Category Archives: Luke

Treat Me Tuesday: NutriSource

NutriSource Soft & Tender dog treats

I make and sell my own brand of dog treats, but the Wayward Dogs also enjoy sampling other varieties on the market.

They were thrilled recently when sent a sample of NutriSource Soft & Tender training treats.

The meaty little bones provide a high-value reward for any size dog. Because they are soft, they are easy for the elderpin to chew.

NutriSource Soft & Tender dog treats

Luke would gulp them down by the handful if I let him.

NutriSource Soft & Tender dog treats

Made in the USA and free of wheat, soy and artificial colors and flavors, these treats also boast an added ingredient: Carniking™.

The benefits of this supplement are not explained on the NutriSource packaging, so I did some research. Carniking™ is a dietary supplement manufactured by the company Lonza. Carniking™ is, essentially, L-carnitine, a chemical naturally produced by the canine, human and feline body to help metabolize fat.

According to Lonza’s website: “Carniking™ research in pets has shown that when diets containing Carniking™ are fed to both dogs and cats, the level of body fat is reduced while the percentage of lean muscle mass increases.”

NutriSource Soft & Tender dog treats

In addition to helping with body fat, Carniking™ can also promote a healthy heart and liver. Lonza mentions that the supplement is especially important for senior pets like Luke and the elderpin whose natural ability to produce L-carnitine is diminished.

In addition to being healthy, the NutriSource Soft & Tender Treats are also inexpensive. You can get a 6-oz bag for $2.99 over at

They come packaged in a resealable plastic bag. Once opened, the treats maintained their freshness pretty well, although I did notice some drying after a week or so. They contain a few natural preservatives, so I didn’t worry about the quality. However, for aesthetic reasons, you might consider storing these treats in the fridge if you plan on feeding them to your dog over the course of a month or so.

Have you tried any new treats lately? Share your recommendations in the comments below!

Disclaimer: I received a free product sample in exchange for my honest review.

Tips for Hiking or Camping with Your Dog (Video)


As you know, we occasionally take our dogs along when we travel.

Luke especially enjoys any opportunity to hit the trails and grasslands and chase bunnies off-leash.

Through my experiences hiking and camping with the dogs, I’ve learned a few do’s and don’ts.

I had the opportunity to share a few tips with an audience last Thursday during an in-store event at the Eddie Bauer store on Country Club Plaza in Kansas City.

Check out the video and add your tips for traveling with pets in the comments below.

Also, pay attention to the introduction by Wendy Garrett, coordinator of the event and blogger at She talks about Eddie Bauer’s connection to black labradors!

Big thanks to the Eddie Bauer store for inviting me to speak!

In conjunction with my speaking event, I’m running a special on Beer Paws. Through April 1, get 10% off your order when you use the discount code EDDIEBAUER at checkout. Click here to shop.

Beer Paws Banner

Happy St. Patrick’s Day

Outside, the air is chilly but the birds are singing.

Green things are shooting up out of the dirt.

It’s been a long, hard winter. We even had fresh snow yesterday.

But spring is coming!

Luke is ready. He was up before everyone else in our house, talking about it with the neighbor dogs. (Sorry, neighbors.)

Or maybe he was looking for leprechauns…

golden retriever wearing green scarfToday is St. Patrick’s Day, and I hope you are feeling lucky.

If you aren’t feeling lucky, give a dog a hug. I promise you’ll feel better in no time.

“You can’t expect to be a lucky dog if you spend all your time growling.” – Jean Cocteau

Foster Update: Blind Willie is wearing green today, too. Unfortunately, his green is an e-collar. He is still looking rough but is recovering gradually from his eye removal surgery. Head to our Facebook page to see a picture of him.

Birthday Reflections: Life Flows On

A significant day in my life passed yesterday with very little fanfare.

My 32nd birthday was overshadowed by a series of unfortunate personal events.

On Saturday, our house flooded due to a plumbing problem. On Sunday, I dropped my phone in the toilet. On Monday, I fell down in a snowdrift.

The third incident actually had very little bearing on anything, other than it caused me to re-enter my workplace on the afternoon of my birthday with a wet behind. And it makes for a kind of funny detail.

But the first events – especially number 1 – were disappointing, costly and inconvenient, to say the least.

crystal at 32

As I type tonight, a 32-years-and-1-day-year-old dog mom, industrial fans and  dehumidifiers surround me, humming loudly, slowly drawing the excess moisture from our floorboards. The constant noise is soothing to Zach but sets me on edge.

