past, Cloud Star’s Buddy Biscuits have been a big hit at our house. This was the first time Luke and Scooby got to try the Cloud Star Dynamo Dog treats.

cloud star hip and joint

Of course, I love the fact that Cloud Star pet treats are made in the USA. Even better: The Dynamo Dog series is known as Functional Treats.

Featuring all natural ingredients, and no grain, Dynamo Dog treats are designed to support specific, common health issues faced by dogs. There are formulas for skin, tummy and hip and joint issues.

cloud star skin

Scooby and Luke showed equal enthusiasm over all four varieties (hip and joint comes in two flavors). Each rectangular nugget is about one bite for a big dog and a minute or so of chewing for a really old miniature pinscher who is missing a lot of teeth.

cloud star tummy

It is nice having treats like these on hand because I know they are good for my dogs and the dogs enjoy them.

Because Cloud Star was generous enough to offer one Wayward Dogs reader the same assortment we received, you pup also gets a chance to be a Dynamo Dog. Simply follow the instructions in the Rafflecopter widget below for your chance to win. (U.S. addresses only, please.)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclosure: I received free treats for my dogs in exchange for this blog post. However, all opinions expressed are solely my own.

1,000 Likes = $100 for the Homeless Animals of KC Pet Project

Do you want to help homeless pets this year?

There are many ways to do it. One is really easy. All you have to do is click Like.

Throughout the month of December, I have been rallying fans to help my Beer Paws business page reach 1,000 Likes.

If we can do that by December 31, Beer Paws will donate $100 to our featured shelter of the month, KC Pet Project.

KC Pet Project is the non-profit animal shelter that serves Kansas City, Missouri. Thousands of animals pass through this program every year, and following many years as a high-kill shelter, KCPP achieved no-kill status this year.

Establishing more foster parents for pets has been one key to the program’s improvement. I’m happy to say that a dog was pulled into foster under my name just a few weeks ago – and adopted soon after.

Charlie the poodle

Another key element of KCPP’s success has been the establishment of play yards, where dogs get more exercise and socialization. Earlier in the month, the shelter had to raise $40,000 to improve the play yards to be in line with state standards.

Although that particular fiscal goal was met, there is always a need for donations to the shelter.

The $100 Beer Paws will donate, in addition to a percentage of all online sales for the month of December, will help feed and keep warm some dogs and cats this holiday season while they await their forever families.

By participating in my Like campaign, you can help this all happen.

As of this writing, the Beer Paws fan page has 771 Likes. That’s not bad, but time is running out.

We have 13 days to get 229 Likes. Will you help us get there?

To sweeten the deal, I’m offering a giveaway, open only to people who like Beer Paws on Facebook, and something else cool just got added to the pot.

katty de lux calendar

My friend Katty De Lux, a fetching pin up model from the Paris of the plains (aka Kansas City), put together a 2014 calendar that she has been selling as a fundraiser for KC Pet Project.

So the winner of this giveaway will receive a bunch of Beer Paws swag and a Katty De Lux calendar.

Beer Paws

Check out the Rafflecopter widget below. The first thing it will prompt you to do is Like Beer Paws!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

You can also help support KC Pet Project by making a Beer Paws purchase this month or by purchasing the Katty De Lux calendar.

Pick Your Favorite Scooby Portrait + An Easy Canvas Prints Giveaway {Sponsored Post}

Scooby the elderpin has been a busy dog model this year.

Lots of our photographer friends, old and new, have caught his cuteness on camera.

Consequently, I have a desire to hang his handsome mug on the wall.

Part of my holdup is the difficulty of deciding which images to have printed for framing or made into photo canvases.

Maybe you can help me choose. Here are a few of my favorite 2013 Scooby portraits.

Fido Fetch Photography miniature pinscher

Credit: Fido Fetch Photography

Fido Fetch Photography miniature pinscher and golden retriever

Credit: Fido Fetch Photography

miniature pinscher in Pitch Best of KC issue

Photo by New Friends Photography & Design

Photo by New Friends Photography & Design

Photo by New Friends Photography & Design

Photo by New Friends Photography & Design

Because I like wall decor that is super easy to hang, chances are strong that I’ll end up ordering some photo canvases of Scooby.