I don’t know what it is about white noise, but it’s always bothered me. Even the modest motor in our bedroom fan sometimes delays my sleep or startles me in the night.

The motors in these monsters are way louder. But I think I’ll live.

They’ve done an amazing job so far of evaporating the thousands of gallons that poured through our kitchen, gathered in the subflooring and rained down hard on some of our most prized but little used musical gadgetry. The sight in our basement Saturday night was so sad I let the professional clean-up crew take the pictures.

For their safety, we sent Scooby and Blind Willie to the kennel through the first couple days of the drying. As we drug all manner of items from our basement to strew across our main floor to air out, it was just too dangerous to let a totally blind and a half-blind, half-deaf dog stumble around.

Fortunately, Luke’s senses are strong enough that could get around OK. He even seems to enjoy napping in front of the big fans in the daytime.

I brought the little guys back home today. They don’t seem perturbed by the loud machines, other than they don’t seem to like the fans blowing on their fur. Mostly, all three of the dogs snooze. I envy them their ability to tune out the incessant whirring.

miniature pinscher and jack russell terrier

But I’m not really complaining.

We are lucky to have these fans. We are lucky our house was not damaged worse. Considering at the time I discovered the flooding, water was shooting into an electrical outlet, we are lucky our house didn’t burn up with three sweet dogs inside it.

I don’t know quite what to make of the rash of frustrating, water-related events that occurred within 32 hours of my 32nd birthday.  I think I’m going to look at it all as some kind of cleansing, dictated by the universe.

Maybe it means my year 32 is going to be really good.

I’ll do what I can to make it so.

What’s in the (new) Oven?

beer biscuits

On pretty much any day lately, there’s something in the oven at Wayward House.

For my clever friends, please don’t worry. I am being totally literal here. I’m not talking about figurative buns and ovens.

I’m talking about the real, gosh-darned convection oven that lives in my kitchen.

It’s new, a step up from our old conventional oven. This oven is much better for baking the thing I’m best at baking – doggy beer biscuits.

With the help of my other new friend KitchenAid Mixer, beer biscuits are in nearly non-stop production now.


To the delight of Luke, Scooby and our frequent four-legged visitors, a peanut buttery smell permeates the house. Reluctantly, Luke has agreed to share the biscuit bounty.

luke sadie roxie

A lot of these treats, made with recycled grains from homebrewers and local breweries, end up in the mouths of shelter dogs. I delivered a big bag of them last weekend to my friends at Unleashed Pet Rescue in Mission, Kansas.

Soon, you will be able to order beer biscuits for your dogs via

beer paws package

In the meantime, if your pooch wants to try a sample, and you live in the U.S., fill out the contact form below. Include your mailing address – it won’t be visible to the public. I’ll send some biscuits to the first five people who respond.

4 Reasons to Love the EzyDog Zero Shock Leash (Review)

Strutt with Your Mutt starting line

The year is almost over.

Are you, like me, thinking about how you and your pet can live a healthier lifestyle?

If jogging is on your agenda, then you might want to check out the EzyDog Zero Shock Leash.

The EzyDog company is known for making quality products for active dogs. I’ve never owned any EzyDog items before and was excited at the opportunity to test out this leash. In fact, getting it has given me more motivation to get back into jogging.

ezydog leash

After using the Zero Shock on Luke the golden retriever for several weeks now, I’ve rather fallen in love with it.

Here are four reasons I like this leash so much.

1. Comfort. If you have ever received a rope burn from a nylon leash, you will love the thought that went into this one. When you slip your wrist inside the loop handle of the Zero Shock Leash, you won’t end up gripping the nylon. Your grip soft neoprene.

EzyDog Zero Shock Leash with Beer Paw

2. Deliberate design. The Zero Shock Leash may be the weirdest looking leashes I have ever used. It’s part normal, and part stretchy. That’s because it is designed to do exactly what you expect – absorb the tug on the collar that your dog may feel as your arms move up and down while running. The only downside of this design is that it’s not a great option for dogs who pull. The leash absorbs so much shock that they can barely tell when you are tugging to correct them.

EzyDog traffic control

3. Safety handle. My favorite part of this leash is the second handle right by the collar attachment. The so-called “traffic control handle” provides close control. You slip your hand through the loop, just like at the top of the leash, except from here, you can manage your dog better in the event that another animal or person approaches too closely.