You can enter to win one of your pet in the Easy Canvas Prints holiday giveaway. Check out this blog post for details.

Disclosure: I received compensation from Easy Canvas Prints in exchange for spreading the word about this giveaway.

My Holiday Wish List + Two Huge Giveaways {Sponsored Post}

Christmas is almost here, and I have virtually no holiday shopping accomplished.

This is not unusual for me.

golden retriever in reindeer antlersTo be honest, I have barely begun thinking about what I want for myself this holiday season, either, even though Scooby and Luke my Mom and Zach keep asking.

So, to satisfy them as well as, sponsor of today’s post, here are some things I wouldn’t mind finding under the tree this year. (Shocker – most everything relates to the dogs!)

Crystal’s Holiday Wish List

  1. A new winter coat for me and Scooby! Mine got torn last year on a visit to the farm where my dad takes care of elk and bison. Scooby’s ended up in the mouth of some other dog at some point, and now looks all ratty and tattered.
  2. Ceramic food and water dishes for the dogs! We currently use stainless steel bowls, and I hate them. They are noisy, and food sticks to them. Also, I hate drinking water out of stainless steel, and I wonder if the dogs do, too.
  3. A great bit electric mixer. I make a lot of beer biscuits – for my dogs, shelter dogs and my friends’ dogs. Mixing by hand is fun and all, but a electric mixer sure would be swell. (Props to my dad who hooked me up with a rolling pin a few months back when my substitution of an empty beer bottle for one horrified him.)
  4. A deep freeze. I can think of a lot of things, including beer biscuit batter, that I could put in a deep freeze. Currently, our standard freezer is often so full that things, like big bags of biscuit batter, are apt to fall on my foot when I open the door.
  5. Framed and canvas prints of the dogs to put on our walls. Scooby and Luke have each had their photos taken a lot this year, and I haven’t yet gotten any of the pictures printed, much less hung.



Now, if only I could get my family members and doggies to publish their holiday wish lists, too, I would be starting this week off under a lot less stress.

Luckily, has some inspiration for us all in the form of holiday gift guides for almost everyone on your list:

Family Gift Guidea

When you check out the guides, be sure to also enter the Holiday Sweepstakes. You could win $500 in e-Gift Cards!

You can also win a $200 gift card by entering the Holiday Blogger Giveaway below.

Just follow the directions in the Rafflecopter widget (or follow the link) to enter. You’ll be asked to like pages for a bunch of other great bloggers. Please take a moment to check them out if you can!

Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclosure: I received compensation from in exchange for writing this post.

You Decide the Subject of My Next Post

Confession: I need your help.

Topics and products I need to address on this blog are piling up, but I don’t know where to begin.

So, I’m letting you decide.

With a comment, let me know which of these things you want to see me write about tomorrow.

1. The Pooch Pouch

Outward Hound Pooch Pounc


2. EzyDog Shock Absorbing Leash

EzyDog Shock Absorbing Leash


3. Lincoln Bark treats

Lincoln Bark treats


4. Pretty, pretty little Princess

Princess adoptable chihuahua mix


I’ll do what you say! Vote with a comment by 10 p.m. CST time.

Whichever topic gets the most votes will be the thing I write about on this blog tomorrow!

In the meantime, take a moment to enter my Diamond Pet Foods grain-free giveaway!

#DiamondNaturals Offers Peace of Mind + A Giveaway [Sponsored Post]

Minnie sniff

“Be sure to check where it comes from!”

I overheard a woman bark that command to the man she was shopping with in the pet aisle of a big box store over the weekend. It made me smile.

The couple was buying food and treats for their dogs. Obviously, at least the woman was aware of the greater safety risks associated with pet products that come from China.