4. There’s a place to attach your Beer Paws bottle opener! Officially, I’m sure that EzyDog expects people to attach poop bags or other pet necessities on the accessory d-ring located just under the top handle. But the first thing I thought to attach was, of course, my company’s bottle openers for leashes.

What kind of leash do you use? Tell us about it in the comments!

Disclaimer: I received a free leash from EzyDog in exchange for my honest review.

Quote of the Day: What a Dog Wants

golden retriever in reindeer antlers

“The dog’s agenda is simple, fathomable, overt: I want. ‘I want to go out, come in, eat something, lie here, play with that, kiss you.’ There are no ulterior motives with a dog, no mind games, no second-guessing, no complicated negotiations or bargains, and no guilt trips or grudges if a request is denied.”

- Caroline Knapp

Don’t forget to enter my #DiamondNaturals grain-free dog food giveaway!

Gearing Up for Bow Wow Ween

Scooby's 2011 Halloween costume

At Halloween time, women get away with dressing scandalous.

And dog mamas finally have a genuine excuse to put our pooches in adorable little outfits.

Costumed pups have been prevalent at nearly every pet event I’ve attended this Dogtober October.

I’ve seen chubby beagle fairies, dachshund dinosaurs and more.

One of my favorites so far is this simple yet totally cute Rufferee outfit we spotted at last Thursday’s Yappy Hour at Coffee Girl’s Cafe.

dog in a referee costume

Luke and Scooby aren’t totally sure what they’ll be for Halloween this year.

Luke tried on a DIY Dog Duck Dynasty outfit last week.

He looked pretty good, I think.

And the outfit only consisted of two pieces – an orange hunting dog vest that we bought a long time ago at Cabela’s and one of Zach’s camo fishing hats.

golden retriever dressed as Duck Dynasty

Scooby might pick up a new costume this Saturday during the 2nd Annual Bow Wow Ween Costume Pawty at Queen of Paws Boutique in Prairie Village, Kansas.

The event includes a costume contest, pet portraits, free treats and a discount on everything in the store.

We’ll be there, petting dogs and promoting Beer Paws. Come say hi if you are in the neighborhood! Click here to RSVP.

What is your dog going to be for Halloween?

Luke Makes a New Friend

golden retriever and black lab

A couple weeks ago, I rolled up to the house of the friend I have known longer than any other friend.

Both of my dogs were in the car. We were all ready to get out and stretch our legs.

I couldn’t wait for a tour of the home she and her husband have been recreating to include her professional photo studio. But as I put my hand on the door, her big, affable oaf of a black lab appeared. I was excited to meet him, too. After all, his name – Tyson – was inspired by the name of my childhood dog.

However, for a split second, all I could picture was me opening the back gate of my SUV, my golden retriever Luke hopping out and letting into the black dog.

Luke is dog selective.

He does pretty great in general with little dogs and seems to like most lady dogs of all shapes and sizes. But big boys who rush right up to him to say hi? That tends to be a no-go.

Tyson fits that profile and he seemed so excited to find out what amazing new friends I had in my car for him. I was kind of freaking out inside.

But I warned my friend. She called Tyson back as I let Luke out of the car.

We gave him space.

A pee happened.

Scooby the elderpin and Tyson introduced themselves.

And then we all started walking around the property, Tyson loping ahead and Luke pulling on his leash in the hopes I would drop it.

When we got inside the house, I did.

The vibe seemed good between all the dogs, but I was still nervous.

They sniffed. They wagged, and then they were off!

Within seconds it was impossible to tell that Luke and Tyson had just met and weren’t actually lifelong buddies. The two big dogs followed each other into every room, long tails swishing and paws coming down hard as they zoomed around happily.

The only sight I can compare this to is how Luke behaves anytime our former foster Minnie comes around.

I guess he just knows who he likes. What a pity Tyson lives more than three hours away.

Who are your dog’s best friends?

To learn more about why I made the trip to visit my friend, check out the Walk for Paws post at

How My Dogs Look Through the Fido Fetch Photography Lens @fidofetchphoto

Do we look cute or what?

As promised, here’s a gallery of Luke, Scooby’s and my recent photo session with Fido Fetch Photography.

What’s your favorite picture from the collection? (Click on the image to enlarge.)

Have you ever had a portrait session with your pets? Tell me about it in the comments below!

If you are in the Kansas City area, I highly recommend booking a pet portrait session with Fido Fetch Photography!

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