Made in America is one of the reasons I feel good about Diamond, a pet food company that manufacturers its products “from start to finish” right here in America. In fact, the headquarters for Diamond Pet Foods’ is actually just a few hours south of me, in Meta, Missouri. The company has three other state-of-the-art facilities located in California and South Carolina.

Diamond Pet Foods plant

But location isn’t everything.

Diamond’s commitment to food safety involves on-site product testing, microbial control and testing, as well as air and water quality controls. More than 1,300 microbiological tests are conducted at every Diamond facility every week.

The company also employs a “Test and Hold Program, in which product tests are conducted by a certified, independent laboratory.” In addition, Diamond Pet Foods facilities are also subjected to an annual Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP) audit administered by  the food safety audit firm NSF International®.

Diamond Naturals safety testing

This is true of the original Diamond Pet Foods products as well as the recently launched, affordable grain-free varieties.


Thanks to an opportunity provided by the BlogPaws Blogger Network, I’ve been blogging about the company’s grain-free offerings over the past couple of months. My dogs have even sampled the products.

Now, Diamond is offering your pet a chance to go grain-free. Simply follow the instructions in the Rafflecopter below for your chance to win a Diamond Naturals gift basket, including: one 28-pound bag of Diamond Naturals Grain Free dog food in your choice of flavors, a box of dog stationery, dog bone-shaped paperclips, a decorative sign, a 2014 Dogs and Puppies calendar and a $40 Visa gift card.

All you have to do is follow the prompts on the Rafflecopter to enter.  Wayward Dogs will choose a winner in two weeks and announce them on our Facebook page.  Please be sure we can contact you by e-mail when you enter.  If you don’t see the Rafflecopter widget, please click on the link and it will take you to the widget.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


This post is sponsored by Diamond Naturals on behalf of the BlogPaws Blogger Network. I am being compensated for helping spread the word about Diamond Naturals Naturals Grain-Free dog food, but only shares information we feel is relevant to our readers. Diamond Naturals is not responsible for the content of this article.


What He’s Wearing: Sophia & Niko Edition

Scooby put on his old rooster costume for a Halloween party at Queen of Paws Boutique last Saturday.

But he walked out of the shop wearing something else entirely.

miniature pinscher

During the Bow Wow Ween festivities, we met the poodles and the blogger behind another lovely local website, Time for Poodles & Friends.


In addition to advocating and celebrating dogs, blogger Terri G. also makes beautiful pet accessories by hand. Her knit bandanas and more are sold right alongside my Beer Paws merchandise at Queen of Paws.

Scooby and his friend Roxy patiently allowed their mamas to slip them into various pieces from the Sophia & Niko line.

Roxy models handmade clothes

Scooby looked so handsome in his new salmon-colored bandana that we didn’t take it off until last night!

Head over to Time for Poodles to see a great portrait of him wearing it!

You can also see more highlights from the Bow Wow Ween party in today’s post at

Caption Contest with Weezer the English Beerdog

Remember my cousin’s hard partying bulldog Weezer?

She’s baaaack!

drunk english bulldog

I never get tired of seeing pictures of Weezer and her favorite chew toy that’s shaped like a beer bottle.

Who needs a bottle opener when you have a Bulldog jaw?

Who needs a bottle opener when you have a Bulldog jaw?

Weezer the English Bulldog drinking a beer.

Lap up that brew!

Drunk English Bulldog

Pass out!

A Chance to Win

If you get a kick out of Weezer the English Beerdog, head over to the Beer Paws Facebook page and suggest a caption for the latest shot of her passed out with her bottle – it’s the pinned post.

Around happy hour today (6 p.m. CST), I will randomly select one winner to receive a free Beer Paws button style bottle opener in the color of your choice. (Must be US resident – sorry, international friends!)

Beer Paws 6 pack

What’s your favorite color?

Click here to enter the giveaway.

Winner will be announced on the Beer Paws Facebook page. Good luck!

*This giveaway is not sponsored by or in any way endorsed by Facebook.
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